Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 21, 2022

No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.

Russia is falsely accused of blocking Ukraine's sea ports and thereby increasing a global food shortage:

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last years if it goes unchecked, as the World Bank announced an additional $12bn in funding to mitigate its “devastating effects”.

UN secretary general António Guterres said shortages of grain and fertiliser caused by the war, warming temperatures and pandemic-driven supply problems threaten to “tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity”, as financial markets saw share prices fall heavily again on fears of inflation and a worldwide recession.

Speaking at a UN meeting in New York on global food security, he said what could follow would be “malnutrition, mass hunger and famine, in a crisis that could last for years”, as he and others urged Russia to release Ukrainian grain exports.
...
Before the invasion in February, Ukraine was seen as the world’s bread basket, exporting 4.5m tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports – 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.

But with the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, the supply can travel only on congested land routes that are far less efficient.

It is not Russia that is withholding Ukrainian grain or cutting off its seaports. Ukraine does that all by itself. As the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine reports:

75 foreign vessels from 17 countries remain blocked in 7 Ukrainian ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa, Yuzhniy and Mariupol). The threat of shelling and high mine danger created by official Kiev in its internal waters and territorial sea prevents vessels from safely leaving the ports and reaching the open sea.

In confirmation of this, the Russian Federation is opening daily from 08:00 to 19:00 (Moscow time) a humanitarian corridor, which is a safe lane south-west of Ukraine's territorial sea, 80 nautical miles long and 3 nautical miles wide.

Detailed information in English and Russian on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridor is broadcast daily every 15 minutes on VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian.

At the same time, the Kiev authorities continue to avoid engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies to resolve the issue of ensuring the safe passage of foreign vessels to the assembly area.

The danger to navigation from Ukrainian mines drifting off their anchors along the coasts of Black Sea states remains.

The Russian Federation is taking a full range of comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of civilian navigation in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

That is just Russian propaganda you might say. But no, it is not. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published reports about the Maritime Security and Safety in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov:

At the start of the conflict approximately 2000 seafarers were stranded aboard 94 vessels in Ukrainian ports. 10 vessels have subsequently safely departed the Sea of Azov and 84, merchant ships remain, with nearly 450 seafarers onboard.
...
The Council (C/ES.35) on 10 and 11 March agreed to encourage the establishment, as a provisional and urgent measure, of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high-risk and affected areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to a safe place in order to protect the life of seafarers, and ensure the mobilization and commercial navigation of vessels intending to use this corridor by avoiding military attacks and protecting and securing the maritime domain.
...
The Russian Federation has informed IMO that it had established a humanitarian corridor, to provide for the safe evacuation of ships once outside the territorial waters of the Ukraine. Despite this initiative, there remain many safety and security issues which hamper access to the corridor and the ability for ships to depart from their berth in Ukrainian ports.

Ukraine’s ports are at MARSEC (maritime security) level 3 and remain closed for entry and exit. Sea mines have been laid in port approaches and some port exits are blocked by sunken barges and cranes. Many ships no longer have sufficient crew onboard to sail.

Ukraine also provided their preconditions for the safe evacuation of ships from their ports. These include an end to hostilities, the withdrawal of troops and ensuring the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, including carrying out mine-sweeping activities with the involvement of Black Sea littoral states.

The MARSEC level of a port is determined by the local authorities. Ukraine is simply prohibiting ships from entering or leaving the ports it controls. It has taken these hostage and makes unreasonable demands for their release.

It also has laid some 400 anchor mines around Odessa which are so old that some of them have parted from their chains and drifted south towards Turkey. It does not allow Russia to de-mine the sea.

Meanwhile foreign ships that had been held by Ukraine in Mariupol have been able to leave since Russia has taken the city and its harbor.

UN secretary general Guterres certainly knows all this. That he is accusing Russia of causing a blockade only shows that he does not honor the neutrality his position demands.

The global food shortage has by the way been around since early 2021. It was not caused by the Ukraine crisis but, as an October 2021 report says, by high prices following supply chain disruptions during the pandemic:

[T]he food shortage around the world isn't just a factor of supply chain issues. According to a rapid phone survey done by the World Bank in 48 countries, a significant number of people are running out of food or reducing their consumption. Global food prices have hit a 10-year peak, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), driven by gains in cereals and vegetable oils. Despite record cereal consumption, a shortage is forecasted on higher consumption projections.

Guterres' accusations were copy-pasted from remarks U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had made in an interview:

Blinken: Ukraine is one of the leading producers of, among other things, wheat in the world. Russia, of course, is a large producer itself. And in Ukraine, there are literally tens of millions of tons of wheat that are stuck there because Russia's blockading Ukraine's ports. There are about 85 ships right now with grain, wheat in them. They can't get out. There are another 22 million tons of wheat in silos near the ports that can't get there.

Blinken is lying about the port blockade. The Ukraine is by the way currently exporting wheat via railway, Danube barges and then through the Romanian port Constanta. That wheat though is likely to go to Europe.

Blinken is also lying about fertilizers:

Blinken: Now, the reason for that is there's also a fertilizer shortage because a lot of that is produced in the region. That means that as farmers are thinking about next year's crops, if they don't have fertilizer, the yields are going to go down. So there's going to be even less food on the market and and prices go up even more.

Russia and Belarus are big fertilizer producers. Neither has been hindered to produce by the war. There is therefore no shortage. The only reason the U.S. and 'western' countries will not get fertilizer from those countries are the sanctions they have enacted against buying from them.

This passage from Blinken's interview has a comical element:

Q: You were in Kyiv recently, about a month ago, and you said that Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding. What is your assessment now?

Blinken: That remains the case. Here's what's important: Putin's number one objective in going into Ukraine was to erase its independence, erase its sovereignty, to bring Ukraine fully back into the Russian fold, to make it part, in some fashion, of Russia. That's already failed.

How would Blinken know what Putin's number one objective was or is? Has he put himself into Putin's mind? Putin himself has given the reasons for the launching the operation in his Victory Day speech. Ukraine's independence was never questioned in it.

The next question after Blinken had put himself into Putin's mind is this one:

Q: How did he get this so wrong? How did he miscalculate this so badly?

Blinken: It's very hard to fully put yourself in the mind of anyone else.

Yeah. Thought so.

Q: What are you hearing intelligence wise?

Blinken: Well, we had, of course, very good information about Russia's planned aggression in the first place, which we shared with the world. A lot of people were skeptical. And it's one of those things where, as I said, I wish we'd been wrong about it, but we were right. ...

When during the winter of 2021 Biden warned of an 'imminent Russian invasion' of Ukraine he did not know what Russia's plans were. What he did know was that the Ukraine was planning, with U.S. help, for an all out on attack on the Donbas republics in February 2022.

Biden knew that no Russian politician could stand back when that were to happen. When you know on what date a war will start it is of course easy to predict when the response to it will happen.

Starting on February 16 Ukrainian artillery attacks on Donbas increased from a few dozen per day to more than 2,000 per day as was dully noted and reported by the OSCE special observer mission. It were these artillery preparations for a full blown attack that pushed Russia towards the preemptive operation in Ukraine.

This is confirmed in a recent Russian news report about the liberation of Azovstal (machine translation):

The [Russian] operation [in Ukraine] began against the backdrop of the situation in the Donbass that worsened in mid-February. The authorities of the DPR and LPR reported increased shelling by Ukrainian troops, announced the evacuation of civilians in the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence. On February 21, Putin signed the relevant decrees.

Again:

  • There was and is a global food crisis because food has become unaffordable for some people.
  • The war in Ukraine did not cause the food crisis.
  • Russia does not blockade Ukrainian harbors.
  • Ukraine could export more wheat if it would allow ships to leave its harbors.
  • Putin has not questioned the independence of Ukraine.
  • The reason for the war was the planned and prepared for Ukrainian attack on Donbas.

Anything else said about those points is just propaganda.

Posted by b on May 21, 2022 at 15:02 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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jared | May 22 2022 2:03 utc | 195

Zelensky has now said o Ukraine TV the war will have to be ended by negotiation.
I was trawling through some Ukrainian twitter accounts before and they seem to think if they can hang on just a little longer Russia will break but they are really hanging out to see even a little victory somewhere.
By the time this phase of the operation over, a lot will be ready to negotiate. Also one mother trying to find her son. Will be a lot more mothers looking for sons and husbands. I do't think many in Ukraine have any sort of understanding of the losses they are taking but that will start to hit home soon when more and more realize those who have gone to the front lines have simply disappeared.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 22 2022 2:20 utc | 201

@ 197
In fact "Don Bacon & his emoji Smedley Butler" has been actively blogging on anti-war.com, and it ain't me. Now why would any common citizen do such a thing? It has to be government.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 22 2022 2:20 utc | 202

However, you're wrong about the Irish Potato Famine. It was in fact a capitalist-mercantile-elite conspiracy to kill (or allow to die) as many Irish as possible.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 22:44 utc | 137

You seem to have misunderstood what I wrote.

Nowhere did I write that the famine did not occur.

Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 2:21 utc | 203

Quto@174..not many people are aware that Egyptians travelled to South America during the time of the Pharaohs. If you are familiar with the Ra Expeditions. Various types of South American grains have been in the ME for several thousand years.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | May 22 2022 2:23 utc | 204

@ Peter AU1 199
Zelensky has now said on Ukraine TV the war will have to be ended by negotiation.
IOW Washington said 'make us look good, comedian.'
. . .nothing to see here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 22 2022 2:25 utc | 205

Saggy 71

I concur 100% with your parallel insofar as the current war is being orchestrated by Zionists
who desire Ukraine's east as a new Israel. Even Zelensky mentioned it a few months ago.

This explains perfectly the absolute fiendishness of the MSM dominated by the chosen few towards Russia and even Israels hostility towards the kremlin.

You nailed it perfectly.

Posted by: CarlD | May 22 2022 2:27 utc | 206

I don't understand why people think the Australian election result means anything. Caitlin Johnstone summed it up nicely with: An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets. And when people start to notice their wallets are missing, they’re told they can stop the pickpocketing by cheering louder for their favorite puppet.

Most interesting / ridiculous / depressing quote I've seen is from some creep called Barnaby Joyce: If you believe independents are the way to go, let’s have 151 of them. Let’s have total chaos in our nation’s parliament.

By "total chaos" he means what? Democracy?!

Posted by: Rae | May 22 2022 2:29 utc | 207

In response to

"
Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:36 utc | 191

Since you are clearly incapable of understanding military concepts, and apparently are advocating that Russia allow the military initiative to be on Ukraine's side in order to score some sort of pointless "moral" or "PR" "victory" by letting Ukraine attack first, I submit that you're continuing your stupid concern troll crap.

In other words, GTFO.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 2:02 utc | 194
"

Concern and obfuscation are what they seem to be paid for....look at my interaction with them....into the ignore category and onward with folks worth interacting with.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2022 2:32 utc | 208


So far as the actual famines of 1932 were concerned they need to be understood in the context of the international capitalist boycott of Russian development. These sanctions made it a matter of urgent necessity to accumulate capital for investment and for defence. While Wall St and the City were pouring money into Germany, financing its rearmament and its plans for war, Russia was reduced to paying in gold for everything it imported and exporting agricultural products at a discount.

No, that’s how you try and explain away and/or try and justify a horrendous policy failure (motivated by nothing more than ideological purity) that lead to the death of millions.
It is tempting to think that your insistence on the Holodomor was prompted, as it generally is today, by the need to provide a distraction from Ukrainian fascism. This is the position of some of those posting on your side: You can 't blame the Ukrainians after what Stalin did to them...But you appear to be motivated by a desire to defend the sort of Economics that Paul Samuelson used to teach- a fanatical belief in the market.

If that helps you to sleep better at night, so be it.

The destruction of the commercial farmers (Kulaks) was the biggest contributing factor to the famine that occurred in 1932/1933. This doesn’t mean there weren’t other contributing factors but I’ve explained above why it was. Stalin thought that the collectivisation policy and state farms had been successful enough for him to be able to deal with the Kulaks in one fell swoop in 1930/1931. It wasn’t successful enough to replace the output of the Kulaks and that gross miscalculation lead to the death by starvation of millions across the Soviet Union.

Read Sholokov...

Thanks but I’ll stick to reading what came straight from the horses mouth. The nice thing about Stalin is that he didn’t mince words. He said what he meant and he meant what he said.

Posted by: bevin | May 22 2022 0:53 utc | 180

Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 2:35 utc | 209

The "Holodomor" is Western propaganda first put out in the 1930s

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 1:16 utc | 185

That’s right. Nobody starved to death in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s especially not in Ukraine. It’s all one big propaganda fraud to discredit communism.

You got me!

Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 2:40 utc | 210

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2022 2:32 utc | 206

Indeed. I should have directed my post to those who were interacting with him.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 2:48 utc | 211

RSH@173

A good rule of thumb...plan for the worst and hope for the best. Looking at Russia's words and deeds pre SMO, it seems possible, if not likely, that they planned for military action and hoped it would not be necessary.
Seems like maybe NATO/US did the opposite.

I like to apply the concept of "suspended judgment" as forwarded by Vine Deloria, Jr. when dealing with complicated issues of which I do not have first hand knowledge.

Posted by: Objective Observer | May 22 2022 2:49 utc | 212

So embarrassing to see the United Nations reduced to a bought and paid-for whore of the American Terrorist Empire. One can only assume that there are, in the possession of the WEF cabal running the United States and its satraps, recordings of Mr. António Guterres raping children.

Thankfully, the multifaceted collapse of the Empire is underway, evidenced by the growing immiseration and radicalization of the Western populace. It's both tragic and comical to witness the deliberate dissemination of engineered monkeypox virus upon the globe as a desperate last attempt to maintain political control. It won't work to achieve the cabal's desired objectives, just as the deliberate dissemination of engineered SARS-CoV-2 didn't work, but it guarantees additional misery, disability, and death, precisely the recipe prized by sadists.

My best advice in the face of an oncoming, out-of-control locomotive? Stand out of the way the best you can, and stash rubles. It's game over for the West.

Posted by: John | May 22 2022 2:52 utc | 213

@Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:36 utc | 191

Look at a map, if the Ukies had attacked with the forces they had they would have been able to drive the LPR/DPR forces straight through the Russian border before the Russians could intervene. The Russian pre-emptive attack kept the line of contact where it is, not much further into LPR/DPR/Russian territory - a lot of Donbass refugees were pretty close to the border on the Russian side. That's millions and millions of hostages in Donetsk, Luhansk and possibly Rostov built up areas. Better to keep the Ukies in their positions, where much of the population had already fled east.

Taking back those three cities would have been a bloodbath with the Ukies not giving a shit about the "Russian" local population. Better to kill the Ukies in their positions, very effectively, slowly and with low casualty rates given Russian artillery capabilities. Given the size of the force Russia is using, the destruction of the Donbass Ukie military will go down as a prime example of effective and efficient war making.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 2:55 utc | 214

@Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 2:40 utc | 208

Gaslighting by attacking a straw man, the usual redoubt of those utterly defeated by facts and logic. Yeah we got you, for spreading utter propagandist bullshit. I will not take the bait, you are done and I will not engage with you on this subject any further.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 2:58 utc | 215

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 2:58 utc | 213

Yes, runaway in victory.

Neither you nor Bevin get to decide for the Ukrainians how they may or may not commemorate the mass starvation they suffered in the 30’s. They are in a better position than either one of us to determine for themselves the root causes of the Holodomor or the consequences thereof.

If other regions who suffered the same fate choose not to commemorate the event is entirely up to them. This does not mean the Ukrainians do no get to do so.

Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 3:11 utc | 216

Perhaps those Ukrainians who commemorate the holodomor also commemorate what occurred at Volhynia in 1943.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 22 2022 3:41 utc | 217

Gonzalo Lira's latest three videos...

The first one addresses the history of the conflict, answering Et Tu's "concerns" directly...

2022.05.21 This Is The Third Donbas War
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yOsnT1BbUM

The second one addresses various people's - no doubt including Scott Ritter - concepts about the West endlessly supplying Ukraine...

2022.05.21 What Yavoriv and Desna Mean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-CLgCbWPD4

And the last one is about how the only "quagmire" that will occur will be for the Poles in Western Ukraine if they invade...

2022.05.21 Ukraine Will Be Russia's Vietnam? No—It Will Be Poland's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaVukx7EyLI

Note: I DO NOT agree with Lira on every or any specific point he makes in these videos, if for no other reason that I don't agree with his presumption that Russia will partition Ukraine. YMMV.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 3:44 utc | 218

EtTu is a mind altering drug, supposed to blind consciousness, facts and reality. You guys are doing an excellent job separating the wheat from the chaff. Thanks.

Posted by: Karl luck | May 22 2022 3:50 utc | 219

The Holodomor is just a propaganda tool used by Ukrainians and the West to bash USSR/Russia. Yes, there was a famine, and according to official statistics 1.4 million people died that year, but not the 4 million or 7 million that is always being claimed. I find it highly doubtful that Stalin planned a famine just to genocide the Ukrainians.

https://www.demogr.mpg.de/books/drm/009/2.pdf

Posted by: Victor Scarpia | May 22 2022 4:24 utc | 220

Paragraph 5, regarding mines freely drifting

"It does not allow Russia to de-mine the sea"...

This would seem in contradiction to the idea that Russia maintains air and sea supremacy in the theater?

Posted by: Clif | May 22 2022 5:08 utc | 221

@ psychohistorian | May 22 2022 2:32 utc | 206 quote

"Concern and obfuscation are what they seem to be paid for....look at my interaction with them....into the ignore category and onward with folks worth interacting with."

ditto don bacons comment earlier, and rsh's before that... onward and upward...

Posted by: james | May 22 2022 5:16 utc | 222

Clif | May 22 2022 5:08 utc | 219

It is the harbour and no doubt surrounds that have been mined

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 22 2022 5:54 utc | 223

RT reports Argentina will join BRICS, China wants BRICS to isolate US, and Lula again brasilian president soon:
https://rumble.com/v15fp5q-china-calls-for-brics-expansion.html

Posted by: njet | May 22 2022 5:55 utc | 224

@212 Roger | May 22 2022 2:55 utc

I don't often quote an entire pronouncement, but I can't find one word of yours that I would omit:

Look at a map, if the Ukies had attacked with the forces they had they would have been able to drive the LPR/DPR forces straight through the Russian border before the Russians could intervene. The Russian pre-emptive attack kept the line of contact where it is, not much further into LPR/DPR/Russian territory - a lot of Donbass refugees were pretty close to the border on the Russian side. That's millions and millions of hostages in Donetsk, Luhansk and possibly Rostov built up areas. Better to keep the Ukies in their positions, where much of the population had already fled east.

Taking back those three cities would have been a bloodbath with the Ukies not giving a shit about the "Russian" local population. Better to kill the Ukies in their positions, very effectively, slowly and with low casualty rates given Russian artillery capabilities. Given the size of the force Russia is using, the destruction of the Donbass Ukie military will go down as a prime example of effective and efficient war making.

You painted a picture more vivid than any I had seen so far. And you're right, it would have been a bloodbath beyond any description - your words would have been terse prophecy, but the details acted out would be tears and memorials for the ages.

So that was when Russia chose to act, when the timing reached its unalterable point, when the moment "ripened", as it were. The Russian hammer was always held there, and matched the Ukrainian moves as a mirror all the time. The Ukrainian puppet and its masters decided when Russia should act.

And it was never an invasion or an act of aggression. It was not even a preemption. It was pure defense. It threw itself in front of the coming blow, and launched into motion to stop that shit for all time.

~~

And you're right, I believe, that the methods used in this special operation will enter the military textbooks. I truly believe that in the deep counsels of the world's nations, many people are seeing that they need to have their militaries trained by Russia, to learn this way of fighting, to master the end even before the act. Systema writ large.

Posted by: Grieved | May 22 2022 5:59 utc | 225

Re:Julian Assange & the Australian Labor Party

A short selection of how the ALP is the fully co-opted poodle of the United states.

PM Julia Gillard: "I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website; it's a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do" ( ABC News, 9 December 2010: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/09/3089510.htm?section=justin ).

Attorney general Robert McClelland said the Australian government had considered cancelling the passport as global efforts continue to track down Assange but there were "issues in respect of serving a notice of cancellation".

"A motion referencing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, passed at the Australian Labor Party’s special platform conference late last month, served a very different purpose. Its function was to formalise Labor’s refusal to take any concrete action in defence of the persecuted Australian citizen and journalist, while providing a sop to his supporters based on a few weasel-words of concern."(14 April 2021) https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/04/15/assa-a15.html

The Australian Labor Party has been betraying the Australian working class since the 70's.

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 6:07 utc | 226

People are discussing famines of a hundred years ago. "My great grandfather had more hunger than yours".

Anyone have any idea what we're heading for now? The price of food staples - bread, vegetable oil - has increased sharply compared to three months ago. This is putting many families in a hard place.

Anecdotically, I've looked up the price of bread and vegetable oil in the consumer price index. I find that real-world prices increase at twice the rate the CPI says. In other words, inflation is double what the government says. Retirement will be tough for many.

Posted by: Passerby | May 22 2022 6:11 utc | 227

"Given the hefty body count and damage bill on all sides of the conflict, particularly in the purported area you credit Russia with 'protecting', perhaps letting Ukraine have a go first might not have been such a bad strategy after all? I can only speculate of course."

Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:02 utc | 182

Thanks for clarifying what first appeared to be innocently ambiguous concerns for legalities and "nuances".

The "hefty body count" was clearly not "on all sides", as i suspect you well know. It was heavily one-sided, in the "purported area" called the Donbass. Even according to the OSCE, a Euro-biased org (which was later found to have provided targeting data to Ukraine forces), at least 13,000 civilians were killed (22,000 per Donbass) over seven years by Ukrainian Nazis' clear violation of the 2015 Minsk Agreements. This was racist genocide aided (armed) and abetted by US/NATO -- state-sponsored terrorism -- sacrificing Ukraine to escalate a now-failing conflict with Russia (...before pivoting to China).

That, Et Tu, was "letting Ukraine have a go first" ... for eight years. "Not a bad strategy after all?," you ask. Christ almighty! It was atrocious, inhuman, intolerable! "Beware the wrath of a patient man."

"15,000 died in 8 years, what would a few thousand more be, to avoid all the hassle of cancel/sanction Russia?" The hassle? Seriously, is that satire? "Surely Putin would have had a more defensible position to justify invading eventually?" Eventually? Do you honestly believe Russia could have avoided more sanctions or the robbery of its $300 billion sovereign wealth by an empire clearly determined to destroy it just by letting Ukraine continue its massacre? For how long?

The sincerity of your concerns, couched in feigned ignorance, is no longer plausible.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 6:16 utc | 228

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 6:16 utc | 226
"The sincerity of your concerns, couched in feigned ignorance, is no longer plausible."

Well said. Much more concise than mine.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 6:29 utc | 229

And yet, he'll be back tomorrow...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 6:29 utc | 230

So the situation could get quite out of hand just from stupidity. It is possible to be sophisticated and know a lot about how the world works and how things really get done and still be very stupid. Then if there is a malicious actor somewhere in the scenery a little push will cause a lot of harm. With a long history of racism directed at Russia stupid racism alone could push policy to insane outcomes.

So Capitalism and Great Power rivalry and the decay of The West are all there but on the ground are a lot of stupid people. Our host b is extremely good at laying it all out in simple terms anyone could understand. Only us barflies are listening. The stupid shall lead them.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 21 2022 22:27 utc | 133

I will grant your 'it's mainly stupidity' (why things like famines and wars etc. happen if you accept that malice is essentially a aggressive form of stupidity.

Of course the real issue in such discussions is the degree to which big developments are the result of deliberate coordination or unpremeditated organic outcomes. (Which some might argue is a distinction without a difference but...)

Conceptual mind likes definite formulations. That is the origin of both imagined and actual conspiracies.

If something good is to be born from this mess then it must overcome ideological imperatives now in ascendancy without supplanting them with new and seemingly better ones. All ideologies worship at the shrine of concept which is abstraction which absent heart from the dynamic. And it is this absence of the heart that leads to hell. Always.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 22 2022 6:33 utc | 231

@Posted by: njet | May 22 2022 5:55 utc | 222

That will put the BRAICS on US exceptionalism and expansionism.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 6:34 utc | 232

And yet, he'll be back tomorrow...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 6:29 utc | 228
_____

So true, his/her/their salary depends on it.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 6:39 utc | 233

That will put the BRAICS on US exceptionalism and expansionism.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 6:34 utc | 230
____

You cunning linguist! 😁

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 6:43 utc | 234

Thank you Peter AU1.

I'm just trying to reconcile information feeds. Does Russia have decisive control of artillery formations or not? If unable to secure ports then there seems reason to doubt conclusions of trade restrictions?

Posted by: Clif | May 22 2022 7:24 utc | 235

... So true, his/her/their salary depends on it.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 6:39 utc | 231

Notable that they’ve taken forum commentary and managed to find a way to prostitute themselves into it.

Either they’ve got an exceptionally low opinion of their own prospects or it’s a pathology.

They do betray the establishment-insider scam, though: make-work for dreary creeps.

Posted by: anon2020 | May 22 2022 7:24 utc | 236

British usage. Any grain is a corn. Maize was once called Indian corn. Oats and barley can be called corn. Certainly causes confusion.
Posted by: oldhippie | May 21 2022 16:17 utc | 21

The word "corn" simply means the locally dominant grain crop, whatever that may be. In much of England, "corn" means wheat, but on those parts of England where the dominant crop is barley, "corn" means barley. In Scotland "corn" always means oats, never wheat, because oats is the dominant grain in Scotland (traditionally; that may have changed, I have no idea, but nevertheless the locally dominant crop is heavily influenced by dominant local weather patterns). The same is true of the German word "Korn" - in different regions it means dinkel, wheat, or rye according to the locally dominant crop.

After WWII France was desperately short of wheat for making bread, and needed to buy grain from the US. The then minister for trade fancied himself for his fluency in English, and refused to use a translator. As a result, he asked for "corn" from the US not "wheat", and for a whole year (that would be 1946, maybe parts of 1947) the whole of France was forced to eat yellow and very heavy bread!

Posted by: BM | May 22 2022 7:33 utc | 237

Posted by: Oldhippie | May 21 2022 18:24 utc | 66

The Irish peerage was same as the English peerage..

Counter-factual assertions are rarely correct ! You assert a falsehood. Irish peerages were not "the same" despite what your "education" may have indoctrinated. It is historically untrue.

As for Ireland - it was the prime example of the Malthusian Trap. Roman Catholic birth rates were unsustainable on a potato crop. If you look today at very large families in US - say 6-11 children - are they sustained other than by taxpayer funding ?

Even today Ireland cannot sustain a large population and its educated move to England - it has a high per capita GDP because it runs tax havens for US corporates and German banks in the "offshore" zone in Dublin docks but ordinary people in Ireland never see that money.

If you look at the major producers of potatoes in Western Europe it is not UK but Germany and Belgium with the latter being the global leader in frozen chips (French fries) - look at 1840s in Belgium - read Poor Law records for Northern England.

If you want an analogy think of Polish absentee landlords in Galicia with their Jewish land agents caring for the tenant serfs in the borderlands - and wonder how Banderites behaved given the opportunity - there is a rich vein of frustration and misery to be exploited and USA has been assiduous in twisting the knife wherever it can set people at each other's throat

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 22 2022 7:34 utc | 238

I just feel a need to state that the current Un Secretary General Guterres is a disgrace and will go down in history as such.

Before the US picked Guterres for this job he was head of the UN Refugee Agency. That is what colours his thinking. Guterres is not important - always look to his No2. as Kofi Annan was managed by Maloch Brown

Guterres was appointed 2017 and his term was renewed June 18, 2021.

US did murder Dag Hammarskjold when he became inconvenient, and no doubt picked Kurt Waldheim knowing his Nazi past and that it made him "amenable"

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 22 2022 7:41 utc | 239

This is high-value information. Thanks!

Posted by: Christophe DOUTE | May 22 2022 7:46 utc | 240

I much appreciate the link to the IMO report. One problem with trying to argue with the brainwashed is every point is dismissed s "Russian propaganda".

Posted by: ManintheMoon | May 22 2022 7:50 utc | 241

@Scorpion | May 21 2022 22:20 utc | 130

May be wrong but believe 'korn' is the German for 'grain' hence this confusion since many such basic everyday words from German are found in English.
Same in Norwegian, probably from german.
https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korn#Kornslag

E.g. Wheat ('Hvete') is the most important form of 'korn'

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 7:55 utc | 242

@uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 22:45 utc | 139

I would like to see this new Labor government make a hasty and direct appeal to the UK and especially the Queen to issue a total pardon and immediate release of Australia's champion journalist and publisher Julian Assange.
Hear, hear. That is a legitimate challenge and litmus test.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 8:03 utc | 243

@Et Tu | May 21 2022 23:29 utc | 151

"The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force."

This 2 paragraph blurb is pretty much verbatim how every RT article on Ukraine has ended since Feb 24.

To those proclaiming that anyone questioning the imminent Ukrainian invasion preempted by Russia narrative is 'propaganda', i ask, why would Russia's own official 'propaganda' channel insist on providing such a rendition of events and ignore all this alleged evidence of an imminent Ukrainian attack instead?

I wonder why Sputniknews is blocked here, but RT is not. I am guessing it is because it writes things like the above and the claim it is 'Russia's own official 'propaganda' channel' is not accurate.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 8:14 utc | 244

The world is facing a food shortage and inflation to preserve the throne of the US
https://ejmagnier.com/2022/05/22/%ef%bf%bcthe-world-is-facing-a-food-shortage-and-inflation-to-preserve-the-throne-of-the-us/

Russia – not Ukraine – is considered the primary source of wheat globally, representing about 24 per cent of the needs and consumption of the world’s population. Canada (12.44 per cent) is ranked second, the US (12.24 per cent) is ranked third, France (10.30 per cent) is ranked fourth, and Ukraine (8.9 per cent) is ranked fifth.

The world doesn’t depend on Ukrainian wheat. The Ukrainian war added to an already existing problem where many countries will not be able to reach the food supplies, even if Ukraine regains its exports.

Ukrainian wheat production takes place throughout the entire Ukrainian territory. Although the bulk production is in the east of the country, which is exposed to a Russian military operation, the logistic supply line has suffered from transporting NATO weapons on the railroads that Russia targeted. These logistical supply routes will require rebuilding when the war stops. Ukraine is getting around the sea blockade and has agreed with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland to export its wheat and sell it at a high price due to increasing prices worldwide. Russia says that there are 75 ships owned by 17 countries anchored in the port of Odesa carrying wheat exports. However, the Ukrainian army deployed mines in the Black Sea, making navigation dangerous and impossible.

Posted by: Dr. Kassandra Pari | May 22 2022 8:15 utc | 245

Someone on Twitter (I forget who) pointed out that we are currently in a very dangerous time. The Amerikans are declining, so it's now in their interests simply to wreck as much of Planet Earth as they can, and leave the US as a safe 'homeland' for refugees who can be assimilated. Hence the reason the Amerikans are doing everything in their power to increase global warming and to destroy the environment. Also now that the Yanks have annihilated the Middle East, they are now moving onto destroying Africa and Europe. As long as the mainland of North America remains more or less unscathed, the Yanks can even encourage the use of nuclear weapons (not ICBMs, but small tactical ones) with a few to destroying people's abilities to live outside North America.

People outside the US don't really understand the Yank's lust for power. They will destroy the Earth rather than give up their global hegemony.

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 8:21 utc | 246

Very different emotional tone in the Kiev Guardian (as the Manchester Guardian used to be known).

'Russia has intensified its offensive in the Donbas while its forces advance on the Luhansk front.

Ukraine’s president Zelenskiy described the situation in Donbas as “extremely difficult” in his latest national address.

The regional governor of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, said Russia is trying to destroy the city of Severodonetsk, with fighting taking place on the outskirts of the city.'

When the Russians take Severodonetsk, and they will, the Ukrainian defeat becomes inevitable.

Oh and what's this?

'Ukraine has suggested it is willing to resume talks with Russia, while ruling out a ceasefire or concessions to Moscow.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said during an interview with the United News telethon on Saturday that “discussions between Ukraine and Russia will undoubtedly take place”.'

Because obviously you crawl to the invaders and beg for peace talks when you are winning, that's obviously something you will do.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/may/22/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskiy-says-only-diplomacy-can-end-war-polish-president-to-address-ukraine-parliament-in-kyiv-live

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 8:25 utc | 247

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 8:03 utc | 241

The Albanese government will make a lukewarm, half-hearted appeal for the release of Julian Assange. They will meekly defer to any decision the US government and the UK government make. Any public 'chest beating' will be for purely domestic consumption.

The Australian Labor Party is a fully signed up lap dog of the US.
Australia is totally subservient to the US.
The last Australian government that tried to break the US grip were ousted in a CIA coup.

All political parties in Australia know what is expected of them.
This particular iteration will not be different.

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 8:37 utc | 248

@ted001 | May 22 2022 8:37 utc | 246

Thank you for the clarification, I did and do expect that to be the case. Al always however, I give 'new kids' the opportunity to show they are a force for good, hence the litmus test. But I am not optimistic.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 8:42 utc | 249

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 8:25 utc | 245
"'Ukraine has suggested it is willing to resume talks with Russia, while ruling out a ceasefire or concessions to Moscow."

Kind of hard to have "talks" when you're not willing to stop fighting or make concessions. Making concessions is what peace talks are all about.

Otherwise they are "surrender talks" - which is precisely what Russia was offering Ukraine before Ukraine decided to obey their US masters who demanded no talks at all. That by the way was just reiterated by the US and UK. So now Ukraine says it wants to offer Russia "surrender talks", in other words.

No, there may be "talks" but they will go nowhere just as they did before. Russia only talks because, as Martyanov says, quoting the Dune books, "The Forms Must be Obeyed", i.e., Russia always negotiates with their enemies even while they're destroying them. But the only thing on offer from Russia was surrender terms. Ukraine can accept them or leave them. In the latter case, everything carries on as before.

US and UK Split With France and Claim There Is No Exit Ramp for Putin
https://news.antiwar.com/2022/05/20/us-and-uk-split-with-france-and-claim-there-is-no-exit-ramp-for-putin/

Breaking with other NATO members that prefer a negotiated settlement, an American official stated the war ends with the "defeat" of Russia and a high-level British official said Russian President Vladimir Putin "must lose."

Speaking to an Italian outlet, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Russia must be defeated in Ukraine, and there were no exit ramps for Putin. "Putin must lose in Ukraine, and we must see its sovereignty and territorial integrity restored." She added, "working with all of Europe to help the Ukrainians prevail.

The comments by Truss were in response to French President Emmanual Macron suggesting the West could end the war by making compromises with Moscow. "We will have to do this with Ukraine and Russia around the table. The end of the discussion and the negotiation will be set by Ukraine and Russia. But it will not be done in denial, nor in exclusion of each other, nor even in humiliation," Macron said.

Along with Paris, Germany and Italy are pushing for a diplomatic over a military resolution. However, the White House appears in line with Downing Street. On Friday, US Ambassador to NATO, Julieanne Smith, called for the defeat of Russia. "We want to see a strategic defeat for Russia. We want Russia to leave Ukraine, we want Russia to stop the violence, stop these indiscriminate brutal attacks on civilians," Smith said.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 8:47 utc | 250

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 8:42 utc | 247

In the coming days I suspect we will see Albanese come out in support of the Zelensky regime and probably lob a few choice insults Putin's way. He will announce some humanitarian aid to the Ukraine, but I highly doubt that anymore lethal aid will be sent.

The most interesting aspect of this election is how the Australian government will navigate the relationship with China and still keep the Americans happy. As a note China is Australia's biggest trading partner and is somewhat important to the economic well being of the country. There has been a massive amount of anti-Chinese rhetoric in the press which will probably ramp up now.

There has been a lot of talk about the expansion of NATO from the UK government. Most people think this is confined to Finland and Sweden, but there is push to sign up Australia and Japan as part of the efforts to 'contain' China.

I hope at some point in time 'Australia' realizes that it's future is in Asia.

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 9:07 utc | 251

Great Article If I may Add. We can't discuss the Ukrainian Farmland and all its media , unless we discuss - Monsanto, Bayer, Carghill, DuPont, John Deere, and the rest of the Globalists that are " Homesteading" the Breadbasket. Not one ton of that grain should leave Ukraine because they will need it themselves in the future. Of course the Jew Oligarchs will try to steal it, like they steal everything else.

Posted by: GMC | May 22 2022 9:10 utc | 252

British usage. Any grain is a corn. Maize was once called Indian corn. Oats and barley can be called corn. Certainly causes confusion.
Posted by: oldhippie | May 21 2022 16:17 utc | 21

The word "corn" simply means the locally dominant grain crop, whatever that may be.

Posted by: BM | May 22 2022 7:33 utc | 235

***

"Corn" goes so far back both German and Latin have it from earlier Indo-European roots. Etymologically in English we have it from Old English and before that Germanic origin. In Latin simply consider cornucopia from Latin *cornu copiae* ‘horn of plenty’.

Speculation on my part: the correlation of grain with 'horn' might well (forgive the pun) stem from the practice of weaving the grain stalks into this familiar image, alongside other artistic depictions of harvest spirits known in English as corn dollies or in German as the Kornmutter.

"Corn" as grain likely predates civilization. Anywhere.

Posted by: Vintage Red | May 22 2022 9:14 utc | 253

@sean the leprechaun | May 22 2022 2:23 utc | 202

Quto@174..not many people are aware that Egyptians travelled to South America during the time of the Pharaohs. If you are familiar with the Ra Expeditions. Various types of South American grains have been in the ME for several thousand years.
That may be so (I live not far from the museum of the Ra and Kon-Tiki Expeditions), but probably the communication was established much earlier. In Tiwanaku, Bolivia, the Pokotia figure was found in 1960, the inscriptions on the Pokotia figure are written in the Sumerian language . Interestingly, there are also very credible claims of Egyptians travelling to Australia during the time of the Pharaohs.


Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 9:22 utc | 254

Because obviously you crawl to the invaders and beg for peace talks when you are winning, that's obviously something you will do.

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 8:25 utc | 245

Weeks ago, a lot of us Contrarians were watching the deluge of unrealistic propaganda coming from the likes of the Guardian and the New York Times. We asked ourselves and each other, "But what will they say when the facts on the ground unambiguously reveal what they've been saying to be a lie."

Your Guardian piece and that opinion from the NYT editorial board that b. explicated so helpfully are some of the first examples of the answer to those questions.

I wonder if any other barflies feel as I do when I compare where I rate on the optimism/pessimism scale back when we almost laughed at the touting of Ukraine and NATO compared to now after days and days of relentless press boosterism. Now, after these cracks have appeared in the Mind Molders' edifice, I can see some impact on me of the propaganda, more than I was willing to admit even to myself on days when it seemed there was little factually to counter it.

The rouble's performance is revelatory of the Empire's success in economic war. These "warnings" from Empire press outlets are confirmation of Russia's success in the military arena.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 22 2022 9:22 utc | 255

@Posted by: Precld |May 21 2022 15:52 utc | 13

"russia pays no attention to the buzzing of mosquitos
to continue to entertain every ridiculous comment/narrative/fantasy is to descend into madness
empire of assholes will do/say what it will."

Precisely. I like the debunking of the Western BS by b. But linking to CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NYT, the Guardian etc. in comments is pointless. The Western MSM is the megaphone of the collective West's lies. I'm sure those who want to be lied to, know where to find those craps.


Posted by: Steve | May 22 2022 9:24 utc | 256

@Roger | May 22 2022 2:55 utc | 212

I sometimes disagree with you on certain topics, but I agree entirely with this description of the the Russian pre-emptive attack, including its justification.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 9:31 utc | 257

@ted001 | May 22 2022 9:07 utc | 249

There has been a lot of talk about the expansion of NATO from the UK government. Most people think this is confined to Finland and Sweden, but there is push to sign up Australia and Japan as part of the efforts to 'contain' China.
Are Australia and Japan planning to move to the North Atlantic?

I hope at some point in time 'Australia' realizes that it's future is in Asia.
Apparently, geography is a major challenge to modern 'leaders'. You have to ask what Australia is 'defending'. Maybe defending its trade routes with China from .... China?


Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 9:46 utc | 258

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made the same accusation last week at the G7 meeting, where she explicitly blamed Russia for "the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports".

Russia has now consciously decided to expand the military war against Ukraine into a grain war - or you could also call it a corn war - to other countries in the world, especially Africa.
(...)
Deliveries are stopped. There is a threat of mass starvation. We must not be naive. This is not collatoral damage. This is a quite consciously chosen instrument in a hybid war war that is being waged right now.

[In German, from 0:45] https://www.dw.com/de/baerbock-wirft-russland-korn-krieg-vor/av-61799238
She repeated the accusation at the UN in New York last week.

The German Foreign Ministry published this lie too:
Crops that have already been harvested are stuck in the port of Odesa because Russia is blocking Ukrainian ports and the maritime route across the Black Sea

Posted by: Brendan | May 22 2022 9:51 utc | 259

ted001 #246

All political parties in Australia know what is expected of them.
This particular iteration will not be different.

Perhaps but we are in new times and new political realities. I desire the test be applied as soon as possible to this new assembly so that we can consider their sincerity or betrayal from the earliest moment of their inauguration.

I have no illusions but I prefer not to foster the delusion of letting the past set the future without a thorough test.

We shall see.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 9:59 utc | 260

That is just Russian propaganda you might say ...

Well, I would never say that. As a sentient human being who's observed world affairs for decades now, I've come to the unshakeable conclusion that exceedingly little of what comes out of Russia is "propaganda", whereas just about everything that comes out of my own [US] government must be taken with a boulder of salt!

Excellent piece, b! Your analyses are exemplary.

Posted by: JMF | May 22 2022 10:06 utc | 261

Australia's position regarding China is very tense and problematic. Quite how our new government will react is very hard to say, but since Marles the Foreign Minister and deputy is ex diplomatic service and very well connected with the USA I expect them to follow the US line.

However Albanese is very close to Kevin Rudd our former PM, who is a Chinese speaker and extremely knowledgeable about all international affairs- runs rings around the excuses for diplomats that the US sends. (Rudd wanted Gueterres job but did not get enough support- not sure in the US or Russia or China opposed). He could even meet with Lavrov and not leave looking like a fool. This gives me mild cause for optimism that Albanese will have some sensible advice.

That does not mean Rudd's advice will always be right thing, but at least I am sure he will do what he regards as the best thing for Australia as a nation - ie he attempts to be a genuine statesman.

Note for non Australians, the role of Rudd is hotly debated in Australia and within the ALP (new government). He was/is still hated by many who regard him as arrogant and a poor delegator. I suspect both are true because like many smart, obsessive people he has no patience for fools and lets them know it. However what I am sure of is that he is not a personally greedy man and would not be influenced by money etc. He has a strict, very old fashioned moral code (based on religion) which seems important to his identity. He gets his hands dirty to help people. During floods in 2011, he personally carried out furniture from flood affected homes in his electorate - in the dead of night with no cameras around.

Possibly what I am saying is just wishful thinking, hoping that the influence of Rudd will prevent us joining into the China containment. I hope I am right, although I am sure the USA will attempt to nobble any good influence he has.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 10:12 utc | 262

sean the leprechaun #202
Norwegian #252

On Egyptian journeys: I recall skeletal remains of egyptian rats were reported to be found under the black mat layer of a major volcanic event some three (?) thousand years ago in the south island of New Zealand. The geologist making the find and his analysis were scoffed at but the egyptian rat has quite specific skeletal variation it seems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:14 utc | 263

G @ 141:

I finally found Reza Pahlavi's correct name: Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the Qajar dynasty in the mid-1920s and declared himself the new Shah. He reigned until some time in the 1940s: his Iranian nationalism, at odds with British designs on Iranian oil (through what was then the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the forerunner of BP), led him to support Nazi Germany so the British replaced him with his son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as Shah. The son took a back seat in governing until Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh was deposed in a coup organised by the CIA (after British instigation) in 1953 for nationalising the oil industry. Then Mohammed Reza Pahlavi became absolute ruler and continued in this way until 1979.

There were two Shahs, father and son, from the Pahlavi family. All that remain of the imperial family now are Farah Diba and her two elder children, the younger two having committed suicide on separate occasions. I believe the would-be Crown Prince has only two daughters. His younger brother left behind one daughter. So even if the Pahlavis were to be restored to monarchy, as some British news media were speculating not so long ago - and they would not do so if there was not already behind-the-scenes plotting - the monarchy would die out anyway as only males can inherit the Iranian throne and pass it on.

Posted by: Jen | May 22 2022 10:22 utc | 264

Posted by: Norwegian | May 22 2022 9:46 utc | 256

NATO should seek to boost security in the Indo-Pacific region

Of course Liz Truss is a complete moron.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 9:59 utc | 258
'We shall see."

I agree - just and see.
The priority should be to mend the relationship with China.
There should be plenty of entertainment as the Murdoch media go into meltdown.


Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 10:25 utc | 265

Norwegian #255

Agreed thanks to Roger #212

The Russian move was placed in the TINA frame due to many factors and I am sure the final straw was both the imminent assault on the republics, the nuke statement by Z, and perhaps,intel on the biolabs.

I assume something might have been discovered in that lightning mission in Kazakhstan that pressed the decision making. Pure conjecture on my part but I have no doubt that Russia is as meticulous with its intelligence as it is with its foreign policy and diplomacy practice.

Equally given the western imagined expansion of NATO into the Pacific, it may have been determined by both China and Russia that it was now or never. They both certainly had outgamed the sanctions weapon and seem to have reached escape velocity from the $US.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:26 utc | 266

@244 Hidari

"People outside the US don't really understand the Yank's lust for power. They will destroy the Earth rather than give up their global hegemony."

The rest of the world definely understand that, especially China and Russia. That understanding is reflected in their actions.

I don't think American citizens understand that, and largely think of their country as a force of good.

In my own circles, I see that changing. On the micro level there has been a shift in public perception regarding Russia and Ukraine, part of that comes from an instinct for self-preservation. This is becoming more and more apparent on social media. I am seeing a groundswell of voices questioning the narrative.

People feel their nation collapsing, that takes precedence over Ukraine, though most don't make the connection between our foreign policy and the degradation of western society.

My question is, does the soft western elite want to survive? There is no such thing as a limited nuclear war.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 22 2022 10:27 utc | 267

Speculation on my part: the correlation of grain with 'horn' might well (forgive the pun) stem from the practice of weaving the grain stalks into this familiar image, alongside other artistic depictions of harvest spirits known in English as corn dollies or in German as the Kornmutter.

"Corn" as grain likely predates civilization. Anywhere.

Posted by: Vintage Red | May 22 2022 9:14 utc | 251

Thanks, that's the way I have understood it to be too. Very old. The "Indian Corn" is the new thing. Indian corn is maize. That's the stuff they like to put in your gas/petrol. If you read any English Lit. before the 2nd half 20th Cen. you will run into it. In USA of course, it was just "corn", "cornfields" have big grasses with big "ears" of corn on them here. Good places to find a little privacy.

A classic of old-style genetic engineering too, Indian Corn. It is amazing how many excellent crops the "first peoples" here gave the world. We should be a lot more grateful.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2022 10:30 utc | 268

Perhaps but we are in new times and new political realities. I desire the test be applied as soon as possible to this new assembly so that we can consider their sincerity or betrayal from the earliest moment of their inauguration.

I have no illusions but I prefer not to foster the delusion of letting the past set the future without a thorough test.

We shall see.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 9:59 utc | 258

Yes, well said. The past does not always compel the future, whatever they say. New things happen all the time. Seen it myself.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2022 10:34 utc | 269

Posted by: Jen | May 22 2022 10:22 utc | 264

The word PAHLAVI is a Language, those people are not Iranian, they are originally from Georgia, and Farah DIBA is from Chechnya . her real name in Leyla Sheyshani , These were train by Russian at Hamadan Cossack Base!

Posted by: Grishka | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 270

ted001 #265

The priority should be to mend the relationship with China.
There should be plenty of entertainment as the Murdoch media go into meltdown.


Thank you. The USA will likely proxy that through the Solomons. The NED provided $50M to the Malaitan island clans last year to make trouble in Guadalcanal (the governing clan majority afaik). This resulted in the rioting recently and it Malaitan gangs that demolished and went wild in chinatown, Honiara. China has stepped up to the needs of the Solomon Island and is working to assist in nation building.

The hate china mantra is likely going ballistic here in the bunya nut republic.

That leads me to seek information on the map of US foundations operating in Australia. I would like to know names and functions etc. Its always good to know what NED is up to.

Are you aware of any reports / research papers in that area?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 271

From Pepe Escobar's Telegram channel... I'd like to be a fly on the wall for this one if it's true...

Maybe just a joke but...
https://t.me/c/1751490435/5328
Pre-trial detention center in Rostov is preparing to meet a VIP visitor
A personal meeting between Ramzan Kadyrov and detained militant David Kasatkin is planned.
Earlier, David threatened to kill (https://t.me/ZradaXXII/3526?single) Chechen commanders, personally Kadyrov and his children, insulted his mother, and threatened to rape his daughters.
In addition, David was identified by tattoos, he tortured (https://t.me/ZradaXXII/3529)Russian soldiers.
Among the tattoos on his body (https://t.me/ZradaXXII/3528) are many swastikas and Nazi symbols.

In short, David is fucked up.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 272

“... Blinken might think back to lessons learned from old wise men. Like maybe his stepfather, Sam Pisar. Who was lawyer and fixer for Robert Maxwell. We are told that Blinken was a childhood playmate of Ghislaine Maxwell so he likely knew Robert as well. Robert Maxwell of course being a Ukrainian Jew as Blinken is a Ukrainian Jew. As Vicki Nuland is a Ukrainian Jew. Just maybe there is an echo chamber here and these people believe their own bullshit….”

Wow is this true ?

Posted by: Exile | May 22 2022 10:39 utc | 273

Bemildred #269

Thank you. I am really committed to see Julian Assange free from the englander and US persecution. I have started a number of conversations here to that end as we must have the compassion to see him free and the action to get the measure of his and our elected oppressor (if that be the case).

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:42 utc | 274

@Et Tu | May 21 2022 23:29 utc | 152
I am still not sure whether you are dumb, malicious, or just brainwashed. I tend towards the latter.
For example, you quote some paragraphs at the end of several RT comments, in particular:

"Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements..

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force."


And you ask:
This 2 paragraph blurb is pretty much verbatim how every RT article on Ukraine has ended since Feb 24.
To those proclaiming that anyone questioning the imminent Ukrainian invasion preempted by Russia narrative is 'propaganda', i ask, why would Russia's own official 'propaganda' channel insist on providing such a rendition of events and ignore all this alleged evidence of an imminent Ukrainian attack instead?

Well, assuming you are not dumb, and granting you may not be malicious, it at least seems that you are blatantly ignorant not only of facts, but also of what used to be journalism in the decades of the pre neocon age.

Fact: RT is not the mouthpiece of the Kremlin, that is everything on kremlin.ru, and to some extent TASS. RT is a soft power publication outlet in the world outside the RF, and it uses successfully what journalism used to be in the times before neocon Reichsschrifttumskammer rule of beltway mainstream media.

The summary under each RT article is what you used to find in quality papers all over the post WWII era til the "unipolar moment", not always perfectly executed, but normal. Even very conservative outlets like The Times, FAZ in Germany, Le Figaro in France, WSJ in the US etc. would always summarize conflicting interpretations of the main actors in political, economic, or military affairs, even if the one party was the "bad communists" or any other opponent of the media, their faction, or state/alliance in question. This was done under the journalistic principle of separation of reporting and commenting.

Maybe you are just to young to have lived through those times. It was not that the media were not partial then, that they had no bias, did not misreport. They were, had, did. But it was not as Voelkischer Beobachter like as it is today.

RT seems to have preserved some of that journalistic principle, and be it for smarter propaganda only. They just show in the trailing paragraphs: "Side A says this, and side B says that". That is sane and sensible. You seem to be highly disturbed by it.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 22 2022 10:43 utc | 275

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 271

Nothing specific.
It would be good to know the real sequence of events in the Solomon Islands.
All I am sure of is that Morrison is lying.

Watcher in a post mentions Kevin Rudd. I think Rudd burnt his bridges with the Chinese, hopefully they have forgiven him.
I not sure if he was quoted correctly at the Copenhagen 2009 Climate Conference.He was asked whether a deal was possible....His reply...
“Depends whether those rat-fucking Chinese want to fuck us.”


Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 10:51 utc | 276

My question is, does the soft western elite want to survive? There is no such thing as a limited nuclear war.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 22 2022 10:27 utc | 267

Well, they do build quite a lot of bunkers in various places, the rich. Ruined New Zealand and little private empires in Argentina. I think the job is to convince them that that is not going to work for them. Undermine their delusions of grandeur. The Russians seem to have made a good effort to do just that, so I am more optimistic than say back in 2010.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2022 10:51 utc | 277

#198 Don
Did we read the same article? It's in the first paragraph.
I also don't see how exports MoM prove your point when the data shows a July-June timeframe. I mean, seriously? Give me a YoY data, I could very well interpret that data that last year's season was extraordinary. News sites report this discrepancy as an aggressive marketing done by Ukrainians in the initial months as they were expecting/preparing for this eventuality.

The same link you provided says that EOM May comparison from 2021 and 2022 is 1.8 million versus 643,000 tonnes of grain being exported. Moreover, based on the monthly data I could find and compare, grain and sunflower oil exports are much lower this year:

March (2021 vs 2022) in metric tonnes:
Wheat: 697k vs 309k
Sunflower oil: 484k vs 118k

May (2021 vs 2022) in metric tonnes:
Wheat: 858,000 versus 6,000
Barley: 23,000 versus 8,000
Maize: 2,245,000 versus 284,000

https://fscluster.org/sites/default/files/documents/market_trends_ru_crisis_possible_impacts.pdf

Posted by: Krištof | May 22 2022 10:51 utc | 278


Regarding the start of the war: it was always obvious that the "West" could push Russia to war, if they chose to push far enough. Which they did, more than once, under Biden.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2022 10:56 utc | 279

From Donbass Insider Telegram channel... About time...

Answer to the shelling of the Kursk region: the Russian army launched a massive blow to the Sumy region

Gauleiter of the Sumy region reports that for more than an hour there has been a massive fire of Russian multiple launch rocket systems on objects in the region.
There is information that this is the destruction of artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, capable of delivering strikes on the territory of the Kursk and Belgorod regions.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 11:00 utc | 280

@ Haassaan 267

It's a myth that nuclear war will result in the extinction of all life on Earth. It almost certainly won't even result in the end of all human life on Earth.

People are getting confused because they have memories of the early 1980s, when we absolutely did have the firepower to exterminate the entire human race. People don't really understand just how much nuclear arsenals have been cut back.

Yes, an all out nuclear war will result in billions of deaths. Yes it will put the global economy back centuries, or perhaps millenia. Yes it will be a crime without parallel in human history.

But it won't result in the end of human life. It almost certainly won't even result in the end of human civilisation. Countries in the Global South will of course be very badly affected, but they won't take the same hit as countries like Russia or the US will. Even worst case scenarios for nuclear war talk about 4 or 5 billion deaths, but that still leaves 3 or 4 billion still alive.

That's a lot of people!

As you say the global rich all have properties in Australia and New Zealand waiting for them. The US military industrial complex will simply sit in their nuclear bunkers for a few months/years then fly to Canberra, or Sydney or Jo'burg or somewhere similar. Global temperatures will drop badly for a few years (maybe ten). Crops will fail. Many more millions will die. Then there will be the plague years as once defeated illnesses (cholera etc.) come roaring back.

Then things will start getting back to normal. In about 50 years or so Europe and North America can be recolonised and within 4, 500 years time, things will be back to normal (in other words, this may not be nearly as much of a shock to the system as the collapse of the Roman Empire was).

Elites know this. That's why they continue to risk nuclear war. They think that they will survive it and even profit from it.

They may be right.

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 11:02 utc | 281

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 10:51 utc | 276

The first question to ask is who the hell leaked Rudd's comments. Now I have little doubt that all diplomats make similar sort of comments about each other, but they are presumably always kept quiet. In part they are part of the game - puff up ones hostility to X and a means of getting support form Y. However someone hostile to Rudd and anxious to damage his status with China, leaked the info. If it was a government official it was a form of treason. Mind you of course I suspect Rudd did over do the language a bit, but it was not for public release.

Prior to that meeting he was accused by many of being too close to China, so I suspect (no certainty at all) that he was overcompensating, probably to convince the USA that he was not fully in China's camp. It did not work and he was replaced by an new PM, already checked by the Us embassy and deemed suitable.

Albo will need to watch his step or he will find himself removed.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:03 utc | 282

RT seems to have preserved some of that journalistic principle, and be it for smarter propaganda only. They just show in the trailing paragraphs: "Side A says this, and side B says that". That is sane and sensible. You seem to be highly disturbed by it.

Posted by: aquadraht | May 22 2022 10:43 utc | 275

Well said, I have been reading RT a lot lately (since the rise of Trump) because they do provide the news better than anything here. Better English most of the time too. And I don't really like them all that much, they have a lot of annoying habits, and are on the tabloid-y side. But even AP and AFP are not good for much these days. All drivel all the time.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2022 11:06 utc | 283

Latest Russian MoD briefing... More of the usual...

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

During the day, high-precision air-based missiles have hit 3 command posts, 13 areas of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 4 ammunition depots near Soledar, Sol' in Donetsk People's Republic and Nyrkovo in Lugansk People's Republic.

Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 3 command posts, 26 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 1 ammunition depot near Krasnyi Liman.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 210 nationalists and up to 38 armoured and motor vehicles.

Russian air defence means have shot down 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Kurakhovo, Guselskoe of Donetsk People's Republic, Popasnaya of Lugansk People's Republic, Chernobaevka in Kherson region, Russkaya Lozovaya, Kozachya Lopan, Nizshee, Malaya Kamyshevaha and Petrovskoe in Kharkov region during the day.

In addition, 2 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been intercepted near Kamenka and Bukino, Kharkov Region.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 583 areas of enemy's manpower and military equipment concentration, 41 command posts, 76 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, including 3 batteries of Grad MLRS, as well as the Ukrainian Bukovel electronic warfare station near Annovka, Nikolaev Region.

In total, 174 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 977 unmanned aerial vehicles, 317 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,198 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 408 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,622 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,077 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

#MoD #Russia #Ukraine #Briefing
@mod_russia_en

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 11:09 utc | 284

ted001 #276

Rudd is the last person one should seek advice from regarding China. He is the USA man in the down under land. He certainly offended China's representatives at times.

Albanese will be in a tough quarter negotiating around the Solomons/China trick but it is possible. He needs Senate independent or Greens support for his legislation in the coming year as far as I read the results last night. If Greens leader Bandt is prepared to make a hard bargain then the Greens Senators might be favourable to the Albanese legislation. It is these numbers that will set the picture for negotiation parity. They will be finalised in a week or so.

Albanese has played a strong role over years in these cross party negotiations with lower house and senate independents. BTW he has no illusions regarding Rudd and the very conservative and often intractable forces within the Australian Labor Party. He has been on the left in the ALP since his teenage years in New South Wales Young Labor. He certainly knows how hard and savage the right is.

I see the election outcome as being a strong chance for a peace based Oz with balanced global alignments rather than an obsequious USA fawning. It is a big call and I trust that will hold true but I have no illusions and that it might need vigorous street expressions to see it through.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 11:09 utc | 285

The word PAHLAVI is a Language, those people are not Iranian, they are originally from Georgia, and Farah DIBA is from Chechnya . her real name in Leyla Sheyshani , These were train by Russian at Hamadan Cossack Base!
Posted by: Grishka | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 270

There was a Pahlavi ethnic group in India, which I think around 3rd-4th century AD (some say 1st century AD but that might be questionable) was forced to leave India, migrating in several different directions, one of which ended up in Gui Chao in southern China (or possibly just a trickle of travellers, I am not sure, but the certainly reached the Silk Road). Allegedly several Indochinese scripts are derived from Pahlavi, via the original Gui Chao script. Maybe some reached Georgia? Could be some also reached Iran. Could be they were traders and plied the silk road between Iran and China (speculation on my part).

Posted by: BM | May 22 2022 11:16 utc | 286

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:03 utc | 282

It seemed to me at the time that Rudd was being continually undermined with regard to China. I had high hopes that Australia - China would form a really good relationship. I am sure US embassy in Canberra would have been working overtime to sabotage anything meaningful.
There would have been plenty of pro-American Labor members stirring the pot.

I think we will see Tania Plibersek take over some time in the future.

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 11:16 utc | 287

The Food crisis is a feature, not a bug. It will be used by the west to bind the global south to the US economic orbit. Next month the BIS/IMF(band for international settlements/international monetary fund) will issue new SDRs (special drawing rights) which will be lent to the developing countries to buy food. It comes down to: Either join our side or let your population starve. Will it work? No Idea but it seems to be the plan. Michael Hudson seems to be the only one aware of this (and writing about it).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22 2022 11:21 utc | 288

Are you aware of any reports / research papers in that area?
Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 271

I don't know who is doing maps etc locally.
The following is not exactly what you are asking for but are very knowledgable people on US interference in Aus.
You may already be aware of them but just in case:

Some of the best commentary I am aware of is from a guy in the Australian Citizens Party (they have never had an elected member) he recently did a fantastic series of interviews with an ex ambassador to China. Full of interesting history.
Robbie Barwick
Here are links to part one and 2 of the interview on their channel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4JWcv2FQAg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKMRgkDKH1w&t=1135s

here is a link to a very interesting chat he had with Daniel Dunbrill (Canadian you tuber in China) with loads of interesting back story, from memory portrays K Rudd as not quite as savoury behind the scenes as he likes to present for the public.

Video title: Australian Puppets of American Empire Expose Themselves
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeLoZnWsAl8&t=454s

Maybe you could contact him on recommendations of the best researchers.

Brian Berletic of New Atlas is really up on NED in SE Asia as well, he researches Aus as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZg1YNcFUmo&t=22s

Posted by: K | May 22 2022 11:40 utc | 289

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 11:09 utc | 285

I think you are sadly very, very wrong about Rudd and the left and even Albo. Yes I KNOW he is genuinely on the left from his youth, but sadly that does no guarantee support for an anti US/independent foreign affairs position. Whatever he personally would like, he is advised by Marles who is really, really a US man and very much of the right, by Penny Wong, very much on the left but like so many of Malaysian Chinese descent quite hostile to China, and as for Tanya,with her Latvian descent I think we can guess her views on all things Russian.

That is why I am not hopeful of much change. Rudd however is not and never was the US's man, although he may now be scared into it. We know via Assange that Shorten got CIA approval for Gillard, so I think most of us can join the dots, as to who helped persuade so many to dump Rudd with such rapidity (like a coup). The fact that Gillard was technically of the left and Rudd of the right (and religious to boot) means many of the left were way to quick to kick him out, and think they were doing the wise thing. Julia became a US lapdog- embarrassingly so -and had the diplomatic savvy of Liz Truss.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:45 utc | 290

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 11:16 utc | 287

Tanya is great on many things but NOT on international relations. She is very, very, very like the Swedish and Finnish social democrats.

I do not think Tanya wants to be PM. If Albo goes I think Chalmers or Marles would be PM, both very much of the right.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:52 utc | 291

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:03 utc | 282

It seemed to me at the time that Rudd was being continually undermined with regard to China.

Posted by: ted001 | May 22 2022 11:16 utc | 287

You can watch recent talks from K Rudd on his youtube channel.
With the passing of time I see him more objectively now than when he was PM. Personally I now find his language and attitude on China to be superior and maybe even contemptuous. Just because he can speak Mandarin does not necessarily mean he is positive about China. Or that China is positive about him.

I went to vote on Saturday and it struck me how positive everyone was, out voting in the pouring rain. Australians hope for better this time. Of course the odds are we won't get it while the US Bully is still on the block but that is going to be changing soon too it seems. As others have commented the past does not always predict the future, cracks appear and the light shines through.
We now have a Teal party, a bit more green than blue, centrist with a tinge of left and climate positive. This is an interesting development.
Also I discovered that we have a Socialist Alliance Party that has a familiar Marxist ring to it but barking mad policies that will alienate everyon who isn't on the dole. Pity.
Quite out of character of my normal jaded attitude on the mostly very dumbed down level of Aussie politics, I actually felt strangely positive this time as well. I think people will give the newbies and the less interesting oldies a another chance. and in the meantime who knows what will happen in the world outside this little bubble.

Posted by: K | May 22 2022 12:03 utc | 292

That is why I am not hopeful of much change. Rudd however is not and never was the US's man, although he may now be scared into it. We know via Assange that Shorten got CIA approval for Gillard, so I think most of us can join the dots, as to who helped persuade so many to dump Rudd with such rapidity (like a coup). The fact that Gillard was technically of the left and Rudd of the right (and religious to boot) means many of the left were way to quick to kick him out, and think they were doing the wise thing. Julia became a US lapdog- embarrassingly so -and had the diplomatic savvy of Liz Truss.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 11:45 utc | 290

yes completely agree. My observation was that its the Clinton faction that was controlling Gillard so I guess that might as well be CIA. it WAS a coup imo, and Ms Gillard was a war hawk.
I'm disgusted with Labor, their internal politics is about as revolting and corrupt as the the Liberals external politics. I hope they can pull it together to do a better job this time. The saving grace in my opinion is the huge increase in independents and small parties. To me this trend is the only possible way out of the two party quagmire short of a socialist revolution.

Posted by: K | May 22 2022 12:13 utc | 293

@ Posted by: aquadraht | May 22 2022 10:43 utc | 275

Well, there sure appear to be no shortage of highly disturbed people here..

Perhaps you would also like to point me to all the articles on other Russian State media that i didn't mention that shared these invasion documents? Perhaps there is a reason these stories are reserved for the same dubious publications that spread rumours about magic USS Donald Cook killing super dooper EW weapons (that so far only helped sink the Moskva), or Nato Generals in Azovstal that strangely never materialise...

Fact is, there are also published documents alleging invasion plans from the Russian side, so who the f knows what is news and disinformation in the end.
Found this for example:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/sebastienroblin/2022/03/03/alleged-captured-documents-imply-ukraine-invasion-planned-in-january/?sh=2c053b531b96
Somehow the Ukrainian invasion plans seem harder to find online, anyone want to post them, please do, and i don't mean on some conspiracy site full of viruses especially made for hacks, LOL.

But by all means, feel free to keep insulting anyone who dares merely question some of the Russian logic in the face of WW3 against a Nato that looks like expanding, exactly the opposite of what it asked for in December. The fact that someone living in Central Europe finds all this concerning being equated to trolling really boggles the mind, particularly considering the amount of arguments I've been having with brainwashed Russophobe Germans lately.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 12:19 utc | 294

K

I can guess you were in Qld, in the pouring rain.

Rudd's daughter is married to a Chinese guy, so it is not really contemptuous. Certainly his recent statements have been quite negative, which is not encouraging, but at least he has the brains to sort the rubbish from truth.

Do not get me wrong- I am not super hopeful, but pretty sure he will be more positive than Marles.

The Teales are really old style Liberals- Menzies era Liberals, not the new religious fundamentalists who call themselves Liberals but would be better described as Taliban. At least two are the daughters of Liberal luminaries - Spender and Chaney. It is of course a very good thing generally for Australian politics that these have emerged, but I would not get too carried away with how good they will be.

I think there will be more integrity in government as a result of the Teales, and better climate policies. Not sure about much else.

However yesterday was a good day and i too am feeling a little hopeful.

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 12:20 utc | 295

People outside the US don't really understand the Yank's lust for power. They will destroy the Earth rather than give up their global hegemony.

Posted by: Hidari | May 22 2022 8:21 utc | 246

And since current Yank elites are destroying the country ASAP, this begs thecwuestion: 'who yanks the Yanks' chain'?

Posted by: Scorpion | May 22 2022 12:21 utc | 296

Posted by: K | May 22 2022 12:13 utc | 293
Fully agree

Posted by: watcher | May 22 2022 12:22 utc | 297

Posted by: Grishka | May 22 2022 10:35 utc | 270

Posted by: BM | May 22 2022 11:16 utc | 286

You haven't got this history of Pahlavi quite right. In Persian, pahlavan is a hero or champion, for example an Iranian wrestling champion is a pahlavan. As you can imagine, it's widely used to suggest top qualities for something. Pahlavi, the language of champions, is the main pre-Islamic Persian dialect, though not I think the only one. That's why the last dynasty of Shahs adopted it as their family name, though they were of no particular noble origin. Reza Shah was a military officer in the Cossack brigade, and according to wiki from Mazanderan on the Caspian coast. Of course once the military coup succeeded, they ramped up the idea of the Pahlavis as the legitimate Shahs of Iran.

Posted by: laguerre | May 22 2022 12:24 utc | 298

Thanks to the australians at the bar for explaining the political situation there.

If i get it correct, this new governement is rather a good new. ( well, couldn't have been worse than the previous one I guess..)

By the way, Le Drian, newly former french Foreign relations minister , publicly rejoiced on the ouster of Morrisson in a not very diplomatic way..( remember the submarine deal..).
He has just been replaced by Macron with Catherine Colonna, and this for sure could have been worse ( like the kind of Annalena Baerbock ). Colonna is a real experienced carreer diplomat, considered a "Chiracist" ( the gaullist trend within the French right / as opposed to the "Sarkosist"/atlanticist ) and she previously worked under De Villepin. Interestingly she also headed the OSCE from 2017 to 2019 and should now where Donbass is. It is a signal from Macron, and rather a little good new too.

Posted by: malamatias | May 22 2022 12:27 utc | 299

The rouble's performance is revelatory of the Empire's success in economic war. These "warnings" from Empire press outlets are confirmation of Russia's success in the military arena.

Posted by: Henry Moon Pie | May 22 2022 9:22 utc | 255

The Rubles extraordinary and rapid rise to historic highs has been a real eye opener. I listened carefully when VVP addressed the world community in his February speech warning us that Russia had concidered every possible eventuality and had answers for them all. Boy, did they have answers.

Fundamentally, that blond on the Saker site explained it: 'the more you pressure us the more we come together.'

Clearly they hold the high ground in all key spheres. The Empire of Lies is a hit has-been mess!

Posted by: Scorpion | May 22 2022 12:33 utc | 300

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