Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 22, 2020

Arms Control Diplomacy Used To Be Serious - It Has Been Replaced With Stupid Stunts

Talks between Russia and the United States about the renewal of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty began today. The New START treaty limits the number of nuclear capable platforms each side can deploy.

The U.S. says it wants to bring China into the negotiations. We explained at length why that does not make sense and why it is thereby not going to happen:

Russia and the U.S. both have some 6,000+ nuclear warheads. The New START Treaty between the U.S. and Russia limits the numbers of platforms - missiles, bombers and submarines - that each side can use to launch strategic nuclear weapons to some 1,400. China has less than 300 nuclear warheads and even fewer platforms from which those could be launched. The U.S. claims that China will double the number of its warheads and platforms during the next ten years but there is again zero evidence to support that claim.

Why should China, with less nuclear capabilities than France and Britain, join a treaty that would limit is meager capabilities when the U.S. and Russia both have more than twenty times its numbers. That makes no sense at all.

Marshall Billingslea, the current nominee to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, is leading the U.S. delegation at today's meeting in Vienna. The man is a kind of loose cannon:

"Spending the adversary into oblivion", as Billingslea's threatened, is also rumored to have a certain cost. It is quite doubtful that the U.S. is capable or willing to finance that.

Billingslea is by the way a dangerous nutter. During the Bush administration he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict and the civilian responsible for the war on terror and torture regime conducted by U.S. special operation forces.

If he believes that torture can help to fight terrorism, or that nuclear tests can further arms control negotiations, he might also believe that unrealistic threats of an arms race can push China into a treaty it does not want. In reality neither will work.

Today Billingslea staged this dumb act:


The U.S. delegation brought Chinese flags to the conference room in Vienna and Billingslea posted a picture of them. U.S. and Russian flags can be seen in the background. The Russian side protested (in Russian) against the nonsense. China is not part of the negotiations and its national symbols should not be there. The U.S. delegation then removed all flags, including the U.S. and Russian ones, from the conference room.

At the start fo the meeting the Russian Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky posted this picture which shows that all flags were removed.


China's permanent mission in Vienna tweeted a picture of Billinglea's tweet and added some snark:

Permanent Mission of China in Vienna @ChinaMissionVie - 10:41 UTC · Jun 22, 2020

US' performance art?

@mission_rf @usunvie @ArmsControlNow @globaltimesnews

The China Daily bureau chief in Europe also responded:

Chen Weihua (陈卫华)@chenweihua - 8:23 UTC · Jun 22, 2020
Replying to @USArmsControl

1. US has kept quitting treaties, so it has left with no credibility. Go back to JCPOA and Paris accord before you make such argument. 2. China has 300 nukes in contrast to 6,000 by US and Russia. So unless you agree to come down to 300 or even 500, you’re not making sense.

And that is the core of the issue. The U.S. has no credibility left and is not making sense at all. Its diplomacy has been reduced to rediculous behavior.

This is not just a problem under President Trump. In 2009 then President Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton busted into a meeting the Chinese president held with other heads of governments:

President Barack Obama burst into a meeting of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders to try and reach a climate agreement in late Friday negotiations in Copenhagen.

Chinese protocol officials objected to Obama's presence in the meeting, according to a senior administration official, who said that the president didn't want the leaders negotiating in secret.

In her memoir Hillary Clinton described the embarrassing incident as a great success but in fact the U.S. efforts failed as the Copenhagen conference ended only with empty promises and a nonbinding accord.

The New START negotiations will likely likewise fail. The Russian side is already expecting this:

Russia's lead envoy in the talks has told NBC News that the Kremlin does not currently believe the United States will extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, ratified by President Barack Obama in 2011 and due to expire in February.
[Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei] Ryabkov also said that Russia would be unable to force China to join the negotiations and was unwilling to try. He added that if Washington had concerns about Beijing’s nuclear activities, then it was up to American officials to bring the Chinese on board.

“The U.S. administration currently is so obsessed with China,” he said, that it makes progress impossible. “The Chinese idea overshadows, in my view, everything else.”

The obsession with China will cost the U.S. the insights into Russia's strategic weapons that the inspection regime under New START currently allows it to have. Its own insecurity will thus only grow.

Posted by b on June 22, 2020 at 17:25 UTC | Permalink


If Ryabkov's leading Russia's delegation, the negotiations will go nowhere since he'll take no BS from the Outlaw US Empire, who Putin just warned in his backhanded manner about the necessity of adhering to International Law, something it steadfastly refuses to do. The treaty will lapse and the world will become more dangerous, but it's the Outlaw Empire that's 20 years behind in weapons development and has enormous fiscal problems, not Russia. Imperial bluster will continue because that's the only game it has.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2020 17:46 utc | 1

What's the problem? China should come to the meeting and promise to limit its number of nukes and its number of platforms to the same levels as the US and Russia. What's the problem? (snark)

Posted by: TheBAG | Jun 22 2020 18:06 utc | 2

Artful Dodger - Wikipedia

Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger, is a character in the Charles Dickens 1838 novel Oliver Twist. The Dodger is a pickpocket, so called for his skill and cunning in that occupation. He is the leader of the gang of child criminals, trained by the elderly Fagin.

Given the Yankee predilection for pick-pocketing almost everyone on the planet, AmeriKKKa could be accurately described as the Artless Dodger in Dickens-speak.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 22 2020 18:10 utc | 3

Imagine having neighbor like the US- unless one had no IQ the response is to prepare ones defenses for the worst.
Russia is well prepared and China is almost there, moving fast.
America and its Empire of Insanity is no longer sustainable and is a dead weight for the rest of humanity.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jun 22 2020 18:55 utc | 4

The American Empire is becoming more theatrical as it continues to decline.

It remembers me the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire (i.e. post-Heraclius Rome). As the military and geopolitical power of the Byzantine Empire begun to fall, so rose the amount of gold used do decorate their buildings and chambers. The goal of the usage of gold in Byzantine architectural decoration was to impress the barbarian tribes from the Danube when they visited the Byzantine court (or were visited by Byzantine diplomats) so as to give the illusion the Empire was richer and more powerful than it really was (thus giving it an extra leverage in negotiations).

Those fantastic golden mosaics we can still see today in Istanbul, therefore, are actually a monument to Roman/Byzantine terminal decline, not of its rise or rebirth.

Posted by: vk | Jun 22 2020 19:20 utc | 5

US has also pulled out of the open sky treaty. And I believe, nuclear weapons testing. We are very much in the leadup to WWII with US being Nazi Germany.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 22 2020 19:57 utc | 6

In her memoir Hillary Clinton described the embarrassing incident as a great success but in fact the U.S. efforts failed as the Copenhagen conference ended only with empty promises and a nonbinding accord.

USA has shown that it is not interested in tackling climate change so I think Hillary is correct when she describes this as a success. It was a success for the USA establishment.

It's a bit naive to think otherwise.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2020 20:18 utc | 7

follow-up @Jun 22 2020 20:18 utc | 7

Here's one of many examples:

Obama’s Climate Betrayal

It’s bad enough—more than bad enough, really—that the U.S. has failed to lead the fight against climate change. This is very nearly as true under President Barack Obama as it was under George W. Bush. As former Senator Tim Wirth, now the president of the U.N. Foundation, put it recently, “I don’t know who and where the climate leadership in the Administration is. It doesn’t exist.”

Now, by trying to block others’ attempts to tackle the problem, the U.S. is behaving in a manner that seems best described as unforgivable. Last week, in a letter to Secretaries Clinton and LaHood, the heads of several of the nation’s leading environmental groups noted that the Administration is “actively thwarting other countries’ efforts to effectively and efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” a position that is incompatible with the Administration’s own stated commitment to avoiding “a dangerous rise in global average temperatures.” The groups urged the Administration to abide by the European court’s decision, “just as the Administration would wish other nations to respect the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.”


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 22 2020 20:40 utc | 8

B: Why should China, with less nuclear capabilities than France and Britain, join a treaty that would limit is meager capabilities when the U.S. and Russia both have more than twenty times its numbers. That makes no sense at all.

Strange.. Not a mention of including Israel, with its (reputed) 200 warheads and active delivery systems..Strange indeed??

Posted by: David KNZ | Jun 22 2020 21:23 utc | 9

As far as I'm concerned, Beijing should ignore Washington. I'm surprised Russia even bothered with this nonsense. Since we're talking about nukes, I've read the IAEA issued a statement about Iran's "unclaimed" nukes. Strangely, Israel was ignored by the IAEA.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jun 22 2020 21:48 utc | 10

In Yemen, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have finally taken Soqotra. Joint operation, far from the pseudo-rumours of their standing down in the Yemen war.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 22 2020 21:53 utc | 11

David KNZ | Jun 22 2020 21:23 utc | 9:

If the U.S. were to finally move to serious discussions for nuclear disarmament, as required by the NPT, then it would have good standing to embarrass any no-shows, be they China, Israel, or other.

Posted by: David G | Jun 22 2020 21:59 utc | 12

David G @ 12.
That is one big "IF".
Also not so easy to get any "good standing" when you have broken every agreement you have made.

No country I know of takes discussions with the US as "serious".

Just look at the silly photo act in B's photo above.

The ROW is not as ignorant as the US public.

Posted by: arby | Jun 22 2020 22:11 utc | 13

We have become accustomed to the threat of nuclear war sadly, but surly we are closer to it now than ever before !
The virus was no accident. The president of America beyound doubt is insane.
Anti have a timely article on this subject.
The videos are a ‘must see’ not for the faint hearted !
Plus a good incite into the history of America’s lying propaganda.

Sorry about the nightmares!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 22 2020 22:23 utc | 14

Marshall Billingslea is a petty little turd.
I guess he is the anus horribilus of Bolt-on.

The USA is not progressing here it seems. Is there a Russian or Chinese parody show with english subtitles that mocks these events?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 22 2020 22:45 utc | 16

David G #12

Nothing will ever embarrass Israel, not even if the Orthodox told the imposters to leave, to go home, to go away, would they be embarrassed let alone pay any attention. Loss of face is an issue but when you have no humility and an abundance of hubris you never lose face.
So it goes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 22 2020 22:50 utc | 17

This is relevant given the background it provides on "how things are done" in the Trump Administration...

Trump was prepared to back Israeli strike on Iran, Bolton says

Though Bolton did not mention Israel using force, Trump responded by saying that he would support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doing so.
“You tell Bibi [Netanyahu] that if he uses force, I will back him. I told him that, but you tell him again,” Trump told Bolton.

So much for Trump not wanting to start a new war in the Middle East...

Then there's this circus:

Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he wants to speak to Trump about the possible Zarif meeting. Then Netanyahu and Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer called Bolton as well.
On the way to talk to Trump, Bolton found Trump’s Special Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner on the phone with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, saying that he would not allow Netanyahu’s call to go through to the president.
“When he hung up, Kushner explained he had stopped this and an earlier effort by Netanyahu because he didn’t think it was appropriate for a foreign leader to talk to Trump about whom he should speak to,” Bolton wrote.
Bolton told Trump that he thought meeting Zarif was a bad idea, in part because “once we took the pressure off Iran, it would be very hard to put it back on.” Kushner, however, thought there was nothing to lose in meeting Zarif.
“These people had an attention span no longer than the deal in front of them,” Bolton lamented about Kushner.

Of course, all of this assumes that Bolton is telling anything resembling the truth about these events. But based on his anti-Iran attitude, it seems plausible that they happened.

Meanwhile, Trump is claiming Bolton's book is "treason" and that Bolton should be in jail "for many, many years" - over the book, that is, not Bolton's crappy foreign policy blunders.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 22 2020 22:58 utc | 18

Peter AU1 #6

We are very much in the leadup to WWII with US being Nazi Germany.

Yes to that and with Poland slavishly leading the killer cart along the road to the Auschwitz camp cluster. Yet again.

Disgraceful. Where is the voice in Germany, Czechia, Austria, Australia, France, Finland etc...

The silence of the lambs.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 22 2020 22:59 utc | 19

thanks b... as has become clear - the usa is non-negotiable... meanwhile the poodles are asleep at the wheel hoping for a different result then ending in the ditch, where they will soon be under a rudderless non negotiable so called leader - usa....

as noted by the china daily bureau chief says - "1. US has kept quitting treaties, so it has left with no credibility. Go back to JCPOA and Paris accord before you make such argument. 2. China has 300 nukes in contrast to 6,000 by US and Russia. So unless you agree to come down to 300 or even 500, you’re not making sense." that sums it perfectly...

Posted by: james | Jun 22 2020 23:29 utc | 20

uncle tungsten @18--

IMO, voices have already spoken, in 1941 & 42, that said all that needs to be said today. I just wrote about them on the other threads--The Four Freedoms and The Century of the Common Man, but most heavily the latter. The voices from the past just need to be revamped and made vocal by one of today's two undisputed global leaders--Xi or Putin. And they should be articulated at this years UNGA Debate.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2020 23:31 utc | 21

Richard Steven Hack 17

I believe that is what the US Israeli Russian meeting in Jerusalem was about. Israel and US wanted Russia to stand aside while they attacked Iran. Putin earlier had stated any nuclear attack on an ally, no matter how small will be considered a nuclear attack on the Russian Federation. In the presser after that meeting, the Russian envoy felt the need to specifically and publicly state that Iran is an ally of Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 22 2020 23:38 utc | 22


Last I read, there had been a 'coup' and southern separatists had booted the Saudi's out. Still seems to be the latest news.

"(Reuters) - Southern separatists have seized control of Yemen’s island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea, deposing its governor and driving out forces of the Saudi-backed government which condemned the action as coup."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 22 2020 23:46 utc | 23

re Posted by: Mina | Jun 22 2020 21:53 utc | 11
Despite this being the wrong thread for this, I thought I should point out that Saudi Arabia is in nio way associated with the illegal seizure of Soqotra which is a last desperate attempt to grab something out of the mess they created in Yemen.

Control of Soqotra means control of the three major Gulf shipping lanes which has always been UAE's primary objective. Yemeni ports would be good but the thought of those dreadful shia being in a position to dominate Gulf shipping because of Soqotra's location is what really upsets the UAE & amerikan 'interests'.
This has forced the Saudis to try and cut a deal by getting their puppets in the Riyadh controlled Yemeni government to ask for a meeting.
The UAE puppets, aka STC, are running a line that they are 'southern separatists' but this doesn't suit Saudi at all as were Yemen to be split down the middle, that would leave the real Yemeni government called "Houthi" by western media, firmly in control of the north and the chance for Saudi to steal all the new oil fields from Northern Yemen gone.

Posted by: A User | Jun 22 2020 23:59 utc | 24

karlof1 #20

The voices from the past just need to be revamped and made vocal by one of today's two undisputed global leaders--Xi or Putin. And they should be articulated at this years UNGA Debate.

I believe there needs to be a strong UNGA motion affirming peaceful dispute settlement, condemning economic sanctions as a weapon against states, demanding the lifting of all illegal sanctions, the walking away from functioning treaties and condemning any nation outside of the IAEA and non signatories to the IPCW treaty.

Name and shame the refusniks to these propositions at EVERY session.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 23 2020 1:32 utc | 25

- I wonder whether there is here a deliberate strategy in play. Follow a 2 way strategy. 1) start talks with Russia over "arms control" and 2) at the same time stir up unrest in Belarus.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 23 2020 1:33 utc | 26

karlof1 uncle tungsten

The UN is going the way of the League of Nations. Most bodies in it are now corrupted.

Willy2 Russia knows US is uninterested in arms agreements but it will try nevertheless. Russia is gearing up for war while doing its best to prevent it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 23 2020 1:48 utc | 27

seems reuters find that a tiny pacific nation voting for a leader that recognizes china as the leader of china is big news. US will now drop so much shit on them, they'll be able to export guano.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 23 2020 2:14 utc | 28

@6 Peter AU 1 - "..the leadup to WWII with US being Nazi Germany."

The difference is that Germany in that scenario was a productive powerhouse and clearly still ascending. The US cannot even pretend to play that role.

Scenario fails - and I am glad. Not arguing with you dismissively, simply from gratitude that the US situation truly is so very, very weak.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 23 2020 2:22 utc | 29

the US has nothing it can do but stunts like this.

in honor of two of my favs, Pink Floyd and US bashing: you know who China ain't gonna see on the Dark Side of the Moon, right?

I'm sure Elon Musk is mighty pleased to have Trump as his biggest cheerleader. no matter. such facts will not disturb at all the eco-warriors saving the planet driving around in their Teslas, nor the Prius drivers whose envy makes them lament that they cannot be as earth-friendly as the richer people living in the same zip code.

these con artists have nothing to say but that it's somebody else's fault. and continue to trust them. despite their liability waivers as they force people back to work.

every public utterance in this society is a form of marketing, an attempt to manipulate the populace for profit-taking, to drive us to eat twinkies and celebrate NASCAR's bubba victories. not changed one micro-iota since the corona outbreak. there is no difference in the insanity of people working at Amazon vs people attending a Trump rally. mostly people aren't even aware that they are doing it, performing a degrading spectacle of capitalist values in the way we spend much of our waking (i.e., sleeping) lives, mouthing corporate jingles and bureaucratic nonsense, stuffing KFC's antibiotics down our bloated throats. "what is death like? A lot like shopping" - Delillo, White Noise. how much further toward midnight does the doomsday clock move if the NFL season doesn't start on time?

i guess we are not quite dead yet. we are still blaming others, we the indispensable, exceptional nation, with the "greatest economy and mightiest military the world has ever seen." I assume our nuclear weapons and control of the global heroin supply are not simply props to...what's the US version of a Potemkin village? pretty much everything else about the US, beside the ability to blow up stuff on unimaginable scales, is as real as a credit default swap. above all its "education."

Posted by: jason | Jun 23 2020 2:23 utc | 30

The only way the United States could spend a roadside lemonade stand into oblivion is that people keep on behaving as if the greenback is real money, in the context of a fiat currency whose banknotes are a promise to pay the value listed on its face in real goods. The USA's debt is already more than 100% of its GDP, and the administration has used the coronavirus as an excuse to print a flood of new dollars, $2.3 Trillion at last count, just in the first quarter. To put that in perspective, the USA has only printed $8 Trillion in new money between 2008 and the onset of The Great Plague. How is the United States supposed to give you $5.00 worth of value for your $5.00 paper bill if its debt already exceeds its GDP? More to the point, what stops its rivals from simply staying up all night printing their own currency until they have three or four times as much paper as the USA for the 'money wars'?

Posted by: Mark | Jun 23 2020 2:34 utc | 31

King Lear

Does anyone want to intellectually challenge my proposition in my highly informative post at #28?

Sadly, apparently no-one has the interest to feed your need for attention.

Nice effort though. Time will tell.

Posted by: Ultrafart the Brave | Jun 23 2020 3:30 utc | 32

Even more evidence that Lavrov is correct when he stated that the Russians are a polite people.

How else to explain their willingness to sit and talk with a bunch of grandstanding jackasses.

I mean, honestly, if the Russians were inclined towards impoliteness then they could have responded tothis stunt with a row of limp British and French flags.

And if the Yanks had complained then an impolite Russian could say "oh, quite right, I almost forgot!" and produced a flag with the Star of David on it.

But that would be .... petty, and quite unworthy of a great power.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 23 2020 4:05 utc | 33

"China should come to the meeting and promise to limit its number of nukes and its number of platforms to the same levels as the US and Russia."

This. Except that what the US really wants is some quasi-legal excuse to go snooping around China gathering intel, and to have an ever ready accusation that China is somehow not living up to its agreement and thus should be sanctioned. So not only should China say it is prepared to agree to limit its number of nukes to that agreed to by the US and Russia, but state that it will gladly submit to precisely the same inspection and verification regime as Israel.

That should cover it.

Posted by: J Swift | Jun 23 2020 4:15 utc | 34

re: King Lear | Jun 23 2020 2:18 utc | 28

Where to begin
(1) I doubt that many if any posters have referred to the current rivalry between amerika and larger more independent thinking states such as Russia & China as a "new cold war".

(2) While it is true that neither state has refused to use the amerikan controlled SWIFT amerikan banking system when they trade outside their borders, there is no doubt that they are casting far and wide for sufficient other states who find the SWIFT system intrusive and a tool of amerikan foreign policy. A critical mass is required to do this which is why amerika has come down so hard on smaller states less able to defend themselves, if they seem inclined to do it differently. eg the illegal destruction of Libya. The security council resolution was for a no-fly zone not a "bomb em back to the stoneage' solution and amerika, france & england will eventually be held to account for their slaughter & destruction in Libya.
amerika is in a real bind on this issue as its treatment of Libya, Iraq, Syria & Yemen may have shored up the petrodollar short term but it has caused huge antipathy in uncountable numbers of other nations, large & small, inside and outside the ME, Africa Latin Anerica & south east Asia.

One more straw will break the camel's back. Right now amerika is having no luck getting its 'good friends' even england & france onside with new sanctions on Iran. The best they can hope outta england & france is an abstention rather than a vote against at the security council which won't matter as Russia will certainly veto any further sanctions.

(3)The entire amerikan sanctions program has become too complicated, arbitrary & capricious so its collapse is inevitable. Witness the joke which Iran & Venezuala made of amerika's unilateral threats against oil shipments.

amerikan presidents may think they are pulling a big swinging dick stunt on those they consider recalcitrant, but what began as limited, easy to comprehend rules against states , rules that foreign governments which had drunk the koolaid even supported, has morphed into something indecipherable & unworkable that is costing billions in lost opportunity. Even worse it has caused respected business leaders to be threatened with extradition to amerika and life in a supermax.

Meng Wanzhou is far from the first or only exec to be caught in the amerikan doj's insidious snares. She got arrested because Trump needed to 'show his base'. Canada will continue to pay a huge price for this and other nations are damned if they want to be in Canada's boots.
It is highly likely that amerika is holding the SNC-Lavalin mess over Trudeau's head to keep Meng Wanzhou slotted up.
That is unless you believe that neither the executive nor the legislature have the ability to take judges aside and "explain the facts of life" - somehow I just cannot believe that, having never seen a 'western' state where the judge's do not do as they are instructed when essential.

However increasingly goverments that are seen to acquiese to amerika's demands are being tossed out of power.

e.g.The spineless way that the then Natz government of Aotearoa, kotowed to amerikan viciousness towards Kim Dotcom & Mega was a key factor in their loss of government.
The mob who replaced them may be neolib but they know which way the wind blows & refused to join in with the other 5 eyes nations to reprimand China over Hongkong or Covid 19.
I doubt the slime bags wanted to do that but it is an election year in Aotearoa too. As much as the electorate disliked the way that Aotearoa & Australia conservative governments were deliberately lax on security in dealing with China up until the time, amerika tried to crack the whip in some sorta "all us whitefellas need to stick together" tosh, the Aotearoa goverment knew that being seen to lick amerikan arse as a change from Chinese arse would not endear them to the electorate.

The 100% conservative media would have castigated them for screwing with China on the grounds of billions of lost $$$'s. The media hypocrites tried to make a big deal out of the decision not to join in the reprimand but couldn't get traction during a lockdown when citizens saw it more vital to stay onside with the nation we do much more business with, China, than bending over for amerika.

(4) amerika's sanctions are shooting themselves in the foot. It is only a matter of time before executive need to be seen bossing the yellafellas blows back and causes many nations to seek an alternative.

The EU's pissweak effort has come to naught - because the EU relies on amerikan slaughter to keep their pillaging of Africa up & running, most other states are not so comprised or dependent on amerikan "defense' the original self delusional contradiction. This means a serious effort by Russia, China or both to create an alternative to swift is inevitable & many countries will wish to join with them.
At that time it could be "all over red rover" without a shot being fired. amerika may be foolish & try force but that will almost certainly backfire & hasten the empire's demise.

Posted by: A User | Jun 23 2020 4:20 utc | 35

Posted by: King Lear | Jun 23 2020 2:18 utc | 28

Thanks for the cherry-picked rant.
"Socialism" means whatever the person using it wants it to mean.
I want it to mean a system of government in which the government listens to the people and is sensitive to their basic needs.

A socialist government can act upon its concern for the well-being of the people by enacting laws to protect them from greedy billionaires. There are three easy ways to achieve this...

1. Warn billionaires and politicians that bribing politicians to get "favours" or "special, or exclusive treatment" is a crime with very severe penalties for both the briber and the bribee.
2. Implement a Taxation System which ensures that the more money an individual earns, the more Tax he or she is obliged to pay. And make Tax Evasion a crime with severe penalties.
3. Make all essential public infrastructure and services a government responsibility and don't allow the government's role in the provision of any such services to be replaced/superceded by wholly privatised versions thereof.
Might I respectfully suggest that you acquaint yourself with the control/ownership of essential infrastructure, and the published Tax Scales, in China and Russia? And while you're at it ask yourself why the pseudo-Christian West spends more of its GDP on war and weapons than nominally socialist countries, when ALL of the West's enemies are artificial i.e. dreamt up in lavishly-funded Crank Tanks?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 23 2020 4:29 utc | 36

I remembering reading John Lukacs write about the babbling barbarism around us. A decline in sense, decorum and the diplomatic ability. He stated that this will last some time until the real barbarians come, who will not negotiate because they will not need to. As I catch snippets here and there of what goes for American diplomacy, I understand him more and more. Lukacs wrote a book whose title was The Passing of the Modern Age. With the decline of the state he wrote that the police will slowly retreat and eventually come to some type of agreements with gangs who defacto already run cities. A new aristocracy will emerge he wrote, a savage aristocracy, whose members will be these gangs. It seems to me that Lukacs was a prophet....

Posted by: Peter | Jun 23 2020 6:51 utc | 37

Americans like Billingslea are pathetic bitches.

He exemplifies how America's rulers possess the cojones only for propaganda stunts and Tweeting.

Billingslea's cutesy flag thing is almost as lame as the Democrats taking a knee while wearing Kente cloth.

Meanwhile, General Bone Spurs bravely hid in his bunker and turned out all the lights in the White House in the face of anti-police brutality protesters surrounding the White House--all the while he postures as a Twitter tough guy.

No wonder Donald Trump is America's current War Criminal in Chief.

He personifies American bitch behavior at its finest.

Posted by: ak74 | Jun 23 2020 6:53 utc | 38

re Mark2 | Jun 22 2020 22:35 utc | 14
Thanks for that link, it behooves all of us who believe we stand against the horrors of empire to watch colour footage of the effect of nuclear bombs on human flesh, and for all of us to try and make other humans watch it.

It is amerika's use of nuclear weapons that laid the foundation for empire. Sure amerika had dunned the Spanish out of Cuba & the Philippines, stolen Hawaii & begun the genocide of indigenous americans in central & south america in repetition of the slaughter within amerika, but it was the nuke or more accurately their easy willingness to use such a horror which convinced european states that they needed to take amerikan demands to hand over their colonies seriously.

murdering scum!

Posted by: A User | Jun 23 2020 7:27 utc | 39

Thanks, A User @ 39
Agreed on all of that.
We can’t say at the moment that one side is winning or not but we can be sure geo- politics are becoming very unstable.
There is nothing normal about the new normal.
And yet we normalise it.
US it seems to me are running out of tricks and credabilty.
That can be very dangerous, their back against the wall like a cornerd rat. Unstable would be a vast understatement.
Russia and China really need to take the lead now and provide some sanity.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 23 2020 8:54 utc | 40

...but it's the Outlaw Empire that's 20 years behind in weapons development and has enormous fiscal problems, not Russia. Imperial bluster will continue because that's the only game it has.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 22 2020 17:46 utc | 1

Thanks a bunch; you saved me from having to post the same...
The US empire is crumbling (has crumbled?) and, indeed, only has bluster and bullshit left in its quiver...

Posted by: V | Jun 23 2020 9:11 utc | 41

Yes, yes, the US has nukes, so what: nukes are the end game and the US is gone and the world suffers...
...but survives and eventually thrives, sans the US...

Posted by: V | Jun 23 2020 9:15 utc | 42

Perhaps, China should join the treaty, after all, it would allow her to quadruple her nuclear arsenal!

Posted by: padre | Jun 23 2020 10:00 utc | 43

Padre @ 43
I was thinking the opposite Russia and China should be holding talks perhaps with Iran, Pakistan. But excluding America, as that country is beyond doubt a ‘failed terrorist state’
On the Agenda could be a discussion regarding sanctions against US, providing nuclear technologies to other country’s sympathetic to the principle of reducing America’s power and control.
Also on the table should be a proposal to form a international group to inspect, investigate and assist in the dismantling of the US nukes.
Plus an international campaign forcing US to reduce its military budget, for its own good and everyone else’s,
Of course you would need a large stick as well as a carrot.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 23 2020 12:15 utc | 44

Those who engage the mad King only tempt madness.

His mad agenda is to draw you into a false equivalence and thus soften the anger toward Western elites.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 23 2020 12:19 utc | 45

To add to my above.
Such a meeting beyond all doubt would need to address the major flaws within the ‘United Nations’ regarding America’s dominance and use of vassal states to veto any sane resolutions.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 23 2020 12:26 utc | 46

Now it's the provinces of the Empire time to be ridiculous:

EU leaders talk tough to Beijing over long list of unmet promises

“She [Leyen] made clear that Beijing has not moved nearly enough on the investment deal, called China out for cyberattacks and disinformation and warned of serious consequences on Hong Kong. But this is rhetoric. The true test for the EU will come if and when Beijing refuses to budge,” Barkin said. “Is there a plan B? That’s not clear.”

Except that Ms. Leyen is lying: those are not the problems between China and the EU.

The real problem is that the EU still has imperial ambitions over the Eurasian land mass and, as part of a hypothetical free trade deal with China, it is demanding the CCP to de facto privatize and fragment the country's SOE (State-owned Enterprises). That is: the EU is essentially asking China to self-destruct first (become a capitalist Third World banana republic), so they can negotiate as equals later.

I know the Europeans are used to "negotiate" with much weaker foes (that's their entire colonialist history). I recommend them to abandon this habit, as they are going to collapse soon, erasing whatever remnants of their precious soft power source - the "welfare state" - they still have.

Posted by: vk | Jun 23 2020 12:52 utc | 47

"The U.S. delegation brought Chinese flags to the conference room in Vienna and Billingslea posted a picture of them. U.S. and Russian flags can be seen in the background. The Russian side protested (in Russian) against the nonsense. China is not part of the negotiations and its national symbols should not be there. The U.S. delegation then removed all flags, including the U.S. and Russian ones, from the conference room."

I continue to be amazed (and embarrassed) by the childishness of of US government officials.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 23 2020 13:26 utc | 48


The Europeans are nothing more than ventriloquist dummies for the US. Bobbling heads as Putin terms them. He said straight up one time that when it comes to European matters he to speak to the US president and admin because they are the decision makers of Europe.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 23 2020 14:13 utc | 49

re: EU vs China,

The issue is that the economic symbiosis is starting to end.

In past years China exchanged cheap consumer goods and subassemblies, for stuff from Airbus, Siemens, etc. All was well. If VW factories in China had to offer tech sharing requirements, the cost saving benefits were more than fair compensation for it, and the business were not shy about saying so.

Now we are reaching a point where China has their own versions of most of the high value imports from EU, or they will very soon. It is looking like they will not only displace high value added EU goods from the Chinese market, but worldwide.

These are the #1 and #2 economic zones if you are counting real stuff. It really is a big deal. By the way, EU and China are in the midst of negotiations in a grand deal that is similar in scope to the Trump administrations attempts. (the finance stuff, not the agriculture). EU-China are in something like round 30 of the negotiations, which will fail, at least in part, when in the end China will ask for the same investment access to EU, which EU is asking in China.

EU negotiators are hopefully more intelligent however. It is clear that neither EU nor China will give the other the ability to take over strategic firms. But they can come to an arrangement whereby they divide up "access" to other global markets where their respective high value export industries would otherwise have a brutal competition (which EU would lose if it was purely economic and not also geopolitical).

Posted by: ptb | Jun 23 2020 15:38 utc | 50

talking about the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment []

Posted by: ptb | Jun 23 2020 15:56 utc | 51

@ Posted by: ptb | Jun 23 2020 15:38 utc | 50

Yeah, you've summed up the problem well: Europe is not an equal to China, but it still feeds itself the illusion it is. The Europeans still think they can sit at the same table as the Chinese and "divide up access to other global markets" as if they still were the colonialist superpowers from two centuries ago. All the while demanding China to privatize and break up their own SOEs.

The result is that aberration that Leyen spoke today: they are trying to paint themselves as some kind of guardians of Human Rights in order to get some kind of soft power leverage over China.

The reality is that time is on China's favor. Peace favors China. The status quo favors China. It is the EU that's collapsing, not China.

Funny thing is: there's still a lot of Westerners (and Third Worlders) who still believe in the European mirage. They still believe Europe is some kind of virtuosity reserve to the collapse of the USA, when the numbers tell the exact opposite. You speak of the EU carving up the rest of the world as if it was normal.

Pepe Escobar's interview with Karaganov was disappointing in the sense it showed me the Russian Federation is an objectively worse experiment than the USSR. Its economy is inferior and Karaganov is clearly an inferior intellect in comparison to his early Soviet counterparts (as are all the modern Russian intellectuals, for that matter). However, he's right on two aspects: 1) the EU will forever be in the American sphere of influence and 2) the EU is not a worthy key partner for Russia because it is a failed experiment that is collapsing in front of our eyes and, if Russia is ever to make a deal with it, it would be under an Eurasian prism, not an European one. I agree with him 100% on both points.

The Russian Federation may be a failed capitalist experiment in a clear continued intellectual decline - but at least their intellectuals are still able to be in the same ballpark. Not so much for the European and American intellectuals, who are, for all intents and purposes, demented pseudo-scientists right now.

Posted by: vk | Jun 23 2020 18:11 utc | 52

The Empire is totally Freaked out that it is locked out of Eurasia by Russia, China and Iran. It can’t attack any one of them let alone all three. Cecil Rhodes’ Deep State Pipe Dream is in the toilet and circling the drain. The Empire is “Non Agreement Capable”. The Russian word is very long and I can’t pronounce it but it fits it perfectly.

Posted by: William H Warrick MD | Jun 23 2020 19:58 utc | 53

@vk 52

The Europeans still think they can sit at the same table as the Chinese and "divide up access to other global markets" as if they still were the colonialist superpowers from two centuries ago.

I was thinking more along the lines of a thoroughly over-complicated "regulatory harmonization" arrangement. With mechanisms buried in the 1000th page of an otherwise useless document, so that their industrial heavyweights are prevented from coming too close to any uncontrolled market type competition. Hardly new. Not saying it is right.

I just can't see the team from Brussels etc actually believing that the negotiation goals in their public statement are realistic. They may be hopelessly neoliberal but there is nevertheless some connection to reality and a desire to work through the process, at least compared to Trump's team.

Anyway they are either going to have to make some compromises, or drag it out another year or 2 or 10. I do still hold out some hope for the old continent, sh#tty governments or not. Being born there and all.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 23 2020 20:31 utc | 54

@ uncle tungsten | Jun 23 2020 1:32 utc | 25

”. . . condemning economic sanctions as a weapon against states, demanding the lifting of all illegal sanctions . . . “

On NPR “news” this morning (6/23/20) one Ruth Sherlock stated that the people of Syria are starving, without saying one single word about the massive US sanctions that cause all that starvation, and then went on to mention the fires that burned croplands recently, without saying one single word about the fires having been set by US troops on Trump's order.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 23 2020 20:57 utc | 55

@ Posted by: King Lear | Jun 23 2020 21:40 utc | 57

I think that you will find that, contrary to your final assertion, no one cares enough to wade through the tripe that you spread around, because everyone knows that you will just spread another load, and another, and another, while you sit back and giggle in the hope that the intelligent and informed folks at MOA will waste their time in some Sysiphusian effort to refute the tide of garbage that keeps coming, and coming, and coming from your Kaypro.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 23 2020 22:14 utc | 56

What does anyone think of your non-existent map? More irrational disconnected bullshit, the end result of spending too much time among people with soppy brains, bad complexions & worse teeth, aka Trots who could never understand why their great hero emphasised 'world revolution' rather than spending the time energy & intellectual effort required to get the pieces of the planet they already controlled into a functioning Socialist state. Because war/conflict was the only thing Leon the derp ever succeeded at.

Stalin beat him like a worn out rug because unlike Leon, Stalin could devise & implement real world solutions to real world problems and not rely on killing all the masses who disagreed with his plans.

Though you likely disavow Leon, your worldview is totally a reflection of the trot worldview, seeing everything as fixed & immutable until the war you want destroys it.

The amerikan empire is corrupt, rotten and crumbling right down to its foundations. Rather than conflict, perseverance on workable solutions is all that is required to move the population to something much more humane & capable.

Posted by: A User | Jun 24 2020 0:00 utc | 57

My first time commenting. Yours is a great website, B! Now if only that 'King Lear' dude would comment a whole lot less...

Posted by: Jim B. | Jun 24 2020 2:46 utc | 58

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.

Posted by: Dwight E | Jun 24 2020 13:59 utc | 59

When it comes to the USA nuclear, military geopolitis and internal politics——— one word will surfice.

King Lear- less is more.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 24 2020 14:57 utc | 60

The collapse of New START might be dire. But the collapse of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will logically follow, will be far worse. Nuclear powers, large and small, signatories or not, will be in a hurry to build up their stockpiles. The greatest danger is thinking this will end peacefully like the Cold War.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Jun 24 2020 15:35 utc | 61

Arms control has been dead for some time now, we are just witnessing its last gasps.

Andrei Martyanov has done a good job of documenting/commenting upon the utter lack of military expertise in the so-called US "experts", as well as the in the US political "leadership". They believe their own propaganda these days and it shows. All the wars are lost, all the new weapon systems are a joke, but just ask them and they will tell you America is #1, they will make those damn Russkis and Chinks back down (just as soon as they give up their hypersonic weapons/electronic warfare systems/nuclear-powered cruise missiles at get back to the bargaining table!!).

So we march onward towards some conflagration beyond comprehension.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 24 2020 15:39 utc | 62

the usa - which is the other country with the most nukes, has become a joke where gimmicks and stunts of this nature - from the hollywood script - is all they have for foreign affairs and relating on the international stage... if anyone wonders why some are saying the usa is on a downhill slope to oblivion - this is more proof of it..

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2020 16:16 utc | 63

ONE Nuclear warhead with viable delivery capability is enough to gain strategic leverage. Why does it make "NO SENSE" that other nuclear capable states not be included in Strategic arms talks? The point is valid that, "SPEND TO OBLIVION" makes no sense. The two are mutually exclusive. This regards statements and links links regarding to why China won't be included in Arms Treaties.

Posted by: JD Satre | Jun 25 2020 7:55 utc | 64

If you replaced the ST in the last word of this thread title with the letter C it would be just as accurate.

Posted by: Ferbs | Jun 28 2020 1:58 utc | 65

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