Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 04, 2022

War In Ukraine - U.S. Creeping Towards Ever Deeper Involvement

The number of Republican voters who are against the war in Ukraine has steadily increased. In March only 6% said that the U.S. is doing 'too much' for Ukraine. That number is now 48%. The Republicans in Congress have been pressing the Biden administration to better safeguard the enormous amount of weapon and money it is sending to Kiev:

Following concerns in Congress and accusations by Russia about weapons smuggling, the Biden administration released its blueprint on Thursday for ensuring that the $17 billion in arms it has so far sent to Ukraine were making it to the battlefield — and not the black market.

On October 27, nine months after the U.S. sponsored war started and after $17 billions in weapons and ammo have been send, the U.S. State department published a:

U.S. Plan to Counter Illicit Diversion of Certain Advanced Conventional Weapons in Eastern Europe:

The plan will be a whole-of-government effort implemented broadly across three phases:  now through Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, FY 2024, and beyond FY 2024. It will focus on three lines of effort:

  • Bolstering the ability of security forces in Ukraine and its neighboring states to account for and safeguard their arms and ammunition during transfer, in storage, and when deployed;
  • Strengthening border management and security in Ukraine and its neighboring states; and
  • Building the capacity of security forces, law enforcement officials, and border control agencies in Ukraine and its neighboring states to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of certain advanced conventional weapons.

End-use monitoring (EUM) measures, as traditionally conducted by State, DoD, and Commerce, while different in their scopes and methodologies, are generally designed to mitigate the risk of illicit diversion in peacetime or low-intensity conflict environments, as they normally rely on in-country presence of U.S. government personnel. Conducting EUM in an active war zone such as Ukraine requires different approaches, as the conflict makes it impractical to request the return of equipment from the front lines to depots or other locations where U.S. government personnel can inspect them in a safer environment.

So the U.S. can not really account for the weapons it delivers to Ukraine, says the State Department, but it can teach the Ukrainians how to count and guard them.

Good luck with that.

Three days later the Pentagon claimed that it had started to do what the State Department had called 'impractical'.

US military now doing onsite weapons inspections in Ukraine

A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive, a senior U.S. defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide a military update, would not say where the inspections are taking place or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel can’t do inspections “close to the front lines,” but said they are going where security conditions allow.

The official said there have been several inspections, and they are being done by the U.S. Defense attache and the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation team that is in Kyiv. So far, the official said, Ukrainian officials have been transparent about the weapons’ distribution and are supporting the inspections.

But a day later we are told that in reality nearly zero inspections get done.

U.S. races to track American arms in heat of Ukraine war - WaPo / MSN
U.S. monitors have conducted in-person inspections for only about 10 percent of the 22,000 U.S.-provided weapons sent to Ukraine that require special oversight.

Since late February’s invasion, which prompted the closing of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv for several months, U.S. officials have been able to conduct just two in-person inspections of items requiring enhanced oversight at weapons depots where U.S. arms had been brought in from Poland.

“The conflict creates an imperfect condition for us to have to adjust quickly,” a senior State Department official said. “We want to put some of those resources to working with our allies and partners to mitigate risk however, wherever we can.”

The scramble to adapt oversight rules designed for peacetime has taken on greater importance as the volume of American assistance reaches dizzying levels and congressional scrutiny intensifies.
The Biden administration is trying to highlight a new oversight push to account for any potential leakage from the large flow of U.S. weapons — particularly as congressional Republicans voice growing concerns about aid accountability and the overall volume of assistance to Ukraine.

A day later things apparently look different.

Ukraine live briefing - WaPo

U.S. personnel based at the embassy in Kyiv have for months inspected weapons deliveries at unspecified locations in Ukraine, the Pentagon said Thursday, at sites described as “not near the front lines.” The inspections were standard accountability measures, and there is no evidence of widespread weapons diversion, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. It is unclear whether the United States has detailed its activity to Russia, which has said it would view any U.S. military activity within Ukraine as a provocation.

What is it? Inspections have been done 'for months' but only 'two in-person inspections' were made?

Most likely this is all hogwash. The U.S. is obviously not really interested in monitoring where the weapons it delivers end up. But it now admits that it has boots on the ground in Ukraine though allegedly for a good purpose. But the soldiers sent there to count weapons, which they really don't do, are most likely just a cover for the real forces the U.S. is deploying there:

Very innocuously, the Biden Administration has ‘sensitised’ the world opinion that American troops are indeed present on Ukrainian soil in Russia’s immediate neighbourhood. Washington made a “soft landing” with an unnamed senior Pentagon official making the disclosure to the Associated Press and the Washington Post.

The official gave an ingenious explanation that the US troops “have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure” that Ukraine is “properly accounting” for the Western weapons it received. He claimed that this was part of a broader US campaign, announced last week by the State Department, “meant to make sure that weapons provided to Ukraine don’t end up in the hands of Russian troops, their proxies or other extremist groups.”

In effect, though, President Biden is eating his own word not to have ‘boots on the ground’ in Ukraine under any circumstances.

The U.S. is increasing the temperature that will - in the end - boil the proverbial frog. The frog here being the Russian leadership as well as the U.S. public. It has increased, slowly slowly, the quality and number of weapon systems it delivers to Ukraine. It had also silently pushed more and more of its own soldiers into the country. It now started to do so openly.

The Biden administration is creeping towards a full fledged war with Russia:

Plainly put, wittingly or unwittingly, the US is going up the escalation ladder. So far, the US intervention involved deployment of military advisors to the Ukrainian military command, supply of intelligence in real time, planning and execution of operations against Russian forces and allowing American mercenaries to do the fighting, apart from steady supply of tens of billions of dollars worth weaponry.

The qualitative difference now is that the proxy war may turn into a hot war between the NATO and Russia. The Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said today at a joint board meeting of the Russian and Belarusian defence ministries that the number of NATO forces in Eastern and Central Europe had risen by two and a half times since February and might increase further in the near future.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who still has his connections inside the Pentagon, is warning of this creep towards war :

Today, the Biden White House appears to be considering the use of a multinational force aimed at Russia. The NATO alliance is unable to reach a unanimous decision to intervene militarily in support of Ukraine in its war with Russia. But as signaled recently by David Petraeus, the president and his generals are evaluating their own “coalition of the willing.” The coalition would allegedly consist of primarily, but not exclusively, Polish and Romanian forces, with the U.S. Army at its core, for employment in Ukraine.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO insists that Ukraine’s failure to prevail in its war with Russia would be interpreted as a defeat for NATO. Would heavy losses inflicted on U.S. ground forces in a confrontation with Russian military power not also signal Washington’s defeat? How rapidly could U.S. and allied forces replace their losses? Would severe U.S. losses raise the specter of a U.S. nuclear response? When does support for Ukraine put NATO’s security and survival at risk?
In his fight with Russia, Bonaparte not only badly misjudged his opponent, but he also grossly misjudged his allies. President Biden and his generals should not make the same mistakes in Ukraine.

As the U.S. involves itself more and more into the war so do the Brits. They plotted how to blow up the Kerch bridge, helped with the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines and have been constructing a secret terror army in Ukraine. How many of its SAS troops have been deployed in Ukraine is not publicly known. But we can be sure that some are, likely for 'training' purpose.

This creeping towards more involvement can easily lead to a catastrophic war between superpowers. The best Russia can do to prevent that is to speed up its operations in Ukraine. A fast and decisive defeat of Ukraine's army is the only way to prevent a deeper U.S. involvement.

Posted by b on November 4, 2022 at 15:11 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The U.S. has always been in the centre of the Ukraine conflict. It is only a matter of them taking the mask off.

Posted by: Robert Shule | Nov 4 2022 15:20 utc | 1

Thanks for the posting b and I agree that speeding up the Ukraine effort is what is needed to bring this situation to some form of closure.

Maybe a combination of Russian advances and election upheaval in the US will change the course of US/empire involvement without further escalation.

Back in the beginning of the Russian SMO I expected a much faster executed effort and kept thinking/writing that it would be over quickly...and I was wrong.

I now want the efforts of our civilization war to succeed, how ever long that takes. Having weapons of war consciously distributed around the world is another act of desperation by folks that think they can control the crazy this will cause and benefit from it by maintaining control and maybe even PROFIT!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2022 15:27 utc | 2

"Building the capacity of security forces, law enforcement officials, and border control agencies in Ukraine"

That implies extra Ukrainian man/woman power for border/customs duty? Where will they get them from given the demands of the military for virtually every able bodied person?

Mind you they do sound like good 'corruption generating for appointment' posts.

Posted by: JohninMK | Nov 4 2022 15:30 utc | 3

From Genesis 1:28 to Plan for a New American Century (PNAC) one can draw a direct line, which intersects Pope Alexander VI's 1493 papal bulls and the SCOTUS precedent decision Johnson v. M'Intosh, which cites religious (divine) underpinnings of Doctrine of Discovery and divine right to conquest. Indian law, property law and nation states are all imagined in terms of domination/dominion, or "God's will."

It is not the weaponry of metal and explosives, but the mindset -- over 2,000 years now -- that is the source of this war, and every colonial enterprise looking back, and forward. War is spiritual and mental at bottom.

Posted by: steve kelly | Nov 4 2022 15:36 utc | 4

America's Republicans will support the war against Russia when they control the executive branch of the government.

Posted by: Wilikins | Nov 4 2022 15:37 utc | 5

It's Vietnam all over again. Neil Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie" could be written about now. Just change out the names. Unfortunately, we don't have LBJ to hold fast against his bloodthirstiest advisers crowing for nukes, just a senile segregationist whose biggest accomplishment is inventing student debt.

Posted by: D | Nov 4 2022 15:38 utc | 6

There wont be a fast or decisive defeat of Ukraine. I think after 9 months we know this. Us elections next week will be more significant to this issue. If repubs win both houses which they should, they will most likely go for Brandons head through impeachment. This is good and bad news.

Good news is that repubs will oposse Brandons war even more. Bad is that Biden and Co might do something insane and desperate that will involve US troops in Ukraine to get us into a massive war.

Posted by: Comandante | Nov 4 2022 15:39 utc | 7

A fast and decisive defeat of Ukraine's army is the only way to prevent a deeper U.S. involvement.

This is the wisdom behind Sun Tzu's advice that long wars are perilous and should be avoided.
The notion that "time is on Russia's side" is wrong. Time is on nobody's side, far less on Russia's.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 4 2022 15:42 utc | 8

At some point in time a massive* preemptive strike may start to make sense.

*emphasis on MASSIVE

Posted by: chunga | Nov 4 2022 15:44 utc | 9

I am sure that Russia would quite welcome the opportunity to engage with US directly, given that none of the US weapons have been very effective. The only danger is that a humiliated USA would almost certainly perform the ultimate escalation.

Posted by: Pancho Plail | Nov 4 2022 15:45 utc | 10

Can't account for the weapons?
Or won't account?
Big number accounting seems anathema to the Pentagon people.

Posted by: jpc | Nov 4 2022 15:48 utc | 11

The statement seems like an advertisement to arms dealers. A "going out of business sale" approach. "Act now before we have to raise prices and change locations"

Posted by: Tard | Nov 4 2022 15:49 utc | 12

Speeding up the special military operation is not in the best interests of Russia, because it means more equipment and human losses for Russia and less material and financial losses for NATO. A costly, hurried up Russian military operation to end the war could embolden NATO, which, right now, has still enough resources to hold the line. Victory for Russia can only come from a financially broken down NATO.

Posted by: SG | Nov 4 2022 15:51 utc | 13

Admitting there are boots on the ground could simply provide cover for American bodies streaming hme. “Oops ... those evil Russkies killed our innocent inspectors.”

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Nov 4 2022 16:01 utc | 14

The Brits pushing escalation. This from the Grayzone article

"...Donnelly has worked tirelessly to foment proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Private memos authored by Donnelly and obtained by The Grayzone this October reveal his lust for escalation has only intensified since the Russian military invaded Ukraine in February.
In a September 21st letter to his inner circle, Donnelly fretted that the Biden administration was not wholly committed to total war with Russia. Citing public statements by officials in Washington hoping for a negotiated settlement between Ukraine and Russia, Donnelly declared (see below): “This US position must be challenged, firmly and at once.”
In a separate communique, Donnelly blasted Biden as “so unwise as to beggar belief” for warning the Ukraine conflict could lead to “armageddon.”

...While The Grayzone cannot verify that the Ukrainian attacks on Crimea are the direct handiwork of Donnelly’s team, recent events closely mirror the strategies and tactics outlined in the documents this outlet has obtained. What’s more, the attacks have helped achieve the escalatory objectives pursued by both Donnelly and the British government, which successfully scuttled negotiations between Kiev and Moscow this April.

...The content of his commentaries makes clear Donnelly views the untold billions in weapons shipments flowing to Ukraine by Biden’s decree as insufficient, and that he worries that Biden might soon appease Putin by authorizing negotiations."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2022 16:02 utc | 15

Nice post.

Posted by: muttman | Nov 4 2022 16:03 utc | 16

thanks b... this isn't ending any time soon... nato has been into it since at least 2000, so that is about 22 years of mission creep to its final objective with regard to ukraine, and with regard to isolating russia while keeping germany down... unless some unforeseen event happens, i suspect the nov 8th election isn't going to change anything - might even ramp up more after the repubs get more traction... one has to remember these congress critters are on the side of money, not humanity.. they profess the exact opposite, but such is life..

i agree with @ SG | Nov 4 2022 15:51 utc | 13

this has to go slow to be most effective.. again, unless something radical happens - it can happen here) the best way forward is slowly.. as i see it this is the moment nato has been working towards.. russia is processing it as best they can here.. a slow erosion of confidence in the usa, in the people of germany and europe more generally when they see the price of heat and food are not going down, and etc. etc. - i don't want to say time is on anyone's side here because it is a dangerous set up.. but i can't see the wisdom in going fast either..

Posted by: james | Nov 4 2022 16:04 utc | 17


Posted by: muttman | Nov 4 2022 16:04 utc | 18

I am a bit surprised at people thinking elections in the US really matter. It ought to be obvious that the US is governed by a uniparty. Think of it like the Scottish Football Association. They don’t really care if Celtic or Rangers win the cup just so long as they remain in charge and the money keeps rolling in. Some Celtic and Rangers leaders will be in on the act and will play their part. Ideally to keep it all going you want one side to win some and then the other side to win some. The punters will just tune out if “their” side keeps losing. They’ll even do it if “their” side keeps winning. The Democrats job here is to keep it going until January. Then the Republicans can pull the plug on the grounds that MICIMATT wasn’t funded well enough and needs more cash and weapons and soldiers. And the Democrats can claim (with the backing of the MSM) that “we were winning when we were ejected from office”. And everyone is happy. And rich. And the Dem punters on the streets will buy their tickets to the 2024 rematch. Same as the Repub punters.

Posted by: Guy L’Estrange | Nov 4 2022 16:08 utc | 19

There is a counter argument to be made that by waiting for economic damage to destroy Western support, it will make it less likely there is some insane Western reaction to the upcoming, likely crushing, Russian offensive.

It may be more dangerous to go slow, and it is painful to have it drag out, but the long game is overwhelmingly in Russia's favor. And whatever defers chances of WW3 is hard to argue with.

Posted by: muttman | Nov 4 2022 16:13 utc | 20

There wont be a fast or decisive defeat of Ukraine. I think after 9 months we know this.

Posted by: Comandante | Nov 4 2022 15:39 utc | 7


A little parable on the subject.

Mommy shark and her little one are swimming happily along the shore. After a while the little one gets hungry and asks mommy shark for some food. Mommy Shark advises him to look out for a nice fat swimmer near the beach. But before he eats he should swim in circles around it five times. Each time he should make the circle a little smaller while menacingly showing his little dorsal fin. After the fifth time he can eat it.

The little one is very hungry and his stomach is growling terribly, so he impatiently asks mommy shark if he can eat it right away. Of course you can eat it right away, answers mommy shark, but then you have to eat it with the shit.

Posted by: Nobody | Nov 4 2022 16:14 utc | 21

I was just thinking that this is a way to get weapons into the hands of individual or groups of oligarchs that may be wanting their own "armies" to defend their "property" as feudalism/colonialism morphs into ???? over what period of time.

Humanity can do better than and there seems to be a collective will to do so in the RoW but spewing weapons across the globe to further turn folks against each other may have more ugly potential than has been thought.....another argument for as quick resolution of our civilization war as possible.

The shit show continues until it doesn't and some days it seems closer to over than others.....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 4 2022 16:16 utc | 22

Some random thoughts:
1) Biden voted for every war in his long, undistinguished career. Could it be that he had a financial interest, skimming some of the pot that went to corrupt NATO officials? Could it be that the vigorish made its way back to him, via the Caribbean property he is connected to, and the alleged submarine port it has?
2) Will all that unaccounted-for armament be melted down into plowshares? Or might it return to the stage in a later scene, in a yet-realized conflict? Now that Europe is practically unarmed, how would they defend themselves against angry guys with water pistols, much less weapons once sent to Ukraine?

Posted by: Richard Whitney | Nov 4 2022 16:16 utc | 23

I'm certainly not going to rule out a "Coalition of the Willing" direct intervention especially if the Americans can arrange for the "boots on the ground" to be primarily Polish. If the Russian strikes on the Ukrainian energy grid continue and results in large numbers refugees I would expect various "safe-zone" proposals for Western Ukraine to be floated to justify the intervention.

"Coalition of the Willing" seems like a clear road to full-fledged WWIII to me. What I'm pinning my hopes on is the fact that back in Feb when US/NATO thought Ukraine would fold, they were openly talking about sponsoring a government-in-exile and insurgency-in-Ukraine. If that was an acceptable fallback position for US/NATO then, hopefully it is still an acceptable fallback position now.

Posted by: Mike314159 | Nov 4 2022 16:20 utc | 24

Sun Tzu quotes are rather like bible quotes. One can find verses to support or to contradict one's suppositions.

Here's an apt Sun Tsu quote:

"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight."

In my view, Russia has demonstrated this capability, while NATO has not. NATO fights all the time.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Nov 4 2022 16:21 utc | 25

Guy #19

This is conventional / knowing wisdom, but it seems to me that it does not fit the facts. The monstrous fraud of the last election was hugely risky and expensive. The relentless persecution of Trump likewise.

Posted by: Tim | Nov 4 2022 16:22 utc | 26

As long as US/UK feel they can do all this with impunity, and their personnel are in Ucraine safe and sound, they will continue sending them.

Why was Yavoriv a 'una tantum' attack on Western forces, instead of trying to decimate any Western led effort to interfere in Ucraine? Why are drones (possibly the lowest hanging fruit, being 100% materiel with no human losses) not being targeted even as they relay data that results in dead Russians and attacks on Russians territory?

We can be grateful Putin is a cautious man, but his prudence is also turning out to be his achilles heel, since NATO continually assumes he will not retaliate and pushes against his red lines, which are repeatedly not acted on.

Posted by: Et Tu | Nov 4 2022 16:23 utc | 27

Nobody #21


Posted by: Tim | Nov 4 2022 16:23 utc | 28

Not to worry; If the Re-pugs are called to vote. They will vote yes. Talk is cheap.....

Posted by: Dennis18 | Nov 4 2022 16:25 utc | 29

Look, I know I'll get blocked but I'll put in your comments anyway. No consignment operation that has ever existed, or ever will, on planet Earth has ever sent one damned good or commodity of any type whatsoever anywhere at all without knowing for itself as an absolute fact where it goes. The rest is just a smokescreen.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 4 2022 16:26 utc | 30

The U.S is not just recently "creeping towards ever deeper involvement" in the conflict. It has been in the midst of it from beginning. The question one should ask, as Larry Johnson says is: why is this news coming out now? Please read Larry's take here,

Could it be that the U.S is suffering a huge personell losses on the ground and the administration knows that it can no longer hide the fact that it has boots on the ground all along despite telling the public otherwise? Or perhaps this is all a final act of desperation to force a show-down. Whichever it is, I think the Russians are probably ahead of it.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 4 2022 16:32 utc | 31

Always has been part US foreign policy to create chaos, terror and back-lash. #ForeverWar

The intervention by America in Civil Strife in Afghanistan against the Soviets, the Iraq War and later in Libya and Syria brought millions of AK-47 into a violent war theater and more destruction and deaths. Do US Presidents and U.S. Congress never learn this ugly message? Or is it simply export of American violent gun culture.

Supply of arms to "rebel groups" or "freedom fighters" in Chechnya ... true definition are jihadists who spread terror and chaos, thus the breeding ground for Bin Laden's Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The involvement of Salafism/Wahhabism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups across the world

The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 can be considered as source of arming terror groups, jihadists who traveled from expats to west amongst fears the heavier weapons (Stinger missiles) could end up in the hands of terrorists.

UNIDIR Report 2000 - The Small Arms Problem in Central Asia: Features and Implications

Billions lost in war on terror and in Iraq the Pentagon distributed in excess of a million AK47s.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 4 2022 16:32 utc | 32

Always has been part US foreign policy to create chaos, terror and back-lash. #ForeverWar

The intervention by America in Civil Strife in Afghanistan against the Soviets, the Iraq War and later in Libya and Syria brought millions of AK-47 into a violent war theater and more destruction and deaths. Do US Presidents and U.S. Congress never learn this ugly message? Or is it simply export of American violent gun culture.

Supply of arms to "rebel groups" or "freedom fighters" in Chechnya ... true definition are jihadists who spread terror and chaos, thus the breeding ground for Bin Laden's Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The involvement of Salafism/Wahhabism in the support and supply of arms to rebel groups across the world

The invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979 can be considered as source of arming terror groups, jihadists who traveled from expats to west amongst fears the heavier weapons (Stinger missiles) could end up in the hands of terrorists.

UNIDIR Report 2000 - The Small Arms Problem in Central Asia: Features and Implications

Billions lost in war on terror and in Iraq the Pentagon distributed in excess of a million AK47s.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 4 2022 16:32 utc | 33

>Following concerns in Congress and accusations by Russia about weapons smuggling

Didnt know the Finnish press was Russia

Posted by: Colonel Applewhite | Nov 4 2022 16:35 utc | 34

Perhaps it is time to recognise that US voters have been as ineffectual in reining in their politicians as Germans were after 1933- and just as unification of Germany has led inevitably to WW3 so the only solution is dismemberment of USA

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Nov 4 2022 16:37 utc | 35

The RedBlue Uniparty in USA will do as they are told until the are prevented from doing so. It really IS that simple on the surface. The machination are far more complex and largely hidden. For those not in the USA it is important to understand that there is something like a color revolution being implemented and as such it has dynamics similar to those in inflicted upon nations abroad. Thus controlled chaos and creative destruction are being used and the Hegelian Dialectic is being invoked. This election looks to be shaping up as a firestorm that has not been seen before as accusations and provocations are hurled across what is rapidly becoming a cultural no-man's-land.

Entire generations are being galvanized, and people on a large scale are waking up to the fact that they are being lied to. At some point a critical mass will be reached as the "hardship index" increases. I do not pretend to know exactly what is happening or how it will unfold. But one can observe, analyze and make informed estimations. In regard to Ukraine, there has been a full court press to fly flags and virtue signal, whilst screeching about the evil Putin. This is engineered based on media control and a complete lack of realistic information on part of the citizenry.

Most posters here have been following the battle-space for 8 years at least. This is the exception in the USA, where people are highly opinionated and under-informed. But like the inaccurate representation of covid treatments in the mass media over the course of the past few years getting exposed, so too will the outright lies about Ukraine and the USA's wholesale sponsorship of the conflict there. It is already happening in certain spheres: the state of Missouri is taking the federal officials who manufactured secretive censorship channels to big tech social media corporations to court. They have attempted to avoid making deposition and have been denied that by a judge. They will be dragged there if necessary. Similar investigation are happening in the EU re: Pfizer et al and their false claims.

The point here is that investigations and accountability DO happen and CAN have a significant effect. Yes the system is corrupt, yes people are compromised, and yes a general sense of powerlessness prevails. But like all things in life, hardship and desperation can have a dramatic effect on outcomes. Thousands of corpses can and will serve as a catalyst.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 4 2022 16:39 utc | 36

Et Tu | Nov 4 2022 16:23 utc | 27

Mostly western forces/foreigners on the front lines now. Ukraine had 240 thousand trained military at the start. They are dead maimed or prisoners. Add to that the slaughter of territorial defence units that had no training. Russia losses have been minimal, 6000 or so. That figure comes up a bit with Donbass militia losses but still minimal compared to Ukraine. There will always be areas that can be improved on but achieving that sort of attrition ratio means the Russian military is well equipped and trained.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2022 16:40 utc | 37

@D #6:
It's Vietnam all over again. Neil Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie" could be written about now. Just change out the names.

Posted by: D | Nov 4 2022 15:38 utc | 6

I had exactly the same thought!

Posted by: Maxcrat | Nov 4 2022 16:40 utc | 38

Re Nobody | Nov 4 2022 16:14 utc

LOL, great tale, made my day.

Having the war stretch through winter is good for many reasons, including having cold/unemployed masses revolting against their regimes throughout Europe, destabilizing Europe via de-industrialization and migrations, plus it takes many months for billions of dollars in weapons from all over the world to be delivered, then destroyed by drones. These are weapons that cannot contribute to future wars.

If Russia could have taken over the Ukraine government from day one, they would have been faced with a propagandized and heavily armed, hostile population. Now many of the most extreme fanatics are dead and ordinary people will have had time to reflect on their own regimes. Not only 404ians considering why they are being sent to certain death in a proxy war, but Germans contemplating the USA bombing their pipeline, Germans unemployed due to major industries leaving the country, people everywhere suffering and wondering for what purpose. Maybe the EU dissolves and the USA becomes a pariah and the UN breaks up.

Posted by: PP | Nov 4 2022 16:41 utc | 39

SG @ 13

Victory for Russia can only come from a financially broken down NATO.

If bankruptcy prevented countries from fighting wars WW2 would certainly not have happened, war is how countries get out of bankruptcy and the associated social troubles and the west has been bankrupt since 2008, and arguably since the whole neo-liberal experiment was started with the collapse of Benton Woods, the establishment of the petrodollar, and the idea of recycling "other people's surpluses" - ie global theft, so, at least morally bankrupt since 1971.

Russia has no time to loose, no one does in war, too many built-in failures and clusterfucks, unknowns and black swans.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 4 2022 16:42 utc | 40

The 'slow war' moniker is a result of misplaced emphasis on the Ukraine tactical battlefield.

In actuality, the true war is a strategic contest over physical control of the globes last great stores of natural resources and mineral wealth.

In that context, what timeline represents a quick and decisive victory? 1, 3, 5+ years?

Regardless of particular in theater dynamics, Russia has already won, and will maintain the victor's ability to dictate terms as long as it maintains its *soveirgn authority and territorial integrity*.


As much as i respect the talents and abilities of the professional writers hanging around this space, many continue to expose an essential weakness and lack of ability to think strategically.

Perhaps it's a function of training, habit, experience; to be the witty critic appealing to their respective audience.

And so we get these erudite observations that always seem to miss the true marks, because the truth is they don't understand some very basic components of how the current model actually works.

Once again, energy = output; output = (credit) money; money = govt financing (eg mic)

Russia holds all the energy cards ergo they win. It's really as simple as that, but it's difficult to understand if searching for more complex, intellectually satisfying answers.

The US is targeting Russia to acquire their wealth to drive the credit expansion one final cycle to give cover to the WEF inspired agenda.

If that is erected in sufficient time, the entire edifice of "modern life" can be collapsed to enable a golden age of techo feudal control.

Putin addressed each of these points in his speech. He was absolutely on point in all regards.

Posted by: B9k9 | Nov 4 2022 16:43 utc | 41

Given the tactics we've seen NATO employ for its Ukie Army, would they be altered if US/UK troops were being employed and if so in what way? First IMO, we should look at the Heritage Foundation's appraisal of the US Army:

"The Army as 'Marginal.' The Army’s score remains 'marginal' in the 2023 Index. The Army has fully committed to modernizing its forces for great-power competition, but its programs are still in their development phase, and it will be a few years before they are ready for acquisition and fielding. In other words, the Army is aging faster than it is modernizing. It remains 'weak' in capacity with 62 percent of the force it should have but has significantly increased the force’s readiness, scoring the highest level of 'very strong.' However, with the Army pushing operational training down to the company level, below battalion and brigade, it is unclear how ready its brigades actually are or how effective they would be in combat. The Army has a better sense of what it needs for war against a peer, but funding uncertainties could threaten its ability to realize its goals." [My Emphasis]

Readiness is great, but that doesn't count for shit in combat. IMO, the US Army won't perform any better than the Ukies it sent in to die first. Unmentioned is its AD ability as it will be operating in a theatre without its doctrinal mandate of Air Supremacy, and that means no close air support of any kind. And we know about the Air Forces lack of reliable planes. Let's look at its rating next:

"The Air Force as 'Very Weak.' The USAF’s score has been downgraded from 'weak' in the 2022 Index to 'very weak' in the 2023 Index due to the deepening of previously assessed issues related to aging aircraft and very poor pilot training and retention. The retirement of aircraft is outpacing the introduction of new aircraft, worsening the service’s capacity problem. The shortage of pilots and the dangerously low levels of flying time for the pilots the service does have degrade the ability of the Air Force to generate the amount and quality of combat air power that would be needed to meet wartime requirements. Although it could eventually make its contribution to winning a single major regional contingency (MRC), the time needed to win that battle and the attendant rates of attrition would be much higher than they would be if the service had moved aggressively to increase high-end training and acquire the fifth-generation weapon systems required to dominate such a fight. The USAF would struggle greatly against a peer competitor. [My Emphasis]

Woeful it is and NATOs other air forces aren't much better against the very high-quality Russian Aerospace forces. The USN and its Marines I'll omit as they don't have a role to play in Ukraine. And if you do read about the Marines, the only reason it got higher marks than the Army is because it's reduced its force size by over 30%.

Verdict: Any Outlaw US Empire military forces will meet the same fate as their Ukie cannon fodder by likely being employed piecemeal and without the sort of support Army doctrine calls for. IMO, deploying the US Army to Ukraine would destroy it as a fighting force.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2022 16:44 utc | 42

Re: >>What is it? Inspections have been done 'for months' but only 'two in-person inspections' were made?<<
Doesn't this call for Congress to question Lloyd Austin under oath?

Posted by: Richard Whitney | Nov 4 2022 16:53 utc | 43

After nine month Slow Motion Operation (SMO) the Ukraine Army is stronger and better armed than ever.
Btw Where is general winter?
One target of Slow Motion Operation is/ was that the west will be freezing.
October 2022 marks the warmest October month since records began, according to the latest data from the German Weather Service
Europe set for unusually warm winter

Posted by: Sepp | Nov 4 2022 16:57 utc | 44

Nato must be defeated or abolished or else there will be no peace.

Posted by: Hannibal | Nov 4 2022 16:57 utc | 45

Wilikins | Nov 4 2022 15:37 utc | 5
truth needs to be repeated:

"America's Republicans will support the war against Russia when they control the executive branch of the government."

well, as good business leaders, they full support the MIC. but the elections have nothing to do with providing an alternative, no matter what Marjorie Taylor Green or Nancy Pelosi say. domestic division serves a united foreign policy. the rulers don't even bother to fleece the local sheep any more. just send 'em straight to the abattoir. why bother, when the domestics aren't ever going to interrupt anything? straight to the butcher, w/the American lambs. if the rulers want a fight, they have to go somewhere else. natives are gamblers, blacks are in prison, whites are all drug addicts, and mexicans only make 50 cents on the dollar of white people, and Harvard has to try to keep out the Asians, women are treated like dog shit while people argue about fags. what's the battle in the US? 10% of kids are homeless, 140k people last year drank themselves to death. who is Tom Cotton gonna fight?

the US just announced it's opening another death camp in Rwanda, except it's called Cuba, and ho hum. the good kind of people from Cuba can come to the US and run for governor of Florida. The bad kind of Haitians...not so much. they don't even look like us.

when is Black Friday? I need to remind myself how tough America is, by watching us this year punch and shoot each other over toilet paper intead of tablets and playstations, from our oversized scoot-a-rounds. it'll be like Xbox live Deathcage Match at Walmart, between hordes of diabetic cyborgs in oversized sweatwear, just in time for the baby Jesus that Christians love so much. people getting their "gifts" via Amazon will really feel blessed this year.

why don't they just move the Israeli embassy to Kyiv and then it'll magically be anti-semitic to even talk about what's happening in the former Ukraine? wasn't that part of "plan: colombia" originally, as somebody so helpfully pointed out here recently?

the vietnam analogy is certainly apt, but don't forget the fast and furious curveball that the US threw Mexico in Operation: Braintrust when we dumped all those guns on Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. tens of thousands were murdered. no biggie. the FBI & DEA & the industrialized prison system and etc. is just a white hood over the face of the Ku Klux Klan, ain't it?

on that note, don't forget to blame the Jews this holiday season! Bibi makes it easy, doesn't he? Ain't nuttin' but a yahoo...comin' back to Zion town...? Like with Barak, we'll soon be hearing all about all the "disagreements" between Biden and Bibi. not so much with Boeing, BAE, BP, etc. Happy Hanukkah Bibi! I can't imagine how the story of the Maccabees has any relevance for today other than to teach us how much the west really needs to kick russia's ass once for all. that light still burns bright in our temples, for goddam sure.

anyway, before ending this rant, can I confess how sad I am that the omicron wave of covid didn't destroy N Korea?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Nov 4 2022 17:00 utc | 46

"...The notion that "time is on Russia's side" is wrong. Time is on nobody's side, far less on Russia's..." Arch Bungle@8

This is a conflict of considerable age. And it is a conflict within a much older conflict.
The current struggle dates back to 1917 when imperialist war turned into revolution, a revolution that could only succeed by breaking the bounds within which it became confined, quarantined.
Putin may be a neo-liberal a true believer in markets and convinced by the Harvard/Chicago patter of his inner circle advisors. But he is not a free agent-to survive Russia must pursue the revolutionary course on which it became launched in 1917.
That revolution was against imperialism (among its leaders was MN Roy). It has been going on, taking various forms from wars of national liberation, to national revolutions such as that led by Ataturk or Khomeini, to colonial power transfers, to the Kenyattas and Nehrus of the world, since the 1920s.
We are so focused on europe and the imperial metropolis that we have neglected, in some cases denied, the importance in the transformations in 90% of the world.

But the importance of China and the Communist Party in the current movement is not to be denied or trivialised. Whatever the nature of the seventy odd year history of the People Republic may appear to be, its links with 1917, and 1917's links with the Social Democracy of Europe in an era (pre1914) in which it flourished intellectually and organisationally are of crucial significance.

The social democracy of the age of Kautsky and Luxemburg, Engels and Jaures was in the living tradition of popular radicalism which had always been- in general terms- anti-imperialist. People like Putin, in their glib talk of a 'golden billion' may not understand (though I think that they do and the billion formulation is just demagogy) but the crucial blow to destroy the dying empire will be struck, in conditions largely created by eurasian disdain, by the populace of the imperial metropolis, of western Europe and north America. And it will fall soon.

Then the entire situation will return to the position in 1917. The Empire having been crushed the question of the Capitalist class which underpinned it and developed it will be at the top of the agenda.
Without the Empire and the vast power that imperialism lent them, the capitalists will appear to be an isolated, almost pathetic shadow of their formerly daunting organisation. A lobby with its own interests in the position that China's billionaires find themselves in their dealings with the Communist government.
A new system will be as inevitable as it is historically vital.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2022 17:02 utc | 47

Think Frito Lay,the potato chip guys,
Do they just airdrop tons and tons of chips in somewhere and hope they magically get paid for them, or something?
My guess is, probably not.

Posted by: Josh | Nov 4 2022 17:04 utc | 48

The 48% of Republicans against the war in Ukraine corresponds to about the same number of Republicans that Biden has labeled "domestic terrorists . . . a threat to democracy . . . endorsing violence".

How long before the US does the same thing as Germany (test case for the US?), where it is a criminal offense to support the Russians in Ukraine? See Alina Lipp

Posted by: Perimetr | Nov 4 2022 17:04 utc | 49

I don't even think a decisive victory over Ukrainian forces by Russian forces would see the end of the conflict, as you rightly state Nato cannot be seen to have lost this conflict, that's why an escalation is I'm afraid inevitable, with more and more Nato troops fighting in Ukraine and pushing in the Donbas against Russian DPR and LPR troops, and along with this comes to use of more and more powerful and sophisticated weapons, not to mention air combat.

The only thing that I can see stopping this is that the civilians of Nato countries demonstrate and hurt the warmongering governments at the ballot boxes, but then again, opposition parties that replace them might also continue the conflict.

I know the Labour party in England isn't any different from the current Tory party government when it comes to Ukraine.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Nov 4 2022 17:07 utc | 50

Everything karlof said above @ 41 and more.

USAF is not about to go against S-400. They will not risk it. Absolute zero possibility of NATO doing combined arms in Ukraine. The equipment and troops and transport are just not there.

Only option available is more sabotage and terror ops. There will be lots of those. I may be optimistic but am imagining that even that will soon scrape against bottom of barrel. Plenty of nutcases who will continue to applaud such. Fewer with capability.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 4 2022 17:08 utc | 51

I think both NATO and Russia are pretending that they are not fighting each other. NATO is already heavily involved and becoming more so. They key question for me is what the Russian response will be.

I think that NATO is not a monolithic bloc but a constellation of interests and would require quite an event to invoke article 5. So just maybe the Russian plan is actually to demonstrate the USA/UK/Polish provocations to the rest so that when the SHTF there are real divides in NATO regarding the wisdom of more direct involvement.

I really don't know. But I see very little enthusiam for a war with Russia except in the UK and USA. And even there it appears to be mainly propaganda.

If I was advising the Russians I would be looking at an asymmetric response. My personal choice of target would be the financial system - Wall St and the City. Maybe some ploy around derivatives and the insolvency of various hedge funds and banks etc. But nothing rally kinetic.

And revenge is best taken cold.

Posted by: marcjf | Nov 4 2022 17:10 utc | 52

Posting problems -- testing to see if this will post.

Posted by: OdessaConnected | Nov 4 2022 17:10 utc | 53

The White House today announced a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, which will include air defense systems : Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov.

US allocates additional military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $400 million - Pentagon.
The new package of US military assistance to Ukraine includes 45 T-72 tanks.
New US aid to Ukraine includes 250 M1117 armored personnel carriers, 40 armored boats, 1100 Phoenix Ghost drones.

The Dutch Defense Ministry announced a new package of military assistance to Ukraine for 120 million EUR, which includes tanks and other weapons.
The Dutch Defense Ministry announced a new package of military assistance to Ukraine for 120 million EUR, which includes tanks and other weapons.
The Netherlands, together with the United States and the Czech Republic, will supply Ukraine with heavy military equipment, in particular 90 tanks, as part of a 120 million euro military aid package, the country's defense ministry said in a statement.
“The Netherlands will once again supply Ukraine with heavy military equipment. The total cost of the aid package is 120 million euros, of which 45 million euros are intended for T-72 tanks," the Dutch defense ministry said today.

The EU has already spent $22 billion on Ukraine in 2022, not counting direct military assistance from its member states-Josep Borell

The Swedish Defense Ministry said they do not want to deploy nuclear weapons with NATO membership
Pål Jonson Swedish Defense Minister-"We are not opening the door to nuclear weapons in Sweden".
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto does not support the idea of deploying nuclear weapons in the country after its accession into NATO.

On Friday, November 4, a NATO maritime rapid reaction force group arrived in Finland to participate in naval exercises. This was reported by the press service of the Finnish Ministry of Defense.
Three alliance ships will be moored in the port of Helsinki Hernesaari from 4 to 7 Nov. After that, two-week exercises with the Coastal Fleet, which belongs to the Finnish Navy, will take place in the Gulf of Finland and the northern part of the Baltic Sea.

U.S. Navy nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Bush arrived in Croatia

Reports say the CV-78 USS Gerald Ford will arrive in Portsmouth, UK in the coming days.
The CVN-78 left Nova Scotia on October 28th. LHD-3 USS Kearsarge returned from deployment in the Baltics and North Atlantic in the beginning of October.
Ford is escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hamilton, the cruiser USS Normandy, destroyers USS Ramage, USS McFaul and USS Thomas Hudner, and the auxiliaries USNS Joshua Humpreys and USNS Robert E. Peary.
Allied ships in her substantial strike group include the Dutch Navy frigates HNLMS De Zeven Provincien and Van Amstel, the German frigate FGS Hessen, the Spanish Armada frigate Alvaro de Bazan and the Danish frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes.
Ford brings a nearly-full air wing of F/A-18 Super Hornets, the backbone of the strike fighter fleet.
This will add capability in the European theater, and will complement the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which is operating in the Adriatic. 

"The so-called friends of Ukraine have brought it to the point that the situation in the country has become deadly for Russia, and suicidal for Ukraine itself"
“Poland Has Not Abandoned Its Dreams of Swallowing Parts of Ukraine, as Lvov and Galicia" .The "Bandera leadership" of Ukraine thinks mainly about money hidden in Western banks, without thinking about the consequences of what is happening, Putin said.
“We know about the ideas in some part of the political beau monde in Poland to create a great state from sea to sea. The idea is alive, and the idea of absorbing Ukraine has not gone away! But almost no one knows this."

The civilian population should be evicted from Kherson war zone : Vladimir Putin.
318,000 people have been mobilized in Russia, of which 49,000 are already performing combat missions : Vladimir Putin

Posted by: Melaleuca | Nov 4 2022 17:13 utc | 54

Today is Russia's Day of National Unity. The Kremlin reports:

"Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky on Red Square", which is "the traditional ceremony, timed to coincide with the Day of National Unity celebrated in Russia on November 4, was attended by representatives of public associations, youth and volunteer organizations. The head of state had a brief conversation with them."

The conversational interactions between Putin and the various peoples mentioned above is just what one would expect on such a day given the context. No English transcript is out yet, so interested barflies will need to machine translate the Russian.

Another event will eventually have a full English transcript, Putin's Meeting with historians and representatives of Russia’s traditional religions. Fortunately, the Russian transcript is complete. What follows is part of Putin's address to the historians in the audience:

The history of our country is continuous, a constant stream. We must consider it as a whole, with all the sometimes extremely difficult and even contradictory periods.

For the state, the authorities, society, citizens, objective, complete knowledge about our past is extremely important: both the distant past, and the near, recent. Everything here matters, especially today, which means that there is a growing demand for the work of highly professional historians, scientists, university teachers, school teachers.

At the same time, I would like to stress that it is unacceptable to repeat the mistakes that took place in the Soviet period, when the conclusions of humanitarian scientists were often adjusted to the given templates. Templates are generally bad, but in history they are especially bad.

Something similar is happening now in some countries in the West, where much is determined by the current radical liberal conjuncture. For its sake, key historical events are presented in a completely distorted, inverted form, and the truth is canceled.

Such a deliberately distorted attitude to history, free treatment of it distorts the consciousness of people, blurs values, undermines the support of life. It is known that if someone has a desire to deprive the state of sovereignty, and turn its citizens into vassals, they begin precisely with a reshaping of the history of this country, with depriving people of their roots, dooming them to unconsciousness.

We know that such approaches, unfortunately, work and lead to the tragedy of the people. There have been similar attempts with regard to Russia, and they do not stop, but we have put a solid barrier to them in time and firmly. After all, Russian history and culture are the basis of national identity, our mentality, traditional values, the education of younger generations and, most importantly, the basis of Russian statehood.

Our position on preserving historical memory, and hence our sovereignty, irritates some countries in the West. As a matter of fact, this has been the case for centuries. And today, attempts continue to knock the ground out from under our feet. These attempts, of course, are not able to change the past, they are doomed to failure. It is impossible to deprive the country of the victories achieved by our ancestors.

However, it is a matter of honor for the state, society and, of course, historians to protect our true history and our heroes, and to improve the quality of historical education. I would like to note that students of all universities, not just the humanities, are now studying this subject. It is also important to competently and consistently conduct work on historical education starting with the family, kindergarten and school.

That Russia has seen the importance of mandatory education in history I applaud and hope Russia's instructors can do what Hudson just did and connect the past with the present to show the roots and answer the question of Why studying the past is important. One of b's citations above suggests Napoleon's lessons be heeded and is but one of many examples.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 4 2022 17:15 utc | 55


Lloyd Austin advise Ukrainians to advance on Kherson: "I believe that the Ukrainians are able to take back Kherson"

Powerful shelling of Gorlovka near Donetsk. At 12:25 p.m., the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired 30 rockets from Grad into the city, arrivals directly on residential area. There are victims.

Intel Slava Z. Kherson.

1. The flags of the Russian Federation are still hanging in the city.
2. There are checkpoints outside the city.
3. The units are in position - the front line in the Nikolaev-Krivoy Rog and Nikopol directions has not undergone significant changes.
The enemy continues to periodically probe for opportunities to advance in the area of Sukhanovo and Davydov Brod.
The accumulation of forces in the Nikolaev direction is also noted.

4. Putin today confirmed the need to continue the evacuation of civilians from threatening areas (the threat of fighting and flooding has not gone away).
The shelling of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station continues.
Rockets are unlikely to be able to completely destroy the dam, but some kind of sabotage - very much so.

5. In Kherson itself, a round-the-clock curfew has been introduced since today. We can expect intensification of work on Ukrainian terrorist groups and their accomplices.
— Boris Rozhin

Posted by: Melaleuca | Nov 4 2022 17:15 utc | 56

Oh the elections will matter.

If repubs sweep like they are projected to, Biden will be toast. That's because they want revenge for what dems did to Trump. The US MSM will talk aboutbonoy this and very very little about Ukraine. Its true most republican voters care very little about Ukraine and much less because they see it as Bidens war.

Sure this process will take a year or more. But everything else will grind to a halt.

But also this is plenty of time for catastrophes to happen in Ukraine that could pull US in.

In other words the election will change radically the Ukraine situation. And only a CIA Gulf of Tonkin type of event would pull US totally in.

Just now Taylor Green said in a speech: "If repubs win congress there will be not a dime more swnt to Ukraine"

Posted by: Comandante | Nov 4 2022 17:17 utc | 57

It is certain that the situation will escalate, the West will not tolerate a Russian victory under any circumstances, we have many episodes to see, we are still at the beginning.

Posted by: thanasis | Nov 4 2022 17:18 utc | 58

Now that Europe is practically unarmed, how would they defend themselves against angry guys with water pistols, much less weapons once sent to Ukraine?

Posted by: Richard Whitney | Nov 4 2022 16:16 utc | 23

Standard American thinking. i.e. where is this Europe place anyway? But he does know the full detail on whether Lloyd Austin should be questioned.

Posted by: laguerre | Nov 4 2022 17:19 utc | 59

Are the fall guys being put in place?

The content of his commentaries makes clear Donnelly views the untold billions in weapons shipments flowing to Ukraine by Biden’s decree as insufficient, and that he worries that Biden might soon appease Putin by authorizing negotiations."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2022 16:02 utc | 15

Posted by: jpc | Nov 4 2022 17:21 utc | 60

Do not trust republicans. There is not a single idealogue in the sewer that is the US political establishment.

They may say things to criticize their political opponents but in the end succumb to the lure of malversation.

It's nice to hope that congressional aid would stop in January and the Ukraine army would promptly collapse in a week due to the lack of money. But not count on that.

Further, can anyone imagine people like Pompeo or Pelosi have the US disarm itself in a direct fight with Russia while China watches with popcorn and then happily inherits the place as the world hegemon upon conclusion, especially over the USA?

I can't.

If US goes kinetic with Russia, one can guarantee China will get dragged into it whether China likes it or not. These politicians will go as far as nuking Shanghai as provocation if all else fails. The media will figure something out. Werewolves beneath Shanghai?

And the contemptible over-grown rhesus macaque that is the average NYtimes/CNN beleiver will go along with it.

Heaven help us all.

Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | Nov 4 2022 17:21 utc | 61

Hopefully what's going to happen over the next year will end the questions about accountability regarding the final disposition of weapons sent to Ukraine. Though the timelines are more drawn out, the Russian SMO sort of resembles what happened during the Russo-Finnish winter war. The Russians misjudged the Finns
and were rebuffed in the early stages of the conflict. Western powers (UK and France) were sympathetic to Finland and had plans to send expeditionary forces to help the Finns (with the hidden agenda of cutting off German access to Swedish Iron Ore from mines at Gallivar). However, Stalin regrouped and the Russians came back at the Finns with overwhelming force, resulting in Finnish capitulation and acceptance of Russian terms.
My speculative take on what's going to happen is that the current Russian campaign against Ukraine's power grid is intended to create discomfort for Ukrainians behind the front by rendering power and water supplies uncertain and constrained while also putting urbanites into "food uncertainty" while at the same time avoiding direct violence against people's homes. I would tend to think this might make the current regime less popular with its subjects. At present the Russian campaign against infrastructure is primarily directed against electrical distribution nodes, as opposed to attacks on generating facilities, but that could change as time goes by. At the same time attacks on electrical distribution should impact rail transportation.
During the current front line quasi "sitz krieg" Russia will be augmenting manpower and equipment for larger scale combined arms offensive operations to probably include everything east of the Dnieper and all of the Black Sea coast. Their goal is probably to force an armistice under severe terms which would include total Ukrainian disarmament and exile of its current govt.. maybe a bit like Vichy France.
I tend to think we will see something like this happen by next Summer.
When Russia began its SMO, I thought disruption of power and transportation should be job #1 for Russia, but they probably hoped a show of force would tip the scales in their favor. They should have known better.

Posted by: A.Pols | Nov 4 2022 17:22 utc | 62

bevin | Nov 4 2022 17:02 utc | 46
too optimistic? they are doing everything they can to prevent the clock from being turned back by even a microsecond. flooding the world with weapons, using food, medicine, immigration, etc., as weapons, building vast prison apparatus, destroying any vestiges of social welfare...and threatening to nuke the planet. they didn't destroy those pipelines and have Zelensky ring in the stock market and hand Twitter to Musk and WaPo to Bezos just to see the plan fail.

if you were Hillary, what else in your life would there be to live for except watching Qaddafi getting raped to death in real time or bitch about the decline in Wal Mart stock since Amazon flooded the world? would you try to stop nuclear war so that Chelsea could marry a clone of Bill Clinton, maybe a Trump kid, and both of them become exactly like their parents? yeah, me neither.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Nov 4 2022 17:25 utc | 63

It is certain that the situation will escalate, the West will not tolerate a Russian victory under any circumstances, we have many episodes to see, we are still at the beginning.

Posted by: ConnectionfromGreece | Nov 4 2022 17:26 utc | 64

B9k9 @ 40

The US is targeting Russia to acquire their wealth to drive the credit expansion one final cycle to give cover to the WEF inspired agenda. If that is erected in sufficient time, the entire edifice of "modern life" can be collapsed to enable a golden age of techo feudal control.

I'm not so sure on your time frame, there's the RoW that must be lassoed into the WEF dreams, or eliminated. They are not just going to take their vax, lie down in the street, and die. Starvation might be in the plan, but those that don't die, well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I think what we are seeing is more tactical desperation than grand strategic dreams on the part of the west. Garland Nixon said the three components of neoliberalism are: the economic which is financialization, the military which is neocon, the cultural which is wokeism. Financialization is a Ponzi, the incredible self licking ice cream cone bubble machine, it must be fed constant collateral preferably AAA, or at least "verified" as AAA. Like any Ponzi it needs new money forever chasing after bad. Russia sells its resources the old fashioned way, like a strong sovereign state, via long term two party contracts hence keeping control of their resources and keeping their customers close, happy, and coming back.

Russia's neo-liberal crime is not selling these resources into the USA/UK controlled market directly as a cheap commodity, as a banana republic would, where these products are not revenue in and of themselves, but can be financialized and securitized, leveraged by derivatives (over and over!) and fed into the Ponzi bubble machine where it comes out the ass end 10-40 times more profitable. Such sweet and tasty shit, the apex of 300 years of capitalist predation, such an easy grift that it's even worth going to the brink of nuclear war over.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 4 2022 17:27 utc | 65

meanwhile in europe people are paying the price for these sanctions, and I wonder how the plot to keep Pakistan in the coalition of sheep is going since their attempted assassination of Imran Khan failed? I think Pakistan is a key, turn it back to supporting Russia and China and you make things very difficult for the US and NATO to operate in that whole region.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 4 2022 17:28 utc | 66

From russia's point of view they are engaged in Ukraine for the independence of Russian speaking regions, but as Putin said many times the underlying goal is the end of unipolar order. Given what was said we can assume that Russia's goal in making this a prolonged the conflict is to bait the US into taking action that will destroy the unipolar order. To be successful the US ideology must be defeated, it's economically nose dive, and US should take a major defeat on the battlefield. As far as ideology and economy are concerned we will have a better idea after midterm elections and near the end of winter. But how do you defeat the US on the battlefield if they do not put boots on the ground in significant numbers?

Posted by: ATM | Nov 4 2022 17:28 utc | 67

How fast does collapse happen?

Very slowly, & then all at once.

Winter seems a very good time for Russia to close the deal. EU & UK should be distracted by chaos on home front as the cold hits. The whole of the west is running low on weapons & outsources at least some critical components.

Time will tell.

Posted by: Mary | Nov 4 2022 17:29 utc | 68

The CVN-78 left Nova Scotia on Nov. 1st. Webcam:

Kherson police found a weapons cache

Tough to mount a terrorist attack if the police tracks down the arms. Here’s hoping it continues (and didn’t Russia say something recently about continuing cooperation with Interpol, Ah here it is. No article 5 with policing)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Nov 4 2022 17:30 utc | 69

Re Sun Tzu "Long wars are perilous"
@Arch Bungle 8
IMV this principle relates mainly to the surrounding, external actors.
The longer the business, the higher the level of interference, messing around... by external ill-doers, until they outweigh the original two players and twist the game decisively.
We have been watching this danger growing steadily month after month.

Posted by: lahire | Nov 4 2022 17:37 utc | 70

A "fast and decisive" defeat of the Ukraine army, together with a decapitation strike, should and could have happened in the first weeks but when you play at war you should not be surprised when the monkeys also come out to play.

Posted by: quasi_verbatim | Nov 4 2022 17:38 utc | 71

I certainly agree with the last paragraph. Russia needs to finish this now. By any means possible, short of nukes or dirty bombs.

The U.S. can't help but get involved whenever there is a conflict. In fact, as with the Ukraine, the cause of the conflict.

Those inspectors from the U.S. will not just be counting those weapons. They will be repairing them and providing operational assistance. They may already be doing the later.

I also think that the the war mongers in the U.S. are using propaganda to build a consensus for a first strike nuclear attack on Russia. I'm either censored at certain web sites, or personally attacked where I can still post. These people are full of hatred and out for blood, as long as it is not their own blood. I think the American people are close to supporting such a strike. I've always thought that the U.S. would be the first to use nukes (again).

Posted by: Cesar Jeopardy | Nov 4 2022 17:40 utc | 72

Bevin is right. Without the empire, which is going to be broken and isolated by Russia and China, capitalist classes everywhere will tremble in their boots because they are a very pathetic lot, and workers around the world will suddenly find out that they have truly nothing to lose but their chains. Putin will go down in history, not on the level of Lenin or Mao (the greatest leaders of the unfinished 20th Century), but as the intellectual-warrior who broke the empire's back. We still wait for the revolutionary leaders of the future.

Posted by: Crumb | Nov 4 2022 17:42 utc | 73

Why are you surprised US is pushing more and more? After almost a year of being stuck in Donbass and failing to reach its borders, having the exact same problems a month after mobilization as before, it would be strange for them not to push. They're completely safe and only interested in creating problems. UK has the same logic. Russia can't even react to NS1/2, the bridge, car explosions or the underwater drone attack. "Please don't do it again!!!", "Please don't dirty bomb us!!".
Paralyzed from the government level to the general staff level, barely resisting attacks, not advancing, evacuating more and more civilians. If everyone is leaving, cities are destroyed and there is no progress, why even bother? Syria will soon look like a happy place compared to Ukr.
Everyone who said US will simply put bases in Ukr, like in Syria, was considered troll many months ago. Now more and more people reach the same conclusion. Everyone who said the power grid must be hit, since March-April, was called armchair general or stupid. Now the same people greatly approve the action.

Posted by: rk | Nov 4 2022 17:43 utc | 74

If there are not nationalists in the pentagon that are busy, right now, maneuvering the red button away from the itchy-finger talmudists in the event they can no longer conceal the economic collapse, then we deserve to be nuked and then nuked again for good measure.

I will not blame Putin one iota.

Rather, I will blame those in the west who realized the future would not be so kind to their offspring and so decided to upend the whole card table because they couldn't turn to their pitiful Buffy and Ruberts to tell them that daddy's life was a lie.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 4 2022 17:45 utc | 75

Time is not on Russia's side. Stoltenberg said NATO can't afford to lose this war. There is talk of putting together a coalition of "the willing" to engage in the war (not NATO formally, but a subset of NATO nations). While the opposition continues its march toward a major escalation, Russia seems to me to continue slow rolling as though they have all the time in the world. They still haven't solved the Avdiivka situation even though the Ukrainians in Avdiivka keep shelling Donetsk civilians every single day. And the cat and mouse game over whether Russia will or will not defend Kherson just adds to the PR victories of the West -- something Russia apparently does not understand.

Posted by: OdessaConnected | Nov 4 2022 17:45 utc | 76

The USA is only now disclosing what it has been doing in Ukraine for months. There is nothing new here, other than admission. The admission is required because Americans are getting killed. Americans are operating the HIMARS, the M777, The American counter battery radars, etc... Russia has known this all along, and is going to push forward with its plan no matter what the Americans do.

Posted by: JustTruth | Nov 4 2022 17:48 utc | 77

RF forces have demonstrated that they can reach out and touch whatever they want all over Ukraine. Part of the SMO appear to be a more broad psychological operation, for a diverse audience. For instance putting the pressure on the power grid but not destroying it completely not only demonstrates restraint, it draws attention to the fact that the light remained on for 7 months. It also turns Ukraine from a supplier to a consumer, further stressing the EU who will then be gifted with thousands more refugees. Russias allies and various neutral parties are not falling for all the screeching and virtue signaling. They have got to know by now that this is for all the marbles. In regard to USA boots on the ground, planes in the sky and armor rolling in: inthe words of VVP, go ahead and try.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 4 2022 17:50 utc | 78

The Empire of Lies needs to declare victory and get out. THAT should be the next tune for the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Posted by: Deplorable | Nov 4 2022 17:53 utc | 79

The elections in the US are irrelevant so long as they conform to the Establishment's intentions and expectations. The problem is not that the Establishment prefers one party over the other, but rather that the elections should go according to their plans. There are political narratives that the Establishment tries to coordinate and reinforce through narratives in entertainment media, but some big budget entertainment media takes years in the production pipeline before it is ready for public consumption.

Another problem is that wars and color revolution preparations tend to require the appearance of political stability in the imperial center. As well, the Establishment has specific individuals in mind to play particular roles in these wars and foreign interventions.

As a consequence, if elections do not go as expected then the Establishment is thrown off balance and all of the other plans go astray. The Trump victory in 2016 was a perfect example of this. The Establishment was prepared to use Clinton to sell the war in the Ukraine. Even though Trump was entirely pro-empire, the audience had not been properly conditioned to embrace him as a wartime Commander in Chief as they were with Clinton. The war in the Ukraine had to be put on hold.

Even more damaging domestically, the big budget entertainment media was tuned to accompany the historic election of the First woman PotUS. 2016 was to kick off a massive multimedia "Her turn!" narrative blitz that would inoculate the empire's Executive Branch against any criticism and give the Establishment a blank check for global ultraviolence. Trump's win triggered instant dissonance with all of the planned mass media entertainment releases that accompanied the elections. The carefully prepared entertainment narratives ended up precisely 180 degrees out of sync with the political reality. This resulted in a "Get woke, go broke" cascade of narrative failures that continues to this day. The mass media dropped the reins and lost control of the narrative stream for at least half the population. They have been scrambling to regain control ever since.

The elections are not important because of any individual politicians' professed policies. Elections are important to the Establishment because they are a key thread in a narrative tapestry that is used to control the population's perceptions. When that thread is broken the tapestry begins to unravel.

It is critically important to the Establishment that the Democrats are seen to win next week. While the Republicans won't oppose the US proxy war in the Ukraine being turned into a hot war, they very fact of their win will generate and reinforce an unintended counter-narrative that the American people are opposed to war. With an "Overton Window" kind of effect, that unintended counter-narrative would validate anti war sentiments in the population, and that would undo all of the $billions in social media bot and troll work astroturfing the narrative that all good people support the war. That in itself cannot stop the war, but it will generate a headwind against efforts to expand the war.

It is a complex topic, and the idea that the elections are at one and the same time important and irrelevant is bound to confuse some readers. I guess to boil it down to one sentence, who wins is less important than what the election results tell the public about themselves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 4 2022 17:54 utc | 80

Billions lost in war on terror and in Iraq the Pentagon distributed in excess of a million AK47s.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 4 2022 16:32 utc | 32

You mean: 'billions MADE in war on terror....' no?

Posted by: Scorpion | Nov 4 2022 17:55 utc | 81

Finland has the most totalitarian control of the media in Europe. I was thus surprised when the Finnish state propaganda organ YLE revealed that weapons from Ukraine were reaching the hands of Finnish criminals.

NBI suspects arms sent to Ukraine might be in criminal hands

Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it has received preliminary information that criminals in Finland might have captured military arms, such as assault rifles, meant for Ukrainian forces.

"Weapons shipped [by various countries] to Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands," NBI Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren told Yle.

The routes and contacts for trafficking illegal weapons from Ukraine to Finland are, however, already in place, according to Ahlgren.

"Three of the world's largest motorcycle gangs—that are part of larger international organisations—are active in Finland. One of these is Bandidos MC, which has a unit in every major Ukrainian city," he explained. "We know that contacts and routes are being warmed up, so that they're in place."

Since the war in Yugoslavia, Balkan countries have dealt with illegal arms trafficking.

"Ukraine has received a large volume of weapons and that's good, but we're going to be dealing with these arms for decades and pay the price here," Ahlgren said.

The story got an angry reply from Ukraine, stating that the news was just Russian propaganda. The Finnish NBI ("FBI") then had to formally disown the story:

NBI has no evidence on donated weapons delivered to Finland

The NBI considers that the perception, based on the interview, that weapons donated to Ukraine are being trafficked to members of organised crime in Finland, is not accurate. The police have no evidence showing that donated weapons would have been smuggled from Ukraine to Finland.

The Finnish public broadcaster YLE is known as an outlet for US propaganda. I get the impression, that the weapons story was intentionally planted to cause an international outcry. This was ostensibly done in preparation of getting US boots on the ground in Ukraine.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Nov 4 2022 17:58 utc | 82

OdessaConnected | Nov 4 2022 17:45 utc | 75

"slow is best" is actually the only option they seem to have. Their entire strategy, from the first day, was to hope the enemy will surrender. Even today they simply don't have enough people and not even one general to liberate the four regions. It's so funny people talk about Odessa. Keep dreaming

Posted by: rk | Nov 4 2022 18:00 utc | 83

The west isn't running of weapons, just artillery and short range rockets, the stuff that hasn't been replenished since the end of the cold war when the fear of the huge Soviet army in central Europe dissipated. Since 1991 NATO's been all about Rumsfeld's lean, fast, shock and awe military to fight multiple actions in the third world (+ Serbia) based on few troops and lots and lots of bombing. While the west might be out of the weapons needed for the unexpected static trench warfare they are now caught in (unexpected for the Russians too) I would bet they still have a whole ton of the shock and awe stuff ready in the wings. The collective west has a couple thousand jets that could well challenge the airspace over Ukraine with.

My guess is they are now sending overt USA troops itching for a direct heavyweight firefight with the Russians when they can declare "broken arrow" and bring in the USA/NATO air force and their latest anti-air systems and challenge and take over the RF no-fly zone. Will NATO loose a lot of jets? Yup, but that's what they're for and they have plenty.

USA DoD has been dreaming for this moment for 75 years. You know the US Air-force is chomping at the bit to test their jets and pilots against the RF jets and pilots.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 4 2022 18:01 utc | 84

oldhippie | Nov 4 2022 17:08 utc | 50
“……The equipment and troops and transport are just not there”
Every week there’s an announcement of more “toys” being added to the war “game”.
The U$ isn’t doing a massive noisy mobilisation…. They just keep adding a new “piece” each week.
It’s spread across a dozen or more countries… of course Poland, Romania and Germany… but also small chihuahuas like Lithuania and Estonia, Slovakia, Czechia and Bulgaria and Spain and Portugal are getting crammed full of equipment.
The build up is not being announced and ballyhooed…. But it’s happening.
I wish someone better than me at tracking and collating was taking note.

These were the surveillance planes today over Romania Moldova and the Black Sea…
USAF RC135W Rivet Joint JAKE11
-RAF RC135W Rivet Joint RRR7204
-Italian Air Force G550 AEW PERSE071
-RAF Typhoon ZK351
-RAF Typhoon ZK430

And there was a border incident with Belarus.
NAT001 - a Luxembourg Boeing E-3a Sentry was overheard at the time..
Telegram: “The Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus said that Belarusian border guards intercepted a Ukrainian drone used for training in dropping explosive devices”.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Nov 4 2022 18:01 utc | 85

There shall be no revolt on EU streets.
Look at Ukraine, no mothers or wives are protesting.
They want to fight.
They are eager to kill Russians.
The collective west is like a tiger smelling blood.
They all see that Russia is shamefully weak.
Only use of nuclear weapons can gain some respect to Russia.

Posted by: marko | Nov 4 2022 18:04 utc | 86

@72 crumb

I envision a military coup over a people's revolution. Then, they will reinstall Trump. Seems to me the only path out of this. The task will then remain how to convince a population of 300+ million that their lives will be relatively dreadful for the next decade as a peaceful economic reorganization would need to take place.

The strong in the U.S., that is to say those that are witnessing in horror the debasement and corruption of its media, its academic world, and corporate culture, have a lot of guns and a ton of pent-up rage for the Fed.

Any whiff of the military being in service to the internationalists will be immediately identified and be seen as domestic terrorism. The national guard will be a very important element in what is to transpire. I just don't see the effiminate left being able to inspire any kind of trust in yet more government control/centralization.

I don't portend to know exactly what will happen as essentially what that would mean would be the first inkling of genuine questioning to return to the American Dasein and where we will finally be able to see that we are dangling over an abyss.

Communism is still not the answer, however. History has already sublated this.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 4 2022 18:11 utc | 87

Yes it is "impractical" for US people to count military supplies in some warehouse in the Ukraine knowing your ass could be blown to smithereens by some Russian missile at any time.

Posted by: Lou Cypher | Nov 4 2022 18:16 utc | 88

It would not surprise me if some "10% for the Big Guy" scheme was going on around the ultimate destination of weapons.

Posted by: dpy | Nov 4 2022 18:17 utc | 89

Here’s a blast from the past…. And a reminder of how US foreign policy has blowback
HRC @ SoS:
1min21sec history lesson of why the US funded and partnered with the muhjadeen
Caused collapse of the Soviet Union …. good investment, but we harvest what we sow.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Nov 4 2022 18:17 utc | 90

@Comandante | Nov 4 2022 17:17 utc | 56

Just now Taylor Green said in a speech: "If repubs win congress there will be not a dime more swnt to Ukraine"
And you straight out believe this?

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 4 2022 18:22 utc | 91

Another blast from the past, hopefully not apropos:

A song entitled: 'we will all go together when we go.'

One way to achieve unity in these fractured and fracturing times...

Posted by: Scorpion | Nov 4 2022 18:29 utc | 92

marko @ 85

There shall be no revolt on EU streets.

You are correct. Countries, economies and people are extremly resilient, if the people of Germany and Japan didn't rise up and overthrow their leaders in the horrifying* last six months of WW2 I doubt people in Italy will overthrow their government because pasta is 50% more a box. The west is approaching collapse because capitalism is approaching the collapse Marx wrote about. I know Lenin said "There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen" but he was being poetic. Historical processes are slow, there are no revolutionary leaders and organizations anywhere in the west, collapse is not going to be soon, it's not around the corner, it's not by spring. So, Russia needs to fight like its existence is at stake and not concentrate on hybrid plans and abstract strategies and other magical thinking. If they want to hurry the west's collapse they need to march on Berlin again - that's facetious (but true).

* Recommended, saddest film ever made: Grave of the Fireflies

NemesisCalling @ 86

The USA is not going to have a coup. They already had one with JFK. The democracy has been replaced with kayfabe ever since, any coup would destroy the democratic myth that perpetuates and holds the whole show together. Even if there is a "coup" it'll be part of the kayfabe, as the January 6th cartoon event was, but they don't need one, fundamentally people in USA are all about my country right or wrong.

As for revolution? It won't be televised.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 4 2022 18:35 utc | 93

Its become crystal clear to me that while Russian soldiers are very capable, have good hardware and operators, their command and control is completely impotent. Someone in there is saying dont hit this, dont hit that, dont touch them, dont defend this, dont push there. Demilitarization is not happening, equipment and manpower keeps getting replaced. Denazification is not happening, thats out the window when you trade 55 Russians with one oligarch in the mix for 225 Ukrainians including 5 Azov commanders, 108 Azov soldiers and prisoners who were already sentenced to death making your justice system look like a complete farce. Liberating Donbas is not happening, this is the most ridiculous part of it all that Ukrainian nazis are still shelling Donetsk. You mean to tell me that for 8 months Russians cannot push Ukrainians away enough so their artillery doesnt reach Donetsk? Weak. Now how did they get rolled over in Kharkov giving up cities in days that were fought over for weeks? Weak is an understatement. Russia proper is getting hit, Russian journalist blown up in Moscow, Russian pipelines go boom, Russian bridges go boom, Russian fleet goes boom. Dont get me wrong Ukraine is an anvil and Russian hammer is pounding away, i dont give a shit if Ukraine gets leveled. Im looking at this and what i see is USA winning big, they havent won this big in a looong time. For 10% of annual military budget USA has been bleeding Russia for almost a year. All these billions sound big until you realize that USA over 800bn military budget, Ukraine packages are cheap as chips. So the EU is going down with Ukraine that must mean Russia is winning right? Sure, but it means USA is winning too they want EU to separate from Russia and collapse. You see USA is a global acting power with chronic superiority complex, Russia is regional reactive power with chronic inferiority complex. Thats why USA can do direct damage to Russia through its proxies but Russia cant do direct damage to USA in any way shape or form. USA doesnt need to evacuate its cities because the Russians are shelling, thats not even a possibility.

Posted by: experienced | Nov 4 2022 18:37 utc | 94

jpc | Nov 4 2022 17:21 utc | 59

From the Ukraine telegram channels, MI6 seems to control Zelensky rather than the CIA but they are saying Biden wants a win at Kherson for the mid term election but also want him to start negotiations with Russia. My thought is the Americans can see that when the ground freezes, Russia's mobilized forces will be fully trained and its game over. Negotiations might be either a stalling tactic to prevent the coming Russia offensive or that US wants to shut things down in Ukraine so it can turn on China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 4 2022 18:39 utc | 95

"...the idea that the elections are at one and the same time important and irrelevant is bound to confuse some readers. I guess to boil it down to one sentence, who wins is less important than what the election results tell the public about themselves..." William Gruff@79

I agree. One aspect of the elections which is rarely discussed, perhaps because it detracts from the horse race, is the turnout.
If we begin with population statistics and infer eligible voters we generally find that less than 50% of those eligible actually bother to vote. Many don't bother to register either. And, of course, in many states large numbers are not allowed to vote or prevented from doing so.
Given that most Americans are awake enough to understand that the party system is a joke- it is said that more than half the electorate would like a third party- the credibility of elections is lower than it has ever been, even in the Jim Crow era with white primaries.
The elected Emperor is very close to being undressed. In the case of the current butt of humour-billionaire Joe Biden- and at risk of scaring anyone, what he is is quite evident.
What next week's vote will signal is the beginning of the primary season.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 4 2022 18:40 utc | 96

Oh dear, trolls like Marko and RK seeping back in... There may not be any ammunition left for the Oerlikon guns, but they sure still have lots of silly comments available...

Posted by: Anthony | Nov 4 2022 18:40 utc | 97

Tons and tons of disinfo in the comments. No, US and the West are not escalating. They are doing what they always do: talking. Sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

Posted by: veto | Nov 4 2022 18:59 utc | 98

Tend to agree with the first post that this is just a sequential "taking off the mask" moment for US. This alone seems to be mainly aimed at "boosting" UAF morale but also necessary due to stories of US casualties reaching home.

Per se, the more US announces its involvement, the more legitimacy Russia has to expand mobilization - not for Ukraine, but anticipating that Nato does some moves.

Meanwhile, US is having series troubles finding (Soviet) tanks to send to Ukraine and UAF is degrading every day at much higher rate than RUAF.

Posted by: unimperator | Nov 4 2022 19:01 utc | 99

Even if there is a "coup" it'll be part of the kayfabe, as the January 6th cartoon event was, but they don't need one, fundamentally people in USA are all about my country right or wrong. As for revolution? It won't be televised.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Nov 4 2022 18:35 utc | 92

There is no cultural, political or spiritual basis for a righteous revolution (unless MAGA can at least double its current numbers which is highly unlikely). The country is broken, basically, and has been for quite some time. So what is more likely is either more outright tyranny or breakup. The latter would be by far the best outcome. It could even be fun.

Everything that comes together at some point falls apart but at this point there is no more coming together in the States, no more Union, so even something like a 5th Article Convention wouldn't work: impossible to agree on a few key points and even if they could it wouldn't matter unless they effect the take-down of the entire federal government, so it would be a waste of time and effort, leading to yet further disappointment. Nope. Time to break 'er up.

It's so blindingly obvious that nobody is talking about it anywhere!

Posted by: Scorpion | Nov 4 2022 19:04 utc | 100

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