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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@ Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 2:03 utc | 196

Mettan argues convincingly that there's something special about Russophobia, outstripping even Sinophobia in both intensity and consequence. Unlike most other xenophobic hatreds of Europeans and US Americans, it's hard to visually distinguish Russians -- they look white, a familiarity bequeathing an especially fervent contempt.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:18 utc | 201

Biden says he had no choice, he had to do what is best for the country.
From a recent AP interview, first talking gasoline price and then. . .

BIDEN:. . .And if you notice, you know, uh, gasoline went up a, you know, $1.25 right off the bat, almost, when, the, Putin’s war started. Um, and as I said at the time, by the way, I made it clear with helping Ukraine, and organizing NATO to help Ukraine, that this was going to cost. There was going to be a price to pay for it. It was, this is not going to be cost-free, but we had, the option of doing nothing was worse. If he in fact moved into Ukraine, took hold of Ukraine, and Belarus, where it is, and he’s been a threat to NATO, all those things would have even been more dire.
AP: Why is that? Because it seems like you knew the risks on Ukraine with regard to higher gasoline prices ...
BIDEN: Sure.
AP: ... that carried political risks for you at home ...
BIDEN: Sure.
AP: ... so when, when your aides said, “Look at the situation,” how did you make that choice? What would you tell someone in Latrobe, Pennsylvania?
BIDEN: I’m the president of the United States. It’s not about my political survival. It’s about what’s best for the country. No kidding. No kidding. So what happens? What happens if the strongest power, NATO, an organizational structure we put together, walked away from Russian aggression of over 100,000 troops marching across a border to try to, to occupy and wipe out a culture of an entire people. What, then, then what happens? What happens next? What do we do next? . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 2:24 utc | 202

"..a version of this forgery is whence the term "iron curtain" originates. Did you know that?.."
Aleph_Null@193
I can't prove this. I lost the reference years ago but I am fairly sure that Friedrich von Gentz, who served as the Secretary of the Congress of Vienna, used the phrase after the Battle of Austerlitz or around that time.
Gentz was in receipt of regular donations in golden guineas, from the British Foreign Secretary.

It might be too obvious to state but the great advantage of russophobic political rhetoric is that it slots right into the long and hysterical tradition in the United States of blaming the Russians (Reds, Commies etc) for everything whether it be nationalism vs the United Fruit Company, or any other challenge to the USA, including supporting the Scottsboro boys, or the CIO.
If Americans are brainwashed on any subject it is that the Russians (and latterly the Chinese) are coming after them and they should, therefore be very wary and very very afraid.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 2:27 utc | 203

These psychopaths are incompetent.
The US is NOT IN ANY WAY prepared for an escalation..
We are desperately in need of innovation and upgrade within our forces. Russia has been doing just that at HALF the cost
Do the elites know this? of course they do, but Americans are going to learn the hard way that they are nothing but FODDER for this insane cabal, whose been stealing from them in broad daylight

WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING?
BTW THE PENTAGON ADDED AN ADDITIONAL ONE BILLION TO UKRAINE. THE GIANT MONEY WASHING MACHINE OF EUROPE!

Posted by: Kay | Jun 18 2022 2:29 utc | 204

@ Patroklos | Jun 17 2022 22:27 utc | 150

Very interesting post and very true. I love it when you all mix in your personal experiences, as it does make it more like a bar discussion atmosphere, and I really wish I could get personally acquainted with many of you. My sympathy to you Patroklos about your father being unwilling to listen. It seems to me that sometimes people who have no leg to stand on just stonewall and refuse reason as a last line of defense against something to them unpalatable. I am having the same issue with my daughter. She and her husband are dyed-in-the-wool Democrats, and it is impossible to reason with her about Ukraine (Her husband is more circumspect). She just rolls her eyes at me. However, there are two arguments which can get to them, at least somewhat:

1) The economic argument that the sanctions are actually more devastating to the western economies. Included in it for them is the prospect of electoral Waterloo for the Democrats over inflation, impoverishment, stock market crash, etc., come November.

2) The nuclear argument, often aired here, including by myself, that total nuclear war hell might rain down on our heads from the sky. While this does not appear imminent today, it does scare people, as it certainly ought to do. Despite the carefully-crafted ignorance of the American people cultivated by the elite over my entire lifetime, I find Americans generally are aware of at least the basic facts about nuclear war, that it would be totally devastating, difficult to survive at all, and no picnic for any who did manage to survive, whose old world would perforce be wiped away. Proponents of first strikes and so on have their work cut out for them if they want to prove that nuclear war is good for you.

Posted by: Cabe | Jun 18 2022 2:29 utc | 205

i'm hoping they'll come around but the experience was awful. they are both 36.

Posted by: annie | Jun 18 2022 0:07 utc | 177

Have had barely a handful of conversations with old friends about this sort of thing and quickly learned from experiences essentially the same as your own.

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...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 2:34 utc | 206

@ Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 2:24 utc | 201 with the consummate projection quote of Biden


What happens if the strongest power, NATO, an organizational structure we put together, walked away from Russian aggression of over 100,000 troops marching across a border to try to, to occupy and wipe out a culture of an entire people. What, then, then what happens? What happens next? What do we do next?

All you have to do in replace the "Russian aggression" words with Empire aggression and the reality on the ground is clearly described.
And Russia answered the existential question by preparing to and then militarily standing up to the Empire of Lies bully. Russia is saying the empire will not wipe out the Russian culture and people.

What the God of Mammon cult does next is up to their anti-humanistic God

The shit show continues until it doesn't....are we there yet?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 18 2022 2:36 utc | 207

@ Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:18 utc | 200
. . .something special about Russophobia, outstripping even Sinophobia in both intensity and consequence.

Chinese laborers are the only people excluded US entry by law. The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years. The law excluded merchants, teachers, students, travelers, and diplomats. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed and strengthened in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 2:40 utc | 208

It's painfully obvious that the maga crowd is just as brainwashed as the left. Sheesh.

Posted by: Sid Farkus | Jun 18 2022 2:41 utc | 209

@ bevin | Jun 18 2022 2:27 utc | 202

I shouldn't have sounded so sure of myself. Mettan's claim could fairly be regarded as speculative. The wiki on "Iron Curtain" does not mention anything as early as "Napoleon's greatest victory" in 1805. But it does mention the metaphorical allusion: to the emergency curtain installed in theaters in case of fire. That kind of curtain could, conceivably, go back to 1805.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:44 utc | 210

Posted by: K | Jun 17 2022 23:52 utc | 171

I didn't quite follow the meaning of your

Remember there was an Iranian attack on a US airbase in Iraq the Iranians named Operation Martyr Soleimani. It ended in national tragedy for Iran which significantly cooled things down for Iran and likely also demonstrated Iranian capabilities to the US that the US did not want to engage further at that time.

Would you please find a way to expand on the section I have left blank as follows:

"It ended in national tragedy for Iran which significantly cooled things down for Iran because _______________ . . ."

I get the last part ("demonstrated Iranian capabilities to the US that the US did not want to engage further at that time") and maybe that's what you meant (?)

thanks


Posted by: pogohere | Jun 18 2022 2:44 utc | 211

My comment @ 210 should have read Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 1:16 utc | 187


Posted by: pogohere | Jun 18 2022 2:46 utc | 212

@ Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 2:40 utc | 207

Guy Mettan, who is Swiss, seems more focused on European than US American prejudices.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:46 utc | 213

A taste from Mettan's sampling of comparative hatreds:

In fact, Russophobia, contrary to French Anglophobia and Germanophobia, is a phenomenon that, though different of course, resembles anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. Like anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, it is not a transitory phenomenon linked to specific historical events; it exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim's alleged behavior or characteristics. Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is a way of turning specific psuedo-facts into essential, one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:57 utc | 214

Since both American political parties are essentially fact-free propaganda, I suppose it is no surprise that they often fall into the dangerous trap of believing your own propaganda. The bit in the quoted article about 'Biden winning by 7 million votes' is a fine example.

I can understand why they spun that political message when fighting off a coup-de-tat. But, the mistake has been from the beginning is that the Biden White House, and the rest of the right-wing corporate Democrats believe their own propaganda.

Biden did not win by 7,000,000 votes. Under the Electoral College System, Biden won by approximately 43,000 votes in three states who were the closest states with enough EC votes to make Biden lose by 1 EC vote.

And yet, Biden has never governed as if he had won by a narrow, tiny margin and that he needed to be working from Day 1 to shore up his own political position. Instead, Biden has imagined, and the whole team around him -- its not just Old Joe, that he won a massive victory the equivalent of LBJ in '64 or Reagan in '84. This is the big mistake that they've made. They've believed their own propaganda about their big 7,000,000 vote win, and never realized the real situation that they had won a very narrow victory. Biden has acted since Day 1 like he could afford to piss off millions of American voters, when instead he desperately needed to keep everyone he had and fight for every new vote he could add.

Of course, Hillary taught me one thing. Where you think you see incompetence, you are probably seeing corruption. Is Joe Biden's incompetence destroying the Democratic Party? Or have some right-wing oligarchs bought off someone who was always a shady, right-wing figure in the Democrat caucus, and thus Joe Biden is earning his new found wealth by sabotaging the Democrats?

I guess one thing in Joe's favor is that nobody remembers the name of the last leader of Germany's Weimar Democracy. So, I guess Joe figures he can funnel the money off to Hunter's hedge fund and then hobble away on his walker and nobody will remember the name of the person who sold out American democracy? But, I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by: Rose Blanca | Jun 18 2022 2:58 utc | 215

Putin's speech received a lot of recognition.
>NYTimes: A Defiant Putin Says Russia Will Flourish Without the West
>CNBC: Russia’s Putin lashes out over Western sanctions ‘blitzkrieg,’
>CNN: Putin lambasts the West and declares the end of 'the era of the unipolar world'
>Guardian: Putin calls Ukraine war sanctions ‘insane’ in combative speech
>BBC: Russia's Putin condemns 'mad and thoughtless' Western sanctions
>NBC:Putin attacks U.S., says Western order collapsing
>AlJazeerah: Putin blasts ‘stupid’ Western sanctions as economic ‘blitzkrieg'
>TheHill: 'Nothing Will Be As It Used To Be': Putin Defends Invasion Of Ukraine

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:03 utc | 216

Here is a portion of the beginning of Putin's speech at the Saint Petersburg forum:

"... 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..

It deserves attention because what Putin was saying in his speech is that this historic change has not come about because of the special operation in Ukraine, and in fact it will make no difference whether Russia succeeds or not, whether the West will escalate someplace else and continue the struggle.

This was on the road to happening, had been so, for eight years, and the cracks in the edifice of how things have been we pointed to even before that. It wasn't happening because of Russia, because Russia was weak and in its own turmoil perhaps throughout its own history.

I mentioned in my last post that Dostoievski claimed in his speech in praise of Pushkin, that the poet had discovered a new way of relating to those who weren't Russian, even as he portrayed Russian characters so well. Dostoevski felt that it was still not clear how to do that, but that this quality was a crucial one to discover and to emulate, the capacity to think as others foreign to your own way of thinking, so that you could relate to them as fellow human beings.

And a few months later, Dostoievski himself died, but Russians consider that speech to have been his finest hour. Sort of like Eisenhower's final speech about the military industrial complex -- this was that important in defining the nation's struggle forward.

karlof1 has spoken of the need to educate, to have a proper education. How about we start, not so much with Putin, but with Pushkin?

I personally have hopes that the west is now beyond the capacity to militarize and have its way with the world -- surely we saw that as the long Afghanistan experience ended. Everyone saw it. It ended badly. There's no new way except one of respect, and that has to enter into every transaction or business practice - respect for both the highest and the lowest person in a country, the smallest or largest country as well. If there isn't that, the best part of humanity is sacrificed; the best part. I don't want to see that happen any longer in this country that I chose back nearly a quarter century ago. (It always strikes me as ironic that even as I chose it, the obvious seeds of destruction were beginning to be felt; the rift between it and other nations was forming.)

And that has nothing to do with Ukraine and what will happen to Ukraine. I hope what happens is what ought to happen, for all the people involved. Which should not be this country - it's not our business. We have far too much to learn.

[Sorry to rant. We had a bit of rain, after a long hot dry spell. Must have made me a bit giddy.]

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 3:04 utc | 217

WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING?
Posted by: Kay | Jun 18 2022 2:29 utc | 203

America has been betrayed by traitors. No, I'm not referring to the Joe McCarthy/Richard Nixon style of 'traitors in the State Dept' sort of thing. But, I do mean the sort of traitors who take the taxpayer's money dedicated towards defending the nation, and then use it to line their own pockets, buy themselves several mansion and yachts.

America's defense contractors have raided the public purse, and provide slip-shod weapons that are massively overpriced. I keep hearing about how the Europeans are going to spend so much more on 'defense', then I hear that they are buying F-35 fighter planes and you know why the total bill is so very, very high. We still haven't really seen one of those in combat, against real air defenses and other top class fighters. But, for the pricetag, it had better be a war-winning super-weapon.

America's defenses are weak not because we've been failing to throw money at the Pentagon because we make our nurses and teachers feel honored, rewarded and given small workloads because the people that they care for are precious to us. No, America's defenses are weak because Traitors disguised as Patriots have been robbing Uncle Sam blind for so long that they litterally don't even think there is any other way of doing business.

Posted by: Karla | Jun 18 2022 3:07 utc | 218

I remember reading that some great fortunes were made by supplying the Union Army with shoddy, substandard equipment during the Civil War. the corruption back then may have been on a more ad hoc basics, compared to the institutional rot we have today. and vast portions of the money is to prop up the US empire, as opposed to concentrating on actual national defense.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 3:12 utc | 219

@ Rose Blanca | Jun 18 2022 2:58 utc | 214
Hillary taught me one thing. Where you think you see incompetence, you are probably seeing corruption.

Hillary ran for president and almost made it, after serving as Secretary of State for four years. She never had to recount any achievements during her tenure (which lacked achievements). Only in America!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:12 utc | 220

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

Rest assured, we're out there.

Posted by: Michigan Dude | Jun 18 2022 3:14 utc | 221

@ Karla | Jun 18 2022 3:07 utc | 217
WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING?
The F-35 mistake-jet costs $200 million each, five for a billion. About half of them are able to fly at any one time, but they cost $30,000 per hour so pilots often have to sit at a flight simulator in the hangar and make-believe fly.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:21 utc | 222

@ Rose Blanca | Jun 18 2022 2:58 utc | 214
Biden did not win by 7,000,000 votes. Under the Electoral College System
Yes, excellent point.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:29 utc | 223

alek_a | Jun 17 2022 18:02 utc | 46
The EU … … ready to suffer if it is for the greater good…..
Lol. Talk is so cheap.
As soon as there’s a slight disturbance or inconvenience in the normal supply chain, the howls of outrage …
Here… a 2-3 hour electricity blackout…. Hoooooowwwwls.
(I mean, I hate losing electricity also, [fortunately, contemplating the policy decisions that have created the problem keep me well heated], but the hoooowwwls. )
I think once the pain rises even a notch the EU citizens will howl just like the ones here.
The Azovstal heros were full of bravado and warrior words on tiktok and telegram. A month later they came limping out like abandoned, broken rescue dogs.
Few under 50 in any western country has experience severe and ongoing hunger, or any significant long term inconvenience. The horror of not being able charge their phone being the most extreme. !

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jun 18 2022 3:36 utc | 224

Joining the EU - European Union
Any country that satisfies the conditions for membership can apply. These conditions are known as the 'Copenhagen criteria' and include a functioning market economy, a stable democracy and the rule of law, and the acceptance of all EU legislation, including of the euro.

news report from a country with Russians:
Ukrainian court bans activities of Shariy’s pro-Russian party. . .On June 16, the 8th administrative court appeal of Lviv banned the Shariy party. The decision was made at the request of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. It was the second attempt by the ministry to ban his party. The Shariy party is the 9th pro-Russian party banned in Ukraine by a court decision. The SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) first called for the party be banned in the Kyiv district administrative court a year ago. . .Kyiv Post

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:40 utc | 225

Every adult American and European should be tuned into the fact that freedom of speech has been disappeared/hung by our various fascist Governments. Almost overnight a lot of folks go to news channels and websites did a disappearing act that even David Copperfield would've been impressed with. Hell in the UK not only was it that RT was pulled, they even pulled Fox News (not that the latter bar maybe What'shisname hurt even a teeny weeny bit; that's Murdoch's channel ).

Anyone oblivious to this restriction of access, the 24/7 bombardment of scripted BS is a cretin by nature, on illegal or prescription drugs, is in serious deep denial that their exceptionalism is fake or know but have a vested interest in maintaining this charade.

This leaves around 5% of the western population worth saving.

Wouldn't it be magical if one morning the 5% of us woke up and the 95% had vanished, but I'm just being equally delusional.

Excuse me miss, can I have an extra shot in my decaf latte, thanks ? . . . sorry what, you don't except cash . . . . so as the police/gestapo can track my whereabouts . . . . but I only wanted a coffee.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 18 2022 3:40 utc | 226

Posted by: pogohere | Jun 18 2022 2:44 utc | 210

Perhaps I am being too speculative, what I meant is I think after that night the active retaliation for the murder of Soleimani was considered closed (K had wrote there was no response by Iran). The message was loud and clear to Trump. Iran needed to retaliate and I think they felt like the need was met.

The issue of the downing of the passenger plane will have resulted for Iran a thorough auditing of their military procedures to prevent such accidents in the future. For the religious leadership in Iran there also will have been some deep spiritual reflection that would have provided lessons for decisions made going forward among other things.

I think the US and the IRI were quite close to a hotter war that night, not outside the realm of possibility the passenger plane accident may have stopped any further escalation. iirc, it was the second and last time under Trump that the US and Iran were on the verge of a hot war. Afterwards both sides cooled down (which is not a statement to remove blame from the US).

Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc | 227

Humans are simply hard-wired not to trust those that don't perfectly resemble themselves in all aspects. It's the old concept of "The Other".
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 2:18 utc | 199

Its real, but not hard wired by any means, it's a choice and that choice is enacted in cultures all over the world, even in our own. We just don't see it from the jaded western perspective.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc | 228

out of context and directed at Karlof1

I am addressing you as the Chef that you are. Maybe Juliana could help too.

would you have a source for really aromatic Juniper berries?

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 18 2022 3:49 utc | 229

@karloff1 164

although i am thoroughly defeated by his vote for the $40 plus billions death machine, Bernie was the closest i'd found for that populist who brought people of all walks together to fight for each others' basic need. Heck, the coal people of West Virginia were standing up clapping in a small town hall about medicare for all. Fox news audience same.

the media wouldn't cover how popular he was. 25 plus thousand at one of his rallies and many similar. no one else came even close to it.

to give him credit, his main focus now is strengthening unions, sometimes with his own money, bc he believes this is the best way to give some power and knowledge and heck, health and shelter to us all.

the media constantly smeared him, wouldn't cover the vet who tried his best to give him his air force jacket even as Bernie said, no, you fought for this...

so, media omitting and covertly and overtly undermining, VOTING MACHINES made by the elite and hacked by the parties, closed polling places, outright lies by Hillary and, sadly, Warren and others, dark money and others campaign tv lies, you name it.

hillary said way before the primaries. Bernie will not win. And they make sure of it. They will murder to crush a real populist.

such a bummer to have thought i was working for real freedom all my life, and to get near the end and see that it was mostly an illusion, that we never had a chance, and now they all hold so much power. digital currency? if we don't like you, there goes your money. propaganda now bought into by a teacher's union--literally microsoft and govt. people who will now put caution signs or maybe not even allow students to see certain information.

other countries, too, but ours is the worst bc we have become a global death machine, shredding lives as easily as kleenex.

i still have faith that somehow, something will change, and right now the most shining hope is Russia. end of rant.

glad i found moa. thanks for listening to my ted talk.

Posted by: polarbear4 | Jun 18 2022 3:55 utc | 230

Blinken on disinformation -- i.e. unapproved information

. . .In the United States a few decades ago, information that most people used on a – in their daily lives, there was a common foundation, because there were actually a fairly limited number of sources of the information that people got. We had three television networks back then, we didn’t have cable, we didn’t have an internet, we didn’t have talk radio, et cetera, et cetera.
And the hope, of course, was that the democratization of information would be a good thing overall. And fundamentally, I believe that’s still the case. But as a result of this, as a result of this disaggregation, you’ve lost exactly what you said, which are sort of the trusted mediators who can make sure that information, to the greatest extent possible, is actually backed up by the facts. And at the same time, that technology itself has allowed the abuse and the spreading of misinformation and disinformation in ways that we probably didn’t fully anticipate or imagine.
So we see authoritarian governments using this. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 3:55 utc | 231

Perhaps I am being too speculative, what I meant is I think after that night the active retaliation for the murder of Soleimani was considered closed (K had wrote there was no response by Iran).
Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc | 226

I wrote nothing of the sort.
My point which sailed right past you, was that Trump committed an act of incitement to war
(regardless of Iran's response which was to deliberately not escalate)
and is therefore no different to all US presidents.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 3:56 utc | 232

@226 David | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc

It's off-topic, but I would add to your characterization of Iran's state of mind.

When they hit the base, Iran was spiritually and militarily ready for total war with the US. They more than half expected it to happen, they weren't precisely certain of their reading of the US backbone, and they truly thought the next move could be fierce retaliation by the US.

This would instantly mean full-on war, with Iran throwing its total resources and its complete heart and soul into the battle, to the death and to the end.

When Trump and those ashen-faced generals talked it all down and walked back from the conflict ("All is well." - Trump) then the ministries of the world saw proof of what they had long suspected, namely that the US was spineless, and would not go to war against Iran.

I suspect you're correct that the downing of the civilian plane was the matter of much debriefing and examination, but Iran never said that the one hit on the base was the payment for Soleimani. The red flag remained flying and although I haven't checked, I assume off the cuff that it still is.

I don't think that Iran has "cooled off" in the sense that I think you're suggesting, nor that the civilian plane had any effect other than protocol evaluations. Nor indeed that payment has been exacted.

Iran was very clear and said what the repayment for Soleimani would be: the total departure from Southwest Asia of the US presence, across the region.

This is a work in progress. Personally, I fully expect it to happen, but who can say what time this will take, or if we'll even see the levers that do the work.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 18 2022 4:03 utc | 233

In response to
"
Humans are simply hard-wired not to trust those that don't perfectly resemble themselves in all aspects. It's the old concept of "The Other".
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 2:18 utc | 199

Its real, but not hard wired by any means, it's a choice and that choice is enacted in cultures all over the world, even in our own. We just don't see it from the jaded western perspective.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc | 227
"

What I learned as part of my healing process was that our reptilian and mammalian past that still is operative as part of our vagus nerve does a 1.5 second initial processing of our perception of others that assesses danger, sexual attraction, etc. before passing that qualified information along to the cortex for further processing.

History and anthropology show that humanity all over our globe have non-aggressively interacted as tribes for tens of thousands of years so lack of trust has not always equated with fear and aggression because of that fear.

In my Catholic grade school I can remember two thoughts about the 1950's brainwashing about Russia
1. Better dead than red
2. Communism is like the incoming tide, it ebbs and flows, always advancing....stoke the fear...reinforce the meme

Given that Russia is not communistic anymore, will we see the "Better dead than red" meme repeated anyway?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 18 2022 4:07 utc | 234

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 3:56 utc | 231

You wrote "That there was no war response was down to Iran not to Trump."

The Iranians launched a dozen missiles at two US airbases. Clearly a direct overt military act. It was up to the US/Trump to escalate after, a risk Iran was clearly taking. Trump chose not to go to war. Whether or not Trump was interested in wars, your comment did not provide much support that he was.

Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 4:10 utc | 235

American fighters who surrendered in Donbass speak to RT . . .Claiming disorganization and incompetence in Ukrainian military, the two US veterans have told fellow foreigners to stay at home . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18 2022 4:13 utc | 236

Stalker Zone has a good article about the sanctions and the fuel shortages in Europe. It's by the mystery author signed as Historical thimbles - I've enjoyed other pieces by this Russian author before and this one is great fun:

Oh, You’ve Run Out of Gas: Putin Has Started a Session of Punitive Psychiatry…

The accident at the US Freeport plant is not just a coincidence. It warmed up the markets of Asia, where they give a lot of money for LNG, they intercept exchange offers literally at sea. There is less and less left for the European Union, and Gazprom does not itch, everything suits the monopolist. Aleksey Miller shrugged his shoulders indifferently yesterday at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, suggested the easiest way out of the gas crisis: Nord Stream 2 is completely ready, the compressor stations are the latest, the pipe is full. Lift the sanctions, we’ll let them in tomorrow.

...

A proposal was immediately submitted to Congress: to reduce the supply of LNG outside the New World and to expand preferential lending to our own deep processing facilities for “blue fuel”. First and foremost – fertilisers. And reduce domestic prices for the consumer.

...

Learn from Vladimir Vladimirovich, the kindest man in the world. Without a single serious counter-sanction, without responding to insults to our country in word or deed, he brought the situation to the level of forced psychiatry. He disdainfully wrote off Russophobes from the disposition of the Russian state and arranged the process of their self-flagellation.

Some very fine trolling in this article, which also connects several threads into a useful overview of the story. Russian satisfaction must be great indeed, as the Tao shows how it aids the ham-fisted to work against themselves.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 18 2022 4:16 utc | 237

@ Republicofscotland - 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."

It is very possible that this is a piece of bone to bite on given from the US to Turkey for an exchange with something else.

Posted by: Man | Jun 18 2022 4:19 utc | 238

Posted by: David Levin | Jun 18 2022 0:32 utc | 183

To David, and everyone who responded (I didn't expect such empathy but it cheers my heart): you are right. I have my blind spots as we all do. But this kind of dogmatism, first around the pandemic and now hyperbolically around this conflict, is hard to explain, especially from people for whom it has been typically out of character. The vitriol is hard to account for. I've rarely seen my dad 'go off' but it really chimped him out just to suggest that Russians had a legitimate grievance. And it angers me knowing what has been done to people in Donetsk and Lugansk for 8 years that someone refuses to listen. So I asked myself: what is Ukraine to him? Why is Russia's action so evil when the adventures against Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Panama, etc etc can be explained away? And the level of Russophobia! "A nation of serfs blindly following a monster" he said; the culture of Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky and Bakhtin I said; of the Bolshoi and Formalism and Kandinsky I said. "No that's all the influence of Europe"...

We'll just never be able to discuss it. A civil war reaches across the world into hearts and minds at this turning point in the world's history.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jun 18 2022 4:19 utc | 239

@236 - more...

And just to follow that, my prediction:

When the EU bends its knee to the ground and begs for Nordstream 2 to start pumping, the symbolism of that self-defeat will strike a chord across the whole world. One of those great, self-evident iconic scenes.

And Russia did nothing, except to let the west beat its own head against its own wall.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 18 2022 4:20 utc | 240

I think a lot of Americans are not convinced that the rising prices are Russia's fault. Look at Biden's poll numbers lately. He's trying the old dodge of focusing popular resentment on an external foe, but it isn't working, at least as far as deflecting blame toward him.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 4:28 utc | 241

@240 pretzelattack

Someone could decapitate Joe, the DNC would still put him up and 45-51% would still vote for him.

USA USA USA

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 18 2022 4:36 utc | 242

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 18 2022 4:03 utc | 232

That's a good comment Grieved. As i said i was perhaps being too speculative. To your comments though i would say that what i meant by "active retaliation" was they needed to do something soon, decisive and overt, and they did that. What i didn't say but thought i implied with the word "active" was that any future retaliation could be covert and opportunistic. Extremely doubtful the Iranian leadership would think justice had been served with those dozen missiles.

You wrote: Iran was very clear and said what the repayment for Soleimani would be: the total departure from Southwest Asia of the US presence, across the region.

That's a poetic and fitting way to remember and mourn the death of their national hero.

My unpoetic self would just say that kicking the US out of the region is an Iranian goal that reaches back decades.


Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 4:41 utc | 243

Posted by: Karla | Jun 18 2022 3:07 utc | 217

Yup. But there's a bigger rot and the stench emanates from Wall Street and the City of London.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 18 2022 4:42 utc | 244

And Russia did nothing, except to let the west beat its own head against its own wall.

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

Well, technically they didn't do nothing. They launched a temporary invasion to wipe out nazis and those who traffick in false promises.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 18 2022 4:43 utc | 245

To think that Trump is your answer to all your problems is as ridiculous as one above saying they can't touch Iran but China.

Another says Venezuela under Trump is your next target. The amazonian jungles in Venezuela is like hell compared to Cuba, which you could not overthrow. The venezuelans will fully arm their people who can survive in the jungle and systematically tear you apart.

In the small island of Grenada, that hero Regan invaded, you lost 16 soldiers and killed 26 cuban worker's. In Lebanon, under Regan 300 USA servicemen were bombed to death, and USA left.

In Syria, USA/Israel steals oil via their proxies Kurds and Turkey does the same, but in a different area.

It can be rightfully construed as colonialism once again. The Russians recently told USA, as per agreement that they were going to bomb some of these pirates. They did.

That type of agreement with the west will soon end, for Russia is putting more firepower into Syria and USA/NATO/Israel pirates will be kicked out.

If this coalition of " the international community" or "democracy", or whatever else they call themselves had any guts or the means to take on Russia, China or even Iran; it would have been done.

One only has to look at the racist threats, arrogance and ignorance spewed daily, and the sanctions war failing.

No, the reliance on others, terrorists and others to fight your wars is coming to an end. China said it's military is not just defending the homeland, but it is now going to be focused on other things including protecting their trading rights.

Expect to see not just Russia but China, private armies working together, all over the western wars and chaos.

Posted by: Karl luck | Jun 18 2022 4:45 utc | 246

Posted by: Patroklos | Jun 18 2022 4:19 utc | 238

Out of curiosity what did he think of Trump's illegal assassination of Soleimani or indictment of Julian Assange? What did you think of those two things, respectively?

P.S. My dad is pretty much of the same thoughts, but he was mostly a blue collar working stiff who lost much of his hearing from jackhammering in a toxic waste filled area - which later led to cancer.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 18 2022 4:46 utc | 247

"A nation of serfs blindly following a monster" he said
@ Patroklos | Jun 18 2022 4:19 utc | 238

There's that deeply engrained formula: despotic, barbaric, backward -- as if this payload of hate has been spring-loaded, tensed and retensed, prepared to go flooey upon release. My quest for the roots of Russophobia spun out from Pius XII's comments, as portrayed by Rolf Hochhuth in The Deputy. Hochhuth was a reporter, producing a play as an historical benchmark, a mark in the sand, something to remember. His principle objective was as much historical accuracy as he could muster. Hochhuth's Pius hates and reviles the Russians much more the Nazis, who are arresting Jewish families across the street from the Vatican. 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 redscare days, as well.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 4:49 utc | 248

Re Iran and Soleimani

My conviction is that while there was a chance to see the sanctions lifted, Iran played it cool in order to preserve its chances of seeing the end of the embargo.

Circumstances have changed now, since it appears that the talks are dead in the water. The truculence of Israel may bear fruit and lead to a virulent attack by Iran using its dreaded missiles. Erdogan's moves against Syria, though are a joker in the ME equation.

Who can predict Erdogan's moves? what is sure is that this would be as agitated a sea as the Chesapeake bay exit.

One thing is sure, the entire US fleet in the Persian Gulf would be wiped out which serves the Chinese's interests and further weakens the USA.

Surely the best moment to strike is approaching and Iran will not care to be perceived as an aggressor.

Israel is letting a Damocles spade hang over Iran when it announces that its F35s have now been modified and boast the capacity to fly without aerial refueling to Iran and strike deep into Iran.

I rather believe they have an agreement with either Qatar or whomever Arab kingdom is buddies with them and can be used as a starting point. Will these really penetrate Iranian defenses?
Remains to be seen.

This, of course is an added reason to strike at Israel with forceful and broad ranging blows.

When will it occur? The interference of Israel in the unlawful detention of the Venezuelan aircraft in Argentina boasting an Iranian training crew under the influence of the Israeli Embassy may be a new factor testing Iran's patience.

The bucket is full. Any new drop is likely to get it to overflow.

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 18 2022 4:50 utc | 249

Posted by: Karl luck | Jun 18 2022 4:45 utc | 245

Great comment to the idiots who believe Trump was somehow "different" on foreign policy. In fact on that note, it's been said that democrat and media obsession with the fake Russiagate and Ukrainegate hampered his true agenda. Which makes one wonder - aside from genuflecting to Saudi bone sawers when there was no economic disaster and putting making Israel "great" AGAIN EVER at the top of his list - what Trump's foreign policy really would have been if he - like Joe Tzu - wasn't senile.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 18 2022 4:52 utc | 250

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 18 2022 4:36 utc | 241

I don't think so, not now anyway. The last poll result I saw, Trump got better approval ratings than Biden, and this after 6 year of Russiagate etc. I think was in the high 30's.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 5:03 utc | 251

meant to say, Biden was in the high 30% range.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 5:05 utc | 252

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 3:41 utc | 227
"Its real, but not hard wired by any means, it's a choice"

I would nuance that by saying it's hard wired but it can be overridden. Sort of like what psychohistorian said at 233: it's in the lower levels of the brain, but can be overridden by the cortex, influenced by social conditioning and circumstances.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 5:09 utc | 253

china looks to diversify LNG away from australia as its current importer , well australia is attack poodle for usa foreign policy in the pacific, now Europe and USA were hoping to swoop up Qatar gas ...oopsie
https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/exclusive-china-firms-advanced-talks-with-qatar-gas-field-stakes-lng-offtake-2022-06-17/
china set to invest heavily there for itself , and i doubt any capacity will be going to Europe. should have taken the russian gas deal when it was offered is some famous last words

Posted by: hankster | Jun 18 2022 5:27 utc | 254

"There are no two ways about it: Chomsky is acting as an apologist for US Imperialism... a shameful way for a man as old as he is to be acting."

Posted by: bevin | Jun 17 2022 21:35 utc | 130
______

Chomsky appears to be afflicted with Bidenitis; he's become a senile crank. Last year he inflicted authoritarian indignation on the great unvaxxed, saying they should be ostracized and left to fend for themselves, essentially banished like lepers for the good of society. Chomsky is an symbol of what the left has become, a parody. He's ready for nursing care on the third floor.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jun 18 2022 5:28 utc | 255

The latest from Gonzalo Lira...discussing the recent visits of EU leaders and Russia's intentions. He had an earlier one today to the effect of "Not Dead Yet" explaining his video absences lately.

2022.06.17 Negotiations and Escalation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDKvfzUQpvI

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 5:38 utc | 256

Also note that Lira discusses directly what b's post was about - whether the US will escalate elsewhere - which inclines me to believe that he reads MoA. I think he's referred to MoA in the past.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 5:40 utc | 257

@ c1ue | Jun 17 2022 17:25 utc | 23

Not to mention, the SAA is the most cohesive, battle-tested army in the whole ME at this point.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jun 18 2022 5:44 utc | 258

I'd like to tell you a small story, and ask you how it goes on.
Suppose you're the prime minister and President of a small European country. Back in the 90ies one of your predecessors joined the EU and its twin brother, NATO. But now you are not so sure this is what is best for your country, and you do not like the direction things are going. You look in the mirror and the face that greets you is the opposite of Sanna Marin: male, wizened, thoughtful. So you get your feelers out and, through backchannels, as the Russians what would have to happen to avoid becoming the next Ukraine, and you ask "people" in Brussels and DC what it would take for a no fault divorce.

Posted by: Passerby | Jun 18 2022 5:59 utc | 259

@8 it's just been announced by turkey 🇹🇷 that they are reopening their skies for Russian military flights to 🇸🇾 Syria. this does not sound like an escalation for a new front against the kurds by turkey, but rather a coordination between the two.
Turkey is truly the knife in the back of Nato, ever since the USSA f'd up and supported the kurds, Erogdan's mortal enemy.

I see it as very hard for nato to successfully attack transitria without Turkey on board.

Besides that, any attack on Transitria is an instant assurance of a Russian attack on Odessa to Conquer and subdue the heart of the beast!

Odessa would be the Ukrainian staging ground for an attack on transitria,
and Zelinsky is praying to God to keep Odessa! it would be suicide for them to make an attempt Moldova!
They are far too concerned with trying to keep their own land, then being able to Conquer others.

I also suspect that the Ukrainian plane that sunk the moskva, took off from Romania and either shot down or landed in Ukraine.
thus why Russia couldn't admit the truth without having to retaliate against nato air base. Thus they were warned that a 2nd time will be met with launching everything at them, and they have since gotten the message and Fd off back to their caves and palaces

Posted by: CryptoAlchemist Bern | Jun 18 2022 5:59 utc | 260

I haven't seen it mentioned yet but stirring the pot in the ME may give empire time to back fill Ukraine with weapons and manpower, if it is not too late already.

Then again, viewing this as part of a civilization war, locking up all the proxy points around the globe is probably one of the steps along the way.....I expect to see some evidence of lockup along the way, if not actual pull back in some areas.

As long as this does not escalate into nuke land, what we are seeing is the stopping, at least for the moment, of the aggression of the West.

Will it result of permanent neutering of the bully which Russia/China have said is their goal? Not without elimination of global private finance would be my answer and since I am not seeing that issued being addressed directly/publicly yet, I don't know what the desired endpoint of Russia/China is exactly.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 18 2022 6:08 utc | 261

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 5:40 utc | 256

I have a vague memory of him making a couple of comments on some thread. or at least somebody claiming to be him.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 6:11 utc | 262

translated copy from ukraine to poland for all military aged males to be deported to ukraine to fight. lol poland was wrong place for sanctuary...

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Dear Mr. Zbigniew Rau!

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its respect for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and kindly informs. Today, Ukraine restrains the attacks of the Russian war machine and protects the security of not only its country, but the entire European continent. Tens of thousands of innocent citizens who fought the aggressor have already been victims of the treacherous attack by Russia.

Therefore, the President of Ukraine decided to return to Ukraine from abroad

male citizens of recruiting age, able to stand up arms in hand to defend not only their homeland, but the entire European Union. Considering the above, the Ukrainian side asks the Government of the Republic of Poland to decide on the transfer of all necessary information about Ukrainian male citizens aged 18 to 60 residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland for their return to Ukraine. Taking this opportunity, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its deepest respect to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

Kind regards,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Dmytro KULEBA

Posted by: hankster | Jun 18 2022 6:38 utc | 263

S Brennan @ 100
The whole Trump Russia collusion story was driven by heavy surveillance on the Trump campaign. In other words, the state operatives knew way ahead of time Trump's plan was to make nice with Putin and Russia. He wanted an alliance with Russia to take care of the jihadis in Region as well as to make business for the economy.

The state's operatives saw that coming which they viewd as a hurricane coming against their plans. The operation against Trumps plan was named crossfire hurricane. Clearly his enemies were deep in the Ukraine situation.

Remmember Trump went into NATO with both guns blazing to counter their long grifting against the US. His policy was a strong self sufficient NATO, European energy less dependant on Russia, and better relations with Russia. Everyone lost their marbles over that one.

Trump, for all his errors, attempted to get a few things right. His detrators say it was all wrong but their analysis is based more on emotion in my opinion.

The SMO has put everyone off balance and they are not in postion to directly react. They will lose this one but they will not stop trying ever and no rebellion by the masses will change things. The leaders count the votes and that is all that counts.

Posted by: circumspect | Jun 18 2022 6:41 utc | 264

he Iranians launched a dozen missiles at two US airbases. Clearly a direct overt military act. It was up to the US/Trump to escalate after, a risk Iran was clearly taking. Trump chose not to go to war. Whether or not Trump was interested in wars, your comment did not provide much support that he was.

Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 4:10 utc | 234

The point is that TRUMP provoked Iran, he started it. Assassinating a revered general of a foreign country IS an act of war, you are just so used to US depravity that you don't get it. What do you reckon US would have done if Iran murdered a top General?
SHEESH!
it's hard to have an intelligent conversation here sometimes. People twist the argument to suit themselves.
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.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 6:57 utc | 265

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

I agree. Trump was focused on Israel and Iran and China, not Russia. That's the only reason he didn't start or allow his own freakshow administration to start something with Russia. Most of his advice came from his son-in-law who was totally focused on Israel and Iran.

The main problem is Trump was a clown show. The only difference from Biden is that Biden isn't a clown, he's a senile suit. Anyone who thinks Trump is going to be an improvement when he returns is an idiot. It will just be more chaos - maybe different chaos, but still more chaos. Every President since Eisenhower has been worse than the last (and Eisenhower was no great shakes either.) Recycling Trump is nothing to the purpose.

This is why the US keeps getting worse. Morons think they have a choice of how bad it can get. As we anarchists say, "No matter who you vote for, the government gets into office."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 7:09 utc | 266

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 18 2022 1:24 utc | 190

Twitter flagged this as "The following media includes potentially sensitive content. "

https://twitter.com/Syricide/status/1537830309554794497

That platform at times is simply gay.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 7:11 utc | 267

Posted by: Michigan Dude | Jun 18 2022 3:14 utc | 220

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

Rest assured, we're out there.


Are they really? My impression is that the focus is on Biden rather than the war.

I see a very effective co-optation of anger and frustration into clever outlets which direct the melee away from the genuine source of common grievances.

Pinatas come in two flavours and the packaging is perfect. The different stickers and logos work like a packaged deal and everyone is encouraged to participate. Memes, prejudices and wedge issues have an exhaustive reach. Perhaps you came for the football channel, well you're getting the lawn dart and Molkky network in the deal. Now get in line.

One notably absent theme, however, is Western belligerence.

Posted by: robin | Jun 18 2022 7:16 utc | 268

Posted by: hankster | Jun 18 2022 6:38 utc | 262

That's going to put a damper on the parting thanks to the "milk money" some of these dumb countries give to these "war refugees".

Guess Odessa needs reinforcements, as the time will come to duke it out there.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 7:25 utc | 269

This is why the Empire of Lies is so afraid, even though its leaders, MSM shouts bravely. https://ibb.co/rs4XxZN
Not everyone there can sleep well...

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 7:36 utc | 270

Lately, the EU countries chanted, "embargo, embargo," but the MSM writes, "Russia is turning the gas tap down again. Gazprom is reducing supplies to Slovakia."

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 7:40 utc | 271

@83 ostro "He also warned Poland not to think of moving into the western parts of Ukraine."

I suspect very much the Poles can think of very little else.

Not to help the Ukrainians, mind you. More to, ahem, "help themselves" to what's still on the bone.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 18 2022 7:42 utc | 272

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 18 2022 7:42 utc | 271

I strongly doubt Poland "decides" anything regarding Ukraine. It's more like they are told what to do by the Empire of Lies HQ in DC.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 7:58 utc | 273

Nobody really picking up on Oryx's fake numbers

UAF just admitted 400 tanks and 1,300 IFVs lost - total 1,700.

RF MoD claims 3,587 tanks and other UAF armored combat vehicles destroyed.

UAF very likely still lying so applying UAF admitted loss ratio tanks:IFVs (400:1300) to RF MoD claimed UAF losses, suggests UAY has actually lost 844 tanks.

Oryx claims 200 UAF tanks lost v 790 RAF tanks lost giving total tanks lost as 990. Assuming Oryx has correctly identified all tank losses (fairly likely) then if UAF have lost 844 tanks Russia has lost 146 tanks.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 18 2022 8:00 utc | 274

The Failed State looks more and more like a bad joke the more time flies by.

https://twitter.com/RWApodcast/status/1537804457211269121

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 8:03 utc | 275

Some weekend entertainment as related to the SMO in the Failed State.

https://twitter.com/PelmeniPusha/status/1537941323558162433

Note the spanking going on near Kiev.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 18 2022 8:07 utc | 276

CryptoAlchemist Bern | Jun 18 2022 5:59 utc | 259
Turkey is truly the knife in the back of Nato, ever since the USSA f'd up and …… attempted to assassinate Erogdan.
The US may have forgotten and/ or now deny this happened… not so Erdogan.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jun 18 2022 8:17 utc | 277

Lol
“ Maybe Putin reads Moon of Alabama as I have made many of those points again and again.”

And some well informed comments as well no doubt. 😜

On an escalation to a hot world war. It would not be beyond the desperation of the Ancient Imperialists. they have after all been building the racism and cancelling of Russia for the past decade.

The flagrant imprisonment and torture of Julian Assange as the greatest political prisoner in the Collective Waste this century as a means to maintain propaganda and destroy all other news sources and actual Indy journalism.

I don’t think it matters much what happens this mid term elections- the controlled Punch and Judy show that is all modern western governments ensures that continuity of personal interests.

There is a case that they really don’t want Trump ! In which case a gung-ho local quick win pre the actual general election would be what was needed. Or another ‘spectacular’ Pearl Harbour moment to ensure a decade of MIC magik money.

Not Grenada again, so backyard being Cuba and with Rubio as the GWH to save them from Trump, that would be the worrying bet for me.

Venezuela is also in the frame with the fascists in the pickets of the Americas , the recent shenanigans in the conference of the Americas an Guaidos continued agitations are interesting actions.

Though Venezuela is Massive and its population would be mobilised thee Collective Waste would hope to have a last stand in that continent. Africa , Middle East, Central and SE Asia already fast tying into the SCO and therefore the mutual defence treaties would make any dumb nato and 5 eyed escapade very short lived with most returning in body bags.

Of course if Trump was unstoppable and an actual massive threat I’m sure he is not above a ...medical problem and unexpected death. No need for a calvacade in Dallas to send a message - to encourage the others.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Jun 18 2022 8:24 utc | 278

Melaleuca | Jun 18 2022 3:36 utc | 223

You underestimate the western native people resolve in this conflict. It is driven by Russophobia, already touched upon here, and they see Russia as an existential threat to humanistic and recently transhumanistic values.

It is here that the rabbit lies as this thread has made it clear. Rationality loses when you perceive that your tribe’s survival is at stakes.

But europe has a sizeable population of immigrant origin that has a more neutral stance. There are also native minorities who object to financial capital’s stranglehold on their life. They are of course banned from public position but if there is a some incompetence or lack of control on them due to general economic malaise and loss of productivity, changes may happen.

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.

As individuals we have no power anyway, the linguistic programming for tribal control is beyond our means to break it currently. But as I said, there are cracks on the wall, institutions that are failing from incompetence and hubris. We may still see the day where demonstrations will happen in EU capitals outside ov controlled events. You will recognize them by not being televized.


Posted by: alek_a | Jun 18 2022 8:34 utc | 279

The Scott Ritter discussion with Larry Johnson hosted by Jeff Norman is a goodie.

Take a peek at this snippet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 8:45 utc | 280

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

Man no where did I support Trump or express any admiration for the clown. So you are doing your own bit of twisting of words. I merely stated your point about Iran does not support your argument that Trump is interested in war. You are not wrong that killing a top general is an act of war, but the act did not actually lead to a war and it is Trump who stopped the escalation, not Iran. That’s all I was interested in, setting the record straight that Iran did not back down. (You said lack of war was due to Iran). Trump/US either had second thoughts after the Iranian response or he/US never intended to go to war in the first place. I couldn’t care less what his actual temperament about war actually is bc he’s out and unlikely to be back.

You throwing some comments around about love of Trump and Biden 1% have nothing to do with me or anything I said or believe so I’ll ignore it and leave you be.

Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 8:46 utc | 281

It's doable and forseeable, karlof1, but would have to start very soon. Putin was such a person, but he wasn't borne yesterday as the saying goes. And neither party would be serviceable, nor the Greens I'm sad to say. There's a majority out there waiting for a leader, and that majority will grow. As for the neo's, the time for the duopoly is over.

Note that among the accomplishments Putin lists, a big one is the cancellation of government 'overseers' and restoration of trust in business affairs. As a former self-employed artist, the rigamarole recently instituted here in the US on taxation requirements forced me out of the field of operation. I couldn't deal with the increased paperwork for the small income I was achieving and which had helped a lot with monthly bills. I still paint, but my work stays in house until and unless that system is changed for the better.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 8:56 utc | 282

I often wonder whether the whole Turkey objecting to Finland+Sweden jining NATO wasn't planned all along in order to trap Russia in Syria.

Putin would presumably cut Turkey some slack, trading some territorial concessions in Syria for a strategic win closer to home while inadvertently walking into a trap.

Turkey, US and Israel would then work together to reignite the frozen conflict, and with the ultimate sting in the tail yet to come when Finland + Sweden join NATO anyway.

Perhaps i am giving Western leaders too much credit, but it would be classic Erdogan to stab Putin in the back once again, plus, i find the whole notion that neither Finland nor Sweden ever did their due diligence before applying too incomprehensible.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jun 18 2022 8:56 utc | 283

You underestimate the western native people resolve in this conflict. It is driven by Russophobia, already touched upon here, and they see Russia as an existential threat to humanistic and recently transhumanistic values.
Posted by: alek_a | Jun 18 2022 8:34 utc | 278
-----------------------------

The Russophobia part is correct, but the rest about Russia grew out of ingrained Russo-hate. They haven't even met real-life Russian in their life, by the way, but has that Russo-hate straight from mother's milk.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 8:58 utc | 284

Sorry, my comment at 281 was meant for the following passage from karlof1:

"...IMO, a politician capable of articulating those values who can cobble together like-minded allies can win big enough to overcome vote manipulation. Yes, that person would be branded a Populist. But given the genuine state of the nation and a well thought-out plan, it would be possible to halt many of Neoliberalism's ill affects and change the nation's direction. The key question: Does someone like that exist?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 17 2022 23:22 utc | 164

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 8:58 utc | 285

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 8:45 utc | 279

It sucked. Ritter spent twice as much time talking as Johnson - I fault Johnson for that, not Ritter.

Someone brought up the question about Ritter saying the $53 billion was more than Russia's entire budget. He proceeded to fudge that saying, "well, some people wanted to parse that down..." Oh, no, no, Ritter, you said that and left it lay with the implication that Ukraine had a bigger military budget than Russia due to US/NATO aid - and that is complete bullshit. Other people have pointed out that the amount of weapons is actually 46-8 billion and in fact that is less than half of the initial $13 billion in weapons which means the US is sending half of what they sent before - with zero effect on the battlefield.

I'm pissed at Johnson for being unable to ask the obvious question: if the foreign weapons are having such an impact on the Russian operation, why hasn't it changed in either pace or amount of forces or any other factor? It hasn't changed because nothing has changed. What exactly IS the number of additional casualties Russia is taking from these weapons - Ritter admitted he didn't know. Ritter claims it's extending the war, but then he admitted he doesn't know how long it will last. Worse, as I've said before, he can't give exact estimates of whether the foreign weapons have replaced what has already been lost by Ukraine in sufficient numbers to offset the attrition. He also can't give actual Russian casualty figures, although he threw around a 15,000 number which I suspect is twice the likely actual (eliding the losses on the LDR/DNR side which are irrelevant.) He can't give any evidence that the RATE of Russian casualties has gone up nor the actual numbers.

Worse, he talks about artillery duels in which by definition Ukraine must be destroying some Russian artillery units. Then he admits Russia outguns Ukraine in artillery by a wide margin. He had to admit that eventually Ukraine will end up with no artillery no matter how many the US supplies. If you have 4 Russian artillery units for every 1 Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian and Russians each take out each other, that leaves 3 Russian artillery units still functioning which will take out three more Ukrainian artillery units or other targets. Do the math. Send another artillery unit to Ukraine and Russia isn't going to let their artillery units get reduced down to nothing. They'll send their own reinforcements - at a higher rate than anything the US and NATO can do.

He talks about Ukrainians being trained outside the country. I heard the US General list the numbers the other day. It comes to probably less than a thousand and that covers ALL the main weapons systems the US is supplying. How do you replace the Ukrainian army with that kind of numbers? Ritter doesn't say and Johnson did not bring it up.

None of this shit is going to extend the length of the war. And for sure, none of it is a "game changer." The host made a point of defining the term by quoting James Spader from "The Office": a game change is when you can't play the game the same way any more. That clearly does not apply to Russia because that is exactly what they are doing. It is Ukraine that is unable to play the game at all.

Ritter has learned nothing, continues to state the same bullshit, contradicts himself, and Johnson was too weak to rebut properly. The whole "confrontation" was a waste of everyone's time. Certainly a waste of mine.

The rest of what was said was the exact same stuff that's been on every interview with everyone for the last three months. Nothing new there at all.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 9:04 utc | 286

…..Nine million have work abroad, according to the National Security and Defense Council of the Ukraine, and 3.2 million have full-time jobs in other countries. There are only 21 million Ukrainians between the ages of 20 and 55, which suggests that more than two-fifths of prime working-age Ukrainians earn their living elsewhe…….

NATO press Gangs will be working overtime rounding up Ukrainians living and working in NATO countries.

Posted by: Exile | Jun 18 2022 9:13 utc | 287

The ingrained Russo-hate...

"Crowds of Russians in Turkey. A Polish woman comments on the behavior of Russian tourists: I have no words"

https://www.onet.pl/turystyka/onetpodroze/polka-byla-w-ulubionym-kurorcie-rosjan-w-turcji-brak-mi-slow-list/zdeqx2q,07640b54
(Use a machine translator to read it)

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:25 utc | 288

The European Union has started to use gas reserves, which are usually stored until the peak of the winter period. This week, the volume of gas in European storage facilities has decreased for the first time since mid-April. This is a clear sign of the escalation of the energy crisis in the region, warns Bloomberg. (Oops!)

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:29 utc | 289

"...You're up against human nature and that is not a winning hand."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 0:08 utc | 178

Of course they exist, Richard. YOU are up against human nature. The proof is in Putin; the proof is in Lavrov; the proof is in Shoigu. The proof is in all the Russian people who support them. And, Richard, the proof is in you.

We can tell from Putin's speeches that he knows Russia's historical faults. But the leadership he provides builds even on those faults. He doesn't emphasize them; he emphasizes the learned positives in order to encourage and re establish patriotic pride. And above all, he emphasizes education, which builds on experience. The way up IS the way down. You know that yourself, and you are not unique.

As do the Chinese. We hear in the forum again the focus on the Chinese symbol that means 'crisis/opportunity'. I'm struck myself by the negativity westerners are used to giving to such a combination, in that it is applied for aggrandizement, which is not the Chinese application at all. The distinction is important.

karlof1 is correct - education is leading out - from childhood where adults are protectors into adulthood where we all face new challenges to our own ability to think. That kind of teaching cannot be achieved through lectures or a system of writing papers and passing examinations based on 'the right answers'. It has to be achieved through dialogue. The best teachers are the ones that are still themselves learning, because that never ends unless by illness when the mind can no longer stay flexible. Everyone here -- stay healthy! Keep exercising your minds!

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 9:33 utc | 290

The captured US merc giving account of his adventures in Banderastan. On Serbian podcast in Donbas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6br5MR2LHM&t=1497s

Posted by: Zoran Aleksic | Jun 18 2022 9:40 utc | 291

Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 8:46 utc | 280

Uh Trump didn't take it to the next level after Iran gave a measured response. that is not the same as being uninterested in war. every president of the 21st century has been a warmonger.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 18 2022 9:42 utc | 292

Who actually wanted the embargo? But how the MSM reports now?
https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-france-italy-european-union-39f69052043b910e6880086da9528bf3
Russia again cuts natural gas exports to European countries

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:50 utc | 293

Oh, the Russo-hate EU is going to feel the heat...oops, cold...

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 9:53 utc | 294

The point is that TRUMP provoked Iran, he started it. Assassinating a revered general of a foreign country IS an act of war, you are just so used to US depravity that you don't get it. What do you reckon US would have done if Iran murdered a top General?
SHEESH!

Conveniently forgotten is the minor matter of why Solemani was in Bagdhad in the first place. He was on a diplomatic mission to catalyze a rapproachment between KSA and Iran. A mission originated by Donald Trump, himself.

In essence Solemani was lured to the killing ground by his executioner, Trump.

The bait..... peace between his country and KSA....

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jun 18 2022 10:04 utc | 295

"You are not wrong that killing a top general is an act of war"
Posted by: David | Jun 18 2022 8:46 utc | 280

Thank you that was my only point. Iran was only one example, I gave the other of Syrian oil taken my means of war. There are more.

If you aren't excusing Trump and every other war mongering Potus, then what exactly is your point?
My comment was really not that complicated.

Posted by: K | Jun 18 2022 10:05 utc | 296

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 18 2022 2:57 utc | 213

On 'comparative hatreds', Aleph, remember back before Obama was elected president of the US? The 'hatred' then being again and again discussed, argued about, emphasized again and again was racial intolerance. I wonder if that didn't cloud our judgment, make other important issues that we ought to have been considering fade into the background? It turned out that race wasn't an issue - he was elected overhwelmingly. But that election was a mistake.

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 | 297

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/06/rt-staff-is-ignorant.html#disqus_thread

Oh, he's the only guy, who knows everything...living in the Empire of Lies in Washington, who had left Russia/USSR entirely since the infamous 90s. By the way, Lukyanov, Simonyan, Peskov...and Putin live in Moscow, Russia...not in Moscow, Idaho...😏

Posted by: ostro | Jun 18 2022 10:52 utc | 298

@289, @juliania

There are multiple human natures.

Those whose personality matrices and cognitive abilities are classified into "Cluster B" do not share the same human natures as what we might call "neurotypical" people.

Thus the famous dictum of - "Communism cannot work because of human nature".

is true if you mean "Communism cannot work because it does not address the human nature of Cluster B individuals".

Karl Marx explained the ABCs of industrial and finance capitalism, Lenin addressed imperialism. However both elide why exactly these sociopathic systems are psychologically attractive to a segment of any population.

Human natures.

Marxian psychoanalytic theory is underdeveloped. There is much work to be done.

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 11:10 utc | 299

The Austrian tank-school chap has a new video discussing deliveries of heavy equpiment and the like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd4xRBuVs48

For one reason or another, he omits the losses of the Ukrainians in terms of tanks, planes, MLRS etc., as well as the small point of air supremacy. But there you go.

Posted by: CM of Berlin | Jun 18 2022 11:13 utc | 300

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