Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 12, 2022

Matthew VanDyke - Some 3 Letter Agency Dude With An Obsessive Compulsion For Publicity

An American who fought alongside Libyan rebels, and who was detained in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison for six months before returning home to Baltimore in late 2011, has turned up on the frontline of the uprising in Syria.

Matthew VanDyke said that he was in Aleppo to film a documentary alongside the Syrian rebel army. But he claims he is also advising the rebels on weaponry based on his experience in Libya.

"I go to sleep and wake up to the sound of artillery shells, and Assad's jets flying overhead and bombing the city," VanDyke, 33, wrote in the first of a series of emails with the Guardian. "Most of these booms signal the death of more civilians in Aleppo."

VanDyke claims to be a journalist-turned-freedom-fighter-turned documentarian, but others accuse him of being a misguided thrillseeker who repeatedly puts himself at risk.
...
He said he was also offering advice on weaponry, including the anti-aircraft Dushka machine guns he used while fighting in Libya, though that claim has been questioned by people who know him and who have spent time on the ground in Syria.

Yet for all the exciting adventures VanDyke experiences, it is impossible to get out of one’s head the idea of a reenactment, of middle-aged office workers walking through the woods in Civil War uniforms and young men playing paintball between mounds of dirt. It is all so clumsy, so sad and trivial. He travels to Afghanistan to place an American flag in Bin Laden’s house. He makes the first real friends of his life in combat. Van Dyke’s whole life, his whole idea of freedom, consists in this idea of acting, repeating typically dangerous situations under the gaze of the camera; and while the adventures he finds himself in are ostensibly new, they feel old and worn out.
VanDyke very much wants to believe otherwise. He wants to believe his experiences are immediately made hallowed through the ever-present camera, which turns the ephemeral and pointless violence he witnesses, the aimless and meandering journey he travels, into something much more. But it doesn’t quite come off. The camera instead dictates his adventures, hollowing out his experiences, transforming a war and people’s lives into an unfunny Jackass skit.

In late February, a Baltimore-born, self-proclaimed freedom fighter named Matthew VanDyke beamed into Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show from Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region. A few days earlier, he had announced on Facebook that he was in Iraq to “raise and train a Christian army to fight” ISIS and that he had formed a company called Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) to provide “free military consulting and training to local forces fighting terrorists and oppressive regimes.” For months, the so-called Islamic State had terrorized Iraq’s Assyrian Christians, forcing many to flee their homes and villages and seek safe haven among the Kurds. With ISIS on the march across Iraq and Syria—and making headlines for its brutal beheadings of journalists and aid workers—the story of an American taking an on-the-ground role in the fight sparked a media frenzy. VanDyke, who is 35 and holds a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown, was soon featured by media outlets across the country, including the New York Times, USA Today, the Baltimore Sun, and MSNBC.

This wasn’t the first time VanDyke had become a media sensation. A few years earlier VanDyke had made international headlines after he was captured in Libya, where he had been fighting alongside rebel forces to overturn the regime of Moammar Qaddafi. He eventually escaped, and he would later say that his Christian faith deepened during his six-month imprisonment. A film about VanDyke, who had traveled across the Arab world by motorcycle, won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014.

In 2004, VanDyke graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with a master's degree in Security Studies with a Middle East concentration. Georgetown is known to be a major CIA recruiting ground. He has since been 'filming', 'fighting with' and 'training' U.S. aligned forces in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq - all more or less in the Middle East. The Ukraine is thereby a curious geographic choice for new activities. Unless you probably work for some U.S. 3 letter agency.


bigger
The war in Ukraine has attracted U.S. military veterans and Western legionnaires like no foreign battlefield in recent memory. But what motivates midcareer professionals – often now married, with children, and with their former military lives receding into memory – to drop everything and step into the trenches of another nation’s fight?
...
“In the past, we didn’t get involved in Ukraine because, when it was just involving Donbas, there was no way to have an effect on the outcome of the conflict. Now there is,” says Matthew VanDyke, who founded SOLI in 2015. The former documentary filmmaker was motivated at the time by his own experiences being held captive for five months in Libya while fighting with Libyan revolutionary forces in 2011.

“It’s also just a very clear conflict, with a democracy being invaded by essentially an authoritarian state, and a land grab,” says Mr. VanDyke, who wears a beard, hair combed back, and tactical military clothes. “It’s a no-brainer as far as right and wrong in this.”

Well, if you say so ...

Related:

The United States has long used democracy as a tool and a weapon to undermine democracy in the name of democracy, to incite division and confrontation, and to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, causing catastrophic consequences. 

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), as one of the US government’s main “foot soldiers”, “white gloves” and “democracy crusaders”, has subverted lawful governments and cultivated pro-US puppet forces around the world under the pretext of promoting democracy. Its disgraceful record has aroused strong discontent in the international community. 

In today’s world, peace and development is the theme of the times, and the trend towards greater democracy in international relations is unstoppable. Any attempt to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs in the name of democracy is unpopular and is doomed to failure.
...

Posted by b on May 12, 2022 at 6:57 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Re: climate science

Be clear what you mean.

Is the world warming? Yes

Is the warming mostly or entirely human caused? Maybe, much less clear

Is the warming harmful? Very unclear

IS the warming stoppable? Absolutely not going to happen until the fossil fuels run out. Which is to say, not in our lifetimes even if you are a toddler.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 13:12 utc | 201

Neither fight nor flight.
@ William Gruff, Richard Steven Hack, Bad Deal Motor

The fundamental and existential questions are asked and solved by the people only during intense crises (economic, wars, real revolutions...)
In the French political system, election of the president followed 2 months later by the renewal (majority vote by district, 597 times "winner takes all", no representation of the minority) and for 5 years of the deputies, Marine LePen had NO CHANCE, to obtain a majority, it was THE CRISIS ASSURED.[1/3 LePen, 1/3 Melenchon, 1/3 Macron]

The real questions on sovereignty, the European Union, NATO were avoided, two French out of three have, as always, chosen by veulery. The soft choice of the reassuring immobilisme in disguise .

"Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi" Tancredi

Neither fight nor flight. Unable to make an act remains just inhibition. [Professor Henri Laborit]



Yes, STUPIDITY made them powerless

Posted by: La Bastille | May 13 2022 13:15 utc | 202

@ Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 13 2022 12:22 utc | 194

"Concern trolling" has the intellectual equivalent of 'whataboutism' when it comes to addressing the validity of one's comments.

As for Martyanov, yeah, i read and watch his stuff. I take with a large grain of salt, the man lacks objectivity, he rants and waxes lyrical like Russia doesn't have the same problems of incompetence and corruption the West does. I always find it interesting how little faith so many Russians have in their own Gov't, must be a reason for it though. All the formulas in the world will be useless if the data input is wrong. How does one exactly quantify 'morale' for example?

I have a fair bit of experience with both Americans and Russians in business, some of it at Government level too. Cannot say i was impressed with the latter, but i try keep an open mind. Perhaps their military is different and less chaotic and dysfunctional than the entities i dealt with.

At least i am willing to accept both the West and Russia are committing a terrible mistake for which we will both suffer greatly unless changes are made. Not sure what part of expressing that qualifies as trolling,

Posted by: Et Tu | May 13 2022 13:33 utc | 203

Re: Finland and NATO

An invitation to NATO is supposed to only occur with the unanimous agreement of existing members. I am quite certain that doesn't exist, but I am also fairly sure that NATO is nothing but a US puppet and will circumvent its own rules if pushed to.

Politics:

As RSH notes above, "military technical" is what Putin said prior to 2/24/2022. Will it mean the same thing with Finland?

Economy:

While Finland doesn't import a lot of natural gas, it does import a lot of oil. Finland has a small but significant trade deficit and imported more than $7.5B in oil and petroleum products (vs. a $271B GDP) in 2020.

To compare: Germany imported $19.6B in crude oil vs. a $3.8T GDP.

So joining NATO and banning Russian oil = much pain for the Finland economy.

Military:

Finland has a Switzerland-like conscription system and can supposedly field 1 million soldiers at need vs. its 5.5M population. They only have 350K rifles though...
The real problem is, Finland isn't completely mountainous like Switzerland. The populated parts of Finland are flat like a pancake; there are some mountains but they are extremely low population density even for Finland.

And the Finnish armed forces outside rifle armed conscripts are a joke:
199 MBTs - which are mostly 1976 era Leapord 2s.
1836 AFVs - most of which are really just IFVs (i.e. just soldier transport, not fighting)
908 WW2 style artillery.
120 self propelled artillery
56 MLRS - old American stuff, not Russian. source

To compare: Ukraine before 2/24/2022 is said to have had:
2,100 MBTs;
6,900 AFVs;
3,721 artillery;
1,047 self propelled artillery
630 MLRS. Source

And note Ukraine has a GDP almost half that of Finland...

And compare vs. the Russian 1st Tank Guard army alone

500-600 tanks
600-800 fighting vehicles
300-400 field artillery units source

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 13:59 utc | 204

On Finland in NATO:

The US will have to bribe all 30 members to guarantee a unanimous 'Yes' vote. Some like UK and Baltics will be easy buy ins, but others like Croatia and Turkey have already set some tough pre-conditions.

Russia on the other hand, only needs 1 "No" vote. No matter how expensive that may be, one imagines it would be infinitely cheaper than all the countermeasures to protect St Petersburg and 800 kms of newfound hostile borders, let alone another "Special military technical whatsie".

At the risk of being called a concern troll again, failure to secure a single "No" would not give me much faith in their strategy.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 13 2022 14:17 utc | 206

There's a quite thorough, recent interview of Michael Hudson, by Benjamin Norton -- illuminating USA's economic pickle -- out at unz (which I can't link here), called "Destiny of Civilization".

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 13 2022 14:34 utc | 207

@ La Bastille 186
Last month, France got a chance to evict Macron. 70% of populace say that they oppose his policies
Proof?
In any case, the common practice of equating elections to democracy is fallacious. Democracy, a system of government by the whole population, does not exist anywhere on a national level.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 14:36 utc | 208

@Et Tu #204
The past NATO invitations were unanimous, but Article 10 doesn't actually say unanimity is required.

The precise text of Article 10:

The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.

Note that there is no prohibition from inviting any other European State even if there is not unanimity.

A requirement for unanimity would read: The Parties must

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 14:47 utc | 209

Any word about what's going on in that Security Council meeting about the biolabs that's supposed to have started at 10 AM, nearly an hour ago?

Posted by: Lysias | May 13 2022 14:55 utc | 210

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 13:59 utc | 202

A most interesting comparison.

I would suggest please examine a good geographic map of Finland. One must also remember the terrain of Finland radically changes between summer and winter. And is unsuitable for large scale use of modern MBT's .

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 211

Aleph_Null

Here is the interview of Michael Hudson, by Benjamin Norton on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlUSqQ8U8T8

Posted by: Michael Weddington | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 212

Is the warming mostly or entirely human caused? Maybe, much less clear

Is the warming harmful? Very unclear

IS the warming stoppable? Absolutely not going to happen until the fossil fuels run out. Which is to say, not in our lifetimes even if you are a toddler.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 13:12 utc | 199

Your last point about warming continuing until fossil fuels run out seems to conflict with your uncertainty about whether the 1.1 degree C warming since the beginning of the Industrial Age. The Paris Accords settled on 1.5 degrees C as a target maximum because of the high risk that several non-linear reinforcing loops could kick in, resulting in warming reaching more the 3 degrees C by 2100 (See baseline scenario of the EN-ROADS simulator). Examples of these "tipping points" include: loss of the polar ice that reflects heat back into space (albedo effect); thawing of the permafrost that releases methane, a more potent photon-absorbing gas; and disruption of ocean currents that now serve as balancing loops for the climate because of cold water released by polar melts. This is besides the ocean acidification effects as more CO2 dissolves in saltwater because the CO2 levels have increased by 40% since the Industrial Age.

Fifty years ago, a team of systems thinkers at MIT produced The Limits to Growth. They projected that continued economic growth combined with population growth would lead both to depletion of readily available resources and a deterioration of Earth's environment beginning around 2030. The most recent revisiting of these projections found them to be on track.

One example of this resource depletion is found in the area of energy return on investment. Yes, there is still oil in the ground, but it's much harder to get now. As the linked chart shows, it took the equivalent energy found in one barrel of oil to recover 100 barrels in the US in 1930. Now a barrel's worth of energy gets only ten (water flood, CO2 (tertiary) recovery, fracking). Solar and wind come in around five.

What will be the clincher is our energy-intensive, high carbon-emitting, soil-destroying agriculture. The disruptions in supply of nitrogen, potash and already short phosphate due to the war and sanctions will deliver a food shortage shock from which millions may starve. Increasing climate disruption will only make matters worse.

Economist Kate Raworth likens our situation to being on a plane that's running out of fuel. Will we just keep flying until we head into a nosedive? Or will we acknowledge the reality of our situation and try to plan for some kind of survivable landing?

Those who are toddlers now will see the outcome.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 213

'Better Dead Than Captured': Mother's Pain As Son Killed In Azovstal

(...) on Wednesday, Yegorchenko got the message: her 22-year-old son was dead.

Utterly devastated, she also felt some kind of relief -- that at least he would not be captured by the Russians.

https://www.ibtimes.com/better-dead-captured-mothers-pain-son-killed-azovstal-3506058

Posted by: Leuk | May 13 2022 15:17 utc | 214

@ Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 14:47 utc | 207

Didn't know about the wording, thx.

Article 10 still doesn't explain how they 'may' do xyz by only partial agreement.

My interpretation is that unanimity is therefore implicit. The conditional use of the verb 'may' refers to the option of inviting a new member, and not the requirement of unanimity.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 13 2022 15:21 utc | 215

@Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 211

You are correct in pointing out the inconsistent logic in @c1ue | May 13 2022 13:12 utc | 199

Otherwise, you provided a good sample from the vocabulary of imaginary terms created by the best "science" that money can buy.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 15:26 utc | 216

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 211

If you need additional info concerning climate change.

There exist a web site down under in Oz. called "SkepticalScience". They list upwards of the 200 fake experts/fossil fuel paid shills of denial 'MYTHS'. All common myths are shown. Then rebut/destroy them three ways "simple , intermediate, advanced. ". It is an excellent source of information.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 15:28 utc | 217

Maybe there is some hope from Erdogan

https://twitter.com/ragipsoylu/status/1525072069435740164

Erdogan says Scandinavia countries have become a safe haven for terrorism. “They are even members of the parliament in some countries,” he said.

“Sweden has become a home for PKK and other terror groups. We don’t view their NATO membership positively”

Blocking this senseless NATO expansion would be a good thing.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 15:31 utc | 218

Otherwise, you provided a good sample from the vocabulary of imaginary terms created by the best "science" that money can buy.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 15:26 utc | 214

And yet you're touting a narrative and point of view that has been pushed by the fossil fuel companies for 30 years.

I will enthusiastically agree that "sustainability" and "net zero" are BS terms pushed by "have your cake and eat it too" Eco-Modernists and others. But there is no one in power pushing degrowth because that would be the end of what is apparently Western society's top goal: keeping the engine of growth going so that billionaires continue to receive the return on their capital that they demand.

Is it your contention that exponential growth remains forever possible on a finite planet?

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 15:56 utc | 219

If the unanimity rule prevents the admission of new NATO members, all that the members wanting expansion need do it to set up a new NATO 2.0 including both the members wanting expansion and the new members.

Posted by: lysias | May 13 2022 16:01 utc | 220

@Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 15:28 utc | 215

There exist a web site down under in Oz. called "SkepticalScience". They list upwards of the 200 fake experts/fossil fuel paid shills of denial 'MYTHS'. All common myths are shown. Then rebut/destroy them three ways "simple , intermediate, advanced. ". It is an excellent source of information.

"SkepticalScience" is a well known radical climate alarmist website by the cartoonist John Cook who likes to dress up in Nazi SS uniform (see below). That site and its activities has been extensively covered by the reputable Canadian Stephen McIntyre at his site Climate Audit. Here is just one example of McIntyre's coverage of John Cook and "SkepticalScience"

Abbreviation SKS refers to "SkepticalScience"

Cook’s Fake Ethics Approval

For over a year, John Cook and the University of Queensland have repeatedly refused Richard Tol’s requests for information on rater ID and timestamps for the SKS ratings for Cook et al 2013. Recently there have been two events that shed new light on the dispute. First, in mid-May Brandon Shollenberger located the requested information online without password protection, which he placed online a few days ago. The new information shows that the majority of ratings were done by coauthors and nearly all ratings were done by coauthors and named acknowledgees, rather than by anonymous volunteers. Second, Simon Turnill received an FOI response from the University, that showed that the University did not make ANY confidentiality agreements with SKS raters. More surprisingly, Cook had done the SKS ratings program without submitting an ethics application for this program or obtaining ethics approval. Previously, both Cook and the University of Queensland had made public statements referring to “ethical approval” and confidentiality agreements. Each of these statements is, at best, misleading, especially when parsed in the light of this new information, as Brandon has done.

and
As many readers are aware, Brandon Shollenberger recently located the SKS ratings data that Cook had placed online (at the aptly named website http://www.welloiledcatherd.org) without password protection on the ratings data. A few days ago, Brandon uploaded this data to an online mirror. Brandon also preserved the online images as they appeared to him at archive.org: for the TCP Results page here and the ratings data here (to demonstrate that the information was not password protected in case the University tried to so argue, as SKS had done with their Nazi images).

And here is how John Cook presents himself:
Reichsfûhrer - SS John Cook

Source: http://www.populartechnology.net/2012/03/truth-about-skeptical-science.html

Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 16:10 utc | 221

@Bad Deal Motors On #209
Finland has a lot of swamp in peak summer.
But that matters a lot less when there is 90 kilometer range artillery, drone scouting/observation and satellite recon.
Thus any thinking that Finns can reprise the "Winter War of 1939" is delusional, even if ignoring the results of the 1944 reprise.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:11 utc | 222

@Henry Moon Pie #211
The consensus climate models all assume an acceleration of warming “any day now” – “any day” which has been extending further and further into the future for at least 15 years now.
The actual warming on record is at a rate of 1.5 degrees per CENTURY. So the actual record does not support the “climate science” view that warming will meet or exceed 3 degrees C by 2100.
As such, I personally give little to no credence to the consensus climate models given their manifold and deep structural flaws – and the same can be said for a lot of eminently rational people. And note I actually have listened to and read papers from the so-called mainstream experts, and have read every IPCC report.

But as for your list of “points”:

Tipping points: stupid to the extreme. If you actually examine either the multi-million year reconstructions or the actual temperature records in the instrument era (i.e. not the “anomalies”, you will notice an extreme stability of temperatures. As such, the existence of “tipping points” goes against all historical precedent and thus require extraordinary proof as opposed to cherry pickers looking for new ways to scare people and gain funding/notoriety. Among the major problems: daily swings in temperature at any given location are far greater than 3 degrees C. If the "tipping points" were so fragile, we would have long since triggered them.

Ocean Acidification is one of the more ludicrous ones; the amount of pH change between the ocean off San Francisco and San Diego varies more, by 200 times, than the purported “ocean acidification” from CO2 absorption. Corals evolved in an era with multiples of CO2 levels vs. today. Etc etc.

The “1.1 degrees of warming thus far” is over what period? Hint: it isn’t a handful of decades.

The Limits of Growth: utterly disproven including by a very public bet lost by Ehrlich.

EROEI: more garbage. Whalers were sailing from New England to the Pacific, on 2+ year voyages to kill whales to render their fat for oil. EROEI is an argument made by idiots who think all energy is the same regardless of form or function.
People need energy, they are going to get and use energy. Period.

And last: the economist. If there is a single profession less credible than economics – I don’t know what it is. The mainstream economists have been utterly wrong in every single conceivable area for literally decades; they’ve failed to predict every recession, they’ve failed to predict the utterly predictable consequences of offshoring, etc etc.

So thanks, you have provided a complete list of irrelevant, wrong and useless arguments.

I am actually not against alternative energy.

I am, however, against alternative energy that is too expensive, discriminates economically against the poorest parts of society and which cannot do anything remotely close to replicating the capabilities of fossil fuel energy generation at this point in time.

I am also against crap science which has been failing in its predictions literally for 3 decades.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:19 utc | 223

@Bad Deal Motors On #215
Skepticalscience is run by a non-climate scientist who is an outright, self-avowed crusader.
In fact, following the career of that numbskull is a great example of just how the "cause" is more a vehicle for personal advancement than any altruistic, objective or scientific endeavor.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:25 utc | 224

@Bad Deal Motors On #215
Skepticalscience is run by non-climate scientists who are both outright, self-avowed crusaders.
In fact, following the careers of those numbskulls is a great example of just how the "cause" is more a vehicle for personal advancement than any altruistic, objective or scientific endeavor.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:26 utc | 225

Posted by: anon2020 | May 13 2022 12:45 utc | 197

You really should acquaint yourself with VW production. EVs are not manufactured across EU but in defined plants. The orders from US customers will have been cancelled.

VW does not have so many plants in Europe producing EVs - 3 in fact. It hardly requires much re-scheduling since VW has shifted production mix towards high-VA vehicles as has every German manufacturer faced with parts supply constraints

You overdramatise the loss of this freighter

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:31 utc | 226

@ c1ue 207
The past NATO invitations were unanimous, Article 10 doesn't actually say unanimity is required.
It also doesn't say that an invitation is required, nor unanimous acceptance, only US acceptance.
"Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession."
..meanwhile. . .
Finland’s leaders said Thursday they’re in favor of rapidly applying for NATO membership.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 16:36 utc | 227

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 12:28 utc | 195

Approximately, one in twenty one collisions involving fossil fueled vehicles. Actually catch on fire...

Forget Occam's razor and start thinking of LOGIC

You conflate a fire on a ship with collisions on roads. That is a very large collision with 2,500 cars involved. I don't think I have ever heard of a 2,500 car collision. Do tell more.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:37 utc | 228

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 12:28 utc | 195

Forget Occam's razor and stick to Logic.

Confusing a fire on a ship with a collision on a road is erroneous.
When did you last hear of a 2,500 car collision ?

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:41 utc | 229

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 12:28 utc | 195

Forget Occam's razor and stick to Logic.

Confusing a fire on a ship with a collision on a road is erroneous.
When did you last hear of a 2,500 car collision ?

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:41 utc | 230

Posted by: anon2020 | May 13 2022 12:45 utc | 197

VW manufactures EVs at THREE sites in Europe. It will cause no problems. US customers will cancel their orders and be compensated. VW like ALL German car manufacturers has switched its production mix to high-end vehicles to utilise limited parts more profitably. - the cars were Bentleys and Porsche in the main so it is hardly a major volume problem.

You over dramatise the matter

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:45 utc | 231

@Et Tu #213
Legal agreements and treaties work not by what they do allow, but what they do not allow. Or exceptions to “do not allow”.
If NATO is not forbidden from inviting a new member without unanimous consent from its members, then it is allowed to do so.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:58 utc | 232

There appears to be an ongoing DDOS attack on MoA today as connecting is very spotty. There are several items worthy of posting. One is today's Telegram posting by Dmitry Medvedev, whose content caught the eye of RT editors. It's full machine translation follows:

What will happen next, or the World after the anti-Russian sanctions (not at all a forecast)

1. A number of global supply chains of goods will collapse, a major logistics crisis is possible, including the collapse of the activities of foreign airlines that are banned from flying over the territory of Russia.

2. The energy crisis will intensify in those states that have imposed "shooting at their own feet" sanctions on the supply of Russian energy carriers, further growth in prices for fossil fuels will continue, and the development of the digital economy in the world will slow down.

3. There will be a full-fledged international food crisis with the prospect of hunger in individual states.

4. There may be a monetary and financial crisis in some countries or communities of countries associated with the undermining of the stability of a number of national currencies, galloping inflation and the destruction of the legal system for the protection of private property.

5. New regional military conflicts will arise in those places where the situation has not found a peaceful solution for many years or the essential interests of major international players are ignored.

6. Terrorists are becoming more active, believing that the attention of the Western authorities today is diverted to showdowns with Russia.

7. New epidemics will begin, caused by the refusal of honest international cooperation in the sanitary and epidemiological sphere or direct facts of the use of biological weapons.

8. There will be a decline in the activities of international institutions that have failed to prove their effectiveness in resolving the situation in Ukraine, such as, for example, the Council of Europe.

9. New international alliances of countries based on pragmatic rather than ideological Anglo-Saxon criteria will be formed.

10. As a result, a new security architecture will be created, in which the prevailing realities are de facto and then de jure recognized: a) the weakness of Westernized concepts of international relations such as the "Rules-Based Order" and other meaningless Western junk; b) the collapse of the idea of a US-centric world; c) the presence of interests respected by the world community in those countries that are in an acute stage of contradiction with the Western world.

Note what he expects in point seven and his concluding point ten. Overall, Medvedev expects the global situation to further deteriorate, which will further spur nations to move away from relations with the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:06 utc | 233

Here's the only invitation that counts--
..from the White House
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland to discuss the close defense and security cooperation between our countries as well as our respective efforts aimed at strengthening Transatlantic security. President Biden underscored his support for NATO’s Open Door policy and for the right of Finland and Sweden to decide their own future, foreign policy, and security arrangements. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 17:19 utc | 234

Posted by: Leuk | May 13 2022 15:17 utc | 212

I would like to stand with Yegorchenko the 22 year old's mom that he is better dead.

Posted by: Dodgy Bodger | May 13 2022 17:20 utc | 235

Posted by: La Bastille | May 13 2022 13:15 utc | 200

What do we know about Macron's idea for a two-tier Europe?

He laid out his vision of a broader community of European democracies that would allow for deeper cooperation between the 27-member bloc and non-EU countries. Within this new political union, nations like Ukraine, and even a post-Brexit Britain, could forge deeper ties without officially joining the EU.
two-speed, six-pack on crack lol
"The EU, given the level of its integration and ambition, cannot be in the short-term the only means of structuring the European continent," Macron told MEPs."It's our historic obligation to respond to that today and to create what I would call a 'European political community'. This new European organisation would allow European democratic nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for cooperation on politics, security, energy, transport, infrastructure investments and the movement of people, especially the young."

Posted by: sln2002 | May 13 2022 17:24 utc | 236

The next item is today's Lavrov presser following the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe. What's important is CIS solidarity remains unshakable and its members are integrating with the EAEU as the following two Q&As reveal:

Question: Will Russia expand trade and economic ties with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries that are not members of the EAEU in order to minimize the consequences of sanctions?

Sergey Lavrov: Tajikistan has had relations with the EAEU for a long time. There is a special representative appointed by Tajikistan to deal with these issues, to look at the obvious advantages of cooperation, especially membership in the EAEU.

Uzbekistan has been doing the same thing for the past couple of years. By the decision of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, contacts have been established with the EAEU. There are intentions and a declared goal to apply for observer status in the EAEU. By agreement between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a bilateral Russian-Uzbek working group has been set up to consider practical aspects and is a place to provide advisory services to Tashkent on issues that it would like to clarify in connection with rapprochement with the EAEU. The progress is quite serious.

Question: What is the importance of cooperation between the CIS member states, especially in the current circumstances related to the Ukrainian crisis and the economic war of the West against Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: The CIS countries have unequivocally reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation in this format. Everyone spoke in favor of strengthening the authority of the CIS. This will be facilitated by the decisions taken today to work out in practical terms the issue of appealing to the Collective Security Treaty Organization with a view to granting the Commonwealth of Independent States observer status at the CSTO.

As for economic development. Everyone notes significant progress in this direction. We have agreements that are being implemented in practice to ensure that everything that happens in the scope of the CIS free trade zone is coordinated with the integration processes developing in the EAEU. Sanctions are meant to play a role in breaking those ties. The West does not hide this. When the Americans gather the Central Asian countries at the scientific levels, they directly say that they do not dare to continue cooperation with Russia, that, they say, Russia is a destroyed country, and it is necessary to rely on them. They say the same thing about China. They argue that China will not dare to violate Western sanctions. Our Western colleagues have an extremely self-confident, arrogant and ill-mannered position.

We drew the attention of our Central Asian friends and other CIS member states to the fact that the EU is actively promoting its Central Asian strategy, which was written without any consultations with the Central Asian countries. Brussels is trying to impose its unilaterally formulated tasks on the Central Asian countries, developing the "EU and Central Asia" format. Just next week, another event in this format will take place. We see what goals the EU is publicly announcing before this event. Our Central Asian partners are well aware of what is at stake. Today, everyone confirmed their commitment to the obligations within the CIS, CSTO, EAEU and SCO.

Other Qs were asked, but this one deserves posting as Lavrov introduces a new concept in international relations:

Question: How do you assess the decision of the Lithuanian government to recall its ambassador to Russia and close the Consulate General in St Petersburg, along with Latvia's plans to demolish a monument to Soviet soldiers in Riga – this is another bout of Russophobic hysteria or preparation for something more serious?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult for me to suspect our Lithuanian colleagues that they have a long-term strategy. They play the role of a constant "irritant", the most aggressive Russophobic part of NATO and the EU. What they "do" with monuments and other issues that are regulated by existing intergovernmental agreements cannot be reasonably explained except for Russophobia and absolute oblivion of all their obligations.

We have a weekly program on television, The International Review. What we are witnessing in the actions of the West, I would call (as an option) "International ragging". A rude word, but a bright one. It clearly reflects the actions of the West and the motives that guide it.

I assume Lavrov's term, "ragging" refers to the hysterical raving behavior we're seeing along with the self-destructive sanctions those nations are coiling around their own necks.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:29 utc | 237

On Finland
. . .from Breaking Defense

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that Finland “would be warmly welcomed into NATO, and the ascension process would be smooth and swift…. Finnish membership would demonstrate that NATO’s door is open, and that Finland decides its own future.”
After Finland formally applies, every member state of NATO has to ratify the application. That leaves a potential months-long process ahead, during which Russia could move to intervene. A top Finnish defense official told Breaking Defense last month that Helsinki was preparing for Russian “consequences” should they make the NATO move.

Au contraire, there is nothing in the North Atlantic Treaty about ratification. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 17:30 utc | 238

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 17:19 utc | 232

You betcha!
UNSC meet up, 5 May 2022, ALBANIA Amb. Ferit Hoxha @00:36:10

...We all must be proud of what the US system - the UN system is doing to help Ukraine and its people. I'd also like to thank ...

Posted by: sln2002 | May 13 2022 17:36 utc | 239

There appears to be an ongoing DDOS attack on MoA today as connecting is very spotty.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:06 utc | 231

Why would one safe harbor for truth be such a threat in an ocean of Western propaganda?

Just in case: Is there some way, any way, this site can be protected?

Hands off MOA!

Posted by: Circe | May 13 2022 17:40 utc | 240

This last item reports on Biden's "Summit" with ASEAN reps in Washington where the big deal was a pledge of "$150 million aid to maritime security cooperation in the South China Sea," which is rather paltry when compared with China's $1.5 Billion provided last October to help the region tackle COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery. The general thrust of the meeting is to try and coerce ASEAN members to confront what for most is their #1 trade partner, China, and to take the Outlaw US Empire's side in denouncing and sanctioning Russia, neither of which is likely to happen. And of course, the monies pledged will need to be appropriated by Congress, so the actuality of the proposed aid should be deemed iffy.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:43 utc | 241

The connectivity issue has vastly improved. Hopefully it will stay optimal.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 13 2022 17:45 utc | 242

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:19 utc | 223

reading you on the subject of climate science is like reading Craig Murray on the subject of Ukraine. you both are blinded by your biases.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 13 2022 17:47 utc | 243

Don Bacon | May 13 2022 17:30 utc

Well Don there is something about ratification in the NATO treaty you linked to.

Article 10 The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.

Article 11
This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Government of the United States of America, which will notify all the other signatories of each deposit. The Treaty shall enter into force between the States which have ratified it as soon as the ratifications of the majority of the signatories, including the ratifications of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, have been deposited and shall come into effect with respect to other States on the date of the deposit of their ratifications. (3)

[emphasis mine]

Posted by: jonku | May 13 2022 17:56 utc | 244

. . .on Open Door Policy
NATO's “open door policy” is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any “European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. (That area has expanded well beyond the North Atlantic.)

In January, the US upheld the open door policy which "contributes to the security of the North Atlantic area."

The United States has sent a written response to Russia's demands in eastern Europe. While it offered a "principled and pragmatic evaluation" of the Kremlin's concerns, the US has upheld North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) 'open-door' policy. This policy refers to NATO's openness to new member countries. Ukraine is keen to be part of NATO, something Russia is fiercely against.

How did that work out? Not well.
Not having learned anything, from the White House recently. . .

President Biden underscored his support for NATO’s Open Door policy and for the right of Finland and Sweden to decide their own future, foreign policy, and security arrangements.

Which goes to show that the US puppet NATO is used as a war racket which reduces, not contributes to, security. The US finds a country that wants to align with the US and is willing to hate Russia, and then with US encouragement that country applies for NATO membership, which is approved by the US which has 'opened the door' to more war and more war profits.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 13 2022 18:11 utc | 245

But there is no one in power pushing degrowth because that would be the end of what is apparently Western society's top goal: keeping the engine of growth going so that billionaires continue to receive the return on their capital that they demand.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 15:56 utc | 219

Actually, the 1% for more than a decade now has abandoned 'real' growth and gone full financial. That's why they are not too afraid of sanctions hurting their own economies, and also why US and UK are pushing hardest. Also the reason for the 'liberal democracies' becoming more and more fascist. Of course in the long run finance cannot really be decoupled from the real economy, but they seem to really believe that by now. Western capitalism seems to have reached the state of cannibalising itself.

Posted by: renard | May 13 2022 18:14 utc | 246

@pretzelattack #243
Reading you is exactly like reading or hearing Andrew Dessler the "climate scientist".
2 seconds of science followed by 1.5 hours complaining about the big conspiracy.
It was a major illuminating point for me when I watched the video of Dessler's 2011 debate with Richard Lindzen after listening to both Dessler and Koonin on Joe Rogan.
Dessler literally was repeating the exact same non-climate science garbage as 2011 - with one exception: "I do not dispute any of the science Koonin spoke about".
Super duper fail.

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 19:50 utc | 247

Posted by: anon2020 | May 13 2022 12:45 utc | 197

You really should acquaint yourself with VW production. EVs are not manufactured across EU but in defined plants. The orders from US customers will have been cancelled.

VW does not have so many plants in Europe producing EVs - 3 in fact. It hardly requires much re-scheduling since VW has shifted production mix towards high-VA vehicles as has every German manufacturer faced with parts supply constraints

You overdramatise the loss of this freighter

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:31 utc | 226

Posted by: anon2020 | May 13 2022 12:45 utc | 197

VW manufactures EVs at THREE sites in Europe. It will cause no problems. US customers will cancel their orders and be compensated. VW like ALL German car manufacturers has switched its production mix to high-end vehicles to utilise limited parts more profitably. - the cars were Bentleys and Porsche in the main so it is hardly a major volume problem.

You over dramatise the matter

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 13 2022 16:45 utc | 231

I don’t need to acquaint myself with Volkswagen’s EV production because no one knows if they reflect a significant proportion of the vehicles lost so I’m not basing my arguments on that assumption, why are you?

If US customers do cancel their orders, that would let VW off the hook for supplying vehicles it might otherwise be difficult to deliver in a timely fashion, but there would still be the loss of profit and balance sheet hit. The cost to VW of lost vehicles remains.

Your assertion as to the intentions of US customers is at odds with Volkswagen’’s apparent efforts to meet customer orders (unless this article is a puff piece, which is at least possible):

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a39462216/bugatti-lamborghini-felicity-ace-replacements/

If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide it, as your assertion is otherwise too specific to be accepted unconditionally.

You might be right that there is more room to manoeuvre in VW’s production capacity than I hypothesised but we do know that a shipload of very expensive vehicles have been lost and they can only be made anew by consuming existing parts stock (creating a hole in stocks that needs be filled) or manufacturing new parts, which will require functioning supply chains.. It seems logical that high value, low volume models have correspondingly smaller production capacity but also correspondingly smaller parts stocks, it also seems logical that increasing input costs and costs of supply irregularities are more easily concealed in those higher margin products. But, again, the losses and costs to VW of Felicity Ace remain.

Do you really think your arguments somehow address the headline cost to VW of the lost vehicles? For all VW’s seemingly valiant efforts to fulfil customer orders, the only actual relief VW can hope for is a full and timely insurance claim resolution. VW group is absolutely on the hook for that payout. Anyone able to influence the claim process holds significant leverage. That is my original point, everything else is obviously secondary.

Again, Paul, I’m sorry to call you out like this but you have gone from inane to obtuse.

Posted by: anon2020 | May 13 2022 21:24 utc | 248

Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 13:12 utc | 201
Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 13 2022 14:56 utc | 213
Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 15:26 utc | 216
Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 13 2022 15:28 utc | 217
Posted by: Norwegian | May 13 2022 16:10 utc | 221
Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:19 utc | 223
Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:25 utc | 224
Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 16:26 utc | 225
Posted by: pretzelattack | May 13 2022 17:47 utc | 243
Posted by: c1ue | May 13 2022 19:50 utc | 246

Gentlemen!
You cannot fight in here!
This is the Ukraine War Room!

Posted by: Sushi | May 13 2022 21:27 utc | 249

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