Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2021

U.S. Aggressiveness Follow Up

The 'western' media reporting of the spat between Biden and Putin is typically bad.

The Guardian @guardian - 18:15 UTC · Mar 18, 2021

'Takes one to know one': Putin-Biden spat escalates over 'killer' accusation

That was not what Putin had said:

Ivan Pentchoukov @IvanPentchoukov - 16:56 UTC · Mar 19, 2021

Can't believe how many outlets are running with the same totally false translation of what Putin said.

The idiom Putin used is much closer to "the names you call others is what you should be called."

The official Kremlin transcript agrees with Ivan's formulation:

[D]ifficult, dramatic, and bloody events abound in the history of every nation and every state. But when we evaluate other people, or even other states and nations, we are always facing a mirror, we always see ourselves in the reflection, because we project our inner selves onto the other person.

You know, I remember when we were children and played in the yard, we had arguments occasionally and we used to say: whatever you call me is what you are called yourself. This is no coincidence or just a kids’ saying or joke. It has a very deep psychological undercurrent. We always see ourselves in another person and think that he or she is just like us, and evaluate the other person’s actions based on our own outlook on life.

There is an additional passage of interest which sets out rules for future talks that I have not seen reported in 'western' media:

I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.

We, with our national interests in mind, will promote our relations with all countries, including the United States.

Secretary of State Blinken's meeting with the Chinese foreign minister in a shabby Alaskan hotel was another diplomatic train wreck:

“The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world,” Blinken said.

The 'rules based order' means 'do what we say' and is of course unacceptable. Here is how the Chinese replied:

What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called “rules-based” international order.


I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States or that the opinion of the United States could represent international public opinion, and those countries would not recognize that the rules made by a small number of people would serve as the basis for the international order.

When Yang was chided by Blinken for making a too long opening statement in response to Blinken's accusations Yang replied:

The Chinese side felt compelled to make this speech because of the tone of the U.S. side.

Well, isn’t this the intention of United States, judging from what – or the way that you have made your opening remarks, that it wants to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength?

So was this carefully all planned and was it carefully orchestrated with all the preparations in place? Is that the way that you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?

Well, I think we thought too well of the United States. We thought that the U.S. side will follow the necessary diplomatic protocols. So for China it was necessary that we made our position clear.

So let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength. The U.S. side was not even qualified to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people. If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let’s follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way.

And this which was apparently left out of State Departments transcript:

History will prove that if you use cutthroat competition to suppress China you will be the one to suffer in the end.

The attempted U.S. assault was a home run for the Chinese side:

Many netizens on China’s social media said Chinese officials were doing a good job in Alaska, and that the U.S. side lacked sincerity.

Some even characterized the talks as a “Hongmen Banquet”, referring to an event that took place 2,000 years ago where a rebel leader invited another to a feast with the intention of murdering him.

Posted by b on March 19, 2021 at 18:53 UTC | Permalink

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psychohistorian | Mar 21 2021 3:19 utc | 174

A possible answer is that the "Government" theoretically still has all the power. It can put Oligarchs in prison, but Oligarchs do not (should not, cannot?) put Governmental figures in prison.

The Chinese believe in "communal" Government, so the addition of unaccountable strong men is to be shunned. (careers in the Gov. power structure starts from the bottom upwards, according to an extremely interesting post sometime ago. Unfortunately I have forgotten by who.) The opposite for the US.


I posted this on the open thread -022, but it does illustrate just how the Chinese appeal to "myth, glory and patriotism". Really I put it in as an superb example of using modern audio-visual techniques to push pride in being part of a nation. The Chinese were known for their patriotic ballets under Mao, but this is the modern version.
Watch full screen!

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 21 2021 9:41 utc | 201

@Tom | Mar 21 2021 8:11 utc | 195

This is the man that Biden calls a killer.

Such a silly thing to say, he is a killer,

It is much more than that, it is a carefully calculated and scripted insult by insane psychopaths. The words didn't just slip out of Biden in a live interview, he was spoon-fed the scripted words by this Council of Foreign Relations guy Stephanopoulos, probably days in advance of the airing of the 'interview'. Nobody edited the insult out of the interview, because they wanted it to be there. This is a provocation similar to flying long range bombers close to Russias border, in fact more than that.

Then add the insult that Twitter adds in the twitter link: "Russia state-affiliated media". This is an insult intended to serve the same purpose as the 'killer' provocation: Demonize Russia and its leaders, hoping it will lead to war. And of course they do not mention who Stephanopoulos works for. Twitter is a cesspool.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 21 2021 10:01 utc | 202

It is possible to read the genetic reference component in terms of broader implications of genetic tampering being pushed out in full force: the RF is happy with its God-given natural diversity ecosystems external and internal, and is not interested in the Monsanto GMO mRNA vision of dominating human life.

5G is already on the way in, but Germany's recent plans to allow and American codependence on the bee-butterfly killer glyphosate is not so welcome.

Posted by: Lurker | Mar 21 2021 10:28 utc | 203

North Korea knows well not to meet with these dogs. They have never honoured any undertaking: from news source of some repute.

A top diplomat of North Korea has vowed that Pyongyang will ignore the US' outreach until Washington "rolls back its hostile policy," the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday.

First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui stated on Wednesday, saying that the US has tried to contact them since mid-February through several channels, but "we don't think there is need to respond to the US time-delaying trick again."

"We have already declared our stand that no DPRK-US contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the US rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK. Therefore, we will disregard such an attempt of the US in the future, too," Choe said.

Certainly Iran has been indicating the same stance. After all the phony baloney blinken just needs to show how clever he is simply meeting and blowing his putrid air. Meeting gives him credibility - so give him nothing until every economic sanction is demonstrably and proven to be lifted.

"Putting your money where your mouth is" can be seen in practice in China. Boeing, boeing, gone.

The Chinese flag carrier, Air China, announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with AFS Investments Inc, a subsidiary of aircraft leasing giant GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), to buy 18 Airbus A320neo planes from the European manufacturer to improve its transport capacity.

The deal, worth $2.2 billion, will deliver 18 planes to Air China by 2022 in batches, according to a statement by the carrier sent to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The actual transaction price will be adjusted after purchase price concessions are confirmed.

And finally the reward for sleazy hotels and tacky hospitality with gratuitous insults from the USA is to be extracted in full.

Alaska's dwindling exports to China, including seafood and timber, show the need for the US to stop its tariffs war with China, a Chinese expert said on Friday, as the two countries' high-level delegations met in the US state.

Analysts said the place where the high-level meeting is taking place is a perfect reminder of the lose-lose situation caused by the US-initiated trade war, as Alaska's exports to China have withered starting 2018.

Voices are running high from Alaska, with the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) running an opinion piece that "encourages the Biden administration to include issues related to the trade of seafood and timber in its discussions, which are important economic drivers in Alaska."

Former Alaska Governor Bill Walker pointed out in an interview with Chinese news portal that China has been the largest trading partner for Alaska for the past 13 years, as well as the state's biggest market.

News for Bill Walker: blinken Biden does not give a shit for your state.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 21 2021 10:46 utc | 204

Norwegian # 201

Thank you for that post and the personal link to Putin and his mother. Clearly Stephanopoulos is a low life scoundrel and so too is Ron Klain, white house chief of staff. The entire USA establishment is one siamese twinned John Bolton and has been for a very long time.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 21 2021 10:57 utc | 205

@uncle tungsten | Mar 21 2021 10:57 utc | 204

The entire USA establishment is one siamese twinned John Bolton and has been for a very long time.

For some time I wondered how it was possible to employ someone like John Bolton, but it all makes sense now: They are all like him.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 21 2021 11:36 utc | 206

There will be no economic boom after the pandemic - Richard Wolff [Global Capitalism]

Posted by: Mao | Mar 21 2021 11:36 utc | 207

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 21 2021 0:01 utc | 167

"I'm slightly curious: if the USA insists that there is a "rules-based international order" then - by definition - there must exist a rule-book i.e. a compendium of those rules."

So I googled this "rules based international order" and what I get is that the five eyes governments quite like it and all agree that it is a good idea.
They also are able to clearly see challenges to the "rules based order", but there does not seem to be a rule book anywhere.

Posted by: arby | Mar 21 2021 11:56 utc | 208

Fyi | Mar 20 2021 3:13 utc | 92

Mr. xototox

I think that the presidency of Mr. Trump revealed the ugly side of the United States; suddenly the gilded papier marche of America, carefully created by the best propaganda techniques over 70 years, was shredded and USA was revealed to be a country just like so many others.

Certainly "the presidency of Mr. Trump revealed the ugly side of the United States" I can't agree though with "USA was revealed to be a country just like so many others." Trump revealed that the USA was country ruled by gangsters. He revealed that the USA was running a global protection racket. I cannot think of another country (Except of course, Chosenstan!) that is quite as openly ruled by gangsters, as is Trump's America.

Of course, this was no news to the world's ruling politicians, but Trumps service to humanity was, that he rubbed everyone's nose in the mess, to the extent that even the most detached, the most apolitical, and the most biased, could hardly fail to see it.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 21 2021 12:00 utc | 209

Peter Moritz at 25: "If you disagree with the Guardian version, find a better one yourself."

"Look who's talking"
"The pot calling the kettle black"
"A thief believes everybody steals"

Posted by: krypton | Mar 21 2021 12:50 utc | 210

Old hippie I greatly value your perspective and insights but... your picture of Kamala, Hillary and her boy toys had me leaning in your direction until you linked father and son Sid and Max Blumenthal to her. I know B criticized max blumenthal and the Grayzone maybe a year and a half ago for supporting the early years of the war on Syria and i have watched for signs of slippage especially given that his dad is Sid, seeing how Democracy Now and the Intercept have played their sheepdog role along with Bernie. Full disclosure, I donated to Sanders, I'm not proud that I did. so, if you know more about Max Blumenthal please let us in on it. Grayzone pieces have been good, IMO. again, appreciate your posts.

Posted by: migueljose | Mar 21 2021 13:18 utc | 211

d dan 183

James Fallujah Mattis while in China, haughtily told his host, 'more than 80% of US military have been baptized by the fire of real war, whereas the PLA hasnt seen action since 1979, I dont think the PLA stand a chance with the US armed forces in any future conflict.
'Look , excercise and war games can never stand for the real stuff, soldiers who've never been blooded are likely to break down when they'r thrown into the cauldron of fire'

Is this why thE US HAVE been at war during 95% of their miserable existence since 1785----
To get their soldiers 'blooded' like what the Ozzies SAS did in Afghan, or during the Mattis led campaign IN Iraq, reducing Fallujah to shards ?

Posted by: denk | Mar 21 2021 13:28 utc | 212

Happy Iranian new year and New century (1400) to you all, MOA and b.
kooshy @58

Happy Iranian new year to you kooshy, MofA, and our host b.
One small nit: I think the new century starts at 1401.
Enjoy the Ash-e-reshte and Mahi polo sabzi, and haft-seen.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Mar 21 2021 13:57 utc | 213

Migueljose @ 211

Just wrote a response to your query and mistakenly appended it to previous thread. Don’t know how to move it. Yes, Sid and Max both played a large part in Hillary’s adventures in Mideast war. But see other post.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 21 2021 14:09 utc | 214

It is just my personal impression, but I have to agree with migueljose @211. Sometimes some people really grow up. Sometimes some people go through circumstances in life that overcome denial and delusion and force them to confront their own role in inhuman madness, or somehow they muster the courage and personal fortitude to do the same. Sometimes people break out of the channels they are placed in from birth and really do transform themselves. I believe that is what has happened with Max Blumenthal. I don't think his transformation is complete yet, but I think his efforts to do so are genuine. In recent interviews and panel discussions he has that same haunted look that Chris Hedges has of someone who has gazed into the abyssal soul of the beast that is the empire and seen the deranged horror that exists there. Once you have seen that it is impossible to serve the beast and retain your humanity. There are no drugs that can give you peace of mind as a servant of empire once you have seen what the empire truly is, and I believe that Max has stumbled upon that truth and is now fighting for his own humanity. That fight puts him on the side of the good guys. Sure, at some point Max will have to confront his father's legacy, but that is not our struggle.

One thing that we should keep in mind is that nobody is ever a finished product at any point in their lives. Indeed, living is inseparable from change. Speaking at least for myself I certainly don't know everything, and I hope that tomorrow I will understand more than I do today. The question with regards to Max Blumenthal is are the changes he is going through moving him towards being a better human being? I think it is obvious that they are. I also think that he is committed to using his influence and intellect to better ends now.

Or perhaps he is fantastic actor and just part of the great Kafkaesque conspiracy espoused by our resident bunny in which everyone is flawlessly playing their assigned roles in The Establishment's vastly intricate and convoluted screenplay designed to deceive... who? I suppose that immeasurably huge deception would have to be centered around the poor bunny himself.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 21 2021 14:29 utc | 215

Still waiting for that "insider tells all" exposé by Max, coming clean about all the dirty dealings of Sid and Hil (and countless others.)

As I've speculated before, Maxie must have sat on auntie Hillary's lap when a toddler. They were that close.

Why don't you care about that, dontcha hate Hillary anymore, Gruffy?

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 21 2021 14:43 utc | 216

@ denk 212
James Mattis fought a long time in Iraq, true. But how was the quality of their opponents ? Fighting insurgents is not the same as fighting a peer opponent, That has the same equipment as yourself, air support, long range artillery, advanced SAM, electronic warfare systems, Satellite intel, and are well-trained finally, ohh I forgot the also have a huge navy, and finally they have a very powerful ally.
It will not be a walk in the park!

Posted by: Den lille abe | Mar 21 2021 14:48 utc | 217

Mr. foolisholdman

The ethos of the Godfather movies has got hold of Judeo-Christain males in the United States. They think, literally, that Godfather is Life.

You are right, Mr. Trump behaved as though he was a Don, and treated others the same way. In his mental universe, men like the late Mr. Ayatollah Khomeini, or Mr. Ayatollah Khamenei do not exist; men who are not amenable to bribery or intimidation.

That is why Americans keep on failing. And will fail.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 21 2021 14:50 utc | 218

BTW, oldhippie's observations that got misplaced in the other thread are recommended reading. Ramparts indeed.

Now lets wait for the newbie one-time posters to pop up with hysterical Max idolatry that completely sidesteps the issue, again.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 21 2021 14:52 utc | 219

@Fyi | Mar 21 2021 14:50 utc | 218

The "Godfather" series of films was a misdirection. The mafia in the USA is not bunch of rowdy lowerclass blokes with Italian heritage. In truth, the CIA and the mafia are interdependent arms of the state, each with their own preferred operational modes and cloacks of deniability. The two cooperate intensively in areas such as drug and gun running, honeypot blackmail setups and money laundering.

Donald J. Trump fits very well into that scheme as an lower upper echelon overseer of financial skullduggery in the world of gambling and real estate. But don't forget that his career got mentored by Roy Cohn, a big name in honeypot blackmail games.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 21 2021 15:05 utc | 220

Mr. Robin

Same thing must be said about Cuba, arrested development and all.

You either live in the gilded cage of Americans, or you live in your independent life.

Freedom is not free.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 21 2021 15:30 utc | 221

Fyi @ 92, @ 218 and foolisholdman @ 209 . <= Beginning in 1908, Wilson invited British propaganda experts to convert unwilling Americans into eager WWI volunteers. But manpower resources and financial capacity were needed before the British backed corporate global monopolies could take on the entrenched and rising corporate powers in Germany, Italy and the Ottoman powers.
The oil and gas and shipping cartels had depleted the whales(oil) and were experiencing anti slave laws in now independent British Colonies everywhere. Hell bent on taking the oil from the Ottoman to replace the whale(oil), WWI was planned to take the oil from the Ottoman and to remove Germany from market competition but such would involve much of the whole world and it would be expensive.

the federal reserve act of 1913 would allow the war hawks the banking power needed to loan nearly broke European nations and war time industries everywhere the money needed to prosecute the oil and gas war against the Ottoman and to destroy German industrial strength, but the power to lend did not guarantee the bankers that their war-time loans would ever be paid back.

For that, the lenders needed collateral. To get that collateral. the Oil and Gas interest and the war time industrial providers turned to the political system of the nation state. In 1913 Congress encumbered American incomes (the Income Tax of 1913) to collateralize fed loans, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed, which enabled wartime industrial and military financing. The object of the war was two fold: Germany was a strong upcoming competitor that had to go, and the Ottoman oil would replace the Boston Whale(oil), and war torn immigrants could guarantee availability of cheap labor. Oil was everywhere in post war British Palestine, and post war French Syria and Turkey and most certainly it was not in the home of the British bankers.

To accomplish collateralization 1912 courts ruled on corporation income tax, in early 1913, The Income Tax Act of 1913 was installed [ in spite of Article I, Section 9 para[4] which read "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before direct to be taken..] in anticipation of ratification of Amendment XVI which repealed word for word (I)(9)(4). In 1909 NYC majority began changing from Iris to Jewish immigrant; the result of early attempts to challenge Germany, weaken Russia, and take the Ottoman for their oil.

The political system of most nation state support private Oligarch and private owned corporate parties nation state protection for their rackets: protect and enable the oligarch is the reason for the nation state system. The political system within each nation state accomplishes two things: it contains upward dissent in a system that will allow it to do no harm, it protects the Oligarch from the governed, and it allows the Oligarch to change the political system as needed to accomplish their needs. That the nation state is a problem has been my point for some time. <=explains so many wars. .

But I think exposing the kennedy assassination commission report, WMD propaganda lies, execution of 9/11 to be other than an insider job, Obama's failure to prosecute his promise to change things, and Trumps outrageous use of nation state powers, as well as the transformation of a biological virus into a political threat have all served to transform the most detached, the most apolitical, and the most biased, into sleeping giants waiting for a chance to bring about something different.

Posted by: snake | Mar 21 2021 15:40 utc | 222

William Gruff, Lurk, Oldhippy

Just as every racist incident is waived away by the right, Empire apologists/deniers wave away any notion of Deep State operatives.

The Empire apologists/deniers want us to believe that there is no political manipulation, no media manipulation, and no organization to achieve Empire-level objectives. Some apologists/deniers will admit that money is very important in politics but the extent of that influence is only traced to amorphous oligarchs and business interests NEVER to Deep State Empire managers. Others blame "Zionism" despite its being more than a symptom than a cause.

<> <> <> <> <>

Phillip Giraldi's recently described the Deep State Empire Managers in a way that comports with my understanding: The Puppet Masters: Is There Really a Deep State?

... the real Deep State, which consists of a consensus view on running the country that is held by nearly all of the elements that together make up the American Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City....

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. Even though it does not actually meet in secret, it does operate through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed. One notes that while the Deep State is mentioned frequently in the national media there has been little effort to identify its components and how it operates.

Viewed in that fashion, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country and are even able to coopt those who are ostensibly dedicated to keeping the country safe becomes much more plausible ...

(emphasis is mine)

IMO when you see people that have been in very powerful positions for a long period of time, you can assume that they are "Deep State". Possible examples: Bush family, Hillary Clinton, John McCain (until he died), Robert Mueller, etc. And, IMO when you see someone that pretends to oppose "the powers that be" but have deep connections to them, then you can expect that they are controlled opposition. Possible examples: Bernie, Max B.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2021 16:04 utc | 223

Den lille abe | 217

Just remember this...
Korean war,

single action rifles

US posse of 21 nations,
Artillery, bombers, jet fighters, naval bombardment,tanks, carbines, chem/bio warfare,

How did it turn out ?

Posted by: denk | Mar 21 2021 16:05 utc | 224

@202 Norwegian

That's a lovely little compilation about Putin and his family, thanks.

The narrative says that Putin's mother survived the siege of Leningrad, but it doesn't go into the details. You can get the story from one of the several Russian documentaries about Putin - I forget which one but I could dig for it if pressed.

Putin's father came back from the front, wounded and on crutches. He showed up just as medics were taking his wife out to whatever transport they were using to clean up the dead bodies - she was practically dead, and the witness to this says she was "washed up". Putin's father fought the medics away with his crutches and took his wife back into their home, and nursed her back to life.

Thus runs the story, and this is the woman who later gave birth to Putin, already with two brothers dead that he never knew. It sounds exaggerated when I write out the story like that, but I never disbelieved it when I heard it, and I still don't.

So this is the depth of the man who heads the Russian Federation. Personally touched by war, personally grieving for the losses of Russia, personally committed to the safety of civilians and to minimal death in general.


While I'm on the subject, two other stories occur to me. One was when he first took command of Russia and addressed the war in the Caucasus - his famous episode with his military commanders in the tent, when he said they would not drink to success until they had achieved it (I paraphrase), and put his glass down untouched. To drink prematurely, he said, would be to dishonor all those who had already died in this war. First, to stop the dying.

But the story I wanted to say about that was that he also forcefully told his generals to be very careful how they conducted operations: they were entering places where civilians lived - old people, those who had fought in the Great Patriotic War, those to whom everyone present owed their lives. He was very serious about taking great care not to harm those most honorable people.

The second story is when the Berlin Wall went down, and crowds surged to invade the Stasi building, ripping its secrets into the open. They also came to the KGB building. The chief of that bureau fled, leaving by the back way. That left Putin as next in command. He went down to address the crowd. He stood in front of them and they asked who he was and he lied and said that he was "the interpreter". He said that this building was the property of the USSR. In his gun he had twelve bullets, he said, eleven for those whom he faced and the last for himself. The crowd understood that this building was not East Germany but the Soviet Union, and that this officer would defend it with his life. Whatever they thought, they turned away and left the building unmolested.


I'm impressed with the character and caliber of this human being called Putin, for good reasons, I find. There's a heroic scale to him that comes from Russia itself and the experiences that Putin was born into and from. And yet he personally is a naturally modest man. He bears that heroic dimension of scale with the grace that comes from ordinariness. He loves ordinary people. He renews his own mental health from being in their company. The security state of Russia chose the best person it could find, in a last-ditch attempt to save their country. It worked.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 21 2021 16:13 utc | 225

@uncle tungsten 204 and @Grieved 225

Credit for the Putin family link belongs to @Tom 195

Otherwise thank's for the follow ups! The story about Putins family and his upbringing explains his current perspective on reality I think. It seemed to be reflected in his response to the 'killer' provocation. I had some rough experiences myself (nothing near his) and I think I understand at least partly his perspective vs. the soulless Biden.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 21 2021 16:44 utc | 226

Mr. Snake

In the Western countries, for many centuries, it was common for Monarchs to borrow money from the European bankers for their wars. Later, bankers in New York City, loaned money to US government to wage war against the Confederate States of America. I think this was business as usual among Euro-American states.

On the eve of World War 1, the Russian Empire had her own functioning oil industry thanks to the Nobles in Badkubeh. France had oil in Algeria. USA was awash with major and minor oil companies. And the English already had their oil concession in Iran by 1909. The central concern of the English foreign policy was security of India. France's was recovery of Alsace & Lorraine, and Austria's was state stability and cohesion. I do not know what drove German and Russian policies.

So, it is difficult for me to accept an oil-deterministic theory as explanation of WW1. I also think that if one were to look for economic factors for WW1, the late Mr. Vladimir I. Lenin's book, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, is probably more convincing than the oil-based theory. Much of the industrial world worked on basis of coal, at the time.

I also think that there is another problem with the oil-based theory, viz. that there are not so many smart people in the world.

Capitalists, in any case, did not invent war.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 21 2021 16:45 utc | 227

re putin... the little segment that norwegian shared from twitter is part of a much longer movie on putins family connections... someone will have to look for it.. i saw the flick a good 5 years ago... here is something from 2 years ago - this isn't exactly the same as what i saw, but you get some of it... english subtitles..

@ 223 jackrabbit... now jackrabbit, you didn't mention max in your post, although you addressed it to old hippie, lurk and william gruff... i happen to share williams viewpoint on this and think max can change.. it is true he was in favour of the syrian war, but - and i might be mistaken - i think max has grown up since then... i don't think this deep state is a rock solid and locked onto particular individuals as you seem to say, although you nicely kept max out of the conversation!!! now, come on.. we want to know what you think of max specifically here at this point!! it seems old hippie figures his greyzone is a cia front.. i don't see it that way myself.. and if i was to point to one individual i have great hope for in that cluster of intel reporters, i would point to aaron mate... but i think max does good work and as the saying goes, you can't throw out the baby with the bath water.. although it sounds as though you are happy to write them all off... do i have you right on this?? thanks...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 17:05 utc | 228

maybe that was the video i saw, but i thought it was further back then 2 years...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 17:08 utc | 229

james @Mar21 17:05 #228

you didn't mention max in your post

But I did mention Max in my post. Read the last paragraph.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2021 17:17 utc | 230

The whole point of the Godfather movies is that there's no difference, morally, between the Mafia, on the one hand, and US business and politicians, on the other.

This may be clearest in Godfather Part 3, but I think it's already clear enough in the earlier movies. The fact that it's made so clear in Part 3 may be a lot of the reason the critics so savaged it. Especially the suggestions that John Paul I was murdered and that Giulio Andreotti was an amoral psychopath may have been steps too far for the US media and those who give orders to the media. For me, although I also consider the earlier films excellent, Part 3 is my favorite Godfather movie.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 21 2021 17:21 utc | 231

Norwegian | Mar 21 2021 11:36 utc | 206

how it was possible to employ someone like John Bolton, but it all makes sense now: They are all like him.

that is probably the most depressing thing I have read in a long time. too sad but most likely true.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 21 2021 17:27 utc | 232

@ 20 jackrabbit.. okay, i see his name now at the very end.... so, you figure max is controlled by the deep state.. do i have that correct?? for the record, i don't agree with this viewpoint, if it is your viewpoint... thanks.

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 17:43 utc | 233


Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 17:44 utc | 234

@dan of steele | Mar 21 2021 17:27 utc | 232

I have come to realize that there is one thing I will never compromise on, and that is truth. My main principle is that I want to understand the world around me and learn what it really is about. This can be regarding science, ancient history or present day politics. Sometimes this principle leads to very unpleasant places. Still, I find it more important to understand the real truth than lie to myself.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 21 2021 17:44 utc | 235

I just finished watching this video about Crimea and a lot of interviews with Putin. I can't recall who posted it several days ago and it is over two hours long but I watched it in bits. Excellent story and it also shows how clever and unbloodthirsty Putin is.

Very good IMO--

Crimea The Way Home EN Subtitles Full Documentary HD

Posted by: arby | Mar 21 2021 17:52 utc | 236

William Gruff @215--

George Lucas tried to show us that entire dynamic within the Star Wars epic as son confronted the reality of father and had to reach a level of peace within himself. The cave scene where Yoda warns him is critical to that part of the story.


Et al on Putin--

When you follow his meetings with government officials and others involved with Russia's Strategic Programs as I do, those components of Putin's being that makes him a Great Father as many saw the Tsars can easily be seen when he spells out priorities. IMO, when it comes to leaders, Putin is one of the Great Humanists of all time, which is why the West launched and continued its vendetta against him, which he is so far above--I wish you all Good Health, is his rejoiner that nobody can top.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2021 18:00 utc | 237

@ arby... that was me who posted it based off @ paco who talked about it... i watched parts of it, but not all of it... paco thought the same as you on it...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 18:12 utc | 238

james @Mar21 17:44 #234

... so, you figure max is controlled by the deep state.. do i have that correct?

"Controlled" is too simplistic. We often see a similarly narrow-minded view that US Presidents are "controlled" by being shown tapes of the Kennedy assassination.

Max is a willing participant!

Controlled opposition just focuses the sheep on certain things while ignoring other things. Bernie dresses up his support of the Empire with the best intentions. Max B will be anti-imperialist until he declares that humanitarian concerns warrant intervention (and he will carry along almost everyone on the Left). The Empire needs someone that will reliably do that when the time comes.

Maybe you've forgotten the discussion about Max B that occurred in December 2019. That discussion included Barbara McKenzie's well-reasoned expectation that Max B & Company's anti-imperialism is a setup:

Given the co-ordinated and limited nature of their ‘conversion’, the relentless and unwarranted self-promotion, the close links with proponents of a no-fly zone in Syria and the refusal to acknowledge the work of other people in the Syrian field, the view that people like Blumenthal and co. have ‘come on board’ the struggle for truth with regard to the Syrian conflict seems most optimistic....

The role of gatekeepers is a controversial matter, with some maintaining that their contribution outweighs any negative consequences. However those who are seriously concerned for the future of Syria and the greater Middle East should think carefully before conceding too much ground to the ‘gray zone’.

In that regard, McKenzie's comments wrt Iran were especially prescient, given the Empire's recent claim that Iran has cozyed up to al Queda:
The role of the thirdwayers, should there be a colour revolution in Iran, remains to be seen, but having now adopted the role of anti-imperialists, they will be in a better position to claim Iran as a genuine revolution, or to push for external intervention before the ‘revolution’ is taken over by jihadists.

Note: Lurk makes a good point @Mar21 14:43 #216: despite his anti-imperialism, Max B has/will never reveal the Deep State itself.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2021 18:26 utc | 239

What's really depressing about John Bolton is that he's the son of a Baltimore fireman. You'd think someone with that background would not fall for all the lies.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 21 2021 18:30 utc | 240

I think a person's stance on Assange is a good test of whether he's a shill for the plutocrats.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 21 2021 18:35 utc | 241

And Max Blumenthal has repeatedly written in opposition to the extradition and mistreatment of Assange.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 21 2021 18:47 utc | 242

James @ 238

Just saw this on the US aggressiveness board.. Maybe they ought to watch that video and have a little rethink about reclaiming Crimea.

"G7 Foreign Ministers Statement on Ukraine

"Crimea is Ukraine."

Ukraine approves Strategy to 'Recover' Crimea Through All Out War With Russia

Sheer madness. And this wouldn't be happening under Trump.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 20 2021 3:11 utc | 147

Posted by: arby | Mar 21 2021 18:48 utc | 243

@ 239 jackrabbit... thanks.. yes, i do recall that post from a year and 1/4 ago! i had to look and see that i didn't comment until page 2 of it @ 125 onward... at the time i said i would filter what was said from max, but my position isn't much different with you here today... it is interesting your viewpoint... i am going to continue to cut max some slack... if he comes out with something stupid or that has holes in it, i will challenge it.. but for the time being the work he is doing seems pretty good, especially on the topic of south america.... and btw - i really appreciate our friendship here and like the fact we can hold a different viewpoint and still have a lot of respect for each other... i am glad you post here and hold the viewpoints you do, even if we don't always agree!

@ 243 arby... thanks for the link to the canadian press release... it includes an e mail and i am going to send a note to voice my opposition to the release... the problem with canada is we have a non independent foreign policy approach at this point.. essentially what the usa says, we rubber stamp.. now this is made easier given some of the individuals in power in canada, freeland in particular, but it goes without saying we need to take a more independent and neutral approach on the world stage.. we are liable to learn the hard way based on how we are behaving and it is unsustainable too... all we can hope for is more canucks like you and i would question these narratives that are being pushed regularly... thanks for the link... i encourage you to write to the e mail listed on the link -

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 19:59 utc | 244

correction - ''my position isn't much different from what i have said here today'', lol... have to use the preview option for my own posts!

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2021 20:00 utc | 245

james @Mar21 19:59 #244

i am going to continue to cut max some slack

Many people chose to cut Bernie some slack too. They see him doing some good or as much good as could be expected.

But caution is advisable. And keeping up the pressure (on Bernie, Max, and others) to do MORE is also advisable.

And while you are staying cautious, you might consider Harry and Meghan's break with the royal family (and Diana's before that). THAT looks genuine to me. We haven't seen such a break with some of our possible/suspected controlled opposition figures: Sanders (who is proud of his 25+ years of friendship with the Clintons) or Max (with his father Sid).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2021 21:32 utc | 246

@James. Thanks for the tip.

Is Canada's office of Foreign affairs truly unaware that it is Ukraine that is in non compliance with the Minsk Agreement and not Russia?

If so, I call on the minister to resign immediately.

If not, then might I humbly suggest the minister stop listening to Ukraine firster Chrystia Freeland.

Thanks in advance

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 21 2021 22:07 utc | 247

@JR Opsies. Yer wrong. There is less than zero that is genuine about harry and his wife. Trump has more genuine ness in a folical of hair, than those two do in their entire lizard bodies

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 21 2021 22:10 utc | 248

Mr. Snake

In the Western countries, for many centuries, it was common for Monarchs to borrow money from the European bankers for their wars. Later, bankers in New York City, loaned money to US government to wage war against the Confederate States of America. I think this was business as usual among Euro-American states.
<= yes but none of the banks in the west were prepared to finance the whole world at war..
without some kind of collateral?

On the eve of World War 1, the Russian Empire had her own functioning oil industry thanks to the Nobles in Badkubeh. France had oil in Algeria. USA was awash with major and minor oil companies. And the English already had their oil concession in Iran by 1909. The central concern of the English foreign policy was security of India. France's was recovery of Alsace & Lorraine, and Austria's was state stability and cohesion. I do not know what drove German and Russian policies.

<= Russia was not a target in WWI, it was a victim, being tricked by Poland and France and England into helping to contain Germany. Both Roland Greene Usher's 1913-14 "Pan-Germanism" book and Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm's 1922, "My Memoirs", Book, say the same ..

So, it is difficult for me to accept an oil-deterministic theory as explanation of WW1. I also think that if one were to look for economic factors for WW1, the late Mr. Vladimir I. Lenin's book, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, is probably more convincing than the oil-based theory. Much of the industrial world worked on basis of coal, at the time.

<= Its was not just oil and competition from Germany, also the declining productive output from colonial colonies, the outlawing of slavery and the depletion of whales threatened western monopolies in global trade. Oil was needed for war, and it served as a second tier currency, because oil could be traded in place by invoice and assignment. A monopoly in oil was needed to control whatever happened.

I also think that there is another problem with the oil-based theory, viz. that there are not so many smart people in the world. <= At the center of it all, was the city of London and its French and NYC bankers.

<= I agree no one in the 19th century invented war, but financing the wars, creating national budgets to finance the development of technology and to produce weapons and war materials needed to support external war was an expression of the use of the nation state by the monopoly capitalist. Monopoly capitalism directed from behind the scene nation state wars in support of the needs of capitalism. The essence of monopoly capitalism is to use the power of the nation state to accumulate private wealth, to tame and enlist the support of domestic governed populations and at the same time to use the power of the nation state to apply force and intelligence backed diplomacy in places where capitalism needed it. Monopoly capitalism involves the private for profit use of the nation state to support only one king will be on the mountain game of global trade.

Fyi @ 227 oil, maritime commerce, colonialism supported by low wage slavery were was the global capitalism since the USA civil war in 1865..

<= William McKinley,1901,Abraham Lincoln 1865 and James A. Garfield in 1881. were all assassinated over banking and form of money issues..Pre WWI German Railroads, German technical superiority, pan German-continental successes were all challenging UK Maritime based Capitalism. The UK was sliding because its superior command of the sea, no matter its unbeatable maritime strength, was rendered almost obsolete [railroads, interstate, etc.]

thanks for the expression of difference of opinion.. after you read the two books mentioned above.. i would love to debate this more.

Posted by: snake | Mar 22 2021 0:02 utc | 249

@ 246 jackrabbit... thanks... i am going to take these all on an individual basis... i think it is more complicated then just a one answer fits all kind of thing..

@ Tannenhouser ... i hope you write an e mail to them.. i did.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2021 3:25 utc | 250

@ willie 116

I don't like "Hero", too much swordfighting and artistic auteur-ism that doesn't contain much substance. Its story is basically a fantasy re-imagination of the classic tale of Qin Shi Huang vs Jing Ke the assassin.

A much better and nuanced film about that subject would be the Emperor and the Assassin, still a bit fantasy with all the romance bit but much more authentic and down-to Earth.

And no, Chu and Zhao were not the same. Zhao was a small kingdom, it hired assassin to kill Qin Shi Huang and Qin Shi Huang used the act to justify more expansion and conquest, Chu was a rival state. Chu was famous for having strong people, and the last Chu King said "When Chu falls, Qin will fall next", and Xiang Yu from Chu indeed ended Qin dynasty, quite prophetic, but he later lost to Liu Bang.

There's even myth that the later Cao Cao of the 3 Kingdoms era was a reincarnation of Xiang Yu, this time he triumphed against Liu Bang's descendant, Liu Bei, and officially ended the Han dynasty by Liu Bang.

Posted by: Smith | Mar 22 2021 8:27 utc | 251

I see some commenters comparing this meeting with Hong Men Yan, that's a quite a funny thing to think about it.

The real Hong Men Yan was set up by Xiang Yu to judge and kill Liu Bang if need be, according to the myth, Liu Bang was scared of his life and refused to even eat or drinks for fear of poison, he personally thanked the gods after Xiang Yu let him go, deeming him not dangerous.

I figure this is why the modern Chinese envoy refuses the Alaskan king crab but prefers their own instant noodle instead, poison!

Posted by: Smith | Mar 22 2021 9:13 utc | 252

oldhippie @214 re: Blumenthal (post accidentally on previous thread) and Lurk @216

You could be right about Max Blumenthal. The appearance that "everyone" is compromised could be due to the fact that as soon as anyone gains anything like influence over narrative they attract the attention of the "Operation Mockingbird" crews. Moreover, selling one's soul to the CIA and allied organizations is oftentimes part of the price for attaining positions of influence in the first place. Considering Max' background he was probably born compromised, like Obama was. The "haunted look" that I mentioned could be due to the realization that he walks a fine line and risks life-destroying kompromat being released. Perhaps Max Blumenthal's reversal on a number of positions has been carefully orchestrated to try and fool those on the fringe left into trusting him so he can act as a pipeline of bullshit to them from the CIA.

That is all certainly a possibility. It is also possible that the CIA has no kompromat on Blumenthal, and that he is not an extraordinary actor pretending to see the light, and that his obvious conflictedness is the real thing that you would expect from someone who is working through having made a terrible mistake while at the same time coming to terms with having a monster for a parent.

In any case, the wise person in the current period doesn't explicitly trust anyone in corporate or social media, not even our host here. All could be compromised. There are numerous regular posters here in the discussion threads who are obvious mouthpieces for the establishment narrative du jour and probably on the salary of some State Department run NGO, and I am not even talking about the ones who show up here during elections in America or when damaging news comes out about a major corporation like Boeing. You can never ever shut your bullshit filters down and allow someone you assume to be trustworthy to pour unfiltered narrative into your head. Literally everything you read or hear should be evaluated against your own understanding of how the world works and what is possible within that world.

Sounds exhausting? Not at all! It is actually quite fun. If you need revealed "Truth" that is beyond questioning then you need a priest, not a geopolitical analyst blogger!

With that said, our host here at MoA has never insulted my understanding of how the world works. That doesn't mean explicit trust is warranted but rather that the posts here are excellent starting points for building understanding. While Blumenthal has been demonstrably wrong on some issues in the past, he is not at all stupid and he has contributed to productive discourse. I am not at all suggesting that anyone forget his past stances on Syria and Libya, but rather that he can provide insight that is at time useful. Considering his proximity to the beast, it may not be wise to completely ignore what he says.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2021 12:43 utc | 253

@James I did its at 247

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 22 2021 15:01 utc | 254

@ tannenhouser.... ah, okay.. that was it! i am a lot more verbose then you! cheers james

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2021 16:58 utc | 255

william gruff - thanks for your comments @ 253... hear, hear!! or is it here, here? i think it is the later, lol..

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2021 17:01 utc | 256

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 21 2021 8:27 utc | 197

I am also afraid that Harris may have psycho-drama issues with masculine figures like Putin. She will have to slay the father/masculine figure and get that confused with war and relationships between states. Both US males and females lead with their emotions rather than logic and rationality. The deep state will easily manipulate Harris by playing up to her narcissism and bourgeois feminism.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 22 2021 17:45 utc | 257

Smith 251# 252#

Thank you so much for your informations on those events and the pictures made on them!

I admit I know nothing more about ancient chinese history than what I try to gather from this kind of movies.I buy them on DVD for 1 euro and often there's a lot of kungfu and swords fighting and improbable military practice,but still it gives me insight on the way chinese people value life and nature and loyalty and so on.I'm not able to verify in what measure and what part of this kind of films' content is historical,mythological,delivered by oral tradition,treated in works by contemporaries or later historians or being spiced up by the directors and scenarists.I must watch several times the same movie even just to understand the action.

I'll watch out for the Emperor and the Assassin,thanks you for mentioning!

I don't agree with you on 'Hero'.I think it is an interesting series of alternative narratives of the three conspirators.It's a clever dialogue without rudeness and features beautiful picturesque imagery.

It happened so that I only watched The Last Kingdom for the first time last week,just before I read the words "Hongmen Banquet" in our host's article.I had been trying twice to watch the film in the past,but aborted because of bloody opening scenes of military slaughtering,not what I like . And I never heard of this Hong Men dinner invitation before,it just struck me.Journalist like to refer to historical parrallels for opening an analysis,often it is just that,names dropping to makealiving.

Why Alaska,minus nineteen,smelly hotel ,undecent food or even no food at all?Guess The Chinese party had to pay their hotelrooms as well.Is the public winked into regarding this as valuable form of showing hardlinery to our systemic enemy?Who brings up the idea to receive the most important diplomatic mission so far this year in such very awkward and undignified fashion.?Is the american foreign ministry the theater to a new artform called diplomatic nihilism?

If you understand chinese ,Smith,have you some idea how the man in the street over there is informed about this surrealist happening,and what the people think about that,opinion wise. Maybe later.

Posted by: williew | Mar 22 2021 19:47 utc | 258

@ williew

Ancient history is combined with myth, the older you go, it's harder to separate which is which, let's leave the exact history to the historians, but I shall enjoy the myth and stories.

But generally, if the film has well-painted beautiful structures and gorgeous looking actors/actresses, it's usually fake/inauthentic.

Like the West, the chinese have their high fantasy wuxia/xiansha tales with all the swordfighting, high jumping and magic spell, and they have the rugged "historical fiction" tales like Romance of the 3 Kingdoms or Water Margin, depending on people's taste, but I'm more on the latter.

And no, I myself don't know chinese and don't know much about what modern chinese think, but because I'm a vietnamese, so I know quite a bit about ancient chinese history.

Posted by: Smith | Mar 23 2021 2:24 utc | 259

A small correction at @251, Zhao was not a small state, in fact, Zhao by the times of Qin Shi Huang was one of major states along with Chu.

I was mistaking Zhao with Yan, Zhao actually fought militarily against Qin with Chu for a hearty time, while Yan was the small kingdom that sent Ying Ke.

These pinyin romanizations of chinese names are horrible and easily to be mistaken.

Posted by: Smith | Mar 23 2021 2:33 utc | 260

Thanks again Smith for your interest in my comment.

It's the books of dutch writer Robert van Gulik that made me curious about chinese culture.Now I'm way over sixty y.o. I think I should learn some chinese.

Of course to render chinese words in european languages is a bit of a dodgy enterprise,because transcriptions in french,german and english differ so much between them.Same thing for russian names.

Posted by: willie | Mar 23 2021 11:20 utc | 261

@ willie

You are very welcome.

Always good to see people interests in history and to a larger part, mythology and folk tales.

Posted by: Smith | Mar 23 2021 15:31 utc | 262

China Hit With Sobering Splash of Reality as Alaskan Talks Melt Under Heat of U.S. Belligerence

"What is clear coming out of the Alaska meeting is that the Biden Administration is...

...committed to accelerating the worst elements of the “hard imperial” practices of military encirclement of China while...

...building up the QUAD military alliance [United States, Japan, Australia and India] on the one hand while also...

...advancing the “soft imperial” practices of pulling China into unbreakable de-carbonization treaties and...

...medical health regimes controlled by supranational technocrats on behalf of the Anglo-American oligarchy."

The US got exactly what it wanted from the Alaska Summit.

Posted by: ADKC | Mar 24 2021 23:48 utc | 263

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