Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 11, 2022

Challenge-Response - How Russia Is Countering 'Western' Moves Against It


March 3: Zelensky says 16,000 foreigners have volunteered to fight for Ukraine against Russian invasion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said that 16,000 foreigners have volunteered to fight for Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

In an emotional video posted to his Telegram channel, Zelensky referred to the “international legion” of 16,000 foreign volunteers he has sought to “join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world.” The country earlier this week temporarily lifted visa requirements for foreign volunteers who wish to enter the country and join the fight against Russian forces.

March 8: 450 Arab and foreign extremists from Idlib arrive in Ukraine

Close to 450 extremist Arab and foreign nationals have arrived in Ukraine from Idlib to fight against Russia's forces, less than only three days after they left Syria, passing through Turkey.

Relatives of extremists that have arrived in Ukraine told Sputnik that senior fighters from terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (the rebranded version of Jabhat Al-Nusra, i.e Al-Qaeda) have held a number of meetings with senior leaders in the Turkistan Islamic Party group and Ansar Al-Tawhid and Hurras al-Din groups, and agreed on allowing a number of all their fighters to enter Ukraine through Turkish soil.


March 11: President of Russia: Meeting with permanent members of Security Council

Sergei Shoigu: We are receiving a huge number of requests from all manner of volunteers from different countries, who would like to come to the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics to take part in the liberation movement, as they say. The largest number of requests, over 16,000, has come from the Middle East. We believe that we should grant these requests, especially since the matter does not concern money but a genuine desire of these people. We know many of them; they helped us fight ISIS in the most difficult period, during the past 10 years.
Vladimir Putin: All right, thank you very much.

Regarding the mobilisation of mercenaries from all over the world and sending them to Ukraine. We can see that Ukraine’s Western sponsors and the Ukrainian regime are not concealing this fact. They are doing this openly and neglecting norms of international law. So, if you see that some volunteers would like to come and help the people in Donbass, especially without pay, then we should meet them halfway and help them relocate to the war zone.

I am sure that the fighters from Syria and elsewhere who will fight on Russia's side will get some pay from this or that sponsor, most likely Iran. Some Russian billionaire may also be willing to chip in. But it is important for Putin to show that these are not mercenaries like those on the other side - thus no official pay.

There was an additional challenge-response pair with regards to Ukraine.

Shoigu also mentioned all the foreign weapon deliveries the Ukraine has received. He told Putin that the Russian forces had captured large amounts of heavy and light weapons including U.S. derived Javelin and Stinger missiles. He proposed to give those to the militia of the Donbas republics.

Putin agreed with that.

A third challenge-response is the immense number of forces NATO currently mobilizes and moves towards its eastern border. Shoigu thinks that NATO plans for those troops to stay there forever. He will soon propose a new arrangement of Russian forces to potentially counter them.

Putin said that he would decide that separately. A few hours later he had a meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The two likely discussed the stationing of Russian troops and weapons like air defense and missile artillery systems in Belarus. That would make any potential NATO move more complicate.

In the above challenge-response pairs the Russian response is symmetric to the challenge. Foreign fighters versus foreign fighters, weapon deliveries versus weapon deliveries, and troops movements versus troop movements.

The challenges Russia has not yet responded too are the myriad sanctions the 'west' has enacted against it. There the responses can only be asymmetric.

I wonder why Putin is waiting to make them public. Does he want to keep them in reserve?

Posted by b on March 11, 2022 at 14:48 UTC | Permalink

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"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said that 16,000 foreigners have volunteered to fight for Ukraine against the Russian invasion."

16,000 foreign volunteers want to fight for Russia in Ukraine

Two can play at that game.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 11 2022 14:52 utc | 1

As the EU is planning to reduce gas imports by 2/3 by the end of the year.

Perhaps Russia should give them a head start.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 11 2022 14:56 utc | 2

Russia losing the propaganda war? I beg to differ. As per TASS:

“ The survey center said, "77.4% of Russians said they trust Vladimir Putin, which is 4.4% more than the results of a poll from February 21-27. The level of approval of the Russian president's work was 74.6% (plus 4.2% over the previous survey)."”

Russia losing the propaganda war in the so called west? That’s not where the battle stands.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 11 2022 14:58 utc | 3

As the EU is planning to reduce gas imports by 2/3 by the end of the year.

That is just words and wishful thinking (as usual) by morons in EU. It is not gonna happen.

Posted by: Idiocrates | Mar 11 2022 15:01 utc | 4

To answer your question, B. Russia is currently going through the preparation of anti-sanction measures. This is a slow process that needs approval by the Duma.

Posted by: Bigben | Mar 11 2022 15:01 utc | 5

Washington's going to print more money to waste in Ukraine. . . .CNBC: The new spending bill fits into the broader U.S. strategy in Ukraine. The $13.6 billion set aside for the conflict would fund aid for displaced Ukrainians, equipment for the country’s military and U.S. troop deployments to neighboring nations. Biden’s Office of Management and Budget said the money would allow the U.S. “to respond quickly and efficiently to the emerging and evolving needs in Ukraine, across the region, and around the world.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 15:07 utc | 6

Putin should cut off oil and gas deliveries immediately to all countries hostile to Russia, especially those who have send weaponry and paid mercenaries.
And suspend all payments of foreign debt.

Posted by: Hannibal | Mar 11 2022 15:10 utc | 7

Sanctions; "I wonder why Putin is waiting to make them public. Does he want to keep them in reserve?"

He doesn't call them "sanctions". He proposes changes to laws that have the "effect" of sanctions. More effective in the long run and avoids the "Worsts" using them as PR. (ie comparisons that would lead to even more). Doing this also leads to the "Worsts" shooting themselves in the foot more often.

Ie. Nationalisation of airplanes, (Lloyds will be hit). "Patent" rules to be eliminated. Oil and Gas.

PS. Apparently fuel prices in "freed" Rus-Ukraine have dropped by half. Locals are happy now that Ukie taxes have been eliminated. What did you expect as Russia has enough to spare?

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 11 2022 15:13 utc | 8

anyone remember the San Patrizios? Some of these foreign mercenaries will get to see some things aren't right with Ukraine, and may end up helping to balance the Ukrainian civil war. This IS a civil war; we don't describe it as such enough

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:17 utc | 9

Interesting article by Mr. Unz today:

With Russia calling for a UN Security Council meeting on this topic, as well, I believe this is another not so subtle and (IMO) clever way for RUF to get back at the West and USA specifically- by showing the world the empire has no clothes which removes the moral imperative on NATO side to get in any more deeper. Plus also starts to solidify RUF’s reasons for going into UKraine.

Maybe Ukraine should become the 51st state of US instead of Puerto Rico - seems like the average Uke is dumb like the average American already because they can’t seem to see how their country is being used and raped by the West….or they have given up and become Normies like half the US. Either way it’s the same…

Posted by: NotHregBradysDad | Mar 11 2022 15:20 utc | 10

Maybe i am paranoid, or maybe B just did not add 2+2...

> U.S. derived Javelin and Stinger missiles. He proposed to give those to the militia of the Donbas republics.

and then

> volunteers from different countries, who would like to come to the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics .... from the Middle East

Now, do you think Shoigu would be very scrupulous about counting those NATO free giveaways?
Do you think, when those volunteers would finalyl go home, anyone would meticulously count, how many items of NAOT weapons they received, how many spent, and how many gave back?

Or are we instead seeing a trampoline in the making, the trampoline that would move NATO weapons to the "hot spots" around the world, where NATO's tails would be time and again pinched by NATO's own weapons? Say, if some Ukrainian Javelins and Stingers hurt someone in At-Tanf, how would Zelensky compensate for that to USA?

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 11 2022 15:21 utc | 11

Sources say President Joe Biden plans to announce today that the US, along with the G7 and European Union, will call for revoking "most favored nation" status for Russia -- a retraction of permanent normal trade relations.
. . .from POLITICO

“Nothing should be off the table,” EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis told POLITICO earlier this week when speaking about sanctions, and he confirmed that the EU wants to remove Russia’s trade privileges at the WTO. This will “allow us then to impose tariffs to both Russian and Belarusian imports,” he said.
Russia has threatened to sue countries that decide to suspend Russia’s MFN status at the WTO through the trade body’s court because it argues that the trade restrictions violate the rules of the WTO.
Removing Russia’s most-favored-nation status without any accompanying measures would be purely symbolic for most WTO members. That’s because very few WTO countries — like Canada — have blanket tariffs that they fall back on for their trade relations with non-WTO members. In the case of Canada, which made the move last week, all trade with Russia is now subject to a whopping 35 percent tariff.
“The step of formally suspending MFN vis-à-vis Russia is completely unnecessary, it would be purely symbolic, and from a legal viewpoint, meaningless,” said Philippe De Baere, a partner at the law firm Van Bael & Bellis. That’s because “you can take exactly the same measures in the form of sanctions, and sanctions are also justified under Article 21 of the GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade]" for security interests.
Questions remain how many WTO countries will make the move, and whether this coalition of states will impose coordinated sanctions to turn the symbolic MFN MFN suspension into a concrete hit against Russia’s trade. . .here

In any case, we have the example of Trump's tariffs on China, which only increased prices. In these inflationary times, that's silly.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 15:21 utc | 12

Putin is responding in kind so all this can be rolled back, point for point. He has to be extra-fair; and he knows it. He wants to go back to the Status Quo with the US and Ukraine abiding their treaties; ABM, Minsk2, NATO non-expansion guarantees. Asking for much war WOULD bring WW3;

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:24 utc | 13

Thanks for the posting b

To your question
The challenges Russia has not yet responded too are the myriad sanctions the 'west' has enacted against it. There the responses can only be asymmetric.

I wonder why Putin is waiting to make them public. Does he want to keep them in reserve?

Bigben at #5 writes about the need for DEMOCRACY in the development and implementation of anti-sanction measures.

I have also written here questioning the slowness in response to increasing escalation.

The challenge that Russia and China are rising to is to bring empire to its demise in a manner that, by their actions, show the inherent debasement of humanity with the God of Mammon, top/bottom, private property and unfettered inheritance social system.....the social system needs to be deprecated internally and end the Might-Makes-Right barbarism of the past centuries.

I feel honored to be able to witness and share this experience with fellow MoA barflies.

Today's UNSC meeting about biologic "research" labs of empire should be another step in exposing the anti-humanistic mind set emanating from the God of Mammon cult.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 11 2022 15:26 utc | 14

So if these “Mujidheen” capture the hand held stinger and similar weapons supplied by the West!
There is so much ordnance being thrown into the conflict I will not be surprised that in the future, a commercial airline being brought down elsewhere in the world.
It’s not the responsibility of Russia to ensure the weapons being used to kill them, are not sized and taken outside the conflict zone by third parties from the Middle East.
The responsibility for the non polfileration lies with those who supplied these weapons in large quantities, into the conflict, from NATO countries.
Air Travel will become unsafe if any terrorist who can afford it, could buy a hand fired portable stinger in the black market, to shoot a Boeing airliner down.
But the greater danger is that Some of fascists soldiers in Ukraine are corrupt and might sell a stinger or more, there will always be buyers.
The irresponsible supply of these weapons must stop.

Posted by: JAFFA | Mar 11 2022 15:28 utc | 15

Don 12; why not; GOP showed they love being taxed by tariff rather than income taxes. So funny to see Trump fans crap over Biden's policies; when I'm only seeing the same policies from admin, to admin, to admin. People get so worked up over lip service; guess "dreaming is just natural..."

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:29 utc | 16

Rather than think of sanctions as reserves maybe it is better to think of them as fruits and allow them to ripen to their maximum sweetness.

In a recent video Mercouris made the reasonable claim that the freezing of Russian assets in Western banks was the equivalent of those banks defaulting on Russian obligations. The Financial Times takes up the same subject of frozen accounts in an opinion piece by Robin Harding.

Toppling the dollar as reserve currency risks harmful fragmentation

Sanctions against Russia have spurred calls for an alternative holding, but this would only destabilise the financial system

During the Crimean War, from 1854-56, Britain, France and Russia fought savage battles on the territory of modern-day Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands died from injury or disease. Yet throughout it all, the British Treasury kept paying its debts to the Tsarist government, and Russia kept paying interest to British owners of its sovereign debt. According to Nicholas Mulder’s new history of sanctions, The Economic Weapon, one British minister declared it obvious for “civilised nations” that public debts should be paid to an enemy during war.

Times have changed. In response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and its allies banned dealings with the Russian government, kicked selected Russian banks out of the Swift payments system and froze the assets of Russia’s central bank. Rather than paying debts to the enemy, today’s standard response is to paralyse the aggressor’s economy — even if you are not involved in the fighting.

Freezing the Central Bank of Russia’s reserves was a particularly unexpected, ruthless and effective act. It stripped away Moscow’s means to stabilise its currency. The rouble duly collapsed. But the use of so powerful a sanction has raised fears of unintended consequences for the international financial system. If your dollar-based central bank reserves can be frozen when you need them most, then what is the use in holding them?

That has in turn reignited an old debate: whether the US dollar is at risk of losing its place as the world’s reserve currency. But while the freeze on Russia will spur on those who would like to supply an alternative — most notably China, via internationalisation of its currency, the renminbi — they are unlikely to supplant the dollar. The greater threat is of fragmentation in a financial system that, while imperfect, allows all to prosper together.

Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse argues that the central bank freeze marks the death of the post-Bretton Woods system, born after Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard in 1971, and the start of a new monetary order “centred around commodity-based currencies in the east”. If your dollars can vanish at the whim of the issuer, the logic runs, then a reserve must exist outside the dollar-based financial system.

China’s $3.2tn in foreign currency reserves, the largest stockpile in the world, suddenly look more like a weakness than a strength. Only by becoming an issuer rather than a holder of reserves can Beijing wrest some of America’s financial power for itself. The way to do that is to persuade others to hold the renminbi.

The dollar, however, will be hard to overcome. The might of the world’s pre-eminent economic and military power ensures that US Treasury bonds are stable in a crisis; the US Federal Reserve ensures they are liquid. During any kind of economic turmoil, they are the asset a central bank wants to hold. Indeed, if Russia was suffering a natural disaster or an unexpected collapse in exports, dollar reserves would be exactly what it wanted too.

Other alternatives have defects of their own. Russia has a lot of gold. The problem is liquidity: what bank today will lend foreign currency against the security of bullion in a Moscow bank vault? In time, Russia may be able to sell some gold to friendly countries, but in effect the market has already passed its judgment: it does not think Russia’s gold reserves can support the rouble.

Cryptocurrency might be valuable to individual Russians right now. As a way to get money out of the country it is anonymous and portable. But for reserves, crypto is of little use: it trades like a risky asset, falling in times of stress, and almost all of the liquidity is on exchanges, where sanctions will bite just as hard as they do with dollars.

That leaves the possibility of a rival currency, most obviously the renminbi — which would be attractive to countries that are friendly with China, such as Russia, or for those that fear American censure. But Beijing could use sanctions just as easily as Washington. For many other nations, including big holders of reserves in Asia, being at China’s financial mercy would appeal even less than that of the US.

The risk, then, is of fragmentation. In his book, Mulder charts how the rise of economic sanctions and blockade during the interwar years, as a tool to enforce peace, drove the autarkic policies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, ultimately destabilising the international system rather than fortifying it. The world has been drifting for several years towards the formation of rival economic blocs. One way to prevent that is to keep the dollar at the heart of the international financial system.

Nationalization of foreign owned assets in Russia seems like low hanging fruit.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 11 2022 15:30 utc | 17

Shoigu also mentioned all the foreign weapon deliveries the Ukraine has received. He told Putin that the Russian forces had captured large amounts of heavy and light weapons ...

Sushi posted a comment in the Sanction Backlash thread (#188) about Russia capturing strategic rail lines. this morning i read about 3 more targeted cities, all also strategic rail lines.

Remember all of those shiny NATO supplied armaments presently accumulating in Lvov? Ammunition is heavy. Light arms are heavy. MANPADS are heavy. ATMs are heavy. You cannot move significant quantities of this materials by car. A single truck load will not be of military significance. Some 40 planes are reported to have disgorged cargo in Poland for transshipment to Lvov. By rough estimate that is some 320 rail-cars of material than cannot now reach the Ukrainian forces in the east.

Posted by: annie | Mar 11 2022 15:30 utc | 18

I see Eurasia is still going to happen, Germany is the king maker and is still receiving gas from Russia. US forced Germany to sell weapons to Nazis.

Posted by: Helen | Mar 11 2022 15:32 utc | 19

JAFFA; it will be Putin's fault, US/NATO gave those weapons to white people, so it can't be their fault. If Brown people take those weapons and misuse them; we'll blame Putin and the terrorists.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:32 utc | 20

The US is declining to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine.
...from DefenseOne:

Pentagon officials will not send the advanced Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine, saying Thursday that U.S. forces would need to enter Ukraine to operate it, which is a non-starter for the Biden administration.
The decision comes one day after U.S. officials rejected a proposal from Poland to have the United States and NATO transfer Polish MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.
“There's no discussion about putting a Patriot battery in Ukraine. In order to do that you have to put U.S. troops with it to operate it,” a senior defense official said Thursday. “It is not a system that the Ukrainians are familiar with and as we have made very clear, there will be no U.S. troops fighting in Ukraine.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 15:33 utc | 21

I say again; Where was all the concern over civilian deaths as the U$A invaded and indiscriminately bombed their way around the globe over these past years?

The hypocrisy is mind blowing.....

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 11 2022 15:33 utc | 22

This is well worth listening to for expert analysis and insight ...

Posted by: stevelancs | Mar 11 2022 15:35 utc | 23

Re: Russia counter-sanctions

There is not a lot Putin can do, which would be worse than what the US/EU have unilaterally brought down on their own heads.

A list of 200 trade goods has been published which presumably can no longer be exported to the "enemy countries" list, but these exclude energy.

But otherwise, why is it necessary for Putin to play into the Western game?

As it is, Putin can legitimately say that Russia has not curbed its energy exports and that enormous energy costs being borne by Americans and Europeans is entirely a function of their own governments.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 15:35 utc | 24

Mercouris; many words to make a simple point

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:38 utc | 25

Foreign fighters but how effective can they be?

When the U.S. helped China against Japan in WW2 we sent pilots and aircraft. This worked because it was a specialized talent that did not need a complex command structure. If all of them are barricading themselves inside of schools in cities, okay I could see how that would work but I don't think Russia is going to try to take Kyiv block by block.

I do not know Russia's endgame but outside of getting help for Urban warfare, I don't see how this could work.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Mar 11 2022 15:39 utc | 26

c1ue; yes, Putin gets to play the, "why are you punching yourself routine" while holding back cards/sanctions that would really hurt (meanwhile obviously selling it's goods) we'll tire of it pretty quickly, and soon we'll covertly rent those sanctions to a feckless facade; maybe leaving them to be used/ignored for the right lobbyist.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 15:42 utc | 27

This topic is shifting into the mainstream. The global economy is probably done or largely spilt into east and west blocks, with much of the resources in the east.

Reply to 17: Thanks for your post. It repeats the critical point that the US dollar is now a liability for nations to hold. Jim Rogers ( famed investor) is saying the world is desperately searching for an alternative to the dollar. There is now a claim that aircraft parts made in India can't be sanctioned.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 11 2022 15:44 utc | 28

re: "western moves"
. . .from WSJ
California’s National Guard Trained Ukraine’s Military for Decades—and Now It Helps From Afar
Guard members staff a 24-7 operations center in Sacramento to help soldiers in Ukraine, while retired colleagues try to aid old friends

Inside a makeshift emergency operations center at the California National Guard headquarters in Sacramento, the calls for help have streamed in from old friends in Ukraine. Initially, the requests were for rocket launchers, radios and ammunition. Now, the need has shifted to tents and medical supplies.
California’s National Guard has been training the Ukrainian Army, Air Force and other parts of its military since the breakup of the Soviet Union through a Defense Department partnership. Members have deployed dozens of times to Ukraine over the past 30 years, many becoming close with their military counterparts and their families. During a September trip to California, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spent a day with Guard leaders and soldiers. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 15:44 utc | 29

Its good to see a bit of loyalty from Syrian fighter going to help out Russian forces, Russia saved Syria from the West which wanted to remove Assad. Also I read this morning that Russian long range missiles took out two landing strips in Western Ukraine.

The strips had probably been used to funnel all manner of weapons into Ukraine and into the hands of the Nazis. I also read that the Nazis amassed their forces near Donbas prior to Russian forces moving into Ukraine, I like many thought this was to counter Russian forces, however it turns out the Nazi forces were gearing up for a major offence against Donbas, but Russia preempted this with its counter move saving many lives in Donbas in the process.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 11 2022 15:51 utc | 30

I agree with others about Russia's delay to announce 'counter-sanctions' is due to their obsession with Law, and doing things in a proper, legal manner. While the other side has no loyalty to or affinity with the concept.

I'm reminded of Muhamad Ali's 'rope-a-dope' strategy to lean hard against the ropes of the boxing ring, and letting his opponent punch himself out trying to reach the target, just out of reach. At this point, the 'kitchen sink' is being thrown into the sanctions/terrorist support for Ukraine. And when the opponent is punched out and can barely lift his arms to throw a punch; Russia gets off the ropes and pursues the opponent around the ring and knocks him out.


Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 11 2022 15:51 utc | 31

There is a potential impact on supply chains of mineral commodities.
. . .from mining-technology dot com

Russia is among the top three producers of diamond, gold, platinum group metals (PGMs), and nickel. It is also a key supplier of seaborne and met coal (to European markets), iron ore, and aluminium. As for Ukraine, there is expected to be disruption in the supply of coal, iron ore and uranium. For instance, Arcelor Mittal has ceased operations at underground iron ore mines in Ukraine while slowing down production at Kryvyi Rih’s steel plant.
. . The gold price, which declined in the second half of 2021, has increased sharply in February 2022 as investors have sought out gold as a safe haven, attributing supply uncertainty linked to the Russian-Ukraine crisis. Likewise, prices of silver, nickel and palladium have also increased significantly linked to fear of shortage.. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 15:58 utc | 32

Anyone know where to watch Russian bio lab UN hearing?

Posted by: Mark Gaughan | Mar 11 2022 15:59 utc | 33

Since I am reading Toynbee right now, the civilization growth challenge-response theme is fresh in my mind. Developing a work around to SWIFT will be the greatest accomplishment Russia could achieve to challenge dollar hegemony in world trade.

I was always disappointed 'rocket launchers' like Stingers were not provided to the patriots fighting the US in Afghanistan and Iraq. Apparently Russia did not want these weapons to be returned against them or to raise the ire of the US war machine. Perhaps these types of weapons can be distributed to the combatants fighting American soldiers in Africa without too much of a provocation to the US hegemon now that American weapons are being used to shoot down Russian helicopters and destroy their tanks in Ukraine.

Nuland's admittance and naked fear about US financed biological weapons labs in Ukraine falling to the Russians may be the most important development and justification for Russia's military action. Ukrainian ethnic nationalists are so crazy with hatred for Russia they could have used these weapons against the people of the Donbas as easily as Saddam did against Kurds.

Posted by: Wilikins | Mar 11 2022 16:01 utc | 34

Propaganda in my dutch newspaper just got over the top ridiculous and completely counter productive for anyone with a brain

The first page of my newspaper show a big photo of the center of Odessa barricaded with sand sacks and ukranian militants behind them in a defensive position in front of the Opera and ballet theater in Odessa.

The paper is saying that the sand sacks were put in place by civilians to protect their cultural heritage.

Anyone with a brain can see on the pictures that the Ukrainian military has put a defensive position right in front of a cultural heritage site, those sandbags will never protect the building from bomb blast in fact the defensive line right there is endangering the cultural heritage site because it will draw fire and bombs in. UP=Down Down=Up it's just a joke.

Posted by: jimmy | Mar 11 2022 16:07 utc | 35

@too scents #17
Thanks for posting the snippet.
Robin Harding is the Tokyo bureau chief for the Financial Times - actually somewhat significant since FT is owned by Japanese.
However, he is a political science type.
As such, his so-called analysis of the economic risks of de-dollarization are of zero credibility, much as the FT has become of zero credibility in any area remotely involving American interests and Japan's utter subservience to same.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 16:07 utc | 36

@Don Bacon #12
There are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but his China economic policy is not one of them.

There is NEVER going to be a time where de-offshorization, which is now import substitution, is not going to hurt.

The issue is whether the long term result is beneficial.

Thus to say that tariff costs are passed through, and prices increase, is beside the point.

The point of the tariffs is to increase the benefit of import substitution - which means jobs for regular Americans as opposed to more pay for the executives who offshored the production/jobs to start with.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 16:12 utc | 37

if the ISIS mercenaries cannot reach the urban centers to use the population as human shields, aren't they vulnerable to Russia's stand off weapons? they cannot concentrate their forces for fear of that.

if kiev is already surrounded then they can't reach there. and they cannot enter tbe cauldrons even if they wanted to. so what's still in play?

mercenaries are looking to get paid, not carry out a suicide mission. so I doubt they are going to Ukraine to really engage the Russian forces. perhaps destroy more hospitals and blame it on the Russians. their job is mostly to hang around and make Ukraine a permanent shit show.

that is, if and when a new govt in Ukraine is established, Ukraine will become Syria. such that Russia has to intervene on some level and in effect act as an occupying force. that's my understanding of what the US plan is.

in which case, it will complicate the goals of demilitarization and denazification. those goals may have to be revised. what Russia wants is not just a neutral Ukraine but also a stable Ukraine. the mercenaries are there not to accomplish anything but to destroy as much as possible. it's a chilling thought.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 11 2022 16:13 utc | 38

Russia's correct and symmetric response of course should be to send those volunteers into Poland, Germany, the UK, etc., etc.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 11 2022 16:13 utc | 39

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 11 2022 14:52 utc | 1

I have been dabbling in the prophecies of Islamic eschatology:

Question: When Israel Wages Her Big Wars Would That Be The Time When Muslim Will Make An Alliance With Rum? Is This Rome, Italy?

“Nabi Muhammad (SA) has prophesised that

‘You will make an alliance with Rum’.
Prophet (SA) said ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’. The Byzantine Empire has disappeared today, but the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ has not. If we want to find Rum, where is the ‘Eastern Orthodox Christian Church’ today?

Answer, the headquarters is now in Russia. If I am wrong I invite you to correct me.

And so when the Prophet (SA) said, ‘You will make an alliance with Rum’, my answer is its going to be an alliance with Russia. ..”

( ,

Meanwhile ...

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is slated to address the Israeli parliament via Zoom in the coming days, according to Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy. Levy said on Thursday that he spoke with Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk to reiterate his invitation to Zelensky to address members of the Knesset.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a relatively inexperienced statesman who is little known outside of Israel, has emerged as a key mediator between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: Bennett is the first-ever Israeli prime minister to attempt to directly mediate a major international crisis. That's burnishing his reputation at home as a major world leader. It's also a risky endeavor, given Putin's track record of manipulating and deceiving his interlocutors.

Bennett decided to get involved when he realized almost no other country could speak credibly to both sides, his aides say.
He has now had more known calls with Putin and Zelensky than almost any other leader since the war began.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Mar 11 2022 16:13 utc | 40

"..the market has already passed its judgment: it does not think Russia’s gold reserves can support the rouble."
Financial Times.
It is important to recognise that "the market" consists of large numbers of people brainwashed to believe that Washington always prevails in a unipolar world.
It is going to take some time for these people, often very bright and clinically ruthless though they can be, to wake up to the fact that the entire culture is corrupted by propaganda.
But wake up they will, just the way that George Soros made a billion betting against sterling, there are some investors out there who are going to get very rich bucking the conventional wisdom.
The real bottom line in all these business equations is that the NATO populations can't comprise more than about 12-15% of the world total and they are ruled by about 1% of that number. Add to that the fact that they are all drunk on war propaganda distilled from outright lies and complete misinterpretations of reality and their judgements are very questionable.
Russian doesn't have to practise autarky. Most of the world is ready to do business with it. It only has one enemy-US Imperialism and its NAZI derived ideology.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 11 2022 16:19 utc | 41

As such, his so-called analysis
Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 16:07 utc | 36


One man's harmful fragmentation is another man's beneficial multiculturalism.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 11 2022 16:23 utc | 42


A bashi-bazouk (Ottoman Turkish: باشی بوزوق başıbozuk, IPA: [baʃɯboˈzuk], lit. 'one whose head is turned, damaged head, crazy-head', roughly "leaderless" or "disorderly") was an irregular soldier of the Ottoman army, raised in times of war.

They had a reputation for bravery, but also as an undisciplined group, notorious for looting and preying on civilians as a result of a lack of regulation.[1][3]"

History repeats itself, not perfectly of course, but unmistakably:

The Head of the Russian diplomatic mission in Adrianople, Prince Tsereteli, wrote to Petersburg: “the Troops were ordered to destroy everything at the slightest resistance. First, those were considered opposition to robbery and oppression committed by the Bashi-bazouks, then it was not considered even with these excuses, and it was enough just to be a Bulgarian. ...

In the book “the Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria” 1880 recorded that the most terrible was the Bashi-bazouks-Albanians who did what he had not dared even by the Turks...


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Mar 11 2022 16:27 utc | 43

IMO both is wrong. The West should deny exit to anyone attempting to go to Ukraine, the Azov Nazis have big links to Western Nazis. Nobody needs more Nazis in Ukraine. Same for Syrians: Dont abuse their hardship coming from Western sanctions and lure them to Ukraine as expendable cannon fodder. There are some real psychopaths at work who want more bloodshed and no conclusion to this war.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 11 2022 16:27 utc | 44

The challenges Russia has not yet responded too are the myriad sanctions the 'west' has enacted against it. There the responses can only be asymmetric.
I wonder why Putin is waiting to make them public. Does he want to keep them in reserve?

Posted by b on March 11, 2022 at 14:48 UTC.

Mr. Putin is only in the “2nd Inning” and he is not batting on “a sticky wicket”
Why rush when your adversary is self-inflicting harm??

The EU Versailles Summit just ended with a promises.

19 minutes ago at 10:13 EST Sputniknews
EC Head: EU Will Propose Fourth Package of Sanctions Against Russia

Boeing and Airbus have stopped sending spare parts to Russia, prompting Russian airlines to source these items from third countries.
Look to India.

Oil options None. Scratch Venezuela and Iran. We are not engaged in discussions as per WH spox.

5-10 years to replace Russian supply
Ex-Texas Oil Regulator Says Would Take World 10 Years to Replace Russian Energy Supply

Gains Pains in the EU AND THE US.
Italy. Truckers declare Force Majeure
as at March 14. We park the trucks.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 11 2022 16:31 utc | 45

How about another fake chemical attack? Washington is laying the groundwork for it. Hey, it worked in Syria. Obama continues to get roasted for not acting when his redline "was crossed" when even the CIA wouldn't endorse it.
...from TheHill

Fears grow over Russian chemical threat to Ukraine
Officials have raised the prospect that Russia is laying the foundation for a chemical or biological attack on Ukraine, and experts and world leaders have openly discussed the risk of escalation given Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Thursday briefing when asked what the U.S. might do in response to such escalation. “What we’re saying right now is they have the capacity and capability [for a chemical weapons attack]. I’m also not going to get into intelligence. But the president’s intention of sending U.S. military into Ukraine against Russia has not changed,” she said.

“I think it underscores the concern that all of us need to focus on those kind of issues, where it’s the potential for a use of chemical weapons either as a false flag operation, or as against Ukrainians,” CIA Director William Burns told lawmakers on Thursday. “This is something … very much a part of Russia’s playbook. They’ve used those weapons against their own citizens; they’ve at least encouraged the use in Syria and elsewhere. So it’s something we take very seriously.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 16:32 utc | 46

there was no coherent economic policy under trump. it was tariffs but without a increase in industrial capacity. capital continued to go to finance and rentier sectors instead of funneled into productivity or research.

trump aside,the larger topic of making sacrifices to mobilize state resources and power towards restoring US manufacturing, that conversation is just not possible anytime soon, not until things get much much worse. creative destruction if you will.

until then, the media and the prevailing interests they represent, the bought politicians and the ideological paradigm determine it is outside the bounds of what can be discussed.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 11 2022 16:38 utc | 47

Al-Qaeda is joining team Bandera. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Mar 11 2022 16:41 utc | 48

I don’t see the point of counter sanctions at this point. Russia is not at war with Europe.

The Germans seem set to self destruct, could some give an insight on why?

As for stopping trade in this or that with the ‘west’ it’s totally unnecessary. Anyone looking to buy anything Russian would have to pay in Rubel. Which they won’t. Russia has been kicked out of the dollar system, remember.

So the Russians are in no hurry to take measures.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Mar 11 2022 16:42 utc | 49

@ c1ue 37
Thus to say that tariff costs are passed through, and prices increase, is beside the point. The point of the tariffs is to increase the benefit of import substitution - which means jobs for regular Americans as opposed to more pay for the executives who offshored the production/jobs to start with.

Thanks for raising the subject of tariffs creating jobs.
Actually, with China it was the opposite.
U.S.-China trade war has cost up to 245,000 U.S. jobs: business group study.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has caused a peak loss of 245,000 U.S. jobs, but a gradual scaling back of tariffs on both sides would boost growth and lead to an additional 145,000 jobs by 2025, a study commissioned by the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) shows. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 16:43 utc | 50

There are some real psychopaths at work who want more bloodshed and no conclusion to this war.
Anne Hartman 44

that is exactly the US plan.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 11 2022 16:44 utc | 51

I feel like the idiots 'leading' western initiatives simply keep forgetting that Putin is a highly skilled Judo practitioner, to the point that he has internalized the philosophy of the art.

So regarding the emplacement of more and more NATO forces near Russia (and China), the idiots probably can't understand that they are just stacking more assets within convenient range.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Mar 11 2022 16:49 utc | 52

@ mastameta 51
Yes, blood shed by innocents increases the value of the enterprise, but the dollars are important too.
"War is a racket. . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."
-- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1935

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 16:49 utc | 53

Arch Bungle | Mar 11 2022 16:13 utc | 40

OTOH, from an analyst who sometimes delivers a view worthy of consideration:

Then Israeli journalists went to the crime scene to find that it had never been bombed. The Ukrainian president had lied. Then the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Preskov, invited the Yad Vashem Memorial to send a delegation to Ukraine to see for themselves, under the protection of the Russian army, what President Putin was talking about.

A great silence followed. What if the Kremlin, like the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was telling the truth? What if the Straussian Jews in the United States, the Ukrainian Jewish leader Ihor Kolomoysky and his employee the Jewish president Volodymyr Zelensky were working with real Nazis?

Immediately, the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, went to Moscow and received Chancellor Scholtz in Tel Aviv, then phoned the Ukrainian president, whose bad faith was evident to all. Presented as yet another attempt at peace, this trip was in fact intended only to find out whether or not the United States was relying on real Nazis. Confused by his findings, Bennett called President Putin, whom he had left the day before. He was also phoning various heads of Nato member states.

It would be desirable for Naftali Bennett to make public what he has verified, but it is unlikely. He would have to open a forgotten file, that of the relations between certain Zionists and the Nazis... So many questions that historians usually leave unanswered. And today, is it true, as many witnesses claim, that Professor Leo Strauss taught his Jewish students that they had to build their own dictatorship, using the same methods as the Nazis, to protect themselves from a new Shoah?

Clearly, Naftali Bennett did not buy into the Ukraine/NATO narrative. He said that the Russian president was not theorizing a plot, was not irrational and did not suffer from mental illness...”


see also Thierry Meyssan’s “Russia declares war on the Straussians” to better understand his thought

Posted by: suzan | Mar 11 2022 16:52 utc | 54

this is another proxy war in ukraine involving usa and russia.. it was the same in syria.... ukraine is syria version 2.. in 2014 i wondered how this would play out... clearly usa wanted the war in ukraine, but russia focused on syria.. here we are 8 years later and it is now happening in ukraine.. basically it turns ukraine into a shit hole, thanks the usa agenda - have everyone subservient to it.. the west is fine destroying the planet... they profess the opposite, but so long as it isn't on their soil - all is fine.. as in syria, the usa and friends are not getting a win here.. the financial dynamic is the 64,000 question for me..

militarily the west - usa-nato shows its weakness here.. it can send military goods to ukraine, but as @ sushi noted in a previous thread - russia is tying up the trains and prevents the heavy stuff from going anywhere.. it is an existential fight for russia... perhaps it is one too for the west in regards to the world financial system... no amount of propaganda is going to change any of that.. the objectives of the opposing forces are very different...

Posted by: james | Mar 11 2022 16:58 utc | 55

Western idiots, convinced by their governments that the Russians are wicked should pause and think about the people they now view as enemies. People like these..

Posted by: Stevelancs | Mar 11 2022 16:59 utc | 56

Autocorrect knows best. Apologies.

should read Gas Pains in the EU and US.

Posted by: @45 Me | Mar 11 2022 17:01 utc | 57

UNSC meeting on bio labs in Ukraine is live on CSPAN.

Posted by: Mark Gaughan | Mar 11 2022 17:01 utc | 58

31, Rope a dope wasn't Ali dodging those punches, he was taking punches, mostly with his forearms; young Ali could dodge, step back and still KO your ass. Rope a dope was costly on Ali, he got the crap beat out of him, but he did save his energy till his opponent was worn out. Russia will is enduring a lot of pain here and now; but I agree; they're keeping their powder dry (in reserve) as we say. Not disagreeing or correcting as much as getting to that fight, Ali took a beating; young Ali could dance.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 17:03 utc | 59

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how long this is going to last, as the US will not negotiate, and in effect wants interminable chaos. the world will look really different when we finally reach the endgame to this conflict.

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 11 2022 17:05 utc | 60

@Don Bacon #50
Ah yes, we should always believe what a pro-business group asserts on tariffs.

Let's think on this for a minute: China, Japan, Germany all have higher tariffs than the US on imports. So does South Korea. Some only somewhat higher with notable exceptions, others just plain much higher.

All of these countries are export giants. They have enormous numbers of jobs based on not just creating for themselves, but creating for the rest of the world.

Why do you think they do this if the effect is to hurt their economies short, medium and/or long term?

The assertion of free trade is based on comparative advantage: the theory is that some countries are better at one thing than others and should focus on it, and trade between all the countries evens out the outcomes. It is the capitalist version of Marx's "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

The reality is far different. There is nothing to make South Korea or Japan prime automobile manufacturers. They don't have steel or rubber, they came to industrialization later than the US or Europe, they don't even have oil and must import it. However, the Japanese government and the Japanese auto industry have focused and honed a world spanning economic enterprise.

China is doing the same, but on an enormously broader scale.

Note I'm not ascribing any sinister Bondsian villain motives here - simply describing economic reality.

China has a 25% flat tariff tax on all imports - for which some exceptions exist: source

The US has an import tariff of 2% on industrial goods - basically anything not agricultural source

Germany averages 4.2% but has tariffs of 11.6% to 32% in a number of areas source but of course, the average tariff is significantly undercut by the low/no tariffs on intra-EU trade.

Japan averages 4.3% but is unevenly split between agriculture (15.5%) and non-agriculture (2.5%) source

South Korea has a 10% VAT, and a 7.9% tariff on non-US imports source

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:06 utc | 61

Between Australia goading China and Nato prodding the Russian bear, I'm surprised hostilities haven't escalated yet, now I've found out India has launched a missile into Pakistan.

"The Indian government has issued a statement blaming the accidental firing of a missile into Pakistan earlier this week on a “technical malfunction” that occurred “in the course of routine maintenance.”"

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 11 2022 17:08 utc | 62

Regarding the risk of a potential chemical or bio attack by Russia, I seem not seeing any west media/publishcation asking WHY Russia would do it? The fact is that Russia is in control, not Ukies. If Ukies was in control, there would be no so many Z-grade Z shows on a daily basis on the west media. If Russia has no motive for such attack, who will have THE motive and who will BENEFIT if the said attack occurred?

It's beyond belief that most people in the west has been dumbed/brainwashed down to the Z level.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Mar 11 2022 17:11 utc | 63

@james #55
I mostly agree except for the "NATO military weakness" part. I mean, this is true but it has never been clear that the US or the EU ever had the intention to put their own military in direct confrontation with even a 2nd world military, much less a 1st world military like Russia's.
As for Syria - Syria is hurt but they're recovering. From a global perspective, the outright destruction of thousands to tens of thousands of Salafis from everywhere cannot be anything but positive.
The same can be said for Ukraine.
Donetsk cauldron is fully encircled - now comes the "surrender or be smashed" part. Then the troops move to the next cauldron.
Scott Ritter said there is no value to foreign volunteers to the Russian military in his latest Youtube appearance (with George Galloway), but I don't automatically agree.
The volunteers are not useful in leading edge military operations, true, but they could be very useful if Russia needs to clean out holdouts in urban areas like is happening in Mariupol right now (which LDPNR militias are doing), Odessa, Kharkiv, Kiev and maybe Lvov later.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:17 utc | 64

@ farm ecologist 48
Al-Qaeda is joining team Bandera. What could possibly go wrong?
..from TheCradle
Hundreds of Al-Qaeda militants arrive in Ukraine from Syria
The Al-Qaeda militants arrived just days after Russian intelligence warned that Washington was providing them with training for the fight in Ukraine.

Around 450 militants from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) armed group, a re-branded Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda), arrived in Ukraine on 8 March to fight against the Russian army. The militants reportedly left Idlib governorate in northern Syria only three days ago, entering Ukraine after passing through Turkey. The militants consist of both Arab and foreign nationals, as HTS, ISIS, and other militias in Syria allow foreigners to join their ranks.

The sources explained further that many of those who have gone to Ukraine are veterans of the US-backed war against the Syrian government and were offered this new task as a means of resolving disputes between the soldiers and the HTS leadership. The income for Syrian fighters is reported to be around $1,200-$1,500. The income for foreign nationals is not yet known. . .here

AQ was funded and trained by CIA in Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 11 2022 17:19 utc | 65

I get so tired of idiotic "conservatives" that don't know the first thing about conservative policies. Trump really threw them off; they're simply hot-headed, hasty, resentful petty minded people. Progressive income taxes favor capital intensive production over finance, political influencers and corporate exec excesses. Trump's policies destroy actual capital intensive production; "low income taxes" destroy domestic production. Tariffs create feeble firms that are bloated and in no way are executive incomes reduced or challenged--progressive income taxes do that exceptionally well.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 17:20 utc | 66

Trump... his China economic policy
The issue is whether the long term result is beneficial.
Thus to say that tariff costs are passed through, and prices increase, is beside the point.
The point of the tariffs is to increase the benefit of import substitution - which means jobs for regular Americans

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 16:12 utc | 37

poison might be vaccine, if administered in minuscule quantityes, and then administer a vaccine in quantities huge enough to overwhelm you - and it is poison

Did Trump's "tariffs" helped to "bring factories to USA" ? it does not seem so.

American problem is YUUUGE international trade deficit. Yes, you can use some big stick to build a factory at home and to force Americans to buy all of its production. That would uncontrollably happen anyway, when USD ceases to be a global currency and would again becaome just some nation's money. Then no other nation would sell their goods for USD and Americans would be forced to consume what they produce. In an abrupt and uncontrolled trade collapse.

May Trump be trying to kickstart that process? Sometimes i think he was, he was maybe trying to start it soonner but do it somewhat controllable, rather than waiting for an inevitable and all-crushing avalanche.
Maybe not.

What Trump definitely could NOT achieve by costs alone - that would be movign USA back to 1950-s of being "world factory" again.
Trump, perhaps, could build factories at home and could prohibit americans to import.
But that would never create American export. Made in USA goods would still be uncompetitive outside ironcurtained America.

...and here my tinfoil hat kicks in and does it mightily.

Covid hysteria had that streak to "blame China and demand huge ransom from them", and USA tried to enlist ALL the nations in the world, even Russia, into that vagon. It did not catch wind and was swiftly cancelled from news cycles. But it was tried desperately once.

So, maybe, just maybe, that could had been Trump plan from get go.
By slapping huge, unpayable "covid" penalty upon China - if other nations would all agreed to take part in china-stripping fest - Trump could indeed make sure that production in China becomes unsustainable. What if any $10 item produced in China would had been burdened by extra $20 of covid fine applied? All the export production in China would've become unsustainablem like it is now in USA, and then perhaps USA re-industrialization could work. Remove China from the equation - and then made-in-USA gets some no-nation market land to homestead.

But for reasons USA thinkers would probably never grasp, this did not fly. While some nations agreed to rob China, most did not. The world did not agree to kick Chinese factories out of global market. And that spelled the doom for USA re-industrialization. As long as there is China - USA export is just a dream.

And without that main component the tariff lipsticks only made it worse for USA, became not cure but poison, and had to be removed, with Trump.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 11 2022 17:20 utc | 67

gottlieb @31--

Ali's technique is part of the Putin Doctrine. To accomplish Russia's security goals, all those NATO troops will need to be ejected from Poland and the Baltics, but we haven't reached that point in the drama yet.

As for holding back on countersanctions, yes there's the Duma part, but that's related to what Lavrov revealed yesterday at his presser:

"As for the state of the Russian economy, as you know, we will take care of this ourselves. Both the President of Russia and our Government are engaged in this."

But this passage in response to the same presstitute is what the global public needs to know:

"As for our economic problems, we will cope with them. We coped with difficulties at all stages of our history, when they arose. This time, I assure you, we will come out of this crisis with a completely healed psychology and consciousness. We will have no illusions that the West can be a reliable partner, we will have no illusions that the West will not betray at any moment, anyone and its own values. Where is it that private property rights can be trampled upon with the flick of two fingers? Where is it seen that the presumption of innocence, as a pillar of the Western legal system, is simply ignored and grossly violated? I assure you, we will definitely cope. But we will do everything to no longer depend in any way on the West in those areas of our life that are crucial for our people."

I omitted the extra emphasis I gave that passage in my article and earlier commentary about it yesterday. Russia won't preannounce what it will do; it will just act, but it will be done legally, which is Russia's way, and no longer the West's.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 11 2022 17:20 utc | 68

@clue 61
"China has a 25% flat tariff tax on all imports - for which some exceptions exist"

I think you're conflating china's tariff rate with its 25‰ corporate tax rate, unless a decimal pt was left out. the world bank lists china's tariff rate at 2.5 %

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 11 2022 17:25 utc | 69

Russia: does anybody want some weapons, NATO equipment and other stuff?
Other countries: for free?
Russia: sort of
Russia "Haciendo leña del árbol caído"

Posted by: Jouven | Mar 11 2022 17:26 utc | 70

@ mastameta | Mar 11 2022 17:05 utc | 60.

i see it much the same.. the usa is happy to create shit in other places around the globe to maintain its hegemony.. they don't give a fuck and even better if they can convince a brain dead population that it is all russias fault! regardless of the spin, it ain't working out.. the end game is a fucked up world where the ones who fucked it up take no responsibility for any of it... it kind of works like that in the real world too with people who have personality disorders and can never take responsibility.... get freud of jung to do a psychoanalysis of the usa / west here! not sure it would do us any good either way...

i feel like i am watching a gambler( usa-west) in a casino putting all its chips on one number for the roulette wheel, hoping to win big... i can't see it myself...

Posted by: james | Mar 11 2022 17:27 utc | 71

UNSC have proven themselves a tool of empire
I would just as soon be tied to a chair and forced to watch CNN

suzan | 54
Thanks for the links.

Posted by: ld | Mar 11 2022 17:30 utc | 72

C1ue, they have to use tariffs cause they're tiny; we're the bell of the ball. Business will have facilities to be able to sell, except here. Progressive taxes encourage a firm to sink their production facilities in the most profitable, highest nominally tax rate market they sell in. So, though we're the bell of the ball; you're arguing we should be the sluttiest girl around. You're really not thinking about how INCOME taxes are voluntary (for real producers) and a firm doesn't need to net, net a profit at all; which is very different from being profitable. When Execs can suck off all the gains, it's all bullshit anyway. Low income taxes allow execs to take all the gains. Under progressive income taxes salesmen (With less structured contracts) often made more than the execs (which is probably correct as a value to the firm) All the employee benefits, from insurance to pensions were all a tax dodge; firms had to give in kind to workers benefits the execs might have wanted.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 17:31 utc | 73

@mastameta #69
You are correct - the correct import tax rate is 17% via a VAT.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:32 utc | 74

Confused by his findings, Bennett called President Putin...

Confused by his findings...

Posted by: suzan | Mar 11 2022 16:52 utc | 54

No, please, just no!!!

Oh, those stupid little Jews who didntdonuffin and didntknonuffin...

I would not believe that top ruling circles of Israel did not know in fullest and with many more details and much more depth we would ever have, what was going about Nazism in Ukraine.

First reports of Ukrainian Jews about harassment and supression went in 2014 immediately after EuroMaidam.

As early as in March 2014 witnesses from Ukraine personally testified in Israel Knesset! - form the horse mouth. - initially some broad historical and personal context, but down there the English text of the address to the Knesset. - since 2016 Kiev regime started regularly harassing her. Yet, whlie harassing, no one killed her like they did to Oles' Buzina. There still is some albeit thin umbrella upon her.

But i digress.

Since March 2014 Israel ruling elites PERFECTLY knew about Nazism in Ukraine.

Whatever could happen to and swayed Bennet - that could never be some "confusing findings" or other "revelations" of the facts that he - and EVERYONE among his ranks - perfectly knew for years.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 11 2022 17:32 utc | 75

c1ue @ 37 says:

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but his China economic policy is not one of them.

Trump's economic policy toward China is totally idiotic in so many ways that I really lack the motivation and time to enumerate. Among them:

1. Thinking that you have a trade deficit means that "trade war is easy to win" is idiotic.
2. Boosting that "China will pay for 100% of the tariffs" is idiotic.
3. Destroying basic rules of WTO and international norms is idiotic.
4. Indiscriminatingly increasing tariffs on a broad range of products - including low end, low-profit, essential consumers products (e.g. shoes, food, toys, gardening tools...) is idiotic.
5. Starting a trade war without seriously trying to negotiate FIRST with China is idiotic.
6. Aiming for advantages through racial rhetoric (e.g. "Chinese steals") is idiotic.
7. Initiating a "war" without understanding how the other side will respond is idiotic.
8. Mixing domestic politics with international trades and businesses is idiotic.
9. Imposing policy without considering impacts to broader domestic and local businesses (e.g. increase imported parts, losing competitiveness, short-term cash-flow etc) is idiotic.
10. Many more (e.g. complexity of supply chain, international reactions, geo-political implications, ... etc)

Trump's economic policy toward China is a TOTAL failure - there is no debate on it. There is no re-industrialization, trade deficits continue to rise, manufacturing job didn't increase, American businesses and consumers pay the cost, the world loses confidence in US leadership, China becomes more unfriendly and less cooperative (in economic and other areas), etc.

Posted by: d dan | Mar 11 2022 17:34 utc | 76

Mark Gaughan | Mar 11 2022 15:59 utc | 33

"Anyone know where to watch Russian bio lab UN hearing?"

I'm afraid you've missed the 1st statement by US rep Linda Thomas-Greenfield, bumbling through her read-out like a 4th-grader giving her 1st report in front of class.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 11 2022 17:35 utc | 77

@ c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:17 utc | 64

thanks.. as for nato - it relies on the same financial ponzi scheme that has been happening for at least the past 50 years with us$ running off printing press to support all this madness... without the funny money, what is the west left with? what i mean when i say nato -usa is showing its weakness here is a combo of things... the no fly zone imposed by russia remains a no fly zone... what does that say about nato, or the usa? it says weakness to me.. as for the money thrown at nato for weapons and etc - at what point do ordinary people see what a fucking waste of money it is and how it could be better spent on helping their own people?? apparently it takes a long time for them to see this..

Posted by: james | Mar 11 2022 17:35 utc | 78

Here is one piece of evidence that can be used to counter the lie that the biowarfare labs in Ukraine are
"Russian disinformation".

Check out the notice posted by the General Services Administration in July 2017 notice on behalf of the US Air Force, advertising for Russian Caucasian Synovial tissue and RNA samples (Ukrainian samples not wanted).

The original file at the GSA is no longer online (I actually looked at it back in 2017), but a copy was fortunately posted online at this link

RT did a report on this in 2017,

Sorry, the US military was not doing this for humanitarian reasons. The standard argument for this type of research is that they need to work with these pathogens in order to create vaccines to 'protect the troops'. But to specify Russian Caucasians and not Ukrainian samples?? This was done to create offensive biological viral weapons, in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention.

And what better place to put such bioweapons than on the Russian border? How many of these deadly pathogens are native to Eurasia? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense, if doing real research, to build labs in Africa or places where the diseases are endemic? No, this was for military purposes, and the labs were funded/supported by the US Department of Defense.

As mentioned before, Victoria Nuland publicly admitted that the labs existed, see what Glen Greenwald had to say about it She understands what is going to be coming out.

And the Colin Powell waving around a vial of "antrax" at the UNSC, the US is desperate to cover its ass now that the Russians have proof they are taking to the UN. I hope they do a good job of presenting it.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 11 2022 17:36 utc | 79

@james | Mar 11 2022 17:27 utc | 71

the usa is happy to create shit in other places around the globe to maintain its hegemony.. they don't give a fuck and even better if they can convince a brain dead population that it is all russias fault!

The instigators of the war in Ukraine on the North American continent are asking for the war to be brought to them.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 11 2022 17:36 utc | 80

Russia counter sanctions

Russia Approves 200 Export Bans In Retaliation To Western Sanctions

The list included over 200 products, including technological, telecommunication and medical equipment, vehicles, agricultural machinery, electric equipment, as well as railway cars and locomotives, containers, turbines, metal and stone cutting machines, video displays, projectors, consoles and switchboards.


In addition, the Government has also suspended the export of several types of timber and timber products to states that are undertaking hostile actions against Russia, in accordance with the approved list.

Most of it is pretty specialized except this one: wood.

That one looks like it is aimed directly at Japan.

Japan imports A LOT of wood, and I think a lot of it comes from Russia either directly or indirectly. Here's a report on the impact of Japanese wood imports on illegal Russian timbering EIA Timber report on illegal logging in Russia, Japan

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:37 utc | 81

Sorry, somehow part of the last sentence in my post at 79 got deleted. I meant to say that the US invasion of Iraq was justified by the accuation that Iraq possessed WMD, with Powell waving the vial of "antrax" around at the UNSC. Russia can now point to these labs as part of their justification for the invasion.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 11 2022 17:40 utc | 82

@d dan #76
I won't bother arguing with each of your points - some are valid, others are just argumentative.

Any 1 president in 1 term is not going to reverse a generation's worth of offshoring. To faux pretend that Trump failed to do so is purely idiotic because no one can.

However, to bring a heretofore taboo subject of Americans losing jobs to China via anticompetitive practices - that's the start of a real conversation.

Trump was 100% successful in bringing trade with China into both public and political focus. Really speaking, that's all anyone can do.

Recall that Nixon opened relations with China in 1972, but it wasn't until Clinton, 20 years later, that the offshoring began in earnest.

I'm not saying that the de-offshore-ization is going to reverse in 20 years - but at least now it is a topic that is being talked about.

Both Democrat and Republican presidents and Congress's, before Trump, didn't.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:44 utc | 83

@ScottinDallas #73
You said

they have to use tariffs cause they're tiny; we're the bell of the ball.

China's GDP was 6% of the US' in 1984. It is pretty much on par now.

Who exactly is the "bell of the ball"?

Furthermore, you seem to be ignorant of the history of your own country. The United States had a very prohibitive import tariff up until the switchover from Pax Britannia until Pax America.

Anyway, if you want to believe garbage like "import tariffs are only used by losers", so be it.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:47 utc | 84

NATO's weakness isn't shown; you're speaking too broadly. NATO's lack of real engagement, buy in is weak. If we were talking about Germany, we'd be talking about a different NATO. We too easily lapse into lazy language; drop qualifiers. But, the US (and NATO) meddle abroad, again, it's just meddling. The US army isn't weak, it hasn't been tested. We're fiddling about while we create existential instability for others; it's really wicked. It's more vile and nihilistic than Pol Pot, Communism, Socialism, Hitler, Putin, Nazism; it's just creating fodder for light and transient interests. "Say what you will about National Socialism, at least it's an ethos, Dude."

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 17:50 utc | 85

@ Norwegian | Mar 11 2022 17:36 utc | 80

that is true, but they haven't figured that out yet...

Posted by: james | Mar 11 2022 17:50 utc | 86

On patents, very briefly. Patents are another form of protection that were engineered to extract further rents and are completely unnatural. They deny advancement to certain segments of humanity--those that can't afford to pay the rents--and are thus a restraint of trade and yet another form of discrimination aimed at keeping part of the world dependent upon another. Humanity ought to advance humanity; so, patents could also be described as Anti-Human. I applaud Russia's initiative to void all patents; China and the Global South should follow suit. IMO, we'll soon see a redefining of what constitutes property rights which will then be applied to all nations aside from holdouts in the West and its Asian vassals. This development is also part of the Putin Doctrine and a primary component of the Paradigm Change we've entered.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 11 2022 17:52 utc | 87

Is it an improvement that we've moved from blanket to birds? Is this "innovative" or is it "retro" or perhaps "paleo"

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 17:53 utc | 88

Small bit of news from the ground:

People are feeling that Kiev is safe, at least for the moment, and are returning to work and daily routines. Zelensky's statement that Ukraine didn't need to be a NATO member was downplayed or kind of 'snuck in' to news broadcasts. The initial war fever has cooled considerably in the city and people are tired generally. Some Ukrainian news casts are now delivered in Russian.

My mother in law lives near a small village about 10mi east of Chernegiv and some days ago some thuggish outsiders showed up and put themselves in charge of the area. All former criminals, but without weapons. The forbade lights at night and the use of heaters by the residents and confiscated various items at will. A night ago a line of tanks showed up after dark and soldiers without insignia and who did not identify themselves forced the door and spent the night in the house and then left without doing any other harm. I am thinking these must have been Ukrainian forces - Russians would not have slept in peoples homes I don't believe.

The update from Defense Policy Asia today is interesting. Seems some progress in Mariupol and that Russian troops are headed north from Vosnosensk toward the South Ukraine nuke plant.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 11 2022 17:54 utc | 89

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:37 utc | 81

Japan? Maybe.
But also IKEA and likes.
And also a lof of Finnish paper makers.

I heard rumour that Russian shop chains are in risk of halting business because their cachier machines would run out of thermal paper.
And while there are some thermal paper producing factories in Russia - they are all owned by foreign factories, only producing that thermo-paper for export and then maybe re-import.

I don't know how much of that rumour is true.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 11 2022 17:56 utc | 90

@james #78
One small correction: it isn't the printing press that enables the US government to run massive deficits and to ridiculously overfund the US military. It is the outsize use of US dollars by foreigners ranging from central banks to individuals.

As for when: I personally think it is already happening and has been happening since 2012.

As I've noted many times before: the net Treasuries owned by foreigners basically flatlined in 2012 even as US debt/deficits skyrocketed. To me, this says the CBs already were declining to maintain the Washington Consensus much as foreign CBs started slamming the US gold window for a decade before Nixon's 1971 closure of it.

This latest round of US financial warfare is only going to accelerate an existing trend - it is not beginning a new one. There is a reason why the movers and shakers at the seminar I attended were clearly scared of the consequences of China successfully issuing the first CBDC - the e-yuan.

I wonder just how much of the present inflation is due to excess dollars returning home.

Inflation from the disaggregation of USD held by foreigners is one thing I have been watching for.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 17:56 utc | 91

Don Bacon @ 65

And others commenting about AQ in Ukraine.-

Turkey has no boundary with Ukraine. Very implausible 450 fighters would attempt passage across the Black Sea. And little uncontrolled coast for them to land. If this has happened and is not a wild goose chase they went overland through Bulgaria. Making NATO member Bulgaria party to the conflict.

If this is to be the US technique for endless shit-stirring it means Russia has to control entire border of Ukraine. Very firmly. That was not likely the original plan but they knew it could happen.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 11 2022 17:57 utc | 92

Here is a full list of the biolabs:">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">">

The site that has the list

Posted by: Oysten | Mar 11 2022 18:01 utc | 93

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 11 2022 17:52 utc | 87

Agreed, and copyright too. May Disney and his scions rot in hell.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 11 2022 18:03 utc | 94

I was remarking about your comment regarding Japan and S. Korea; their markets aren't that attractive compared to US/China. China exacts many "taxes" to sell there, and that is my point; business doesn't care about hurdles, if there's a reward; Highland Park here has expensive rent, regs, but all the demand, your theory would mean the boondocks would be the drivers of economy, but it's demand. Businesses will do what it takes, that's what their real mission is; and of course that has to be justifiable after costs. But, in fact, it was Reagan killing the progressive tax that encouraged the off shoring of production, as you say, NAFTA came AFTER, as the execs could bonus themselves. My grandfather was president of a Fortune 100 firm, I remember him building a warehouse they didn't need till a couple of years later, but built it to sink "profits" that would've been taxed at a higher bracket; same with end of year bonuses, truck sales; on,those are tax dodges. The alternative is sales and property taxes which TAX production and reinvestment; while note, the exec's incomes, finance, lobbyists don't pay sales tax (the little guy does, brick and mortar do, industry does) but not the lawyer, lobbyists, finanicer; they have no production faciilities, no supply chains, no distrubution networks. Those are all income sinks for real firms, and the higher the nominal tax rate the greater the incentive to reinvest. Now the EFFECTIVE tax rate is about the same on the income side from Today back to the Ike years; though sales taxes, property taxes wouldn't be in that data.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 11 2022 18:04 utc | 95

@ScottinDallas #85
The entire German army is 60K people - the Russian 1st Tank Guard Army is 40K by itself. The German military was stranded in Afghanistan when the US pulled out; the Russian military had to help get at least some of the Ukrainian detachment back.

Many credible military people: Ritter, MacGregor and others have noted that the US military downsized its 1st world capabilities after the 1990s in favor of counterinsurgency.

So while the Russian army isn't composed of 10 foot tall, covered in curly hair supermen - it has been retooling specifically for a peer military confrontation with NATO since around 2007 even as NATO has been retooling to shoot raggedy AK wielding jihadists.

I don't denigrate the dedication or desire in American soldiers - but it takes more than that to go up against a real military.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 18:07 utc | 96

they are all owned by foreign factories, Posted by: Arioch | Mar 11 2022 17:56 utc | 90

Nationalize them.

How much does diesel/benzine cost for you and what it the trend?

Posted by: too scents | Mar 11 2022 18:07 utc | 97

Israel pretending they don't know is silly.

- - - - -

If US/NATO pushes much harder on Turkey maybe Turkish pride and self-respect will make them leave?

- - - - -

Anyone have any explanations for the Ukrainian 6 ton drone crashing in Croatia after flying through both Romania and Hungary? Funny/peculiar story.

So much for any NATO air defense capabilities, wide open :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Mar 11 2022 18:12 utc | 98

@ScottinDallas #95
You said

I was remarking about your comment regarding Japan and S. Korea; their markets aren't that attractive compared to US/China. China exacts many "taxes" to sell there, and that is my point; business doesn't care about hurdles, if there's a reward; Highland Park here has expensive rent, regs, but all the demand, your theory would mean the boondocks would be the drivers of economy, but it's demand.

Spoken like a salesman.
Perhaps you can outline just how successful American salesmen are succeeding in China vs. Chinese salesmen succeeding in the US - in light of the $1 trillion+ goods trade deficit between the 2 nations, in China's favor.

US Trade Merchandise Deficit Topped 1 Trillion For First Time In 2021

Given the entire US GDP is $23 trillion, $1 trillion seems like a lot...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 11 2022 18:13 utc | 99

My bid is that Putin is waiting to resolve the situation on the ground first. Sanctions are meant to disuade Russia to take on the Ukraine and hurt the Russian economy all together. Once it is well established that the first goal cannot be achieved and once most people in the west is made aware of the damaging effect of such sanctions in their own economy Russia will hold better cards in the next round in this poker game. Putin will be capable of deepening whatever crisis western Europe might have digged itself into or to throw Germany a bone and a lifeline. America's latest moves are already bearing fruits to Russia's allies like Irán or Venezuela. Who knows where will we be in a couple of months so Putin is holding on to this set of aces.

Posted by: Orah | Mar 11 2022 18:17 utc | 100

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