Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 23, 2022

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2022-007

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

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Other issues:

Covid-19:

Flying:

Prosecution Futures:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 23, 2022 at 15:09 UTC | Permalink

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US Neo Cons are likely to be depressed and hysterical over the next few years. The US is stuck playing "Warmonger Whack A Mole" across the globe - and losing at it. One day, Ukraine, next month Taiwan, then maybe Korea and there's always the Middle East ..... and Iran.

With currency swaps and digital yuan, it will get worse.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 23 2022 15:26 utc | 1

The BMJ has another article of importance: https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o102

Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca
"We are left with publications but no access to the underlying data on reasonable request. This is worrying for trial participants, researchers, clinicians, journal editors, policy makers, and the public."
...
"Pharmaceutical companies are reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims. The purpose of regulators is not to dance to the tune of rich global corporations and enrich them further; it is to protect the health of their populations. We need complete data transparency for all studies, we need it in the public interest, and we need it now."

Even now, we have no idea how safe or not these vaccines are. The raw data is not available. And these corporations:

"Big pharma is the least trusted industry.30 At least three of the many companies making covid-19 vaccines have past criminal and civil settlements costing them billions of dollars.31 One pleaded guilty to fraud.31 Other companies have no pre-covid track record. Now the covid pandemic has minted many new pharma billionaires, and vaccine manufacturers have reported tens of billions in revenue.32"


Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 15:43 utc | 2

Judging by the truly unprecedented propaganda hysteria in the Western, primarily American, media, deliberately dispersing to the limit the semantic narrative created by American propaganda about the "Russian attack on Ukraine" (ridiculous maps alone are something!), and also based on statements/intentions (evacuation diplomatic staff from embassies in Ukraine), actions (demonstratively supplying Ukro nazis with weapons/equipment/ammunition) and rumors/"leaks" (allegedly the head of China asked the President of the Russian Federation "not to attack Ukraine during the Olympics", allegedly "Russia has prepared an occupation government" that will rule after the coup d'état in Ukraine) from Western politicians and the media, I get the impression that the West actually decided to launch an upgrade version of Georgia-2008 in the coming weeks.

During (or on the eve of?) the Beijing Olympics, which starts in two weeks, the Ukrainian regime (which, btw, has amassed about 120,000 soldiers on the Donbass/Russia border), having received the go-ahead in the West, will attack the Donbass (or even Crimea?), which will require a military response from the Russian Federation and another coercion of the aggressor to peace. This situation will be on the front pages of the Western media, pushing the Olympics in "authoritarian China" to the periphery, making it secondary.

As a result, the West will try to designate Russia as the "aggressor" (as they did in 2008), and China will be told that it was "the Russians who ruined your Olympics." Thus, the West will try to embroil the Russian Federation and China.

The West, apparently, thinks that he learned the lesson of 2008 and 2014, and now will not be mistaken. In 2008, the Georgians attacked South Ossetia without disguising themselves. Actually, it was obvious and did not raise questions about who the aggressor was. In 2014, the Ukro nazis also attacked the Donbass without disguise. Now the “lesson has been learned”, and the attack on the Donbass will be carried out by Ukro nazis dressed in the uniform of the Donbass militia, as well as the Russian army.

Actually, the Americans openly talked about the scenario, traditionally turning everything upside down and attributing to Russia what they themselves planned. I love reading the statements of American politicians - you always know what the Americans themselves are planning to do, or have already done.

U.S. statement: "Russia is preparing to stage a coup d'état in Ukraine."
What is most likely to happen in reality: the United States will carry out another coup in Ukraine, or at least not prevent the Ukrainian oligarchs from overthrowing Zelensky. In any case, Russia will be to blame for what happened.

U.S. statement: "Russia will carry out a false flag operation by attacking the Donbass with special forces to blame Ukraine for this attack."
What is most likely to happen in reality: the Ukrainian regime, with the approval (and possibly with the participation) of the United States/West, will carry out a false flag operation, attacking the Donbass under the guise of a “Russian army”, and then blame Russia for this attack. The new version of the White Helmets in action - with photos, videos, "evidence", "witnesses" and so on. The technology of lies has been perfectly developed and tested in Syria.

I could be wrong, I'll be glad if I am. In any case, February is obviously going to be a very dynamic month.

Posted by: alaff | Jan 23 2022 15:54 utc | 3

German admiral opens up on the madness by Nato that could lead to war, if only other EU and Nat countries military personnel and politicians took a leaf out his book.


"Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, the head of the German navy, has resigned after saying talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was “nonsense” and that Russia was merely seeking “respect” for its security concerns in Europe."

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/01/23/ukraine-crisis-german-navy-chief-resigns-britain-spreads-fears-of-russian-coup-wider-war/

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 23 2022 16:10 utc | 4

Re the Washington Post article about N95 masks.

Why are we reading anything at all from WP?

Basic problem with N95 masks is they attempt to have an edge seal while having a very small edge. This means the edge will mark and bruise the wearers face if worn at all correctly. The WP illustration shows a mask that does not fit at all. OSHA used to require that anyone working in a position such that they might need an N95 be trained for using an N95. The safety supervisor and your co-workers were to continuously review how the masks were being worn. And the instructions were to dispose of that mask after 2 hours. Suggesting that they can be cleaned and reused is just silly.

Looking at the masses wearing N95s it is plain that no one at all wears them correctly. Wearing them correctly is not at all comfortable. Wearing them correctly would not be possible for an 8 hour shift, much less wearing them for long periods day after day. If protection is required for long periods wear a P100.

So what we have is theater. Can we please stop with the theater.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 23 2022 16:17 utc | 5

thanks b...

on yemen and the thaad article, i liked what someone else was saying about drones being the weapon of choice for the houthi...

@ 1 eightman... i think you are correct about that..

@ 3 alaff.. thanks alaff... you put a lot of work into all this and i appreciate your input here at moa.. i also agree with your overview, except i am not so sure about the move in february... maybe... very end of february might be a possibility astrologically speaking with the mars/pluto conjunction - early march... otherwise late march is the more obvious place astrologically..

@ 5 oldhippie... agreed..

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 16:24 utc | 7

Re:alaff
They will likely find themselves trapped in some otherworldly Russian reality before it even started
Like some Pryvy Sektor Guys in 2014!

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Jan 23 2022 16:27 utc | 8

Colombia Reports: The far-right party of President Ivan Duque has been isolated ahead of Colombia’s elections. Presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga of the Democratic Center party said Sunday that he won’t be joining “Team for Colombia.” Zuluaga had asked to join the conservative coalition but was ignored, the far-right candidate said Sunday.

MercoPress Chile: Boric's cabinet of 24 ministers, will include 14 women. The list also includes the granddaughter of former socialist President Salvador Allende (1970-1973) Maya Fernández as Minister of Defense.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro saw her prospects of a successful administration take a hit on Friday even before she has been sworn in: A battle for leadership of the newly elected Congress devolved into shouting and shoving among her own allies. The dispute threatens to split her own Liberty and Refoundation Party, as well as its alliance with the party of Vice President Salvador Nasralla — and raised suspicions that the outgoing government is trying to scuttle her administration before it can start.

Calheiros {Brazilian Senator Renan Calheiros, former president of the upper house} dismissed Moro as “a first-generation robot with no ability to learn. It was created for Lava Jato and has not been adapted for any new function. Furthermore, it has no feeling or emotion, it is hollow. Any day now it will be deactivated by its owners in the USA because it became useless”, the Senator added. Calheiros was referring to Moro’s well documented and extensive connections to U.S. government, intelligence, and corporate power, which are alleged to have been principal motivators behind his lawfare campaign against Lula and the Workers Party, which helped see president Dilma Rousseff removed from office, and prevent her predecessor Lula from returning to the presidency.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 23 2022 16:44 utc | 9

The Jacobin's take on (all?!) cryptocurrency falls flat. A portion is dedicated to berate Proof-of-Work coins, which require the large amounts of energy. I agree that this is not viable, but that has nothing to do with their thesis that it is all (only?) a Ponzi scheme. The different types of ledgers have their utility, and it makes sense that people value that, especially those that do not require a lot of energy to run -- a number are explicitly 'green' in that they have a net positive carbon footprint.

Posted by: pepa65 | Jan 23 2022 16:45 utc | 10

"The term “rogue male”, denoting a rampaging bull elephant, is also used figuratively to describe a dangerously out-of-control, cold-hearted loner. It may be that Vladimir Putin has a cuddly side. If so, it’s well-hidden. Russia’s president fits the rogue male profile to a T – unscrupulous, vicious, cunning, and ever ready to trample on other people and countries." Tisdall, the Guardian

One hopes Putin understands his enemy is EVIL, so better to resolve the situation with hyper-sonics in London and DC.

Empire is Evil. Period. End-of-Story.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 23 2022 16:48 utc | 11

Oldhippie @ 5 said;"So what we have is theater. Can we please stop with the theater."

At present, "theater" is all the corporate empire can produce. with our failure to confront the reality of unbridled greed, rampant in our society, "theater", is all the U$ can generate.

Still waiting for actions to match the rhetoric..

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 23 2022 17:46 utc | 12

For my brothers and sisters having the bad luck of residing in Central Europe's new fascist Utopia, aka Germany, here's the complete list of the protests in a shithole near you. Spread if you dare, bc although the protests are pacifist-to-the-extent-of being-offensive and perfectly legal the German internal secret service Gestapo (aka "Verfassungsschutz") is currently acting as if on steroids (well, they probably are) like at no time since the former Gestapo and Inlandsgeheimdienst got restructured and streamlined, staff unchanged, to follow transatlantic orders in the aftermath of 1945.

https://der-dritte-weg.info/2022/01/alle-corona-termine/

Posted by: Zakukommander | Jan 23 2022 17:49 utc | 13

Thanks, b, for another weekly review! On that US/Russia topic, I just wanted to share some very serious reporting from Canada.

(First though, very serious reporting on protests in Montréal over public health restrictions.)
https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/grand-montreal/2022-01-22/manifestation-contre-les-mesures-sanitaires-a-montreal.php

Rosemary Barton (of CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live) interviews former Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, who is in Kyiv. A few highlights:

- Ukraine has launched a new territorial defence system which is ready to absorb people who are ready to defend their country; ready to fight for every house, every street, if necessary
- Ukraine is pleased to see a clear position from the USA and its firm promise of support for Ukraine
- says the negotiations are not diplomacy, but blackmail. He says most Ukrainians find that exchange of written notes between Russia and the USA ridiculous and humiliating.

https://youtu.be/jZpkVtoR9Xw

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jan 23 2022 17:49 utc | 14

The last 2 sentences of the executive summary of the PLOS cost-benefit paper:

We conclude that the number of lives saved by the spring-summer lockdowns and other COVID-19-mitigation was greater than the number of lives potentially lost due to the economic downturn. However, the net impact on quality-adjusted life expectancy is ambiguous.

Huh - so lockdowns etc didn't clearly actually benefit quality-adjusted life expectancy? Whoda thunk?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 23 2022 18:00 utc | 15

Apologies to whomever it was put up this link originally -- I was hunting for it yesterday and could not find the post. In any case, I had bookmarked this speech, and for historical information on Russia and Ukraine it absolutely cannot be beat - Putin's Essay published in July of last year. Please, if you haven't done so, read this essay carefully. I will be reading it carefully again, and will perhaps comment later.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

And happy Sunday to all!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 23 2022 18:21 utc | 16

Don't ya' just love the MSM? With the Pro-U$ description denigrating Russia about the so-called "Ukraine" problem, nary a mention of NATO's eastward expansion, and the weapons that go with that expansion. Trying to encircle China & Russia is the problem. And, all because our giant, greedy multi-nationals fear any other competitors.

Had we lived up to our past agreements, we'd have no "Ukraine" problem.......

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shifrinson-russia-us-nato-deal--20160530-snap-story.html

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 23 2022 18:22 utc | 17

Don't ya' just love the MSM? With the Pro-U$ description denigrating Russia about the so-called "Ukraine" problem, nary a mention of NATO's eastward expansion, and the weapons that go with that expansion. Trying to encircle China & Russia is the problem. And, all because our giant, greedy multi-nationals fear any other competitors.

Had we lived up to our past agreements, we'd have no "Ukraine" problem.......

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shifrinson-russia-us-nato-deal--20160530-snap-story.html

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 23 2022 18:22 utc | 18

Ok, one more post on the topic Canada. Gets. Serious. about its reporting on Ukraine.

CTV’s Power Play - host Evan Solomon interviews Russian ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, and former defence minister now minister of international development, Harjit Sajjan, who was interviewed because no one else from the government was available. Links in the below article.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/joly-has-open-invitation-to-visit-with-russian-officials-in-moscow-ambassador-1.5750102

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jan 23 2022 18:23 utc | 19

vetinLA @ 12

Well, yes. Problem is we now have an entire generation of children who are developmentally disabled and may never be socialized. Their parents of course quite clinically mad.

Last week I was out for a walk and saw an old man, older than me, fall on the ice. Rushed over to him and he barked “Where’s your mask?” followed by “Are you vaccinated?”. I stood and walked away. Looked back a block later, he was still on the ground. By the time I first got to him I knew he was injured. So I called 911. But really should have stayed with him, he easily could have gone to shock. Never in my life would I have thought I could just walk away from an injured old man. But we are there. This theatre is killing us.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 23 2022 18:34 utc | 20

Hell, another double post. I am a moron....

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 23 2022 18:35 utc | 21

English news channels now spreading false FCO propaganda that Russia is going to attempt to install a puppet president in Ukraine, the FCO hasn’t produced one shred of evidence that Russia intends to do this, its the old manufacturing of consent chestnut that we’ve seen wheeled out on numerous occasions.

On the contrary the US backed the coup in Ukraine in 2014, orchestrated from the US embassy in Kiev by Victoria Nuland.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 23 2022 18:42 utc | 22

Why Nato won't attack Russia, but it will logistically support Ukraine in a war with Russia.


https://consortiumnews.com/2022/01/22/ukraine-crisis-us-toolboxes-are-empty/

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 23 2022 18:45 utc | 23

Interesting read by Engdahl

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is notorious for slippery dealings with supposed allies whether NATO or the EU. However his greatest perfidy seems now to be directed against Turkey’s relationship with Putin’s Russia.

Over the past two or more years in its dealings with Ukraine, Armenia, Syria, Libya and now most recently, in the failed revolution in Kazakhstan, Erdoğan has shown a clear pattern of not merely opportunism but actually perfidy or betrayal of trust, as in double-cross, in his dealings with Russia despite being dependent for energy and advanced defense equipment. Why, is the question.


https://m.journal-neo.org/2022/01/21/is-perfidious-erdogan-destroying-russia-for-the-great-turan/

Posted by: Down South | Jan 23 2022 18:50 utc | 24

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 23 2022 18:45 utc | 23
The problem NATO/US has to solve is getting Russia into a war with Ukraine, and making it look like Russia is the aggressor

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 18:52 utc | 25

Posted by: Down South | Jan 23 2022 18:50 utc | 24

As I mentioned a couple months or so ago on MOA, Erdoğan has chosen sides. His Neo-Ottoman dreams have stalled in Syria, so the MHP has redirected him to pan-Turanism, apparently. ı do not think the Russians expect much from him.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 18:57 utc | 26

Interesting results of Rasmussen survey of US voters on issues related to Covid

President Biden’s strongest supporters are most likely to endorse the harshest punishments against those who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. Among voters who have a Very Favorable impression of Biden, 51% are in favor of government putting the unvaccinated in “designated facilities,” and 54% favor imposing fines or prison sentences on vaccine critics.

By contrast, among voters who have a Very Unfavorable view of Biden, 95% are against “designated facilities” for the unvaccinated and 93% are against criminal punishment for vaccine critics.


COVID-19: Democratic Voters Support Harsh Measures Against Unvaccinated

Posted by: Down South | Jan 23 2022 19:01 utc | 27

The author at Jacobin has been on a crusade against BTC, which is fine. That was never supposed to become what it has (which lately is a massive wealth destruction machine, lol). Every time someone posts an article about how literally ALL cryptocurrencies are a scam, I do a word search for "proof of stake." Needless to say, no such mention was to be found in the Jacobin article, so I skipped it, already knowing exactly what the author has to say.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 23 2022 19:03 utc | 28

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 23 2022 18:22 utc | 17

You can say that again! (oh wait, you did!) :-) | 18

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 23 2022 19:06 utc | 29

@ 3 alaff.. thanks alaff... you put a lot of work into all this and i appreciate your input here at moa.. i also agree with your overview, except i am not so sure about the move in february... maybe... very end of february might be a possibility astrologically speaking with the mars/pluto conjunction - early march... otherwise late march is the more obvious place astrologically..

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 16:24 utc | 7


james, are you with the Russians on this? -
https://metallicman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/The-Telegraph.jpg

(from an article many here at MOA will appreciate -
https://metallicman.com/american-ruling-class-delusional-psychopathic-lunatic-united-states/

ah , the Peter Frampton vibe... and the tangping*cats at the end.)


*tangping https://live-production.wcms.abc-cdn.net.au/8a6c1519b2e5c4594dbccfc6a7fab53b?impolicy=wcms_crop_resize&cropH=550&cropW=550&xPos=0&yPos=0&width=862&height=862

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2022 20:24 utc | 30

lol @ 30 tucenz... yes, i am with the russians on that! all those links are fun links tucenz.. thanks!

Beware the Cult of Cadwalladr good article from craig murray others here would enjoy..

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 20:36 utc | 31

Bruised Northerner@14
and then there is this piece of idiocy from the Toronto Star
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2022/01/21/ukrainian-communities-watch-wonder-how-far-canada-will-go-to-protect-their-ancestral-homeland.html

The problem is that Ukraine is not a country but a collection of imperial odds and ends headed by a, largely emigre, faction of fascist retreads.
The notion that the poorest and most exploited population in Europe is going to fight, inch by inch, to preserve the rule of its fiercest enemies is laughable.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 23 2022 20:40 utc | 32

Fascinating discussion on Ukraine/Russia/US/Europe in previous post.

Here are my key assumptions about what is going on. (and I, of course, could be completely wrong--only Putin knows for sure).

Assumption One: This might be the biggest military move by Russia since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

This assumption is based on my primary key indicator of Russian intentions--the nature of the present deployment of military forces around Ukraine (total encirclement--with the deployments in Belarus indicating that Russia may be considering the encirclement of Kiev and that it is prepared to move West of the Dnieper.

There may be three more likely military moves: 1) a military move from the east to the Dnieper, 2)an advance along the South-West toward Odessa using naval infantry and 56th Army out of Crimea and 3)a Dnieper pincer movement to encircle Kiev--both east and west.

Another key assumption I have is that present military deployments by the Russians are not a faint or some type of crazy psych-ops.

Those individuals who are more optimistic may have a significant misunderstanding of actual Russian military capabilities and don't pay attention to the right indicators of Russian intentions

What is in the making is a huge Russian gambit and I am also guessing that much of the Russian Military General Staff is not excited about the prospect of such moves because of all the risks and unknowns once such war like this actually starts.

I am also assuming that Putin, at this point, is a much bigger risk-taker than most expect.

I am also assuming that Russia's three initial diplomatic demands were basically a trolling of the U.S. (NATO not to be enlarged--period, no NATO cooperation and finally
throw back NATO to May 1997 boundaries--with all three of these items coupled together.

For a little better troll they could have had a 4th demand-- for the U.S. to give them back Alaska!

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 23 2022 20:53 utc | 33

Some 6 months ago I told my wife, "the real scary thing is that there is no way for the politicians to back out of this Covid mess without a bigger crisis, something big enough and long enough to allow covid to be forgotten. There are three being prepared. Iran, Ukraine and Taiwan.
Watch for it either at the Orthodox Christmas or the start of the Olympics"

Iran dropped down the list cause it won't get Biden elected. Taiwan dropped down the the list cause it doesn't favor Biden over the Republicans.

Ukraine is being played and will continue to be played for at least a year... perhaps mixed with either of the other two.

Russia, saw it coming and Putin has done a pre-emptive diplomatic strike.
He has also preposition enough military aimed at C&C to intimidate the PTB.

This Ukraine confrontation will be used to force cyber submission to Western military narrative, just as covid was used to force submission to Western social narrative.

Posted by: Les7 | Jan 23 2022 20:59 utc | 34

I think your 'Yemen coverage' didn't mention the latest bombings Herr 'b', now "Mutter Courage" has even more work to to in this war-burnt country !
https://mobile.twitter.com/OnlyWongs

Sarah Abdallah
@sahouraxo
This is horrifying.

Saudi Arabia's barbaric bombing of Yemen last night has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and wiped out the Internet nationwide in an attempt to conceal their crimes.

This is a UK-US-backed genocide.

Silence in the Western media, of course.

Ahmad Algohbary
· 21. Jan.
#Yemen now:
-Internet blackout.
-#UAE & #Saudi bombardment on prison in Saada leaves more than 100 dead or wounded, Says Red Cross.
-Fuel & electricity crisis.
-No salaries.
-Famine.
-Fragile health system.
-Daily bombardment & carnage.
-Silence of the international community

ALSO
https://gpovanman.wordpress.com/2022/01/22/you-reap-as-you-sow/

YOU REAP AS YOU SOW.
Posted on January 22, 2022 by gpovanman

Barren politics offer no harvest.
Preamble.
With dialogue between Moscow and Washington over Eastern Europe having come to an end, we have to look at the broader picture if we are to understand what this could mean for the rest of the world.

Posted by: MD | Jan 23 2022 21:17 utc | 35

The latest on the American-Russian negotiation tussle soap:

https://tass.com/science/1391891

US visa denial to cosmonaut Chub puts his safety on ISS at risk during scheduled flight !
The Russian state corporation clarified that nobody will ever launch an untrained crew into space.

Can't get any lower than that?
Possibly yes, let's wait and see what's next !
The United Kindergarten Toddlers & Tantrums of America !

Posted by: MD | Jan 23 2022 21:55 utc | 36

@Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 15:43 utc | 2

Even now, we have no idea how safe or not these vaccines are. The raw data is not available. And these corporations:

"Big pharma is the least trusted industry.30 At least three of the many companies making covid-19 vaccines have past criminal and civil settlements costing them billions of dollars.31 One pleaded guilty to fraud.31 Other companies have no pre-covid track record. Now the covid pandemic has minted many new pharma billionaires, and vaccine manufacturers have reported tens of billions in revenue.32"

Regardless of what one believes regarding the "science", what is ongoing are crimes against humanity:

UK Lawyer explains: All Perpetrators, from the TOP to the Person holding the Needle will be Charged.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 22:09 utc | 37

Keeping an eye on Iraq post-election parliamentary negotiations over government formation

https://ejmagnier.com/2022/01/21/iran-and-hezbollah-did-not-knock-on-sadrs-door-the-shiite-shiite-agreement-is-just-around-the-corner

Posted by: ptb | Jan 23 2022 22:16 utc | 38

Republicofscotland | Jan 23 2022 18:42 utc | 22

You are right --

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced that he will be appointing a new US president in the near future, one that will be acceptable to Venezuela.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 23 2022 22:33 utc | 39

Clearly the UN armed forces have adopted the UKUSA model of mission creep and accountability.

See here: https://journal-neo.org/2022/01/23/un-being-used-as-a-cover-for-criminal-activity-in-africa/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 23 2022 22:36 utc | 40

Re. Houthis


President Joe Biden said Wednesday his administration, following the strikes, is considering restoring the Houthis to the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations.

Do we dispute that they were attacked?
Do they have no right (in principle) to retaliate?
Is it as simple as everyone that we dont like and fails to surrender is a terrorist?
US threaten the UN officials and thier families. Does that not qualify as terrorism - its a bit unseemly for those who practice terrorism to be labeling others as such.

Posted by: jared | Jan 23 2022 22:42 utc | 41

As I wrote on my blog on Nord Stream 2,

"How is it possible, that a nation wants and needs this pipeline, but all media are framing it as russian warfare?",

I can hardly explain to myself why german media are so far from that what is the countries interest. I can't believe it is all atlanticist indoctrination or corruption. It must be more than that.

As we discussed in the latest threads, the Ukraine issue is a US issue, IMO it is the desperate try to bind especially Germany back to the US by making the country feel threatened from Russia. From the US point of view it makes sense, even if it is a unreflected and stupid manoevre, which will not work. It even makes sense for the anti EU media in the UK.

But why the hell do german media, without any exception ALL OF THEM, sing the US notes?
Is "Westbindung" since Adenauer so deeply in their genes? Are they waiting for an official sign of Berlin to jump off the war mongering US train? They cannot be all so stupid. It looks like a nations MSM afraid of AND DENYING what is obviously coming: Germany in the world without big brother and his hammer. They made much moneys and enjoyed their arrogance since 1949 under this hammer!

I would appreciate it if this issue would be picked up by you, b, and all the other barflies, reporting also from the other EU states as Italy, France, Spain about their MSM Puthysteria.

Posted by: Jan | Jan 23 2022 22:55 utc | 42

re: Jan | Jan 23 2022 22:55 utc @ 42

You ask, "But why the hell do german media, without any exception ALL OF THEM, sing the US notes?"

watch this video interview of Udo Ulfkotte. About his book 'Bought Journalists'/ 'Gekaufte Journalisten'

Paul Craig Roberts once wrote about this:

Udo Ulfkotte’s amazing book, Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalism) was published by Kopp Verlag in 2014. The book was a sensation and sold 1,500,000 copies in Germany, but no major US publisher would bring out an English translation. Finally, last month a small publisher, Progressive Press, published an English language edition titled Presstitutes Embedded in the Pay of the CIA.

Ulfkotte’s book destroys the illusion/delusion that there is anywhere in the Western world an independent press. Ulfkotte describes in detail the cognitive appropriation of journalists by elites. Journalists serve as propagandists and public relations agents for intelligence agencies, businesses, lobbying organizations, politicians, and US foreign policy. The function of journalism is to deliver to the people the explanations that serve the interests of elites and Washington’s foreign policy. This message was so effectively delivered to the German people that readership of the main German newspapers collapsed.

Ulfkotte describes how journalists are recruited when they are still students and find themselves indebted to and dependent on serving other interests than the truth. All from the lowest reporter to the highest editor to the owners of the news organization are caught up in enabling the elites to control the explanations. Ulfkotte names names and lists the organizations that bring journalists together with intelligence services and related think tanks, politicians, and foreign policy associations. Incestuous relationships between journalists, intelligence agencies, businesses, politicians, and US foreign policy aims are so pervasive that no one thinks anything of it. The only ones who get in trouble are those who don’t go along.

Udo Ulfkotte's Death Is Very Suspicious

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 23 2022 23:10 utc | 43

You can use 12ft.io to bypass paywalls. For example, https://12ft.io/proxy?q=https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/01/21/thaad-in-first-operational-use-destroys-midrange-ballistic-missile-in-houthi-attack">https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/01/21/thaad-in-first-operational-use-destroys-midrange-ballistic-missile-in-houthi-attack">https://12ft.io/proxy?q=https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/01/21/thaad-in-first-operational-use-destroys-midrange-ballistic-missile-in-houthi-attack

Posted by: Hermit | Jan 23 2022 23:11 utc | 44

According to Mercouris the UK Foreign Minister (Liz Truss) and Minister of Defence (Ben Wallace) are being sent to Moscow, to meet their counterparts, "in the middle of February".

This is Liz Truss

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/12/26/liz-truss-like-mrs-thatcher-has-shown-reforming-power-tory-convert/?fr=operanews

The new Maggie. Ready to take up Winston's torch.

And Ben?


News story
An article by the Defence Secretary on the situation in Ukraine
Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace discusses NATO, Ukraine and Russia.

From:
Ministry of Defence
Published
17 January 2022


I have lost count of how many times recently I have to had to explain the meaning of the English term “straw man” to my European allies. That is because the best living, breathing “straw man” at the moment is the Kremlin’s claim to be under threat from NATO. In recent weeks the Russian Defence Minister’s comment that the US is “preparing a provocation with chemical components in eastern Ukraine” has made that “straw man” even bigger.
etc.
etc.
etc.


https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-article-by-the-defence-secretary-on-the-situation-in-ukraine

Any thoughts on Bill and Liz together in Moscow?

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 23 2022 23:25 utc | 45

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 23 2022 19:03 utc | 28

I'm not quite sure what you're saying: the Jacobin piece was wrong? It seems to me that the putative novelty, revolutionary nature and originality of cryptos masks what seems like yet another adventure in an exotic financial instrument. It may not have been intended as such but it reeks of Ponzi now. But I could be misunderstanding what you mean by 'proof of stake'.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 23 2022 23:28 utc | 46

Construtive proposals, comming from Germany

Harald Kujat, ... Chairman of the NATO Military Committee until 2005...in an interview with Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten on 24 December 2021:

A joint effort to reconcile interests is the only way out of a years-long impasse, at the end of which stands a conflict that nobody wants. NATO, including the United States, should show more understanding of the Russian-Ukrainian history and respect Russia's security interests, as long as they do not endanger one’s own security and international stability. In order to resolve disagreements, the rules and procedures agreed in the NATO-Russia Basic Treaty should be applied. NATO should declare that for the foreseeable future it does not intend either membership for Ukraine or the stationing of NATO troops in Ukraine.
For a neutral Ukraine
Ukraine should commit to initiate shortly the overdue constitutional reform – as agreed in the Minsk Agreement – and to grant greater autonomy to the Russian minority within the framework of a federal state. Furthermore, Ukraine should state that it intends to become neither an outpost of NATO nor of Russia, but sees itself as a bridge between the two. It should declare a consolidated neutrality, like Finland, as its goal [...]. Russia should declare that it does not intend to attack Ukraine or otherwise violate its territorial integrity. Russia should commit not to deploy regular troops in eastern Ukraine and to stop supporting the separatists as soon as the Ukrainian constitutional reform with the ensuing structural and constitutional reforms is implemented. NATO and Russia should declare that they will resume the cooperation to which they committed themselves in the Basic Treaty and renew their intention to ‘develop a strong, stable and lasting partnership based on common interest, reciprocity and transparency’.
Current Concerns, January18, 2022

Posted by: António Ferrão | Jan 23 2022 23:33 utc | 47

There was an interesting comment on Naked Capitalism a few days ago claiming that Moderna patented part of the COVID genome before the pandemic. Here is the comment:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/01/corbevax-a-new-patent-free-covid-19-vaccine-could-be-a-pandemic-game-changer-globally.html#comment-3666693

Gumnut
January 20, 2022 at 3:10 pm
Got a comment regarding a 19 nucleotide sequence from the covid genome matching a pre-pandemic Moderna patent eaten due to hearsay – here the goods:
Sequence Ctcctcggcgggcacgtag
https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi?PROGRAM=blastn&PAGE_TYPE=BlastSearch&LINK_LOC=blasthome
Matches covid19 & Sequence 2 from patent US 11116737


Brian Beijer
January 20, 2022 at 5:43 pm
Okay, I’ll bite. Are you suggesting that Moderna patented the genome for Covid-19 before the pandemic? If so; this would be huge news. Like, revolutionary news. I can’t imagine that an assertion such as this wouldn’t get any feedback by the commentors on NC.


Gumnut
January 21, 2022 at 1:51 am
I also thought it was mad, but search for that 19 Nt sequence yourself on blast = 100s of covid virs genomes + when you select patents, you get that one. Not the whole covid genom btw, just seems to be partial evidence that the 1st covid genome was manipulated by humans. That the same humans have links to Moderna, yep, totally nuts.

Posted by: Edward | Jan 23 2022 23:37 utc | 48

@43
"But why the hell do german media, without any exception ALL OF THEM, sing the US notes?"

I don't know but I suspect it has to do with the general re-education of German youth following WW2.

Posted by: dh | Jan 23 2022 23:44 utc | 49

While we await the Outlaw US Empire's written response, IMO it's wise to consider Geoeconomics and its impact on Geopolitics in the wake of President Raisi's visit to Russia. In doing so, we should consider this excellent Tim Kirby article, "Russian River Transport Revolution – A Project With Geopolitical Ramifications" and Raisi's words to Russia's Duma about the importance and potential dynamic of the Noth-South Corridor.

Regarding Kirby's article and its excellent set of maps, during 2021 I documented the conversation Putin had with the minister in charge of Russia's domestic waterways where they discussed the sort of developmental projects Kirby discusses--that there is great feasibility to be had for relatively little cost. The Volga flows from the Caspian to the White Sea as depicted in Kirby's first map. That could be connected to the rail lines terminating at the Iranian shores of the Arabian Sea. A shipping canal spanning Iran from Arabian Sea to Caspian has long been discussed, but while technically feasible would be very expensive, which is why its plans remain plans. The landlocked Central Asian nations would need to participate beyond Russia, Iran and China to make such a project a reality and thus depends on how much benefit such a sea connection would provide to all potential users.

But at present, we have trains and canals. Raisi's keenness on accelerating economic development was surely discussed with Putin and other members of Russia's government, and Putin's just as keen as Raisi. China and Iran already have plans as do other SCO members to quicken the pace. It's easy to see why the Outlaw US Empire is in such high hysterics as trade projects are developing everywhere except North America and the Neoliberal Financial Parasites won't allow anything to happen that benefits the real economy. So then, why is there so much hysteria? Because the Parasites aren't getting what they perceive as their proper tribute for doing nothing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2022 23:51 utc | 50

@ Jan
Let's look on the bright side:
>Germany has declined to join allies such as the US and UK in shipping weapons to Ukraine.
>Germany reportedly refused to allow Estonia to send its German-made weapons to Ukraine.
>UK planes detour around Germany
>France's Macron says EU must start own dialogue with Russia over Ukraine
>Macron has not taken calls from Blinken
>German chancellor to discuss Russia with France's Macron on Tuesday

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 23 2022 23:53 utc | 51

On the media, sure it's all Johnny one-note, but also it's all based on 'breaking news' so soon they'll soon start babbling about something new. Old news doesn't sell. Russia has time on its side, as well as many other advantages.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 23 2022 23:59 utc | 52

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 23 2022 16:44 utc | 9

Dear Maracatu, do you think that to be grandchild of Allende us a sign of somthing good?
She is well suited for defense as any other women in such position in Europe. She is not able for it.

Regards.

PS: Women should be at home as a first duty.

Posted by: Roberto | Jan 24 2022 0:01 utc | 53

Re: dh @ 48

I am sure that the re-education of Germans played a role in this, but if you listed to Udo Ulfkotte talk about it, you will understand that this goes far beyond the educational system.

Ulfkotte relates that journalists either went along with providing pro-American story lines or they rapidly became unemployed. He gave an example of what happened to one man who refused to go along with this; he lost his job, and when he took it to courts the judge decided against him for not cooperating. Journalists and editors also received/receive bribes for their cooperation; they often were/are supplied with the stories to print by the CIA. Ulfkotte stated that very major German newspaper was under the same pressures and influence.

Ulrkotte gives an example; the German intelligence agency -- which was founded by the US -- came to his office, gave him all the information and told him how to write a story about Libya, about how Gadaffi was building a secret poison gas factory. He describes this in his book.

Ulfkotte makes the point that Germany is still a colony of the US (it is still an occupied nation, with major US military bases and large numbers of US troops), which added to the overall pressure to go along with America. He states he decided to come forward and expose this because he was concerned that this process would likely lead to another major war.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 24 2022 0:07 utc | 54

@53 I did listen to Udo. I understand what he is saying. But that is exactly what I mean by re-education. I also understand why it happened, and why certain subjects are taboo in Germany.

Posted by: dh | Jan 24 2022 0:15 utc | 55

There was a comment on an earlier thread that Russia has already paid for NS2 via higher gas prices. Alexandar Mercorous (sp?) said the same, but does anyone have a source? I thought Russia's pipeline prices were long-term contracts, although I believe the price of oil is a variable input in the pricing formula, or at least it is for Power of Siberia.
Does Novatek sell LNG on the spot market? If that is the reference, it is a bit misleading to say "Russia" made up the NS2 cost since Novatek is not majority-owned by the Russian government.

Posted by: schmoe | Jan 24 2022 0:32 utc | 56

Us officially pulling families and non essential embassy staff out of Ukraine. This comes at about the time the second shipment of US arms arrived along with shipments from various other countries. Also meshes in with their short notice naval exercise in the Med and I think the Black Sea.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 0:37 utc | 57

Posted by: Jan | Jan 23 2022 22:55 utc | 42

Bertelsman, the biggest media group in Germany has extensive US media holdings - and therefore at the mercy of US regulators. The Mohn family owns it, and the patriarch who grew the company into what it is now states that he had a "transformatory experience" while being held as a prisoner of war in the US - a throughly Atlanticist German. The biggest tv channel, RTL is owned by Bertelsmann.

Axel Springer is the second biggest media group in Germany, including owning Das Bild - the New York Times of Germany that sets the media discourse on many issues. Its now 43.5% owned by KKR, a US hedge fund. I am sure if you add in other US and UK shareholders the total will be more than 50%. Amazing that Germany would allow its major media to be owned by foreign powers.

Steven Starr's reference to Udo Ulfkotte’s book is also very important with respect to the intelligence agencies infiltration of German media.

Posted by: Roger | Jan 24 2022 0:41 utc | 58

schmoe

I thinking it was mostly the east European countries wanted to by gas via spot pricing rather than long term contract saying Gazprom was charging too much for contract gas. In the end Gazprom agreed. Now the fools all bid against each other when they need gas in the winter and have driven the prices to ten times contract price. Germany and I think a few others still have contracts.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 0:56 utc | 59

Jan 42
You need to read this article by Robert Parry. https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/28/the-victory-of-perception-management/
It is based on the information in the Reagan papers when they were first released to the public. It is about gaining control of the media that began with Reagan. It why now, all mainstream media sings the same tune and investigative journalists cannot get articles published. Guardian was the last of the western media to be taken under control with the Snowden stuff.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 1:20 utc | 60

JANUARY 23, 2022 BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
Russia will intervene in Ukraine
A radar vehicle of the S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system on the way to Belarus, Khabarovsk region, Russia, Jan 21, 2022
The US-Russia talks in Geneva in the last two successive weeks could not produce a breakthrough. Fundamentally, there is a contradiction that cannot be resolved easily.

Russia sees in existential terms the NATO’s advance into its immediate neighbourhood. But for Washington, it’s geopolitics, stupid!

Russia cannot tolerate any longer such NATO presence on its western border. Ukraine’s induction into the Western alliance system would mean that the US missiles could hit Moscow in 5 minutes, rendering Russian air defence system ineffectual.

The NATO deployments in Baltic and the Black regions further deprive Russia of buffer in the west. Considering that all major decisions and most minor decisions in the NATO are taken in Washington, Moscow perceives all this as an American strategy to encircle it, erode its strategic autonomy and independent foreign policies.

The US, on the contrary, refuses to countenance any NATO rollback. It insists that Russia has no say in the alliance’s decisions. At best, Washington would discuss certain confidence-building measures, while NATO enlargement since 1997 — contrary to assurances given to Mikhail Gorbachev by western leaders in 1990 during the reunification of Germany — is a fait accompli that Russia should live with.

Basically, the US has gained the high ground through sustained efforts through the past three decades since the Bill Clinton administration put into effect a concerted strategy in anticipation of a resurgent Russia in a matter of time. Now that the US has gained the upper hand, it is loathe to give it up.

From Washington’s viewpoint, this is a key template of the geopolitical struggle unfolding over the new world order after China’s rise and the shift in power dynamic from the West to the East. Ukraine is a battleground where a titanic test of will is playing out.

Ukraine is in all practical sense a US surrogate and its transformation as an anti-Russian state that began following the regime change in Kiev in 2014 is already at an advanced stage. Although Ukraine is not yet a NATO member, the alliance has established a significant presence in the country militarily and politically and is consolidating the process.

https://www.indianpunchline.com/russia-will-intervene-in-ukraine/

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jan 24 2022 1:41 utc | 61

@Down South #24
Erdogan is always for Erdogan.
I've referenced this many times.
If he thinks he can get benefit from the EU, he romances the EU.
If he thinks he can get benefit from Russia, he romances Russia.
Erdogan clearly believes that because he's the "doorway to the ME", also the "doorway to the Black Sea", also that he's NATO but with S400 - that he can forever do what he wants.
Don't forget that it was not long ago that Russia cut off all tourism and other Russian biz with Turkey over Erdogan's misbehavior - including the shootdown of a Russian plane and death of its pilot.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 24 2022 1:55 utc | 62

@Gulag #33
Your assumptions mirror US oligarchy idiocy.
In particular, ignoring the 120,000 Ukrainian troops that moved towards the border first.
So is Russia encircling Ukraine or are they simply taking sane precautions against an idiotic attack by the Ukrainians? Either Azov or the actual UKR military?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 24 2022 1:57 utc | 63


Nickel:
"As prices scale to levels not seen in over a decade, experts believe it will be “all hands to the pump” to secure the nickel supply needed to deal with a rush in demand from electric vehicles over the next decade...."

https://stockhead.com.au/resources/nickel-prices-are-at-11-year-highs-as-ev-demand-heats-up-can-we-find-enough-of-the-battery-metal-to-feed-the-beast/

Posted by: Paul | Jan 24 2022 1:57 utc | 64

@schmoe #55
To my knowledge, there is NO explicit agreement where Germany is paying a dime for the construction of NS2.
Gazprom is paying for it because it is a cost of doing business to sell more gas to Germany - which doesn't have to transit Ukraine. Nor did Gazprom pay for NS2 alone: BASF (German), Shell (UK) and a number of other European companies are collectively doing it.
Whether Germany has substantive long term contracts with Gazprom is an entirely separate issue.
In particular, I do not believe any contracts were signed specifically involved Nord Stream 2 although there are all sorts of contracts predating NS2 start of construction between Gazprom and Germany, Gazprom and UK via Germany, Gazprom and the Netherlands via Germany, Gazprom and Belgium via Germany etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 24 2022 2:06 utc | 65

I guess no more ZH links so I will just encourage barflies to go there and read the story about New Hampshire moving to make Ivermectin available easily.

Below is the take away quote from the posting that I tried to share in my previous comment

"
Dr. Marik left no stone unturned, and addressed the FDA’s propaganda statement, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously y’all. Stop it. You should not use Ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19 using the drug Ivermectin which can be dangerous and even lethal.”

So that is an outright lie. It’s dishonest and it’s an outrage.

As we’ll see, this is a highly effective drug, and Ivermectin has never killed a single person. It is one of the safest drugs on this planet.

What is really interesting is Ivermectin is safe in 79 countries in the world. Let me say that again… it is approved in 79 countries.

Let’s look at Covid-19 vaccines in one year: 14 thousand deaths and over two million serious adverse events. This does not include the 20,000 deaths in the VAERS database which is probably a tenth of all deaths due to the vaccine. This is their data.

So somehow the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are safe and effective, yet Ivermectin is a dangerous horse deworming medicine. That is an absolute outright lie. The data speaks for itself. This is not my data. This is from the WHO.

More people have died from Tylenol, which is an over-the-counter medicine, than Ivermectin. As I said, it is one of the safest medications on this planet.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 24 2022 2:19 utc | 66

There is another Covid story at ZH that may show up elsewhere and has the title

"A Catastrophic Moral Crime" - Bari Weiss & Bill Maher 'Say The Quiet Part Out Loud' On Leftist COVID Policies

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 24 2022 2:23 utc | 67

I see a gradual change in reporting about Russia/Ukraine/Nato - today's Fareed Zakaria in his "take" admitted Russia's security concerns and the gradual expansion of NATO towards Russia. His guests were David Milliband (UK), Anne Appelbaum (USA- PL), and Richard Haas. It was of course one-sided discussion.

Posted by: bystander 04 | Jan 24 2022 2:31 utc | 68

@daffyDuct | Jan 24 2022 1:41 utc | 60

Yes, I read that along with the evacuation order.

Its really difficult to determine which end is up, as Russia is denying an invasion, and the US keeps bleating? Is it true or is the US attempting to provoke a war?

Either way it seems very dangerous, where nuclear accidents may happen.


Posted by: Nec | Jan 24 2022 2:36 utc | 69

@daffyDuct | Jan 24 2022 1:41 utc | 60

Yes, I read that along with the evacuation order.

Its really difficult to determine which end is up, as Russia is denying an invasion, and the US keeps bleating? Is it true or is the US attempting to provoke a war?

Either way it seems very dangerous, where nuclear accidents may happen.


Posted by: Nec | Jan 24 2022 2:36 utc | 70

@ daffy duct 60
Basically, the US has gained the high ground through sustained efforts through the past three decades since the Bill Clinton administration put into effect a concerted strategy in anticipation of a resurgent Russia in a matter of time.

You may think that "the US has gained the high ground" but the truth is that the US has been soundly beaten in its Middle East efforts to gain any ground, high or otherwise. Especially in Syria, the US has been beaten. Russia coupling with a resurgent China has also been a serious US setback.
That's exactly why the US is acting so stupidly in this affair, like a spoiled child. And now with Europe kicking over the traces the US is reduced to making silly claims about Russia.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 2:57 utc | 71

@55 schmoe

All big buyers and sellers arrange contracts in advance, anyone who didn't would risk getting wiped out, as energy commodities regularly suffer from huge price swings in both directions.

Gas sold by Gazprom and other Russian suppliers mostly either hub-indexed or oil-indexed (with a time trailing average, so effectively a time delay).

Example source: https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2070157-majority-of-gazproms-european-sales-hubindexed

Note that Gazprom exports mostly to the west and southwest. Pipeline export to China, at present, is still a small fraction, and Novatek hasn't ramped up it's LNG capacity yet either -- but eastward business is very clearly the future for both Gazprom and Novatek.

So the current multi-month bump in strip prices for gas will increase revenue 6-12 months into the future. This will be true whether there is a long-term hub-indexed contract, or whether arrangements are via 1-year-out futures or options. There may be some more desperate (i.e. cash-poor) customers, and some particularly aggressive traders or producers, who are tempted to hold off from booking their 2022-2023 business now...

Gazprom, however, is for the most part conservatively managed (though they tend to go big for capex), and the commercial relationships with China perhaps even more so. So the effect on the bottom line is not nearly as drastic as the swings in the spot or futures prices. But compared to the situation in, say, 2019, it's a noticeable increase. For a data point, Gazprom stock (US OTC = OGZPY) was up from $6 in Apr '21 to almost $10 in Oct '21, but retreated to $8 ish now.

The other thing that came with NS2 was a lot of industrial cooperation and tech licensing from mostly-German multinationals like Siemens, Linde, Windershall... Gazprom made a point of gaining control of technology, but there is a lot of European-origin technology in the stack just the same. Everything from pipeline construction, processing plants, unconventional drilling/production, LNG export terminals. It is, or rather was, understood by the Europeans that by making this connection, they are not only making money, but also investing in a source of cheap energy for their other domestic industry. Going forward, the EU multinationals know they are also competing with both Russian domestic firms, and China, Korea, and so on. Furthermore, at this point, Russia has a buyer in China who is ready and eager to take every last drop of oil and gas that can be fit into a ship or pipe, and is not shy about entering into a bidding war with the EU. If EU actions manage to slow Russian energy buildout, which is certainly possible, the result will be Russia will supply their domestic market first, the Chinese second, Turkey and south-stream customers third, and western EU last.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 24 2022 3:00 utc | 72

@ 70 don.. that is M. K. BHADRAKUMAR who daffy is quoting..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2022 3:01 utc | 73

@ james
I didn't see any disclaimer, did you?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 3:11 utc | 74

@ ros 22
English news channels now spreading false FCO propaganda that Russia is going to attempt to install a puppet president in Ukraine . .

Yevheniy Murayev, the guy the British said Russia wants to install in Kyiv, has been sanctioned by Russia since 2018. He told AP that the British claim 'looks ridiculous and funny'. .here. . h/t chinahand

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 3:29 utc | 75

I wonder how many Freidman Units we are from a Russian Invasion Of Ukraine?

Does the Exulted One allow Fractional Freidman Units (FFU), or must they always be integers?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 24 2022 3:32 utc | 76

This was in a MSM article.
"But there has been pushback, especially from eastern members, against a proposal from French President Emmanuel Macron that the bloc should open its own security talks with Russia."
.......

Worth keeping in mind in relation to that sentence by Bhadrakumar. Not a single country in that part of the world willing to openly side with Russia on the current situation. US has installed fanatical Russia haters in enough of those countries to stymy any joint efforts by the likes of Germany and France.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 3:53 utc | 77

@43 + dh @ 48
"But why the hell do german media, without any exception ALL OF THEM, sing the US notes?"

I don't know but I suspect it has to do with the general re-education of German youth following WW2.

Japan is a water boy for the US system along these same lines. I suspect it was the post World War II reorganization of the media in those countries after their completed destruction and the surrender of those countries. The intelligence agencies gained access and control. They are the gatekeepers of what goes out.

The story is long and obscene. The mockingbird's tune is monotonous.

Posted by: circumspect | Jan 24 2022 3:57 utc | 78

Perer AU1, ptb, c1ue

Thanks for the NS2 comments; it seems like there is limited transparency in terms of the detailed economics of these contracts but some logical inferences can be drawn.

As for this comment: "Gazprom is paying for it because it is a cost of doing business to sell more gas to Germany - which doesn't have to transit Ukraine. Nor did Gazprom pay for NS2 alone: BASF (German), Shell (UK) and a number of other European companies are collectively doing it."
- My impression was that NS2's construction was ~ $10b - $11b, and Gazprom financed 50% and the balance were the parties you noted above.

" If EU actions manage to slow Russian energy buildout.. ." One interesting item on the summaries I read of the proposed sanctions was the lack of a reference to energy industry sanctions. Novatek's LNG2 seems like a probable target for sanctions, but just as with NS2, that would be to the detriment of European buyers and also to German engineering firms working on the project, which I believe includes Linde.

Posted by: schmoe | Jan 24 2022 4:00 utc | 79

Not looking forward to western media going into hysteria mode about unexpected and undetected (alleged) "asteroid strike" on Washington DC.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 24 2022 4:02 utc | 80

And btw if that seems too fancy then think about the impossibility of commercial airplanes disappearing mid-flight without a trace in a world with so many different government and commercial satellites collecting all sorts of data on meteorology, land use, test bans, and whatnot.

That's in the same world where civilian individuals with commercial weather stations can detect millibar or sub-millibar pressure waves from volcanic eruptions on the other side of the planet without intending to, while somehow —and quite magically— the world's governments can't say if a commercial airplane full of people exploded somewhere over sea or land or not…

"Asteroid strike" will be an easy sell.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 24 2022 4:15 utc | 81

C1ue at 62

As I stated above, my assumptions are based on an interpretation of Russian deployment maneuvers--I don't really have an ideological side--although I am fascinated by the apparent Russian attempt to come out of this situation with something beyond Minsk I or II. I am also impressed on how ambitious Russian goals actually appear from a military deployment perspective. You don't accept any of the deployment indicators I have presented?

It also seems important to pay attention to what Russia might be actually doing (with deployments)
rather than what the Russians simply say they are doing. (after all this is some kind of potential theater of war with lots of misdirections from all sides as normal operating procedure).

I guess I hoped that by clearly trying to lay out my assumptions/guesses, while admitting I might be completely off base--that such an approach might contribute to a good debate on Russian/U.S./European motivations.


Posted by: Gulag |

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 24 2022 4:26 utc | 82

PS: Women should be at home as a first duty.
Posted by: Roberto | Jan 24 2022 0:01 utc | 52

You strike me as an anachronism.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 24 2022 4:51 utc | 83

@ Don Bacon | Jan 24 2022 3:11 utc | 73... most likely, a little more attention will give you more clarity..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2022 4:57 utc | 84

God bless Paul Keating (ex-Aus PM): he sticks it to the UK with this fantastic op-ed.

"The former Australian prime minister Paul Keating has accused Liz Truss of making “demented” comments about Chinese military aggression and urged the British foreign secretary to hurry “back to her collapsing, disreputable government". Keating, in a blistering op-ed, also said Britain “suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation” and its tilt to the Indo-Pacific lacks credibility."z

Chifley, Whitlam and Keating: we'll never see their kind again.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 24 2022 5:24 utc | 85

@70 Don Bacon The quoted article is not wrong. The reason why the Russians are issuing these statements is that the USA has gained a significant advantage by moving NATO closer and closer to Russia's border.

Those missile sites in Poland and Romania do give the Americans the capability for a decapitation strike against Moscow that the Russians can not do to Washington.

The Americans have indeed been assiduously positioning themselves on the high ground over Moscow, starting with Clinton and continuing to this very day.

And moving NATO forces into Ukraine would grant them even more high ground. That Is Why The Russians Have Had Enough.

The possession of hypersonic missiles and other unmatched weapons give the Russians a moment in time when they can push back, which is why they have chosen this point in time to attempt to roll NATO up and shove it back to the 1997 line i.e. back to Bill Clinton's time.

It doesn't matter who's side who is on to see that the geopolitics as described in the original article is accurate: the USA has been attempting - and succeeding - in seizing the high ground next to Moscow, and Moscow has finally decided that it won't stand for this any longer.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 24 2022 6:15 utc | 86

@84 Patroklos Nah, Keating would do better to drop the subtlety and tell us what he really thinks.

Posted by: John Reynolds | Jan 24 2022 6:18 utc | 87

While I'm not sure that his conclusion is correct, here is an analysis by Thomas Palley.

A crisis made in the USA: why Russia will likely invade Ukraine

A few extracts:

"The baseline for the argument is recognition that the US has an implacable antipathy to Russia. That antipathy has a long history. In 1918 the US invaded Siberia, intervening in the Russian civil war between the Tsarist Whites and Reds. The invasion set the stage for pre-Cold War hatred of the Soviet Union.

Today, US antipathy is driven by the triumph of Neocon thinking which maintains no country should be able to challenge the US anywhere in the world. That makes Russia an existential enemy as it still can. Additionally, US antipathy is driven by need for an external enemy. … Compromise with the US is impossible. ...

From its inception the US repeatedly broke its treaties with sovereign Indian nations. After World War II it broke with the Yalta Accord negotiated between Roosevelt and Stalin, a breach which has never been acknowledged.

That means Russia is boxed in and that situation will likely only worsen. Moreover, having assembled its forces, a Russian stand-down risks being interpreted as a sign of weakness which would encourage stepped-up US aggression. That speaks for Russia to occupy Eastern Ukraine, perhaps as far west as the banks of the Dnieper. …
The current crisis is made in the USA, but the US can still defuse it by stepping back and agreeing to a demilitarized zone in Eastern Europe. However, that is unlikely to happen ...

Foreign aggression is popular with a large chunk of the US electorate, including so-called liberal elements as represented by the likes of The New York Times and The Washington Post. In part, that is because the country is protected by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. "

Posted by: spudski | Jan 24 2022 7:07 utc | 88

A suggestion:read the Matt tabbi article, funny as hell🤣🤣🤣

Posted by: A.z | Jan 24 2022 7:15 utc | 89

Patroklos | Jan 24 2022 5:24 utc | 84

While we are part of ECHELON, and while we have the English monarch as head of state, we will never be an independent sovereign country with and independent foreign policy. Currently we are a colony with a degree of autonomy in domestic affairs.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2022 7:15 utc | 90

a printed dictionary confounds the narrative.

but fear precludes rational thought. b is afraid.

how to confound the fear?

Posted by: Rae | Jan 24 2022 7:28 utc | 91

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 23 2022 23:25 utc | 45

Any thoughts on Bill and Liz together in Moscow?

Probably she is going to take a crash course on Russian history. Here a post by Zakharova in her Telegram channel about the tank rider Truss:

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who recently toured the Baltics in a tank, said today that Ukraine has survived many invasions, "from the Mongols to the Tatars."

Three questions to the British diplomat from Russian colleagues:

1. How many years passed between the two invasions: the Mongols and the Tatars?

2. Did she not mention the sufferings of Ukrainians from fascism, because they were insignificant or because until the 40s of the 20th century the British crown not only supported German Nazism, but found it charming?

3. What educational institution issued Mrs Truss a diploma?

Posted by: Paco | Jan 24 2022 7:38 utc | 92

"Errors"

From the [behind paywall ] AFR:

'Coronavirus pandemic. No, delta and omicron have not merged to form a ‘super variant’
In this jittery environment, it’s not unexpected that errors and misconceptions about variants will occur."

Blahr, blahh, to coin a phrase.

Posted by: PAUL | Jan 24 2022 9:37 utc | 93

So, is the US planning to invade Russia?
https://www.rt.com/russia/546917-us-deploying-troops-eastern-europe/
"Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper claims the White House is currently mulling over plans to deploy between 1,000 and 5,000 troops, with the potential to increase this number tenfold if the situation deteriorates."

Well, maybe not, but managing perception is the goal. Let's crank up the tension a little more shall we. US diplomacy in action.
Does anyone still think Blinken will deliver an adequate response this week to Russia's two treaties?

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 24 2022 10:09 utc | 94

@ c1ue # 64
Dont mix up NS1 and NS2. The first is a joint russian-european project. The second was planned to be one, but Poland intervened and the european companies were pushed out by the EuGH. So NS2 is a pure russian project. Finance, technique, everything. They hoped Russia would fail to realize it. The truth is: today they are able to imploy a pipeline of 1000 km in the Baltic See within a year. Alone.
I gathered some information about this incredible process of sabotage on my blog:
https://stadtrandnotiz.de/2021/12/25/nord-stream-2/

Posted by: Jan | Jan 24 2022 10:13 utc | 95

Posted by: jan @ 94

thanks for your contribution, interesting distinction.

King Canute comes to mind.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 24 2022 10:44 utc | 96

Looks like something is planned for Ukraine to fix Russia as the "invader".

https://sputniknews.com/20220124/uk-has-reportedly-begun-staff-withdrawal-from-its-embassy-in-ukraine-1092477890.html

Posted by: Surferket | Jan 24 2022 10:45 utc | 97

Am I still banned-
Well before i provide a link to a great site that discuses these important issues - like will we have a extinction level happinez.

What's the connection between Blinken, Sherman, and our great cooker monster Nuddleman. I not sure BUT their actions toward Russia will be 'dehumanizing'.

Symposium: What would US intervention over Ukraine really look like?

Scholars, journalists, former military and intel officers weigh in on the wide-ranging costs of military aid and a clash with Russia.
January 24, 2022
Written by
Responsible Statecraft
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Following talks between the U.S. and Russia this month, the landscape looks bleaker than ever in regards to avoiding a clash with Russia over Ukraine. While President Biden has promised a “swift, severe and united” response to any Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory, administration officials are now publicly declaring they are “united for Ukraine” on social media.

Responsible Statecraft asked a host of military and international relations scholars and journalists, as well as former military and intelligence officers what it would look like if the United States decided to intervene to defend Ukraine. We asked them to answer the following prompt:

“Many in Washington, including media pundits, are saying Washington may have to get involved militarily — directly or indirectly — to defend Ukraine should Russia invade. Yet they do not expand on what that would actually mean in practice, or in costs, to the U.S. Based on your experience and expertise, if the U.S. decides to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion, what kind of costs and repercussions would such a conflict incur (long and short-term), for the United States and for the region?”

Respondents:

Emma Ashford

Lyle Goldstein

William Hartung

Michael Kimmage

Anatol Lieven

Doug Macgregor

Rajan Menon

Robert W. Merry

Lindsey O’Rourke

Paul Pillar

Monica Duffy Toft

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Stephen Wertheim

***

Emma Ashford, senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

The United States isn’t going to get directly involved in defending Ukraine from a potential Russian invasion; there will be no troops on the ground, and no direct U.S. military support. But there are a variety of other proposals out there that would dial up lethal arms sales to Ukraine, initiate large-scale NATO exercises elsewhere in Europe, or even help to shelter Ukrainian military assets from Russian attack. Some further arms sales might well be warranted in the event of a large-scale invasion, but the Biden administration should be cautious about taking any of these other steps towards militarizing or deepening U.S. or broader NATO involvement in this conflict. The risks of escalation are simply too high, and Ukraine’s direct importance to U.S. foreign policy too small.

Lyle Goldstein, Director of Asia Engagement at Defense Priorities

U.S. military intervention, whether direct or indirect, in a Russia-Ukraine war would have deleterious and even catastrophic consequences. An indirect U.S. military role, such as offering weapons and military trainers, may sound appealing. Yet, such activities would further cement the “New Cold War,” might prolong the war and the killing, would strain the NATO alliance, and could encourage Russian horizontal escalation, whether in Syria or even Venezuela.

Direct military intervention would carry with it risks of an even higher magnitude. U.S. forces in the region, too small to make a meaningful difference, are likely to become casualties. For example, U.S. Navy units operating in the Black Sea would be isolated and highly vulnerable targets for Russian forces. Moscow could quite conceivably view a wider Ukraine War as an opportunity to severely maul and thus punish NATO members, such as Poland, Romania, or the Baltic states for their perceived transgressions. The economic costs of a wider European war could also be massive, but the most tragic possible outcomes would be the spread of major war to the Asia-Pacific, as well as a limited nuclear exchange — a definite possibility if high intensity combat ensues between Moscow and Washington in Ukraine.

William Hartung, senior research fellow of the Quincy Institute

No one in their right mind is suggesting that the U.S. intervene directly if war breaks out. But even indirect intervention could cost billions, while increasing the risks of escalation in ways that could put U.S. personnel — and U.S. interests — in danger.

So far the Biden administration has stepped up supplies of anti-tank missiles and other military gear to Ukraine, and has given the green light to Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania to transfer U.S.-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the Ukrainian military. The U.S. will no doubt pay to replace these missiles, and before you can blink an eye the hundreds of millions of additional U.S. military aid offered so far will jump into the billions. The Baltic states and Poland are also lobbying for a permanent U.S. troop presence in their countries, which could entail further costs if the Biden administration grant their requests. But perhaps the biggest risk is posed by the likely deployment of additional U.S. troops and contractors to help to train Ukrainian forces on using U.S.-origin systems, and to assist in maintaining them. If any U.S. personnel end up on the front lines and are killed in the event of a Russian invasion, the stakes – and the prospects for escalation – will rise dramatically.

Michael Kimmage, professor of history at the Catholic University and author of The Abandonment of the West: The History of an Idea in American Foreign Policy

In the event of a Russian invasion, Washington could choose to support Ukraine symbolically via the provision of arms and training either of a conventional military kind or of an insurgency. This approach need not incur great costs for the United States and would run little risk of involving the United States directly in the conflict. If, on the other hand, the United States would choose to defend Ukraine from a Russian invasion, this would be a crossing of a Rubicon. It would require the provision of air power, and it would require a substantial commitment of U.S. forces to a country that is territorially large and has a population of some 40 million people. This would incur two separate costs for Washington. One would be financial and military: the expense necessary to enable this involvement and the deployment of military resources to Eastern Europe (rather than to other theaters). The other cost would involve the danger of escalation. There is no doubt that American soldiers and air power on the front lines of a war between Ukraine and Russia would radicalize Russia’s own war aims, contributing to an escalating commitment, and it is hard to imagine that this development would not furnish the impetus to even greater U.S. involvement, a substantial short-term and long-term sequences of costs.

Anatol Lieven, senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute and author of Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry

If Russia does invade Ukraine, Russia will win. The Biden administration has ruled out sending troops; and with only four brigades in Europe, the United States is in any case in no position to defend Ukraine, and as for NATO’s European allies, the idea that they will fight Russia in Ukraine is ludicrous.

A Russian invasion would be followed by a new offer of an agreement with the Ukrainian government and the West; most probably a ban on Ukraine joining NATO (or a treaty of neutrality, plus a federal system for Ukraine with autonomy for Russian-speaking areas.

Washington would then have three options:

One would be to send the greater part of the American armed forces to Ukraine to launch a counter-offensive to drive Russia from Ukraine. This would involve tens of thousands of American dead, the risk of nuclear annihilation, and an open invitation to China to establish its hegemony in the Far East.

The second (as threatened) would be to launch a guerrilla war against Russia on the model of the Afghan war of the 1980s. This would lead to permanent conflict in Europe and the likelihood of repeated Russian attacks on Poland.

The third option would be to negotiate a compromise. Or of course we could do that now, and prevent Russia from invading in the first place.


(Ret) Col. Douglas Macgregor, former senior advisor to the Acting Secretary of Defense

The talks between Secretary of State Blinken and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov drag on without result. Meanwhile, the Russian military buildup continues without interruption. All of the NATO militaries including United States Forces are turning out to be ‘too late to change the outcome’. It seems that all NATO can do is sit and watch Russia intervene at will in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Having failed for at least 20 years to acknowledge Moscow’s legitimate security interests in Ukraine, Washington and its allies will inevitably confront new facts on the ground. The real question for Washington is whether it wishes to live in a state of perpetual conflict or crisis with Moscow?

If Washington declines to recognize that Moscow’s interests in the region outweigh its own, Washington may watch as its allies in Europe gradually fade away. Germany, arguably, the cornerstone in NATO’s edifice, is already signaling its readiness to pursue a new policy path toward Moscow that diverges sharply from Washington’s. How many others will follow the German path before NATO ceases to have any real meaning?

Rajan Menon, Director of Grand Strategy at Defense Priorities and co-author of Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order

The United States won’t fight Russia to protect Ukraine: President Biden has effectively said that. Ukraine has no illusions that American soldiers will be dispatched to die to save it, possibly triggering a full-on war with Russia that ends in a nuclear confrontation.

Nevertheless, a former DoD official wants the U.S. to muster “an international coalition of the willing” — not just to defend Ukraine were Russia to attack now, but to expel it from Crimea and the Donbas. This idea combines silliness (which states would volunteer for a “coalition” of suicide?) with recklessness (imagine the catastrophe that would result from fighting Russia, on its doorstep no less). But The U.S. and Britain have been arming Ukraine. American soldiers have trained their Ukrainian counterparts since 2015, in Yavoriv, near Lviv, in western Ukraine. Canada has also provided training, since 2020.

Ukraine certainly has the right to acquire the means for self-defense. Yet the cold reality is that what Ukraine has received simply will not suffice to thwart a Russian combined-arms campaign: artillery and air strikes and air assault operations that pave the way for tank and motor-rifle units. Let us hope that diplomacy averts war.

Robert W. Merry, author of Sands of Empire: Missionary Zeal, American Foreign Policy, and the Hazards of Global Ambition.

For Russia, Ukraine represents a strategic imperative of the highest order; for America it is an ideological conceit based on a false and dangerous doctrine of American purity in a world of mostly bad guys. With such a differential in strategic significance and in attentiveness to geopolitical reality, an American military response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine can only bring negative outcomes for America and the West: for Europe, chaos, division, and destabilization; for Ukraine, far greater punishment than otherwise would emerge; from China, ever greater provocations aimed at America’s Asian dominance; for Russia, a quantum increase in geopolitical relevance globally and dominance regionally; and for America, a humiliation that will expose further the already discernible diminution in its ability to determine the course of world events.

George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with their reckless and arrogant actions in the Middle East, destroyed for decades any prospect for stability in that unhappy land. America ended up looking like a muscle-bound oaf. But American actions in Europe to counter Russia’s response to NATO’s 25-year encirclement provocation, would perpetuate much the same outcome in the very cradle of Western Civilization. The consequence could very well be catastrophic.

Lindsey O’Rourke, non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College

If Russia invades Ukraine, many in Washington are likely to see covertly arming anti-Russian forces within Russian-occupied territories as an attractive middle option between full-blown war and doing nothing in response. Unfortunately, as I show in my book Covert Regime Change, America’s track record for covertly arming foreign dissidents is quite poor. During the Cold War, for instance, only 4 out of America’s 35 operations to covertly arm foreign dissidents during U.S.-backed covert regime change attempts succeeded in bringing America’s insurgent allies to power. Instead, such operations typically succeeded only in raising the cost of the conflict for all parties involved, prolonging bloody civil wars, and increasing civilian suffering. Furthermore, if Russia does invade Ukraine, Moscow is likely to limit its invasion to more sympathetic regions within Eastern Ukraine. This, in turn, would limit America’s ability to covertly organize an effective partisan defense. Even if an anti-Russian opposition emerged, Russia would still enjoy escalation dominance in the region, suggesting a low long-term prospect for success.

Paul Pillar, non-resident fellow of the Quincy Institute and non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University

In any military involvement in Ukraine, the United States would suffer from severe asymmetries in both will and capability. Ukraine always will be much more important to Russia than it is to the United States. As for capabilities, the massing of Russian forces along the Ukrainian border is a reminder of a huge Russian advantage in geography and lines of communication. War in Ukraine would be a losing proposition for the United States from the firing of the first shots.

Ukrainian forces—and a Ukrainian insurgency, if it came to that—would be able to keep Russia from swallowing Ukraine smoothly. But Putin’s regime is far too committed on the issues involved to back off or back out simply because the conflict would become costly for Russia as well. A short-term quagmire could easily become a long-term one for everyone involved.

The resulting drain on U.S. resources, policymaking bandwidth, and willingness to make good on other commitments would have far-reaching repercussions. Intra-European disagreements on dealing with Russia would intensify. Great power cooperation on other issues would suffer. Those seeing an opportunity to benefit from U.S. distraction (think of China vis-à-vis Taiwan) would be tempted to act.

Monica Duffy Toft, professor of international politics and director of the Center for Strategic Studies at The Fletcher School of Tufts University

Direct and indirect aid to Ukraine and short- and long-term repercussions to the United States are key distinctions. Direct aid would include U.S. armed forces.The United States is unlikely to do this without a UN resolution, which won’t happen because Russia would veto it. Militarily, NATO would have to be unified, but NATO is divided because Russia holds Europe’s economies hostage to Russia’s energy resources. Indirect aid is already arriving in the form of anti-tank weapons, other defensive hardware, and cyber support. If Russia attacks, U.S. indirect support won’t prevent a Russian win. Short-term a failed indirect defense for the United States would be costly in terms of its capacity to deter aggression. This reputation was already damaged by Syria’s violation of President Barak Obama’s “red line” in 2013, and the tepid international response to Russia’s armed annexation of the Crimea in 2014. Moreover, sanctions sufficient to deter or punish Russia, would be difficult to enforce because again, Russia dominates Europe’s access to energy (it is no accident this is happening in winter). Long-term, a failed U.S. indirect defense of Ukraine may prove catastrophic: if Ukraine is this century’s Sudetenland, allowing Russia to establish that its interests supersede the sovereignty and independence of internationally recognized states on its periphery, may again lead to a world war that no one can win.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, president of the American Committee for the US-Russia Accord, editor and publisher of The Nation

Any intervention now would squander U.S. attention and resources on challenges posed by the pandemic, economic inequality, racial divisions and catastrophic climate change. What is essentially a civil war will become more entrenched as a proxy war — with grave geopolitical repercussions, mass displacement, empowering China, dividing European allies, fueling already challenging nuclear insecurity — and, if U.S. troops are there training Ukrainians, we may see American casualties. That could lead to even more U.S. involvement and a potential and exceedingly dangerous quagmire.

The United States just exited from the longest war in American history (Korean War excluded). Brown University’s Costs of War project estimates the Afghan war cost $5.8 trillion; the international community now appears unable to provide even $5 billion in humanitarian assistance. Scores of U.S. drone attacks misfired, killing thousands of innocent civilians. May this remind us of the true costs and repercussions of military misadventures: accountability is rarely demanded, and such military debacles undermine an already fragile democracy at home.

Ukraine demands a diplomatic and political resolution. A positive outcome would be the expansion of a new and demilitarized international security architecture in the region, and a moratorium on NATO expansion, along with international guarantees for Ukraine’s independence. May it be a bridge between East and West.

Stephen Wertheim, senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, author of Tomorrow the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy

Several politicians and commentators warn that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would upend peace and stability globally. In particular, they suggest, a display of American weakness might entice China to invade Taiwan.

This argument could potentially resonate with Americans who would otherwise oppose serious military involvement in Ukraine against a great power and nuclear peer. But it is mistaken and gets the risks backward.

If the United States declined to go to war over Ukraine, a country it has no formal obligation to defend, this should hardly surprise Chinese leaders or change their decisions toward Taiwan. Invading Taiwan remains a huge strategic gamble, not to mention a personal one for President Xi Jinping as he seeks a third term this fall.

If, however, the U.S were to sleepwalk into war with Russia, it would then have to divert enormous resources to Europe. Deterrence in Asia would weaken. Moreover, Chinese leaders would see the United States breaching its own longstanding limits by defending Ukraine. They could fear that Taiwan might be next — that America would actually treat the island as part of its defense perimeter, even though Washington has no clear commitment to defend Taiwan and officially supports its peaceful reunification with the mainland. China might decide to strike, thinking it is now or never.

This fanciful scenario ought to remain just that. Biden has taken the use of force in Ukraine off the table. A Chinese invasion of Taiwan remains unlikely. But it’s important to remember, as passions rise, why war with Russia would be the worst course of action possible.

Posted by: col from Oz | Jan 24 2022 11:25 utc | 98

It's a cracker!

"The Narrative is Crumbling - 16 Reasons Why"

(AwakenWithJP: 1,430,498 views -- Jan 16, 2022 -- 17.17min)

https://youtu.be/D70kZDLGr4Q

Posted by: imo | Jan 24 2022 11:44 utc | 99

I know there are plenty of crypto currency skeptics on this board. You have to admit that it is a very good solution for transferring money when there are obstacles and high fees involved. I believe that is the reason El Salvador implemented BTC so that foreign workers could more easily send money back to their homeland.

Now it seems that Afghanis are doing the same thing in order to get around the theft of some 10 billion USD in foreign reserves. in this surprisingly frank story from business insider we learn of some women who are using this technology to buy food for their families.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 24 2022 12:00 utc | 100

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