Monday, June 29, 2015

While West is "celebrating" its rainbow demise........

One of the greatest rock voices of all time--Valeriy Kipelov (former Ariya). Together with one of the insane guitar players of all time- Sergei Mavrin and Terentiev.

Manyakin on drums is not bad either.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars? #2

Pointing out the author's mistakes can take a long time, but there is one thought in the article which, should it have been published alone, without the rest of author's frivolous interpretation of military history and warfare, would be a worthy observation. 

"It’s limited war for Americans, and total war for those fighting Americans. The United States has more power; its foes have more willpower."(c)  

This is it, and arriving to this correct conclusion, strangely, happened not thanks but despite most of author's arguments. This single phrase encapsulates, however crudely, the essence of American modern (XX-XXI centuries) military history--US political and military elites are simply not conditioned by the Continental Warfare, while most of the rest of the word IS. In fact, many nations became nations in large degree due to the Continental Warfare. On the other hand, in the last 200 years, not a single American serviceman died actually defending the United States proper. All those Margaret Mitchel's references, in her immortal Gone With The Wind, to two different "nations" are plain simple wrong--American Civil War was not a war of two different nations and the only foreign contingents present on both sides were volunteers from other nations. The only foreign power which was present, without directly participating in the hostilities, if anyone forgot, were two Russian naval squadrons  stationed in San-Francisco (Admiral Popov) and New York (Admiral Lesovsky). Both were friendly to Union.  

This question, of why has America stopped winning wars, evidently bothers not only Mr. Tierny. The publisher of The American Conservative, Jon Basil Utlеy, also tries to rationalize this American manifest failure to achieve any political objectives (that is win) of the wars the United States started in the last 15 or so years. 

12 Reasons America Doesn’t Win Its Wars 

One may agree or disagree with Utley's rationalization but that is not the point, what is important is recent appearance of number of similar pieces precisely on this issue--why there are no victories or, at least, some tangible positive results in American wars. This is symptomatic. Reducing the explanation of this phenomenon, as Utley does, to mere economic determinants does not provide full answer. In the end, war is a cultural act, Continental Warfare is a national act--one either surrenders to the mercy, or lack thereof, of the victor or fights to the last man for the benefit of his people. United States simply has no such culture, no matter how one tries to rationalize it, no American soldier died defending Chicago from panzer assault, Denver was never bombed, and had thousands of its inhabitants killed as a result, by enemy's air force. No death camps, no acts of genocide committed against US population (I omit here a very sensitive issue of Native Americans) ever. NO combined arms warfare, with all its horrors, on the territory of the US, period. As a result--no necessity to be driven, as Chesterton succinctly put it, by the love of what is behind soldier's back, as opposed to hatred toward what is in front. 

US naval operations of the WW II are the largest ever attempted in the naval history, they also saw magnificent manifestations of the American naval leadership and courage but, yet again, NO real danger to the United States proper existed then. And no matter how we are going to be circling around this issue, the bottom line is simple--US loses its wars because no danger exists for the American people and their realm. Neither American elites nor US military are conditioned by the realities of Continental Warfare. Since American Civil War they knew and still know that US will not fight any combined arms war on its territory, period. The tragedy of 9-11, which was one off, however spectacular in the worst meaning of this word, act of the non-state actor merely supports this conclusion. US responded with the bungled "War On Terror" effort, invaded and destroyed innocent nation and, in the last 15 years, failed to achieve any serious political aims, which were stated in terms of the, detached from the reality, ideologems. Americans "lose" interest in these wars (as Utlеy states) because no danger exists for them and, when it exists, such as Russian nuclear triad, the enemy is a rational player and does not desire any war, precisely for the reasons of being conditioned by it. As Michael Lind states clearly:

"The possibility of military defeat and invasion are usually left out of the United states and Britain. The United States, if one discounts Pearl Harbor has not suffered a serious invasion from 1812; Britain, though it has been bombed from the air in the (20th century), has been free from foreign invasion even longer....Elsewhere in the world, political elites cannot as easily separate foreign policy and economics."(c)

 Sand castle geopolitics II  

Until the United States understands this simple truth, that it is not a Continental Warfare power and, in fact, is not culturally conditioned to fight it, the world will be presented with, one after another, American expeditionary campaigns, which will have little to do with US military security and safety of the US proper. If, however, in some near future (I hope so, but don't hold my breath) this point of view will find its place in American geopolitical thinking, this will be the largest victory United States would ever achieve. Meanwhile, until any expeditionary war will remain for the US another "Good War", as Studs Terkel once observed in his classic book, no changes could be expected--US will start and will lose many more. Meanwhile, contemplating the circumstances under which the vicious circle of American global warfare could be broken is too scary of an affair, albeit James Schlesinger's "prescription" could be a good start. That, or sending US elites' sons and daughters into combat to Afghanistan's US Army's FOBs to ponder the questions of war and peace and what they are ready to die for.


Thursday, June 4, 2015


One of the legends of the world's progressive rock, Hungarian stalwarts, Omega is going to play the concert hall of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.  

For those who don't know what Omega is--they should start with Idorablo (The Time Stealer) and immortal Gammapolis--masterpieces of post-Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of The Moon and Wish You Were Here psychedelic rock.  Omega produced one of the most melodic and piercing masterpieces of the closing year of 1970s. 

And, of course, the best dancing Soviet (Hungarian) song of 1970-s:

And, of course, one of the best riffs of the 1970s, together with Deep Purple and Uriah Heep:


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars? #1

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars? This is not me sitting here inventing topics for the next post--it is the title of the June 2 2015 article in The  Atlantic. 

Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars? 

It is a good question to ponder but the Atlantic's article, written by Associate Professor of Political Science (sigh, of course, what else) Dominic Tierny, who is also The Atlantic's contributing editor, while dismally failing to coherently answer the question it asks, does, in some bizarre way, by the virtue of what it doesn't talk about and by whom it is written,  answers it perfectly. Yes, paradox, I know. But, before I start discussing the issue, I want to forestall some inevitable protestations and point out, that the United States certainly does have a significant military history, some of which is glorious, some of which is without parallels in human history, considering the scale and scope of US Navy's Pacific War operations, which dwarfs anything in the history of naval warfare. US did produce some outstanding military leaders such as George C. Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Admirals Nimitz and Burke, to name a few. American soldier is a good soldier--he is smart, courageous and resourceful. But that, of course, doesn't answer main question, which Tierny tries, unsuccessfully, to answer and here is why.

Knowing history by itself, at least one of its versions, doesn't mean that much in itself, unless a proper apparatus is used in understanding why and how something is happening in relation to other things. Tierny's opening salvo in the article kills any possibility of any coherent competent answer. But when one doesn't know history at all, that is what one writes:

 Since 1945, the United States has experienced little except military stalemate and loss—precisely because it’s a superpower in a more peaceful world.(c)

This Tierny's statement is so absurd that it is even difficult to comment on it--it is akin to explaining to one of the oncological center's patients that he (or she) is dying because he or she is absolutely healthy and cancer free and nothing could be done about it. I don't remember any occasion on which any person died (other than of age or being killed) from being absolutely healthy. It is one of the two--either this person was killed and died a violent death, or this person wasn't healthy at all. When people die, while looking healthy, they die from, and you've guessed it, a serious health issue which wasn't diagnosed or was overlooked. If the United States, being a military superpower, can not win a single serious war since 1945 it means only two things--US is either NOT a military superpower or something is really-really wrong with the definition of military superpower itself.  No other explanation is possible here and I can not dwell on this for too long since the logic (rather lack thereof) behind this statement is incomprehensible and Tierny tries to rationalize this wowser of the strategic "wisdom" further in his article and comes up with yet another wowser:

Why does the United States struggle in war? How can it resolve a failing conflict? Can America return to victory? Today, these are critical questions because we live in an age of unwinnable conflicts, where decisive triumph has proved to be a pipe dream.(c)

Here, one has to ask a question--under what stone did Mr. Tierny spend last decade in order to come up with such sweeping and, I may add, totally ignorant conclusion. Obviously, for the associate professor of political "science" it may come as a surprise but military science, which is an actual, valid science, gives very clear and universal definition of the victory and loss. Any first year cadet of any military academy in the world, as well as serious military history aficionados, know that victory in the war is achieving its political objectives. Or, as good ole Clausewitz stated in his military charts topping hit Vom Kriege--it is "to compel the enemy to do our will"(c). Well, even the brief review of the warfare in the last 15 or so years shows that not only conflicts are winnable but many of them were won and some of them--decisively. Recalling the ill-fated adventure of the American stooge and psychopath Michel Saakashvilli into South Ossetia on 08-08-2008 comes to mind immediately. The conflict was basically over in 120 hours and it ended with Georgian Armed Forces' disintegration in a face of numerically inferior Russian units of the 58th Army, the ultimate rout of the remaining Georgian forces and final partition of Georgia herself. All political objectives of that war were achieved by Russia and those included preventing Saakashvilli from further killing of innocent Ossetian civilians, from ever attacking Russian peacekeepers there and, in the end, spelled doom to Saakashvili's regime itself, with petty former Georgian dictator currently serving as Odessa Region's governor in doomed Ukraine. Voila', here is a good example of winnable conflict. I can continue with this list for a long time but let me add here a very strange blast from the past.  In the words of the US Army's Lieutenant Colonel Lester Grau, the foremost US authority on the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan of 1979-1989, from Grau's US Army's Staff College in Fort Leavenworth's Treatise:

"There is a literature and a common perception that the Soviets were defeated and driven from Afghanistan. This is not true. When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, they did so in a coordinated, deliberate, professional manner, leaving behind a functioning government, an improved military and an advisory and economic effort insuring the continued viability of the government. The withdrawal was based on a coordinated diplomatic, economic and military plan permitting Soviet forces to withdraw in good order and the Afghan government to survive. The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA)managed to hold on despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Only then, with the loss of Soviet support and the increased efforts by the Mujahideen (holy warriors) and Pakistan, did the DRA slide toward defeat in April 1992. The Soviet effort to withdraw in good order was well executed and can serve as a model for other disengagements from similar nations."

Breaking contact without leaving chaos: the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Lester W. Grau.

And while Grau is somewhat generous here, for obvious reasons, in the end, if not for the collapse of the Soviet Union, the likely outcome in Afghanistan would have been a more or less stable government, which Najibulla was able to maintain for three years after Russians left and we might not have heard about Al Qaeda that much and wouldn't have witnessed the tragedy of 9-11. I would also point out, since Tierny (wrongly) uses American Civil War as an example, a very successful Russian campaign in Chechnya which ended with comprehensive pacification of the restive region and, in fact, produced a serious bulwark against Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism in the South Caucasus. Call it whatever you want, but by all metrics it is called a successful resolution of the conflict. In fact, I am pretty sure that very many, if not the majority of Chechens, are quite happy with the arrangement and so is Russia.

Grozny in 2001

Grozny today

So, what are the bases for Tierny's generalizations is beyond me. But his article is a gift which keeps on giving, he goes on and makes another stunning "revelation":

 World War II ensured the survival of liberal democracy in Western Europe. For Americans, golden-age conflicts became the model of what war ought to look like.(c)

For a guy who uses Patton as a repository of the military wisdom such a ridiculous statement seems only natural. Obviously, Tierny is so ignorant that he never heard of the WW II as a war of annihilation, granted the nature of Nazi regime and of Japanese Imperialism, and, evidently, doesn't understand that this war was NOT about any liberal democracy (however lofty language of Atlantic Charter claimed this to be the case) but was in essence a conflict for survival of civilization, Western one too. It was about survival of humanity, which the staggering numbers of Nazi atrocities against Slavs, Jews and other minorities testify to. Tierny is obviously oblivious to the fate of millions of Chinese killed, raped, enslaved by Imperial Japan. The fact that the so called "liberal democracy" (an abused meme, a simulacra) was one of the reasons for the misery of the WW II, as well as is a reason for contemporary misery and chaos in Middle East, Ukraine and other numerous hot spots--courtesy of the "military theorists" from the "political science" field--doesn't seem to bother the author. And how could it, tens of millions dead, the carnage of European battlefields,  concentration camps, sadistic medical experiments, genocide on the industrial scale--I am sure soldiers at Stalingrad or in Kursk Battle were going on the attack not to annihilate the enemy who raped and pillaged their country, their nation, not to avenge deaths of their wives and children but for the "values" of "liberal democracy", me being sarcastic, of course. WW II ensured the annihilation of the worst evil in human history and for those who accomplished this task the "liberal democracy" was last in their thoughts. In fact, they fought for the values which contradict every single tenet of contemporary "liberal democracy" which resembles more and more totalitarian ideology, destroying every single tenet on which humanity was able to survive for thousands of years. My thinking here goes along the lines that Mr. Tierny should have concentrated more on the issues which his "political science" ilk are more prepared to discuss--how about Transgender studies or some East Coast elitist mambo jumbo. Survival of this "liberal democracy" was not "ensured"--it came as accidental benefit at the expense of those who didn't give a rat's ass about its survival.   They didn't fight at Kursk and Omaha Beach for this.

This is the face of "Liberal Democracy"


But I will continue later.........