I didn't really take a "pause" in my commentary on Flynn's situation nor did I "delay" this commentary. I indulge myself in posting on sites such as Unz Review and, sometimes, at the Moon Of Alabama. My commentaries are available there, especially in both Saker's threads on this issue. But before I proceed with commenting on an extremely interesting piece by Phil Giraldi, I want to remind those who read this little blog of mine what I wrote on Trump's Inauguration Day:
I am a realist and I do not hope for too much. But we may finally exhale understanding that US and Russia, while not becoming friends in any meaningful way, may actually not get embroiled in a global conflict. That is already a huge tangible, the rest could be discussed and settled on something which may actually work.
I wrote this on the run, so I apologize for possible errors and misinterpretations. I will repeat again--nothing is settled yet and the whole Flynn's affair is merely a starting point in a conflict between President Trump and whole...if you are not sitting--sit...current US political system. I will repeat myself: Trump's sacrificing Flynn was what in chess is known as the exchange of a major figure for a tempo. US political system, the proverbial US "democracy" or "Republic" is a "Deep State", not just some US "intelligence" (the quotation marks are deliberate) community. Phil Giraldi, himself a former CIA officer, wrote today an extremely interesting piece in TAC. It is not the fact that Giraldi is correct in identifying the underlying cause for Flynn's affair as anti-Russian mood in US political class--for anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the world this is not a news. This is not what struck me in Giraldi's piece. I quote the most crucial part, I highlighted what matters in yellow:
"Everyone who matters in the United States is now rushing to demonize Russia, even though Moscow was pretty much a passive player in what happened and has subsequently developed. The narrative that Moscow somehow influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. election has not completely gone away, largely fueled by Democratic Party rage over the final result even though no hard evidence has ever been produced to support the allegations regarding Putin’s interference. Some senators, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have always been prepared to respond dramatically to Russian initiatives. And the media has been on an anti-Putin binge ever since the fighting over Georgia in 2008. Quite a lot of what is now taking place is feeding off of a shift in perception in Washington. Russia is no longer seen as an adversary or competitor but as an enemy. This was clear in the Hillary Clinton campaign’s insistence on punishing Moscow, and it resonates in most mainstream-media coverage of any and all developments in Russia.
Some suggest that the intelligence community is also on board with this sentiment, though that is often dismissively attributed to a desire for larger budgets and increased turf in Washington. But my own recent encounters with intelligence officers of the current generation has led me to believe something quite different—that many people in the IC really have come to believe that Russia is a major and very active threat against the United States, just like in the old days with the Soviet Union. I assume they have come to that conclusion through their understanding of developments in Syria and Ukraine, but I nevertheless fail to understand how they have adopted that point of view given the real limitations on Russian power. Whatever the reason, they believe in their Russophobia passionately, and I have discovered that arguing with those who are fixated on Moscow as the fons et origo of global chaos is futile".
So, let us start with making some very important notes here:
1. There is no doubt that the pitch of Russophobia in D.C. is feverish, in fact--it is full blown anti-Russian hysteria. That goes BEYOND mere consideration of Russia as an "enemy". History knows many occasions when even an enemy was afforded a degree of respect, this is not the case in US vs. Russia, emphasis on US. Russians do respect American people and this respect does manifest itself even in Russian media. Why such an anti-Russian hysteria? If to throw away a classic West's racial hatred towards "dirty Slavs", Russia being the largest Slavic country, it is, as I said many times, the fact of Russia:
a) Never being conquered by combined "West". In fact the
combined "West" had its ass handed to it on a number of
b) Ability of Russia to generate serious spiritual, social and
alternatives, such as it is happening now.
These are good enough reasons to hate Russia but I may add here another factor, which is one of the major factors behind the existence of this blog--West is supremely ignorant of Russia. It doesn't understand Russia and this fact makes it mad. But "West" can not help it.
2. Now we come to 2008 Georgia. I will omit here today what many in Russia knew all along, that Saakashvili's military adventurism was coordinated with McCain and served as a a last ditch attempt to boost terrorist US Senator before US presidential elections with "We are all Georgians now". There were many, including supposedly "top" US military "analysts" (not to mention all kind of Russia's domestic clowns such as Pavel Falgenhauer), who thought that NATO trained and partially NATO and Israel equipped Georgian Army would have no problem dealing with those primitive obsolete Russkies. The speed with which elements (not even the whole) of Russia's 58th Army demolished "westernized" Georgian Armed Forces sent many in D.C. and European capitals into shock. And here is a very interesting point which has to be made: contemporary "West" and especially the United States (I am talking about governments, of course), while claiming a European cultural heritage remain, especially in the US, very Asiatic in their approaches to the foreign policy--no surprise when one considers a dominance of neocon Jews in US institutions responsible for formulation and implementation of the foreign policy. Any attempts on peaceful resolution of the conflict are viewed as weakness, which has to be exploited--a feature very characteristic of tribal people. Well, US' Georgian puppet exploited it, all right. The outcome of this whole operation didn't sit well with many in D.C. and the main reason, as always, was the fact that they miscalculated. But I wrote about this from the inception of this blog--US' "elites" continue to live in the permanent Chalabi Moment.
US political class, much of which is very badly educated, concocted for itself a parallel universe of pleasant narratives, The End Of History anyone, which, granted a general propensity of the US for messianic views, doesn't sit well with such very easily understood truisms, which create a very tense reactions even among US "elite" people who want to try to understand the outside world. Some of those many truisms as related to Russia are:
a) Russia's history is much longer than that of the US, in fact--the combined time Russia spent fighting wars (and invasions) is much longer than US history. That is a fact to consider.
b) Russia's military history, experience and the scale of wars she fought dwarf anything United States ever encountered, with the exception of magnificent naval battles US Navy fought in the Pacific in WW II. But bringing up the issues of contributions and costs in any serious conflict creates a very defensive reaction, at best, a hysterical one at worst. Yet, the simple historical fact that Russia throughout her history destroyed every single West's (I omit here other, non-Western, invasions) invasion, from Teutonic Knights in 1242 to Polish occupiers, to Napoleon to Hitler was somehow lost on those who thought that it was US who defeated Hitler, and won WW I, WW II and, of course, "won" the Cold War.
Nobody likes to be proven wrong, but considering general lack of culture among neocons-neolibs-interventionists, the only reaction they know is to blame someone, not their own ignorance and incompetence. Russia's actions on 08-08-08 paraded them as complete hacks and it was never forgiven. Nothing is culturally European here, don't you agree? Where is here this wonderful ancient Greek self-deprecating and self-irony, where is admission of mistakes and learning from them which is in the foundation of Western rationality? Not a trace of it--just Asiatic hatred for those who dared to expose the true face of someone, with all of its stupidity and weakness. In fact, modern American political discourse is all about appearances, not substance--an American oligarchy's Kabuki Theater. The substance is long gone, that is why Trump is also hated so passionately and hysterically--he does bring substantial issues into discussion. Trump is also a real European in all that, for all Trump's many faults.
3. It is now my academic position, and I was making this case for some time now, that US political class, with some notable exceptions, lacks culture, intellect and education. By education I do not mean some faux-scientific "humanities" degrees but real, enlightened and encyclopedic, view of the outside world. Very few American "academics" are really academics in a full meaning of this word since, after living within US "culture" (or rather lack thereof) of history, one is bound to arrive to a disheartening conclusion that US political "elite" is literally not capable of basic departure from the main vector of its "education"--that US was, is and will be the best there ever was in the history of the world in everything. I do not exaggerate. Those people really DO think that US "defeated" Hitler, "won" Cold War, was a decisive force in WW I, that US' GDP is 18 trillion dollars, they still believe that US is a "democracy" etc. They literally live in a parallel universe and whenever encountering reality they fail, time after time, to learn and prefer to blame reality for their discomfort--not themselves. This is Asiatic in its very foundation. On the level of institutions of higher learning, political clubs, even media, while still dangerous, this attitude could be mitigated or even resisted, when this set of attitudes propagates into policy formulation and decision making circuit this becomes a clear and present danger, not to the US herself only but to the world. Phil Giraldi today confirmed what I was writing about since the inception of this blog--see the highlighted and in screaming red font above.
4. Neither Soviet, nor modern Russian (despite own spectacular failures, but it happens to anyone) Intelligence people are of very high opinion about US IC. These statements from former Soviet and Russian intelligence professionals are widely available in Russian media, ranging from interviews to a major media outlets such as Vzglyad or RG to less prominent news services and blogs. What Philip Giraldi points out is a testament to the utter incompetence of US analytical organizations which is a strategic failure. It is also an utter failure of US academic institutions who prepare this "new generation" intelligence officers because formation of such a "point of view" can happen only under two conditions:
1. Indeed, atrociously low academic level of teaching those people about outside world in general and Russia in particular. Judging by the "level" of such Russia's "scholars" as Michael McFaul or Samantha Power--no surprise here. The field of Russian "studies" in US is a pathetic "academic" wasteland of hearsay, propaganda, ideological and racial memes, populated by amateurs with some fancy academic "degrees". But we knew this all along. What is being omitted, despite understanding, is the fact that US Russian "studies" field has one and only one curriculum whose "academic" essence can be expressed as "Why the United States Is Better Than Anyone Else". This is not a starting point from which anything could be learned.
2. And here comes this punch line: even if one is an average thinker and has an access to modern media, one can not fail to notice that:
a) United States, starting from the Korean War, didn't win a single war with the exception of the victory over grossly and deliberately overrated Saddam's Army. Yet, it still has an audacity to claim that its military is the best in the world.
b) Most of the time, US found itself supporting either bloody dictators or Islamic terrorists. From Afghanistan, to Kosovo to a collection of own Sons Of Bitches in Central and South America, to Ukrainian neo-nazis, to having a Beltway being completely in the pockets of Saudi and other Gulf satrapies supporting terrorism. This is not a glorious record, in fact--it is a shameful one. One has to be in denial to try to present it otherwise. The case of US foreign policy being run, de facto, by Israel is the whole other story altogether--today, US foreign policy is not US foreign policy, it is AIPAC's foreign policy, which has very little in common with real interests of average Americans.
So, unless one is sublime to the point of a complete idiocy (and this is still not excluded as a possibility), one has to ask, what's all the fuss is about? The answer is in Philip Giraldi's own words: "given the real limitations on Russian power"(c). I wrote about complete misunderstanding here. I will repeat the point: US "elites" do not understand nor know what military power is and how it is applied. Their record of failures is simply stupefying. Least of all they understand that in regards to Russian military power. Russia's (military) power is indeed limited but it is designed not to pursue global confrontations. Russia has no desire nor plans to storm US or Canadian coasts, US does have such plans regarding Russia. Russia is not an expeditionary power. If today both United States and Russia would find themselves stripped off their respective nuclear arsenals, any attempt of NATO (that is US) to attack Russia, as it was done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia, conventionally will result in a catastrophic level of NATO (US) casualties and will lead not only to a military defeat but to a dramatic political changes in US and Europe. Or, putting it in a layman's lingo and speaking in broadsides:
US Can Not Conventionally Defeat Russia.
"Russia is not a country that can be formally conquered--that is to say occupied--certainly not with present strength of the European States and not even with the half-a-million men Bonaparte mobilized for the purpose. Only internal weakness, only the workings of disunity can bring a country of that kind to ruin"
Clausewitz, Vom Kriege, Book 8, Chapter 9.
Hitler had almost 4.5 million under his command. When viewed in conjunction with inevitable and warranted comparison of respective histories (especially military ones), cultures and accomplishments, Russia is a clear and present danger to this new (and old) generation of "intelligence officers" and of other representatives of this proverbial "Deep State" because it makes them metaphysically:
But that is not what they have been taught and how they were brought up. In their Manichean world Russia, by the virtue of her existence and history blows this whole narrative of American exceptionalism out of the water, no matter how one tries to interpret it. United States must be "good" and Russia, as a consequence, "evil". Anything short of this means only one thing--US losing it self-proclaimed status of a "Shining City" on the hill, this means death. No other nation can do this to US "elites": neither Germany, conquered in large part thanks to the Red Army demolishing cream of the cream of Wehrmacht by 1944, nor France, nor even China--an economic powerhouse but culturally a complete foreign object. Russia can and DOES it. Hence, in Kissinger's words--It means that breaking Russia has become an objective (c). Washington's shift in the perception of Russia does not matter as long as it is confined to the discussion clubs, but in case of this "Deep State" we are talking about a bizarre collection of myopia, incompetence, inferiority complex bizarrely mixed with racism, and, in the end a complete hatred and obsession with Russia. If this is how US "elite", "deep state", IC, what have you, thinks and feels it inevitably will lead to emotional, mental and political breakdown and that is exactly what we all observe now. The worst thing for them? They can not bomb Russia and declare a victory. Trump is hated and is associated with Russia in one very important, however unnoticed by many, metaphysical aspect--he won elections because he stated what Russia by the virtue of own existence and surviving everything what was thrown at her, continues to state: the self-proclaimed emperor has no clothes.
What we observe today is unprecedented--forget lying and propaganda, those people actually do believe in it. Detached from the reality, hysterical to the point of being apoplectic--we are witnessing a wholesale "elite" going completely insane. It is legitimate to say today, that this "Deep State" is an enemy of American people, it is clear and present danger to the world, even when it will try to use indirect strategies for undermining anyone it views as an enemy, Russia being #1 for them outside, Trump being the enemy #1 inside. The war just started: a political one in Washington, and it may yet become a hot one elsewhere. Until the corridors of the American political power are completely cleared of this filth, the United States will remain in a decline and be a clear and present danger to the world and to herself. American survival today hinges on a complete removal of this "Deep State". If not, we may, indeed, lose the whole country to a turmoil and, probably, bloody disintegration. That is how high are the stakes. In this case, Michael Flynn's affair is just a small tactical bump in the epic struggle.