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* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning

The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin’s government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department. …

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. …

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides “reliable assurances” that it won’t use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to “on-site inspections” by the U.N. — conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot’s ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The sanctions are directly based on H.R.3409 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Section 7 covers the sanctions that are to be imposed, which consist of initial sanctions, and further sanctions to be imposed after 90 days if there is no compliance on the country’s part.

Initial sanctions: Ban on foreign assistance, arms sales, denial of US credit, and exporting national security sensitive goods. (Most of this is already functionally in place with respect to Russia).

Further sanctions: Ban on multilateral bank assistance [e.g. IMF, World Bank, the EBRD, etc], ban on US bank loans, a near total export ban (except food and agricultural commodities) and import ban, downgrade or suspension of US diplomatic relations, revocation of landing rights to air carriers controlled by the government of the sanctioned country.

Reuters has a US State Department official saying that the sanctions would not apply to Aeroflot, which some commenters have qualified as backtracking. But I think that the official was merely talking of the initial sanctions.

How does Russia go about removing the sanctions? The President will need to “certify” to Congress that the country in question: (1) Has made “reliable assurances”, and is not making preparations, to use chemical/biological weapons in violation of international law, or against its own citizens; (2) is willing to allow on-site inspections by UN observers to confirm the above; (3) is making restitutions to the victims of its chemical/biological weapons usage.

This would basically require Russia to admit guilt for the Skripal poisoning and subject itself to the inspections regimes that the US typically tries to force on “rogue states.” In other words, it is out of the question.

Moreover, even in the theoretical possibility that this goes through, it’s not like President Trump’s “certification” will be worth anything amidst the Russiagate hysteria.

Another possibility to avoid the near cessation of trade between the US and Russia is to have the President “waiver” the application of individual sanctions, if he can determine and certify to Congress that doing so is necessary for the national security interests of the US; or that there has been “a fundamental change in the leadership and policies” of the sanctioned country. In either case, the President needs to provide a report to Congress explaining his detailed rationale for the waiver, and listing steps the sanctioned country is taking to satisfy the “removal of sanctions” clause.

This isn’t near the end of it, though.

***

* Meduza: Russian newspaper leaks draft text of U.S. Senate’s Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act

The newspaper Kommersant has published a full draft of the proposed “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act,” which demands a U.S. investigation into Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth and whether Russia sponsors terrorism, and would impose a ban on U.S. citizens buying Russian sovereign debt, though the U.S. Treasury publicly opposed this idea in February, warning that it would disrupt the market broadly. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the initiative’s sponsors, says one of the draft legislation’s goals is to impose “crushing sanctions.”

[Sanctions to include:]

* Banning the banks. The draft bill proposes banning Russia’s biggest state banks — Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank — from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

* Oil and gas. In the energy sector, the legislation would impose sanctions on investment in any projects by the Russian government or government-affiliated companies outside Russia worth more than $250 million. Businesses would also incur penalties for any participation (funding or supplying equipment or technology) in new oil projects inside Russia valued above $1 million.

* Lists and research. If the bill is submitted in its current form and adopted, the U.S. president would have 180 days to begin implementing its provisions; within 60 days of adoption, the White House would need to provide a new list of Russian individuals suspected of cyber-attacks against the United States; the Treasury Department would have 180 days to update its “Kremlin list” of Russian state officials and oligarchs; the director of national intelligence would be tasked with completing a “detailed report on the personal net worth and assets” of Vladimir Putin and his family; and the State Department would have 90 days to determine whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

* A new Sanctions Office. In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an “Office of Sanctions Coordination” within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

Here is the original Kommersant article: Комплекс мер по сдерживанию Дональда Трампа

Here is the text of the draft bill: https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/_2018d140-Menendez-Russia-Sanctions-Bill.pdf

It contains many more interesting details.

(1) The bill’s sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US “democratic processes”, return Crimea to the Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in East Ukraine, as well the “occupation and support of separatists” in the territories of Georgia and Moldova, and support for Bashar Assad, who continues to commit “war crimes.”

(2) They note that the general drift of the document is towards a consolidation of separate anti-Russian sanctions, from the “Ukrainian” to the “cyber” ones, into a “single mechanism.”

(3) Subject to a 2/3 vote in the Senate, the bill also includes a ban on financing “direct or indirect” steps, that have as their goal to support the attempts of “any US government official” to take the country out of NATO. Every 90 days, the US Secretary of State, in coordination with the Defense Minister, would be required to present a report to the relevant committees in Congress about “threats to NATO”, which would include attempts to weaken US commitments to the alliance. Considering Trump’s ambiguous feelings on NATO, this part is primarily aimed at Trump himself.

(4) There are calls to “pressure” Russia from interfering with UN and the OPCW attempts to investigate chemical weapons usage, as well as to “punish” Russia for producing and using chemical weapons. This directly syncs this sanctions bill to the previous one.

The report concludes that it’s not yet clear how to interpret this. In the worse case, it could be a “preliminary application” for a UN campaign to exclude Russia from the Security Council; alternatively, it could just be a “pragmatic” run-up to merely invoking great sanctions, as with Iran in 1983.

***

russia-us-treasury-securities

I suppose we now also know why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

For comparison, the last time such a drawback happened (but which only lasted three weeks) was in the immediate aftermath of Crimea.

The last time Russia pulled such a large sum out of the U.S. was just after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the central bank withdrew about $115 billion from the New York Fed, Reuters reported last year, citing two former Fed officials. Most of that money was returned a few weeks later, after it became clear that the scope of initial U.S. sanctions would be narrower than the Kremlin expected, according to the news service.

But I suppose this drawdown would now be permanent, since it is increasingly evident that Iran-tier sanctions on Russia are now on the horizon.

These sanctions are either going to steadily creep in – or rush in like a tsunami if there is a Blue Wave in 90 days, or if Trump was to be removed.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output. Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

Moreover, as I have pointed out, Russia has plenty of surprising ways to hurt the US as well. For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America’s SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.

Some questions we should now be asking include:

1. Precisely how far is the US prepared to go? Cutting off its own trade with Russia is one thing – penalizing foreign companies that do business with Russia is something else. As Ben Aris notes, the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market. The ideological Russiagaters need to balance their PDS/TDS against the pecuniary practicalities of catering to finance and oil & gas interests and their lobbies.

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades.

 
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  1. Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

    I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there’s some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Mikhail
  2. The Scalpel says: • Website

    This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go “all in” forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

    I don’t believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into “kinetic” warfare.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  3. The first comments never show, only after the second (or third?) or some time lapses.

    AK: Don’t know what to do about this, sorry. Perhaps we can raise it the next time Ron has a suggestions thread.

    • Replies: @utu
  4. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

  5. Proposed new “sanctions” on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American “leadership”, down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Putin and the rest of Russian leadership.

    It is clear to anyone with a brain that the US “sanctions” on Russia have zero chance of changing Russia’s stance on any international issues of consequence. Crimea is a good example: it will return to Ukraine the day after the Hell freezes over. On the same date Georgia gets South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and US-sponsored Islamic bandits win over Assad in Syria. Thus, The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let’s hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I’d hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American “leadership” has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @anon
    , @B-ravehart
  6. @The Scalpel

    I agree. They are constantly talking about the “hybrid warfare” and the Russian “attack” on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

    There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  7. @Mitleser

    Maybe we’ll see unrequited love turning into hatred.

  8. LondonBob says:

    Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

    I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  9. @LondonBob

    I don’t think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these “sanctions”. Insanity is more widespread in the US “leadership” than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let’s hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  10. neutral says:

    Now that it is within the realms of reasonable debate, if there were a nuclear war between the USA and Russia what targets would be hit? Would Russia hit puppet regimes such the UK, France or Poland? Would the USA hit Iran (because if they are going to hit Russia they might as well get Iran in there as well).

    If say only Russian and USA were hit, how much of the nuclear fallout would affect Europe?

    • Replies: @Coos Palmboom
    , @ZZZ
  11. LondonBob says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

    • Replies: @notanon
    , @Dmitry
  12. Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years.
    Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

    Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank’s analysis. Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

    Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia’s economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a ‘partner’. It has cherished it’s non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

    China’s AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

  13. Dmitry says:

    America now has a “good cop, bad cop” with Trump and Congress.

    Congress puts in more sanctions, but there is constraint responding too much because Trump seems friendly, and you don’t want to alienate him.

    Trump himself doesn’t care about the sanctions, because he thinks it is leverage that he can lift them later.

    There was an article a few months ago that Trump is actually worse than Obama – even in Obama did not supply direct weapons to Ukraine.

    I thinkTrump plans to remove the sanctions in the next year and improve the relations – but without any kind of timetable (his meeting with Putin is delayed already to next year).

  14. OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

    Turkey’s implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn’t give two hoots about.

    Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist “moderate” rebels in Syria came as no shock.

    So perhaps it isn’t the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan’s case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don’t buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen’s religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan’s. He’s also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan’s media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don’t happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven’t even mentioned Turkey’s apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan’s human rights record or “authoritarianism”, which is just the pretext.

    Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey’s large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we’re also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It’s also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Bukephalos
  15. @Polish Perspective

    Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don’t matter at all.

    There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won’t be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a “parallel” system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

    As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.

  16. I suppose we now also now why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

    You’re making the Kremlins look smarter than they actually are. They should have done this 4 years ago. What I want to know is what happened to the proceeds from the sale? CBR data shows that value of “foreign exchange” held by the CBR hasn’t declined:

    https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/

    Did they convert the dollars into other currencies, or are they keeping it in cash on a bank account somewhere, where it could be easily “frozen”?

  17. notanon says:
    @LondonBob

    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    i don’t this is just AIPAC driven – partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.

  18. Great.

    Now I can’t use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia.

    Really Making America Great Again!

    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  19. @Polish Perspective

    Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions “waiver” – this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @dfordoom
    , @Vidi
  20. @Thorfinnsson

    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one’s peers in Washington is their prime motive. They’ve been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  21. Kimppis says:

    Anatoly, I read your Russian “Whitepill” article through Google Translate recently:

    http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

    Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly… well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

    “Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, “effective managers” like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft’s debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable.

    So I’m clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you’re kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the “best-case” scenario for Russian nationalists?

    Didn’t you rate Putin’s “economic management” reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

    You’ve also pointed out several times that Russia’s oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s Jon Hellevig’s research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective’s comment above.

    So shouldn’t the repeat of 2014 be kind of… unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia’s remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

    You don’t believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an “acute crisis” in a few years?

    I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other “reforms” and increasing spending.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  22. @Kimppis

    I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function.

    • Replies: @Kimppis
    , @FB
  23. At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  24. @Cagey Beast

    I don’t like Putin and I truly hate Erdogan, but I’d like them to win against the hegemon.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  25. @reiner Tor

    That means you hate gays and freedom. It’s that simple.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AnonFromTN
  26. Kimppis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Got it. Certain parts of the article very much reminded me of your “blackpill timeline,” which was very pessimistic as well.

  27. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob

    Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

    This week’s sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

    In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

    According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

    At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

    Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

    If explanation is to do with Syria – it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

    For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

    Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia’s presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @The Scalpel
    , @Alfred
  28. @Cagey Beast

    Yes, President Dubya so eloquently expressed it almost seventeen years ago.

  29. Mikhail says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they’d not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul’s trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

    As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based:

    https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

  30. @Cagey Beast

    Since when do gays equal freedom? The majority of the population isn’t gay, that’s why we do have population: imaginary “gay society” would die out in one generation. Biology is brutal.

    Now, if you equate freedom with the US, here is a scientific refutation of that claim:

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  31. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cagey Beast

    DR was rabidly anti-Serb in the 1990s.

  32. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.

    Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

    It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    What about Turkey?

  33. @AnonFromTN

    Gays are the ideal consumer-citizen in the new West. They are free to shop; which is the greatest freedom of them all. Do keep up.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  34. Dmitry says:
    @Kimppis

    Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s

    It’s up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

    When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

    Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  35. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

    Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  36. @Cagey Beast

    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

  37. @Mitleser

    Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  38. Mitleser says:
    @AnonFromTN

    No skin in the game.

    A recent article in the German polit magazine Cicero claimed that Germany will have to deal with 3,7-4,7 trillion extra cost thanks to the Merkel government.

    This is going to break our aging state.

  39. I hope Russia sticks it to Microsoft, Apple and the rest of them by mandating the use of Linux in government offices.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  40. @AnonFromTN

    Yes, of course. Same with the focus on DINK couples.

    Especially if you’re uncertain about the future, getting “money up front” rather than waiting for potential future customers can be a good thing.

  41. @Cagey Beast

    It’s another area of Putin’s incompetence. He should’ve forced it years ago.

  42. @AnonFromTN

    There’s always surrogacy for male homos, and lesbians can use sperm banks, liberals are lobbying hard for such practices to become accepted.
    More generally, the political establishment in Europe of course doesn’t offer a future looking forward to, their ideology mandates abolition of Europe in its historical form.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    , @Anon
  43. @AnonFromTN

    Iran and Syria don’t even have the option.

    Agreed that Aeroflot should not, but it’s not like declining to order from Boeing, General Electric, and United Technologies–Rockwell Aerospace (Pratt & Whitney) will break America.

    What Russia really needs to do is stop purchasing foreign aircraft period. Aeroflot should be purchasing Russian aircraft and jet engines.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @g2k
    , @AnonFromTN
  44. @German_reader

    It’s the same ruling ideology here in Canada. The Prime Minister is proud not to appoint White men like me (and him) to his cabinet and has given the job of Minister of Immigration to a Somali. The future they look forward to requires the abolition of my country.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @German_reader
  45. @Cagey Beast

    I know, Canada with its multiculturalism and free speech restrictions looks really bad, it’s striking how the British past is being done away with everywhere in the English-speaking world, even in Britain itself.
    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  46. Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it’s citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

    Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades!

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

  47. g2k says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel’s ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they’ll all have to have them.

    Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

  48. Dmitry says:

    Aeroflot had benefited from collapse of Transaero. They’re getting 35 planes (all Airbus and Boeing models) from the Transaero fleet and are putting them into Aeroflot fleet this year.

    With Boeing, they also had an order of Dreamliners, which they cancelled a few years ago. Although that was just because there was a downturn in long-haul flights. New Boeing 737 orders are for building up their lowcoster “Pobeda”.

  49. @Thorfinnsson

    For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That’s hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”. The West is really good at that lately.

  50. @g2k

    These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  51. @AnonFromTN

    Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.

  52. @Lars Porsena

    Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it’s citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

    The “free market” of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.

  53. El Dato says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.

  54. Shows how malleable public opinion is:

  55. @g2k

    Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

    Russia’s aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that’s irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

    Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

  56. @AnonFromTN

    This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai.

    Will be in service around a decade from now.

  57. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    ” Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.”

    I thought Russia could build commercial airliners????

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  58. @Felix Keverich

    It’s kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran.
    Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia’s nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @foolisholdman
  59. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @g2k

    “Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.”

    Do you really mean that they cannot fly with people in them?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  60. @Mitleser

    Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange (обменный пункт) after hearing this statement.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  61. @The Scalpel

    More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

    It’s just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.

  62. Do Russians by a lot of gold? If not, they should. It’s certainly much smarter than buying everything from the shops, from cars to plasma TVs and other shit that loses value fast, like what happened the last time the rouble took a considerable dive.

    With gold, no matter how a trade war goes, you win. Or at least you don’t lose, as even if there isn’t a trade war, gold price still increases on a long enough time line to more than meet inflation.
    Now that interest rates for deposits are miserable pretty much everywhere (and much lower than inflation), it seems like the best option to me.

    Now I know that someone economically literate like Thorfinnsson may disagree and mention a thousand options for investing and managing money that I won’t really understand.
    But for an ordinary wagecuck who, rather than making an investor profit, mostly wants to protect what has been saved with long years of hard work, gold seems like the best option, as it is easy, straightforward and pretty much the most secure one.

    This is just an idea for people protecting themselves on the personal level. I am sure that the Russian government will be more or less fine.

  63. Anonymous[265] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs

  64. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.

  65. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Sun Tzu would disagree.

    Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  66. Mitleser says:
    @Anonymous

    In theory, yes.

    In reality, they do not seem to be that interested in this technology.

  67. @Anonymous

    If you combine two spermatozoids, the combination won’t be viable, no artificial womb can help. Biology does not go for PC, it is a natural science (as opposed to unnatural “sciences”).

    Also, only oocytes provide mitochondria. How do they solve that pesky problem?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  68. Pericles says:
    @German_reader

    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

    Skills-based immigration is better than what is being used in Europe (come one, come all) but still lends itself to being gamed. I guess Asians are better than muslims, but you’re still being invaded. And I also guess there are more ways to get in than just SBI since all the muslims streaming into Canada presumably aren’t doing it through their rare skills.

  69. Pericles says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Armadas of Russian seed boxes are standing by. Please don’t throw us in that briar patch.

  70. Dmitry says:
    @The Scalpel

    There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul – Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

    Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don’t want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

    A single crash can be even fatal for an airline – crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

    As a customer, I don’t think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

  71. Gerard2 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth

    ….AND also Ukraine’s,Moldova’s,Georgia’s, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia,Belarus,Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US’s moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do……Ukraine,Moldova,Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

    But in the circumstances…..is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia

  72. @Anonymous

    You still have to pay for the raising of the kids; that’s the main obstacle.

    Surrogacy/adoption/etc already exist at present if they had such vast interest in kiddos.

  73. @Mitleser

    The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    Here is another fool, who doesn’t understand currency markets:

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  74. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    It’s fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

    A lot of nonsense about “long overdue” get’s said about pension reform…but this is total BS.
    Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy ……. that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

    Those approaching retirement won’t suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer… they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period..and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.

    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms

    Disagree with this….the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical “reform” is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

    Instead of saying “reduction in size of government sector” you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised….too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution….nothing else.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  75. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    I think the is a feature affecting the first comment. Happened to me several times but comments always eventually showed up.

  76. Cyrano says:

    Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers – even when it’s detrimental to their own survival.

    If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers – the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

    Russia is not a part of the audience, it’s not even a heckler. It’s a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert – even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

    • Agree: Cagey Beast
  77. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    What statements should the PM make?

  78. @Anonymous

    Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:

    Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  79. Anonymous[931] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
    The West is stymied by the “pro-lifers” of the right and “bioethicists” of the left, and this is Russia’s chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions? ;-)

    In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @anonymous coward
  80. utu says:
    @Anonymous

    Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.

    And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele’s research had on the outcome of the WWII.

  81. utu says:
    @Polish Perspective

    He’s also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser’s regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad’s Syria, Hussain’s Iraq and Gaddafi’s Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel’s Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

    Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel’s hard-liners.

    My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

    You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?

  82. Mr. XYZ says:

    Question about the Skripal poisoning–if it wasn’t the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it’s interesting that Sergei Skripal’s poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning back in 2006 did.

  83. ‘…The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. …’

    Now they’ll have to pay the Israelis to get it for them. Does this count as aid to Israel?

  84. If, without admitting guilt, Russia expressed her regret for the fact that Donald Trump won the election, would that open the door to a settlement?

  85. @Felix Keverich

    ‘…Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran…’

    I can go along with that. Russia’s a greater threat than Togo as well.

  86. Anon[813] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on – it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

    On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it’s their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today’s Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

    • Replies: @utu
  87. utu says:
    @Anon

    New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women

    https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/

    Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

    Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a “significant victory” for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

    “This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so,” said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.

  88. @Anonymous

    scientifically correct Darwinist

    Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

    It’s a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  89. @Mr. XYZ

    …if it wasn’t the Russians, then who did it?

    Guilty until proven innocent? Don’t open that Pandora’s box. You’re gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn’t mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.

  90. @Polish Perspective

    Brunson’s captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

    Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor’s plight under islamist thugs.

  91. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

    Excerpt –

    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @foolisholdman
  92. @anonymous coward

    That’s wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  93. @reiner Tor

    [MORE]

    That’s wrong

    It isn’t. I’m a professional, trust me.

    Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    (A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

  94. anon[170] • Disclaimer says:

    Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

    Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

    The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

    Just call it better than tariffs,

    Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

    • Replies: @anon
  95. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

    At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter “j2″ produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  96. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    If it wasn’t the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?

  97. @anonymous coward

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

    Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they’re much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

  98. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    You’re right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn’t add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn’t lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin’s honorable name. But they’ll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis – keep up the great ‘independent foreign analysis’!

    • Disagree: Kimppis
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Sean
    , @Mikhail
  99. @Jaakko Raipala

    anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.

  100. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    I wasn’t aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn’t it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn’t it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book ‘The Dark Lord of the Kremlin’?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  101. APilgrim says:

    ‘Russia-Sanctions’ are pitiful ‘Double-Standards‘, written by ‘Frustrated Globalists‘.

  102. Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?

    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

  103. @Jaakko Raipala

    [MORE]

    Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.

    Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M’Lady Science’s defense.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.

    The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

  104. @utu

    [MORE]

    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you’re blinded by ideology.

  105. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich

    What’ s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about:

    Moscow announced the move weeks after Athens banned four Russian diplomats after accusing them of fomenting opposition to a landmark deal between Greece and macedonia, opening up the possibility of eventual Nato membership for Skopje.

    Your own bizarre explanation betrays your own Russian reasoning:

    Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    • Agree: AP
  106. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

    In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

    The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece’s government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

    The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

    Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

    Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.

    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

    Yes, that’s is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
    He has been in Athen since 2016.

    The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.

    http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  107. @Mitleser

    As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

    But yes, probably they want America’s friendship.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Sean
  108. Sean says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky’s NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

    Who wouldn’t want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @annamaria
  109. @reiner Tor

    This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  110. @Felix Keverich

    One thing I saw is that they dislike Russia’s support for replacing Greeks with Palestinians in the Orthodox Church in Israel.

    https://www.facebook.com/pakopov/posts/1975263482518921

    Israel Shamir had an article on that, interestingly enough: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-greek-occupation/

  111. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less. ;)

    https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  112. Mr. Hack says:
    @Sean

    Look, I’m not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you’ve added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident ‘Independent foreign Policy Analyst’ Mike Averko who claims:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.

    Of course, he’s a professional analytical type that always knows what he’s talking about? :-)

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @EugeneGur
  113. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  114. @Sean

    Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
    It’s odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Uebersetzer
  115. how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades

    Russia can start taking China’s side on an ad hoc basis, e.g. sending ships to the disputed sea and hassling US ships and planes. Russia could hassle them on the Northern half and China on the Southern half, a nice division of labor and multiplication of hassle for the US Navy.

  116. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey – so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

    Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  117. Russia has enough chicken legs of its own now. They are not washed in chlorine.

    Disengagement will simply remove what little influence the US has on Russia. Russia’s exports are utterly dominated by primary production which is entirely fungible. The US exports little of high added to Russia and the EU and Switzerland, Korea and increasingly China can replace that. Japan probably won’t. Russia has been trying to play a softer game with Japan but both sides true imperialist nature keeps on re-emerging. Like the US, Japan has remarkably low levels of trade with Russia given the size of its economy. Switzerland does a lot of high end complex electromechanical systems, like the Germans. The Germans are good; The Swiss are perfect.

  118. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    I’m not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It’s already very cheap.

    Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

    Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mitleser
  119. Sean says:
    @German_reader

    Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  120. @anonymous coward

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.

    Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

    I’m just going to claim that you’re trying an “it doesn’t work because of fancy words X, Y, Z” bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  121. anon[170] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    It will have a negative impact on domestic Russian consumption short term. It’s stupid, short sighted, and hard to reverse. Sanctions work best when used least.

  122. @Sean

    I hadn’t known about Greece’s withdrawal from NATO in the 1970s, interesting, thanks.

  123. @anonymous coward

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.

    “Age of the universe” is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we’d need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don’t have that. We don’t know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don’t even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.

    [MORE]

    If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.

    There is no such thing as the “smallest possible unit of time”. This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some “smallest possible unit of time”. Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  124. @Dmitry

    Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

    For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call “visa” in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @Dmitry
  125. @anonymous coward

    “Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.”

    Phony Baloney.

  126. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Empty calories sarcasm on your part.

    The US went thru a period of noticeable politically motivated violence (in one form or another), that among other things included the murders of the Kennedy brothers, King, X, black children in a church, fatal Kent State shootings and the Manson involved murders.

    There was absolutely no need for the Russian government to orchestrate the Moscow apartment bombings. The evidence is non-existent, with the so-called evidence being a put mildly creative stretch. On par with the idea that the US government sought and was involved in planning 9/11. Terrorism from Chechnya was a clear reality before the Moscow apartment bombings.

  127. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    A disingenuous cherry pick on your part, along with empty calories sarcasm. It wasn’t only his (as has been said) sympathy for Chechen separatism, but a combination of factors, in conjunction with that aspect.

    What I said in full on this matter:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

  128. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    In comparison, there’s better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime’s stunt with Babchenko.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  129. It’s a pity that the good things Macedonia is doing (like fixing its relations with Bulgaria and Greece and starting to slowly accept the real history as opposed to the shit made up by the Serbs, the communists and Tito) are all done for such a shitty reason like entering the EU and NATO.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  130. @AnonFromTN

    “Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks.”

    Hear, hear.

  131. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    Greece has an inferior tourist industry and plenty of great European competition (Spain, Italy, Croatia etc.)
    Thanks to Cyprus, you don’t even to travel to Greece if you want to be on vacation in a Greek-speaking country.

  132. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    ‘Svido cherry picking’?

    Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don’t have a credible reply, Mickey!

    I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko’s demise. As I’ve already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you’ve got something better, then present it I’d try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists. :-)

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  133. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    Whoa, what do we have here? Another genuine ‘Averkoism‘??

    You indicate that I ‘include mis-informative cherry picks’ to spin an otherwise faulty impression. Why yes, I guess that’s what I can be contrued doing. Most impressions that you make are faulty’‘ and deserve to be rebuked, don’t you think? I think that what you meant to say was that:

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise accurate impression.

    Mickey, you don’t really want to be remembered for making ‘faulty impressions‘ now do you? :-) :-)

  134. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

    You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

    And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. Hack
  135. @reiner Tor

    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930′s; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will–as you say–bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don’t have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker’s discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia’s bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

  136. @Dmitry

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and “meddling” ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece’s creditors is the real issue here. It’s a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  137. @ThreeCranes

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker’s discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia’s bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    This is implausible, for reasons that have been discussed multiple times here, including recently.

  138. @ThreeCranes

    China isn’t a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

    See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

    The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

    China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

    China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of “Yellow Peril” population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

    There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let’s review some economic facts about China:

    #1 exporter
    #1 forex reserve holder
    #2 creditor nation
    #6 gold reserve holder

    China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China’s economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

    Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

    China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

    1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
    2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
    3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

    And given China’s cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the “Third Island Chain”.

    If China displaces the USA as the world’s preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I’m not so sure–Russia would be Canada to China’s America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

    Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

    That’s not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

    • Influence in Central Asia
    • Chinese IP theft
    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it’s designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia’s role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

    Will Russia be happy with that? I don’t know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  139. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cyrano

    He’s a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  140. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn’t spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko! :-)

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  141. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    • Replies: @Sean
  142. Mikhail says: • Website

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest?

    Why Litvinenko himself, albeit (if true) in a possible unintended way. No proof that the Rusisan government did him in. No need to reply anymore to your rehashed trolling tripe.

    Still no good answer to:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  143. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

    -

    Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

    An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one – considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

    Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it’s going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

    https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

    For Turkstream it’s now option if it needs to go to Greece at all – it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

    In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

    At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.

    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  144. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

    And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

    Greece already has almost “too many” tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

    Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism – and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Mitleser
  145. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don’t mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  146. @ThreeCranes

    Has been discussed to death on this blog, both in general, and recently.

  147. @Thorfinnsson

    • Influence in Central Asia

    I believe Russia’s loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

    Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

    However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

    • Chinese IP theft

    Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China’s MIC is progressing far faster than expected – without significant Russian tech transfer – has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad

    The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

    But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    This will certainly be an issue.

    Russia’s nuclear technology is much further advanced than China’s (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn’t appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  148. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    Lol, NYC received 62.8 million visitors last year. One city.

  149. @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia’s current dominance of global nuclear exports is something of a fluke.

    The West crippled its nuclear industry owing to pathological atomophobia. Design expertise didn’t atrophy, but construction experience did. Result was massive cost overruns and endless delays on the few Western Gen III reactor projects. Now effectively priced out of the world market.

    Japan suffered from the double whammy of Fukushima and Toshiba getting dragged down by the collapse of Westinghouse. Even though it’s somewhat unfair, no one will now order Japanese reactors in the near future. The Japanese elite, once truly impressive in its atomophilia and determination to resist popular atomophobia, is no longer united on the issue either. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi has for instance called for Japan to shut down all nuclear power plants.

    Emerging competitor is South Korea. The Koreans successfully won the project in the United Arab Emirates, and within South Korea they have an excellent record of efficient construction. Fortunately for Russia, the very weak President Moon is a disgraceful atomophobe.

  150. @ThreeCranes

    Thanks for your comments. I really wasn’t referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world’s leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  151. @ThreeCranes

    It’s a big world to the south without powers with nuclear weapons.

  152. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can’t a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  153. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

    You could create similarly fallacious argument ‘proving’ that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

    I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  154. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    Sounds like you’re making some real progress – keep it up!

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  155. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

    I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven’t figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

    You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let’s say the next couple of years – it’s like you’ve gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn’t even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you’ll overtake even Western Europe – democracy and economic development wise, so you won’t even need their stinking EU.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. Hack
  156. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    You’re still shooting blanks to this:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    I can’t help it if you don’t know the specifics about Litrvinenko’s aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

    Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  157. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cyrano

    In case you missed it:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/cold-war-in-the-sauna-notes-from-a-russian-american/

    Thek ind of Russian-American views not getting propped in US mass media. Similar to the PC Ukrainian views getting the nod over Ukrainians thinking differently.

  158. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    You’re on the right track, buddy! I don’t know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you’re not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you’re capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I’d guess that you’re a solid 99! Keep it up!

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  159. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are.

    I see that you’re still babbling on Mickey. Isn’t it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

    As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: “I am a journalist………I am a journalist ………I am a journalist ………” until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy’s

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  160. Chainsaw1 says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    “Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.”

    The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

    First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

    Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

    Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

    http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

    https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml “Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set”

    and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

    By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @anonymous coward
  161. utu says:
    @Chainsaw1

    [MORE]

    After showing off that you know statistics of character string in English language try to explain what is your point.

  162. @Mr. XYZ

    If it wasn’t a setup by formerly-great formerly-Britain, who was it?

  163. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  164. @Jaakko Raipala

    [MORE]

    I’m just going to claim that you’re trying an “it doesn’t work because of fancy words X, Y, Z” bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

    What’s the “it” in your post, exactly? Darwinism? The problem with Darwinism is that it’s not a scientific theory. It’s not even formulated correctly. The problem itself is framed by biologists in handwavey terms on a “monkeys and typewriters” level.

    When one tries putting some sort of numbers to the idea, the whole thing falls apart. See my post above, for example, where it turns out you need a Universe about 10^300 larger than ours to make random selection work.

    And before you charge to M’Lady Science’s defense: note this isn’t a “disproof”, it’s just a demonstration that nobody bothered to frame the question properly yet. There’s nothing there that can be proved or disproved.

  165. @Jaakko Raipala

    [MORE]

    Congratulations, you missed the point again.

    The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn’t match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn’t exist in real life.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

    Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

    Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn’t Darwinism. It wouldn’t even be biology, because biologists don’t (and can’t) deal with stuff like that.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
  166. @utu

    [MORE]

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we’re traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

    Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.

    • Replies: @utu
  167. @Chainsaw1

    [MORE]

    Good point, but unfortunately Markov chains (and evolutionary algorithms) are intelligent design, not random evolution.

    They are tools for getting an answer when you know the result you want, but don’t know the steps to get it. The better you understand the result you want, the faster you arrive at a solution.

    That’s a framework postulated by ‘intelligent design’ proponents, and rejected by conventional Darwinist biologists.

  168. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.

    OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  169. utu says:

    Important speech of Victor Orban

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp

    http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/prime-minister-viktor-orban-s-speech-at-the-29th-balvanyos-summer-open-university-and-student-camp

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  170. Continuing on AKarlin’s conclusion how Russia’s future economic and foreign policy orientation lies on the EU’s response to the US’s inevitable Iran-style sanctions against Russia, I’ll walk through some situations, and also state that once sanctions and adversaries with unfriendly relations escalate to embargo and enemies with no relations on the US side, the EU’s decision at that point will be able to determine its fate for a long time to come.

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy. This is more likely to happen if the US threatens third party trade ties with Russia. This means that EU imposes Iran-style sanctions, and gradually turns to more expensive US LNG for energy. This would put the EU under incredible strain, and a large amount of state coffers would be shaved off due to these purchases; the citizens disposable income would plunge too. On the other hand, Europe won’t really collapse if the US agrees to subsidize gas sales to the EU in exchange for joining the ideological crusade against Russia.

    In the Kissinger thread where I mentioned how a blackpilled possibility of Russia’s future lies as a vassal state, or junior partner, of China, while I may have exaggerated a little regarding permanent PLA bases on Russia soil, it still is a slight possibility if the oligarchs become more powerful again and also get a little desperate. However, PLA bases aside, if the EU joins in the US on an embargo against Russia, Russia would still be cut off from trade and other ties to its west, and inevitably having to completely rely on its east for trade and political ties. Since even Japan/Korea trade can be a little difficult due to their strong US ties and India doesn’t really offer Russia much, except as a place to export some goods, this leaves us with China, rendering Russia’s future as China’s largest and most important vassal state.

    This would also enable the EU branch of neoliberalism.txt to show their true colors as an American vassal. Outside of Poland and the Baltics, attitudes towards Russia vary directly on how neoliberal they feel, so in order to prevent the people from voting in non-neoliberal parties, some “checks and balances” aka non-democracy has to be implemented to make sure neoliberalism.txt stays via “voting”. In this case, shave off a good at least 10% to EU’s white percentage in the long run also; while its unlikely for Britain and France to ever dip below 60% white but stabilize around that point instead, a quasi-neoliberal dictatorship would mean Eastern and Southern Europe bearing a lot of this brunt, e.g. ghettos in Warsaw might go from a fear to actual reality. And expect the EU’s economic growth to be highly stagnant, and China, with Russia as not just a friendly state but a vassal state, would take advantage of this to end up becoming the other pole in a bipolar world along with the US.

    Unless China changes the way it conducts trade and foreign policy, this means that Russia will likely get taken advantage of and not get too much in return, especially with non-patriotic and greedy oligarchs still having significant power. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble a more predatory version of UK/Canada-US relations and Russia will find itself to be a largely China-oriented, with Chinese tourism, businesses, language, and other ties etc. having a very broad, visible, and dominating presence.

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran. China will gladly take advantage of the situation.

    2. The EU doesn’t cave in and continues to maintain trade and political ties with Russia. This is the better result for not just Russia, but also the entire world. A Europe that’s able to stand up to American foreign policy, especially if its more ideological hysteria than based on realpolitik in the case with Russia, is one that would have taken its first step towards significantly reasserting their sovereignties. This would’ve also been a huge blow to the American establishment, if not THE nail in the coffin ending American unipolarity. And China also needs more competitors instead of a bipolar world with just China and America.

    2a). Europe continues to be ruled by neoliberalism.txt as America enforces the embargo. Sanctions won’t be lifted and the status quo remains. As China gets more powerful and European relations still cold, Russia and China will end up in a full-blown alliance, but its status quo trade and personal ties with Europe would ensure that Russia can continue to maintain a somewhat multi-vectored approach instead of complete subservience to Beijing. And Russia won’t be as much of a “hot potato” if not embargoed by the EU, ties with countries like Japan and South Korea will continue unabated if not upgraded. In this case, the EU can still be a more sovereign entity, albeit just ruled by the neoliberalism.txt ideology; demographically, slightly better than, but no significant differences from the EU caving to US embargo case. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble Japan-US relations, albeit without the military bases.

    Chance of this happening? 40%.

    2b). Europe undergoing a right-wing wave as America enforces the embargo. Europe in this case will lift sanctions against Russia and ties likely even upgrade to a strategic partnership. While Russia will not become enemies with China since it is in its best interest to not pick a fight with the world’s #1 or #2 power, its relationship will stabilize as non-adversarial but non-aligned, a renewed strategic partnership with Europe can stimulate Russia’s economy and will ensure a multipolar world emerges in the 21st century, with Russia as a powerful 3rd or 4th most powerful country on good terms with everybody (minus the US and parts of Eastern Europe). Such close ties to Russia will also be a boon for Europe’s economy, and the possibility to regain their sovereignties after a century-long occupation post-WW2. America becomes more isolated and loses its unipolarity in this case.

    An unrelated side effect of this tactic is that the nonwhite percentages of Europe will probably stabilize at or just above or below (in the case of southern Europe) current values.

    In this case, Russia-China relations won’t be any special, with close trade relations, some military cooperation, and neutral détente but inevitable minor beefs that spring up every once in a while, like a closer and better version US-China relations pre-Trump. Russia in this case will truly be one of the smaller poles in a multipolar world.

    Chance of this happening? 30%, but this is by far the best outcome for the entire world.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  171. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    And encourage tourists to travel to other countries?

  172. @utu

    [MORE]

    Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let’s test that hypothesis.

    Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

    * There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
    * There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
    * There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
    * There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
    * There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)

    * There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

    Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn’t.

    • Replies: @utu
  173. Mitleser says:
    @AquariusAnon

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran.

    Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
    Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

    In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.

    Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

    In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

    Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

    This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that “doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in.”

    https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @utu
  174. @Mitleser

    Didn’t know that. I’ll keep that as a note.

    So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  175. @Dmitry

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

    You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It’s a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

    It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

    Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back – to better resist “Russian aggression”.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Dmitry
  176. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  177. utu says:
    @Mitleser

    Interesting. It looks really bad.

  178. Miro23 says:

    2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades.

    This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to 1) develop its own international settlements system based on a Euro reserve currency 2) redirect trade and investment towards the ROW (rest of the world), if necessary, excluding the US 3) become a reliable non-political trade partner to these countries 4) make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.

    The place to start would be the termination of NATO, but it would be better to implement the policies simultaneously. It would initially be very costly to European corporations, but ultimately worth it, with new more predictable international relationships.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
  179. @Miro23

    This is exactly what I meant by my response. Not only will EU’s response to the upcoming US embargo be instrumental in writing Russia’s role and development in the 21st century world, but also if the EU ever wants to transform from a neoliberalism.txt US vassal experiment to either an independent “Great Power” quasi-federation (essentially USSR 2.0 after the revolutionary phase died down, Communism replaced by neoliberalism.txt), or to break up as wholly sovereign states, a continuation if not strengthening of relations with Russia will be a pivotal first step for that to happen.

  180. @anonymous coward

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made;

    There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.

    [MORE]

    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe “began” 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don’t need it to emerge in that time – 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

    In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That’s implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you’re in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

    Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don’t know since the current theories of physics can’t probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole “age of the universe” thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually “expanded” into the current one.

    However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we’d need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can’t do that currently. Hence, everything “earlier” than that is pure speculation, in fact we don’t even know for sure whether there was a “before”. This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the “big bang”, “the beginning” and such but that’s all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from “nothing” 13 billion years ago and that’s just not true.

    And an “understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics” is definitely required for cosmology like claims that “universe is X seconds old”. You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  181. Mitleser says:
    @AquariusAnon

    Most likely is “status quo with embargo only on US side” with limited shift towards “Iran-style western embargo”. EUropean elites do not show much willingness to oppose Russophobia, but on the other hand Russia is much more integrated in the EU economy than the Iran.

    For instance, the value of the trade in 2017 between Russia and Germany was 57,3 billion Euro (rank 14th), the number for the Iran-Germany trade was only 3,4 billion Euro (rank 58th).

    https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesamtwirtschaftUmwelt/Aussenhandel/Tabellen/RangfolgeHandelspartner.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

    That reduces their willingness to follow American sanctions.

  182. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Don’t bash Greece so much.

    They are still making right decisions.

    From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

    Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe — heading almost exclusively to Greece — are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

    Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

    Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    , @anon
  183. @utu

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.

    No, it actually doesn’t. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn’t. No matter how big it is, it’s still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

    Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.

    Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

    Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

    I’m not “disproving” anything. I’m demonstrating that the “monkeys and typewriters” argument used by biologists (and its variants “the universe is really big” and “the Earth is really old” arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

    The Universe isn’t really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we’re dealing with here.

    Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument

    Do you? The point is that we’re traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.

    • Replies: @utu
  184. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you’re looking for something even more critical, just let me know?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  185. @Jaakko Raipala

    [MORE]

    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe “began” 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity.

    Very good point, and one I agree with. However, this is a variant of the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and is considered to be pseudoscience by biologists.

    Like I said, I’m not “disproving” anything, merely pointing out that the way Darwinian evolution is framed by biologists is not science.

    Maybe it can be reformulated in a way that makes sense, but don’t hold your breath — the biologists don’t even understand the objections and fall back to the “Earth is, like, really old” argument.

    And an “understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics” is definitely required for cosmology like claims that “universe is X seconds old”.

    Again, the actual figure is irrelevant. The point is that we’ve posited an exponentially exploding probability space, and yet nothing in nature is infinite and exponential. (I know about the cosmology arguments about the finite/infinite universe, spare me. In any case, the observable Universe is definitely finite, and science only deals with the observable.)

  186. @Mitleser

    Now that Syria has all but won the war, I wonder when will rebuilding and eventually re-emerging as a stable country good enough for FDI and tourism will start. By then, I also wonder how it will be sanctioned.

    My guess is that it will rebuild under Iran-style conditions back to more or less where it was in the early 2000s politically, economically, socially, and sanctions-wise starting around 2020 or so.

  187. Anon[536] • Disclaimer says:

    “For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America’s SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.”

    As an American, I think Russia should do this and for good reason: the people who run this country are idiots; if this is allowed to stand, they’ll continue to push this until we get a war. Best to head it off now by making the US Ruling Class pay the price. I especially like the last part. Russia should just host all Hollywood movies, books, and video games on a server accessible to American pirates (hey, Red States won’t have problem with this…these scum just voted to remove Trump’s star on the walk of fame anyway).

  188. Anon[360] • Disclaimer says:

    “This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to … make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.”

    Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. NATO is a good way to keep an incompetent, belligerent U.S. bogged down so that it doesn’t cause any serious trouble for advanced nations. Take Germany for instance. The number of US troops there is quite small in an absolute sense, not enough to cause trouble, but combined with troops all over the place, the all-volunteer US military can’t really marshall the numbers necessary to invade anyone without support from Europe. NATO is actually a clever way to control the aggressive tendencies of the United States; without it, there is no telling what the U.S. could do.

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved. That’s why German industrialists were stupid to provoke Trump and go around telling Europeans to not buy American weapons (those weapons are in some cases FAR superior to what the Europeans have and someone is definitely going to buy them considering the cost spent to develop them, either you or a potential enemy…so it might as well be you). In all, it’s good deal for them. They aren’t going to chunk that for anything.

    The real key here is for Russia to strike back in a way that doesn’t galvanize the American public against them. My suggestion: cancel all American copyright protections and start hosting American movies and television programs. Conservative republicans won’t oppose this as these programs are made in Trump-hating California – a place that just voted to remove Trump’s star on the walk of fame.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  189. @German_reader

    In fact, his “conservative” predecessor Samaras was more pro-German than pro-American. Tsipras is pro-American. He is leftist like Tony Blair is leftist.

  190. @Anon

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.

    Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  191. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  192. @Hyperborean

    the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could’ve been made cheaper, but all in all I think it’ll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it’s recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It’s actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it’s not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

    If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

    If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you’d need to buy from the other).

    For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Thorfinnsson
  193. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.

    Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @reiner Tor
    , @Z-man
  194. @Mitleser

    Yes, that’s another risk.

    Maybe that’s why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America’s enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America’s friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it’s the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Thorfinnsson
  195. @Mitleser

    Interestingly, when I searched for it, besides RT, I only found an Israeli and an Australian site. It’s not a widely reported news.

  196. @reiner Tor

    F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.

    That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.

    Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates. And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth. F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band. It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars. In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).

    The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.

    As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical. Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?

    That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.

    The F-35 also now costs less to buy than the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, which is an important advantage. Gripen is much cheaper, but Sweden has no geopolitical clout and has a very bad habit of finding moralistic reasons not to export armaments.

    If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise. France is also a reliable supplier. Worst choice is the Super Hornet. The F-16, while now quite an old design, is still a very capable aircraft at a reasonable price as well.

    Japan now has a stealth fighter technology demonstrator in the MHI X-2 Shinden. They somehow built it, including with indigenous turbofans, for $360m. The airframe is very interesting in that it’s built of new materials which eliminate the need for RAM, which should keep operating costs down and increase sortie rates. But this is only a technology demonstrator at this time, probably as proof-of-concept for the new materials and an indigenous low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine.

    As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance. Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.

    Who knows what the real reason is. Budgetary pressures perhaps? Russia wants to double capital spending in rouble terms in 2024, and to do so without increasing debt. At the same time it’s continuing its import substitution efforts, and there are no moves to soaking the rich. So the money has to come from somewhere, and presumably that makes mass production of the Su-57 and T-14 Armata less attractive.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  197. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    >study F-35 and its data
    >get better at detecting/fighting F-35

    It is probably one of the main reasons why the RoC (Taiwan) won’t get this jet despite needing more than most. The risk that pro-PRC agents would have access to the F-35 is not small.

  198. @dfordoom

    Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

    I agree. However, let’s not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say “international finance” is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can’t exclude them (from the system they created and own).

    If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    , @dfordoom
    , @Vidi
  199. @reiner Tor

    Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

    The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

    The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

    • Replies: @Sean
  200. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:

    LOL. Not only the usual Russo-Ukro shitstorm that takes over every thread longer than 100 replies, but evolution-creation debate is there too.

    This thread is officially over. RIP.

  201. LondonBob says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn’t take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  202. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    IMF funded by a lot of countries though – Russia now one of the top ten important creditors and more influential owners of the IMF (although it’s proportion of ownership is still multiples times smaller compared to US).

    Russia is 8th largest shareholder of the IMF (out of 189 countries). US is largest share-holder, and then Japan and China.

    Decisions are based on member voting which is based on share in the organization, so Russia has 8th largest vote in IMF, but behind USA, Japan, China, etc.

    Part of the Greek debt is owned by Russia through the IMF, probably relative to Russian ownership of IMF and the debt relief packages partly also funded from Russian loans.

    Fortunately, IMF ownership of Greek debt is several times smaller than the eurozone countries. But Russia’s government share of Greece debt will probably be some billions of dollars. That’s how Greece can basically continue receiving money – so many countries are owed money on their debt.

  203. @LondonBob

    Not really applicable in Russia’s situation. We are already at war, it’s entirely one-way for now, but that doesn’t make it less of a war.

  204. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Thanks man, that’s what I have been craving all my life – an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  205. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    VAT is not a “non-issue”. When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be “polite”) is going to be used “wisely”.

    At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues – which is a volatile priced resource.

    So it’s typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

    Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  206. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    Your reading comprehension sucks.

    You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you’ve an obsession with.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  207. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    That’s: a live one hour….

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  208. @Dmitry

    Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I’m skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it’s spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

    Russia’s official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

    Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

    The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

    The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

    Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia’s nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

    Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.

    • Replies: @g2k
  209. Anon[204] • Disclaimer says:

    “F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.”

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won’t get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    “That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.”

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no “supposedly” here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won’t be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    “Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates.”

    The US can easily afford it.

    “And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth.”

    Doesn’t matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

    “F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band.”

    No, it’s not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

    “It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars.”

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon’s grade lock, so they’re useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that’s always been true. Didn’t do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    “In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).”

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    “The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.”

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    “As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical.”

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn’t seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

    “Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?”

    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

    “That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.”

    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    “If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise.”

    Sure, if you’re poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    “As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance.”

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn’t count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    “Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.”

    Russia is delaying because 1. they can’t afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn’t as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don’t see a point in building it.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @utu
  210. Sean says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The F-35 is for transferring US technology to Israel

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/israels-air-force-might-have-the-ultimate-weapon-custom-25983
    Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft’s development. Israel, however, managed to carve out an exception. Though not an investor in the F-35’s development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty. It also negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid. Furthermore, depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad.

    The Lightning’s sophisticated flight computer and ground-based logistics system has become a matter of contention with many F-35 operators. Foreign air forces would like to have greater access to the F-35’s computer source codes to upgrade and modify them as they see fit without needing to involve external parties—but Lockheed doesn’t want to hand over full access for both commercial and security-based reasons. Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs “on top” of Lockheed’s operating system.

  211. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    “Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising. Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.”

    Please. They bought the F-35 because it is the best aircraft they could get, and they don’t trust the Russians. If they wanted to offer tribute, they’d just write a check and buy another aircraft.

    Further, much of the so-called criticism of the F-35 came from non-experts in the subject or older guys who worked with the now-outdated F-14. The F-35 has made enough progress for me to believe that it will likely crush anything the Russians have now or in the future. Even if the Russians could build the Su-57, the F-35 would still win in most contests because 1. its sensor suite and over the horizon A2A capability + electronic warfare capability will be appreciably superior 2. it will be built in far larger numbers.

    “The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else.”

    The F-35 will be quite effective against any aircraft those countries currently field. Any belief to the contrary is either ignorance or delusion. The US isn’t spending a trillion dollars on this thing to fight Trinidad and Tobago.

  212. @Anon

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won’t get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    “Over-the-horizon A2A capability” has existed for half a century. Previously structuring our airpower around this concept resulted in high losses in Vietnam.

    The real reason for the bubble canopy’s elimination (note that the stealthier F-22 and YF-23 both have bubble canopies) is the ridiculous insistence on the same platform being used for a STOVL aircraft with a lift fan placed right in the middle of the fuselage.

    If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area only and it can’t carry a large missile load.

    Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.

    The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no “supposedly” here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won’t be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    I have no doubt in the capability to produce and field top-class avionics. What I do doubt is the idea that we produce (and always will produce) superior avionics to anyone else. Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and even tiny Israel all produce AESA radars. The US lagged Russia (and Europe) in IRST for decades. The US is far behind on low-frequency radar.

    The US can easily afford it.

    You’ll note that this was originally about F-35 exports. A solution with high operating costs and low sortie rates is problematic for anyone, but especially undesirable for a small power.

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon’s grade lock, so they’re useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that’s always been true. Didn’t do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    Detection is not useless. It allows you to vector interceptors until they get close enough for a radar lock or can identify the target with IRST or visual tracking.

    Incompetent Arabalonians. Norman Scwhartzkopf stated that if you’d reversed the weapons on each side but kept the personnel and training the same, the Allied coalition would’ve still handily won. Serbia incidentally did successfully shoot down an F-117, which largely owed itself to the skill of the operator in question and poor tactics on the part of NATO.

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn’t seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.
    [...]
    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.
    [...]
    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.

    Sure, if you’re poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn’t count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.

    The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.

  213. Sean says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  214. @Sean

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you

    I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it’s Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

    • Replies: @Sean
  215. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a ‘coward’ for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you’re some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

    friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants…this is not someone you want to get angry. HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don’t ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

    This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  216. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.

    No, it actually doesn’t.

    No, it does.

    The machine that draws the numbers for a lottery manages to pick 7 winning numbers every week. It never fails to pick the winning numbers. Is this an amazing feat? The numbers it picks are the winning numbers while millions of lottery players have great difficulty to pick the winning numbers and spend millions of dollar on it while the cost to the machine is just few bucks.

    Shakespeare picked 458 ‘winning’ letters but if you would try to reproduce them in the same sequence by random selections it becomes probabilistically impossible task.

    Finding a winning sonnet by Shakespeare for the Universe was not a probabilistic feat just as it is not for the lottery machine to pick the winning numbers. It all comes down to the meaning and when that meaning is assigned. You assigned a special meaning to this particular sequence of 458 letters just like lottery players assign special meaning to 7 numbers picked by a machine.

  217. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don’t concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he’s a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  218. g2k says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It’s combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they’ve also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Philip Owen
  219. APilgrim says:

    The US Congress, has popularity & confidence levels in the toilet.

    Congress, in defiance of public opinion has MANDATED ‘Russia-Sanctions’, in the law.

    Congress has done this overwhelmingly & repeatedly, without VISIBLE public support.

    There is no evidence available to the American Public which justifies ‘Russia-Sanctions’.

    Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

    Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

    Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

  220. APilgrim says:

    Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

    Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

    Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

  221. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don’t worry about my “emotional” dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can’t be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  222. @g2k

    USSR engaged in intensive agricultural motorization earlier than any country other than the USA and Canada. It was also fairly early to intensive chemicalization, mainly beaten out by Germany and America.

    In the postwar period the share of capital investment devoted to agriculture varied from 11.8% in 1946-1950 to a peak of 20.1% in 1971-1975.

    Not surprising there is something of a positive legacy. Main failures of postwar Soviet agriculture were distribution and processing. Not enough roads or trucks, inadequate cold chain, too few food processing plants, etc.

    Belarus also has a successful agricultural machinery sector as well.

    Heavy transportation machinery was generally a Soviet success story, probably because not only are they producer goods but they also require routine replacement. Thus unlike other capital goods in centrally-planned economies they weren’t kept in service long past the time they ceased to be efficient. The irrational “development” of Siberia also increased the size of this sector and the quality of its output.

    Lastly, worth noting Rostelmash has been privately owned since 2000.

  223. utu says:
    @Anon

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.

    If this is the case then obviously its ‘kinematic performance’ is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy’s top speed.

    But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  224. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin’s orders. Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy. Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil.

    I don’t think he was a happy man.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    I happen to believe that Putin is deliberately trying to alienate the West with these assassinations because he wants Russia to remain proudly independent after he is gone. Yet he has to justify that policy to his close associates many of whom who love the Western lifestyle and making money. It is like Hitler having to explain his attack on the USSR to his generals and Goebbels by saying it was necessary to remove that threat from the east before moving against Britain. Obviously Hitler really longed to conquer Russia, and it seems likely to me that Putin wants to initiate schismogenesis with the West. He probably is not telling his cronies that though, there will be some security pretext.

    Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

    Putin has more power than anyone else on Earth, I should have thought that was obvious by now. He wants to exert control when he is no longer there, and that means setting Russia on a course that cannot be altered, and consulting/implicating the entire future leadership cadre.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  225. @g2k

    John Deere does very well in Russia because they own a local factory. They seem to be the combine of choice because they have faster parts distribution than Class. Rostelmash does better than it used to but the really big commercial farms and associated contractors buy the best machines. The operators on the ex cooperatives, usually farmed under (corrupt) rental arrangements tend to use Rostelmash, insofar as they buy new.

  226. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    No, you’re a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AnonFromTN
  227. @utu

    In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

    But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

    Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

    China’s Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It’s basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

    Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

    Stealth isn’t hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.

    • Replies: @utu
  228. utu says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

    F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
    F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

    F16 RCS= 5 sqm
    SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
    PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

    Providing that one can trust this blogger:

    http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @reiner Tor
  229. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

    Like I said, you’re showing some progress. It’s hard an takes some time, don’t get discouraged.

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  230. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Much different from yours truly.

    You’re right about that, and I’m glad to be different from you. At least people aren’t leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. ‘Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier’ is nothing to be proud about, Mickey. :-(

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  231. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

    I quite like that idea!

    Provide sophisticated arms to everybody (no matter how crazy) with an ability to cause grief to the U.S.

    The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation. This is war to the death. There can be no negotiation with the U.S. The only hope of forcing the Americans to adopt a sane policy is to make the costs of their current policy catastrophically high.

    The U.S. is obviously stronger but a strong man will usually back down if faced with someone crazy and unpredictable. Putin needs to be crazy and unpredictable.

    And Russia needs to target America’s lapdogs, like the British. Perhaps let them know that if it ever came to nuclear war London would be a priority target.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  232. @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. Hack
  233. Parbes says:
    @Felix Keverich

    U.S. “public opinion” is literally the collective opinion of dumbed-down, amoral idiots. In fact, the word “opinion” is too dignified for this – “braindead recantation of MSM-fed government propaganda” would be a better description.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  234. @utu

    Stealth is definitely an advantage.

    But it’s not an invisibility cloak.

    It’s optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

    Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

    Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

    There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

    The F-35 however is not–it’s only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

    Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America’s lead on it), it’s not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.

    • Replies: @utu
  235. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    A few cranks out of many more thinking quite differently.

    You of course can take pride in being a cowardly anonymous troll.

  236. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    [MORE]

    Yes, I’ve been told that.

  237. utu says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    “But it’s not an invisibility cloak.” – Nobody talks about invisibility. RCS matters. You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

    “The F-35 however is not–it’s only stealth optimized in the frontal area. ” – Presumably it will show its rear to its enemy only when the enemy will be already falling down after being hit.

    “Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually…” – Nobody argues invisibility.

    “it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter”. – It all depend on superiority over whom. Anyway this is a vague and pompous term.

    “Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally.” – What good are those weapons for if you are shot before you see your stealthy enemy?

    “Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive”. – Yes. That’s why Russians do not have it.

    Listen. I do not really care about this issue and I do not know much about it. I just responded to your arguments which are mostly rhetorical in nature among at diminishing importance of the orders of magnitude lower RCS of F-22 and F-35 comparing to that of their potential opponents.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @reiner Tor
  238. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    [MORE]

    Do you remember Ukraine?…remember your Ukrainian mother?…you’re a sorry excuse for a human being, a modern day janissary.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @Respect
  239. @Sean

    I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin’s orders.

    Or something else neither of us thought of. It’s a false dichotomy when we have no information at all about the whole thing, the only thing we know is that the British are lying.

    Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy.

    But that’s just your model. Maybe they wouldn’t become jumpy, or maybe the Western intelligence services would dare frame him anyway.

    By the way it’s interesting that you managed to draw a psychological profile of Putin based on just two cases a decade apart, and Putin only did it twice in his whole reign. Sure if he enjoyed torturing his critics he’d do it more, wouldn’t he?

    Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

    Risk management is my job. People don’t think about risks that way. They assign a very low probability to events like the Black Brant scare, and anyway probably Putin would just realize it was only one rocket. There’s no reason to believe he’d be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

    • Replies: @I.M
    , @Sean
  240. @utu

    Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not “stealth” and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus “missile lock” warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

    However, ground sites lack many countermeasures against incoming missile launches and cannot lock onto low-visibility planes from the front, so even if its general location is known, there’s not much that a SAM site can do to it in theory. Thus, it has a very effective, but limited role.

    This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @utu
  241. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    On your warped world, cranks like La Russophobe and pro-Bosnian Muslim extremists are okay.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  242. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    [MORE]

    Nah, not really. In my world, only cranks like you are special. Don’t worry, your status as #1 Kremlin Stooge remains intact.

  243. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Like I said, you’re showing some progress

    I wish I could say the same thing about the Ukrainians. You are showing nothing but regress since 1991, but I don’t expect that you’ll agree with that. It’s one of the side effects of having a thick head.

    You know how the Ukrainians got their name? It’s from the Latin Cranium for scull. Basically, what it means is that when any new idea (or old one for that matter) tries to penetrate the thick Ukrainian sculls – it has to make a U turn when it reaches their fortified cranial structures – U Cranium – therefore Ukraine. Get it? It’s pretty discouraging actually.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AnonFromTN
  244. @utu

    A good case could be made that we don’t know how these jets would perform under the conditions of a real world war. But I think it’s always the best bet that it will be the American weapons which perform the best. That’s simply the way to bet.

    It’s possible that many of their weapons systems wouldn’t perform as advertised. Some would perform better than thought or for roles they weren’t designed for.

    It’s a very safe decision to buy the F-35, which is now not even that expensive. It’s possible that it won’t be worth much in a real war against comparable opponents, but this could be true of any other platform: these weapons are only tried out against vastly inferior opponents.

    You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

    He will usually have a vague idea where you are. Currently it’s not possible to launch a missile based on that vague knowledge, but will it stay like that forever? A lot depends on other systems like air defense and AWACS.

    Anyway, my original point was that probably buying the F-35 is not based on politics, it’s a safe decision for those with deep enough pockets to buy the best available fighter jet. Even if under the circumstances of a real war it turned out to be bad: it could happen to a number of other weapons systems anyway, and you cannot really tell in advance which ones.

    • Agree: utu
  245. @Daniel Chieh

    The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier

    But wouldn’t the idea be that you get closer to the enemy without being detected? Your argument might work against BVR combat in general, but more against non-stealth BVR combat than against stealth: stealthy planes will probably employ their BVR weapons from closer range than non-stealthy planes.

    If BVR air-to-air missiles work at all, they work much better with stealthy planes. Regardless of whether against peer or non-peer opponents.

    • Replies: @utu
  246. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not “stealth” and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus “missile lock” warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

    If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand) I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

    I realize this is a complex game with many possible strategies and tactics with many parameters involved. For each strategy there are decision regions where the different parameters dominate what will be the optimal tactic. Furthermore we really do not know how effective various countermeasures are but I suspect that they might be decisive. But if they fail and planes get close to each other within the visual range then obvious completely different parameters might be decisive including the human factor.

    I won’t argue with you on this subject because I know you were raised by video games so you now better at least in the realm of video games model. I would not argue with Mowgli about the purpose and efficacy of howling at the moon. Perhaps it was a sophisticated countermeasure.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  247. @utu

    I actually have never played a flight simulator within recent memory. As far as I’m aware, none of them really calculate the issues of missile flight with any degree of accuracy and treat guidance systems like some sort of magic. My comments are actually speculations from conversations with military pilots.

    If your argument states that it is actually bad to deploy weapons far away (which I do not understand)

    Missiles have extremely limited flight times and their flight characteristics degrade after launch. Disrupting either their guidance or their flight negates the kill chain.

    I would say that the stealth will allow you to get much closer to the enemy w/o being detected and makes it possible to launch the missile when there will be not less time for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

    This is possible, but ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range. Its possible that this is the idea, coupled with the Block III Sidewinders which are designed against a number of countermeasures, but that seems to have been cancelled for some reason.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @utu
  248. @utu

    Though the first comment there:

    If you don’t know the composite materials used, you can not give a correct RCS, and you can not tell just by looking, the physics don’t work like that!

    So at least we have the word of the US Air Force and Lockheed regarding the stealthiness of their planes (these are probably not outright lies, but might differ from reality in either direction: they might be modest to hide their true capabilities, or, more likely, exaggerate and give a number only true under ideal conditions for a specific type of radar etc. ), but regarding the supposedly 5th generation Chinese or Russian jets we have just very rough estimates based on the shape and some assumptions about their coating.

  249. Respect says:

    How hard is Imperial Menopause

    Nowadays USA is Sactionistan ,sanctions !! sanctions !! sanctions !!

    I read that the USA is considering sanctions to Russia because she thinks Russia insulted Mickey Mouse .

  250. Respect says:

    So many US sanctions and interdictions , to friends and foes alike , will end up isolating the US .

    The US pressure to the EU not to trade with Russia , Iran and other countries has provoked a deep resentment in the EU and has turned the US into a very unreliable partner , and even a dangerous ” friend ” .

  251. The better part of four decades ago, President Reagan made a joke about outlawing the Soviet Union and the press and the left went apeshit. Now Congress seriously proposes legislation that would essentially outlaw Russia, and the press and the left are all for it.

  252. @Daniel Chieh

    ever-increasingly decreases the window of attack that is beyond visual range

    How many seconds will the stealth pilot have to identify the target and fire its missiles? Sixty? Hundred-twenty? Thirty? Even thirty seconds must be enough for a well enough trained pilot.

    There might be issues with how to leave the scene after having killed an opponent, if other enemies are still there, because it’s less stealthy from other angles. I guess we’re not the first to think about it, so probably there’s some solution. At the very least, I wouldn’t expect them to perform worse than the 4th gen planes.

  253. @Thorfinnsson

    I think even the production of the F-16 is about to end.

    Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it’s not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that’s not saying much, considering the price differential.

    Hungary also has Gripens, though we didn’t fully equip them until recently, and I don’t think we spend enough on training the pilots.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  254. Anonymous[333] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war. The whole slow-motion drama, with all its attendant false flags (MH17, the Skripals, gassings in Syria, etc), numerous rounds of sanctions and specious rhetoric including accusations of “stealing the election” from Hillary, since Putin checked Obama’s attempt to seize Russia’s Crimean base and recruit another hostile NATO member on that country’s frontier has been meant to convince the American public that Russia is our country’s blood enemy, that it is run by an insane dictator the equal of Hitler, and that the consequent world war will have been all Putin’s fault in spite of America bending over backwards to make peace with those vicious mongrels from the steppes.

    As a commentor above said, I’d hate to be killed by a Russian nuke directed at my city only because of an insane American leadership, but I’d equally hate for tens of millions of Russians (and others) to be exterminated by our weapons simply to further an agenda being promoted by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Sheldon Adelson and the other plutocrats who really pull all the strings in Washington to benefit themselves plus their Saudi and Israeli co-conspirators in some great game to rule the world. I’d say that Washington is about poised to commit the greatest crime in the history of the human race, and chances are good that it will be the last.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @awry
  255. Anon[332] • Disclaimer says:

    “Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not “stealth” and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus “missile lock” warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.”

    That’s not quite true. The ability to shoot a barrage of sophisticated missiles at an opponent that can’t shoot back beyond visual range should be quite useful in combat; these missiles will also close the gap much sooner than you would think, so it’s not like an enemy is going to have all day to deal with incoming threats. Further, electronic countermeasures won’t be perfect as most A2A missiles fielded by the US will have systems designed to defeat them. The F-35 will also be fielded in large enough numbers such that they’ll just overwhelm opponents with their stealth ability. Combine the F-35 with the F-18 or F-22, and you’ll have a very effective air dominance force.

    “This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries.”

    I expect the F-35 to do quite well against both Russia and China in helping to establish air dominance. The F-35 will additionally have utility against surface S2A units. The navy could overwhelm Russian and Chinese air defenses – even assuming they are quite effective – by coordinating strikes with F-22s and F-35s. Those air defenses will go active, and the F-35 will then be able to hit many of them with a degree of survivability + coordinate with surface ships to smoke them out, mobile or not.

    • Replies: @Respect
    , @Daniel Chieh
  256. APilgrim says:

    George Soros (AKA György Schwartz) is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.

  257. APilgrim says:

    Ex-Pat William Felix Browder is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.

  258. APilgrim says:

    The lying MSM is a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  259. APilgrim says:

    The ChiCOMS are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.

  260. APilgrim says:

    Muhammadans are a bigger threat to the USA, than Vladimir Putin.

  261. APilgrim says:

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a bigger threat, than Vladimir Putin.

  262. @Anonymous

    These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war.

    That’s the most frightening part.

    • Replies: @neutral
  263. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I have never put much thought into these issues. But now after reading comments and some articles I realized that this is a fascinating topic and that there are many people somewhere who study it, write simulations and developed optimal algorithms for all possible situations where they have input data on all plane and missile characteristics except with only partial knowledge of enemy characteristics and efficacy of countermeasures. So I think that everything has been already calculated. When and what to shoot and when and where to turn and when to retreat and so on. And as new data are flowing in with the outcome of the first missile or the arrival of another enemy plane the master program is just bringing in pre-calculated solutions for each new situations. And then every geometric configuration must have been analyzed and optimal actions has been found. Furthermore optimal configuration were found about how to fly , in what formations, with what speeds and so on. Mathematically this problem might not be harder than a chess game on multiple boards and thus I think a completely autonomous AI system must exist where pilot is really not needed. The only big unknown are countermeasures. You do not have them in chess. Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

    Now the question is who is better in this game? Russians or Americans? It all comes down to money. How many good mathematicians, computer programmers and physicists I can employ? In USSR at secret sites like Arzamas-16 they had departments where 1000 or so PhDs in math (many, many women) worked. In Yeltsin times and probably before they mostly drank tea and coffee, organized birthday celebrations and send designated ones to stand in lines to do shopping. And it all fell apart. But in the US DARPA and Aerospace R&D continued w/o a break. So I would not hesitate to bet on Americans that they have significantly better systems. Another question is about spying. Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels. But the fact that F-22 was not donated to Israel yet may suggest that there are still some boundaries within American MIC that are off limits even to our beloved Jews.

  264. Respect says:
    @Anon

    Sounds like you want a war of the US against Russia and China , do you really ?

    And even sounds that you think that the US could win it , and the atomic long range missiles ?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  265. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it’s not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that’s not saying much, considering the price differential.

    You don’t ask for the “best”, you ask for the right system.
    Unless you need a stealth strike fighter (and don’t mind Lockheed’s involvement), the F-35 does not have to be the right one.
    In Hungary’s case, it is more important to have enough jets for air patrol duty.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  266. @utu

    Can pilot be better in making some decisions in the present of countermeasure than computer? I doubt it.

    I doubt it. It’s open ended, and the number of variations practically infinite. The computer can do most things way better than a human, but then could succumb to stupidity in some unknown situation, like the Tesla charging at full speed into the firetruck. Is the Tesla autopilot better than a well trained professional human, like a rally race driver? I don’t think so, especially in unexpected (for the computer) situations, where the human would just do the easy and sensible thing, but not the computer.

    Anyway, the US warplanes are still flown by human pilots. Of course, most things which could be automated are automated, and the logical conclusion is fully autonomous drones flying without much input from their handlers in underground bunkers.

    Jews are not as numerous as they were in R&D and no longer enamored with the Soviet Union, so it is more likely that India and China has know more about it and obviously Israel but through more official channels.

    Do you think that one of the things Israel pays Putin for being so friendly to him is US military tech? They did sell Russia some drones back in the Medvedev days, but nothing more recent can be found. But I’d be surprised if Putin didn’t think about it. I also think it’s not above Netanyahu to sell Russia American secrets. They gave such secrets to the USSR, and they also helped China more recently. I’m sure that if there’s anything going on, the MSM wouldn’t be reporting much on it. They also rarely wrote about the extent of the Israel-South Africa arms trade, and things only got worse recently.

    But maybe it’s not happening.

    • Replies: @utu
  267. @Mitleser

    The F-35 would cost so much that we couldn’t operate it. We can at least operate the Gripens. Having Gripens is better than having nothing.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  268. @Respect

    I think you can write about American military tech being better than Russian military tech without wanting a war between the two.

    • Replies: @Respect
  269. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Whatever is going on within the triangle Trump-Netnayahu-Putin is the most puzzling and the most interesting.

  270. Anon[123] • Disclaimer says:

    “The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.”

    I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

    “F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).”

    That’s irrelevant for three reasons:

    1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

    2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

    3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

    “This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.”

    Please. Extrapolation from a set of known facts and historical precedent is hardly projection. What you’ve done is classic deflection.

    “Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.”

    The aircraft you quoted are certainly not superior, so the issue is hardly moot.

    “Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.”

    Kinematic performance doesn’t cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can’t shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn’t nothing, but it isn’t everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

    “The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.”

    That’s not really the right way to phrase it. “Inferior” in this case only means “less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft.”

    Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I’m not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That’s much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

    I’m also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

    “If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area…”

    That’s not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

    “Small number of missiles.”

    Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

    “Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.”

    No, it wouldn’t. Something doesn’t have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

    “Flying wing.”

    1. We already have that. It’s called the B2…and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

    2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn’t be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

    “The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.”

    The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You’re trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft…which applies to every military project ever conceived.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  271. @dfordoom

    There can be no negotiation with the U.S.

    You don’t need to convince me. You’ll need to convince Russian kleptocrats, who’ve been sending their kids to live in the West since 1991, and who have kept their (stolen) money in the West.

    And reiner Tor, you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why? ;)

    The fact is asserting dominance in Eastern Europe will be a lot easier for Russia to accomplish, than confronting USA directly, and it is something I would probably do before I started threatening New York and London with nuclear devastation. You gotta make your threats credible you know. Credibility doesn’t come from making scary faces and shouting loudly, it’s earned.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  272. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Your Croatian neighbors are still operating Mig-21 and will get second-hand ((((F-16)))).
    And your Austrian neighbors are unhappy with their Eurofighters.
    Gripens are better than alternatives and nothing.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  273. Anon[123] • Disclaimer says:

    “Sounds like you want a war…”

    No, I don’t. In fact, I think the American Deep State is nuts. I have great respect for Russians and their military. I am simply pointing out facts: the F-35 isn’t the chump some think it is; do not believe any random internet poster when he says this thing won’t work. I’ve seen enough to know that it will and that you should be afraid of what it can do in large numbers.

    As I said earlier, the Russians should just dump all Hollywood movies and video games onto a server and call it MegaUpload 2. Hurt an industry most Trump voters despise anyway and you might be able to turn republicans against their warmongering representatives in congress who are pushing for sanctions, etc.

  274. Respect says:
    @reiner Tor

    Reiner Tor = Pure Door in german , not so pure , the door opens to wars .

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  275. APilgrim says:

    Hillary Clinton is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

    Obama is an existential threat to The: Republic & Constitutional Rule of Law.

    Michael Anthony McFaul may be a greater threat to America, than Vladimir Putin.

    Samantha Jane (Sunstein) Power may be a greater USA threat, than Vladimir Putin.

    Robert Mueller may be a greater USA threat than Vladimir Putin.

    • Troll: utu
  276. @Respect

    Actually, it means “pure fool,” “reines Tor” would be “pure gate” (not door), and it comes from the Wagner opera Parsifal, where the protagonist is a pure fool, enlightened by compassion. I’d probably choose a funnier handle today, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

  277. I.M says:
    @reiner Tor

    This point of false dichotomy is very important. Everything at this point, points to the fact that there was no nerve agent employed against the Skripals and that they were simply knocked out by some chloroform like substance. The fact that they survived, and recovered without any problems, is irrefutable proof of this.

    Therefore a false dichotomy is employed in order to, we can say mentally sodomise people into believing that the only option is that the Kremlin did it.

    I see people stating in comments sections in British newspapers that the official story is bullshit but that they simply can’t believe that their own government would disperse CWs throughout their country, however this is a mute point as it has been disproven that CWs were used at all and that the obvious conclusion is that they were simply drugged and held against their will while their oh so benevolent government spun an endlessly shifting fairytale, growing ever more convoluted and self contradictory by the day.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Sean
  278. @Mitleser

    Even if both NATO and the EU collapsed, and a war broke out with one or some of our neighbors, neither Austria nor Croatia would be likely enemies. Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won’t happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

    The F-16 is no longer in production (though maybe a restart is planned?), but most operators are happy enough with it.

  279. utu says:
    @I.M

    mentally sodomise people into believing

    Here, locally, I find it interesting that the commenter “Sean” got sodomized himself or is just trying to sodomize us. There is one recurring almost below the radar theme in his comments: war with Iran and the opportunity of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians it will bring. He might be right about it though I still hope this will be prevented while he seems to be welcoming it. And for some reason he seems to need Putin dead or compromised for this scenario to happen.

  280. @Parbes

    Public opinion in Russia is a lot like this actually. It seems that state-tv interrupted its anti-Western programming during World Cup, which caused approval of both US and EU to spike into positive territory for the first time since 2014.

  281. America is gradually isolating itself from the rest of the world. A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous one.

  282. APilgrim says:

    Somebody SHOULD investigate: Michael McFaul, Samantha Power, Robert Mueller, Peter Strzok, George Soros, William Browder, Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, Christopher Steele, John Podesta, Barack Obama, and John Brennan.

    Congress has done a SHlTTY Job of it. Perhaps Vladimir Putin SHOULD be allowed to publicly question these traitors, in the USA.

    We would probably learn a LOT!

    • Replies: @Respect
  283. Contraviews says: • Website

    America is isolating itself increasingly more from the rest of the world, A beast driven into a corner is a dangerous beast.

  284. Mitleser says:

    Of our NATO allies, both Romania and Slovakia were more likely enemies. I hope it won’t happen, because both are seriously stronger than us.

    They are?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  285. @Felix Keverich

    And reiner Tor, you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why? ;)

    I don’t fear it much, it’d simply be a stupid policy. I also don’t like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

    The predictable result would be a state of emergency in Central Europe and a strong mobilization against Russia. Military expenditures would quickly rise to 5% of GDP in Central Europe, but it’d rise around Europe.

    But actually some kind of military action in Ukraine as a direct response to American sanctions might make sense. Just don’t expect Ukrainians or neighboring peoples to greet you with flowers. So you might bomb some military targets recently installed by the Americans.

    But before that, you’d need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you’d need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn’t even fantasize about conquest.

    There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn’t even be able to finish.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  286. APilgrim says:

    The notion of modern WVR ‘Dogfighting’ is as hokey as this photo.

  287. APilgrim says:

    AK: In the future, please unite your multiple low effort one-sentence posts into one. Since they aren’t very high quality, fill up valuable screen real estate, and splicing them together takes too much time on my part, I will otherwise have to just start deleting them.

    Captain Albert Ball, VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (14 August 1896 – 7 May 1917) was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. At the time of his death he was the United Kingdom’s leading flying ace, with 44 victories.

    Those days are gone.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  288. Respect says:
    @APilgrim

    and Mc Cain ??? , he hero of the Isis desert , pardon the hero of Vietnam , Victoria Nuland the F… the EU … ” lady ” ….. Geoffrey Pyatt ….

  289. neutral says:
    @reiner Tor

    That’s the most frightening part.

    The thing is that if say Serbia, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, etc had nuclear weapons in 1914 then WW1 would likely not have broken out.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  290. These sanctions are complex, well thought out, most probably not by Goyim.
    Now We can see that Scripal affair was definitely false flag.
    These sanctions are obviously not a punishment.
    ……………………………………………………………………..
    These sanctions are telling Mother Russia to get on her knees, or die.
    ……………………………………………………………………….
    These are not really sanctions. This is Ultimatum.
    …………………………………………………………………….
    Everybody should understand that.

  291. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    Putin cannot be read like a book, but we can be confident that he is capable of deceiving even his closest confidants, for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin .

    There’s no reason to believe he’d be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.

    All other things being equal, but Yeltsin was never framed for murder by the West even once, so he never had Russian forces on red alert; never had the safety catches off. Yet in the Black Brant scare Yeltsin actually activated the nuclear keys , something that never happened even in the Cuban Missile crisis. In circumstances where there was already a hair trigger because of some misunderstanding and Yeltsin had a too much of a hangover to think clearly and recognize bad advice, he might well have launched. Putin would never knowingly launch first, but the opening of move of a nuclear first strike would be a high altitude air burst to blind the victim’s radar so waiting for the first nuclear detonation would not be an option.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-nato-military-exercise-freaked-out-russia-nearly-started-25864?page=0%2C2
    As these reports filtered in to Western intelligence agencies, there initially was little alarm. Analysts and experts who examined the information simply could not believe that the Soviets seriously thought that NATO was preparing a nuclear first strike. At this point, the West did not have any real clue just how dangerous the situation had become.

    If he and his country had been framed for murder twice in a row, Putin would take the some of the safeties off of the Russian nuclear deterrent because it was not working at the normal settings. All it would then take is someone, possibly at a low level, to get careless and we are in the danger zone. The Russians do not think America is likely to attack them out of the blue, but they do not rule out the possibility (Reagan said that was what most surprised him about the Soviet leadership once he came to know them).

    Wealthy Russians put their money in offshore British accounts, you seriously think anyone in their right mind would do that if the British Deep State was capable of deliberately framing Russia for assassinations. Dirty money from all over the world comes to offshore British accounts because Britain has the rule of law and the ill gotten gains are safe. It simply would not pay Britain to behave like a banana republic in the way you are suggesting. What you are suggesting is like MI5 & 6 stealing the gold out of the Bank of England, except it would be more plausible because there would be something in it for them. South Korean had the death penalty for capital flight. Putin is less crude, he is using the British sanctions against his circle (and you must be associated with circle to get rich in Russia) to force dodgy Russians and their money to stay put .

    Putin’s long term objective is to nullify foreign influences, which boils down to Western soft power and money. The Russian and Western elite were growing together before he started the high profile assassinations, now the divergence is gaining a momentum of its own. The more the West retaliates the better Putin likes it, hence arrest of Maria Butina and the heavy boots of the bots are grist to Putin’s mill, the more amateurish the espionage against the West, the better. That is why the OPSEC–oblivious GRU suit his purpose so much

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/06/the-gru-the-russian-intelligence-agency-behind-the-headlines
    “The GRU regards itself as a war-fighting instrument. Yes, it gathers conventional intelligence … but its culture is much more military,” said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security issues and the country’s intelligence agencies. “Although only a minority of GRU officers are Spetsnaz, it has an impact when part of your service are commandos.”

    Putin sacked the vast majority of the old GRU; the new commander Sergun was low ranking (although he was to be promoted to Colonel General after he designed the Donbass uprising) and was keen on contacts with the US, but died mysteriously in 2016, and the ones left know better than to ask questions about the ultimate purpose or ulterior motive of goading the US. Anyway, Putins’s objectives in all this are not to get away with anything, he wants the bad public relations, he wants the West to reject Russia and all its works, all the better to keep Russian away from Western influence. I just think the idea of the West deliberately pushing a proud nuclear armed power into confusion such as Andropov was in during Able Archer would be foolhardy beyond belief.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @anon
  292. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano

    Ukrainian = U Cranium

    Brilliant. And I like how you are able to weave in your almost non-existent knowledge of Latin too! This definitely proves that your IQ is in the 99* range. Like I say, you’re showing real progress each and every day. Soon, I suspect that readers of this blog will be giving you ‘agreements’ each and every time you write something here, like your buddy Janissary!

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    , @Cyrano
  293. @neutral

    Probably.

    On the other hand, the more such crises there will be between nuclear armed states, the more likely that one of those will result in a nuclear war. Humans (or machines, for that matter) will inevitably miscalculate once in a while, and those might result in one side believing it’s about to be obliterated, so that it can “use it or lose it.” All kinds of stupid (or seemingly stupid) factors might get into this, like sleep deprivation, extreme stress, fear of shame or loss of face, etc. People have committed murder-suicide under all kinds of circumstances, starting a nuclear war as an act of final desperation is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.

    So while nuclear weapons greatly diminish the likelihood of a world war, it certainly doesn’t make it impossible, and, on a long enough timeline, its likelihood will approach 1.

  294. @Mitleser

    Their armies are certainly much stronger, in terms of artillery or armored forces for example. Their air forces are not, but with the very low number of planes, it wouldn’t be decisive anyway. And they’re both in the process of buying F-16s, unless I’m mistaken. I think once these are over, the Slovakian Air Force will be roughly as strong as the Hungarian one, or somewhat stronger, while the Romanian will be multiple times stronger.

    The Slovak military is somewhat smaller on paper (in terms of troop numbers) than the Hungarian, but even that might be just a paper advantage. At least Slovakia is a smaller country (roughly half the size of Hungary), but Romania is vastly bigger, and its military is even larger than would be proportional.

    Anyway, I don’t think any Hungarian government would have the appetite to wage war against either of these.

    • Replies: @utu
  295. @Sean

    Cool story, but where’s the evidence that you read Putin’s mind correctly?

    • Replies: @Sean
  296. This is probably the consequence of Trump’s blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world’s TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin’s American supporters cannot hype it into a victory. I don’t see EU Member States raising any objection to further sanctions. Quite the contrary, in fact. The EU is the principal victim of Putin’s actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions. Don’t forget that the fight with Putin began over an attempt by him to prevent Ukraine signing an association agreement with the EU. The idea that the EU Member States are just dying to resume trade with Russia is a US internet myth (like so much else about Europe!).

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @neutral
  297. Sean says:
    @I.M

    OK the GRU did not use deadly nerve gas on the traitor Skripal because he survived, but by the same token the GRU did not use knockout gas in the Dubrovka Theater because they killed hundreds of innocent Russian hostages. At least we can agree GRU did use flamethrowers and heavy machine guns in the Beslan school, because they shot and burned hundreds of Ossetian children to death.

  298. Mitleser says:
    @Michael Kenny

    The EU is the principal victim of Putin’s actions and is therefore the principal beneficiary of sanctions.

    What? How are we the “principal benficiary of sanctions”?
    It is our trade that suffers.

    It is the Anglophone world that is obsessed with “fighting” the guy who is soon going to visit Berlin.

  299. neutral says:
    @Michael Kenny

    This is probably the consequence of Trump’s blunder in grovelling in front of Putin (and the world’s TV cameras!). He now has to inflict a defeat on Putin so unequivocal that even Putin’s American supporters cannot hype it into a victory.

    Look I know you are another dim witted Ukrainian pretending to be an Anglo Saxon, but even for you this logic is beyond ridiculous.

  300. APilgrim says:

    The best idea out there, for exploring a better relationship with the Russian Federation.

    ‘Michael McFaul and the Astonishment of American Life Under Trump’, By David Remnick, News Desk, July 19, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/michael-mcfaul-and-the-astonishment-of-american-life-under-trump

    President Trump has not dismissed the idea that Russian investigators meet with, and question, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. President Trump has said that Vladimir Putin tendered him an “incredible offer”: that, in exchange for letting Robert Mueller’s team question the twelve indicted Russian intelligence officers thought to have participated in the cyber-meddling in the 2016 election, Russian counterparts would get the chance to question McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia during the Obama years. Rather than dismiss this idea out of hand, Trump, according to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is “going to work with his team, and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on this front.”

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  301. APilgrim says:

    Why should the crimes & tyrannies of Obama, Hillary, Soros, & McFall remain secret?

  302. pyrrhus says:
    @Mitleser

    This economic “war”, if implemented, will cause an economic collapse in Europe, and subsequently in North America…These Senators are lunatics…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  303. APilgrim says:

    The USA, UK & USSR tried, convicted & hanged NAZI War Criminals.

    ‘What you need to know about Michael McFaul, the ex-U.S. envoy drawn into the center of another Trump-Russia flap’, By LAURA KING and SABRA AYRES, WASHINGTON, WORLD, JUL 19, 2018 | 3:15 PM, http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-russia-mcfaul-20180719-story.html

    At a summit in Helsinki, Finland, with President Trump, Putin floated the idea of inviting U.S. special counsel investigators to Russia for the questioning of a dozen Russian intelligence officials indicted last week as part of the special counsel’s inquiry into Kremlin interference in the 2016 election. In return, Putin wanted Russian authorities to be allowed to interrogate a roughly equal number of Americans, including McFaul, for supposed illicit activities. At Monday’s post-summit news conference with Putin at his side, Trump — sounding intrigued rather than indignant — called that an “incredible” offer.

    What is the problem with a joint investigation of Michael McFALL, on American Soil.

  304. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    I have no idea what is going on in Putin’s mind, but I can see what he is doing and if he wants closer relations with the West, his way of showing it seems odd. Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

    • Replies: @neutral
  305. @reiner Tor

    But before that, you’d need to make the anti-sanctions law. Actually, you’d need to make it pretty strong. Until you cannot even do that, you shouldn’t even fantasize about conquest.

    There are several steps you could take before starting an actual war of conquest. Which you wouldn’t even be able to finish.

    But the sanctions are happening anyway. We’ll need an anti-sanctions law regardless of whether or not we are going to invade. Actually, as an economist, I don’t think we need a law. What we need is to make sure that the vital sectors of the economy do not rely on US financial system, by converting oil trade into non-dollar currencies for example.

    Eastern Europeans will never mobilise. What would mass mobilisation even look like in a country like Hungary? Instead, they’ll petition USA to station more of its troops in Eastern Europe. A lot more, like hundreds of thousands more. Doing so will impose costs on the USA. Actually, this is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA: by stoking tensions in Eastern Europe.

    And if USA suddenly grows a brain and declines to play along, Eastern NATO members will begin re-orienting their foreign relations towards appeasement of Russia instead. That’s what weak people do.

    I also don’t like ethnic cleansing and mass deportations and the like. Which would be a requirement if you were to occupy Ukraine.

    Mass deportations is the best part about occupying the Ukraine! I would drive Galicia population into Poland and other neighboring countries. There would be millions of refugees. This by itself will seriously destabilise NATO’s “Eastern flank”. There could be Russian agents among the refugees, allowing us to seamlessly move from the invasion of the Ukraine to a campaign of hybrid warfare against Eastern NATO members.

    NATO will react to invasion of the Ukraine by positioning to support an insurgency in the Western part of the country. Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland – wouldn’t that be fun?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Dmitry
  306. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Czechs if I remember correctly did everything to not blow money on any jet fighters while being pressured.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  307. neutral says:
    @Sean

    Do I need to read Dostoevsky to understand Putin?

    Probably better than trying to understand things by reading comic books (Hollywood movies are the same), which is pretty much what the US establishment uses for their thinking.

    • Replies: @anon
  308. APilgrim says:

    Congress did not do their job, when Barack Hussein Obama drone-killed Americans.

    Hell no, we don’t trust the traitors in congress.

    Why would we, trust those Oath-Breaking POS?

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  309. anon[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    for he got his current job by completely fooling Yeltsin ”

    Doesn’t that apply to Obama? Will that not apply to future presidents? Doesn’t it apply to the sitting US senators and congress ? Doesn’t this “fooling” apply every time US senators and congress apply more sanction on Iran and justify their earlier “fooling” when they failed to stop Trump get out of JCPOA?
    It does because majority of Americans supported the deal and wanted to keep the deal.

    “fooling” is a little more complex in America that it is in Papua NewGuinea . But fooling it is.

    It is like cries against “fake news ‘ charges leveled against Facebook infowar or intercept or antiwar or common dreams by WaPo and NYT and FOX/CNN – being bad because those lead to violences.

    The violences perpetrated against Iraq ,Libya, Somalia, and Syria are based on lies and been made possible by Fake News of CNN NYT . The latest servile and sinsiter attempt by NYT to start talking of banned CW use by Syrians to kill more Syrians is nothing but ‘fooling and lying” fakery of news what they accuse Putin and Russian bot of but without proof.

  310. APilgrim says:

    Congress did not do their job when the CIA, DOJ & FBI ILLEGALLY:

    Surveiled citizens.
    Investigated the Trump Presidential Campaign.
    Paid Christopher Steele to fabricate a pack of God Damned Lies.
    Told the FISA Court a pack of God Damned Lies.
    Obstructed a congressional investigation, into that pack of God Damned Lies.
    Fabricated ANOTHER pack of lies about Civil-Wars in Georgia & Ukraine.
    Fabricated YET ANOTHER pack of lies about the Syrian Civil War & ISIS.
    Fabricated STILL ANOTHER pack of lies about Russia President Putin.

    So, there’s that.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Corvinus
  311. @Mr. Hack

    Even though I am not a psychiatrist, I had enough MD/PhD students to respect the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

  312. @Cyrano

    Don’t confuse Ukrainians with Ukies. Ukrainians are humans, with their stronger and weaker points, like all humans, whereas Ukies are the scum of the Earth.

  313. Z-man says:

    Trump has to thread a fine line with the Neocons and outright JOO firsters in his cabinet who HATE Putin and the Russians. Push back against these vermin would be good but he probably wont do it until after the mid terms, we shall see.

  314. @Anon

    I believe that study was conducted under the assumption of within visual range, which artificially presented a situation where the F-35 was at a disadvantage from the get go. In a real world situation, the Su-35 would probably be shot down before it knew what hit it, especially considering that American pilots tend to be among the best in the world.

    Here’s a discussion of the matter in the Australian parliament: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/verbatim/4/133273/f_35-fares-worse-in-rand-wargame.html

    The basic assumption is that over the horizon UHF radar (like Australia’s Jindalee system) detects the F-35, allowing Flankers to use their IRST.

    Of course some have disputed the study, as well they should. A major problem with IRST is its very limited field of view, though pairing this with low frequency radar mitigates that.

    In a real world situation the Su-35 would detect the AMRAAMs before impact rather than be surprised. Whether or not the AMRAAMs destroy the Su-35 would depend on many factors such as:

    • Number of AMRAAMs fired
    • Distance from which AMRAAMs are fired
    • Quality of Su-35 countermeasures
    • Pilot skill (duh)

    Should also be pointed out that the Russians are now fielding L-band AESA radars embedded in wingtips specifically for counter-VLO purposes. See here: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-06.html

    That’s irrelevant for three reasons:

    1) 187 is still a number far greater than the number of Su-57s the Russians wanted to produce in the near term.

    2) the F-22 is often stationed at bases around the world, so the US does not need to sell the aircraft to anyone to bring it to a theater of combat.

    3) the F-22 would dominate any Russian or Chinese aircraft currently fielded; an appreciable number of F-22s (or any US fourth generation aircraft) along with the F-35 should be a potent combination. US pilots are also very well trained, easily matching any other country save perhaps Israel.

    Chengdu J-20 and J-31 units will most certainly not be capped at 187 units. Fifth generation fighters will almost certainly proliferate beyond China and Russia as well.

    No, the US didn’t “need” to sell the F-22 to Japan. But the sale would’ve strengthened Allied forces in the Pacific theater, kept the F-22 production line open and cut unit costs, reduced the American trade deficit, and provided jobs and profits to Americans. The F-22 export ban was an own goal.

    Kinematic performance doesn’t cont for much when you are overwhelmed by aircraft that you can’t shoot back at effectively while they are shooting at you from a distance. Kinematic performance isn’t nothing, but it isn’t everything either. The F-35 will have a decisive advantage over all Russian aircraft fielded now and over the next decade, and any issues with the design will be made up for by fielding large numbers of them to overwhelm opponents + combining the aircraft with the F-22 or F-18.

    This decisive advantage depends on two assumptions:

    • Counter-VLO sensors will not be effective (or fielded in adequate numbers), or at least won’t be enough to vector interceptors (whether aircraft or missiles) to the target
    • Kill probability of BVR missile shots has improved by two orders of magnitude since the last air war against a near peer

    Obviously, overwhelming the opponent with numbers is always a war winning strategy. NATO can thus be expected to prevail in any air war against Russia, though not without a bloody nose.

    That’s not really the right way to phrase it. “Inferior” in this case only means “less than what the US could have otherwise done but still quite good compared to most other aircraft.”

    Further, the philosophy you quoted will allow the US to field huge numbers of these craft – thousands – at an affordable price, so I’m not so sure it was a bad idea after all. That’s much better than the SU-57, which is a dumpster fire of a program.

    I’m also not sold on the idea that the B model was a bad idea for the Asian theater. In any conflict, the Chinese will attempt to destroy our bases and landing strips. Having a larger number of fighters capable of short vertical takeoffs might prove to be quite the asset in organizing a counter offensive/stationing the craft in various locations that are hard to hit or detect.

    The airframe is inferior to what the US could have done otherwise, and is inferior to contemporary aircraft. This inferiority was not driven by the stealth does requirement and thus counts as an own goal.

    The B model stems from the Marine Corps remember some battle in the Pacific War where Navy air support didn’t show up. Therefore they must have their own fighters, a logic which strangely wouldn’t apply to the Army.

    If our doctrine or experience dictates that a STOVL aircraft is desirable, fine. But given the limitations of STOVL aircraft, it ought to be a separate design.

    Dealing with Chinese strikes at Pacific bases is probably better dealt with by buying more heavy equipment and training more Seabees. You can patch holes pretty quickly.

    That’s not correct. The F-35 will have a reduced radar cross section across much of the craft compared with any other non-stealth aircraft. Nearly the entire surface is covered in radar absorbent material and the engine itself is designed to reflect away radar waves. It also has IR reduction measures.

    Here’s a thermal image of an F-35 from a modern IR camera:

    No IR reduction in the world is going to disguise 45,000 pounds of thrust from a single nozzle.

    Yes, the F-35 has substantially reduced RCS compared to non-VLO aircraft. News at 11. It has, however, inferior stealth compared to the F-22 (let alone the YF-23).

    RAM is useful, but the largest reductions in RCS come from airframe shaping. F-35 is not optimized in the lower or aft areas. The original X-35 is quite decent here, but this was changed for the F-35 in order to increase internal weapons load out. Given the original intention of employing it as a tactical strike fighter, this wasn’t unreasonable.

    Made up for by building 2000+ F-35s. How many SU-57s is Russia making?

    This originally concerned exports. Any damn fool can tell you that numerical superiority is very powerful.

    No, it wouldn’t. Something doesn’t have to be theoretically perfect for it to work quite well in the real world. The F-35 will perform BVR combat much better than any non-American aircraft.

    In a 1v1 engagement with no supporting elements where the rival fighters approach each other head on, I agree. But this isn’t reflective of actual combat.

    1. We already have that. It’s called the B2…and we are also working on a flying wing stealth drone that does exactly that already: shoot a barrage of missiles at BVR in coordination with the F-35.

    B-2 is unsuitable for this role owing to the location of its radar:

    That said it has been proposed to use the B-1 for this role, which I think is a good idea.

    Drone idea is worth trying, though I’m skeptical of the ability to retain datalinks in an electromagnetically challenged environment. And drones autonomously launching missiles could be dubious–but this could be solved by wargaming (if its proven autonomous drones ID targets better than human pilots, have at it).

    2. Wrong. Just wrong. There are huge disadvantages to your flying wing idea. Stability and maneuverability being just two, so they wouldn’t be much use in visual range combat or in a variety of other missions for which the F-35 was designed; the F-35 is a multi-role fighter. It will do BVR just fine.

    Stability not a concern with fly-by-wire and thrust vectoring (which the B-2 doesn’t have incidentally, yet is a stable bombing platform).

    There is incidentally a trade-off between stability and maneuverability, hence why fighters from the F-16 on have been designed to be inherently unstable.

    But in any case you’ve been pooh poohing maneuverability here, citing the superiority of BVR combat. If BVR is your goal, then you want a larger missile load, more powerful/sensitive sensors, and increased stealth. A flying wing eliminates the issue with resonant effects (if a vertical surface is less than eight times the size of a radar wavelength, it produces a resonant effect).

    The military design of the F-35 is pretty good. You’re trying to cover this up by pointing out an irrelevant fact – that there were economic considerations when building the craft…which applies to every military project ever conceived.

    Well I suppose that’s true, but whole JSF program would’ve been better if:

    1 – STOVL had been left out
    2 – Kinematic performance had been considered important

  315. @APilgrim

    Have to agree with you: Soros, Browder, MSM owners, Pentagon contractors, and all other sorts of scum are much bigger threat to the US than Putin, Un, Iranian Ayatollahs, Assad, and many others. The enemy within is always more dangerous. Especially when that enemy has only one loyalty: to his/her/its money.

  316. Z-man says:
    @Mitleser

    Interesting, a few years ago Algeria had to have Russia redo the electronics in the Su 30′s that it bought because there was some Izraeli electronics in it.

  317. @utu

    You are forgetting thievery and corruption that provides cover for that thievery. Out of every dollar spent in the U on “defense”, at least 90 cents are stolen, some of the money is used to buy “patriotic” politicians who pretend not to see the thievery.

  318. anon[374] • Disclaimer says:
    @neutral

    No they don’t pluck books off shelf . They watch the snippet cribbed from some internet site on Fox TV /CNN and use it as evidence. That were the sources of evidences they offered on Syrian using sarin gas.

  319. @APilgrim

    Last air war between near peers was Vietnam. BVR combat was a total failure.

    Radars and missiles have improved a lot since then of course, but so have countermeasures.

    There were BVR kills in Operation Mole Cricket 19 and Desert Storm, but fighting incompetent Arabalonians doesn’t count as near peer. And there were still WVR kills in those campaigns.

    Depending on ROE in a conflict or confused airspace, there will be a need to visually ID targets on occasion.

    The main thing that’s changed about dogfighting is that heat seeking missiles can now lock onto an aircraft from any angle (instead of just behind) and launch from high off boresight. This makes instantaneous turning performance more importance than sustained turning performance.

    But like I said, if BVR missiles are now truly as miraculous as you think, then the F-35 is an improper design. In fact, so is the F-22 and more or less all other existing fighters. The idea “fighter” of existing aircraft would be the Airbus A380 launching thousands of missiles at once…

    BVR missiles also work just as well from the ground as the air (with some kinematic disadvantages, and of course can’t deal with attackers on the deck). Magical BVR missiles suggest we should be building a lot more SAM systems.

    I bring you the air superiority force of the future:

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  320. @pyrrhus

    These senators may or may not be lunatics themselves. This does not change the fact that they are bought and paid for puppets of lunatics, the US moneyed elites that dangerously degenerated after 1991. The US used to be a decent country. Not anymore.

  321. @utu

    There was a joke about Czechoslovakia in the USSR: Czechoslovakia is the most peaceful country on Earth, it does not interfere even in its own internal affairs. Puppet masters change (Hitler, USSR, the US), but the policy stands.

  322. i lived in the russian federation for several years (yuzhno sakhalinsk, 2011-2012). i don’t claim to be a russian expert, however, i did not detect any virulent comintern intent amongst the russians with whom i was privileged to interact. for the most part, they seemed like everyone else i have come across in my travels on this pitiable orb; they were simply trying to get by, and were as capitalistic as any crony capitalist in america.

    maybe someone with more foreign relations erudition, and experience than i could pen an expositive on why there exists such animosity betwixt our nations, other than the all to well known need for a bogeyman so as to facilitate u.s. world hegemony.

    for a country which is broke, and which depends upon martial, and venal, intimidation to achieve/sustain its aims, the impending comeuppance could be very humbling, and decisive.

  323. Okechukwu says:

    As Ben Aris notes, the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market.

    Aluminum has a unique market dynamic which other products with more fungible supply chains don’t share. Sanctions are a work in progress. Treasury has learned from the Rusal matter. Henceforth it can collapse even bigger Russian companies like Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil without much fear of a concomitant contagion. Oil and gas are the ultimate fungible commodities.

    However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output

    This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls. Russia’s economic output, measured in GDP, is the same size as New York City’s. It has always been a question of how far the US was willing to go to punish Russia. There are nuclear options in the US quiver that can pretty much destroy the Russian economy. But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I’m not making a value judgement). But the perception that Trump has somehow been captured by Russian intelligence has ratcheted things up.

    Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

    It’s not a question of trade between Russian and the US. It’s a question of trade between Russia and the world since the US controls the global economy.

    • Replies: @awry
  324. Respect says:
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    Mr Fack , your ukraruina , your jojolistan , is the black hole of Europe , you want to set Europe on ( atomic ) fire fot the benefit of the usa , and of your corrupted oligarcs .

    No real country in Europe respects ukraruina , a very inmoral and stupid pseudocountry . Ukraruina could have been a golden bridge between the EU and Russia ,and choosed instead to be a blood trench for the benefit of the oligarcs of the usa . You are a cursed land .

  325. @Anon

    Swarms of missiles? What? With the F-35 capacity of 4 AMRAAM? The ones that haven’t been upgraded, have been unreliable since at least 2016, and would be vulnerable to manuever anyway? The twenty five plus year old missiles?

    Stealth is only stealth to high fidelity radar, as in versus missile locks. That’s great, but low frequency radar will still reveal the location of aircraft for the purpose of general location. So it’s not really a “bolt from blue,” which is much more of a ground to air concept since IR missiles don’t telegraph themselves like radar locks do.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  326. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    [MORE]

    Goodness, you are one thick POS.
    As I have said before…Cyrano is a serious intellectual…….you on the other hand are a serious cretin.

    Seeing as it’s that part of your menstruation cycle, I thought I would add another proof of how fake “Ukrainian” history and language is. From a company yet again threatening the collapse of Ukrainian infrastructure due to an oligarchic dispute:

    Russian version:

    http://www.azot.com.ua/ru/company/activity/

    Ukrop version……

    http://www.azot.com.ua/uk/company/activity/

    As you can see…the Ukrainian version is a waste of time, when the Russian version exists ……..the whole fake language is a fabrication by lowlife scum Banderite tossers who escaped bestiality charges in the 1940′s/50′s and fled to America/Canada

  327. Virgile says:

    If Putin wants to retaliate by creating a destabilizing crisis in the USA, he could simply admit that he has proofs that Trump COLLUDED with Russians operatives to affect the election.
    Trump will be removed and Mike Pence will take over throwing the USA in a deeper crisis.
    Is Trump aware of this Damocles sword if he does not stop the Congress for escalating sanctions?

    • Replies: @awry
    , @AnonFromTN
  328. @utu

    There are theories, but the mass bueaucracy made some really strange results. In Vietnam, ROE required visual confirmation of targets to…use beyond visual range weapons. Weapons that homed into flares because they produced “heat.”

    Well, that worked about as well as could be expected.

  329. awry says:
    @Anonymous

    Well, no, Austria-Hungary gave an ultimatum: “do these in 48 hours or we’ll go to war”. These demands are also unrealistic, but they are just pretext for new sanctions. It is very unlikely that the US will take any military action against Russia. Russia responding to more sanctions/economic warfare with attacking the West with nukes is also very unlikely.
    It is also very unlikely that the people pulling the strings want WW3 with Russia. They just found a convenient scapegoat and want to ramp up tensions with Russia not independently of the game to bring down Trump for “colluding with Russia”.
    Face it, Russia is bound to lose an economic war, they cannot really retaliate without hurting themselves. They could close the gas taps, but then they lose a lot of money. They could close Russian airspace, but then they lose a lot of money too. They could deny Soyuz seats to American astronauts, but the US has other options (not ready yet but they could get them ready if really needed) etc. Russia is not a big economic player and never was one.
    Regarding the sanctions the question is whether the EU will follow the US, probably yes, EU companies are going to lose a lot of money, but they would lose much more if they are punished by the US govt.
    The US hawks think that they can bankrupt Russia like they did with the Soviet Union. The question is how viable is Russian economy if mostly cut from the world economy including finance and how tolerant will be the Russian people with the hardships. Looking at Iran, if they could manage then Russia should be able to, but more hardships must be expected. Also the government may do away with democratic pretensions and go full autocracy in the case of popular unrest. And of course Russia will be dependent on China more than now. Why is it good for the US if Russia becomes China’s little bitch instead of a strategic ally against Chinese expansion is another question. Rationally thinking China is the future geopolitical rival of America and not Russia. But the people pulling the strings want to screw Russia bad, that is their first goal, obviously, they feel ideologically fueled hatred for Russia beyond strategic calculations.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  330. awry says:
    @Virgile

    Putin may do it, but then he would hurt himself badly too: he always denied that there was a collusion. Such admission would mean hes words cannot be taken seriously at all. Also this would the exact thing that the Dems and never-Trump Repubs want. I don’t think that this would cause a deep crisis, Trump would be impeached, Pence would occupy the oval office and the normal way of business in DC would be restored. So I seriously doubt that such thing would happen. For Putin it’s the best if the US elite keeps fighting to remove Trump as long as possible.

  331. @Daniel Chieh

    Somehow a lot of comments here were deflected into a discussion of F-35 vs other fighters, including Russian. I am not a technical expert, so I can comment only in general terms. Overall, the technology in the US is more advanced. However, there is one huge difference between Russian and American weapons: Russian ones are designed for the battlefield, whereas American ones are design to maximize manufacturers’ profits. To what extent does this difference cancel technological potential in fighter planes, I don’t know.

    I do know, though, that the engine of the super-modern destroyer Zumwalt, for which the US taxpayers paid more than $4.4 billion, broke down on its first voyage. To add insult to injury, this happened in the Panama canal, of all places (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/23/us-navys-most-expensive-destroyer-breaks-down-in-panama-canal). What’s more, presumably super-modern Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan had the same problem and was towed back to port (https://navaltoday.com/2016/11/24/royal-navy-destroyer-towed-back-to-port-after-engine-breakdown/). All this sounds pretty much like Ukraine, where thievery has no bounds.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  332. @Virgile

    Why would Russia do that? The US is destroying itself more efficiently than any of its enemies could ever achieve. Reminds me of a dark joke “if you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere”.

  333. @awry

    As a matter of fact, the USSR was not bankrupted. It was destroyed because the Party elites wanted to steal a lot more than the Soviet system allowed. They succeeded, now they are oligarchs, whereas the great majority of the population got screwed.

  334. awry says:
    @Okechukwu

    This is delusional. Russia is vastly more exposed than Iran, as it is more tightly wound up in the western financial structures that the US created and controls

    For now yes, but if forced to, it could leave those structures and survive without them. Of course it wouldn’t be pretty especially the transitional period.

    But so far the US has been applying relatively trivial sanctions in the hopes that Russia would reform its conduct (I’m not making a value judgement).

    The idea that Russia would i.e. abandon the Crimea if sanctioned hard enough and such “hopes” are delusional. A country that still sees itself as a great power and has a lot of national pride is not going to make such concessions to the US. If Putin looks a wuss to the Russian people he will fall more quickly than because of any sanctions. But I doubt that there were even such hopes for real. The aim was always just to ratchet the hostility up with Russia more and more, until a full blown cold war.

    • Replies: @Okechukwu
    , @ploni almoni
  335. @AnonFromTN

    Sadly, it often seems the case of comparing not which competing MIC is smarter, but which one is slightly less corrupt.

    • Replies: @Art
  336. Art says:

    The bill’s sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US “democratic processes” … yada … yada

    All these sanctions over “two living people” is crazy, and unjustified, and wrong.

    Of course this is not about two living people – this is pure politics.

    The only people with the political power to accomplish these wrongheaded world shaking sanctions are Jews.

    Those three bastards – Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin – are pure AIPAC sycophant toadies.

    Clearly Trump is the number one toady of the AIPAC Jews.

    We can come to no other rational conclusion!

    Hope for Peace — Do No Harm — Art

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  337. LondonBob says:
    @Art

    Exactly it is AIPAC driving this and the sooner the Russians start to squeeze Israel, which is so vulnerable, the better.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  338. APilgrim says:
    @LondonBob

    I don’t see it …

    Russia is an ally of Israel. Vladimir Putin & Benjamin Netanyahu are allies. Vladimir Putin has constructively intervened on behalf of Russian (Jewish) Emigres to Israel. Russian & Israeli armed forces have ‘deconflicted’ and ‘coordinated’ in Syria. The Russian Federation recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, some time back.

    When does your anticipated ‘squeeze’ begin?

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  339. DaveE says:

    Here’s another possibility I haven’t heard discussed. (It happens, now and then…..)

    Sanctions can be used internally to fight bad guys, too. It’s my understanding that sanctions were used effectively to bring down the so-called “oligarchs” in Russia over the last few decades and they worked quite well.

    It’s easy to forget that Russia has a bad zionist – mafia problem, maybe worse than ours. Maybe this is an operation to do some effective zionist mafia cleanup, make friends with Russia and get the zionists off Trump’s back, all at the same time.

    Could it be that Trump and Putin cut a deal for Trump’s State Dept. to sanction entities in Russia that Putin WANTED sanctioned? It certainly fits together, timing wise, with Trumps secret talks and letters with Putin and all.

    I haven’t heard Putin himself comment lately. Trump and Putin both seem to be shrugging the whole thing off, as if they know something we don’t. I sure hope so.

    Any ideas? I guess my theory hinges on accurately analyzing WHO got sanctioned…… beyond the usual “Russian sanctions” endlessly parroted by our usual zion-infested media jerks.

    Any help is appreciated.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  340. LondonBob says:
    @APilgrim

    Cardin, Graham and Menendez.

    Russia and Israel are big foes, at conflict both covertly and overtly, time for Putin to stop mitigating this and put the squeeze on. Upgrade the SAA and Hezbollah, mirror sanctions imposed by the US with sanctions on Israel. Continue the pressure on Palestine.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
    , @Dmitry
  341. @DaveE

    This might be in the cards. The US sanctions actually squeezed Russian comprador (5th column) oligarchs, who were always subservient to the West, sent their families there, and are syphoning off their money offshore, more than anything. If Putin uses this to expropriate their stolen riches, which he might do (98% of Russian population would be cheering; they’d cheer even more if Putin hangs those bastards, but that’s unlikely), these sanctions would be yet another example of the US shooting itself in the foot. The US is getting pretty good at that lately, always screaming that it hurts afterwards.

  342. Okechukwu says:
    @awry

    For now yes, but if forced to, it could leave those structures and survive without them. Of course it wouldn’t be pretty especially the transitional period.

    Survive, yes. After all, North Korea survives. But I think Russia’s aspirations go well beyond merely surviving.

    The idea that Russia would i.e. abandon the Crimea if sanctioned hard enough and such “hopes” are delusional. A country that still sees itself as a great power and has a lot of national pride is not going to make such concessions to the US.

    It’s much less delusional than contemplating the break-up of the Soviet Union. We simply don’t know. The reason why Russian securities offer such high yields and cost so much to insure is because no one knows what Russia will look like 5 years from now, much less 10 years from now. A return of Crimea is not entirely out of the question. Whoever comes after Putin will have to do a cost-benefit analysis.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mitleser
    , @Sean
  343. Art says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Sadly, it often seems the case of comparing not which competing MIC is smarter, but which one is slightly less corrupt.

    Daniel Chieh,

    Sorry — this is NOT about MIC — this is about Trump’s shallow thinking and Jew political power.

    Two weeks ago, Trump was all buddy buddy kissy face with Putin – today he is declaring economic war on Russia? Is he nuts? There is no rational reason to do all this for the stated reason of those two lives.

    This is occurring because of Trump’s bully ego and Jew political power.

    Sanctions sanctions sanctions – Trump is drunk with “sanctions on the brain.” He thinks he can bully the world.

    Because Jew AIPAC owns congress – there is no check on Trump – there is no rational push back. Congress is even more hardline. Clearly Trump is isolating America from the world. He is pushing away friend and foe alike. He needs to be checked!

    Think Peace — Do No Harm — Art

    p.s. Hasbara has managed to spin and steer this conversation to F-35s – really???

    p.s. While Trump is attacking Putin for the Jews – Netanyahu is playing kissy face with him – it is all Talmudic madness and sickness and evil.

  344. @Okechukwu

    Any Russian ruler who tries to return Crimea will be overthrown in no time. As Russia gradually disengages from the US-dominated financial system, the costs will go down. Russia has already created its own payment system similar to that of Visa and Mastercard, as well as its own money transfer system similar to SWIFT. On the other hand, if Russia fails to disengage from dollar-dominated system, the losses would be much greater than Crimea. It might even turn into a shithole, like Ukraine.

    Insurance is more often a scam than not: Lehman Brothers enjoyed pretty high ratings until their crash. What’s more, banks were insured against the risks of sub-prime mortgages they held. Remember what happened in 2008?

    As to the future, nobody has the crystal ball. Can you tell how much a Big Mac will cost in the US five or ten years from now? $4? $40? $400? $4,000? Your guess is as good as mine. Ponzi schemes have a habit of crashing and nobody worked out a way of predicting when exactly the crash will occur.

  345. Mitleser says:
    @Okechukwu

    It’s much less delusional than contemplating the break-up of the Soviet Union

    Actually, it is. Yeltsin and his supporters did gain from it.
    What would the Russian leadership gain from selling out again after their last attempts did not get them what they wanted?
    America is agreement-incapable.

    A return of Crimea is not entirely out of the question.

    It it. Selling out Crimea would be fatal for the legitimacy and popularity of whoever tries it.

  346. APilgrim says:
    @LondonBob

    ‘Inside the Putin-Netanyahu-Trump deal on Syria’, Josh Rogin, ASPEN, Colo. Opinion, July 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2018/07/20/inside-the-putin-netanyahu-trump-deal-on-syria/?utm_term=.4caf91ea3996 -

    • Replies: @Z-man
  347. APilgrim says:

    “the agreement is real”

    “One thing we do know is that — post-summit — Trump now endorses a deal on Syria that Putin struck the week before with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before the Trump-Putin private summit, Netanyahu called Trump to go through the agreement details, some of which I’ve reported before. Netanyahu finalized the terms with Putin during his visit to Moscow last week. Putin and Trump have both publicly talked about the agreement since Helsinki, albeit indirectly. But make no mistake, the agreement is real, and it’s going to reshape how the powers of the Middle East act in southern Syria in the coming months and years.” ‘Inside the Putin-Netanyahu-Trump deal on Syria’, By Josh Rogin, ASPEN, Colo. July 20, 2018,

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2018/07/20/inside-the-putin-netanyahu-trump-deal-on-syria/?utm_term=.4caf91ea3996

  348. @Thorfinnsson

    if BVR missiles are now truly as miraculous as you think, then the F-35 is an improper design. In fact, so is the F-22 and more or less all other existing fighters. The idea “fighter” of existing aircraft would be the Airbus A380 launching thousands of missiles at once…

    I think you’re exaggerating here, or fighting a straw man.

    It all comes down to questions of things like “how likely it is to get into a dogfight,” or “what chances will it have to survive a dogfight,” or “how difficult it is to protect against the enemy,” “how much of a problem it poses to lose one if the enemy takes it out.”

    Basically, my understanding is, you can build thousands of F-35s, but only a handful of the stealthy A380s (the Airbus A380 has no stealth, so needs to shoot its missile from a much larger distance – we’ve already discussed that BVR works better for stealth aircraft, so I guess you meant a stealth version of the A380, something similar to the B-2), which makes fighting enemy aircraft much harder, if only because the enemy might disperse its aircraft and so the A380 would be unable to shoot down more than a couple of enemy aircraft (despite its thousands of missiles). So for air superiority roles, you need smaller aircraft, which could be dispersed over a wider front.

    Another issue is that no one said the F-35 will never ever get into a dogfight. It simply is less likely to get there. It might also need to leave the scene relatively quickly – while its kinematic performance may be nothing to write home about, the A380 is much worse in that respect. So saying that the F-35′s kinematic performance is enough doesn’t mean that the A380′s kinematic performance would be enough. No one ever stated this, this is a straw man.

    Now, carrying thousands of missile on board our stealthy A380, what if there’s a mistake and it’s lost? With the F-35, it’s no big deal. Probably it’s expected that at least some (and probably many) of them will be lost in the event of a major war with a technically developed and sophisticated enemy like Russia. That’s normal. However, with the stealthy A380s, there’d be very few of them. So losing one might create a big gap at the frontline. It’d also be a very lucrative target in case something went wrong. Since the enemy would likely only send a few of its fighter jets against it, it might not be able to shoot down many. But what if those few fighter jets somehow managed to hit it? even if they themselves went down? It might even be done somewhat kamikaze-style, the pilot acknowledging the incoming missiles (maybe dozens of them), but shooting his own missiles before coolly catapulting. He’d be treated a hero if, despite losing his worthless fighter, he managed to take down the stealthy A380.

    With swarms of F-35s, the enemy might get confused or unsure even about the number of opposing forces. With the A380, such confusion would be less likely.

    And since we’re talking about imports, a smaller country might import a few dozens of F-35s, but would it be able to buy more than one or two of those stealthy A380s? Maybe not even one.

    So actually the F-35 might be an optimal mix (I don’t think it is, but it’s not impossible) of some kinematic performance and some BVR capabilities (the latter requires stealth and the avionics). In any event, any argument in favor of the F-35 should be understood to be only valid in moderation – something like “kinematic performance is not that important, but it’s still useful,” or “BVR missiles are great, but of course they don’t have a 100% success ratio,” etc.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  349. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Don’t worry about my IQ woes – they are non-existent. I am a stable genius – just like Donald Trump. Your IQ issues are – on the other hand – very easy to fix. All you have to do is admit that you are Russian and you immediately gain 20-30 IQ points. Of course, this will come at the expense of Russia, but then again. everything you’ve ever done in your history came at the expense of Russia. All the Russians ever wanted was to have a brotherly nation in Ukraine. They have a brother all right, unfortunately that brother has a Down syndrome.

  350. @Felix Keverich

    We’ll need an anti-sanctions law regardless of whether or not we are going to invade.

    Well, I’d say it’s a precondition to invading Ukraine. If you’re incapable of making such a simple law, you’re sure as hell incapable of invading Ukraine. And you do need the law if you want to avoid the sanctions creating the perverse incentives inside Russia, like the biggest banks not having branches in the Crimea. Decoupling from the US dollar is no help, since US sanctions are extraterritorial, if you didn’t notice, so they affect euro or even Chinese yuan denominated transactions, too.

    Eastern Europeans will never mobilise. What would mass mobilisation even look like in a country like Hungary? Instead, they’ll petition USA to station more of its troops in Eastern Europe. A lot more, like hundreds of thousands more.

    Within living memory, Hungary had armed forces of 150,000 troops and 1,500 main battle tanks (admittedly, the majority were somewhat obsolete), with hundreds of fighter and light bomber jets (MiG-21s and Su-22s etc.), and we were the slackers in the Eastern Bloc, not spending on defense as much as other neighbors of us. Increasing defense spending to 2% of GDP is what’s the plan. If you invaded and occupied the whole of Ukraine, it could easily go up to 4-5%.

    Of course, the Americans might come in numbers, too. But you’re delusional here:

    Doing so will impose costs on the USA. Actually, this is one of the few ways Russia could impose tangible costs on USA: by stoking tensions in Eastern Europe.

    We have no military industry to speak of. Most of our neighbors do have some, but even they are nowhere near self-sufficiency. You can guess who we’ll buy our weapons from. Poland recently offered to pay for an American base on its soil. So it won’t be much of a cost for the US, it might actually be quite beneficial.

    Meanwhile, you’ll get bogged down in Ukraine. You’ll face tough choices (sanctions will get North Korea-style quickly, and even Chinese sympathy will get questionable), like should you spend your scarce resources on modern weaponry or a large security force to keep Ukraine pacified?

    Mass deportations is the best part about occupying the Ukraine!

    Stalin’s USSR at the height of its power only deported much smaller populations. You’d need a lot of people to achieve that. But let’s assume you’ll manage to do that. It will, of course, create a huge backlash against Russia: popular opinion will get united against Russians. (Defense spending quickly up to 5% of GDP or higher.) The Ukrainians in our countries will of course enter the workforce and join anti-Russian ragtag militias to control the border.

    Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland

    So the people ethnically cleansed from their homes will rise up against NATO in support of Russia. This is a seriously dumb idea.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  351. skopros says:

    Has anybody in comments noted how far we have swung from absence of actual PROOF Russia did the Skripal “poisonings” (or even Litvenenko for that matter?!) to what seems like complete acceptance of “guilt,” even as major international bodies (OPCW, etc., even Porton Down) have not been able to tie Russia/Putin to these alleged acts of terror or isolate the “novichoks” genre of nerve agent ? The Red Queen triumphs.

    Does mere accusation now stand for “truth” in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on? If the “big lie” (Lenin, BTW not Goebbels, originally) works this easily, we are indeed down the chute & over the brink. Orwell is spinning in his grave (gnashing his teeth).

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Sean
    , @APilgrim
  352. @neutral

    I would say nature can handle ten bombs without going berserk, if she hasn’t already. Above that, expect nuclear winter (and the rich running to their shelters).

  353. Sean says:
    @Okechukwu

    There are nuclear options in the US quiver that can pretty much destroy the Russian economy.

    They are not real options, America is the most powerful economy in the world, which is why it always wants to keep the Russia in the economic game it can never even come lose to winning. Russia’s military power is immeasurably greater that its economic power and thus if the Russian economy seemed about to be destroyed, Russia has the option of exerting military pressure on America with the threat of a shooting war. The Ukraine had security guarantees from the US and other powers which proved worthless because when push comes to shove America does not want to fight Russia over and in Russia’s backyard.

    • Replies: @Okechukwu
  354. @reiner Tor

    Very few people in Russia would want Ukraine now. The consensus is: “good riddance”. In Ukraine, on the other hand, there are people who want Russia to invade. Some are waiting for someone else to liberate them from Nazis (they apparently are not familiar with Protestant wisdom that God helps those who help themselves), some pray for a pretext to invite NATO/US (as if anyone is willing to die for them).

    This reminds me of an old Russian joke.
    An old hag sits on the bench and screams: “Help! They are raping me!”
    Another one passes by and asks: “Have you gone completely mad?”
    The first one answers: “Everyone is entitled to a pleasant dream!”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @RadicalCenter
  355. @reiner Tor

    F-35A price is $85m. Airbus A380 price is $445.6m.

    So for each Airbus A380 you can buy five F-35As. F-35A has six external hardpoints and two internal weapons bays. Maximum missile loadout is ten missiles.

    Unsure what an Airbus A380 could carry in missiles, but guessing around 1,000.

    I’m not serious about the A380 of course (or a CAT dump truck or a Maersk Triple-E), just pointing out that larger platforms are superior for BVR combat.

    Obviously eventually you encounter diseconomies of scale owing to gigantism complicating mass production and maintenance. Additionally, like you said, you need a certain number of aircraft in order to be able to cover different theaters, deal with attrition and maintenance, have enough aircraft to cover the front, etc.

    I suspect the optimal size for a BVR interceptor (with a secondary strike bomber capability) is in the neighborhood of the F-111 or MiG-31. Cancelled wonder interceptors of the past like the Avro Arrow and the North American XF-108 Rapier were in this size class as well.

    Platforms like the B-1B or Tu-160 no doubt would make superb interceptors, but would be a poor choice for the reasons you already figured out. Though I suspect they would be superb as supporting aircraft for things such as electronic warfare, battle management, and AEWR (in a high threat environment where airliner-based AEWR can’t operate).

    My basic issue with the F-35 is that its supporters claim its poor kinematics are irrelevant (or close to it) because it’s such a wonderful BVR platform. But it’s very clearly not optimized for BVR combat at all–it’s optimized for tactical strike. Its high wing-loading for instance reflects this. Higher wing loading lets you get closer to the deck, as aircraft with a lot of lift tend to bounce up and town with terrain elevation chances.

    Now, given the aircraft available on the international market today, getting a few F-35s isn’t necessarily a bad choice. It certainly does do multiple roles as advertised, and while its stealth is probably overrated it’s not useless either.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  356. Mitleser says:
    @skopros

    Does mere accusation now stand for “truth” in this inmates-running-the-asylum charade USA is putting on?

    It was the same when the Iraq was the enemy.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  357. @Thorfinnsson

    So for each Airbus A380 you can buy five F-35As.

    I guess it’s not a serious conversation, but we’re not talking about a literal A380, but rather a stealth plane the size of an A380, which would cost several times more, like several billions of $, maybe well over $10B. Because a plane without stealth would only be able to lob its missiles from much farther away, and so would be ineffective (except maybe against very large and very small targets).

    My basic issue with the F-35 is that its supporters claim its poor kinematics are irrelevant (or close to it) because it’s such a wonderful BVR platform.

    It’s a good enough BVR platform, but if it gets into trouble (read WVR combat), it might still survive (especially if, as is likely, it’s not alone). The bigger it’d be, the less likelihood of it surviving WVR combat, and the higher the likelihood of it being alone while in WVR combat (due to smaller numbers built), which increases the likelihood of being shot down during WVR combat still further.

    So I’m sure there’s a niche for the F-35. Again, I’m not saying it’s the most wonderful design ever, just that it’s probably adequate for the job.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Art
  358. EugeneGur says:
    @Mr. Hack

    All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Russian actions

    I am pretty sure Litvinenko wasn’t particularly loved in Russia: he was a traitor, after all, and, judging by his actions, a pretty miserable human being. However, building a case on motive alone is not possible, if for no other reason than because a motive is by definition subjective. You could analyze until your face turns blue how Putin felt about Litvinenko’s accusations but you’d never come to any firm conclusion, for only Putin can possibly know that.

    Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I’d like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. “We have proof but won’t show them to you, because they are secret” attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won’t be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms – we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire.

    The same patters was repeated exactly in the Skripal case. This tells you who is the “highly likely” culprit, doesn’t it? These two scenarios are so much alike, the have the same author – not necessarily the same person, but definitely the same office.

  359. @Mitleser

    Exactly. It’s a bit frightening because I don’t quite get what their endgame is here.

    Maybe they truly believe they can decapitate Russia with very little risk or damage to NATO countries, but from publicly available data it doesn’t look like that.

    Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war? How will they prevent escalation if they themselves seem to slowly drink their own Kool-Aid and believe that Russia is “waging hybrid warfare” with them, and therefore that any military action against Russia counts as self-defense, moreover, that it’d be insane not to wage an actual war against Russia?

    • Replies: @Parbes
  360. Sean says:
    @skopros

    Has anybody in comments noted how far we have swung from absence of actual PROOF Russia did the Skripal “poisonings” (or even Litvenenko for that matter?!) to what seems like complete acceptance of “guilt,”

    More a finding of guilt. The evidence is circumstantial, as when you wake of a morning and look out to see snow on the ground, which can be taken as proof that snow fell from the sky in the night.

  361. @AnonFromTN

    Very few people in Russia would want Ukraine now.

    That makes Felix’s idea even dumber.

  362. The EU position on US sanctions has been overlooked in this thread. The EU has said that it will Prosecute forms that refuse to trade with Russia due to these sanctions and will protect (subsize) EU firms that are prosecuted by the US. Apparently this already is addressed by existing regulations. With the absence of the UK from the Council of Ministers the EU is likely to be more sympathetic to trade with Russia.

  363. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Felix’s existence here is important in that it demonstrates a particular kind of Russian that does exist (even if, a minority) and that may indeed some day come to power in Russia. People are right to not want a unipolar world dominated by America, but not all alternatives are better. Those wishing for Russia to become more powerful, only as a counterbalance to the USA, and who are willing to throw other countries under the bus for the sake of this goal, should this in mind.

  364. @reiner Tor

    Given that I wasn’t serious about the A380 to begin with, it’s rather silly to imagine the cost of a stealth A380. The A380 can’t be made stealthy to begin with, so we’re talking about a completely new design.

    Since stealth aircraft must carry their missiles internally to remain stealthy, the square-cube law applies. As surface area increases, volume increases.

    The F-111 was about double the size of the F-35 or so, and its internal bomb bay could carry 31,500 pounds of ordinance. Probably if the two bomb racks were replaced with a rotary launcher it would’ve been able to carry six AMRAAMs (historically the F-111B could carry two AIM-54 Phoenix missiles internally, but this was a much larger missile) internally.

    Niche for the F-35 is tactical strike fighter, especially where deep penetration is not required (which will inevitably expose it to enemy SAM systems). If it gets into WVR trouble it has a shot at defending itself, especially if carrying a modern heat seeking missile. Since top tier 5th generation air superiority fighters are simply not available, it’s understandable why the F-35 is commercially attractive to some (even beyond the more important political considerations you cited).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  365. Art says:
    @reiner Tor

    So I’m sure there’s a niche for the F-35. Again, I’m not saying it’s the most wonderful design ever, just that it’s probably adequate for the job.

    The current niche of the F-35 is the maintenance hanger.

    (The Israelis are using it to shoot down flaming kites coming from Gaza.)

  366. Dmitry says:
    @dfordoom

    U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign

    Americans are far too self-obsessed to even want to place their feet in Russia.

    The current scandal in America, is internal politics. Opponents of Trump, want to undermine Trump’s legitimacy by claiming Russia has influenced the election. When you look past their noise – you can see this topic is mainly Americans fighting with Americans.

  367. Z-man says:
    @APilgrim

    Ah, if only Vlad could help the Arabs target Bibi.

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  368. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob

    Whether it is a fruitless mission or not, leadership have been trying to become an ally of Israel for the last fifteen years.

    Otherwise you have to explain many things like why they now pay Israeli pensioners, the state pension, when they don’t actually have enough to points to qualify for the state pension (if they were still in Russia, they would not qualify, but a special allowance is now made particularly for pensioners who had immigrated to Israel and do not actually have enough pension points to qualify for a pension).

    Also why did federal television become about 10 years quite pro-Israel (if they don’t want the public to think they have a good relationship).

    It would be an accurate point to say this is all quite pointless, as Israel is not going to be an ally, as it is American territory, and has a Western self-identity. But the reverse claim – America is not an ally because it is Israeli territory? It’s kind of surreal level of nonsense that does not add up (why does Israel want America to have a bad relationship with Russia?).

    I think the reality is relationship is intrinsically limited, by American dominance in Israel. But if America was less hostile to Russia – then the relationship with Israel would have more potential than currently.

    In the current climate with America, the best they can hope is for is a medium level or working relationship, which is what it is now.

  369. @Z-man

    Z-man said: “Ah, if only Vlad could help the Arabs target Bibi.”
    Hi Z,
    I believe it’s more likely that Bibi could subcontract ISIL “Arabs” to target Vlad. However, it’s presently apparent that Netanyahu & President Putin can “do business.”
    Thanks!

    • Replies: @Z-man
  370. Say what you want-American power is enormous. US can successfully fight off & humiliate China, Russia, EU, Turkey,..whomever they want. And this is not just an empty show, Potemkin village.

    Whatta country….

    Of course, everything comes to an end, but, for the time being, US is invincible.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  371. Okechukwu says:
    @Sean

    Russia’s military power is immeasurably greater that its economic power and thus if the Russian economy seemed about to be destroyed, Russia has the option of exerting military pressure on America with the threat of a shooting war.

    Russia doesn’t have great conventional military capability relative to the US. In a conventional conflict with the US (which is the only type of engagement they are likely to have) Russia would lose. Of course, Russia’s nuclear armaments are at parity. But they’re just about worthless because they can never be used. So Russia can never coerce the US into action or inaction through the threat of nuclear strikes. I think you’ll agree that Russia doesn’t want to be destroyed. In fact in the unlikely event of a nuclear exchange, Russia, with all its eggs in Moscow, would probably lose that to. The US has myriad centers of gravity.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Sean
  372. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There could be Russian agents among the refugees, allowing us to seamlessly move from the invasion of the Ukraine to a campaign of hybrid warfare against Eastern NATO members.

    NATO will react to invasion of the Ukraine by positioning to support an insurgency in the Western part of the country. Instead they would have to contend with an insurgency in Eastern Poland – wouldn’t that be fun?

    And how much will this project cost (in money and lives), and where is the economic benefit?

    I would be more easily excited for an amphibious invasion of a non-depressing country like Norway – at least there is oil and gas, not just embroidery and prostitutes.

  373. @Okechukwu

    From Chinese state media: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1111711.shtml

    Amid the lingering fury from the US media over US President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the White House announced Thursday that Trump invited Putin to visit Washington this fall. Trump’s attitude has been firm on improving US-Russia relations. Despite staunch opposition, it is quite likely that US-Russia relations will halt its slide during Trump’s presidency.

    Trump has repeatedly stressed that Russia and the US are the two biggest nuclear powers in the world, with their combined nuclear arsenal accounting for 90 percent of world’s total, and thus the US must live in peace with Russia. On US-Russia relations, Trump is clearheaded.

    Russia’s economy is weak. Its GDP did not make the world’s top 10, yet its military, especially its nuclear power, has sustained its status as one of the most influential nations in the world. Russia and the US have serious geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Europe, but Trump suddenly reversed the hardline US stance and showed a low-key response to Putin. That’s probably because, as Trump said, Russia is a nuclear power.

    We know US-Russia relations cannot be improved overnight because it is difficult for the two countries to make strategic compromises in Europe and the Middle East. Even if their relations improve, other frictions may emerge, causing new rifts in bilateral ties.

    Yet Trump’s respect toward Russia is worth mentioning. Trump is a man who values strength, and he attaches great importance to military strength, especially nuclear strength.

    The US has defined China as its strategic competitor and is exerting more pressure. The trade war may be just the beginning. Tensions between the two nations may spread to other areas. We believe that during this process, the White House will continue to evaluate, including a look at China’s nuclear arsenal.

    China is different from Russia. China has a robust economy and has many tools at its disposal, which is an advantage. Yet China’s relatively weak military, especially its nuclear power, which lags behind the US, is a major strategic sore point.

    A popular view among Chinese strategists is that we need only a sufficient number of nuclear weapons. Too many nuclear weapons cost more and may trigger outside alarm, leading to strategic uncertainty. Those who hold this view believe China does not need to increase its strategic nuclear weapons and should instead focus on modernizing its nuclear weapons to secure the country’s capability for a second nuclear strike. We believe this view is a serious misinterpretation of the major countries’ nuclear situation.

    China is no small country that needs only a few nuclear weapons to scare off an intimidator at a critical moment. China has grown into a global influence, facing greater risks and pressure than smaller countries do. We must reconsider what constitutes “sufficient” in terms of nuclear weapons.

    China’s nuclear weapons have to not only secure a second strike but also play the role of cornerstone in forming a strong deterrence so that outside powers dare not intimidate China militarily. Once major countries are engaged in military conflicts, each side must evaluate the determination of the other side to see the conflict through. Nuclear power is the pillar of that determination. One of the major reasons that the US used a “salami-slicing” method to push for NATO’s eastward expansion but refused to engage in open conflict in Ukraine and Syria with Russia is probably because it was concerned about what Moscow might do with its huge nuclear arsenal.

    Just by looking at the US’ aggressive attitude in the South China Sea and the Taiwan question, we know that China’s nuclear strength is “far from sufficient.” Part of the US’ strategic arrogance may come from its absolute nuclear advantage. We are concerned that maybe one day, Washington will turn this arrogance into military provocation, whereby China will face very grave challenges.

    China must speed up its process of developing strategic nuclear power. Advanced missiles such as the Dongfeng-41 should materialize as soon as possible. Not only should we possess a strong nuclear arsenal, but we must also let the outside world know that China is determined to defend its core national interests with nuclear power.

    Of course, we do not believe nuclear power development should override all the other work or its development should come at the expense of other major developmental interests. But this work must be made a top priority. We must recognize the urgent need for China to strengthen its nuclear prowess.

  374. I guess my Russia support check won’t be coming this motnth. Thank goodnes we aren’t boycotting the Saudis.

    Bottom line, when the president signed on the russia elction cabal as empty as it is, he sabotaged most if not all of his objectives regarding Russia. peace making.

    And that is unfortunate.

    He has now signed on to the contention that Russia has engaged in the use of chemical/nuclear weapons for murder, essentially anothet act of war.

  375. Mitleser says:

    The F-35 talk is not as much of a derail as it seemed…

    U.S. President Donald Trump has appeared at a ceremony in Fort Drum, New York on Monday to sign a national defence bill that will prevent U.S. weapons sales to Turkey, including the new generation F-35 fighter jets ordered by the country.

    The $716 billion John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) calls a halt to weapons sales to Turkey until the Pentagon produces a report within 90 days detailing U.S.-Turkish relations and the effect of cutting Turkey out of the F-35 production chain.

    Turkey received its first pair of a projected 100 F-35 fighters in June. However, the jets remain in the United States where their Turkish pilots are receiving training, and are not due to arrive in Turkey until at least Sep. 2019.

    This, and the delivery of a further 28 currently on order, have been targeted in the NDAA due to Turkey’s purchase of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia and imprisonment of U.S. citizens, including Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor held on terror charges since Oct. 2016.

    Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Thorn Tillis, the bill’s lead sponsors, said in a statement in July when the it was successfully negotiated that they “felt it inappropriate and dangerous to send Turkey F-35 aircraft at this time, while the Turkish government continues to wrongfully imprison Americans and U.S. Consulate staff.”

    The removal of Turkey from the F-35 supply chain would be a blow for Turkish defence firms, at least ten of which are involved in production of components including fuselages and cockpit screens. Turkey has reportedly invested over $1 billion in the F-35 project.

    https://ahvalnews.com/f-35s/trump-signs-defence-act-preventing-weapons-sales-turkey

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  376. @Bardon Kaldian

    Yea, right. The last unambiguous victory was over Grenada (population 91,000) in 1983. Quite an achievement, wouldn’t you say?

    However, in terms of leaving a pile of shit, often in places where countries existed before, it is certainly the US forte: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, etc. But the ISIS puppets failed in Syria, and we all know who should be blamed for that.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  377. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser

    If they do not sell to Turkey it could raise price of F-35 for all the other countries buying, and reduce the total number which will be purchased. And Turkey could perhaps join the Su-57 program.

    However, this is only a 90 day suspension of the sale contained in the US Defense budget, not a cancellation of the sale. So, probably it will be nothing.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  378. ZZZ says:
    @neutral

    If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors’ ability to loot and conquer after the war. So expect Europe & China to be hit. China will in turn target Japan, India, Korea, etc. The US do not trust Canada or Mexico, so these may well become targets too. Pakistan and Israel may want to make their move at this point. Pretty soon it would become clear that no major industrial or population center should be spared. So within a couple of hours, the world’s entire nuclear stockpile would be launched.

    After these events, the country with the most extensive tunnel system will emerge as the new world leader.

  379. @AnonFromTN

    US has defeated militarily each & every country after Vietnam (Vietnam would have also gone down, were it not for hippie decadence & temporary insanity of the whole country). The US power (economic, financial, military, cultural, industrial, intellectual, academic, innovative, media, …) is so overwhelming that all potential competitors are no more than bouncy midgets- China included.

    As for Yugoslavia, this was an unsupportable country & it imploded: Serbs, who constituted 36% of the population, wanted to dominate. Then, in spite of all EU & US support (Russia had, then, a more balanced attitude), they lost & are grieving for past few decades. Slovenes & Croats are free, while irrational eastern Balkanoids (Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, Macedonians,..) still whine for a strong hand of dictator Broz when they had been freeloading their lives at the expense of others. Hastalavista babies, you won’t be back.

    Was the collapse of Yugoslavia good or bad for your country?

  380. anon[317] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I agree zero chance to change Russia or Iran..

    The sanctioned nations club members (Russia, China, Iran and Turkey) are aligning, Erdogan has nightmares the regime change elephant will stampede his playground . Nord II pipeline, one road I got-you. and Fed avoiding money transfer bacteria have infected the entire state department with Ivory tower disease. Israel is yearning for a booster dose of Hezbollah brew, and the Yemeni have discovered who their enemy is

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/yemen-the-saudi-us-al-qaeda-alliance-is-now-officially-news.html

    otherwise the world looks quite.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  381. @Bardon Kaldian

    So, you see Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan as victories? Ask your doctor to increase the dosage of your meds.

    The graph you posted shows that even in Slovenia more people see the demise of Yugoslavia as a loss than as something good. Only Croatia and mafia state of Kosovo (from which about a third of former residents have already run away) see it as a boon. Sorry to disappoint, but you want to find a different graph for your narrative.

    • Replies: @AP
  382. @anon

    That’s not new. The US created, funded (with a big chunk of Saudi money), armed, and trained Al Qaida, ISIS, and quite a few other head choppers. KSA is an institutionalized ISIS. They even kill people the same way: public beheading with a curved sword. As British police says, “nothing to see here, move on”.

  383. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    The F-35 isn’t that important for Turkey. What actually piqued my interest is spare parts for F-16′s and CH-47F Chinook’s.

    Six out of the ten already paid Chinook’s have arrived. Not to mention spare parts for F-16′s. Keeping Patton tanks might be an easy task, but there is no way in hell the Turkish Air Force can keep it’s fleet of F-16s- third largest in the world – up and running without spare parts.

    Also T-129 engines are also from the US, so that’s another issue with Pakistan. Pakistan having bought 30 T-129s from TAI

    Anyways lol, I suppose this just means new weapons and does not intervene with already signed contracts. So I suppose F-16 spare parts, the 30 or so F-35s and Chinook’s might be safe. The T-129 ATAK engines however I don’t know.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/9715ld/trump_to_sign_defence_act_preventing_weapons/e44tq60/

  384. @Bardon Kaldian

    US has defeated militarily each & every country after Vietnam

    I must have misunderstood. By “defeated” you actually meant “lost to”, right?

    Except of course if you consider Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria (by proxy) as victories for the US.

    • Replies: @AP
  385. Anonymous[209] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Indeed, and people should keep in mind that where the confrontation takes place is important. The F-35 isn’t going to do so well deep in Russian airspace.

  386. What I don’t understand is why the US thinks Russia and China will continue to sanction North Korea. It seems like the US is handing out straight razors to everybody and asking them to slit each others throats. Except for Erdogan, they all seem to be saying, “Sure why not?”

    Maybe they are simply accustomed to taking orders.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  387. FB says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ‘…I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function…’

    Translation…’I make up this bullshit as I go along…all depends on who’s listening…’

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  388. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia?

    Russia may have struck a heavy blow already, when she dumped her holdings of U.S. treasuries. The relatively small amount ($100 to $200 billion) may not have been significant, but as a signal to the rest of the world it may have been loud. The new sanctions may be an attempt to punish Russia for that. They won’t work, of course, but the noise they generate may help to obscure the import of Russia’s recent action.

  389. Z-man says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    I believe it’s more likely that Bibi could subcontract ISIL “Arabs” to target Vlad.

    You are right. Vlad can’t use Arabs (incompetent/unreliable) to target Bibi but maybe Vlad can use some disgruntled Netanyahu hatin’ Russian Joo oligarch/mobster to finance the hit. Hope springs eternal. (Wry grin)

  390. annamaria says:
    @Sean

    “…and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered…”
    What an amazing consistency in supporting the Browder/Steele line “Putin did it.” Which is understandable, considering the efforts and investment made into the MSM memes. You made a very strong impression that the presstituting MSM is your main source of information.
    Here are some excerpts from the honest sources.

    “Poisoned Russian spy was close to Christopher Steele consultant:” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/poisoned-russian-spy-close-steele-consultant-report-article-1.3862516
    “Jonathan Winer was not only a point man for the Steele “dossier” at the State Department in 2016 (and Steele dossiers of yore), he was also a father of the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Yes, longtime Senate staffer Winer is the “old friend” Browder credits with envisioning the legislative strategy that culminated in passage of the law. (More recently, Winer is serving as Browder’s bulldog-lawyer — story here.) …
    “Cardin knew there were problems with Browder’s story about Magnitsky’s death and yet brought him into Congress to testify to secure the vote. That’s suborning perjury:” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-04/magnitsky-trio-pushes-war-russia-new-sanctions

    “Litvinenko’s circle also included Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb, Vyacheslav Zharko, and Akhmed Zakayev, most of whom have received asylum in the U.K. In the 1990s, Boris Berezovsky worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros’ International Science Foundation which was headed by Alexander Goldfarb for almost ten years. He was also involved in money laundering millions of dollars through the Bank of New York and the Republic Bank of New York which was owned by Bill Browder’s now deceased partner, Edmond Safra:” https://jimmysllama.com/2018/05/07/11191/

    – Is not interesting, how so many Browder’s connections met an untimely death yet Browder the Scoundrel is well supported and protected by the “deciders.” — See the fate of a DOCUMENTARY about Browder, Magnitsky, and a bloody trail of the dead former employees of Browder whom he used for his very profitable if criminal enterprise.
    Alexander Perepelichny” was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with highest political stakes on Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with “I do not recall” and “I do not know” on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on Nov 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London.”

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/13/fatal-quad-who-is-assassinating-former-mi6-assets-on-british-soil/

    https://www.newcoldwar.org/film-andrei-nekrasov-magnitsky-act-behind-scenes/

    This is a vicious attack against the First Amendment. The same superactive suppression was used against the “Two Hundred Years Together.” Is not it ironic that the bloody Jewish Browder is a grandson of two KGB agents?

  391. @Bardon Kaldian

    “War is an extension of politics.” -Clausewitz

    The Germans inflicted 50% more casualties on all fronts in both World Wars against anyone they fought.

    Who won?

    When William Westmoreland met Vo Nguyen Giap after the Vietnam War, he said, “You know, you never beat us on the battlefield.” (not strictly true but close enough)

    Giap responded, “That is true, but it is also irrelevant.”

  392. @FB

    … … … …

    …………….

    … … ………

    ?????????

  393. Parbes says:
    @reiner Tor

    “…I don’t quite get what their endgame is here….Why are they pushing a propaganda war which awfully looks like psychological preparation for a real hot war, when they must know that there cannot ever be a real hot war?”

    Most probably, because they are calculating that under various forms of psychological and economic pressure Russia will crumble from within and surrender, just like in the times of Gorbachev-Yeltsin, without having to fight a real, risk-filled war. Surrender and subjugation without firing a shot – THAT’S their imagined endgame. “Why wouldn’t what worked within living memory, a mere 30 years ago, work again now in updated form?”, they think – especially since the Russia of today is in a comparatively much weaker position overall than the USSR of back then and the Russian rulers and society are not really too much different psychologically from what they were back then, and are even mostly COMPOSED OF THE SAME INDIVIDUALS? Is it really surprising that they think that way, given the continued existence and thriving inside Russia of a powerful, openly seditious Fifth Column which is not seriously combatted by either the Putin government or the stupid mass of the Russian populace (who stand to lose the most, suffer terribly, and be reduced to colonized virtual serfs or exterminated if the Fifth Columnists and their foreign masters succeed in crashing Russia)?

    Of course, IF this is a miscalculation (and I’m not sure that it is, given the current weak, appeasing mentality of the Russian government and population), and the psychopathic Western ruling elites don’t manage to get a hold of their oversized lunatic egos and rein in their arrogant hubristic belligerence – well, then the whole situation could devolve pretty quick into a massive, WW I/WW II/Iraq/Serbia combination-type hot war scenario. Except, this time, with the real probability of stepwise escalation from conventional hostilities to Thermonuclear Holocaust.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @reiner Tor
  394. APilgrim says:
    @skopros

    Apparently (ACCUSATION=PROOF), for 98% of congress.

    Therefore, over 500 members conclude: (True=False).

    Apparently congress has decided we don’t have enough enemies & wars.

  395. @AnonFromTN

    It is the neocons that long to reconstitute the Soviet Union, not Vladimir Putin.

  396. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    So, you see Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan as victories? Ask your doctor to increase the dosage of your meds.

    He stated, correctly, “US has defeated militarily each & every country after Vietnam (Vietnam would have also gone down, were it not for hippie decadence & temporary insanity of the whole country). ”

    US has failed at occupation, but it has defeated and destroyed everyone it fought against.

  397. FB says:
    @AP

    ‘…Vietnam would have also gone down, were it not for…[fill in choice of excuse]…’

    Woulda…coulda…shoulda…LOL

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  398. @FB

    … … … …

    …………….

    … … ………

    ?????????

  399. AP says:
    @Guillaume Tell

    They were clearly military victories, and the enemy countries were destroyed and ruined.

    Occupations were failures.

    • Replies: @ploni almoni
    , @Vidi
  400. Toynbee said nations die by suicide. Hitler said he was a sleepwalker. America is Trump. Russia is Putin. Which one is sane? Since the people know nothing, can anything be done?

  401. @AP

    The answer is in comment # 395. I have nothing to add.

    • Replies: @AP
  402. @AP

    What goes around, comes around.

  403. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    His answer was correct. And not a contradiction to the comment which spoke of military victory. Since Vietnam, America has defeated and destroyed each of its enemies. It has also failed to successfully occupy them by turning them into prosperous allies as had been done with Germany and Japan, but it certainly defeated and destroyed them.

    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  404. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    As U.S. unleashes sanctions, Americans view Russia as bigger threat than Iran: Reuters/Ipsos poll https://reut.rs/2KJ91J1

    These days, I never dismiss the possibility of fake news. Polls can be manipulated in any number of ways. And even if the polls were honest and accurate, the reporting on them may not be.

  405. Alfred says:
    @Dmitry

    Israel is behind major efforts to destabilise Russia – in Georgia and Ukraine. Please open your eyes to the realities.

    When countries like Georgia and Ukraine put Jews/Israelis in charge of their government and military, it is ridiculous to pretend that Israel was not supporting them all along.

    “THE RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN WAR OF AUGUST 2008 WAS ACTUALLY THE RUSSIAN-‘ISRAELI’ WAR”

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/08/the-russian-georgian-war-of-august-2008-was-actually-the-russian-israeli-war/

    If the Russians wish to prevent WW3, they should tell the Israelis that they would be the first to be wiped out.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  406. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth.

    Russia will scarcely notice the new sanctions if the gas lines to China start on schedule (sometime next year, I understand). That’s $400 billion revenue for just the Power of Siberia; $800 billion when the Altai pipeline also goes online.

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    True, especially if you substitute “oil and gas” for “oil” in the above sentence.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  407. Sean says:
    @Okechukwu

    Russia doesn’t have great conventional military capability relative to the US.

    An animal, a person, a gang or a superpower that (very sensibly) runs away from a stronger rival of its own species on neutral ground, will fight if its own territory is invaded by the same more powerful rival. Fighting on your own territory against a stronger opponent is also sensible, as is interloping on others’ territory to see if they are weak. The Donald Cook incident is an example. The Donbass operation as been a great success, although hardly conventionally conventional, and it works because Russia sends in little green men and denies responsibility for them, while having enough tanks, artillery, and nuclear weapons to make taking this conflict to a more intense phase unattractive for the US. It simply is not worth it to America to press the issue because they could only force Russia back and up an escalator.

    Russia’s nuclear armaments are at parity. But they’re just about worthless because they can never be used.

    The strategic nuclear ICBMs clearly would be never be used in a deliberate first strike, and equally clearly could be used by accident, which is most likely if Russia thought it might be attacked with nuclear weapons and issued directives to prepare for administering a retaliatory attack. Andropov put his nuclear forces on red alert in response to what was actually a Nato exercise. Can you imagine the hair trigger Russian nuclear weapons would be on if America was in any way involved in fighting in Donbass and someone like John McCain was president? Use of a nuke (battlefield weapon by a local commander or submarine captain under pressure) is still more likely if the US were knocking seven bells out of Russian forces. Ukraine have not even been given American antitank weapons yet.

    I think you’ll agree that Russia doesn’t want to be destroyed.

    Yes, and that is why it is calling a halt to the inexorable eastward expansion of the West by getting kinetic in Donbass.

    The US has myriad centers of gravity.

    Crimea is very far from all of them.

  408. @Parbes

    I agree with you, regarding the thinking of the neocons. They seem to forget that between 1988-91 the USA kept vaguely sweetening the deal, they actually used the carrot more than the stick. Remember the friendly tone of the last Reagan-Gorbachev summit? They also clearly needed a new leadership, which could start negotiations without losing face.

    And still, obviously the USSR disintegrated because of internal factors, not because of any American sanctions or whatever.

    What is questionable is if they have a plan B if Russia didn’t succumb to a color revolution?

    • Replies: @Matra
  409. @Vidi

    No, gas is actually comparatively unimportant to the government budget. We could shut down gas exports via the Ukraine tomorrow and feel just fine.

    This $400 billion China deal is spread out over a period 30 years. The cost of constructing Power of Siberia allegedly exceeds $50 billion. There are also costs of developing natural gas fields in the remote regions of Eastern Siberia, which are substantial.

    All in all, it will take many years (decades?) for Power of Siberia to make its money back. An argument has been made that these hugely expensive pipeline projects primarily serve the interests of Gazprom’s well-connected contractors.

    http://www.intellinews.com/sberbank-oil-analyst-alex-fak-fired-for-being-openly-critical-of-state-owned-gas-giant-gazprom-142134/

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Vidi
  410. Dmitry says:
    @Alfred

    Seems a crazy article (like kind on this site) written by an Iraqi-Canadian rapper. I lose a few IQ points on this.

    Government was stimulated to intensify efforts with Israel, precisely after conflict in South Ossetia of 2008 – because the result of the conflict was weakening EU partnership agreement and various tensions with the West, leading to sense of isolation.

    http://www.iimes.ru/?p=11660

    Obviously topic is very limited, as relations with Israel – as a US satellite – it will never want to become an ally. At the same time, of Western countries, probably the more sympathetic ones are now Israel, Greece, Macedonia, Cyprus, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey. This is not excluding Latin America – where most countries are very friendly, not always for the best reasons (Venezuela and Cuba are kind of embarrassing allies), and Arab world, where Russia and the Russian world has always a strong influence and prestige.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  411. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Gas exports are politically more influential though, because receiving countries cannot substitute for another supplier (due to pipeline infrastructure which requires years to develop). At the same time, the gas supplies is essential for their economies. It’s a case where it’s more important for the importing country, than for exporting country.

    While an oil importing country can easily substitute between supplying countries, gas importing country can usually not substitute for a different supplying country. Gas itself can be even more essential for the importing country than oil (especially in the case of cold winter countries, with fixed gas supply to homes and factories).

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Gerard2
  412. @Dmitry

    The dependence is mutual and new pipelines represent a massive investment (sunk cost), that Gazprom will be under pressure to recoup. If anything our experience with Europe and the Ukraine should teach us that gas exports grant no political influence whatsoever.

  413. Sean says:

    From what I can gather it is very perceptive. Russia sold an advanced air defence system to Iran and has still not fulfilled the contract. In the meantime Israel has been participating in exercises with Russia, thereby revealing all the ways to defeat what the Iranians thought would be a secret weapon.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-historic-first-russia-recognizes-west-jerusalem-as-israels-capital/
    In an unexpected, unprecedented and curious move, Moscow on Thursday said it considers West Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, making Russia the first country in the world to extend such a recognition to any part of the city. [...] Russia’s surprising announcement came as US President Donald Trump considers moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is unclear what prompted Moscow’s decision and whether other countries in its sphere of influence will follow suit.

    Trump needed the Russians to be first so that there was nothing lost in the supposed diplomatic contest for influence internationally. After the invasion of Iraq and the Palestinian expressions of support for Saddam, their relationship with the Saudis was never the same. Egypt is now very friendly with Russia. Iran has no hope of serious help from anywhere when America attacks Iran, and America will gain a powerful Arab/ Muslim friend in the Saudis by putting an end to the Iranian menace. The Saudis see Trump as their ally and that is why Saudi Arabia has just seized the opportunity to humiliate Canada and make Trudeau look like an international idiot. The endgame is already in sight with recognition of Jerusalem by Trump and the Knesset passing the Jewish state law. Israel is not the US’s regional attack dog, satellite or ally. Israel is more America’s Rasputin to the Israel Lobby’s Tsarina By giving Israel all it wants and even things it has never dared ask for (West Bank transfers and the smashing of Iran) Trump will neutralise the Neocons and get control over America’s borders and future.

    • Replies: @utu
  414. @AP

    LOL. By that logic USSR won the war in Afghanistan, whereas the reality is exactly opposite.

    • Replies: @AP
  415. Vidi says:
    @AP

    He stated, correctly, “US has defeated militarily each & every country after Vietnam (Vietnam would have also gone down, were it not for hippie decadence & temporary insanity of the whole country). ”

    US has failed at occupation, but it has defeated and destroyed everyone it fought against.

    But Barton was proclaiming how powerful the U.S. is. I have a hard time seeing the overwhelming power if the U.S. is still fighting sandal-wearing Afghani peasants 17 years after invading the country.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  416. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Note: the extracts below are not in order but in the sequence I found convenient.

    No, gas is actually comparatively unimportant to the government budget. We could shut down gas exports via the Ukraine tomorrow and feel just fine.
    [Graph showing gas revenues are roughly 7% of Federal Budget Revenue.]

    That’s before the pipelines to China start to operate. Besides, it won’t take much to offset the new sanctions.

    All in all, it will take many years (decades?) for Power of Siberia to make its money back.

    Not that long (as short as two years; see below). But even if you were right, Power of Siberia would be a sunk cost (already spent); I was referring to the gas exports to China offsetting the new sanctions. With the revenues from it averaging $13.3 billion/year that is very likely.

    This $400 billion China deal is spread out over a period 30 years.

    So Russia will be getting $13.3 billion per year, just from this one pipeline. If Altai also comes online, the revenues will double to $26.6 billion/year. Even that may be only a start; I doubt two pipelines will be enough to satisfy China’s energy needs.

    The cost of constructing Power of Siberia allegedly exceeds $50 billion.

    You exaggerate greatly. According to Andrey Vorobyev, head of Gazprom construction, the cost of Power of Siberia will be $17.6 billion.

    http://russianconstruction.com/news-1/29024-power-of-siberia-gas-project-is-estimated-at-176-billion.html

    Vorobyev said this just a few months ago. The pipeline was about completed; I think he would have a pretty good idea of the final expenditure. Thus even with financing costs the pipeline’s payback period can be as short as two years. Of course, Russia will probably want to register the profits immediately, so the payback period will likely be longer.

    Even with just a single pipeline, I think Russia will scarcely notice the new sanctions when the revenues from China start to roll in. With two pipelines running (Siberia and Altai), Russia will be laughing at the U.S.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  417. @Dmitry

    Based on the experience of traveling the world, my own and that of the people I personally know, there are more countries where you are better off saying that you are a Russian than saying that you are an American. One of my Canadian friends says that many traveling Americans now claim to be Canadians to avoid being accused of things the US government is doing in our name. In some cases it’s a matter of safety: you don’t want to enter most Arab countries with the US passport (even if you don’t have Israeli stamps there). It is also much better to have Russian passport to travel to China, Iran, most of Latin America, etc. At least half of the countries allowing visa-free travel with the US passport also allow the same with the Russian passport. I know only one country where positive feeling towards the US visibly exceed positive feelings towards Russia: South Korea. Funny thing is, South Korea flatly refused to introduce anti-Russian sanctions, eagerly grabbing the niche in machinery and equipment on the Russian market stupidly abandoned by Germany. Even Russian LNG tankers are now built by South Korea.

  418. @Vidi

    Yea, NATO (including the US) troops with all their sophisticated ridiculously expensive toys are afraid to venture outside of their heavily fortified bases, whereas Taliban fighters with Kalashnikovs freely roam the country. Some victory, indeed.

  419. EugeneGur says:
    @AP

    US has failed at occupation, but it has defeated and destroyed everyone it fought against.

    This is an artificial distinction. Occupation is the next step after the fighting phase in any war – in has to be won just like the first phase for a war to be a success.

    Besides, it’d be a great stretch to consider Afghanistan a victory even from a purely military standpoint. The American military controls what? – its bases. The Afghan government controls Kabul – during the day. The rest of the country is controlled by Taliban, ISIS, and assorted local chieftains. Some victory when you can’t even secure the territory in 17 years of war.

    Let us not forget that these were all grossly inferior military powers, with no airpower to speak of. And yet the results are mixed, to put it politely. I hate to think what’d happen to the great American military if it is to meet a more or less equal adversary like Russia or even China.

    • Replies: @AP
  420. @utu

    Thanks for posting this, utu. Impressive. I have shared it with others.

    • Replies: @utu
  421. @Vidi

    I was referring to the gas exports to China offsetting the new sanctions. With the revenues from it averaging $13.3 billion/year that is very likely.

    This is just a stupid thing to say. Russia isn’t getting deals with China as a reward or compensation for Western sanctions. On the contrary sanctions make these projects harder to realise by limiting Gazprom’s access to Western credit.

    Western sanctions on Russia in their present form limit the country’s access to technology and financing. China is not in the position to “offset” that.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Vidi
    , @Gerard2
  422. utu says:
    @JerseyJeffersonian

    Yes, Orban is an exceptional politician. Europe needs more Orbans.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  423. @Felix Keverich

    China has lots of money (even before it starts dumping the US Treasuries, which is inevitable in the next 3-5 years), so that covers financing. South Korea and Japan have technology. One flatly refused to impose any sanctions on Russia, the other imposed token sanctions that hardly affect anything (BTW, just like Israel).

    In the short term (3-5 years) the US sanctions would make it harder and more expensive for Gazprom and Russia to do business. In the long term, the US is undermining itself and US-controlled current financial system by stimulating Russia and others to switch to dollar-free trade. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  424. @utu

    Orban and Erdogan are hardly nice people to have a beer with. But Europe is in such a pathetic state now that it can certainly use a lot more people like Orban, especially if they replace the US lapdogs May, Merkel, and others of their ilk.

    • Replies: @utu
  425. AP says:
    @EugeneGur

    This is an artificial distinction. Occupation is the next step after the fighting phase in any war – in has to be won just like the first phase for a war to be a success.

    It is the next ideal step, but one still wins if the enemy is destroyed and rendered useless.

    It’s great and ideal for the USA, that Germany and Japan were remade into democracies and allies of the USA. But if instead these places were merely reduced to rubble, removed as global threats – but never became allies, and were left as dysfunctional messes full of warlords killing each other – this would still have been a victory. Germany still would have lost the ability to conquer Europe, Japan would never again have thratened the Pacific.

    Saddam’s Iraq was a modernizing secular state approaching nuclear capability, with links to USA’s rivals, and as such a real potential threat to US elites and their Israeli allies and their projects. It was successfully destroyed. It was not transformed into a stable, democratic ally so the victory was not as total as over Germany or Japan. But it was still a victory.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @peterAUS
    , @EugeneGur
  426. utu says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Who asked you about Erdogan? Read Orban’s speech.

  427. utu says:
    @Sean

    and America will gain a powerful Arab/ Muslim friend in the Saudis by putting an end to the Iranian menace.

    Are you thinking people are idiots here? What powerful Muslim friend? If America wanted it could make regime change in Saudi Arabia in 24 hours. They are American puppets. America gains nothing from attacking Iran. Only psychotic Israel in its psychotic world gains from destruction of Iran.

  428. Sean says:

    Oil Embargo, 1973–1974.

  429. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @AP

    It is insane to lambast Hitler Huns Attila or Mongol invasion while laud US’s behaviors . The illegal acts US has engaged in for over 17 years ( add to that the sanctions on Iraq from 1991 to 2003 { add to that the illegal war on Iraq in 1991 } , you got a perfect template of legal moral and ethical justifications for future rivals generations to destroy each and every village of US )

    • Replies: @AP
  430. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mitleser

    Author thinks US administration is moral, ”

    Moral argument is the religious argument of the dressed-up fanatics who hide their regular dress and ideologies for acceptance by the wider world

    It is still a religious tribal nepotistic violent argument for personal enrichment and is used to satisfy rabid hatred based on stupidity.

  431. Matra says:
    @reiner Tor

    I agree with you, regarding the thinking of the neocons. They seem to forget that between 1988-91 the USA kept vaguely sweetening the deal, they actually used the carrot more than the stick. Remember the friendly tone of the last Reagan-Gorbachev summit?

    I’m not so sure they forget. Today neocons try to take credit for Reagan’s successes, perceived or otherwise, but they didn’t like him much at the time. Indeed, he was able to make peace with Gorbachev largely because he rejected neocon advice. Since neocons have no restraints he had to put them on a leash at some point or risk total disaster.

    Incidentally, neocons were also quite bitter about Reagan’s decision to leave Lebanon after the 1983 bombing, later claiming it was a Chamberlainesque appeasement that led to 9/11.

  432. Mitleser says:
    @Si1ver1ock

    They are pushing back.

    South Koreans are still taking orders, though.

  433. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Afghanistan was already destroyed and Taliban were not properly defeated.

    • Replies: @AP
  434. EugeneGur says:
    @AP

    Well, I guess it depends on the definition. If utter destruction of everything that moves equals victory then the US is unrivaled in its ability to achieve such “victories”. This is a dubious distinction.

    A much more sensible definition of victory is an achievement that leaves the country better off in some essential way than it was before. The US gained nothing by reducing Iraq to rubble at an enormous cost to itself and not just in money.

    It is ridiculous to assume that an unjust aggressive war that destroyed a country under false pretenses killing hundreds of thousands would have no impact on the society of the “victor”. And it has. The US society has been downhill in every sense precisely since the Iraq war. Now we are witnessing the results.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @AP
    , @dfordoom
  435. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Russia isn’t getting deals with China as a reward or compensation for Western sanctions.

    I didn’t say the gas deal was compensation for Western sanctions. But I was saying, however, that the revenue from the deal will do much to ease the impact of those sanctions on Russia.

    On the contrary sanctions make these projects harder to realise by limiting Gazprom’s access to Western credit.

    Note that China gave Gazprom a €2 billion loan, presumably for the pipeline.

    https://www.ft.com/content/623c7396-60cc-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

    If Russia needs more credit, there’s undoubtedly much more available.

    Is it wise for Russia to borrow many dollars? Turkey did that; look at its currency.

    • Replies: @Okechukwu
  436. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/12/czech-communists-confront-bitter-legacy-of-prague-spring

    https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/CWIHPBulletin14-15_p3_1.pdf

    Just to get the historical perspective right. In 1968 the Prague Spring ended with the invasion of brotherly help by Soviet, Polish & Hungarian tanks crossing the border of Czechoslovakia. In the Guardian article a Czech communist maintains that a) Brezhnev was an Ukrainian b) all Soviet tanks were actually from Ukrainian origin. It seems that already in those days there existed strife between the Ukrainians and the Russians, even in the politburo, especially with regard to this sensitive issue.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  437. Mitleser says:

    a Czech communist maintains that a) Brezhnev was an Ukrainian

    Brezhnev’s passport agrees, though I don’t see how this is relevant for the CSSR.

    • Replies: @All we like sheep
    , @AP
  438. @Mitleser

    If the aggression out of the USSR towards the CSSR de facto was of Ukrainian origin and the decision inside the politburo to invade the CSSR was de facto pushed by Ukrainians, this is quite telling, especially when we observe the tensions between nowadays Ukraine and nowadays Russia. The Czech communist who was interviewed by the Guardian of course was keen to point out the historical record of aggressiveness by the Ukrainians against the alleged peacelovingkindness of the Russians. But is this based on truth or is it again commie propaganda?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mikhail
  439. peterAUS says:
    @EugeneGur

    It is ridiculous to assume that an unjust aggressive war that destroyed a country under false pretenses killing hundreds of thousands would have no impact on the society of the “victor”. And it has.

    For the bottom 60 % of society. Which those above don’t mind at all.
    Higher you go, more they like it.
    1% just love it.

    And those rule the roost.

  440. AP says:
    @Vidi

    By that measure USSR in 1970s and 1980s was not powerful at all.

    • Replies: @Vidi
  441. AP says:
    @EugeneGur

    A much more sensible definition of victory is an achievement that leaves the country better off in some essential way than it was before. The US gained nothing by reducing Iraq to rubble at an enormous cost to itself and not just in money.

    Elimination of Iraq was a gain for the US elites at least. It removed a growing and strong anti-American player from the board. Transforming it into a pro-American player would have been even better, but removal was certainly a victory.

    It was certainly an unjustified and evil thing to do, but I won’t pretend it was not a victory. With few casualties, Iraq’s military was destroyed, and then the country itself was annihilated and reduced to something akin to the middle ages in development. And this had been a modernizing, prosperous, potentially powerful state with pretensions of becoming a real second tier power…turned into another Afghanistan or Somalia, just like that.

    It is ridiculous to assume that an unjust aggressive war that destroyed a country under false pretenses killing hundreds of thousands would have no impact on the society of the “victor”

    Society that created this was already where it was. This evil war was wildly popular when it was conducted. This ability to shape public opinion so well is another testament to the power of the US elites.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @EugeneGur
  442. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    And this document lists Brezhnev as a Russian:

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  443. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    USSR was driven out militarily.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  444. AP says:
    @anon

    Where did I laud USA’s actions? I merely described them as military victories.

  445. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Afghanistan was already destroyed and Taliban were not properly defeated.

    Coalition dead: 3,546
    Taliban/Al Queda dead: over 72,000

    Taliban went from controlling 80% of Afghanistan to controlling perhaps 5%.

    Total defeat would probably have to involve actual genocide.

    Some people have a silly idea that Taliban once again control Afghanistan, other than cities and forts. After USA largely left, Taliban have clawed back about 15% of the country and contest another 30%:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2016/08/afghanistan-controls-160823083528213.html

    They bomb Kabul occasionally, but Islamic extremists bomb Paris or London too.

  446. AP says:
    @All we like sheep

    If the aggression out of the USSR towards the CSSR de facto was of Ukrainian origin and the decision inside the politburo to invade the CSSR was de facto pushed by Ukrainians

    What a bizarre idea.

  447. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Taliban/Al Queda dead: over 72,000

    And?
    Unless their organisation is destroyed and/or their morale is broken, population growth in Afghanistan ensures that they can recover from these losses.

    Taliban went from controlling 80% of Afghanistan to controlling perhaps 5%.

    Some people have a silly idea that Taliban once again control Afghanistan, other than cities and forts. After USA largely left, Taliban have clawed back about 15% of the country and contest another 30%

    Considering what they have to fight, that is a pretty good result and shows that they were not defeated.

    • Replies: @AP
  448. Okechukwu says:
    @Vidi

    Note that China gave Gazprom a €2 billion loan, presumably for the pipeline.

    https://www.ft.com/content/623c7396-60cc-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

    If Russia needs more credit, there’s undoubtedly much more available.

    Chinese banks won’t lend to Gazprom except after a thorough review to determine that the transaction won’t violate US sanctions. Chinese banks are global players. They don’t want to lose access to the dollar market or their correspondent relationships with US banks. They could also be fined in excess of the €2 billion euro. BNP Paribas was fined $9 billion dollars for breaking US sanctions.

    • Replies: @Vidi
  449. peterAUS says:
    @AP

    Have you read:

    https://www.amazon.com/Next-100-Years-Forecast-Century-ebook/dp/B001NLL946

    not even all of it; just what’s happened so far and what’s happening as we speak?

  450. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    [MORE]

    hahahahaha!…a stupid dipshit like you is still continuing this nonsense after the Kovalev episode ( and every other one) . All a lying prick like you does it post fake, useless garbage from Canadian/American pseudo nationalist Badneracunt failure exile sites…i.e no actual direct connection to Ukraine.

    Brezhnev was “Ukrainian” ( whatever that is) you sick POS….as were numerous important people in the USSR …leaders, KGB, culture, sport…everything. Not that a “Ukrainian” is an actual thing that is separate from a Russian or anywhere near close to the “differences” with Russians as the numerous sets of people in India whilst still being completely one Indian people and state………., but as to incinerate the Banderite cunt myth of some fake “oppression” of “Ukrainian” people…..which relies on stupidity and disregarding the tonnes of people from this area, or descended from people from this area, who were high ranking figures in the USSR and post-soviet Russia.

    The most amusing thing is all the famous and ordinary people from “Ukraine”SSR who we have documented as describing themselves as Russian …despite living through the artificiality of the period of “Ukrainization” from Lenin…or being victims of repression or serving severe jail time.

  451. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    [MORE]

    Coalition dead: 3,546
    Taliban/Al Queda dead: over 72,000

    ….Coalition dead of 3546 ( a ridiculously high figure given the situation) + the 70000+ dead from AQ/Taliban created terror in Pakistan from the US’s failure in Afghanistan you thick sack of shit.
    Pakistan.. a state that the US has always wanted to keep (politically) a large distance away from the USSR and Russia

    the 72000 Taliban and Al Q no doubt contain a huge percentage of pensioners and women and children

    This is not like real victory, such as the numerous ones in Russia/USSR’s great,great military history, or Britain against India, against the Boers/Zulus etcetera

    Going back in history , the so-called “victory” of the American War of independence embarrassingly failed to get hold of Canada ( it’s south-east being equally if not more developed and economically important than the then discovered or inhabited parts of America)…..and much of America’s territory came from the opportunistic Louisiana purchase as opposed to any great military war action, prior to the wars against Spain/Mexico.

    • Replies: @I.M
  452. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Taliban/Al Queda dead: over 72,000

    And?
    Unless their organisation is destroyed and/or their morale is broken, population growth in Afghanistan ensures that they can recover from these losses.

    Under 4000 dead vs. 72,000 dead, 80% territory into under 5% is a loss.

    Some people have a silly idea that Taliban once again control Afghanistan, other than cities and forts. After USA largely left, Taliban have clawed back about 15% of the country and contest another 30%

    Considering what they have to fight, that is a pretty good result and shows that they were not defeated

    .

    By that standard Germany wasn’t defeated during World War I.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  453. Gerard2 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    This is just a stupid thing to say. Russia isn’t getting deals with China as a reward or compensation for Western sanctions. On the contrary sanctions make these projects harder to realise by limiting Gazprom’s access to Western credit.

    Western sanctions on Russia in their present form limit the country’s access to technology and financing. China is not in the position to “offset” that.

    So what?

    If Russia continues growing at 1.5% per annum, with the numerous social,health, crime, cultural,infrastructure and so on successes….that’s fine by me.

  454. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Coalition dead: 3,546
    Taliban/Al Queda dead: over 72,000

    ….Coalition dead of 3546 ( a ridiculously high figure given the situation) + the 70000+ dead from AQ/Taliban created terror in Pakistan from the US’s failure in Afghanistan you t**** **** ** ****.
    Pakistan.. a state that the US has always wanted to keep (politically) a large distance away from the USSR and Russia

    the 72000 Taliban and Al Q no doubt contain a huge percentage of pensioners and women and children

    This is not like real victory, such as the numerous ones in Russia/USSR’s great,great military history, or Britain against India, against the Boers/Zulus etcetera

    Going back in history , the so-called “victory” of the American War of independence embarrassingly failed to get hold of Canada ( it’s south-east being equally if not more developed and economically important than the then discovered or inhabited parts of America)…..and much of America’s territory came from the opportunistic Louisiana purchase as opposed to any great military war action, prior to the wars against Spain/Mexico.

    nothing justifies this to be hidden

  455. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Under 4000 dead vs. 72,000 dead, 80% territory into under 5% is a loss.

    The war is not over.

    By that standard Germany wasn’t defeated during World War I.

    Germans did (conditionally) surrender to the Entente (11.11 armistice, Versailles Treaty).

    • Replies: @AP
  456. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    By that standard Germany wasn’t defeated during World War I.

    Germans did (conditionally) surrender to the Entente (11.11 armistice, Versailles Treaty).

    So Bandera defeated the USSR by your standard. His forces never surrendered, after all. And USSR is really gone.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  457. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    Gas exports are politically more influential though, because receiving countries cannot substitute for another supplier (due to pipeline infrastructure which requires years to develop).

    I understand your point , but not sure it is 100% accurate…..oil exploration, oil extraction, oil supply from untapped areas and so on… all require plenty more foreign investment and co-operation than gas does…….and as such are more politically influential then gas could ever be with regards to the actions of US/France/KSA/UK and the rest towards Russia. If anything ,the west must be annoyed they haven’t got an enhanced share of Russian energy companies or reserve sites due to any desperate sell-off attempts from the oil price meltdown four years ago and sanctions.

    Even if alternative pipeline infrastructure/LNG deliveries to replace Russian delivery existed…….these EU morons couldn’t justify justify replacing them on freemarket or environmental or sheer logical reasons.

    the highest % of Russian gas vs total gas imports into that country are by the eastern European countries mainly…..Russia’s political influence is very low in these countries than it is in the western countries

    Ukraine, because it’s such a shit, failure, African-style, American -controlled country has such a disproportionately high gas use relative to it’s abysmally low oil use…….perhaps thats why you made your comment…..based on a mirage!

  458. dfordoom says: • Website
    @EugeneGur

    The US society has been downhill in every sense precisely since the Iraq war.

    I get what you’re saying but US society has been going downhill for a lot longer that that. You could argue that the downhill slide has become precipitous since the Vietnam fiasco.

    So I think you’re right in saying that US military aggression has had a disastrous effect on US civil society but you’re not looking far enough back for the start of the process.

  459. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Bandera lost as well. The USSR is gone, but not thanks to him and his goons.

    • Replies: @AP
  460. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Taliban lost all their territory but came back after the Americans left. Bandera’s forces lost their territories but their dream of an independent Ukraine, one that honors them, dominates the place where they fought. Much more than does Taliban in Afghanistan now.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  461. Corvinus says:
    @APilgrim

    Congress did not do their job when the CIA, DOJ & FBI ILLEGALLY:

    Surveiled citizens.–OK
    Investigated the Trump Presidential Campaign.–No, that was done legally.
    Paid Christopher Steele to fabricate a pack of God Damned Lies.–He didn’t lie, and it wasn’t illegal.
    Told the FISA Court a pack of God Damned Lies.–No lies there.
    Obstructed a congressional investigation, into that pack of God Damned Lies.–Nunes did.
    Fabricated ANOTHER pack of lies about Civil-Wars in Georgia & Ukraine.–No.
    Fabricated YET ANOTHER pack of lies about the Syrian Civil War & ISIS.–OK
    Fabricated STILL ANOTHER pack of lies about Russia President Putin.–He’s ex-KGB who is a murdering thug.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  462. Vidi says:
    @AP

    By that measure USSR in 1970s and 1980s was not powerful at all.

    The USSR was collapsing, of course. Are you saying that the US Empire will crash too?

    • Replies: @AP
  463. Vidi says:
    @Okechukwu

    Chinese banks won’t lend to Gazprom except after a thorough review to determine that the transaction won’t violate US sanctions. Chinese banks are global players. They don’t want to lose access to the dollar market or their correspondent relationships with US banks. They could also be fined in excess of the €2 billion euro. BNP Paribas was fined $9 billion dollars for breaking US sanctions.

    The €2 billion loan to Gazprom was from the Bank of China, one of the four biggest banks in the Middle Kingdom. All of the the four big banks are owned by the state, so fining any of them is like fining China itself. If the U.S. tries to do that, good luck.

  464. I.M says:
    @Gerard2

    The poster your talking to doesn’t seem to understand the concept of ‘victory conditions’ based on asymmetry and actually achieving the stated goals as well as the concept of a geostrategic victory as separate from tactical victories.

    I highly doubt that the stated aim of the US invasion of afghanistan was to kill 72,000 people or whatnot. Most likely their goals were something closer to

    a. Wipe out the Taliban

    b. Take complete control of the country

    c. Establish a stable government

    c. Maintain it as an imperial client state

    The fact that the Taliban survived means that the U.S FAILED to wipe them out and that they succeeded in their goal of survival, perhaps they held some fantasies about ‘crushing the invader and driving them from their lands!’ however i’m quite sure they were aware this was unrealistic. In all these stated goals or ‘victory conditions’ the U.S failed quite spectacularly.

    Now if you want to assess it in terms of it being a geostrategic victory, i highly doubt the amount of
    lost resources, lost legitimacy and ill will garnered with very little to gain qualifies this as some kind of victory, most likely it is a geopolitical defeat.

    The kind of war where these figures regarding numbers dead and territory taken would be relevant would be in the case of general hostilities between peer competitors or something close where the stated aim would be to defeat the other countries armed forces or whatnot, this is more akin to a police action with a different set of parameters.

    Lastly i question the idea that such entities can even be “enemies” of a state such as U.S and considering them as such indicates a sort of derangement on the part of the U.S leadership and delegitimizes their unilateral actions. The narrative of “this is our enemy we are fighting, and we gots to defeat em!” vs “as the world policeman we must apprehend these evil doers!”. Obviously police would have different parameters of success as opposed to some nut job going around wacking their supposed “enemies”, which happen to be crippled old people/ 4 year old kids.

    • Replies: @I.M
  465. I.M says:
    @I.M

    Also most importantly in this instance is the concept of ideological victory, also something they failed to achieve.

  466. @AP

    That is flat out lie. Gorbachev made a political decision to withdraw. The Soviet army was succeding in holding the country, and could have remained there for decades.

    You started by claiming that USA destroyed every enemy it has fought. Survival of the North Korean regime, North Vietnam and Taleban in Afghanistan proves you wrong. Taleban is in great shape right now, enough to force America into negotiations: they are negotiating the terms of US withdrawal. All in all, look like another Vietnam situation to me.

    Let’s face it, America isn’t good at winning wars that involve some actual fighting. There is a reason they want to keep their conflict with Russia exclusively in the realm of propaganda and economics.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @AP
  467. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Taliban did neither lose all their territory nor did the Americans ever leave.
    On the other hand, Banderists did the former and had to wait for Soviets to self-destruct before they could regain anything.

    • Replies: @AP
  468. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    America isn’t good at winning wars that involve some actual fighting.

    They are, but it requires them to fight on their terms and isolate their opponents.
    That is why Baathist Iraq was (properly) defeated, but they struggled to achieve the same against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  469. @AP

    I don’t buy it. Iraq in 2003 was isolated and crippled by UN embargoes, and not in any way a threat to American influence. Iraq was invaded because a bunch Jewish activists wanted to use the country as a springboard for “democratizing the region”.

    The end result cost US $2 trillion, its international prestige and reputation, limitations of American power were exposed, last but not least 4000 men were killed, many more disfigured and maimed. Iraq war produced an election of Barack Obama. It alienated and simultaneously emboldened the Kremlin. The only real winners were:
    - Al-Qaeda and Sunni extremists,
    - Iran (Iraq was transformed from an enemy to a friendly satellite)
    - and Israel (if you believe that Jews benefit when Arabs suffer)

    Terrible American disaster all around. I’m surprised to see a non-Jewish commenter willing to defend it.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @AP
  470. @Mitleser

    What is that supposed to mean? US is losing because Taleban won’t fight on their terms?

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  471. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    American forces are better at fighting conventional armed forces than irregular troops who can evade them.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  472. @AnonFromTN

    China may have the money, but what they lack is a capital market, where Russian company could just come in and borrow. There is no Chinese instrument similar to Eurobonds. Chinese lending to Russia at present is very limited and linked to specific investment projects, that China’s government is interested in. And it is always natural resources.

    China is simply not in the position to replace the West as a source of capital for Russia. It is still very much a third world country with underdeveloped capital markets.

    • Replies: @A22
    , @Vidi
  473. @Mitleser

    American forces are better at fighting conventional armed forces

    And your evidence for this is their glorious victory over Iraqi army? The Ukraine could defeat Iraqi army. Hell, ISIS terrorists nearly overran Iraq in 2014.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  474. A22 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The only one to blame here is Russia with its abysmal saving rates and capital flight, something that can be remedied with good planning of course.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  475. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    And your evidence for this is their glorious victory over Iraqi army?

    That is what it happened in reality. Twice.

    Hell, ISIS terrorists nearly overran Iraq in 2014.

    That was the post-Baath Iraq army.
    Baath Iraq army managed to defeat domestic insurgents in the 1990s even after it was defeated in the second Gulf War.

  476. @A22

    I don’t blame China for being underdeveloped. I was responding to people, who view China as a kind of savior, a superpower in waiting, that will be like “elder brother” to Russia. There is a lot China hype on this website, it’s mostly unjustified.

    I’m not sure how central planning could help Russian in its situation, but government is doing the right thing by focussing on figthing inflation. It’s a necessary condition for domestic capital markets to develop.

    • Replies: @A22
  477. APilgrim says:
    @Corvinus

    Try Reality

    Vladimir Putin is a christian republican
    Putin is the de facto leader of Christendom, & there are no other contenders.
    Peter Strzok, FBI Counter-Espionage Chief & CIA Station Chief was FIRED this week.
    Georgia & Ukraine had no honor, and God Was Watching
    Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe Fired for insurrection, prosecutions pending.
    Several other DOJ/FBI leaders face criminal charges

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  478. A22 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Not only is the Chinese capital market underdeveloped, but China itself is extremely protectionist, therefore do not expect to have access to their capital market that easily anyway. Chinese protectionism is one of the reasons why I am so sceptical about the whole Russia will be a Chinese vassal speculations. If China is protecting its internal market from any Russian access, why would Russia give China any super special status. You have to remember that all “American vassal states” have access to American export and capital market, good enough reason for smaller states to give special status to America. Not the case with Russia-China.
    Curbing inflation is good, but it should be treated as a mean to achieve rapid growth rather than obsessing about it and ending up with extremely high interest where nobody is able to borrow.

  479. APilgrim says:

    Congress has disgraced & discredited themselves, in the ongoing demonization of Putin.

    US citizens hold Russia President Vladimir Putin in higher regard, than congress.

    The FBI & DOJ have wrecked their reputations, with the BOGUS ‘Russia Frame-Up’.

    Presidents Trump & Putin have already PREVAILED, in the Court of Public Opinion.

    Congressionally mandated ‘Russia-Sanctions’ have failed miserably.

  480. APilgrim says:

    Hopefully,

    The christian, republican Russian President, Vladimir Putin will:

    Intercede on behalf of persecuted christians in China,
    Intervene with Turkey, on behalf of Jailed Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson,
    Continue to protect endangered christians in Syria,

    As befits the de facto head of all Christendom.

  481. AP says:
    @Vidi

    In the 70s and early 80s?

    • Replies: @Vidi
  482. @awry

    You mean a full blown hot war for which, as always, you can blame the other side.

  483. APilgrim says:

    The ChiCOMS openly persecute Christians and violate international maritime law.

    Where are the ‘China-Sanctions’?

    cricket sounds … from congress & the MSM …

    • Replies: @Vidi
  484. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Taliban did neither lose all their territory nor did the Americans ever leave

    Afghanistan is a rather large mountainous place. They lost everything other than isolated valleys where they could not be found.

    Americans withdrew about 20,000 troops and left about 9,000 in non-combat roles.

    So Taliban lost almost all of their territory, with the exception of some isolated outposts where they couldn’t be found. Their supreme commander was killed. They got quiet, because units that weren’t, were eliminated. They waited for American combat troops to leave, and after Americans left they came back and currently control about 15% of the country, and fight over another 30%. Americans have returned in a limited way, thus limiting Taliban advance. Every some returned Americans engage with a Taliban unit, the latter is destroyed.

    You claim that this has been a Taliban defeat of America.

    On the other hand, Banderists did the former and had to wait for Soviets to self-destruct before they could regain anything.

    Both Banderists and Taliban lost their war against the enemy but neither conceded defeat or surrendered, and both resurged after the enemy withdrew. Taliban now control 15% of the entire country, Banderists were in a coalition government that controlled the entire country.

    No detail is exactly the same, in any analogy.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Gerard2
  485. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    I don’t buy it. Iraq in 2003 was isolated and crippled by UN embargoes, and not in any way a threat to American influence

    It was Germany in the 1920s. USA crushed Iraq in the first gulf war but weakened it and did not destroy it. USA utterly destroyed Iraq in the second war.

    Iraq was invaded because a bunch Jewish activists wanted to use the country as a springboard for “democratizing the region”.

    They were partners. It was also a money-making operation for the WASP elite. And Iraq, weakened and neutralized but not destroyed, clearly had the potential to return.* It doesn’t anymore. Other than as a nuisance (terrorist training ground) it is no state threat to Israel or Saudi Arabia. Only Iran remains as such a threat.

    The end result cost US $2 trillion, its international prestige and reputation, limitations of American power were exposed, last but not least 4000 men were killed, many more disfigured and maimed. Iraq war produced an election of Barack Obama. It alienated and simultaneously emboldened the Kremlin.

    US absorbed the $2 trillion dollar cost, Obama recovered lost prestige, only limitation exposed was that America couldn’t magically turn an Arab country into Japan. 4,000 men killed was a tragedy for their families but it demonstrated that for 1/4 the cost in human lives that Russia lost in Chechnya (population 1 million), a part of Russia, America was able to go to the other side of the world and eliminate from the face of the Earth a would-be regional rival with 25 million people.

    “Emboldened” Kremlin ended up losing Ukraine, keeping only Crimea, and getting tied up in Syria.

    *What if the Baathist system were still in place, after Russia’s and China’s post 2003 rise? Iraq would have had a strong chance of being well on its way to recovery despite US-led sanctions.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  486. Corvinus says:
    @APilgrim

    Vladimir Putin is a christian republican–Notice that you did not contend the fact that Putin has had journalists murdered. That is other than Christian behavior. Furthermore, he has LIMITED religious expression among Christians.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/june/no-evangelizing-outside-of-church-russia-proposes.html

    https://relevantmagazine.com/feature/putins-untold-war-on-christianity

    It may be that after the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Russians felt freer to express the religious identities they had quietly maintained during the Soviet era which accounts for a rise in more Russians identifying themselves as Orthodox, rather than Putin’s popularizing it, but it has not translated into consistent numbers who attend mass.

    Putin is the de facto leader of Christendom, & there are no other contenders.–According to him and you and perhaps a few others, but in reality the leaders of Christendom are those found in each denomination.

    Peter Strzok, FBI Counter-Espionage Chief & CIA Station Chief was FIRED this week.–Which is other than a surprise.

    Georgia & Ukraine had no honor, and God Was Watching–Of course those nations have honor, they defended themselves from Russian meddling. And how are you certain “God was watching”?

    Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe Fired for insurrection, prosecutions pending.–Not insurrection, but
    for political fallout.

    Several other DOJ/FBI leaders face criminal charges–Who? On what grounds?

    “The christian, republican Russian President, Vladimir Putin…”

    That is Fake News.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  487. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Taliban did not lose the war and had to wait till their enemy ceased to exist.
    They started to push back and improve after the first year of the war.
    Not even Obama’s surge did manage to stop them.

    WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA surged 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan in 2010, the new forces were concentrated overwhelmingly on two volatile areas of southern Afghanistan: Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. Now, as the troop surge is practically over, those provinces still rank as the most violent in the entire country.

    https://www.wired.com/2012/08/afghanistan-violence-helmand/

    Although the first Taliban shadow governments were established more than a decade ago, the report documents how widely they have spread, despite years of Afghan and foreign military resistance. It also shows how they have evolved from using force and intimidation against local populations to building carefully run, accountable systems that address people’s needs, which some residents say they find more honest and effective than government control.

    The report says Afghan and foreign officials are “worryingly unaware” of how assiduously the Taliban has worked to exert local control, make bargains and influence services. Today, its leaders view themselves not as insurgents but as a “government in waiting,” the report says.

    Over time, the study found, Taliban policies in areas of control shifted from repressive violence to cooperation and public relations. By 2011, Taliban leaders had signed agreements with 28 aid organizations, including permission to conduct polio vaccination drives. As NATO forces withdrew, Taliban professionalism grew.

    “We could be less warlike,” one Taliban member said. Unlike the amateur Taliban rulers of 1996 to 2001, the insurgents now have a seasoned, “quasi-professional core of individuals” to run things, the report says.

    One of the most dramatic areas of evolution in Taliban attitudes has been toward education. In areas under its control, there is better teacher and pupil attendance, less theft and more order, although the Taliban vetoes texts on modern topics and may forbid English from being taught. On the whole, a majority of people interviewed “felt that the Taliban had improved” how public education was run.

    One chilling aspect of living under the insurgents was what the residents described to the researchers as an ominous, “creeping quality to Taliban authority” that allowed them to prepare themselves to obey strict rules by gradually changing their behavior or decide to leave the area.

    One of the most visible ways the Taliban creates the sense of being a government is by collecting taxes. The report says the group has developed a comprehensive system of tax and revenue collection, in areas including mining, electricity, agricultural production and customs. It also collects religious taxes for charity, as well as taxes on opium production, an especially lucrative source of income.

    https://www.stripes.com/news/the-taliban-has-successfully-built-a-parallel-state-in-many-parts-of-afghanistan-report-says-1.534133

    You claim that this has been a Taliban defeat of America.

    Straw man argument.
    I never claimed that.
    As I stated the war is not over.

    • Replies: @AP
  488. EugeneGur says:
    @AP

    It was certainly an unjustified and evil thing to do, but I won’t pretend it was not a victory.

    I guess we keep arguing about the definition of “victory”. If victory equals destruction, then everything the US does is a victory. But I see victory as something that makes the home society better, stronger, and this is definitely not the case here.

    Society that created this was already where it was. This evil war was wildly popular when it was conducted. This ability to shape public opinion so well is another testament to the power of the US elites.

    You are right what, to a degree, the society was already there, but it degenerated quite rapidly after that. There is also a difference between the power of elites to twist the public perception (I remember perfectly how it was done before the Iraq war; how all dissent was silenced) and the power of a country. These are most often related in the inverse proportion.

    What I see now in the US is the more the elites contort the narrative to suit their schizophrenic goals and the more nonsensical that narrative becomes, the more the society breaks down in every sphere on every level. This doesn’t bid well for the power of the country.

    The elites are just too stupid and shortsighted to realize that the destruction’ll consume them, too. In a simplistic way, it played out in Ukraine. Its elites engineered the coup, which destroyed the country, but it destroyed them, too. In the end, the elites could never be more powerful than the country behind them.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  489. @Corvinus

    I do not know whether Putin is a Christian, but that’s beside the point: I can’t vouch for anyone else playing Christian, either.

    As to murder of journalists, you are repeating unproven allegations. That’s fake news by definition.

    As to Russians attending mess, you are uninformed and confused: there is no such thing as mess in Orthodox Christianity. Mess is a Catholic thing.

    It is true that relatively few Russians, including those who identify themselves as Orthodox, attend church. One of the reasons for that is the behavior of Orthodox priests and higher hierarchs: hypocrisy combined with numerous cases of drunk priests on super-expensive cars hitting other cars and pedestrians. This is certainly not a Christian behavior. No more Christian than Catholic priests raping boys and girls.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  490. @AP

    What if the Baathist system were still in place, after Russia’s and China’s post 2003 rise? Iraq would have had a strong chance of being well on its way to recovery despite US-led sanctions.

    Iraq IS in recovery, as an Iranian satellite. They have growing partnerships with both Russia and Iran. And Russia is not “tied up” in Syria by any means. Together with Iran, we have upended regional power balance to the effect that USA is not a hegemon anymore, and it was their reckless decision to invade Iraq that made it all possible.

    Defeat in Iraq inflicted collective trauma on American society and made them less willing to support the use of military force. It’s probably the main reason why Syria’s Bashar Assad remains in power today – much to the collective chagrin of US elite. Also, the reason why US attack on Iran never happened. In other words US elite “success” in convincing their country to invade Iraq cost them some exciting opportunities down the road.

  491. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Taliban did not lose the war

    They lost over 90% of their territory and their leadership was killed. They lost the war.

    and had to wait till their enemy ceased to exist

    Sure. That’s what losers have to do.

  492. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Taliban did not lose the war

    They lost over 90% of their territory and their leadership was killed. They lost the war.

    and had to wait till their enemy ceased to exist

    Not sure what type of moron would try and promote an obvious failure as a “victory” when it has left an Afghan society and state considerably less successful and sophisticated than it was in the 1960′s and 70′s under Soviet guidance

    • Replies: @AP
  493. @AP

    They lost over 90% of their territory and their leadership was killed. They lost the war.

    But the war didn’t end! Get real dude.

    UPA was completely dismantled as an organisation by the Soviet authorities to the effect that nothing more than memory of it was left in the Western Ukraine. That’s what I call ‘losing a war’. Taleban never ceased to operate in Afghanistan, and by now they control a substantial chunk of the country, and negotiating the terms of US withdrawal.

    • Replies: @AP
  494. APilgrim says:

    The 3 most popular government officials, with American Voters are:

    1) USA President Donald Trump
    2) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu
    3) Russia President Vladimir Putin

    Perhaps a DISTANT 4th might be Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán or USA Vice President Mike Pence. Nobody else, anywhere else, would even come close. IMHPO

  495. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    but neither conceded defeat or surrendered, and both resurged after the enemy withdrew

    LOL…..Banderites escaped to America and Canada in disgrace like Paedophiles escaped to Australia from the UK in the last century, the worst paid white immigrants in America, Bandera a name beyond rehabilitation in the civilised world, cant even invest actual money in Ukrainian business projects and infrastructure, do negligible trade with Ukraine, begging for Russia to use them as a gas transit, much of the country owned by Sberbank and VTB, the capital as Russian speaking as ever, only relevance internally and to the outside world is because of Russia, Lvov avoided like the plague in Euro 2012

    the Banderite “dream” didn’t involve a “Ukraine” that is 25% gift of Stalin, 25% gift of Lenin and Kuban firmly where it belongs…or a “Ukraine” controlled in finance and governance by Poles,Lithuanians, Americans,Canadians,Gruzians, jews….everyone except Ukrainians….with large swathes of the military controlled by Americans, Gruzians and even Chechens. They didn’t envisage a “Ukraine” whose sovereignty is so weak they have to have gay parades as diktat by the EU
    or where the real Banderite areas are the most sparsely populated and poorest areas of the country

    and although they are Banderists…they seized power under the banner of liberastism…and nobody around the world comes even close to buying the Bandera idea.

    Quite uniquely pitiful when they only “icons” of Ukrainian statehood are 3 fuckup ,sadist losers as Bandera Shukheyevich and Chikatilo.

    beyond retarded to compare the collapse of the Soviet Union to some sort of “enemy withdrew” scenario ( except for the Baltics)….only a severely f**ked in the head loser would think Ukraine classifies as that ( well, actually even most Banderatards on Ukrop television don’t claim that)…..particularly when everything now is very similar to the circle then went round following the failed Orange revolution…..only much worse and more stupid.

    • Replies: @AP
  496. Vidi says:
    @AP

    In the 70s and early 80s?

    With the gerontocrats Andropov and Chernenko in the early 1980s, the USSR was already collapsing, yes. When Gorbachev took over in the mid ’80s, the collapse accelerated.

    Incidentally, the early ’80s was when the Soviet/Afghan war was at its hottest. Are you comparing the collapsing USSR with a similarly collapsing US Empire?

    • Replies: @AP
  497. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    So America didn’t got to war in Afghanistan to remove Al Queda and the Taliban from power but in order to produce a sophisticated 1960s state?

  498. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Banderites escaped to America and Canada in disgrace like Paedophiles escaped to Australia from the UK in the last century, the worst paid white immigrants in America,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income

    In 2016 Ukrainian household income in the USA was $72,449.

    15 white ethnic groups had higher family incomes than Ukrainians, and 28 had lower ones. So Ukrainians were in the top 1/3 among white ethnic groups in the USA.

    Average white household income in 2018 was about $61,000.

    “Banderites” in America are a lot richer than average Russians. You and your friends probably earn less than a single “Banderite” family in America.

    This must really hurt you :-)

  499. @AP

    Banderites earn a lot less than the average Russian in America.

    Clearly, Banderites are subhuman.

    • Replies: @AP
  500. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    They lost over 90% of their territory and their leadership was killed. They lost the war.

    But the war didn’t end! Get real dude.

    Taliban ceased activity and laid low until Americans, who successfully removed them from power, mostly withdrew.

    UPA was completely dismantled as an organisation by the Soviet authorities

    UPA/OUN ceased guerrilla activities in the late 1950s. Some of their members joined the Soviet society, others went into exile, others laid low (there were occasional arrests throughout the Soviet period) and came back in the late 1980s. After Maidan one of their parties entered the country’s ruling coalition as a junior partner, while the country as a whole celebrates it as heroic. The Soviets, meanwhile, have been erased, their party banned and their monuments toppled.

    Obviously Taliban lost in early 2000s and UPA/OUN lost in 1950s, but if your standard of victory is the ability to eventually come back after the enemy leaves than UPA not only won but won more decisively than did the Taliban, who after all only control about 15% of Afghanistan.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mitleser
  501. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    All but 4 white ethnic groups earn less than do Russians in the USA.

    Many of those “Russians” are Jews and many others are White aristocrats who did the smart thing and successfully escaped Sovok, just like Banderists. Gerard isn’t one of them. He is a Sovok. Average Russian income is about $500 a month, so it will take about 5-6 typical Russian families with both spouses working, to make as much as 1 typical “Banderist” family makes in the USA.

  502. AP says:
    @Vidi

    Soviet Union wasn’t collapsing in the early 1980s. Review your history.

    • Replies: @Vidi
  503. Vidi says:
    @APilgrim

    The ChiCOMS openly persecute Christians and violate international maritime law.

    More fake news, as usual. China doesn’t recognize the Vatican, but the country isn’t persecuting Christians.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  504. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    The war was not over and it is still not over.
    Neither losses you mentioned broke their ability to fight on and recover which was what really mattered.

    That’s what losers have to do.

    That is what Banderites did. Taliban did not lose.

  505. Vidi says:
    @AP

    Soviet Union wasn’t collapsing in the early 1980s. Review your history.

    Gorbachev took over in 1987. He would not have if the USSR were not already in trouble.

    I repeat my question, which you have been avoiding: Are you saying the U.S. will crash too?

    • Replies: @AP
  506. @AP

    There was simply no UPA in Soviet Ukraine after 1950s. The current regime in the Ukraine appeals to UPA’s memory and symbolism, but as an organization it was erased in 1950s.

    By contrast USA never succeded in erasing Taleban, nor did USA really leave: Taleban has staged a strong comeback while USA maintains its occupation.

    • Replies: @AP
  507. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Taliban ceased activity and laid low until Americans, who successfully removed them from power, mostly withdrew.

    Anti-Taliban coalition losses and troop deployment suggest otherwise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001–present)#/media/File:Coalition_military_casualties_in_afghanistan_by_month.svg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Afghanistan_Troop_Strength.svg

    There would not have been the need for a surge if Taliban had laid low and appeared defeated.

    • Replies: @AP
  508. APilgrim says:

    “severe systematic suppression of Christianity”

    Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul, BY YANAN WANG, NANYANG, CHINA, Associated Press, NATION & WORLD, August 07, 2018 06:45 AM, Updated August 07, 2018 12:51 PM, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article216218255.html

    Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  509. APilgrim says:
    @Vidi

    Hold that feeling. Definitely DON’T read this article.

    Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul, BY YANAN WANG, NANYANG, CHINA, Associated Press, NATION & WORLD, August 07, 2018 06:45 AM, Updated August 07, 2018 12:51 PM, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article216218255.html

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @Vidi
  510. APilgrim says:

    The ChiCOMs are persecuting Chinese Christians.

    Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul, BY YANAN WANG, NANYANG, CHINA, Associated Press, NATION & WORLD, August 07, 2018 06:45 AM, Updated August 07, 2018 12:51 PM, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article216218255.html

    The crackdown on Christianity is part of a broader push by Xi to “Sinicize” all the nation’s religions by infusing them with “Chinese characteristics” such as loyalty to the Communist Party. Over the last several months, local governments across the country have shut down hundreds of private Christian “house churches.” A statement last week from 47 in Beijing alone said they had faced “unprecedented” harassment since February.

  511. @APilgrim

    I also believe everything that Scientologists tell me about the USA.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  512. @AP

    Your obsession with this chart indicates deep-seated feelings of insecurity (inferiority). In your heart, you know that your people suck. ;)

    Also, comparing Ukrainians, who moved to America to Russians living in Russia is pretty daft. You should look at how your homeland is doing.

    • Replies: @AP
  513. So many red herrings in this thread: F-35, Christianity in China, the usual Jews, relative success of various would-be occupiers in Afghanistan, the legacy of Bandera followers and other Nazis, etc.

    I’d like to remind the commenters that the article is about the fact that the US proposed new sanctions against Russia, which, if implemented, essentially amount to the declaration of war. This would be the first time in history when one nuclear country declares war on another nuclear country. If the actual hot war breaks out (and the only thing that separates us from that is incredible reasonableness of Putin and Russian leadership), all these other issues would be totally irrelevant.

    The only winners in the all-out war between Russia and the US would be rodents and insects: the whole Earth would be theirs. Maybe we should start paying attention to the elephant in the room and forget about little clusters of dust in it and the color of the wallpaper?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Vidi
    , @yurivku
  514. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    China may have the money, but what they lack is a capital market, where Russian company could just come in and borrow. There is no Chinese instrument similar to Eurobonds. Chinese lending to Russia at present is very limited and linked to specific investment projects, that China’s government is interested in. And it is always natural resources.

    China is simply not in the position to replace the West as a source of capital for Russia. It is still very much a third world country with underdeveloped capital markets.

    There is usually more than one way to do something. China is already pumping lots of capital into Russia. Didn’t Rosneft and Transneft recently borrow $25 billion from China? Also, China can lend to Russian banks like VEB, and VEB can in turn lend to Russian companies.

    “China has agreed to fund investments in Russia worth billions of dollars, helping Moscow bypass Western sanctions.”

    https://money.cnn.com/2017/07/06/news/economy/russia-china-investment-deal-sanctions/

    Russia would be stupid to borrow much from the West, refusing to learn from Turkey’s current problems.

    • Replies: @Vidi
    , @Felix Keverich
  515. APilgrim says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Russia is a Christian Nation, whereas the ChiCOMs persecute Christians.

    ‘Growing Religious Persecution In China A Symptom Of Xi’s Consolidation Of Power’, Olivia Enos, Mar 28, 2018, 10:30am, https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviaenos/2018/03/28/growing-religious-persecution-in-china-a-symptom-of-xis-consolidation-of-power/

    The U.S. Department of State’s annual International Religious Freedom report has designated China as a country of particular concern since 1999, the first year the report was issued. Open Doors USA’s World Watch List also ranks China among the world’s 50 worst persecutors of Christians. China’s antagonistic behavior toward religious minorities has only risen since Xi took power. In May 2015 and April 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reiterated its commitment to the “Sinicization” of China’s religions, which is the CCP’s attempt at both secularizing and subjugating religious thought and practice to the control of the party.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  516. @APilgrim

    Happy rambles aside, you could prove the sincerity of Christianity by not sanctioning Russia.

    Anyway, it’d be difficult to say that Orthodox Christianity doesn’t have Slavic elements; I don’t see why Chinese Christianity shouldn’t be Sinicized.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  517. APilgrim says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    ‘Sinicized’ is photo substitution of the Dictator Life Xi, for pictures of Jesus & the Cross.

    Not remotely the same thing.

    IMHPO

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  518. peterAUS says:
    @EugeneGur

    If victory equals destruction, then everything the US does is a victory.

    You are onto right track here.

    But I see victory as something that makes the home society better, stronger, and this is definitely not the case here.

    And there is where you are wrong.
    That’s not how US elites see it. And, well, they play this game, not people like you.
    People like you, or anyone posting on this site actually,are just disposable assets there. Minuscule and very disposable.

    It’s all about POWER. Their own power.
    Whatever serves that objective is victory.
    The main error people make when assessing current and FUTURE wars is using Clausewitz. Wrong.

    The wars in M.E. are for preventing a possible competing power to challenge the US power. As long as US stays on the top doesn’t matter what Clausewitz or whoever thinks about victory or defeat there. Or anywhere.

    What I see now in the US is the more the elites contort the narrative to suit their schizophrenic goals and the more nonsensical that narrative becomes, the more the society breaks down in every sphere on every level.

    Agree.

    This doesn’t bid well for the power of the country.

    Again, as long as there is no challenger they do not care.
    And…there isn’t any.I am sure that resident “Team China/Russia, or Russia/China” would like to post a big rebuff. Don’t bother.

    The elites are just too stupid and shortsighted to realize that the destruction’ll consume them, too.

    True. They don’t care.
    In meantime they live quite well. Much better than us.
    That’s all what matters.

    • Replies: @Sean
  519. @AP

    Did you learn nothing from Vietnam?

    In 100 years, they will still be there.

    Will we? I certainly hope not.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  520. @APilgrim

    I’m sure the Party is working on this :)

  521. APilgrim says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Well, I won’t still be here.

    We learned that a corrupt South Vietnam could not be indefinitely propped up, by overwhelming military force. The locals, at some point, must be responsible for themselves.

    But, unlike you, I hope that my grandkids will have the privilege of living in The Republic, and that it will be an even more perfect union.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  522. APilgrim, all your comments are hidden for me, yet your nickname is not in my ignore list.
    Are you an alter ego of one of the gentlemen below?

    If not, I assume you have entered some super generic fake email like [email protected] and someone in my ignore list uses the same one.

  523. ondrej says:
    @AnonFromTN

    H

    owever, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years.

    No it will not take 10 years…

    Sukhoi Superjet is already flying..

    http://superjet.wikidot.com

    MC-21 is started going for production next year

    http://mc-21.wikidot.com

    Il-96 is going trough modernization (probably as backup solution) for China Russian plane.

    Russian engines in final testing stage.

  524. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Your obsession with this chart indicates deep-seated feelings of insecurity (inferiority).

    I posted it in response to typical Sovok claims (shared by you also :-) ) about poor Banderists who fled abroad. So your ilk have the obsession, and are projecting as usual.

  525. APilgrim says:
    @Spisarevski

    I am not on your list, and a real, though somewhat inactive, Email address is used.

    So, the ‘hidden’ matter is not due to me.

    Many newspapers have a ‘hidden’ feature, to softly silence dissent. So that is always one of the possibilities.

  526. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    Surged obviously occurred after Americans left. Americans left because Taliban were mostly gone and it was assumed the local post-Taliban government could handle the leftovers. When Taliban flared up American returned. Americans don’t fight much anymore, and Taliban are left to control about 15% of the country.

  527. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There was simply no UPA in Soviet Ukraine after 1950s

    UPA and OUN are the same thing. OUN’s leadership was exiled abroad but it continued to have members in Ukraine. An organization called the Ukrainian National Front, originally started by OUN members and based on OUN principals and ujsing simialr leadership structure, began in the early 1960s. They published Samizdat journals such as Volia i Batkivshchyna and pre-war OUN writings, and were victims of periodic arrests in the 1960s through 1980s (late 70s showed a particularly large wave of arrests).

    By contrast USA never succeded in erasing Taleban

    It erased Taliban in 95% of the country and liquidated its leaders. Afghanistan is larger and much more remote than Western Ukraine so not every corner of the country was cleared. After Taliban were defeated and America removed most of its troops, Taliban came back.

    In 2000 Taliban controlled 80% of the country including the capital. Today they control 15% on the fringes and cause trouble in another 30%. They no longer control the capital. If proof of winning is the end result, who won?

    If someone were to travel from 1948 Ukraine to 2015 Ukraine they would see the Communist Party banned, almost all schools taught in the Ukrainian language, traces of Soviet rule destroyed or in process of being so, a Banderist party as a member of the ruling coalition, streets named after Bandera, etc. If the proof of winning is the end result, who won?

  528. @Spisarevski

    Maybe since APilgrim starts with AP, it ignores that, too. If someone was called “Talhaglorious” or “Mr. Hack the Happy Rabbit” or something, then they’d be ignored, too.

  529. @AP

    “In 2000 Taliban controlled 80% of the country including the capital. Today they control 15% on the fringes and cause trouble in another 30%. If proof of winning is the end result, who won?”

    Technically speaking, Americans are at least 15% short of victory.

  530. Epigon says:
    @Spisarevski

    Slavs of Macedonia had nothing to do with Bulgarians.
    They actively resisted Bulghar invasion and conquest of the area in mid-9th century.
    Since their arrival in late 6th, early 7th century, Slavs had expanded through Thessaly, Epirus all the way to Peloponnese, and predate Bulghar invasion of Balkans.
    You are generalising ethnic Bulgarians in eastern part of FYROM/North Macedonia like Zaev with the entire South Slavic subgroup and the population of the country.
    Learn actual history and not pro-Bulgarian German nonsense made in late 19th century or Bulgarian propaganda. Cyril and Methodius worked among Slavs living under Byzantine rule, not Bulghar, and the language and script they created was based on their speech, not Bulgarian.
    Skopje, Kumanovo, Skopje Holy Mount areas are historical Serbian core, the rest of Slavic Macedonians are neither Serb nor Bulgar, and are related to by now assimilated Slavs of Greece or descendants of those expelled post-WW2

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  531. @AnonFromTN

    People on this site are not interested in talking about sanctions, their impact on the Russian economy, and other boring stuff. On the other hand everybody deems himself a military expert, so this is what you get…

    In the meantime Ukrainian regime continued its pirate activities in the Black Sea:

    http://www.euronews.com/2018/08/15/some-russian-ships-stop-cargoes-to-ukraine-after-tanker-detained-sources

    Some Russian ships have stopped transporting cargo to Ukraine, deeming it risky after a Russian tanker was detained in a Ukrainian port as Kiev made good on sanctions against Moscow, two sources at shipowners said.

    The Mekhanik Pogodin oil tanker, under the Russian flag, has been moored in the port of Kherson since Aug. 10, Reuters ship tracking data shows.

    Reuters tracking data shows that some Russian vessels that are not subject to sanctions are still bound for Ukrainian ports. However, industry sources said that other Russian shipowners which are also not subject to sanctions have now stopped shipping to Ukraine for fear of losing their cargo.

    “Of course we won’t go to Ukraine, we have suspended the shipments for now. If needs be, we will be searching for other destinations,” a shipping industry source told Reuters. “No one wants their ship to get stuck (in Ukrainian waters) with a cargo, which had been paid for,” another source at a Russian shipping company said.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  532. EugeneGur says:
    @AP

    “Banderites” in America are a lot richer than average Russians.

    So what? It an old news that the United States supported the Nazis in all shapes and forms. The West in general and the US in particular have an uncanny ability to find the worst scumbags in any nation and offer them their unwavering support.
    That people who used to nail children to trees or cut them into pieces with a saw simply because those children happen to belong to a “wrong” nation found life comfortable in America tells you something about the American society, doesn’t it, something not so good.

    This must really hurt you

    It no longer even surprises us.

    • Replies: @AP
  533. @AP

    The Ukraine in 2018 is a hyena feasting on a rotting corpse of a long-dead lion. There is no ‘winning’ in it. Ukrainian regime is simply pathetic, it’s rightfully despised by its citizens and people around the world.

  534. Vidi says:
    @APilgrim

    Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul, BY YANAN WANG, NANYANG, CHINA, Associated Press, NATION & WORLD, August 07, 2018 06:45 AM, Updated August 07, 2018 12:51 PM, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article216218255.html

    So? The church in the article was not named; the town/village/city in which it was located was also unnamed. That is how fake news works: write emotionally but offer no verifiable facts.

  535. Vidi says:
    @Vidi

    Didn’t Rosneft and Transneft recently borrow $25 billion from China?

    I forgot to mention: if Russia must borrow U.S. dollars, I’m sure China would be willing to share her $1 trillion stash.

  536. Epigon says:

    Stop taking a shot at Ukrainians and provoking Ukrainian participants. AP is a quality comment contributor, I believe I have encountered his writing on several forums and always found them interesting and full of relevant info, often the opposite perspective to mine, but nevertheless.

    If Russians hadn’t been retarded and hadn’t fallen for Bolshevism, probably none of Ukrainian woes would have occured; not to mention the case where Russians built up a functual, modern state in lieu of Soviet dictatorship.

    Really, if many of “core Russians” had no problem with their culture, religion, history, tradition, identity and many compatriots being destroyed by Bolshevism, why do you take great offense that Ukrainians/Malorossi turned their back on Russia and Russianes?
    Push and pull factors

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  537. @Vidi

    Russia would be stupid to borrow much from the West, refusing to learn from Turkey’s current problems.

    The problem in Turkey is that their companies borrow money in dollars, but receive their revenue primarily in liras, so when lira loses its value Turkish companies’ ability to service their debts declines. Major Russian companies are export-oriented businesses and receive their revenue primarily in dollars. They are facing no currency risk.

    Turks are simply stupid for not considering currency risk. They are like those people in Eastern Europe, who took out mortgages denominated in Swiss frank, and US dollar on the eve of financial crisis. But if you receive income in the same currency your debt is denominated you will be fine.

    • Replies: @Vidi
    , @reiner Tor
  538. Corvinus says:
    @AnonFromTN

    “I do not know whether Putin is a Christian, but that’s beside the point”

    No, that was the point brought up by APilgrim, who labels him as the de factor leader of Christendom Putin’s actions state otherwise. Since 2000, dozens of anti-Putin journalists have suddenly turned up dead. As the former head of the KGB, he gives orders and makes sure his hands are clean.

    “No more Christian than Catholic priests raping boys and girls.”

    Agreed.

  539. Sean says:
    @peterAUS

    That’s not how US elites see it. And, well, they play this game, not people like you.
    People like you, or anyone posting on this site actually,are just disposable assets there. Minuscule and very disposable.

    It’s all about POWER. Their own power.
    Whatever serves that objective is victory.
    The main error people make when assessing current and FUTURE wars is using Clausewitz. Wrong.

    Globalism is what the US elites like. The elites are minuscule and disposable as soon as they cease to serve their nation state, that became obvious when Trump brandished the rhetorical Spear of Destiny: ‘Make America Great’. An elite that presides over their country’s relegation to a twerpish state is overthrown. Thus it was in the French Revolution (reverses at the hands of Austria), the Russian revolution (reverses at the hands of Germany), the Chinese revolution (reverses at the hands of Japan). The fall of the Soviet Union? Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov was dismissed as the chief of the Soviet general staff in the summer of 1984 for saying publicly that Soviet industry was falling badly behind American industry which meant that Soviet weaponry would soon be inferior to the products of the American arms industry. The ordinary Russians or American demands that their elite maintain their country as a force to be reckoned with and THAT is why Trump or Putin’s vast wealth is irrelevant to then being seen as the tribune of their people.

  540. peterAUS says:
    @Epigon

    ..why do you take great offense that Ukrainians/Malorossi turned their back on Russia and Russianes?

    Now, that’s an interesting question.

    It’s been answered plenty of times on this Website.
    Looking forward to read, again, some of it.

    From hard core realpolitics to, well, how to put it politely…..emotional issues !?
    10/90 ratio here.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  541. @Epigon

    “Slavic Macedonians are neither Serb nor Bulgar, and are related to by now assimilated Slavs of Greece or descendants of those expelled post-WW2″

    I beg to differ to the last part of your sentence. Slavs in Greece are far from assimilated.
    There are whole areas in Northern Greece along the borders with Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) still inhabited by Slavic speaking population that has exactly zero basic human rights, even the most basic one, like the right to declare its identity and speak its own language.

    It’s a disgrace to all Slavs.

  542. @Spisarevski

    Disgraceful.

    The Ignore feature is pure, unadulterated cowardice.

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  543. APilgrim says:

    Congress has not ‘minded-the-store’.

    And we have learned NOT to trust a word they say.

    Republican Congressmen are 1 step up from the: MSM, Muslims & other ‘Mad-Dogs’.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  544. @peterAUS

    The key problem of Ukraine is that its residents don’t give a hoot about it. Some expect Russia to solve their problems, others expect the US/EU/NATO to solve their problems. Both are delusional: if they can’t be bothered to solve their problems themselves, why should someone from the outside care? Many Ukraine residents simply run away from that godforsaken place, millions are now in Russia, millions in Poland, and likely millions in other EU countries, most working illegally. It became like Kosovo on steroids: a huge mafia state from which people run in all directions.

    Some Russians felt offended in 2014, but now the prevailing feelings changed: they simply despise the people who allowed local oligarchs to steal everything of value, screwed up their would-be country, and are now leaving the sinking ship. A small fraction (5-7%) are Ukies, who worship Nazi criminals Bandera and Shuhevych and dream about greatness of their imaginary Ukraine. But the majority of the population reacted to Maidan and the scum it brought to power like to a natural disaster: they just try to survive there or to survive running away. Undignified, but understandable.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Replies: @peterAUS
  545. @APilgrim

    Democratic Congressmen are no better.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  546. AP says:
    @Vidi

    Your question is based on a false premise.

  547. AP says:
    @EugeneGur

    “Banderites” in America are a lot richer than average Russians.

    That people who used to nail children to trees or cut them into pieces with a saw simply because those children happen to belong to a “wrong” nation found life comfortable in Americ

    Most Banderites who made it to America were not butchers from Volhynia but activists from what is now eastern Poland, and Galicia.

    • Replies: @EugeneGur
  548. peterAUS says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Re

    ….emotional issues….

    some quotes:

    The key problem of Ukraine is that its residents don’t give a hoot about it. ….

    ….a huge mafia state …

    ….would-be country…

    ….Ukies, who worship Nazi criminals Bandera and Shuhevych and dream about greatness of their imaginary Ukraine…

    ….the scum…

    All good.

    • LOL: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AnonFromTN
  549. APilgrim says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Actually the Democrats are far worse.

    But that is a given.

  550. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income

    In 2016 Ukrainian household income in the USA was $72,449.

    15 white ethnic groups had higher family incomes than Ukrainians, and 28 had lower ones. So Ukrainians were in the top 1/3 among white ethnic groups in the USA.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I saw this exact same list last month you dumb pr**k…CLEARLY stating Ukrainians in 40+ position…the worst white immigrant group in America you POS. Worse than countries in Eastern Europe that haven’t had sufficient braindrains or loss of population from after the end of communism or WW1 (i.e less likely to have lost their most talented) . Household income listed was not anywhere near in the 70000 dollar range.

    Russians much higher ( though in this respect plenty of Ukrainians would be classifying themselves as Russian and getting into the list that way)

    So assume Wikipedia ( a barely credible source I dont waste time with on 99% of occasions) must have had this info up for years….but all of a sudden it gets replaced with some barely credible crap recently, at the EXACT time when some retard who basically lives on the Motyl retard section of Wikipedia tries to forlornly promote some lies and BS of Banderite scum earning high amount in America……contrary to all logic and data on the issue.
    So this “new”, i.e false information has been dishonestly edited by either you or another sick Banderatard to promote a laughable fake.

    A lunatic pr**k like you seriously thinks this isn’t obvious?

    “Banderites” in America are a lot richer than average Russians. You and your friends probably earn less than a single “Banderite” family in America.

    Bizarre retarded argument…….the overconsumption and wealth of Americans isn’t in any doubt you idiot ( typical time-wasting troll tactic)…..Banderite freaks have next to no contribution to this and have an abysmally low number of high profile, successful , life enhancing people in America and Canada to show for it you i******e. Cape Verde has probably produced more successful expatriates in America.

    Anyway Moscow,Kazan and Saint Petersburg together is about half the (official but fake) population figures of people in Ukraine…………they easily earn above the American average in PPP terms you m****n…plus I wouldn’t swap living in any of those beautiful great cities for living in America ( no problemwith America though, you t**t)….then factor in taxation and the difference is even less. Then factor in the rich culture of Russia and the areas that work even with extreme long winters and daylight issues and 150+ different cultures…..then I’m very happy with how Russians are doing….and thank god I’m not some Banderacunt attention-whore troll lowlife spamtroll….which is even worse than a wealthy Marlon Brando in his last 20 years getting more and more obese and having his children kill each other or whatever it was

    This must really hurt you

    Once more, laughable projection…even more bizarre given the ever increasing rate of failures coming out of Ukraine, Russians doing much better than Banderites even on your fake list…and the fact that the wealth or poverty of Americans in general is of zero interest to pretty much all Russians you f*****d up i*****le..

    • Replies: @AP
  551. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    LOL, so much vitriol in response to the simple fact that “Banderists” are one of the wealthier white ethnic groups in the USA and therefore so much wealthier than Sovoks like you.

    Yes, you show how it really hurts you :-)

    If you think the wiki article has fake info, you can check the original data at US census by clicking on the link from the wiki page, selecting 2016, and looking at the ethnic groups.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income#cite_note-byancestry-3

    Steps so simple even a dumb Sovok like yourself can do them :-)

  552. @peterAUS

    You forgot

    despise

    That was the key word.

    • Replies: @yurivku
  553. @dfordoom

    The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation.

    The Democrats don’t care about Russia one way or another, except as a rhetorical stick with which to beat Trump. Have you heard any Democrat ask for tougher sanctions on Russia or military aid to Ukraine? And the Republicans mainly want Russia to cough up its territorial gains in Ukraine and Georgia and stop it for expanding any further. Nobody wants to invade Russia.

    The real question is what Russia will do when China does a land grab in Central Asia and/or Mongolia, both of which are areas where China has some history, and a plausible claim to ethnic kinship. You might even say that those regions are to China what the Slavic countries are to Russia – lands to be eventually incorporated into the empire.

  554. dfordoom says: • Website
    @APilgrim

    Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

    I’m liking this guy Xi more and more. Foreign religions should be eliminated.

    • LOL: Vidi
  555. Vidi says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The problem in Turkey is that their companies borrow money in dollars, but receive their revenue primarily in liras, so when lira loses its value Turkish companies’ ability to service their debts declines. Major Russian companies are export-oriented businesses and receive their revenue primarily in dollars. They are facing no currency risk.

    Turks are simply stupid for not considering currency risk. They are like those people in Eastern Europe, who took out mortgages denominated in Swiss frank, and US dollar on the eve of financial crisis. But if you receive income in the same currency your debt is denominated you will be fine.

    Currency risk (depending on how you define it) is not your only vulnerability when you borrow from foreigners. The Turks will learn this — and they’ll suffer far more — if they push their luck.

    And Russia’s total foreign debt is too high already at a third of GDP, in my opinion. (China is at 14%.) Russia should decrease the debt she owes the other countries, not increase it.

  556. Vidi says:
    @AnonFromTN

    So many red herrings in this thread: F-35, Christianity in China, the usual Jews, relative success of various would-be occupiers in Afghanistan, the legacy of Bandera followers and other Nazis, etc.

    You’re right. I’ve been guilty of straying off topic.

    I’d like to remind the commenters that the article is about the fact that the US proposed new sanctions against Russia, which, if implemented, essentially amount to the declaration of war.

    I agree with Saker that Russia was already at war. In that light, the new sanctions look like more of the same, in my opinion. With some help from China (and especially when gas begins to flow through Power of Siberia), the sanctions won’t have much effect.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  557. @Thorfinnsson

    Sure, if you block people for being butthurt at them or because you can’t respond to their arguments or whatever.
    Or it can just be a time saving feature. I am not on the internet to win internet fights, I just read things that are interesting to me.
    I don’t block people who sometimes make comments that I consider informative or funny, no matter how much I ‘ve disagreed with them.

    Just considered blocking Gerard2 for example, the only reason being that his style of writing is annoying. I mostly agree with what little I’ve read from him, but he has no chill.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @AP
  558. yurivku says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The only winners in the all-out war between Russia and the US would be rodents and insects: the whole Earth would be theirs. Maybe we should start paying attention to the elephant in the room and forget about little clusters of dust in it and the color of the wallpaper?

    Good point, but your proposition has no possibility to come true. One can easily see it by scanning the commens over there at UNZ. Everybody keep their points – Ukis, US-trolls and those few, who can see where it’s all going. But latter are tiny minority.

  559. yurivku says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Just returned from Rome where had 10 days of watching antique and medieval history. Fantastic. The maid was russian-speaking UKi from Chernovtsy. She was about 50 y.o. and was complaining of having a wage of 300 EUR and situation that she can’t even refuse to work on holidays and in the evenings for there are alot of such persons like her, but not alot of job offers…
    I asked “why don’t you return home?” and she said “At home even worse”. I can’t imagine how she lives on that money, but this is what they got.
    Afterwars I’ve seen some more UKis in Rome on similar places – maids, waiters, cleaners …

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN