Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 17, 2020

More Pressure On Russia Will Have No Effect

Over the last years the U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure on Russia. They seem to believe that they can compel Russia to follow their diktat. They can't. But the illusion that Russia will finally snap, if only a few more sanctions ar applied or a few more houses in Russia's neighborhood are set on fire, never goes away.

As Gilbert Doctorow describes the situation:

The fires burning at Russia’s borders in the Caucasus are an add-on to the disorder and conflict on its Western border in neighboring Belarus, where fuel is poured on daily by pyromaniacs at the head of the European Union acting surely in concert with Washington.

Yesterday we learned of the decision of the European Council to impose sanctions on President Lukashenko, a nearly unprecedented action when directed against the head of state of a sovereign nation.
It is easy enough to see that the real intent of the sanctions is to put pressure on the Kremlin, which is Lukashenko’s guarantor in power, to compound the several other measures being implemented simultaneously in the hope that Putin and his entourage will finally crack and submit to American global hegemony as Europe did long ago.
The anti-Russia full tilt ahead policy outlined above is going on against a background of the U.S. presidential electoral campaigns. The Democrats continue to try to depict Donald Trump as “Putin’s puppy,” as if the President has been kindly to his fellow autocrat while in office. Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump’s presidency has been one of never ending ratcheting up of military, informational, economic and other pressures in the hope that Vladimir Putin or his entourage would crack. Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers, the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child’s play.

The U.S. arms industry lobby, in form of the Atlantic Council, confirms the 'western' strategy Doctorow describes. It calls for 'ramping up on Russia' with even more sanctions:

Key to raising the costs to Russia is a more proactive transatlantic strategy for sanctions against the Russian economy and Putin’s power base, together with other steps to reduce Russian energy leverage and export revenue. A new NATO Russia policy should be pursued in tandem with the European Union (EU), which sets European sanctions policy and faces the same threats from Russian cyberattacks and disinformation. At a minimum, EU sanctions resulting from hostilities in Ukraine should be extended, like the Crimea sanctions, for one year rather than every six months. Better yet, allies and EU members should tighten sanctions further and extend them on an indefinite basis until Russia ends its aggression and takes concrete steps toward de-escalation.

It also wants Europe to pay for weapons in the Ukraine and Georgia:

A more dynamic NATO strategy for Russia should go hand in hand with a more proactive policy toward Ukraine and Georgia in the framework of an enhanced Black Sea strategy. The goal should be to boost both partners’ deterrence capacity and reduce Moscow’s ability to undermine their sovereignty even as NATO membership remains on the back burner for the time being.

As part of this expanded effort, European allies should do more to bolster Ukraine and Georgia’s ground, air, and naval capabilities, complementing the United States’ and Canada’s efforts that began in 2014.

The purpose of the whole campaign against Russia, explains the Atlantic Council author, is to subordinate it to U.S. demands:

Relations between the West and Moscow had begun to deteriorate even before Russia’s watershed invasion of Ukraine, driven principally by Moscow’s fear of the encroachment of Western values and their potential to undermine the Putin regime. With the possibility of a further sixteen years of Putin’s rule, most experts believe relations are likely to remain confrontational for years to come. They argue that the best the United States and its allies can do is manage this competition and discourage aggressive actions from Moscow. However, by pushing back against Russia more forcefully in the near and medium term, allies are more likely to eventually convince Moscow to return to compliance with the rules of the liberal international order and to mutually beneficial cooperation as envisaged under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy.

But as Doctorow said above, Putin and his advisors stay calm and ignore such trash despite all the hostility expressed against them.

One of Putin's close advisors is of course Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations he recently touched on many of the issues Doctorow also mentions. With regards to U.S. strategy towards Russia Lavrov diagnoses:

Sergey Lavrov: [...] You mentioned in one of your previous questions that no matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.

Question: Their national security strategy states that they will do so.

Sergey Lavrov: Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s the other way round. I can use the language I’m not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I’m convinced that we must abide by international law.

Russia does not accept the fidgety 'rules of the liberal international order'.  Russia sticks to the law which is, in my view, a much stronger position. Yes, international law often gets broken. But as Lavrov said elsewhere, one does not abandon traffic rules only because of road accidents.

Russia stays calm, no matter what outrageous nonsense the U.S. and EU come up with. It can do that because it knows that it not only has moral superiority by sticking to the law but it also has the capability to win a fight. At one point the interviewer even jokes about that:

Question: As we say, if you don't listen to Lavrov, you will listen to [Defense Minister] Shoigu.

Sergey Lavrov: I did see a T-shirt with that on it. Yes, it's about that.

Yes, it's about that. Russia is militarily secure and the 'west' knows that. It is one reason for the anti-Russian frenzy. Russia does not need to bother with the unprecedented hostility coming from Brussels and Washington. It can ignore it while taking care of its interests.

As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

Posted by b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC | Permalink

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thanks b.... that lavrov interview that karlof1 linked to previously is worth its weight in gold... it gives a clear understanding of how russia sees what is happening here on the world stage... as you note cheap talk from the atlantic council 'rules of the liberal international order' is no substitute for 'international law' which is what russia stands on.... as for the usa campaign to tar russia and claim trump is putins puppet.. apparently this stupidity really sells in the usa.. in fact, i have a close friend here in canada from the usa with family in the usa has bought this hook, line and sinker as well.. and he is ordinarily a bright guy!

as for the endpoint - the usa and the people of the usa don't mind themselves about endpoints... it is all about being in the moment, living a hollywood fantasy off the ongoing party of wall st... the thought this circus will end, is not something many of them contemplate.. that is what it looks like to me.. maga, lol...

Posted by: james | Oct 17 2020 16:45 utc | 1

Belarus - this is happenstance, not long term planning. Like Venezuela - indeed neither original Presidential candidate nor his wife had a Wikipedia entry a week or so before being announced as candidate (much like Guaido 2 weeks before Trump "made" him President.
Yes the Western media make the most of it, and yes there are many in place in and besides the media whose job it is to maximise any noise. But little is happening in Belarus. Sanctioning is all anyone can do now. (Sanctions = punishment therefore proof of guilt without trial or evidence).

US pressure is based on the Dem vs Rep "I am tougher on Russia than you" game spurred on by the MIC.
European pressure is based on the Euro Defence force concept and a low key but real desire to rid itself of Nato. So again we have Nato saying "without US/us Europe would be soft on Russia" and Europe saying we are tough on Russia whatever.

Meanwhile China takes over the real world.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Oct 17 2020 16:52 utc | 2

What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game

They don’t want an actual war. They just ratchet up the tensions to keep Europe subdued and obedient and Russia off balance and thereby prevent any rapprochement between the two.

Putin has repeatedly stated he wants a Lisbon to Vladivostok free trade area.

The Anglo-Americans will never permit that. That Europe is committed to a course that is against their own best interest shows just how subservient they are to the Anglo-Americans.

I think it was the first head of NATO that said the purpose of the organization is to “keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in”

Absolutely nothing has changed since then.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 16:56 utc | 3

There is no endpoint. Those who argue for it, the Western think-tank industry and security and intelligence industry, are recipients of huge sums of money. It is bread and butter for large numbers of people. And the acceptance of the conclusions and advice of the immense stacks of papers thus produced mean money towards the defense industry and the cyber warfare industry. In the end, all this is driven by elites' fear of their own populations. Sowing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) makes these populations docile. Rinse and repeat.

Posted by: bjd | Oct 17 2020 17:01 utc | 4

>>As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is.

The reason was probably the new Russian Constitution, which is basically a declaration of independence from the West. This has caused serious triggerings in western elites, although their reaction took some time to crystalise due to the Covid Pandemic.

>>What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

The endpoint is - EU and NATO move into Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia.

A puppet government of someone like Navalny is installed Russia. That government further gives up Crimea, Kaliningrad and Northen Caucasus.

In the long run, a soft partition of Russia into 3 parts follows (as per the Grand Chessboard 1997).

The possibility for that happening is overall negative, as the West is on a long term decline, that is, it will be weaker in 2030, and even weaker in 2040 or 2050.

OECD economies were 66 % of the world economy in 2010 but that share is estimated to drop to 38 % of the world economy in 2050 (with further drops after that).

The strong hatred and hostility coming from the US and the EU are due to the understanding that they don't have much time, and they must act now, or tomorrow it will be too late.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 17 2020 17:05 utc | 5

Apt cover picture!

Posted by: Seeji | Oct 17 2020 17:15 utc | 6

Well, the hostility in "western" "elite" (rulers) towards Russia is on much more primal level than money and power IMO. It is pure racial hatred combined with Übermensch God complex. Main controllers in modern "west" are US, Israel and Germany.

Years ago Barack Obama gave speech to West Point graduates, proclaiming US moral and racial superiority (because they mix'n's*it) over whole world, Goebbels would be proud. Germany has long history of hating all those Slavs, and Israel... Lets not go there with how they threat those inferior brown people.

Posted by: Abe | Oct 17 2020 17:18 utc | 7

@ Down South #3
Yes. And it was so depressing that Germany played the Navalny Novichok hoax recently borrowed from the Perfidious Albion!

Posted by: Seeji | Oct 17 2020 17:19 utc | 8

They forsee not having to admit they are incompetent yet.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 17 2020 17:24 utc | 9

"What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

Of course that end-point is money for military contractors and power for the FP elite in government and think-tanks which also means money. Yes, there are true-believers who see a mighty struggle between "good" (the USA) an "evil" (Russia/China) but they are incompetent. As for the American people they will believe whatever the NY Times says since they are militantly ignorant of history, geography, foreign affairs in general, and, above all, political science.

The problem as I see it is Europe generally, and Germany in particular. Why do they follow Washington diktats?

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Oct 17 2020 17:26 utc | 10

Well let's see, the USA is $30 trillion in debt and counting, faces an upcoming economic depression to rival the 'great' one, with a citizenry on the brink of civil war and a political system that makes a 'banana republic' look like ancient Greece. Desperate is as desperate does.

Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 17 2020 17:31 utc | 11

As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

For a very simple reason: there's no other option.

Capitalism can only work in one way. There's a limit to how much capitalism can reform within itself without self-destructing.

The West is also suffering from the "Whale in a Swimming Pool" dilemma: it has grown so hegemonic, so big and so gloated that its strategic options have narrowed sharply. It has not much more room for maneuver left, its bluffs become less and less effective. As a result, its strategies have become increasingly linear, extremely predictable. The "whale in a pool dilemma" is not a problem when your inner workings (domestic economy) is flourishing; but it becomes one when the economy begins to stagnate and, ultimately, decline (albeit slowly).

On a side note, it's incredible how History is non-linear, full of surprises. The Russian Federation is inferior to the Soviet Union in every aspect imaginable. Except for one factor: it now has an ascendant China on its side in a time where the West is declining. (Historical) context is everything.

The USA is lucky the USSR collapsed in 1991. If it managed to somehow survive for mere 17 years more, it would catch the 2008 capitalist meltdown and have an opportunity to gain the upper hand over capitalism (plus have a strong China on its side). Socialism/communism wouldn't have been demoralized the way it was in the 1990s, opening a huge flank for revolutions in the Western Hemisphere (specially Latin America). NATO would be much weaker. Since the USSR was closed to capitalism, the USA wouldn't be able to enforce as crippling economic sanctions on China and the USSR. The USSR would be able to "reform and open up" in a much safer environment (by copying China, instead of Yeltsin's neoliberalism), thus gaining the opportunity to make a Perestroika that could actually work.

But it didn't happen.

Well, what can I say? It looks like the USA imported the Irish and imported their luck, too.

Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12

Abe @7 - I would agree and have raised somewhere (old age?) that part of what we are seeing in this latest western-NATO cooked up charade re Navalny is, in part at least, a deep historical supremacist loathing of the Slavs an in general and the Russians in particular by the haute bourgeois Germans. This loathing was made blatantly manifest during WWII, of course, but it didn't die out because that generation and more likely their children remain with us. Ditto the generational Anglo-American hatred of Russians (yes, for the UK, and their haute bourgeoisie, it has deeper historical roots than the 20thC) and the USSR even more...

The pressure on Russia is enormous and I would enlarge on the economic sanctions aspect (siege warfare): Belarus, Armenia-Azerbaijan (Erdogan once again playing his role for the US/NATO - in this business, Iran is also a target), Kyrgyzstan - all on or very close to Russia's borders and thus dividing and draining (intention) Russia's focus and $$$$ (the Brzezinski game) in order to open it up to the western corporate-capitalist bloodsuckers. And I suspect that as the US (and UK) economies drain away, so these border country "revolts," "protests" etc. will grow...

Russia really needs to join with China in full comity. Bugger the west - they do not respect the rights of either country to their own culture, societal structures, mores, perspectives...nor apparently even those countries' rights to their own coastal waters, air space...

One wonders how the USA would react to Chinese and/or Russian warships in the Gulf or traversing (lengthwise) the Atlantic or Pacific????

Posted by: Anne | Oct 17 2020 17:37 utc | 13

It appears Lavrov's saying we'll just ignore the EU and its major components for awhile got quick results as Germany's FM just announced "Nord Stream 2 will be completed"; but he also said this:

"Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts 'the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil.'" [My Emphasis]

Now isn't that the interesting bit of news!! The greatest fracking nation on the planet needs to import heavy oil (likely Iranian, unlikely Venezuelan) from its #1 adversary. As for the end game, I've written many times what I see as the goal and don't see any need to add more.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

The infinite number of typewriting monkeys employed by western propaganda have yet to come up with a 'script for Hamlet'.
Maybe they're just not doing it right?
Maybe they'll run out of bananas?
Maybe they'll just keep trying?
Find out on the next regularly scheduled episode of 'the dumbest shit they can think of'.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 15

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

Heavy oil is needed for the chemical industry (as opposed to transport). The three biggest producers of heavy oil are Iran, Venezuella and Russia.

The US produces mostly light oil, thus it needs to import the heavy oil. Since the US sanctioned Iran and Venezuella, the only significant option remaining is Russia. It would be ironic if they are buying iranian oil sold to Russia.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 17 2020 17:58 utc | 16

"The Russians are coming' is a long standing fear built the American psyche almost from the very start.
Russian colonization of the California Territory outnumbered the US population.
The Monroe Doctrine was all about that,not S.America at all.The Brits ruled S.America by mercantile means until
WWI cut the sea lanes,then and only then did it fall into the sphere of Yanqee control.
Then there is Alaska.The Sewards Folly documents are almost certainly fakes,the verified Russian copy says a 100year LEASE,not a sale.The National Archives refuses examination by any but its own experts.Unless they are forgerys and they know it there can be no real reason for their stance.
There is much more background to the antipathy than many are aware.

Posted by: winston2 | Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 17

@bjd (4) You nailed it, my friend. Cold wars are immensely profitable for certain sectors of the economy and the parasites who run them. The supreme imperative is always to have enemies--really big, bad, dangerous enemies--whether real or imagined. I will be voting for Biden, but I don't have much hope for positive change in American foreign policy. Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. will continue to be vilified as nations to be feared and hated.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 18

The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies. One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home. After several color revolutions succeeded, the Russiagate/Spygate op was carried out in the US, with British assistance. This op has been largely successful, though there has been limited resistance against its whole fake edifice as well as with the logic of Cold War2.0. Nevertheless, Spygate has shocked many tens of millions of Dems into a stupor, while millions more are dazed and manipulated by the Chinese bogeyman being manufactured by Trump. The most dangerous result of the martial law lite mentality caused by Spygate and its MSM purveyors is the growing support for censorship of free speech coming mostly from the Dems, such as Schiff and Warner. The danger inherent in this trend became very clear when FaceBook and Twitter engaged in massive and unprecedented arbitrary censorship of the New York Post and of various Trump-related accounts. This is the kind of thing you do during Stage 1 of a coup. Surely it was at least in part an experiment to see how various power points in the US would respond. Even though Twitter ended the censorship later, it was probably a successful experiment designed to gauge reactions and areas of resistance. In November, there could be further, more serious experiments/ops. If so, the current expansionist movements being made and planned by the US and NATO may well be integral parts of a new non-democratic model of "American-style democracy" -- not constitution-based but "rules-based."

Posted by: Dao Gen |

Posted by: Dao Gen | Oct 17 2020 18:05 utc | 19

Frack is not oil ,its condensate thats useless for anything heavier than gas.Its a con and
geopolitical leverage on the producers of actual oil which it has to be blended with.

Posted by: winston2 | Oct 17 2020 18:09 utc | 20

"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"
I think the answer is clear. The US economy is collapsing and likewise those wedded to the US dollar system. The USA spent 90% more than it received last year.
They are desperate to have access to Russia's largely untapped resources and it doesn't want any competition for its position as world hegemon. Thus Russia and China are in the crosshairs.
Fortunately the corruption in the USA has resulted in a weaker military capability over time and they are reduced to behaving in clandestine and terroristic ways to try and achieve this. The turmoil enveloping the USA is scape goated on Trump and Covid19 but is ultimately due to their faltering economy and a big helping of financial corruption. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost

Posted by: Ike | Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21

Posted by: Ike | Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21

Talk about your chickens coming home to roost."

Sounds like thunder, all those chickens.

I appeared to me that whomever is in charge here, they started pulling all the levers they could lay a hand on a couple weeks back in terms of stirring up trouble. Throwing sand in the eyes of ones enemy.

At the time, I thought it was just Trump and his followers freaking out, now I think it's the NatSec people, who have finally seen the truth of their situation. As one can see in the Atlantic Council piece B posted, they are still trying to keep the old narative patched together too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 22

Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12

Politfiction, or what could have happened if… is an entertaining but futile exercise. Everybody agrees, there was no need for the USSR to dissolve, it was like a big jackpot for an amazed rival that rushed to declare himself the winner. The price has been high, on both sides of the fence but of course with a lot more victims and destruction on the other side of the fallen wall. Gorbachov a tragic figure and Yelstyn a sinister one, in spite of his being a clown, a tragic one at that, bombing his parliament and laughing at the world together with the degenerate Clinton, the 90’s were somber indeed. The west paid its price, a self declared victory that did not bring any benefit, the peace dividend never was, to the contrary, military budgets never stopped growing year after year. The end of history was proclaimed, no need to match or better the rival ideology, there is none, so proles you better stop complaining, or else… and that’s where we are.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 23

The constant pressure is supposed to break society - the government can analyse and understand what is going on.

But what about the people? They are the target for all these provocations

The Navalny one was supposed to result in street demonstrations and anger - as far as I see it did not have this affect.

Purely because once they mentioned Novichok it was obvious this was a lie.

Novichok became a joke due to the Skripal affair. Which never made sense. And produced so many jokes about the cat, the poison on the door handle, in the buckwheat, people in Hazmat suits- and policemen standing there close to a toxic door.

The west insulted the people’s intelligence!!!

Russia has to keep educating and exposing their population to the methods and tactics of the western governments to undermine and attack them.

I agree that there is a real racist tone to their treatment of Russia. Why can’t they be left alone? There is this desire to crush them that I do not understand.

Posted by: James2 | Oct 17 2020 18:29 utc | 24

Just to repeat the obvious, for the US actually to go to war is out of the question these days - the US public would not tolerate the casualties. Therefore other methods have to be found to achieve the same objectives - the maintenance of an eternal enemy in 1984 style, to keep up military budgets and world hegemony, neither of which are the elite ready to abandon. Economic sanctions have been the weapon of choice in the age of Trump, but there isn't really any other. Sometimes they are better aimed and sometimes not.

In any case I am not sure I agree that the EU is really submissive to the US in this respect. They don't want to offend the US, and some leaders have genuinely swallowed the koolaid, but others haven't, and the continuation of Nordstream 2 is where they haven't.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 18:34 utc | 25

Doctorow wrote "Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump’s presidency..." The Senate is more important for foreign affairs and has been Republican for Trump's entire term. The House was also Republican for half of Trump's term. Lastly the "staff" is not really able to run things in the presence of a minimally competent administrator, at the head of the State Department, acting under leadership of a competent, energetic president. There is no sign Doctorow is particularly intelligent or insightful.

I have long ago lost track of where the bar's consensus on Turkey is, whether the failing US means Erdogan must become the follower of the skilled, brave and indefatigable Putin...or whether his sultanship is suicidally persisting in thinking Russia cannot actually deliver anything his sultanship really needs and wants. At any rate it is entirely unclear what "international law" Lavrov thinks supports Russia.

As to the China Russia "alliance," the difficulty is that Putin has so very little to offer.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26

I can hazard a guess to answer your final question. I think corruption is probably the main reason. Those invloved in this are mostly interested in self-enrichment through the gullibilty of their societies. I don't think the stenographers and the hot-heads neo liberals pushing for a show-down with Russia are intent on committing suicide by igniting a hot war with Russia, but they hope that Moscow could be intimidated and surrender eventaully. As you rightly said, it is a pipe dream of coourse, but they get paid heavily for the hot air they emitt.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 27

@James2 | Oct 17 2020 18:29 utc | 24

The west insulted the people’s intelligence!!!

But unfortunately, the people didn't notice that.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 28

'As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?'

The endpoint is quite clear: 'Global Governance, by Global Institutions under control of the 'Globalists' (i.e. the Davos crowd).' For this, the 'Globalists' must subdue Russia.

Russia is not only blocking the 'Globalist's' plans in its own right, but, since 2013, it has been protecting other nations from falling prey to 'Globalist' colonization (Syria, Eastern Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela, Libya, Belarus, etc.). And Russia is the lynch-pin to enable the 'Globalists' to corner China.

In addition, together with China, Russia is offering the world an alternative to 'Globalism', a 'Multi-Polar World Order' that is much more attractive than becoming a 'Globalist' vassal.

For the 'Globalists' time has become critical. They are facing revolts in their home countries (Trump, Brexit, Gilets-Jaunes, etc.). The main source of their geo-political power, (since they can no longer challenge Russia and China militarily) the U.S. dollar, is on the verge of collapse as the World's reserve currency. And the economic growth of China means that China has become the most important trading partner for most of the World's nations.

The window of opportunity for the 'Globalists' to create their 'Global Governance' system may have already closed. But, as usual, the losers of any war are usually the last to know. The desperation with which the 'Globalists' are fighting their last battles, against Trump, against Russia, against Brexit, is testimony to the fact that for the 'Globalists' losing this war means their extinction as a ruling elite.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 17 2020 18:46 utc | 29

@ steven t johnson | Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26.. c'mon steve.... what is the usa offering turkey here?? they could give a rats ass about turkey, or any other country in the middle east, excluding their 24/7 darling israel... the usa presence on the world stage is meant to sabotage any and all who don't bow down to the exceptional nations philosophy of 'might makes right'... the obvious benefits of russia-china synergy are apparent to both countries and they continue to capitalize on this, in spite of what you read in the usa msm.. russia as a lot to offer china... the fact that the nation apparently masquerading as a gas station has so much to offer is also the reason that all the pillage of the 90's hasn't turned out the way the harvard boys had envisioned... that you can't see the vast wealth and value of russia has nothing to do with the reality on the ground... keep the blinders on, lol...

Posted by: james | Oct 17 2020 18:55 utc | 30

The EU's attitude to the US is much like its attitude to Britain and Brexit. They don't want to split with the US, because, after all, there might be war, and NATO would be needed, but it's becoming increasingly less likely. In the same way, they would have preferred to stay in good relations with Britain, until Britain insisted on a hostile Brexit. Basic interests come first, and that will also be the case in the future with the US.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 19:09 utc | 31

Anne @ 13

Russia and China are already de-facto alliance. Militarily they cooperate at every level and will soon extend shared anti ballistic shield over China too. It is clear to any outside enemy (except for most retarded ones) that nuclear attack on one will be treated as attack on both of them. Not having formal alliance is somewhat an advantage (eg. limited attack on one of them by enemy that can be easily handled will not complicate situation) as it controls escalation. Lack of escalation control led to WW1 so...

Apart for military, Russia is one of rare fully self sufficient countries in the world. Having vast natural resources and territory, knowledge and industrial capacity to built EVERYTHING they need, they can afford to be sanctioned by whole world and close borders completely if needed. Having 100% secure land borders with China and already huge (and increasing) trade, including oil & gas, only make Russia's self sufficiency even more stable. It also strategically benefits China, as its main weakness is lack of those same resources Russia has in abundance and is willing to share.

So, if sh*t hits the fan, and Russia and China say f*ck it and close borders to rest of the world (even though China trade profits wouldn't be happy), both countries form self sufficient symbiosis that can carry on for centuries.

Which brings me to all those little fires US is starting in Russia's neighborhood. They don't matter. Unlike USSR, Russia's mission is self preservation only, not changing whole world into communist utopia (even though @VK here repeatedly fails to acknowledge it). And survive it will. All it needs is to wait few generations.

Unlike Russia, collective west is going down the drain. Soon enough, all those Slav hating in Bundestag, UK parlament and elsewhere will have more urgent problem of Islamic head choppers that became majority in their countries, while US will have problem to recruit enough men,women and "others" from pool of rainbow colored too-fat and unfit, godless faggot from broken family snowflakes.

Posted by: Abe | Oct 17 2020 19:11 utc | 32


WoW, thank you for the news on lease rather than sale!!! fascinating.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 17 2020 19:29 utc | 33

@Down South (3)
At least someone still understands.
For what it's worth, Lurk and I briefly discussed in the Brexit thread about England doing all it could to prevent comity between continental powers (e.g. Russia and Germany before the first world war).

Posted by: joey_n | Oct 17 2020 19:36 utc | 34

As China has been mentioned, I think it is worth saying that although I have full confidence that Putin will maintain his usual good sense in international conflicts, I have more doubts about the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy. I don't see why. They have great economic success; they should be more relaxed, but they aren't. The first signs came with their attitude towards the Muslims in China. One, the concentration camps in Xinjiang - in that case the Uyghur jihadis in Syria must have provoked anxiety in Beijing. But also increasing pressure on the Hui Muslims in central China (who are native Han) to become more "national". Some years ago they weren't bothered. Now they are.

This suggests that the question of Taiwan could blow up, apart from HongKong. They are less tolerant in Beijing.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 19:37 utc | 35

@Down South

It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game

It is a tired and false concept. There cannot be a "triangle" which includes Germany, due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status. Moreover, Russians do not view Europe as a viable part of Russia's future--the cultural gap is gigantic and continues to grow--the only place of Europe in general, and Germany in particular, in Russian plans is that of a market for Russia's hydrocarbons and other exports. A rather successful program of export-substitution in Russia in the last 6 years dropped technological importance of Germany for Russia dramatically. In some fields, such as high-power turbines made Germany irrelevant, as Siemens learned the hard way recently.

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status.

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

Difficult to believe.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 19:49 utc | 37

"U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure...
The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy."
Posted by b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC


Outstanding assessment and thank you for addressing it.

As I've said numerous times- Fuck the US Empire and it's minion bitches. Jesse Ventura commented this past week that EVERY US Incumbent politician should be voted out of office this election. 99% of them are scum.

Every politician, corporate CEO Banker and Media whore, Judge, CIA filth should have a pitchfork held to their throat and be tried for treason and war crimes. MIC/Pentagon should be destroyed. Majority of Americans are propagandized dumbfucks. Sounds a bit like an American Cultural Revolution is exactly the medicine.

There will come a day for reckoning and true justice, hopefully it is sooner than later. There should be no mercy. For those committing their treasonous crimes, they know better but have chosen poorly, they should be broken.

Russia, Putin and Lavrov have remained the adults in the room while the Empire Brats tantrum themselves.
Anyone else notice that the Anti-Russia rhetoric increased after Snowden was trapped in Russia?

Fuck the Empire, eat shit NSA scum !

Posted by: CitizenX | Oct 17 2020 19:54 utc | 38


why do you think russia sold turkey S400s? i've assumed they must come with a backdoor that allows russia to lock them if ever aimed against them or their allies otherwise it makes no sense.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 17 2020 20:00 utc | 39

"Alas, repent, the endpoint is near...."

I agree with Ike and others who think the US money situation is the problem. But I also think that the underlying endpoint is hyperinflation, not just the loss of the dollars' "reserve status." Hyperinflation is when so much "money" has been produced that it no longer has any value and the Central Bank cannot control what comes next.

There is a point at which people want to get rid of dollars and panic buy or "invest" in assets, or anything solid or simply anything (Gold, land etc. bread) At which time the money they want to get rid of looses value continuously, as others don't want it either. A Rush for the exits happens.

Who has the MOST money - the Rich and the sovereign Nations? (Althought the latter may also be in the same situation as the US.) Russia has more or less got rid of all it's US holdings. The Chinese must be alarmed by the thought of the Fed issuing ONLY new-digicoins, and then the US simply refusing to pay debts to the Chinese at some future point. They might want out now. Not so much dumping everything but a steady reduction of US denominated "assets" or reserves.

Most of this becomes self-sustaining panic, as happened in the Weimar Rep. What can be considered "assets" to grab? ie Russia, minerals and it's Gold, China and its Gold. Then the choice might be to invest in the US military and use it while there is a residue of belief in the Dollar.

The only thing about a panic exit is that it happens very quickly. About a month or two between when the first bright sparks try to get out and when everyone else tries to grab part of a rapidly restricted choice of things to buy with an unending pile of "empty" dollars.

Buy wheelbarrows.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 17 2020 20:01 utc | 40

Germany should've been conquered by the Soviet Union entirely as it was won with Soviet, largely Russian, blood. Germany is increasingly irrelevant to Russia's needs now as Martyanov points out above. Germany's existence today should be that of a Russian oblast, same with Eastern Ukraine from Kharkiv to Mariupol and Belarus.

Ask yourself what Germany produces that Russia can't produce for itself with import substitution schemes or similar schemes within a 10 year period. Russia's GDP by PPP is the size of Germany's already and depending on how it deals with the impact of COVID, may continue an upward year-on-year growth trend (People's Republic of China is the only major economy forecast to expand in fiscal quarter this year). The fact of the matter is that Russia's population is much larger, its industrial base, at least in heavy industry, is nearly self sufficient (not much light industry to speak of) and Germany depends on Russian oil and gas to keep its lights on. Russia can carry on without Germany just fine. There may be a noticeable impact now if Russia were cornered into doing that, but it's nothing that can't be overcome in short order.

Posted by: David | Oct 17 2020 20:07 utc | 41

Thank you, b, and before reading comments, I will give my take on your last question:

As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

The whole 'rules based order' became very clear when the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, was being debated,and what happened then is what many have noted, the 'rules' were all to advantage the US. So, you might say that was the beginning of the end for the oligarchy. And the partnership reformed after it had taken out that problem, to be fair to all participants. All the oligarchy can do is keep on keeping on until it can't. This is really about survival for that class of individuals who intend to keep on being in charge here in the US and wherever its tentacles have reached. The only endpoint they see is their continuance. And I suppose their fear is that it is simply not possible for that to be the case.

Hopefully there will just come a point where, as in Plato's Republic, the dialogue simply moves on. There, it begins in the home of the ancient one, Cephalus, with a polite discussion, and the old man says his piece, to which Socrates responds:

"What you say is very fine indeed, Cephalus...but as to this very thing, justice, shall we so simply assert that it is the truth and giving back what a man has taken from another, or is to do these very things sometimes just and sometimes unjust? Take this case as an example of what I mean: everyone would surely say that if a man takes weapons from a friend when the latter is of sound mind, and the friend demands them back when he is mad, one shouldn't give back such things, and the man who gives them back would not be just, and moreover, one should not be willing to tell someone in this state the whole truth."

"What you say is right," he said.

[Allan Bloom translation]

In the dialogue, the old man leaves to 'look after the sacrifices', handing down the argument to his heir, Polymarchus. To me, Socrates has adroitly caused this to come about in much the fashion that Lavrov answers his press questioners in the link b provides. That is, he has done so with diplomacy, and a lesson to his younger companions which perhaps Cephalus is no longer able to understand. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 17 2020 20:08 utc | 42

Spent much of your money for weapons, brag with your military and wonder why you are perceived as a thread ...

Posted by: m | Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43

On a not entirely unrelated subject, let's hope that this is good news...
*Fingers crossed*

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 20:20 utc | 44

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 20:21 utc | 45

A joke circulating Russia internets today:

"German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

"North Stream 2 will be built 100%!"

A journalist asks:

"But what about Navalny?"

Maas replies:

"Well, unforunately Navalny doesn't produce 55 billion cbm of natural gas per year..."


Posted by: BG | Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 46

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 47

Andrei Martyanov @ 36

It is a tired and false concept

Yet in your disparaging comments of Europe and Germany in particular you proceed to show how successful the Anglo-Americans have been in creating a wedge between Europe and Russia actually validating my original point.

“Keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in”

That was the whole point of the first Cold War.

It is the whole point of creating a Cold War 2.0

Absolutely nothing has changed.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 20:26 utc | 48

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 20:27 utc | 49

Posted by: m | Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43

By whom exactly? US & several euro puppets? Typical racist thinking that Europe and its former colonies are somehow "the world" or "the international community".

Meanwhile opinion of Russia is positive in India (1,3 billion people, more than the whole West combined) and China (1,4 billion, more than the whole West combined).

Those who don't spend for their own weapons, spend for their master's weapons (like europuppets).

Btw your master (US) spends on weapons too. What are you going to do about it?

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 17 2020 20:30 utc | 50

@ laguerre — This interview with Pepe Escobar by Moderate Rebels will answer some of your questions regarding China’s treatment of Muslim minorities.

Posted by: norecovery | Oct 17 2020 20:45 utc | 51

joey_n @ 34

Interesting discussion.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 20:48 utc | 52

Posted by: norecovery | Oct 17 2020 20:45 utc | 51

I didn't have the time to listen to 1h36min of podcast. What did he say? It didn't sound as though he had much to say about Chinese internal politics.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 20:55 utc | 53

james@30 asks "what is the usa offering turkey here??" Offering continued intervention in Syria, de facto in alliance with Turkey, which weakens the Kurds in effect; splitting the Kurds internationally by supporting the KRG; supporting the continued partition of Cyprus; supporting the effective dismantling of NATO, a very important point re Greek relations; neutrality in Libya and the disputes over eastern Mediterranean drilling; deeming Erdogan one of the good Muslims instead of pursuing a virulent regime change campaign; no economic warfare like in Venezuela.

Of course the quick objection is that Turkey is getting a crap deal on every single aspect mentioned. This is especially true of Erdogan personally, whose true existential need is to win the war against the Kurds he re-started in Turkey. For instance, the US covertly helps Turkey stay in Syria but simultaneously it "supports" Rojava. And so on and so forth. Yes, the US government is a bully and cheats even its friends. Under Trump it especially cheats its friends, because they are the easiest marks.

The thing is, Russia cannot bring Erdogan either victory over the Kurds or a healthy economy. Nor is it clear to me that Putin has any strategy whatsoever for any endgame.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 17 2020 20:58 utc | 54

joey_n @ 34

As was rightly pointed out in that discussion, British foreign policy towards Europe was to ensure that no single power was to be allowed to achieve hegemony over Europe. The famous “balance of power”

The Cold War with Russia is merely a British and US continuation of that exact same policy.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 55

@ Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

If the Russian Federation really has an ongoing imports substitution program, then this explains everything.

Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.

A Russia that also exports high-value commodities (manufactured commodities) is a direct threat to Germany, as it competes with it directly in the international market. That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe, as Merkel once said: Europe must not become China's peninsula. China is Germany's main competitor, as it is also a big manufacturing exporter.

Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56

Watch in full.

UK policy towards Europe in a nutshell

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57

@ David (41)
If I recall correctly, after WWII Stalin wanted a united, independent and Russia-friendly Germany, and even rejected the Morgenthau Plan.
Eventually the Allied zones of occupation became West Germany, and the Soviet occupation zone became East Germany.

Posted by: Digby | Oct 17 2020 21:24 utc | 58
Cute couple, right???

Posted by: Josh | Oct 17 2020 21:36 utc | 59

@Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56 is not China currently main market for German exports...and Turkey second?

In detriment of the EU....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60

Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57

Old stuff. It's why Britain is losing today. They haven't kept up.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 21:46 utc | 61

Re Turkey. Erdogan is a megalomaniac nationalist. He is neither a servant of the US nor of Putin. He does what he thinks is in the interests of Turkey.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 17 2020 21:56 utc | 62

Unlike China, Russia lacks the weight of population and reliance on the globalist capitalist system to throw around, China will not shut itself up for Russia when it can trade with EU & Turkey instead.

Russia is increasingly put into weak position, where russian troops are sent to do the dying, while the chinese business whoop in afterwards to get all the juicy business deals. In other words, Russia does the dying while China enriches itself.

Russia only hope is that it becomes friendly with the EU, otherwise, it is going to be crushed between two superpowers, the EU and China.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 17 2020 22:04 utc | 63

I think the point of the sanctions and all the pressure on Russia is an appeal to Russian elite, Just a reminder that they are isolated from the rest of the elite and hope that it would help them throw Russian nationalists from power. I think this might succeed as Putin did no really take on the new Russian capitalist class, and that will probably be his undoing.

Posted by: kemerd | Oct 17 2020 22:08 utc | 64

This in reply to your #131 yesterday re JP Morgan, oligarch power and method used to create Federal Reserve:

There is more. Banking has an odd and opaque history of global control of money/finance. It was clear by ca. 1900 that the global keystone was control of USA banking...but how?, because any USA legislation had to be signed-off by a President...the ONLY exception being overriding a pres. veto. It could not be done in USA by pres. decree.

So the riddle is how could this rip-off be done in a freak nation that was an open society of free public discourse full of very active politician? Even if Congress could be bribed and otherwise cajoled to pass such legislation, how could any President be "arranged" to sign it?

CLUE--headmaster W. Wilson of Princeton University suddenly rose to Governor of New Jersey , then suddenly ran for Pres of US. A most wierd election resulted in WW becoming Pres and in his first year signed the Fed Res Act. Boom! Done!

CLUE--How did the bankers, Warburg et al, manage to put WW under their control? How did they select WW and get hooks so deeply into headmaster WW and get him elected Pres.? What was their secret?...and that could be kept secret? and never in writing.

The ANSWER might well be known only to surviving members of families of those involved in WW's mysterious medical maladies. Though WW's doctors never disclosed publicly all his medical data, related family members of consulted medical experts would likely have it as a family secret...that WW had an "unspeakable" malady whose diagnosis was quietly handed down to successive generations.

And IMO it is so.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 17 2020 22:10 utc | 65

@vk 36
That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe

BRI in Europe - 16 countries
Austria*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine
* shaky

SCMP - Aug 17, 2020
China’s rail shipments to Europe set records as demand surges for Chinese goods amid coronavirus
> July saw 1,232 cargo trains travel from Chinese cities to European destinations – the most ever in a single month
> Once regarded as merely ornamental, freight service along belt and road trade routes has become increasingly important as exporters turn to railway transport. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66

Lavrov, Shoigu and Putin are calm, but the domestic economic situation is not.
While I have noted before that Russia is better positioned to survive low oil prices than Saudi Arabia - it doesn't mean this is fun.
Couple that with COVID-19 economic losses, and stresses on the domestic Russian economy are enormous.
Among other signs: after bouncing around in the 60s for some time, the ruble just hit 80 to the USD. Anecdotally, I am hearing a lot of direct personal accounts of businesses not being able to pay their people because their own customers aren't paying.
Russia has done relatively little extra to assist with COVID-19 related economic harms, so this isn't great either.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67

@ laguerre — The interview with Pepe Escobar deals with the whole range of issues in the hybrid war against China, but the information you’re looking for Regarding the suppression and re-education of Muslim terrorists starts just past the 1-hour point.

Posted by: norecovery | Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 68

@Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67

One would say you are describing the state of affairs in the US...


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 69

@ laguerre — Start at 1:09:40

Posted by: norecovery | Oct 17 2020 22:34 utc | 70

@ Laguerre 35

the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy.
No, it's become more muti-national and sensible. Take the BRI: Launched in 2013, it was initially planned to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes between Eurasia and China, but the scope of the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative) has since extended to cover 138 countries, including 38 in sub-Saharan Africa and 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

they should be more relaxed
China has been an open target for the US, which doesn't even mention China any more (Pompeo) but dumps on the "CCP" (Chinese Communist Party). China (like Russia) has not responded in kind.

their attitude towards the Muslims in China
The US State Dept slash CIA has been fomenting terrorism in Xinjiang for years and China has had to contend with it.

the question of Taiwan could blow up
Taiwan like some other places in the world, including Hong Kong, has been another place where the US has fomented instability. This has increased recently with Taiwan "president" Tsai declaring that Taiwan (January this year, BBC interview) is a separate country, which it isn't. China is being pushed to do his Abe Lincoln thing and save the union.

They are less tolerant in Beijing
Chinese by nature are tolerant, and Beijing has been tolerant in the face of US naval fleets and bomber visits in their near seas, plus political attacks, sanctions and tariffs.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2020 22:36 utc | 71

66 watch what they do and have done and not what they.
Construction started four years ago on enlarging and modernization of the railway marshaling yards in Duisburg.
The volume of Chinese freight trains arriving daily is already quite amazing and planned to increase to one every hour next month 24/7.They are not returning empty.The oil and gas pipeline corridors also had ten plus railway tracks built alongside.Germany is already at the center of the BRI expansion into Germany and it started four years ago.

Posted by: winston2 | Oct 17 2020 22:38 utc | 72

@ Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60

That's why Germany is not full anti-China.


@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66

Just because Germany doesn't want it, it doesn't mean it's not getting.


@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67

I agree. Capitalism is a dead end for Russia.

It's all about when Putin dies. After he dies, it will be a coin flip for Russia: it could continue its course or it could get another Yeltsin.

Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 22:42 utc | 73

@ vk

Germany being against BRI is news to me.

Any proof? And it is very unlikely that China will be able to fool the europeans lile the american. The EU has regulations and aren't purely about profit.

And they still have strong domestic industry.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 17 2020 22:48 utc | 74

Perhaps the US only has one script in the playbook: to balkanise, disrupt and foster 5th columns until their opponent becomes a dysfunctional or failed state. Then send in the acronyms (IMF etc), establish a provisional administration under trusted local elites but commandeer resource-rich areas under direct provincial command. That's US imperialism and it won't stop until they encounter opposition effective enough to resist it. That's why they'll never forgive Putin for Syria. In the end they want to finish doing to Russia (by other means...) what the Germans began in '41; and not just Russia, but anywhere their markets are prevented from calling the shots.

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 17 2020 22:54 utc | 75

New report shows more than $1B from war industry and govt. going to top 50 think tanks

Esper’s speech demonstrates a confluence of policies, ideas, and funds that permeate through the system, and are by no means unique to a single service, think tank, or contractor. First, Esper consistently situated his future expansion plans in a need to adapt to “an era of great power competition.” CNAS is one of the think tanks leading the charge in highlighting the threat from Beijing. They also received at least $8,946,000 from 2014-2019 from the U.S. government and defense contractors, including over $7 million from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls, General Dynamics, and Boeing who would stand to make billions if the 500-ship fleet were enacted.

It's all about the money. Foreign and domestic policy is always all about the money, either directly or indirectly. Of course, the ultimate goal is power - or more precisely, the ultimate goal is relief of the fear of death, which drives every single human's every action, and only power can do that, and in this world only money can give you power (or so the chimpanzees believe.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 17 2020 23:20 utc | 76

thank you, @72. the chinese learned much from their century of humiliation & clearly one of the important lessons was trade both ways, rather than take their silver, sell them tea, silks & porcelain & need nothing they offered.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 17 2020 23:31 utc | 77

@77 emersonreturn

That's an excellent observation, and a concept I had not encountered before. Thank you. How consciously China holds that narrative, if at all, I couldn't say.

But it's a great dynamic - kind of like keeping your enemies close. And if the German increase in reciprocal railroad trade with China is as it was stated up-thread, it would seem to be working.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 17 2020 23:40 utc | 78

@78, thank you, grieved...i've long admired you. in times such as these it can be a challenge to keep sight of the positive but as china prospers & wishes her trading partners to as well, & so long as russia continues to strive toward the high road rather than descend to the barroom floor perhaps we can also learn to rise...i'm reminded of a sufi saying: 'rise in love do not fall'. may we all.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Oct 18 2020 0:02 utc | 79

Do they even think about an endpoint? Is it really on their radar?

Or is this all being done because they are spoilt, and are throwing a tantrum because they aren't getting their way?

I assume that there are sober heads in the Pentagon that wargame possible "endpoints". If not sober at the beginning then sober when the results play out to their bitter end.

Or... maybe not. Post-retirement board seats are at stake, dammit! Full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 18 2020 0:05 utc | 80

#35 Laguerre

I'm truly astonished that you don't know the truth of Xinjaing - in sum, that the concentration camps are a huge lie that can be revealed as such by any satelite, and that China has developed a progressive and worthy solution to the foreign-provoked terrorism within its border.

Fortunately, Qiao Collective, a great expert source on China, has recently compiled a treasure trove of links to know the truth:

Xinjiang: A Report and Resource Compilation - Sep 21 Written By Qiao Collective

Based on a handful of think tank reports and witness testimonies, Western governments have levied false allegations of genocide and slavery in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. A closer look makes clear that the politicization of China’s anti-terrorism policies in Xinjiang is another front of the U.S.-led hybrid war on China.

This resource compilation provides a starting point for critical inquiry into the historical context and international response to China’s policies in Xinjiang, providing a counter-perspective to misinformation that abounds in mainstream coverage of the autonomous region.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 18 2020 0:10 utc | 81

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36


A good justification on Russian German transitional relation, and we hope Russia is not fooled again, by hopes. Those of us who hope for containing and reducing western dominance over the world affairs, politics and economy, hope that Russians have learned from their experience of the 90’s joining G7, seat at NATO, joining western sanctions on smaller powers, etc. all those efforts were the carrots thrown at Russia to tame the bear, one would think up to Georgian war, it worked, that war perhaps woke the bear. Russians felt they are part of Europe,part of western community of privileged nations (first world) but all that was a decoy to move the NATO to Russian borders. I hope Russians once for all have learned, as long as they have a big modern military and plenty of energy resources that is not under the western (you read US) control they will never be accepted as a “western” country, Ironically, Russia is the largest European country.

As a strategist you know better than most to circumvent western power and to bring back the rule of international law, it would be impossible without having the Russian defensive political and military power (as in Syria) on the side of resistance. We just hope you are right Russia, will not be bought out again. IMO as you say, is just impossible for Germany, or even France to decouple from the US grip on europe.

Posted by: kooshy | Oct 18 2020 0:29 utc | 82

Seems to me its been terribly effective.
Russian economy pretty weak heavily reliant on raw materials, fracturing at the perifery. China and Russia seem less than alies.
Semms US has Germany, France by the short hairs.
US had to bail them out in 2009.
Europe is having some problems with solvency and cohesion - whats a bureaucrat to do?
Its not really about the sovereigns, thats only for appearances.

Posted by: jared | Oct 18 2020 1:04 utc | 83

Also seems maybe Russians are growing tired of lack of progress.

Posted by: jared | Oct 18 2020 1:06 utc | 84

@ 77
The Century of Humiliation from 1842 to 1949 and the contemporary discourse around it are a driving narrative of contemporary Chinese history, foreign policy, and militarization of its surrounding regions like the South China Sea. The expansion of the Chinese navy in numbers, mission, and aggression is directly fueled by China’s previous weakness and exploitation at the hands of western nations. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2020 1:17 utc | 85

@H.Schmatz #69
The US economy is definitely in trouble, but the US has spent roughly $2 trillion this year to help its economy = a bit under 10% of 2019 GDP.
The difference is structural. The US economy is a service one - and lockdowns are literally the best way to damage it.
The Russian economy is still heavily dependent on natural gas and oil sales. Despite the initial devaluation, ongoing low oil prices plus increasing competition in natural gas (for example, Azerbaijan is now selling natural gas to Italy) is hurting its economy.
Nor has Russia spent much to compensate for COVID-19 losses beyond its existing health and social safety nets - the Russian plan was $73B / 5 trillion rubles = 4.3% of 2019 GDP.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 18 2020 1:19 utc | 86

"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

I ask myself this question seemingly every day. Could U.S bureaucrats be so short sighted where they cannot see the culture they are creating? Any sane follower of international relations understands that poking a nuclear power with a stick is the work of fools. My nightmare, that I have feared since I was a child, is a nuclear confrontation that would result in the end of the human race.
Does rationality and common sense ever win out in Washington? I fear that our "endgame" will result in a mushroom cloud....

Posted by: bren | Oct 18 2020 1:23 utc | 87

I am anti-war and I am an anti-war crimes liberal (examples of war crimes: ethnic cleansing, proof of genocide, torture, collective punishment via deprivation and occupation of dispossessed land). Yet, I am also a non-interventionist except in extreme circumstances but I am against regime change for the sake of neutralizing competing powers or converting them religiously or politically.

All this implies exercising the highest integrity and blocking out all external influence and pressure if one is a true liberal, and relying solely on conscience and wisdom.

Therefore, I don't like the term liberal sullied and usurped by fake liberals, neoliberals and Zionist liberals, and I also take offense to the way liberal as a general term is denigrated in this article.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 18 2020 2:00 utc | 88

@ circe 88... b is quoting the atlantic council.. maybe you want to take it up with them???

Posted by: james | Oct 18 2020 2:08 utc | 89


BLOCKQUOTE>Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.

True, it was about 10 years ago. Economic reality, of course, is such that Germany already beat the record by consecutive 20 months of real economy shrinkage. In general, Germany's energy policy is suicidal and Russia is increasingly independent from imports. A lot to be done in the future yet, of course, but as the whole comedy with high-power turbines and Siemens demonstrated, Russia can do it on her own, plus General Electric is always there, sanctions or no sanctions. It is a complicated matter, but it is Germany which increasingly becomes irrelevant for Russia as an old image of technologically-advanced Germans getting their hands on Russia's resources and ruling the world--this image is utterly obsolete, completely false and doesn't correspond to the reality "on the ground". It is really a simple thing which many Westerners cannot wrap their brains around, that the country which has a space program which operates ISS and second fully operational global satellite navigation constellation, or which produces hypersonic weapons and whose shipbuilding dwarfs that of Germany will have relatively little troubles in developing other crucial industries and removing Western interests from those. Simple as that.

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 18 2020 2:24 utc | 90

@90 Very true. Every time I read someone proclaiming that the Russian economy is no bigger than Italy's, or Spain's, or ..... (fill in the blanks) I simply think to myself: "This word, I do not think it means what you think it means".

Because it should be obvious to everyone that Italy can not produce all the things that Russia produces.
Equally, Spain can not produce all the things that Russia produces.

So if someone has measured "economy" in such a way that the numbers for Russia are the same as the number for Italy - or Spain - is simply admitting that their economic models are flawed.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 18 2020 3:01 utc | 91

Map of the World's Manufacturing Output 2018
China $4T
US $2.3
Germany $806B
Italy $314B
France $270B
UK $253B
Russia $240B . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 18 2020 3:13 utc | 92


Posted by: BiloxiMarxKelly | Oct 18 2020 3:20 utc | 93

The US and EU attempts to break Russia's independent foreign policy are just stepping stones to the eventual goal of a breakup Russia itself, never forget Albright's comments in the 90s about how Siberia shouldn't belong to Russia alone. Ultimately, though the US and EU nation states are nothing more than tools of the globalist elite whose dream of a fully economically integrated world where the power of labour is completely crushed by the power of capital to move instantly across the planet is already falling apart. The economic elite have already pillaged all of the minor nations in the world and the two grand prizes, Russia and China are too powerful to attack directly now. unable to control their unbridled greed they've begone the process of auto-self cannibalism, destroying their own states (or killing their hosts as Michael Huddson would say) in order to completely centralize all capital within the 0.1%. This will make them very rich, however hundreds of millions of Americans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese and Europeans will be impoverished in order to do this. When this is eventually realized by the majority of the people in these states, the economic elite will be lucky if they "just" lose everything but their lives in mass nationalization campaigns. I see very little evidence that the Russian or Chinese states would be willing to offer safe harbour for the criminal oligarchs of the West, like London has offered to criminal Oligarchs fleeing justice in Russia

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 18 2020 3:28 utc | 94

@92 Don Bacon Would be very interesting to know how they define "manufacturing".

I suspect very much that it includes many things that aren't actually, you know, "manufactured".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 18 2020 4:09 utc | 95

@Don Bacon.

Before posting here monetarist propaganda BS form Western "economic" sources learn to distinguish monetary expression of product and actual product in terms of quantity and quality. Just to demonstrate to you: for $100,000 in a desirable place in the US you will be able to buy a roach-infested shack in a community known for meth-labs and high crime, for exactly the same money in Russia you will buy a superb brand-new house in a desirable location. To demonstrate even more, for a price of a single Columbia-class SSBN ($8 billion+) which does not exist other than on paper yet, Russia financed and produced her 8-hulls state of the strategic missile submarines. UK economy is dwarfed by Russia even in accordance by IMF and World Bank, in fact, it is, once one excludes still relevant RR and few other manufacturers, is down right third world economy. I am not going to post here all data from IMF, but even this can explain why you posted a BS. Anyone "counting" real economic sector in USD and Nominal GDP has to have head examined and is probably dumbed down through "economics" programs in Western madrasas, aka universities.

In related news, learn what Composite Index of National Capability (CINC) is and check energy consumption and production of Germany and Russia, just for shits and giggles.

But, of course, feel free to remain reliant on economic BS produced by Western "economists".

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 18 2020 4:11 utc | 96

@92 Don Bacon, @95 Yeah, Right

Yes, and also it should be said that obviously these metrics aren't the correct ones to judge the power of a country among its peers.

Perhaps a better metric is for any nation to ask: Of all these countries, which one do we NOT want to punch us in the face?

This, after all, is how geopolitical stature is measured.

It's not what you produce, it's how you deploy it that matters.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 18 2020 4:16 utc | 97

@97 more

And of course, Martyanov @96 is absolutely correct - the relative values of currencies are proved to be nothing more than the entries of bookkeepers and bankers, all "sound and fury, signifying nothing." What matters is what the home unit of currency will buy at home.

A better question is as Andrei suggests, what does it cost for Russia to produce something that works, as opposed to what it costs the US to produce something that doesn't work because of theft and cost inflation in the delivery chain?

The ultimate - MAD - question that the US should ask itself is this: How much does it cost Russia to destroy the US, compared with the cost involved for the US to destroy Russia?


The cost of living is higher in the US. The cost of doing anything is higher. But none of that means the quality of the result is greater - I certainly don't hear anyone lately saying the living is good, compared to what people pay for it.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 18 2020 4:35 utc | 98

b quotes Gilbert Doctorow:

Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers, the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child’s play.

We may yet see a Cuban missile crisis scenario but it looks more likely to be caused by arms sales to Taiwan than conflict in the Caucasus.

I also think its naive to see these as "fires burning at Russia’s borders" instead of as deliberately set bear traps. Azerbaijan is in a strategic location between Russia and Iran and the conflict with Armenia comes just before Russia is about to sell advanced weapons to Iran.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 18 2020 4:41 utc | 99

@96 Andre Martyanov
"Just to demonstrate to you: for $100,000 in a desirable place in the US you will be able to buy a roach-infested shack in a community known for meth-labs and high crime,"

I wish this were true....more like $200,000...

How stringent is Russian immigration policy? Is it a cat friendly country?

Posted by: Jason | Oct 18 2020 5:17 utc | 100

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