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.


bigger

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

Comments
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Caucaus-Slavic Khazar-Ashkenazi Jewish-Bolsheviks in their Centuries-Long War of Control over European+Russian Powers - this time through TwinkBlinken, Nudelman-Khagan, Zelensky, and NATO - might bring in another Hot War.

Posted by: IronForge | Feb 2 2022 19:15 utc | 7

What in BLAZES does anything of this have to do with BOLSHEVIKS of all things.

************

Eastern Europeans have as long a memory as the Russian. They know World War 2 in Europe was only possible after Joe and Adolf reached agreement with the treaty of August 23, 1939. Eastern Europeans remember it was the Soviet Union which invaded Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia--massacring most of their intellectual and professional classes. Absent the Soviet Nazi cooperation the German military would never have allowed Hitler to launch his war. Russiaphiles want to forget their complicity in launching WWII. The consequence of that short sighted decision allowed the US to subjugate western Europe. Unintended consequences are always the outcome of war--

Posted by: wobblie | Feb 2 2022 19:46 utc | 12

This probably gets the 2022 award to "Most Long-Winded Way to Write 'I Wish Nazis Took All of Poland' "

Also, blaming mid-20th century soviets for whatever the americunts are doing today has got to be the most pathetic dead-horse-flogging copout that could possibly be produced.

The Innocent Bambi game that many Poles like to play is utterly disgusting

Posted by: Misotheist | Feb 3 2022 11:10 utc | 201

US special forces specialising in their specialness: superfluous slaughter.

Botched raid in Northern Syria leaves seven children and 3 women dead. Intended target unclear.

From twitter sources
> BREAKING Pentagon confirms U.S. special operations forces carried out a successful counterterrorism mission in NW Syria this evening, No US casualties
> @NotWoofers I have footage of bodies but I’m not going to post dead kids. Seems like they were killed alongside an adult male by an Apache. Very gruesome video.
> defense.gov. DoD Statement on Feb. 2, 2022 Counterterrorism Operation in Northwest
The Defense Department issued a statement on a counterterrorism operation in Northwest Syria.
> Claims from local media report the presence of dead and wounded civilians consisting of women and children at the site of the raid. And also news that the airstrikes a short time ago blew up the targeted building.
> American drones are still sitting over the Jinderes-Atma area. Presumably they carried out the strikes and may carry out more.
> Clashes ongoing now for over an hour and a half with the Coalition telling civilians to stay in their homes or risk being shot. So far seems like this is not going well
> @EliotHiggins. Statement from the White Helmets on the US raid, stating 13 people were killed, including 6 children and 4 women, and a girl and another individual was injured. The raid took place between 1am and 3am local time. The injured girl's family were all killed.
> @EliotHiggins More footage from the building attacked in the US raid in northwestern Syria, which seems to have killed more toddlers than terrorists
> @EliotHiggins. This statement is consistent with the open source imagery I've seen, which includes the remains of young children, and one injured girl. It's still unclear what the target of this raid, which the US describes as a "success", was.
> @LMartinezABC. Helicopter used in Syria raid had mechanical issues and had to be blown up on the ground by U.S. forces according to U.S. official.

Interesting that Elliot Higgins of bellingcat and white Helmets has emerged to tweet about this.
Was the U$A attempting some “housekeeping”. / Removing assets?

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 11:12 utc | 202

Republic of Scotland 195.
Head over to thesaker.is. The letters are available in English.
And there’s commentary plus commentaries.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 11:17 utc | 203

The dynamics of the Cuban missile crisis in which our position was based on the idea that enemy nukes ~90+ miles from our border was seen as some sort of existential problem.
So.
NATO bases in Ukraine?
How did neutrality vis a vis the USSR hurt Finland other than, I guess, keeping military-industrial gifts from Finland's leadership?
Personally, I'm not one of these defenders of Putin but when he's right, he's right.

Posted by: Hart Liss | Feb 3 2022 11:22 utc | 204

Republic of Scotland 195
“…… the US would be given the choice of where it would like missiles removed from inside Russia.”
If there is one thing absolutely certain.
The Russians will NOT be allowing the U$A to determine where in RUSSIA Russians can place their missiles.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 11:24 utc | 205

Melaleuca (201) and (203) I think the missile placement is for two sites only in Russia not he whole country.

Thanks for that, here it is for all to see.

https://thesaker.is/both-us-and-nato-replies-leaked-to-spanish-paper-full-texts/

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 3 2022 11:33 utc | 206

Eastern Europeans have as long a memory as the Russian. They know World War 2 in Europe was only possible after Joe and Adolf reached agreement with the treaty of August 23, 1939. Eastern Europeans remember it was the Soviet Union which invaded Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia--massacring most of their intellectual and professional classes. Absent the Soviet Nazi cooperation the German military would never have allowed Hitler to launch his war. Russiaphiles want to forget their complicity in launching WWII. The consequence of that short sighted decision allowed the US to subjugate western Europe. Unintended consequences are always the outcome of war--

Russophobes.... particularly UK Russophobes... want to bury forever Chamberlain's complicity with Hitler in making WWII possible... Chamberlain and Dadalier were complicit in permitting the German re-occupation of the Rhineland, Austrian Anshluss, and Dismemberment of Czechoslovakia.

Without control of the Rhineland, Germany had no secure western border. Without Austria's gold, Germany had no financial resources to fund the war. Without Czech war industries, in particular the SKoda works, and it's tanks, Germany could not conduct "BlitzKreig"

The intent was to facilitate the Germans attacking the Russians via Czechoslovakia. Poland was an ally of Germany in this, until Hitler took the Danzig corridor, and eventually Poland itself.

Forgotten, is why the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came to be... It came to be to buy the Soviet Union time to arm for the coming war, after the Soviets were spurned by the Brits and French..

You are obviously in thrall to NATO propaganda, otherwise You would never have published the CRAP quoted above.

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Feb 3 2022 11:33 utc | 207

@Uncle Tungsten #131

I believe the Integrity Initiative is an outfit dedicated to "Countering Russian disinformation", i.e., pushing British disinformation. :-) They resort under the Institute for Statecraft, though with these sleazebags arrangements are necessarily a bit opaque. *Responsible* Statecraft is a US outfit more on the lines of Paleoconservative/Small-Govt/Realist-Foreign-Policy. So they are unrelated outfits, and one suspects that Anatol Lieven would feel at home with the latter, but not with the former.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 11:38 utc | 208

@179 watcher Consider the mission that the Adelaide was undertaking: humanitarian aid to a country that had just been hit by a tsunami.

Bad as the Russians are with massaging the MSM, I can't imagine that anyone in the Kremlin would have gone through a list of possible "examples" and pointed to that ship and shouted "Yeah, that one! It's perfect! Let's cripple that one!".

Ahem.

It's on a humanitarian mission, to a tiny island that has been hit by a tsunami. Maybe pick another one.

I think it is simply a case of incompetence.

Lord knows the Australian Department of Defense is not run by geniuses, and the Royal Australian Navy has borrowed its doctrines and practices from the US Navy. Enough said.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 11:41 utc | 209

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Feb 3 2022 11:41 utc | 207

Of course. I was in fact having a bit of a joke (I hope). However I think the Adelaide had already completed its mission ie unloaded everything and the crew could not go ashore because it is riddled with COVID.

As I was suggesting- perhaps it was the French. After all they have history of secretly blowing ships up while in harbour in friendly Pacific nations.

Posted by: watcher | Feb 3 2022 11:48 utc | 210

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 11:24 utc | 203
"The Russians will NOT be allowing the U$A to determine where in RUSSIA Russians can place their missiles.
"

The security framework had a notion that all parties would refrain from posting nuclear weapons or certain other missiles outside their own territories. That means no US nukes outside US territories and no Russian nukes outside Russian territories, this proposal isn't probably negotiable, and especially due to US history of abandoning deals at whims.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 3 2022 11:53 utc | 211

Excellent.

Kabuki is about ye olde USA pipeline embagos, going back to Reagan era. Blinken literally wrote a thesis on it.

And yes, cripple Russia in USA business interests.

Energy is economy.

Ukraine, or it's President, are realising they are being played as US patsies.

They will implement the Minsk agreement.

Zelinsk can save his butt by doing a mirror agreement giving autonomy to the Nazis on the left hand side. Except foreign policy. And regional governor to be locally elected.

That should suck the troublemakers back home.

Zelinsk will need an elite Presidential guard.

An massive reforms.

And face the public in an honest truth and reconciliation move.

He could do it. But is he the man for the hour?

Posted by: Powerandpeople | Feb 2 2022 19:10 utc | 5

^^^ Excellent post!

The US/West has always seen Russia's energy as the attack point. It's the fundamental reason why the US/West gives a crap about Ukraine: think about Hunter Biden (get on the inside of Burisma). Strategy has been to reduce Russian energy influence in Europe, but that was always going to be impossible; the ONLY "solution," therefore, was/is to upend the Russian government (clearly highly unlikely), to place global corporate control over Russia's energy sources.

Ukraine is far to unstable to pull into NATO. The US/West does not have the leverage that it thought it had or that it hoped to have. Ukraine is in a way similar to Turkey in that it can play itself to both sides. I think that it can continue to try and garner favor with Europe, but it will still continue to be dependent on energy flows from Russia. As Powerandpeople's post notes, it's Zelinsky that has the position of effectively determining the outcome. Either Ukraine completely implodes (West/Europe can deal with the neo-Nazis and Russia can deal with the folks in Donbas) or it realizes that NATO membership isn't going to happen and that their best bet is to salvage themselves via Minsk II.

Energy issues will strain NATO vis a vis Germany. They have no real options other than to allow Nordstream II to complete (be certified) and be operational. NATO's mission to take over Russia is now a dead-end; NATO is all but over.

ALL WARS ARE ABOUT RESOURCES. The US/West has a losing hand. Russia has the winning hand: solidified via their military capabilities. I see all that's going on as Russia's finally being able to tell the US/West to get off it's lawn! (GTF away from its sphere of influence)

It's now coming down to how the US empire winds down. US will shift harder toward internal control of its population as unrest rockets upward. Russia and China will continue to be painted as the enemy (rather than seeing the real "man behind the curtain"); this narrative won't go away; but, threats of direct confrontation WILL go away as the empire continues its collapse.

Posted by: Seer | Feb 3 2022 11:57 utc | 212

Funny how our ‘world class’ Ivy League diplomatic corps can’t even get Ukraine government to respond to the grievances of the DPR and LPR. That incalcitrance says it all. Ukraine government is inept and ignorant to the needs and desires of its own people. The collective west has not recognized nor defined the problem, therefore the solution eludes them.

Posted by: Fred | Feb 3 2022 12:24 utc | 213

I believe the Integrity Initiative is an outfit dedicated to "Countering Russian disinformation", i.e., pushing British disinformation. :-) They resort under the Institute for Statecraft, though with these sleazebags arrangements are necessarily a bit opaque. *Responsible* Statecraft is a US outfit more on the lines of Paleoconservative/Small-Govt/Realist-Foreign-Policy.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 11:38 utc | 206

Yes, as an Amurkin, that is about right, Responsible Statecraft is the only US "establishment" source I pay any attention too, still inside the box, but trying to acknowledge reality. What one might expect if we still had intelligent foreign policy discussions based on our own national interest, without the supremacists of various sorts and extremists, recent immigrant ideologues, and tools.

On the other hand, I don't see that anybody is paying much attention to them yet, and they may just be building up some credibility.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 3 2022 12:25 utc | 214

Sean @11: "I don’t understand the Russian game plan."

This is the classic indication that you are immersed in a false narrative. When the perceived behavior and actions of people whom the locally dominant corporate mass media presstitutes cast as "the bad guys" don't make sense it means that YOU are working from wrong initial assumptions. Whether it is the Iranians or the Cubans or the Venezuelans or, in this specific case the Russians, whose actions seem nonsensical it means that you are not actually working with the peoples you think you are. Instead you are trying to understand the actions of artificial boogiemen; strawmen created by the presstitutes to justify the actions of the power elites who own those presstitutes.

The poster's inability to understand the Russians in this case is an indication that the poster doesn't understand anything about these current events.

The analysis by our host and other posters on these fora is not wrong. They are simply starting from different, and more accurate, initial assumptions.

Recommendation for Sean: Drop the conviction of the exceptionality of yourself and your society and try to invert your assumptions. Instead of starting from the assumption that you are a member of the "good guys" and the Russians are the "bad guys", reverse that and consider your own society to be the aggressors and the Russians to be the victims.

Boom! All at once everything falls into place and everyone's actions suddenly make sense.

I know it is difficult, but give this a try. You can thank me later for clearing up all of the cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc | 215

I cannot help but spy, with my 'Stalinist gaze' (as Zizek calls it), the unstated object of the strategy. The point was to get Europe to commit to sanctions in case of an 'invasion', try to get the Ukraine to lure Russia into an 'invasion' - at least an increase in Russian support to Donbas which could be presented as a general invasion of the Ukraine - in order to call Europe's bluff on applying the sanctions; a sanctions regime that wouldn't have happened had the U.S. not gone on the major propaganda offensive about an imminent Russian invasion first. So, the object of this strategy is not the Ukraine but Europe. This was the first real "America is back" moment.

Europe is now stuck between the US-led world order, for historical reasons, and their nagging recognition of the rise of the East and decline of the former. European states had to subordinate themselves to the U.S. for the Cold War but this relationship can't be permanent. The next century will be decided on how the chips fall in Europe, with the hinge-pins being France and Germany. In this context I would be extremely interested in hearing about Germany's place in this whole Russia-Ukraine drama. How did major sectors of the German state react? I'd like to get an idea of how Germany is walking this 'tightrope'. What was the opposition like, not just to the U.S. plan but internal opposition to Germany's reaction to it?

Posted by: feelin like koba | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc | 216

Roger you are quit ignorant and it shows, but that is the nature of bigots. Poland in 1936 was a paradise compared to Stalin’s terror and forced collectivization campaigns and Hitlers programs. I recommend more education Roger.

Posted by: Wobblie | Feb 3 2022 12:51 utc | 217

@William Gruff | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc | 213

Good effort. I hope if helps him some.
I had reaon to look up Gregory Bateson's original double-bind theory way back in the 1950's from his research related to schizophrenia. It has been dilluted somewhat in later deriviatives to accommodate 101-org-theory etc.

If I may, and I believe it is very much of current relevance in several domains, I will simply paste the words of an expert on his work:

Double bind, in Bateson’s view, was never a matter of simple intellectual confusion or of being caught in a dilemma of “I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t.” Double bind was a situation in which simple dilemmas were compounded by falsified contexts, supported by patterns of interpersonal communication which ensured continuation of the denial that a falsified context existed. (Harries-Jones 1995, p. 135)

The extant geopolitical emphasis relates to "falsified contexts" and "denial."

---
Harries-Jones, P. 1995. Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson: A Recursive Vision. University of Toronto Press.

Posted by: imo | Feb 3 2022 12:57 utc | 218

Stalins armies would never have reached Berlin without the 200000 Studebaker trucks the US sent them. Russia would be practically hopeless without China’s and Iran’s support. Hopefully Putin and his minions are realistic about their strength and weakness.

Posted by: Wobblie | Feb 3 2022 13:06 utc | 219

I wonder if we are all overthinking the “military-technical” response from Russia. The term in Russian is not as mysterious as the English translation. It basically means military hardware. Someone from the Russian government, I forgot if it was Peskov or Lavrov or someone else, said that the Americans knew perfectly well what the Russian response would be. And the way the Russians put it, which fits very well with Putin’s MO over the past 20 years, is that the response would be symmetrical. You sanction us, we sanction you. You close one of our consulates, we close one of yours. The Russian response is sometimes unexpected, but it is almost always proportionate. Putin doesn’t escalate.

So maybe the Russian response is staring us in the face. Move some more missiles to Kaliningrad to target the major European capitals, and have Russian hypersonic-equipped subs within easy striking distance of the American coast(s). And then be done with it. If the Americans and Europeans are cool with this, ok, if they are not, we can go back to our original demands. And Russia will have the additional freedom to make any agreements with Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, etc, that she chooses, and if the Americans complain, wave the American response to the Russian draft documents in their face - every country has the right to choose its own alliances. Over time there will be a robust Chinese-Russian alternative to Swift, which other countries will be invited to join, Russia will develop the pipeline and LNG capacity to sell more to China and the rest of the world, and tell the Europeans to stuff it if they get too mouthy. All in good time.

Russia has the capacity to escalate, and has a temporary window of military superiority until america fields its own significant quantities of hypersonic missiles (which is a few years away). But Putin doesn’t escalate. And I think he sees a bright future for Russia, and a decline for America regardless of what Russia does, so why risk it all in a huge confrontation?

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 13:10 utc | 220

Stalins armies would never have reached Berlin without the 200000 Studebaker trucks the US sent them. Russia would be practically hopeless without China’s and Iran’s support. Hopefully Putin and his minions are realistic about their strength and weakness.

Posted by: Wobblie | Feb 3 2022 13:06 utc | 217

Well, even the shithole north of Mexico seems capable to do one good thing or two in an entire century.

Or at least used to be, still waiting in the 21th.

Posted by: Misotheist | Feb 3 2022 13:28 utc | 221

@uncle tungsten #131
I don't know about direct II links, but the Quincy Institute (parent org) is funded by the usual suspects: Soros, Koch, Rockefeller, Carnegie foundations. Also Bacevich.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2022 13:36 utc | 222

Sean @218: ” so why risk it all in a huge confrontation?”

See what I mean by wrong initial assumptions? The poster is incapable of recognizing that the Russians are not the party creating this ”huge confrontation “.

The Russians don’t want confrontation, but the US and NATO are not giving them a choice. It is instructive to observe how some people cannot comprehend that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 3 2022 13:37 utc | 223

@retiredmecheng #133
Presuming a warship is at least moderately protected against EMP - i.e. more than say a utility-level transmission line - the EMP required to take down an entire ship's electrical systems would require something on the order of a nuclear weapon.
Warships are presumably supposed to be hardened against nuclear level EMP.
These days, it is safer to ascribe failures to incompetence rather than to enemy action.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2022 13:39 utc | 224

About 1939 :
''At last, on August 12 (1939), Pravda announced the arrival in Moscow of the British and French Military Missions....
In the evening a banquet was given in honour of the British and French Military Missions, and all the Soviet top brass were there - ...
The visit had been announced more than three weeks before; but the British and French had obviously been in no great hurry to come, having travelled by slow boat to Leningrad. Needless to say, nobody had ever heard of Admiral Drax or General Doumene.
...The British Government's attitude to the Mission was so frivolous that it had not even given them any powers. Only towards the end of the talks, after a lot of insisting by the Soviet side, did Drax produce some sort of credentials, but even these did not allow him to sign any kind of agreement with the USSR. The credentials of the French general were no better. All they had been empowered to do was to conduct negotiations with us.'' The 'History' recalls that after the Soviet Government had proposed that Britain and France send military missions to Moscow, these people ''had taken eleven days to prepare for their departure, and had taken six more days to travel by slow cargo-passenger boat to Leningrad and thence to Moscow''.
Russia at War 1941-1945 by Alexander Werth - An Avon Book - 1964 - pp. 57,58
For the friends of history :
https://www.amazon.com/Russia-at-War-1941-1945-History/dp/1510716254

In I939 the Soviet Union got back the land that was given to Poland by the Treaty of Riga of March 18,1921, which Soviet land in its turn was east of the by the British government proposed Soviet-Polish boundary, the Curzon Line of December 1919.

Posted by: ΚΓΨ | Feb 3 2022 13:49 utc | 225

Posted by: feelin like koba | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc

"I would be extremely interested in hearing about Germany's place in this whole Russia-Ukraine drama."

In my view German officials wobbling forth and back as well as the media (with more time for the russia-is-the-agressor-narrative). But the lines are not closed. The german DM declared the russia-will-invade-narrative outright bullshit in the Morgenmagazin (TV).
One of the more important talkshows (Maybrit Illner) today is titled "Putin or Amerika. Germany between the fronts".
They all fear to lose the 'unity' in the EU. That's the main point in the media at the moment. Nobody talks about NATO.
But anyway it is impossible to drag the Germans into war with russia in the near future and the Russians know that.
If I had to guess who the German Social Democrats would betray this time, as they always do - I would guess the Poles.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 13:49 utc | 226

Re: fertilizers

China and Russia stopping exports could be a geopolitical move, or it could also be a purely defensive one.
Belarus gets it gas cheap from Russia but their actions are clearly in response to EU sanctions just imposed.
Note that the price of natural gas has been trending up since it hit bottom in June 2020 (due to COVID):

Price of Natural Gas EU according to Federal Reserve

Note the pretty much straight line up.

Russia consumes a lot more natural gas than it exports:

Pic showing domestic Russian gas consumption vs exports on Gazprom

I am inquiring, but it would not surprise me if domestic prices for natural gas were increasing as the export/world price for natural gas was increasing. Certainly inflation in Russia has been high.

China imports over 30% of its natural gas, so again I would expect rising world prices to reflect into prices for natural gas in China.

Net net: it isn't clear to me that the moves by Russia and China are aimed at the US/EU (and rest of the world) so much as they could be in response to their internal needs and the world spot price of natural gas.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2022 13:58 utc | 227

@uncle tungsten #131
Quincy institute, the parent umbrella over Responsible Statecraft, is funded by the usual suspects:
Koch
Soros/Open Society
Rockefeller
Carnegie

also Bacevich, interestingly.
But not Integrity Initiative as far as I can see.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 3 2022 14:04 utc | 228

@Sean | Feb 3 2022 13:10 utc | 220


And the way the Russians put it, which fits very well with Putin’s MO over the past 20 years, is that the response would be symmetrical. You sanction us, we sanction you. You close one of our consulates, we close one of yours. The Russian response is sometimes unexpected, but it is almost always proportionate. Putin doesn’t escalate.

This is not correct. Some tit for tat is to be expected but even in his Munich Security Conference in 2007 Putin warned that US encroachment, specifically anti-missile systems on Russian borders, would elicit an asymmetric responses by Russia (now we know those to be the panoply of hypersonic weapons).

Also, I don't know where you got the idea that Putin does not escalate. Russia has escalation dominance around its borders and is already seen to be using that advantage. Maybe the escalation is not kinetic (yet) but we should not expect the measures to be confined to the military domain. There are also political, technical and economic domains where Russia could put some asymmetric hurt on the US, EU and NATO.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 14:43 utc | 229


Posted by: Wobblie | Feb 3 2022 13:06 utc | 219

Stalins armies would never have reached Berlin without the 200000 Studebaker trucks the US sent them. Russia would be practically hopeless without China’s and Iran’s support. Hopefully Putin and his minions are realistic about their strength and weakness.

The Roosevelt / Churchill armies would never have reached Falaise without the 165 German divisions being kept occupied on the Eastern Front. The Allies were in a hopeless position without Soviet and Chinese support. There is no point to "hoping" Bidet and his minions gain a realistic appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses.

Posted by: Sushi | Feb 3 2022 14:50 utc | 230

I guess I didn’t put it well. Putin’s response is often symmetrical (where possible), but always proportionate. Hypersonic missiles are a proportionate response to American missile defense. You take away our ability to hit you, we bring it back. We don’t actually hit you, we just restore our ability which you are trying to take away.

Where Putin is asymmetrical is where he has no other choice given relatively (compared to the USA and the collective West) limited Russian capabilities.

Russia has been more than happy to muddle along, it doesn’t always or usually try to solve the problem once and for all. Hence putting up with a hostile Ukrainian state and on-and-off attacks on the Donbas for 8 years. Ukraine will have medium-range missiles in a few years. Sure they will be “regular” missiles, and in event of a war Russia will be able to shoot many of them down. But some would get through, and here you will have a Ukrainian strike capacity on Moscow and literally on the Kremlin itself, and this has been known to be in the works for some years, and Russia puts up with it and sometimes puts its weight on the scale in the Donbas conflict and that’s it.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 14:56 utc | 231

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 13:10 utc

But the whole russian naval force is on sea. That doesn't look like an proportionate response.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 14:59 utc | 232

I guess I didn’t put it well. Putin’s response is often symmetrical (where possible) and always proportionate. Hypersonic missiles are a proportionate response to American missile defense in Europe. You take away our ability to hit you, we bring it back. We don’t actually hit you, we just restore our ability which you tried to take away.

Putin is asymmetrical where there is no other choice, given Russia’s relatively limited (compared to the USA and the collective West) capabilities.

Russia is often more than happy to just muddle through. It doesn’t always or usually try to solve the problem once and for all. There has been a Russia-hostile Ukrainian state for eight years, with on-and-off attacks on the Donbas, and Russia puts up with it. In a few years Ukraine will have medium-range missiles. Sure they will be “regular” missiles, and in event of war Russia will be able to shoot down a lot of them. But some of them would get through, and here you will have a Ukrainian strike capacity on Moscow and literally on the kremlin itself, that has been known to be in the works for some years, and Russia just puts its weight on the scale in the Donbas sometimes and that’s it.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 15:09 utc | 233

@Sean | Feb 3 2022 15:09 utc | 232


Russia is often more than happy to just muddle through.
[...]
Russia just puts its weight on the scale in the Donbas sometimes and that’s it.

You are not seeing things clearly. What you wrote seems more like wishful thinking than statements about reality.

I recommend you take to heart what is explained nicely by @William Gruff | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc | 215.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 15:15 utc | 234

Britain is building an unofficial naval base on the Azov Sea in Ukraine, right next to the Crimea, the US, UK and other NATO countries are pouring weapons into a deeply Russia-hostile Ukraine, there is a giant CIA building located in the center of the Soviet Union’s 3rd largest and most important city Kiev, America is threatening sanctions specifically designed to destroy the Russian economy, while Russia does naval exercises and musters troops 100km from the Ukrainian border. I would say the Russian response is not even proportionate in this case, it is subdued.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 15:17 utc | 235

@Sean | Feb 3 2022 15:17 utc | 234

Let them spend the money building their unofficial base. Then one day they will either have to get rid of it, convert it to a beach club or it will be obliterated. No money back.

In the meantime the Russian's have already achieved at least one goal: they are being listened to. Next step is to tighten the screws and ensure they are being listened to. So far they've been ignored. This is no longer possible.

There is an expectation that Putin and Xi will make an important announcement tomorrow (after their meeting). Some say this will outline the 'new world order' e.g. https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2022/02/03/are-biden-and-putin-deal-makers/

No one is muddling through this one. It is getting more and more interesting, asymmetrically.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 15:34 utc | 236

@Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 15:34 utc | 235

Sorry I mean to say:

Next step is to tighten the screws and ensure they are being taken seriously.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 15:35 utc | 237

@Fred 213

I think this has it exactly backwards. Let's not forget, Ze won the Ukie elections on a promise of peace with Donbass, and by extension, with Russia. Whether he meant any of it--who knows with politicians and actors, you don't even need to bring in his Tribe. The fact remains that in Kiev, much of power does not rest with laws and institutions, but with heavily armed men roaming the streets. Just being elected prez gets you little if they threaten to hang you from a lamppost, as they've vocally and credibly done with both Ze and Porky before that.

Together with sympathetic oligarchs, Washington plays these currents for fun and profit. This is the part that Moscow got so wrong when they thought "Time is on Russia's side". Yes, you'd need to solve the conflict to stabilize and rebuild Ukraine. The Maidan junta can't do either but it doesn't matter, since a small clique lives well indeed from what they skim off Western military aid (the Kabul model). The goal works the other way round: you want power in Kiev in order to fuel the conflict. That's why Obama and successors have forbidden a weak, diffident Merkel from ever implementing the Minsk II accords.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 15:41 utc | 238

Here’s my guess for what will come from the Xi-Putin meeting tomorrow: first, no mutual defense treaty. Second, a reconfirmation of the joint Chinese-Russian SWIFT alternative which has already even announced. Probably rolling out in late 2022. Also some economic agreements. I forgot if Power of Siberia 2 was already signed or not, but it is scheduled to come online in 2030. That is a very long time from now.

I don’t get the sense that Putin is thinking about making big moves in the next one or two months. He is thinking longer-term, and a fully realized swift alternative with the yuan as the base currency will make a difference, as Central Asia, Iran etc are invited to join. You will start to see an alternative emerge to the dollar based system. But it will take some years to come to fruition, not by March this year. Also, it is not clear to me that China wants true global reserve currency status. It is a poisoned chalice, that distorts, de-industrializes and over-financializes the economy of the reserve currency state. Just look at the USA now or the UK before that. My best guess is that this new system will be intended by the Chinese to be small scale, at least for now, but something they can expand on depending on American moves to isolate them or allied states.

Russia incidentally would be perfectly happy for the ruble to become a reserve currency, but after all the Russian economy is genuinely relatively small, and the financial markets in Moscow are not very deep. Still, even Russia if it wanted to could built a mini system based on the ruble and get it at least to the position of the Swiss Franc for example. But I don’t see Putin with that “Will to Power”. Basically my take on him is the opposite of the prevailing hysteric take on him in the Western media.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 16:08 utc | 239

@227 c1ue

re: Russian domestic natgas price vs global price

It's a similar dynamic to the US (internal use > export). The relationship to price is also governed by the same dynamic. When the export-flow-capacity is maxed out (a in US LNG), or otherwise pegged to a limit (as in Gazprom throttling its pipeline exports for geopolitical reasons), the internal and external prices become disconnected.

@228 c1ue
interesting

Posted by: ptb | Feb 3 2022 16:34 utc | 240

Posted by: Melaleuca | Feb 3 2022 11:12 utc | 202
Re.: civilian casualties

Totally believable, but could we find a more reliable source than Eliot Higgins?
(Could we find a less reliable source than EH?)

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 3 2022 16:35 utc | 241

What we have:

a totaly ignorant, planless and aggressive empire, eager to disrupt and destroy russia asap

an empire that is loosing control over eurasia in many areas, from the arab states to the phillipines

an empire that needs by all means to hold Europe under control. Germany is essential!

all media under US-control producing nothing but bs

Russia that has enough and decided to counter its containment, mobilizing its fleets and troops westward

Russia that on the same time acts very carefully, avoiding direct confrontation

Europe slowly realising that the US expects it to sacrifice its wealth on the USUK strategic chessboard

Europe for which from any perpective good relations to Russia are between important and very lucrative

Europe populated by millions of russiaphobs, especially the elites

USUK campaign that does not work as it should, at any corner.

My conclusions:

It is impossible to foresee the USUK strategy, because there is none. Eveything is possible, from false flag to nothing really happens.

It is possible to discuss the europeans strategy, as it is always the same: preparing NATO-exit under the blanket, but crying out against Russia. In french: dreaming of europaen joint forces but joining the US in the Black Sea.

It is clear what Putins strategy will be: he will not confront Europe. He will not deploy weapons in the caribean. He does not want to appear aggressive. But he must act.

I think Russia will move forward very slowly and strengthen its positions where it already has its feet: cleaning the Syria sky from bloddy US and Israel drones and jets, strengthening Iran in Jemen, building new infrastructure in Venezuela, Mali...

The essential point is imO: TIME IS AGAINST THE USA. Putin must react, but he is in absolute no hurry. Every small step towards more respect and influence made by Russia is a giant loss for the US. Russia-China relations will make sanctions a historic weapon. For the Non Aligned States it becomes even clearer that the US offers them nothing but pain.

The USA is under pressure, I think we can regard this is a fact.

As a young german Hegelianer wrote:
Der Weltgeist kehrt zurück in seine Laichgründe. China.

Posted by: Jan | Feb 3 2022 16:42 utc | 242


Reality intruded into the narrative?


We don't know what Lavrov told Baerbock in Moscow, but after that the tones became a bit milder.
Russian Gas is a peace keeper ...

Posted by: schkid | Feb 2 2022 23:25 utc | 84

Posted by: Jpc | Feb 3 2022 16:54 utc | 243

Sean

Judging by various speeches, meetings and simply tone and the look of the faces in Russia this will be different. US are now into the production stage of the ground launched version. It had three consecutive successful tests. Warhead will be the same for all boost glide versions, just different rockets. The ground launched version is likely to be fielded some time this year. While Russia has military superiority I expect they will use it if no agreement on security has been reached by the time US is ready to deploy the first missiles. The various agreements US has pulled out of were very important to Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 16:57 utc | 244

Russia is poised to attack Ukraine, so the US will send parachute people to defend. . .Poland. . sure.

Under the current plan, the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina will send approximately 1,700 troops to Poland. Those forces will consist of elements an airborne infantry brigade combat team and support units.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday during a Pentagon press conference. “These are not permanent moves. They are moves designed to respond to the current security environment. Moreover, these forces are not going to fight in Ukraine. They’re going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”

Airborne IBCTs are specially trained and equipped to conduct parachute assaults. They are equipped with limited vehicular assets, and once they have conducted a parachute assault, they move by foot, vehicle, or helicopter. . .They are useless against attacking tank brigades in Poland.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 16:59 utc | 245

The West doesn't seem to realize that by framing the issue the way it has, Russia has given them the opportunity to retreat without losing (too much) face. The West can say, we're retreating not because we fear the Russian show of force but because we want to respect international law and the treaties we signed.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Feb 3 2022 17:04 utc | 246

ptb 238

According to Russia, they have sent around 10% more gas to Europe in 2021 than in the previous year. Some of the Europeans took Gazprom to court a few years back to use spot pricing rather than contracts. I am not sure how spot pricing works as in do the customers by a package of gas or what happens there? Many did not fill their reserves in the summer. No gas was bought from Russia for a time so the pipes could be used for reverse flows from those that had reserves to those that didn't.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 17:25 utc | 247

"Reality intruded into the narrative?"

Posted by: Jpc | Feb 3 2022 16:54 utc

We'll see. Chancellor Scholz will soon meet Putin in Moscow.
But the transatlanticist in Germany are pissed about the vague position of the government - that's for sure.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 17:31 utc | 248

Berlin shuts down RT yesterday.
Moscow shuts down DW today.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 17:43 utc | 249

Don Bacon 243

US moving troops to Poland and Romania makes me think they are beefing up security around their missile bases.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 3 2022 17:45 utc | 250

re: natural gas
With its exports, the US has recently lowered gas prices in Europe here.. That may come to en end.
. . .from oilprice dot com
U.S. Senators Want To Put Brakes On LNG Exports To Curb Domestic Energy Bills . .A group of Democratic Senators is urging the U.S. Energy Department to take steps to limit U.S. natural gas exports, the record volume of which leave Americans with higher energy bills this winter. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 17:46 utc | 251

@ schkid

Exactly the symmetrical, proportional response so favored by Putin. You shut down RT, I shut down DW. You sanction me, I sanction you. You shut my consulate, I shut yours. You station missiles close to me, I will station missiles close to you (in the form of subs). This is classic Putin.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 17:53 utc | 252

Posted by: Sean | Feb 3 2022 17:53 utc

I really hope you are right. But I have my doubts. This time seems different.
I rather think that
Robert Macaire | Feb 3 2022 17:04
is right with the face saving framing.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 18:11 utc | 253

Putin sees that Russia is the lobster in the copper kettle with the temperature is slowly being raised. He figured that out in 2007, or perhaps after the NATO move against Lybia. 2014 confirmed this, but Russia was still too weak to respond without great risk. 2018 changed everything, and Russia has had almost four extra years to prepare.

Seems like they are ready now. Like in Stalingrad (or even Kursk) they allowed those on the front line to take the punishment, while they prepared. They are now mounted up and will ride like the wind. Martyanov believes they will have a 2018 part deux with a second set of game changing announcements, and I suspect he is correct.

This is going to be a *very* interesting month...

Posted by: Simplicius | Feb 3 2022 18:22 utc | 254

@ Stonebird | Feb 3 2022 8:49 utc | 188... thanks... we'll see if your theory holds! reading down to @ 252 i see he has come back, but i do agree with @ william gruffs comments to him..

@ Ma Laoshi | Feb 3 2022 9:00 utc | 189... thanks... i tend to agree with @ Idiocrates | Feb 3 2022 10:35 utc | 194


Posted by: james | Feb 3 2022 18:33 utc | 255

Great observation Don
To which I would add.

If the EU cannot make the necessary deduction and realise that their long term interests and the US are no longer mutual!

The decline to irrelevant is further along than commonly thought!


re: natural gas
With its exports, the US has recently lowered gas prices in Europe here.. That may come to en end.
. . .from oilprice dot com
U.S. Senators Want To Put Brakes On LNG Exports To Curb Domestic Energy Bills . .A group of Democratic Senators is urging the U.S. Energy Department to take steps to limit U.S. natural gas exports, the record volume of which leave Americans with higher energy bills this winter. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 3 2022 17:46 utc | 249

Posted by: Jpc | Feb 3 2022 19:44 utc | 256

I have not got the patience and will to use this blog's archaic system of responding and commenting anymore. Sigh!
I will still read it though and support because b does a great job.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Feb 3 2022 20:30 utc | 257

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

Thank you, uncle tungsten. I'd agree with you that there is much much more stepping back needed, especially in light of the Russian request for a written clarity that has not yet eventuated. It would seem the longer the US drags its feet, the more clarity will come internally, as their citizens reassess some long held assumptions. But it can't come too soon for the rest of the world, and I for one certainly wish I could hurry the process along.

Be safe, everyone!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2022 21:12 utc | 258

Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland is married to Robert Kagan, brainchild of The Project for A New American Century. Death and destruction is the way this power couple rolls...

Posted by: john fritsch | Feb 3 2022 21:32 utc | 259

@Posted by: Wobblie | Feb 3 2022 12:51 utc | 217

That is a truly pathetic personal attack, especially as I am an academic researcher who actually does research related to this area. I note that you do not provide any readings so I will provide a few for you:

- Any of the books by Antony Polonski on Polish-Jewish relations
- Books and papers on the Pilsudski dictatorship that followed the 1926 coup. e.g. Andrej Korbonski (1988). Civil-Military Relations In Poland Between The Wars: 1918-1939. Armed Forces & Society 14(2): 169-189.

Two thirds of the Polish population worked in agriculture where land reform was desperately needed to undo the dominance of the large landholders, who had a bigoted view of the peasants. As the military elite was drawn from the economic elite they shared the same views. Poland was an example of "oligarchical praetorianism", rule by a military junta dominated by the landowners, the clergy and the military. Yeah, paradise for the rentiers, the clergy (who helped control the serfs through ignorance), and the generals.

Posted by: Roger | Feb 3 2022 21:43 utc | 260

Posted by: Seer | Feb 3 2022 11:57 utc | 212

Lavrov has carefully pointed out that the question is not to be answered in terms of 'spheres of influence' but on the level of the security of individual countries. This is an important distinction which goes to the fundamental difference between empires and a multipolar world, which both Russia and China are constantly moving towards, and which the US has resisted acknowledging the importance of. (Sorry to end with a preposition, but that's how it goes.)

Posted by: juliania | Feb 3 2022 22:26 utc | 261

“Why should Americans care about what’s happening in Ukraine?” CNN anchor John Berman asked Jonathan Finer, a National Security Adviser.

from the CNN transcript . .here
BERMAN: Why should Americans care about what's happening in Ukraine?
FINER: Because it goes to a very fundamental principle of all nations, which is that our borders should be inviolate, that our sovereignty should be respected. If the international system is to mean anything, it means no country can change another country's borders or affect another country's government by force. But Russia, by amassing all these troops on Ukraine's border is calling into question those very basic principles.//

Can we count the times and places that the US has taken to "affect another country’s government by force?" That would be a very long list, featuring Syria right now (after a long military campaign) where the US has captured, occupied and benefited that country's prime agricultural and oil extraction property, and most recently conducted an "anti-terrorist" attack.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4 2022 0:42 utc | 262

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4 2022 0:42 utc | 260, quoting CNN quoting Jonathan Finer, an US National Security Adviser: "If the international system is to mean anything, it means no country can change another country's borders or affect another country's government by force. But Russia, by amassing all these troops on Ukraine's border is calling into question those very basic principles."

Handsome words. Empty words. Hypocritical words. Ironic. Sad.

The US not only affected Syria's government by force, but grabbed their best agricultural lands, and stole the oil !!!

Now they've just given themselves permission to move "additional forces" right up to Russia's borders in the Baltic nations thousands of kilometres from US shores, but Russia is not allowed to move her own forces within her own borders !!!

The limits of the impudence of the US and the Rest Of The West is slowly being revealed.

Which reminds us that only yesterday, the incomparable Zakharova gave the geography-challenged UK foreign minister Truss another lecture: the Black Sea is not the same as the Baltic Sea. Basic knowledge is indeed foreign to this foreign minister. LOL

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 4 2022 1:59 utc | 263

So, according to the Brandon Admin., the Russians are supposed to be going all white helmet on just who... and for what now??

I feel the presence of the Atlanti-cyst deepstate force .. "These aren't the Russian Negotiations we're looking for ...

Posted by: polecat | Feb 4 2022 2:16 utc | 264

Reuters: The United States warned Chinese firms on Thursday they would face consequences if they sought to evade any export controls imposed on Moscow in the event of Russia invading Ukraine.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price made the remark after China's Foreign Ministry said China and Russia had coordinated their positions on Ukraine during a meeting between their foreign ministers in Beijing on Thursday.
"We have an array of tools that we can deploy if we see foreign companies, including those in China, doing their best to backfill U.S. export control actions, to evade them, to get around them," Price told a regular news briefing.. .here
("export controls" i.e. sanctions may come earlier)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4 2022 3:23 utc | 265

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

"God doesn't like Peter Dutton"
Thank you, I needed a good chuckle today.
I am still wondering what exactly was the motivation for the aforementioned to leave the police service two weeks before he would have been entitled to his ten year long-service payola.
I think a fellow QLD Police member leaving a can of Pal dog food on his desk as a parting gift, and the Fitgerald corruption enquiry, hint at an explanation for his hasty departure.
Thanks again for the laughs.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Feb 4 2022 3:38 utc | 266

A tidbit: Russian railroad company will built a railroad around Budapest (capital of Hungary), the purpose is that transit cargo traffic will not go through the city, with two billion dollar credit. This is a piece of Silk Road corridor through Serbia to Central Europe. That adds to good credit conditions for building two nuclear power units and a deal (good or amazingly good? rumors vary) on natural gas.

Some think that it can buy Hungary's veto on EU sanctions against Russia, but that may be insufficient IMHO. However, it will help stalling new sanctions, with the main forces against them being, potentially, France and Italy. Italy is in a bad shape, good gas deal can make a difference, while Macron has problems too and not_paying for American desires can help him. "Fuck EU" and "Western Solidarity" have signs of reacting together (releasing a lot of energy?).

With high hydrocarbon prices, Russia has a problem of salting reserves for the lean years in the future while currently enjoying super-income, and credits like the one I described are safer than putting money in Western banks. India is another direction, on a larger scale.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 4 2022 12:49 utc | 267

Robert Macaire | Feb 3 2022 17:04
is right with the face saving framing.

Posted by: schkid | Feb 3 2022 18:11 utc | 251


This blog is becoming an alternate reality forum. What I saw/read:

First we had chest thumping by Russian bloggers on the "ultimatum" given to West by Russia. These were naturally promoted by this blog.

Then we had the Western (IC controlled) press entirely downplay the most demanding point in the draft treaty -- removal of all NATO military from "former Warsaw Pact" -- and focus on Ukraine and "NATO expansion" to Ukraine.

This in fact is the "out" given by West to Putin for a face-saving way out. West throws Ukraine under the bus and Putin calls it a win and meanwhile Poland, Romania, etc will remain in NATO and will continue to host NATO military.

Posted by: notso | Feb 4 2022 13:06 utc | 268

Macron and Scholz are already talking to Russia directly. Probably fearing being sidelined the US now proves willing to discuss the well balanced security guarantees Russia has been insisting on.
https://english.elpais.com/usa/2022-02-02/us-offers-disarmament-measures-to-russia-in-exchange-for-a-deescalation-of-military-threat-in-ukraine.html

Posted by: JR | Feb 5 2022 15:55 utc | 269

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 3 2022 12:29 utc | 215:
"""Instead of starting from the assumption that you are a member of the "good guys" and the Russians are the "bad guys", reverse that and consider your own society to be the aggressors and the Russians to be the victims."""

This is the big paradigm shift that everyone should go through to break the power of misinformation and to pave the way for justice. It doesn't have to even involve the Russians specifically. Just to become convinced of the evil of the foreign policy of the USA, which can easily be demonstrated by its 'fruits' of suffering and destruction over the decades.

Posted by: pepa65 | Feb 6 2022 2:52 utc | 270

Sean | Feb 2 2022 19:32 utc | 11

There is a logical leap in this blog post that doesn’t make sense to me. If a Russian build-up and invasion threat were totally false, the natural course of action for Russia would be to present evidence privately to the European governments with which it has close trade relations.

How can you prove a negative? How can you prove that you don't want to do something, anything?

By playing to the panicky nature of the Ukrainian regime and the Biden White House, the Russians have achieved a number of things:
1) They have managed to show that no one, but no one in NATO wants to actually FIGHT the Russians. They have shown that they are all shit-scared to do so. This alone demolishes NATO's myth of invincibility. It now looks more like a Paper Tiger than ever before.
2) They have split NATO by provoking the US to threaten "dreadful" sanctions in lieu of war. The Europeans know that in the event of sanctions that really hurt Russia they could find themselves bereft of gas to heat their homes and to power their industries. To avoid this they are willing to defy the US.
3) They have sowed doubt in the minds of all NATO members, as to whether in the event that Russia suddenly invaded them, the USA would come to their aid rather than imposing sanctions on the Russians.
4) They have got the USA to agree to talk about subjects that they have been hitherto unwilling to discuss and because the US wanted the Russians to keep their reply secret from the other members of NATO, they have exposed the US as willing to cut out its "Partners", its so-called "Allies" from the negotiations.
5) They have shown, once again, that the US intelligence "Info" is highly unreliable. I.e. the warning about the "imminent invasion" begins to sound like the Jehova's Witnesses' warnings about "The End Of The World". And the photographs that William Burns was showing the Europeans of the "Russian Build-up" of tanks and other heavy weapons "on the borders of Ukraine", turned ou to be cropped to avoid showing that these weapons were parked in the vehicle parks of assorted barracks, at least 150 miles from the Ukrainian border. They have evoked, even in the US MSM (!) memories of the gulf of Tonkin and WMD.
6) All this without one bullet fired or one Russian soldier's toe-cap put over the Ukrainian border. The whole business has made the Biden Regime look panicky and amateurish and the Russians look calm, cool, collected and professional. From a Russian POV, what's not to like?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 6 2022 23:15 utc | 271

@notso | Feb 4 2022 13:06 utc | 268

This in fact is the "out" given by West to Putin for a face-saving way out. West throws Ukraine under the bus and Putin calls it a win and meanwhile Poland, Romania, etc will remain in NATO and will continue to host NATO military.
I wouldn't call such a scenario an "out" for Putin as much as a win-win solution for everyone--including the Ukies who then can continue to destroy their own country without outside help. :-)

Yes, the existing NATO membership roster is a fait accompli, at least until the dollar falls and EU elites can no longer be bribed into submission. Isn't that a good thing? This way the US could give Russia what is essential, without being seen to roll over wholesale. Poland and Romania remain in NATO, but folks there don't speak Russian and they're further from Moscow. Biden has "defended the alliance", Putin "protected Russia's borders", and we all get to live another day. Problem is that the cabal at State just cannot think in that way, they want us to burn.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Feb 7 2022 12:56 utc | 272

Author of this “article” sure seems like a fool now. Well done.

Posted by: Jared Scott | Feb 22 2022 2:05 utc | 273

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