Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 26, 2022

Some Likely Longterm Effects Of The War In Ukraine

Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand - 4:44 UTC · Mar 26, 2022

What are the biggest game-changers of the Ukraine war so far?

I see three:
1) The freezing of Russia's central bank assets
2) China and India's rapprochement
3) The cementation of the EU's vassalage to the U.S.
Small 🧵

I agree with these but would add that it is also likely to lead to 4) the long term demise of NATO and 5) a shrinking role for the U.S. in the Middle East will also shrink as a consequence of the war.

1) The freezing of Russia's (and Iran's, Venezuela's, Afghanistan's) assets will have severe consequences for the U.S. dollar. The U.S. essentially defaulted by holding back Russian assets that it had the fiduciary duty to give back. China and everyone else will move its reserves to countries or into commodities that are not under U.S. control. See the Michael Hudson's interviews here and here:

[T]hat means that other countries all of a sudden see what they thought was their flight to security, what they thought was their most secure savings, their holdings in U.S. banks, US treasury bill, all of a sudden, is holding them hostage and is a high risk. Even the Financial Times of London has been writing about this, saying, how can the United States that was getting a free ride off the dollar standard for the last 50 years, ever since 1971, when foreign countries held dollars instead of gold and basically holding dollars means you buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the US budget deficit and the balance of payments deficit. How can the United States kill the goose that’s giving it the free ride? Well, the answer is that other countries can only move into gold and there’s an alternative to the dollar because that’s something that all the countries of the world have agreed upon is an asset, not a liability. If you hold any foreign currency, that currency is a liability of a foreign country, and if you hold gold, it’s a pure asset.

2) China's and India's rapprochement has been coming for some time. The border squabble over a few thousand square meters of mountain rocks in recent years never made much sense. The Ukraine crisis has shown that India and China have common interests. Some solution for the border will be worked out and full cooperation will return. This means the end for the Quad, the U.S. made anti-China coalition of Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. itself.

3) The cementation of the EU's vassalage to the U.S. will only be temporarily. European companies have their own interests and they will press their politicians into more realist positions:

It is a long haul for Europe to dispense with Russian gas. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday: “There are gas shortages, and that is why we need to talk to Russians. Europe will move towards reducing its dependence on the Russian gas, but can this happen in the coming years? This is very difficult.”

“Europe consumes 500 billion cubic meters of gas, while America and Qatar can offer 15 billion, up to the last molecule… That is why German and Austrian politicians told me: “We cannot just destroy ourselves. If we impose sanctions on Russia in the oil and gas domain, we will destroy ourselves. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot before rushing into a fight.” This is how certain rational people in the West see it today.”

4) As for NATO: As soon as Russia has finished its operation in the Ukraine it will become clear that it has absolutely no interest in attacking any NATO country. The coming period of high inflation will lead to shrinking defense budgets. A NATO that makes promises, like it did to Ukraine, but has neither will nor means to fulfill them has lost its way and serves no serious purpose. It will wither away.

5) In the Middle East the U.S. has proven to be an unreliably ally. The Saudis and others need someone else to protect their security:

The Russian intervention in the Ukraine took Gulf governments by surprise and caused a great deal of anxiety. Here were governments that have tried in recent years to balance their primary loyalty to the U.S. with a new attempt to improve relations with China and Russia.

While Putin intervened in Syria against the wishes of Gulf regimes, which were trying to unseat the Syrian ruler, Bashar al-Asad, the Gulf acknowledged the resolve and determination of the Russian government. Brutality in Russian or American intervention in Syria is of no concern to Gulf despots. They value first and foremost the willingness of the Putin administration to stand by his ally in Damascus in comparison to what they see as a lack of resolve on the part of the U.S. towards its clients in the Gulf.

The Gulf regimes feel Putin is more loyal than the U.S., and the mischievous behavior of UAE and Saudi Arabia in the last few weeks is an expression of their frustration with U.S. role in the region. (Riyadh, for instance, is in talks with China to trade some of its oil in yuan, which would deal a blow to the U.S. dollar that is used in 80 percent of world oil sales. Until now, the Saudis have exclusively used the dollar. And Emirati and Saudi leaders have refused to take Biden’s phone calls.)

China and Russia will likely cooperate to build some new security architecture in the Middle East.

As all the above plays out it may well turn out that the U.S. policy of overextending and unbalancing Russia did not work but has created a backlash that has severely damaged its own strategic position.

Posted by b on March 26, 2022 at 16:52 UTC | Permalink

next page »

please folks... don't respond to trolls representing the language police - the ukraine - ukraine etc.... save it.. thanks..

thanks b!

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 16:56 utc | 1

quote from john helmers latest -

"National Security Adviser Sullivan (above) said: “The president will join our partners in imposing further sanctions on Russia and tightening the existing sanctions to crack down on evasion and ensure robust enforcement… This war will not end easily or rapidly…[Biden’s trip] will send a powerful message that we are prepared and committed to this for as long as it takes”.

The US declaration that “this war will not end easily or rapidly”, and that the US and its allies “are prepared and committed to this for as long as it takes” cancels whatever negotiations or terms Zelensky claims to have announced on Ukrainian television for an end to the war."

therein lies the rub...


Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 16:58 utc | 2

i hope you are right b.... things can go wrong here too.... i note chevron is back in venezuala... not sure when venezuala gets its gold back..

natos only purpose seems to be to support the military industrial complex... it isn't about protection... that is a load of b.s. the usa has lost its way... if it doesn't have nato to push around its poodles, it would be a good ting..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 17:02 utc | 3

Russia could sell Saudi real air defense systems as part of a deal with China and Saudi.

Posted by: notpatriots | Mar 26 2022 17:06 utc | 4

Arnaud Bertrand's observation about the $3 trillions USD overhang that China has and its security with respect to Taiwan is spot on.

Furthermore, the exorbitant privilege game of printing US dollars to steal commodities and labor from the rest of the world is not fun anymore.

I foresee a gathering rush away from the dollar ... and a lot of slow and sorry bag holders.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 26 2022 17:08 utc | 5

> The coming period of high inflation will lead to shrinking defense budgets.

What about Germany's talk about increased defense budget? Empty talk?

While Europe wants to reduce or remove its dependence on Russian energy, the questions are:
a) What happens to European (German) industry with energy costs much much higher (if they end up buying LNG)?
b) When the dust settles and fog lifts, will Russians still be willing to sell gas to the EU?

Posted by: Ivan | Mar 26 2022 17:15 utc | 6

Biden’s reality check in Europe

link is indian punchline from today... a quote

"The takeaway from the US President Joe Biden’s European tour on March 25-26 is measly. Dissenting voices are rising in Europe as western sanctions against Russia start backfiring with price hikes and shortages of fuel and electricity. And this is only the beginning, as Moscow is yet to announce any retaliatory measures as such. "

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 17:17 utc | 7

Land claimed by India that China occupies includes Aksai Chin and is measured not in square metres but in tens of thousands of square kilometres. Land recently occupied after the skirmish in Ladakh is probably in the hundreds of square kilometres. It includes summer grazing land for cashmere goats and other livestock. This morning's Indian Express headline says "New Delhi puts onus on Beijing: Better ties only if you disengage".

Posted by: sarz | Mar 26 2022 17:28 utc | 8

As for NATO: As soon as Russia has finished its operation in the Ukraine it will become clear that it has absolutely no interest in attacking any NATO country. The coming period of high inflation will lead to shrinking defense budgets. A NATO that makes promises, like it did to Ukraine, but has neither will nor means to fulfill them has lost its way and serves no serious purpose. It will wither away.

Not so sure about that one. Whatever pieces of Ukraine are left after the Russia leaves will be rearmed with NATO gear. That will leave Russia with the reality of having a fully armed NATO country on their border that is not actually in NATO.

With that the proxy war may possibly continue is some fashion unless the leftover Ukraine state is admitted into NATO by their revision of their rules. As that nears the war may start all over again as Russia seeks to destroy new stockpiles of heavy weapons.

World War III is here. It is an economic war now but as the world's globalist system splits in half economically the shooting will heat up. The Western powers will not go down quietly. As is weakens regional conflicts will escalate as they seek to settle old scores and grab necessary resources with the help of more powerful state and corporate actors.

I question whether even a new Pearl Harbor or 911 style event will galvanize the population. Those types of events need to happen between generations. A draft will only create contention without one and a draft would be needed to support the coming war.

The only thing left is the nukes.

Posted by: circumspect | Mar 26 2022 17:30 utc | 9

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 17:17 utc | 7

Thanks for the link.

In the coming months EU industry will take a big hit in materials and energy. Germany will be like Amerika short on food & Fuel making citizens really on Happy. Russia might recover in less that a year while the rest of Amerikas puppets do not. ukraine is lost and no matter what Amerika or other nation do it's stick a fork in it it's done.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 26 2022 17:33 utc | 10

Thank you, B.

I'd add another Milestone:

6) The Emergence of Non-USD Trade Exchange & Settlement Schemes to handle a Greater Portion of Global Trade Transactions.

6A) China will move with their CIPS Settlement System and their PetroCNY-AuXchange System (CNY, SilkRoad _Infrastructure, Petroleum/NatGas, Gold, and Commodities);

6B) Russia will move with their SPFS/СПФС Settlement System (RUB, Petroleum/NatGas, Gold, Commodities, AgriGoods)

6C) China+Russia - along with the EAEU, SCO, and RCEP will Co-Develop and Implement Trade Settlement System using "Special Drawing Rights/SDRs" from an "Aggregated Currency" Valued from a Basket of Multiple Currencies and Commodities.

All (CNY, RUB, Gold, Aggro_SDR) will work to replace the USD+GBP for Trade Settlements within the Euro-Asia Continent(s). EUR will probably get relegated to the EU Zone as No One Outside of the EU will want to hold EUR that won't get spent quickly.

Posted by: IronForge | Mar 26 2022 17:39 utc | 11

The later it gets, the faster it gets late. And these are the 'end times.'

I hope b and others are correct, that we have the time to evolve to political settlements as outlined above.

I thought originally the US forcing Russia into a kinetic response in Ukraine was simply to justify and codify Cold War 2.0, and blame economic catastrophe at home on the evil Putin.

Now I am of the mind, due to continued and relentless aggression, including direct military and logistics support for the puppet/clown government of Ukraine, against Russian red lines, that the United States wants to force Russia to make a choice to wage a war of weapons of mass destruction.

Why? Other than insanity, no reason comes to mind.

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 26 2022 17:44 utc | 12

War is the accelerant of History.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Mar 26 2022 17:45 utc | 13

Exactly how will NATO rearm a rump Ukraine with heavy weapons? The US currently manufactured 1 tank/month. While it could be upped, it doesn’t solve the problem that an army needs fuel, which may not exist in Europe much longer (as of yesterday there was 20-40 days of diesel left in Europe). Europe could manufacture heavy weapons, but not without gas. And half the advanced armaments in the US stock that are new may or may not work. The US defense industry isn’t about making arms, it’s about making profit. It’s also spread too thin.

Which brings us to your point about nukes, and that’s the real danger. The US is pretty well out of realistic options and the ones left are all WMD.

But the likelihood of uniting the US is low. The Dems will be slaughtered in the midterms and the GOP will try to impeach Biden. A large number of Americans already believes Biden stole this election and a bunch of the rest believe trump stole the last one. The US is a failed state dressed up in a stolen suit. Hell, we almost color revolutioned ourselves a year ago.

Posted by: Lex | Mar 26 2022 17:48 utc | 14

“When the dust settles and fog lifts, will Russians still be willing to sell gas to the EU?” #6

Of course they will. The price will be the new security architecture in Europe. This will assume new political leadership in key countries, Germany and France and perhaps Italy.

Posted by: Milos | Mar 26 2022 17:55 utc | 15

Regarding b's last point, it's not just loyalty--the Russians are honest and their word is gold--which stands in stark contrast with the Empire of Lies. The reason Nabiullina still has her job IMO confirms that Russia's foreign reserves were used as bait that the voraciously greedy Outlaw US Empire couldn't resist as the result conforms to the Putin Doctrine of destroying old useless, decaying stuctures/institutions so something new can take its place that's not controlled by the Empire, which IMO is the biggest most far-reaching outcome--the institution of an entirely new international financial order and eventually a completely revamped UN. As I continue to say, all the details are within the Joint Declaration. IMO it's very important to note that Declaration wasn't the first but is the fourth or fifth in a series that originated in the initial 2001 treaty on China-Russian Friendship. For example, here's the 2016 Joint Declaration on Promotion and Principles of International Law. Another is the 2017 Joint Declaration on a Multipolar World and the Establishment of a New International Order.

We've reached the turning point, a time when the paradigm will change. The plans were openly declared for all to see and to join. IMO, this will end up overshadowing 1989-1991, provided the Outlaw US Empire doesn't do something extremely outrageous in its rage over its loss of primacy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2022 17:55 utc | 16

I think that the current Ukraine events will also speed up the demise of the European Union. Even though the present mindless and hatefilled reaction looks like unity, and is touted as such, there are many indicators to the contrary. Dissatisfaction with the EU has been growing constantly in the past decade or so. The pandemic definitely revealed its true nature - a neoliberal, capitalilst project furthering the interests, ruling position and control of corporations and the mega rich. The EU does not work for the working class and the majorty of EU citizens. Nor is it a factor of peace in the world. The pandemic did away with the perceived main benefit - freedom of movement within the Union. Voices are growing and becoming louder for exiting the EU. Certainly, for example, but not only, in The Netherlands where I live. The euro is also benefiting primarily the richer EU states.
- I have had a feeling for quite some time that the EU is not going to survive based on various surface signs that keep popping up and are multiplying. I can't offer proper, deeper analysis because I haven't done it, and am not aware of any such systematic analysis, which does not mean there isn't one.
- EU disintegration is not per se a bad thing. As someone said, this is not the only or the best Europe(EU). I would hope that a new Union would be formed on a different basis, with the same lofty goals which have been betrayed by the reality of capitalism.A Union benefiting its citizens, genuinely dedicated to freedom, independence, peace and cooperation with all states on an equal footing and true mutual respect.

Posted by: JB | Mar 26 2022 17:57 utc | 17

"b) When the dust settles and fog lifts, will Russians still be willing to sell gas to the EU?"

Of course they will. Russia is still selling the EU gas now, in the midst of the most aggressive economic sanctions ever seen.

New contracts are another story

Posted by: Tee | Mar 26 2022 17:57 utc | 18

The hatred India has toward red fascist and charmless China is hard to measure. The tragic isolation of the miserable Russian state will not be fun for anyone. Either Russia fully takes Ukraine or it will be an EU nation in days after their withdrawal. Perhaps Ukraine will not officially join NATO, but it will be worse. After a wasted century, the twenty first is looking nearly as stupid. If China thinks Brasil or India will help, or, pfaw, the Mid East, they are just being drawn in deeper to their (PRC) ruin. Like poor Russia, pariah. Embarrassment. Is it fair, is anything true? No and no, but that is the game. China backed Russia's move, and it ain't looking good, and China will not be able to afford the price. (They have a very fragile and tenuous infrastructure and can easily be deprived of energy. Amerika (or whatever its NWO actually and fully is) indeed builds up all its targets before processing the plan. Strategy of tension, mind control.

Posted by: Aholio | Mar 26 2022 18:01 utc | 19

Thanks b
I can agree with the first 4 points you made, but I don’t see your last point, on west Asia/ Persian gulf statelets happening anytime soon. Yes we do see some posturing by Arab states on their policies toward China or Russia but I can’t see it being serious, I can’t see if the Arab monarchs can trust China or Russia to secure their personal security, the case for Syria was and is different. At the end of the day if European states with stronger Economic,Political, and military powers can’t pull themselves from under the US weight how could much weaker Arab monarchs do so, specially with a much weaker security at their own states. On the other hand, IMO what Ukraine war may do, by making a weaker US/EU ( specially after Afghan and Iraq) unable to control and subdue another Arab spring.

Posted by: Kooshy | Mar 26 2022 18:15 utc | 20

Once the bulk of the military in Ukraine is defeated by Russia, they will allow supporting forces to move in and occupy the areas they have captured, then guard the rest of the territory with long-range weaponry. Then they will move onto one of the next targets: Baltic States, Poland, Hungary - not sure which, but my guess will be Poland. Anyone intervenes (ie: NATO) they will receive several nukes against their critical points to quickly knock them out. Will it escalate? Only time will tell.

Posted by: Mongo | Mar 26 2022 18:16 utc | 21

Biden just confirmed in his Warsaw speech the USNATO goal which has been the goal for a long while, before the Russian military operation in Ukraine began.

The very last words of Biden's platitude-laden speech in Warsaw minutes ago, were these: For God's sake, this man can not remain in power.

They want regime change in Russia. If USNATO gets their way; our planet is doomed. Everything is on the line at this moment with the mission in Ukraine.

There is only one way to defeat the West's delusional ignorance: Putin will succeed in Ukraine and the blow back will reshape world order.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 26 2022 18:16 utc | 22

Just wanted to say thanks for all the information. For me this site is providing me with some hope that not the complete population of this world is insane. Thank you all for that!

Posted by: Calar | Mar 26 2022 18:22 utc | 23

You might find this thread relevant in light of Biden's sttement that US/Canada will increase their wheat production to take care of the Russian/Ukrainian shortfall.

Impact of climate change cannot be underestimated

Posted by: C_A | Mar 26 2022 18:23 utc | 24

The very last words of Biden's platitude-laden speech in Warsaw minutes ago, were these: For God's sake, this man can not remain in power.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 26 2022 18:16 utc | 22

This reminds me of the old "Assad must go" curse.

It is also naive to think that the entire Russian government is not behind this operation. The key difference between the USA and Russia is that, in Russia, the elected government and Deep State are one and the same.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 26 2022 18:27 utc | 25

I suspect Putin/Russia would love Ukraine to be a trading nexus, it could be the interface between Asia and Europe. As an independent/Neutral state it really has a great opportunity, not unlike a Eurasian Switzerland. I trust Putin agrees with the sage words of Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, "don't let your money get mad." (note I called the words sage, not the man, he's hit and miss, but colorful as can be) A neutral Ukraine could be a trading powerhouse, the terminus of the Belt and Road. But, Ukraine must be a polyglot nation to do that. As the Dallas business elite finally realized thanks to Stanley Marcus; racism is bad business.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 18:27 utc | 26

Posted by: Aholio | Mar 26 2022 18:01 utc | 19

GPT-3? Or older model?

Posted by: Boo | Mar 26 2022 18:28 utc | 27


Sounds like a very smart man.

Apropos to the current media and social media environment in the West:

In 1995, it’s hard to imagine that the Dallas Symphony was once forced to remove from its program a piece by Shostakovich because he was Russian. That the’ Park Board had to rip out a garden planted with “Picasso Poppies” because they were red. That a rug woven by Picasso caused controversy at the DMFA. While communist scares certainly weren’t unique to Dallas, the hysteria over “Red art” seems to have been peculiar to the city. The Sports in Art exhibit, for instance, had been shown in Boston and Washington, D.C. without any suggestion that the paintings themselves were subversive or an affront to the American way.

The Marcus of the ’50s was disturbed by the city’s trend toward what he calls “absolutism,” a chauvinistic attitude toward other cultures and modes of expression not only in art, but in politics as well. The Dallas chapter of the right-wing John Birch Society was thriving, part of a vocal, vibrant minority agitating against amorphous “outside forces.” There was an arrogance, a paranoia about changes that were coming.

“They were looking not only under beds for communists, but in the bushes, under automobiles,” Marcus says. “They wanted somebody to blame.”

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 26 2022 18:32 utc | 28

When Wall St. Bankers start investing in non-dollar trading mechanisms, the bell will have tolled.

Posted by: Wilikins | Mar 26 2022 18:33 utc | 29

if the earth is warming, Canada and Russia would have Millions of acres of farm land suddenly defrost. that dipshit can forecast months in advance? If the earth is warming, one effect would be more atmospheric moisture, more rain. Evidently it'll only rain on the oceans and the deserts will only enjoy drought. THERE ARE NO MITIGATORS; PUTIN IS EVIL, EVERYTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE. All factors redound to the extreme only to enforce hyperbole; trust us, we modeled this to the best of our totally unbiased understanding; it's "science"

Or, it's another sales pitch. I've been an organic gardener for 30 years professionally; I've seen a lot of non-sense sold as bullshit, but it wasn't the bull shit that has value, it was just lip service.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 18:35 utc | 30

Both NATO and EU is likely to be dissolved.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 18:36 utc | 31

Posted by: Milos | Mar 26 2022 17:55 utc | 15

I have a feeling they don't really mind about being cut off from European economy anymore with the amount of anti Russian activities they displayed. They make rubles-rupees, yuan exchanges because they no longer see the same value of trading in that USD dominated ecosystem.
Russia will see to look for reliable bilateral trade partners in local currency to replace materials it lost from EU and that was it.

Posted by: Lucci | Mar 26 2022 18:36 utc | 32

I want to parse the last words of Biden's Warsaw speech which were

For God's sake, this man can not remain in power.

The call to the mythological Almighty is a retread of the propaganda claim from my youth "Godless Communism"

The second part is saying that all would be well if not for ONE discussion about the structural problems that don't go away if leadership changes.

I love me the smell of delusional desperation by empire.....MMMMmmmmmmm

When do we start talking about public/private finance as a society? I think the conversation has started and progress is being made to enhance the public and deprecate the private....I keep mulling over the 80/20 percentages of humanity that are saying they want a new way......grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 26 2022 18:37 utc | 33

Posted by: Aholio | Mar 26 2022 18:01 utc | 19

"The hatred India has toward red fascist and charmless China is hard to measure"

In my experience, anything that is "hard to measure" is usually either a crude attempt at propaganda (especially when coupled with your opinion of what "charm" is) or an indication that the writer has no idea what he's talking about.

So goes with "tragic", "miserable", and all the superfluous epithets that read like Greek drama.

" If China thinks Brasil or India will help, or, pfaw, the Mid East, they are just being drawn in deeper to their (PRC) ruin" and "They have a very fragile and tenuous infrastructure and can easily be deprived of energy".

Will help for what exactly? and how is Chinese infrastructure more fragile than, say, the United States', with their crumbling bridges and non-existent manufacturing? please elaborate on how China can be deprived of energy when they have their longest border with Russia, one of Earth's most energy-rich countries?

Classic Zerohedge-level propaganda right there.

Posted by: Lemming | Mar 26 2022 18:38 utc | 34

Wow...just heard on the TV that Hunter Bidens "good friend" (wife of the ex mayor of Moscow) was not included in the list of well to do Russians to be sanctioned....what a surprise but I guess the $3.5 million cash given to Hunter can buy you something even in these perilous days.

Posted by: tobyt | Mar 26 2022 18:38 utc | 35

When Wilikins? you mean we we get closer to those bets coming due.

They sell on the news cause they're already there; if we were smarter, we could make some bank.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 18:38 utc | 36

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 18:35 utc | 30

Bullshit has excellent value as fertilizer for organic gardens.


Posted by: Tom | Mar 26 2022 18:39 utc | 37

Biden openly seeks to overthrow Russian gov't. Nice job sabotaging any possible peace. Non compos mentis

Posted by: ptb | Mar 26 2022 18:39 utc | 38

Martin Armstrong has just posted that
"Our model has ALWAYS picked up the shifts in capital flows that precede war. This time we are witnessing outflows not just from China, but also from ALL emerging markets on a scale that is simply unprecedented."

He goes on to say:
"It pains me to have to even write this today. But clearly, those who understand where this is going is to World War III and make no mistake about it – this is INTENTIONAL! Even the official data has revealed that foreign investors have sold a net $5.5 billion of Chinese government bonds in the last few weeks. Biden stupidly threatened China that if they support Russia, they will suffer the same sanctions. This is just insane and it is DELIBERATELY trying to destroy the entire world economy."

Posted by: Ed in Kanata | Mar 26 2022 18:40 utc | 39

@ gottlieb

United States wants to force Russia to make a choice to wage a war of weapons of mass destruction. Why? Other than insanity, no reason comes to mind.

Toward the end of Ross Ashcroft's interview with Michael Hudson (printed in CounterPunch & linked above), Hudson gets very gloomy indeed about our prospects at this juncture. He describes an impasse among power brokers, several of whom he's known for years, such that Moscow cannot imagine a world without Moscow, and USA PTB cannot imagine a world free of their absolute ecocidal domination.

Ted Postol sounds equally gloomy, in his interview with RS on Scheerpost:

We’re talking about a wall of fire that encompasses everything around us at the temperature of the center of the sun. That will literally turn us to less than ash, if this thing gets going. I can’t emphasize how powerful these weapons are. When they detonate, they’re actually four or five times hotter than the center of the sun, which is 20 million degrees Kelvin. They’re 100 million degrees Kelvin at the center of these weapons.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Mar 26 2022 18:42 utc | 40

This reminds me of the old "Assad must go" curse.
Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 26 2022 18:27 utc | 25

It was also the first thing which came to my mind! So many officials said it and off they went! Let's hope we can see some of the worst sort vacate their posts.

Posted by: disillusioned german | Mar 26 2022 18:50 utc | 41

This is a great topic for blog discussion, thanks b for posting this.

I agree with your added point #4, the long term demise of NATO, but disagree on #5. The U. S. role in the Middle East is shrinking, no argument there. But it's been shrinking long before the Ukraine War. It shrunk to the point of Saudi/UAE not responding to U.S. call for support at the crucial stage of this war, and that was only the superficial evidence of U.S.'s lost of softpower in the ME. Underneath the surface, U.S. credibility has been irreparably damaged among whom they called the ragheads since the Iraq/Iran War and the Operation Desert Storm of Daddy Bush shortly afterwards. Some things take time to take shape. Geopolitical orientations are notorious for its changes being insidious and subtle.

It's not just the ME. U.S. prestige and credibility is irreparably shattered in the Far East, Africa, and even in the Monroe Doctrine landscapes. It may not be obvious yet to the unsophisticated eyes, but when major events arise we will see how regions respond differently from what they would have done so 30-40 years ago. The presidencies of day-dreaming Reagan, CIA bred Daddy Bush, Slick Billy Clinton, imbecile Dubya, shallow Obama, neurotic Trump, and now demented Brandon, have all contributed to the demise of a once great nation. Of course, it was done with the help of the brainwashing specialists of the western MSM.

I myself believe the immediate short-term effect of this war is the restoration of the Cold War. The long term effect will be either WW3 or an establishment of a trult multipolar world order--in the 2030-2040 time frame.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 26 2022 18:58 utc | 42

Emergency Summit. UKUSNATO to revise their plans for the next phase of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Queen's Secretary of Defense, Ben Wallace, laid out the plans, shared secrets of their war devices. Now they have requested the video of the call with "Zelensky" be removed.

Youtube obliged.

Oh the insanity;

Watch before it disappears from the other platform.

Video loads slowly. Be patient.

Full version of the Zelensky call

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 26 2022 18:59 utc | 43

Another possible consequence I am most interested in.

Bari Weiss prominently left the NYT recently. Weiss ostensibly left to protest the threat of the 'woke'. But as a Gen X Jewish lesbian (Once the partner of SNL actor Kate McKinnon) living in New York, one is left to wonder why? None of the MSM mentioned that Weiss is also notable as a turbo-Zionist, indeed that seems to be about the only thing that defines her politically.

Weiss left a very good job (Though she is making a lot of money on Substack from people with too much money) to protest not 'wokeness' but the possibility that social media outrage could be out of their control and something like say #DefundTheIDF only has to trend once for them to either have to come out and justify censoring or let fly. (And have to justify not covering in the media) And though most of the crimes of the West the woke claim are spurious, they are deadly true for Israel. They lucked out with Putin by tying him to Trump to make the woke hate him. But how do you convince the proverbial 15 year old girl in the West that the Palestinians and Israel's well-deserved enemies are the problem? (I call this "Bari Weiss' Nightmare")

All these precedents on how we supposedly treat countries invading other countries (Of course none of this was evident for the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia no matter the efforts of the Armenian diaspora and Kim Kardashian) seems to really hem Israel and the US in for their future invasions and adventures.

I'm not so sure Weiss left her job for good reason. It seems to me that both the MSM and the woke on social media need to be working together to ratchet things up in a feedback loop to the hysteria we see now. One on it's own is never enough.

Posted by: Altai | Mar 26 2022 19:01 utc | 44

@ jo6pac | Mar 26 2022 17:33 utc | 10

thanks... i mostly agree.. i am not sure the outcome of ukraine, long term at this point.. it is looking dicey at the moment..

@ Oriental Voice | Mar 26 2022 18:58 utc | 41

thanks for your concise summary... i share a similar perspective.. we are in no mans land for a while here, but eventually a multi polar world is in the works.. hopefully people see nato for what it is - a warmongering machine on the usa's leash... i feel sorry for the europeans who haven't figured this out yet..

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 19:04 utc | 45

psycho; so with a progressive income tax it encourages charitable giving (as an income "sink") and reinvestment which is also deductible. That means that the Higher the tax rate the greater the incentive. A business/firm doesn't really need to make a "profit" (after ALL expenses) it doesn't have kids to feed; it needs to be profitable. But a real business can sink profits easily; this is the reason for end of year bonuses, employee benefits generally--and the fact that if the execs wanted a perk, they employees had to get something like it; under the pre-Reagan tax regime.

Even though nominal tax rates were much higher, the effective tax rate wasn't much higher, but middle incomes were, and generally tax revenues were larger if not higher in any income bracket. What tax revenue was lost has been recouped in sales taxes and property taxes; these taxes TAX reinvestment, they TAX buying and holding onto capital; which are tangible "depreciable" assets; not money, "cash" or financing. Further, paper pushers don't charge sales tax for their "business" they produce and sell literally nothing. They are purely a tax on the economy, where manufacturing "capital intensive production" actually grows the pie, adding value to rawer goods; where paper pushers stain paper that no longer has any utility for tax prep, all the legal paperwork, consulting; all utterly valueless, can't be re-sold; if you want to talk about fiat currency, this is fiat production.

Now, utilities should be socialized, privatizing them ironically increases corruption (The highway crew doesn't lobby for that contract) increases the "power" of politicians/bureaucrats; increases complexity and cost while destroying accountability and transparency. These were typically financed by Municipal bonds, but increasingly, we're offered toll road arrangements instead. Instead of owning our infrastructure, we're encouraged to rent it (not to mention hedge funds buying up homes to make us renters domestically) Progressive income taxes discourage mass rent-seeking; this is why we saw so many corporate subdivisions; each a unique taxed entity. This led to an excess of middle corporate management (good jobs) but every system will have it's excesses.

Senator James Couzens (GOP) was CFO and co-founder of Ford, a Canadian by birth; it was Couzens who devised the $5 workday, not Ford. It was Couzens stewardship that made Ford profitable for the only years it was profitable till WW2. Couzens also is the architect of the progressive tax code, he argued also against privatization of utilities. Couzens argued with Andrew Mellon over tax policy, it was Mellon who'd prevail with his low tax "Trickle Down" as Will Rogers called it at the time. Well, those low taxes resulted in financial excess and speculation, the era we know as the roaring 20's where Wall St had it's first great orgy of speculation bubble; till Black Friday and the (2nd) Great Depression. It was FDR who would implement Couzens' tax policies which created the greatest middle class and industrial growth ever, till China would out do us using similar policies.

The supply side low tax argument is utter rot. If true, the boondocks would be driving the economy, but fact is 5 areas, NY/Boston, Chicago, Miami/So FL, DFW/Houston, LA/SF comprise 1/2 the total economic activity of the US; these are high tax, high reg, high cost areas; why are they the center of most activity? It's demand, it's people. Highland Park is a town entirely contained within the City of Dallas, it's the most expensive, highest income area in the region; for some reason they have a vast selection of restaurants and retail despite very little available space, very limited options and little parking. Oddly, they want to be there and not Balch Springs where cost, regulations, and overhead are far cheaper, it's just 15 minutes South, but oddly, it's nothing but a backwater.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 19:06 utc | 46

Tom, that's the problem it's all bullshit, but no manure; manure is something I can use.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 19:07 utc | 47

Here in Spain I can connect to, but no longer to, or

Posted by: spain | Mar 26 2022 19:12 utc | 48

I sincerely hope that the entirely rational predictions of b, Karlof1, JB and many others will come to pass. Unfortunately Gottlieb may turn out to be right that expecting rational actions from the Empire of Delusions is overly optimistic. Some people have been playing a rigged game for so long that they are not accustomed to losing and may well have a tantrum and knock the board over.

The problem as I see it, is that the hereditary financial dynasties that control the west have degenerated to the Nero and Caligula stage and those fuckers may well chance it. After all, those people can be presumed to have well-stocked fallout shelters (They will probably end up being cooked and eaten by their own security guards but that won't be any comfort to the rest of us) As for saner voices in the military, remember the words of General Thomas Power, US Air Force, 1960.....

“Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the bastards. At the end of the war if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win.”

Posted by: MarkU | Mar 26 2022 19:13 utc | 49


As all the above plays out it may well turn out that the U.S. policy of overextending and unbalancing Russia did not work but has created a backlash that has severely damaged its own strategic position.

…a financial crisis.
…a redesign of the world financial order as we find our Central Bankers (USFED UKBOE ECB BOJ BOC) are insolvent.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 26 2022 19:14 utc | 50

Re: The banning and censorship of Pepe Escobar and Scott Ritter on Twitter.
Social media corporations censor on behalf of US/NATO imperialism using the excuse "this violates our community standards". What are community standards? They are like the "international community" that the US uses to make up rules to break international law.
As Lavrov pointed out....
“What is happening now in the world is not so much about Ukraine, but about attempts to form a new order. About ten years ago, our Western colleagues, instead of the term “international law” (which was called for all the years of the UN’s existence), began to demand that everyone respect the ‘rules-based world order’ and observe them. No one presents these ‘rules’ to anyone, because they do not exist. For each specific case, they are created anew. They are written in a narrow circle of Western countries, then pass it off as the ultimate truth. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the Ukrainian crisis. There is no doubt that one of the ‘rules’ that the West wants to implement is to deter any competitor. Now it is Russia, but China is declared next (or all this will happen in parallel). The goal of this ‘rules-based world order’ is the complete revival of the unipolar world.”
Social media ”community standards” are also arbitrary, secret and unable to be challenged.
It is pure lawlessness of the most Kafkaesque sort.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Mar 26 2022 19:16 utc | 51

@james, #44:

Thanks for your response. I too feel sorry for the Europeans, but I see them as similar victims of the same MSM dumbster making industry. For the past 3 decades, Europe (with the exceptions of UK and the Scandinavia) have had better political leaderships than the US (and Canuck too :-), but they were not in a position to lead the western world, and they were only marginally better.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 26 2022 19:18 utc | 52

"The cementation of the EU's vassalage to the U.S. will only be temporarily." *

I most certainly hope so. My greatest concern is how politically and ideologically committed to following anti-Russian narratives the population already is, and how hard it will be to correct so many falsehoods in order to enact some overdue Realpolitik.

I feel like addressing the media space is the first priority: no one needs politicians unable to circumvent their own bs propaganda that only feeds a self-fulfilling prophecy of falsehoods at the detriment of a population increasingly struggling to deal with rising costs on the most basic units of a functional economy.

* aka 'temporary' - side note @MoA, 10/10 for content, but this blog could do with some basic editorial support to raise its broader credibility... unless preaching to the converted is its only objective? Not what the world needs in these times of crisis, please consider some better spelling/grammar check procedures. Said with the utmost respect for non-native English speakers, i still struggle with my Deutsch after many years in Germany ;

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 26 2022 19:19 utc | 53

An action was held in Cyprus, as well as a motor rally in support of Russia.

In Israel, in the city of Netanya, a demonstration was held in support of Russian military personnel and special operations in Ukraine.

The Italians launched an unusual campaign in support of Russia. They leave their gas stoves on and share photos on Twitter encouraging others to do the same. The point of all this is to spend as much gas as possible to help the Russian authorities.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 26 2022 19:22 utc | 54

@ JB | Mar 26 2022 17:57 utc | 17

Precisely. It has been my opinion that EU is a source of conflict, not a solution to anything, ever since I voted NO to Norwegian membership in 1994. The predictions of the no-side in that referendum, that the EU was trying to establish a non-democartic superstate, has come true. In fact this was clear years ago.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 19:22 utc | 55

@ ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 19:06 utc | 45 with the OT shout out about finance/taxes in US

You wrote
What tax revenue was lost has been recouped in sales taxes and property taxes; these taxes TAX reinvestment, they TAX buying and holding onto capital; which are tangible "depreciable" assets; not money, "cash" or financing.
I think we will agree to disagree that property is a "depreciable" asset
I agree that income should be taxed higher like before

What you wrote below can to connected to Ukraine and our bigger world social organization
Now, utilities should be socialized, privatizing them ironically increases corruption (The highway crew doesn't lobby for that contract) increases the "power" of politicians/bureaucrats; increases complexity and cost while destroying accountability and transparency.
As Hudson, myself and other continue to state, mixed economies have been the norm since Roman times but what varies is the mix of government versus private parts of the national economy and as I continue to note, finance is a key sector that I think should be totally sovereign

Hopefully, a long term effect of the war in Ukraine is a global review and adjustment of our social contracts within and between sovereign nations

Hopefully, a long term effect of the war in Ukraine is the understanding that this and other wars are ongoing proxy wars for financial control of the world but the God of Mammon cult.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 26 2022 19:23 utc | 56

@C_A | Mar 26 2022 18:23 utc | 24

Impact of climate change cannot be underestimated
If you mean "man made" climate change, I agree. It is zero.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 19:27 utc | 57

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2022 17:55 utc | 16

Yes, that is a good summation. A paradox emerges—the Russian model in Syria was an example of good old Roman fides. You make deals and alliances, you abide by them, build trust over the long-term and mutual prosperity. Russia does not entangle its institutions with yours but rather has a vested interest in supporting your institutions. It's a model of bilateralism that has not been seen for a long time. To work such a model requires a world with lots of nations respecting sovereignty, each with complex cultural and social systems, finding ways to communicate and listen to each other.

But the paradox is that global liberalism opposes and resists that desire at every turn. It promotes faux differences ('identity') to atomize human beings and enervate collective solidarities, but unleashes destruction on real traditions, culture and social institutions. The US/UK and its media syndicates world-wide have degraded us in the West to the level of zombie mouthpieces for a Hobbesian 'war of all against all'. Homogenisation, grey managerialism, the replacement of structural and symbolic difference with consumable Fakebook lifestyle 'choices', the replicable cut-out bureaucratisation and McDonaldization of life, the repression of human variation and wild explosion of art, ideas, music and thought into a banal corporate conformity where every suit, car, dwelling, meal, sound is the same only papered over with a veneer of curated 'individualism'... to me Russia represents the opponent of all that, which is why it has not got down in the gutter in this infowar in a race to the bottom of filthy lies and the hollowing out of all meaning.

Those two things—faith in human relations, fides, on the one hand, and a bulwark against the liberal juggernaut, which would efface everything into a melange of empty signs devoid of any meaning on the other—is why I cheer Russia on every single day.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 26 2022 19:27 utc | 58

@wagelaborer, #49:

Agreed! very nice post! The west has been nervous, seeing China's fast rise. They are also wishy-washy in thinking that rhetoric can win them political high ground. Why don't they reflect deep inside and develop the resolve to shape up and compete? Do they lack the confidence that they can compete competently? I wonder.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Mar 26 2022 19:28 utc | 59

Posted by: Altai | Mar 26 2022 19:01 utc | 43

I'm not quite sure what you are driving at but you did get me curious to look for a bit more info on her. She's one in a long list of similar "characters" who make their money by talking and/or writing, where the end result is wasted time which could have been better spent on some real learning.
From a random Google search result I listened to 3 min. of this video discussing her views on Zelensky. She didn't disappoint, a classic shtick of a pro bazaar seller of something that is worthless but sold as a masterpiece.
People who can't think for themselves might buy this, but for me just 3 min. was enough so as not to get ill.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Mar 26 2022 19:32 utc | 60

it's not a question of agreeing; THE definition of "capital" is "A DEPRECIABLE ASSET" this is basic accounting 101. Depreciable assets are machines, buildings and the like; they have a depreciation schedule; cars and trucks 3-5 years, houses 50; tractors different. This is not a debatable issue, it's the very definition of the word. Ironically, Wall St is legally prohibited from holding "capital" and commodities, not that that has prevented it, but in principle they don't. They don't really deal in "capital" that being used as a synonym for money or financing is a lie of theirs. Finance must be the servant of capital (manufacturing and real production) not its master, that is literally the cart before the horse. It's been the other way around since Reagan's policies took effect.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 19:35 utc | 61

Spot-on analysis, thank you again, b.

To points 1-5 I would like to raise another factor for consideration on how long the longterm may have to manifest. From The New Atlas (formerly

US to use Ukraine as Stepping Stone Toward Taiwan Provocation

The RAND plans in discussion: War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable

Detailed is a 1-2 year war with China aimed at destroying its trade network and resource access, collapsing its economy and of course regime change. The window of opportunity for realizing these 2016 plans was originally given as ending in 2025; that may be much sooner now. Perhaps moved up to just before the November midterm elections, for the added "rally around the President" domestic effect.

Not at all saying the US is destined to succeed, but it would be foolish not to note their telegraphed plans, and foolish to dismiss either their destructive power or their desperation. I'm keen to hear perspectives from our host and other esteemed Moonlings.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 26 2022 19:39 utc | 62

One of the biggest long-term effects of the Ukraine war is that Russia and China are going to open the trade flood-gates.

Russia has what China needs most: materials, energy, and food. China has what Russia needs most: manufactures and people.

The trade between those two behemoths could rival that between China and the U.S. in a few decades.

Those _new_ trade flows terrify the West. Why? Because they won't involve the U.S. or the U.K.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Mar 26 2022 19:40 utc | 63

Methinks the expectations or predictions are spot on. NATO will indeed sink into insignificance and the EU will hopefully follow the same itinerary into eventual nothingness. I would like to point to the lucid observations that Philippe Grasset has long been making in this respect. When about two decades ago the JSF was first launched (now the F-35), it was so riddled with problems that it became clear to those willing to see that it was eventually going to serve as a catalyst the undoing of NATO Link to Dedefensa

Posted by: Arrigo Uccello | Mar 26 2022 19:42 utc | 64

Posted by: wagelaborer | Mar 26 2022 19:16 utc | 49

I have argued that it's possibly the other way around. These social media *giants* such as Alphabet and Amazon and META(stasis) have infiltrated the government/deep state and the two are functionally indistinguishable from one another where "national security" or "the war on terror" or "domestic extremists" are concerned. Hence, it wouldn't surprise me that no actual prodding was even required for Twitter to ban/censor Pepe; rather their goals are one in the same as the "security state" and "intelligence community" - both of which exist to serve and perpetuate the dynastic clans who rule the US. Disruption, my arse - they only seek to "disrupt" markets as long as it takes to get to the IPO stage at which point they go about perpetuating the "markets"...

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 26 2022 19:43 utc | 65

property, is not land in this case, land is not depreciable, it only appreciates, improvements depreciate. Maybe I wasn't clear about that distinction. My house is 65 years old, and will be destroyed when we sell this house in 2 years; it has literally zero value, it's 50 year depreciation has passed; you will see a more pronounced difference with apartments; after 50 years, they'll either do a major rehab, or tear them down; the depreciation is a "loss" on paper, and becomes an off-set. I mocked all these details to my grandfather, president of a Fortune 100 firm; he immediately jumped; slamming his hand on the table with each word, "THAT DEPRECIATION IS A STREAM OF INCOME FOR US" He made more as a salesman since commissions let him break the $200k cap; but as an exec he made exactly $200k/yr, anything more (at 70%) "was vanity." He showed me the warehouse they built two years early, to sink "income" but those were real jobs, real property taxes were paid on the property for those two years, that is another "excess" of our high taxes; the execs could take the cream off the top; it was better for the economy, the shareholders, the employees; for all but the execs, financiers and well connected professionals.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 19:49 utc | 66

@ScottinDallas and psychohistorian:

Perhaps some further clarification is in order. "Property" as in machinery or buildings is of course a depreciable asset. I'm pretty sure Michael Hudson would agree. However, the land (another form of property) upon which a house or factory or office building is built mostly doesn't depreciate over time. But even land from which minerals, precious metals oil and gas is extracted does depreciate as the resources eventually slow down and run dry.

Interesting discussion nonetheless and I shall return to lurk and read mode.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 26 2022 19:50 utc | 67

@wagelaborer | Mar 26 2022 19:16 utc | 49

Just saw your post after posting my own @60; full agreement.

Throughout history when a ruling class sees the economic basis for its imperial supremacy eroding and they are faced with a "use it or lose it" gamble to preserve that basis, they give in to the temptation to risk it all. And now the US Empire follows suit.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 26 2022 19:51 utc | 68

Looks like Scott was typing his reply at the same time as my last post. Agree with the clarification.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 26 2022 19:52 utc | 69

The very last words of Biden's platitude-laden speech in Warsaw minutes ago, were these:
For God's sake, this man can not remain in power.
Posted by: Circe | Mar 26 2022 18:16 utc | 22

This reminds me of the old "Assad must go" curse.
Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 26 2022 18:27 utc | 25

Also @ psychohistorian | Mar 26 2022 18:37 utc | 33

& @ disillusioned german | Mar 26 2022 18:50 utc | 40

William Blum had it figured. Anti-Empire Report #141, Dec. 6, 2015:

"What do you imagine would have been the outcome in World War Two if the
United States had opposed Soviet entry into the war because “Stalin must go”?"

Posted by: waynorinorway | Mar 26 2022 19:53 utc | 70

Well CBC published a Reuters article on "Biden says Putin 'cannot remain in power' in speech about war in Ukraine" and they quoted the following

Dmitry Rogozin, the outspoken head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, mockingly suggested on social media that the clarification of Biden's latest remarks had come from the White House medical unit.

Rogozin has previously derided what he called "Alzheimer's sanctions" imposed on Russia by the United States over the war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation.

Thats kind of funny to see in

Posted by: Calgary Guy | Mar 26 2022 19:54 utc | 71

Regarding 1) this should not be a surprise. There are billions of T bills registered in the name of South American fertiliser companies. Nearly have been calledor matured but to receive value the holder has to present them for settlement. So they remain unclaimed as the holders are on the US designated persons list. The same will apply to current holders who cross the outlaw US who are sanctioned. The US laughs all the way to the bank because they are the bank. The US dollar is no substitute for gold. Watch the price of the yellow stuff.

Posted by: Pipedream | Mar 26 2022 19:55 utc | 72

"China's and India's rapprochement has been coming for some time. The border squabble over a few thousand square meters of mountain rocks in recent years never made much sense."

Some corrections here. The total area of dispute is over 100,000 km square (not "meters"). Furthermore, some regions are quite strategically important. For example, Akai Chin is the only way from Xinjiang to get into Tibet. So it has a vital highway for China. South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh) has large population. There are also places of important religious or cultural significance.

But I agree they should settle the dispute long ago. China has offered a big concession since 1950s (not sure the offer still stand) to allow India to keep South Tibet (a much bigger area with big population) in exchange for China keeping Akai Chin. India doesn't accept that and even refuses to negotiate (partly because they still believe US and Russia/Soviet were /will support them). Hopefully, the Ukraine war and the hypocrisy of the West could open India's eyes and get them to serious negotiation.

Posted by: d dan | Mar 26 2022 19:56 utc | 73


"Does Biden even know that at least 25 African countries depend on Russia for meeting more than one-third of their wheat imports? Or, that Benin actually meets 100% on Russia for its wheat imports? And that Russia supplies wheat at concessional price for these poor countries?"



"Thousands of workers and students took to the streets in cities across Sudan in protest at rocketing food and fuel prices. Food prices are 100 to 200 percent higher than they were a year ago and inflation stands at 250 percent.

In the capital Khartoum last week, the protesters were met with tear gas and stun grenades as they came within 200 metres of the presidential palace.

According to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), nearly half of Sudan’s 44 million people will face hunger this year as a result of the military’s ouster of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk last October (prompting international financial institutions to suspend billions of dollars in crucial budget aid), the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia.

Twenty-three of Africa’s 54 countries depend on Russia and Ukraine for more than half the imports of one of their staple goods. Some countries are even more reliant: Sudan, Egypt, Tanzania, Eritrea and Benin import 80 percent of their wheat and Algeria, Sudan and Tunisia more than 95 percent of sunflower oil from Russia and Ukraine. They too are seeing higher prices across the board, exacerbating hunger under conditions where most African elites provide no social safety net."

Posted by: susetta | Mar 26 2022 20:02 utc | 74

Wall Street Journal March 18, 2022
“How the U.S. and EU Cut Russia Off From the Global Economy”

What WSJ calls an “unprecedented financial sanctions program” was launched, or entered the preparations stage, in late November and was coordinated through U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s office in close consultation with von der Leyen’s cabinet at EU. This was a month before RF’s letter on regional security and three months before the military action in Ukraine commenced. The offices by December “focused on sanctioning Russia’s government-owned banks and imposing export controls.” Plans were worked out in Brussels in early February as a joint tightly-controlled effort between EU and U.S. Treasury, and were implemented on February 24.

“Soon after… European officials learned that Russia’s central bank had reached out to commercial custodians about moving some of its $630 billion in foreign assets from the West. Officials in Washington heard similar murmurings. U.S. officials worried other central banks might come to doubt the U.S. was a reliable place to hold reserves if they froze the reserves. That could undermine the dollar’s status as the financial system’s bedrock currency. They had just a few hours to deliberate on whether to counter. On Saturday Feb. 26, the allies agreed to block any move of Russian reserves before trading resumed on Monday.”

The WSJ reporters can name the U.S. and EU officials most involved with developing the sanction / export control strategy from November into late February, but the process of arriving at the most consequential action - seizing foreign reserves - is distinctly vague other than saying the deliberations were rushed (“just a few hours”) and the decision was made despite advice it “could undermine the dollar’s status.” Reading between the lines, it could be deduced that the decision was made by an American official not affiliated with the Treasury Dept.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 26 2022 20:11 utc | 75

The NATO summit including the visit of Biden to Europe looked more like the dictatring of terms of surrender by the decaying Empire on its remaining posessions.

Biden, curiously, left with an agreement to allow European citizens data directly flowing to the US IT corporations, something which previously had found great opposition in the EU, but no more under the mandate of highly likely foreign agent Ursula von Der Leyen ( whose husband, a grey medical doctor from Hanover was placed at the board of a Pfizer filial during the pandemic...pocketing billions of dollars...)

One guesses this is for facilitating the selling of US goods to European citizens now that the US achieved a full monopoly with regard every commodity here, including a 40% more expensive liquefied gas, but, how many European citizens will be able to buy US goods, once impoverished by the astronomic electricity, gas and fuel bills?

I read that what the US has in mind is conceedding us Marshal Plan kind loans which then we will have to return with high interests rates, as the rates are already being risen by the FED, and this way linking US economic survival to the enslavization of the European citizenry for ages....

As that it will not wash.

Also the free flowing of data from the European citizenry will inevitably lead to a harsher censure than what we are already suffering since two years ago, when the institution of the single thought regime took place, which wil lead to a harsher intent on crushing dissent in the EU, instrumental to the survival of current foreign agents in charge here.

Russia should give us a hand...

Posted by: Givi | Mar 26 2022 20:11 utc | 76

Theory on NATO's future: In retaliation for "Russia's actions" in Ukraine, there will be more NATO troops and weapon systems in the Baltic statelets (think the "anti-Iran" missiles in Poland), on a permanent basis.

Sure, this is in total contrast to the postulated mid-term NATO decay as outlined by b and others. What do other barflies think?

Posted by: Nervous German | Mar 26 2022 20:18 utc | 77

so me, I have a small landscape business. I got to see the deductions and tax avoidance my grandfather and uncle (CPA) would discuss; none of it much pertained to me. But, one tax few understand is the sales tax. In Dallas we have an 8.25% sales tax rate, that's 6.25 to the state of Texas, then one % to mass transit and one % to the city. Anyway, I hear people say they want a national sales tax, that income taxes are bad. Well, consider, 8.25% on ALL REVENUE/ALL SALES is far higher tax rate than even a 70% income tax rate. How? Lemme break it down for you playa (in Steve Harvey voice--dunno, I got voices in my head)

So, if a firm makes a 10% profit margin, 10% of all sales is revenue is subject to taxation, not all sales. So, 8.25% in such a firm would be an 82.5% effective income tax rate. Now, if I take that 10% "profit" and advertise, buy new equipment, 70 cents of every dollar would be "free" either I send it to D.C. if I can't imagine any other way to use that money. There is no "option" with sales taxes, they're owed. So, income taxes don't affect firms that are losing money or not making much profit, but those firms ARE forced to pay sales taxes. IF you sold some widget at a loss; you'd actually get an income "credit" as it were where under sales tax, you have to pay sales tax anyway, adding insult to injury.

Next, consider who pays sales taxes and who doesn't. Professional services are exempt, but all manufacturing is subject (save and except food) each state has it's own laws so one can only generalize; but this trend, the paper pushers are exempt, the real businesses and contractors are exposed. I'm happy for any "conservative" to argue. Libertarians?

Part of this financialization of the economy is the privatization of utilities; big in Libertarian circles (of course Reason Magazine is a Koch bros joint) This is so stupid, they never ever bothered to define their terms; a "Free Market" would certainly be defined by alternatives and competition; where Utilities markets inherently LACK alternatives and competition. (Fiduciary markets/professional markets and to some degree trades; lack alternatives but there is competition) Privatization adds bureaucracy, adds layers complexity.

All markets are blended, every market in the history of man; why limit it to "since Roman times" Utilities are inherently one-off projects, there is only one lowest way for water to void the land; we don't have competing alternatives. "Competiting roadways" is absurd (Though toll lanes come close--reducteo ad absurdum) same with water or other grids. Gov't powers of eminent domain invariably come into play to construct logical systems; drainage issues won't long be ignored and individual rights are meaningless. Indeed, the capitalist v socialist dichotomy is another false dichotomy; in life, one feature is there ARE no absolutes. All existence sits within the penumbra of being and nothingness; extremes; extremes are forms beyond creation, reality as we experience. There is no light with out darkness. What is between light and light; nothing, and nothing differentiates nothingness from nothingness. There is no "good" no "bad" And, as much as we hate/like it, Putin isn't Satan and fairy tales aren't real.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 20:18 utc | 78

Wayinor; your question makes no sense; the idle, sitting on the sidelines US's opinion wouldn't matter, they were not a party, whilst the Soviets were deeply embroiled. I had Canadian older step brothers; your yankee perverted perspective would have been abused out of you. Still don't think you should put milk in hot tea though.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 20:21 utc | 79

@ wagelaborer | Mar 26 2022 19:16 utc | 49

anglin called it a "tiny soviet show trial" that twitter likes to do... i thought that was funny and true.. at this point twitter and the rest of the lot work directly for the intel agency... no other answer suffices...

@ Givi | Mar 26 2022 20:11 utc | 74

just as long as big macs don't cost too much, europeans should be grateful for all the usa is giving them!

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 20:22 utc | 80

b seems sure that Russia won’t attack any NATO installations outside of Ukraine.

Putin has stated that Russia demands NATO drawback to 1997 borders.

How will the latter be achieved without use of force?

Posted by: WJ | Mar 26 2022 20:22 utc | 81

Biden today in Warsaw declared this is another "Long War" and demanded regime change in Russia.

It is not about Ukraine. Russia saw events in Ukraine as an attack on Russia, and now Biden has said Russia was right to see that.

That makes it very difficult to end the economic war, even if Ukraine ends its territorial war. The US wants a fight. How about the EU? Do they want this economic fight if it is for US primacy after Ukraine settles?

Worse, the US default on the dollar holdings of Russia, threatened against China too, is a death blow to the dollar. That is a trillion dollar holding in China, and near half that with Russia.

It is too much to let slide, it represents too much of the world's sovereign wealth. And what of the rest? Will the Gulf Arabs feel safe, or just see themselves as targets any time the US political machine turns on them (see MBS as one at risk in huge numbers).

Biden has done far worse than anything that idiot Trump ever did. This is bungling on an epic scale, and it can only lead to worse.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Mar 26 2022 20:22 utc | 82

james @2

How are you gaining access to the John Helmer website? I consistently get Cloudflare error 521 'website is down' irrespective of VPN route.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Mar 26 2022 20:23 utc | 83

@ WJ | Mar 26 2022 20:22 utc | 79

maybe they can settle it in some all star wrestling format?

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 20:23 utc | 84

@ Arfur Mo | Mar 26 2022 20:23 utc | 81

john has 2 websites - .org and .net - if one doesn't work, try the other one... that article was actually from march 22nd.. i am getting on via john site

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 20:24 utc | 85

@ Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 19:27 utc | 55

Why can you not accept that C_A meant what he said?

Posted by: Otter | Mar 26 2022 20:26 utc | 86

Patroklos @56--

Thanks for your reply! If you haven't, you should read yesterday's remarks by Putin on Cultural Workers Day regarding the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals's quest to Cancel Russia. Then there's his famous Financial Times interview where he declared Liberalism obsolete. But what to make of Russian and Chinese support for the UN Charter and the WW2 goals--the Four Freedoms--it was meant to backstop--are those Liberal Ideals or simply Humanist Ideals?

In the essay I wrote 6 weeks ago, "The Age of Human Fellowship Will Replace the Dying Age of Imperialism and Its Wars", the title gives away the ism I see becoming ascendant--Humanism. As I continually write, such is the stated goal of both China and Russia, and those nations following their lead. What I see in Europe is a large plurality favoring Humanism and rejecting Neoliberalism and its attempt to enslave them with debt. Here within the Empire, I see a similar trend--my essentially apolitical and very Christian wife is all for Humanism as it embodies what Christianity means to her, and she's far from being alone. Putin had this to say yesterday, and his words deserve having some time devoted in reflection:

Russian culture is always addressed to man. All the best works that have become classics reflected his inner world, searches, experiences, raised questions that concerned him, taught him to think, evaluate and draw conclusions.

And it is not surprising that in our national character there is such a trait – as we say, "to take to heart." We acutely feel the pain and injustice of others, are able to sincerely rejoice in the successes of others and go to the aid of those who really need it, this help.

Neoliberals distinctively lack the ability to have empathy for the Other, which is what trying to attain Zero-sum goals does to people--it turns what began as innocent people into Hitlers, Neros, Caligulas, and their sort. The Monopoly board game ought to be banned since it singularly, perniciously promotes that behavior in innocent children, as do other games of its ilk. Yes, the culture requiring cancelling is Neoliberalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 26 2022 20:26 utc | 87

If you mean "man made" climate change, I agree. It is zero. Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 19:27 utc | 55

It cannot be zero, it can only be statistically insignificant. The real problem with the politics of "climate science" on any side of the debate is that no one wants to attempt to find the truth.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 26 2022 20:26 utc | 88

should be easy enough to have a schematic map of RU natural gas lines, looking like the long branch of a tree extending from the trunk of Russia; and NATO, with Biden using a double handled saw cutting that limb right off. So obvious, it must be censored cause that's a no-brainer

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 20:30 utc | 89

Great analysis by Bernhard again.

Re "Cheap deals for Russian Gas". What's the problem for selling it on? It seems highly unlikely that anyone is going to blow up Pepe Escobar's Globalistan, a book I read, when it was very hot on a Greek Island in 2007. Pepe Escobar is still on top form, the idea of banning him is completely ridiculous.

The Current US Government can't stop Russia from selling its gas, for rubles, rupees, gold, or Hungarian forints, etc

Germany may not be publically allowed to buy Russian gas in Euros, but it can in the Indian, Hungarian equivalent of Deutsche Marks, and that applies to every country in the world, regardless of what the useless politicians, publicaly say, who have probably gamed it and bought it already.

The negative effect of all this is to further impoverish the general population, but that won't last for too long.

These morons in control, have not just shot themselves in the foot, in the quest of even more power and greed. They have completely discredited themselves, soon to be an irrelevance.

All human transactions are based on trust.

Once the trust is gone, then much better alternatives become obvious, than using US Dollars.


Posted by: Tony_0pmoc | Mar 26 2022 20:30 utc | 90

This news item, if true, paints the Russian military in an extremely unflattering light, that they cannot keep components of a cutting edge electronic warfare system from falling into enemy hands.

Posted by: ColdHarbour | Mar 26 2022 20:32 utc | 91 points to with a location in Portland, Oregon US

what the fuck would they know?

Posted by: james | Mar 26 2022 20:35 utc | 92

Energy: Gas and diesel could soon be rationed

Specifically for german companies. It will cause relocation of production abroad.

Posted by: Andreas | Mar 26 2022 20:37 utc | 93

Its not just the US that effectively freezing/stealing gold the UK has frozen Venezuelan gold, why would any country leave their gold in the UK or USA, the minute the country did something that the US/UK didn't like or it didn't fall into line its gold assets in either country would be frozen, another term for stolen.

The USA and its minion the UK have been stealing assets in one form or another from other countries for decades.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 26 2022 20:39 utc | 94

@Otter | Mar 26 2022 20:26 utc | 84

Why can you not accept that C_A meant what he said?
That is what I did. Why can you not accept that?

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 20:39 utc | 95

@74 Givi

"How many European citizens will be able to buy US goods, once impoverished by the astronomic electricity, gas and fuel bills?"

Guessing they will get the IMF treatment. Loans followed by economic crisis, austerity, devaluation, then privatization on very favorable terms to interested parties. A big old land grab, in essence. Governments who complain will find right wing nationalists destabilizing their politics. Finally, sanctions can lock out Chinese from providing competing loans.

Works like a well oiled machine, the good intentions with which Euro democratic systems were designed left nothing to resist it. They might learn from the South Americans' repeated experiences, or their own (eg Greece) for that matter. But it's most likely too late.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 26 2022 20:40 utc | 96

I cannot believe that almost the entire film industry is on board the Ukraine propaganda crazy train, and that they just don't get the moral significance of Putin's operation in Ukraine facing down NATO to cement multipolarity; the best outcome that can happen in this world.

You mean artists don't want checks on financial and military tyranny used for control and containment to maintain U.S. world domination?

So then they don't care about the million kids that died in Iraq because of sanctions, on top of the war's casualties, and those still dying in Aghanistan and Yemen because of U.S. geopolitical interests and again, sanctions.

The Oscars is reduced to the industry of posing and pretence only.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 26 2022 20:42 utc | 97

@james, 78,

Yeah, the US uses Europe as an interposed actor or cannon fodder in its process of decline against China in the same way that it uses Ukraine as a pawn against Russia.

These are the kind of memes circulating over there, in spite of the 24/7 "Everything is to be blamed on Russia" propaganda machine...

Posted by: Givi | Mar 26 2022 20:43 utc | 98

opportunity; "the Truth" we won't know the truth except in hindsight. So, we should focus on doing better, on all the low hanging fruit. One can render 2/3-3/4 better efficiency out of most any system with little more than sheer intention; get the low hanging fruit; getting that last bit costs a fortune. So, we sit idle doing nothing, ignoring all this low hanging fruit cause we're arguing about the truth. That is the problem too; a meta hubris issue. It's of far more consequence our paving of watersheds than changes in rain fall; our putting rivers in levees where they used to meander through wetlands is a significant factor in subsidence of land, of building absurd deltas and dead zones. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are actually terror targets as a they'd both rather run due South. We COULD allow that with a small investment in infrastructure. The prophylactic spraying of Glyphosphate is another needless waste in our system, where simply spraying as needed would reduce it's use massively, costing nothing in production, or inputs of labor or materials. We could down size feed lots, trust bust meat packing reducing concentrations there. But, we won't/don't know the truth, and with one off systems that move in glacial time; we can't really do "trial and error" but are left with models that are far from perfect and inherently limited by our biases and ignorance.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 26 2022 20:44 utc | 99

@Opport Knocks | Mar 26 2022 20:26 utc | 86

It cannot be zero, it can only be statistically insignificant.
So let us settle on statistically insignificant. No practical difference.
The real problem with the politics of "climate science" on any side of the debate is that no one wants to attempt to find the truth.
Right, because it is politics, not science.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 26 2022 20:47 utc | 100

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