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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@ John Cleary 198
The whole (slight) Russia media involvement lacks any sustained attention-getting PR campaign. It pales in comparison to the US (largely Blinken) approach centered on "Russian aggression" and we're in "lockstep." Russia's weak approach mostly lacks any attention to the real issues, beginning with the US orchestrated Kyev coup and the installment of neo-Nazis.
How many of you other countries are desirous of a US-directed coup? Do you want one in your country? How about some neo-Nazis, the US has a supply of those. We could get Washington working on it -- the CIA needs the business. .The US is seeking your demise, don't you see that? Do you expect to get all the gas and oil you'll need? . .also the UN Resolution 2202(2015) is never mentioned, nor the fact that Ukraine is now a US puppet on Russia's doorstep.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 9 2022 21:45 utc | 201

@veto | Feb 9 2022 17:47 utc | 185

You might like "Empire of Illusions" by Chris Hedges. Though he includes computer gaming among the destructive illusions, which for me is blasphemy, ha ha!

For me with a science background, hard to accept that reality is a social construct, but this seems to be where we're at. Gilad Atzmon calls this "Athens vs Jerusalem" I think, and it doesn't seem like our modern rabbis fancy any limits to their doctrinal authority.

Lots of forbidden thoughts are just an inch away. Both politics and academia run on, let's face it, jewish donations. Now in many circumstances, if the generosity of rich jews is keeping at least some life of the mind alive, that could be a good thing. But wouldn't you want to tone it down a bit--check your own head for hubris? The "jewish paradise" we're getting pushed onto us, with the native populations demoralized and atomized, resembles more than anything the Weimar republic. Fertile soil for counterculture art, yes; but did it end well?

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 9 2022 21:53 utc | 202

Then Obama told the Polaks: "Let me introduce you to some friendly, helpful people who want to talk about Polish Holocaust reparations. Just give them 40, 50 billion and we won't mention it any more." The Poles of course capitulated promptly.

At the end of the day, the Euros are at least as much partners-in-crime as they are victims. No need for pity when they get what they want and deserve.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 9 2022 16:10 utc | 173

Think again. Poles also think that they are an exceptional nation:

Ned Price

We believe in the importance of settling Holocaust-era restitution issues to ensure fairness and equality for all victims. The decision of Poland’s parliament yesterday was a step in the wrong direction. We urge Poland not to move this legislation forward.
5:52 AM · Jun 25, 2021·Twitter Web App

In debates in Poland, the issue of compensation of Nakba victims was raised too. (Not a shekel, if you are not familiar with the issue of Arab property nixed in 1948/49.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2022 22:04 utc | 203

DaveGood @103

Assume you're a manufacturer of locomotives in the 1940s in Europe. Your company has managed to scrape through the war years, walking a political tightrope, and you've cautiously put out feelers to get a contract to repair war-damaged rail equipment. At that moment the Marshall plan comes along, giving away locomotives for free. How could you not consider that dumping to get competitors' market share?

Posted by: Passerby | Feb 9 2022 22:09 utc | 204

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2022 22:04 utc | 203

The Polish law that so worried the spokesman of the State Department finally passed Sejm (Polish parliament) in September. There are limits to the efficacy of American pressure.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 9 2022 22:16 utc | 205

@DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 18:28 utc | 188

Yes, Jeremy Corbyn is the road not taken--he had the initials and nothing else. The attacks on him were vicious, but we can't tell this sorry tale without facing what a tosser he himself turned out to be. Or more charitably, he was a popular and decent district representative who only stumbled into leadership by accident/default. Him and Trump seldom get mentioned in the same breath, and yet both men had a mandate to clean up--but didn't even try. Trump excelled in hiring his enemies; Corbyn in purging his friends. Neither behavior shows loyalty--the currency of politics. Then when the storm came, Corbyn had to weather it alone; funny how that works.

We can't discuss our world without noticing the sky is blue and jews are boss. The worst attack was three jewish papers publishing the same commentary "We won't allow this antisemite to become PM". A mensch would have responded "Say what? Did we give veto power to a single religious cult or should we, like, maybe ask the English as well how they choose to be governed?" For good measure, ask if those papers act as agents of a foreign power. And then shatter the greatest taboo of all and coolly say "The relations of a Corbyn govt with the jewish community will of course depend on how that community is treating us now." That will really set kosher heads ablaze: suggesting that anything in the world could ever depend on their own behavior, i.e., questioning whether they were born righteous.

As soon as Corbyn started crawling in the dust, confirming his weakness, his enemies knew they had him by the balls. He was run out of town at the first occasion, same as with the Donald.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 9 2022 22:33 utc | 206

@Yolo | Feb 9 2022 21:43 utc | 200

The imagery of the Russian Bear, Putin the Man of Steel, yada yada, is about the only thing which the greatest fans and haters can agree on. Doesn't make it true; at least you and me both see the Russian Beggar. The roots are just that deep: many Russian nationalists still go apes over the Czars, but that family was as much Germanic as Slavic if I have it right. I don't know much about Dugin, and even those who do will disagree among themselves how relevant he is, but here goes: there is a major Russian foreign-policy axiom that itself and the West are two key pillars of Christianity, who in the long run have to meet lest that heritage disappear from the world.

Or we can be more prosaic, and notice that the EU has been Russia's main trade partner basically throughout the post-Soviet period. Then a politician's job is to find words reflecting that reality.

Either way, times are changing. Now even anti-Putin Russian liberals start writing (they love to write) "The West with which we wanted to integrate no longer exists." But even when it did, begging was awful conduct and rhetoric. It causes champagne glasses to be filled in high places, "We're nowhere near done in how far we can roll back the Russki's". Much better to signal "Good mutual relations is great; bad mutual relations is still preferable to total abasement."

Of course, the West doesn't exactly manage this vis-a-vis Israel either. Spiritual independence is key in both cases. Wasn't it George Washington who cautioned against slavish attachments?

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 9 2022 23:02 utc | 207


Zionism is far too powerful a force in the world and have far too many "Israel firsters" emplaced in positions of power throughout the West.

Zionist Israel is an Apartheid State that treats the Palestinians as dangerous Vermin, and has no right to exist never mind defend itself.

That said, it is the Paranoid Sociopaths who run it, not the Jewish people, who are our problem.

We, (Western Culture,), are not going to get away with blaming everything on them. Nor will it help.

Look at the sequence of weak, bullying crooked thugs we, in the west, keep voting in.

We are on the edge of nuclear extinction, it would take little more then a Ukrainian miltia man, or Russian volunteer, sneezing at the wrong moment to get it rolling.

In Putin we seem to have a calm, patient adult so we might get lucky.

But if he was replaced by almost anyone from this forum, or he followed the majority opinion here, (Which seems to be "Get it on already!"), we'd all be glowing ash.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 23:28 utc | 208

John Cleary @198 & Don Bacon @201--

John, did you see your request fulfilled?

I agree with the thrust of both commentators, but how to deploy a megaphone media blitz when your platforms are banned by major nations? Nor should we blame modern Russia for a liability that was incurred during the 1920s & 30s during the Age of Radio that continued until the 1950s when the TV Age began. Print and Radio Moscow were it by and large until the "Media Gap" became insurmountable by the time of the Missile Gap. The Outlaw US Empire's method was to allow media corporations to proliferate and then co-opt them when information control became far more important, which was easy to do at the time since most Westerners believed they enjoyed a Free Press. Only now do we finally see the public growing wise to BigLie Media and looking for other sources of info--many of which are also compromised. The attempt at the end of the 1990s to organize IndyMedia was a success at first but was crushed by the massive propaganda campaign that began with 911 and culminated in the Iraq Invasion and is now kaput. FreeSpeechTV also suffered a similar demise as its cornerstone Democracy Now! was also co-opted and is now worthless. And now we're beginning to see the implementation of what was once confined to 1984 and SciFi--thought crime. We're at the point now where we must confess to ourselves the genuine, very unfriendly totalitarianism is now more than evident within the Outlaw US Empire--it's active.

If John Cleary's correct, Assange will be rendered to the Empire and Totalitarianism will become even more active--look what's been done to writers being published by Strategic Culture. I await a visit from the FBI for my writings on VK regardless how truthful they are. The Domestic Enemy is empowering itself to meet the storm of outraged citizens that's already brewing as Trump's shown. The Constitutions been broken daily since 24 October 1945, so we shouldn't expect any help from what was once Constitutional Law. The only quarter where I see possible help is from Russia and China, which is one of the reasons why I framed my most recent article as I did.

I fail to see anything positive to gain by bashing Resistance Media. IMO, we should be helping to distribute it the best we can. It's incredible that Samizdat became as important as it did within the USSR and Warsaw Pact nations. How much longer will the internet survive as an electronic form of Samizdat? When will NATO Stormtroopers come and shut b and our bar down? It's easy to see why the big effort to smear the Freedom Convoy; it goes back to Jim Morrison's "They got the guns/ But we got the numbers."

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2022 23:45 utc | 209

lol... speak for yourself davegood....

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2022 23:45 utc | 210

I do.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 23:48 utc | 211

@ DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 23:28 utc | 208 quote.... this is speaking for yourself... okay! got it..

But if he was replaced by almost anyone from this forum,... we'd all be glowing ash.

Posted by: james | Feb 9 2022 23:54 utc | 212


I'm not sure what your point is.

I will say this, I would be the wrong person tocoordinate this Ukraine Shit show from either side, my temper couldn't take it.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 0:00 utc | 213

Oh, got it, sorry, I'm slow today.

My point stands though, there are better informed and more intelligent then me here. But if I had to list those who had demonstrated the nimble skills, wisdom, and farsightedness to guide the world safely through what could be an extinction event then no.

Some I would want as advisors yes, but not the decision maker.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 0:07 utc | 214

thanks dave.. its all good... i'll try not to take you literally again.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 0:19 utc | 215

That said James, you could replace Biden with almost anyone here and the chances of a good outcome would significantly improve.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 0:24 utc | 216

DaveGood @216--

No, james couldn't since Biden controls nothing. The Donors Cabal is what's in control; and as long as that's so, there's no hope for improvement of any sort.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 10 2022 0:29 utc | 217

NYT titles today:
Analysis: Putin Faces a Stark Choice in the Ukraine Crisis
Russia can seize control over Ukraine or keep strong economic ties to Europe. It will be hard to do both.
Photo report: The threat of a Russian invasion is intensifying, but our photos show Ukrainians are keeping to the daily rhythms of life.The threat of a Russian invasion is intensifying, but our photos show Ukrainians are keeping to the daily rhythms of life.
A feeble attempt to apply logic: as the value of strong economic ties to Europe is declining, Russian threat is increasing. [I know, I know, an assumption that logic can be applied here is a fallacy.]

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 10 2022 0:33 utc | 218

The Donors Cabal is not all powerful, they wanted Jeb Bush and were horrified to get Trump.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 0:33 utc | 219

@ 326 DaveGood thanks dave... i do think karlof1 has a good read on this and it is a much deeper problem then who gets elected every 4 years... in fact, i would say it is the moneyed interest, whether that is wall st, military industrial complex and etc that are pushing for a war or delivery of weapons with the idea of profit off of war being the bottom line... that, or the threat of war i suppose..

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 0:45 utc | 220

Just read this near the top by some tosser berating b.

“..who use your threads to masturbate each other into blissfully irrelevant nothingness.
Posted by: Useless meat beater”

Is that a double whammy of classic Projection and nominative determination? ‘Meat beater’ lol.

Just posting at end of first page of comments, it does seem that the flying blue monkey troll army has descended with absolute panicked drivel.

Seriously though.
We know where we are at.
The Gunfight at the OK Coral. Just as the Hollywood Yanks wanted. They think they got the little Russia gang to face the whole of their new nato gunslingers. The SCO countries have something to say about that. Kazakhstan? All gone very quiet on that front hasn’t it?
While they think they sit safe at the back paying the wages of the mercenaries and proxies and head choppers they have run.
Can you here the gunfire?
Why hasn’t it kicked off?
Did the western lovers blink and wake up?
Or are they still going to go out in glorious death?
I doubt it is safe. Hiding far behind the lines.

It is pretty clear that something like what happened in Afghanistan will likely happen in Ukraine. You know all these ‘trained and armed Ukrainian forces’ will not meekly go to their doom as all the ‘leaders’ run to Dubai and their U.K. and us and Israeli trainers withdraw as they are required to go face the russkies on their own.

The battle is not yet won. But the war is nearly over.


Posted by: | Feb 10 2022 0:50 utc | 221

As I understand it, most of the Ukrainian military is down there around Donbass, not trying to defend the borders with Russia or Belorus. So they must be expecting the Donbass to invade them or what?

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 1:18 utc | 222

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 0:45 utc | 220

I don't want it interfere, but I agree with Dave about Putin, he is a sharp cookie, with excellent nerves too, and his approach to dealing with us is just what I would do in his position. (To be fair, I'm not the guy for that job.)

"Speak softly, and carry a big stick."

We used to know that.

The notion that being belligerent is a great strategy is almost like folk wisdom here, a problem we share with the Izzies and most criminal gangs.

Since Uncle Sugar wants a nice little war, this is a good time to not do that.

"There is an answer for every problem, neat, simple, and wrong.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 1:31 utc | 223

@ bemildred... i too agree with dave about putin being a sharp cookie, with all the traits and qualities that one would want in a leader... all of that i agree with! being beligerent is the absolute wrong strategy as i see it too! mind you, i'm not american, so i have a hard time understanding that attitude...

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 1:35 utc | 224

@ bemildred... i too agree with dave about putin being a sharp cookie, with all the traits and qualities that one would want in a leader... all of that i agree with! being beligerent is the absolute wrong strategy as i see it too! mind you, i'm not american, so i have a hard time understanding that attitude...

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 1:35 utc | 224

Well I grew up with a lot of it, and thank for your comments.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 1:40 utc | 225

DaveGood @219--


Trump's Fed and Treasury gave the Donors how many $$Trillions??!! Trump continued almost every Obama policy!!

Clearly, you belong under a bridge. Ta!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 10 2022 1:46 utc | 226

Europe should leave Nato behind and... what? Is this a joke?
There are many reasons why this is simple impossible.
Among others:

Europe could not posible leave Nato behind.
The Russophobia is stronger than ever in the European countries (specially in the Western part). Nowadays the Europeans hate and feared the Russian on equal parts.
Fascists are making big progress in each and every mayor European country (North and South and East).
The Eastern (Orthodox) form of Christianity prevalent in Russia is so different from the Protestan and Catholic ones that is like another religion.

But there is something here way more important than all that.
The alliance between Russia and China is not an alliance of necessity between two "strangers". And it is much much better than an ideological one. (Hence what Putin said about.) They share a common vision. A new concept (a new and vast paradigm). And this paradigm has a very Asiatic component. It means:

A sinergetic circularity.
Substitution of the confrontational and violent approach by a cooperational and dialogical one.
Rejection of the paradigm of the domination (including of course the "Uni-polarity" concept, the colonialist way of thinking and acting, the projection of violence, etc.)
Peaceful relations between countries, based on mutual interests, respect of everyone way of development and subjection to international law.
Acceptance of many different approaches and of the concept of mutual (parallel) growth.

There is nothing like this in Europe today and there will nothing like this in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: deepEye | Feb 10 2022 1:58 utc | 227

yeah, that warped concept called western christianity where millions have been murdered in the name of christ.. it all makes sense now... thanks for shaking me out of my daydreams of a brighter future minus the peace and love of christianity..

Posted by: james | Feb 10 2022 4:30 utc | 228

@ deepEye 227
Substitution of the confrontational and violent approach by a cooperational and dialogical one
Or, a change from the testosterone-driven male competition model to female cooperation style?
Certainly China has to be noted for its cooperation with other countries, not trying to meddle in their internal affairs, just concentrating on economic progress. China will continue to operate in that style, with Russia providing energy and military. It should be quite a ride, as you indicate. . .Good post.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 10 2022 4:50 utc | 229

@Ma Laoshi | Feb 9 2022 20:57 utc | 197

Bottom line, Europe is diligently nurturing its own traitors. Any competent colonial system should run this way. Not quite claiming Anders Breivik did a good thing, but the liberation of Europe would be a titanic struggle if one is at all serious.
That was a false flag operation if there ever was one, complete with crisis actors and many interesting coincidences. Stoltenberg was in the middle of it, like no-one else. Ever wondered why he is such a ridiculous puppet?

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 10 2022 6:56 utc | 230

@DaveGood | Feb 9 2022 23:28 utc | 208

The Western ruling class is a coalition of shared interests; for Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, hell even Crown Prince bin Salman, Zionism is just a narrative of the Chosen Few's right to rule, which they're absolutely fine with. But now you raised the topic of sociopathy: judaism's notion that, unlike themselves, the lesser races have no immortal soul and therefore may be used, is a sociopathic teaching--and this has basically nothing to do with "race" in a genetic sense. I don't know of course if Jeremy Corbyn was important to you but when it comes to his fall, it's jews wot won it. In this and many other cases, Israel itself is only very tangentially related; we're debating with one hand tied behind our backs. Ugly words, yes, but I think they come from an ugly reality rather than hate.

Putin's patience is indeed enormous. I formed my opinions of it watching the Syrian war; sorry if, five years older, those opinions are a bit rigid now. When the orcs started moving southwards from Hasakah, it was just a few naysayers like me on SouthFront: "There goes the entire East". This of course made us hasbara trolls in the eyes of the righteous: "No way, Putin is just patient, he's luring them out, Time. is. on. Russia's. side!" Then the Western bases got fortified, Red Lines were enforced with air defences, and Syria was cut off from its energy, borders, etc. All signs point to a secret deal, but I wonder if even Putin knows what he ever got in exchange for East-of-Euphrates.

Yes the jihadist march on Damascus was stopped. But at the beginning of Russia's Syria mission, Putin was a rock star throughout the Middle East; little left of that today. Arabs know what's what in their own region, and they saw that all too often, arms sales and appeasing Turkey took precedence for Moscow over restoring the Syrian state. Russia just isn't that serious about anti-imperialism, they wanted their own fair share of the Syrian cake.

80% of the time, appeals to "Putin's patience" are a coping mechanism, just like "Trust the Plan" for the Trumpies, or "Never mind the sell-outs; just re-elect him and then you'll see the real Obama." They are all politicians, which is why we can't have nice things. And nowhere has Putin been more patient than with Russia's domestic corruption. Were it reduced, Russia could have *a stronger economy *less COVID *some badly needed soft power in its near-abroad. After his last re-election Putin brought all the sleazebags back, without even an admonishment to be less sleazy from now on as far as I could see.

Then again, the remaining 20% may indeed be why we're all still here. Surely I couldn't do better than VVP; then again, I don't have biz interests in Turkey like the Peskov clan.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 7:35 utc | 231

@Norwegian | Feb 10 2022 6:56 utc | 230

"a false flag operation if there ever was one"
Your name suggests you know Norway better than most of us here. So please elaborate, ideally with evidence. Norway is neither isolated like DPRK nor chaotic like Congo; it should be possible to be sure whether a couple dozen hipsters were or were not offed on Utoya. You seem to claim that Breivik is in on the game, for the second decade running still gesturing Sieg Heil in courtrooms; that's some awesome dedication then?!

Stoltenberg is a NATO puppet; in other posts I've argued that colonialism has worked this way for centuries, and most barflies seem to be with me on this. I have no reason to pay him much mind. If I should pay more attention to him in the Utoya context, please explain why.

Without evidence, this may be like Trumpies professing they were born law-abiding, and even the worst of them couldn't possibly have rioted and rampaged like BLM/antifa. The crackpot islamophobic European ultra-right has some ... colorful people and ideas in their midst, and I see them arguing "Breivik dindu nuttin'" and "Breivik didn't go far enough" at the same time, as neo-Nazis are wont to do. Don't take these personally where they don't apply to you.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 8:02 utc | 232

So many words, and yet I missed the best example; clearly I'm still working things out for myself. Putin himself openly regrets Russian "patience/restraint" (passivity) in the Libya catastrophe. For him and his supporters, that's good politics because they can shove it in Medvedev's shoes. But how much of an anomaly was that really? Going along to get along, both RF and CN voted for open-ended sanctions on North Korea; now they've woken up that they pretty much need Washington's permission simply to trade with their own neighbour. To me, that's just being out-smarted.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 8:45 utc | 233

Even Wiki details the current German airforce training centers have moved to New Mexico and Canada due to a variety of restrictions on airspace within Germany. This arrangement makes sense so long as Germany is aligned with NATO.

As well, just this past November, Germany contributed towards a Indo-Pacific naval exercise with Canada, US, Japan, and Australia.

Tangible signs that Germany is moving towards decreasing servitude/alignment with US would be initiation of plans to move the training of their naval and air forces either with more Euro-based partners [France, Sweden, Italy] or simply home-based. Haven't seen even consideration of that yet... Sure, never say never, but let's don't get too far ahead of ourselves.

Posted by: Unsympathetic | Feb 10 2022 13:45 utc | 234

@Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 8:02 utc | 232

Your name suggests you know Norway better than most of us here. So please elaborate, ideally with evidence.

I was close enough to hear the explosion at the government building in Oslo. I know the precise location from my childhood/teens (I lived not far from it then), we used to go there many times. In the years before the event, a close relative worked in the Ministry of Finance which is next door to "Regjeringsbygget" (government building) where the Prime Minister's office was at the top and where the bomb went off on ground level outside the reception. There is a tunnel between the buildings and I visited several times via the reception that was blown to pieces. I know the place. I also know the route to Utøya and some other locations that are relevant, including Vålstua gård, Åsta where supposedly the bomb was made. Also interesting, this is not far from Rena Leir (Rena military camp).

There are many aspects and coincidences in the case, far too many to cover in a comment like this. A small taste is curious case of "pinnedama"("stick lady") with a piece of wood sticking out of her head with seemingly few ill effects, and in a very strange angle given her location. She, and other people had high visibility.

As in many other similar events, there was the odd case of the Police anti-terror exercises in the days prior to 22. July in the same location (Tyrifjorden lake) finishing only 3 hours in advance of the actual killings at Utøya. This was reported in the main MSM newspaper Aftenposten 26. July 2011. Nevertheless, the police action failed miserably in dealing with the actual event, which closely copied the exercise scenario.

Stoltenberg was Prime Minister at the time and Utøya is the traditional location for his party to have political summer camps. In the days prior, many of the young party members demonstrated there in favour of boycotting Israel. Unfortunately, they were attacked and ~70 of them were killed. There were several independent reports of more than one attacker. The photo of the arrested guy didn't particularly resemble Breivik.

There was an upcoming election in September 2011, Stoltenberg's Labour party got a boost, after Stoltenberg promised "more democracy, more openness" the day after the event. A couple of years later Stoltenberg became General Secretary of NATO, and is acting like a complete puppet like you can see today. Note he was an explicit anti NATO politician in 1980s/1990s. There are newspaper interviews with him saying so.

You seem to claim that Breivik is in on the game
No, I don't say that, this is the only picture we have of the bomb man near the government office (background, behind the tree).

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 10 2022 14:03 utc | 235

Ma Laoshi
- cannabis, horse, mother, ? etc teacher?

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 10 2022 14:08 utc | 236

In response to Bemildered@222,

Last I heard, Ukrainian presence on the contact line with Donbas was thin and poorly equipped, with most serious formations shoring up the flanks by taking defensive positions on the borders with Russia, Belarus and the Black Sea coastline. I don't expect that much has changed in this regard, although admittedly I'm operating on second-hand sources. But the military logic behind this positioning seems sound to me.

The demarcation line with Donbas is behind what amounts to a supply-line corridor that can be cut off very easily, in the case that Russia decides to get involved. It might even be cut off by artillery fire from Donbas without Russian involvement, though such a tactic involves more risk for Donbas artillery and would presumably only be used as part of a finishing blow. In any case, the Ukrainian front-line position is essentially a throw-away position, and any equipment and personnel that Ukraine stations there ultimately fulfills a sacrificial role.

I believe that the Ukie plan may have been, or continues to be, to provoke the Donbas militias into formally reentering the conflict and retaking territory that was previously ceded, overextending into Ukraine proper, which gives the Ukies a chance to cut off their retreat. That makes the sporadic cease-fire violations on the Ukie side a strategic decision rather than merely manifestations of poor combat discipline. If they could draw Donbas into renouncing the cease-fire, renouncing the Minsk agreement, goad them into a suicidal push and mop them up, Ukraine would be sitting pretty both from a political and a military standpoint. This is of course major speculation on my part, the main flaw of which is that such a plan, on the face of it, appears too optimistically simple to be formulated by any competent military strategist. But, I shouldn't sell myself short by overestimating the competence of Ukrainian military command.

With Donbas resisting the bait, with Russia demonstrating its potential willingness to formally support Donbas and CSTO demonstrating its ability for quick response and troop reallocation, I would expect that any such ideas would need to be abandoned and a plan B formulated. Would a chemical false flag on the Ukrainian front-line or a civilian position behind Ukie lines constitute such a plan B? Not from a military-strategic standpoint, at least from what I can see. A chemical attack or diversionary operation on territory in the Donbas? Only in achieving a similar objective to the sporadic artillery fire seen previously, but with much greater risk attached to it, ergo no. At this time, I don't see a viable plan B for any Ukrainian military operation.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 14:17 utc | 237

@ Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 7:35 utc | 231

Ma, you are not acknowledging the position from which Putin started.

When he became President, Russia was destitute, infested with crooks, parasites and agents of foreign powers and it's population drinking itself into oblivion in despair.

It was on the last stages of total collapse and five years or less from disintegrating into a failed State.

It takes decades to pull a country back from that and the process is still ongoing.

Russia's conventional military power is now very formidable but it's structure is defensive. It is designed to fight and win a war on it's borders by striking any attacking force that came within 1,500 kilometers of it.

It is not designed, or equipped, to fight a full on war overseas.

America's is.

It can land an army and resupply it virtually anywhere. China and Russia's military thrust has been to develop a class of weapons, long range, precision "Carrier Killer" missiles to block this.

China and Russia are now confident they can defend themselves by attack from the Sea. The Air defense systems and EW weapons Russia has developed under Putin can now defend it from Attack by air. Long range rocket artillery and a very capable Strike air force can now break up and cripple any Army attacking by land before it gets to Russia borders.

But Russia cannot fight and win a shooting war with America in Syria because Russia cannot resupply thier forces there.

There is no land route in for Russia that is not controlled by America/Nato. The Dardenelles would be blocked to it in the event of a war, and the alternative sea route up the Baltic or down from the White Sea then through the Med is within range of land based Aircraft for thousands of miles.

America can resupply any force it brings to bear there from multiple directions, including landing at Israeli ports on the Red Sea and bringing it north

Russia/Putin's strategy has been a patient one. Rebuilding Russia from the calamitous state he found it in while fending off the constant economic and diplomatic attacks designed to undermine this.

He's allowing America/ Nato's to over reach to weaken and damage itself. All he has to do is sit tight.

But a shooting war abroad now, is an unnecessary risk that he would probably lose

A huge problem for western societies is we are unable to identify who actually governs us at any point in time. On paper it's the Governments we elect but that's clearly not so since they consistently pursue policies we don't want and didn't vote for.

As for Jeremy Corbyn, I never had much invested him. A decent, principled man but low energy and hidebound.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 14:35 utc | 238

With Donbas resisting the bait, with Russia demonstrating its potential willingness to formally support Donbas and CSTO demonstrating its ability for quick response and troop reallocation, I would expect that any such ideas would need to be abandoned and a plan B formulated. Would a chemical false flag on the Ukrainian front-line or a civilian position behind Ukie lines constitute such a plan B? Not from a military-strategic standpoint, at least from what I can see. A chemical attack or diversionary operation on territory in the Donbas? Only in achieving a similar objective to the sporadic artillery fire seen previously, but with much greater risk attached to it, ergo no. At this time, I don't see a viable plan B for any Ukrainian military operation.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 14:17 utc | 237

Thank you for that, I was looking for more information, and all I'd found was as I said. I'll take what you say into account, as it makes more sense. (Not that any of this makes a lot of sense.)

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 15:01 utc | 239

@tucenz | Feb 10 2022 14:08 utc | 236

"Ma Laoshi - cannabis?"
Ha ha, I never thought of that possibility! Would've kinda suited an Amsterdam graduate. Though I lost my "pot virginity" there like almost everyone, I've never been into it. No, I'm 馬 = horse; and in this bar I already admitted to being a teacher. Just like a girl's rite de passage buying her first bra, first step towards old China hand-hood is picking a Chinese name. I took this because I knew of the cello player Yoyo (though I'd of course write Youyou in proper Hanyu Pinyin). Only much later I learned that it's a name traditionally belonging to muslim nationalities in Central China.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 15:16 utc | 240

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 9 2022 23:45 utc | 209

Yes Karl, I did indeed. Thank you so much.

Back with a fuller reply a little later.

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 10 2022 15:56 utc | 241

@Norwegian | Feb 10 2022 14:03 utc | 235

Interesting. I was always under the impression that Breivik was proud of what he'd (allegedly) done. But now you mention it, there was the (alleged) Utøya shooting and then there was the bombing. Let me not put words into your mouth again, but are you maybe saying that AB claims the shooting but not the bombing? A bit like in the prelude to Iraq, we're supposed to mention the planes but never the anthrax, which at the time was made into a much stronger case that the Republic itself was in danger.

Stoltenberg's antics might've been mostly "Never let a good crisis go to waste", like a Tony Blair aide saying "Now is the time to bury bad news" on 9-11.

>>>Note he was an explicit anti NATO politician in 1980s/1990s.
Yeah but entire populations, entire continents have been rolled in this way. I've been in the home of British friends with anti-'Nam posters on the wall; when I asked "so why don't you speak out against the Syria war of your own Govt, which can still be stopped?" I just drew blank stares. And pols are in the hot seat, they get all kinds of carrots and sticks their way; Jens in particular is raking in tons of carrots. Boris Johnson still congratulated SAA and Russia on the liberation of Palmyra; candidate Trump said he got the Palestinian aspirations as well. Once in power (OK, at least "in office"), they promptly get with the program. (Jimmy Carter did it the other way, become a peace angel only after birthing the Afghan mujahedin together with Brzezinski and the House of Saud.) That's why so many of us are gradually coming around to the view that voting for people/parties instead of policies and decisions gets us exactly nothing.

I've always found it strange that not even his opponents called Obama out on "always having opposed the Iraq invasion". Why didn't they deflate the windbag "You were an Illinois State senator; you didn't have a vote; nobody cared, so nobody pushed you." Can't let on how the sausage gets made I guess.

Thanks for the first-hand report; I'll keep an open mind.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 16:10 utc | 242

@ Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 14:17 utc | 237

Are you sure about the current disposition of Ukrainian Forces?

What you say makes sense.

But my understanding was that the Ukraine had moved it's best equipped and most aggressive formations up against the Donbass late last year.

You are saying they have now been swapped out for weak, 2nd line conscripts, and moved.

I suspect you are right, but I haven't seen any reference to that online.

Perhaps I should pay more attention to Southfront.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 16:35 utc | 243

@Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 16:10 utc | 242

Interesting. I was always under the impression that Breivik was proud of what he'd (allegedly) done. But now you mention it, there was the (alleged) Utøya shooting and then there was the bombing. Let me not put words into your mouth again, but are you maybe saying that AB claims the shooting but not the bombing? A bit like in the prelude to Iraq, we're supposed to mention the planes but never the anthrax, which at the time was made into a much stronger case that the Republic itself was in danger.

What ABB claims is irrelevant, because we don't have sufficient proof of where he was or what he did or did not do. Someone claiming to have done something is not evidence (as explained by my late father, the lawyer). We don't have any evidence ABB was near the bombed the government building, only claims that he bombed it. There is no picture or other solid evidence, only the pictures you saw.

There are witnesses to say he was at Utøya, but there are also witnesses that claimed there were more than one attacker. And the picture of the arrested appears different from other photos of ABB.

This whole thing stinks, and it has done so from day 1. There are pictures, videos and photos of people changing clothes outside the bombed government building minutes after it happened.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 10 2022 16:35 utc | 244

In response to Bemildered@239,

I should add that ceasefire violations on the part of Ukraine have significantly decreased with the drum-up of an "imminent Russian invasion" according to sources in the Donbas. The line of contact is supposed to be uncharacteristically calm at the moment.

At the same time, during the US manufactured hysteria around Ukraine, Donbas military spokesmen did appear to hype up supposed Ukrainian reinforcement of the contact line, particularly on "super-patriotic" Russian media resources. With the caveat that all I can do is attempt to parse openly available information and that I don't have any special access, my interpretation was that this was a political operation, to generate support for the opposition law proposal of Donbas recognition and, subsequently, arms supplies. I wouldn't want to get too bogged down in hypotheticals, but I believe it's worth keeping in mind that Donbas elites are ultimately pursuing their own objectives rather than doing Moscow's bidding. Where they coincide with the Kremlin's positions and who they're ultimately betting on in the Russian political scene is up for debate, but they are not above participating in political games themselves, since the terms on which they get their autonomy or independence depend on it.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 16:38 utc | 245

@DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 14:35 utc | 238

Thanks for elaborating. I know of these; for me they are key not in the first place to understanding Putin, but to understand modern Russia itself. Russians are acutely aware of how much they have to lose. Russian liberals seem completely blithe about this, "Who cares about Russian life expectancy, when we have all these ideological issues to talk about--like Crimea!" Natural brethren indeed for the let-them-eat-cake Western liberal classes. Seen first-hand that not all such views have to be bought, there are true-believers as well; guess if you want to hate Russians, you'll find a reason.

And Putin will endanger his legacy if he goes too far with the president-for-life thing. If there's no-one else, then that itself is a mistake.
@Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 14:17 utc | 237

Would you say that Russian maneuvering/shadowboxing lately could've been to provoke an Ukie defensive reaction, thereby prophylactically messing up the logistics of a Donbass offensive before it happens? Kinda like you can create an image charge just through an electric field, without the original charge ever entering the medium.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 16:46 utc | 246

In response to DaveGood@243,

No, I of course can't be sure of anything that I say, as all that I have to go by is second-hand information from various sources. I would say that since 2014, getting a clear picture of what's going on in Ukraine has been like adjusting the antenna of an analog TV and trying to read the static -- even when you get the occasional clear picture, you can never be sure if you found a news channel and not a fictional dramatization.

I'm responding to Bemildered based on force allocation information that was fresh at the end of January, but even then the significance of the force concentration was disputed by Basurin, who essentially claimed it was massive and in obvious preparation for an attack. His statements rubbed several Russian military analysts the wrong way in several ways. Firstly, the main bulk of the force on the line of contact was made up of absorbed volunteer battalions (as was generally always the case, since the bulk of Ukie army proper has no appetite for active participation in combat ops against its own people) with a single motorized brigade at the rear. The volunteer battalions were made up with a ratio of more manpower and less equipment. And, finally and especially, any forces committed to the contact line would infallibly become encircled in the event that hostilities resumed, which would make massing troops there a suicidal decision, which naturally fit in with the troop placements that were observed. That read of the situation made perfect sense to me and still does, so that's the picture I'm operating from. But I'm not in a position to confirm any of it, nor vouch for the accuracy of DNR military intelligence in producing those maps, or know if they became obsolete before they were even released -- there's too much fog of war to be certain of anything.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 17:13 utc | 247

"I wouldn't want to get too bogged down in hypotheticals, but I believe it's worth keeping in mind that Donbas elites are ultimately pursuing their own objectives rather than doing Moscow's bidding."

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 16:38 utc | 245

First thanks again. I think maybe I have been listening too much to stories coming out of Donbass. Again, what you say makes sense. Should know better since it is how things work here too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 17:14 utc | 248

"I wouldn't want to get too bogged down in hypotheticals, but I believe it's worth keeping in mind that Donbas elites are ultimately pursuing their own objectives rather than doing Moscow's bidding.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 16:38 utc | 245

First, thanks again. I think you put your finger on my problem there. Should know better.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 10 2022 17:19 utc | 249

In addition to my last post, I probably should have added that the Saker responded to that discussion (albeit indirectly) with reference to the same map. I have to admit that, while I do occasionally read his blog, I don't consider his opinions and interpretations to be particularly enlightening. Nevertheless, his conclusion echoed the general consensus:

It is quite premature to assume that Russia will have to intervene. The open source information available does not indicate that the Ukies have a clear advantage against the LDNR, especially since the latter will be on the defense.

And ending the post, he made note of the laws proposed in the Russian duma, without directly connecting it to the topic being discussed. I'm assuming he has a few fingers on the pulse of Russian-speaking military debate and analysis on the web, as this post of his would indicate, but he appears to be very selective about what conclusions he's willing to share with his English-speaking audience.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 17:25 utc | 250


Thank you.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 10 2022 17:31 utc | 251

To Ma Laoshi@246,

Yes, I'm sure it is exactly that, whether one compares it to a judo move or repositioning chess pieces at the back of the board or whatever else. The only thing where I'm on the fence is the notion that it's some sort of recent or even noteworthy development.

From memory, this has been going on since the very start of hostilities in Eastern Ukraine, although I assume it took Ukie military commanders some time to start taking Russian moves into consideration for their operations. I expect that even Ukrainian military intelligence is uncertain if and to what extent Russian forces have participated in past combat operations on the side of Donbas, and this uncertainty too is an asset if you want to counter some move without active participation. Either way, Ukraine is obliged to take Russian moves into consideration with any plan of action it comes up with, and has been for some time, and Moscow has been making use of that every time that they see a threat that hostilities might resume or, perhaps, even in pursuit of other objectives? Well, maybe. I wouldn't exclude the use of troop relocation to put pressure on Donbas either, in the event that its representatives behave in an obstinate way. But, crucially, it's a way of shifting the balance of military power in real terms, while it's an easily countered bluff in the political arena -- I sincerely doubt it's ever been relied on in the latter case.

Posted by: Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 17:48 utc | 252

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

I'm not postulating a Chinese attack on anyone - just that having a viable military is (at present) a necessity for being listened to seriously (esp. by the US, but also everyone else). I hope that this situation is historically temporary.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Feb 10 2022 18:48 utc | 253

@Skiffer | Feb 10 2022 17:48 utc | 251

Thanks. Russians, even Russian regulars, joining the festivities in LDPR will surely happen from time to time; no secret that the two sides are close. Instances of really sending the cavalry to the best of my knowledge have been very small in number--though not in consequences. At Ilovaysk, "something" tore up entire Ukie army units within a single day. Maybe attack helicopters but probably mostly well-guided artillery. Qualitative difference with what the Donbass rebels could muster before or after; sounds like you'd know better. I guess seeing something like that first-hand will be long remembered--particularly if from the receiving end.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 10 2022 19:50 utc | 254

karlof1, I think you will enjoy Alex Mercouris latest.

He defines events as "epochal" in that this is the first time since the 13th Century that Asians have interjected into European affairs.

Quite a manifestation of the alliance!

"China Accuses US of Instigating War in Ukraine, 'Using Ukraine' To Create Crisis to Control Europe"

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 10 2022 21:11 utc | 255

We all know that the Donbas Crisis is about Nord Stream 2, in part,
and the desire to put offensive weapons right up close to Russia's border.
But there are additional gains for the Deep State/Security State and Democratic Totalitarians.

The rhetoric is going to go ballistic.

If humanity survives the US machinations in Ukraine
and there is only a survivable, limited, military confrontation,
the rhetoric towards Russia is still going to go
next level nuts.

After we survive, if someone even argues that Russiagate was nonsense
or that Russia didn't mess with our democratic elections
that person will be declared a Terrorist.
I am not exaggerating.
And, perhaps, that is part of the plan all along.

Already the definition of Terrorist creeps ever tighter
around our freedoms.

C/O the Homeland Security website:

Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland

The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence. Mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence conducted by lone offenders and small groups acting in furtherance of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances pose an ongoing threat to the nation. While the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape have not significantly changed over the last year, the convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions; (2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; soft targets and mass gatherings; faith-based institutions, such as churches, synagogues, and mosques; institutions of higher education; racial and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement and the military; the media; and perceived ideological opponents; and (3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States based on recent events.

Issued: February 07, 2022 02:00 pm
Expires: June 07, 2022 02:00 pm
Additional Details

The primary terrorism-related threat to the United States continues to stem from lone offenders or small cells of individuals who are motivated by a range of foreign and/or domestic grievances often cultivated through the consumption of certain online content. The convergence of violent extremist ideologies, false or misleading narratives, and conspiracy theories have and will continue to contribute to a heightened threat of violence in the United States.
Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include:

The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:
For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.

Posted by: librul | Feb 11 2022 22:58 utc | 256

@Ma Laoshi #231
You have your opinion; I have a completely different one.

From my view - Russia has very little to gain by going all in on Syria. Their one and only strategic interest is Tartus; they've done more than enough to support Syria and Assad and don't need to do more, nor should they. Among other things: Russia needs Saudi Arabia and OPEC/OPEC+. While the 2 countries are opposed on many fronts, they both benefit enormously from a more stable oil price.

That's one reason why Russia did not even attempt to intervene when the UAE/Saudis had their tiff with Qatar. Tartus and Syria also represent keeping a hand in the game regarding natural gas coming out of the Middle East. In combination with Iran, it is a 2nd bow to the always unreliable Turks.

Russia's primary goal is and always should be their direct national security interests. This means resolution to the situation in Europe: NATO, American nuclear missiles, trade with the EU and so forth. Putin would *like* to help out the Russians stranded in all of the ex-SSRs, but there is nothing he can do.

So many people assign their fantasies to Russia and/or China - that they will give the US or whomever the comeuppance that they deserve.

But neither Putin nor Xi JinPing give a damn about those idiotic fantasies. They're looking for ways to serve their respective national interests. Right now, it means getting closer to each other.
The energy biz with China is useful to Russia, but that biz only indirectly benefits Russia's dance with the EU.

Ultimately Russia's own best interests are served if it can establish a mutual security and economic relationship with Europe - carved away from the present NATO lockstep, even as Russia builds the same with China.

Putin has said many times that he thinks Russia's role in the new multi-polar order is to be the bridge between Asia and Europe; a bridge not just for energy but for trade which is largely shielded from American interference via its blue water navy.

The equation Russia and Putin are presenting to Europe is very clear: do you want to unite Western Europe and Russia in a mutually beneficial relationship, or do you want to continue to free-ride on NATO/American military power at the ever increasing expense to Western Europe's own interests?

That's what this is all about: no Russia = no security for Western Europe, high energy costs, and ever more demanding American diktats - and it is time for the EU to shit or get off the pot.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 12 2022 3:17 utc | 257

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