Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 21, 2022

U.S. - Russian Talks Show Signs Of Progress

It feels weird to watch the delusional talk of the United States towards Russia.

How can people who are as wrong as Biden and Blinken be at the top of a state?

President Biden said on Wednesday that he now expected President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would order an invasion of Ukraine, delivering a grim assessment that the diplomacy and threat of sanctions issued by the United States and its European allies were unlikely to stop the Russian leader from sending troops across the border.

“Do I think he’ll test the West, test the United States and NATO, as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will,” Mr. Biden told reporters during a nearly two-hour news conference in the East Room of the White House. He added, almost with an air of fatalism: “But I think he will pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn’t think now will cost him what it’s going to cost him. And I think he will regret having done it.”

Asked to clarify whether he was accepting that an invasion was coming, Mr. Biden said: “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”

Has Biden even once asked the very simple question: "Why would Russia want to do that?"

Retired ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar points out that even U.S. allies do not believe Biden's bullshit:

It is an open secret that in October and November, France, Germany and some others in the EU questioned Washington’s warnings that Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine could signal an imminent invasion. France and Germany even opposed activating NATO’s crisis response planning system and had to be persuaded to relent.

Above all, Europeans have no desire to bankroll Ukraine which is a black hole and failing state. It doesn’t make sense to them when the US intelligence brags in the media that they’d bleed Russian troops in a guerrilla war in the middle of Europe. Fundamentally, all this dovetails into a pervasive scepticism among the European elite regarding the Biden administration.

In a recent interview Sergej Karaganov, who heads the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, explained why invading the Ukraine is very dumb idea:

[O]f course, we absolutely do not need to fight for Ukraine to the last Ukrainian, we certainly do not want to fight there. All this squealing about the fact that we are going to capture Kiev, it is about nothing. Yes, our military is standing at the Ukrainian border, but only so that on the other side it does not occur to anyone to break into the Donbass. And the capture of Ukraine in our military plans, I'm sure, is not included. If only for the reason that capturing a country that is castrated economically, morally and intellectually, a country with a destroyed infrastructure and an embittered population is the worst-case scenario. The worst thing America can do for us is to give us Ukraine in the form they brought it to.

So is that what Biden and Blinken are trying to do? Give the Ukraine to Russia to create more problems for it? No, I don't think they are smart enough to strategize that far.

Russia is not at all concerned about the Ukraine. It is concerned about NATO in Ukraine. This is not only about the Ukraine becoming a NATO member. The chances of that are low. But it is about NATO and the U.S. determining Ukrainian policies, sending 'trainers' and weapon systems and enticing fascist to attack Russia.

Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar - 8:14 UTC · Jan 21, 2022
What NATOstan sent to 404:
Empire: Javelins + $300 million.
Turkey - Bayraktar drones.
Brits - NLAW complexes.
Baltics - MANPADS.
Czechs - artillery shells.
Canada - SWAT + frigate.
Wait and see what happens when Russia launches the first Iskander.

That has to stop. But invading Ukraine is not the way to do that.

It requires direct pressure on the United States to move away from its confrontational course. Karaganov already senses that Russia is on its way to achieve that:

Even from recent conversations, it is noticeable that our Western partners have begun to retreat. They are already proposing dialogues between the military, negotiations on arms limitation - something that until recently was categorically rejected. So maybe we can agree on something.

Today's talks in Geneva between Blinken and Lavrov seem to have moved into the right direction:

Russia's foreign minister and his US counterpart have held what they called "frank" talks to try to reduce the chance of a wider conflict in Ukraine.

Sergei Lavrov repeated denials that a huge Russian force assembled near Ukraine's borders would be used to invade Ukraine.

Antony Blinken said America would respond severely to any invasion.
...
For Mr Blinken, the talks were "frank and substantive" while for Mr Lavrov, they were also "frank" with an agreement to "have a reasonable dialogue".

"I hope emotions will decrease," Mr Lavrov added.

Mr Blinken warned his Russian counterpart of a "united, swift and severe" response if Russia invaded.

Speaking after the talks, he said the US was prepared to pursue possible means of addressing Russian concerns in the spirit of reciprocity.
...
For his part, Mr Lavrov described the talks as open and useful but he accused Nato of working against Russia. He reiterated Moscow's position that it had "never threatened the Ukrainian people" and had no plans to attack Ukraine.

He also accused the Ukrainian government of using "state terrorism" against the rebels in the east and "sabotaging" the Minsk peace agreements on the conflict there.

Russia's foreign minister said the US would send "written responses" to all of Russia's proposals next week but Mr Blinken only said America hoped to share its "concerns and ideas in more detail in writing next week".

The talks between the two diplomats came just a day after Russia unveiled plans for naval drills involving more than 140 warships and more than 60 aircraft, seen as a show of strength.

Russia also moved some of its army brigades and airforce elements from eastern Siberia to Belarus where they will take part in exercises until February 20. This will complicate any plans Kiev might have for attacks on Donbass while Putin is in Beijing to watch the Olympics. The military authorities in Donbass today reported of new signs for such a move under the pretext of a false flag event (video - click CC for English translations).

While Russia moves its forces and fleets Blinken tried to impress Lavrov with some stupid stunts.

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned two sitting members of Ukraine's parliament for pursuing opposition policies. The State Department called that Taking Action to Expose and Disrupt Russia’s Destabilization Campaign in Ukraine. It also published two laughable new sections on its websites. One is about Russia's alleged Top Five Persistent Disinformation Narratives in which the U.S. denies to be behind the various 'color revolutions' of the last decades. I bet Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland came up with that stupidity. The other is United with Ukraine, a collection of nonsensical and empty Blinken quotes and Ukrainian nationalist photography.

Lavrov was not amused about either:

The Russian foreign ministry mocked those statements, saying they must have been prepared by an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth,” and Lavrov caustically dismissed them in his remarks to Blinken, saying he hoped the State Department had also spent time drafting responses to Russia’s demands.

“I do hope that not everyone in the State Department was working on those materials and there were some who were working on the essence of our proposals and their substance,” he said.

That nicely sets out the contrast.

Blinken is all about show, Lavrov is all about substance.

Blinken also felt a need to correct his boss:

Blinken took pains to stress U.S. unity with its allies in opposition to a possible Russian invasion, something that took an apparent hit earlier this week when U.S. President Joe Biden drew widespread criticism for saying retaliation for Russian aggression in Ukraine would depend on the details and that a “minor incursion” could prompt discord among Western allies.

On Thursday, Biden sought to clarify his comments by cautioning that any Russian troop movements across Ukraine’s border would constitute an invasion and that Moscow would “pay a heavy price” for such an action.

“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin,” Biden said. “He has no misunderstanding: Any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.”

Russia has denied it is planning an invasion and instead accused the West on Thursday of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine, citing the delivery of weapons to the country by British military transport planes in recent days.

There will be no 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. Should Donbass be attacked, Russian missile artillery, stationed in Russia, will demonstrate sufficient reach to destroy any Ukrainian units near the frontline.

The U.S. president should be more concerned about Cuban invitations for harbor visits of Russian missile submarines than about some wreak of a country on Russia's border.

However, the U.S. and Russia are talking, which is good, and it seems that Russia has already achieved some of its aims. The process will continue.

We will have to wait for the written U.S. response to Russia's demands to see in which direction it will develop.

Posted by b on January 21, 2022 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Brzezinski warned in 2017 that “the most dangerous scenario,” for the West, would be “a grand coalition of China and Russia…united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.” (Brzezinski 2017, as cited in Allison 2018). Together with Iran, Central Asia and Belarus (and an ASEAN that won't pick sides plus an India that's been a long-term friend of Russia), Russia has a huge hinterland of friends/non-enemies that are not interested in a US containment policy.

So, if needed, Russia can cut the gas supply to Europe off (its a better look if it is forced to by US driven sanctions) and happily sell its oil, gas, coal, metals, food etc. to the above and get whatever it needs from them. The US is out of options due to its own repeated failures and Russia can sit pretty while increasing the pressure. Come mid-year and NS2 online Ukraine is out of options. If they don't accept Minsk then referenda should be held in the rebel provinces (which will take the coal fields and the industry with them) to become part of Russia. Over time the increasing prosperity in those areas plus Crimea should do for the rest of Eastern Ukrainians what West German television did to East Germans. Putin should invest in strong television transmitters surrounding Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

Repeat the above for China and then Iran, the US has created its own wall and is only slowly maybe realizing that the only one being contained is itself.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-06-14/myth-liberal-order

Posted by: Roger | Jan 22 2022 2:25 utc | 101

New post from the banderalobby blog. Interesting stuff about the what the Banderites are up to. Answer: No good.

Banderalobby - A New ABN?

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 2:25 utc | 102

@Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 2:25 utc | 102

Thanks for this, the part that stated "championed abroad by the Ukrainian World Congress, headquartered in Toronto" was very depressing being both a Canadian and an ex-Torontonian. Us Canadians should remember to put out the nazi trash.

So a new "anti-bolshevik bloc of nations" without the bolsheviks but with the nazis, should be the NBN.

Posted by: Roger | Jan 22 2022 2:32 utc | 103


https://sputniknews.com/20220121/lavrov-blinken-talks-wrap-up-with-two-sides-on-clear-path-to-understanding-1092428420.html
Lavrov-Blinken Talks Wrap Up With Two Sides 'on Clear Path to Understanding'


I advise all to take a look at this news article above, not so much for the news or analysis that it offers, but for the photo at the top of Blinken and Lavrov shaking hands. It is one of the most priceless diplomatic photos I have ever seen.

What does this photo tell you about the talks and the confidence of both sides at this point?

Lavrov looks quite jolly, and Blinken like he wants to get out of there. hahaha... just priceless

I am sure that the Russians are very confident these days that if they just wait long enough, and play their cards right, all good things in this world......of a US-NATO disintegration and serious internal disagreements over what to do about all these Russian demands (and the Ukraine).... All good things will come to them. And the Russians are right

Lavrov, ever the great diplomat that his is, talks again about "...our American colleagues..." hahaha Excellent! I like that. He's a confident winner, and he knows it. Blinkien, Biden and the US are over a barrel and can't get it together, least of all with the Germans, their most important 'partners'.

Patience is a great Russian virtue - they are upending the ending European and world security architecture, and they know it. and are supremely confident - and for good reasons.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 22 2022 2:41 utc | 104

Thanks b for the great summary/update, and the commentariat for the usual interesting conversation.

IMO, again, failure for Russia to act with a military action is a failure of the 'west' to provoke that action. Russia has resisted to its utmost while the 'west' has done its best to increase pressure. The 'west' is now actively sending weapons to Ukraine. The pressure will not stop until the 'west' wins and is able to respond to Russia's 'aggression' with Cold War 3.0.

It is not a question of 'if.'

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 22 2022 2:46 utc | 105

I get the sense that the US is playing for time, part of which is throwing up this elaborate facade of incompetence.

My sense is that the West is working on an attempt with Ukraine to take back the breakaway "republics", and all this 'diplomacy' is merely a distraction.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 22 2022 3:13 utc | 106

michaelj72
Lavrov has that effect. As I think Martyanov put it, the 80th degree of cool. As Lavrov himself puts it 'never show fear'. He is there to do a job and he appears to be doing a job on blinky Tony.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 3:14 utc | 107

@ peter and jen... thanks for those additional insights... is it still called ' the netherlands'? lol... or is that no longer fashionable to the english intelligentsia?

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2022 3:14 utc | 108

i guess that is "lower countries" , or ........ the "lower countries" ?? .... i don't want to be wrong, lol.... i hate being wrong as i am wrong so long, i don't belong..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2022 3:16 utc | 109

One additional aspect to the Russian insistence on a written response has been to expose that Biden is not calling the shots; is not running the government. After all, who is supposed to provide the response to such a serious Russian demarche? Well the state department for sure, but to the overarching nature of this request, the US president would have to give his assent, and then forwarded to the congress for approval. A major treaty.

Think back to grade school, and the teacher sends something home with you for your parents to sign, and then for you to return with the signature so the teacher knows that your parents saw it. Well, that’s what the Russians did. And sure enough Blinken shows up without the written response. No parent signature. My dog ate it,lol. So back it goes. Next time, show up with the written response. And it all goes to illustrate that the US foreign policy team is running rogue, and that the sitting president is not running foreign policy, but rather a cabal is doing so. Again illustrating that the US is non agreement capable, in the literal meaning. And it’s all public. In other words, it’s putting out in public for the world to see that it’s Weekend at Bernie’s here in the USA.
I’m again reminded of the analogue of imperial Japan, and various competing interests and power centers runni;g their own schemes.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 22 2022 3:18 utc | 110

james
I think the other country involved in MH17 already claims that title.

Jen, do you know if Cossack's have their own language or dialect and if so how does it compare to the so called Ukrainian language?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 3:22 utc | 111

james 109 :)

I guess there are various parts of the anatomy in those regions.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 3:33 utc | 112

If you haven't read it, you might want to take a gander at a transcript of Blinken's speech in Berlin Jan 20 here. It surely must be a record for how much warped vitriol and slander can be expressed by one country toward another. It's hardly a proper prelude to negotiations.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 3:55 utc | 113

"My fellow Americans, we may not agree on a lot, but we all agree that our problems are Russia's fault."

despite the security state and a supposedly adversarial media both vetting that ivy league sprout Trump, somehow russia managed to slip its Manchurian candidate into the White House. by advertising on FB and the like.

lots of Americans believe this trash. i mean, it's like, thank GOD the CEO of Exxon was there to keep the commies from taking over completely.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 22 2022 4:01 utc | 114

apologies if this has alredy been posted
from Straegic Culture
does not paint a positive outcome

Britain and other NATO members including the Baltic states are sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine along with military advisors. All this weaponry is emboldening the Kiev regime to escalate its offensive against the ethnic Russian population of Southeast Ukraine. Kiev forces have repudiated a political settlement to the nearly eight-year civil war which began shortly after the CIA-backed coup. This week there were reports of the Ukrainian armed forces installing multiple rocket launchers on the contact line in the Donbas conflict zone, a move which is being read as preparation for a major offensive.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/01/21/insane-signals-one-conclusion-us-and-nato-partners-inciting-war-against-russia/

Posted by: ld | Jan 22 2022 4:18 utc | 115

I am sorry for my errors. I claim near sightedness and fatigue
that's my story and I'm sticking to it

Posted by: ld | Jan 22 2022 4:21 utc | 116

Hi everyone at MoA show and tell. Signing off with these little bits of information.

Vladimir Vysotsky. He has become a new favorite! I am not sure who at the bar put him on the jukebox, but I absolutely love him. Спасибо!

Wolf Hunt

big collection of VV

I ran across this of all places on the ZH comments. A GREAT doc about punk rockers in the Soviet Union in Siberia. Some of you might find it interesting. It all is a nightmare, but in case you need a break.

A movie about punks in Siberia in 1985. - Traces in the Snow

Much love to everyone.
God help us all.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 5:25 utc | 117

@ 111/ 112 peter.. yes, indeed..

@116 id - welcome to the club!

@ 117 lex... i claim responsibility, thanks paco... i left a link to john helmer on the open thread and paco suggested i check the links to vv's youtube on helmers link..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2022 5:33 utc | 118

james - you rule for that new music find via paco via the collective brain. Thank you!! We all need a little fun.

Regarding MH-17, I know that I go on and on about Kees van der Pijl, but his book -

MH17 book by Kees van der Pijl

breaks it all down.

In case you are interested.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 5:50 utc | 119

Scuppers @ 110: Excellent insight! Written responses would require the President's original signature along with any Presidential seal and all other indications such as the use of formal language, appropriate letterheads and salutations among other things that indicate these responses are genuine and demonstrate commitment - which of course Biden will not give.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 22 2022 5:50 utc | 120

On a much more sober point, I hope and pray that what ld @ 115 posted doesn't happen. Super scared. Not for myself so much, but for the kid.
I hope it doesn't go off.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 5:55 utc | 121

Peter AU 1 @ 111:

As far as I'm aware, the term "Cossack" was originally a general label given to different groups of armed horsemen living in steppe areas ruled by the Poland-Lithuanuan Commonwealth and Russia from the 1500s onwards. What languages and dialects they spoke depend on which group you're referring to, and where that group lived and operated. Whoever that group interacted with would have had some influence on its culture and language. Cossacks living in the areas now in Ukraine could have spoken Ukrainian, Russian or some mix of the two languages, along with vocabulary picked up from Polish and Turkic and Caucasian languages.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 22 2022 6:20 utc | 122

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 22 2022 0:52 utc | 84

I think you're right about this. All the US really has left is a kind of demoniac narrative control through the Western MSM. The message is broadcast daily that the Russians are preparing for war. The media are not interested in the reality nor in explaining it. Their job is to renew daily a fear of a Russian spectre, which is a bogeyman made up of many different images and faux-historical fears. The purpose is to delegitimize Russian action of any kind in the eyes of its public, to pre-fab a ready-to-wear global condemnation whichever way Russia acts. The media in Australia does this to the point where Putin can be slotted into a role once played by any other international leader who challenges US hegemony. And we also have UK ministers currently visiting whipping up terror of a Sino-Russian bloc to reinforce the necessity of AUKUS, etc. Whatever happens the Ukraine will be cast as Poland in 1939.

Now, the question is: does Russia care? If Putin and Lavrov are worried about international reputation and media narrative they may want to do nothing that can be beat up as provocation. But my feeling is that they don't care because they know that when the time comes the outcome will defy spin. We will see that NATO is a paper tiger and the US hegemony is over. In fact, this really ought to be the reason Russia acts decisively—not only because a line has to be drawn over NATO encroachment, but because the multi-polarity of the world is in the best interests of nations like Germany, Australia, India etc who have been drunk on the kool-aid for too long. We Aussies might then ask: is it really in our best interests to be shackled long-term into a defence partnership with yesterday's heroes? Doesn't our long-term economic prosperity lie in the emerging Eurasian future? Might it not be better to have a seat at the SCO?

The MSM must therefore stoke a fear of Sino-Russian imperialism at all costs to terrorise a sleepwalking population into going all the way with UKUSA.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 22 2022 6:24 utc | 123

... and let's hope we wake up before we follow them into ruination.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 22 2022 6:27 utc | 124

@111 peter AU and jen - Here is an interesting article regarding Cossack and Kazakh!

The Steppe Peoples

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 6:58 utc | 125

@ alaff | Jan 21 2022 22:51 utc | 61

I think Victoria Nuland should show a certificate of her mental health every time she appears in public. This woman is too inadequate every time she opens her mouth.

An app with a QR code should be developed so that every single person in the world can keep track of where people like her are at all times and what they are doing. We don't want the infected cookies spread around.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 7:19 utc | 126

Most of the commentators here tend to be looking at this situation from the Russian perspective — as in, what do the Russians hope to gain by presenting these treaties and initiating this "crisis" — which is fair enough, given that the Russian point of view gets short shrift in Western politics, media, and analysis.

However, I think there may be something a bit deeper going on here.

The west, specifically the United States, wants a proxy war with Russia:
* They keep egging on the regime in Ukraine;
* supplying that regime with tons of weapons and advisors;
* demanding that Russia withdraw troops from its Western Military District.

Given weapons and a withdrawal of Russian forces, I think it's pretty much a given that the Ukrainian forces will attack the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The fact that Russia will quickly be able to bring appropriate forces back to the Western Military District doesn't matter. The point of getting Russia to withdraw the forces isn't to prevent them from being able to respond, it's to encourage the Ukranians to attack. Give them a false sense of confidence.

Why are the Americans doing this? Beats me. It might be something as petty as the Democrats thinking it might improve their chances in the upcoming elections. They do come across as that narcissistic. And they have a demonstrated history of invoking Russophobia when things don't go their way.

Alternately, and this may be giving Washington a bit too much credit, they want Russia involved in a conflict on it's western border, so when the US makes a move on China, the Chinese won't be able to count on the Russians, who will have their own problems. All the talk of bogging Russia down with guerrilla fighters in the Ukraine suggests such a line of thinking.

Anyway, I think the above is clear enough to the Kremlin, so publishing the two treaties and insisting on meetings and diplomacy is (among other things) a way of derailing this plan. Even though the west is desperately trying to keep the narrative focused on "Russia is about to invade Ukraine", some of the momentum has been diverted to discussing NATO's eastward expansion, the west's various broken promises, and the United State's inability to give a written reply to the treaty proposals.

So, I'm suggesting the treaties and the talks are a sort of judo move, throwing the US off balance, and requiring them to focus on defensive maneuvering rather than prosecuting their oh-so-clever plan to get a proxy war going.

Russia may be trying to interrupt the narrative and shift some of the focus to the actions of the US and NATO.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 22 2022 7:21 utc | 127

@Feral Finster | Jan 21 2022 22:51 utc | 62

Of course, the hypocrisy of European Greens replacing a reliable supply of natural gas via existing pipelines (which are pretty much carbon-neutral) with future LPG deliveries by supertanker (which are some of the biggest carbon emitters in existence), all because their American masters ordered them to do so, is too rich for words.
Even if you accept the massive lie in the premise that CO2 is somehow causing the end of the world as we know it, this analysis comes to the correct conclusion anyway. The "greens" are massive hypocrites, and if you study the "science" behind their supposed motivation you will only find hypocrisy on yet another level.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 7:28 utc | 128

@Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 0:15 utc | 74

One thing to keep in mind is that several times Putin has stated that those threatening Russia will come under reciprocal threat. That is very much in relation to US missile bases in Europe, one in Romania and one in Poland and that threat would be a reciprocal flight time away (The time distance between the threat and the American leadership).

I think this is ultimately correct unless somehow the US leadership finds it senses very soon, but given the senseless leadership I cannot easily see that happen. Therefore I agree that a "practical" reciprocal threat to the US leadership with similar flight time is the "Hollywood style message" they just might be able to understand.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 7:53 utc | 129

@Oriental Voice #44

Russian MFA clarifies what Russia’s demands of NATO’s return to the configuration of 1997 mean for Bulgaria and Romania (translation and emphasis mine):

One of the tentpoles of our initiatives that was mentioned is deliberately formulated as clearly as possible and does not allow varying interpretations. We’re talking about removing foreign troops, [military] vehicles and arms as well as taking other steps with the goal of returning to the configuration that existed in 1997 on the territories of the countries that weren’t NATO members as of that date. These include both Bulgaria and Romania.

The full list includes Czechia, Hungary, Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia (2004), Albania, Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).

Posted by: S | Jan 22 2022 8:03 utc | 130

@Oscar Peterson #10

It's not a bluff. The answer is on its way right now. Things will be much clearer by the time the Olympics start. You'll see.

Posted by: Coiseam | Jan 22 2022 8:32 utc | 131

Reasonable chance that Russia does some kind of military maneuvers around the Olympics.
Happened in 2008 and 2014.
Perhaps that partially explains the recent propaganda buildup.
Coincidence?
I’m not wise enough to make analytical observations (that’s why I read here),
But the timing is right, if one goes by recent history.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jan 22 2022 8:50 utc | 132

Looks like the 20-Feb is going to be interesting.

re: "Blinken is all about show, Lavrov is all about substance."

The Karl Rove quote comes to mind.

In a 2004 article appearing in the New York Times Magazine, Suskind wrote:

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [...] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'. (Wikipedia)

In 2022, Putin's reality-based community in Russia: Nyet!

As for all this invasion drama -- I just remember Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, ... what hypocrisy.

Posted by: imo | Jan 22 2022 9:17 utc | 133

@kral | Jan 21 2022 21:32 utc | 49

"They understand that it's all about Blinken jerking off and playing for time; and will proceed with their plans, whatever they are."

There is only one thing on Biden's mind (and the minds of his minders) -- the 2022 mid-terms which look increasingly like a major train-wreck coming up for the Democrats.

Whether it is "Orange Man Bad" 2.0 at the head, or not, the Republicans look good for 2024 (and the two lame-duck years) getting there from 2022. Biden (or whomever they select to replace him) needs a "War President" mantle ASAP and they are planning (and heavily suggesting) that Russia will obligue.

Posted by: imo | Jan 22 2022 9:37 utc | 134

A possibility that comes to mind is that Russian counterattacks will not necessarily be located anywhere near where NATO wants them. It could be a great opportunity to flex intel by utterly destroying some apparently unrelated assets usually out of public scrutiny.

Why attack where the enemy is prepared, indeed?

All this stinking affair is a painfully obvious game of "let's you and him fight" and the only ones standing to suffer losses and damages of actual value are europeans.

Posted by: Misotheist | Jan 22 2022 9:41 utc | 135

Patroklos #123 & 124

Thank you and yes, sadly that is true. The Aussies get fed BS on a continuous basis and they walk about in their cocoon of 'security' knowing they are 'safe' from boogeymen with yellow skin and ruskies. Catastrophic IMO. I conserve my sanity somewhat by NEVER reading Aussie msm news other than for comic relief. I have one or two sites that I drop in from time to time but nothing really changes and my vaguely bigoted neighbours never fail to prattle on about latest scandal / idiocy etc.

The year ahead seems to be shaping up as punishment by a thousand cuts for the Outlaw UKUSA empire and its chattels. Should be interesting to observe the tactics and astonished faces.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 22 2022 9:54 utc | 136

@Misotheist | Jan 22 2022 9:41 utc | 135

Too many game-console-generals going on around the social media on this one, imo.

The Russians will surgically remove the red-line problem areas when the time(s) come. Either by US/Nato withdrawl or by onsite demolition. That's it. Then the sactions war cranks up and the Russians and Chinese & Iran, and (you count the fence sitters ....) just move to the next step of dumping the usd$ and life goes on.

China already has the "covid-22" on/off export port switch to shut off the oxygen in "WalMart" land. But, along your thinking lines, if Russia wanted to make a BIG statement then maybe a small volcano could open up around Deigo Garcia -- you know, the India (not American) ocean island where MH370 diverted (according to some theories ;-).

But this is just more noise between the ears. It is not in the Rusian culture/psyche to makes lots of hysterical theatrics. If they decide to act and ride then it will be the real thing full on in measured doses -- until the patient recovers enough sane "agreement capability" to write out their acceptance note.

Posted by: imo | Jan 22 2022 10:21 utc | 137

Re Ukraine history. Earlier I had been thinking about the pre WWII history of the area that is now called Ukraine which is quite different to post WWII. That portion of the country I think based on Lviv was taken from Poland in WWII. Just one of the languages spoken in that area is the language the current neo-nazi types are trying to impose on all of Ukraine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galicia_(Eastern_Europe)

Two different histories for the geographical area now called Ukraine.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 10:57 utc | 138

@Jen (96)
Interesting. Every time I run 'okrayina' (Окраина) through a translator, it returns 'outskirts'. I've seen this in comment-sections on Russian-language news articles that discuss Ukraine. Now that you mention it, I wasn't sure at first if it was a misspelling (letters У and О are spaced reasonably far away from one another on the Russian keyboard layout) and whether or not it is deliberate.

Posted by: joey_n | Jan 22 2022 11:04 utc | 139

The news that I came across said "The negotiations between the US and Russia have made no progress". I interpret that headline as "The US doesn't want to reduce tensions".

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2022 11:05 utc | 140

- Or: The US is determined to let the negotiations fail. The US is determined to INCREASE tensions.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2022 11:08 utc | 141

Although the talk is of "eastern movement" of NATO, there was a previous plan. This could be seen on a power-point presentation (yes, it was that long ago), cooked up by the Pentagon to "divide" areas into "Coms". (Centcom, Eurocom etc.) The object of which was to surround Russia on all sides, including the Artic. Arguably this is still the plan.

Bear with me; recent events before "Ukraine", include the Kazakhstan episode. With the realisation that inserted NGO's and semi-pro-west attitudes by leaders of the Stans, lead to disasters organised by the US and sbires. Ie, The stans should by now have taken note of the vipers in their midst. There is a suggestion that they may have been primed to be a PART OF the Kazakhstan regime change, and that general "uprisings" had been planned all along the Russian borders at the same time. (ie Olympics?).

Further West we have the recent Azebaijan/Azeri conflict (Turkish and Israeli influence included). Then we come to round to the Black Sea and Ukraine.

For the US, the retreat from Afghanistan, followed by an "installation" in ALL the Stans at the same time would have been their continuation of the same (Old) policy. The "uprisings" planned would have enbled them to move closer to the borders with Russia.
*

Back to Ukraine.
Obviously the US has no real interest in solving the problem, as it is designed to be a permanent source of problems for Russia. Nazis arrive like locusts, armed, and the play is consolidated.
*

Do we stop there?
It is also noticible that the suppliers of weapons and those cheering the loudest for WAR, are those that are standing the furthest away, on the touch-lines. The US, UK and Canada, all want the Ukrainians, and the limitrophe countries (Estonia, and the Baltic states) to "get up and fight". Using their own territories as battlefields and fallout zones if "tactical" nukes are used. They are full of US, and others' troops, and the populations, in part Russian speaking, can become "collateral" damage, and can be rationalized by the MSM as Russia killing it's own.

Getting other Northern countries to carry on "the plan", who are not directly involved, Sweden, Finland and Norway, may take a bit longer. Norway is not inclined to be a sacrificial victim, but has vast stocks of "preplanned" arms including a reputed 10'000 US Abrahams Tanks in WWII caverns etc. These were claimed by the US Military complex, as a reason for the US to buy even more. Can't use the reserve, can we?

Belarus was a failure again for the US. So Poland has to be motivated to take it's place as a front line battlefield.
***

Back to Geneva. We learn that Blinken has found someone who can write and will supply a written answer to the Russians. But has asked that these are NOT made public. It might be that they don't want the spelling mistakes to show - or that they still want to "control" the narrative.
****

PS, You didn't think the US could really think up TWO plans at once did you?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 22 2022 11:11 utc | 142

RE: Posted by b on January 21, 2022 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

"“My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”

Where is that cat?

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 11:13 utc | 143

RE: Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 11:13 utc | 143

"Where is that cat?"

Is there a cat?

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 11:16 utc | 144

RE: Posted by b on January 21, 2022 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

“Give the Ukraine to Russia to create more problems for it? “

A derivative of exceptionalism of the sole agency species.

Sole agency never exists even in giving, although the coercive social relations self-misrepresented as “The United States of America” deem sole agency to be possible to the degree of being close to "the norm" including but not limited to Mr. Rove's observations on “We are an Empire...”

Giving requires receiving for “consumation”, and in context, such hopes include ignorance of the lubricating efforts of some in “The Soviet Union” facilitating the unclipping of “the near abroad”.

“I don't think they are smart enough to strategize that far. “

Some believe they are smart enough and that their opponents are starving spiders desperate for a meal, facilitated by reliance on hope and limited knowledge of arachnology, as a function of believing that they are Hawkeyes in many matters, including but not restricted to, arachnology, some deeming this to be the-smartest-kid-on-the-block-syndrome.

However as illustrated on Independence Square in 2014 and various other locations and times – they often forget the salt and the napkins given their marked tendency for premature ejaculations even by the “ladies”.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 11:57 utc | 145

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 22 2022 2:20 utc | 100

“And so on ad nauseam “

Thank you for your service in illustration of Mr. Rove's We are an Empire hypothesis.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 12:02 utc | 146

How come that the only people the USA can find to head their country tend to, in the main, be intellectually and physically challenged geriatrics ?
Are these, so called leaders, the best that a country of over 300 million people can produce. It's embarrassing, the country that produced JFK in the 1960's is unable since then to find candidates that are a little better than care centre patients.
Leaders of the free world, I think not.

Posted by: Henry Smith | Jan 22 2022 12:09 utc | 147

Belarus was a failure again for the US. So Poland has to be motivated to take it's place as a front line battlefield. Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 22 2022 11:11 utc | 142

Excellent idea, except for the deep dislike of nationalistic Ukrainians in Poland (where stories of WWII massacres of Poles are kept alive). British have several hundreds of "advisors" in Ukraine with a good (?) evacuation plan. NOBODY wants to fight for "territorial integrity of Ukraine" except some, not all, Ukrainians.

There is also a dribble of weapons supplied to Ukraine, and what is absolutely not mentioned in Western press, Ukraine has a numeric advantage if you count their troops and the nearby Russian and separatists forces. Note that all maps distributed for the use in Western press show no marks for presence of Ukrainian units. So why worry about Ukraine?

Air Force. Ukraine has a sorry excuse for air force, and Russia has a real thing. How much would it cost to give Ukraine parity while using Western weapons? Tens of billions of USDs. And years. Without air cover, Russian command can communicate "you move ground units, they get flattened". This can keep anti-tank weapons away from tanks.

Ukraine has an easy solution, negotiate with the republics and give them autonomy. As it was agreed. The West has an easy solution, prod Ukraine to adhere to agreements. But Ukrainian nationalists want to copy ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Croatia (literally, they discuss those experiences with Croatians).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 22 2022 12:09 utc | 148

Germany has not allowed UK planes carrying weapons to Ukraine to transit through its air space.
Estonia along with US weapons wanted to send German made artillery, but Germany is also blocking that.
https://tass.com/world/1391775

Piotr Berman 148
Andrie Martyanov explained what would happen to them on a modern battle field along the lines in your comment. For an attack there must be launching points. That will be seen and the coordinates then passed to the artillery. The Russian long range artillery then pretty much erases whatever is at those coordinates. Watching the amount of handheld weapons being sent to Ukraine brings up mental images of cartoon terrorists loaded up with RPGs being massed at those coordinates.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 12:22 utc | 149

@imo | Jan 22 2022 10:21 utc | 137

MH370 and Diego Garcia indeed!

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 12:24 utc | 150

RE: Posted by: Tom Hickey | Jan 21 2022 18:35 utc | 2

“Not to mention the strategic blunder — even worse than the invasion of Iraq — of driving Russia and China into an alliance, to which Iran is being added.”

Opportunists often seek attribution for things they did not do, given that their target audiences are immersed to varying degrees in notions of exceptionalism upon which the social relations are based.

In some coercive social relations one protective mechanism is resort to it-wasn't-me-it-was-my-sister or them.

However in context resort to it-wasn't-me-it-was-them would assign too much agency to Russia and China undermining their target audiences' immersion in exceptionalism including their “own”.

Consequently as in the Who lost China witch hunt resort to it-wasn't-me-it-was-my-sister/colleague was/is required.

The false narrative was fashioned in perparation by some in anticipation of the Who lost Russia witch hunt, since the activities of some “intelligence agencies” have been focused on their targets, including their target audiences immersed to varying degrees in notions of exceptionalism.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 22 2022 12:26 utc | 151

Posted by: Tom Hickey | Jan 21 2022 18:35 utc | 2

One of the old regulars here (Snake, if memory serves me correctly), posted a link to
HREF="https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=np_ylvc8Zj8/">this documentary about the City of London, and its vast hidden financial empire.
I think they're still a very big player in the ugly game of empire.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 22 2022 12:35 utc | 152

Piotr Berman | Jan 22 2022 12:09 utc | 148

I wonder if the Polish people will have anything to say? Sorry, correction - "be allowed to say anything". This map, shows the UK, Poland, Ukraine proposed link-up.
https://twitter.com/ConGeostrategy/status/1484522102535462912/photo/1

Quote; "Speaking at the @LowyInstitute today, #UK Foreign Secretary @trussliz outlined the formation of a new ‘Trilateral’ between the UK, #Poland and #Ukraine. What does this new group look like? And what is its geostrategic purpose?"

A twisted map always looks good to get money and support from sponsors.

I can understand Polish reticence to go overboard to "save" the Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
In the event of a breakup of Ukraine itself, would they like the Northern Kiev area back?

****

Another reason that the "US" wants war (in this case it is the MIC) is the prospect of profits. "Wars" come from a different budget line than the usual Pentagon orgy. If Afghanistan is no longer a "war", and the "war" on terrorism has officially ended, then all those bucks can no longer be claimed. The "loss" of anticipated income must be giving several billionaires withdrawal symptoms.

Their loss of other profitable "side-lines", (drugs, "Aid" and "reinforcement" of demoncracy), added to the loss of large juicy contracts must be making the MIC(keys) look for new venues. No matter where.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 22 2022 12:53 utc | 153

Russian MFA - 'Response to the US Department of State’s fact sheet Facts vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine'.

Posted by: alaff | Jan 22 2022 13:09 utc | 154

Jon_in_AU 152

Much of what is happening on the Russian front now is I think due to the UK. For some reason anglo's have a generational or hereditary hatred of Russia. US I think wanted to quieten down the Russian front for awhile so they could concentrate in taking down China. UK is ensuring the US stay focused on Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 13:16 utc | 155

RE:uncle tungsten | Jan 22 2022 0:52 utc | 84

"...Trapped in their own discourse, the UKUSA and its rabid message mangers have no choice but to remain silent, offer no text to Russia and just keep screaming Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine..."

"...Consider the twisted version of US reality: talking to the Russians now would be 'permitting them to meddle in US elections'. I don't believe that but Rachel Maddow (or any other loony) would never stop bleating it..."

Wonder if Radical Madcow (let alone the loons on Fox Hasbara and Fox Plunderbund) still thinks the likes of the late Willis Carto are right-wing loons? Oh, I forgot, she is a lesbian, of course she is a left wing liberal.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 22 2022 13:20 utc | 156

Typical lawyers.
https://tass.com/world/1391787
"US officials have asked their Russian colleagues not to publish Washington’s written response to Moscow’s proposal on security guarantees, The Washignton Post has reported."
"At a news conference after the meeting, Lavrov told reporters that, in his opinion, publishing the US response would be a right thing to do. However, Russia will request Blinken’s consent to do so, he added."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 13:35 utc | 157

We will have to wait for the written U.S. response

Can the Americans actually write? That may be the flaw in Russia's cunning plan.

Remember the Reset farce?

On 6 March 2009 in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a red button with the English word "reset" and the Roman alphabet transliteration of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet word перегрузка ("peregruzka"). It was intended that this would be the Russian word for "reset" but actually was the word for "overcharged".

Posted by: Unknown31 | Jan 22 2022 13:38 utc | 158

Mother Russia:

National Airlines Boeing 747-428(BCF) N919CA that delivered weapons to Ukraine (via Frankfurt) is taking a short northern detour to go to Hong Kong.

As you can see, it's avoiding Ukrainian airspace like the plague, but has no problems using Russian airspace.

From what I learned from the many knowledgeable people here at MoA, on the CIA and the transport business, that airline is CIA or something very similar. Isn't it?

And Russia aids in the weapons deliveries, by not blocking its airspace (or just letting the plane disappear above its territory). That is just fantastic.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 22 2022 13:51 utc | 159

@NotEuclid 146,

You are too subtle for me. If you mean that Russia is desperately clinging to Rove's "reality" created by the West I can only agree. People are distracted by weapons and yet the key is not in the weapons but in the WILL to use them. I hate war but hate Russia's prevarications too. Certain things should have been done a long time ago.

Thanks

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 22 2022 14:18 utc | 160

States rarely admit they go to war over interests, preferring to stress more principled motives. But it’s interests that decide. Washington and Moscow need to ensure they do not collide. They are on course for world war if the route is not changed.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/


Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Jan 22 2022 14:22 utc | 161

The day I do not drop the "the" from "the Ukraine" is the day I drop it from the Netherlands and The Bahamas.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 22 2022 14:24 utc | 162

Re: Unknown31 | Jan 22 2022 13:38 utc | 158
We will have to wait for the written U.S. response

"Can the Americans actually write? That may be the flaw in Russia's cunning plan."

Me: or a feature, with hands guaranteed to become untied.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 22 2022 14:27 utc | 163

@ Scotch Bingeington | Jan 22 2022 13:51 utc | 159

It tells you something about who did MH17, doesn't it.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 14:30 utc | 164

Reasonable chance that Russia does some kind of military maneuvers around the Olympics.
Happened in 2008 and 2014.
Perhaps that partially explains the recent propaganda buildup.

My WAG.....

Maneuvers in Belarus.... along the Baltic's border(s)..... along Ukraine's border(s)....

In NE China..... SE Russia..... Iran... with Russian/Chinese/Iranian armed formations taking part...

All Winter... in stages....

The Naval Maneuvers are underway at this time....

In the Caribbean with Venezuelan/Nicaraguan/Cuban/Mexican/Argentine/Russian/Chinese/Iranian
naval forces..... in Apr-May....

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 22 2022 15:00 utc | 165

We will have to wait for the written U.S. response
Can the Americans actually write? That may be the flaw in Russia's cunning plan.

Posted by: Unknown31 | Jan 22 2022 13:38 utc | 158

The plan is well tuned to American way of thinking etc. American students hate oral exams. Given homework, there are always some who ask for extensions, the most creative reason I ever heard was the following: the student thought through the answers and solutions, but on Saturday (homework was due on Monday) he played football with his high school friends, stepped on the ball as he was running, and had a concussion that made him forget all his work (that was verified by his doctor).

Onto the next meeting, either asking for the extension again (a concussion does have a longer effect), or Professor Lavrov pulling out is red ball pen and quickly covers the opus with "illogical", "contradicts answer to point 2", "impossible", "It is not an English sentence" etc. with the red/black text posted by MID (Min. of For. Aff.) -- with Russian translation.

Next meeting, Blinken even more pale than before...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 22 2022 15:01 utc | 166

@153 And Germany is under mounting pressure to supply arms to Ukraine.

Are you feeling the mounting pressure b? How much can Germany stand?

https://www.voanews.com/a/nato-countries-urged-to-supply-more-weapons-to-ukraine/6403496.html

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 15:10 utc | 167

All the talk of Biden needing a fig leaf to secure his crumbling administration is inane. The Biden administration is courtesy of MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank Complex). Whoever is in the Oval - and for a large part whoever is in congress - is there because of and on behalf of them.

Reference Eisenhower's farewell address and the JFK assassination (3 strikes, you're out: 1 - failed to follow through at Bay of Pigs, 2 - refused to invade Cuba in the Missile Crisis, 3 - announced plans to withdraw US advisors from Vietnam).

Posted by: Black Cloud | Jan 22 2022 15:29 utc | 168

@155 "For some reason anglo's have a generational or hereditary hatred of Russia."

I think a lot of it has to do with the killing of Tsar Nicholas 11 and his family. Not sure why this should bother ordinary Poms. Hard to pin it on Putin too.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 15:33 utc | 169

Could one of Russia's reasons for the draft treaties be to humiliate the Russia warmongers by working them into a tizzy, and then have the "certain" attack by Putin never materialize? Logic would dictate that the warmongers failed predictions would result in their banishment from MSM, but we all know that they will get even more prominence after being discredited yet again. That said, I do believe that the American public is starting at long last to take a jaded view of the warmongers, despite,or perhaps because of, the MSM's nonstop beating of war drums.

Posted by: schmoe | Jan 22 2022 15:46 utc | 170

@170 Good theory. It would be very unfair of Putin not to invade after so many fine journalists have invested their careers in an invasion. Not to mention all the wonderful weapons that won't be used. Not to worry. I'm sure the MSM will come up with a new crisis.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 15:55 utc | 171

dh
I think it is more the type that are educated in places like Oxford. Rhodes scholarship ect. Cecil Rhodes views on Britain's place in the world. I think many Australian and Canadian politician and so called people of influence get at least some of their education in those places, less so the Americans.
I had been going through few video's of Putin speaking and Run onto this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PqU4TsX8VE
He is saying everyone liked Russia when it was down but then as Russia began go ahead again, the 'partners' started a containment policy. He says this has been ongoing for several hundred years and that there are papers from the 19th century (which I take to be the 1800's) are exactly the same as what is being said now. It is worth watching.

It makes me think the old school Brits see Russia as the country with the most potential to destroy the anglo grip on world domination.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 16:00 utc | 172

@172 Oh yes definitely the upper crust hate Russia. But it's funny. I've met ordinary Poms who feel the same way. When asked why they can't come up with any specific reason. Something to do with a big scary bear I think.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 16:11 utc | 173

@173 Funny as in odd, peculiar, strange. Sorry.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 16:18 utc | 174

@134 If the D Team strategy is to start a war with Russia to bolster Biden's re-election chances then they are far more delusional than we give them credit for. The US has already committed to de-SWIFTing Russia. And that process necessarily imposes a self-created iron curtain 2.0 around the Western world. The moment that happens, dollar trade is done. China and Russia turn on their new clearing system. Gas is cut off to the EU. Oil is cut off to the US. China will suddenly find all sorts of reasons that it's ports can't open up to trans-Pacific trade. The US and EU economies collapse and they're both mired in all sorts of civil unrest. Under this scenario, Team R, which is already hyper reactionary, will easily sweep to power and the US is likely to collapse into, if not outright civil war, outright collapse as different regions within the US are non-agreement capable with one another. The US will be suddenly too poor to deal with maintaining an external empire (and suddenly cut off from the raw resources it needs for that).

Because both the US and it's vassals have talked themselves into a corner, if they don't decouple as a "punishment" to Russia, they're going to look weak and lose any authority both internationally and domestically. So Biden can't walk this back now. He'll lose just based on perceived weakness.

The only way Biden can win now is by abandoning the donor classes completely, zeroing out student loan debt, and turning the defense budget over to be used for various progressive projects. Team D would have to finally live up to all the promises made to their base over the last few decades that have been unfulfilled due to their rightward shift to neoliberalism. And since Biden would never actually do that (and it's is pretty much impossible anyway once he loses Congress this year), basically the only scenarios left for Team D are: losing, or losing, or losing.

We should, of course, expect this sort of losing strategic thinking from the shallow thinkers behind the Biden puppet show.

Posted by: Krungle | Jan 22 2022 16:23 utc | 175

A further thought to my post at 170 is NS2 will likely face US sanctions in Russia invades (even though Germany doesn't seem entirely on board with that), so if the "imminent" invasion doesn't occur, will Germany tolerate the US moving the NS2 goalposts to "OK, so Russia didn't invade so our we can't sanction NS2 via current legislation, but WTF, let's just sanction NS2 anyways!"

The more I think about Russia and the ambiguous "technical and military" reference if the draft treaties are not responded to (which they knew would never be agreed to), the more I think Russia's strategy is as I said in 170, namely, a means to humiliate the warmongers, get NS2 done, and hopefully keep Ukraine out of NATO. Putin is not bold enough to strike first militarily, which is an observation and not a criticism.

Posted by: schmoe | Jan 22 2022 16:24 utc | 176

@ Willy 2 141
The US is determined to let the negotiations fail.
Yes. For the US, it's do what we say and diplomacy = sanctions

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 16:25 utc | 177

King George V bore a lot of the responsibility for the murder of the tsar and his family. George refused to allow them to come to Britain because he feared revolution there.

Anyway, what does Putin's Russia have to do with the Bolsheviks' murder of the tsar and his family? The Russian Orthodox Church, which regards the tsar and his family members as saints and martyrs, is now semi-established. Russian media portray tsarist institutions with sympathy.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 22 2022 16:29 utc | 178

dh
US role in the Russian 90's Harvard boys ect is well known. UK is not mentioned much. By the end of the nineties most of Russia's wealth had been moved to London by the oligarchs.
That makes me wonder if UK played a larger part in that era of Russia than the Americans.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 16:29 utc | 179

Mark at 29

EU has not refused to help Ukraine

The EU, together with its Member States, has since last year delivered unprecedented levels of support to help Ukraine in its efforts for launching this renewed reform process. In March last year, the EU and European Financial Institutions committed EUR 11 billion in support of Ukraine’s political, economic and financial stabilisation. So far, around EUR 6 billion has been mobilised in the form of loans and grants, including the recently approved additional third macro-financial assistance programme of EUR 1.8 billion. The EU is both currently and since the country's independence the biggest international donor to Ukraine.

Posted by: Jo | Jan 22 2022 16:33 utc | 180

I think one powerful group that harbors hereditary hatred of Russia is Jews, including U.S. Jews. They hated tsarist rule and institutions, and the associated Russian people and culture. This hatred was dormant during the years of Communist rule, but it has re-emerged against the new post-Communist Russia.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 22 2022 16:39 utc | 181

@ Krungle 175
Excellent analysis on the effects to the US of continuing down the war-path because "both the US and its vassals have talked themselves into a corner" until you conclude "the only way Biden can win now is by abandoning the donor classes completely . .turning the defense budget over to be used for various progressive projects."
That can't happen. The US is still a sort of "democracy" where the bought-and-paid-for Congress has a heavy influence.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 16:46 utc | 182

@175 krungle-I fully agree. I guess Biden Brandon Bidet is our Gorbachov. I am trying to figure out how to escape this sinking ship.
I just want to hang onto my record collection.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 16:49 utc | 183

@179 After the collapse of the Soviet Union the West got very excited about the prospect of taking over Russia's resources. That's when we got people like Browder and various oligarchs. They were very disappointed which is the main reason they hate Putin. Then he spoiled NATO's plans for Crimea. But they haven't given up yet.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 16:55 utc | 184

librul @ 19; WOW, great link @ 19; Thanks!!!

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 22 2022 17:03 utc | 185

@schmoe #170, 176
I disagree with your speculation 100%.
Russia doesn't care nor does it have the capability to significantly influence the composition of the US oligarchy.
Only the American people could, in theory anyway.
Even if Russia wanted to - the American oligarchy's grip on mainstream media would prevent that from happening.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 22 2022 17:03 utc | 186

The Russians are forcing the bankrupt empire to spend money it doesn't have to defend territory it doesn't want...for the umpteenth time. The world takes notice and is looking around for an exit ramp. Small cracks are turning into big cracks as Russia chips away at the facade. Humiliation is the only item on the menu. The Empire's dark web of lies and coverups is meeting the RealPoliitk of straightforward negotiations forcing a Big Reveal of a silly naivete so out of touch it can only survive by smoking its own supply. The game is up, financially, intellectually, and socially, no matter how this plays out.

Posted by: Reno | Jan 22 2022 17:07 utc | 187

@Krungle #175
I don't know what "Team D" you are referring to. If it is the Democrats - that is 100% false. There are plenty of Republicans like Crenshaw in Texas openly supporting the Ukraine/anti-Russia policy.

As for your speculation: far too much assumption and immaturity.
1) That Russia is going to invade Ukraine. Does using missiles etc to neutralize the Azov battalion constitute invasion, if not one single Russian soldier walks into Ukraine or Lugank or Donetsk?
2) That China will join Russia in exiting SWIFT. I'd bet money they would not - and the US would have to de-SWIFT China in order to ensure that Russia really would be affected. China already does trade with Iran - a sanctioned entity for example.
The only real impact of a de-Swifting of Russia is cutoff of Europe's ability to pay for Russian gas via SWIFT.
But even then this doesn't automatically mean no more gas for Europe - there are many ways they could pay including using the Russian or Chinese payment systems. Most importantly, Russia doesn't need to sell gas to Europe anymore. While losing the trade would hurt them in the short run, ultimately Russia has other markets it can sell to (cough China).
3) The notion that China will cut off its trade to the US (and EU and UK?). This seems highly speculative.
4) Team R - presumably you mean Republican - is going to take over control of the House and Senate in 2022, 100%. It doesn't matter what Brandon or the Democrats do at this late juncture. The only question is how much - that's what the POTUS and his party are working on at this point.

Overall: far too many naive assumptions of clear and rapid outcomes to the present situation.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 22 2022 17:12 utc | 188

UK Aristocracy fears anyone who shows or has shown a willingness to accord rights to the peasants. So they dislike Russia and China intensely -

This dates from the French Revolution. A revolution that did not continue in the UK.

Unfortunately the UK population, who have been trained over generations to "tip their hats in respect" in front of their "betters", identify with the Aristocracy.
****

There are signs of serious backsliding in the Europuppet zone.
1) Germany, as others have remarked, is not pushing itself into the front in the Ukie problem. As it has arguably the most to lose industrially. Even Baerbock seems to be learning that Diplomacy is something that takes a bit of thought.
2) Spain. there are voices in opposition to Spanish warships getting involved in the Eastern Med. AND, The (real - Maduro appointed) Venezuelan diplomatic representative, has been able to have his credentials accepted. Guaido is a gone goose?
3) Even France has been trying to stay out of the US, UK trouble making. Macron has problems of his own coming up as today's demonstrations are said by the MSM to be run by the "yellow vests", -("once more into the breeches, dear friends.... said by a King in a semi-Shakespearean tone ")
4) The EU "Commission" has gone totally silent, the Parliament is hiding behind it's masks, and the Lady who is supposed to be at the top is wandering around looking lost.
5) Generally there seems to be an awakening that NATO should not be the one to dictate foreign policy (at Defense Minister level) to Governments, but the other way around. (Or at least, I hope so. Could be wishful thinking on my part)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 22 2022 17:17 utc | 189

@Norwegian:

Even if what you said were true, it misses the point.

Europeans preached for years about the importance and even the moral obligation to cut CO2 emissions, only to emit a bunch more CO2 that they don't need to emit to buy more expensive gas, all so that they can show their loyalty to a master in a fight that they do not want and that in no way benefits them.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 22 2022 17:26 utc | 190

Kukulkan @ 127 asked; "Why are the Americans doing this?"

Short answer, hegemony in global commerce. Our giant multi-national corps are like a cancer on humanity, enough $ is never enough.

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 22 2022 17:36 utc | 191

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 22 2022 17:17 utc | 189

Add another one, the head of the German navy says that Crimea is gone for good.

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/crimea-will-never-come-back-to-ukraine:-german-navy-chief

Madness is the new normal, according to Bloomberg Xi has asked his pal Vladimir not to invade so as not to spoil his olympic party. After watching Miguel José link to the BBC interview of an Iranian guest one wonders where is the bottom for these shameful manipulators.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-22/ukraine-crisis-beijing-olympics-may-affect-russia-s-vladimir-putin-s-thinking?srnd=premium-europe&sref=Y0jVLcFo

Concerning Spain, the so called socialists are imperial hostages since the 80’s, their reward was Solana giving the orders to bomb Belgrade. The minority party in the coalition government is opposing to no avail the meager participation of Spain in this madness. On the other hand one has to understand that in case of refusal there are lots of levers in the imperial hands to make the servants comply, like arming Morocco to their teeth or fomenting separatism in Catalonia and Euskadi. Europe is occupied, as simple as that, Von der Leyen, Borrell and all those bureaucrats worry about their careers, nothing else, they’re preparing sanctions allowing for all energy imports from Russia to be stopped, that is to say we will freeze and starve because Washington says so and we are happy to comply.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 22 2022 17:41 utc | 192

Here's a hard-hitting team of the two top western "diplomats," Liz Truss (UK) and Antony Blinken (US). Truss is tough. In her recent speech in Sydney Truss said:

.. .The Kremlin hasn’t learned the lessons of history. They dream of recreating the Soviet Union, or a kind of ‘Greater Russia’ carving up territory based on ethnicity, and language. They claim they want stability, while they work to threaten and destabilise others.
. . .Last week, at the NATO-Russia Council we sent a clear message to Moscow that any further incursion into Ukraine would bring massive consequences, including through coordinated sanctions hitting the financial sector, and individuals. . .here

oooh -- that's massively scary -- coordinated sanctions

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 17:42 utc | 193

@Feral Finster | Jan 22 2022 17:26 utc | 190

Europeans preached for years about the importance and even the moral obligation to cut CO2 emissions, only to emit a bunch more CO2 that they don't need to emit to buy more expensive gas, all so that they can show their loyalty to a master in a fight that they do not want and that in no way benefits them.

You are confirming my point. These guys are hypocrites, they don't even believe in their own preaching (it is a lie anyway), and they act accordingly. What you say is also true, I am not missing that point. All I am saying they are hypocrites on multiple levels.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 22 2022 17:45 utc | 194

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 17:42 utc | 193

Truss is tough.

It means coward in Russian. Taking her seriously won't be easy.

Posted by: hopehely | Jan 22 2022 17:52 utc | 195

Moving in the right direction … USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) was ordered 12-28-2021 to stay … present location Crete … within range of Crimea. High level NSC debate this weekend. Ukraine ’14 is Joe’s baby. War imminent.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2022 17:55 utc | 196

@ my 193
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is highly qualified (but not in foreign affairs):
. . .Recent positions (chronological):
>Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education
>Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
>Secretary of State for Justice Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
>Chief Secretary to the Treasury
>Secretary of State for International Trade President of the Board of Trade
>Minister for Women and Equalities
>now, from Sep 15, 2021: Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 17:59 utc | 197

Russia's invaded Ukraine in 2014 and is still there... so yes, it's very probable RU could go further - for Putin's domestic needs.

Posted by: Bobson | Jan 22 2022 17:59 utc | 198

Posted by: imo | Jan 22 2022 9:17 utc | 133

As for all this invasion drama -- I just remember Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, ... what hypocrisy.

They say to Russia: back off, Ukraine is our bitch, not yours. You touch it, we will spank you.
That is not hypocrisy, it is the big boss bossing around.

Posted by: hopehely | Jan 22 2022 18:09 utc | 199

The US naval exercise in the Mediterranean looks to have been announced a day or so after Russia announced its naval exercise for January/February. Russian exercise first ppears in new dated 20th and the US exercise reports look to be the 22nd.

https://news.yahoo.com/us-sends-aircraft-carrier-group-214927565.html

The U.S. military has sent the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier strike group to take part in a NATO naval exercise in the Mediterranean amid tensions between the West and Russia, the Pentagon's top spokesperson announced Friday.

Neptune Strike 22 exercises, which are set to begin Monday and run through Feb. 4, will "demonstrate NATO's ability to integrate the high-end maritime strike capabilities of an aircraft carrier strike group to support the deterrence and defense of the alliance,"

Kirby insisted the war games had been "long-planned," since 2020, and were not in response to the recent Russian military buildup near the Ukrainian border, though the drills are not listed on NATO's website among exercises slated for this year.

https://tass.com/defense/1390907

Russia’s Navy in January-February will hold a series of exercises in all zones of responsibility, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

"In accordance with a plan for training the Russian armed forces in 2022 a series of naval exercises will be held in January-February in all zones of the fleets’ responsibility under the general guidance of the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov," the news release reads.

The main purpose of the exercise is to let the Navy and Aerospace Force to practice operations to protect Russia’s national interests in the World Ocean and also to resist military threats to Russia on the sea.

"The exercises will encompass seas washing Russia and also World Ocean areas of key importance. There will be some exercises in the Mediterranean and Northern seas and the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Northeastern Atlantic and in the Pacific," the Defense Ministry said.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 18:25 utc | 200

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