Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 07, 2022

Some Other People's Thoughts On The U.S. Role In The Ukraine And Europe

Craig Murray correctly states that U.S. president Joe Biden is working on prolonging the war in Ukraine:

The new Ukrainian stance, that there will be no peace deal without recovering the Crimea, has ended for now any hopes of an early ceasefire. It appears to be a militarily unachievable objective – I cannot think of any scenario in which Russia de facto loses Crimea, without the serious possibility of worldwide nuclear war.

This blow to the peace process was a setback in Ankara, and I should say that every source I spoke with believed the Ukrainians were acting on instructions conveyed from Washington to Zelensky by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who openly stated he wanted the war to wear down Russian defence capabilities.

A long war in Ukraine is of course massively in the interest of the US military industrial complex, whose dripping roasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have gone rather off the heat. It also forwards the strategic objective of severely damaging the Russian economy, although much of that damage is mutual.

What Craig misses is that the war is about much more than the weapon industry. It has led to the at least temporary U.S. control over Europe and its sources of energy.

Wolfgang Streeck takes a look at the EU after Ukraine. Describing its evolvement throughout the decades he takes note of the huge mistake it made over the war in Ukraine that allowed the U.S. and NATO to 'lead' the response:

As the tensions increased around Ukraine, visible in the massing of Russian troops on the Ukrainian borders, western European countries, apparently as a matter of course, handed the United States power of attorney, allowing it through NATO to act in their name and on their behalf. Now, with the war dragging on, Europe, organized in a Euro­pean Union subordinate to NATO, will find itself dependent on the bizarreries of the domestic politics of the United States, a declining great power readying itself for global conflict with a rising great power, China.

The EU totally failed to recognize that the war is waged for U.S. interests and how it is used by it as a weapon against Europe's sovereignty:

What will be the war aims of the United States, acting for and with Europe through NATO? Having left it to Biden to decide on its behalf, Europe’s fate will depend on Biden’s fate, that is, on the decisions, or non-decisions, of the U.S. government.

Short of what the Germans in World War I called a Siegfrieden—a victorious peace imposed on a defeated enemy, as probably dreamed of in the United States by both neocons and the liberal imperialists of the Hillary Clinton school—Biden may go for, or even prefer, a drawn-out stalemate, a war of attrition keeping both Russia and western Europe, in particular Ger­many, engaged with each other.

A lasting confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian, or “Western,” armies on Ukrainian soil would unite Europe under NATO and conveniently oblige European countries to maintain high levels of military spending. It would also force Europe to continue wide-ranging, indeed crippling, economic sanctions on Russia, as a side effect reinforcing the position of the United States as a supplier of energy and raw materials of various sorts to Europe.

More­over, an ongoing war, or almost-war, would stand in the way of Europe developing a Eurasian security architecture of its own, inclusive of Russia. It would cement American control over western Europe and rule out French ideas of “European strategic sovereignty” as well as German hopes for détente, both presupposing some sort of Russian settlement. And not least, Russia would be occupied with preparations for Western military interventions, below the nuclear threshold, on its extended periphery.

This unconditional surrender by the EU and its member states to U.S. command and control is bizarre. As the effects of the war set in there will bring a serious backlash against Brussels. Looking at all the contradictions within the EU and its internal conflict with its eastern members the sustainability of the EU project is now in serious doubt. It might still be sustainable, in a reduced form, if Russia decides to de-NATO-size it.

The most serious mistake was made when the EU, before the war, agreed with the U.S. to put sanctions on Russia that would hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia. That completely missed the bigger picture.

Alastair Crooke writes that this will lead to change in the way the 'western' world has worked so far:

The EU leaders must be sensing their predicament: They may have ‘missed the boat’ for getting a political ‘fix’. But they have not ‘missed the boat’ in respect to inflation, economic contraction, and of social crisis at home. These ships are heading in their direction, at full steam. Did the EU foreign ministries reflect on this eventuality, or were they carried along by euphoria and the credentialed narrative issuing out from the Baltics and Poland of ‘Bad Man Putin’?

Here is the point: The fixation with Ukraine essentially is but a gloss pasted over the realities of a global order in decomposition. The latter is the source of the wider disorder. Ukraine is but one small piece on the chess board, and its outcome will not fundamentally change that ‘reality’. Even a ‘win’ in Ukraine would not grant ‘immortality’ to the neoliberal rules-based order.

Crooke quotes former Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau who admits that he and the 'west' completely misjudged Russia economic role in the global marketplace:

The western sanctions were based on a formally correct but misleading premise, one that I believed myself at least up to a point: That Russia is more dependent on us than we are on Russia. Russia has more wheat than it can eat, and more oil than it can burn. Russia is a provider of primary and secondary commodities, on which the world has become dependent. Oil and gas are the biggest sources of Russian export revenues. But our dependency is most acute in other areas: food and also rare metals and rare earths. Russia is not a monopolist in any of the categories. But when the largest exporters of those commodities disappears, the rest of the world experiences physical shortages and rising prices.
...
Did we think this through? Did the foreign ministries that drew up the sanctions discuss at any point what we would do if Russia were to blockade the Black Sea and not allow Ukrainian wheat to leave the ports? Did we develop an agreed-upon response to Russian food blackmail? Or did we think we can adequately address a global starvation crisis by pointing the finger at Putin?
...
I have concluded that we are all too connected to be able to impose sanctions on each other without incurring massive self-harm. You may argue that it is worth it. If you do, you sound like the tenured economics professor who argues that a rise in unemployment is a price worth paying.

The catastrophic results of the sanctions was predictable and has been predicted.

Now, as the horse is out of the barn, we should not close its door, says Münchau, but offer something that woos the horse to voluntarily come back in:

Unless we cut a deal with Putin, with the removal of sanctions as a component, I see a danger of the world becoming subject to two trading blocs: the west and the rest. Supply chains will be reorganised to stay within them. Russia’s energy, wheat, metals, and rare earths will still be consumed, but not here. We keep the Big Macs.

I am not sure the west is ready to confront the consequences of its actions: persistent inflation, reduced industrial output, lower growth, and higher unemployment. To me, economic sanctions look like the last hurrah of a dysfunctional concept known as the west. The Ukraine war is a catalyst of massive de-globalisation.

Europe instead is discussing how to best burn its barn down.

Posted by b on June 7, 2022 at 15:42 UTC | Permalink

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Russia is the most sanctioned nation on earth. So how are prices and shortages doing for ordinary Russians?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bq8MfAlNPY

Take a video tour.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 7 2022 15:46 utc | 1

Joe Biden convinced europe to slit its own throat and offers a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. It’s no longer if things fall apart but when and exactly how.

Posted by: Lex | Jun 7 2022 15:48 utc | 2

this is all kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Most of us who have been following the demonizing of Russia and disregard for their security concerns can only shake our heads as every "western" country blindly follows orders from the US.

The amount of consent by the general populace in each of those countries is also unbelievably high. I have spoken to many people in various walks of life in different countries and found that nearly every one can only parrot what they hear and see on the teevee. pretty much Putin bad is as far as it gets.

it's all quite disheartening. worst part is, even when I do find someone who "gets it" we both know there aint a damn thing we can do about it.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 7 2022 16:02 utc | 3

great article b.. thanks... you are picking up the alastair crooke article from yesterday and running with it...

i think the reason it is so confusing as to why europe would allow this to happen has to do with finance... the eu was created for economic reasons and is beholden to wall st and etc... it is like it was a wall st creation... nato has always been a tool of the usa's to keep most of europe separate from russia.... europes goose is cooked and no one in europe has the ability to do anything about it.... well, unless germany breaks with nato and europe - it can kiss its sorry ass away.. so - burn its own house down, or stand on its own.. those are the choices here... same deal with france... uk is always going to be married to the usa.. that won't change, but germany and france need to grow some cajons and get a life.. this might help them do it, but i am not counting on it... all hail mother usa, leader of the bullshit world of financial exploitation personified...

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2022 16:02 utc | 4

When Russia made the ultimatum about post-1997 or else, the so-called west panicked. There were even sanctions before 24th February. Only, they forgot about eventual defense. It looks like none of the “leaders” had played sport, where one team plays against another, or one sportsman against another, for example boxing. You need to have a defense, you just can’t break all the bridges. The EU broke all the bridges, even though the US sort of feigning that it has some bridges that are still there. The thing is neither the EU, nor the US, or the collective West has any bridges left. They went too far with their sanctions, their supply of armaments, mercenaries etc.

It is a total war against Russia, a war to destroy Russia, and the Russians.

The bridges are burnt down by the enemies of Russia. So, why should Russia take pity on those who attacked her? Directly or indirectly? Not only Ukraine, the EU has to surrender.

Ah, by the way, Zelensky is a Jew.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 7 2022 16:04 utc | 5

@ dan of steele | Jun 7 2022 16:02 utc | 3

the amount of consent is based on how the media works.. it is totally dominated by these same financial interests that will lie, steal, murder and rob, to ge the end result they are looking for... the consent is based on complete ignorance and is easy to change too... lets wait until next fall rolls around...

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2022 16:04 utc | 6

The EU is just following orders from Langley. "Wild Bill" Donovan conceived of its creation back in '50s.

from maier files

from sott


I'm sure everyone is aware of that here, though. This will be an interesting thread!

@2 Lex - I love your metaphor!

Posted by: lex talionis | Jun 7 2022 16:13 utc | 7

Actions undertaken by the US govt. are almost always emotionally driven, impulsive, and done with no thought whatsoever of the consequences.

Posted by: erik | Jun 7 2022 16:13 utc | 8

The other point often missed here and elsewhere is that Russia and the US/UK are defeating Germany and Europe for third time in just over 100 years.

There is no question who the current losers are. The open question is if and when Europe will fight back against one or both.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 7 2022 16:14 utc | 9

One of the unremarked issues is that the US has been waging hybrid warfare since Operation Gladio and since the Vietnamese War the US has recognized the compelling need to control the "information space" i.e. the public sphere.

In consequence of the above it is doubtful that there exists in Europe any representational government. What governments do exist are lead by persons favourable to US interests, persons who raise no objection to US wire-tapping and monitoring of phone calls, and a press concerned only with not publishing anything objectionable to US interests.

Europe will never "sense its predicament" until the population experiences social upheaval and collapse.

Posted by: Sushi | Jun 7 2022 16:16 utc | 10

I’m certain Moscow knows precisely how U.S. politics uses wars to make sure the corrupt system always survives. Ultimately Russia realizes that for the forseable future it has to search for other markets and allies and once the long term objectives are achieved, they will be able to completely disregard any of the west’s illegal sanctions. All things must pass as they say and the insanity that has driven the E.U.’s beaureacrats and so called soveraign govt’s into these chaotic strategies will eventually end and future generations will come to their senses. As the U.S.A. declines to a state of restricted potency as it internally falls apart and the dollar no longer functions as a weapon, the sovereing countries of Europe will no doubt, try very hard to mend their bridges with Russia. However, in the supercharged hubristic driven cosmic cretinism of the current political classes, this is at least a full generation away.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 7 2022 16:16 utc | 11

@ b

How about if Germany started negotiations (under the table) on some sort of pre-emptive possible activation of Nordstream 2 with Russia and other energy deals, while everyone is focused on "making Russia less powerful"?

That, perhaps, would be the starting initial blow to the US.
Even if there would be a great threat of sanctions and whatnot towards Germany, it would start to roll a snowball down the hill for many countries in EU.
Merkel would perhaps have wisdom and possible bravery to do it. Maybe.
But it appears that EU is dead scared.

Which bears another question; Is EU also brought unknowingly under the 'land-lease'?

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 7 2022 16:17 utc | 12

Austin's assumption that continuing the war will weaken Russia seems lacking in evidence, or rather inconsistent with the evidence. Seems like projection. These guys are the same ones that want us at war all the time, because careers, so they must want to weaken the USA too ...

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 7 2022 16:19 utc | 13

"Unless we cut a deal with Putin, with the removal of sanctions as a component,.."

You can't just cut a deal with Putin, for Putin is a Russian -- born in Leningrad -- who loves the multi-national Russia and its inhabitants. No, you can't cut a deal with him that would go against Russian Federation is any way, ever. Any decision of his must benefit the people of the Russian Federation. People in the so-called West can't fathom the patriotism of a Russian.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 7 2022 16:19 utc | 14

You know, quite some time ago I spoke with a couple of friends from Sweden and elsewhere about the political class. I mentioned that here (in the USA) there is definitely a certain type that is able to go into it so so speak. They reposted by saying that in the EU it is a sealed and locked caste system. Perhaps if this is the case, then maybe the so called leaders really just do as they are told by the corporations and dynastic power holders and the will of the people be damned. I guess have the BadManPutin narrative playing on a loop will slow down the eventual torches and pitchforks, but I rather doubt it will prevent them from lighting up. Never go Full Incubator Baby, and never do Full Sri-Lanka!

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:20 utc | 15

@ Opport Knocks | Jun 7 2022 16:14 utc | 9

germany could work with russia.. they don't have to fight it... but they haven't figured out how to do this quite yet.. not sure if they will.. they could start by getting out of nato... that would be a game changer..

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2022 16:23 utc | 16

Biden accelerated the;

1) "De-Dollarization" and the Implementation/Development of Settlement+Currency Systems utilized by SCO/SilkRoad/EAEU Members+Trading Partners;

2) Ascendance of the PetroCNY;

3) ₽UB for Russian Commodities (starting with NatGas);

4) "De-Muricanization" of Domestic Russian Industries (McD, IBM leaving);

5) Permanent Increase in IND Imports of RUS Crude (25× Monthly Avg, 28× Avg sched for June);

6) Eventual CHN Dumping of U$D/U$T and €UR/€uroBond Holdings;

7) Possible Global AgriFood Production Shortfall - RUS+BLR have 45% of the Global Fertilizer Market; and

8) The Fracturing of UKR where RUS Speaking/Friendly East+South Coast Leave and Kiev-Lviv West continue Fail-Stating.

9) The Ruination of SWE+FIN Defense Industry and De Facto Security Status as "Non-NATO Neutral" Entities;

10) The Eventual End of Zelenskyy, Blinken, Sloy-dd Austin, and Nudelman-Khagan's Political Careers.

This was off the Top of my Head in 8 min. Anyone have anything else?

Posted by: IronForge | Jun 7 2022 16:26 utc | 17

Since the beginning of the year, the US has stationed hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany, Poland, and the Baltics. The public stance is that these are here to shore up Europe's defense against a Russian invasion. It's also true that they're now within hours of most European capitals.

The debate about the future of NATO might be something other than parlimentary.

Posted by: jhill | Jun 7 2022 16:26 utc | 18

At least 2 people have understood, pre-war, that the Ukrainian leadership must be wholly neutralized: me and Putin.It was certainly understood pre-planning-- endless wars like Afghanistan and Vietnam were most certainly calculated into the war plan--how obvious could it be?
It no longer amazes me that the Western left, the lot of it, is playing its usual part, gullible-noble to the last and well enough adjusted to capitalism to call it home. I don't count but thank goodness Putin is realpolitik.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Jun 7 2022 16:27 utc | 19

It's politics all the way down, but it's economics all the way up. Sort of like the brain versus the gut.
Our belief in narrative uber allies is about to get the mother of all reality checks.

Posted by: John Merryman | Jun 7 2022 16:30 utc | 20

what we would do if Russia were to blockade the Black Sea and not allow Ukrainian wheat to leave the ports? Did we develop an agreed-upon response to Russian food blackmail?
Q: Is there any proof of either putative assertion, i.e. Russian Black Sea blockade or Russian food blackmail?

Posted by: skrik | Jun 7 2022 16:30 utc | 21

Bemildred13:
I does seems as though they are suffering from a case of believing ones own propaganda hm?
In regard to the weakening of the USA, it is in full effect but on a variety of levels. Take for example the somewhat standard Color Revolution model with a heart dose of Cloward-Piven that has been applied “liberally” for several decades. The bipolar aspect of the national culture is being thrown into sharp relief, setting the stage for some serious chaos once manufactured scarcity takes its toll. Of course this is part of the classic Divide and Rule blueprint, and like all plans made in battle it never really survives first contact. Red vs. Blue may keep the heat off the so called elites for a bit, but not forever (IMO)… So will this breakdown cause some of the MIC tentacles to contract? Maybe the 800 or so bases out of country will be cut down to 600? 400? Who knows, but I think there is a sufficient rift between what the citizen hopes for and what the pentagon gets, that there will continue to be money for war even if there is none for bread. Lots of wild cards in the deck though. As the mass casualty events are in creasing there will be attempts to disarm which wont go over well. Add to that a massive increase in all cause mortality, which we are seeing now. Factor in some cultural war-fare sponsored by the usual alphabets and you have a recipe for violent panic….around mid July?

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:31 utc | 22

Alles

Posted by: John Merryman. | Jun 7 2022 16:31 utc | 23

@ Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:20 utc | 15

"maybe the so called leaders really just do as they are told by the corporations and dynastic power holders and the will of the people be damned."

That is certainly how I see it. The prime minister or president of a country is not captain of the ship of state, they are more like the first (or chief) mate. They relay the orders of the captains (deep state) to the crew and oversee the implementation of those orders.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 7 2022 16:33 utc | 24

Skirk-21:
No there is not, in fact there is evidence to the contrary. B. Wrote a decent piece on it right here in fact. File it under PutinManBad, RussiaEvil. More of the same as the accuser wallows in projection and guilt….

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:34 utc | 25

When the US engineered its first "humanitarian intervention" against Serbia in 1999, many analysts recognized this as a war against Europe, i.e. a war to subjugate Europe, in a similar way today's analysts see the engineered conflict in Ukraine. So, why was this war needed again for the same purpose? Perhaps the answer is that the first one did not manage to enslave European countries to the extent desired. Many of them were led by old-time politicians with different ideas, as was evidenced by "old Europe's" rebellion against the war in Iraq. It seems that since then the US worked on creating a pliable political establishment, especially in Western Europe, which will not be in a position to refuse compliance when needed. With such political (and cultural) domination secured, it seems, it is time to take over the economy and whatever else may be useful.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 7 2022 16:37 utc | 26

MarkU: Those who prefer not to be named…. The threshold for obedience is a primal one, and when this is sufficiently threatened and enough of the populace goes critical mass, things can get crazy……

Based on comments here from people actually living in the EU, it seems like most people are in lock-step.

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:37 utc | 27

The Anglo-US Masters of the Universe believe that Putin and Xi are temporary aberrations who will be replaced by the "right sort" of comprador in time.

For them, the "rules-based international order" is the future; the aforementioned leaders are regressive ideologues (nutcases; losers; wannabes).

Putin will be replaced by a compliant neoliberal group (Kudrin would be ideal) later when Putinism collapses; Xi will be replaced by a more pragmatic, less ideological, group of Shanghai gangsters when he retires - because they will be able to make more money for themselves by collaborating with Western oligarchs.

This divide and conquer strategy - rely on the avarice of sociopaths in other cultures to sell out their fellows - has been an incredibly successful strategy for 500 years. I don't see this strategy failing in the long-term if there is insufficient understanding of this on the highest levels.

I linked to the House of Lords Select Committee transcript from 2018 on the previous thread.

The statements by Sir Andrew Wood (former RU Ambassador) illuminate this (sociopathic, narcissistic, ruthless, shrewd, supremely self-confident) Western mentality perfectly:

"My first point would be that Russia is ruled by an opaque and shifting power structure that is centred on the Kremlin. It is now devoid of authoritative institutions that would enable it to develop into a fully functional state or to work out a reliable or accountable way to ensure a creative succession to Putin in 2024.

Secondly, much-needed structural economic change is essentially not on the cards. Without it, Russia’s growth will be mediocre at best, and the natural pathology of the Putinist power vertical is for repression and corruption to continue to rise.

[...]

We should be particularly cautious about drawing parallels between our experience of the Cold War and the experience we have now. The Soviet Union was an organised state. It was not to my taste, but it was an organised state overseeing and commanding a bloc of substantial countries in Europe, which Russia is not.

[...]

I do not think that there is a great deal of profit at the moment in discussing with Moscow a possible solution to Ukraine. There is a so-called process that is not working, but we owe it to Ukraine, and ultimately to Russia, to allow that country to do its best, which is more than Russia is doing; that is, to arrive at new solutions to its own problems for itself.

[...]

Russia is moving towards a fate in which in a sense it will have no Government. As I began by pointing out, it will have a small group at the top which is devoted to its own interests and has no tangible structure to produce a legally based, answerable and accountable society.

[...]

Experience shows that on the whole you get better investment if there is a proper legal structure to protect and encourage it. If you have a structure that is essentially and increasingly corrupted, that is an inhibition to the proper development of society as a whole.I do not think we have to argue that­—it is just true. The Russians do not actually have a proper system in that sense now. Their reliance on the Russian Orthodox Church as a validating idea is pretty hollow.

Also, the idea of democracy as we understand it—the vote being decisive and necessary—has been greatly weakened. In my view, the foundation of democracy is a proper, accountable legal system. That is how we started, even when we had King Richard II or whoever. That was the basic philosophy behind it. The Russians have never had that and they have a fundamental problem in deciding who they are, what they are for and so on, which is compensated for by a huge number of mythical assumptions about their superiority, their messianic traditions and so on. I do not think there is now, as there was in Soviet times, a serious discussion between a communist system and a western system. I think they are struggling to find any answer to that.

We do talk to them and try to determine in which areas it might be useful to work with them. It has been very difficult to identify any such area, in part because the basic aim is clear. It is to make Russia great again, to use a nice phrase, but it is not actually much more than that. Other than that, it is about dominating neighbouring countries, and I do not see how that helps us to come to a better world.

It is the agenda that is missing, for me. I do not think that that is our fault particularly. I think it is a result of the system that the Russians have concocted for themselves. I do not think that that system is going to last for ever. Quite how it changes is beyond me. It could easily change in more of a Maduro than a Gorbachev direction, but it will change."

Straight from the horses mouth.

Sir Wood ruthlessly identifies the weak points of the RF - Putinism and anti-communism.

The strategy is that with Western pressure the Putin regime will collapse one way or another and the RF will be made compliant, one way or another.

Why change this strategy? The EU removing itself from the scene as a Great Power is excellent news for the Anglo-American Empire - which is progress, the future, better than anywhere else in every way, and entirely through the virtue of its political philosophy.

Without a progressive ideology such as what the Soviet Union had - Russia is just a bunch of sore losers. Winners don't want to have anything to do with losers.

Putin - for all his managerial ability and intelligence - still yearns to be respected by the West and is sentimental instead of ideological.

If the Russian peoples don't recreate a reformed Communist bloc - in collaboration with China - they are toast in my opinion.

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 7 2022 16:42 utc | 28

Wolfgang Streeck: "As the tensions increased around Ukraine, visible in the massing of Russian troops on the Ukrainian borders, western European countries, apparently as a matter of course, handed the United States power of attorney, allowing it through NATO to act in their name and on their behalf."

This framing mistakenly posits the West as responding to Russia's massing of troops on Ukraine's border, when the opposite is true. Russia massed its troops and eventually invaded Ukraine in response to an eight year buildup of Ukraine's military as well as a recent massing of Ukrainian troops for what it believed was an imminent attack on the Donbas republics. In other words, the war was intentionally provoked by the US's Ukrainian puppet regime. The European vassal states voluntarily relinquished their sovereignty to the US. Getting the order of events right is critical to a correct understanding of the context of the war.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 7 2022 16:42 utc | 29

@ whirlX | Jun 7 2022 16:17 utc | 12
Is EU also brought unknowingly under the 'lend-lease'?
Probably not, just gifts. As far as I know lend-lease is a US gimmick to gain influence and financial dependency from foreign governments.

Definition of lend-lease -- the transfer of goods and services to an ally to aid in a common cause with payment made by a return of the original items or their use in the cause or by a similar transfer of other goods and services.

How may Ukraine pay for this gear? They have no money.
Joe Biden: “Ukraine has 20 million tons of grain in storages right now. We are now trying to figure out how to get it out of the country and to market, which should reduce the prices around the world.”

Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022
In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, the President may authorize the United States Government to lend or lease defense articles to the Government of Ukraine or to governments of Eastern European countries impacted by the Russian Federation's potential invasion or ongoing aggression by the armed forces of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Condition.--Any loan or lease of defense articles to the Government of Ukraine under paragraph (1) shall be subject to all applicable laws concerning the return of and reimbursement and repayment for defense articles loan or leased to foreign governments. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 16:47 utc | 30

….around mid July?

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 7 2022 16:31 utc | 22

Well said, by November for sure, but some places a lot sooner than others. Mr. Biden seems to be made for the job. I wonder from time to time how long things can stay "normal". What I remember from the 60s & 70s is "surprisingly long".

Somehow there are always a few places where things are normal.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 7 2022 16:47 utc | 31

The Ukrainians have blocked the Black Sea and/or have put mines all over anywhere.
I often wonder why the Germans do not say, "so what about what the west will do; at least we'll be warm"

Posted by: a lurking reader | Jun 7 2022 16:48 utc | 32

Meanwhile everyone in the US, where we are trained to assume that driving a 100 mile round trip commute every day or work a job in the 'gig economy' driving for Uber just to put food on the table is normal, there is much angst about the price of gas. Most of my Ukraine flag friends and family are among those bitching the loudest about it. They don't seem to understand basic economics. Now that Europeans are competing with Americans for a the same oil/gas, the western fossil fuel companies can fleece people on both sides of the Atlantic to the tune of record profits.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 7 2022 16:50 utc | 33

Oil and gas are the biggest sources of Russian export revenues.

Wolfgang Munchau was never the sharpest. He makes the cardinal error in thinking Export earnings are essential. They may be to Germany or UK or France to generate Forex to buy imported necessities, even luxuries. Look at UK which runs a huge trade deficit with Germany - 50% of which is cars ! Yet for decades until 1970s UK did not need to import BMWs or Mercedes or VW - and the minute it embraced the EU it allowed MNCs like Ford or GM to rationalise production centres across Europe and FORCE Uk to be a vehicle importer of previously domestic brands like Ford and GM. Indeed UK was the only country on earth where Ford sold more cars than GM.........until the Single Market.

Russia may not need to import. Russia is not Saudi Arabia. It has Engineers rather than Religious Scholars and should be an industrial power and agricultural giant. China is an FMCG producer with Amazon and Wal-Mart as its key distribution channels.

Russia is a capital goods producer. China cannot build jet engines and is way behind Russian technology. It was Germany that had a reputation in capital goods and I recall many years ago a senior manager telling me Germany would sell producer goods to China and import consumer goods from China.

I told him he was deluded. China would never permit its export success to be dependent on producer goods from Germany - it would create its own industries and its own financial centres.

Now Russia and China has symbiosis.

EU was dying anyway. Once BreXit occurred the UK flipped the EU onto its back. It escaped Collective Decision-Making in EU Council and imposed NATO atop the EU working in tandem with USA. This was what Trump wanted - but Biden succeeded in implementing Trump's program BECAUSE Europeans align with Democrats and never Republicans.

Nixon, Reagan, Trump were loathed in Europe and satirised and demonised in Spiegel magazine and in Euro Media.

The Great Game is Mackinder v Mahan. - Russia understands it is facing War with the Maritime Powers US + UK (and their navies are fully integrated even at level of individual ship with crew interoperability). Western Europe is run by simpletons who lack strategic insight.......only France has an inkling and Paris is terrified Scholz is so stupid that he will destroy the EU because he is dominated by Baerbock and Hasbeck.......laughably !

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 7 2022 16:51 utc | 34

The Russiaphiles are finally understanding the US objective. The long war, the cleavage of economies is the object.
The US strategy is best understood by studying US support for China in 1937. A long war in Ukraine means there will be no peace treaty or ceasefire. Poland and the Baltic’s along with Ukraine understand this is a war for national survival. As demonstrated by the recent Dutch referendum, there is no desire to become part of a Russian sphere of influence.
If there is going to be any peace/ceasefire Putin will need to abandon his December objectives.

Posted by: Wobblie | Jun 7 2022 16:52 utc | 35

I wrote this earlier today -

I’m not an expert on geopolitics by any stretch of the imagination, but I know how to do basic fact checking. Apparently, a large percentage of the American population has forgotten how to do that (assuming they knew how to begin with). But seriously, remember all that sanctimonious noise we were subjected to over the past several years about only accepting information from “credible” sources? Well, nowadays, the western world’s largest media outlets will copy/paste “news” from Ukraine’s defense ministry, or even random .ru blogs, without any attempt to verify it. That said, BBC seems to have gone into James Bond territory. They apparently weren’t content with just being stenographers of war propaganda, but actually go out of their way to synthesize fake news. Here is an example.

https://readingjunkie.com/2022/06/07/fake-generals-and-fake-news-from-the-ukraine/

Posted by: Ian Kummer | Jun 7 2022 16:53 utc | 36

Going back to the days when it was the USSR, Russia has always been sanctioned, a point Putin and Lavrov occasionally remind people about; so, Soviets/Russians learned to cope with such crap. What's different today is the Geoeconomic alignment with the addition of Asia that in many respects replaces Europe for Russia. The Global South is also stronger where Russia is highly favored as a partner over the former Imperial powers. Just look at the recent engagements with the Arab League and African Union as examples. IMO, the food issue is being overblown by Outlaw US Empire propaganda. Putin's use of facts versus Blinken's bullshit was well played in a comment by Don Bacon yesterday. Factual analysts are showing the weakness of Rentier governed economies to deal with sanctions blowback that cripples their already diminished real economies which escalate their social problems. I continue to point out the ECB diktat of not allowing any greater than 3% deficit spending to deal with the sort of social problem tsunami that the EU is bringing upon itself. Germany ironically will soon end up like Greece.

We continue to read the utterly idiotic crap produced by dreamers who can't stomach Russian success that Martyanov went ballistic about yesterday. (I told him they're not worth risking a heart attack over.) It's rather obvious to see Russia's strategy regarding NATO/EU nations--have them pour money they don't have into the massive black hole that's Ukraine. Yes, as many have observed, there's currently little organized political opposition in NATO/EU member states, but IMO that will radically change as the costs of war support and sanctions blowback begin to bite. Unrest will take time to ferment like sauerkraut. By December it will be bubbling out of its jar as the effects of energy austerity and joblessness fuel the political fires. Having emptied their armories into the Ukrainian black hole, NATO nations will be hard pressed to pay for their replenishment while their citizenry's protest. That entire process takes time to develop which is why Russia's in no hurry. By December, Russia will be dealing with Odessa, while most of Western Ukraine's warehouses that held donated weapons stand smashed to bits by standoff weapons. And one wonders if gas will still be flowing through Ukie pipelines. Will the Nazis finally blow them up or will Russia turn off the tap?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 16:53 utc | 37

"Emmanuel Macron got a lot of people upset when he said we should not humiliate Vladimir Putin."

It's funny that the French leader thought that he, or any of the leaders of the unfriendly countries can humiliate Putin. 😏

Posted by: ostro | Jun 7 2022 16:53 utc | 38

james | Jun 7 2022 16:04 utc | 6
he consent is based on complete ignorance and is easy to change too

I heartily disagree. there really is no cure for stupid. getting to the core of the matter requires work and usually is only done if there is a financial or physical need. As long as we have Walmart and Amazon and our white privilege we pretty much let others do the thinking.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 7 2022 16:54 utc | 39

@ Bemildred | Jun 7 2022 16:19 utc | 13
Austin's assumption that continuing the war will weaken Russia seems lacking in evidence, or rather inconsistent with the evidence. Seems like projection.

This concept, common in the US State and War Departments, is fleshed out by Frederick Kagan here in a current Time magazine article, "The New Russian Offensive Is Intended to Project Power It Cannot Sustain."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 16:55 utc | 40

...there is no desire to become part of a Russian sphere of influence.
If there is going to be any peace/ceasefire Putin will need to abandon his December objectives.

Posted by: Wobblie | Jun 7 2022 16:52 utc | 35

And Putin and Russia have no desire to make Holland, France, Denmark, whoever part of its "sphere of influence." Why can't some people get that through their thick heads?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 7 2022 16:56 utc | 41

Reading what b printed, I don't think the authors are educated in money, or chose to ignore the salient points. The US has printed money to such extremes that its value is approaching zero. The dollar is the direct weapon against all other nations. As soon as the US ordered Russia's money( held for transactions in other currencies) to be stolen, Russia announced their currency would be backed by something real instead of worthless promises. Russia's currency suddenly more than doubled in value because the world isn't stupid. It knows the punishment for using US currency as the world reserve, Poverty. Russia is now making far more money each day than they did when they sold discounted oil to the EU nations. The US still buys it from Russia because nothing else works. Putin has given them the chance to free themselves from the US. (Yesterday there was a very good post describing the problem with the refineries and the oil they need unless they want to cease production for 6 or more years to retool)
To make it simple, Russia understands that this war will bankrupt the US and EU and there is no reason for them to hurry. There is even less reason to kill their troops by doing silly things in Ukraine. Soon the fighting will be over and the migrants leaving the Ukraine will destroy the economies of any nation that they settle in. The nazi's will move to the western Ukraine from which they began, Europe. The nazi's that attempt to stay in Ukraine will be imprisoned. Chess is so much more complicated that pitching coins against a wall.
The US has already crossed numerous red lines for Russia. Russia has noticed and told them about the violation of the UN charter for interfering, but they don't appear to hear. They won't hear anything coming either.

Posted by: Tard | Jun 7 2022 16:59 utc | 42

the US has stationed hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany, Poland, and the Baltics.

Totally untrue !!!! US has done NO such thing !
There are not "hundreds of thousands of US troops" on any continent other than the Americas.

US deployments

There are supposedly 80,000 troops in Europe but few are combat soldiers. Most US soldiers in Germany are SIGINT in Wiesbaden. There is one armoured division and they hope to have three. If there is a conflict they are all dead anyway - Iskander with 9M729 would eliminate them. There is no way US will be fighting a non-nuclear war on European soil which means it would be on US soil or at least in the airspace above US population centres

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 7 2022 17:00 utc | 43

@: moaobserver | Jun 7 2022 16:42 utc | 28

Anthony Blinken? Is that you? LOL

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jun 7 2022 17:04 utc | 44

. . .sanctions
Iran has set a wonderful example in this regard (as in others), having been under US sanctions for forty-some years.
Russia doesn't seem to be suffering. . .BTW, did you catch the video tour of a Russian grocery store at #1 in this thread?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 17:05 utc | 45

@38 @ostro;

The sociopaths of the big Western gang have already humiliated Putin. They know he yearns for their respect and is now angry and resentful that he did not get it.

They will continue to humiliate him - for example by accusing him of what they themselves are guilty of - because they are the best and most smart and tough leaders of the world and he is a dumb sentimental provincial loser.

Losers have to be punished for being weak. Otherwise there would be no winners (like them).

This is the basis of the "rules based international order".

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 7 2022 17:05 utc | 46

The US strategy is best understood by studying US support for China in 1937.

12 December 1937 Japanese planes sank USS Panay in the Yangtse River and the US did........NOTHING.........NOTHING at all.

www.usspanay.org

US is no longer a key player. It is a Has-Been nation undergoing accelerated decline. It is diplomatically incompetent and has no clue as to how to live on the same planet as China or Russia.

US lacks competence. It is run by blowhards and plantation owners who lack any insight into the world outside their Neo-Feudal society.

Wobblie is a comedian - perhaps he is simply gorged on US media - he clearly has no idea in how much contempt the US is held internationally.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 7 2022 17:07 utc | 47

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Jun 7 2022 16:27 utc

Democratic liberals and corporate progressives should not be confused with the Left. Doing so is a Manichean construct of the media to demonstrate a division exists between factions of capital and confuse the electorate to support aggression and domination by accumulated wealth regardless of which faction holds power.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jun 7 2022 17:08 utc | 48

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jun 7 2022 17:04 utc | 44

You might check your snark/sarcasm/cynicism meter. Nothing moaobserver is saying would come from Blinken's forked tongue and stunted intellect.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 7 2022 17:08 utc | 49

URL does not work, try this one....

USS Panay newsreel

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 7 2022 17:11 utc | 50

. . .speaking of Austin and his war department, from DOD:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's trip to the Indo-Pacific comes at a critical junction for the region, senior defense officials speaking on background said.
The secretary will give a major speech at the Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, visit with defense leaders and American troops in Thailand and then move on to Brussels for a NATO Defense Ministerial meeting and a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group [June 15].
Will Austin be able to keep all the chickens in the coop? He's failed before.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 17:12 utc | 51

The EU totally failed to recognize that the war is waged for U.S. interests and how it is used by it as a weapon against Europe's sovereignty
Or perhaps the EU realizes it and just doesn't have a problem with it.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 7 2022 17:16 utc | 52

There's no such thing as "Putinism." What the Lord said was 100% projection. I also greatly doubt Putin will retire in 2024. The political-economies being built by China, Russia and their Eurasian allies will avoid capture by the rentier class that's ruined the West. I directly asked Michael Hudson about the derivatives bomb which he sees becoming "very messy" as their underpinnings come unmoored. The biggest factor is the rentier class is a miniscule portion of humanity and has no sway outside its small Westernized world.

What we have is a clash of political-economic systems--one sustainable versus another that isn't, the former having very broad popular support while the latter only caters to a very tiny clique of parasites. The goal of destroying the parasites is being publicly articulated by both Russian and Chinese officials and is shared by an ever growing number of nations. Being caught red-handed breaking the Biological Weapons Treaty before the world has done wonders to order the sides in this Hybrid Third World War as only the captured support the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 17:20 utc | 53

How about if Germany started negotiations (under the table) on some sort of pre-emptive possible activation of Nordstream 2 with Russia and other energy deals, while everyone is focused on "making Russia less powerful"?

That, perhaps, would be the starting initial blow to the US.

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 7 2022 16:17 utc | 12

Theoretically, Germany is a big boy and could do it overtly. What European Commission can do to Germany when it could be defied by Poland and Hungary?

One can only guess if some key players in Germany are blackmailed and perhaps brides to submission, but political architecture of Germany is solidly controlled by Atlanticists through the control of four major parties, and the rest is conveniently split between far right and far left, the latter being also infiltrated to some degree.

It is similar in the other European countries. Atlanticism is still a badge of "sanity", new entries to politics get the badge or go back to the margin.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 7 2022 17:20 utc | 54

All wars in Europe have been consequence of english plots to make two European nations (usually the two strongest ones) fight each other. Including 1st world war and then 2nd World War.
Gulf war was plotted by witch thatcher, first Iraq war by criminal tony blair- this Syrian war  again by english rats which borne their ugly child ISIS.
Tony Blair, who, when occupied Iraq, claimed that "we will become the British Empire again," meaning that he will occupy the rest of the world too!
Now the british are repackaging their dream as global Britain. Only when wars become unpopular, the english stop taking credit for that and let blame be placed on Jews.
and stupid people including hitler blamed jews while it was all along the english parasites who l destabilise, plot and run the war (but those cowards do not fight in beginning-they come late to feast on already weakened enemy of the day.).

Posted by: Soi | Jun 7 2022 17:23 utc | 55

. . .there will be a test. . .
European Union
The EU currently has 27 members that have delegated some of their sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe.
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe is an official United Nations Observer. An international organisation in Strasbourg which comprises 46 countries of Europe. It was set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.
European Commission
The European Council is the EU institution that defines the general political direction and priorities of the European Union.
European Council
Institution of the European Union, consisting of the heads of state or government from the member states together with the President of the European Commission, for the purpose of planning Union policy.
NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European states, the United States, and Canada.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 17:32 utc | 56

This concept, common in the US State and War Departments, is fleshed out by Frederick Kagan here in a current Time magazine article, "The New Russian Offensive Is Intended to Project Power It Cannot Sustain."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 16:55 utc | 40

Yeah, that is what I question, that idea. "It cannot sustain." Says who?

Austin has shown no ability to sway anybody so far, but you never know. That mess in Sri Lanka was a long time in creation and is not going to get fixed soon, I'm sorry to say. The perils of a great location.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 7 2022 17:33 utc | 57

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 7 2022 17:20 utc | 54

And others more familiar with the German economy than I am - Also mentioned in this thread is the number of non-combatant US military personnel in Germany, mostly for SIGINT crap, and there would appear to be quite a few of them. How much sway does the American military have over German politics by way of the infusion of money that Uncle Scam prints for its 'troops' to spend in the communities that inevitably spring up around American military bases (this is the case in the US as well - many town and city economies rely heavily on military bases)? I would guess the amount of money spent in Germany is less per capita than other places because that country still has a viable manufacturing economy, but what holds on the local level often makes its way up the chain and affects national policies.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 7 2022 17:34 utc | 58

@53, @karlof01

"There is no such thing as 'Putinism'" - Yes, that is the problem.

Yes, sociopaths use projection as one of their primary techniques.

The political economy formed to cater to the needs of a tiny clique of parasites is capitalism, leading to colonialism, leading to imperialism, leading to fascism...

Which has been evolving for 500 years and the sociopaths have been doing very well indeed.

Sociopaths are a separate predatory human species; they lack key cognitive abilities, which they make up for in malevolence; they are present in every society to various degrees; they intuitively collaborate across the entire planet in their instinctive desire for dominance.

They will say and do anything. They have an almost magical ability to hypnotise others. Never underestimate them.

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 7 2022 17:35 utc | 59

I wouldn't call the european actions a "mistake" as this implies the wish to do it right.
Everyone could see what would happen with half a day of google research.
This is only explained by complete incompetence on a level where one can't even speak of mistakes or simply intent, maybe combined with blackmail.

Even now Münchau can't get his facts strait and speaks of nonexistent russian food blackmail and blocked ports.

Posted by: Flex | Jun 7 2022 17:38 utc | 60

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 7 2022 16:17 utc | 12

"@ b
How about if Germany started negotiations (under the table) on some sort of pre-emptive possible activation of Nordstream 2 with Russia and other energy deals, while everyone is focused on "making Russia less powerful"?"

Germany never made a proper peace treaty or new constitution after WWII. It's time. This is something the German people need to do for themselves. With the highly controlled media there it probably won't happen yet if it DID the undertaking would revive Germany as a 'we the people' community, provide an opportunity for them to identify core values that they share (which means ignoring fringe or secondary issues like gender pronouns, global warming etc.) and thereby have their own internally-generated 'reset.'

Hopefully after which they would shut down Ramstein and Landstuhl et alia and get cracking on building a new Eurasian civilization free of Anglo-Zionist BS with a new banking system, currency and all the rest.


Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 7 2022 17:39 utc | 61

@whirlX 12

Only gonna happen if there is a serious change in gov in Germany. Greens (German war party) and SPD need to be kept as far as possible from any type of authority. CDU is also very suspect. That leaves AfD and FDP, with perhaps the CDU as the JUNIOR partner in a coalition.
Then you will start to see the kind of RealPolitik which everybody here babbles on about. But I doubt most folks here would like to see that sort of gov in Germany. So what do you want?

Posted by: xeen | Jun 7 2022 17:43 utc | 62

"Flight ban for Russia's Lavrov sparks Montenegro row" fills in some of the blanks related to this treaty violation and the double standards being deployed as usual.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 17:44 utc | 63

"‘No longer US’ backyard,’ Latin America sends united message". Good article from Chinese perspective on the failure of Biden's Summit of America that indicates the waning ability of the Outlaw US Empire to coerce.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 17:47 utc | 64

My thoughts are just as a librarian reading what others have written, allowing me to connect some dots for all to read - https://crushlimbraw.blogspot.com/2022/06/america-we-have-chosen-this-path.html?m=0 - as someone said long ago, we're here the old fashioned way: "We earned it!"

Posted by: Crush Limbraw | Jun 7 2022 17:52 utc | 65

Putin is a Russian -- born in Leningrad ... Any decision of his must benefit the people of the Russian Federation

Posted by: ostro | Jun 7 2022 16:19 utc | 14

Perhaps, but as a logical scheme, it means "Any decision of Bident must benefit the people of the USA", "Any decision of Boris Johnson must benefit the people of the UK", etc. We live with the best governments possible! I will sleep better tonight.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 7 2022 18:01 utc | 66

Alistair crooked and Declan Hayes on Strategic culture along with H.K. Bradkumar (India punchline) and Michael Hudson are of the highest experienced calibre of people who tell reality.

Craig Murray along with the rest are now sitting on the fence. I suspect they are under a lot of pressure to dilute their story.

This Streeck quoted above with the never ending narrative of the west preparing for a global conflict with China is a) a distraction. b) racism. C) a dream.

The West will back down from Russia- all of them. The West could not attack North Korea despite all the bullshit you have been fed. China was always going to blow you up for that alone.

The severe economic downturn has just started and will increase exponentially. That is Russia, but if you want immediate collapse go and mess with China.

USA and the west planned this whole thing years ago and it all backfired, for blinded by hatred and ignorant, uneducated fools whose history lessons were taught by the CIA/Pentagon, controlled by the financial crowd.

USA might have hoped for a long drawn out war, but it will be over soon. What is not going away is inflation, increasing prices and food and energy shortages.

Moaobserver@28 posted an article by some fool British in the house of Commons 2018. The belief in Western superiority, hubris, hegemony and bullying under the guise of ever changing laws is ending.
Decades ago, I realized that it was all a pack of lies.

Posted by: Karl luck | Jun 7 2022 18:03 utc | 67

b, it's NOT a war of attrition as Streek asserts, it's quite obvious to anyone who actually looks at Ukraine itself, rather than the propagandists view of things, that Ukraine with its present borders, is finished. The West dumps its useless weapons on the unfortunate Ukrainians and Russians take care of its disposal but it keeps the 'war' going. But not for much longer. Then the REAL war starts.

Horribly, the 'West' as per usual, has sacrificed yet another nation and its peoples, to the god Mammon. Strangely, or perhaps not, the overarching view from Russia looks positively optimistic about the outcome! One comment from a Russian politico that I came across today, stated quite clearly that they (the Russians) had been planning this operation since 2014, the implication being that since 1991, they knew this was coming and have spent the last 8 years preparing for it (Kalibrating Ukraine).

And that’s the irony of the situation with the so-called left in the West, being the reactionaries and neoliberal Russia, the ‘progessives’! What a turnup!!!

The Russians have stood the NWO on its head. Let’s hope it doesn’t blow up in everyone’s face, the US are very bad losers, just like their brethren Nazis in Ukraine.

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 7 2022 18:06 utc | 68

@Soi (55) Your placing Britain as the prime mover in all wars must be flattering to the Brits, but in the world of today, it sounds too much like the tail wagging the dog. The UK is the US's poodle (I'm mixing metaphors, I know). It pants and runs in circles around its master, but it is still only an obedient pet.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 7 2022 18:07 utc | 69

Tony Blair, who, when occupied Iraq, claimed that "we will become the British Empire again," ...
Posted by: Soi | Jun 7 2022 17:23 utc | 55

Honestly, I see it for the first time. "Today Basra, tomorrow, the World!", it has some ring too it.

Updated as "Today, Komushyvakha, tomorrow, the shores of the Caspian!"

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 7 2022 18:07 utc | 70

The words "neo-liberal" and "neo-conservative" fascinate me. They appear to be synonyms. They appear to describe the same polices and the same people. In America, the trend has been constant in the same direction across Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden. If you plot American policies, and on the big stuff that is never debated in elections, you get a straight line. A straight line to hell if you ask me, but definitely a straight line.

And yet, if you read writers from the right, the problem is all from the 'neo-liberals'. And if you read writers on the left, the problem is all from the 'neo-conservatives'. It appears to be more equivalent to the style of the writer, than to any real difference between the 'neo-liberals' and 'neo-conservatives'.

Of course, there is nothing remotely 'liberal' about 'neo-liberals', nor is there anything remotely 'conservative' about neo-conservatives.

Liberals believe in 'progress', in building a better future, with more freedoms and rights. And yet, 'neo-liberals' tear down and destroy all previous progress. For instance, in the dismantling of the post-Watergate, pro-democracy reforms, in the dismantling of the post-Great-Depression banking reforms, and the dismantling of the cold-war legacy arms control agreements and structures.

Likewise, conservatives always think the past was better, and want to go back to when things were great. And yet, these 'neoconservatives' want a radical, new vision of the the world which has never been seen before. An empire spanning the whole world with no one else left able to stand and challenge them ... that is a radical notion, not something that repeats often through history.

The key part is the 'neo'. That tells you that even the Orwellian bullsheeeet artist who came up with these words knew that they couldn't sell this under the old words, so they had to create a new word, and thus a new meaning, by prepending 'neo-' to the old word.

And yet, writers on both the left and the right are so stuck in their style and rhetoric that these identical policies and otherwise identical people are called this either this new, anti-liberal, form of 'liberals' by the writers with right-wing style. And this new, radical, anti-conservative form of 'conservatives' are called 'neo-conservatives' by the writers of the left wing style.

The main thing that this tells me is that these writers, on both sides, are so stuck in old political arguments that they can only rant against 'liberals' or 'conservatives', even if they have to do so by sticking a 'neo-' in front of the new made-up word.

Congressman Ron Paul once had a great line, when he described Hillary as "Lindsay Graham in a skirt" on foreign policy. Is that the only difference between a 'neo-liberal' and a 'neo-conservative'? To me, the use of the words tells me much more about the writer than the subject.

Posted by: GeorgeO | Jun 7 2022 18:14 utc | 71

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 16:53 utc | 37

"Unrest will take time to ferment like sauerkraut. By December it will be bubbling out of its jar as the effects of energy austerity and joblessness fuel the political fires."

Beautifully put. And the US needs the SMO to provide cover for their treasonous take-down of the country so looks like this is going to keep fermenting away for quite some time...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 7 2022 18:14 utc | 72

From today's Russian MOD

"The values of the Ukrainian Nazis in Kiev are the opposite of the historical values of the Orthodox people of Ukraine.

▫️There is and can be no future for the current Kiev regime's criminal anti-Christian policy in Ukraine."

Posted by: Douglas Houck | Jun 7 2022 18:17 utc | 73

The EU totally failed to recognize that the war is waged for U.S. interests and how it is used by it as a weapon against Europe's sovereignty

Or perhaps the EU realizes it and just doesn't have a problem with it.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 7 2022 17:16 utc | 52

Agreed. I believe that the heads of most if not all European nations have long been disciples of the World Economic Forum, Bilderberg Group, etc. Consequently, they view their countries (and the bulk of the people therein) as expendable in the drive toward a New World Order.

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 7 2022 18:25 utc | 74

@69 "The UK is the US's poodle..."

True but they did create a huge empire. Certain Americans are quite impressed by that. And some Americans are quietly envious of the way the Royal Family keeps going. They find the ceremony classy I think.

Posted by: dh | Jun 7 2022 18:28 utc | 75

Posted by: Karl luck | Jun 7 2022 18:03 utc | 67

"Moaobserver@28 posted an article by some fool British in the house of Commons 2018. The belief in Western superiority, hubris, hegemony and bullying under the guise of ever changing laws is ending.
Decades ago, I realized that it was all a pack of lies."

That excerpt kindly provided by moaobserver was one of the few things I've read in a while that really surprised me. I know the House of Lords is a tad fusty - having struggled to stay awake during a lecture one day - but I didn't realize they were this sand boxed, myopic. It makes me presume that it's the same in DC.

One of the things which has really upset me the past few years is the overwhelming stupidity and submissiveness evidenced by 'we the people' in the West. But have been assuming that the ruling class isn't so stupid, rather malicious and self-serving.

But that excerpt from the Lords........

The good news? The likelihood of a serious confrontation with China just went way down in my book: there is no way the West can handle Russia's moves and counter moves and with such idiots in charge over such morons it will be a miracle if we can last until Christmas without some sort of major once-in-a-century break down.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 7 2022 18:31 utc | 76

On of my favorite bumper stickers of all time applies after #73....

"Who would Jesus Bomb?"

Think about it. Read the Gospels if you need a refresher. Go straight back as close as you can get to the source and read the words of the man himself. Then ask again, "Who would Jesus Bomb?"

Sorry if I made any money-changers in the temple flinch and suddenly look with fear towards the skies.

Posted by: GeorgeO | Jun 7 2022 18:31 utc | 77

It is good that b has provided some other opinions/analysis here. It would be great if we could get some Russian ones.
- Many relevant points have been made in this thread so far.
- About the EU: Some time earlier I wrote here that I think the EU will fall apart. The indications have been surfacing for quite some time despite talk of unity etc. I also mentioned someone's words - this is not the only or the best EU/Europe. The project has turned into a mechanism for enriching the rich (the corporations and all their assistants from the political class to the media). The EU citizen has been losing the last decades. The criminal affair called the pandemic exposed absolutely everything, if anyone here was watching. Yet, the criminal "leaders" are all in place. The problem in the EU, and on the continent in general, is that there is no articulated vision of a better system and a better future for the people of Europe.It is a bad copy of the barbaric US system. The degeneration of the capitalist system to its present openly criminal phase has lasted for some time and without much resistance. That is why I am deeply sceptical that the consequences of the current insanity turned into policy against Russia will lead to a change for the better. The EU leaders and the national ruling classes are the result of long lasting negative selection. They are about as a bad as it gets in every sense, but it can always be even worse. I see little realistic chance of progress towards an equitaable, humanistic system and future on this continent. Most people here generally don't care, are ignorant of anything social-political, deeply narcissistic, floating in their own vision of their countries and the EU.

Posted by: JB | Jun 7 2022 18:36 utc | 78

Another step initiated towards the organization of a counterpart to NATO:

http://en.people.cn/n3/2022/0607/c90000-10106283.html

When formed, this will be the Eurasian body of security enforcer, one step above what SCO was meant to be. Given the edge China presently enjoys in areas of 5th-generation telecommunication/AI/Production Efficiency over the west, this organization will forge ahead of NATO in weaponry and maneuverability by a generation!

Eat your heart out NATO while you ponders expansion eastward!!!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 7 2022 18:38 utc | 79

China/Russia/CSTO say to the west: NATO brothers and sisters and partners, PEACE, STABILITY, PROSPERITY

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 7 2022 18:41 utc | 80

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 7 2022 18:25 utc | 74

The EU's elites are all the heads of imperialist states, we don't need a conspiracy to explain it. The core imperialist states are all former or current, colonisers and/or settler states and all are white (surprise-surprise).

The US, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy. To these we can add 'honory white' Japan, then the other settler states, Canada and Australia. These 10 states form the Imperialist core with of course, the US as the lead.

In former times, it was the professional civil servants who formulated imperial policy but it's all been privatised! Hence the WEF etc. It's mostly for display purposes only.

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 7 2022 18:46 utc | 81

http://en.people.cn/n3/2022/0607/c90000-10106404.html

China to participate in the pending CSTO meeting.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 7 2022 18:46 utc | 82

I fucking hope most European governments will be overthrown before 2023 is over. Bonus points and champagne for myself if some are downright shot or hanged by their people - these fucking retards and traitors bloody deserve it.

I just wonder when any Western leader will realize that they fully and definitively have lost the Global South. The level of double-standards at play in Ukraine is way too much for non-Western people to take in - only a few corrupt elites that make a living by sucking it up to US handouts and bribes can stay the pro-Western course.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 7 2022 18:51 utc | 83

This Crooke essay was published a few days prior to the one being cited and discussed, "Europe in a sleepy summer hiatus – just as in 1914 ...," and merits closer scrutiny:

How to explain Europe’s contemporary second bout of political-élite somnolence and insouciance in a hundred years? Well, Britain’s tool for preparing the battlespace against Germany a century past was old-fashioned diplomacy. Britain engineered a diplomatic alliance versus Germany. But the US has brought a new tool to preparing the European battlespace: their inversion of Antonio Gramsci’s thesis that the cultural sphere is the most productive arena of political struggle.

Thus, instead of culture being the site of revolutionary action against an élite (per Gramsci), US and European social-platforms and MSM, cleansed of non-western rivals, have become precisely the site where the ‘system’ – the élite - can reassert itself, neutering the possibility of political resistance by dominating the cultural sphere: Big-platform algorithmic and MSM demonisation of China and Russia.

These can be the means by which a largely war-adverse Europe can be turned against China and Russia, with Euro-élites drowsing-on, in the name of advancing their ‘universal’ liberal values.

What is different today is also the most troubling. The original hypothesis seems to have been that using the US’ financial and trade muscle – whilst America still predominates – to collapse Russia’s economy, to contain China, and arm-twist Europe into tech vassalage - would be in itself, enough to contain the risk of hot war.

But the reverse is happening. The embarrassing failure of the financial war has forced Biden into a blunderbuss blast of distractions to cover for this failure - one that has not just failed to bring down Russia, but now risks collapsing the European economy, thus posing great collateral risk to the US financial system itself.

Thus the importation of Cancel Culture into Europe in the guise of Russophobia. Just how long ago this was imagined is unknown, but it reeks of an Obama/Biden/Clinton plan interrupted by Trump whose victory was turned into a massive PsyOp to build further Congressional support for the plot. Trump aided the overall cause by targeting China. But I very much doubt he was on-board with the plan to further the rentier class's wealth at the expense of Trump's MAGA. And here we return to looking at the emergence of the Coronavirus as a bioweapon instead of a natural pandemic as the CIA-Ukrainian biolab revelations force us to rethink that history.

IMO, Crooke is correct to see and discuss these historical parallels. The influential book he mentions, The Great Illusion, can be read and/or freely downloaded, although just reading all the accolades it was given confirms its influence on elite opinion and policy making.

IMO, we should hope the Outlaw US Empire is making a grave mistake that results in its downfall, but we should also pray that it doesn't result in the release of the Nuclear Kraken.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2022 18:54 utc | 84

WE blame the Zionists, English, Russians, NATO, neo-libs, neo-whatevers, cops, robbers, religions, drugs, satan, etc-etc-etc.

Maybe all are wrong targets?

Maybe there is some common denominator that is a/the correct target?...that we have overlooked?...or wrongly dismissed?

Some part of being human that , somehow, we are forbidden to know more about?

Like life? death? the mind?

I believe so.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 7 2022 19:00 utc | 85

Munchau was also quoted in Alistair Crooke's article that: “The lockdown taught us a lot about our vulnerability to supply chain shocks. It has reminded Europeans that there have only two routes to ship goods en masse to Asia and back: either by container, or by rail through Russia. We had no plan for a pandemic, no plan for a war, and no plan for when both are happening at the same time. The containers are stuck in Shanghai. The railways closed because of the war …
We haven't heard much about it but I reckon that those quarantined containers in Shanghai played merry hell with the U.S.'s supply chains as well as with Europe's. Blowback is such a bitch!

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jun 7 2022 19:05 utc | 86

...the spiritual nature of life?

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 7 2022 19:11 utc | 87

@85;

Sociopaths do not belong to any particular sex, ethnicity, religion or other essential characteristic. Their cognitive limitations and behavioural repertoires are limited and described by clinical psychology.

This is why they push a globalist, woke narrative - for their species to remain dominant, they must globally select for the most ruthless, efficient sociopaths - irrespective of origin. Not just white Western males.

The "rules based international order" provides a stable legal framework for assessing and promoting the best sociopaths over time. The scum rises to the top.

To appropriate Tolstoy in War and Peace:

"I only wished to say that ideas that have great results are always simple ones. My whole idea is that if vicious people are united and constitute a power, then honest folk must do the same. Now that's simple enough."

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 7 2022 19:13 utc | 88

Who to believe ? Alternatives are saying: (A) Biden looking to prolong the war (B) Biden frantically searching for off-ramp.

Posted by: Dale | Jun 7 2022 19:14 utc | 89

Don Bacon | Jun 7 2022 16:47 utc | 30

Is EU also brought unknowingly under the 'lend-lease'?

Probably not, just gifts. As far as I know lend-lease is a US gimmick to gain influence and financial dependency from foreign governments.

When EU runs out of fuel and has gone inflationary flat broke due to unbearable costs of production and living, I meant to ask exactly this.
Where is the protective deal with US in case EU is crashing down? Has that ever been discussed on any level? Is EU so stupid to believe that US will hop in and inject missing?

Or is it just a gimmick related to 'it is for your protection from RF' and pay for it.

EU is definitely not united as it appears.

Regardless, Hungary or Poland as not so much important and quite irritating thorns in EU did crack a bit of a mirage consistency there.

But no big players did anything similar yet, and they could. Isn't that strange?

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 7 2022 19:19 utc | 90

Here is the wonderful Edward Curtin. Please read in peace and reflect (on the deeper levels of these ordeals. Also - read CG Jung!)

https://off-guardian.org/2022/06/05/why-is-everything-broken/

Posted by: JB | Jun 7 2022 19:20 utc | 91

The race to be first to be right on the second try.
The west can do without much of what is supplied directly from Russia - it is generally fungible. So this bit of hysteria is not credible.
The greater problems are that
- NATO will collapse
- US hegemony with NATO
- dollar as world reserve currency with US hedgemony
- the thing Kissinger said

Its now no longer about Ukraine - NATO must die.

It will be a while yet before they can accept such total defeat.
They will just pretend to be diplomats (not in pocket of Boing/Ratheon) through the elections. The US can only be trusted once it stops breathing.

Putin will manage regime change in US/UK.

Posted by: jared | Jun 7 2022 19:23 utc | 92

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 7 2022 19:00 utc | 85
"Maybe there is some common denominator that is a/the correct target?...that we have overlooked?...or wrongly dismissed?
Some part of being human that , somehow, we are forbidden to know more about?
Like life? death? the mind?
I believe so."

Ha Ha, chu teh. Yes, indeed: the Buddha called it 'samsara,' the spinning cyclic wheel of codependent origination and ongoing existence. Samsara is without beginning or end. It runs on the fuel of fixation arising from the craving for individuated experiences, aka 'me' or 'this' or 'I am' etc. So it's an existential world-creating process rather than any specific belief, individual, species or particular terrain (like our planet).

Some people in the modern era have postulated that one way of describing this is that the universe wants to have particular experiences in the relative sphere (rather than existing in formless, timeless absolute being) so grows various organisms with form capable of doing that. So we are the universe experiencing itself in countless variegated ways. Once the process is set in motion such primordial creativity never stops but because there is an underlying greed or fixation quotient in the mix samsara features a tendency towards all creatures therein messing up, creating bad ends, aka 'suffering' in the jargon. There are ways of avoiding this, but none of them are easy and yet all of them are what all advanced cultures promote, things like honor, courage, integrity, discipline, selflessness, service, kindness, order, cleanliness and so forth.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 7 2022 19:23 utc | 93

It's refreshing to see that b has come to accept that the European ruling oligarchs are buffoons. Before now, especially before the start of the Russian SMO in Ukraine, b was sure that the Eurocrats would resist the U S pressure when it threatens the European's vital interests. I have always felt that there is no one in the position of power in Europe who has the gut to stand up to the USA, which makes Hungary's small resistance in some areas looks revolutionary. Western Europe like Japan are secured colonies of the USA and I don't see that changing soon.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 7 2022 19:23 utc | 94

@ GeorgeO | Jun 7 2022 18:14 utc | 71

The difference between neocon and neolib is simple:

Neocons pander to social conservatives on issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, etc.
Neolibs pander to social liberals on the same issues.

Both pursue exactly the same predatory-imperialist foreign policies and domestic economic policies.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 7 2022 19:26 utc | 95

@85 Chu Teh:

"Maybe there is some common denominator that is a/the correct target?...that we have overlooked?...or wrongly dismissed?

Some part of being human that , somehow, we are forbidden to know more about? "

I am most interested. Please elaborate.

I have long wondered why we humans are so consistently ruining ourselves.

Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.

We got fooled again. Who fooled us? We did.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jun 7 2022 19:29 utc | 96

@ dan of steele | Jun 7 2022 16:54 utc | 39

what i am also saying is it doesn't matter because stupid has no voice in changing the reality on the ground... as i have said here many times before, it is not the propaganda war that is worth winning, but the war on the ground... the west excels at propaganda.. it matters not in the final analysis as i see it..

@ chu teh | Jun 7 2022 19:00 utc | 85

yes, as others are suggesting - please elaborate.. i am ready for something different! i liked @ tom pfotzers response!

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2022 19:40 utc | 97

Re: Streeck

Mr. Streeck put together a very respectable overview of the political environment, but he has completely omitted the economic aspects of the situation.
In particular, this article is clearly written with the fundamentally flawed assumption that economics is subservient to politics - a view evidently shared by the EU Council.
My view is that this is a fatal flaw. The impact of extraordinarily high energy prices on the EU - particularly even the richer Western European nations - is and will continue to be enormous. If the relatively moderate gas price increases of a few years ago gave rise to the Yellow Vest movement in France - how will the politics play out with the European conglomerates join forces with said ranks of deplorables?
Even were the conglomerates choose instead to vote with their feet - as in outsource their product to China as the US has been doing for decades, the impact of this on European finances would be extraordinarily negative in the short term but even more catastrophic longer term.
From my view, the EU-friendly center-right+center-left governments in the EU are under extraordinary threat from structural job losses and other negative economic costs on top of the normal negative disposable income effects from a commodity cycle upswing.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 7 2022 19:48 utc | 98

Meant to ask the question here not on yesterday's posts. Apologies

Russia Says It Will Take More Ukrainian Territory to Defend Against Longer-Range Weapons

Ritter says Russia needs a legal justification for Phase 3. Could the long range MLRS systems (even though only 4 each from 3 nations) give them that justification -- at least a portion of it?

Posted by: John Kauai | Jun 7 2022 19:49 utc | 99

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 7 2022 19:26 utc | 95

also, neocons pretend global warming is a plot by evil scientists to oppress fossil fuel companies, but neolibs pretend to be concerned about it.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 7 2022 19:53 utc | 100

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