Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Why Did Russian Forces Retreat In Kharkiv And Kherson?

MoA  |  Neither the explanation of too few men, nor the explanation of too few MLRS systems or ammunition which may explain the Kharkov success hold up for the Kherson region.

During the summer Russian troops were pulled from the Kharkov region and send to the south to defend the Kherson regions. There are lots of Russian units in the area including many artillery systems. And while the Ukrainians have damaged some bridges that cross the Dnieper the Russian forces have enough ferry equipment to keep up the supplies. Most of the previous Ukrainian attacks were defeated rather easily.

I thus find it hard to explain the current situation.

My current 'feel' is that the Russian forces have orders from high above to conserve forces and to let go of land and retreat when the pressure becomes big enough and severe Russian casualty numbers are likely.

Why were such orders given? What are the plans behind them?

I don't really know.But I am sure will find out when Russia opens the new phase of the war.

The weather has become quite bad in Ukraine with rain making the passing over fields with tanks etc nearly impossible. That is why the attack in the south was pushed along a road. In two month the ground in Ukraine will likely be frozen.

The Russian military leadership seems to believe that the Ukrainian operations will cease soon and that the mobilized reinforcements that are starting to come online will be able to decisively change the picture as soon as the winter comes.

Another potential reason behind the order to conserve forces and to not hold onto territory at any price may be political. The Russian public was starting to get a bit tired of the war but after the losses in the Kharkov region the TV pundits pushed for winning the war. That allowed Russia's president to launch the mobilization of reservists. The further losses since may be designed to allow for more political measures.

The law that will allow for the four regions to return to Russia after a hundred years of being part of Ukraine today passed the upper house of Russia's parliament:

According to the documents, the DPR and the LPR will retain their status as republics after joining Russia and Russian will be their official language. The Kherson and Zaporozhye regions will also join Russia as constituent entities and will continue to be called "regions." The borders of the republics and regions will be the same as those that "existed on the day of their creation and accession into Russia." International accords specify that their borders with other countries will be regarded as Russia’s state borders. At the same time, under the constitutional laws, the DPR and the LPR are joining Russia under the 2014 borders enshrined in their constitutions.

President Putin will now have to sign the new law to enact it. The heads of the DPR and LPR have already signed laws ratifying treaties on joining Russia.

With the laws enacted the Special Military Operation will become a war to prevent attacks on Russian grounds and to retake the parts of Russia that are currently under Ukrainian occupation.

I expect that the gloves which Russia was still wearing during recent operations will come off.

According To Unnamed Sources - Since 2014- Russia Has Spent $300Million To Influence Elections

unz  |  Russian President Vladimir Putin has certainly been a naughty boy! The always unreliable and unofficial government-originating disinformation source The Hill is reporting that Moscow has spent the equivalent of $300,000,000 in an effort to “influence” world politics in its favor. The story relies on and follows a New York Times special report which again seeks to revive the claim that the Kremlin has been interfering effectively in American elections. Is it a coincidence that all the Russian bashing is surfacing right now before US elections at a time when the President Joe Biden Administration is agonizing over what it describes as sometimes “foreign supported” domestic extremists? I don’t think so.

The Hill report establishes the framework, claiming that “Russia has provided at least $300 million to political parties and political leaders since 2014 in a covert attempt to influence foreign politics, the US State Department alleges. Multiple news outlets reported that a cable released by the State Department reveals that Russia has likely spent at least hundreds of millions more on parties and officials who are sympathetic to Russia… According to the Associated Press… Russia used front organizations to send money to preferred causes or politicians. The organizations include think tanks in Europe and state-owned entities in Central America, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday that Russia’s election meddling is an ‘assault on sovereignty… It is an effort to chip away at the ability of people around the world to choose the government that they see best fit to represent them, to represent their interests, to represent their values.’”

And why is Russia behaving as it allegedly does? According to another State Department source who spoke to The Hill the Joe Biden Administration’s concern is not regarding any single country but the entire world as “we continue to face challenges against democratic societies.” Oddly enough, that Russia should be disinclined to waste its money and other resources on such a quixotic objective never appears to have occurred to the Department of State or to the editors at The Hill.

Typically, the State Department has shared information with select media but has refused to publicly release any parts of the cable which allegedly provide the intelligence-based evidence supporting the claims of Russian meddling. The Hill, perhaps inadvertently, reveals what the whole story really is about when it concludes its piece with “Intelligence assessments have determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in spreading disinformation online that was designed to help then-candidate Donald Trump over his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Russia also tried to help Trump in his reelection battle against President Biden in 2020.” So yes, it’s all about Moscow helping Trump against the Democratic candidates. Interestingly, however, most non-Democratic Party aligned sources have come to agree that it was the Democrats who were trying to damage Trump in 2016 through use of a fabricated dossier that sought to impugn his character and portray him as a Russian stooge. Far worse, they also used the national security apparatus to “get Trump.”

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

There Are No Uncertainties Concerning The Outcome Of The War On The Ground

Reality is that a tiny allied force of perhaps 200,000 (personnel from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Chechnya and Russia) with only the Russians being particularly well equipped, has inflicted acknowledged losses of over 100,000 on a NATO equivalent force of between 500 and 600 thousand, wiped out the military stockpiles not only of the Ukraine, but of NATO, and has captured and is holding about a third of Ukraine.

By adding Russian troops relieved from other posts by the mobilization, along with current equipment, Russia will be better positioned to limit Ukrainian incursions into already demilitarized areas and perform their important denazification and demilitarization missions without the concern of leaving previously liberated areas undefended against reincursion.

Liman had a population of 25,000. Smaller than many villages in the USA. Thanks to flight and evacuation it now has a population of around a tenth of that, and is being defended by the Krasnolimansky garrison of a few hundred who are succeeding in causing thousands or tens of thousands of reserves and combat forces from other areas to be transferred in to the region of Liman only to die in force. Liman is important to the Ukrainians only because its small garrison suggested that it could be overrun and it's politician claimed it would be captured. 

There is no reason to imagine that it is important to the allies or serves any strategic purpose. Look at a map. This is why, while undoubtedly grateful for the garrison's efforts, and their completely disproportionate impact on Ukrainian forces, the Russians have almost certainly ordered the garrison to withdraw (and perhaps evacuate remaining civilians who want to leave) if threatened with being overrun, after which any surviving Ukrainians can occupy the ruins - and Kiev can claim an enormous victory. It certainly not the first time, and probably will not be the last..."

PS The ascension of the liberated regions of Ukraine will only occur with ratification by all the government bodies, so, while it is practically inevitable, it will only be after that, probably in two to six weeks when, if the Ukraine has not already surrendered or at least withdrawn, Russia will deploy additional resources to the Ukraine. Until then it is likely that the Allies will simply continue to assist the Ukrainians in demilitarizing themselves through attrition by artillery.

A little more reality for you to consider:

1) This is the first war in the history of mankind where both sides have access to excellent satellite recon. Forget drones. They can be jammed, bidirectionally. Piloting commands can be jammed, imagery transmitted back can be jammed. Only the autonomous one-way drone going to a specific latitude/longitude mean anything, and they are usually not recon. They are suicide type.

2) Satellites come in types. At geosynchronous altitude of 23,000 miles you don't get much imagery. Recon satellites are lower in altitude and Keplerian element sets define their orbit, typically overhead at some locale for at most 15 minutes. They traverse the sky. They don't hang overhead. That is what geosynch does and those are for communications and even sometimes radar or eavesdropping, seldom if ever imagery with decent resolutions of square meters per pixel. So, those low altitude (call it 500 miles) passes are entirely predictable. You can inform troops to hide, or be sure to move afterwards.

3) 1 and 2 above means something important. There are no surprises. You cannot mass equipment or troops without being seen. The spacecraft are typically multi-spectral but even with that, it's a cloudy planet. The great pictures you see are one of 100s taken before clear sky was present. Also, those 15 minute passes . . . usually groups of 3. The first is 8 minutes maybe, then 15, then another 8, and then 12 hours pass before the next group of three. These spacecraft are usually polar type orbits with the planet rotating under them. That it why you don't have to maneuver. The desired location for imaging will be seen each day two times per day, though one group of three is usually dark. Babbling a bit but you wackos need to know this. THERE ARE NO SURPRISES.

4) The senior officers of both sides went to the same schools, in Russia. The past 8 years since 2014 some junior officers likely have gotten US and UK training, but the generals who took 25 years to reach their rank, they went to the MTI annexes of Russian civilian universities. This is just like US ROTC, where most officers come from. Academies do supply officers, and Russia has them, too, but most officers are from ROTC or these Military Training Institutes attached to civilian universities. Thus, the Russian and Ukrainian generals were classmates. They may have even kept in touch over the decades. They all learned the same tactics from Stalingrad. They all have the same satellite imagery. They all know the eventual outcome of what is going on.

5) This will also likely be the mechanism for the eventual military coup, that to some extent is the only possible outcome. No one will trust anyone in any agreements that might be signed, so a coup is almost certainly the only way it ends. The US and UK certainly are aware of this and have taken steps to keep Ukraine military senior personnel out of the relevant Kiev buildings, but . . . it doesn't matter. It's the only conceivable eventual end.

 

It Can Always Get Worse..., Now John Brennan's Ugly Mug Is Back On TeeVee Telling Lies...,

newyorker  |  When we first spoke, in early September, Goemans predicted a protracted conflict. None of the three main variables of war-termination theory—information, credible commitment, and domestic politics—had been resolved. Both sides still believed that they could win, and their distrust for each other was deepening by the day. As for domestic politics, Putin was exactly the sort of leader that Goemans had warned about. Despite his significant repressive apparatus, he did not have total control of the country. He kept calling the war a “special military operation” and delaying a mass mobilization, so as not to have to face domestic unrest. If he started losing, Goemans predicted, he would simply escalate.

And then, in the weeks after Goemans and I first spoke, events accelerated rapidly. Ukraine launched a remarkably successful counter-offensive, retaking large swaths of territory in the Kharkiv region and threatening to retake the occupied city of Kherson. Putin, as predicted, struck back, declaring a “partial mobilization” of troops and staging hasty “referendums” on joining the Russian Federation in the occupied territories. The partial mobilization was carried out in a chaotic fashion, and, as at the beginning of the war, caused tens of thousands of people to flee Russia. There were sporadic protests across the nation, and these threatened to grow in size. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces continued to advance in the east of their country.

In a terrifying blog post, Goemans’s former student Branislav Slantchev laid out a few potential scenarios. He believes that the Russian front in the Donbas is still in danger of imminent collapse. If this were to happen, Putin would need to escalate even further. This could take the form of more attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, but, if the goal is to stop Ukrainian advances, a likelier option would be a small tactical nuclear strike. Slantchev suggests that it would be under one kiloton—that is, about fifteen times smaller than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It would nonetheless be devastating, and would almost certainly lead to an intense reaction from the West. Slantchev does not think that NATO would respond with nuclear strikes of its own, but it could, for example, destroy the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This could lead to yet another round of escalation. In such a situation, the West may be tempted, finally, to retreat. Slantchev urged them not to. “This is it now,” he wrote. “This is for all the marbles.”

“Branislav is very worried,” Goemans told me, “and he is not a scaredy-cat.” Goemans was also worried, though his hypothetical time line was more extended. He believes that the new Russian reinforcements, however ill-trained and ill-equipped, and the onset of an early winter will pause the Ukrainian campaign and save the Russians, for the moment. “People think it’s going to be over quickly, but, unfortunately, war doesn’t work like that,” he said. But he also believes that Ukraine will resume its offensive in the spring, at which point the same dynamic and the same dangers will be back in play. “For a war to end,” Goemans said, “the minimum demands of at least one of the sides must change.” This is the first rule of war termination. And we have not yet reached a point where war aims have changed enough for a peace deal to be possible.

The theorists’ predictions for what would happen next depended, in part, on how they evaluated the variables. Would the Russian front in the Donbas really collapse, and, if so, how soon? If it did collapse, how much of the information about it would the Kremlin be able to control? These things were unpredictable, but one had to make predictions. Dan Reiter, for example, was slightly more sanguine than Goemans about Putin’s ability to sell a partial victory to the Russian people, because of his mastery of the Russian media. To Reiter, Putin was enough of a dictator that he would be able to back off.

Despite being the preëminent theorist of credible commitment, Reiter believes that the war could end short of an absolute outcome, such as the destruction of the Russian Federation. “You really don’t like to leave in place a country that is going to offer some kind of lingering threat,” he said. “However, sometimes that’s just the world you have to live in, because it’s just too costly to actually remove the threat completely.” He saw a future in which Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire and then gradually turned itself into a “military hedgehog,” a prickly country that no one would want to invade. “Medium-sized states can protect themselves even from very dangerous adversaries,” Reiter said. “Ukraine can make itself more defensible into the future, but it will look a lot different as a country and as a society than it did before the invasion.” It would look more like Israel, with high taxes, military spending, and lengthy mandatory military service. “But Ukraine is defensible,” Reiter said. “They’ve proven that.”

Goemans was feeling more worried. Once again, his thoughts took him to the First World War. In 1917, Germany, faced with no hope of victory, decided to gamble for resurrection. It unleashed its secret weapon, the U-boat, to conduct unlimited operations on the high seas. The risk of the strategy was that it would bring the United States into the war; the hope was that it would choke off Great Britain and lead to victory. This was a “high variance” strategy, in Goemans’s words, meaning that it could lead to a great reward or a great calamity. In the event, it did lead to the U.S. entering the war, and the defeat of Germany, and the Kaiser’s removal from power.

In this situation, the secret weapon is nuclear. And its use carries with it the risk, again, of even greater involvement in the war by the U.S. But it could also, at least temporarily, halt the advance of the Ukrainian Army. If used effectively, it could even bring about a victory. “People get very excited about the front collapsing,” Goemans said. “But for me it’s, like, ‘Ah-h-h!’ ” At that point, Putin would really be trapped.

For the moment, Goemans still believes that the nuclear option is unlikely. And he believes that Ukraine will win the war. But that will also take a long time, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

Is Serial Failing Turd-Burgler David Petraeus Being Polished To Run For Office Or Sum'n?

guardian  |  The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine – as well as sink its Black Sea fleet – if the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, uses nuclear weapons in the country, former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus warned on Sunday.

Petraeus said that he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the likely US response to nuclear escalation from Russia, which administration officials have said has been repeatedly communicated to Moscow.

He told ABC News: “Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a Nato – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea.”

The warning comes days after Putin expressed views that many have interpreted as a threat of a larger war between Russia and the west.

Asked if the use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine would bring America and Nato into the war, Petraeus said that it would not be a situation triggering the alliance’s Article 5, which calls for a collective defense. That is because Ukraine is not part of Nato – nonetheless, a “US and Nato response” would be in order, Petraeus said.

Petraeus acknowledged that the likelihood that radiation would extend to Nato countries under the Article 5 umbrella could perhaps be construed as an attack on a Nato member.

“Perhaps you can make that case,” he said. “The other case is that this is so horrific that there has to be a response – it cannot go unanswered.”

Yet, Petraeus added, “You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way.”

Nonetheless, with pressure mounting on Putin after Ukrainian gains in the east of the country under last week’s annexation declaration and resistance to mobilization efforts within Russia mounting, Petraeus said Moscow’s leader was “desperate”.

“The battlefield reality he faces is, I think, irreversible,” he said. “No amount of shambolic mobilization, which is the only way to describe it; no amount of annexation; no amount of even veiled nuclear threats can actually get him out of this particular situation.

“At some point there’s going to have to be recognition of that. At some point there’s going to have to be some kind of beginning of negotiations, as [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskiy has said, will be the ultimate end.”

Monday, October 03, 2022

Thinking About Putin's Speech - THIS Right'Chere....,

Been thinking about Putin’s speech after having read it earlier. I swear that in one or two parts, he said something that gives context to this war. The outlines of the plan are long visible. 

  1. Force Russia to take action to save the people of the Donbass
  2. Have the entire west hit them with massive sanctions unprecedented in history
  3. Seize all their off-shore wealth
  4. Cause the Russian economy to implode
  5. Have the locals topple Putin for Navalny or some other traitorous compradore
  6. Move in and privatize & de-industrialize everything
  7. Break up Russia into smaller countries
  8. Exploited these and turn them against one another like Iraq. 

None of this is secret now but these were the broad outlines. But why? I had assumed that given a choice of Russia and China, that Russia would have seemed the easier target which when successful, would leave China ripe for the taking. After that, the rest of the world will have to fall in line for the west. 

But in his speech, Putin said this:‘And here it is important to recall that the West bailed itself out of its early 20th century challenges with World War I. Profits from World War II helped the United States finally overcome the Great Depression and become the largest economy in the world, and to impose on the planet the power of the dollar as a global reserve currency. And the 1980s crisis – things came to a head in the 1980s again – the West emerged from it unscathed largely by appropriating the inheritance and resources of the collapsed and defunct Soviet Union. That’s a fact.’

Putting it together, what if this is all of what this is all about?

Think of the 2008 crash which is supposed to have only cost $2 trillion (and the rest!). Think of the unholy amounts of Quantitative Easing that has been done since then to make the banks whole and profitable, to keep the FIRE sector safe. And then think of the massive amount of money that has been printed since the pandemic started. 

It is a veritable ocean of debt!

It cannot stay that way. In fact it is getting worse. It is not sustainable. 

So if Nuland and the Neocons could cause Russia to fall, wouldn’t all the untold wealth (~$77 Trillion) of that country not serve rather handsomely toward the goal of making some of this mountain of debt go away? Is all of WW-III about making western debt go away? A lot of already wealthy people would become even wealthier. This great pirate adventure would advance a lot of careers. 

No tin foil hat required tomake this hang together.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Refrain From Evil - Who God Bless - Let No Man Curse...,

gilbertdoctorow  |  The United States and Collective West are in open conflict with Russia for its insubordination, for its insistence on being itself and not following a diktat from anyone. The Collective West is intent on Russia’s destruction, its break-up into smaller units easier to control and colonize. The spoliation of Russia by the West at the time the country was flat on its back in the 1990s amounted to 1 trillion dollars.

Putin characterized the information war and lies propagated by the West about Russia as worthy of Goebbels, following the principle that the more outrageous is the lie, the more it is repeated, the greater the likelihood it will be believed and accepted.

The speech had very little content drawing on current events, aside from the referendums in the respective territories which have now become ‘subjects of the Russian Federation.’  He did mention the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in one sentence, as the work of the ‘Anglo-Saxons,’ which in the context we may take to mean the United Kingdom. It will be interesting to see in the coming days whether Russian diplomats put forward this allegation in international forums like the United Nations.

As for the speaker, he was in top form. His delivery was self-assured and smooth. He looked radiant and in good health.

Judging by the faces of those who were repeatedly captured by the cameramen, the mood of the audience was predominantly, almost exclusively somber, similar to when Putin delivered his announcement on recognition of the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the days leading up to the 24 February launch of the ‘special military operation.’ I call out in particular Prime Minister Mishustin, chief of the presidential administration Kiriyenko, speaker of the Federation Council Matviyenko, Speaker of the State Duma Volodin, former president and head of the Security Council Medvedev, head of the Just Russia party Mironov, head of Foreign Intelligence Naryshkin, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Federation Council Kosachev, minister of foreign affairs Lavrov.  The weight and responsibility before history for the fate of the country at this critical time could be read on all these faces.

Curiously, the party leader of the Communists, Zyuganov, was not picked out by the cameras; presumably, he would have been in a more celebratory mood. And the only major Russian politician who surely would have smiled broadly, Zhirinovsky, has been dead now for six months. Oh, yes, there was on the dais one man who was clearly in very good spirits: the leader of the Donetsk Republic, Pushilin.

Where does the campaign in Ukraine go from here?  There was absolutely nothing in Putin’s speech to answer that question. The only mention of Kiev in this connection was his insistence that Russia stands ready to enter into negotiations on condition that the status of the four new ‘subjects’ of the Russian Federation not be discussed, since their fate was solved now once and for all.

For the world at large, Vladimir Putin has set out a broad and vastly damaging condemnation of the Collective West which no one can ignore. He has thrown down his gauntlet. 

From the beginning of the ‘special military operation’ there has been speculation among expert observers of all political stripes that Russia would never have dared to invade Ukraine had he not had the backing of China’s president Xi.  It was assumed by others that the stress of the war and of the sanctions imposed by the West has made Russia a junior partner of China, with all the loss of independence that implies.  However, I would maintain that with this speech the Russians have both the Chinese and the Indians by the tail, not the other way around.  There is no way that either of these great powers can walk away from Russia without losing all credibility in the Global South as champions of a multipolar world and challengers to the rapacious collective West.

Victoria Nuland Wasn't Kidding When She Said "Fuck The EU!"

globaltimes  |  Europe's energy issues are growing even bigger. The recent sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines has exposed how fragile European energy infrastructure security is. But even as the energy crisis deepens, Europe is still following Washington's hard line against Russia, disregarding the impact such a policy may have on itself.

On Wednesday, in response to the results of referenda on "joining Russia" in four Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed that the European Union (EU) was proposing the eighth round of sanctions against Russia, including a price cap on Russian oil. This continues to jeopardize the hope for Europe to resolve its current energy problems.

It is an absolute tragedy for Europe that its dependence on Washington has grown to such an extent that it has to dance to US' tune regarding its Russian policy. EU countries have escalated their sanctions against Russia step by step. In the end, the EU and Russia will both suffer, but the needs of the US will be satisfied.

Europe's strategic autonomy and control over its economy have been substantially crippled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and US' manipulation. Europe has fallen into confusion after losing its strategic autonomy, which is leading to the emergence of certain irrationality. The imprudent sanction decisions made by EU officials harm Europe itself, because some people and businesses have to leave the continent in the face of worsening crises.

When the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev broke out, many Europeans believed that it's them plus Americans against the Russians. But reality has proven them wrong: Europe is also a piece of meat on Washington's chopping block.

Europe's sufferings are worth thinking about by countries all over the world, especially some of the US allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region: When they blindly follow the US to consolidate its dominance in the world, who on earth will actually benefit?

These countries also need to see that while the European economy falls deeper into recession, Washington continues leeching onto it to rake it in from the disasters Europe is suffering from.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Mar-A-Lago: A Planned Transition From Rule Of Law Democracy To Fiat Oligarchy

Desperate ruling classes are now ideologically, economically, and institutionally primed to undergo this phase-shift. Public reaction will now only accelerate a process that has been going on for some time. Anyone naive enough to believe their person or monies safe in the United States has yet to realize that they dwell in the very eye of this storm.

The U.S. has gotten into the habit of abusing the rights of foreigners outside the rule of law e.g. , Guantanamo Bay for alleged terrorists, sanctions against citizens of other countries, bombing those countries - and so forth. Cutting and pasting these habits for use against U.S. citizens is a simple step. We have all witnessed it big time being used against anyone who steps out of line with the current “narrative du jour”.

NeoCons are the point of the spear. They are _not_ the spear itself.  Do you seriously believe that the NeoCons – all by themselves – could mount an effort which destroyed the middle-east,  attempted the subversion of China - and now the systematic dismemberment of Russia … all without a plan?

Without a broader team?

Not likely.

It’s a few thousand key people forcing some billions to their will.

It took decades to get all this work done, in the face of the other 7 billion people’s rage and opposition.

A few thousand people have planned for and managed to hang on to a perfectly untenable position with sheer nerve, audacity, and the malevolence of modern-day Divine Right of Kings.

Look what they have been willing to kill and destroy to hold on to their prerogatives!!!

It’s never a good idea to underestimate your adversary, and this talk of “incompetence” and “stupidity” is exhibit A of blithe self-delusion.

Let’s review a few facts:

a. They control the media. Lockstep. Same in the EU. Controlled - Lock - Stock - Barrel.
b. They control all the politicians. All across the Anglo-Zionist hegemony - Locked-down.
c. They control the money supply, and the flow of money and resources in order to keep the minions on their side.

You don’t get that level of control – all, and I mean every single key point of control – without a plan.

“The European energy war..one of the biggest economic policy errors in history”?!?!

Nah...,

That’s not an economic policy blunder, it’s a deliberate foreign policy decision dealing with energy.

Recognition Of Plebiscite Regions As Part Of The Russian Federation Is A Matter Of International Law

 
In regard to the international recognition of the incorporation of the plebiscite - three issues are relevant.
  1. Russia is a federation of states and incorporation is amenable under the Russian Federation constitution.
  2. Annexation of territory since WWII is prohibited absolutely under international law. Although not apparently under the law of the United States as in United States v. Huckabee (1872). The Russian Federation constituted its action in Ukraine as a 'Special Military Operation' and did not declare war on Ukraine precisely for this reason under international law and for the political objective of incorporating the ethnic Russian oblasts democratically within the Russian Federation. Putin is NOT Hitler and the Russian Federation is NOT Nazi Germany under international law (contra the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany by military conquest).
  3. The recognition under international law of the plebiscite oblasts as constituent parts of the Russian Federation can and will proceed under the principle of cession where Ukraine either by treaty or waiver over a period of time gives up its sovereignty claims to the oblasts. Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States provides that a stateshould possess a defined territory. So it will be a question of time or treaty.

The legal recognition of the plebiscite oblasts under international law will be effected over time if the fascists in Kiev refuse to recognize the de facto loss of territory by the international law principle of prescription. Prescription is activated by occupation, and refers to the acquisition of sovereignty by way of the actual exercise of sovereignty, maintained for a reasonable period of time, that is effected without objection from other states.


If the strutting little penis piano player in Kiev maintains his defiance of reality, time and the facts of occupation - along with the NON-OBJECTION of states - will effect the legality under international law. 

The brilliant action of the Russian Federation and Putin will be vindicated under international law. 

With the exercise of the democratic will of the good and brave people of the ethnic Russian oblasts - it is all over.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Valodya: The People Have Made Their Unequivocal DEMOCRATIC Choice

en.kremlin.ru  |   President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian Federation,

As you know, referendums have been held in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. The ballots have been counted and the results have been announced. The people have made their unequivocal choice.

Today we will sign treaties on the accession of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation. I have no doubt that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the accession to Russia and the establishment of four new regions, our new constituent entities of the Russian Federation, because this is the will of millions of people. (Applause.)

It is undoubtedly their right, an inherent right sealed in Article 1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

I repeat, it is an inherent right of the people. It is based on our historical affinity, and it is that right that led generations of our predecessors, those who built and defended Russia for centuries since the period of Ancient Rus, to victory.

Here in Novorossiya, [Pyotr] Rumyantsev, [Alexander] Suvorov and [Fyodor] Ushakov fought their battles, and Catherine the Great and [Grigory] Potyomkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought here to the bitter end during the Great Patriotic War.

We will always remember the heroes of the Russian Spring, those who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, to preserve their culture, traditions and religion, and for the very right to live. We remember the soldiers of Donbass, the martyrs of the “Odessa Khatyn,” the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime. We commemorate volunteers and militiamen, civilians, children, women, senior citizens, Russians, Ukrainians, people of various nationalities; popular leader of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko; military commanders Arsen Pavlov and Vladimir Zhoga, Olga Kochura and Alexei Mozgovoy; prosecutor of the Lugansk Republic Sergei Gorenko; paratrooper Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov and all our soldiers and officers who died a hero’s death during the special military operation. They are heroes. (Applause.) Heroes of great Russia. Please join me in a minute of silence to honour their memory.

(Minute of silence.)

Thank you.

Behind the choice of millions of residents in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, is our common destiny and thousand-year history. People have passed this spiritual connection on to their children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials they endured, they carried the love for Russia through the years. This is something no one can destroy. That is why both older generations and young people – those who were born after the tragic collapse of the Soviet Union – have voted for our unity, for our common future.

In 1991 in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, representatives of the party elite of that time made a decision to terminate the Soviet Union, without asking ordinary citizens what they wanted, and people suddenly found themselves cut off from their homeland. This tore apart and dismembered our national community and triggered a national catastrophe. Just like the government quietly demarcated the borders of Soviet republics, acting behind the scenes after the 1917 revolution, the last leaders of the Soviet Union, contrary to the direct expression of the will of the majority of people in the referendum of 1991, destroyed our great country, and simply made the people in the former republics face this as an accomplished fact.

I can admit that they didn’t even know what they were doing and what consequences their actions would have in the end. But it doesn't matter now. There is no Soviet Union anymore; we cannot return to the past. Actually, Russia no longer needs it today; this isn’t our ambition. But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, religion, traditions, and language, consider themselves part of Russia, whose ancestors lived in a single country for centuries. There is nothing stronger than their determination to return to their true historical homeland.

For eight long years, people in Donbass were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockades; in Kherson and Zaporozhye, a criminal policy was pursued to cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now too, during the referendums, the Kiev regime threatened schoolteachers, women who worked in election commissions with reprisals and death. Kiev threatened millions of people who came to express their will with repression. But the people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson weren’t broken, and they had their say.

I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever. (Applause.)

We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once. But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. (Applause.) Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to peace.

We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.

The American People Want No Part Of The Blob's Failed War On Russia

 
businessinsider | A new poll suggests that many Americans are growing weary as the US government continues its support of Ukraine in its war with Russia and want to see diplomatic efforts to end the war if aid is to continue. 

According to a poll conducted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Data for Progress, 57% of likely voters strongly or somewhat support the US pursuing diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible to end the war in Ukraine, even if it requires Ukraine making compromises with Russia. Just 32% of respondents were strongly or somewhat opposed to this.

And nearly half of the respondents (47%) said they only support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine if the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy to end the war, while 41% said they support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine whether the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy or not.

The Biden administration and Congress need to do more diplomatically to help end the war, according to 49% of likely voters, while 37% said they have done enough in this regard, the poll showed.

"Americans recognize what many in Washington don't: Russia's war in Ukraine is more likely to end at the negotiating table than on the battlefield. And there is a brewing skepticism of Washington's approach to this war, which has been heavy on tough talk and military aid, but light on diplomatic strategy and engagement," said Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute. 

"'As long as it takes' isn't a strategy, it's a recipe for years of disastrous and destructive war — conflict that will likely bring us no closer to the goal of securing a prosperous, independent Ukraine. US leaders need to show their work: explain to the American people how you plan to use your considerable diplomatic leverage to bring this war to an end," Parsi added.

The poll found close to half of likely US voters (48%) somewhat or strongly oppose the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if long-term global economic hardship, including in the US, occurs. Meanwhile, the poll showed that only four-in-10 Americans somewhat or strongly support the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if this occurs. 

The poll also found 58% of Americans somewhat somewhat or strongly oppose the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if there are higher gas prices and a higher cost of goods in the US, while just 33% somewhat or strongly support continuing aid if this occurs. 

A majority of poll respondents (57%) also said that they think the Russia-Ukraine war will end with a negotiated peace settlement between the two countries, while 61% said they believe the war has impacted them financially on some level.

President Joe Biden has warned that US sanctions on Russia could hurt the US economy, but he has maintained that supporting and defending Ukraine is worth the cost. He's framed the war as a battle between democracy and autocracy.

"Every day, Ukrainians pay with their lives, and they fight along — and the atrocities that the Russians are engaging in are just beyond the pale. And the cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly," Biden said in May. "That's why we're staying in this."

The US has provided over $15 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked war in late February. The Ukrainian armed forces have received numerous weapons packages from the US and other partner nations, packages that have included anti-tank missiles, air-defense systems, and long-range rocket artillery that have allowed Ukrainian troops to not only halt Russian advances but even drive Russian forces back.

While Western support has aided Ukraine's war efforts, recent data indicates there are growing concerns about what further support without diplomacy and a continuation of this brutal conflict could mean not just for Russia and Ukraine, but for other countries as well.

"Policymakers are far too sanguine about the risks posed by an indefinite continuation of this war, even minimizing the dangers posed by Vladimir Putin's nuclear threats," said Marcus Stanley, advocacy director at the Quincy Institute.

"Americans largely agree that efforts to strengthen Ukraine's hand on the battlefield need to be accompanied by efforts to secure lasting peace at the negotiating table. However, as Congress approaches another vote to approve military aid to Ukraine this week, there's no sign Washington is exploring opportunities to seek a settlement that preserves and protects Ukraine's independence."

Toe To Toe, Back To Back, Gat For Gat - It's Like That....,

TAC  |  The same media sources who have been telling us that Putin is a madman now assure us, without any sense of contradiction, that he would never use tactical nuclear weapons to avoid total defeat in Ukraine. “Don’t let Putin bluff us” exhorted Max Boot, an exemplar of hawkish neocon wrongthink ever since he urged us into the Iraq War with lies about WMD and Saddam’s connection to 9/11. Having been wrong about so much over the past twenty years, one would expect more humility and less certainty from Boot as he confidently waves away Putin’s nuclear threat. But in Washington, neoconservatism means never having to say you’re sorry. 

Neocons aren’t the only voices in media and academic circles blithely assuring us that Putin is bluffing. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, now Stanford professor, Michael McFaul, giddy with the success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, declared that this is the moment for the U.S. “to go all in” on Ukraine, with “more and better weapons and more and better sanctions.” Clearly, he too dismisses the nuclear threat. 

Charles Pierce mocked Putin in Esquire, saying “he has decided to butch it up quite seriously for the public” and “his speech reeks of a monumental bluff.” Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin shrugged off the threat while calling for the West to escalate its support for Ukraine, writing that “Putin and his circle have made nuclear threats frequently in recent years – and they have always been a bluff.” Michael Clarke, professor of war studies at King’s College London, told NBC News that Putin “is doubling down politically because he is losing militarily… He says, ‘This is not a bluff,’ which shows that it is.”

Cloistered within the high walls of the media, academy, or government bureaucracy, most of these commentators have never held a job that required serious risk-taking. They have not conducted a cost-benefit analysis or even played a hand of high-stakes poker. Yet they claim to know exactly what cards Putin is holding and how he will play them. Smart poker players understand that they can’t precisely know their opponent’s hand, so they seek to put them on a range of possibilities and then evaluate whether their previous actions tell a story more consistent with a credible hand or a bluff. 

What story is Putin telling about Ukraine? Since 2008, Moscow has warned that the admission of Ukraine into NATO was an unacceptable red line for Russian security because it meant American troops, weapons, and bases directly on their most vulnerable border. Current CIA director Bill Burns, who was our emissary to Moscow at the time, conveyed these concerns back to Washington in his now-famous memo Nyet Means Nyet. Since then, Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have warned repeatedly that Moscow regards NATO weapons inside Ukraine, most particularly American missile systems that could hit Moscow in minutes, as an existential threat. Putin repeatedly warned that he would invade Ukraine if his security concerns weren’t addressed, and indeed he did when they weren’t. This decision was immoral, criminal, and barbaric, but it was not the act of a bluffer.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Poland Looking To Make BANK Off Of Germany With Its Newly Opened Gas Pipeline

sonar21  |  On the very day the world learns about the sabotage of Russia’s Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2, guess what else happened? Well, Ukrainians from the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporhyzhia and Kherson oblasts voted in overwhelming numbers to become Russians. While that is a game changer that is not what I had in mind.

How about this–Poland on Tuesday inaugurated a new pipeline that will transport gas from Norway through Denmark and the Baltic Sea? That is it!!! What a coincidence!! Or is it?

There is at least one prominent Polish citizen who believes the United States merits praise for sabotaging the Nordstream pipelines. Former former Polish Defense Minister, Radek Sikorski, who happens to be married to Anne Appelbaum, an enthusiastic neo-con masquerading as a journalist, tweeted the following upon learning that the Nordstream lines were now “złamany” (Polish for”kaput”): “Thank you, USA.”

But, perhaps that is a bit of deflection. Poland has longstanding animus towards Nordstream. In other words, Poland has a clear motive for backing the destruction of the Russian pipeline. More than a year ago -April 2021 to be precise–this appeared in print:

Poland strongly opposes the development of Nord Stream 2, which will give Gazprom a subsea alternative route for supplying natural gas to Western European customers. At present, that gas has to pass through overland pipeline networks in Poland and Ukraine, bringing in valuable transit fees and providing both nations – which do not always have cordial relations with Russia – a measure of energy security.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/poland-denies-provocative-naval-maneuvers-near-nord-stream-2

One month later, Poland pitched a Kielbasi fit:

Poland has reacted angrily to President Joe Biden’s decision to waive US sanctions on Nord Stream II, warning the move could threaten energy security across Central and Eastern Europe.

“The information is definitely not positive from the security point of view, as we know perfectly that Nord Stream II is not only a business project – it is mostly a geopolitical project,” said Piotr Muller, a spokesman for the Polish government. . . .

Announced following a phone-call between Joe Biden and Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US decision to lift sanctions was welcomed in Berlin, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas noting that “it is an expression of the fact that Germany is an important partner for the US, one that it can count on in the future.”

The highly controversial pipeline has met with vigorous opposition across Central and Eastern Europe, including in Poland and Ukraine where officials say the project would be used by the Kremlin as a geopolitical weapon, de-facto increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and threaten energy security in the Eastern half of the continent.

https://kafkadesk.org/2021/05/21/poland-angered-by-us-president-bidens-nord-stream-ii-decision/

Makes you wonder if there was some wheeling and dealing was going on between Washington and Warsaw. Given Warsaw’s critical location and role in ensuring U.S. and NATO military supplies is delivered to Ukraine, the Poles have a bit of leverage to push the United States to take out the pipelines or to help Poland take out the pipelines. Poland’s message to the United States was simple–reverse course on Nordstream and rupture the pipelines or you can find another way to move your military supplies to Ukraine.

But wait, doesn’t this create some real problems for Germany? Sure. But Poland “don’t” (sic) care. There was this little incident called World War II and it seems that the Poles are still miffed at the Germans. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then this sucker is a frozen dinner:

Poland’s top politician said Thursday that the government will seek equivalent of some $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of his country.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party, announced the huge claim at the release of a long-awaited report on the cost to the country of years of Nazi German occupation as it marks 83 years since the start of World War II. . . .

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday the government’s position remains “unchanged” in that “the question of reparations is concluded.”

https://apnews.com/article/poland-germany-world-war-ii-warsaw-49b0cf77745a7b1cabfaa884c3bf0035

With this new supply of Polish controlled natural gas, Germany is in a tough spot. Buy from Poland or buy from the United States. Either way, the Germans pay a premium while the United States and Poland make some bank.

Polacks Blew The Nordstream Pipelines And Were Dumb Enough To Take Credit For It

johnhelmer |  The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline  opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”.   The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says.

But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.  

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits,  LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Civic Platform’s former defence and foreign minister Radek Sikorski also celebrated the Bornholm Blow-up. “As we say in Polish, a small thing, but so much joy”.  “Thank you USA,” Sikorski added,   diverting the credit for the operation, away from domestic rival Morawiecki to President Joseph Biden; he had publicly threatened to sabotage the line in February.  Biden’s ambassador in Warsaw is also backing Sikorski’s Civic Platform party to replace  Morawiecki next year.  

The attack not only escalates the Polish election campaign. It also continues the Morawiecki government’s plan to attack Germany, first by reviving the reparations claim for the invasion and occupation of 1939-45;  and second, by targeting alleged German complicity, corruption,  and appeasement in the Russian scheme to rule Europe at Poland’s expense. .

“The appeasement policy towards Putin”, announced PISM, the official government think tank in Warsaw in June,  “is part of an American attempt to free itself from its obligations of maintaining peace in Europe. The bargain is that Americans will allow Putin to finish building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for Putin’s commitment not use it to blackmail Eastern Europe. Sounds convincing? Sounds like something you heard before? It’s not without reason that Winston Churchill commented on the American decision-making process: ‘Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ However, by pursuing such a policy now, the Biden administration takes even more responsibility for the security of Europe, including Ukraine, which is the stake for subsequent American mistakes.”

“Where does this place Poland? Almost 18 years ago the Federal Republic of Germany, our European ally, decided to prioritize its own business interests with Putin’s Russia over solidarity and cooperation with allies in Central Europe. It was a wrong decision to make and all Polish governments – regardless of political differences – communicated this clearly and forcefully to Berlin. But since Putin succeeded in corrupting the German elite and already decided to pay the price of infamy, ignoring the Polish objections was the only strategy Germany was left with.”

The explosions at Bornholm are the new Polish strike for war in Europe against Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far the Chancellery in Berlin is silent, tellingly.

Radek Sikorski Thanks Team USA For Blowing Up The Nordstream Pipelines

MoA  |  The Poles should be reminded that other countries also have the capabilities to sabotage sub sea pipelines.

Radosław Sikorski is a former Minister of Defense and Foreign Minister of Poland. He is now a Member of the European Parliament. Yesterday he posted a picture of the gas escaping the damaged Nord Stream pipelines and thanked the U.S. for blowing them up.

Sikorski is married to the neoconservative writer Anne Appelbaum who is notorious for her anti-Russian and anti-German screeds widely published in U.S. media.

In 2014 during the Maidan coup in Ukraine another notorious neoconservative, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, who should become the new prime minister of the Ukraine. She famously expressed her opinion about European concerns: "Fuck the EU" Nuland said. She is currently the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Over the last decades Germany has financed the Euro zone with up to 1.24 trillion Euros. (See also this thread). This was possible because Germany was exporting lots of industrial products and had a yearly surplus from its trade. With Germany's industry going down because a lack of cheap energy that surplus will vanish. Europe, all of it, will become a poor continent.

Philip Pilkington @philippilk - 21:23 UTC · Sep 27, 2022

9/ The European energy war will likely go down in history, together with the Treaty of Versailles and the trade wars of the 1930s, as one of the biggest economic policy errors in history.

10/ Another thing: when Trump was elected on a platform of milder protectionism, many people rightly pointed to the 1920s and 1930s and warned against these policies. These same people appear to have supported these much more 1920s/30s-like policies this past year. Ironic.

This does not happen by chance or fate. It is part of a long term neoconservative plan for continued U.S. supremacy over the world. The Anglo-American axis is the only party to benefit from the recent events.

The U.S. allegedly warned Germany of sabotage of the Nord Stream system (in German).

This reminds of President Joe Biden's warning of a Russian invasion in Ukraine early this year.

It is easy to predict such events when you are the one who intends to cause them.

The U.S. knew that the Ukraine was going to launch an attack on the Donbas republics. The U.S. knew that Russia would intervene to help its brethren. Russia had said so. The Ukrainian attack started with artillery preparations on February 17. Russia intervened on February 24.

The above is a collection of the currently available facts. You can draw your own conclusions from them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Biden's High On Cornpop Lies - And - Valodya's The Wrong Nigga To Fuck With

antiwar  |   As a child growing up in Leningrad, Vladimir Putin lived in a run-down five-story building. He and his parents shared an apartment with two other families. The yard was filled with garbage, and the garbage was filled with rats.

"Putin and his friends used to chase after them with sticks, until one day a large rat, which he had cornered, turned and attacked him, giving him the fright of his life. The memory stayed with him, and years later he would draw the lesson: ‘No one should be cornered. No one should be put in a situation where they have no way out."

The story is recounted in Philip Short’s biography, Putin. Several lessons from childhood can be found in the biography that seem to have been formative for Putin. Three of them stand out.

No One Should be Cornered

Despite the repeated promises of the US, Germany, the UK and NATO that NATO would not move further east, NATO kept moving east. NATO kept encroaching, moving closer and closer to a Russia that had been explicitly left out of the European Union and now saw the US led military alliance devouring territory as it moved right up to its borders. Russia was being cornered.

As early as 2008, when NATO first announced at the Bucharest summit that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO, the Russian leadership made clear that they saw this decision as an existential threat. Putin warned that NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine was "a direct threat" to Russian security. John Mearsheimer quotes a Russian journalist who reported that Putin "flew into a rage" and warned that "if Ukraine joins NATO, it will do so without Crimea and the eastern regions. It will simply fall apart."

Over a decade later, Putin was issuing the same plea to the US. On December 2, 2021, Putin asked the US for immediate negotiations and sent a proposal on mutual security guarantees. He asked the US for "reliable and long-term security guarantees" that “would exclude any further NATO moves eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory.”

The US declined and closed the door. Russia had no way out.

With NATO crowding Russia’s borders, Ukraine being flooded with lethal NATO weapons and tens of thousands of elite Ukrainian troops massing along the eastern border with Donbas, like that rat in Putin’s yard, Russia was cornered. With its warnings and pleas for immediate negotiations being ignored, Russia saw no way out.

That does not justify the invasion of Ukraine. But the next move had been learned by Putin in his childhood.

Never Bluff

There were many rules taught by the KGB that Putin had already learned as a child "scrapping with the other kids." One of them was "Don’t reach for a weapon unless you are prepared to use it . . . It was the same on the street. [There] relations were clarified with fists. You didn’t get involved unless you were prepared to see it through."

When Putin said in 2008 that "if Ukraine joins NATO, it will do so without Crimea and the eastern regions," the West ignored him, thinking it was a bluff. But Putin learned as a child not to bluff. You don’t threaten action unless you are "prepared to see it through."

With the US becoming increasingly directly involved in the war, not only providing weapons, training and targeting intelligence, but even going so far as war-gaming with and advising the Ukrainian military, Russia set a new red line.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked the US to go beyond the HIMARS rocket systems with their 50 mile range and provide "a missile system with a range of 190 miles, which could reach far into Russian territory."

On September 15, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova declared that if the US agrees to supply those longer range missiles to the Ukrainian army, "it would cross the red line and become an actual party to the conflict." The Russian spokeswoman then added that "In such a scenario, we would have to come up with an adequate response." Russia, she reminded the West, "reserves the right to defend its territory using any means available."

A week later, on September 21, Putin repeated that warning himself. On top of the threat of longer range missiles, Putin said some leading NATO countries had talked about the possibility of using nuclear weapons against Russia and said, “I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. Putin then said, “This is not a bluff.”

As a child, Putin learned that you "Don’t reach for a weapon unless you are prepared to use it."

Recognizing that providing Ukraine with longer range guided missiles that could strike Russian territory "would likely be seen by Moscow as a major provocation," that that provocation could lead to World War III and that the benefits "during the next stage of the war" "would be minimal," Biden seems to be resisting Zelensky’s latest request.

Never Back Down

Putin is not spontaneous or rash. His ex-wife, Lyudmila, said that "Everything he did was always thought through." A Swedish diplomat who knew him said that "he sizes up his opponents coldly and soberly, and anticipates his own and others’ actions well before he makes the first chess move."

When you do make that move, you commit to the sequence of moves it sets off. "If something happens," Putin once said, "you should proceed from the fact that there is no retreat. It is necessary to carry it through to the end." The KGB taught that rule, but Putin says that he already knew it because he "learnt it much earlier, scrapping with kids."

Putin would repeat that "carry it through to the end" formulation. "If you want to win a fight," he said, "you have to carry it through to the end, as if it were the most decisive battle of your life."

Though the US and its NATO allies repeatedly commit to arming and aiding Ukraine for the duration, Putin has shown no sign of retreating or backing down. Having seemingly now concluded that Russia is fighting, not a regional war against Ukraine, but a protracted global war against "the entire Western military machine," on September 21, Putin ordered a partial mobilization of up to 300,000 reserves. The mobilization will include only military reservists "who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience," representing about 1% of Russia’s full potential.

Russia sees NATO encroachment and NATO presence in Ukraine as an existential threat. Putin learned as a child that "there is no retreat" and that "you have to carry it through to the end, as if it were the most decisive battle of your life."

Predatory Capitalists Raiding The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves

The Biden administration has depleted the strategic reserve to levels not seen since the 1970s, and lifted exports permitted by Obama for the first time since Carter banned them, in an attempt to limit the rise in US gasoline and natural gas prices before the mid-term elections. Unfortunately, the oil companies have taken the reserves, refined them, and exported most of the resulting fuel, as this allowed them to increase their profits far above their normal larceny. Then, the administration has already committed to replace the reserves at market and given that the oil companies control the fuel price, we know that this will be at the highest price ever achieved in history. In this way, our politicians continue to enable their owners to make out like the looters they are, as usual, at public expense.

schiffgold |  Even as the August inflation data was coming out higher than expected, President Joe Biden was bragging about his “Inflation Reduction Act.” Peter Schiff appeared on NewsMax and argued that the president is putting Americans at risk just so he can improve his image as we approach election time.

Peter pointed out that one reason energy prices have come down is because the Biden administration dumped millions of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve into the market.

That’s not going to last. And if you look below the surface, we’re seeing an acceleration in food prices, in shelter, in health care — so, everything is really going up. We just have one thing right now that’s pulled back. But of course, energy prices are still up dramatically from where they were a year ago. So, the inflation tax is falling even more heavy on middle-class Americans now than it was a few months ago.”

Peter said the “Inflation Reduction Act” is inappropriately named. It should be called “The Inflation Acceleration Act.”

That is going to have consequences next year in helping push that inflation rate even higher than the inflation from 2022.”

As far as the strategic oil reserve goes, now Biden will have to refill it at a much higher price. Peter said he doesn’t think they’ll refill it at all.

I think more likely, they’re going to deplete the reserve until it’s empty. And then what are we going to do? Then we’ll have no oil to sell. And what if we have an actual emergency, and we have shortages? We won’t have any strategic reserve to fall back on.”

Peter reminded the audience that inflation is even worse than advertised because the CPI formula is rigged.

You really have to double the CPI to get the actual increase in prices that Americans are experiencing. Take one example, which is shelter, which I think rose about 6.1%, which really was the highest, I think, since the 1980s. If you look at the real cost of housing, … medium home prices are up 30% and mortgage rates have gone from 3.1 to 6.1. So, the cost of buying a home and paying a mortgage in the last two years is up by 84%. … And of course, rents are skyrocketing too. And so, what the government claims as the increase in the cost of shelter is just a small fraction of what Americans are actually paying for shelter.”

The anchor pointed out that interest rates need to rise above the CPI in order to tame inflation. Meanwhile, we’re already technically in a recession. Peter agreed we are in a recession, as much as the Biden administration and others, including the Fed, try to deny it.

We’ve already had two quarters of falling GDP. We’re about to have a third, because I think this quarter is going to be another negative quarter. And I think the fourth quarter will also be negative.”

And Peter said the anchor was also correct in asserting rates need to go much higher to tackle inflation.