Sunday, February 28, 2021

Recall What I Wrote Three Years Ago.

I quote myself. 

I will comment in depth on this later but one thing which is absolutely clear--STOVL concept in Russian Navy will lead, inevitably, to some sort of a hybrid carrier akin to US Navy's LHA-6 America-class amphibious assault ships but, in Russian case, most likely with greater emphasis on the air-wing and self-defense—even most likely making it closer to HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier of the Royal Navy conceptually. I can already hear sobbing and cries of desperation from all kinds of Russian navalists still enamored with the concept of Alfa-strikes and glory of the flying decks of CATOBAR carriers. I used to be a navalist myself but with the appearance of 4th generation submarines and weapons such as P-800 Onyx, I got cured and transferred from the shining light and inherent goodness of the Battle of Midway romanticism to a dark side of bookkeeping, cynical pragmatism and stand-off weapons. And I mean STAND-OFF weapons and we all know what they are. 

Ahem. Just to demonstrate how things are funny in Russia's naval development--and I omit now a confirmed development of Russia's STOVL aircraft--take a look at this guy. From TASS (in Russian)

This is a universal naval complex (UMK) of Varan-class being developed by Nevskoe Design Bureau (in Russian) and it is modular, it is around 45,000 tons of displacement, carries up to 24 combat aircraft and 20 UAVs. This ship made some splash in Anglosphere. Russians do not deny a similarity in approach to LHA USS America. 

And, when USS America LHA has been commissioned I took a keen interest in this ship since, I knew already in late 1990s that nuclear super-carriers of the US Navy were on the way out as a viable combat platform. Not least due to two major reasons of them being indefensible in the modern battle-space and being insanely expensive. 

                                      Rendering of Varan
And here is USS America. 

She is a handsome ship but she is still very expensive and STOVL F-35B never met expectations, to put it mildly. But the general trend on universality is obvious, especially in the era of a massive remaking of the global power balance and necessity to have "fire crews" out there, including by means of putting boots on the ground and having air-support for them. Obviously, Russia already builds two new amphibious assault ships and the forming of their hulls has already started at Kerch's shipyard Zaliv today, as TASS reports (in Russian). As it is typical for Russia nobody knows exactly what these two pr. 23900 LHAs will be when commissioned, at least for now, they look more like amphibious assault  ships. 

A lot depends on STOVL aircraft being ready for them, but as sources in Russia's MoD say those ships will carry S-70 UAVs. Varan, however, looks more like a universal aircraft carrier with some amphibious capability. It also is being developed as an affordable carrier for export and it already has the MiG-29K combat carrier aircraft ready if the project moves ahead. Will it move ahead? I am positive that as an export affordable universal carrier it has a future. As for the Russian Navy, it, certainly, will be building aircraft carriers for itself. If they will be based on Varan concept, for now at least, is a matter of speculations. It is clear, however, that the movement away from American CVN-type mastodons is in progress as it is away from carrier-centric navies, especially in times of hypersonic long-range anti-shipping missiles, which changed the game completely.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Pepe Escobar, Larison And the State of Contemporary American Oraclism.

Pepe wrote a superb piece on late Zbig and what comes down to an American vast field of geopolitical (on average fraudulent) forecasts at large. In a piece symptomatically titled The Art of Being a Spectacularly Misguided Oracle, Pepe notes:

There was nothing unexpected in Zbig's worst nightmares becoming a reality since Zbig was not well-versed not only in Chinese matters, but Russian ones too, not to mention the fact, of which I write non-stop for years, including the latest book, modern geopolitics, or rather what is perceived under this title, has as much in common with purely geography-driven Mackinder's pseudo-science he developed in his The Geographical Pivot of History and, later Democratic Ideals and Reality, as I have genetically with white whales or aliens from planet Zoltar. Here is the deal with all this "geopolitics"-- geography as a function of ranges (distances) and landscape nowadays, say starting circa 1960s, stopped playing a defining role yielding it, finally, to a industrial-technological development of countries which overwhelmingly defines modern "geopolitics".

In Soviet/Russian public schools this "geopolitics" is being taught as a course in Geography, both physical and economic. Here is an example of economic geography exam in Russian schools. This also qualifies to be the part of yet another constituent part of multiplication of pseudo-scientific essences such as Luttwak's introduction of "geoeconomics" being a separate study, as Luttwak insists, from "geopolitics".  So, what was touted in the West as some kind of a separate study and highly vaunted expertise is nothing more than an eclectic approach to primarily an economic geography, history and economics, or those legitimate disciplines' lobotomized bastard child of political "science". And why not? In the academe which counts Queer Studies as a viable academic discipline and Ph.Ds in Gender are bestowed on  people who can barely operate with basic logic, not to speak of vast arrays of complex information, it is absolutely not surprising and only natural, that people of Zbig's or Kissinger's backgrounds would be counted as Oracles, despite them, and many others from a vast cesspool of America's 'geopolitical and political science sinecures, being constantly wrong on pretty much any issue of modern geopolitics and global balance of power. 

Oh, come on, let's face it, the only thing these pseudo-oracles could ever sell was a "reasoning" based on a complete factual BS which was and is treated as a "scientific" fact, while in reality being a figment of imagination of a class of America's fraudulent oracles, whose main task is a development of explanations of why their predictions never become a reality. Ah, those sinecures and pseudo-intellectual magazines serving as Ilf and Petrov once defined as "life-giving springs of remuneration." So, if Zbig, Fukuyama, Kissinger, Huntington or Luttwak never saw their "predictions" to pan out--don't be surprised, I never saw a successful routine appendectomy performed by a local grocery store custodian or even the best electrician from the best local company. Unless, of course, they decided to exchange their 8 years of study and internship in mdeical school for salaries of said custodian or electrician, which under modern conditions may not seem as far fetched. Some good level electricians today make a killing reaching sometimes $90 per hour, and I thought myself about doing this, but then again--I am relatively young and if I need to commit suicide, I have much better alternatives and my body will be still intact, relatively, compared to my sorry ass being turned into the pile of ash, with the only benefit being a free on-sire cremation. But I digress. 

We all need to understand the name of the game--it is wrapping an acute ignorance into the veil of seemingly legitimate and respectable "scientific" verbiage. If predictions do not pan out, who cares. Well, in the United States of the last 30 years no "geopolitical" prediction, there were many of them, panned out precisely because of the American geopolitical Beau Monde being "not versed" in the the main constituent parts of good forecasting: modern real (industrial) economy and warfare. Both require a set of knowledge and skills which are beyond the scope of whatever passes today as "education" in geopolitics in the West. It is all fine and dandy to have an excellent background in economic geography, which is a legitimate field of study, but until one understands the impact of these two on US "foreign policy", one will continue to observe such arguments as Daniel Larison tries to make when addressing a complete neocon moron with Ph.D in "public policy" such as Robert Kagan:

No, Mr. Larison, despite validity of your many points, Kagan, Rassmusen et al, are not just "products of that period". This is not it, I know a truckload of people who are "products of this period", me being one of them. The reason they cling to a myth of America's hegemony is because this is THE ONLY thing which dominates America's geopolitical Parnassus infested with people who are utterly uneducated and cannot possibly grasp a scale of the technological, industrial, scientific and military advances in the last 20 years. Kagan has degree in "public policy" and his loyalties are to Israel, Rassmussen has degree in social studies and was a Prime-Minister of the country, which is smaller than the couple of southern boroughs of Moscow, or St. Petersburg. Even if to imagine that they wanted to move on, which they don't, neoconservative-liberal interventionism is now in a stage four in the United States, they can't. They do not have intellectual wherewithal to do so. Can you imagine this fat ass Kagan studying real Operational Theory or how advanced weapons are designed and produced? Come on, let's be real. Look at the modern Europe today, at its degenerate political and media class, same goes for the United States. 

We literally have "humanities-educated" class running things into the ground. As I state non-stop, I am all eyes and ears, rubbing my hands in anticipation, waiting for America's geopolitical Parnassus to produce a viable argument in favor of "learning historic lessons" from Peloponnese Wars as applied to operations of modern militaries, say in dense ECM-ECCM environment. I bet, this thing has way more profound impact on modern geopolitics, than late Zbig or Fukuyama, or Kissinger ever wrote on anything. As I say non-stop, I am not against humanities studies, they are part and parcel of classic education which we all sorely miss today among Western "elites" who are grotesquely uncultured, despite having access to an expensive Scotch and the best golf-clubs in the world. I am terrified of some "human rights" lawyer or Ph.D in "public policy" getting to the levers of a political power and trying to apply that precious little of value which was taught to him to the world which is so complex that it cannot afford anymore the class of "experts" who cannot predict their next own bowel movement, let alone the global transfiguration unfolding in a front of our own eyes. What we have today in the US is a class of people who, as Pepe correctly states, are spectacularly misguided oracles, who haven't got anything right in decades but who continue to push their own opinions and forecasts which are irredeemable both from academic-scientific and human points of view. Ignorance is not an extenuating circumstance in case of American "geopolitics", which in the last 30 years produced one failure after another thus justifying, directly or by proxy, a massive war crime a rotten Empire has committed trying to extend its self-proclaimed hegemonic life by means of robbery and violence. The accounts will be settled one way or another. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, not American geopolitical "academe".  

Friday, February 26, 2021

It Is Friday....

There is noting better than black Russian cossaks and incomparable Olga Kormukhina doing Boney M cover.

In related news, Russians do not do this BS like "praise the lord" and "Jesus show us the way", they just sing about heaven.

And about "they want circuses and bread at their feet, but for us--it is an open space (kosmos)"...

Ah yes, I forgot, Steven and Larisa (she is from Baku). 

When Su-34 Dreams About Becoming Su-35C.

Probably the best combat aviation video I saw in a very long time. Just amazing when both of them are having the time of their lives. Now imagine how many Russian kids are attracted to combat aviation officer schools--that is a soft power. 

In reality, Su-34 is a good dog-fighter in its own right, capable of sustaining 7Gs which is amazing for what in reality is a tactical operational bomber. Russians have a saying: "You cannot spoil a porridge with butter". This is how Russian weapons are built. E.g. S1 Pantsir could be used as anti-tank and anti-infantry system. 
This guy's Fighter-Bomber Channel is something special altogether. He is obviously some big honcho in IBA (Fighter-Bomber Aviation). 
He does this so we all can enjoy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Now They Finally Admitted It.

Take a gander at that. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suddenly admitted that, how to put it politely, the United States is indefensible against serious enemy. Like, you know, Russia. And even if the United States invests into the extremely costly CMD (Cruise Missile Defense) things are not exactly working out for the US. 

You can get acquainted with the whole thing by just following the link above. CBO also provides a map, a very useful one, which in this blog and in my books was discussed non-stop and is at the heart of the matter. Here it is:

It is all fine and dandy until one notices this phrase by Vice-CJCS who says that:

Now look at the map above, again. Now recall what I wrote two years ago:

Then recall, that already now Russian Navy takes deliveries of a new Kalibr 3M14M with a range of 4,500+ kilometers, which means 2,800+ miles, and this range is not even on CBO's map. Rightly so, because such strikes can be carried out without leaving defended zones for carriers of such missiles, ranging from surface combatants to submarines, to strategic bombers. That was the whole idea behind creation of new missiles by Russia--to force the enemy to deal with them only at the terminal, thus leaving precious little time for detection, tracking and shooting them down. This, mind you, applies only to subsonic land-attack missiles of Kalibr family, everything else in Russian arsenal flies either high-supersonic or hypersonic which is not interceptable in principle by modern means at US disposal. In this case the probability of the leaker is defined merely by probability of normal functioning of the cruise missile. 

Surely, the  geographic peculiarity of the United States is such that frontal defense against the ocean's "background" is a natural choice:

But the ranges of modern cruise missiles are such that, as CBO's report generally admits, this all is good primarily for non-state actors and regional powers trying to attack US territory. In case of Russia and her land-attack cruise missiles, the salvo could be delivered not only by a direct path from a launch point in the ocean but also by means of bypassing future CMDs over land be that Mexico or Canada. In this case, the detection of missiles becomes a daunting task due to:

1. Submarines with missiles being still within the area of the ocean which requires a very large patrol force to conduct an exhaustive ASW search even in case of a reliable datum, e.g. it may take duty Patrol/ASW aircraft 3-4 hours to get to datum to start with, which leaves ample time for submarine to break off; 

2. Detection of terrain hugging stealthy missiles of 3M14(M) variety over the ground is an extremely difficult task because of the ground clutter and other interference. 

3. Launch from a new iterations of "bastions" making any attempts to counter launch itself impractical. 

Here is a demonstration of a salvo of a combined surface-submarine force of Russia's Pacific Fleet at the state of Washington, without leaving a well defended position near Kamchatka Peninsula. 

So, basically, what CBO and JCS are arguing here for is... a lower end, when compared to Russia, limited national air-defense which could be, and most likely already is, too little too late, once one considers a trajectory of evolution (if not revolution) of modern missile technology which already sees ranges of 10,000 kilometers within reach. While 9M730 Burevestnik (Petrel) has basically unlimited range and hypersonic terminal speed. So, in this case the proposal for such a CMD in the United States is more about feeling good because doing something in this field and, of course, good work program for Pentagon's contractors. But CBO's readily admits:
Although CBO’s illustrative Architectures 1 through 4 would provide CMD coverage of the contiguous United States, they would have limitations. First, some of CBO’s calculations of system performance are based on best-case assumptions. For example, radar detection ranges might be less than the distance to the horizon if the architectures’ radars had difficulty distinguishing low-altitude or stealthy LACMs from ground clutter (radar reflections from the surface). Second, imperfect tracking information would decrease the effective reach of SAMs and fighters because they would not fly the shortest route to their target. The range of results for each architecture should account somewhat for such uncertainties. Finally, other factors, including limited shooter capacity, the need for positive identification of targets, and measures that adversaries could take that would decrease the effectiveness of the system—such as programming LACMs to fly indirect routes, launching LACMs close to the border or coast, or using faster LACMs—are worthy of consideration by policy-makers weighing the merits of fielding a national CMD system. Addressing those limitations would increase costs.

In other words, the scenario is built primarily around some "rogue" power (state or group) getting its hands on container type Kalibrs (3M14s) which could be carried by all kinds of commercial vessels and while it is certainly something in terms of defense, in case of serious conflict and if built, this CMD will be of a very limited use against peer, but then again, if, God forbids, this comes to Russia striking the United States proper conventionally, it wouldn't matter because the most likely final state will be a nightmarish scenario of nuclear exchange between Russia, US and, likely, China. This, must be avoided by all means. But the most instructive about this CBO Report is admission of what I wrote about for the last 7 years, in fact, much longer than that--new, radical military technologies are already here and it is them, which forced the United States to face a bankruptcy of its views on warfare and its self-proclaimed primacy in the military-technological sphere. Don't tell me that I didn't warn about it, I, sure as hell, did. Do I have a smile on my smug face right now? You can bet your ass--I do. I love "I told you so" moments. Well, I am a mere mortal sinner;))

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Actual Soft Power (Part 3).

Once we throw away a stale (if not spoiled)West's propaganda staples such as Solzhenitsyn, nauseating fodder of GULAG, Stalin and "democracy", laughable Western "Russia Studies" field and Russia's fifth column, what is left is, traditionally, Hollywood's production, some attempts at selling West's imagery and music, much of which is not music at all. That's it. I already stated that the West lost the main fuel of its soft power--Russians' care about what the West thinks about them. It is a crucial liberating, for Russians, factor and that is what changed the balance in terms of soft power. Sure, Levada Center, an officially recognized foreign agent in Russia, can still produce some utterly false polls that huge swaths of Russian youth want to immigrate to the West, but the reality, of course, is quite different. Sure, there are some segments, primarily urban office plankton from IT to "journalists", who do want to move to the West, but this is a very narrow strata of people, many of who do constitute the power, or, rather lack thereof, behind such pathetic excuses for political movements as Navalny's or the audiences for such radio-stations as Echo of Moscow (aka Echo of Matzah). Hardly a significant minority. 

In the end, it was always Hollywood and Western pop music which drove much of the American (and West's) soft power. That is until recently some news which on the surface seemed unimportant, expectedly, has been ignored in the US. In reality, they were extremely significant. In December of 2019 Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported cultural news which read like this: 

Российские фильмы лидируют в прокате (Russian  Movies Lead at the Box Office.)
Out of the top 3 of Russia's box office, two, Kholop and Souyz Spasenia (Union of Salvation) topped yet another nauseating version of Star Wars exploitation The Rise of Skywalker (or should it be SkyWOKER?), with other two Russian movies taking 4th and 5th positions. Since then, Russian movies started to consistently outperform Hollywood production and there is a rational explantion to it. 

1. Russian movies become increasingly competitive (and more interesting and free from wokeness);

2. Russians, in general, especially youth, demographics which drives box office performance, are less and less "impressed" by the West. 

I can remember the times when there were huge lines in 1970s and in 1980s to get to the latest Western movies be that pure Hollywood or European productions such as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or La Grande Vaudrouille, among many. The Blue Thunder action flick could still make a splash in Soviet Union in 1983 and create long lines, nor least by serving as yet another window into the "life abroad", but this paradigm is long gone and if in 1983 between some Lada VAZ 2103 and some Renault or Ford, given a choice, any Russian/Soviet would prefer Ford or Renault, things changed so dramatically, that already in 2010s Russians preferred Lada Vesta to Ford Focus and many other European and Asian brands, and that is why Ford wrapped its operations in Russia--it could not compete with, among others, Russian cars. If anyone in 1983 Soviet Union would have been told so, they would laugh at you in disbelief. Nobody is laughing anymore. 

In other words, a forbidden fruit of western (American) consumerism lost its appeal. With it went this proverbial soft power of the West. Nor is Western pop-culture anymore is a forbidden fruit, not to mention the fact that much of it today is not a culture at all and it is easily registered through many media channels, including, through YouTube which reveals some peculiar cultural trends in unfolding Russia-West cultural war. And it is a war and a very serious one. Just a brief look at a global phenomenon of Russian cartoon series Masha i Medved (Masha and the Bear), which has been watched now by 55 billion viewers around the globe. This episode alone has been watched 4.4 billion times. 

But mischievous Masha is not just popular in the West or elsewhere, she has an enormous audience in the Islamic World. Being mischievous, rowdy, funny and playing anything from rock-music to ice-hockey, Masha (and her Bear) projects the character which is still innocent and "conservative" in a sense of bodily modesty running counter to modern Western pop-culture which, desperately lacking in talent, bar some few important exceptions, sells its "product" by exposing private parts for the public. While Masha and her Bear are a gigantic global hit for many years now, Russians continue to churn out cartoons steeped in decency and savviness, such as The Fixies, which also find a wide global audience. Russians sure as hell remain globally competitive in Russia's traditional cultural sphere such as top-of-the-world ballet and classical music orchestras, but to be competitive in pop-music, that was unheard of until relatively recently. 

Some Russian pop-acts, such as a huge breakthrough of Tatu in early 2003, de facto musical soft-core porn Serebro could give any American pop-act a run for its money by fielding some truly hot Russian girls (singing ability was of secondary matter). And here is this trick why Russia today continues to hold its own against the assault of Western pop. Simple--Russia has one of the highest concentration of the beautiful women in the world and some of them are, actually, not only gorgeous but tremendously talented to the point that their work makes it to the West based on merit of their music, even when sang in Russian, not traditionally preferred English. Polina Gagarina's videos gather tens and hundreds of millions views on YouTube alone. Otava Yo altogether is a folk (sometimes rock) phenomenon whose every video is accompanied by a love fest among primarily European-stock peoples--Russians, Americans, French, Germans, Poles, Czechs etc.--in reaction to their videos. Such as the latest one:

Folk culture in the West today is one of a very few ways of escaping a madness and  perversion of the western modern pop-culture and depression-inducing political and news cycle. Maintaining cultural folkish roots today is tantamount to preserving one's own cultural and, by implication, gender identity and sanity. Suddenly Otava Yo resonates globally. Ah, yes, Yulia Usova and Lina Kolesnik project this classic feminine beauty which so many long for, even those who do not even understand it themselves. And the lovefest between different people continues unabated under the wonderful music of Otava Yo. How important these but few examples I introduced here for a soft power? How important IS soft power in general? It is absolutely crucial in conflicts which are not only ideological but existential. 

Ability to show a "better picture" always counted for a lot, when this "better picture" doesn't differ that much from a reality--that becomes an explosive mixture, a cultural A-bomb. It wasn't Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 which really mattered for shattering the wall of lies and reality "management" around Russia. It was Football World Cup of 2018 which did the trick. Unlike the Olympics of 1980 in Moscow, which saw a complete Potemkin Village erected in Moscow. The 1980 Olympic facade ranged from improved selection of goods in department stores in Moscow, primarily for foreign visitors, to removing local prostitutes to different locations of USSR, not least of them being Ufra in Turkmenia--a rather depressing attachment to Krasnovodsk (Turkmenbashi). World Cup 2018 was a completely different affair because Russians didn't really give a damn about how anyone thought about them, they just wanted to make WC 2018 the best there ever was, for the sake of the game and, boy, did they succeed. There was nothing contrived about this World Cup, from visa-free entrance to Russia to free third-class trains for anyone, to absolutely unrestrained celebrations all over cities of Russia to free access to anyone anywhere. 

The reality on the ground turned out to be better than the picture. Did Nizhny Novgorod have (still does) trashy neighborhoods? Sure. So does Moscow, but so does NYC or Paris. It was not for the show it was for the enjoyment. And yes, Moscow Metro has Wi-Fi and services in Russia today in many places are world-class. This is soft power:

As one of the most profound comments I ever read stated:

To understand what happened in Russia in the summer of 2018 one needs to read and understand Dostoevsky's Pushkin Speech. Both of those things, are beyond the understanding of modern American elites because they do not have context, they hardly ever did and that is why America finds itself today vis-a-vis Russia in the same place it finds itself vis-a-vis herself, and that is not a good place. One can still buy a better car or a better condo in America, than one owned before, but one cannot buy happiness which comes into life by different venues than just material possessions and modern West cannot provide the answer to that anymore, but then again it was Dostoevsky who stated that the beauty will save the world and Russia has a lot of it and is ready to share... That is why Russia's soft power is growing and I mean it without any pathos.

To Be Continued...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Untreatable. Soft Power (Part 2).

I want to start with few things when writing about soft power which are greatly summarized by old Russian anecdote about a man who lost his car keys in the dark alley but chose to look for them under the bright street light "because it is easier to look for them here". This is a defining trait of what passes in the US for the "intellectual class" and I have some examples to illustrate this, which is a testimony to a very low level of education (not in a formal sense, albeit in this too) and culture of these people. And I am not talking about "lefty", associated primarily with the Democrats that is, psychobabbling strata of people who pretend to be thinkers, but about what would allegedly be perceived as, by definition, more cultured and educated people of the "conservative" intellectual movement in the US. Well, truth is--they are not, and produce the same shallow pretentious drudgery which hides its intellectual feebleness behind lofty rhetoric and semantic constructs, which bear absolutely no meaning. 

Here is where Russia comes in play as a litmus test. American "intellectual class" simply has no clue about Russia, especially modern Russia and will not know about her for a reason of this American intelligentsia being precisely anti-intellectual in the most extreme form. This goes beyond Daniel Larison's dictum of US elites' ignorance of the outside world. American "intellectuals" who associate themselves with those "elites" are ignorant too and they are incapable of learning--a defining feature of American elites. It is impossible when one is afflicted by the untreatable disorder or projecting one's own psychosis, born out of a deadly mix of low cultural level and uncontrollable desire to pontificate on the subjects American "intellectual" has no clue about, onto others. So, the paradigm of looking for the car keys, lost in the dark alley, in the place which is brightly lit "because it is easier to look for them here" unfolds. Or, using even older Russian proverb--the pig will always find a dirt to lay in. 

Russia in this case is a perfect tool for deconstructing American "intellectuals" impotence and ignorance because this American intelligentsia for decades cannot get Russia right and will not get her right, or, as I like to say, will not be able to find its ass with its own both hands in the brightly lit room. A gigantic body of empirical evidence of this intellectual feebleness exists in a form of a disaster, which the United States of today are, which was predicted long ago by many... Russians. Yet, as another piece in today's The American Conservative suggests, the strata of what is called Kreakls in Russia and which is universally despised by overwhelming majority of Russians is accepted as Russia's "rebuke". 

The internationally award-winning stage and screen director Konstantin Bogomolov has declaimed on civilizational decline with a scathing manifesto published recently in the Moscow daily Novaya Gazeta. He has ignited a firestorm of debate by laying blame for the erosion of freedom of expression in the West at the feet of what he calls a “New Ethical Reich.” This regime resembles the most odious of the 20th century in its worst tendencies. Readers of TAC will no doubt cheer his courage in excoriating the, ironically, totalitarian liberals who seek to turn us all into thought police.       

This whole piece by some "political consultant" is preposterous in its pretense of reflecting "real Russia" and how Russians feel. Here is a test--did you encounter any American "intellectual" or "political consultant" reviewing, say, first rate works by Russian real intellectuals or directors such as those who made a massively impactful and influential movie 28 Panfilov Men. Of course not, what overwhelming majority of Russians thinks is of no interest to American "intellectuals" for a number of reasons, among which their conviction of own greatness, precludes them from learning of what Russia actually thinks. So, instead of paying attention to real Russia and Russians, this Ajjan guy, pulls out of hat opinions of some Kreakl, Konstantin Bogomolov, whose desperate meandering lamentation about combined West sliding into the dark ages was printed in the Novaya Gazeta--an official Kreaklo-liberda (owners are billionaire Lebedev and, no less, than Gorbachev himself and Mikhail Khodorkovsky as grey cardinal) source for either outright Russophobic lies or, almost non-stop, anti-Russian propaganda.

So is Konstantin Bogomolov who is a bona-fide Russophobe and a classic representative of Russian liberda who, seeing both a catastrophe of the combined West and a complete failure, due to both lack of any support among Russians and, in fact, increasing hatred for them, of Navalny's provocations, suddenly does a trick known in Russia as changing shoes in the jump and assaults Russian liberda. Liberda being largely a euphemism for Russophobes, significant share of them being West's intelligence assets, and the West. Paul Robinson had enough stomach to discuss this Bogomolov's lamentations, I don't, because I know that Bogomolov, being a director from a Moscow liberal Parnassus, has about the same understanding of modern world as Mr. Ajjan who found it worthy of attention discussing thoughts of some liberal opportunist. Which among overwhelming majority of Russian public didn't create nothing but arrival to the conclusion that Bogomolov is merely trying to fit into the new old reality of Russia which is "conservative" in Russian sense by her nature, always was and will always remain. 

Opinions of some Moscow liberal Beau Monde boy, who had enough audacity, combined with lack of taste, to scrap the bottom of the Russia's liberal barrel and marry Russia's slut-in-charge Kseniya Sobchak, are as consequential to Russians as opinions of this very Mr. Ajjan and the discussion is not about Bogomolov, but about presenting a fecal matter of Russia's creative class as something that matters. Ajjan doesn't just stop at accepting Bogomolov's frustrations as viable, but he concludes:

But Russia is fortunate to have a cultural icon who can articulate a worldview, who encourages his countrymen to think for themselves critically as they resist the thought police, and who ponders his nation’s European future at a time when self-hatred seems to rule the day and all the very best legacies of Europe risk falling prey to a “cancel culture.” Refreshingly, his thoughts go beyond the relative merits or disgraces of Vladimir Putin as head of state; they cut right to the heart of what kind of nation Russians might want to be as a people and what kind of Europe they aspire to be a part of.

Mr. Ajjan, obviously, doesn't have any clue on modern Russia and on Russian culture in general, because Bogomolov "thoughts" are exactly part and parcel of Western thought today and, as this proverbial pig looking for a dirt to lay anywhere, Ajjan recognizes in Bogomolov's miasma of a thought something what defines American elites' "intellect" today. It has nothing to do with Russia and Russians who already know, contrary to Mr. Ajjan's pontification, what they "want to be as a people" and why they DO NOT want to be a part of Europe. How Mr, Ajjan missed this important tectonic shift which occurred in the 21st century Russia is absolutely mind-boggling. But then again, this is precisely my point--it is not about Russia and Russians, who Western intellectuals hate in their overwhelming majority, but about them not even recognizing a real geopolitical storm, which was and is being driven by overwhelming majority of Russians whose culture IS NOT defined by Bogomolov and his ilk. Bogomolov's "thoughts" are absolutely inconsequential for Russia, with the exception of a shrinking cesspool of Russia's liberal creative class who, same as its Western counterpart, is badly educated, ambitious and self-centered. 

So, calling derivative opinions stolen by Bogomolov from real Russian intellectuals who warned about West's totalitarian direction already in 1990s and his ignorant ramblings about Russian culture and people, a "Rebuke" tells one everything one needs to know about what constitutes today "notable" opinions at the American "conservative" intellectual kitchen on Russia. This is not speak of the fact that calling Bogomolov a "cultural icon" shows a degree of ignorance of Russian realities by Ajjan and people at TAC who published this drivel. Yet, not to be outdone, The American Conservative publishes yet another "Russia" piece and as you may have guessed it--about Solzhenitsyn. 

Micah Mattix reviews yet another "treatise" on Solzehnitsyn scribes by Robert Kaplan who reviews Solzhentsyn's unreadable (you would expect that from Kaplan to not understand it--most American "Russian scholars" do not speak Russian at all or barely) and Kaplan writes this:

Solzhenitsyn’s dissection of the Russian defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg, which occupies much of the action of August 1914, should be studied at every military war college. Without that failure, there might well have been no Romanov abdication, no Lenin, thus no twentieth century as we know it. Solzhenitsyn’s presentation of the battle over hundreds of pages is panoramic, immersive, and masterly, the equivalent in typewriter ink of Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s Fight Between Carnival and Lent. As with any writer of great epics, Solzhenitsyn knows many disparate things: the technicalities of artillery formations and field maneuvers; the mental process by which semi-starving, over-extended, and ill-led soldiers become looters; how small changes in terrain affect forced marches; as well as the placement of the stars in the night sky and the names of many Orthodox saints.    

Let me put it this way only an American neocon journo could have come up with this  doozy of a thought, since literally every line in it is an Exhibit A of a military and historical delusions of Kaplan, which are inevitable when one considers who Solzhenitsyn was and the level of falsifications of Russian history he reached. Solzhenitsyn never was a historian, let alone military historian, despite his "service" in WW II as a coachman in the rear, at first, and then as a commander of sound battery. Such battery was not really a battery of guns but a collection of the distributed microphones deployed in the rear, yet again, to triangulate by the sound of enemy's guns their position for counter-battery operations by the actual front-line artillery units. Right before Solzhenitsyn faced an actual combat in a deadly assault on Koniegsberg, he made sure that he is removed from the Army and arrested to sit out the end of the war in GULAG. He successfully achieved that and after release started to invent alternative history, first on his own, later with a great deal of aid from the West. Militarily he was always an amateur and open liar. But, hey, if Kaplan wants to use a now well-known falsifier as a study in any War College--I have some news for  Kaplan, Solzhenitsyn is not allowed anywhere near any Russian military academy or war college precisely because Russians know about their history, especially military one, slightly more than  Solzhenitsyn ever knew (in fact he did all he could to avoid studying it), not to mention Robert Kaplan or, for that matter, most modern American (and Western) "Russian studies" field "scholars" who are on the front line of facing Russia's soft power because actual Russian military and political history from WW I through WW II not only testifies to Solzhenitsyn's mediocre literary gifts but debunks completely the history of the 20th Century Solzhenitsyn wrote for the West in order to counter an appreciation by the world of the Soviet/Russian decisive contribution to a defeat of Axis powers/ But then again, Kaplan never heard of the Central Archives of Defense Ministry in Podolsk, nor did he ever try to read Krivosheev, Svechin, Denikin, Triandafilov and memoirs of a bunch White movement generals, which, actually, were published even in USSR and who contradict Solzhenitsyn at every turn. But, of course, what those participants in the actual events know about it, right?

Indeed, who needs to study anything when one "political adviser" declares a rather artistic mediocrity and a pathetic excuse for "intellectual" a Russian "cultural icon", while the other thinks that one of the most significant falsifiers of history and military ignoramus must be "studied in every military war college". Sure, if the situation with the US Armed Forces is not bad enough, any Russian would suggest to study Solzhenitsyn in both US Naval and US Army war college since it will assure an additional confusion in already utterly cognitively dissonanced US military services to lose even more in terms of good solid study of tactics, operational art and strategy. But that just exposes what I am writing about for many years--American "intellectuals" are not there to study Russia, they are there to insulate already increasingly ignorant American public from the realities of the only country which can wipe the United States off the map and which drives a historic transition of the world to multi-polarity, because Americans  are not supposed to be subjected to a culture which is not only much older but much wiser in terms of what many Americans think they are the best at--real war. 

American intellectual elite made its choice long time ago and it lies about Russia not only today, it did it always after the WW II trying to both address its own complex of inferiority towards Soviets upon checking the balance of contributions and costs in the America's emergence as a superpower after the WW II--yes, yes, it was Patton who defeated Meinstein and Model at Kursk and Stalingrad--as well as due to inherent arrogance, which De Tocqueville defined as American "garrulous patriotism", of American "intellectual" who thought that he he knew the world. He didn't, especially in both historic terms and time. Today, with the explosive development of mass-communications the American "intellectual" is under increasing pressure, if not assault, of images, facts, news, events, sounds from Russia which blow this American "intellectual" view of the world completely out of the water. For this "intellectual" it is a horrifying ordeal to see all chimeras he grew up with--from GULAG Archipelago, to WW II to the sense of the America's halcyon times' emotional high, against the reality which is ruthless and always wins... Let's recall Whitman Bassow's quip from his excellent book in 1988:

(American) TV has by and large failed to convey the flavor of life in the USSR in a systematic way    

In 33 years since then nothing changed, in fact things became worse, much worse. For American "intellectuals" many of who were behind this deterioration things are getting increasingly difficult because in modern world America has nothing to offer and, bar a complete censorship and thought-control, which are coming, has nothing to counter Russia's increasing soft power with, because for the first time in centuries, majority, overwhelming majority of Russians do not give a damn about how combined West thinks about them, especially repeating beaten to death utterly false cliches and lies and thus are totally free to create. This is a key strength in unfolding global clash between modern Russian intellect and culture and untreatable ignorance of the America's intellectual class. 

To Be Continued...   

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Epiphany. He Saw The Light.

LOL. But seriously, it is significant, especially for office plankton and other hamsters--members of the witnesses of anthropogenic climate change cult. 

Rosatom smiled at Bill approvingly, who, BTW, doesn't even have formal education being a dropout from college after two years but sure as hell exhibits a lot of "authority" on the issues he has zero background in. But, hey, as I said today in previous post--maybe someone in his circle of sycophants will have enough courage to tell Bill to stick to what he knows best--writing code and ripping people off. He obviously lacks in terms of knowledge of real economy and how it works, but sure, even this short exhibition of a common sense, granted for all the wrong and risible reasons, is important because of Gates' high public profile among the "meat generation" and other representatives of post-industrial delusion.  

I think the weather in Texas and few other mid-West states, as well as Germany's "triumph" in suiciding her economy for the sake of "green" delusion, may serve as a good illustration of how real, aka physical, economy sector, especially its power supply should be kept in the hands of professionals. Or, as Slade used to sing:

If not, I don't even want to go there. I have a huge chapter on that in my latest book. Energy=civilization, the rest is a BS for the consumption of uneducated and uncultured.  
Listen attentively to REAL reasons for Texas calamity--lack of power generation.

No Shit, Geniuses. Pardon My French.

And this was a surprise exactly for who? Mind you, same crap is happening in Europe too, especially in "green" Germany whose ass is being saved right now by good ol' coal, oil and gas. if not, Germany would freeze solid.

And yes, when it snows--there is no Sun. But, I guess, climate "activists" in  the West most of who have education level of Greta Thunberg and, primarily, from humanities field, such as "mighty" political scientists and public relations, have issue with grasping basic concepts of "science", which, usually, is not a problem for kids in normal middle schools, where they actually teach them, not indoctrinate. Morons who would still defend wind turbines--I am not against wind, per se--being illiterate, evidently do not understand that maintaining those turbines, including their idling during deep freezes, involves... electricity expenditure from other, "dirty" sources, because turbines need to stay warmed and require maintaining electric power to some crucial aggregates in order for them not to... freeze. Try to explain this to any "climate activist" or Hollywood "star" with barely high and acting school being their highest level of "education". Good luck. Idiocracy is unfolding in front of our eyes. 

Right now there are more than 4 million people in Texas alone who are freezing and some are, sadly, dying because the United States didn't have people with electrical engineering and energy degrees dominating public discussion on climate in ages. It is simply not required, because we all know that in our world all you need for things to happen is to imagine and voila'--they happen. No wonder literature scene for youth is absolutely dominated by fantasy novels. Just wish for things and everything will be OK and the electricity will start flowing to the wall sockets. It is so simple... 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Paul Craig Roberts Reacts To My New Book.

He wrote the review (as well as corrected some minor style and content issues) and here it is. 

The United States isn’t a nation any longer. It is a collection of peoples without a country.  A nation requires a unifying spirit of the people, and the United States has no such unifying spirit.  Martyanov observes that there is nothing in common between a white WASP farm worker from Iowa, a Jewish lawyer from Manhattan, and a black rapper from the Bronx. They view the world, America and their place in it differently, and those visions are irreconcilable.  Martyanov writes that “today, the United States is not a nation, certainly not in the traditional sense of having a dominant ethnic nationality, while the foundational American meme and myth of a ‘Melting Pot’ has turned out to be exactly that—a myth. America’s many ethnicities have not been assimilated to form a single nation, but rather are more aptly regarded as a salad bowl” of divergent interests. America is a tower of Babel standing on the shaky ground of Identity Politics. Such a multicultural diverse country does not have a national interest because unity is absent.  A house divided cannot stand.

You can read the whole thing if you follow the link. One of the main questions which I must answer here, being myself a Russian. Do I experience even if fleeting sense of schadenfreude, granted people who run America fully deserve it? My answer is no for several reasons:

1. I remember a different America which was still free, in a sense we perceive liberty;

2. It is my home, for crying out loud, how can I enjoy seeing my home being demolished and turned into the psychiatric ward? 

But does America deserve a historic lesson? Absolutely! History is blind and ruthless and, eventually, arrogance and lies get punished one way or another and this is precisely what is happening to the modern United States. The tragic feature of this process is the fact that American "elites" are incapable of learning. So, the writing is on the wall, I merely read the signs. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Patrick Armstrong Beat Me To It. (Part I)

And it is all for the better since he made some excellent points in his latest piece on soft power. Those points make my job easier. Such as this: 

My latest book delves into this issue too and I agree with Armstrong that success was a huge, albeit not the only, part of the West in general and American in particular soft power which played a key role in a demise of the Soviet Union and dominant ideology which was a bizarre mix of vulgar Marxism and growing individualism. Despite some of the most stunning achievements in developing a human capital, the Soviet Union of 1970s and early 1980s was an increasingly grey country. Environment matters, from smells, to visuals, to sounds to the emotional background which, together with purely economic tangibles, defines both progress and the coming up of a new generation. It is in human nature and even the diet of grade A New-York steaks will get boring, stale and, eventually, revolting, such as was the case with Pavel Vereschagin, one of the main characters of the immortal Soviet Eastern White Sun of the Desert, who could not eat black caviar of the Caspian sturgeon any more after a steady diet of it, and was dreaming about... bread. Yes, that's us, humans and nothing can change it. If that was the other way around, we would still be driving 1986 Ford Tauruses and wear bell-bottom pants. But we don't. And the combined West was simply better in this respect than Soviet Union by providing both material and cultural stimuli, period. 

Yes, Leningrad was still stunning even in 1950s or in 1980s, but the treasures of Hermitage were good only so far as one could go and find an inexpensive clean and delicious place to eat, while being surrounded by people well-dressed and experiencing a good level of service, from hailing the cab to being able to go to the nearest grocery store and buy what you needed. Or, what was even more important--what one wanted. Soviet Union could defeat NATO, it could launch man into space, it could provide excellent education and... here was a problem, educated people, inevitably, have a higher standard of consumption from material to immaterial things, especially in the age of TV, radio etc. Apart from inherent, fundamental problems of the Soviet Union, which doomed it, from nationalism of fringes to mismanagement of economy, USSR could hardly compete with the West in terms of soft power, which in the age of electronic mass media came with a higher standard of living, and broke into the grey Soviet existence with some of the top notch cinematography and music of Beatles and Deep Purple. Seeing and comparing western made cars with what Soviet auto-industry could provide in 1960s through 1980s was also an experience which made many things in Soviet Union look and feel as failures. Some of them, actually, were. Huge lines in Soviet department stores for Austrian and Italian made shoes, French and German made dresses, jackets and overcoats, and an enormous black market for the US-sown denim, from Wrangler to Levi's are just but a few indicators of Soviet inability to counter Western soft power, which also came with glamour fashion magazines and consumer goods catalogs, which themselves were in demand on the black market.

Khruschev openly lied during his famous Kitchen Debate with Nixon that Soviet housewives too, as did American housewives, had the access to automatic dishwashers. They didn't. In 1959 the country was barely beginning to live relatively well and the scars of the devastating war were still present everywhere. The last thing Soviet housewife was dreaming about was an automatic dishwasher, which USSR didn't produce to start with. Getting two-three room apartment was the limit of the dreams for the average Soviet housewife. I write a lot about this in my latest book. Today things changed, dramatically. In fact in the most astonishing way. 

You go to Russia and you can use Uber, you can order practically any delivery, you are offered an  astonishing array of foods, Russian grocery and department stores look like cathedrals of consumerism and yes, modern Moscow or St. Petersburg make NYC or Paris look like a backwater. In fact, for Western tourist getting today to modern Russia, the sense of astonishment is one of the primary senses he or she experiences, and then, there is a wow-factor of a sense of real freedom in Russia. Russia looks and feels today exactly like Russians perceived West looked and felt in 1970s or 80s, when it was still not completely screwed, as it is today. Rock legends and giants are not anymore queasy or are forbidden to tour Russia--they gather arenas, alright. From such legends as Scorpions or Deep Purple who tour Russia constantly, to Aerosmith or Rammstein, to Iron Maiden, Sir Paul and you name it making sure they play in biggest Russian cities. Suddenly, the factor of inferiority which Soviet people definitely had and were influenced by in post-WW II years is gone. Completely. 

Nobody goes to the "West" for shopping reasons anymore--you can buy all that and more in Russia or on-line, Russia is highly computerized country--people go to Malta, Italy or Spain for culture, warmth and beaches, not to gaze enviously at once desirable windows of Western department stores. You can get into H&M in any Russian city. Truth is, you can dress yourself better and more affordably in Russia than in Macy's. Each-time I fly back home to the US from Russia I carry 3-4 pairs of Russian-made shoes. Who would have thought about this 30 years ago. Most importantly, Russia's has preserved what then, 30-40 years ago, was considered one of the major strengths of the West, one of the foundation of its freedom--proper sensuality and sexuality, as well as feminine beauty and femininity, which is being completely removed from the West in favor of ugly pornography with plain freaks of both genders, or in favor of third wave feminism proclaiming ugliness a norm. Here is a train of thought by wonderfully feminine and smart Brittany Sellner on the war against feminine beauty, and femininity, I may add, and that may explain partially the loss of the West's soft power and the growth of it on Russia's side. 

I know, I know, Brittany being an extremely attractive girl combining a very feminine (which often is more powerful than physical beauty) side of hers with excellent mind may seem as an easy advocate for beauty. But she has a point, a very important one--one of the major factors in Russia's soft power increasingly will be how Russians (majority of them) define feminine beauty, femininity and relations between a man and a woman. West tries to destroy those, Russia preserves them and that already is a major contributing factor to Russia's growing soft power because it is natural. This issue is worth looking deep into, because as I said, physical beauty without femininity is just a facade. Alicia Milano may be objectively "beautiful", as is Sharlize Therone, but neither have this "it" factor, which is real femininity, which makes them desirable for truly intelligent and dedicated men... Because third wave feminism is a movement of losers.

To Be Continued...

Friday, February 12, 2021

It Is Friday.

Just a piece of music by a boy, now a young man, who I follow for almost a decade now and whose story is almost a fairy tale story. It started here in 2012. 

Now Jonathan is globally recognized as one of the best tenors and the sky is the limit for this guy, who, I am sure, should not feel in any way sensitive about his weight, as long as he feels fine himself, his true talent eclipses anything. I am sure many girls would find it a blessing to date this wonderful human.

I will try to address Russia's soft power later. But for now, you may want to research what CIAO, 2020 is and why Italy fell in love. Evidently, so did Rod Dreher. A hint--in this show, there is no a single Italian but it is the best "we love you to Italy" which people of my generation, whose youth passed in 1970-1980s, could have said;))) Hint, the only real 1980s song here is a hilarious gopnik rendition by Little Big of classic Ricchi e Povery hit Mamma Maria. The rest is Russian pop... sang in Italian with 1980s Italian pop-sensibilities and sound. Enjoy.

Boy, Are Those Europeans A Jumpy Lot.

When Lavrov speaks, world listens. This is not an exaggeration. So much for a "regional power" he represents. But even when Lavrov says something to a talk-show host such as Vladimir Solovyov, news gets around. Full interview (in English) you can read at Russian Foreign Ministry' site. As Reuters reports:

Zakharova later reiterated the point (in Russian) and... the tempest in the teacup has been unleashed. 

A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said "these statements are really disconcerting and incomprehensible."

I, frankly, do not find them such at all, because they are realistic and reflect present state of the relations between combined West and Russia. Some other EU "diplomats" tried to elaborate on the recent  Borrell's mission to Russia and continued to speak about EU "values". But that is the problem, Russia doesn't share those "values", because she wants to avoid turning the country into Sodom and Gomorrah and a mental asylum. You know my position, I was calling for Iron Curtain 2.0, especially in cultural field, for years now. So, Russia doesn't fit EU's "values", so be it. What's the problem? Nations, cultures, civilizations differ--it is a normal state of the affairs. Russia IS NOT modern combined West and thank God for that. 

For anyone who still thinks that Russia does "good cop-bad cop" routine, this is not it. Internal Russian dynamics is such that, as I point out constantly, the scale of revulsion and contempt for EU and US is unprecedented historically. This has nothing to do with "Putin's propaganda" but with this very rejection of Western "values", not to mention West's arrogance and Russophobia. Only imbeciles in EU can continue to think about themselves as an attractive civilizational model. Russians travel a lot and many do make their own conclusions on the state of the affairs in the West. Plus, Russia is a much-much freer country than any EU member and even the United States which is moving inexorably towards totalitarianism. So, why should Russia "value" the EU? Economy? Sure, even during the Cold War 1.0 USSR traded actively with Western Europe, especially West Germany, so this MO can be re-instituted again. EU needs Russia's hydrocarbons? Sure, let them pay--they will get it. Simple as that. Nothing personal, just business and EU better get used to it, if not--well, Russia has a lot, and I mean a lot, of business in Asia. And yes, Russia is ready across the board to cut ties with EU. Lavrov meant what he said. As Russian proverb goes: насильно мил не будешь--you cannot make one like you by imposition. 

In related news from NATO. Eat this Russia. 

Kremlin is preparing the proclamation of unconditional surrender as I type this, because Russian Armed Forces and many civilian localities in Russia sustained severe hernias due to a wide-spread hysterical laughter upon learning of the possibility to face M-1 Abrams driven by electricity from solar panels. Actually, adding the wind turbine on the top of its turret is another great idea. You know how harmful those exhausts are to soldiers during large-scale combined arms operations. God forbids to be blown up by thermobaric explosive while having one's lungs exposed to tanks' exhaust. So harmful.