Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 17, 2022

Ukraine - The U.S. Is Moving Towards Escalation

The catastrophic economic consequences of the 'western' proxy war with Russia are setting in. As a result the high inflation, caused by supply side constrains due to sanctions and far too much spending, will ruin the middle classes of many countries.

To those who did not wear blinders and who knew of the real economies of the 'west' and Russia this was very predictable and predicted:

The U.S. is pushing its European 'allies' to commit economic suicide by sanctioning everything Russia. The U.S. should be more careful. It is one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil and its aircraft industry depends on titanium from Russia. Russia surely knows who is trying to hurt it the most and it surely knows how, and has the means to, hurt back.

The hurt has not at all reached its peak. This winter will be very difficult for Europe. Poor countries are even worse off. Many will experience hunger crises and riots.

Today the Russian president Vladimir Putin held a speech at the Petersburg economic forum. The transcript isn't out yet but here are excerpts from a Twitter thread:

The Eurasianist @Russ_Warrior - 12:58 UTC · Jun 17, 2022

⚡President Putin at #SPIEF2022: "The United States, having declared victory in the Cold War, declared themselves the messengers of God on earth, who have no obligations, but only interests. They seem not to notice that new powerful centers have formed on the planet"

Putin at #SPIEF2022: "The changes in the world are fundamental, pivotal and inexorable. And it is a mistake to believe that you can sit out at the time of rapid changes, wait out that supposedly everything will return to normal, everything will be as before. It won't!"
"There will be a deep degradation in Europe, current elites are going to be replaced" — President Putin at #SPIEF2022 "Their wrong policies will lead to an increase in nationalist and extremist sentiments in European society."
"The world was systematically driven into a huge global crisis by the countries of the so-called "G7" — President Putin at #SPIEF2022.
"The EU has totally lost its political sovereignty, its elites are dancing to someone else's tune, causing harm to their own population"
❗"Hunger in the poorest countries will be on the conscience of the West and the so-called European democracies" - President Putin at #SPIEF2022
"This problem has not arisen today, not in the last 3-4 months, and it is not #Russia's fault. We would be pleased to be so omnipotent. The situation has been getting worse for years, due to activities of those who planned to break trade flows," President Putin stressed
❗"Everyone who wants to continue to work/cooperate with Russia is being threatened by the United States" - President #Putin "However, this shows if real leaders are at the helm of a country or not", the president stressed.
"Russia is entering the coming era as a powerful sovereign country and only strong sovereign states can have their say in the emerging world order, or are doomed to remain or become a colony," President Putin concluded his speech at #SPIEF2022

Every word of that is true. Maybe Putin reads Moon of Alabama as I have made many of those points again and again.

It will not only be the current elite of Europe that will be replaced. The U.S. will see similar changes. Biden and the Democrats are toast:

The survey of 1,541 U.S. adults, which was conducted from June 10-13, found that if another presidential election were held today, more registered voters say they would cast ballots for Donald Trump (44%) than for Biden (42%) ...

Since Biden took office, no previous Yahoo News/YouGov poll has shown him trailing Trump (though Biden’s most recent leads have been within the margin of error, like this one is for Trump). One year ago, Biden led Trump by 9 percentage points. In 2020, Biden won the White House by more than 7 million votes.

Yet Biden’s job approval rating has been atrophying for much of the last year, and the new survey shows that it has never been weaker. A full 56% of Americans now disapprove of the president’s performance — the highest share to date — while just 39% approve. Three weeks ago, those numbers were 53% and 42%, respectively.

On average, Biden’s job approval scores are now a few points worse than Trump’s were at the parallel stage of his presidency.

Among all Americans, Trump (43%) now has a higher personal favorability rating than Biden (40%) as well. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of independents (64%) have an unfavorable opinion of Biden, and just 28% say they would vote for him over Trump.

At Asia Times David Goldman sees signs of Biden changing course on Ukraine:

A compromise in Ukraine with significant territorial concessions to Russia – the only conceivable way to end the war – would humiliate Washington.

A negotiated solution to the Ukraine war, though, is not impossible. Washington could continue to portray itself as the defender of Ukraine’s sovereignty while encouraging European leaders to do the dirty work and force Ukraine into negotiations with Moscow.

A possible hint in this direction came on June 14 from the US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin H. Kahl, who declared: “We’re not going to tell the Ukrainians how to negotiate, what to negotiate and when to negotiate. They’re going to set those terms for themselves.”
The United States won’t tell Ukraine what to do, Undersecretary Kahl declared. But that doesn’t prevent other governments from making Zelensky an offer he can’t refuse. Zelensky adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told Germany’s Bild-Zeitung on June 16 that German Chancellor Scholz, French President Macron and Italian President Draghi might deliver such a demand to Zelensky during their current visit to Kyiv.

I hope that they did so. But today, without any announcement, the British prime minister Boris Johnson, undoubtedly on order of Biden, appeared in Kiev to lobby for more war just like he did at the end of March when he told Ukraine's president Zelensky to ditch the negotiations with Russia.

That is why I fear that Michael Brenner is right and that Biden will escalate the war by attacking somewhere else:

Necessity is the mother of invention — or so it is said. However, grasping what is “necessary” can be a very slippery business. An actual recasting of how one views a problematic situation normally is a last resort. Experience and history tell us that, as do behavioral experiments.
So, you are stuck with the albatross of a truncated, bankrupt Ukraine hung around your neck. There is nothing that you can do to cancel these givens — except a direct, perhaps suicidal test of force with Russia. Or, perhaps, a retaliatory challenge elsewhere. The latter is not readily available — for geographic reasons and because the West already has expended its arsenal of economic and political weaponry.

Over the past year, the U.S. attempted to foment Maiden style regime changes in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Both were foiled. The latter was with the connivance of Turkey, which deployed a contingent of bashi bazouks from the stock of Syrian jihadis it keeps on call in Idlib (to be deployed as President Recep Erdogan did more successfully in Libya and Azerbaijan).

There remains one conceivable sensitive target: Syria. There, the Israelis have become increasingly audacious in goading the Russians by airstrikes against Syrian infrastructure as well as military facilities.

Now, we see signs that Moscow’s tolerance is wearing thin, suggesting that further provocations could spark retaliation which Washington then could exploit to ratchet up tensions. To what avail? Not obvious — unless the ultras in the Biden administration are looking for the kind of direct confrontation that they’ve avoided in Ukraine, until now.

The implication is that the denial option and the incremental adjustment option are foreclosed. Serious rethinking is in order — logically speaking.

The most worrisome scenario sees the frustration and anger and anxiety building in Washington to the point where it encourages a reckless impulse to demonstrate American prowess. That could take the form of an attack on Iran in the company of Israel and Saudi Arabia — the region’s new odd couple.

Another, even grimmer prospect would be a contrived test of wills with China. Already we see growing evidence of that in the bellicose rhetoric of American leaders from U.S. President Joe Biden on down.

The Pentagon is not ready for a war on China. Iran is too strong and would respond to an attack by launching its huge missile arsenal on Israel and U.S. allies in the Gulf. This leaves Syria. It is unlikely by chance that the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the U.S. is coordinating Israeli airstrikes in that country:

WASHINGTON—Israel secretly coordinates with the U.S. on many of the airstrikes it carries out in Syria as the allies face a battlefield crowded with militant groups, Iranian-backed militias and foreign militaries, according to current and former U.S. officials.

I expect those airstrikes, like last week's attack on the airport of Damascus, to intensify with the hope to divert Russian attention from Ukraine.

Russia is of course 100% prepared for that but U.S. miscalculations that led to this are many and I do not expect that tendency to change anytime soon.

In his latest talk about The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war (vid) John Mearsheimer also speaks of why he thinks that an escalation is likely, and what the potential results might be. Without the Q&A it is only one hour long and well worth your time.

Posted by b on June 17, 2022 at 16:35 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"The upper-class power elites in America and Europe used to follow the Realist school on foreign policy but that ended when neocon influence gained more popularity after 9/11. Realists are opposed to neocon ideologues who advocate for world hegemony at all costs. They say that in the nuclear age it is a moral imperative of American leaders to take over the world so no nation can threaten the existence of America by nuclear attack. They went as far as promoting a nuclear first strike doctrine in order to attain world hegemony.

The power elites see regime change in Russia as a way to enhance the dollar reserve currency system. They want leadership in place who will allow foreign ownership of land and natural resources, i.e., Wall Street and European elites want to buy up Russia’s extractive industries (gas, oil, minerals), commodities industry, and agriculture to then trade them only in dollars thereby propping up the dollar as reserve currency for many more years. They plan to do that in Ukraine also, recently getting Zelensky to change the laws making it now legal for foreign ownership of land and natural resources." No More Omerta or: The Power Elite Says The Quiet Part Out Loud

Posted by: Kana | Jun 17 2022 16:35 utc | 1

Are Americans fed up with Biden and his war or are they fed up with high gas prices?

Posted by: dh | Jun 17 2022 16:53 utc | 2

I’ve not met the first American who draws a clear connection between rising prices and Biden’s war.

Posted by: Dale | Jun 17 2022 16:55 utc | 3

Maybe if the situation escalates far enough it will become the civilization war I keep writing about.

It might even then turn out to be about public/private finance governed society.

Wow, who'da thunk

One of the more interesting scenarios is that Ukraine will become the new "Occupied Palestine" or maybe a colony thereof....who knows

All I can see is lots of social pain and strife tyhat should not be happening because of ignorance and manipulation by a cancerous elite

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 17 2022 16:57 utc | 4

@3 Neither have I. But there must be a few out there somewhere.

Posted by: dh | Jun 17 2022 16:58 utc | 5

Full transcript (in Russian) of Vladimir Putin's speech at SPIEF on June 17, 2022 is now available at:

Link (link requires reload attempts from my location in EU)

Posted by: Andrew Celestina | Jun 17 2022 17:03 utc | 6

Transnistria seems like the obvious place to widen the war, I am led to believe that the 2nd and 4th Rumanian infantry divisions are being assembled on the Moldavian border. Anyone who expects the empire of delusion to give up easily is way too optimistic in my view.

The Russian's cauldron tactics (although effective) will cut both ways, surrounded troops cannot retreat. The Ukrainian army appears to be mostly composed of disposable territorials, braced by a corset of ideologically committed fanatics. It seems likely that they will be able to scrape up a moderate sized army from the people currently training in NATO countries to throw in at the same time that moves are made on Transnistria. It is well that the RF is keeping most of its troops in reserve.

This is probably the most dangerous time our species has ever faced. The so-called Cuban missile crisis was mostly smoke and mirrors, this one is for real and this time around we are being led by actual loonies.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 17 2022 17:04 utc | 7

@ b

The question is can Russia fight two SMO alike engagements simultaneously, Syria being not really next door?

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 17 2022 17:04 utc | 8

I wonder if Trump will ever come out and say the Maidan coup was a bad idea? Might be a good move. It happened on Obama's watch.

Posted by: dh | Jun 17 2022 17:06 utc | 9

There will be a deep degradation in Europe, current elites are going to be replaced" — President Putin

awaiting for current elites to be guillotined.

Posted by: andreweed | Jun 17 2022 17:09 utc | 10

Interesting times. Purin has it right, though. As quoted above:

"Everyone who wants to continue to work/cooperate with Russia is being threatened by the United States" - President #Putin "However, this shows if real leaders are at the helm of a country or not"

The choice is becoming whether to yield to the US stick and all the chaos it brings or to accept the carrot of the emerging world order. The world is seeing already ehst that choice will get you in what's happening to Europe. As things are developing, the first real loser is showing to be Europe. This is by design to rid the field of a competing currency (the Euro) and to prevent cooperation with Russia.

If the US will so casually sacrifice Europe for its own hegemonic aims (and to save the dollar), it will not hesitate to bring ruin to anyone else.

The time for straddling the fence is ending. Time to make a choice!

Posted by: Woogs | Jun 17 2022 17:12 utc | 11

Mr. Putin's speech was magnificent. He really does shame our second rate political elite with his erudition and obvious integrity. A real class act.

Posted by: Merkin Scot | Jun 17 2022 17:12 utc | 12


Both the USSA and NATO preach firrst use "WMD's".............

Duck and cover :

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 17 2022 17:13 utc | 13

The English transcript of today's Putin Speech is available on the Kremlin site.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 17 2022 17:16 utc | 14

dale, dh, let me introduce myself

Posted by: annie | Jun 17 2022 17:18 utc | 15

About escalation:

Lavrov, in a snippet from his interview with the BBC:

I then turned to Russian relations with the UK. It is on Russia's official list of unfriendly countries, and I suggested that to say relations were bad was an understatement.

"I don't think there's even room for manoeuvre any more," Mr Lavrov told me, "because both [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson and [Liz] Truss say openly that we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees. Go on, then, do it!"

Russia clearly is not in the mood for taking any shit!!

Posted by: Woogs | Jun 17 2022 17:18 utc | 16

Bad news

For both USSA and NATO doctrine and/or institutionalized the use of all WMD's! As first to use on the battlefield .

Duck and cover "Bert The Beetle(1951)".................

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 17 2022 17:18 utc | 17

From my reading of Putin's full speech, he is telling the world that the game is up with US hegonemy and the world is and will change away from said hegonemy. For European citizens this is wonderful news and now we wait and pray that the citizens of France vote into power the socialist anti Macron coalition to run their parliament. It's looking ever so likely that the game is up for the UK tories too as the age old problem of Ireland comes back to haunt the imperialist fascist elite of the UK. That leaves the good ol US of A who seems to be at war with itself and on the world stage is now openly riducled about not only the incompetent and clearly mentally unbalanced President and vice president, but its ludicrous wokeism and main stream media. The November mid terms might undo some of the damage but will it finally bring about some realism to the elites and neocons? I fear not, the exceptionalism of the Anglo Americans is so deeply ingrained in their psyche that I don't ever see it changing. As an Irish man who has seen and lived with the English aristocratic exceptionalism and witnessed first hand its constant disregard and contempt of my country and how the UK has managed to destabilise forever large swathes of the world even after its hegonemy shifted stateside makes me completely pessimistic about our world's future.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Jun 17 2022 17:19 utc | 18

Putin has weighed in on Europe's Colonization during his preamble prior to dealing with economic issues. I concentrate on the former while also mentioning the latter is the article I just published, "Putin Agrees Europe Has Lost Its Sovereignty". Putin clearly shows the current economic crisis is no fault of Russia's while the fault lays at the feet of the Outlaw US Empire's Neoliberals and its vassals. Indeed, without Europe's colonization, I doubt the crisis would be as severe as it is. Putin hints at what will occur to extricate the uncolonized world from the crisis and how it will be solved. Now that the Geopolitical reality is exposed, the next step is to implement the solution. I expect Xi's address to speak to this as well as others. A lot's happening, so much so that it's difficult to properly cover it all. But we must try!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 17:19 utc | 19

@Kana #1
Interesting thoughts but not particularly credible.
In particular, neocon was the liberals co-opting warhawk principles in order to justify American intervention abroad.
What you note from Pam Ho's article is more like Manifest Destiny than R2P.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:21 utc | 20

Correction meant to say "Burt The Turtle" Bertie Beetle is a yummy chocolate confection.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 17 2022 17:22 utc | 21

@dh #2
Americans are angry over their economic situation, post-COVID.
Biden is there and gets the blame.

Ukraine is a non-event to the vast majority of Americans, and the majority of the tiny group that "cares" demostrates their care by flying Ukrainian flags and changing their Twitter pics, and doing nothing else.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:23 utc | 22

So anything other than rolling over and accepting their fate as just another province of Russia is "escalation"?

Posted by: Noam A. Larkey | Jun 17 2022 17:25 utc | 23

@whirlX #8
Why would Russia need to send 100K troops into Syria? The "democratic rebels" are long since defeated.
The only sources for troops against Syria are the US itself (highly unlikely) or Israel (not much more likely).
And in either unlikely case, Iran is *right* there. I would be very surprised if Iran treated a direct Israeli or US assault in Syria in any different a manner than Russia with a non-neutral Ukraine.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:25 utc | 24

@MarkU #7
A lot of people have looked at the Romanian military, and laughed.
The Russian contingent in Transnistria can take on the entire Romanian military by itself, much less with Black Sea and Russia proper launched missile support.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:27 utc | 25

@ 12

As Derek Trotter would say "You know it makes sense"

Vladimir Putin is without doubt the most outstanding political statesman of the 21st Century.

Shame all we have in the 'West' is a multitude of private member clubs full of Arthur Daley's.

Posted by: Thatami | Jun 17 2022 17:29 utc | 26

Boris Johnson in Kiev, previous thread
Posted by: Melaleuca | Jun 17 2022 15:19 utc | 297

Yep, that is fun !

Bojo running in Kiev just after the 3 stooges left :"Hey dude, don't believe them, you'll wait for years on "candidacy" stage at EU's door ( which is true ) , do not surrender Donbass, don't sue for peace, we're behind you !"

And you EU folks, Listen to Ursula : " Ukrainians are ready to die for the european perspective ". Well, thanks for them Darling, (I'm european, are you saying that these guys are dying for ME ?) at least is clear : "fuck the EU" bis repetitae.. War is Hot , let the Show continue, we'll get some good martyrs, Baby.

The 3 clowns went to Kiev empty handed, and so they return empty handed. 3 comedians plus one don't make a deal, it makes a parody.

Meanwhile Putin is on fire, "One might think that the era of change can be sat out, waited out. That everything will be as before... "It won't be".

Of course it won't, Russia won. militarly, economicaly, and diplomaticaly. the Rest makes the West Rest.

Ukrainian army (and al) will break this summer , then it will be open bar for russian forces, until Galicia. At that time , the 3 aforementioned clowns, faced with utter defeat, will have to beg Russia for mercy ( reopen the pipelines, daddy , my people gonna guillotine me..) ). They will be asked to become neutral, no more. no less. Wich side will they take ? bowing to the old lord or bowing to new reality ?

The last empire on this planet is loosing its imperium, like empires do in history, they're ready to sacrifice many assets in the last battle, and the bleeding animal is always the most dangerous. At this point of history, it involves nuclear weapons.

Fall will tell, ( badly elected ) european leaders will have to clearly state where is their loyalty between the US and their own citizens.
In the very probable case that they choose their masters, we could see a pan european yellow vest 2.O movement faced by a militarized police in a freezing winter...Interesting time.
sorry, je divague.

Posted by: malamatias | Jun 17 2022 17:32 utc | 27

dale, dh, let me introduce myself

Posted by: annie | Jun 17 2022 17:18 utc | 14

Please do. I'm all ears.

Posted by: dh | Jun 17 2022 17:32 utc | 28

"we have fulfilled our obligations to you"

Europe must choose, but does it still have a choice?
Sending the 3 musketeers of the European Union to save the Queen's jewels was of course romantic. So European, so Western...
But silly.

What is Putin saying and preparing? And his friends?

I look forward for the posts of the bar's regular customers.

In the meantime, I found some indications in a French LNGtrade paper. The pain dial for energy goes up to 350€/Mwh

"Our product, our rules. We don't play by rules we didn't make," said Miller, boss of Russian gas giant Gazprom ,at the St. Petersburg economic forum.

"Russia is a reliable energy supplier for Russia's friends."

"Yes, we have a decrease in supplies to Europe," he said, assuring that "in the very near future, the demand for liquid natural gas (LNG) in the Asia-Pacific market will grow."

Sending a scratch to the Europeans, he assured that the latter "[EU had said] that long-term contracts are not necessary, so they are not necessary... we have fulfilled our obligations to you".

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 17 2022 17:34 utc | 29

@malamatias #26
The US still has the Five Eyes, EU and Japan.
That's not nothing.
Its just not everything, anymore.
The US itself is still a huge nation: 3rd most populous nation, top 2 economy, lots of oil, etc.
Don't confuse an inability to dominate the entire world with impotence.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:37 utc | 30

Mearsheimer's logic is pretty convincing. The stakes are so high for Russia and the US in Ukraine, that neither party can allow the other to win. The more that one party *appears* to be winning, the more the other party will have an incentive to escalate. Right now, Russia is winning. Hence the US is now scrambling to find a way to escalate--probably by the introduction of a new front in Western Ukraine or Transinistra, or, as b suggests, in Syria.

Hard to see how there's any escaping the escalatory logic here.

Posted by: WJ | Jun 17 2022 17:37 utc | 31

The US is attacking Syrian forces using proxy fighters though US troops are on the ground, Russia is attacking the US proxy fighters in Syria.

"Russia has reportedly warned American occupation forces that it is going to conduct airstrikes against Washington-allied Takfiri terrorists in southeastern Syria after a roadside bomb targeted Russian military forces in the country.

Two unnamed US defense officials were quoted as saying by CNN that the warning, which came earlier this week, led the US to quickly call on the militants to move their positions and to ensure that no American forces were in close proximity.

The Russians achieved their goal of “sending a message” to the United States that they can strike without being worried about retaliation, one official said.

The incident happened in the vicinity of the strategic al-Tanf region, near the borders of Iraq and Jordan.

The strikes were conducted against positions where the US-backed so-called Maghawir al-Thawra terrorists were operating. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but the property is believed to have been damaged.

Last month, the foreign intelligence service of the Russian Federation (SVR RF) said US occupation forces deployed in Syria’s al-Tanf region were providing military support to Takfiri Daesh terrorists and training them for field operations in Ukraine."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jun 17 2022 17:42 utc | 32


do you have a link for the change in the land ownership law.

Can't find anything on the inter tubes

Posted by: ed_finnerty | Jun 17 2022 17:44 utc | 33

@ karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 17:19 utc | 18
Thanks for:
Putin Agrees: Europe Has Lost Its Sovereignty

@all: must read first

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 17 2022 17:45 utc | 34

dh, i draw a clear connection between rising prices and Biden’s war although i didn't expect to be required to explain it (not my forte)! but it's not complicated. when you sanction one of the globes largest suppliers of energy (as well as other resources), intending to extract that energy from the global supply, it creates a contraction and scarcity and a scrambling to secure what remains, which forces prices to rise.

Posted by: annie | Jun 17 2022 17:45 utc | 35

Meanwhile with Russia and the USA's attention focused mainly on Ukraine Turkey's President Erdogan sees an opportunity to kill two birds with the one stone in attacking the Kurds and pushing further into Syrian territory.

"With the world's attention still focused on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened that his country is preparing a large-scale military campaign to repel Syrian Kurdish militants and establish a buffer zone within Syrian territory.

The situation along the Syria-Turkey border region is already volatile, with daily exchanges of gunfire between Kurdish guerrillas and the Turkish-backed Syrian armed opposition. Military analysts believe that by making such threats, the Turkish strongman, Erdogan, seeks to exploit the escalating conflict in Ukraine to accomplish his long-term ambitions in neighboring Syria.

As a matter of fact, Erdogan is benefiting from several political developments, both globally and domestically, and such a unique combination provides a propitious time for Ankara to unleash a military campaign against northern Syria. Currently, the Russians are terribly embroiled in Ukraine and despite signs of rapprochement in recent months, the Americans also need Erdogan to reconsider his obstinate stance against Sweden and Finland's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership bid."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jun 17 2022 17:46 utc | 36

As odious as Trump is, Americans/the world may have to wait until January 2025 before Ukraine can negotiate a peace with Russia. Syria does not illicit antagonism with Americans like Iran does. Starting a conflict with Iran would also put a Republican/Trump strategy in a double bind, as Trump murdered Soleimani and demonizes Iran. Still, Iran is a considerable foe and the US does not have the manpower to fight a ground war there.

Perhaps Venezuela would be a more susceptible target for continuing US aggression. Americans believe Venezuela is a dictatorship, it has oil, antipathy for Bolivarianism is bipartisan. Venezuela's armed forces would be a better match for US and Colombia's death squads. Plus, more war complex spending.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jun 17 2022 17:50 utc | 37

"The upper-class power elites in America and Europe used to follow the Realist school on foreign policy but that ended when neocon influence gained more popularity after 9/11. Realists are opposed to neocon ideologues who advocate for world hegemony at all costs. They say that in the nuclear age it is a moral imperative of American leaders to take over the world so no nation can threaten the existence of America by nuclear attack. They went as far as promoting a nuclear first strike doctrine in order to attain world hegemony."

This is off the mark, let's try to sort it out.

The predominant "ideological" global expansionist frame is that of "liberal internationalism." That framing foregrounds the democratic component of bourgeois democracy to portray the US and its subordinates as promoting the spread of democratic institutions. The US is bringing Something Good to the world, and such thoughts are very central to the lullabies elites peacefully fall asleep to every night.

Its "material" underpinning, these days, is, as Kana says, a dollar/Wall Street system that emphasizes the "freedom" of open markets for investor capital, untrammeled by any state interference. The smashing of developmental states in the 80s and 90s when their debt troubles, in part generated by Volcker's interest rate inferno, brought aabout IMF attacks on state economic planning -- the Washington Consensus -- was pivotal to this program. In a sense, the blackjacking of Gorbachev's hopes for a democratic socialist redo of the Soviet model was just another instance of this project. In a strong sense, this is what makes Russia and China so intolerable currently. Russia, in particular, was near gutted during the 90s by that setup.

What we call "neocon ideology," by way of highlighting an aggressive, global expansionism, is actually very compatible with the above. Neoconnery is by no means limited to ideas about eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons. Such ideas can also be found among "realists," e.g. Kagan. I think you can see that such ideas could easily be tacked onto the materialist Dollar/Wall Street project to give it additional oomph. Promoting worry about "security" is perhaps the principal way of making strategic planning appeal to the masses. It makes foreign policy an urgent matter.

Realists have gotten good press lately because some of them, like Mearsheimer, frame it as a backing away from what appears to be an intoxicated crusade of principle, i.e. the Democratic Societies against the Autocratic societies or whatever. Fair enough, but I think you can see how it would be possible to put together a kind of realist argument for the reduction of all opposition to the free flow of Wall Street dominated international capital. That would just be a version of what William Appleman Williams argued in the 40s and 50s, capitalism has gotta have the Open Door.

Posted by: dadooronron | Jun 17 2022 17:51 utc | 38

b I want to make a donation, but your link includes both email and web page. Sorry I am so dim but I have tried to figure it out with several rejected emails. email me please and I will keep it handy for future use as well.

Posted by: Tard | Jun 17 2022 17:52 utc | 39

@ c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:27 utc | 24 Re:

"The Russian contingent in Transnistria can take on the entire Romanian military by itself"

If you say so, hopefully that won't be put to the test any time soon.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 17 2022 17:53 utc | 40

Ukrainian forces claim to have hit Russian naval tug boat full of troops and weapons in the Black sea.

As Kiev moves closer to joining the European Union, Ukrainian officials claim their forces have hit a Russian naval tugboat with two Western-supplied missiles in the Black Sea.

"According to the Ukrainian navy, the tugboat had been transporting soldiers, weapons, and ammunition to the Russian-controlled Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military released a video of what it claimed to be two Harpoon missiles hitting the Russian vessel on Friday.

“During the full-scale war in the Black Sea, (anti-ship missiles) were used twice, first the (Ukrainian-made) Neptune, and today, June 17, the Harpoon. Both uses were successful. At the same time, the air defense of Russian ships proved to be entirely ineffective,” the Armed Forces Strategic Communications Directorate said.

Harpoon missiles are among the equipment the West has provided to the Ukrainian government in recent months to be used in military conflicts against Russia."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jun 17 2022 17:54 utc | 41

Putin on fertilizer costs and the hunger it will provoke:

"It is not difficult to calculate the further development of events. A shortage of fertilizers means a decrease in yields, which means that the risks of undersupply of food to the world market will increase, prices will go even more, which threatens hunger primarily in the poorest countries, and this will be entirely on the conscience of the US administration and the European bureaucracy." [My Emphasis]

The problem of course, is that Europe's a colony of the Outlaw US Empire and it doesn't give a damn about how many it kills or where in its pursuit to uphold what remains of its dominance, which is to say there're zero consciences that will be bothered by their continuing actions. Somehow, famine must be made to visit the Rentier Class and its allies, and IMO the only way to do that is to make their money worthless.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 17:54 utc | 42

Agree - thanks to
@ karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 17:19 utc | 18
Thanks for:
Putin Agrees: Europe Has Lost Its Sovereignty

Link on his comment to the article

Posted by: Don Midwest | Jun 17 2022 17:55 utc | 43

On Trump there's been a lot of news about his supporters antics on invading the US Senate in the UK media, reading between the lines it sounds as though they will try to find a way to bar him from Standing as US POTUS next time around. Possibly because he's still very popular with a section of the US voters.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jun 17 2022 17:57 utc | 44

not only that but the US said we were going to make up for that scarcity in the EU by increasing the export of LNG..

US wholesale energy prices have been on a strong upward trend in recent months, partly because US gas inventories are running well below the pre-pandemic five-year seasonal average. This year has 3wseen a blistering acceleration in US LNG exports to Europe, which is aggressively buying spot cargoes in a bid to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.

US LNG is becoming a zero-sum game

Posted by: annie | Jun 17 2022 17:59 utc | 45

excellent analysis b... i think you are bang on with the usa going into escalation mode and a likely place for this is in syria...

Posted by: james | Jun 17 2022 18:02 utc | 46

NATO hasnt actually made its move yet. They practice at their borders in Europe and expanded to Scandinavia.

Having exhausted the arsenal for peace time, although they have a few aces up their sleeve like banning the insurance of Russian commercial ships, it is not inconceivable that they start putting military pressure.

This conflict still has some ways to go. I dont see citizens in the EU changing their stance, they are ready to suffer if it is for the greater good. However, I am not so sure of communities with immigrant backgrounds. For them, there is not much to suffer for as they dont share the same western values.

Posted by: alek_a | Jun 17 2022 18:02 utc | 47

@WJ #30
The political logic is not the only factor -the capability to execute the second front is also extremely important.
Who would be the "fighting to the last X" in Syria?
I don't see Americans or Israelis volunteering for that role.
There is some logic for Turkiye to try, but Turkiye has obligations to Russia in the form of food, fertilizer, natural gas and tourist shipments.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 18:04 utc | 48

@ Karlof1 #18
From your link to VK
Putin said
"the European Union has finally lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else's tune"

You said "Some will argue that Europe lost its sovereignty years ago, and such arguments are quite sound."

The truth is slightly different. There was never European sovereignty, but the European nations were sovereign and independent.

It is the so-called elites, in fact interchangeable politicians [as Putin aptly puts it], bureaucrats of the worst kind, who have maneuvered to dissolve the sovereignty of nations in the European administration.

I do not wish to reopen the debate, but the two years of health crisis [Covid-19] have been an extraordinary preparation of the European populations for this bureaucratic integration that Macron, Scholz and Von der Leyen are finalizing.

As Lavrov said a few days ago, the European Union is no longer an economic project but purely a military-political construction.

We are becoming the colonial army of the empire.

Cannon fodder.

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 17 2022 18:05 utc | 49

Vladimir Putin is without doubt the most outstanding political statesman of the 21st Century.

Sadly, Hugo Chavez is no longer able to compete for this title.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jun 17 2022 18:06 utc | 50

I read today that Spain will vaccinate the entire population in the fall.
So I expect to see all sorts of restrictions in EU around September and Pfizer to be the only option. Ursula has more business to send to US.
Only after strong restrictions are in place, to prevent protests for food, US might do or do not start other wars. Until then, the brainwashed Europeans will go to vacation. When they'll return they'll be poor, cold, hungry and vaxxed by force

Posted by: rk | Jun 17 2022 18:07 utc | 51

@34 There's clearly a connection between the war and rising prices. But apparently not many Americans can see it. Would you consider yourself something of a misfit annie?

Posted by: dh | Jun 17 2022 18:07 utc | 52
Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 17 2022 17:16 utc | 13
[Pasted in partial transcript below. They say at bottom 'to be continued.'

St Petersburg International Economic Forum Plenary session
The President attended the plenary session of the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

June 17, 202217:40St Petersburg

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also took part in the session. President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressed the session via videoconference.

The theme this year is New Opportunities in a New World.

* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. President Tokayev, friends and colleagues,

I welcome all participants and guests of the 25th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

It is taking place at a difficult time for the international community when the economy, markets and the very principles of the global economic system have taken a blow. Many trade, industrial and logistics chains, which were dislocated by the pandemic, have been subjected to new tests. Moreover, such fundamental business notions as business reputation, the inviolability of property and trust in global currencies have been seriously damaged. Regrettably, they have been undermined by our Western partners, who have done this deliberately, for the sake of their ambitions and in order to preserve obsolete geopolitical illusions.

Today, our – when I say “our,” I mean the Russian leadership – our own view of the global economic situation. I would like to speak in greater depth about the actions Russia is taking in these conditions and how it plans to develop in these dynamically changing circumstances.

When I spoke at the Davos Forum a year and a half ago, I also stressed that the era of a unipolar world order has come to an end. I want to start with this, as there is no way around it. This era has ended despite all the attempts to maintain and preserve it at all costs. Change is a natural process of history, as it is difficult to reconcile the diversity of civilisations and the richness of cultures on the planet with political, economic or other stereotypes – these do not work here, they are imposed by one centre in a rough and no-compromise manner.

The flaw is in the concept itself, as the concept says there is one, albeit strong, power with a limited circle of close allies, or, as they say, countries with granted access, and all business practices and international relations, when it is convenient, are interpreted solely in the interests of this power. They essentially work in one direction in a zero-sum game. A world built on a doctrine of this kind is definitely unstable.

After declaring victory in the Cold War, the United States proclaimed itself to be God’s messenger on Earth, without any obligations and only interests which were declared sacred. They seem to ignore the fact that in the past decades, new powerful and increasingly assertive centres have been formed. Each of them develops its own political system and public institutions according to its own model of economic growth and, naturally, has the right to protect them and to secure national sovereignty.

These are objective processes and genuinely revolutionary tectonic shifts in geopolitics, the global economy and technology, in the entire system of international relations, where the role of dynamic and potentially strong countries and regions is substantially growing. It is no longer possible to ignore their interests.

To reiterate, these changes are fundamental, groundbreaking and rigorous. It would be a mistake to assume that at a time of turbulent change, one can simply sit it out or wait it out until everything gets back on track and becomes what it was before. It will not.

However, the ruling elite of some Western states seem to be harbouring this kind of illusions. They refuse to notice obvious things, stubbornly clinging to the shadows of the past. For example, they seem to believe that the dominance of the West in global politics and the economy is an unchanging, eternal value. Nothing lasts forever.

Our colleagues are not just denying reality. More than that; they are trying to reverse the course of history. They seem to think in terms of the past century. They are still influenced by their own misconceptions about countries outside the so-called “golden billion”: they consider everything a backwater, or their backyard. They still treat them like colonies, and the people living there, like second-class people, because they consider themselves exceptional. If they are exceptional, that means everyone else is second rate.

Thereby, the irrepressible urge to punish, to economically crush anyone who does not fit with the mainstream, does not want to blindly obey. Moreover, they crudely and shamelessly impose their ethics, their views on culture and ideas about history, sometimes questioning the sovereignty and integrity of states, and threatening their very existence. Suffice it to recall what happened in Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

If some “rebel” state cannot be suppressed or pacified, they try to isolate that state, or “cancel” it, to use their modern term. Everything goes, even sports, the Olympics, bans on culture and art masterpieces just because their creators come from the “wrong” country.

This is the nature of the current round of Russophobia in the West, and the insane sanctions against Russia. They are crazy and, I would say, thoughtless. They are unprecedented in the number of them or the pace the West churns them out at.

The idea was clear as day – they expected to suddenly and violently crush the Russian economy, to hit Russia’s industry, finance, and people's living standards by destroying business chains, forcibly recalling Western companies from the Russian market, and freezing Russian assets.

This did not work. Obviously, it did not work out; it did not happen. Russian entrepreneurs and authorities have acted in a collected and professional manner, and Russians have shown solidarity and responsibility.

Step by step, we will normalise the economic situation. We have stabilised the financial markets, the banking system and the trade network. Now we are busy saturating the economy with liquidity and working capital to maintain the stable operation of enterprises and companies, employment and jobs.

The dire forecasts for the prospects of the Russian economy, which were made in early spring, have not materialised. It is clear why this propaganda campaign was fuelled and all the predictions of the dollar at 200 rubles and the collapse of our economy were made. This was and remains an instrument in an information struggle and a factor of psychological influence on Russian society and domestic business circles.

Incidentally, some of our analysts gave in to this external pressure and based their forecasts on the inevitable collapse of the Russian economy and a critical weakening of the national currency – the ruble.

Real life has belied these predictions. However, I would like to emphasise that to continue being successful, we must be explicitly honest and realistic in assessing the situation, be independent in reaching conclusions, and of course, have a can-do spirit, which is very important. We are strong people and can deal with any challenge. Like our predecessors, we can resolve any task. The entire thousand-year history of our country bears this out.

Within just three months of the massive package of sanctions, we have suppressed inflation rate spikes. As you know, after peaking at 17.8 percent, inflation now stands at 16.7 percent and continues dropping. This economic dynamic is being stabilised, and state finances are now sustainable. I will compare this to other regions further on. Yes, even this figure is too much for us – 16.7 percent is high inflation. We must and will work on this and, I am sure, we will achieve a positive result.

After the first five months of this year, the federal budget has a surplus of 1.5 trillion rubles and the consolidated budget – a surplus of 3.3 trillion rubles. In May alone, the federal budget surplus reached almost half a trillion rubles, surpassing the figure for May 2021 more than four times over.

Today, our job us to create conditions for building up production and increasing supply in the domestic market, as well as restoring demand and bank financing in the economy commensurately with the growth in supply....

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 17 2022 18:09 utc | 53

Putin offhandedly describes the nature of the Outlaw US Empire's officials:

"I would like to stress once again that this problem did not appear today, not in the last three or four months, and it certainly did not arise through Russia's fault, as some demagogues are now claiming, trying to shift responsibility for everything that is happening in the global economy to our country." [My Emphasis]

Definition of demagogue: "A leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power."

Question to those living within the Outlaw US Empire: When was the last time a presidential candidate wasn't a demagogue?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 18:09 utc | 54

@MarkU #39
The Romanians themselves know this - as if being pretty close to Ukraine isn't already a source of information on Russian combat capabilities.
The Romanian military is ranked 38th in the world, vs. 22 for Ukraine and #2 for Russia. The ratings are kind of bogus but are a reasonable proxy for relative capability.
Romania last fought in any kind of conflict - excluding a token force in Afghanistan, in World War 2.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 18:10 utc | 55

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 18:04 utc | 47

I think if the US escalates in Syria it will do so
via proxy with aid of US technology--moderate rebels, kurds, what have you using US intel satellite and/or air support to attack Russian or Syrian troops.

US could ALSO directly attack Syria by air or by missile. That would be bothersome to the Russians but would not involve Americans attacking RUssians per se.

Posted by: WJ | Jun 17 2022 18:14 utc | 56

I’ve not met the first American who draws a clear connection between rising prices and Biden’s war.
@ Dale | Jun 17 2022 16:55 utc | 3

That am I: the very first! Objective evaluation (and lack of dispute) upholds my claim. At first I thought I didn't count, since I'm the one counting -- but we can't both of us not count.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 17 2022 18:16 utc | 57

Third American captured in Ukraine fighting with the nazis.

Now please capture and give a death sentence to Malcolm Nance.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 17 2022 18:16 utc | 58

@ #54
Romanian military is true cannon fodder and completely useless.
The only purpose for Romania is to host the nato missile base and in case of a war to be a buffer where anyone can die. They're simply braindead puppets.

Posted by: rk | Jun 17 2022 18:18 utc | 59

@ Noam Larkey 22

They signed a deal with which they were certainly not going to be a province of Russia. They choose to ignore that deal and instead cultivated nationalist extremists for a fight. They got their fight.

Russia is correct to make Ukraine a province as they are not a functionally enough of a society to be on their own and honor contracts.

Posted by: alek_a | Jun 17 2022 18:18 utc | 60

Posted by: Wilikins | Jun 17 2022 17:50 utc | 36

Venezuela won't be on the menu until/unless Trump or a Trump Republican wins the next Presidential election. Biden's minions are already making feeble gestures to that country in the wake of the obvious rising energy prices in the US and EU. I expect Maduro to make a radical (for him) turn toward Uncle Scam capitalism in the coming year. Stories are already trickling out on that front. How radical the changes are will be linearly tied to how many sanctions are permanently lifted.

But yes, if Trump etc. return to the White House there will be some sort of hybrid proxy war waged on Venezuela using real weapons this time.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 17 2022 18:21 utc | 61

When was the last time a presidential candidate wasn't a demagogue?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 18:09 utc | 53

Every US preznit has been a demagogue on at least one front, which until the 90s was anti-communism, but could be argued that Carter was the last non-demagogue president given his relative cool public tone. Note that until Trump, only demagogues have been elected to 2 terms and Trump could be back in 2025.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 17 2022 18:25 utc | 62

US Plan A = Defeat
US Plan B = Double down on Plan A
EU Plan A = US Plan A
EU Plan B = US Plan B

It truly is sickening that we're not screaming to get the ropes out. The only language the Elites understand.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 17 2022 18:27 utc | 63

Question to those living within the Outlaw US Empire: When was the last time a presidential candidate wasn't a demagogue?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 18:09 utc | 53

That's almost a trick question because a related one might be: 'when was the last time the USA was a valid representative Republic in accord with its constitution?' I would suggest not after 1913, meaning that Presidents are not actual Presidents anyway so anyone running for that office is presenting a falsehood ab initio.

I really like Putin's 'Empire of Lies.' Outlaw US Empire isn't bad but it doesn't really capture how the vast majority of the American people are unwitting accomplices in a massive fraud of which they are also victims. They could be proud Outlaws. The 'Lies' moniker works all ways: the people are being lied to just as much as the rest of the world; who they think is in charge is not; what they think their country stands for it doesn't. Most of their history is lies. All of the present is lies. Their school teachers lie. The whole thing is a huge big con.

Very sad....

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 17 2022 18:32 utc | 64

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 17 2022 18:27 utc | 62

And speaking of doubling or tripling down on stupid:

Summary: Don't you dare trust what your lyin' eyes tell you about Russia's resilience. The sanctions are working!

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 17 2022 18:35 utc | 65

La Bastille @48--

Thanks for your reply and promotion! Yes, you are correct as once a nation becomes an EU or NATO member it forfeits its independence, its sovereignty. And IMO, Europeans were aware but didn't choose to oppose becoming servants--cannon fodder--as referendums over Lisbon needed to be demanded and the overturning of initial results where they were conducted demanded a greatly escalated resistance/revolt. And the difference is something that many nations have noted. Russia designed its EAEU and CSTO in ways that allow their members to retain their independence--the opposite of what is being called "bloc mentality." All of what's being said now could have been said during the Greece crisis and was by a handful of analysts who as usual are outside the "mainstream" Neoliberal media.

IMO, the reason for such an effort to make Europe's colonization as overt as possible is to motivate citizens to free themselves, which is also why I'm echoing the message and tying it to Neoliberalism. That's to promote the realization that what's at root is another clash of isms, but this time its Industrial Capitalism versus Financial Capitalism--the former leading to a semi-socialist mixed economy versus a Feudalistic economy resulting in debt-peonage/servitude: The rule of the "Golden Billion" over all others. People need to be able to see the differences aside from the rise in prices and thus be capable of making choices that advance their interests, not those of the elite which are done at the public's expense.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 18:37 utc | 66

Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the U.S. is coordinating Israeli airstrikes in that country:

More Israeli (not Jewish) bullsh*t from Tel Aviv. Best guess Tel Aviv warns US of all its actions to avoid confusion but that is a very long way from co-ordination. Israel knows it's f*cked because it won't do land war with Hezbollah, so this "co-ordination" is just Tel Aviv puffing out its chest to look more influential than it really is.
BTW, I suspect one of the first target of Iranian PGMs after an attack on Iran will be Israeli air bases in as happened to Ayn Al-Asad in Iraq but Iran won't pull its punches. Israel should think carefully and then STFU but they're too arrogant and stupid to do that.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 17 2022 18:39 utc | 67

BoJo travelled to Kiev ONLY for avoided Ng to testify under oath in UK about Partygate. No other reasons. In UK the MoP are very angry about it

Posted by: Mark | Jun 17 2022 18:42 utc | 68

b's analysis is a cut above and ahead of the curve.

But I think even if local / proxy wars break out in Syria, Taiwan and elsewhere that the real story is the ongoing financial melt-down and whatever repercussions there are from that. The wars all serve to deflect blame from the national leaderships in question so that when they present their new transhumanist post-constitutional and post nation state proposals for how to dig out from the rubble they are about to bury us in we won't be screaming for them to hang from the nearest lamp post but meekly line up for our shots, implants and new digitial ID's thanks to which we can get Universal Basic Income to afford the high protein cockroach burgers coming soon to a fast food joint near you!

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 17 2022 18:43 utc | 69

I'm slowly moving through Putin's speech pulling out gems to further illuminate and discuss them. Here's yet another where he provides an interesting description of Neoliberalism:

"Of course, perhaps we would be pleased to hear that we are so powerful and omnipotent: inflation is blown to the skies in the West, in the United States, in Europe, and we are doing something else that makes everyone nervous. Maybe it would be nice for us to feel such power, but this is not true. The situation has matured for years, spurred on by the short-sighted actions of those who are accustomed to solving their problems at someone else's expense, who relied and still rely on the mechanism of financial emission to buy, pull on trade flows and thereby exacerbate deficits and provoke humanitarian disasters in certain regions of the world. I would like to add that this is essentially the same predatory and colonial policy, but, of course, in a new form, in a new edition, it is much more subtle and sophisticated. You won't know what's going on right away." [My Emphasis]

Yes, it's been well hidden for decades; and in reality, for well over a century--since the 1880s. IMO, there's only one method of slaying it: Proper education that leads to political then policy change. There's hope that as usual economic pain will help remove the political blinders that keep the masses enslaved.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 18:51 utc | 70

Practice on chickens - Joe Zu (via Chris Farley in "Beverly Hills Ninja")

no offense to the untold dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., etc., etc., but the US is threatened by Cuba, Grenada and Noriega because of exactly what again? the international police state crucifies someone like Assange because of what? how strong they are?

thieving chickenshits is what they are
My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as men gather eggs that have been forsaken
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing,
or opened the mouth, or chirped. - Isaiah 10

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jun 17 2022 18:59 utc | 71

Chronicles of Democracy.

“Thanks to Putin for removing the Nazi regime and Ukraine will become free again,” wrote a German resident of the city of Saarbrücken, pasting a piece of paper to her window. Now Clara Schumacher is facing three years in prison for words of support for a Russian special operation in Ukraine. The pensioner has already been officially charged under the article “Encouragement and approval of criminal acts”(!).

Oh, mr. Orwell, if you only knew...

Posted by: alaff | Jun 17 2022 19:01 utc | 72

Good. The middle class are not sacred. In fact, they're a picture of all that is wrong with Western civilization, and perhaps civilization projects in general, and they won't be missed by the working class, I can assure you.

Posted by: sippy the shot glass | Jun 17 2022 19:03 utc | 73

I wouldn't dismiss a war with Iran as a possibility. Yes, Iran has a large missile arsenal. Most of it would be directed at US military assets in the region, not at Israel. Israel may figure that it can survive what Iran throws at it.

What Israel can't survive - economically - is an attack by Hezbollah. Hezbollah has enough missiles to keep Israelis in bomb shelters 24x7 for months, thus evaporating the Israeli economy in the middle of a global recession. So unless the US is prepared to escalate by directly aiding Israel against Hezbollah, the Iran war becomes problematic more because of Hezbollah than Iran.

However, it could be that Israel and the US intend to escalate in Syria precisely as a means of getting the US involved in Lebanon - or vice versa. That has been Israel's goal for years. I thought it was more likely under Trump, but clearly Biden is a better bet for Israel. Once Hezbollah is defanged - if it can be without major Israeli and US casualties, which is problematic - then a US-Israel-NATO war against Iran could be created. An attack on Syria by the US or Israel can be extended into Lebanon rather easily by claiming Hezbollah is continuing to assist Syria in resisting (whether they are or not).

Iran is an ally of Russia, a member of the SCO, a regional power, an end point for the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. That gives the US a lot of reasons to want to attack Iran. The notion of "seizing Iranian oil" in these times of a global energy crisis is not something I would dismiss out of hand, given the delusional nature of the neocons. Yes, the notion is ludicrous - but then the US has been seizing Iranian oil recently. They could easily escalate that.

The US just announced more sanctions on Iran, thus dooming the JCPOA deal, which has been moribund for over a year now given Biden's fake "negotiations". This is another sign that the US is ramping up the threat of war with Iran.

Finally, drones attacked the US base in Syria at Al-Tanf Wednesday.

Drones Attack US-Backed Syrian Rebels at US Base

Drones hit Syrian opposition faction stationed at US-held base

Note the following from that article:

"However, the attack comes amid an increase in attacks on sites of US interest in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed proxies in recent months."

Another excuse for the US to escalate against Iran.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 17 2022 19:04 utc | 74

The washington war Party will escalate this little conflict massively. the war party is making billions off the aid graft

2023 is likely going to see NATO try and occupy or destabilize the periphery of Russia - The ‚Stan’s, Kalingrad, the Cacusus, and geez even the North Pole are all likely targets. The war party will also work overtime to peel off Neutrals in Latin America and Asia. Finally, press gangs will be rounding up Ukrainian draftees living in NATO land.

2024 - NATO will embark on a massive counter-offensive using all sorts of forces.

Posted by: Exile | Jun 17 2022 19:04 utc | 75

Oh, BoJo had visited ZE after the Three Stooges give Ze a book Queen Of Our Times: The Life Of Elizabeth II...descendent of the pirate family...

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 19:04 utc | 76

@WJ #55
I agree, but the problem is: that well is already bled dry. The Daesh/ISIS fighters are either huddling under Turkish protection, off in Ukraine, or are dead.
So whatever the plans may be - are the pieces actually there?
That's what I've been asking from the start.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 19:10 utc | 77

Meanwhile, it's Andrei Martyanov day at the Palace Hotel Ballroom! (Reference to "The Blues Brothers") This is a gift for all the anti-Martyanov trolls here.

First he appears on Youtube as usual:

Adam Smith With Harpoons

Then he appears on Ryan Dawson's Anti-Neocon Rumble podcast:

Ryan Interviews Andrei Martyanov About The Ukraine War

And finally he appears - in Russian for anyone who speaks it here - on PolitWera with Colonel (officer-operator of the Central Apparatus of Russian MoD) Vladimir Trukhan:

Андрей Мартьянов и Владимир Трухан в прямом эфире

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 17 2022 19:12 utc | 78

Johnson in Kiev is displacement. He faces a major rail strike next week and waves of industrial action in an angry nation. He has just bought 60 year old SPGs from Belgium to sebänd Ukraine because 30 year old AS-90 SPGs in British forces are not functional.

His regime is corrupt and his support is lower than Biden

Ukraine gets nowhere with him but Zelensky has nothing else. Ukraine is bleeding to death and Zelensky needs guest stars in his show. Russia is dominant.

As for Israel it is in danger of extinction - it cannot feed Egypt - only Russia can. LNG from Egypt to EU will not feed Egypt. Russian radars know when Israeli aircraft start their engines and without its airforce Israel is blind and Hezbollah is king. No doubt Syrian air defences will improveonce Russia decides

I doubt Israel will celebrate its centenary

USA is going to have to fight on every front both militarily and economically for several decades

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 17 2022 19:16 utc | 79

dale, dh, let me introduce myself

Posted by: annie | Jun 17 2022 17:18 utc

In honor of Joe we can call it the Biden tax.

Posted by: David | Jun 17 2022 19:19 utc | 80

@67 Mark

The photo op with him and Zelensky was telling.

Another smirk from BoJo for the cameras while Zelensky looked directly at BoJo with a half grimace.

BoJo gets out of dodge while Zelensky is left to face the music.

War is serious and to have a f*cking clown smiling for a picture shows Johnson is a pathetic City of London opportunistic lapdog.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 17 2022 19:23 utc | 81

Posted by: alek_a | Jun 17 2022 18:02 utc | 46

What western values? Could you, possibily, elaborate, not theoretically (we all know the theory), but from a practice perspective. I suggest you start with Julian Assange.

Also, which western values do the immigrant communities you mention fail to share. Since they fail to share those, do you know anything about their values. Just asking.

Posted by: JB | Jun 17 2022 19:28 utc | 82

There was never European sovereignty, but the European nations were sovereign and independent.
Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 17 2022 18:05 utc | 48

Thank you.

The EU (consilium of "presidents", of which the EP whose legislative authority is inert) is a supra-national bureaucracy that cannot be described as a sovereign state by any means propounded by centuries of overwreening, aspirational European political philosophy of "natural law". This corporation, agreed by heads of state, was created to mediate trade disputes among signatories; it is a trade bloc analogous to the WTO. The EU has no tax power itself, "directive" enforcement powers and mantains no standing army muchless a coherent judiciary, central bank, single currency, language, or civil code (EU passport). MEPs, said to represent consitutents of the EU27, though elected by individuals, possess no national legislative functions; rather their EU "agency" is as analoguous to diplomatic emissaries from member states to sundry consilium-organized committee meetings.

bureaucrats of the worst kind, who have maneuvered to dissolve the sovereignty of nations in the European administration

Which invites comparison to a history of British America, of which Articles of Confederation agreed by colonial delegates after that other "Treaty of Paris". It was an instrument conceived as a trade bloc of sovereign states, allied only for purposes of violently excluding British crown supremacy from commercial and territorial governance. The successor agreement, the US Constitution, was primarily drawn to consolidate domestic and int'l debts incurred by the bloc as well tax revenue rather than "perfect", or "liberalize" civil rights of persons resident in their jurisdictions for nearly 100 years. It took a further 100 years and a few great depressions before the federal government acquired legit means (fed budget) and enforcement powers by consensus of US Congress to usurp state sovereighty ("states' rights") expressed in the Articles.

That evolution resonates in my imagination of "progress" and Atlantic rivalries any time I've examined events afflicting the cohesion and enlargement of the Union, no matter how often some "strategist" refutes the course of the "United States of Europe" shaped by aristocratic banksters.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 17 2022 19:30 utc | 83

If you've watched plenary session at the SPIEF-2022 today, you'd have noticed that other than the physical presence of the President of Kazachstan who spoke in fluent Russian, the President of Egypt and Chairman Xi made speeches online. At that time, the Belarus president Lukashenko is watching the flanks from Minsk.

Lukashenko has already warned Kiev that, if Ukraine hits Russia, Minsk might hit Kiev with weapons that Ukraine had not seen yet. He also warned Poland not to think of moving into the western parts of Ukraine.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 19:31 utc | 84

Андрей Мартьянов и Владимир Трухан в прямом эфире

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 17 2022 19:12 utc | 77

Oh, ask Martyanov, whether he had ever been to Kiev...or, Українська мова?

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 19:41 utc | 85

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jun 17 2022 17:46 utc | 35

Erdoğan is the wild card in Syria. He has recently threatened to create a 30 km safe zone in N. Syria suggesting an imminent operation, but the Kurds who will face the brunt of that attack are US/Israeli allies.

Yet, Erdoğan is also a sworn enemy of Assad and has carved out a protectorate with takfiri types in the North West (Afrin, Idlib). Assad though is allied to Russia and Iran and an enemy of the US and the Kurdish leadership currently backed by the US.

If/when Erdoğan attacks the Kurds in the North East, what does the US do? Will Erdoğan inadvertently or otherwise aid Assad and the Russians by attacking the Kurds and thus effectively working against the US?

If the US chooses to effectively abandon the Kurds to their fate again, will the Kurds grow a brain and join Assad in opposing the US and the Turks? Then what?

Of course maybe the US will threaten Erdoğan, so will Erdoğan back down (politically difficult with the 2023 elections looming) and go back on his operation against the Kurds, or will he attempt to carry it through going against the US as well?

This triangle of interlocking frienemies could get quite interesting and certainly could develop into a very complicated warring mess where enemies one day could be allies the next.

Yes, Syria could be a dangerous knot to untangle.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 17 2022 19:43 utc | 86

@ ed_finnerty #32

National strategy to increase foreign direct investment in Ukraine is available now

Posted by: Kana | Jun 17 2022 19:44 utc | 87

Posted by: Kana | Jun 17 2022 16:35 utc | 1

Except realists have never really had power in US foreign policy. They were previously allowed a voice, for example Kennan’s containment was realism (aggressive) but it has always been paired with idealistic adventurism. For example, running the Galician immigrants against the USSR rather than trying them for war crimes. A realist foreign policy wouldn’t have done it because realism prioritizes stability over all else. Putin is a realist. That’s part of why the Donbas has festered for 8 years. He’s loathe to act in a destabilizing way. Also why he kept giving the west chances.

Kissinger wasn’t a realist, but he had internalized it enough to pretend at it when convenient and call on it when necessary. And realism as even a facet of US foreign policy went out with Brzezinski, who was an aggressive idealist. There were only shadows of realism under Reagan and Bush. The former because he was closer to it himself and went with his gut, like deciding Gorbachev was trustworthy and firing the original neocons. But his adoption of Brzezinski’s Afghan plan was a long way from realism. Bush knew where the bodies were buried and was a realist in terms of not getting called out internationally. But personally he was CIA side with its aggressive, ill-considered and violent idealist policy.

Everyone with any say since then has been a Brzezinski disciple while Kissinger gets a tip of the cap. And Brzezinski’s disciples paired naturally with the neo-cons. There’s no separation anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. Which is why the only admin since Clinton that Nuland hasn’t held a position in was trump’s. She’s a perfect example of the Union: mentored by Brzezinski personally and married to a neo-con.

Posted by: Lex | Jun 17 2022 19:44 utc | 88

Jimmy Dore for President.

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 17 2022 19:46 utc | 89

Cybercriminals from Ukraine, England, Poland, Romania and Czech put down the SPIEF internal pass system. Name badges stopped working, and the guards couldn't determine who could enter the plenary session hall and who could not. It took the forum geeks an hour and a half to restore the system. KP reports

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 19:48 utc | 90

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 17 2022 19:46 utc | 88

The US has cetainly done much worse in living memory, but I am afraid Dore would be dead before his inaugeration.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 17 2022 19:50 utc | 91

Interview on "Scott Ritter Extra" between Scott Ritter and Larry Johnson - a new spinoff off the US Tour of Duty podcast

youtube video

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 19:53 utc | 92

As I wrote over at Awful-Avalanche blog...which I recomend:

S Brennan says:
June 17, 2022 at 13:56

I would caution any who thinks the “danger is past” to curb their enthusiasm.

While it’s not clear they’ll go through with it [1], “Biden’s team” of “foreign policy experts” have been publicly humiliated and as such it might end like a bad western movie. You know the plot, there’s a drunk gambler, he’s been losing all night at the card table, down to his last dollar, his bluff has just been called and he draws his six-shooter. Likewise Biden’s team might bet it all.

The actors in the movie Dr. Strangelove, appear coldly rational compared to Biden’s foreign policy team. Never has my country been so poorly led and yet, never has DC so thoroughly controlled every aspect of national life.

[1] Biden’s team of foreign policy numb-nuts is trying to talk up a NATO “no-fly-zone” in western Ukraine to aid in resupply. And that my friends, is an effort to prolong the war, not for the purpose of victory but, for the purpose of not being further humiliated at the “negotiating table”. Yes, the “negotiating table” is purely the Biden-foreign-policy-teams fantasy but, as I have pointed out before, DC lives in a fantasy world of smoke and mirrors. If NATO goes along with this plan emanating from the smoldering bunker that passes for the White House, the drunk-gambler might play one last bluff and take every one in the saloon down with him.

Posted by: S Brennan | Jun 17 2022 19:54 utc | 93

@ S Brennan | Jun 17 2022 19:54 utc | 92

NATO “no-fly-zone” in western Ukraine

Is an escalation of this conflict lifting it to the never seen before consequences.

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 17 2022 20:00 utc | 94

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 17 2022 19:53 utc | 91

Downloading now. I wouldn't bother but it appears the video is intended for Larry Johnson to confront Ritter on his irrationality. We'll see how that turns out.

I'd still rather like to see Martyanov confront Ritter. I suggested that to The Duran guys but I suspect they don't have the balls to have both of them on at once.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 17 2022 20:00 utc | 95

Lithuania has started to impose a blockade on Kalingrad, initially blocking 'sanctioned' goods travelling by rail. This will no doubt ramp up to a full blockade. Russia could then be forced to close the Sulwaki Gap to relieve the blockade. I wonder if any US State Department officials have made recent visits to Lithuania. Blinken?

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Jun 17 2022 20:02 utc | 96

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 19:48 utc | 89

It was delayed and I missed half of it, I was impressed by the president of Kazakhstan, he did not use earphones while Xi was addressing the forum, he speaks Russian and Chinese. The hostess did not impress me, Simonyan intervened more than needed, and tried to corner Tokayev who obviously could not and will not recognize LDNR or any other entity in dispute like Kosovo or Taiwan, and for obvious reasons since northern Kazakhstan is populated and developed by Russians, that long strip of land could be problematic if nationalist tendencies show up in Kazakhstan. Putin as usual, deceiving the rumors that he is sick speaking freely for four hours, sharp as usual. Today I went to the farmers market, price hikes are just outrageous, temperatures are infernal and everybody is talking about the electricity bill, I wonder where VonDerLugen and clown Borrell are going to hide when this charade goes sour.

Posted by: Paco | Jun 17 2022 20:09 utc | 97

“Novorossiya – where did it come from? As a result of several wars with the Turkish Empire. What Ukraine? What does Ukraine have to do with it? It has absolutely nothing to do with it."

"The western parts [of Ukraine] came as a result of the Second World War. Ukraine came to the Russian Empire with three territories: Kyiv, Kyiv region, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv. That's all."

Posted by: ostro | Jun 17 2022 20:10 utc | 98

Richard Steven Hack | Jun 17 2022 19:04 utc | 73

Lebanon not Syria will come first.
I base that on the direct threats made to the Lebanese by US "Diplomats", that "might makes the running" and that Lebanon should give up all it's rights to its Gas field, to Israel. There is the massive "IceMax" drilling ship already in the area waiting.

The US seems to have decided that Oil and Gas will be the next financial backstop of the dollar and shekel. So any and all supplies will become targets for acquisition. E. Syria included. The Oil from E.Syria ends up in Israel after passing through Turkey. Which fits in with the Israeli aim of becoming the major Oil/Gas hub in the Med. The Levantine basin still has possibilities, and the Oil/Gas under the Golan is also slated to become a focus.
Israel is making gooey eyes at Saudi Arabia just to get an entry into the Aramco Oil setup.

Generally. There are two battlefields, as many here have mentioned. Military and Economic which must be seen in the light of the definition of a successful war being, "eliminating the enemy's ability to make war". Not only troop destruction but economic destruction to stop his ability to produce arms.

In that perspective, it is probable that the destruction of the dollar, OR, as we have also seen, the attempted elimination of Russian arms sales to other countries, are both manifastations of that aim.
One curious part is the cancel OF culture (that Putin mentions above), and also the woke uprising in the US. I could understand an enemy introducing "ultimate Woke" and "dumb Education", to destroy a country. Here the US is doing it to itself. Do they think that if they destroy Russian culture, pride (sports), religion or history, that everyone will drop their pants and change sex several times a day?

The EU constitution at the very beginning was a political idea, which was then added to by 600+ massive "addena" and indecipherable articles and their cross references, all in the interests of big business. Labour and Rights got screwed. Nowadays the problem has been compounded by the loss of sovereignty and independence. (As Putin mentions).

Will the EU population "rise up"? Exactly who will they rise up against? Their own National representants or the EU Commisssion?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 17 2022 20:11 utc | 99

US foreign policy since at least WW2, and in fact before WW2, was the Open Door driven by the internationalist section of the US elite which are still dominant. Hence the incredibly long list of interventions, coups, and economic blackmailing to force nations to open up their economics to US rentiers and corporations and to stop any policies directed at the development of locally-owned industries and independent financial systems. And the cordon sanitaire of the communist bloc alternative.

Pre-WW1 it was more outright military taking of land, from the Amerindians, half of Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico etc. Then the US elites realized that in a time of increasing nationalism better to rule through local tough guys/dictators and reserve more direct intervention when that fails (e.g. Chile, Panama etc.).

Its never been realism, always capitalist elite expansion. Just the tactics became somewhat more nuanced.

Posted by: Roger | Jun 17 2022 20:12 utc | 100

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