Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2022

'Drinking The Kool-Aid' On The War In Ukraine

In Summer 2004 Col. (ret.) Patrick Lang published Drinking the Kool-Aid which described the way in which group think had led to the war on Iraq. The idiom itself has a sinister background:

[Jim Jones, a self-styled "messiah" from the United States] called together his followers in the town square and explained the situation to them. There were a few survivors, who all said afterward that within the context of the "group-think" prevailing in the village, it sounded quite reasonable. Jim Jones then invited all present to drink from vats of Kool-Aid containing lethal doses of poison. Nearly all did so, without physical coercion. Parents gave their children the poison and then drank it themselves. Finally Jones drank. Many hundreds died with him.

Many have never heard of that story or have forgotten it. The idiom's meaning had changed:

What does drinking the Kool-Aid mean today? It signifies that the person in question has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today. This person has become "part of the problem, not part of the solution."

What was the "problem"? The sincerely held beliefs of a small group of people who think they are the "bearers" of a uniquely correct view of the world, sought to dominate the foreign policy of the United States in the Bush 43 administration, and succeeded in doing so through a practice of excluding all who disagreed with them. Those they could not drive from government they bullied and undermined until they, too, had drunk from the vat.

With regards to the war in Ukraine Pat himself has sipped the Kool-Aid. It has clearly clouded his judgment.

In a recent comment at his blog, Pat writes:


I never let patriotism or any other sentiment cloud my analysis. Russia is past the “culminating point” of its offensive and is subject to a sudden reversal of fortune.

The 'culminating point' is a term of art described in the book "On War" by Carl von Clausewitz. Born in 1780 Clausewitz served in Prussian army. He later joint the imperial Russian army in its war against Napoleon before returning as chief of staff to the Prussian military:

Clausewitz was a professional combat soldier who was involved in numerous military campaigns, but he is famous primarily as a military theorist interested in the examination of war, utilising the campaigns of Frederick the Great and Napoleon as frames of reference for his work.

Even today "On War" is still a must-read for any military officer.

The culminating point is discussed in Book VII 'The Attack', Chapter V 'Culminating Point of the Attack':

The success of the attack is the result of a present superiority of force, it being understood that the moral as well as physical forces are included. In the preceding chapter we have shown that the power of the attack gradually exhausts itself; possibly at the same time the superiority may increase, but in most cases it diminishes. The assailant buys up prospective advantages which are to be turned to account hereafter in negotiations for peace; but, in the meantime, he has to pay down on the spot for them a certain amount of his military force. If a preponderance on the side of the attack, although thus daily diminishing, is still maintained until peace is concluded, the object is attained. There are strategic attacks which have led to an immediate peace but such instances are rare; the majority, on the contrary, lead only to a point at which the forces remaining are just sufficient to maintain a defensive, and to wait for peace. Beyond that point the scale turns, there is a reaction; the violence of such a reaction is commonly much greater than the force of the blow. This we call the culminating point of the attack.

The attacker, in Clausewitz's description, has a moral and physical force advantage at the start of the battle. But as it attacks it usually also has the disadvantage of taking more losses than the defending side. (One rule of thumb is that the attacker needs a power ratio of 3 to 1 over the defender to win a battle.) Taking more losses than the defending side means that the relative advantage of the attacker diminishes over time.

As the battle (or war) proceeds the actual power ration shrinks from 3 to 1 to 2 to 1 and then to 1 to 1 or even lower. There comes a point where the attacker is down to the minimum force needed to keep the other side away. Beyond that is the culminating point of the attack. If the battle or war does not end before that point is reached it will likely end in the defeat of the attacker.

Pat Lang claims that Russia has reached the culminating point and has thus exhausted it forces to the point where it has no longer advantages and is now likely to see a reversal of its fortune. But that presumes that we are seeing a typical war like those Clausewitz took part in or Napoleon's or Hitler's marches towards Moscow, the first of which, depicted below by Charles Minard, Clausewitz certainly had in mind.


Napoleon's grande armée indeed suffered attrition, from 450,000 down to 10,000 men, that exceeded the culminating point.

But the war in Ukraine is a 'special military operation' and very untypical for several reasons.

Russia attacked with a force that was smaller than the Ukrainian forces. Over all roughly 120 Battalion Tactical Groups (BTG) from Russia with 1,000 men each plus some 50,000 soldiers from the Luhansk and Donetzk republics took part in the war. At the begin of the war the Ukrainian forces had 250,000 soldiers and they have since mobilized several hundred thousand more.

Russia uses far more sophisticated weapons than the Ukrainian side. These are long range weapon and cruise missiles that hit supplies and incoming troops in the rear of the frontline as well as strategic targets. It has an excellent and nearly impenetrable air defense and electronic war fare capabilities that a high ranking U.S. officer described as 'eye watering'. Russia has a huge advantage in artillery capabilities and a sufficient amounts of ammunition to sustain a high rate of fire over years. It can also outproduce the 'west' with regards to new weapons and supplies.

All this has led to the very unusual effect that the Russian advantage on the battlefield has increased over time. It may have been 1 to 1 at the beginning of the battle but it has since increased to about  2 to 1 or even higher.

In his latest briefing (vid) the head of the Austrian military academy Colonel Reisner shows how the ratio of forces has changed over time. At 7:10 min in he shows this chart.


He explains that at the beginning of the battle for Donbas in April the force ratio was 93 Russian BTGs against 81 Ukrainian BTG equivalents. On June 26 the ratio of forces was 108 Russian BTGs versus 60 Ukrainian battalion equivalents. Russia had increased the size of its engaged forces while the Ukrainian side had lost 25% of its capabilities. So according to the Austrian military the force ratio at the start of the 'special military operation' was 1.15 to 1 and on June 26 it was at 1.8 to 1.

What we are seeing is the opposite of the decrease of the ratio of forces that Clausewitz described as the path to the culminating point.

A recent talk by a high ranking Ukrainian general confirms the high rate of attrition of the Ukrainian army. He says that 'western' weapon deliveries only cover 10 to 15% of the Ukrainian losses. In fact the 'west' can no longer produce enough new weapons and ammunition to cover those losses.

In Foreign Affairs Prof. Barry Posen writes about Ukraine’s Implausible Theories of Victory:

Ukraine’s backers have proposed two pathways to victory. The first leads through Ukraine. With help from the West, the argument runs, Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield, either depleting its forces through attrition or shrewdly outmaneuvering it. The second path runs through Moscow. With some combination of battlefield gains and economic pressure, the West can convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war—or convince someone in his circle to forcibly replace him.

But both theories of victory rest on shaky foundations. In Ukraine, the Russian army is likely strong enough to defend most of its gains. In Russia, the economy is autonomous enough and Putin’s grip tight enough that the president cannot be coerced into giving up those gains, either.
Ukraine’s leaders and its backers speak as if victory is just around the corner. But that view increasingly appears to be a fantasy. Ukraine and the West should therefore reconsider their ambitions and shift from a strategy of winning the war toward a more realistic approach: finding a diplomatic compromise that ends the fighting.

Lt.Col. (ret) Daniel Davis agrees with Posen:

In short, there is no valid military path through which Ukraine can hope that trading space for time will result in stopping Russia’s methodical progress through Ukraine – much less reverse it. To continue contesting every town and city is to ensure the Ukrainian casualties continue to mount and its urban areas destroyed. In the end, Russia is still likely to achieve a tactical victory.

It is necessary, in light of these physical realities, for U.S. and Western policies to change. Continuing to give verbal support to Ukraine and claiming that eventually, Kyiv’s side will win the war is not likely to change the outcome and is likely to result in a policy failure for Washington.

Prof. Posen criticizes the false numbers that various organizations put out to show high losses of Russian forces:

Early on during the war, boosters of Ukraine argued that Russia could be defeated through attrition. Simple math seemed to tell the story of a Russian army on the verge of collapse. In April, the British defense ministry estimated that 15,000 Russian soldiers had died in Ukraine. Assuming that the number of wounded was three times as high, which was the average experience during World War II, that would imply that roughly 60,000 Russians had been knocked out of commission. Initial Western estimates put the size of the frontline Russian force in Ukraine at 120 battalion tactical groups, which would total at most 120,000 people. If these casualty estimates were correct, the strength of most Russian combat units would have fallen below 50 percent, a figure that experts suggest renders a combat unit at least temporarily ineffective.

These early estimates now look overly optimistic. If they were accurate, the Russian army ought to have collapsed by now. Instead, it has managed slow but steady gains in the Donbas.

The numbers and other claims that the British defense ministry puts out get repeated in the U.S. by the neo-conservative Institute for the Study of War. Nearly every U.S. media quotes one of those two sources.

They are serving the Kool-Aid Pat Lang, TTG and other around them have been drinking since the beginning of Russian operation.

They also presume that Russia could not intensify the war. The president of Russia disagrees with them:

Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ”to the last Ukrainian.“ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet.

At the same time, we are not rejecting peace talks, but those who are rejecting them should know that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.

True to form the British defense ministry used that to serve more Kool-Aid:

"Despite President Putin’s claim on 7 July 2022 that the Russian military has ‘not even started’ its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment,” an assessment from Britain’s defense ministry said on Saturday.

One sign the defense ministry pointed to was its expectation that fresh Russian troops would be deployed with MT-LB armored vehicles. The MT-LB, first designed in the 1950s to pull artillery, is not heavily armored and can mount only a machine gun to protect its forces.

I bet that we will not see any MT-LB at the front line. I doubt that we will see any at all. Russia still has thousands of tanks, real ones, that it can send should there be any need for them.

All the Kool-Aid drinkers also forget that this war is about much more than this or that town in Ukraine or even Ukraine itself.

As Putin said:

But here is what I would you like to make clear. They should have realised that they would lose from the very beginning of our special military operation, because this operation also means the beginning of a radical breakdown of the US-style world order. This is the beginning of the transition from liberal-globalist American egocentrism to a truly multipolar world based not on self-serving rules made up by someone for their own needs, behind which there is nothing but striving for hegemony, not on hypocritical double standards, but on international law and the genuine sovereignty of nations and civilisations, on their will to live their historical destiny, with their own values and traditions, and to align cooperation on the basis of democracy, justice and equality.

Everyone should understand that this process cannot be stopped. The course of history is inexorable, and the collective West’s attempts to impose its new world order on the rest of the world are doomed.

No Kool-Aid served in Washington or London will change that. It is thus better to stay away from it.

Posted by b on July 9, 2022 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The object of the SMO was to persuade Kiev and NATO to sign on to a Minsk-Plus agreement guaranteeing the autonomy and cultural rights of the Russian speaking population in the Donbas and beyond plus a NATO pledge to withdraw its troops, trainers, biolabs and bases from Ukraine.

The US wasn't ready for that and now, one suspects, such minimal terms are no longer available.

It looks like a series of referenda, giving rise to a group of federated Peoples republics, not necessarily separated from Ukraine, but no longer subject to the sort of tyranny developed in the past couple of decades, will consolidate the slow Russian advance.

Canadians should bear in mind that Novorossiya was offering to settle for less that Quebec has in confederation- and was shelled and attacked for its impertinence.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 17:45 utc | 1

This is a war of artillery and fortified positions it blasts. It is not a war of maneuver.

As such, talk of a culminating point is a claim about attrition, and its shifting of the balance of forces.

Yet those making that claim hide the losses and present strength of one side, while grossly and shamelessly exaggerating the losses of the other side.

Normal operational security justifies keeping the secrets. But it still can't support claims about what it hides. That is just "trust us" for people who have been caught lying constantly.

The lies included the exaggerations of losses that would have evaporated the forces which just took more territory in a successful offensive. They included things like inventing an ace pilot and all his victories (the Ghost of Kyiv), which was not just a fabrication but blatantly shameless.

So they hide one side, lie about the other, and then tell us to believe their conclusions about a new balance of forces.

Meanwhile, the observable events on the ground have never matched such claims, and do not match it now.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jul 9 2022 17:55 utc | 2

What it Pat Lang selling? He has a secure pension.

Is he so insecure in his mind that he needs acolytes to his way of thinking, or is he worried about his investments?

Posted by: too scents | Jul 9 2022 18:08 utc | 3

Nowadays the Hitler's quote about USSR "kick the door and the whole roten structure will crumble" is used - in a delicious historical ironny - by Russia against Nazism in Ukraine. Yes, The SMO is making this artificial state and his true roten structure collapse.

Posted by: Kleber | Jul 9 2022 18:17 utc | 4


:Jonestown massacre
The drink became linked to the Jonestown mass murder-and-suicide when it was learned that the cyanide poison taken by or forcibly administered to the commune's members was placed in Flavor Aid. Large barrels filled with the grape variety, laced with the cyanide and a variety of tranquillizer drugs, were found half-consumed amidst the hundreds of bodies. Kool-Aid, rather than Flavor Aid, is usually erroneously referred to as the drink used in the massacre, most likely due to it having become a generic trademark. The association with Kool-Aid has spawned the figure of speech "drink the Kool-Aid" but is regarded by some sources as a factual error.[3] Film footage shot inside the compound in March 1976 shows cult leader Jim Jones opening a large chest in which boxes of Flavor Aid are visible.[4] Criminal investigators testifying at the Jonestown inquest spoke of finding packets of "Kool aid" (sic), and eyewitnesses to the incident are also recorded as speaking of "kool aid" or "Cool Aid."[5]

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Jul 9 2022 18:18 utc | 5

Most honest brokers saw that Russia would defeat the Ukraine. Unfortunately there is not an honest person in DC or Brussels.

The picture I am drawing is that the Ukraine is a necessary sacrifice to create a new global architecture that keeps DC is a dominant position.

I'm waiting to read/watch stories about Russia's oil and gas industry. I understand that they are pulling in money now but can they maintain their fields with out Western help? How many years does it take to develop this skill/technology?

The wild card in all of this is India. I always imagined to that an alliance would form with the USA, Israel, India, Japan and the Arab powers. India has the ability to cut China out of the energy market. China is at the end of that supply chain and it must pass through Indian dominated shipping lanes. I'm waiting for that shoe to finally drop. India will eventually have to chose a side and it just lost the Russia, Iran, India pipeline so that leaves the US preferred route.

There is a lot going on in the world. The Ukraine is where all the action is bit it's also the distraction from the real and long lasting developments that will shape our world.

Posted by: Phenix | Jul 9 2022 18:21 utc | 6

@BroncoBilly | Jul 9 2022 18:18 utc | 7


Never let a crisis go to waste.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 9 2022 18:24 utc | 7

Geoff@5 You are right about Peterson. The banality of his opinions ought to be warning to people, instead it is a quality to which they can relate.

Did you see the recent revelations of exactly the way in which Milgram obtained the results that he wanted? There were several links her in threads about a week ago.
It was always clear that Milgram's 'experiment' was totally bogus. Evidently he himself concluded that he was a 'poet' rather than a scientist- his art was to produce an account of human nature that accorded with the pessimism of reactionaries who fear democracy.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 18:25 utc | 8

thanks b...

pat lang and friends are offering kool aid and drinking kool aid and are too thick to see any of it...i am afraid wake up time ain't gonna be pretty for them...

@ Geoff | Jul 9 2022 18:10 utc | 5

i agree with yours and bevins perspective on jordan peterson...

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2022 18:31 utc | 9

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 18:25 utc | 10

Speaking for myself, I first saw Peterson on JRE podcast, years ago which led me to the Cathy Newman interview culminating in a realisation that what I was in the grip of an ideology that I mistook as received wisdom i.e gender wage gap, differences between men and women etc. He was the first person to start me on the roundabout journey that led me here. His psychology lectures were interesting but then he started that self-help crock which is just pure grift. Capitalism at work.

He displays an alarming amount of ignorance given the confidence with which he opines on topics outside his wheelhouse and the reach he wields. I am cynical enough to think that this "call for realism" is his way of pandering to his viewership which is ostensibly majority Republican and would therefore embrace a position that is anti-Biden and anti-Democrat.

Posted by: eyeswideopen | Jul 9 2022 18:59 utc | 10

cia is nasty business... seems like it runs the usa at this point and have for some time..

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2022 18:59 utc | 11

This is Kool-aid 101: the US doctrine that the US should control the Eurasian land mass and the countries that are there have no business being there (Mackinder). Brzezinski added the Ukrainian dimension: Ukraimr is one of the pivots of the world. The foresight on the part of the Soviets was this: making Donbass the pivot of Ukraine.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jul 9 2022 19:01 utc | 12

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 17:45 utc | 1

The object of the SMO was to persuade Kiev and NATO to sign on to a Minsk-Plus agreement guaranteeing the autonomy and cultural rights of the Russian speaking population in the Donbas and beyond plus a NATO pledge to withdraw its troops, trainers, biolabs and bases from Ukraine.

The US wasn't ready for that and now, one suspects, such minimal terms are no longer available.

I agree with your assessment that such minimal terms are no longer available. There is no need for Russia to revert back to the Minsk-plus terms to settle. What have happened, in terms of EU finding itself in binds, NATO revealing its ineptitude and yellow nature, US/UK drawing laughter whatever moves they make, and Ukraine itself showing its true Nazi color and ineptitude on the field, why would Russia want to hurry up and settle this any time soon? Impact on it is minimal; financial situation gets better with each advancing days towards winter; world opinion swinging towards the multipolarity idea it and China have been advocating for a while among developing world entities. Besides, ain't it fun watching them 5-eyes clowns squirm?

Yes, the stake should be raised. Odessa should definitely be included in the dissection of Ukraine. Autonomy should be elevated to independence. And, while Ukraine is asking for $750Billion to rebuild, Novorussia should ask just as much from EU/G7 to rebuild Luhansk/Donetsk/Kherson/Kharkov/Odessa, as terms of settlement in February, 2023. This confidence has been instilled by what has happened in the 4+months of action on the ground. The paper tiger NATO has revealed itself, just as the USA revealed itself in 1952 in Korea. Russia should by now start laying out the terms for the armistice.

Russia may very well get most of what it asks for.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 9 2022 19:11 utc | 13

Western politicians, propagandists, and strategists are unaware it is they who have overreached with the expansion of NATO, mimicking Napoleon and the Third Reich. Their bloated budgets transferring wealth to the war complex does not confer superiority over the Russian or Chinese armies. Fortunately, the US and NATO have learned nothing since Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and continue to exhaust their economies with debt to build complex weapons systems unable to achieve their strategic goals.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jul 9 2022 19:18 utc | 14

All of this high-minded rhetoric masks a war of aggression against a weaker neighbor state. US role was negative in the lead-up, that no thinking person could contest. However, it bothers me to read such war mongering and passé cold war thinking from the comments on this echo chamber blog, although I do enjoy the blog and its comments in general and i have never paid a penny, I do not want to be ungrateful for that. Do you think that a soldier in the Ukrainian army stationed in his own country is a “nazi” that the invading Russian military may kill at will? I don't think this is what international law says, despite the high-sounding appeals in the justification speeches/threats recited here. This war must end. Can’t you see the dangerous escalation risks? Now, Pres, Putin says its more - so much more - than just an SMO, its a new new world order, better than the old new world order. Yeah, right. It’s a nasty war of aggression only slightly less nasty than what US has done/did to Libya, irak, syria, afgan, etc. Now, I am going to cash my big fat CIA/deep state pay check - bwah ha ha - because anyone who wants a swift peaceful end to the SMO is a stooge of the “outlaw empire” as the leading sycophant/contributor constantly regurgitates. therefore it must be so!

Posted by: Patrick Constantine | Jul 9 2022 19:25 utc | 15

The problem of the western Kool aid drinkers, such as Posen or Davis, or Biden, or Macron or the rest is that, they are not Russians, so cannot think like Putin and his Team. They also don't have any idea why the Russians hate the Nazis (of all kinds). They also didn't listen, when Putin said, "hope they hear what I say" on the 24th February morning, (and before). Putin never changed the original aim, that is, to bring down the "US rules based order," bring down the unipolar world, and to create a multi-polar world. This process cannot be/will not be stopped. In other words, the SMO will go on until the US hegemony is destroyed, the USD hegemony is crushed.

The so-called West is ~1 billion people, but without the resources anymore, because of the forced globalisation. Mr. Clausewitz most probably didn't know anything about natural gas. Maybe, he knew about fuel, but not the way it is being used today. Energy is a weapon, and can be used against the collective west. This is already seen in Europe, and even across Atlantic, the never ending price hikes. The heating period is arriving surely and faster, but the energy storages are not at all full.

The EU would disintegrate much faster than one would've thought -- individual countries would start thinking about themselves, their own citizens, rather than as a union. Today, because of their Russo-hate, the leaders of individual countries of the EU wants help the Ukraine, or using it as a catspaw. When things start boiling in their own countries, they'd quickly forget the Ukraine...and would start vomiting Kool Aid...

Posted by: ostro | Jul 9 2022 19:27 utc | 16

Posted by: Phenix | Jul 9 2022 18:21 utc | 7

I'm waiting to read/watch stories about Russia's oil and gas industry. I understand that they are pulling in money now but can they maintain their fields with out Western help? How many years does it take to develop this skill/technology?

Typical American/Western thinking and logic.

The Russians developed their oil and gas industry, starting with a new theory in the 50s, and placed into practice in the 70s and 80s. This new theory is that "fossil fuels" don't come from decaying dinosaurs or even vegetation. They called their oil/gas theory "abiotic oil". Abiotic means "not derived from living organisms, physical rather than biological."

This theory posits that the Earth naturally and continuously creates oil and gas at sufficient depths below the Earth's surface.

The depths we are looking at are greater than 5,000 feet and sometimes more than 30,000 feet below the Earth's surface. Incidently, the problem with the Deepwater Horizon blow out and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was that they drilled deep in water! Unlike the Russians who deep drill on land, so that if a blow out occurs, the shit that happened with BP doesn't happen! Duh.

Russia or the Soviet Union went basically from zero in the 50s to #1/#2 in the production of oil and gas today.

So who is correct? If you still believe that petroleum comes from dinosaurs, I have some beach front properties to unload in Ukraine. . .

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 9 2022 19:40 utc | 17

london enslaved india with east indies company. 200 years of poverty!!!!

london enslaved usa with blackrock. using offshore tax havens operated!

same tactic of invasion, same bribed politicians, usa politicians have soldout their owncountry for money like traitor scum. a nation lusting for money, no moral values

same inbred families still conquering same ru lands. bring back the tzar and remove the inbreds from history.

Posted by: meow | Jul 9 2022 19:41 utc | 18

Russia may very well get most of what it asks for.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 9 2022 19:11 utc | 13

I suspect more is in the offing now because the decision to go kinetic was partly pre-emptive but also partly presumptive in the sense that RF has finally accepted that US-NATO truly IS 'agreement-incapable.' This means that there is no-one on the other side to negotiate anything with. Therefore they are going to do what they decide is in their best interests and I suspect that this will mean that if the West keeps sponsoring or later actually fighting RF people in any way, shape or form that RF will continue to expand their territory in order to provide further buffer whilst also further weakening a foe.

They didn't want this; they didn't start this; but they will finish it one way or another; and they will finish this in a way that is very beneficial to them and damaging to the agreement-incapable hostiles.

And as long as the West keeps fighting, so long will they remain agreement-incapable. But the longer they fight, the closer to economic collapse they become.

My bet is that the latter is what will happen next; especially since so many Western governments, wittingly or not, seem hell-bent on driving their nations into collapse.

Winter is coming...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 9 2022 19:43 utc | 19

Posted by: bevin

The universal warmongering against Russia, the Russian speaking Ukrainians, Chinese, Syrians, etc. provides ample evidence of the effectiveness of the ability to stimulate obedience to authority. Milgram's experiment has been replicated more than enough times to be recognized as revealing the power of authority at this stage of human development. The popular acceptance for torture at Abu Ghraib, of alleged terrorists, and the decades long incarceration of suspects without trial at Guantanamo demonstrates how effective state authority is at provoking inhumane behavior from its subjects. Excluding national security, the nearly universal acceptance of abusive conditions in America's county jails and state prisons as justice is another indicator of how effective authority is at stimulating violence against persons. Corrections officers and the public not only accept this abuse as a natural response to law breakers, but are easily stimulated to exact and demand even harsher treatment of them.

Posted by: Wilikins | Jul 9 2022 19:45 utc | 20

Pat Lang is a full racist who is still dreaming of Pax-America. He claimed that “culminating” point would start some times in mid-March. 😂
His jealousy and envy made him a mad neocon whose “analysis” is good for entertainment and making him a laughing stock.

Posted by: Kotlin | Jul 9 2022 19:45 utc | 21

There is so much weird stuff about Jonestown. The US congress person, Leo Ryan killed on the tarmac in Guiana. I knew people who had family in the People's Temple in SF. Including some who didn't return.
I once went to the People's Temple compound in Ukiah, CA. They relocated there before moving onto Guiana, if I recall correctly. A friend of mine in high school moved there. His parents bought a place directly next door. It was in 1984 or 1985.
The guy who purchased the property was the chief of police for Ukiah.
It was not a huge compound. No trees, just a barren patch of gated land baking in the California sun. It gets quite hot in Ukiah in the summer. There were two wings I remember with doors locking from the outside and mounts for surveillance cameras on the inside. Quite a strange experience.

Apostolistic Socialism at its best.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 9 2022 20:12 utc | 22

@ 25 - Are we all 666? Uh oh! My first, middle and last name are all 6 letters. Just like Ronald Wilson Reagan. I'm also an Iron Maiden fan!
Thanks for posting one of my favorite Maiden songs!

Here's a tune for the jukebox.

Death in June - Death of the West

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 9 2022 20:20 utc | 23

Thanks for exposing the broader context for the world conflicts b....nicely laid out

In reading through comments here I don't see that broader context grokked very well, if at all....maybe there are different kinds/levels of kool-aid effect.

Society is going to evolve from one in which merit was secondary to birth, marriage and inheritance. In the new society, merit will be dominant and I think that scares the shit out of many semi-kool-aid drinkers.

The West will have an opportunity to develop an evolutionary system of social organization around some form of sharing/social responsibility. Will it rise to the occasion? Not yet I posit. Not enough pain has been felt to bring focus on what is important to be human and part of a species/society, IMO.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 9 2022 20:26 utc | 24

@bevin (1)

You are making stuff up.

Posted by: bjd | Jul 9 2022 20:27 utc | 25

@ Nara

"1. None of the agents who seek to shut the mouths of those who expose facts substantiated by factual evidence, will be able to prevent the truth from surfacing. Those who break "The Saker" portray themselves. We take good note, as you should know."

The Saker is guilty of the same silencing of dissent. Try criticizing one of his resident writers and see what happens. I called out G. Lira as an opportunist whose account of his brush with the SBU didn't pass the smell test, and got censored and accused of an ad-hominem attack, which itself was an ad-hominem attack on me.

The Saker lives in a fantasy world in which Russia returns en mass to the faith which he's so single mindedly devoted to. That blinds him to the obvious reality that Russian youth is doing nothing of the sort, and that they, not the "old believers" are the future of Russia. He may have a grasp of the military situation (although he completely missed the invasion) but he has absolutely no understanding of the current cultural milieu, which while patriotic, is anything BUT religious in its outlook.

I wouldn't waste my time over there. Like they say in the investment world, he's just talking his book.

Posted by: ebear | Jul 9 2022 20:28 utc | 26

Martyanov is adding to the subject on his blog:

Introspective on Clausewitz by Bernhard and Other Business.

Interesting, as you may imagine.

Posted by: HerrHesser | Jul 9 2022 20:37 utc | 27

I'm not quite sure who this Lang fellow is or why he's so important (compared to all the other Colonels out there) as to rate a whole post about his silliness; but it strikes me that if he is symptomatic of US middle-management military officers, it certainly explains their repeated military disasters and political failures since the Vietnam era.

Posted by: KyleKoffler | Jul 9 2022 20:38 utc | 28

Your observation that the only result from continued fighting is the destruction of infrastructure and death of Ukrainians is perhaps the point of the continued fighting. Assuming, from history, this is a CIA operation, they have no connection to the land and no regard for the people. In fact, their history is almost perfect Nihilism.

Normally they're content to rule through their puppet governments. Using this one to rubbish a working country seems clumsy, somehow.

Speaking as an American Tax Mule, I can only shake my head at the waste. Not that weapons are anything but a waste, but filling depots they tend to lower the justification for new.

Posted by: jhill | Jul 9 2022 20:39 utc | 29

"I always imagined to that an alliance would form with the USA, Israel, India, Japan and the Arab powers."
Posted by: Phenix | Jul 9 2022 18:21 utc | 6

In your wet dreams.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jul 9 2022 20:44 utc | 30


I think you are talking nonsense. China will soon be supplied to an even greater extent directly via pipelines from Russia, several pipelines are already in operation or being built as we speak, India has no say in that at all. Nor does India have the right to do anything against vessels in international waters.

India is s spineless opportunist, not unlike Turkey, and everyone knows it...

Posted by: Nico | Jul 9 2022 20:46 utc | 31

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 9 2022 19:40 utc | 19

and, US companies have been in Russia since the 50's assisting with oil extraction. I say that because someone I knew was going there since that time and he was in the oil tools business. The Russians learned all about it.

Posted by: Tard | Jul 9 2022 20:46 utc | 32

I appreciate that running through Clausewitzian analyses of force ratios is obligatory but doesn't Russian control of the air render all of that moot?
My impression is that the UKA cannot concentrate forces for an attack without being hit very hard by planes, missiles, and rockets, often with near zero warning. There was nothing equivalent to such potent stand-off destructive power in Clausewitz' time. Artillery was never fully hidden and could be subjected to counterbattery fire or flanked and charged by cavalry.

I don't go to Lang's site any more because whatever military acumen he displayed in his very useful reading of the Syrian conflict has been buried by his....crude politics since Biden's election. However, during the Syrian conflict it was Russian air power that was crucial. Why can't he carry that over to the Ukraine?

Posted by: dadooronron | Jul 9 2022 20:46 utc | 33

It's difficult, nigh on impossible, to outmanoeuvre the opposition when holed up in fortified trenches, unless of course, the trenches are 360 degrees circular and they can play ringa ringa roses, distracting the enemy.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 20:53 utc | 34

The problem of the western Kool aid drinkers, such as Posen or Davis, or Biden, or Macron or the rest is that, they are not Russians, so cannot think like Putin and his Team.
Posted by: ostro | Jul 9 2022 19:27 utc | 16

That may be true. But the real problem with Kool Aid drinkers is that they don't want to think at all. The people I know who follow the crowd are not necessarily stupid people - they simply don't want to think more than they have to to make a living. Thinking is like exercise. Most of North America is flabby in body and in brain.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jul 9 2022 20:55 utc | 35

In response to Patrick Constantine@15,

A desire for peace doesn't make you a stooge, but there are those who call for peace to preserve as much as possible of the anti-Russian political project. A call for peace which would in fact only serve as a temporary cease-fire in order to rearm and retrain nationalist militias and reorganize the Ukrainian political apparatus to be more effective in propagating US policy, isn't a call for peace at all -- but a call for more war.

This conflict has demonstrated that a Ukrainian soldier may be stationed within the formally recognized borders of his country and still be an invader. Ukrainian troops regularly record videos of themselves complaining that the local population doesn't want them there, and their treatment of the civilian population reflects that -- the streets of Lysichansk, for a recent example, were mined with PFM-1's on retreat. Hardly a threat or speed-bump to LPR forces, but loss of limbs for civilians for years to come.

And still, allied forces have no interest in killing these soldiers. Though they would certainly prefer to take into custody those who had a hand in operations conducted specifically against civilians, in order to put them on trial, Ukrainian troops are consistently given opportunities to retreat from entrenched positions and give up urban areas without a fight. Had the Ukrainian army laid down their arms and refused to fight, that would have been it.

The Ukrainian soldier isn't defending the Ukrainian people, nor the Ukrainian statehood and, least of all, freedom or democracy. None of those things were under threat with the start of the SMO though, obviously, this calculation is intrinsically tied to the level of mutual escalation. The Ukrainian soldier is defending the right of Ukrainian and foreign elites to conduct a culling of Russian Ukrainians using military means, if not himself participating in it, and by doing so is achieving nothing more than compromising the viability of any continuation of the Ukrainian national idea.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jul 9 2022 20:56 utc | 36

SMO is not about territory gains. Russia does not need new territory. It already has much, being the largest country in the world. SMO is about changing ideology — unipolar vs multipolar. As such, inflection point is a more appropriate use.

inflection is a point on a smooth plane curve at which the curvature changes sign. In particular, in the case of the graph of a function, it is a point where the function changes from being concave (concave downward) to convex (concave upward), or vice versa.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jul 9 2022 20:57 utc | 37

Earlier in the conflict I too fell for some of the Kool Aid being served up by western 'experts' and was chewed out here in the MoA forums for it. After taking a break to clear out my mind and then checking a wider variety of sources, it's clear to me that talk of Ukrainian victory is 100% pure copium and detached from reality.

I do maintain that the best case scenario is a negotiated ceasefire and a diplomatic end to this conflict. That ball is in the Ukie/western court and the sooner they face reality, the better. If the west/NATO treats this as an existential war that Russia 'must' lose and escalates by attacking Russia proper, trying to retake Crimea or otherwise widening the conflict that would be really really stupid. I hold out some hope, though not much, that the western public stops accepting its leaders destroying their economies in order to 'punish' Russia.

Posted by: darren price | Jul 9 2022 21:00 utc | 38

Lang is a product of the forever wars and imperial security state. He’s a hypocrite like most reactionaries and neo-confederates. I stopped frequenting his blog when he was championing for the war in Libya and destruction of the most prosperous African state. As a result of this NATO war, the slave markets are now back in North Africa, millions of refugees displaced and Islamist chaos spreading from the Gulf of Guinea all the way to the Sahel. Neo-confederate cretins like Lang love the unitary executive, so long as the Leviathan is unleashed on their opponents and fellow citizens whom they consider to be biologically inferior. After November midterms their new mantra will be Chinagate, Chinagate, Chinagate…

Posted by: Col. Blimp | Jul 9 2022 21:01 utc | 39

The other cool aid story is Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead Riding the bus around USA doing rock concerts and serving cool aid laced with lsd. Drinkers got hallucinated and imagined fantastic visions. Today's cool aid consumers hallucinate military victory and USA dominance.

Dont drink the cool aid. Pat Lang did and has fantastic visions while the society around him collapses. Read The Great Bus Race or Ringolevio for background.

I believe the cool aid metaphor is this version not the Jonestown version.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 9 2022 21:03 utc | 40

Thanks b, quite revealing. As you know, so many former military or defense are often seen on television news offering their opinions. I doubt any have been correct, but it is clearly a big business for them.
however, I am no longer surprised when every politician (excepting very few) lie about everything, from the Exec, judicial and legislative, the defense, intelligence, the list goes on. If they are on the news, it is to lie. What other value could they have to their handlers or the newsroom needing for a story that will sell advertising. There is nothing more important than money to them.
Russia is rather different though. We are now watching their century as they still have the oil and the west (excluding what Canada can frack) does not. This in itself is the only thing anyone really needs to realize first. It's always about oil because it makes the world go round. It stops, the show stops.
But what the west may fear the most? Russia doesn't care about money first. They care about existence. They see party of lunatics, cretins, mumblers, bumblers and grumblers talking about endless war against them.
The west has seen its day and it left a trail of disaster. Many people in the US would prefer living near a volcano or where the earthquakes kill as opposed to being anywhere near the east side of the nation where the insane have a caste system that is about brutality and genocide.

Posted by: Tard | Jul 9 2022 21:04 utc | 41


Yes, that poster's dream coincides with the new axis of evil.
A rogue state alliance, basically the West.

Posted by: Nico | Jul 9 2022 21:04 utc | 42

Posted by: dadooronron | Jul 9 2022 20:46 utc | 33

Yes, I agree with your post. Although the principles espoused by Clausewitz remain sound, the tactics and mechanisms (technology) of war have changed. Not to mention that data underlying certain assumptions (such as the Russians running out of men and materiel) are certainly flawed and based purely on propaganda, not reality. Lang has simply ignored or misread the greater context and allowed himself to rely on questionable data. What we are witnessing a modern day version of numerically inferior musket-armed colonial troops sheering through masses of natives.
Having watched closely the trajectory of Russian affairs since 2014, I expect the Russians to keep going until NATO screams uncle. If NATO "quadruples down" there will be WWIII and we will all lose.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jul 9 2022 21:07 utc | 43

"The popular acceptance for torture at Abu Ghraib"

it was the James Bond and 24H-style TV series and movies that normalized torture.

Posted by: Mathaus | Jul 9 2022 21:15 utc | 44

The unfriendlies in their panic simply forgot that coal, fuel and gas are weapons too. They sanctioned Russia, exactly on them, and now are whining of rising energy prices...much Kool Aid?

Posted by: ostro | Jul 9 2022 21:20 utc | 45

So you share Milgram's pessimistic view of human nature. I take it that you don't think democracy can work and feel that a strong ruler is needed to prevent people from tearing each other to pieces.
I disagree.

bjd@25: "You are making stuff up."
In order to claim credit for my inventions I will need to know what it was that I "made up."

ebear@26 Is The Saker an Old Believer? I didn't think there were any left.

Tard@32 "US companies have been in Russia since the 50's assisting with oil extraction."
I think that Lenin invited one of them- the guy who founded Philips Petroleum?- to Russia in the 20s. He was the first one to break the capital boycott.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 21:26 utc | 46

The PLAN was to collapse Russia's economy and have Putin seek political asylum in Syria or Belarus.

For their troubles, their own economies are collapsing and the most vociferous of western warmongers are facing political upheaval.

All's well that ends well! The soul=searching continues.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 21:27 utc | 47

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 9 2022 19:43 utc | 19:

They didn't want this; they didn't start this; but they will finish it one way or another; and they will finish this in a way that is very beneficial to them and damaging to the agreement-incapable hostiles.

Totally agreed! And this will be marked as the event that changed the geopolitical status quo of the early 21st century in history.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 9 2022 21:32 utc | 48

@ Mathaus 44

Spectre had a dozen chances to kill 007, but they insisted on stringing him up on a pulley/hoist and lowering him into the shark/crocodile pit instead of just slitting his throat.

Due to cutbacks/austerity 007 will now become 07 with no licence to kill.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 21:34 utc | 49

Foreign Enterprise in Russian and Soviet Industry: A Long Term Perspective
John P. McKay The Business History Review Vol. 48, No. 3, Multinational Enterprise (Autumn, 1974), pp. 336-356 (21 pages)
He mentions The International Barnsdall Corporation of New York
In my first post: For Philips read Occidental

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 21:39 utc | 50

stat on thesaker?

Posted by: meow | Jul 9 2022 21:40 utc | 51

BBC in conjunction with Independent Russian NGO’s have tallied the number of deaths and casualties amongst Russian soldiers during the SMO. As of now the numbers for the Russian army is around 4000 deaths. All the numbers from the pentagon, ISW and the UK ministry of defence are nothing but cheap propaganda... Most of the deaths occured during the first phase of the war. Since the change of tactics during the second phase, the rate of casualties dramatically diminished. At this casualty rate of 10:1, the Russians can indefinitely maintain the necessary force posture and achieve their goals of total demilitarization of Ukraine and NATO. No wonder Vladimir Putin was exuding such confidence the other day, telling the United States and it’s European vassals to bring it on.

Posted by: Boss tweet | Jul 9 2022 21:44 utc | 52

What happened to Geoff's comment to which others have replied? I was curious to see what he had to say about Jordan Peterson.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 9 2022 21:54 utc | 53

India has the ability to cut China out of the energy market. China is at the end of that supply chain and it must pass through Indian dominated shipping lanes. I'm waiting for that shoe to finally drop.
Posted by: Phenix | Jul 9 2022 18:21 utc | 6

Nonsense! Russia and China share a land border with increasing numbers of pipelines, bridges, roads, and railroad tracks. Iranian oil could also be delivered to China over land through the Stans. Also, if India tries to mess with China they will deeply regret it.

Posted by: Latin Jack | Jul 9 2022 21:58 utc | 54

The Russians developed their oil and gas industry, starting with a new theory in the 50s, and placed into practice in the 70s and 80s. This new theory is that "fossil fuels" don't come from decaying dinosaurs or even vegetation. They called their oil/gas theory "abiotic oil". Abiotic means "not derived from living organisms, physical rather than biological."

This theory posits that the Earth naturally and continuously creates oil and gas at sufficient depths below the Earth's surface.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 9 2022 19:40 utc | 17

Nonsense! The Abiotic Oil Theory has been thoroughly discredited and no serious scientist believes in it.

Posted by: Latin Jack | Jul 9 2022 22:01 utc | 55

'Several assault groups of the Ukrainian Armed Forces attempted to break through Russian Forces in the area of Zolotarevka from their positions in Grigorovka. As a result of the attack one of the companies of 58 AFU brigade was surrounded' - Southfront

Music to the ears.

This particular battle should be drafted in a booklet (with pics). Would be a bestseller for sure.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 22:03 utc | 56

Your observation that the only result from continued fighting is the destruction of infrastructure and death of Ukrainians is perhaps the point of the continued fighting. Assuming, from history, this is a CIA operation, they have no connection to the land and no regard for the people. In fact, their history is almost perfect Nihilism.

Normally they're content to rule through their puppet governments. Using this one to rubbish a working country seems clumsy, somehow.

Posted by: jhill | Jul 9 2022 20:39 utc | 29

As one American tax mule to another, I can tell you that there is nothing clumsy about it. It may not be smart, but the USA seeks to achieve total global hegemony by controlling or destroying all the other countries in the world. They prefer to control other countries, but if they can't, then they are perfectly content with destroying them. This policy is intentional and systematic and has served the American Empire quite well for a very long time. Their time is running out, though.

Posted by: Latin Jack | Jul 9 2022 22:10 utc | 57

Just wondering as I could not find any...

Is there no bookmaker taking bets about who will win? Usually in England you can bet on anything. Why not on this special operation? Are they afraid of the odds?

Posted by: Olivier | Jul 9 2022 22:13 utc | 58

I find noteworthy that Foreign Affairs, an organ of the New World Order-driven organization the Council on Foreign Relations, would publish an article suggesting that Ukraine and the West seriously consider "finding a diplomatic compromise that ends the fighting." I'm not sure whether this is a prelude to the West's being instructed to pursue that course, a way for the NWO to "cover" itself ("Hey, we said that a sustained fight was a bad idea."), or something else.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 9 2022 22:13 utc | 59

@54 Latin Jack

India & Saudi both know where their future bread will be buttered.

America thought they'd adopted a son with Ukraine, but poetically, will most likely lose their adopted son, Saudi.

MBS is still ignoring Biden, this could spell the end of US hegemony in the region.

Panic Stations USA. Their idea of diplomacy is to request an increase in oil production from OPEC-Iran, while threatening Sanctions if Saudi, UAE, Qatar, Gulf States, invest in the rehabilitation of Syria, while most of them have already reopened Embassies in Damascus.

There's more holes in US policy than an old hooker's pantyhose.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 22:21 utc | 60

Pat Lang wrote articles on BooMan Tribune and was an Iran warmonger …

Iranian Conference on the Holocaust ◊ by Patrick Lang

Repeated the lie on wrong translation propagated by CNN and other western media.

I wrote a rebuttal at the time …

Rhetoric – Pat Lang on Israel and the Iranian Conference ¶ A Rebuttal | Jan 17, 2006 |¶-a-rebuttal-updated/

#Nato Goes Global

Posted by: Oui | Jul 9 2022 22:22 utc | 61

Dr Jeffrey Sachs on Syriana Analysis and his position over the last decade and more.

Pat Lang will never hear the sanity in Jeffrey Sachs voice. But we can.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 9 2022 22:33 utc | 62

lex talionis @ 22

Yea, one of my favorites is John Judge, an early Vietnam war protester and co founder of the Committee on Political Assinations. He did some work on Jonestown and the Kool-Aid story...
The Black Hole of Guyana

I remember those days by the Bay. Jim Jones was deeply tied into the Democrat establishment in Baghdad by the Bay. Very compelling video...
JOHN JUDGE: The Truth About The 1978 Jonestown Massacre-NO CYANIDE DEATHS

The congressman killed was working on legislation to reign in the CIA. He was making big progress. The Hughes-Ryan Amendment to the National Assistance Act of 1974...
The Buried Agenda of Leo Ryan

The Russians may be rewriting Clausewitz with this operation. The Kool-Aid drinkers in the state are deeply entrenched. It is not a swamp it is Mariana Trench type depth. Yankee dollars, free ivy league educations and various other training programs coupled with rewards.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 9 2022 22:38 utc | 63

Is Russia the attacker here? I would say not.

Therefore, the application of the 3:1 metric to their likelihood of success may be inadequate.

Posted by: John | Jul 9 2022 22:39 utc | 64

As discussed by Jacques Baud in a recent interview, the west is doing Ukraine a great disservice even beyond the obvious fight-to-the-last-Ukrainian effort to bleed Russia by hurling untrained Ukrainian troops against it until it has no choice but to surrender because it has no more soldiers. But beyond that is the consideration of what Zelensky might have retained of Ukraine if he had negotiated at the end of the first week of the SMO (as he wanted to do) versus what he could expect to retain now. Russia and the DPR/LPR forces have conquered nearly the entire Southern half of Ukraine, and they would now feel no need to negotiate that away, since they already have it. If Odessa goes, Ukraine will have lost its access to the sea. And if that turns out to be the end state, the west will forget all that shoulder-to-shoulder happy talk, and drop Ukraine like it's hot. I don't know how many times allies and potential allies of the west need to learn this lesson, but for God's sake, learn it now when it is unfolding right in front of you.

Posted by: Mark | Jul 9 2022 22:40 utc | 65

bevin @ 46

The Saker is approximately an Old Believer. They have never gone away. From here I cannot possibly tell you what is hype and what is real but the Old Believer thread appears to remain strong. I said appears. Raskolniks are not going away.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 9 2022 22:40 utc | 66

> "Despite President Putin’s claim on 7 July 2022 that the Russian military has ‘not even started’ its efforts in Ukraine

I am not Putin, and i admit some ambivalence in his words, but still i think London is willfully blind there.

In my perception, Putin did not mean specifically and narrowly military operation in Ukraine, but rather the whole total war West unleashed on Russia.

If to "go bad", Putin was not refering to nuking Kiev, when unscathed London would "cry foul" through all their vassal MSM, no. It was rather that Russia did not yet do a thing to freeze out Uk and EU in winter, but it can.

Why indeed "nuke Kiev" if we can, perhaps, bomb out some UK seaports and seapipes zeroing UK enegry import?

The quoted British line seems ot me deliberately misdirecting readers by channeling all-encompassing Putin's words into some suitable for Western TPTB Procrust's Bed of "war in Ukraine, taken in isolation".

In the end Russia demanded NATO to scale their weapons deployment to the last legal map of 1997 (or was it 1993).
"Nuking Kiev" would not bring it closer.
Whatever Putin hinted at my guts said he referred the global war West pledges on Russia, not a singled out battle at Ukraine.

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 9 2022 22:43 utc | 67

Posted by: Patrick Constantine | Jul 9 2022 19:25 utc | 15
Your concern is mine too: my/our revulsion/hatred for the Empire's despicable, evil actions over the decades makes us lean toward.... Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Syria, Yemen and others in hopes that the Empire will be vanquished. I think it will. But, the deep seated hatred triggered by thousands of dead so-called soldiers will be a force which will inevitably be felt for decades.
I live near where Abe Lincoln lived. I've been comparing him to Putin lately (in my head). The U.S. Civil War triggered massive carnage, lots of civilians eviscerated, raped, burned out, wiped out, more in the South. The victorious North healed and moved on but the South (think: Ukies) did not, many refused to celebrate the 4th of July or wave the U.s. flag when I was a kid in the 60s, which was 100 years after the War. The KKK grew out of that. The current Republican Party has thick threads of the Ku Klux Klan ideology embedded in its stories and political operations. The U.S. Civil War is not over and appears to be ready to break out again.

I support Russia's invasion but I also believe that the reaction will be ongoing, similar to that of southern U.S. states since the U.S. Civil War. I do believe, however, that the Russians are attempting to protect civilians in contrast to many generals in our Civil War. Lots of differences.

Also, if Putin is a war criminal (according to Jeffrey Sachs) then Abe Lincoln is a war criminal. It's subjective but I do believe that the ethical leaders-- Putin, in this case-- of wars must accumulate huge amounts of guilt, sadness and self-doubt over time as more people die. Lincoln did, although I doubt current "leaders" in the West do since they appear to be on the far end of the sociopath scale.

Posted by: migueljose | Jul 9 2022 22:44 utc | 68

Nonsense! The Abiotic Oil Theory has been thoroughly discredited and no serious scientist believes in it.

Posted by: Latin Jack | Jul 9 2022 22:01 utc | 55

Not only that but I'd have to see some documented proof that "Russia" or more accurately Russia's O/C/G industry has embraced the theory of abiotic (non) fossil fuels, which was asserted by the OP to whom you replied.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 9 2022 22:48 utc | 69

Congratulations to Elena Rybakina who won the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship. This after Russians and Belarusians were banned from The All-England Club this year.

According to the UK gutter press there was an uncomfortable moment when Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Prince Wullie's wifey) presented her with the trophy.

Oh yes, she's Russian born playing under Kazakhstani citizenship.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 22:51 utc | 70

@ 70 WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 22:51 utc |

Posted by: crone | Jul 9 2022 23:02 utc | 71

bevin @1--

My good man, Minsk became history with the SMO's advent, its stated goals are demilitarization and denazification, with a heavy implication that the Kiev government would be replaced since many of the laws and constitutional alterations it emplaced must be rescinded for denazification to take hold.

The SMO's wider goal is articulated in the 4 February Joint Declaration by Russia and China and in the actions of the many political-economic groupings formed by China and Russia as well as those they're members of, like ASEAN, BRICS, SCO, EAEU, etc.--even the G-20.

So many ask what will happen after Ukraine. Well, Putin has already told everyone--the Outlaw US Empire's hegemonic system will continue to collapse under the combined weight of its own contradictions and the refusal of the world's nations to conform any longer. Yes, a rump-bloc will likely form, but that too will dissolve because of the Outlaw US Empire's bankruptcy--by the USG's own admission the federal government has a net worth of NEGATIVE $123.5 TRILLION. The dollar is worthless as what stands as collateral for the federal government is NOT the entire nation. I wonder how to go about appraising something like the Olympic National Park, which is an asset. Or Pearl Harbor.

When will the European Kool-Aid drinkers awaken from their stupors? True, a few avoided the punch bowl. It must be admitted that Putin and Lavrov have tried to help Europeans see the error of their ways. Too bad the elite Kool-Aid parties haven't shared their outcomes with Jonestown.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2022 23:03 utc | 72

David Levin #59

I'm not sure whether this is a prelude to the West's being instructed to pursue that course, a way for the NWO to "cover" itself ("Hey, we said that a sustained fight was a bad idea."), or something else.

I guess the mouthpiece for the new world order thinks they can play the old trick of "lets have ceasefire (as we are losing)" then "freeze the border at the ceasefire line (as we are losing)" then continue with the biological weapons development and then deployment and simultaneously accuse the other side of endless violations.

It is a dopes ploy. A useless and repetitive ploy that no longer has any left to fool other than MSM consumers.

Remember the westies have been conditioning us to believe that only evil Russia uses chemical weapons. They have repeated the lie and even gone to absurd heights as in the Skripal/novichok hoax to set that brainwashing deep in people's 'awareness'.

Next they will likely propose 'white helmets' to assist all those poor Ukrainians with 'blood disorders' from the dreadful Russian weapons etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 9 2022 23:03 utc | 73

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 9 2022 20:53 utc | 34

"It's difficult, nigh on impossible, to outmanoeuvre the opposition when holed up in fortified trenches, unless of course, the trenches are 360 degrees circular and they can play ringa ringa roses, distracting the enemy."

Ever hear the story about the Maginot line? That went well for the defence, I hear.

Posted by: IvanTheNotSoTerrible | Jul 9 2022 23:06 utc | 75

I have asked Col. Lang if he was willing to stand in front of a firing-squad, if the Russians won the war. I did not get an answer, hell, he did not even publish my question. He was such a cheerleader for the Ukrainians, it was rather sickening.

Posted by: Rex Lesicka | Jul 9 2022 23:08 utc | 76

Russia is past the “culminating point” of its offensive and is subject to a sudden reversal of fortune.

On the contrary, “NATO-Global West” is past the “culminating point” of their offensive and has been subject to reversal of fortune by Russia’s SMO in Ukraine.

Posted by: Krizantem | Jul 9 2022 23:08 utc | 77

Gonzalo Lira at least has the men in sight, he wants to only end a catasrophe.

Posted by: Rexl | Jul 9 2022 23:10 utc | 78

Tom_Q_Collins @69--

Fifteen years ago or so at The Oil Drum blog we had an excellent discussion about the abiotic oil hypothesis which concluded that oil is finite when it comes to human lifespans, but isn't within the framework of Geologic Time. Earth's only experienced about half its lifetime and will easily replace the depleted oil fields with new ones who knows where as the continents get all jumbled together again and separate again. Will humans be present to harvest this new oil? Perhaps. But I'd bet their ability to generate energy will have moved far beyond the use of hydrocarbons.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2022 23:11 utc | 79

@ Nico 31

Have to second your comments. India being a wild card is laughable. They should not be trusted. They go where the prevailing winds blow with no conviction whatsoever. Just like current Turkey leader, they try to play all sides and in the end when it is time to choose a side they will abandon all their relations and side with their colonial masters. Colony mentality is in the blood I’m afraid.

They only thing India has on its side is its size of population, albeit more than half nonproductive. But posing a threat to Russia, China and Iran is pure fiction.

Posted by: Alpi | Jul 9 2022 23:12 utc | 80

This one's really funny; too bad RT URLs are still blocking comments.

"Kiev blasts calls for oversight of US military aid to Ukraine: Attempting to check where exactly the aid goes would only help Moscow, Ukraine claims"!!!

Kiev has reacted angrily to a call voiced by US Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Ind) to “establish proper oversight” over weapons and aid deliveries to Ukraine. The idea amounts to an attempt to “undermine” existing mechanisms of delivering aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said Saturday.

Spartz’s stance is particularly cynical given the Ukrainian origins of the congresswoman, Nikolenko noted in a Facebook post.

Now here comes the BigLie:

"'The Congresswoman should stop undermining the existing mechanisms of US military assistance to Ukraine. The Ukrainian side is interacting with American partners with maximum openness, providing them full information about the use of technology,' the spokesman said, claiming that 'further bureaucratization' of the process would only help Moscow."

But the humor doesn't end there:

Rep. Spartz sent a stern message to both the US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this week, telling them to take at least “three urgent action items” she believes would help “get the situation under control.” According to Spartz, Biden must “stop playing politics, have a clear strategy and align security assistance with our strategy.” Zelensky should “stop playing politics and theater,” and “start governing” instead “to better support his military and local governments.” The third point, related to establishing an oversight mechanism, has apparently irked Kiev the most.

“Congress has to establish proper oversight of critical infrastructure and delivery of weapons and aid,” Spartz stated.

Establishing an oversight mechanism into how money destined to help would be actually spent had been demanded by US politicians before. Back in May, for instance, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delayed the passage of the behemoth $40 billion Ukraine bill, urging the creation of the oversight mechanism. The aid money would have been better spent at home, Paul argued back then.

“My oath of office is to the US Constitution, not to any foreign nation, and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy,” the Senator said.

Both are Rs and both are 100% correct, although the action of arming Ukraine isn't. Indeed, the entire Ukraine saga since 1945 was wrong and went against genuine US interests.

Well, Rand, you know damn well the US economy is already doomed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2022 23:27 utc | 81

I know a young woman in the US who is from a Russian family descended from the Old Believers that was exiled to Siberia. Smart, witty, kind, pretty. She is married to my nephew.

Posted by: Richard | Jul 9 2022 23:27 utc | 82

karlof1@72 Agreed they had their chance. They had several chances...

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 23:29 utc | 83


situational update, Svetlodarsk-Bahmut area

Trying to decipher wtf is going on from Military Summary guy's updates, with the google-ish maps he shows having no useful elevation lines. Anyway, Looks like he is saying RF just took the heights immediately to the East of (and immediately overlooking) three small towns: Kodema, Zaitseve (the smaller one), and Vesyolay Dolina. All three are side-branches of the valley of the Bahmutka river leading to Bahmut from due South. Also taking Kodema will get to the business of closing the Svetlodarsk pocket.


situational update, Seversk area

Same deal with the no-elevation maps... Grigorivka taken, Seryebryanka next. To me, it looks like actually more peripheral maneuvering will be required for RF to get where the city can be approached from the West. I.e. Verhnokamyanska, and something to get to the West side. Note the water obstacles in Seversk's its Eastern and Southern parts.


Note: it might be necessary to play with the overlays (top right "layers" icon) to get the elevation contour lines to show up

Posted by: ptb | Jul 9 2022 23:31 utc | 84

Pat Lang has his merits, sure, but I don't think he really understands the Russian way. Russians love artillery, I do not know when this fling began, but it started at Operation Bagration, and culminated in the siege of Berlin, when thousands of artillery pieces pummelled the city into submission. It was utterly destroyed. I visited Berlin and East Berlin in 1972, at that time Est Berlin was still a shambles, burnt out buildings, building facades still standing and East Germans trying to buy the Levis I was wearing...
I was at Check Point Charlie on evening at a plateau, the view of East Berlin was just dark, dark.
I as an infantry soldier and officer hate artillery, I suppose i might hate and fear HIMARS or TOS even more, there is hardly any escaping from a barrage, your lungs get turned out. I assure, nothing you want to see, or even be close to.
I in some way understand Russia, Nazism or Fascism is absolutely not in any way tolerated in Russia or in its general peoples, to many dead during WWII (roughly 27 million).
So good on you Russia, make fertilizer of this scum, this pustule on humanity..

Posted by: Den lille abe | Jul 9 2022 23:31 utc | 85

Sorry, but no link for this vital essay either:

"Glenn Diesen: Germany’s developing economic crisis is a fascinating study in self harm: By sanctioning Russia, Germany has destroyed its business model. Now it faces an possible economic catastrophe."

Here's the opening paragraphs that ought to entice the reader to go to RT, find this item , click and read further:

Germany just posted its first monthly trade deficit in three decades, and the head of the German Federation of Trade Unions has warned that key industries in the country may collapse permanently as a result of high energy prices and shortages. The golden era of the European Union’s economic locomotive has already come to an end.

For three decades, the competitiveness of German industries was enhanced by the import of cheap Russian energy, while Europe’s largest country also became a key export market for German technologies and manufactured goods. Over the previous centuries, a key theme of European politics was that the productive power of Germany and the immense resources of Russia could create the main pillar of power on the European continent.

The relationship between Germany and Russia has subsequently always presented a dilemma: A partnership between the two giants would create a challenge to rival powers such as Britain and the US, while German-Russian conflicts have previously turned Central and Eastern Europe into what the British geographer James Fairgrieve referred to as the “crush zone.”

The current NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine demonstrates that this dilemma from the 19th and 20th centuries remains relevant. Although the 21st century presents a key difference in that the world is no longer Europe-centric.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2022 23:34 utc | 86

Brutish British Military Math

A British Army program to train 10,000 Ukrainians the basics of the art of warfare every 120 days has kicked off at military facilities across the UK, Britain's Ministry of Defence announced Saturday.

Repeated reports show 404 suffering the "irretrievable loss" (also known as KIA or "dead") of 40 persons per day. The casualty rate is typically 3 times the KIA rate for another 120 persons a day giving total losses of 160 persons per day.

This total does not include any estimate for a reductions in force due to desertions and captured soldiers. This daily loss rate will increase for three reasons:

1) As b sets out the RF started the SMO with a force disadvantage. 404 fielded am initial force which had been in training since 2014, had been prepped for an attack to recover the Donbass, had already been equipped with NATO weapons and doctrine, and held the advantage of well entrenched prepared positions which gave it a significant defensive advantage.

In contrast, the RF is believed to have launched a hasty pre-emptive attack (the trigger for the attack is believed to be indications of 404 seeking nuclear or biological weapons capability), did not utilize the full complement of its available force but maintained a strong reserve to counter any possible NATO intervention, conducted multiple dispersed attacks to either capture biological warfare sites, or potential nuclear warfare sites / resources, or to precipitate the immediate collapse of the Z regime.

2) The best trained, highest quality, most ideologically disciplined 404 troops were the troops most heavily utilized and therefore these troops suffered the greatest initial losses. When you fill the ranks with conscript women or men aged 18 to 60 with added numbers of disabled, the fighting quality of the force declines and the KIA, wounded, desertion, and captured rates, may all be expected to increase.

3) In WWII some 60% of troop losses were due to artillery. As b mentioned, the RF has significant advantage in this branch and the UAF is unlikely to be able to match this capability.

4) In a few months the weather will turn for the worse. Any winter campaign results in an increased casualty rate due to the effects of General Winter. Winter impairs logistics operations while at the same time imposing increased demands for the transport of food, fuels, clothing, tentage, spare parts and water. Inadequate supplies of these items will also result in an increased casualty rate.

160 losses per day times 120 days results in the estimated loss of 19,200 persons. Training 10,000 persons in the same 120 day period results in a deficiency of 9,200 persons. This is the brutish British military math (BBMM is the NATO acronym). The losses over each 120 day period are greater than the number of newly trained replacements.

The training program has no tactical or strategic effect. It kills, wounds, or incapacitates thousands of Ukrainians. UK Defence Minister Wallace will claim the UK had to kill Ukrainians in order to save them from being killed by evil russkies. Take another sip of kool-aid.

If we suspect the RF is inflating its numbers we can recalculate using a 404 loss rate one half the presumed rate. If we presume a true rate of 20 persons KIA and 60 pther casualties per day (3 x 20) this gives a rate of 80 losses per day x 120 days = 9,600 total losses. The training delivers 10,000 trainees in the same 120 day period. This implies a surplus of 400 persons from every training cycle. In my experience of these matters the surviving 400 replacements are highly likely to be blond conscripts none older than 25.

Is it possible to defeat the RF with an army of young blondes and exhausted service-members? Have another sip of kool-aid while you contemplate an answer.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 9 2022 23:35 utc | 87

He knows, that's not the issue. He's just a "hard-headed guy with some unfortunate views", as they say. For a while, his hate for Obama admin, and for Arabs but especially the fundies, happened to work out so they coincided with Russian interests in Syria. As usual there were so few voices out there willing to say anything other than the MSM-brainwashed nonsense, that he got a much bigger audience than he should have, including not just pro-Russian readers, but also anti-imperialist types who really probably had very little in common with him.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 9 2022 23:39 utc | 88

bevin @83--

Thanks for your reply. However, your reply begs a problematic question: Did they (Ukrainian Leaders) really have a chance? Poroshenko now says he refused to implement Minsk from the time it was signed. Zelensky promised otherwise but followed Porky's policy. IMO, neither had the independence to do anything aside from what they did. Thus, their fate was sealed from 2014 onward.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 9 2022 23:39 utc | 89

I Ukraine, you can buy a working Javelin for $ 2000, I was offered one, they would even post it to me! I am sure the Swedish Customs would want a chat with me though..
Ukraine is finished, mired in corruption, lethargy, Nazism and utter demoralization.
I understand Russia, can't have a dumpster fire on your border, possibly still armed with nuclear tech.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Jul 9 2022 23:39 utc | 90

Can you link to a news article about Poroshenko and Minsk 2?

Posted by: Ringo | Jul 9 2022 23:44 utc | 91

Posted by: Patrick Constantine | Jul 9 2022 19:25 utc | 15

Before you cash your CIA paycheque perform your own recalulation of the BBMM cited above.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 9 2022 23:48 utc | 92

b, a brilliant one.
Thanks as always.

I'm old enough, so I do remember the idiom and where it comes from.

But I immediately think of Bhopal, India. Company A kills thousands of brown people in a country around the world. Company B quietly buys them.

No one is responsible. The game continues. We are all drinking the Kool aid.

Posted by: Parfum | Jul 9 2022 23:55 utc | 93

Reisner and others are too fixated on this being a Conventional Land Forces Engagement.

If this SMO were such with little regards to the Civilians and Civil Infrastructure along with similar Weaponry - those Formulas may be more relevant.

The SMO over Donbass and Areas most likely to Secede/Turn2RUS are_being/will_be diligently and carefully "De-Nazified" with Humanitarian Corridors - while Artillery Cauldron Tactics appear to be in use.

The Totality of Differences in the Sustained Industrial Production (Yours Truly was a Wartime Industrial Production Control Officer for Regional MICs and an Engineering/Production Mgmt Officer at a DoD Plant Office at a Major Aerospace Subcontractor before/during the 1st Gulf War), Air Forces, Close Air Support, Gunships, Drones, Rocket+Barrel Artillery, Air/Sea_Launched Hypersonic/Supersonic/Subsonic_Cruise+Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) - are being Underestimated.

UKR didn't have the Air Force and Long Range Missiles RUS have to begin with, so the Stand-Off Ground+Air+Sea(Guided Missile Cruiser(Air Warfare Coordinator) Sailor in the IRQ-IRN Gulf Warzone Vet here) and Close-In Gunship Missiles have "Destroyed" their Theoretical Model.

We're seeing it happen.

Reisner will probably have to do what his Counterparts in UKR have been doing - something similar to what one of my Buddies did at his After Gunnery Station when the 1MC Announced, "Silkworm (CHN Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile used by the Iranians) Inbound! Brace for Shock!" He told me he just shrunk down, held his helmet, prayed while shitting his pants. Luckily, the Silkworm missed or was shot down.

Those AFU Command Bunker Staff are Sitting Dead Soldiers.

All of UKRaine are under Air Raid Alert nearly Daily; and UKR Forces, Infrastructure, Support Facilities - Everything behind the Lines of Conflict (of Ground Forces) are being Stricken by RUS.

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 10 2022 0:01 utc | 94

Ringo @91--

The most recent public utterance of Poroshenko's words I know of was made by Sergei Lavrov during a recent presser:

"Now Poroshenko has said that he signed the Minsk agreements, not intending to implement them at all. As he said, it was necessary to buy time and get Western weapons to prepare a rematch. This is an objective fact."

There's no dispute that Poroshenko said what Lavrov paraphrased. I believe he made that confession at the end of June and was rather proud of his behavior, having followed his orders so well.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2022 0:13 utc | 95

Actually it was Ken Kesey and his "merry pranksters", not Tim Leary et al who commandeered that LSD bus trip.
Tom Wolfe: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
But Uncle Tungsten- @40, I agree with you that this was the inspiration for "taking the cool-aid". Jonestown was a whole decade after that magic year of 1968 when Wolfe's book was published. And LSD became cyanide.
But take your pick. Where was Pat Lang in '68 I wonder?
Oh and thanks for mentioning "Ringolevio". That book had impact.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jul 10 2022 0:14 utc | 96

In the original Jim Jonesian sense of the phrase, Germany and the EU have drunk the Kool-Aid given to them by the US.

Posted by: Mo22 | Jul 10 2022 0:15 utc | 97

The historic remarks by Putin, some of which b cited, I've excerpted into an article for easy reading and sharing, "Recent Words By Putin That Must Be Repeated and Shared". That Putin's words have zoomed under the radar is crazy--they're historic, much like his headline statement from last April:

"What's happening today? Today, the system of the unipolar world that developed after the collapse of the Soviet Union is being destroyed, that's what is most important. The main thing is not even the tragic events taking place in the Donbas and Ukraine, because this is not the main thing. Much is said that the United States is 'ready to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.' And they say, and we say, in fact, this is how it is. That is the quintessence of the events taking place." [My Emphasis]

I wonder how many more times Putin will say those words until they're finally incorporated into the massive headline they deserve.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10 2022 0:21 utc | 98

Posted by: Latin Jack | Jul 9 2022 22:01 utc | 55

Forget about the scientists. Science is based on scepticism and alternate theories.

No petroleum geologist believes in abiotic oil. They believe in gainfull employment and their employer believes in turning a profit. At $100 million a dry hole no one stays employed drilling abiotic dusters.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 10 2022 0:25 utc | 99

At least through the Trump years, the general tenor of Lang's blog was the Ukraine project was a product of the "Borg" and was not worthy of support. This only changed (and rapidly) when the SMO went hot, and the reality that this was in fact a proxy war - USA vs Russia - sunk in.

Posted by: jayc | Jul 10 2022 0:31 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.