to Hrvoje Moric for his excellent Geopolitics and Empire podcast.
Friday, December 31, 2021
Here Is My Yesterday's Talk
(Hopefully) Happy New Year.
I know, I know--but I want to wish all of you peace, first and foremost. Then--stay healthy. The rest--whatever you wish yourself. Happy 2022. I like this song, actually))
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Saker's View of the Conflict.
Andrei Raevsky gave the subject a thorough write-up and this his conclusion is spot on:
First, for all the PR manufactured by paid and unpaid western propagandists, Russia does hold all the military cards. The Russian problems are not military, they are political: how to defang the US+NATO without having to openly intervene in the Ukraine? How to regime-change the Nazis in Kiev without an open intervention? How to counter the truly formidable AngloZionist propaganda machine which has, at least so far, very effectively concealed from its consumers the very real military danger the collective West and its delusions are running into at full speed? How to counter the (very dangerous) propaganda of those supposed “patriots” who dream about a Russian liberation of (most of) the Ukraine? There are those who want to keep it all simple, stupid. Alas, the reality is much more complex and the kind of idiocy uninformed civilians take seriously has no relation at all to the real world military decision-makers have to live in every day. So the bottom line is this: Uncle Shmuel needs a face-saving “out” which his own ideology and propaganda deny him. The Europeans are too brainwashed to understand even the basic elements of what is at stake, while Russia is desperate not to use military force, but she might well be given no other choice: the Russians have now literally retreated behind their own national border. If somebody, anybody, or any combination of anybodies, crosses the “red line” known as the “Russian border”, it will be war. Then, of course, it will all become very clear very quickly, but by then it will be too late: war will be upon us.
This is a very astute observation but Russia is now also playing an "ambivalence game" and that makes many people in NATO capitals nervous. Hey, two can play the game. Or as Pepe Escobar put it:
Mr. Zircon is on the line, Sir
I suggest you read both pieces--a lot of food for thought. I did today almost two hour interview and it should be available tomorrow. I'll let you know.
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Byron King Wrote A Superb Energy Piece.
I think the use of the name Stalingrad is entirely justified.
In the fall and winter of 1942 – 43, Germany’s 6th Army fought its way into the city of Stalingrad where it became surrounded and trapped. Then it was systematically destroyed by a combination of hellacious-cold winter weather and the unyielding steel of the Soviet Red Army – but mostly by the unyielding steel of the Soviet Red Army. Now, 79 years later and as the winter of 2022 dawns, Germany is entering the late stage of another massive strategic calamity, although not involving the carnage of war on a distant front. Instead, Germany is on final countdown to ruin its energy supply at home.
Byron, ever eloquent, draws a real picture of Germany's predicament and Byron is no hack. Here is his background:
I am a... Geologist. Retired Navy officer. Student of history. And I hold earned academic degrees from Harvard, the US Naval War College and the University of Pittsburgh.
So, there is both military and natural sciences foundation allowing to draw correct parallels. Just read the whole thing.
OK, This Is An Official WOW!!
Thanks to our common buddy WHAT who pointed this out. S-550 is officially in not just full rate production but is already combat deployed. You remember me telling for years that Russia is in revelation mode but S-550 makes even insane S-500 look like an underdog. Here is TASS:
МОСКВА, 29 декабря. /ТАСС/. Новая зенитная ракетная система (ЗРС) С-550 успешно прошла государственные испытания и заступила на боевое дежурство. Об этом ТАСС сообщил источник, близкий к военному ведомству. "ЗРС С-550 успешно завершила государственные испытания. Первая бригада С-550 заступила на боевое дежурство", - сказал он. По словам собеседника агентства, это - "абсолютно новая мобильная система стратегической ПРО, не имеющая аналогов, она способна поражать космические аппараты, боевые блоки межконтинентальных баллистических ракет, гиперзвуковые цели на высотах в несколько десятков тысяч километров".
Translation: MOSCOW, December 29. / TASS /. The new S-550 anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) has successfully passed state tests and entered combat duty. This was reported to TASS by a source close to the defense ministry. "The S-550 air defense missile system has successfully completed state tests. The first S-550 brigade took up combat duty," he said. According to the interlocutor of the agency, this is "an absolutely new mobile strategic missile defense system, which has no analogues, it is capable of striking spacecraft, warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic targets at altitudes of several tens of thousands of kilometers."
OK, first things first--"several tens of thousands"? Typo, but even if typo and only several thousands kilometers into space it is mind-boggling still. Defies imagination, on the other hand with the range of 1000 kilometers against aerial targets and SU-57 (and S-70 Okhotnik) officially having the ability to guide air-defense missiles it has not just operational but strategic implications. The only question which comes next--is there S-600 (let's call it that) in works? Something tells me that it is. But having S-500 and S-550 in tandem together with other systems--this is groundbreaking. And Earth-shattering. This also explains why Russia is gladly selling S-400s, which is a stunner in its own right but pales compared to capabilities of S-550. Russia closes not just the airspace over her (and allies) but space too.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Yeah, Yeah, I Know, Beaten To Death...
...topic and many people spoke about US "elites" generally having no clue about the world outside and, in case of Russia, having a deliberate BS narratives which, in addition, exacerbate institutional ignorance in the West in general, and US in particular. Among the latest on ignorance of Russia is by Tarik Amar in RT.
Ignorance of Russia among Western elites is dangerous. A belligerent new intervention reveals just how far removed from reality many Western hawks are
But truth is, former Sweden's PM Karl Bildt is known in Russia as a certified moron, same as former US Ambassador Michael McFaul, so there is very little use in discussing people who have serious learning disabilities and are uncultured, to boot. By being uncultured I, of course, do not mean that they lack superficial refinement, they don't, I am sure they know many fine Scotches and love to eat in reputable restaurants. No, by being cultured I mean people with moral principles and serious understanding of their craft.
But the moment Amar makes his argument about general Western ignorance of Russia (not to mention a deliberate malicious lies), bang--one of the "Russia scholars" rears his ugly mind on Yahoo news and, first, bloviates on economic matters of Russia which he cannot possibly understand and then comes up with this wowser:
Courageous Navalny personifies limited but growing opposition to the Putin regime, which after two decades is now increasingly repressive. Management of the latest press conference reflects this harshness. In the past, media applied for accreditation. This time, by contrast, the Kremlin selected those who could attend. Approximately five hundred domestic and international press representatives participated. Among publications excluded was “Novaya Gazeta.” Managing Editor Dmitry Muratov just received the Nobel Peace Prize. Fellow journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines also got the prestigious award. Both demonstrate great courage in opposing repression, resisting intimidation, thereby risking their lives and their careers. Media understandably focus on Ukraine, where Russia’s ominous military buildup continues. Putin heatedly asserted NATO is the provocateur, which is false.
Hm, let's see who the author of this drivel is. His name is Arthur I. Cyr. And as you may have guessed it already he is a... political "scientist".
Professor Cyr is a board member of the Japan America Society of Chicago, Real Racine, and the Racine YMCA Youth Leadership Program. He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, member of the Century Association and the Council on Foreign Relations, the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Dr. Cyr served in the U.S. Army reserves and on active duty as an officer in military intelligence. He is a 1966 graduate of UCLA and received a Ph.D. with distinction in political science from Harvard University in 1971. At Harvard, he was a Frank Knox fellow in England, an NDEA Title IV fellow, and a teaching fellow.
What is most aggravating here is that this guy served in "intelligence" and was involved with Chatam House, which explains why the guy spews utter BS--West's situational awareness of Russia is not just zero, it is genuinely negative due to the fallacy of the whole educational and analytical framework in the combined West which time after time provided astounding records of failure. It is especially true of UK-based "think-tanks" which still cannot overcome their sorrow of finding UK a lapdog of the United States and a country whose military and economic capabilities are those of a second-rate power, which is being kept in this league due to association with the US. Judging by the British "elites" the degeneracy is now a defining trait there. But, hey, at least English Premier League is still really good.
|Dude, that's the Siemens hat you are wearing. |
Realism should guide policy, emphasizing the essential role of nation-states, and focus on national interests. A source of basic U.S. strength is our market economy, increasingly the way of the world. Russia today remains influential but isolated.
I once expressed myself on American "realists". Come to think about it, this whole blog is about American "realists". And how there is very little realism in them.
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Big, Big Difference.
A little bit of military porn. And it goes well with Douglas Macgregor's recent revelations (they are revelations for those who watched too much of US military propaganda in 1990s and 2000s and missed the revolution). Here is one of the points I try to explain for the last many years: Russia has two types of Air Defense. One type is what is called objects Air and Anti-Missile Defense (aka Voiska PVO-PRO) and it is the AD which guards industrial, civilian and military objects--industrial plant, administrative infrastructure, military installations and HQs--and then there is Troops' Air Defense, which is quite different. This AD, unlike Voiska PVO-PRO which belong to Russia's VKS (Air-Space Forces), are known as PVO SV (Air Defense of Ground Troops) is a branch of the Army and their task is to defend Russian Land Forces.
This is not to say that these two Air Defense are not interconnected--they are, but Voiska PVO-PRO are not designed to deploy with the either advancing or retreating troops, PVO SV is and that is why you see not only somewhat different AD technology (PVO SV also has anti-missile capabilities) but all of it is primarily based on tracked vehicles, such as what would pass in the US for SHORAD the venerable and ever updating Tunguska.
But this is where the similarity with the US ground forces ends. No doubt, military purists may contend that, say, US Patriot and THAAD batteries ALSO could be viewed as a form of troops PVO. Well, maybe, the problem (for the US forces), however, is in the fact that what Russia's PVO SV provides in short-to-medium range protection for ground forces is simply mind-boggling. TOR-M2 alone is a formidable system, but when "plugged" into the combat network which apart from Tunguska and TOR involves a medium range BUK-M3, it provides and outstanding coverage for Brigade and division size formations against any targets (do not forget long-range AD and ABM complexes such as S-300V4).
All in all, Russian ground forces are designed to fight with very good protection against any type of enemy's targets, ranging from stealth aircraft, ballistic missiles, to stand-off and precision-guided munitions. But Russia celebrated the Day of PVO SV on the 26th and Russian MoD issued some military porn video:
Одновременно разрабатывается модификация ЗРПК «Панцирь-СМ-СВ» на гусеничном шасси для Сухопутных войск и ВДВ. Комплекс будет иметь два типа зенитных управляемых ракет и обладать увеличенной зоной поражения. Обе работы планируется завершить в 2022 году. Для действий непосредственно на переднем крае, разрабатывается ЗРК «Птицелов», применяющий два типа ракет с разными методами наведения (самонаводящаяся по тепловому излучению цели и наводимая по лазерному лучу).
Translation: simultaneously we develop a modification of ZRPK Pantsir-SM-SV on tracked vehicle for Ground Troops and Airborne Troops. The complex will have two types of missiles and will have an extended kill range. Both jobs are planned to be completed in 2022. For the immediate front-line AD the new missile system Ptitselov (Bird Catcher) is being developed, with two types of missiles (infra-red and laser-guided).
That is something, because Pantsir (especially with new capability of detection range of up to 70 km and missile range of 40 km) gave a lot of grief both to Israel and the US, being able to intercept a bulk of standoff and precision-guided weapons ranging from TLAMs (rumor has it JASSMs too, wink-wink) to all kinds of Israeli missiles and it goes without saying that appearance of such a system combined with already impressive TOR-M2 and BUK-M3 creates a completely new tactical and operational reality for ground forces. Not only Russian ones, for the ground forces of the enemy. There is nothing in the combined West which can even remotely challenge such air defenses, despite some attempts, such as France's Crotale. But in the end, Russia's capability to see, detect, track and develop distributed firing solution within the networks against any aerial target is simply unmatched. Single Polyana-D4M1 can tie into a single network up to 14 separate AD (systems) nodes and create a "through" channel either to a same level network or to higher ones, up to the very top of VNTZUO. I assume latest Polyanas have even greater capability and even the layout differs from those of earlier 2010s versions, not to speak of versions from 1990s.
So, why did I bring Douglas Macgregor here. Here is why. In his article in TAC, which being discussed widely, he states:
Reality is sitting on Ukraine’s eastern border, not in the South China Sea or in the strait of Taiwan, and there is ostensibly nothing Washington can do about it. The questions that should concern Washington’s political class are: Will NATO survive its ignominious retreat in the face of superior Russian military power? And, why is Washington conducting policy not from strength, but from weakness—a weakness thus far disguised by the outward show of military power against weak opponents without armies, air defenses, or air forces?
Macgregor is on record with this conclusion, especially highlighted part, but so am I, trying to explain for years now that the issue is very simple--US Armed Forces never fought the enemy which can not only defeat them, but completely shut down the skies for the US main power tool--its Air Force and standoff weaponry. Once this is removed from the equation, annihilation of the opposing force is just the matter of Russia's own standoff arsenal and then mopping up by the ground forces which will retain their combat effectiveness even against most advanced and massive attacks from the air. It is, obviously, impossible to explain to neocons infesting corridors of high power in D.C. and who made their careers both in Pentagon and State Department by writing theses on Peloponnesian Wars and deriving "lessons" from swords, shields and bow and arrows armed cohorts slaughtering each-other more than 2,000 years ago, that those do not apply for machine speed operating combat networks and weapons which can hit not just to tactical and operational depths, but can, actually, reach easily the United States proper. And that is a big, big difference.
Per Admiral Chabanenko. Some more details continue to trickle in--yes, it is going to be 3M22 carrier, as well as Otvet ASW missiles plus X-35, plus 3M14 (in Russian).
Saturday, December 25, 2021
Putin About Family and Happiness.
I can subscribe to all his words here and the importance of family and children. I slept today till 1:30 (13:30) PM after going to bed at midnight-13.5 hours of sleep. The reason? The peace--the whole family is together, everybody seems to be healthy and a day of calm ahead. Love, inner peace, family, children are the most important things in life, it is good to be financially secure, no doubt about it, but without both joy and obligation of motherhood and fatherhood--there is no society.
In unrelated news. The United States sabotaged supplies of composite materials (e.g. Hexcell) for Russia's commercial aviation, so Russia... simply built a whole composite industry from the ground up and yesterday, new and serial production MC-21 flew with new Russian-made composite wing.
Washington is willing to talking to Russia about the list of security guarantees proposed by Moscow, and officials can sit down for discussions in January, the White House revealed on Thursday.
Ah, good. As legendary Soviet FM Andrei Gromyko used to say:" Ten years of negotiations are better than one day of war." Agree, but this time the US doesn't have ten years, or even months.
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Something For Christmas And Soul.
Music which comes to mind.
To everyone and let there be peace and calm. Of course, we know that this is impossible with neocons in charge in D.C. but for good people of this planet--let your wishes come true and stay healthy and prosper. Just to remind how Putin now weeps in his Main Kremlin Palace because he is denied shopping in Paris by Germany's Defense Minister and how he gazes across the Red Square at GUM.
U.S. Navy Acknowledges Russian Weapon Superiority
I will gladly elaborate more on this issue, including within the larger framework of European (in)security and will explain why things maybe changing faster than we may expect. In fact I was already preparing this explanation for video too. The gap is growing and the US is trying desperately to do something about it but there is very little what could be done. Now that Putin admits that Russia and China work on joint projects in developing advanced weaponry I doubt that the combined West can do anything about it. As I am on record--the gap is not years, it is generational, weapons and CONOPS of the 20th century against the warfare of the 21st.
Scott Ritter is pretty straight-forward in his predictions.
Russia is operating on its own timeline, one that seeks a rapid resolution to these issues. While Russia has agreed to direct talks with the U.S., and multilateral talks with NATO and the OSCE, these talks will not be allowed to drag on. Should the U.S. not agree to the Russian demands outright (never going to happen) or a reasonable counterproposal (highly unlikely), and should the U.S. go forward with its plans to deploy the Dark Eagle hypersonic missile system to Europe (prompting a Russian response to deploy weapons systems of its own that place the totality of Europe under the immediate threat of annihilation), then the outcome is a foregone conclusion—Russia will destroy Ukraine militarily.
But I have my doubts about timetable for Dark Eagle to start with and, once and if deployed, about its real capabilities, especially against Russia's anti-missile systems which are already in place. As Scott notes further:
Moreover, Russia may very well deploy hypersonic weapons into the Caribbean, either in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or a combination thereof, to counter the threat to Moscow posed by U.S. systems in Europe.
True, but (K-329) Belgorod is already in IOC and Khabarovsk is getting ready, that is 12 Poseidons. But even 6 of them is enough to... well, I don't want to go there.
This is K-329 in June. So, there are options... many of them.
No Way, This Cannot Be True.
I am being facetious, of course. Real economy, not some BS manipulations with finances, has a tendency to bite in the ass in the most inopportune times.
Brussels, 22 December - The energy-intensive industries call upon EU leaders to swiftly address the exponential increase in energy prices. Today’s period of unbearably high energy prices in Europe is already undermining the structural measures designed to secure affordable low-carbon energy, which is required to meet the objectives of the EU Green Deal. The energy price crisis has hit most of the European countries. In recent months the energy priceshave increased 4 to 5 times, reaching even higher levels over the last days. In parallel, carbon prices have tripled since the beginning of the year. The main reasons for this situation are the financial market speculation from financial players including hedge funds and commodity trading houses, the imbalances in the gas market, seasonally decreased renewable energy production, reduced nuclear energy production, coal mine closures and increased carbon costs passed on in electricity prices. It has consequently forced numerous industrial energy consumers to curtail and/or temporarily close plants.
Well, some tankers with LNG from the US and Qatar did make a dent in gas prices for Europe but that is merely a band-aid on the gaping wound of the "market-driven" pricing of gas in Europe and this roller-coaster will continue. Now, per "Green Deal", that's another main driver behind this catastrophe and it is a good illustration of what happens when the economy is being run by political "science" majors and lawyers. In related news, Europe's "energy transition" is a catastrophe and a wet dream which cannot be implemented, which is obvious to any person with a half-brain and basic understanding of physics. But, there is one way for EU for this "energy transition" and it is de-industrialization which is ongoing as I type it, and eventual turning of EU in primarily service economy with increasing inflation and a good market for the US to dump its energy and products with which Europeans are already unable to compete under present situation.
I warned for years that Europe is America's lunch and let me tell you--I don't blame the US, everybody wants to live. You--die today, for me to live another day and die tomorrow. It is a cold hard fact of life in global capitalism and, considering the "quality" of EU "elites", those people would rather lick Greta's boots and destroy lives and businesses than taking care of their population. Europe wanted it, EU was and is bureaucratic radically anti-democratic, non-electable structure, so EU now must "eat the cake" it baked. If Europeans, as is traditional in history will decide to look for (final) "solutions" in the East, Europe will be destroyed and will never recover again. I think this is a "secret" (LOL, it is obvious to anyone) desire of no less stupid American "elites" to repeat America's post-WW II renaissance. The problem with them, of course, is the fact that they do not understand that this is not 1945 and Russia can provide for the US real war experiences, but then again--try to explain to Ivy League political "science" majors what is targeting and what are new technologies and operational concepts which are beyond American warfare experiences.
So, here we are today: Europe begins to feel consequences and I see no redeeming signs that Europeans, who also voted for people complicit in the most bizarre anti-scientific, logic-defying PR stunts, will awaken until it will be too late and the Europe will freeze literally and figuratively. This is how civilizations commit suicide. That is why Russia speaks in broadsides.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
A Bit Of Economic News.
When speaking about basic facts I made one mistake, Russia's manufacturing grew in 2021 (relative to successful 2019) not 6.9 but 5.9% which is still very impressive. But the news from the processing industries--that is where the value added is highest--is even more impressive: the growth is 9.2% (in Russian from Rosstat).
Per Russia's ultimatum. There were some objections to calling it that, but my response is simple: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then there is a good chance that it is a duck. Same here:
And while Russia's economy is still recovering from the ruins of 1990s and early 2000s, it is clear that it is large and self-sustainable enough to issue ultimatums not fearing any economic consequences. I would even propose that shopping in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Kazan is in no way inferior to visiting Paris or Milan boutiques which sell brand crap for ridiculous prices designed for the type of public which in Russia is known as нищеброды (difficult to even translate properly--uncultured lacking taste pauper-beggars maybe) who hunt only for status brands and things as to be a part of a conspicuous consumption class. Yes, there are many of those among moneyed strata both in Russia and in the West. The result, very often, looks like this:
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
I don't know how to even comment on that. I told you--it is one of those days.
Germany’s naval chief has said the country’s recent deployment of a warship into the South China Sea was a “teaser” intended to signal to Beijing that Berlin planned to ramp up its military presence in the disputed waters. Speaking from on board the Bayern frigate on Tuesday, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach said the vessel’s foray into the contested region last week – the first such journey in nearly two decades – was a sign that Germany was “perpetuating” its activity in the region in “small steps.”Hinting at further deployments following the “teaser,” Schonbach said Berlin hoped to dispatch additional ships and aircraft to Asia from 2023. He added that Germany’s primary interest was in maintaining an international rules-based order in the region.“This time, we start with small steps … probably we’ll pass [the Taiwan Strait] the next time on a bilateral basis,” Schonbach said when asked why the vessel did not sail through the strait. He said the navy was focused on Berlin’s “value partners,” and it was “not starting with a hammer.”At a separate event on the same day in Singapore – where the frigate is docked at the Changi Naval Base, Schonbach said the intention of the naval tour was not to provoke, but a sign that things had reached a point where Berlin felt the need to send a “signal” to Beijing.
Patrick Armstrong Went All In.
Most of what he wrote about "or else" is valid and I agree with it.
Why now? Two possible answers, each of which may be true. US/NATO have been using “salami tactics” against Russia for years; Moscow has decided that a second Ukraine crisis in one year is one thin slice too many. Second: Moscow may judge that, in the USA’s precipitous decline, this will be the last chance that there will be sufficient central authority to form a genuine agreement; an agreement that will avoid a catastrophic war. (The so-called Thucydides Trap). Of course I don’t know what Putin & Co will do and we do have to factor in the existence of a new international player: Putin, Xi and Partners. Xi has just made it clear that Beijing supports Moscow’s “core interests”. It is likely that any “counter-threats” will be coordinated. The Tabaquis have responded as expected but maybe (let’s hope so) Washington is taking it more seriously.
Read the whole thing, it is worth it. I think even omitting "or else" clause is a factor in itself.
Russia will never forget Belgrade.
News Not Needing Any Comments.
There are many of them today.
Europe's energy crisis got even worse on Tuesday as a shortage of natural gas, nuclear outages, declining wind power output, and cold weather boosted prices. The gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, the benchmark gas price for Europe, soared 10% to a new record high of 165 euros per megawatt-hour after gas entering Germany at the Mallnow compressor station plunged to zero. Flows were diverted eastward to Poland. European gas prices hit a record high.
I think EU should double down on its "green agenda". Just look at this.
As a result of the grid strain, German power prices climbed 30% to a record 431.98 euros per megawatt-hour.
Sadly, there is a high probability that human lives, especially those of old and vulnerable, will be lost too. But don't worry, next year Germany will shut down half of her remaining nuclear power output. I will make a video on that pretty soon. And do not forget that it is 12/21/21 or 21/12/21 (in the rest of the world notation) today and, as many joke, at 21:21 (09:21 PM) there is a reason to celebrate whatever the excuse is for pouring oneself a glass of good sour mash and enjoying whatever little joys we all have in out lives.
Two Newest Ones.
No comments are needed. One new Borey-class SSBN Prince Oleg and one new SSGN pr.885 Novosibirsk.
Monday, December 20, 2021
Here I Talk A Little Bit About Timing.
Namely, why now. There are reasons for that.
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Saker Did A Good Write Up On Russian Ultimatum's Options.
He elaborated extensively on geopolitical ramifications and here is what caught my eye:
I would argue that such an outcome goes directly against the interests of BOTH the USA and Russia. And, most obviously, it goes totally against the interests of the people of Europe. But if the latter does nothing to prevent such an outcome, then it is for the USA and Russia to prevent it. And if the USA won’t prevent it, then Russia will deliver.
I say it constantly--one always has to play within its own league. This is what EU doesn't understand, especially such of its (and NATO) members as Poland and Baltic States. For people who follow UEFA Champions' League (or even Europa League) it is absolutely clear that even weakened Bayern Munich or Real Madrid (and all clubs go through ups and downs in their life cycle) when seeded in group stages with the clubs champions of Malta or Albania, you just know that unless some miracle happens, both Bayern and Real will have little problems qualifying. It is just the nature of the game.
And like in this game, taken separately each of the EU's big four (including for the sake of forensic experiment now non-EU UK) are not that big, really. Others, are even smaller and they are not in the league of truly big clubs in this geopolitical Champions' League and each time they will try to insert themselves into the playing field of geopolitical giants, not only they will look like that:
Breaking News: Putin Is Finshed, Russia Is Drafting The Articles of Surrender To Germany.
Germany's Defense Minister just issued the most harsh and deadly sanctions against Putin personally. He is being driven, as I type, to Kremlin's clinic to reanimation after hearing this horrible news.
Ahead of her trip to Lithuania, where she visited German soldiers stationed in the country as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup, Lambrecht called on Western nations to “put Putin and his inner circle in the crosshairs.” She proposed personal sanctions against Russia’s leadership if Moscow invades Ukraine, "for example, that they can no longer travel to the Champs Élysées in Paris to shop." Lambrecht seemed to be unaware that the same sort of luxury stores also exist in the Russian capital – in places like Kutuzovsky Avenue, Barvikha Luxury Village, TSUM and Tretyakovsky Proyezd – and other cities, such as Saint Petersburg and Sochi.
Oh my God! Can you imagine, poor Putin suffering from the lack of shopping in grossly overpriced, grossly overrated, piss-smelling, migrants' infested Paris.
On a serious note--yes, she is Germany's Defense Minister:
Saturday, December 18, 2021
People Asked, I Respond. On the Run.
Remember, I drill this idea in for a long time: only powerful issue ultimatums. Weak cannot issue ultimatums which mean anything.
1. Russia did issue ultimatum to the combined West. Drafts of the framework for new security agreement between Russia and the West (NATO) are but a small part of a larger ultimatum. Albeit this ultimatum also is articulated through statements of the high level Russia's Foreign Ministry people, such as statement by the Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko:
"Мы как раз даем понять, что мы готовы разговаривать о том, чтобы военный сценарий или военно-технический сценарий перевести в некий политический процесс, который реально укрепит военную безопасность <…> всех государств на пространстве ОБСЕ, Евроатлантики, Евразии. А если этого не получится, то мы уже обозначили им (НАТО - прим. ТАСС), тогда мы тоже перейдем в вот этот режим создания контругроз, но тогда будет поздно нас спрашивать, почему мы приняли такие решения, почему мы разместили такие системы", - сказал он.
Translation: “We just make it clear that we are ready to talk about how to translate the military scenario or the military-technical scenario into a political process that will actually strengthen the military security <...> of all states in the OSCE, Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian space. If this is not going to happen, then we have already designated them (NATO - TASS comment), then we will also switch to this mode of creating counter-threats, but then it will be too late to ask us why we made such decisions, why we have deployed such systems, "he said.
I highlighted in yellow and underlined this crucial semantics.
2. I am ON record for years: Russia has both overwhelming military advantage and escalation dominance in the Eastern Europe, thus the threats in case US (NATO) decide that they want to continue to play dumb:
a) Removing guarantees of non-invasion of 404 and, in fact, preparing for regime change in Kiev. If need be, NATO intel installations and troops' bases could be wiped out (possibly without warning) as a warm up.
b) Russia will position hypersonic weapons, including nuclear-tipped near NATO members (such as Baltic States) and may in addition:
c) Create additional shock (in reality--strike) tank armies;
d) Russia will supply China with earlier versions of 3M22 (possibly Kinzhal) and will ensure that China has a decisive advantage over US and Royal Navies in her First Island Chain, while simultaneously providing China with latest AD/AM defense. S-500 may appear there even earlier than in India.
e) There is some pool of Russia's weapon systems we haven't seen yet and I can only imagine what those can do. I think some people in Pentagon have an idea and they wouldn't want to deal with that.
f) Russia, certainly, will accelerate the rearmament of pr. 949A to 949AM and pr. 971M SSGNs to carry 3M14 Kalibr and P-800 Onyx and will return them to patrols along both shores of North America.
3. Russia understands the split with the West and is ready to take any consequences, including, already declining, shrinkage of trade and reduction of the supply of hydrocarbons to EU. Let the US deal with it... Ah, wait, US is making a killing in South East Asia selling its LNG and, frankly, EU is not a competitor with Asian economies which do not even bargain--they just buy all energy whatever the price. If Europe wants to say something to Russia--individual countries can go to Moscow and see if Moscow cares.
Those who follow this blog attentively, they should remember this from month ago:
Russia does not need 404, in fact, Russians overwhelmingly do not want those people in their lives, they don't want to pay for them, and they want them to stay away from Russia in every conceivable way, bar pure geography which cannot be changed. And that's the problem for Russia, because in the end Russia will have to deal with this shithole, which like a cyst placed itself at Russia's South-Western borders and continues to deteriorate towards cancerous tumor with increasing speed. The United States, realistically, doesn't need 404 either, because while the US still exercises the idea of using 404 as a anti-Russia ram both in geopolitical and economic senses, and sleeps and dreams about Russia "invading" this territory, the US is facing one serious challenge here: what IF US desires come true and Russia DOES indeed decide to end this drama and finish off Nazi regime in Kiev?
As I repeat ad nauseam--Russia is the only country in the world which can, without resorting to nuclear weapons, defeat NATO in Europe. Moreover, it is the only country in the world which can self-sustain economically or can sustain herself without trade with EU. This trade was going downhill anyway. And while Russia's exports to EU grew as of lately, much of it is also due to Russia making a killing on gas spot market. Judging by the scale of Power of Siberia and moves to build (in Russian) Power of Siberia-2, with Xi and Putin discussing this issue 3 days ago, Russia's strategic reorienting towards Big Asia is essentially complete and, hey, they can continue to sanction whatever they want. I know some kindergartens near my mom's home which they didn't sanction yet. How reckless of them.
Conclusion: Russia is ready (she was for some time) and she gives NATO the last chance to save face and improve the atmosphere. If not--404 will be eliminated. Plus NATO's military infrastructure will be removed from Baltic States.
In related news, Orion UAV of Russia works against other drones.
Ah, Poor Poor Dear, LOL.
Trump begins to suspect something. LOL.
Former President Donald Trump made a jaw-dropping series of anti-Semitic claims about Jewish Americans controlling institutions of government and media in a new interview where he said evangelical Americans “love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”
What a loser. No, not the fact of him stating what everyone knows already. For a long time, including thorough the only valuable work of "political science" by Mearsheimer and Walt:
The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking. Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes. Fully 60 percent of self-described evangelicals supported torturing suspected terrorists in 2009, for example. That is somewhat puzzling, as Christianity is, if anything, a religion of peace that only reluctantly embraced a “just war” concept that was deliberately and cautiously evolved to permit Christians—under very limited circumstances of imminent threat—to fight to defend themselves.
Representative Galego Wants To Kill Some Russians.
The guy, actually, is a former US Marine and incidentally a Rep. from Arizona. So this "veteran" wants to kill some Russians. Here is him verbatim.
Maximum deterrence "means we have to kill some Russians," Gallego said on CNN Sunday, while he was still in Kyiv. "They only understand pure power. And we have to give the Ukrainian army and special forces the ability to do that."
The guy was a grunt in USMC and graduated Harvard with BA degree, and you guessed it, in "International Relations" (that means he has no real education). I tried to contact his office to give him my address (I am Russian, so he can come and kill me) but I am not from his congressional district and I was denied any contact. I wanted to offer him addresses of some other Russians he can kill--I even know some Russians in Arizona, he can visit and kill them too. This boy, obviously, despite his tour in Iraq never saw a real war and real enemy who actually can kill you back even when one is in the bunker inside own army base. But, hey, the guy is a classic US legislator--he loves somebody to kill for him (her), as long as they are not demoralized and corrupt third world military with barely functional weapons. I can feel his pain and his butt-hurt. After all, killing Russians is a somewhat more difficult task than sexually abuse helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or blow wedding parties with children from helicopters or drones in some shithole country. In related news this ignoramus should learn what real deterrence is but then again, with his "education" I doubt he has the grasp of it.
Friday, December 17, 2021
We Haven't Done Fridays... (Beautiful Souls Worth Living For).
In a long time. But Christmas is approaching. And while the world gets more complex and violent, we should look at this:
Absolutely beautiful Sophia Claire:
I always wanted to post this. A testimony to human creativity and craft--stunning really. Can you imagine people creating this?
So, because it is Friday... enjoy miracles.