Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Just the confirmation of what everyone with a half-brain knew all along:
The Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism began as a result of Western countries asking Riyadh to help counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post.Speaking to the paper, bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia's Western allies urged the country to invest in mosques and madrassas overseas during the Cold War, in an effort to prevent encroachment in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.
Well, duh. What this "encroachment" really was no one knows but sure, let's call it that. Islamic radicalization of Fergana Valley and spread of Islamic militancy all along Soviet Middle Asian borders outside and inside in 1970s, obviously, do not count. Now, let Europe and, ahem, Minnesota (among few other places in US) enjoy the rich fruits of their activity in promoting Wahhabism and all those wonderful offsprings such as Al Qaeda, ISIS and Al Nusra, just to name a few. I think it is a healthy and long overdue process in reevaluating Soviet War in Afghanistan once one takes a look at the results of West's promoting the most radical, militant versions of Islamic religion knowing damn well that Islam, in the words of late Sam Huntington, "has bloody borders". Russia sure as hell knows this first hand.
Monday, March 18, 2019
Not a bang, but a whimper.
Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who fueled Russiagate hysteria with his DNC-commissioned opposition research on Donald Trump, admitted during a lawsuit deposition that he relied on unverified information contained in a report published by CNN iReport – a now-defunct “user-generated” news site. Stories featured on iReport were submitted by citizen journalists and were not edited, fact-checked, or screened before being published.
As they say--no comments are necessary. The only question which remains, if those who organized a coup against legitimately elected President and the US Constitution, and we all know their names, will be called to face justice? Nah, don't hold your breath. Nobody will be persecuted for very real crimes and unlawful activity and that will be yet another step down the drain for crumbling republic. Do I want to be wrong? You bet. Time will tell but every last pretense of American vaunted "values", from freedom of press to the rule of law have been completely dismantled since 2016.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Make no mistake, the United States is not unique here, there are all kinds of bimbos and good ol' boys getting their sorry asses into the most prestigious schools in Russia too. Well, I am sure this problem is not confined merely to the United States and Russia. The issue here is different--it is the fact that in accordance to narrative in good ol' USA, which, as we know, is the most democratic democracy, like, ever, the corruption in the higher education is non-existent. Well, as it turned out--it is not the case, like, at all. After busting the ring of a wealthy "celebrities", who never have time for bringing up their children into the decent, hard-working people, which was busy pushing their spoiled dumb-asses into the all kinds of prestigious schools, one has to ask the question--how about we all admit that celebrities, by definition, are dumb and rotten people, most of them anyway. They do represent, and many, in fact, drive this suicidal and superficial culture of feeling good about themselves for being complete ass-holes, without ever asking themselves a question if they are even qualified to be parents, because their children simply reproduce all rot their parents instill in them on a completely new level.
Here is one such bimbo, Olivia Jade Gianulli being sincere:
Well, what do you expect from the offspring of people who make living by pretending to be other people, or themselves, or who swindle others in such fields as fashion (a euphemism for ugly post-modernist belch of affluent urbanites). Mind you, there are many many more people like these good-for-nothing exhibitionists, who are already in school working "hard" on their "degrees" in useless fields and who, upon graduation, will start making their careers leading up to the positions of prominence in art (so called) and politics. Do you like present American "elites"? Well, there you go, much worse are coming and this is a sign of time, of which I wrote for years--modern liberal system eats itself from the inside, not least through giving prominence and reproducing people who do not satisfy even lowest of the low human, professional, ethical criteria to be anywhere close to the top, or the elite, which is required for the society to operate normally. Here who they are:
Ms. Giannulli is one of a number of celebrity offspring who have lived out their teenage years on social media. In the video for which she was criticized, she described how the dissolution of a romantic relationship had been particularly difficult because people would send her tweets, Instagram posts and Snapchats of her ex with other young women.
Welcome to the brave new world.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
As was expected it was confirmed today about Zircon:
The sobbing of Russian old-fashioned navalists and other missile age and Augmented Salvo Equations denialists can be heard all over the place, but if Kinzhal closed off Russia's littoral and near (and even some remote) sea zones, deployment of 1000+ kilometer range Zircon on ocean-going ships and, consequently, submarines is a whole other story altogether. It ends modern naval warfare as we know it. So, what's next? An operational singularity until some form of more-or-less effective counter will be developed and that means a very long time. I stress again, sticking lasers on ships is not going to do it for a number of huge technological reasons which must be addressed before any serious talk about lasers as effective weapon begins.
So, for US Navy the only way is to get on with own hyper-sonic anti-shipping weapons. How far behind the US is in this race? Who knows, some people say 10-15 years, which in modern times is a hugely long time, once one considers the dynamics of military-technological developments. The key factor, however, for the US is not R&D, it is institutional inertia and gridlock which continues to prevent the US Navy from actually facing reality and forces it to remain, despite all public invocations of Distributed Lethality, a solidly carrier-centric navy with no real prospects for change which is long overdue. Remember this, always:
They are easy to remember and calculate. It is a primer for understanding a ruthless dynamic of modern warfare which removed already old delusions of a dying empire about warfare it thought it could wage with impunity.
It’s time to look beyond the stirring images of infantrymen storming machine-gun nests created by Hollywood and to see war for what it is and will be in the future: the ruthless extermination of the enemy with accurate, devastating firepower from the sea, from the air, from space and from mobile, armored firepower on land.
I guess, the future has arrived already and don't tell me that I didn't warn about it.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Which one would expect from one-dimensional, not very bright, colorless Christian Zionist such as Trump's VP. When even Bloomerg is forced to publish some rather stunning revelations, one must ask--how degenerate US "elites" are?
The U.S. leaned on German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month to conduct a naval maneuver in Russia’s backyard aimed at provoking President Vladimir Putin, according to three people familiar with the talks. At a Feb. 16 meeting at the Munich Security Conference, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Merkel to send German warships through a narrow channel between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia to show Putin that Western powers won’t surrender their access to those waters, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The German leader refused, they said, citing reservations from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. A spokesman for the chancellor declined to comment.
You see, guys, here is a dude with "education" in, ahem, law and who is born-again Evangelical so called Christian which is a euphemism for largely Israeli-firsters who update their geopolitical views in Sunday Schools through sermons of illiterate clergy--a most vocal group in US electoral politics which is in the foundation of neocons' dominating US aggressive and mindless foreign policy. So, here is the level of US "elites", folks, who are firmly in the deep pockets of what...well, why don't we listen to Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson who knows about this on the order of magnitude more than I do.
Listen to the end, with Wilkerson making a conclusion much harsher than even I would make. In this Pence's "plan", however, the funniest (no, really--it is funny) part is how the United States wants to "fight" Russia to the last German, French, Arab, what have you. I already described one idiot from Foreign Policy Council, who passes there as a "Russian scholar", Pence seems to be in the same league of morons who are too lazy to:
1. Study basic facts about Azov Sea;
2. have no idea how this will look militarily.
Granted, of course, they do not need to do so, since the main objective of this whole insanity is:
The vice president’s meeting with Merkel at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in the Bavarian capital came just after her most spirited defense of the global order yet. Drawing a standing ovation from senior security officials, she lambasted Trump’s threats on imposing tariffs on European cars as a matter of national security, pledged Germany would reach the NATO spending goal at its own pace, and stick to the Iran accord. The German leader had also observed with alarm an aggressive and coordinated U.S. diplomatic push to halt a Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. According to people close to her, that was one factor that led her to double down at Munich.
Colonel Wilkerson asks emphatically, if the well of US national security "talent" is so shallow that specimens such as Abrams, Bolton, in the end Pence himself are constantly in the orbit or coming back time after time as go to "national security" people? Yes, Colonel, it is--US has no competent national security and foreign policy specialists at the highest political level, all of them products of the Ivy League degree mills and are utterly unqualified, lack of any human integrity and utter corruption apart, to run pizza parlor, forget foreign policy of the United States. But, in general, this latest snafu from Trump's Admin is just another sign of a level of intellectual degeneration and the danger people in power in D.C. present to the remnants of the Republic and the world at large.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Because I am feeling like crap (either bronchitis or cold--coughing a lot), here are some Lozungi (Slogans) and Dazibao (keeping our Chinese friends involved) I might as well share with you. These Dazibao are mostly of archetypal, philosophical, nature--a precise type which appears in a mind of a man exhausted by coughing. One also can construe these as theses. No, not April ones;-))
1. War is an act of culture.
2. Marxism is an analytical tool, it is not prescription.
3. Modern West is not West anymore.
4. Art either serves universal good or it becomes...post-modernist trash.
5. Western real left barely survives, what goes under this moniker is not left--it is rotting liberalism's last stand against revelation of a true nature of the system.
6. "Cultural Marxism" is not "Marxism" it is concoction by perverted Western so called "intellectuals" who were (are) radically globalist (see p.5).
7. Family is the last bastion of civilization.
8. Family is the foundation of a nation.
9. Truth is knowable and the world is not relativist.
Now to some really funny news from Russia. There are many, serious, I may add Russian analysts (or observers) who do state that Putin's revolution has started. I agree. In fact this this revolution was ongoing since 2014 and, part from real uprooting of criminal hi end clans (enough to recall recent purge of Gazprom or getting Arashukov and his "family" behind bars among many), or installing in Russia's regions what amounts to general-governors with extraordinary powers--one can sense how the ship of state changes its course radically. How? How about another sign of times:
Russian speaker of the lower house of Russia today, in unprecedented act of humiliation to Russia's economic block (and by ricochet to ever confused Medvedev), interrupted the presentation to MPs of Minister of Economic Development Oreshkin citing exhaustion from talking about small businesses and demanding that Oreshkin go and prepare better to talk substance on large economic policy and how to implement Russia's gigantic national projects and state programs (in Russian).
Boy, talk about a shot (or a salvo) across the bow. I am sure urban office plankton is having multiple heart-attacks as I type this. This is unprecedented--to be booted off the pulpit of State Duma with almost direct accusations of incompetence of the whole government. Something is up and it is huge in Russia. This, however, was not unexpected--eventually removal of the economic block will start in earnest because new cadres are beginning to take the stage, and unlike a bunch of white board know-nothings financiers, Russia has a huge demand for industrial technocrats (such as brilliant Yuri Borisov) who can run industries, not accounting services for fast food chains or notary offices (nothing personal against those noble and needed professions). And here is my last thesis of the day:
11. Productive labor is a historic category and it is this labor which sustains nations, including, as is the case with Russia, producing top notch weapons which can now guard safely this labor.
Now, if it will be confirmed that Indian SU-30 shot down Pakistani AIM-120 AMRAAM, I cannot emphasize enough what this all means. But I will wait for more facts coming to light. At least India and Pakistan are talking again. Good, no one wants war between nuclear states.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
No, I get it, selling S-400 to NATO member is both good money and good image. But knowing Erdogan who always tries to play his own game, trying to leverage whatever is handy, I am sure some people in Russia are having a blast just observing this whole bargaining back and forth between Turkey and the United States. Today top military guy for Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti weighted on that:
Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, said Turkey, a NATO member, should reconsider its plan to buy the S-400 from Russia this year or forfeit other future American military aircraft and systems. He said Turkey's use of the Russian surface-to-air missile defense system would be a threat to the F-35. His comments are the latest in a series of warnings the U.S. has made to Turkey over its plans to buy the S-400. The U.S. and other NATO allies have repeatedly complained about the purchase, saying it is not compatible with other allied systems and would represent a security threat. The impending purchase has aggravated already souring relations with Ankara, including tensions over the war in Syria. Scaparrotti said U.S. officials are currently in Turkey explaining the potential consequences of the S-400 purchase. He said his best military advice would be that the U.S. not follow through with the F-35 sale and not work with an ally that's acquiring Russian systems that can threaten one of the American military's most advanced technological capabilities. "It presents a problem to all of our aircraft, but specifically the F-35," he said.
Russians know damn well what Erdogan is doing and they have no illusions whatsoever about the possibility of Erdo doing a radical 180 and then refusing to buy S-400 AD complexes. But here is the catch--Turkey is at civilizational cross-roads. She always was there geographically, but geopolitics wise she is facing a dramatic choice between increasingly degenerating Europe and some little, like you know, global, shift to the East of Turkey where new economic and geopolitical configuration is being driven by Russia and China. Erdogan, as any man of Asia Minor respects power and everyone knows today that Putin is not only powerful, but he is demi-God who is capable to elect and control the President of the United States, while personally killing Skripals and threatening all true (that is American and UK) "democracies" and in general, the guy is almost omnipotent. Erdogan likes this, but the most important question here is F-35.
No doubt, before failed coup against this very same Erdogan (and there are rumors that demi-God Putin actually helped Erdo in saving his life) there would have been very little chance for any Russian weapon system entering Turkish military mind and praising mantras to F-35 and its allegedly super-pooper technology would have been heard in Turkey everywhere. Today things are slightly more complex. Of course, the United States sells to its allies first of all well-packaged commercial product and only then a weapon system. F-35 is the case in point since behind, sometimes preposterous, claims abaout its capabilities it is rather very expensive mediocre plane. VLO, aka Stealth, today is primarily for the consumption of housewives and fanboys from all kinds of military hardware masturbatory discussion boards, plus for the purpose of scaring the shit out of some cardboard dictators in third or fourth world shithole satrapies and only if those have anything of value to be declared a danger to democracy. Reality is, modern radar and signal processing methods, such as data fusion, and technologies of serious air-defense systems, and S-400, even in its export version, is a damn serious weapon system, basically spelled the end for this comfortable self-deluded paradigm of trading combat capability for a alleged "invisibility" and few kilometers, if that, of reduced range of detection and turned it into exercise in futility against modern integrated AD systems. I mean REAL weapon systems, not some commercial product.
I know Erdo knows this, plus, let's be honest--Turkey will never get F-35 technology transfer from the United States. Russia, hm, that could be an interesting arrangement, especially once one considers where this whole warfare business progresses in the last few years. Erdogan is not stupid, he is shrewd and he will continue to hold on to this bargaining lever for a long time, trying to milk both sides for everything they got, in his mind. But reality is, it is namely the United States which Erdo wants to milk, for now, before he will try to finally orient himself and Turkey somewhere. If he doesn't buy S-400, Russia loses nothing really, those batteries will be utilized elsewhere, but Turkey still will not get technology transfer for F-35 from the US. And here is this little detail. United States increasingly works as a runaway engine and considering who really runs US foreign policy (no, it is not Trump--let's face it, the guy is a real estate developer) there are absolutely no 100% guarantees that Turkey, at some point of time, will not become a possible target herself. One has to seriously consider this when reviewing some really bizarre facts of failed coup against Erdogan in 2016. And of the death of Russian Ambassador same year. F-35 is not a good defensive weapon, especially for the price. But, that is Turkey's conundrum and let her deal with it. I, honestly, do not see Turkey abandoning her NATO commitments but the whole affair is still very interesting to observe and, boy, do I recognize this whole methodology from my visits to so loved by me markets in Baku and elsewhere in Caucasus.
Meanwhile, Scaparrotti draws this horrible picture of Russia, let the man talk:
The top U.S. military commander in Europe said Thursday that he is worried about the potential for new unrest in the Balkans, where there are signs that Russia is stepping up influence operations as the U.S. has lost focus on the region. “The area I am concerned about today is the Balkans actually,” U.S. European Command’s Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti said. “Russia is at work in the Balkans and we have kind of taken our eye off the area.” Scaparrotti, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Russia is posing challenges in several regions. Areas of intense focus for the U.S. and NATO in recent years include the Baltics and Poland, where NATO has deployed more forces in its largest reinforcement since the end of the Cold War.In the Arctic, Russia is building up and could be in a positon to control northern sea transit lanes in a matter of three years, Scaparrotti said.
Surprisingly, he is telling the truth about Russia's Arctic ambitions, while, of course, asking for more-more-more money. But Russia, indeed, does have infrastructure, and, most importantly, largest and most powerful ice-breaker fleet in the world for controlling Arctic. Well, that plus Northern Fleet and other heterogeneous forces. Meanwhile Zvezda already is cutting metal for the third Aframax-class tanker, while building a colossal dry dock.
Ships are coming, big time.
Friday, March 1, 2019
I know it is a sacrilege to say this, but this version of Robert Plant's Big Log for me is better than original. It is sang by incomparable Allison Krauss, from her brother's album Far From Enough. Robert sang this with her too.
Remarkably, this Youtube video features a single photograph of what comes to mind by listening to this masterpiece--rails and trains. In fact the whole album is like this--an incredible mix of Americana (UK simply has no such distances to inspire) and an amazing musicianship, not least by one of the greatest guitar-players of the age Bill Frisell. It is Friday and time to unwind (I had root canal on Wednesday--still having issues) by contemplating America which I love and which is disappearing in the wind like an angelic voice of Allison Krauss.
I was in communication with Paul Craig Roberts all morning on the matter which I will describe below. I already had to pay attention to Southfront three weeks ago, after whoever Southfront are behind the wall of HTML code, produced a "masterpiece" of strategy which required from me some clarifications. You know, like explanation of basic geography and ranges of Intermediate Ballistic Missiles (not that they will be needed, but still) in relation to Russia being "far" (about 80 kilometers) from the US, remember?
That is a small intro to the "competence" of people who are writing for Southfront. Then, of course, out of curiosity, I read SF's "analysis" on Russian submarines, which turned out to be a collection of memes and myths propagated in Russia by some, literally, mentally unstable people, and I would have left it alone if not SF's latest piece by some Vladimir K on current Russia's slide towards her end. So, here is my strictly personal opinion on this piece of "analysis". It is written by:
1. Utter amateur;
2. Sectarian from either Navalny or Girkin (aka Strelkov) totalitarian sects;
3. Combination of two above, which is even worse.
This is not to say that Russia doesn't have problems, she sure does. Some of those problems are serious and require long term solutions. But let's start with small detail SF decides to obscure for its readers, here is a quote from transcript of SF video based on this alarmist and defeatist piece:
According to VCIOM, a state pollster, in January 2019, Putin’s confidence rating was only 32.8%. This is 24% less than in January 2018 when it was 57.2%. At the same time, the confidence rating of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was 7.8%. The approval rating of his cabinet is 37.7% while the disapproval rating is 38.7%. Opposition sources show data, which is far worse for the current Russian leadership.
1. Well, it is all fine and dandy, and the picture looks rather grim, that is until one gets to actual poll as is reported by reputable Ria.Ru (in Russian). Once one begins to look at numbers the picture becomes rather very different. For starters, the so called "confidence rating" in Putin is slightly differently formulated in Russia and sounds as Наибольшим доверием, that is Most Trust. Well, 32.6% of Russians have MOST trust in Putin. How many of them have simply trust or trust Putin somewhat remains up for a debate, but actually, the number which matters is good ol' Approval Rating which for Putin is....drum roll...62.2%, with 28.8% disapproving. So, when we divide 62.2 by 28.8 we get 2.16 times more people approving than those disapproving. Why SF "forgot" these numbers remains a complete mystery to me, because although lower than usual, 62.2% is a robust, in fact vast majority, approval rating for a President, even if one considers a number of painful (granted debatable) economic decisions which were made in 2018.
2. I will omit the "analysis" which invokes for some reason long terminated from their positions some stupid bureaucrats, such as Glatzkih. No serious analyst would ever invoke the fact of the run of the mill stupid low level bureaucrat being stupid, and, actually fired because of that as a sign of a crisis, while in reality it was public outcry and media reporting it properly which worked that well in getting those morons to answer. I guess, far from crisis, this is a good testimony to emerging Russian civic society which has a good grasp now of own interests and has a developed sense of honor and self-worth. Ahh, you see--glass half-empty, half-full dichotomy. But let me just point out, I will omit today elaboration on that issue, the main sign of numbers 1, 2 and 3 listed above, testifying to a complete lack of not only strategic awareness but of self-awareness of those who concocted such an emotional proclamation, or manifesto, and tried to sell it as an "analysis", which it is certainly not. Here, I quote:
The 2014 events in Crimea showed to the Russian population that its state is ready to defend the interests of the nation and those who describe themselves as Russians even by force of arms. This was the first case when this approach was openly employed in the recent history of Russia. Therefore, the population was enthusiastic and national pride was on the rise. However, the Kremlin failed to exploit these gained opportunities and did not use them to strengthen the Russian state. In fact, up to February 2019, the policy towards eastern Ukraine has been inconsistent. At the same time, Moscow continues to lose its influence in post-Soviet states. This can be observed in both the Caucasus and Central Asia. Even, their close ally, Belarus, occasionally demonstrates unfriendly behavior and focuses its own efforts on the exploitation of economic preferences granted by Russia.
3. It is an utter BS which could only have been written by people who have no clue on real military operations and how the national security of such power as Russia is formulated. I elaborated on a number of occasions that if not perfect, Moscow's handling of Ukraine was, while initially fully situationally-driven, was well-thought out the more the crisis continued. In this case I would suggest to read real professional and, in fact, superb current thinker, Rostislav Ishenko who knows the subject extremely well and thinks as a statesman must think, not some incognito amateur frustrated by things not going his way.
Especially this phrase:
Но может быть, можно было хотя бы Донбасс по крымскому примеру интегрировать в Россию? Нет, нельзя. Как уже было сказано, легитимные региональные органы власти восстание не поддержали. В руках восставших в результате оказалась только примерно треть от общей площади двух областей и половина от той территории, на которой проводился референдум о независимости. Признать их и интегрировать в Россию (а самостоятельно они не выживут) можно только в рамках подконтрольной на сегодня территории. Поддержать наступление ДНР/ЛНР до границ областей, означает начать войну, ведущую к разделу Украины, только на долю России выпадет даже меньше, чем большая часть Новороссии – всего две области. Остальные последствия, возможно, немного мягче, но в целом те же. Кроме того, надо понимать, что заключая мир, на условии интеграции Донбасса, Россия практически мирится с потерей остальной части Украины навсегда (настолько, насколько в политике в принципе можно говорить о навсегда). То есть, потери те же, а профит ещё меньше, чтобы не сказать, что его вообще нет.
I have suggestion for people, whoever they are, who write all kinds of "analysis" of this nature for ever increasing number of "analytical" outlets such as SF--I will quote myself from my discussion with Paul Craig Roberts 6 months ago:
And here is my conclusion: being former military I give a full recognition to the fact that I am merely a writer who, as well as Bagdasarov, or any other “analyst” have no any access to a daily top secret briefings by Chief of General Staff and Russia’s intelligence to Vladimir Putin. Patriotism or, even, some residual professionalism is not a substitution to having a full situational awareness provided to Supreme Commander by thousands upon thousands people who even risk their lives to provide a key information for making this one and only right decision to prevent the world from annihilation. Russia knows where the Unites States is today and, when looking back at the last 5 years in world’s history, I see Russia as that proverbial cat finishing off the chicken, while those who are supposed to use the force cannot do so and speak loud and carry no stick. This chicken is Pax Americana. Russia will continue to do what she does, because it works, and because she knows how to fight wars, she knows how to defend herself and because we all live in a different world today, the way Russia, not the US, sees it.
Starting with what is known as calibration of own views and giving cognizance to a simple fact that one is simply not on the decision making level in Russia as President and Security Council--I am fully aware of that in regards to myself--would be a good exercise in assessing reality before posting some frustrated incoherent blabbering as some "analysis" as SF "provided" for the consumption of a PutinVseSlil crowd.
P.S. I am not going to comment to SF "analysis" directly pulled from fantasies of one imbecile, who I know, on Russian subs, because it is difficult to comment on a pile of BS.
UPDATE: No comments.
UPDATE: No comments.
This is the title of Pat Buchanan's latest in TAC and Unz. I respect Pat in his attempts to ask hard and important questions but I always was somewhat taken aback by Pat's sense of world history, especially the history of the 20th century. In conclusion to his piece Pat asks the question:
Apart from inevitable question of who said that 20th century was an American Century, the main question Pat has to answer is what is the moment when the 20th century allegedly became an American one? Is the United States a great nation? Undeniably so! Is it a superpower? Sure! Did she have a long periods of economic expansion and high standard of living? Absolutely. It is all true but Pat has to understand that American ascendance to the top of the world started to happen after the WW II. While in 1945 world lay in ruins, the United States emerged from the war with pockets jammed with cash and full employment in the booming economy. Six years before that, however, in 1939, as none other than historians of Federal Reserve testify, the United States for all intents and purposes was an economic basket case still not capable to recover from the recession of 1937-38.
People forget how it looked then, I may remind them. Here is Seattle (with Smith Tower in the distance)--slums by desperate unemployed people, in the area where there are two giant sports arenas located today--Safeco Field and Century Link Field.
WW II literally lifted the United States out of misery. The War was a "Good War" for the United States. But nothing lasts forever and Pat, who served as a speech-writer to Ronald Reagan, really has to take a look where the tentative American Century, in reality half-a-century, even less, actually, started to go down the drain. I have a hint--look at the 1980s and two parallel processes of that time: debt accumulation and shedding of manufacturing capacity in favor of FIRE economy. Look at this:
Isn't it peculiar that accumulation of trade deficit started precisely during Holy Reagan's economic policies with the US beginning to "sell" the most viable commodity then--access to the US market. Short "comeback" in 1990, most likely due to kicking Saddam's ass, didn't last--the slide down continued with some short breaks and even attempts to reverse a horrible trend but nothing could have been done with it and today the United States is the largest importer of goods in history, accounting for almost $2.2 trillion, which, when projected against US actual manufacturing capacity MAY reach somewhere upward of roughly 35-40% of American actual real economy. This is a disaster. And then, of course, there is this little thingy of $22 trillion debt servicing of which becomes increasingly problematic, while defaulting will mean a complete implosion of US economy and situation which may bring back pictures of Great Depression Seattle on a massive scale.
No amount of propaganda can anymore hide the fact that the US is "departing". The question is where to? Obviously, the idea of a debt "reset" by means of war is attractive to American powers that be, but here is a conundrum--a good scale war which will allow to softly default is impossible without the United States being destroyed in it. After all, it is not 1940. Ideas? Present American elite--utterly corrupt, uneducated and bound to interests of other states, be that Israel, Saudi Arabia or any other power with cash sufficient to buy anyone at the Capitol Hill--are not capable to develop a real plan of how to save the country without killing it. So, what could be done then? How much time do we have before excrement starts hitting the fan in industrial quantities? I don't know, but it is clear that addressing these colossal issues facing the United States, be that economic, internal, foreign policy and security will require a completely new and critical and factual look at world's and American history--only from there some ideas then could appear. Otherwise we may get a REAL American century with the United States going supernova and scorching everything around herself in the process.
Looking at who populate the American decision-making echelon today we are not 100% guaranteed from some desperate and delusional person reaching in the final moments of the American collapse for the red button. As "for good" qualifier in Pat's article? If we all avoid a war, I have to go with Dmitry Orlov's estimate--America still retains many talented and hard-working people, so she will recover at some point of time and will become the great power among other great powers and will finally be cured from her mental disease called neoliberal economics and exceptionalism. After all, to utilize wars one must be able to win them, once in a while, not the case here.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Finally, even steadily degenerating Vzglyad gets it. In today's article about spying, by the West, inside Russia's "elites"--I assume that to be the case, everybody spies on everybody--the author comes to the conclusion:
Не менее актуальна сейчас и проблема чисто политического шпионажа. В Вашингтоне даже не пытаются скрывать, что практически все оценки и прогнозы в отношении России строятся на 90% из информации, полученной из конфиденциальных источников. Это университетские think-tank опираются на тенденциозные оценки политэмигрантов и представителей «внутренней эмиграции», отчего все эти доклады порой так весело выглядят.
Translation: No less acute now is the problem of purely political espionage. Washington does not even try to hide the fact that practically all assessments and forecasts about Russia are 90% based on information from confidential sources. These university think-tanks use biased assessments by political immigrants and the representatives of the so called "internal immigration" (euphemism for Russia's liberasts, people with fair faces and so called "nationalists") , that is why those reports are often look so funny.
No, they are not "funny" in the end, despite hilarious stupidity and ignorance of people who write those. Well, I am screaming about the danger of this BS about Russia in the West for years now. It has nothing to do with political espionage, but everything with a permanent Chalabi moment for US elites whose lack of education, culture and awareness of the outside world, especially of Russia is clear and present danger for the world for a reason that many those people in D.C. have no clue about what they are dealing with and may run, due to their ignorance, into a very sorry situation for everybody. Here is one such example--the guy is a certified ignoramus, yet, look at him:
You may google "credentials" of this amateur easily and yes, degree in political "science", what else. This is the level of "expertise" of modern US "elites" and it is down right terrifying that modern Russia Studies field in the West is dominated with grievances and huge egos afflicted Russian (and Western) nobodies who convinced many in the US that Russia still resides in 1990s. While at it, my second book, which comes along fairly nicely, tries to finally deal with these "analysts" and other political "scientists" by providing a very real, tangible numerical tools for understanding the depth of ignorance and detachment from military and geopolitical reality by those self-proclaimed "experts". Either Washington begins to live in reality or it may end up really bad for everyone involved. Good that even such increasingly reminiscent of the sewer Vzglyad at least gets it.
UPDATE: Lavrov is explicit about "quality" of American "elite". I know, I am writing about this for years now.
UPDATE: Lavrov is explicit about "quality" of American "elite". I know, I am writing about this for years now.