Saturday, January 1, 2022

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

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.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Naryshkin Verbatim.

The head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin went on record yesterday:

ПЕТРОПАВЛОВСК-КАМЧАТСКИЙ, 27 ноя - РИА Новости. Никакого "российского вторжения" на Украину не будет, утверждения о нем - это злонамеренная пропагандистская акция госдепа США, заявил директор Службы внешней разведки России Сергей Нарышкин."Должен всех успокоить: ничего такого не будет", - сказал Нарышкин в интервью Сергею Брилеву в программе "Вести в субботу" на телеканале "Россия 1", отвечая на вопрос о заявлениях американской стороны про якобы готовящееся Россией вторжение на Украину. "Вообще все, что сейчас происходит вокруг этой темы, это, конечно, такая злонамеренная пропагандистская акция госдепа США... Госдеп накачивает этими фальшивками, этой ложью и своих союзников, и руководителей средств массовой информации, и руководителей политологических центров Соединённых Штатов Америки с тем, чтобы они эту ложь множили, множили и множили. И они вокруг этого раздули довольно большой пузырь"
Translation:  PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, November 27 - RIA Novosti. There will be no "Russian invasion" of Ukraine, the allegations about it are a malicious propaganda action by the US State Department, said Sergei Naryshkin, director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. "I must reassure everyone: nothing like this will happen," Naryshkin said in an interview with Sergei Brilev on the Vesti on Saturday program on the Russia 1 TV channel, answering a question about the statements of the American side about the alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine. "In general, everything that is happening now around this topic is, of course, such a malicious propaganda action by the US State Department ... The State Department is pumping these fakes, this lie to its allies, and the leaders of the media, and the leaders of political science centers of the United States of America. so that they multiplied and multiplied and multiplied this lie. And they inflated a rather big bubble around it ."
 
Well, we need to take into consideration this simple fact that lying and propaganda are the only tools in the toll-box of what passes in the US for "diplomacy". But we have been over it so many times by now, that it is not necessary to repeat it. In the same time US media outlets such as Bloomberg continue to publish all kinds of contrived "analysis" such as: 
After years of disillusion with the West, Putin has gradually sidelined voices in his inner circle who had called for limiting tensions and is increasingly isolated from other views by Covid-19 restrictions, according to people close to the leadership. Surrounded by hardliners, he sees Russia — and his two-decade rule — as under attack by the U.S. and its allies. Efforts at outreach and cooperation that he made when he first came to power have been replaced by showdowns, sanctions and threats. Putin now sees pushback as the only language the West understands. With both sides dispatching warships and planes to convey their seriousness and warning of a new arms race as treaties lapse, the hardened approach raises risks far beyond Russia’s neighborhood. Disputes with Europe over gas supplies have shaken markets, while a refugee crisis the European Union says was orchestrated by Putin’s closest ally in Belarus is pressuring the bloc and fears of conflict in Ukraine have battered the ruble.
But then again, these are US media and their minions in Russia who lie for paycheck. Remarkably, yet another "intellectual" from Valdai Forum appeared on RT with his view on the "events" around 404. His name is Ivan Timofeev--you can read his bio here. And while Timofeev agrees that Ukrainian Army will be obliterated very fast if Russia really decides to get involved big time and then, as in following the rigid Cost-Benefits analysis procedure, Timofeev demonstrates and proves my thesis that in terms of serious geopolitics involving power element only outstanding diplomats capable to have a good grasp of the military events "on the ground" should be allowed to state their opinions. Providing lip service to already well-established fact that VSU as a force wouldn't last past first salvos and pincer movements by Russian Army is not enough when speaking on such matters. Timofeev states: First, such a military conflict is unlikely to culminate in any intelligible agreement. A victory over the armed forces of Ukraine will not by itself lead to a fast peace. The option of “two Ukrainian states” would allow Russia to squeeze nationalists out by sending them West. Under a “one Ukraine” scenario, this would be impossible, given all the ensuing consequences. 
 
I don't know why "one Ukraine scenario" even enters considerations here? I have no rational explanation to why Timofeev even discusses that. In the end, leave it to Poland, Hungary and Romania to deal with Western Ukraine. That, BTW, may become what would put the final nail into NATO's coffin. But he continues:

Second, the conflict would inevitably lead to a sharp change in the Western approach toward providing Ukraine with modern weapons and military equipment. In the United States and in the West as a whole, the new situation would be considered as an emergency and they would not limit funds to support the armed forces of Ukraine. Moreover, in this case, all possible types of conventional weapons will be supplied. Large-scale military aid from the West would prolong the conflict. Russia would not be able to block such supplies. The United States and its allies will not enter open military confrontation with Moscow. However, the level of support for the Ukrainian army will grow significantly. 

1. Timofeev needs to get down from his Ivory Tower and look around, especially in terms of what Russia was doing for the last 7 years which was, hm, getting ready to "a sharp change" in every single respect. From economy to politics, to what have you and, the issue which immediately pops up here is...

2. Can Mr. Timofeev tell us HOW this "sharp change" in providing Ukraine with "modern weapons" and not limiting funds will manifest itself? 

I omit here the fact that the issue of Russia's national security doesn't fit into the traditional framework of cost-benefits analysis because military threats to nation is not the matter humanities-educated (even from MGIMO) diplomat can fully grasp. For starters: 

a) WHAT "modern weapons" Timofeev is talking about? What can possibly NATO provide 404 with that can qualitatively change the balance in region, without it being, even if such transfer will ever happen, annihilated on arrival? Ukraine is already supplied by NATO with small arms and weapons of Javelin variety, plus some basic battlefield equipment ranging from anti-battery radar to nigh-vision goggles and communications. It will continue no matter what. Does Mr. Timofeev expect the US (and NATO) to supply 404 with Patriot PAC3 air defense complexes or, maybe, THAAD or maybe F-35. Not that they would make much difference if Russia seriously gets involved. 

b) Even if to imagine that US Congress and POTUS give the green light to whatever weapons Mr. Timofeev have in mind, has it occurred to him that if Russia gets "all in" the first thing which will be done will be a naval blockade which will prevent any deliveries by sea of anything. 

c) Who will operate those weapons? NATO troops? 

And on, and on, and on--we all can be in this "peeling off layers" mode for a long time. But Timofeev fails to mention the main issue here which many of us, ranging from Andrei Raevsky to Dmitri Orlov, to Patrick Armstrong, to Alexander Mercouris to you name it write for years (I mean Anglo-sphere)--Russia DOES NOT want Ukraine no matter if 404 already formed some political nation, which it did, I write in this blog about it for years, or not--this is not the main reason, the main reason is that apart from security pain in the ass, 404 is nothing but the drain of Russia's resources, which otherwise could be directed towards Russia and Russians' needs. Even if to imagine that Russia indeed "gets in", Russia's main concern will be not West's position--no one exercises any illusions on this position in Kremlin, and that is what only matters in the end--but the fact that Russia will have to deal with largely hostile, humiliated (even more--military defeats are extremely painful) and effectively destitute population of what--20-25 million? Who needs that? As they say on Russian streets today--one has to deserve Russian occupation. 

If, however, things will get really bad for Russia's security, the decision on Russian side will be based not on "Cost-Benefit analysis" but on Russia's national security imperatives, West's objections, sanctions and other threats notwithstanding. In other words, Russia will do it in the time and place of her choosing. In the end, Timofeev forgets the main reason for this hysteria in the West--increasingly obvious economic, social and military demise. This is the key factor in all this media activity. Finally, he should admit, as I do all the time, that Russia's Military-Political leadership knows more, much more, than any of us does and we have all reasons to believe that they know what they are doing.

This week I gave interview to Mike Welch of Global Research News. We discussed my latest book and you can listen to my Runglish by following this link. 

The Collapse of America part 2: Distant Early Warning Signs of Uncle Sam’s Demise. 

I don't say anything particularly new there, most of my readers heard and read it before, but as Pet Goat succinctly responded to one guest who was irritated by pessimistic comments about the fate of the combined West:

We are not rooting for Western collapse. We are warning about it. Even our so-called enemies do not want a collapse, but the leaders of this kakistocracy are hell bent on bringing about the collapse.

I couldn't have said it better myself. In the end, many people see it today, many more will see it tomorrow. But modern combined West and modern Russia are incompatible in principle and that is the problem for the West, because it is existential. But that requires a separate discussion which present Western "elites" try to avoid by all means. In doing so they doom themselves to what many of us see is coming. In fact, it is already here. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

But What If...Or, Here We Go Again.

Russia does not need 404, in fact, Russians overwhelmingly do not want those people in their lives, they don't want to pay for them, and they want them to stay away from Russia in every conceivable way, bar pure geography which cannot be changed. And that's the problem for Russia, because in the end Russia will have to deal with this shithole, which like a cyst placed itself at Russia's South-Western borders and continues to deteriorate towards cancerous tumor with increasing speed. The United States, realistically, doesn't need 404 either, because while the US still exercises the idea of using 404 as a anti-Russia ram both in geopolitical and economic senses, and sleeps and dreams about Russia "invading" this territory, the US is facing one serious challenge here: what IF US desires come true and Russia DOES indeed decide to end this drama and finish off Nazi regime in Kiev? 

The US will rejoice initially, because it splits in many economic respects Europe from Russia, plus Poland gets her desire (not entirely unjustified) to get Lvov (Lemberg) back and for a few moments the US would seem to have accomplished what it set out to do. Except! And here is this exception. Enter Karen Donfried of the US State Department, who, as is traditional for the contingent which passes in the US for "diplomats" to speak about what they have no clue about, waxes military. Note, Donfried is a classic, typical product of the US degenerating "humanities" field and has all boxes allowing her to swim upstream of D.C. bureaucracy checked. As most of US "diplomats" she has no idea what is she talking about when:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - All options are on the table in how to respond to Russia's "large and unusual" troop buildup near Ukraine's border, and the NATO alliance will decide on the next move following consultations next week, the State Department's top U.S. diplomat for European affairs said on Friday. "As you can appreciate, all options are on the table and there's a toolkit that includes a whole range of options," Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried told reporters in a telephone briefing. U.S. President Joe Biden said he was concerned about the situation in Ukraine, repeated Washington's support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and added that he will "in all probability" speak with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vladimir Putin. The comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Latvia and Sweden next week to attend meetings of NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Donfried said Moscow's "large and unusual" troop buildup would top the agenda at the NATO summit.

I have news for Donfried--there are no "all options on the table for the US" because if Russia does indeed decide to end it once and for all, the United States has neither forces nor resources to do anything about it, unless the United States wants to unleash a whole European War, but because Donfried spent most of her life in a make-believe world of "policy-making" she cannot grasp that Europe will not be the only theater of operations for Russia and the US proper will fast become another target. Unlike Vietnam or Iraq, Russia can wipe the US off the map and that will be it. One may ask if they are they that stupid in State Department. Yes, many are but those who are not are forced to toe the party line of primarily empty and militant rhetoric and empty threats. Yes, this is how serious it could get, but what neither Donfried nor most US policy-"makers" can wrap their brains around is the fact that operationally (militarily, that is) Russia has options in 404 because she has escalation dominance, in fact, she has escalation preponderance in 404, especially in the East of 404 where the issue will be settled, since Russia doesn't' care what is going to happen to the West of Kiev. 

This preponderance manifests itself in several key fields:

1. Russia's fire-power in stand-off weapons. In other words, Russia's long reach capable to paralyze 404's command and control structure, and, not least--government control. 

2. Russia does not need to really "invade" 404, at least not at the onset since she can "crush" the front from own territory. Not that it will matter anyway, since hysteria in Western media is already at near highest pitch. 

3. The only thing the US will be able to do is to rush, yet again, some sort of a surface task force in hopes to gain whatever SIGINT it can get, it will be especially interested in frequencies of Russia AD systems in combat mode and will, again, start sending strategic bombers near Russia's air space. Russia can do the same or she can simply place X-101s (range of more than 4,500 kilometers) strategic aviation carriers on steady patrols and NORAD will take a note. 

4. If, on the other hand, the US will decide to exercise "all options on the table", meaning inserting itself militarily into this whole thing--it will end badly for the US under any circumstances, because, as I already stated above--the war will fast spill out of Europe and no matter what path of escalation it takes, the US loses outright. 

But now to the most important conclusion: even if the US does not engage militarily, a suicidal scenario as I pointed out, all tactical gains from semi or outright open Russia's involvement in settling 404 issue bears a catastrophic strategic reputational loss for the US, which will demonstrate a complete lack of power and influence of a decrepit empire. We may only speculate on the ramifications of such an outcome, not to mention the fact that at this stage Russia CAN afford, if pressed by circumstances, to finish off this artificial construct of 404 and sever its ties to the West, EU cannot. To demonstrate how far apart modern West and Russia are--Russian press looks on in awe at European idiocy and even Russian senators comment today at Germany ban of Tchaikovsky's Christmas classics The Nutcracker ballet because it is "racists" (in Russian). It was also called racist by Scotland's Ballet Company, while London changed some scenes because they "remind of harem". You cannot reason with these people, they are not normal human beings and the only thing they understand is the language of threat and if it comes to it--it is about time Russia erected a new Iron Curtain between herself and totalitarian, delusional West. For everything else--there is Master Card (c). 

Maybe it is a time to grant the so called post-modernist West its wish? But as the saying goes think twice what you wish for... you know the rest.    

P.S. Latest reports about the state of VSU (404's armed so called forces) paint the picture of utter incompetence and demoralization. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let's drop for today all this politics and let's enjoy some turkey, fine sour mash and good music. Valery Stepanov knows how to make me happy for sure. 

There is nothing better than great fusion (aka sound delight).

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tough Talk, As Usual.

US State Department declares that it will counteract Russia's "military activity" near Ukraine (in Russian) and we all know that it cannot but there are other ways. 

The U.S. imposed sanctions on a ship involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as the Biden administration looks to exert more pressure on Russia without antagonizing Germany.

In related news, I have in mind a list of janitors and drivers from Gazprom who could be sanctioned by the US. Hey, that will show them, damn Russkies. And, of course, how can one live without Ted Cruz performing a simulation of productive activity. 

The move is unlikely to mollify critics of the Biden administration in Congress. Lawmakers from both parties want the U.S. to take a tougher stand against a project they say undermines European security by giving Russia more leverage over the continent. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has held up most of President Joe Biden’s State Department nominees over the issue.

That's modern America for you. Having said all that, I want to reiterate--NATO doesn't have forces not only to "counter-act" anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia. Meddling in 404? Absolutely! Throw in some advisors, some Javelins, some ammo and some boats. Of course, it changes absolutely nothing, but CJCS General Milley and Valery Gerasimov had a conversation today over the phone.

Amid growing tensions in Europe, Russia's most senior military general, Valery Gerasimov, has discussed “pressing issues of international security” with his direct American counterpart Mark Milley, during a phone call on Tuesday. The Pentagon confirmed that the two “military leaders discussed several security-related issues of concern.” The phone call was part of efforts aimed at ensuring “risk reduction and operational de-confliction,” its statement added.Neither the Pentagon, nor the Russian Defense Ministry have revealed any additional details of the call in their respective statements. It came as Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said American nuclear-capable bombers had made dozens of sorties across Eastern Europe in recent weeks.The drills involved the bombers practicing “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” Shoigu said after meeting with Chinese defense minister, Wei Fenghe, in Moscow on Tuesday.
It is good that they talk, because the rest of a discussion in the US public policy sphere, including the US State Department, is a show for US media. Here is an example, General Keane providing zero content of any value on those hyper-sonic technologies (and Ukraine, of course). 
I respect General Keane's career and all, but he really should update himself on "what the US learned" about Soviet Union and deterrence. I'll give him a hint--US learned nothing. At this stage I doubt that General Keane who is retired and is 78, I believe, even despite his, I am sure, serious connections in Pentagon fully grasps what has already transpired. For starters the United States never could defend itself from the launch of Soviet cruise missiles and that is why were so anxious to sign the INF treaty which would make this missile removed from Soviet subs.Obviously we are talking about RK-55 Granat (SS-N-21) "Sampson" cruise missile. But never allow facts to get in a way of a good narrative, including this BS about Russia "invading" 404. 
 
But Keane struck me absolutely with his lack of understanding what it means to "intercept" hyper-sonic missile. Apart from the fact that US recon satellites and X-37 are already made obsolete, especially with S-550 and A-235 already deployed or about to be deployed in the nearest future, especially as mobile complexes, the main question is this: even if you see the hyper-sonic weapon's launch, what are you going to do about it? Moreover, you can "observe" gliders, what are you going to do when you "observe" launches by 3M22 Zircon or Kinzhal from MiG-31K or TU-22M3M, how does it change the situation for the targets. I have the answer--changes absolutely nothing because you cannot shoot down those. There is nothing in the US arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That's the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing US (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get ball SIGINT it can once Russia's C4ISR gets into full combat mode. 
 
Only military "experts" from the US media still believe that:

Russia still has a military edge over Ukraine, but Ukraine has plans to make a future war more costly for Moscow.

They have no clue how this war, if it comes to it, will look like, including if NATO, headed by the US, decides to somehow "intervene". Here is a question to General Keane--what are you going to do if this happens and provocation succeeds? Keane was in Vietnam, so he knows how it looks and feels like when things go not as planned. I am not counting all those "experiences" in Iraq and Kosovo as serious campaigns. I already gave a ball park number of a required NATO force to fight Russia in Ukraine--it has to be around a million of combat personnel to have any chance to accomplish anything, forget having some sort of "victory", whatever it will be called such by NATO. Good luck assembling it in a month (while Russia can mobilize 2 million in approximately the same time), or even in 3 months and then trying to conduct combined arms operations in 404. The United States cannot conduct serious combined arms war in Europe even if it wants to--she simply has no resources for that and time doesn't stand still. With each passing moment the myth of the "finest fighting force in history" evaporates and without this myth the scaffolding of the American Empire continues to collapse with the increasing speed. The time is running out fast, really fast.

This is what drives D.C. insane, especially humiliated Pentagon, which still has enough policy "advisors" (mostly civilian political scientists warmongers) who think that the US can fight Russia in Ukraine. As Bernhard of Moon of Alabama suggests:

The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine

For an institution which didn't win a single war in the last 70 years with the exception of a turkey shoot against utterly backward Iraqi force and never faced equal of superior enemy (no surprise for an institution venerating a military mediocrity such as Patton as a "great" general) the desire to wash off, let's speak without undue restrain here, the shame of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea that they can fight Russia is down right preposterous. As are, for the most part, most of the military power metrics used till recently by the US policy-makers as a proof of the US military superiority such as... the size of military budget and visuals of, indeed, impressive US Navy carriers. As Bernhard concludes:

I don't think that a deal would actually help Biden in the polls. The hawks would scream about it. They want a war in the Ukraine and the U.S. involved in it. However the U.S. public is still unlikely to support a war against Russia which would likely soon escalate. But a Ukrainian Russian war that the Ukraine is sure to lose and in which the White House does not intervene will lead to huge loss of face. That prospect then may indeed motivate Biden to give Russia the guarantees it wants.

Now, Andrei Raevsky gives a good write-up on Russia's forces and their distribution at what one would call "threatening directions (axis)". Andrei concludes:
And so, yes, of course, NATO commanders are frightened by what they see, this is true, and quite understandable.  What is not understandable is why these delusional idiots created the condition which left Russia no other choice than to be ready to fight a full scale war in Europe, including a nuclear one.
And that is why Milley and Gerasimov spoke to each-other. Russia's and America's war experiences can not be compared, Russian one dwarfs that of the United States both in scale, scope and in quality of enemies Russians fought in defense of their country. With the exception of the magnificent US victory in the Pacific in WW II, most of US military experience is that of an expeditionary force designed to fight utterly inferior opponent, and even here the American record is not impressive. But, as I am on record non-stop, the US is ungovernable and is immersed in the internal life-and-death struggle between several oligarchic clans which do not give a rat's ass about the well-being of the majority of Americans, most of who are just decent folks who want to live their lives, and about once beautiful country which was the envy of the world. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

I Thought Black Friday Was 5 Days Away.

But then again, remind myself: make a note--do not visit San Francisco and area. Not that I find this shithole attractive in any way. Make no mistake, by Black Friday I don't mean a tongue in cheek reference to black people, far from it--San Jose is primarily Hispanic and video shows a number of fair skin criminals. 

You need to understand, California is a Democrat La La land. Most of democrats' "intellectual elite" are people who have zero education and human experiences in anything. 

American political class in general is incapable of governance in any form, political party lines notwithstanding--what, do you think this wuss weasel  Ted Cruz knows how to run a public restroom at a gas station, come on--but any democrat-run locality becomes a certified crime-ridden shithole really fast. But if you thought you saw it all, grab a chair and firmly place you ass on it:

President Joe Biden, who just turned 79, intends to run for re-election in 2024. The White House confirmed the persistent rumors, discounting the recent polling showing the Democrat president at record lows. Speaking to reporters on board Air Force One on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden’s desire to run for re-election. The president and the first lady were en route to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for a “Friendsgiving” event with US troops based there.
You could hear this coming from Moscow and Beijing, I assume. 
I guess we need to apply for Canadian passports, at least we can always hide our shame, while visiting Russia, behind general Canadian desperation from not winning the Stanley Cup in ages as a respectable explanation for being dumb--Russians get it. America is becoming a laughing stock. This is beyond ridiculous. What's next--awarding Joe Biden a fourth star of the Hero of The Soviet Union, or Congressional Medal of Honor for being dumb? Come on, give Brezhnev a credit--at least he was a bona fide combat veteran who sustained a serious concussion from enemy fire. Biden family, on the other hand....

Really?

Oh boy, I sense another memorial erected by Democrats and their media for a "victim" of "white supremacy". 

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The SUV driver who plowed into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring 48, was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier, Waukesha’s police chief said Monday. Police Chief Dan Thompson said that there was no evidence the bloodshed Sunday was a terrorist attack or that the suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., knew anyone in the parade. Brooks acted alone, the chief said. Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee, had left the site of the domestic disturbance before officers arrived, and was not being chased by police at the time of the crash, according to the chief, who gave no further details on the dispute. Police said they were drawing up five charges of intentional homicide against Brooks. He has been charged with crimes 16 times since 1999 and had two outstanding cases against him at the time of the parade disaster — including one in which he was accused of deliberately running down a woman with his vehicle.

CNN and MSNBC (of course, we should never discount efforts by Al Sharpton, a euphemism for a race-bating ass-hole) should get very busy mobilizing their audience for marches against those damn "white supremacists", especially children, who threw themselves at the hood of this completely "innocent" guy's truck and killed themselves to make this dude look bad. It becomes increasingly clear that Democrats' run localities are ungovernable and if the judge posts a whole $1000 bail for a guy who has already shown a tendency for a vehicular homicide, this judge has to be looked at. In general, take a look at Seattle and Portland and make your own conclusions--anything Democrats touch turns to shit and this is from the guy (me) who cannot stand these creeps from GOP.  Remarkably, for some reason this party of loonies and moral freaks is called "left". Wow. They are not "left", they are perverts, as are their European counterparts.