Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 12, 2021

Why Is There A Biden-Putin Summit And What Is It Supposed To Achieve?

On June 16 the Presidents of Russia and the United States will hold talks:

Biden ends the trip Wednesday with summit in Geneva with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The White House announced Saturday that the leaders will not hold a joint news conference after meeting, removing the opportunity for comparisons to the availability that followed Trump and Putin’s 2018 Helsinki summit in which Trump sided with Moscow over his own intelligence agencies.

Aides have suggested that the U.S. did not want to elevate Putin further by having the two men appear together in such a format. Others have expressed concern that Putin could try to score points on Biden, 78, who will be in the final hours of a grueling eight-day European trip.

The real reason for not holding a joint press conference is of course that a senile Biden is likely to brabble some nonsense and ruin the summit spin his minders want to put out there.

The U.S. initiated the summit which comes early in Biden's presidency. The not yet answered question is why, and what the U.S. wants to achieve with it?

The short answer, discussed in length below, is that:

  1. The U.S. wants to take on China. The U.S. recognized that it can not take on China and Russia simultaneously. Russia must thus be split from its China alliance and brought back into Europe.
  2. Russia's new strategic weapon systems may enable a first strike on the U.S. A new strategic arms agreement is the only way to avert that existential threat. (It would also save a lot of money.)

Both of these strategic aims are unlikely to get achieved because the U.S. foreign policy community is still misjudging the global situation as well as Russia's strength and position. It wants the summit to fail.

Now the long version.

In an essay published on his email list Prof. Michael Brenner, a regular reader of Moon of Alabama, gives his answer to our questions:

Biden, long the absentee overseer of Ukraine under Obama, backed a plan to put an end to the secessionist, Russified provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk in the Donbass. It was seen as a way to discipline Vladimir Putin whose interference in Syria and blood-minded actions elsewhere irritated American policy-makers, to complete Russia’s isolation (along with an overthrow of the Belarus government), and to solidify NATO/EU control of the European continent.

Washington expanded its program of arming and training the Ukrainian army arm and militias (including the neo-Nazi Azov battalion), gave President (and ex-comedian) President Vladimir Zielenski the green light to move his military to the contact line, and led an orchestrated denunciation of Russia and all its work loudly reinforced by the ever-obedient chorus of European dependents. Biden himself struck the tone in declaring that Putin was a ‘killer.’ It was classic coercion via military intimidation – although hardly classic in insulting your opponent unless you follow up with a bugle call for attack. The entire project is now in ruins – a miserable failure. The ‘why’ carries heavy – if unrecognized – lessons.

The Kremlin had given clear signs that it no longer was going to turn the other cheek to what it saw as hostile, belittling Western moves. The eastward expansion of NATO right to Russia’s border, the Washington approved Georgian assault on South Ossetia by American trained/advised forces, the color revolutions culminating in the American instigated Nuland coup in Kiev that toppled a democratically elected President, undocumented accusations of meddling in the tranquil waters of American politics, the repeated sanctions, the relentless campaign to sabotage Nordstrom II etc. etc. Those clear signs were ignored, as are all other facts that don’t conform with the self-serving, self-deluding Washington narrative. There, gross misinterpretations of conditions in Russia prevail.

They truly believe that Navalny is the country’s great white hope when in truth his modest support lies only among the liberal intelligensia of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Putin’s popularity, especially in regard to relations with the West, is undiminished. The public fully backs Putin. Moreover, he is at the ’soft’ end of a continuum among political elites - including officials within his government. Hence, his response to the renewed threat to the Donbass was quick and decisive. He deployed 75,000 heavily armed army units with supporting air power to the border while Lavrov stated baldly that any offensive by the Ukrainians would be met with overwhelming force, and that would mean the destruction of the current Ukrainian regime.

The call up of a five divisions strong battle ready force within 10 days, which NATO is unable to match in size and speed, had the desired effects:

The United States and its allies had no counter; they had to back down. Within days, Biden made an impromptu call to ‘killer’ Putin calling for a relaxing of tensions while looking forward to stable, predictable relations between their two countries. That week, Blinken flew to Kiev to bluntly tell Zelenski to call it all off. If that meant throwing him to the ultra-nationalist wolves in Kiev, he always had his comedian gig to fall back on. Great power politics as burlesque!

There was a dawning awareness that contending with a fully aroused Russia, in Europe and elsewhere, was no piece of cake. It followed that the United States should not be conducting all-out ‘Cold War’ with China and Russia simultaneously. Since China was the much greater challenger to American global hegemony, somehow working out a tacit modus vivendi, or, at least, ceasefire, with Moscow was called for. That should have been obvious for at least the past 12 years to anyone with a strategic brain. Instead, American leaders had done everything possible to solidify a Sino-Russian alliance as has materialized in their ‘strategic partnership’ which grows in strength and confidence by the day.
...
The abject failure in Ukraine (simultaneously with the thwarted attempt to overthrow Lukashenko in Belarus) shook Washington’s unbounded self-confidence enough for it to recognize the error of its ways.

A series of moves in Europe signaled the intention to change course. The announced dispatch of a naval battle group to the Black Sea was summarily cancelled, pressure on Germany to prevent the completion of Nordstrom II was lifted, and the plans for a Ukrainian attack on the Donbass was abruptly dumped. Biden clearly intends next week’s meeting with Putin in Geneva as a crucial step paving the way for a tempering of the hostility that has marked relations between Washington and Moscow. The hope is that the gestures noted above combined with an expressed readiness to work together on handful of contentious issues can mollify Russian antagonism toward the West. That, in turn, could cool its enthusiasm for the strategic partnership with Beijing – making it easier for the U.S. to concentrate on its struggle for global supremacy with China while weakening the latter’s hand.

The ploy is doomed to failure.

It indeed is. The last 30 years have shown that Russia can absolutely not trust Washington whatever it might promise. Its partnership with China though is solid.

A quote in a recent New York Times piece seems to confirm Brenner's take:

Charles A. Kupchan, a professor at Georgetown University who worked on European affairs in the Obama administration, said Mr. Biden’s goal was to head off the creation of a Sino-Russian bloc against the West. That will require the help of allies, which is why he predicted Mr. Biden would not only listen to, but hear, the Europeans.

Russia analyst Gilbert Doctorow has a slightly different take:

[W]hy is Joe Biden pressing ahead with a meeting so early in his tenure in office? We are told that the objective is to achieve “greater stability” in bilateral relations. But I have not heard from our commentators what stability is to be addressed.
...
In my reductionist approach, the summit has one driver behind it, namely to put a cap on an arms race that the United States is losing, if it has not already irrevocably lost, and to prevent the adverse shift in the strategic balance against America from getting still worse. The side benefit would be to strike down planned military expenditures budgeted for well over a trillion dollars to modernize the nuclear triad alone. This would thereby free funds for the massive infrastructure investments that Biden is presently trying to push through Congress.
...
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002 under George Bush, US policy had aimed at enabling a first strike knocking out Russian ICBMs and then rendering useless Russia’s residual nuclear forces which could be shot out of the air by U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems. Russia’s new, maneuverable and ultra-high speed missiles could evade all known ABMs. According to Putin’s text in March 2018, the new Russian strategic arms relegated the hundreds of billions that the Americans had invested in achieving superiority to the status of a modern day Maginot Line. Whatever Washington could throw at Russia, the residual Russian forces would penetrate American defenses and wreak havoc on the American homeland.

Russia's new weapons are something that Washington can only dream of. Announced in 2018 the new systems are now being introduced in frontline units. U.S. weapon development is at least 10 years behind Russia's. Nuclear parity has been restored (vid).

Some of Russia's new system do not fall under the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. If the U.S. does not manage to achieve a new agreement with Russia that limits its new weapon systems, Russia could soon achieve first strike capability. This would be an existential threat to the U.S. The Pentagon is surely not happy about the situation.

That Biden needs to get a new strategic arms agreement as fast as possible may indeed be the reason why the summit is happening so early.

Unfortunately a success, says Doctorow, is far from guaranteed:

Mutual respect is what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has demanded as a starting point for diplomatic negotiations with the Americans. Respect is not conferred on an interlocutor “from a position of strength,” the typical American approach to such talks.

The problem for Washington is that no one on Capitol Hill or in the foreign policy community wants to acknowledge the obvious facts about Russia today. Everyone is happy with the vision of a slovenly, chaotic Russia ruled by a merciless dictator, whose regime is fragile and just needs a little push, like Nicholas II’s autocracy, to tilt over and collapse. This is rubbish and if it remains the foundation of U.S. policy towards Russia under Biden then we can expect nothing much to happen to reduce the dangers of nuclear war or move towards calmer waters in international relations.

An example of the foreign policy community Doctorow describes is the former U.S. ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker who wants the summit to fail:

It is surely not in the interests of the U.S., the EU, NATO, and other allies to see a summit in which Putin leaves convinced that he has blunted the United States and faces no consequences for his behavior. It would send a signal globally that authoritarians can get away with aggressive acts at home and abroad, and that the U.S. and the West will not take any meaningful action to stop them.
...
For the U.S., therefore, the best possible outcome is not one of modest agreements and a commitment to “predictability,” but one of a lack of agreements altogether. Success is confrontation.

The Canadian professor Paul Robinson takes aim at such lunacy but concludes:

Now, you might say that this is just one guy’s opinion. We can ignore it. It doesn’t mean anything. But Volker isn’t just some guy. From 2017 to 2019, he was the US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations – so in effect America’s point guy for its relationship with Ukraine and for negotiations concerning a peace settlement for that country’s civil war. On the basis of this article, one shudders to think what advice he was giving the Ukrainian government. Certainly not advice conducive to peace, I imagine. It’s more than a little scary.

So, this is more than just one man. This article is a window into the way that an influential part of the American foreign policy establishment thinks. It rejects negotiation. It regards compromise as dangerous. It openly prefers conflict. “Success is confrontation” – the worse the better. Wow!

As long as they help to prevent war I am happy about each and every summit between superpowers. But I do not expect any great results from this one. U.S. policies do not turn on a dime and the borg is currently far from accepting compromises to which Russia can agree.

Posted by b on June 12, 2021 at 17:03 UTC | Permalink

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Mr. B

A few observations:

The NATO states are victims of their own success in weaponizing Finance and USD. In their economic war of choice against the Islamic Republic of Iran they demonstrated two things:

They will renege on their promises should they so wish
Weaker states cannot retaliate against their economic wars of choice
They would conclude (temporary) ceasefire with an adversary, to come back at a later time, abrogate that deal, and attempt to crush that adversary.

The last Shah Abbas I of Sadavi practiced all 3 against the Ottomans and the Uzbeks 450 year ago - nothing new here.

In the absence of credible positive inducements by the NATO states to Russia, a temporary cease-fire, until the next US President assume office, is the best that US could hope to get. What would Americans offer? Or the Europeans? Not sure. But it cannot be much.

Furthermore, Mr. Putin and the Russian government officials are aware of what happened to Iraq, Libya, and Iran - there are now limits as to what they would be willing to exchange to achieve this limited-duration, low-cost ceasefire.

The non-events of past 6 weeks have sealed, in my opinion, the fate of Ukraine in its current format; the Russian Federation will need to destroy this bridgehead of the NATO states against Russia as soon as possible.

Russia can no longer afford to ignore the danger Ukraine represents. I speculate that Sevastopol would be where Russian will strike next, removing the ability of Ukraine to be supplied from the Black Sea.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 17:27 utc | 1

This is the first I have heard that Volker said “Success is confrontation” with Russia. But I shouldn't be surprised. As Martyanov said the US has been Ukrainized from top to bottom - which is the objective of the CIA that runs agitprop operations through Ukraine and back into the US. Volker almost got the start of his war in Ukraine earlier this year. He and his vermin keep trying to lite the fuse and one day it will explode.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jun 12 2021 17:31 utc | 2

Sadavi?? Safavi?

Posted by: Tom2 | Jun 12 2021 17:35 utc | 3

@b The U.S. wants to take on China. The U.S. recognized that it can not take on China and Russia simultaneously. Russia must thus be split from its China alliance and brought back into Europe.

I disagree. Russia has always been a designated US enemy in order to retain US leadership and military presence in Europe. This "I'm your daddy" relationship is of the utmost importance. It greatly augments US power to govern the world politically, especially with the United Kingdom, and militarily it gives the US power to use NATO nations against other designated US enemies such as Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, and now China if Washington can do it. So Russia must retain its position as a US enemy.

The Russia threat now more than ever is needed to justify a half-million person US Army ground force now spending billions on modernization to face -- guess who -- Russia. The US Army offers zero application to any dust-up with China. It's Navy (with Marines) and Air Force only. Army need not apply. (Hey, this is a good thing, because it shortchanges Navy even further in a time of a shrinking Pentagon budget. Navy can't grab Army money at a time when the naval force is actually shrinking, and ships can't be maintained properly.)

Bottom line: The furtherance of the US security state needs Russia as a continuing enemy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2021 17:36 utc | 4

Sebastopol is Russia, not only that, together with Moscow they are the only cities with Federal Status, something like Washington DC. so striking Sebastopol makes no sense.

Maybe the poster meant Odessa so as to recover all territories with historial Russian roots.

There might be some kind of deal behind the scene but the US is not in a position of strength, Russia will not give up its relation with China, it can not afford to do so for US promises that never materialize, like not moving NATO one inch to the east, the snake oil sale has been going on for so long that there are no takers anymore.

Some details concerning Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine might be negotiated, but that's about it.

The tone of officialdom in Russia has been harsh lately, especially Zakharova and Lavrov, Putin tends to be milder but he too gave an interview plainly stating that NATO missiles in Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk are a red line, which means Ukraine will not be a NATO member anytime soon. The "partner" reference to the west is becoming a thing of the past.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 12 2021 17:49 utc | 5

Spot on. Thank you.

Posted by: Phlipn Pagee | Jun 12 2021 17:57 utc | 6

"President Vladimir Zielenski the green light to move his military to the contact line, and led an orchestrated denunciation of Russia and all its work loudly..."

I'm pretty sure that was Zielenski's own little psyop, for the purpose of getting noticed by the Big White Father in Washington. And, by the way, he's got it: the Big White Father in Washington dialed his number. Mission accomplished.

"It followed that the United States should not be conducting all-out ‘Cold War’ with China and Russia simultaneously."

But the United States is currently conducting Cold War with China and Russia simultaneously. It certainly couldn't conduct Hot War with both, or probably with either, but I don't see why conducting Cold War with both would be a problem.

The more mortal enemies abroad, the easier to manage internal affairs.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Jun 12 2021 18:03 utc | 7

Those who read deeply into the articles and documents I provided on the previous thread about the state of Russia's nuclear industry versus that of the Outlaw US Empire will have noted the latter has no capacity to do the sort of upgrade contemplated to its nuclear weapons systems. The plea to Trump that he refused from the domestic uranium mining corps was a very signal event very hushed up. When Putin announced Russia's new systems, I declared any future arms race already concluded, and that's certainly the case. The Outlaw US Empire has produced so many lies about itself--particularly its economic condition--that when reality finally hit, it coldcocked many, yet a large faction--Volker, et al--refuse to accept that reality and continue to formulate policy based on extreme falsehoods. And of course, Putin and company know the real score.

As for why the summit; it's better to talk than not, and tensions must ease. If that's the only outcome, the Summit will be a success. Reality can be a hard teacher, and that IMO is what's happening. It centers on the nation's domestic condition, which in reality is woeful as I've documented--20% structural unemployment is a recipe for disaster. And it appears that much of that 20% having been fucked over and left for dead are voting with their not returning to normal jobs being content to remain within the black/brown economic sectors they've had to utilize to survive. Industrial Capitalism and actual regulation must return for the USA to have a chance geopolitically, but the Parasites are firmly against that now that they're fat and growing fatter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 12 2021 18:05 utc | 8

not quite right.
1. as has been explained previously over and over, USA doesn't aim to "win". USA wants to sow CHAOS. CHAOS is good enough for USA. CHAOS in Syria, CHAOS in Ukraine, CHAOS at the Indian/China border, CHAOS in Myanmar, CHAOS in South China Sea. That's the best USA CAN do and it IS doing it. CHAOS is stalemate. All the "wars" USA has fought since WWII have to to create/cause CHAOS: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen. As long as there is CHAOS in Ukraine, Syria, Afrganistan, USA wins by NOT losing.
2. USA/West KNOW Russia/Putin have now had enough experience to know not to trust ANYTHING USA/West/NATO says, but to what what they do. They STILL think Putin/Russia want to be "pals" with thew West, but that ship sailed a few years ago. They don't want to make pals with Russia to severe Russia/CHina's partnership. No way, no how.
3. Besides, they KNOW Russia and CHina aren't really that great of friends. Russia and CHina don't really trust each other, their so called "friendship" is only economic and hardly political. Russia made a big mistake once again NOT forming a formal military and political alliance with CHina, because RUssia is afraid that CHina is too powerful and Russia will be the junior partner. That is why USA/West/NATO aren't really THAT worried about the shaky Russia/China "partnership".
4. USA/West/NATO aren't dumb, in fact, their think thanks ARE filled with pretty smart people who do give them the right information and assessment of the situation. To say USA/West/NATo are morons who bundle things is totally false and presents a false sense of superiority. Their plans are going pretty good. Look point 1, CHAOS is what they hope for.

5.Navalny is another red herring that USA/West use to put sanctions on Russia. They obviously dont care about Navalny as long as they have an excuse to to put more sanctions. Thats what they are after: more sanctions. They will really begin to pile on the sanctions in the summer after the meeting, in July/August. They saw how Soviet Union buckled under the sanctions and they think the same will happen again, or at least the sanctions will stop Russia's development(which is qyite correct, it WILL slow it down considerably)

and so on. and soi on.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 12 2021 18:09 utc | 9

Russia is not terribly interested in negotiations with declining entities that don't have much to offer. It can wait.

Why negotiate now if you will have better hand later?

What can the US offer to Russia? Weapons reductions? Russia has the upper hand there. Let the highly indebted US bankrupt itself in arms race attempts to catch up. Lifting of sanctions? Sanctions will matter less and less since the western share in the global economy is declining. Ukraine? Russia does not want to pay for Ukraine, and gas flows are no longer dependent on it.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 18:10 utc | 10

Passer by:
Well, US had negotiations with USSR back in the 1980s, when the former was winning and the latter was slowly collapsing. This is the same, in reverse - heck, in both cases, the falling superpower had a succession of old farts at its head. You don't want the Big Bad with nukes to go down in flames, taking half the world with it.

"It would send a signal globally that authoritarians can get away with aggressive acts at home"
Someone should really explain to shitheads and other human-rights worshippers that a regime can do absolutely whatever it wants at home, no country or external power should have any say about what happens inside another country's borders - whatever nastiness and suffering a dictator, junta, regime, king or whatever might cause to his people. This has been the absolute core of international relations since the end of the Thirty Years War. Things heat up and go very badly when a major power decides not to follow this basic principle - think Napoleon, WW II, US meddling of the last decades.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 12 2021 18:29 utc | 11

Mr. Tom2 | Jun 12 2021 17:35 utc | 3

Yes, thank you, Safavi.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 12 2021 18:36 utc | 12

Mr. Paco | Jun 12 2021 17:49 utc | 5

My thought was that Russia must gain control of Sevastopol and its environs.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 12 2021 18:38 utc | 13

@fyi 1
Sorry that is a lot of rubbish.#

Not only that Sevastopol is Russian, and even was under control of the Russion black see fleet when Crimea still was an autonomous republic in Ukraine. Russia has not to acquire what it already has.

Ukraine is foremost a danger for itself. In terms of conventional warfare, there is no power which can withstand, much less defeat the Russian armed forces. After the regime change attempts in Belarus having been crushed, Russia - though vigilantly - can lean back.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 18:47 utc | 14

Mr. Hoyeru | Jun 12 2021 18:09 utc | 9

On your number 4, I think by objective measures, both the American Think Tanks and European ones have failed quite miserably, in the Middle East, and their relations with Russia.

The most charitable thing you can say about them is that they have been advocating, as the dominant foreign policy paradigm, campaigns of economic or military Blitzkrieg, a.k.a. Shock&Awe, against their enemies.

Their most successful such campaign was their destruction of Yugoslavia, leaving the Balkans with no strong state capable of strategic autonomy.

Their analogous campaigns destroyed Iraq and Libya but those successes did not endure: in Iraq the Shia joined hands with their co-religionists of Iran and Lebanon and in Libya, a functioning country was replaced by Warlords.

In Ukraine, their gain, they caused a chain reaction that will, in less than 20 years, in the disintegration of that country according to Russian interests.

And their economic Blitzkrieg against Iran turned into a Forever Siege War which oriented that state East and North.

So, many successes but, for the most part, none of them have endured even for a single generation, excepting the destruction of Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 12 2021 18:59 utc | 15

Mr. aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 18:47 utc | 14

Thank you so much for correcting me.

I had intended Odessa and not Sevastopol.

I disagree, still believing the independent Ukraine is now a threat to Russia.

Posted by: Fyi | Jun 12 2021 19:03 utc | 16

thanks b... good overview... i tend to see this all as more distraction like @ 7 mao cheng ji notes - The more mortal enemies abroad, the easier to manage internal affairs.'

there is no way the titanic can change course on a dime and at present there are too many captains suggesting otherwise.. as for @ 9 Hoyeru's comment 'chaos'... that game can only go on so long while your own country descends into chaos.. and that is a fact, no matter how much it gets covered up..

this isn't getting playing out in the western msm.. it is getting played out in real life... the western msm at this point acts just like hollywood and in spite of what western viewers enjoy, it has little connection to reality... russia and china are playing to win.. the usa is increasingly becoming a basket case.. its leadership reflects this on pretty much all levels..the western msm can conform to these talking heads all they like.. it doesn't change the reality on the ground.. this meeting is basically a waste of time... if the usa was to actually change course, we would be seeing something different.. we're not..

Posted by: james | Jun 12 2021 19:05 utc | 17

First, one should remember Putin declared long ago he knows, for a fact, the US president has little power over foreign policy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xykvrGpCW6E

Second, Putin has little respect for Biden and supposedly abruptly left the room as Biden was speaking to him the last time they met in person.

Third, I believe both Putin and Lavrov have reportedly declared the entire US government not agreement capable.

So, I expect nothing to come from this meeting as Biden will probably just try to lecture and "wag his finger" at Putin.

Putin is no mood to take lectures from Biden on any subject.

Posted by: Mar man | Jun 12 2021 19:20 utc | 18

b writes:

1. The U.S. wants to take on China. The U.S. recognized that it can not take on China and Russia simultaneously. Russia must thus be split from its China alliance and brought back into Europe.
Is this true? They've been doing such a great job of pushing Russia and China together that I question if they really care to pull them apart.
2. Russia's new strategic weapon systems may enable a first strike on the U.S. A new strategic arms agreement is the only way to avert that existential threat.
They've thumbed their nose at every Russian suggestion or complaint. Does this behavior indicate any willingness to enter any type of new strategic arms agreement?

I don't think Russia is interested in 'first strike' in part because Russia would not escape devastation in any all-out war. If US Deep State has the same perception then perhaps they would simply prefer "forever war" (for forever Cold War) to a peace that might unseat the neo-feudal Western elite?

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IMO Putin/Russia is smart enough not to be easily 'bought-off' with the kind of strategic agreement that b contemplates. Why would they accept any peace that could severely weaken their position in the future (i.e. after China has been 'dealt with')?

In fact, Putin has proposed that Russia be a mediator between USA/West and China - a role that essentially makes them equal to both USA and China.

Furthermore, IMO nothing short of a full partnership with the West would be acceptable to Russia (not just a strategic arms agreement) and Russia would not partner with an Empire that can't be trusted and whose values and social mores are so far from its own.

My forecast: USA/NATO will continue their Cold War and hybrid warfare for the foreseeable future while fear-mongering and pretending that they want peace. Tensions will grow.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 12 2021 19:32 utc | 19

The U.S. wants to take on China.

It wants to do no such thing. American,EU and Asian multinationals have invested 100s of billions of dollars in China. They will not allow the US government to do ANYTHING that jeopardises those investments.

In fact:

When the Biden administration announced a fresh investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan on Tuesday, the Chinese reaction was swift and furious.

Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesperson, accused the US of “political manipulation” and of “stigmatising” China — the sort of regular spat that has prompted growing comparisons to the cold war.

But just a day earlier, another announcement told a different story about the ties between the world’s two leading powers. Goldman Sachs, an emblem of the globally dominant American finance industry, unveiled a wealth partnership with the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The deal could allow the Wall Street firm to draw on the savings of hundreds of millions of the bank’s Chinese customers.


In an era that is increasingly defined by geopolitical competition and a push towards economic “decoupling”, American finance has never been closer to Chinese wealth.

Seduced by untapped savings and a growing asset management market, worth an estimated Rmb121.6tn ($18.9tn) last year, Wall Street’s most storied firms are embedding themselves more deeply than ever into the country.

In addition to Goldman Sachs, BlackRock said earlier this month it had received approval for a wealth management partnership with China Construction Bank, while JPMorgan Asset Management announced in March plans to invest $415m in China Merchants Bank’s wealth unit. From Europe, Amundi and Schroders have gained approvals for majority owned partnerships in wealth management.

“Within Goldman Sachs, we’re excited from top to bottom,” says Tuan Lam, head of client business for Asia ex-Japan at the company’s asset management arm. “We’ve obviously been thinking about China for quite a long time and, with the recent regulatory changes and the market changes, we just have a very high level of conviction around the opportunity.”

A branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Beijing. ICBC has 680m retail customers, more than twice the US.

China, which on one measure now has more billionaires than the US, is opening its doors wider than ever to foreign firms. In the past two years, it has liberalised elements of its tightly controlled financial system and allowed US and European companies greater access. Although still wary about giving foreign institutions too large a role, the government is eager to draw on their expertise to help build a savings infrastructure that can help manage an impending demographic crisis driven by an ageing population.

Against that backdrop, some investors say the biggest risk is not getting into China quickly enough.

Wall Street’s new love affair with China

Posted by: Down South | Jun 12 2021 19:40 utc | 20

The goal may be strategic and tactical nuclear arms controls to give the US time to develop hypersonic missiles and defensive systems to stop Russia's, however, the summit is designed as confrontational.

Biden has no skillset other than to take corrupt dollars and to harangue his opponents.

Atop Biden's deficits to negotiate and the US position which is to dominate, the entire mood and design of off-camera meeting, no joint presser afterward, clearly begins with the ending. There will be nothing given to Putin. Russia is evil.

What could the US expect to come away with?

It's propaganda. Part of the powerful INFOwar raging against Putin and Russia.

What is not present in person but is in attendance at the summit is Shoigu's military and Russian doctrine. Nothing Biden says will change the order of battle or the red lines Putin has laid down.

Biden lining up the vassals of the G7 is pro forma. It matters not.

The US is overmatched by Russia-China.

Biden is so overmatched by Putin that he won't stand next to him for a presser.

The Big Nothing in Geneva, June 16.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 12 2021 19:47 utc | 21

Bottom line: The furtherance of the US security state needs Russia as a continuing enemy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2021 17:36 utc | 4

Typical argument goes like that "we had such terrible cyber attacks, so we must modernize our nuclear forces and build space forces". So Russia is not strictly necessary, but semblance of logic improves if we say "we had such terrible RUSSIAN cyber attacks ...". Of course, substituting RUSSIAN with CHINESE would not go as well for the ground forces, but with sketchy logic we could even use Tuvalu. Oh well, then USA takes over Tuvalu, and what next? OK, for few years there would be a euphoria of victory, and then we can go back to Russia. Clearly, invoking Ctulhu in Antarctic can wait until Russia goes away.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 12 2021 19:49 utc | 22

Russia's new strategic weapon systems may enable a first strike on the U.S.

Neither Russia nor the US can ever “win” a nuclear war. Even a successful first strike by either nation will result in a nuclear winter that will devastate most of the earth.

The real problem for the US is that it has become weaker whilst it’s rivals have become stronger. Not only can they not bend Germany to their will (NS) Russia military might has grown so formidable that they forced them to blink in the most recent confrontation in the Ukraine. Heck, after 10 years of trying to overthrow Assad all they managed to do was get him elected by popular mandate. Afghanistan is a black hole.

Biden needs a deal with Russia. Not Russia with the US.

Posted by: Down South | Jun 12 2021 19:56 utc | 23

Start with the negatives. An attempted assassination is not to be excluded. ie. Soliemani and Muhandis were on a "peace"/negotiation mission; also MH17 was suggested to be a "mistaken identity" for Putin's plane, with which it crossed tracks earlier, plus a similarity of the paint jobs (more or less); next - the numerous Russian diplomats who were being regularly killed (Putin's personal friend, Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin died of a "heart attack" at the UN and about 10 others in various unexpected ways).

Ukraine; The situation there is only at a pause. The Russians still have many forces in place ready for an exercise in the autumn. It is not sure that Zelensky can control the Azov and other semi-militarised thugs. About the five LPR Service members who were killed by shots to the head (Captured and then shot?)a couple of days ago;
5.56 mm bullets were recovered from the bodies of the dead LPR military personnel which are used in weapons in service with NATO countries and supplied to Ukraine within the framework of US assistance.

Sanctions; The Russians do NOT expect sanctions EVER to be lifted. (It is not sure that the US could - see the Iran negotiations and that multiple sanctions will remain no matter what the outcome). They have taken that into consideration by eliminating or minimizing to the best of their ability the effects on the economy (Gold, selling dollars etc). Note that other countries have also come to the same conclusion; "if you don't expect anything then you won't be disappointed when nothing happens".

Military forces and an hypothetical stability, or treaty; The Russians use a cumulative approach, "if it works, make it better". Particularly for aircraft and tanks.The US is now copying this approach with an update of the F16 (I think) because the F-35 is a flying junk heap. Missiles? Been there got that in profusion. Weird weapons? Both sides have their "this years model", which will take some time to get working properly. Arms limitations?, you must be joking.... (The US plans to spend a few new billions on nuclear bomb improvements)

Georaphical spreads; Russia is land based (Tanks and land mobile forces, ICBM's etc.) The US has ships, but has to call on the US coast Guard to fill in empty spots. China has more, and will have even more ships soon. Although adding up paper forces for each side is a bit of a game, it is the ability to use them that is the key. The US has 800-1000 bases and is spread thin. Without "NATO" forces it could not cover the territory it wants to claim.

World Influence; US - waning. It is being rejected in many places, which is a collective reaction to increasing poverty by "liberal" and Corporate rip offs of communal assets.

Financial; Inflation. For everyone, but only those who can plant enough potatoes and wheat will eat to their fill (Russia is now also food self-sufficient)

Energy; I read today about the laying of the foundations of the new Lead based Nuclear reactors by Rosatom. Less pollution, eliminates most spent fuel waste etc. etc. I don't know where the US is with alternative sources of energy, and the Chinese are looking into Fusion power.
On 8 June, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom inaugurated the construction of a 300 MW nuclear power unit with an innovative lead-cooled BREST-OD-300 fast neutron reactor in Seversk, in Russia's Tomsk region.
https://sputniknews.com/russia/202106121083133471-brest-fast-neutron-reactor-russia-offers-a-new-nuclear-paradigm-for-sustainable-development/

******

So What are the US and Russia going to say in their separate pressers? Obviously they will be sooo different that you will wonder if they both actually met.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 12 2021 20:02 utc | 24

I'd like to see Putin toss the corrupt old perv around with some Judo moves.

Posted by: par4 | Jun 12 2021 20:06 utc | 25

The question of why this summit has still not been answered.

Why on earth is Putin meeting Biden when there is no clear agenda to discuss?

Is he that desperate to be on the world stage?

Why is he giving an interview to NBC American TV when they will misquote and slant what he says? It just looks desperate and ridiculous having to field questions on whether he is a killer as Biden says!!! What is Putin thinking?

I can’t fathom what is going on

And nothing I have read makes any of it clear

Russia and USA relations are in the toilet

They have no ambassadors in each other’s country

There are 50-plus sanctions on Russia that will never be removed

USA took buildings in USA that Russian diplomatic service owned

Russia and USA can’t communicate even on a basic level

Listen to Biden throwing insults at the G7 at Putin. Making a speech to the troops about how he will sort out Putin

What a disgraceful behaviour - why meet such people

No agreements on major issues like arms control cannot be made with the USA in the current climate I described - nor should there be any deals or Putin should change his name to Gorbachev!!!

So why is Putin going to a meeting that the USA is going to use to present Biden as a strong man - reading him the riot act on human rights, Navalny blah blah

This meeting has actually made me feel very disappointed in Putin - what does he stand for

Going to meet someone who insults you and your country - it quite frankly shameful

Posted by: James2 | Jun 12 2021 20:07 utc | 26

@gyi Calling post coup Ukraine "independent" is not even a joke. It is plain nonsense.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 20:08 utc | 27

Oh, for God's sake! Kupchan fundamentally refutes Brenner, by talking about *creating* a Russian/Chinese strategic alliance. His take is not slightly different. Personally, I believe Kupchan is quite correct, there is not such genuine alliance.

As to Doctorow's analysis is basically incompetent I think. The magical new superweapons have changed nothing strategically, because the ABM systems were the same kind of magical thinking. Hamas vs. Iron Dome is the latest real world demonstration of this. In addition to the likelihood they are largely figments of Putin's dubious judgment (a sign by the way that *Putin* may be the one losing his grip, which is much worse since Putin has no advisers he can trust, only creatures,) putting strategic weapons in "front-line" units is absurd. You hide them for use, unless you're scamming procurements contracts. (An overlooked factor in the supposed need to "modernize" the US nuclear triad, rather than Doctorow' fear-mongering scenarios.) Also, Doctorow misses that "mutual respect" is not a definable diplomatic goal, much less a sensible one.

Reverting back to Brenner, the omission of the defeat of Russian protege Armenia makes me ask if he's paying attention. Even worse, Brenner didn't notice Kyiv disavowed any effort at peace. Minsk is dead and buried. This is not precisely a catastrophe for Russia, but it's not victory. Nor is there victory in Syria. Almost certainly the strategic "value" of Sebastopol is remarkably overrated. But the sad fact is that Russia is in two endless wars. The assumption that the Lugansk and Donetsk governments can go on forever is wrong. The assumption that Assad can preside over a secular national government in alliance with Russia in an endless civil war forever is equally wrong. And frankly, the idea that Russia can afford more arms than the US because Putin is a genius who has breathed new life into Russia by stabilizing capitalism is a reactionary fantasy.

"1.The U.S. wants to take on China. The U.S. recognized that it can not take on China and Russia simultaneously. Russia must thus be split from its China alliance and brought back into Europe.
2.Russia's new strategic weapon systems may enable a first strike on the U.S. A new strategic arms agreement is the only way to avert that existential threat. (It would also save a lot of money.)"

1. is wrong because the China/Russia "alliance" is not a genuine alliance where strategy is coordinated. The US can afford frictions with China and Russia simultaneously precisely because they are not really together in struggle with the US.

2. is wrong because it doesn't even get the meaning of the term "first strike" correct. A first strike capability is the ability to launch an attack so comprehensive as to limit retailiation to acceptable losses. It is also wrong because Russia is not an existential threat to the US. The Soviet nuclear arsenal wasn't either, but the USSR posed a political existential threat to imperialism.

Lurking in the background here is the old goal of a multipolar world. Everyone refuses to admit that the world in 1900 was multipolar. The result of multipolarity was of course world war. The people who imagine that capitalism has been successfully reformed in China (or even, insanely, in Russia!) are wrong. But even if they were right, we would simply be back in 1900. And sooner or later the stress of changes in the complex diplomatic balance will produce an "accident," another world war.

The whole analysis strikes me like people who can't imagine the Zionists in Israel initiating a nuclear holocaust rather than surrender, just blithe unawareness of real problems larded in with blind adulation of this or that savior.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 12 2021 20:10 utc | 28

Nice drawing together of perspectives b, thanks

As I think about what to add, first would be the concept that the future is all around us but not evenly distributed. I would take that a bit further in our current context to posit that the dichotomy between the future and the past is at an inflection/evolution point maximum.

That is the context for my continued call about the summit being a Hail Mary empire environment for assassination of Putin and whatever collateral leadership is necessary....Biden is of growing concern to the elite because of increasing dementia.

Empire knows it can't separate China and Russia but they can kick the can down the road a bit by effecting major leadership changes....again, this is all about private/public finance and throwing the US under the bus is and has been part of the plan for some time.....financialized to sop up questionable health care because Big Pharma wants an income stream like the MIC is the latest example...and then there is the global debt bubble.

Switzerland, home of the Bureau of International Settlements (BIS -the Central Bank of Central Banks) is anything but a neutral country about the outcome of this summit.

I want Putin to live and continue with China to push empire to the ground. And if this summit really is not going to produce any results then why expose Putin to a form of social organization that has no qualms about mass murder for social control/disruption.

The shit show continues until it doesn't


Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 12 2021 20:11 utc | 29

oops @Fyi 14 not gyi
While I often disagree with the saker, he has written a fairly good piece about why interventions, even good willed ones, strike back and do not pay. It were a crazy move for Russia to invade the corrupt and bankrupt country with a dramatically dwindling population. Why should Russia ruin herself on that groundless pit when she may sit back and observe the West doing that?

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 20:12 utc | 30

The real reason for not holding a joint press conference is of course that a senile Biden is likely to brabble some nonsense and ruin the summit spin his minders want to put out there.

This too, of course. But it seems to me that the main reason that the United States refused to hold a joint press conference (note - Russia initially stated that it was ready both for a joint conference and for single approaches to the press) is that during the preparation of the summit it was not possible to achieve those results that could be demonstrated during a joint press conference. Obviously, it was not possible to reach a compromise on a number of issues. Therefore, the joint conference did not make sense. Thus, even before the summit, one can draw a conclusion about its effectiveness. Of course, one cannot talk about the failure of the event, but the refusal to hold a joint press conference is very indicative. After all, it would be ludicrous to have a successful summit, which reached important joint decisions, and at the same time hold separate press conferences, where each of the presidents will talk about the success. This is nonsense.

Posted by: alaff | Jun 12 2021 20:15 utc | 31

I suspect that both Biden and Putin are playing for the Europeans.

The Russians want to drive a wedge between the lovefest of Brussels and the US. There are already big potential divisions in the EU itself - The eastern bloc and France, Germany and the "rest", or the un-mentionable european countries.

Generally the Russians will hope that the EU citizens (and businesses) are becoming pragmatic about their own financial affairs. The longer the EU stays under the "commission" and its obvious biais towards pushing US interests, the less the individual corporations/businesses in Europe will be inclined to follow orders from the US.

NATO, which should have been an EU (only) armed force has now become an US mercenary force. Paid for by - yours truly, and the rest of us in the EU. This expensive boondoggle, only serves the US and makes the West of the Eurasian continent into a battleground. That the US realises that in any future war they will ALSO become collateral damage is great. WE have known that the likely result of any war here - the majority of the fallout and destruction will be confined to this side of the Atlantic.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 12 2021 20:27 utc | 32

Mr. aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 20:12 utc | 30

Russia can attain the goal of controlling Odessa through a self-proclaimed People's Protection Assembly with the stated aim of keeping Odessa safe from Fascists and NAZIs. That would effectively deny that port as a resupply route for NATO (read Turkey) in event of hostilities.

The difference between our viewpoints, in my opinion, goes to how much weight we wish to assign to the non-events of the last 8 weeks.

I read those events as indicators of a scenario that could be tried and tried - the way Chinese Government keeps Indian Government in perpetual strategic imbalance in the Himalayas via Ladakh.

The difference is the threat assessment, I think this is grave enough that the Russian government will take action, sooner, rather than later.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 20:31 utc | 33

Call me paranoid, but it feels to me that the cancerous cleptocracy that rules the "west" has completely taken the bit in its teeth, and is not to be trusted as far as it can be kicked. It is really, really not beneath them to throw away thousands of years of diplomatic precedent, and try something really outrageous. It is not impossible that the Protasevich case was set up to be a pretext for this.

I hope the Russian government is very, very careful.

Posted by: Cosham | Jun 12 2021 20:32 utc | 34

A little ditty

TINY SUMMITS

Joe and Vlad sit across from each other in semi-plush chairs. Joe holds both sides of his chair, while Vlad holds a glass of water. Joe is old and feeble, bound to the past. Vlad is an elegant and aging Puritan, whose only crime is he was born in the USSR at the height of the Cold War.

JOE: I didn’t say you were a killer. I didn’t say that. I agreed you were a killer, but I didn’t say you were a killer and that’s a big difference; one is agreeing and one is saying, so even though I agree you are a killer, I didn’t say you were a killer and that’s a big difference. And anyway, it’s all politics. The media and politics. It’s a big circus so you agree to some things and I agree you are a killer but I didn’t say it. He did. The guy. The reporter. George, the Greek guy, Stephocockaluss or whatever, he has it out for you, not me, well I have it out for you too, we all have it out for you; I think you are an evil, evil man for all you’ve done, but I can think it without saying it. So no, no and yes, sometimes and always, things change and then they’re different, but one thing stays the same and that’s America. America. The greatest democracy in the history of the world. We’re right and you’re wrong. Period. End of story. What do you have to say to that?

Vlad nods his head and takes a sip of water. He returns the glass to a side table. His smile is enigmatic. Vlad stares at Joe with great regard before speaking.

VLAD: Yes, a circus…

Posted by: gottlieb | Jun 12 2021 20:33 utc | 35

gottlieb | Jun 12 2021 20:33 utc | 35

I do hope that in your scenario Putin will have brought his own water.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 12 2021 20:46 utc | 36

@fyi 30 Russia has nothing to gain from invading Ukraine. She refused to do so in 2014. Putin was never happy about the Donbass insurrection, just could not get them crushed and massacred because the Russion people would not have understood nor accepted that. Russia had the opportunity to occupy if not all of Ukraine then at least Novorossija (all the east and northeast from Charkov to Odessa oblast) three times at minimum since 2014. From a merely military point of view they could do it anytime within a week, or faster. They had even larger exercises than the latest transferring 300k servicemen with full equip from the far east and central Siberia to the western part.

The political repercussions would be grave. NS2 would certainly the first victim. And for which gain? Russia, instead of EU and (to some extent, US) had to foot the bill for that bankrupt failed state. As to the popular uprising, even when real (or just PD), there was a popular uprising against the Nazis in Donbass. NATO sides with Nazis, the Greens love them. German Chancellor aspirant Annalena Baerboeck boasted before the Atlantic Council, that her Grandpa in winter 1945 (together with his Hitler Wehrmacht and SS comrades) fought "for the reunification of Europe" - against the evil Russkis.

The West is already fighting for and alongside with Nazis, also in those Baltic shitholes.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 21:15 utc | 37

Quadrant @ 14, FYI @ 16:

Odessa is not likely to be attacked by Russia in spite of the city's past historical associations with Russia. If everyone is expecting a Russia attack on Odessa then NATO strategies in the Black Sea will be based on such an assumption. So Russian strategy must be based on what everyone least expects the Russians to do.

If the Russians were so minded as to want to cut off Ukrainian access to the Black Sea, they could do so by building up their naval forces at the Kerch Strait and near Sevastopol, as
a show of force. If they were to target a city, not that they need to, that city would be Mariupol on the Azov Sea.

I suspect most people in Odessa and Mikolayiv in SW Ukraine are by now so fed up with Kiev that they would, if given an opportunity, switch their loyalties to Russia without the Russians having to fire a shot.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12 2021 21:16 utc | 38

Summits are good - if they are successful. But when they fail, potentially crashingly, they can quickly lead to escalation. Biden is just as much in his fifties as his predecessor. This generation is not capable of coming to terms with the current power situation. For them, the usa is still the undisputed leading power. They act accordingly arrogantly. Geneva could backfire - on all of humanity.

Posted by: pnyx | Jun 12 2021 21:19 utc | 39

Sorry Aquadraht but my smartphone changed your name in my comment @ 38. I was too busy fixing up other deliberate changes my smartphone was making to my comment to notice.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12 2021 21:21 utc | 40

Correction to the above. I meant 'living in the' fifties. Sorry.

Posted by: pnyx | Jun 12 2021 21:23 utc | 41

they ought to call those devices stupidphones..

Posted by: james | Jun 12 2021 21:29 utc | 42

Prediction:

The USA will enforce a long long cold war while being disassembled like a car by everyone involved, especially Americans.

No war in sight, just words, higher taxes and then silence.

Posted by: Rolf Werb | Jun 12 2021 21:32 utc | 43

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 12 2021 20:10 utc | 28

>>Everyone refuses to admit that the world in 1900 was multipolar.

It was western/white dominated world actually. The peak of western supremacy in the world. What's wrong with the existance of a real diversity?

I do not see anything wrong with the existance of the various civilisations, systems and cultures in the world. It makes it more interesting place.

Have you looked at the Babylon 5 sci fi serial? The Galactic was a multipolar place, with all of its civilisations. Interesting film.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 21:40 utc | 44

1.Putin has already won the hearts of humanity.
2.The purpose of computing accelerated algorithms have been useful tools of economics, politics & psychopaths.
3.The favorite play of Joe is the dumb dementia card. Let's not forget the badass boss his authentic meanness projects.
4. Narily consuming news, I have observed a financial front setup for the dollar demise in Russia via some big fund there. Equally important is their positioning a system of trade that excludes SWIFT. (I read it on this blog) What's the point of BIS killing Putin? Just out of hate, spite, what? No. Hes got an elite euro pedigree. I expect a mean Joe in Switzerland with all his marbles lined up. Putin won't quake, then what will the Pentagon play be?

Posted by: Joanie | Jun 12 2021 21:52 utc | 45

james @42

I'm with you - don't even have one.

Posted by: spudski | Jun 12 2021 21:52 utc | 46

#5 Paco
The are 3 cities with federal status you are forgetting Leningrad.

Posted by: Abu aisha | Jun 12 2021 21:53 utc | 47

Thanks b.
Expect nothing.
Biden is a cold war thug and a Russia hater. Being his age he will be running on his 20's brain cells and memories and prejudices. He was the Obummer point man in Ukraine and Kurt Volker with that belligerent mind set are likely music to Biden's ears. Biden just has to reassert that the killers are back in charge after the tragi-comedy of Trump and the clown cart. Biden has a mission to merely demonstrate the return of the magi neo-cons.

Yes it will fail. It will be seen as pathetic at first and a week later as useless.

The USA has NEVER grasped the flower of peace and no world leader has offered that flower so consistently as has Putin or lately Xi. And yet the USA shits on their hand of greeting. This is a tragedy for all across this world as we witness the idiocy of squandered resources on military might.

I do not expect the USA to clean house and sack the colony of warmongers occupying their foreign policy advice team. I suspect the state is not in control of its destiny but rather run by a self perpetuating mindset within the military/academia/media that glorifies itself, ensures its succession, and then glorifies itself some more. An echo chamber of ego, fear and loathing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 12 2021 22:14 utc | 48

Passer by@44 I firmly believe that history books still need massive infusions of facts, but I am not an adherent of Critical Race Theory, which substitutes moralizing for scientific analysis, only to do a bad job with the morals (notably, the notion of collective hereditary guilt plays a major part in much of it...and CRT is deliberately left vague so that the more extreme positions can be reserved while more reasonable ones are defended in lieu.) And I also believe that re-defining "democracy" as "social democracy" while ignoring how democracy is class collaboration in pursuit of national conquest (or defense when things go badly.) Pretending that the past democrats weren't is a way of flattering ourselves that we are so enlightened we know better and will have true democracy as soon as we reform the bad people's minds. It's opposing an imaginary ideal to a straw man reality in defense of illusions. The fundamental motive I think is anti-communism, but that's my opinion I guess. The multipolar world of 1900 wasn't unipolar because "white," that's hare-brained CRT crap in my judgment. I don't agree with it.

But history books really need to concentrate on what happened without moralizing on motives, which are always mixed. Children will grow up and figure that out eventually, except for the religious ones who mentally consign others to hell.

Babylon 5 is a space war TV series, so if the argument is supposed to be that multipolar is more peaceful, the logic escapes me. If the idea is that if "states" are equal, then it's democratic strikes me as ideology. In the US, the idea that this or that state has rights that ordinary people do not (variations on residual sovereignty usually,) has *never* been essential to progress. The people having rights, majority rule, yes. But those things and states' rights rarely even aligned. States' rights to maintain slavery or Jim Crow are the primary examples. But I can't think of any real states' rights that work out to progress for real people, as opposed to legal abstractions like a state. Consider the attitude of the federal government to the states' right to decriminalize/legalize marijuana.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 12 2021 22:16 utc | 49

fyi 30
What you wrote about Ladakh and China vs. India is rubbish too (as always when you cluelessly write about China). As MK Bhadrakumar detailed a while ago, it is not China who is the bully in the Himalayas and Kashmir/Jammu. It is India who constantly changed the status quo by occupations and annexions like in Sikkim, and with Nepalese territories too.This was the case under the congress governments already to some extent, and radicalized with the Hindutva fascists of Janata/RSS in power. It is them who build tens of military airfields and roads around the LAC, deploying ten thousands of servicemen.

China is not interested in conflicts. It wants to guarantee the safety of the Sichuan-Tibet-Xinjiang Highway which is crucial for the development of Western Chinese provinces. It is the Janata regime who tries to menace and cut that connection.

China made a ton of modest and reasonable proposals, from Zhou Enlai's memorandum in 1954 on, to settle all border disputes and uncertainties in the Himalayas. And though China kicked the Indian's butts miserably in 1961, they pulled back from Southeast Tibet, the area India boasts as Arunachal Pradesh, British robbery prey from the Chinese empire.

The nationalist and fascist fools in Delhi have nothing real to win in the Himalayas. They are fighting uphill, and face tremendous cost for their poor country. They continue provocations though.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 22:17 utc | 50

@ 46 spudski.. me either... everyone i know has one though.. oh well.. they will just have to catch up with us!

@ 50 aquadraht... what you have to realize is fyi filters everything thru his religious bigotry... once you figure that out - then it all becomes obvious why he concludes what he does... it is all based on a narrow religiously intolerant position...

Posted by: james | Jun 12 2021 22:27 utc | 51

Very good, though I'm doubtful about the weapons worry. Isn't it the case that 1) both sides still have significant ICBM and sub-based MRBMs? 2) Isn't it also the case that neither side has reliable anti-ballistic missile defenses? Aren't we still very much living under a Mutually Assured Destruction paradigm? So what if the Russians have hypersonic missiles? Are they going to be able to saturate US missile launching systems? No.

Posted by: dadooronron | Jun 12 2021 22:30 utc | 52

I have a hard time believing we want war. To take on an enemy with the manpower and productive capacity of China would be suicidal. If there is an alliance between Russia and China and you throw in Russia's natural resources - doubly so. My take is that what we want is an excuse to continue spending on defense - it's a business model - and Russia provides the bogeyman.

Posted by: ian | Jun 12 2021 22:38 utc | 53

Whatever Washington could throw at Russia, the residual Russian forces would penetrate American defenses and wreak havoc on the American homeland.

You're being polite here.

Russia's nuclear arsenal would do much more than "wreak havoc on the American homeland": it would reduce its entirety into a radioactive wasteland. There would be no redneck-in-the-middle-of-Wyoming standing after such attack. The USA would become some kind of cursed land where nothing grows for millennia.

Posted by: vk | Jun 12 2021 22:53 utc | 54

Ms. Jen

Russian Government does not need to directly intervene then; a series of small incidents could be caused during which the city of Odessa organizes a self-defense Unit called Rus Protection Force and asks for help from Lugansk People's Republic.

The key consideration is to deny a legitimate beach head to the NATO forces.

In any case, I think the Russian Government is resigned to another decade or more of confrontation with West; they already have concluded that the sanctions against the Russian Federation will never be removed, that they would be ejected from SWIFT, and should invest more in autarky lest they reprise the experience of Iran.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 23:06 utc | 55

Mr. aquadraht | Jun 12 2021 22:17 utc | 50

You be wrong.

The border dispute has been there for almost 80 years and the Chinese Government could have settled that border dispute any time they wished.

It is a useful cattle-prod against India.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 23:08 utc | 56

Mr. ian | Jun 12 2021 22:38 utc | 53

In situations like this, I would suggest conducting social surveys over several years and ask them what is it that they want from the world.

We already think we know that the Judeo-Christians want War, Rapture, Contact with Aliens, reducing everyone to the status of Servant.

But perhaps we be wrong.

So, let us ask these 700,000,000 million souls what they want from this world.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 23:11 utc | 57

Stonebird | Jun 12 2021 20:02 utc | 24

The US aircraft you were searching for is the F-15. The new version is the F-15EX which is now in production after the Gulf states handily paid for the bulk of the R&D. Initially it will replace the old F-15C/D single seat interceptors but in the longer term will also add to or replace the F-15E multirole fighter/bomber. There is no overlap in functionality between the F-15EX and the F-35.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 12 2021 23:16 utc | 58

fyi

That would be 7000 million souls.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 12 2021 23:34 utc | 59

aquadraht #50

Thank you for that rebuttal. Fyi, I sense the writer is a china russia basher lurking behind a thin masquerade of faux shia sophistication and all intended to give shia a bad name. Tacky.
There is a drink waiting for you at the bar of excommunicated souls ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 12 2021 23:42 utc | 60

In 1900 the world was more unipolar than any time in the last 3000 years. Anglo colonialism was at a peak, Caucasians directly controlled Africa and South East Asia. white Colonialism and genocide were everywhere. China was still crushed by European powers, Russia was incredibly weak.

It takes a lot of word salad and spinning to say the world in 1900 was multi-polar. Doesn't matter what you think if critical race theory...that has zero relevance here.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 12 2021 23:42 utc | 61

>>Babylon 5 is a space war TV series, so if the argument is supposed to be that multipolar is more peaceful, the logic escapes me

Well, it was a film about different civilisations overcoming war and conflict - the whole point about constructing the Babylon 5 space station was to avoid war and to find ways to communicate with each other, no matter how different the various space species can be.

The multipoar space station was constructed after a disastrous Earth War against another space civilisation, in order to fix conflicts in the Galaxy.

I really recommend you that Sci Fi series.

>>The multipolar world of 1900 wasn't unipolar because "white,"

Unless you are from another race, in which case you will see massive white dominance all over around the world during those years.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 23:43 utc | 62

>>Babylon 5 is a space war TV series, so if the argument is supposed to be that multipolar is more peaceful, the logic escapes me

Well, it was a film about different civilisations overcoming war and conflict - the whole point about constructing the Babylon 5 space station was to avoid war and to find ways to communicate with each other, no matter how different the various space species can be.

The multipoar space station was constructed after a disastrous Earth War against another space civilisation, in order to fix conflicts in the Galaxy.

I really recommend you that Sci Fi series.

>>The multipolar world of 1900 wasn't unipolar because "white,"

Unless you are from another race, in which case you will see massive white dominance all over around the world during those years.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 23:44 utc | 63

Above comment to steven t johnson | Jun 12 2021 22:16 utc | 49

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 23:46 utc | 64

Mr. Jason | Jun 12 2021 23:42 utc | 61

I think the operative word that is missing has been "Euro-American"; i.e. the Euro-American world was multipolar.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 23:47 utc | 65

Mr. Michael Weddington | Jun 12 2021 23:34 utc | 59

Thank you sir; yes, I meant 700 million souls.

Posted by: fyi | Jun 12 2021 23:49 utc | 66

@61 FYI

Yes, that seems like a fair assessment. In 1900 there was indeed not only rivalry between european-american colonial powers, but also between European Colonial Powers and powerful European countries who were at disadvantage for lack of colonies...Germany.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 12 2021 23:54 utc | 67

Here's what's goin' down. (According to my 95% WRONG predictions.) Nothing whatever of the slightest importance will be discussed at the Putin/Biden 'summit'. No significant accords will be established, and virtually nothing will occur. EXCEPT:

This will be a rollicking Royal Send-Up for the benefit of Joe Biden. Why? The logic is dirt simple. Biden is always on the hairy edge of being removed from office for incapacitation. Russia would then be dealing with the amateur and insanely aggressive Kamala Harris. It's about sticking with the Devil You Know.

Therefor, Putin will provide the feeble Joe Biden with an all-in Royal Send-Up. Putin will praise Biden to the heavens. He will even toss in some empty but hugely auspicious 'concession'. Which will be hailed by the indentured media as a Tremendous Victory.

All solely to keep the feeble Master of Bargain Basement Politics in 'charge'.

Posted by: blues | Jun 12 2021 23:55 utc | 68

Posted by: Jason | Jun 12 2021 23:42 utc | 61

>>In 1900 the world was more unipolar than any time in the last 3000 years. Anglo colonialism was at a peak, Caucasians directly controlled Africa and South East Asia. white Colonialism and genocide were everywhere. China was still crushed by European powers, Russia was incredibly weak.

It takes a lot of word salad and spinning to say the world in 1900 was multi-polar. Doesn't matter what you think if critical race theory...that has zero relevance here.

====================================

I agree with that.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 12 2021 23:55 utc | 69

In my previous comment @8 above, I concurred with b that a significant faction within the Outlaw US Empire's elite governing aparat are delusional while other factions are very much aware of the stark reality of the Empire's condition--particularly its domestic condition. A shining example of this was published today by Global Times, of which there are three total articles I hope barflies will read, although they might have read the first two as I linked and commented about them when they were published. Franz Gayl is a 64-year-old retired US Marine major who worked at the Pentagon as an analyst and wrote two reality-based articles for publication by Global Times for what are obvious reasons when read--the Outlaw US Empire has zero chance of winning a war against China over Taiwan, and he advocated against such a stupid undertaking. But reality just cannot be mentioned--the Narrative Must Hold at All Costs!!--as with the continuous stream of lies about the state of the USA's economy that have been ongoing since Reagan and his VooDoo Economics. For a self-declared Christian nation, it most certainly has forgotten--buried very deeply--the admonition from Proverbs 16:18: Pride goeth before the fall. And genuine patriots like Franz Gayl get crucified for trying to avert that fall. Just like wanting to kill Assange for telling the truth--the Outlaw US Empire is facing the same stark reality that Gorbachev and the USSR faced in the early 1980s. And guess what, Putin just said that's exactly what the USA's facing today at the SPIEF to the heads of global media:

"But problems keep piling up. And, at some point, they are no longer able to cope with them. And the United States is now walking the Soviet Union’s path, and its gait is confident and steady." [My Emphasis]

At least Clueless Joe @11 sees through the bologna and gets it correct. I highly suggest this op/ed. As Putin told the global media heads, Russia is all about Russia and Russians, and is willing to partner with other nations that can aid Russia in its development that's aimed at benefitting all Russians. Defending genuine strategic interests is NOT Imperialism. the big problem for the Outlaw US Empire is that since WW2's end it's seen the entire planet as its strategic interest, which was the first post-war BigLie it told to itself and swallowed whole.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 13 2021 0:26 utc | 70

"Moreover, he is at the ’soft’ end of a continuum among political elites - including officials within his government."

True, and this is why I do not at all, for one millisecond, trust Putin to not make concessions to Bidet. He's a neoliberal soft Yeltsinite and his corporate owners want him to be in the good books of the EUNATO gang.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 13 2021 1:05 utc | 71

"...Putin could try to score points on Biden, 78, who will be in the final hours...." *of his life*. There, fixed it for them.

Posted by: Mr. Dan | Jun 13 2021 1:47 utc | 72

James @26

You're right. It belittles Putin to even meet a senile placeholder like Biden, and the whole thing is a propaganda exercise for the Yanks. Unless Putin just wants to get into the same room as Biden and break both his arms for mouthing and trash-talking, there's no reason for him to meet Biden at all.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Jun 13 2021 2:20 utc | 73

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 13 2021 0:26 utc | 70

You missed the most important part of the article:

The Global Times editor received his first email on April 20, in which he warned the danger the current US' Taiwan policy could bring and asked whether the Global Times was interested in publishing it. In the email, Gayl said, "Time seems to be running out for the U.S. to adopt common sense on the Taiwan issue." He also said he had previously sent the article to many US and Western media outlets but they either declined or never responded.

“I do not know why my opinions were not accepted. My sense of urgency is caused by the increasing tensions reported in US news media. I am always concerned for my fellow Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and my country,” Gayl told the Global Times on Saturday, after the investigation was disclosed by the Washington Post.

There is no freedom of speech in the USA. They stonewall opinions that are contrary to its "national interests" through what seems to be a combination of an MSM cartel and an ubiquitous and well-oiled, well-polished, well-hidden State censorship machine.

Posted by: vk | Jun 13 2021 2:38 utc | 74

I'm feeling lazy and with this summit one doesn't have to make too great an effort (because nobody else will), so I'll just paste a copy of a comment I made this evening in an earlier thread:

@43 Mike from Jersey

Yes, I agree with this thought - if in fact it's actually that contrived of a thought on Russia's part. One thing the Russian experts such as Saker and Orlov have taught us is that Russia always talks, always - right up until it's formally war, Russia continues to talk with all entities. It's how they roll.

In other words, Putin would need a very compelling reason NOT to engage in talks with Biden.

Of course, no one expects much, but the Russians are superb negotiators. They have squeezed things out of talks that lesser ones might have despaired of ever attaining. Negotiating with them is justly described as being like "buying the same horse twice."

And, to agree with your thought even more, yes, I think if ever there's a time to keep the enemy close it's now.

I keep thinking of Ali's classic fight with George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle". Ali used rope-a-dope to let the opponent wear himself out, and then we suddenly saw that there was a strategy, and that Ali was fresh while Foreman was exhausted, and one punch is all it took to put Foreman down.

But the best part is how Norman Mailer described Ali poised with another punch waiting to strike, even as he followed Foreman's fall to the canvas. It was as if Ali didn't want to spoil the geometry of Foreman's going down, and saw how a second punch was not needed. These fighters see things at such split-second speed.

Russia, I think, is very close to being in the same position with the USA.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 12 2021 23:17 utc | 45

I predict that Russia will come away from the meeting looking to the multipolar world stronger and more sane than ever, and that Putin will give a useful press conference in which he offers even more substance and weight to Russia's red lines.

I don't think it really matters what the US comes away with, since it's all intended for its various captivated audiences.

~~

We live in a time when it doesn't matter what the delirious patient imagines in his terminal decline, and all that matters is staying close enough to help him to the ground as gently as possibly. Because we are not savages. We bear no exaggerated malice. We're not interested in revenge. We just want the old fucker to get to the ground with minimum fuss.

And we look forward to the time when he can rise again, decades from now, and be a new adult in the world. Really, the strategy has moved on from the old European competitions for territory. The universe awaits.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 13 2021 2:39 utc | 75

I would not put it past them to assasinate them both to blame Russia for Biden's murder.

Posted by: ld | Jun 13 2021 3:07 utc | 76

b said;"Both of these strategic aims are unlikely to get achieved because the U.S. foreign policy community is still misjudging the global situation as well as Russia's strength and position. It wants the summit to fail."

Bottom line truth b. The empire of illusion can't accept global reality, nor deal with ANY nation on an honest basis.

Posted by: vetinLA | Jun 13 2021 3:23 utc | 77

"Bottom line: The furtherance of the US security state needs Russia as a continuing enemy."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 12 2021 17:36 utc | 4

Absolutely, and, add China and others to the list. The hometown morons lap it up. Peace isn't profitable.....

Posted by: vetinLA | Jun 13 2021 3:34 utc | 78

@ my 4, that the US won't split Russia from its China alliance. . .Russia gets a vote

Global Times reporters Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi interviewed Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov on a range of issues including bilateral and trilateral relations, COVID-19, and many others.

GT: Some analysts suggest the Biden administration may take measures to ease tensions with Russia in order to concentrate on dealing with China. Will this strategy alienate Russia from China and draw it closer to the US?
Denisov: This view is too short-sighted. It can't happen. I think we're smarter than what the Americans think. Jun 11, 2021 . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2021 3:34 utc | 79

Obviously, with the coming of Biden, there was a change in the deep state Faction that makes up the current PTB.

Equally obvious, the president is not making the real decisions.

Wildly swinging carrots and sticks make the current tea leaves hard to read (Ukraine, Taiwan, easing trade tariffs on Chinese tech while passing Uighur genocide statements etc)..

What is the agenda of the current PTB in the US at the present time? Even Americans can't figure it out.

Putins best course of action is to listen in at the EU, NATO meetings, and compare with what is said to his face verses what is done in the two months to come.

That is why the meeting. There will be noise but no real agreements

Posted by: les7 | Jun 13 2021 3:35 utc | 80

Pretty good B. Solid piece here. I don't know what else one might expect from this meeting, but I certainly do not anticipate that Russia will change any of its exhaustively stated positions on any critical issue whatsoever.

Posted by: Josh | Jun 13 2021 3:40 utc | 81

Maybe they could start with an agreement about this:

"The US is looking to leave a few hundred troops in Afghanistan to protect its diplomatic mission, but if the airport isn’t secure, and Kabul falls to the Taliban the US personnel would have no way out" Nancy Youssef

Russia helped then get in there in the first place, maybe they can help them on the way out?

Symbolic on so many levels

Posted by: les7 | Jun 13 2021 3:45 utc | 82

The first major foreign policy decision that Biden made was to hold the line everywhere, while promoting "the US is back" BS. That was on North Korea, this Spring, when a study group looked at the endless US-at-war-in-Korea situation and advocated a return to sensibility by getting back to the Singapore Trump-Kim agreement for the US to regularize relations with North Korea.
news report a couple months ago --
The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden will build on a 2018 summit agreement with North Korea, White House Asia czar Kurt Campbell said Tuesday, extending overtures to Pyongyang after completing a months long policy review on the North.
"Our policy review took a careful look at everything that has been tried before. Our efforts will build on Singapore and other agreements made by previous administrations," Campbell, White House policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said in a written interview with Yonhap News Agency.
This has been a desire of South Korea's President Moon. A solution!
But when Moon visited Biden last month, the US position was unchanged. "We will explore diplomacy" the statement read. So much for progress toward peace. As vetinLA said above "Peace isn't profitable."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2021 3:56 utc | 83

@ les7 82
. . . if the airport isn’t secure, and Kabul falls to the Taliban
The Feb 29, 2020 Doha Agreement, US & Taliban, recognized that Kabul would fall to the Taliban and there is no reason to doubt it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 13 2021 4:05 utc | 84

If I may offer an opinion,
As far as President Putin being on the 'soft side' of the spectrum of the Russian political elite,
I think it might be that he is being as 'nice about it' as he can possibly be, about the positions that he takes and the way he presents those positions.
I think that shows a remarkable and admirable level of self discipline. It must surely not be an easy thing to do all of the time.

Posted by: Josh | Jun 13 2021 4:19 utc | 85

@ 75 grieved.. thanks.. a rare moment of sanity and a crazy world.. more of that is needed...

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2021 4:36 utc | 86

and - in...

Posted by: james | Jun 13 2021 4:37 utc | 87

This article:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/06/11/mr-putin-trap-fact-its-exactly-same-trap/

...makes many excellent points, but reading between the lines is important. It is extremely, without saying so outright, critical of Putinist regime "restraint " in Ukranazistan and the gullibility of said regime, which despite being betrayed over and over still thinks a useless photo op with Bidet will achieve anything. Assuming that it's actually useless and not yet another display of gullibility and by now treasonous "restraint ".

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 13 2021 5:39 utc | 88

JohninMK | Jun 12 2021 23:16 utc | 58

Thanks - I get lost with so many versions. I never recovered after learning about Foo fighters.

*****

Idle thought; will Putin LET Biden say that he will support Ukraine to the last and let him take all the responsibility for paying for it in the future?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 13 2021 6:23 utc | 89

@JohninMK

"The new version is the F-15EX which is now in production after the Gulf states handily paid for the bulk of the R&D. Initially it will replace the old F-15C/D single seat interceptors but in the longer term will also add to or replace the F-15E multirole fighter/bomber."

It figures that someone else paid for the development. But they did learn something about the use of a "generic" design. (As in the Su- series).

* You mean that the F-35 has a role, other than a walk on part in a B-series movie?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 13 2021 6:38 utc | 90

Everyone is off in the weeds.

It's over. Russia has hypersonics giving full protection. USA is NATO, and NATO is militarily finished. See Scott Ritters RT articles. NATO is left as simply a parasite sucking Europes blood. Irrelevant. End of story.

New realities.

China is bringing in policies to punish those Western countries that obey the USA's extension of its domestic policy to other countries (the so called 'sanctions'). If you break contracts with China 'because USA' or refuse trade 'because USA' you will be punished, sued. Expect more of this.

Sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose.

China & Russia reject 'blocs', 'clubs', small group 'pseudoleadership', small group 'rules based order' inventions.

China & Russia support the principles and purposes of the UN, which represents ALL countries.

China's June 11 Foreign Affairs summary covers both countries foreign policy succintly:

"Yang Jiechi stressed, there is only one system and one order in the world: the international system with the United Nations (UN) at the core and the international order based on international law, instead of the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries.

There is only one set of rules: the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, instead of the so-called rules formulated by a small number of countries.

There is only one kind of multilateralism, which is genuine multilateralism based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as international law, and featuring equal treatment, cooperation and mutual benefits, not pseudo-multilateralism based on interests of small cliques and group politics, letting alone practicing unilateralism in the name of multilateralism.

Peace and development, fairness and justice, democracy and freedom are the common values of all humankind.

Respect for sovereignty is a prerequisite for the realization of human rights, which is a principle affirmed by the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The U.S. should fix its serious human rights violations on its own territory, instead of wilfully interfering in the internal affairs of other countries with the so-called human rights as an excuse."

Crystal clear. simple. Based on International law. True global multilateralism.

USA knows its policies are an embarrassment, and a liability.

They have shown world leading stupidity.

Now, they are trying to walk it back.

It' obvious.

Good.

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/wshd_665389/t1883497.shtml

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jun 13 2021 6:53 utc | 91

@1 fyi
Russia doesn`t have the capabilities to destroy Ukraine.

Many people seem to not realise this but in many respects Russia has already lost in 2014. In his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote that without Ukraine Russia can`t be a super power. He is right. Only some 80% of Russian citizens are ethnic Russians. Russia needs manpower for further territorial expansion otherwise it will be difficult to incorporate conquered peoples as minorities. The 40 million or so "Little Russians" are, however, staunchly anti-Russian Ukrainians by now. They remain permanently out of reach for Moscow.

For the next century Ukraine will remain a permanent source of trouble for Russia. Whoever has a beef with Russia for whatever reason just has to deliver some arms to Ukraine - like recently Turkey - in order to apply some preassure and there is nothing Moscow can do about it.


Approaching each other would make sense for both the USA and Russia. Still the summit will most likely fail because both declining powers life in the delusion that they have to negotiate from a "position of strength".

Posted by: m | Jun 13 2021 6:57 utc | 92

"Why Is There A Biden-Putin Summit And What Is It Supposed To Achieve?

The short answer, discussed in length below, is that:

1. The U.S. wants to take on China. The U.S. recognized that it can not take on China and Russia simultaneously. Russia must thus be split from its China alliance and brought back into Europe.

2. Russia's new strategic weapon systems may enable a first strike on the U.S. A new strategic arms agreement is the only way to avert that existential threat. (It would also save a lot of money.)"

Yes.

America predictably resorts to its time-honored tactic of Divide-and-Conquer.

The Americans are soiling their non-binary gendered panties in fear of Eurasia integration.

Hence, it must sow division, conflict, and chaos throughout the European supercontinent--first and foremost between Russia and China, but also between Europe and Russia, India and China, Turkey and Russia, and throughout the Middle East between the Shia crescent and Sunni nations.

All the while, the Americans sit back and laugh up their sleeves at all the chaos and horror that they have wrought on the other side of the world, smugly believing themselves to be safe, protected by 2 oceans.

Until one day, they will look up at the sky and realize that they aren't so safe, and Karma finally rains hellfire on their heads....

Posted by: ak74 | Jun 13 2021 7:44 utc | 93

I think all of that is pretty clear to those who have been paying close watch to this issue.

What is less clear, and what I hope you can address in a future update, is what is Russia's motivation for joining the summit, which it spurned several times before finally agreeing?

Posted by: Don Harder | Jun 13 2021 7:49 utc | 94

m | Jun 13 2021 6:57 utc | 92

"Russia needs manpower for further territorial expansion otherwise it will be difficult to incorporate conquered peoples as minorities."

An assumption that come to us from the past. 1997 to be exact. Does Russia really want "territorial expansion" when they have so much already? Conquest? Aren't trade and sanctions the new form of warfare? (OK, include Cyborgs acting as terminators of civilisations if you want).

The 40 million or so "Little Russians" are, however, staunchly anti-Russian Ukrainians by now. They remain permanently out of reach for Moscow.

NATO and Ukraine see the Russian speakers as a form of fifth column, and the banning of "russian speakers" and others of "russian orgin" by Zelensky isn't going to encourage them to give wholehearted support to him, is it? You could include in the total the Russian minorities in Estonia, Latvia etc, as what? Misfits? Would they not wish to "rejoin" a country that will give them some rights?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 13 2021 8:02 utc | 95

@m my 95.

orgin. No, not orgies but "origin".

although...... Maybe Zelensky thinks the Russian speakers have better and bigger orgies than the true blue Ukrainians? Jealousy is a powerful motive for some.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 13 2021 8:07 utc | 96

Talking Sevastopol or Sebastopol -correct translit is Sevastopol-, here a poster with an entry warning to a shop, "Watch your step, do not stumble"

Watch your step

Posted by: Paco | Jun 13 2021 9:08 utc | 97


There was a lot going on about six weeks ago. I have not seen much coverage of Lavrov's interview in the English language press, which says a great deal.

I'd appreciate your thoughts karlof1. Is this part of the Geneva agenda?


Lavrov Calls Out "Perfidious Albion". London Aiming For Dialogue With Moscow Behind Germany's Back

https://invidious.grimneko.de/channel/UCwGpHa6rMLjSSCBlckm5khw

(download)

Posted by: John Cleary | Jun 13 2021 9:12 utc | 98

@m 92
Congratulations, you managed to surpass fyi in spouting nonsense. First, it is not to see that the Russian Federation is searching territorial expansion. She already is the #1 worldwide in territory. As to the "40 million little Russians" allegedly "staunchly anti-Russian Ukrainians", Ukraine asserted to have 43.8m inhabitants in 2020. which was an estimate, no census. In fact, about 4m thereof are living in LNR and DNR, about 6m permanently living abroad, half of them in Russia. Even the fascist Rada majority repeatedly withdrew legislation nullifying visa freedom into Russia, because of fears (expressed in parliament, TV and press) that with such legislation the Ukies permanently in Russia would take their families over there, resulting in a gross population loss of 5-6 million.

The "staunchly Russia hating" Ukies make at best a slim majority, much more likely a 15-20% minority of the Ukies still living in the sinking shithole. 80% of the Ukies speak Russian or Syrchuk (Russian-Ukrainian mix) as their native language. According to polls (Pew et alii), 75-80% are opposed to "language laws", and as much want peace, not conquest with the breakaway Donbass republics.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 13 2021 9:53 utc | 99

Correcting a typo, it is 41.8 million Ukies according to http://database.ukrcensus.gov.ua

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 13 2021 9:54 utc | 100

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