Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 28, 2022

Why Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine's President Zelensky

The U.S. has responded to the security demands Russia had laid out in two draft treaties. It has rejected all major ones and is only willing to negotiate on secondary issues. Russia will response to that within a few weeks.

Meanwhile the U.S. is still claiming that Russia intends to attack the Ukraine any moment now. But the Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky publicly disagrees with that false evaluation. He sees no war coming and wants to avoid one as much as possible. That might mean that he has to be removed before a war can be launched. 

Alastair Crooke sets this into the larger U.S. strategy:

The key to China’s security riposte to the U.S. is linked to two words that go unstated in U.S. formal policy documents, but whose silent presence nevertheless suffuses and colour-washes the text of the 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act.

The term ‘containment’ never appears, neither does the word ‘encirclement’. Yet, as Professor Michael Klare writes, the Act “provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory; and potentially to cripple its economy in any future crisis”.

The current attempt to isolate Russia is part of the overall scheme:

The point here is that ‘encirclement’ and ‘containment’ effectively have become Biden’s default foreign policy. The attempt to cement-in this meta-doctrine currently is being enacted out via Russia (as the initial step). The essential buy-in by Europe is the ‘party-piece’ to Russia’s physical containment and encirclement.

The EU is coming under intense pressure from Washington to commit to sanctions – the financial ‘mode’ to encirclement – as EU officials negotiate what would be considered their ‘red line’. Jake Sullivan however, made the new doctrine and what he expects from Europe very clear last November, when he said: “we want the terms of the [international] system to be favourable to American interests and values: It is rather, a favourable disposition in which the U.S. and its allies can shape the international rules of the road on the sorts of issues that are fundamentally going to matter to the people of [America] …”.

The above is by now quite obvious and it makes it a joke that the U.S. is urging China to push Russia to agree with the U.S. Beijing would do that to then become the next target?

I have written that there is no threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Others have come to similar conclusions:

The notion that Russia is massing troops with an intent of attack doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. First, Russia not unreasonably has service members near its borders. Those who want to depict Russia as a a belligerent are throwing in units not stationed close enough to be part of a strike force. Moreover, while it’s hard to get good numbers, any increase has not been huge (on the order of 100,000 soldiers) and took place early in 2021, contrary to claims of aggressive increases in October and November. On top of that, Russia has not put in place the logistical support needed for combat, such as medical teams. By contrast, the first sign the US was serious about invading Iraq was that it started pre-positioning hospital ships nine months before the attack.

The U.S. wants to 'secure' Europe as a proxy force that can be used against Russia and China. The way to do that is by pushing Russia into an invasion of the Ukraine and to then proclaim that it is 'threatening Europe'. In consequence the Nord-Stream 2 pipeline, on which Germany's energy security depends, would never be used to provide gas from Russia. Europe's economy would falter and it would become more dependent on the United States. It would come under full NATO control and could then be pushed to help with the great isolation of China.

But how can the U.S. push Russia to invade the Ukraine? Events in the spring of last year demonstrated how it can be done:

Last March 24, the Ukrainian president decreed that Ukraine would take Crimea back from Russia, with “military measures” to achieve “de-occupation.” The U.S. and NATO voiced “unwavering” support.

In April NATO backed a Ukrainian offensive in its civil war against Russian-allied separatists in the eastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk. That is when Russia moved more troops to its borders with Ukraine, signaling it would defend its allies.

After seeing that Russia would response with force Zelensky backed off his plans.

The idea in Washington is that if the U.S. can instigate Ukraine to attack the Donbas region Russia would have to step in at least with extended suppliesto the Donbas rebels. With the help of the media the talk of a 'Russian invasion' would then become reality. It would trigger 'western' sanctions and Russia would be isolated.

However, the Ukrainian leadership knows what would happen should it attack Donbas and it currently has no interest in fighting for U.S. strategic purposes without any chances to win.

During a press conference in late December Ukraine's President Zelensky rejected plans to retake Donbas by force (machine translation):

Zelensky's direct speech: "The probability of escalation (at the border and in the ORDLO on the part of Russia - ed.)

I think that those political forces that say that we need to go (in the offensive - UE), go to war, it seems, do not imagine and do not think… More precisely, do not think about our army.

We will not go anywhere now. I believe that people come first. We cannot lose our entire army. She is powerful, she will take more than… But… It is impossible today. I think that's wrong today."

The White House however is urging Zelensky to launch a war. That he is pushing against that became obvious when the anti-Russia agitator Julia Ioffe was sent out to trash him:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 8:16 UTC · Jan 27, 2022

White House urges Zelensky to attack south-east rebels but he declined?

Quoted Tweet:

Julia Ioffe @juliaioffe · Jan 25
"The White House and its Democratic allies have just about had it with president Zelensky. According to three sources in the administration and on the Hill, the Ukrainian president is by turns annoying, infuriating, and downright counterproductive." Inside the Biden-Putin Chess Match

From Ioffe's smear piece:

As strongly as the Biden administration has been backing Ukraine, the White House as well as its Democratic allies have just about had it with president Zelensky. According to three sources in the administration and on Capitol Hill whom I’ve spoken to in the last couple months, the Ukrainian president is by turns annoying, infuriating, and downright counterproductive.
...
There’s a sense that Zelensky isn’t very good at navigating American politics and is stepping on all the wrong feet. Perhaps it’s because he is frantically trying to save his own country; perhaps it’s because the former TV star had no preparation for, or education in, geopolitics. It is also, unfortunately, the plight of a country that is caught between two behemoths fighting over its fate. Supplicating while maintaining your dignity is hard enough; doing so while not pissing off your geopolitical backer is harder still.

The U.S. talk of war in Ukraine is destroying its economy. Zelensky is trying to calm down any talk of war even while the U.S. is pushing it. Here is another sign that Zelensky is not willing to do what the U.S. is demanding from him:

A call between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday "did not go well," a senior Ukrainian official told CNN, amid disagreements over the "risk levels" of a Russian attack.
...
Zelensky urged his American counterpart to "calm down the messaging," warning of the economic impact of panic, according to the official. He also said Ukrainian intelligence sees the threat differently.

The Ukrainian leader pointed to a recent breakthrough in negotiations with Russia in Paris, saying that he hoped a ceasefire agreement with rebels in eastern Ukraine would be maintained. He also said the talks between the US, Russia and NATO still had some distance to run before diplomatic efforts had been exhausted, the official said.

As Zelensky is not willing to do Washington's bidding he must be pushed out.

Zelensky is in a weak position. His poll numbers are way down. The U.S. has him by the balls over his offshore accounts and money laundering. His attempt to arrest former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who recently returned to the Ukraine, was stopped by the U.S. embassy. That the U.S. wanted Poroshenko back in the Ukraine in the first place may point to a replacement strategy.

Leonid Ragozin believes that to be the case:

[T]hroughout the year Zelenskiy has been forced to devote significant time and attention to an attempt by the radical part of the security community, close to Poroshenko, to launch an impeachment process through the so-called Wagnergate affair. They claimed that Zelenskiy committed an act of treason through a last-minute cancellation of a madcap plan, hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence, which envisaged the forced landing of a civilian Turkish plane carrying mercenaries from the infamous Russian Wagner group. The affair resulted in an open rebellion by the military intelligence chief, which Zelenskiy had to put down in September.

By the time the US went into red alert mode over “imminent” Russian aggression, Zelenskiy was clearly more preoccupied with domestic politics and the threat of a coup. His messaging became confused as he tried to link his foes, such as oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and ex-president Poroshenko to Russia, while it was clear that if any great power were behind them, then it would be the United States of America.

Akhmetov is one of the top sponsors of the Atlantic Council. The militant street movement, which backs Poroshenko and keeps the threat of a new Maidan alive, is run by Andriy Levus, an activist and former security official directly linked to diaspora organisations created by Nazi collaborators who found refuge in North America under the auspices of the CIA.

The Ukrainians have reasons to suspect that the United States and Britain, with their radical rhetoric unmatched by the real level of threat as well as their enthusiasm about “brave Ukrainians” fighting and dying for the Western cause, are prepared to throw Ukraine under the bus so as to get Russia bogged down in a devastating war. The vision of “a new Chechen war” was evoked by British PM Boris Johnson. Former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas went as far as calling for the US to form a new “coalition of the willing” and engage in a direct conflict with Russia over Ukraine.

Zelenskiy also has good reasons to believe that his allies see him as an impediment.

Then again Zelensky may not be needed:

A false-flag provocation against Russian-friendly rebels in Eastern Ukraine or even convincing US-aligned elements of that country’s military-intelligence communities to attack them without President Zelensky’s approval is all that it could take to trigger a regional war.
...
Zelensky, meanwhile, is still trying to give off an air of calm and control despite obviously becoming more anxious and increasingly losing control over the situation. The West’s recent reports that Russia is plotting a regime change against him might actually be meant to precondition the public into accepting his removal by one means or another, including through the US simply standing by and letting him either be overthrown by the opposition or even his own military. His sacrifice, up to and including in the most literal way, might be considered necessary to galvanize global opinion against Russia.

To get the war the U.S. wants started some provocation has to be launched in east Ukraine that is significant enough to lead to a wider war. Either that or Zelensky has to be replaced with someone who is willing to sacrifice the Ukraine by outright attacking Donbas.

My best guess is that Zelensky will soon be pushed out by a militant nazis coup and that a willing replacement will be found. He himself warned today that it might happen:

The president said he saw great unrest on the streets of Ukrainian cities. "There is no one person in the state, and calmness is returning on the streets, people are at the President's Office or blocked the parliament. And they do not care if there is COVID-19. They are engaged in daily opportunistic steps, the split of our state," the head of state said.

After a coup the war against Donbas could finally proceed. Russia will then be accused of fighting it and sanctions will be implemented to cut it off from Europe.

But there is still a part of the plan that is unlikely to work out. The U.S. hopes that Russia would response to a war on Donbas the way it threatened to respond last spring. That Russia would attack the Ukraine and could be seen as doing that. That plan however misjudges one of the main actors in the game. 

Russia does not want to play the part the U.S. has written for it in its script. At least not by the rules the U.S. tries to make up:

Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee:

The West is doing everything to force Zelensky to do another stupid thing. It is clear that they have already blamed Russia for everything. And they don't think differently.

But they will not understand one thing - the degree of pain they will experience will be adequate to the degree of stupidity that they are now doing.

They need a war, they need a sacred sacrifice in the form of Ukraine. So that later they could say: look, we stopped Putin.

The Anglo-Saxons understand the war in such a way that it should take place somewhere not with them, others will fight, and then they will come and skim off the cream.

Putin will never act according to their scenario. He will do everything as they do not expect. And I repeat once again - they will be very hurt.

I have no idea what Russian capability Kartapolov is alluding to.

The U.S. has responded to the Russia's ultimatum that had come in mid December in the form of two draft treaties. It has rejected all of Russia's primary demands - no Ukraine in Nato, no nukes nearby etc. The U.S. has offered talks on secondary issues. That however is insufficient for Russia. A response by Russia will come, but not today or tomorrow.

No one knows in what the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to its demands really mean.

However, this unconfirmed report says that Russia will soon deploy nearly all of its navy (vid, English sub):

In a matter of weeks, the berths of the main bases of the Northern, Pacific, Black Sea and Baltic fleets will be almost empty. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, at the end of January and in February, almost all combat-ready ships, submarines, boats and support vessels will simultaneously and obviously according to a single plan be simultaneously withdrawn to combat training grounds in the Mediterranean, North, Okhotsk Seas, in the northeast parts of the Atlantic and the Pacific.
What could be the intention of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces?

That is another good question for which I have no answer.

Posted by b on January 28, 2022 at 17:36 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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You’re right. He’s not a western politician.agree entirely with your take on Putin. In my mind, he’s a modern incarnation of Frederick th Great, who was one of the best leaders of all time, in my view. The question, though, revolves around what did he mean by that term? Nobody knows. I certainly don’t. I’m only trying to reconcile his statement, with the statements of Lavrov, and Ryabkov,and shoigu, and the sortying of the fleets, and the movements of the armies, with the overall situation and what would be required to make effective change.

I spent 30 years at sea.... As master of an Oceanographic Research Ship..... I know what is required to take a ship to sea... and keep her there...

Russia is sending her entire navy to sea.... NOW!... in mid-winter.... with most of her ships sent to the western approaches... Directly in the path of mid-winter storms.... Storms break things aboard ships... I know this first hand...

Why????

Let me guess....

The reason given is to conduct "live fire" exercises... at a location SW of Ireland.... which is astride the sea lanes through which the great majority of EU bound shipping must pass...

What if......

Russia promulgates a NOTAM (Notice To Mariners).... which essentially closes the area of the exercises.... which they define as the entire Western Approaches...

For.... months....

This would mean.... no LNG from the US... or anywhere else.... including ships transiting to the North Atlantic from the med.... No oil either.... no bulk shipments of grain, ores, coal... no box ships, either....

Sole exception.... ships docking at med ports.... unless Russia conducts exercises at strategic locations in the med... effectively shutting that route too...

If so... once that is done.... NATO has a choice... they can play along... or go to war... that is... by attacking the Russian ships... conducting the "exercises"..

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 29 2022 15:52 utc | 201

Ukrainian blogger and politician, Anatoly Shariy, has suggested on several occasions that the escalation between US & Russia is a matter of agreement between the two, and in large part directed against Ukraine to force it into fulfilling the Minsk package of measures. It's an optimistic and Ukraine-centric interpretation to be sure, but it's far from nonsensical. The Russian invasion narrative has had the biggest negative impact on Ukraine's economy, peace of mind of the population and is increasing political tensions. Although Russia is presumed, by the American administration, to attack at any moment, Biden and Blinken have both publicly reiterated their support for the Minsk package of measures -- though they present their own twisted interpretation of the agreement, it is nonetheless left on the table as the primary option of deescalation for the Ukrainians. Add to that delivery of arms, an undeniable material aspect of preparation for war.

The Russians, for their part, while rejecting claims of invasion plans as nonsensical, are playing their own game of stoking tensions. Russian statements circle around possible chemical provocations on the part of Ukraine, troop build-up by the armed forces of Ukraine on the contact-line, various law projects in parliament for formal arm supplies to and recognition of Donbas. If Ukrainian elites are interpreting Washington's objective as leading them into a conflict, they can only interpret Russian objectives as ensuring that the conflict is suicidal. If US and Russia are two lorries playing chicken on the highway, Ukraine is a frog on that highway whose only hope of survival is jumping into the pothole of the Minsk agreement which both lorry drivers continue to bring to the frog's attention.

If we for a moment entertain the idea that this is a coordinated plan of action, then complaints about Zelensky's obstinacy may be interpreted as frustration that he's slow to take the bait. Likewise the pressure from Poroshenko's resurgence and threats of a coup may be intended to reinforce the need for a more pliable head of state. This interpretation obviously does not exclude the possibility of rogue actors or uninitiated "well-wishers" in the form of UK, former Warsaw pact countries or even segments of the US administration who are pursuing a separate agenda in Ukraine that goes against the grain of any coordinated strategy between US & Russia.

I would certainly like to believe that there's a grain of truth to this interpretation, but I do feel it's somewhat optimistic and perhaps overemphasizes the role of the Ukraine conflict in resolving geostrategic contradictions on a global scale.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 29 2022 15:52 utc | 202

Thanks for the post b. And thanks for the platform to voice things out.

Posted by: Down South | Jan 28 2022 20:59 utc | 60

If I was Putin I would arm Iran to the teeth with sufficient advanced weaponry to threaten US dominance of the Middle East which in turn would threaten the very foundation of US economic strength, the petrodollar.
Now that would be an unexpected Judo move that would unbalance the US.
Imagine Iran with SU-35’s, S300/400 , hypersonic missiles etc. ?
The Neo-Cons would be apoplectic!

No need Down South. Iran IS already armed to the teeth. S300 has been delivered to Iran and Iran has it’s own variant.
Weren’t you paying attention to Abqaiq and Khorais?
Did you miss out on Ein al-Assad and its associated head-traumas?
Did the empire do anything in response to those attacks? Could it?

No, Down South, Russia does not need to do anything stupid.

What all this talk of amassing troops at Ukraine border misses, is that, ground wars are so yesterday. With precision bombs, and drones, there is no need for ground troops to do anything but a mop up operation. Kind of like what we saw in the recent war in the caucuses.

I see many comments about Germany pushing back on sanctions and such. How could Germany have a mind of it’s own? It is an occupied country after all.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jan 29 2022 15:58 utc | 204

Didn't de Gaulle talk a lot about "les Anglo-Saxons"?

Posted by: lysias | Jan 29 2022 16:08 utc | 205

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 0:25 utc | 105
Thanks for this post. Agree with John Cleary there is some amazing content particularly Lavrov's rebuttal to the malign questions of McFaul and McFaul's total disregard for the past 8 years of Ukraine history and the past 30 plus years of US-EU-NATOstan v. RF history. Next the NATOstanskis will claim all the prior agreements on NATO encroachment were entered into with the USSR and since that state no longer exists the prior agreements are null and void.

Most alarming is that apart from MoA there is no reporting of these events in Western MSM. What is being reported is Brandon's hysteria as fact. The present episode conjures up the period prior to WWI in which English media heavily promoted conflict with Germany.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 127
Another consideration is the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits which governs warship access to the Black Sea. Turkey is presently building a parallel canal to facilitate increased commercial shipping and collection of the associated transit fees.

Turkey has asserted the new canal will not be subject to the Montreux Convention. This serves to increase Turkey's role and implies increased foreign warship access to the Black Sea which would be seen as a threat by the RF. Occupation of the entire Ukraine Black Sea littoral would deny a replenishment base to foreign warships.

Brandon's statement that "Putin has to do something," suggests the US seeks to create a provocation which forces a RF response. That response would then permit the US to broadcast increased anti-RF sentiment, sanctions, troop deployments, arms sales, etc. and preserve US hegemony.

I suspect Putin will take no action. After several months of crying wolf and pushing for war, the US will be revealed as a malign entity, one which has zero concern for any other person, or state. The crisis atmosphere will accelerate US economic decline.

The MSM may not be reporting on Lavrov's remarks but you can bet they are being given close scrutiny by the worlds foreign affairs professionals who will draw their own conclusions as to the relative merits of the two disputants.

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 29 2022 16:10 utc | 206

...from China's Global Times. . .
If US provokes China or Russia, the other won’t be indifferent
By Hu Xijin

The US is strategically squeezing China and Russia at the same time. It's arrogant. It is pushing China and Russia together to strike back. Russia has suffered more pressure from the US. How it will resolve disputes with Ukraine is one thing. But when it comes to resisting a US crackdown, Russia is not alone. Most of the Chinese people will support it and are willing to see the Chinese government assist Russia in this aspect. Because we know well that if Russia is crushed by the US, this will bring no good to China at all. China and Russia have a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. They are not empty words.
Given a "back-to-back" relationship between China and Russia, the US cannot do anything with the two great powers. That Russia and China are "not allies, but better than allies" has become an official statement. Let Americans carefully mull over the connotation of this expression. If it provokes either China or Russia, the other one will not be indifferent. Washington should expect this in the future. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 16:10 utc | 207

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 29 2022 15:52 utc | 201

I like the way you think. I ask myself, about these Russian naval formations, where ever they might choose to go, who is going to want to try to stop them? Perhaps get to meet Mr. Zircon? Maybe they will just "Freedom to Navigate" us.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 29 2022 16:11 utc | 208

Tsarist Russia didn't always support reactionaries in its foreign interventions. By stationing Russian fleets in New York and San Francisco and by moving troops to the western regions of the Russian Empire, in particular to a Poland that had just revolted, Russia in 1863 effectively dissuaded France and Britain from intervening in favor of the Confederacy and thus helped to assure the victory of the Union in the American Civil War.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 29 2022 16:12 utc | 209

There were newspapers in Britain that opposed going to war in 1914 until Britain did enter the fray. Most notably the Manchester Guardian.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 29 2022 16:15 utc | 210

oldhippie @ 190 Piotr Berman @ 183
I have no idea of the broader meaning of any of this. It is impossible not to see a pattern unless extremely determined not to see a pattern.

If they are Zionists then there is a pattern. I believe most of the Jewish oligarchs are Zionists. Remember that first World Zionists Conference in 1897 and the supposed document that came out of it that sits in the British Museum? Reviled as a fake by some and believed by others.

The Zionists are planners. They planned to recreate Israel and they accomplished their goal. They plan to demolish the dome of the rock and build a third temple and they probably be successful. How one can only guess as to how that will be accomplished. Shattering the nations in the region around Israel into tribal warfare would help progress that goal and we have seen some of that happen via these same anti Russian players.

Where the Ukraine fits into their plan one can only guess. Many of these Zionist oligarchs pour money into Israel that they have taken out of countries through their business interests that certainly do not favor the local populace. How a country composed of Nazi extremists, Zionists, Russians, and others can exist is a stable state is beyond me.

Most Jews are not Zionists. One cannot hold them responsible any more than I am responsible for the NEOCONS and other shitheads in my country. But I do feel somewhat responsibly and sickened by the whole direction of the good old US of A over my lifetime.

Posted by: circumspect | Jan 29 2022 16:21 utc | 211

karlof1 @ 98, thanks for pointing to the Lavrov press conference above, and for your analysis of the first question. I got a slightly more poetic translation on my computer of one section, so in the interest of literary appreciation here that is:

"...Received answers only the day before yesterday. They are in such a western style. In many ways, they "cast a shadow on the wattle fence", but there are rational grains on secondary issues..."

Maybe this is only another fence-shadow, but my thought before reading this morning was, what if in the worldwide deployment of ocean cpabilities, the tactic might be to install no fly zones in areas of non-cooperation, not for the purpose of wrecking stuff but to allow the world to take a healing breather? That could bring things to a halt for a manner of days, weeks, months, but would it not help out the climate as well as afford many of us non-flyers respite from the overhead pollution?

And my thought on Zelensky is, perhaps he is more protected than we know, that is, by people power in his own country. It's how Putin began. It's how it should be. The US forgets how powerful that force can be, to its shame.

People of the Ukraine are like people anywhere; they don't want war.

I know, I'm a dreamer. But didn't I read somewhere that Iran's news is saying the US needs to get out of Syria and not slam the door on the way out? That's a grain that didn't get discussed at the presser. Maybe there's a reason for that.

"Except a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die, it remains alone. But if it dies it produces much fruit." And maybe the US is one such grain of wheat, ready now, to leave.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 29 2022 16:45 utc | 212

. .from warontherocks. . .
Intermediate-Range Missiles Are a Focal Point
. . .America’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019.

If nothing else, Moscow has been eager to highlight this factor. Russia’s proposal for ending the current crisis stipulates that the United States “not deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach [Russian territory].” One need not take Russian rhetoric at face value to consider how America’s potential reintroduction of formerly banned missiles to Europe influences Russia’s decision-making on Ukraine. Examining the United States and Russia’s differing responses to the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty highlights the interconnectedness of these events and the failure of the nations to communicate. While Russia’s threats are fundamentally tied to maintaining influence over Ukraine and deterring NATO expansion, a renewed focus on arms control can still play a role in finding a peaceful resolution. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 16:46 utc | 213

Wow...

Candace Owens start off her Jan 25 show by questioning 70+ years of US foreign policy + reading for 10 min excerpts of the 2009 speech Gadhafi gave at the UN.

Something very interesting is happening in populist American circles.

link (paywalled)

Posted by: Masked Marvel | Jan 29 2022 17:00 utc | 214

Don't recall where but have recently read an article Ukraine is nearing default. Might we then get another color revolution there due to "financial collapse"? Would it take much with the FBI having an outpost there? Don't know, but if such event occur it seems like an opportune moment to do a false flag.

One aspect of this article I question is if a China encirclement is the prize. Seems like mother Russia herself is. It is resource rich country with a sparse population. Also you have the unfinished business mindset from the Trotsky worshipping neo-libs and cons, many of which are from the old Russian Empire. Then there is the anglosphere century or so obsession with Russia.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Jan 29 2022 17:02 utc | 215

Germany now won't send weapons to Ukraine, whilst Hungary has refused anymore Nato troops to be stationed in the country, meanwhile there's been reports that mortar shelling from Kiev has landed and damage homes in Donetsk.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 29 2022 17:11 utc | 216

Thanks again, karlof1 @ 115:

"...Someone commented on the fact that the Outlaw Anglo Empire is primarily a Maritime Empire, so I find the naval sorties done with that in mind..."

I had missed that. I would bold it in red if I could.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 29 2022 17:15 utc | 217

Lavrov's use of the term anglo-saxon. Not American or Anglo-American although the proposal has been put to the US. Russians are not loose with words. Makes me think they are looking at the UK as the base problem.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 1:34 utc | 119

No, not problem, solution. There was a very good comment on the Shoigu video over at the Saker site comparing Putin's initiative and the insistence on putting it down in writing to the ultimatum given by Britain's power lords to royalty that became the law of the land, on which is based US law also.

Called the Magna Carta.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 29 2022 17:24 utc | 218

Well, I said a year ago that I thought Z's only chance at dying from old age would be to resign and move to Russia.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 29 2022 17:25 utc | 219

oldhippie | Jan 29 2022 12:46 utc | 190

I read in Haaretz some days ago that ~ 400,000 Ukrainians are eligible for citizenship in Israel. While most Jews are not Zionists, the article was contemplating their possible ‘return’ in the face of war.

Churchill once bitterly said as he stared at the unstoppable coming independence of India, paraphrasing (I read this years ago and can’t find the citation), ‘If Britain looses its Empire we’ll be left here to starve on this little island’. FDR was not Churchill’s favorite man.

In the same vein of selfishness, an old college acquaintance once said to me of Israel: “It’s just a tiny little strip of land.” He intimated occupation and expansion was its right. He said of the occupier’s ‘relinquishment’ of the Gaza Strip, they ( the occupiers) control the water supply and can simply cut it off as a control mechanism of Gaza’s population. That tiny strip of land likewise could become a figurative island of starvation without a breadbasket like Ukraine possesses.

The inhumanity of some of the so-called educated is beyond understanding for me although Krungle | Jan 29 2022 14:25 utc captures some of it.

Posted by: suzan | Jan 29 2022 17:28 utc | 220

Did that many Jews in the Ukraine survive the Holocaust?

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 17:36 utc | 221

@218 Blinkers has given Putin a response in writing. He just doesn't want us to see it. We can pretty much guess what it says from Lavrov's statement.

Posted by: dh | Jan 29 2022 17:38 utc | 222

Regarding the Syria angle, as was discussed here, I find it highly plausible. I'd love it to be true!
Something caught my attention there. Yesterday, not just one, but two big CIA freight Jumbos went all the way from the US to Jordan. Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, pretty close to US-occupied Al-Tanf. And from there, on to Dubai. Keeping busy.

---

Old and Grumpy | 215

Same here, I think they even wrote that Ukraine is in worse shape than Turkey, financially.

---

oldhippie | 190

Poroshenko, Yatseniuk and Avakov Jewish, seriously? I think they aren't.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 29 2022 17:40 utc | 223

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/01/whistleblowers-reveal-dod-medical-data-showing-military-cancer-diagnoses-tripled-since-rollout-experimental-vaccines-along-10x-increase-neurological-disorders-near-5x/

Something huge might be happening to the US military but is being surpressed ( like being blocked on Facebook when trying to post it). Neurological damage and huge increase in cancer incidence reported by whistleblowers, supposedly.

I post this respectfully in regard to patriots who may have been used as guinea pigs. If it can be debunked, so be it.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 29 2022 17:42 utc | 224

Not only president Zelensky, also Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar criticizes false information about russian medical materials supply to Ukrainian border as "psychological warfare":
https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/794926.html

Posted by: Jan | Jan 29 2022 18:00 utc | 225

Good Report B;

I was disgusted reading it but, good reporting!

DC's denizens have a problem, they think they are the smartest person in the room because they [gave a lecture]/[wrote a book on]: how they would've won War[x]; how they would've ended Depression[x]; how they would've...well..you get the idea.

DC's denizens look retrospectively at past mistakes and conjecture that they, "the smartest person in the room", would never have made THAT MISTAKE! Then they offer some prescription that would bring glory to the empire but, oh so conveniently, their brilliant theory can never be tested by reality, only argued against.

And perhaps, DC's swarmy smarties are not being overly prideful, perhaps they would never have made THAT MISTAKE and perhaps their prescription would have been an improvement over the choices made. However, far, far, far more likely, the enemy/world/market would react DIFFERENTLY than what happened historically and the advantage Mr or Ms Smug envisaged would evaporate faster than a daydream.

DC, has become drunk with the venal power the 3LA's have bestowed upon them...and they, like almost all drunk drivers are blissfully unaware that the children who are sleeping the back have no choice as to their final destination.
=================
OT but...B was preoccupied and hasn't covered this aviation nugget like I know he would if the news cycle allowed.

[rant-on]

Market Question: Given Boeing Management's demonstrated ineptness...how is it they can now get the FTC to block Lockheed from acquiring Aerojet/Rocketdyne? Lockheed wants [and has wanted for some time] to become a vertically integrated builder of space vehicles, [see Musk Space-X/Bezos Blue-O]. Boeing successfully blocked the merger of Lockheed / Northrop-Grumman and now this. I would understand Boeing's anti-trust "concerns" better had they not merged with McDonnell Douglas to create an absolute air-frame monopoly. Boeing's "concern" seems a lot like the fox assuring the farmer that a fox's only "concern" with the chicken coop is...the safety of the hens. If only Boeing's management would stop focusing on immediate returns, relearn how to produce world beating air-frames/aerospace vehicles they [& the USA] would be a lot better off but no, politics is job one. Boeing's mismanagement vis-à-vis Bombardier (Bom-bar-dee-aye) gave Airbus, [for $1.00], the very best* regional jet produced in the world today. Between Boeing's mismanagement of the 787 development, the tragic venality of the 737-MAX flight control disaster [Covid-19 bailouts saved Boeing] and the arrogance shown in Bombardier-RJ blunder...it's easy to certify a level of mismanagement that can only be described as "World-Class". And after all that, Boeing's governing board is still not only untouched but shockingly, ordering US Government agencies to do its bidding..pour quoi?

*As of December 2021, a total of 668 A220s had been ordered of which 193 had been delivered and were all in commercial service with 14 operators. Delta Air Lines is the largest customer and operator, with 95 A220 ordered and respectively 51 airplanes in its fleet. -Wikipedia

[rant-off]

Posted by: S Brennan | Jan 29 2022 18:06 utc | 226

The Biden administration presumably figured that requiring vaccination would be a good way to get rid of those members of the military who most opposed its programs.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 18:07 utc | 227

@158 Peter AU1
They shoulda listened to him already in 2007
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/376972-anniversary-putins-munich-speech/

Posted by: blueswede | Jan 29 2022 18:14 utc | 228

"You can look at a map and know without a doubt the US interest in Ukraine is nothing but to plunder it. The dismemberment of Russia has been a longstanding goal of Western colonialism."

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 28 2022 19:29 utc | 29


Think that is the best reason for the hatred post collapse of the Soviet union.
The opportunity to exploit and consume Russian resources was stopped.
That's the unforgivable sin!

Posted by: Jpc | Jan 29 2022 18:16 utc | 229

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 29 2022 15:52 utc | 202
Agreed, excellent observation, well made.

Good discussion of subject of fake news - guy is skilled with pen: https://www.rt.com/russia/547726-spreading-false-narratives-woke/

I am surprised when reading things from Canada which are not insane.

Posted by: jared | Jan 29 2022 18:17 utc | 230

It seems to me that the us has substantially outsourced its intelligence. And you get what you pay for, or so you hope.

Posted by: jared | Jan 29 2022 18:21 utc | 231

@Masked Marvel #214
Not really.
Even the Atlantic has noticed:

Fox News vs GOP over Ukraine at The Atlantic

Night after night, the host of the top-rated show on Fox News repeats Vladimir Putin’s talking points justifying aggression against Ukraine and opposing U.S. aid to that threatened sovereign country. Tucker Carlson’s influence is felt across right-wing social media, where it is amplified by figures such as Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Glenn Greenwald, and Mollie Hemingway. A highly visible coterie of socially conservative intellectuals also argues the case against helping Ukraine.

Meanwhile, day after day, Republican officeholders in the House and the Senate urge more support for Ukraine. That list includes not only traditionalists such as Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, but also many legislators who got close to former President Donald Trump, such as Senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham.

Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, has backed the Biden administration’s approach, as have the top Republicans on the House Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has blasted Joe Biden’s Ukraine policy as too weak on Russia, not too strong.

...

There are exceptions to the pro-Ukraine norm among Republican elected officials. Rand Paul in the Senate and Paul Gosar in the House have dissented. Some next-generation Republican office seekers, especially those backed by the Republican mega-donor Peter Thiel, have also followed the Carlson-Bannon-Greenwald line. They include J. D. Vance, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, and Blake Masters, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arizona. Eric Greitens—the disgraced former governor of Missouri now running for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race there—has issued vividly inflammatory statements against aid to Ukraine as “the war mongering of DC elites.”

...

Trump, who in the past was always ready to speak warmly of Putin, may sense that neither the American public nor the majority of his own party is with the Fox News universe on aiding Ukraine. He released a vague statement limited to bragging nonspecifically that the crisis at the Ukraine-Russia border would not be happening if he were still president, edging away from his anti-Ukraine media allies. Florida Governor Ron Desantis, a would-be Trump successor, has made no statement on the Russia-Ukraine issue at all.

Note the location of this piece and also the scumbag author (David Frum of Dubya speechwriter fame)

Contrast this with the Democrats: is ANYONE over there opposing the Ukraine insanity? Except Tulsi Gabbard, who is persona non grata to those people?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 18:24 utc | 232

This is a hilarious article, primarily because of the contortions it goes to avoid using the "N" word:

This is Just The Beginning", Ukrainian Radicals Warn

Ukrainian radicals have always opposed the so-called "dominance of Jews" in the economic and political life of the country, which, in their opinion, hinders its development and independence. This hatred is historical in nature, and there is little that can restrain it in independent Ukraine.

Under President Vladimir Zelensky, the radicals became even more active, believing that Israel is so firmly shackling Ukraine that, in addition to oligarchs, it is now able to put Jews in the highest state post.

Anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish actions in Ukraine are happening more and more often, having a very different scale. The simplest and most proven method of publicly burning the flag of Israel is often used, as in this video, which Ukrainian activists distribute on social networks.

The radicals claim that Ukraine is occupied by "Jewish clans". They take responsibility for swastikas in synagogues and desecration of Jewish graves throughout the country: in Nikolaev, Uzhgorod, Vinnitsa and other places. They will continue their actions against "the Jew Zelensky and his Jew authorities", warning that this is only the beginning.

Ukrainian radicals...and the oops with the mention of swastikas...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 18:42 utc | 233

The idea in Washington is that if the U.S. can instigate Ukraine to attack the Donbas region Russia would have to step in at least with extended supplies to the Donbas rebels. With the help of the media the talk of a 'Russian invasion' would then become reality. It would trigger 'western' sanctions and Russia would be isolated.

The rationale (above) is valid but, sorry to say, the conclusion -- isolate Russia -- seems inconsistent with the argument. (a) So much trouble, including death and destruction, for the US to simply isolate Russia? (b) Will isolate work especially when Europe needs Russia more than the other way round? And what would be the object of isolation? What about China? (c) In the process of isolation also recall the US loss of military credibility, etc...

Here's are a few alert-points to get behind the curtain in this rigmarole (since you seem to be a ... of China):

One. the US penultimate objective is not only Russia but China especially. This objective was never a military conflict, since outcome of such is already known, but destabilization, particularly along the Eurasian belt (count in Kazakhstan).

Two. Ukraine is the flip side tactic to the one that US employs in Taiwan. Unless push comes to shove, no NATO country will sacrifice its boys for Ukraine, just as US won't for Taiwan. From that premise comes these two conclusions: (a) Ukraine has very little strategic use either to Europe or US other than as a buffer -- without being a military ally (for reason given above). (b) Taiwan is also like a buffer but unlike Ukraine, its strategic use is direct, therefore, best kept separated from the Motherland, forever it seems. Unification, even a peaceful one, will cost America dearly (US dollar, military credibility, etc). US knows the denouement is near, hence, the desperate bid to keep the Chinese constantly busy and eyes off the ball: Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Myanmar, East China Sea, South China Sea, Kazakhstan, now Ukraine. (Blinken's call to Chinese on Jan 27 and Nuland's remarks made up the backstory).

Three, responses. US playing with Ukraine was torpedoed by the indivisible security proposal. That was good, and really threw a wrench in the US works. China's suggestion to a judo exponent: Don't use a judo throw with a midget, you'd break your back because there's physical contact, whole body and arms. Try Chinese tai-chi in which contact is minimized. That is, if you can win a war without firing an arrow, why not? Why not, for eg., turn Ukraine into a partner first, friend next, an ally maybe. We Chinese are willing to help. Hence, instructions have come down: prepare for Putin-Zelensky meeting during the Olympics. You like?

Four. Taiwan? The lesson learned there applies to Ukraine as well. We are resolved on what to do next about reunification. For 70 years, far longer than Russia had put up with US containment for 30, we have tolerated a piece of sore on our back. Today, that's turned into a trump card. So we are almost there, i.e. breakout of the problem, and not pass it on to the next generation. After which, we are free, and we have also fulfilled the Mandate of Heaven to our forefathers and our people! Deng Xiaoping's advise is valid for Russia as well: solidify your internal strengths, first and foremost, hide your capabilities, bid your time.

Posted by: 云林 Yun Lin | Jan 29 2022 18:51 utc | 234

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 17:36 utc | 221:

Did that many Jews in the Ukraine survive the Holocaust?

The Holocaust, if there ever was one, referred to something 80 years ago!!!! If a man and a woman on board of Noah's Ark 6,000 years ago resulted in 8 billion people today, then all it took was perhaps a man Jew and a woman Jew to have survived in Ukraine then for 400,000 Jews to need to move to 'that strip of land where the occupiers have the right to expand' today!!!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 18:59 utc | 235

The idea in Washington is that if the U.S. can instigate Ukraine to attack the Donbas region Russia would have to step in at least with extended supplies to the Donbas rebels. With the help of the media the talk of a 'Russian invasion' would then become reality. It would trigger 'western' sanctions and Russia would be isolated.

The rationale (above) is valid but, sorry to say, the conclusion -- isolate Russia -- seems inconsistent with the argument. (a) So much trouble, including death and destruction, for the US to simply isolate Russia? (b) Will isolate work especially when Europe needs Russia more than the other way round? And what would be the object of isolation? What about China? (c) In the process of isolation also recall the US loss of military credibility, etc...

Here's are a few alert-points to get behind the curtain in this rigmarole (since you seem to be a ... of China):

One. the US penultimate objective is not only Russia but China especially. This objective was never a military conflict, since outcome of such is already known, but destabilization, particularly along the Eurasian belt (count in Kazakhstan).

Two. Ukraine is the flip side tactic to the one that US employs in Taiwan. Unless push comes to shove, no NATO country will sacrifice its boys for Ukraine, just as US won't for Taiwan. From that premise comes these two conclusions: (a) Ukraine has very little strategic use either to Europe or US other than as a buffer -- without being a military ally (for reason given above). (b) Taiwan is also like a buffer but unlike Ukraine, its strategic use is direct, therefore, best kept separated from the Motherland, forever it seems. Unification, even a peaceful one, will cost America dearly (US dollar, military credibility, etc). US knows the denouement is near, hence, the desperate bid to keep the Chinese constantly busy and eyes off the ball: Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Myanmar, East China Sea, South China Sea, Kazakhstan, now Ukraine. (Blinken's call to Chinese on Jan 27 and Nuland's remarks made up the backstory).

Three, responses. US playing with Ukraine was torpedoed by the indivisible security proposal. That was good, and really threw a wrench in the US works. China's suggestion to a judo exponent: Don't use a judo throw with a midget, you'd break your back because there's physical contact, whole body and arms. Try Chinese tai-chi in which contact is minimized. That is, if you can win a war without firing an arrow, why not? Why not, for eg., turn Ukraine into a partner first, friend next, an ally maybe. We Chinese are willing to help. Hence, instructions have come down: prepare for Putin-Zelensky meeting during the Olympics. You like?

Four. Taiwan? The lesson learned there applies to Ukraine as well. We are resolved on what to do next about reunification. For 70 years, far longer than Russia had put up with US containment for 30, we have tolerated a piece of sore on our back. Today, that's turned into a trump card. So we are almost there, i.e. breakout of the problem, and not pass it on to the next generation. After which, we are free, and we have also fulfilled the Mandate of Heaven to our forefathers and our people! Deng Xiaoping's advise is valid for Russia as well: solidify your internal strengths, first and foremost, hide your capabilities, bid your time.

Posted by: 云林 Yun Lin | Jan 29 2022 19:01 utc | 236

@Yun Lin, #235,

agree with your take :-)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 19:07 utc | 237

An excellent summary of the military countermeasures that Russia has underway.

When Lavrov responds to the US in a couple of weeks he will have his forces in position ready to back up his words.

https://thesaker.is/shoigu-and-gerasimov-cause-serious-confusion-in-nato-must-watch/

Posted by: bzs83x | Jan 29 2022 19:31 utc | 238

Reports on the Brandon-Zelensky phone call confirmed to me that it's been the Empire who wanted a war between Ukraine and Russia, and has been instigating such since probably before 2014. Prior to seeing this phone call event I've always been of the same opinion, but lacked the firing gun proof to rid of reasonable doubt within my own mind. Thanks to Brandon, he provided the proof.

The same is with the Taiwan issue. It's been 65 years, since the cross-Strait artillery war between KMT and CCP, that the Empire has been hard at work instigating a hot war between Taiwan and Mainland, with the Empire itself sitting at stand-by for taking pot shots and behind-the-back shots just for its own vain amusement, as a means of dragging down developments and progresses on the mainland. China has been patient (actually, too patient), bided its time, and grew into an entity that the Empire has grown to fear. I myself believe the Taiwan issue will be resolved within the next five years, via hot or cold wars. The same may be true of Ukraine. The Empire's retreat to the American Island is unstoppable.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 19:32 utc | 239

Cornelius Pipe #194

One of the ways in which the west would be hurt is if China does something mischievous (for instance: a no-fly zone over Taiwan) just as a war gets going in Ukraine (and as Putin responds asymmetrically in Europe/South America to THAT issue).

Thank you, that is a high probability IMO.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 19:46 utc | 240

@Oriental Voice #238
You said

I myself believe the Taiwan issue will be resolved within the next five years, via hot or cold wars

I disagree with this statement.
China needs nothing from Taiwan (except possibly semiconductors).
In turn, Taiwan is a useful pretext to distract all those single young men in China, if needed.
The only situation where I could see active action is if the US starts basing nuclear missiles and/or large numbers of American troops there - and the Taiwan government would have to be a special type of idiot to not know the consequences of that.
Of course, one should never discount stupidity, but still.

Have you seen the Tokyo spy articles on Asia Times Online?
Pretty interesting how PRC commandos and pilots were spent like candy...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 19:48 utc | 241

Some french podcasters reconstructed the CNN report about Biden-Zelensky phone call, which was then deleted:
https://www.parisbeacon.com/36576/

Posted by: JAn | Jan 29 2022 19:52 utc | 242

Suzan @ 220

And other responses. One problem I have with blaming Jews/Zionists for everything in Ukraine is that thirty years ago it was a relatively prosperous place. They made aircraft, they made rocket motors, they were the center of Russia’s nuclear industry. Now they sell off the national parks for timber. No one knows if the population has dropped 30% or of it has been 60%. It is a shithole. Why would anyone scheme for such an outcome? Looks like a black hole to me. Inside a black box.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 29 2022 19:53 utc | 243

@c1ue, #240:

Agree that China needs nothing from Taiwan. But China is on record of saying Taiwan MUST one day come back to China's family fold, and I kind of think Xi Jinping would like that to be wrapped up before 2026. Not just Xi, I think that's the collective wish of the present Politburo. The main driver is that time is ripe. The only thing I am not certain of is whether people on the mainland REALLY wanted the present population of Taiwan to be their fellow countrymen. I know for sure, after Occupy Central in Hong Kong, that most people in China DO NOT WANT Hong Kong people as fellow Chinese. They wish them to immigrate to UK.

I don't read Asia Time Online much any more :-) I'll take a look of the article you cited.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 20:24 utc | 244

This Op-Ed on Global Times today:

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202201/1250235.shtml

The language worthy of note is Qin Gang's warning of war between USA and China! he didn't make reference to war between Taiwan regime and China; he went straight to war between China and the Empire.

So, Uncle Sam, are you ready???

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 20:28 utc | 245

@Oriental Voice | Jan 29 2022 18:59 utc | 235
The Holocaust, if there ever was one,... Wtf !?

Posted by: Jan | Jan 29 2022 20:44 utc | 246

Big victory for Putin and Russia (and the human race) and big defeat for Biden administration if new report in Daily Mail is accurate: Putin to hold talks with Germany, France, and Ukraine.

Posted by: Lysias | Jan 29 2022 20:54 utc | 247

Republicofscotland | Jan 29 2022 17:11 utc | 216

The shelling has been going on for eight years but it has become more intense recently. The Ukes hide their bigger weapons from OSCE Drones and observers. The other thing are the snipers and infiltrations. One unlucky Dobas serviceman was recently captured.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 29 2022 21:17 utc | 248

Excellent discussion!! Before I write a few replies, here's the English transcript of Lavrov's interview with Sputnik, Echo of Moscow, Govorit Moskva and Komsomolskaya Pravda radio stations. I note the reference to "wattle fence" is missing.

George's hypothesis dealing with the naval sorties is very good and is a reminder about the very near success of Germany's two U-Boat campaigns AND the success of the USN's against Japan. It turns 1962 on its head.

Sushi @206--

The Russian Federation is seen under International Law as the successor state to the USSR/Soviet Union, and too many precedents have already been made to undo that fact.

What's been done to Ukraine and its people is a direct result of the Outlaw US/Anglo Empire's geopolitical maneuvering and has nothing to do with WW2's outcome, although we can ascribe a few issues to Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev which are just as bad as Western Colonialists arbitrary drawing of borders to exert societal control during and after their rule. Crimea's voting--again--to return to Russia is one of those issues that's now solved.

Related to George's hypothesis is this STC editorial, "Snubbing Russia’s Red Lines, the U.S. Shows Strategic Hand", which links to this important analysis from Germany, "Russian gas supply halt would deal EU economic hit: report", that confirms what barflies have speculated:

"The European Union could cope with a short term halt to all Russian gas imports but doing so would have 'profound economic consequences' and require emergency measures to curb demand, according to analysis by the think tank Bruegel.

"Escalating tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine have raised concerns about Russian gas flows to Europe, prompting the European Commission and the United States to investigate alternative supplies.

"In an analysis due to be published on Thursday (27 January), Bruegel said that if Russia cut off all gas, the EU would need to both hike imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and impose emergency measures to cut demand – such as factory closures – to avoid severe shortages." [My Emphasis]

Interdicting LNG shipments would thus be a deeply thrust lance into the EU's economic body that if administered long enough might become fatal, although Southern Europe getting gas via Turk Stream might escape. If that does become the case, the EU would effectively be bisected at a very critical moment with France's elections scheduled for April, just 70-odd days away. Indeed, such a move would pose an existential threat to EU Security very similar to NATO's push to the East.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 21:18 utc | 249

Bait and switch is the trick used by swindlers and governments alike. Here is another example, this time in the Ukraine:

https://johnmenadue.com/gregory-clark-war-in-ukraine/

Never believe in promises about what will or will not happen in the future. Like Russia ask for it in writing.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 29 2022 21:31 utc | 250

Lysias 246

I am not sure if these meeting are held under the so called Normandy format, but they met not long back and another scheduled for the near future. After the first meeting was when Ukraine government started saying invasion was not imminent.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 21:34 utc | 251

云林 Yun Lin #234

Four. Taiwan? The lesson learned there applies to Ukraine as well. We are resolved on what to do next about reunification. For 70 years, far longer than Russia had put up with US containment for 30, we have tolerated a piece of sore on our back. Today, that's turned into a trump card. So we are almost there, i.e. breakout of the problem, and not pass it on to the next generation. After which, we are free, and we have also fulfilled the Mandate of Heaven to our forefathers and our people! Deng Xiaoping's advise is valid for Russia as well: solidify your internal strengths, first and foremost, hide your capabilities, bid your time.

I fail to see your above conclusion is a specific for resolving the issue of Taiwan.

See Cuba or Korea - the USA has goaded and impoverished and maligned these states since their existence. They torture them incessantly. Same goes for China in regard to Taiwan in the past decade, the UKUSA uses this 'threat' or 'invasion' scenario to denigrate and goad China. Ditto the UKUSA invention of Uighur 'genocide'. This global denigration and excuse for illegal sanctions goes on and on and China has to endure it day after day. The UKUSA will not stop!

The UKUSA then parade their nonsense on the global stage intimidating nations and using this false metaphor and 'fear of the commies' to keep them in line and threatening sanctions if they disobey. The UKUSA has been doing this for centuries and got frenetic about it when economist/philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels successfully promulgated an alternative economic/political model of human development and revolutions ensued.

This continuous denigration is an intolerable assault on an individual let alone a nation. No person in a civil society would tolerate this denigration on the public stage without seeking legal recourse or, failing that, confronting the perpetrator.

The Hong Kong divisive trick played by UKUSA and its hired gangs was only resolved by abrupt and forceful action affirming China sovereignty. The same approach needs to be taken to Taiwan as it is entirely hostage to UKUSA manipulated power elites entirely focused on their personal benefit regardless of the development of or consequences for their people.

No one needs a government so venal and corrupt that it sacrifices its community well being for subservience to UKUSA.

IMO the sooner China exercises its agreed sovereignty over Taiwan, the better.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 21:36 utc | 252

karlof1 #248

Interdicting LNG shipments would thus be a deeply thrust lance into the EU's economic body that if administered long enough might become fatal, although Southern Europe getting gas via Turk Stream might escape. If that does become the case, the EU would effectively be bisected at a very critical moment with France's elections scheduled for April, just 70-odd days away. Indeed, such a move would pose an existential threat to EU Security very similar to NATO's push to the East.

Thank you for that post. It is almost as if the EU has been sleepwalking for the past decades and has let NATO direct foreign policy. A WAKE UP jab seems entirely appropriate. Nations should never enable military/defence institutions to design foreign policy especially when the military/defence institution is a multi-nation body.

The dilution of national interest and ultimately subjugation of national interest to a dominant 'threat' based analysis undermines rational foreign policy decision making where multi variant analysis is imperative.

Hopefully the Normandy Four can get above the single minded NATO ignoramus approach and ease their way toward a coexistence formula that eliminates first strike, missile based, 'preparedness'.

First step, retire Jens Stoltenberg, second step, tone down the aggression in NATO stance and rhetoric, third step withdraw the missile batteries from eastern front line. Simultaneously keep talking de-escalation in word and deed with Russia.

At all times keep the UKUSA out of it and if they don't like it, they can leave.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 22:05 utc | 253

The following is OT for this thread but important for the Big Picture, "The Seven Trumpets: Saker Interviews Hudson". The discussion is mostly about domestic US politics and economics, but the latter has an effect on the global economy and vice-versa. For barflies living within the Outlaw US Empire, it's a must read.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 22:08 utc | 254

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 21:18 utc | 248

They translated that particular sentence as “In many ways, they are confusing the issue”. Their translations are a bit stiff and overly careful, I’ve suffered it, but the original says it, like shadowing the wattle, literally.

There are all sorts of speculation about possible next moves by either side, reading an article in Vzglyad a very curious thesis is put forth, in case of extreme sanctions Russia would break diplomatic relations and according to that article that would imply that Russia would not be obliged to respect IP which in turn could mean a loss of from five to seven trillions for the USA, yes trillions, especially in the pharma and engineering areas. If any specialist in international law or intellectual property could comment about this assertion it would be appreciated.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 29 2022 22:19 utc | 255

@252 "It is almost as if the EU has been sleepwalking for the past decades and has let NATO direct foreign policy.'

One of the main ideas behind the EU was so that Europe would be able to speak with one voice. In reality it speaks with 27 voices. Some of those voices are quite small but happy to be NATO members.

Posted by: dh | Jan 29 2022 22:34 utc | 256

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 22:05 utc | 252

uncle, the British got into the EU over the dead body of DeGaulle.

They proceeded to sabotage EVERYTHING

Then they left, so that Queenie would not be subject to the ECJ

And the Euro elite goes along with it all mainly because she pays moderately well but also because so many Heads of State joined the Order of the Garter and swore fealty.

It is all very simple really.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 29 2022 22:34 utc | 257

In the Lavrov interview transcript linked by karlof1 a couple of things. On the written replies Lavrov said the US reply was in the language of diplomacy and he also indicated US had started to move in the right direction. He also mentioned the only language which US understood and that come across as direct demands and I take it that is the way Russia will now conduct diplomacy with the US. My take on how Russia is looking at it - As US is starting to come to the party on peripheral issues hard bargaining may lead to an agreement on the main issues.

On the NATO written response, Lavrov thought whoever wrote it would have or should have felt quite embarrassed while doing so. A diatribe of ideology. I had thought Russia would take the reciprocal threat straight to the US but looking at that and the current naval exercise, Russia may have decided to give Europe a wakeup call.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 22:46 utc | 258

uncle tungsten @252--

Thanks for your reply! IMO, as with Lavrov's, the EU/NATO must abide by the OSCE treaties they signed for they haven't and some voices are refusing. Abiding by what those treaties stipulate, a rollback would have to take place that would solve the issue--as Lavrov and Putin have both stated. In other words, if the promises and agreed to treaties had been honored, today's situation wouldn't be occurring. That's the #1 point the Russians are trying to drive home to the brainwashed nut jobs like Stoltenberg. Fascist Neocons like Blinken don't give a damn as like Pompeo they lie constantly, and their only consideration is gaining as much advantage as they can regardless the method--they differ in no manner from Hitler and kin.

The problem as we've seen is the obtuseness, intransigence, and willingness to lie in the face of a mountain of facts in order to keep their advantage. Russia now seems to be doing something to tip that mountain of facts over and onto the heads of the Stoltenbergs, Blinkens, and Pompeos such that they're unable to dig themselves out and no one heeds their screams for help--just like the Wicked Witch.

I can't find the item now, but yesterday there was a report that European gas storage levels were down to 20%. Current deliveries are unable to raise that given current demand. Interdicting non-Russian fuel shipments will increase the energy crisis without harming Russia's record of being a solid provider, and will serve as a lesson to the EU what will happen if they shut off all Russian energy deliveries. Interdiction also takes the fight directly to the Outlaw US/Anglo Empire.

Couple that pressure with a drive to oust all foreign and terrorist (one and the same, IMO) forces from Syria--and--Houthi pressure on UAE to depart will put the Empire in Check once again and force it into a defensive relocation.

What might China do? It can exert pressure on Qatar, UAE and Saudis to join with Iran in abandoning the dollar for their energy sales and get very serious about the two similar Collective Security proposals made for the Gulf Region, which would further undermine Empire leverage in that region. Do recall Iran's goal for avenging Soleimani as it's very active.

Then we have the ongoing decrease in US$ usage for trade which further weakens the $ and drives up the price of imports--particularly energy. Do look at this chart, which it appears no Congresscritter has consulted in their avide pursuit of sanctioning Russia:

"In October 2021, the United States imported approximately 19.8 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia, marking an increase from the previous month."

That's the latest month from which figures are available. Russia now supplies more oil and petroleum products to the Outlaw US Empire than Saudi Arabia, and that trend's increasing. If Russia interdicts Empire LNG shipments, I'll wager the national debt that Congress enacts its vaunted "Sanctions From Hell" that shuts down Russian energy imports causing bigtime internal shortages and rapid price inflation--that is if Biden signs it, which he will since Russophobia's so rabid his veto would be overturned.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 23:02 utc | 259

The NATO treaty - What are the obligations if one is attacked? From my understanding it can range from full military support to as little as moral support or sending helmets.
The NATO allegiance, basically US power in Europe is the threat Russia faces. This would be busted if it was demonstrated to Europe that US will not come to their aid if the going gets tough. Perhaps that is the way Russia will go?
Going into Syria Russia stated objective was to bring about circumstances where negations could take place and not start new wars. That goal was achieved. Not totally satisfactory with Erdo Israel and US all taking bites but Syria is stabilized.

Russia's objective now is to secure a security agreement with the US similar to the security agreements that existed in the few years before US pulled out of the ABM treaty. But as Lavrov said or indicated, Russia will talk to the US in the language it understands.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 23:05 utc | 260

dh and uncle tungsten
Re "It is almost as if the EU has been sleepwalking for the past decades and has let NATO direct foreign policy."
Putinor perhaps Lavrov mentioned something about this. Some agreement signed in the 2000's that handed foreign policy and with it any remnants of sovereignty to the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 23:13 utc | 261

Paco @254--

From your linked item:

"According to The Wall Street Journal's sources, Biden's team is not considering imposing sanctions affecting Russian oil and gas exports, the planned restrictions will affect state-owned banks, high-tech exports and sovereign debt transactions."

That's why it would be wise for Russia to discontinue them in the face of such sanctions.

Here's what the article says about IP:

"In response, Russia will strike, the expert predicts, which may be crushing for the United States. First, diplomatic relations will be severed, which will untie the hands in the appropriation of US intellectual property, that is, its patents. 'Russia's retaliatory steps could simply knock the U.S. economy and system out of the saddle. As of 2013 alone, the U.S. had $5 trillion in intellectual property. And now this figure can reach up to 7 trillion. And if Russia liberates all American intellectual property on the basis, for example, of the termination of diplomatic relations, then for the American economy this will mean the loss of trillions of dollars, a severe blow will be dealt to the US stock market,' Koltashov predicts.

"The release of intellectual property will deal a powerful blow to the American pharmaceutical industry, engineering companies. 'It will be possible to produce anything without looking back – medicines, electronics.

"'It will face new historical circumstances, because everything that they expected to parasitize forever will be destroyed,' the expert explained." [My Emphasis]

In other words, "Sanctions From Hell" would severely damage Neroliberal Parasites. The breaking of relations would mean Russia would no longer need to observe IP "rights" and would be free to produce whatever without having to worry about patents, licensing, and all that jazz--the Protectionism that's never termed that, which was the core of China's argument prior to it joining the WTO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 23:24 utc | 262

IMO, those actually in charge of the Outlaw US Empire still fail to see the precariousness of their position, like the vaccinated who think they're invincible when they're not. Again, Russia aims to show via the only language the Outlaw US Empire/NATO understand that they're in violation of three OSCE Treaties by reversing the security threats via a military technical exercise. Putin is unafraid of sanctions and has said so several times--they actually help Russia's development.

As Hudson explains yet again, the 99% are hostage to the 1%; but if the 1% go too far, they can face domestic Blowback that will threaten the federal government's legitimacy.

But there's more to our ongoing Saga than this Theatre; there's the ongoing Asian Theatre too where the Outlaw US Empire has even less leverage to use, and where those it counts as allies have actual interests that, like the EU, go against what the Imperialists will attempt.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 23:46 utc | 263

karlof1

From reading that transcript, I have gained the impression Lavrov thinks speaking and acting in terms US understands may bring about a mutually acceptable security agreement.
NATO - the clownshow facade talking heads US put up for their military power in Europe Lavrov looks at with contempt. Busting NATO, busting the so called alliance which is nothing more than a gangster protection racket, that would put the US on the back foot.
Both China and Russia are looking at orderly change rather than amageddon type revolution.
One side of me is like uncle t hoping to see instant destruction of the bad guys and the other side is quite interested in the subtle chess moves.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 23:56 utc | 264

Peter AU1 @263--

"There will be no war with Ukraine. Russia doesn't want war." That may be exact or slightly off, but that's the gist. However, much was made that a "military technical operation" will result if Russia's proposals are argued against. And while we await the next diplomatic move, the operation seems to be in motion but it's not yet clear what it entails aside from its overall aim. I recall the patience required to trap a rabbit inside a propped-up box by using a carrot tied to a string to coax it underneath. As with Lavrov, I want to see how these bureaucrats pull a Clinton--“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”--when it comes to the very specific clauses used in the OSCE treaties that Lavrov has pounded on for the past month.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2022 0:19 utc | 265

@ oldhippie | Jan 29 2022 19:53 utc

Are you sincerely equating the two categories, Jews and Zionists? I ask you to reconsider.

Who is “blaming the Jews” other than you by your conflated insinuations? This is hard to comprehend given your professed learnedness. Perhaps the cold weather has kept you from oxygenating bicycle exercise to refresh your cerebral cells and you’re a bit down in awareness? Whatever, may you be well. It has been a cold winter.

Will I push back further against your inaccurate outrageous insinuation? No.

History speaks for itself for those who listen and observe.

Others indeed flounder in so called black holes of suffering ignorance but they are not altogether lost.

Careful wording, truth speaking, rather than obfuscating mucky mush would help deliver light to such suffering souls.
This is your challenge old hippie if you’ve got in you. Give up fighting against lost flashy causes and instead provide guidance to better living for ordinary people.

Just my 2 idiot cents.

Posted by: suzan | Jan 30 2022 0:49 utc | 266

karlof1
Ukraine is a US/UK propaganda fig leaf The issue is US/anglosphere build up on Russia's borders.
Russia has limited objectives which is a security agreement with the US. The NATO scam facilitates the US buildup.
If Russia secures this agreement, US hold on its EU vassals will be greatly weakened... military technical and a language/terminology US understand...

I would like to see Russia bust the US, that my country would come to its senses and also fuck off the foreign monarch as head of state.
But Russia's objective is security of the Russian federation. I guess I got to be grateful for any crumbs that fall off the table. Russia from what I have seen is not into helping them who won't help themselves. Russia forcing US into a security agreement busts whatever remains of full spectrum dominance so that will be a good thing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 0:58 utc | 267

@266 It will be difficult for US/NATO to give up their dream of a base in Sebastopol. That would be like admitting that Russia controls the Black Sea. All they have to play with after that would be Erdogan and the Bosphorus.

Posted by: dh | Jan 30 2022 1:08 utc | 268

dh
I think what is coming will bust NATO. Though saying that is I guess as bad as gambling on horses. A couple of original thinkers at the top spots in Russia and China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 1:19 utc | 269

@268 You will also need some original thinking in France and Germany.

Posted by: dh | Jan 30 2022 1:47 utc | 270

dh

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 1:51 utc | 271

@270 What? Boris is going to send a clear message to the Kremlin. This must be his Churchill moment....


https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-60185733

Posted by: dh | Jan 30 2022 1:54 utc | 272

hit the wrong button.

France and Germany. Speaking with one voice.... original thinking or just basic instinct? interesting to see what happens there. It is part of what makes me think this may be end days of nato.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 1:55 utc | 273

The nato facade. Gives the illusion of US power... bust that illusion and... it would be interesting to know the evil ruskies plans.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 2:01 utc | 274

That Ukrainian comedian who thought everything was a tv show seems to have had a road to Damascus moment at that Normandy format or whatever meeting.. I guess its not so funny when you realise you and your country are the sacrificial goat.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 30 2022 2:11 utc | 275

@274 I definitely sense some nervousness in France and Germany. They are the key to this whole thing. Boris is basically a part animal with delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: dh | Jan 30 2022 2:15 utc | 276

So as the EU and NATO gradually rip apart, I imagine the US will ramp up its control of the 5 eyes gang.

As a Canadian, I wonder what that’ll entail...

Posted by: Featherless | Jan 30 2022 2:30 utc | 277

Posted by: suzan | Jan 30 2022 0:49 utc | 265

Leaders such as Netanyahu loudly and repeatedly conflate zionism and Judaism so you can't really blame others for taking their message to heart, incorrect though it may be.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 30 2022 2:32 utc | 278

@274 Poor Zelensky was having fun there for a while. He was the center of attention. But it seems Putin isn't kidding. Zelensky must know his army won't last 5 minutes without US/NATO backing. And all they do is threaten sanctions.

Posted by: dh | Jan 30 2022 2:40 utc | 279

dh #278

sanctions... and some army surplus helmets. Zelensk has a fetish for helmets I guess. Soon he will have a wardrobe full just like Imelda Marcos shoes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2022 2:56 utc | 280

Considering sanctions at New Left Review.

The first sanctions it passed were against Italy in 1935, when the fascist regime invaded Ethiopia (before leaving the League of Nations in 1937). Sanctions were also applied to Japan in 1940-41. OFAC, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury, was established in 1950. The Suez Crisis of 1956 – when France, Britain and Israel sought to block Nasser’s nationalisation of the canal – was resolved when the United States forbade Britain from using its IMF reserves to defend the Pound. The Cuban embargo of 1962 is the classic example of how the US used sanctions against the Soviet bloc during the Cold War. But the use and abuse of sanctions skyrocketed after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the first to feel their effect was Saddam Hussein).

Read Our Daily Sanction, Marco D'Eramo, 24 January 2022

Note that last sentence, once the global bully slipped the leash it went into overdrive.

As I said earlier: The UKUSA will not stop.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2022 3:04 utc | 281

Cartoon of Uncle $am consulting Dr.Freud regarding his insecurities:

https://twitter.com/sahouraxo/status/1486722839797403654/photo/1

Spot on :-D

Posted by: Antonym | Jan 30 2022 3:47 utc | 282

It seems as if the Biden Administration is about to engineer a spectacular cock-up in which the wily Putin sits tight and watches NATO implode as the "allies" turn on each other. Moon lays out Zelensky's revolt at turning Ukrainians into a bloody pawn of "Biden" and the Anglo-American War Machine; the German officials, including the Chancellor Scholtz himself publicly balk almost daily at playing their role as DC- UK stooge enablers.

The Germans, in turn, are attacked by the Latvian micro-state poodles for refusing to cmmit to a pointless and devastating series of conflicts with Russia-China.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/nato-row-erupts-latvia-blasts-germanys-immoral-hypocritical-russia-china-ties

Facing Spring elections Macron is spinning his own diplomacy independently of the US; while the Italians want to be friends with everyone, including the Chinese AND Russians.

And meanwhile "Biden" Approvals are nearly 15% underwater; and polls show Americans want no part of armed conflict with Russia. And how long can BoJo hang on?

Best outcome: Biden resigns in disgrace; BoJo out with a no-confidence vote; NATO disintegrates; Putin and Zelensky figure out a modus vivendi .... may not be so far fetched.

Posted by: Posa | Jan 30 2022 4:37 utc | 283

I just saw a MSM headline that reads
"
Biden to send troops to eastern Europe amid Ukraine diplomacy push
"

Since when is sending troops in a good diplomacy move? Normalizing stupidity is what this is.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30 2022 6:02 utc | 284

@Canadian Cents the statement about the "Ministry of Truth" is much more real than you probably intended. Apparently the US government has adopted a strategy of "countering Russian disinformation" which goes well beyond merely countering lies to directly refusing to acknowledge the security concerns Russia has stated. In other words, the US has decided to deem any narrative counter to its own narrative is nothing more than disinformation.

This even included statements by Russia revolving around concern with the presence and influence of NATO in Eastern Europe (an issue that Russia has voiced numerous times over many years). Apparently this too is "disinformation". America knows the truth, everybody else who doesn't follow the narrative is merely lying. A rather desperate and pathetic effort that shows just how depraved the US foreign policy blob has gotten in their effort to maintain their power.

Posted by: brainiac3397 | Jan 30 2022 7:08 utc | 285

· Host Nation Support (HNS). The civil and military assistance rendered in peace, emergencies, crisis and conflict by a Host Nation to allied forces and organisations, which are located on, operating in or transiting through the Host Nation’s territory, territorial waters or airspace.
Posted by: Steven. Starr | Jan 29 2022 2:32 utc | 131

I witnessed that with my own eyes in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. As I was travelling northbound on the motorwat in Sweden, a vast column of military supplies was travelling in the opposite direction. We were travelling at about 60 mph, the column of armaments was solidly occupying one lane on the other side, but travelling more slowly (perhaps 30mph). It took us 2 hours to pass the column - that's 180 miles long. Tanks, armoured personnel carriers, heavy artillery, etc, of every description. They had obviously been taken out of NATO storage in northern Norway and were using Sweden as a short-cut.

Posted by: BM | Jan 30 2022 8:56 utc | 286

A similar assassination of President Zelensky "... by a Russian ..." scenario is all that is needed
Posted by: imo | Jan 29 2022 3:02 utc | 137

I rather suspect it is more likely to be an assassination carried out by a Right Sector nazi, on the basis that Zelenski is already being "too soft" on the Russians in their psychopathic opinions. Maybe he might be disguised as a Russian ... but more likely he would openly flaunt his Right Sector affiliation.

Likewise the suggestion of numerous commentators that Zelenski might decide to call on Russia to save his skin is a non-starter, because he would be assassinated by the Right Sector in a blink of the eye. Even if he could manage to flee to Russia, Russia would probably try him for war crimes.

Posted by: BM | Jan 30 2022 9:28 utc | 287

@BM | Jan 30 2022 8:56 utc | 284

They had obviously been taken out of NATO storage in northern Norway and were using Sweden as a short-cut.
The neutrality of Sweden has been fake for a long time, at least since Olof Palme was murdered by you-know-who.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 30 2022 9:37 utc | 288

Posted by: uncle tungsten @ 252

Great comment, thanks.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 30 2022 9:43 utc | 289

Germany. They had the goods on Merkel and she was compliant. Maybe not so much the current crew.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 3:37 utc | 144

Nobody gets anywhere in western politics unless the elites have them in 100% compliance. Witness their desperate sabottage of Corbyn when by a series of flukes (combined with extreme disenchantment of the Labour Party masses) he suddenly flew to the leadership of the Labour Party. Before that he had been a totally sidelined and hence innoccuous backbencher for decades, raising little attention. His sudden rise was so unexpected that the elites were unable to block it. Because he was principled, could not be bought off, and because the elites had nothing by which to control him, he was relentlessly attacked with fabricated allegations until he could eventually be removed and replaced by establishment puppet Starnier. Nobody honest can survive in western politics, it is not possible.

Posted by: BM | Jan 30 2022 9:44 utc | 290

Just wondering what would happen when Zelensky might decide to move some troops from the East to the North. It would fit with the narrative of the "Russian threat". Yet it would decrease the chances for what Russia fears most: an attack on the LPR/DPR.

Posted by: Wim | Jan 30 2022 10:52 utc | 291

Not only president Zelensky, also Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar criticizes false information about russian medical materials supply to Ukrainian border as "psychological warfare":
https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/794926.html
Posted by: Jan | Jan 29 2022 18:00 utc | 225

I did consider it as highly questionable, bordering on insane, to claim that Russia would be delivering blood supplies now before the end of January, days before the start of the olympics and fully 3 weeks before they end. But then, I have no idea how convenient it is to store blood or what temperatures it requires.

Posted by: BM | Jan 30 2022 14:05 utc | 292

@Oriental Voice #244

But China is on record of saying Taiwan MUST one day come back to China's family fold, and I kind of think Xi Jinping would like that to be wrapped up before 2026.Not just Xi, I think that's the collective wish of the present Politburo.

The first bit is understandable. The 2nd and 3rd parts seem like pure supposition; even if true, it still doesn't mean China is coming over the wall any time soon or by 2026.

The only thing I am not certain of is whether people on the mainland REALLY wanted the present population of Taiwan to be their fellow countrymen. I know for sure, after Occupy Central in Hong Kong, that most people in China DO NOT WANT Hong Kong people as fellow Chinese. They wish them to immigrate to UK.

I can't speak to mainlander views or HK views, but I have extensive experience with Taiwanese.

I traveled there, 10+ times a year, for 4 years in the early 2000s as part of my work. I also speak Mandarin.

I have never met even 1 person in Taiwan who was remotely militantly anti-China or militantly anything except super nice. Taiwanese to me are like Singaporeans except much less oppressed. The entire island has been isolated from economic reality for a long, long time - only it is the US Daddy and not their government which has provided it, but none of this is visible to the regular people in Taiwan.

My strong suspicion is the anti-China rhetoric is a very thin layer of people posing as representatives of the common will.

The one thing which all the people in Taiwan (that I interacted with) were unified in was that their government - all of them, in power and opposition - are corrupt fucks.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 30 2022 15:53 utc | 293

I did consider it as highly questionable, bordering on insane, to claim that Russia would be delivering blood supplies now before the end of January, days before the start of the olympics and fully 3 weeks before they end. But then, I have no idea how convenient it is to store blood or what temperatures it requires.

Posted by: BM | Jan 30 2022 14:05 utc | 292

What happened there is that somebody on the internets noticed that the Russians had not moved the necessary logistics train into place for an invasion, including field hospitals. A day or so later this story appeared from "White House sources" that they had too moved blood supplies there at some nebulous recent date. This goes on all the time.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 30 2022 16:16 utc | 294

On Sunday, CBC interviewed Matthew Schmitt, a 'security expert' who unpacked Canada's security promises to Ukraine. Some of his comments on the preparations by 'people's militias' in Ukraine were quite interesting...

"People are ready to fight. They're ready to dissolve into an insurgency. They're reading Al Qaeda manuals. American special forces are bringing in Al Qaeda manuals and training them in these sorts of things. It's my understanding from an American special forces officer they're using these as text books..." @44:10

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thehouse/cbc-the-house-jan-29-1.6331383

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 31 2022 13:49 utc | 295

@ BM 290
Nobody gets anywhere in western politics unless the elites have them in 100% compliance.
Yes, and a good indicator is how Washington constantly pumps out the "democracy" meme when the best guide is: When politicians say something, it's a good bet the opposite is true.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 31 2022 14:55 utc | 296

Shades of 1938.
PM Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to appease the Nazis and throw Russians under the bus.

Fast forward to Jan 2022.
PM Boris Johnson flies to Ukraine to appease the Nazis and throw Russians under the bus.

History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme.

Posted by: Torak | Jan 31 2022 15:11 utc | 297

"Why Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine's President Zelensky"

It is not easy to "dump" a sitting president with parliamentary majority and no clear replacement. I would rephrase:

"Why Washington Dumps upon Zelensky", I am not fluent in English idioms, there is "taking a dump", something usually done in privacy but on occasion, in public view, so this is what I have in mind here.
Perhaps or "Why Washington Craps on Zelensky".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 31 2022 19:09 utc | 298

John Gilberts 295

I listened to that so called security expert for a bit an I have wonder how people get so far divorced from reality. Russia's main concern with US pulling out of virtually all weapons agreement is their long term security. Putin has made that clear and the proposal by Russia has made that clear yet they constantly talk as though Putin is just trying to gain some small time political point scoring.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 31 2022 19:29 utc | 299

I think the neocons will fold their hand. Europe breathes a sigh of relief!
Then, the mightily armed Russian Navy would sail on a good-will mission
all over the geopolitical world, peacefully porting wherever welcomed;
with every other navy knowing better than to get in its way.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jan 31 2022 20:26 utc | 300

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