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

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The next President of Ukraine will be Hunter Biden.
The fact that he is foreign will not be a problem. Ukraine already changed those laws when they wanted to make Shaaskavili governor.

Besides, this time around, nobody can say that Hunter Biden doesn't have any experience in Ukraine.

But yes, when Uncle Sam wants to get rid of a bothersome President, well, lets just say that The Comedian won't be in office for long after.

Posted by: Sleepy Sleepy Joe | Jan 28 2022 23:49 utc | 101

Karlofi at 93

"And IMO what we're now witnessing is the beginning of the military technical part Russia said would occur if a non-response occurred."

Glad to see that you seem to be gradually accepting the interpretation that Russia now has a high probability of using its military power and initiative to gain its highly legitimate political goals--a new buffer against NATO and the U.S.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 28 2022 23:52 utc | 102

Norwegian 92

I was thinking more along the line of Zelensky asking if he can hide under Snowden's bed rather than making some sort of head of state agreement.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 0:03 utc | 103

@ Peter 94
re: US containment and encirclement of China
the us military buildup is behind schedule but occurring
What military buildup?
India in about the same period has had a rabidly anti China government come to power that has signed a strategic military agreement with the US.
That's just military sales, training etc and has no impact on China. India purchased some helicopters. Actually India has made an effort to design and manufacture its own military gear, but results have been mixed. In any case, in no way is India a US ally. (India buys more from Russia.)
rabidly anti China governments come to power in Australia and India.
Okay, Oz, but India is not rabidly anti-China. India has not assumed a role as a US puppet. India and China have some differences. China is generations ahead of India in most matters.
Japan now seems to have a suitably anti China government
Yes, even though they cooperate on some commercial matters and treaties, they are certainly not best of friends.
Malaysia and a few others will stay determinedly neutral. Thailand . .
There is a growing Chinese security force posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia reflects national tilts toward China and trends unfavorable to US interests.

So there is no US containment and encirclement of China.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 0:11 utc | 104

Peter AU1 @99--

Thanks for your reply!

I should note that earlier today Russia's Security Council met to discuss all this with Lavrov in the vanguard with his presentation, which is all we're allowed to know about it. The next question deals with the sanctions and Obama/Biden being the team that started this mess, not just to trip-up Trump, but to initiate this ongoing, escalating crisis that's come very close to the severing of relations. Then we have the relayed question by McFaul, a person Lavrov seems to loathe:

"Question: You know perfectly well that I mainly focus my questions on the questions of our radio listeners. Since we are talking about Russian-American relations, our listener, M. McFall from California, a professor at Stanford, sent you a question. Why didn't Russia at least try to get un Security Council approval for the use of force if the use of force in Ukraine is required, does Russia no longer believe in the UN Security Council? Why has Russia not yet recognized the self-proclaimed Republics of the DPR and LPR, if the threat threatens the same threat as threatened Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008?

"Sergey Lavrov: To be honest, these are completely illiterate questions. That is a question for the Security Council. Did I hear it correctly? Why didn't Russia apply (in the past tense) to the UN Security Council for permission to use force, if necessary? I won't even explain the meaninglessness of this phrase. The word "if" does not exist in the practical actions of any country's diplomacy.

As for recognition. I think that M. McFall, along with his huge contribution to the destruction of everything constructive in Russian-American relations, simply did not have time to get acquainted with the Minsk agreements, which were agreed in February 2015. This was done in a situation where a few months before the meeting in Minsk, the Donetsk and Lugansk republics had already declared their independence. Germany and France, which together with us and with the Ukrainians agreed on the text of the Minsk Agreements, asked very much, and Poroshenko actively joined these requests, that we convince the leaders of the two republics, who were specially invited to Minsk on the occasion of the same meeting, to sign the Minsk agreements, thereby essentially changing the results of the referendum in Donbass, recorded in the spring of 2014. McFall probably needs to get acquainted with the modern history of this region. The issue of recognition should be considered in the context of our firm line to force the West to force Kiev to comply with the Minsk agreements. Then everything will be in order, as provided for by this document approved by the UN Security Council." [My Emphasis]

After the McFaul sting, the questions become very complex as do the answers, and I must say that they are very much hard ball questions, not the soft crap tossed at Western ministers. The following is Lavrov's answer to a very interesting query. Many saw Russia's proposals as if Russia had just won a war and that they were a diktat, not proposals; and again, Lavrov must patiently walk the questioner through the entire history of this issue, for the proposals aren't meant to reflect the current status, but the entire process of what's been done since all that activity goes against what the West said in assurances and how it agreed to behave in the treaties it signed:

"We want to be treated honestly. I have cited the osce commitments that have been made at the highest level. I would like to stress that they were signed by presidents, including the United States, that no one will strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others. Americans say the right to choose alliances is sacred. We speak on the condition that it does not aggravate the security situation of any other country. You good gentlemen signed up to that.

"Now, when they are trying to present our proposals as an ultimatum, we remind about this and will strive that they do not dodge, but honestly state how they interpret what their president signed. If he signed on the assumption that Russia will never be able to achieve what was promised in these documents, we must admit it. This will be another recognition after our reminder of verbal promises in 1990 not to expand NATO, we were later told that this was not what they meant at all, did not want to mislead us, acted in a hurry, saying that there were more important issues. This is their direct explanation.

"We stand on our own territory. The Americans in the UN Security Council, which McFall mentioned, are going to consider what we are doing with regard to Ukraine, why we are not engaged in de-escalation. This is said by the representative of a country that has spread its military bases around the world, around the Russian Federation, around the CIS, which is not clear what it is doing in Iraq (who invited it there?) and much more. If the Americans want to consider the topic of deploying troops, then there is something to talk about. We and our armed forces are nowhere to be found without the invitation of the host State. In full compliance with international law, we are implementing the agreements we reach with the host State. Hysterically inflating the topic of escalation in Ukraine, demanding de-escalation, both Joir Borrell and E. Blinken (they have just like an incantation) tell us that they very much hope that Russia will choose the 'path of diplomacy'. I catch it at my word. We chose the path of diplomacy for many decades after the Soviet Union disappeared. A very significant result of that very diplomacy is the Istanbul-Astana agreements I mentioned: no one will strengthen his security at the expense of the security of others. This is an agreement, a declaration, the highest result of diplomacy. Compromise, consensus, agreement, whatever you want to call it. If you're in favor of diplomacy, do what you agreed to first. [My Emphasis]

I'm sure Lavrov was being cool-headed in his responses to his compatriots, but he's got to be frustrated to some degree. An adage would be Lavrov's playing with unmarked cards while those seated with him at the table say those cards values differ from what's on their face. Russia was very patient for 30+ years of duplicity, lies, and many international crimes committed by those demanding Russia pursue diplomacy. Oh, and don't forget the main instigators of this--the Outlaw Anglo Empire--employed their Terrorist Foreign Legion in attacks on Russia itself, including the Beslan school massacre and the Chechen Wars. IMO, Russia's to be commended for its not directly attacking those using surrogates to attack it. And that's the major reason why the Outlaw US Empire expected Russia to attack Ukraine because that's exactly what the Empire would do.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 0:25 utc | 105

Time to knock on Alaskas door I think Mr Putin?

Posted by: Stephen Lane | Jan 29 2022 0:30 utc | 106

From one of b's links:

In reality, it is the U.S. that is ginning up war by provoking the Ukrainians to start a fight that they can’t win.

Why would the US encourage a putative ally to "start a fight that they can’t win?"

Because the US is aware the RF response to a Ukrainian provocation would have devastating effect. The RF has the capacity to destroy all the Ukrainian forces on the line of contact without setting one foot on Ukrainian soil.

This response would then provide Washington with a cri de coeur allowing Washington to call upon its dependent flunkies to form another coalition of the willing to defend "democracy and freedom." It would give Washington a reason to inject airborne or other rapid deployment forces into the theatre, to levy sanctions against the RF, to sever RF from any future connection with Europe, to cause an energy crisis demanding American LNG supply at whatever cost, result in an immediate demand for US armament exports, and, most importantly, salvage the midterms for the Democrats and give Brandon a spike in his abysmal public ratings.

This is a description of the likely American "grand strategy." Nothing else makes much sense.

It is also a description of a Gleiwitz incident:

If this perspective is correct then the US is engaged in a series of premeditated actions undertaken for the sole purpose of initiating armed conflict. This is a war crime.

It is worthwhile remembering that the US does not accept the jurisdiction of the The International Court of Justice, does not see itself bound by the law of armed conflict and, as you read this, a man sits in Belmarsh Prison awaiting extradition to the US and 135 years of solitary punishment for exposing US war crimes.

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 29 2022 0:32 utc | 107

So...tales of someone, maybe Russian ships, cutting cables among submarine sensors off Norway. Rumblings that the fiber optic cables linking continents might be targeted. The Russian fleet off to sea worldwide? Rumors of some kind of Electromagnetic or whatever it is interference which would wipe out the web and communications? My guess is IF Putin decides to "show" some of his capabilities, he would do so along the lines of cutting cables wiping out data systems, and not publicly, either, just do it, maybe wipe out a carrier group's communications, nothing said publicly, but a clear demonstration that if things go further awry the entire western world comes to a screeching halt. It's hard to call cutting a cable a terrible act of war, unlike, say, wiping out one or two carrier groups with hypersonic missiles. I think Putin is a little trapped, as is Biden, both on perches they cannot easily climb down from. Maybe the end game might be, here, that Ukraine fulfills the Minsk agreement and at the same time Biden quietly takes back those NATO missiles, and everyone cheers and says diplomacy worked. But we seem to have slid into a very very high stakes game of poker....

Posted by: Boomheist | Jan 29 2022 0:35 utc | 108

Don, re India. I got a good look at the Indian government with the Galwin valley incident. The entire government and military wanted to launch a border war with China. Modi waited a week or so and when he realized US would only back India with words, he nixed the Idea of a border war and said China had not set one foot on Indian territory.
India does maintain a degree of independence from US mainly entering into the military agreements as an alliance against China. Communications and logistics. Seemingly minor. Logistics mean US naval forces can block the western side of Mallacca Strait 24/7, refueling, resupplying and R&R at Indian ports. I think that also applies to aircraft. One of the communications agreements gives India access to full US targeting information for a missile war with China. There is also a technology agreement which greatly closes the gap between India and China military tech.

For the US though, I think that logistics agreement is important as it allows them to blockade Malacca Strait from the west. With no quad agreement, India would no doubt join if US were to undertake a naval blockade.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 0:51 utc | 109

Peter AU1 #90

uncle tungsten 85 Erdo is a nuisance but there are limits to his ambitions. I think Putin knows this. I think Erdogan is limited to trying to carve out a Turkic sphere of influence in the coming unipolar world rather than an ottoman empire. His interest in Ukraine is the small Tatar population which are Turkic and have been there a long time.

To be explicit: IMO the UKUSA occupation of Iraq, Syria plus its useful pawn Turkey constitutes one enormous UKUSA base that is in permanent use to destabilise the locality and its neighbour states to the east.

That is bleeding obvious from the most recent mischief in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. There are many Uighur jihadis resident and trained there.

If there is one UKUSA forward base that both China and Russia have an immediate interest in extinguishing then that region is it.

Plus it is a Russian statement to adventurers like the preposterous sultan in Turkey... "you send your drones and weapons to Ukraine to murder our citizens and we will punish you". A side bonus is the relief it will provide Iran through major damage to the Islamic Brotherhood.

Russia and China are driving away the relentless encroachment of UKUSA military bases and the coercing effect those bases have on small states to make independent trade and transport decisions. The middle east conflict zone (Yemen included) is a UKUSA free fire zone base and the people living there are suffering intensely. That base needs to be shut down.

In Syria, Al-tanf as well and preferably tomorrow. The recent jail break story in Kurd occupied Syria may have released many ISIS squads ready for more assaults on Iraq and Syria or even as far as Uzbekistan etc plus an ISIS 'resurgence' would enable UKUSA to justify its continuing occupation of Iraq.

The middle east UKUSA killing zone must end and the rsoles get evicted.

The recent Russia China navy circumnavigation of Japan was an acute message to that nation to consider its sole function as a UKUSA base masquerading as an independent nation. They are too arrogant to get the message at once but time will tell.

At the moment Australia is only relevant for Pine Gap and if that became an issue it would be immediately converted to a high tech rubbish tip for opportunistic scroungers to poke about in the rubble salvaging copper wire and melted stuff.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 0:55 utc | 110

As usual, weaponizing a bordering nation on Russia's borders, by the corporate empire, has created a problem that could be solved instantly by removing all offensive armaments, but since the goal IS encirclement, the empire won't do the right thing.

The U$A NEVER does the right thing, it does the $ thing........

Posted by: vetinLA | Jan 29 2022 0:57 utc | 111

108 "I think Putin is a little trapped, as is Biden, both on perches they cannot easily climb down from."
Biden will lose face if he pulls Americans out of Europe, but for them its just a matter of heading home. If Putin pulls Russians out of Russia, where do they go?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 0:57 utc | 112

Boomheist 108

The siege of Leningrad. A lot of historic footage in it. Putin's elder brother is buried in one of the mass graves there.

Well with watching all the series from operation Barbarossa to the Soviet flag flying on the reichstag and what Russians and others in the soviet union went through in those years.

US on the other hand suffered no damage in WWII, very few military casualties and came out of it with 75% of the worlds wealth.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 1:10 utc | 113

Those six large Russian landing ships are now in the Mediterranean, so you could be right about Russia removing the Americans from Syria.

In place of Syria, I supect the ships will enter the Black Sea. They are all amphibious transports and therefore have the capcity to land assault forces across open beaches.

There have been reports of the USUK preparing a naval base near Odessa. Crimea is also experiencing warer shortages as Ukraine has closed the canal that supplies fresh water.

A landing on the Black Sea shores of Ukraine in conjunction with an advance from RF to Odessa will turn the Sea of Azov into a RF lake, eliminate the possibility of a NATO naval base in Ukraine, and solve the supply problems with regard to Crimea.

The threat of such action will force Ukraine military to move forces to defend. This would weaken other border defences.

My hunch is that while Putin may prepare for every eventuality, his desired outcome is to do nothing and to leave American hypocrisy exposed for all to see.

The US is on the verge of a financial melt-down. Brandon's actions may push the financial system over the edge. If the US economy implodes the rest of the world may reconsider the benefits of associating with America.

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 29 2022 1:18 utc | 114

Quite a lot of the interview focuses on issues other than Ukraine and the security proposals. Media bias and state intervention to suppress in Germany; reporter harassment and murder in the Central African Republic; Nalvany; poor relations with Belarus over arbitrary arrest and detention of Russian citizens; but at the end the main topic returns. Here're Lavrov's closing remarks:

"In a couple of weeks, another event between specialists should take place. I can assure you that there are no threats. But we cannot leave everything without some kind of analysis. Let's analyze what is behind the Anglo-Saxon actions. [My Emphasis]

Well, that's one thing we're trying to do. Russia doesn't want war with Ukraine or anyone else. BUT, that doesn't mean Russia won't escalate its aid to Syria or conduct naval drills and FTXs. 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. One last note about the interview. The CNN news piece that documented the row between Biden and Zelensky was mentioned in the following question:

"Question: A scandal is unfolding in the United States. CNN published a report where journalists, citing their sources, spoke about a telephone conversation between the Presidents of the United States and Ukraine, in which Joe Biden allegedly shouted at Zelensky, tried to explain to him in raised tones that if he did not change his position on Donbass, Kiev would be captured, looted, etc. CNN published this report on the website, then removed. Nevertheless, the scandal is coming. They ask questions to Joe Biden and Vladimir Zelensky. In this conversation, the US President allegedly demands that the President of Ukraine urgently resolve the issue of the special status of Donbass."

Part of Lavrov's answer was yes, we want Minsk implemented, but only the Americans can force Kiev.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2022 1:18 utc | 115

My bet is: neutralize aegis in Romenia, given previous warning; no fly no sail zone in Baltic&Black Sea& Syria,

Posted by: FMG | Jan 29 2022 1:19 utc | 116

uncle tungsten 112
I would like to see all the shit swept out of the middle east - Syria Iraq ect - US, Turks and jihadi's. I suspect that will only come after US is defeated. From what I can make of it, Putin is making sure Russia doesn't get entangled in and drained by proxie wars. At the moment I think Putin uses Erdogan to take the jihadi's under state control and quieten them down a bit. With Kazakhstan, I'm not sure Erdo was involved in that. It had leaders that where fully aboard the Turkic sphere so I cant see why he would want to change that.

Pine gap, apart from comms spying I have read its part of nuclear missile guidance. I suspect there are a number of other US sites in Australia will also be targets. They got too many bases very few even know about let alone what is in them.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 1:23 utc | 117

Excellent piece b

These are momentous times

NONE is being reported by the msm

It is YOU that is writing the first draft of history

It rather reminds me of Craig Murray and his vital role during the Salmod trial

Karlof1 there is some amazing stuff in your #105

It seems that everything will be conducted out in the open

The Anglo Empire cannot be trusted on any level

Do you think that the Istanbul treaty of 1999 carries the signature of Sir Anthony Blair?

If so, things are GETTING VERY interesting

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 29 2022 1:33 utc | 118


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

@121 If you want to get technical the Anglo-Saxons haven't held power in Britain since the Normans took over in 1066.

Posted by: dh | Jan 29 2022 1:39 utc | 120

Editorial remark. Crooke is quoted as quoting Sullivan to say:

... 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] …”.
No reader will miss that the bracketed word followed by the ellipsis is somebody's, Bernhard's or Crooke's, editorial insertion to make Sullivan look like a blind chauvinist. It was Crooke's. Sullivan actually said:
... a favorable 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 our country and to the people everywhere”
The American warmongers are goody-goody boys.

Posted by: dcouzin | Jan 29 2022 1:40 utc | 121

Karlof1 @ 105:

Why wouldn't Sergei Lavrov loathe the abominable Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia, for having spent most of his time in Russia cultivating the neoliberal opposition there?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 29 2022 1:56 utc | 122

Lavrov chooses his words carefully. This may be it.
"Throughout the history of Anglo-Saxon studies, different narratives of the people have been used to justify contemporary ideologies. In the early Middle Ages, the views of Geoffrey of Monmouth produced a personally inspired (and largely fictitious) history that was not challenged for some 500 years. In the Reformation, Christians looking to establish an independent English church reinterpreted Anglo-Saxon Christianity. In the 19th century, the term Anglo-Saxon was broadly used in philology, and is sometimes so used at present, though the term 'Old English' is more commonly used. During the Victorian era, writers such as Robert Knox, James Anthony Froude, Charles Kingsley and Edward A. Freeman used the term Anglo-Saxon to justify colonialistic imperialism, claiming that Anglo-Saxon heritage was superior to those held by colonised peoples, which justified efforts to "civilise" them.[261][262] Similar racist ideas were advocated in 19th-century United States by Samuel George Morton and George Fitzhugh to justify the policy of Manifest destiny.[263] The historian Catherine Hills contends that these views have influenced how versions of early English history are embedded in the sub-conscious of certain people and are "re-emerging in school textbooks and television programmes and still very congenial to some strands of political thinking....

....Outside Anglophone countries, the term Anglo-Saxon and its direct translations are used to refer to the Anglophone peoples and societies of Britain, the United States, and other countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand – areas which are sometimes referred to as the Anglosphere. The term Anglo-Saxon can be used in a variety of contexts, often to identify the English-speaking world's distinctive language, culture, technology, wealth, markets, economy, and legal systems."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 1:58 utc | 123

Gulag 21

It has been repeatedly stated that country 404 is unlikely to ever become an official NATO member.

Russia has said it has issues with the eastern encroachment of NATO and offensive missiles on the border, why would they create the panic in Europe that would provide the justification for an INCREASE of those threats?

Posted by: Dadda | Jan 29 2022 2:05 utc | 124

Much as I would love to see Zelenskii switch sides, I suspect that it will just take the Americans a little more time and pressure before Zelenskii knuckles under.

He won't be allowed to open his mouth unsupervised in public in the future.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 29 2022 2:05 utc | 125

Sorry, I appreciate the quotes you provide, but paywalled articles aren't cool. It means I have to trust everything second hand If something is so important, it has to be universally accessible to everybody, with or without a bank account

Posted by: Just Me | Jan 29 2022 2:08 utc | 126

Re Sushi | Jan 29 2022 1:18 utc | 116

You wrote, "There have been reports of the USUK preparing a naval base near Odessa". The UK signed an agreement with Ukraine in June 2021 to assist in construction of two naval bases, one in the Sea of Azov in Berdiansk (south of Mariupol) and the other to be a new primary Ukrainian naval base at Ochakov on the Black Sea (near Odessa).

Construction has begun at Berdiansk; CNN published photos in late November 2021 that show the facility is far from complete.

I agree that in the event the Russian Federation decides to move against Ukraine, it would make sense to secure a land bridge for Crimea, and as part of that process, landing troops to secure Ukrainian naval facilities could take place.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 127

@125 I certainly don't want to argue with Mr.Lavrov but Anglophone would be more accurate than Anglo-Saxon.

Anglo-Saxon has become the blanket term of choice to describe some kind of white western master race. In fact Anglo-Saxons haven’t held power in the British Isles since they were subjugated by the Normans (a Norse people) in 1066. The beginnings of British Empire itself can be found in the 16th. century when Britain was ruled by the Tudors (Welsh) and then by the Stuarts (Scots). Subsequent rulers of Britain have been Dutch and Hanoverian.

Posted by: dh | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 128

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jan 28 2022 19:13 utc | 24

Mercouris, among others, now seems to be saying that the hysteria to start the war is being led from London. But I think that this time it is not well planned, rather improvised.
Because that is all the tossers in the current Conservative regime in the UK are capable. As is said, I wouldn't trust this miserable crew to be able to organise a piss up in a brewery. Johnson could be gone shortly but he is the kind of shit who would throw thousand under a bus to keep his current position. Perhaps the dumb f*ck believes that if he can demonstrate Churchillian characteristics in a war with Russia he'll rally the British people behind him. ROFLOL.

BTW, there might be another plan to enable war with Russia - it involves Sweden encouraging Finland to join NATO. Small problem is that 50% of Finnish population don't want to join NATO. While the public are encouraged to believe that Finland defeated the Soviet Union in both the Winter War and the Continuation War (allied with the Nazis), in both wars the Soviet Union achieved their political objectives and won. Stalin demonstrated atypical generosity towards Finland and decided to not occupy it on both occasions. It has been suggested that Soviet Union was frightened of the number of casualties a Finnish resistance might have inflicted, but it's more likely Stalin couldn't be bothered as he had bigger problems to deal with. Barbarossa after the Winter War and the Manchurian Strategic Operation after the Continuation War.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 129

@ karlof1 and PeterAU1 about Lavrov's use of Anglo-Saxon

I was struck by that also and had to go to my unabridged dictionary to get some better context after dh | Jan 29 2022 1:39 utc | 122 went all technical on us....grin

I find it interesting that my dictionary has two entries for Anglo-Saxon as well as for the other 7 Anglo-XXX's with the exception of the Catholics that have three...grin. What the second entry seems to do is enhance the 2nd or 3rd definition in the original of the term being used to in this case to define Anglo-Saxon as being the English.

That said, Lavrov using the term does signal to some that the folks behind the curtain might not be all American....

Now, I expect that China and Putin know who the folks behind the curtain of the shit show in the West are. What is amazing to me is that the system in front of the curtain is being attacked and those behind have not been outed.......why?

One answer to my question is that the social system that these folks built and perpetrate on others needs to be exposed for the human shit show I keep calling it and just getting rid of a few "bad actors" will not solve the structural problem.

What a ride!!! Most of my friends are totally oblivious of the watershed moments we are moving into/through...sigh/wow

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2022 2:17 utc | 130

Re: Ghost Ship | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 131

You write, "There might be another plan to enable war with Russia - it involves Sweden encouraging Finland to join NATO."

Both Sweden and Finland have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with NATO. The Finnish MOU with NATO came into force in 2014.
The Swedish MOU with NATO came into force in July 2016. (sorry, I can't get this URL to format correctly, but to see the Swedish MOU with NATO, go to">">

Both Sweden and Finland have agreed to act as de facto NATO member states, as both nations will accommodate and provide both civil and military support to NATO forces.

Both these MOUs state:

The HN [Host Nation, Sweden and Finland] will provide support within its fullest capacity, subject to availability and within the practical limitations of the circumstances that then exist, to the forces deployed on NATO-led military activities.

· NATO Military Activities: Military actions including exercises, training, operational experimentation and similar activities, or the carrying out of a strategic, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission performed by forces; the process of carrying on combat, including attack, movement, supply and maneuvers needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign.

· The provisions of this MOU apply in peace, emergencies, crisis and conflict or periods of international tension as may be jointly determined by the appropriate HN [Host Nation, Sweden and Finland] and NATO authorities.

· 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.

· NATO military activities supported by this MOU may require multinational support air operations by fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, and in the case of ports, by merchant and military support vessels. The HN [Sweden and Finland] acknowledges that movement of such aircraft, helicopters, ships and their crews in and through HN [Swedish and Finnish] territorial areas, will take place under a general clearance for the duration of the NATO military activity.

Posted by: Steven. Starr | Jan 29 2022 2:32 utc | 131

And the mighty Reuter's spins the following headline
A Russian troop buildup along its border with Ukraine includes supplies of blood for the wounded, three U.S. officials told Reuters, a detail reinforcing U.S. comments that Russia "clearly" now has the capability to move on......

The shit show continues until it doesn't. That moment seems closer that ever and I am thankful.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2022 2:37 utc | 132


What got me wondering what context Lavrov was using that term is the exercise off Ireland is publicly tied to a specific point and that point is known Zircon distance from London. That though may be simply coincidence and he is using it as a term for the anglosphere or five-eyes.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 2:41 utc | 133

@126 Dadda - I think the "unlikely" part regarding Ukraine joining NATO is sort of key to the problem. And then there is all the eastern expansion of NATO and military bases all over the place. The world is very fortunate that people like Lavrov, Putin and Shoigu run things in Russia. I live in Pindostan. We have had the bought and sold suits of, we'll start in like 2001. Shrub W, Obama (drone dude), Orange one (at least he didn't start any wars, but the embassy thing in zionist entity and killing Solemieni, and now Bidet. We have an absolutely tone deaf state department and no one with a diplomatic cookie in their bag. (Hi Vicky. How's Robert doing?)

But I may be reading your message incorrectly. I am not sure who the last "they" is.

why would they create the panic in Europe that would provide the justification for an INCREASE of those threats?

Superdepressing. I hate my country. Oh god. I feel a panic attack approaching. Oh god. Thanks everyone here. It is always super interesting to see what you all have to say. So many brilliant people. I have learned so very very much.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 29 2022 2:48 utc | 134

Posted by: Sleepy Sleepy Joe | Jan 28 2022 23:49 utc | 101

Besides, this time around, nobody can say that Hunter Biden doesn't have any experience in Ukraine.

Everybody should say Hunter Biden doesn't have any experience in Ukraine, because that is the truth.

Hunter Biden has never set foot in Ukraine. Hunter's job working for Burisma was all about laundering money. The money flowed into Ukraine via the IMF and US foreign aid and flowed out through foreign money launderers like Biden's company.

Posted by: jinn | Jan 29 2022 2:49 utc | 135

The concept of sovereign, nobles and vassals still seems to hold for the Western-dominated world. China/Russia/Iran have been eating away at the Western vassals in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa (Central and South America are still within the Monroe Doctrine but Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela seem to be a good place to start, and maybe also Peru and Bolivia).

With the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) remaining studiously neutral (notably Thailand is looking to pass an anti-foreign-NGO law!) and the US repeatedly losing (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia sanctions, China tariffs, Kazakhstan coup, Caucasus troubles) the US is running out of options while being greatly overextended as it refuses to make peace with certain nations and therefore keeps adding enemies. But the US needs to stop the encroachment on its vassals, something it has not been able to do through economics or coups.

So it needs to step up the ante or agree to coexistence, with the "blob" firmly on the step up the ante drive. Escalation against China is highly problematic without ASEAN support so we get the Russian triggering. Problem is, this starts to impact the nobles in Europe especially Germany and France - both of which were impacted by previous sanctions (e.g. booming Russian wine and cheese sectors) and will be devastated by new sanctions (oil and gas supplies etc.). So, as so many posters above have noted the US needs to provoke Russia into an action which will galvanize the nobles behind the US, but the Russians seem to be not that stupid. Delivering some more away-from-Ukraine losses to the US would really stick it to them.

In the interim the nobles are getting antsy and all "independent" thinking (Poland and the Baltic States are vassals not nobles) so this could turn out very bad for the US, just like in Kazakhstan where the Western-oriented head was replaced with a Russian-oriented one. If the US keeps pushing they may not get a Russian-oriented Germany and France but certainly a lot more independent-thinking Germany and France. Very bad news for NATO and the Atlanticists.

Posted by: Roger | Jan 29 2022 2:57 utc | 136

"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."

History notes that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, then heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife were assassinated on 28 June 1914 by a Bosnian Serb. WW1 soon followed which dismantled the German and withering Ottoman empires, and helped facilitate the 1917 communist revolution in Russia.

A similar assassination of President Zelensky "... by a Russian ..." scenario is all that is needed in the western mass-media hysteria brothel for the regional (aka max trade) war to begin officially at the next level of surge-scale.

Posted by: imo | Jan 29 2022 3:02 utc | 137

I'm reading the history of Russia by Vernardsky as recommended by karlof1. I just came across this passage:

Elizabeth's government however strengthened Russia's southern boundary by extensive military colonization. In 1752, 16,000 Serbs settled on the right bank of the Dnieper and were organized into two regiments. In 1759 new Serbian settlements were established at Lugansk and Bakhmut, the settlers receiving liberal allowances of land.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jan 29 2022 3:02 utc | 138

The Russian President has already spoken about what would happen if the USA fails to agree to the documented proposals.

"If our attempts to negotiate mutually acceptable terms fail, we will take retaliatory measures."

To the direct question “which ones” the President answered:

"They will be very different."

Posted by: Rufus Arrr | Jan 29 2022 3:07 utc | 139

@ Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 22:45 utc | 84... obviously 2014 was an important turning point... hard to know how ukraine would look now without that major alteration.. my impression is parts of the country are at odds with one another, but that could work out any number of ways.. as it turned out those who seek conflict are taking advantage of its weaknesses..

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2022 3:10 utc | 140

@ imo | Jan 29 2022 3:02 utc | 139... valid false flag description here imo...

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2022 3:11 utc | 141

Russia will deliver a powerful message via military strength and especially EW capabilities that US acceptance of Russian security proposals is better than the alternative.

Posted by: TEP | Jan 29 2022 3:14 utc | 142

Dadda @ 126

Because Russia no longer trusts anything NATO or the U.S. says and has decided to follow the highly risky strategy of achieving their political goals through military action in order to guarantee their legitimate need for a new buffer against NATO and U.S.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 29 2022 3:21 utc | 143

lex talionis #136

why would they create the panic in Europe that would provide the justification for an INCREASE of those threats?


They had the goods on Merkel and she was compliant. Maybe not so much the current crew. Remember the CIA used the BND to track her personal phone and all her contacts from that phone. UKUSA are fully aware of every backroom thought and conversation within the German government and are likely very unhappy.

UKUSA are beside themselves to smash the Russian energy supplies and sell their own. Cost is not their problem, competition is. If they had ownership of Russian gas they would be happy. They don't have ownership so they will kill a country for it.

Plus they would already know that Zelensky is uncomfortable with being the guy that converted Ukraine into an abattoir blood drain. Zelensky just overtly confirmed that he is not the dupe to destroy his country. Yet.

Don't panic or you could miss the interesting part of the sh!t show.

This will not end soon so stock up on calming teas and popcorn ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 3:37 utc | 144

@ 139 i was thinking the same thing, and since it seems likely that Zelenski becomes less useful, it would be two birds with one stone. to fit nicely into the established propaganda pattern i predict a poisoning with novichock. the western msm would go haywire, to all msm readers it would immediately be clear that Putin personally had ordered the assassination, as he presumably had at least twice before (skripal + navalny). war would therefore be justified and i guess most ukrainians would even enter it with a kitchen knife at this point. anyone in the west uttering the words "false flag" would instantly get the label "conspiracy theorist" and later on, if things develop as planned, even "traitor and supporter of the enemy" and in the end would get silenced one way or another. sounds perfect to me, and foolproof, unless russian intelligence can prevent it or at least can provide overwhelming evidence of the true circumstances to the world public. i really hope that idea doesn't come true, but i see a certain probability.

Posted by: xototox | Jan 29 2022 3:44 utc | 145

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 29 2022 3:49 utc | 146

The Russian Army must be quacking in its boots facing off against the F35, the Zumwalt destroyer, Littoral combat ship, and aircraft carriers where the weapons elevators don't work. And now, "The Army’s new infantry assault buggy is a useless garbage pile!" What ISIS did with Toyota pickups the US MIC fails gloriously profitably at ...

Posted by: Roger | Jan 29 2022 3:53 utc | 147

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 29 2022 3:55 utc | 148

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 29 2022 4:18 utc | 149

CBC recently published a surprisingly balanced article on the civil war in eastern Ukraine/Donbas, as opposed to their usual propogandist crap.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 29 2022 4:33 utc | 150

"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 Pacifc"

wow. it may be that the military technical demonstration, or attack, will involve multiple targets, issued from multiple theaters.

aside from ships in the Atlantic and Pacific directed at the US homeland, the 800 US bases abroad are all liabilities.

when I think of the Mediterranean I think of camp bondsteel in Kosovo. if that were a target, there would be a certain poetic justice in it, given that Russia had to watch as NATO balkanized Yugoslavia. would make a fitting bookend to that prior historical momen

Please pay particular attention to the fact that Russia's Pacific Fleet is being stripped and sent West to the Med. The other fleets are being sent to either the Med or N. Atlantic astride the shipping lanes between the US and Europe.

140 vessels with ~ 90 missiles each... 12,600 missiles.... possibly firing at NATO from the West....

Kaliningrad with 100s of missiles firing at NATO from the north..

The augmented Black Sea Fleet firing from the SE...

The ships in the Med firing from the South..

Russia itself firing at NATO from the East..

Most likely, the entire sub fleet stationed off shore US, possibly firing at the US from the East and South.

Not mentioned.... will China send ~ 250 ships, including two CBGs, into the Pacific, surrounding Taiwan, taking control of the islets NE of Taiwan.... claimed by Japan... Surrounding the US bases in Japan, Marianas, Guam, Micronesia.... Hawaiian Islands...US pacific coast..

The current situation presents itself as opportune for pushback...

I think we must take the Russians at their word.... They want NATO pushed back to the 1980 start line, and defanged...
China wants the US defanged and pushed out of Asia..

I am thinking this crisis will be over by Autumn...


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 29 2022 4:40 utc | 151

The fat cats are loving all this, which is the object, after all. . .
...from Responsible Statecraft (extracts)
Big War CEOs: There’s chaos in the world and our prospects are excellent
With candor you don’t hear in official circles, top arms contractors say recent violence and tension works in their shareholders’ favor.

According to chief executives of the top taxpayer-funded weapons firms, their balance sheets will benefit from the U.S. engaging in great power competition with Russia and China, the recent escalations in the Yemen war, and the potential for a Russian invasion of Ukraine. But at least one CEO didn’t want to give the impression that weapons firms are simply merchants of death, claiming that her firm, the third largest weapons producer in the world, “actually promote[s] human rights proliferation.”
Those comments were all made on quarterly earnings calls this week, at which executives for publicly traded companies speak to investors and analysts who follow their industries and answer questions about their financial outlook.
The occasion brings out a degree of candor about companies’ fundamentals and their business interests that aren’t always disclosed in marketing materials and carefully worded press releases.
For example, CEOs from both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon outright acknowledged that a deteriorating state of global peace and security and an increase in deadly violence are very much in the interest of their employees and investors.
Lockheed CEO James Taiclet assured investors that the $740 billion defense budget — twelve times the budget provided to the State Department to conduct diplomacy — could continue to grow in 2023, a critical metric for weapons contractors, the ultimate recipient of nearly half of all defense spending.
Taiclet said:
But if you look at [defense budget growth] — and it’s evident each day that goes by. If you look at the evolving threat level and the approach that some countries are taking, including North Korea, Iran and through some of its proxies in Yemen and elsewhere, and especially Russia today, these days, and China, there’s renewed great power competition that does include national defense and threats to it. And the history of [the] United States is when those environments evolve, that we do not sit by and just watch it happen. So I can’t talk to a number, but I do think and I’m concerned personally that the threat is advancing, and we need to be able to meet it.

Time and time again, the earnings calls spotlight the true interests of the weapons industry: an increase in global insecurity and violence leads to an increase in governments’ demands for lethal weapons, which in turn produce an increase in profits for investors in arms production. . .here

And the maintenance of Russia as a US enemy is essential to all this money-grubbing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 4:53 utc | 152

This article has a bit more on the exercises. Barents and Baltic seas are named so that's two of the northern seas.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 5:06 utc | 153

@ oprisko 151
Yeah, I’m pretty much where you’re at. IF Russia exercises the military option, it’s not going to limit itself to the Ukraine. That place can sort itself out in due time. No. It’s going to be a complete revolution in the international system. Germany? Reoccupied up to the Elbe. Romania,Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the 3B, Czechia, Hungary, all overthrown or threatened with extinction. A reset to 1991. And the Russians posing to the US the question: what do you want to do? And Ukraine will just melt away. After all, it’s backers are all gone. THAT would change the game. Just reacting to whatever happens in Ukraine, and even taking all of Ukraine, changes nothing, and just confronts Russia with more problems, but doesn’t solve the security question. It just invites the west/nato to drop more troops in Poland and Romania + missiles. No. Any Russian action must change the game board, must deliver check mate.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 5:11 utc | 154

Yes, and I have no doubt that the events of last spring, which involved not only Ukraine, but Belarus, Moldova, etc. were in the planning for at least a couple of years. The urgency to launch this plan to contain Russia and encircle China, before it is too late, was a key reason why the Anglo-Atlanticist Deep State was so desperate to get rid of Trump that they would launch a Pandemic and all but destroy the U.S. electoral system to do it.

The US/UK basically admitted that it is too late.... They needed sufficient world oil/gas production to bottle up EurAsian exports (FSU-Iran-Libya-Yemen-Iraq-Syria).

They looked... and ..... the cupboard was bare...

More to the point.... resources available to them... are in steep decline... as I have shown through numerous posts on my VK page...

One very simple way to bring NATO to heel would be destruction of key NorthSea Pipelines/Gathering Units/SPMs because most of NATO's indigenous resource is there.
Algeria / Libya used to be major exporters of energies to NATO, but no more, KSA is in serious trouble, Yemen ditto,

The GCC basically said "NO" to rerouting their oil/gas to NATO.. US is a net importer of 5mm Bbl/day....

The big shortage, however, is distillate. Frac'd oil is basically Condensate / Naptha. You can make gasoline from it, but not diesel or Jet Fuel. The world's war machines run on both...

Dmitry Orlov once postulated immobilization of the US economy via the simple expedient of destroying 3 dozen key transformers, and 2 dozen pipeline pumping stations...
The EU is probably similarly vulnerable.


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 29 2022 5:13 utc | 155

George W Oprisko
What you have outlined is close to the impression I have been getting apart from the bit in relation to the US. As far as surrounding Europe goes, there is also the land exercise in Belarus to be held at the point closest to western Europe.
Putting the wind up the Europeans at this point wouldn't be a bad idea as the the speaking with one voice thing is a bit shaky at the best.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 5:13 utc | 156

I meant to add that that’s what I think Putin meant by “military-technical” response. I’ve read doctorows analysis on that term. Maybe he’s right. But maybe Putin was just playing at words. An oblique tongue in cheek trolling of the west. What I mean is this. A vendor wants to sell you something. I’ll sell you x and you pay y. So you pay y, but you don’t get x. You get t. And it keeps happening, for 30 years. Until you get fed up and demand x again. And the vendor tells you to go fuck yourself. So you say that technically the trade never happened because your vendor never met the original terms of trade.. and you’re bigger and stronger than him, so things go back to the way they’re taking you’re money back, in fact everything back, and what are you going to do about it? I think that’s where we’re at.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 5:26 utc | 157

Putin is not a western politician that plays with words. He has been very popular in Russia because he always means what he says, both domestic and international.
US ans UK should have at least listened back in 2018 but they did not. They should have listened to him at the 2015 UNGA but they did not.
Since the 2018 strategic weapons announcement new gen systems have continued to be rolled out.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 6:04 utc | 158

@peter AU1
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. And I just keep coming back to what I wrote. I may be wrong. I think of it in terms of the concept of force majuere. “I want to act legally, but your actions prevent me from doing so”

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 6:30 utc | 159


Just this one sentence “I want to act legally, but your actions prevent me from doing so”

An agreement the Russian federation entered into with European countries and US - Lavrov has brought it up a number of times is no country can ensure or expand its own security at the expense of the security of other nations.
How is international law upheld? From What I have seen, Russia is ensuring it operates within international law and that if war was to occur it is within its rights of self defence. That is a big part of Russia requesting a written response to its security proposals and asked for the reason why some proposals being rejected to be put in writing. Russia intends to have history on its side.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 6:49 utc | 160

Or put another way… I want to live in a state of civilization, but if you wage war on me, you take us both out of that state and thrust us back into the state nature where it’s barbaric and cruel and you have no right to object to my actions. You intend to kill me, and I intend to kill you. And nothing else matters. I believe that’s the intent of the current Russian initiatives. To determine if we are at peace and a state of civilization, or a state of war and thus nature. The Russian questions on the OSCE treaties are trying to determine that beyond any shadow of doubt. And if the west comes back with a repudiation of the OSCE treaties, then it’s war. And the Russians will fuck us up.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 6:52 utc | 161

Regarding the 6 ships en route to Tartus and their possible payload of 10 T90 tanks each (maybe for an Idlib M4 offensive?) I think its much more likely they carry a battalion of S400 or even newer S500 AAD system. After all RU likes to test its new toys in Syria..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 29 2022 6:55 utc | 162

The Russians already know the deal. at the moment the are just crossing the tee's and dotting the eyes for posterity. At the same time these moves help widen fractures amongst the anglospheres so called allies.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 7:01 utc | 163

@peter AU1 @ 160
Absolutely agree with what you’re saying. Putin and Russia are totally legalistic in their conduct. They don’t threaten, they don’t bluff. They just say what they mean. So what do they mean by “military-technical” response? That’s a rhetorical question to you. I’ve read the sakers thoughts on that. I’ve read Doctorow’s thoughts on that. And Martyanovs, and Ritters, and B’s , Orlovs, and Armstrong and others. So I just wanted to posit my own.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 7:10 utc | 164

@scuppers 161
I guess I should have said that the Russians are not only attempting to determine, as they already know, but to demonstrate for the record, the intent of the collective west regarding collective security and war or peace.

Posted by: Scuppers | Jan 29 2022 7:21 utc | 165

Scuppers "So what do they mean by “military-technical” response? That’s a rhetorical question to you."

Yeah I guess I leave that open as Putin is very capable of original thinking.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 7:25 utc | 166

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 1:23 utc | 117

"With Kazakhstan, I'm not sure Erdo was involved in that. It had leaders that where fully aboard the Turkic sphere so I cant see why he would want to change that."

That is probably correct. It might be noted that the pro-US opposition media in Turkey was calling it an insurrection/rebellion against the Kazakhistan government.

As for Azerbaijan, that problem was caused by the Armenian occupation of Azeri territory in the 90s, and not just Nagorno- Karabagh. Turkey merely aided Azerbaijan in regaining its territory after 30 years of failed diplomacy.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 8:09 utc | 167

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 29 2022 2:09 utc | 127

However, they do not need the 6 landingcraft to "secure those naval bases" in Odessa. They can more easily destroy them with standoff weapons. That is why I think they are bound for Syria rather than go through the Turkish straits for the Black Sea. Whatever they contain would be to aid the Syrian governemtn forces.

Anyway, we will see any day now where they are headed.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 8:16 utc | 168

Posted by: Roger | Jan 29 2022 3:53 utc | 147
"F35, the Zumwalt destroyer, Littoral combat ship, and aircraft carriers where the weapons elevators don't work." Don't forget all those ship collisions, even with underwater mountains.

I guess we could call it the Boeing Max Effect.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 8:26 utc | 169

Blue Dotterel
Edo has been a slow learning curve for me. First a crazy that wouldn't last long, then a geopolitical astute loose cannon ball, then with Kazakistan, seeing where his boundaries lay in the Turkic world. Now all that remains is where his boundaries lay in the muslim brotherhood world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:27 utc | 170

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:27 utc | 170

He was a reasonably effective mayor of Istanbul in the 90s, but his ideological dreams interfere with his approach on the national and international stages.

His MB neo-Ottoman dreams are stalled in Syria. Thus, he has fallen back on the Pan-Turan dreams of the MHP nationalists who currently support him. They are not new; that is, uniting the Turkic nations at least culturally, etc. but not so much politically. This is not new, Ozal started this in the 80s, possibly with encouragement of the USUK. Gulen's educational institutes were then used as a part of the US "green revolution" in the Turkic and Muslim world, particularly Central Asia to defeat communism and secular nationalism.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 8:49 utc | 171

@Boomheist | Jan 29 2022 0:35 utc | 108

So...tales of someone, maybe Russian ships, cutting cables among submarine sensors off Norway.

I think that is unlikely. The cables are between the Norwegian mainland and the archipelago of Svalbard. There are at least two cables, the connection is still working, only some redundancy was lost. Signatories to the Svalbard Treaty can operate commercially on Svalbard, there is a Russian town there called Barentsburg. If the Russians should do anything, they would not choose a target that had no practical effect and would seem to hurt themselves.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 29 2022 8:55 utc | 172

Blue Dotterel

My thoughts now are that Edo and ottoman empire is rubbish whereas Erdo should be looked at in terms of turkic sphere and muslim brotherhood.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 9:02 utc | 173

@uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 0:55 utc | 110

Very good arguments regarding Syria, Iraq, Turkey. I am increasingly tempted to agree. It would also match perfectly the stated Iranian goal of driving the US out of the region. As we know, President Raisi has just been on a visit to Moscow.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 29 2022 9:06 utc | 174

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 9:02 utc | 173
"Edo and ottoman empire is rubbish"
In effect, it is, but I doubt Erdoğan would like to think so. In any case, Turkish foreign policy is more directed towards Central Asia on the one hand and to MB Libya, Hamas, Qatar on the other. It also seeks to enhance relations with Africa generally.

I have doubts about Turkish direct involvement in Kazakhstan. Erdoğan did have good relations with Nazarbayev, but meddling in Turkic states affairs like that would undermine his whole Organization of Turkic States efforts, if it become obvious. Of course, jihadis transported to Afghanistan by Turkey and the US, in particular, might have participated through Uzbekistan/Kirgistan, but Erdoğan was more focused on promoting the Uygar meme and causing inconvenience for China it seems. Not an intelligent thing to do, and he seems to have backtracked a bit from that. However, all this may depend on the influence that Moore and the UK actually have had over Erdoğan, and I can't say how effective that has been.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 9:34 utc | 175

Blue Dotterel
I suspect there are some nuances as in Erdo and US working separately with the jihadis. Like with Turkey vs Saudi, it is also Turkey vs US. I may well be wrong with this but there is rarely cut and dried, black and white answers and solutions.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 9:45 utc | 176

@Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 6:49 utc | 160

Russia intends to have history on its side.

This is a key thing to realize. Russia insists on everybody playing by the rules, including themselves, but do not interpret this as weakness. The Russians are slow to saddle a horse, but once they do, they ride fast.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 29 2022 10:15 utc | 177

Norwegian #174

Thank you. I reconise that Georgia and Romania are equally targets but one swift strategic reversal on the scale of the middle east might just reset/reboot the minds of many indoctrinated parties that share the hubris intoxication of the UKUSA thugs. The place is replete with justifiable actions and welcoming state parties sufficient to arrest allegations of invasion, there are significant electronic warfare demonstration opportunities for the UKUSA to witness first hand and there are terrorists scampering about in spite of decades of terrorist 'suppression'.

Besides there are some trophy white helmets to collect;)

A simultaneous friendly visit to Yemen in the interests of preventing any further slaughter might just focus UAE on the wisdom of sticking to its own borders and leaving the al Qaeda team to be rounded up by the Houthi experts after decades of freedom under the ever so watchful eye of the UKUSA team. I am sure the Saudi bonesawman will be understanding. Plus the Iran team have the entire region covered as it were so can protect the friendlies from Muslim Brotherhood dumb moves.

The east is after all on its way to Africa to share development practices and infrastructure building in the interests of all for the next century. The past century seems to have failed to deliver anything tangible within Africa.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 10:27 utc | 178

@uncle tungsten | Jan 29 2022 10:27 utc | 178

Yes. I cant say it will happen, but sorting out the Middle East (or West Asia as we might call it now), sending the US home would be a massive event for the benefit of people there and a much needed reality lesson for the 'west'. And then a Ukraine resolution might just follow.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 29 2022 10:46 utc | 179

I like this one uncle t "Besides there are some trophy white helmets to collect;)"
Big game safaris to Canada. I would guess there will be regulations and bag limits so the species is not endangered.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 10:56 utc | 180

"All those people in the West who thought they could ignore Russia’s interests are starting to suspect that they don’t have the leverage they thought they had. Russia is pretty sanctions-proof. It is the closest thing to an economic autarky on the planet: lots of territory, lots of raw materials, lots of water, lots of energy, all the manufacturing it needs, self-sufficient in food, well-educated people, backed up government, armed to the teeth. It’s pretty impregnable and it’s not run by fools. And it’s very closely allied to the biggest manufacturing power and population in the world. Not an easy target at all and almost impossible to hurt without hurting yourself more.

And all this to preserve the so-called right of a country no one wants in NATO to ask to be admitted. What a principle to die for!"

Posted by: Et Tu | Jan 29 2022 11:05 utc | 181

What kind of idiots would it take to start a shooting war?

This kind of idiot.

Everyone knows they are there and out of control because it has been thus since 2014. And before.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 29 2022 11:10 utc | 182

Here's an outside-the-box speculation: Russian special forces save Zelensky from a coup and help him restore order, which motivates him to implement Minsk and negates the war threat.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 18:30 utc | 12

After reading b's analysis, I had the same thought as a couple of other commentators...what if Zelinsky turns to Russia for help? I don't think that he is either a fanatic or stupid, so to me he has three options at the moment: ...

Posted by: Victor | Jan 28 2022 20:32 utc | 52

I would quibble, Zelensky seems stupid, but most assuredly, he and his bunch only play fanatics. Zelensky is an actor and de-facto producer of Russian language comedies shown on Russian TV, with profits deposited in offshore accounts. Inner circle is in the same business. Many of his "Servants of the People" are similar. And so is Poroshenko, for that matter, but his hyper-nationalistic shtick is honed over longer time -- but not THAT long, he was a minister in "pro-Russian" government of Yanukovich. In short, oligarchs may support whoever gives them a better deal.

Consequently, die-hard nationalists, "our father Bandera" hate Zelensky and associates as a phony (and a Jew to boot), who, while mentally limited, know where the bread is buttered. And it is not in attacking Donbass and provoking a war. A counter-coup scenario is not outlandish.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 29 2022 11:33 utc | 183

The Kremlin would disagree with your analysis that this is about dragging Europe into an anti-Chinese position. After all Moskow did just recently declare Europe to be irrelevant.

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

Nobody has any idie what that capability is supposed to be, even Kartapolov doesn`t know. That´s just hot air and strong talk.

Posted by: m | Jan 29 2022 11:36 utc | 184

beware of forecasts, but some forecasts are made to prevent them from happening

Posted by: Jan | Jan 29 2022 11:53 utc | 185

Outside of a false flag, I don't see a war happening.

But US is very good at false flag, sooo....

Anyway, war or no war, the russians have shown clear advantages on this stage, even the eastern europeans are (outwardly) changing side, with Poland most notably.
And there's a war of words between the Croatian "President" and the Croatian "Prime Minister" right now.

Who thought of these titles again?

Posted by: Smith | Jan 29 2022 11:55 utc | 186

Today I find this very alarming item in Tass:

Ukrainian military, US advisers draft plan for offensive in Donbass — Donetsk

"According to our intelligence, the Ukrainian General Staff under the guidance of US advisers at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is putting final touches to a plan for an offensive operation in Donbass. The date of aggression against the people’s republics will be set when the attack groups have been created and the operation’s plan approved by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council," he said.

The Ukrainian armed forces’ command, Basurin said, is going to redeploy to the area of the conflict another three brigades - 72nd mechanized infantry brigade, 10th mountain assault brigade and 80th airborne assault brigade, which are considered to the most combat ready and capable of conducting offensive operations."

The people’s militia, Basurin said, has evidence that the Ukrainian railways have been ordered by the Defense Ministry to provide trains for transporting the military hardware and personnel of the three brigades from the stations Belaya Tserkov, Kolomyia and Lvov on February 3-10.

The article then proceeds to give details of the planning.
Apologies if this something that has already been mentioned.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 29 2022 12:13 utc | 187

re: foolisholdman | Jan 29 2022 12:13 utc | 187

Thanks for the Tass article, here is the link for those also interested: Ukrainian military, US advisers draft plan for offensive in Donbass — Donetsk

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 29 2022 12:28 utc | 188

Russia’s fleet can’t afford to be tied up in port at the critical hour of a Ukraine invasion, so they must take up station at sea. About 8-10 days before Russian navy amphibious ships can pass from Northern Europe through the Med and Black Seas to the Ukrainian coast. Winter Olympics start in nine days, end 25 days from now (20 Feb). Ukraine’s frozen mud turns soft (and crippling to combat vehicles) by mid-March and on into May. So either this invasion will be an Olympic spoiler or kicks off between 21 and 26 February.

RF Naval Movements
What a full scale invasion of the ukraine would look like per CIA intercepts

Posted by: Devils Advocate | Jan 29 2022 12:36 utc | 189

Piotr Berman @ 183

Thank you for noticing that Zelensky is a Jew. So is Petro Poroshenko (Peter Rosenberg). So is Yatseniuk. So is Arsen Avakov (Avakian). So is Kolomoisky. So is Pinchuk. The entire first echelon of Ukrainian politics and commerce is Jewish. Anyone prominent is also an Israeli citizen.

In my own acquaintance I know three who vacationed in Ukraine last summer. “There’s no anti-semitism in Ukraine! All the synagogues in Lvov are open!!.” “We met so many of our friends (family) from New York!” “We were so surprised to see our cousin Mo - he’s working for the Interior Ministry.....”

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.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 29 2022 12:46 utc | 190

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 9:45 utc | 176

"I may well be wrong with this but there is rarely cut and dried, black and white answers and solutions."

No, you are not wrong. Erdoğan has even made up with al Sisi. Erdoğan is an opportunist. He will try to advance his own goals, though. He can be no less hypocritical than the US to do so.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 29 2022 12:47 utc | 191

Ze and his circle tend to listen to the master s voice and wish up to a point where sheer survival say, blinkstarts to be at stake.
Or is prone to flat blind obedience but rapidly risks an eye-glass on when the Langley guys are not looking.
Because if he escapes the Azov swastikers
only the Tonga islands or Comores will likely allow him resume his clownish career.

Posted by: augusto | Jan 29 2022 13:16 utc | 192

@Jinn 135

Young Hunter's job was NOT laundering money. Nobody would trust him with such a sensitive task.

Young Hunter's job was to provide political cover. A "крыша" ("roof") ad they call it in Ukraine.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 29 2022 13:37 utc | 193

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).

The US neocons are none too bright. Whatever these morons have planned will turn into a debacle at the hands of Putin. Like the dinosaurs, their time is now over.

Posted by: Cornelius Pipe | Jan 29 2022 14:13 utc | 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).

The US neocons are none too bright. Whatever these morons have planned will turn into a debacle at the hands of Putin. Like the dinosaurs, their time is now over.

Posted by: Cornelius Pipe | Jan 29 2022 14:13 utc | 194

Agreed. Watching Ms Nuland ask the Chinese to pressure Putin was one of the more amusing things I have seen.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 29 2022 14:24 utc | 195

@11 The US acts as a collective sociopath. It has no empathy, thus it cannot process that others have agency, or even conceive that they are capable of rudimentary consciousness. Instead, every "other" is an automaton, assigned the role of a non-player character in the game, who must inevitably follow the script as written. As an institution it is incapable of understanding there are other minds out there who see the universe differently and can act according to their own script. Instead, they think of themselves as a giant operant conditioning mechanism. Input X must always lead to response Y, as if humans are mathematical formulas. This is really the root of the problem--you put sociopaths in charge at every level and then the entire institution behaves like one.

The thing is with sociopaths is that they are correct...most of the time. People act predictably to fear and intimidation and they stop thinking and they react. But when these monsters are actually confronted by resistance on those rare occasions, it almost always works. They simply cannot conceive there is a world outside of the narcissism of their own mind(s), and thus, their linear thinking cannot course correct to non-linear responses.

The fear and intimidation only worked for so long, but over the years nations have resisted and then the plot goes to hell. And because they are nothing but shallow thinking sociopaths, all they can do is roll out the same plot over and over again. The irony is that they are the ones who are automatons with no agency, who react predictably and eventually become the prey. Serial killers rarely go off script. Once they have a pattern they stick to it. And thus we see the doubling down of strategies that are insane and counterproductive.

In the end resistance is trivially easy. If the only thing your opponent is concerned about is power over you, the mere lack of fear is sufficient to upend his plans every time.

Posted by: Krungle | Jan 29 2022 14:25 utc | 196

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 29 2022 13:37 utc | 193

Young Hunter's job was NOT laundering money.

Despite what anyone might believe Hunter was up to, he was never actually inside Ukraine while doing it. And that makes the whole story of the president of the USA asking the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter rather absurd. Given that Hunter had spent his entire life inside the jurisdictions of the West and never once been within the jurisdiction of Ukraine, you have to wonder what the Ukraine authorities would be expected to dig up in regard to Hunter's activities.

Posted by: jinn | Jan 29 2022 14:52 utc | 197

Assassination of Zelensky unlikely to lead to war, even if sheep swallowed that it happened as part of some Russian spec-op. He's reviled by all political inclinations within the country -- far-right ultra-nationalists hate him, "pro-Russian" electorate that elected him despise him, moderates and apoliticals are increasingly unimpressed with his performance. Ukrop soldiers won't run out of their trenches to take revenge on Donbas or Russia in case he falls out of a window; neither will NATO obviously. Such an event could, however, be spun in the Western press to take the place of a Russian invasion, as a good reason to cut the last remaining ties with Russia.

Zelensky is the political reincarnation of Yanukovich, a multi-vector candidate who banked on the West to the detriment of his country, but is too politically weak to change the course. It's possible that his very survival relies on him growing a spine, but probable that he's already passed the point of no return. In any case, he and his team are currently criticizing their Western sponsors, sometimes openly and sometimes indirectly, which is presumably what's upsetting the American administration. About a year ago they came up with the genius plan of threatening to align with China, which neither the Chinese, who were shafted on a tech-transfer deal a month prior, nor anyone else bought into, though I doubt anyone has forgotten. The Russians won't lift a finger to help Zelensky until they see progress on the Minsk package, which is political suicide for the current power configuration in Kiev, but might prevent Zelensky being suicided for real. However, implementation of the Minsk agreement will be much more difficult now than if Z had made it a priority straight after winning the election -- he's gambled on trying to build up the neo-nazis to support his power-base, just like Yanukovich, and now they're a rope around his neck. Even so, Minsk is the best chance he's got if he wants to return to being a comedian rather than worm food.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 29 2022 14:59 utc | 198

General Mark Milley, top US general, involved in many past US destructive aggressions, at a press briefing. . .

It's the policy of the United States government to continue to support an independent Ukraine and their goals, and we are continuing our effort to enhance their ability to protect themselves. We strongly encourage Russia to stand down and to pursue a resolution through diplomacy. Armed force should always be the last resort. Success here is through dialogue. . .here

. . .which results in these headlines. . .
'Stand down,' Milley warns Russia
IOW: Don't do what I do, do what I say.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 15:15 utc | 199

. . .good reading at Unz Review. . .
The West Leaves Mummy's Basement . .

Russia was feeble and weak, going down, and certainly no match for “the greatest alliance in history“. But what happens when that teddy bear turns nasty? Blowing up countries from 20,000 feet, you had stopped paying attention. Lost wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq turn out to be poor preparation and the bear had been paying attention. But, you cry, NATO was supposed to protect me, not put me into greater danger!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 29 2022 15:49 utc | 200

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