Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2022

A Panicking Biden Administration Seeks Talks With Russia

Here is another story that demonstrates the incompetence and arrogance of the Biden administration.

The New York Times reports of a potential prisoner swap between the U.S. and Russia:

[T]he Biden administration has proposed trading the merchant of death for the imprisoned basketball player as well as a former marine held in Russia on what are considered trumped-up espionage charges. In the harsh and cynical world of international diplomacy, prisoner exchanges are rarely pretty, but unpalatable choices are often the only choices on the table.

Whether the swap would go through remained unclear. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken made the offer public in part to reassure the families of Brittney Griner, the basketball player, and Paul N. Whelan, the former marine, that the administration is doing all it can to free them.

Russian officials, who have long sought the release of the arms trafficker Viktor Bout, confirmed the discussion on Thursday but said Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov was too busy to talk with Mr. Blinken now.

Typically prisoner swaps are not talked about publicly before they happen:

Some veteran hostage negotiators were perplexed that Mr. Blinken made the offer public. “It is baffling why the U.S. would announce this proposal in the midst of the negotiations,” said Rob Saale, the former head of the F.B.I.-led Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell. “If you’re in sensitive negotiations why would you want to air this out publicly? It makes me wonder if the Russians haven’t already declined the deal.”

Mr. Saale suspicion was justified as the Washington Post now reports:

The Biden administration disclosed publicly that the United States had made “a substantial offer” to Russia to secure the release of two American prisoners because closed-door negotiations had stalled, an administration official said Thursday.

The administration hopes public pressure will lead Moscow to engage in negotiations resulting in basketball star Brittney Griner and security consultant Paul Whelan being released from Russian prison, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations.

U.S. officials say they have tried for weeks to broker the releases of Griner and Whelan. But the lack of progress, and the prospect of Griner soon facing conviction and sentencing on drug charges, prompted the administration this week to make the negotiations public.

I do not understand why the administration had started such negotiations even before the Griner court case has been closed. In general such prisoners will only be pardoned and released to the other side after they have been sentenced. Anything else would raise accusations of executive interference in the judicial process. The Brittney Griner case, over admitted smuggling of cannabis oil, is still in court. The Russian government will obviously refrain from doing anything about her before the judicial process has ended.

One suspects that the prisoner exchange is much more about Paul Whelan, who likely is a CIA asset. He had passports from four countries and in 2007 started traveling to Moscow while serving as a Marine in Iraq:

Whelan went on to seek out more Russian friends, using the country's social networking service VK among others.

A scroll through their profiles, soon after his arrest, revealed almost all to be men - most considerably younger than him. Some do have clear military connections - including photographs in uniform - though not all, and no-one who replied to my messages had seen any reason to doubt Whelan's motives.
...
The man Whelan accuses of framing him was one of his oldest friends in Russia. He is also a serving intelligence officer.

Defence lawyers disclosed some details of the men's relationship early on in the case, including how the American had visited his friend's house in Sergiev Posad outside Moscow for "saunas and kebabs" the winter before his arrest.

They also said he owed Whelan around 80,000 roubles ($1,147; £930) which the FSB claimed was advance payment for intelligence. The defence team said the Russian had requested a loan to buy a gift for his wife, as part of his trap.

The Russian side says that they found a USB stick in Whelan's pocket with a list of FSB members which had been handed to him by his bribed friend.

It may well be that Whelan was trapped by the FSB. But that does not exclude that he also was a spy. His documented behavior surely raises that suspicion:

On December 28, 2018, Whelan was arrested in the Moscow area by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which later confirmed his arrest. Whelan's twin brother David said Whelan arrived in Moscow on December 22 to attend the wedding of a former fellow Marine at the Hotel Metropol Moscow and to assist the groom's family members on their first visit to Russia, a country he had visited many times. He said his brother planned to return to Michigan on January 6, 2019, via Saint Petersburg.

Per MBK News, an outlet run by Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Whelan had $80,000 in cash "temporarily confiscated" during a customs inspection at Domodedovo Airport. According to the New York Times, Whelan had acted as a local guide for the wedding guests, but had decided to spend the day of the wedding to meet a friend, per the account of other attendees.

Why is the Biden administration now racing to get a prisoner exchange? Why is it publishing that it is doing so? I really see no good reason for that.

There are of course, as M.K. Bhadrakumar notes, other important reasons why Blinken wants to talk with Russia:

Blinken then came to the real purpose of his forthcoming call with Lavrov — “the plans that Russia now has to pursue the annexation of Ukrainian territory.”

Blinken repeated the hyperbole that sanctions are having “a powerful and also growing effect” and has “weakened Russia profoundly” and the Biden administration will do all that it can “to strengthen Ukraine’s position on the battlefield so it has the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.”

However, what comes through is the growing disquiet in Washington that to its utter disbelief, the Russian stance has only hardened lately. Blinken said it is “causing alarms.” In particular, he noted Lavrov’s remark last week that the Kremlin’s goals in Ukraine had expanded. “Now they seek to claim more Ukrainian territory, beyond the Donbas,” he commented.

Indeed, the war has spun out of US algorithm. As Hungarian PM Orban pointed out last week, anti-Russian sanctions “have not shaken Moscow,” but Europe has already lost four governments and is in an economic and political crisis.

Russia is paying back to the US and NATO in the same coin that the latter did when they dismembered Yugoslavia.

The U.S. sees that its proxy war against Russia is not going into the hoped for direction:

The spectre of the collapse of EU economies is rattling the Biden Administration. A CNN report yesterday was titled US officials say ‘biggest fear’ has come true as Russia cuts gas supplies to Europe. It said the Biden administration “is working furiously behind the scenes to keep European allies united” as the blowback from the sanctions against Russia hits them  and the “impact on Europe could boomerang back onto the US, spiking natural gas and electricity prices.”

The report quoted an unnamed US official saying Russia’s retaliation for western sanctions has put the West in “unchartered territory.” Suffice to say, Blinken’s call underscores the desperate urgency in Washington to open a line of communication to Moscow at the political level.

It was obvious that the Russian side would use the publishing of the potential prisoner exchange to its advantage:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday that diplomatic silence typically surrounds negotiations regarding prisoner releases. Announcements are usually made “about agreements that have been completed,” Peskov said, and no agreements have been finalized.

The Russian government acknowledged Thursday that it had received Blinken’s request, but the media service Interfax reported that Lavrov would respond “when his own schedule allows.”

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will pay attention to this request as soon as time allows,” ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to Interfax. “Currently, his schedule of international contacts is packed full of real affairs: the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] council of foreign ministers in Tashkent, bilateral meetings.”

Yes, the foreign minister of 'isolated Russia', who was recently friendly received in several African countries, is very busy with meeting dozens of foreign dignitaries. He has no time for a call with some U.S. minion known for making unfounded accusations and unreasonable requests.

The Russian's will let Blinken squirm for a while over the unimportant prisoner affair and other issues.

The delusion reflected in the Washington Post write up shows that the U.S. has yet to come to its senses:

Lavrov on Wednesday concluded a four-day trip to Africa and is now in Uzbekistan, part of a flurry of recent diplomatic visits, as Russia seeks to bolster its remaining partnerships amid deepening international isolation over its war in Ukraine.

How please is the alleged international isolation of Russia 'deepening`? After the first flurry of sanctions, solely by NATO, EU and 5-eyes countries, no other country has joined the 'western' Russia bashing or put up sanctions. Russia's international standing with the other 80+% of humanity has in fact increased ever since.

The Washington Post writer, as well as the whole Biden administration, has some serious delusions about Russia's role in the now multipolar world.

Lavrov, Peskov and Maria Zakharova are experienced professionals. If one wants to talk with them one should be on a similar level.

Blinken does not even come near to that.

Posted by b on July 29, 2022 at 9:57 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I think Michael Hudson lays it out fairly nicely:

"President Biden is a front man. They’re all the front men for the faceless people in the State Department, the neocons who are controlling things. Biden has always been right-wing, just a corrupt party politician. He does what he’s paid to do. He’s unimaginative. He’s brought in some real Russia haters – people who have a visceral hatred of Russia because of their family background under the tsars or under Stalin. Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury officials say they were not consulted in the political moves that Biden and Blinken and the neocons are making. There is the kind of single-minded tunnel vision at work. They really are Russia haters and China haters. There is a lot of racism you’re seeing in New York, where it’s very dangerous for Asian women to take a subway. Almost every week, the lead news item is yet another Asian woman attacked or pushed in front of a subway. There’s a there’s a new race hatred in America. And they are treating Russians as the Ukrainians do, as if Slavic speaking people are a separate race."

https://michael-hudson.com/2022/06/economic-rent-and-exploitation/

Posted by: leaf | Jul 29 2022 10:18 utc | 1

Why Viktor Bout ???

https://twitter.com/marina0swald/status/1552528248415952897

Posted by: too scents | Jul 29 2022 10:19 utc | 2

I do not understand why the administration had started such negotiations even before the Griner court case has been closed. In general such prisoners will only be pardoned and released to the other side after they have been sentenced. Anything else would raise accusations of executive interference in the judicial process.

I think after Floyd and the huge BLM moment that seems to live in the minds of the US upper middle classes and up as much as African-American protestors on the street the US elite and media are just turbo concerned about anything that could be construed as them treating a black woman with his concern than they might. It's a constant source of attack.

Also remember, the US public believes now that Russia and everything it does is illegitimate. You can't go up to a podium and say "We have to wait until she is sentence" or not say that but wait none the less. Social media is reality to these people now.

And, yes, to a lesser extent the sheer stupidity of the people who are even in US politics anymore is also a factor.

Posted by: Altai | Jul 29 2022 10:20 utc | 3

The only people the West is fooling are their own citizens who consume legacy corporate media propaganda and fail to question or seek alternative sites such as this one. Unfortunately, that is a lot of people.

Posted by: Stephen | Jul 29 2022 10:24 utc | 4

Sergey Lavrov's speech and answers to questions from the media following the meeting of the SCO Foreign Ministers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M85lHuMPftE

Half way through it, SCO has lots of plans, economic, political, cultural including sports, and lots of countries wishing to join, unexpected not too ethical declarations by Macron concerning Lavrov visit to Africa, insulting to call Junta an illegitimate some of the governments visited by Lavrov.

Concerning the telephone conversation with Blinken, the request has been accepted but the date will be fixed when Lavrov is back in his working office, stand in line Blinky.

I imagine the transcript will be posted soon on the MID site, for the time being only video.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 29 2022 10:28 utc | 5

Posted by: Paco | Jul 29 2022 10:28 utc | 5

Some of the questions answered in English, half way through.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 29 2022 10:30 utc | 6

Holly shit - now they don’t want prisoner exchange so they are himarring them. - it is reported that many mercenaries have died in a missile attack in Donetsk!

Loony toons - that’s all folks! - it is OVER and the truth will out as most of these western mercs will have already made recorded testimonies of their orders and the remaining ones will now not hold back knowing they are targeted for not having taken their suicide pills but chosen life even as they went thousands of miles to kill ‘russkies’.

I expect mass surrenders by the remaininder or mass ‘evacuation’

Ellenskyy is going to be very unpopular everywhere except on loony toons lands fed on cartoons as facts.

If you and your kids haven’t already - stop consuming the poison of western media and entertainment- it is not fact and it is not culture and there are no marvel superheroes to save the Collective Waste.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Jul 29 2022 10:30 utc | 7

Would it not be nice if Sergei Lavrov would stick to this pathetic piece of crap A. Blinken by demanding Julian Assange as exchange for the two Americans. He could explain why he wants Julian, who is a political prisonet, in a public forum and really embarrass the U.S.. That would be the ultimate humiliation for the U.S.

Posted by: Beverly | Jul 29 2022 10:35 utc | 8

The idea by "Beverly," that Russia should publicly offer two Russian detainees in exchange for (America's cancelling its extradition request to the UK regime regarding) the martyred international democratic hero Julian Assange is brilliant. I hope that it will be done before the stupids who run U.S. policies contemplate the possibility, in order that the U.S. regime's global embarrassment will be maximized.

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Jul 29 2022 10:51 utc | 9

Why is the Biden administration now racing to get a prisoner exchange? Why is it publishing that it is doing so? I really see no good reason for that.

It’s not about the prisoners themselves. They’re being used to try to get the Russians to talk with them but the Russians are refusing.

The real talks will be about the land.

As was pointed out before the Western media can lie about everything in Ukraine but the loss of territory. Either Ukraine controls it or they don’t no amount of propaganda can change that.

Once that reality seeps through to the populations in the West , the whole propaganda facade will collapse. How are the Russia taking territory in Ukraine if they’ve run out of ammo, soldiers, money, isolated from the rest of the world etc.

It all comes crumbling down.

Bringing the prisoner swap out into the open is an act of desperation from the US to try and force the Russians to talk.

Posted by: Down South | Jul 29 2022 10:55 utc | 10

Lavrov told reporters today that the prisoner swap issue has nothing to do with the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"We have asked them [the U.S.] to specify issues that they want to discuss. We have not received their answer yet, but obviously they have already spoken about it in the media. If it is about an exchange of persons being held in custody in Russia and the U.S., we have already offered our comment on behalf of the Foreign Ministry that this matter was discussed more than a year ago at the Geneva meeting between [Russian] President Vladimir Putin and [U.S.] President Joe Biden in June 2021. At it, they agreed to appoint representatives in charge of these issues, and the Foreign Ministry is not among them. But, nevertheless, I will listen to what he has to say,"

Posted by: Brendan | Jul 29 2022 11:00 utc | 11

Blinky's office said the call will be about warnings against annexation of any part of Ukr and grain exports, something like that.
Lavrov was smart to delay the call for an indefinite period. I'm sure they've targeted the nazi prison last night as a warning that US can hit anything they want. They are used to get what they want instantly, this is normal behaviour for them, master-slave mentality.

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 11:03 utc | 12

@Beverly

Splendid suggestion!

Posted by: oscar | Jul 29 2022 11:06 utc | 13

The Blinky & The Brain

Posted by: NoOne | Jul 29 2022 11:09 utc | 14

@oscar | Jul 29 2022 11:06 utc | 13

---

Sadly Assange has higher value to the Russians in captivity than free.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 29 2022 11:10 utc | 15

Sadly Assange has higher value to the Russians in captivity than free.

---

Edit: but I suppose that depends upon how his freedom is won.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 29 2022 11:16 utc | 16

I do not see any advantage to Wikileaks or Assange for Assange being a part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and the US. It will only tar both Assange and Wikileaks as Russian agents, and be a propaganda coup for the US and UK, justifying their persectuation of Assange.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 29 2022 11:17 utc | 17

"Persecution". typo

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 29 2022 11:18 utc | 18

@Blue Dotterel | Jul 29 2022 11:17 utc | 17

---

Obviously.

Assange's freedom must be organic.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 29 2022 11:20 utc | 19

The Biden administration hopes public pressure will lead Moscow to engage in negotiations resulting in basketball star Brittney Griner and security consultant Paul Whelan being released from Russian prison, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations.

The Biden administration hopes public pressure will lead... Where? Public pressure in Russia?

For Russians, one is a LGBT drug dealer and the other an American spy. They'd want more prison time for them!😃

Posted by: ostro | Jul 29 2022 11:27 utc | 20

@Eric Zuesse | Jul 29 2022 10:51 utc | 9

Although I sympathize with Julian Assange and condemn the crimes committed against him by Sweden, Australia, UK and USA, Julian Assange is not Russia's responsibility to solve. Something like that would also require Julian Assange's consent, and AFAIK I don't believe it can be obtained. In any case it would be presented as proof of Wikipedia's and Julian Assange's supposed betrayal. To be clear, Julian Assange is totally innocent and is being punished for documenting the war crimes of the Empire.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 11:31 utc | 21

Would it not be nice if Sergei Lavrov would ..demand..Julian Assange as exchange for the two Americans. He could explain why he wants Julian, ..

Posted by: Beverly | Jul 29 2022 10:35 utc | 8

The idea by "Beverly," that Russia should publicly offer two Russian detainees in exchange for (America's cancelling its extradition request to the UK regime regarding) the martyred international democratic hero Julian Assange is brilliant...

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Jul 29 2022 10:51 utc | 9

Very interesting the proposal to use international diplomacy as a means to address first amendment concerns.
https://cynthiachung.substack.com/p/the-enemy-within-a-story-of-the-purge-cda

Posted by: snake | Jul 29 2022 11:31 utc | 22


lithuania has blocked the bank used for payments and will claim nothing can pass to Kaliningrad because Russia can't pay for it. This is so funny.

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 11:41 utc | 23

You mentioned in the other thread that you are a structural engineer (Jul 29 2022 9:58 utc | 272).

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 11:31 utc | 21

So, what kind of structures have you designed, or designed and constructed?

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 11:41 utc | 24

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 11:41 utc | 23
---------

In time to come there won't be any Lithuania...😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 29 2022 11:44 utc | 25

I think after Floyd and the huge BLM moment that seems to live in the minds of the US upper middle classes
Posted by: Altai | Jul 29 2022 10:20 utc | 3

Remember this episode? $AP Rocky is free, but thousands like him are still locked up in the US: a down-market demonstration of TRUMP presidency.

If by US upper-middle class (Biden income test: < $400K p.a., alias "working rich" campaign donors) you mean, persons of the causasian persuasion, then, yes, State Dept. attention to the plights of GRINER (FIFTH WAVE 'woman and minorities' minor "icon") and WHELAN ("family man") is a opportunity to flatter Biden administration coat tails this election year. I do not doubt one second that owner-operators of the DNC and the WNBA are pulling the levers behind this dead-end spectacle of the superior US criminal and civil "justice system". BWAH!

The U.S. government has denounced the charges as false.
marijuana and its derivatives is a Schedule I drug; possession alone is a federal 3rd-degree felony--only gott knows what the statutes are in each of the states and uh territories--and I note with interest short shrift in human interest US stories paid to either person's medical privations while detained.
The U.S. government has long resisted prisoner swaps out of concern that it could encourage additional hostage-taking and promote false equivalency between a wrongfully detained American and a foreign national regarded as justly convicted.
US data illustrate, however, that Griner's odds, unlike Whelan's, of "false" arrest and unwarranted use of force under "color of law" are greater in the USA.

Note also how the reporter planted Viktor BOUT in the lede to, ahem, "false equivalency" of crimes which then, ironically, demonstrates The Blinken Fallacy. It appears to me that everyone observing this dramedy is a graduate of a Ukraine School of Law, Medvedchuk Doctrine of PUTIN INTENTIONS. In a PANDEMIC.

Congratulations.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 29 2022 11:46 utc | 26

This article brings up an interesting point tangentially.

A lot of new news blog commentators fall into this trap that the actions of the Americans and their vassals, mainly the Europeans plus Japan, are well planned and thought out in advance of their actions. The cabal at WEF and Davos et al.

While I agree that there are overall objectives being painted mainly by a certain tribe, I don't believe the US has any short term or long term strategies as the Russians and Chinese do.

The Americans are basically fire fighting and doing things to see if they work. If they don't work, they move on to the next greatest move. In other words, they are reacting to their reactions. They don't really have solid, well thought out plans. After all, they are on a 4 year political survival cycle. And they are extremely incompetent professionally.

I was listening to Gonzala Lira's Roundtable discussion among him, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson and Theodore Postol, all three have worked at the CIA. They all say the same thing.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 29 2022 11:49 utc | 27

It takes a special kind of stupid to openly strike at a nuclear superpower, and not expect it to strike back.

It takes a special kind of clever, to strike back so effectively with so little effort.

As Putin said, "by and large, we haven't even started anything yet". Oh boy...


Still confused by the bizarre shelling of Azov POW's. Each side naturally accuses the other. Either way, leaving valuable witnesses within range of Ukrainian weapons in what could have been an easy PR win for Russia, must be viewed as a failure of imagination and OpSec. UAF had bombed Azov before in Mariupol. One hopes any remaining 'star witnesses' will be transferred at a safe distance to avoid another such event.

There is an outside chance it was a false flag, no mention of Russian casualties, presumably there would have been guards nearby too, so why not mention them to quash that theory? Perhaps more details will emerge.
https://www.rt.com/russia/559831-ukraine-pow-missile-strike/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62344358

Meanwhile BBC continues talking up an 'offensive' and Russian infantry shortages:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60506682
What is funny is within the same article, they use a map the has "Russian Advances", while no such category is assigned to Ukraine. Can't even sell their own bs LOL.

Closer to home:

Will a cold shower finally wake Germany up? I am not very optimistic, but we still have time. Unlike Russian gas, hope springs eternal...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/28/german-cities-impose-cold-showers-and-turn-off-fountains-in-face-of-russian-gas-crisis

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 11:58 utc | 28

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 11:58 utc | 28
--------

How's the pay? Lusia Arestowich, or Zelly himself?

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:02 utc | 29

The US is reduced to a "drama queen" attention whore. In this case not likely to be a sign of the panic, not likely to seek anything but to annoy, but possibly not even that and instead simply a small sign of their persistent mental disease. Not likely to be anything new or important. It is 100% noise, 100% fake, 100% insult, just ignore the insincere whining.

I'm pretty sure Lavrov does not have to check spam filters or answer phones or deal with any mental US "requests", instead there are people dedicated to removing all that crap so that he can do the work he is meant to do.

The US government should know perfectly well what it has to do if it truly wants to talk and everybody can see they're not doing any of it.

The call will not be returned, time will never allow it :)

"Useless Spam of Arrogance".

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 29 2022 12:02 utc | 30

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 11:58 utc | 28
--------

How's the pay? Lusia Arestowich, or Zelly himself?

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:02 utc | 29

@ MoA i am not sure what this person's actual contribution to the blog is, though he/she seems to have taken a liking to me for some reason, this line of ad hominem trolling has crossed several threads now, FYI.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 12:11 utc | 31


The Russians are not picking up the phone.

The Saudis too.

And didn't MBS send a junior minister to the airport to 'welcome' the idiot who thinks he is the leader of the free world? And didn't MBS make Bidet land at Jeddah, not Ridyah? And didn't MBS personally go out to the airport the very next day to welcome other dignitaries? Not only isolated, but despised.

And didn't African pesidents personally welcome Lavrov in an extraordinarily uncharacteristic diplomatic show of amity (reverence?) for a great nation's foreign minister? Who is isolated now?

In truth, Lavrov is busy with REAL affairs of state. No time for a clown who thinks that school debates qualified him to become a foreign minister. No way is he on par with a Lavrov, or a Peskov, or a Maria.

It is no wonder the Chinese told him during the Alaskan Shelling Heard Around The World that the US is not qualified to lecture the world on anything.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Jul 29 2022 12:13 utc | 32

Sam Smith @27

I agree and these days I don't hear them saying, "We create realities which the rest of the world scrutinizes in amazement while we create the next reality" like they did about 20 years ago (I'm paraphrasing). I think it's sinking in with them that the days of their empire are numbered.

Posted by: aquileia | Jul 29 2022 12:19 utc | 33

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 12:11 utc | 32
-----

Well, if Lusia Arestowich likes you, it is understood...Lusia/Oleksy likes both ways...

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:20 utc | 34

@Sam Smith | Jul 29 2022 11:49 utc | 27
They don't really have solid, well thought out plans. After all, they are on a 4 year political survival cycle.

For internal things yes, for foreign policy they are well coordinated, president after president, government after government, no change. I think Putin has mentioned this in a speech.
When Trump returns US will be more aggressive, he is like any old fart with a small d and a fortune from daddy, feeling like a God Emperor of Dune.

They will constantly buy more puppets, more countries to host their missiles, nukes and biolabs. Until one day they'll be sure Russia will collapse faster than them and they'll press the red button.
Russia knows it. Why you think they don't have a drone industry but they spend a lot more building Poseidon? They know they're in bad position and they try to cancel that with bigger nukes. We'll see if they scare anyone or not. China is clueless and Iran is in the highest danger, nukuler danger as Bush would say

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 12:21 utc | 35

It appears that the pampers-clad woman will depart on the Asian trip...

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:21 utc | 36

From the BBC article i linked above:

"Russia's defence ministry says 40 Ukrainian prisoners-of-war have been killed by Ukrainian shelling of a prison in separatist-held Donetsk.
Officials alleged that 75 others had been injured in a rocket strike on the prison camp in Olenivka.The BBC cannot independently verify this claim."

Really? How about some basic research? It's called journalism.

How about this for verification:

!!!Viewer Content Warning!!!
https://t.me/intelslava/34202
https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16120

Both videos contain very graphic footage of the aftermath.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 12:25 utc | 37

@ppp | Jul 29 2022 11:41 utc | 24

So, what kind of structures have you designed, or designed and constructed?
I've studied design of steel and concrete structures, including prestressed concrete bridges. I have taken part in design, analysis and construction of offshore reinforced gravity based platform with steel topsides, i.e. Condeep platforms. I have practiced design, development user support of Finite Element Analysis and related software for such structures and more, including non-linear effects and fatigue life evaluation.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 12:30 utc | 38

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 12:25 utc | 38
------

Et tu, Et Tu, just go away...

Posted by: serpent | Jul 29 2022 12:31 utc | 39

b.; thanks for highlighting the situation around the prisoner swap. I did not get this info from my daily newspaper. Actually they turned the story around: Russia is seeking for an exchange because
Victor Bout, the Russian armsdealer, "The merchant of dead", is an friend of Putin. Painting another
"positive" picture of the President of Russia. Russia-hatred all over the place.

On the otherhand reading your article I felt like reading a book from John Lecarre. The spy who came in from the "west" ;) I am looking forward for the rest of the story; To be continued. Of course now being better informed.

Posted by: DutchZ | Jul 29 2022 12:34 utc | 40

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 12:30 utc | 39
--

Alright!😃

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:36 utc | 41

"The merchant of death"...

Posted by: DutchZ | Jul 29 2022 12:34 utc | 41

Isn't Biden a merchant of death?

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:38 utc | 42

In response to DunGroanin@7,

I heard that surviving prisoners from Azov are demanding that the Russians retaliate against Ukrainian decision making centers. B)

Posted by: Skiffer | Jul 29 2022 12:47 utc | 43

I don’t know that I go along with panicked. There’s an election coming up so it makes sense to do something to show the alphabet people that you’re on their side. The dope-heads as well. Votes are votes - even if you can stuff the ballot boxes. I think it might be a wash with the Bipocs - seems like a lot of those are not that gone on the alphabets. But a few segmented adverts should work for that. After all, a lot of Americans seem to think that WW2 was them against the British.

Posted by: Oscar Wilde | Jul 29 2022 12:49 utc | 44


Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:38 utc | 43; ask the journalist who wrote this.
Useless waist of time to discuss to tell something different...
I overcame my initial cognitive dissonance. Time will learn.

Posted by: DutchZ | Jul 29 2022 12:50 utc | 45

The American president, whoever he is, is the world's biggest merchant of death"

Posted by: ostro | Jul 29 2022 12:52 utc | 46

Posted by: DutchZ | Jul 29 2022 12:50 utc | 46
----

You and me are having a friendly talk...😃

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 12:53 utc | 47

While that narcissist ZElensky is striking a pose every day sanitizing and glamorizing in Vogue his losses in Ukraine's Russian-speaking territories, Putin is doing something like this:

https://youtube.com/shorts/AjdzMsmB67E?feature=share

Shoot the moon, V, shoot the moon.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 29 2022 12:54 utc | 48

Sky News has turned against Zelensky!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEPWgMXut_8

What's changed behind the scenes?

Posted by: A | Jul 29 2022 12:55 utc | 49

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 11:58 utc | 28

Another prolific troll from mockingbird land..So you are assuming that the Russians could have shelled the azov inmates?but you forget to say which motivations is behind it..because there isn't..the prisoners are healed fed and treated well..all facing death sentences..so there is no reason for what you say..try next,sheep.

Posted by: LuBa | Jul 29 2022 12:58 utc | 50

"There is an outside chance it was a false flag, no mention of Russian casualties, presumably there would have been guards nearby too, so why not mention them to quash that theory? Perhaps more details will emerge."


If someone bothered reading the article they linked, it literally says:

"The ministry's spokesperson, Lt Gen Igor Konashenkov, also said eight prison staff had been wounded."

Posted by: MoonageNightmare | Jul 29 2022 13:01 utc | 51

Ukraine launches counteroffensive to break Russia’s hold on major southern city
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has called on Russian troops in Kherson to retreat, warning that they will be “annihilated” if they remain in the city.
NBC "reports"

It is news for the those who have no idea what the Kherson steppes look like and for those Russophobes. For the moment, all BCY can do is shoot missiles from hiding places in Nikolayev. They'd shoot here and there, always in the night. But, if a BCY counteroffensive will be launched, BCY have to bring the Himars and whatnot out to the steppes, so as to support the advancing troops. Then, all those Himars and whatnot not will be knocked off...and BCY would fail.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 29 2022 13:07 utc | 52

@1 leaf

"Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality."

It's not crazy, it's called revenge. For imagined wrongs.

Posted by: xeen | Jul 29 2022 13:16 utc | 53

You ask how Russian isolation can be deepening. Didn't I just see that Montenegro has just joined the sanctions?

That is pretty crushing. The end must be close for Russia now.

Posted by: HRB | Jul 29 2022 13:17 utc | 54

Its unclear to me whether the prison shelling was deliberate. But if it was the motive-to shut the mouths of men facing trial- is obvious.

The person that I would like to see released through a swap of prisoners is the Venezuelan diplomat Saab who, like Assange, has been treated scandalously by the fascists running the USA.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 29 2022 13:23 utc | 55

Desperate is correct.

Posted by: Josh | Jul 29 2022 13:26 utc | 56

Unless I have missed something, why has no one here at MoA and elsewhere such as the Vineyard of Hater wondered if someone around Brittney Griner who works for the U.$. team slipped something in one of her bags to create an incident???

I lean to thinking Griner is probably not that stupid and that it is "highly likely" there is more to this saga.

Posted by: William Haught | Jul 29 2022 13:35 utc | 57

@ Posted by: LuBa | Jul 29 2022 12:58 utc | 51

I just said it's possible, though now i see there were prison guard casualties, so assuming that's true, then i would say it is unlikely.

Apologies for not even reading the whole article i posted... it's the BBC after all, i mostly just browse through it to see what gets sold as news in the UK.

As for their possible motivation, in IntelSlava's words:

"Well, dear Ukrainians, how do you like the cynicism of your rulers? They called these prisoners of war heroes from all the screens, and when they began to expose their crimes, they were killed in cold blood!!"

So, why not kill 2 birds with the one stone, get rid of bunch of expendable scumbag Azov guys, and make the Ukrainian regime look like evil cynical bastards to their own people. sow doubt and dissent among the ranks. Doesn't take too much imagination does it?

I understand if people take offence at the insinuation, call me a troll etc, whatever, no one questioned how Russians have treated POW's much better than Ukraine has, or at the very least, they weren't dumb enough to film themselves while breaking the Geneva convention.

By and large i want to believe Russia has conducted itself more honourably, and the evidence does support that view as far as i have seen, though realistically, it's also sensible policy for Russia to appear so, when you wanna win hearts and minds and are constantly being maligned in the West. It is no accident videos showing Ukrainian POWs being fed etc. get promoted in Russian media.

But war is a dirty business, and it would be naive to think Russians don't know how to play dirty, but no, i don't think they need to play that dirty and deliberately hurt their own men for a PsyOp, if nothing else, the risk of being caught out could far outweigh any benefits.


Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 13:38 utc | 58

"... but no, i don't think they need to play that dirty and deliberately hurt their own men for a PsyOp, if nothing else, the risk of being caught out could far outweigh any benefits."

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 13:38 utc | 59

Then... why even post such a 'thought'?

no reply necessary ...

Posted by: crone | Jul 29 2022 13:49 utc | 59

@Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 13:38 utc | 59

Are you in a mental institution with access to internet?

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 13:49 utc | 60

Is there an honest bio on Victor Bout?

When I google, all the results just echo the U.S. State Dept.
But I just love how our MSM calls him, 'a merchant of death' and refers to the other two as a Marine (not spy), and Basketball player (not drug trafficker)

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 29 2022 13:59 utc | 61

I don’t see Russia gaining anything swapping two prisoners for release of Assange. Why would Russia care about Assange? They gain nothing.

Posted by: GS | Jul 29 2022 13:59 utc | 62

Of course, no MSM will address WHY Griner was going to Russia on the eve of a global conflict.

She was going there to play basketball, her profession. The WNBA season is in the summer, not winter.

So why Russia?

WNBA has a cap on player's salary at $230k. This helps keep the league in business.

Russian teams will pay up to $1 million for USA players top come and play during their winter season.

MSM can't admit the socially conscious, pro minority, LGBT agenda USA can't pay a unique athlete their true value.

But Russia will. Griner (and several others) makes 3/4 of her annual income playing in Russia, not the USA. How embarrassing!!

Griner has been doing this for several years. She knows the rules coming and going internationally. She has been doing this for 7 years, along with world championship tournaments.

As reference:

https://queenballers.club/basketball/overseas-womens-basketball-salary

https://www.courant.com/sports/connecticut-sun/hc-sp-why-wnba-players-play-overseas-20220307-20220306-33zrqa3qwvelzag5lfjp2fg3bu-story.html

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Jul 29 2022 14:01 utc | 63

Christian J. Chuba @62

He used to have a personal website: https://web.archive.org/web/20100329094156/http://www.victorbout.com/">http://www.victorbout.com/">https://web.archive.org/web/20100329094156/http://www.victorbout.com/

Posted by: aquileia | Jul 29 2022 14:06 utc | 64

Not sure what happened to that link.

In the FAQ section, he says no evidence has been presented of him being the world's largest arms dealer. He also says he hasn't even been charged with anything, but this is a ~14 year old copy of his website.

Posted by: aquileia | Jul 29 2022 14:10 utc | 65

Is there an honest bio on Victor Bout?

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 29 2022 13:59 utc | 62

Well, is there a honest bio on Biden, the demented One? 😏

Posted by: ppp | Jul 29 2022 14:11 utc | 66

I love this one

https://t.me/intelslava/34207
🇩🇪🇷🇺⚡️Germany is ready to use Nord Stream 2 "if there are no other options"

So says the head of the Bundestag Committee on Energy and Climate Klaus Ernst.

When Anti-Russian Sanctions Do More Harm Than Help


And to be clear: This is the only sensible thing to do.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 14:11 utc | 67

Speaking about possible negotiations with the United States, the Russian Foreign Minister specified: the dialogue will take place by telephone, Moscow has received an official request and is now agreeing on the time of contact.

- It won't work today. In the following days, when I will be in my office, we will offer a convenient date,” Sergey Lavrov specified.

According to Lavrov, the issue of the exchange of prisoners, which Blinken intends to raise in a telephone conversation, was discussed by the presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States back in June 2021 in Geneva. The leaders have authorized competent persons to deal with these issues. “The Foreign Ministry is not one of them,” Lavrov explained.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 29 2022 14:20 utc | 68

@68 Norwegian -- 'Germany NS2 if no other option'

I'll believe it when I see it. Everything so far indicates the current generation of leaders would prefer to inconvenience their own country, impoverish everyone else in Europe, and starve a bunch of other countries on the global LNG import circuit.

----
TTF Dec-2022 = 192 €/MWh ... (-5% ish from yesterday, but that's comparable to daily noise)
TTF Q4-2023 = 132 €/MWh ... (negligible change)

Posted by: ptb | Jul 29 2022 14:22 utc | 69

️Germany is ready to use Nord Stream 2 "if there are no other options"

So says the head of the Bundestag Committee on Energy and Climate Klaus Ernst.

If he says so... But are their handlers in Washington, D.C. ready?

I bet Ukraine is ready to surrender "if there are no other options", but that decision is made outside of Ukraine.

Posted by: aquileia | Jul 29 2022 14:22 utc | 70

According to the German publication Spiegel, many self-propelled Panzerhaubitze 2000 supplied for the militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine need repair.
Bundeswehr suggests that the problems are associated with a high rate of fire. For German troops, 100 shells a day is already considered an extremely high load

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 14:28 utc | 71

You know its funny in a way what with all the cries for attention coming from USA FedGov. What is less funny is being surrounded by feeble minded cowards who actually believe the crap that comes spewing out of the MSM hole.
“Putin has threatened to use chemical weapons”
Translation: Victoria Nudelmans admission of US bioweapons research labs in country was garnished with a “concern” the the evil VVP might use them f or nefarious purposes….an on and on it goes.
Look, its pretty clear that the world knows that the USA has been reduced to paper tiger status and that it is just matter of time before it fades, so of course the rest of the world (majority) is aligning with the more reasonable and winning team. The tantrum in will cost lives, but the 800 or so military bases will be rolled up on way of the other. I rather doubt the citizenry of the nations of Europe are going to continue to beat their chests about unfounded Russian aggression as they plunge into chilly poverty when the first snow falls, but we shall see. At this point everything the State Dept. Of the USA (the smiley face of the CIA) reeks of desperation and they have completely jumped the shark because they are in reactive mode. Everything we arrogantly assumed would work has backfired so now we are left with … causing more chaos, which is all they were really ever good at.
In other news, IntelSlavaZ posted video of 2 chinook helos flying in the skies of what was claimed to be Bhakmut….! What the heck is that about3?!.

Posted by: Chevrus | Jul 29 2022 14:31 utc | 72

@ptb | Jul 29 2022 14:22 utc | 70

I agree with your description of "leaders" and NS2 at this point seems very unlikely. But this signal is interesting regardless. At some point relatively soon they will reach the state of "if there are no other options".

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 14:33 utc | 73

@Chevrus | Jul 29 2022 14:31 utc | 73

In other news, IntelSlavaZ posted video of 2 chinook helos flying in the skies of what was claimed to be Bhakmut….! What the heck is that about3?!.
I saw those a couple of days ago (if it is the same video). You could see parts of houses, they didn't look like typical houses in Donbass. I think it was not from Ukraine.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 14:36 utc | 74

dumb enough to film themselves while breaking the Geneva convention
Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 29 2022 13:38 utc | 59

I surmise, you missed Aiden Aslin's pre-trial YouTube broadcasts--including a pointed description of UA shelling the jail which he occupied--even as his family parroted a UK-legal advice* purporting a provision of the Geneva (or Red Cross?)Convention that prohibits "promotional" speeches by POWs and wtf, which, in any case, would not apply to foreign combatants ("mercenaries").

* US, UK, G7 do. not. do. international law. m'k?

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 29 2022 14:39 utc | 75

What do you expect - when you cut the numbers of Russian Diplomats, stop their access to International organisations, sanction any one who moves, (motorbikers or oligarchs), Cancel culture Opera singers, sports people, refuse photo records of meetings, all with the Woke idea that if you "cancel them - they will go away or no longer exist". There comes a point where there is nobody left to talk to.
*
The Russian are exiting the WTO and WHO. I can understand both, but the latter with it's new "Tedros-pox" and the attempt to grab "responsibility" for ALL the world's health systems - goes too far. (Tedros overode his special committe to declared a "pandemic" with approx one or two deaths so far. As a "pandemic" is a set percentage of the population (12 or 20%?), so obviously the world's population has been reduced to that sufficient to find seating in a mid sized football stadium. WTO with over a thousand sanctions on Russia is a waste of anyone's time.
*****

About the HIMARS shots on mercenaries and the bridges.
The mercenaries life is not an easy one. They have been recently used to act as a last ditch defensive forces against the Russians, while the "valuable" Ukrainians get moved out (Some territorials are also left as they may be......russian speakers. :>0)

They may even be subject to Russian "tortureTrolling" as shown below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9HIeOWFdsg

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 29 2022 14:40 utc | 76

Posted by: Altai | Jul 29 2022 10:20 ut
there wasn't a "BLM" moment. there is long history of racist scumbag, often in police uniforms, murdering blacks. keep pretending this is equivalent to trans bathrooms or something, so you can ignore that fact.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 29 2022 14:48 utc | 77

What's changed behind the scenes?
Posted by: A | Jul 29 2022 12:55 utc | 50

money: yanno, is the one unit of measurement on which "western countries" rely to express their "values."

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 29 2022 14:48 utc | 78

@Norwegian75:
Yeah I too wondered about that. I kinda doubt they would be allowed to fly at the speed and altitude in the current battle space.
In regard to the changing of definitions cited by StoneBird, there has been alit of that going around for sure. In 2008 the definition of ‘pandemic’ was altered so that it needn’t be dependent on an increase in mortality…just “cases”, as was the definition of ‘herd immunity’ a bit later so as to include vaccination. Fast forward and the USAn definition of ‘vaccine’ itself was altered to accommodate the mRNA shots. Most recently the definition of ‘recession’ has been changed as well..
When I look at the like of Yellen and Friends in front of camera, they sure look panicked. Remember: never go “Full-SriLanka”!

Posted by: Chevrus | Jul 29 2022 14:48 utc | 79

Posted by: Chevrus | Jul 29 2022 14:31 utc | 73
2 chinook helos flying in the skies of what was claimed to be Bhakmut….! What the heck is that about3?!.


Probably video from nato training, years ago. it appeared on nazi channels as propaganda

However I'm convinced that once Russia gets at Donbass border, US will go in and set bases in Ukr regions next to Poland, Hungary, Romania and probably inside Moldova too, pretending to defend them from bad Putin. That will be the end of special operation, everybody goes home.

This will ensure a Syria scenario where no one can make US leave and they'll train terrorists in their bases and give them weapons to have a never ending war and prevent Russia from restoring Donbass or using any resources, unless they give them for free to US (in Syria they steal them directly but it's the same idea). In short time this will errode trust in government and Putin, the regime change Biden asked for.

Posted by: rk | Jul 29 2022 14:49 utc | 80

"The man Whelan accuses of framing him was one of his oldest friends in Russia. He is also a serving intelligence officer".

Golly, you just can't trust any of those damn Russkies, can you? You go there to spy on them, and the first guy you make friends with turns out to be Russian counter-intelligence. Who knew?

It's almost as though the Russians know their business. And the Americans don't.

Posted by: tom welsh | Jul 29 2022 15:08 utc | 81

Interesting news, related to Ukraine: according to Serbian volunteer Deki, three of foreign volunteers (2 Brits and a Moroccan) that have been sentenced to death by DNR authorities, have been executed. No news about it anywhere else..

Posted by: CroNor | Jul 29 2022 15:10 utc | 82

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 29 2022 14:11 utc | 68

re NS2

I've also wondered if this could be the goal of the NS1 slowdown. Finally opening the NS2 pipeline would be a win for Russia and Europe, and a loss for the US and NATO.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 29 2022 15:14 utc | 83

"He has no time for a call with some U.S. minion known for making unfounded accusations and unreasonable requests".

There are also serious logical objections to a meeting with anyone purporting to represent the US government. The Russians and the Chinese have now established beyond the slightest shadow of doubt that:

1. US government employees (and other Americans) lie so often and so habitually that one can never know whether they are telling the truth without checking against some reliable source. If they say the sun is shining, one most go outside and look for oneself. (Looking through the window is insufficient: they might have rigged it with a display of the sun). But if one always has to check, why speak to such people at all? It is literally a waste of time.

2. Because they lie so often and habitually, nothing they undertake or promise can be trusted for even seconds, let alone years. They will break their solemn oaths the moment they judge it convenient to do so. If one cannot ever rely on their word, why encourage them to offer it and thus perjure themselves? Far better not to talk to them or try to reach agreements with the, but to judge them simply on their deeds. (Did Jesus say something about that?)

Posted by: tom welsh | Jul 29 2022 15:18 utc | 84

a loss for the US and NATO.
Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 29 2022 15:14 utc | 84

Europe is NATO. What message are you attempting to communicate?

IMF (1944 SDR capital): USD, GBP, EUR (FKA: DE, FR, NL 1995), JPY, RMB (2016)
BIS (1930/1961 finance): BE, FR, DE, IT, UK, CH/"global" messaging
NATO (1949 mil): US (CENTCOM, AFRICOM, EUCOM, NORTHCOM, INDOPACOM, SOUTHCOM, SPACECOM), EU-EEA, CA, AU, NZ*

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 29 2022 15:20 utc | 85

@aquileia | Jul 29 2022 14:22 utc | 71

️Germany is ready to use Nord Stream 2 "if there are no other options"

So says the head of the Bundestag Committee on Energy and Climate Klaus Ernst.
If he says so... But are their handlers in Washington, D.C. ready?
I bet Ukraine is ready to surrender "if there are no other options", but that decision is made outside of Ukraine.

Klaus Ernst is the former chairman of the party Die Linke, from the wing of Oskar Lafontaine and Sahra Wagenknecht who lost most of their influence to the atlanticist and woke wing of the party. He is head of that committee just due to expertise and by some chance and counting mechanics. He is in clear opposition to the russophobe majority in Bundestag and even Linke faction there.

So reporting by RT is not outright wrong but certainly misleading.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 29 2022 15:23 utc | 86

OFF THREAD

Just a couple of thoughts.

1. Is it me, or are the Russians upping the number and intensity of their strikes beyond supporting their troops and increasing the number targetting decision making centres?

2. The recent Vogue photoshoot seems to me to be a total gift to the Russians in any propaganda war towards UKR soldiers. "Hey, guys, looks what your Great Leader is up to!

Or is it just me?

Posted by: Scottish Bloke | Jul 29 2022 15:24 utc | 87

No government worth its salt would ever consider besmirching a prisoner of conscience by engaging in an exchange of such person for prisoners serving time.

Posted by: petra | Jul 29 2022 15:26 utc | 88

@rk:
The scenario you offered sounds a bit like wishful thinking to be frank. For one I don’t think Russia is in the mood to accommodate this kind of move based on their current actions. They will ask formally and nicely a few times before they do, but they will most likely make a countermove. The US putting bases in nations that are falling apart, due in part to sanctions that hurt themselves primarily with attendant suffering majorities? That’s recipe for disaster. More likely that Odessa will be taken and the Poland, Hungary, Romania will take their pieces of the pie. Poles already have crate Blanche to become LEOs in Ukraine, and something tells me that is just the beginning. Also: What US military? Tens of thousands dismissed for not getting all their shots? Purging the ranks of patriots? There is reason the US only takes on 3rd world adversaries with no air defense or artillery: they would have to rebuild their military from the ground up in order to even threaten a near peer adversary. I work with the USAn youths of today and they ain’t doin shit other than playing video games. When faced with a challenge most of them go belly up. Hard times make strong men, strong men make good times, good times make soft men….

Posted by: Chevrus | Jul 29 2022 15:26 utc | 89

The US already tried Whelan for Bout as a straight up deal and russia refused. Not sure why it thinks making the deal worse for Russia would be a winning play. The Griner case is asinine. She broke US federal law by purchasing and possessing the cannabis extract, she broke more federal laws by boarding an airplane with the extract. She broke more federal laws by transporting across the border. And she broke EU laws by transporting it through the EU.

Joe Biden promised and reneged on addressing the legal status of cannabis at the federal level, but he expects us to get all worked up about another country enforcing laws similar to our own. She could have been prosecuted for the same act coming into the US from say Portugal where personal use of all drugs is decriminalized. Whether she would have been prosecuted for it is a different question. But no doubt she would have been breaking federal law.

Also, weak. She openly carried it. Buy it when you’re there, actually hide it, mail it in hidden, there are so many ways to break the law. I can’t respect someone who doesn’t even try to do a good job breaking laws. And assuming she left from a “legal” state, there are disposal points in the airports with big signs telling you not to fly with your weed because it’s illegal.

Posted by: Lex | Jul 29 2022 15:41 utc | 90

RE: BroncoBilly | Jul 29 2022 14:01 utc | 64

More reasons for my suspicions in 'Posted by: William Haught | Jul 29 2022 13:35 utc | 58" above regarding the Griner case.

Posted by: William Haught | Jul 29 2022 15:46 utc | 91

Posted by: Scottish Bloke | Jul 29 2022 15:24 utc | 88

Or is it just me?

It's not just you, but certainly a minority. After so many years of celebrities and synthetic live people love that BS, I have not seen it but somewhere I read Leibowitz was the shooter, the usual tools of plain but effective marketing, just think about the Springsteen album with the US flag, it is Hollywood made a still, all attrezzo and set up, noting natural or live about it but crafty and well thought out, the total opposite of the decisive moment type of photography. Freedom fries again and forever, add some ketchup.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 29 2022 15:55 utc | 92

Blinken does not even come near to that.

Posted by b on July 29, 2022 at 9:57 UTC | Permalink

It's tough being an arrogant minion when you are dealing with a peer opponent who's actually in charge of his role and understands the geopolitical situation.

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 29 2022 16:08 utc | 93

@ 8 Beverly, Lavrov asking for Assange would shake the world, it would be a stroke of genius and most the world would applaud. Also we’d have a powerful Wikileaks to continue to expose the crimes of the empire, they could publish the findings concerning the dozens of bio weapons labs in Ukraine and the Nazi’s genocidal plans before the war for instance .

Posted by: James C | Jul 29 2022 16:10 utc | 94

Posted by: Altai | Jul 29 2022 10:20 utc | 3

monumental stupidity is not a good look. your personal issues with Black people are not germane to the topic. I'm mildly surprised you didn't work masks and vaccinations in.
Thanks to b for always dropping knowledge, and thanks to the cogent commenters who add immeasurably to the discussion.

Posted by: Oso | Jul 29 2022 16:13 utc | 95

thanks b......

i suspect ulterior motives are the reason for this... and the hit on the POWs in donbass is a clear provocation... i hope zelensky pays for it, as i see the odds heavily favour the ukees in this hit... cbc is not allowing comments on their article on it... we all know why...

@ Beverly | Jul 29 2022 10:35 utc | 8

this idea has been discussed before at moa.... you are not the first one to bring it up.. i am very mixed on this.... anyone who has been paying attention you know what a cluster fuck the usa-uk tag team are... they will twist shit every which way and present it in the msm to the sheeple... fortunately not everyone falls for it... the usa-uk actions towards assange are worse then despicable... but most everyone here knows this too... i don't know the answer... assange is a festering sore on the usa-uk empire building tag team... it continues to make them look like shit here....

back to the story line... i replied to pogoshere on the open thread last night with a quote from indian punchline highlight matt lees question... it is worth repeating... so here it is -

"A great beauty about press conferences is that some journalists make it lively and revealing. So, one American journalist ( matt lee ) asked Blinken, “you have been talking about how Russia is isolated internationally, and yet we see Foreign Minister Lavrov jetting off around Africa and the Middle East and President Putin going to Tehran… They make the case that they’re not isolated, and now you’re about to have this conversation with them. So what does that say about the administration’s efforts to isolate Russia when you are actually now reaching out to them to talk about the issues?”

Blinken’s explanation: “Matt, in terms of some of the travels that the foreign minister, for example, is engaged in, what I see is a desperate game of defence to try somehow to justify to the world the actions that Russia has taken…”

Posted by: james | Jul 29 2022 16:26 utc | 96

2 for 1 makes no sense. Russia should also add Assange to the list, which would draw the UK into this negotiation.
If Russia got Assange free, it would be a giant reputation boost for Russia around the world.

Posted by: Nico | Jul 29 2022 16:27 utc | 97

”The spectre of the collapse of EU economies is rattling the Biden Administration.

… The report quoted an unnamed US official saying Russia’s retaliation for western sanctions has put the West in ’unchartered territory’.”

You knew and I knew what the consequences would be once Russia started to militarily defend the Donbas. For sure Zelensky already got lifted into the throne of a hero next to Bandera, after his exquisite reception at the Munich Security Conference. What could go amiss?

50 Year veteran Joe Biden, the intelligence community and the Pentagon had run through all possible simulations with AI support and knew exactly the benefit of letting a war happen. Both the UK and US are self sufficient in fossil fuel except for some minor imports of refined fuels.

The campaign to eliminate a global competitor started with Brexit, enforced by Trump to sanction Airbus and German automotive industry, with Biden using a few carrots 🥕 🥕 to pamper VDL and Borrell in Brussels - worse than Solana, Barroso and Juncker. 😠

Biden is not interested in multilateralism, except with NATO allies to wage war, and he expanded the threats v. Germany. The exit of Angela Merkel opened the opportunity for a Blitzkrieg across Europe. Over a year ago I wrote an article: “Will the EU-27 survive the Biden years.” Biden pushed MAGA to greater heights.

In the prisoner exchange, it is more interesting to get Viktor Bout safe back in Russia. Damn Thai government.

Posted by: Oui | Jul 29 2022 16:27 utc | 98

Personally, I believe that in 'talking to Blinken' a foreign nation is closer to talking to the people with real power than if they were talking to Biden. Real power in the US Government appears to be wielded by a combination of Blinken and Austin (the uber-commander of the American storm-troopers.) And of course, one must not forget the powerful official who usually remains in the background, the head of the CIA. If you are talking to these three people, to me that's about as high up the decision-making chain as one can get in America.

But, yes, these people are all 'minions'. But, unless one is talking to the rightwing, capitalist oligarchs who really run America and decide what happens directly, one is always talking to an 'American minion'. But seriously, nobody can really believe that talking to Biden leads to anything more than Biden taking a nap.

Notice of course that none of this has any relation to a 'democracy', which is in Lincoln's phrase, a 'government of the people, by the people and for the people.' If America was a democracy, then Russia should be talking direct to the American people, as they would be the real powerholders in a real democracy. But this of course is what the American Oligarchy completely bans, forbids and tries at all times to block as strongly as possible. The big danger is that the American people might actually be exposed to what Russia is trying to say, which is of course dismissed as "Putin propaganda".

Posted by: Pat Henry | Jul 29 2022 16:30 utc | 99

crigngiy @98

What does one's opinion about Putin have to do with respecting the laws of the land you are a guest of?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 29 2022 16:31 utc | 100

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