Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 12, 2022

With No Progress In Talks Russia Will Have To React

Monday's negotiations over Russian security demands between the U.S. and Russia were, as predicted, a failure.

Russia's core demand, to end the NATO drive to its borders by excluding membership for the Ukraine and Georgia, was rejected. A for once realistic NYT piece did not even try to hide the disaster:

In Talks on Ukraine, U.S. and Russia Deadlock Over NATO Expansion

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei A. Ryabkov, Russia’s lead negotiator, insisted after the meeting that it was “absolutely mandatory” that Ukraine “never, never, ever” become a NATO member.

His American counterpart, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, reiterated that the United States could never make such a pledge because “we will not allow anyone to slam closed NATO’s open door policy,” and she said that the United States and its allies would not stand by if Russia sought to change international borders “by force."

Today's talk between all NATO members and Russia in Brussels had similar results. Russia's core requests were rejected and a bunch of stuff with which NATO would like to restrict Russian advantages was thrown up to divert the attention from the core issues.

As NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg summarized it:

Today Russia raised the proposals that they published in December, aimed at addressing their security concerns.

These include demands to stop admitting any new members to NATO. And to withdraw forces from eastern Allies.

Allies on their side reaffirmed NATO’s Open Door policy. And the right for each nation to choose its own security arrangements.

Okay then. Russia will certainly choose its own security arrangements. And NATO will not like to see them.

The NATO wishlist for future talk includes these items:

Allies would like to discuss concrete ways to increase the transparency of military exercises, to prevent dangerous military incidents, and reduce space and cyber threats.

Allies have also offered to look at arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Including to address reciprocal limitations on missiles, and to address nuclear policies.

On lines of communications, NATO Allies are interested in looking at ways to improve civil and military communications channels, and the possibility of re-establishing our respective offices in Moscow and Brussels.

None of those have any priority for Russia and, as it will surely point out, it was NATO which in October initiated the breaking off of civil and military communications channels by expelling 8 members of Russia's NATO mission in Brussels

The alliance has also halved the size of the Russian mission to NATO, headquartered in Brussels, from twenty to ten accredited positions -- the eight expelled Russian officials plus two other positions that will now be abolished.

Russia reacted to that outrageous behavior by closing its outpost in Brussels.

After the meeting today Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman added a new U.S. demand to her list:

Sherman, the number two State Department official who is leading the U.S. delegation in separate meetings in Europe this week, said the NATO-Russia meeting ended with "a sober challenge" for Russia "to de escalate tensions, choose the path of diplomacy, to continue to engage in honest and reciprocal dialogue so that together we can identify solutions that enhance the security of all."

The deputy secretary said that the Russian delegation did not commit, nor reject, NATO offers for follow-up discussions. The delegation further made no commitment to de-escalate, Sherman said, but added that they did not reject de-escalation.

"Russia's actions have caused this crisis and it is on Russia to de-escalate tensions and give diplomacy the chance to succeed... There was no commitment to de-escalate. Nor was there a statement that there would not be."

There is nothing to de-escalate. A number of Russian troops stationed within Russia are training to guard Russian borders. They have always done so and will continue to do that. It is the U.S., not Russia, which is exaggerating their number, today with 'additional helicopters' which no one has seen:

While troop movements have slowed, there are still 100,000 military personnel near the border and now the Russians have positioned additional attack aircraft there, American officials said. Attack and transport helicopters, along with ground attack fighter jets, would be a critical Russian advantage, should Mr. Putin decide to invade Ukraine.

Alexander Mercouris points out (vid) that the U.S. started the current affair when it, in March 2021, pushed the Ukraine to restart a war against it rebellious eastern Donbas provinces. Russia responded by quickly building up and showing off a force large enough to destroy the Ukrainian army.

That calmed down the Ukrainian issue for a while but the U.S. and NATO continued to pressure Russia with bomber flights near Russia's borders and warships in the Black Sea. What did they expect but a Russian response?

There is nothing the U.S. can do about troop positioning within Russia. Exaggerating their numbers only builds more pressure. The constant false lamenting about 'Russian military build-ups' don't help to calm things down.

The 'de-escalation' has to happen on the U.S. side. Otherwise it will be Russia which has to escalate. That is the warning Russia's President Vladimir Putin has given to U.S. President Joe Biden. But it does not seem that the U.S. has come to understand that.

The talks will fail as the 'western' side is rejecting the main requests Russia has. The promised 'military-technical measures' will be implemented in Europe, Asia and probably also in Latin America. Given that Russia has throughout the last decade presented a number of revolutionary weapon designs we can expect some new surprises which the U.S. will be unable to match.

Fact is that Russia is capable to defend itself and its allies from military attacks and U.S. instigated color revolution attempts like in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

That the U.S. does not like that is not Russia's problem.

Posted by b on January 12, 2022 at 17:52 UTC | Permalink

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Of course this meeting went exactly as expected. Now Russia can honestly say "we tried but they didn't listen."

Now they ramp up the pressure until the dolts in the west realize that this time Russia isn't backing down.

What this pressure entails is anybody's guess, but it has to come soon and it has to hurt.

Posted by: Peter Hegger | Jan 12 2022 18:07 utc | 1

neo-conn control Amerika so this what we get. Sad

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 12 2022 18:13 utc | 2

I believe that Russia's reaction to the latest talks with the West will be to increase the visibility of Russian weapon systems stationed within close striking distance to EU and US power centers.

Russia will not react militarily unless provoked by military attack. They have the upper hand now and simply need to show that hand clearly so all know that Empire is projecting Russian aggression when it is the one being the aggressor

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 12 2022 18:14 utc | 3

The main difference between now and the Cuban missile crisis was that back in 1962, the Americans retained at least a bit of sanity. And it looks as though the Europeans that are part of nato will be treated the same as the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 18:15 utc | 4

2002, US led NATO rejects Russian request for NATO membership. Now NATO argues it has an open door to membership.
Now, it almost looks like NAYO's belligerence is undermining European security.
Here in Canada our government rhetoric declares Ukraine integrity, allies, human rights and so on.
North America seems okay with warfare happening in Europe, among Europeans.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2022 18:15 utc | 5

Big waste of time, to nobody's surprise.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 12 2022 18:22 utc | 6

o/t Kazakhstan ; Pepe Escobar's explanation

Posted by: ptb | Jan 12 2022 18:24 utc | 7

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 18:15 utc | 4

"The main difference between now and the Cuban missile crisis was that back in 1962, the Americans retained at least a bit of sanity."

And looked what happened. The "sanity" on the part of the Americans, was the Kennedys, John and Robert.
And they were both assassinated.

Posted by: librul | Jan 12 2022 18:27 utc | 8

After reading the end of the previous thread where uncle t, karlof1 and others are writing about something in Syria happening that could make the "overwhelming force" argument.

It would be nice to see something happen to stop Occupied Palestine aggression at the same time as stopping Empire aggression......not that they are connected or anything......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 12 2022 18:29 utc | 9

I'm afraid that the Russian response will be far too timid. I wish they would just declare that any country with an offensive posture toward the russian federation will be denied further military access to space. They likely have the means to enforce it, and it would threaten no lives.

Posted by: p | Jan 12 2022 18:31 utc | 10

Press conference of RF diplomat:

Posted by: Hannibal | Jan 12 2022 18:39 utc | 11

"There is only war"

"Есть только война"

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jan 12 2022 18:41 utc | 12

i dont think the US was sane during the cuban missile crisis. it was completely avoidable, the US, instead of simply negotiating a removal of its missiles in Turkey, instead dared the USSR to do something about it, as it is apparently doing now, and when Russia did took the world to the brink of nuclear war. there was nothing sane about that. i dont know what that portends for the present crisis, since history has successfully been revised in the US to make JFK a hero of the farce.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 18:46 utc | 13

thank you once again b, i don't say it enough. you're simply the best.

Posted by: annie | Jan 12 2022 18:51 utc | 14

The USA and NATO agreed to talks for one reason: The didn`t wanted to deliberately humiliate Russia.

They offered mutual de-escalation and arms-control. That would habe been the chance for Putin to publicly say: "See, I´m the greatest Russian statesman since Peter the Great! The maximalist demands were never meant to be taken litterally but just part of my brilliant negotiation strategy. What I achieved for Russia is de-escalation and arms-control, what I wanted to get all along. Mission accomplished!"

Instead now Russia will get nothing at all and the Russian ultimatum will be exposed for what it just had been all along: a bag of hot air.

Posted by: m | Jan 12 2022 18:54 utc | 15

note the us strategy in 1962 vis a vis the USSR was the same, encircle the opponent, and try to strangle it and render it helpless. i hope Biden, or the people that make decisions for him, is saner than Kennedy, but I have no optimism in this regard.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 18:54 utc | 16

lol @ m--they offered deescalation after escalating. the us pulled out of the nuke treaty with Russia. same old sh.. in a new bottle, look it is bright and shiny and fresh again!

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 18:58 utc | 17

Wendy Sherman is so flippantly undiplomatic that sending the likes of Stephen Kendal Gordy would make for a four or five order of magnitude improvement in the seriousness and quality of the negotiating team. He cannot be anywhere as Ridiculous even when trying, and when he does so it is to be funny rather than enraging.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 12 2022 19:02 utc | 18

The West is so far up its own asshole it has escaped into another dimension.

Just today Bloomberg is running an article How Do the Leading Flying Taxi Companies Compare?

Flying taxis are coming, sooner than many think. A couple dozen startups, promising quieter and safer rides than in helicopters, have resulted in a crowded industry, backed by billions of dollars in investments and SPAC deals.

Such through the looking glass detachment from objective reality eventually ends with a rude wake-up call. Russia has been very patiently paging the US State Dept. to pick up the courtesy phone.

Flying taxis and NATO ambitions are floating hand-in-hand in dreamland.

Reality is going to be such a bitch when these taxis and ambitions come back to earth.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 12 2022 19:04 utc | 19

Time to shut off the gas?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 12 2022 19:14 utc | 20

Edit: I mean more like callous than flippant, although perhaps even flippant applies here in a strange way.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 12 2022 19:14 utc | 21

So, granted that we won't see an agreement to the ultimatum, when do the "military-technical" responses start? And who's the lucky contestant? My guess would be Poland / ABM base and fairly soon.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Jan 12 2022 19:16 utc | 22

Yesterday, Global Times published an editorial, "Delusional for US to overwhelm China and Russia by brute force", that made the following observation:

"So far, the US and the West have slapped more than 100 sanctions on Russia, sparing no effort to suppress a major power 'from a position of strength.' Before this dialogue, the US and NATO had warned Russia with a sense of intimidation. In the dictionary of Washington, 'respect' is rarely seen. Washington's real intent is to pressure Russia until it surrenders, so as to get rid of this threat to US hegemony for good.

"In a sense, the US has brutally forced Russia to become an 'enemy.' With this 'enemy,' Washington can hold Europe closer to itself. While pushing NATO to expand eastward, the US is also hyping Russophobia in Europe. Consequently, relatively new members to NATO are generally hostile to Russia. The anti-Russia sentiment is at a peak in Ukraine, which is not a wise move for the country. Because this will put it at risk between two major powers - but this meets Washington's strategic demands." [My Emphasis]

We all know the outlaw US Empire's MIC must have an enemy to justify the massive amount of corruption it reaps annually. The terrorists it manufactured no longer suffice, so another enemy is required. We also see just how little freedom Europe actually has to speak for itself, as the editorial notes. I can't recall which Russian diplomat said it, but he correctly accused the Outlaw US Empire of seeking Full Spectrum Dominance, which is the first time I've seen that phrase spoken then published for public consumption. And as I ceaselessly point-out, since it was announced in 1996, seeking Full Spectrum Dominance is the Outlaw US Empire's #1 policy goal, even as its capabilities are crumbling.

As psychohistorian notes @9, IMO Syria presents the ideal location for the military technical demonstration that would directly affect Outlaw US Empire assets without escalating the Ukrainian situation or disturbing other NATO members--and there's no way for the Empire to invoke Article 5 since its presence in Syria is 100% illegal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 19:18 utc | 23

To me, today's talks solved nothing and showed that SehSha has not a clue of the danger she is in. While Mother may go through the motions of a the third meeting, the rhetoric from Foggy Bottom is not conducive to any hopes whatsoever for a peaceful resolution to the 'crisis', said 'crisis' being instituted by Mother and her notultimatum in essence telling, and making it clear it is not negotiable, what EU and it's master SehSha will do.

Locally in our little village on the Black Sea it's tense, very tense, because we know if the cruise missiles fly we'll find out real fast just how good Buk, S200, S300, S400, S500 and S whatever are. I can think of a hundred ways to check the performance of these systems besides someone getting stupud in nato but it is what it is. Let's just hope the nato missiles are as accurate as advertised in that we are more than a klick from any base that would draw fire so hopefully there will be no splatter affect of 'missed by a mile'.


Posted by: Auslander | Jan 12 2022 19:20 utc | 24

Posted by: too scents | Jan 12 2022 19:04 utc | 19: Flying taxis and NATO ambitions are floating hand-in-hand in dreamland.

I would think the flying taxis should have been a reality already. Those that warmonger and give the mathematically inclined CPTSD (in reality, not Assburgers or whatever) before age six and pathologize them, redefining empathy from its dictionary definition and common usage (pulling a Pompeo) are incapable of developing flying taxis, let alone hypersonic cruise missiles which I would think would be much more difficult.

Posted by: William Haught | Jan 12 2022 19:26 utc | 25

Vladimir has to chooses wisely. At this point he needs to act militarly but not too much, perhaps hit new arms shipments into ukrane, as the Isrealis have been doing for years in Syria. What's good for the goose . . . .
I think the only hope is that some of the saner EU members will wake up to the possibility of actual war in Europe and gum up the works. Knowing a little about the spanish subservience to el tío Sam I think It is a long shot, but if the general públic knew what was going on, not so much. Keep Up the good work B, you are doing the work that needs to be done. Now we barflies need to spread the Word.

Posted by: c | Jan 12 2022 19:31 utc | 26

if there were flying taxis there would be a flying taxi monopoly and politicians devoted to being subservient to the interests of the flying taxi industry (Big Taxi).

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 19:34 utc | 27

Wendy thinks they're playing poker and has called his bluff. Lita ser what our Guy is holding!!

Posted by: c | Jan 12 2022 19:35 utc | 28

De nuevo es hora de dar su merecido al fascismo.

Posted by: Javier | Jan 12 2022 19:35 utc | 29

@19 - "The West is so far up its own asshole it has escaped into another dimension."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 12 2022 19:35 utc | 30

One prospect for the Military-technical systems, are advances in electronic warfare or simply electronic surveillance (Either anti or for).

There is the probability that electronic jammers have been introduced to Syria by Iran. If them, why not Russia as well. The 750 spy plane flights in 2021 along the coasts of Russia and Belarus might find they have become unacceptable, and possibly useless.

They don't even get hurt, except for a hiss as the ego is slyly punctured.

Aside, this sort of thing also could become a prime target. Also in Syria, new build-up; "The Flag of United States US army in cooperation with the SDF, are installing an oil refinery with a capacity of 3,000 barrels per day in the Rmelan fields in the northeastern countryside of Hasaka",

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 12 2022 19:38 utc | 31

#20 "time to shut off the gas?"

If US and it's vassal states slap a round of major sanctions for whatever reason, a declaration of war, Russia promised a complete rupture of relations and contracts.

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 12 2022 19:42 utc | 32

Zelensky refuses to listen, "Ukraine ready for Donbass peace deal – Zelensky". Yet again the answer will be to deal with the one you've already agreed to as there'll be no further Normandy Format Meetings until Minsk-2 is implemented.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 19:43 utc | 33

Some form of public hardware demonstration is in order now. Syria might be a good place to start.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2022 19:45 utc | 34

No asymmetrical response will come from Russia this time, it would be counter productive.

What Russia is forced to do is to demonstrate military action, it must be brutal (not necessarily involving killing, show of overwhelming strength might suffice), and it must target US homeland (job #1). It also must destroy NATO by proving it is useless, paper tiger and that it's members are not protected (job #2).

As some suggest, there may be some central/south American countries ready to host Russian hardware and become Russian allies (hey, open doors for allies, can't argue with that). That would do the job #1.

Also, destroying lot of assets in Ukraine would do the job #2. No invasion, just stand off strikes.

OT: Apart from m, that old troll on NATO payroll, I see few new ones with single letter names. Be more creative, both in naming and writing.

Posted by: Abe | Jan 12 2022 19:46 utc | 35

The Americans will fight Russia to the last drop of European blood,wake up Europe

Posted by: Davy boy | Jan 12 2022 19:47 utc | 36

I think using Syria for a "demonstration" is not the best first step. Helping the Houthis in Yemen, perhaps helping the Shia slaves in Saudi Arabia throw off their yoke and send the Israelis packing would have a FAR greater affect and likely be easier to achieve since the Houthis are already getting the upper hand. If Russia can flatten Idlib easily, great and it will put the Turks on notice, but it will also be bloody and may take longer.

I continue to insist - Russia publicly downing an Israeli F35 over Lebanon would work *wonders* in many different ways

Posted by: Simplicius | Jan 12 2022 19:59 utc | 37

Abe, I'm not new. I just listen more than I talk.

Posted by: p | Jan 12 2022 20:01 utc | 38

you people that favor some kind of military escalation from Russia need to be careful what you wish for, because the US empire is far from rational. it needs to be reined in, but care is required.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 20:01 utc | 39

I'm not super familiar with the history other than that it's widely accepted that at some point during the initial dismantling of the USSR, Russia was promised a NATO invitation or something along those lines.

"Allies on their side reaffirmed NATO’s Open Door policy. And the right for each nation to choose its own security arrangements."

So if NATO has an "Open Door" (proper noun - capitalized?) policy, then why wouldn't Russia get an invitation or whatever? Is it just another newspeak lie on behalf of the USUK West?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 12 2022 20:05 utc | 40

@Simplicius | Jan 12 2022 19:59 utc | 37

The "partner" they are talking to now is the US.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2022 20:05 utc | 41

@Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 18:46 utc | 13

"history has successfully been revised in the US to make JFK a hero of the farce."

Perhaps historical revisionism explains it, or it was another example of the
US national-security establishment doing what they wanted and this time without the knowledge
of the President.

History records that Kennedy didn't know we had nukes in Turkey *until* the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Posted by: librul | Jan 12 2022 20:09 utc | 42

Auslander 24

Unless US launched something from Ukraine or from their so called ABM base in Romania, any small missiles would be coming in across the sea and I very much doubt any would reach land. I remember a large number of missiles simply disappearing in the med one time. No surface to air missiles launched along the coast though the debris of one Tomahawk was found not far from the coast.
If it gets to that stage its the bigger stuff that's the worry. I think Russia will be capable of knocking many of them down and hoping they would get all. But more so I'm hoping just a touch of sanity appears within the asylum called America and it does not get to that stage.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 20:09 utc | 43

Dancing the Swan lake in Geneva; how lovely. What a fabulous city for wonderful meals, beautiful views and fantastic ambiance this time of year. Why are the parties of supposed belligerents there ? Oh yes ! To decide the fate of Ukraine and the free world at large. An event similar to an international body building competition albeit, with less class. This can all be settled with a trade. How about we trade not accepting Ukraine into NATO (they are horribly corrupt) for removal of all Russian presence in Venezuela; except verifiable diplomatic functions of course. Would this suffice? Of course not! It's not even the point. This ballet is being performed to bring the USA back into a new INF treaty which of course the Russians will immediately commence to ignore as they did the previous. No , I am confident Russia will derive no pleasure from this performance. All the bumbling, stumbling, incompetent US administration has to do to achieve success is enjoy the food, accommodations and the company of each other for a few months and don't speak. Ok, maybe a few grunts might be necessary to justify the per diem; but for the love of God, nothing else! If Moscow invades Ukraine(highly unlikely) then we are free to accept all comers into NATO, including Taiwan.

No, I think all that will happen in Geneva is the consumption of great food, wine and delegations getting fat. Oh, and possibly Greta getting annoyed by it all; blah ...blah...blah. Maybe the next round of discussions could be held in Agadez, I am certain a deal would be worked out quickly !

Posted by: Cerebus | Jan 12 2022 20:10 utc | 44

I used to think no one could know the future. But I and veeeeery many people saw this coming. Now, the when and how of Russian response is a different matter.

I’ll be very impressed if Russia executes well. They need a public display that shocks the US into respecting them and paying attention to their words without escalating to nuclear war. The depth of obliviousness and heartlessness in Us leadership makes this tricky. I do feel curious.

Posted by: Hickory | Jan 12 2022 20:11 utc | 45

Mm, military escalation certainly is a gamble. The Iranians got away with it, but that was in a very different situation. The US went kinetic first.

That is why I prefer a credible threat of a kinetic response to an actual one. Space is the hot new thing -- and expensive as hell. Must be much cheaper to shoot the damn things down than to build them and put them in orbit.

Posted by: p | Jan 12 2022 20:12 utc | 46

It appears that Grusko was the Russian diplomat, although Sputnik quotes him using different words that mean the same thing:

"Grushko also accused the US and its allies of seeking to achieve superiority 'in all operating environments' - on the ground, in the air, at sea, 'and now in space and cyberspace.'"

Grusko said "There's no room for common positive agenda" because containment remains the policy. In other words, the Cold War never really ended, but merely paused.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 20:12 utc | 47

I found this pretty balanced article critiquing the Langley Times and Jeff Bezos' blog handling of the Russia stories.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 12 2022 20:17 utc | 48

Tom_Q_Collins @40--

Russia applied for NATO membership but was denied.

I found it curious that at today's meeting of government members I linked to on the open thread there was no mention of the negotiations. And the very short transcript of yesterday's Security Council meeting didn't add anything more, although I'm certain the next moves were discussed. Russia has already announced it will act; so now all that remains is for the action to take place--there will be no public announcement beforehand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 20:23 utc | 49

Cerebus 44 "decide the fate of Ukraine and the free world at large"

Small minds. It is deciding the fate of Russia and the US, and for the US, the rest is just collateral damage. Europeans being human shields have a slightly higher standing than collateral damage.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 20:23 utc | 50

Kennedy was an enthusiastic warmonger who tried to assassinate Castro via the CIA, and won the presidency (in an extremely close election) by lying about the fake Missile Gap.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 20:25 utc | 51

Some people don't seem to realise the truth of the situation. Given that Russian red lines have been comprehensively rejected, there can be no partial measures (putting weapons here and there inside Russia, threatening etc.). That would be not only counterproductive but also dangerous for Russia because NATO can happily admit Sweden and Finland and keep arming Ukraine and Georgia continuing with its danse macabre as if nothing has happened.

Russia will have to do something pretty spectacular to make NATO pull back to its old borders or keep quiet take the punishment that the West has in store for it.

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 20:26 utc | 52

karlof1 47
Saker has the video with voice translation. Starts sometime into the video. I have a bit of trouble listening to a voice translation so will wait for the transcript.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 20:26 utc | 53

if russia does something spectacular, and i dont think it will, it will have to be well calculated. so far it has been playing chess while the us is playing bad poker, like Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 20:33 utc | 54

They don't even know when they're lying in a bald-faced manner, "Every country has sovereign right to choose its own path — US deputy secretary of state":

"'In today’s NATO-Russia Council, I reaffirmed the fundamental principles of the international system and of European security: Every country has the sovereign right to choose its own path,' Wendy Sherman blogged."

What a massive howler!!!! I'd like Sherman to explain that to all the nations illegally sanctioned by the Outlaw US Empire because they sought to follow their own path--including Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 20:36 utc | 55

Kennedy was an enthusiastic warmonger who tried to assassinate Castro via the CIA, and won the presidency (in an extremely close election) by lying about the fake Missile Gap.

Daley stuffed the ballot box in Chicago, to win Illinois for Kennedy, and thus the election.


Nixon would have won....

Kennedy started the Vietnam War.... then Johnson chose to "finish" it, only to be cashiered by his
lying generals, and leave in disgrace.

Nixon was left to pickup the pieces... with Kissinger.... as point man...

Still... took most of his first term to accept the inevitable...

Which resulted in photos of helos evacing folks from the roof of the Embassy in Saigon....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 12 2022 20:45 utc | 56

Russia will have to do something pretty spectacular to make NATO pull back

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 20:26 utc | 52


It would be trivial to break space by triggering the Kessler effect with practically no casualties. That would disable satellite precision guidance and focus human endeavors on terrestrial matters for several generations.

There are many other actions that could be taken (off of the existing battlefields) that would limit NATO's ability to economically sustain its aggressions. For example, financial cyberattacts.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 12 2022 20:47 utc | 57

@ pretzelattack 54

I should have said "substantial". No more threats and gestures. Also, bravo for the truth on Kennedy. He won the election with his dad's Mafia money.

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 20:48 utc | 58

I'm eager and frankly can't wait to see Putin's response. it's Putin PUT up(see what I did there?) or shut the fuck up time.
1. Will he put in (damn it!) missiles in Cuba/Venezuela like he should? Probably not, highly unlikely. What else he got?
2. Show of S-600? Not gonna be ready for a few years.
3. Attack some targets in Ukraine? Not likely, US will collapse Russia's economy in 10 minutes.
4. Put some S-500 in Russia close to NATO's borders. Pretty much that's all he can do at this point.

US/EU/NATO openly taunt Putin the Pussy now, know he got NOTHING. Nada. Nichevo. Zero Zilch. Fuck you, Putin the pussy, you waited 20 years you fuck, licking Joo's ass, hoping that will make yuou more valuable to them. It didn't.
Useless piece of shit, you sold Russia.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jan 12 2022 20:49 utc | 59

I prematurely dismissed this when, right out of the gate, Col Doug Magregor opined that Russia WOULD invade Ukraine. I thought that he was just another war-monging POS, but after giving this a full hearing/reading I wish to say that he has this nailed (nothing sinister; all about long-term survival for Russia in the face of US/NATO aggression):

Posted by: Seer | Jan 12 2022 20:57 utc | 60

@ too scents 57

Thank you for that - very interesting. Indeed, Russia has a plethora of options. The problem however is not in their technical ability which is superb but in the WILL to cross that point of no return.

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 20:58 utc | 61

Again, I don't understand why a key UN resolution has not been mentioned by not only the people involved in this situation, but also the press and observers in general. UN Security Council resolutions have been such a big deal but here it is not. One of the key issues is the lack of local government in the Donbas, Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which the UN resolution covers.

Security Council resolution 2202 (2015) [on implementation of the "Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements"
Adopted by the Security Council at its 7384th meeting, on 17 February 2015
Endorses the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, adopted and signed in Minsk on 12 February 2015 (Annex I);

Annex 1
package of measures 1-9

4. Launch a dialogue, on day 1 of the withdrawal on modalities of local elections in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” as well as on the future regime of these areas based on this Law. Adopt promptly, by no later than 30 days after the date of signing of the document a resolution of the Parliament of Ukraine specifying the area enjoying the special regime, under the Law of Ukraine On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”, based on the line of the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2022 20:58 utc | 62

@ Jacob's Ladder, Russia has to walk a very fine line. Hoyeru notwithstanding, Putin doesn't want his country to get nuked, and he wants to resist the constant US and NATO encroachment. Really don't understand the Kennedy hagiograpy, people make the same kinds of claims about what he would have done in his second term as Obama supporters did during his first term. Just like Obama, this propaganda was pushed by insiders in the Kennedy administration. the constant warmongering is fostered by both parties, i dont know of anybody that reached the presidency that was innocent of this. i don't even think it is possible, others get weeded out early.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 12 2022 21:01 utc | 63

I thought that what just happened in Kazakhstan was probably the first military/technical demonstration, which was why Ms Sherman & Mr. Blinken looked to be wound so tight.

I also find it interesting that Ms Sherman, and not Mr. Blinken, is sent for the face off, apparently she is made of sterner stuff.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 12 2022 21:03 utc | 64

Whatever you think of JFK, the Pentagon wanted WWIII with the Cuban Missile Crisis as the pretext. Right then.
Kennedy didn't. Kennedy prevented it. Or rather, he postponed it.

Posted by: librul | Jan 12 2022 21:03 utc | 65

In 1962, the US pulled its missiles out of Turkey. That showed there was some rationality or sanity. Anything else around the American side at that time is like inspecting freshly picked snot.

Away from that... No doubt the deputy defense minister talked to Moscow before his press statement but the final word I think will be with the president. As Russia has gone to pains to make all this as public as possible I expect Putin will make a public statement on why the talks have failed if that is what has occurred.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 21:04 utc | 66

George @56--

Truman began US involvement in Southeast Asia in 1945. Ike refused to allow the UN sponsored Vietnamese unification elections in 1956 because the South was sure to lose and took over when the French decamped. As with Bay of Pigs, JFK inherited Vietnam. And we'll never know where his policy direction would have led, although it seemed to be headed in a direction opposite of what the MIC desired, so he was murdered and replaced by someone more pliant.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 21:05 utc | 67

Kennedy was like Trump, but with some brains and better taste.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 12 2022 21:06 utc | 68

AS Mercuris sets out, it doesn't matter if the West say they do not agree because Russia has said that certain actions are a red line they will act on. While the Americans have stated they will not act militarily at least in Ukraine, except to add sanctions which will be a) a minor irritation to Russia in the short term and b) Will paralyze Western Europe with no energy and no way to pay for Russian products it needs.

If the West expands any further, Russia will deploy weapons, sink ships or splash planes AND if Zelensky doesn't behave, most of Ukraine will be lost in less than a month.
Whatever the West splutters and bleats, that is the RealPolitik of the situation.

Posted by: intp1 | Jan 12 2022 21:10 utc | 69

Peter AU1 @66--

Still one meeting to go before Putin makes any sort of judgmental announcement. Given the timing, Friday evening, although we have no idea what might be happening via backchannels. Someone ought to pounce on Sherman's howler and use it for all it's worth.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 21:13 utc | 70

Don Bacon 62

I think the Minsk agreement was voted on by the security council and became international law. I may be wrong on that.
For the UN to take action to enforce the Minsk agreement, that action would have to be agreed on at the security council with no vetos.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 21:14 utc | 71

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 21:05 utc | 67

"so he [Kennedy] was murdered and replaced by someone more pliant."


LBJ was a (partial) insider to the assassination plot. He was supposed to
give the plotters the go ahead for an attack upon Cuba, with the assassination as the pretext.
Escalation would quickly follow the attack upon Cuba and the Pentagon would get what they really wanted - WWIII.

But the plotters had chosen the savviest of schemers as a puppet - LBJ.
He was riding high in the saddle as President. Why would he want to be President
in a world recovering from WWIII? So he double-crossed them.
LBJ knew who was behind the assassination and so he had the goods on them,
and they had the goods on him.

Posted by: librul | Jan 12 2022 21:15 utc | 72

In response to Tom_Q_Collins@40,

The "open door" is a token, a principle without the commitment to uphold it. Neither US nor NATO, collective or subservient to US interests, is interested in admitting Ukraine or, the now forgotten, Georgia into the fold any longer. The Russians made it clear that it's a red line for them, and all the major players in the drama got the message. But, and this is crucial, the Russians want it in writing and that's a major blow to an organization which primarily deals in tokenism, even though they agree with the demands informally.

Similarly, Russia was "invited" to NATO without any perspective of ever becoming a member, since even though it fulfilled the technical criteria for membership, its military potential would likely have made it the deciding voice in military affairs in Europe, giving it de facto control over military matters in former USSR and Warsaw pact countries, and as the second largest producer of weapons and military equipment its membership would likely have upset the USMIC apple cart in determining NATO standard. In other words, this was never a serious option, but the "door" is technically still open, for as long as it remains permissible for the organization to maintain simultaneously contradictory positions.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 12 2022 21:17 utc | 73

@22 Doubtful. A direct attack on a US military base inside the territory of a NATO country?

That's an immediate Article 5 One-in, All-in. It would make no sense for Russia to provoke that.

Look to Kaliningrad. The festering sore on Poland's shoulder.

If the Poles are too stupid or too excitable to resist (for example) shelling that enclave then Russia will have its casus belli and can devastate the Polish defenses, and there would be a number of NATO countries that would demure a collective response on the bases that the Poles fired the first shot.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 12 2022 21:20 utc | 74

@Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 21:14 utc | 71

I think the Minsk agreement was voted on by the security council and became international law. I may be wrong on that.
For the UN to take action to enforce the Minsk agreement, that action would have to be agreed on at the security council with no vetos.

You are not wrong. The Minsk agreement was adopted in the UN Security Council: Resolution 2202

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2202 (2015), Security Council Calls on Parties to Implement Accords Aimed at Peaceful Settlement in Eastern Ukraine

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2022 21:24 utc | 75

@ karlof1 67

With great respect,

Kennedy increased the US presence in Vietnam 20-fold. In 1959, there were 760 US personnel in Vietnam. In 1963, there were 16300.

Thank you

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 21:26 utc | 76

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jan 12 2022 20:49 utc | 59

I'm eager and frankly can't wait to see Putin's response. it's Putin PUT up(see what I did there?) or shut the fuck up time.
1. Will he put in (damn it!) missiles in Cuba/Venezuela like he should? Probably not, highly unlikely...

Do you suppose this is a development that Cubans and Venezuelans would welcome?

I can't really see why. Unless the missiles come with a handsome rent, what's in it for them?

Posted by: robin | Jan 12 2022 21:27 utc | 77

@ Stonebird 31
One prospect for the Military-technical systems, are advances in electronic warfare. .

The possibilities of cyber are getting interesting (not proven),
>Nov 29, 2021 - Footage shows the farcical moment £100m F-35 fighter jet toppled off the end of HMS Queen Elizabeth's runway and sank into the Mediterranean
>Jan 5, 2022 - South Korean F-35 pilot is forced to make an emergency 'belly landing' after landing gear fails
>Jan 11, 2022 - Taiwan Halts Training on US-Made F-16V Viper Fighters After Jet Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing

. . .and in general
>Jun 6, 2017 - Securing cyber in the sky - Layered cybersecurity needed to protect aviation ecosystem
. . .with thousands of attacks on aviation systems every month, Raytheon Technologies, a company with expertise in both cybersecurity and air traffic management, is taking steps to mitigate cyber attacks in the skies.
>Aug 14, 2019 - The Cybersecurity 202: Hackers just found serious vulnerabilities in a U.S. military fighter jet - a team of highly vetted hackers tried to sabotage a vital flight system for a U.S. military fighter jet. And they succeeded.
>Nov 17, 2021 - Vectors for cyber attacks on military vehicles keep increasing - if you are a manufacturer of a critical component, somebody can insert malware that says, hey, if you’re in this geo-fence or going at this speed, I want you to trigger

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2022 21:28 utc | 78

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 12 2022 19:42 utc | 32

#20 "time to shut off the gas?"

If US and it's vassal states slap a round of major sanctions for whatever reason, a declaration of war, Russia promised a complete rupture of relations and contracts.

Did the Russians really promise this?

I'm pretty sure ruptured Eurasian relations is pretty high on the American wish list.

Posted by: robin | Jan 12 2022 21:32 utc | 79

@Peter AU1 71
. . .from the UN, Feb 17, 2015:
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2202 (2015), Security Council Calls on Parties to Implement Accords Aimed at Peaceful Settlement in Eastern Ukraine
Expressing the Security Council’s grave concern at the tragic events and violence in eastern regions of Ukraine, the 15-member body today unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing last week’s ceasefire agreement. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2022 21:34 utc | 80

I don't know what the Russian response will be but...they do or they wouldn't have put demands they knew would be rejected on the table.

As for my guess..maximalists, I would go with the guy who suggested they'll bomb the US/NATO base under construction near Odessa. I am sure the Russians have on the ground intel of the area and very short flight times which would make such a mission doable. If the US tries to respond locally, then the Ruskies have their casus belli for remapping Ukraine into something that is a rough approximation of reality. In my estimation, in the Ukraine/Black-Sea the Russ hold the trump cards.

And since the VAST MAJORITY of Americans have NOT BEEN INFORMED of the construction of this base by the media the US will have to explain that it's a US Base before explaining that it was attacked. And that's gonna be a messy narrative as it involves a pretty long list of misinformation and lies. However, I am sure the 3LA's scribes are up to the task, they debase themselves so often for their masters pleasure what's one more time? Goebbels would be envious of the 3LA's servile media.

As for the minimalist response dunno, if they do nothing/too-little Putin could be replaced with a much more rabid's certainly happened before in my lifetime.

As I have said before, the denizens of DC are hell bent on throwing the US empire into the "trash bin of history". They have that, how shall I say, an unbridled arrogance that only the shallowest of people can truly obtain, the people of DC are...well, F. Scott Fitzgerald said it much better than I.

"They're a careless people, they smash up things and creatures and then retreat back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it is that keeps them together, they leave other people to clean up the mess they make."

Posted by: S Brennan | Jan 12 2022 21:38 utc | 81

robin 77

That is something I have thought about when it comes to reciprocal threat. Russia/Putin often state European countries become target when the allow US military installations.
I very much doubt Putin would make those countries close to US targets by setting up missiles there.
The only thing I would place a bet on is that whatever happens, it will be totally unexpected. Perhaps just one or two unexpected moves or perhaps a number of seemingly meaningless moves with the final meaningless move resulting in checkmate.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 21:39 utc | 82

Bait and Switch has been the usual strategy of the Anglo/Zionist Captive Nation since the beginning of what is called 'modern history.' Most historians start modern history in 1900.

I begin modern history in 1897, at the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. Of course, as David Hirst [half jewish journalist and historian] points out in his definitive textbook, "The Gun and The Olive Branch, The Roots of Violence in the Middle East'', "..."the ethnic connection between nineteenth-century European Jewry and the Ancient Hebrews was a myth." The origins of Zionism began with a basic deception, this is amplified and continued to this day.

This "bait and switch'' duplicity and deception was perfected by Woodrow Wilson,

"There is no historical evidence to suggest that the Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims in general had ever been more intrinsically hostile to American 'values.' or, in consequence, to American national purposes, than any other peoples or religion on earth. Indeed, initially at least the Arabs were in modern times probably better disposed towards them than most. After the First World War, President Wilson and his Fourteen Points, with their call for 'self determination', 'justice' and 'fair dealing' for all people the weak as well as the strong and an end to 'force' and 'selfish aggression', inspired in them the hope of an American counterweight to the designs of the traditional European colonial powers." Gun and the Olive Branch, third edition.

"...Designed as guidelines for the rebuilding of the postwar world, the points included Wilson’s ideas regarding nations’ conduct of foreign policy, including freedom of the seas and free trade and the concept of national self-determination, with the achievement of this through the dismantling of European empires and the creation of new states. Most importantly, however, was Point 14, which called for a “general association of nations” that would offer “mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small nations alike..."

It should be noted, Wilson, and his handlers, made additional positive statements designed to placate Arab and Palestinian fears during WW 1, with ulterior motives and aforethought.

It should come as no surprise, US assurances regarding NATO expansion to the former USSR, HAVE NO MEANING. Just more bait and switch tactics.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 12 2022 21:39 utc | 83

@59 Horeyu

U are just a poor bulgarian.
Part of one traitor nation right now in the process of breakdown and depopulation.
Your hatred is the product of your wish for a bulgarian Putin.
I'm so sorry for you and your little traitorous dying nation. Its of course hard for you, seeing russia prosper.... and bulgaria degenerating in record time.
Sry for you bro, go get some gelp

Posted by: Kartoschka | Jan 12 2022 21:42 utc | 84

This is one way to find out Russias military capability. Maybe CIA have run out of spys, or saber rattling is cheaper.

Posted by: Helen | Jan 12 2022 21:43 utc | 85

This is the language of the sacred Open Door policy as appears in 1949 NATO charter (Article 10):

The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty.

Two words: “North Atlantic”
one word: “invite”

The negotiating position of the U.S. and allies re: the “open door” is nonsensical on its face.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 12 2022 21:49 utc | 86

. . .from NYT Jan. 10, 2022

U.S. officials say the Russian president’s window for an invasion is limited, dictated by temperatures that will freeze the ground — allowing for the easy movement of heavy vehicles and equipment — before a spring thaw, which could begin by March, creates a muddy quagmire.
But a relatively mild winter has slowed the ground’s freezing, and Mr. Putin’s deadline for committing his forces has slipped further toward the spring, officials say. The hard winter freeze that typically comes to Ukraine by January has not happened in many areas of the country. As long as the ground remains muddy, senior administration officials said, Mr. Putin might be forced to push back a ground offensive until February at the earliest. . .here - paywall

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2022 21:51 utc | 87

Map and list of names of all NATO and US bases in Poland. Note - and US bases...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 21:55 utc | 88

re: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 21:26 utc | 76
you wrote, "Kennedy increased the US presence in Vietnam 20-fold. In 1959, there were 760 US personnel in Vietnam. In 1963, there were 16300"

However, In 1963, about a month before his assassination, JFK ordered the complete withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. One of the many reasons he was killed by the Deep State.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 12 2022 21:56 utc | 89

@74 To my mind the attack on a US facility is precisely the point. I take it as a presupposition that the US do not care about losses to their clients, but also that under all that bluster, there's not much substance.

NATO Article 5 says that other members are to do what they see fit in the event of an attack on a member state. I think it highly likely that the US will be entirely unwilling to go to war over a singleton strike, since the likelihood of anything definable as success is slim to none. They'll be forced to limit themselves to sanctions, which will make the hollowness of Article 6 for anyone but the US obvious.

Of course, if they go that path, and the Russians guess wrong, they'll get a complimentary test of their AD2 systems. But I think it's important to understand the "nowhere to retreat to" line. I think this time, it's "Ni shagu nazad!" all over again, but in a world full of nukes. Timne will tell, and I'll be happy to be wrong, but I don't think so.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Jan 12 2022 21:59 utc | 90

Since Western media has essentially had zero reporting on the actual substance of the Russian draft treaties, you can find the text of these US draft treaty here and the NATO draft treaty here. You can use the translate app on Firefox to automatically translate to English.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 12 2022 22:01 utc | 91

Further speculation. Had a brief discourse with Canthama over the possibility of Syria being the venue, but he seems to think that's unlikely. Over lunch, I pondered the notion of Russia doing something the Outlaw US Empire has already accused it of for which it was innocent--taking down the entire North American energy grid and keeping it down for at least 24 hours. That would qualify as a military technical operation, IMO. Canthama and I did agree that whatever's done must target the Outlaw US Empire's homeland to shake up the pukes hiding behind Biden running the Empire. They must be given a good scare, meaning anything happening in Eurasia won't concern them one bit. Perhaps targeting one of those puke's villa in the homeland will turn the trick.

IMO, one thing is certain: The pukes running the Empire must be given a genuine scare to get them to change policy. That continues the reasoning behind only talking to the Top Dog as there's no use in dealing with the rest of the litter.

Some questioned my comparing what's happening with 1962. Now I hope they understand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 12 2022 22:01 utc | 92

@ 87
The map of Poland includes four US Army ABCTs -- armored brigade combat teams. . An armored brigade combat team consists of seven battalions: three combined arms battalions, one cavalry (reconnaissance) squadron, one artillery battalion, one engineer battalion and one brigade support battalion. As of 2014, the armored brigade combat team is the largest brigade combat team formation with 4,743 soldiers. . . An ABCT includes 87 Abrams tanks, 152 Bradley IFVs, 18 M109s and 45 armed M113 vehicles. . .here - wiki

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 12 2022 22:04 utc | 93

Covert Action magazine states:

Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities are currently unmatched in the world. The Murmansk-BN system has the ability to suppress radio and satellite communication over a distance of 3,000 kilometers, and has proven effective against hard targets like the U.S. F-35. Operating from within its own territory, Russia can suppress not only military aircraft, but civilian air traffic and ground transport and other communication over the entirety of Europe, including the UK.

This seems like a significant exaggeration, but I am no expert. Anybody have a sense of what the real electronic warfare capacities of Russia are and whether Russia really could effectively shut down electronic communication over some section of Europe?

Posted by: WJ | Jan 12 2022 22:04 utc | 94

"Every country has sovereign right to choose its own path" z US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Do the Cubans know this?

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 12 2022 22:05 utc | 95

Here is the article.

It posits that there may be a false-flag chemical attack carried out by Ukrainians/Americans to force Russia into a live war in Ukraine.

Posted by: WJ | Jan 12 2022 22:07 utc | 96

@ Steven Starr 88

Dear Steven,

Thank you. Towards the end of his life Kennedy prevaricated a lot vis-a-vis Vietnam. He was close to Diem via Spellman and the Vietnam lobby so this might have been a reaction to Cabot Lodge's attempt to unseat the Diems etc. In any case, I haven't seen a great deal about this in the literature (not that I'm an expert) and most historians seem to discount it. What is certain is that from a small, exploratory advisory cell Kennedy turned the US mission in Vietnam into a full-fledged fighting force - relying primarily on the special forces.

Posted by: Jacob's Ladder | Jan 12 2022 22:12 utc | 97

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 12 2022 22:01 utc | 90

Steven, the Russians are not stupid. They know how often the USA "misunderstands"* or "mistranslates"**

* see " The fall of the Soviet Union was a great tragedy" (VVP)
** see "...wiped from the face of the earth" (Ayatollah)

So these documents were distributed in Russian, in English and in French ( the language of diplomacy)

No room for "Ooops. Sorry about that!")

karlof1...what was Sherman's howler?

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 12 2022 22:21 utc | 98

karlof1 91

I have been thinking about China also. If Russia were to go down, China would be in for a very tough time. If China will do something I don't know but it is always sitting there in the shadows of the Russia US showdown.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2022 22:21 utc | 99

"Every country has sovereign right to choose its own path" z US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

Do the Cubans know this?

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 12 2022 22:05 utc | 94

If only one of the the Russian negotiating team made the same observation!
One can hope!

Posted by: JPC | Jan 12 2022 22:22 utc | 100

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