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

Comments
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Let us not forget b's recent post about the preparations Nato is making along the eastern border of Finland and the Baltic states, quite independently of whether Finland and Sweden actually make it to Nato or not. The whole Nato rhetoric sounds more like a trap anyway. The cover story for the fortifications along the eastern border is the migrant "crisis" along the Polish border last fall. Ostensibly to keep something like that from ever happening on the eastern border of Finland, the border is now being heavily militarized. Needless to say, the media feigns complete ignorance and still keeps blathering about the "crisis" last fall.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 18 2022 11:23 utc | 301

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 17 2022 18:35 utc | 64

I tried to read it ....
Is this journalism? More like a "story" to entertain

Posted by: Kartoschka | Jun 18 2022 12:07 utc | 302

Most of Pius's anti-Russian passion wears the cloak of anti-Communism. But not all -- there's always been more to it. Here in USA, back in red scare days, as well.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 4:49 utc | 247

What we call the West and its culture has been defined by the split in the Christian world between the catholic and orthodox churches. It was not a friendly divorce.

Steven Runciman said that “Western Europe, with ancestral memories of jealousy of Byzantine civilization, with its spiritual advisers denouncing the Orthodox as sinful schismatics, and with a haunting sense of guilt that it had failed the city at the end, chose to forget about Byzantium." But the disdain for that Byzantine civilization remained firmly ensconced in the Western mind. People may think this does not matter in this day and age, but it does, because it became part of the Western culture.

Russophobia is therefore a natural mindset which requires no justification, because Russia as the heir to the Byzantine civilization will always be a bone in the throat of the Western world.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 12:11 utc | 303

The European Union has started to use gas reserves, which are usually stored until the peak of the winter period.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:29 utc | 288


Just for one day.
You better focuse on the real time data at
https://gas.kyos.com/gas/eu
and
https://www.bruegel.org/publications/datasets/european-natural-gas-imports/

The next 60 days are the most important for next 12 months

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 18 2022 12:13 utc | 304

@302 Pagan;

This is just Duginism.

The Siloviki and their friends in Russia will do anything to avoid antagonising oligarchs as a class and rehabilitating Marxist theory. Thus the Duginist stuff, which as I said earlier, is a derivation of Western academic debates about "modernism".

Oligarchs and sociopaths (but I repeat myself) both East and West know that this Duginist stuff is for rubes.

The risk is that a successor to Putin might actually be silly enough to take it seriously.

The Chinese are not making the same mistake. They are lucky enough to have an actually progressive, future-orientated philosophy.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 12:24 utc | 305

This is just Duginism.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 12:24 utc | 304

You consider this an argument?

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 12:37 utc | 306

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 18 2022 12:13 utc | 303

Good info !!!

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 13:00 utc | 307

Isn't overanalyzing 'russiaphobia' having a similar effect? Russians are not 'the other'. They are what we want to be ourselves again, and we don't have to put them down in order to achieve that.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 10:09 utc | 296

Yes I agree, of course Russians nor any culture are the "others", we are all in this human situation together, not that everyone realises this as yet, but its true.
Russia phobia like all other useful propaganda is probably nowhere near as real and all encompassing as it seems to be. it's just what tired overworked people who don't know how to make sense of the world cope, they go along with most propaganda because its easier. As long as it doesn't get too real. I think that when it gets real as in not enough money to make ends meet for a big number of people in the west, Russia will not be the issue at all, try as the ptb and media wish to make it so.

Of course it will be worse in some places better in others, but difficult circumstances can and do bring out the good in people not just the fear.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 13:02 utc | 308

Can't link from my phone, but Gonzalo has new vid up today addressing US citizens as his target audience. He is also requesting people share it with US friends.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jun 18 2022 13:08 utc | 309

There there little ones. Hush now.
It’s all going to be fine.

Mutti is coming back and will make all right.

NS2 WILL start, NS1 was always going to stop. It’s old and unreliable and needs massive maintenance. Germany at least will be fine.

If only I could buy my gas from Gazprom here in London - via NS2 - I too will not freeze and have my hot baths this winter.

The only thing left to do is to send the yanks home after a century of being over paid, over sexed and over here!
————-
Btw that Admiral in a skirt who got voted woman of the year, and all these others who decided they are ladies now, not laddies - I hope it is checked that he had his penis removed already and had the artificial vagina installed. The procedure being quite usual in Thailand as I understand it. A woman does not have a penis unless it’s a strap on. I have no issues with any of the trans persons but a male Admiral voted as WOTY?? That will puss of plenty of women in the US I’m certain.

Come to mama boys.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Jun 18 2022 13:12 utc | 310

Mariupol Building restoration and life today 18.06.22
https://youtu.be/CjzXJBwLoZ4

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 13:12 utc | 311

Come to mama boys.
Posted by: DunGroanin | Jun 18 2022 13:12 utc | 309

Haven't they yet attacked the concept of mother/father. I mean, that's so old fashion.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 13:16 utc | 312

Mariupol today Life and restoration 18.06.22 another vid
https://youtu.be/1WOfq76b8CM

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 13:17 utc | 313

@305; Pagan, this Orthodox Church promotion is an attempt to give the successor state to the Soviet Union some ideological basis.

As this is reactionary, it can only weakly paper over social contradictions for a time.

It doesn't impress anyone with a working brain.

The Chinese are much further East than the Russians, no?

I would like you study this picture.

The CCP is internationally minded enough to base their governmental system and political economy to at least some degree on Marxism, without worrying about some great spiritual battle between Confucianism and Catholicism or whatever.

Such religious talk is simply mystification of social relations. It appeals to those who think that Marxism has been "superseded" by the "End of History", but who also want to take an anti-imperialist position.

Neurotics also strongly desire some sort of spiritual redemption, so an eastern exotic Church might be just the ticket.

Intellectual fast food. Appropriate for Internet forums where people can spout any old rubbish that immediately gets forgotten.

Historically these sorts of positions were adjacent to fascism; but not identical; see Heidegger and his ambiguous relationship to Nazism. Far-rightists in Europe are confused about who to support vis a vis Ukraine. They thought that Russia was pseudo-fascist (despite being a multiethnic state) but now you have the West supporting Neo-Nazis openly against Russia - huh??

It does no good to point out that liberals are fools with no principles they will not sell out. This is just obvious for a Marxist.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 13:22 utc | 314

Where's George Washington when we need him. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 1:25 utc | 191

Before reading Chernow's biography of Washington, I had no idea what an extraordinary patriot he was, in the sense of consistently wanting what was best for the country. He had tired of politics and ran for a second term only because he was almost universally regarded as the one person who as president could preserve the union despite the bitter political rivalries within.

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 13:23 utc | 315

Text is available in English on President Putin's official web site here

Posted by: pasha | Jun 18 2022 13:29 utc | 316

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 2:34 utc | 205

It's one thing to learn that people hold strongly different opinions from your own but the real shocker is how they react when they find you aren't on the same page. Something bordering on hatred, scorn, fear, anger whatever but throughout all a desire to distance, to ostracize. I don't know where this comes from but presume it's the education system the past few decades which is teaching young people to get on board the right side of various issues because the old ways about pretty much everything are all quintessentially evil.

This results in extreme polarization by habit, so that any time anyone disagrees with you about anything they are Demons Incarnate.

Or something like that...

I've attributed such reactions to persons' beliefs' lacking a substantive basis. Therefore, when challenged, they can defend those beliefs only emotionally.

But maybe the lack of a substantive basis for the belief is necessary (for the emotional reaction) but not sufficient, although offhand I can't recall an instance where the person conceded that such a belief could be incorrect.

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 13:37 utc | 317

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 13:23 utc | 314

I read somewhere that he was one of the top (if not the top) land owner at the time. He was always on a lookout for choice pieces of land.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 13:39 utc | 318

moabeobachter@304:
And the Chinese aren't afraid to squash a square peg oligarch into the round hole if need be.

Come to think of it, a few oligarchs here in the US could use a good squashing😁

Posted by: morongobill | Jun 18 2022 13:40 utc | 319

Posted by: alek_a | Jun 18 2022 8:34 utc | 278

To touch upon discussions with those that cant see the conflict outside of the ingrained tribalism: I stay silent. My job has quite a public profile and I just nod and suffer the idiocy, frustrating as it is. Observe and listen to them, nod, give a meaningless comment here and there and just wait for the tide to turn.

That's pretty much the approach I'd adopted, after finding that the other person's reaction to my rebuttal in a second conversation was word-for-word identical with that in the first one.

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 13:46 utc | 320

David Levin@314:

Ron Chernow's Grant is one of the best biographies out there, I will order Washington asap. Checking out your website now(former chess junkie.)😉

Posted by: morongobill | Jun 18 2022 13:53 utc | 321

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 13:39 utc | 317

I read somewhere that he was one of the top (if not the top) land owner at the time. He was always on a lookout for choice pieces of land.

Chernow acknowledges that Washington certainly wasn't perfect, examples being his land acquisitions and his tortuous position on slavery.

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 13:54 utc | 322

I think Scott Ritter said something about escalation a few weeks ago.

Posted by: a lurking reader | Jun 18 2022 13:59 utc | 323

Posted by: morongobill | Jun 18 2022 13:53 utc | 320

Thanks for the tip on the Grant biography. I will add it to my list of birthday gift wishes.

Does kicking a chess habit call for congratulations? 😉

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 14:04 utc | 324

@305; Pagan, this Orthodox Church promotion is an attempt to give the successor state to the Soviet Union some ideological basis.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 13:22 utc | 313

My original post was an attempt to shed some light on this sudden onset of Russophobia accompanied by vitriolic hate towards Russia and everything Russian. It can't be only because of the West's unbounded love of Ukraine. Where do you see Orthodox Church promotion is beyond me. Also throwing around a lot of unrelated and unsupported assertions about nazism, marxism and confucianism does not seem to contribute much to this discussion.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 14:05 utc | 325

Some speculation:

Should Russia establish control over Ukrainian coast, it would create interesting new possibilities for Bulgaria and Romania. On the other side of both is Serbia.

Not sure about Romania but the Bulgarian president made some scandalously! pragmatic comments on Crimea last year.

Should Russia establish control over W. Ukraine, they would have a border with Hungary. On the other side again Serbia.

Security alternative for less brainwashed states + friendly routes to Serbia. Would be interesting to watch.

Posted by: Browser | Jun 18 2022 14:06 utc | 326

Debt jubilee in Zaporozhye Oblast: Zaporozhye Military-Civilian Administration has canceled all debts of Zaporozhye Oblast residents to Ukrainian state and commercial banks and microfinance organizations. Obviously, this only applies in practice to the areas of Zaporozhye Oblast under Russian/DPR/LPR control.

Posted by: S | Jun 18 2022 14:20 utc | 327

karlof1@136


"There is no Army of One."

The single most pregnant statement I have heard since Margaret Thatcher said "..there is no such thing as society", as the neoliberal new world order was born in the 1980's. Her insane declaration has governed ethical behaviour the last forty years or so in western societies and look at us now. I hope that your statement "There is no Army of One" becomes our ethical guiding light in the new epoch that emerges even as we live and breath.
FWIW my own feeling is without others, I am nothing.

Posted by: Foxbat | Jun 18 2022 14:20 utc | 328

Kharkov today, https://youtu.be/zaXv5_6qBhI
Kharkov. 18.06. Wonderful morning!

Kharkov Flea market. A miracle happened! https://youtu.be/dgi2-wZf7qk

Well, not what the western MSM shows...

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 14:36 utc | 329

Gonzalo Lira just said that the next flashpoint will be Lithuania https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQB7uWuWpBw

And then there is Poland...This is supposedly about pushing Russia to defend Kaliningrad.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 18 2022 14:42 utc | 330

Does anyone know where to find a transcript - english translation - of Lavrov's 6/16 interview with the BBC

Posted by: Housedoc | Jun 18 2022 14:46 utc | 331

Have a look at the video, I posted above (Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 14:36 utc | 328), even if you don't understand Russian. (Maybe you can get subtitles). Just watch how positive minded the person is!

By the way, I've stopped watching Lira quite sometime ago...useless ramblings. 😏

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 14:51 utc | 332

Thanks Ostro but I mean the BBC INTERVIEW WITH LAVROV

Posted by: Housedoc | Jun 18 2022 15:00 utc | 333

@170 "....there are definitely americans who know what's going on, but it's rather mindboggling to me how many people buy into this anti russia anti putin stuff."

They need to hear different opinions from people at the top. Then they will feel safer expressing their own thoughts. Trump did try to say some sensible things about Putin but of course he got shot down.

I still wonder if Trump could get some mileage out of an anti-war statement now. He might pick up a few votes. Of course he would be accused of helping Putin.

Hang in there annie.

Posted by: dh | Jun 18 2022 15:00 utc | 334

@326; Pagan,

The oligarchs and sociopaths (repeating myself again) running the extractive Empire nicknamed "the West" don't care about any of that stuff.

Their intense hatred is because the LOSERS of the Cold War are disobeying the WINNERS and this is not allowed because they are the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.

This is the psychological pathology of Narcissists as they display Narcissistic Rage, which is then imitated by their hangers on (lets say 25% of the population).

Sociopaths and Narcissists in particular only care about exploiting and manipulating their "servants" via whatever means necessary in the present moment. They will engage in word salad and say whatever they can think of that will demean UNGRATEFUL LOSERS like those weirdo Russians.

Manipulation and exploitation of neurotypicals collectively by sociopaths is the animus behind the political economy we call capitalism.

Marx described this system in its operation and historical development - as a political economist.

Making too much of Russophobia is just listening to what sociopaths have to say. It is a waste of time.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 15:01 utc | 335

Housedoc | Jun 18 2022 14:46 utc | 330

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the BBC TV channel, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1818228/

Posted by: Old Mike | Jun 18 2022 15:10 utc | 336

This is as much about loss of freedom as it is about Ukraine. Julian Assange has become the sacrificial lamb for all journalists, bloggers and free speakers.

Yesterday Priti Patel rubber-stamped his extradition. She is evil.

https://johnplatinumgoss.com/2022/06/18/priti-patels-five-eyes/

Posted by: John Goss | Jun 18 2022 15:12 utc | 337

Here's Kherson today, 18.06.2022 https://youtu.be/bJwv3ceWrQU - What happens on the road to the Dnieper market. Roads are pretty bad.

Lately, I'm trying to see their cities through their own eyes, listen to what they say. I also try to listen to pro-Ukrainian, anti-Russian videos, in Russian and in Ukrainian, but not that easy to continue to the end...for the venom in them. I've also stopped listening to talking heads like Lira, or read Martyanov and the lot, for their useless ramblings. Sure, I understand few European languages and quite fluent in few. Most probably, I'll keep on giving links to good vids here. I like MoA, been reading it since last year. 👍

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 15:13 utc | 338

Isn't overanalyzing 'russiaphobia' having a similar effect? Russians are not 'the other'.
@ juliania | Jun 18 2022 10:09 utc | 296
Yes I agree, of course Russians nor any culture are the "others", we are all in this human situation together, not that everyone realises this as yet, but its true.
@ K | Jun 18 2022 13:02 utc | 307

The reference I've been sharing was garnered from a leading column at The Saker -- so if y'all find it inappropriate to reference Russophobia scholarship, such as the pathbreaking work of Guy Mettan, you can blame The Saker for starting it.

Surely Mettan's work cannot, and should not be dismissed as "overanalyzing" -- no more than W.E.B. DuBois should be accused of overanalyzing "The Souls of Black Folk" (1903). No more than Benjamin Madley should be accused of overanalyzing "An American Genocide" (2016) of California Indians. When we delve for the roots of problems, it's called radical analysis. Nothing else is even worth talking about, as history insistently continues; it never stopped rolling along.

The thread of Russophobia stretches from way before the Battle of Austerlitz, up to this day: rampantly raging. We don't silence scholars, and sweep threads like this under the rug, for fear of causing unavoidable discomfort. Not if we're interested in healing.

Incidentally: I disagree with your disavowal of otherness. We are all "the other" -- the problem is our discomfort with otherness, not otherness proper. For humans to get along, enormous cultural and historical differences have to be okay. I'm writing from one of the most multcultural areas on Earth. We don't go around denying that Chinese are any different from Irish -- historically, in San Francisco, there are vast differences which need not be forgotten. Rather than deny the differences, we savor and appreciate them, in celebrations such as the Ethnic Dance Festival.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 15:17 utc | 339

With all due respect, I kinda disagree with what is said above about Chomsky : he's not supporting in any ways US imperialism but first and foremost, he cannot be put at the same level as the criminal imbecile Bernard Henri-Lévy who is a serial warmonger and has the blood of many on his hands.

I suspect his words about unvaccinated people made a dent in the image of him some had.

Here is an article I wrote on the 22nd of May on Le Grand Soir, a French website (that often publishes MoA articles) and is mainly supportive/understanding of Russia's intervention in Ukraine. Sorry for the length.

What is Chomsky (really) saying about Ukraine?

As the target of the American conservative right, which accuses him of conforming to the dominant media discourse on the conflict in Ukraine and thus showing his true face (which the veil began to lift at the time of the covid crisis), the American linguist is far from guilty of what he is accused of. Distorted statements and oversimplifications serve more to tarnish his image than to really relate the facts.

As a preamble, it is imperative to make a clear distinction between covid and Ukraine, as for many it is a means to further confuse the informational knot that characterises the beginning of 2022. Chomsky has made controversial comments about vaccine opponents in the US, which are perfectly legitimate to disagree with, but which have also been distorted by vindictiveness. Yet, whatever they are, they have nothing to do with his interpretation of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, and in general, covid, apart from its ability to generate paranoia, should not be involved in attempts to understand the current context in Ukraine, not by Chomsky or anyone else.

It should also be made clear that, at almost 94, Chomsky is in his right mind, neither senile nor crumbling. His speech, though very slow and bordering on the soporific, is very clear and his ideas orderly. Chomsky also has an easy sense of irony, which can sometimes, it is true, lead to misunderstandings of the substance of his thinking.

In order to analyse Chomsky's positions, I referred to one of his last interventions during a video conference with Stockholm University on the subject of Sweden's integration into NATO. The debate largely deviated to the general situation of the conflict in Ukraine.

Let's say it from the start: Chomsky does not like Vladimir Putin and the current Kremlin leadership, whom he calls criminal thugs. This is precisely what must have earned him the wrath of conservative American intellectuals, which we have heard about so far. Whatever one thinks, good or bad, of Putin, it is necessary not to be blinded by the aura of this undeniable historical figure of the early 21st century. There are good and bad things to say about the Russian president, and Chomsky is perfectly entitled to judge him as he sees fit, according to his own values, the crux of the debate being not the personality but Putin's decisions, their origins and their implications. And, on this subject, Chomsky's interpretation is not, but not at all, in line with the mainstream editorial line.

As one of the finest analysts of the media in activity, Chomsky highlights several contradictions in the current dominant discourse, particularly in the United States, which will be found in the European mainstream media, notably Le Monde in France.

Firstly, according to him, there are two ideas that contradict each other but that predominate in the Western discourse: on the one hand, an unrestrained jubilation in front of a supposed demonstration that the Russian army would be a "paper tiger", incapable even of conquering cities defended only by their armed inhabitants a few kilometres from its borders. On the other hand, that we must consequently bow down, full of terror before this impressive military machine about to attack and subdue anyone who stands in its way.

In short, in the face of a "weak" Russian army we must arm ourselves to the teeth, join the most powerful war machine in history, a military alliance that always claims to be defensive, when its records clearly show otherwise, led by the US and the UK, and which to this day has a history of aggression, violence and subversion. We need to exacerbate tensions to protect ourselves from an incompetent paper tiger.

Secondly, according to Chomsky, the US government considers Russian propaganda to be so ridiculous that anyone confronted with it will burst out laughing. So, logically, it is necessary to protect US (and European) citizens by blocking all Russian media. No way to hear what the Russian leadership is saying. And it is also imperative to censor prominent reporters, such as Chris Hedges, a former senior reporter for the New York Times specialising in the Middle East and the Balkans. Anything from him must be destroyed. We are not allowed to listen to a single thing the Russians might say or think. Americans (and Europeans) are so mentally weak that they might be upset by what they hear, no matter how ridiculous and laughable.

Free countries have a long history of protecting their populations from anything that might deviate from the official line, from any improper thinking. This goes back to the First World War, now recognised by historians as a war 'for nothing', which the European intelligentsia argued was necessary to protect their respective nations and where dissenting voices were simply stifled if not outright eliminated: Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht in Germany, Eugene Debs in the US, Jean Jaurès in France. In free countries, one has the right to express oneself but at one's own risk.

Chomsky takes the example of Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour MP and former unsuccessful candidate for the British Prime Minister's office, who recently declared the need for the UK to detach itself from NATO (and the influence of the US) in order to form a European alliance for peace, de facto transposing into the present day one of the two opposing European (non-EU) positions after the end of the Second World War the Atlanticist vision according to which Europe must join the Atlantic system, under the domination of the US, a vision that this country obviously favours, and an alternative vision, whose most famous proponent was Charles De Gaulle, that of an independent force in world affairs, stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals, an idea also supported by Olof Palme, former Prime Minister of Sweden and Willy Brandt, former German Chancellor.

For these positions, Corbyn has just been permanently expelled from the Labour Party (after having been suspended for alleged antisemitism).

Chomsky, through a simple online search, highlights an interesting fact: when one types in "unwarranted invasion of Ukraine", one gets 2.5 million results. When one types in "unwarranted invasion of Iraq", 11,000 results appear, all from fringe publications.

However, he points out that the invasion of Iraq was totally unjustified: there was not a single particle of provocation, and the US had to resort to lies to provoke an invasion. By contrast, the invasion of Ukraine was provoked, and even if in this insane climate one must add that it was not justified, there were multiple provocations that even successive US ambassadors to Russia have disapproved of over the past 30 years until the last minute. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg even proudly admitted that since 2014 NATO has been bringing men and equipment into Ukraine to train and equip the Ukrainian army, reminiscent of Operation Barbarossa in the Second World War. It is therefore natural for Russia to be concerned about its security. However, the media-political discourse in the West, and especially in the US, is that in response to this Russian "propaganda", NATO's powers must be intensified and Ukraine integrated. This is clearly a further provocation.

Today, the slightest hand extended to Russia is labelled as Putinolatry by the US and the media diktats, as European leaders have clearly chosen to fall into the pocket of the latter. Europe is strongly opposed to sanctions against Iran or Cuba but bows down because it has to obey the master. The policy chosen by the EU is one of submission, of vassalization to the sovereign of Washington. And despite the apparent dichotomy between public opinion in favour of neutrality in the event of an open conflict between the US, Russia and/or China and a European policy that is symmetrically opposed to it, there is a total lack of understanding of the implications of such a conflict, which would mean the demise of us all.

US policy is to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, to use the conflict in Ukraine to bleed Russia. The US and the EU are engaged in a grotesque and hideous experiment of pushing Putin as far as possible into a corner to see if he will quietly slip away, defeated, or if he will use the power, which he undoubtedly possesses, to destroy Ukraine. And this experiment is supported by European intellectuals. This by encouraging Ukraine to carry out military strikes on Russian soil, confident that the Russians will not retaliate.

According to Chomsky, Putin, in all his criminal stupidity, has given the US the greatest gift of all: Europe.

And the only alternative to the destruction of Ukraine and a possible nuclear conflict is negotiation. A negotiation that will offer Putin an honourable way out. Washington categorically rejects this idea. Finally, Chomsky recalls that in 2019, Volodomyr Zelensky, who was elected for his pacifist positions, went to the Donbass to seek peace agreements, which provoked an outcry from the Ukrainian nationalist fringes who saw this as a submission to the wishes of the Russian neighbour. They even threatened the young Ukrainian leader with death. The United States allowed this to happen, and Zelensky changed his mind, leading to the Russian invasion three years later.

In conclusion, the Chomskyan analysis is a mixed bag. But we can say with certainty that what he says is not exactly what we hear every day through the media.

We will share his vision of the European intelligentsias and bourgeoisies, of the left as well as of the right (with the notable exception of the European far-right, which is closer to the American conservatives than the classical right and which sees Putin, rightly or wrongly, as the personification of a virile nationalism), who in all their crass stupidity pretend to ignore the existential character of the Russian commitment and who in vain support morally, financially and militarily the Ukrainian resistance, leading fatally to the total destruction of Ukraine and incidentally to the economic suicide of the European Union.

His assertions about the crimes of the Russian army are best received with bewilderment.

On this point, it could be argued that the only crimes that transpire from the conflict at the moment are the crimes of the Ukrainian army and the lightness with which it considers the Geneva Convention. If the Russian army committed abuses or even crimes, our media, in search of the truth, would certainly not hesitate to report them to us. On this point in any case, it seems wiser to wait for the troubled waters to settle.

His verdict on the Kremlin and especially on Putin will be disapproved (or not).

And on this point, one can oppose him with many things.

That Putin is the legitimate president of Russia. That despite all his (probable) faults, he still has one undeniable quality: patience. That a man who has stayed in power and at this level of popularity for so long, who has turned an entire country around and restored its honour, who has made Russia a leading nation whose weight is essential to counterbalance the domination of a dying and threatening empire, cannot be as stupid as he thinks.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:21 utc | 340

Their (oligarchs and sociopaths) intense hatred is because the LOSERS of the Cold War are disobeying the WINNERS and this is not allowed because they are the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 15:01 utc | 334

I agree, but but this explains only one part of the epidemic of Russophobia. People here have been reporting how their good friends or loved ones, intelligent and knowledgeable of the world affairs, still succumbed to this epidemic. We are living in a world where most people (not only intelligent and knowledgeable) are sick and tired of the lies propagated by politicians, media, and yes, oligarchs and sociopaths. That they would suddenly fall for these lies based only on the official information (or disinformation) strains the imagination. There is more to this than gullibility.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 15:31 utc | 341

Total panic in the West. The West has risked everything and lost nearly all of it. One final act of desperation is in play for Odessa. When the West loses Odessa, it will lose the Danube outlet into the Black Sea along with control of shipping commerce across Europe. Once the Danube delta falls to Russia the final nail will be hammered into the European coffin. Russia has defeated the full might of NATO and US intelligence, inflicted onto Europe pain in air transportation, pain in energy security, pain in food security and pain from military defeat. At the Danube delta Russia will have no need to negotiate terms. There she will have all the terms she can possibly desire.

Posted by: Goran | Jun 18 2022 15:35 utc | 342

re: lend-lease
On May 9 Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 whic will make it easier for the U.S. to lend or lease military aid to allies affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden already has some power to lend or lease equipment, but the legislation he will sign into law will ease some of the requirements for doing so. . ..here

from Ukrinform, June 18
Lend-Lease assistance from the United States, aimed at facilitating military aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, has not started yet.
The relevant statement was made by National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Secretary Oleksiy Danilov in an interview with LIGA.net, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“There is a procedure. Lend-Lease assistance has not started yet. But, the approval of the Lend-Lease Act is a very positive decision to us. Lend-Lease assistance will arrive, the question is when. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 15:38 utc | 343

in general, covid, apart from its ability to generate paranoia, should not be involved in attempts to understand the current context in Ukraine
@ xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:21 utc | 339

The discovery of dozens of Pentagon-directed biolabs in Ukraine casts weighty implications in both directions:
(1) The lab-leak origin theory of folks such as Nicholas Wade naturally gains credence.
(2) RF has documented experiments on Ukranians, originating from Pentagon-directed biolabs.

Surely the presence of these inexplicable biolabs is central to understanding Ukraine. Indeed, Chomsky seems inexplicably oblivious to the significance of this discovery.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 15:38 utc | 344

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:25 utc | 287

What's the Polish name for "Karen"? What's the Spanish name for English-speaking Polish Karen renting a holiday room on the Costa del Sol?

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 15:39 utc | 345

@ 329 Jonathan W

I saw a short news item late last night about Lithuania stopping a Russian train and inspecting, sending back various cargo. And thought the whole story was likely an error because nobody could be so stupid. Instead of bookmarking the item made a mental note more would be coming if this was real. Maybe it is. If anyone has news please post.

Looked at the map. Main rail line Moscow-Minsk-Vilnius-Kaliningrad. Were Russia to attempt military escort for that train it is not in farm country. Goes straight through capital city of Lithuania. If This Is Real then Gonzalo is right when he calls it a massive escalation. I will say it is a massive escalation by idiots. Would be willing to bet that if "noncontiguous" were said aloud in Foggy Bottom or the West Wing not 1% of persons listening in those locations would have a clue what the word meant.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 18 2022 15:46 utc | 346

@ xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:21 utc | 339

Secondly, according to Chomsky, the US government considers Russian propaganda to be so ridiculous that anyone confronted with it will burst out laughing. So, logically, it is necessary to protect US (and European) citizens by blocking all Russian media.
So Western governments want to protect their citizens from bursting out laughing? Yeah, that's logical. In fact, it's worth at least a good chuckle.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 15:47 utc | 347

A little bit of happiness for two people, who lived in the basement Mariupol, but alive and with lot of positive outlook...https://youtu.be/5pqwzZfV1xs

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 15:48 utc | 348

>A compromise in Ukraine with significant territorial concessions to Russia – the only conceivable way to end the war

(((David Goldman))) has been an idiot for a long time.

An entirely conceivable alternate ending to the war is a Ukrainian battlefield victory in the wake of a generalized Russian collapse. This is in fact currently the likeliest scenario, and well on track for playing out in late summer or early fall, given that the Russians are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Severodonetsk and gaining about 10 meters a day. On a good day. The one thing that is not in the cards is a general Russian advance and wide-ranging success, and the Ukrainians are perfectly well aware of this, and will therefore continue fighting regardless of who wishes they'd just be nice doggies and give up.

The level of US pressure required to make the Ukrainians concede would be outright military attacks allied with Russia. This is not going to happen.

>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.”

This statement says in plain english the exact and total opposite of what (((Goldman))) wishes it says and is trying to convince you it says.

And:

>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.

"might." What actually happened? After the visit, Macron stated in clear and umambiguous terms that a return to the pre-2014 borders - including returning Crimea to Ukrainian control - was the best solution. I know this gets in the way of your wishful thinking, but facts do exist. (And if you think France takes any orders at all from the US, ever, on any topic, and in fact is likely to ever do anything other than the opposite of what the Americans want just out of sheer buttheadedness, you're not qualified to discuss this at all)

>Russia is of course 100% prepared for that

Oh, of course. Of course. Of course. As prepared as they were to take Kiev. And Nikolaev. And Kharkov. And Odessa. And to win the war on a country right next door with a third-rate military and a large sympathetic minority, because that shouldn't take any longer than it took the US to roll through Iraq, a country halfway around the world with an utterly alien populace, culture and religion. Because that all worked so well and was clearly so totally prepared beforehand. Obviously. 100% prepared. That's the Russian thing, all right.

Do you get paid to be this fucking stupid, or is it all volunteer work?

Posted by: Rollory | Jun 18 2022 15:53 utc | 349

David Levin @ 314, Don Bacon @ 191

Washington was a patriot, but he was also a land speculator and a supporter of the expansion of the "Empire of Liberty". It is true that he wanted, at first, to try to buy land from the indigenous nations and avoid war, but when push came to shove, he decided that armies must be formed to head out and protect the unruly whites expanding chaotically throughout territory that had not been bought or gained by treaty from those with rightful possession to it. He also, apparently, evolved in his views of slavery (from possibly being a young and harsh owner to freeing those he personally owned in his will), but could not muster the will to oppose the institution openly and vigorously, as that would denigrate his standing in the society in which he was enmeshed. He is, as many great figures of history, a mixed bag of excellence, compromise, and realpolitik (with less depravity than most). I do not believe he would ever be able to ascend to any position of power in the current US system without the compromises necessary to become a part of that elite. If he did not compromise, he would be cancelled (at best) or killed (at worst) by the interests he opposed. His presence would not change a thing.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 18 2022 15:58 utc | 350

NS2 WILL start, NS1 was always going to stop. It’s old and unreliable and needs massive maintenance. Germany at least will be fine.
Posted by: DunGroanin | Jun 18 2022 13:12 utc | 309

Nord Stream 2 will never start. Why? It's wholly owned by Gazprom, so.
Nord Stream 1 might start up again after Seimens AG dicks around with mechanical service until (checks watch) October, because DE,FR, NL and transmission operators own 49% of it, and Habeck's Council coalition will have had sufficient time come to terms with the stupid 80% storage capacity + 100% utilization/consumer ration resale/reverse-flow RUSSIAN GAS to Baltics (ex Yalma, ex Ukraine, ex Qatar and ex UAE "divertible") energie independence plan. And the winter cover story, will be the same as the spring cover story: Solidarity across the bloc! Buy EU Liberty bonds today!

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 15:58 utc | 351

Surely the presence of these inexplicable biolabs is central to understanding Ukraine. Indeed, Chomsky seems inexplicably oblivious to the significance of this discovery.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 15:38 utc | 343

I don't deny it, but it would still be necessary to make the link between covid and the discovery of these labs. Anyway, if we all expect Chomsky to give his opinion about everything, this is clearly giving him way too much importance and influence. He's only a linguist after all.

As French, and whatever one could think about Chomsky, someone like BHL is way more harmful to the point he should be put to court and condemned.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:59 utc | 352

At least Chomsky has written some valuable books.

The books of our national treasure philosophe are not even good enough for steadying a wobbly wardrobe (too many pages of useless crap).

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:07 utc | 353

@ xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:59 utc | 351

If Chomsky is "only a linguist after all*," then his opinions matter no more than anyone else's and merit no special consideration.

(*and one with a rigidly structuralist and thus severely outmoded theory of language too, I might add)

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:09 utc | 354

@ xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:21 utc | 339

Secondly, according to Chomsky, the US government considers Russian propaganda to be so ridiculous that anyone confronted with it will burst out laughing. So, logically, it is necessary to protect US (and European) citizens by blocking all Russian media.
How thoughtful of Western governments to save their citizens from outbursts of laughter! That in itself is worth at least a chuckle.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:12 utc | 355

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 6:57 utc | 264

If you love Trump and refuse to see that he is same old corrupt 1% as Biden then there is nothing I can say to you that you will understand."

If you believe that about Trump, namely that he is yet the latest controlled opposition leader for the center right (majority) population, then you should also know that Trump had little if anything to do with Middle East policy apart from following the orders of those who helped get him elected. If you think he could operate independently then you are saying he was not in the 1%.

Take your pick but I don't think anyone can have it both ways.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 16:15 utc | 356

David Levin@323
re Grant
I haven't read the Grant bio. But the greatest book on Grant, one of the classics of literature, is the former President's Personal Memoirs. In which Mark Twain, who became a genuine friend of the General's was involved. If the bio compares it will be very good.
Pagan@340
re Russophobia
The points that you made about the Byzantine origins of russophobia are very relevant. In Ukraine the split between the Orthodox and the Uniate/Catholic traditions coincides almost exactly with the divisions between Russian and Austrian-Polish orientations.

The Uniate rite being almost unique in theology as a means of imposing Papal rule on an Orthodox and thus antipapist church.
I stand by my argument, however, that the power of russophobic argument in the US and within its cultural range, has much to do with the way in which it has been grafted onto the trunk of anti-communism which has been the dominant ideology in the United States for generations.


xiao pignouf@339
What struck me about Chomsky's remarks on Putin is that they were perfectly rational examples of cheap demagogy of the lynch mob kind. Were Chomsky ill informed or ignorant it would be another matter. But, as you suggest, he is perfectly aware of what he is doing. The only thing missing, but obviously inferred, is the long list of Novichok nonsenses, unfounded charges of assassination and Panama Papers based claims of VV's vast wealth. It is almost as if the long retired Professor were looking for work at The Guardian.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 16:20 utc | 357

Malenkov,

As a linguist, as mediocre as he is, there's no doubt about it, but as a media analyst, he's able to pinpoint the contradictions of Western MSM, and that's what he did during this interview. His views on Ukraine conflict are not based on his "Putinophobia" but mainly on Western conducts.

I just meant that if I want to refine my views about the current sequence of events, I'd rather read MoA than listen to Chomsky.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:23 utc | 358

a rigidly structuralist and thus severely outmoded theory of language too, I might add
@ malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:09 utc | 353

OT now (after 300 replies): This differs from my own understanding -- which is no doubt much less well-informed than yours. I'm a compulsive dilettante poet-taster of various and sundry hard and soft sciences, with just enough knowledge about everything to be worse than totally ignorant.

That said: Some regard Noam Chomsky as the Charles Darwin of modern linguistics -- such that everything following his work is a variation of his basic theme. I think of Chomsky's professional contribution as innate linguistics -- characteristics of the human species which shaped far-flung language-development processes along similar lines. No more outmoded than the theory of evolution.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 16:30 utc | 359

Who wanted the "embargo"
Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:50 utc | 292

That depends on whether one is fluent in psycho or not. As I pointed out here and elsewhere, when vdL introduced a novel definition of embargo, the EU cannot embargo that which it neither produces nor possesses. The EU can. not. prohibit export of either Russian gas or oil; only the RF can. Nor can the EU "embargo" exports of any other sovereign "third country", and there are quite a few of those, say, India and OPEC.

With the desemination of vdL's malaprop flowed many ill-conceived expectations in European popular press: one famously tied to collapse of RF economy attributed to "unreliable" forward and spot contracts, another to hyperinflation worldwide attributed to demand destruction in EU27 inexplicably d/b/a an oil "shortage", rather than punative EU, US sanctions derivatives against RF commodity (inc RUB) trading.

Perhaps vdL intended to organize a blockade of RF land and sea ports that has not materialized. Don't know, don't care. The "geopolitical" scheme has failed to deliver the Council's proposed result -- except for Kalingrad which doesn't produce oil or gas, it appears.

What vdL and her little dog Habeck are loathe to admit is, the ineptly titled EU "Russian embargo" is actually an ineptly enforced EU "boycott," or prohibited import, of RF commodiities.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 16:31 utc | 360

The only thing missing, but obviously inferred, is the long list of Novichok nonsenses, unfounded charges of assassination and Panama Papers based claims of VV's vast wealth. It is almost as if the long retired Professor were looking for work at The Guardian.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 16:20 utc | 356

As you said, he absolutely didn't mention that, he just called the Kremlin "criminal thugs", and I do not know why nor what he meant by that, but there's no need to put some more imaginary words in his mouth. My goal in writing this article was not to agree with him but to tell that his analysis of the conflict was not at all in favour of the West. On the contrary. And in spite of his personal opinion of Putin, which I do not share.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:34 utc | 361

Posted by: Foxbat | Jun 18 2022 14:20 utc | 327

..There is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then to look after our neighbour.

You think that statement is "insane" ??? You prefer "Society is to blame........it is not my fault, blame Society"

That is all Thatcher said in 1987........it had been so fashionable for 20 years to blame "Society" for everything and no-one was personally responsible for anything.........

But you think that is "insane"

Well.......we clearly know your political alignment fits with Biden-harris

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 18 2022 16:40 utc | 362

Chomsky is not that smart, and has always been controlled opposition. (Hence smart enough to know what he can get away with, and what not.) He has done rather well for himself.

I remember wanting to know more about his language theories back in the day, and then finding out what they were.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 18 2022 16:41 utc | 363

I have had the pleasure of corresponding with and having lunch (once) with Professor Chomsky over the years. I have also watched him on CSPAN taking notes on the comments and opinions of his questioners before he thoughtfully responded. During my lunch with him, which was at a large table with others, all he did was ask us about our lives and then engage with us as equals connecting details from his life to what we told him. He is a true mensch. Even if he does not engage does not engage in non mainstream 9/11 discussions, or holds beliefs about COVID that supported lockdowns, or thinks Putin is a criminal...he is 93 years old and has done more to inform people of the world and oppose the destructive policies of the US GOVT (which is his primary concern) than any person I can think of. Keep your eye on the ball, please

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 18 2022 16:43 utc | 364

How thoughtful of Western governments to save their citizens from outbursts of laughter! That in itself is worth at least a chuckle.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:12 utc | 354

I'm not sure if I understand you properly, but it seems you're being ironic on an irony, which sort of cancels itself...

Chomsky was already mocking his own government.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:44 utc | 365

FWIW my own feeling is without others, I am nothing.
Posted by: Foxbat | Jun 18 2022 14:20 utc | 327

No man is an island?

How about its complement: Dictators, tyrants, and monarchs do not exist.

Give it a minute's thought to come up with one person who has ever acted alone to OPPRESS everyone else. Then, take a minute to reflect the proposition which most commonly, gratuitously obviates western "society": freedom of the individual rational, self-interested actor.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 16:44 utc | 366

@Rollory | Jun 18 2022 15:53 utc | 348
Sounds as it is not Goldman who has been an idiot, no idea since when this is the case, but certainly in your rant.

An entirely conceivable alternate ending to the war is a Ukrainian battlefield victory in the wake of a generalized Russian collapse. This is in fact currently the likeliest scenario, and well on track for playing out in late summer or early fall, given that the Russians are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Severodonetsk and gaining about 10 meters a day. On a good day.

Tales from the Fuhrerbunker. The Russian economy even defies the priced in decline Kudrin, Nabullina and the likes predicted (-10§ GDP this year), unemployment reaching longtime lows still shrinking, inflation halted even reverting, government receipts and export revenues skyrocketing. And still, Russian economy is working on peacetime conditions.

Goldman pointed out in https://asiatimes.com/2022/06/biden-stares-down-from-ukraine-economic-ledge/ (you cavalierly omitted to cite) that the at the time of his article imminent visit of Macron, Scholz and Draghi might result in advices to the Clown to end the war with a negotiated settlement. It is not clear what they have proposed, whether they instead buttressed the Fuhrerbunker mentality. Maybe. But why did Bojo the Clown arrive the next day in Kiev?

Your hateful tirade lacks any factual or rational content. Goldman pointed to the possibility that the US admin were trying to pull out of the Ukrainian quagmire, and the sanction disaster the collective West has created and trapped itself within.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 18 2022 16:46 utc | 367

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 14:51 utc | 331

Have a look at the video, I posted above (Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 14:36 utc | 328), even if you don't understand Russian. (Maybe you can get subtitles). Just watch how positive minded the person is!

Her t-shirt is interesting. Probably her design?

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 18 2022 16:49 utc | 368

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 15:58 utc | 350

Nord Stream 2 will never start. Why? It's wholly owned by Gazprom

Shareholders

Yes Gazprom is the operator of Nordstream II but the construction cost was carried by Shell, DEA-Wintershall, Gasunie. The pipeline was necessary for BASF as the world's largest chemical firm to produce in Ludwigshafen and their subsidiary Wintershall was key to getting the deal originated.

Chemical feedstocks from gas are the cornerstone of German fertiliser, plastics, pharmaceuticals, solvents businesses

As Germany de-industrialises further the Euro will lose its asset-backing in terms of capped energy input costs and German trade surpluses

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 18 2022 16:49 utc | 369

Chomsky is not that smart, and has always been controlled opposition.

Posted by: Bemildred

I give no credit to these kind of assessment, unproven and unexplained.

Not much different from him saying Putin's a criminal thug.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:53 utc | 370

@ xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 16:44 utc | 364

Actually, Chomsky's argument is foolish and predictably blows up in his face. Once again:

Secondly, according to Chomsky, the US government considers Russian propaganda to be so ridiculous that anyone confronted with it will burst out laughing. So, logically, it is necessary to protect US (and European) citizens by blocking all Russian media.
Chomsky is a fool if he thinks the US government regards Russia's "propaganda" to be "ridiculous." Ridiculous propaganda, after all, is easily held up to ridicule -- to the detriment of the ridiculous propagandist. The US government's intention is to squelch a competing narrative -- one that, horribile dictu, might even reflect the truth.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:55 utc | 371

Nord Stream 1 might start up again after Seimens AG dicks around with mechanical service...
Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 15:58 utc | 350
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Siemens AG matter is just a pretext. Do you think they don't have enough surplus compressors? It is just the EU pain pushed up a few points...😏

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 16:58 utc | 372

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 11:10 utc | 298

Thanks for your response. There are not multiple human natures. Human nature is the common factor, that which makes all of us human. There may be multiple personal qualities, that which makes each of us an individual.

You may choose different definitions - that is up to you. This is the one that makes sense to me.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 17:00 utc | 373

It is almost as if the long retired Professor were looking for work at The Guardian.
@ bevin | Jun 18 2022 16:20 utc | 356

That really hurts. I wish Chomsky were the only example of what might be called "literary dissonance" -- when someone you've long admired goes so putrid upstairs, it gives you pause about their books in your personal library. It should give you pause, I think. I don't think Chomsky's age has anything to do with it. I worked as an elder-care nurse, all the way through college -- that old man is sharp as a tack, imho.

These are times "that try men's souls" -- not to mention the eye-strain from re-reading, for we readers. I long ago decided to avoid anything Noam Chomsky has to say from now on. Instances of heedless subscription to nonsense, from him, are driving me mad. It's far too painful for me, to read Chomsky post 2022. Now I'm deciding whether his problems have deeper roots, subtly perverting his earlier political works. He's such a slippery son of a gun; I may never be able to relax and enjoy the ride, reading or re-reading anything he ever wrote.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 17:00 utc | 374

Just to mention: Charles A. Kupchan, security advisor of Obama and Clinton admins, writes more or less the same as Goldman, albeit with some more ideological noise about "democracy vs. authoritharianism", and criticizes rabid dogs like Applebaum and Blinken.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/06/15/negotiating-to-end-the-ukraine-war-isnt-appeasement-00039798

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 18 2022 17:01 utc | 375

The Chief of the Empire of Lies had a bit of a problem

https://twitter.com/Gecko0369/status/1538171336509763586

Whoever set up the bike for him IS AN IDIOT.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 17:01 utc | 376

Re: Chomsky

I don't know why every discussion about Chomsky's political views has to mention his work in linguistics. His notoriety is the product of his political discourse and has nothing to do with linguistics. It seems that mentioning his contributions to linguistics serves mainly the purpose of giving him some sort of legitimacy, i.e. his views are those of a respected academic not some guy down the street.

I am even beginning to suspect that his contributions to "Manufacturing Consent" were minor in comparison to Ed Herman's, whose integrity remained intact until his death.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 17:02 utc | 377


Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 13:02 utc | 307

Thanks K. I agree with you on Trump as well.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 17:03 utc | 378

Nord Stream 2 will never start. Why? It's wholly owned by Gazprom, so.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 15:58 utc | 350

Wrong. NordStream 2 was to be operated by Gazprom, but not owned by them. The physical pipeline was owned by an international consortium based in Switzerland. The current "owners" have filed for bankruptcy in Switzerland.

The 6 partners were Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), E.ON (EONGn.DE), OMV (OMVV.VI), Wintershall (WINT.UL) and ENGIE (ENGIE.PA).

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 18 2022 17:06 utc | 379

He's only a linguist after all.
Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 15:59 utc | 351

No, he's not. I've read a couple besides his monographic, syndicalist stock in trade. Chomsky's theory of generative grammar is seductive, but empirically fact free, which is to be expected, since he's no mathematiciand and he evidently is monoligual. Also, indices of his books are circular references to himself: very bad form. After many years only reading, I've concluded, Chomsky's only counterfactual function at Hahvahd is factotum.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 17:11 utc | 380

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 (that are non-government employees) say they would cast ballots for Donald Trump (44%) than registered voters (that are taxpayer-funded government employees) for Biden (42%) ...

Posted by: buffalolips | Jun 18 2022 17:17 utc | 381

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 18 2022 17:06 utc | 378

Nord Stream 1: shareholders 51.0%, 15.5%, 15.5%, 9.0%, 9.0% resspecively

Nord Stream is a joint project involving five major companies: Gazprom international projects LLC (PJSC Gazprom subsidiary), Wintershall Dea AG, PEG Infrastruktur AG (E.ON), N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and ENGIE. Such a powerful consortium guarantees the best technology, security and corporate governance.

Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 AG is wholly owned by Gazprom. According to the company’s official announcement, half of the expenses linked to the gas pipeline construction (the total estimated value of which is currently 9.5 billion euros) will be financed by the Western European companies (950 million euros each).

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 17:23 utc | 382

'...Russophobia is therefore a natural mindset which requires no justification, because Russia as the heir to the Byzantine civilization will always be a bone in the throat of the Western world.'

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 12:11 utc | 302

Not true, Pagan. There have been many examples of reciprocity and friendship between the two branches, if not a complete reunion. In Santa Fe, December of 1998, a concert of Russian Orthodox church music was given in the Saint Francis Cathedral. I know; I was there. Members of my small church community sang standing before the Catholic iconostasis on the upper level in front of the sanctuary.

The Cathedral, Roman Catholic, was packed. I have a recording of that concert, generously provided by native Orthodox from Alaska, who came down to Santa Fe for the occasion. I treasure it. There is no 'natural animosity' between the two branches, only a sorrow that we cannot yet regain unity. The schism took place because of changes instituted by Catholicism, changes Orthodoxy could not countenance. It is a matter of theological separation rather than animosity. Were those changes rescinded unity could be achieved as ideally the Orthodox would consider the pope as a bishop of the church with the status of 'first among equals'.

Perhaps unity will be achieved some day. Friendship already has.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 17:24 utc | 383

https://ibb.co/x7dgK20
No comments

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 17:25 utc | 384

"Manufacturing Consent" were minor in comparison to Ed Herman's, whose integrity remained intact until his death.
Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 17:02 utc | 376

That book is a restatement (improvement, update, reboot) of Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (1920) from which the timeless adage "15 minutes of fame" literally originates.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 17:30 utc | 385

Chomsky dismissed conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination many decades ago. He's always been controlled opposition. He can be counted on to support the Empire narrative on matters that the Empire considers particularly sensitive.

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 18 2022 17:34 utc | 386

Chomsky is a fool if he thinks the US government regards Russia's "propaganda" to be "ridiculous." Ridiculous propaganda, after all, is easily held up to ridicule -- to the detriment of the ridiculous propagandist. The US government's intention is to squelch a competing narrative -- one that, horribile dictu, might even reflect the truth.
Posted by: malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:55 utc | 370

Malenkov,

I'm actually lost in translation : my post on MoA was translated from French that was itself an interpretation from English... Chomsky said ironically to point a contradiction that according to the US government : "Russian propaganda system is so powerful that we just have to protect the Americans from it, although it's so ludicrous that nobody can possibly pay attention to it."

You only stick to the "ridiculous" side of it.

Exactly the same as when he says, about the Western narrative, that the RF are weak but we have to protect ourselves from it by being part of NATO...

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 17:37 utc | 387

Chomsky ain't at Hahvahd. His appointment is at MIT, an institution even more dependent on defense contracts.

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 18 2022 17:40 utc | 388

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 17:02 utc | 376

I don't know why every discussion about Chomsky's political views has to mention his work in linguistics.

Speaking about linguistic, his name should be actually pronounced as Homski. 'Ch' is is German rendering of Cyrillic letter 'X', which is pronounced as 'H' like in English word home.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 18 2022 17:40 utc | 389

Chomsky dismissed conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination many decades ago.
Posted by: Lysias | Jun 18 2022 17:34 utc | 384

This is what's most important about Chomsky, and this is when I stopped paying attention to him. Alexander Cockburn, too.

Posted by: PHKinTN | Jun 18 2022 17:42 utc | 390

The language problem in Ukraine.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 17:44 utc | 391

The following is strictly for fans of tasty ice-geek eye-candy...

An AMSR2 [gif] animation of sea ice concentration in the central Arctic, excluding the more peripheral regions, courtesy of the Alfred Wegener institute (AWI).

https://seaice.de/AMSR2_Central_Arctic_SIC-LEADS.gif

The past 25 days of sea-ice sloshing around up there. We'll never get another chance to watch the Arctic fall apart. This is an amazing ringside seat, imho, conveying an accurate feeling for how mushy the sea-ice is. That's Greenland at the bottom, which retains just a few bits of ice holding fast to the coast. Along the top of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and on to Alaska, nearly all the fast ice has broken loose.

The movement of the pack as a whole looks fairly jiggly and disorganized -- not likely to set a new minimum this September. All that ice is basically trapped up there except for two export channels on either side of Greenland -- elsewhere it rotates and declines in place.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 17:48 utc | 392

he evidently is monoligual

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 17:11 utc | 381

No he's not : he's bilingual in English and Hebrew.

Posted by: xiao pignouf | Jun 18 2022 17:48 utc | 393

@Rollory 348
About France’s independence of thinking and acting vs the US.
My feeling as a French citizen is that France lost most of its traditional independence since Sarkosy’s decision to let France enter NATO ´ integrated military command and the more recent trend of EU decision making to be done at EU level rather than at main countries level.
I very much hate this move which increased with Macron. Indeed France population has no interest whatsoever in the US-Ukraine-Russia business.
Hence the stupid alignment of France on EU and the US for COVID management and now for Ukraine.
It was foolish for France not to oppose to NATO decision in 2008 to target Ukraine NATO membership.
As it was to follow the US in the Ukraine crisis management since 2014 (no action to implement Minsk agreements in 2014-2015, 2022 full support to Ukraine including weapons delivery now used to shell Donetsk civilians, etc)
Where it may seem that Germany France and Italy may try to take a separate route from US, UK, Poland and Baltics, this is a very recent move which remain to crystallize.
Would be happy to let US, UK, Poland and Baltics make a stronger alliance allowing perhaps to loose NATO role

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18 2022 17:49 utc | 394

Sorry, I meant that for the other thread, dang it.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 17:50 utc | 395

malenkov | Jun 18 2022 16:09 utc | 353

In the mind of the terminally structuralist, any structure is better than no structure. I think there is some of this in the popular Western conception of Marxism being continuously directed toward ML-adjacent tendencies rather than Autonomism-adjacent tendencies.

Paul Greenwood | Jun 18 2022 16:40 utc | 361

Yes, all Abrahamic thought can be viewed as a transmissible cognitive defect. That particularly includes Reformed theology which is directly culpable for the conditions which induced the bulk of what you call social degeneracy of the past 500 years, and especially the past 75. Good job,precious bitch.

Posted by: sippy the shot glass | Jun 18 2022 17:53 utc | 396

My personal belief is that Professor Chomsky made a conscious decision early on not to diligently investigate JFK, RFK, MLK, or 9/11 to avoid, rightly or wrongly, being personally painted with the conspiracy theorist brush. This was probably a self-interested decision, but these topics were not the primary focus of his work. One of the things about Chomsky was his use of primary sources which I do not have to support my supposition about his reluctance to support many well-known conspiracy theories. I also notice a lack of citations here re: Professor Chomsky. Here's a link to him speaking about conspiracies fairly recently. He is just one man, fallible and limited, like us all.

https://youtu.be/50MqHnoDEts

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 18 2022 17:59 utc | 397

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 18 2022 4:20 utc | 239

I'm a bit late on this one: thanks for this and all your comments, Grieved. You are correct that the dramatic change in western economies was at their own initiative: the sanctions plus theft of Russian bank reserves. Had the west stayed out of Ukraine, that special operation by Russia might have proceeded much more positively for all concerned. So even that was Biden's choice also, and he chose wrongly.

Head against the wall: bang, bang.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 18:13 utc | 398

Posted by: juliania | June 18, 2022 at 18:13

Sorry, that should have been in response to Grieved at 240

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 18:15 utc | 399

he is 93 years old and has done more to inform people of the world and oppose the destructive policies of the US GOVT (which is his primary concern) than any person I can think of.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 18 2022 16:43 utc | 365

I respect your conviction but I see thing much less dramatically.

I'm aware of his work but I don't see any issue where he put his butt on the line to truly oppose the US gov resulting in true discomfort by the Gov Mafia. Assange has done more in a shorter amount of time than anything that could be attributed to Professor Chomsky over his academic career. For me he's just an intellectual with very limited influence in swaying the public's mind. I'd say that even with the university level public, the best that might be said is that they might know his last name but not much more.


Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 18 2022 17:59 utc | 398
My personal belief is that Professor Chomsky made a conscious decision early on not to diligently investigate JFK, RFK, MLK, or 9/11 to avoid, rightly or wrongly, being personally painted with the conspiracy theorist brush.

Those are exactly the subjects that expose all that is wrong with the US GOV. Engaging with them would imply putting ones ass on the line. Some people did it but not Chomsky. A fairly low level of ignorance is required to believe that the first three events you mention do not implicate the government.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 18:33 utc | 400

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