Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 08, 2022

Europe Should Leave NATO Behind And Integrate With Russia

The ongoing scuffle over Russia's and China's efforts to rearrange the global order continues.

The recent Chinese Russian statement made it look as if Russia has completely turned its back to Europe and is now locked into an Eurasian destiny with China, Iran and the Central Asian states. That however does not seem to be Russia's understanding.

A man who has Putin's ear, Professor Sergey Karaganov who is the honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, has written an op-ed that points to an alternative.

The piece was requested by and supposed to be published in the Financial Times, which means that it is directed at the European leadership.  But the FT has now rejected it for unstated reasons. It was then published in the Russia in Global Affairs journal and has now been re-published by RT.

Russia will not invade the Ukraine, Karaganov writes. The real issue at hand is the potential threat that NATO may become for Russia should it come nearer to Russia's border.

He then states:

The security system in Europe, built largely by the West after the 1990s, without a peace treaty having been signed after the end of the previous Cold War, is dangerously unsustainable.

There are a few ways to solve the narrow Ukrainian problem, such as its return to permanent neutrality, or legal guarantees from several key NATO countries not to ever vote for further expansion of the bloc. Diplomats, I assume, have a few others up their sleeves. We do not want to humiliate Brussels by insisting on repudiating its erroneous plea for the open-ended expansion of NATO. We all know the end of the Versailles humiliation. And, of course, the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

But the task is wider: to build a viable system on the ruins of the present. And without resorting to arms, of course. Probably in the wider Greater Eurasian framework. Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the competition of the future. Europe without Russia or even against it has been rapidly losing its international clout. That was predicted by many people in the 1990s, when Russia offered to integrate with, not in, the continent’s systems. We are too big and proud to be absorbed. Our pitch was rejected then, but there is always a chance it won’t be this time.

That last paragraph is quite astonishing.

"Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the competition of the future."

Russia just allied with China.

What "competition of the future" does Karaganov envision that would necessitate a "friendly western flank" for Russia? That "competition" would be in the east or south from Russia? With whom?

Is Karaganov thinking of a U.S. vs. China conflict that would necessitate Russian support for China?

In the late 1990s Russia indeed tried to integrate with Europe, NATO or a follow up organization. That was rejected by the U.S. which did not want another big dog among its pack of European ankle-biters.

But what Karaganov seems to envision now is an integration of Russia with Europe without U.S. involvement.

That is certainly something the French President Macron would also like to see. France has long insisted on European sovereignty including in defense matters. German's chancellor Scholz would likewise agree with it. As would other west-European countries.

This especially after the U.S. president arrogantly asserted power over a German-Russian economic project the U.S. no relation with. This even while Chancellor Scholz, standing next him, avoided to make any commitment in that regard:

PRESIDENT BIDEN: The first question first. If Germany — if Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing* the — the border of Ukraine again — then there will be — we — there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.

Q: But how will you — how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: We will — I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.

Such talk alone should be reason enough for Germany to leave NATO and to kick the remaining U.S. troops out of its country.

But to set up an alternative organization is not easy. The current European Union structures in Brussels do not allow for doing that under an EU umbrella. A new alliance of France, German, Spain and maybe Italy could be a decent start to then integrate with Russia. That would certainly also attract other European NATO members though some eastern European countries would probably lag because of their historic Russia phobia.

That all may look to be far outside of the current horizon. But we should remember that it was a U.S. president who just five years ago considered to leave NATO.

Karaganov may be onto something and the European capitals should start to think about it.

---
* Biden seems to be fine with the Russian long range artillery and airforce action should the Ukraine dare to attack its rebellious Donbas region. Good, as that is likely what Russia has planned to do.

Posted by b on February 8, 2022 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

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that's the point of biden provoking russia to invade ukraine, to get all up in germany's face about nord stream and forcing US hegemony over european oil transit. of course he's fine with russian long range artillery and airforce action!

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2022 18:18 utc | 1

Hopefully Scholtz was so incensed by Biden's arrogance, bullying and threats against a German commercial project that he goes to Moscow and gets things settled. The US might be making another mistake. It has already pushed Russia into a strategic partnership with China. Now, by warmongering and making sensational claims about an "invasion" of Ukraine, it might drive Germany and France to find their own path with Russia, because they must know that Washington is doing this, in part, to discipline them.

At the same time, US moves all show a weakness. It is trying to bully Germany and France before any meetings with Putin. It is sending meaningless troops to Eastern Europe, as Ritter points out. And Biden keeps talking about Russian tank and troop movements across the border as redlines, the implication of which is that the US actually has little control in Ukraine, can't respond to any Russian defense of Donbass, and is being forced not to overcommit because the inevitable loss would be too embarrassing.

Posted by: Prof | Feb 8 2022 18:21 utc | 2

there will be — we — there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it. ..... PRESIDENT BIDEN: We will — I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.

a teeth-grinding moment in american *diplomacy*.

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2022 18:22 utc | 3

Those waiting for Germany and France (and others) to repudiate the US and join in some kind of partnership with Russia will have a long wait - better get the beer and crisps in now. (Germany especially seems to have a large pro-US/NATO/Isreal establishment).

If they were to repudiate the 'west' they would have no military force to back this stance up with. OK, there are mutterings of a new Euro-Army, but nothing on the ground, and the US will fight it every inch of the way, just like Nord-Stream 2.

However, it's the only way they can get out from under slavery to Uncle Sam, and having some kind of a Euro-army is they only way they can resist slavery to Uncle Xi. Maybe they have the guts to do it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Feb 8 2022 18:35 utc | 4

14 years. I've been saying this for 14 years now, and its nice to see it in print, here, at last.

As for what "competition of the future"? Obviously the post 2026 competition with China that starts after the new allies current win (to be) has been fully prosecuted.

Posted by: Michael | Feb 8 2022 18:36 utc | 5

Certainly the step by step realignments Russia has been speaking about for some time would make the western grouping of states that compose the EU a better friend than an enemy. Russia already has continued to make deals with individual European states similar to what China is doing with the Silk Road initiatives - similar but different, given that European states are at a different point in their development than the Asian ones. It has been a fascinating issue to watch as first Russia was listing Asian, and now perhaps can 'stabilize' the ship of state, having cordial relations on both sides of the continent.

The US ought to take note of how carefully on the diplomacy side this process needs to begin, without charging in flexing muscle and might. Here it is northward and southward that new relationships need to form. The old ways won't do.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 8 2022 18:37 utc | 6

Will the theater of war be confined to eastern Ukraine?

Or will it be a cue for action far away from Ukraine, such as Syria?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 18:38 utc | 7


the US has twisted so many European arms over the last 75+ years, well, they must all have dislocated shoulders and broken arms by now.

I find it hard to believe that his remarks about the Nord Stream 2 will not provoke a furious blowback in German politics - if it doesn't it tells you very well how co-opted that whole country is to US designs and Imperial dictates.

To hell with them all, the US policy makers, think tank Elites and war-mongering corporate interests.

heck the US since WWII by its very nature constantly overrides every nation's sovereignty in one financial, political or cultural way or another. It's enough to madden the most sane leadership of any nation on earth.

Biden is a really poor diplomat to speak so badly right in front of his most important 'ally' in Europe. At least the Germans and Europeans should know the score by now. Now, if they would only grow some cajones.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 8 2022 18:40 utc | 8

Thank you b for bringing this analysis to our attention.

I think the sooner Europe finally gets the message that the US is their worst enemy the better:

America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies


The Iron Curtain of the 1940s and ‘50s was ostensibly designed to isolate Russia from Western Europe – to keep out Communist ideology and military penetration. Today’s sanctions regime is aimed inward, to prevent America’s NATO and other Western allies from opening up more trade and investment with Russia and China. The aim is not so much to isolate Russia and China as to hold these allies firmly within America’s own economic orbit. Allies are to forego the benefits of importing Russian gas and Chinese products, buying much higher-priced U.S. LNG and other exports, capped by more U.S. arms.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 18:40 utc | 9

Can we have some solid discussion

Where are we now - the two treaties were rejected

Where are we now in terms of a response from Russia?

Posted by: James2 | Feb 8 2022 18:43 utc | 10

The acolytes of Zbigniew Brzeziński are still trying to separate Germany (and EU) from Russia as their prime directive. Russia built Nord Stream 2 to bypass Eastern Europe including Ukraine. But a quick look at the gas pipeline map of Russia shows that Russia does not need Ukraine.

With Belarus firmly in Russia's orbit, if the Nord Stream 2 were to be destroyed, the only country standing between Germany and Russia would be Poland. Ukraine is irrelevant to Russia, and only relevant to the US to provoke conflict.

Expect fireworks in Poland in the coming years.

Posted by: Tiger | Feb 8 2022 18:49 utc | 11

Have a little strategy mind, guys. Not only Russian need Europe,but also China. Tactical neutrality of Europe is strategic victory of China, and that is one of Chinese most important diplomatic goal. Crazy trump and dumb blinken accelerate the process.

Posted by: Russell | Feb 8 2022 18:50 utc | 12

Doctorow has a provocative piece today which includes this horrifying thought-some 'ankle biters' are rabid,b.
" ...it is “highly likely” that the question of whether there will be war or peace between Ukraine and Russia is outside the control of any of these European civilian leaders and may well be outside the control of Vladimir Putin. The Guns of February or March will be fired, if they are fired at all, by actions taken by military authorities either in Kiev or at the line of demarcation independently of what President Zelensky may wish. The fuse may even be lit by detachments of British or U.S. special forces now circulating near the line of demarcation, also without the specific knowledge of their respective Prime Minister or President just as the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev was engineered by a certain State Department officer, Victoria Nuland, without the participation or detailed knowledge of her bosses."

A key question is the nature of the eastern european regimes. In crude terms it is 'wall to wall fascism' and it is entirely the fault of NATO, which preserved and fed the fascist emigres in political aspic for three generations.
In the last thread it was suggested that any Russian incursion into Ukraine would be spontaneously resisted by the masses. In my view the contrary is the case.
An eerie silence overhangs eastern europe and Ukraine in particular- no organised opposition is tolerated. All dissent is suppressed as Communism and death squads organised by fascist parties and, I suspect, trained, as were the snipers in Maidan, by US/Israeli specialists in assassination, pick off and drive into exile any voices questioning Russophobic policies.

Few people know it but the discrimination being practised against Russians in Ukraine is paralleled by laws in the Baltic states banning Russian speakers from voting and other deprivations of basic rights. This is what "Freedom and Democracy" looks like in many of the countries bordering Russia. It was proposed too in Kazakhstan by the colour revolutionaries there.

For insight into the Polish regime, this marvellous article is worth reading:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/02/08/the-five-rosa-luxembergs/

Posted by: bevin | Feb 8 2022 18:50 utc | 13

Don't forget that Chrystia Freeland used to work for the Financial Times, both as Moscow Bureau Chief, and then Managing Editor. One might assume she still wields inordinate influence over the Times' ability to publish articles that may not be to her liking.

Posted by: JC | Feb 8 2022 18:52 utc | 14

Oh noes! Should NATO shrink what would happen to the Eurodollar?

"Arguably the most liquid futures contract in the world ..." ==> https://www.cmegroup.com/education/courses/introduction-to-eurodollars/how-to-trade-eurodollar-spreads.html

Posted by: too scents | Feb 8 2022 18:54 utc | 15

Like Michael above, this is what I've been thinking for a long time and have been saying quietly for probably 15 years. The US isn't Europe's ally, it can't be a genuine ally, friend, brother, partner to any other country, a lot would have to change for this to happen. Of course, Russia is quite big, and as Karaganov said, it'd be more like West Europe and Russia as equal partners than anything else.
A multi-polar world might also mean that various poles can ally with each other for some goals and in some fields, and ally with others in other matters. Might be that's what Russia is thinking of. Or, like my hunch for most of this century, that Russia or Western/Central Europe can't compete against the US or China alone, and would need to ally to have a say. Without a need to be belligerent against the others.
The same way, if China can manage to become good buddies with India, I can see Beijing moving this way to form some kind of partnership without fully dumping Russia, but still considering this axis of relationship as just as important.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 8 2022 18:54 utc | 16

Makes one wonder how much longer the Germans and the French will tolerate being treated by the American neocons (i.e. the US/Zionists who have been in control of the US government since, well, forever) as third tier prostitutes who will always do as they are told?! Of course, since 1945 they HAVE BEEN doing what they are told. But lately there have been some timid rumblings of the "but... but... we have an opinion too..." kind. And with the French being shoved on their submarine contract by the new-fangled UKUSA (Yakuza?) and years ago on the Mistral contract and now the Germans being ordered to shut the $%# up and stop the pipeline which is critical to their economy just because The Master said so... Well, if after a long search (and I am sure it will still take years -- sheepish obedience and a complete lack of "Faberge" does not get solved overnight) they will finally find the will to say "our opinion kinda / sorta does matter", it will be a game changer in Europe. But I doubt they will. Given the pygmies running Western Europe, and the American patsies running its Eastern part I think Europe will continue descending into a political, economic, and military backwater that no one will even consider being worth consulting with on anything important. As Putin said Russia will only talk with The Master (Shere Khan) since Europe is just a bunch of Tabaquis and will likely remain so for a very long time.

Posted by: Rocktime | Feb 8 2022 18:55 utc | 17

The current security crisis deals with OSCE Treaties as both b and I've explained. Today, this "Statement by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich at the inaugural informal high-level meeting 'Renewed OSCE Dialogue on European Security', was published that will give readers a look into the morass that is the current OSCE and inform them about the amount of negotiations required to arrive at the consensus needed to agree to the previous OSCE Security Treaties. The following shows there're no cracks in the presentation of Russia's position:

"It is significant that already at the stage of the concept note, the chairmanship laid in the first negotiation 'cluster' a discussion of the topic of modernization of the Vienna Document of 2011. We have repeatedly explained that the issues of European security need to be considered comprehensively, and the introduction of technical changes to the VD-2011 would not contribute to solving the accumulated problems. A 'window of opportunity' for discussing this topic can open only after NATO abandons the policy of containing Russia. And not in words, but in deeds.

"Now it is important for us to clearly clarify how the Western OSCE participating States understand the principle of the indivisibility of security and how they are going to fulfill their commitment not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of other states. We expect everyone to respond promptly to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's request. We expect to receive a reaction not in a collective, but in a national capacity. Its analysis will allow us to decide on further steps in the field of European security.

"At the moment, the situation is more than depressing. More than a decade after the adoption of the Astana Commemorative Declaration at the highest level, the OSCE has not found the political will to find practical ways to build a free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community from Vancouver [?!] to Vladivostok. Let me remind you that the comprehensive concept of the indivisibility of security was approved at the OSCE summit in Istanbul in 1999. And it's still there." [My Emphasis]

If it wasn't clear before, Lukashevich just told the OSCE that NATO's expansion violates the various OSCE Security Treaties that promise indivisible security because it poses a threat to Russia's security. At yesterday's presser with Macron, Putin reminded the world that NATO is NOT a defensive organization with the nations of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan ready to testify on that issue; and since it's most certainly NOT a defensive pact, it poses a threat to Russia's security--with plenty of documentation published by NATO, the Outlaw US Empire and others providing further testimony to the legitimacy of Russia's security proposals.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 18:55 utc | 18

b.....thanks for this... russia is a part of europe whether the usa wants that or not... bringing russia together with western europe makes total sense from a geographical point of view, as it is already a part of it... but it doesn't serves the usa's interests... hard to know when europe wakes up to this! it seems the financial dynamics on the world stage have a different idea of how countries should be aligned along the supremacy of the us$, or not for example...

until europe wakes up to how they are being played by the usa, it is a waiting process with the usa trying to keep russia and europe separate whether it be via ukraine or any other means possible.... the comments between the visiting german chancellor and biden are very very telling..

so the 64,000 question remains.. what will it take for europe to wake up to being played by the usa here or by the usa-uk here?? what does it take?

Posted by: james | Feb 8 2022 18:56 utc | 19

This ties in seamlessly with Michael Hudson's piece in The Saker yesterday:

"What worries American diplomats is that Germany, other NATO nations and countries along the Belt and Road route understand the gains that can be made by opening up peaceful trade and investment. If there is no Russian or Chinese plan to invade or bomb them, what is the need for NATO?"

https://thesaker.is/americas-real-adversaries-are-its-european-and-other-allies-the-u-s-aim-is-to-keep-them-from-trading-with-china-and-russia/

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Feb 8 2022 18:57 utc | 20

Europe will eventually enter into an economic compact with Russia, China and the BRI bloc. The only question is whether it takes a European war ginned up by the rabid Zio-Ukrainians in the US and Canada to make it happen. Of course, the ruling class in Boristan will be aghast at all of this, but that will just cement their offshore, neo-feudal status. I expect this to happen within the next 5-10 years. Letting your people freeze to death and your industries crater when there is a perfectly reliable source of fuel and fertiliser feedstock available through a new pipeline could be a catalyst for regime-change, and not neccessarily a regime to the liking of the U.S. Germany needs some Russian AD systems fast and to eject the Americans, or they will freeze and starve because the Americans wish to make a point. The alternatives are now becoming clear even to the man in the street. Expect a lot of pressure from below....

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Feb 8 2022 18:58 utc | 21

James2 @10--

We still await the OSCE nations's replies to Lavrov's letter pertaining to their interpretation of the indivisible security they all signed to uphold in the various OSCE Security Treaties.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 18:58 utc | 22

Easy! :D (Maybe because I don't know enough lol).

Those who wish can join SCO and CSTO right now or after the US is gone, no need for any more "Euro-centric" nonsense.

I'm one of those Europeans who really dislike the EU (or rather what it very quickly became) and I'm not keen on any other kind of constant/organized/ritualized British-French-German backstabbing squabble either, time to get over the awful 20ieth century, despite all kinds of "beliefs and preferred facts" everyone who survived came out of that century drenched in blood and lies.

My quite ignorant impression is that both the SCO and CSTO are constructed far more sensibly on the basis of voluntary measures rather than dictates without possibilities for opting out as is almost always the end case in the EU, feel free to educate me if I'm wrong. Even NATO has or at least had a better structure in this regard than the EU, as can be seen once in a while (at least from France and occasionally someone else like Hungary or Norway and maybe Italy, it's hard to tell exactly who and how often from the outside).

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 8 2022 19:00 utc | 23

Good article b. & I wish Russia/EU eventual peace & success with this potential gradual endevour. However, as others have stated/implied, the US'ers will never allow it's Euro pets to be set free with out a fight, just as they did previously, & clearly still are. If even the thoroughly compromised Wikipedia allows such implications to still be aired, then 'the truth' of various 'strategies of tension' is most obviously of much greater scope than has been uncovered, I feel most barflies would likely agree. Color revolutions are just a new name for an old game... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio

Posted by: pSi-man | Feb 8 2022 19:00 utc | 24

Vijay Prashad was interviewed for the 1st episode of the "Eat Nato for Breakfast" project.

In the interview he explains the extra-legal actions of NATO with respect to UN charter.

Quite good, but long ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaxeRfAgb8I&t=443s

Posted by: too scents | Feb 8 2022 19:06 utc | 25

While I appreciate the sentiment of what Germany et al should do, I also recognize based upon the intricacies of "Democracy" how under handed actions of the Jackals often persuade leaders to do other's biddings. That is how Empires operate. The trick for European leaders will be to get enough of a public groundswell behind them to neutralize the expected blackmail.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the Scholtz/Biden meeting. It's always fascinating to listen to gangsters make offers that cannot be refused.

Posted by: Michael.j | Feb 8 2022 19:09 utc | 26

Are there neutral observers in place in the Donbas?
Wouldn't their presence make it harder to create a false flag and get away with it?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 19:10 utc | 27

@bevin | Feb 8 2022 18:50 utc | 13


The Guns of February or March will be fired, if they are fired at all, by actions taken by military authorities either in Kiev or at the line of demarcation independently of what President Zelensky may wish. The fuse may even be lit by detachments of British or U.S. special forces now circulating near the line of demarcation, also without the specific knowledge of their respective Prime Minister or President just as the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev was engineered by a certain State Department officer, Victoria Nuland, without the participation or detailed knowledge of her bosses.

I cannot see how British or U.S. special forces could possibly do this and get away with it. Putin/Russia is on record declaring that should something like this happen, the decision making centres will be targeted. So if, for example, British special forces 'attack Russia or Russian passport holders' in the LDNR the threat to Britain will be realized.

I am sure Putin/Russia were not bluffing. I think anyone who thinks a trigger event by proxy is a good idea should have their heads examined. Double-quick like.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 19:14 utc | 28

another useless article that says 100% obvious things that should be obvious to anyone with 2 working brain cells.
What's USA's goal? To drive a wedge between Russia and Europe(EU) thus preventing the Europe-Russia-China axis. China's goods MUST pass through Russia to get to Europe. Therefore, even if Europe keeps on kicking Putin in the face, he knows he MUSN'T cut his ties with the assholes, jealous and totally ungrateful European.
In Russian, the word is "очевидно". 0% information in it.
Now write something that has real information it in, as per Shannon'd definition.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 8 2022 19:22 utc | 29

Perhaps. I company you in your wish for an enhancment of western Europe societies. But first they have to loose the feel of superiority. The impression to be in a better position by nature. It is a very infantil believe.
I did research the people around me about, can they imagine to live not under the shelter of strong american arms. This for the majority not possible to imagine. I did this test in many western countries. It appears to be branded in the minds.
We need a revolution for that. It will not be a revolution of the masses. It will be a revolution of the things. They will just stop to work. Very painful. No electricity or water for long time. Not enough food for all.
Only after a purge like this, the vision of a land from Lissabon till Wladiwostok is real.

Posted by: rico rose | Feb 8 2022 19:22 utc | 30

@karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 18:55 utc | 18

Thanks for that. Interestingly, this looks like a whole new different type of 'lawfare' - I love it.

To me this simple, obvious and unambiguous interpretation of international treaties and obligations, and its public showcasing, is just sight to behold. The beauty is all the more evident in that it is undeniable and everyone can understand it for what it is.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 19:24 utc | 31

https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/this-medical-data-from-the-us-dod

I think this claim needs attention as it will relate to the readiness of the US military - as a big piece of the overall puzzle. Suppose they couldn't fight? The stats in Johnson's letter are horrifying, if substantiated.

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 8 2022 19:24 utc | 32

This is straight talk, and I agree.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 8 2022 19:25 utc | 33

After reading Karaganov's essay, IMO his sentence b highlights above--"Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the competition of the future"--relates to the goal detailed in the Manifesto residing within the Joint Russia/China Statement of 4 February 2022. Do please take keen notice of its title: "Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development." [My Emphasis] And in case you missed my earlier comment where I highlighted the Manifesto, here it is once again:

"The sides call on all States to pursue well-being for all and, with these ends, to build dialogue and mutual trust, strengthen mutual understanding, champion such universal human values as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, respect the rights of peoples to independently determine the development paths of their countries and the sovereignty and the security and development interests of States, to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role, promote more democratic international relations, and ensure peace, stability and sustainable development across the world."

IMO, it's the "competition" that will be encountered while implementing the manifesto as the reason why Karaganov says Russia will need "a safe and friendly Western flank." The manifesto directly challenges the illegal unilateralism of the Outlaw US Empire and that of its main criminal abettor the Outlaw Anglo Empire.

IMO, the formulation of the Russia/China Manifesto began with the initial Friendship Treaty in July 2001 and was close to completion when Putin celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year a few months after China and Russia became the two major bedrock nations of The Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations. Likely forgotten is Xi's vow to return the Outlaw US Empire to the law-abiding community of nations made prior to the 2020 election. All of what we're witnessing IMO is part of that process and is well stated by the Manifesto.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 19:28 utc | 34

"What "competition of the future" does Karaganov envision"?
*
I do not think that he necessarily meant armed or military "competition". The arms race is a very US sort of thing, and it goes with it's ideas of dominance. Healthy competition (Based on mutually agreed laws and principles) in other spheres of interest and commerce, can be seen as a way to provoke forward looking projects, research and invention. May the "best" projects win and be adopted by the others.

International relations cover a lot of subjects and different outlooks. They also cover the obligation of sovereign Nations to enable the health, wealth and happiness of their citizens. More prosaically, the citizens also need food, water, shelter and the possibility to go about their own daily affairs without being screwed by authoritarians and idiot experts.
***

"Western flank", does not mean that the other flanks are to be "defended". (This is the US idea of encirclement recycled) Rather that the other flanks, are to be treated in different ways according to their prospective capabilities. Open formula; Join and profit from enlarged horizons, (aka BRI) do not join and stay behind.
***

One problem b mentions is the lack of flexibility in International Treaties and Alliances for an EU extension towards Russia (not "expansion"), and which must include the "secret ones" (ie. German subservience to US). There is probably no easy solution except systematically sweeping the old away.

****
PS: I'm into wishful thinking tonight.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 8 2022 19:32 utc | 35

Alastair Crooke has a new article on SCF: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/02/07/turmoil-will-continue-until-modified-global-order-emerges/

Planned military-technical measures anyone?


They [Russians] can see that food prices are soaring, with potash from Belarus blocked, and Russia banning the export of ammonium nitrate.
[...]
The consequences for fertiliser prices – and therefore European food prices – is obvious, as is the consequence of European spot energy prices, were Russian gas to be barred from Europe. That is how economic pain works.
[...]
Russia is mounting joint air-patrols with the Syrian Air Force over the Golan, and in the wake of Israel’s recent attacks on the port at Latakia, Russia has stationed its own forces there (meaning that Israel must stop attacking the port).
[..]
Israel recently complained to Russia that its’ blocking of the Global Positioning System (GPS) over Syria was adversely affecting Israeli commercial air traffic using Ben Gurion airport.
[...]
Russia has begun allowing Iranian planes carrying weapons supplies to land at the large Russian base in western Syria.
[...]
The Houthis are giving the UAE a bitter choice: Strikes on its cities or yield up the strategic asset of Bab al-Mandab and its surrounds.

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 19:36 utc | 36

Hoyeru

Correct. b is reduced to juvenile cheerleading at this point....in the service of globalization. But ignoring the factuals of globalization at the same time.

Once I lurked here for b's mideast geopolitical takes and lively leftist banter.

Then Putin himself killed b's mideast credibility when Russian alliances of realpolitik with Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia rendered any morally idealistic pretending naive and absurd.

To call this latest discourse naive and absurd is to denigrate morally idealistic leftists everywhere who are dying uselessly with their heads up their arses.

Sorry b. Here's hoping you are well paid by the pseudo losers you ape and also by your increasingly cringeworthy commentariat who use your threads to masturbate each other into blissfully irrelevant nothingness.

Posted by: Useless meat beater | Feb 8 2022 19:48 utc | 37

librul @27--

The "neutral" observers are OSCE people.

Idiocrates @31--

Thanks for your reply. Yes, it's really quite simple as you state. I commented that 3rd graders could understand the concepts. Last week, I linked to this paper, "Indivisible Security and Collective Security Concepts: Implications for Russia’s Relations with the West". Indeed, the entire scenario we are currently within is all about Law, specifically the UN Charter and the basis it sets for International Law that's violated daily by the Outlaw US Empire. Monarchies make Unilateral decisions, while democracies supposedly do so only after having an informed public debate prior to the decision being taken, thus rendering it something other than unilateral. Thus, we have "fixing facts around the policy" by two clandestine Monarchies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 19:49 utc | 38

A legitimate reason to stick with the US is the Mearsheimer argument on Australia's options. Because you really don't want the US to be your enemy.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 8 2022 19:55 utc | 39

The forest through the trees Russia was never going to invade Ukraine

Russia was stating the following (stripping away all of the fluff) in their badly worded 'security requirement' ... 'the presence of U.S. manned missile bases will trigger a military response'

This is what I have been saying all along and I have been grieving over the inability of Russia to boil things into a soundbite that the U.S. public could understand. You can infer my interpretation from Russia's full list of security requirements as they all circle around what I have stated. Their griping about NATO membership is because NATO membership gives the U.S. a legal basis to deploy nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The U.S. has nuclear weapons in Belgium, Turkey, and Italy and with the INF torn to pieces we can put them anywhere we want.

Rocket science not required.


Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Feb 8 2022 19:58 utc | 40

Are you a Terrorist?

Homeland Security
Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland

https://www.dhs.gov/ntas/advisory/national-terrorism-advisory-system-bulletin-february-07-2022

---

If you disagree with the dominant "official" narrative then
your "wrong think" makes you a Terrorist.

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 19:58 utc | 41

Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 19:36 utc | 36
"Russia is mounting joint air-patrols with the Syrian Air Force over the Golan, and in the wake of Israel’s recent attacks on the port at Latakia, Russia has stationed its own forces there (meaning that Israel must stop attacking the port)."

OT to thread maybe;
In Syria, there have been new, larger "no-mans-land" areas delimited between South Idlib/Latakia, Also in some of the Northern areas. SAA are reducing their presence. Same in SDF held areas.
I have not seen any official announcements/confirmation yet.

Military-technical?

But a "peace" endeavor in Syria may indicate a movement (or several movements) in other directions. ie. ending the the US occupation and ongoing theft of oil and wheat. (100.5 billion dollars worth since the beginning of the fighting according to Syrians)

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 8 2022 20:03 utc | 42

@27:

The OSCE are there, for whatever it's worth. They're not neutral and so they mostly ignore the Nazi militias daily shelling of Donbass. Drones of the OSCE are shot down by the Nazi's as well, something they don't seem to care about.

Posted by: mikhas | Feb 8 2022 20:04 utc | 43

@17 -

re: third tier prostitutes -- hardly. They may be tributary nations of the US (Germany especially, due to a bunch of post-war arrangements that are now permanent). But as such, they're squarely in the first tier. By most measures live a dramatically better life than their counterparts in the US. Maintaining this is the unwritten contract. US policy of containment will be accepted as long as it doesn't screw up standard of living in western europe. If it does, something might (eventually, slowly) happen.

Posted by: ptb | Feb 8 2022 20:06 utc | 44

@Hoyeru | Feb 8 2022 19:22 utc | 29
@Useless meat beater | Feb 8 2022 19:48 utc | 37

Now in English please: your point is?

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 8 2022 20:06 utc | 45

"Such talk alone should be reason enough for Germany to leave NATO and to kick the remaining U.S. troops out of its country"

Reason?!
Reason is not enough for action.
A WILL is necessary. Germany is an occupied country, then her politicians have sinful mind set because of bad karma.

Posted by: Arata | Feb 8 2022 20:13 utc | 46

More Western corpress fear mongering: Putin's "vernacular" was "crude" in describing the Minsk Agreements and Kyiv's obligations.

A Glimpse into Putin's SOUL!

https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/08/europe/putin-coarse-remarks-ukraine-intl/index.html

The "offending" comments?

"As for the Minsk agreements, are they alive and do they have any prospect or not?" Putin said. "I believe that there is simply no other alternative. I repeat once again, in Kyiv, they either say that they will comply, or they say that this will destroy their country. The incumbent president recently stated that he does not like a single point of these Minsk agreements. 'Like it or don't like it, it's your duty, my beauty.' They must be fulfilled. It won't work otherwise."

Wow, that sounds like a brutal dictator hell-bent on destroying Ukraine. /sarc

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 8 2022 20:19 utc | 47

Blocked again?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 20:22 utc | 48

Posted by: Useless meat beater | Feb 8 2022 19:48 utc | 37

User name checks out.

But seriously, dude, why don't you either state in plain English what you WANT b to focus on or start your own blog and direct us there to comment?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 8 2022 20:22 utc | 49

Could OSCE observers in Donbas be a target for a false flag?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 20:23 utc | 50

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Feb 8 2022 18:35 utc | 4:

....and having some kind of a Euro-army is they only way they can resist slavery to Uncle Xi. Maybe they have the guts to do it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Uh..... the logic escaped me. Why would Europe need an Euro-army to resist slavery by Uncle Xi? I have yet to hear anything about Uncle Xi sending troops to Europe to enslave EU. Apparently you know something I don't. Pray enlighten me.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 8 2022 20:27 utc | 51

Wrongthink = Terrorism

https://www.dhs.gov/ntas/advisory/national-terrorism-advisory-system-bulletin-february-07-2022

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 20:28 utc | 52

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 20:28 utc | 52

Your previous post w/ that link at #41 wasn't deleted.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 8 2022 20:29 utc | 53

Russia and Europe, in particular, Germany, are natural allies, in that each has what the other wants and can best get by cooperating.

Russia has a skilled workforce and raw materials, as well as a growing appetite for German products. Russia needs investment capital, technology transfer and better paying jobs for its workers, while moving up the value chain.

Germany offers manufacturing expertise, investment capital and high-value added products that people will gladly pay a premium for. Germany needs raw materials to feed its factories, buyers for its cars and machine tools, and better returns on investment than are available in Germany, thus providing retirement benefits to German pensioners by employing workers in German factories that do not actually move to Germany.

The United States is working quite diligently to make sure that this never is permitted to come to pass.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Feb 8 2022 20:35 utc | 54

Are there neutral observers in place in the Donbas?
Wouldn't their presence make it harder to create a false flag and get away with it?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 19:10 utc | 27

Great idea, if truly neutral observers could be found that all sides would recognize as such. Remember, the OPCW is "officially" neutral...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 8 2022 20:40 utc | 55

Macron to the rescue? Really? The man and country America snubbed by selling nuke subs to Australia. They would not listen to any deal he offered Putin. They would call him a surrender monkey and kick him down the stairs. The only good that came out of it was Putin got to vent and it scared the crap out of Macron.

Posted by: Reno | Feb 8 2022 20:43 utc | 56

Tom_Q_Collins | 47
The CBC "news" this morning referred to the "so-called Minsk Agreement". They must be getting orders straight from Chrystia.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Feb 8 2022 20:46 utc | 57

Most (if not all) European leaders dwell in NATO/EU for a reason = corruption.
Those leaders are bought off - and used some high pay grade. It is of interest that they all reconduct anti-russian sanctions every six months despite statements otherwise friendly to Russia.
It is obvious that the current political setup in Europe is favorable to a re-shuffling of the deck - meaning a handful of leaders (I let you identify them: they uncover themselves by running towards the desired pay-off: F, De, I, H, may be even Turkey, Croatia, Greece, Serbia) perhaps in such state as to be willing to shift towards Russia if she ever was able to bribe them over the customary US graft level.
Putin knows their pricing.
It's all a pipeline affair, let the pipeline pay for itself... Discreet but consequent fees to some reputable off-shore counseling firm will do the job.
The advanced dementia state of the US/NATO convoluted conglomerate wont find the strength to prevent the new band formation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYpF9rP8npE

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Feb 8 2022 20:48 utc | 58

karlof1, thanks for that Lukashevich statement @18

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2022 20:51 utc | 59

Ptb@44
Indeed what you describe is as true as the sky is blue...until it turns grey. The current situation is a legacy of the 20th century Cold War. It only happened then and never since. the US has not voluntarily or by default raised the quality of life in any place it has imposed itself since then. It neither has/had the will nor the means to do so and increasingly realizes this limiting factor every day that passes. It is why it can now only threaten negative consequences in its current phase of power projection.
In the past not only did the quality of (western) Europeans' life improve but also very much that of the US population. That ship has sailed decades ago and will never return. At this stage the US cannot improve the quality of life of their own people no matter how much debt they incur, they surely cannot achieve this anywhere else in the world. The Europeans have been and are unprincipled opportunists (the newly incorporated eastern Europe were hoping to get in on some of this action and are consequently the most disgusting in this respect) and have grown accustomed (as you indicate) to a 'better' quality of life. If they wish to continue enjoying this status they will quickly learn to make new friends as the world changes before their eyes. The Russians and Chinese know exactly what they have to do.

Posted by: Spinworthy | Feb 8 2022 20:53 utc | 60

In a post on MOA on Oct 24, 2019, I described what I saw as the emerging New World Order:

'a ‘Multi-Polar World’ order is emerging. I would like to suggest that the outlines of this emerging order are as follows:

1. The dominant pole of this Multi-polar World is that led by the alliance of Russia and China. Spanning Eurasia from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, this pole includes the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union, and includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, and possibly, in the future, Turkey.

2. The second pole will be the remnants of the 'Globalist' empire, stripped, however, of Europe (ex. U.K.) and any Asian representation, i.e. the U.S., U.K., Israel and likely Canada.

3. A third group consists of countries that are currently either occupied militarily by the U.S. or are part of NATO, but are either economically dependent on China or are in economic competition with the U.S. This includes most of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the GCC countries (KSA, UAE, etc.). These countries cannot be considered as poles by themselves, for while some of them may have the economic weight to be considered a pole, such as Germany and Japan, they lack the geo-political weight. These countries are likely to try to escape from their status as American ('Globalist') vassals and become independent nations dealing equitably with all the poles of the new Multi-Polar World. In my view, it is unlikely that the EU will survive the birth of this new-world order in its current form. At best it is likely to revert back to a European free trade area, in which each country will recapture its sovereignty and its own currency.

4. A fourth group consists of countries that, while not being a part of the Russia/China pole will be under its wing, with Russia providing military, political and geo-political support, and China providing economic support. This group includes countries which are currently either under threat from the 'Globalists' (ie. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, etc.), are in turmoil due to exploitation by the 'Globalists' (ie. Chile, Argentina, Brazil, etc.) or are outright failed states (most of Africa). Under the protection of Russia and China, they will once again have a chance to overcome the anarchy of the past 20 or so years and to return to peaceful development.

5. A fifth group consists of what will likely end up as secondary poles of the Multi-Polar World. These are countries that today are both independent and have the geo-political and economic weight to continue to function independently. This group includes the likes of India and the ASEAN countries.'

The new order appears to be progressing apace. The commotion of the last year about Russia and Ukraine appears to be about trying to prevent Europe from 'escaping from their status as American ('Globalist') vassals'.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Feb 8 2022 20:58 utc | 61

Posted by: Russell | Feb 8 2022 18:50 utc | 12:

Not only Russian need Europe,but also China......

I don't agree with the notion "China needs." Europe. From 1945 through the early 1970's, China was practically decoupled from Europe completely (Albania is not really European, per se), due to the so-called American blockade. China did not feel the need, and made no concerted effort, to build any linkage. Then Nixon opened the flood gate and Europe (the developed part of it) was like anyone else and viewed China as a future gigantic market of a billion consumers. Commercial links flourished on that basis. For the next 4 decades China served as a slave-labor market for Europe, supplying dirt cheap consumer products while buying so-called European industrial tech at inflated prices. China put up with that, because relatively speaking Europe is a wealthy consumer market and their consumption helped China's labor employment as well skill development. It was a win-win situation for these decades, with Europe the bigger beneficiary because of the bargains they gained.

Things are now different, much, much, different! Europe hasn't advanced for half a century. Both Old and New Europe are in hibernation. They have slipped behind East Asia/Southeast Asia in wealth, in technology, and in developments. Signs are, they are even in danger of slipping behind Africa/South America in terms of consumption power. Just look at Greece and much of central Europe (or even South Europe: Italy/Spain/Portugal, et al). China's own labor force is already fully developed, and don't need western market for maintaining existential employment purposes any more. Trade with Europe is more like icing on cakes then critical impetus for growth. No, China don't need Europe at this point in time. Good relationship with Europe is a good thing, but not an essential thing!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 8 2022 21:03 utc | 62

To say China needs Europe for trade is like saying China needs Russia for military weapon technology. It was true in the 50's, 60's and may be 70's. It hasn't been true since the turn of the century, or at least after the first decade of the 21st century.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 8 2022 21:08 utc | 63

karlof1 @ 34; Thanks for the repost of the Russia/China manifesto joint statement. The SAD truth is, that NOWHERE, in the U$ MSM, can it be seen, or even read, to the U$ public...

THAT FACT, should speak volumes about managed perception..

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 8 2022 21:44 utc | 64

b., Prof. Karaganov has edited that last paragraph since you cited it, a few changes, including the reference to the future.

But the task is wider: to build a viable system on the ruins of the present. And without resorting to arms, of course. Probably in the wider Greater Eurasian framework. Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the future world competition. Europe without Russia or even against it has been rapidly loosing its international positions. That was predicted by many people in the 1990s, when the Russian offer to integrate with, not in, we are too big and proud, was rejected. But there is always a chance.

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2022 21:49 utc | 65

Posted by: annie | Feb 8 2022 18:22 utc | 3

Annie: Yep you got that right. The US is losing its shit now. Putin should head to Berlin now and set out the alternatives in that flawless deutsche Sprache of his. The arrogance and hubris of a dying empire.

And thanks b for drawing attention to all this. You and Michael Hudson are converging on this point. Cheesy Macron is a flake, trying to have his cake and eat it. Well he will eat cake in the long run. Scholtz on the other hand: tell me b, how does Scholtz respond to the German people after such a slapdown? All the world is looking to Germany now.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 8 2022 21:53 utc | 66

Oriental Voice @62

Correct. I wish more Europeans were aware of this.

Posted by: Passerby | Feb 8 2022 22:06 utc | 67

vetinLA @64--

Thanks for your reply. Yes, ignorance forcefully applied to the Outlaw US Empire's citizenry is a problem, but not insurmountable. I'm currently working on an article for publication beyond my VK Space with the working title, "Back to the Future: China & Russia Vow to Fulfill WW2's Victory Goals & Reinvigorate the Architecture to Achieve Them." At the pace I'm going and accounting for interruptions, I hope to be done by Thursday. My audience is the world as humanity needs to be reminded what was created by them then stolen from them before any of its fruits could be harvested, and mostly remains in chains today, although the links have rusted and are slowly being broken one at a time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 8 2022 22:07 utc | 68

@Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Feb 8 2022 20:29 utc | 53

Thx for replying. It was a post relating to OSCE observers that was blocked.
I then re-posted (Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 20:23 utc | 50)
but less (apparently) provocatively.

The original post had wondered if the targeting of OSCE observers in a false flag
would have different political fall out depending upon the nationality of the observer.
I named a specific nation as an example, perhaps that was too much for b.


Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 22:08 utc | 69

According to today's Morning Star

"A BRITISH-TRAINED, outlawed far-right Ukrainian militia arrived at the Donbass front line along with Polish mercenaries on Monday, according to intelligence reports, as Western aggression in Ukraine continues.

"Two groups from the so-called Right Sector — a nationalist paramilitary organisation banned in the Ukranian city of Donetsk — have joined the 54th and 56th Brigade units in the northern and western approaches to the separatist region...."
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/british-trained-far-right-militia-arrives-frontline-donbass-western-aggression

The nationalist militia was trained by British instructors before their deployment to Donbass, according to Donetsk People’s Republic Militia deputy commander, Eduard Basurin.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 8 2022 22:08 utc | 70

It seems apparent to me that this is exactly where Putin is headed. NATO is obsolete - formed entirely as a bulwark against the defunct USSR. Russia is still European - except for the big stretches of land to the East where people look more like Xi than me. So, Russia has nothing to fear from the West but rejection from NATO - an oxymoronic situation. Putin's biggest threat is to his east where people have more in common with China than Russia (ironically the obverse to Ukraine).

Ergo, it makes sense to unmask the fact that NATO is mostly stumblebums in uniforms who have expensive weapons that do not work and cannot seem to be mastered by US troops - while Russia's bear growls menacingly toward the EU. How better to defang support for NATO and wait for the EU to wake up that NATO is their problem. This would also be a kick in the nuts to the USA to be rejected by those European ingrates whom we allow into our empire. A'la Trump, we should demand tribute for our protective services. But that would/does risk the realization that buying a European military would cost the same. It sure seems like the US would have to be nice to our arch-enemy commie-pinko-faggot-libtard-radical-socialist Russia (which ironically, is far less any of those common American pejoratives than is the USA) just to stay in the game.

Posted by: Tomonthebeach | Feb 8 2022 22:15 utc | 71

demonizing china and russia at every turn and at such a scale, i was thinking the third war is imminent. now i know better, the entire world is against the empire. they abused propaganda and brainwashing tactics so much that only thing their adversaries need to do is just tell the truth.

Posted by: demonize | Feb 8 2022 22:17 utc | 72

Questions for all Barflies hoping for diplomatic solutions:

Does it appear that Russia may be preparing militarily to change Ukraine's strategic orientation in an effort to create its own cordon against Western influence?

Why would Russia be satisfied with piecemeal diplomatic solutions when Putin apparently believes that Washington would just ignore them anyway?

Would any U.S. Congress or any legislature in Europe ratify a legally binding agreement with Russia based on their recent set of political demands? Would the present Ukraine regime be willing to ratify such an agreement?

Does Russia's present military posture suggest that it is leaning towards a unilateral solution?

Does Putin legitimately worry that Ukraine could easily become a platform for U.S. power projection along Russia's southwestern flank?

From a military perspective does it appear likely that Russia will give any further strategic warning ahead of an offensive?

Is Moscow now faced with a choice of Ukraine slipping away or escalation?

Posted by: Gulag | Feb 8 2022 22:19 utc | 73

@Posted by: Gulag | Feb 8 2022 22:19 utc | 73

Do you pay for your own indoctrination?
That is, do you have a subscription to either the NYT or WaPo?

Posted by: librul | Feb 8 2022 22:22 utc | 74

Russia looks totally unconcerned with the portable weapons air bridge supply to Kiev. Russia looks even less concerned with the: mercs, snipers, trainers, soldiers of fortune, special forces, right sector, that according to media are flocking to the borders of Donetsk & Luhansk. The more the merrier appears to say the Bear. The obvious explanation is that they all risk being caught in cauldrons, à la Debalsetvo déjà vu. Spetsnaz would not be engaging hand to hand with them. The bear can just roast them in their trenches using flame throwers and thermobaric warheads. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Feb 8 2022 22:38 utc | 75

There is another issue in play here. A cultural and social one.

EU elites have been accustomed to dealing with the US as their exclusive local partner, building a complex frame of commercial, financial and institutional privileges at the expense of most of the population (evading taxes through tax havens, for instance, or joining global megacorporations such as Mazda-Renault who profited for the lowest salaries elsewhere while keeping the access to the European markets and high unemployment for Europeans).

In one of his latest visits to France, Macron said to Xi: "We don't want to change an old superpower for a new one". Why the French elites, accustomed to bow to the American rulers (remember the recent submarines affair) would be disturbed to continue the same dynamics with the Chinese?

The problem is that Chinese (not sure if also Russians) prefer long term deals at the state level to short-term petty advantages with zero-sum results, privileging a stable environment where their investments in infrastruture and trade pay back. Given also that the Chinese autorities don't usually meddle into other countries' internal affairs, the EU elites are afraid that new social and political coalitions with a nationalist flavor take their "exclusive local partner" seat and build rapport with their Chinese counterparts.

in a nutshell, they are afraid that they may lose their positions given a change of master.

Posted by: Andres | Feb 8 2022 22:39 utc | 76

karlof1@68...i look forward to your new piece. i've long thought you would be working on an epic historical project, glad to learn we shall soon get to read one of the first drafts.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Feb 8 2022 22:45 utc | 77

>…~” the competition of the future."
What competition.
There is always competition. It’s human and animal.
Competition within even the most harmonious and successful team.
Russia will cooperate and collaborate with China.
But competition will also remain.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 8 2022 22:52 utc | 78

The Europeans could be welcomed into the SCO and/or The EAEU. It would appear that the reality is forming of bilateral relationships. Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia maybe, France and Germany for sure. Europe has the EU any military alliance could develop over a longer period of time. For sure kick the Americans out, sve money and start buying decent tech from the Russians or the French even.

Posted by: Gerald | Feb 8 2022 23:09 utc | 79

US and UK are shipping massive amounts of arms to Ukraine, to be used against Russia. I fear these arms are going to end up on the black market, and used against us.

Posted by: Passerby | Feb 8 2022 23:15 utc | 80

Interesting how all the different media outlets are spinning the story.
Russia is going to invade Ukraine...Russia will not invade Ukraine.

Haven't seen a Covid case update in over a week. Hmmm.

Posted by: Greg | Feb 8 2022 23:21 utc | 81

Bevin 13.
I don’t rate Doctorow.
And nonsense such as this quote imho confirm my dismissive view of his scribbling

just as the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev was engineered by a certain State Department officer, Victoria Nuland, without the participation or detailed knowledge of her bosses."

What utter utter tosh.
The state dept had been planning a Ukraine coop for a decade.
First attempt in 2004

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 8 2022 23:23 utc | 82

oh grasshoppers - Putin is such a putz with no understanding of the art of war. You see by taking so long to invade while preparing to invade over months, everyone now knows he's going to invade, and Putin has lost the element of surprise to invade and now 'likely' won't invade. Honest.

"Having spent months moving troops, ships, weapons and equipment to the Ukrainian border, any future Russian move into its neighbor’s territory will have completely lost all element of surprise and the host of military advantages that come with it."

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/feb/8/russian-invasion-ukraine-seems-less-likely-element/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 8 2022 23:30 utc | 83

The current situation is a philosophical bind for Russia. The are we European or are we Asian is fundamental to Russian history and thought. The Russian Empire regularly pointed to saving Europe from Asians. And when Putin rose to power there was a general fear of China taking Siberia, either militarily or by immigration. IMO, Putin’s natural inclination and early actions suggest he’s naturally in the “European” camp. But his hand has been forced. That said, I do not see this as an attempt to peel away from China.

If I had to guess, Putin sees the future as a Eurasian project and that Russia can be the bridge. The current “alliance” probably serves China better than Russia in the medium/long term. But peeling Europe away from the US would make Russia the axle of Eurasia.

It may also be planted to gauge or instigate domestic situations in the west. Right wing readers may hear “Look, we really trying to protect you from the Asian hordes like we always have.” True or not, it could help undermine domestic support for actions against Russia.

Posted by: Lex | Feb 8 2022 23:40 utc | 84

"...without a peace treaty having been signed after the end of the previous Cold War...or legal guarantees from several key NATO countries not to ever vote for further expansion of the bloc."

Ask the Iranians, just for example, (or the Russian military) about how much the Amerikastani signature on its own treaties is worth. Literally the only thing the Amerikastani Empire can be compelled to accept is military created facts on the ground.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Feb 8 2022 23:43 utc | 85

After trudging through 45 comments, finally, #46 gets it. "Germany is still an occupied country". That is the germ of Biden's veiled threat. American troops have been "stationed" in Germany since 5-8-45. In all probability they are nuclear armed. A Sword of Damocles? Perhaps.
Unfortunately, the current regime in Berlin has probably been Epstein/Maxwell/Wexnerized, as bribery, blackmail and brutality happen to be the foreign policy mandates of the Empire. There has NEVER been a peace-treaty signed by the victors of WWII with a German government. Their very constitution apparently acknowledges that their nation is still in thrall after 3/4th of a century.
What would be needed would be a whole new government in Deutschland, under the management of modern day equivalents of Furst Otto Von Bismarck---or even German versions of Putin and Lavrov---preferably men with hangers composed of solid brass. They would DEMAND a peace treaty and if it is not achieved there are various methodologies by which their occupiers could be encouraged to get the Hell outta Dodge.
" Oh, Germany is a bit short on fuel right now. Too bad your bases are currently running on fumes. Perhaps we can provide some fuel from our tightly rationed supplies to assist you in removing your presence from our country. Bon Voyage. Auf Wiedersehen."

Posted by: Aristodemos | Feb 8 2022 23:57 utc | 86

If Europe cannot get control of its own destiny and the UKUSA special forces in Ukraine, they might find Task Force 9 is organising in the trenches right now.

Richard Medhurst thinks they are war criminals, but then the entire UKUSA chain of command are all war criminals.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 9 2022 0:02 utc | 87

The weekly ZEIT publishes a detailed summary of Klaus von Dohnanyi's latest book. With long fingers, disgusted and fascinated at the same time, as if by carnal sin, as a quote from an undeniably elder statesman - but that's how Germany is groping its way towards the end of the "WESTBINDUNG":
https://www.zeit.de/politik/2022-01/klaus-von-dohnanyi-buch-nationale-interessen/komplettansicht

Posted by: njet | Feb 9 2022 0:02 utc | 88

Thank you b, reading of Biden's cretinous threats is intriguing.

I guess the USA had its Yeltsin back then but the tide has turned and now Russia and China are having their 'Yeltsin' pleasure in the person of Joe Biden and his entourage.

I get the picture that Joe Biden with this disgraceful performance of publicly insulting and demeaning Germany has just broken the ring that binds them all.

Then there was this Putin/Macron moment here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 9 2022 0:12 utc | 89

Melaleuca #82

Doctorow

What utter utter tosh.
The state dept had been planning a Ukraine coop for a decade.
First attempt in 2004

Precisely, salut.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 9 2022 0:16 utc | 90

@ Posted by: Spinworthy | Feb 8 2022 20:53 utc | 60

"the US has not voluntarily or by default raised the quality of life in any place it has imposed itself".

Incorrect.

The Marshall plan rapidly improved the economies and quality of life of defeated nations after the WW2.

They once had sensible, generous, open handed policies.

It didn't last long though.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 0:22 utc | 91

Russia does not need to be 'integral' to West Eurasia ('Europe').

It simply needs:

1. security

2. predictability

3. respect for each others (a) legitimate interests; and, ideally, those (b) business & cultural interests (outside the legal domain).

Russia has been repeating this message for a long, long, time.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Feb 9 2022 0:25 utc | 92

This is a multi-polar world once again. Russia is trying to gain security and pull Germany into its and China’s orbit. The real problem is that the USA is a failed state along with Canada, UK and Australia. Their national governments are unable to protect or serve its citizens.

Canadian truckers are on strike to end the vaccine mandates and remove liberal globalist PM Justin Trudeau. Closure of Detroit border crossing and halting what’s left of auto assembly that is not shut down due to chip shortages is deadly serious.

Joe Biden stood next to Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and promised to kill Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine. Since only money has value to Western Empire ‘s rulers (i.e., selling more expensive American LNG to Europe instead of Russia cheaper natural gas), the threat of a European War is real. A Nazi False Flag operation at Gleiwitz Radio Station on Poland’s border started WWII.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Feb 9 2022 0:38 utc | 93

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 8 2022 23:23 utc | 82:

The state dept had been planning a Ukraine coop for a decade.
First attempt in 2004

Yup! It earned the name Orange Revolution.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 9 2022 0:41 utc | 94

emersonreturn @77--

Thanks for your support! The key actors in this genuine reality show have communicated both orally and in writing, and their nations have physically acted; yet, so few seem to be watching, listening or seeing. Very little from Xi or Putin is kept secret aside from the usual military and trade secrets, although there is the language barrier. The obfuscation from the West is very clear to see. It appears they think that by staying silent their dominant position that only exists in their minds can be kept in place, which is doubly true for the Outlaw US Empire. Chronic prevaricators do have a problem when they try to dismiss yesterday's lies to replace them with today's as honest actors will hold them to their word. And that's precisely the aim of Russia's security proposals--Russia is calling out the West's longstanding series of lies and deliberate misinterpretations. China for its part is doing something similar, although its context differs. Xi announced China's intentions before Biden became POTUS--to force the Outlaw US Empire to become a law-abiding, "normal," nation--and bonded with Russia and other like-minded nations into an organization that more than signaled their intent--at least to those of us watching. As noted by numerous observers from both sides, direct warfare between the Outlaw US Empire and either or both Russia and China is highly unlikely for the Empire will suffer greatly, a truth known by at least some of those running the Empire into the ground.

Unfortunately, there's an impression that the 189 other nations on the planet aren't watching. Well, we know that most of the NATO/EU/OSCE nations are watching and directly involved, but so too are the world's remaining nations. And the vast majority back Russia and China because they're voicing their desires for a Law-based International Order centered on the UN, its Charter and other aspects of International Law. Too bad a poll isn't taken of those nations to see how many agree with the Joint Statement and its Manifesto; but based on related UNGA votes, the vast majority would say Yes, we agree.

Although the context is wrong, the Outlaw US Empire is acting very much like Icarus and will succumb to its hubris as did Icarus. That the Neoliberal Parasites actually in charge of the Outlaw US Empire seek to keep their place and power doesn't mean that they will. But for the Empire to become a normal nation for the first time in its history will require their overthrow and replacement by a far more humane, human, democratic, and enlightened polity than what currently exists. That may seem like a tall order, but many millions within the Empire crave such a change, and they have most of the world willing to aid that transformation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2022 0:54 utc | 95

DaveGood @91--

The Marshall Plan was implemented in 100% selfish self-interest so the post-war USA wouldn't relapse into the Depression and prompt the overthrow of the Neoliberal Parasites that ousted FDR's New Dealers. To be a genuinely humane undertaking, it needed to include the nations hardest hit by the war's devastation--Eastern Europe and the USSR. But the terms offered Stalin were not at all based on humanitarianism but completely political--in other words, the offer was designed to be refused. All Western European nations were occupied by US Troops and had no choice in the matter as their governments were filled with fascist sympathizers. The fate of Greece is very educational.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2022 1:05 utc | 96

@DaveGood #91
Re: Marshall plan
Maybe. And maybe the Japanese, French, Germans etc are long history, cohesive and organized nations who worked hard for their own improvement, instead of falling prey to being captive to negative US policies as embodied by the World Bank, IMF, etc and/or corruption.
Or put another way: those nations succeeded despite the overt economic oppression of Pax Americana.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 9 2022 1:13 utc | 97

"Europe Should Leave NATO Behind And Integrate With Russia"

True, but, "never hachi tomodachi"( never happen friend)....They know who signs the checks....

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 9 2022 1:13 utc | 98

Maria Zakharova in interview with RT: "Germany an Occupied State". No official transcript yet.

"The US continues to 'occupy' Germany by any scientific standard, while America’s NATO allies have surrendered all their sovereignty to Washington and aren’t allowed to have a say on issues like Nord Stream 2, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told RT in an exclusive interview on Tuesday....

"Germany is being treated like 'simply a protectorate' by the US, Zakharova said, adding that this doesn’t just take the form of financial leverage of threats, but is 'backed up by 30,000 American boots on the ground.'

"Why Berlin allows itself to be treated like this is a question to ask Germany, but 'the fact is that it’s not a relationship of equals,' Zakharova said."

Stating the obvious is often required to evoke change. No gloves are used in judo.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2022 1:23 utc | 99

It's downright peculiar that the Russians are so scrupulous about following international law. While the U.S. fascist Pervasive Shadow Dictatorship (PSD) consistently ignores treaties, laws, or anything that might hinder its compulsion to always get what it wants.

As long as the Eastern Ukrainians, who are de facto Russians, are secure, and the West refrains from installing missiles and other significant military forces in Ukraine, any military move there seems very unlikely.

On the other hand, If I was in charge of Russia, I would rescue Libya, which seems to be ungoverned. It's a responsibility to protect situation. Plus they have lots of oil.

Posted by: blues | Feb 9 2022 1:29 utc | 100

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