Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2021

The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine

Ten days ago I wrote about the potential of war in the Ukraine:

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.
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.

Moscow sees a salami slicing tactic at work that would only end with NATO directly confronting it on all its borders:

Moscow’s narrative is that the Western powers are deliberately fueling Ukraine’s revanchist instincts by arming it and encouraging President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is fighting for political survival, to believe that with Western support, a window of opportunity is opening to recapture the lost territories in Donbas and Crimea and thereby redeem his pledge to be his country’s savior.

And second, as Moscow sees it, the rising tensions with Russia have become a convenient alibi to involve NATO directly in Ukraine’s security and make it a template of the West’s containment strategy against Russia.

The level of alarm in Russia continues to be high. The current ticker on the right side of the TASS website includes these headlines:

The above are more then half of the links in the ticker column. It is thus extremely conflict heavy, far more than usual.

Russia has stated that it would intervene in the Ukraine should Kiev decided to invade Donbass. It would be the end of the Ukraine Moscow has said. (Russia would likely end up with taking the majority Russian east and south of the Ukraine. The rest would end up as a landlocked agricultural Nazi infested enclave.)

The Kremlin has also multiple times complained about the ever increasing amount of NATO activities near its border. A U.S. study confirms those activities:

There were some 2,900 incidents between NATO and Russian forces between 2013 and 2020. The three-year moving average increased by more than 60 percent over this eight-year timespan.

That increase was to a large part due to Pentagon policy during the Trump years that was not sanctioned by the White House. The Biden administration has recognized that and is trying to rein the Pentagon in:

The White House has asked the Pentagon to provide a rundown of exercises the U.S. military has taken in recent years in Europe to deter Russia, as well as the justification for each mission, as the Biden administration takes stock of military operations in the air, on land and at sea that are designed to check Kremlin power and reassure U.S. allies and partners in Europe.

The purpose of the request, according to a senior Biden administration official, is to give the White House full visibility into U.S. military exercises and other deterrence activities in Europe so new missions can be evaluated and scheduled in the context of past actions.
The senior official said the amount of information about such missions coming from the Pentagon to the White House when Biden took office was nowhere near what it was during the Obama administration, and the National Security Council was looking to restore the information flow.

The U.S. for its part has claimed that Russia is assembling more troops at its borders with the Ukraine. The claim is false. The Ukrainian defense intelligence chief recently provided a map with a table which shows that Russia has current only 40 Battalion Tactical Groups (ATG) at the ready while during the last 'Russia invades' scare in April it had 53 BTGs ready to go. How 25% less troops at the ready are supposed to a new danger is not clear to me.


Samual Charap from the Pentagon think tank RAND corporation warns that the U.S. must press the Ukraine to accept the Minsk agreement or it will almost certainly see Russia and the Ukraine at war. He mentions the alleged buildup of troops in Russia to then correctly note:

If Russia’s tactics feel like a repeat of the past, so, too, does the U.S. approach to the volatile situation in Ukraine. U.S. policy has generally been to offer sticks to Moscow and carrots to Kyiv. Successive administrations have tried to use coercive instruments — largely sanctions or the threat of them — to incentivize Russia to withdraw forces from rebel-held areas of the Donbas and deter further incursions. In parallel, Washington supports Kyiv economically, politically and militarily. The assumption is that the U.S. can coerce Russia into backing down by threatening consequences while strengthening Ukraine’s defenses and anchoring it to the West.

Threatening Russia does not work, he says, the U.S. must seek a comprise and that means pushing Kiev to finally implement the Minsk agreement and to negotiate with the Donbass rebels.

In response to critics of this 'appeasement' demand Charap states:

Samuel Charap @scharap - 21:27 UTC · Nov 21, 2021

This is *not* my idea of a good outcome. But, if my analysis of current Russian policy is right (and it seems like the USG is trying to convince allies of the same), the alternative (war) is far worse.

The warnings might have some effects on the White House. The Saker detects signs of secret negotiations between Washington and Moscow that may be at the core of the announced Putin-Biden summit:

Since a Presidential summit is only organized once both sides have already come to a general agreement, at least in principle, on at least some issues, if Putin and Biden do meet, that means that both sides have worked out at least the outlines of some kind important deal (not just empty statements, as was the case the first time around, at least officially).

In his recent speech Putin said “it is imperative to push for serious long-term guarantees that ensure Russia’s security in this area, because Russia cannot constantly be thinking about what could happen there tomorrow“.  If Biden is willing to not only give guarantees (the Russians, understandably, have *zero* trust in western promises, written or oral) but also to actually take actions, probably mutual, coordinated and verifiable actions by both sides, then a war in Europe could be avoided, rather easily in fact.

Will Biden undo the total mess created by Obama and Trump and their Neocon handlers?


For one thing, such a major political success would certainly help Biden with this (currently atrocious) approval ratings in the USA. 

I don't think that a deal would actually help Biden in the polls. The hawks would scream about it. They want a war in the Ukraine and the U.S. involved in it. However the U.S. public is still unlikely to support a war against Russia which would likely soon escalate.

But a Ukrainian Russian war that the Ukraine is sure to lose and in which the White House does not intervene will lead to huge loss of face.

That prospect then may indeed motivate Biden to give Russia the guarantees it wants.

Posted by b on November 22, 2021 at 18:25 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Remember, Biden has a lot of history with Ukraine and its criminal oligarchy. Politics has probably nothing to do with what he wants, money is everything. Meanwhile Illegally Crossing State Lines or: Escape From Planet Mental

Posted by: El | Nov 22 2021 18:30 utc | 1

The US gov. has no face to lose. They're nothing but bought and paid for puppets.

Posted by: par4 | Nov 22 2021 18:38 utc | 2

At lot of the war talk seems to be simple optics, a way to get Biden a meeting with Putin and play "peace maker" in a sad attempt to right his sinking administration.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 18:38 utc | 3

and once again, let's try to speak the truth(if we can).
Whose fault is all this, really? USA's? Ukraine's? No, it's Putin and Putin's alone. If he had put his foot down and NOT let Ukraine fall into Western/NATO/USA's hands NONE of this will be happening right now. But Putin was so scared of USA placing sanctions on his buddies, he hesitated and let Ukraine fall. Who he hesitates is lost. And Putin lost big, huge time. He stopped Donbas from advancing twice and finishing the job. Twice. Now the situation is getting worse and Putin has nobody to blame but himself.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 22 2021 18:44 utc | 4

And yes, I realize Russia will roll over Ukraine in 24 hours, but the West/USA/NATO will immediately place such heavy sanctions against Russia that Russia will effectively be cut off from the world economically and socially. Let's see Russia trying to collect payment for its gas sold to Europe without the SWIFT. The "war" is just a pretext. But NOBODY seems to realize it. USA doing secret deals with Russia? yeah, right. USA doesn't respect Russia or Putin. The Faker is fantasizing as usual.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 22 2021 18:49 utc | 5

Hoyeru, another idiot like vk. Putin handled the Ukrainian issue like a master. He made the West look like stammering fools as he placed the Ukrainian albatross around their necks and took Crimea back home! Only an all out dunce would have cheered for a Russian invasion of Ukraine. That you do shows you are a bad actor with ulterior motives. Too many of your kind on here to be honest.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 18:51 utc | 6

excuse me Hoyeru,

but would the US sanctions against Russia include no longer buying tanker fulls of Russian diesel to keep the US economy afloat?

I find your comments rather odd.

Posted by: Matt | Nov 22 2021 18:56 utc | 7

And of course the West wouldnt have done the same thing 7 years ago if Russia had rolled into Ukraine??? Swift my ass! Let's see Yurp burn it's soiled panties this winter for heat.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 18:58 utc | 8

@Hoyeru not Putin...Yanukovich. He was utterly weak in confronting that fascist mob in Kiev. 3 months he let that tumor grow and grow. Apart from strategic Crimea, I dont see why Russia would want to intervene in Banderastan. OK, at the most you could say Moscow should supply some weaponry, advisors and such in order to keep the Kiev regime from wholescale genocide of ethnic Russians in Donbass, which is what the Kremlin is already doing. The Kiev regime knows a fullscale attack on Donbass will result in the same outcome as the Georgian military suffered in 2008. NATO won't dare set foot on Russian soil as thats when the nukes will start flying.

Posted by: Nick | Nov 22 2021 19:00 utc | 9

I dont even think we can blame Yanukovich. Ukraine was already in such an advanced state of cultural and economic decay it was almost inevitable something like this would happen. With CIA interference, nazi groups openly proclaiming themselves and hoards of kids who believed they were going to be given a 2000 euro monthly stipend to travel around a smoke pot...what else could we expect.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 19:07 utc | 10

A comment about the map. Ukrainian government has a delicate game to claim. In the late spring, Ukraine roughly doubled the number of troops and "technique" near the line of control, so Russia engaged in military exercises close to northern border and close to Donbass, and when the minister of defense, since replaced, presented a somber picture to the parliament, a young impressionable female deputy from the ruling party wrote a message caught on camera "time to run from the country". There were claims that in the aftermath, the heavy equipment was left at the exercise sites. Thus airlifting men to unite them with the pre-positioned equipment can be swift.

A massive or just big attack by Ukraine could be followed by a march from the north to create a huge "kettle", detaching 50% of more of Ukrainian assets from the main territory. With air supremacy, land based offensive could be swift, to unite with sea-borne battalions in the South and air-borne battalions securing the bridges to the West (note a significant river bisecting the country). A putative dispersed guerrilla would be mopped out with the population more sympathetic to Russia (enough to make calls telling where those putative guerrilla is hiding).

Given trenches and minefields, advancing from "Ordlo" would be avoided, and basically, pointless. It would be sufficient for "Ordlo" to play the static role of an anvil.

In the aftermath, we would see whom the population of eastern Ukraine trusts more.

In short, it is not in Ukraine/NATO interests to be overly specific about the real Russian capabilities in this area.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2021 19:08 utc | 11

Do people really think that calling each other idiots advances their argument?

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Nov 22 2021 19:11 utc | 12

Do idiots think idiocy advances their arguments? This Hoyeru persona has been on this board for a long time and the posts you see above are the only talking points it has. He is here to disrupt and nothing more.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 19:14 utc | 13

Who he hesitates is lost. And Putin lost big, huge time. He stopped Donbas from advancing twice ...
Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 22 2021 18:44 utc | 4

Of all types of special forces, attacking from air, sea surface, etc., none is more feared than armchair battalions.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2021 19:15 utc | 14

Here is “another idiot like Homer”. There would have been no festering sore of Ukraine if Putin and his gang of preferred oligarchs were not watching their Winter Olympic Games in Sochi whist the US Neocons were cooking up a putsch in Ukraine.

Posted by: Kiza | Nov 22 2021 19:16 utc | 15

As you can see, it changes it's name and posts the same rubbish. LMFAO! He is a neocon troll using the "concern" tactic.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 19:18 utc | 16

That seems to be the go to reaction now to use against anyone who is strongly disagreed with.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Nov 22 2021 19:19 utc | 17

Hoyeru @ 4 and 5

"For every complex problem, there's a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong." H.L. Mencken

Posted by: Lawrence Miller | Nov 22 2021 19:20 utc | 18

if you are a powerful group and want take on a less powerful nation, what is stopping you? your first issue is internal, you have to silence the antiwar crowd. the second, you have to deal with the alliances that could emerge. all that is going on in au, ny, canada, europe to me looks like nothing but dealing with the first issue, they are pacifying the citizen. for the second issue, if diplomacy is out of the picture, you give them their own war and keep them busy.

either i am going insane or these @#$@#@ are considering open war with china. everything i read, i watch suggests nothing but this. and ukraine is the perfect tool to weaken the alliance that could emerge.

Posted by: throww | Nov 22 2021 19:20 utc | 19

Michael Weddington

I would never call someone I disagree with an idiot. But it is obvious there are accounts on this site that are not what they claim to be, and when I see the same talking points repeated over and over I am calling it like it is.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 19:23 utc | 20

thanks b.... more usa in decomposition mode... the slow unraveling of the usa is again being witnessed here...

@ everyone... Hoyeru is indeed a regular who likes to shit on b on a regular basis over the topic of russia in particular... and he rarely engages in commentary either.. it is like a drive by shooting at the top of the thread and that is pretty much it... folks need to ignore these types, like the rest of us do.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2021 19:26 utc | 21

You called VK an idiot and he certainly was not. Although I didn't always agree with him and I don't think Marxism is a science like he constantly stated, I did enjoy his thought and his take on thing.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Nov 22 2021 19:28 utc | 22

The current modus operandi of the U.S. Establishment is to stall and buy time while simultaneously praying for a miracle. To what God we can only hazard a guess.

It bears repeating that there are indeed ongoing negotiations amongst the powerbrokers of west and east. The west, unsatisfied with their ability to penetrate the Chinese establishment to secure a more lucrative deal for them whilst stiffing the Chinese Nationalists, are still thrashing about, alternatively at Russia and then China. The equivalent of banging your head against the wall, to which China and Russia will gladly see continue on account of their superior global strategy.

The hazard of such headbanging in the west is, of course, that the establishment becomes so exasperated and fearful of the negative outcome which will see them lose their grip on their globalist imperial project that they would rather invoke a war with their adversaries abroad then deal with the pitchfork's edge of their own nationals domestically.

All told, it is still the most dangerous game ever played. Globalism has always had in itself this possible, horrific outcome of global conflagration, whereas a Nationalist-paradigm, being suspicious of foreign entanglements and internationalism, instead, at its worst, is warlike on its borders solely from neccessity and with a "sad heart" at such bloodshed.

I still see no off-ramp in sight, as b hopes there should be. I plug its possibility into Spirit's code and it spits out an irrational (read: impossible) outcome.

The fact that the Chinese and Russians are Nationalist and want a safe and prosperous world for their own kind will spell calamity for the rest of us. Seems to me the only possible result. And it will be our fault as westerners for not stymieing the rise of the global project which always leads to this point.

For this Christmas, I will gift myself a new copy of the Tao Te Ching. The limits of Nature are a beautiful thing and require careful practice of attuning oneself to.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 22 2021 19:30 utc | 23

The only way to shut up the hawks would be to make it * NOT * cost free by hitting NATO troops in Ukraine being used as human shields.

When Russia allows its own people to be killed by NATO (its peace keepers in Georgia) and avoid military operations because of NATO, the U.S. hawks take this as a sign of weakness.

The bully (U.S.) reveals himself through projection, 'don't appease Putin'
BTW, not calling for a killing rampage, just that if Russia must act, do so without compromising operations for the sake of NATO, human shields. I would make go out of the way to spare the part of NATO that might be reasoned with in the future, Germany, Italy, France but there is no reason to avoid any NATO east of Poland (or Poland, U.K. U.S.).

I hate this.
A little war now vs a big war later. Nothing will dissuade our loons.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 22 2021 19:30 utc | 24

@ NemesisCalling | Nov 22 2021 19:30 utc | 23.. that is a nice gift to yourself! i don't know if you are aware, but there are a number of different interpretations... you might enjoy a different interpretation.. i only discovered this much later in life..

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2021 19:32 utc | 25

Michael Weddington

Oh...sorry I don't agree. He was an obsessive ideologue who judged everything by his beliefs rather than facts. This Rittenhouse issue was the final straw. His behavior was disgraceful. And he/she..whoever didn't come off as genuine either... claimed to be Brazilian but it's English had an American scent to it. So maybe idiot was the wrong word. Jerk may have been more accurate.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 19:34 utc | 26

@ 25 James

Hi, James. I would say Happy Thanksgiving, but it seems that the Canadian one happened a month ago.

I really like the Penguin Translation, but that is the only one I have ever owned. This translation seems very grounded and practical, without a lot of flowery/etherial language. I will do some research for this purchase, though...good idea.

Which one do you like?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 22 2021 19:39 utc | 27

@ nemesis calling.. thanks! yes - we had the canuck thanksgiving much earlier - oct 10th area this year... happy thanksgiving to you! the one that i really liked, i lost a long time ago.. the one i have that seems fairly close to the one i lost is a translation by john c.h. wu put out by shambhala.. enjoy if you find one you like!

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2021 19:45 utc | 28

Putin says: Hold my beer..
NATO hoping for slap fight, at which can sell popcorn
my find itself in in UFC match. Were we talking about sporting event...
Still Putin not looking for personal satisfaction - what is the future for Russia if they humilate NATO and sieze some or all of Uk as it seems they are capable. US has bankrupted self and will take "western" "alies" down. Desperate to take down Russia and China as well. China and Russia have some points of shared interests but in the main are very divergent.

"The rest would end up as a landlocked agricultural Nazi infested enclave." - South Pol(and).

Posted by: jared | Nov 22 2021 19:48 utc | 29

"Statements on readiness to deploy additional contingents have been made in European capitals, although the Minsk Package of Measures (Paragraph 10) directly stipulates the “withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under monitoring of the OSCE.” This means that not only Kiev, but also Western countries are violating the Minsk agreements."


"NATO is openly and very actively, using any means available, trying to involve Ukraine in the implementation of their “containment” plans regarding Russia. Regrettably, Kiev does not seem to understand that Ukraine is being taken advantage of. The West does not view Ukraine as a sovereign state but rather as an instrument."
Maria Zakharova, Moscow, November 17, 2021

Actually, the USA is using the EU as an instrument to destroy trading relations with Russia, and Ukraine is simply the stage on which all this is played out.

USA is all but an island, with costly distance to traverse in trade. Eurasia is a contiguous land mass, with real and potential cheap rail transport.

So these US instigated provocations help cut Russia and EU out of their natural trading relationships, and 'force' EU into USA trade relationships, even if more expensive.

Worse, USA dupes EU into destroying the cheap energy base of its domestic industries, by arranging both sanctions and expensive 'market force' spot prices on cheap Russian gas.

Ukraine, under EU tutelage, will destroy Minsk (and sell state assets to 'you know who')

"...the draft law On the Principles of State Policy of the Transition Period, which the Ukrainian government forwarded to the Verkhovna Rada on August 9, 2021.

That bill does not mention a special status, language norms or amnesty for the Donbass residents, although all of these are stipulated in the relevant agreements.

Instead of defining the status and powers of local authorities and organising elections in accordance with the Minsk Package and the results of the 2019 Paris summit of the Normandy format countries, the draft law stipulates the establishment of military-civilian and international administrations and restrictions on the right of local residents to be elected in local elections and hold office (lustration).

They will also be denied the right to amnesty.

This cannot be interpreted as anything other than a “cleansing policy” for Donbass and its military occupation and possibly (in light of the international component) intervention.

This draft law, if adopted, will actually bury the Minsk agreements and will result in Ukraine’s withdrawal from and termination of the negotiations process. Kiev should be aware of what it is doing and what this could lead to." MZ

Russia will NOT 'take' the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Regions. You can be sure the regions will go back to their first stance, and declare themselves independent republics. They will contemporaneously sign a defense agreement with Russia.

Russia will go to the UN (the Minsk agreements are under the aegis of UN mechanisms). Russian peacekeepers will replace the ineffective OSCE monitoring the 2 sides.

EU poodles, under instruction from their master, will cancel Nordstream, sanction more Russians,blah blah.

All this is predictable.

So what will Russia do?

Sergei Lavrov says "The West has absolutely refused to interact with us on an equal and mutually beneficial basis or look for a balance of interests...

This began back in the 1990s, when they stubbornly disregarded and ignored their own promises not to expand NATO eastward and later not to deploy substantial armed forces in the territory of the new bloc members as well as other promises.

We have learned this historical lesson. I will not describe it as bitter, but it was a useful experience." Lavrov, 18 November 2021

So now they are formulating a new foreign policy concept (to be released 2022).

It will include "this historical lesson".

It will focus on trade with East Eurasia, Asia Pacific, Mid east, Africa, and parts of South American.

For the moment, EU is a lost cause.

But the door will always be open to nailed-down agreements that can't be tampered with. Which, for the moment, the EU has no ability or mental capacity to deliver.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Nov 22 2021 19:51 utc | 30

Norb #10

I agree, Yanukovitch was really powerless to put down the Maidan demonstrations. Remember the six weeks of continuous Maidan tire fires right before the coup. Those thugs in the streets had not only support from about a third of the Ukrainian population, but had the support of the Western press and numerous western NGO's that had already thoroughly infiltrated Ukranian politics.

I followed those six weeks of tire fires at the time and kept asking myself why Yanukovich didn't just do what was needed to stop them? I kept asking myself: what would happen if a similar demonstration had appeared in Washington DC? The answer here is obvious: overwhelming police and military suppression. Then the question arises why Yanukovitch didn't do that? Obviously he would have been hit with international sanctions, mobilization of the Western NGOs that had thoroughly infiltrated Ukrainian politics and an uprising of about a third of his people. His problem was that the entire Ukrainian nation had been thoroughly infiltrated by US imperialist institutions and too many of the Ukrainian people infested too thoroughly with Western propaganda that there was very little Yanukovitch could have done to stop that tide.

Russia, was not yet prepared to do much more than save Crimea and provide sufficient support for the Donbass to sever its connections to the rest of Ukraine.

Posted by: Toivos | Nov 22 2021 19:53 utc | 31

Matt @ 7

Yours the best comment so far. That would be 2 million barrels of diesel for US east coast. Diesel, which would be distillate, not crude. Amounts to about 16 hours of supply for US. Sounds like not much, try delaying food to supermarkets for 16 hours across the board and see what the shelves look like.

Russia is sending those tankers our way for a simple reason. They want stability in US. Commenters here are afflicted with normalcy bias. Russians know far better than we how quickly normalcy can evaporate.

US is embarking on no military adventures. The men and the materiel do not exist. The command structure does not exist. The screamers will continue to scream because they have made a good living off that for seventy odd years. The screamers were always lunatics, they more and more look like lunatics with no clothes.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 22 2021 19:55 utc | 32

Lots of soldiers in the Ukrainian forces would welcome a conflict with Russia. Promptly defecting would be their best chance at securing a decent pension for their retirement years.

Posted by: figleaf23 | Nov 22 2021 19:59 utc | 33

These are periodic escalatory activities that are typically designed to bully Russia into something. Ukraine is used as lever for something bigger. Similar "risk of war" in Ukraine was going up in the spring too, as a way of raising the US game in preparation of the US-Russia summit in Geneva.

What caused the current pressure? The failure of the Nuland meetings with russian officials. In those meetings, the US offered to freeze the Ukraininan conflict if Russia stays away from the US-China conflict. Russia obviously refused (its not that stupid).

So the pressure against Russia is now on, as long as Russia backs up China. If the US needs something in the future, pressure might decrease again. It is all driven from above. This is it.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 20:02 utc | 34

US power is using small countries like Taiwan against China and Ukraine against Russia to serve US power interests. If Ukraine attacks Donbass and Russia intervenes and captures the Russian half of the country, it would serve NATO interests. The Nazi half could be integrated into NATO and and constantly provoke Russia to keep Europe from siding with Russia against the US.

What the American people don't fully realize is how dysfunctional and accident prone US military power is. The hundreds of thousands military US set up in Afghanistan barely lasted a week. Shortly after the initiation of the 2003 Iraq invasion, the Bush jnr regime publicly trumpeted MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, genuinely thinking the war was mostly over. The US warships in the pacific threatening China bump into each other, killing the sailors on board, and suffer Covid disease. A nuclear submarine just bumped into an undersea mountain. The standard acronyms when I was in the military was SNAFU: situation normal all fucked up, and FUBAR fucked up beyond all recognition.

But opinion polls have repeatedly revealed that the majority of the American people approve of the military in much greater numbers than we do of Democratic institutions, notably Congress. And the Commander-in-Chief of the military, formerly a blustering, ignorant racist, has been replaced by a brain-damaged corporate militarist. I would look on the bright side in the current situation but I don't see one.

Posted by: Mathew | Nov 22 2021 20:02 utc | 35

Hopefully Russia reconsiders its course as a war benefits only the authoritarians and the arms dealers.

Posted by: Mike Adamson | Nov 22 2021 20:08 utc | 37

CNN to ban maps of eastern Europe or at least they should.

1. A ret. General pointed to the location of Russian troops / equipment in Velnya and the subtitle flashed 'Russian troops on Ukraine's border'.

2. Even worse, we see this giant map of Ukraine and this tiny spec on the east, 'Donbas / Lugansk' as the General ominously intones, 'Ukraine has no future without this very economically important region'.

Sure, it has some coal but its not made of gold. The rest of Ukraine has a vast amount of farmland and industrial resources as well. It's laughable that they are going to use this tiny 3% of their area as the reason for all of their problems.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 22 2021 20:13 utc | 38

Hoyeru @5: "Russia will effectively be cut off from the world economically and socially."

So melodramatic. Europe and the US are not "the world".

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 22 2021 20:17 utc | 39

Christian J. Chuba #24

I would make go out of the way to spare the part of NATO that might be reasoned with in the future, Germany, Italy, France but there is no reason to avoid any NATO east of Poland (or Poland, U.K. U.S.).

Thank you but I must challenge your proposal that Germany might be reasoned with in the future. Germany has totally submitted to the FUKUS whip hand yesterday and there is little prospect of the new government being any different. NS2 is the exemplar of their chickenshit adherence to the FUKUS disablers and dictators of who and what Germany should be. All the approvals would normally have been negotiated and sequenced in time for the final connection of the hardware. But no, now it is more torment, more RULES BASED ORDER to aggravate the project and Russia. THIS is what it means to have dealings with these western oligarchs.

I remember years ago there was a constant media drum roll of "you can't do business in Russia or China as they are opaque and keep changing rules" etc. Well the reality in the clear light of day is the reverse. You simply cannot trust the western bureaucracies whether that is NATO or the pipeline regulators andlikely every other trick.

There will most likely be a short sharp end to the conflict in Russian territories in Ukraine led by Russian diplomacy if possible and force if needed. Hopefully that will be the limit with any luck.

IMO there is no off ramp for Biden as he is surrounded by his very own appointees who were his best mates as he filched the Uke treasury a few years ago. These all are a permanent gang of belligerent warmongers. The army was happy to let him take the rap for their Afghanistan errors but they are bitterly welded to the 'hate russia, hate russia, hate russia', chant wagon.

I don't think Biden is actually looking for an off ramp but that is not to say he won't go eye to eye and then pivot around and walk away. Who knows, but he sure won't be winning the mid terms or a second term as President. I see him and his record as being a lifelong thuggee in the hire of capital in the Senate - prepared to do whatever bastardry the doge requests.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 22 2021 20:19 utc | 40

"the West/USA/NATO will immediately place such heavy sanctions against Russia that Russia will effectively be cut off from the world economically and socially. Let's see Russia trying to collect payment for its gas sold to Europe without the SWIFT"

Russia will not be cut off from "the world". Its most important partner is China.

European countries have an energy crisis, anyway. Russia can sell natural resources to China and other Asian countries, they need lots of them. EU countries would be in very deep trouble if they could not buy any natural resources from Russia any more.

Although the consequences would probably be worse for EU countries than for Russia (and worst of all for Ukraine), they would not be good for Russia, either. But what choice would Russia have if Ukraine starts a large-scale attack on Donbass? Just let it happen and then put up with a violent extremist regime that collaborates with NATO and poses a direct threat? Obviously, Russia could not let that happen, and it is one of the countries that is least vulnerable to sanctions.

I wonder if the talk about an alleged Russian attack on Ukraine in January is meant to prepare the Western and Ukrainian public that Ukraine will start a large-scale attack on Donbass so that they will still blame Russia when it reacts. Obviously such an attack on Donbass would be desastrous for Ukraine, but it might serve the goals of neocons who want to prevent better relations between EU countries and Russia.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Nov 22 2021 20:20 utc | 41

The middle of winter is not the time to start an offensive in that part of the world, to say the least. Smells like a political troll to me.

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 20:25 utc | 42

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 20:25 utc | 42

Good point, it will cause a big energy crisis in Europe (and probably the world). Energy inflation will spike everywhere. And it is not yet clear if it will be a cold winter too. Military offensives typically start in the spring.

A Coronavirus wave is starting in Europe too.

Although i would caution that Russia has a history of starting military offensives in the winter too. The germans could not handle the cold though, so they usually started their offensives in the spring.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 20:33 utc | 43

Every few weaks there is another bogus Ukraine war scare from Russia.
(Well, I guess for the MoA bubble that`s just confirmation that -this time- it must be for real ....)

In 2014 durin the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine the approval rating of Putin hit an all-time-high and all of Russia seemed to be in a kind of patriotic fever. That is normal. In times of war people all over the world display the tendency to rally behind their leaders and move closer together.

In 2021 Putins approval ratings are not so good anymore. The pension reform had been vastly unpopular, the response to Covid develops into a disaster and the economic prospects look bad. A made-up crisis at the western front serves as a welcome distraction.

Posted by: m | Nov 22 2021 20:34 utc | 44

So the West is manufacturing this "crisis" to get Putin's numbers up? Sounds legit.....

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 20:41 utc | 45

UKR are a dying Failed-State; and are Scortch-Earthing themselves into a desperate War Gamble to 1) Ruin/Take Over DNR+LNR and 2) Suck Up as many Murican MIC Dollars as possible.

WH+Congress+DNC+NeoCons+Khazari-Ashkenazi+UKR are too fixated in trying to give RUS a Bloody Nose + Sanctions whenever possible since the 2014Coup failed to take Crimea/Sevastopol is+Donbas_Secessionists. Murican MIC Dollars will be spent; but Biden+Son+Schumer are too tied into UKR, so the Risk will be that Murican Troops and/or Mercs will be involved in the Donbas Invasion and related events in the Black Sea.

Posted by: IronForge | Nov 22 2021 20:41 utc | 46

Posted by: m | Nov 22 2021 20:34 utc | 44

>>Every few weaks there is another bogus Ukraine war scare from Russia.

Rather from your US masters who use Ukraine as pressure lever and a divide and rule tactic. Russia does not have an interest in conflict there.

>>the response to Covid develops into a disaster and the economic prospects look bad.

Looks like Covid disaster is incoming in Europe too. Lots of burning cars in european cities. And with low quality Pfizer vaccines, you get never ending waves of Covid, unlike Sputnik.

You were also too ignorant to understand that high energy prices are bullish for Russia, hence the World Bank recently upgraded russian growth prospects, with the 4 year average above EU.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 20:42 utc | 47

Apologies if it's been mentioned already but the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev just won a second term and he thinks it's time for more pragmatic relations with Russia.

The US needless to say is 'deeply concerned' about his comments...

Posted by: dh | Nov 22 2021 20:43 utc | 48

On the other hand, Biden needs some diplomatic victory to regain some credibility. What better to fake an invasion that never happens then take credit for averting it? I mean, the US economy is in ruins, people dont want to work, high inflation and shortages, covid still haunts Bidens's tiny imagination. Whats an imperialist to do when every one chants "FJB" everywhere he goes?

Posted by: norb | Nov 22 2021 20:47 utc | 49

Posted by: arby | Nov 22 2021 20:44 utc | 49

It is an example of what i call an "euro-puppet". A certain type of degraded europeans who have been brainwashed from birth on how to want by themselves to be US puppets, without even being told.

His brain is fried so much that he will forever be a puppet, (just as intended for him).

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 20:48 utc | 50

Don't make any plans for the autumn when the American midterms are hot and heavy. Just saw this posted by Mark Ames. Zelensky will start a war all on his own.

A majority of Americans support going to war with Russia over Ukraine, and to war with China over Taiwan. Church attendance may be down sharply, but millenarian dreams are stronger than ever here. And who can blame us? Shit jobs, shit lives—who wants to go on living like this

He is at:

Propaganda does indeed work.

Posted by: Erelis | Nov 22 2021 20:49 utc | 51

Passer by #43

Good point, it will cause a big energy crisis in Europe (and probably the world). Energy inflation will spike everywhere. And it is not yet clear if it will be a cold winter too. Military offensives typically start in the spring.

A Coronavirus wave is starting in Europe too.

Thank you and as I see it there is already a huge energy crisis in europe. They don't care if their people suffer! They have a very effective means of oppressing them. I agree that military offensives are a spring thing but the Russians learned a hell of a lot from their 1944-45 activities rolling up the nazi divisions in a bitter winter.

I guess the pharmaceutical gougers have just had a deep slurp at the trough and now its the turn of the energy gougers to suck from the public purse. It is so obvious what is happening, so pathetic that the west has become a self indulgent leech.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 22 2021 20:56 utc | 52

Russia has been fairly clear communicating its red lines vis a vis Ukraine. A Russian nationalist, Putin has an interest to defend the ethnic Russians who populate Donbass etc.

Would not test Putin's resolve in this matter.

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 22 2021 20:58 utc | 53

M. 44.
Blinkin is that you?

Posted by: Susan | Nov 22 2021 21:00 utc | 54

Never mind what the US is going to do about it, the Russians are setting up conditions for the Donbass to secede. Probably with a fully legal referendum as basis. (See also "putting Donbass industry under "new management").

What are Zelensky or the US going to do about a "fait accompli"? If the Donbass citizens themselves declare their desire to quit Ukraine - Get in a "hissy" fit?

The integration into the Russian financial sphere brings definite advantages. See how Crimea has become a nice place to live, after years of deprivation and lack of investment from the Ukrainian centre. The exclusion of the Russian speaking population from representation and financial support in Ukraine must be leaving deep feelings of persecution.

They may even want to change "Patrons" if they can.


The Russians have said "NO" and the others might have at last noted that they mean it.

As Karlof1 posted before the Rottenhouse thread, Russia has called the EU's bluff, by referring to "Genocide" in; karlof1 | Nov 19 2021 1:18 utc | 152 (open thread No. 2021-89) Full decree in; karlof1 | Nov 19 2021 17:13 utc | 178 same thread.

"The Russian president’s decree "is a forced reply to Kiev’s actions that are intended to escalate the conflict and actually fall under the UN Genocide Convention,"

The Russians are not on speaking terms with NATO, so no "negotiations".
The US Whitney and Porter have left the Black Sea without participating in a war. They may eventually have learnt something more about the Electronic capabilities of the Russians (Whitney is equiped for E-spying), but since there wasn't a massive Russian response - they may have only gained limited new information.

IF the Ukrainians carry out their plan to "end" the Minsk agreement, it ALSO frees the Russians hands for a bit of a lateral thinking, a Judo throw. Where Zelensky's aggression is used against him to alienate half his own citizenery.

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 22 2021 21:02 utc | 55

Just had another thought as followup to my own #32. Where I said among other things US lacks the command structure to embark on military adventures. Occurred to me that would start at the top.

Who is the Commander in Chief? It is not President Poopy Pants. He is not in charge of his own diapers. So there must be a standing workaround of some sort. Who has the need-to-know on that? How widely is it known? When bullets (or missiles) start to fly no one is even looking in direction of Poopy Pants. No one is taking an order from Kneepads Harris. If she knows how to be the one giving orders. Reports are she is unable to manage her own office. Who is left? There is and has been a major problem here, going to war would be a reveal.

Rumors of a Putin-Biden summit before Christmas. Perhaps the US will sue for terms.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 22 2021 21:04 utc | 56

Xi and Putin (in particular) are showing a very strong calm and non-aggressive posture in all this.

Both leaders KNOW the West is trying to provoke them into escalating war readiness and take the bait. This will not happen and both nations will keep defense spending at acceptable level without being drawn into an investment war.

There is no chance of China taking Taiwan by force. This will happen peacefully and politically, probably even at the begging of Taiwanese itself when times comes. USA (especially) do not have the finanxial fortitude to keep up this pressure if the petro-dollar faces further threats. The latter is most likely the main reason they are using military intimidation and show of force to begin with.

Russia has a little bit different strategy. Putin has good control of the military and there is no chance of anyt solitary high-positioned hawk succeeding in rogue actions. All Vladimir Vladimirovich has to do is to continue to let the economic and natural relations between Russia and Germany to evolve and the EU will likely at some point ditch USA cooperation even more. Despite NATO saber-rattling on Arctic front (Norway); Baltic and Black Sea and covert through attempts of "spreading democracy", this will not succeed since Putin will not have to compromise economy to spend vast amounts on military.

The restraint and collected behavior of both Xi and Putin is remarkable and really shows strong leaders in a multipolar world facing off the fading empire with their one-trick pony behavior.

Posted by: Harald | Nov 22 2021 21:10 utc | 57

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 22 2021 20:58 utc | 54

Funny to see how gas prices spiked in Europe just as NS-2 got delayed. Thus, Russia gets its money, one way or the other, (as Bismark said).

And the euro-puppets pay the price (they have no other role intended for them, other than being a meat shield for their master). Only this time it even affected the US, as what happens in Europe also affected the global markets, hence the "energy independent" US forcing itself to buy heavy oil and diesel from Russia and Biden suffering from inflation.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 21:13 utc | 58

I don't think Biden is actually looking for an off ramp...

He has already got attention on it...he knows death as his off-ramp. As an older man than oldie Biden, I have great confidence his attention is becoming more fixed on his own death. Who would doubt he is turning-on-final.?

Very dangerous to be so close...and wanting the glory of it instead of silently becoming non-existent. Think of the mark, even stain, of causing a HUGE effect on your inevitable way out? Ya know... compared to a death
causing zero effect.

Biden and his minders are dangerous . Xi and Putin et al know it. I hope they have the wisest of advisors.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 22 2021 21:29 utc | 59

Passer by | Nov 22 2021 20:33 utc | 43
Military offensives typically start in the spring. Not in that part of the world. Rasputitsa is in Spring and Autumn when everything turns into a sea of mud. War is best fought in Summer and Winter. That's when the ground is hard.

Posted by: Cossack | Nov 22 2021 21:33 utc | 60

Posted by: Cossack | Nov 22 2021 21:33 utc | 61

True, its more about the late spring and the summer. Big german offensives started during June usually.

Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 21:56 utc | 61

This is very like what has happened before.

In the decade before WW1, the Germans actively feared a British attack to "Cogenhagen" their navy, as the British did to the Danes twice during the Napoleonic Wars.

Meanwhile, the British actively feared the German Navy presented a threat of invasion, going so far as to consume best-selling novels about a sneak invasion, "The Riddle of the Sands," by Erskine Childers.

Both sets of fears were very real to those afraid, and utterly absurd to those who were feared. There were never any such plans prepared or even considered on either side.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Nov 22 2021 22:00 utc | 62

@44 m
Once again talking crap as always. It is not MOA which circulates the idea. Read Brandon (yes, Brandon!)J.Weichert in Asia Times, btw. a hardcore US Neocon

While we were grabbing drinks at a bar near Capitol Hill, a Ukrainian friend of mine living in Washington during the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 ruefully quipped to me, “Russia will devour Ukraine no matter what the West says. It’s just a question of how long it’ll take.”

Btw., I think that all of Weichert's "analysis" is wrong, except that Russia indeed could steamroll Ukraine in a fly. Only I fail to see that Russia has the least interest to aquire the corrupt and broken country, rather leaves the mess to NATO and EU to pay for.

But it demonstrates the mindset of your Neocon and imperialist soul mates, and disproves your ravings.

Posted by: aquadraht | Nov 22 2021 23:10 utc | 63

@norb (50) I live in the United States, and I can assure you that the economy is not in ruins. How did you come to that conclusion?

Posted by: Rob | Nov 22 2021 23:20 utc | 64

Alastair Crooke is one of my favorite commentators. In an article published today, November 22, 2021, Alastair criticizes the Manichaeism that consists in interpreting in a reductionist way complex natural systems, pregnant with actions and feedbacks (interactions). He ends up raising a question typical of philosophy, the dual thinking.
It is true that binary logic, once called metaphysical logic, offers a comfort that escapes all other supra-binary logics, even if only ternary. This is evident once we build binary and ternary function truth tables. When we admit three logical values, for example, such as 'right', 'impossible' and 'plausible', which are the basis of probability theory, we no longer find current words to designate each of the eighty-one distinct functions. In systems with more than 3 logical values, the complexity grows more than exponentially. In fact, in this field we are still in the infancy of knowledge, but that does not mean that we cannot immediately recognize the serious limitations of Maniquist thought, which only recognizes two states. It's a challenge worth facing, so that we don't jump to hasty conclusions.

Posted by: António Ferrão | Nov 22 2021 23:22 utc | 65

Posted by: aquadraht | Nov 22 2021 23:10 utc | 64

Only I fail to see that Russia has the least interest to aquire the corrupt and broken country, rather leaves the mess to NATO and EU to pay for.

That has been my impression, also. As far as I can tell before 2014 coup, the corruption in Ukraine was a huge drain on Russia's resources and since 2014 it has become a drain on the resources of the west.
The West has poured billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and except for a few million that we know Hunter Biden and his crew managed to latch on to, nobody can tell us where the rest of the many billions have gone.

Posted by: jinn | Nov 22 2021 23:28 utc | 66

There's one combo missing in your excellent write-up, b, the combo is 'N-2'.

The American hawks need a pretax to put pressure on Germany to abandon N-2, possibly also cancel the current pipelines from Russia feeding the West. If the N-2 goes ahead the Americans will lose a key tool that would enable them to control Germany, the tool of energy. Except for Venezuela and in part Russia (the Ukrainian pipeline isn't fully under Russia's control), the Americans are in charge directly or have decisive leverage on every other major fossil fuel supplier country in the world.

If Germany scraps N-2 the country's energy policy will be run, indirectly, by the Americans, and since energy is an ubiquitous component for not just the economy but life in general, Germany (hence the EU) will become a fully accredited vassal of the Americans, no more frolicking with China or Russia.

This, the future of N-2, is what's fuelling the preparation for the conflict, what Ukraine has to deliver is thousands dead bodies, the MSM poodle will enlarge the few thousands into millions, the world public opinion will turn against Russia, Germany will have no choice but give up on N-2.

Whether Ukraine retakes Donbas matters not a bit for the Americans, they don't care, to take back Crimea would require the complete defeat of Russia, how likely is that?

The Ukrainians delivered when the Americans needed the EU (read Germany) to put sanctions on Russia, a plane went down. This is a similar exercise, it will deliver the required corpses to compel the Germans to say good-bye to N-2.

Posted by: Baron | Nov 22 2021 23:33 utc | 67

@norb (50) I live in the United States, and I can assure you that the economy is not in ruins. How did you come to that conclusion?
You wouldn't ask that question if you were a regular reader of MOA.

Promotion of the story that the US economy is in ruins and that its manufacturing sector no longer exists seems to be the main purpose of this website.

The facts do not currently support the MOA story but some day the facts may change. Personally I am sy

Posted by: jinn | Nov 22 2021 23:38 utc | 68

I'm not sure how my previous message got posted while I was right in the process of typing a sentence. I was about to type i am sympathetic to the fantasy that the US economy is in ruins.

Posted by: jinn | Nov 22 2021 23:44 utc | 69

Posted by: Cossack | Nov 22 2021 21:33 utc | 61

I sense that your (and others) views on the best time of year to attack are somehow tied up in the view that what could happen in Ukraine is somehow like some previous European war. That is unlikely, it is the Russians that hold the whip hand here and they will play it to their advantages.

First they will want it to be fast, over before NATO can call a meeting, over before Russia calls a SC meeting in the UN and most importantly, over before Kiev's artillery can destroy the infrastructure in Donbas.

Second, they will not want to be called invaders or frighten Euro countries, so no Russian boot will cross the frontier.

Third, they will deploy defensive weapon systems they have spent the last 20 years in particular perfecting in an offensive role, their artillery.

Donbas has no strategic depth, barrel artillery in Russia can reach much of the current front line, tube artillery can reach well into the rear areas whilst missile artillery can cover virtually the whole country and then there are the cruise missiles. There have been massive artillery barrages in the past but they were partly needed due to inaccurate targeting and weapons. Imagine the same but with satelite/UAV etc derived meter accuracy and area cluster munitions. We saw the effect a handful of Iranian missiles had at al-Asad AB earlier in the year, multiply that by 1000. Its one thing to lob a few accurate bombs at 'insurgents' quite another to let loose what is without doubt the finest artillery on the planet. The Russians will be intent on making a point and Gerasimov looks like a man who would drive it home, hard.

If you have read/watched what Andrei Martyanov has said about the effect of concussion, you will know that within an hour, if not minutes, there would be no fight left in the Ukrainian Army as virtually all military sites would have been blasted. That would be it, all over for Ukraine as no-one would have enough money to rebuild. Donbas would vote to be independent.

This is Martyanov on the subject

Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 22 2021 23:46 utc | 70

@Posted by: Passer by | Nov 22 2021 21:56 utc | 62

Barbarossa should have started on the 15th of May, but was delayed until June 22nd 1941. The delay quite possibly cost the Germans Moscow, as it was the season of mud in the Fall that first blunted their offensive. Unlike with Napoleon, the Soviets could not risk losing Moscow as the train system was centered on Moscow, its loss would have cut Russia in half from a logistics point of view. A mixture of the Balkan offensive and heavy 1941 winter rains may have saved Moscow.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 22 2021 23:47 utc | 71

About Battalion Tactical Groups(BTGs) does it mean, a western or russian battalion?
There is a huge difference in personnel and structure.

Posted by: Wolle | Nov 22 2021 23:47 utc | 72

glad to see this post about Ukraine, b

"...The senior official said the amount of information about such missions coming from the Pentagon to the White House when Biden took office was nowhere near what it was during the Obama administration, and the National Security Council was looking to restore the information flow...."

the fourth branch of government, the Pentagon, backed by the Military-Industrial Complex and the national security state including the CIA and USAID et. al., is in control of so-called US foreign policy, and has been very busy these last few years badgering and bullying its way across and around the world, particularly against Russia, China and Iran.

I see Ukraine as the most likely current flash point for the next (semi?) world war, lord help us all if it blows...

I have to ask myself, have Biden and the Secr of State and the NSC been asleep or what... is the entire executive branch of the US gov't so captive by the M-I-C that it hasn't been aware or seen where all this war mongering in Europe and especially with the scoundrels in NATO, where that is all taking us?

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 22 2021 23:56 utc | 73

@Roger 71
You are parroting Nazi generals myths, namely that winter stopped the Nazi Wehrmacht, not Red Army resistance. The contrary was true. The Wehrmacht war plans relied on a self delusion and fiction, namely that the USSR was a giant on clay feet which would collapse after a few decisive blows.

In fact, the Red Army took a series of catastrophic defeats, far not all of them necessary, but did not stop fighting a moment. The Nazi generals took everything wrong, they ran into supply shortages after a couple of weeks, and had to improvise (mainly by abusing the Russian populace while mass murdering about 2 million POWs) again and again. There is nothing which could have gone better if they would have started a few weeks earlier, not to mention the disputes in the OKW about whether taking Kiew, Leningrad, or Moscow first. The three million soldiers notwithstanding, the Nazi and fascist allies' forces were seriously overextended from the beginning, and the planning was poor.

The Nazi offensive ran in a number of fierce counterattacks, and was definitely halted end of November, start of December, 1941. After that, a powerful counter offensive of the Red Army started, pushing the Nazi forces back well 200km, encircling considerable parts of their forces.

So please stop telling that some weeks earlier would have won Moscow to the Nazis.

Posted by: aquadraht | Nov 23 2021 0:11 utc | 74


If I was Master Putin, I would...

If Donetsk were majorly attacked...

One does not simply walk into Donetsk...

I would, um, simply rocket-bomb all highways, railways, tunnels, bridges, etc. leading into Kyiev. A few other outposts. A few strikes at the Donetsk borders might be required.

Game Over.

Posted by: blues | Nov 23 2021 0:33 utc | 75

@Oldhippie | Nov 22 2021 21:04 utc | 57

None of these figureheads is in control.

The whole premises of a public vote based "commander in chief" has been laughable to astute observers for some time. It was conclusively brought to a level beyond the farcical upon the occasion of the anointment of Bush the Lesser. His biggest accomplishment is making people forget about Dan Quale, no small potatoe himself.

All the efforts spent guffawing at the Noble Wedding Droner and, similarly, agonizing at the King of Kayfabe were and are beyond silly.

Then again, so many people experience tv sitcoms as real, or perhaps even more real than their actual lives. It is a sorry state, this condition humaine. Perhaps believing al the incoherent fairytale bullshit pumped out by the media is simply more agreable to most people than an actual reality that is emotionally too frightening to comprehend.

Posted by: Lurk | Nov 23 2021 0:49 utc | 76

Perhaps I missed it, but I don't see any mention of Minsk II and giving some political autonomy to Donbass, which would solve the problem. As I have posted before autonomous zones are plentiful so it's not a strange concept. A US push to realize a political solution would quickly solve the problem, a course of action which the US doesn't favor because it would lessen the "Russia Threat" which is necessary for US military spending.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2021 0:55 utc | 77

1. Interesting confirmation that the White House was being lied to by the State Dept during Trump’s tenure - now let’s see who was running it? The Executive was denied its due power by a coup? Are there possible charges?

2. One thing that Ukraine has that Russia probably doesn’t want and seems not to get much mention is the hundreds of years of watching over the meltdown sarcophagus. Which apparently is administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Apparently there is a tourist industry around it! Anyone know much about the issue?

3. Everyone who thinks NS2 is under any threat of being ‘pulled’ has no idea about infrastructure projects, why not NS1 and all others that are building the energy grid security of the Eurasian continent? It’s not going to happen and it will start pumping soon.
Not even the BrexShitheads of the U.K. have ever mentioned filling the channel tunnel in to regain our pure sceptic isles sovereignty.

4. There are way too many SF’s , PMC’s and proxy fascist nutters running around there and it’s easy to see how a accidental swift exchange could easily turn many into casualties in a few hours of madness. And prob many civilians too.

5. Most of the bs about this is pure propaganda from the DS usual suspects. Armchair generals of CIA academia and media , Atlantic Council , Bellends cats , integrity initiative - same monstering that was played on Russia just before the World Cup. Aimed at stopping people travelling to these countries to see for themselves the reality beyond the propaganda here.

Posted by: D.G. | Nov 23 2021 1:44 utc | 78

@Posted by: aquadraht | Nov 23 2021 0:11 utc | 74

Why get so butt hurt? The Russian army performed miraculously after the colossal losses of the previous few months, but at that critical point the mud did play a part in delaying the German offensive (mid October to mid November) to allow for retreat and regrouping, then the severe cold plus exhaustion brought the Germans to a halt in early December.

Operation Typhoon started on October 2nd, by October 6th 700,000 Russian troops were surrounded in pockets around Bryansk and Vyazma. The resistance of the troops in the pockets certainly took up a lot of the German effort and delayed things, but also did the extensive mud of the pasputitsa. Together, they gave the Russians breathing space to reassemble and rebuild a defensive line, but they had to fall back from that under pressure from the German army.

By mid November the ground had frozen, allowing the German tanks mobility but time had been provided for Russia to build a layered defence in depth around Moscow, and they were fighting in the Russian winter, and that winter was extremely cold even for Russia. The Germans stopped the offensive in the first week of December due to exhaustion and the cold. The cold also knocked out the German airforce that wasn't equipped to operate in such temperatures, as with many of the German vehicles and tanks.

The Red Army counterattacked in mid-December and drove the Germans back only between 60 and 150 miles before the attack petered out due to Russian exhaustion. Stalin's ill-conceived Spring offensive was a disaster, including the surrounding and destruction of a 250,000 man force in the Second Battle of Kharkov, the destruction of the 2nd Shock Army near Leningrad and the Rzhev meat grinder where the Russian army sustained major losses.

The attack on Moscow was delayed both by the delayed start of Barbarossa, and Hitler overruling his generals to mop up in the Ukraine before aiming at Moscow (there were massive Soviet personnel losses but the Moscow attack was delayed). In August and September there would have been no delays to allow the Russians to rebuild defensive lines and regroup. I don't think that losing Moscow would have been the end of the war given all the work to move Russian industry beyond the Urals. Also, Moscow would have probably been burnt to the ground just as with Naopleon to not provide winter barracks for the Germans.

This is not anyone's propaganda, just facts. Yes, the USSR defeated 85% of the German army (as I have stated myself many times) but the mud and cold did play a part at a crucial time.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 23 2021 1:49 utc | 79

It is assumed that the US is trying to instigate a war between Ukraine and Russia, using the ukronazis as cannon fodder so that, after the eventual defeat and destruction of the Ukrainian state, the rest of the european satrapies would understand that, actually, NATO is still relevant. In essence, the argument hints at a re-strengthening and re-tightening of the NATO alliance through a (ritual) sacrifice. But the counterpoint is: would that really be in favor of the US? Sure, maybe the EU provinces will fall in line, but many other countries base their security on US backing. When they see that the US uses its allies like that (sacrificing Ukraine), what benefit is there for the US in the rest of the world? I think there is high probability that a spark between Russia and Ukraine might involve the US and, thus, NATO. And that is really the worst case scenario.

Posted by: galerkin | Nov 23 2021 1:56 utc | 80

Passer by, norb and anyone else saying winter is a "bad season" for war/attacks.

"Rasputitsa" mud season.

paste the following into jutoobs search bar
-German Army – How mud stopped German Army? - Rasputitsa ’41-

summer and winter is the "firm ground" months, ask someone from Finnmark or Alaska🤷‍♂️

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 23 2021 1:57 utc | 81

@Posted by: D.G. | Nov 23 2021 1:44 utc | 78

"3. Everyone who thinks NS2 is under any threat of being ‘pulled’ has no idea about infrastructure projects, why not NS1 and all others that are building the energy grid security of the Eurasian continent? It’s not going to happen and it will start pumping soon.
Not even the BrexShitheads of the U.K. have ever mentioned filling the channel tunnel in to regain our pure sceptic isles sovereignty."

I tend to agree with you, with the Groningen gas field finished and Norway without much room for production increases left, plus Germany phasing out nuclear and coal, NS2 is a strategic priority for German industry and Western Europe as a whole. The US has shown its profiteering hand by selling all its LNG to China and Japan because of the higher prices there. Russia has also done very well in shutting down pipeline alternatives from the Middle East, with the recent Iranian deal being the latest piece put in place.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 23 2021 1:59 utc | 82

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 22 2021 20:56 utc | 53

"Rasputitsa"- mud season every spring and fall.
check the vid i posted above😃

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 23 2021 2:02 utc | 83

@5 Hoyeru | Nov 22 2021 18:49 utc
"Let's see Russia trying to collect payment for its gas sold to Europe without the SWIFT."

I think you have it assabout. Let's see a freezing Europe try to collect the gas without paying for it. Ukraine (and Norsstream 1 & 2) can't transmit what is not pumped. Commerce has gone on for centuries without "Mr SWIFT" exchanging fiat paper (digital actually) dollars/Euros for real goods and services.

The Chinese and Asian markets are there waiting to take any unsold surplus at premium prices and they can pay with real money &/or gold. I'm not sure the Russians are that interested in deflating usd$. They certainly hold very little in US bonds etc that could be held to ransom. And this freedom of agency is probably the core issue with the USA requiring overt threats.

Posted by: imo | Nov 23 2021 2:17 utc | 84

Bloomberg, Nov 21
US intel shows Russian plans for potential Ukraine invasion

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations.
That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion, with European leaders engaging directly with the Russian president. The diplomacy is informed by an American assessment that Putin could be weighing an invasion early next year as his troops again mass near the border.
The information lays out a scenario where troops would cross into Ukraine from Crimea, the Russian border and via Belarus, with about 100 battalion tactical groups — potentially around 100,000 soldiers — deployed for what the people described as an operation in rough terrain and freezing conditions, covering extensive territory and prepared for a potentially prolonged occupation.
Two of the people said about half that number of tactical groups already is in position and that any invasion would be backed up by air support. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2021 2:34 utc | 85

I see a lot of comments about the potential of Russia taking control of East Ukraine from their border to the Dneiper and down to Odessa. But of course that’s simply not feasible given the social, political and crippling economic effects(sanctions) that would inevitably follow. Germany could absorb it’s East due to the blessing of “the West” and its economic strength . As appealing as it may be, Russia simply couldn’t tolerate the crushing economic pain that would be imposed on its citizenry by absorbing the Eastern half of the economic basket case that is Ukraine. Conflict may happen, however it will be limited to a short, massive and brutal stand-off decapitation of Ukie forces around Donbas with no Russian boots on the ground. The Donbass conflict will never be ended because it’s in both sides interest to maintain it. USA uses it as a needle against Russia and conversely NATO can’t accept Ukraine membership while it has a bleeding conflict ulcer within its borders and that suits Russia strategically.

Posted by: Neilo | Nov 23 2021 2:37 utc | 86

Posted by: Neilo | Nov 23 2021 2:37 utc | 86

In the format of renegade provinces still tied to Ukraine officially but controlled by rebels it's possible. Russia just need to maintain support to the rebels and air defense like to US/Turkish controls to Syrian territories.

Posted by: Lucci | Nov 23 2021 2:59 utc | 87

tungsten, regarding how you remember that old bromide ..."you can't do business in Russia or China as they are opaque and keep changing rules"

And this is why I detest our MSM.

You do not have to travel the world, speak 5 languages, or be a Rhodes scholar to spot these lies. All you have to do is remember what the liars said on your own program a few years ago.

Yes indeed. Unlike Russia, the U.S. is a FANTASTIC place to do business. Just ask Venezuela who just had CITGO stolen from them, or the list of countries who got their bank accounts arbitrarily frozen. Has China ever done this to Taiwan? No.
Russia will arrest Russians for violating their own laws but the U.S. will abduct foreign nationals in other countries using our financial sector as leverage.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 23 2021 3:05 utc | 88

As long as the empire insists on expanding NATO on the Russian borders, the Ukraine will be a point of contention.

Posted by: vetinLA | Nov 23 2021 3:21 utc | 89

As long as the empire insists on expanding NATO on the Russian borders, the Ukraine will be a point of contention.

Posted by: vetinLA | Nov 23 2021 3:21 utc | 90

jinn #68

Promotion of the story that the US economy is in ruins and that its manufacturing sector no longer exists seems to be the main purpose of this website.

Yep nothing wrong with it here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2021 3:27 utc | 91

Posted by: vetinLA | Nov 23 2021 3:21 utc | 90

Russia herself is the final prize and they wanted it balkanized into multiple smaller country based of sectarian and tribal lines. Ukraine and eastern Europe is never their actual objectives.

Posted by: Lucci | Nov 23 2021 3:28 utc | 92

Per/Norway #83

"Rasputitsa"- mud season every spring and fall.
check the vid i posted above😃

Link? where and what link ## and my kingdom for a link. (on second thoughts maybe you can have rottnest island and I will keep the rest)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2021 3:32 utc | 93

Per/Norway #83

duh... I got it :/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2021 3:39 utc | 94

I have to ask myself, have Biden and the Secr of State and the NSC been asleep or what... is the entire executive branch of the US gov't so captive by the M-I-C that it hasn't been aware or seen where all this war mongering in Europe and especially with the scoundrels in NATO, where that is all taking us?
Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 22 2021 23:56 utc | 73

Excellent question!
I guess keeping Sleepy Joe, and previous POTUSes, in the Media Spotlight helps to reinforce the illusion that the politicians owned by "Israel" and voted for by US Citizens, run the country for the benefit of The People? It probably also helps US Citizens to forget that 'their government' doesn't listen to them?

I laughed out loud when I read this extract from WaPo cited above by b:
"The White House has asked the Pentagon to provide a rundown of exercises the U.S. military has taken in recent years in Europe to deter Russia, as well as the justification for each mission..."


In the Real World the only thing a Government asks it's Military is "Here's what we want you to do. Can you do it?"

If a POTUS finds himself in the position of asking the Military "What have you been doing?" without also asking "Who told you to do that?" then he didn't want to know and something has gone very, very wrong.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2021 3:41 utc | 95

Then there is gorilla in the room in Kazakhstan.

Ukraine is a distraction while this insanity prevails.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 23 2021 5:02 utc | 96

"I count on Germany to remain committed to NATO's nuclear sharing. It is our ultimate security guarantee," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on a visit to Berlin last week. "Germany can, of course, decide whether there will be nuclear weapons in (its) country, but the alternative is that we easily end up with nuclear weapons in other countries in Europe, also to the east of Germany," Stoltenberg said.

Posted by: Perimetr | Nov 23 2021 5:21 utc | 97

@64 aquadraht
It is true that several parties incolved like to play the "war scare" card once in a while for various reasons. Right now it is once again Russia that is spreading propaganda about an allegedly imminent Ukrainian attack (as is evident by the array of TASS links provided by b). So one might ask why.

[The strategic reality is that both sides are locked in a stalemate. In 2015 the war "froze" for reasons. Large scale fighting won't resume until these reasons have disappeared.]

@55 Susan
No, I'm not Blinkin.

Posted by: m | Nov 23 2021 5:44 utc | 98

@ m | Nov 23 2021 5:44 utc | 98 who wrote
[The strategic reality is that both sides are locked in a stalemate. In 2015 the war "froze" for reasons. Large scale fighting won't resume until these reasons have disappeared.]

So the bio, economic and financial fighting going on don't count? I think you are projecting from a very limited context.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 23 2021 5:56 utc | 99


"On the heels of Ukrainian president Zelensky’s meeting with US President Biden, the 2021 Chicago Council Survey finds that a record 50 percent of Americans favor the use of US troops if Russia were to invade the rest of Ukraine.

....New data from the 2021 Chicago Council Survey, conducted July 7-26, finds that Americans are more willing than ever to support Ukraine, including using US troops to defend it. For the first time since the question was included in 2014, half of Americans support the use of US troops if Russia were to invade the rest of Ukraine (50% favor, 48% oppose). This is a significant increase in support for US intervention since 2014, when only three in 10 Americans (30%) supported sending US troops to Ukraine...."

the propaganda wing of the US Ruling Class, that is the mainstream media followed by the always war-mongering 'think tank' Elites, have been busy manufacturing consent for new military action. Disconcerting to say the least, but Does this surprise anyone here?

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 23 2021 6:43 utc | 100

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