Russian fairy tales contain such personage as Koschei Bessmertnyi (Koschei the Immortal). He hides his soul inside nested objects to protect it. For example, the
soul may be hidden in the needle that is hidden inside the egg which is
carried by the duck that flies away whenever anyone tries to catch it. Why nested objects? Because once the needle is broken Koschei dies. But the metaphor here is even deeper--this nesting "of the soul" is akin to deeply hidden and suppressed psychological complexes, which is a part of the soul, apart from the obvious security measures (nesting) to guard one's life which is in the needle. The needle is a representation of something we all guard as the utmost personal secret we take to the gave with us. We all have our needles, which are hidden in some eggs, inside the duck. Ben Hodges' needle, however, is not in the egg--it is deep in his ass and there is nothing secret about it, since it reveals Ben Hodges' most important and domineering complex--complex of inferiority. It is also a very relatable issue for the modern United States whose ascendance to superpowerdom happened because of the incredible combination of geopolitical factors which preserved the US from a devastation of Europe and Asia in WW II.
This is a very American idiosyncrasy--an extreme sensitivity to the fact that without sacrifices by historic Russia, known then as the Soviet Union, who did 80% of fighting and annihilating the cream of the cream of the Axis, there would have been no American (or Allies) victory. Ben Hodges is not Dinesh Souza who is an ignorant propagandist selling lubok of American exceptionalism both retail and wholesale in order to tickle American rah-rah and own ambitions. No, Ben Hodges is a graduate of the USMA in West-Point and of the Army War College, he also had under his command serious forces in Europe. So, it is reasonable to ask the question--who and how taught Ben Hodges military history, a mandatory subject in any military academy in the world, that this guy not only blatantly lies but parades himself as a jackass?
The answer to this is very simple: apart from being a paid shill for Banderite (crypto-Nazi) lobby in the US, Ben Hodges is butt-hurt with the needle of his "soul" (or complexes) protruding from his behind because he himself knows damn well that on the scale of military accomplishments he is nothing but a loser despite his senior general level officer paraphernalia. Ben Hodges never fought in defense of his country (as no American servicemen ever did starting from the times of America's founding), he never achieved any tangible military-strategic success and he knows that the United States didn't win any wars (except in Grenada) even against the third-rate opponents, never mind Russia who even in her disassembled state in 1990s could still wipe the United States off the map. Not to mention today, when Russia can do this conventionally against any combination of the forces in European theater.
Latest Russian military successes, from shocking disposal of the Georgian Army under 120 hours in 2008 and Russians do not even brag about it, to effectively demolishing a bulk of ISIS in Syria, while preserving successfully Syrian State and its legitimate government, to unveiling revolutionary weapon systems and changing geopolitical balance--this bothers, irritates and drives Ben Hodges. He feels that he is merely a footnote, an insignificant word, a pronoun, in the book of Russia's military history which saw military-political figures many orders of magnitude larger than Ben Hodges ever was or will be defeated by Russians in a scale of operations which simply have no analogues in the US military history. The Ben Hodges' Koschei Needle is his envy and jealousy which no amount of spin and outright lies can allay and he resorted to lowering himself to a level of part-time crypto-Nazi propagandist capable only of smearing someone who is simply better than him.
There are no respected academics that support Hodges’ assertion that
millions of Russians did not die, but he received no pushback from the
other speakers taking part in the talk. The Zoom call was part of the
12th annual US-Ukraine Security Dialogue, a conference organized by the
Center for US-Ukrainian Relations, a lobby group accused by some of
having ties to OUN-B, an offshoot of the far-right Organization of
But then again, this is the level of the modern American "elites" and it is too bad that Ben Hodges just happened to be a man who wore the officer uniform. These "elites" will lie, they will cheat they will steal. It is one thing when this activity is performed by spies and politicians--one would expect this from them. It is totally another when a former very high rank American officer loses any sense of professionalism, honor and propriety, let alone of elementary respect for tens of millions of Russian people, civilians and soldiers alike, who went through hell, which Ben Hodges cannot even grasp, to defeat the deadliest enemy in history. Leningrad alone lost more people from 1941 through 1944 than the United States lost throughout its whole military history combined. One cannot compensate for the lack of class which Ben Hodges, once one reviews the history of his statements, never had to start with. But then again, try sitting still on your butt with a needle in it--an impossible task and Ben Hodges demonstrated this extremely well.
Alarm, alarm! Call on CIA, Hollywood, New York Times, Oprah and Department of State immediately. You may also call on the US Bureau of Reclamation, just in case, plus states' Lottery Commissions for a good measure. Putin and Russia are completely off the rails and threaten the whole thing...you know...what's the name of it. Ah, yes "diversity", which, of course, is "strength" and the future. Will omit for now the description of this future, but future nonetheless. That's what they say. Putin, in an act of unparalleled Nazi nationalist fascism and turbo-Holocaust racism and super white privilege, just stated that:
Translation:the share of migrants' children in Russian schools should be such that it will allow to adapt them to language and cultural environment and not to allow the situation, such as in Europe and the United States, where schools consisting entirely of immigrant children exist, state Russia's President Vladimir Putin. "In some European and American schools, when the number of such children reaches certain percentage, native people begin to withdraw their children from such schools <...> this is how schools with 100 percent immigrant children appear", said Putin Tuesday at the meeting of the Council on National Relations. The head of state underscored that in Russia "such development must not be allowed".
He went to underscore that such problem does not exist in Russia but it should be forestalled. But then again, as you may know, Russian Constitution is explicit in terms of the role of Russian (Russkie) people for the Russian State, so, for Russian it is only natural to view the whole thing under such angle as Putin does. In fact, Putin, actually follows the lead of the overwhelming majority of Russian and not only Russian, many other native ethnicities, people who really do not want to see their beloved country turn into...well, fill in the blanks on your own. As you might expect, Russians, being backward, primitive people with no culture and lacking cultural enrichment of, say, UK or France, do not understand all the beauty of diversity and of 100% immigrant schools. Come on, look at some of the benefits of immigration.
Here is diversity in full swing. What a lovely enrichment.
These are some things which immigration, as it is understood and promoted by limousine and cocktail liberals, who never saw real life beyond their pseudo-academic echo-chambers, brings to the West with fully immigrant schools becoming a main source of "cultural enrichment" practices which Russians do not want and reject them outright. There is a lot of what is going into the real (emphasis on real) national security--schools and education, and upbringing, being the foundation of it all with kids being educated and brought up to be upstanding citizens. This is not the case anymore in the West where respect for national tradition and culture is scorned and schools are used primarily to purge the remainder of historic national memory and, eventually, dissolve "whiteness", Christianity and nationhood as such. Russians want to preserve their nationhood and it is an official state policy. That is why Russia and the West have no civilizational future together, because Russia emphatically refuses to commit suicide, the West, on the other hand, is in its final convulsions in the noose and what will come of it we may only guess. Nothing good, that much is clear. Russia seems to be readying for this. Not the first time for Russians.
In related Russian news, Russia resumed testing of the new light transport IL-112 for Russian MoD and the bird is really plump and looks, actually, very modern. This plane is going to replace venerable AN-26s both for the design and political reasons, Antonov being formally a Ukrainian firm, which for all intents and purposes doesn't exist as a viable enterprise anymore.
It is a thoroughly Russian plane, from engines to avionics, and it is needed both in military and civilian fields in Russia. Initial run will be slow--12 aircraft a year. But then again, do not forget a fully civilian IL-114 which goes into serial production next year (in Russian) and is designed to take on regional routes in Russia.
You see, the development of all these planes, from IL-114 to MC-21, to SU-57, to hypersonic weapons, to space stations, to nuclear ice-breakers, to quantum computing (Russia is doing really well here) to massive LNG carries--all of that starts in school. Students in school must be occupied primarily with studying algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, geography, language, literature and civics, not with trying to figure out what gender they are and being "culturally enriched" by immigrants from backward shitholes. Well, Putin gets it, so does overwhelming majority of Russians, Tatars, Mordvins, Chechens, Jews, Bashkirs--you name it--and that is why they want to preserve their schools. They may come handy when the stream of native European immigrants, already in existence, will hit Russia's shores in coming years. And it will.
P.S. In conclusion. RT made a wonderful documentary about Russian Blacks, with a Beatlesque title of Black in the USSR. Watch it and see for yourself how Russia treats people who really want to be upstanding citizens and how they become successful.
The poetry Russian black woman reads starting from 24:00 is something special and it hits it home.
Sophia Yan, evidently, is a very gifted person. She is classically trained pianist, a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, she writes on all kinds of topics and, I am sure, she is also a part-time astronaut and is working on finishing her thesis on the influence of chromatic scale on a development of the modern combat networks. Well, last two are, of course, a complete made-up crap, but then again--if a professionally trained pianist has opinions on modern geopolitics, I sure as hell, have opinion on pianists writing on modern geopolitics. But between me and Yan there is this profound ethical difference--I am not writing articles on music theory, which I don't know, nor am I trying to book my piano performances even in the local bars because I know that I suck even as the intro level 7 year old student of piano. Yan, however, thinks that she can pass her opinions on modern geopolitics easily, because she is Chinese piano player, or, to be precise a Taiwanese one. Using modern Russian political lingo she is a Kreakl--a humiliating title Russians give people from primarily artistic-journo environment who also happened to be fanatical liberals. Yan qualifies easily.
I never made a secret out of my attitude towards China--I am NO Sinophile, plus, having very limited understanding of China I rely on opinions of professional Sinologists who also have, usually, good background in economics, history and try to stay objective. Yan is not the kind. Her piece on Friday has all the hallmarks of a paid Sinophobic "expert", an equivalent of Russian "dissidents" who are used in the West as useful idiots. Yan, in her piece titledThe days of China ‘hiding and biding’ its might are officially over opens with a broadside:
Hearing about "criminalizing dissent" from a writer for an Airstrip One rag and who lives in a country where political purges and repressions are finally getting into the full swing is down right risible, but Western journalism, for the most part, was never self-aware and had taste, but this is not what attracted my attention in this boilerplate collection of anti-Chinese tropes. This is what really struck me funny in Yan's train of thought.
The regime's tit-for-tat sanctions show China's leaders now consider
themselves powerful enough to fight back against the old powers of the
West – the underlying message being, ‘anything you can do, we can do
too.’... So China is flexing its muscles to challenge a rules-based world order
set by the West in a campaign to be treated as an equal. It plays well
This is what happens when a piano player begins to wax geopolitical and instead parades own sheer ignorance and detachment from the reality "on the ground". Yan would be well advised to learn that ANY "old power of the West", be that France or Germany, or Yan's current employer in UK, economically and militarily is dwarfed by China. And I mean dwarfed like "it is not even fair". The United States, which is not "old power" but a newcomer is also much-much smaller economically than China and if not for coming to an end ability to print money and cook books it is also dwarfed by China economically, albeit not as dramatically as what is known today as Western Europe, which in terms of a combined military "might" is a second rate power in the process of a precipitous decline across all metrics which define advanced and prospering societies (or civilizations).
Then Yan concludes:
But even if Beijing becomes increasingly isolated, its leaders might not
mind - China has never set too much store in having allies and now
seems to see them as a burden leading the West into decline.
I have some news for Yan, it is not only China who looks at the West as a burden and sees it declining--ask Russians. They see the West for what it is. As for China not setting too much store in having allies, Yan should study the dynamics of Russian-Chinese relations especially since Comrade Xi coming to power. Boy, there are so many things in those relations to shake Yan's universe to its very foundation that I am not sure she needs to learn them. After all, a cultural shock may affect the quality of her piano playing profoundly and not for the better. In related news, she should also learn that the a rules-based world order
set by the West is over and the framework has changed so dramatically, that it takes much more than virtuoso piano playing and being a "journalist" to grasp a historic tectonic scale of changes in the world where the West, those remnants which could still be identified as the West, is yet to earn its place at the negotiating table where a real rules-based world order will be set. They may even invite Yan to play piano to entertain luminaries there, after all, I heard she is good.
P.S. For those who followed this blog you may recall this:
I can only imagine the wave of enthusiasm and approval descending on Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv...ah, wait. US magazine Foreign Policy (a well-established bullshitter on all things Russian, as an example) noted four months ago, in the piece titled China Won't Rescue Iran that:
Despite initial optimism, Chinese commercial interests met a lukewarm
reception and the preferential treatment for which China hoped fell
short of expectations. Shortly after the implementation of the nuclear
deal, many foreign companies suddenly started exploring Iranian markets.
With potentially a wide range of alternative products and services
becoming available thanks to the relaxation of sanctions, Iran’s
business community suddenly made increasing demands on Chinese
businesses. Iranians have long had a clear preference for all things Western.
They also tend to be prejudiced against Chinese products and services,
even when they are comparable in quality and lower in price than Western
equivalents. Even Iranian state media was known for subtly insinuating
the inferiority of Chinese-made goods and promoting other cultural and
political biases toward China.Chinese businessmen complained that, to their frustration, their
Iranian partners often wanted a higher amount of Chinese investment but a
lower proportion of Chinese products, services, and technologies in
joint projects. Iran strongly prefers to partner with Western companies
when possible, presumably due to a cultural reflex and a strategic
On one of the rare occasions of sound assessment, this particular FP's point comes across as valid. Iran is extremely difficult country to deal with and she does gravitate towards EU as the Russians learned the hard way when sanctions were lifted, briefly, from Iran. The rest of the article, is a typical collection of tropes about US "dominated world" and other exceptionalist delusional BS which one would expect from Wang Xiyue, a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton University and an incoming
Jeane Kirkpatrick fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in
Washington. He was imprisoned in Iran from Aug. 7, 2016, to Dec. 7, 2019.
But the larger picture is what matters here, even as Xiyue tries to portray it as a Iranian PR ploy, and that one is of a constant shaping of the events, some may even call it a history, resultant vector away from the United States towards Eurasia. As I mentioned recently, when one reads news feeds nowadays, the only thing one finds is this:
Yes, Russia, Russia, Russia. They just cannot let it go:
Yes, start your stopwatches, ladies and gentlemen, and wait for the moment when Western journos and ever-vigilant "intelligence community" will find Russian hand in Suez Canal disaster. Come on, it has to be Russia...somehow...there is no way that Russians are not involved in this whole Suez ordeal. Just think about it--it took all might of US media, intelligence community and democracy to fight for four years against Russia's Manchurian Candidate Donald Trump, who was so artsy in hiding his real KGB rank, that he became most anti-Russian POTUS in modern history, while current one is also Russia's asset, because Joe Biden was obviously turned in 1979 by Andrei Gromyko when Joe visited Moscow.
Now, you can easily see why Joe was chosen by KGB (probably personally by Putin) as an asset--the level of embarrassment and discrediting of the United States on the international arena accomplished by Biden in just four months of his presidency is unbelievable. He, pun is intended, already trumped Trump, who himself was an embarrassment. It has to be Russian operation of influence. But then again, I don't understand why FBI is not checking the backgrounds of people in the New York Times, WaPo, Politico or MSNBC--they all come across as Russian assets, because the damage they deal to the United States by turning it into the media equivalent of a soiled senior citizen diaper paraded around the world can only be measured in megatons, or terabytes, or petaflops, or...whatever. Unless, unless...oh, my--the whole country is a Russian asset. It has to be, and now those puppeteers in Kremlin just play one faction of its spies against the other one because it is...fun? Yes, yes, fun--that is a good explanation and I am sticking to this one. One never knows what to expect from those evil Russkies.
The reason I used the qualifier "somewhat" is simple since on Russian part it wasn't trolling, really. OK, it was but it was pointing out (reasonably I would add) the limitations and vulnerabilities of the canal which can be easily closed off by a simple technical mishap on a vessel of a decent size. 12% of world's trade literally was ground to a halt. Simplest navigational logic tells one that this cannot happen even in the ice of Northern Sea Route, never mind summer, relatively ice-free months, due to obvious massive space for maneuvering.
But real Russian trolling looks like this: three nukes surfacing simultaneously today within the circle with a radius of 300 meters. Boomers no less, mind you, which also conducted torpedo launches under the ice.
I heard many times claims that while Russia is in the Cold War with the West, her youth is more "integrationist" towards EU. Well, no. This is the shift I am writing about for a long time now, and here is some latest data.
The author of the piece, Glenn Diesen, obviously has some major misgivings about "Soviet Communism", since it was very conservative in a social sense and overwhelming majority of Russians, including this very youth, are not outright dismissive of "Soviet communism" achievements, much of which were based in essence on the Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. But what cannot be hidden anymore is this:
A recent poll by the Levada Center, a research group branded a ‘foreign
agent’ by Moscow, revealed that only 29 percent of Russians consider
Russia to be a European country, which represents a drastic decline from
52 percent in 2008. A generational shift is underway, as younger
Russians lead the way in dismissing the European identity of their
country, with those aged 18 to 24 polling at only 23 percent.
So, I hope, this will close this never-ending debate, even if for a short while, about Russians wanting to follow Europe. Well, only some urban office plankton and Kreakls, sure--nobody will miss them in Russia. Especially current "creative" class. But as I state non-stop, want to know Russian youth mood? Hell, ask why today service in the Russian Armed Forces actually sees competition of recruits, especially for such services as paratroopers, spetsnaz, naval infantry. Youth, actually, wants to serve and volunteer to serve. This is unprecedented in Russia's modern history and it speaks volumes. Plus, who in their own mind in Russia, who lives, studies or works in Moscow, St. Pete, Rostov or Voronezh, just to name a few localities, would want to live in the modern West? To do what? Russians never lived as well as they live today in their history. Have you walked the streets of Russian cities or towns--the number of beautiful girls is through the roof. My son's expression when he visited Russia already in the age of initial dating was simple: "Wow". And those girls are not only beautiful, they want a man, they want a family, kids, the works.
In the times of a broadband internet, smart-phones, video feeds, YouTube and other platforms--it is impossible to cover up the real state of the affairs in the West. Plus many Russians travel, a lot, to the West, including youth--most are not impressed. And, of course, the economic future is tangible, it is bright and again--see WHO marches in the Immortal Regiments all over Russia on Victory Day. Right, youth. In huge numbers. So, there you go. There will be no Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok and it is all for the better, for Russia. As for Europe...well, you know my opinion.
For a country whose economy is left "in tatters" and is supposed to be really backward because it doesn't recognize 30 genders, Russia, nowadays, is constantly in the news. Very strange for this backwater of a country with economy the size of Malta's and which produces nothing (wink, wink). As Politco discovered:
Not really a surprising turn of events to anyone who followed REAL news from Russia for decades and saw the actual developments of Russia's R&D in various fields ranging from bio-technologies to nuclear power, to space. Speak of the devil. Now Reuters:
Ah, so they DO follow real news from Russia, not just from their "sources", which are primarily Russia's liberda of Navalny-type, or "lefties" who love to sell their bile to the West as a reality. As TASS reports (in Russian) NPO Molniya is in a hiring mode for specialists to develop this space-plane. As Pepe Escobar notes, this March is a very remarkable month for the world. Especially with de facto alliance between China and Russia having the cover being pulled from it in earnest after Lavrov's visit few days ago.
Basically, Russia has finished in general her reorientation towards Asia. To put some thing into perspective here: the population of EU is about 470 million people, population of Asia is around 4.7 billion. Make your bets, ladies and gentlemen, on where the pivot of global economy is moving to and where it will reside the next many years. In related news, Admiral Gorshkov went to Barentz Sea for combat drills program involving, and you may have guessed it already, strikes on land and surface targets by 3M22 Zircon (in Russian). The new configuration of the world which emerged this year (so far) is rather simple:
1. The Big Three is now 2+1, in which 2 dwarfs 1 both economically and militarily;
2. Russia and China are now, obviously, in the "coercion to peace" mode relative to the United States, which is a euphemism for control of the implosion process of the United States and mitigation of all risks associated with that, unleashing a global war in desperation by the US being the most important one;
What is needed to be said is this: there will be no return to this pre-Covid "normal". As many warned, whatever one may think about Covid-19 pandemic, and it is impossible to ignore the fact of a gross overreaction to it in the West, the trends which started way before Covid-19 hit the newsreels were already in place and saw a systemic departure of the combined West from the position it enjoyed for so long. Its nominal leader, the United States, is in appalling shape with systemic dysfunctions manifesting themselves on a daily bases. American political process, always tawdry, has degenerated into a full blown freak show and the world took notice. So, what will be the arrangements or, should we say, conditions of the surrender? I don't know--there is nobody to discuss this with and that complicates matters greatly. In the same time, if, for some reason, the United States decides to cooperate, no doubt its claim to global greatness as an important state will be accommodated--as one of few, not as some self-proclaimed hegemon. For any attentive observer there is a definite sense of change in the air--almost imperceptible for laymen, but understood by many among those who tried to resist it. Something changed in the Matrix.
Waiting for Lavrov wearing mask with FCKNG SWFT. It takes Lavrov and his 80th level of being cool (because of the country he represents) to literally wear his heart on his sleeve or mask, in this particular case.
One trick ponies, arrogant, uncultured, badly educated--we know that. We knew this for a long time now. But here is an excellent example how the words of real professional--and Colonel Douglas MacGregor is a real deal--can shake and leave searching for words even such an indomitable figure as Tucker when the professional insight is presented. Watch to the end.
What MacGregor says is nothing new. Many people, me included, spoke about this for many years. It is impossible to explain to some think-tankdom sinecure abusing political "scientist" or lawyer who constantly prod incompetent US political elite towards wars of aggression that reality, economic, military, geopolitical, you name it, is such that the main danger for the United States and the world is not in the US' strength but its weakness. It is this weakness, which cannot be cured under present conditions, and delusions of grandeur which carry with them a grave danger when ignorant adventurists at the American political top may decide to "go all in" and be shaken into the realization that the world operates, and always operated, not in accordance to their fantasies but reality.
As I always say: what is going to happen in case of real war when the United States military loses after the first salvo several thousand people and possibly an aircraft carrier in one day? What will be a decision process after that in Washington D.C.? Will lowlife journos from the New York Times and CNN provide a sound advice? I am sure Don Lemon has a lot to say about combined arms warfare. Or will it be Thomas Friedman? The loss of competence in the United States today is appalling, it comes hand-in-hand with a complete detachment from human reality and the necessity for players like Russia to seek an alternative communications, such as Shoigu stressed a couple days ago, when speaking about the contacts with the US military. It is not just that the United States is non-agreement capable--that is an old story. One literally cannot talk to anyone in D.C. since it is a complete mental ward. To speak to WHO? And I don't mean mentally and physically declining Joe.
Paul Craig Roberts recently wrote a nostalgic and very relatable piece titled I Have Outlived My Country. He writes:
It is highly relatable when speaking about Soviet Union of 1960s and 1970s, funny how things go in parallel more often than we suspect. Sadly, highlighted in yellow is not true anymore in the US and the country is run by a cabal of Ph.Ds in pseudo-"sciences", which completely eradicated any semblance of a critical thinking and ability of dealing with facts in most people. When Joe Biden is removed from the office--no, there is no "if", just when--due to his inability to be POTUS, Kamala Harris, a lawyer by education and a woman who has zero understanding of the world outside, forget about complex issues of foreign policy and military, she will be controlled by a neocon lobby which will sell its ignorance and arrogance as a foreign policy and warfare "expertise", which was never there. Make your bets, ladies and gentlemen, on how the process of implosion will accelerate for the United States once it will get into the conundrum from which there will be no good exit. Not that it exists now. It doesn't.
So we might as well, plus having more time on my hands due to collapse of commercial aerospace industry, I learned a bunch of chords on my synth (Yamaha DGX-230 no less, a good solid instrument--not some kids' Casio) and I know now even a bunch of major and minor chords and even Dm7. I can, actually, follow The House of the Rising Sun now. I am learning also some Rybnikov. It may take forever but I have to learn this piece. My Yamaha has a beautiful clavinet and strings patches.
Who would ever thought that "boring" piano, I was, stupidly (I cuss myself today for that) trying to avoid by refusing to attend a musical school, will turn through technology into a magical collection of sounds in modern synthesizers. And Youtube with Internet allowing to learn.
But this? One has to be a genius to do that. Steve Vai qualifies, easy. He does this after surgery on... both hands.
Translation:I am not going to hide the fact that today in Syria, both on tactical and operational levels, we have very close contacts with our American colleagues. If this is a secret for someone, well--I divulge this secret. We have, using the civilian lingo, on the level of our managers several contacts a day regarding operations in the air while fighting against terrorism.
This statement by Shoigu is not accidental and is "loaded" with meaning and underscores what I talk about all the time--the last vestiges of the American competence on a governmental level are primarily with the US military. Even if for the reasons of the American military professionals being capable of a solid risk assessment, people in State Department are not capable of. In this case US-Russian military channels of communications remain THE ONLY reliable means of communications considering an appalling lack of professionalism in the US foreign policy establishment, and, frankly its inadequate mental state.
Generally, this is everything one needs to know about current United States and its "elites". Putin may not have a soul, but there is no doubt that there are all reasons to suspect that Joe Biden doesn't have a brain. As for the worn out tune of Russia's interference in the US elections--by now one knows everything there is to know about US "intelligence community", which definitely is good only for political machinations not for the business of collection of information and producing sound analysis. But then again, degradation of the American political institutions, top-bottom, and its speed are mind-boggling. As for the class and culture--US political elite and US media machine don't have any. Biden merely confirmed it today. Russians, diplomatic as ever, made a comment with an interesting subtext.
"Мы заинтересованы в том, чтобы не допустить их необратимой деградации, если американцы осознают связанные с этим риски"
Translation: We are interested in not allowing degradation of (mutual) relations towards the point of no return, if Americans understand the risks associated with this point.
One Russian saying posits that one can still negotiate with scoundrels, one cannot negotiate with idiots. When the opposite side is both, boy, talk about the United States turning into the third world country. Today this process has been well illustrated by the President of the United States of America. I don't think there are people capable of understanding anything Russia related left in the United States' political top, if there were any to start with and a strong case could be made for that. Oh, wait...
The author of this drivel is Henry Olsen, whose bio reads like that of a classic office plankton and American white board exceptionalist who, after graduating the law school should have concentrated on a more useful and beneficial for the society career in tax law or maybe helping people to fight DUI charges in local courts. But no, he gets into what passes in the US for geopolitical "academe" and begins to offer his utterly ignorant opinion on the subject matter which, realistically, nobody in institution he worked for have any clue about. Namely, what Russia wants. So, I have to repeat, yet again, the point which I make now for few years: the United States has virtually nothing it could offer Russia, least of all Ukraine, because Russia IS NOT interested in Ukraine.
Unless Olsen sincerely believes, which makes it even more damning for all kinds of American geopolitical "thinkers", that Russia "wants" Ukraine, the only way his silly "offer" could be perceived is as a feeble attempt to "influence" Russia's fifth column to push this agenda, because no normal and educated Russian will take this delirious "exchange" proposition seriously. Modern United States is Russia's mortal enemy hell-bent on harming Russia in any way possible and modern Ukraine which is West's anti-Russian project is absolutely worthless for Russia. In fact, West has created this shithole of a country in the midst of Europe, let the West pay for clean up, obviously under the single condition that if West decides to do a stupid thing like actually militarizing Ukraine, Russia will take what she needs without asking any permission from the West.
It has to be clearly understood also, that Russia and China are the two pillars of a unification of a colossus of Eurasia in a single, well defended, economic space whose size dwarfs anything the United States is capable to offer to Russia even if the United States suddenly finds itself friendly to Russia and willing to sincerely develop mutual relations. The time for this has passed long ago, and as they say--timing is everything. The US is, generally, economic non-entity for Russia when compared to China, and is of interest to Russia only as a global security risk, whose departure should be negotiated and arranged in a peaceful manner. Mr. Olsen may find Russian-Chinese growing space partnership troubling, but, hey, the United States has Elon Musk, let him provide for Lunar station. I heard he is really competent (cough, cough).
And then there is this time thingy, both Russians and Chinese think in terms of long historic trends. They think with historic time scales, the United States lacks this perspective due to its elites being grossly uncultured and badly educated, plus, as I am on record for years, there is this issue with cause and effect, which increasingly manifests in the US scholarship and politics. That is why Russia has nobody to talk to in the modern US. This piece by Olsen demonstrates my point perfectly. They really do think that they are that important and attractive as to ignore reality on the ground. But it always bites. It is a bitter admission for me, because at some point of time I did see a window of opportunity for combined West, including Russia, to become something else--it never materialized and there is nothing to discuss any more in this respect, no matter what kind of ridiculous fantasies and delusions modern US elites try to present as a viable strategy.
I have a huge respect for sea/ocean. I have to, it is my education and some of the most important life experiences, some of them seeing my friends die, or me and my ship almost going down in storm of immense power, being formative for my outlook on life. I respect nature in general. I also was "blessed" of being in major earthquakes--so, respect for nature in general comes with the territory. Living in the Pacific Northwest--a stunningly beautiful and dangerous place--it is only natural to expect a "big one", meaning earthquake, and a tsunami, which will come. I recall when buying a house I told to our real estate agent that the house shouldn't be on the coastline, or, if close to it, it should be at the elevation of at least 60-70 feet. At least. The realtor was disappointed, he just happened to have one house "literally within a quarter of a mile from the beach" and thought that this was such a find. We flatly rejected the offer, however within our means.
Being almost 2 miles from the beach, the elevation of our house being almost 40 meters above the ocean level, we, at least, have some chances of surviving a real major tsunami which can reach a stunning height of 35-40 meters while cresting at the shoreline. There is no question of if, it is merely a question of when, as Japan learned it a hard way in 2011. I didn't follow the price dynamics of the beach houses in our state but I am sure they are still sought out properties, which, for any normal person who is self-aware are extremely undesirable because of:
So, normal people are asking questions why this moron still says that this is "a great place to live". Human idiocy, obviously, and ignorance are untreatable. Once they are supplemented with large disposable incomes, being a fool may even become fashionable.
There is nothing "surprising" about ocean. Never was, and if one thinks that the world ocean exists for our pleasure only--they better get a real assessment of their own "significance", especially relative to what not just wind-swell of huge waves, but real tsunamis can do.
And how unprepared and unaware (a euphemism for human stupidity and vanity) can people be? Here is a classic case of "ah, this is the first time it happened". No shit.
You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. The reason I concentrated on that is because in a sense these "real estate" mishaps, or, rather, mindless fuck-ups are parables for human arrogance and unawareness in a face of forces many of which are beyond our control. For many, building house on the ocean beaches is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette with their own lives and the lives of those around them. I recall 12-13 or so years ago sitting in the house of one of my acquaintances. It was a nice house and it was on the beach in "literally 10 feet" from the water, as proud owner of the house wanted to emphasize. I kept silent, although she admitted that during the storm it floods somewhat. My question, never voiced, was--how much time you and your family will have to escape when even anticipated every year tsunami, which is a euphemism for flooding, of merely 10 meters comes. And it WILL come.
One of my favorite movies, due to excellent duo of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, is Take Shelter. The ending is what makes it a gem.
And makes us ask ourselves a question if we, far from being paranoid, did all we could to be ready for tsunami when it comes, and it is coming. You don't want to find yourself as Samantha (Jessica Chastain) having only one thing to say seeing a wall of water rolling towards you--OK. It is not OK and it is good, from time to time, to give oneself a slap in the face to recognize that also we are very small and insignificant in a larger scheme of things, it doesn't mean that we should be stupid and we have a say in what reality we want to reside.
Which calls for a pragmatic approach to Russia created a shit-tempest in the cup of American (lack of) foreign policy "establishment" and think-tankdom. Even silly points, made by Ashford and Borrows, such as these among few others, were too much for the so called US "hawks":
1. The US-Russian relationship has too long been predicated on the fantasy
that Russia could be reshaped – whether through aid or coercion – into a
Western, liberal democracy. However, there is little prospect of
transformation or of ending human rights abuses. Policymakers must be
clear-eyed about Russia: it is not a minor power that can be punished
for its transgressions, but a powerful autocracy with the capacity to
undermine US interests and act as a global spoiler.
2. US policy toward Russia has become punitive. Though sanctions are
ostensibly framed as deterrence or coercion, existing frameworks offer
no real way for sanctions to be removed even if Russian behavior
improves. In some cases, the United States has painted itself into a
corner, demanding unrealistic policy change (i.e., that Russia
relinquish its hold on Crimea) in exchange for sanctions relief.
It is really funny to read about reaction of hawks who even blame, as Sputnik reports:
The problem, of course, with this "realist" approach, and the piece from Ashford and Burrows qualifies clearly as such, after all Koch finances, together with Soros, what openly is proclaimed to be THE realist think tank, Quincy Institute, that both allegedly "realists" and hawks, while differing in some approaches to foreign policy, are drinking the same Kool Aid and are joined at the hip by the American exceptionalism and the gross ignorance of the America's real status and role in the world. I wrote about this on many occasions, such as this four years ago. In the end, you can always get John Mearsheimer's The Great Delusion, of which I also wrote both in my books and in this blog and you will be treated, again, to a completely false narrative of America's role and her real power.
Ashford and Burrow's piece is yet another demonstration of America's delusion about herself, now projected from the allegedly "realist" point of view. Read my lips: America HAS NOTHING to offer modern Russia. None, zero, zilch, nada. In fact, if the United States have disappeared tomorrow, very few people in Russia would have noticed, other than few minor things and the change of the tone of the informational background, which would be less tense. As Petr Akopov of Ria noted today about this Atlantic Council silly business.
Translation: for us in Russia such intensity of a struggle is only beneficial. Because when even timid attempts at common sense are stomped at the root it testifies only to the fact that American globalist elite (Atlantic Council--is an important part of it) lost the adequate perception of the reality and, hence, the sense of self-preservation. This elite cannot distinguish between propaganda and geopolitics, agitation and national interests.
Hm, what this conclusion by Akopov reminds me about? Couple-three books by some guy whose name is on the tip of my tongue but I cannot still recall it. Yeah, he writes about it constantly, wink-wink. I will only add here, that if not for the weapons of mass-destruction and a complete loss of a strategic awareness which may still result in a global conflict unleashed by the US, Russians, generally, do not give a damn about America--this is a bitter pill to swallow for American exceptionalists, be them hawks or the so called "realists", because the whole notion that America's danger for the world is not in her strength, always grossly inflated, but in her weakness ranging from economy, to military to institutions and a complete loss of competence by the American "elites", is an intolerably painful thought for them to accept. So, they delude themselves. The whole affair with the article by Ashford and Burrows demonstrates this perfectly--there is nobody to talk to in the US for Russia. But I warned about it years ago.
It is exactly the same team of one trick ponies in D.C. who assured that in the long run Donbass will join Russia's as her administrative region and that, this time, Russia may appear in person and this will "reverberations" in Kiev which will accelerate already proceeding apace the process of the statehood failure in Ukraine. Three factors define West's actions as of now:
1. Western Europe wants to "unload" this shithole of a country it created on Russia. Russians do not want to pay for this banana locality, so the only way to "coerce" Russians is make sure they defeat Ukraine. OK. Russian Armed Forces can wipe out Ukrainian Army in several days but, as Patrick Armstrong correctly observes, the Georgian scenario could be in store--Russia will demolish Ukraine's military and will bulldoze the remnants of Ukrainian statehood to the West.
2. For the United States which increasingly reminds of Ukraine, just on a much larger scale, the factor of visceral Russo-phobia and desire to engage Russia's resources in any way in Ukraine--personal military encounter with Russia means many bad things for the United States and its military, hence proxies--should not be discounted. Plus, in a face of an economic catastrophe the Biden Administration needs some distraction--I told you, one trick ponies.
3. Both the so called President Zelensky, who is a clown (literally) by his background and a bunch of people in his "Administration", controlled from the US Embassy in Kiev, are not people who actually have any grasp of the reality and act on pure neurotic instincts in their constant fight for a position at the ever shrinking trough of a disintegrating Ukrainian economy. So, Zelensky may decide to commit a political (and who knows which one additionaly) suicide and commence operations in Donbass seeing them as the only exit he has from a clusterfuck which Ukraine and its bosses from EU and US created in the midst of Europe.
Too bad, as they say. This time Kremlin has one major factor playing for it, which was not the case in 2014--by different estimates, majority of Russians had it with Ukrainians. No, not with Ukraine, but namely Ukrainians as people. Ukrainians have got what they wanted when stating for the last seven years to Russian faces "We will never be brothers" (in Russian). Overwhelming majority of Russians today say--OK. In fact, these are the Russians now who do not want to be "brothers" and will have no compunction about demolishing, if it comes to this, Ukrainian Army. In 2014-15, there were still huge reservations on Russia's part in this regard, today--the hell with it. As is the hell with the EU and the United States. But I am sure if it comes to it Russia will start with high profile, but less costly in terms of personnel, strikes on whatever is left of Ukie Air Force and its bases, it will destroy Ukie Air Defence and then will burn all tanks, APCs and artillery at the line of contact.
So, whatever Russia will do, ranging from behind the scene support for LDNR to the outright annihilation of Kiev regime, she has options and escalation dominance, Kiev does not. If EU stops Nord Stream-2 as a result of the United States pressure and the use of Donbass conflagration as means of coercing Europeans to commit energy suicide, as was stated not for once, for Russia the stoppage of the Nord Stream-2 is merely a bump in the road. As latest events in Russian-Chinese relations indicate, Russia finally reoriented herself economically to the East and it seems actual Russian-Chinese alliance is de facto in existence now.
You see how easy it is? No coercion, no imposing oneself, as it was with Russia in 1980s through early 2000s. Nope, just keep the door open wide enough for people to see the opening and if they will step in is entirely up to them. It is so easy to live when you don't owe anything to anyone and you don't need anything from anyone.