Ah, those Russian
untermensch, how could they point out, out of their own "historical
practices", among which were such things as liberation of Auschwitz, the
fact that among typical Clapper's and his ilk "techniques" are
killing with impunity of millions of innocent civilians, destroying nations,
co-opting, penetrating, gaining....wait, these are Russian genetic traits. So,
there you are, we finally arrived to what I warned about. I know there were
some German POW camps in and around Phoenix, AZ in the immediate aftermath of
WW II. I think, Mr.Clapper should look very attentively into the possibility of
turning those into the concentration camps for untermensch, I mean Russians,
whose genetic composition is a clear and present danger to the American
"democracy". So, there you are, boys and girls--the
"best" what US "intelligence" could produce, and this are
also views of very many in US "elites". In the end, preserving of precious
bodily fluids is so important.
This event, unlike the maiden flight of COMAC C919, is huge. MC-21 is a full and extremely competitive package. The first prototype was powered by Pratt And Whitney engines (presumably for prospective foreign customers), starting from the fourth prototype MC-21 will be powered by PD-14. Apart from being a state-of-the-art aircraft, MC-21 boasts, the only, in his class of mid-range commercial jets, vacuum infused carbon fiber (composite) wing. This makes this wing both extremely strong and light. At this stage there are 175 firm orders for this plane with more to follow, once one considers Russia's vast market for this type of aircraft, which for now is dominated by B737 and A320, many of them bought used (second-hand). In this case it is up to Irkut Corporation and UAC to provide appropriate financing and services to this plane.
UPDATE: I couldn't miss this, Yak-130 (light fighter/trainer) which escorted MC-21maiden flight, having some kind of aerial.... orgasm? ;)) Some really good flying in the end of the video.
This is the photo of wives of the leaders of the NATO members on their gathering in Brussels. Yes, wives, all right? The dude in the second row right behind the right shoulder of always stunning Melania is also a... wife. He is a wife of Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel and his (her, its?) name is Gauthier Destenay. This is so progressive and so... fabulous.
I was reading today about T-4 Truman Kimbro, the recipient of Congressional Medal Of Honor, who died heroically at the Northern Face of the Bulge, saving his squad, while mining, being severely wounded, the cross-roads near Rocherath during the Battle of The Bulge. 25 year old kid sacrificed his life delaying the breakthrough of German armor into the rear of his 2nd Infantry Division and saving his combat buddies. I am preparing the post on Ardennes ordeal. The contrast between this photo and what Truman Kimbro did (Russians know an outstanding heroism when they see one) and what Western Europe, which Allies liberated, has become can not be starker. What would this real American hero say, should he be alive today, about the country near which he inscribed his name into the pantheon of military heroes? This is not a "What would Jesus do" type of question, this is a real moral metric relative to which one has to judge oneself. One could see this moral bar raised again in Russia with her immense Immortal Regiment marches. But as I said before, and I will repeat it again:
They didn't fight at Kursk and Omaha Beach for this.
I, however, disagree with Fred in one thing. He writes:
Journalists are not stupid, running to well above
average in intelligence. You could form a large chapter of Mensa by
raiding newsrooms in Washington. However, with a fair few exceptions,
they are not intellectuals, not contemplative, not studious. They are
high-pressure fact-accountants, competitive, comfortable under tight
deadlines, aggressive, combative, quick but shallow. This can be a
serviceable substituent for stupid.
I have to correct Fred here: stupidity is not defined by IQ metric alone. Real intellect is defined by self-awareness and understanding of own limitations, which, in the end, is a moral category. The world is filled with all those "through-the-roof IQ" and "Mensa level intelligence" failures and losers, who never achieved anything in their lives--I personally know several of them. US main-stream media "journalists" fail every metric in a framework which values knowledge, competence and truth. Life is complex and so are the outcomes. Other than that small note, the piece by Fred is superb and he nails it when he writes:
They don’t know America, and they don’t much like it.
I see nothing intellectual about that and may add only that they know nothing about Russia, China, the rest of the world, about war, peace, culture, morality, common good, people in general and the list goes on, and on, and on. So much for "intelligence" of ignorant hacks.
Some people abroad sometimes ask: how come that Russia whose population is hovering slightly above 146 million mark still remains in a race in many truly hi-tech fields globally. Well, there is no secret here. Admiral Hyman Rickover knew it all along with his "Russian educational menace" as early as 1960.
Obviously, many things go into the competitiveness, but one of the pillars of this competitiveness remains national educational level in STEM--Science, Technology, Engineering And Math. Mind you, not in journalism, music or political science. One of subdivisions of this STEM is the field of programming languages and software engineering. So, yesterday, the results of World Finals in International Collegiate Programming Contest 2017 have been published. Here is a screenshot of first 10 places.
Out of 10 first places, 4, that is 40%, are taken by Russia's colleges. Out of first 20, 7, that is 35%, are taken by Russians. This is what is called a preponderance. This absolutely doesn't mean that while traveling somewhere in Irkutsk (a lovely city, very sophisticated) or in Magadan (former capital of GULAG) and seeing Russian gopniks,
This is a basic Russian model
These are Czech gopniks at their convention in Prague
you would expect them discussing peculiarities of formal logic going into program languages or methods of OOP (Object Oriented Programming). Not at all. But you may expect a very tough STEM curriculum in any Russian institution of higher learning in appropriate field and, also, in many public schools, including those in Magadan. Russians simply know how to prepare own elite. It is really very simple, basic statistics. As Clausewitz' dictum goes: the more nation is involved in war, the more numerous are the instances of military genius. The same applies pretty much to any field and it just happened so that it is STEM--always was, is and will remain so--that happens to be the most important of them. Humanities follow, in the end--the best philosophers are very often produced in the field of precise sciences. Be it Rene Descartes or one of the fathers of Russian Cosmism (and the father, one of, of spaceflight) Constantin Tsiolkovsky. So, technical nerds do have this knack for serious generalizations which transcend the world of pure numbers. Many of them wax philosophical and do it very often better than some Ph.Ds in philosophy. Indeed, who knows them other then some pretentious nerds, yet Doctor Michio Kaku is known globally and the whole world (yours truly included) reads his books and find them compelling not only in scientific but in a larger philosophical sense.
So, there you go--some of the "secret" to Russians still being around in military, science, technology, economy, high art, what have you--teach them well, they will later pay it back by becoming excellent engineers, scientists, teachers, designers of technology....you name it.
The main question, however, remains--what is this "support", what goes into it, how does this "support" manifest itself? What does "some level" stand for, what is definition of this level? Russians lecturing Taliban on Theory Of Operational Research and getting those Afghan dudes into the neck of the woods of Osipov-Lanchester Differential Equations or Salvo Model? Or maybe consulting them on Net Centric Warfare? Providing "intelligence", maybe? Considering what passes for "intelligence" today in US, one may assume that giving local civilians a weather forecast for a week may be considered an "intelligence". Who knows what is the semantics of this newspeak and, boy, are we entering this territory fast, the next stop--a thought-crime. But at least it is good that someone of some standing admitted that they've not "seen any physical evidence", for Orwellian reality it will suffice.
The horror continues and the tragedy in Manchester is, sadly, just another one in a vicious circle of terrorism unleashed on Europe. My heart goes out to the victims of this barbarity and to people of Manchester. But the question remains--is Europe ready to do something about this? Will it even put up a fight before dying? Terrorist acts are becoming, sadly, an almost everyday occurrence and yet, both US and UK are deeply involved with main sponsors of ISIS--KSA and Qatar. It defies common sense.
This makes C919 only good for China's internal market. C929, however, is a totally different game. It gets into the B787 and A330 NEO markets directly both in China and, eventually, internationally. It will be doing this with traditionally superb Russian air-frame and PD-35 jet-engine, a larger, more powerful version of PD-14. So, the stage is set for a big play in the most "hot" commercial market. Of course, others didn't sit idly:
I, frankly, can not see any possibility of Saudis producing anything, let alone hi-end weapon systems, for a simple reason of this barbaric culture being good only at avoiding any productive labor by all means. The picture of some Saudi operating a 5-axis CNC, or some complex assembly line--sorry, folks, doesn't compute. If any Saudi atrocity (supported by US) in Yemen is any indication, Saudis and hi tech weapons simply do not mix. All this disaster in Yemen, mind you, being committed by the country whose military budget in 2015 was larger than that of Russia. And, yet--look at Yemen "operation".
It is, of course, too early to pass a sound judgement on what has transpired in Riyadh, but I am sure Tehran is getting closer to calling Moscow by now and it may be totally justified. As Colonel Lang observed, Saudi Arabia just bought herself a tool and its anti-Iranian nature is obvious. Iran knows that Moscow will not allow Iran to fall, so the game about to begin. But here is a catch for Saudis, unlike them, Iranians do manufacture things and seeing Iranian running 5-axis CNC is nothing special. I know for a fact, that 10-15 years ago Iran had excess of engineers and physics majors, some of whom, and you may have guessed it already, were taught in Russia.
I remember early 1977 and us staying in the front of turntable in some flat in the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky listening to Pavlov's Dog album Pampered Menial and being floored by David Surcamp's amazing voice and band's stunning musicianship. We thought it was a British band. Of course, David was rated as the #3 vocalist behind Ian Gillan and (IIRC) David Coverdale then. Boy, we were wrong--an American band from St.Lois, Missouri, created a Gothic music of unimaginable beauty and depth. This was the progressive rock at its best.
I have it all, in LP, CD and MP3. We thought (and they were at some moment of time) they were the greatest band in the world. ABC signed them at half-a-million dollar contract--the largest ever in recording history then.
Each time I hear this I long for those times, when the music was good.... no, it was outstanding, so much so to take it with you to the island and be lost.
And I mean the way they were and are known, not some Typhoon (after the missile complex) moniker. Project 941 Strategic Missile Submarines, Akula. I post here some photos which convey better than anything I ever saw the mammoth size of those beasts. First is pretty much generic view of those subs near pier.
Now to how people look in comparison:
The question is, even considering the fact that those are very expensive ships to maintain, and plans exist to scrap two out of remaining three, what is going to happen, if somebody among the powers that be decides that it is too early to scrap those beasts? Yes, I am aware that they are not as silent as their younger heirs but Dmitry Donskoi, which underwent a refit as a Bulava SLBM test platform, is still around and doing well. And there were calls from some quarters (in Russian) to retain remaining boats Archangelsk and Severstal' for, and you may have guessed it already, not SLBMs but as Kalibr (and possibly Zircon) carriers. After modernization, of course. You know what is approximate number of cruise (land-attack, anti-shipping and anti-submarine) missiles such a boat can carry? In accordance to Alexandr Mozgovoy, one of the most competent observers of Russian Navy, the number is 396, yes, you are not mistaken three hundred ninety six cruise missiles. This is a devastating fire power and, yes, let's face it, a submerged and very Russified version of a US Navy's good ol' idea of Arsenal Ships.
Of course, one may (justifiably, I may say) raise the issue of first four Ohio-class SSBNs converted to SSGNs but the similarity between the two will be very superficial. To start with, the idea of Arsenal ship hasn't been born in a vacuum, Soviet Navy's Project 1144 (Kirov-class) nuclear battle cruiser can easily claim the fatherhood of arsenal ships concept since were conceived as...well, arsenal ships, albeit for a Sea Denial mission. But much more is important, when comparing 154 Tomahawks, carried by Ohio-class SSGNs and any Russian Navy's concept or actual sub is the fact that all modern Russian subs carry or will carry large quantities of extremely capable anti-shipping missiles--this is full blown Sea Denial mission, which in layman's lingo means sinking enemy's ships and subs. If sinking is done by current 660 kilometer (350 nautical miles) range P-800 or 3M54 or whatever comes soon in the shape of 3M22, Sea Denial and A2/AD implications become more than just operational or strategic, they become political. Potentially, even a single Akula in Cruise Missile configuration (allegedly Project 941 KU) becomes, after proper modernization, a massive factor without even leaving relatively comfortable confines of the Russia's fleet and ASW patrol aviation zones.
Are these fantasies or a viable operational (and technological) concepts? Difficult to say, but Russia employed unorthodox technologies not for once, be it on land, in the air or in the sea. Will such a hypothetical modernization of remaining Akulas be expensive? Hell, yes. But so is modernization of Peter The Great, not to mention Admiral Nakhimov. I think those underwater mastodons didn't say their last word yet and considering financial restraints for building a whole new fleet of yet another SSGNs, apart from actively building Yasen-class (Project 885) SSGNs, using of the good ole' Red Oct....forgive me, Akulas doesn't seem to be such a far fetched idea after all. In the end, a decision (a correct one) to modernize a fleet of Project 1155 Large ASW ships is being implemented. You all know a very old principle--If Ain't Broke Don't Fix It. One may add--use it.
Vladimir Putin used a different word when he addressed a "classified info leakage to Russians" by President Trump--a completely false BS invented in deep recesses of WaPo sewer.
either do not understand that they are harming their own country, which
means they are just short-sighted, or they understand everything, and
that means that they are dangerous and unscrupulous people,"
No, Vladimir Putin didn't use the word unscrupulous, he used the word нечистоплотные, that is unclean, dirty and that is precisely what modern US so called "establishment", from its media-industrial complex to a political pornography show, aka US Congress, are. Those people simply have no grasp what they are doing since most of who the US political class attracts are people who must be kept away from political power since their loyalties are to themselves (and their contributors) only. They really do not understand what they are doing since they can not grasp results, yes they are that dumb. IQ alone, and I am pretty sure a bunch of US legislators do have high IQs, is not a good metric for overall assessment of results which require much more than agility of a mind, but real intellect and some rudimentary moral principles--that is the capacity to become and stay at least somewhat clean.
Are those people dangerous? Hell yes they are, apart from being self-serving political operatives, they are dumb and that is where the danger lies. But that brings us to a much larger issue--what does it mean then to have an intellect. The answer is simple--there is no real intellect without a strong core of morality, that is a clear understanding of the difference between good and evil, and without clear understanding of this intellect's limitations. Current American political class, with some important and high profile exceptions, doesn't have it. Marco Rubios, John McCains, Lyndsey Grahams and other sappy sentimental pathetic Chuck Schumers of the American political panopticon contributed greatly to the state of the affairs in the world today and it is a very bad state of the affairs. It is this very class which is now finishing off the American Republic and, with it, what's left of the American Dream.
Like a financial capital, which leeches off the industrial, productive capital and eventually kills it, the same is with this despicable lying, conniving, amoral professional prostitute political class, which leeches off Republic and eventually kills it. It almost did already. I wrote not for once, I will repeat it again--today, the United States is reminiscent of a convulsing dying patient with internal parasites ready to come out:
The only barrier to this violent death is Donald Trump and he will need all support he can get, even from those who do not like him, since what is at stake is more than just whatever people put into this American Democracy meme, the United States as a nation and, with it, fates of the world are. I am not being melodramatic, unlike some "intelligence" supposedly professionals like Comey, Clapper or whoever else, I lived and survived the collapse of one "empire" and know damn well what it is first hand. Most of US political class has no clue what may come, isolated in their bubble they think that they can control the chaos they are sowing. They can't, especially being that feeble-minded and... dirty.
Today, a very famous Russian media resource Vzglyad posted the results of a poll on what kind of relations would Russians prefer with the United States. After more than 9000 people answered what emerged is rather peculiar in a sense that Russians simply want to be left alone.
Russians long ago stopped viewing the United States as possible ally and after West's committing a cultural suicide in Russia with West's inspired coup in Kiev, the only thing Russians do want is for West to just go away. That is what this neutrality means.
I am often critical and sometimes outright dismissive of US foreign policy and a "doctrine" which is in the foundation of a disaster which US foreign policy is. I still remain on this position and I can justify it; it is not very difficult to do. Having said all that, when looking at the sorry state of today's world and understanding that it is undergoing profound changes, there are constants one must consider when analyzing those changes. Among those constants are legitimate national interests of the United States of America. The United States does have national interests which she absolutely must protect and her livelihood depends on protection of those interests. But what are those interests? What is "legitimate" in this case, what is worth for the US to draw real red lines and fight for? This is not an easy question to answer. Once pathos-ridden globalist rhetoric, which permeates most of American geopolitical documents, is discounted, one has to recognize that far from being self-proclaimed guarantor of "world order", the United States not only contributed greatly to its destabilization but ran out of resources to even barely maintain this order, let alone take on what US considers her main geopolitical rivals: Russia and China.
As Bronislaw Malinowski wrote in his An Anthropological Analysis Of War in 1941:
Another interesting point in the study of aggression is that, like charity, it begins at home.
In 1951 Daniel J. Levinson in his Authoritarian Personality And Foreign Policy went further:
America has only recently come of age internationally; the understanding of international relations requires an ability and a readiness to think in terms of institutional abstractions to which Americans are only just getting accustomed; our newspapers and other communications media tend to perpetuate the existing confusion and ideological immaturity... The American nation as a symbol is glorified and idealized; it is regarded as superior to other nations in all important respects. Great emphasis is placed on such concepts as national honor and national sovereignty. Other nations are seen as inferior, envious, and threatening. At the worst they are likely to attack us; at best they seek alliances only to pursue their own selfish aims and to "play us for a sucker".
This was written 66 years ago. Most of it applies today easily to current America and it is precisely a set of the US' recurring attitudes which prevents her from both formulating her vital national interests and defending them. I could go deep into American Founding Fathers ideas and wax historical here but those points of view and ideas are so well known that it simply makes no sense to repeat them again. Maybe with the exception of John Quincy Adams' reminder to US Congress in 1821 that America:
Adams was prescient. But the problem of modern day America turning into "empire" is the fact that US fails miserably as an empire to start with and, for all intents and purposes, is not very good at fighting those "imperial" wars. Not to speak of Adams' warning which came true completely--"enlisting under other banners", those banners being, of course, first of all banners of Israel and of Arabian Peninsula medieval satrapies. A catastrophe in the Middle East was not in American national interest, not to speak of the millions upon millions killed, maimed, displaced innocent Arabs, Christians, Alawites etc. But then again, how US can define her real national interest when she fights constantly for someone else' interests, many of which far from being merely economic ones, are very often genocidal, such as the case of Saudi Arabia's (with US support) behavior in Yemen or Israel being more interested in the existence of Al Qaeda and ISIS than of secular Syrian government.
One may wax anti-colonial and anti-imperialist whatever one wants--yes, Belgian behavior in Kongo was inhumane--but British imperialism didn't leave just negative marks on its colonies. It left after itself often whole government institutions which worked, it also left skilled administrative, technical and intellectual local elite, it also provided a developmental impetus in places where such a development was greatly retarded. It is not a secret that many in current political and military elite in India went through Oxford and Sandhurst. Friedrich Engels, hardly a Russophile, defined Russian imperial expansion as:
Despite her Slavic dirt and baseness, Russia provides civilizing influence on her Asiatic subjects.
But this is not what US does with her "empire". Whole Middle East is on fire, Western Europe which was liberated by Allies in WW II is in a cultural death spiral and economic troubles, US involvement in Indo-China in 1960s resulted in utter destruction of the region, with millions of people dead. Building "democracy" in Afghanistan or even Iraq--places which never had a culture even remotely compatible with "democracy"--is an unmitigated disaster. In the end, the so called "liberal democracy" practiced in US resulted in cultural and political trends which completely torn the nation apart and threaten to bury it completely under the rubble of cultural, racial, economic, ideological and political warfare. How can one possibly formulate sensible national interests when the subject which must generate these interests is in a state which is hardly conducive for calm and productive discussion on what real American national interests ARE?
Are American national interests "large" in economic sense? Absolutely they are--US is still second economy in the world and has a huge internal market and it shouldn't have surrendered her industry to China to start with. What are REAL military threats to the US? Is North Korean missile program a threat to the US? Potentially, yes but how serious a threat? The Fat Thing in Pyongyang is not suicidal. Is Russia a threat? Militarily--only within US globalist world view, since will keep US from global military "dominance" (greatly overrated and talked up), once globalist (and treasonous) US "elite" is discounted, Russia becomes a natural ally, but what about China? Is US maritime dominance under challenge? Only in littorals of the nations US wants to attack, Russia included. US ocean dominance is not under threat and nobody really cares to challenge it there--overwhelming majority of nations are for safe navigation and movement of the goods. Is Latin America a US' "backyard"? Objectively it is but what is US' game plan there? Is globalism a national security threat to US herself? Absolutely--it is poison which kills US slowly but surely. Those questions are numerous and they must be first stated and then answered before one can even start formulating real national interests of the United States. Donald Trump started doing this during his campaign but we all can chip in. Will we?
UPDATE: what a coincidence, Pat Buchanan, whom I respect deeply, despite not always agreeing with his point of view, published today (a day after my post) a piece with telling title: What Is America's Goal In The World.
There Pat discusses a lot of issues which I posted about yesterday. As I said, I do not always agree with Pat but he is always worthy of listening to.