Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 02, 2022

How A Misguided Grand Strategy Led To This U.S. Defeat

In response to Russia's demand for security guarantees, especially to its request to remove foreign NATO forces from the territory of East European countries, the U.S. and Britain are moving more forces to the east:

President Joe Biden has formally approved additional US military deployments to Eastern Europe, the Pentagon announced Wednesday, with US troops deploying soon to Poland, Germany and Romania.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the deployments include roughly 2,000 troops from the United States to Poland and Germany in the coming days. In addition, approximately 1,000 troops currently based in Germany are being deployed to Romania.
Kirby said that the troops being deployed are separate and in addition to the 8,500 US troops that were placed on heightened alert last week that could be moved to Europe to support NATO's response force if it's activated.

The troops will operate on a bilateral basis with their host countries, since NATO has not yet activated a multinational response force.

This is a rather token amount of forces in the wrong places and with little combat value but it is serious in its symbolic character.

It was the U.S. that launched the 'Russia's imminent invasion of Ukraine' propaganda campaign. On October 30 2021 the Washington Post published the first stenographed piece on it:

A renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the United States and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in April, when the largest buildup of troops by Russia near the Ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.

The March/April build-up of Russian troops had come after Kiev had deployed more forces towards its rebel held Donbas area and had made public statements about regaining it by force. The Russian show of force was sufficient to cool Kiev down and soon the troops on both sides went back to their barracks.

By fall Russia was moving only a few troops from and to regular exercises in a normal manner. There was no surge activity. So why was the U.S. screaming alarm and continues to do so?

This information operation must be seen in the larger context of China's rise, Russia's resurgence and the loss of U.S. supremacy.

In an essay to his mailing list Professor Michael Brenner explained the motives behind it:

The situational logic of the emerging international constellation of forces pointed to two possible American strategies. The most obvious would aim at preventing the solidification of an alliance between Russia and China. Together, they represent a formidable bloc now capable of challenging the U.S.-led Western bloc in just about every sphere.
The alternative strategy was to ratchet up pressure on Russia so as to nip in the bud Putin/Moscow’s aspiration to become once again a major player – one dedicated to denying the United States its privileges as global hegemon and sole master of Europe. The driving force came from the ardent Victoria Nuland and her neo-Con comrades ensconced in the power agencies, in Congress and in the MSM. Since Anthony Blinken and Jake Sullivan were themselves partisans of this confrontational strategy, the outcome of whatever modicum of debate occurred was preordained.

Nuland and Blinken have ancestral roots in east Europe. To them Russia is evil. But there is more to this. These people would like to see Russia balkanized into many small parts.

Jon Schwarz @schwarz - 20:10 UTC · Jan 31, 2022

In Robert Gates's memoir "Duty," he describes how at the end of the Cold War, Dick Cheney—then secretary of defense—wanted to dismantle not just the Soviet Union but Russia itself. No one in the US knows or cares about this, but I bet lots of people in the Russian government do.


The current State Department point person running U.S. Russia policy is Victoria 'Fuck the EU' Nuland:

From 2003 to 2005, Nuland served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Cheney and Nuland have the same nefarious neo-conservative mindset.

Back to the non-action around the Ukraine as analyzed by Michael Brenner:

The events of April kicked-off the turbulent maelstrom that we’ve experienced to this day. What scenario did the Biden people want to see unfold? Any attempt at an answer must take account of the cardinal fact that nobody in official Washington cared very much what it meant for the stability of Ukraine or the welfare of the Ukrainian people. Their eyes were fixed on Russia. Their objective was to create a reason for imposing a crippling load of economic sanctions that would put paid to Putin’s supposed ambitions in Europe – and beyond. At least, that would free the West to devote its full energies to dealing with China. Ideally, it would return Moscow into a beggared facsimile of the pliable Yeltsin model or an innocuous neo-liberal satrap. Everything the United States has done vis a vis Ukraine over the past year has been dictated by that overarching goal.

They set about manufacturing a scenario that would enable them to reach that end. The key would be some Russian counter-action to a Ukrainian provocation, of uncertain magnitude, that could serve as a casus belli for the draconian sanctions and for gaining the full cooperation of its allies. The unexpectedly forceful, unaccommodating response from Moscow threw a monkey-wrench into the plan, but did not alter the course Washington was committed to.
[T]he Biden people went all-out to convince the continental Europeans that they should sign onto a package of severe economic sanctions that would be triggered with near automaticity were the Russians to do something egregious. They assumed that Washington would make the judgment as what constituted an egregious action.

German, France and Italy inter alia refused to go along with this trip-wire strategy. They don’t trust Washington, they don’t want a confrontation with Putin, and they dread the disruptive impact on their own countries of sanctions (with evident domestic political consequences). Germany’s reluctance to line up obediently behind Washington was especially frustrating.
To make their case to Germany, France and like-minded allies, Biden, Blinken et al began in October to stoke the war fever with dire predictions of an ‘imminent’ Russian invasion. They conjured a “lightening strike,” – i.e. the sort of ‘cold start’, straight to the Channel, that agitated NATO planners back in the Cold War days. Bad metaphors never die, they just await the next paranoid episode.

Washington was thrown off stride when Moscow refused to play the role assigned to it. They said and did nothing to substantiate the claim. The Russo-phobia had taken on a life of its own that left the White House painted into a corner. The level of desperation was evinced by the CIA Director William Burns’ tour of European capitals with a briefcase filled with CIA generated ‘infallible’ evidence that an invasion was in the offing – and that, therefore, the Europeans immediately should commit to the trip-wire sanctions so as to deter the in fact fantastical invasion. The hottest material were satellite photographs purporting to show Russian armored units in battle formations “at the Ukrainian border” (just 180 miles away). We now know that the photographs were doctored. The tanks and other equipment were at their permanent bases adjacent to barracks and other fixed facilities. The CIA’s pictures had been cropped. The CIA, the White House and attendant Washington agencies were trying to palm off fraudulent goods whose sophistication was worthy of a 5th-grader.

That is the state we are still in. The U.S. is screaming for war and increasing the chance for it in the hope to get Russia to do something that justifies 'crushing new sanctions'.

But in mid December Russia started to counter the U.S. move. It published two draft treaties, one with the U.S. and one with NATO, that included stringent security demands:

  • No more NATO expansion towards Russia's borders.
  • Retraction of the 2008 NATO invitation to Ukraine and Georgia.
  • Removal of foreign NATO forces from east Europe.
  • Legally binding guarantee that no strike systems which could target Moscow will be deployed in countries near to Russia.
  • No NATO or equivalent (UK, U.S., Pl.) 'exercises' near Russian borders.
  • NATO ships, planes to keep certain distances from Russian borders.
  • Regular military-to-military talks.
  • No U.S. nukes in Europe.

Russia requested written responses and threatened to take 'military technical' measures should the responses be negative. Russia also planned for and launched new military exercises.

The responses were received but, following a U.S. request, Russia refrained from publishing them. They were leaked to El Pais, published today and can be downloaded here (pdf).

The U.S. response to Russia's draft treaties is professional. While it rejects Russia's main demands, especially a neutral status for the Ukraine, it concedes on minor issues and offers additional talks on them. The NATO response is in contrast highly ideological and rejects all of Russia's points while making new demands towards Russia which are designed to be rejected. (Future negotiations are now likely to exclude NATO.)

Russia has yet to officially respond to the received letters. During a news conference after talks with the Prime Minister of Hungary the Russian President remarked on the letters:

[W]hile ignoring our concerns, the United States and NATO are referring to the right of states to freely choose specific methods to ensure their security. But this is not only about providing someone with the right to freely choose methods to ensure their security. This is only one part of the well-known indivisible security formula. The second inalienable part implies that it is impossible to strengthen anyone’s security at the expense of other states’ security.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has send a letter to several NATO countries in which it requests their official opinions on several agreements they have signed which include clauses on the indivisibility of security:

The very essence of the agreements on indivisible security is that either there is security for all or there is no security for anyone.

How is the signing of those treaties and indivisible security for all compatible with the aggressive NATO expansion aimed at Russia? 'Western' foreign ministries will find it difficult to answer that question.

The U.S. strategy to 'fix' Russia in Europe by imposing 'crushing sanctions' on it to then attack China is failing. That is because it was completely misconceived.

Russia is the most autarkic country in the world. It produces nearly everything it needs and has highly desirable products that are in global demand and are especially needed in Europe. Russia also has huge financial reserves. A sanctions strategy against Russia can not work.

To use the Ukraine to gaud Russia into some aggression to then apply sanctions was likewise a rather lunatic attempt. There is nothing in the Ukraine that would tempt Russia to invade. Everything that may have do be done in the Ukraine can be done from Russian territory by Russian missiles or its air force and navy.

Instead of splitting Russia from China the U.S. has unintentionally done its best to push them into a deeper alliance. It was the most severe strategic error the U.S. could make. 

Instead of a taking a new strategic posture that would support a pivot to Asia strategy the U.S. is now moving troops back to Europe.

The narrow-minded bigotry of U.S. decision makers, fed by believe in U.S. exceptionalism while lacking any conception of real power, has led to this defeat.

Adding: I consider this to be the White House's acknowledgment of its strategic failure.

Kevin Liptak @Kevinliptakcnn - 17:55 UTC · Feb 2, 2022

The White House says it's no longer using the word "imminent" to describe the potential for a Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was sending an unintended message, Jen Psaki says.

'Unintended imminence'? These people are clowns and bad at it.

Posted by b on February 2, 2022 at 18:36 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

@91 lex talionis

I can't help but wonder how many Psakis there are in a Kirby

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 0:21 utc | 101

The real irony is, the quality of planers and policy makers are getting worst, degraded by every incoming new Adminstration ( idealogical regimes). God save us all, it will become real ugly when the time comes. Folks in this non melting country are real violent with no mercy to each other. Jan 6 was nothing to what can come, when the center no longer holds.

Posted by: Kooshy | Feb 3 2022 0:21 utc | 102

I am looking forward to reading this article in detail to likely to corroborate my hopefully considered view that Russia is acting rationally, reasonably and logically. It's a lonely road to contemplate such concepts. One can but try. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to think for myself and attempt to inform and educate others. Looking forward to hearing more reality.

Posted by: Garrett Wyse | Feb 3 2022 0:21 utc | 103

'Unintended imminence'? These people are clowns and bad at it.
Posted by b on February 2, 2022 at 18:36 UTC

"Those people" are clowns who aren't funny, diplomats who don't know how to negotiate, and leaders who can't persuade anyone to follow them.

Posted by: kral | Feb 3 2022 0:23 utc | 104

Posted by: Sean | Feb 2 2022 19:32


Posted by: kral | Feb 3 2022 0:30 utc | 105

James @ 92:

One could read Sean's comment @ 11 as trolling of a sort, or trying to pick MoA barflies' brains.

The suggestion that Russia should provide evidence to certain European governments that it does not plan to invade Ukraine is laughable, after (as Peter AU 1 @ 67 says) the example of Saddam Hussein and the so-called WMDs Iraq was supposed to be hiding. After all, everyone knows the saying "absence of evidence (that is, of Russian invasion plans) is not evidence of absence".

As to Russian troop movements "close to" Ukraine, that doesn't mean anything without context. How close is "close"? If there were troop movements going on 100km away from the Ukrainian border in Russian territory, are those "close"?

The entire comment appears to insinuate that somehow it is Moscow's responsibility to ease tensions or explain its actions, real or not.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 3 2022 0:35 utc | 106

The Jews are a tribe, whose totem is Religion, not a race.

I (or anyone), can become a Jew, and be accepted as one, by honestly converting to the Jewish Faith.

But I can't join the Han Race, no matter how much I believe

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:39 utc | 107

@Sean | Feb 2 2022 19:32 utc | 11
Your observation is quite correct. I pointed out earlier that Russia doesn't move from naming the USA 'nedogovorosposobni' to an expectation that negotiations can bring about something worthwhile. They didn't just demand, the rattled the phantasy cage of Nato AND the USA and made it clear they were not bluffing. Military-technical options are coming, although it's unclear to me now how soon.
Earlier, I predicted we would see some targeted bombing of the Romanian and possibly Polish rocket base sites by today. Now, I am not so sure.
The goal is without a doubt a redrawing of the European security map which makes Russia much more secure, a serious (and possibly lethal) dent into US hegemony and as a side-issue NATO. I don't think the inspection options that have been proposed by the US are going to cut muster, but it shows that the uncompromising language of the Russians, possibly combined with the troop training exercises in Belarus, are hitting home.
How do you now, as Russia, up the ante further to ensure progress? Moving 10k troops from Germany to Eastern Europe is symbolic but also a slap in the face to Russia's demands. I believe there's some major reckoning still to come, and the US is only able to do symbolics and PR - they are not ready for real conflict.
Russia is not gearing for an accord that is approved by US congress. They are gearing for a new balance that is forced and has to be agreed with - unless the USA will want to go to war with Russia. Russia's major challenge is to have Europe give painful birth to this new security / and not hug the USA in fear of 'irrational' or 'unreliable' Russia.

Posted by: Josh | Feb 3 2022 0:45 utc | 108

Kukulcan | 98
If you google you will find a lot of "Jews not a race" opinion. It is used to argue that Zionisn is not racism.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Feb 3 2022 0:47 utc | 109

It is evident that both the US and NATO are working in tandem. The fact that the US's response is more temperate while that of NATO is very inflexible only means that they are using the good cop bad cop approach in order to gain time. Thus, both sides will get bog down in endless conversations until the US is ready to deploy hypersonic missiles anywhere they want.

Posted by: Jaime | Feb 3 2022 0:49 utc | 110

Good point Kuklcan,

My reply would be the way Zionism treats Palestinian children as dangerous Vermin isn't racist.

It's worse.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:50 utc | 111

Scotch Bingeington| 88

It should be mentioned that ammonium nitrate is made from natural gas and nitrogen from the air. (Modern agriculture is a system for converting fossil fuels to food.)

Posted by: Keith McClary | Feb 3 2022 0:53 utc | 112


my comment was meant for Keith McClary.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:53 utc | 113

@Feral Finster The USSR realized from 1932 or even earlier, that the ruling elites of Britain and France planned to build up Germany to attack the USSR and thus rid the world of Bolshevism. 1932-1941, the USSR was fully aware of what was going on. Under Laval in 1935, France signed a mutual-assistance treaty with the USSR that was never implemented in the slightest. The French bragged to the Nazis about how well they were meeting German demands by muzzling the French press, except for two leftist dailies. The French banks loaned money to Nazi Germany at 3%, fully aware the loans went to military rearmament. At the same time, French business was forced to pay 8%, leaving the French economy in depression. France and Britain refused to rearm, falsely claiming their nations could not afford it, but the truth is they thought Hitler was "their SOB", and the Germans would be content to Go East. Germany produced as many war planes in a month as Britain and In 1939, France only had 60 army divisions of mediocre quality while Germany had 93 divisions, just on the French border. And Great Britain ? It had only two, count them, two divisions to defend Europe. But the top generals and politicians slept soundly, because they know the unspoken plan. Even after September, 1939, France and Britain refused to increase the rate of military production. The Germany invasion of France, May 10, 1940, came as a rude shock. Hitler was not supposed to do that. But France was low hanging fruit and Hitler no longer felt the need to observe etiquette. The gifting of Czechoslovakia to Germany was years in the making, and this gift increased Germany's arms factories by 45%, and increased the Wehrmacht by the same 45%. All according to the plan.
When Geneviève Tabouis, the French journalist met Litvinov, the Soviet Foreign Minister, she had many documents to show the Soviets the evil intentions of the French government. But Litvinov answered her by showing the headline of Le Matin, roughly the largest Parisian daily, which argued that France should support Germany to attack the USSR. Google, Wikipedia, etc. make this history almost invisible, but reliable evidence is there: In English, Michael Jarra Carley, professor emeritus Univ. Montreal, is highly readable and gives all the archival proof. "1939, the Alliance That Never War and the Coming of WW2" is a tight focus on that one year. It's in many libraries. Far more damning is the book, « le Choix de la défaite » by Annie Lacroix-Riz, professor emeritus Univ. of Paris 7th. 2nd Ed. (2010), published by Armand Colin (Paris), $45. Her book is only in French (!!!) and it's so dense with details that you have to work to keep a focus on the big themes. 65 pages of archive references. Especially damning are the German archives. Carley and Lacroix-Rix focus on the 1920's to about 1950. Carley's pages at Univ. Montreal are a trove. Check out

Posted by: JessDTruth | Feb 3 2022 1:01 utc | 114

U.S. to Deploy 3,000 Troops to Romania, Poland, Germany
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby today during a news conference. . . .

Kirby said a 1,000-member Army Stryker squadron will deploy to Romania from Germany. They will join roughly 900 U.S. service members already in that country. "This force is designed to deter aggression and enhance our defensive capabilities in frontline allied states," he said. The troops will begin moving out in a couple of days. The deployment is at the express invitation of the Romanian government. . .here

The Stryker interim armored vehicle (IAV) is a 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicle that provides the Army a family of ten different vehicles on a common chassis. The Stryker comprises two variants - the Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) and the Mobile Gun System (MGS).
. . .from Modern War Institute. . .
Never Bring a Stryker to a Tank Fight . .Any armchair Patton will tell you that it’s not a good idea to use a Stryker formation against a tank formation. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 1:09 utc | 115

Scotch Bingeington at 88 linked to a russian news article about stopping the export of nitrogen fertilizer for several months through their planting season.

China stopped exports of some fertilizers several months ago.

Nitrogen fertilizer exports by country.
Russia and China are by far the two biggest exporters.

Nitrogen fertilizer imports by country
Brazil and India top the list here but US comes in third. France Australia Germany UK make it into the top ten importers and right behind them is Ukraine and Canada.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 1:11 utc | 116

Scotch Bingeington | 88
Russia bans export of ammonium nitrate.
Source ZH…With no source.
Source is TASS, so of course the obfuscation.

A few commentators “on the internet” have comprehended the pending impact. The “funniest” are the “we, the mighty U$A don need no stinky Russia ammonium anyway. Stick it vlad”.
From threads and sites best not mentioned, but citing those who are connected to reality and markets, here a few compiled comments:
> Fertalizer is already skyrocketing in price. This is going to send it beyond the moon. 50 dollar big mac SOON.
>(with a link to TASS).. its true. this is massive. food is about to get a lot more expensive.
> EU bans fertilizer imports from Belarus, largest EU producer. Gas prices are so high EU cant produce it themselves. China bans exports. Russia bans exports. A perfect storm.
> Reuters: >"As of 2019, ammonium nitrate export in Russian Federation was 3.75 million tonnes that accounts for 44.56% of the world's ammonium nitrate export."
> They're just stockpiling since everyone and their dog just about shut down fertilizer production because LNG prices went orbital.
> “This is a temporary measure. The remaining volume can be exported from April 2, when Russian companies will receive the ammonium nitrate in required volume and the demand for it on the domestic market will pass peak values," First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov said.
> Wheat, palladium, titanium, aluminium, steel, fuel oil, diesel. Soon all of this will be in short supply. I hope this time Putin will go all the way.
>LOL. It’s only 2month who gives a fuck. A: Spring.

>So00 which came first? News about Russia banning Ammonium Nitrate
Or the Ammonium Nitrate facility in North Carolina getting fucked up?

> Petrov and Bashirov strikes again

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 1:13 utc | 117

Why Belarus Is Becoming A Headache For Biden

By Cyril Widdershoven - Feb 02, 2022, 5:00 PM CST(Oil Price . com)
Last summer, the president of Belarus shocked the world when he grounded an international flight to detain a journalist and, as a result, was sanctioned by the U.S.
Now, those sanctions are causing Biden a major headache as the lack of Belarussian potash is causing a massive price spike for fertilizers
Farmers are calling on the Biden administration to lift potash sanctions in order to avoid a major spike in food prices, a problem that would only add to inflation fears
Today I spotted quite a few price increases on food shelves.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 3 2022 1:21 utc | 118

@ Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 1:13 utc | 115

Wow, that's a perfect storm for sure. They might say the export ban is 2 months but depending what happens during the passing 2 tense months, it might easily triple. EU and USA general inflation will keep at current at a minimum and probably go higher. Also official economic forecasts say this, prepare accordingly and stock stuff up...

The empire is running on its last legs, if the worst here occurs, as global prices go up, China and Russia will first secure domestic supplies of fertilizer and everything else.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 3 2022 1:25 utc | 119

JessDTruth @112--

Thanks bunches for your comment!! Here's an open preview of Silent Conflict, and here's a very long and deeply engaging interview with its author that's a blockbuster by itself. Hopefully he'll be able to complete his current project. What a find!! Thanks again!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 3 2022 1:28 utc | 120

Sean | Feb 2 2022 19:32 utc | 11

Macron’s call to putin on monday may offer another way. As alexander mercouris put it, it is not necessary for the usa to veto adding new members to nato ….any of the members can do the same with their veto vote. Russ only requires one member of nato to say no to expansion.

Posted by: James joseph | Feb 3 2022 1:39 utc | 121

So fertilizer is the technical of military technical? . . . It seems to be.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 1:44 utc | 122

Wagging the dog.

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Feb 3 2022 1:48 utc | 123

trial post

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 1:48 utc | 124

I thought this was a very telling article from Politico and gives a possible glimpse into what NATO has in mind.

Posted by: ArthurDent | Feb 3 2022 2:09 utc | 125

uncle tungsten @ 93
' I believe the western public is kept in the dark and swamped with BS propaganda. They will not determine this outcome'

I think this is true but also a number of americans have a stake in the housing and stock market and aren't large complainers.

Also it seems a number of people idolize billionaires and think they have a chance to become one.

China also has a real estate speculation problem that they are trying to let down gently but at least their focus is on trying re-equilibrate and make housing 'a place to live rather than something to speculate on'.  

The 'good' part is that you are right in that it won't be their choice in determining the outcome which seems to be the only way to accomplish this.  

Posted by: financial matters | Feb 3 2022 2:11 utc | 126

Great coverage and comments...

Neo-con Jews are really just self-hating Russians...

It's a good point some have mentioned that the US/UK is not a dictatorship of NATO, and NATO members can decide for no further expansion if they choose. The war-mongers can hoot and holler, but if they don't have the votes...

Is peace at hand? Remember the infamous words of war criminal Barack Obama - "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 3 2022 2:11 utc | 127

It's so friggin obvious. So friggen.

Here is what's goin' down --

The western dominatoriate community wants to push the western peasants into yet another 'war for democracy'. (You establish dominance only by forcing the masses to do absurd things.)

Need I remind you? Apparently so.

So the western dominatoriate community will push U.S. troops into the Ukraine. And Russia will have no alternative to respond (they won't stop Nordstream-II). Russia will eliminate most of the Ukrainian government, and force new elections. Europe will be left holding its hands on its ass. (Where they richly belong.)

The western dominatoriate community knows that something like this is about to happen, and the Ukainians are rightfully fearful. But he Show must go on! The western dominatoriate community must continue to be entertained. Nothing else really matters.

Posted by: blues | Feb 3 2022 2:15 utc | 128

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:39 utc | 105:

But I can't join the Han Race, no matter how much I believe

LOL!! In my own encounters, I've know hundreds of Hans who wished themselves being non-Han, and have yet to meet a non-Han who told me he/she wants to be a Han. I'd say, the ratio is 1,000:1 for Hans wanting to be non-Han to non-Han wanting to be Han. The non-Han I'm talking about aren't even the Caucasians/Blacks/Latinos/South Asians; I'm referring to non-Han East Asians such as Japanese/Korean/Malays/Polynesians. Ratio between Caucasian/Black/Latino/South Asia to Han is likely in the hundreds of thousands to one.

No offence nor bitterness intended here. Just stating status quo of reality after the most recent 150 years of humiliation at the hands of the West. The pendulum has just started swinging back in the past 30 or so years, but boy has it still got a long way to go.

I myself is content and happy being a Han though :-)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Feb 3 2022 2:19 utc | 129

I am an Irish+ Hungarian white guy. One of my greatest youth friends was a ultra-close-friend Chinese han. Race don't make no difference.

Posted by: blues | Feb 3 2022 2:31 utc | 130

@ ArthurDent 123
That "very telling article from Politico" article is anti-Russia BS. The solution to this dilemma is some autonomy for Dombass, not unusual for regions in Europe. The UNSC has backed it with Resolution 2202(2015). The author's attempt to justify resistance against this sensible solution, plus his anti-Russia baloney, isn't worth reading. In that respect it is "telling." . . .Your pushing it is also "telling," Arthur Dent.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 2:31 utc | 131

Oriental Voice,

My point still stands.

As far as I'm concerned, the Han culture and civilization has a historical depth that has no match in West Europe.

As does the rich cultural history of the Jews.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 2:45 utc | 132

ON EU and Alexander Mercouris assessments. I took a peek at The Duran (a rare event for me) and here is Alexander Mercouris waxing eloquent and citing Anatol Lieven a UK commentator on EU affairs it seems.

Anatol Lieven in January 21 at Responsible Statecraft reports:

President Emmanuel Macron of France can end the present threat of war in Europe with just four words: J’ai dit: Non (“I have said: No”). These were the words of his great predecessor, President Charles de Gaulle, when he announced in 1963 that he had vetoed (quite rightly, as it now appears) Britain’s application to join the European Common Market. In the present context, Macron can use them to declare that he will veto, and he expects his successors to veto, any Ukrainian application to join NATO.

Nice try Anatol but the foundation issue for Russia is clearly that NATO withdraw to its 1999 realm and get out of its expansion zone. However his discussion re Macron as EU President and being up for election soon is interesting. I would watch my back if I were Macron as these colour revolutions have a habit of gaining momentum and who knows who will be in the yellow vest next week.

I discovered this piece by Leven too at

Fire walled! but it seems like he is banging the rightist drum (a sound Mercouris says he appreciates).

All this left me wondering - is this the THE Institute for Responsible Statecraft that spawned Integrity Initiative and is THE attack british bulldog of MI6? Can any barfly enlighten me here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 3:03 utc | 133


More and more smoke, but, no fire. Theater.....

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 3 2022 3:05 utc | 134

Posted by: Les7 | Feb 2 2022 21:07 utc

"A massive electrical power failure has halted the HMAS Adelaide during its humanitarian mission to Tonga.

The ship was left “stranded” for a period of time due to the total power failure and is still experiencing external communications issues despite power now being restored.

Most of the ship’s crew are reportedly sleeping “above deck” due to the power issues."

Pride of the fleet a sitting duck"

I am seriously intrigued by the possibilities. Yet I feel that someone with basic expertise in "EMP" and/or "directed energy weapons" could quickly tell us what is feasible within the realms of physics. Where is Gordog? Has he been banned?

Posted by: retiredmecheng | Feb 3 2022 3:14 utc | 135

The Duran (and Alexander Mercouris) are certainly NOT beating some 'rightist drum'.

Let's get real.

Posted by: blues | Feb 3 2022 3:18 utc | 136

DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:39 utc | 105

I (or anyone), can become a Jew, and be accepted as one, by honestly converting to the Jewish Faith.

But I can't join the Han Race, no matter how much I believe

And this is relevant how...?

Keith McClary | Feb 3 2022 0:47 utc | 107

If you google you will find a lot of "Jews not a race" opinion. It is used to argue that Zionisn is not racism.

If you're arguing that Nazi ideas about race were wrong, well, I'm not going to disagree with you. I think the whole idea of race is on a level with phrenology and the ether, so I have no interest in quibbling about the details.

However, the Nazis defined race in terms of ancestry (and they're not the only ones, otherwise what's the point of those DNA tests that tell people they're part Native American or whatever) and that's the basis on which they initiated and persecuted the holocaust.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Feb 3 2022 3:32 utc | 137

131 - on Responsible Statecraft

Nothing to do with Integrity Initiative. The RS website is part of the Quincy Institute think tank - firmly in the minority "realist" school of American foreign policy wonks.

The site in part morphed out of which was run by longtime Washington journalist Jim Lobe and concentrated on US foreign policy in the Mid-East. Responsible Statecraft has wider purview.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 3 2022 3:35 utc | 138

@129 Don Bacon

You have totally misunderstood what i was trying to say, which is fair because i worded it poorly.

Of course the Politico article is pure bullshit, fabrication and spin, as are all Politico articles and the vast, vast majority of western media.

The "very telling" part of the article is it reveals possible NATO plans. It is projection accusing Russia of doing what it itself plans on doing. The article accuses Russia of wanting to get rid of what's his face and install a far-right government, when in fact it could very well be that the plan is for NATO to install a far-right government because what's his face is balking at having Ukraine destroyed for the sake of NATO's geopolitics.

I don't read the mainstream press to find out the "truth". I read it to try and decipher their lies. If one can figure out why public perception is being managed in such and such a way, one can gain insights into what is actually planned.

Posted by: ArthurDent | Feb 3 2022 3:37 utc | 139


I'm not sure what relevance the Nazi attitude to the Jews has to much under discussion in this thread.

But facts remain facts.

The Jews are self identifying tribal culture centred on a shared religion.

They are not a race.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 3:40 utc | 140

Ashkenazi are a race. Jew is a pretty open ended term.

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 3 2022 3:42 utc | 141

b noted in his post:

John Kirby said... The troops will operate on a bilateral basis with their host countries, since NATO has not yet activated a multinational response force.
Sounds very much like a FU to NATO and will likely fuel major division within the ranks. But it sure is a sign of the UKUSA desperation to get a war underway.

The collapse of the UKUSA empire is certainly messy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 2 2022 21:46 utc | 51

Sorry to always be an optimist, but it strikes me that this part of b's post indicates a quite significant step back, if not retreat, on the part of US strategy, with the retraction of the word "imminent" as well as the deployment of troops. Sure plenty of bluster in all of this, but perhaps already positioned as a face saving manoever that we ought to be thankful for. If it is that, I would be. I don't care who wins points; I just want a peaceful end to the standoff. Nato no longer part of the solution? Great!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2022 3:42 utc | 142

blues #126

So the western dominatoriate community will push U.S. troops into the Ukraine. And Russia will have no alternative to respond (they won't stop Nordstream-II). Russia will eliminate most of the Ukrainian government, and force new elections. Europe will be left holding its hands on its ass. (Where they richly belong.)

Thank you, but I find it hard to visualise 'elections' in that scenario where two invaders are sandwiching a bunch of nazis and slaughter is paramount. Or will the nazis be the only voters in the western sector as zelensky has gaoled the opposition?

Perhaps all Russia needs to do is set up a new border zone at the Dnieper River and hold an eastern plebiscite to decide if they should stay and protect Ukranians from the nazi province in the west.

On the subject of the dominatoriate (I like that term) and wonder sometimes if they are all in fact a bunch of Russia lovers carefully infiltrated over a generation to bring the US to its defeat through a stupid war in Ukraine. Sometimes the black art of espionage is a treat as in this case they are on the cusp of achieving the first stage - splitting NATO and proving how stupid the US ptb really are.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 3:43 utc | 143

jayc #136

Thank you.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 3:44 utc | 144

Lithuania: just stepped on a rake labeled “potash”

Lithuania terminates transport contract with Belarus potassium giant Belaruska

On December 21, 2021, a special Lithuanian governmental commission vetting deals by strategic enterprises ruled that the 2018 contract between Belaruskali and LTG was not in line with the country's national security concerns.
The conservative-liberal Lithuanian government then agreed on January 12 that the state-owned railway company must terminate its contract with Belarus' potash giant Belaruskali, because it clashes with national security interests.
“As of February 1, it  is no longer valid,” Transport Minister Marius Skuodis said after the cabinet meeting. Fertiliser shipments under the contract must stop by that date, because the government’s decision leaves no legal basis for them to continue, Skuodis added.
While heavily criticizing Lukashenko, many European countries have continued to cash in on trade with Belarus during 2021.
According to the Belarusian statistical bureau Belstat, the EU's imports from Belarus in the first three quarters of 2021 increased by 96.1% in comparison to the same period in 2020. Bloomberg reported last year that the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat showed a 58% increase in EU imports from Belarus between January-August 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2020.
Despite being some of the EU’s harshest critics of Belarus, the three Baltic states’ trade with Belarus increased significantly over the course of 2021.
Landlocked Belarus has long used the ports in the Baltic states to export its products from the potash, petroleum, wood, and metal industries, which are among the Belarusian regime's main foreign currency earning industries.
During 2021, Belarus benefited from higher global prices on its biggest export products. This price rise caused a major upswing from Belarusian exports in 2021, dubbed the Belarusian “export miracle”, and much of last year's trade increase can be attributed to it.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 3:54 utc | 145

Dave good 138
>” The Jews are self identifying tribal culture centred on a shared religion.
They are not a race.”.
But *they* insist they are.
Are you gonna argue?
Consult with whoopie G before you do. She’s learning a lot about race, and who you can never mention, let alone criticise

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 4:00 utc | 146

juliania #140

I share the hope that this is a step back from the brink. But what Russia clearly puts forth in its treaties is the abandonment of hostility, withdrawal of eastern missile bases etc. Enough is enough.

I really hope they can realise that goal. I have been reading Michael Carly linked by karlof1 above and must say that it super informs our times here as if the 1920's are sending a warning.

The vicious application of sanctions then almost starved the socialist revolution to the point of collapse.

To speculate on the ammonium nitrate move by Russia, the possibility is that they could drop the gauntlet on the table and require the lifting of ALL economic and personal sanctions prior to any further talks on that matter.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 4:03 utc | 147

The "Helsinki Commission" held a very interesting, and I must say very narrow-minded discussion today on tensions in Ukraine. I encourage you all to go give a listen. If I could summarize in just one word what the position of the former U.S. officials providing statements today it would be this - perception.

Crazy as it seems, the statements make quite clear the belief that all this supposed Russian threatening and security demands are nothing more than Putin posturing, trying to give the Russian people the perception that they still matter on the world stage. They ridicule Putin for Russia being dropped from the G-8 and suggest confiscating valuable Russian real estate in London as if Russia could do nothing about it. Then say the important thing driving Putin now is the need to give the Russian people the perception that he's seemed to have won in this showdown with the West, and that "we have to be able to kind of allow him to... declare a win - to give him an off ramp."

They speak of European (and U.S.) unity as an absolute given. They credit themselves for having already deterred Putin. Why? Because Russia hasn't invaded ("for now"). Their thought is Putin would have invaded but for the forceful pushback by the U.S. and its allies. And they come down hard on Russian media.

This is just a small sample of the discussion.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Feb 3 2022 4:12 utc | 148

@114 Peter AU1 - thanks for those useful import/export stats links!
@115 Melaleuca

Re: fertilizer/food, other secondary effects of $$$ natgas

Yes definitely smth to keep an eye on.

Unfortunately while Western Europe is merely inconvenienced by a cost rise, the poorest nations would get priced out of food markets and face actual famine. (speaking of which... Afghanistan is in this situation now, simply due to the spiteful US seizure of their bank accounts). Not a good development.

Effect on US will IMO be muted, because the main reason US is an importer is because of corn bound for ethanol use. This is only marginally profitable even in normal times, so I figure it must be a money-loser next season. Then, unless the ethanol policy rules are even dumber than I realize, or unless gasoline price shoots up, they'll just plant less corn. Not use so much ethanol in the gas in 2022-2023. There is so much ethanol production, that reducing it should bring North American fertilizer production into balance. This would leave a noticeable but hardly catastrophic rise in food costs. But I guess we'll see, never underestimate the power of the federal gov't to surprise you.

Posted by: ptb | Feb 3 2022 4:13 utc | 149

Melaleuca #143

Thank you. That is a fine rake to step on.

Lithuania and its neighbours used to be referred to as 'the captive nations' by rightists during the cold war. They have not changed - captive to their ridiculous imaginings, fears and hatreds. I bet it was a Belorussian rake too ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 4:13 utc | 150

"But facts remain facts."

"The Jews are self identifying tribal culture centered on a shared religion."

"They are not a race."

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 3:40 utc | 138


Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 3 2022 4:18 utc | 151

@Posted by: JessDTruth | Feb 3 2022 1:01 utc | 112

Thanks for the link to the professor's site. I read his book "Silent Conflict: A Hidden History of Early Soviet-Western Relations" which was an excellent work on the period, looking forward to his next one.

So much about the pre-war years has been hidden as it shows how close the Western elites were to the Nazis and the games they were playing to defeat the Soviet Union.

Posted by: Roger | Feb 3 2022 4:21 utc | 152

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 3:54 utc | 143

Shortly afterwards, Russia stopped export of potassium fertilizers to EU with some bland reasons, and she stopped export of nitrogen fertilizers earlier. With nitrogen fertilizers, there is some deal with India, but EU farmers are hit. US farmers will get less fertilizers too, but they will spend more: the prices quadrupled.

There are three major exporters of potassium fertilizers: Belarus, Russia and Canada. At this time, the ports of St. Petersburg region have contacts with Russian exporters, and not enough remaining capacity to handle the entire Belarussian export.

I do not understand the situation fully, but EU countries are screwed by Lithuania, especially Latvia and Estonia that relied on Belarussian electricity and the transmission through Lithuania. It is a mystery why Eurocrats cannot impose some order and sanity. They imported sanctions addiction from USA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 3 2022 4:25 utc | 153

@ Jen | Feb 3 2022 0:35 utc | 104..thanks... we basically read that the same then... i was playing along..i like to be open minded.. some times however, i am too open minded.. i really appreciate your participation here at moa jen... i always appreciate reading what you have to say..

Posted by: james | Feb 3 2022 4:25 utc | 154

DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 3:40 utc | 138


I'm not sure what relevance the Nazi attitude to the Jews has to much under discussion in this thread.

The context is DunGroanin's comment about Whoopi Goldberg's statement that the Holocaust wasn't about race. Since the Nazis are the ones who carried out the Holocaust their ideas about race are what's under discussion. The Nazis thought Jews were a race and that's the basis on which they acted.

The Jews are self identifying tribal culture centred on a shared religion.

Jews define Jewishness by matrilineal descent. That's why someone like Edith Stein is still counted as Jewish even though she converted to Catholicism and was subsequently canonized as a saint and martyr.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Feb 3 2022 4:28 utc | 155


For what it's worth, genetic studies of both the paternal and maternal lines of the Ashkanazim show the male lines mostly came from the middle east while the female lines came from west and south Europe. Which is odd since someone's "Jewishness" is supposed to come down the maternal line, from women who never saw Israel/Palestine.

Anyway, mixing two groups of people from different parts of the world does not make a race.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 4:37 utc | 156

@Keith McClary | Feb 3 2022 0:47 utc | 107

If you google you will find a lot of "Jews not a race" opinion. It is used to argue that Zionisn is not racism.

My Ashkenaz Israeli friends find us goyim amusing when we tie ourselves in knots re racism etc. In Israel however, they are less sure about the Jewish 'race', at least as far as the European Ashkenazim Israelis are concerned with respect to their Palestinian Jewish Israeli citizens who look far too much like their Palestinian Muslim cousins, same goes for those Moroccan Jews, and no one knows what the fuck to make of those Ethiopian Jews! Modern Israeli life is much more complicated than most simple 'Jew' 'race' stereotypes.

For me, miltant Zionism in Israel, infected by the Meir Kahane ideology and its virulent racism with respect to a unified Jewish 'race', is very much an Ashkenazi ideology, and the post-WW2 creation of Israel the very last act of European colonialism. As I understand it, the really militant Zionists are either purely pragmatic atheists or victims of an insanely incoherent and suicidally racist belief system ... kind of like a mirror of Nazism. The pragmatists make use of it to keep the nutters on side, and so long as militant 'Zionism' remains the power ideology of the Israeli elites, fed by billions of USD in armaments, the Zionist hawks will all subscribe to 'it'.

Having been born into a British colony I feel sorry for the general population of Israeli Jews and their Palestinian indigenes, it's a wicked problem and they are all prey to their hawk elites.

Posted by: Zeug Gezeugt | Feb 3 2022 4:43 utc | 157


Your points are well taken, this conversation is just a sideshow to the main thread, I see no real point in pursuing it further. We'll end up annoying others.

Thank you for your time though.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 4:48 utc | 158

DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 4:37 utc | 154

Anyway, mixing two groups of people from different parts of the world does not make a race.

Congratulations, you've demonstrated the idea of race is inherently silly and makes no sense. Well done. Now you can move on to showing the Earth is not flat, that heavier objects do not fall faster than lighter ones, and that rocket ships can work in the vacuum of space even though there's nothing for the exhaust to push against.

Even though an idea or ideology is inherently silly and makes no sense, there are still people who believe and accept it and act on the basis of that belief.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Feb 3 2022 5:00 utc | 159

JessDTruth #112

Thank you for introducing me to this thinker. Bravo! and I will shout you a fine drink at the bar.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 5:00 utc | 160

DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 4:48 utc | 156

As you say, it's a sideshow. And is probably annoying others. Thank you for your civility. These sort of conversations often end up being much nastier.

(I posted my previous comment before seeing this. If I'd seen it first, I wouldn't have posted. Sorry.)

Posted by: Kukulkan | Feb 3 2022 5:03 utc | 161

@138 DaveGood "The Jews are self identifying tribal culture centred on a shared religion."

Isn't that an "ethnicity"?

An ethnic group can include anyone, based on whatever criteria they choose to nominate, and it is no business of anyone else to tell them who is in and who is out.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 5:13 utc | 162

If Ammonia Nitrate is a strategic resource, the USA is currently using hundreds of tons of it to blow up Wake Forest University.

Major fire burning out of control in Winston Salem, NC at a fertilizer plant.

Channeling George C. Scott's voice ... 'we can not allow an ammonia nitrate GAP'

Posted by: Fire Chief | Feb 3 2022 5:20 utc | 163

Crooke's latest complements b's rather well. He shows that Biden had lost the significant portion of Europe; Orban's Hungary is just the most recently visible.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 3 2022 6:07 utc | 164

RE: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 0:21 utc | 99
@91 lex talionis

I can't help but wonder how many Psakis there are in a Kirby

Me: Not sure, but I will hazard a guess that there are 100 Psakis in a Kirby, 100 Kirbys in a Biden, 100 Bidens in a Cruz, and 100 Cruzes in a Wicker.

Posted by: William Haught | Feb 3 2022 6:13 utc | 165


I had read Crooks piece earlier. US did some sort of deal with Qatar the other day. Once they have lined up what they think is sufficient gas, I think they will pull some stunt to bring in the sanctions. I don't think its over yet.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 6:24 utc | 166

It seems the collective public, emphasis on public, opinion of some people with experience in the area of EMP work is that salt water being a good conductor, any EMP effect would severely attenuate - be limited to very short range. These same people seemed strangely silent/unaware of non-nuclear EMP weapons.

Delivery of an EMP under water may be a stretch, but public documents show drone (air) delivery is an already tested weapon, along with EMP artillery and missiles.

Posted by: Les7 | Feb 3 2022 6:28 utc | 167

Which defeat? It has been confirmed that, post-Brexit, the Anglos continue to exercise hegemonic control over the EU's information space, thus setting the EU's agenda. That is a win. The jacking up of European energy prices is presumably something which Moscow is fine with, but it reduces the competitiveness of Airbus, Volkswagen, and the rest on world markets; that is a win for Washington. Related, Nord Stream II has been successfully politicized, against the express wishes of the previous German government; that is a win for Washington. Billions are flowing from US/UK taxpayers to military contractors, in exchange for which those taxpayers get Ukrainian IOU's which will never be repaid; that is a win in the eyes of everyone who counts.

And what conclusions can we even draw at this stage. We haven't seen the customary provocation/false flag yet, though we know that the people in charge dream big. Discount the fog, and on the topic of security guarantees the Dark Throne has put the ball back in Moscow's court. There is a real risk that Putin sinks back into Hamlet mode "to continue the dialogue", with the alternative media self-congratulating "Putin didn't take the bait, his steely nerves kept the peace." But if coming summer the NATO maneuvers take place in Ukraine as usual, that will have been a big defeat for Russia, and the NATO bulldozer will move on Finland, with the Kremlin having only itself to blame.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 6:46 utc | 168

@Davegood 105

[leaving out "The Jews ..", and becoming one, which is possible though not easy] where I agree to Kukulkan]

But I can't join the Han Race, no matter how much I believe

That is wrong. When ignorant westerners babble about "the Han" they often insinuate that there is a Han race, and moreover, Han exceptionalism and racism towards non Han citizen of 中华人民共和国, the 56 minorities with Uighurs and the like in particular. That is mere projection and rubbish.

Much more is the perception of Han as a race. You could become one though I doubt you will. Han is the catchall nationality of all Chinese not belonging to one of the 56 minorities. Chinese language is split into 7 main "dialects", the ethnicities wildly vary from northeast to southwest and far west. Any westerner managing to become citizen of the PRC will have "Han" in his or her passport, no matter where from or whether black or white.

That said, China so far does not do any naturalization, even not for permanent residents married to Chinese. There have been a handful of naturalizations for foreign veterans of the civil war and antijapanese war though. But the usual projection of a Han race, along with Han superiority complex, is rubbish.

What is true, is that many Chinese consider westerners, with all their ignorance, prejudices, and racism, as kind of barbarians.

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 0:39 utc | 105

Posted by: aquadraht | Feb 3 2022 6:49 utc | 169

Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 6:24 utc | 164

The US administration is desperate. So far nothing they done has succeeded. Obviously this is only to dupe Eurocrats to join these sanctions. Qatar as a long term primary supplier just won't work, and they have a lot of other customers like SE Asia and in Africa, obviously, EU would get in along a bidding war which could cost them dearly, if not the whole union.

The thing though Eurocrats aren't the smartest pencils in the batch and it might still happen. But these "sanctions from hell" as they describe it will have humongous adverse effects, Qatar or not. The markets will probably end up into massive mayhem, and a real shortage of a lot more stuff than only gas will start occurring.

For all intents and purposes the US gig is up. Whether they want/can make the situation much more worse for themselves we shall see.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 3 2022 6:50 utc | 170

well Les and peter
Seems we are left with just a few not very good alternatives.
Our largest ship is left without power in the middle op a mercy mission. Options:

Weird lightning strike
Volcano dust in the engine
Bad maintenance
Very bad design
Dmitry in a submarine
Li Huang in a submarine
Mr Kim in a submarine
God doesn't like Peter Dutton

Any other suggestions.

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 6:56 utc | 171

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 3 2022 1:21 utc | 116

Farmers are calling on the Biden administration to lift potash sanctions in order to avoid a major spike in food prices, a problem that would only add to inflation fears

The problem is larger in scope. The high price of fertilizer in the US has resulted in growers switching from corn to soy bean crops as these demand less fertilizer.

In the US ethanol production accounts for nearly 40 percent of total corn use.

This high demand for ethanol is a consequence of US legislation mandating the use of 10% ethanol in gasoline. In essence, America has shifted agricultural lands from feeding people to feeding automobiles.

The shift out of corn production and into alternate crops will reduce the availability of corn for ethanol production. The result is that the cost of ethanol will rise and with it the cost of a tank of "gas." Gas prices are already increasing in the US. They will likely continue to trend higher.

These higher costs will have an impact on the transport sector and will increase the cost of goods transport which in turn will drive up the cost of all goods. Since inflation is presently outpacing wage gains the US consumer will find his/her pay-cheque has lost purchasing power.

Since fuel demand is inelastic any increase in cost of fuel will result in a reduction in other consumption. Since food is also undergoing significant price increase one can expect a general reduction in demand for non-essentials. Many of non-essentials are delivered by service sector enterprises which use significant labour inputs. When Beatlemania raged barbershops went out of business; instead of a weekly trim it became acceptable to go a month between cuts. A contraction in demand would therefore have employment impacts.

There is an old fable about "For want of a nail, a Kingdom was lost." As has been said, "making predictions is difficult, especially predictions about the future." But if you accept that people must pay money to eat, and must buy fuel to attend the workplace, and if both of those costs demonstrate significant increases then it is not that difficult to project future hardship and upheaval.

What this will mean for an America already in the throes of tearing itself apart is anybody's guess.

Posted by: Sushi | Feb 3 2022 6:59 utc | 172

unimperator 168

"Whether they want/can make the situation much more worse for themselves we shall see." That I think will be the case. I would like to see them try and force EU into sanctions. It is quite likely to lead to the faster breakup of NATO. US is trapped. If it backs down now and enters a security agreement with Russia it will lose its grip on Europe as well

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 7:02 utc | 173

Posted by: DaveGood | Feb 3 2022 4:37 utc | 154

Actually Dave i think just about every population on earth (race if sufficiently distinctive is in fact a mixture.

All populations except those from Africa must have interbred with Neanderthal at some point and most also mixed with Denisovans.

There is no such thing as a pure race but there are of course concentrations of particular genetic characteristics, which give rise to changes in body type- hair colour, height etc. If sufficiently distinct we call them races.

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 7:07 utc | 174

It is all really quite simple. The author is deliberately misrepresenting those with "ancestral roots in east Europe". But we all know who they are. They are those who returned to Imperial Russia with gold from others with "ancestral roots in east Europe" in order to create the Bolshevik Revolution - mistakenly called the "Russian Revolution". During their period in power, over 60 million Soviet Christians and Muslims were killed - largely by famine.

Now, the descendants of these Bolsheviks are repeating their tricks in the USA. They were furious when Russia reintegrated Crimea. That is because Crimea was going to be the destination of their tribe that is now occupying Palestine. It is obvious that the position of those in Palestine is untenable.

The fact that both Russia and China are seeking to reduce the role of the "Federal Reserve" - another property of those people - is why we are having all these wars and "strategies".

Posted by: Alfred (Antalya) | Feb 3 2022 7:18 utc | 175

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 2:31 utc | 129

That "very telling article from Politico" article is anti-Russia BS.

Don is correct.
The article omits the fact the Azov militia and similar organizations were vocal in their intent to exterminate the "rats" the rats being the Russian speaking populations in the Donbass, Crimea and the Black Sea littoral.
The initial attacks were carried out by Ukraine air force ground attack fighters which unleashed cannon fire on civilians and killed 8 in the first attack. In Odessa the civic building was surround, the occupants refused an opportunity to exit and the entire multi-story building was then set afire. Those who sought to escape were shot.
It was these events that sparked the resistance movement in Donbass. It was these events that the Ukrainians, and their fellow travellers, refuse to acknowledge as being the basis of the present conflict.

Posted by: Sushi | Feb 3 2022 7:19 utc | 176


It was docked when it lost all power so main propulsion systems would have been off. Three engines and generators for main propulsion then there would be other engines and generators for auxiliaries. Every thing was dead. While in port. I guess if you were going to knock a ship out without causing casualties or risk, that's the place to do it.
After four days work they got some the auxiliaries up and running again - aircon, showers toilets, some coms. Civilian specialists going out to have a look. Makes me think various or certain components here there and everywhere got zapped though not everything.
Russian military put up some new sats in the last few years. I don't remember all of Martyanov's piece on it but I think they were something to do with targeting for strategic weapons. China also is researching a lot of stuff with satellites, though I don't think they are as far advanced as Russia with directed energy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 7:30 utc | 177

@ Numerous Barflies Re Ammonium Nitrate,

One possible unintended consequence, apart from food production and consequent inflation, is an increase in mineral commodity prices.

High purity ammonium nitrate is sold as Nitropril or prilled ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used as an explosive in the mining industry.

In Australia it is manufactured by Orica [formerly ICI Australia] at Kooragang Island, an industrial hellhole uncomfortably close to the a large residential area.

Local residents have worried about the plant blowing up for years.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 3 2022 7:31 utc | 178

"Eastern Europeans"(mainly Poles), often have a selective memory. They should remember that the USSR was the only country which sent soldiers and equipment to support the Spanish Republic and fight against the Nazis and their fascist allies in Spain. They should remember that Poland signed a non-aggresion treaty with Germany in 1934, five years before the Soviets did. They should remember that the Munich Treaty which handed Czechoslovakia to Germany was opposed by the Soviets but signed by the British and French anyway. The Soviets offered to form an alliance with Britain, France and Poland to oppose the German takeover of Czechoslovakia, they rejected it and Poland instead made a secret agreement with the Nazis to invade Czechoslovakia and divide it between them. So before the Nazis and Soviets became "allies", the Nazis and the Poles were. Hitler turned on his Polish "allies" just like he later did with the Soviets.

Poland also had taken advantage of the Russian Civil War to invade Belarus and Ukraine and try and annex their territory for themselves. They only signed a peace treaty after the Red Army had pushed them all the way back to Warsaw. So they had a history of aggresion against the Soviet Union from the very beginning of its existence.

Posted by: Alieu | Feb 3 2022 7:50 utc | 179

RE: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 0:21 utc | 99
@91 lex talionis
I can't help but wonder how many Psakis there are in a Kirby
Me: Not sure, but I will hazard a guess that there are 100 Psakis in a Kirby, 100 Kirbys in a Biden, 100 Bidens in a Cruz, and 100 Cruzes in a Wicker.
Posted by: William Haught | Feb 3 2022 6:13 utc | 163

If you convert all your Psakis, Bidens, Cruzes, and Wickers into Kirbys and then exchange those for a Hoover you will find that they all suck.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Feb 3 2022 7:56 utc | 180

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 7:30 utc | 175

So Peter you are suggesting Dmitry from the sky?

I have to agree with you that if Russia was looking for a spot to deliver a message to the USA without starting armageddon, dumping on Australia would be an obvious first spot. A US poodle, big enough to be noticed but not important enough to go to war over. Comes without any NATO baggage and unlikely AUKUS would pull out the stops. After all they will just sell us another boat.

However I think incompetence most likely - probably outsourced and cost cut maintenance , hiring overseas workers (backpackers) at half pay. Hmmmmm! I wonder if any of these outsourced workers was called Smirnoff, Kim or Huang?

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 8:03 utc | 181

"The U.S. strategy to 'fix' Russia in Europe by imposing 'crushing sanctions' on it to then attack China is failing. That is because it was completely misconceived.

Russia is the most autarkic country in the world. It produces nearly everything it needs and has highly desirable products that are in global demand and are especially needed in Europe. Russia also has huge financial reserves. A sanctions strategy against Russia can not work.

To use the Ukraine to gaud Russia into some aggression to then apply sanctions was likewise a rather lunatic attempt. There is nothing in the Ukraine that would tempt Russia to invade. Everything that may have do be done in the Ukraine can be done from Russian territory by Russian missiles or its air force and navy.

Instead of splitting Russia from China the U.S. has unintentionally done its best to push them into a deeper alliance. It was the most severe strategic error the U.S. could make."

The Elephant-in-the-Living-Room issue that this article deliberately avoids is this: America *deserves* to be defeated because its "grand strategy" is criminal to the core.

And America's grand strategy is one thing: to create an American Empire that rules over the entire planet and makes the world safe--not for democracy or liberty--but for American capitalism (and that of its Western imperial crime partners) to plunder and rape.

America's Wolfowitz Doctrine, successive US National Security Strategies from the Bush Regime onwards, the Pentagon's Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) think-tank admit this American agenda in all but name.

But the "criticism" that this article peddles is essentially complaining about the *ineffectiveness* of American imperialism-- particularly in terms of implementing its standard imperial divide-and-conquer tactics of "splitting Russia from China"--rather than a principled opposition to American imperialism or its criminal war threats.

This is like someone writing an article offering criticism of the German Third Reich--not for its wars of aggression--but rather about "How A Misguided Grand Strategy (of invading Russia) Led To This Nazi German Defeat."

This goes to show you that most "antiwar" sentiment in these European-American "democracies" is fraudulent to the core, as they are only tactical debates on how best to maintain Western imperialism--and not its criminality.

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 3 2022 8:08 utc | 182

@Sean #11
Yes, the way Russia communicates is confused and inadequate. Part of it is a continued misunderstanding of the West I think, and part of it is division among Russian elites--and the sides of that division understand both the division itself, as well as Russia's economic limitations and dependence on (or best case, interdependence with) the West. A message "you have nothing to fear from us" is completely counterproductive if one is serious about advancing security demands. The better message would be "We're locked and loaded, and to allow NATO orcs any closer to our borders is to court utter destruction." Russia is being bullied nonstop because it's good fun for the Anglos, because Western elites don't fear them at all; no matter how you insult them, the Russki's not only continue to flock to London--they even donate to the Tory party.

The Kremlin should know full well that the West cannot be charmed. Even mean words will solve nothing when Russian warnings of "grave consequences" in Syria have all turned out to be bluffs. This last part is most relevant now: the way I see it, after receiving the Russian "ultimatum", the Empire tested Russian resolve with a devastating Israeli strike on Latakia. The Bear looked away as usual. Then again, Russia and the CSTO seem to have done a good job in Kazakhstan, so the glass is half full I guess.

This whole Geneva theatre is only understandable to me as Russia going-through-the-motions for its domestic audience, to demonstrate to its people why the gloves need to come off now. But if Russia accepts that its Ukraine policy has failed, that its loss of a Ukraine partner is irreversible, it could seriously turn on the screws without burning the place down. Say, issue a finding that Kiev is now a security threat to the Russian federation and ban all banking/energy/trade ties to the place; let's see which of Kiev's NATO friends is willing to take up the slack. More specifically, how hard can it be to create a world of pain for Victor Pinchuk & friends, the paymasters of the Maidan. But at the hour of truth, to the Kremlin critters those still seem to be "our kind of guys", whose personal wealth is off-limits. There seem to be ideological blinders here, with the Russian Govt actually believing in all that free-trade stuff which the West only preaches, but never practices.

All in all, up to this point Moscow has done very little, and I'm not sure that that is their wisest option.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 8:13 utc | 183

Britain invaded neutral Iceland and Norway, and was planning to invade neutral Sweden too if their invasion of Norway hadn't been thwarted by the Germans. They also jointly invaded neutral Iran together with the Soviets, so the Anglos and their "allies" certainly don't have the right to lecture anyone about the morality of invading neutral countries. The USA took over the occupation of Iceland after they entered the war and it is still under US occupation to this day! The biggest protest in Iceland's history was against Iceland joining Nato in 1949. As usual, the US "democrats" ignored the protests and forced Iceland into Nato anyway. Iceland didn't even have an army, so it's not like they could do anything to stop it.

Posted by: Alieu | Feb 3 2022 8:14 utc | 184


More just wondering about possibilities. One these ships had a transformer blow a few years back and got back to port on half power. What has come out on the Tonga incident so far is that the crew worked around the clock for four days to restore partial power which makes me think that whatever the problem is, it has affected a large number of components. If it was just one component gone there would be some form of backup or that component could simply be replaced even if it had to be shipped or flown out. The ship has been out of action for some time now but there is no mention of exactly what is the problem.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 8:16 utc | 185

"I just don’t think anyone I read has adequately guessed what that is." - Sean 11

No, Sean, that's exactly the point. The Russian (and Chinese?) moves are going to be shocking to, and wholly unforeseen by, the Anglozionist empire's 'strategists'. Terrific fun to watch their thrashing about in hysterical panic! Some compensation for having had to spend a lifetime watching our local comprador-quislings in Britain's 'elite' English-raj class arse-kissing all things USAmerican. Since 1956...

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Feb 3 2022 8:23 utc | 186

This in TASS
"On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced additional US military deployments to eastern Europe. They will include roughly 2,000 US troops to Poland and an additional few thousand to southeastern NATO countries, including Romania."

Poland and Romania is where US has its missile bases.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 8:34 utc | 187

james | Feb 2 2022 23:47 utc | 92

"anyone else wonder why so many posts have responded to sean, but sean left the building?"

If sean is in Ireland as his name suggests, then the problem could be time zones. As I am in an earlier zone (GMT+1 and further south) I can usually post at the beginning of a thread - then I have things to do (yes, there is life outside MoA), with another time to be able to post being eight to midnight, after which sleep calls.

Just a practical difficulty to following and replying on a 24 hour site.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 3 2022 8:49 utc | 188

@James #16
Yes, much of the Empire's skills now lie in the realm of theatre, but does that make it "stupid"? Even post-Brexit, Washington completely dominates the EU information space, thus setting their agenda. The German government has now de facto conceded that they cannot actually turn Nord Stream II on without permission from Uncle Shlomo; good luck ever wriggling out of that one. Billions flow into the coffers of the MIC; it's all good, right?

Russia tries to get some attention waving around its wonder weapons, but the Empire doesn't care much in the belief that Russia doesn't dare use them. The assumption clearly is: the Red Line that counts is the domestic power and wealth of the Putin clan only, and the West doesn't cross it. Hell, having a Western enemy may even benefit Putin's standing. Biden calculates that the precious Blackwater boys now on the Donbass front line apparently won't come home in body bags for the midterms. And if those happen to be Colombian, South African, whatever, then who cares anyway.

Ukraine has been successfully, irreversibly, severed from the Russian sphere. Whether the Ukies go to Russia, Germany, or freeze in Kiev is neither here nor there. The policies are brutal, may be reckless, but the people implementing them will only feel "stupid" when they themselves get hurt.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 9:00 utc | 189

"Time, Gentlemen, please"

Fertilizers are spread BEFORE planting. That a stoppage is happening now, during the cold weather spreading period, means the long term effects on production will impact food prices later in the year. (Much soil has been leeched out by commercial over exploitation).

Russia used agricultural sanctions against the EU before. More of the same?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 3 2022 9:21 utc | 190

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 7:30 utc | 175

Of course there is another option

"I do not think I know" Any French submarines or boats in the vicinity. Perhaps Pierre gave Dimitry some co-ordinates, with a bit of help from the Tongan PM, whom apparently Scummo insulted recently.

Sorry for the "in-joke" but those of us from down under will all get it.

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 9:50 utc | 191

Andrei Martyanov has a new podcast analyzing current events and a little prediction (towards the end) on what the next steps may be by Russia in the stand-off against US:

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 9:54 utc | 192

So England's Foreign secretary Liz Truss doesn't know where the Baltic nations lie, she thought they were near the Black sea which is 700 miles away from the Baltic sea, she was schooled by Russia's Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on where the nations are, especially when she will visit them soon, and to give out such an erroneous statement beforehand doesn't look good.

Meanwhile Dmirty Polyanskiy Russia's Deputy Ambassador at the UN has said that British diplomacy has shown that is absolutely worthless, spot on I say.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 3 2022 10:21 utc | 193

@Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 9:00 utc | 187

Yes, much of the Empire's skills now lie in the realm of theatre, but does that make it "stupid"? Even post-Brexit, Washington completely dominates the EU information space, thus setting their agenda. The German government has now de facto conceded that they cannot actually turn Nord Stream II on without permission from Uncle Shlomo

I would argue that it does make it 'stupid'. Of course, there are many types of stupidity, but in the case you discuss i.e. theater and PR, the are a few points that can be made:

1. If you start believing your own stupid PR then you BECOME stupid even if you started off not being thus.
2. Stupidity, if promoted across the board, and especially in the media (which it is) does give you increased control, without lessening your stupidity.
3. Germany is fully occupied territory. They do not make decisions. From that angle they could be argued to be stupid because they allow themselves to be controlled by stupid. Furthermore, how clever is it to shoot yourself in the (energy) foot on orders from stupid.

Of course these are simplifications at a high level, but I do not see any inconsistency there. If it looks stupid and does stupid things then is it stupid, for all practical purposes i.e. the duck argument :-)

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 10:35 utc | 194

Israel Foreign Minister throws Biden under a bus.

Yahoo News report by Barak Ravid fwiw.

Israel doesn’t think there will be a violent confrontation between Russia and Ukraine anytime soon, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tells me.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has been warning publicly in recent weeks that the Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine could lead to an invasion at any moment.

Looks like 'Let's Go Biden' is becoming kosher.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 3 2022 10:42 utc | 195


The ADL conveniently changed their definition of "Racism" after the Whoopi Goldberg incident.:
>Racism: The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.
>--Last updated July 2020
>Racism (interim definition): Racism occurs when individuals or institutions show more favorable evaluation or treatment of an individual or group based on race or ethnicity.
>--Last updated February 2022

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 10:46 utc | 196

Neither Russia or the US will confirm that they might have come to an agreement with regards to Ukraine, its Nato membership and missiles.

The supposed deal is one that if Russia promises not to invade Ukraine if certain types of missiles (Tomahawks) are removed from sites in Romanian and Poland, and the US would be given the choice of where it would like missiles removed from inside Russia.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais, is said to have seen the secret documents (written replies from the US and Nato) and it has published them, the US document is marked as confidential "Non-Paper"

The paper then goes on to add that the US will need to consult its Nato allies on the offer.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 3 2022 10:57 utc | 197

A quick look this morning shows that the USS Harry.S.Truman is still in Crete, presumably with attendant battle group.
Given what has happened to the Australian flagship, and the fact that the entire Russian navy (apart from hulls being refitted and repaired) is at sea and appears at some point to be heading for the Eastern Med, I'm taking bets on a Donald Cook redux at some point in the near future. But this time bigger and better.

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Feb 3 2022 10:58 utc | 198

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 3 2022 10:21 utc | 191

“Our Baltic allies across the Black Sea”

Couldn't help but remember Pink Floyd's song "Have a Cigar",

You're gonna go far, you're gonna fly

This lady has a lot going for her, a new Maggie Thatcher even though I doubt there is anything left to be privatized in England or unions to be busted. Oh by the way, which one is Pink? the Tartar or the Mongol? History and geography, who needs that when you're the Foreign Minister of a have been empire.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 3 2022 11:02 utc | 199

I hope that agreement is for real, all Russia wants is for the NATO expansion to stop and the missile removed. the US will doubtless claim "victory" since Russia isn't carrying out an invasion it never wanted to carry out in the first place. and then the US and NATO try to come up with a new strategy to prop up the empire.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 3 2022 11:02 utc | 200

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