Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 18, 2022

How Europe Was Pushed Towards Economic Suicide

With the active help from Europe's 'leadership' the U.S. is succeeding in ruining Europe.

As Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, wrote in early February, before Russia's intervention in Ukraine:

America no longer has the monetary power and seemingly chronic trade and balance-of-payments surplus that enabled it to draw up the world’s trade and investment rules in 1944-45. The threat to U.S. dominance is that China, Russia and Mackinder’s Eurasian World Island heartland are offering better trade and investment opportunities than are available from the United States with its increasingly desperate demand for sacrifices from its NATO and other allies.

The most glaring example is the U.S. drive to block Germany from authorizing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to obtain Russian gas for the coming cold weather. Angela Merkel agreed with Donald Trump to spend $1 billion building a new LNG port to become more dependent on highly priced U.S. LNG. (The plan was cancelled after the U.S. and German elections changed both leaders.) But Germany has no other way of heating many of its houses and office buildings (or supplying its fertilizer companies) than with Russian gas.

The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest. As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor.

In mid February OSCE observer noted that the artillery bombardment of Donbas by the Ukrainians increased from a handful to over 2,000 explosions per day. Russia reacted to these attack preparations by recognizing the Donbas republics, signing defense agreements with them and by finally coming to their help.

Shortly after the launch of the Russian military operation Professor Hudson further developed his earlier thoughts:

The recent prodding of Russia by expanding Ukrainian anti-Russian ethnic violence by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi post-2014 Maiden regime aims at forcing a showdown. It comes in response to the fear by U.S. interests that they are losing their economic and political hold on their NATO allies and other Dollar Area satellites as these countries have seen their major opportunities for gain to lie in increasing trade and investment with China and Russia.
As President Biden explained, the current military escalation (“Prodding the Bear”) is not really about Ukraine. Biden promised at the outset that no U.S. troops would be involved. But he has been demanding for over a year that Germany prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from supplying its industry and housing with low-priced gas and turn to the much higher-priced U.S. suppliers.
[T]he most pressing U.S. strategic aim of NATO confrontation with Russia is soaring oil and gas prices. In addition to creating profits and stock-market gains for U.S. companies, higher energy prices will take much of the steam out of the German economy.

In early April Professor Hudson took another look at the situation:

It is now clear that the New Cold War was planned over a year ago, with serious strategy associated with America’s perceived to block Nord Stream 2 as part of its aim of barring Western Europe (“NATO”) from seeking prosperity by mutual trade and investment with China and Russia.
So the Russian-speaking Donetsk and Luhansk regions were shelled with increasing intensity, and when Russia still refrained from responding, plans reportedly were drawn up for a great showdown last February – a heavy Western Ukrainian attack organized by U.S. advisors and armed by NATO.
European trade and investment prior to the War to Create Sanctions had promised a rising mutual prosperity among Germany, France and other NATO countries vis-à-vis Russia and China. Russia was providing abundant energy at a competitive price, and this energy supply was to make a quantum leap with Nord Stream 2. Europe was to earn the foreign exchange to pay for this rising import trade by a combination of exporting more industrial manufactures to Russia and capital investment in rebuilding the Russian economy, e.g. by German auto companies, aircraft and financial investment. This bilateral trade and investment is now stopped – for many, many years, given NATO’s confiscation of Russia’s foreign reserves kept in euros and British sterling.

The European response to the U.S. proxy war against Russia was based on media driven hysteric moralizing or maybe moralizing hysteria. It was and is neither rational nor realistic.

The European 'leadership' decided that nothing but the economic suicide of Europe was sufficient to show Russia that Brussels was seriously miffed. Dimwit national governments, including the German one, followed that program. Should they stay on their course the result will be a complete de-industrialization of western Europe.

In the words of one serious observer:

Today, we see that for purely political reasons, driven by their own ambitions, and under pressure from their US overlord, the European countries are imposing more sanctions on the oil and gas markets which will lead to more inflation. Instead of admitting their mistakes, they are looking for a guilty party elsewhere.
One gets the impression that Western politicians and economists simply forget basic economic laws or just choose to ignore them.
[S]aying no to Russian energy means that Europe will systemically and for the long term become the world’s most costly region for energy resources. Yes, prices will rise, and resources will go to counter these price hikes, but this will not change the situation significantly. Some analysts are saying that it will seriously or even irrevocably undermine the competitiveness of a significant portion of European industry, which is already losing ground to companies from other parts of the world. Now, these processes will certainly pick up pace. Clearly, the opportunities for economic activity, with its improvements, will leave Europe for other regions, as will Russia’s energy resources.

This economic auto-da-fe… suicide is, of course, the internal affair of the European countries.
Now our partners’ erratic actions – this is what they are – have resulted in a de facto growth in revenue in the Russian oil-and-gas sector in addition to the damage to the European economy.
Understanding what steps the West will take in the near future, we must reach conclusions in advance and be proactive, turning the thoughtless chaotic steps of some of our partners to our advantage for the benefit of our country. Naturally, we should not hope for their endless mistakes. We should simply, practically proceed from current realities, as I said.

Vladimir Putin, Meeting on oil industry development, May 17 2020, Kremlin, Moscow

Posted by b on May 18, 2022 at 14:01 UTC | Permalink

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@ PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 297 who wrote
I don't know what the solution for Russia is, but I know the futility of Russia fighting zombies. We're the US - we can send them all day, 24x7, and Russia will bleed fighting them.

I am sorry to read such negativity from you and encourage you to believe things will get better. I don't think the zombies can bleed both Russia and China to death and that is what they are facing which your context does not show.....this is a civilization war now and Ukraine is just the fuse that took it to this level.

The economies of the Western world are locking up and their ability to manufacture war zombie supplies is going to be limited....and I am reading they are playing war games to use more of them up in macho posing.

Empire is losing and everyone is watching the process of Russia and China challenge and not lose......IMO, the next weeks or few months will be historical, one way or another.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 19 2022 4:45 utc | 301

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 297
"But he also assumes some kind of imaginary sovereignty and independence of action that Ukraine simply does not have."

I've never heard him say that whatsoever. His stated position is that no one know what Russia is going to do, and therefore whether Ukraine has any "agency" or not is irrelevant.

He also is quite aware that his is a war between NATO - in fact, the US - and Russia.

"What I can't predict is the particular manner that US/ZATO will take over control of Ukraine and 'the war'."

Short of Canadian Prepper's WWIII, it isn't going to matter. Russia can defeat NATO if it enters the war. I agree with Martyanov on that - and when previously Scott Ritter has repeatedly stated that a war between NATO and Russia would be "a rout". And now just because the US pours $40 billion into the US MIC, that has changed?

"But US/ZATO are psychopathic control freaks."Then it *will* come and it will be endless."

This phrase "endless" is bullshit. Russia can and will end it inside Ukraine, and if necessary, outside of Ukraine.

"secure a zombie pipeline that Russia will never empty or negotiate away."

If there isn't any army inside Ukraine to receive said "pipeline", who's going to get all the goodies?

This is bullshit.

Moving on, here is Ritter again making a fool of himself at Energy Intelligence:

Ukraine War Has No End in Sight

But this will not end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has expanded in scope and scale beyond the capabilities of the Russian military resources originally allocated...

Perhaps the greatest contributor is what appears to be a massive Russian intelligence failure over prewar assessments that organized resistance by Ukraine would be limited and easily overcome... [MY NOTE: I have yet to see any evidence of this whatsoever...]

First and foremost, the stated Russian political objective — securing a neutral Ukraine — has not been accomplished and, given the limited military resources Russia has dedicated to date, is unlikely to be realized under current circumstances... [MY NOTE: This is utter nonsense. THE WAR ISN"T OVER! Does Ritter think Ukraine is supposed to be neutral BEFORE the war is ended?]

The transition from supplying light anti-armor and anti-aircraft missiles to heavy weaponry such as artillery and armor has also enabled Ukraine to begin the process of reconstituting the heavy brigades that Russia is destroying in eastern Ukraine... [MY NOTE: With WHOM? The Territorial reserve battalions? Is he serious?]

The creation of an impregnable Ukrainian strategic rear is a game changer. First and foremost, it provides Ukraine with the means to rearm, refit and re-equip its forces to Nato standards without fear of Russian intervention.... {MY NOTE: "Impregnable? On what basis? "Without fear of Russian intervention?" How many times have Russia stomped on Lviv training centers and warehouses of NATO mercenaries and weapons stores?]

Russia’s efforts to disrupt the injection of Nato-provided supplies and material have proven haphazard at best. While warehouses containing military equipment have been identified and destroyed, Ukrainian units equipped with the latest US and Nato weapons are still appearing on the front lines.... [MY NOTE: He sees a couple M777 howitzers on the front line and has a mental melt-down, apparently. One or more of those batteries have already been destroyed just yesterday and another was seized by the LDR forces.]

unless it is willing to expand the scope and scale of its current interdiction efforts, it will not be able to bring to a successful conclusion its state of war with Ukraine.... [MY NOTE: People need to stop saying Ritter is not now saying that Russia can not win. This is exactly what he is saying.]

As things stand, the best Russia can hope for is a permanent state of conflict with Ukraine — which would accomplish the US goal of “weakening” Russia.... [MY NOTE: Here Ritter explicitly says the US will in essence win this war.]

Add in expected pressures on Russia from Nato expansion in northern Europe (Finland and Sweden), and rising tensions involving Transnistria (a pro-Russian breakaway state between Ukraine and Moldova), and the current situation appears untenable for Russia without a broader mobilization of its military resources. ... [MY NOTE: Russia may well need to send a bit more of its forces from the existing activated force in Russia at some point. That point has not arrived. The existing force is clearly sufficient to take down nearly half the Ukrainian military - and the best part of it as well. ]

This assessment is just pitiful. Ritter has lost all credibility. I'm not going to bother to listen to any more of his videos.

Even Mercouris in his video today - someone who knows need to nothing about the military - has spoken against all of this stuff, using the obvious logic.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 4:56 utc | 302

Messed up my blockquote, but you get the point.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 4:57 utc | 303

From Pepe Escobar's Telegram channel...


This is HUGE.

It comes from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin.
Russia "will restore all the liberated territories of Ukraine", and FINANCE THE RESTORATION.
In all of them, there will be "maximum RUBLE turnover".
Residents of the Zaporozhye region will receive pensions and salaries in rubles already in May.
ALL the roads "that connect the liberated territories of Ukraine with Russia" will be revamped.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:02 utc | 304

All part and parcel of the WEF's GREAT RESET
Americans and Europeans will own NOTHING AND BE HAPPY (ENSLAVED)
I wonder have any of these incompetent sociopathic leaders given any thought to the idea that their populations WILL come for them and hang them from lamp posts
Seems quite a price for being so STUPID

Posted by: Kay | May 19 2022 5:04 utc | 305

osted by: PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 297
No paveway, like Ritter you are way too US centric

My summary of events so far goes like this:

Step 1: Diplomacy. Sadly and much to the amazement of Lavrov, Zelensky did not come to the negotiating table but chose war. No doubt pressured by the US etc, but still an imbecilic decision for any genuine statesman, give that the deal was essentially a win/win. I suppose that you can call this a Russian fail or at least a big disappointment. Probably largely expected by Russia but I guess they still had had hope.

Step 2: A limited special operation designed to give a short sharp shock and again force Z to the negotiating table. Successes were: a)the destruction of most of the Ukrainian air force,b) mostly securing a water supply for Crimea, c) excellent gains in the Kherson region but there was overall a failure of this step to reach goals. a) Ukraine still did not negotiate, the European response was unexpectedly extreme,c) NATO weapons arrived in large amounts, d) Kharkov was a major disappointment - did not capitulate, e)the dug in fortifications in the two republics were stronger than expected f) the Kiev lines were too long and they were attacked and suffered losses (I do not buy the deliberate feint line), which of course partly fed in to a) and finally g) the attack on Nikoleiv and surrounds was a stuff up - many lines were way over extended - because of a) if you like.

Step 3: Regroup and go in harder - more or less the end of the Special Operation. This is essentially a grind operation to win territory. Hard and long. Successes: a) obviously the winning of Mariupol has been a major success possibly huge, b) the sanctions etc have not had the negative impact expected by the US, c) Lukhansk largely liberated, d) Donesk getting there e) Izium looks good f) continue to destroy effectively air forces, fuel depots and mercenaries but on the down side a) PR disaster in loss of Ship b) Kharkiv is not going well, c) too many NATO supplies getting through

Step 4: This is where we are now. To shorten the grind time Russia has been forced to do that which it did not want to do ie destroy infrastructure. It is so far only railways. This should deal with the supplies issue. It seems probable but not yet certain, that the AZOV surrender will trigger other large surrenders. If so then Russian successes in the east will be consolidated. However the following big issues remain:
1. Odessa and Nikolayev
2. Transnistra
3. Kharkov
4. All the nuclear plants
5. Getting Z/US to the negotiating table
6. Toxic Lvov and Galicia
7. Getting their money back.

Posted by: watcher | May 19 2022 5:06 utc | 306

PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 297

Putin has a good track record. There was plenty of moaning and groaning in the Syria op too.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 5:09 utc | 307

Stirring covid and Ukraine in the same pot gives a bad broth.
Posted by: xiao pignouf | May 19 2022 3:46 utc | 292

Yeah, no shit, a really really bad broth - which is exactly why you should be asking yourself how they are linked. Both events have been used and abused to use and abuse us. And neither is the biggest story of the last three years.

Posted by: Rae | May 19 2022 5:17 utc | 308

psychohistorian #5

Look at the zombies at the MoA bar that focus on all sorts of reasons for our situation but the public/private finance differences in our world. It is STUPID now to say TINA about private finance because China has 70+ years of example tp show that myth for the propaganda it is.

The only way humanity is going to be able to progress is to evolve beyond the God of Mammon cult leading Western society.

Thank you and I hear you loud and clear. You are absolutely intrepid brother and fully supported.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2022 5:19 utc | 309

From Intel Slava Z Telegram channel...

"965 for May 17 and 785 for today. Total - 1750 prisoners in 2 days from Azovstal"

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:30 utc | 310

@ PavewayIV 297
It is worth discussing these excellent points.

My main problem with this and many other similar comments is - where will this new army of 1M terrorists and/or mercenaires come from? Disregarding any possible strategic and tactical errors that the Russians have made, and most such errors are based on froth-from-the-mouth Western propaganda, the Russians have shown that their conventional army will crush any army that comes its way. How much does the West need to pay someone to risk life and limb under such odds? How many such people are available? Both terrorists and mercenaires (Academy etc) are easy to recruit when ripping off some weak country. It is much easier to recruit an army of liars & bullshitters for MSM and online trolls than people to put on the front line. In the first Donbas war, it was the Polish mercenaires who were the bravest and the most successful. Even Uki Nazis upon 8 years of NATO training showed a remarkable military ability. But both the Poles and the Uki Nazis had an ideological backing for the fighting. In other words, it helps a lot if your soldiers hate the enemy, otherwise they are in it only for the money that they want to bring home.

Then imagine trying the same with any NATO regular army instead!? The rabbits would get a lesson in fast running.

Therefore, I do not have a problem with the reading that the war in Ukraine could continue “forever” (until the West collapses financially). But I see this more as NATO lobbing missiles at Novorussia and possibly even Russia proper “forever”, continuing on the “work” that its trained Uki Nationalists and Nazis started, combined with frequent penetrations of the border by saboteurs. In other words, absolutely no new concepts when compared to before Feb 2022. Therefore, mostly a stand-off forever war, similar to Orwell’s 1984.

In other words, it is very easy to talk about conquest and million-men armies but it is not so easy to find people willing to die for conquest when the enemy as tough as the Russians. At some points these godzillions of dollars that the US are printing to pay the Uki and other fools will bounce back onto the Western economies. Printing, printing, printing and then some more printing, never enough for the Western elites to achieve all their goals.

Posted by: Kiza | May 19 2022 5:31 utc | 311

Paveway IV @297--

That's why I predicted Russia must go all the way to Brussels for it's the only logical end-state.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2022 5:32 utc | 312

From Intel Slava Z Telegram channel... First asshole going down...

Trial of Ukrainian Nazis and war criminals will start today

Of the Ukrainian radicals who surrendered, Denis Nuryga, the Aidar militant, will be the first to appear before the court - he is accused of blowing up a bridge in the Lugansk region in 2019, as a result of which sentries of the People's Militia of the LPR were killed.

The trial will take place on May 19 at 14:00 in the Leninsky District Court of Rostov-on-Don.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:32 utc | 313

@PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 297

A lesson for a path forward already exists.

They did it in Syria for years and still do.

What was supposed to be a genuinely Syrian resistance (there never was one) ultimately proved to be short lasting.

Over time a large part of the forces fighting to destroy Syria came from outside and were trained and deployed by a vast coterie of clandestine external actors.

This plan too failed. Those mercenary forces could not prevail when Russia entered the fray in earnest.

Only in those regions where an overt outside intervention was conducted did the line tenuously hold and still does.

Those areas where the US and it's local co-conspirator Turkey planted themselves directly were/are the only areas that could/can sustain continued resistance to this day.

Their hold is sufficient for now but weak and would collapse overnight if the Turks and US vacated Syrian land.

If you are correct then from lessons learned, it sure looks like NATO will be intervening directly at some point in the future.

But again, as in Syria they will have to commit for a long stay.

So in the end the bleeding that is expected to be exclusively Russian will also be shared by NATO and Europe.

Doubling down on a bad plan merely guarantees doubly bad results!

I predict NATO and Europe will definitely be bled to the point of conceding failure before Russia.

I also predict that the US' involvement will not be direct but only as the puppet master of NATO (nothing new there).

The alternative is MAD.

Posted by: Spinworthy | May 19 2022 5:44 utc | 314

Suppose for a minute Putin knows what he is doing. Sure, he's blundered some in Ukraine. One element of that being he overestimated Ukrainian support for the SMO; and underestimated NATO's response. But his boys are still winning the battles and taking land. Plus he's committed only a fraction of Russia's strength into this war.

It is hard to understand his lackadaisical approach to taking out the Ukrainian infrastructure. Were I in his place Ukraine's railways, bridges, electric grid, water supply, internet, etc. would all have been history on day one.

But he's not a nearsighted man. He obviously thinks years into the future. IMHO it's not unlikely he's using the war to "feel out" NATO - in order to gain valuable info into its operations. That and his army is gaining invaluable battlefield experience for the greater European conflagration he probably sees coming.

Lastly, as the economic situation in the NATO countries continues to deteriorate, he is leveling the playing field to Russia's advantage.

Posted by: Citizenfitz | May 19 2022 5:48 utc | 315

Now there's a building that needs to go down... Russia should just say, like in Yugoslavia with the Chinese Embassy, "Oops, our bad - we thought it was taken over by Nazis..."

U.S. reopens Kyiv embassy after three-month closure

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:52 utc | 316

Posted by: Citizenfitz | May 19 2022 5:48 utc | 313
"Were I in his place Ukraine's railways, bridges, electric grid, water supply, internet, etc. would all have been history on day one."

Me, too. But as many people including me have pointed out, Russia has a political goal here, as well as no particular hatred of Ukrainians per se,, which requires not destroying the country's infrastructure and putting the civilian population at risk of entire social collapse, like the US is wont to do.

That's why they even haven't trashed Lviv, as many would like to do. Lira made the point today, saying Russia has hit military targets in Lviv but has not destroyed the place as they could easily do.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:56 utc | 317

@ Richard Hack 300

Regarding Ritter’s apparent U-turn, agree that his new views are logically questionable; it may easily be explained by some « nudge » from whoever in the US…
He may be exposed to treason calling.

Posted by: Daniel | May 19 2022 5:56 utc | 318

From Sputnik News Telegram channel... Snarky...I like it!

It was proposed to create a separate European Union for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The head of the European Council thinks so. Michel also offered to send Turkey and the Western Balkans there.
Earlier, the President of France created a "European political Community". According to Macron, it should become an alternative to the EU.

That feeling when they put you at a separate children's table.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 5:58 utc | 319

Posted by: Daniel | May 19 2022 5:56 utc | 316

I'm starting to come around to that view. He had visits from the FBI after the Iraq inspections fiasco, not to mention his legal issues later. Either that or he's been on too many interviews every day and has had a mental breakdown. Or his wife, who hates Russians, has forced him to STFU and get with the program before they go broke and are out on the street. Never underestimate a woman's ability to sabotage you.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 6:00 utc | 320

From Russian MoD Telegram channel... As I mentioned above... So much for Ritter's M777 Howitzers.

Russian unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery reconnaissance means Podgornoe identified the coordinates of a US-made 155mm M777 howitzer firing position used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Unmanned aerial vehicle operators fired a missile at the firing position of the American howitzer battery, causing damage to several guns.

After the UAV strikes, the Ukrainian militants attempted to hide in a wooded area and conceal the M777 towed howitzers there.

As soon as the Ukrainian militants concentrated their towed howitzers and guns in the wooded area, an artillery strike was launched there.

All the equipment and American howitzers were destroyed. The surviving Ukrainian artillerymen scattered.

#MoD #Russia #Ukraine

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 6:04 utc | 321

@ watcher 304
I fully agree with summary and analysis.
I would add three ? points:
- opportunity to show significant number of NATO officers taken Pow in Mariupol or elsewhere
- capacity to have US (and German?) bio weapons research activity in Ukraine exposed by western MSM
- long term : status of Russia currency reserves seized by the West- this will be a major pain point for any resuming of normal relationship

Posted by: Daniel | May 19 2022 6:12 utc | 322

Ritter lost all his credibility. If he is under pressure, he could stay silent. But he is spreading his U-turn BS everywhere and making a fool of himself.

IMO, two points are essential:

1. A strong and reliable delivery and support of russian forces, backed on a strong industry, Chinese and Asian support. Support is everything! No chance to "bleed russia white". Sanctions definitely failed. The "30 Billions" is the "sanctions from hell 2.0". The UKUSA thinks money makes it all. No, it doesn't.

2. The destruction of the Ukraine forces, that can't be reconstructed by billions. The moral of the troops is grounding. The RF will soon have destroyed every howitzer in all that garages and forests, then Ukraine will see a Russia that will be free to decide where to go and escalate. This nobody knows.

The "40 Billions" is also a kind of US-surrender: it indicates that the empire knows that the only way to stop russia would be fresh troops in the 10.000s, air superiority and open war. They don't want this escalation.

So the "40 Billions" is the admission of the failure of NATO.

Posted by: njet | May 19 2022 6:27 utc | 323

Posted by: Daniel | May 19 2022 6:12 utc | 320

Agree Daniel. Your last one is actually what i meant by - get their money back.

And you first two are actually very important. Perhaps we could summarise by saying an outstanding issue is for Russia to turn back the PR problem by proving that NATO was developing bioweapons and had a command centre in Mariupol.

Posted by: watcher | May 19 2022 7:16 utc | 324

I recall, in the beginning, Ritter was the most optimistic. He was saying Russia would roll all the way to Lviv. Others were not quite as sanguine about Russia's chances, most I watch were pretty much limiting Russian advances to the east of the Dneiper, and perhaps only DPR/LPR. Bernhard has many times said Russia was not even interested in Kyiv, it only staged a diversion tactic there, or was it "pressure" to negotiate?

Now Ritter has made a sort of U turn, I'm glad to see others have observed. But now it seems to be unending war he's predicting. Well, that's nothing new in other predictions. Many have said this would drag on, but eventually without major Ukrainian military operations when that was no longer possible, but continuing terror attacks. How long is that eventually? Years maybe? Certainly US wars have ended is pseudo-statemates (i.e. uncounted losses) after many years, maybe decades, see Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq as examples, and without someone like the US supplying the other side.

Is Ritter's change suspicious? Yes, but it also appears Kharkiv was more a setback than Kyiv (and I'm seeing no accounting for it today in the anti-hegemonic space, only honoring the Avostal I'm wondering about it).

Posted by: Charles Peterson | May 19 2022 7:33 utc | 325

@Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 6:04 utc | 319
Rozhin (Colonel Cassad) detailed about those howitzers. It is US practice to remove all "advanced" equipment like electronic targeting system from the weapons, so that they aren't but ordinary towed cannons, inferior to soviet models in the theatre. Ukes are of course unhappy about, but US military not without reason fears that their "advanced" equipment could fall into the hands of the Russians, not only by conquest, but also by sale. It was already mentioned that neither the US nor the Uke command have full control about where weapon shipments go.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 19 2022 7:38 utc | 326

In the beginning nearly everyone in the anti-hegemonic space was saying that cities were GOING to be a problem, but the Ukrainian forces facing the Donbass, most of them, were surrounded and wouldn't be long. So now, is it new that cities are a problem?

Posted by: Charles Peterson | May 19 2022 7:43 utc | 327

Posted by: aquadraht | May 19 2022 7:38 utc | 324

I'm aware.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | May 19 2022 7:43 utc | 325
"So now, is it new that cities are a problem?"

Cities are always a problem, especially when you're trying not to kill civilians.

Which is why, by the way, I see the "Terminator" tsnk support/urban warfare vehicles have arrived in northern Donbass. Poland sent a bunch of T72 tanks which are arriving in that area, so Russia sends its top tank-killer/protector to the field. These vehicles were created after the Chechen wars and are specialized for urban warfare. See here:
Finally! Russian Terminator2 tank deployed to the urban battles

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 8:03 utc | 328

When will Germans demand peace ?

The challenge to get regular Germans to demand peace, is to first understand that regular Germans are unbelievably prosperous. Food price inflation, high gas prices, skyrocketing heating costs, and such are a pain for regular Germans but these citizens aren‘t going to ditch their 3 week summer holiday because of higher food prices.

The people in Germany that ARE suffering from inflation are the recent immigrants and 1st generation offspring. These people live good first world lives, BUT have nil economic cushion.

So (very) roughly 2 groups in Germany. guess which group has the vote and which doesn’t ? Politicians will always serve those who have the vote.

That’s the answer to the question

Posted by: Exile | May 19 2022 8:21 utc | 329

Ritter is looking at this from a purely military perspective with his experience in US military.
This special military op buy Russia is only part of what is occurring. karlof1 quoted a piece by Putin a few days back that is key to what is occurring. Something along the lines of what is occurring in Ukraine is not the most important.

The wider aspect is b's current piece on Europe. US will follow. All this will have been taken into consideration.

Don't judge the purely military people too harshly. Putin has proved to have a very good understanding of people, cultures and countries. A lot of what Ritter has said, especially about the first phase of this SMO was a great help in understanding what is occurring.

Those that think this is going to be a purely military operation will be disappointed.
Rus will pull up when it has cleared Donetsk and Luhansk. There will be negotiations or perhaps Rus will just sit and wait for a while perhaps keeping thing calibrated but otherwise twiddling their thumbs - if there is still a frontline at that stage will rain down destruction on it but I doubt they will push forward.

The content of b's current post - how long will Europe last as a viable entity. It is fucked and no turning back. In the not too distant future they will be busy shooting their own shitkickers who cannot make a living or swinging from a bridge.
In the US, Yellen is warning about stagflation. Yankistan is going down. Can it keep printing useless dollars that no one what during stagflation?

Biden shaking hands with the ghost of Kiev, telling the world how Russia economy was effed once it was hit with sanctions... Bush in a recent speech saying how Putin had brutally invaded Iraq... a country is what its leadership is. The anglo empire is finished.

Europeans will be toilet cleaners in Russia, yanks will most likely have a civil war UK Australia Canada will most likely sink into poverty thinking of past bullshit before Ukraine is done and dusted.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 8:29 utc | 330

Drinking vodka, naturally.

Posted by: Joe6pack | May 18 2022 20:35 utc | 168

You crawled out from under the Fentanyl to say that dickhead?

Posted by: Bearish Panda | May 19 2022 8:30 utc | 331

How to define a Win in this War

Quite recently, in a country far, far way, but still close to the Bismarck’s néant – an author reminded his readers about studies made years ago in the USSR Academy of Science. They concerned so called “anthropogenic crises” – not climate change –, but something perhaps even more serious, something connected to the rift between technical means available to mankind and its social organization.

Yuval Harari, a WEF darling, has posited that humans are nothing more than hackable animals, and governments all around the world are now deelpy interested in processes going on INSIDE our skin. They yearn for an access to our physical being. Human as a being should no longer be an in dividual, inviolable unity with its rights and everything. No, it’s all about “your body, our choice” now.

Today, mankind has all means necessary to create a digital Shadow World, a Second Life, where all our social and internal processes can be tracked and simulated. We are to be Avatars, to be traded in all our interactions with Life. Artificial Life will be open to investors and for business, quite literally sucking our blood, mixing it at will with modified RNA, finally gaining eminence over this god forsaken rotten real life.

Consequently, a WIN for the instigators of The War would be humans ready to enter Second Life without remorse or resistance, as only reasonable choice left.

For that, there’s no better way than global misery, hunger and disease, Hunger Games and Squid. This being so, the war is on humanity, not just Russia.

Posted by: js | May 19 2022 8:44 utc | 332

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 8:29 utc | 328
"Rus will pull up when it has cleared Donetsk and Luhansk."

It will do that because that's the perfect time to pause the operation, rotate units out and in, assess the current state of play and revise the operational plan as needed. That could take a month or more. I wouldn't make any assessment during that time what the subsequent phase plan is. However, I would expect some level of operations to continue through that period - perhaps finally take Kharkiv or Nicolaev or do some other cleansing around Donbass. I don't think Odessa and perhaps even the other two cities will be taken until phase 3, although I could be wrong.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 9:00 utc | 333

@Ben | May 19 2022 2:51 utc | 285

How about the 15 million corpses?
Just show it to me in a way that can be verified, that's all. The burden of proof is on the one that makes a [fantastic] claim.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 19 2022 9:16 utc | 334

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 18 2022 17:31 utc | 86

"So yes, we have the perfect melding of top-down malice and propaganda with bottom-up mass spiritual and psychological decay..."

Veto @14| Norwegian @ 92

Posted by: ianMoone | May 18 2022 17:03 utc | 77

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do" - Robert Heinlein

Godspeed all, in your respective endeavours..."

This phenomenon is evidenced by people voting with their feet in NZ.

Thousands of Kiwis are sick of government micro management of every aspect of their lives. The system of control is a subtle blend of impersonal digital bureaucrats forcing the hapless citizen to run the gauntlet through a mirror maze of catch 22 'rules' and 'regulations'. This is sold as 'for the public good' or 'the greater good' when it is really cheaper and easier for the government or the bottom line of whatever government department.

Consequently, those with self respect and ambitions are fed up and leaving NZ or waiting for the opportunity to exit NZ:

"The Kiwi brain drain has well and truly begun with the number of people leaving the country outnumbering the number of people coming in.

Infometrics principal economist and director Brad Olsen told AM the numbers aren't good."

"Over the last 12-months, we've seen over 7300 people more leave the country than have come in, certainly those are the worst numbers we've seen in over a decade."

They will go where they are treated better.

Posted by: Paul | May 19 2022 9:18 utc | 335

Posted by: Outspoken | May 18 2022 20:40 utc | 174
Outspoken, you yourself list the possible answers to your question.
There are many means that a combatant (in this case the U.S.) can use when it is not (yet) allowed to act openly on the one hand, but can be ruthless on the other.
How about a bioweapons operation, cyber and infrastructure sabotage, activation of dormant terrorist groups, but above all propaganda agitation against the Putinversteher? And it's not as if the population as a whole would be behind such a sudden change of course, after all. Understanding with Russia? Yes, gladly. But a change of alliance? Or just neutrality? Not to mention the EU partners. Some of them could see the chance to offer themselves as the new favorite partners of the USA.
Sanctions against nations and parties hostile to the U.S. could follow.
Regime change in formerly friendly countries? Nothing easier than that, transatlantic parties, foundations, NGOs are ready en masse.
Finally, war. Yes, why not? Even if it were lost... the Russians would be further weakened. Fighters from European countries will be found, as well as in Ukraine, otherwise mercenaries, why not.
So the question would be, if that were desired: How to achieve connection to Eurasia, or even neutrality, with halfway intact means of production and social conditions.
But is the calculation so wrong, to wait for the self-weakening of the USA, and for the time being, without big losses, to keep the appearance of loyalty?
My question, unfortunately, remains unanswered so far, namely: whether the intended deployment of dark eagle systems in the regions where the offshore Aegis launchers are located so far (possibly soon also Finland, Bulgaria, Moldova...) will force a defensive strike by the Russians, which would then possibly have to be unavoidably comprehensive if it is to succeed? Can it be that the nuclear potential is really the last thing that has to be taken away from the various geopolitically active U.S. authorities and elites, because otherwise they simply won't give up? Rather, is there a danger that they, for their part, will put all their eggs in this one basket if they lose otherwise? And. asked even further: Could it be that the Russians (rightly?) are once again shying away from this last and most extreme step? Could it be that in a confrontation of nuclear powers, the more ruthless one wins?
We are talking about Ukraine, and about the decline of the West.
Is it possible that there is an elephant in the room that is not being taken into account?

Posted by: franziska | May 19 2022 9:20 utc | 336

Where would the 500,000 ground forces come from ?

NATO = 250,000
Kiev living in NATO countries and gang pressed = 100,000
Kiev conscripted in Country = 75,000
Other NATO vassals = 50,000
Mercs = 25,000

NATO‘s Spring 2023 Counter Offensive is being organized right now my friends. Look beyond this season‘s campaign and reflect on the mindset of the War Party in Washington.

Posted by: Exile | May 19 2022 9:31 utc | 337

Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 9:00 utc | 331
US/UK Ukraine will continue to be re calibrated through that period.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 9:34 utc | 338

Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 9:00 utc | 331

At the moment I doubt Rus has any plans to storm any more Ukraine cities. Mariupol was the jewel in the anglo crown within Ukraine. They have bagged a treasure trove of bio weapons documents, a nato headquarters, and the bulk and leadership of Azov battalion.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 9:42 utc | 339

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 9:42 utc | 337

I think Russia will try to get Odessa and Niloleyev and also Kharkov (so very close to the border).. After that i think they will rest.

Posted by: watcher | May 19 2022 9:49 utc | 340

js | May 19 2022 8:44 utc | 330

"Yuval Harari, a WEF darling, has posited that humans are nothing more than hackable animals, and governments all around the world are now deeply interested in processes going on INSIDE our skin. They yearn for an access to our physical being. Human as a being should no longer be an in dividual, inviolable unity with its rights and everything. No, it’s all about “your body, our choice” now."

One of the core reasons for the terrorist propaganda onslaught invoking "Covid" was to generate the mass-psychological and political space to deploy the experimental spike-inflicting gene-altering injections on a mass scale.

"You will not own your own body and like it."

It's no accident that Covidianism has gone hand in hand with the mass psychological and physical mutilation of children under the "trans" banner. Both are radical escalations of a general campaign to mutilate the natural human body in order to contort it into grotesque artificial shapes.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 19 2022 9:55 utc | 341

watcher | May 19 2022 9:49 utc | 338

"I think Russia will try to get Odessa and Niloleyev and also Kharkov (so very close to the border).. After that i think they will rest."

The longer they rest the more time that gives NATO to fill any vacuum in the western parts.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 19 2022 10:03 utc | 342

watcher | May 19 2022 9:49 utc | 338

Nup. Not militarily. There will be a long after this stage of the operation. When the two republics are cleared. Eventually other pro Russian/ethnic Russian will depart Ukraine through referendum. Putins Russia is very much geared towards permanent settlement, permanent peace rather than subjucation (this dumb opera spell checker cant spell the word).

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 19 2022 10:04 utc | 343

Re Scott Ritter and imagined change of view:

He explains his position forcefully here in a twenty minute utoob:

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2022 10:13 utc | 344

More combatants surrender from the Azovstal, I thought it was already cleared out, no doubt a room to room search might be on the cards for the RF, or they may just seal it off.

"Over 770 militants of Ukraine’s Azov nationalist battalion surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in the past 24 hours, with a total of 1,730 Ukrainian forces laying down their arms, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

"In the past 24 hours, 771 militants of the Azov nationalist battalion holed up in the Azovstal steel works surrendered. Overall, 1,730 militants, including 80 wounded servicemen, have surrendered since May 16," the spokesman said."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:22 utc | 345

Will nato solve the turish blockade of finland by ramming through 'majority vote' to overturn the consensus provision. They might make the motion even subject to a majority vote itself.

That would force turkey and perhaps others to accept defeat and/or leave.

Natostan is that arrogant and stupid to impose such a ploy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2022 10:26 utc | 346

Lithuanian demolishes monument to WWII fallen Russian soldiers who helped liberate the country from the Nazi's.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:31 utc | 347

watcher #338

I think Russia will try to get Odessa and Niloleyev and also Kharkov (so very close to the border).. After that i think they will rest.

Agreed - except I doubt they will rest. Once they get close to achieving that goal they will likely cycle their force for refreshment and hype up the juggernaut. By this time I assume the Ukes will be severely depleted and disheartened. No matter how many howitzers they have left.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2022 10:33 utc | 348

#--Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 19:12 utc | 121

I used to be active in my union. Sadly that's how most women rose to prominence in the organization back in my days. Nepotism by cheating.

Posted by: Anne B | May 19 2022 10:34 utc | 349

Now that Sweden and Finland have applied to join Nato, both countries are buying more weapons.

"Finland and Sweden are set to buy portable firearms and anti-tank weapons, Finland’s defense ministry has announced, as the Nordic countries have formally applied to join NATO.

The two countries will step up their cooperation in defense procurement by Finland joining an agreement to acquire anti-tank weapons from Swedish weapons maker Saab Dynamics, a subsidiary of Saab, the ministry said on Wednesday.

“Joint procurement made possible by the enforcement documents will improve the availability of critical defense equipment in Finland and Sweden as the countries will be able to operate through the same commercial agreement,” the ministry added.

Finland's Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen also authorized preparations for a joint purchase of small fire arms, including assault rifles, shotguns, and arms for personal protection, the ministry said.

The agreement for anti-tank weapons enables purchases of missiles, recoilless rifles, ammunition and other related equipment, it said, adding the purchases are pending separate investment decisions."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:37 utc | 350

The US has reopened it embassy in Kiev, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved US President Joe Biden’s nominee, Bridget Brink, to be the next ambassador to Ukraine. The full Senate is expected to swiftly confirm the veteran diplomat to a crucial position that has been vacant for three years.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:41 utc | 351

Zionist invented and driven culture Marxism in media = extreme terminal spiritual decadence.

Posted by: Obamavirus | May 18 2022 14:41 utc | 15

For the umpteenth time, what you're talking about is NOT marxism in any way, shape or form; you're just regurgitating american Red Scare bulls**t.


Posted by: Arganthonios | May 19 2022 10:41 utc | 352

#---Posted by: fnord |n

You don't become a troll because you irate someone- you become a troll when you spam a commenter with slurs.

Posted by: Anne B | May 19 2022 10:42 utc | 353

Meanwhile the Washington puppet Zelensky has said.

"Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Kiev is determined to reclaim control over the country’s southern cities that have been captured by Russia.

Zelensky made the remark in his nightly video address to the nation on Wednesday, stressing that Kiev would take back the captured cities — namely Kherson, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Enerhodar, and Mariupol."

And for those in Europe that are struggling to heat and eat, the EU's bigwigs are giving a fortune to Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian president further thanked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the EU’s 9-billion-euro ($9.5bn) macro-financial aid and recovery program for Ukraine."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:44 utc | 354

#--Posted by: Et Tu | May 18 2022 20:29 utc | 165

Peaked your interest, didn't she? You are so slow, you're in for a lot of surprises.

Posted by: Anne B | May 19 2022 10:47 utc | 355

The challenge to get regular Germans to demand peace, is to first understand that regular Germans are unbelievably prosperous. Food price inflation, high gas prices, skyrocketing heating costs, and such are a pain for regular Germans but these citizens aren‘t going to ditch their 3 week summer holiday because of higher food prices.

The people in Germany that ARE suffering from inflation are the recent immigrants and 1st generation offspring. These people live good first world lives, BUT have nil economic cushion.

Posted by: Exile | May 19 2022 8:21 utc | 327

That's simply not true.

Many Germans have no "economic cushion" to speak of, and it doesn't matter if they are immigrants or if their ancestors lived here for a couple of hundred years. There are many jobless who scarcely knew how to make ends meet before inflation set in. There is a large low-wage sector, and those employed in it often need to apply for housing subsidies. And guess what? Those subsidies were scarcely sufficient before the recent price hikes, and there are no plans to raise them. Due to the Covid containment measures many people either lost their work, or worked reduced hours - and guess what reduced hours means reduced wages. If they could get by with their earnings before, they suddenly had to make do with 60% of their usual salaries - but the rent remained the same. The cost of living kept increasing. Those people who had "economic cushions" were forced to live on them. Only when that cushion is gone, they become eligible for welfare programs.

In the newspapers you can read, that a record number of pensioners now keep working after reaching retirement age. And most of them don't do that because they love their work. They do it to make ends meet. And lets not mention the farm hands (who are proof that slavery still exists).

Sure, there are people who get along well. I am one of them. I finally found a well-paid, permanent job after years of moving from one temp job to the next.

But I am sure that you know much more about Germany than I do. After all, I just lived here for 5 decades.

Posted by: Martina | May 19 2022 10:52 utc | 356

#--Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:23 utc | 158

The Chinese know most there is to know about paper money, and understand better how it works than anyone else.
Neither gold nor paper is edible, but at least you can wipe your behind with the paper. The gold isn't of much use but for the symbol.

Posted by: Anne B | May 19 2022 10:59 utc | 357

Yuval Harari, a WEF darling, has posited that humans are nothing more than hackable animals

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 19 2022 9:55 utc | 339

Harari is an historian cum futurist. His primary shtick is the power of myth to create and recreate worldview. He points to the "Money Myth" as the current dominant paradigm. No genetic meddling is required, just a new myth powerful enough to displace the old one, usually in circumstances, like now, where the old myth is losing its explanatory power when confronted with reality.

Covid and vaccines are tied together only in the WEIRD countries. China is not relying primarily on vaccines to control the disease. They're using the classic public health measures of test, isolate and quarantine. Those measures are not concocted out of a desire to oppress. They are simply dealing with the facts of the germ theory of disease and the mechanics of human transmission.

The U.S., which was unwilling to implement even the basic public health measure of cutting off incoming international travel because of $$$, jumped to a technological solution which has no possibility of working. To call them vaccines is a misnomer because they do not come close to "sterilizing." They are at best anticipatory treatments designed to keep hospitals from being flooded with Covid patients, thus displacing all those nice profitable knee and hip replacements, liposuction, chin lifts, etc. And I share your concerns about the MRNA "vaccines." I had a couple of J&J shots. That's as much as I was willing to experiment on myself.

Harari is worth a read or a listen. My perception of our situation for the past decade has been that three paths lie before us. One takes us to Mad Max. I still consider that by far the most likely for us in the West. Our systems are breaking down. Here in urban Cleveland, they're being replaced by gangs that pretty much roam at will, taking what they want, killing their enemies along with a slew of innocents since the gunmen are 14 year-olds trying to shoot overpowered automatic weapons. The second possibility is totalitarianism, order imposed by widespread force. That's a very expensive proposition, and one unlikely to produce a lot of return on capital for the billionaires.

The third possibility--or maybe just a hope--is a radical and widespread change in worldview. "The one who dies with the most toys wins," would be out along with "every man for himself." Replacing it would be a worldview more similar to that held by the indigenous people in the Americas, an outlook that encompassed human empathy for our fellow humans, our fellow animals, the plant world that feeds us, and the Earth as a whole. Harari argues that such deep and rapid changes are possible--thus his "hacking"--through the dissemination and adoption of new myths that organize our understanding of the universe around us. Would the WEF ghouls love to determine the contents of a new worldview now that the old one is breaking down? You bet they would, and Harari's work interests them for that reason. But there are others, from the late Thomas Berry to physicist Fritjof Capra to writer Jeremy Lent (The Patterning Instinct) who are working in a more positive direction.

What lies ahead of us may have been foreseen most clearly by writer Octavia Butler in her Parable series of books written in the 90s and set primarily in the California of the 2030s. Federal authority breaks down. Mad violence proliferates until people are exhausted. What's left is a competition between worldviews, as Butler saw it, between a Gilead-style Christianity and Earthseed, a new godless religion (i.e. not a transcendent, monotheistic god) invented (and all religions are invented) by her novel's protagonist.

A new worldview is in the process of being birthed. In my estimation, that's really where the action is at these days.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 19 2022 11:26 utc | 358

I start to believe Russia enjoys all these "Billions" of Euros and Dollars and all the weapons coming to the battlefield for destruction. With every "Billion" sunk or blown up the pain will increase.
How slowly ever Russia will advance, it will be faster than the rebuilding of a UAF 2.0.

I hate predictions, wich are always wrong. But I think its not a prediction to say: Putin is in the forehand.

Posted by: njet | May 19 2022 11:30 utc | 359

Anne B 355 "... gold isn't of much use..."

Yet countries and central banks are stocked up. Including knows-it-all China.

Posted by: osi | May 19 2022 11:32 utc | 360

The similarity between Covid-19 and the Russia/NATO war is that the government/media and public response was clearly "modelled" (or Game Theoried) well in advance. - Opport Knocks 123

Yes, indeed. There are plenty of public access articles featuring verifiable facts that bring critical-capable thinking folks to your conclusions.

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 19 2022 11:40 utc | 361

Ritters hypothesis in his interview that I linked earlier is indirectly countered in this report from The New Atlas:

The current (and vanishing) uke army is the result of eight years of USUK capacity building. The Zelensky criminals dont have eight more years of unimpeded militarisation ahead of them. That fact and the rapid demolition of renewed arms and soldiers seems to be a parameter that limits the extension of this war as expounded by Ritter.

The utoob by The New Atlas is worth the six minutes.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2022 11:44 utc | 362

The article claimed that the US navy sailors were so frightened by the attack that several asked to be reassigned to another vessel.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 18 2022 19:16 utc | 126

Indeed, the ship was the USS Donald Cook. I read that several officers resigned after the ship was towed to port in Greece.

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 19 2022 11:45 utc | 363

@Anne 355, Osi 358

"gold isn't much use"

Gold is generally a poor form of money for a number of reasons. But is has it's uses in an emergency when other forms of money are destroyed.

Posted by: Tim | May 19 2022 11:49 utc | 364

@Anne B | May 19 2022 10:59 utc | 355

The Chinese know most there is to know about paper money, and understand better how it works than anyone else.
Neither gold nor paper is edible, but at least you can wipe your behind with the paper. The gold isn't of much use but for the symbol.

It is always amazing how much people believe to know about China who obviously never were there (or shortly as guided tourists), don't understand a word much less a character of the language, and not more about the culture. Same with economy and economic history.

As to gold vs. paper, and the unhygienic habit to wipe the backside with the latter, paper is certainly useful, also for reading and writing, just to remind. But gold is nothing less than useless. Not only has it served as a means to store wealth, craft jewelry, and stuff teeth for a long time, it still is an indispensible raw material and certainly will be in the foreseeable future.

And it is one of its strengths that it cannot be multiplied in the way paper money can, rather than a weakness.

That said, gold in the sense of a gold standard (which never really existed as Hudson correctly described) is not a solution for world economy. But gold will certainly play a role, as much as Keynesians hate it.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 19 2022 11:50 utc | 365

The masses are spiritually, psychologically, intellectually spent and Western civilization is no longer capable of solving any problem, only making it worse.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 18 2022 17:31 utc | 86

I fully concur. Thanks for this observation.
And this fact was recognized by several intellectuals in the past, too. The British author Douglas Murray writes extensively about that in his book "The Strange Death of Europe". Even Zbigniew Brzezinski has a short comment about that, at the end of his "The Grand Chessboard". Surely the most extensive dealing with this matter can be found in the works of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung - of whom I'm a big fan of. And he is the only one I know of who at least tried to make proposals of how to remedy this problem.

That is exactly what I miss. If this issue is addressed, like here in your posting, then people almost always take it as a given - and with some kind of contemptuous undertone. But nobody talks of possible solutions. It's like if everybody in the western world - whether he is aware of the problem or not - has surrendered and just accepts that it will soon end. weird as it seems on a website dedicated to politics and at the risk of being viewed here as a mystic oddball: I would call everybody here to consider also the spiritual / psychological side of the (not only western) worlds malaise. And also to look at his own soul, once in a while. Nobody is an island and we are all part of this problem.

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | May 19 2022 11:52 utc | 366

James Forsyth in the UK's current edition of the SPECTATOR' - What should Ukraine’s war aims be? Should they try to push the Russians back to where they were before the invasion – or keep fighting, hold out for Crimea, and attempt to undo all the losses they have suffered since 2014? Another totally deluded journalist. He also writes - of Ukraine 'having won the battle for Kiev' - which of course like all good boys, he spells the 'other way.' Now I know why these so-called deluded journalists are called Presstitutes!

Posted by: Geraint AP Iorwerth | May 19 2022 12:00 utc | 367

ERing46Z (361).

Thank you for that reminder, the USS Donald Cook, yes that's the one.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 12:11 utc | 368

Scott Ritter spoke of 'game changers' coming from Nato and US.

Any thoughts on Russia's fancy Laser weapon?

Hype or Game Changer?

Posted by: Et Tu | May 19 2022 12:14 utc | 369

More combatants surrender from the Azovstal, I thought it was already cleared out, no doubt a room to room search might be on the cards for the RF, or they may just seal it off.
Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 10:22 utc | 343

Dome the whole bunker complex, or, hit them with knockout gas, transport them in medically induced comas to the Chernobyl sarcophagus, let them regain consciousness under that dread canopy.

Last of the NATO-Nazi diehards =)

Posted by: anon2020 | May 19 2022 12:14 utc | 370

I think the most shocking aspect of this conflict is the abject lack of response in Western populations as to the costs of this ruinous proxy war. Especially Britain and Germany.

I would have thought $5 gasoline in the US would trigger riots, not meek acceptance. In the EU, I guess the obsequious acceptance of crime and sexual assault by immigrants should have given us a clue as to how feeble they have become.

I can't entirely blame the Davos elites if EU populations meekly comply. If a bully never gets punched in the face, how does his oppression stop? In the US, I would have blamed marijuana use but that doesn't explain how feeble ordinary British people have become. I guess they'll just have to 'work harder' (seriously?)

Posted by: Eighthman | May 19 2022 12:16 utc | 371

The BBC now trying to blame Russia for the coming famines and energy shortages and hefty price rises that are on the way.

The USA's war on Russia via Ukraine and the complicitness of EU and Nato countries to go along with the war are strong factors, along with the Covid pandemic, and for the UK there's an extra reason Brexit, for the coming shortages in food and energy and huge price rises.

Sadly Third World countries will be the worst affected, some are already on the edge of famine and widespread poverty.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 12:18 utc | 372

Next Scandinavian election date?

Next proxy war location for GNWO/FUKUS/EU:


Posted by: Per Terram | May 19 2022 12:24 utc | 373

Peresvet is in duty since 2018-2019. It's so classified no one knows anything about its specs, only that it targets satellites.

Zadira is new, even gugl can't find anything. Israel announced a laser last year ,I think, but it needs 2 beams to track the drone for x seconds, so basically 2 different lasers, to shoot it down. I don't remember about its range

Posted by: rk | May 19 2022 12:28 utc | 374

A major impediment for Russia are the Ukraine nuclear power plants. Because of the need for cooling water the national electrical grid must be maintained. Reactors do not generate electricity without a grid.

Backup cooling is provided by diesel generators and Russia is eliminating diesel supplies.

Posted by: mi | May 19 2022 12:30 utc | 375

Here is that article on the USS Donald Cook if anyone is interested.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 19 2022 12:47 utc | 376

CharlesPeterson@325 the main Orc defences facing Donbas have been breached, the Orcs have three choices, retreat into the town's using civvies as human shields, surrender, or die fighting. Most of them are moving into towns taking up firing positions in schools, hospitals and private homes and buildings.
RF MOD stated they will not enter the town's, they will surround them, and wait them out, aka, Avozstal worked, so stick with that plan.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | May 19 2022 12:51 utc | 377

Hilarious that some here say Ritter has lost all credibility because he changed his position. There are some really feverish cheerleaders here. Ritter explained clearly why he changed his position from a quick Russian victory to a prolongued conflict. Its because US and NATO are now sending an unlimited amount of weapons and $ to Kiev. Also thousands of mercs and Ukros are being trained in Germany and Poland with most advanced weapons. Makes perfect sense things have changed due to this.

He still says Russia is winning and will absolutely take Eastern Ukraine. But their goal of turning Kiev neutral seems very difficult. Also Finland and Sweden is a setback.

Like Lavrov said clearly. Russians are shocked at the Russophobia and response from the West. They clearly did not expect so much so quick.

With any luck the Eastern front collapses in a few days and that will give Russia plenty time to regroup and plan next move carefully

Posted by: Comandante | May 19 2022 12:53 utc | 378

The industrialized West is slowly succumbing to the crisis Our Stolen Future warned about 20+ years-ago as birth rates drop well below replacement level from a variety of pollution-based causes. My hope is for the Global South to be far more benevolent that the West ever was and merely rejoice in the West's agony instead of taking revenge.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 23:37 utc | 241

Along with material pollution is a general lack of positive momentum in the spiritual and cultural inner core, an overall loss of heart and this is reflected in declining birth rates. I believe sine Putin took over Russia's have been climbing, no?

One can speculate as to why but corrupt leadership for generations clearly hasn't helped with the push towards proactively breaking down core family and religious values in some sort of concerted and misguided zeal to sacrifice all that on the altar of the secular and transactional.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 12:58 utc | 379

@RSH 300

[MY NOTE: He sees a couple M777 howitzers on the front line and has a mental melt-down, apparently. One or more of those batteries have already been destroyed just yesterday and another was seized by the LDR forces.]

Russell Texas Bentley reported on Greyzone that 100 of those M777s are in the field and they are formidable, indeed the worst thing they have to contend with right now. Each shot can flatten an entire house.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 13:02 utc | 380

That's why I predicted Russia must go all the way to Brussels for it's the only logical end-state.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2022 5:32 utc | 310

Even better: Brussels goes cap in hand to Russia, disbands EU and requests to join SCO.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 13:12 utc | 381

"Tom, you are a concern troll, and btw, Way Too Polite!"
Tom Pfotzer | May 19 2022 0:50 utc | 262

You're misattributing something I did not write to me, by the way. I hardly even understand what concern troll means, and I dislike the dehumanizing sense of words like "troll" or "bot".

Whomever it is with whom you're picking this bone, it ain't me, babe.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 19 2022 13:16 utc | 382

Re: Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 9:00 utc | 331

You have loudly proclaimed on many occasions that Russia will be rolling into Lviv and taking every part of Ukraine all the way to the Polish border.

Good luck with that.

I don't believe that will ever happen and never have believed that.

Posted by: Julian | May 19 2022 13:19 utc | 383

Never underestimate a woman's ability to sabotage you.
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 6:00 utc | 318

Nor her ability to make life on Earth worth the trouble.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 19 2022 13:20 utc | 384

Posted by: Comandante | May 19 2022 12:53 utc | 376

It is not hilarious to criticize Scott Ritter. He is the expert, that told us over weeks, that Russia will not only win, but that there is "no way" for NATO to stop this, that all supply lines will be disrupted and so on. He is no man of careful words, very decisive. He told us all this until Mai 13 or so, with all the western support programs already announced and in action. And suddenly he makes a U-turn, without referring to what he said yesterday.
THIS is hilarious. I won't listen to him any more, anyway spending too much time on this SMO.

Posted by: njet | May 19 2022 13:20 utc | 385

This post might seem orthogonal to the thread, but I want to expand on one of the core points in the response to Scott Ritter from Martyanov linked by Richard Steven Hack @282

...for true American patriot such as Scott it is difficult to accept this fact but in the last 20 years it goes without saying that institutional rot completely engulfed America's strategic and operational thought...

It needs to be understood that this "institutional rot" is not a problem specific to the US military, or even their MIC contractors. On the contrary, the US military is culturally very conservative and the US military was the last aspect of American society to begin the decay.

An example of the rot:

Many years ago I worked as a mechanic/tech in a large manufacturing facility (back when America had such things). The machines I maintained were very large and complex assemblies that a machine operator would load with parts on one end and another operator would unload the finished product from the other end. In between the machine performed dozens of meticulous operations on the parts, transforming them into the finished product. These operations were all controlled through pushrods and levers by carefully machined cams and belts of jacquards. These machines from a bygone era were amazing works of engineering, fascinating to watch in action, and a joy to maintain.

Anyhow, the business was bought out by a major well-known German corporation. The German parent company sent their engineers, along with a freshly-hired batch of American kids posing as engineers, to examine the machinery and "modernize" it. "We're going to automate the process!" the kids assured us.

"Isn't it already automated?" I asked?

The young engineers looked at me like I had two heads. "There is not a single PLC [programmable logic controller] on this entire machine! Not one MAC valve! Not one prox switch! Show me where this 'automation' you talk about is!"

I shrugged and waved in the general direction of the entire machine. The kids snorted derisively and dismissed me as an ignorant factory rat.

Months later the prototype replacement for the machines I maintained was delivered and set up; all gleaming aluminum and fresh white paint, and tethered to an entire wall of PLCs and MAC valves by enormous bundles of cables and pneumatic tubing. Automation!

It never did run for more than a few hours at at time, and even when it ran it could barely keep up with the old machines. Furthermore, it still required two machine operators. I never had the heart to ask the engineers what it was they had hoped to accomplish. "Automation", I suppose, or maybe just their idea of automation. At least the popping sound of many hundreds of pneumatic solenoids firing for every cycle of the machine produced an exciting rhythm. Long story shortened, copies of the prototype were produced and a new factory established with them in China.

The point to this story is that the creative talent available today with sufficient intellectual discipline to be considered engineers, even in the supposed land of engineering (Germany), is a rather pale shadow of what the West used to produce. And those are the engineers! The management of these engineers is in the hands of people with no intellect whatsoever, much less disciplined intellect. These are people who argue about the font used in the PowerPoint presentation at the engineering review meetings rather than the content of the presentation!

But it gets worse. Product releases in the West nowadays follow the pattern of computer game releases. It is more important to meet a deadline established by marketing than to ship a product that actually works. Just get the product out the door and we can ship a patch later. You can see this even at Boeing, which is why their spaceships don't work and their airliners crash. The notion that their products have to work right the first time when they ship simply doesn't occur to them anymore. Shifting the institutional imperatives from engineering to marketing and sales has vast cultural impacts, and this shift permeates literally all of western society. This shift even alters the priorities and perspectives of the engineers themselves, so fixing the rot cannot be achieved by simply putting an engineer in charge.

The EU eagerly committing suicide on command seems to me to be strongly related to this institutional rot that Martyanov brings up. I would say it is an aspect of this generalized embrace of delusion that I am always going on about and that we can see in so many other aspects of western society. Basically, the EU doesn't see themselves as committing suicide because they believe that their imagined inherent superiority and goodness will automatically cause their choices to have only positive outcomes. If it is just about respect for the LGBQWERTY+ people, then how could it be wrong? And from the EU perspective this whole conflict with Russia really is just about "respect" for LGBQWERTY+ people, right? As the Ukrainian Nazis accurately pointed out Maidan would have just been a gay parade without them, and since the EUians deny the existence of the Nazis that leaves only the gay parade for them to be supporting.

It is kinda disturbing when you boil the start of WWIII down to that essence, but underlying it all is Martyanov's institutional rot, and beneath that is nothing more than delusions that are widely agreed upon.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2022 13:22 utc | 386

Spanish Gold in Moscow from Spanish Civil War.
Putin pays off all IMF loans.
Nations deposit their Gold & request with games attached,
How much is really there?

Which Nations hold real Gold wealth ?

Are They attacking Russia to get That Gold??

Posted by: T_Bird | May 19 2022 13:22 utc | 387

@ 323 Charles Peterson

"How long is that eventually? Years maybe... "

My guess is that conflict in one form or another will continue keeping Western governments in autocratic emergency / war modes until Major Depression is achieved at which point the West will turn inwards and contemplate serious, substantive reforms. Such a process will take decades.

Ukraine cannot end before Depression because as Ritter is realizing support from West is virtually inexhaustible until then. Meanwhile Mother Russia's Military awaits all comers with open arms in her Donbass Cauldron.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 13:26 utc | 388

Ukraine cannot end before Depression because as Ritter is realizing support from West is virtually inexhaustible until then. Meanwhile Mother Russia's Military awaits all comers with open arms in her Donbass Cauldron.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 13:26 utc | 389

Yes. Well said. And they will be happy to fight them there for as long as they wish to come. So convenient. No continent-wide destruction, no huge civilian casualties. You have to wonder why somebody didn't think of this before.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 19 2022 14:34 utc | 389

The European economy is parasitic anyway. Europe's economy only survives through the American empire funnelling resources from the global south. The West can only exist by plundering others and destroying value. That parasitism is coming to an end, and the Europeans/Americans will have to do honest work in the future.

Posted by: Yeeetra | May 19 2022 14:42 utc | 390

Citizenfitz | May 19 2022 5:48 utc | 316

Why would you say "Suppose for a minute Putin knows what he is doing." ??? There has been no time when I questioned it. You are on your own there.

You say "he overestimated Ukrainian support for the SMO"... You have proof of that? How, exactly?

You say he "underestimated NATO's response" Again, you know what President Putin "estimated"??? How, exactly?

You say "It is hard to understand his lackadaisical approach to taking out the Ukrainian infrastructure." You say, do you? I think that you know nothing and post to see your words to satisfy your ego.

And I think RSH's response May 19 2022 5:56 utc | 318 was repeating what has been outlined and underlined numerous times to date... So you can not possibly be ignorant... Doesn't leave a lot of room for speculation about you.

Posted by: Doesitreallymatter | May 19 2022 14:46 utc | 391

"The European leadership [a]re toothless, spineless treasonous maggots."

Posted by: WTFUD | May 18 2022 15:33 utc | 47

So very well put. I hope you won't mind if I use that one?

And: Posted by: bevin | May 18 2022 17:45 utc | 93 - Again, right on target.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | May 19 2022 14:50 utc | 392

Posted by: Martina | May 19 2022 10:52 utc | 357

well said

Posted by: sln2002 | May 19 2022 14:51 utc | 393

@Sushi #224

The US had over a 1 trillion dollar physical goods trade deficit last year - the largest ever.

That doesn't look like a USD failing to be accepted situation to me.

When will that change? It isn't going to be 2022. It seemly extremely unlikely to be 2023 or 2024. 2025? 2030? 2050?

Posted by: c1ue | May 19 2022 14:54 utc | 394

@NemesisCalling #210
You specifically stated that "we are heading into a sound money world".

I apparently misunderstood that this leader would be China.

Since you have now said it won't be - who will lead this magical transition?

From my view: I don't see "hard" currency happening in my lifetime.

In fact, I would actively fight against it because "hard" currency cements in place the oligarchy that already holds the majority of assets and cash.

The problem "hard" money people think they're solving is the wrong problem: government issuing money.

The real problem is government issuing money for stupid reasons - and the solution is not "remove government ability to issue money" with a soupcon of "hardly any more government because of no money".

We have real world examples where "government can't issue money" has happened - none of them were positive outcomes.

Posted by: c1ue | May 19 2022 15:01 utc | 395

@PavewayIV #300
The question I have for you is:
Nowhere in your analysis is any consideration given to what Ukrainians will actually be willing to suffer.
Is this truly infinite?
Even disregarding the extent to which Ukrainians are rabidly nationalist - i.e. above say, 5% of the population, it is not clear to me that the overall population in non-Russia occupied Ukraine is so rabid to fight Russians as the Vietcong/North Vietnamese were in Vietnam from 1956 to 1973, or the Pashtuns in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021, etc etc.
In contrast: I note the Nationalist go

Posted by: c1ue | May 19 2022 15:05 utc | 396

Perhaps the Russian higher ups have been perusing America’s Morgenthau Plan from 1945: complete deindustrialization of Ukraine (Germany) in the west, resulting in the deaths of millions - or millions more moving to Poland.

Posted by: Butte Bill | May 19 2022 15:26 utc | 397

@ scorpion

Please elaborate on speculation.


Posted by: Forest | May 19 2022 16:01 utc | 398

@Richard Steven Hack (303) "unless it is willing to expand the scope and scale of its current interdiction efforts, it will not be able to bring to a successful conclusion its state of war with Ukraine.... [MY NOTE: People need to stop saying Ritter is not now saying that Russia can not win. This is exactly what he is saying.]"

Even in this phrase that you quote from Scott Ritter, he includes the proviso "unless it is willing to expand the scope and scale..." In other words, he does not say that Russia cannot win the war, but rather that it can only win if it does what he recommends. I am not qualified to comment on the correctness of his view.

At the same time, I do believe that Ritter is in error if he thinks that Russia does not understand that the war is much larger than Russia vs Ukraine. Lavrov and others have publicly stated that the war is much broader and that the US/NATO are seeking to destroy the Russian Federation. As to whether Russia will eventually feel the need to act decisively in western Ukraine, none of us (including Ritter) knows the thinking of the Russian General Staff and political leadership. I will not be surprised if a significant intervention is in the offing to stop the flow of weapons into Ukraine from Poland--at a minimum.

As for the US/NATO being pathologically obsessed with destroying Russia, I believe that such is the case. However, in the event of a wider war, American and European citizens may not be ready to have their own cities under attack by Russian missiles and to have thousands of their own soldiers returning home in bodybags. The people of North America have no history of being under attack, and I do not think they will like it. Finally, Russia has very powerful economic levers that it can pull to inflict severe hardships on the West, e.g. cutting off supplies of natural gas and other essential materials. The cost of heating and eating could rise to a point of causing domestic unrest. I hope that the war never reaches that point, but I cannot discount the possibility that it will.

Posted by: Rob | May 19 2022 16:11 utc | 399

William Gruff @387--

Thanks for your fine comment! Did you ever read Asimov's Foundation book series? The core reason for the Galactic Empire's decline could be described as institutional rot, in the story's case Atomics and other technology. A more modern example is Star Trek's Borg, who go about harvesting the fruits of other cultures and civilizations to replenish what the Borg can no longer accomplish themselves. The huge contrast I see is what Russia is now doing in its technological-economic sphere thanks to the sanctions. The Rostec report I provided some of yesterday is a case in point. China's development is another. We won't live to see it, but I'll bet neither nation will develop a Rust Belt akin to what was allowed to occur within the Outlaw US Empire. Russia for one already suffered that fate and is rebuilding with an eye to negate any recurrence.

As Hudson describes them, Neoliberals can be seen as "Wealth Harvesters"--they obtain ownership of something producing wealth and harvest--strip--it of the wealth producing parts leaving a skeleton akin to how hyenas, vultures and detritovores reduce a carcass to bone. And that's precisely what the Great Reset was aiming to do globally. Stopping that initiative is what's at the core of the current struggle, which is why Russia must be supported by all who are Pro-Humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2022 16:40 utc | 400

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