Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 12, 2021

In Ukraine The U.S. Is Risking War

There is fear in Russia that the U.S. is egging the Ukraine into a renewed active conflict with its renegade eastern Donbass region and thereby into a war with Russia.

In his latest RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP Patrick Armstrong recollects the most recent developments:

UKRAINE. 1 Nov: Russian buildup on Ukraine border shrieks controlled US media. 2 Nov: CIA Director Burns goes to Moscow; said to warn Moscow against military operations. 3 Nov: Dmytro Yarosh appointed adviser to the commander-in-chief of the Ukraine armed forces, Defence Minister resigns. 4 Nov: US official visits Kiev. 7 Nov: Kiev says no indication of Russian buildup on border.
What just happened? Moscow got its message across and Washington turned its puppet off? (If so, nobody told Blinken.) Hard to imagine anyone in Kiev thinks “a good little war” would improve the wretched situation. But Yarosh might. This time I think Moscow will use force – if they didn’t get the hint in the spring, there’s no point in more hints: time for facts. (Ossetia 2008; but faster.)

Earlier this year the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky closed TV and media that favored the opposition. Last week the 26 years old English language KyivPost outlet was shut down after its owner was threatened.

Zelensky has recently lost the majority in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. The leader of Zelensky's party 'Servant of the People' Dmytro Razumkov, was removed from his position as speaker of the Rada after some conflict with Zelensky. Razumkov has now founded a new party and 21 parliament members from the 'Servant of the People' joined him in a new faction. 226 seats are needed for a majority in the Rada. 'Servant of the People' had 244 seats but is now down to 224.

Ukraine is in an energy crisis. It did not use the summer months to fill its gas storage. It lacks thermal coal to generate electricity and to heat its cities. It will now import coal from Poland, the United States and South Africa. That is not only expensive but also likely too late to avoid blackouts:

Considering these factors, the [Energy Minister Herman Haluschenko] stressed the need to develop domestic coal mining.

"It is important that we look at the possibilities of rapidly increasing domestic production. And if there are such opportunities and there is an opportunity to invest in domestic coal, this is the key priority," he stressed.

The Donbass region has large coal reserves and mines. Rapidly increasing domestic coal production by occupying it might be some peoples' idea to avoid rolling blackouts.

This week the Foreign Minister of the Ukraine was in Washington DC for U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Dialogue talks. There was a lot of war mongering about a 'Russian escalation' that is not happening. Russia is not interested in one but had earlier said that it would protect the Russian people in the renegade Donbass provinces.

In July 2020 the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence wrote a Summary Assessment of Intentions of the Political Leadership of the Russian Federation.  It concluded that Russia does not want a war with NATO but would not back away from an immediate threat. It also says:

We assess that Moscow is increasingly concerned about U.S. military activity, especially in Europe, and that this increases the potential for unintended Russian escalation.

This month the U.S. Navy has send the guided missile destroyer Porter and the command ship Mount Whitney into the Black Sea. The later is of special interest:

"The region can already be viewed as a potential theater of war. The USS Mount Whitney command ship is known for its visits to trouble spots. It was seen near the coasts of Iraq and Libya, and visited the Black Sea in 2008, when a war broke out in South Ossetia. It sailed to our shores in 2014, too, after Crimea reunited with Russia," [military expert Vladislav Shurygin] added.

At the same time the U.S. is intensifying its aerial reconnaissance activity around the Black Sea:

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. NATO reconnaissance aircraft increased the number of flights near the Russian borders in the Black Sea region over the past 24 hours, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

"Over the past 24 hours, reconnaissance aircraft of NATO countries increased the intensity of flights near the borders of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region," the ministry said.

On November 9, the radars of the Russian Aerospace Force’s air defense troops tracked a US Air Force E-8C airborne ground surveillance, command and control aircraft over the Black Sea, it said.

"Also, Russian anti-aircraft missile troops tracked three reconnaissance aircraft of NATO member states over the Black Sea in the past 24 hours," the statement says.

Meanwhile U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets as well as aerial tankers have been deployed to Bulgaria and Romania.

The fear in Moscow is not that the U.S. will attack Russia. But the high activity of U.S. forces in the area and the incitement Kiev gets from Washington might make the Ukrainian leadership believe that Washington has its back and will come to its help when it attacks the Donbass region and Russia hits back.

That believe would be false. Alastair Crooke notes a typical U.S. behavior towards Taiwan, Israel and the Ukraine. It incites them towards conflict but when the backlash will inevitably come is will be unable or unwilling to help them:

The West contrives to use Ukraine as the peg to threaten Russia with NATO action, even to the extent of NATO recently lowering the threshold for using its nuclear weapons – and yet … there is no way that Donbass can be seized back by Kiev. Moscow will never allow it, and NATO knows it cannot prevail over Russia in Ukraine, short of an unthinkable nuclear exchange.

Either way, the U.S. – apparently – courts failure: Either Ukraine remains territorially status quo, and disintegrates from the weight its own dysfunctionality, economic collapse and endemic corruption. Or, in a futile gesture, it goes for broke versus the Donbass forces and ends dismembered, as Russia – very reluctantly – is forced to intervene.

After the Afghanistan debacle the Biden administration needs a foreign policy victory:

In Ukraine, provoking even a limited Russian military intervention into eastern Ukraine would be hailed [in Washington] as a political achievement. Never mind the damage, the deaths; Europe would fall under full Washington control, and NATO would re-discover its raison d’être. But Europe and America would be weaker – and yet more of America’s traditional clients will assert themselves, through diversifying their relations, and projecting power through broader alliances. And the more they look eastward, the more deeply they engage with China.

Crooke compares this to the Clinton administration's ..

.. desire to rack up a string of miscellaneous, shallow achievements that would be boasted as successes to the electorate, so that the latter would conclude that foreign policy was in reasonably good shape. Yet they would be in error: The quest for racking-up these hollow achievements “ignored the alarming void, in precisely the area of greatest importance: the question of whether policy was making it more or less likely that America would have to fight a major war in the near future”. The U.S. is addicted to ephemeral success, whilst ignoring its strategic erosion ..

I also see analogies to Hong Kong where the Trump administration incited a student revolt but did nothing when China finally intervened. That was seen as a success by Trump and Pompeo but the opposition in Hong Kong lost out and Hong Kong is no longer the U.S.' easy entry point into China.

The Biden administrations war mongering towards Russia may be seen to be free of cost. But it takes only one miscalculation in Kiev or some unforeseen incident in the Black Sea region and the situation could seriously escalate.

Posted by b on November 12, 2021 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

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This article is by Russell Bentley(a former Texan who holds passports from Russia, the USA and the Donetsk People’s Republic. He came to Donbass in 2014 and served in the VOSTOK Battalion and XAH Spetsnaz Battalion through 2015.)

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/11/12/is-biden-looking-to-reignite-a-dirty-war-in-ukraine-recent-visit-by-u-s-defense-secretary-lloyd-austin-raises-concerns/

Posted by: bevin | Nov 12 2021 18:35 utc | 1

thanks b... hopefully the hotheads in kiev don't get the chance to tip the scales more against themselves.. these folks seem to have a talent for shooting themeselves in the foot.... i like the quote from alastair crooke.. it sums up my own viewpoint well -
"Either way, the U.S. – apparently – courts failure: Either Ukraine remains territorially status quo, and disintegrates from the weight its own dysfunctionality, economic collapse and endemic corruption. Or, in a futile gesture, it goes for broke versus the Donbass forces and ends dismembered, as Russia – very reluctantly – is forced to intervene."

so, the question becomes how stupid will the hotheads in kiev or washington be??? it is always an open question... hopefully saner minds prevail, but that is not a sure thing...

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2021 18:45 utc | 2

The White House, Nov 10

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met today with Head of Presidential Administration Andriy Yermak and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine. They discussed the progress made on bilateral priorities identified by President Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine in their September 1 joint statement. Both sides welcomed the November 10 re-launch of the bilateral Strategic Partnership Commission, as well as ongoing cooperation on energy security, governance reform, and anti-corruption. Mr. Sullivan emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He welcomed Ukraine’s commitment to conflict resolution in Donbas, underlining strong U.S. support for those efforts.. .here

Looking at the last sentence, of course there has not been any strong support for Minsk 2, when Donbass would receive some political autonomy, a concept which is not unusual in Europe, and a concept that would bring back some normalcy. Minsk 2 was not mentioned in the recent Joint Statement on the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership which General Austin slobbered over in his recent visit to Ukraine before he sent US warships to the Black Sea.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 12 2021 18:55 utc | 3

Something often missing in these analyses is an assessment of how the US/NATO thinks a policy of brinksmanship will affect political dynamics in Russia. This presupposes some idea of potential divisions within the regime. Is the Russian government unified regarding its Ukraine stance? Are there some factions in favor of more aggressive action? Would a "march on Kyiv," that Bentley speculates about, set off conflict within the regime? A better idea of not only what the regime's options are, but also who's pushing them, would be helpful.

Posted by: dadooronron | Nov 12 2021 18:56 utc | 4

The American calculus is simple: can they incite a Russian aggression into Ukraine and get a short war that will cool down quickly, costing only Ukies, not NATO or US men and equipment?

That has been the goal since Minsk 2 froze the conflict in the Donbass.

What Putin has set up is the reality that if the Ukies or others start a conflict, Ukraine will be dismantled at the seat of power, not in the Donbass or Crimean Peninsula. There will be no state of Ukraine if the Russians have to go to war.

Shoigu is signaling with Tu-22M3 bombers, then Tu-160 White Swan bombers and today with paratroopers exercising with Belarusian troops that Russia and Belarus will use boilers north, east and south of Ukraine (and west if necessary), to destroy the nazi battalions and all the elite forces of Ukraine.
This freezes Poland and the Baltics unless they want to be destroyed, also.

What is unspoken, but why Burns went to Moscow last week, is he wanted assurances that US and NATO special ops caught in the cauldrons will be spared and allowed to escape like what happened in Debaltsevo in Feb. 2015.

It is likely Moscow told him to pound sand.

The US will get a defeat that will make their retreat from Afghanistan look like Sunday picnic at the park.

Biden and Blinken and the Russophobes are too ignorant of history and reality to think they can sucker Russia or defeat Russia on its home turf and in its natural sphere of influence.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 12 2021 18:58 utc | 5

Could all be a preventative measure to continue to impede RU-EU energy links such as Nord Stream II.

I am not convinced Ukraine is in that dire a situation wrt/ energy supplies. Some data can be obtained here: https://agsi.gie.eu/ ... click on various country or country-group "graph" buttons, set time scale to maximum.

From the above:
* The "Europe" country group (that is, everyone in the interconnect system excluding Ukraine, with its significant storage) has enough storage to absorb the largest winter draw visible in this data set. That was winter 2017-2018. Although the amount left after that would be uncomfortably low.
* Ukraine also has enough in storage to absorb the 2017-2018 withdrawal amount also, and with a relatively larger amount to spare compared to the EU country group as listed in the euro gas system statistics.
* Ukraine's withdrawal from 2020-2021 was much larger. This was due to an abnormally high starting point in 2020, as the previous winter's unexpected surplus from the EU, was pumped into Ukraine storage, and then went the other way the following winter. If the 2021-2021 withdrawal happened again, it would in fact be catastrophic for Ukraine, but there isn't really a reason to expect this to happen now.

The other thing to consider, is that Ukraine produces a steady 20bcm/year of natural gas. Its natural gas consumption has fallen dramatically since, say, 2010, and it now consumes around 30bcm/year. (compare to on the order of 100bcm/year that has transited the country each year). According to news articles, as of beginning of Nov, there's something like 17-18bcm in storage in Ukraine.

So anyway, between Ukraine and EU, the amounts do in fact add up -- barring a really major reduction in flow.

---

Offtopic, Carl Zha disappeared from Twitter, https://twitter.com/CarlZha now says "account doesn't exist". Anyone know what's up with that

Posted by: ptb | Nov 12 2021 19:21 utc | 6

Breaking news, Two Russian paratroopers were just killed on Belarus, in a "training accident", I don't believe for a second that an elite paratrooper regiment would be moved into Belarus in such an emergency situation and then starting "training" within 24 hours of arrival. Smells like they were on an operation somewhere nearby, possibly Ukraine, were killed and then the death were reported in Belarus. At this point In wouldn't say that trouble is brewing, it's about to boil over.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 12 2021 19:39 utc | 7

We know that pushing NATO right up to the Russian border antagonizes Putin and the entire Russian establishment.

So far though, it has produced tensions rather than war. Those tensions have been "good" for the military industrial establishment, a result they welcome and exploit.

Putin has never crossed the line to war, except in Georgia, and then for only a few days.

Taking Crimea hardly counts, because it was already the main Russian base in the South of Russia for 200 years, a base fought over with the Germans in both world wars, and with Britain and France in the Crimean War. That is not "new" as a development.

At what point would Ukraine cross the line into being like Georgia?

Would Putin dare to do to it what the Soviets did in Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1967? And Afghanistan in 1979? That last is what would make him hesitate, as much as anything NATO might do.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Nov 12 2021 19:41 utc | 8

Great update b,

Alastair Crooke notes a typical U.S. behavior towards Taiwan, Israel and the Ukraine. It incites them towards conflict but when the backlash will inevitably come is will be unable or unwilling to help them:

I say add Georgia to the list.

Posted by: Slumber | Nov 12 2021 19:45 utc | 9

Thanks for the update, b. One question I have had for a while: would French or German troops invade to spare Russia from having to do so, if a conflict in eastern Ukraine threatened Europe? I read that interview with Lavrov where he said that France and Germany had insisted on “constructive ambiguity” with regards to who’s the aggressor in Ukraine, this was at a Normandy format meeting, I think. Reading about that, I thought it was really quite ingenious— surely if they can invent that, they can invent some pretext to militarily involve themselves in Ukraine? I also read in the news today Britain sent troops to the Polish border (ugh- does that mean non-European Canada will have to follow?) which may be very bad or very good news. I’m not sure which.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Nov 12 2021 20:11 utc | 10

Murican FreedomFrack LNG to the Rescue...

Looks like EU/POL Sanctions against BLR+RUS will cause BLR to Cut Off RUS_NatGas to POL and cause RUS to Cut Off EU Civil Airliners from RUS_Airspace for Cross-Continental Flights.

Zelensky is deluded for thinking he can take DNR/LNR.

Posted by: IronForge | Nov 12 2021 20:11 utc | 11

Posted by: ptb | Nov 12 2021 19:21 utc | 6

Offtopic, Carl Zha disappeared from Twitter, https://twitter.com/CarlZha now says "account doesn't exist". Anyone know what's up with that

Similar off topic: I can no longer access Global Times. I am told "Global Times took too long to respond."

Posted by: foolisholdman | Nov 12 2021 20:15 utc | 12

NATO has been doing "creeping militarization" of Ukraine. The NATO/US now have nine bases that they either use in exclusivity (3-4?) or have the use of in agreement with Ukraine.
The creeping militarization is one Russian red line.

The Drone attack on artillery broke an agreement in the Minsk accords, about no air power.
Second red line.

Today; "for almost the entire day, the Ukrainian military has been conducting a massive artillery and mortar shelling of settlements in the DPR and LPR."
That is unlikely to be allowed to continue indefinitely. Plus the fate of the Russian civilians taken "hostage" not so long ago (150?). Definite red lines.

A couple of days ago the US gave armed "patrol boats" to Ukraine, and Zelensky mentioned other naval units that he would then station in the Sea of Azov.
This I expect to be a possible real source of conflict when they try to go under the Kersh bridge (unless they take them overland !), for which they need the Russians to be in agreement.
**

If anything, b is underestimating the quantity of spy planes circulating in the Black sea area, the med around Tartus, Syria, and Belarus. By the US and others incl. UK ones.
**

The Russian subs/ships have naturally been deployed as the US ships seem to be at the eastern end of the B-Sea (plus one nearer the isthmus into the Med.). They will be trying to identify air defenses and the position of the submarines. I don't know if they think they will then be allowed to go quietly on their way when things go sideways?
****

It is clear that NATO and the US are trying to get the first "movement" to be seen as coming from Russia. For this they will push Zelensky. A FF is also on the cards. As Zelensky thinks he is the new emperor of something he is quite capable of screwing everything up.
***

The US doesn't know what Russia is thinking. THIS is the problem for them as they cannot "plan" efficiently. Secondly they can see movement of military hardware, (Some has been in place for a relatively long time) but troop movements are harder to check on. The fog of war is creeping in?

*****

ptb | Nov 12 2021 19:21 utc | 6
Some of the gas in Ukrainian storage may well belong to speculators outside Ukraine. Trying to make a profit from volatile prices in the EU.

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 12 2021 20:17 utc | 13

ptb | Nov 12 2021 19:21 utc | 6 again

Offtopic;
The suppression of accounts on twitter has been going on for some time. I watched an account from the "resistance" in Afghanistan, the Health situation in Ireland, both of whom were efficient insiders.
The other way they use is to replace the named person, with another "person" with 0 tweets and the same name. Which is then dormant.
Censorship is alive and well in twitterland.

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 12 2021 20:26 utc | 14

Should there be any loss of life in the US as a result of a conflict the US federal government would disintegrate. Immediately as in ungovernable. Russia as a country has strength in the solidarity of it's people. The US and Europe not so much. A price to be paid for letting the ruling class and it's masters destroy the poor and the middle class.

Posted by: So | Nov 12 2021 20:27 utc | 15

@foolisholdman | Nov 12 2021 20:15 utc | 12

I can no longer access Global Times.
Not a problem here

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 12 2021 20:28 utc | 16

I’m quite worried about what’s going on in Poland

Posted by: Amber Carey | Nov 12 2021 20:34 utc | 17

After the Afghanistan debacle the Biden administration needs a foreign policy victory:

This is not the place for a foreign policy victory!
That's not the thought processes of rational actors in if they believe that is the case.
That's testing MAD.

Posted by: JPC | Nov 12 2021 20:46 utc | 18

The whole shit show is ridiculous but seen as necessary by the Western oligarchs and their proxy militaries incl. the USA. All that would need to be done in this situation - and I haven't yet sussed out that it hasn't - would be for the Russians to laugh at this and say they have absolutely no intention of invading Ukraine and will not take military action unless they feel their border or their interests in Eastern Ukraine are directly harmed and that even then they will not seek to 'invade' or occupy the Ukrainians but rather quell whatever happens and leave when they're done. Of course the corpress news media, also a tool of the oligarchs, wouldn't print it or they'd bend and contort it beyond recognition of what was actually said.

Chaos at the fringes of the empire is what the overlords want when they aren't allowed to simply go in and take what they want.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 12 2021 20:47 utc | 19

Posted by: Amber Carey | Nov 12 2021 20:34 utc | 17

Indeed Western corporate, liberal and rightwing news media are in a tizzy about Poland and Belarus at the moment and b has written about it in the recent past.

To anyone else who's interested, I'd be curious about how this little news item should be interpreted.

Norwegian undersea cables "cut" (presumably by the Russians)

THE DRIVE is ostensibly a tech and vehicle magazine, but in scanning through their past articles, they push a LOT of pro-NATO, anti-Russia/China stuff (or at least try to scare the audience about those countries' weapons).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 12 2021 20:54 utc | 20

Every few months Russian sources discuss an alleged imminant attack of Ukraine. Of course there is not going to happen anything like that. Just like the last time just a few month ago.

There seems to be a deeper psychological need for Ukrainian-Russian war phantasies in Russia.

Posted by: m | Nov 12 2021 20:55 utc | 21

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 12 2021 18:58 utc | 5

What Putin has set up is the reality that if the Ukies or others start a conflict, Ukraine will be dismantled at the seat of power, not in the Donbass or Crimean Peninsula. There will be no state of Ukraine if the Russians have to go to war...
The US will get a defeat that will make their retreat from Afghanistan look like Sunday picnic at the park.

Not that this is a likely turnout in my opinion, but let me point out that the only destruction we are talking about would lie solely in Eastern Europe. Could Washington wish for a better Christmas? Think major damage to infrastructure, maybe a dragging occupation and insurgency, generations of ill feelings. A perfect, smouldering wedge between Europe and Asia.

The Empire is thinking long term here. Kneecapping the future competitor makes perfect sense. Getting the locals to do it for you is pretty clever and cynical.

Posted by: robin | Nov 12 2021 21:38 utc | 22

Many Ukie soldiers would welcome a conflict with Russia.
They could then promptly defect and have some hope of a decent pension.

Posted by: figleaf23 | Nov 12 2021 21:39 utc | 23

Putin and Xi won't strike anything until they can strike everything.
When the entire Mediterranean and Pacific fleets are within missile range of Eurasia, watch out.

Posted by: figleaf23 | Nov 12 2021 21:46 utc | 24

Without knowledge of what was discussed between CIA Director Burns and the Russian officials he met with, it is hard to pin down exactly what is happening behind the scenes. US media spin had Burns delivering "warnings", but that is almost certainly incorrect. The overreaction at the Polish-Belarus border does not inspire confidence in regional stability. Statements by Polish and EU officials on these matters demonstrate that these people are not only as dumb as rocks, but fully capable of stumbling into a shooting war.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 12 2021 21:46 utc | 25

bevin #1

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/11/12/is-biden-looking-to-reignite-a-dirty-war-in-ukraine-recent-visit-by-u-s-defense-secretary-lloyd-austin-raises-concerns/

Thank you, that was a good read. Interesting site.

Thank you b for a good post today. The more I hear of Blinken, the more I see him as the real 'president' of the USA. This is a a rerun of the Obummer/Clinton game only Biden is disabled and idiot so Blinken runs the show.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2021 21:53 utc | 26

Not only those kind of operations not free, but they strengthen the consensus of China and Russia.

Dmitri Medvedev (Putin's vice) was, according to his own words "a convinced Thatcherite". Then the war in Georgia happened. Now, the neoliberal faction of the Russian Federation is weaker than ever, Putin having to give more and more ground to the factions that approximate to Communism. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation - a bastardized reincarnation of the VKP(B) - had a small revival in these last elections and may well be the only significant opposition to Putin nowadays.

The CPC has a solid liberal faction that had real chances of sabotaging Xi Jinping's government. But then Hong Kong happened, and Xi Jinping's orthodox Marxist faction is stronger than ever - Xi himself being promoted to Helmsman some days ago.

So, what we have here is that those aggressive and ridiculous operations designed by the USA are undermining their own potential assets within Russia and China themselves. By hurting the genuinely neoliberal ideologues within both countries, the USA is hurting itself.

Posted by: vk | Nov 12 2021 22:03 utc | 27

Posted by: robin | Nov 12 2021 21:38 utc | 22

I agree, I think the goal is to bring the Iron Curtain back, circle the wagons.

Lord knows what the Ukrainian and Polish governments are thinking.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 12 2021 22:08 utc | 28

yes, b, I believe you, Armstrong and Crooke have all this figured out correctly, and thanks for all the links too

I had a good laugh from that Military Assessment. "....We assess that Moscow is increasingly concerned about U.S. military activity, especially in Europe, and that this increases the potential for unintended Russian escalation...."

ok, but what about intended US and NATO escalation, which is what we are clearly seeing all around Ukraine, and in the Black Sea? that USS Mt. Whitney is one of the most dangerous ships in the world as it signals a significant risk or real war

I can't believe that you can assemble so many pieces of military hardware and that someone somewhere won't us them, perhaps by accident or perhaps by design, by hook or by crook.....


Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 12 2021 22:11 utc | 29

@14
re: twitter / Carl Zha - yes, direct suppression has become pretty common of late (vs indirect by reducing or removing targets from search results, that became easily observable in early-mid 2010s, perhaps as a slow buy thorough reaction to prevent a repeat of the original WikiLeaks with the torture and journalist assassination clips).

I find twitter's annoying enough that I'd actually kindof prefer if nobody I was interested used their idiotic format. Still curious what the circumstances are.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 12 2021 22:13 utc | 30

Bemildred @ 28

From their perspective, an Iron Curtain would do but a ring of fire would be more durable.

Posted by: robin | Nov 12 2021 22:25 utc | 31

It will do. It's what they know. It appears to me they cannot give up control, too much swept under the rug. But that's mostly speculation. Hard to be sure with all the bullshit. It's like they moved the factory farms into the media.

Grappling with reality after a long hiatus can take time.

Right now everybody is playing chicken.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 12 2021 22:34 utc | 32

@28, (Robin) - the real goal here is to address China's Belt and Road Initiative and cut off China's direct (land based) low cost export supply route to Europe. At the same time, the idea is to find a way to cut Russian gas supply to Europe (which by the way, could include Iranian gas too -- since Iranians could feed low cost gas to Russia and thus allow Russia to export more). So some sort of Iron Curtain is designed to cut all this off - and inflict logistic and economic pain on China, Russia and Iran. The Ukraine issues and others are 'provocations' that are simply designed as a means to that end. So some sort of Iron curtain is crucial and inevitable i.e. what America wants. It may not, by the way, be in Europe's interests since in the end lower energy costs and import costs of goods from china (which is Europe's largest trading partner) translates directly into greater standard of living (and possibly greater tax revenues) for European nations. But anyway, the real question is how i.e. what is the precise means of doing that? And then what would be the means of supplying energy to Eastern Europe - to replace Russia. Right now there is no direct gas pipe to Europe from 'aligned' major producers like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, even Israel ... Russia effectively cut off that possibility via Syria, etc. The under water route through Cyprus and Greece is no where close to being ready. The Caspian basin from Azerbaijan is hopelessly under-producing! So what is the quickest, fastest, cheapest way to supplant Russian supply (in the event of a war)? Importing LNG or Coal will be prohibitively expensive alternatives. There seems to be a plan, but what is it? You pick a fight, put up a real or defacto iron curtain (by essentially having border instability), and then supply energy from where? Iran? Is regime change in Iran, in the cards? And will they 'allow' Iran to make all that money without the West getting a cut? what is the plan? Dismember Iran? Use the Nuclear deal to invade and dismember Iran? There definitely is a very well thought out strategy - but what is it?

Posted by: Ayatoilet | Nov 12 2021 22:36 utc | 33

. . .from Human Rights Watch --

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to take a high toll on civilians, from threatening their physical safety to limiting access to food, medicines, adequate housing, and schools. Travel restrictions imposed by Russia-backed armed groups and by Ukrainian authorities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on economic and social rights, exacerbating hardship for civilians and driving them deeper into poverty. The pandemic disproportionately affected women, who account for over 80 percent of Ukraine’s healthcare and social workers and led to a surge in domestic violence cases. Journalists and media workers continue to face harassment and threats connected to their reporting.

. . .forcing Russia to consider "invade"
politico
U.S. huddles with allies over possible Russian invasion of Ukraine
The uptick in American concern, confirmed by two U.S. officials, indicates that President Joe Biden’s efforts to reach some sort of equilibrium with Putin are running out of steam.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 12 2021 22:58 utc | 34

Amber Carey #17

I’m quite worried about what’s going on in Poland

I wouldn't worry too much. It has been much the same for past few hundred years with some technology updates. The neighbouring nations have a pretty well practiced formula of anticipating and responding.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 12 2021 23:14 utc | 35

@Posted by: vk | Nov 12 2021 22:03 utc | 27

Same thing in Iran, with Trump's rejection of the nuclear deal helping to defeat Rouhani the neoliberal. Now we have the nationalist Raisi, who is much more believes in the welfare and development of the people. Of course, the West labels him as "hardline" the usual slurs against any truly nationalist leader.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 12 2021 23:16 utc | 36

[Mysterious mangling of Norwegian cables] THE DRIVE is ostensibly a tech and vehicle magazine, but in scanning through their past articles, they push a LOT of pro-NATO, anti-Russia/China stuff (or at least try to scare the audience about those countries' weapons).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 12 2021 20:54 utc | 20

I guess that for a tech journalist it is hard to do anything about the story but the report Norwegian NATO-oriented version. Whoever took a heavy piece of cable away was not an ordinary fish. However, a person that at least for a period of time was interested in oceanography, say, on the level of a curious high school kid, could know something about sperm whales, which belong to the most interesting sea creatures. In particular, they dive to incredible depths. And who could observe them that deeply? Because one got tangle in an intercontinental phone cable at the depth exceeding one kilometer (close to two? memory is fading). Undersea hunters have electric sense, so they can be attracted to the faint electric fields around cables, an a sperm whale has a nice number of huge teeth, and the strength to drag several tons away.

If I were in Russian command, I would investigate if one can attach a bugging and/or detonating device to "listening facilities". And would they took a cable segment, they could also take the device it was connected to, getting better idea about Norwegian technology. That said, Norwegian system was smallish and not necessarily representative for Anglo-American state of the art. Hence I suspect sperm whales more.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 12 2021 23:17 utc | 37

Little green men invading Europe?

Europe is in a state of hysteria. I overheard the TV news this evening. Russian hybrid war! When will Russia launch a hybrid operation against Finland? All this bullshit evidently coming from NATO's European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats located in Helsinki.

Meanwhile there are some interesting details in this story today in the British Daily Mirror. Seems like the threat to Ukraine is more internal than external.

Russia on brink of Ukraine invasion with thousands of troops amassed close to border - 12 Nov 2021

Ukraine warned a new “wave of destabilisation is coming to Ukraine from Russia” in an alert issued by Ruslan Demenchko, first deputy of national security for Ukraine’s defence council.

He said Russia is curbing Ukraine’s gas supplies, whilst blocking alternative fuel supplies amid fears Moscow could impose electricity blackouts, sparing civil unrest.

Moscow’s spooks have also, according to Ukraine, been trying to undermine trust in Kiev by triggering lack of trust in the vaccination programme.

Demenchko said: “The efforts undertaken by the Ukrainian authorities in the fight against the pandemic are described as an attack on human rights, calling for masses to demand restriction lifts through protest.”

There are also escalating fears Moscow’s spies are encouraging insurrection throughout Ukraine by arranging more protests against the government.

This kind of hybrid warfare is reaching “boiling point” according to Demenchko.

"Hybrid warfare" and "hybrid threat" are words NATO's occupation authorities use to describe domestic opposition.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Nov 12 2021 23:18 utc | 38

@17 "I’m quite worried about what’s going on in Poland."

If you're worried now wait till Poland has a few million Ukrainian refugees to deal with.

Posted by: dh | Nov 12 2021 23:22 utc | 39

This a.m. at coffee shop listening to the old folks table. Old and NYT/NPR consumers. These are the people who vote and who send letters to their elected (sic) representatives (sic). Group of seven. Everyone beating the drum for war with Ukraine. Two of these old farts call themselves socialists and tell tales of old days in The Movement. War has been sold.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 12 2021 23:23 utc | 40

Please forgive me, but Russia needs to conduct a trip down memory lane and set off another Tsar Bomba, to bring the world to its senses. This American establishment is too obsessed with the coming election cycle that they will send many to their deaths for one more term in office to feather their retirement nests. And a nice mushroom cloud in the distance should bring quite a few back to reality. I hope……..

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Nov 12 2021 23:27 utc | 41

There are two gas pipelines entering Europe through Spain: one through Morocco and one through Algeria. The pipeline ftom Morocco is shut down because of political dispute between Morocco and Algeria. This decreases an already weakened gas supply to Europe.
On another note, I believe Germany plans to shut down three nuclear power plants on 31 december 2021, German punctuality pefmitting. That is 4250 MW less.
In general, it seems Europe bases its energy policy on ethical arguments, not technical ones.

Posted by: Passerby | Nov 12 2021 23:34 utc | 42

Vulgar article by The Sun:

UK tabloid cheers US hypersonic nukes in Germany, shows mushroom cloud over Moscow

Posted by: vk | Nov 12 2021 23:58 utc | 43

seems to me list consensus is: the Iron curtain is made from LNG energy.. ?
which would allow a few people to price rape America to supply Europe?

Posted by: snake | Nov 13 2021 0:08 utc | 44

@ Bem 45
If the Pentagon's highly intelligent staff says no, it must be yes. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2021 0:27 utc | 46

I think that what is missing from the discussion here is the notion that there are (at least) two centers of power in the U.S. government and that these centers have conflicting goals. I have discussed this in previous comments on MOA (dh-mtl @Oct13 21:02 #40).

Briefly, one center of power is composed of Atlanticists, that are subordinate to the 'Global Elites' based in London, whose objective is a 'Global Empire', a nationless 'world without borders', run by (primarily European based) 'Global Institutions'. The Atlanticists control NATO, the EU, the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, most of the Biden administration, including Justice, State, etc., with the exception of the Federal Reserve and some elements of Foreign Policy.

The other center of power, which controls certain aspects of Foreign Policy (which is nicely articulated by STRATFOR) as well as the Federal Reserve, is, what I call, the US-centered financial elites, based on Wall Street, whose interests are based on a strong U.S., and whose objectives are to re-build the 'American Empire', largely by re-industrializing the U.S. and by containing China until the U.S. regains its dominant position.

The 'Global Elites'' project of Global Empire is failing. Europe and the U.S. are failing economically. The 'Great Reset' is going nowhere. The 'Climate Crisis' and the 'Pandemic' is not delivering them the leverage they need to subordinate enough countries to their 'Global Institutions' beyond the EU and a few former British Colonies. Worse yet, Russia and China are, every day, increasing their military and economic strength, while the 'Global Elites'' grasp of the U.S. looks set to expire with the mid-term elections in 2022.

For the 'Global Elites'' the prospect of a war between the U.S., Russia and China must look like a win-win-win scenario. In a best case, in which these three countries mutually destroy each other, the 'Global Elites' will have destroyed their three most important competitors all at the same time. The road would then be open for them to create their 'Globalist' Utopia without hindrance.

The 'Global Elites' have been trying to ignite a war between the U.S. and Russia for several years now, through multiple provocations in Syria and Ukraine. The current situation looks like a replay of their attempt last spring around the Ukraine and Belarus, which the U.S.-centered elites managed to pull the plug on at the last minute. Will they succeed in starting a war this time?

As I have argued above, what makes the situation so dangerous, is that the 'Global Elites', who control both the EU and NATO, may see no down-side to a U.S.-Russia-China war. Rather they may well see it as a win-win-win solution to their problems.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 0:37 utc | 47

@ Bem 45
If the Pentagon's highly intelligent staff says no, it must be yes. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2021 0:27 utc | 46

I find it interesting when the Pentagon goes against the narrative.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 13 2021 0:42 utc | 48

@ d-m 47
I agree about the two factions with different objectives. And then lucky us, we have the generals in the Pentagon who want to get it on, to try out their new military gadgets. In any case all of this has no connection to US citizens. Then we have a president, any president, who swings that way and this, making decisions -- which is justified by the "experts" in the think tanks with the supposition that the president is solely responsible for foreign policy because it says so in the Constitution, which is a damned lie.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2021 0:51 utc | 49

I also see an attack on Belarus as a serious current threat, possibly as a distraction or even in conjunction with a Ukie attack on Donbass. Polish and newly arrived UK forces could cause problems there and the hegemon would love to continue it's attempts to oust Lukashenko.

Posted by: TEP | Nov 13 2021 0:59 utc | 50

If empire had the ability to get a constrained war on somewhere, IMO, it would be happening. But it is not and that is because the geo-political chessboard has empire in MAD check and every way they turn to test the decreasing extent of their control, that power is stymied by the opposition in cahoots with the China/Russia axis.

Empire continues to try to project dominance but it is a false projection that everyone knows exists. The strategy is to try to play nice with a mad MAD empire as it self destructs.

I keep hoping that there does not have to be a definitive show of military strength to bring the global private finance empire down and, if that military confrontation does happen, I hope it will be clear to most that false pretenses by lie/cheat/steal empire are likely the true cause.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 13 2021 1:19 utc | 51

There are two gas pipelines entering Europe through Spain: one through Morocco and one through Algeria. The pipeline ftom Morocco is shut down because of political dispute between Morocco and Algeria. This decreases an already weakened gas supply to Europe.
On another note, I believe Germany plans to shut down three nuclear power plants on 31 december 2021, German punctuality pefmitting. That is 4250 MW less.
In general, it seems Europe bases its energy policy on ethical arguments, not technical ones.

It's worse than that.....

Norwegian oil/gas production peaked 2 years ago. UK / Dutch / Danish oil / gas production peaked in 2007 and is in terminal decline. Libyan oil/gas production is way down. Algerian energy exports are evaporating. US oil/gas production is down 2 million BOE / day from 2 years ago, and steeply ramping down.. possibly by 3 - mmBbl/day in 2 years.

My forecaster predicts $ 200 / BOE oil by next year.

Russia / China need do nothing.... after all.... why interfere when your opponent is shooting himself in the foot...???

Sure... USA can foment the Ukies to attack... but whom?? the Novorossians?? Who will respond?? Russia? Novorossia??

What about Abkhazia??? Hezbollah?? the Houthis?? NATO is stirring many pots... some will boil over... Ethiopia??? Sudan??? Cambodia?? Myammar???

What's for sure... watched pots don't boil...

We live in interesting times...

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Nov 13 2021 2:13 utc | 52

@ dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 0:37 utc | 47.. i wouldn't lean very heavily on stratfor.. as memory serves it is an israel psy-op essentially... relying on it for much of anything is dubious... 2nd - although there may be some truth to what you say, i personally feel whoever is in charge of the purse strings is the one calling most of the shots.. and this is where i think your theory falls down...

its my understanding the wall st ( in one of your categories ) and london - specially the city of london financial centre, in the opposite category as i read you, are in fact working together... there has been a concerted effort openly seen in the lead up to war on iraq between blair and bush - uk/usa.. in fact, most all of the wars are rubber stamped by these 2 first out the gate... so, i have to say my take is there is something wrong in your theory here and it breaks down most noticeably in the financial aspect that i try to articulate here... wall st and london do indeed work together, especially when it comes to profiting off war... i am curious yours or others take on my impressions..

Posted by: james | Nov 13 2021 2:21 utc | 53

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 12 2021 23:17 utc | 37

I think you're right. Believing at this juncture that it was the Russians and that they didn't take the device (but, might have had GPS allowing it to be traced so they didn't take the risk?) is playing into the evil Russians always mischievous and conniving and just out to destroy stuff. More likely a sperm whale or other large cetacean whose senses were being irritated by the cable and equipment.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 13 2021 2:35 utc | 54

When hurtling towards irrelevance you'll try any old kamikaze measure. The US has lost the plot and would be best throwing their Fed Fiat at drug rehabilitation programmes, otherwise their blossoming tent cities will be floating in a sea of human waste.

Posted by: WTFUD | Nov 13 2021 2:39 utc | 55

... i am curious yours or others take on my impressions..

Posted by: james | Nov 13 2021 2:21 utc | 53

Well the UK is definitely hyping war:

UK deploys troops to Poland as tensions rise over migrant crisis at Belarus

Who in particular is behind it I don't know, but I can tell it is not like the runup to Iraq, say. MSM is definitely hyping war too, but I don't see the Pentagon cheering. So I wonder what's up with that?

What I have seen of Putin, he is unlikely to give them what they want. He plays chess, they play mumblety-peg.

It seems other people like Milley, Burns(maybe) are realistic about that prospect, and pulling for a spheres of influence type arrangement.

Xi and Biden are supposed to have a virtual summit Monday.

Strategy of tension, all right.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 13 2021 2:45 utc | 56

TOOL
Angels on the sideline
Puzzled and amused
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they're all confused
Don't these talking monkeys know that
Eden has enough to go around?
Plenty in this holy garden, silly monkeys
Where there's one you're bound to divide it
Right in two
Angels on the sideline,
Baffled and confused
Father blessed them all with reason,
And this is what they choose?
Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over
Pieces of the ground
Silly monkeys
Give them thumbs, they forge a blade
And where there's one they're bound to divide it
Right in two
Right in two
Monkey killing, monkey killing monkey over
Pieces of the ground
Silly monkeys
Give them thumbs, they make a club
To beat their brother down
How they've survived so misguided is a mystery
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability
To lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here
Gotta divide it all right in two
Gotta divide it all right in two
Gotta divide it all right in two
Gotta divide it all right in two
Fight till they die over sun, over sky
They fight till they die over sea, over air
They fight till they die over blood, over love
They fight till they die over words, polarizing
Angels on the sideline again
Benched along with patience and reason
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering where this tug of war will end
Gotta divide it all right in two
Gotta divide it all right in two
Gotta divide it all right in two
Right in two
Right in two

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bndL7wwAj0U

Posted by: ld | Nov 13 2021 2:55 utc | 57

I am always comforted when I find that I have no idea what Russia plans to do. I'm quite sure that no one else in the world knows either - although Burns was probably told quite clearly. If Russia should happen to do anything, it will be because a red line has been crossed, and it will be done in an impeccable manner. I think we've seen enough of how Russia operates to expect those two things.

I was pleased to reconnect with Russell Bentley - many thanks to bevin for the link. He has tightened his writing to quite the journalistic pitch, and he wrote a very good piece, very usefully outlining three major plans that Russia could pursue.

There is a fourth plan, and Red Ryder alluded to it as a static underpinning, namely the Minsk agreement, that keeps the situation frozen. There is no reason to think that situation will become unfrozen. It was from the beginning, and remains in this moment, a formidable strategic obstacle, impossible for NATO and the Ukraine to overcome directly - and it is hard to imagine a way to go around it, indirectly.

Anything that causes Russia to pursue any of Bentley's three plans will automatically have trespassed against Minsk, which gets an automatic standing in the UN, since it's a UN-endorsed agreement.

As #51 and #52 remind us, the west is deadlocked and completely blocked by Minsk - prohibited from any kinetic action short of MAD, which carries its own very obvious constraints. Russia need do nothing except watch Ukraine and the US continue to twist in the wind.

Someone may make a foolish move. My guess is that this will be met with a surgical response and no territory gain - i.e. not one of Bentley's scenarios. I think that Russia is in no hurry to get forced into anyone's plans but her own. And those plans are to avoid cost, avoid action, avoid death, and to place focus on the demands of the future - wherein, after all, the entire nation is at stake.

That's my two cents, but no one should bet their lives on it.

~~

Since we included a bit of bio for Russell Bentley, I will say that I didn't know he was married and I'm very happy for him to hear this. He is a bit of a hero figure for me, just as I think many of us who agonized through the Maidan have felt a great love for the Donbass, and its heroic martyrs such as Givi and Motorola, and the promising statesman Zakharchenko, also cut down too young.

Bentley ran by the code name "Texas", and there was a time that he disagreed with the Saker quite passionately over something, but I forget what. There was bad blood there but I find that I don't care anymore. It was good to read him today.

Bentley actually came from Austin, Texas, one of the most mellow towns in the nation. He played guitar and rode a motorcycle, but also knew how to fight, as he showed his new comrades in Donetsk. I remember watching him talk about Donetsk, his new home. He described how beautiful it is - and remember this is from someone from the lovely city of Austin - and how happy he was to have come from the USA to join the forces of right in the fight against wrong. Who could not admire this?

~~

Austin has taken on a lot of woke now. I don't know what's left of that laid-back stoner town, with some of the best music in the world, and a lot of it native. One wonders what the music scene is like in Donetsk.

And this is just a self-indulgent piece of rambling, between the sorties. One can quite safely ignore it.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 13 2021 3:06 utc | 58

@james | Nov 13 2021 2:21 utc | 53.

Tom Luongo has done the best job on the financial side describing the split between the Americans and the Europeans, starting with this posting: https://tomluongo.me/2021/08/20/the-fed-says-let-me-squeeze-your-dollars-5-basis-points-at-a-time/) and a few others since then.

On the geo-political side, Alex Mercouris at The Duran has recently discussed in several episodes the fact that there seems to be two separate groups trying to run things in the Biden administration. Mercouris refers to these groups as one fronted by the Clintons, what I refer to as the Atlantacists, and the other fronted by Obama, what I refer to has being the US-centric elites.

The key points that I was trying to make are:

1. There is clearly an element, led by NATO and the Europeans (including Britain), that has been trying to gin up a war between the U.S. and Russia, and that there are other elements in the U.S. that are trying to prevent such a war from happening.
- We saw it in Syria with the Chemical Weapons false flags, trying draw both Obama and Trump into attacking Syria, attacks which were either aborted or abandoned early before they got out of control, as well as the shooting down of the Russian aircraft off of the coast of Latakia by a French ship.
-We saw it this spring when the U.S. aborted the provocations being ginned up in Ukraine and Belarus, only to have the British immediately send a war-ship to Crimea.
- We saw it in Afghanistan where the U.S. pulled out, with out even letting the rest of NATO know what was happening, and the angry reaction by Britain and other NATO countries who didn't want to leave.

2. For the elites that are trying to create their system of Global Governance, the group in the U.S. that is resisting their plans is at least as big a problem as Russia and China, and more urgent. For them a war between the U.S., Russia and China might well be very desirable as it would do damage to their three key enemies all at the same time.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 3:09 utc | 59

Just by their actions the US has been trying to use the same playbook against Russia and China but neither one has taken the bait. They know there are not any places left they can attack outright without getting a bloody nose so they keep trying to do it by proxy. Their idea of a Win Win is having some dupe country attack their competition and they can sit back and feed them weapons to put a drain on the enemy. It makes them look good back home because they're fighting the "bad guys" while not having to watch the body bags be taken off a plane plus the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) make mega profits selling weapons to the dupes.

Posted by: Arlo | Nov 13 2021 3:12 utc | 60

@57 ld

Brilliant song, thanks. Practically any line could be quoted as a stand-alone essay. Great band.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 13 2021 3:23 utc | 61

@57 ld

Brilliant song, thanks. Practically any line could be quoted as a stand-alone essay. Great band.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 13 2021 3:23 utc | 61

Yes, never heard of them, but I like that.

I think about monkey politics all the time.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 13 2021 3:27 utc | 62

Bemildred and Grieved I concur.

Tool is the greatest band that ever was... or ever will be.
Seen them a dozen times.
As well as Maynard's other projects; A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.

Cheers

Posted by: ld | Nov 13 2021 3:35 utc | 63

A Perfect Circle
Counting Bodies Like Sheep

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giaZnIr-faM

Posted by: ld | Nov 13 2021 3:39 utc | 64

IMO Bealrus migrant game is backfiring against russia

Posted by: Nick | Nov 13 2021 4:19 utc | 65


re: bevin | Nov 12 2021 18:35 utc | 1

Thanks for that article from Russell Bentley. He's having an "interesting" life.
http://www.russelltexasbentley.com/2008/07/the-history-of-russell-bonner-bentley.html

Given his past activism for legalising cannabis, has he written about that cause with regard to eastern Europe? (maybe other matters are a priority?!)

He doesn't have much time for the US Green Party -
http://www.russelltexasbentley.com/2020/07/not-just-peaceful-revolution-but-even.html

Posted by: tucenz | Nov 13 2021 5:41 utc | 66

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 13 2021 3:06 utc | 58

One wonders what the music scene is like in Donetsk.

Small sample:

https://youtu.be/XzM-z_SeQes

Smoother:

https://youtu.be/88wg-cFWkpQ

Posted by: Paco | Nov 13 2021 6:39 utc | 67

Given the decades of unrelenting bullying by the UKUSA toward the Russian Federation and now toward China it is an amazing feat that the victim has not yet smashed the bully in the face so to speak. I trust this will continue to be so but would not be the least surprised if Ukraine should lose an entire Galician SS division in the next month.

Anyone setting out to stage a confrontation at the beginning of winter in the middle of an energy shortage of fatal dimensions is beyond insane. But then such is the Azov team and Zelensky and his oligarchs. One thing is certain here and that is Ukraine's economy and people have been fully sacrificed for the next decade or two and there is no prospect, whatever the outcome of the next month or so, of it going anywhere other than into poverty and ruin.

The enormity of the USA blunder is not fully realised in the UKUSANATO snake pit. Here we see the post communist neo capitalist Russian Federation being absolute chums with the strong communist petite capitalist China. The west has entirely blown its post USSR opportunity and squandered all its chips on its shabby racist opportunism. The roulette wheel is slowing and it is highly likely to stop with the marble firmly in the eastern sector.

This may be a good thing for the planet but I sense that without the USA getting a savage slap down soon, the escalation of belligerence will pass the point of no return and we could be locked in to permanent sniping. Time will tell.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 13 2021 6:54 utc | 68

US feels that proxy war has worked for it.
It is low risk, except to the proxy.
Russia might do likewise.
Perhaps some (russian equivelant) howitzers in don bass?
Could get things hopping.

Posted by: jared | Nov 13 2021 7:16 utc | 69

"The Minsk agreements were created as a result of 17-hour-long talks precisely in order to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Initially, having proclaimed their independence, the new republics were even unhappy with us for encouraging them to find common ground with Kiev.

Whatever the new authorities may be, Ukraine is our neighbour and a fraternal nation.

After signing the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements in Minsk, the Russian Federation convinced representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk to sign this document as well." Lavrov November 1, 2021

Russia will move heaven and earth for either peaceful resolution or frozen conflict.

If the clown does anything desperate - Ukraine is falling apart from within - Russia will take the neoNazi racists to the Security Council first. This exposes US, Germany, and France's real intentions.

If the neoNazis start murdering Russian citizens (many in the Ukranian Oblast are dual citizens) expect limited, precise, very tightly focused military intervention, quickly followed by a ceasefire, followed by a Security Council resolution (this may take some time to achieve) and finally UN peacekeepers in the territory (whether it declares independence or not).

Posted by: powerandpeople | Nov 13 2021 7:49 utc | 70

robin | Nov 12 2021 21:38 utc | 22


What the Russians did in Georgia might be a better clue to what will happen in Ukraine should the Russians decide on military action.

In short- total destruction of the military with the civilian structures intact. No occupation. Permit the Ukrainians to find their own solution with a helping hand from Russia.

Posted by: jiri | Nov 13 2021 8:27 utc | 71

powerandpeople #70

If the neoNazis start murdering Russian citizens (many in the Ukranian Oblast are dual citizens) expect limited, precise, very tightly focused military intervention, quickly followed by a ceasefire, followed by a Security Council resolution (this may take some time to achieve) and finally UN peacekeepers in the territory (whether it declares independence or not).

Thank you. The Avoz gangs and their friends have been murdering Russian citizens for some years now and I guess there have been some precise rejoinders.

The last time a UN 'peacekeeping' team was in action was in Haiti afaik and they delivered a weapon of mass destruction to the locals called cholera. Who knows what the Fort Detrick team might have dreamed up since then. I suspect Russia is well aware of the risks of an incursion after having to confront the Douma incident.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 13 2021 8:57 utc | 72

Azov - that is :/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 13 2021 8:58 utc | 73

A slightly different take on the above.

The Ukraine situation and the Polish one are linked. Both are dictated by the increase in belligerent attitudes to form a new "wall". But the primary "beneficiary" is not the US but NATO.

Going back a bit, Russia has cut all connections with NATO, which now leaves NATO with an "enemy" that doesn't take it seriously. Finished the increasing numbers of "exercises" on the frontiers of Russia or Belarus, the Arctic, in the Black sea and in the Baltic. Finished the large extra dollops of cash, for those military partaking. Finished the goodies for the military/industrial arms sellers. etc. etc.

The question is whether the countries of the EU should continue to pay a large percentage of their resources towards an US controlled force, which carries out US imperialism in Europe and further afield, whilst not having an independent means of defending themselves? The actual cost is far in excess of the "2%" as it includes all sorts of ancilliary expenditures specifically for the US forces stationed in Europe.

For the US, who needs a numerical advantage to continue it's ideas of domination, it therefore needs willing helpers in the form of NATO to make up the quantity. US Forces in Europe get extras for patrolling their colonies. The subjugated EU is only too happy - according to Brussels etc - to pay for stronger civilian infrastructure (strengthening/enlarging bridges,) to support their tanks.

For NATO to be taken seriously by the EU, and paid for by them, it has to have an "enemy" formation, to strut in front of, and wave a flag or two.

So both the Polish panic, and the Ukraine "pre-invasion" are to show NATO in a good light and thus they can ask for more.
*****

Re; Poland with 4'000 migrants, Iran has now taken in 300'000 migrants from Afghanistan. So now the the EU wants to punish a Syrian airline that has made four flights in one month (which may be regular) to Minsk. I suppose that passes for logic somewhere?

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 13 2021 9:51 utc | 74

RE: Posted by b on November 12, 2021 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

“In Ukraine The U.S. Is Risking War”

War is not restricted to things that go bang although many wish to restrict war to things that go bang, thereby obfuscating many of the activities of the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America”, so described to obfuscate that these coercive social relations are at war with the planet/world including themselves and hence are not, nor have ever been, “United”.

Another tool used by the coercive social relations self-described as “The United States of America” is to attempt to limit the perceptions of others by notions that war is only conducted between “nation states” and their adversaries are restricted to one nation state at a time eg: Russia or China or Iran: not an alliance comprising of China/Iran/Russia.

However through their predeliction to resort to/rely upon forms of emotionalisn, including but not limited to, anger/vindictiveness, they “spill the beans” that their coercive social relations are at war with everyone including themselves: “The war on terror” being one example of many.

Hence “In Ukraine the US is not risking war” but is at war within/with Ukraine, and with others including themselves.

The coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America”, which includes “The State of Israel and other “allies” but not all who live there, or are “citizens” of the constructs, or participants in the coercive social relations”, is at war with the planet/world to the same degree, primarily through but not limited to tools which do not go bang, which include but are not limited to colour revolutions, propaganda or sanctions.

The coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America” is simultaneously a state of fear and a state of war.

This is increasingly perceived by some with more agency/facility than others within the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America”, including but not restricted to:

The dispenser of plain bulka without salt from blue carrier bags on Independence Square (Maidan), some military officers who suggest detente based on spheres of influence of three “hegemons”, the husband of the heiress to Heinz 57 varieties seeking Chinese cooperation on “climate change, and a former Ambassador to Russia who was annointed with the headship of the CIA who made an unannounced visit to Moscow whilst many were “immersed” in COP26.

Present modes of war are not predicated upon, nor restricted to nation states.

The continuing ongoing war is between the culture of “I” and the culture of “We”, the strategies of the culture of “I” being based on various attempts at/forms of coercion, whilst the strategies of the culture of “We” are based on increasing efforts/forms of cooperation to facilitate transcendence of the culture of “I”, not “winning” since immersion in the losing/winning binary facilitates iterating emulations of the culture of “I” as Mr. Wilson and others understood and facilitated by The treaty of Versailles in 1919.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 9:59 utc | 75

The breakup of the USSR left Ukraine with the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. They agreed to disarm and received promises from the West to help guarantee their territorial integrity.

So the only two honorable options are to help them defend Russian incursions/annexations or give them their nukes back so they can defend themselves the Good Old Cold War way with threats of nuclear annihilation.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 13 2021 10:03 utc | 76

"A perfect, smouldering wedge between Europe and Asia."

Who the fuck gives a shit about Ukraine with the shitshow they've been making?

Posted by: Misotheist | Nov 13 2021 10:15 utc | 77

RE: Posted by b on November 12, 2021 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

“In his latest RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP Patrick Armstrong recollects the most recent developments:

Not quite

In his latest production which he represents as being the “Russian Federation Sitrep”, Mr. Armstrong interprets the data to which he has access, deems the interpretations to constitute the “Russian Federation Sitrep”, assigns significance to these interpretations and some of their interactions, extrapolates upon these interpretations and their assigned significances, which are presented to be the “Russian Federation Sitrep”.

He is not the only person to rely upon such methods.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 10:17 utc | 78

The last time when b wrote that he didn't believe that the saker's analysis that a war is imminent in the Donbass, he, b, based that belief on the assumption that Joe Biden is smart enough not to risk another disgrace so soon after the Afghanistan's embarrassment. I wrote in the comment to ask if Biden is really smart enough. Here we are now. It should be clear to all that American presidents are figure heads and puppets of special interests. Those special interests have gone totally mad and suicidal. The only hope I have is that apart from the NATO cabals, the West is completely isolated or view with suspicion by most people around the world. If NATO is foolish enough to match its sabre-rattling with some action, it would be the end of it all.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 13 2021 11:16 utc | 79

Zelensky’s standing in the country after he lost the Rada’s majority couldn’t be any lower, he will risk everything to stay in power, the neo-fascist elements are edging him on, as do the Americans, the new killing fields would be the last chance the Americans have to get the world opinion to turn seriously against Russia to stop the N-2 getting on stream, the key objective of the conflict.

Posted by: Baron | Nov 13 2021 11:30 utc | 80

RE: Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 9:59 utc | 75

“some military officers who suggest detente based on spheres of influence of three “hegemons”

Known vernacularly to some as “Lets gang rape the others. What do you say ?” which had some traction in the 1970's at an early stage of the lateral process of transcendence of “The Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation after “The Who” suggested they won't be fooled again.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 12:07 utc | 81

RE: Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 13 2021 10:03 utc | 76

“So the only two ..”

Ah Ralf you are just a boy ensnared in binaries, not a Gospodin giving it all away.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 12:17 utc | 82

RE: Posted by: Steve | Nov 13 2021 11:16 utc | 79

“The last time when b wrote that he didn't believe that the saker's analysis that a war is imminent in the Donbass, he, b, based that belief on the assumption that Joe Biden is smart enough not to risk another disgrace so soon after the Afghanistan's embarrassment.  “

No they both relied on the belief, as does Mr. Armstrong and many others, that “The United States of America” has not been at war with and within Ukraine from at least 1991.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 12:26 utc | 83

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 13 2021 2:35 utc | 54

I am sorry that I messed up a bit. Sharks have electric sense, whales do not. Nevertheless, searching "Sperm Whale cable" gives a link to a scientific paper on incidents of sperm whales entangled with cables and occasionally ripping the cables. The opinion was that they drag their lower jaw through the sediment at the bottom to find edible creatures, one of their techniques to find prey. Resistance hints to some edible muscle, so a fight with a cable starts. In the same time, in the general area where it happened (Tromsoe, oe is o slash) you can buy a ticket for Sperm Whale watching, so they are not rare along northern Norway.

Besides ripping cables, Russians are also guilty of getting foreign troops lost during training exercise when gps stops working. Ordinarily, it looks like polar lights interfering with reception... but concluding that it is natural is exactly what Putin wants. There is no end to Russian hybridness.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 13 2021 13:40 utc | 84

I do not know whether someone has commented about this particular point, since I have not had the time to read the comments, but, as a data to take into account with regard the Belarus "migrant crisis", recall here who provoked this crisis in the first place, the USA and its NATO satellites through their interventions in Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Afghanistan, and consequent destruction and ransacking of those states.

Why would Belarus have to cop with the social, political and economic disaster provoked by The West, when during the last year has been submitted to continuos harassment by the same The West, through lack of recognition of its electoral process ( equally "democratic" to theirs ememebrs of The West by West´s standards )and intends of organization of "color revolution" whose "leaders" are openly advised, funded and supported through "experts" of the Atlantic Council from neighboring country Lithuania, one wonders...

https://twitter.com/ComisionOctubre/status/1458855318805532679

Posted by: Black bread | Nov 13 2021 13:46 utc | 85

Zelensky’s standing in the country after he lost the Rada’s majority couldn’t be any lower <-- Posted by: Baron | Nov 13 2021 11:30 utc | 80

It can, and it will. The ruling party is a conglomerate of opportunists recruited by "local influential people", oligarchs and lesser gangster. This is basically the norm in Rada. Two small bribable parties support Zelensky when needed. However, he may loose another chunk soon.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 13 2021 13:48 utc | 86

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 12 2021 23:23 utc | 40
Thanks for the story. There's a lot in it. Question from my wife. Are these people you know? Most of the people I know from the 70s who were proud/arrogant self identified lefties are now proud blue teamers. The blue team--IMO-- is the greater evil as it keeps the true left ideology from sprouting. It must be destroyed, dismantled by us within or others outside before true growth and eventual links with BRI networks can flourish.

Posted by: migueljose | Nov 13 2021 14:07 utc | 87

@Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 10:17 utc | 78

In his last "sitrep", Mr. Armstrong includes a data that was unknown to me ( may be because I do not pay enough attention to open source information sites in Russian, due lack of time ), and it is that related to the "ascension" of that dude, Yarosh, up the Ukrainian military high ranks....

Do you think this is just a provocation to Russia and Donbass republics, or, is it part of the ongoing full open nazification of The West, in full accleration proccess during the last two years, probably terminating in the soon to happen open inauguration of the IV Reich started at the negotations of the Treaty of Rome?

Posted by: Black bread | Nov 13 2021 14:11 utc | 88

Posted by: Misotheist | Nov 13 2021 10:15 utc | 77

Who the fuck gives a shit about Ukraine with the shitshow they've been making?

I'm arguing that chaos in Ukraine is affecting both Asia and Europe. It is in the interest of all parties on the continent to mend that bridge.

My other point is that the current imperial power has an economic model that isn't based on cooperation and fair trade, but on domination, exploitation and theft. This fundamental difference could explain why it is ignoring win-win relations and pursuing zero sum strategies. Hence the chaos in Ukraine. And Belarus, and Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, the Caucasus, North Africa, the Middle-East, Central Asia, East Asia, and on and on.

I believe these acts of arson will increase in the future. It isn't near-peer mega conflict we should fear, but full-spectrum attrition. Economic warfare, societal disruption, anonymous violence, vandalism. We've seen examples of the latter in Venezuela, Iran and Syria. Everything goes in this game. How about cutting undersea cables?

Posted by: robin | Nov 13 2021 14:25 utc | 89

@ Posted by: Black bread | Nov 13 2021 14:11 utc | 88

I think this is part of a greater process of nazification of the West. But I think it will look like more with traditional, Italian fascism than the racial, German fascism (nazism).

I have been spamming my hypothesis for the future of the American Empire a lot here, so I won't repeat it here. But yes, it is my long-held opinion that the USA tends to devolve into a fascist dictatorship based on Christian fundamentalism, instead of a communist revolution (socialism). But you're right in noticing that American fascism also has very strong racial (nazi) features - it is, after all, the birthplace of the concept of Herrenvolk Democracy (on which Hitler took his inspiration some decades later).

Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2021 14:25 utc | 90

In the concept of "hybrid warfare" it is relevant to focus on taking out non-battlefield targets.

Who is making the decisions?
Where are they located?
Are they in foreign countries?
Who are the puppeteers?
Who are the puppets?

It is no use taking out the puppets. What does that achieve?

Take out a few of the puppeteers and you will get the attention of the right people pretty darn quickly.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 13 2021 14:29 utc | 91

RE: Posted by: Black bread | Nov 13 2021 14:11 utc | 88

“Do you think that....”

Thank for your illustration of your level of immersion in the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America” within which illusions of entitlement and disappointments of illusions of entitlement are simultaneously practiced, facilitated in part by “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident.” whilst some hope “Maybe this time I'll be lucky”.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 15:21 utc | 92

Re: Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 0:37 utc | 47

For the 'Global Elites'' the prospect of a war between the U.S., Russia and China must look like a win-win-win scenario. In a best case, in which these three countries mutually destroy each other, the 'Global Elites' will have destroyed their three most important competitors all at the same time. The road would then be open for them to create their 'Globalist' Utopia without hindrance.


Interesting theory - but you're missing something.

As far as Russia is concerned Europe is joined at the hip to the US.

If there is any conflict stirred up with Russia by these "Atlanticists" I will list for you the Top 10 Non-Military Nuclear Targets for Russia.

1. Washington DC
2. New York
3. London
4. Berlin
5. Paris
6. San Francisco/Silicon Valley
7. Los Angeles
8. Brussels
9. Amsterdam/The Hague
10. Warsaw/Kiev - take your pick, does it matter?

As you can see - most of those targets (6) are in Europe.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 13 2021 15:56 utc | 93

Below is a ZH posting that seems to blow big holes in this story

Pentagon Denies "Hollow" Media Reports On Impending Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 13 2021 16:40 utc | 94

RE : Posted by: Julian | Nov 13 2021 15:56 utc | 93

“As far as Russia is concerned Europe is joined at the hip to the US. “

Your assertion is predicated on your assumption of the Russian Federation's view on “What are the United States of America, and how are they facilitated ?”

You are not alone in this practice which is a component of “What are the United States of America, and how are they facilitated?”

Posted by: MagdaTam | Nov 13 2021 16:48 utc | 95

CNN, Nov 10

Speaking alongside Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at the State Department, Blinken said that the US is "concerned by reports of unusual Russian military activity," and is "monitoring very closely" the Russia activity.
"Our concern is that Russia may make a serious mistake of attempting to rehash what it undertook back in 2014, when it amassed forces along the border, crossed into sovereign Ukrainian territory and did so claiming falsely that it was provoked," Blinken said, referring to Russia's invasion of Crimea. "So the playbook that we've seen in the past was to claim some provocation as a rationale for doing what it, what it intended and planned to do. All which is why we're looking at this very carefully." . .here

Politico, Nov 12

The uptick in American concern, confirmed by two U.S. officials, indicates that President Joe Biden’s efforts to reach some sort of equilibrium with Putin are running out of steam. Still, Russia also has at times made moves that poked at the United States and Europe before ultimately backing off and lowering tensions. Bloomberg first reported the U.S. was consulting with allies over the potential for Russia to push into Ukraine.
In April, for instance, Moscow surged thousands of troops close to its frontier with Ukraine, alarming Washington and its allies in NATO. Some of those troops would later return to their bases, but enough remained behind, along with hundreds of armored vehicles that Western officials took note.
“This is very different than what we saw in April,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, said Thursday. What we’re seeing now “certainly leads to the conclusion that Russia has different intentions this time.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2021 16:54 utc | 96

Julian | Nov 13 2021 15:56 utc | 93 says: 'As you can see - most of those targets (6) are in Europe.'

I understand your argument, but I put it in the category of 'short term pain for long term gain'.

Remember, the 'Globalists' are desperate. Their western economic base is virtually bankrupt. Russia and China, who are getting stronger every day, have rejected their 'Global Empire' and are rapidly building an alternative Multi-polar World based on the supremacy of the nation-state. They are under attack from populists/nationalists across Europe. In the U.S., having defeated the nationalist threat from Trump only a year ago, they already see the collapse of their puppet Democratic Party rule as soon as 2022. They advanced the 'Climate Crisis' and the 'Great Reset', facilitated by the 'Pandemic', by at least 10 years, in order to push the world towards their 'Global Government' but the results are underwhelming.

The 'Global Elites', the inheritors of the British Empire, see their project of 'Global Empire', that they have been working on for the past 3 decades, failing. The failure of their project is a side-effect of the economic collapse of the West and the transfer of global power to Eurasia, both of which are already well under way. They will be (rightly) blamed for this catastrophe, lose their fortunes and their positions in society. For them no risk is too great if there is a chance to save their 'Global Empire'. Including the risks that you describe in your comment @93.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 17:16 utc | 97

While I may disagree with B on the threat* China poses, the USA's contemptible behavior towards Russia under B&H Clintons, Bush/Cheney & Obama/Hilary since the end of the USSR's occupation of Europe has endangered ordinary citizens across the globe...it is a disgrace.

Any idiot with background in military affairs can easily see that the USA's position in the Ukraine is untenable when push comes to shove. Currently the Poles are being shoved back for assisting the US in Ukraine. What with asymmetry being all the fashion in DC, the Russ-kies have joined in on the fun.

Again, the contemptible behavior of B&H Clintons, Bush/Cheney & Obama/Hilary towards Russia has endangered ordinary citizens across the globe.

And apologies for shocking all those retards who put THEIR party before country, those retards who can't imagine that THEIR political deities are nothing short of earthly divinity...yes, how shocking that I should unflatteringly compare Obama to Bush!


*Largely because the elites in DC have un-democratically pushed Russia into China's grasp.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 13 2021 17:24 utc | 98

@ Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 13 2021 17:24 utc | 98

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were two of the most beloved POTUSes of US History. Both ruled with absolute power and prestige during their reigns.

It is blatant revisionism to claim otherwise (specially for the case of Bill Clinton).

Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2021 17:29 utc | 99

@ Posted by: dh-mtl | Nov 13 2021 17:16 utc | 97

I don't think the Chinese see multipolarity as the supremacy of the nation-state.

Supremacy of the nation-state would imply the nonexistence of any kind of significant international institutional architecture like the UN, WHO, IMF, WB, BIS, EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, BRI, AIIB, Mercosur, SCO, BRICS etc., plus a well consolidated (if frail in practice) system of International Law.

The Chinese seek to strengthen and perfection this international institutional architecture, not weaken and destroy it. Sure, those instruments that are clearly tools of American power projection such as the IMF and the WB would have to be destroyed, but the concept as a whole would be strengthened. It would be more a system of nation-state solidarity and cooperation in the name of humankind as a whole, not a system of outright nation-state supremacy like the one we had during the 19th Century and culminated with WWI - the most elevated manifestation of nation-state supremacy humanity has ever seen.

Posted by: vk | Nov 13 2021 17:45 utc | 100

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