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

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

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

If he is still alive (and well) 😁

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 16:14 utc | 101

@ dh-mtl.. i appreciate and thank you for your considered posts.....

ditto b for highlighting this madness which is exactly what it is.. thank you.. i have been too busy to keep up.. i am sure there are many worthwhile comments on this thread, but i am unable to get to them all..

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2021 16:15 utc | 102

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

'complex auto-creative systems'

My fucking god...

People should stop and read the terms they invent before they post them.

Posted by: vk | Apr 16 2021 16:32 utc | 103

@ Mina
2 Millions doses of Pfizer? Made in Germany (Bio Tech)

We operate three GMP-certified manufacturing facilities in Germany, where we manufacture mRNA therapeutics and engineered cell therapies for our own pipeline and for external customers

"Mais c'est pas tout..."

Sputnik V - soon "Made in Germany"?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 16:40 utc | 104

So how is Jake Sullvan? He keeps out of the news mostly, leaving it to Blinken it seems.

I have found nothing so far. Surely he has explained the grand strategy for USA leadership of world affairs ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 16 2021 16:52 utc | 105

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


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

And read a few days ago (don't remember who)... D&L are not only comrades BUT most of them RUSSIAN CITIZEN.
Putin said, in an interview for a Russian documentary “The World Order 2018,” adding that “as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?”

We can be quite certain that Russia has the most diverse and precise capabilities and will to deter or punish any rational adversary.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 16:57 utc | 106

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 16:40 utc | 105

Bernard, considering Mina, whoever that may be:

And if Germany announces the end of NS2 they also receive their orders?
Posted by: Mina | Apr 16 2021 10:07 utc | 85

Any idea what this is about? Too lazy to try to figure it out. NS2 Germany to receive orders? From Washington? What orders?

Posted by: LeaNder | Apr 16 2021 17:40 utc | 107

I for one am very glad that Jake Sullivan is creating a mess and hope he will continue doing so for the next four or so years, as long as that mess does not include a real live war where people die. Also, the fact that he is changing his mind every few days is a good thing providing he stays away from any war. After all Russian on-the-job training is re-educating him very quickly.

BTW, anyone who thinks that there will be a war very shortly has obviously forgotten the sights they saw in the American-Iraq war 1 and particularly American-Iraq War 2 where it took the US and it's allies over four months to prepare for their act of aggression involving SEAD and force build up, even when Iraq's defences had already been severely depredated in American-Iraq War 1.The American way of war, because they really don't understand war, is the build up and application of vast amounts of materiel. If there is any "shock and awe" in World War 3, it'll be applied to US and NATO forces just as they are finally forming up to be ready to attack Russia, the time at which those forces are at their most vulnerable. Never forget that the Red Army god of war was its artillery and missile forces.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 16 2021 17:46 utc | 108

@ LeaNder | Apr 16 2021 17:40 utc | 108
I guess Mina was making an easy joke for those who know the plight of the Macron regime in the face of the epidemic and lack of vaccine. France supports the Ukis and Ze and has just received 2 million doses from Pfizer... Coincidence? Mina therefore proposed to Germany to announce the blocking of NS2 in order to receive its order. I was only pointing out that Pfizer Vaccine is more German than American and that it is also produced in Germany

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 17:57 utc | 109

As former CIA director Michael Hayden has said, "If it was a fact, it wouldn't be intelligence."

Posted by: Keith McClary | Apr 16 2021 18:02 utc | 110

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, ...

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

In part I agree. The interest of American Administration is first and foremost, to appear well to the domestic audience. The latter could not care less if the actions are well coordinated or not. Moreover, nonsensical aspects have their use: they open the Administration to criticism, and that criticism is tabulated to reveal pro-Russian trolls and dupes, fake news sources etc.

Deplorables do not care at all, sophisticates like the readers of NYT and WP will approve any new sanctions on Russia.

However, there is a limit to "productive solipsism", namely the steps satisfying the domestic audience can create a real and obvious disaster. Ukrainian military kills civilians in "occupied territories" with increased frequency, and either they will be emboldened to actual attack or at some points the shelling of civilians will get a more drastic response and a bloodbath will begin. This opens the possibility of Russian troops entering through the least defended sectors of the border, getting behind Ukrainian lines, being greeted with bread and salt by the locals who hate the Kiev government, etc. etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2021 18:17 utc | 111

Bernard F. @107: "We can be quite certain that Russia has the most diverse and precise capabilities and will to deter or punish any rational adversary."

Yes, and therein lies the problem. The empire is not a rational adversary at the moment. It has not been for many years.

First of all the Americans are certain that the Russians would never nuke America. That would be like nuking heaven! America is where Hollywood and Disneyland and Miami Beach are. Even as evil as the Russian are they would never harm such monuments to cultural perfection.

If the Russian do decide to retaliate with nukes then most of them just won't work. Americans are sure that Russia's atomic weapons are old and rusty, and think that most of Russia's weapons were probably just mockups and nonfunctional display models anyway.

If any of Russia's old nuclear weapons do somehow manage to leave the ground and approach America then the Exceptional Americans know that America has "frickin' laser beams" that can shoot them right out of the air.

So a Russian nuclear warhead somehow avoids being blasted by America's "frickin' laser beams"? No problem! Once that missile sees the pure awesomeness that is America that its evil Russian masters have commanded it to destroy it will turn around and commit suicide out over the ocean.

If by some incredible chance a Russian nuke somehow gets past all of that then Bruce Willis will take care of it. After an exciting chase scene the nuclear warhead will blow up far from Kim Kardashian or anyone else important and Bruce Willis himself will emerge from the atomic fireball with a very photogenic scratch on his bicep.

Despite America having been at war continuously for decades few Americans have a realistic conception of what war is, and even fewer can imagine it happening at home. The notion that Russia would retaliate if America "bloodied their nose" is simply inconceivable to Exceptional Americans.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2021 18:36 utc | 112

@ 113 wg... praise the lord, or bruce willis as the case may be!! lolol...

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2021 18:50 utc | 113

@Bernard F.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 16 2021 19:01 utc | 114

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2021 18:36 utc | 113

Asmarilda will be waiting with the yellow cab. That's how Bruce pronounces Esmeralda, they teach foreign languages good over there.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 16 2021 19:07 utc | 115

There is no tendency in Nature towards increasing disorder.
Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 16:11 utc | 101

Yes there is -- it's called entropy. Look it up.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 16 2021 19:16 utc | 116

Posted by: Mina | Apr 16 2021 19:01 utc | 115

Considering an ongoing conversation with a British classmate, who is British by now, are you a Briton?

NS2 stands for what? Germany to be receiving orders from Washington?

We are way too preoccupied with upcoming elections in late September for anyone over here willing to make spectacular moves. I surely hope after too. Trump was a very, very helpful experience. Personally I hope it lasts.

Posted by: LeaNder | Apr 16 2021 19:20 utc | 117

But then we have this from couple days ago...The head of US forces in Europe, General Tod Wolters, was giving evidence to the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington when he was asked about the risk of invasion in that timeframe. The general insisted the chances were ‘low to medium,’ adding that it would depend on a number of factors but, based on the current trajectory and disposition of Russian forces, that likelihood would start to wane...

So is this more realistic and sensible and shows up a reality that is militarily assessed and not a Ukraine and Baltic Germanic USArussophobic hysteria?

Posted by: Jo | Apr 16 2021 19:27 utc | 118

@ William
No countries for old men

The notion that Russia would retaliate if America "bloodied their nose" is simply inconceivable to Exceptional Americans.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2021 18:36 utc | 113

I agree, average American is probably as unaware and arrogant as average Froggy. ( "Saïgon"or"DienBienPhu" it's [hi]story for old men) .
Germans are probably better vaccinated against this disease.

I hope
that the man with "The Huge Red Switch" [don't care the Mumy] is a little bit more connoisseur [technical AND human psychology]

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 16 2021 19:54 utc | 120

Reuters' take on the sovereign debt sanctions - as I mentioned yesterday these are a nothing-burger and the ruble was stable after this announcement:

"Biden barred U.S. financial institutions from taking part in the primary market for rouble-denominated Russian sovereign bonds from June 14. U.S. banks have been barred from taking part in the primary market for non-rouble sovereign bonds since 2019.

He did not prohibit them, however, from buying such debt in the secondary market, a step likely to have a far more dramatic effect on the Russian bond and currency markets, which fell as news of the sanctions seeped out before recovering some losses.

Posted by: schmoe | Apr 16 2021 20:21 utc | 121

Mr. AntiSpin

You be wrong again.

If such a tendency had existed in Nature, Life would not have existed.

The phenomenon of Life violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (applicable to closed systems).

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 20:46 utc | 122

#123 fyi
But life on Earth does not exist in a closed system. Have you forgotten about the enormous energy output of the Sun?

Posted by: Fnord13 | Apr 16 2021 21:04 utc | 123

@ vk #104

'Complex auto-creative systems': I know right... Anything to avoid confronting the social and historical origins of our current malaise. It always amazes me the lengths people will go to represent the consequences of society as the consequences of nature.

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 16 2021 21:55 utc | 124

The Saker is wrong. There will be no overt war with Russia. Also, please keep your god to yourself.

Posted by: anon | Apr 16 2021 22:00 utc | 125

@fyi #123

The way you capitalise 'Life' makes me suspect that you see something theological behind its violation of entropy. That's fine, but you should come clean if so. All things come to be and pass away, giving and accepting justice, responding to the dictates of time (according to Anaximander).

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 16 2021 22:02 utc | 126

@ fyi (101)

You evidently don't understand the concept of entropy, I recommend that you read up on the topic. To be fair it isn't an easy subject.

You might find useful for starters.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 16 2021 22:15 utc | 127

Mr. Fnord13

Very good. So we agree that the Second Law is irrelevant to the Human Condition or to the material conditions of man's existence, including his devices.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 22:50 utc | 128

Mr. MarkU

Indeed irrelevant.

Please see my response to Mr. Fnord13.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 22:52 utc | 129

Mr. Patroklos

Everything is Theological in human affairs in as much as human intellect endeavours to elucidate the relationship of all things to God - including human soul.

Even denial of such relationships is a Theological Response.

Life is a phenomenon that cannot be understood in reductionist terms. Just like Extension and Thought cannot be reduced to each other, Life cannot be reduced to the other two. Life is another distinct attribute of God, immanent in the Universe.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 23:01 utc | 130

Mr. anon

I agree.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 16 2021 23:02 utc | 131

@ fyi (130)

I had already read your response to Fnord13. He is entirely correct and you are entirely wrong. The earth is NOT a closed system OK, get over it.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 16 2021 23:13 utc | 132

My god is better than your god.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2021 23:25 utc | 133

fyi is starting to remind me of circe, the only difference being religious verses political fundamentalism is on display..we need a special channel for fyi...

Posted by: james | Apr 16 2021 23:30 utc | 134

@ james | Apr 16 2021 23:30 utc | 135 who wrote
fyi is starting to remind me of circe, the only difference being religious verses political fundamentalism is on display..we need a special channel for fyi...

I would suggest adding vk to that special channel for all the faith/ideology based BS

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 16 2021 23:43 utc | 135

Mr. MarkU

So we agree, all of us, that the Second Law is inapplicable to humanity.

Furthermore, the Second Law is contradicted by the contemporary astronomical observations: galaxies, meta-galactic structures and the foam-like distribution of filamentary structures over hundreds of mega parsecs.

The observed universe is ordered and structured.

Where is the Second Law?

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 16 2021 23:59 utc | 136

Mr. William Gruff

I do not have a god.

God's existence is metaphysically certain.

That has been known for thousands of years.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 17 2021 0:05 utc | 137

@ psychohistorian | Apr 16 2021 23:43 utc | 136... yes to that too...a special prison cell for these regular and specific type of offenders, lol...

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2021 0:08 utc | 138

Petri Krohn @42

Did you read through Whitney Webb's exhaustive investigation about the crumbs that go through Solar Winds all the way to lil' ol'Israel?

Need to go find the link - it was a good read.

Like you said, likely an insider job by a company they bought.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Apr 17 2021 0:23 utc | 139

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 16 2021 21:55 utc | 125

"'Complex auto-creative systems': I know right... Anything to avoid confronting the social and historical origins of our current malaise."

Actually the concept of 'Complex auto-creative systems' helps to understand the 'social and historical origins of our current malaise' currently affecting American (and British and European) society.

As I said in my original comment on this subject, @99, such systems (i.e. societies) require constraints, i.e. rules, in order to develop and function. And these rules are developed by trial and error over long time periods. Also required is communication and coordination across the system to ensure that the decisions and actions that are taken are in line with the needs and strategic direction of the society.

However problems arise when these systems are taken over by authoritarians. Authoritarians hate rules, because it limits their freedom to act. And what rules they do make tend to serve themselves at the expense of the system, i.e. the society as a whole. As well, authoritarians think that everything depends on the individual and that systems are unimportant.

The historical origins of the current malaise date back to the take-over of the U.S. political system by trans-national elites, with the election of Reagan in the U.S. in 1980 and Thatcher in Britain in the early 80s. Since then, these elites, who are very authoritarian in nature, have systematically degraded the systems of these societies, whether it be economic, education, health-care, electoral, policing, etc. to the point that they have created dysfunctional, quasi-fascist, states that benefit only themselves and their collaborators to the detriment and impoverishment of the vast majority.

The dissonance at the top of the Biden administration, that was the original subject of this topic, is typical of the anarchy that occurs when the rules that govern decision making no longer function and leadership at the top is absent.

So, in addition to knowing the 'social and historical origins', one also needs to know how things work. Authoritarian rule, under the trans-national elites that currently control the political and governmental systems in Western societies, is like a cancer that is systematically destroying the complex auto-creative systems that enables these societies to function and develop.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 17 2021 0:24 utc | 140

#136 Psychohistorian

You raise an interesting question: is Marxism more like a religion or a scientific hypothesis? Broadly speaking, I'd suggest that religions tend to survive and grow to the extent they can satisfy the emotional needs of their believers. By contrast, a scientific hypothesis tends to survive if it helps explain phenomena and if there is no strong evidence which explicitly disproves it. Some critics of Marxism tend to argue that it has only been so influential because it helps satisfy the emotional need of people who have been exploited by capitalists to believe that a system they hate will someday come to an end. And I think there is some truth in that, and that some people who have never studied the details of Marxism have tended to treat it something like a secular religion. But on the other hand, Marxism's predictions about how Capitalism would develop seem to have became much more accurate after the fall of the Soviet Union removed a factor that helped motivate capitalist economies to avoid developing in the ways Marx predicted. And that suggests to me that Marxism is more than just a collection of emotionally satisfying beliefs, but that it contains some real truths about the nature of capitalist economies.

Posted by: Fnord13 | Apr 17 2021 0:29 utc | 141

Concerning entropy, there is a mathematical definition that I understand, and physics that I understand less. In physics, this is rather clear as a theory of "perfect gas". But how to understand this:

"Vaporization is endothermic (uphill in energy), and this transition leads to an increase in entropy. The reverse transition of a gas going to a liquid is condensation. Since condensation is simply the reverse of vaporization, the changes in enthalpy and entropy will be exactly the same, but opposite in sign." Clearly, there is no law that vaporization cannot be reversed, so the laws of thermodynamics require some assumptions and proper understanding of those assumptions requires (a) study (b) remembering that study -- I must admit that after 40+ years I do not remember too well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2021 1:03 utc | 142

NYT today, front web page:
In Russia, a Military Buildup That Can’t Be Missed
Russia’s massing of tanks and infantry along its southwestern border with Ukraine was meant to send a message, analysts say.

The keenness of intellect of American "analysts" never ceases to amaze me. And even more, their valiant efforts to counteract any attempts of Russia. They want to send a message? Tough luck, our ears are shut, our comprehension switched off! Take that!

True to form, the "message" idea is dropped without a comment. "The mobilization is setting off alarms in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European capitals and Washington, and is increasingly seen as an early foreign policy test for the Biden administration, which just hit Moscow with a new round of sanctions." Thus not a message but a test. But a test of what? And how? The foreheads are furrowed all around Potomac and Hudson.

“They are deploying in a very visible way,” said Michael Kofman, a senior researcher at CNA, a think tank based in Arlington, Va., who has been monitoring the military activity. “They are doing it overtly, so we can see it. It is intentional.”

A junior researcher could miss the fact that the deployment is very visible, but a senior one will catch it instantly. Almost instantly, it was written that the deployment is ongoing for weeks. Our of utter bafflement, they search for all possible reasons -- a signal to China or Moldova? [they passed on that, it is my comment]. In 14-th paragraph they fleetingly mention

"Mr. Putin might also have been provoked by the actions of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who in recent months has moved troops close to the border with the separatist regions, shut down Russia-friendly TV stations and charged some separatist leaders with treason.

From this perspective, the massed troops could also serve to pressure Ukraine to shift its positions in talks to settle the war more on Russia’s terms."

But this trope is quickly abandoned, and after driving over the borderland steppe full of military vehicles etc., we return back to Washington, DC. "Mr. Burns (head of CIA) said U.S. officials were still trying to determine if the Kremlin was preparing for military action or merely sending a signal." How many billions were spent on CIA to produce THAT?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2021 2:19 utc | 143

@ Fnord13

Everything can become a religion if somebody worships it.

Still, Marxist theory is materialist and concerns the most on who SHOULD own what for a prosperous society, rather than metaphystical mumbojumbo.

Of course, the theory is not some immortal living beings and must adapt to the changing times (or changing technology), but the core message has not changed.

Or you can just read Micheal Hudson, he's not a diehard Marxist, but he provides a good "shock" solution to the current financialized society.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 2:28 utc | 144

William Gruff #134

Perhaps, well at least up until the next war where I will contend I have God on my side.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 2:44 utc | 145

Mr. Smith

Metaphysics is not mumbo-jumbo.

You must not have studied it at all.

Here is a simple metaphysical question:

"Does April 16, 2031 exist?"

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 17 2021 2:45 utc | 146

@ Fyi

Maybe we can do this in the Open Thread? It seems a tad off-topic if we do metaphysical testing here, haha.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 2:50 utc | 147

Mr. Smith

That is fine but Truth, Justice, and political philosophy cannot be discussed without careful consideration to the metaphysical outlook of their advocates.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 17 2021 2:53 utc | 148

Piotr Berman #144

But this trope is quickly abandoned, and after driving over the borderland steppe full of military vehicles etc., we return back to Washington, DC. "Mr. Burns (head of CIA) said U.S. officials were still trying to determine if the Kremlin was preparing for military action or merely sending a signal." How many billions were spent on CIA to produce THAT?

Sheesh, these are clever dudes. If I were an analyst I would wonder what the 'message' could be? But no, they are wondering if it is a message. Hint: from my samurai experience I think the message reads - F#k OFF.

But if you pay me more billions I could investigate the nuance and circumstance that led to this message ;-)

And then more $$ I might recommend a prompt response but there can be no guarantee that any assessment might be wise or unbiased.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 2:56 utc | 149

@144 Piotr Berman

Thank you for that analysis of the analysis. Perfectly presented, nicely written - admirable comment.

So in one telling story, all the discussion over the degree of competence vs incompetence of the US leadership is rendered moot. Discussion concluded.

We saw it in the New York Times, it's true. The whole shit show is functionally stupid, as many suspected.

Expect no master strokes from these lost boys.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 17 2021 2:57 utc | 150

James and psychohistorian

Fyi, on special channel preferences:

The solution is here


Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 3:06 utc | 151

@ Posted by: Fyi | Apr 17 2021 0:05 utc | 138

Metaphysics is not religion. The utilization of metaphysics in religion is a judeo-christian-muslim innovation (at least in the West, I don't know about the rest of the world; there's still a debate among the theologians if Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy - in my opinion, it is a religion because it has its clerics, its religious rituals and its temples).

The philosophy of Christianism is Neoplatonism (which was in vogue in the Roman Empire at the time). Neoplatonism is basically Christianism without its religious elements.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2021 3:07 utc | 152

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16 2021 18:17 utc | 112

”This opens the possibility of Russian troops entering through the least defended sectors of the border, getting behind Ukrainian lines, being greeted with bread and salt by the locals who hate the Kiev government, etc. etc.”

OT I see in the image you linked that the woman extending bread and salt to welcome friends/strangers is surrounded by hollyhocks. I have a photo of usan peasant/farmer great great grandmother surrounded by hollyhocks. They were much taller than she in the photo. I live in her house which was slated to be torn down until I said no and moved here as a young rascally sort over 40 years ago, learning a trade, rebuilding the homestead and learning how, despite an advanced degree, how little I knew.

Practice through works seems, at least over more recent generations here, to need cultivated flowers like hollyhocks alongside edibles for contentment, satisfaction, and perhaps, most importantly, cross pollination, fertility.

As a rural person who tends a complex ecosystem, I have no clue how city dwellers find contentment. I grew up in LA and never felt at home there, but here within a complex biological ecosystem, I am at home — even with death.

The mockingbirds have returned again this spring and sing their newly composed phrases redolent of where they have spent their winter. Several years ago one came back with an unusual urban sound incorporated into its trill.

BTW, Thanks for all your inventive humor here over the months, for all the laughs on MOA over the last year, and also for your incisive insights. I try to keep up but am often doing other tasks.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 17 2021 3:15 utc | 153

I lean toward Smithand Gruff in all this

The black ops guys are having too much fun with their new toys. Drones in Libya against Haftar, against Houthies, against the SAA around Deir eZZour, and most notably, against Nk.
Turkey of course st the core of it all.

Now to Ukraine, where those turkish specialists are on vacation, oops, too early for swimming?. Got to see what new EW stuff the Russians are fielding. 2015 Cook was real and prevented a real conflict. The US wants to try their own hot off the press gadgets into a sandbox but wont do it directly.

If they force/get a militarized response US has 'Cause' to force cancelation of NS2, restrict NS1 and South Stream, making EU countries beg waivers for every cubic meter of gas they buy. Russian gets to join the lran super sanction club. Greetings to Maduro. Will their digital currancy alternatives work?

EU remains dependent until fusion power arrives- in 10 years! Ha ha!

The overall gambit is the
US seeks to isolate Russia economically before taking on China.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 17 2021 3:25 utc | 154

Yeah, I talk about Turkey - Pakistan - Iran, that if you block Pakistan by using Turkey, you can hamper the BRI. Uncle tungsten says that there is also the northern brand of BRI in Russia.

So in other words, if they block Pakistan by using Turkey, and they can make Ukraine into a warzone and thus destabilize Russia, they effectively block the two land routes of the BRI.

With India now leaning US, that also means sea route wouldn't be all cozy to China either.

If this is their strategy, it kinda makes sense.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 3:32 utc | 155

The whole shit show is functionally stupid, as many suspected.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 17 2021 2:57 utc | 151

Yea, the discussion on metaphysics is the perfect background. Functionally stupid or dysfunctionally stupid? In this case, there is a hint that (a) USA decided to do nothing (b) let Ukraine know it, so they do not get suicidal. IMHO, this is actually astute. But the public hates intelligent official without charisma, so any traces of intelligence are carefully hidden/

I already commented to the forced intelligent moment of Sen. Cruz. As Texas gets frozen stiff, he providently went 1000 miles to the south (Cancun, Yukatan peninsula) just before that -- who wouldn't do the same after reading the weather forecast -- given some cash and a flexible job? As utilities were dropping like frozen flies, what could he help if he rushed back? But the press and public raised a stink so he is back pretended to be an idiot.

Most of the Biden's staff is highly educated and if not senile, they can figure out what is going on. Any rational explanation would undermine the official line of D.C., and provoke a public rage worse than that directed at Sen. Cruz. Hence total lack of understanding of Russian goals and intentions. Imagine think tankers dragging their armchairs while they swarm White House, January 6 would seem like a picnic. Think about it: rolling back on your armchair you can develop some speed by kicking the ground and then ram the police or the gates to the White House, and still have your body fully protected. A phalanx of such chairs could disperse police, National Guard...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2021 3:38 utc | 156

#155 and 156 les7 and Smith

While that may be something like what the US wants to have happen, it sounds like a typically stupid US plan to me. Just how long can the US "force" Europe to rely on overpriced US gas? Only as long as the Europeans let them. Even if a war does break out in the Ukraine that the US blames on Russia, nothing stops Germany from saying that while that is very sad, they are still going ahead with Nord Stream 2. Even if US controlled politicians manage to temporary cut off trade between Europe and Russia, how long can they stop European corporations who will be losing money from this policy from successfully pushing for a change of policy? The fundamental reason why the US is losing control of the world is because they have less and less to offer to the world. The sort of open attempt to exploit Europe that les7 describes would only serve to accelerate the moment when the Europeans tell the US they won't tolerate US domination any longer.

Posted by: Fnord13 | Apr 17 2021 3:55 utc | 157

@ Fnord13

A Yugoslavia 2.0 i.e. an actual Ukraine war will depower Europe massively, cutting down on the euro, and force the US dependence even more, especially if it goes out long time. And with US troops in Germany, the west europeans won't have much choices.

The US's motto since Iraq has been "well, we can't win, but we will make sure you can't win either, in a long, long time".

Only the russian can cut this Gordian knot, me think, if they can stabilize Ukraine, and keep Turkey from messing with the rest of Central Asia thus saving the BRI.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 4:04 utc | 158

So, in addition to knowing the 'social and historical origins', one also needs to know how things work. Authoritarian rule, under the trans-national elites that currently control the political and governmental systems in Western societies, is like a cancer that is systematically destroying the complex auto-creative systems that enables these societies to function and develop.
Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 17 2021 0:24 utc | 141

Yes. The likelihood of lackadaisical Ukraine risking retaliation from armed-to-the-teeth Russia is so low that the subject is barely worth pondering. Given that the 'trans-national elites' exert a powerful influence on all Western Governments, Political Candidates & Appointees, Media Content, Loyalty + Foreign Policy (Middle-East Fake Wars) it's tempting to ponder what the 'trans-national elites' are trying to hide/ divert attention from in Their Media.

My guess is that it's something unusually evil they're are doing in Palestine, and that they'd rather no-one noticed, or talked about. The Ukrainian stand-off beat-up is just too Nothing-burger-ish to lose any sleep over.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 17 2021 4:14 utc | 159

Below is a Xinhuanet posting that details the current Russian response to the latest Biden Executive Order

MOSCOW, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday announced a series of retaliatory measures, including expulsions of diplomats and entry bans, in response to the recent "hostile actions" of the United States.

Russia will ask 10 U.S. diplomats and five Polish ones to leave the country, the ministry said in a statement.

Russia will limit the use of the U.S. embassy's short-term assignments through the State Department to ensure the functioning of diplomatic missions, by reducing the issuance of such visas to at most 10 people per year.

Moscow will completely ban U.S. diplomatic missions from hiring citizens of Russia or third countries to administrative and technical posts.

Russia will terminate the activities of U.S. foundations and non-governmental organizations controlled by the State Department or other American government agencies.

"The current extremely tense situation implies an objective need for the ambassadors of both our countries to be in their capitals to analyze the situation and hold consultations," the statement read.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has barred eight incumbent and former American high-ranking officials, involved in the development and implementation of the anti-Russian course, from entering Russia indefinitely.

The ministry also threatened that it could slash the number of personnel in U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia to 300 from the current cap of 455.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 17 2021 4:34 utc | 160

Regarding the second law: it's not very usefull to put it in terms of order and disorder, that's a judgment of value, thus dependent on an observer.
What it clearly states however, is that cange is irreversible.
You never step into the same river twice. Witch is good, because if it wasn't our lives would be very complicated.
It's the principle that allows for our brains to construct what we call 'time'.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Apr 17 2021 5:22 utc | 161

A smidgen of Comic Relief.
Patrick Armstrong's latest Russian Federation SITREP is open for comments at Turcopolier. Partway down...

Peter Williams says:
April 16, 2021 at 8:05 am

I just love how Russian heavy artillery pieces are named after flowers – Tulip, Peony, Carnation etc.

Deap says:
April 16, 2021 at 1:09 pm

Venus Flytrap?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 17 2021 5:24 utc | 162

@ piotr and grieved... it is a bit like the clip uncle tungsten shares @ 152... that's where the usa is at!! totally in limbo not having a clue of anything about anything!

not to worry! jake sullivan to the rescue!! the keystone cops don't cut it!

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2021 5:32 utc | 163

Even the American Iraq War criminal Tulsi Gabbard is scared of the consequences of an America hot war against Russia, as she fears that it might turn into "nuclear holocaust."

Stop the ‘saber-rattling’ & begin de-escalation before Russia-Ukraine conflict turns into ‘nuclear holocaust,’ Gabbard tells Biden

While obviously true, her warnings will likely go unheeded.

The only language that America truly comprehends is being on the receiving end of the horror that it has inflicted across the planet--in reality, not verbal warnings.

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 17 2021 5:41 utc | 164

Smith #156

Thank you, there is a link from Moscow through Azerbaijan to Iran. No one in between. A strong thread of allegiance and not too many sunni obstacles. The speed with which Russia stepped in to wall off any further shenanigans from Erdogan indicates the strategic value of that link and those three nations to each other. The trick is to keep the turk out.

The rail is non standard between them and I read that extensive investment is underway in Azerbaijan to extend the number of tracks. I guess that means installing a common gauge system for the entire route.

This opens the channel to Africa, bypasses Suez and Persian Gulf to ports on the very South of Iran. One of those ports is a joint venture between Iran and India. There are many ports and many options but a short maritime leg between Iran and Africa East cost would be advantageous.

On the conflict points I sometimes consider the consequences of several friction elements becoming simultaneously active: Uke, Syria, Iran, Taiwan, North Korea, perhaps Yemen and even Libya. That would strain the Garrot for the UKUSA and mightily outflank their one dimensional mind. The sense of unity between RuChIr and their common purpose appears resolute.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 6:02 utc | 165

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.

Is it possible that Sullivan's apparent confusion is a by-product of the fact that, after 9/11, "News" was dominated by petulant lies which confused almost as many people Inside the Beltway as the Target Audience Outside the Beltway?

When Trump pointed to the MSM and said "You are Fake News" no-one had to ask "Waddya mean?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 17 2021 6:18 utc | 166

@147, Okay I'll bite.

Let's propose a test. If that day comes to pass, it exists as we both can hypothetically agree that it is that day. The idea exists in the abstract regardless, but until it represents a physical reality it is simply a logical abstraction, like the Cantor set. There's nothing wrong with abstraction, but abstraction without application is simply intellectual masturbaton.

Now, propose your system for establishing the existence of God. Godel awaits.

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 17 2021 6:32 utc | 167

psychohistorian #161

Thank you, I have been badgering on about closing down the embassies and the insidious infiltration from the USA for some time. That response from Russia will likely be underway from China soon too, I guess unless it is already progressing.

The sooner the UKUSAi is recognised as the undermining, infiltrating parasite that it is, the better. Trade issues can be sorted by permanent missions etc and they can be strictly limited to trade. It is excellent to see the foundations and NGO's under the State Department control picked up in the shutdown strategy.

Consulates need to establish online processes where possible or find a means of subcontracting their citizen visitor consulate needs to a mutually agreed alternative embassy that has the decency to respect Russia and refrain from fantasies of hegemonic idiocy.

I assume the rest of the five eyes crowd will soon be advised likewise.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 7:00 utc | 168

I noticed this really important question hanging in the air:

"Does April 16, 2031 exist?"

IMO it does and if the godess will grant me ten more years I intend to drink a fine shiraz and give thanks again to the beauty of our planet.

The Mayans thought not, but then they were an unpleasant gang of killers and now must revise that calendar. The cloud people before them likely were much better at calculating dates and perhaps thought it to exist. They were unable to prove that as the Aztecs appear to have topped them all, just before the Spanish topped the Aztecs and look where that has left us. At least the Basque are still with us.

2031 is the date we begin to re-emerge from the current grand solar minimum as well and we shall be well into the age of aquarius by then. It may be warmer and the volcanic spitting and snarling may have receded and those of us that are left might also be hankering for drink.

It seems to me that Jake Sullivan could do with a bit of aquarius in his chart - too much leo/aries stuff it seems. Come to think of it they should all have their charts considered before being employed in such sensitive positions. I will see what my pendulum reveals about that date and report back.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 7:22 utc | 169

@Fyi | Apr 17 2021 2:45 utc | 147

Here is a simple metaphysical question:
"Does April 16, 2031 exist?"

Consider this first

"Does April 16, 1031 exist?"

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2021 7:54 utc | 170

Russia has until now only reacted to US aggressive idiocy, and has done so in a very measured way. Perhaps it is time for Russia to take the initiative and make decisions that the US will have to react to. Such actions should be such that they cannot be seen as aggressive by neutral observers, but still cause pain to the US.

Now that the Russian payment system (Mir card etc.) is up and running, perhaps the time for Russia to consider disconnecting itself from SWIFT and similar mechanisms is coming closer. Internally in Russia that would not be a problem, but some alternative way of handling international payments would be required, either by other nations using the Russian payment system or by means of crypto currencies by-passing systems like SWIFT entirely.

Further down the line, perhaps Russia and China together could terminate the use of US dollar on their territories, by making it technically easier and cheaper to use Rubles/RMB in such transactions.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 17 2021 8:18 utc | 171

Posted by: Merlin2 | Apr 17 2021 0:23 utc | 140

Whitney Webb always finds some link (I should say connection) to Occupied Palestine. It's her whole schtik from which she apparently makes good money. She copy+ pasted a lot of work by other conspiracy researchers over the last couple of decades and basically sold it as her own work. If you aren't familiar with this kind of research what Peter Dale Scott calls Deep Politics you are believed to think that she made that whole effort on her own. Au contraire! She knows her stuff and she has a tremendous memory but she is a left libertarian with no understanding of class analysis that's why she thinks everything boils down to some malevolent actors (in her case Israel) that conspire to further undermine US politics. There is certainly some truth to it but she turns it completely on its head and misrepresents dog and tail.

Posted by: vato | Apr 17 2021 8:26 utc | 172

Excellent analysis by Scott Ritter on this issue:

The seeming mixed signals being sent by Biden in his public pronouncements – sanctioning on the one hand, while seeking a summit with Putin on the other – are less a sign of a feeble mind than the byproduct of a process of transformation as the Biden administration learns to deal with the reality of Russia as it really is, as opposed to the fiction of Russia as painted by the “Russia whisperers.”

Posted by: veto | Apr 17 2021 9:16 utc | 173

Alexander Mercurous says Biden is begging Putin for a daliance.

A 1 hour analysis of what might just be futile rutting from Biden and his scabrous team. Perhaps Jack and Ron Klain have blown the boss's dreams.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 10:49 utc | 174

suzan @154

As a rural person who tends a complex ecosystem, I have no clue how city dwellers find contentment. I grew up in LA and never felt at home there, but here within a complex biological ecosystem, I am at home — even with death

With each new comment you just pique my curiosity further...and since you didn't answer my question last time around, I'll try again.

As you continue to portray yourself as someone who's in tune with Gaia, who has lived for many years in harmony with your pastoral surroundings, your complex biological ecosystems, who seems to have a healthy and harmonious pact with the natural cycles of life and death...

...what exactly moved you to opt for the transfection of experimental synthetic agents into your own very personal community of organisms, your body, that is?

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2021 11:03 utc | 175

Smith | Apr 16 2021 7:11 utc | 77

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

The politicos are, or at least, they sound like it, but it seems that the military, the top brass, who would actually have to give the orders, knowing that, at best, their troops are in for a good thrashing, are more cautious.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2021 11:13 utc | 176

b: "Why Is Jake Sullivan Creating Such A Mess?"

Biden on Sullivan: "He's a once-in-a-generation intellect with the experience and temperament for one of the toughest jobs in the world"

So there's your answer. Biden is suffering from a serious case of the Enron's.

You know the story: know-nothings who are convinced that they are the smartest guys in the room.

Mind you, where's Enron now?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 17 2021 11:20 utc | 177

@ foolisholdman

Putting trust in the US top brass would be one hella mistake. When Trump told the troops to get off Afghan, it's the top brass who told him to stay. These top brass are all weapon manufacturers CEO or related, only thing they care about is paycheck.

Tbh, American army is one shitshow, from the top to the soldiers, who are just wage workers and mercenaries.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 11:39 utc | 178

Posted by: Smith | Apr 17 2021 11:39 utc | 179

The US' Officer Class:

Yes, you are correct, the higher you go, the more corrupt they are. It is called the "Old Boy Network", sounds British eh?, but it isn't. Lots of drunks too. You want to know where the brutality of the US' military comes from, start with them. The only people I can think of that are even less appealing than the Billionaires here. It goes all the way back, the world still looks like a bunch of "indians" to them. I always think of the Boers and other extreme racist colonizers when guys like McCain or McCaffery come up, or Mr "it's fun to kill some people".

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 17 2021 12:14 utc | 179

War looms.
Commentariat focuses on metaphysics, religion.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 17 2021 12:18 utc | 180

Piotr Berman @157: "Imagine think tankers..."


Terrifying! On top of that today's American think tankers are armed with the most fearsome weapon in the entire history of think tanks: The smoothbrain canon!

Foolish Russians and Chinese underestimate the power and versatility of the smoothbrain canon. They think brains all covered in gyri and sulci are superior, but the smoothbrain can effortlessly launch any of the establishment's current canonical notions today with total conviction and authority regardless of the ideas it was used for yesterday! Furthermore those smoothbrain canon are perfectly impervious to the corrosive effects of weaponized facts that America's enemies are so fond of using. They stay on target regardless of whatever distracting truths the think tank's sensors may accidentally detect and that slip past the tribal patriotism filters.

America's think tanks are truly a formidable force!

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2021 12:41 utc | 181

Barflies can chill, there will be no war between the US and Russia.

The US only attacks countries that can't defend them selvs, and then mostly somehow still manages to lose the war in the end.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Apr 17 2021 13:03 utc | 182

Jörgen Hassler @183

You are correct. America isn't going to attack eastern Ukraine. Western Ukraine is. America is just going to push them into it and then kick back, crack open a beer, and enjoy the fireworks. America has been waiting many a decade to be able to do this much damage to the Ukraine, and the sweetest part is that America doesn't even have to break a sweat.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2021 13:12 utc | 183

Fyi | Apr 16 2021 23:59 utc | 137

Where is the Second Law?

Try Duckduckgo. Personally, I like Omar Khayyam's take on entropy:

"And if the wine you drink,
The lip you press,
End in the nothing all things end in:
Yes, then fancy whilst thou art,
Thou art but what thou shalt be - nothing.
Thou shalt not be less."


"The worldly hope men set their hearts upon,
Prospers or turns to ashes and anon,
Like snow upon the desert's dusty face
Lighting a little while and then it's gone."

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2021 13:21 utc | 184

Fnord13 | Apr 17 2021 0:29 utc | 142
I'd agree with that.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2021 13:28 utc | 185

Fyi | Apr 17 2021 2:45 utc | 147

"Does April 16, 2031 exist?"

Rather depends on how you define "existence".

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2021 13:39 utc | 186

My opinion of all the advisers that are hired are chosen because they tell the rulers what they want to hear.
Much like the story of hiring an accountant who when asked how much is two plus two answers , "How much do you want it to be".

Posted by: arby | Apr 17 2021 14:31 utc | 187

Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2021 3:38 utc | 157

"Most of the Biden's staff is highly educated.."

Your views are helpful to explain the madness which makes the players unreachable because of their predetermined biases from twisted mental filters. We all have these filters, but the variations make some more mad-like than others.

As I see it, "educated" is specific for what "leads one out", from whatever the user chooses. Thus "schooled" might be more fitting, as it includes any and all biases/filters just swallowed whole with little or no evaluation.

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 17 2021 16:01 utc | 188

Alexander Mercouris on Youtube - "After sanctions, Joe pleads again for talks with Putin" - suggests that it may be beginning to dawn on some in the US still capable of rational thought that the decades-long minimizing and then demonizing of Russia just may have run its course.

He draws an interesting parallel to the Kennedy administration that started out all "better dead than red" fire and brimstone, and then ended by setting the foundations for detente.

Of course, what he doesn't mention is that we all remember what happened to Kennedy.

Posted by: expat | Apr 17 2021 16:10 utc | 189

@ uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 3:06 utc | 152


Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 17:04 utc | 190

It is again time to reference a fifty year old book that was written about people exactly and precisely made in the mold of Jake Sullivan (top post is about Jake Sullivan). The book is The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam. The author reviews John Kennedy’s cabinet and advisors. They were all highly credentialed and highly regarded. They had all successfully evaded any sort of education, training, or experience that might have prepared them for their roles. And then they led us into Vietnam. All while admiring themselves in the mirror and basking in the good opinion of their equally uneducated peers.

Wiki is not good for much, their summary of Sullivan is what they are good for. Could not be more plain the man has never done anything but be promoted beyond his abilities. He is good at looking the part. It is a social game. It is only a game.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 17 2021 17:18 utc | 191

William Gruff @ 184
Please consider the following. The robber barons who run Ukraine have endless experience of playing the west against Russia and vice versa, and have made a fortune doing so.
I will stick my neck out and claim that both Russia and Washington are at this stage of the game well aware of this, in fact sick to death of it, and are trying to plot a route forward which isn’t bent and distorted by the disgusting oligarchs who have been looting Ukraine these last 30 years.
And a thought for you - Washington has sanctioned Kolomoisky (aka Zelensky’s puppet master) plus wife and son, to twist his tale. (Kolomoisky is supposed to be the only person clever enough to cheat Roman Abramovich).
It seems to me that these sanctions are worth little unless Kolomoisky, like Poroshenko as revealed in the Panama Papers, keeps his loot in an off-shore jurisdiction vulnerable to Uncle Sam. This offshore world is a clever spider’s web.

Posted by: Montreal | Apr 17 2021 17:36 utc | 192

@ uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 6:02 utc | 166

With respect to your contributions, INSTC is multimodal AND multiroads
So, Azerbaïdjan or Caspien, but an alternative to oversized container vessels.

The great innovation of the many B&R initiative is decentralisation.
multilaterality VS empires

Is Jake Sullivan supposed to plan and coordinate understand such steps?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 17:41 utc | 193

¡ Feliz cumpleaños  🇨🇺 !

Today is a great 60th birthday.

Playa Girón

Never underestimate the ability of infallible coordinators to screw things up

La verdad de la historia: la derrota yankee en Girón (Bahia de cochino)

Hit the road Jack [Sullivan or another] and don't you come back no more

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 18:03 utc | 194

Y en eso llegó Fidel

«…La importancia de Girón no está en la magnitud de la batalla, de los combatientes, de los hechos heroicos que allí tuvieron lugar; la gran trascendencia histórica de Girón no es lo que ocurrió, sino lo que no ocurrió gracias a Girón».

“...The importance of Girón is not in the magnitude of the battle, of the combatants, of the heroic deeds that took place there; the great historical significance of Girón is not what happened, but what did not happen thanks to Girón.”

Sabor de Casa de la Trova con Carlos Puebla
Y en eso llegó Fidel

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 18:10 utc | 195

C4 #195

From obummer I learned that the USA is total BS. Trump emphasised that point and Biden has and will continue to labour that point. They are not agreement capable, they are belligerent, and they are mendacious. Sometimes they reiterate that assessment.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 18:23 utc | 196

Noise in Belarus, a conspiracy to murder Lukashenko and family has been dismantled, or so says Batka, plus the promise of an important announcement soon.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 17 2021 18:31 utc | 197

Mr. oldhippie

"Capacidados, pero no Educados" is a common enough phenomenon. I see it every day among Muslims and Hindus with post-secondary educations.

However, those led by the "Best & Brightest" into Vietnam shared their Exceptionalist ethos, and that they were doing God's work in Southeast Asia. The Leaders and the Followers were cut from the same cloth and bore equal responsibility for that war.

As I have argued before, there is a deep need in Judeo-Christians which caused tens of thousands of young Vietnamese to die. I do not know what it is, however.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 17 2021 18:54 utc | 198

@190 Mercouris seems to strike an optimistic note. Let's hope he's right. I've lost track of the number of times WW3 has been predicted on MOA and it's bad for my blood pressure. Perhaps the US has finally realized that confrontation policies have reached a dead end.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2021 19:07 utc | 199

@ Posted by: john | Apr 17 2021 11:03 utc | 176

[OT to the tread]

Hey john ,

I did in fact answer your query re why take the pfizerbiontech vaccine but because it was late and I was tired the system timed out and the post was lost. As the subject was OT, personal, I let it go.

My answer, however, since you again inquire can be surmised from our recent interchange. I am the daughter of two scientists of the old school type — not bought out by special interests, which left a mark on all of us children.

My decision to accept the offer of the Pfizer jab was grounded in a risk-based assessment. I am in my 60s. The data now shows that for personal safety this is the best decision. I would have been more hesitant with the adenovirus vaccines as they are more complicated, entering the cell nucleus to trigger spike protein coding but also triggering more cellular events, some adverse, given one’s specific biochemistry and history. I was at first uncomfortable with being a guinea pig but justified it (always after the fact thinking) as being for the greater good; then after being “fully vaccinated” I felt relief. I had a mild reaction to the first jab, a sore arm for a day and a more strenuous immune response to the second jab, a mild fever which lasted for a day after which all was back to normal. I would much rather have a mild fever for a day than be hospitalized ect. as is common for a cohort of my age group who contract this disease.

Second, this is also about us as a collective. Immunity to this virus cannot be achieved without mass vaccination.

It is important to not use malign behaviors as a reason for not doing the right thing for most of us.

If I recall, you live in Italy? I live in Iowa. Two very different cultures and yet we have much in common. Just because powers beyond our control seek to harm us, this does not justify not protecting oneself and one’s community because it would be seen as “succumbing” to their rule. This is what is called an error of pride, misconceived arrogance, when in reality what they do is theirs not ours.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 17 2021 23:29 utc | 200

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