Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 27, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-049

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

New Cold War:

Julian Assange:

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 21:35 UTC · Jun 26, 2021
Great reporting by @GunnarHrafnJ on the FBI’s key witness—a serial child molester, fraudster & embezzler who was granted immunity to work as an informant & continued his crime spree while under FBI protection — to build their case against Assange.

Covid-19 - Spread:

Two Delta variant cases in Sydney were traced back to a man who had only passed those he infected and had kept some two feet away from them. That is a measles level of infectiousness, way higher than older variants.

Covid-19 Therapeutics:

Covid-19 Social consequences:

> Results: Between 2010 and 2018, the gap in life expectancy between the US and the peer country average increased from 1.88 years (78.66 v 80.54 years, respectively) to 3.05 years (78.74 v 81.78 years). Between 2018 and 2020, life expectancy in the US decreased by 1.87 years (to 76.87 years), 8.5 times the average decrease in peer countries (0.22 years), widening the gap to 4.69 years. Life expectancy in the US decreased disproportionately among racial and ethnic minority groups between 2018 and 2020, declining by 3.88, 3.25, and 1.36 years in Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White populations, respectively. In Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations, reductions in life expectancy were 15 and 18 times the average in peer countries, respectively. <

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on June 27, 2021 at 14:16 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

A lot is going on behind the covid-scene.
The US made it clear to Jordan/Egypt what it thought of its plans to talk with Iraqi gov and restart exchanges with Syria
Israel made clear to the Palestinians what "changes" it makes to have a new gov
UAE makes clear to the Palestinians how much it cares about them
But it also makes clear that it got the message from the US as to being associated with a genocide against the Christian Tigreans
It doesn't mean that proxies can't continue the dirty job
(more later)

Posted by: Mina | Jun 29 2021 13:33 utc | 201

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 5:40 utc | 193

Humans, like most canines, are social beings and respond well to hierarchy building cues. Over decades, the training of "vassals" is showing steadily improving effects. Pavlov could predict as much. BUT, I was writing about something else.

This is a "technocratic" mental framework that prevents to even consider common sense approaches and putting enormous faith in the "capitalist system", with one notable exception: if an outsider for their clique (dubbing itself "international community") uses the "capitalist system" for its benefit. in that case, "fair competition" goes out of the window and punitive measures are applied.

But patent holders, drug makers, component makers are insiders of the clique, so command/central planning approaches were a no-no.

On additional note, for the outsiders of the clique, vaccine acceptance and production was mercilessly delayed and sabotaged, in the face of the global shortage. Technocracy, the rule of experts, reminds me Gandhi's quip: "Western Civilization? It would be an excellent idea!". Beside anything else, technocrats can be pretty dim.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2021 13:40 utc | 202

Piotr Berman

US as it is is part of human nature. It can been seen throughout history when it comes to countries, but it can be seen in smaller scale in individuals. Some hard lessons to be learned for the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 14:35 utc | 203

The collapse of the soviet system cemented that enormous faith in the capitalist system.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 14:38 utc | 204

So, Ethiopia "decided" to withdraw and apply a unilateral ceasefire.

Apparently they were surrounded and in a bad position anyway.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 29 2021 14:50 utc | 205

Tigray in Ethiopia 96% Orthodox Christians

First of all, I know better than to immediately jump in the 'Right to protect bandwagon' but I find it interesting that I have not heard about this war from the U.S. State Dept even though it fits their general template.
1. Small isolated region of a religious minority, 2. being attacked by a federal authorities.

Yet I don't hear 'UYGHURS - HONG KONG - GENOCIDE !'
from the usual loud mouths. The victims have to be useful in order to be important.
We in the United States, we are just the cat's ass we are so great.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jun 29 2021 15:05 utc | 206

@ Paco #197
What did you expect?

Something like "Sully scene "
[Happy end of the fake Airbus & FAA "simulation" ]

Can we get serious now?"
Just once in a whole life....

Tom Hanks scene part 5 (FINAL PART)" sur YouTube

Where is the Captain? Where is the record of CVR?

Posted by: Rêver | Jun 29 2021 15:09 utc | 207

Once upon a time... Facts matter

Posted by: Rêver | Jun 29 2021 15:11 utc | 208

Roger@184 forgets that Roman populists like the Gracchi, Cataline and Publius Clodius were murdered by their enemies. Juilius Caesar was murdered by his friends. Is there any judgment more just than that? I have read the Parenti book, which is not nonsense...but it doesn't really put Caesar in context with other populists. It was not an accident that Caesar's heir led to the triumph of the Claudians, one of the greatest of the optimate families. Another way to put it is, the colleges, popular societies usually centered on a crossroads shrine that functioned as burial society etc. (yes, sometimes crime as in the HBO series Rome but that was not the norm---the norm was for strongarm men like Milo, paid by Pompey, to rule the streets) which were centers of popular self-organization were finally abolished *by Julius Caesar.*

As for the notion that George Wallace or Bernie Sanders ever posed a threat, I can't disagree more.

donkeytale@199 thinks that Keynesian stimulus priming will make capitalism work and that therefore China *does* have business cycles but it's just smart enough to do capitalism properly. Massive stimulus spending didn't salvage growth in the US in 2009 and it hasn't now. Plus of course, all weird theories about Keynesianism being socialism forget that stimulus hasn't cured capitalism's woes in Japan.

Public/private partnerships are a form of support for capitalism, a disguised form of privatization. Hailing the plans to expand their use is welcoming the dismantling of all socialist foundations in China. But capitalist restoration in the USSR required wholesale expropriation of public property *and* a massive attack on the living standards of the workers, so savage as to lower the population. That sort of thing requires the overthrow of the workers' state, the creation of bourgeois state that can support the capitalists as they wishh, at least, to the extent the balance of forces permits. I cannot agree that this happened silently, invisibly, inevitably apparently in China. Not yet. I think capitalist restoration in China will be even more ferocious in its attack on the workers than the Great Leap Forward and bloodier than the Cultural Revolution. But that's just me I guess.

Despite my disagreements, though, it is honorable to win the enmity of William Gruff, a delusional bigot who imagines David Brock (most people say, who?) is important in social media. It's like Jacobin magazine suddenly discovering that management consultants, like from McKinsey, are all gay, like Buttigieg, who did a short time there. The homophobic panic at catching cooties is extraordinary. I suppose in principle it is true that Gruff should know all about fake left, from experience being one. But sad to say, meanness interferes with thinking. Congratulations on the right-wing enemies, donkeytale.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 15:23 utc | 209

One interesting possible outcome of the USA's recent "fall back" strategy:

China replaces Brazil as the protagonist in South America's foreign policy [in Portuguese; use machine translation]

Venezuela strengthens cooperation with China [in Spanish; use machine translation]

Since Biden took power, the USA has been adopting a strategy of "falling back", where it evacuates its resources from the borderlands in order to leave the problems and costs to the province nearby (e.g. UK in the Ukraine; Japan in HK and Taiwan; India in Tibet and Xinjiang).

At first glance, this seems to be a sound strategy: the Empire shrinks itself on its own terms in exchange of a better territorial cohesion and coordination of resources, which could, potentially, pave the way for a counterattack.

But there's a potential blowback to this: the enemy can immediately fill the void left by the sacrifice of these provinces. What we're observing in South America may be exactly that: in order to save its metropolis, the American Empire is mercilessly sucking all the resources of its provinces (abuse of the USD Standard, abandoning the comprador elites) while, at the same time, asking those same provinces to be more loyal and subservient than ever to the Empire. The problem is the world isn't idealist: it's materialist. Loyalty must have its correspondent material base to take shape, and, in South America, this means financial resources (bribery).

This results in a dialectical unity: in order to keep its imperial status, the American Empire must suck more than ever its provinces dry; however, this very movement designed to strengthen the Empire's imperial status diminishes the very capacity of its provinces to act like provinces, i.e. to remain themselves subservient and blindly loyal to the Empire. The synthesis of this dialectical unity can be:

1) the absolute collapse of the provinces (e.g. the Ukraine) or

2) the enemy of the Empire (i.e. China) quickly and directly filling the void left by the fall back of the imperial forces from the province in question.

It may be the case #2 will happen in South America, where the abandonment of Brazil to its own luck results not in Brazil successfully holding the Empire's position, but in Brazil simply being overran by China.

Posted by: vk | Jun 29 2021 15:53 utc | 210

correction to @214:

*overrun (and not overran)

Posted by: vk | Jun 29 2021 16:00 utc | 211

@ 194 stonebird and @ 195 john cleary.. thanks for sharing all that...

@ 201 oglalla.... i find it odd that people are unable to skip over those they don't relate to.. the hostility towards others seems unwarranted..

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 16:04 utc | 212

@ John Cleary (#195),

It is interesting that Royals are being exposed. Since they occupy the top layer in the global power hierarchy, how dare “the guardian” a media house of the Financial Oligarchy exposes them. In the U$A, the Washington Post, another controlled media house has also exposed them on this matter. What is driving these revelations? Who benefits? Is the International Financial Oligarchy trying to get an upper hand over the Royals? This International Financial Oligarchy has captured royals in various regions.

The “rules-based world order” isn’t happening. The hypocritical hegemon has good opposition! All things have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 16:05 utc | 213

@ 281 max first question.. it is either a type of all star wrestling for public consumption, or a legit fight on a higher level as a ''new world order' is being born...

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 16:09 utc | 214

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 15:23 utc | 213

The word "populism"/"populist" literally comes from the political "faction" Julius Caesar and the Gracchi brothers belonged (the poulares).

So, yes, Julius Caesar not only was a populist, but he was one of the holotypes of populism.

The other, rival, "faction" were the boni/optimates (meaning "the good" and "the best", as in the best men, the best citizens, the model citizens). This is translated in modern politics as the conservatives. It is still a habit of today's middle and high classes from Latin America to call themselves "the good [ones]"/"the people of good" (in the sense of "the people who act and behave correctly") - this may or may not be inherited from the Roman term "boni". I don't know if the same habit is shared with Portugal and Spain.

PPPs can serve either socialism or capitalism (but not communism, by definition). It all depends on who is in charge (truly in charge, not merely de jure in charge). Lenin was unequivocal in this question, when he defended the NEP: in its primitive and most desperate stages, a proletarian republic could - and should - retreat and give some way to capital so that it could develop its productive forces. The difference here is that capital is sandboxed, i.e. when socialism got what it wanted from capital, it could politically expropriate it and recover lost ground. Put it in other words, under socialism, PPP is reversible - while in social-democracy, it is not, because, in social-democracy, it is socialism that is sandboxed by capitalism.

Posted by: vk | Jun 29 2021 16:12 utc | 215

Agin @215--

Thanks for that very curious molecular anthropology report, a field that was just opening up when I stopped teaching. I find the findings about groups to be more instructive than those about individuals. But the main lesson is that all humans sprout from a well mixed genetic soup regardless of where they're born and that we've far more similarities than differences--if only we'd learn and act on what that means: No one is exceptional or chosen! Unfortunately as John Cleary reminds us, the "Royal lineage" in England still refuses to become part of the polity by saying it has rights and privileges that are untouchable--exceptional--and that to try and level--erase--those exceptional attributes is treasonous. In other words, one of those "democracies" cited as being exceptional isn't a democracy at all as it remains an Authoritarian Monarchy whose aim is the continuing exploitation and expropriation of those unfortunate enough to live in the UK.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 16:28 utc | 216

@ psychohistorian
Agree with you#169 [even when "new"]

About your #102 | Jun 28 2021 2:11 utc | 102

I think Bhadrakumar answers the question.
Stonebird #194 wrote also a good explanation.
Probably not only one reason to throwing shit to the fan.

Unusual for a Sunday, John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, rushed to clarify...
Pelosi seems to be transmitting an important message to Tehran so that there is no ambiguity about the US intentions, and the US airstrikes will be seen in proper perspective as a defensive and pre-emptive step rather than an act of provocation.
The big picture in West Asia is that the US is withdrawing air-defence systems from the region and Pentagon is currently in the middle of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And probably too some "bulldog fight under a [DC] rug."

Interesting for me is Blinken trying to find a "legal" purpose (we are in Irak on the demand of Iraqi government [ June 2003?]).
What a clown!

But This is The End

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

Posted by: الجزائر‎ | Jun 29 2021 16:28 utc | 217

"Gente de bien", people of good literally since good people would be "buena gente", refers in common language to the upper bourgeoisie.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 29 2021 16:36 utc | 218

@ psychohistorian
Agree with you#169 [even when "new"]

About your #102 | Jun 28 2021 2:11 utc | 102

I think Bhadrakumar answers the question.
I agree too with Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 8:17 utc | 194.
Probably many "good" reason to throw some shit to the fan.
And probably too some "bulldog fight under a [DC] rug."

Unusual for a Sunday, John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, rushed to clarify...
Pelosi seems to be transmitting an important message to Tehran so that there is no ambiguity about the US intentions, and the US airstrikes will be seen in proper perspective as a defensive and pre-emptive step rather than an act of provocation.
The big picture in West Asia is that the US is withdrawing air-defence systems from the region and Pentagon is currently in the middle of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Interesting for me is Blinken (in Italy) trying to find a legal purpose. "whe are in Irak at the demand of Iraqi government".
Legal? No more Rules based?
What a clown!

But This is The End

I@ psychohistorian
Agree with you#169 [even when "new"]

About your #102 | Jun 28 2021 2:11 utc | 102

I think Bhadrakumar answers the question.
I agree too with Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 8:17 utc | 194.
Probably many "good" reason to throw some shit to the fan.
And probably too some "bulldog fight under a [DC] rug."

Unusual for a Sunday, John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, rushed to clarify...
Pelosi seems to be transmitting an important message to Tehran so that there is no ambiguity about the US intentions, and the US airstrikes will be seen in proper perspective as a defensive and pre-emptive step rather than an act of provocation.
The big picture in West Asia is that the US is withdrawing air-defence systems from the region and Pentagon is currently in the middle of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Interesting for me is Blinken (in Italy) trying to find a legal purpose. "whe are in Irak at the demand of Iraqi government". What a clown!

But This is The End

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

Posted by: الجزائر | Jun 29 2021 16:42 utc | 219

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 16:42 utc | 220

Sorry for the mess in blockquote

Posted by: الجزائر‎ | Jun 29 2021 16:48 utc | 221

I have no idea what happened @224. I couldn't preview--no text appeared in box--so I removed the link to my VK space since that's been an inhibitor previously, but that didn't do anything either. So, I posted in hopes it would appear--it didn't. So I closed the window and reopened another using Microsoft Edge and tried again. I had no problems @221, but still couldn't get my current comment to preview, so I wrote this note in hopes it gets posted. Ah Ha! It previewed normally.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 16:49 utc | 222

@ vk (# 220),

You have shared a lot of info about the Soviet Union and communism. Can you please elaborate on who were Lenin’s backers and bankers. Also, who were the key international financiers involved during Stalin’s time. Thanks.

“Lenin himself is quoted to say in one of his letters, ‘There will be transport as long as we have the Daddy’. And Lenin was right. Litvinov was their connection with the British special services. It is through him that the money was supplied. He purchased the weapons and could provide transport. If another person were in his position, there would be no transport. And while they had Daddy, everything worked out for the revolutionaries. Under one condition though — that they were fighting against Russia…”
– Excerpt From, “Rouble Nationalization – the Way to Russia's Freedom” by N. Starikov

A mediocre individual tells. A good teacher explains. A superior character demonstrates. A true leader inspires.

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 16:50 utc | 223

The problem with 224 was the imbedded link to the Sputnik article I wanted to comment about. I removed the link and this is what remains:

Yesterday I reported Putin's message to Russian War College graduates where he announced the newest arms entering into service as well as the planning for those being planned. Today Sputnik elaborated on my report, probably to ensure the 5-Eyes didn't miss the announcement and what it means--gotta dumb things down for 5-Eyes Analysts given the reports they file. I wonder if the Captain of the USS Ross, which is supposed to duplicate the HMS Defender's navigational path, has any clue of what he's facing?

So Typepad is now blocking commentary linking to Sputnik articles. I wonder what else is now censored?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 16:56 utc | 224

As promised in my Mentions comment above @ 117, I am revisiting today an article by Yves Smith entitled "Covid Vaccine Whack-a-mole". It delves into the question of vaccination against the Covid virus in the US. Comments were important.

The initial subject was the apparent need for booster shots to recharge vaccine effectiveness:

IM DOC:"...That is of course assuming that people will be able to handle repeated mRNA vaccines. There is considerable doubt in my circles that will be possible. Each successive one brings on a stronger reaction. Sooner or later the reactions are no longer minor. All will be known soon enough."[my bold]

(Thanks to those who posted on the subject at Mentions above.)

Posted by: juliania | Jun 29 2021 16:57 utc | 225

I'll now try a Global Times link, "Xi confers highest Party honor ahead of CPC centenary, ‘spirit to drive 2nd centenary goal’", which includes this bit:

"Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Tuesday that one of the secrets of the CPC's success even after 100 years is its insistence on the belief that the Party is for serving the people.

"China's democracy is people-oriented, while in the West, democracy is based on procedural elections. After decades of competition between the two categories of democracy, especially in the post COVID-19 era, we found that China's people-oriented democracy is far better than the procedural-based electoral democracy in the West, Song said.

"The strong ability to correct mistakes and respond to challenges flexibly was another secret for CPC to maintain vitality, Song said." [My Emphasis]

And I'd add that it goes well beyond "belief" into the realm of fact that the Party serves the people first and foremost as that's what the awards reported in the article are being given for.

Hmm... That previewed as usual, so it ought to post okay.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 17:04 utc | 226

Cannot afford firewood? Jesus Christ, Indians, don't you have any shame?

Posted by: vk | Jun 28 2021 20:00 utc | 162

Something new?
Even Covid related?

Stop frightening with "India DELTA variations"

Here are the numbers
10 time less pro million than "Wide Wild West"

Ivermectin? HCQ? PFIZER ?

Posted by: TRUTH4U‎ | Jun 29 2021 17:10 utc | 227

@ karlof 228
I wonder if the Captain of the USS Ross, which is supposed to duplicate the HMS Defender's navigational path, has any clue of what he's facing?
Judge for yourself. Clues: Recently on Ross they celebrated Pride Month with a ceremony and cake in the morning, and zumba in the evening. . . facebook

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 17:14 utc | 228

I ask, carefully, knowing in vain it is not off-topic...

Are there any photos of Stalin wearing a tie and jacket?

Are there any photos of Mao wearing a tie and jacket?

Both are big spirits who were fully committed to survival of their nation=group that was under overwhelming attacks by outsiders.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 29 2021 17:15 utc | 229

@ karlof 230
China's people-oriented democracy is far better than the procedural-based electoral democracy in the West
That's a point that I (and probably others) have been harping on, that elections are not guarantees of democracy (governance by the people) when the elected ones merely become the financial slaves of the corporations. . . The high costs of elections must be repaid! So the elected ones trip on down the street to a phone room, they can't solicit in their offices, and spend much of the day dialing up the masters of their fate to ask for money.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 17:22 utc | 230

True that this gruff one is mean. There is no point denying it. The other fake leftist (who has clearly read a couple more Wikipedia articles on Marxism than king donkey rear .org) being all butthurt over my pointing out that David Brock is gay and a fascist is perplexing, though. Isn't the whole point of Identity Politics to recognize the identity categories that some people fixate on and define themselves by? I am just acknowledging the identity of the individual in question. Of course, in the case of David Brock it is difficult to know which facet of his identity predominates, gayness or fascism. This is why one is best off using both identity traits when referring to him.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 29 2021 17:25 utc | 231

Five-eyes according to wikipedia.

The Five Eyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.[1] These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.[2][3][4]

The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to informal secret meetings during World War II between British and US code-breakers that started before the US entry into the war, followed by the Atlantic Charter agreed by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. Canadian academic Srdjan Vucetic argues that the alliance emerged from Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech, given at Westminster College, Missouri, in 1946,[5] in particular Churchill's belief the conflict with the Soviet sphere of influence would become a hot war unless the English-speaking democracies learned to cooperate:

Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organisation will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States... the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers..."[6]

As the Cold War deepened, the intelligence sharing arrangement became formalised under the ECHELON surveillance system in the 1960s.[7] This was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it is now used to monitor communications worldwide.

That is the anglosphere. A genuine organization. A club. They have the power, not politicians. Doesn't matter who is elected, if five eyes doesn't like what's been elected, they can quickly remove it.
Now this little club wants to dominate China as well as Russia. A big part of dominating China at the moment is pinning Covid on China. Plenty are going along with that.
Some history on the way Chinese are viewed here Nothing much has changed over the last 160 years. Now we just say its because they're commies.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 17:37 utc | 232

@Agin @209 & @212:

Thank you for those contributions, subjects that get far too little attention these days. People who are surprised by the disfunction and criminality of our "elites" would understand better if they knew more about where all that "old money" really came from.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 29 2021 17:42 utc | 233

@ 230
Here's some gas from CNN on the subject of accountability:
CNN headline:
"In China, the media doesn't hold the powerful accountable. It ensures those in power hold on to it." . .here
Meanwhile the US powerful go unabated while they stick it to the citizens in any way possible.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 17:45 utc | 234

@ Peter 234
I'll play devil's advocate: Why should we be concerned with intelligence sharing arrangements when we know it's mostly BS and wrong?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 17:49 utc | 235

I must applaud today's Matthew Ehret article coming on the heels of the rules-based order's failure off Crimea:

"Ignoring, for the time being that nearly every single case of terrorism either foreign or domestic for the past 80 years has enjoyed both the logistic and financial support of western intelligence agencies, the ugly truth is that the systematic undermining of all international customs and norms during the past 80 years has had everything to do with the unyielding desire to replace a world governed by nation states and the general welfare of the citizens with a perverse Hobbesian Leviathan whose sole law is defined by the power of the most fit over the weak.

"Where the Multipolar Alliance is defending the structures of sovereignty, non-interventionism, and cooperation as the foundation of International Law, the unipolar alliance run by hives of creepy technocrats and billionaires wishing for nothing less than total control over a depopulated, post-truth, post-nation state world order sometimes called “shareholder capitalism” is but in truth nothing less than neo-technocratic feudalism." [My Emphasis]

Strategic-Culture also offers this informational infographic that looks into Putin's NBC interview to reveal mistakes by all actors, not just NBC.

When visiting either of those two items, you might visit the main page and click Ehret's article from the 25th which, if you've read Ehret long enough, you'll see as a continuation of the thesis he's pursuing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 18:01 utc | 236

Don Bacon @230 & @232--

Thanks for your replies. The FB page was revealing--a bunch of kids playing at sailor-soldier on a tin can that aside from its missiles is weaker than the one my Step-Grandfather Captained during WW2. In no way have they come close to being tested by anything resembling combat.

chu teh @231--

I found your question curious, so I took a look. There are a few pics of a very young Stalin wearing a cravat as was the style of the times, but otherwise he's wearing his Marshal uniform or just a basic cadre uniform. Most Mao pics show him in his uniform, although there are a few taken when at leisure he's wearing what would be considered casual wear. But we both know ostentatiousness isn't at all part of a genuine Communist's personality, taste in clothing, or anything else, although opulence at State Occasions certainly occurs and was hosted by both Mao and Stalin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 18:35 utc | 237

vk@217 on PPP in China as opposed to PPP in Trump/Biden infrastructure deals: "The difference here is that capital is sandboxed, i.e. when socialism got what it wanted from capital, it could politically expropriate it and recover lost ground." The current leadership of the CPC has no intention of ever moving moving. As of now, the CPC has sandboxed itself by its adamant insistence that all previous efforts to abolish classes were criminal acts, especially collectivization and the Cultural Revolution. (I am uncertain as to the Great Leap Forward as 1.being radical decentralization and a vehement repudiation of planning it is their ideological preference that is embarrassed and/or 2.not so much Mao's responsibility as others, which means no political use in fighting Mao.) Unlike vk, I do not assume that more capitalism will inevitably evolve painlessly into socialism. But I do tend to think that when Xi et al. keep saying, more and more power over the economy to be devolved to private hands as soon as possible, I believe they mean it. The possibility they screw things up like Gorbachev and threaten their own power just means some of the tops will be tempted to smash the last vestiges of the workers' state and build a new machine to rework society for the bourgeois. That's already happened before, Deng and Tien An Men, which was a huge crisis precisely because there was so much support at the top. History doesn't repeat, but it often rhymes. In this case, reopening Tian An Men and reforming the verdict on Tien An Men may well be a harbinger of the storm. There's a reason the most predatory capitalists in China (Hong Kong) fetishize Tian An Men.

William Gruff@233 proves again that being a jerk (polite phrasing!) interferes with thinking clearly. Quite aside from the absurdity of thinking I'm into identity politics (thinking the Gruffs shouldn't be allowed to beat up or kill unmanly men isn't IdPol) Gruff still can't explain who David Brock was. David Brock was briefly a fad for fascist-lites like Gruff, for writing a "biography" savaging Anita Hill, a "little bit nutty, a little bit slutty," was the phrase I think? No, I can't be trouble to remember, because Brock wrote a mildly favorable bio of Hilary Clinton and promptly *lost* his fascist credibility and hasn't been anyone since. He's been even less important than John Dean, for God's sake! William Gruff doesn't like Brock because Brock is gay and because Brock *isn't* a fascist any more, he's a dreary Third Way Liberal. Brock's sex life may offend William Gruff's personality-crippling neuroses but common sense people have other things to worry about.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:00 utc | 238

Glad you enjoyed Bemildred and karlof1. I hope others find it useful as well.

It is a continuation of my post at 174 with regards to Ashkenaz in the Hebrew bible.




In the Hebrew Bible, a nazirite or nazarite is one who voluntarily took a vow described in Numbers 6:1–21. "Nazarite" comes from the Hebrew word נזיר‎ nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated".[1]

After following these requirements for a designated interval (which would be specified in the individual's vow), the person would immerse in a mikveh and make three offerings: a lamb as a burnt offering (olah), a ewe as a sin offering (hatat), and a ram as a peace offering (shelamim), in addition to a basket of unleavened bread, grain offerings and drink offerings, which accompanied the peace offering. They would also shave their head in the outer courtyard of the Temple in Jerusalem and then place the hair on the same fire as the peace offering (Numbers 6:18).

Gott mit uns ("God with us") is a phrase commonly used in heraldry in Prussia (from 1701) and later by the German military during the periods spanning the German Empire (1871 to 1918), the Third Reich (1933 to 1945), and the early years of West Germany (1949 to 1962).

Matthew 1:23, refers to the prophecy written in Isaiah 7:14, glossing the name Immanuel (Emmanuel, עִמָּנוּאֵל‎) as "God with us".

Best wishes.

Posted by: Agin | Jun 29 2021 19:03 utc | 239

I wonder how "unmanly" one must be before words leave bruises or even kill? It is a strange fragility that these spokespeople for the liberal establishment have. They are quite prone to hysteria.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 29 2021 19:13 utc | 240

@ Agin (#241),

Interesting info, thanks. What fractal emerges from all this info that you have shared?

What FRACTAL emerges from various epochs in the history of humanity? What are those key epochs? Who were the founders of the existing dominant socioeconomic system? What fractal can one derive based on these founders?

Knowledge is the accumulation of information. Intelligence is the potential to understand. Wisdom is the ability to discern.

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 19:20 utc | 241

@30 Let's hope those nasty Russians don't do anything to offend them.

Posted by: dh | Jun 29 2021 19:34 utc | 242

The only hysteria here is thinking I'm a spokesman for the "liberal establishment," a concept that isn't a product of calm reason. Very likely, William Gruff has handed out the bruises in real life, but it's true that no one is literally bloodied by a comment. The bottom line is, David Brock was a right-winger, Gruff hates him for being gay and betraying the far right Gruff belongs to, and David Brock is a nobody who hardly gets published, much less control social media, which shows Gruff is just hysterical about gays and deeply resents traitors to the cryptofascist cause Gruff serves.

But to be fair, I'm quite sure Gruff is unpaid and vents this bigoted tripe solely for personal satisfaction.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:39 utc | 243

To be fair, I am quite sure that the poster above who regularly boosts other well-known astroturfers tries his hardest to earn his salary. It's all he can do to fight off the impostor syndrome and generalized anxiety that is so often seen among the workforces of other organizations associated with his employer.

I hope he is careful around crickets. They are known to cause brain damage to those in his line of work.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 29 2021 20:03 utc | 244

I have to thank the polemicists for making me search, would Quevedo be translated to English? Has he ever, the classics deserve it, so I found this jewel, even in English sounds good!

Against Góngora and his poetry

This faux Sicilian cyclops,
a microcosmic, posterior orb;
an antipodal face, a hemisphere:
half Sodom, half Gommorah;

this circle lives in plain view;
and, since it’s nothing but a zero,
it’s multiplied and divided by
every dainty Venetian merchant.

a monocle worn by a blind eye,
a hole as hairy as a horse’s mane;
a peak of provocative vice.

this, where farts sing like sirens,
this is the crack of Góngora’s cult
where even bungholers blanch.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 29 2021 20:11 utc | 245

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 19:20 utc | 243

"What fractal emerges from all this info that you have shared?"

DNA. Double Helix. Birkeland Currents. Plasma.

Posted by: Agin | Jun 29 2021 20:16 utc | 246

@ Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 16:50 utc | 225

The only arms deal the USSR had during Lenin's lifetime (and until Lend Lease) was the Rapallo Treaty, which was a secret treaty because Germany was banned to do it due to the Versailles Treaty. The volume of arms involved was negligible.

There were many attempts of "reform and opening up" by the USSR since day 1 of its existence, many involving bankers (who were necessary in order to trespass the embargo of the capitalist nations). None of them or almost none of them panned out until the crisis of 1929 softened the USA. Even if they had, they were contracts of concessions (investment in infrastructure and technology of mineral extraction in the USSR in exchange of a parcel of the product for export) that were very small in scale, very unlikely to make a difference in the great scheme of things.

The very first act of the USSR was to annul all of its debt and expropriate the Tsarist Central Bank. The Bolsheviks never had any illusions with financial capital. This came from a lesson of life for the communists: it was already consensus that the Paris Commune failed because the Communards refused to confiscate the funds of the Bank of France. Had they done that, they would've been able to negotiate a successful evacuation, using the funds as ransom (there was no computer technology at the time; all the money was physical and in unique physical accountancy books).

Posted by: vk | Jun 29 2021 20:53 utc | 247

@ steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:00 utc | 240:

William Gruff doesn't like Brock because Brock is gay and because Brock *isn't* a fascist any more, he's a dreary Third Way Liberal.

In other words, he's now a rainbow-colored fascist.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 29 2021 21:06 utc | 248

William Gruff wrote"
Isn't the whole point of Identity Politics to recognize the identity categories that some people fixate on and define themselves by?

Why don't you answer that...
You are the only person I have encountered who is clearly fixated on the identity categories of people. From what i can see you rarely talk about anything else. And when you do talk about something else, it inevitably turns out to be just a spring board to get back to your fixation on identity politics.

Posted by: jinn | Jun 29 2021 21:16 utc | 249

@ William Gruff

Over on the Mentions thread you made a comment I'd like to pursue, and I'm bringing it here rather than be off topic over there.

You said at 127 over there:

The conclusion that the virus didn't leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is actually based upon the fact that the institute didn't have any samples of SARS-CoV-2 prior to isolating it in early 2020. If the lab doesn't have it, they cannot leak it. For otherwise unknown viruses to leak from a lab requires that lab be doing highly classified, usually military, work and thus possess materials that are not publicly documented. The investigators knew that WIV was not doing work of that nature, so all virus samples in the facility would be documented and cataloged as is normal among scientists. You don't have to go looking under workbenches or sniffing through people's lockers in public research institutes to find out what they are working on; just check their documentation.

Now, somebody else has bio labs doing highly classified secret stuff. Those labs are where you need to look to find the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

I wanted to thank you for that little piece of the puzzle and ask if you happen to know whether WIV even continued outsourced contract work from the US after 2017, when Trump overturned the 2014 Obama ban on gain of function research?

It seems to me that if NIH/Fauci/Detrick were outsourcing parts of the work, they absolutely would not offshore the final pieces of the work that could reveal a hostile motive - but I know nothing of virology so I don't know how sound that logic is against research realities.

From the interview with the Australian scientist who was at WIV through November 2019, Bloomberg writer Michelle Cortez's story says that the maximum biocontainment facility of the institute was formally opened in 2018. I wonder if this is accurate or a misstatement? If this is accurate, it seems even less likely that the lab was handling the most dangerous parts of the work.

I suppose it would be useful to see the work contracted to WIV over the last 5 or 6 years, although this may not be possible. Maybe I should read that WHO report...

I would welcome any information or thoughts on this point.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 29 2021 22:56 utc | 250

Alistair Crook has this link in an article. I think I linked this in one of these threads a day or two back

The piece he links to I don't put much faith in after reading it again but it also has links.

This one is interesting
That is an article on research into bat coronavirus carried out in China and funded by US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the research published in nature. Looks to be normal research.

Another link this one on stopping gain of function research funding in 2014. SARS and MERS coronaviruses plus flue. I take it they were viruses being experimented with for gain of function.
"New USG funding will not be released for gain-of-function research projects that may be
reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that
the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity and/or transmissibility in mammals via the
respiratory route. The research funding pause would not apply to characterization or
testing of naturally occurring influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses, unless the tests are
reasonably anticipated to increase transmissibility and/or pathogenicity."

This is what Alistair Crooke wrote
"(especially, as now the details of U.S. early ‘gain of function’ collaboration with Wuhan, are being leaked)"
Going through those links there is nothing to indicate US had farmed out gain of function. Just funding for the Wuhan lab research into the bat corona viruses. Fort Detrick is pentagon. It would be a simple matter to farm gain of function out to its overseas labs. As far as I know, they are supposed to be joint research with the host country and I think that is the way it is set up on paper, but I believe in each of these, the US has a section the host country is not allowed in.

This is the article by Crooke, the relevant piece about two thirds the way down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 0:05 utc | 251

Pardon me if I am compelled to avert my eyes as the trolls masturbate each other.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2021 0:11 utc | 252

Something interesting I did not pick up on earlier. From the government paper on stopping gain of function funding.

"In parallel, we will encourage the currently-funded USG and non-USG funded research
community to join in adopting a voluntary pause on research that meets the stated definition."

The US government did not prevent gain of function research being undertaken in the US. It only stopped direct funding of those projects. Research on gain of function could still continue under generalized government funded and also non government funding.

Did the US government at any time after this actually outlaw gain of function research in the US?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 0:20 utc | 253

Really Gruff? Some people pay good money for that. :-)

Posted by: oglalla | Jun 30 2021 0:21 utc | 254

@ James

Thanks for the shoutout.

As do others here, i often read the comments in reverse order so I see the name first.

Posted by: oglalla | Jun 30 2021 0:26 utc | 255

karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 18:35 utc | 239

re presenting tie, Thanks your input [you and others, as always\

Once a male has entered the world stage in any significant capacity, not presenting the tie might indicate integrity and a level of knowing oneself/purpose, bordering even at certainty that can stem only from inspection and demonstration. At the level of world-stage, consistently not
presenting tie is only done deliberately in the face of enormous pressure to conform, or somehow or genuflect.

Consistently Not presenting tie often lets another know who one is dealing with.

Of course, I mentioned Stalin and Mao. There are many others, such as Gandhi, Castro-Ruiz and many more and even more I never heard of. Combined with a track record of steadfastness and accomplishment, not presenting tie marks great beingness.

OTOH, presenting tie is simply meaningless beyond a sensitivity to Public Relations.

I hesitate to add...

Short of Stalin, Russia wouldn't be.

Short of Mao, China wouldn't be.

Short of Fidel, Cuba wouldn't be.

Somehow, they did not get the full implant.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 30 2021 0:26 utc | 256

@ Agin | Jun 29 2021 19:03 utc | 241..

why is unleavened bread more relevant to these holy people then leavened bread?? you have my curiousity... thanks...

oglalla... i enjoy reading your infrequent commentary! i respect a poster who posts infrequently... it is opposite my style, lol!

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2021 0:35 utc | 257

Grieved @252: "...if you happen to know whether WIV even continued outsourced contract work from the US after 2017..."

I don't know that for certain, but I suspect it was. What I know is that contract work would have to be very heavily documented unless the contractee clearly specified otherwise (lab staff have to burn their notes every night?), and even then I doubt it would fly. The very biggest part of scientific work is documentation. It is no exaggeration to say that rigorous and methodical documentation is the very heart and soul of science. For research that is contracted out this is doubly so as, generally speaking, the documentation is all that the contractee ends up with and they will want their money's worth.

"Bloomberg writer Michelle Cortez's story says that the maximum biocontainment facility of the institute was formally opened in 2018. I wonder if this is accurate or a misstatement?"

That is accurate. China has developed numerous state-of-the-art research facilities that, like their "ghost cities", are initially underutilized. This was the case with the WIV, which did not even achieve full staffing until after the pandemic broke out. At least I know that as of February of last year it was far from being fully booked. It wasn't like scientists were fighting over scheduled time slots in the facility back then. I am assuming that it has gotten a little busier since as that seems like a safe bet with all that has happened in the last year.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2021 0:58 utc | 258

oglalla @257

True. I'm just too jaded, I guess :D

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2021 1:01 utc | 259

I don't think anyone has yet posted the gorgeous fireworks over Beijing to celebrate the CPC centenary.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying posted some phone-clip footage to Twitter - but if your browser can play an mp4 (and surely it can), here's the direct link to the video clip: real fireworks

It's just 1:35 and much too short. On the direct link you can right-click and save if you wish.


When you find yourself feeling proud to be Chinese and realize you're not actually Chinese, you understand just how well China is actually winning the hearts and minds of the world.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 30 2021 1:04 utc | 260

@261 William Gruff

Thank you for the response. And scroll up a little in case you missed it, Peter AU1 has some valuable insights @256 and @254.

Many thanks to both of you.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 30 2021 1:08 utc | 261

@254 Peter AU1

I'm going to spend a few days sifting through Christina Lin's links and the others you supplied. There's a story here that needs to be retold differently from the way that we, and lawmakers in Congress, have heard it.

Thanks again, to you and William Gruff. I hope to take a first stab at retelling the story in the next open thread.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 30 2021 1:41 utc | 262

Grieved 265

That would be good.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 4:01 utc | 263

Ties tied up.

Past personal experience;
I used to have to take my son to school every day, which meant making a zigzag course along the French-Swiss border. Crossing various manned posts, morning and evening.

If you wear a tie they do not stop you. You might be an official. Customs officers have a "thing" about roll-necked sweaters, T-shirts and other loose wear. Also they do stop single young females regularly (Still do).

If approaching Swiss customs roll down the window completely, as if you do not they think you have something to hide. When approaching the French border guards (about 100 yards away), do NOT roll down the window completely, but roll it up again so that the it is only partly open, as they think you have something to tell them. (Completely shut is like a red rag to a bull)

Do not attempt to smuggle things on saturdays or sudays. Customs officers get one and a half pay during saturday and double pay on sundays. They are always there on those days.

Of course nowadays, they just sit in offices looking at screens - so all my hard earned experience now goes to waste.....

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 30 2021 7:28 utc | 264

@ Peter 234
I'll play devil's advocate: Why should we be concerned with intelligence sharing arrangements when we know it's mostly BS and wrong?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 17:49 utc | 237

Dear DA, your question is based on a premise that the principal task of intelligence agencies is the quest for knowledge, actual facts pertaining to the world we live in. This is corroborated by statistics about all countries in the world that CIA publishes and graciously allows to access online. So some people among the vast numbers in the employ of those agencies collect info of some reliability. But is it all they do? From many glimpses we could witness, the secret part of their activity is quite disturbing. Part of it, not the most vile, is to create and spread lies, and that requires to create "echoing center" to give those lies some appearance of truth.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 30 2021 12:01 utc | 265

"echoing center" --> "echoing mechanisms"

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 30 2021 12:02 utc | 266

Stonebird | Jun 30 2021 7:28 utc | 266

re presenting tie...thanks your significant observations.I recall presenting with tie in order to "look important" or just to "get in the door" or "belong". My own FOMO [fear of missing out} was real...I was "out". One fine day I smirked and tossed the last one.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 30 2021 12:51 utc | 267

Don Bacon 237 "I'll play devil's advocate: Why should we be concerned with intelligence sharing arrangements when we know it's mostly BS and wrong?"

I missed your comment earlier.
Five-eyes/echelon whatever its called is a club that once you're in, you can never leave.
For Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the monarch of England is the head of state. The monarchs representative in Australia is the governor general and I would guess it is the same for Canada and New Zealand. The monarchs representative is the person with the most power in these three countries/colonies and has the power to sack the elected government. To be sworn in to office, the elected prime minister swears and oath of allegiance to the monarch, not to his or here country There is no such position as prime minister in the constitution in Australia. The PM is simply the leader of whatever political party gets into power and can be changed by that party at any time so as well as all the other bullshit, there are palace intrigues.

I take it those in the military and intelligence would also have to swear loyalty to the foreign monarch head of state. And many or most are fully aboard this system.
So, we get a genuine elected government that calls bullshit on this set up. Any government relies on information from intelligence when making decisions. Ignore this and they will be quickly taken down, using the media or whatever means. Whitlam, a prime minister in the early seventies and head of the labour party wanted to kick off diplomatic relations with China and a few other things. He made the mistake of saying he was going to reveal to parliament the names of CIA agents operating in Australia. He was very quickly sacked by the governor general and the liberal party was installed in power.
For a number of years now, we have had the fascist wing in power and they are fully aboard the five-eyes / anglo world dominance stuff. They are quite prepared to and have started to do so, wreck this country in the pursuit of continued anglo world dominance.
PM Abbott, when he was leader of this fascist faction said that rather than being part of the asia pacific, we are part of the anglosphere. I am anglo by ancestry and culture but this is bullshit. We live in the asia pacific, our neighbors are all asian and are also our export market. That was a good reminder to all our neighbors that we were part of the anglo imperialists of the past and still are.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 14:34 utc | 268

Agin @241, we Orthodox say "Christ is in our midst" when as travellers we meet one another. And the delighted response is "He is, and shall be!" I second karlof1's emphasis on what leadership does for all the people, and to him, to james, to all in the Northwestern parts of America who have suffered over the last few days, love, comfort, and thanks for all you do here!

Briefly I heard a coyote last night in our arroyo. They haven't ventured in this close for a long time. Back in the day I saw them frequently. This strange climate inverse has brought us needed rain. Rabbits and other little creatures will flourish as the grasses return. Our coyotes are beautiful; like small wolves. Where the wild can flourish the earth shall regenerate. The heat will return to us but for now we have a respite. I so wish the same for all.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 30 2021 15:17 utc | 269

The imaginary question over Stalin's legacy continues:

For all the talk of 'Stalin's successes,' the Soviet Union smashed the Nazis in spite of his harsh leadership, not because of it

This RT op-ed is from professor Tarik Cyril Amar, from Koç University in Istanbul, and it is written he's a specialist in "Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe, the history of World War II, the cultural Cold War, and the politics of memory".

Let me jump to the core of his argument:

And rightly so. Stalin’s mistakes before and during the war against Nazi Germany were terrible and too numerous to be fully spelled out. Perhaps the single most bizarre instance was his initial disbelief towards the scores of credible warnings of the German attack. But there was more: Stalin decimated the Soviet officer corps in his prewar purges, thereby psychologically hobbling those who were left. He meddled in military questions he did not understand, such as how best to deploy tanks. In international politics, he bizarrely misinterpreted the Spanish Civil War as, most of all, yet another place to fight the shadow of Trotskyism. And, moreover, he was decisive in the insane Comintern policy of targeting other socialists as “social fascists,” thereby sabotaging broad anti-fascist coalitions until it was too late.

During the first trying days of collapse and rout that followed the start of Nazi Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union, Stalin almost gave up. He retreated to one of his dachas and, apparently, expected his inner circle to remove, punish, and quite likely kill him. Yet, instead, they asked him to return to the helm, which he did. After that though, he continued to meddle in military decisions, creating more costly mistakes.

But, over time, he also seems to have done one thing that his chief opponent Hitler signally failed to do. Stalin came to tacitly accept the expertise of generals who knew better than he did, as long as they were politically submissive and provided he could claim the laurels of victory. That is very little to say in his defense, and there really isn’t much else to add to his credit – even if some historians, both in the West and the former Soviet Union, have said otherwise. They risk committing the fallacy of mistaking archival evidence supporting the fact Stalin was there to lead for proof that he was “indispensable” to the war effort. Remaining at the helm and steering the ship in the right direction are two very different skills.

This narrative - the Stalin was a tin pot dictator who was forced to come down to reality by the horrors of war (and a real threat to his own life) and started to trust his young talented generals and then, because of that, the USSR suddenly started winning - is a very outdated myth.

I don't know any works by prof. Amar. I don't know which is his real expertise (the description in the op-ed is too wide - he obviously isn't an expert in all of those areas). But he's clearly well out of his depth here; if he's an expert in WWII, he certainly isn't specialized in military history, and his replication of this old narrative is a sign he may well have been stuck in time (a historian must always keep himself updated to the newest discoveries; this is true even for Ancient History, where archaeological discoveries come out every year, depending on your area).

For the subject he writes about, we have to resort to the authority of the military historians. The main authority on the Eastern Front of WWII we have nowadays is David M. Glantz. Glantz is a retired colonel from the Pentagon, and, if I'm not mistaken, he was commissioned by the Pentagon itself to do research about Soviet military strategy during WWII. Besides, he had access to the opened archives of the USSR after its fall in the 1990s. That makes him the closest to the ideal observer of the phenomenon.

In "When Titans Clashed" - which is Glantz's simplified, shortened version of the history of the Eastern Front - there's no mention to any of the points prof. Amar talks about. Glantz is an American working for the Pentagon, so, if any of those points about Stalin were true, there would be no reason for him not to point those out in the most commercial version of his history.

The closest we can come from prof. Amar's narrative in Glantz's book is Tukhachevsky's show trial and execution at the gates of WWII. Tukhachevsky is the father of the now famous strategic depths operation doctrine - the doctrine that gave the USSR victory over the Third Reich. Glantz speculates that, had Tukhachevsky not been executed, the USSR could in theory have adopted it from the very beginning and won much easier, without the painful first two years of the war.

However, the same Glantz later ponders that the reason Tukhachevsky was condemned at the time was his doctrine was too advanced for the actual development of the Red Army at the time, not because Stalin thought he was outright wrong. It was only when the Red Army finished its reforms - during the heat of WWII - that it was materially able to apply Tukhachevsky's doctrine to satisfaction. Even then, we have to see the fact that all of his young generals who won WWII were disciples of Tukhachevsky, therefore the problem Stalin had with Tukhachevsky wasn't with his military genius.

The "decimation of the talented officer corps" thesis is pure nonsense. This myth comes from the extrapolation of the fact that Hitler used WWI veteran generals and was very successful until Stalingrad (when, allegedly, Soviet sheer numbers won the day). The thing is: Hitler didn't use WWI veterans because he thought they were the best, but because they were the only available. The Versailles Treaty forbade Germany to educate and graduate officers. That left Germany with a lost generation of high officers (generals included). The Third Reich was initially successful for many reasons that were completely out of control of its generals; it is very simplistic to attribute it solely to a postulated talent and experience of WWI generals.

Experience in WWI didn't translate into WWII success. One famous case of that was a general who survived Stalin's purge and was a WWI veteran. He used ossified tactics and was victim of the greatest encirclement in history in the southern front. He was fired by Stalin during the war. In the USA itself, general Eisenhower fired his old generals after the Louisiana Maneuvers, because they were too outdated to perform in the new era. No doubt Hitler would have done the same if he could.

Nowadays, it is a consensus among military historians that the world during the 1920s-1930s was a world in flux thanks to the brand new technologies that came into place. The USSR was simply the last of the great players to finish its transition for the simple fact it was the poorest of them and because it had to do it on the largest scale of them all. It is also a consensus that Hitler, whether by accident or by pure genius, chose the perfect time to attack the USSR: had he attacked some years earlier, he would have been defeated in the West because the Wehrmacht wasn't ready; had he attacked even one year later, he would have been easily defeated by a ready or much closer to be ready Red Army in the East.

The purges of the officers were also very popular among the soldiers according to documentation. There's no evidence of any mutiny or protest or revolt by the Soviet soldiers during the purges, at least not to my knowledge. Every dictator's power emanates from his full support of the military; it would be counterintuitive to think Stalin would've been purging his officers because those officers were talented. Talented officers get you closer, not more distant, to victory (and absolute power), and this is a universal truth that transcends ideology. To think Stalin jeopardized his own nation for the sake of his own political preservation is a paradox, because, without the USSR, there's no political power to be held to begin with.

The reason why Stalin refused to counterattack during the first weeks of the war is very well documented. The Non-Aggression Pact was still valid, and Stalin had to consider the possibility Hitler was just doing some border clash in order to appease/fool the Western imperialist powers. Besides, communication was heavily hurt at this time because the Soviets were being overrun, and the Germans were obviously destroying the communications infrastructure first, before they advanced on the terrain. Another factor was the surreal aspect of the war: Stalin couldn't believe immediately Hitler was really going to exterminate the entire Soviet people. It took some months before it downed to him the Nazis were really serious about the extermination of the Slavs. Glantz writes about this.

The story of Stalin retreating to "one of his dachas" also seems to be a complete fabrication. There's no mention about this in Glantz. It is also the first time I've ever read this. I would like prof. Amar to quote his source on this, because I'm curious. According to Glantz, Stalin never left Moscow and immediately formed the Stavka when the war begun, working tirelessly. Glantz also highlights the fact that Stalin was actually very able militarily, and didn't commit any serious mistakes on his decisions and discussions to his generals. Just to give one example, Glantz pointed out that Stalin, being a Marxist, correctly foresaw the Nazis would prioritize the natural resources in the Caucasus and the Ukraine in the very beginning of the war, when all of his young generals insisted the Nazis would focus on Moscow. Stalin didn't interfered in operational aspects of the war (which wasn't his job anyway).

The "social fascists" and Spanish Civil War extrapolation are absurd. It was the social-democrats who betrayed the Second International and supported the efforts of their respective bourgeoisies in WWI. The anti-communist character of the social-democrats during the interwar period was a public and notorious fact that everybody knew and took for granted. The social-democrats who purged the trade unions from its communist members during the 1920s, and refused every offer of united front against fascism by the Comintern. By 1925, the word "Trotskyism" had already completely lost its original meaning; it was just a term used to designate everybody not aligned with the CPSU/Comintern line (the same way "Marxist" is an American term used to designate everybody on the Left nowadays). The social-democrats continued to be anti-communists during and after WWII. Either way, none of this had anything to do with Stalin, who was notoriously absent in the international/Comintern debate during the 1920s, when all of this took shape. By the end of the 1930s, the Comintern was already de facto dead. It is pure anachronism to relate both of these cases to WWII.

I've already talked here about Krushchev's famous speech. Evidence indicates he came out with this speech under duress, maybe even for his very survival, during the deadly days of the battle for succession of Stalin. This is a biased source, that should be interpreted carefully.

We should not let the petty catfight between modern-day Stalinists and Trotskyists stain scientific historical analysis. We also should not fall for the post-war liberal myth that equated Hitler with Stalin. Hitler was a tragedy of humanity, a circus freak, a completely unnecessary and disproportional measure by the Western capitalist class at a moment when the very existence of capitalism was on the table (it couldn't recover from the 1929 crisis until WWII saved it). Stalin, as I've said here many times, was simply the man of the circumstance.

Posted by: vk | Jun 30 2021 17:10 utc | 270

vk, I haven't read right through your long post, but this piece of the quote I have been thinking on for a long time "Stalin decimated the Soviet officer corps in his prewar purges,..."

I think that is why the Soviet union were able to stop, then defeat the German army that had rolled through Europe like a hot knife through butter.

The Russian empire military had been nothing to write home about for some time. An entire fleet easily wiped out by japan and the WWI - there were other issues there but still military leadership was an issue.

Stalin knew there was a war coming when he purged the officers. That continued through the German invasion. Some being sacked others shot, and those who performed well promoted with new blood to replace the failures who also had to prove themselves. That is how the soviet union were able to stop, then turn the tables on the most powerful army in the world at that point in time.

That is also the very foundation of the Russian military we see today.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 17:26 utc | 271

@vk #272

Another wonderful comment by vk. Thank you, vk!

Posted by: S | Jun 30 2021 17:37 utc | 272

TASS provides a summary of Putin's geopolitical replies during this year's Direct Line. I chose the following to highlight:

"The world is changing dramatically. But our partners in the US, on the one hand, understand this, and this is why the Geneva meeting [with US President Joe Biden] took place, but, on the other hand, they seek to preserve their monopolistic position at any cost".

Here's my analogy based on Putin's remark. The Outlaw US Empire is performing like an entrant in a NASCAR race where after running on your tires too long your lap times slow and others pass you, signaling the need for a pitstop for new tires and fuel to resume the race. The other racers are affected similarly, but they were smarter and pitted earlier and are now in the lead. Pitting under a green flag means the Empire will fall further behind so it awaits a yellow flag that will allow it to stay on the same lap and to try and retake the lead when the green flag returns. Team Biden's in a tough spot as it tried to remain in first place too long, and it could fall further behind if it doesn't make the right choice and get a little help in the form of luck--the yellow flag.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:07 utc | 273

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:07 utc | 275

Direct Line has local character, bread and butter issues, but foreign relations came to the fore too, with Ukraine and the Defender provocation explained with some depth.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 30 2021 18:16 utc | 274

So now we see one of the (limited) fallout of Biden meeting Putin in Geneva, as well as meeting the local jokes parading as Swiss government: the fools will buy a bunch of F-35 and Patriot missiles - obviously as payback for choosing their country, among other bribes. I'll let the barflies reflect how this decision guarantees the sound safety of that tiny mountain country for the next decades...

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 30 2021 18:18 utc | 275

From karlof1's post "The world is changing dramatically. But our partners in the US, on the one hand, understand this, and this is why the Geneva meeting [with US President Joe Biden] took place, but, on the other hand, they seek to preserve their monopolistic position at any cost"

This is why Russian weapons systems are rolling out at a very high rate now and in Syria Iraq, and Iran, everyone is ignoring US provocations and waiting. The calm before the storm.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 18:25 utc | 276

TASS reports on Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak's words spoken today at Russia’s International Financial Congress about its future energy profile:

"'Unfortunately, renewable energy sources are not competitive compared to traditional so far, though the parity will be reached in the coming decade. For example, we expect it in 2027 on solar, and after 2030, in the first half [of decade] on wind,' he said.

"Solar and wind accounted to 60% of all generating capacities commissioned in Russia last year, Novak added.

"Russia plans to focus on the development of new energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydrogen and nuclear, Deputy PM said."

The nuclear will eventually include fusion and hydrogen fuel cells will be fueled by hydrogen obtained from fission reactors. I know the topics of energy and the climate crisis were discussed as part of Putin's Direct Line, but the transcript hasn't reached that part yet, so his comments will have to wait.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:25 utc | 277

@ Peter 270
Any government relies on information from intelligence when making decisions.

Oh come on, Canberra has to make only one decision and that is to be a US puppy (or be Whitlamized via Queeny). Just buy a lot of military crap prescribed by Washington, send some troops, and say "rules-based international order" in every pronouncement. What intelligence is involved? Only obedience is required.

The 'five eyes' baloney is just a cover for 'do what I say,' and pretend that there's a rational reason for it, i.e. "intelligence." It's merely a Washington substitution for London in operating the UK and its colonies, which Washington pulled off in the last two world wars. . .Move over, London, there's a new kid in the empire (i.e. world) where the sun never sets.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 30 2021 18:39 utc | 278

Paco @276--

Thanks for your providing the link to the Russian transcript, but I find it impossible to search, so I await the full English version. Meanwhile, there're other interesting reads, like Escobar's "The Chinese Miracle, Revisited", which IMO explains the gambit revealed in the recent writings of Putin and Lavrov--their attempts to separate NATO from EU since without those twin anchors Eurasia's rejuvenation offers Europe an opportunity to rejoin the "world center" instead of wasting away as an unimportant appendage.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:49 utc | 279

Don Bacon "The 'five eyes' baloney is just a cover for 'do what I say,' and pretend that there's a rational reason for it,.."

Whitlam was one that was willing to make the break, But in reality, intelligence on another counties intention is very much a part of making decisions regarding foreign policy. Fairly important to know what intentions there are behind a diplomatic facade, if they are the same as whats on the facade or different. Ither sources of information are used alo, but intel is a big part of those decisions. It has been obvious and he has stated such that Putin always looks at intel, both assessment and raw material when making a decision.
Whitlam and his party were willing to go it alone, though I believe he was given some correct Intel, especially concerning the CIA operatives in Australia.
Unless there is some support from intel, even if it comes from somewhere down the intel foodchain from people who are loyal to their country rather than five-eyes rather than the top, is essential.
Putin would not have a chance of being able to achieve what he has without strong support from his countries intelligence organisations right from the start. In fact, without that support, if had tried to go it alone he would have very quickly been killed.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 19:07 utc | 280

What I have written in those two posts on the subject is the reason this so called democracy is such a sham. It is an illusion, hopium for the masses. Dumbfucks never revolt because they think if they just elect the right politicians, everything will be good.

As the saying goes, 'In the west, politicians change but policy never does'

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 19:13 utc | 281

Peter AU 1 @282--

Putin would not have a chance of being able to achieve what he has without strong support from his countries intelligence organisations right from the start. In fact, without that support, if had tried to go it alone he would have very quickly been killed.

Agree 100%! Think of those in charge of the US/UK services prior to Thatcher and Reagan's rise that coincided with the escalation of Neoliberalism to its TINA position. Funny that GHW Bush was DCI yet opposed Reagan's VooDoo Economics, although it's 100% possible that was all show.


Finally armed with the correct title, I found the link to the English version of "Vision and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road", China's state paper outlining BRI published in 2015 that I've searched for many times over the years. It's now easier to see why its creation was opposed so strongly by the Outlaw US Empire as it poses a direct challenge to Neoliberalism, specifically when it comes to regulation, the one main inhibitor Neoliberals have sought to destroy so their banditry can romp unopposed:

"Financial integration

"Financial integration is an important underpinning for implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. We should deepen financial cooperation, and make more efforts in building a currency stability system, investment and financing system and credit information system in Asia. We should expand the scope and scale of bilateral currency swap and settlement with other countries along the Belt and Road, open and develop the bond market in Asia, make joint efforts to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS New Development Bank, conduct negotiation among related parties on establishing Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) financing institution, and set up and put into operation the Silk Road Fund as early as possible. We should strengthen practical cooperation of China-ASEAN Interbank Association and SCO Interbank Association, and carry out multilateral financial cooperation in the form of syndicated loans and bank credit. We will support the efforts of governments of the countries along the Belt and Road and their companies and financial institutions with good credit-rating to issue Renminbi bonds in China. Qualified Chinese financial institutions and companies are encouraged to issue bonds in both Renminbi and foreign currencies outside China, and use the funds thus collected in countries along the Belt and Road.

"We should strengthen financial regulation cooperation, encourage the signing of MOUs on cooperation in bilateral financial regulation, and establish an efficient regulation coordination mechanism in the region. We should improve the system of risk response and crisis management, build a regional financial risk early-warning system, and create an exchange and cooperation mechanism of addressing cross-border risks and crisis. We should increase cross-border exchange and cooperation between credit investigation regulators, credit investigation institutions and credit rating institutions. We should give full play to the role of the Silk Road Fund and that of sovereign wealth funds of countries along the Belt and Road, and encourage commercial equity investment funds and private funds to participate in the construction of key projects of the Initiative."

And of course, there's much more. At the end are links to other language versions--French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. Although it's a Chinese proposal, China hopes all interested nations will make it their own idea:

"Though proposed by China, the Belt and Road Initiative is a common aspiration of all countries along their routes. China is ready to conduct equal-footed consultation with all countries along the Belt and Road to seize the opportunity provided by the Initiative, promote opening-up, communication and integration among countries in a larger scope, with higher standards and at deeper levels, while giving consideration to the interests and aspirations of all parties. The development of the Belt and Road is open and inclusive, and we welcome the active participation of all countries and international and regional organizations in this Initiative."

Clearly, the West and Outlaw US Empire specifically had no defense readily at hand to try and circumvent the proposal other than attempting to denigrate it. But Zero-sum outcomes only suit an Authoritarian Empire having few competitors, which is why so many nations were able to see the genius of aiming at Win-Win outcomes that fit well with the UN's 2030 Development Goals.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 19:59 utc | 282


Hello again. I was intrigued by what you wrote and checked the source.

Yup. Nothing in Deutch.

That seems very strange. Any idea why?

Posted by: John Cleary | Jun 30 2021 20:40 utc | 283

As the saying goes, 'In the west, politicians change but policy never does'

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 19:13 utc | 283

The policy may not change, but the US is losing as a result. Poor policy, even if held by multiple presidents, doesn't mean that China will be beaten by a policy of hostility. Long-term policy can simply lead to loss.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 30 2021 21:06 utc | 284

John Cleary @285--

Interesting! Just the person I wanted to pose a question. But first to answer yours: No, I have no idea why the Chinese didn't publish in German or Japanese.

My question arose as I was looking for a book my library lacks--one that deals well with the entirety of the English Civil War, with the Atlas I was perusing promising it "provid[es] a complete explanation of the complex and fluctuating conflict that ultimately meant that the Crown would always be answerable to Parliament." Which my mind in turn immediately posed this question: Hasn't the material John's provided prove that the Crown remains above Parliament?

Yes, I find it annoying that I lack any work specifically addressing the English Civil War since I've discovered so much of the formative US History is related to its causes and outcomes. The Atlas making the above claim is The English Civil War: An Atlas and Concise History of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1639-51. So, if you have any suggestions, I'd welcome them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 21:36 utc | 285


Yep, but as Putin says, they know that but will try to prevent it happening at all costs. Looks like there will come a point when they will have to be knocked down. I reckon Putin will pick a time and place of his choosing rather than waiting for them to attack. As he says, when a fight is inevitable, hit first.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 21:38 utc | 286

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:49 utc | 281

Lavrov was in Turkey today with the FM. During the Q&A the new Istanbul channel was mentioned with the general understanding that the Montreux treaty will apply as far as foreign navies are concerned. More interesting was the development of whatever agreements where reached during the Geneva Summit, it is not going smoothly with what Lavrov calls the US negotiating tactic of "give me what I want to start with and then will talk about the problem". Libya, Syria and Karabakh were discussed, also.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 30 2021 21:43 utc | 287

Paco @289--

Thanks for that update! I knew Lavrov would be visiting Turkey today and the presser after is always lively. In today's article on China, Escobar mentioned the importance of Wang Yiwei's book, The Belt and Road: What Will China Offer the World in Its Rise, which I was able to find an open preview of it to see if it was worthy of obtaining. On the Preface's second page is a discussion of why the Maritime Silk Road that provides a POV I hadn't seen before that I wish I could copy/paste to share here. The likelihood of further such revelations has prompted me to order it.

The English transcript of Putin's Question Time I'll pour over tomorrow when I hope it's complete. Meanwhile, there's a big birthday celebration happening in China with many articles related to the CPC's rise it'll take the rest of the Summer to get to all of them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 22:08 utc | 288

Convicted sex abuser Bill Cosby released from prison on a technicality while Julian Assange remains in prison despite revelations that a key witness lied.

Craig Murray explains further (snippets):

  • The arguments that political extradition is specifically banned by the UK/US extradition treaty, and that the publisher was not responsible for Chelsea Manning’s whistleblowing on war crimes, appeared to be strong. The US Justice Department had decided that it therefore needed a new tack and to discover some “crimes” by Assange that seemed less noble than the Manning revelations.

    To achieve this, the FBI turned to an informant in Iceland, Sigi Thordarson, who was willing to testify that Assange had been involved with him in, inter alia, hacking private banking information and tracking Icelandic police vehicles. This was of course much easier to portray as crime, as opposed to journalism, so the second superseding indictment was produced based on Thordarson’s story, which was elaborated with Thordarson by an FBI team.

  • Baraitser refused to rule out the new charges, and then did rule out the immediate defence request for an adjournment to give them time to respond to the new charges. At the end of the hearings she refused to accept the Peirce affidavit explaining why the defence was unable to respond. The court had by then spent nearly a month listening to witnesses refuting the first superseding indictment, as prepared by the defence, but nothing addressing the second superseding indictment...

    While Baraitser’s eventual decision barred extradition on the grounds of Assange’s health and US inhumane prison conditions, the second superseding indictment and Thordarson’s accusations were accepted as a valid basis for extradition.

  • It is now five months since extradition was refused, no US government appeal against that decision has yet been accepted by the High Court, and yet Julian remains confined to the UK’s highest security prison. The revelation that Thordarson’s allegations are fabricated – which everyone knew already, Baraitser just pretended she didn’t – is just one more illegality that the Establishment will shimmy over in its continued persecution of Assange.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 30 2021 22:43 utc | 289

@ karlov1 & John Cleary.

At the end are links to other language versions--French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian. Although it's a Chinese proposal, China hopes all interested nations will make it their own idea:

My opinion : French is not for France but West Africa, Spanish for most of Central & South America , Arabic for Arabic world,
1 billion each.
Russian for all ex SSSR.
English is for everyone.
Deutsch? 0.1 billion [please, turn to English]

Posted by: Odenwälder | Jun 30 2021 23:16 utc | 290

It's with great joy that I announce the death of War Criminal Donald Rumsfeld, although it's a pity he escaped the hangman's noose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 23:52 utc | 291

“There are known knowns, things we know that we know; and there are known unknowns, things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns, things we do not know we don't know.”

May whatever shred of soul that scum Rumsfeld had remaining rot in hell and be tortured eternally-

War Crimes

Crimes against Humanity

"Architect of the Iraq War" and Torture- Lying Scum- Hurry up Kissinger, Cheney, Bush, Blair, Obama, Trump, Biden- et al

May urine and feces adorn your graves.

May you all die the horrible Deaths you deserve for the sufferings you've inflicted on the world

Posted by: CitizenX | Jul 1 2021 1:17 utc | 292

CitizenX @Jul1 1:17 #293

Rumsfeld: "You go to war with the army you have."

A more appropriate phrase for Iraq would be: You gin up a war with the lies you have.

Now Rummy goes to hell with the soul he has.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 1 2021 1:36 utc | 293

Sales of Chinese Cars Abroad Zip Past Competitors Struggling With Semiconductor Shortages

China’s automotive exports more than doubled in the first half of 2021 despite a global shortage in semiconductors necessary for car computers, thanks to the country’s early reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns, experts announced on Wednesday.

Win-win. Lockdowns, they do work - and they don't hurt your economy in relation to half-arsed lockdowns or no lockdowns at all.

Sometimes, you just have to stick with science and do what's right. The CPC did that, and now they're reaping the benefits.


Putin reveals he was inoculated with Russia’s Sputnik V jab

One of the worst kept secrets of all time. Even with only partial and circumstantial evidence, it was already clear from the day it came out Sputnik V was the best vaccine.

The European elites should swallow their pride and authorize full utilization and imports of the Sputnik V. It's for the best of their own peoples (on top of that it is way cheaper than the Anglo-Saxon alternatives).


Germany’s CureVac jab shows only 48% effectiveness against Covid-19 in final stage of trial, driving stock plunge

You can lead the horse (the capitalist) to the water (the resources for R&D). But you can't make it drink it (produce the stuff society really needs).

There's no Free Market magic.


Food for thought:

Sticking strong to industrialization, China will win competition with US, by Ding Gang


China reached a level of development no African country receiving decades of NGOs (Greenpeace, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WWF, Red Cross etc. etc.) has ever reached:

China eradicates malaria in 'miracle,' shows system's advantages and may offer ideas for COVID-19

The milestone, which saw China go from 30 million cases of the mosquito-borne disease annually in the 1940s to zero cases now, was a miracle for a country with 1.4 billion people, and it highlighted the strong advantages of China's political system and enlightened the world with solutions to address other major infectious diseases including COVID-19, Chinese experts said.

But who needs socialism when you have Madonna donating some millions mosquito nets?


China builds moderately prosperous society: Xi's declaration marks unparalleled achievement, sparks pride and confidence

Don't jinx it, Xi. Knock on wood. You're already old, so it's easy for you to say bombastic stuff like that. Things could go tits up for China in a matter of 20 years or even less.

China is definitely not out of the woods yet. It will all depend on the capacity and quality of the next generation of CPC leaders.

Posted by: vk | Jul 1 2021 3:08 utc | 294

vk "Don't jinx it, Xi. Knock on wood. You're already old, so it's easy for you to say bombastic stuff like that."

A big part of how Putin pulled Russia up by its bootlaces was giving his people a sense of pride.

Same goes for China, and the amount of people have been pulled out of poverty there, they should have a sense of pride in their achievements.
It is those involved in infrastructure building, involved in manufacturing, they are the ones that created the wealth to pull the poorer areas and the country out of poverty.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 1 2021 3:51 utc | 295

This is what Russia has been saying all along, that the exercises are to cover a NATO deployment and an up-arming of the Ukrainian army. Defender fits in with this pattern.

Update: NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai: “NATO has a strong position when it comes to freedom of navigation and the fact that Crimea is Ukraine, not Russia."

“Russia is deploying weapons in Crimea, including missile systems, which complicates freedom of navigation,” in connection with which NATO will retain its presence in the Black Sea to support allies and partners.”
"I call on Russia to realize that NATO allies will not back down on this issue."

Nor will Russia.


There must have been some heavy shelling going on as there have been reports about many badly wounded Ukes arriving at Kiev hospital. This is a bit new as most of the previous shelling has been carried out by the Ukie side.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 1 2021 7:17 utc | 296

Something to lighten the first day of July:

17 injured, including LAPD cops and ATF agent, in botched disposal of 5,000 pounds of confiscated fireworks (VIDEO)

Impressive explosion. Still the same LAPD I remember from my youth, aggressive, mean, and dumb.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 1 2021 11:53 utc | 297

Any truth in this?

James Willis, the officer involved in Suleiman's murder was found dead in Qatar.

Posted by: _AR_ | Jul 1 2021 17:43 utc | 298

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