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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As always, it's important not to identify the present idiots in charge of the EU with the future of the institution itself. Basic political principle, as with Putin, the present idiot in cherge will not be always there.

Posted by: laguerre | May 18 2022 18:04 utc | 101

Oldhippie | May 18 2022 17:33 utc | 87 When trying to convince a friend that the MSM was full of lies about the Ukraine conflict he hauled out a NYT essay by said Timothy Synder and suggested that if I read it it would explain everything about "the liar Putin and his fascist state". Synder, an Ohio native, has written books on Ukrainian history and published numerous articles and op-eds, even traveled to the Ukraine and gave a speech in Ukrainian some years ago (post coup). Needless to say he is a shill for the coup government and touts the 'revised' history of the Ukraine that has been promoted by nationalists.

Here is a critique of his stuff by Marlène Laruelle. An excerpt:

"He [Synder] further depicts events and sentiments throughout Russia as echoes of the worst moments of Nazism. In Russia, he writes:

Jews are blamed for the Holocaust on national television; an intellectual close to the Kremlin praises Hitler as a statesman; Russian Nazis march on May Day; [and] Nuremberg-style rallies where torches are carried in swastika formations are presented as anti-fascist.

This portrayal falls dramatically short of recognizing—to say nothing of analyzing—the complexities of Russian society. Instead, it cherry-picks the moments with the highest shock factor and presents them as routine, producing a portrayal of Russia as inaccurate as if one were to suggest that everyday life in the United States could be interpreted only through the Charlottesville riots of August 2017. Selected historical analogies may offer some stimulating avenues for discussion, but they do not hold up to the rigors of social science-based analysis, do not have any predictive power, and have limited utility for understanding current trends."

So much for Ivy League scholarship...

Posted by: the pessimist | May 18 2022 18:05 utc | 102

People need to be cautioned about the notion of "cheap energy." "Cheap energy" is what got us here in the first place.

When the current "cheap energy" is depleted do we just figure we move on to the next "cheap energy" thing and keep chugging along, embarked on our perpetual growth path?

Food, shelter and water. Energy isn't in that equation (other than food for one's body's requirement and for altering one's shelter).

Reaching for more energy than is sustainable is the same as expecting increases in farm land and fresh water. If you do not ask the question "how much is needed?" then just increasing "because" (that's what we've always done, or some other non-answer answer) is certain to eventually fail us. The growth meme, now seemingly targeted toward growth in "green energy," is yet another marketing switch that ensures those in power have a means of grabbing on to yet another gravytrain, a train that will see the masses one day end up right back in the same situation.

Hot fusion has more value than all the "alternate" fuels. The reason why I believe so is that it would be capable of recovering minerals, of recycling everything: able to reduce anything back to its base atomic elements. This would save us from landfills. It would drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption in the mining industries. AND, IF hot fusion were possible then electrical production would most certainly be there. This was my "best outlook for humankind" from back in the early 1980s. And here we are some 40 years later... (meaning, I'm not holding my breath)

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 18:09 utc | 103

Re: Siemens plant

Oh, forgot to note the actual price of said hydrogen.

Reuters says German electricity prices at new highs

A new 5,000 kWh annual supply contract costs an average of 2,098 euros, or 42 cents/kWh, 23% more than in December, Check24 said.

So at 56 kWh per kg - that's 23 euro per kg hydrogen. 1 gallon of gas weight about 6 pounds/2.7kg - so divide 23/2.7 = 8.6 euro per 1 gallon hydrogen equivalent.
This seems to be higher than the cost of gasoline in Germany even right now

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 18:10 utc | 104

Putin's meeting today with Rostec's CEO provides an excellent example of why Russia's MIC is vastly superior to that of the entire West's. As with such meetings, Putin begins cordially, "Sergei Viktorovich, Rostec is our largest corporation in the defence industry. Do you have an annual work report?" [My Emphasis] Of course, the transcript is all Russian. I only reproduce below the portion that proves my assertion. The conversion rate for determining the dollar values for the ruble amounts stated ought to be 80:1, although today the ratio is closer to 60:1. So, for the consolidated revenue figure the dollar amount is @$25,750,000,000. Rostec is a state-owned conglomerate; its mission statement declares it's much more than a weapons maker:

"Mission of Rostec: Improving the quality of people's lives through the creation of high-tech 'smart' products."

Now let's read the report:

S.Chemezov: Yes, here is our annual report.

The topic of our annual report is "Environment for the development of the new". A lot has been done in 2021. Our consolidated revenue grew by almost 10 percent and amounted to two trillion 60 billion [rubles]. We have overcome an important psychological milestone of two trillion. We have been striving for this for a long time, and finally last year we crossed this barrier, this milestone.

Consolidated net profit increased by almost 47 percent and amounted to 163.5 billion rubles. EBITDA increased by 18 percent and reached 335 billion. The total market value of assets – this is a new indicator that we have introduced since last year – is 980.5 billion rubles, which is one and a half times higher than in 2020, that is, the value of our assets is constantly growing.

The share of civilian products in consolidated revenue reached 45.5 percent.

Vladimir Putin: All right.

Sergei Chemezov: Yes. You set us the goal of reaching 50 percent by 2030. We set ourselves the goal of 45.5 percent by 2025, but last year the share of civilian products was 45.5 percent.

This, of course, is primarily thanks to KamAZ. We have enterprises that produce a fairly large volume of civilian products, such as KamAZ and Russian Helicopters. The UAC has begun to produce civil aircraft in large numbers – not yet in a large enough number, but we are striving for this.

Vladimir Putin: Now there is a chance to occupy the domestic market.

Sergei Chemezov: This is correct, of course.

Our pharmaceutical holding Nacimbio has done a great job the year before last and last year. We have delivered to our consumers throughout Russia more than 100 million sets of various vaccines: against Covid, influenza, and various other diseases. Most vaccines are produced by ourselves.

The achieved financial results made it possible to increase the volume of investments by 18 percent, which already amounts to 242 billion rubles. Thus, by the end of 2021, the corporation fulfilled all the goals that we set for ourselves.

I would like to dwell on some of the events that took place in the life of our corporation. 72 projects of technological modernization were carried out. First of all, this is the modernisation of the aviation complex of enterprises producing helicopters and aircraft, as well as aircraft engines, because today this is the most important area in which we work.

We carried out technical re-equipment of optical industry enterprises at the Volgograd and Novosibirsk optical plants. And the equipment has been replaced, and the technologies are modern.

Vladimir Putin: Modernisation.

Sergei Chemezov: Yes. We carried out a deep modernization.

We mastered and introduced into production 57 innovative technologies, including technologies for manufacturing aircraft engine parts by direct laser growing, glazing technologies for cutting down a new domestic cruise liner, which is being built today, called "Peter the Great", will go along the Volga and by sea, river-sea.

Service for urban management.

The development of 233 innovative products was completed, including the MC-21-300 aircraft with a wing made of Russian composite, the Okhotnik combat unmanned aerial vehicle. I will tell you about these projects in more detail later.

A deep modernization of the Tu-160M missile carrier with the new NK-32 engine has been completed. We actually created a new car. Only the previous appearance remained, and so, in fact, everything is new there: both the engine is new and the on-board equipment, all the units have been replaced. They completely digitized all the documentation, because the last car was produced at the Kazan plant sometime in the 1980s.

834 patents and 474 know-how were issued. The total volume of investments in research and development reached 170 billion rubles.

Interesting the quirks of machine translation. As noted, there's more to the report than what I provided. Additional developments in civilian aircraft and healthcare are also discussed. As Hudson notes in his recent papers and interviews, the sanctions regime illegally imposed upon Russia has acted in the same manner as the protective tariffs did that greatly aided the industrial rise of the USA and Germany in the 19th Century. IMO, it's likely due to the historical illiteracy of Outlaw US Empire policy planners that they overlooked this very easily predicted affect of their actions--instead of crippling Russia, they've boosted its economy and future outlook such that they might be seen as committing treason given the undeclared state of war that now exists.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 18:19 utc | 105

pessimist @ 102

Not surprising. When handed early success for nothing someone like Snyder will keep getting worse. That is where we are at. The rot is pervasive. Joe Biden shakes hands with the air, he is still the President. Dimwits all.

Posted by: Oldhippie | May 18 2022 18:31 utc | 106

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 17:54 utc | 97

One can find FX pair >symbols here, of which precious metals per ounce, eg. Gold (AUX)
Bear in mind though, pair rates are prevailing "advanced economy" (AE), or "on-shore, clearing price. Emerging market economy (EME) rates, or "off-shore", variance in vol/val, structure, and spreads is well reported by AE business presses (who generally seem to assume all marketable reserves are deposited in AE central banks) until a panic in the "messaging system" occurs.

BIS Quarterly Review, December 2019, for example.

Posted by: sln2002 | May 18 2022 18:48 utc | 107

As guarantors of Minsk agreements, Paris and Berlin were obliged to persuade Kiev to abide by its terms but they didn't so this is as much their fault as Washington's.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 18 2022 18:49 utc | 108

Interesting it's to note how wven Norway's leadershp quescent to delivering thair gas and oil at "market prices" tothe EU. Norway happens to be a land warming its industry and housholds rearly only wit alectricity. A commodity thet until two years ago was very chiep. (Of course, Norway had the highest rate in the World for purchasing electric cars until now --now onlu luxury electric cars get sold.)
Thet even Norway succumbs to equiesebce to Anemerika (as ......called it) is symptomatic: It must be because those 50 statelets have a secret gestapo that has mapped all weaknesses that can be used to blackmail my countr's local politicians well in advance. This must also be true about all those ladies at the top of Sweden and Finland.
There were muldiple attempts to backmail Swedish Palme, Norwegian Olav Borten and Finnish Kekkonen and Mannerheim. those guise were able to ward blackmail off. But not the lady leaders in supine postures of our prresend day (nor two of the four possible leaders of futureNorwegian guovenments) HAVEN'T We SEEN It all in "THE THIRD WORLD" FOR SEVENY Or MOre YeARS NOW?

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | May 18 2022 18:49 utc | 109

Asian countries, well some at least, are not as stupid are most European nations when it comes to denouncing Russia, from the Saker.


"Washington failed to get the summit with the ASEAN countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ASEAN nations are Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 18 2022 18:50 utc | 110

Lasers now used in combat. Ever since Peresvet was unveiled by Putin in 2018, we've had occasional discussions here on the use of lasers in combat. The linked article declares:

"Russia has developed its own anti-drone laser capability and is already using it in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov claimed in an interview on Wednesday. It has a range of 5km and was nicknamed Zadira, or ‘troublemaker’ in Russian, he said. He didn’t disclose any other details about the new device.

"The official confirmed that the Peresvet was designed to disable optic sensors, including on spy satellites orbiting the earth as high as 1,500 km....

"When asked about the timeline for the Russian military to receive such systems, Borisov said they were already being supplied. When asked further whether the anti-drone laser was deployed in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, the minister acknowledged that the 'first samples were used' there."

Given the very large numbers of drones said to be shot down by RMoD, I was becoming curious as to which weapons system was being employed the most to get those results.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 18:53 utc | 111

As both Bertold Brecht and (especially) Franz Kafka!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | May 18 2022 18:53 utc | 112

Posted by: Oldhippie | May 18 2022 18:31 utc | 106

Joe Biden shakes hands with the air, he is still the President.

You didn't look close enough! He, Biden didn't do that, there were strings, strings pulling his arm(s) that you failed to see! :-)

Biden has always been a puppet of the establishment. They've just gotten better at making the strings invisible.

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 18:59 utc | 113

Posted by: ak74 | May 18 2022 15:38 utc | 49

Thanks for the link. Obviously two things are true from that report:
1) NATO knew the war was going to start last fall - because it was deliberately engineered.
2) Germany always intended to rearm. As Scott Ritter says, this will be yet another negative outcome from the situation - a resurgent "Nazi" (or some fascist variant thereof) Germany.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 18 2022 19:01 utc | 114

Meanwhile, as if US warmongers didn't have enough on their plate with Russia and China, now they're reviving their war plans for Iran...

Report: US to Participate in Israeli Military Simulation of Large-Scale Attack on Iran
https://news.antiwar.com/2022/05/17/report-us-to-participate-in-israeli-military-simulation-of-large-scale-attack-on-iran/

According to a report from Israel’s Channel 13, the US will participate in planned Israeli military exercises that will simulate a large-scale attack on Iran later this month as part of Israel’s month-long Chariots of Fire drills.

The Channel 13 report said that the US Air Force will take part in the exercises with refueling planes that will join Israeli jets as they simulate entering Iranian territory and carrying out repeated airstrikes.

The simulated attack on Iran will start on May 29 over the Mediterranean Sea. According to The Times of Israel, it marks the first the Israeli Air Force will practice a large-scale assault on Iran.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 18 2022 19:04 utc | 115

... That's why I asked above about the deployment of the dark eagles.

Posted by: franziska | May 18 2022 16:46 utc | 70

Maybe that’s why RF, mindful of Yankee lust for population nuking, is rolling out next gen anti-missile defense?

https://tass.com/defense/1365397

I can’t remember where I read it but there was an indirect quote from a US military insider who thought this whole Ukraine conflict was triggered by the US due to the RF lead in hypersonic missiles.

Someone else might be able to furnish you with the link that my memory cannot =)

Posted by: anon2020 | May 18 2022 19:07 utc | 116

Major NATO War Games Set to Begin Miles From Russian Base
https://libertarianinstitute.org/news-roundup/major-nato-war-games-set-to-begin-miles-from-russian-base/

Dubbed “Hedgehog,” the drills will kick off later this week in Estonia and run until June 3, meant to simulate a Russian invasion. They will involve 15,000 troops from 14 countries – including the United States, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Norway, as well as non-NATO members Ukraine, Georgia, Sweden and Finland.

According to Major General Veiko-Vello Palm, deputy commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, the exercise will take place just 40 miles from a Russian military base, a facility hosting Moscow’s 76th Guards Air Assault Division in the border city of Pskov.

15,000 troops... That's about the same number as just fell into a cauldron yesterday... Hint, hint...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 18 2022 19:08 utc | 117

Laser weapons in use by the RF, war is becoming more sophistacted.

"Russia is employing laser weapons in its special operation in Ukraine, in particular, the Zadira laser system capable of striking targets at a range of 5 km, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in a live broadcast on TV Channel One on Wednesday.

"They [laser weapon systems] have begun arriving [for the army]. The first types are already being employed [in Russia’s special military operation]," the vice premier said, adding that the system was dubbed Zadira.

The latest Zadira laser weapon is more powerful than the Peresvet system, which is capable of blinding reconnaissance satellites at a distance of 1,500 km, he elaborated.

The Zadira is focused on physically destroying an object at a distance of up to 5 km and it literally burns through a target by its thermal impact. This system is capable of "easily shooting down various types of drones, avoiding expending costly missiles of the Pantsyr and Tor types," the vice premier explained."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 18 2022 19:09 utc | 118

@99 C1ue:

Let's use your number of 45KwH per Kg H2 to review the econ of H2 fuel production.

Here in the U.S. I pay 15 cents per KwH for electricity. 45Kwh @ 0.15 is $6.75 worth of electricity to produce one kg of H2 fuel.

A gallon of gas has about the same energy content as 1 kg of H2. I currently pay about $5 a gallon for gasoline.

Typical hydrogen car mileage is around 70 miles per kg of H2. That's way better than most gasoline internal combustion engine performance - maybe almost twice the mileage. My cost per mile using H2 fuel would be about half the cost per mile for a gasoline internal combustion engine.

Renewables are now the least-cost electricity source, including nukes. Renewables are (widely) expected to continue to fall in cost due to wind-farm scale up (off-shore) and as solar panels are designed for materials reclamation / recycling. The costs of solar panels may well fall more as new materials and technologies are invented, which seems quite likely given the sheer number of scientists that are working on the subject(s) related to solar power generation.

So that means H2 is already, as we speak, price competitive with fossil-fuels (gasoline) for transport.

Here are some sources: United States Dept. of Energy: Hydrogen Basics

So, yes, the link you provided re: Siemens' H2 plant would be a great piece (sub-component) to integrate into a re-designed energy and industrial production system for Germany.

If the heat losses of electrolysis were captured and re-used, as I mentioned in my opening piece, the economic advantages of renewables-to-fuel-to-electricity would be significantly greater.

And, per my stated requirements, a) Germany would control its energy source, and b) Germany would have new products to export to new markets.

Using your own numbers I have demonstrated that renewable electricity to fuel is economically advantageous to Germany, and everywhere else that has renewables.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 19:09 utc | 119

Ukrainian roads and highways remain strangely open, fully operational and, apparently, with diesel and gasoline available.
In the very near future, Russia will provide food for the hungry people of Ukraine while the Ukrainian government pays, with the Ukrainian crop, for the weapons received...to fight the Russians!
There must be a logic in all this.

https://t.me/SergeyKolyasnikov/35755

Posted by: SCan | May 18 2022 19:11 utc | 120

@ pessimist, oldhippie —

The worst book I ever reviewed back when I was in the academic racket was by a tenured Harvard assoc prof and published by Harvard University Press. Incredulous at the nonsense I was reading, I asked a colleague, who assured me that the author owed success to having slept with an important professor…also at Harvard.

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

@103 Seer - I fully agree with you. But I have had a glimmer of hope as of late. I recently learned about thorium fueled liquid salt nuclear reactors. They are called LFTRs, Liquid floride thorium reactors. I am reading a book called Superfuel. It's quite interesting. They were developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the sixties. They seem to have proven themselves and additionally, they can't melt down because if the reactor loses power, the fuel (liquid thorium salt) reverts to its non-fissible solid form.
Additionally, they don't produce plutonium for weapons. That was a large reason why the technology was not chosen.

I am sure that I got a lot of it wrong, and people will point out my mistakes, but thorium seems like a promising source of energy. And this is coming from a person who spent their whole life anti-nuclear.

Superfuel

Perhaps you will find it interesting. I am quite interested to learn as much as I can.

And speaking of nuclear plants, I hear rumors that one of the reactors at the Zaporizhe nuclear facility in Ukraine was being used to make a neutron bomb. I probably read it here a few weeks back. I will be interested to hear that the RF finds out.

Thank you b, and everyone here.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 18 2022 19:12 utc | 122

The only possible logic behind the 'covid hoax' theory would involve the supposition that the war between NATO and Russia is itself a hoax and that all the world's governments were complicit in the 'covid hoax' and are pretending to be at war as an excuse to prevent a popular awakening.

Posted by: bevin | May 18 2022 17:45 utc | 93

Covid was real, the response to covid was the hoax. Covid is easily suppressed by common preventative and therapeutic measures. Similarly, the war could have also been easily avoided through simple negotiation.

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.

When the absurd over-reaction to covid was rolled out my partner and I quickly agreed that it was to condition the population to the hardships of war, such as reduced civil liberties and product/rationing shortages.

The Great Reset game is upon us, whether we like it or not. The root cause is simple, the developed world has been in demographic decline since around 2000 and it was perceived as necessary to borrow/print trillions of dollars to prevent a deflationary spiral. But debt is just GDP borrowed from the future and the demographic lull is still there. Plan accordingly for yourself and your loved ones. The social engineers behind the curtain and the stage performers will not have your best interests at heart.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | May 18 2022 19:14 utc | 123

Maria Zakharova's briefing today is rather long, so I'll just initially provide this one snippet that was produced in the context of the unconditional surrender of the Ukie forces inside Azovstal:

"According to Ukrainian prisoners of war, the military leadership of Ukraine prohibits troops from retreating and surrendering. Their main task is to maximize the destruction of civilian infrastructure in order to leave behind uninhabitable ruins and complicate the restoration of peaceful life. This is not our information policy, but the testimony received from the Ukrainian side over these weeks."

If the above is correct, there ought to be relevant documents that support such testimony. If so, then Zelensky is no different from Hitler as are all his Western "advisors". International arrest warrants must be issued for those people, and they must be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 19:15 utc | 124

All mapped out few years ago in RAND Corporation report:"Extending Russia"

Posted by: Erv | May 18 2022 19:15 utc | 125

Talking of laser weapons I've read that Russia has Scalar weapons and that they used them against US navy ship (not in this conflict) that acted like an EMP, from what I recall from the article the US navy ship lost all electrical power as a Russian air force jet flew over it with the Scalar weapon attached to its underside.

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

@ c1ue and seer

The U.S.' entire economy and way of life, its projection of power, is predicated on being the world reserve currency.

If the world gets its act together and takes it to the U.S. and sends their greenback holdings back to our shores, the gig is up and the collapse will be monumental.

However, the empire requires a chaotic world and desperation to leverage it's hold. If Russia gets through to their objective and some friendliness is restored through trade relations and energy supply, this will surely spell the end of the American empire.

There are lots of possibilities:

1) Russia wins, peace restored, trade resumes, and the greenback is destroyed

2) a tentative peace but another iron curtain is unrolled; America continues its dominance by holding Europe hostage and courting South America to fully abandon Russia

3) the same tentative peace but America is not able to keep its domestic situation and inflation under control when the situation deteriorates into collapse; Russia's waiting-game wins the day

...

And where is China in all of this? Ever calm and patient. They are winners in any of the above outcomes. I am not surprised but I believe more or less that China is resigned to any outcome. Putin and Xi met and they both agreed that this was Russia's fight and that it was best for China to remain deep in the background.

...

The only outcome I can rule-out is the second where iron curtain 2.0 is unrolled. Russia is not going to tolerate this and the U.S. will not be able to weather the ongoing financial storm it is embroiled in.

So the redundant original thesis stands: either nuclear war or western economic collapse. Buckle up.

...

Re: the absolute hilarity of the U.S.' domestic economy.

A return to a commodity-backed or precious-metal backed currency is inevitable. If you look at silver's historic price, it has actually halved since stagflation under Carter and its peak of $44/oz. in the 70s. It is now at $22 but with astronomical premiums.

Silver is the only commodity that hasn't 5x, 10x, 100x since the 70s. It is the most artificially battered and rigged commodity. And for good reason: the silver paper markets allow the juicing of the funny economy. It is both the lynchpin and lodestar of our present and future.

Once it begins to find its real value, when the dow dumps, when bitcoin collapses further, people will load into silver (and gold) and it will become unobtainium. Paper silver accounts will be settled without delivery and with Aunt Kamala's funny bucks. Have fun trying to spend those.

We are headed to a beautiful, sound-money world.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 18 2022 19:21 utc | 127

@ Rob

You nailed it. The fascistic uprising is inevitable. People —in the West at least — are neither altruistic nor class-conscious; they identify only with themselves and with their own. They are bitterly opposed to any kind of communitarianism except to the extent that it defines enemies to be subjugated or exterminated.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 19:21 utc | 128

Those who surrendered at the Azovstal, their journey to identification (international fighters/advisors officers) and if applicable uncovering their war crimes against civilians/troops has only just begun.


"A court will rule on the fate of Ukrainian militants who surrendered at Mariupol’s Azovstal plant, DPR leader Denis Pushilin told journalists on Wednesday.

"As for war criminals and those who are nationalists, if they laid down their arms their fate should be decided by the court. Regardless of the emotions of some [people], I heard various opinions, if an adversary laid down the arms, the future fate is decided by the court. If this is a Nazi criminal, then by a court martial," he said.

As reported earlier, the investigators of the Russian Investigative Committee will question the surrendered militants who were holed up at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. The agency vowed to establish the identities of the nationalists, check their involvement in crimes committed against civilians and compare information obtained during questioning with data from other criminal cases.

On Wednesday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov reported that since May 16, 959 militants have surrendered, including 80 wounded with 51 of them hospitalized in Novoazovsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 18 2022 19:23 utc | 129

1) NATO knew the war was going to start last fall - because it was deliberately engineered.
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 18 2022 19:01 utc | 114

"It is now clear that the New Cold War was planned over a year ago" -- Hudson

One thing that "bothers me", as Detective Columbo might say: We (those of us able to see through the "evacuation" nonsense) are only today just beginning to understand the enormity of the West's long, drawn-out defeat at Azovstal. In the number of "heroes" irretrievably lost to justice, the bulk of evidence implicating Ukraine as NATO's stage for terrorism, the utter collapse of VSU morale ("Stand with Azovstal!") -- much becomes lost to the West this week. Hence the hysterically ridiculous hysteria -- so many ways to say "surrender" in English!

It's a really big defeat, in sum. What bothers me is the West was apparently so ill-prepared for it. How could NATO have been so carefully preparing the provocation, without realizing the potential potency of Russia's response? This is where it becomes crystal clear the West is utterly crushed. We provoked the bear and bit it. Even our market tanks now. The party's over.

How long can the West pretend this defeat is not happening, before we start looking for someone to blame?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 19:23 utc | 130

Scott Ritter has had a another interview with Judge Napolitano interview with Scott, where he provided more context of his recent re-assessment of the Ukraine-Russia situation on Sunday that caused such a stir in the Alternative media. You can watch the interview, but the basic gist I got from it is that Scott was shocked by the amount of resources the Collective West is throwing at Ukraine to keep them in the fight (18 billion in the past 3 months, plus another $40 billion to be voted on this week from the US alone, probably another 3-8 billion from the rest of the West).

Even if most of this money never reaches the front line (i.e. is stolen or destroyed beforehand), Scott compares it back to WW2 when Russia threw everything they had to hold the Nazis at bay at Stalingrad, while they remobilized entire new armies in the east to fight the Nazis with later. Now the situation has reversed and Ukraine is throwing everything they have to hold the Russians off while the West mobilizes and recruits mercenaries in Germany & Poland to launch a new offensive (this might be what Zellensky is referring to with his new offensive in August). In this context, the insane orders from Kiev make more sense in that they are holding the Russians off (while also destroying the ethnic Russians in the lands they hope to recapture) while a new mercenary army is given to them (Note: Russia recently claimed that Isis terrorists were being moved from Syria to Ukraine).

This also explains Europe's suicidal economic policy, the Americans are probably promising the Europeans that 1) the US will bankroll an entire army to keep the war going indefinitely, just like in Syria 2) the goal of the war ISN'T to defeat Russia but to destroy Russia economically over 2+yrs and force a 2nd economic collapse, followed by a 2nd rape of Russia and probably a breakup of Russia into 20 or so Republics (i'm seeing lots of youtube videos on a breakup of Russia and possible new successor states - obviously being pushed by the YT algorithm) 3) European leaders are probably being promised a cut of the lot and blinded by their greed they are agreeing to this unworkable plan.

Scott feels that this isnt a proxy war anymore, it is an actual undeclared war and that Russia needs to up it's game and push West past the Nipa river and take all of Ukraine, right to the boarder of Poland, otherwise the US will turn Ukraine into a second Syria, building new terrorist armies to fling at Russia and grind them down along with Ukraine

Posted by: Kadath | May 18 2022 19:27 utc | 131

@ RepublicofScotland re ASEAN:

It certainly also didn’t escape the notice of ASEAN leaders that the USA committed all of $150 million — a tiny fraction of the PRC’s commitment, and no more than a rounding error compared to the USA’s commitment to the Ukraine.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 19:28 utc | 132

Sometimes you have to hit bottom to realize you have a problem.
EU is leading the way.
US is climbing a sinking ladder.
UK has found a home at the bottom.
We are along for the ride.

Posted by: jared | May 18 2022 19:31 utc | 133

Anybody got any thoughts on Mikhail Khodaryonok's comments? Can't seem to find anyone who has commented yet.

Posted by: John | May 18 2022 19:34 utc | 134

@ Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 15:49 utc | 53

I agree with you that financial reserves are unlimited (in a literal sense).
But I meant to say that natural gas reserves (from fracking) are limited. If I understand correctly.

Posted by: jared | May 18 2022 19:35 utc | 135

A thought I wanted to share. What if the economical suicide is intended. A fed and satisfied society is hard to encourage to fight in a war

Posted by: SuperMario27 | May 18 2022 19:38 utc | 136

thank you b, brilliant. all i can think is 'how could europe be so stupid?'

Posted by: annie | May 18 2022 19:40 utc | 137

@ Kadath re YT algorithms:

No kidding! I go to YT for just two things: Charlie Berens and Russian music. So what is YT pushing at me? Valentin Silvestrov—a Ukrainian composer.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 19:41 utc | 138

The largest picture is the following: the human footprint on the planet is too large. We all know it and feel it. But nobody wants to reduce his standard of living or take cold showers.

So we view the other as lethal competition breathing "our" air and drinking "our" water. The desire for a solution of the violent sort becomes bigger. It's a subliminal drive to war destruction and killing.

You can feel it everywhere: post-apocalyptic movies (taking place in the new paradise with few people), violent video games, how we like to watch bombs and explosions here...

A little less fundamental is the economic view. For the longest time we have been in a disinflationary environment: production exceeds demand (see the importance of marketing, when demand exceeds production marketing does not exist). Very few companies are making a real profit because there is too much competition.

The solution is the destruction of an big economic zone. South Korea would be a candidate (but is not really big enough and too smart), Europe is a great candidate: big enough and dumb enough.
If the war can be spread over all of Europe and Europe put into a post WWII condition just think how much competition will be eliminated for the remaining economies.

There is no explicit plan for this. It's just that the players intuitively understand the lay of the land and decisions are made accordingly, small ones that step by step push us in this direction, step by step, bit by bit until all of a sudden you are in a completely new reality.

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 19:45 utc | 139

Kadath #131

He needs sleep or something. The Syrians are 50. Sure, they can plot terrorist attacks but not hold an army. The money US talks about go back to their MIC and part get stolen.
So only terrorism remains and they are doing it even now. Shooting at villages and civilians, planning more fake stories, destroying all they find etc. It would probably continue even is elenski disappears because natocontrols the army. So they have to find the leaders to be removed or disable all army, one way or another.

Posted by: rk | May 18 2022 19:46 utc | 140

malenkov @ 138

Yes, seems youtube has been taking the RF line that Ukrainians are really the same as Russians seriously. Bet they are the only ones in the whole wide world who fell for that :)

Posted by: Joe6pack | May 18 2022 20:01 utc | 141

Re: rk @141,

I dont think Scott was convinced that Russia would be defeated, I got the sense that he was shocked about the volume of support the US was willing to commit to this war and that they were willing to burn down not just Ukraine, but all of Europe as well. looking beyond what was openly said, the 40 billion aid package was being pushed by the US almost 2 weeks ago, but Scott only changed his assessment on Sunday. Scott is a fairly influential figure with political and military contacts, it's quite possible some of these contacts approached him the prior week and impressed on him just how far the US would take this war, right up to the point of US troops openly attacking Russian troops. I "think" what Scott was trying to do with his latest assessment was point out to these figures that the plan was a massive escalation that could trigger disastrous consequences, Russia could ruin the plan simply by seizing the east of Ukraine that NATO was planning to use as a staging ground for the war and even if it did work, the EU would be stuck with a perpetual warzone right in the heart of Europe.

Posted by: Kadath | May 18 2022 20:04 utc | 142

@ Joe6pack

No, much worse than that. YT is rejecting Russians and substituting them with Ukrainians.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:05 utc | 143

@Obamavirus #15

No one cares about your "nuanced" view. Begone troll!

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 20:05 utc | 144

@Obamavirus #71

LMFAO...begone troll!

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 20:07 utc | 145

Scott feels... that Russia needs to up it's game and push West past the Nipa river and take all of Ukraine, right to the boarder of Poland, otherwise...
Posted by: Kadath | May 18 2022 19:27 utc | 131

I've had much respect for SR in the past. This current business he's in -- offering unsolicited military advice to RF -- is strikingly bizarre -- beneath my previous impression of who SR is. In his last dismissal of SR's reversals, Andrei Martyanov was careful to object respectfully. But now Scott Ritter seems committed to making a fool out of himself, like this. I don't understand why.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 20:08 utc | 146

Calling Covid a hoax and denying the reality of anthropogenic climate change both rely on seeing those who rule over us as all but omniscient and omnipotent, in control not only of us but of Nature and even the future. These Masters of the Universe plan years in advance, steadily moving toward their mysterious goal, never having to abandon their sick hopes and dystopian dreams even occasionally. Any problem that comes our society's way is either made-up or part of the cunning and nefarious Master Plan.

My understanding of things is quite different. Our elites are not only corrupt narcissists but they are also incapable of seeing much past next quarter's losses and profits. They react more than they plan. When any normal person would see the error of their ways, they double down. They always assume they can buy their way out of any situation, even aging and death with their plastic surgery, transfusions of young blood or fantasies of transferring their consciousness into the Cloud. So far, it hasn't worked for any of them.

In short, they are fools.

Covid and climate change do share something real. The handling of both is the result of a ruling elite incapable of looking out for humanity's current or future welfare. Their only solution is to up the PR so that the billionaires can continue with their single-minded, insane pursuit of even more wealth.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 18 2022 20:09 utc | 147

@ Henry Moon Pie

You’ve just formulated my inchoate thoughts re: our elites. In essence, they’re parasites with some kind of rudimentary consciousness.

Please keep posting. Your comments are among the best here.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:14 utc | 148

@134 OK I'll bite. The retired colonel/columnist doesn't seem to have a very high opinion of Putin or the Russian military. That's obvious. Does he have an agenda?

https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-analyst-putin-missile-threats-against-finland-are-a-joke-2022-5

Posted by: dh | May 18 2022 20:15 utc | 149

Kadath @131--

As I stated in my conclusion @105 above:

"As Hudson notes in his recent papers and interviews, the sanctions regime illegally imposed upon Russia has acted in the same manner as the protective tariffs did that greatly aided the industrial rise of the USA and Germany in the 19th Century. IMO, it's likely due to the historical illiteracy of Outlaw US Empire policy planners that they overlooked this very easily predicted affect of their actions--instead of crippling Russia, they've boosted its economy and future outlook such that they might be seen as committing treason given the undeclared state of war that now exists."

That's what happens when you have Neoliberal Parasites doing planning as they are blind to everything beyond the next quarter.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 20:16 utc | 150

Posted by: John | May 18 2022 19:34 utc | 134

Martyanov has a few comments on him but he doesn't address the issues that he raised. I am not sold on the idea that a "million-man" army is on it's way in a couple of months. The sheer logistics required to train, arm, feed and organise them is a bridge too far for the Ukrainians at this point in time. And, finally, what will the Russians be doing while these wundermenschen assemble like the Avengers?

I think it is Mercouris who says that Russian doctrine treats war as an extension of diplomacy and that pain is dished out commensurate to the political goals one hopes to achieve. Reserving the right and capability to crank it up or down as necessary.

That being said, the risk is certainly there that it is not grifter o'clock and that there is enough manpower willing and able to give the Russians a headache but the Russian intelligence so far seems adequate enough to root out any large concentrations of arms or men, so color me unconvinced.

Posted by: eyeswideopen | May 18 2022 20:17 utc | 151

Sorry, posted in wrong thread, copy-paste hier

Not a suicide but a deadly assault

When we say "the Europeans" have chosen, who or what are we talking about?
"We The People" or only the power structures of European union ?

The people have been deprived of all their power by the integration into the European Union, layer after layer. Politicians found it comfortable and rewarding to get promoted in the Brussels structure, it was worth a blissful conversion to Europe and the Euro.

"Paris is worth a mass" is the famous phrase of Henri IV who converted to Catholicism to become king of France.

But since a few years, the european structure organizes coups and perfect colored revolution in the heart of europe. ["évacuation" of Salvini, installation (x2) of Macron, rescue of the soldier Scholz and his SPD].

Should we consider the intervention of chance [and Covid-19] in the control of the 3 industrial pillars of Europe [or rather what is left of them] by Brussels, which hosts NATO at close distance from the European Commission, 2 not-even-elected structures?
That's not Europe, that's what I call pure globalist oligarchy. They hope to be on Mars or just an atomic shelter (and no more monogamy as for Dr Stangelove)

To change this, riots, even of hunger, will not be enough. Remember how the yellow vests were "evacuated".

Our responsibility is no longer to comment and hope that Putin will save our ass.
The Russians will take care of themselves, they neither expect nor hope for anything from us.

Posted by: La Bastille | May 18 2022 20:17 utc | 152

@ Oso | May 18 2022 14:56 utc | 24

What exactly does skin color have to do with it?

Posted by: Figleaf23 | May 18 2022 20:18 utc | 153

@Obamavirus #139

Must suck to live in your world...begone troll!

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 20:18 utc | 154

"...regular, white conservative voters, who are in fact the majority..."

LOL, OK if you say so. You've been trying harder than usual to get attention, but there's a lot to unpack there; let me begin.

1. If the majority of American voters are also represented in poll after poll, then the majority of white conservative voters support abortion, universal healthcare, holding Wall Street accountable, higher wages, etc. So there must be a lot of "white conservative voters" who vote Demonrat (the party that pretends to fight for those things).

2. If the majority of American voters are indeed white conservatives, then it's not a demographic or philosophical thing; it's a product of long-term institutionalized voter suppression, gerrymandering and other dirty tricks. You'd probably look at Texas and say it's deep red. But it isn't. The major cities with large populations are majority Demonrat voters. Hence, the Texas Republicans have spent decades doing all of the aforementioned things to prevent voters in those places from actually having their ballots counted. Same is true in several supposedly red states. This is likely when you start in with the "Replacement Theory" bullcrap. Sidenote: the Black birth rate and that of whites is pretty much the same.

3. In reality the situation is a combination of #1 and #2. Americans routinely express what might be called "liberal" sentiments and, if given a real choice, would overwhelmingly vote to keep abortion safe and legal, investigate and punish Wall Street shenanigans, audit the Fed, provide universal healthcare (in one of many possible ways and over one of many possible timelines) and invest more in infrastructure and alternative energy sources. But for the two reasons alluded to (DNC representing corporate, right-leaning interests while pretending otherwise and Republican vote suppression and gerrymandering to offset demographic changes) Americans don't really have a choice and apathy has set in. The Democrats have betrayed them by providing false alternatives (and along with the media put the meaningless type of identity politics above working class politics) and the Republicans (including Trumpists) have made it harder and harder to have their votes counted.

I can also attribute the situation to what's baked into our government. Slavery era concepts like the Senate and Electoral College which were designed to keep power in the hands of a few (mostly) very rich white guys while denying representation to large swathes of the population. I bet you - at least in spirit - support Brexit. Yet I'm positive that you'd NEVER approve of ditching the Electoral College and electing the President purely by the popular vote.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 20:18 utc | 155

@Tom Pfotzer #119
You still aren't getting it: even if the Siemens plant works (which we don't know as it is still not operating apparently), there is simply not enough electricity generated by the entire nation of Germany today to replace more than say, 13%? of Germany's oil consumption. And that assumes nobody uses any electricity for anything else.

So Germany would then have to build out even more solar PV and wind beyond the 400+ billion euros already spent to build solar PV and wind, plus the cost of building thousands of these Siemens plants.

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:20 utc | 156

@NemesisCalling #127
Do you know who in the entire world had printed more than the US in the past generation?
It is China.
The notion that China is going to lead the world into a hard currency setup is delusional.

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:23 utc | 157

@jared #133
Rand believes the US has at least 100 years of shale oil in reserves - rand report on shale oil

The Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels of oil. Of that, roughly 800 billion barrels are recoverable—more than triple Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day, so 800 billion barrels would last for more than 400 years if oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand.

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:25 utc | 158

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 20:18 utc | 156 in reply to Obamavirus

Imagine putting things like abortion and whether or not to send billions of $ to Nazis and headchoppers or whether to invade Iraq (admittedly the last two may hinge on a much tighter vote given media narrative control and censorship) on a nationwide referendum. LOL. That's the nightmare of people like you. But nah, it's Jewish Marxists pulling the strings. Get dafuq outta here.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 20:26 utc | 159

Re: Aleph_Null, @147

I think Scott is still very, very angry about how he and the other weapons inspectors were treated in the lead up to the Iraq War and afterwards. How everything they did was effectively sabotaged by the Neo-Cons and the fix was in for a war before they were even sent in. The Neo-Cons suffered no consequences and are more influential than ever, but the US military's reputation was badly damaged by the failed war and counter-insurgency. With respect to his "analysis" seeming like a recommended course of action for the Russians, I think who he's actually talking to is not the Russian government, but the faceless military institutions pointing out that Russia can counter this plan by doing A,B,C etc... do you really want to support this plan? The talking heads in front of the cameras may be called the "leaders", but its really the institutions behind them that have to do the nuts and bolts of these "plans"

Posted by: Kadath | May 18 2022 20:26 utc | 160

@ Tom_Q_Collins

But surely you must admit that it’s pointless to care what the highly fictitious “American voter” wants or (ha!) thinks. Do the Dims practice voter fraud? Duh! Do the Rethughs keep entire classes of people from voting? Also duh! What’s left? A miserable bunch of “My Country Right or Wrong” sheeple.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:26 utc | 161

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

This can also be read: With the active help from America's 'leadership' the U.S. is succeeding in ruining the United States.

Yay for the globalists tripping with shamans at Davos.

Posted by: cobo | May 18 2022 20:27 utc | 162

malenkov @ 144
Funny, must be your choices driving the algorithm. I get Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Litvinovsky and so on. Though maybe some of those are Ukrainian, I really don't care about composers nationality.

Posted by: Joe6pack | May 18 2022 20:28 utc | 163

Communication by Russia is getting weirder and weirder.

On Finland in Nato:

First Medvedev said 'no big deal', then Putin said no threat per se, and then now this:

"Moscow’s response to Helsinki’s decision to join NATO will be a "surprise" and will be taken primarily by the military"

https://tass.com/politics/1452867?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com

WTF are they doing??

Posted by: Et Tu | May 18 2022 20:29 utc | 164

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:25 utc | 159

The American hamster is desperate to keep his wheel going forever. Another 100 years!

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 18 2022 20:31 utc | 165

@ Et Tu
The Russians are keeping the Finns and Swedes — and the rest of us — guessing.

Not the worst strategy.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:33 utc | 166

Et Tu @165

Drinking vodka, naturally.

Posted by: Joe6pack | May 18 2022 20:35 utc | 167

On the failure of the ASEAN Summit, Global Times published this op/ed:

The US-ASEAN Special Summit ended on May 13 and Washington's intent to rope in Southeast Asian countries to counter China failed once again. Several factors triggered the result.

First, the attention and measures Washington paid and made for ASEAN were far from sufficient.

For example, at the summit, the US pledged only $150 million in investment to ASEAN, in sharp contrast to the bill passed by the House which states the country would provide $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. Furthermore, the US did not share more details of its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework at the summit as expected. Instead, the framework will reportedly be formally launched during US President Joe Biden's planned visit to Japan later this month, when he will meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and attend the Quad summit with top leaders from Japan, Australia, and India. This shows Washington prioritizes these countries ahead of ASEAN.

In addition, the US' failure to woo ASEAN also has something to do with ASEAN members' foreign policy. Most of them adhere to a balanced strategy between major powers, which is fundamentally different from the US' insistence on establishing an alliance against China.

Furthermore as this article exemplifies, the RIC core of BRICS is moving closer together, meaning the Outlaw US Empire's contrived QUAD is DOA as currently conceived as India isn't going to play along. Add to that Xi's conversation with Marcos Jr who will likely continue his father's legacy:

"The Marcos family has historically been friendly to China, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University's Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times on Wednesday, saying Marcos, Sr., former Philippine president and father of the Philippine President-elect, was the first to promote China-Philippine diplomatic relation, which was established under his presidency."

Finally, many here anticipated the worst with the ousting of Imran Khan as Pakistani PM. But the main party that matters most--China--appears to be satisfied as this article suggests as have others prior to it.

As Lavrov stated, all the major independent nations are moving away from the Outlaw US Empire and are working to build the new Multipolar World as the Colonial and Neocolonial pasts enter Fukuyama's End of History.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 20:36 utc | 168

@ Kadath | May 18 2022 20:26 utc | 161

Scott Ritter is about my age and almost a spitting image of a dear, departed brother. I really feel for him -- share what I can of his anger. I don't subscribe to the "anger is always bad" school of emotional constraint. We can usefully cherish and nourish our anger, until we figure a way to intelligently put it to use.

Anyone who thinks anger cannot be used intelligently has never encountered Ward Churchill's school of historical analysis. Albert Schweitzer once said the best theologians are primarily motivated by anger. Mark Twain, and the best contributors here, I think, betray some immoderate portions anger, in-between the lines.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 20:37 utc | 169

@165 Does it matter what they say? It all gets twisted around anyway.

Posted by: dh | May 18 2022 20:38 utc | 170

@ Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 20:25 utc | 159

Again, I was referring to natural gas.

But, regarding US shale oil and your link


we expect that an oil shale industry capable of producing more than a million barrels per day is at least 20 years off.

Posted by: jared | May 18 2022 20:38 utc | 171

@157 c1ue:

I have stated, twice now, that I am not proposing to replace all of Germany's energy inputs via electricity-fuel-electricity. This is now the third time I state it. Please re-read this _before_ you reply.

I advocate producing enough fuel to smooth the peaks and valleys of renewable energy's contribution to total energy consumption. So that the objection of "it's intermittent!" gets put to bed for good.

Repeat: Produce just enough fuel to smooth renewables' peaks and valleys.

If it turns out that additional economies of scale or technology are found - at renewable generation, at electricity-to-fuel conversion (and back), or re-using the heat losses of those individual processes - if any of those manifest, then it would make sense to produce more fuel than just what necessary to smooth peaks and valleys. Maybe produce enough more to displace petroleum / natgas' role as feedstock.

What new advances in scale or tech are you anticipating for petroleum? Seems like a pretty mature industry to me.

And renewables have a lot of run-room left, don't they? Lot of wind out there, and a lot of sunlight. Low operations costs. Low geopolitical risk. Low environmental impact. Big growth market.

Solves a lot of problems, including and especially the ones that Germany currently faces.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 20:40 utc | 172

I can not fathom how the USA can force the Europeans to commit suicide. It can not only be extreme terminal spiritual decadence. There must be some (business)people that don't want to go down the drain. What means do the oligarchs have realistically? Will they use their occupying forces to start a war in Europe? Or threaten the CIA goons to kill Macron and Scholz? Will they instigate a color revolution in European countries? Have all European leaders lost their self respect and turned into awful cowards? Is loosing the American export market worse than total deindustrialization? Is being murdered anything different than suicide? What could the USA do if Europe opened Nord Stream 2 and bought Russian gas for rubles? Can anybody answer that?

Posted by: Outspoken | May 18 2022 20:40 utc | 173

@Aleph_Null: It’s worth noting that most of Twain’s social criticism appeared either in tiny journals—or not at all, until he and the relevant issues had long been consigned to history.

Mind you, this is no criticism of Twain. It’s just an evaluation of his influence.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:43 utc | 174

Malenkov;

Sociopaths (Cluster B personality disordered) lack certain cognitive abilities of neurotically humans.

Empathy, object permanence, self-reflection, etc.

Rudimentary level of consciousness is apposite.

Raises some interesting philosophical questions.

Posted by: Moaobserver | May 18 2022 20:43 utc | 175

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:26 utc | 162

If the Dims actually did care about and fight for the things they used to say they do, I wouldn't have any problems with them playing dirty as well just like the Republicans have always done. Like if they were really anti-war (yeah right) or anti-rule-by-evangelicals-and-corporations (again, yeah right), or really interested in worker rights and forcing things like that then screw it. If they wanted to steal a few votes or elections, the country would be better off for it, LOL. Thing is they're the fake resistance and playing ball with Republicans behind the scenes while they cry and moan about (real) things like Republican voter suppression and stolen elections (2000, 2004) and slavery era policies, etc.

Obviously that will never happen, but I just wanted my views on it known, LOL. Only a party that really cares about taking and staying in power in America will play dirty.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 20:44 utc | 176

@104 You seem to assume that gasoline and hydrogen have same energy content per kilo. Not the case. 1 kilo hydrogen has z lot more energy as a fuel than 1 kg petrol.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | May 18 2022 20:44 utc | 177

Addendum; I made a typo. I meant neurotypical- not neurotic.

Posted by: Moaobserver | May 18 2022 20:45 utc | 178

@ Tom_Q_Collins @ 177:

Amen, brother (or sister).

@ Moaobserver @ 176:

I’ve long maintained that any politician above the level of district city councilman in s small town is a sociopath. Believe me, I saw enough of it in miserably insignificant high school and university politics.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 20:50 utc | 179

@Oldhippie | May 18 2022 17:53 utc | 96
Snyder's distortions, the "bloodlandization of East European history" have been blamed by historians as holocaust denialism light. Applebaum another of those disgusting neocon liars and forgers.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 18 2022 20:51 utc | 180

Posted by: Kadath | May 18 2022 19:27 utc | 131

Scott feels that this isnt a proxy war anymore, it is an actual undeclared war and that Russia needs to up it's game and push West past the Nipa river and take all of Ukraine, right to the boarder of Poland, otherwise the US will turn Ukraine into a second Syria, building new terrorist armies to fling at Russia and grind them down along with Ukraine

Takes money and energy, two things that are clearly in decline in the West.

The war against Syria was started in times in which the global economic situation wasn't in such a twisty mess. And at some point the invaders will all be cast out of Syria (US, ISIS and Israel).

There would have to be clear goals in place in order to justify an actual full-on attack on Russia, which would be necessary going forward. Ukraine is being cleaned out. It's taken about 90 days to nearly destroy the largest military in Europe. The neo-Nazis couldn't pull off a defeat against the peoples of the Donbass. I don't think the West is going to be able to come up with anything other than ragtag stuff that, while causing issues, won't be anything remotely threatening to the power structures (esp not Russian ones; and any newly formed ones will be readily backstopped by Russia).

Yeah, it's a crappy thought that it will likely never end, but that's what has become the state of things in the world: the GW Bush administration told us/signed the world up to (whether anyone wanted it or not) a never-ending war against "terrorism." Of course, an "end" can happen, but such would require a full collapse of the USA. Russia, as does anyone, has to rely on time, survive. Eventually, as history has shown that all empires collapse, the USA WILL collapse. Best to distance oneself from the implosion, not get closer to it...

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 20:54 utc | 181

eyeswideopen 152; dh 150

I think the million man army on either side is a stretch, to put it mildly ... that's a *lot* of mouths to feed and boots to deploy.

But there are a couple of curious things about this:

a) the guy is 68 and so I would guess old-school USSR and clearly is (was?) highly thought of: 'Medal of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"' and another half dozen gongs and was on the General Staff (Wikipedia). So not a fool.

b) why was he saying it on prime time tv? It would clearly be all over the West's MSM the next day. Maybe the Russian public are being prepared for something?

His comments on the reserves appear to correspond with AtomicCherry's point: Mobilising the current Russian reserves likely gives you a crowd, not an army.

Posted by: John | May 18 2022 20:56 utc | 182

Flying Dutchman wrote (about the Germans) : "Instead they've proven to be the most effeminate US poodles of all."

I have no quibbles with what he wrote other than his comment on poodles. Many people attribute the earliest sightings of Poodles in Germany. They are noted as very strong energetic water dogs used by hunters to retrieve. But they have also been filmed in the late 1880s in SIBERIA and as big as Great Danes! I can attest to their strong athletic and very energetic nature having owned poodles for a lifetime.

In fact, my wife and I used to take our little tough guy out to Brighton Beach, NY on Sundays. This is the home to a large contingent of Russians who LOVE their poodles. You see them on the street, in stores, even in restaurants. I don't know if this is just an odd thing about Brighton Beach and the Russian community there or something more widespread. But I can say for sure that the Russians there really love their poodles.

As for Nuland, well, maybe a pack of angry Dobermans would do just fine.

Posted by: Marc Freeman | May 18 2022 20:57 utc | 183

@Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 20:40 utc

It's not as easy as you think: to have a gas powered plant on standby and only fire up the turbines when needed is simply economically infeasible. The same with nuke power plants. They are all only economical if they run continuously.

Now you can pump water up and a hill (better still a mountain) and let it flow back down but all available capacity like that is already used or in a far away place like Norway.

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 20:57 utc | 184

@jared #133
Rand believes the US has at least 100 years of shale oil in reserves - rand report on shale oil

There is a distinct difference between shale oil & shale gas (recoverable by fracking) and oil shale (solid kerogen in rocks, recoverable by heat). Oil Shale's shale oil is the most difficult crude source to producet, and in a typical Green River deposit, it's less than 10% by weight of the rock formation in theoretical yields, in the richest rock deposits.

Unfortunately, in 2004, when this document that you provided was published, the costs to produce one barrel of oil shale shale oil was calculated to be about 200-250% of conventional crude oil at that time ($40-50/bbl). Over the years, that higher cost differential hasn't changed much.

Oil shale is much worse than tar sand to yield oil, and US oil shales contain higher percentage of organic nitrogen compounds than traditional crude oil, smell very bad. One may rank oil shale as the last resort for crude oil source.

Posted by: KitaySupporter | May 18 2022 20:58 utc | 185

I fear the Shaker thread has been taken over by something else and they seem to be banning real truth. There was a person called night vision who is now missing. He was the best, but now they post a lot of historical irrelevant stuff. The comments which used to be decent has since degraded.

I do not doubt that Scott Ritter and many more have been warned. That is just the way it is. Russia won this madness even before they set foot in Ukraine, and these paid jackasses are too stupid to realize it.

Posted by: Karl luck | May 18 2022 20:58 utc | 186

To those discussing energy generation, just saw this today FWIW. Most of the time these "study finds" articles are clickbait, IMO.

https://www.studyfinds.org/solar-power-at-night/

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 20:58 utc | 187

"Albert Schweitzer once said the best theologians are primarily motivated by anger"

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 20:37 utc | 170

True of many of the Hebrew prophets. I don't know how good a theologian he was, but Luther was a pretty angry fellow.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 18 2022 20:59 utc | 188

Governments in the West are no longer democracies but kleptocracies. They are not about serving the people by providing jobs, healthcare, building schools, bridges, and managing the economy in general. They serve oligarchs, arms manufacturers, and financial robber barons.

Posted by: Moses22 | May 18 2022 20:59 utc | 189

@ malenkov | May 18 2022 20:43 utc | 175

"Naked people have little or no influence on society" he is said to have said. You never really know, with Twain, but I kinda wonder if he was referring to his own unabashed opposition to imperialism. Somehow, nobody wanted to hear that kind of story from the master.

Reminds me of my favorite filmmaker, John Sayles, who made an absolutely brilliant major feature film about the Philippines, called Amigo. No distributor would touch it, except for strictly academic use. People don't wind up getting a chance to see stuff about birthpangs of Empire, such as that film.

I'm reading a brilliant play, another subject of energetic suppression, called The Deputy, by Rolf Hochhuth. (Costa-Gavras made it into a film I have not seen yet, called Amen.) Hochhuth, like Hannah Arendt, focused on historical collaborations we deny to this day.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 21:04 utc | 190

@ Henry Moon Pie re Martin Luther:

Certainly a progressive figure —for his time. But he was also a vicious antisemite and a proponent of canine obedience to those authorities who supported his interpretation of Christianity.

A useful figure for his times, but hardly one worthy of respect or emulation in ours.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:06 utc | 191

@ Aleph_Null

Yes, yes, yes, and thank you for mentioning Hochhuth’s Stellvertreter, one of the few necessary works oc BRD literature.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:11 utc | 192

Some have posited that CV19 in China, which caused persons to drop dead in the streets, was sprayed on them by drones.

If the scenes that we saw were real (Chinese people dropping dead in the streets) then that would be a possible cause.

Taking it further, we would surmise that the CV19 disease that was experienced in the US and Europe was different. Ergo people didn't drop dead in the streets. The sick and elderly were affected mostly. Deaths occurred over time, in hospitals, nursing homes, or at home. No one dropped dead on the sidewalk.

On another point, some have pointed out that Euro leaders have been compromised in some way.

It cannot be denied that the depth and breadth of the Epstein Maxwell sexual blackmail operation was greater than that presented by any mainstream media. Obviously, this operation was and is not the only one. (Dyncorp in former Yugoslavia, dancing boys in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, et al.)

Occam's razor offers this as a hypothesis.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | May 18 2022 21:14 utc | 193

As Lavrov stated, all the major independent nations are moving away from the Outlaw US Empire and are working to build the new Multipolar World as the Colonial and Neocolonial pasts enter Fukuyama's End of History.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 20:36 utc | 169

But what about the rest of the world? Major independent nations are in a vastly better position to do that in comparison to small independence-minded nations. How can they resist the colour revolutions, coups, blackmail, bribery by a horde of deep-pocket western agents milling around? Short of breaking all relations with the West, even if that is feasible, is there something reasonable they can do?

Posted by: Pagan | May 18 2022 21:15 utc | 194

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

The notion that China is going to lead the world into a hard currency setup is delusional.

TOTALLY agree!

I believe that even they know that. Currency basket seems to be the way forward: as if one can actually apply that in a way that actually solves the greater human problem, but I digress...

To a large degree China was built by the US. No, not saying that China hasn't done work, hard work to get where it is. US consumers and US companies locating there have created a China based on production and production for export (not like this is an unusual thing- always the goal in order to achieve a positive trade balance!). Looking around the globe it seems pretty clear that growth, economic growth, is in decline. This suggests that China's markets are going to shrink (it's now a battle for markets, which is exactly the US play in rooting out Russia from Europe). Real wealth is ALWAYS based on physical resources. Again, as I've repeatedly stated, the three countries that can best lay claim to having the necessary resources for conducting a semblance of a modern-world-level-of-living are: Canada, Russia and the US. China has Ag land, but its growing population is really straining it; it doesn't have the energy to keep this at anywhere the current levels (it's the world's top importer of NG and oil).

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 21:16 utc | 195

again @ Aleph_Null

Pardon my evening beers, but I meant to confirm your impression: Twain’s (mostly posthumous) writings demonstrate how outraged he was by American imperialism in general, and the American betrayal of tge Philippines in particular.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:16 utc | 196

Aleph_Null:

Regarding John Sayles' films, which others do you recommend? "Lone Star" looks very interesting to me living in Texas and having lived for a long time in West Texas.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 21:21 utc | 197

Stellvertreter
Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:11 utc | 193

This book was suggested to me upon reading accounts of the last conversation between Francis and Kirill, in which the former stooped to a vividly crude insult of the latter: "Putin's altar boy".

A good Catholic might remember this awful moment of state-idolatry, to reflect upon what Christianity was supposed to mean in the first place.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 21:23 utc | 198

@ Pagan

I’m reminded of the final chorus of Henze’s “We come to the river,” an opera about the people’s struggle: “If we cannot march, we will crawl”…but Henze was a wealthy “Salonkommunist,” as they say in German, writing from his Italian villa, which sort of illuminates the problem, doesn’t it?

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:26 utc | 199

I would not call Luther a progressive figure, at least not for all of his lifetime. He started as a rebel against corruption of the catholic church, and wanted to be a reformer, caused the protestant apostasy from Rome. This was adopted by the regional rulers in larger parts of the HRE. He then performed his most important and influential work, the translation of the bible into german language. Together with letterpress, this started revolutionary movements, not just in the church, but in the wider populace, an ignited the great peasant insurrections of the 1520s. At that time, Luther was already the stooge of the Elector of Saxony, Frederick "the Wise", and he blasted the insurgents. His antisemitic drivel is a result of the last decades of his life when he became even more intolerant, before, he had a more friendly attitude towards jews.

The developments he set loose were certainly bigger and more important than his not so amiable character.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 18 2022 21:31 utc | 200

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