Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 15, 2021

Three Recent Failures In Foreign Policy Coordination - Why Is Jake Sullivan Creating Such A Mess?

This was fun to watch.

U.S. Navy ships were supposed to sail into the Black Sea "in a show of support for Ukraine" and to "send a specific message to Moscow" due to "concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia."

Moscow then let it be known that it was not amused about the obviously preplanned provocation: "We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good."

Next the U.S. Navy put its tail between its legs "due to concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine."

So the U.S. wanted to send ships due to "concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia" and then pulled them back due to "concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine".

Here is the trail:

CNN April 9 - US considering sending warships to Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia's increased military presence on Ukraine's eastern border, a US defense official told CNN Thursday.

The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, the official said.
...
The Biden administration and the international community have expressed concerns about mounting tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

MEE April 9 - US notified Turkey about warship deployment in the Black Sea, Ankara says

The United States has notified Turkey that it intends to deploy two warships to the Black Sea amid rising tensions with Russia, Turkish foreign ministry sources said on Friday.

Washington made the notification just over two weeks ago, as required under the Montreux Convention on passage through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.

The warships will stay in the Black Sea until 5 May.

Reuters April 13 - Russia warns Black Sea-bound US warships to stay away from Crimea

Moscow warned the United States on Tuesday to keep its warships away from the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, calling their deployment in the Black Sea a provocation.
...
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was cited by Russian news agencies on Tuesday as warning U.S. warships in the Black Sea to keep their distance, saying the risk of unspecified incidents was very high.

"There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores, this is purely a provocative action. Provocative in the direct sense of the word: they are testing our strength, playing on our nerves. They will not succeed," Ryabkov was cited as saying.

"We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good."

Politico April 15 - U.S. drops plans to send destroyers into the Black Sea due to concerns over Russia

The Pentagon has scrapped a potential Black Sea transit by two Navy destroyers this week due to concerns about escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the plans.
...
The tentative transit, first reported by CNN, was not unusual or designed to send any particular new signal, as the U.S. Navy typically conducts eight or nine such movements per year, the person said.

But after new fighting erupted in Eastern Europe between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists, officials decided not to undertake the transit to avoid needlessly escalating the situation, the person said.

Then came the next funny thing.

Biden asked Putin for a summit in a third country. The Russians then said lets first see how you behave. Next Biden puts 'tough sanction' on Russia for things that it likely did not even do. Result - no summit.

Then there was this silly story about Russia (Iran, China) paying bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers but with no soldiers getting killed. That obvious nonsense was officially buried today:

U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops

[O]n Thursday, the Biden administration announced that U.S. intelligence only had “low to moderate” confidence in the story after all. Translated from the jargon of spyworld, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven—and possibly untrue.

But just yesterday the Biden administration used the very same false bounty claim to justify the sanctions on Russia:

The sanctions will be among what President Biden’s aides say are “seen and unseen” steps in response to the hacking, known as SolarWinds; to the C.I.A.’s assessment that Russia offered to pay bounties to militants in Afghanistan to kill American troops; and to Russia’s yearslong effort to interfere in United States elections, according to American officials and others who have been briefed on the actions.

All three, the ship sending and pullback, the attempt to get a summit with Putin to then issue shortsighted and dangerous sanctions, and the contradicting 'Russian bounty' tale point to badly coordinated policy planning.

Isn't Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Advisor, supposed to plan and coordinate such steps?

So far he has been a creating a total mess.

Posted by b on April 15, 2021 at 17:48 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The Saker believes war is imminent and that the ships pulling back mean war is about to break out.

I am deeply concerned that you got this one wrong, Alabama, and that the US is going to attack Russia after Ukraine invades Donbass.

God help us all.

May God step in and prevent this catastrophe. May God protect the weak and the innocent. May God let cooler heads prevail. Amen.

Posted by: freeman | Apr 15 2021 17:59 utc | 1

I'm not sure the US's plan to stop sending destroyers into the Black Sea is a good sign. There is a new piece by the Saker where he explains that this is exactly what the US would do when they intend to start a war:

http://thesaker.is/the-latest-us-moves-against-russia-open-thread-11/

Looks like war can not be avoided. I hope there will be a Nuremberg trial if we survive.

Posted by: Thomas Bargatzky | Apr 15 2021 17:59 utc | 2

The USG is in complete disarray. They don't know what to do anymore. See this newest blunder:

Hypocritical US puts pressure on China over the environment… but it’s happy for Japan to dump radioactive waste

Kerry thinks the USA has the moral high ground on climate change. But it is him who's traveling to Shanghai.

Soft power only works when you have real power to back it up. Words are worth nothing if the USA isn't capable of imposing its will on the rest of the world.

I said it in February and will repeat it now: Biden's government is degenerating at an alarming speed. Even I - the eternal optimist - didn't foresee that.

Let's hope for the next financial crash to come as soon as possible, so humanity can finally put this old dog of an empire to sleep.

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2021 18:25 utc | 3

Jake Sullivan is making a mess because he is a young man (44) with no particular knowledge, experience, or expertise in anything. He is a lawyer. He is primarily a Hillary Clinton operative.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 15 2021 18:44 utc | 4

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2021 18:25 utc | 3

Totally agree with you on the Biden Regime. A foreign policy best described as "madly off in all directions", or to quote the Bard "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The long overdue financial crash in the west will end a dark chapter and hopefully will turn the page to a more just and honourable future.

The warships by not being in the Black Sea are not sacrificial pawns but will still have a bullseye one them as they enjoy the sun in the Aegean Sea. Tensions are high. We are living in interesting times.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 15 2021 18:49 utc | 5

I think the Saker is reading too much into these events. He's correct that Biden has declared a national emergency regarding Russia but I can't find that he will address the nation tonight as the Saker said.

The most biting sanctions, those affecting Russia's ability to sell debt instruments, don't begin until June 21. Lots can happen between now and then, including Putin's speech next week.

Right now, Biden blinked in pulling back those ships. The sanctions have pissed Russia off immensely. And That's where we're at for the moment.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 15 2021 18:49 utc | 6

My favourite aspect of MoA is how it so often uses MSM and Western Media outlets' bs and inconsistencies to punch holes in their own ridiculous narratives.

Anyone can preach to the converted with equally disingenuous propaganda, but exposing the lies and inconsistencies others' own propaganda and sticking to facts and common sense while quoting their own presumably reliable and legitimate sources is where the real juice is imho.

"They cover our protests so we shall cover their protests" is a bit of a lazy kindergartener approach to strategic information warfare, so hats off to MoA of for pursuing a more intellectual effort and avoiding the race to the bottom approach... RT et al, please take note ;

Ok, so i had the past few days off to go in deeper than usual, but i must say this past week has truly been an interesting one to observe.

Posted by: Et Tu | Apr 15 2021 18:49 utc | 7

Ukraine is ALL Putin's fault. That was his 1st major mistake: letting Ukraine fall. He hesitated know sanctions would be put on his rich buddies and didn't do anything.

USA knew that is how exactly he would behave because of the Game Theory they developed.


Putin never stood up to USA and that was his second mistake. USA kept on advancing placing weapons on Russia's borders. Putin did nothing except complain.

Now USA is gleefully pilling sanctions on Russia's sovereign dept, that will severe hurt Russia's economy and Putin can do nothing, short of issue warnings. USA is laughing daring Russia to do something.
Too bad Putin the Pussy, you are about to see how bad things really are. Ether shit of get off the pot. Now Putin the pussy's back is against the wall and his hands are tied.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Apr 15 2021 18:50 utc | 8

It certainly looks like the civilization war is heating up on the MAD stage...and its way past time for this evolutionary event, whatever may come of it.

But the US stock market is up hundreds of points again today so the delusion continues....until it doesn't ......and that time is looking closer and closer

I can understand the delusional elite wanting to take on Russia instead of China initially but what sort of game plan keeps China from stepping up and changing the game a bit/lot?

And the American public is still focused on Covid and is totally ignorant of international machinations.

Thanks for keeping up b and giving us a place to express our frustrations with our species interactions.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 15 2021 18:54 utc | 9

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 15 2021 18:49 utc | 6

Yeah no disrespect to the S. and wtf do i know compared to him on a technical level, but what often lets his analysis down is a lack of objectivity and a tendency to project bias and validate his own existence by almost wishing for war like scenarios... after all, traffic to his site must go up in times of tension, so in a strange twisted way, he himself is not that different from the MIC we all so much love to hate for their war profiteering.

Posted by: Et Tu | Apr 15 2021 18:59 utc | 10

Woogs @ 6

Took me a while to find it. Biden speaks at 4:30, 20:30 GMT. Saker seems to have had it before google had it.


The level of information in #8 is typical in US, goes to higher levels. Even at levels where most should know better there will be some/many in room who think that way, leaving US policy utterly immobile.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 15 2021 19:01 utc | 11

@ vk


Biden's government is degenerating at an alarming speed.

An airplane without A Pilot will crash, Yes but...

Pilots are trained to crash in specific zone after dumping fuel.
Can explode anywhere.
Or
Too many "pilots", mostly gone crazy, wich one will take control? Land this wreck?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 15 2021 19:02 utc | 12

@MoA "Isn't Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Advisor, is supposed to plan and coordinate such steps?"

Anyone who tries to sell basic items like 'problem solving' and 'working with allies' as the "Secret Sauce of America" to a civilisation that gave us Sun Tzu and just about every spicy sauce and dish one can find in every corner of the planet, clearly lacks the imagination, intellect, cultural and self awareness needed to perform his job effectively.

I saw an overconfident, Ivy League, privileged jock, still thinking he was pitching for Nixon in the 1960's at Mao's peasant table, totally unequipped to grasp the harsh realities of this new century.

I'm afraid it will be plenty of chilli burns at both ends for this simple minded boy who's concept of "sauce" never extended beyond ranch and cheese dressing.

Posted by: Et Tu | Apr 15 2021 19:23 utc | 13

Nice SITREP, and great post in general!

And they Saker..LOL. After he years ago complained bitterly that he contacted Russia asking for payment for his writings, and being snubbed, i can only laugh about that guy.
And his site and community has become like a cult with their guru.
To each their own i guess.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Apr 15 2021 19:31 utc | 14

Whatever happens going forward, clearly, it's because the U$A can't live up to past agreements made with Russia.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shifrinson-russia-us-nato-deal--20160530-snap-story.html

An excerpt;

Moscow solidified its hold on Crimea in April, outlawing the Tatar legislature that had opposed Russia’s annexation of the region since 2014. Together with Russian military provocations against NATO forces in and around the Baltic, this move seems to validate the observations of Western analysts who argue that under Vladimir Putin, an increasingly aggressive Russia is determined to dominate its neighbors and menace Europe.

Leaders in Moscow, however, tell a different story. For them, Russia is the aggrieved party. They claim the United States has failed to uphold a promise that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe, a deal made during the 1990 negotiations between the West and the Soviet Union over German unification. In this view, Russia is being forced to forestall NATO’s eastward march as a matter of self-defense.

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 15 2021 19:32 utc | 15

@oldhippie #11: Yeah, I found it on the White House site. It says Biden will deliver remarks on Russia. I still haven't seen where any networks are carrying it and it certainly doesn't seem to rise to the level of a "special address to the nation tonight" as the Saker put it.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 15 2021 19:36 utc | 16

re- Jake Sullivan: How else would you expect an ass-kissing toady to act?

As for war being "unavoidable." Not. No-one would win anything in this conflict. Not Ukraine, not the immediate environs of Europe, not Turkey, not Russia, and certainly not the US, despite the bluster. As pointed out above, the latter have already made a hash of it. At the very least, the costs for any or all would far outweigh the benefits. Hence, it is eminently avoidable.

As for petitioning a supernatural deity for mercy in the jaded affairs of men - good luck with that.

However, stupidity is well-distributed and unaccountable, so war is not impossible.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Apr 15 2021 19:38 utc | 17

Sending a pair of tin cans into the Black Sea would be meaningless posturing, it's not 1910 anymore and this ain't the Yangtzee… esp after the COOK seems to have gotten some of its electronics fried last go round.

Posted by: bluekayak | Apr 15 2021 20:06 utc | 18

Here is what diper Biden signed and what he is supposed to talk about later this afternoon. Not quite a declaration of war but close. It basically makes being Russian illegale.

https://thesaker.is/executive-order-on-blocking-property-with-respect-to-specified-harmful-foreign-activities-of-the-government-of-the-russian-federation/

Posted by: Durlin | Apr 15 2021 20:06 utc | 19

War? Between US and Russia?
Not a chance.
The US won't even attack Iran, because they know SA's oil will be in flames in 15 minutes.
Even the Fat Boy had this explained to him.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 15 2021 20:07 utc | 20

Too bad Putin the Pussy, you are about to see how bad things really are. Ether shit of get off the pot. Now Putin the pussy's back is against the wall and his hands are tied.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Apr 15 2021 18:50 utc | 8

Principled! As only an armchair warrior can be. That said, the opposing side can field no less than 100 fully trained and equipped battalions of armchair warriors on a moment notice!

Imagine equipment beyond "STARSPACE High Back Big & Tall 400lb Bonded Leather Office Chair Large Executive Desk Computer Swivel Chair - Heavy Duty Metal Base, Adjustable Tilt Angle, Ergonomic Design for Lumbar Support" (I understand that 400lb is the upper limit of the weigh of the user who can still safely rock back etc, so this is a middle weight equipment).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 15 2021 20:12 utc | 21

Putin derangement syndrome Putin critics cite Sputnik V vaccine debacle as attempt to further divide Europe

The article is so filled with unprofessional snark that it is hard to parse out the facts. The short version, 'Russia delivered 200,000 of Sputnik V to Slovakia, the US/NATO handles went ballistic, got the prime minister fired, and stopped the distributions of the vaccine making Putin look evil'

The spin, 'Putin is trying to take over Europe using a divide and conquer strategy, Sputnik V is likely toxic, Russia sent Slovakia a defective product and NATO banded together and rescued the Slovakians. Sputnik V is the only new export product Russia has produced since the end of the Cold War if you ignore grain and advanced military systems (what new things has the U.S. exported?). India should not use Sputnik V because Russia is also selling it to Pakistan (wtf???)

Neocons are evil.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Apr 15 2021 20:14 utc | 22

@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 15 2021 18:44 utc | 4:

Jake Sullivan is making a mess because he is a young man (44) with no particular knowledge, experience, or expertise in anything. He is a lawyer. He is primarily a Hillary Clinton operative.

There are lawyers who study and practice the philosophy of social orders and the necessity of laws to maintain the feasibility of a society's perpetuation. These are lawyers with brains and humanity. Then there are lawyers who knows nothing about humanity, study sophistry and trickeries, then brown nose their passages into power hierarchies. 99.9% of lawyers in the USA are of the second type. They are all over the corporate world and government and even the military.

Yeah, Sullivan is a Killary operative. So is Blinken (who calls Albright his mentor, who in turn calls Killary her mentor). So is the rest of Sleepy Joe's inner circle. Since the clown named Clinton became POTUS, we have all lived in a society dominated by soulless minions proud of their own pettiness, greed, and ignorance. No differences if they called themselves Dem or Rep, same breed of animals.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 15 2021 20:15 utc | 23

@ Durlin | Apr 15 2021 20:06 utc | 19 with the link to the Biden executive order...thanks

I just skimmed it but it seems clear to me that the economic/finance war has begun in earnest. This may be an attempt to front run what Putin is going to say on the 21st.

YES!!! The public/private finance game is on so we are into the final battle(s) of this civilization war. I can't wait to see what China's response will be. Russia is almost totally delinked from the West/sans EU and that nut will be interesting to see pressured....grin

Oh, did you know that the US stock market went up over 300 points today?.......the brainwashing runs deep and wide and will blame all the coming losses on Russia/China, because of course, there could be no structural problem with the top/bottom private financial jackboot system of the West......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 15 2021 20:24 utc | 24

President Biden Delivers Remarks on Russia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxJS1rZbkZg

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 15 2021 20:27 utc | 25

After reading the Reuters April 13, report 2 days ago, I knew that the US would not go through with the provocation of sending the naval ships it was bragging about sending. Biden might be dementia and surrounded by lunatic neocons, but there are still powerful realists behind the power who would rein him in. These realists entertain no illusion about the capacity of Russia.

The Saker is often wrong in interpreting political, even sometimes military, strategies. I can give several pages of instances where he got it all wrong. But I do respect his patriotic passion. I'm under the impression that he is equating the new Russian government with the Soviet regime of the past. That is his mistake.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 15 2021 20:28 utc | 26

Quote : "point to badly coordinated policy planning"

I respectfully disagree with this conclusion. The coordination looks amateurish from your angle, but when viewed from the perspective of a domestic audience, restating the accusations allows the US media to repeat the "election interference" and the "Russian Bounty" lies as fact.

Its interesting the US media coverage of these events is patchy. Reported but not promoted as important. Ukraine actions go completely unreported. As such, when the time comes to announce a major escalation, there "facts" will be reiterated to create an overall impression of evil-doer.

The US appears t be struggling to get its European allies on board. The EU is not relevant any more and Germany is playing its usual two-sided game of keeping the Americans tied down in diplomatic niceties while moving ever closer to Russia and hew energy resources.

The time for explosion is approaching fast.

Posted by: cuiboner | Apr 15 2021 20:48 utc | 27

esp after the COOK seems to have gotten some of its electronics fried last go round.

Posted by: bluekayak | Apr 15 2021 20:06 utc | 18

-----

Nonsense

Chum for gullibles

Posted by: C4 | Apr 15 2021 20:49 utc | 28

If the Russians had some magickal EW-switch they could just flip and disable US Naval Weapons they'd have had no need to scramble a Black Sea flotilla. All they'd have to do is wait for the ships to enter the Black Sea and flip that imaginary switch so many gullibles are convinced they have. Result: US utterly exposed and humiliated

But they don't have any magickal EW Switch, despite what gullibles claim, , that's why they scrambled a flotilla, before the ships were due to enter the Black Sea.

And no, I don't care about any crappy propaganda links you post, in order to dispute or "debunk" what I just said

Posted by: C4 | Apr 15 2021 21:00 utc | 29

@C4 | Apr 15 2021 21:00 utc | 29

Yeah,put all the eggs in one basket, that would be the smart thing to do. Right.

It's pretty clear from this vantage point here why they put you in the infowarrior boiler room and not in the military planning room.

Posted by: Lurk | Apr 15 2021 21:06 utc | 30

Marginally off-topic, but still on the theme of Western governments so hollowed out by neoliberalism that they lack the will, resources and competence to organise a piss-up in a brewery: check-out Australia's management of the vaccine roll-out. Nobody is driving the bus. Just when I thought the monkeys had taken over the zoo I discover it's actually the bananas...

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 15 2021 21:07 utc | 31

Thanks for the link Norwegian. If there's anything serious afoot (by the US) certainly couldn't tell from that.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Apr 15 2021 21:07 utc | 32

Where's Joe? He's 45 minutes late in "delivering remarks on Russia". Maybe he doesn't have an answer to Russia closing the Kerch Strait today.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 15 2021 21:13 utc | 33

@29 C4
What a dumb post on so many tactical levels.

I'd explain to you three big reasons why your trolling is off-the-wall and disconnected from military reality...but I will let you figure that out on your own, as it is the only way you will truly learn.

Posted by: ArthurDent | Apr 15 2021 21:14 utc | 34

@vinnieoh | Apr 15 2021 21:07 utc | 32

He did not say anything of substance, just empty, mumbling rhetoric. But he did mention President Klutin by name :-)

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 15 2021 21:23 utc | 35

Dumb would be believing that Russia has a superduper ultra-seekrit magickal EW Off-switch, one which they already used on USS DCook, thus letting the US know, back in 2015 when there was no real danger, that Russia has this superduper ultra-seekrit magickal EW Off-switch for US ships.

But now, when it might actually be really useful, when there m8ght actually be some real danger, they're suddenly suppossed to be ultra-coy about using it, just in case the US finds out they have it?

Even though they already suppossedly let the US know they have it, back in 2015.

Seriously?

Thats possibly the dumbest argument I've yet heard on this subject (and i heard some really fuckin dumb ones back in 2015)

Posted by: C4 | Apr 15 2021 21:24 utc | 36

The executive order against Russia essentially allows the government to seize anything that it considers related to Russia. One must wonder if Russia is even the main target here, and if perhaps the real purpose is to allow the government to round up dissidents with no evidence or warning.

Posted by: Carl | Apr 15 2021 21:26 utc | 37

So I am watching Biden now and he does not look war-like.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 15 2021 21:27 utc | 38

Just sayin

    "The combination of sanctions and bullshit diplomatic expulsions suggests no kinetic escalation involving NATO, likely no hot war in DPR/LPR. Just bluff and continuation of the neverending media demonisation campaign.

    But probably best to wait to hear the prerecorded message from the dementia patient the media plans to broadcast later tonight

    Posted by: C4 | Apr 15 2021 19:18 utc | 39

Posted by: C4 | Apr 15 2021 21:40 utc | 39

Hm. The summit theater may also be standard narrative management: "Look we tried to go the extra mile for peace, but evil Putin won't even talk to us."

We had an episode like this in the Trump era in the Persian Gulf. People with a military background explained "As long as the US keeps its carriers (aka big juicy targets) in the Gulf, then we're still posturing. When the ships are being withdrawn, that's when you need to start paying attention."

Interesting times.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Apr 15 2021 21:44 utc | 40

Ask Klain, it's a team effort. These scum would bring back Bolt-on if they could.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 15 2021 21:52 utc | 41

Biden speaks:

LIVE: President Biden on Russia sanctions — 4/15/21 – CNBC Television
Streamed live 59 minutes ago

President Joe Biden discusses the U.S. relationship with Russia and his decision to levy sanctions and expel diplomats over the country's interference in the U.S. election and cyber attacks on businesses and the government.

The SolarWinds allegations are totally bogus. It would be impossible for a Russian hacker to insert a spyware backdoor into the SolarWinds source code. This functionality is a part of the design and specification of the system. It was an inside job, either by the CIA in the US or by someone at the Israeli subsidiary of SolarWinds.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 15 2021 22:08 utc | 42


just a tidbit as I like to rewrite these news items/lines in my mind once in a blue moon. anyone ever notice how these things are worded - meaning putting things into a pro-US, anti-Russia perspective. Not incidentally or just once in a while, but consistently in the mainstream US dominated pro-war Western media


pro-war pro-USA pro-interventionist Politico: "But after new fighting erupted in Eastern Europe between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists, officials decided not to undertake the transit to avoid needlessly escalating the situation, the person said."

rewrite: But after new fighting erupted in Eastern Europe between NATO and American-backed Ukrainian soldiers, and Ukrainian separatists, officials decided not to undertake the transit to avoid needlessly escalating the situation, the person said.


just saying.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 15 2021 22:15 utc | 43

Well us foreign policy as implemented by the technocracy on behalf of the owners is about malign and disrupt - not so much about constructive dialog. Why on earth would Putin meet with Biden, what useful purpose could it serve beyond comic relief.

US is without a leader and not agreement capable.

Really Putin missed his chance to say that he would need to delay such a meeting until seeing the outcome of court review of validity of the election. Maybe meet with cab driver from nyc as interim representative.

Posted by: jared | Apr 15 2021 22:20 utc | 44

I know US Navy have been redirected to the South China Sea because of the ongoing disputes and Chinas encroachment on the Philippies eez, this could account for the u-turn regarding the Black Sea as this is a trading route and resources.

Posted by: Kev | Apr 15 2021 22:41 utc | 45

What part of "would not last 30 minutes in the event of outbreak of a shooting match" do people not understand. That an the Roach Motel effect.

I suspect some ship commanders advised the administration of Winkin, Blinkin and Nod that he would not be getting his shiny destroyer all scuffed up for their enternainment and profit.

Posted by: jared | Apr 15 2021 22:41 utc | 46

The pendulum swung,
Turkey beware of your Path..
Or The 3rd Rome,
Byzantium hath..


https://southfront.org/turkish-service-members-spotted-in-ukraines-mariupol/

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 15 2021 22:44 utc | 47

RT reporting:

"Biden calls for de-escalation of tensions with Russia after placing sanctions over unproven charges of hacking & election meddling"

https://www.rt.com/russia/521185-biden-speech-russia-diplomacy/

main points:
- sanctions proportionate
- hope the US and Russia could “launch a strategic dialogue” that would help advance his agenda on Iran, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, among other things.
- hope that Russia will not respond to the US sanctions. (!)
- “Now is the time to de-escalate. The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and diplomatic process. The US is prepared to move forward constructively with that process,” he told reporters.

Posted by: JB | Apr 15 2021 22:56 utc | 48

The US metal cans full of poor cretins and suitable for target practice not rolling into Black Sea is a bad sign.

Posted by: Kiza | Apr 15 2021 23:00 utc | 49

Odd how Putin challenges Biden to have a live debate after Biden agrees with George Stephanopoulos (who was leading him on) that Putin is a "killer" - and the US government tells Moscow that Biden is "too busy".

Now just four weeks later Biden proposes a summit with Putin to discuss apparent Russian bad behaviour that impedes or prevents the US from pursuing its goals and self-interest around the world.

No wonder Moscow doesn't want to have anything to do with the White House: the Biden government has no memory of what it said or did a month ago and shows no self-awareness or self-knowledge, much less any understanding of how to treat other nations with respect.

No surprise really - the Biden government is as plagued with dementia as the US President is.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 15 2021 23:03 utc | 50

Although they ARE exceptional cowards, I am sure the ships were pulled back on the insistence of US military advisors. Even the relatively intellectually-challenged of the US military leadership know that there is no point placing your warship ducks in a guaranteed duck shoot situation when you are preparing to launch a military provocation.
TEP.

Posted by: TEP | Apr 15 2021 23:12 utc | 51

@50 Jen - the Biden government is as plagued with dementia as the US President is

I always thought that Trump was the perfect representation of the state of US governance (a flailing shit show), and when I saw that the Democrats were actually intending to run Biden, it was clear that the state of the US had moved into the post-flailing stage of shit show.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 15 2021 23:13 utc | 52

If it were the US in Russias position, the bombs would be dropping. But Putin seems to take pride in being restrained, rational, pragmatic. Putin has the upper hand, will want concessions from Ukraine which Z cannot provide. Zelensky will need Putins help to climb down.

Posted by: jared | Apr 15 2021 23:38 utc | 53

How to declare war while trying to sound high-minded and nonaggressive...

Posted by: Carl | Apr 15 2021 23:59 utc | 54

Total mess? He's obviously desperate to create a conflict to scuttle NordStream II by any means possible. And right on cue the Zelensky regime is back to threatening action against the Donbass republics.

It doesn't look like a total mess to me, it looks like a plan to shut down NordStream II.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 16 2021 0:31 utc | 55

Meanwhile, Evil Vladimir Putin has armed the pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk with giant Robocop mechawarriors to intimidate the populace.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/2704419/armed-robots-loom-streets-rebel-controlled-donetsk/

Posted by: _K_C_ | Apr 16 2021 0:56 utc | 56

As I said before on this very board, the US is desperate for normalization with Russia, but Democrats need to defuse their own Russiagate mines first (concocted to stonewall Trump's initiatives), as well as to refute the inevitable Republican blowback (even though those are mostly standard CFR-designed "good cop/bad cop theatrics) for being "weak on Russia".
All of these latest seemingly contradictory and nonsensical events are mere clean-up work, burning the piles of anti-Russian garbage that got accumulated since 2014. You dispose of it, bit by bit, by assigning punishment, then move along to rapproachment. Putin will let Americans go through these formalities without making much fuss, I believe.
The only reason that "foreign policy specialist" Biden got ushered into the White House is to fix Russia file. That's all there is to it. One must be a tough Cold War veteran with impeccable Russophobic credentials to do it, that's how US foreign policy works. The reason Trump was not allowed to do that is simply because he was to open and eager about it, which was seen as damaging the US negotiating position.
So what happens now? Biden is too old and too frail to proceed at leisurely pace, so the summit will take place pretty quickly, probably no later than the first week of June, and subsequent meetings will be scheduled at pretty short intervals. Since America gets weaker with the passage of time, and Russia stronger, it's in the US interest to strike grand bargain as quickly as possible, since procrastination steadily changes balance of power in Moscow's favor.

Posted by: Venom | Apr 16 2021 0:58 utc | 57

India should not use Sputnik V because Russia is also selling it to Pakistan (wtf???)

Neocons are evil.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Apr 15 2021 20:14 utc | 22

At least, COVID-19 seems to like Indians better. But what it loves most is USA and allies. Mm, tasty, and the smell of freedom!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2021 1:22 utc | 58

Carl 37

" and if perhaps the real purpose is to allow the government to round up dissidents with no evidence or warning."

Exactly my supposition.
This might even be aimed at Americans who are simply friends with Russians or even have professional contacts, etc.

Posted by: Jane | Apr 16 2021 1:50 utc | 59

Joe Biden is following diktats from Xi Jinping(who has the goods on his family): drive Russia in our arms, we need them to physically connect overland to Iran, the EU etc!

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 16 2021 1:52 utc | 60

Biden's "national emergency" imposes sanctions on SouthFront.

https://southfront.org/national-emergency-biden-administration-is-obsessed-with-southfront/

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 16 2021 1:58 utc | 61

@ Posted by: Venom | Apr 16 2021 0:58 utc | 56

What the USA really, really wants (the perfect scenario) would be for Russia to be extinct and partitioned (balkanized). That's what's probably written or at least heavily implied in the still classified Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992).

The idea of partitioning Russia (Russia proper, not the borderland conquests acquired over the centuries since Ivan the Terrible) is an old one, and the first attempt to do that was made the Third Reich (Generalplan Ost). Generalplan Ost intended to partition Russia up to the Urals (i.e. European Russia) into at least three different provinces (Siberian, Moscow and Caucasus/Southern), each one to be ruled by a military governor (Reichskommissar), with absolute power. Adolf Hitler had as his model State the ancient city (polis) of Sparta, so these provinces would be essentially rural, maintained with Slavic slave labor in the fields, probably a la the old American South (Confederate States of America, CSA), with large metropoleis in the middle. The goal of these provinces would be to give an eternal surplus of food and other commodities to the center of the Reich, so that the Aryan Race (the Germans and the Scandinavians) could live happily ever after (The Thousand Year Reich).

The Americans, albeit not fans of the "agriculturalization" model (their liberal ideology preached for the development of the world market and, therefore, of the development of the correspondent institutions - hence the decision to rebuild Japan and Germany post-WWII), certainly inherited the Third Reich's obsession with the balkanization of Russia. On such a plan (for the entire Russia proper, not just the European part of it) leaked from a think tank presentation some years ago, and it envisaged I think at least six or seven different countries (including the restoration of the old Duchy of Moscow, probably to be an Orthodox fundamentalist shithole a la those random Middle East nations).

Years passed and, by now, the USA has probably realized the partition of Russia won't happen anytime soon, so they are going for the next best thing: separate it from China. It is only in this context that we can speculate the USA wanting to normalize relations with Russia. Even then it would be a mistake to think the USA wants ever to become allies with Russia, as the condition of the American Empire as the sole empire in the world rests on the assumption an Eurasian Empire or its political-economic equivalent will never rise.

Posted by: vk | Apr 16 2021 2:04 utc | 62

I'm in the belief that shit will start with Russia first.

Russia is wounded, isolated. You see China visiting the US, and now the US visits China, and volumes of trade actually speed up.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 16 2021 3:28 utc | 63

@ Smith | Apr 16 2021 3:28 utc | 61 who wrote
"
Russia is wounded, isolated.
"

Got any proof of that?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 16 2021 3:35 utc | 64

@56 Venom

the US is desperate for normalization with Russia

Most unlikely. At this point RU + China alliance is cemented in place by lack of finesse from the US side. To make it even harder, and it will be too many years before US can again make credible promises to anyone, after all the treaties that were abrogated.

In addition to this, there is personal animosity from the Biden camp, who were accused of improprieties in Ukraine.

IMO the State Dept is simply using the non- military weapons at its disposal before they reach their expiration date in the next 5-10 years.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 16 2021 3:45 utc | 65

@ Piotr Berman 57

Imported Sputnik V to be available this quarter: Dr. Reddy’s

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 16 2021 3:49 utc | 66

@ psychohistorian

The dissolution of the USSR left a deep wound in Russia that has not been cured, and to my knowledge, Russia is not in any military alliance.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 16 2021 3:55 utc | 67

Mr Smith, 61, thinks Russia is wounded and isolated.

Not in the universe I inhabit, it isn't.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 16 2021 4:19 utc | 68

Hehehe...
It's adorable watching them pretend to be grownups,...
Right?
Of course, it was also adorable to watch them pretend to have an election (or whatever)...
And, it was adorable to watch them pretend to be the government of a nation of living human beings...
Right?
What do these silly bitches do for an encore?

Posted by: Josh | Apr 16 2021 4:45 utc | 69

I'm not sure blaming it all on a single individual of the Biden administration is the right approach. Biden suffers from dementia. It was pretty clear right from the beginning of his presidency that he would be a weak leader.

I think what we see here is infighting within the administration. Different factions of the deep state implement their mutual exclusive agendas simultaneously.

The national security advisor doesn't have the authority to resolve such conflicts, that would be the presidents job.

Posted by: m | Apr 16 2021 4:55 utc | 70

@ Posted by: Carl | Apr 15 2021 21:26 utc | 37

The executive order against Russia essentially allows the government to seize anything that it considers related to Russia. One must wonder if Russia is even the main target here, and if perhaps the real purpose is to allow the government to round up dissidents with no evidence or warning.

Next week with China?

Does "somebody" really want to disconnect $ so quickly?
Is financial war less destructive?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 5:35 utc | 71

All these events sounds like earthquakes before the volcanic eruption.

But we are on the precipice of war.

Posted by: AV17 | Apr 16 2021 5:36 utc | 72

The Saker errs on the side of Armageddon mostly.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Apr 16 2021 5:41 utc | 73

Dump your $$ and get real assets, precious metals, etc. Time is running out..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 16 2021 6:22 utc | 74

@Jezabeel | Apr 16 2021 5:41 utc | 73

The Saker errs on the side of Armageddon mostly.

Reluctantly, I have to agree on this. The latest threads have been off the charts. Granted, the situation in Ukrain is very serious, but compared to for example Alexander Mercouris' analyses the Saker threads seem overly hysterical.

Also, the Orlov article on Ukraine was very odd indeed. The Kiev coup authorities have tried to ethnically cleanse the Donbass since 2014, and Orlov's article proposes to 'evacuate' the inhabitants of Donbass to Russia, and expect to be taken seriously.

Finally, the moderation policy on 'a certain topic' over there does not signal a very strong belief in factual arguments.

All of this is a pity, because I have found The Saker analyses quite informative for a long time. I will continue to read them, but have to increase the level of skepticism and questioning in the future.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 16 2021 6:28 utc | 75

What the world will be like after a nuclear war is unclear, but today many people see nuclear weapons as another tool or option that can be used to defend against attack. The nuclear deterrent we currently have is a hundred times greater than is necessary to stop any sane or reasonable person from attacking America. From here - https://politus.ru/politics/4755-mnenie-iz-ssha-garantirovannoe-vzaimnoe-unichtozhenie-ne-ostavit-pobeditelej.html

Posted by: Serg | Apr 16 2021 6:32 utc | 76

@ Serg

It's not about other countries attacking USA, it's always about USA attacking other countries.

And their two most primal targets have nukes (Russia, China) or is developing nuke (Iran).

So the question is: are the US elites crazy enough for this shit to go out of hands?

Posted by: Smith | Apr 16 2021 7:11 utc | 77

Piotr Berman | Apr 15 2021 20:12 utc | 21

you are on fire Pete, have you considered standup comedy?

your warrior armchair needs an enhancement, I suggest building in a toilet such as the one Frito used. That way the warrior never has to make the decision to get off the pot.

with another reference to Idiocracy which is turning out to be a documentary made before the fact, it seems we could have another Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho in the form of Dwayne Johnson aka "The Rock"

Posted by: dan of steele | Apr 16 2021 7:27 utc | 78

The inconsistency in policy seems in line with the recent Atlantic Council adjacent hysteria about a "dovish" appointment by Biden. "Dovish" being just the flip side to "Hawkish" within logic of Atlantic empire, but it can result in incoherencies like this, especially when empire still doesn't care to acknowledge facts or laws, but persists in trying to "create its own reality" (a belief which in other contexts results in mental hospitalization).

Posted by: Bud | Apr 16 2021 8:06 utc | 79

Russia won. US lost.

All our erstwhile ‘allies’ will want to be on the side that is winning. Russophobia matters less when it becomes clear which way the wind is blowing.

Ukraine has no future. Russia will make a choice to move in and clean up the place or just let it fester. When they choose there is nothing in their way.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 16 2021 8:29 utc | 80

Contrary to the rest of you I think the US did have a "Plan". Only they have lost it.

***

The original plan went something like this
1) Build up Ukranian forces on the Donbas border - without ANY MSM coverage.
2) Provoke Russia into sending troops INTO Donbas
3) Blame Russian agression
4) Scream, jump up and down (as a good comedian can) hollaring for help.
5) Send in NATO to... securise, save (?) occupy Ukraine.
6) Get Biden to wave hot and cold, sanctions and peace meetings, alternatively.

End of segment.

What DID happen is that Russia did NOT send in troops into Donbas. (They don't need to as the range of the modern weapons being sent to the area allows them to stay in Russia and simply bombard the Ukes from a distance. (80km for artillery and 120km for missile batteries)
That the buildup was all out of proportion to what had been expected.
That waving Weimar type flags did not have the same effect as a red rag in front of a bull.

So now what to do?
US/UKes; Small scale provocations and lots of finger waving.

Russian reply; One upward pointed finger in their general direction.


Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 16 2021 8:31 utc | 81

All Joe Biden got in Ukraine was a few million to support his son’s hookers and blow habit.

The only negotiations Biden has ever done or ever understood are the ones that bring a few million for hookers and blow. The whole US foreign policy establishment is busy making Biden feel like he is still that man. He’s not.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 16 2021 8:38 utc | 82

Biden is Obama 2.0.

Obama pivoted to Asia (the TPP) but started real shit in Ukraine.

Hillary was supposed to follow up on that, but Trump puts a chaotic mess that slows down the Empire somewhat.

Now Biden is back, and we still see pivot to Asia (the Squad, except this time seriously), but the real shit will again start in Ukraine, can be low intensity conflict or straight out war.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 16 2021 8:43 utc | 83

Stonebird #81

I appreciate that analysis but I feel sure the USA military would have gamed out that long range potshot scenario, but then there was the Vietnam Tet offensive all those years ago that severely demolished USA self confidence. Staying with the Vietnam tactical superiority over the USA for a moment, I do see the Uke SS forces crowded onto the border line as being in a similar position to the French forces at Dien Bien Phu. There is no easy retreat as the Russian force has the capacity to erase every major road and rail leading to the west. This map indicates the rail vulnerability. The trapped French forces had to rely on a crappy airstrip for supply and that was howitzered to oblivion early in the assault. There is little luxury for air replenishment in the face of concerted Russian defense.

The do nothing scenario is unlikely IMO. I cannot see Russia permitting the Donbass to degenerate into another Palestine where the Ukes just execute random civilians at will and no response. The Russian heart has compassion and is unlikely to tolerate comrades summarily executed by the Uke SS.

I suspect there will be a brief period of response after Uke SS attacks and that it is likely that Russia will step quite quickly to eliminate one command centre as an initial warning.

I cannot see the european states being united behind the USA in this situation. That could be a wild card in USA calculations.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 16 2021 10:02 utc | 84

Ukr prez in Paris today.
Fr just received 2 Mo doses of Pfizer that were unexpected.
And if Germany announces the end of NS2 they also receive their orders?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 16 2021 10:07 utc | 85

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 16 2021 8:31 utc | 81

Yes, I like that too. Remember, this is Neocon planning. You can take certain things for granted:

1.) They are trying to be clever, to be tricky.
2.) They assume their enemy is simple, not paying attention.
3.) Usually they attempt a distraction.
4.) They are not clever, they are crude, con men, and their plans are simple too.
5.) They like to have massive firepower on their side as a backup.
6.) Which is not the case here. Hmmm. I think that is where Putin upset their plans.
Just like you say. Both at large and at small. He can shoot back.
7.) And they get really upset and angry when they are outsmarted.

This comes of fighting lots of enemies who are not ready.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 16 2021 10:50 utc | 86

uncle tungsten | Apr 16 2021 10:02 utc | 84
Unfortunately, being a bit more realist, I have to agree with you. At least in part. Where I see the problem is that the Russians won't want to "start" hostilities. So how to get out of a stalemate? Provoke the Ukes in turn?

One additional information is the giving of Russian passports to many Ukranian Russian speakers. They needed something to be able to access pensions and social services. (half a million?). Russians do have a heart as you say. This creates a potential "fifth-column" or simply a loss of visible support for Zelensky. The Uke troops have been seen doing road duty, checking the papers of those in cars etc. The Russian speakers can also compare Crimea and Ukeland, note that they have been forbidden to use their own language etc. Any division before has been accentuated by Zelensky.

I see that the Belarussians are also noting new NATO command centers being installed and other moves close to their borders. (Which, since if Bels does get involved puts Kiev in the middle of a Rus.-Bellarus front). NATO has been rattled from their preconceptions - or planned?

So overall, it depends on what the Killiarists in Washington think they can get away with. As you say though, Putin cannot let the situation fester.

Re; Russian manoeuvres independently from the Donbas situation.
I think the Front here is financial. But not "just" NS2, more the breaking off from the US controlled system. Anything can happen. New crypto-currency, Gold standard, New Swift version (already exists but needs more participants)? April 22?

PS. They need someone to do a "London metro" on their train plan.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 16 2021 10:59 utc | 87

Bemildred | Apr 16 2021 10:50 utc | 86

Two more
8) They always underestimate the resistance to themselves.
9) They always overestimate their technological "advance" over others.

I could have put those in a simpler form; "They believe their own spin".

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 16 2021 11:27 utc | 88

I strongly believe that like in stock exchange, the US global decision making is governed by some sort of algorithm that permanently analyses the situation and based on god-knows-what fluctuating parameters draws figures and issues recommendations in real-time that the people in the administration follow blindly. That's the only explanation I can come with in front of such "inconsistency" ...

Posted by: Conglomera | Apr 16 2021 11:51 utc | 89

your warrior armchair needs an enhancement, I suggest building in a toilet such as the one Frito used. That way the warrior never has to make the decision to get off the pot.

with another reference to Idiocracy which is turning out to be a documentary made before the fact, it seems we could have another Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho in the form of Dwayne Johnson aka "The Rock"

Posted by: dan of steele | Apr 16 2021 7:27 utc | 78

You are talking about serious military equipment, too expensive to equip the vast majority of armchair battalions. Pilots of bomber planes fly for many hours and must be able to operate without bathroom breaks, but cost of such seats runs in six digits (more? complete with massage of muscles, thorough cleaning and drying etc.?). Rank and file has to operate on shifts and with breaks for body needs. And then you have denizens of troll farms working in low wage regions...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2021 11:57 utc | 90

@ Venom (57) Re: "As I said before on this very board, the US is desperate for normalization with Russia"

I think all the evidence shows that you were wrong then and you are still wrong now. If the US wants normalisation they have a totally bizarre way of showing it.

Q) "We want normalisation with Russia, how do we achieve it?"
A) "I know, lets use non-stop lies and defamation, impose new and unfair sanctions on Russia on the basis of that bullshit and expel another bunch of Russian diplomats, that should do it"

Or perhaps it depends on your definition of normalisation?

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 16 2021 12:16 utc | 91

How about this as the plan. The US tells the Ukrainians to escalate, which they do, but it hurts. The Ukrainians then agree to go around Europe collecting money and showing that they need to buy arms to defend themselves from an unpredictable Russia. Europe nods and agrees, and grows even more wary of Russia. The Ukrainians then spend all their new loans and grants on US and NATO weapons. Job done.

Posted by: Jeremn | Apr 16 2021 12:36 utc | 92

Never underestimate the power of American Exceptionalism and its overriding influence on imperial decision-making. Never!

Too many people are assuming rational decisions from America. The logic is that Russia has obvious conventional warfare escalation dominance over Ukraine and NATO, and the American leadership must be able to see that. It is clear that if America pushes forward with the offensive then the empire's rabid attack dogs will get euthanized. There is no way America would want that, is there?

First and foremost, America could really care less how many ukrapoids get snuffed. In fact, the more on both sides the better. To Americans there is no difference between Ukrainians and Russians, so as long as some of them die then it is all good. It is just a bum fight to the Americans; no matter who loses the empire wins.

Secondly, America's strategists firmly believe that they have ultimate escalation dominance. America has nukes, and more importantly America has the willingness to use them, unlike the Russians and the Chinese. You don't really think Obama ordered a trillion dollars worth of tactical nukes just for them to look pretty on a shelf, did you? Nuking Donetsk would signal to the world in unmistakable terms that "America is back!"

"We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

― Karl Rove

The reader might protest that America would never do anything like that because then Russia would retaliate with atomic weapons too and that would be the end of civilization, but then the reader is underestimating the power of American Exceptionalism. I warned you not to do that.

No one would use nukes against America because they wouldn't dare! America can use and has used nukes because America is the exception to all rules. I am not saying that America intends to use nukes, but they are certainly on the escalation path. Nukes will be America's "last word" if their imagined overwhelming air superiority is not enough to compel the Russians to kneel.

America is still on for war.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2021 13:34 utc | 93

@ MarkU(91) "Or perhaps it depends on your definition of normalisation?"

Perhaps it depends on how one defines the US.

Many analysts and commenters point out the apparently contradictory approach to foreign policy, which has arguably been normalized going back a fair few years; the most memorable example for me was the cease-fire in Syria which the Russians hammered out with John Kerry over the period of a month (or months?), that US broke hours after it went into effect with a strike on Syrian positions. While a number of people justifiably attribute these sort of contradictions to American duplicity, or perhaps less justifiably to intergalactic 4D-chess, there's also the ever present possibility of an internal power struggle being ultimately responsible for irrational policy.

If we take this possibility for granted, prioritizing domestic perception of allegiance to a cause over actual gains in the international arena makes sense as a defense mechanism for staving off an otherwise looming coup, and explains the numerous cases where US officials in contact with their foreign counterparts demonstrate a radical dissonance in their private and public positions. One memorable case would be Obama pleading with then President Medvedev not to push him on some issue until after re-election, since that would afford him more flexibility. If one is to believe Russian officials, this is a general trend in American politics, and I view Putin's invitation to Biden, of a public discussion, precisely in this context. I don't exclude that Biden is as deferential to Putin in their private talks as was Poroshenko, even apologetic about having to maintain appearances otherwise, but I do suspect Russian officials have finally had enough and refuse to play along, at least until they get some substantial concessions.

Posted by: Skiffer | Apr 16 2021 13:34 utc | 94

People still think America wars to win, that might be used to a thing, but now?

Take it from a Vietnamese, America wars to make chaos, as much as much as possible, so their wars must be as long as possible. This was their modus operandi, it happened in Korea with the two regimes, it happened with Taiwan and China, and it happens with Ukraine and Russia.

Currently, a potential war in East Europe would be disastrous and thus can be milked endlessly, and as other commenters have said, Russia must be very quick and resolute about it this time.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 16 2021 13:51 utc | 95

Re: Posted by: Venom | Apr 16 2021 0:58 utc | 57

Thanks for your thoughts, but you are wrong about a few things, including this - there will be NO meeting between Putin & Biden in June.

No chance.

I believe you will see the new Iranian President invited to Moscow (or Sochi) to meet Putin before there is any meeting between Putin & Biden.

So that will probably take place in July, or perhaps August, there is plenty to discuss between Putin and a new Iranian President - Syria, JCPOA/Europe, Gas/Oil to Syria and elsewhere from Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq & Kurds etc, China - so much to discuss.

Russia & Iran will want to be sure they are on the same page on all these issues before Putin is interested in the slightest in meeting with Biden.

I don't see any chance of a Putin-Biden meeting before September/October/November once the new Iranian President is settled in.

Russia needs to co-ordinate it's strategy on Iran before entertaining idiots like Biden.

Posted by: Julian | Apr 16 2021 13:55 utc | 96

Mr. William Gruff

I concur.

An Exceptionalist mind-set informs the war-line Judeo-Christians of the United States.

They think and act as though they are invincible.

That is why when the war comes and they are soundly defeated, they would be so dangerous - "stab in the back" followed by lashing out.

Because, per their religion, Success is a sign of God's approval and Failure is sign of God's disapproval.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 14:00 utc | 97

"Isn't Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Advisor, supposed to plan and coordinate such steps? So far he has been a creating a total mess."

This mess appears, to me, to be due to an absence of leadership at the top.

Biden is an empty suit, and in this situation the different power centers are each running their own agendas.

1. The State Department is full of russophobes. They can't wait to 'take care of Russia' and are behind this escalation in the Ukraine.

2. The military are focused on China. They don't want to provoke Russia into a war that they know that they can't win, and are the ones who forced the U.S. to back off.

3. The 'Israeli Firsters' are focused on Iran. They are upset with the State-Department's push for the Iran nuclear deal.

4. The CIA is interested in protecting their drug business in Afghanistan. They are upset with the military trying to get out of the mess in Afghanistan.

So what we see is typical of a 'headless monster' - full blown anarchy.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 16 2021 14:23 utc | 98

@ Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 16 2021 14:23 utc | 98

But that's the feature of capitalism, isn't it? The free and anarchic competition of ideas for State power. That's the free world Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. envisaged in 1947.

Posted by: vk | Apr 16 2021 15:20 utc | 99

Posted by: vk | Apr 16 2021 15:20 utc | 99

'But that's the feature of capitalism, isn't it?' - referring to 'Anarchy'

VK, -I don't think so!

- 'Capitalism' or rather markets are part of the 'complex auto-creative systems' of human society, which live in a chaotic environment and as a result evolve in chaotic ways.

- The development of 'complex auto-creative systems' leads to increasing order. For human societies this means increasingly complex and high performing societies, of which markets are an important element.

However, this increasing order within 'complex auto-creative systems' defies the tendency of nature which is toward increasing disorder (i.e. refer to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).

- One of the requirements for auto-creativity is 'bounded (constrained) instability'. The 'bounds' (constraints) are the rules that govern the system (or society) and limit the scope of actions to prevent the systems from degrading.

- 'Anarchy' is the state of 'no rules', 'no constraints'. Under anarchy you always get increasing disorder, which is, by definition, degradation.

What we are seeing in the U.S. now is anarchy and degradation.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 16 2021 16:01 utc | 100

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