I am not going to lie--I am sill reeling after CIA recruitment video, because I know it completely degraded Russia's national security by means of disabling huge numbers of FSB officers from hernias they got from hysterical laughing from watching this video.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Month and a half ago I wrote about how even registered foreign agent in Russia, Levada-Center, couldn't deny anymore a simple fact that:
A recent poll by the Levada Center, a research group branded a ‘foreign agent’ by Moscow, revealed that only 29 percent of Russians consider Russia to be a European country, which represents a drastic decline from 52 percent in 2008. A generational shift is underway, as younger Russians lead the way in dismissing the European identity of their country, with those aged 18 to 24 polling at only 23 percent.
To understand why the combined West goes bananas when they speak about modern Russia and Putin, one has to see the concert on 18 March 2021 (yes, this year of Covid) in Moscow (yes, the hot seat of "liberals", a euphemism for the "fifth column") celebrating the 7th anniversary of Crimea's return home. 80,000 unmasked, mostly very young, people having a blast. Overwhelming majority of these people is youth, pay attention to how they react to Pelageya's stunning rendition of the old Russian Cossack song and, of course, reaction of this immense crowd to appearance of the President of Russia starting at 29:20.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
I am not the only one who loses my cool when writing about Western (American especially) Russia "expertdom". This "expertise", or rather inability of those "Russia experts" to find their own ass with both hands in a brightly lit room, evidently got to Patrick Armstrong too and he wrote, traditionally incisive, rebuttal.
One of the favourite delusions of the people Scott Ritter calls the “Putin whisperers” is that Russia or Putin – to them the two are synonymous – are always on the point of collapse and one more push will bring them down. To the sane, observing the development of Russia from 1991 to 2021, this conviction is crazy: Russia has endured and prospered. But, as I have said elsewhere, these people fit Einstein’s definition of insanity and forever repeat their failures: Ritter calls them “intellectually lazy”. They’re not Russia experts, they’re wrongness experts and constant practice has made them quite good at being wrong.
I also do not share Scott Ritter's optimism about "Putin Whisperers" getting ready to leave the stage and I can only support Armstrong's conclusion that:
I hope he’s right but I suspect that there is still more to come: they’ve made an easy living at this grift and they can’t change now. And it’s depressingly unlikely that they will be replaced by people who can see reality.
Couldn't have said better myself. But then again, intellectual corruption is what defines the field of geopolitical expertise in the United States today. The financial one, is not far behind. Paul Craig Roberts, meanwhile, wrote a superb piece on feminization of the Western man--the problem which now reaches a truly catastrophic scale. PCR writes:
For a number of years I have noticed that unless I am among older men I often only hear males with women’s voices, speaking like girls, the same intonation and the same words, “like,” “really.” I hear males who sound like Valley Girls. When you look at them you don’t see male strength, and neither does Camille Paglia who says androgyny is historically a sign of cultural collapse.
So is an obsession with macho culture and sports, especially in the US where American Football is more than just the sports-event but long ago became a revivalist ritual for a feminized men, who sublimate their lack of real masculinity and tawdry sex-appeal through the images of new age gladiators throwing a ball in the breaks between the commercials. Let me put it this way, this is, certainly, not an ice-hockey where physical loads and fights are very damn real and very manly in a good sense. These are real fights and they are not for wussies.
But then...again, what do I know.
It matters what they carry as weapon systems which defines them as either "bad" or "good", to put it in the layman's lingo. Remarkably, this is not the idea former Senator Jim Talent and former armor officer Lindsey Neas can wrap their brains around, when they write, in the neocon rag The National Review, next:
There is good news at last for America’s armed forces, or at least for the Navy. A bipartisan group of legislators has sponsored a bill that has the potential to address at one stroke a first-order priority for American national security: upgrading and expanding the nation’s shipyards. ... The Shipyards Act is an outstanding first step on the path to revitalizing America’s sea power. Given the pressing need for a bigger Navy, however, the sponsors should also seek to set aside additional money from the proposed infrastructure bill to increase the Navy’s shipbuilding accounts and buy more vessels as the shipyards expand.
I write extensively on the pitiful state of the American shipbuilding industry in general, and commercial one in particular, in my latest book. So, the fact that some steps are being undertaken to revitalize some shipyards seems to be a logical set of actions. But the issue here is not that pouring money on the problem will somehow resolve a huge list of issues for the United States naval power in its attempt to shape itself up trying to meet China PLAN's challenge. Not only Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doubts that this whole thing will make huge difference, when writing about subs:
CBO’s projection includes anticipated improvements in productivity. Automation is expected to lead to a onetime 3 percent increase in productivity—that is, tasks will take 3 percent less time, on average. For example, the design and manufacture of replacement parts is being automated in ways including computer-aided design and automated cutting of sheet metal. Because some tasks are more difficult to automate than others, the amount of time saved per task will vary greatly. The agency also projected that shipyards would realize the 5 percent efficiency gain that the Navy anticipates from the infrastructure improvements made under SIOP. CBO projected that both increases in efficiency would phase in from 2022 to 2031
It is all fine and dandy, but if one follows Talent's and Neas' ideas of "sea power":
So the Navy needs a lot more ships. No less than six recent reports and studies — including the Navy’s formal position of a 355-ship fleet by 2030 — recommend a combined total of between 355 and 688 manned and unmanned vessels in the fleet. The exact nature of the needed expansion will depend on our maritime strategy; the evolution of technology, doctrine, and tactics; the size and capabilities on the PLAN, and the contributions of our allies and security partners. That said, the Navy needs to do at least the following over the next decade. First, sustain production of aircraft carriers, destroyers, and both attack and ballistic-missile submarines. Second, in keeping with a growing consensus, ensure a substantial number of smaller surface combatants that can provide both forward presence across the Indo-Pacific region, to conduct the wide array of missions necessary in littoral environs, and the kind of distributed threat that will strengthen deterrence against Chinese aggression.
One is immediately struck by, to put it mildly, "platform-centricity" of naval thinking of these two guys. Sure, numbers matter, they always do, but the issue, apart from making a strategic and operational sense to ramp up submarine production, where even today the US Navy enjoys a decisive technological edge over PLAN, is what those aircraft carriers and destroyers will carry as their weapon systems? I omit here a reality of building more carriers, but does the United states seriously think that it can "outcarrier" mainland China which was steadily improving what no US aviator encountered since Vietnam, its comprehensive air-defense system, and what no US aviator encountered since Korea--a very capable Air Force. Even authors of this alarmist and "give-us-more-money" piece admit:
The balance of hard power in the Western Pacific has been shifting for a number of years. The implications of that are obvious. Unless deterrence is strengthened — and that means, first and foremost, a stronger American naval presence in INDOPACOM — it is only a matter of time before Beijing attempts to use force to snuff out democracy in Taiwan. That would be a disaster for America’s vital national interests in the region. The Shipyard Act, if it passes, will be the first signal in a long time that Congress is really serious about preventing it.
But I have news for them, one doesn't fight wars with "presence". China today, apart from having a deterrence of her own, has weapon systems whose analogues the US Navy will not have for a long time, if ever and that makes all the difference in the world. I am talking about, of course, anti-shipping missiles which effectively annul any legacy surface force in case of a serious war. Not only the US Navy will not be able to deploy enough CBGs around Taiwan to impress China which did put her carrier-building program in the turbo-charged mode, but the whole area around Taiwan already today is an exclusion zone for any type of a surface force, simply on the merit of China having enough "weight" in salvo to effectively overwhelm any current sea-based air-defense and this capability, augmented in the nearest future with the hypersonic capability (and, most likely, Russia-provided targeting), makes no difference in terms of actual power projection, which, as a viable concept in peer-to-peer scenario, ceased to exist at least a decade or two ago.
There are no reasons, so far, to believe that the United States can address this main, and a host of other related issues when planning for "containment" and "deterrence" of China--a set of the hollow Pentagonese catch-phrases and buzz-word which are absolutely meaningless in the world of accelerating development of a very to very long range anti-shipping supersonic and hypersonic missiles, which really do not discriminate what legacy air-defense they overcome or what legacy platform they hit--they can and will do that in case of war. This is the idea which is slow on arrival to the minds of the American naval thinkers who never graduated from the views on the naval warfare as a combination of impressive visuals and battles of carrier-centric navies of the Pacific War of 1940s. This merely underscores a complete strategic and doctrinal dead-end in Pentagon and inability to adapt to ever changing realities of a modern warfare. But, of course, visuals are important, wink, wink. But ships are merely platforms and if the US Navy thinks that it can fight China in her geographic vicinity with "alpha-strikes" of carrier aviation and with subsonic medium-range Naval Strike Missile, I think this era of naval warfare has passed long time ago. Ah, yes, I forgot--take a look at that.
For illustration, this is a new PLAN's type 055 DDG.
Sunday, May 2, 2021
To have normal, like in not a perpetual war of a different variety, relations between Russia and the US? The answer is rather simple--the United States views Russia as an existential threat. But that is a blanket, however correct, statement, the devil is in details. Let me explain. I am on record for years that the field of Russia Studies in the US is a wasteland. Even Matthew Rojansky, whose candidacy has been successfully sabotaged recently by neocon mafia which infested US foreign policy establishment top bottom, is not really an "expert" in Russia--he is an "expert" in US "think-tankdom" echo-chamber hustle and rubbing shoulders with big honchos, which then migrate onto CVs and Resumes for bearers to be recycled in the cesspool of Beltway "expertdom". The fact that Rojansky doesn't want an outright war with Russia and passes for a "realist" in D.C. was enough to remove him from the pool of "Russia Experts" trying to make it into the Biden Admin. Well, even an iota of a common sense towards Russian-American relations is a disqualifying trait in D.C.
Now recall Alexander Vindman, A Ukrainian Jew in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel who decided that he, not the President of the United States, is to define what kind of relations the United States must have with Ukraine and Russia. When one has such people as Vindman and a cabal of neocons being omnipresent in the establishment, it is bad enough. But then comes a "heavy artillery" of US main stream media, which are literally a propaganda machine which drives a complete destruction of Russian-American relations on the American side and "experts" there range from psychopaths such as Max Boot, deranged and confused non-binary russophobes such as Masha Gessen, to some butt-hurt ignoramuses such as "Doctor" Stephen Blank, who though it possible sending US Navy's ships to... the Sea of Azov. As you may have noticed already, a huge portion of this army of psychopaths consists of former Soviet or Russia's citizenry, primarily, but not exclusively (let's be objective), of a Jewish descend, who, instead of learning and working for the benefit of the American national interests, among which not being wiped off the map by Russia, should be a primary one, are in it for settling all kinds of accounts and grievances, most of them totally made up and fake, with Russia. If it takes US bureaucracy and sacrificing US interests, so be it in their opinions.
But what about middle level "journalist", are there any people of common sense who view Russian-American relations as crucial for global stability? Hm. Here is an example of yet another former Soviet "journo" (euphemism for not being educated), a graduate of the Moscow State University and MBA writing on the issues of modern geopolitics and Russia from Toledo, Ohio. His name is Mike Sigov.
As is the case with many former "Russians" who get to write for all kinds of US media outlets, few of them really have any background in the issue of modern geopolitics and fields adjacent to it. What they have, which ultimately qualifies them for spreading mostly BS, is their ability to read and speak Russian and navigate Moscow Metro. They also have a lot of "feelings" towards their place of birth and as a result one gets such a mental excrement as Sigov provides:
Ukraine has long been pressing NATO to admit it as a member, but the defense alliance has been reluctant so far to expedite the long process of extending its membership to Ukraine, without openly denying it one. NATO membership would all but secure Ukraine from Russian aggression but also would mandate that all the member countries — the United States included — treat such an act as a war on each one of them as well. To be sure, Ukraine's accession to NATO would increase the stakes for the United States and other members of the alliance in Ukraine. The alternative may be worse, however.
Sigov, having no clue what he is writing about and calling on Ukraine being admitted to NATO, should understand one very simple constant of modern geopolitics--Russia can annihilate any force in Eastern Europe, including combined NATO forces, even without the use of nuclear weapons and in this case, Russia will end Ukrainian statehood, much less Ukrainian armed forces, in a matter of days. Yes, Russians do not want this shithole of a country on their balance, but if push comes to shove, what will happen will be more than just annihilation of Ukraine as we know it today--a Nazi shithole and a used condom for neocons--Russia will demonstrate a complete military impotence of the United States and NATO which will be left to the only device they have at their disposal, you guessed it, propaganda. Russia CAN reject Europe, Europe CANNOT reject Russia and if Mr. Sigov doesn't understand that, I am sorry, he should have chosen a serious field of study to wrap his brains around this simple fact.
Yet, this doesn't prevent him from agitating for a situation which could be much worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis, because the United States, having very limited conventional, not to speak of combined arms, capabilities will have no chance other than commit whatever troops it will able to assemble, for annihilation in Ukraine and will, being inherently nuclear-biased country, resort to escalation towards nuclear threshold, because what the United States doesn't like is to lose big. It will not get any bigger than getting a death wish of fighting Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine granted. The moment any announcement about Ukraine "joining" the NATO is made, that seals the fate of not just Ukraine, it seals the fate of Europe and of the United States. Mr. Sigov, in a fine tradition of "Russian" (wink, wink) immigration to the US, and having no viable skills other than spreading BS and grievances, provides an Exhibit A of a "materiel" which dominates America's field of "Russia Studies" and foreign policy establishment, and which bears a huge share of responsibility for royally fucking it up for the US, and the world, in the time the US desperately needs not only face saving but a dramatic rethinking of its suicidal in its sheer incompetence foreign policy, which bankrupted the country and exposed it as a big bully capable only of big words.
Yet, Mike Sigov is an embodiment of Russian-American troubles. The United States' government institutions are neoconised and ukrainised thoroughly, top-bottom, and that is why any semblance of normality in Russian-American relations is impossible and, in fact, they will continue to deteriorate and for that, the United States has only itself to blame. I omit here sheer idiocy of American geopolitical "thinking" of the last 30 years which should be studied as a severe case of a delusion--I wrote three books on that, and may yet write another one--but even some weak signals from Biden Admin about desire to talk to Russia, in a feeble attempt to "free" dwindling and grossly overstated resources to fight China, even these signals are successfully distorted, suppressed and the transmitter is sabotaged, because the United States' foreign policy is completely subverted by ethnic and religious mafias operating within the establishment and media. If Putin-Biden summit happens, in the end, we will see what happens after it and I don't hold my breath, because the United States is non-agreement capable entity and armies of Mike Sigovs are standing by, ready to sabotage any possible move towards normalization of Russian-American relations. That is why such a normalization is not possible in the foreseeable future. That is not to mention that Russia and China seem to be committed to each-other in a geopolitical sense and the US has nothing, zilch, nada to offer Russia.
In related news, new Russian Armed Forces Cathedral held an Easter Liturgy yesterday.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
In Russia this song is long ago more than just a song, it is a prayer. Even Rosatom sings it in 2021.
The Orthodox Easter is coming and to all my Orthodox and non-Orthodox brothers from all over the world--He Is Risen, Христос Воскресе!
Thursday, April 29, 2021
That's the face of Poland Russians love.
Polish draughts queen Natalia Sadovskaya has removed her national flag from the table in support of her Russian opponent, Tamara Tansykkuzhina, who had the Russian tricolor abruptly taken away during their world champs final.The incendiary incident that saw a political row broke out happened as Tansykkuzhina and Sadovskaya clashed for the world draughts crown in Warsaw.Match secretary Jacek Pawlicki stepped in to remove Tansykkuzhina’s name and flag, explaining that he was acting on a call from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which has banned Russia’s national symbols at major sporting events for two years over alleged manipulations.
China's English language Global Times is viewed as a tabloid under the "roof" of CCP, but being a "communist" tabloid does not mean that even this tabloid is free from good thoughts and valuable opinions. Such as this from former US Marine Corps officer and now civilian employee of Pentagon Franz Gayl who penned and interesting piece in Global Times about possible war between China and the United States around Taiwan. Gayl opens with a broadside.
It would seem to some that a US war with China over the island of Taiwan appears imminent. Considering the congestion of hostile forces in, above, and below the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea, conflict could explode by accident or design. Once blood is drawn, the US will have few options. If the US elects to fight China over the island of Taiwan, then it will lose.
And I happen to agree militarily with Gayl in terms of a possible hostilities around Taiwan, especially when Gayl goes into the neck of the woods and addresses what is commonly known as "fundamentals".
Many Americans assume China's citizenry longs for a liberal democracy like that on the island of Taiwan, and that war will trigger popular revolt. But the Taiwan question is not an ideological dispute. Rather it is a raw and painful open wound in China's civilizational identity. Today, US othering of Chinese only fuels a fierce nationalism in its 1.4 billion citizens. China has a traditional self-narrative wherein the preservation of face and enforcement of sovereignty are inseparable. All the while the balance of power has shifted fundamentally. The US would be wise to regard China as a peer superpower, if only due to her casualty-tolerance - China's decisive advantage in any fight with the US. China also shares a binding mutual defense treaty with North Korea, and the depths of its friendship and security bonds with Russia should never be underestimated.
This is an excellent point. Nationalism is not the thing the United States, which still operates with a primitive two-dimensional picture of the world (unsurprisingly, considering a "level" of US "elites") and turned the term "communism" into the euphemism for everything the United States doesn't like, encountered since Vietnam where the war was lost not just to Vietnamese "communists" but to Vietnamese nationalism, especially when one considers the historic age of Vietnamese, whose antiquity goes back as far as 2000+ years BC. American "elites" have no concept of profound and long history and we all know how the War in Vietnam ended. But Gayl makes the most important observation here:
The US has never paid an existential price for violating another nation's sovereignty, leading to our smug sense of military invincibility. However, with Taiwan being a core Chinese priority, that would be a fatal miscalculation. Still, the US counts on regional allies to share the pain. Yet some will have blood debts to pay if they engage in China's civil war. For example, India was bloodied badly in the 1960s for testing China's territorial resolve. Japan's humiliating 50-year occupation of Taiwan and the Rape of Nanjing also remain fresh, unforgettable wounds for China. The US allies will definitely think twice before militarily intervening in China's unresolved civil war and internal affairs.
Yes, I am on record for years that the expeditionary warfare--the only warfare the United States knows--is not a continental warfare which shapes nation-states and national awareness. Vietnamese lost in the war with the United States millions of people--numbers incomprehensible for the average American, while China is even more casualties tolerant and, unlike Vietnam of 1960s, which was dependent on Soviet support, has own armed forces which are capable to both defend China proper and project power into Taiwan. Recall what I wrote four years ago:
Expeditionary warfare simply does not provide a proper angle on the issues of actual defense. The nation whose 20th Century losses due to wars from WW I, to the Russian Civil War, to WW II number roughly in the 40-45 million range, would certainly try to not repeat such ordeals. This is the reality from which most of the US elites are completely detached. In layman’s lingo, the United States lacks the geographic, historic, cultural, economic and technological pressures to develop and have a coherent defensive military doctrine and weapons which would help to implement it. Russia lives under these pressures constantly and, in fact, Russians as an ethnos were formed and defined by warfare.
In related news, yesterday Kiev "celebrated" the anniversary of the SS Division Galicina--a kind of people US and EU support. You know, "democratic" Ukraine et al.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
I know, we all are a bit down but two days ago I caught the feeling of wonderment and almost sonic ecstasy I didn't experience since my youth in 70-s and 80s when music was awesome and we were blessed with a supernova of creative talent. Of course, I had a rendezvous with my beloved legends of ELO couple of years ago, but I knew all their material. But two days Leonid and Friends posted their original send-off to their friend and composer Alexey Ashtaev and since then I cannot stop listening to this fusion-prog-rock masterpiece. This IS the Music. Evidently I am not the only one who is just afflicted by this addiction. People are just hooked.
In France for a number of reasons among which is my complete lack of confidence in French demographics statistics--I think France is more "culturally enriched" and Islamized than it is officially reported, second--French elected Emmanuel Macron. They might as well have elected Ken, Barbie doll's male companion--the result would have been pretty much the same with France descending into the chaos. Fact is, be that Sarkozy, Hollande or the current President of the Fifth Republic--one has to ask a question if France even has anyone of scale in the mainstream politics. Well, I, certainly, have a natural gravitation towards Marine Le Pen, but I am not French and I do not follow French politics that closely unless some notable France's "cultural enrichment" event, such as Chechen and Arab drug traffickers enrich the hell out of French, such as the enriching events in Dijon, occurs and French show themselves completely impotent and scared.
Now, evidently, people in French Military and Law Enforcement elite had it.
Twenty retired generals and scores of ex-officers have sparked a political furore in France after calling on President Emmanuel Macron to stop the country from descending into chaos and “civil war” at the hands of Islamists. Led by Jean-Pierre Fabre-Bernadac, a retired Gendarmerie general, and signed by 80 other retired officers, the open letter to Mr Macron was published in Valeurs Actuelles, a right-wing news magazine, last week. Strongly supported by Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally and presidential candidate, the text was this week dismissed by Mr Macron’s government as a diatribe from a bunch of military pensioners who “only represent themselves”.
As always, it takes people who are professionals in facing death and calamity, not some bankster globalist boy-toy, to point out the evident. Considering the level of French media, which is about the same as the US media's level, that means being staffed with mostly uneducated morons and globalist shills (usually, globalism is a symptom of undeveloped mind) we get, and you guessed it, completely false historic parallels.
It was, it said, sadly reminiscent of the Algiers putsch - an attempt to oust Charles de Gaulle 60 years ago by retired generals who opposed moves towards granting Algeria, then a French colony, independence after a bloody civil war.
I wonder who said so, because last time I checked, 60 years ago, for all her colonial troubles, France proper still remained France, populated with the majority of French people and Paris still had this aura about it because it hasn't been turned into the urine smelling shithole yet. Like this:
Under the influence of Left-wing dogma France was “disintegrating with the Islamists of the hordes of the banlieue [suburbs] who are detaching swathes of the nation and turning them into territory subject to dogmas contrary to our constitution,” they warned. Failure to act now could see “an explosion and then intervention by our comrades on active service in the dangerous mission of protecting our civilised values and the safety of our compatriots”. “There is no time to waffle, or tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and the dead, for whom you will bear responsibility, will be counted in the thousands.” Without citing any political figures, the generals said that they were “ready to support politicians who take into account the safety of the nation”.
Will their comrades "intervene"? I don't know, but what they forget to say is that European "left wing dogma" is, actually, a mental illness and no people coming from be that nominal European or American "left" are capable of any kind of real statecraft. They just cannot govern, they don't know how and the issue is not just the "left-wing". When one looks at, say, American so called "conservatives" they are hardly better, because the issue is systemic and cannot be resolved within the framework of current political and economic system. Well, even if to imagine that Marine wins, what can she do? Apart from a hostile governing apparatus she will inherit a media, packed with new iteration of French hippies and perverts of all colors, and she may end up as Trump, granted Trump was so inept and cowardly in his governing that Marine comes across like a real stateswoman with the balls of steel, pardon my French.
Mr Macron has come under a barrage of criticism for his perceived “lax” approach to immigration and security in recent days, buoyed by polls suggesting 65 per cent of the French do not think his government has a handle on crime.
Aw, French are learning now about this simple fact that all actions have consequences and I can only say here that each nation deserves government it elects. I am sure they will elect some globalist shill again and the cultural enrichment will continue. Elena Chudinova was prophetic, let's face it. The Western Europe is finished and it has no idea how to stop committing a suicide.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Wonderful! Sabrina and her numerous Aussie family's plea to President Putin made it to a major federal news network Rossiya 24 (in Russian).
Судя по всему, это хорошие, работящие люди. Россия - это ковчег и надежда в этом безумном мире! Добро пожаловать всем кто чист душой и отвергает мерзость навязываемую западной "элиткой"!
Translation: By all accounts, these are good hard-working people. Russia is an Arc and hope in this crazy world! Welcome everyone with pure soul and who reject the filth being imposed by Western petty "elite".
P.S. Damn, Valerio--from Italy to Krasnoyarsk. Winters there are brutal. But I noticed many European-blood folks love Siberia. Sabrina's family is madly in love with Altai and are planning to move there to farm from Novosibirsk, once they resolve immigration situation. Altai is stunning--a lot of similarity with Montana and Idaho. But unlike Montana or Idaho--the nearest ocean is in 5 hours of...flight. I can drive in 5 hours from Idaho to Pacific Ocean.
If anyone wonders why they love Altai. Take a look.
Colonel Douglas Macgregor, being a man of a considerable courage, also makes considerable assumptions when writing about Ukraine crisis in The American Conservative.
President Biden can bring stability to U.S.-Russian relations if he doesn’t make the usual mistakes.
The key word here is "usual"--that's the problem. I don't know, maybe the United States has some local diplomatic successes somewhere in Africa or South America, but when it comes to relations with Russia, royally fvcking things up, for the last quarter of a century, is usual for the United States. Statistically, the United States should have done at least something right by now when it comes to Russia, but I, honestly, can only recall one failure after another and even recent extension of the START by Biden Administration hardly improves the overall picture of one failure after another.
Macgregor notes, however:
Putin’s directive to return most of his troops to garrison while leaving their weapon systems and equipment in place along the Ukrainian border should be viewed in Washington as an opportunity to create a measure of stability in U.S.-Russian relations that’s been missing for years. It’s not enough to hurl insults and simply restate what the Biden administration is against. It’s time to explore what kind of alternative to the fragile and dangerous status quo in Ukraine that Washington and Moscow can both support. Washington did a deplorable job of formulating strategic aims in the Middle East and Afghanistan that justified the sacrifice of American blood and treasure. The president cannot seize the strategic initiative now if Washington continues to react impetuously and emotionally to real or imaginary threats to U.S. and allied interests.
I agree, but immediate question is this--WHO formulates those strategic aims by means of doing a "deplorable job" whilst formulating those? Present American foreign policy establishment, apart from being ignorant, is utterly unqualified for such a job, hence it being deplorable, since it is not aware, by means of self-delusion, of already gross limitations of the American power and influence. This delusion grows together with the increasing growth of said limitations. Russia was ready to talk in 2014-15, since then a lot has happened and in 2021 Russia has a massive escalation dominance in Ukraine and Macgregor being a first-rate combat officer cannot fail to know that.
And Macgregor, being a highly respected military professional, while allowing some of his wisdoms to be taxonomized in 5 points, nevertheless ends with what one expects from a professional of such a level and one of a few brilliant American strategic minds still out there trying to make their voices heard.
Finally, President Biden must devise a new national strategy that ensures its political goals are congruent with U.S. military capabilities and fiscal realities. Too many hotheads in the Senate and House are ready to commit American military power without first soberly assessing the concrete interests and the costs of such action. President John F. Kennedy thrilled his supporters with his assertion that Americans should “meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It was great rhetoric, but it put the nation on the road to disaster in Vietnam. The United States does not have the resources or the need to export its political ideas at gunpoint.
I think this sums up Macgregor's sober realism extremely well. But the question remains: who will devise a new national strategy built out of understanding of America's dwindling economic and military resources and thus may address the danger of the global conflict in which the United States has no ways of surviving. Sometimes, to survive one needs to admit own weakness. And even admitting is not enough, internalizing it is what may give some ideas for the survival. Removing neocons could be a good start in formulating such a strategy.
Here is a visual representation of the US foreign policy nowadays.
No comments are necessary in this particular case.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
It is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that the miracle didn't happen. They are on eternal patrol now.
DENPASAR (Reuters) -A missing Indonesian submarine has been found, broken into at least three parts, at the bottom of the Bali Sea, army and navy officials said on Sunday, as the president sent condolences to relatives of the 53 crew. Rescuers also found new objects, including a life vest, that they believe belong to those aboard the 44-year old KRI Nanggala-402, which lost contact on Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill. "Based on the evidence, it can be stated that the KRI Nanggala has sunk and all of its crew have died," military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters. Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said the crew were not to blame for the accident and that the submarine did not experience a blackout, blaming "forces of nature".
This is a hard cold reality of a silent service. She was a 40+ year old German Type 209 diesel sub. Those were good subs for 1980s and 1990s. She even underwent a refit. Rest in Peace, guys.
KRI Nanggala (402).......
Saturday, April 24, 2021
I am OK with Rammstein music wise, not so OK with some of their practices, but Rammstein's leader Till Lindemann is a whole other story altogether and considering a number of tours and visits to Russia, Till did what no Russian ever expected but once he did it--he did it so well, so profoundly and so beautifully that even Russia 1 TV Channel had to report on it. But first, here is the original, which since then became truly a people's song, by immortal Mark Bernes from 1939 prewar movie Fighters (Fighter-pilots).
BTW, Till also did Shtil.
The Victory Day is coming and Russia welcomes American and French veterans and remembers common Victory. Here is NTV with report. A very touching report about participants of the project Stalingrad-2021.
Friday, April 23, 2021
I am of a very low opinion of present American geopolitical intellectual faculties. Nah, I am being facetious, it is not just geopolitical--it is most of it, which is nothing more than headless chicken run. The time of the titans is over (for now) in the US. But Robert Kaplan, who scribes for, I know, I know, The National Interest, has a special case as an Exhibit A of such an intellectual impotence. Especially once Kaplan decides to come up with a Grande' Idea worthy of the TNI tabloid, masquerading as a serious publication. Get this:
Why Russia Is the Problem From Hell: America must try to move Russia away from China and improve relations while maintaining deterrence.
He opens with a broadside and knocks me off my chair because, well I'll explain.
In 1812, his army exhausted and overwhelmed by the Russian steppe, and watching Muscovites desert and burn their city rather than see it handed to his troops, Napoleon was reported to exclaim in desperation about the Russians: “What men they are! They are Scythians!” The reference was to the nomadic horsemen of antiquity whom no one could conquer, reason with, or pressure in any way. Indeed, by the turn of the twentieth-century, the historian Henry Adams observed that the intractable Russia problem had always been the key to modern Europe and that, therefore, “The last and highest triumph of history would…be the bringing of Russia into the Atlantic combine.”
Writing about subjects one has no clue about is a defining trait of modern "scholarship", and not just an American one, let's be objective. The reason I am still trying to recover from Kaplan's opening salvo is next. This is the map of Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1812 up to an entrance to Moscow.
This is how Grande (not really that Grande) Army tried to escape Russia and was finished off:
This city was straight in the way of Napoleon's Army and saw a brutal battle there in 1812. Next is the photo of Mogilev region in modern Belarus.
Russia has always proven to be a bridge too far for the designs of the modern West. And that is a point we unfortunately need to accept. To denounce Putin for his human rights abuses constitutes mere decency. But it won’t get us far in terms of confronting the eternal dilemma of Russia. For there is something undeniably Russian—straight out of Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn, in fact—in the way that Putin has treated dissident Alexei Navalny: banishing him to a notorious prison camp outside Moscow, where inmates do manual labor and are forced to stand silent for hours with their hands clasped behind their backs. Putin himself, meanwhile, is in good health and could be in power for years to come. And with longevity comes legitimacy in the amoral world of geopolitics.
I wonder what so "Russian" did Mr. Kaplan find in Solzhenitsyn other than mediocrity and lies--universal human traits, in any nationality. But then again, people who "studied" Russia from Solzhenitsyn, one would expect that type of concoctions. This is not to mention the fact that Russians also changed, rather dramatically, since the times of Dostoevsky who saw Russia as a very poor country (see his Pushkin Speech) and described idiosyncrasies many of which simply disappeared because times changed. Like really-really changed. Did Kaplan check his calendar recently. But never mind, he finally comes up with a grand plan, an incredible geopolitical insight into Russian psyche and government, and proposes:
The painful truth is that Putin has not only to be deterred and morally denounced, but engaged, since the chances of changing his regime in our own image is as likely as remaking Russia was in the 1990s, or of Napoleon or Hitler adding Russia to their empires.
Wow. Well, obviously trying to sell 1990s to the majority of Russians, especially by some American "scholar" is a very bad idea, the same as trying to promote creeps like Navalny as Russia's future, but then again, if Napoleon got exhausted by Russian steppes, I guess morally denouncing a President of a country where he enjoys overwhelming public support... ah, wait, I forgot--Putin is a killer, so yes, I guess then strongest moral denouncement is in order. After that, Kaplan, comes up with a classic contemporary geopolitical drudgery and parading his ignorance of Russian realities, which is a defining trait of modern American "Russia Studies" field. But his conclusion is a wowser.
What Nixon and Kissinger accomplished is now impossible. That was a time when Russia and China were practically at war and thus ripe for American manipulation. But a modest prying-apart over time of the Russia-China alliance might yet be possible. At least that is the direction where we should be headed. Merely holding Russia to account is not a policy. We should learn from Napoleon.
First, there is nothing to learn from Napoleon because at that time it took Russian more than a year to get to Paris. Nowadays, Russia can defeat the combined West without resorting to nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks. But the main issue is this: Mr. Kaplan--look in the mirror, while imagining that you represent modern United States and ask yourself a question of what do you see there? If you think that what you see there is worthy of attempts on a "modest prying apart" of Russia-China alliance, I have a bridge to sell you. No one in their mind will want to exchange brand new 2021 Japanese-made SUV for the 1978 Lincoln Town Car for practical reasons. No one in their own mind. But then again, evidently Kaplan still thinks that Nixon and Kissinger accomplished a lot. Sure, they started the US on the road to both financial ruin, with Nixon getting off the gold standard, and Kissinger... well. I rest my case.
So, the question is--how this pseudo-scholastic drivel is even published, let alone is considered an opinion worthy of consideration. Kaplan is not alone is publishing geopolitical BS, just yesterday another "expert" from The American Conservative publishes an absolute incoherent delirium. This is an intellectual disaster, a catastrophe of the American Russia "scholars" manufacturing an alternative reality, still thinking that Russia sleeps and dreams of how to become the part of the West. Forget "steppes" and other laughable mistakes public school sophomore wouldn't make after a couple of hours on the internet studying geography or history of Russia. Putin today signed the Order (Ukaz):
Указ о применении мер воздействия (противодействия) на недружественные действия иностранных государств
Translation: The Order on application of the measures of influence (counteracting) on unfriendly activity by foreign states (in Russian). Mr. Kaplan, guess from three times who those "unfriendly" foreign states are. Need a hint? Read the Order and check out what Order from 2018 (#127-F3) states.
These "scholars" still don't get it, that the West had its chance with Russia, it BLEW it. It did, however, blow it not only towards Russia, it also blew it in relation to itself. But history loves victors. Nobody loves losers, especially sore ones. Maybe it will occur to Kaplan while studying a physical geography of Russia.
...on Putin's address to Federal Assembly.
Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly – a de facto State of the Nation – was a judo move that left Atlanticist sphere hawks particularly stunned. The “West” was not even mentioned by name. Only indirectly, or via a delightful metaphor, Kipling’s Jungle Book. Foreign policy was addressed only at the end, almost as an afterthought. For the best part of an hour and a half, Putin concentrated on domestic issues, detailing a series of policies that amount to the Russian state helping those in need – low income families, children, single mothers, young professionals, the underprivileged – with, for instance, free health checks all the way to the possibility of an universal income in the near future.
The truth is, Russia's danger to the "rules-based world order", a euphemism for Pax Americana, is in the fact of implementing a workable economic model based on real economy and real law and order, which in many respects (not all, though) is reminiscent of the ideas enshrined in US founding and Constitution of America which does not exist anymore. Yet, there are very many so well-recognizable Soviet features in what modern Russia does that the end-result already is something totally unique, sui generis. But it is conclusion to Pepe's excellent piece which hits the heart of the issue.
We always come back to the same crucial issue: whether Putin will be able, against all odds, to pull a combined Bismarck-Sun Tzu move and build a lasting German-Russian entente cordiale (and that’s quite far from an “alliance’). Nord Stream 2 is an essential cog in the wheel – and that’s what’s driving Washington hawks crazy. Whatever happens next, for all practical purposes Iron Curtain 2.0 is now on, and it simply won’t go away. There will be more sanctions. Everything was thrown at the Bear short of a hot war. It will be immensely entertaining to watch how, and via which steps, Washington will engage on a “de-escalation and diplomatic process” with Russia. The Hegemon may always find a way to deploy a massive P.R. campaign and ultimately claim a diplomatic success in “dissolving” the impasse. Well, that certainly beats a hot war. Otherwise, lowly Jungle Book adventurers have been advised: try anything funny and be ready to meet “asymmetric, swift and harsh”.
So, enjoy Pepe's superb writing. In related news from America, this is....damn...
South Park was supposed to be a funny and satirical show, not an instruction manual on how to run a country...
Couldn't have said it better myself.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Chris Hedges of RT, formerly of NYT, a Pulitzer Prize winner, what have you, wrote a piece two days ago. It is about the decline of the "US Empire" and the piece is filled with historical parallels and, naturally, the fate of the Soviet Union is mentioned, despite a rather dramatic difference between the context of Soviet collapse and America's disintegration. I understand where Hedges is coming from but then he suddenly exhibits a defining trait of America's intellectual class, without exception, attributable to the whole of it, no matter if it is neocon wing of it or honest peace-loving people, such as Hedges.
Russia, whose economy is roughly the size of Italy’s, is also attacked for destabilizing the Ukraine, supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria, funding France’s National Front party and hacking into German computers. Biden has imposed sanctions on Russia — including limits on buying newly issued sovereign debt — in response to allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp. and worked to thwart his candidacy.
I wrote about this issue not for once, but the ignorant myth of Russia's economy being the size that of Italy's, Spain's, Australia's, you name it, continues to be perpetuated by many and this myth is not just patently untrue, it is downright dangerous. Because American "elite" resides in a delusion about outside world for the last 30 years at least, they continue to make their decisions based on absolutely false premises, many of which are being pushed on them through media. Let's face it, statements such as "the finest fighting force in history" or "the largest economy on planet" are as American as flag, apple pie and baseball. Modern United States cannot live without self-aggrandizing. But how about forensic mental experiment? I will start with... America's GDP which does not reflect America's claim (mostly through inflation of the value of assets) to being largest economy in the world, with China long ago overtaking the US as a main manufacturing hub of the world. It is just cold hard fact, China's real sectors dwarfs that of the US. Using US Dollar and its value as a measure of economy, in the meantime, is a sign of ultimate economic and geopolitical ignorance.
On the other hand, even common sense, forget actual IMF data which defines Russia's economy as being larger than that of Germany, should prompt people who call themselves "journalists" to merely imagine what would happen to Italy if she, granted my love for Italian culture and football, ever decides to build the space program the size of Russia's, will start building nuclear power stations, maintain state-of-the-art armed forces and, simply, provide decent standard of living for most people in the climate which, as Texas has demonstrated recently, can only be described as a calamity. Even this small list of real industries should give a pause to any journo at best, in a worst case--this list is a good primer for the start of a serious cognitive dissonance. But, no. The spouting of this crap continues unabated, I can remind you another popular cliche--Russia punches above her weight. This is not just the issue of ignorance, albeit this too. It is a classic case of Kubler-Ross grief model with Stages 3 (Bargaining) and 4 (Depression) being manifestly present in contemporary American writings, be that by delusional neocons or by those who profess views opposite to neocons'.
Truth is, should Russia have the economy the size of Italy's, she wouldn't be able to do what she does and that is setting global agenda and, frankly, laughing at West's sanctions and even direct sabotage. America's "garrulous patriotism" cannot take it across the whole political and ideological spectrum. In a Stage 3 (Bargaining) of Kubler-Ross this bargaining takes grotesque forms with mantras of American greatness which begin to sound more and more ridiculous and do not anymore provide a desperately needed therapeutic effect. They cannot, because America's slide towards the bona fide thirdworldism cannot be stopped within present pseudo-economic and political system and culture, and what's left is to fight facts of life. Recall, brilliant essay by Irina Alksnis, a very sympathetic towards America's plight, which since then has become even more relevant.
However, to hear this simple advice--not to mention following it--the United States need to stop, at least for an instance, and silence themselves. To stop shaking air with statements, declarations, demands, and threats, which come across as either strange, or outright silly because of their obvious inability to ever become a reality. But it is precisely, it seems, what the US is not capable of doing. As a result--the continuation of never-ending declaratory carousel: Moscow, Assad must go! Russians, we will provide for freedom of navigation in Kerch Strait! Russians, we will punish you for support of Maduro. But the most insulting for Americans is that only Russia can understand them. Because we remember the pain behind those words.
And so it goes: America's economy is not the largest in the world, hasn't been for a long time, Russia's economy is not the size of Italy's, it is much larger than that, it is, actually, larger than that of Germany and continues the pursuit of economy of Japan, but even these forecasts, which forget to mention Germany's real industries shrinking for 28 months in a row now, even this BS, heavy on FIRE economy--a real reason behind America's decline--stats show where the Italy's and Russia's economies are. And again, America's real economy, not manufacturing of debt--the main US industry--is not $23 trillion, it is not even $15 trillion and is probably around 12-13, at best.
Real size of Russia's economy? Probably around $5 trillion now and at least Russia doesn't count prostitution and illegal drugs trade as addition to GDP as EU does.
I don't understand why the author is so incensed? In the world where Tesla and Facebook have bigger "capitalization" than Boeing or General Electric, anything is possible, so adding sales of heroin and the value of the side-road or truck stops' restrooms blowjobs is only natural for creating an impression of large booming "economies". In fact, I see no difference between prostitution and cooking of books which is MO of modern Western "economies". Actually, no--there is a difference, prostitution is more honest. But then again, in my latest book, I touch upon the issue of inability of modern Western media, at least the majority of them, to learn. It is a systemic problem and it is, as I am on record for years, impossible to cure after decades of America's self-aggrandizing which, at some point, reached a scale of a full Kafkaesque grotesque and even well-intentioned people, who see the problems, are not immune from baneful effects of a BS narrative industry, which missed the point that the ball is over and that the fancy carriage is nothing more than yet another pumpkin, under the teary glance of a Cinderella bound to dream about the magic night, not knowing that the Prince is not coming.
Will they learn? I don't know....