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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@ Seer

You’ve done a fine job of demonstrating why Russia and China are natural partners!

And you can hardly blame China for taking advantage of the opportunities the USA more or less forced on it.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:31 utc | 201

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | May 18 2022 15:14 utc | 33

"It's a mistake to frame the Western Europeans as the victims: they fully expected the sanctions against Russia to collapse the Russia economy, followed by the Russian government. The whole 'dispute' between the U.S. and Germany on Nord Stream 2 is nothing but political theater, the pipeline is supposed to facilitate the plundering of Russian resources after Russia capitulates."

You nailed it. All this talk about the evil empire must not lead to excuses of the europeans. They are absolutely the same brand of imperialists, making all its big business in the shadow of the US terror regime. The difference: Europe adds to the claim of supremacy the hypocrisy of being less aggressive and higher cultivated. LOL.
This makes the difference between right wing and left wing POV, by the way. For nationalists, Europe is the victim, and its politicians are always stupid. They are, but their stupidity is the brutality of imperialist.

So here we are: all the hope of the international left lies on two capitalist states, that consider business and the prosperity of their citizens to be compatible. The neoliberal world they see collapsing is a warning to them.

We have no idea what will be the outcome of a sino-russian order, but it is worth a try. It comes as it comes anyway. We have the privilege to watch the Weltgeist at work.

Posted by: njet | May 18 2022 21:33 utc | 202

@ aquadraht re Luther:

Fair enough! Myself, maybe I put more weight on breaking Rome’s monopoly on “truth”…

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:35 utc | 203

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:06 utc | 192

Luther started out trying to persuade. His impatience led him to the point where he used nothing but the polemical form. "That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew" to the Smalcald Articles and finally "On the Jews and their Lies." It's a tragic evolution that can't be ignored. I once tracked the attributions of rabbinical sayings and hermeneutics found in Luther's OT lectures. They indicate Luther didn't know much directly about Rashi or other medieval Jewish theologians. He relied on anti-Semitic texts that preceded him.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 18 2022 21:40 utc | 204

@ Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 21:21 utc | 198

Part of what makes Barbara Kingsolver so delightful is she's always bored of her last book, eager to write something completely different the next time. Sayles is the same way: never wants to repeat himself. Matewan is a contender for my all-time fave (from any director).

In Eight Men Out on the blacksox scandal, Sayles himself plays Ring Lardner. In The Brother from Another Planet he plays a Man in Black. They're all superb, imho.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 21:41 utc | 205

@Chaka Khagan | May 18 2022 21:14 utc | 194
The tales of people in China dropping dead in the streets are absolute rubbish. At best, one person or so may have collapsed in the street and brought to hospital prior to the Wuhan lockdown, though I did not read anything about. And that would have to have happened before the Wuhan lockdown of 23 Jan 2020, when 17 deaths were reported, all in hospitals. The maximum daily death toll in the 9m city, 12m metropolitan region of Wuhan, and all of China was 121 (there were about additional 1290 fatalities in sum reported 4 weeks later due to forensic scrutiny, but this applies to the whole over 3mth period).

Posted by: aquadraht | May 18 2022 21:44 utc | 206

@185 bottle: I advocated using fuel cells to convert the fuel to electricity on-demand. Spin up time would be minutes or less.

@196 seer: Yes, China pulled off the biggest wealth transfer in history without firing a shot.

And yes, when someone says "Ag sector (of the economy)", what they're really saying is "energy consuming sector of the economy".

Having said that, the Western way of Ag is riddled with energy leaks. China used to do ag very energy-efficiently, and like most other societies, they increased yield by increasing energy input.

China's build-out isn't complete yet, and Russia's is just starting. They may opt for ag systems that have a lot fewer energy (and material, like Phosphorus and Potassium) leaks.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 21:44 utc | 207

@c1ue #159

We definitely need MORE fracking in the US.

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 21:48 utc | 208

@158 c1ue

Did I say that China was going to do the leading into sound money?

Absolutely not.

China had to "pay-to-play" to rise from the ashes. Their manufacturing-based mercantilism has benefitted immensely through trade with the U.S. at the U.S.'s detriment, regardless of what vk used to opine about here. In this way, it is China that has inherited the fundamentals of a resilient economy from the U.S. which traded it during stagflation for the financial-paradigm it is now collapsing under.

China knows that there are grave times ahead. But it also could surmise at its current epoch's outset, that America could not grow in the white-collar finance sector ad infinitum, and that, sooner or later, the inward contradictions of such an arrangement would expand to critical mass and unleash an implosion effect that would put those that benefitted through globalism (finance, academia, service) against those left behind by it (the remnant physical, the white trash, the manufacturing).

The gig is up. The world is doing a great reorganizing. And the globalists stand to lose it all.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 18 2022 21:48 utc | 209

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 21:41 utc | 206

Thanks, couldn't find any of them on the few streaming services to which I subscribe, so I'm downloading the .mp4 of "Matewan", "Lone Star" and "Amigo." Embarrassed to say that I consider myself a cinephile and had never even heard of Sayles - probably for the reasons you mentioned. I've gravitated toward filmmakers like Michael Haneke, Alfonso Cuaron and some of the bigger names (Kubrick, Fincher, PTA, etc.); generally those who push the envelope and tend to polarize audiences.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 21:50 utc | 210

@183 Why was he saying it on prime time TV? Good question. He must have known that it was music to the ears of the Western MSM. Perhaps he is angling for an invite from CNN. Has there been any reaction from the Kremlin? Too many unknowns for me.

Posted by: dh | May 18 2022 21:55 utc | 211

@ Henry Moon Pie:

Yes, Luther was a vicious anti-Semite, but then again, just about everyone back then was. For what it’s worth now, of course. (Oh, and a total suck-up to any authority who happened to support him.) That’s why we can’t regard him as a hero or moral compass, much as he may have been an advance over Rome.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 21:56 utc | 212

Mark Twain was withering in his ridicule of the Mexican War and the Spanish-American war. He would fit right in @ MOA.

He had such a huge platform to speak from, given his popularity. He had great political access; he even helped edit the book & negotiate the publishing contract for Ulysses Grant's post-civil war memoirs (best selling book at the time).

He also let rip on Religion late in life. Has anyone read "The Mysterious Stranger"? It's tough to find, but well worth the read. He doesn't actually attack religion, he attacks the sham of humans who pretend it.

Twain was thoroughly disgusted with humanity late in life...or maybe much earlier in life, he just stopped hoping for better as he aged.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 21:59 utc | 213

@malenkov | May 18 2022 21:35 utc | 204
[Luther and reformation]

Fair enough! Myself, maybe I put more weight on breaking Rome’s monopoly on “truth”…

Exactly that, even more, the monopoly of Latin literate monks and priests about the holy scripture. That was too much democracy for that age and ignited or at least inspired the revolutionary movements of that age. Of course the underlying socio-economic reasons must not be neglected.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 18 2022 21:59 utc | 214

Posted by: c1ue | May 18 2022 14:37 utc | 12

Today EUR/USD at 1.0463, 1.2179 a year ago.
Today Brent crude (a proxy) at 109.20, 67.32 a year ago.
Today in EUR terms, 1 barrel of Brent = EUR 104, a year ago EUR 55.
As you point out, the EUR has lost 14% against the USD. Brent has gained 62%. But Europe is paying an extra 89% in dollar terms for a barrel of oil vs a year ago. Plus any premium Russia wishes to impose (it has a large shortfall to recover).

Posted by: G | May 18 2022 22:00 utc | 215

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.

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 20:57 utc | 185

That is precisely what is done here in Ontario to handle spikes in demand during extremely hot and cold weather. It is very feasible and economical.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | May 18 2022 22:03 utc | 216

@La Bastille | May 18 2022 20:17 utc | 153

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.


Posted by: cirsium | May 18 2022 22:07 utc | 217

On 16 May Reuters posted a picture of Ukrainian fighters with paint-guns:

Posted by: G | May 18 2022 22:08 utc | 218

Some of my post are filtered out so quickly it has to be an algorithm (contain no links). What's up with that?

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 22:19 utc | 219

Western civilization is now in a state which the scientist James Calhoun observed in populations of rats in the course of his experiments and called the "behavioral sink".

This manifested in a setup where rats were provided with ideal living conditions in all respects except one: space. Space was always limited and in one experiment the layout was purposefully designed such that several rats were likely to feed at the same time (feeding at food stations was made more difficult so as to last longer and increase the likelihood of encounters).

Three different "public forums" were provided (floors apart from vertically stacked breeding boxes). Despite the limited space after some time most of the rats continuously congregated in only one of these forums where restless and violent activity prevailed. This was the condition of the "behavioral sink".

At this point almost all rats were already highly neurotic, homosexual or herbivore males, females unable to care for their young and even eating them, sexual predator males not following the usual courtship pattern, narcissistic rats doing nothing but grooming themselves ("activities without social significance") etc.

Shortly after this condition developed the population collapsed because breeding was no longer successful. Interestingly if rats from this generation were introduced into healthy rat populations they remained unable to breed. You can read all this
in Calhoun's papers (hilarious and very well written):
"Population Density and Social Pathology"
"Death Squared:The Explosive Growth and Demise of a Mouse Population"

Now look at our situation:
Raising kids is becoming more and more expensive and cumbersome. Abortions abound, fertility is decreasing. Let us take note of sex change neurotics, males with implanted wombs, "supergirl" fantasies, boundless hubris, clauses like "throughout the universe" in business contracts (personal experience), idiotic beliefs, e.g.: the universe is an "ancestor simulation" (University of Oxford, Department of "Philosophy"), ...

The "intellectual feeding station" is the TV and the public forum the social media where the rabble is constantly engaged in violent but insignificant activity. This includes the
"leadership" emanating hundreds of thousands of emails and tweets per "person" per year.

This "leadership" has proven unable to deal meaningfully with any crisis for the last 30 years: financial system unreformed, energy transition unresolved (no realistic approaches),
covid crisis catastrophically mishandled. There is no reason to belive it will perform any better in the future.

The collapse of this enterprise is near, the mechanism will be the breakdown of peace and war is very efficient in clearing away that which exists.

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 22:22 utc | 220

Twain was thoroughly disgusted with humanity late in life...
Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 21:59 utc | 214

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is, to my reading, the height of exquisite bitterness. Unforgettable, but an ordeal to read! It feels to me as if Twain himself is manning the machine guns, blowing all the idiots away, in that novel's conclusion.

One prediction of Twain's which did not prove entirely spot-on: Twain saw such geometric growth his contemporary Mary Baker Eddy's influence in his lifetime, he thought Christian Science was just about insane and authoritative enough to take over the whole world (in his 1907 takedown Christian Science). Twain both admired (as a good hustler) and eloquently despised "mother" -- as cult-members called her at the time.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 22:26 utc | 221

About Russian satellite techniques:

"Much of the damage, whether economic or industrial, was done almost a decade ago, and for some reason, many of these "analysts" seem to have forgotten that fact. Since then the Kremlin has put a lot of effort into shielding itself from these sanctions, both by developing its own technologies and by securing supply lines with neutral countries such as Malaysia."

Posted by: njet | May 18 2022 22:28 utc | 222

c1ue | May 18 2022 15:26 utc | 40
The last year the United States had a trade surplus was 1975.
. . . the trade deficit isn't the factor. Let's not forget that the US can and has been creating zeros in computers (printed money) to pay for these resources.

To determine the truth or falsity of the above proposition we can begin with
HUDSON February 7, 2022:
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.

Here is the Deal
You are Germany. I want to buy your exports. My offer is that I will deliver to you a piece of paper which has printed upon it more zeros than any alternate offer.
Will you accept my offer?

You might accept if I represent a significant export market, one which snaps up your daily production of Mercedes, Audis, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Volkswagens, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics.

Unfortunately if the US population is incapable of affording housing or food then it may also lack the capacity to purchase any exports. The exporter is then likely to experience a sudden disinterest in American paper and its thousands of zeros. It will seek to sell elsewhere.

At the same time, if the German public is accustomed to a social welfare paradise with significant benefits, high quality technical education, and a highly innovative, independent, globally competitive Mittelstand, an industrial group representing some 99% of the industrial base, and overnight this finely tuned export machine, one of the largest globally, is brought to ein kreischender verdammter halt then I suspect there will be repercussions.

The last time Germany experienced ein kreischender verdammter halt was following the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. This so unhinged the deutsches volk that they decided to export the dasselbe verdammte durcheinander to the rest of the world. And even then they were very good at exports.

The restructuring in the aftermath of WWII led to Bretton Woods I (see HUDSON above). Nixon introduced Bretton Woods II (see )

Since c1ue forecasts a "commodities supercycle" (with which I fully agree) then he must be aware of the work of Zoltan Pozsar and the present transition towards Bretton Woods III (see ).

But you don't need to watch YouTube videos to understand reality. You will encounter Bretton Woods III in the form a declining standard of living (if you live in the West) and an improving standard of living if you live almost anywhere else.

This decline will not be immediate. But it will be felt. Think of sitting in a roller coaster at the very top just before the first drop. Life is good. What follows will be a period of unparalleled terror or exhilaration, perhaps both.

Neither c1ue, nor Pozsar, nor anyone else, has the capacity to predict the future. But as the above video makes clear, and as b makes evident in his post, we are departing a known comfortable past and entering an unknown and likely extremely uncomfortable future. Germany is run by Sargent Schultz. The EU is run by incompetents, the UK does not know the difference between the Black Sea and the Baltic, and the octogenarian "leader of the free world" does not know where he is. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Sushi | May 18 2022 22:29 utc | 223

Part of what makes Barbara Kingsolver so delightful is she's always bored of her last book, eager to write something completely different the next time.
Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 21:41 utc | 206

Great comments thanks,
I don't now of her being bored of her last book but she is certainly always fresh.
Barbara Kingsolver is the most talented activist storyteller.
Her prose especially descriptives of nature are literary perfection yet completely grounded without artifice. She writes with maximum sensory observation of the most minute details but with zero fluff.

For anyone who has not read it, my favourite is Prodigal Summer, though all her books are excellent. it is an engaging telling of the dawn of synthetic farming in the early 20th Century in rural US, and in a parallel story she illuminates the mysteries of animals at the top of the food chain, such as wolves, and the folly of mankind destroying them. She draws threads together that I didn't know existed.

Her "Poisonwood Bible" was for me an incredibly difficult book to read and for some reason the most shocking I had ever read at that time. It exposes and rips to shreds American Missionary Colonialism in the Belgian Congo.

Apparently both these books are potentially to become films, personally I do not think many film makers could do them justice.

Ms Kingsolver has a way of evoking imagery that opens you up to feeling more deeply about the plight of the natural world and how innseparable it is from the human condition and vice versa.
I appreciate being reminded to get back to reading the books I missed.

Posted by: K | May 18 2022 22:35 utc | 224

Meanwhile the EU struggles with China
Jun 22, 2020: The European Union is demanding that China redress an “unbalanced” trade and investment relationship and open its markets wider to European firms, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
Apr 1, 2022: The European Union's trade deficit with China grew by over a third last year, the bloc's statistics office said on Friday, as it took in soaring imports from the Asian powerhouse. . .China overtook the United States in 2020 as Europe's biggest trading partner for goods.
Apr 15, 2022: Speaking from the grandiose Great Hall of the People, [Xi] declared that China, as it had for years, welcomed the European Union as a pillar of an emerging multipolar world. But Mr. Xi also made clear that cajoling China about Russia was not the kind of assertiveness that he wanted. Their talks were “open,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told reporters afterward, before adding: “Open means that we exchanged very clearly opposing views.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 18 2022 22:38 utc | 225

I think that Ritter expected that Russia would take all or much of Ukraine with large scale over-whelming action. It looked that way. But it appears Russia has changed the approach to something more cautious and lower cost in dollars and lives. I think Putin takes approach that patience generally wins. The US cannot manage patience it resets every 4 years to some extent and US knows recession approaches in the west. US though it would wear down Russia, but perhaps the situation has been reversed - 40B$ at a clip. I think Russia will only bite off what it can handle and that will frustrate the west even more so. And Ritter has not yet come round to this approach. He seems to genuinely appreciate the merit of eliminating the NAZIs.

Also apparently Russia hoped that the Ukraine would not resist so strongly.

Posted by: jared | May 18 2022 22:41 utc | 226

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 21:48 utc | 209
"We definitely need MORE fracking in the US."
That pathetic Rand study is from 2003. In reality, the EIA does forecast a decline of unconventional oil and gas production from the 2030s on and a sharp decline around 2050. And the EIA is overly optimistic.

Moreover, even today, 67% of world wide oil and gas rig equipment is used in fracking which yields less than 10% of the hydrocarbons recovered. None of the fracking enterprises ever wrote profits other than on stock exchanges. Even to sustain recent production, while most of the plays have their "sweet spots" exhausted, requires more drilling, more rigs. Unfortunately, some of the commodities to produce those rigs are produced in Russia ;) .

Posted by: aquadraht | May 18 2022 22:41 utc | 227

Lex (31), I think someone forgot to mention the weight issue to the perhaps woking-insouciant Armor command folks in Arlington. Full disclosure: I served in the 1AD.

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 18 2022 22:41 utc | 228

In Europe there is a thing called the Target 2 settlement system.
When a foreigner buys a German product and sends payment to a an account in a German bank, the effect is not that the bank now has more money, the effect is that the bank owes the account holder more money (on demand).

The payment is in effect a liability for the bank. The bank now turns to the German Central Bank and offloads this liability on the German Central Bank which records a claim against the foreign central bank of the country from where this payment originated.

Currently these claims amount to (last time I looked) 700 Billion Euros. BUT these claims cannot in any way of form be called in.
There is literally nothing the Germans can get for them.

Normally all this would be balanced by Germans buying things abroad. Except there is this imbalance. Now such an imbalance is pretty serious and for example in the US could develop between Federal Reserve banks in different states. There it is settled frequently although the states of the US are in much closer Union than the Countries of Europe.

In effect the rest of Europe got cars, chemicals, machines, etc while Germany got Target II balances which are totally worthless. Much like the US bonds which China holds are pretty much worthless too as China is not allowed to buy anything of value in the US and neither is anyone else.

Posted by: bottle | May 18 2022 22:45 utc | 229

wow, the Grayzone published another article detailing the intel takeover of the UK

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 18 2022 22:50 utc | 230

If the goal of these moves is to eliminate the white race as a competitor for world leadership, then the deindustrialization of Europe makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Johnny | May 18 2022 22:58 utc | 231

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
M26 grenade, issued to the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines in the Vietnam War, used in many fragging incidents.[1]
Fragging is the deliberate killing or attempted killing of a soldier by a fellow soldier, usually a superior officer or non-commissioned officer (NCO). The word was coined by U.S. military personnel during the Vietnam War, when such killings were most often attempted with a fragmentation grenade,[2] sometimes making it appear as though the killing was accidental or during combat with the enemy. The term fragging is now often used to encompass any means used to deliberately and directly cause the death of military colleagues.[3][4]

The high number of fragging incidents in the latter years of the Vietnam War was symptomatic of the unpopularity of the war with the American public and the breakdown of discipline in the U.S. Armed Forces. Documented and suspected fragging incidents totaled nearly nine hundred from 1969 to 1972.[5]

There were 102,000 Nazis in the Ukrainian military.
They were threatening the regular soldiers with a bullet in the back if they retreated or surrendered.
I have a feeling that “fragging” will gain additional meaning in Ukraine as the average soldier figures out it is time to eliminate the skin heads.

Posted by: GEORGE M CHAMBERLAIN | May 18 2022 23:01 utc | 232

Pagan @195--

Thanks for your reply! The smaller such nations have organized into blocs, like ASEAN and CELAC. They also have close relations with Russia and China and their respective organizations, EAEU and SCO. Plus, there's a large grouping of organizations that aren't as well known because of little media exposure. The recent Boao Forum Summit in Hainan is but one example (Ignore what Wikipedia says about its WEFness). Recall as Lavrov, Putin and Xi constantly remind that the #1 main tenet of the UN Charter is the sovereign equality of nations, which is what attracted most nations to sign the UN Charter. The Unipolar order pushed by the Outlaw US Empire is based on what Orwell portrayed in Animal House--"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." In their Joint Declarations between themselves and in concert with almost all other Global South nations (since 2012 if I'm not mistaken), Russia and China have stressed the utmost importance of the UN Charter at THE only basis for conducting International Relations, which of course is opposed by the Outlaw US Empire. It's only during the last year, since the formation of the Group of Defenders of the UN Charter, that Russian diplomacy and to a lesser degree Chinese diplomacy, has openly denounced the Outlaw US Empire for its non-adherence to the UN Charter--a point I've made umpteen numbers of times during my years commenting here. Every violation of the UN Charter by the Empire is also a direct violation of its own basic law, the US Constitution, a point that neither Russia or China have yet to raise in their rhetoric.

We here in the West see the Information War first-hand since we are its primary targets. Most Global South nations are former colonies and see that War for what it is resulting in few being swayed by it, while more are made aware they must defend themselves against the Empire's Neocolonization attempts. Many have noted the benefits gained by having strength in numbers. And the diplomats at Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs meet with their opposites from different parts of the world daily as detailed at the MFA's website.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 23:07 utc | 233

@: jared 227
Russia has changed the approach to something more cautious and lower cost in dollars and lives.

And I think that others have made the valid point that this is more than an invasion to Russia, it is a drawn-out process toward a different world, a multipolar world, with death by a thousand cuts, where the damage is done much more effectively if it's drawn out, and what's the hurry anyhow? Even the US wanted to allow its Afghanistan involvement for decades, not months (which is all Russia has had so far).

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 18 2022 23:09 utc | 234

A most interesting development.

Stupid is, as stupid does.

Question is how many of these incompetents in government be around next election day?

Truth is stranger than fiction

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 18 2022 23:11 utc | 235

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.

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

Thank you, I was trying to say similar but you did so much better with this succinct comment.
I agree the hoax is the response not the virus, same as the war is real for Russia and Ukraine but the response is an exponential increase in the propaganda to cover the same lying thieving behaviour.

The fact that the virus hits different countries in different ways is not proof it's fake. Here in sunny Australia we had severe measures, lots of cases (albeit testing is questionable) but not many deaths. Personally I think this is down to very low population density, fairly god nutrition, sunshine and fresh air. Its likely the same in Africa and other places with low deaths. China by contrast has very high density population in very large cities, aged people especially would be sitting ducks.

it's a waste of time to concoct a world wide conspiracy to fake a virus when simple observation can see there is a virus that behaves differently in different places and for different age groups.

The actual covid conspiracy is very likely connected to those biolabs. We will see.

Posted by: K | May 18 2022 23:12 utc | 236

to Pagan questionning Karlof:

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 | 195

The age of color revolution is OVER. "small independence minded nations" do not obey anymore. The "rest of the world" IS the world : Asia, Africa, Latin America, 85 percent of mankind, those won't be bullied anymore, they are all tending toward the new kids on the block : Russia, China, Iran, countries that have been humiliated and abused by the "non rest of the world" in differents way, at differents time, exactly like them.

And this is coming with a revenge, and all over the world now is a smell of rejoicing, of schadenfreude, of joie mauvaise..

Posted by: malamatias | May 18 2022 23:13 utc | 237

@aquadraht #228

Is that wink an acknowledgement of my sarcasm?

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 23:28 utc | 238

@Johnny #232

No such thing as the "white race". There's only the human race.

Posted by: fnord | May 18 2022 23:30 utc | 239

malamatias @238--

Yes, that part of the world has acted as suggested by the movie Network; they want the equitable world the UN Charter promised but has been delayed by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals from becoming reality until now. Delegations from Africa and other areas of the Global South go to China and are awed--even Tom Friedman said if you want to see the future go to China. The pathway's been documented so it can be followed. The key is building your nation up from within, which is easier now that institutions finally exist to help in that task, not impede it as those formed by the Outlaw US Empire do continually. An author I read recently was keen to mention demographics and how they're shaping our future. 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 | 240

Ukrop propaganda stunt?

Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin accused of war crimes pleads guilty to killing unarmed Ukrainian civilian — UPDATED ON: MAY 18, 2022 / 7:04 PM / CBS NEWS

The first Russian soldier to face trial for war crimes in Ukraine pleaded guilty on Wednesday to shooting and killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, who was part of a Russian tank unit captured by Ukrainian forces in early March, just days after the war began, faces a possible sentence of life in prison.


"I was ordered to shoot," Shishimarin said in a confession video shown last week by prosecutors, which appeared to have been edited by Ukrainian authorities. "I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept on going."

Posted by: Nervous German | May 18 2022 23:39 utc | 241

There is a lot of research and technology on free energy |, but it is suppressed and kept secret for ordinary people in the street. They do not want you to know that one can drive the car on clean water. Hydrogen thought for the future after this battery time which is also just a step on the road. Sorry for this bad English I use.

Posted by: bjerre bjeff | May 18 2022 23:50 utc | 242

Question is how many of these incompetents in government be around next election day?

Truth is stranger than fiction

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 18 2022 23:11 utc | 236

All of them. In fact, they'll be the only options on the ballots.

Posted by: malenkov | May 18 2022 23:50 utc | 243

Posted by: Nervous German | May 18 2022 23:39 utc | 242

That'd have to be the world record for quickest war crimes trial in history.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 23:51 utc | 244

Tom_Q_Collins | May 18 2022 21:21 utc | 198

"Hombres Armados," or "Men with Guns," is another Sayles xlnt film...

Posted by: donten | May 18 2022 23:51 utc | 245

Posted by: Opport Knocks | May 18 2022 22:03 utc | 217

Indeed. Most gas plants (in the US) are piston engines rather than turbines. Pretty much ship engines tuned for natural gas and bolted to the floor. Most can also run fuel oil as emergency backup.

Posted by: Lex | May 18 2022 23:53 utc | 246

Extra! Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Actual dissent voiced today in US Congress:

"When I hear the majority leader of the other party say ‘a time of war’...I’m wondering when we voted to go to war?” Roy said.

“If we're gonna have a proxy war, and we're gonna give $40 billion to Ukraine, because we want to look all fancy with our blue and yellow ribbons and feel good about ourselves, maybe we should actually have a debate in this chamber,” he continued.

Unfortunately, as shown by the twitter pic, the Chamber appeared to be empty at the time of his objections. Oh so very typical of what passes for our national government.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18 2022 23:56 utc | 247

Nervous German | May 18 2022 23:39 utc | 242

"Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin accused of war crimes pleads guilty to killing unarmed Ukrainian civilian"

I assume Russia will insist he be part of any prisoner exchange.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 18 2022 23:57 utc | 248

Marc Freeman | May 18 2022 20:57 utc | 184

"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. They are noted as very strong energetic water dogs used by hunters to retrieve..."

I really know little about poodles. My crack stems from the longstanding practice of calling the UK a US poodle. But I'm happy to add the disclaimer that my comment isn't intended to resemble or impugn actual poodles.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 18 2022 23:58 utc | 249

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

The US' reserves are infinite because it can print infinitely more USD/Treasuries.
Only if other countries stop accepting dollars, will this change - and I see no evidence of that.

No evidence? Why is inflation so high in the US? Answer: other countries are refusing to accept dollars as readily.

In the past, countries overseas would sweat hard to make real products and export them to the US. The US would merely print some dollars to "pay" for the goods. Therefore there was no inflation in the center of imperium: the new dollars were soaked up by the economic growth of other countries.

(The apparatchiks of the Biden administration weren't actually lying when they claimed the inflation caused by newly printed $trillions was only "transitory". They were probably hoping that the other countries would continue to be suckers for dollars.)

The inflation in the US is a flashing warning sign that other countries are no longer willing to accept as many dollars as before. Newly printed dollars stay in the US, causing high inflation.

In addition, after $300 billion got stolen from Russia, countries around the world are dumping their dollar savings, running to a safer store of value. (They aren't dumping it all at once, as doing so would completely destroy the value of their dollar savings. Nevertheless they are dumping it.) The abandonment adds to the amount of US currency washing around inside the US; this increases inflation as well.

You say there's no evidence that other countries are abandoning the US dollar? Here's your evidence.

Posted by: Cyril | May 19 2022 0:00 utc | 250

Posted by: Seer | May 18 2022 15:47 utc | 51

It is not just the stolen money.

Contemplate the number of stolen lives, the dreams destroyed, the democracies undermined, the vuelos de la muerte, people flung from helicopters into the vastness of the Pacific in support of American interests, the Abu Ghraib victims, the Iraqi children with birth deformities from DU munitions, the endless line of ghosts resulting from American imperialism.


Posted by: Sushi | May 19 2022 0:03 utc | 251

Her replacement is incapable of adult conversation. Oldhippie (81)

As an alumni of NYIT where she went, finishing up just a year before she went, taking the same degree with the same professors, I must support that view. When I saw her two weeks ago with the Red, I was ultimately surprised but bummed out after I reviewed her professional history. Better-skilled public affairs folks have come out of Old Westbury...;)

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 19 2022 0:04 utc | 252

@ K | May 18 2022 22:35 utc | 225

Thanks for your Kingsolver faves. Her novels may not be a good fit for transcription to film, in general, I dunno. Another favorite of mine, Luis Alberto Urrea, has written some classics ("The Hummingbird's Daughter", "Into the Beautiful North") a scriptwriter could work with, imho. Alas, the art of film has putrified into a burping stream of superhero rubbish, so there's no room anymore for exceptional storytellers.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 19 2022 0:06 utc | 253

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 18 2022 22:41 utc | 229

Interesting. I’ll admit to not being any sort of expert but have read several articles discussing the issues raised by its current weight, as opposed to the original design weight. The one linked says it’s almost too heavy for US pontoon bridges. A different article mentions load limits of E European bridges being lower.

Posted by: Lex | May 19 2022 0:07 utc | 254

It is obvious that future history books will look over the first quarter of the 21st Century using the speeches and statements of the leaders of each nation. These words are indelible thanks to the Internet. Not filtered through controlled Academia and Entertainment Culture. Their timelines equally so.

We in the ‘Collective Waste’ have been denied the unbiased reporting of such statements including some of our own Opposition.

In this particular episode we will have the script that ‘elensky spouted, sometimes obviously tired and emotional, but with the self assurance of a Hollywood gangster coke head. Or is that a cock head?
We will have any amount of histrionics by our own clown posh clown Bozo equally no stranger to a knife a fork a bottle and a cork.
The demented old guards of the US presidencies being the lead rock stars of a parody band nature - turned up to eleven.

When we read Putins words to his own people or the rest of the world or even charitably to us directly, as a few days ago, we will see that WE were culpable and complicit just as the dumb Germans were nearly a century ago to be taken in by their Nazis. Who were equally foisted by the Imperial West.

Not just Actions but Words will through that hindsight show how dumbed down we were. As the Human Race finally moved towards a collective responsibility for Life on Earth and beyond. As is happening by the great Chinese adventures on the far side of the moon and with their Mars mission. The Russians having led in the C20th and still superior compared to the insane private buccaneering of the pirate sensibilities of our own efforts. What a Waste of a century!

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 0:09 utc | 255

Ps on the current state of the woes of Ukrainians it is good that many units are ‘mutinying’ by refusing to be mullered whilst the clowns call the tunes from a long long way from any harm at all. Denazification by the Ukrainian forces against the crazies who would love to see them all sacrificed as some absurd parody of Stalingrad, without the iconic turning point of attack, in these surrounded next cauldrons.

They will surrender or just drop their weapons and walk home, leaving the Nazi idiots to choose death over a life they can’t control but can’t bear to live as just any other human being not elevated by their stupid skin tone.

We really don’t need future generations to be as blinkered and dumb as that do we ?

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 19 2022 0:16 utc | 256

Finnian Cunningham interviews Russell Bentley. An excerpt:

Question: There have been muted admissions in Western media that the United States is supplying intelligence to help the Kiev regime forces to target Russian troops. Have you seen much evidence of the U.S. and NATO providing intelligence to enable Kiev military operations?

Russell Bentley: Yes. The U.S., along with their EU and NATO henchmen, have had complete political, economic and military control over Ukraine since 2014. Every dead civilian and soldier, every person crippled for life, every blown-up or burned-down house, every psychologically traumatized child, every hungry, homeless dog and cat, on both sides, are absolutely and primarily the criminal responsibility of the genuine Nazis who own and control the U.S., EU, and Ukrainian regimes, and their militaries. The entire Ukraine war, ongoing since 2014 is in reality a proxy war of Western fascism against Russia, because Russia is the main obstacle to their objective of world domination.

The U.S. and NATO have had their Special Forces and highly trained mercenaries (including ISIS terrorists) in Ukraine since 2014. I can confirm this personally. The provision of intelligence to Ukraine from satellite, AWACS, drones, ELINT and SIGINT is a major force multiplier, as is the provision of expert advisors and instructors who also have been directly involved in frontline combat operations since 2014, which I can also personally confirm. The provision of multi-billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammo, along with Western orders to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian”, lays bare the Western Nazis’ intent to leave Ukraine an irrecoverably failed state, just as they have done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen among other countries. Ukraine is currently under genuine foreign Nazi occupation, absolutely no less than it was from 1941 to 1943. The Ukrainian army today does not “defend” Ukraine, it deliberately destroys it, on behalf of a foreign and genuinely fascist regime that controls Ukraine from Kiev, but is actually based in Washington, London and Brussels. And Tel Aviv.

Without U.S. and NATO’s continuing support, Ukraine’s quisling regime would have already surrendered, the war would have ended, and thousands of lives would have been spared. So the absolute moral, legal and practical responsibility for the start, escalation, and continuation of this war lies with them. Russia doesn’t start wars, we finish them. And we will finish this one as well, victoriously, one way or another. It is up to our enemies in the U.S. and NATO to decide how much destruction and suffering they will cause Ukraine before their inevitable political de-nazification and military defeat.

The man's quite blunt, yet such honesty is refreshing despite what's revealed. The interview is long and at the end reveals an integrity that's absent from almost all the West and much of the world, but not from Russell. You'll eventually be faced with the visual that goes with his question, “What are you going to do about it?” If Clint Eastwood were an honest man, he'd make an honest movie about Russell Bentley.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2022 0:18 utc | 257


He would not have said this unless the chamber were empty.

Posted by: malenkov | May 19 2022 0:20 utc | 258

There is great risk of US/Russia war near the end of Biden's term.

To ensure that successor will be constrained.

Posted by: jared | May 18 2022 15:32 utc | 43

They'll have to stick LANDCOM somewhere other than Mariupol.

I suggest Warsaw.

Posted by: John Kennard | May 19 2022 0:33 utc | 259

@224 Sushi: Blam! Nice work.

@Aleph Null: Re: last thread, "Tom, you are a concern troll, and btw, Way Too Polite!"

Let me preface these remarks by stating: you are quite intelligent, well read, articulate, well-meaning. The perfect MoA barfly.

Now, lest you think I'm being too polite....

I objected to a drive-by character assassination by ce. I don't know ce, and I don't know his motivation. Should I jump on him with both feet, or should I consider:

a. all the times I over-reacted to a stimulus (mistook intent, method, reason...etc.)
b. I don't know ce's motivation. Maybe you know it, but at the moment, I don't.
c. That it's a bad idea to create enemies when it's avoidable, and maybe totally inappropriate.
d. That ce may have thought he's doing the bar a service (calling out sham)

Allow me to tell a story that's illustrative. I own a farm. A while back, we bought some donkeys - Mammoth Jackstock, a breed that's about as big as a horse. While we had them, I observed some very interesting conflict-management behaviors they exhibited. At the point of conflict (competition for food, reaction to threat, etc. ) they went through the following behavioral litany:

ears back (signaling that biting is about to commence, get those vulnerable ears out of the way)
biting. First a nip
biting. Major chomp!
turn rear quarters toward interloper (signaling that kicks are imminent)
kick - low intensity. glancing blow to non-fatal point
kick - high intensity, fatal location

Note that donkeys, like horses, have 300-degree peripheral vision (eyes on side of head). They have exquisite balance (four feet on-ground), are extremely powerful (hind-quarters image comes to mind) and have rock-hard, sharp hooves. If they want to duff you out, they can easily do it. It's been known to happen.

Principle: escalation sequence. Note that donkeys, like horses, have evolved over millions of years in prey-predator and social-group settings. These behaviors are still extant because "they work". Damned good conflict resolution mechanism.

Note also that these same behaviors are resident in (masterful) humans. "If you won't talk to Lavrov, you'll talk to Shiogu." There are many gradations of escalation between Lavror (who is polite) and Shiogu (who isn't).

Lately some of the MoA posters are decrying the pace and method of the Russian conduct of the SMO. Too slow. Not severe enough. Holding back.

Putin's team is trying to _not_ create enemies (kick to the head) unless absolutely necessary. The Russians understand that like Ukraine, the E.U. is currently under the spell of forces that may not endure. Better to stay cool, apply gradual pressure, and provide ample opportunity for cooler, wiser heads to prevail.

As I evaluated your response to my apparent "concern trolling", I thought "This guy is smart. Maybe he just got an overdose of PC smarm at some some other website, and is just suffering from bile-reflex (barf)".

Now I _could_ have said: Aleph, you're a dork. You spent several posts last thread decrying "concern" posts, and ... your posts were "concern " posts. Concern about concern posting. You are what you decry.

Or I could have said "how the hell do you have time to email your friends about objectionable politeness exhibited by other posters??" WTF? Do you not have anything else to do?"

But I didn't.

Now, about that emotion, and the idea of "channeling anger" which you mentioned up-thread. I have no problem with anger. It's a perfectly appropriate response to theft, to intimidation, to lying, and all the other annoying tricks we're subjected to. We agree on that. The question is "how to respond".

That donkey story is actually quite applicable. I'm pretty sure you'd not argue that somehow donkeys have been socialized to repress anger. So how come a creature with that many years of evolution under its belt uses an escalation policy?

I submit: because it works.

I have used fast-escalation (jump to severe response early) many times. Mostly it does more damage than good. If I have to do Shiogu, better to make sure it's actually required. Fewer enemies created, and enemies are expensive.

The Chinese have / employ an infinite number of indirections, feints, dissimulations ... anything but direct combat if it's at all avoidable. Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is all about ... not-war. If you have to go to war, you're inept. That's what he teaches.

China is a _very_ old, very experienced, very wise culture. As I mentioned up-thread, they presided over the biggest wealth-transfer event in recorded history ... without firing a shot. That's statecraft.

Best wishes.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 19 2022 0:50 utc | 261

to jared | May 18 2022 15:35 utc | 48
"US will need to seize reserves of another country."

now who could that possibly be? Hmmmmmmmm

could that nation's name begin with a C?
and be one of those nations in Asia which the US is constantly badgering and provoking?
And have well over $1 trillion in US reserves, not to mention hundreds of billions in other assets floating around....

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 19 2022 1:00 utc | 262

I actually prefer that the most credible sources I look to do not agree in all things: Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Douglas MacGregor, Scott Ritter, Nightvision, Jacques Baud, Bernard, Jacob Dreizen, Brian Berletic, Andrei Raevsky, & Andrei Martyanov each stand to see or emphasize something that the others may not.

The Duran in their persuasive way were expressing concerns at least consistent with Scott's. That Russia under Putin has been cautious to a fault. One relevant, credible case where this may be justified is in not securing Russian-speaking Ukraine after the coup. This would not have given the UkroNATO 8 years to dig in, infest the cities, etc. In hindsight, given that the West goes full retard anyway, it might have been preferable to act then, even if Russia were not ready to extend the battle beyond Donbass.

But Russia under Putin is also known for waiting, choosing the moment, and then doing something unexpected, often with considerable economy of means or resources. Syria. Thus the judo tropes.

Gonzalo Lira said something interesting the other day: the Russians are keeping it boring, when the US in particular craves drama.

It occurs to me that rather than speeding things up, Russia may actually be slowing things down.

Russia now clearly acknowledges that NATO is engaged in a total war against Russia. Very unlikely that RF strategic planners are not now taking this into account.

Though of course there are many things the neocon crazies and their EU handmaidens could try, I notice that the Poland / Romania / Moldova / Transnistria chatter has cooled after Putin said they would experience sensations in their nether parts they had never before felt.

But why slow things down?
Not sure to what degree Russian strategists imagined that they'd have 83% public approval, the ruble as an instrument of EU torture, falling inflation, falling interest rates, and the most superb asset of enemies whose incompetence and emotional stability are revealing themselves every day.

Do not interrupt your enemy when they are making mistakes. And while EU / NATO / West is being revealed to the world for what it is--and remember, this is not just a question of Russian and Western audiences--the multipolar world is watching and learning.

Gulf States, Algeria, India, Iran, Latin America, Africa, ASEAN, and of course China supportive, and even Turkey has been less of a headache than expected.

Russian history or war has long involved General Winter, but right now we are preparing for the arrival of General Summer. In the West: inflation but also scarcity--something most have never experienced. Baby formula, food, fertilizer, diesel...A a considerable proportion of the China supply chain.

The West is being gutted--largely in the self-inflicted sense. Ukrainian refugees & the Zelensky spoiled teen routine are already wearing thin. At least half of the Western population was alienated before this started, and 40 billion USD tranches, & Hunter Biden trials, & WHO / WEF chicanery are adding fuel to the fire.

If as Smoothie says, there are vast decision trees of contingencies--on one small branch almost out of sight until now, was the possibility that Russia would find itself in a moment where it could break the West down--financially, economically, politically, diplomatically.

To settle the Ukraine question and go back to a Cold War risks giving the West a chance to analyze Russia with respect rather than blind contempt, and perhaps the next round of leaders will not be quite so incompetent.

Perhaps, to the extent that circumstances prove propitious, they may be prepared to crank the pain dial for years. Perhaps for 'threatening' or 'belligerent' countries -- only physical gold for Russian products, and perhaps bans and third-party agreements not to sell strategic materials to these countries at all: titanium, uranium, nickel, aluminum, copper, neon & noble gases, food, fertilizer....

Posted by: Paul Damascene | May 19 2022 1:01 utc | 263

Tom @ 262

Damn man, that is profound. I have seriosly under estimated you. I'll pay more attention in the future.


Posted by: David F | May 19 2022 1:01 utc | 264

reg Flying Dutchman @ comment 4

At the end of the Second World War, Germany surrendered but did not conclude a peace treaty. On November 27, 1958, the Western states were urged by the Soviet Union to conclude a peace treaty with Germany, together with the Soviet Union, which would eliminate the remnants of the war and normalise the situation. The West opposed this. The occupation status of the USA, the Soviet Union and other allies remained in place - until today. And the U.S. in particular continues to perform its de facto occupying role to the best of its ability. Germany is not and will not remain sovereign as long as the country does not defend itself against this status and takes a deeply peaceful position in the international community of states.

Posted by: Ted | May 19 2022 1:07 utc | 265

FWIW, I avoid vesting success of any one enterprise in any one individual. The beauty of the text is universal application of its rules to scale. Likewise the SWOT rubric systematically reconciles expectations and objectives. Here is an audio book, in review:
> rivers
> terrain
> spies
> Laying Plans

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Posted by: sln2002 | May 19 2022 1:15 utc | 266

"I was surprised by the stupidity of regular people. It's not that I was expecting mass riots, but some sort of protests I did expect, especially in Germany."

Posted by: rk | May 18 2022 14:34 utc | 11

Actual laws were quickly passed in some places to ban anti-NATO/pro-Rus demonstrations or at least hinder them and make them legally hazardous, and that's not even counting the extra-legal oppressions.

"Too much money, too much free time, brainwashing and not enough school :)) "

Posted by: rk | May 18 2022 14:34 utc | 11

Or too much "school," studiously ignoring logic while swallowing year after year of assertion/"expertise"/authority, not to mention the more abstruse your world the more alienated from everyday reality.

I don't see American college-grads standing valiantly against the propaganda-flood anywhere.

Posted by: John Kennard | May 19 2022 1:15 utc | 267

>>>>: SCan | May 18 2022 19:11 utc | 120

Ukrainian roads and highways remain strangely open, fully operational and, apparently, with diesel and gasoline available.
Reports elsewhere suggest that Ukraine is short of road fuel (diesel and petrol) with Poland about to supply Ukraine with 33,000,000 litres of petrol. Most of Ukraine's military vehicles run on diesel so a bit strange if it is all petrol.
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 fight the Russians! There must be a logic in all this.
Political warfare. Inducing eastern Ukrainians including some ethnic Ukrainians to want to separate from western Ukraine and persuade western Ukrainians that the best way to maintain what they have is too split the country in two.

Will we see green buses relocating ethnic Ukrainians to western Ukraine?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 19 2022 1:24 utc | 268

An article well worth reading and the first in a promised series is this:
It traces in some detail the special relationship that the Canadian government has developed over the past eighty years with Ukrainian Nazi collaborators. A relationship culminating in the deputy Premiership of Chrystia Freeland.
Every Canadian should read and share this series.

As the article ends:
"..This article’s subsequent parts will examine the actions and ideology of the Ukrainian fascist allies of Hitler to whom Canadian imperialism gave refuge after World War II. This will include a review of the pro-Nazi propaganda and anti-Semitic exhortations of Krakivs’ki Visti (a) and the political activities of its publishers, as well as the record of Bandera’s OUN (B) and UPA. The fourth part will document the support the Canadian state gave the Ukrainian fascists in covering up their participation in ethnic-cleansing and genocide, and in developing a large infrastructure of cultural and academic organizations dedicated to promoting far-right Ukrainian nationalism. “Canadian imperialism’s fascist friends” will go on to discuss the role the far-right forces incubated by Canadian imperialism played in pressing for capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and “independent” Ukraine’s transformation into a vassal of the Western imperialist powers. It will conclude with an exposure of how Ottawa and the Canadian Armed Forces worked with these far-right forces, in both Canada and Ukraine, in preparing and instigating war with Russia."

Note (a) Krakivs’ki Visti was the only Ukrainian language newspaper published by the Nazi regime in Poland. Its editor was Freeland's grandfather who lived in Canada until 1983. Freeland has always lied to the effect that her grandfather fled Poland in 1939 when the Nazi-Soviet pact was signed.

Posted by: bevin | May 19 2022 1:34 utc | 269

Re: US trade balance
The US has to run a negative trade balance because the dollar is a global reserve currency. Look up "Triffen dilemma" for details. Of course the negative trade balance can and likely has been overdone to the detriment of the US.

Posted by: pls | May 19 2022 1:34 utc | 270

China is a _very_ old, very experienced, very wise culture. As I mentioned up-thread, they presided over the biggest wealth-transfer event in recorded history ... without firing a shot. That's statecraft.
Best wishes.
Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 19 2022 0:50 utc | 262

Thank you that was a very enjoyable post to read and I heartily agree.
The name calling in the bar does seem to wax and wane, sometimes I wonder if its like a collective pressure valve that just needs to burst every now and then since the topics here are often intense. In case this is true I now try to not take anything too personally for the reasons you so eloquently shared.

Posted by: K | May 19 2022 1:40 utc | 271

I didn't realize Ukraine ramped up shelling to that level before the war began. If you are trying to find that information in the Western media, it's like looking for miracles.

Posted by: Prometheus | May 19 2022 1:54 utc | 272

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

-a short testimony from one who survived the bug and my deep dives.

SMO a hoax? Negative.

I hope RF wins as soon as able, but like the greedy (MIC) mob, once they have you, they will always try and keep you in...and is that the strategic reason for NATO pressing Finland to join? Having been to Finland three times, and a former armor guy, that long "strategic" border location screams MIC trillions in near-future contracts.

CV19/jabs a hoax? Negative.

Patents speak to a decades-long plan. As to what that plan is, well, if nukes start flying (the ultimate distraction from a mass-dieoff), yes, depopulation was it, but was not working fast enough.

The jab cocktails NOT killing and disabling millions? Negative.

Huge surge in Life Insurance payouts, untold millions "leaving the U.S. workforce" since last August, and funeral home directors sharing stories of huge surges in deaths all speak to this.

Kutcher tied to Moderna as was Trump with J&J...and yes, even the fatcat at the helm of Gamaleya in Moscow are all up to their necks in insider profiteering at the least and depopulation at the worst.

VVP a depop guy? I say njet!

But, like DJT, there could be a lot of devious goings-on below him at the jab profiteering (or worse) level. Many RF states have actual jab coercion policies in place now. Same kooky crap as some U.S. states do. Tolstoy in the Duma is spearheading legislation that make me think he's been on the phone with Governors' Abbot or DeSantis for advice.

World governments compliant as a group of depop conspiraters?
Well, how many here at the bar have pointed out for years how many nations "fall in line" (or else) with D.C.?

Well, o.k. I was skeptical for months in early 2020...does anyone here recall during very early February 2020 "we're all in this together" infomercial featuring 14 world leaders, all speaking the same script?
How about how fast those social distancing feet stickers appeared on the floors of just about every place people go every day?
The governors of NY, Michigan, and Rhode Island stuffing tens of thousands of nursing home retirees into "special cv19 treatment homes set up just for them" which ultimately killed a huge swath of them...

A popular awakening?
Not likely. Why not? "cellphone entertainment utopia"

Those of us now in "the know" about the jab apocalypse seem to be just laying low, prepping, helping inform folks when they will listen beyond msm, and even relocating. I relocated my family out of eastern europe last month in part because...

My un-jabbed immediate family and I got the full effect of spike protein viral shedding from hundreds of freshly jabbed college kids while in Sarajevo late last year, and were days away from dying. A private clinic doc in Tuzla saved our lives using (on his own) the ZPak treatment. Myocarditis. Ya just don't want to end up with it.

So, is the plandemic somehow connected to the SMO? I say not intentionally, but the SMO could be getting exploited by the Western media to "not pay attention if therexseems to be less traffic than usual on the way to work."

All I can surmise for now is the bizzare media timing regarding jab and masking and lockup requirements quickly were relaxed during the first two weeks of the SMO. And, both VVP and Biden began ramping up cv19 pills for kids during the first week of March. Some product launch event timings can't be dismissed easily.

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 19 2022 1:59 utc | 273

Nervous German | May 18 2022 23:39 utc | 242
and as at Fallujah, Samarrah, in Palestine, and for the youth of the world, there is no such thing as a "non-combatant." the Western media has intentionally attempted to turn *every person without exception* in Ukraine (and the world, in fact) into a gun-toting, cocktail throwing soldier. a Nazi soldier.

i know two people personally with moderate to severe autism and other "behavioral disorders," (alcoholism, e.g.) both over the age of 45, one obese, who don't recognize themselves as "non-combatants." such is the tom clancy avengercize "my disability check is putin's fault" video game fantasy world many americans live in. it's a symptom of the homelessness of people in the US, so alienated and lost in the "greatest country in human history" that fighting in Ukraine actually looks appealing.

partly because this country is so unbelievably boring. they'll break out of their programmed tediousness by the wholly novel activity of war with Russia! see new lands, visit ancient civilizations...and destroy them. oh, how courage is to be found, in a foreign land. what heroism.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | May 19 2022 1:59 utc | 274

Posted by: Quanah | May 18 2022 16:01 utc | 58

I suspect that China's current shut-down of industrial production in so many cities is the biggest ongoing geopolitical event right now and, as you point out, being ignored.
That said, it is being done in coordination with the Ukraine SMO and really both are part of the same overall Eurasia-vs-West conflict.

The winner gets to have a good century upcoming. The loser doesn't - at least for a while.

If Europe-US collapse badly maybe that will finally break the stranglehold America (BIS) holds on Europe (also now BIS) and Europe will have the gumption to chart their own course. If they choose to join Eurasia they'll have a great century too.

And if Amerika kicks the Empire habit and becomes a normal country again finally, even THEY might have a great century too.

Sometimes you have to destroy first in order to build. Come to think of it that's what happens for me Monday: knocking down an old structure before building the new.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 2:04 utc | 275

sln2002 | May 19 2022 1:15 utc | 266
yawn. build enough potemkin villages and you'll believe them your own self. look at the F35. it's so funny to listen to people blabbering on about war as deception, while not acknowledging that the practice of lying renders one incapable of discerning the truth and thus more easy to defeat.

look at the US. who in any part of the US leadership knows the difference between the truth and a lie? about anything? in fact, the quote you pulled sounds exactly like something Maximus Pompeius would say, to disorient and confuse the subject populace of the US. anybody saying these kinds of things (incl Pompass himself) should be in a mental hospital, prison, or dead.


Posted by: rjb1.5 | May 19 2022 2:05 utc | 276

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | May 18 2022 16:03 utc | 60

"For various good reasons, you may disagree with my suggested solution. Fine. Let the engineers work it out. I believe they can.

The broad framing of the situation, and the general solution of being able to walk away from a bad deal is likely to be self-evident."

I agree that your broad framing is good: Germany needs to be able to stand on her own and be able to walk away from either US or Germany or EU or all.

As for a universally desired product I suggest the German Secret Service get Viktor Schauberger's designs which they took from him shortly after WW II shortly after which he died. Viktor studies the properties of water as a young forester looking after huge forests his family had worked in for several hundred years. (That terrible old feudal system with its terrible old aristocrats!). To his lifelong regret he developed a unique system for transporting huge logs from these ancient growth forests up and down Bavarian mountain ranges using no more than cleverly shaped wooden canals which made the water vortex regularly enough that they could actually transport huge logs up large mountains with the power of water alone - no pumps etc. Sounds impossible but he did it.

Years later he developed farming implements and other goodies but the crown was the invention of an implosion (versus combustion engine which explodes). Think the power of water going down a drain. Harness that power to turn cranks or whatever whilst using vortex (vacuum) power to bring water back up to top of engine and then descend again to again create the going down the drain power. Nothing is being consumed and yet energy is being generated.

So go find those old designs. Bring the technology back alive. Then let Germany rock!

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 2:18 utc | 277

Tom Pfotzer | May 19 2022 0:50 utc | 262

I appreciated your explanation of the dispute resolution process in donkeys. I too have a lifetime experience with the way that equines deal with each other = and humans.

Eyes on the side of the head is characteristic of prey animals as opposed to predators like humans, eagles and tigers with eyes facing forward. Of course that vision for a prey animal provides the means to visually detect a predator behind it which combines with all the other senses such as hearing and smelling which help the prey to avoid danger. All prey animals prefer to run away from danger which means early detection is the best way to avoid a predator. Only when trapped with no escape does the prey resort to fighting back.

The Russian response under Putin to the all too evident danger signs of an imminent attack on it by the Empire of Lies has been very similar to that of equines as Tom Pfotzer explained. Unfortunately it seems to have been interpreted as a sign of weakness which is a big mistake by the Empire. There is a big pack of hyenas lined up on the side of Empire, no one of them game enough to take on Russia on their own.

Once Russia has finished with Severodonetsk it will be interesting to see how enthusiastic the Empire pack will be to continue the hunt. A few kicks to the head will be needed I suspect but this donkey will get rid of the pack one hyena at a time.

Posted by: Cyberhorse | May 19 2022 2:26 utc | 278

look at the US. who in any part of the US leadership knows the difference between the truth and a lie? about anything?
Certainly if you're talking about the vermin inhabiting the US Capitol Building! There we have any number of life forms whose waking hours are spent hitting up lobbyists and potential donors for money. Even if there were the least bit inclined to inform themselves on world affairs -- and most of them are not so inclined -- they would simply lack the time to do so. This includes -- well, especially includes the Fraud Squad, althougb one of them might know where Palestine should be.

It would not surprise me in the least if the average Congresscritter were no better at finding the Ukraine on a map than the average decorticated US citizen.

Posted by: malenkov | May 19 2022 2:28 utc | 279

The age of color revolution is OVER. "small independence minded nations" do not obey anymore...

Posted by: malamatias | May 18 2022 23:13 utc | 238

You may be right, but we cannot be sure yet. Stubborn national leaders who refused to submit to foreigners were killed or deposed in coups many times in the past. Colour revolutions were devised as a politically more acceptable way of getting rid of them. In all these cases corrupt local elites were ready to step in and take over. But these were always the extreme cases, used when most other methods were tried and failed. These other methods are still preferable, as we see so clearly today. Why bother to spend time and money on organizing a coup or a colour revolution (allegedly $5 billion in case of Ukraine) when it is much more practical to buy (or blackmail) these local elites and install them in power to do your bidding. Just look at the anglo world, EU countries and now Pakistan. No, I don't think we've seen the last of colour revolutions yet.

Posted by: Pagan | May 19 2022 2:32 utc | 280

Posted by: Oldhippie | May 18 2022 17:19 utc | 81

"On the other side Lavrov and Putin are consistently brilliant. The entire supporting cast appear as capable adults."

Indeed... well said.

(And yet many keep agonizing that Russia is losing the information war....)

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 2:33 utc | 281

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 18 2022 19:23 utc | 130v
"How could NATO have been so carefully preparing the provocation, without realizing the potential potency of Russia's response?"

The US and NATO were more interested in what they thought they would gain rather than do contingency planning. As Martyanov says, none of these people know anything about operational planning. His video on "Operational Art" from the other day goes into this in detail. I located the slides from the talk by Milan Vego that he referenced in his video and downloaded them.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 2:35 utc | 282

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 | 174

Drop a LOT of highly-interesting banking and even more lurid info off at Wikileaks?

Posted by: John Kennard | May 19 2022 2:36 utc | 283

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

Martyanov responded to Scott's notions today on his blog.

On My Brief Response To Scott Ritter.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 2:37 utc | 284

k1 @ 258; Thanks for the Bentley snippet. A truth that'll never be heard by the masses...

Posted by: vetinLA | May 19 2022 2:43 utc | 285

Ted | May 19 2022 1:07 utc | 265

"The occupation status of the USA, the Soviet Union and other allies remained in place - until today. And the U.S. in particular continues to perform its de facto occupying role to the best of its ability. Germany is not and will not remain sovereign as long as the country does not defend itself against this status..."

The reason the Germans utterly fail to defend themselves on the most basic Darwinian level and assert themselves to shake free of imperial occupation is as I said, they lack the psychological and spiritual capacity to do so, perhaps even to think the idea of self-agency. Otherwise they would have years ago.

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 19 2022 2:46 utc | 286

@Posted by: Norwegian | May 18 2022 18:03

How about the 15 million corpses?

I also really love the idea that people like Fauci are pushing covid hysteria. In reality our leaders can't wait to pretend the pandemic is over, when it's anything but. If you actually want to hate our leaders for something valid, hate them for abandoning us to death and long-covid.

You should love them, frankly, if you think covid is a hoax or its dangers overstated.

Posted by: Ben | May 19 2022 2:51 utc | 287

rjb1.5 | May 19 2022 1:59 utc | 274

"...and for the youth of the world, there is no such thing as a "non-combatant." the Western media has intentionally attempted to turn *every person without exception* in Ukraine (and the world, in fact) into a gun-toting, cocktail throwing soldier. a Nazi soldier."

From the earliest days of the war I saw how many regular civilians were determined to serve as volunteer propagandists to whatever extent their social media etc. visibility would allow. It struck me how they seemed determined to obliterate the very concept of a "non-combatant" (propagandists are combatants) and validate the most extreme vision of total war, as if in preparation for an imminent nuclear exchange (which, clearly, many millions are lusting for, if only subconsciously).

Posted by: Flying Dutchman | May 19 2022 2:52 utc | 288

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

"we have the perfect melding of top-down malice and propaganda with bottom-up mass spiritual and psychological decay" - that about sums it up - thx - a "perfect" storm indeed

Posted by: ianMoone | May 19 2022 2:56 utc | 289

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

I believe covid was real, however every country threw out the usual medical response to impose totalitarian restrictions that have never been regarded as effective. We have survived nasty flus like this before and will again.

Many feed their confirmation bias of falling for the lie by refusing to read updated literature clearly showing the response was a fraud and the vaxxes ranging from useless to dangerous, albeit stunningly profitable to stakeholders.

I note Russia has implicated our beloved vax manufacturer billionaires in the bioweapon research labs, just a coincidence if course.

Posted by: Organic | May 19 2022 2:56 utc | 290

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

"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."

Pray tell. I always thought that was a boneheaded talking point by political shills....

Posted by: Scorpion | May 19 2022 3:06 utc | 291

malenkov @ 277

One of the joys of reading here is that I sometimes have to look up the definition of a word that is not often used. I looked up "decorticated", but it is not clear to me what you meant in this context.

Can you dumb it down a little?

Thanks in advance.


Posted by: David F | May 19 2022 3:19 utc | 292

If you look at the daily reports of the SMM, an example of which you provide above for 18 and 19 February, the number of explosions is somewhat less than you report, between 1,200 and 1,600 per day, and for preceding days in February, the explosions numbered typically in the hundreds, not thousands, per day. Not good though.

Posted by: Pearce Tournier | May 19 2022 3:36 utc | 293

Posted by: Norwegian

I have yet to see real world evidence that "Covid" is as deadly as is claimed.

I also see the zombie like behavior of people regarding that issue as well as with "ukraine". Both happened to me personally in communication with people I have known for a long time and which are generally no fools.

Well, maybe covid is not as deadly as is claimed because of measures that have been taken all around the world.

I know people who believed covid was real but instantly refused the Ukrainian narrative.
I know people who believed covid was a hoax but are now crying for poor Ukrainians.
I know all kind of people.

Stirring covid and Ukraine in the same pot gives a bad broth.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | May 19 2022 3:46 utc | 294

@ Tom Pfotzer | May 19 2022 0:50 utc | 262

thanks tom.. that was another insightful post from you...

@ 269 bevin... thanks for the wsws article on the ukraine - canada connections...

@ 282 richard... thanks... the video inside smoothies link sums up some of the dynamic here.. fascinating.

Posted by: james | May 19 2022 3:59 utc | 295

Heh, listening to my prepper guy, Canadian Prepper, right now talking about current events. He notes that Ukraine has again stated that they want more weapons and NATO support so they can "recapture their territories", and even he understands that this means Russia has to go all the way to Lviv. He decides there are only two outcomes possible here: 1) Russia gets Ukraine and NATO says, "OK, we'll go fight some other way (probably Iran he says and I agree), and 2) WWIII.

Meanwhile everyone else is saying that 1) Russia can't control Ukraine (due to their failure of imagination), or "Russia doesn't want to" (which is irrelevant to the need to do so) or "Russia doesn't need to", which is just wrong.

He ends by recommending everyone buy the body armor he's selling. He's right. Best investment you can make for the future - along with the guns to go with it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 4:11 utc | 296

Ritter did another interview with Garland Nixon, which I downloaded. I'm almost dreading listening to it... I'll watch Gonzola and Mercouris first.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2022 4:12 utc | 297

@ 295 richard.. lol... man up!

Posted by: james | May 19 2022 4:17 utc | 298

*My* not-so-brief response to confused Scott Ritter followers and Andrei Martyanov's brief response:

1. Do not, under any circumstances, underestimate the extreme US/ZATO psychopathic obsession with destroying Russia. That's not my prediction of any such eventuality, but it should be (IMHO) understood by everyone that the US/ZATO will not stop trying. There *is* nothing regarding an end state for Ukraine/Russia to negotiate.

2. Zelensky, his Ukraine ultra-nationalist SS and the SBU Gestapo were convenient *opportunities* towards #1. They have all proven incompetent, inadequate and a PR disaster. US/ZATO no longer has use for them.They WILL be replaced, mark my words. It's not up to Ukraine (and never was).

3. Ritter has finally considered the improbability of ANY acceptable end-state in Ukraine for Russia AND US/ZATO's ability to continue the war in perpetuity. His come-to-Jesus moment was realizing that this was not merely a US/ZATO-backed Ukrainian war vs. Russia that Russia could eventually win, but a pure US/ZATO war merely fronted by Ukraine vs. Russia that Russia can never win. There is no definition of 'winning' that applies any more - there is no end state based on borders of a reconfigured, smaller Ukraine.

4. Russia is in denial that they are really trying to denazify and demilitarize a direct extension of US/ZATO. The opportunity to make this ONLY about Ukraine leaders' willingness and ability to fight and *their* Ukraine army has passed. They will be replaced by US/ZATO thugs better able to bleed Russia. Russia's time to make Ukraine capitulate has passed. Time is on US/ZATO's side now.

4. Martyanov's arguments for a strategic military victory by Russia are valid, except that he also labors under an old-school end-state where Ukraine either capitulates or is unable to fight any more. He's right in pointing out that US/ZATO equipment scrap-heap donations are meaningless now and Ukraine can't possibly field enough soldiers to make a difference. But he also assumes some kind of imaginary sovereignty and independence of action that Ukraine simply does not have. This kind of surprises me - I would think *he* would be the first to realize Ukraine's insignificance in this war besides being on their real estate.

What I can't predict is the particular manner that US/ZATO will take over control of Ukraine and 'the war'. Replace Zelensky/Maidan II? Leave Zelensky but take over Ukraine armed forces with high-level 'Western advisor' command staff? Fake peacekeeping forces/observers while Ukraine is rearmed? Maybe hire Erik Prince and his Blackwater merc army to 'assist' Ukraine forces? All of the above? Who knows? But US/ZATO are psychopathic control freaks. They NEED to control the war completely now and are no longer satisfied with the Ukraine freak show leaders' current efforts. More financial and military support will only come when the US/ZATO are running the show for Ukraine directly. Then it *will* come and it will be endless. It will only be made to *appear* to be a Ukrainian effort.

I understand why Russia didn't just declare war, decapitate Ukraine leadership and blitzkrieg Ukraine, but in not doing so they gave US/ZATO the opportunity to secure a zombie pipeline that Russia will never empty or negotiate away. 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.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 19 2022 4:24 utc | 299

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

paveway, i honestly believe russia knows all this.. i could be mistaken, but if it isn't zelensky, it will be someone else.. it matters not.. he is the front and even if he was gone, he will be replaced by someone who represents the same us-zato thinking... so the zombie pipeline will go on indefinitely... i imagine russia realizes this too... the end game here is really hard to see.. i can't see it myself which is why some of us see this as ww3 in action and the concern for it going nuclear as very real... i can't see russia backing down and i know what you mean about how us-zato isn't going to back down either... i guess we will just have to wait it out while ukraine goes further into the trash can... i guess that is what the west refers to as a ''win'' in a libya style manner.. this ain't libya though as russia is right next door and will continue on... perhaps smarter heads will prevail, but the dynamics aren't encouraging at this moment.. i can't believe ritter is only waking up to this now...

Posted by: james | May 19 2022 4:36 utc | 300

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