You will be towed. I mean flown, I mean transported or...whatever. Some funny business by big mama Mi-26.
I know, those SU-27s they always park wherever they want.
Oh, this happy sound!!
You will be towed. I mean flown, I mean transported or...whatever. Some funny business by big mama Mi-26.
I know, those SU-27s they always park wherever they want.
Oh, this happy sound!!
As you all know now, Presidents Putin and Biden are to meet in Geneva on June 16 this year for a summit. Here is Alexander Mercouris giving a time line leading to the decision to hold meeting and making some very good points on the overall state of the Russian-American relations, or whatever passes for them nowadays.
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.
Basically, most of what was said or written by Alexander, Pepe Escobar, Andrei Raevsky (The Saker), Patrick Armstrong and me, among many other observers, is unfolding in a front of our eyes and Russian-Chinese alliance begins to take shape be that unified position on the history of WW II or on global stability, or be that initial operational integration such as was observed at Vostok-2018 maneuvers or joint air patrols and Russia aiding China with her anti-missile early warning system--it is like, dude...
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Macron said that "with Russia, the policy of progressive sanctions on frozen situations is no longer an effective policy." "I think that we are at a moment of truth in our relationship with Russia, which should lead us to rethink the terms of the tension that we decide to put in place," the leader added. Asked by reporters as to how the EU can put forward its political objectives in cases like that of the jailing of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, Macron pushed back, asking. "What would you like us to do? Do we start an armed conflict? Do we completely cut off relations? Do we go further with sanctions – but where to?"
Riiight. Someone builds a gigantic common market in Eurasia and is planning human exploration of Mars using new types of propulsion, others discover new genders and support all kind of lowlifes such as Navalny or Neo-Nazis in Kiev. Hey, free will, free will. So the United States still can produce some Force majeure before Geneva summit to kill the summit or try to frame Putin but at this stage it doesn't matter. It is very anti-hype and almost anti-climatic and this state of the affairs is brilliantly summarized by Leo Tolstoy, and I hope you know what quote from War and Peace I am talking about.
Thanks to Patrick Armstrong who pointed it out, we are treated to a very acute case of a bipolar disorder among what is known as US mainstream media. As it turned out, as if it wasn't clear from the git go:
After years and years of lying to the American people, the New York Times has finally admitted that the Steele dossier against former President Donald Trump was nothing but a lie. In their embarrassing admission piece, the Times noted that contents in the dossier “have never materialized or have been proved false.”
The verbatim from the NYT:
Now the glow has faded — from both the dossier and its promoters. Russia, as Mr. Steele asserted, did try to influence the 2016 election. But many of the dossier’s most explosive claims — like a salacious “pee” tape featuring Mr. Trump or a supposed meeting in Prague between Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former attorney, and Russian operatives — have never materialized or have been proved false. The founders of Alfa Bank, a major Russian financial institution, are suing Fusion GPS, claiming the firm libeled them. (Fusion has denied the claims.) Plans for a film based on Mr. Steele’s adventures appear dead. Beneath the dossier’s journey from media obsession to slush pile lies a broader and more troubling story. Today, private spying has boomed into a renegade, billion-dollar industry, one that is increasingly invading our privacy, profiting from deception and manipulating the news.
I think the author here is missing the causality, which is normal for a majority of Western so called journos. The problem IS NOT with "private spying", this spying has been around since the dawn of human civilization together with prostitution, both physical and journalistic. The issue here is that the America's "fourth estate" (a euphemism for a lie-generating machine at the service of DNC) is a completely discredited institution and a shelter for influence and power craving losers who never could obtain any viable profession and long ago became promoters of the globalist agenda. But it is really good that Alfa Bank is suing the hell out of GPS Fusion. While the United States maintains at least the appearance of the place where laws and presumption of innocence are observed somewhat, sometimes, suing the hell out of all those NYTs, CNNs, Rachel Maddows and other intelligence operations "experts" is a good idea.
Here is one candidate for such a lawsuit. Look at him, he passes for intelligence "officer" in the US, granted, one has to issue a qualifier--a Chief Petty Officer with, highly likely, cryptography technician level, who is as removed from human intelligence as I am removed from becoming a US Senator. Yet, here is this illiterate imposter insists that Steele was right.
Generally, US MSM are a great asset in terms of settling out of court, if one has a good lawyer. Boy, the amount of BS from them is such that I don't understand why nobody launched a cottage industry of suing lowlifes dominating pages of rags such as NYT or WaPo and TV screens of MSNBCs and other CNN-alike cesspools, yet. This is how you do it.
New York (CNN Business)CNN has settled a lawsuit with a Kentucky high school student who was at the center of a viral video controversy, a spokesperson for the news network confirmed Tuesday.No other details were immediately available. An attorney for the student, Nicholas Sandmann, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Sandmann only tweeted, "Yes, we settled with CNN."The news was first reported by WXIX-TV. The local outlet said a settlement figure was not made public at a court hearing in Covington, Kentucky.The settlement will allow CNN to avoid a lengthy and potentially unpredictable trial. Sandmann sought $275 million in damages in the lawsuit he filed against CNN last March.
American MSM are utterly corrupted and the only way to make them pay is by making them... pay. Money, mullah, cash, what have you. They will never tell the truth, but, as is the case with Malcolm Nance or Rachel Maddow--they have zero qualifications to pass judgement on just about any issue related to international relations, least of all on spying and are good ONLY for one and only task--to read teleprompter where, hopefully, some real experts will write their opinions. They did spread enough Bullshit which not only damaged crucial Russian-American relations, but went out of their way to inflict an irreparable damage the United States itself and parade it as a collection of clowns in charge of a country, which, frankly, is not that far from the truth. And I don't even like Trump, but for all his immense failures of human character and being an impotent statesman, no human deserves to be dragged through the pile of dirt which for unprincipled and illiterate morons with agenda passed for "intelligence". Come to think about it--Steele, Maddow and Nance pass for KGB assets. After all, their contribution to turning the US into the laughing stock is immense. Boy, are those KGB guys good or what? Wink, wink...
I wrote on this issue so much that there is no necessity to elaborate in depth on that. Three TU-22M3s bombers arriving to upgraded Khmeimim base in Syria, like this (courtesy of Russia's MoD):
Karma is a bitch.
In a very approving and admiring way when I see these two charming, feminine and beautiful warriors. Yes, both Brittany and Nicole are just plain gorgeous young women, with Brittany now pregnant, but what a fighting spirit and brains these two have. Here, they speak about feminization of the modern Western man and this is the topic I am on record for years.
Matt Purple needs an update on the matter of "being aristocratic" which never existed and cannot exist inside the Beltway because being aristocratic is not about refined tastes and money, let alone manners. In the countries with Royal and Court tradition (the United States has no such tradition) aristocracy meant primarily a service class and that meant primarily MILITARY service through which titles were obtained. Aristocracy was a euphemism primarily for military service and many princes, counts and dukes (none of who exist in US history) were the ones who were dying for King or Tzar first in case of war. That is what aristocracy means, not some D.C. nouveau riche class pretending to be aristocratic. Roman Senators wore a simple metal bracelet on their wrists as a testimony to their service and to get in Rome, to which tawdry US political class loves to compare itself, far in politics one needed a military background, a service. Ask yourself how many of those Purple describes truly served their country and sacrificed themselves for it. Right. That is why we have today, here in the US, what we have. A dictatorship of gender-confused wussies and illiterate cheap entertainers--a class of people who never risked anything in their lives. The society which completely separated its scholars from its warriors(c). And is trying to pretend to be what it never was and cannot be.
Pepe wrote a wonderful review of my latest book for Asia Times, and I am deeply thankful to Pepe for his wonderful writing and being my de facto friend. Distant, for now. You can read the whole thing at The Saker's blog or Unz Review. Here is Pepe in his own words.
Here, Martyanov, in meticulous detail, analyzes the imperial decline thematically – with chapters on Consumption, Geoeconomics, Energy, Losing the Arms Race, among others, composing a devastating indictment especially of toxic D.C. lobbies and the prevailing political mediocrity across the Beltway. What is laid bare for the reader is the complex interplay of forces that are driving the political, ideological, economic, cultural and military American chaos.
The book, evidently, is doing well, all things considered, and if it contributes to "righting", however feeble this hope seems now, the United States in any way, so it is all for the better. Meanwhile, Biden Admin is literally chasing Russians trying to arrange the summit. Russia waits and doesn't commit because knows that there is very little to negotiate and, finally, Ria publishes today an analytical piece by Pyotr Akopov with symptomatic title: Russia Needs a Predictable Confrontation With the USA. Kinda speaks volumes, doesn't it? Here is an excerpt:
Предсказуемой и стабильной может быть и конфронтация. Но она и так уже идет и точно не закончится ни с каким саммитом — так что можно попробовать поставить ее в определенные рамки и сочетать с разумными компромиссами там, где это отвечает интересам обеих сторон. Для этого действительно нужно разобрать часть завалов на пути двухсторонних отношений — и тут все понимают, что "заваливали" в основном американцы, а разбирать придется вместе.
Translation: Even confrontation could be predictable and stable. The confrontation is ongoing and surely will not stop after any summit--but at least some effort could be made to put it into some defined framework which allows for reasonable compromises where they satisfy the interests of both sides. For that, certain logjams should be removed on the path of mutual relations--everyone understands that the "jamming" was done primarily by Americans whole removing those logjams will be a job for both.
Akopov doesn't see many positives in all this hustle around summit and he, justifiably, is not optimistic about American elites who are lost in both international and domestic policies and are totally inadequate to the challenges global tectonic shift in power balance represents. As I say it all the time--they are one trick ponies. Just to illustrate to you how bad things are, let's take a short walk down the memory lane. It is June of 2015 and popular US geopolitical tabloid The National Interest (I know, I know...LOL) publishes this:
American Hegemony Is Here to Stay. U.S. hegemony is now as firm as or firmer than it has ever been, and will remain so for a long time to come.
He, Babones, is one of many who do "research" which produces no value whatsoever and thus he arrives, in 2017 no less, to this:
What is America? The world recoils when U.S. President Donald Trump says “America first,” but nothing should be more natural than a president putting his country first. The problem with “America first” is that for many people around the world, America is not just a country. The United States is a country. America is something more—not only the most powerful state, but the cultural, economic, and institutional center of a world that it has partially recreated in its own image. The West does not have a good word to describe America in this expanded sense because the modern West has never seen something like it before. The last time a whole world was so organized around a single, central state was in the fifteenth century, when East Asia was centered on Ming-dynasty China. China at the time wasn’t just the leader or regional hegemon; it was the central state of a political and cultural realm that stretched from Burma to Japan. And the word that came to describe this world was tianxia.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day but one MUST ask the question on a validity of such opinions which are presented under the titles of "expertise" and being advanced as "scientific". And here is the point--the drama and the tragedy of the outside observer when writing on a contemporary American geopolitics is in the fact that out of a huge volume of alleged American geopolitical "scholarship" vast majority of it are fantasies or contrived concepts one is subjected to in order to form one's opinion about them. Most of them never pan out and fail in the relatively easy task of setting up a realistic framework, forget about giving weighted and probable forecasts. This trait defines modern American geopolitical thought, top-bottom, and there is no way it is going to change any time soon--the rut of American exceptionalism and the rot of the US academe are such that Babones is not an exception, he is the rule. That is why Akopov, in essence, repeats the thesis I advanced now for many years, including in this blog:
Поэтому никаких иллюзий насчет диалога с Вашингтоном в Москве не существует — то есть речь даже не о возможности о чем-либо договориться, а просто о способности вести диалог, спорить и слушать аргументы друг друга. И дело тут не в личности Байдена — хотя у Путина есть негативный опыт общения с ним — или его команды. Проблема куда шире: в настроениях пребывающей в кризисе американской элиты.
Translation: That is why Moscow has no illusions about the dialogue with Washington--at issue is not even the possibility to settle anything but at least about ability to conduct dialogue, argue and listen to the arguments of each-other. The problem here is not with Biden's personality--albeit Putin has a negative experience of communicating with him--or Biden's team. The problem is much larger--in the moods of the American elite engulfed in crisis.
You want to see what kind of crisis it is? Read Salvatore Babones, you will get a feel.
The magic of "spaghetti westerns" by Sergio Leone? As he himself admitted Ennio Morricone and his music were his script writers in their own right. I recently watched again Once Upon A Time In The West and again was swept away by Claudia Cardinale and Morricone's magical score, and by Bronson, and by Henry Fonda and by Robards. They just don't make them like this anymore--some stars have to position themselves in the skies to create this magic.
Bernhard of Moon of Alabama is furious with Glenn Greenwald and rightly so.
Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law. Biden, as well as Trump, should be criticized for even thinking about 'permitting' it.
B's fury is entirely justified. Recall what I wrote few years ago about US "realists". I merely qualified them as yet another iteration of the American exceptionalists. Even American "realists" still operate on the utterly false basis of the American omnipotence and God-given right to decide what to do and how to do it, including making decision for others, denying them any subjectivity and the right to decide for themselves.
As I wrote yesterday, and B confirms it, US dropping sanctions on Nord Stream 2 is a result of Germany finally having enough of the US meddling into Germany's affairs, especially having, for Germany, an existential significance, once one considers Germany's industrial and living energy costs being one of the highest in the world. Yet, Greenwald, evidently thinks that the US "granted" Germany the right to have NS2 completed this year. This is a very wrong way to rub German business. But then again, recall John Mearsheimer, one of the foremost US realists talking couple of years ago about Russia as having economy the size of Texas (or Spain, or Netherlands, what have you) and "mediocre" Armed Forces. This is not an exception, this is a feature of American "realists". They still think that the United States controls the world and is the one which grants everyone the right to exist.This is a complete delusion.
American circumstances today are dire--both economically and politically, with country losing fast its weight and influence globally and being, for the lack of better word, a complete fvcking mess internally, surviving only on printing a shitload of money which already run a serious inflation. Reputational losses are altogether a whole other story ripe for truckload of Ph.D theses to be written on that issue. It took Germany merely an act of a serious talking to the United States and threatening with actions--some of them could include a complete reorientation towards Eurasian projects--that the US got the message that not only it may lose its main vassal, which is trying to break the bonds of vassalage as we speak, but any serious prospects in Europe. Now imagine US worst nightmare: Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis and a much faster coalescence of the colossal Eurasian space into a unified market. That removes the US immediately to the rank of the regional powers and to the fringes of what evolves already into the engine of global economic and civilizational development.
This will happen one way or another, but at least, as the US thinking goes now, this will be a somewhat protracted process once Germany's demands re: NS2 are accepted and the sanctions are dropped. This, as they think in D.C., buys the US a little bit more time but it also marks a rather significant inflection point in the post-Soviet history of Europe when Germany stated her interests clearly and exhibited a will to defend them and the United States caved in. Let's be honest, with Russia's support behind the scene. And those ARE Germany's interests because Germans are the ones who finance a huge share of NS2 project. Who gave the United States the right to decide for Germans, or, for that matter, anyone else how they are supposed to live and solve their internal problems? And Germany, sure as hell, has a shitload of problems, many of them of own making, but it is what it is. Things change, ever so incrementally, until they accumulate into a qualitative shift and this is exactly what we observe today in the US-German relations.
But, as I said--Zugzwang, ladies and gentlemen. You observe here a classic case of Zugzwang and of a black belt level geopolitical Judo (or Aikido). Well, Putin and Steven Seagal are personal friends, I am sure Steven has shown his martial arts buddy some Aikido moves. But in the end, these are German people who have the right to decide how they want to live and run their country and no one has the right to deny them this opportunity. It is also crucial for Germany in the long run if it wants to get well after a long and nightmarish globalist slumber. Germany is not a country in the Middle East or in Central America, which could be sneezed at by the US and it seems Germans begin to get a feel of that.
I will not mince words here: Russia doesn't need meeting with Biden (or whoever is running this POTUS avatar), US establishment (large portion of it), on the other hand, needs this meeting badly. Both sides know it, but Russians, who learned to calculate the US actions (not that difficult, actually) several steps ahead are perfectly fine with playing such a role. Russia does not need the US for a number of reasons, few main of which are:
1. Russia is largely secure economically from the US. De facto allied relations with China and friendly relations with with Asia more than compensate for whatever Russia may lose (or already lost) in her trade with combined West;
2. Militarily, Russia has the edge over the United States even the Soviet Union couldn't have dreamed about;
3. Russians know damn well that US crisis (I write about it for years) is systemic and even under the worst global circumstances short of all out thermonuclear war, Russia has all the time she needs and may even not strain herself doing much observing this train-wreck of a combined West exiting global stage as a decisive force.
4. Last, but not least... Russians know that the US needs this summit. Russians even know why the US needs this summit and Russia is content with playing the role of a hard to get maiden, who wouldn't? Especially knowing that whatever may be negotiated and settled with the US at this possible summit will not be worth the paper it will be written on. It never is, because the US is non-agreement capable.
But the US needs this summit to demonstrate own significance to her European vassals and maybe, just maybe, introduce a degree of strain into Russian-Chinese relations. After all, US political top and media are packed with pathological liars and it wouldn't take them any effort to spread and spin all kinds of BS about this possible summit. To a detriment of Russian-Chinese relations, of course. In the end, Biden's appearance next to Putin (for the photo-op mostly) increases Biden's mojo, not Putin's, whose scale as a statesman is long ago secured in Russia and globally.
So, today, in Iceland, about 35 years since the first meeting of Gorbachev and Reagan there, the dance starts:
Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned his Russian counterpart on Wednesday that the United States would respond to provocations from the Kremlin but that Washington seeks a “predictable” relationship with Moscow. Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of an Arctic Council meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. The bilateral session is designed to set the stage for a potential summit between President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin in the coming weeks. The United States and Russia are at odds on multiple fronts, from the ongoing conflict in U.S.-backed Ukraine to concerns about Russian interference in American elections. Russia has denied any wrongdoing and accused the U.S. of hypocrisy and inappropriate interference in its domestic sphere.
The main question is, of course, what's in it for Russia? Putin is not going to attend possible summit for the photo-op only, which is absolutely the case for Biden. Putin's scale and position today is such that the only equal to him statesmanship-wise figure globally is Comrade Xi. Biden for Putin at this stage is a "marrying down" option. Not to mention the fact that Putin represents an ascending power, while Biden is an EPITOME and embodiment of the America's departure from largely self-proclaimed position of hegemon. Recall what I wrote four and a half years ago. I will remind you:
For some reason, many people in the US who offer this bizarre triangulation with using Russia as an ally for the US in her struggle against China, still reside in late 1980s-ealry 1990s thinking that Russia is simply still enamored with the US, her standard of living and culture. This simply has no bases in reality anymore. Russians, unlike it was in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, are simply not interested in US anymore. Other than Russian traditional fear (justified completely) that some nut-job in US will start a war with Russia, the appeals of US "democracy" and liberalism faded dramatically and overwhelming majority of Russians merely go about their daily business and live their lives. The US in Russia today are viewed mostly from the point of view of a threat--a dramatic departure from 25 years ago when United States were viewed as an ally and a friend, those sentiments disappeared pretty fast. Russians' "going about their daily business" involves a lot of bread and butter issues and here United States are not even in the first ten of Russia's main trading partners but, as you may have guessed it already, China, sure as hell, is. Thus the irresistible and highly warranted question arises: what's in it for Russia? What can possibly United States offer Russia economically, when economic dynamics in Eurasia offers Russia a host of incredible economic opportunities?
The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. The US also lifted sanctions on a Russian President Vladimir Putin ally who leads the firm behind the Nord Stream 2 project. The move came in a report on Russian sanctions delivered to Congress on Wednesday by the Department of State. Critics say the pipeline is a major geopolitical prize for the Kremlin.This is not a charity move on Biden's side. Not at all, nor is it along the lines of reduction of tensions between the US and Russia Biden's people so love to talk about as of lately. Much of this decision is driven by Germany's sudden allocation of at least rudimentary spine and making sure that the US gets the message that it is risking a lot if it succeeds in sabotaging NS2 and that, as you may have guessed it already, plays into the Russian hands yet again because of major political repercussions in Germany even if the Bundestag gets to be much "greener", because at stake is an issue of Germany remaining the first world nation and EU's largest economy. Even utterly corrupt and stupid globalist shills such as German Greens are not ready to play with this. Not yet, anyway. Zugzwang, ladies and gentlemen. No matter what you do--you lose. And those damn Russians win one way or another. Don't tell me that I didn't warn you.
MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The SWIFT international payment system has confirmed to the Central Bank that it will work in Russia as usual and there is no risk that the country will be disconnected from the system, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova, speaking in the State Duma, the lower house of the parliament."We are in constant and direct contact with SWIFT, both with the headquarters and the Moscow office. They confirmed it to us that SWIFT will work as usual, without any problems, and we do not see any risks at the moment," she said. Skorobogatova noted that even if Russia is disconnected from SWIFT, interbank transfers can be transferred to the Russian counterpart - the Financial Message Transfer System (FMS).
I know, I know, it is so fvcking frustrating to be an American diplomat nowadays, because you come to meet Russians and those SOBs stare at you with their smug faces (wink, wink) and already know what and how you will be saying and doing not only now but later. It is infuriating for American exceptionalists and neocons because they literally are impotent to do anything about it. Not only US "diplomats" are not real diplomats--they are merely conduits for Washington's diktat--and are outclassed by Russia's and China's real diplomats, but they don't have on their side what they thought they always had, when talking to third world shitholes and confused and weakened Russia of 1990s, who was suffering from a self-inflicted wound--a real military and economic power.
In some bizarre way, I think, the United States performed a great service to Russia and her people when, being driven by incompetence, myopia and thirst for instant gratification, unleashed a mayhem in Ukraine in 2014. They awoken in Russians this ever-present but unseen by strangers what Tolstoy described as a "warm light of patriotism" and that was it. Ukraine's bloody coup finally opened eyes of Russians on their own fate and attitudes to life and former "brotherly nations" and freed them from any illusions on this account. It also pushed long overdue economic transition into the overdrive and we see the results of that every day. As a Russian I say this with a great pride and a sense of achievement. As an American citizen I cannot deny also a sadness from seeing what has been done to the United States in the last 25 years and how Russian-American relations have been practically destroyed, being slaughtered as a sacrificial lamb at the altar of America's hubris, self-delusion and exceptionalism. Today the United States reached its absolute limits in power and influence and it is probing them, only to recognize that those limits are one massive concrete wall which cannot be breached, no matter the scale of an effort. This is the reality and it seems that someone in D.C. begins to recognize it.
In related news:
The Russian armed forces have recently accepted into service the Yenisei radar detector, which has exceptional tactical and technical capabilities and can be used as part of both the S-400 and S-500 air-defense missile systems. According to a high-ranking source in the Russian military-industrial service, the new radar was put into service in late April.
Here is S-500 getting on-line. This thing is, obviously, some very bad news for many. But about this later.
History, life in general, could be ironic alternating between the dark and lighter side. But when Ronald Reagan's adviser on Russia and unofficial Reagan's personal envoy to Gorbachev Suzanne Massie asks, while live on TV (NTV), Vladimir Putin for Russian citizenship, one should really start questioning the reality of modern West. Massie is not your average citizen, she never was. She was a crucial player in convincing Ronald Reagan that USSR was not really the "evil empire" and she shuttled between Reagan and Gorbachev (often unknown for D.C. establishment) trying to arrange the end of the Cold War.
Make your own conclusions.
P.S. Announcement. For people who cannot buy my latest book (paperback) from Amazon, this is not because it is "not available" but because they simply sold out whatever they had (Temporarily out of stock) and the new batch is on its way. Kindle edition is available, though.
Which is totally expected, by IT Gestapo and it merely underscores a pathetic state of the Western media-sphere. So, I have to reconsider the use of available "free" tools and need to think about how to reduce vulnerability in terms of maintaining my blog. So, be aware that this blog may have some issues (such as deliberate listing of it as a site with "social engineering", LOL, newspeak is approaching) in coming days. But considering a number of, mostly anonymous, hacks swirling around my writing--expect all kinds of disruptions. The site works fine in Chrome, though.
It is not a secret that Russia has some very advanced projects for space exploration/warfare in works. One of such projects which is being actively developed is the megawatt-class nuclear space-tug known as Zevs (Zeus). It's first flight is scheduled for 2024 and it is this tug which will take Russia to Mars. But this system is more advanced than that and it is one thing to read speculations on this, frankly, revolutionary space vehicle, totally another when Ria.Ru is given documentation and reports on it. Here is (in Russian) official report on capabilities of Zevs from yesterday.
МОСКВА, 13 мая - РИА Новости. Российский космический ядерный буксир "Зевс" с мегаваттной энергодвигательной установкой можно будет использовать в системе ПВО страны для отслеживания летательных аппаратов и целеуказания средствам поражения, следует из материалов Исследовательского центра им. Келдыша (входит в "Роскосмос"), имеющихся в распоряжении РИА Новости.
Here is Ria's translation by English-language news agency:
The Keldysh Research Center of the Russian space agency Roscosmos plans to use its Zevs (Zeus) nuclear power plant spacecraft for military purposes, reports RIA Novosti referring to documents of the center. It is reported that this orbiter intended for flights to the Moon and planets of the solar system could track the sky and detect air targets from orbit and transmit the information to defense systems. The Keldysh Center claims that Zevs could survey an area with a radius of 2,200 and 4,300 km using radar equipment (whose power varies between 50 and 200 kilowatts). With full power, radars will include all of Russia and parts of neighboring countries.Preliminary design development for the spacecraft is scheduled to be completed in July 2024. In early 2020 it was reported that the spacecraft will go into orbit in 2030.
Of course, the original Ria's reporting makes an emphasis on Russian-American negotiations on non-deployment of the space-based weapons, but you all know that such negotiations are not constructive and, as is the case with many other advanced weapons, Russia often is forced to come up with the answer to the American challenge. Zevs, it seems, will look like this (at least this is how its numerous, some official, models look like):
In yet another demonstration of a futility of the Western sanctions, Corporation Irkut, a manufacturer of Russia's MS-21 aircraft, received today fully Russian-made from Russia's own composite materials, wing console to be installed on the first serial MS-21 which will be delivered to customer soon. The rest of the composites used in MS-21 are also Russian-made.
It is really sad to part with the past which sounded and looked so good. But Tawny Kitean passed away 5 days ago. Just a bit of a tribute to a girl who contributed a lot to Whitesnake's and Tom Hanks' success. RIP Tawny, we will never look as good as you once did. Oops....
RIP, Tawney. We all just get old and die eventually. But this was the best song Led Zeppelin never wrote(c).
Pepe Escobar wrote a short but substantive piece on Blinken's visit to Ukraine for Saker's blog. Pepe writes:
Leaked info on the closed-door meeting between Blinken and Comedian-in-Charge Zelensky is no less than incandescent. Blinken seemed to have read a no holds barred riot act. Here are the guidelines. All Ukrainian state corporations must be controlled by the proverbial “foreign interests”. So board majorities must be either foreign or 5th columnists. The entire anti-corruption vertical drive must also be foreign-controlled. Same for the judicial system. Andriy Kobolyev – an American asset – must be reinstated as head of Naftogaz. Zelensky moved mountains to get rid of Kobolyev. Blinken demanded a massive push against every Ukrainian oligarch, so that huge chunks of Ukrainian economy are transferred to – who else – foreigners. Same for land privatization. Somewhat hilariously, Blinken warned that Russian troops might invade Ukraine. In this case, Zelensky can count only on huge political assistance, not military. So Zelensky in fact was ordered to stop asking to join NATO and cease provoking Russia, as President Putin, who already drew red lines, could make a “drastic decision”. Blinken demanded that American assets should be untouchable by Ukrainian law, and named honored figures of civil society. Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, also in the room, drew up a list of The Untouchables, and Blinken met with them separately.
And so the final act of turning Ukraine into the used condom unfolds. Russia observes this whole travesty with amusement. While late Zbig Brzezinski is rotating in his coffin, Russians are counting their blessings that they have been spared from being "brothers" to such a clusterfuck place and "nation" as Ukraine. The red line by Russia, however, as Pepe notes, remain pretty clear--no military bases or any stupid ideas about NATO. The rest, as I am on record, US and EU wanted this--let them pay. Blinken, a NYC Jewish boy and Nuland, a NYC Jewish girl, in a classic New York gangster fashion drew for Ukraine the future as a slave for a gang and Ukraine will be squeezed for everything it got. The clown who thinks that he was a president of Ukieland has been shown exactly his place as a clown and I am sure he finally recognized what a pile of shit did he step in when ran and won elections in Ukraine. The surrealism of this whole situation is such that my descriptive powers fail me completely because the whole Ukraine situation is one Kafkaesque theater of absurd.
Honestly, this was expected. Russia is getting ready to remove 152,000 illegal Ukrainians back to Ukraine (in Russian) and, in general, doesn't exhibit any compunction regarding Ukrainians who didn't want to be "brothers" with Russians but found it to be absolutely reasonable to go to Russia to earn living which is even in its lower pay bracket is much better than in Ukraine. So, there you go--the process of incorporating of LDNR into Russia will continue and at this stage I don't think any talk about Ukraine as a country makes any sense--it is a classic Ukrainian way, they turned, with the help of the US and EU into Gulyai Pole.
But first, remember this?
Why would Russians exonerate both Pound and Churchill? Ahh, the concept unknown in the West anymore, especially among the self-proclaimed "intellectual class"--the TRUTH. So, why is this important. Well, yesterday China's Foreign Ministry issued this interesting statement:
ПЕКИН, 10 мая. /ТАСС/. Китай будет вместе с Россией отстаивать итоги Второй мировой войны и защищать мир во всем мире. Об этом в понедельник на регулярном брифинге заявила официальный представитель МИД КНР Хуа Чуньин. "Неважно, как будет меняться ситуация в мире, Китай и Россия будут держаться вместе, решительно поддерживать друг друга, вместе защищать международную справедливость и беспристрастность", - сказала она. "В условиях COVID-19 и других серьезных изменений Китай продолжит работать с Россией и международным сообществом, чтобы отстаивать итоги Второй мировой войны и защищать мир во всем мире", - указала дипломат. Хуа Чуньин также отметила, что в Китае отметили "успешное проведение в России грандиозного военного парада по случаю 76-й годовщины Победы в Великой Отечественной войне". "Мы выражаем наши искренние поздравления в связи с этим", - резюмировала она.
Translation: BEIJING, May 10. / TASS /. China will, together with Russia, defend the results of World War II and defend world peace. This was announced on Monday at a regular briefing by the official representative of the PRC Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying. “No matter how the world situation changes, China and Russia will stick together, strongly support each other, and together defend international justice and impartiality,” she said. “Amid COVID-19 and other major changes, China will continue to work with Russia and the international community to uphold the outcome of World War II and protect world peace,” the diplomat said. Hua Chunying also stated that China noted "the successful holding of a grandiose military parade in Russia on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War." “We express our sincere congratulations on this,” she summed up.
There is no doubt that the combined West in its dying years will increase the opaque stream of pseudo-historical BS in order to blame everything on historic Russia (remember? Stalin=Hitler and so is Putin who also is Hitler) and will try desperately to find any excuse and rationalization for a clusterfuck which combined West created completely on its own. Plus, Western elites in general consider Russians to be subhumans anyway and bifurcate between outright visceral hatred and more "civilized" contempt. It is inherent in the cultural DNA of Western "intellectuals" and political "elites" and the more West will continue failing even at the basic tasks of running the economy and basic governance, the more Russians will be blamed for everything. Here is the latest example of this bipolar behavior, today.
Obviously, Russia, in the view of the American "elite", is this proverbial Schrodinger Cat which is simultaneously both not-guilty and guilty of whatever shit happens in the US. Sure, recall that Russians, in accordance to US big "intelligence" honchos, are not genetically normal people and I am sure James Clapper will be leading the planning process for concentration camps for Russian Americans once shit really hits the fan and we are not far from it. I am sure those will be located not far from the camps for those deplorables who voted for Trump in 2020 elections. Poor souls.
But that is just the latest, but Chinese who lost 20 million people in WW II, obviously, also had enough, plus, as the latest events show, China is playing now big time for the actual military-economic alliance with Russia which could be formalized on paper. It seems that China, from what I gather from different sources among Sinologists, is really into this formalization, while admitting that the alliance exists de facto already. It does. This colossal plant is just one of many signs of Russia building up a support structure for China's rear.
Russia's Eastward orientation is generally completed and those in EU who would want to survive they will have the doors open for them but only on conditions which Russia (and China) will set for them. As EU's foreign policy big honcho Borrell stated today:
БРЮССЕЛЬ, 10 мая. /ТАСС/. Все страны-члены Евросоюза считают, что не нужно обострять отношения с Россией после дипломатических скандалов с Чехией и Болгарией. Об этом заявил в понедельник глава дипломатии ЕС Жозеп Боррель на пресс-конференции по итогам заседания министров иностранных дел 27 стран сообщества в Брюсселе.
Translation: BRUSSELS, May 10. / TASS /. All EU member states believe that there is no need to aggravate relations with Russia after diplomatic scandals with the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. This was stated on Monday by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, at a press conference following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the 27 countries of the community in Brussels.
As you can see yourself, West's structures today are utterly bipolar and as such are entirely non-agreement capable. Hey, I am sure Russians will be blamed for this too.
A group of active French military personnel has published a new open letter to the country's president Emmanuel Macron, warning him of a "civil war" brewing in the country after all the "concessions" he's made to Islamism.The letter, published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine late on Sunday, strikes a similar tone to the message published by the same outlet last month. Unlike the previous one, which was signed by 25 retired generals and active-duty soldiers, the new letter is anonymous and is open for signing by the general public. As of noon on Monday, it had attracted over 100,000 signatures.The authors of the letter have described themselves as active-duty French soldiers, belonging to the younger generation of the military that saw actual combat over the past years."We are what the newspapers have called 'the fire generation.' Men and women, active soldiers, of all armies and of all ranks, of all opinions, we all love our country. These are our only claims to fame. And while we cannot, by law, express ourselves with our face uncovered, it is equally impossible for us to stay silent," the letter reads.
I don 't know if you saw an officer from Air Defense taking his grandad (photo) to parade while driving in the AD complex on the Red Square--you can see it in the Parade video, but Russia celebrates. This is Moscow few hours ago.
The world is a strange place and I am a pretty strange man in this world, all things considered, since I have a luxury (not afforded to many) to experience, as it turned out today, twice, two opposing sides in a huge geopolitical spectacle of the 20th and 21st centuries. Once one considers my background, this experience, or rather experiences, do look like a good place from which to start writing an interesting story. I am totally aware of this place and that is what I was doing since 2014 openly in public. For anyone who read my Runglish throughout the years they should (if they don't--then I failed them) get the whiff of my profound hatred for war and rejection of the military porn. I could write a good military porn fiction but I abhor the every minute of this writing, in fact, I abhor the very thought of me writing some military porn with fictional wars and all those big words such as "pincer movement", "armored columns", "close air support", "engagement envelope" and, God forbids, "attrition rates" or "fractional exchange rates".
I, however, wrote two years ago this book in which I explained why I am scared shitless by America's military hubris and incompetence of her political elites, because they may get us all killed because they have no fvcking clue about modern war and how it is fought. So, I had to suffer through simplification of math for people to understand that the math for the US is simply not there anymore and the US cannot win the conventional conflict with such powers as Russia or China and as a result will sustain conventional defeat and will escalate towards nuclear threshold. Remember?
Allow me to quote myself from page 22 of this book of mine:
Such avoidance starts with understanding the nature of military power and of its application. This becomes absolutely crucial in such cases as the demolition of Saddam Hussein’s Army by a coalition led by the U.S. Armed Forces in 1991. If whatever lessons of the Battle of Lepanto in the tactical and operational senses are inapplicable for the Battle of Midway or the Falkland War due to a massive technological gap, the same could be stated about the “lessons” of the First Gulf War which, generally, devolved into a turkey shoot of the vast undertrained Iraqi Army, which enjoyed no operational Air Force nor even a remotely capable Air Defense to speak of. In fact, any lessons from that war could and, in fact, did provide a baneful influence on the state of mind of many Western civilian and military leaders. Hubris and gross misinterpretation of the results occurred despite many professionals describing in depth the Iraqi Army’s dramatic lack of capability, ranging from low quality of leaders and personnel, over-centralization of command, lack of ability for strategic assessment, lack of modern battle management means, not to mention gross technological inferiority.
As the latest events in Ukraine have shown the main danger for the United States could be America's desperate desire to get what it wanted since 2014. Namely seeing Russia getting involved in Ukraine openly big time. Always think twice what you wish for, especially for operatives in US State Department and organizations such as CIA, who only know how to handle a small fish and even that they cannot do right, those wishes may come true. As Russia has demonstrated it in April this year, if the US really wants Russia to get "involved" in Ukraine, she can have equivalent of two combined arms armies, two fleets and couple of VKS "fleets" ready to take on Ukraine within couple of weeks. While annihilating Ukrainian Armed Forces, together with neo-Nazi Kiev regime, Russia would do the unthinkable--she would parade both the United States and NATO as militarily impotent paper-tigers because they would be able to do exactly nothing to "help" Ukraine because everyone wants to live. This is precisely the reason Anthony Blinken visited Kiev this week and told Kiev behind the scene to "dial it down", amidst the fluffy tropes about US concern for Ukraine's "soverinity" and "security". As I say all the time since 2014 in this blog, math is not there for the US and NATO. It wasn't there in 2014, now it is not even close.
Enter Scott Ritter with his piece today in RT. I hate military porn, Scott managed to read it three times. He is certainly much tougher than me to endure this and not to get aneurysm. I would:
An American war hero teamed up with a former NATO commander to write a novel about the final days of US global hegemony. The result is a plea for a common-sense policy that seeks to avoid an end game as tragic as it is inevitable.This is a review of a novel. I feel that I need to make this point up front, lest people read too much into what I have to say about it. It is a work of fiction – and an admirable one at that, extremely readable and possessing a narrative that grips you from the start and holds you until the end. It is also highly believable, even when one factors in the need for elements of fantasy in order to keep the plot streamlined and the length reasonable. Reality can be complicated and messy. ‘2034’ is a novel. It is not real.
Scott writes about this book. It came out in March this year.
‘2034’, by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, takes us to a world that is but 13 years removed from ours. It is one where the United States no longer possesses military supremacy but continues to act like it does. Where China’s economic and technological strengths have been used to craft a military capable of strategic power projection. Where Iran has emerged as a major regional power, and India is positioning itself for a global leadership role. None of the underpinning conditions that make ‘2034’ work as a novel exist today. But when examined in terms of historical continuity, using 2008 as a starting point, continuing through today, and then projecting into the future, every scenario painted in ‘2034’ is not only plausible, but probable. ‘2034’ depicts a world gripped by a multi-polar reality, where an America still operating on unipolar assumptions struggles to find its feet. Two terms appear often in the novel: ‘hubris’ and ‘overreach’. Everything that happens in ‘2034’ is borne of those twin concepts, where a former unilateral superpower finds itself challenged by regional powers no longer willing to accept American hegemony, and the overreaction to this challenge results in global catastrophe.
As you all may know, and I am on record for years, the United States is (always was) nuclear-biased country. It is the only country which used nuclear weapons, and it is the only country which came close to serious consideration of a use of such weapons in conventional conflict. Recall that Truman authorized moving nuclear weapons (without triggers, though) to Guam in 1950. "Just in case". So, it is totally conceivable for the US to go nuclear in case of sustaining serious losses in a conventional conflict even in a war with a nominally inferior conventional power. With global power? Russia doesn't need to "project" her power against US, she can defeat any conventional force in Eastern Europe purely conventionally and, God forbids, destroy human civilization with her nuclear arsenal. Ritter notes this:
None of the adversaries depicted in ‘2034’ had the ability to project military power globally like the United States. But then again, none needed to. All they needed to focus on was being able to project superior military power into a defined region. In short, a multi-polar world is beyond the ability of the United States to dominate militarily, and any continued effort by the United States to do so can only lead to conflicts which the United States is no longer guaranteed to win.
Well, today the "ability to project military power globally" against the background of the ongoing real revolution in military affairs means merely exposing your forces even in staging areas and rear to serious attrition. Here is how Iran did this.
Thirteen years goes by in a blink of an eye. ‘2034’, the novel, explores a plausible outcome should the United States continue to incorporate hubris and overreach as the driving force behind its relationship with the world. It is not an outcome any American should endorse, but it is an outcome that is inevitable should America’s relationship with the world not change.
If that is the point of the book, it is all for the better. I still will not read it, but I am grateful that Scott Ritter did it (three times) and the fact that this book is based around the same set of strategic ideas I write about for many years, makes me feel not so much vindicated as hopeful that people of such a rank try to be realistic and militarily reasonable and only add to the choir of voices which calls on the US to face a reality and adjust its behavior accordingly. In fact, it may even work for the US benefit. Obviously, the US State Department and US utterly incompetent think-tankdom never read Bismark about the art of possible and have no concept that real international relations are not always a zero-sum game. But who knows, maybe a sheer volume of voices will get through, especially when S-500, A-235 and 3M22 become fully operational, like this year.