Tuesday, April 30, 2019

60 Minutes On Project 885.

I liked Admiral Foggo on the appearance, he comes across as one of those disappearing American types of man--manly, calm, clearly spoken. I don't know about his real reputation among service, though.

But here it is.  Russians Are Coming!!!! Are they? Of course, in accordance to people who gave us Russiagate, Russians are just sleeping and dreaming of how to penetrate Norway in an act of unprovoked aggression.  Oh, wait...

S-500 Is On Line.

The info that revolutionary S-500 air and missile defense complex was already in a slow rate production was circulating since the end of the last year. Now, as Izvestia (in Russian) reports, the system has completed its trials and is fully ready for full-scale production. As always, the trick is not with S-500 itself, despite rather stunning capabilities, but in integration with a vast system of Russia's ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance), from space down to ground level, and with other systems, such as S1 Pantsir designed to deal with all kinds of nasty drones, cruise missiles and JDAM-like munitions.  

As is expected, by far not all data on actual capabilities of S-500 is available, but the range of 600 kilometers against any aerodynamic targets means one not just tactical or even operational, but fully strategic ramification--it is precisely the range within which latest versions of E3 Sentry AWACS aircraft must enter to have any impact of the target acquisition  and battle management. So, you get the idea, right? As you can see, my next book (while still not 100% completed, very close, though) is getting ready for hitting shelves this Summer, and it touches partially on these issues. No NATO Air Force is capable to fight without AWACS enabler. Without it it becomes severely degraded and an easy pick for hostile Air Force and, especially, ground-based modern AD complexes such as Buk-M2, S-400 and S1 in the "ambushes". While one may argue with Irina Alksnis' (in Russian) that Russia didn't exit from arms race, she simply won it, there is very little doubt about the fact that within last 15 years Russia designed, developed and produced some of the most revolutionary weapon systems in history, and which did change warfare and rendered old operational and strategic thinking still dominating Western military-political circles simply obsolete. My new book is precisely about it, not some tactical (well, a little bit) mental masturbation, which I gladly leave to fanboys, also known as media and internet "military experts".  

Completely forgot. Take a look at the latest Borei-A pr. 955A Prince Vladimir (Knyaz Vladimir)--a dramatically different ship, in and out, than previous three. It also looks rather menacing.

Friday, April 26, 2019

I Always Fought In My Life For Everything Good Against Everything Bad.

Exactly like Donald Trump who, yet again, proposed to get rid off nuclear weapons. 
Donald Trump has called on the US, Russia, and China to reduce their nuclear arsenals amid reports that his administration is planning to propose a landmark arms control deal with Beijing and Moscow. In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the US president said that he welcomed Russia’s efforts to help denuclearize the Korean Peninsula – but that more must be done. “We want to get rid of the nuclear weapons, we all have to get rid [of them]. Russia has to get rid of them, and China has to get rid of them,” Trump stated.
I agree--great idea. While at it we might as well negotiate the treaty on limitation of food allergies, teenage boys masturbation and conclude comprehensive international agreement on preservation of unicorns. Why not? But here is this teeny weeny problem, which RT and, actually, Russian Foreign Ministry (I omit here the Russian MoD which is only now recovering from hours of Homeric laughter upon hearing Trump's proposal), define clearly:
Trump may also struggle to convince the international community that Washington will honor any new arms control agreements. His decision to unilaterally pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran angered many US allies, and sparked accusations from Tehran that the US is incapable of keeping its word.
Ahh, yes, this credibility issue. Grandiose statements are easy, keeping the word--is a completely different game, it is hard, much harder than PR tricks. Trump's Administration has a rather underwhelming record in this field of international relations, you know, like sticking to treaties. When even Professors of uber-liberal pro-Western madras such as Higher School of Economics in Moscow calls these Trump's appeals a complete BS (in Russian), one can assume with a very high degree of probability that US level of trust in Russia is not just zero, it is in negative territory. As per China, her nuclear arsenal, even if one considers deliberate deflation by China, is still dwarfed by those of Russia and US. So, nominally, China can not be a party to any reduction efforts, before Russia and US cut their arsenals dramatically to get within Chinese levels. 

So, after Trump's grandiose and totally, as usual, hollow statement, I have only one suggestion to him--to start with unilateral reduction of the numbers of war-mongering lunatics in his Administration before we all get to the point that reduction of nuclear arsenals may, indeed, happen by means of their actual use against actual targets. In general, however, the United States is not a treaty-worthy party, whose signature on any international treaty is useless and guarantees exactly zero. So, what's the point then? PR, nothing more. Meanwhile bi-polar John Huntsman, who just couple days ago was waxing  militaristic with "200, 000 tons of diplomacy",  suddenly recalled that on the 25th of April 1945 Allied and Soviet troops linked at Elbe and that dialog between Washington and Moscow is necessary (in Russian). I wonder what will he say tomorrow? This routine by now is so tiresome and so beaten to death as Trump's TV Show that no one takes United States seriously anymore. Maybe we should just wait for the lineup for the next season, whenever this season arrives.  

UPDATE: LOL!! Not that this treaty is so important or infringes on gun owners rights within the (nation)states--Second Amendment is a very good amendment. But still, the trend and MO of throwing treaties out of the window is obvious. 
US President Donald Trump has announced his administration will stop ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and withdraw from it, calling it “badly misguided” and a threat to American freedoms.The UN will soon receive “formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty,” Trump said on Friday, speaking at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.“I will sign right now, in front of a lot of witnesses, a message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process, and to return the now-rejected treaty to me, to the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it.”
How about not signing such treaties in the first place? 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Where Did I See That Before, Hm?

Joe Biden announces his run:
I have nothing against senior citizens, after all I am getting there myself. But 76 years old? Biden didn't exhibit any intellectual abilities when he was younger, but now, being burdened with a rather respectable age--how is it going to go? US political class is slowly degenerating both into a dumb as a stump youthful immaturity and, in parallel, into a geriatric state. Yes, I recall that, I saw that before:
In the end, Biden is needed to tame Democratic Party's "rebels" such as AOC and other mindless limousine liberals or this party will go down the drain faster than expected. Good luck with that.  Remember Marx? History repeats itself first as a tragedy, then--as a farce. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Jon Huntsman As A Symptom .

Jon Huntsman, a current US Ambassador to Russia still didn't get the message that it is good to learn the history of the country in which you are given the post and that degree in "International Relations" and being an Eagle Scout at a tender age in school are not exactly the set of skills when one talks about war. Yet, as it is the case with the so called US "diplomacy", Huntsman never gained even rudimentary awareness of the country he is currently in and decided to generally forego the craft of diplomacy.
The US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, says there is little need for his craft as “200,000 tons of diplomacy” are prowling the waters of the Mediterranean, unabashedly endorsing military show-offs as a political tool.“Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy,” Huntsman said in a statement to the US Navy’s 6th Fleet.
I agree with Huntsman in one sense, two CBGs in Mediterranean is a fine tradition of US Navy's 6th Fleet which operates in Med for decades now but somebody has to tell esteemed Ambassador that Power Projection tools such as CBGs are good only for providing "100, 000 tons of diplomacy" for third world shitholes which have no operational air defense, navies or air forces. Once CBGs encounter a competent military force 100, 000 tons become a liability for both carrier and its air-wing. But, of course, Huntsman doesn't know this. Turkey, however does. And this is precisely the reason it contemplates finalization of her contract for S-400. 

Of course, we cannot see all hidden from public eye back-and-forth between the US and Turkey on this issue, but there is very little doubt that a lot of hand-twisting by US is going on behind the curtain. So, delivery of S-400s to Turkey is by no means a done deal and Turkey may yet fold. But  who, indeed, US needs those hundreds thousands tons of "diplomacy" against? You guessed it right. 
Judging by the degree with which Trump stuffed his admin with war-mongering psychopaths and the way he himself turned out to be leaning away from his Presbyterian roots towards Christian Zionism and towards Rupture psychobabble, one has to seriously start questioning rationality of US political, so called, "elite". Add complete military incompetence in the mix and you get, as Ambassador Huntsman so manifestly exhibits, a collection of lunatics and fanatics who may, indeed, think that they are working for the End Times moment. Well, I am cautiously avoiding speaking of Huntsman's system of beliefs. While at it, somebody has to explain Mr. Ambassador that the country of his current station has one gigantic and unsinkable, unlike it is the case with US Navy's 6th Fleet CBGs, aircraft carrier--it is called Crimean Peninsula and it allows to control the whole Black Sea and East Mediterranean Area. 
War-mongering rhetoric from the US only grows in intensity and those are unmistakable signs of a desperation of an Empire to, quoting Russia's metal stalwarts Aria, "break the clock to extend own life". So, we may see soon some demonstrations by Russia of some of the actual capabilities in order to try to shut down the choir of the US war-mongers who still think that they have the power. Can we be nearing a Cuban Missile Crisis moment? I can only say that this is not out of realm of possibilities. As per US "diplomacy", as I continue to state it for years now--it doesn't exist as such for a long time.       

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

But What About F-35?

Which, as we all know, is the top dog, super-pooper, invisible and the best aircraft, like, ever. That is what all those "analysts" with backgrounds in journalism and LEGO design tell us all the time. Yet: 
ST. LOUIS — Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn’t bought the jet in over a decade.The Chicago-based company began ramping up its F-15 production line near St. Louis after the Air Force submitted a nearly $8 billion budget request last month that included eight F-15s next year and 72 in the following four years. The request came as a surprise to many since the U.S. military has moved toward stealth fighters, such as Lockheed Martin's F-35, in recent years. Prat Kumar, Boeing International’s vice president, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is investing before Congress approves the budget request so it can respond quickly should the Air Force seek rapid field deployment.
I will leave commentaries on this "Stealth" thingy to people who never saw basic Radar Equation in their life, but the move by USAF is very telling. If one dismisses the whole cat-fight in Congress regarding who gets what:
Five senators from states where the F-35 is produced, including Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, sent President Donald Trump and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan a letter before the Air Force detailed its budget request that warned against funding F-15 planes at the expense of F-35s.
But the issue here is rather simple: F-35 is a disaster. It is multi-billion dollar combat embarrassment designed, for the astronomical price and meek combat capabilities, to fight third world militaries. It is not survivable in a modern peer-to-peer airspace. F-15, on the other hand, is an old reliable horse which at least flies and costs much less than F-35--thus fewer political ramifications if one is shot down. In general, something is up with this whole US combat aviation thingy and most likely it is just continuation of a "commercialization" of the military technology in US because "investors" want their Returns on Investment (ROI) fast and juicy. And so the saga of USS Zumwalt-class DDG, F-35, LCS and other commercial items continues. Who cares about defense or offense, for that matter. As long as fat cats are happy with their checks, anything goes. You know, like newest, still non-existent Columbia-class SSBN:
So, $145 billion/12 submarines=$12.1 billion per single submarine. Lovely! Can I get a cut?      

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Some Not Front Page News.

Which, however, are very important. 
Fionna Hill is a typical Brookings Institute and, particularly, late Richard Pipes', "product" (confused neocon that is) with "expertise" in Russia and Former Soviet Union being primarily in her knowledge of Russian language. But it is interesting that she still made it to Moscow in a very non-public manner. Which leads us to two possibilities:

1. She (and she is a perfect candidate for such a role, as any neocon is) may have been sent in a futile attempt to dictate to Russia some US demands. Well, Russia saw bigger and better bullies than  her and remained unimpressed whatsoever. In general, trying to pressure Russia doesn't work, plus the United States realistically is not in any position to dictate anything. So, in this case we may assume that she went to Moscow with a different mission.

2. That different mission could be an attempt to arrange some kind of process with Russia which may lead to unfreezing of bilateral relations which would make possible some kind of "deal" in a long run. Strangely, such a mission and whatever this hypothetical deal may be, could be even more difficult than trying to bully Russia because Russians:

a) Fully recognize own strength and the geopolitical trend, they themselves are setting to a large degree;
b) US is not viewed as treaty-worthy subject anymore. 

Indeed, try to BS anyone about "democracy" and US being a good partner, especially in Moscow, after what happened in the US in the last two years. One will get this reaction:  

So, what could be Hill's mission? A "probe"? Sure! but not only that. But I don't think that Russians treat most US envoys anymore as worthy of paying attention to since current US elites, especially of Hill's "quality", are nothing more than mindless automatons capable to only repeat beaten to death cliches which have as much relation to a reality as US being "democracy" and having freedom of speech. As real American professional (among many others) who did risk his life for the country noted:
I agree with Phil Giraldi--it is depressing to see all that, especially understanding that these were such people as Hill and other neocons infesting currently Trump Administration who played a crucial role in bringing the US and the world to the place where it is today, all, mind you, under the misleading false slogans.   

It Did Happen!

No, not the Ukraine electing a certified clown as her President. But the delivery (in Russian) of a first couple of serial production PD-14 engines (first batch numbers 16 engines) to Irkut corp to be installed at the serial MC-21 commercial aircraft. This is huge and I cannot emphasize enough how huge it is. It is a state-of-the-art engine which is very competitive with Western analogues, getting pretty close in terms of bypass ratio, while being better in fuel economy. EASA is due to certify it this year, while in Russia it already received the certificate of type. This is a new era in modern Russian commercial aerospace and implications are gigantic. 

No, Boeing-Airbus duopoly will not get crushed immediately but the fact that Russia already has a line of very competitive aircraft, from SSJ-100 to MC-21, to upcoming Il-96 with PD-35 for own market and that of former USSR should give some people a pause when framing global commercial aviation mostly in terms of this duopoly as a constant. But, as we all know, everything changes, all the time. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

How US Media Lie.

They always lie but here is an example with not so subtle difference. It is obvious that most current US media are floating now in the cesspool of their own making, probably sensing (most of them are stupid, they cannot think rationally) that they are the very substance they are floating in. But as any drowning person grasps for the last straw, they continue to lie. Here is a title of USA Today.

But even this title lies, since the issue is not that "Vladimir Putin's team doesn't like it", but in the fact that what Peskov said, even before commenting on Russia's "interference", thus framing the whole message, was, speaking in diplomatic language, a humiliating and sarcastic rubbing it in. Here is what he said:
Translation: We are saddened that the documents (Mueller's Report) of such quality influence directly a development of Russian-American relations which are already not in the best of shapes. Peskov elaborated further: 
"Speaking on a lighter note, should this Report have been published in Russia, we would have our Accounting Chamber (an analogue of US GAO) be very interested in how the taxpayers' money were spent".   
Yes, US media (with very few exceptions) have to get ready to be treated from now on as...pieces of shit, which they are, and in terms of Russia get prepared to follow Sergei Lavrov's advice to write whatever BS they want since nobody with any integrity is going to view them more than whores and lying lowlifes they really are. They fully deserved it. As per this instance--Russians do not "not like it", Peskov merely pointed out that Mueller's Report is nothing more than a...well...BS and that is sentence, not comment. Laura Ingraham was on point. Indeed, Laura, what do we do now? Wear face masks and rubber gloves, with powerful disinfectant and air freshener at hand, when reading or watching CNN, MSNBC or this clown Zakaria--that's what. NYT and WaPo should be on the list of forbidden substitutes for a toilet paper in times of social upheaval and shortages of necessities for a danger of brain cancer developing from an anus wiped with those. As per US "intelligence community", I don't know how they will ever be viewed other than a parody on what otherwise should have been national security institution. Right. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy one of very few people with integrity, brains and wit left on the ruins of the American so called journalism. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

On Mueller's "Report".

Pretty much sums it up for imbeciles and crooks in US media and DNC. 

The green alien dude is....drum roll...Putin. 

UPDATE 04/19/19: I am not going to lie--I waited for James Howard Kunstler to express, as always eloquently and richly, himself on all this Russiagate FUBAR with a country parading itself globally as a joke, a dangerous one, and as corrupt third world political circus. So, JHK in a wonderfully and properly titled piece An Empire of Bullshit delivered the goods this morning. I hope his conclusion is correct, I really do.
Many criminal referrals have already been made on the likes of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr, and a big net has been cast to pull in the figures who have been hiding in the thickets lo these two-and-a-half-years of smoke and gaslight: Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, William Brennan, James Clapper, Nellie Ohr, Samantha Power, Bill Priestap, Jim Rybicki, James Baker, Mike Kortan, John Carlin, Mary McCord, Josh Campbell and more. Some of these are going to jail and some have already flipped. The fetchings should reach the Obama White House. Mr. Mueller himself, even in his majestic granitic silence, will be liable for failing to inform his boss, the Attorney General, that the predicate document for his witch hunt was known to be a fraud back in 2016, and was used anyway to spy on a presidential candidate. Let congress put on a carnival of its own now. It will be greeted like a TV commercial for a hemorrhoid remedy while the real national psychodrama plays out in grand juries and courtrooms, demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An Interesting Coincidence?

It is a very peculiar coincidence. First, Yahoo publishes this:
That the U.S. and EU bolster their respective aerospace giants is a basic fact of the industry at this point. Yet the firms’ fierce rivalry and the enormous market share at stake means the U.S. and EU have challenged the other’s state-sponsored support—It’s fundamentally unfair! It’s market-distorting!—for well over a decade. Both sides’ claims have been at least partially upheld by the World Trade Organization, and those victories mean that each has the opportunity to hammer the other with tariffs. In other words: it’s payback time. But as the U.S. and EU trade threats on behalf of their industrial champions, an upstart aerospace firm could pose a threat to Boeing and Airbus’s long-term lock on the market. And it’s not wasting time worrying about subsidies; in fact, it’s welcoming state aid from an enthusiastic booster: China.
Of course down the article Yahoo makes a distinction: 
In fact, France has warned against any escalation of the trans-Atlantic subsidies argument, with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying last week that it could “play into the hands” of a potentially significant competitor to both companies: the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, or Comac. Comac, in partnership with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp, recently unveiled proposals for a long-haul widebody jet. It is already selling smaller models to Chinese carriers such as Chengdu Airlines, and trying to target some emerging markets such as Ghana with those regional planes. And all with the Chinese government’s support.

I have news for France's Finance Minister, who, obviously, having degree in literature from Sorbonne, before enrolling into Government Administration program, may not know it, but there are few very, how to put it politely, noticeable issues with this statement. Good that at least UAC and Russia were mentioned there. COMAC-919 is being created as primarily internal Chinese commercial aviation market filler for the nearest (10-30 years) future. COMAC-919 which still continues to have issues, is an outdated design and, apart from being a thoroughly "Western" aircraft it doesn't have...drum roll... indigenous competitive engine. It is simply not there, apart from few demonstrators which are not in the production and God knows when will be. 

And here is a Russian "coincidence: in Vzglyad with a telling title:

Китай ждет помощи от России в области авиации (China expects help from Russia in aviation field). 

Here is in English. 

Enter life-giving US sanctions on Russia. Only totally delusional people will continue to believe BS of sanctions in military and aerospace field against Russia as having something to do with politics--BS. It is all about Boeing and American Military-Industrial Complex. After all, none other than Russia's PM Dmitry Medvedev (whose role I am in the process of reassessing in a very positive direction now, after some new facts) today already reported Russia's military contracts portfolio worth $54.5 billion. Thankfully, by imposing sanction, such as those on composites by Hexcell, US, thinking that they damage MC-21 program, merely accelerated and to a breakneck speed localization of this aircraft, which will be a direct, unlike is the case of COMAC-919, competitor to both A-320neo and whatever the ill-fated B-737Max 8 will become.   

But that is the whole point, for the first time in history China was invited to become a co-organizer of the famed MAKS air exhibition, MAKS-2019. It will be at this massive salon that China will feature own progress but also the mock-up of  CR-929, Russian-Chinese wide-body airliner--the actual article, which together with MC-21 is honed to break up Boeing-Airbus duopoly. Behind all that one can see the shadow of not only majority of Russian home-made systems ranging from APU to avionics, and composites, which are already part of the newly constructed MC-21s, but of PD-14 engine which already received the certificate of type, while Russian-made APU received certificate from EASA. Russia ALREADY has certified PD-14 and the logical next step of PD-35 for wide-bodied intercontinental CR-929 and, wait a minute, IL-96, is being taken as I type this.

In the end, it is about more than just Boeing-Airbus saga, it is about those shady Russkies, hiding behind the tree in the ambush and waiting for their chance. So, let me reiterate--no own engine, no great aviation power. COMAC-919 will be powered undeniably by P&W or CFM. PD-14 is competitive and it already flies and is being produced, actually. Chinese AJ-1000A, will see. But in any case, Russia's return to commercial aircraft market will be noticed. Hell, it is already noticed, hence US sanctions--sanctity of Boeing, especially after this gigantic FUBAR with B-737 Max 8, must be well-guarded. Make no mistake, I am not sarcastic here, when I type this. The duopoly will be broken one way or another and behind it, apart from obvious advanced avionics, materials and design, all of which Russia has, is a massive Soviet/Russian school of engine manufacturing which was and is behind some of the most outstanding military aircraft in history. This experience is a key--that is why China paid billions to get her hands on Russian version of SU-35, that is why Egypt wants it, Indonesia signed the contract for 11 of them and that is why United States slaps economic sanctions on anything Russian--because it is too damn good and competitive. So simple, really.  

As per MAKS-2019. That is going to be a treat for aerospace obsessed and an eye candy. It always is.       

A Thought Of Note.

Some interesting piece from The American Conservative, albeit I have to disagree with opening phrase--OAC has very little to do with real politics let alone knows about what "socialism" other than the welfare state, which has nothing to do with socialism, is. But it is good and healthy that TAC brought up this issue. It couldn't be better framed than with Tucker's, and Pat's, brilliant quotes:
Good, very good, that such a message comes from, however debatable, important source of remaining American sanity. It is symptomatic that they used this:
There is more of a willingness to contest the idea that what’s good for General Motors is good for conservatives—or America.
Finally, the heart of the issue. If America remains a corporate state--she dies, possibly with catastrophic consequences for everyone. If she, in the end, finds own definition as a nation--she has a chance. For that to happen new elites must emerge. Is there a time for those to grow and enter politics? I don't know, but Trump, who betrayed his main pool of supporters--mostly white (there are few Black and Latino voters too) working and middle class people, without who there is no United States of America, is not representative anymore (he never was, Stephen Miller, however is) of those people. I would start with American universities and colleges--which are primarily hot seats of both radical "leftism" or religious exceptionalism, depending on particular school--and this could be done. There is no other, namely relatively peaceful way, than evolution, but it has to be stated that American so called "conservatism" as it was framed by late Buckely and headless war hawks is not about neo-liberal economics, war-mongering and jingoism--it is, in the end, about nation and what's good for it. And it is to the credit of TAC that they close off with this:
The periodic electoral successes conservatives have enjoyed since the 1980s have caused us to lose sight of an important question: what is it that we are trying to conserve? The search for answers is finally ready for primetime. 
In related news, Trump is slowly learning (is he?) that global economy and geopolitics require a better set of skills than that of NYC real estate hustler.  
Trump is really running US into the ground, but then again, having teenage (most likely Mossad asset) husband of his rather not too smart daughter as main advisers, or the cabal of aggressive neocon morons in national (in)security apparatus, is not conducive to required American transition to a normal country. Well...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Haspel, CIA, Sappy Sentimental Job.

NYT today decided to praise Gina Haspel as "professional". I don't know what they teach in CIA anymore, judging by "outstanding" results for the United States, but this piece I found to be hilarious. Follow the text:
London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical. He had initially written off the poisoning as part of legitimate spy games, distasteful but within the bounds of espionage. Some officials said they thought that Mr. Trump, who has frequently criticized “rats” and other turncoats, had some sympathy for the Russian government’s going after someone viewed as a traitor.A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful cleanup. During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats.To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack.Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.Ms. Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.
Now you get it, I hope. Welcome to US "intelligence", also known for Russiagate and support of terrorists. CIA also is known to have good skills in staging false flag operations such as "Chemical Attacks" by "Assad" in Syria. But I like this little insight in workings of US IC and its head Gina Haspel in handling forensic evidence, sound analysis, impressive record...nah, I am being facetious. Ah, yes--record, killed children, other atrocities. You may always keep yourself informed on how real US democracy and "realism" look like in terms of civilians' body count, but who counts really, right? The depravity and casuistic nature of this piece of dung "journalism" is stunning, but then again--being sappy sentimental when committing war crimes and pushing world closer to Armageddon is what US intelligence "professionals" like Haspel are known for. Well that, and torture techniques. I am sure Gina cried while waterboarding some unfortunate creep. It is so, well, emotional after all--especially dead ducks.  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sad, Very Sad.

It seems, as one poster noted, Notre Dame survived French Revolution but couldn't survive French renovation. It is so sad that a cultural Icon is being destroyed by fire. No doubt, some symbolism would be sought for in this tragedy. And yes, it is painful to watch. 

This Was Expected.

As most Russian news media report today:
NATO has abandoned positive agenda in relations with Russia. It does not exist. So far there are no indications of NATO's knowledge of a way to get out of this impasse," the official said.
Grushko said that the decision of the alliance to terminate normal working contacts in the military area was absurd, because security in Europe largely depends on relations between Russia and NATO. The alliance has gone too far in exacerbating confrontation with Russia, he said.

See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/news/russia/142349-russia_nato/
This all is another indication of a general trend on West's (in NATO's case--American, the rest of NATO are vassals) confrontation with Russia and Russians really were and are expecting it. As Lavrov stated (in Russian) two days ago, EU is no longer Russia's main trade partner, with most Russia's trade being done in the East. While I wholeheartedly agree with Arctic Fox that Russian-American relations must not become worse, I have to give recognition to the fact that they will. Considering who runs US foreign policy currently there are absolutely no reasons to believe that Trump Administration will behave itself in rational manner. So, it will be same ol' Cold War tune cranked up to "eleven". 

As Assange's arrest demonstrates, among many other events, large and small, the attack on what's left of the "free speech" will continue in the West and, in general, revision and even elimination of Western "values" will continue non-stop until the system implodes on itself or unleashes a war. About that is above and this is just the start--the Empire needs military-political success, of any kind, on the international arena. Somehow, looking at the MO of the Empire since 2014 and seeing how it is being run by infantile, and ignorant, narcissists--I doubt anything beneficial can be initiated in this sewer. Is Orwell's world of 1984 possible in the US? We are already partially living in it.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I Might As Well.

OK, I might as well put my 2 pennies in on the issue of today Assange's arrest in UK. It was expected and Assange is not the first, nor the last whistle-blower who got screwed by government agencies for providing crucial disclosures on government operations. I already had a word on him a while ago, I will reiterate:
For a person who decides to provide classified information, even if it discloses evil intentions of government, for a general public one has to be slightly more than just celebrity to handle own noble intentions. Assange is primarily a celebrity and not a very bright one, I may add.  For people even remotely acquainted with history and military and intelligence operations, however, WikiLeaks information was and is not something which could have been defined as eye-opening. In fact, it was a "nothing new" affair. In other words it was known to anyone with a half-brain. For "lefty" products of Western hamster universe of office plankton, however, Assange is a "hero". He may well be the one, after all, but I personally still have to face the fact that classified information is called classified for a reason, and while US government and political establishment, in many of their manifestations, are evil, nobody, in any government, ever condoned leaking of classified data, and for the purpose of preventing such leaks any serious nation has a well-developed network of counter-intelligence services who operate on a legal foundation of, putting it in layman's lingo, "you leak, you get locked". Russia, US, Germany, China, India and Lesotho (well, I am not 100% positive about Lesotho)--all operate on this principle. I know, I held a very high level of clearance and I knew what may happen and did happen when those rules were violated.

Edward Snowden, obviously, was aware of this paradigm and, as an actual holder of high level clearance in CIA and intelligence professional he knew what he was getting into, and now look at him--he is obviously doing better, way better, than Assange, while living in Moscow and being secured from extradition to the USA. So, what's the lesson of Assange's saga? Very simple--be professional in what you are doing, especially when crossing the red line of the law. People like Assange are not exactly professionals--they are celebrities by definition and have views of the outside world that of celebrities or, being frank, very close to those of modern office plankton defined by ignorance of true complexities of modern world and forces at play in the world of espionage and classified information. So, while I am sympathetic to Assange's plight and see the value in his activity, Assange, for me at least, will remain one of those examples of how not to do what he was doing. This is if to assume that no higher level game was played in which Assange was merely a pawn. But this is yet to be learned, if ever. So, let's wish Assange luck in getting, possibly, but probably not, Presidential pardon--after all, he and WikiLeaks did help Trump get elected.   

UPDATE: No comments are required here, everything speaks for itself--crying out loud shame, but expected nonetheless:
US President Donald Trump, who said he loved WikiLeaks during his election campaign, tried to distance himself from the arrest of Julian Assange, which was carried out by Britain on the request of the US.Speaking to journalists in the Oval Office on Thursday, hours after the arrest of Assange in London, Trump said:
I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing. 

UPDATE 2 from 04/12/19: Russian language is needed. But here is Alexandr Asafov speaking to Pravda on Assange and speaking about what I spoke here in this post. Practically the same. He also thinks, in softer terms, that Assange made a mistake. 
Why Assange decided not to go to Russia? I have an opinion but it changes absolutely nothing at this stage. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Now Turks Are Rubbing It In.

It is really fascinating to observe the whole process but Turks seem to be in full reactive armor mode and refuse to yield to US pressure on the issue of F-35, which is, by default, the issue of S-400. 
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey warned on Wednesday that it could buy jets and additional air defense systems from Russia if it cannot get Patriot missile shields and F-35 jets from Washington, raising the prospect of ever deeper defense ties between Moscow and a NATO member. President Tayyip Erdogan's existing plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defenses have already alarmed the United States, which says they are not compatible with NATO systems and would compromise the security of F-35 jets Turkey is due to receive. Washington has offered Ankara both carrot and stick in response, proposing to sell it the Raytheon Co. Patriot systems instead of the S-400s, while at the same time warning of sanctions and a halt in the F-35 fighter jet sales if the Russian deal goes ahead. Turkey has shown no sign of giving ground and Erdogan, who held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week, was quoted on Wednesday as saying the July date for delivery of the first S-400s could even be brought forward. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also reiterated Turkey's stance that the S-400 purchase was a done deal and that it would meet its defense needs from elsewhere if necessary.
My main question here is if Turkey knows that F-35 is a....turkey? I am pretty sure Turks do. Of course, behind all this back-and-forth on S-400 are things much more substantial than even top-notch air defense for Turkey--namely massive economic developments in Eurasia. It is also obvious that Turks are now in the bargain mode with Russia across the whole spectrum of issues--gas, nuclear power, military, tourism, agriculture, to name a few--and that could be indicative of a tectonic shift in Turkey's geopolitical orientation but we cannot be sure 100% yet. On F-35 issue, however, one should not discount the possibility of Turks getting off at the last opportunity from this program in order for a bigger, better thing. This thing are SU-35 of latest modifications and SU-57 which is hitting serial production in 2020 and China expressing interest in this aircraft while already operating full Russian versions of SU-35. 

And so the drama is being played out in a front of our very own eyes (and ears). Turkey is getting S-400 (for warm-up), now what  will Greece do? Who knows, but implications are enormous for Turkey, NATO and, of course, the United States. The US knows that this could be bad, very bad but with Trump being surrounded with neocons and Israel having very serious issues with Turkey, who said that the White House will not continue with self-defeating policies in general, and towards Turkey in particular because of Israel--you may see it for yourself. Most likely Trump and his "court" of Israeli-firsters, aided by US Congress fully corrupted and bought by Israeli lobby, will continue to self-destruct to make Israeli masters feel better, and situation with Turkey is one such example. So, here are the news of today and for now, at least, it seems the contract will go ahead but, again, knowing that in this region words mean very little we just have to wait how it will play out to the very end. Fascinating!     

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Paul Craig Roberts' Interesting Piece.

I liked PCR's new piece on American Civil War, despite the fact that I disagree that it was NOT a Civil War--it was by all measures of nationality defined primarily for centuries as ethnicity-culture. Yet, it still caught my attention in a sense that United States was a very different country then and people did view themselves differently governance-wise, with states being a much larger players then than they are today.
I know this feeling when "new" history is written by amateurs with ideological agenda, not desire to seek the truth. In this piece Paul Craig Roberts nails it and exposes utter lies by the author. It is about identity politics and about Orwellian reality and it has nothing to do with real history. United States is becoming more and more the nation with unpredictable past. Soviet Union and Russia paid dearly for allowing demagogues and pseudo-historians, many of them being direct operations of influence assets, to "write" Russia's history of the 20th century. Only now Russia finally begins to deal with this baggage of ideological anti-Russian BS perpetuated under the guise of the "fight against communism". The United States seems to be hell bent on repeating this story in regards to own Civil War history, which is a complex history with very many shades of grey in it. 

As late Alexander Zinoviev pointed out, after seeing Russia's catastrophe in 1990s, "we aimed at communism but hit Russia." Same can be applied today to all those so called lefty "intellectuals"--they aim at, allegedly, racism, they will hit America. In fact, the destruction only accelerates--those people have no clue what they are in for. As per real history and what drives it--indeed, who needs facts when they contradict the narrative. It is important to address them since the United States, for all of her major faults and crimes in 20th and 21st centuries, is not the country which can be simply dissolved. Using false narratives to widen already huge split in the society is not the way to address injustices and grievances, many of them contrived, of the past. I will conclude with PCR's conclusion:
It would have been better for the South to say that secession was based on the North’s exploitation of the South. If Karl Marx had published Vol. 1 of Capital in 1857 instead of 1867, the South would have had a popular basis for its exploitation case. But the southern states could not see into the future. The southern politicians did not know that whites would become self-hating people who would empower black Americans and illegal immigrants as victims of white people and misuse southern secession arguments as proof of white racism. The British today have made the identical mistake as the South made by trying to buy their way out of the European Union instead of just leaving on the grounds that membership is a violation of British sovereignty and law accountable to British citizens. Government works to expand centralized control. Lincoln succeeded in shattering the 10th Amendment’s limit on central power. The real achievement of the War of Northern Aggression was to centralize power over the American people. All of them.   

Pot Calling The Kettle.

By now no one should be surprised with the trade wars waged by Trump Administration on anyone. In many respects Trump's approach to international relations and trade is reminiscent of chaotic convulsions of the seriously injured ER patient and should not be treated as thought-out strategy. As I stated not for once--there is none. So, yet again threats and sour grapes:
What this piece forgot to mention, of course, is a symptomatic US reaction, which seeks to mitigate the effect of 800-pound gorilla in the room--a major FUBAR by Boeing with 737 Max. It is all about Boeing and Airbus:
No matter how one wants to spin this whole situation but there is no doubt whatsoever about Airbus benefiting from 737Max situation which has been, as bad as it was with so many human lives lost in two crashes, exacerbated by inept behavior of Boeing's PR people who dragged the issue for too long to have a sensible recovery--instead of admitting problem with 737 Max and rushing to fix it with maximum publicity, Boeing got embroiled in the PR disaster which IS having serious ramifications for Boeing's main money-maker, no matter how one tries to spin it. This is not to speak of those proverbial "subsidies". It is just the matter of perception and of newspeak--Boeing is also "subsidized" by government contracts. Nothing is wrong with that. So this whole "subsidies" thing is nothing more than a PR BS for consumption of free trade fundamentalists. US accusing Airbus of subsidies is akin to pot calling the kettle (black). Boeing should recall its "win" over Airbus.

Needless to say, Boeing commercial aircraft are main, together with cars and semi-conductors, United States global hi-tech industrial export. It is also most prestigious and image-supporting article of US economic clout. Now it suffered a major blow and Trump decided to deal with the issue in the best traditions of New York real estate shyster. Obviously, global community does not operate on such principles and Washington is getting messages about that with increasing frequency. Enter Russia. 
Could Russia offer Turkey SU-57 fighter? Possible. Erdogan says Turkey would love to have S-500 in the end. So, who knows what Putin and Erdogan discussed behind closed doors but it is clear that even S-400 can close skies over Turkey for any contingency, including Ankara or Istanbul being bombed by Turkey's very own allies from NATO. This issue, with Turkey's S-400 purchase, however is just one of many other gigantic irritants for the United States, be that Egypt's purchase of SU-35s, US sanctions, sure as hell, will follow, or India, apart from buying those pesky S-400, adding today additional batch of T-90 tanks, to already contracted 464 units (in Russian). So much for Russia being isolated. But that is the whole point: Trump and his advisers act as if the United States is an industrial powerhouse it used to be in the immediate post-WW II period. These United States do not exist anymore and are gone for good. Even the United States of 1990s are not here anymore. Trump may start with getting an accurate assessment of American economy, real economy that is, and figuring out how come that the United States is the largest importer of finished goods in the world--$2.1 trillion

But, of course, there is a political downside to all these trade wars--people around the world are not stupid and they see these convulsions, erratic behavior and threats from the US as a sign of weakness and they are absolutely correct. Tariffs and trade wars are not going to help the US out of her deep economic hole, but it seems that Trump doesn't understand this, as well as the process of the United States declining into geopolitical irrelevance in a face of the fait accompli of multi-polarity and Eurasia going her own way in development in which the United States has only two options: join or try to sabotage it and we all know where it is going so far. It may change but not till present US "elites" are in power. Do they even know where they are today economically and geopolitically? Some of them surely do know. But even those who know--they have no ability, intellect and passion to steer America in the right direction for the sake of majority of her people. And so the bullying, threatening, hand twisting, sanctioning continues and will continue with less and less effect. The main issue today is to prevent, once those in power in the US understand completely that their gig is up, a global war which the US may initiate as the last resort. I guess, and I only guess, that Putin didn't say the last word on newest weapons. Something tells me that the season of surprises is only at the very beginning.   

Friday, April 5, 2019

Irina Alksnis Hits It Out Of The Ballpark.

Notable Russian journalist Irina Alksnis wrote a wonderful metaphysical piece on the fate of superpowers. I don't have time to translate it all but, apart from really universal perspective on the existence of real superpowers, she delivers both moral and, in a sense, sympathetic response to the the fate of the United States. I highly recommend, even if using crude Google Translate which will most likely degrade a wonderful emotional message of this piece, to read it by Americans and others. I will translate just conclusion:
Однако чтобы услышать эти немудреные советы – и тем более последовать им – Соединенным Штатам надо остановиться, хотя бы на мгновение, и замолчать. Прекратить сотрясать воздух заявлениями, требованиями и угрозами, которые выглядят то странными, то откровенно смешными из-за все более явной неспособности сделать их реальностью.А вот именно этого они, похоже, сделать никак не могут. В результате продолжается бесконечная громкоговорящая карусель: Москва, Асад должен уйти! Русские, мы накажем вас за защиту Мадуро! Россия, мы обеспечим свободу мореходства в Керченском проливе!А самое обидное для американцев, что только Россия может их понять. Потому мы помним боль, стоящую за этими словами.
Translation: However, to hear this simple advice--not to mention  following it--the United States need to stop, at least for an instance, and silence themselves. To stop shaking air with statements, declarations, demands, and threats, which come across as either strange, or outright silly because of their obvious inability to ever become a reality. But it is precisely, it seems, what the US is not capable of doing. As a result--the continuation of never-ending declaratory carousel: Moscow, Assad must go! Russians, we will provide for freedom of navigation in Kerch Strait! Russians, we will punish you for support of Maduro. But the most insulting for Americans is that only Russia can understand them. Because we remember the pain behind those words. 

I always said--genuine superpowers move in their own world and they have their very own, unique, complexes and "disabilities" only other superpowers can understand, even when being enemies. Irina Alksnis completely and masterfully conveyed this in her article.   

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Some Signs Of Life or Just Another Ploy?

Fact is, people like Tulsi Gabbard and Daniel Larison should be credited with this: 
The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of ending US involvement in the war in Yemen, but the bill is expected to be vetoed by President Donald Trump as the White House cites “serious constitutional concerns.”The House voted 247-175 in favor of the resolution to direct Trump to end US military involvement in the war within 30 days and to end support for the Saudi-led coalition that it has been backing.
Trump will veto this most likely and then there is another small twist to all that:
Congress is “no longer going to ignore its constitutional obligations when it comes to foreign policy,” said Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, adding that the war in Yemen, now in its fifth year, “demands moral leadership.”
My issue is this:
Article I of the Constitution enumerates several of Congress’s foreign affairs powers, including those to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” “declare war,” “raise and support armies,” “provide and maintain a navy,” and “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” The Constitution also makes two of the president’s foreign affairs powers—making treaties and appointing diplomats—dependent on Senate approval. 
But here is this constitutional conundrum, I omit here the impetus of Saudis greatly publicized slaughter of opposition journalist Khashoggi, in this matter: US Congress can not make treaties but it can and it did, in fact, it de-fanged Trump. Remember?

Public Law No: 115-44 (08/02/2017) Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

So, as I wrote in 2017: 
But as of now--it is as good time as any to get pop-corn out and see, sometimes with pain, sometimes with amusement, how a bunch of morons in some Congress in D.C. just created America's worst case scenario with Russia and China all but becoming a full fledged allies (once Power of Siberia is launched in 2019, Europe can go to hell), with Iran now, inevitably, moving closer to this alliance. Talk about shooting oneself in a foot--but that was my position from the inception of this blog: the level of ignorance about outside world in D.C. is unbelievable and is clear and present danger to real American interests in staying much relevant and important major power in emerging new world geopolitical and economic order.  
Trump is really NOT in control of US Foreign Policy and a single occasion on which US Congress raised its voice allegedly for moral reasons, doesn't change situation with US foreign policy being ultimately controlled by neocons both in executive and legislative branches. While Saudi's genocidal war against Yemen must stop, this all is as far as it goes. American political machine and, especially, its foreign policy establishment are broken and I don't see how this could be fixed.