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Make No Mistake, the Latest US Thuggery Is a Sign of Weakness, Not Strength
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The Russian Consulate General in San Francisco located on 2790 Green Street in Pacific Heights.
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For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or “non-agreement capable”. This all began under Obama, when Kerry flew to meet with Lavrov and declared ‘A’, then flew back to Washington, DC and declared ‘B’. Then there were the cases in Syria when the US agreed to a deal only to break that very same deal in less than 24 hours. That’s when the Russians openly began to say that their US colleagues are rank amateurs who lack even the basic professionalism to get anything done.

Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US “hellish buffoonery” and “stupid thuggery”.

Wow!

For the normally hyper-diplomatic Russians, this kind of language is absolutely unheard of, this has never ever happened before. You could say that the Russians are naive, but they believe that their diplomats should always be, well, diplomatic, and that public expressions of disgust is just not something a diplomat does. Even more telling is rather than call the Americans “evil” or “devious”, they openly express their total contempt for them, calling them stupid, incompetent, uneducated and their actions unlawful (read Maria Zakharova’s statement to that effect on Facebook).

So let me explain what is happening here how the Russians interpreted the latest US thuggery concerning the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and the Russian diplomatic annexes in Washington and New York.

First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia. That, by itself, is not the problem. The Russians understand that Trump is a cornered and weak President, that he has to show how “tough” he is. Sure, they smile, but they think that this is ‘fair game’. The Russians also know that, as a country, the USA cannot accept the biggest reduction in US diplomatic personnel in history without reacting. Again, they don’t necessarily like it, but they think that this is ‘fair game’.

You know what really triggered the Russians off? The fact that the Americans gave them only 2 days to vacate the premises they would seize and that they organized some kind of bizarre search operation. Let me immediately explain that this is not a case of ruffled feathers by the Russians, not at all. But here is how they would think about it:

“Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA?”

To a Russian, these questions can only have one answer: of course not. So what is going on here? And then there is the only possible explanation left:

“We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts and the very best they can do is try to feel good about illegally harassing our diplomatic personnel! Pathetic, lame, losers!”

And they are 100% correct.

The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in.

ORDER IT NOW

This is also the end of Rex Tillerson. The poor man now has only two options left: resign (that would be the honorable thing to do) or stay and become another castrated eunuch unable to even deal with the likes of Nikki Haley, nevermind the North Koreans!

A “spokesperson” for the White House declared that Trump personally ordered the latest thuggery. Okay, that means one of two thing: either Trump is so weak that he cannot even fire a lying spokesperson or that he has now fallen so low as to order the “thug life” behavior of the State Department. Either way, it is a disgrace.

This is also really scary. The combination of, on one hand, spineless subservience to the Neocons with intellectual mediocrity, a gross lack of professionalism and the kind of petty thuggery normally associated with street gangs and, on the other hand, nuclear weapons is very scary. In the mean time, the other nuclear armed crazies have just declared that they have a thermonuclear device which they apparently tested yesterday just to show their contempt for Trump and his general minions. I don’t think that they have a hydrogen bomb. I don’t think that they have a real ICBM. I don’t even think that they have real (usable) nuclear warheads. But what if I am wrong? What if they did get a lot of what they claim to have today – such as rocket engines – from the Ukies?

In one corner, the Outstanding Leader, Brilliant Comrade, Young Master and Great Successor, Kim Jong-un and on the other, The Donald, Grab them by the xxxxx and Make ‘Merica Great, the Grand Covfefe Donald Trump. Both armed with nukes.

Scary, scary shit. Really scary.

But even more scary and depressing is that the stronger man of the two is beyond any doubt Kim Jong-un.

All I see in the White House are vacancy signs.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Neocons, Russia 
    []
  1. We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts

    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere – and all in vain, apparently to win “hearts and minds”!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions – and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, …) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible – even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia’s command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    Read More
    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Erebus
    Good Post. A few extra thoughts....

    We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power.
     
    It's a little more complicated than that. The dominance America sought, and sorta still seeks, was on all fronts: legal, political, financial, cultural, economic, social, etc. and the juggernaut that was to take it there was globalization. Globalization is to be catalysed, and enforced by military power, whenever all other inducements fail to bring a country on board. Now, globalization, however defined, looks to be the great historical trend of the times, but the US' Neocon dream of being Capo di tutt'i capi, of full spectrum dominance of the process of getting there and its ultimate systemic result is failing. Holding to that line, the Neocons have run into a world of Russian, Chinese and other roadblocks. The roadblocks are becoming plain to the non-Neocons, if not the Neocons themselves, and that's largely why US policy looks like a pinball machine gone berserk.

    ... pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry... and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
     
    I think it just as likely that the banking power will collapse first. The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. That would allow a lot more of the world to sleep even more peacefully, and may even be an improvement on your version for American citizens as well.

    ...Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations...
     
    They have apparently both come to the same conclusion, but seem to have taken different lessons from it. The Saudis recently announced an exchange of diplomatic visits with Iran(!). Not an exchange of ambassadors, to be sure, but a compass may be coming around in Riyadh. Meanwhile, Netanyahu got a hearing in Washington, and then got an 11th hour impromptu hearing with Putin. Neither went well for him, and Russian diplomatic sources noted that he appeared on the "edge of panic". Looks good on 'im, but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians. Let's hope less panicked heads prevail.

    ... western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible...
     
    It already is. As re-trained, re-equipped, and re-organized by the Russians, the Syrian Army has emerged from 6 years of bloody war as the most battle-hardened and efficient ground combat force in the M.E. As Pat Lang notes, "a new force has appeared in the Levant" and their primary allies, Hezbollah and the Iranian militias have similarly benefited (Iraq's PMUs and Iran's Republican Guards probably learned a thing or two as well). Add in Russia's intent to remain in the region, and a whole new calculus appears. The "Assad is a goner" slam-dunk everyone thought they were looking at a scant 2 yrs ago has inverted 180 deg. The Imperial regime change program came a cropper, and a new axis of power arose. The GCC, after the requisite temper tantrums, are coming round to the new reality, but Israel remains behind the curve. A Lesser Israel is suddenly back in view.
    , @The Alarmist
    The problem with roughly one-sixth of our population coming from South and Central America is that we have a large number who have learned to live through societal failure and don't have the motivation to avoid it.

    Argentina was once a first-world nation. It is still a relatively comfortable place to live if you are unambitious. Is this America's future, or are we planning to take the whole world down with us a la that Planet of the Apes movie where the world ends up nuked in the struggle between the doomsday-bomb cultists and the apes?

    , @jilles dykstra
    The USA of course still is a great power.
    So was the British empire after WWI, despite that the USA had to interfere militarily to prevent British capitulation.

    But few in GB saw the signs on the wall, the thirties was the period where an empire that could no longer maintain itself was wavering in policies.
    As prior to WWI, the British feared the German economic and political expansion to the south east, the Berlin Baghdad Basra railway the bone of contention.
    WWII was the war which the USA again won for GB, but the price was the end of empire.
    As some Britons understood 'we won the war, but lost the peace'.

    We see the same in France, the day of the German capitulation, May 1945, still is a national holiday, their capitulation in June 1940 is forgotten.
    Empires, like commercial organisations, seem to be quite capable of ignoring the truth.
    Broke commercial organisations sometimes just realise they are broke when the bank refuses to pay the salaries.

    If Trump understands that the days of USA world domination are over, I do not know.
    But I hope he does.
    Alas those who do not see the signs on the walls make it impossible for him to adjust the USA to the new power distribution in the world.

    Politicians long in power apparently become blind, Merkel's speeches in Germany are booed in such a way that she cannot make herself heard, luckily she often dresses in read, the first tomato impact was hardly visible.
    , @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.
    , @Tony
    Keep smoking what you smoking boy if it makes you happy to think that way.
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  2. “First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia.”

    Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated.

    Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.

    It seems whenever the USA threatens to destroy North Korea, their leader threatens to harm the USA if that happens. Clearly, the North Korean leader is mad, at least those dicks think so.

    Read More
    • Agree: Cyrano, Randal
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess."

    Russia should tell the US to go shit in their hat and pull it down over your ears.
    , @None of the Above
    The absurd point that Americans are not supposed to notice is that Trump is continuing and escalating a dispute that began with Crooked Hillary's fake claims that the only reason the most hated politician in America could be elected was because of Russia meddling.

    Trump has clearly said/tweeted that he does not believe these claims and considers them to be fake news and nonsense. Yet now we see the Trump administraion pushing the world closer to nuclear war because of these claims.

    I suppose the one thing that shows us is that the recent stories that Trump is basically under 'house arrest' in the White House are essentially on target
  3. Cyrano says:

    Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one.

    I don’t think that the exceptional ones believe that they can do it either, that train left the station in the 90’s, together with Boris. So now the exceptional ones are throwing temper tantrums, because the bear doesn’t want to lie down and play dead. They had their chance for a while and they didn’t really deserve it either.

    The bear that they used to know and love in the 90’s was a circus animal and that circus has left town. The world is changing and if you think that the best protection against hitting the iceberg is to blow the horn, for everybody to get out of your way because you are too big to sink, you are heading straight to the bottom, only maybe with accompanying loud noise from the horn, for which the world really doesn’t care too much about.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Albert King
    "Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. "

    Notice of course that there are no historical examples to back up this statement. That is because exactly the opposite was true.

    Russia was part of a 'conservative coalition' that ran Europe for a century. The Kings and Queens who held power and lived in luxury because of who their daddy was were in mortal terror that what happened in the French Revolution might spread throughout Europe. Thus Russia was an ally of England, Austria, Prussia and others in fighting against Napoleon. The Russian czars were very supportive of the other royalty in Europe and stayed a part of a coalition trying to maintain this system of privlidge throughout the 19th century.

    England clashed a bit with Russia as a part of 'the great game', but that was a fight for power and money in the indian sub-continent. England thought their slave cash-cow might be threatened as the Russians expanded to their south. Other than that, the royal houses that ruled Europe in the 19th century were all allies with Russia, and there were a series of Great Power conferences where Russia was a key player trying to make sure that the european royalty stayed in power and that notions such as freedom and justice were routinely crushed.
  4. Osten says:

    American media show paranoia about Russia.
    Trump Russia connections and election influence are nonsense.
    Public sees the nonsense so media dropped the publicity.
    Democratic Party will put on charm offensive to say they reject Antifa so to defuse Republican Trump supporters.
    If Democrats succeed they will regain many Congress seats in 2018 election.
    Republicans need to put pressure on FBI to complete Clinton investigation.
    That completion would clear air for better relations, restore public trust in government and slap media to be more honest.
    Republicans should be glad Russia is in Syria. Russia presence reduces American defense expense.
    Israel wants American presence.
    Saudi Arabia wants presence.
    People in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and Iraq want peace after years of American wars that cause death and refugee humanitarian crisis.
    American journalists except for Seymour Hersh are not allowed to tell Americans facts about Middle East countries.

    Read More
  5. Realist says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    "First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia."

    Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated.

    Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.

    It seems whenever the USA threatens to destroy North Korea, their leader threatens to harm the USA if that happens. Clearly, the North Korean leader is mad, at least those dicks think so.

    “Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.”

    Russia should tell the US to go shit in their hat and pull it down over your ears.

    Read More
  6. TheJester says:

    The End of Bretton-Woods I and II …

    Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
    "When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills."
    Very true. Indeed, the Chinese are about to declare a new gold backed oil benchmark that will be another nail in the coffin of the U.S. Dollar as a world reserve currency; a scourge to Amerca's ruling predatory class but a boon to world peace.
    , @jacques sheete

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.
     
    Then the next obvious step would be to get our natural liberties back, but that's too much to hope for especially in the vaunted "Land 'O Libbberteeee...."

    Constitution or not,

    Nay, indeed, have we not seen (p. 13) that government is essentially immoral? Is it not the offspring of evil, bearing about it all the marks of its parentage?

    - Herbert Spencer, Social Statics [1851]. chap 20, The Right to Ignore the State, p 207
    http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/spencer-social-statics-1851
     

    , @CanSpeccy

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation.
     
    The death of the dollar as the world's reserve currency will have the effect of a high tariff wall, behind which the US can rebuild its industrial base.
  7. KA says:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump

    John Bolton wants to scrap the deal, provide supports to outsiders and insiders to foment troubles against the regime and ban all commercial diplomatic and educational legal contacts to the rest of the world .

    He wants to inform China and Russia only after the whole thing is over ( Iran has become I guess Yemen!)

    Why is he outside the high security prison or outside the administration?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Genesis of American relentless march to stupidity has been promoted and secured by dimwit halfling midget like Bolton
    Unfortunately Israel instead of keeping and maintaining the logical support from the intellectual , visionary and moral people has relied on morons like these endangering itself and USA .

    These morons wouldn't get a job as a third shift janitor in a slaughter house solely on merits . They did what they could - race the bottom of the barrel of dishonesty because that was their upbringing . It made them street smart without necessary IQ.
    , @annamaria
    "Why is he outside the high-security prison or outside the administration?"
    Because Bolton, an Israel-firster, is well within the moral parameters of ziocons who have infiltrated the US government at all levels. All these Kristols, Kagans, Clintons, Feith, Judy Miller, and a legion of likes, should have been locked into high-security prisons for their crimes against humanity.
    As for Bush and Cheney, these two deserve capital punishment for high treason.
  8. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @KA
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump

    John Bolton wants to scrap the deal, provide supports to outsiders and insiders to foment troubles against the regime and ban all commercial diplomatic and educational legal contacts to the rest of the world .

    He wants to inform China and Russia only after the whole thing is over ( Iran has become I guess Yemen!)

    Why is he outside the high security prison or outside the administration?

    Genesis of American relentless march to stupidity has been promoted and secured by dimwit halfling midget like Bolton
    Unfortunately Israel instead of keeping and maintaining the logical support from the intellectual , visionary and moral people has relied on morons like these endangering itself and USA .

    These morons wouldn’t get a job as a third shift janitor in a slaughter house solely on merits . They did what they could – race the bottom of the barrel of dishonesty because that was their upbringing . It made them street smart without necessary IQ.

    Read More
  9. These moves are the epitome of stupidity on the part of the Americans. Nothing to be gained and everything to be lost. America just doesn’t get it; it is out of the equation. Our congress is bought and paid for by the neocons. The neocons are irrational, knee jerk reactionaries that are incapable of mastering the game of checkers, let alone chess. I agree in full with the article. I believe that Israel will cease to exist past 2020 and America will be in an extremely weakened position if Trump does not reel in the neocons. Trump is surrounded by Generals, not for the possibility of war, but to prevent a military takeover by the neocons. Generals are more reliable, more pragmatic than are civilians. Trump initially made several big mistakes: listening to rosenstein and kushner; firing Flynn, Comey and Banner. I would like to know who advised Trump on the consulate closing; I do not believe, as the press states, that it was his idea. I am still laughing at the monumental stupidity of such a move and the world still has not recovered its’ breath from the shock. The repercussions, the precedent, is eye opening, to say the least.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    The US has been suffering from the incompetent opportunists for the sin of unaccountability on the top.
    , @Wally
    And who are the "neocons"?

    Just say it. Everyone else already knows.

    concerning Charlottesville:

    “We have been working on the ground and behind the scenes leading up to, during, and after the rally."
    - Zionist Jew Anita Gray, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

    must read: http://www.unz.com/article/how-the-jews-won-the-battle-of-charlottesville/
  10. George Sm says:

    The US just tore up the principle that its CIA stations around the world are immune from the local governments seizing and searching thei HQ.

    If there are wise people in the world, the next ‘color revolution’ would be met by that immediate closure of CIA stations (aka US embassies and consulates) in the country and quick and thorough searches to find evidence that the CIA was backing the overthrow (aka regime change) of the local government.

    Seems like yet another case where the CIA (aka US government) has a lot more to lose in this exchange than they’ll gain from searching the San Francisco consulate.

    Read More
  11. antiJohn says:

    The funny part is that I’d be very willing to hire John Bolton as an adviser on foreign policy. But I would never tell Mr. Bolton that I’d keep him around to make damn certain that I’m always doing the opposite of what he thinks. In that way, I think his advice would be almost invaluable.

    Read More
  12. @Cyrano
    Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one.

    I don’t think that the exceptional ones believe that they can do it either, that train left the station in the 90’s, together with Boris. So now the exceptional ones are throwing temper tantrums, because the bear doesn’t want to lie down and play dead. They had their chance for a while and they didn’t really deserve it either.

    The bear that they used to know and love in the 90’s was a circus animal and that circus has left town. The world is changing and if you think that the best protection against hitting the iceberg is to blow the horn, for everybody to get out of your way because you are too big to sink, you are heading straight to the bottom, only maybe with accompanying loud noise from the horn, for which the world really doesn’t care too much about.

    “Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. ”

    Notice of course that there are no historical examples to back up this statement. That is because exactly the opposite was true.

    Russia was part of a ‘conservative coalition’ that ran Europe for a century. The Kings and Queens who held power and lived in luxury because of who their daddy was were in mortal terror that what happened in the French Revolution might spread throughout Europe. Thus Russia was an ally of England, Austria, Prussia and others in fighting against Napoleon. The Russian czars were very supportive of the other royalty in Europe and stayed a part of a coalition trying to maintain this system of privlidge throughout the 19th century.

    England clashed a bit with Russia as a part of ‘the great game’, but that was a fight for power and money in the indian sub-continent. England thought their slave cash-cow might be threatened as the Russians expanded to their south. Other than that, the royal houses that ruled Europe in the 19th century were all allies with Russia, and there were a series of Great Power conferences where Russia was a key player trying to make sure that the european royalty stayed in power and that notions such as freedom and justice were routinely crushed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    You are a perfect target audience for one of the mottos that I have come up with: Those who don’t know history ought to do something about it and learn it.

    An alliance with Russia was always a weapon of last resort, because whichever of the Great Powers of Europe chose them as allies, they were always more weary of their “ally” than of their enemies. The name of the game for the last few hundred years has always been the same: Containment of Russia.

    When Nicholas 1 wanted to put the “sick man of Europe” – the Ottoman empire out of their misery, not least because they still held large territories populated by Christian Slavs as it happened to be, the 2 miserable empires of Europe – France and the British sided with Islamic Turkey against Russia. Some fine Christians they were. They were more worried about the Russian expansion than they were about protecting the Christians that were still under centuries long Islamic rule.

    Of course in the minds of the degenerates from Western Europe, Slavs were hardly human, and their Christianity was of inferior quality, so why should they concern themselves with them. The only reason why Constantinople is still in Turkish hands is because the western degenerates would rather see it in their hands than belonging to Russia, or even Bulgaria.

    Not to worry comrades, the way the things are going, your capitals will soon be in Islamic hands. That’s how much brain power is left remaining in the west. I am getting little bit off topic here.

    Perhaps the best example of the reluctance by the western powers to have Russia as an ally was WW2, when they all balked at alliance with USSR, leaving the door open for the non-aggression pact. The west only agreed to ally themselves with USSR, when all other options looked inadequate and they realized that they won’t be able to defeat Hitler on their own. Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted.

    , @Wizard of Oz
    A broad brush may be useful for propaganda rallying the troops but it isn't much good for delineating history. Russia was an ally of Great Britain fighting against Napoleon (most of the time) but it had bugger all to do with royals like the gaga George lll.

    And "slave" is a silly, because wildly imprecise, word to use with reference to Britain's Indian interests. If you knew enough relevant history to back up your generalisations you wouldn't use a word with such a large number and variety of connotations that mostly don't apply.
  13. @Carlton Meyer
    "First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia."

    Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated.

    Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.

    It seems whenever the USA threatens to destroy North Korea, their leader threatens to harm the USA if that happens. Clearly, the North Korean leader is mad, at least those dicks think so.

    The absurd point that Americans are not supposed to notice is that Trump is continuing and escalating a dispute that began with Crooked Hillary’s fake claims that the only reason the most hated politician in America could be elected was because of Russia meddling.

    Trump has clearly said/tweeted that he does not believe these claims and considers them to be fake news and nonsense. Yet now we see the Trump administraion pushing the world closer to nuclear war because of these claims.

    I suppose the one thing that shows us is that the recent stories that Trump is basically under ‘house arrest’ in the White House are essentially on target

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  14. yeah says:

    I think there is a lot of confusion between “what ought to be” and “what is”. Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the “what is” side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful – hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    Read More
    • Replies: @hunor
    you failed to talk about who is holding the leash of the top dog. who is manipulating it , who is using it with all its might for destruction , when and where needed to attack other dogs ? there will be no exceptional bone awarded to the top dog for his service to the leash holders, in fact they will be destroyed like always the case with dogs. if you live like a dog you will die like a dog.
    , @neutral

    “what ought to be” and “what is”
     
    Well if you want to raise this issue, then the reality that an America with the future demographics will not be able to rule anything, even itself. A country consisting of so many inferior races simply will not be able to do the things it think it can, that is the ultimate iron law of reality. As for the whites look at the increasing levels of pure lunacy as they tear down statues, cannot find competent people to run their ships or fight over transvestites being able to go to the correct toilet.

    No doubt this is too raw for your tastes, but it is true.

    , @Cyrano

    That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.
     
    You need to have your head examined. No, wait, I'll do it for free. You are a moron.
    , @The Scalpel
    "The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed."


    The above does not accord with reality at all. The world sees the United States as a bully and one that ignores its treaties and international law. The situation that is being promoted is one where several of the week or dogs unite in a conspiracy to knock the top dog off his perch.
    , @Randal

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the “what is” side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid.
     
    The evidence of the past couple of decades seems to cast your assertion into serious doubt.

    The US response to the collapse of the Soviet Union has certainly been "stupid" insofar as any state's actions can be described as such - in other words, from the point of view of any reasonably honest conception of the national interest as opposed to the interests of the lobbies (often foreign or foreign-sympathising, but including the military and related business and other interests) that influence policy.

    It was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the "international rule of law" (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific.

    These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. In fact they are highly counter-productive to any plausible conception of the interests of the American nation, and hence certainly qualify as "stupid".

    Indeed, the invasion of Iraq is now widely viewed as an archetype of "stupid" in geostrategic policy terms, and will undoubtedly be taught as such in numerous history and international relations courses.

    , @Randal

    Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful – hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.
     
    As so often with those who claim to be adopting a brutally "realistic" and "objective" view of the world, your analysis is in fact so grossly subjective and parochial as to amount to a fantasy.

    In the real world, as opposed to your US sphere circle-jerk one, Russia is not particularly isolated or weak. Dislike by the US sphere establishments does not equate to "isolation" for a country that is a close ally of the now largest economy in the world and which trades and engages in diplomacy freely with most of the rest of the world, no matter how much you might wish it to be so. And for all the talk of US sanctions "strangling" Russia, far from shrinking, the Russian economy is actually doing quite well, and arguably the better for the sanctions. And for a country that is "militarily surrounded", Russia certainly managed to frustrate the US's and its regional allies' designs in Syria very effectively.

    As for China, that country has repeatedly made clear its refusal to kowtow to US regime concerns, and while it is certainly integrated into the world economy that has not stopped it taking steps to render itself and its main allies in the SCO less vulnerable to coercion as a result of legacy US domination of the structures of that economy, whilst pushing towards realignments of those structures to better reflect modern reality.

    A truly competent US regime, in the "dog eat dog" world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China. (I'm not saying that's what they should have done, merely that that's what your claimed premises would imply). Instead they gratuitously alienated Russia over and over again, and effectively forced it into the arms of the rising power.

    As for the "SF consulate affair", it's hard to grasp the degree of delusion required to see it as you do, as having: "isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one." Most of the world hasn't even noticed it, and of those who have, the prevailing view is probably that it's just another example of US high-handedness, or of the comical American obsession with fantasies of "Russian interference.

    The slightest familiarity with actual global opinion (as opposed to US sphere establishment groupthink delusion) on your part might have rescued your analysis. The US has long been recognised as the greater threat to world peace amongst the powerful states by more than see the others as threats. The latest Pew poll last month confirmed this, with the proportions naming "US power and influence" as "the greatest threat to our country" at 35%, compared to 31% for Russia and the same for China. And those polls were only carried out in 38 countries, that did not include any of the main targets of recent US military aggression and threats of same - Serbia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

    , @MarkinLA
    what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery?

    Huh? There is possibly a wealth of information at the consulate that the CIA could use. There could be information about what capabilities the FSB has or information related to codes or codebreaking. There could be information on FSB assets in the US should there be any. You don't want to leave anything for the CIA to get it's hands on.
    , @annamaria
    "Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the world stage, but that is not going to make it."
    Do you live in Ukraine? - For the US citizenry, "a little more" in this context sounds wrong.

    "But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play."
    That was a "soft power?"--Stupidity would be the right word (ziocon-inspired stupidity, to be precise). The sanctions have pushed Russians to become more self-reliant, while punished the EU producers. At the same time, the US has carefully excluded the Russian-made gadgetry for the space program from the sanctions. You are funny.

    "The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one."
    Only a ziocon of Kagans' caliber would come with such a dramatic story. Sounds perfect for the low-IQ dedicated readers of the NYT and for the Washington Post editors who certainly could use some of your idioms: "The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further," "nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates," "one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one." Congratulations. Eliot Higgins and Dmitri Alperovitch come to mind, upon reading your post.

    , @Art

    Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.
     
    The challenge is to say the word "JEW."

    The comment went on with hundreds of words - but not on of the "Jew." What a waste broadband.

    Nothing good is going to happen until the fact of Jew control of our foreign policy is acknowledged.

    Think Peace --- Art
  15. Modern American Diplomats, or at least lets say senior employees of the State Department, really only have one skill set. That is in delivering ultimatums. After all, a person or a group is only skilled at what it is they regularly do. And the only task American diplomats are regularly given is to Deliver an Ultimatum. Beyond that, the job duties of a senior level diplomat seem to basically be don’t do anything to embarass us when you go get smashed at parties.

    These days, many duties of the ‘diplomat’ have been flat out usurped. If you are dealing with ‘the American government’, you’d better be talking with the CIA, the Pentagon as well as with the State Department. Langley and the Pentagon have both grabbed turf that used to belong to diplomats, and now in many ways these agencies also project American policy.

    The American regional commanders all exert ‘diplomacy’ in their regions. They are in many ways the Voice of America in their own spheres. And I’d rather suspect the local CIA station heads act in much the same way. Anybody who can order you to be killed can usually request your attendence to be told what to do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Modern American Diplomats, or at least lets say senior employees of the State Department, really only have one skill set. That is in delivering ultimatums.
     
    Exactly.

    This has been a key problem with US foreign policy since forever. The other skill set involves outright mendacity, which is used when ultimatums don't work fast enough. Has there ever been a treaty that the US didn't flout?
  16. Historians call it the “thucydides trap”. That happens when an establish power is confronting with a rising power. It usually is not a peaceful transition. The name is drawn from the history of Athens and Sparta.

    I suppose its on my mind because I recently read this piece.
    “Beware the Thucydides Trap” by James Holmes

    http://thediplomat.com/2013/06/beware-the-thucydides-trap-trap/

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Drawing direct parallels is always a very tricky thing--especially in the age of precision Guided Munitions, nuclear weapons and C4ISR. Operationally and tactically there are no parallels whatsoever between Athens, Sparta and US. None, zero. To start with, US is not a continental power and never was, unlike that was the case with Athens and Sparta. That alone precludes any legitimate parallels. Could some political and ideological parallels be drawn? Possibly, but even that should be done very cautiously.
  17. Cyrano says:
    @Albert King
    "Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. "

    Notice of course that there are no historical examples to back up this statement. That is because exactly the opposite was true.

    Russia was part of a 'conservative coalition' that ran Europe for a century. The Kings and Queens who held power and lived in luxury because of who their daddy was were in mortal terror that what happened in the French Revolution might spread throughout Europe. Thus Russia was an ally of England, Austria, Prussia and others in fighting against Napoleon. The Russian czars were very supportive of the other royalty in Europe and stayed a part of a coalition trying to maintain this system of privlidge throughout the 19th century.

    England clashed a bit with Russia as a part of 'the great game', but that was a fight for power and money in the indian sub-continent. England thought their slave cash-cow might be threatened as the Russians expanded to their south. Other than that, the royal houses that ruled Europe in the 19th century were all allies with Russia, and there were a series of Great Power conferences where Russia was a key player trying to make sure that the european royalty stayed in power and that notions such as freedom and justice were routinely crushed.

    You are a perfect target audience for one of the mottos that I have come up with: Those who don’t know history ought to do something about it and learn it.

    An alliance with Russia was always a weapon of last resort, because whichever of the Great Powers of Europe chose them as allies, they were always more weary of their “ally” than of their enemies. The name of the game for the last few hundred years has always been the same: Containment of Russia.

    When Nicholas 1 wanted to put the “sick man of Europe” – the Ottoman empire out of their misery, not least because they still held large territories populated by Christian Slavs as it happened to be, the 2 miserable empires of Europe – France and the British sided with Islamic Turkey against Russia. Some fine Christians they were. They were more worried about the Russian expansion than they were about protecting the Christians that were still under centuries long Islamic rule.

    Of course in the minds of the degenerates from Western Europe, Slavs were hardly human, and their Christianity was of inferior quality, so why should they concern themselves with them. The only reason why Constantinople is still in Turkish hands is because the western degenerates would rather see it in their hands than belonging to Russia, or even Bulgaria.

    Not to worry comrades, the way the things are going, your capitals will soon be in Islamic hands. That’s how much brain power is left remaining in the west. I am getting little bit off topic here.

    Perhaps the best example of the reluctance by the western powers to have Russia as an ally was WW2, when they all balked at alliance with USSR, leaving the door open for the non-aggression pact. The west only agreed to ally themselves with USSR, when all other options looked inadequate and they realized that they won’t be able to defeat Hitler on their own. Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    There are problems of timing and of woolly definition about your "the West only agreed only agreed to ally themselvea with the USSR..... on their own".

    The West, including America, wasn't affected by any such calculus given that the Soviet Union had been in the war for 5 !/2 months when Pearl Harbour and Hitler's declaration of war against the US occurred.

    And Britain was made a de facto ally in June 1941 by Hitller's attack on the Soviet Union.
    , @Hibernian
    "Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted."

    Poor Joe, prisoner of the Politburo (h/t Harry Truman.)
  18. @Greek Jazz
    Historians call it the "thucydides trap". That happens when an establish power is confronting with a rising power. It usually is not a peaceful transition. The name is drawn from the history of Athens and Sparta.

    I suppose its on my mind because I recently read this piece.
    "Beware the Thucydides Trap" by James Holmes
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/06/beware-the-thucydides-trap-trap/

    Drawing direct parallels is always a very tricky thing–especially in the age of precision Guided Munitions, nuclear weapons and C4ISR. Operationally and tactically there are no parallels whatsoever between Athens, Sparta and US. None, zero. To start with, US is not a continental power and never was, unlike that was the case with Athens and Sparta. That alone precludes any legitimate parallels. Could some political and ideological parallels be drawn? Possibly, but even that should be done very cautiously.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Did you read the link he provided?
    , @Anon
    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid as an explanatory model. It describes the behavior of states and state-groups in the context of power projection capabilities available at a given point in time. As to your 'U.S is not a continental power', one needs only observe that it is indeed a continental power, not just on the NA continent, which is obvious, but also elsewhere.

    Human behavior, especially group behavior, has been remarkably unchanging over time, only the methods have varied.
  19. hunor says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    you failed to talk about who is holding the leash of the top dog. who is manipulating it , who is using it with all its might for destruction , when and where needed to attack other dogs ? there will be no exceptional bone awarded to the top dog for his service to the leash holders, in fact they will be destroyed like always the case with dogs. if you live like a dog you will die like a dog.

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  20. neutral says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    “what ought to be” and “what is”

    Well if you want to raise this issue, then the reality that an America with the future demographics will not be able to rule anything, even itself. A country consisting of so many inferior races simply will not be able to do the things it think it can, that is the ultimate iron law of reality. As for the whites look at the increasing levels of pure lunacy as they tear down statues, cannot find competent people to run their ships or fight over transvestites being able to go to the correct toilet.

    No doubt this is too raw for your tastes, but it is true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.
  21. Cyrano says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    You need to have your head examined. No, wait, I’ll do it for free. You are a moron.

    Read More
    • Replies: @yeah
    I am prepared to have my facts examined, my head is doing fine, thank you. But perhaps facts and logic do not interest you much.
  22. Erebus says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere - and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions - and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ...) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible - even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    Good Post. A few extra thoughts….

    We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power.

    It’s a little more complicated than that. The dominance America sought, and sorta still seeks, was on all fronts: legal, political, financial, cultural, economic, social, etc. and the juggernaut that was to take it there was globalization. Globalization is to be catalysed, and enforced by military power, whenever all other inducements fail to bring a country on board. Now, globalization, however defined, looks to be the great historical trend of the times, but the US’ Neocon dream of being Capo di tutt’i capi, of full spectrum dominance of the process of getting there and its ultimate systemic result is failing. Holding to that line, the Neocons have run into a world of Russian, Chinese and other roadblocks. The roadblocks are becoming plain to the non-Neocons, if not the Neocons themselves, and that’s largely why US policy looks like a pinball machine gone berserk.

    … pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry… and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.

    I think it just as likely that the banking power will collapse first. The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. That would allow a lot more of the world to sleep even more peacefully, and may even be an improvement on your version for American citizens as well.

    …Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations…

    They have apparently both come to the same conclusion, but seem to have taken different lessons from it. The Saudis recently announced an exchange of diplomatic visits with Iran(!). Not an exchange of ambassadors, to be sure, but a compass may be coming around in Riyadh. Meanwhile, Netanyahu got a hearing in Washington, and then got an 11th hour impromptu hearing with Putin. Neither went well for him, and Russian diplomatic sources noted that he appeared on the “edge of panic”. Looks good on ‘im, but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians. Let’s hope less panicked heads prevail.

    … western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible…

    It already is. As re-trained, re-equipped, and re-organized by the Russians, the Syrian Army has emerged from 6 years of bloody war as the most battle-hardened and efficient ground combat force in the M.E. As Pat Lang notes, “a new force has appeared in the Levant” and their primary allies, Hezbollah and the Iranian militias have similarly benefited (Iraq’s PMUs and Iran’s Republican Guards probably learned a thing or two as well). Add in Russia’s intent to remain in the region, and a whole new calculus appears. The “Assad is a goner” slam-dunk everyone thought they were looking at a scant 2 yrs ago has inverted 180 deg. The Imperial regime change program came a cropper, and a new axis of power arose. The GCC, after the requisite temper tantrums, are coming round to the new reality, but Israel remains behind the curve. A Lesser Israel is suddenly back in view.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    " The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. "

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don't think this is a viable alternative.
    , @Cloak And Dagger
    Great thoughts.

    but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians.
     
    True, but it is unlikely that he will get much support from a military leadership that is still smarting from their last whupping from Hizbollah. Israel probably realizes that their army, trained on taking on little kids with stones, is no match for the battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria - hence the panic.

    Retaking the Golan Heights is now a distinct possibility.
  23. Randal says:

    For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or “non-agreement capable”. …..
    Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US “hellish buffoonery” and “stupid thuggery”.

    The Russians are obviously correct thus far in their assessment of the US foreign policy establishment. The US bipartisan elites behave in this way because they both believe that they can (might makes right) and believe they are uniquely justified in doing so (the exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill, “humanitarian” intervention, R2P etc).

    The question is, why did the Chinese and Russians foolishly collaborate in the latest attempt by the US to misuse the UNSC to target its enemies and set the scene for future justifications of military action, by supporting the foolish coercive sanctions resolution against North Korea last month? By doing so they played into the hands of the worst elements of the bipartisan US establishment idiocracy, and probably terminally undercut their own preferred approach of constructive engagement. Are they really naïve enough to believe that they can safely use the menace of US military thuggery to compel North Korea to behave as they wish?

    The far better alternative policy was right there in front of them, begging to be used. The North Korean nuclear issue is as clear a condemnation of the US’s policies of military aggression and coercive sanctions as you could wish for.

    The next question is, will they repeat their error by complying with the US regime’s evident wish for a ramping up of tensions?

    Putin rightly stated, in response to inevitable calls for yet more brutish sanctions by the US regime’s prominent warmonger Nikki Haley, backed by its collaborationists such as Merkel, that sanctions are useless. That’s true (which is not to say that they are harmless). Russia knows this full well.

    So why did Russia vote for them in the Security Council last month?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    So why did Russia vote for them in the Security Council last month?
     
    Russia and China voted for the sanctions so as to avoid a direct, embarrassing, and very public diplomatic confrontation with the US. But in practice they will simply ignore them, especially China. I don't believe for one moment that China will actually imperil North Korea, no matter what sort of kayfabe it votes on in the Security Council.
  24. For the normally hyper-diplomatic Russians, this kind of language is absolutely unheard of, this has never ever happened before.

    You haven’t been around much. That’s actually pretty mild compared to what they did under the rubric of the Soviet Union. It’s just as stupid now as it was then. This is just the sort of games played by countries like Russia and the US.

    Read More
  25. yeah says:
    @neutral

    “what ought to be” and “what is”
     
    Well if you want to raise this issue, then the reality that an America with the future demographics will not be able to rule anything, even itself. A country consisting of so many inferior races simply will not be able to do the things it think it can, that is the ultimate iron law of reality. As for the whites look at the increasing levels of pure lunacy as they tear down statues, cannot find competent people to run their ships or fight over transvestites being able to go to the correct toilet.

    No doubt this is too raw for your tastes, but it is true.

    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger

    Would you place your investments in Germany?
     
    No, but I might put them in China. I am already invested in Tencent and AliBaba. The gold-backed RMB is a game changer.
    , @neutral

    Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries
     
    I would indeed, America is the last place I would ever want to migrate to, both Russia and China are still civilized. I would refuse to go to America even if someone put a gun to my head, why any sane person would want to move to the land of SJWs, surveillance state and nauseating social norms is beyond me.
    , @JL

    Would you migrate to Russia or China
     
    I'm guessing you've never traveled to either country, which accounts for such a brash display of ignorance from an otherwise knowledgeable commenter. As an American immigrant in Russia, who's also spent some time in China, I would much rather live in either country. I only travel to the US to visit family, and, as long as I have a choice in the matter, will never go to live there again.
    , @The Alarmist
    Well, at least those other countries don't pretend to be bastions of liberty.
    , @jacques sheete

    Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany?
     
    Hey, even Humpty Trump recognized, at least while he was campaigning, that other countries were ahead of the US in a lot of things, among them high quality infrastructure.

    If America is still so great, would he have won on the promise to make it great


    again
     
    ?

    FYI, 'Merka is a a huge corrupt, degenerate, indebted, militaristic welfare state (both corporate and indigent) that's falling apart morally, philosophically, materially and financially, and there are tons of places that are not only more desirable as places to live, but would be even more desirable if they weren't hounded 24/7 by the greedy jackboots that have also been running this country into the ground for many decades.

  26. yeah says:
    @Cyrano

    That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.
     
    You need to have your head examined. No, wait, I'll do it for free. You are a moron.

    I am prepared to have my facts examined, my head is doing fine, thank you. But perhaps facts and logic do not interest you much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    When was the last time a US foreign policy initiative has played out as advertised? They either lie about their true objectives or they are incompetent. I vote that both of these statements apply. You seem to have an awful lot of confidence in your government that is not backed up by any accomplished results on their part.
  27. Logan says:
    @Erebus
    Good Post. A few extra thoughts....

    We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power.
     
    It's a little more complicated than that. The dominance America sought, and sorta still seeks, was on all fronts: legal, political, financial, cultural, economic, social, etc. and the juggernaut that was to take it there was globalization. Globalization is to be catalysed, and enforced by military power, whenever all other inducements fail to bring a country on board. Now, globalization, however defined, looks to be the great historical trend of the times, but the US' Neocon dream of being Capo di tutt'i capi, of full spectrum dominance of the process of getting there and its ultimate systemic result is failing. Holding to that line, the Neocons have run into a world of Russian, Chinese and other roadblocks. The roadblocks are becoming plain to the non-Neocons, if not the Neocons themselves, and that's largely why US policy looks like a pinball machine gone berserk.

    ... pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry... and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
     
    I think it just as likely that the banking power will collapse first. The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. That would allow a lot more of the world to sleep even more peacefully, and may even be an improvement on your version for American citizens as well.

    ...Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations...
     
    They have apparently both come to the same conclusion, but seem to have taken different lessons from it. The Saudis recently announced an exchange of diplomatic visits with Iran(!). Not an exchange of ambassadors, to be sure, but a compass may be coming around in Riyadh. Meanwhile, Netanyahu got a hearing in Washington, and then got an 11th hour impromptu hearing with Putin. Neither went well for him, and Russian diplomatic sources noted that he appeared on the "edge of panic". Looks good on 'im, but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians. Let's hope less panicked heads prevail.

    ... western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible...
     
    It already is. As re-trained, re-equipped, and re-organized by the Russians, the Syrian Army has emerged from 6 years of bloody war as the most battle-hardened and efficient ground combat force in the M.E. As Pat Lang notes, "a new force has appeared in the Levant" and their primary allies, Hezbollah and the Iranian militias have similarly benefited (Iraq's PMUs and Iran's Republican Guards probably learned a thing or two as well). Add in Russia's intent to remain in the region, and a whole new calculus appears. The "Assad is a goner" slam-dunk everyone thought they were looking at a scant 2 yrs ago has inverted 180 deg. The Imperial regime change program came a cropper, and a new axis of power arose. The GCC, after the requisite temper tantrums, are coming round to the new reality, but Israel remains behind the curve. A Lesser Israel is suddenly back in view.

    ” The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. ”

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don’t think this is a viable alternative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don’t think this is a viable alternative.
     
    You are correct, but most of us feel unrepresented by the Federal Government in everything from legalizing weed to endless wars with our tax dollars. The constitution has become toilet paper. The Federal Government is supposed to only have the rights explicitly called out in the constitution and the rest is supposed to be with the states and the individuals. The inverse is in effect.

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot, although they warned us that we would have a republic only if we could keep it. We couldn't.

    Thomas Jefferson is reputed to have written in his retirement papers (the veracity is contested):

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.

     

    Well, guess what?
  28. @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Would you place your investments in Germany?

    No, but I might put them in China. I am already invested in Tencent and AliBaba. The gold-backed RMB is a game changer.

    Read More
  29. @Erebus
    Good Post. A few extra thoughts....

    We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power.
     
    It's a little more complicated than that. The dominance America sought, and sorta still seeks, was on all fronts: legal, political, financial, cultural, economic, social, etc. and the juggernaut that was to take it there was globalization. Globalization is to be catalysed, and enforced by military power, whenever all other inducements fail to bring a country on board. Now, globalization, however defined, looks to be the great historical trend of the times, but the US' Neocon dream of being Capo di tutt'i capi, of full spectrum dominance of the process of getting there and its ultimate systemic result is failing. Holding to that line, the Neocons have run into a world of Russian, Chinese and other roadblocks. The roadblocks are becoming plain to the non-Neocons, if not the Neocons themselves, and that's largely why US policy looks like a pinball machine gone berserk.

    ... pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry... and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
     
    I think it just as likely that the banking power will collapse first. The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. That would allow a lot more of the world to sleep even more peacefully, and may even be an improvement on your version for American citizens as well.

    ...Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations...
     
    They have apparently both come to the same conclusion, but seem to have taken different lessons from it. The Saudis recently announced an exchange of diplomatic visits with Iran(!). Not an exchange of ambassadors, to be sure, but a compass may be coming around in Riyadh. Meanwhile, Netanyahu got a hearing in Washington, and then got an 11th hour impromptu hearing with Putin. Neither went well for him, and Russian diplomatic sources noted that he appeared on the "edge of panic". Looks good on 'im, but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians. Let's hope less panicked heads prevail.

    ... western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible...
     
    It already is. As re-trained, re-equipped, and re-organized by the Russians, the Syrian Army has emerged from 6 years of bloody war as the most battle-hardened and efficient ground combat force in the M.E. As Pat Lang notes, "a new force has appeared in the Levant" and their primary allies, Hezbollah and the Iranian militias have similarly benefited (Iraq's PMUs and Iran's Republican Guards probably learned a thing or two as well). Add in Russia's intent to remain in the region, and a whole new calculus appears. The "Assad is a goner" slam-dunk everyone thought they were looking at a scant 2 yrs ago has inverted 180 deg. The Imperial regime change program came a cropper, and a new axis of power arose. The GCC, after the requisite temper tantrums, are coming round to the new reality, but Israel remains behind the curve. A Lesser Israel is suddenly back in view.

    Great thoughts.

    but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians.

    True, but it is unlikely that he will get much support from a military leadership that is still smarting from their last whupping from Hizbollah. Israel probably realizes that their army, trained on taking on little kids with stones, is no match for the battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria – hence the panic.

    Retaking the Golan Heights is now a distinct possibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria

    They are fighting poorly trained and led militias. I can believe that the IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.
  30. neutral says:
    @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries

    I would indeed, America is the last place I would ever want to migrate to, both Russia and China are still civilized. I would refuse to go to America even if someone put a gun to my head, why any sane person would want to move to the land of SJWs, surveillance state and nauseating social norms is beyond me.

    Read More
  31. @Logan
    " The somnolent citizenry will awaken in disarray and after some confusion revert to a loose collection of states out of expediency. "

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don't think this is a viable alternative.

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don’t think this is a viable alternative.

    You are correct, but most of us feel unrepresented by the Federal Government in everything from legalizing weed to endless wars with our tax dollars. The constitution has become toilet paper. The Federal Government is supposed to only have the rights explicitly called out in the constitution and the rest is supposed to be with the states and the individuals. The inverse is in effect.

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot, although they warned us that we would have a republic only if we could keep it. We couldn’t.

    Thomas Jefferson is reputed to have written in his retirement papers (the veracity is contested):

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.

    Well, guess what?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don't think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.

    OK. Looked it up. Inflation was first used in this sense in 1838, deflation in 1920.

    The Monticello organization has an excellent resource on spurious TJ quotes, of which there are an amazing number.

    https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/private-banks-spurious-quotation

    This particular one, in its full form, apparently doesn't show up till after WWII.

    That it's spurious does not mean it's untrue, of course.
    , @jacques sheete

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot...
     
    Ahem...

    “In place of that noble love of liberty, & republican government which carried us triumphantly thro' the war, an Anglican monarchical, & aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance, as they have already done the forms, of the British government…

    It would give you a fever were I to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies… who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England. In short, we are likely to preserve the liberty we have obtained only by unremitting labors & perils.”

    Jefferson, Thomas, Letter To Philip Mazzei
    Monticello, Apr. 24, 1796


    http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefLett.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=116&division=div1
     
    You are correct, however, in that no one probably could have predicted the corrupt Zio-state as puppetmaster to the most brain dead and fraudulent political entity ever to have polluted the face of the planet.
  32. Cyrano says:
    @yeah
    I am prepared to have my facts examined, my head is doing fine, thank you. But perhaps facts and logic do not interest you much.

    When was the last time a US foreign policy initiative has played out as advertised? They either lie about their true objectives or they are incompetent. I vote that both of these statements apply. You seem to have an awful lot of confidence in your government that is not backed up by any accomplished results on their part.

    Read More
  33. A sign of weakness?

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.

    And its soft power is taking over the world. Granted, US pop culture is destroying the US too, but at least it will take the world with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there? Some things can’t be quantified with money.

    Like the fondness the rest of the world feels for US and its efforts to bring democracy to everyone, no matter what the cost (to the target country of course) and no matter how ungrateful the targeted country is.
    , @Erebus

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.
     
    Bollocks. On a PPI basis, Russia's GDP comes out just ahead of Germany, but has the tremendous advantage of being arguably the most diversified economy on the planet. As its debt is low, and imports are <15% of its GDP, it is arguably also one of the most self-reliant.

    And its soft power is taking over the world.
     
    The pop-culture wave broke and started receding a decade and a half ago, and the US' financial not-so-soft power has been under assault since at least 2008. Both are approaching their end-game. You should try to get out more.
  34. Cyrano says:
    @Priss Factor
    A sign of weakness?

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.

    And its soft power is taking over the world. Granted, US pop culture is destroying the US too, but at least it will take the world with it.

    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there? Some things can’t be quantified with money.

    Like the fondness the rest of the world feels for US and its efforts to bring democracy to everyone, no matter what the cost (to the target country of course) and no matter how ungrateful the targeted country is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there?
     
    Depends what you mean by "good" and for whom, I suppose.

    The US's massive superiority certainly allowed it to overthrow the government of Afghanistan, and to slaughter people there at will for over a decade without any effective response, at a cost that whilst not trivial (and certainly catastrophic for the tiny number of military individuals involved and their families) is certainly insignificant in national budgetary, demographic and economic terms.

    Some things can’t be quantified with money.
     
    Assuredly. But military power is one that broadly can. Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers). The exceptions being where the war is not important enough to the bigger power to justify the means and costs of winning, and especially where the stakes for the smaller nation are high enough to make fighting on necessary no matter the cost. In other words, wars of choice waged to try to impose occupation or collaboration governments.
  35. “US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in.”

    While Saker’s Russian Triumphalism can get pretty wearing (the evil USA won in Ukraine – they launched a successful coup that took Putin completely by surprise AFAICT) I have to agree with this 100%. The complete collapse in Western seriousness and competence within a couple years of the Cold War’s end is truly horrifying.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "...the evil USA won in Ukraine – they launched a successful coup..." - Correct.
    The amazing achievements of the liberated Ukraine:
    "Thousands march to honor Nazi collaborator in Kiev, Stepan Bandera's Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists encouraged locals to 'destroy' Jews and Poles in the 1940s:" https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-to-honor-nazi-collaborator-in-kiev
    "Neo-Nazis march in Lvov 'in honor' of Ukrainian Waffen SS division: "https://www.rt.com/news/155364-ukraine-nazi-division-march/
    "Ukraine nationalists march in Kiev to honour Bandera:" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30655184
  36. Logan says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don’t think this is a viable alternative.
     
    You are correct, but most of us feel unrepresented by the Federal Government in everything from legalizing weed to endless wars with our tax dollars. The constitution has become toilet paper. The Federal Government is supposed to only have the rights explicitly called out in the constitution and the rest is supposed to be with the states and the individuals. The inverse is in effect.

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot, although they warned us that we would have a republic only if we could keep it. We couldn't.

    Thomas Jefferson is reputed to have written in his retirement papers (the veracity is contested):

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.

     

    Well, guess what?

    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don’t think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.

    OK. Looked it up. Inflation was first used in this sense in 1838, deflation in 1920.

    The Monticello organization has an excellent resource on spurious TJ quotes, of which there are an amazing number.

    https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/private-banks-spurious-quotation

    This particular one, in its full form, apparently doesn’t show up till after WWII.

    That it’s spurious does not mean it’s untrue, of course.

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    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger

    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don’t think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.
     
    Yes, you are right, however, he did write the following in a letter to John Taylor in 1816:

    And I sincerely believe with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; & that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale
     
  37. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    “The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.”

    The above does not accord with reality at all. The world sees the United States as a bully and one that ignores its treaties and international law. The situation that is being promoted is one where several of the week or dogs unite in a conspiracy to knock the top dog off his perch.

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  38. The anti-Russia hysteria began immediately after the DNC realized their emails were about to be published by Wikileaks. It has been a gigantic, illogical noise machine to this day.

    While this giant noise machine roars in the legacy media, the alternative media is gradually exposing how extensive the Awan spy ring in Congress was and how far the establishment is going out of its way to conceal perhaps the most successful espionage and exfiltration operation in our history.

    It’s the Awan spy ring in Congress using blackberries synching to laptops, stupid.

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  39. Erebus says:
    @Priss Factor
    A sign of weakness?

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.

    And its soft power is taking over the world. Granted, US pop culture is destroying the US too, but at least it will take the world with it.

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.

    Bollocks. On a PPI basis, Russia’s GDP comes out just ahead of Germany, but has the tremendous advantage of being arguably the most diversified economy on the planet. As its debt is low, and imports are <15% of its GDP, it is arguably also one of the most self-reliant.

    And its soft power is taking over the world.

    The pop-culture wave broke and started receding a decade and a half ago, and the US’ financial not-so-soft power has been under assault since at least 2008. Both are approaching their end-game. You should try to get out more.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Russia has a long way to go. Once you get out of Moscow or St. Petersburg, there are a lot of places that are third world. Don't get me wrong, I like Russia but taking a train from Moscow to Bernaul (in the Altai region) and you see a lot of poverty once you get out of Moscow.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    At best your reply is careless. I presume that your PPI is not Pixels per inch, Producer Price Index or Payment Protection Insurance but should be PPP.

    When I Googled for "how does Russia's GDP compare with Germany's on a PPP basis" i found that Germany's was slightly higher 2013-2016 but, more important, Russia's per capita GDP was only about 60 per cent of Germany's on a PPP basis.

    Still, the boycotts and embargos may be good for Russia. Not irrelevant to that possibility was the alleged fact that a smaller proportion of Russians than Getmans (persons in Germany?) Live in poverty.

  40. @Logan
    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don't think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.

    OK. Looked it up. Inflation was first used in this sense in 1838, deflation in 1920.

    The Monticello organization has an excellent resource on spurious TJ quotes, of which there are an amazing number.

    https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/private-banks-spurious-quotation

    This particular one, in its full form, apparently doesn't show up till after WWII.

    That it's spurious does not mean it's untrue, of course.

    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don’t think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.

    Yes, you are right, however, he did write the following in a letter to John Taylor in 1816:

    And I sincerely believe with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; & that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale

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    • Replies: @Logan
    True enough, with the proviso that it is possible to borrow money and spend it on things that grow the economy more than enough to pay it off, coming out ahead net.

    Sadly, this is not usually what is done.
  41. JL says:
    @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Would you migrate to Russia or China

    I’m guessing you’ve never traveled to either country, which accounts for such a brash display of ignorance from an otherwise knowledgeable commenter. As an American immigrant in Russia, who’s also spent some time in China, I would much rather live in either country. I only travel to the US to visit family, and, as long as I have a choice in the matter, will never go to live there again.

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  42. Randal says:
    @Cyrano
    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there? Some things can’t be quantified with money.

    Like the fondness the rest of the world feels for US and its efforts to bring democracy to everyone, no matter what the cost (to the target country of course) and no matter how ungrateful the targeted country is.

    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there?

    Depends what you mean by “good” and for whom, I suppose.

    The US’s massive superiority certainly allowed it to overthrow the government of Afghanistan, and to slaughter people there at will for over a decade without any effective response, at a cost that whilst not trivial (and certainly catastrophic for the tiny number of military individuals involved and their families) is certainly insignificant in national budgetary, demographic and economic terms.

    Some things can’t be quantified with money.

    Assuredly. But military power is one that broadly can. Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers). The exceptions being where the war is not important enough to the bigger power to justify the means and costs of winning, and especially where the stakes for the smaller nation are high enough to make fighting on necessary no matter the cost. In other words, wars of choice waged to try to impose occupation or collaboration governments.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers).

     

    Perhaps then we should use Vietnam as an example to support your thesis?
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers)
     
    The problem with this, otherwise generally correct statement, is that what is known as a Material Preponderance Predictor was never tried in modern wars between powers with comparable, in terms of order of magnitude, GDP. That is to say, that the United States who self-appointed itself as a "finest fighting force in history"(c) didn't encounter what generally is known as peer in decades. Meanwhile, reality of combined arms operations is only in general related to this Predictor, and requires very complex planning and calculations which are beyond the grasp of the general public. This is not to speak of the methods of planning and executing those operations (bar some generalities) being a very highly classified matter. Let's put it this way: operationally it all starts with calculating the force (aka in Russian Naryad Sil), that is the numbers and structure, which are required for attaining one or the other objective. Needless to say that even such calculations are extremely secret since involve integration of a number of technological factors (from weapons to EW, to C4ISR) which are highly classified by definition. But, of course, there are always exceptions.
  43. @Cloak And Dagger

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere - and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions - and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ...) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible - even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    The problem with roughly one-sixth of our population coming from South and Central America is that we have a large number who have learned to live through societal failure and don’t have the motivation to avoid it.

    Argentina was once a first-world nation. It is still a relatively comfortable place to live if you are unambitious. Is this America’s future, or are we planning to take the whole world down with us a la that Planet of the Apes movie where the world ends up nuked in the struggle between the doomsday-bomb cultists and the apes?

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  44. Randal says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the “what is” side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid.

    The evidence of the past couple of decades seems to cast your assertion into serious doubt.

    The US response to the collapse of the Soviet Union has certainly been “stupid” insofar as any state’s actions can be described as such – in other words, from the point of view of any reasonably honest conception of the national interest as opposed to the interests of the lobbies (often foreign or foreign-sympathising, but including the military and related business and other interests) that influence policy.

    It was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the “international rule of law” (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific.

    These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. In fact they are highly counter-productive to any plausible conception of the interests of the American nation, and hence certainly qualify as “stupid”.

    Indeed, the invasion of Iraq is now widely viewed as an archetype of “stupid” in geostrategic policy terms, and will undoubtedly be taught as such in numerous history and international relations courses.

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    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
    "TIt was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the “international rule of law” (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific. These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. "
    So was America's entry in WWI and WWII. The imperialist drive simply wrecked the once promising American republic which was an inspiration to much of the world but which views it increasingly as a financially broken bully who is about to wreck the boat for everyone in a vain attempt at keeping the position of top dog.
  45. @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Well, at least those other countries don’t pretend to be bastions of liberty.

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  46. Randal says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful – hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    As so often with those who claim to be adopting a brutally “realistic” and “objective” view of the world, your analysis is in fact so grossly subjective and parochial as to amount to a fantasy.

    In the real world, as opposed to your US sphere circle-jerk one, Russia is not particularly isolated or weak. Dislike by the US sphere establishments does not equate to “isolation” for a country that is a close ally of the now largest economy in the world and which trades and engages in diplomacy freely with most of the rest of the world, no matter how much you might wish it to be so. And for all the talk of US sanctions “strangling” Russia, far from shrinking, the Russian economy is actually doing quite well, and arguably the better for the sanctions. And for a country that is “militarily surrounded”, Russia certainly managed to frustrate the US’s and its regional allies’ designs in Syria very effectively.

    As for China, that country has repeatedly made clear its refusal to kowtow to US regime concerns, and while it is certainly integrated into the world economy that has not stopped it taking steps to render itself and its main allies in the SCO less vulnerable to coercion as a result of legacy US domination of the structures of that economy, whilst pushing towards realignments of those structures to better reflect modern reality.

    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China. (I’m not saying that’s what they should have done, merely that that’s what your claimed premises would imply). Instead they gratuitously alienated Russia over and over again, and effectively forced it into the arms of the rising power.

    As for the “SF consulate affair”, it’s hard to grasp the degree of delusion required to see it as you do, as having: “isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one.” Most of the world hasn’t even noticed it, and of those who have, the prevailing view is probably that it’s just another example of US high-handedness, or of the comical American obsession with fantasies of “Russian interference.

    The slightest familiarity with actual global opinion (as opposed to US sphere establishment groupthink delusion) on your part might have rescued your analysis. The US has long been recognised as the greater threat to world peace amongst the powerful states by more than see the others as threats. The latest Pew poll last month confirmed this, with the proportions naming “US power and influence” as “the greatest threat to our country” at 35%, compared to 31% for Russia and the same for China. And those polls were only carried out in 38 countries, that did not include any of the main targets of recent US military aggression and threats of same – Serbia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

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    • Replies: @yeah
    Your critique of my analysis is very well reasoned and convincing - and very correct in its own way. But please bear in mind that my opening and operative words were "Viewed through this optic". Indeed, if the world is viewed through neocon and even some very brutal realpolitik eyes, the US moves have had a sense of inevitability, like one chess move forcing another. I abhor brutal and neocon views, but that does not mean that their actions have not had success. We err if we write off our opponents as stupid or failures.

    Of course, if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct, especially post the soviet collapse. But in that case my little piece would have been unnecessary. I know I painted a repellent picture, but it was based on deducing actions from stated and implied policy. Many scholars have explained how this 'empire thing' is going to brutalize the world and derail the American Republic, and it seems to be coming to pass. I only analyzed, with a deep sense of despair and sorrow, why this juggernaut looks likely to "succeed". BTW, this exchange has really been stimulating and forced me to think of my own biases.
    , @utu
    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.
  47. Logan says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    I suspect the TJ quote is spurious. I don’t think the terms inflation and deflation, in this sense, were current at the time.
     
    Yes, you are right, however, he did write the following in a letter to John Taylor in 1816:

    And I sincerely believe with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; & that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale
     

    True enough, with the proviso that it is possible to borrow money and spend it on things that grow the economy more than enough to pay it off, coming out ahead net.

    Sadly, this is not usually what is done.

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  48. @Randal

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the “what is” side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid.
     
    The evidence of the past couple of decades seems to cast your assertion into serious doubt.

    The US response to the collapse of the Soviet Union has certainly been "stupid" insofar as any state's actions can be described as such - in other words, from the point of view of any reasonably honest conception of the national interest as opposed to the interests of the lobbies (often foreign or foreign-sympathising, but including the military and related business and other interests) that influence policy.

    It was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the "international rule of law" (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific.

    These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. In fact they are highly counter-productive to any plausible conception of the interests of the American nation, and hence certainly qualify as "stupid".

    Indeed, the invasion of Iraq is now widely viewed as an archetype of "stupid" in geostrategic policy terms, and will undoubtedly be taught as such in numerous history and international relations courses.

    “TIt was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the “international rule of law” (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific. These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. ”
    So was America’s entry in WWI and WWII. The imperialist drive simply wrecked the once promising American republic which was an inspiration to much of the world but which views it increasingly as a financially broken bully who is about to wreck the boat for everyone in a vain attempt at keeping the position of top dog.

    Read More
    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Randal

    So was America’s entry in WWI and WWII. The imperialist drive simply wrecked the once promising American republic which was an inspiration to much of the world but which views it increasingly as a financially broken bully who is about to wreck the boat for everyone in a vain attempt at keeping the position of top dog.
     
    I agree, but at least those policies were justified (if that's the correct term) by success, and by the real raw power of a rising world hegemon interfering to destroy potential rivals.

    They make far less sense in the context of a state past the height of its power and facing imminent (in global history terms) eclipse, for which the primary concerns should be preparing to manage relative decline and setting favourable precedents and relationships for the future.
  49. @TheJester
    The End of Bretton-Woods I and II ...

    Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

    “When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.”
    Very true. Indeed, the Chinese are about to declare a new gold backed oil benchmark that will be another nail in the coffin of the U.S. Dollar as a world reserve currency; a scourge to Amerca’s ruling predatory class but a boon to world peace.

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  50. Randal says:
    @Joe Levantine
    "TIt was not good policy to alienate Russia, it was not good policy to repeatedly undermine national sovereignty and the “international rule of law” (to which so many US sphere politicians and advocates of interventionism have hypocritically appealed on so may occasions), it was not good policy to destroy the government of Iraq, or to invade Afghanistan or to allow US vassals to destroy the government of Libya, and it is not good policy to try to confront China over ultimately unsustainable and anachronistic US dominance of the western Pacific. These policies serve the interests of many highly intelligent and well-funded interest groups, many of them foreign or dual loyalty, but they do not serve the interests of ordinary Americans in general. "
    So was America's entry in WWI and WWII. The imperialist drive simply wrecked the once promising American republic which was an inspiration to much of the world but which views it increasingly as a financially broken bully who is about to wreck the boat for everyone in a vain attempt at keeping the position of top dog.

    So was America’s entry in WWI and WWII. The imperialist drive simply wrecked the once promising American republic which was an inspiration to much of the world but which views it increasingly as a financially broken bully who is about to wreck the boat for everyone in a vain attempt at keeping the position of top dog.

    I agree, but at least those policies were justified (if that’s the correct term) by success, and by the real raw power of a rising world hegemon interfering to destroy potential rivals.

    They make far less sense in the context of a state past the height of its power and facing imminent (in global history terms) eclipse, for which the primary concerns should be preparing to manage relative decline and setting favourable precedents and relationships for the future.

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  51. Cyrano says:
    @Randal

    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there?
     
    Depends what you mean by "good" and for whom, I suppose.

    The US's massive superiority certainly allowed it to overthrow the government of Afghanistan, and to slaughter people there at will for over a decade without any effective response, at a cost that whilst not trivial (and certainly catastrophic for the tiny number of military individuals involved and their families) is certainly insignificant in national budgetary, demographic and economic terms.

    Some things can’t be quantified with money.
     
    Assuredly. But military power is one that broadly can. Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers). The exceptions being where the war is not important enough to the bigger power to justify the means and costs of winning, and especially where the stakes for the smaller nation are high enough to make fighting on necessary no matter the cost. In other words, wars of choice waged to try to impose occupation or collaboration governments.

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers).

    Perhaps then we should use Vietnam as an example to support your thesis?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Vietnam
     
    A perfect example of exactly the kind of war (a war of choice for the bigger power, which is not therefore prepared to apply the means and devote the resources required to win, and a war to impose an occupation/collaboration government upon the smaller nation, which therefore is prepared to bear almost any cost to resist to the end) to which the general rule does not apply (for reasons that are rather obvious once the situation is properly stated, as it is here).

    A example of the kind of war to which the general rule applies would be the Falklands War. Granted, the behaviour of the US and the realities of life in the age of the nuclear peace means there have been rather more of the exceptional cases in the past few decades.
  52. Randal says:
    @Cyrano

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers).

     

    Perhaps then we should use Vietnam as an example to support your thesis?

    Vietnam

    A perfect example of exactly the kind of war (a war of choice for the bigger power, which is not therefore prepared to apply the means and devote the resources required to win, and a war to impose an occupation/collaboration government upon the smaller nation, which therefore is prepared to bear almost any cost to resist to the end) to which the general rule does not apply (for reasons that are rather obvious once the situation is properly stated, as it is here).

    A example of the kind of war to which the general rule applies would be the Falklands War. Granted, the behaviour of the US and the realities of life in the age of the nuclear peace means there have been rather more of the exceptional cases in the past few decades.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Your examples are all over the place. Vietnam refutes your theory, but Falkland war supports it to a certain extent. Either way, your theory is full of holes because you try to find excuses when actual events disprove of it. May I offer you my theory then?

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them. From the perspective of moral, wars generally favor the defender, moral is usually higher when you defend your country, than when you (mindlessly) attack someone.

    Technological advantage can play role, but it can be overstated – example WW2 – Germany and Russia. Germany was supposed to be technologically superior, yet it proved that it wasn’t when it came to military technology.

    The 2 examples of Vietnam and the Falkland war featured the 2 dominant naval powers of the last 2 centuries. In order to be a really truly superpower you have to be good in land battles. I think British record is better than the American in this regard.

    As a general rule naval powers usually have greater success against a third rate military powers, that’s why they usually seek out their enemies on the other side of the world. Their success rates against a first rate land powers are sketchy.

    Countries like Russia, Germany and China are (or used to be) primarily land powers – which means that if they can walk up to a battlefield – most likely they’ll win the war – of course unless they are fighting each other, then other considerations apply.
  53. @Randal

    What’s US economy compared to Afghanistan? 35 trillion X? Did it do them any good there?
     
    Depends what you mean by "good" and for whom, I suppose.

    The US's massive superiority certainly allowed it to overthrow the government of Afghanistan, and to slaughter people there at will for over a decade without any effective response, at a cost that whilst not trivial (and certainly catastrophic for the tiny number of military individuals involved and their families) is certainly insignificant in national budgetary, demographic and economic terms.

    Some things can’t be quantified with money.
     
    Assuredly. But military power is one that broadly can. Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers). The exceptions being where the war is not important enough to the bigger power to justify the means and costs of winning, and especially where the stakes for the smaller nation are high enough to make fighting on necessary no matter the cost. In other words, wars of choice waged to try to impose occupation or collaboration governments.

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers)

    The problem with this, otherwise generally correct statement, is that what is known as a Material Preponderance Predictor was never tried in modern wars between powers with comparable, in terms of order of magnitude, GDP. That is to say, that the United States who self-appointed itself as a “finest fighting force in history”(c) didn’t encounter what generally is known as peer in decades. Meanwhile, reality of combined arms operations is only in general related to this Predictor, and requires very complex planning and calculations which are beyond the grasp of the general public. This is not to speak of the methods of planning and executing those operations (bar some generalities) being a very highly classified matter. Let’s put it this way: operationally it all starts with calculating the force (aka in Russian Naryad Sil), that is the numbers and structure, which are required for attaining one or the other objective. Needless to say that even such calculations are extremely secret since involve integration of a number of technological factors (from weapons to EW, to C4ISR) which are highly classified by definition. But, of course, there are always exceptions.

    Read More
    • Agree: Sergey Krieger
    • Replies: @Randal
    One relevant factor is probably that there would be less time to recover from initial disadvantages and allow greater wealth and productive capacity to be brought to bear, because of the greater speeds, ranges and transport capacities of modern forces.

    All this, of course, requires ignoring the nuclear elephant sitting next to us, which hopefully means there will be no test of the questions you raise in our lifetimes.

    Needless to say that even such calculations are extremely secret since involve integration of a number of technological factors (from weapons to EW, to C4ISR) which are highly classified by definition.
     
    A corollary of that being that no one human being can have the knowledge needed to make the necessary calculation as more than informed guesswork, since any who are fully privy to the secrets of one side are most likely ignorant of some, at least, of those of the other side.
  54. Cyrano says:
    @Randal

    Vietnam
     
    A perfect example of exactly the kind of war (a war of choice for the bigger power, which is not therefore prepared to apply the means and devote the resources required to win, and a war to impose an occupation/collaboration government upon the smaller nation, which therefore is prepared to bear almost any cost to resist to the end) to which the general rule does not apply (for reasons that are rather obvious once the situation is properly stated, as it is here).

    A example of the kind of war to which the general rule applies would be the Falklands War. Granted, the behaviour of the US and the realities of life in the age of the nuclear peace means there have been rather more of the exceptional cases in the past few decades.

    Your examples are all over the place. Vietnam refutes your theory, but Falkland war supports it to a certain extent. Either way, your theory is full of holes because you try to find excuses when actual events disprove of it. May I offer you my theory then?

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them. From the perspective of moral, wars generally favor the defender, moral is usually higher when you defend your country, than when you (mindlessly) attack someone.

    Technological advantage can play role, but it can be overstated – example WW2 – Germany and Russia. Germany was supposed to be technologically superior, yet it proved that it wasn’t when it came to military technology.

    The 2 examples of Vietnam and the Falkland war featured the 2 dominant naval powers of the last 2 centuries. In order to be a really truly superpower you have to be good in land battles. I think British record is better than the American in this regard.

    As a general rule naval powers usually have greater success against a third rate military powers, that’s why they usually seek out their enemies on the other side of the world. Their success rates against a first rate land powers are sketchy.

    Countries like Russia, Germany and China are (or used to be) primarily land powers – which means that if they can walk up to a battlefield – most likely they’ll win the war – of course unless they are fighting each other, then other considerations apply.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    You will not, I think, find any theory of warfare that explains every case and predicts every result with certainty. I think mine (actually not mine, of course, but pretty much received opinion in general) holds up pretty well, though I don't have any particular problem with your own (similarly incomplete) suggestions either.

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them.
     
    Exactly my point. I have little doubt that if the national "will" had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese - the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.
  55. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Usually wars in the modern world are won by those with the greater gdp (including deep pocketed backers)
     
    The problem with this, otherwise generally correct statement, is that what is known as a Material Preponderance Predictor was never tried in modern wars between powers with comparable, in terms of order of magnitude, GDP. That is to say, that the United States who self-appointed itself as a "finest fighting force in history"(c) didn't encounter what generally is known as peer in decades. Meanwhile, reality of combined arms operations is only in general related to this Predictor, and requires very complex planning and calculations which are beyond the grasp of the general public. This is not to speak of the methods of planning and executing those operations (bar some generalities) being a very highly classified matter. Let's put it this way: operationally it all starts with calculating the force (aka in Russian Naryad Sil), that is the numbers and structure, which are required for attaining one or the other objective. Needless to say that even such calculations are extremely secret since involve integration of a number of technological factors (from weapons to EW, to C4ISR) which are highly classified by definition. But, of course, there are always exceptions.

    One relevant factor is probably that there would be less time to recover from initial disadvantages and allow greater wealth and productive capacity to be brought to bear, because of the greater speeds, ranges and transport capacities of modern forces.

    All this, of course, requires ignoring the nuclear elephant sitting next to us, which hopefully means there will be no test of the questions you raise in our lifetimes.

    Needless to say that even such calculations are extremely secret since involve integration of a number of technological factors (from weapons to EW, to C4ISR) which are highly classified by definition.

    A corollary of that being that no one human being can have the knowledge needed to make the necessary calculation as more than informed guesswork, since any who are fully privy to the secrets of one side are most likely ignorant of some, at least, of those of the other side.

    Read More
  56. Randal says:
    @Cyrano
    Your examples are all over the place. Vietnam refutes your theory, but Falkland war supports it to a certain extent. Either way, your theory is full of holes because you try to find excuses when actual events disprove of it. May I offer you my theory then?

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them. From the perspective of moral, wars generally favor the defender, moral is usually higher when you defend your country, than when you (mindlessly) attack someone.

    Technological advantage can play role, but it can be overstated – example WW2 – Germany and Russia. Germany was supposed to be technologically superior, yet it proved that it wasn’t when it came to military technology.

    The 2 examples of Vietnam and the Falkland war featured the 2 dominant naval powers of the last 2 centuries. In order to be a really truly superpower you have to be good in land battles. I think British record is better than the American in this regard.

    As a general rule naval powers usually have greater success against a third rate military powers, that’s why they usually seek out their enemies on the other side of the world. Their success rates against a first rate land powers are sketchy.

    Countries like Russia, Germany and China are (or used to be) primarily land powers – which means that if they can walk up to a battlefield – most likely they’ll win the war – of course unless they are fighting each other, then other considerations apply.

    You will not, I think, find any theory of warfare that explains every case and predicts every result with certainty. I think mine (actually not mine, of course, but pretty much received opinion in general) holds up pretty well, though I don’t have any particular problem with your own (similarly incomplete) suggestions either.

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them.

    Exactly my point. I have little doubt that if the national “will” had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese – the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Alright, here is my maximum thought on why US can’t win wars. The wars that US are usually losing are gorilla type of wars. I don’t know if Sigourney Weaver has anything to do with this – I suspect it might – ever since she shot that movie “Gorillas in the mist” people get all sentimental when it comes to fighting gorillas.

    OK, joking aside, my theory about warfare is incomplete and crappy, I agree with that.

    I actually think that the main problem why US ends up losing wars is because it gets into guerilla type of warfare. Very few armies have ever been successful at this. Large conventional armies are not good at fighting these kinds of wars. Germans can claim some success and the main reason is because they were ruthless and cruel.

    In order to win guerilla wars, the aggressor should be prepared to commit large atrocities – to scare off the civilian population from supporting the guerillas. Germans had no problem with this, while US tries to bring democracy, win hearts and minds, pretend to be the good guys and commit atrocities on top of it to scare off collaboration with the guerillas. Those are some mutually exclusive tactics right there. Paranoid tactics like that don’t win wars.

    Then there is the issue of the strategic bombing - which doesn’t do much against guerillas either, actually mindless bombing hasn’t been proven to work in any kind of warfare, but that’s not a reason to discourage US from practicing this type of warfare that they are so fond of. The other problem with guerilla wars is that they generally negate the technical advantage of the aggressor – there is only so much military hardware that you can bring in the middle of the mountains, and if you manage to do that, the guerillas will simply outrun you or hide.

    So, basically what I am trying to say is that I am trying to help US with their military strategy, because I am so sympathetic to their genuine and heartfelt efforts to bring democracy everywhere where no one asked for it, but I am out of ideas.

    , @NoseytheDuke
    After reading Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham, it is hard not to conclude that had the US forces used Australian methods, especially with an Australian leadership, they would have been far more successful at a vastly reduced financial expenditure and lower losses of (US) life. Of course they would still have had to contend with the corrupt SVN leadership.
    , @peterAUS

    I have little doubt that if the national “will” had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese – the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.
     
    Agree.
    The same applies to Afghanistan and Iraq, IMHO.
  57. yeah says:
    @Randal

    Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful – hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.
     
    As so often with those who claim to be adopting a brutally "realistic" and "objective" view of the world, your analysis is in fact so grossly subjective and parochial as to amount to a fantasy.

    In the real world, as opposed to your US sphere circle-jerk one, Russia is not particularly isolated or weak. Dislike by the US sphere establishments does not equate to "isolation" for a country that is a close ally of the now largest economy in the world and which trades and engages in diplomacy freely with most of the rest of the world, no matter how much you might wish it to be so. And for all the talk of US sanctions "strangling" Russia, far from shrinking, the Russian economy is actually doing quite well, and arguably the better for the sanctions. And for a country that is "militarily surrounded", Russia certainly managed to frustrate the US's and its regional allies' designs in Syria very effectively.

    As for China, that country has repeatedly made clear its refusal to kowtow to US regime concerns, and while it is certainly integrated into the world economy that has not stopped it taking steps to render itself and its main allies in the SCO less vulnerable to coercion as a result of legacy US domination of the structures of that economy, whilst pushing towards realignments of those structures to better reflect modern reality.

    A truly competent US regime, in the "dog eat dog" world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China. (I'm not saying that's what they should have done, merely that that's what your claimed premises would imply). Instead they gratuitously alienated Russia over and over again, and effectively forced it into the arms of the rising power.

    As for the "SF consulate affair", it's hard to grasp the degree of delusion required to see it as you do, as having: "isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one." Most of the world hasn't even noticed it, and of those who have, the prevailing view is probably that it's just another example of US high-handedness, or of the comical American obsession with fantasies of "Russian interference.

    The slightest familiarity with actual global opinion (as opposed to US sphere establishment groupthink delusion) on your part might have rescued your analysis. The US has long been recognised as the greater threat to world peace amongst the powerful states by more than see the others as threats. The latest Pew poll last month confirmed this, with the proportions naming "US power and influence" as "the greatest threat to our country" at 35%, compared to 31% for Russia and the same for China. And those polls were only carried out in 38 countries, that did not include any of the main targets of recent US military aggression and threats of same - Serbia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

    Your critique of my analysis is very well reasoned and convincing – and very correct in its own way. But please bear in mind that my opening and operative words were “Viewed through this optic”. Indeed, if the world is viewed through neocon and even some very brutal realpolitik eyes, the US moves have had a sense of inevitability, like one chess move forcing another. I abhor brutal and neocon views, but that does not mean that their actions have not had success. We err if we write off our opponents as stupid or failures.

    Of course, if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct, especially post the soviet collapse. But in that case my little piece would have been unnecessary. I know I painted a repellent picture, but it was based on deducing actions from stated and implied policy. Many scholars have explained how this ‘empire thing’ is going to brutalize the world and derail the American Republic, and it seems to be coming to pass. I only analyzed, with a deep sense of despair and sorrow, why this juggernaut looks likely to “succeed”. BTW, this exchange has really been stimulating and forced me to think of my own biases.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    You stimulate thought about what are the insurmountable differences. Obviously religious views can be vsry dangerous because faith based values and factual beliefs which are widely shared by millions who spend virtually no time talking to outsiders or thinking sceptically about such matters can maintain divisions between people for a very long time. The time it took for the secular Communist religion to lose its hold is not encouraging when one contemplates the untestability of jihadists' faith or that of Christian anti-abortionists for that matter who might make their vote for the Presidency turn on just that issue.

    To a non American the quasi factual belisfs and assumptons about America's actual and its proper place and role in the world which seem to underly American policy are little less of a worrying conundrum than those of the mass of Russians, and their elites, who support Putin or the Chinese who support the CCP in its aggression towards neighbours and ŕepression of free speech and the rule of law. That Americans have imagined that they have the military and economic strength, not to mention political stamina, to sort out the world's wicked rulers by force since 9/11 has seemed bizarre to me since the Iraq War began as I said firmly at an international conference on failed states in 2003. All of which I suppose leads one to wonder how such high IQ educated people as the neo-cons were (and I daresay are) could so misconceive the world and what might work for creating a better world.

    , @Kiza
    Well, you are still one of the most truly deluded individuals that I have encountered online. Because there are tons of US/Israeli regime trolls online who make similar claims but they know them to be patently false. You make them honestly.

    Yet, I find your insistence to open our eyes to: "...if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct..." the pinnacle of your immaturity and low-forehead thinking.

    You obviously have never heard of a term "reciprocity" and consider US actions unchallengeable. But, as a guy who did not even bother replying to your text wrote - what a great precedent for all government who want to show that their opposition works for the CIA - just examine the local US consulate or embassy as US did to Russia.

    It was only the conventions and the US military might which were making this impossible before. Now the US military might is declining in relative terms and US has busted the international conventions, so watch what happens during the next color revolution if the targeted country has Russian/Chinese support! The US Embassies and Consulates have become a fair game, just like for the Iranian students in 1979: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis. Unlike the Russian consulates, the US ones are the rich pickings.
  58. Cyrano says:
    @Randal
    You will not, I think, find any theory of warfare that explains every case and predicts every result with certainty. I think mine (actually not mine, of course, but pretty much received opinion in general) holds up pretty well, though I don't have any particular problem with your own (similarly incomplete) suggestions either.

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them.
     
    Exactly my point. I have little doubt that if the national "will" had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese - the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.

    Alright, here is my maximum thought on why US can’t win wars. The wars that US are usually losing are gorilla type of wars. I don’t know if Sigourney Weaver has anything to do with this – I suspect it might – ever since she shot that movie “Gorillas in the mist” people get all sentimental when it comes to fighting gorillas.

    OK, joking aside, my theory about warfare is incomplete and crappy, I agree with that.

    I actually think that the main problem why US ends up losing wars is because it gets into guerilla type of warfare. Very few armies have ever been successful at this. Large conventional armies are not good at fighting these kinds of wars. Germans can claim some success and the main reason is because they were ruthless and cruel.

    In order to win guerilla wars, the aggressor should be prepared to commit large atrocities – to scare off the civilian population from supporting the guerillas. Germans had no problem with this, while US tries to bring democracy, win hearts and minds, pretend to be the good guys and commit atrocities on top of it to scare off collaboration with the guerillas. Those are some mutually exclusive tactics right there. Paranoid tactics like that don’t win wars.

    Then there is the issue of the strategic bombing – which doesn’t do much against guerillas either, actually mindless bombing hasn’t been proven to work in any kind of warfare, but that’s not a reason to discourage US from practicing this type of warfare that they are so fond of. The other problem with guerilla wars is that they generally negate the technical advantage of the aggressor – there is only so much military hardware that you can bring in the middle of the mountains, and if you manage to do that, the guerillas will simply outrun you or hide.

    So, basically what I am trying to say is that I am trying to help US with their military strategy, because I am so sympathetic to their genuine and heartfelt efforts to bring democracy everywhere where no one asked for it, but I am out of ideas.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree with:

    Germans can claim some success and the main reason is because they were ruthless and cruel.
    In order to win guerilla wars, the aggressor should be prepared to commit large atrocities – to scare off the civilian population from supporting the guerillas. Germans had no problem with this, while US tries to bring democracy, win hearts and minds, pretend to be the good guys and commit atrocities on top of it to scare off collaboration with the guerillas. Those are some mutually exclusive tactics right there.
     
    Don't agree with:

    The other problem with guerilla wars is that they generally negate the technical advantage of the aggressor – there is only so much military hardware that you can bring in the middle of the mountains, and if you manage to do that, the guerillas will simply outrun you or hide.

     

    Alternate history:
    Good:
    Nazi war machine mentality with US military technology in Afghanistan.

    Better:
    Balkans parties mentality, from wars in 90s, with US military technology in Afghanistan.

    The best:
    Hutus mentality from 1994 with US military technology in Afghanistan.
  59. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-06/zuckerberg-admits-facebook-conspired-russians-tank-hillarys-campaign

    A meager $50,000 and maybe… the Russians again.

    Jewish Globalists have no shame. They might as well just write THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF KREMLIN.

    Jewish Globalists have become the very thing they’ve decried the most. They are supremacist hate-filled lunatics who blame everything on scapegoats.

    Read More
  60. @Randal
    You will not, I think, find any theory of warfare that explains every case and predicts every result with certainty. I think mine (actually not mine, of course, but pretty much received opinion in general) holds up pretty well, though I don't have any particular problem with your own (similarly incomplete) suggestions either.

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them.
     
    Exactly my point. I have little doubt that if the national "will" had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese - the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.

    After reading Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham, it is hard not to conclude that had the US forces used Australian methods, especially with an Australian leadership, they would have been far more successful at a vastly reduced financial expenditure and lower losses of (US) life. Of course they would still have had to contend with the corrupt SVN leadership.

    Read More
    • Replies: @basque british are small brained
    You seem to think too much of the little brained basque australian cowards ,remember their record in singapore and malaysia.Face it the only enemy the basque british diaspora are able to defeat are armies with bows and arrows
  61. utu says:
    @Randal

    Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful – hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.
     
    As so often with those who claim to be adopting a brutally "realistic" and "objective" view of the world, your analysis is in fact so grossly subjective and parochial as to amount to a fantasy.

    In the real world, as opposed to your US sphere circle-jerk one, Russia is not particularly isolated or weak. Dislike by the US sphere establishments does not equate to "isolation" for a country that is a close ally of the now largest economy in the world and which trades and engages in diplomacy freely with most of the rest of the world, no matter how much you might wish it to be so. And for all the talk of US sanctions "strangling" Russia, far from shrinking, the Russian economy is actually doing quite well, and arguably the better for the sanctions. And for a country that is "militarily surrounded", Russia certainly managed to frustrate the US's and its regional allies' designs in Syria very effectively.

    As for China, that country has repeatedly made clear its refusal to kowtow to US regime concerns, and while it is certainly integrated into the world economy that has not stopped it taking steps to render itself and its main allies in the SCO less vulnerable to coercion as a result of legacy US domination of the structures of that economy, whilst pushing towards realignments of those structures to better reflect modern reality.

    A truly competent US regime, in the "dog eat dog" world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China. (I'm not saying that's what they should have done, merely that that's what your claimed premises would imply). Instead they gratuitously alienated Russia over and over again, and effectively forced it into the arms of the rising power.

    As for the "SF consulate affair", it's hard to grasp the degree of delusion required to see it as you do, as having: "isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one." Most of the world hasn't even noticed it, and of those who have, the prevailing view is probably that it's just another example of US high-handedness, or of the comical American obsession with fantasies of "Russian interference.

    The slightest familiarity with actual global opinion (as opposed to US sphere establishment groupthink delusion) on your part might have rescued your analysis. The US has long been recognised as the greater threat to world peace amongst the powerful states by more than see the others as threats. The latest Pew poll last month confirmed this, with the proportions naming "US power and influence" as "the greatest threat to our country" at 35%, compared to 31% for Russia and the same for China. And those polls were only carried out in 38 countries, that did not include any of the main targets of recent US military aggression and threats of same - Serbia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria.

    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think it was a combination of greed and incompetence. They didn't understand how quickly China will grow to become an economic rival.
    , @Randal
    As I recall it, they started backing China as a counterweight to the Soviet Union. By the time the Soviet Union had vanished, greed (or the pursuit of wealth, if you don't see international relations as zero sum) had taken over to an extent that precluded closing off relations.
    , @Cyrano
    Pure greed only. I remember reading somewhere in the late 90’s how US at that point was moving factories to China at the rate of 3 factories per week.

    They were explaining that as a result of this, every US citizen would save approx. $1800 per year – because of the lover production costs in China and consequently, the lower cost of the goods. But how long could this have realistically lasted?

    Once they outsourced all the manufacturing jobs, how would people earn any money to spend on cheap crap from China? I don’t see those $1800 of “savings” per year per person continuing indefinitely.

    Of course back then, there was a lot of talk about some nonsense like post-industrial, service based economy. Yeah, right, if you don’t produce anything, the only thing you have to worry about servicing - is your debts.
    , @Muse

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.
     
    I viewed the change in US policy as having two distinct eras. Kissinger/Nixon and the Clinton eras.

    During the Nixon/Kissinger era, relations with China seems to have been used as a method to counter the USSR.

    The Clinton era pushed through NAFTA, and most favored nation trade status for China to benefit global capital/financial interests, retailers like Walmart and big agriculture, who benefitted from global labor arbitrage and relaxed agricultural export restrictions. Clinton sold out the traditional Democratic base, made himself rich and had all the trashy women he desired in the process. This strategy was called triangulation by Clinton. He turned the domestic political order on its head by taking money from traditional Republican donors, as well as interests outside the US, much to the GOP's consternation. The level of corruption in government ushered in by Clinton reached new heights, and I believe the Clinton family as a rule internationalized pay to play politics in a way heretofore unseen as well.

    Kissinger maybe wrongly thought that the US could beat China in the long game. Clinton probably did not give a damn and figured he would be dead prior to the reckoning.
  62. …Globalists have become the very thing they’ve decried the most. They are supremacist hate-filled lunatics who blame everything on scapegoats

    .

    It’s not a recent phenomenon, they’ve been that way for some time.

    Their buddy, Stalin, explained how it works “thusly”…

    “Blame others for your own sins.”

    J. V. Stalin, Anarchism Or Socialism ? December, 1906 — January, 1907

    Polybius, about almost 2500 years ago, also mentioned the concept.

    23

    1 Timaeus, while vehemently attacking Ephorus, is himself guilty of two grave faults, 2 the first being that he thus bitterly accuses others of the sins he himself is guilty of…

    POLYBIUS ,THE HISTORIES, Fragments of Book XII, VI. The Faults of Timaeus, p307

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/polybius/12*.html

    Moral: Sometimes it pays to look at the one crying “Thief!” not at whom he’s pointing.

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  63. Johnny Rico says: • Website

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts

    Fantastically delusional.

    The American Empire has been expanding and gaining more control in certain respects and in certain geographical spheres for decades while it has been in slow decay and decline in other respects. China is really the ONLY competitor/rival that matters. China will soon displace the US from the top slot economically on paper. However, as far as global influence and power goes, it seems the United States is quite well positioned for a few more decades.

    While there is no reason for the United States not to be on friendly terms with Russia which is clearly just another viable form of democracy – the United States does not view itself as at war WITH Russia in Ukraine and Syria. That is just stupid to imply.

    We have not “lost” in Syria or Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    They are enormously expensive. But that is another issue. We are not “winning” these “conflicts” or situations and they aren’t a good thing but that, again, is another issue. We are not “losing” anything except money.

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    The cost of “being in” Afghanistan is fairly predictable. Roughly $100 Billion/year, 10,000 ground troops (only about 1000 of which ever leave heavily protected bases), and a couple dozen dead every year. Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    Eisenhower used North Africa to blood the troops before Italy and France. The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

    Hysterical individuals have been predicting war breaking out any minute with North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China for a long time.

    This is just a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome subtly affecting those who consider themselves on the Alt-Right/Libertarian/formerly-supportive-of-Trump political spectrum.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans, or blonde Russians on Facebook think or say.

    Get over it.

    The US Navy knows how to use radar. Recent accidents are no more indicative of overall American military capability than the Kursk submarine disaster is of Russian sailing ability.

    Pakistan? Are you serious?

    Chill out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree with most.
    Especially with:

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.
     
    and

    Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.
     
    with

    The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.
     
    , @Erebus

    We are not “losing” anything except money.
     
    That's the view through 10' of 1" pipe. Look with a little wider view, and you'll see that losing money is the very least of what America's lost, and continues to lose. It's already lost its republic, and is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account.
    Not that that matters to the people running it. They've pocketed the money America "lost" and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.
     
    Sure, and I am an alien from planet Zoltar.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans
     
    But they do, whoever those "nobodies" are.
    , @annamaria
    It was not your intention, but you have created a perfect image of a colossus with legs of clay.
    The tremendous material, intellectual, and moral resources have been squandered, for nothing.
  64. @utu
    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    I think it was a combination of greed and incompetence. They didn’t understand how quickly China will grow to become an economic rival.

    Read More
  65. Randal says:
    @utu
    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    As I recall it, they started backing China as a counterweight to the Soviet Union. By the time the Soviet Union had vanished, greed (or the pursuit of wealth, if you don’t see international relations as zero sum) had taken over to an extent that precluded closing off relations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Personally, don't think it's that simple
    Greed I mean.
    IMHO, it goes much deeper.
    My theory, something with Protestant/Puritan vs Orthodox religion/way of life/perception of reality.
  66. @NoseytheDuke
    After reading Vietnam: The Australian War by Paul Ham, it is hard not to conclude that had the US forces used Australian methods, especially with an Australian leadership, they would have been far more successful at a vastly reduced financial expenditure and lower losses of (US) life. Of course they would still have had to contend with the corrupt SVN leadership.

    You seem to think too much of the little brained basque australian cowards ,remember their record in singapore and malaysia.Face it the only enemy the basque british diaspora are able to defeat are armies with bows and arrows

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Consider this as addressed to Noseythe Duke...

    It is curious how the limited English of the chip-on-the-shoulder Asian troll so often combines with lack of sense of logic. And discourtesy to readers generally by subjecting them to careless bluster.

    Careless (or just ignorant)? Malaysia didn't exist till the 1950s and any service there by Australians was a very effective contribution to cleaning out the Chinese communists. In the circumstances it is not of interest to know what he thinks he knows of the British disaster in defending Malaya and Singapore with a third rate general in command and many troops with little training.

    Likewise "are [sic] able to defeat" and "armies with bows and arrows" defy rational consideration as much as the curious pseudonym. I guess he is young and has recently read something about the possible contribution to British DNA of early immigrants or returning paleolithic or mesolithic people from the Basque country during the warming after the last Ice Age.

  67. Cyrano says:
    @utu
    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    Pure greed only. I remember reading somewhere in the late 90’s how US at that point was moving factories to China at the rate of 3 factories per week.

    They were explaining that as a result of this, every US citizen would save approx. $1800 per year – because of the lover production costs in China and consequently, the lower cost of the goods. But how long could this have realistically lasted?

    Once they outsourced all the manufacturing jobs, how would people earn any money to spend on cheap crap from China? I don’t see those $1800 of “savings” per year per person continuing indefinitely.

    Of course back then, there was a lot of talk about some nonsense like post-industrial, service based economy. Yeah, right, if you don’t produce anything, the only thing you have to worry about servicing – is your debts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    No, The US was going to have the "knowledge" jobs. We in the US were going to be busy designing and perfecting all the new technologies while the Chinese would build them for us and accept their lower tier status for allowing them in the game. At least that was the economists wet dream.

    It went wrong when the Chinese demanded more and more of the process and greedy US management was only too willing to give it to them to continue to get their bonus checks. So now even some of the R&D is done in China and many of the engineering support jobs (such as QA) have left the US for good.
  68. peterAUS says:
    @Randal
    You will not, I think, find any theory of warfare that explains every case and predicts every result with certainty. I think mine (actually not mine, of course, but pretty much received opinion in general) holds up pretty well, though I don't have any particular problem with your own (similarly incomplete) suggestions either.

    Most US wars are not existential by nature, their survival is not at stake, so there is less “ambition” to win them.
     
    Exactly my point. I have little doubt that if the national "will" had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese - the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.

    I have little doubt that if the national “will” had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese – the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.

    Agree.
    The same applies to Afghanistan and Iraq, IMHO.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    I declare US the most humble empire in history. They could have won all of the wars that they’ve lost, only they were too modest to do that. They always want to give a chance to the underdog, being so big on fair play as they are.

    How can anybody not admire such modesty? If there was someone else in their place they could have bragged how they are exceptional, how their military is the "finest fighting .... whatever, mission accomplished and all that, but not US, no, they are just the apotheosis of modesty.
  69. peterAUS says:
    @yeah
    Your critique of my analysis is very well reasoned and convincing - and very correct in its own way. But please bear in mind that my opening and operative words were "Viewed through this optic". Indeed, if the world is viewed through neocon and even some very brutal realpolitik eyes, the US moves have had a sense of inevitability, like one chess move forcing another. I abhor brutal and neocon views, but that does not mean that their actions have not had success. We err if we write off our opponents as stupid or failures.

    Of course, if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct, especially post the soviet collapse. But in that case my little piece would have been unnecessary. I know I painted a repellent picture, but it was based on deducing actions from stated and implied policy. Many scholars have explained how this 'empire thing' is going to brutalize the world and derail the American Republic, and it seems to be coming to pass. I only analyzed, with a deep sense of despair and sorrow, why this juggernaut looks likely to "succeed". BTW, this exchange has really been stimulating and forced me to think of my own biases.

    Agree.

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  70. peterAUS says:
    @Cyrano
    Alright, here is my maximum thought on why US can’t win wars. The wars that US are usually losing are gorilla type of wars. I don’t know if Sigourney Weaver has anything to do with this – I suspect it might – ever since she shot that movie “Gorillas in the mist” people get all sentimental when it comes to fighting gorillas.

    OK, joking aside, my theory about warfare is incomplete and crappy, I agree with that.

    I actually think that the main problem why US ends up losing wars is because it gets into guerilla type of warfare. Very few armies have ever been successful at this. Large conventional armies are not good at fighting these kinds of wars. Germans can claim some success and the main reason is because they were ruthless and cruel.

    In order to win guerilla wars, the aggressor should be prepared to commit large atrocities – to scare off the civilian population from supporting the guerillas. Germans had no problem with this, while US tries to bring democracy, win hearts and minds, pretend to be the good guys and commit atrocities on top of it to scare off collaboration with the guerillas. Those are some mutually exclusive tactics right there. Paranoid tactics like that don’t win wars.

    Then there is the issue of the strategic bombing - which doesn’t do much against guerillas either, actually mindless bombing hasn’t been proven to work in any kind of warfare, but that’s not a reason to discourage US from practicing this type of warfare that they are so fond of. The other problem with guerilla wars is that they generally negate the technical advantage of the aggressor – there is only so much military hardware that you can bring in the middle of the mountains, and if you manage to do that, the guerillas will simply outrun you or hide.

    So, basically what I am trying to say is that I am trying to help US with their military strategy, because I am so sympathetic to their genuine and heartfelt efforts to bring democracy everywhere where no one asked for it, but I am out of ideas.

    Agree with:

    Germans can claim some success and the main reason is because they were ruthless and cruel.
    In order to win guerilla wars, the aggressor should be prepared to commit large atrocities – to scare off the civilian population from supporting the guerillas. Germans had no problem with this, while US tries to bring democracy, win hearts and minds, pretend to be the good guys and commit atrocities on top of it to scare off collaboration with the guerillas. Those are some mutually exclusive tactics right there.

    Don’t agree with:

    The other problem with guerilla wars is that they generally negate the technical advantage of the aggressor – there is only so much military hardware that you can bring in the middle of the mountains, and if you manage to do that, the guerillas will simply outrun you or hide.

    Alternate history:
    Good:
    Nazi war machine mentality with US military technology in Afghanistan.

    Better:
    Balkans parties mentality, from wars in 90s, with US military technology in Afghanistan.

    The best:
    Hutus mentality from 1994 with US military technology in Afghanistan.

    Read More
  71. peterAUS says:
    @Johnny Rico

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Fantastically delusional.

    The American Empire has been expanding and gaining more control in certain respects and in certain geographical spheres for decades while it has been in slow decay and decline in other respects. China is really the ONLY competitor/rival that matters. China will soon displace the US from the top slot economically on paper. However, as far as global influence and power goes, it seems the United States is quite well positioned for a few more decades.

    While there is no reason for the United States not to be on friendly terms with Russia which is clearly just another viable form of democracy - the United States does not view itself as at war WITH Russia in Ukraine and Syria. That is just stupid to imply.

    We have not “lost” in Syria or Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    They are enormously expensive. But that is another issue. We are not “winning” these “conflicts” or situations and they aren’t a good thing but that, again, is another issue. We are not “losing” anything except money.

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    The cost of “being in” Afghanistan is fairly predictable. Roughly $100 Billion/year, 10,000 ground troops (only about 1000 of which ever leave heavily protected bases), and a couple dozen dead every year. Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    Eisenhower used North Africa to blood the troops before Italy and France. The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

    Hysterical individuals have been predicting war breaking out any minute with North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China for a long time.

    This is just a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome subtly affecting those who consider themselves on the Alt-Right/Libertarian/formerly-supportive-of-Trump political spectrum.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans, or blonde Russians on Facebook think or say.

    Get over it.

    The US Navy knows how to use radar. Recent accidents are no more indicative of overall American military capability than the Kursk submarine disaster is of Russian sailing ability.

    Pakistan? Are you serious?

    Chill out.

    Agree with most.
    Especially with:

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    and

    Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    with

    The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

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  72. peterAUS says:
    @Randal
    As I recall it, they started backing China as a counterweight to the Soviet Union. By the time the Soviet Union had vanished, greed (or the pursuit of wealth, if you don't see international relations as zero sum) had taken over to an extent that precluded closing off relations.

    Personally, don’t think it’s that simple
    Greed I mean.
    IMHO, it goes much deeper.
    My theory, something with Protestant/Puritan vs Orthodox religion/way of life/perception of reality.

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  73. Cyrano says:
    @peterAUS

    I have little doubt that if the national “will” had been there to win the /Vietnam war then the US could have won it by the kind of total war brutality that was used against for instance the Japanese – the mobilisation of millions of men and large parts of the economy and the wholesale destruction of entire cities full of civilians by incendiary and atomic bombing. It was the will that was lacking, not the capability.

    I do not say that such a victory would have been worth winning, of course, but history is full of examples of patriotic resistances successfully suppressed by sheer brute force, from the Jewish Revolt to Chechnya.
     
    Agree.
    The same applies to Afghanistan and Iraq, IMHO.

    I declare US the most humble empire in history. They could have won all of the wars that they’ve lost, only they were too modest to do that. They always want to give a chance to the underdog, being so big on fair play as they are.

    How can anybody not admire such modesty? If there was someone else in their place they could have bragged how they are exceptional, how their military is the “finest fighting …. whatever, mission accomplished and all that, but not US, no, they are just the apotheosis of modesty.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well, I believe that Saker and similar types are doing quite a good job there.
    Bragging about loses being victories I mean.

    It's O.K, really.

    I came to conclusion ages ago that we simply see the world differently.

    In my book Ukraine is heavy Russian loss.
    With, say, Saker types, on the contrary.

    Same with Syria.
    Almost the same with Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No debate will ever resolve it. Ever.

    We simply present our "case" here and leave it to those "undecided" to make their own mind.
    But debating, arguing....waste of time really.

    I guess it boils down to "mechanical" vs "spiritual" approach to warfare.
    Something like that.
    I guess.

    , @MarkinLA
    The US was probably overthinking these situations. I remember reading that the problem with Vietnam was that the US had all these political theorists, game theorists, and military strategists trying to determine what was the minimal amount of force that would bring Vietnam back to the bargaining table with the US in the strong position. The idea was not to destroy Vietnam and "win" but do just enough to make Ho rethink his options.

    The problem was that the North Vietnamese didn't see the world in the same way. Given the condition of Vietnam now, it probably would have made more sense for Ho to go to the negotiating table and wait the Americans out as his "democratic socialist" (can't call them communist) party slowly took control of Vietnam through the ballot box. LBJ was supposedly willing to invest money in Vietnam to build infrastructure (if they played along with us and pretended not be communists).

    So LBJ listened to his wise men and ramped up the pressure again and again with no seemingly useful result.

    The same was true of us in Afghanistan. We thought by going in and bringing in modernity that the people would be grateful and reject the Taliban causing them to peter out. However religious fervor was stronger than we thought and the Afghanis really didn't care much about living in the modern world.
  74. MarkinLA says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery?

    Huh? There is possibly a wealth of information at the consulate that the CIA could use. There could be information about what capabilities the FSB has or information related to codes or codebreaking. There could be information on FSB assets in the US should there be any. You don’t want to leave anything for the CIA to get it’s hands on.

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    • Replies: @JL
    Russia's foreign intelligence operations are run by an agency called the SVR, with headquarters in Yasnevo. The FSB, with its HQ in Moscow center, the infamous Lubyanka, has only a domestic purview. To the extent that they conduct any foreign operations, it happens only when there is a domestic connection, i.e. assassinating Chechens in foreign countries, running domestic assets operating in foreign countries, like Russian citizen ISIS fighters. These two agencies are successors to the KGB, which was broken up into foreign and domestic operations for what are probably pretty obvious reasons.
  75. MarkinLA says:
    @Cloak And Dagger
    Great thoughts.

    but his geo-political failure will surely make him much more vulnerable in his upcoming corruption case, and a fine little war has long been the go-to distraction for cornered politicians.
     
    True, but it is unlikely that he will get much support from a military leadership that is still smarting from their last whupping from Hizbollah. Israel probably realizes that their army, trained on taking on little kids with stones, is no match for the battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria - hence the panic.

    Retaking the Golan Heights is now a distinct possibility.

    battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria

    They are fighting poorly trained and led militias. I can believe that the IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger

    IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army
     
    I wouldn't be too sure. They have received a lot of training from the Russians and they are better equipped than in the past. Moreover, it is not just the Syrian army. Unification is underway and it will be the combined might of Syria, Lebanon (and the Hizbollah), and Iran, plus who knows who else.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.
     
    The physical fatigue will lapse in a few months of R&R. They did not have to suffer the mental fatigue of our troops fighting without cause in Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Moreover, the string of victories they have been enjoying does wonders for one's morale.

    I wouldn't get too complacent if I were you.
  76. MarkinLA says:
    @Erebus

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.
     
    Bollocks. On a PPI basis, Russia's GDP comes out just ahead of Germany, but has the tremendous advantage of being arguably the most diversified economy on the planet. As its debt is low, and imports are <15% of its GDP, it is arguably also one of the most self-reliant.

    And its soft power is taking over the world.
     
    The pop-culture wave broke and started receding a decade and a half ago, and the US' financial not-so-soft power has been under assault since at least 2008. Both are approaching their end-game. You should try to get out more.

    Russia has a long way to go. Once you get out of Moscow or St. Petersburg, there are a lot of places that are third world. Don’t get me wrong, I like Russia but taking a train from Moscow to Bernaul (in the Altai region) and you see a lot of poverty once you get out of Moscow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    Russia has a long way to go.
     
    Indeed it does. No argument.
    Still, while a rising tide may eventually lift all boats, it lifts those closest to the tidal front first. That front won't ever reach some of them, especially in a country the size of Russia, just as it won't in China.
    It's like that everywhere, in my experience. Russia's big problem is its constitutionally defined Central Bank. They're gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer.
  77. MarkinLA says:
    @Cyrano
    Pure greed only. I remember reading somewhere in the late 90’s how US at that point was moving factories to China at the rate of 3 factories per week.

    They were explaining that as a result of this, every US citizen would save approx. $1800 per year – because of the lover production costs in China and consequently, the lower cost of the goods. But how long could this have realistically lasted?

    Once they outsourced all the manufacturing jobs, how would people earn any money to spend on cheap crap from China? I don’t see those $1800 of “savings” per year per person continuing indefinitely.

    Of course back then, there was a lot of talk about some nonsense like post-industrial, service based economy. Yeah, right, if you don’t produce anything, the only thing you have to worry about servicing - is your debts.

    No, The US was going to have the “knowledge” jobs. We in the US were going to be busy designing and perfecting all the new technologies while the Chinese would build them for us and accept their lower tier status for allowing them in the game. At least that was the economists wet dream.

    It went wrong when the Chinese demanded more and more of the process and greedy US management was only too willing to give it to them to continue to get their bonus checks. So now even some of the R&D is done in China and many of the engineering support jobs (such as QA) have left the US for good.

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  78. @MarkinLA
    battle-hardened soldiers of Lebanon and Syria

    They are fighting poorly trained and led militias. I can believe that the IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.

    IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army

    I wouldn’t be too sure. They have received a lot of training from the Russians and they are better equipped than in the past. Moreover, it is not just the Syrian army. Unification is underway and it will be the combined might of Syria, Lebanon (and the Hizbollah), and Iran, plus who knows who else.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.

    The physical fatigue will lapse in a few months of R&R. They did not have to suffer the mental fatigue of our troops fighting without cause in Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Moreover, the string of victories they have been enjoying does wonders for one’s morale.

    I wouldn’t get too complacent if I were you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I wouldn’t get too complacent if I were you.


    ???? I don't have a dog in this fight. I was just pointing out that without Russia, Syria would not be all that. I doubt the Russians get involved unless the Israelis start it.
  79. MarkinLA says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    IDF is softer than it might have been in the 70s but I doubt they have anything to worry about with the Syrian Army
     
    I wouldn't be too sure. They have received a lot of training from the Russians and they are better equipped than in the past. Moreover, it is not just the Syrian army. Unification is underway and it will be the combined might of Syria, Lebanon (and the Hizbollah), and Iran, plus who knows who else.

    Battle hardened also means battle fatigued.
     
    The physical fatigue will lapse in a few months of R&R. They did not have to suffer the mental fatigue of our troops fighting without cause in Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Moreover, the string of victories they have been enjoying does wonders for one's morale.

    I wouldn't get too complacent if I were you.

    I wouldn’t get too complacent if I were you.

    ???? I don’t have a dog in this fight. I was just pointing out that without Russia, Syria would not be all that. I doubt the Russians get involved unless the Israelis start it.

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    • Replies: @Cloak And Dagger
    Sorry if I misunderstood your comment. I thought you were representing an arrogant Israeli perspective. Apologies.
  80. peterAUS says:
    @Cyrano
    I declare US the most humble empire in history. They could have won all of the wars that they’ve lost, only they were too modest to do that. They always want to give a chance to the underdog, being so big on fair play as they are.

    How can anybody not admire such modesty? If there was someone else in their place they could have bragged how they are exceptional, how their military is the "finest fighting .... whatever, mission accomplished and all that, but not US, no, they are just the apotheosis of modesty.

    Well, I believe that Saker and similar types are doing quite a good job there.
    Bragging about loses being victories I mean.

    It’s O.K, really.

    I came to conclusion ages ago that we simply see the world differently.

    In my book Ukraine is heavy Russian loss.
    With, say, Saker types, on the contrary.

    Same with Syria.
    Almost the same with Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No debate will ever resolve it. Ever.

    We simply present our “case” here and leave it to those “undecided” to make their own mind.
    But debating, arguing….waste of time really.

    I guess it boils down to “mechanical” vs “spiritual” approach to warfare.
    Something like that.
    I guess.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire's allies.

    Simple.
    , @Cyrano
    So, OK, US went to war in Vietnam but it was holding back because they are great humanitarians and spiritual people? Do you realize how nutty that theory is? Who has ever gone to war without totally committing themselves? Of course, how stupid of me, the exceptional ones.

    They went to war, but didn’t use all the means at their disposal because they didn’t want to hurt Vietnamese’ feelings? Let’s say I buy that theory, the events on the ground does not support it. US killed something like over 2 million Vietnamese civilians and that’s’ holding back?

    They had their a**es handed to them by the Vietnamese and that’s all there is to it. No wonder the US government can get away with the most outrageous lies that no one else but ignoramuses like you would buy. That’s why US is dangerous, because there is culture of ignorance which is not capable of holding their government to account for their actions around the world.

  81. MarkinLA says:
    @Cyrano
    I declare US the most humble empire in history. They could have won all of the wars that they’ve lost, only they were too modest to do that. They always want to give a chance to the underdog, being so big on fair play as they are.

    How can anybody not admire such modesty? If there was someone else in their place they could have bragged how they are exceptional, how their military is the "finest fighting .... whatever, mission accomplished and all that, but not US, no, they are just the apotheosis of modesty.

    The US was probably overthinking these situations. I remember reading that the problem with Vietnam was that the US had all these political theorists, game theorists, and military strategists trying to determine what was the minimal amount of force that would bring Vietnam back to the bargaining table with the US in the strong position. The idea was not to destroy Vietnam and “win” but do just enough to make Ho rethink his options.

    The problem was that the North Vietnamese didn’t see the world in the same way. Given the condition of Vietnam now, it probably would have made more sense for Ho to go to the negotiating table and wait the Americans out as his “democratic socialist” (can’t call them communist) party slowly took control of Vietnam through the ballot box. LBJ was supposedly willing to invest money in Vietnam to build infrastructure (if they played along with us and pretended not be communists).

    So LBJ listened to his wise men and ramped up the pressure again and again with no seemingly useful result.

    The same was true of us in Afghanistan. We thought by going in and bringing in modernity that the people would be grateful and reject the Taliban causing them to peter out. However religious fervor was stronger than we thought and the Afghanis really didn’t care much about living in the modern world.

    Read More
  82. @MarkinLA
    I wouldn’t get too complacent if I were you.


    ???? I don't have a dog in this fight. I was just pointing out that without Russia, Syria would not be all that. I doubt the Russians get involved unless the Israelis start it.

    Sorry if I misunderstood your comment. I thought you were representing an arrogant Israeli perspective. Apologies.

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  83. peterAUS says:
    @peterAUS
    Well, I believe that Saker and similar types are doing quite a good job there.
    Bragging about loses being victories I mean.

    It's O.K, really.

    I came to conclusion ages ago that we simply see the world differently.

    In my book Ukraine is heavy Russian loss.
    With, say, Saker types, on the contrary.

    Same with Syria.
    Almost the same with Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No debate will ever resolve it. Ever.

    We simply present our "case" here and leave it to those "undecided" to make their own mind.
    But debating, arguing....waste of time really.

    I guess it boils down to "mechanical" vs "spiritual" approach to warfare.
    Something like that.
    I guess.

    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire’s allies.

    Simple.

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    • Replies: @hunor
    temporary gain against very soft targets. your empire passed its best days , after the second world war. /" the greatest generation "/. the young spirits of today can not possibly keep what they ancestors handed down to them. empires come and go. simple .
    , @JL
    It's clear now why your measures of victory and loss are so distorted: You are severely misinformed on the most basic facts.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.
     
    Wrong. It's about energy, and the transport of energy. Control of land is a means to that end.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
     
    Wrong. Ukraine has never been a Russian ally since its independence from the Soviet Union. At the best of times, it was neutral, for most of the time, downright hostile.

    Iraq
    Now The Empire controls it.
     
    Wrong. Iran controls it. This is common knowledge.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire’s allies.

    Simple.
     
    Not simple in the least. While nominally an ally before, the country is now almost completely dependent on Russia for its very survival. Syria will be Russia's forward ME operating base for years to come, and its presence there happened in a way that Syria never would have allowed had the war not happened. Not to mention the very public black eye the Empire received in its failure to oust Assad.
    , @Erebus

    Simple.
     
    In my view, too simple by (much more than) half. A school-yard view of the world.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.
     
    The struggle is not between the Empire and Russia. The Empire exists, and now holds sway over the developed, and much of the developing, world, including Russia. It's called "Globalization", and what we're seeing is an internal struggle. It is about whether the US alone will (continue to) rule the Empire, or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others). That so long as Russia and China stick together, they will prevail is almost a truism to Grand Strategy thinkers, so the primary struggle has shifted to become one internal to America.

    It has to decide whether to continue to vie for Sole Hegemony against all odds, or will it acquiesce to sit at the table of great powers and be satisfied with what it can negotiate? The people made their choice last Nov, but America's elites are still squabbling over it. The Afghanistans, the Syrias, the Iraqs are but visible tips of the same iceberg that has now surfaced in the US as Russian Consulate closings and Antifa. As it now sits, the odds favour the Sole Hegemonists internally, and America's utter demise internationally, but that may change if a sufficiently cathartic event occurs exogenously.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.
     
    How about we start measuring it the way it was measured for at least in a duration of the 20th (and 21st) century and under different conditioned is distilled to: victory being the ability to achieve political objectives of the war. You are, certainly, free to use whatever metric you want but my circle of communications which includes both American and Soviet/Russian professionals (some of them graduates of VAGSh) seems to be speaking absolutely the same language when speaking of victory.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
     
    LOL.
  84. Cyrano says:
    @peterAUS
    Well, I believe that Saker and similar types are doing quite a good job there.
    Bragging about loses being victories I mean.

    It's O.K, really.

    I came to conclusion ages ago that we simply see the world differently.

    In my book Ukraine is heavy Russian loss.
    With, say, Saker types, on the contrary.

    Same with Syria.
    Almost the same with Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No debate will ever resolve it. Ever.

    We simply present our "case" here and leave it to those "undecided" to make their own mind.
    But debating, arguing....waste of time really.

    I guess it boils down to "mechanical" vs "spiritual" approach to warfare.
    Something like that.
    I guess.

    So, OK, US went to war in Vietnam but it was holding back because they are great humanitarians and spiritual people? Do you realize how nutty that theory is? Who has ever gone to war without totally committing themselves? Of course, how stupid of me, the exceptional ones.

    They went to war, but didn’t use all the means at their disposal because they didn’t want to hurt Vietnamese’ feelings? Let’s say I buy that theory, the events on the ground does not support it. US killed something like over 2 million Vietnamese civilians and that’s’ holding back?

    They had their a**es handed to them by the Vietnamese and that’s all there is to it. No wonder the US government can get away with the most outrageous lies that no one else but ignoramuses like you would buy. That’s why US is dangerous, because there is culture of ignorance which is not capable of holding their government to account for their actions around the world.

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  85. Erebus says:
    @Johnny Rico

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Fantastically delusional.

    The American Empire has been expanding and gaining more control in certain respects and in certain geographical spheres for decades while it has been in slow decay and decline in other respects. China is really the ONLY competitor/rival that matters. China will soon displace the US from the top slot economically on paper. However, as far as global influence and power goes, it seems the United States is quite well positioned for a few more decades.

    While there is no reason for the United States not to be on friendly terms with Russia which is clearly just another viable form of democracy - the United States does not view itself as at war WITH Russia in Ukraine and Syria. That is just stupid to imply.

    We have not “lost” in Syria or Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    They are enormously expensive. But that is another issue. We are not “winning” these “conflicts” or situations and they aren’t a good thing but that, again, is another issue. We are not “losing” anything except money.

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    The cost of “being in” Afghanistan is fairly predictable. Roughly $100 Billion/year, 10,000 ground troops (only about 1000 of which ever leave heavily protected bases), and a couple dozen dead every year. Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    Eisenhower used North Africa to blood the troops before Italy and France. The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

    Hysterical individuals have been predicting war breaking out any minute with North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China for a long time.

    This is just a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome subtly affecting those who consider themselves on the Alt-Right/Libertarian/formerly-supportive-of-Trump political spectrum.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans, or blonde Russians on Facebook think or say.

    Get over it.

    The US Navy knows how to use radar. Recent accidents are no more indicative of overall American military capability than the Kursk submarine disaster is of Russian sailing ability.

    Pakistan? Are you serious?

    Chill out.

    We are not “losing” anything except money.

    That’s the view through 10′ of 1″ pipe. Look with a little wider view, and you’ll see that losing money is the very least of what America’s lost, and continues to lose. It’s already lost its republic, and is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account.
    Not that that matters to the people running it. They’ve pocketed the money America “lost” and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.

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    • Replies: @Johnny Rico

    is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account
     
    Looks like the view through a crystal ball rather than just "a little wider" view. My crystal ball is in the repair shop. I'm glad yours is in working order.

    stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.
     
    You seem to be predicting Black Swan events AND have it all figured out. So as not to appear vague or cryptic you may consider employing some evidence or relatable observations with what is basically 100 words of vague and cryptic doom-mongering.
    , @annamaria
    "Not that that matters to the people running it. They’ve pocketed the money America “lost” and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America."
    Agree
  86. @Randal

    For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or “non-agreement capable”. .....
    Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US “hellish buffoonery” and “stupid thuggery”.
     
    The Russians are obviously correct thus far in their assessment of the US foreign policy establishment. The US bipartisan elites behave in this way because they both believe that they can (might makes right) and believe they are uniquely justified in doing so (the exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill, "humanitarian" intervention, R2P etc).

    The question is, why did the Chinese and Russians foolishly collaborate in the latest attempt by the US to misuse the UNSC to target its enemies and set the scene for future justifications of military action, by supporting the foolish coercive sanctions resolution against North Korea last month? By doing so they played into the hands of the worst elements of the bipartisan US establishment idiocracy, and probably terminally undercut their own preferred approach of constructive engagement. Are they really naïve enough to believe that they can safely use the menace of US military thuggery to compel North Korea to behave as they wish?

    The far better alternative policy was right there in front of them, begging to be used. The North Korean nuclear issue is as clear a condemnation of the US's policies of military aggression and coercive sanctions as you could wish for.

    The next question is, will they repeat their error by complying with the US regime's evident wish for a ramping up of tensions?

    Putin rightly stated, in response to inevitable calls for yet more brutish sanctions by the US regime's prominent warmonger Nikki Haley, backed by its collaborationists such as Merkel, that sanctions are useless. That's true (which is not to say that they are harmless). Russia knows this full well.

    So why did Russia vote for them in the Security Council last month?

    So why did Russia vote for them in the Security Council last month?

    Russia and China voted for the sanctions so as to avoid a direct, embarrassing, and very public diplomatic confrontation with the US. But in practice they will simply ignore them, especially China. I don’t believe for one moment that China will actually imperil North Korea, no matter what sort of kayfabe it votes on in the Security Council.

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  87. hunor says:
    @peterAUS
    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire's allies.

    Simple.

    temporary gain against very soft targets. your empire passed its best days , after the second world war. /” the greatest generation “/. the young spirits of today can not possibly keep what they ancestors handed down to them. empires come and go. simple .

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "...the young spirits of today can not possibly keep what they ancestors handed down to them..."
    And what they were handed down? - seven wars, unaffordable colleges, ziocon-infested government, "deep state" deciders, and marasmic MSM. Not much.
  88. US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War is one of the ugliest things ever.

    Consider this ‘Global War on Terror’.

    Well, which four nations are most responsible for creating this monstrous phenom?

    1. Israel. Because of Nakba and Occupation, it created an Arab culture of terror to resist Zionist imperialism. In the case of Algerian Terrorism, it ended when the French left. But Israel became a fixture, and terrorism continued. Whether one thinks the creation of Israel was a good thing or bad thing, it fostered a culture of terrorism as an act of resistance. To counter this terror, Israel aided other Arab terrorists to make Arab terror fight Arab terror. Arabs being stupid, they fell for the bait.

    2. The US. In the Cold War, especially in Afghanistan, US decided to aid Afghan terrorist resistance fighters against Soviet Occupation. Whether the Afghan resistance was good or bad, much of it depended on use of terror against Soviets and collaborators. Terrorism is after all the weapon of weak against strong. Maybe Afghan fighters could be deemed ‘freedom fighters’ for trying to overthrow foreign yoke, but their way of warfare was terrorism. And US aided and encouraged this. US did this the most in Afghanistan but also in other Muslim nations that were secular and allied with USSR. In those nations, US worked with Saudis(as they did in Afghanistan) to foster extreme Islam as bulwark against Marxism and secular-social-nationalism. Saudis and US thus spread the culture of Islamic Terror all over the Muslim World that would continue even after the Cold War when it was no longer needed by the US.

    3. Pakistan. Pakistanis feared India which was friendly with USSR during the Cold War. So, US and Pakistan became close, and together they aided the nationalist-terrorists of Afghanistan. More troubling, Pakistan offered sanctuary to lots of Afghan fighters and their families in Pakistan, thus radicalizing elements of Pakistan further. Worse, Pakistan along with the US worked with Saudis to spread extreme Islamic ideology. Now, if the Afghan use of terror had been restricted to Afghans against Soviets, the culture of terror may have been contained in the region. But Saudi and other global Jihadi fighters went to Afghan to fight alongside the Afghan fighters. Thus, US and Saudis jointly created the environment that led to rise of Alqaeda.

    4. Saudi Arabia for all the obvious reasons.

    So, 9/11 was blowback for US, Saudi, Pakistan, and Israeli policies. Those four nations were most responsible for working together to create a global culture of Muslim terrorism.
    So, after 9/11, the most pressing responsibility was for those nations to look in the mirror. Instead, US played poor little victim and pretended that these terrorists just sprouted like mushrooms in the part of the world that hates the US for its ‘freedoms’, such as shopping. So, 9/11 was an attack on shopping, and Americans must send a message to terrorists by going to Macys or Walmart.

    One thing for sure, 9/11 had NOTHING to do with Hussein and Iraq, Syria, and Libya. (Gaddafi did sponsor terrorist acts, but no more than other nations. Also, he would never have directly targeted the US. )

    But the global war on terror turned into attacking one secular nation after nation that had been most effective in containing terrorism in their own nations. Cruel Hussein had effectively clamped down on terrorists in Syria. Assad and Gaddafi had also been ruthlessly effective in containing terrorism in their own nations. And even though they did sponsor acts of terror here and there, it was no more than what Israel did and much less than what Saudis did, the main sponsor of global terrorism(often with blessing of US esp during the Cold War as the targets were allies of Soviets).

    In a way, Global War on Terror was a way of covering the tracks by US, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudis. They were most responsible for the growth of terror but obfuscated this fact by declaring ‘war on terror’ and then targeting nations like Iraq and later Libya and Syria that had NOTHING to do with 9/11.
    And now, we have all this talk of Iran again even though Iran had nothing to do with events in Afghanistan or US.

    When wolves declare war on ‘wolves’ to destroy more sheep, it’s a demented world.

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    • Agree: Cloak And Dagger
    • Replies: @Parbes
    Superb post! If only the bovine American and Western publics were fully aware of these simple, undeniable, clearly elucidated facts!
  89. @Cloak And Dagger

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere - and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions - and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ...) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible - even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    The USA of course still is a great power.
    So was the British empire after WWI, despite that the USA had to interfere militarily to prevent British capitulation.

    But few in GB saw the signs on the wall, the thirties was the period where an empire that could no longer maintain itself was wavering in policies.
    As prior to WWI, the British feared the German economic and political expansion to the south east, the Berlin Baghdad Basra railway the bone of contention.
    WWII was the war which the USA again won for GB, but the price was the end of empire.
    As some Britons understood ‘we won the war, but lost the peace’.

    We see the same in France, the day of the German capitulation, May 1945, still is a national holiday, their capitulation in June 1940 is forgotten.
    Empires, like commercial organisations, seem to be quite capable of ignoring the truth.
    Broke commercial organisations sometimes just realise they are broke when the bank refuses to pay the salaries.

    If Trump understands that the days of USA world domination are over, I do not know.
    But I hope he does.
    Alas those who do not see the signs on the walls make it impossible for him to adjust the USA to the new power distribution in the world.

    Politicians long in power apparently become blind, Merkel’s speeches in Germany are booed in such a way that she cannot make herself heard, luckily she often dresses in read, the first tomato impact was hardly visible.

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  90. Erebus says:
    @MarkinLA
    Russia has a long way to go. Once you get out of Moscow or St. Petersburg, there are a lot of places that are third world. Don't get me wrong, I like Russia but taking a train from Moscow to Bernaul (in the Altai region) and you see a lot of poverty once you get out of Moscow.

    Russia has a long way to go.

    Indeed it does. No argument.
    Still, while a rising tide may eventually lift all boats, it lifts those closest to the tidal front first. That front won’t ever reach some of them, especially in a country the size of Russia, just as it won’t in China.
    It’s like that everywhere, in my experience. Russia’s big problem is its constitutionally defined Central Bank. They’re gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    "...they’re gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer."
    The homeostasis takes time. Sudden changes could kill.
    , @NoseytheDuke
    A lot of places in the US are pretty close to third world living standards now too Mark.
  91. JL says:
    @peterAUS
    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire's allies.

    Simple.

    It’s clear now why your measures of victory and loss are so distorted: You are severely misinformed on the most basic facts.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Wrong. It’s about energy, and the transport of energy. Control of land is a means to that end.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.

    Wrong. Ukraine has never been a Russian ally since its independence from the Soviet Union. At the best of times, it was neutral, for most of the time, downright hostile.

    Iraq
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Wrong. Iran controls it. This is common knowledge.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire’s allies.

    Simple.

    Not simple in the least. While nominally an ally before, the country is now almost completely dependent on Russia for its very survival. Syria will be Russia’s forward ME operating base for years to come, and its presence there happened in a way that Syria never would have allowed had the war not happened. Not to mention the very public black eye the Empire received in its failure to oust Assad.

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  92. @Andrei Martyanov
    Drawing direct parallels is always a very tricky thing--especially in the age of precision Guided Munitions, nuclear weapons and C4ISR. Operationally and tactically there are no parallels whatsoever between Athens, Sparta and US. None, zero. To start with, US is not a continental power and never was, unlike that was the case with Athens and Sparta. That alone precludes any legitimate parallels. Could some political and ideological parallels be drawn? Possibly, but even that should be done very cautiously.

    Did you read the link he provided?

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  93. @Cyrano
    You are a perfect target audience for one of the mottos that I have come up with: Those who don’t know history ought to do something about it and learn it.

    An alliance with Russia was always a weapon of last resort, because whichever of the Great Powers of Europe chose them as allies, they were always more weary of their “ally” than of their enemies. The name of the game for the last few hundred years has always been the same: Containment of Russia.

    When Nicholas 1 wanted to put the “sick man of Europe” – the Ottoman empire out of their misery, not least because they still held large territories populated by Christian Slavs as it happened to be, the 2 miserable empires of Europe – France and the British sided with Islamic Turkey against Russia. Some fine Christians they were. They were more worried about the Russian expansion than they were about protecting the Christians that were still under centuries long Islamic rule.

    Of course in the minds of the degenerates from Western Europe, Slavs were hardly human, and their Christianity was of inferior quality, so why should they concern themselves with them. The only reason why Constantinople is still in Turkish hands is because the western degenerates would rather see it in their hands than belonging to Russia, or even Bulgaria.

    Not to worry comrades, the way the things are going, your capitals will soon be in Islamic hands. That’s how much brain power is left remaining in the west. I am getting little bit off topic here.

    Perhaps the best example of the reluctance by the western powers to have Russia as an ally was WW2, when they all balked at alliance with USSR, leaving the door open for the non-aggression pact. The west only agreed to ally themselves with USSR, when all other options looked inadequate and they realized that they won’t be able to defeat Hitler on their own. Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted.

    There are problems of timing and of woolly definition about your “the West only agreed only agreed to ally themselvea with the USSR….. on their own”.

    The West, including America, wasn’t affected by any such calculus given that the Soviet Union had been in the war for 5 !/2 months when Pearl Harbour and Hitler’s declaration of war against the US occurred.

    And Britain was made a de facto ally in June 1941 by Hitller’s attack on the Soviet Union.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Alright, so “choosing” USSR as an ally wasn’t a conscious decision by the west, it was just something that fell into their lap.

    I still think that the argument can be made that the west benefited more from having USSR as an ally in WW2 than did USSR having them as an allies.

    The only meaningful contribution that the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1944 was sending them thousands of tons of spam.

    I heard of a joke that when the Russian soldiers were opening the cans of spam donated to them by US, they were saying: “Oh, look, I am opening the 2nd front”, in reference to the promises about a second front by Roosevelt which didn’t come until it was irrelevant.
  94. JL says:
    @MarkinLA
    what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery?

    Huh? There is possibly a wealth of information at the consulate that the CIA could use. There could be information about what capabilities the FSB has or information related to codes or codebreaking. There could be information on FSB assets in the US should there be any. You don't want to leave anything for the CIA to get it's hands on.

    Russia’s foreign intelligence operations are run by an agency called the SVR, with headquarters in Yasnevo. The FSB, with its HQ in Moscow center, the infamous Lubyanka, has only a domestic purview. To the extent that they conduct any foreign operations, it happens only when there is a domestic connection, i.e. assassinating Chechens in foreign countries, running domestic assets operating in foreign countries, like Russian citizen ISIS fighters. These two agencies are successors to the KGB, which was broken up into foreign and domestic operations for what are probably pretty obvious reasons.

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  95. @Albert King
    "Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. "

    Notice of course that there are no historical examples to back up this statement. That is because exactly the opposite was true.

    Russia was part of a 'conservative coalition' that ran Europe for a century. The Kings and Queens who held power and lived in luxury because of who their daddy was were in mortal terror that what happened in the French Revolution might spread throughout Europe. Thus Russia was an ally of England, Austria, Prussia and others in fighting against Napoleon. The Russian czars were very supportive of the other royalty in Europe and stayed a part of a coalition trying to maintain this system of privlidge throughout the 19th century.

    England clashed a bit with Russia as a part of 'the great game', but that was a fight for power and money in the indian sub-continent. England thought their slave cash-cow might be threatened as the Russians expanded to their south. Other than that, the royal houses that ruled Europe in the 19th century were all allies with Russia, and there were a series of Great Power conferences where Russia was a key player trying to make sure that the european royalty stayed in power and that notions such as freedom and justice were routinely crushed.

    A broad brush may be useful for propaganda rallying the troops but it isn’t much good for delineating history. Russia was an ally of Great Britain fighting against Napoleon (most of the time) but it had bugger all to do with royals like the gaga George lll.

    And “slave” is a silly, because wildly imprecise, word to use with reference to Britain’s Indian interests. If you knew enough relevant history to back up your generalisations you wouldn’t use a word with such a large number and variety of connotations that mostly don’t apply.

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  96. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS
    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire's allies.

    Simple.

    Simple.

    In my view, too simple by (much more than) half. A school-yard view of the world.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    The struggle is not between the Empire and Russia. The Empire exists, and now holds sway over the developed, and much of the developing, world, including Russia. It’s called “Globalization”, and what we’re seeing is an internal struggle. It is about whether the US alone will (continue to) rule the Empire, or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others). That so long as Russia and China stick together, they will prevail is almost a truism to Grand Strategy thinkers, so the primary struggle has shifted to become one internal to America.

    It has to decide whether to continue to vie for Sole Hegemony against all odds, or will it acquiesce to sit at the table of great powers and be satisfied with what it can negotiate? The people made their choice last Nov, but America’s elites are still squabbling over it. The Afghanistans, the Syrias, the Iraqs are but visible tips of the same iceberg that has now surfaced in the US as Russian Consulate closings and Antifa. As it now sits, the odds favour the Sole Hegemonists internally, and America’s utter demise internationally, but that may change if a sufficiently cathartic event occurs exogenously.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The US does not control the Empire because it's controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That's why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. They want a multi-polar world which conflicts with the One World Government project.
    , @annamaria
    "...or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others)...

    This is an impossible situation for the US: The Empire of Federal Reserve can only survive on looting and stealing, including printing the world-dominating currency at will. The concept of international law has become foreign for the US. Consenting to the international rules would deprive the "deciders" of the money (loot) & power. The US is approaching something akin to a revolutionary state of affairs, which is, thankfully, still in an anemic phase domestically. The looted $$$trillions (looted by MIC & banksters) are too sweet a reality to forfeit it. The parasites will lead the US to a demise. We can only pray for a more or less soft landing. The greatest danger is the endemic incompetence on the top of the US government.
  97. @basque british are small brained
    You seem to think too much of the little brained basque australian cowards ,remember their record in singapore and malaysia.Face it the only enemy the basque british diaspora are able to defeat are armies with bows and arrows

    Consider this as addressed to Noseythe Duke…

    It is curious how the limited English of the chip-on-the-shoulder Asian troll so often combines with lack of sense of logic. And discourtesy to readers generally by subjecting them to careless bluster.

    Careless (or just ignorant)? Malaysia didn’t exist till the 1950s and any service there by Australians was a very effective contribution to cleaning out the Chinese communists. In the circumstances it is not of interest to know what he thinks he knows of the British disaster in defending Malaya and Singapore with a third rate general in command and many troops with little training.

    Likewise “are [sic] able to defeat” and “armies with bows and arrows” defy rational consideration as much as the curious pseudonym. I guess he is young and has recently read something about the possible contribution to British DNA of early immigrants or returning paleolithic or mesolithic people from the Basque country during the warming after the last Ice Age.

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  98. @Erebus

    But US still has 15x the economy of Russia.
     
    Bollocks. On a PPI basis, Russia's GDP comes out just ahead of Germany, but has the tremendous advantage of being arguably the most diversified economy on the planet. As its debt is low, and imports are <15% of its GDP, it is arguably also one of the most self-reliant.

    And its soft power is taking over the world.
     
    The pop-culture wave broke and started receding a decade and a half ago, and the US' financial not-so-soft power has been under assault since at least 2008. Both are approaching their end-game. You should try to get out more.

    At best your reply is careless. I presume that your PPI is not Pixels per inch, Producer Price Index or Payment Protection Insurance but should be PPP.

    When I Googled for “how does Russia’s GDP compare with Germany’s on a PPP basis” i found that Germany’s was slightly higher 2013-2016 but, more important, Russia’s per capita GDP was only about 60 per cent of Germany’s on a PPP basis.

    Still, the boycotts and embargos may be good for Russia. Not irrelevant to that possibility was the alleged fact that a smaller proportion of Russians than Getmans (persons in Germany?) Live in poverty.

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    PPI = Purchasing Parity Index. There are other acronyms which amount to the same thing.

    Yes, the sanctions and oil price collapse forced Russia off point. They needed it.
  99. Muse says:
    @utu
    A truly competent US regime, in the “dog eat dog” world you claim to see so clearly, would have ensured in the 1990s that post-Soviet Russia was its ally in the effort to strangle the rising challenger, China.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.

    I viewed the change in US policy as having two distinct eras. Kissinger/Nixon and the Clinton eras.

    During the Nixon/Kissinger era, relations with China seems to have been used as a method to counter the USSR.

    The Clinton era pushed through NAFTA, and most favored nation trade status for China to benefit global capital/financial interests, retailers like Walmart and big agriculture, who benefitted from global labor arbitrage and relaxed agricultural export restrictions. Clinton sold out the traditional Democratic base, made himself rich and had all the trashy women he desired in the process. This strategy was called triangulation by Clinton. He turned the domestic political order on its head by taking money from traditional Republican donors, as well as interests outside the US, much to the GOP’s consternation. The level of corruption in government ushered in by Clinton reached new heights, and I believe the Clinton family as a rule internationalized pay to play politics in a way heretofore unseen as well.

    Kissinger maybe wrongly thought that the US could beat China in the long game. Clinton probably did not give a damn and figured he would be dead prior to the reckoning.

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    • Replies: @utu
    I agree about the two eras and your description of Clinton method is right on the money. Still I would like to go deeper with analysis because I do not believe that policies are initiated by people like Clintons. They just carry them out. The decisions has been made earlier by a different body. Just like with the transition to neoliberalism that started under Thatcher and Reagan but it was designed and planned much earlier and possibly Thatcher and certainly Reagan were oblivious to it. In 1980's they were high ranking meetings between bankers like Rockefeller with high ranking Chinese officials. I wish I had time and means to do the research on it.
  100. Hibernian says:
    @Cyrano
    You are a perfect target audience for one of the mottos that I have come up with: Those who don’t know history ought to do something about it and learn it.

    An alliance with Russia was always a weapon of last resort, because whichever of the Great Powers of Europe chose them as allies, they were always more weary of their “ally” than of their enemies. The name of the game for the last few hundred years has always been the same: Containment of Russia.

    When Nicholas 1 wanted to put the “sick man of Europe” – the Ottoman empire out of their misery, not least because they still held large territories populated by Christian Slavs as it happened to be, the 2 miserable empires of Europe – France and the British sided with Islamic Turkey against Russia. Some fine Christians they were. They were more worried about the Russian expansion than they were about protecting the Christians that were still under centuries long Islamic rule.

    Of course in the minds of the degenerates from Western Europe, Slavs were hardly human, and their Christianity was of inferior quality, so why should they concern themselves with them. The only reason why Constantinople is still in Turkish hands is because the western degenerates would rather see it in their hands than belonging to Russia, or even Bulgaria.

    Not to worry comrades, the way the things are going, your capitals will soon be in Islamic hands. That’s how much brain power is left remaining in the west. I am getting little bit off topic here.

    Perhaps the best example of the reluctance by the western powers to have Russia as an ally was WW2, when they all balked at alliance with USSR, leaving the door open for the non-aggression pact. The west only agreed to ally themselves with USSR, when all other options looked inadequate and they realized that they won’t be able to defeat Hitler on their own. Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted.

    “Stalin, on the other hand, was no big fan of alliances with the west too, because he knew that these sleazeballs can’t be trusted.”

    Poor Joe, prisoner of the Politburo (h/t Harry Truman.)

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  101. @TheJester
    The End of Bretton-Woods I and II ...

    Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

    Then the next obvious step would be to get our natural liberties back, but that’s too much to hope for especially in the vaunted “Land ‘O Libbberteeee….”

    Constitution or not,

    Nay, indeed, have we not seen (p. 13) that government is essentially immoral? Is it not the offspring of evil, bearing about it all the marks of its parentage?

    - Herbert Spencer, Social Statics [1851]. chap 20, The Right to Ignore the State, p 207

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/spencer-social-statics-1851

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  102. And speaking of Constitutions as a protector of freedoms,

    When we have made our constitution purely democratic, thinks to himself the earnest reformer, we shall have brought government into harmony with absolute justice. Such a faith, though perhaps needful for the age, is a very erroneous one. By no process can coercion be made equitable.

    - Herbert Spencer, Social Statics [1851]. chap 20, The Right to Ignore the State, p 210

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/spencer-social-statics-1851

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  103. @American tourist
    Modern American Diplomats, or at least lets say senior employees of the State Department, really only have one skill set. That is in delivering ultimatums. After all, a person or a group is only skilled at what it is they regularly do. And the only task American diplomats are regularly given is to Deliver an Ultimatum. Beyond that, the job duties of a senior level diplomat seem to basically be don't do anything to embarass us when you go get smashed at parties.

    These days, many duties of the 'diplomat' have been flat out usurped. If you are dealing with 'the American government', you'd better be talking with the CIA, the Pentagon as well as with the State Department. Langley and the Pentagon have both grabbed turf that used to belong to diplomats, and now in many ways these agencies also project American policy.

    The American regional commanders all exert 'diplomacy' in their regions. They are in many ways the Voice of America in their own spheres. And I'd rather suspect the local CIA station heads act in much the same way. Anybody who can order you to be killed can usually request your attendence to be told what to do.

    Modern American Diplomats, or at least lets say senior employees of the State Department, really only have one skill set. That is in delivering ultimatums.

    Exactly.

    This has been a key problem with US foreign policy since forever. The other skill set involves outright mendacity, which is used when ultimatums don’t work fast enough. Has there ever been a treaty that the US didn’t flout?

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  104. @peterAUS
    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.

    Two entities taking small pieces of a big pizza on a large table.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.
    Now more than half if controlled by The Empire.

    Iraq
    Independent country, outside of The Empire control.
    Now The Empire controls it.

    Afghanistan.
    Same as Iraq.

    Syria
    Before shooting started a stable country and Russian ally.
    Now unstable country where more than half of it is controlled not by Russian ally and probably third controlled by The Empire's allies.

    Simple.

    Just to, extremely briefly, state how I measure victory/loss.

    How about we start measuring it the way it was measured for at least in a duration of the 20th (and 21st) century and under different conditioned is distilled to: victory being the ability to achieve political objectives of the war. You are, certainly, free to use whatever metric you want but my circle of communications which includes both American and Soviet/Russian professionals (some of them graduates of VAGSh) seems to be speaking absolutely the same language when speaking of victory.

    Ukraine
    Before shooting started it was a Russian ally.

    LOL.

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  105. @yeah
    Look, I never said that America is perfect. As a matter of fact, I explicitly said America has a hundred problems, statue vandalism and trannies running wild included. But all others have a thousand problems. Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany? In a world gone blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Would you migrate to Russia or China or any of those BRICS countries? Would you prefer to settle down in France? Would you place your investments in Germany?

    Hey, even Humpty Trump recognized, at least while he was campaigning, that other countries were ahead of the US in a lot of things, among them high quality infrastructure.

    If America is still so great, would he have won on the promise to make it great

    again

    ?

    FYI, ‘Merka is a a huge corrupt, degenerate, indebted, militaristic welfare state (both corporate and indigent) that’s falling apart morally, philosophically, materially and financially, and there are tons of places that are not only more desirable as places to live, but would be even more desirable if they weren’t hounded 24/7 by the greedy jackboots that have also been running this country into the ground for many decades.

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  106. @Cloak And Dagger

    Very few Americans think of themselves as citizens of their state. I don’t think this is a viable alternative.
     
    You are correct, but most of us feel unrepresented by the Federal Government in everything from legalizing weed to endless wars with our tax dollars. The constitution has become toilet paper. The Federal Government is supposed to only have the rights explicitly called out in the constitution and the rest is supposed to be with the states and the individuals. The inverse is in effect.

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot, although they warned us that we would have a republic only if we could keep it. We couldn't.

    Thomas Jefferson is reputed to have written in his retirement papers (the veracity is contested):

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.

     

    Well, guess what?

    The founders never imagined that our government would be so corrupted by foreign powers so as to render the constitution moot…

    Ahem…

    “In place of that noble love of liberty, & republican government which carried us triumphantly thro’ the war, an Anglican monarchical, & aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance, as they have already done the forms, of the British government…

    It would give you a fever were I to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies… who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England. In short, we are likely to preserve the liberty we have obtained only by unremitting labors & perils.”

    Jefferson, Thomas, Letter To Philip Mazzei
    Monticello, Apr. 24, 1796

    http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefLett.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=116&division=div1

    You are correct, however, in that no one probably could have predicted the corrupt Zio-state as puppetmaster to the most brain dead and fraudulent political entity ever to have polluted the face of the planet.

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  107. Joe Hide says:

    Article’s informational goals are side tracked by excessive emotionalism.

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  108. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    At best your reply is careless. I presume that your PPI is not Pixels per inch, Producer Price Index or Payment Protection Insurance but should be PPP.

    When I Googled for "how does Russia's GDP compare with Germany's on a PPP basis" i found that Germany's was slightly higher 2013-2016 but, more important, Russia's per capita GDP was only about 60 per cent of Germany's on a PPP basis.

    Still, the boycotts and embargos may be good for Russia. Not irrelevant to that possibility was the alleged fact that a smaller proportion of Russians than Getmans (persons in Germany?) Live in poverty.

    PPI = Purchasing Parity Index. There are other acronyms which amount to the same thing.

    Yes, the sanctions and oil price collapse forced Russia off point. They needed it.

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  109. @Johnny Rico

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Fantastically delusional.

    The American Empire has been expanding and gaining more control in certain respects and in certain geographical spheres for decades while it has been in slow decay and decline in other respects. China is really the ONLY competitor/rival that matters. China will soon displace the US from the top slot economically on paper. However, as far as global influence and power goes, it seems the United States is quite well positioned for a few more decades.

    While there is no reason for the United States not to be on friendly terms with Russia which is clearly just another viable form of democracy - the United States does not view itself as at war WITH Russia in Ukraine and Syria. That is just stupid to imply.

    We have not “lost” in Syria or Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    They are enormously expensive. But that is another issue. We are not “winning” these “conflicts” or situations and they aren’t a good thing but that, again, is another issue. We are not “losing” anything except money.

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    The cost of “being in” Afghanistan is fairly predictable. Roughly $100 Billion/year, 10,000 ground troops (only about 1000 of which ever leave heavily protected bases), and a couple dozen dead every year. Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    Eisenhower used North Africa to blood the troops before Italy and France. The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

    Hysterical individuals have been predicting war breaking out any minute with North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China for a long time.

    This is just a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome subtly affecting those who consider themselves on the Alt-Right/Libertarian/formerly-supportive-of-Trump political spectrum.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans, or blonde Russians on Facebook think or say.

    Get over it.

    The US Navy knows how to use radar. Recent accidents are no more indicative of overall American military capability than the Kursk submarine disaster is of Russian sailing ability.

    Pakistan? Are you serious?

    Chill out.

    We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    Sure, and I am an alien from planet Zoltar.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans

    But they do, whoever those “nobodies” are.

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    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    General Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese defeated both the French in 1954 and then the Americans between 1963 and 1973. For a stretch of about 5 years the Vietnamese were inflicting roughly 8000 combat kills on US forces per year.

    Ronald Reagan pulled the Marine detachment out of Beirut in 1983 I believe after being hit hard by Hezbollah. One hit, 283 dead.

    For reference, the single most intense instance of combat American forces have experienced in war were the 6 hours of Omaha Beach. Roughly 1200 dead in 6 hours. Tarawa is comparable. And Americans won both battles.

    We lost the war in Vietnam. The popular conception is that Americans didn't "lose" a single combat engagement in Vietnam.

    In Lebanon, the reality, in my opinion, is that Reagan cut-and-ran and "negotiated" with terrorists while Americans like to believe we never do that kind of thing.

    Aside from Vietnam and Lebanon, I cannot think of another instance where American troops have "lost."

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)

    And I stand by my statement about Hezbollah and the North Koreans which you both misquoted and by doing so took out of context.

    Hezbollah may have "defeated" Israel in 2006 or at least taught the IDF some lessons and you and I may give Hezbollah a lot of credit, but most Americans aren't even aware of these things. Hezbollah is just some rag-head name they hear once a month on the radio next to the term "terrorist organization." "Hezbollah." "Saddam Hussein." It all sounds the same and carries approximately no weight.

    As far as North Korea goes. Just a distraction. A hurricane or fake chemical attack in Syria is all it takes to push Kim Jong-Un off the front page. North Korea bores people. He's worse than a Kardashian trying to stay relevant.

    What is remarkable to me about "North Korea" is how similar the current situation is to how it was during the Obama years AND to the situation in 1950.

    Read anything by Bruce Cumings on Korea. Or this stuff:

    How History Explains the Korean Crisis
    August 28, 2017

    How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea
    The secret backstory to the U.S.-North Korea standoff.
    By Tim Shorrock / AlterNet September 5, 2017

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-sony-obama-seth-rogen-and-cia-secretly-planned-force-regime-change-north-korea

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/28/how-history-explains-the-korean-crisis/

    Again - all this stuff is enormously expensive but that is apparently the price that both Democrats and Republicans, both liberal and conservative, are willing to pay for being "the exceptional nation."

  110. The gentleman doth protest too much! If the author hadn’t laid it on so thick, he might just have convinced a few naive souls but the excessive tone screams panic. That fits with what Putin is up to at the moment. He’s putting forward a UN resolution calling for peacekeepers in the Donetsk/Lugansk “sausage”. As in the past, he’s probably just stalling and nobody seems to be taking it very seriously but the very fact that he putting forward the resolution tells us that he’s terrified of the US arming the Ukrainian military and is trying to stave that off. It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces.
    That’s not the only bad news for Putin. The more Trump appears to be losing, the more he needs a victory to validate his presidency. Other than Putin, he’s running out of enemies he can beat. And of course, Putin seems to pop up everywhere. Ukraine: Putin! Syria: Putin! Iran: Putin! Even North Korea: we’re told that NK couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia. And Russia is NK’s principal oil supplier. For Trump, beating Putin means four victories for the price of one. Five, in fact: it would kill Russiagate stone dead.
    By the way, I was amused by the “hyper-diplomatic Russians”! Is the author perhaps thinking of the extremely polite way they asked the Ukrainians for permission before occupying part of their territory?

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    • Replies: @EugeneGur

    It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces.
     
    Sure thing, like Russia was scared stiff of the US-trained and equipped Georgian Army, which ran away at the first sight of the advancing Russian troops.

    Has it ever occurred to you that Putin as any Russian might not want to fight Ukraine more than absolutely necessary because lots of our relatives and friends would be caught in the crossfire? That he wants to minimize the loss of civilian life in Donbass? That won't happen, of course, because neither the US not that insane "government" they installed in Ukraine will let it happen. But it's worth a try. The US, on the contrary, is happy to promote chaos, death and destruction anywhere and would fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

    For Trump, beating Putin means four victories for the price of one. Five, in fact: it would kill Russiagate stone dead.
     
    One problem here - Trump needs to achieve that victory first. I doubt he can - Putin as an opponent is way out of his league.
    , @annamaria
    "...he’s terrified of the US arming the Ukrainian military and is trying to stave that off. It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces. ... Putin seems to pop up everywhere. Ukraine: Putin! Syria: Putin! Iran: Putin! Even North Korea: we’re told that NK couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia."

    Sir, are you aware that Syria is a sovereign state?
    Are you aware of Minsk II? Are you aware that the eastern Ukrainians' sin was to ask Kiev junta (illegally installed by the US State Dept. & CIA, with the involvement of the Kagans' clan) for federalization, similar to the federal government of the US? Instead, the puppets in Kiev have initiated a civil war.
    Have you heard that Russia has nuclear weapons and that Russians are good at defending their people and territory?
    Are you aware that Kiev government includes neo-Nazis (this fact was recognized by the US government, btw) and that arming the neo-Nazis and providing Ukraine with lethal weaponry is endangering the civilian populations of eastern Europe?
    And finally, are you aware that the US "couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia?" https://www.space.com/26551-us-military-launches-russian-rocket-engines.html
    It is obvious that you have no children in the US army. It is also quite possible that you are very unhappy with the approaching end of the mass slaughter in Syria, which was part of Clean Break (Oded Yinon plan for Greater Israel). No wonder that Israel continues bombing Syria, to compensate for the Israel-propped ISIS' defeat by the Syrian army.http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-08/israel-launches-air-strikes-syria-and-assads-waiting-game
    Here is the kind of Ukraine that the Kagans' clan has been longing for: https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-to-honor-nazi-collaborator-in-kiev/

  111. @Erebus

    We are not “losing” anything except money.
     
    That's the view through 10' of 1" pipe. Look with a little wider view, and you'll see that losing money is the very least of what America's lost, and continues to lose. It's already lost its republic, and is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account.
    Not that that matters to the people running it. They've pocketed the money America "lost" and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.

    is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account

    Looks like the view through a crystal ball rather than just “a little wider” view. My crystal ball is in the repair shop. I’m glad yours is in working order.

    stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.

    You seem to be predicting Black Swan events AND have it all figured out. So as not to appear vague or cryptic you may consider employing some evidence or relatable observations with what is basically 100 words of vague and cryptic doom-mongering.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Johnny Pobre would seem be a better handle for you. You are simply outclassed in this conversation not to mention just plain wrong but do please keep going, it's very entertaining.
  112. @yeah
    Your critique of my analysis is very well reasoned and convincing - and very correct in its own way. But please bear in mind that my opening and operative words were "Viewed through this optic". Indeed, if the world is viewed through neocon and even some very brutal realpolitik eyes, the US moves have had a sense of inevitability, like one chess move forcing another. I abhor brutal and neocon views, but that does not mean that their actions have not had success. We err if we write off our opponents as stupid or failures.

    Of course, if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct, especially post the soviet collapse. But in that case my little piece would have been unnecessary. I know I painted a repellent picture, but it was based on deducing actions from stated and implied policy. Many scholars have explained how this 'empire thing' is going to brutalize the world and derail the American Republic, and it seems to be coming to pass. I only analyzed, with a deep sense of despair and sorrow, why this juggernaut looks likely to "succeed". BTW, this exchange has really been stimulating and forced me to think of my own biases.

    You stimulate thought about what are the insurmountable differences. Obviously religious views can be vsry dangerous because faith based values and factual beliefs which are widely shared by millions who spend virtually no time talking to outsiders or thinking sceptically about such matters can maintain divisions between people for a very long time. The time it took for the secular Communist religion to lose its hold is not encouraging when one contemplates the untestability of jihadists’ faith or that of Christian anti-abortionists for that matter who might make their vote for the Presidency turn on just that issue.

    To a non American the quasi factual belisfs and assumptons about America’s actual and its proper place and role in the world which seem to underly American policy are little less of a worrying conundrum than those of the mass of Russians, and their elites, who support Putin or the Chinese who support the CCP in its aggression towards neighbours and ŕepression of free speech and the rule of law. That Americans have imagined that they have the military and economic strength, not to mention political stamina, to sort out the world’s wicked rulers by force since 9/11 has seemed bizarre to me since the Iraq War began as I said firmly at an international conference on failed states in 2003. All of which I suppose leads one to wonder how such high IQ educated people as the neo-cons were (and I daresay are) could so misconceive the world and what might work for creating a better world.

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  113. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Drawing direct parallels is always a very tricky thing--especially in the age of precision Guided Munitions, nuclear weapons and C4ISR. Operationally and tactically there are no parallels whatsoever between Athens, Sparta and US. None, zero. To start with, US is not a continental power and never was, unlike that was the case with Athens and Sparta. That alone precludes any legitimate parallels. Could some political and ideological parallels be drawn? Possibly, but even that should be done very cautiously.

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid as an explanatory model. It describes the behavior of states and state-groups in the context of power projection capabilities available at a given point in time. As to your ‘U.S is not a continental power’, one needs only observe that it is indeed a continental power, not just on the NA continent, which is obvious, but also elsewhere.

    Human behavior, especially group behavior, has been remarkably unchanging over time, only the methods have varied.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid
     
    No it is not, it is a fine example of an American doctrine-mongering (done mostly by people who never served a day in uniform not to talk about tactical or operational command) and US being precisely NON-continental power and having NO experience whatsoever (as in shared historical experience) with real continental warfare. NO, I underscore, no American officer or soldier ever fought in a direct defense of his homeland. Again, American strategic thought is surprisingly sterile for a nation which is involved in wars non-stop for the last 25+ years. Hence such simulacra (yet another "doctrinal meme" by US media "experts") as "hybrid warfare".

    the context of power projection capabilities
     
    Against third-rate militaries and third world states? Yes. This is the extent of US "power projection" capabilities and even here US doesn't do that well. The United States does not have resources and capabilities to "project power" against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War "shtick" of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly. But here we begin to drift into evolution of nuclearism and I am not interested in discussing it.
  114. EugeneGur says:
    @Michael Kenny
    The gentleman doth protest too much! If the author hadn’t laid it on so thick, he might just have convinced a few naive souls but the excessive tone screams panic. That fits with what Putin is up to at the moment. He’s putting forward a UN resolution calling for peacekeepers in the Donetsk/Lugansk “sausage”. As in the past, he’s probably just stalling and nobody seems to be taking it very seriously but the very fact that he putting forward the resolution tells us that he’s terrified of the US arming the Ukrainian military and is trying to stave that off. It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces.
    That’s not the only bad news for Putin. The more Trump appears to be losing, the more he needs a victory to validate his presidency. Other than Putin, he’s running out of enemies he can beat. And of course, Putin seems to pop up everywhere. Ukraine: Putin! Syria: Putin! Iran: Putin! Even North Korea: we’re told that NK couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia. And Russia is NK’s principal oil supplier. For Trump, beating Putin means four victories for the price of one. Five, in fact: it would kill Russiagate stone dead.
    By the way, I was amused by the “hyper-diplomatic Russians”! Is the author perhaps thinking of the extremely polite way they asked the Ukrainians for permission before occupying part of their territory?

    It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces.

    Sure thing, like Russia was scared stiff of the US-trained and equipped Georgian Army, which ran away at the first sight of the advancing Russian troops.

    Has it ever occurred to you that Putin as any Russian might not want to fight Ukraine more than absolutely necessary because lots of our relatives and friends would be caught in the crossfire? That he wants to minimize the loss of civilian life in Donbass? That won’t happen, of course, because neither the US not that insane “government” they installed in Ukraine will let it happen. But it’s worth a try. The US, on the contrary, is happy to promote chaos, death and destruction anywhere and would fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

    For Trump, beating Putin means four victories for the price of one. Five, in fact: it would kill Russiagate stone dead.

    One problem here – Trump needs to achieve that victory first. I doubt he can – Putin as an opponent is way out of his league.

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  115. @Andrei Martyanov

    We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.
     
    Sure, and I am an alien from planet Zoltar.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans
     
    But they do, whoever those "nobodies" are.

    General Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnamese defeated both the French in 1954 and then the Americans between 1963 and 1973. For a stretch of about 5 years the Vietnamese were inflicting roughly 8000 combat kills on US forces per year.

    Ronald Reagan pulled the Marine detachment out of Beirut in 1983 I believe after being hit hard by Hezbollah. One hit, 283 dead.

    For reference, the single most intense instance of combat American forces have experienced in war were the 6 hours of Omaha Beach. Roughly 1200 dead in 6 hours. Tarawa is comparable. And Americans won both battles.

    We lost the war in Vietnam. The popular conception is that Americans didn’t “lose” a single combat engagement in Vietnam.

    In Lebanon, the reality, in my opinion, is that Reagan cut-and-ran and “negotiated” with terrorists while Americans like to believe we never do that kind of thing.

    Aside from Vietnam and Lebanon, I cannot think of another instance where American troops have “lost.”

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)

    And I stand by my statement about Hezbollah and the North Koreans which you both misquoted and by doing so took out of context.

    Hezbollah may have “defeated” Israel in 2006 or at least taught the IDF some lessons and you and I may give Hezbollah a lot of credit, but most Americans aren’t even aware of these things. Hezbollah is just some rag-head name they hear once a month on the radio next to the term “terrorist organization.” “Hezbollah.” “Saddam Hussein.” It all sounds the same and carries approximately no weight.

    As far as North Korea goes. Just a distraction. A hurricane or fake chemical attack in Syria is all it takes to push Kim Jong-Un off the front page. North Korea bores people. He’s worse than a Kardashian trying to stay relevant.

    What is remarkable to me about “North Korea” is how similar the current situation is to how it was during the Obama years AND to the situation in 1950.

    Read anything by Bruce Cumings on Korea. Or this stuff:

    How History Explains the Korean Crisis
    August 28, 2017

    How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea
    The secret backstory to the U.S.-North Korea standoff.
    By Tim Shorrock / AlterNet September 5, 2017

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-sony-obama-seth-rogen-and-cia-secretly-planned-force-regime-change-north-korea

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/28/how-history-explains-the-korean-crisis/

    Again – all this stuff is enormously expensive but that is apparently the price that both Democrats and Republicans, both liberal and conservative, are willing to pay for being “the exceptional nation.”

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " We lost the war in Viet Nam"

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the "Modern" criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don't care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.
    , @peterAUS

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)
     
    A little pointer from years of experience, if you wish.

    That attitude is common with...........them..........


    That is how...their.....elites communicate, especially with somebody they see as lower on social ladder.

    Try, if you have time/inclination, to get a debate/argument between Western trained officer and their officer of similar rank. American or Brit, preferably vs...them.
    Or, try to get a ...conversation....between their senior and junior officer. One rank difference even. Or even the same rank, just one step difference in hierarchy.

    Watch, listen and see how it goes.
    Could be interesting.
  116. utu says:

    I would like to see an article about Syria. It might be the greatest success of Putin so far. The Evil Empire was stopped. The Yinon Plan for ME was interrupted. Syria did not become Iraq and Assad did not share the fate of Qaddafi. And still just two years ago it seemed inevitable.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.
     
    LOL. Learning actual military history and military science might help in understanding how. Bar some important, however limited in numbers, exceptions of Western military history and thought the way it was and is written it is not conducive to learning, as overwhelming empirical evidence of a Western elites' imbecility and military impotence testifies.
    , @peterAUS

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible.
     
    Simple.

    Air power.

    Two ways:
    preventing Western air power to support the opposition ("no-fly zones")
    supplying own air power to Assad's regime.

    That tipped the game.

    After that, attempts to (re)organize and improve Assad's regime military.
    , @Erebus

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.
     
    I think Syria's rescue was along the same lines as Crimea. In the first place, develop a fully defined objective. Take a careful look at the enemy's objectives and the resources, tactics, and talent he is bringing to bear, followed by intense calculation of the forces and resources needed to prevent his success, and ensure yours.
    Defeating ISIS was but a part of the objective. The Russian calculus came up with a strategy that would also ensure success for Assad's own endeavours to maintain Syria as an intact and a cohesive society. Many programs went operational across all aspects of the war. Diplomatic, intelligence, political, social, psy-ops, etc programmes were developed and tuned to enhance each other, including the intensive re-building of the Syrian military. We didn't see/hear much about that, but it was all going full bore under the carefully gauged, but much more visible air campaign. Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.
    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem. Yeah, after being shocked and awed for the last 3 decades, it's a little hard to believe that a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is. I too hope we don't have to wait for a textbook to read some insights into how it all happened.
  117. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Erebus

    Simple.
     
    In my view, too simple by (much more than) half. A school-yard view of the world.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.
     
    The struggle is not between the Empire and Russia. The Empire exists, and now holds sway over the developed, and much of the developing, world, including Russia. It's called "Globalization", and what we're seeing is an internal struggle. It is about whether the US alone will (continue to) rule the Empire, or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others). That so long as Russia and China stick together, they will prevail is almost a truism to Grand Strategy thinkers, so the primary struggle has shifted to become one internal to America.

    It has to decide whether to continue to vie for Sole Hegemony against all odds, or will it acquiesce to sit at the table of great powers and be satisfied with what it can negotiate? The people made their choice last Nov, but America's elites are still squabbling over it. The Afghanistans, the Syrias, the Iraqs are but visible tips of the same iceberg that has now surfaced in the US as Russian Consulate closings and Antifa. As it now sits, the odds favour the Sole Hegemonists internally, and America's utter demise internationally, but that may change if a sufficiently cathartic event occurs exogenously.

    The US does not control the Empire because it’s controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. They want a multi-polar world which conflicts with the One World Government project.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    { That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination.}

    A couple of things:

    How do you, quote, 'eliminate' a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?
    How do you, quote, 'eliminate' a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?

    US certainly can cause a lot of damage to both or either if it chose to, but not much of US would be left afterwards either.

    And when did US exactly target China for elimination? At this point US is almost entirely dependent on China for all sorts of light manufactured goods and China holds a lot of US debt. Last thing US would want is the elimination of China.

    Also, China is largely immune to 'regime change', because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.
    Bad man, Yeltsin: Russia on her knees.
    Good man, Putin: Russia bounces back with vengeance.
    Nobody knows what comes after Putin.

    , @annamaria
    'The US does not control the Empire because it’s controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. "

    1. Nice that Israel is rather close to other well-armed but morally superior states.
    2. There should have been going some interesting interaction among the Russian Jews in Russia and abroad. Perhaps, the intelligent Russain Jews in Israel and EU/US provide some needed education for the American ziocons and other Friends of Israel.

  118. @Anon
    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid as an explanatory model. It describes the behavior of states and state-groups in the context of power projection capabilities available at a given point in time. As to your 'U.S is not a continental power', one needs only observe that it is indeed a continental power, not just on the NA continent, which is obvious, but also elsewhere.

    Human behavior, especially group behavior, has been remarkably unchanging over time, only the methods have varied.

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid

    No it is not, it is a fine example of an American doctrine-mongering (done mostly by people who never served a day in uniform not to talk about tactical or operational command) and US being precisely NON-continental power and having NO experience whatsoever (as in shared historical experience) with real continental warfare. NO, I underscore, no American officer or soldier ever fought in a direct defense of his homeland. Again, American strategic thought is surprisingly sterile for a nation which is involved in wars non-stop for the last 25+ years. Hence such simulacra (yet another “doctrinal meme” by US media “experts”) as “hybrid warfare”.

    the context of power projection capabilities

    Against third-rate militaries and third world states? Yes. This is the extent of US “power projection” capabilities and even here US doesn’t do that well. The United States does not have resources and capabilities to “project power” against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War “shtick” of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly. But here we begin to drift into evolution of nuclearism and I am not interested in discussing it.

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    • Replies: @Johnny Rico

    "This is the extent of US “power projection” capabilities and even here US doesn’t do that well."
     
    Or - given actual history and present reality rather than wishful personal standards and expectations - one could make the argument that the United States does this better than any nation in history.

    The only first-rate militaries and first world states that the U.S. would go "against" are Russia and China. Let's not pretend like there is a whole basket of them to choose from.

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn't engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge - a notion that is thrown around a lot here - is absurd.

    Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal. NOT engaging first-rate militaries for the simple reason of "proving" something would seem to be a no-brainer.

    Contrary to what you would have us believe, American military leaders (AND even regular Americans who have never served a day in uniform) have read Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz and have studied and learned the lessons of Prussian and German operational art.

    This constant dick-size comparison between Russian and American military doctrine and capability is tiresome and pointless.

    The US did not defeat the Germans on the continent until after Russia did ALL the heavy lifting. They landed in Normandy three years after Barbarossa and a year after Kursk. True.

    But this misses a few things.

    The United States emerged from BOTH world wars practically unscathed and in fact, relative to the ENTIRE rest of the world, much stronger. It still holds this position.

    China is ascendant but they have problems. Like too many people and no oil. The oil they use is easily cut off by the US. This is the real reason the US and Israel manufacture conflict with Iran. Because if Iran is not 100% in the American camp and can count on a certain degree of good relations with China and Russia, it spoils total and complete American control of Persian-Gulf oil.

    It is arguable whether Russia is any stronger relatively than it was in 1939.

    I don't believe any nation has the power or control they would like to believe they do, especially the United States. But IF any of the three nations mentioned has power and control, it is the United States.

    , @Anon
    If it soothes you to make assertions using frequent capitalization, then fine. But it's pretty clear that you are overly keen on pushing some sort of triumphalist Russian meme. To have a "continental" presence/power in your book apparently, requires having a shared history.

    Which should beg the question, whether that includes the "shared" death of 30-40 million of her population in the wars waged by your exemplary nation? I think in your zeal you are missing much that has been common and not-in-common between global powers. Russia also limped back from Afghanistan, or did you forget? To say nothing of the Latvian War of Independence, Estonian War of Independence, Lithuanian-Soviet War, Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, Polish Civil War, Spanish Civil War, First Chechen War.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West? Wars are won over multiple pathways. Did you notice, using any method of your choice, a comparison of the per capita wealth and income growth since each war, fought by each power? Again, there are more ways than just guns to win a strategy. And being good at Chess apparently is not all that helpful. History, on the other hand, especially as written by the Greeks, has been useful.

    , @annamaria
    "The United States does not have resources and capabilities to “project power” against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War “shtick” of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly."

    This is a paradoxical statement considering the enormous amount of resources invested in the military capabilities of the US. On the other hand, the moral decay, at all levels, could be very expensive.
  119. Cyrano says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    There are problems of timing and of woolly definition about your "the West only agreed only agreed to ally themselvea with the USSR..... on their own".

    The West, including America, wasn't affected by any such calculus given that the Soviet Union had been in the war for 5 !/2 months when Pearl Harbour and Hitler's declaration of war against the US occurred.

    And Britain was made a de facto ally in June 1941 by Hitller's attack on the Soviet Union.

    Alright, so “choosing” USSR as an ally wasn’t a conscious decision by the west, it was just something that fell into their lap.

    I still think that the argument can be made that the west benefited more from having USSR as an ally in WW2 than did USSR having them as an allies.

    The only meaningful contribution that the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1944 was sending them thousands of tons of spam.

    I heard of a joke that when the Russian soldiers were opening the cans of spam donated to them by US, they were saying: “Oh, look, I am opening the 2nd front”, in reference to the promises about a second front by Roosevelt which didn’t come until it was irrelevant.

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    "the only meaningful contribution the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1844 was sending them thousands of tons of spam"

    Bullshit. My own dear deceased mother worked, in Detroit, in war production, assembling for shipment to the Russians "Bazookas", shoulder-held anti-tank rocket-launchers.
    She told me back in the fifties, about the Russian officers who, during the war, on occasion were escorted through the factory and tutored in the operation of these combat devises.

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.

    And regarding the "Spam" : So do you think that the Russians would have been better off without food?

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz msuician.

  120. @utu
    I would like to see an article about Syria. It might be the greatest success of Putin so far. The Evil Empire was stopped. The Yinon Plan for ME was interrupted. Syria did not become Iraq and Assad did not share the fate of Qaddafi. And still just two years ago it seemed inevitable.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

    LOL. Learning actual military history and military science might help in understanding how. Bar some important, however limited in numbers, exceptions of Western military history and thought the way it was and is written it is not conducive to learning, as overwhelming empirical evidence of a Western elites’ imbecility and military impotence testifies.

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  121. annamaria says:
    @KA
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump

    John Bolton wants to scrap the deal, provide supports to outsiders and insiders to foment troubles against the regime and ban all commercial diplomatic and educational legal contacts to the rest of the world .

    He wants to inform China and Russia only after the whole thing is over ( Iran has become I guess Yemen!)

    Why is he outside the high security prison or outside the administration?

    “Why is he outside the high-security prison or outside the administration?”
    Because Bolton, an Israel-firster, is well within the moral parameters of ziocons who have infiltrated the US government at all levels. All these Kristols, Kagans, Clintons, Feith, Judy Miller, and a legion of likes, should have been locked into high-security prisons for their crimes against humanity.
    As for Bush and Cheney, these two deserve capital punishment for high treason.

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  122. annamaria says:
    @Boris M Garsky
    These moves are the epitome of stupidity on the part of the Americans. Nothing to be gained and everything to be lost. America just doesn't get it; it is out of the equation. Our congress is bought and paid for by the neocons. The neocons are irrational, knee jerk reactionaries that are incapable of mastering the game of checkers, let alone chess. I agree in full with the article. I believe that Israel will cease to exist past 2020 and America will be in an extremely weakened position if Trump does not reel in the neocons. Trump is surrounded by Generals, not for the possibility of war, but to prevent a military takeover by the neocons. Generals are more reliable, more pragmatic than are civilians. Trump initially made several big mistakes: listening to rosenstein and kushner; firing Flynn, Comey and Banner. I would like to know who advised Trump on the consulate closing; I do not believe, as the press states, that it was his idea. I am still laughing at the monumental stupidity of such a move and the world still has not recovered its' breath from the shock. The repercussions, the precedent, is eye opening, to say the least.

    The US has been suffering from the incompetent opportunists for the sin of unaccountability on the top.

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  123. annamaria says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    “Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the world stage, but that is not going to make it.”
    Do you live in Ukraine? – For the US citizenry, “a little more” in this context sounds wrong.

    “But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play.”
    That was a “soft power?”–Stupidity would be the right word (ziocon-inspired stupidity, to be precise). The sanctions have pushed Russians to become more self-reliant, while punished the EU producers. At the same time, the US has carefully excluded the Russian-made gadgetry for the space program from the sanctions. You are funny.

    “The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one.”
    Only a ziocon of Kagans’ caliber would come with such a dramatic story. Sounds perfect for the low-IQ dedicated readers of the NYT and for the Washington Post editors who certainly could use some of your idioms: “The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further,” “nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates,” “one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one.” Congratulations. Eliot Higgins and Dmitri Alperovitch come to mind, upon reading your post.

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  124. annamaria says:
    @Simon in London
    "US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in."

    While Saker's Russian Triumphalism can get pretty wearing (the evil USA won in Ukraine - they launched a successful coup that took Putin completely by surprise AFAICT) I have to agree with this 100%. The complete collapse in Western seriousness and competence within a couple years of the Cold War's end is truly horrifying.

    “…the evil USA won in Ukraine – they launched a successful coup…” – Correct.
    The amazing achievements of the liberated Ukraine:
    “Thousands march to honor Nazi collaborator in Kiev, Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists encouraged locals to ‘destroy’ Jews and Poles in the 1940s:” https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-to-honor-nazi-collaborator-in-kiev
    “Neo-Nazis march in Lvov ‘in honor’ of Ukrainian Waffen SS division: “https://www.rt.com/news/155364-ukraine-nazi-division-march/
    “Ukraine nationalists march in Kiev to honour Bandera:” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30655184

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  125. @Johnny Rico
    General Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese defeated both the French in 1954 and then the Americans between 1963 and 1973. For a stretch of about 5 years the Vietnamese were inflicting roughly 8000 combat kills on US forces per year.

    Ronald Reagan pulled the Marine detachment out of Beirut in 1983 I believe after being hit hard by Hezbollah. One hit, 283 dead.

    For reference, the single most intense instance of combat American forces have experienced in war were the 6 hours of Omaha Beach. Roughly 1200 dead in 6 hours. Tarawa is comparable. And Americans won both battles.

    We lost the war in Vietnam. The popular conception is that Americans didn't "lose" a single combat engagement in Vietnam.

    In Lebanon, the reality, in my opinion, is that Reagan cut-and-ran and "negotiated" with terrorists while Americans like to believe we never do that kind of thing.

    Aside from Vietnam and Lebanon, I cannot think of another instance where American troops have "lost."

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)

    And I stand by my statement about Hezbollah and the North Koreans which you both misquoted and by doing so took out of context.

    Hezbollah may have "defeated" Israel in 2006 or at least taught the IDF some lessons and you and I may give Hezbollah a lot of credit, but most Americans aren't even aware of these things. Hezbollah is just some rag-head name they hear once a month on the radio next to the term "terrorist organization." "Hezbollah." "Saddam Hussein." It all sounds the same and carries approximately no weight.

    As far as North Korea goes. Just a distraction. A hurricane or fake chemical attack in Syria is all it takes to push Kim Jong-Un off the front page. North Korea bores people. He's worse than a Kardashian trying to stay relevant.

    What is remarkable to me about "North Korea" is how similar the current situation is to how it was during the Obama years AND to the situation in 1950.

    Read anything by Bruce Cumings on Korea. Or this stuff:

    How History Explains the Korean Crisis
    August 28, 2017

    How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea
    The secret backstory to the U.S.-North Korea standoff.
    By Tim Shorrock / AlterNet September 5, 2017

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-sony-obama-seth-rogen-and-cia-secretly-planned-force-regime-change-north-korea

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/28/how-history-explains-the-korean-crisis/

    Again - all this stuff is enormously expensive but that is apparently the price that both Democrats and Republicans, both liberal and conservative, are willing to pay for being "the exceptional nation."

    ” We lost the war in Viet Nam”

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the “Modern” criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don’t care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Hey jizzman, you are back? How did you get your nick name? Is it because you are master-debater? By your logic, Germany won over USSR in WW2, their casualty rate was 1/3 that of the USSR.

    So in order to win a war, you just have to rack up the number of casualties suffered by your enemy – right?

    That’s why US wants to stay a while longer in Afghanistan. As soon as they kill few more thousands Afghanis – they can declare victory. Thanks man, it’s all starting to make (no) sense to me now. You f**king moron.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million
     
    Are you for serious? How many of those 2.5 million Vietnamese were civilians? You have no idea what scale or proportion all this is. Or rather, you can not grasp it, since United States doesn't know what war is.

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.
     
    You certainly should inform US Army War College Combat Studies Institute, since they seem to be a bit "behind" on their studies. I am sure they will be amused to learn of this new metric.
    , @nickels
    Very non Clausewitzian.
    , @jacques sheete
    Psst, Jazz..."We," da pipple lost both world wars, too.

    The bankers, who supported the Reds, won big time at "our" expense.

    Let us not be suckered into any more wars to benefit bankers and other war profiteers.
  126. Avery says:
    @Anonymous
    The US does not control the Empire because it's controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That's why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. They want a multi-polar world which conflicts with the One World Government project.

    { That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination.}

    A couple of things:

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?
    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?

    US certainly can cause a lot of damage to both or either if it chose to, but not much of US would be left afterwards either.

    And when did US exactly target China for elimination? At this point US is almost entirely dependent on China for all sorts of light manufactured goods and China holds a lot of US debt. Last thing US would want is the elimination of China.

    Also, China is largely immune to ‘regime change’, because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.
    Bad man, Yeltsin: Russia on her knees.
    Good man, Putin: Russia bounces back with vengeance.
    Nobody knows what comes after Putin.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?
     
    Regime change.

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?
     
    Regime change

    Also, China is largely immune to ‘regime change’, because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.
     
    Disagree.
    Uyghurs?
    Tibet?
    Coastal vs rural.
    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.
     
    Disagree.
    Hub of several groups, with spikes, as President in the middle.
    He goes down, one of power groups (most likely "siloviki") will put another of their own again..
  127. annamaria says:
    @Johnny Rico

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Fantastically delusional.

    The American Empire has been expanding and gaining more control in certain respects and in certain geographical spheres for decades while it has been in slow decay and decline in other respects. China is really the ONLY competitor/rival that matters. China will soon displace the US from the top slot economically on paper. However, as far as global influence and power goes, it seems the United States is quite well positioned for a few more decades.

    While there is no reason for the United States not to be on friendly terms with Russia which is clearly just another viable form of democracy - the United States does not view itself as at war WITH Russia in Ukraine and Syria. That is just stupid to imply.

    We have not “lost” in Syria or Ukraine or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter. We have not “lost” anywhere since Vietnam. A lot of these situations aren’t even wars by any reasonable use of the term.

    They are enormously expensive. But that is another issue. We are not “winning” these “conflicts” or situations and they aren’t a good thing but that, again, is another issue. We are not “losing” anything except money.

    Afghanistan, in the long term, may be geographically extremely important strategically. The Deep State, in my opinion, understands this and has committed to simply “being in” Afghanistan for a very long time. We own it. Like we own Saudi Arabia and almost all of the Middle East with the exception of Iran.

    The cost of “being in” Afghanistan is fairly predictable. Roughly $100 Billion/year, 10,000 ground troops (only about 1000 of which ever leave heavily protected bases), and a couple dozen dead every year. Afghanistan is the perfect live-fire, hands-on training the Army and Marine generals pray for.

    Eisenhower used North Africa to blood the troops before Italy and France. The Deep State will use Afghanistan to train the enforcers of Empire.

    Hysterical individuals have been predicting war breaking out any minute with North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China for a long time.

    This is just a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome subtly affecting those who consider themselves on the Alt-Right/Libertarian/formerly-supportive-of-Trump political spectrum.

    Nobody gives a shit what Hezbollah, North Koreans, or blonde Russians on Facebook think or say.

    Get over it.

    The US Navy knows how to use radar. Recent accidents are no more indicative of overall American military capability than the Kursk submarine disaster is of Russian sailing ability.

    Pakistan? Are you serious?

    Chill out.

    It was not your intention, but you have created a perfect image of a colossus with legs of clay.
    The tremendous material, intellectual, and moral resources have been squandered, for nothing.

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  128. annamaria says:
    @Erebus

    We are not “losing” anything except money.
     
    That's the view through 10' of 1" pipe. Look with a little wider view, and you'll see that losing money is the very least of what America's lost, and continues to lose. It's already lost its republic, and is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account.
    Not that that matters to the people running it. They've pocketed the money America "lost" and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.

    “Not that that matters to the people running it. They’ve pocketed the money America “lost” and stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America.”
    Agree

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  129. annamaria says:
    @hunor
    temporary gain against very soft targets. your empire passed its best days , after the second world war. /" the greatest generation "/. the young spirits of today can not possibly keep what they ancestors handed down to them. empires come and go. simple .

    “…the young spirits of today can not possibly keep what they ancestors handed down to them…”
    And what they were handed down? – seven wars, unaffordable colleges, ziocon-infested government, “deep state” deciders, and marasmic MSM. Not much.

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  130. annamaria says:
    @Erebus

    Russia has a long way to go.
     
    Indeed it does. No argument.
    Still, while a rising tide may eventually lift all boats, it lifts those closest to the tidal front first. That front won't ever reach some of them, especially in a country the size of Russia, just as it won't in China.
    It's like that everywhere, in my experience. Russia's big problem is its constitutionally defined Central Bank. They're gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer.

    “…they’re gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer.”
    The homeostasis takes time. Sudden changes could kill.

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  131. @Andrei Martyanov

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid
     
    No it is not, it is a fine example of an American doctrine-mongering (done mostly by people who never served a day in uniform not to talk about tactical or operational command) and US being precisely NON-continental power and having NO experience whatsoever (as in shared historical experience) with real continental warfare. NO, I underscore, no American officer or soldier ever fought in a direct defense of his homeland. Again, American strategic thought is surprisingly sterile for a nation which is involved in wars non-stop for the last 25+ years. Hence such simulacra (yet another "doctrinal meme" by US media "experts") as "hybrid warfare".

    the context of power projection capabilities
     
    Against third-rate militaries and third world states? Yes. This is the extent of US "power projection" capabilities and even here US doesn't do that well. The United States does not have resources and capabilities to "project power" against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War "shtick" of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly. But here we begin to drift into evolution of nuclearism and I am not interested in discussing it.

    “This is the extent of US “power projection” capabilities and even here US doesn’t do that well.”

    Or – given actual history and present reality rather than wishful personal standards and expectations – one could make the argument that the United States does this better than any nation in history.

    The only first-rate militaries and first world states that the U.S. would go “against” are Russia and China. Let’s not pretend like there is a whole basket of them to choose from.

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn’t engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge – a notion that is thrown around a lot here – is absurd.

    Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal. NOT engaging first-rate militaries for the simple reason of “proving” something would seem to be a no-brainer.

    Contrary to what you would have us believe, American military leaders (AND even regular Americans who have never served a day in uniform) have read Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz and have studied and learned the lessons of Prussian and German operational art.

    This constant dick-size comparison between Russian and American military doctrine and capability is tiresome and pointless.

    The US did not defeat the Germans on the continent until after Russia did ALL the heavy lifting. They landed in Normandy three years after Barbarossa and a year after Kursk. True.

    But this misses a few things.

    The United States emerged from BOTH world wars practically unscathed and in fact, relative to the ENTIRE rest of the world, much stronger. It still holds this position.

    China is ascendant but they have problems. Like too many people and no oil. The oil they use is easily cut off by the US. This is the real reason the US and Israel manufacture conflict with Iran. Because if Iran is not 100% in the American camp and can count on a certain degree of good relations with China and Russia, it spoils total and complete American control of Persian-Gulf oil.

    It is arguable whether Russia is any stronger relatively than it was in 1939.

    I don’t believe any nation has the power or control they would like to believe they do, especially the United States. But IF any of the three nations mentioned has power and control, it is the United States.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn’t engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge – a notion that is thrown around a lot here – is absurd.Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal.
     
    Don't you think that you just killed your own argument? Isn't it the point of deterrence--to show your enemy that engaging you means suicide? Man, talk about Sun Tzu being timeless;-)
  132. Cyrano says:
    @Authenticjazzman
    " We lost the war in Viet Nam"

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the "Modern" criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don't care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.

    Hey jizzman, you are back? How did you get your nick name? Is it because you are master-debater? By your logic, Germany won over USSR in WW2, their casualty rate was 1/3 that of the USSR.

    So in order to win a war, you just have to rack up the number of casualties suffered by your enemy – right?

    That’s why US wants to stay a while longer in Afghanistan. As soon as they kill few more thousands Afghanis – they can declare victory. Thanks man, it’s all starting to make (no) sense to me now. You f**king moron.

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  133. annamaria says:
    @Erebus

    Simple.
     
    In my view, too simple by (much more than) half. A school-yard view of the world.

    The struggle between The Empire and Russia is about control of certain land/area.
     
    The struggle is not between the Empire and Russia. The Empire exists, and now holds sway over the developed, and much of the developing, world, including Russia. It's called "Globalization", and what we're seeing is an internal struggle. It is about whether the US alone will (continue to) rule the Empire, or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others). That so long as Russia and China stick together, they will prevail is almost a truism to Grand Strategy thinkers, so the primary struggle has shifted to become one internal to America.

    It has to decide whether to continue to vie for Sole Hegemony against all odds, or will it acquiesce to sit at the table of great powers and be satisfied with what it can negotiate? The people made their choice last Nov, but America's elites are still squabbling over it. The Afghanistans, the Syrias, the Iraqs are but visible tips of the same iceberg that has now surfaced in the US as Russian Consulate closings and Antifa. As it now sits, the odds favour the Sole Hegemonists internally, and America's utter demise internationally, but that may change if a sufficiently cathartic event occurs exogenously.

    “…or whether it will be forced to share power with Russia and China (and some others)…

    This is an impossible situation for the US: The Empire of Federal Reserve can only survive on looting and stealing, including printing the world-dominating currency at will. The concept of international law has become foreign for the US. Consenting to the international rules would deprive the “deciders” of the money (loot) & power. The US is approaching something akin to a revolutionary state of affairs, which is, thankfully, still in an anemic phase domestically. The looted $$$trillions (looted by MIC & banksters) are too sweet a reality to forfeit it. The parasites will lead the US to a demise. We can only pray for a more or less soft landing. The greatest danger is the endemic incompetence on the top of the US government.

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  134. peterAUS says:
    @utu
    I would like to see an article about Syria. It might be the greatest success of Putin so far. The Evil Empire was stopped. The Yinon Plan for ME was interrupted. Syria did not become Iraq and Assad did not share the fate of Qaddafi. And still just two years ago it seemed inevitable.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible.

    Simple.

    Air power.

    Two ways:
    preventing Western air power to support the opposition (“no-fly zones”)
    supplying own air power to Assad’s regime.

    That tipped the game.

    After that, attempts to (re)organize and improve Assad’s regime military.

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    • Replies: @utu
    You are explaining the obvious tactical staff. We all understand that. My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts. Yet they did not do it. There were some attempts but nothing major.
  135. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid
     
    No it is not, it is a fine example of an American doctrine-mongering (done mostly by people who never served a day in uniform not to talk about tactical or operational command) and US being precisely NON-continental power and having NO experience whatsoever (as in shared historical experience) with real continental warfare. NO, I underscore, no American officer or soldier ever fought in a direct defense of his homeland. Again, American strategic thought is surprisingly sterile for a nation which is involved in wars non-stop for the last 25+ years. Hence such simulacra (yet another "doctrinal meme" by US media "experts") as "hybrid warfare".

    the context of power projection capabilities
     
    Against third-rate militaries and third world states? Yes. This is the extent of US "power projection" capabilities and even here US doesn't do that well. The United States does not have resources and capabilities to "project power" against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War "shtick" of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly. But here we begin to drift into evolution of nuclearism and I am not interested in discussing it.

    If it soothes you to make assertions using frequent capitalization, then fine. But it’s pretty clear that you are overly keen on pushing some sort of triumphalist Russian meme. To have a “continental” presence/power in your book apparently, requires having a shared history.

    Which should beg the question, whether that includes the “shared” death of 30-40 million of her population in the wars waged by your exemplary nation? I think in your zeal you are missing much that has been common and not-in-common between global powers. Russia also limped back from Afghanistan, or did you forget? To say nothing of the Latvian War of Independence, Estonian War of Independence, Lithuanian-Soviet War, Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, Polish Civil War, Spanish Civil War, First Chechen War.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West? Wars are won over multiple pathways. Did you notice, using any method of your choice, a comparison of the per capita wealth and income growth since each war, fought by each power? Again, there are more ways than just guns to win a strategy. And being good at Chess apparently is not all that helpful. History, on the other hand, especially as written by the Greeks, has been useful.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?
     
    They'll never admit that.

    Would require taking a long hard look at own history, society...all elements of society.

    Their elites can't do that.

    Besides, no need to push for it.
    It could destabilize Russian Federation too fast.
    Nobody wants that.

    Slowly........one piece at the time.

    Or, who knows......current cleptocracy could be replaced with something really good.
    And that could, then, push back into Western own, current, bulls*&t.

    "spes ultima perit"
    , @Cyrano

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?

     

    Those are just lackeys jostling for imperial favors. Like the central Europeans who just recently switched sides and will find out very soon what exactly “western values” really means – Islamization of their countries in order to please the western phonies.

    Maybe they are also want to get under the famous US “nuclear umbrella”, although if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.
  136. annamaria says:
    @Michael Kenny
    The gentleman doth protest too much! If the author hadn’t laid it on so thick, he might just have convinced a few naive souls but the excessive tone screams panic. That fits with what Putin is up to at the moment. He’s putting forward a UN resolution calling for peacekeepers in the Donetsk/Lugansk “sausage”. As in the past, he’s probably just stalling and nobody seems to be taking it very seriously but the very fact that he putting forward the resolution tells us that he’s terrified of the US arming the Ukrainian military and is trying to stave that off. It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces.
    That’s not the only bad news for Putin. The more Trump appears to be losing, the more he needs a victory to validate his presidency. Other than Putin, he’s running out of enemies he can beat. And of course, Putin seems to pop up everywhere. Ukraine: Putin! Syria: Putin! Iran: Putin! Even North Korea: we’re told that NK couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia. And Russia is NK’s principal oil supplier. For Trump, beating Putin means four victories for the price of one. Five, in fact: it would kill Russiagate stone dead.
    By the way, I was amused by the “hyper-diplomatic Russians”! Is the author perhaps thinking of the extremely polite way they asked the Ukrainians for permission before occupying part of their territory?

    “…he’s terrified of the US arming the Ukrainian military and is trying to stave that off. It also tells us that he’s scared silly of properly equipped and trained Ukrainian forces. … Putin seems to pop up everywhere. Ukraine: Putin! Syria: Putin! Iran: Putin! Even North Korea: we’re told that NK couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia.”

    Sir, are you aware that Syria is a sovereign state?
    Are you aware of Minsk II? Are you aware that the eastern Ukrainians’ sin was to ask Kiev junta (illegally installed by the US State Dept. & CIA, with the involvement of the Kagans’ clan) for federalization, similar to the federal government of the US? Instead, the puppets in Kiev have initiated a civil war.
    Have you heard that Russia has nuclear weapons and that Russians are good at defending their people and territory?
    Are you aware that Kiev government includes neo-Nazis (this fact was recognized by the US government, btw) and that arming the neo-Nazis and providing Ukraine with lethal weaponry is endangering the civilian populations of eastern Europe?
    And finally, are you aware that the US “couldn’t launch a single missile without motors supplied from or via Russia?” https://www.space.com/26551-us-military-launches-russian-rocket-engines.html
    It is obvious that you have no children in the US army. It is also quite possible that you are very unhappy with the approaching end of the mass slaughter in Syria, which was part of Clean Break (Oded Yinon plan for Greater Israel). No wonder that Israel continues bombing Syria, to compensate for the Israel-propped ISIS’ defeat by the Syrian army.http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-08/israel-launches-air-strikes-syria-and-assads-waiting-game
    Here is the kind of Ukraine that the Kagans’ clan has been longing for: https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-march-to-honor-nazi-collaborator-in-kiev/

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  137. @Cyrano
    Alright, so “choosing” USSR as an ally wasn’t a conscious decision by the west, it was just something that fell into their lap.

    I still think that the argument can be made that the west benefited more from having USSR as an ally in WW2 than did USSR having them as an allies.

    The only meaningful contribution that the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1944 was sending them thousands of tons of spam.

    I heard of a joke that when the Russian soldiers were opening the cans of spam donated to them by US, they were saying: “Oh, look, I am opening the 2nd front”, in reference to the promises about a second front by Roosevelt which didn’t come until it was irrelevant.

    “the only meaningful contribution the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1844 was sending them thousands of tons of spam”

    Bullshit. My own dear deceased mother worked, in Detroit, in war production, assembling for shipment to the Russians “Bazookas”, shoulder-held anti-tank rocket-launchers.
    She told me back in the fifties, about the Russian officers who, during the war, on occasion were escorted through the factory and tutored in the operation of these combat devises.

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.

    And regarding the “Spam” : So do you think that the Russians would have been better off without food?

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz msuician.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.
     
    While I disagree with Cyrano's estimates of Lend-Lease impact, which was in some areas substantial, your statement is no better than Cyrano's since suffers from a complete arrogance and ignorance, because should you have known better, you would have known that in terms of military production USSR and US are roughly matched (USA sure as hell produced more strategic bomber aircraft) in WWII. Moreover, Soviet Union outproduced Nazi Germany in every crucial military category not only by numbers but often fielding either comparable or much better technology. But you also should know that main destination for Lend-Lease was Great Britain, not USSR. UK got three times more of that.
  138. annamaria says:
    @Anonymous
    The US does not control the Empire because it's controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That's why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. They want a multi-polar world which conflicts with the One World Government project.

    ‘The US does not control the Empire because it’s controlled itself by Tel Aviv and the Globalists. That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination. ”

    1. Nice that Israel is rather close to other well-armed but morally superior states.
    2. There should have been going some interesting interaction among the Russian Jews in Russia and abroad. Perhaps, the intelligent Russain Jews in Israel and EU/US provide some needed education for the American ziocons and other Friends of Israel.

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  139. annamaria says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The Thucydides Trap is perfectly valid
     
    No it is not, it is a fine example of an American doctrine-mongering (done mostly by people who never served a day in uniform not to talk about tactical or operational command) and US being precisely NON-continental power and having NO experience whatsoever (as in shared historical experience) with real continental warfare. NO, I underscore, no American officer or soldier ever fought in a direct defense of his homeland. Again, American strategic thought is surprisingly sterile for a nation which is involved in wars non-stop for the last 25+ years. Hence such simulacra (yet another "doctrinal meme" by US media "experts") as "hybrid warfare".

    the context of power projection capabilities
     
    Against third-rate militaries and third world states? Yes. This is the extent of US "power projection" capabilities and even here US doesn't do that well. The United States does not have resources and capabilities to "project power" against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War "shtick" of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly. But here we begin to drift into evolution of nuclearism and I am not interested in discussing it.

    “The United States does not have resources and capabilities to “project power” against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War “shtick” of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly.”

    This is a paradoxical statement considering the enormous amount of resources invested in the military capabilities of the US. On the other hand, the moral decay, at all levels, could be very expensive.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    This is a paradoxical statement considering the enormous amount of resources invested in the military capabilities of the US.
     
    Actually, it is not paradoxical and, while I usually try to avoid it, I have to quote myself:

    Arthur J. Alexander in his “Decision Making In Soviet Weapons Procurement“ came up with quantification of what he called “classes of forces” (or constants) influencing aggregate defense expenditures for USSR. This quantification remains virtually unchanged for modern day Russia. To quote Alexander, two of the most “heavy” constants he mentions are: “History, culture and values–40-50 percent. International environment, threat and internal capabilities–10-30 percent”. Taken by their maxima, 50+30=80%, we get the picture. 80% of Russia’s military expenditures are dictated by real military threats, which were, time after time over centuries, realized for Russia and resulted in the destruction and human losses on a scale incomprehensible for people who write US military doctrines and national security strategies. This is especially true for Neocon “strategists” who have a very vague understanding of the nature and application of military power—expeditionary warfare simply does not provide a proper angle on the issues of actual defense. ....In layman’s lingo, the United States lacks geographic, historic, cultural, economic and technological pressures to develop and have a coherent defensive military doctrine and weapons which would help to implement it.
     
    So, there is nothing paradoxical in here. System in US is rigged for this type of warfare--it just cannot do, with some hypothetical exception of US Navy--hypothetical being PLAN deciding to mount amphibious operation against US Pacific Coast with 5 000 000 strong force--anything else. Add here sheer incompetence of contemporary elites in warfare and voila'.
  140. peterAUS says:
    @Avery
    { That’s why Russia and China are targeted for elimination.}

    A couple of things:

    How do you, quote, 'eliminate' a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?
    How do you, quote, 'eliminate' a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?

    US certainly can cause a lot of damage to both or either if it chose to, but not much of US would be left afterwards either.

    And when did US exactly target China for elimination? At this point US is almost entirely dependent on China for all sorts of light manufactured goods and China holds a lot of US debt. Last thing US would want is the elimination of China.

    Also, China is largely immune to 'regime change', because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.
    Bad man, Yeltsin: Russia on her knees.
    Good man, Putin: Russia bounces back with vengeance.
    Nobody knows what comes after Putin.

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?

    Regime change.

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?

    Regime change

    Also, China is largely immune to ‘regime change’, because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.

    Disagree.
    Uyghurs?
    Tibet?
    Coastal vs rural.
    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.

    Disagree.
    Hub of several groups, with spikes, as President in the middle.
    He goes down, one of power groups (most likely “siloviki”) will put another of their own again..

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Regime change is impossible in China. None of the minority groups you mentioned have any particular strength, and both military and information control is highly advanced. Its mind-boggling to imagine a serious scenario that would allow it anymore. Xi Jinping has prevailed now and there's no meaningful opposition left - even the other power blocs that once existed are so intrinsically tied to the Communist Party that they couldn't exist without it.


    Uyghurs?
     
    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.


    Tibet?
     
    Not even above.


    Coastal vs rural.

     

    Power is one-sided here: rural areas can't survive without urban support. They're aware.


    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

     

    Wasn't enough even at its worst under Jiang Zemin where actual murders were happening; not enough now with Xin Jinping is as popular as he is and at least putting on a good image.
  141. annamaria says:

    Laughing on the Way to Armageddon — Paul Craig Roberts

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/09/08/laughing-way-armageddon-paul-craig-roberts/

    “The important question is who is it that is trying so hard to convince Americans that Russian influence prevails over us? Do the idiots pushing this line realize how impotent this makes an alleged “superpower” look. How can we be the hegemonic power that the Zionist neocons say we are when Russia can decide who is the president of the United States?
    The US has a massive spy state that even intercepts the private cell phone conversations of the Chancellor of Germany, but his massive spy organization is unable to produce one scrap of evidence that the Russians conspired with Trump to steal the presidential election from Hillary. When will the imbeciles realize that when they make charges for which no evidence can be produced they make the United States look silly, foolish, incompetent, stupid beyond all belief?”
    A cry in the wilderness.

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  142. @Authenticjazzman
    " We lost the war in Viet Nam"

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the "Modern" criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don't care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    Are you for serious? How many of those 2.5 million Vietnamese were civilians? You have no idea what scale or proportion all this is. Or rather, you can not grasp it, since United States doesn’t know what war is.

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    You certainly should inform US Army War College Combat Studies Institute, since they seem to be a bit “behind” on their studies. I am sure they will be amused to learn of this new metric.

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    "you have no idea what scale or proportion all this is".

    Listen friend I have been "Mensa" qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.

    You are talking down to me, so we can just agree to disagree.

    " I am sure they will be amused to learn of this metric".

    And you are missing my point entirely, as I am not stating that this IS the "New metric" rather I am asking the question as to whether it is.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro Jazz musician.
  143. @Authenticjazzman
    "the only meaningful contribution the west (US) did to USSR war effort between 1941-1844 was sending them thousands of tons of spam"

    Bullshit. My own dear deceased mother worked, in Detroit, in war production, assembling for shipment to the Russians "Bazookas", shoulder-held anti-tank rocket-launchers.
    She told me back in the fifties, about the Russian officers who, during the war, on occasion were escorted through the factory and tutored in the operation of these combat devises.

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.

    And regarding the "Spam" : So do you think that the Russians would have been better off without food?

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz msuician.

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.

    While I disagree with Cyrano’s estimates of Lend-Lease impact, which was in some areas substantial, your statement is no better than Cyrano’s since suffers from a complete arrogance and ignorance, because should you have known better, you would have known that in terms of military production USSR and US are roughly matched (USA sure as hell produced more strategic bomber aircraft) in WWII. Moreover, Soviet Union outproduced Nazi Germany in every crucial military category not only by numbers but often fielding either comparable or much better technology. But you also should know that main destination for Lend-Lease was Great Britain, not USSR. UK got three times more of that.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Speaking of volumes of war materiel, what's your view of the Persian Corridor and the supplies funneled to Uncle Joe through that asset?
  144. @annamaria
    "The United States does not have resources and capabilities to “project power” against China or Russia and even US favorite post-First Gulf War “shtick” of PGMs is very stale today, to put it mildly."

    This is a paradoxical statement considering the enormous amount of resources invested in the military capabilities of the US. On the other hand, the moral decay, at all levels, could be very expensive.

    This is a paradoxical statement considering the enormous amount of resources invested in the military capabilities of the US.

    Actually, it is not paradoxical and, while I usually try to avoid it, I have to quote myself:

    Arthur J. Alexander in his “Decision Making In Soviet Weapons Procurement“ came up with quantification of what he called “classes of forces” (or constants) influencing aggregate defense expenditures for USSR. This quantification remains virtually unchanged for modern day Russia. To quote Alexander, two of the most “heavy” constants he mentions are: “History, culture and values–40-50 percent. International environment, threat and internal capabilities–10-30 percent”. Taken by their maxima, 50+30=80%, we get the picture. 80% of Russia’s military expenditures are dictated by real military threats, which were, time after time over centuries, realized for Russia and resulted in the destruction and human losses on a scale incomprehensible for people who write US military doctrines and national security strategies. This is especially true for Neocon “strategists” who have a very vague understanding of the nature and application of military power—expeditionary warfare simply does not provide a proper angle on the issues of actual defense. ….In layman’s lingo, the United States lacks geographic, historic, cultural, economic and technological pressures to develop and have a coherent defensive military doctrine and weapons which would help to implement it.

    So, there is nothing paradoxical in here. System in US is rigged for this type of warfare–it just cannot do, with some hypothetical exception of US Navy–hypothetical being PLAN deciding to mount amphibious operation against US Pacific Coast with 5 000 000 strong force–anything else. Add here sheer incompetence of contemporary elites in warfare and voila’.

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  145. peterAUS says:
    @Johnny Rico
    General Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese defeated both the French in 1954 and then the Americans between 1963 and 1973. For a stretch of about 5 years the Vietnamese were inflicting roughly 8000 combat kills on US forces per year.

    Ronald Reagan pulled the Marine detachment out of Beirut in 1983 I believe after being hit hard by Hezbollah. One hit, 283 dead.

    For reference, the single most intense instance of combat American forces have experienced in war were the 6 hours of Omaha Beach. Roughly 1200 dead in 6 hours. Tarawa is comparable. And Americans won both battles.

    We lost the war in Vietnam. The popular conception is that Americans didn't "lose" a single combat engagement in Vietnam.

    In Lebanon, the reality, in my opinion, is that Reagan cut-and-ran and "negotiated" with terrorists while Americans like to believe we never do that kind of thing.

    Aside from Vietnam and Lebanon, I cannot think of another instance where American troops have "lost."

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)

    And I stand by my statement about Hezbollah and the North Koreans which you both misquoted and by doing so took out of context.

    Hezbollah may have "defeated" Israel in 2006 or at least taught the IDF some lessons and you and I may give Hezbollah a lot of credit, but most Americans aren't even aware of these things. Hezbollah is just some rag-head name they hear once a month on the radio next to the term "terrorist organization." "Hezbollah." "Saddam Hussein." It all sounds the same and carries approximately no weight.

    As far as North Korea goes. Just a distraction. A hurricane or fake chemical attack in Syria is all it takes to push Kim Jong-Un off the front page. North Korea bores people. He's worse than a Kardashian trying to stay relevant.

    What is remarkable to me about "North Korea" is how similar the current situation is to how it was during the Obama years AND to the situation in 1950.

    Read anything by Bruce Cumings on Korea. Or this stuff:

    How History Explains the Korean Crisis
    August 28, 2017

    How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea
    The secret backstory to the U.S.-North Korea standoff.
    By Tim Shorrock / AlterNet September 5, 2017

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-sony-obama-seth-rogen-and-cia-secretly-planned-force-regime-change-north-korea

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/08/28/how-history-explains-the-korean-crisis/

    Again - all this stuff is enormously expensive but that is apparently the price that both Democrats and Republicans, both liberal and conservative, are willing to pay for being "the exceptional nation."

    Maybe you know of one and have more than snarky replies :)

    A little pointer from years of experience, if you wish.

    That attitude is common with………..them……….

    That is how…their…..elites communicate, especially with somebody they see as lower on social ladder.

    Try, if you have time/inclination, to get a debate/argument between Western trained officer and their officer of similar rank. American or Brit, preferably vs…them.
    Or, try to get a …conversation….between their senior and junior officer. One rank difference even. Or even the same rank, just one step difference in hierarchy.

    Watch, listen and see how it goes.
    Could be interesting.

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  146. @peterAUS

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of China with 1+ billion people which has enough thermonuclear warheads and ICBMs to cause major damage to US?
     
    Regime change.

    How do you, quote, ‘eliminate’ a country the size of Russia that has more and newer nuke warheads than US, and has more modern ICBMs?
     
    Regime change

    Also, China is largely immune to ‘regime change’, because their leadership structure is, in computer parlance, highly fault-tolerant. : their current standard-issue president can die of heart attack tomorrow, and another standard-issue Party-man will take his place. Nothing will change.
     
    Disagree.
    Uyghurs?
    Tibet?
    Coastal vs rural.
    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

    Russia, on the other hand, has a fragile leadership structure entirely dependent on one man.
     
    Disagree.
    Hub of several groups, with spikes, as President in the middle.
    He goes down, one of power groups (most likely "siloviki") will put another of their own again..

    Regime change is impossible in China. None of the minority groups you mentioned have any particular strength, and both military and information control is highly advanced. Its mind-boggling to imagine a serious scenario that would allow it anymore. Xi Jinping has prevailed now and there’s no meaningful opposition left – even the other power blocs that once existed are so intrinsically tied to the Communist Party that they couldn’t exist without it.

    Uyghurs?

    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.

    Tibet?

    Not even above.

    Coastal vs rural.

    Power is one-sided here: rural areas can’t survive without urban support. They’re aware.

    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

    Wasn’t enough even at its worst under Jiang Zemin where actual murders were happening; not enough now with Xin Jinping is as popular as he is and at least putting on a good image.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    China regime change thing.

    Uyghurs.
    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.
     
    Would you, please, expand on this?
    Like...how exactly would Chinese military deal with that, should it happen?
    Just curious.

    Coastal vs rural.
    They’re aware.
     
    Would you please expand on this. Like, how are rural areas aware they can't survive without urban support. I mean, it would appear it's actually other way around. Like, you just block all the roads to a big city and watch city starve.
    And if you want to unblock roads and bring in food..I don't know...looks to me a bit harder.
    What's your thought about it?

    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.
     
    You say it can't happen.
    Don't know really.
    I mean, all these recent things in Europe and US are about it.
    But, can't happen in China.
    Well..maybe, but I don't get why.
    What's China's obscenely rich 1 % secret?
  147. peterAUS says:
    @Anon
    If it soothes you to make assertions using frequent capitalization, then fine. But it's pretty clear that you are overly keen on pushing some sort of triumphalist Russian meme. To have a "continental" presence/power in your book apparently, requires having a shared history.

    Which should beg the question, whether that includes the "shared" death of 30-40 million of her population in the wars waged by your exemplary nation? I think in your zeal you are missing much that has been common and not-in-common between global powers. Russia also limped back from Afghanistan, or did you forget? To say nothing of the Latvian War of Independence, Estonian War of Independence, Lithuanian-Soviet War, Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, Polish Civil War, Spanish Civil War, First Chechen War.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West? Wars are won over multiple pathways. Did you notice, using any method of your choice, a comparison of the per capita wealth and income growth since each war, fought by each power? Again, there are more ways than just guns to win a strategy. And being good at Chess apparently is not all that helpful. History, on the other hand, especially as written by the Greeks, has been useful.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?

    They’ll never admit that.

    Would require taking a long hard look at own history, society…all elements of society.

    Their elites can’t do that.

    Besides, no need to push for it.
    It could destabilize Russian Federation too fast.
    Nobody wants that.

    Slowly……..one piece at the time.

    Or, who knows……current cleptocracy could be replaced with something really good.
    And that could, then, push back into Western own, current, bulls*&t.

    “spes ultima perit”

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  148. nickels says:
    @Authenticjazzman
    " We lost the war in Viet Nam"

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the "Modern" criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don't care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.

    Very non Clausewitzian.

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    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " Very non Clausewitzian"

    So what, he was not God, and I form my own observations and conclusions, regardless of what historical "Authorities" have stated.

    Most historical "Wise men" were in fact consumate BS Artists, who only held their positions of privilege because their mentors : Royality, did not understand what the hell they were talking about, and assumed therefore that they must be much wiser than themselves.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US army Vet, and pro Jazz msuician.
  149. Cyrano says:
    @Anon
    If it soothes you to make assertions using frequent capitalization, then fine. But it's pretty clear that you are overly keen on pushing some sort of triumphalist Russian meme. To have a "continental" presence/power in your book apparently, requires having a shared history.

    Which should beg the question, whether that includes the "shared" death of 30-40 million of her population in the wars waged by your exemplary nation? I think in your zeal you are missing much that has been common and not-in-common between global powers. Russia also limped back from Afghanistan, or did you forget? To say nothing of the Latvian War of Independence, Estonian War of Independence, Lithuanian-Soviet War, Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, Polish Civil War, Spanish Civil War, First Chechen War.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West? Wars are won over multiple pathways. Did you notice, using any method of your choice, a comparison of the per capita wealth and income growth since each war, fought by each power? Again, there are more ways than just guns to win a strategy. And being good at Chess apparently is not all that helpful. History, on the other hand, especially as written by the Greeks, has been useful.

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?

    Those are just lackeys jostling for imperial favors. Like the central Europeans who just recently switched sides and will find out very soon what exactly “western values” really means – Islamization of their countries in order to please the western phonies.

    Maybe they are also want to get under the famous US “nuclear umbrella”, although if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.
     
    Worse than that. Nuclear ICBM warhead can be set to detonate at ground level in case the rocket gets hit. M.A.D. guaranteed regardless of the anti-missile efficiency. As a matter of fact, a 100% efficiency rate would quckly drop to zero when the nukes start detonating nearby.
    , @annamaria
    They are wishing to join NATO and the Euro but on their own terms. Anyway, they are going to learn some hard lessons: "...the European Commission began a lawsuit against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in refugees, allowing the EU top court to impose fines." https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/06/hungary-and-poland-no-refugees-no-terror
    "The eastern allies Poland and Hungary have vowed not to budge. Their staunch opposition to accepting asylum-seekers, and criticism of Brussels for trying to enforce the scheme, are popular among their nationalist-minded, eurosceptic voters. Speaking in Hungary’s parliament earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said: “We will not give in to blackmail from Brussels and we reject the mandatory relocation quota.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-eu-infringements/eu-to-open-case-against-poland-hungary-czech-republic-over-migration-idUSKBN1931O4
  150. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @TheJester
    The End of Bretton-Woods I and II ...

    Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

    Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation.

    The death of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will have the effect of a high tariff wall, behind which the US can rebuild its industrial base.

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    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    Yes, that is an intellectual possibility. But would the U.S. under such circumstances have the smarts and the leadership to see the opportunity being presented, and to make_it_so?

    Considering that we would still be graced with a tier of raving sociopaths in positions of power in the Holy, Holy Capitalist Economic System, and similarly in the Holy, Holy Financial System, I must say that, barring the empowerment of a strong national leader, backed up by a truly determined citizenry, our fate might be closer to that of Ukraine. Oligarchy, perhaps leading to warlordism or gangsterism, unless we have someone of the focused purpose and vision for out nation like Vladimir Putin has been for Russia, may be inevitable.

    The regional and local autonomy, and the talented and dedicated citizens to make it function has been progressively whittled away by the metastasization of the Federal government; states and localities don't stand a chance in a nation whose leading economic forces and national political parties have formed an unholy symbiosis against an informed, and civically-minded and civically-active citizenry. It is adjudged to be against their interests to disrupt their comfortable circle jerk by permitting, let alone encouraging, such a national citizenry to evolve out of their favored role for us as as mere passive "consumers".

    I consider it more likely that the nation will fragment into smaller, more culturally homogeneous statelets. The situation has gotten that fraught. It's getting ready to blow. As Col. Lang observed in a thread over at his blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis, analogizing a bit with past history, John Brown may not yet have appeared, but Kansas has begun to bleed.
  151. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Yes, the actions of the US against Russian diplomats are certainly impotent hysterics. However, there is another side of it. These actions created a precedent. Just like US interference in former Yugoslavia created a precedent saying that international law is null and void, from that moment on replaced by the law of the jungle, these actions say that all conventions regarding diplomatic missions are null and void. Unless the great majority of existing states condemn these actions individually and collectively (via the UN), these actions mean that no diplomatic mission of any country anywhere has any protection from the host country.
    Yes, diplomatic missions were attacked before, but states did it by proxy, using well-organized “frenzied crowds”, “revolutionaries”, or “unknown thugs”, maintaining plausible deniability. Now the US government openly acted like thugs. This is new and very dangerous development. If most countries pretend that nothing extraordinary happened, thuggish behavior becomes new normal. Brave new world, indeed.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree.
    A very good point.

    Interesting, overlooked by many.

    You are, IMHO, uncomfortably correct with:

    This is new and very dangerous development.
     
    , @Kiza
    I got an impression that US could not quite understand why Britain did not just SWAT the Ecuadorian embassy in London and grab Julian Assange. I think it was the British FM who suggested this be done, but the UK government decided that grabbing Assange was not worth establishing such precedent for their own embassies worldwide.

    Even to this day, I cannot understand why US breached international conventions and invaded the Russian consulate. I accept that "stupidity" is a too an easy way out, but any other way I look at it makes no sense. I believe that Russians are also equally perplexed by this move (still in shock).
  152. peterAUS says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Regime change is impossible in China. None of the minority groups you mentioned have any particular strength, and both military and information control is highly advanced. Its mind-boggling to imagine a serious scenario that would allow it anymore. Xi Jinping has prevailed now and there's no meaningful opposition left - even the other power blocs that once existed are so intrinsically tied to the Communist Party that they couldn't exist without it.


    Uyghurs?
     
    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.


    Tibet?
     
    Not even above.


    Coastal vs rural.

     

    Power is one-sided here: rural areas can't survive without urban support. They're aware.


    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

     

    Wasn't enough even at its worst under Jiang Zemin where actual murders were happening; not enough now with Xin Jinping is as popular as he is and at least putting on a good image.

    China regime change thing.

    Uyghurs.
    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.

    Would you, please, expand on this?
    Like…how exactly would Chinese military deal with that, should it happen?
    Just curious.

    Coastal vs rural.
    They’re aware.

    Would you please expand on this. Like, how are rural areas aware they can’t survive without urban support. I mean, it would appear it’s actually other way around. Like, you just block all the roads to a big city and watch city starve.
    And if you want to unblock roads and bring in food..I don’t know…looks to me a bit harder.
    What’s your thought about it?

    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.

    You say it can’t happen.
    Don’t know really.
    I mean, all these recent things in Europe and US are about it.
    But, can’t happen in China.
    Well..maybe, but I don’t get why.
    What’s China’s obscenely rich 1 % secret?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I'm surprised you have a problem with those points.

    Without any claim to special knowledge i would formulate these responses.

    The Uighurs are a very small minority who would stand out visually if not in their far west home territory. Cp. perhaps the IRA without Eire next door and a thousand miles further from London.

    The poor inland people have about as much clout against the coastal powerhouse as peasants distant from Paris had when the Paris mobs and middle classes made the revolution.

    As for the obscenely rich: who cares when everyone is expecting to become better off as in America till 1930? And Xi's anti-vorruption drives are well calculated to appease the 99 per cent's blood lust.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    WizardOfOz has mostly replied and accurately; but additionally, the "secret of the 1%" is that rising tides lift all boats and continue to do so, at least for some time yet. Regardless of any other complaints, the average Chinese expects to have a better life than that of his parents and with something simple as real wage increases keeps from anything akin to open rebellion.

    There's a lot of issues and a lot of tensions, but most of it isn't in a way that suggests violence as a solution. For example, there's a large number of rural people who have made some money in the city who wish to redevelop their native areas, opposed by the Party who might wish them to keep the money in the cities and focus on urban areas. But the Party isn't monolithic, there's enough of a sense that such people can get what they want through working within the channels such that there isn't that much hopelessness.

    The standard solution to someone who feels desperate in one of the country places in China is to move to Shenzhen or Shanghai, then send money back home. There's nothing like that in other nations for some reason. It might an difference in ethic, if long-term Confucianism has fostered this concept instead of taking it to warfare.
  153. peterAUS says:
    @Anon
    Yes, the actions of the US against Russian diplomats are certainly impotent hysterics. However, there is another side of it. These actions created a precedent. Just like US interference in former Yugoslavia created a precedent saying that international law is null and void, from that moment on replaced by the law of the jungle, these actions say that all conventions regarding diplomatic missions are null and void. Unless the great majority of existing states condemn these actions individually and collectively (via the UN), these actions mean that no diplomatic mission of any country anywhere has any protection from the host country.
    Yes, diplomatic missions were attacked before, but states did it by proxy, using well-organized “frenzied crowds”, “revolutionaries”, or “unknown thugs”, maintaining plausible deniability. Now the US government openly acted like thugs. This is new and very dangerous development. If most countries pretend that nothing extraordinary happened, thuggish behavior becomes new normal. Brave new world, indeed.

    Agree.
    A very good point.

    Interesting, overlooked by many.

    You are, IMHO, uncomfortably correct with:

    This is new and very dangerous development.

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  154. Parbes says:
    @Priss Factor
    US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War is one of the ugliest things ever.

    Consider this 'Global War on Terror'.

    Well, which four nations are most responsible for creating this monstrous phenom?

    1. Israel. Because of Nakba and Occupation, it created an Arab culture of terror to resist Zionist imperialism. In the case of Algerian Terrorism, it ended when the French left. But Israel became a fixture, and terrorism continued. Whether one thinks the creation of Israel was a good thing or bad thing, it fostered a culture of terrorism as an act of resistance. To counter this terror, Israel aided other Arab terrorists to make Arab terror fight Arab terror. Arabs being stupid, they fell for the bait.

    2. The US. In the Cold War, especially in Afghanistan, US decided to aid Afghan terrorist resistance fighters against Soviet Occupation. Whether the Afghan resistance was good or bad, much of it depended on use of terror against Soviets and collaborators. Terrorism is after all the weapon of weak against strong. Maybe Afghan fighters could be deemed 'freedom fighters' for trying to overthrow foreign yoke, but their way of warfare was terrorism. And US aided and encouraged this. US did this the most in Afghanistan but also in other Muslim nations that were secular and allied with USSR. In those nations, US worked with Saudis(as they did in Afghanistan) to foster extreme Islam as bulwark against Marxism and secular-social-nationalism. Saudis and US thus spread the culture of Islamic Terror all over the Muslim World that would continue even after the Cold War when it was no longer needed by the US.

    3. Pakistan. Pakistanis feared India which was friendly with USSR during the Cold War. So, US and Pakistan became close, and together they aided the nationalist-terrorists of Afghanistan. More troubling, Pakistan offered sanctuary to lots of Afghan fighters and their families in Pakistan, thus radicalizing elements of Pakistan further. Worse, Pakistan along with the US worked with Saudis to spread extreme Islamic ideology. Now, if the Afghan use of terror had been restricted to Afghans against Soviets, the culture of terror may have been contained in the region. But Saudi and other global Jihadi fighters went to Afghan to fight alongside the Afghan fighters. Thus, US and Saudis jointly created the environment that led to rise of Alqaeda.

    4. Saudi Arabia for all the obvious reasons.

    So, 9/11 was blowback for US, Saudi, Pakistan, and Israeli policies. Those four nations were most responsible for working together to create a global culture of Muslim terrorism.
    So, after 9/11, the most pressing responsibility was for those nations to look in the mirror. Instead, US played poor little victim and pretended that these terrorists just sprouted like mushrooms in the part of the world that hates the US for its 'freedoms', such as shopping. So, 9/11 was an attack on shopping, and Americans must send a message to terrorists by going to Macys or Walmart.

    One thing for sure, 9/11 had NOTHING to do with Hussein and Iraq, Syria, and Libya. (Gaddafi did sponsor terrorist acts, but no more than other nations. Also, he would never have directly targeted the US. )

    But the global war on terror turned into attacking one secular nation after nation that had been most effective in containing terrorism in their own nations. Cruel Hussein had effectively clamped down on terrorists in Syria. Assad and Gaddafi had also been ruthlessly effective in containing terrorism in their own nations. And even though they did sponsor acts of terror here and there, it was no more than what Israel did and much less than what Saudis did, the main sponsor of global terrorism(often with blessing of US esp during the Cold War as the targets were allies of Soviets).

    In a way, Global War on Terror was a way of covering the tracks by US, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudis. They were most responsible for the growth of terror but obfuscated this fact by declaring 'war on terror' and then targeting nations like Iraq and later Libya and Syria that had NOTHING to do with 9/11.
    And now, we have all this talk of Iran again even though Iran had nothing to do with events in Afghanistan or US.

    When wolves declare war on 'wolves' to destroy more sheep, it's a demented world.

    Superb post! If only the bovine American and Western publics were fully aware of these simple, undeniable, clearly elucidated facts!

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  155. LauraMR says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere - and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions - and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ...) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible - even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker’s analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the “laughing”, they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn’t. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Whoever might be doing the “laughing”, they are just rodents mocking a bear.
     
    Mmm....

    You probably meant "sparrows mocking an eagle".
    You know...Russian bear....American eagle.

    Their opinions amount to background noise.
     
    Loud background noise.
    Some tenants, those in the basement in particular, don't mind it, actually.
    Dampens the noise from above.
    Especially from the top floor.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.
     
    Yup.
    Well.....that's where perception management comes in.
    You keep repeating that "Empire is going down" and BRICS/whatever is gaining upper hand and it, could, maybe, make a difference.
    If not on those within The Empire at least on those within "alternatives". Keep own guys happy. Or happy enough not to start being a threat.
    The threat to the cleptocracy on top.
    , @fergus
    I partially agree. The US under Zionist control, has no moral values whatsoever and will do anything.

    An analogy might be if you had a garden and spent a whole year working in it and growing lots of lovely flowers and vegetables, then along comes a gang of criminals and despite your year of hard work they wreck it in ten minutes.
    That is the only power the US has - the power to destroy, but it has one advantage over normal people, it is never constrained by any kind of morality, no one who is would engage in eg pedophilia to the disgusting extent the US regime does.

    Not something to be proud of though, is it?
    , @Cyrano
    Right, they are all roaches, only you are above all that, so superior and out of reach. You know that there is a poetic justice in all of this?

    The unwanted Euro trash that the old continent exported to the new world for centuries has come full circle. Now that they made few bucks in the new world, they started to believe that they are better than anyone else including the Europeans who once couldn’t care less about where the destinies of the lowlifes that they produced might take them.

    The particular irony lies in the fact that the nouveau greatest will not only end up destroying themselves, but also the civilization and the culture that spawned them, that’s how clueless they are.

    , @annamaria
    "Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead."
    USA! USA! Laura. USA!
    Seriously, the sooner the US conducts a thorough disinfection against ziocon infestation, the sooner the US recovery. http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=amid1982perlefeith
    As for the military and economic might, please tell us, Laura, when has the US won a war against a strong opponent? During the last half a century the US has been doing slaughter in various weak and poor countries around the globe. But to mention this amorality would be a "background noise" (according to you).
    And what makes the foundation for the US' economic "might" -- the machinations of the Federal reserve? The Quantitative Easing for the mega-criminals in the financial sector? ("gigantic squeed on the face of humanity").
    Tell us, Laura, how come that being "way ahead of the rest. Way ahead" does not prevent the US from buying the rocket engines from Russain Federation (despite the illegal economic sanctions): http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-space-russia/u-s-needs-up-to-18-more-russian-rocket-engines-pentagon-idUSKCN0X600H
    Have you been to China to see their marvels of engineering? No? You prefer to display your loyalty by yelling "... the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead." -- Who needs this? After the US Congress gave 29 standing ovations for Bibi, only ziocons could be satisfied with the state of affairs in the US.
    , @Miro23

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.
     
    You borrowed that line from Hitler. It's the law of the jungle. Germany was eventually turned to rubble and the US could be turned into a radioactive moonscape.

    Right and Wrong and mutual respect between nations are superior concepts.
  156. utu says:
    @peterAUS

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible.
     
    Simple.

    Air power.

    Two ways:
    preventing Western air power to support the opposition ("no-fly zones")
    supplying own air power to Assad's regime.

    That tipped the game.

    After that, attempts to (re)organize and improve Assad's regime military.

    You are explaining the obvious tactical staff. We all understand that. My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts. Yet they did not do it. There were some attempts but nothing major.

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    • Replies: @fergus
    Do you always express yourself in baby language?
    Does anyone take you seriously?
    , @peterAUS
    I am not sure I quite understood you.

    My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts.
     
    If...if I read this properly:
    My question was about how come Putin was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts.

    Well....well....
    Nobody allowed Putin anything.
    He (or, better, the leadership of Russian Federation-LoRF from now on here) saw the need and an opportunity and seized it.
    Who dares wins. Joking.

    It would be not so easy to sabotage LoRF efforts here.
    Or, yes, US/whatever sabotaged the effort->LoRF countered that sabotage->US/whatever sabotaged again->LoRF countered..................................end is what?
    We know what that end would be.
    Literally.

    I mean, we could now try to play that game.
    I start as LoRF and you as US/whatever.
    I guarantee you we'll get into point of The LAUNCH.
    So...............who'll blink first?
    Will anybody blink?

    In this scenario US/whatever (Obama administration first and foremost) blinked first. Even before the game escalated into something serious.
    I give Mr. Obama a big point for that.

    , @annamaria
    Going motherese?
  157. peterAUS says:
    @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    Whoever might be doing the “laughing”, they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    Mmm….

    You probably meant “sparrows mocking an eagle”.
    You know…Russian bear….American eagle.

    Their opinions amount to background noise.

    Loud background noise.
    Some tenants, those in the basement in particular, don’t mind it, actually.
    Dampens the noise from above.
    Especially from the top floor.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    Yup.
    Well…..that’s where perception management comes in.
    You keep repeating that “Empire is going down” and BRICS/whatever is gaining upper hand and it, could, maybe, make a difference.
    If not on those within The Empire at least on those within “alternatives”. Keep own guys happy. Or happy enough not to start being a threat.
    The threat to the cleptocracy on top.

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  158. fergus says:
    @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    I partially agree. The US under Zionist control, has no moral values whatsoever and will do anything.

    An analogy might be if you had a garden and spent a whole year working in it and growing lots of lovely flowers and vegetables, then along comes a gang of criminals and despite your year of hard work they wreck it in ten minutes.
    That is the only power the US has – the power to destroy, but it has one advantage over normal people, it is never constrained by any kind of morality, no one who is would engage in eg pedophilia to the disgusting extent the US regime does.

    Not something to be proud of though, is it?

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  159. @CanSpeccy

    When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation.
     
    The death of the dollar as the world's reserve currency will have the effect of a high tariff wall, behind which the US can rebuild its industrial base.

    Yes, that is an intellectual possibility. But would the U.S. under such circumstances have the smarts and the leadership to see the opportunity being presented, and to make_it_so?

    Considering that we would still be graced with a tier of raving sociopaths in positions of power in the Holy, Holy Capitalist Economic System, and similarly in the Holy, Holy Financial System, I must say that, barring the empowerment of a strong national leader, backed up by a truly determined citizenry, our fate might be closer to that of Ukraine. Oligarchy, perhaps leading to warlordism or gangsterism, unless we have someone of the focused purpose and vision for out nation like Vladimir Putin has been for Russia, may be inevitable.

    The regional and local autonomy, and the talented and dedicated citizens to make it function has been progressively whittled away by the metastasization of the Federal government; states and localities don’t stand a chance in a nation whose leading economic forces and national political parties have formed an unholy symbiosis against an informed, and civically-minded and civically-active citizenry. It is adjudged to be against their interests to disrupt their comfortable circle jerk by permitting, let alone encouraging, such a national citizenry to evolve out of their favored role for us as as mere passive “consumers”.

    I consider it more likely that the nation will fragment into smaller, more culturally homogeneous statelets. The situation has gotten that fraught. It’s getting ready to blow. As Col. Lang observed in a thread over at his blog, Sic Semper Tyrannis, analogizing a bit with past history, John Brown may not yet have appeared, but Kansas has begun to bleed.

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  160. @Johnny Rico

    "This is the extent of US “power projection” capabilities and even here US doesn’t do that well."
     
    Or - given actual history and present reality rather than wishful personal standards and expectations - one could make the argument that the United States does this better than any nation in history.

    The only first-rate militaries and first world states that the U.S. would go "against" are Russia and China. Let's not pretend like there is a whole basket of them to choose from.

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn't engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge - a notion that is thrown around a lot here - is absurd.

    Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal. NOT engaging first-rate militaries for the simple reason of "proving" something would seem to be a no-brainer.

    Contrary to what you would have us believe, American military leaders (AND even regular Americans who have never served a day in uniform) have read Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz and have studied and learned the lessons of Prussian and German operational art.

    This constant dick-size comparison between Russian and American military doctrine and capability is tiresome and pointless.

    The US did not defeat the Germans on the continent until after Russia did ALL the heavy lifting. They landed in Normandy three years after Barbarossa and a year after Kursk. True.

    But this misses a few things.

    The United States emerged from BOTH world wars practically unscathed and in fact, relative to the ENTIRE rest of the world, much stronger. It still holds this position.

    China is ascendant but they have problems. Like too many people and no oil. The oil they use is easily cut off by the US. This is the real reason the US and Israel manufacture conflict with Iran. Because if Iran is not 100% in the American camp and can count on a certain degree of good relations with China and Russia, it spoils total and complete American control of Persian-Gulf oil.

    It is arguable whether Russia is any stronger relatively than it was in 1939.

    I don't believe any nation has the power or control they would like to believe they do, especially the United States. But IF any of the three nations mentioned has power and control, it is the United States.

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn’t engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge – a notion that is thrown around a lot here – is absurd.Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal.

    Don’t you think that you just killed your own argument? Isn’t it the point of deterrence–to show your enemy that engaging you means suicide? Man, talk about Sun Tzu being timeless;-)

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    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    No. I think you are avoiding this argument.

    You disagreed with me and then failed to respond in any substantive manner to my elaboration.

    I'm calling your bluff. You got nothing.
  161. fergus says:
    @utu
    You are explaining the obvious tactical staff. We all understand that. My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts. Yet they did not do it. There were some attempts but nothing major.

    Do you always express yourself in baby language?
    Does anyone take you seriously?

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  162. @Erebus

    Russia has a long way to go.
     
    Indeed it does. No argument.
    Still, while a rising tide may eventually lift all boats, it lifts those closest to the tidal front first. That front won't ever reach some of them, especially in a country the size of Russia, just as it won't in China.
    It's like that everywhere, in my experience. Russia's big problem is its constitutionally defined Central Bank. They're gonna have to change that if they want to develop more briskly, but that will probably have to wait a while longer.

    A lot of places in the US are pretty close to third world living standards now too Mark.

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  163. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Cyrano

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?

     

    Those are just lackeys jostling for imperial favors. Like the central Europeans who just recently switched sides and will find out very soon what exactly “western values” really means – Islamization of their countries in order to please the western phonies.

    Maybe they are also want to get under the famous US “nuclear umbrella”, although if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.

    if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.

    Worse than that. Nuclear ICBM warhead can be set to detonate at ground level in case the rocket gets hit. M.A.D. guaranteed regardless of the anti-missile efficiency. As a matter of fact, a 100% efficiency rate would quckly drop to zero when the nukes start detonating nearby.

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  164. peterAUS says:
    @utu
    You are explaining the obvious tactical staff. We all understand that. My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts. Yet they did not do it. There were some attempts but nothing major.

    I am not sure I quite understood you.

    My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts.

    If…if I read this properly:
    My question was about how come Putin was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts.

    Well….well….
    Nobody allowed Putin anything.
    He (or, better, the leadership of Russian Federation-LoRF from now on here) saw the need and an opportunity and seized it.
    Who dares wins. Joking.

    It would be not so easy to sabotage LoRF efforts here.
    Or, yes, US/whatever sabotaged the effort->LoRF countered that sabotage->US/whatever sabotaged again->LoRF countered…………………………….end is what?
    We know what that end would be.
    Literally.

    I mean, we could now try to play that game.
    I start as LoRF and you as US/whatever.
    I guarantee you we’ll get into point of The LAUNCH.
    So……………who’ll blink first?
    Will anybody blink?

    In this scenario US/whatever (Obama administration first and foremost) blinked first. Even before the game escalated into something serious.
    I give Mr. Obama a big point for that.

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  165. Wally says:
    @Boris M Garsky
    These moves are the epitome of stupidity on the part of the Americans. Nothing to be gained and everything to be lost. America just doesn't get it; it is out of the equation. Our congress is bought and paid for by the neocons. The neocons are irrational, knee jerk reactionaries that are incapable of mastering the game of checkers, let alone chess. I agree in full with the article. I believe that Israel will cease to exist past 2020 and America will be in an extremely weakened position if Trump does not reel in the neocons. Trump is surrounded by Generals, not for the possibility of war, but to prevent a military takeover by the neocons. Generals are more reliable, more pragmatic than are civilians. Trump initially made several big mistakes: listening to rosenstein and kushner; firing Flynn, Comey and Banner. I would like to know who advised Trump on the consulate closing; I do not believe, as the press states, that it was his idea. I am still laughing at the monumental stupidity of such a move and the world still has not recovered its' breath from the shock. The repercussions, the precedent, is eye opening, to say the least.

    And who are the “neocons”?

    Just say it. Everyone else already knows.

    concerning Charlottesville:

    “We have been working on the ground and behind the scenes leading up to, during, and after the rally.”
    - Zionist Jew Anita Gray, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

    must read: http://www.unz.com/article/how-the-jews-won-the-battle-of-charlottesville/

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  166. @Johnny Rico

    is poised to lose both its Hegemony and the remnants of its democracy, and with it the country itself on account
     
    Looks like the view through a crystal ball rather than just "a little wider" view. My crystal ball is in the repair shop. I'm glad yours is in working order.

    stand well placed to run whatever entity replaces America on the N. American continent, even if their international influence will be forfeit.
     
    You seem to be predicting Black Swan events AND have it all figured out. So as not to appear vague or cryptic you may consider employing some evidence or relatable observations with what is basically 100 words of vague and cryptic doom-mongering.

    Johnny Pobre would seem be a better handle for you. You are simply outclassed in this conversation not to mention just plain wrong but do please keep going, it’s very entertaining.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    Why don't you give him and the rest of us reason to see you as entitled to express yourself superciliously de haut en bas?
  167. Cyrano says:
    @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    Right, they are all roaches, only you are above all that, so superior and out of reach. You know that there is a poetic justice in all of this?

    The unwanted Euro trash that the old continent exported to the new world for centuries has come full circle. Now that they made few bucks in the new world, they started to believe that they are better than anyone else including the Europeans who once couldn’t care less about where the destinies of the lowlifes that they produced might take them.

    The particular irony lies in the fact that the nouveau greatest will not only end up destroying themselves, but also the civilization and the culture that spawned them, that’s how clueless they are.

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  168. utu says:
    @fergus
    Do you always express yourself in baby language?
    Does anyone take you seriously?

    It was G.W. Bush language.

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  169. Art says:
    @yeah
    I think there is a lot of confusion between "what ought to be" and "what is". Ethics, international diplomatic immunity protocols, and plain decency say that the Russian consulate affair ought not to have happened.

    But let us analyze why it did happen, the "what is" side of things. The US state, encompassing all its departments and agencies, is neither weak nor stupid. Someone may wish it were so, but that does not make it so. Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    International realpolitik is a dog eat dog affair. From this assumption, all else can be deduced. If this assumption is wrong, nothing below is likely to be correct. So then, a top dog needs to keep baring its fangs and keep fighting if it is to remain top dog. If it cedes an inch, some of the uppity usurpers will surely circle in closer, looking to get in a deadly bite or two to oust the top dog. Viewed through this optic, all of US international actions make perfect sense, and have been successful - hugely successful. Russia is militarily surrounded: inch by inch, country by country, the US has muscled it out of its former sphere of influence. China has been made a partner in the global economic order, from which it cannot disengage without committing economic hara-kiri. It dare not snarl at the top dog. Beginning with Kissinger, the US has been throwing it juicy tidbits to keep it compliant, and that strategy has been brilliantly successful. The problem dog, though, continues to be Russia. That dog was not fed juicy tidbits because it has always been perceived (rightly or wrongly is a different matter) to be aggressive. How do you tame an aggressive dog? By starving it, to the point that it becomes emaciated. The policy of economic sanctions has that as its objective. But to be able to apply the final chokehold, what is required is to isolate it from the rest of the pack, to make it an international pariah. And that is where American soft power comes into play. The world has little of media other than the American one, little original ideas, research, technology, or viewpoints that can stand up to American ones. The American advantages are slipping, but they still remain. The SF consulate affair has isolated Russia in world public opinion one big step further. The seeds of doubt have been planted: what nefarious plots have the Russians been hatching in their consulates, what secrets are they frantically trying to burn to avoid discovery? They will increasingly be seen to be one more North Korea, albeit a much more dangerous one. That lays the groundwork for more action designed to weaken and isolate Russia. And it will likely succeed.

    The above is perhaps much too ugly, completely amoral, and perhaps much too raw for refined tastes, but the only questions should be: Is it logically valid? Does it accord with reality in describing the world as it is?

    Likewise, most of us wish it were a little more humane, a little more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans, a little more restrained on the word stage, but that is not going to make it so. So what makes it tick? What causes it to do what it does? That is the analytical challenge.

    The challenge is to say the word “JEW.”

    The comment went on with hundreds of words – but not on of the “Jew.” What a waste broadband.

    Nothing good is going to happen until the fact of Jew control of our foreign policy is acknowledged.

    Think Peace — Art

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  170. annamaria says:
    @Cyrano

    Did you notice the number of nations steadily joining NATO or wishing to join the Euro in the meantime, out of the obvious desire to align with the West?

     

    Those are just lackeys jostling for imperial favors. Like the central Europeans who just recently switched sides and will find out very soon what exactly “western values” really means – Islamization of their countries in order to please the western phonies.

    Maybe they are also want to get under the famous US “nuclear umbrella”, although if the real s**t storm ever hits, not even nuclear tent would provide adequate protection.

    They are wishing to join NATO and the Euro but on their own terms. Anyway, they are going to learn some hard lessons: “…the European Commission began a lawsuit against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic for refusing to take in refugees, allowing the EU top court to impose fines.” https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/06/hungary-and-poland-no-refugees-no-terror
    “The eastern allies Poland and Hungary have vowed not to budge. Their staunch opposition to accepting asylum-seekers, and criticism of Brussels for trying to enforce the scheme, are popular among their nationalist-minded, eurosceptic voters. Speaking in Hungary’s parliament earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said: “We will not give in to blackmail from Brussels and we reject the mandatory relocation quota.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-eu-infringements/eu-to-open-case-against-poland-hungary-czech-republic-over-migration-idUSKBN1931O4

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  171. annamaria says:
    @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    “Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.”
    USA! USA! Laura. USA!
    Seriously, the sooner the US conducts a thorough disinfection against ziocon infestation, the sooner the US recovery. http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=amid1982perlefeith
    As for the military and economic might, please tell us, Laura, when has the US won a war against a strong opponent? During the last half a century the US has been doing slaughter in various weak and poor countries around the globe. But to mention this amorality would be a “background noise” (according to you).
    And what makes the foundation for the US’ economic “might” — the machinations of the Federal reserve? The Quantitative Easing for the mega-criminals in the financial sector? (“gigantic squeed on the face of humanity”).
    Tell us, Laura, how come that being “way ahead of the rest. Way ahead” does not prevent the US from buying the rocket engines from Russain Federation (despite the illegal economic sanctions): http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-space-russia/u-s-needs-up-to-18-more-russian-rocket-engines-pentagon-idUSKCN0X600H
    Have you been to China to see their marvels of engineering? No? You prefer to display your loyalty by yelling “… the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.” — Who needs this? After the US Congress gave 29 standing ovations for Bibi, only ziocons could be satisfied with the state of affairs in the US.

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  172. annamaria says:
    @utu
    You are explaining the obvious tactical staff. We all understand that. My question was about how come Pootie-Poot was allowed to it in the first place. It would be so easy to sabotage his efforts. Yet they did not do it. There were some attempts but nothing major.

    Going motherese?

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    • Replies: @utu
    Term of endearment that G.W. Bush came up with for Putin.
  173. Tony says:
    @Cloak And Dagger

    We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts
     
    Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere - and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

    Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions - and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

    A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

    1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
    2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
    3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ...) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

    So, an imposed world peace is possible - even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

    Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

    Keep smoking what you smoking boy if it makes you happy to think that way.

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  174. utu says:
    @Muse

    Could you explain what was the plan behind letting Chine grow in the first place? Did they do it out of greed? W/o western technology China would not grow.
     
    I viewed the change in US policy as having two distinct eras. Kissinger/Nixon and the Clinton eras.

    During the Nixon/Kissinger era, relations with China seems to have been used as a method to counter the USSR.

    The Clinton era pushed through NAFTA, and most favored nation trade status for China to benefit global capital/financial interests, retailers like Walmart and big agriculture, who benefitted from global labor arbitrage and relaxed agricultural export restrictions. Clinton sold out the traditional Democratic base, made himself rich and had all the trashy women he desired in the process. This strategy was called triangulation by Clinton. He turned the domestic political order on its head by taking money from traditional Republican donors, as well as interests outside the US, much to the GOP's consternation. The level of corruption in government ushered in by Clinton reached new heights, and I believe the Clinton family as a rule internationalized pay to play politics in a way heretofore unseen as well.

    Kissinger maybe wrongly thought that the US could beat China in the long game. Clinton probably did not give a damn and figured he would be dead prior to the reckoning.

    I agree about the two eras and your description of Clinton method is right on the money. Still I would like to go deeper with analysis because I do not believe that policies are initiated by people like Clintons. They just carry them out. The decisions has been made earlier by a different body. Just like with the transition to neoliberalism that started under Thatcher and Reagan but it was designed and planned much earlier and possibly Thatcher and certainly Reagan were oblivious to it. In 1980′s they were high ranking meetings between bankers like Rockefeller with high ranking Chinese officials. I wish I had time and means to do the research on it.

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  175. @NoseytheDuke
    A lot of places in the US are pretty close to third world living standards now too Mark.

    Oops! Sorry, this comment was meant for MarkinLA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    Dude. I'll entertain the fuck out of you. But you've got to be awake. Looks like you started drinking early today. Lemme know
  176. Erebus says:
    @utu
    I would like to see an article about Syria. It might be the greatest success of Putin so far. The Evil Empire was stopped. The Yinon Plan for ME was interrupted. Syria did not become Iraq and Assad did not share the fate of Qaddafi. And still just two years ago it seemed inevitable.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.

    I think Syria’s rescue was along the same lines as Crimea. In the first place, develop a fully defined objective. Take a careful look at the enemy’s objectives and the resources, tactics, and talent he is bringing to bear, followed by intense calculation of the forces and resources needed to prevent his success, and ensure yours.
    Defeating ISIS was but a part of the objective. The Russian calculus came up with a strategy that would also ensure success for Assad’s own endeavours to maintain Syria as an intact and a cohesive society. Many programs went operational across all aspects of the war. Diplomatic, intelligence, political, social, psy-ops, etc programmes were developed and tuned to enhance each other, including the intensive re-building of the Syrian military. We didn’t see/hear much about that, but it was all going full bore under the carefully gauged, but much more visible air campaign. Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.
    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem. Yeah, after being shocked and awed for the last 3 decades, it’s a little hard to believe that a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is. I too hope we don’t have to wait for a textbook to read some insights into how it all happened.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Nice example of how people can see the same thing and, for some reason, see it totally different.

    This is how I see some elements of your post:

    Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.
     
    No way that all Syrian people back SAA. I mean....it's just..........anyway.

    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem.
     
    The problem has not been solved at all.
    The thing started with Assad's regime controlling of all of Syria and decent Middle East country.
    The thing as we speak is most of the country destroyed and large parts of country NOT under control of the regime. And the war is still going on.
    Again.......just.......are we in the same Universe?

    a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is.
     
    The best part.
    War is still going on. Nobody won.
    Society is fragmented, most of infrastructure destroyed....refugees...
    I mean....really....the same Universe?

    Fascinating, really.
  177. @peterAUS
    China regime change thing.

    Uyghurs.
    At most, ISIS levels of power. Minimal against a modern military.
     
    Would you, please, expand on this?
    Like...how exactly would Chinese military deal with that, should it happen?
    Just curious.

    Coastal vs rural.
    They’re aware.
     
    Would you please expand on this. Like, how are rural areas aware they can't survive without urban support. I mean, it would appear it's actually other way around. Like, you just block all the roads to a big city and watch city starve.
    And if you want to unblock roads and bring in food..I don't know...looks to me a bit harder.
    What's your thought about it?

    Obscenely rich vs 21st century serfs.
     
    You say it can't happen.
    Don't know really.
    I mean, all these recent things in Europe and US are about it.
    But, can't happen in China.
    Well..maybe, but I don't get why.
    What's China's obscenely rich 1 % secret?

    I’m surprised you have a problem with those points.

    Without any claim to special knowledge i would formulate these responses.

    The Uighurs are a very small minority who would stand out visually if not in their far west home territory. Cp. perhaps the IRA without Eire next door and a thousand miles further from London.

    The poor inland people have about as much clout against the coastal powerhouse as peasants distant from Paris had when the Paris mobs and middle classes made the revolution.

    As for the obscenely rich: who cares when everyone is expecting to become better off as in America till 1930? And Xi’s anti-vorruption drives are well calculated to appease the 99 per cent’s blood lust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well..........

    1. Uyghurs
    Wikipedia should be good enough. We are just tossing ideas....

    They make 45.84% of Xinjiang province. The biggest ethnic group there.
    The province itself is called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and it's not that small.
    It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 (640,000 square miles).
    Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region.
    Well...it looks to me as quite good terrain for instigating a separatist problem in China.
    Ethnic makeup for trouble is ideal.
    So.............with a help from a CERTAIN party, what's the problem?

    2. Rural vs urban
    Well, Balkans....................
    Bosnia in particular.
    If certain conditions could be met, rural rage against urban opulence, why not.
    You mentioned Paris.
    How about Sarajevo?
    Hell...how about Red vs Blue states in USA?
    How about election results in France?
    Or Great Britain re Brexit?

    3. Agree. As long as that works. If/when it stops working and it could if CERTAIN party really goes for it, well.........who knows.
    Last time it created Mao.

    My point is...........China is not invulnerable to social conflict which could be used to destabilize it.
    , @Anon
    Well, the rural district of the Vendee gave the Paris government almost as much trouble as the rest of Europe put together, so I wouldn't underestimate poor rural people*. I agree that if China ever decided to simply wipe out the Uighurs by murder or resettlement or some other method, they probably could, but they won't.

    *Yes, this is an exaggeration.
  178. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @NoseytheDuke
    Johnny Pobre would seem be a better handle for you. You are simply outclassed in this conversation not to mention just plain wrong but do please keep going, it's very entertaining.

    Why don’t you give him and the rest of us reason to see you as entitled to express yourself superciliously de haut en bas?

    Read More
  179. peterAUS says:
    @Erebus

    Personally I still do not understand how this was possible. The nuclear blackmail on part of Putin seems like the only explanation.
     
    I think Syria's rescue was along the same lines as Crimea. In the first place, develop a fully defined objective. Take a careful look at the enemy's objectives and the resources, tactics, and talent he is bringing to bear, followed by intense calculation of the forces and resources needed to prevent his success, and ensure yours.
    Defeating ISIS was but a part of the objective. The Russian calculus came up with a strategy that would also ensure success for Assad's own endeavours to maintain Syria as an intact and a cohesive society. Many programs went operational across all aspects of the war. Diplomatic, intelligence, political, social, psy-ops, etc programmes were developed and tuned to enhance each other, including the intensive re-building of the Syrian military. We didn't see/hear much about that, but it was all going full bore under the carefully gauged, but much more visible air campaign. Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.
    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem. Yeah, after being shocked and awed for the last 3 decades, it's a little hard to believe that a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is. I too hope we don't have to wait for a textbook to read some insights into how it all happened.

    Nice example of how people can see the same thing and, for some reason, see it totally different.

    This is how I see some elements of your post:

    Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.

    No way that all Syrian people back SAA. I mean….it’s just……….anyway.

    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem.

    The problem has not been solved at all.
    The thing started with Assad’s regime controlling of all of Syria and decent Middle East country.
    The thing as we speak is most of the country destroyed and large parts of country NOT under control of the regime. And the war is still going on.
    Again…….just…….are we in the same Universe?

    a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is.

    The best part.
    War is still going on. Nobody won.
    Society is fragmented, most of infrastructure destroyed….refugees…
    I mean….really….the same Universe?

    Fascinating, really.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    Nice example of how people can see the same thing and, for some reason, see it totally different.
     
    Yeah, true enough.
    Blockquoting is tricky on this damn phone, so some quick rejoinders is all I can muster.

    - The ones who didn't support Assad & the SAA left. Millions of them, literally.
    - Look at the enormous amount of intelligence and sabotage by ordinary civilians the SAA benefited from to see what kind of support they received.
    - Yup, lots of buildings etc were destroyed, but the nation stands.
    - The "large parts of the country" are empty desert for the most part. That was a part of Assad's early strategy. Yield the desert and hold the cities, particularly the West.
    - The war is over in the sense ISIS' back is broken and it is no longer a strategic/existential threat. The "moderate headchoppers" have been almost completely neutralized.
    - Yes, it will take some time, probably a decade to kill ISIS completely, but the war's political outcome is not in doubt. There will be a secular, multi-confessional Syria at the table when it's time for signatures and very likely Assad will be the signatory.

    That adds up to a win to my eye.
  180. peterAUS says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    I'm surprised you have a problem with those points.

    Without any claim to special knowledge i would formulate these responses.

    The Uighurs are a very small minority who would stand out visually if not in their far west home territory. Cp. perhaps the IRA without Eire next door and a thousand miles further from London.

    The poor inland people have about as much clout against the coastal powerhouse as peasants distant from Paris had when the Paris mobs and middle classes made the revolution.

    As for the obscenely rich: who cares when everyone is expecting to become better off as in America till 1930? And Xi's anti-vorruption drives are well calculated to appease the 99 per cent's blood lust.

    Well……….

    1. Uyghurs
    Wikipedia should be good enough. We are just tossing ideas….

    They make 45.84% of Xinjiang province. The biggest ethnic group there.
    The province itself is called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and it’s not that small.
    It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 (640,000 square miles).
    Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang’s borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region.
    Well…it looks to me as quite good terrain for instigating a separatist problem in China.
    Ethnic makeup for trouble is ideal.
    So………….with a help from a CERTAIN party, what’s the problem?

    2. Rural vs urban
    Well, Balkans………………..
    Bosnia in particular.
    If certain conditions could be met, rural rage against urban opulence, why not.
    You mentioned Paris.
    How about Sarajevo?
    Hell…how about Red vs Blue states in USA?
    How about election results in France?
    Or Great Britain re Brexit?

    3. Agree. As long as that works. If/when it stops working and it could if CERTAIN party really goes for it, well………who knows.
    Last time it created Mao.

    My point is………..China is not invulnerable to social conflict which could be used to destabilize it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Uighurs.... Your original suggestion was regime change so those facts are irrelevant. In fact action by the Chinese government to protect the brave Han settlers in the far west against the terrorists would probably shore up support... just a popular aspect of Manifest Destiny....

    How about Sarajevo indeed? Under siege, including artillery bombardment by Bosnian and othet Serb forces which have nothing to do with tural discontent and much to do with what became of the Yugoslav Army.

    Generally the organising of the poor and scattered rurals against the central government would be impossible in the absence of the sort of freedoms and fair elections that allowed the Brexit campaign to succeed.

    No question though about China being vulnrrable to social conflict. There is plenty but any attempts to capitalise on it get nipped in the bud severely and promptly. The hardliners dispose of the weak seeming conciliators even if concessions are eventually made when they do not seem to be the result of pressure.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Xinjiang is tiny populationwise and has extremely limited water supplies. Any rebellion would be unrealistic. PLA doesn't care for human right laws if pressured, and at any rate, specialize in population suppression.

    I won't say that anything is invulnerable for all time. Within the next ten years, though, its as likely as asteroid impacts on Holy Terra.
  181. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS
    Nice example of how people can see the same thing and, for some reason, see it totally different.

    This is how I see some elements of your post:

    Probably most importantly, it gave the SAA something worth fighting for and the full backing of the Syrian people.
     
    No way that all Syrian people back SAA. I mean....it's just..........anyway.

    The Russians gave the world a textbook lesson on how quantitatively little military power is required when executed in concert with a full court press of socio-political programs to solve a problem.
     
    The problem has not been solved at all.
    The thing started with Assad's regime controlling of all of Syria and decent Middle East country.
    The thing as we speak is most of the country destroyed and large parts of country NOT under control of the regime. And the war is still going on.
    Again.......just.......are we in the same Universe?

    a war can be won without complete destruction of the society surrounding it, but there it is.
     
    The best part.
    War is still going on. Nobody won.
    Society is fragmented, most of infrastructure destroyed....refugees...
    I mean....really....the same Universe?

    Fascinating, really.

    Nice example of how people can see the same thing and, for some reason, see it totally different.

    Yeah, true enough.
    Blockquoting is tricky on this damn phone, so some quick rejoinders is all I can muster.

    - The ones who didn’t support Assad & the SAA left. Millions of them, literally.
    - Look at the enormous amount of intelligence and sabotage by ordinary civilians the SAA benefited from to see what kind of support they received.
    - Yup, lots of buildings etc were destroyed, but the nation stands.
    - The “large parts of the country” are empty desert for the most part. That was a part of Assad’s early strategy. Yield the desert and hold the cities, particularly the West.
    - The war is over in the sense ISIS’ back is broken and it is no longer a strategic/existential threat. The “moderate headchoppers” have been almost completely neutralized.
    - Yes, it will take some time, probably a decade to kill ISIS completely, but the war’s political outcome is not in doubt. There will be a secular, multi-confessional Syria at the table when it’s time for signatures and very likely Assad will be the signatory.

    That adds up to a win to my eye.

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  182. Kiza says:
    @yeah
    Your critique of my analysis is very well reasoned and convincing - and very correct in its own way. But please bear in mind that my opening and operative words were "Viewed through this optic". Indeed, if the world is viewed through neocon and even some very brutal realpolitik eyes, the US moves have had a sense of inevitability, like one chess move forcing another. I abhor brutal and neocon views, but that does not mean that their actions have not had success. We err if we write off our opponents as stupid or failures.

    Of course, if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct, especially post the soviet collapse. But in that case my little piece would have been unnecessary. I know I painted a repellent picture, but it was based on deducing actions from stated and implied policy. Many scholars have explained how this 'empire thing' is going to brutalize the world and derail the American Republic, and it seems to be coming to pass. I only analyzed, with a deep sense of despair and sorrow, why this juggernaut looks likely to "succeed". BTW, this exchange has really been stimulating and forced me to think of my own biases.

    Well, you are still one of the most truly deluded individuals that I have encountered online. Because there are tons of US/Israeli regime trolls online who make similar claims but they know them to be patently false. You make them honestly.

    Yet, I find your insistence to open our eyes to: “…if policy had been informed by a higher level of ethics and a sense of fair play for the world as a whole, most of what you say would have been correct…” the pinnacle of your immaturity and low-forehead thinking.

    You obviously have never heard of a term “reciprocity” and consider US actions unchallengeable. But, as a guy who did not even bother replying to your text wrote – what a great precedent for all government who want to show that their opposition works for the CIA – just examine the local US consulate or embassy as US did to Russia.

    It was only the conventions and the US military might which were making this impossible before. Now the US military might is declining in relative terms and US has busted the international conventions, so watch what happens during the next color revolution if the targeted country has Russian/Chinese support! The US Embassies and Consulates have become a fair game, just like for the Iranian students in 1979: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis. Unlike the Russian consulates, the US ones are the rich pickings.

    Read More
    • Replies: @KA
    I want to add a twist here . May not be fully related but important in overall frame of reference we use to understand American way of explaining to the world.

    Hostage seizure by Iran has been portrayed by America over last 40 yrs as something that beyond the pale, beyond the minimum of civilizational expectation , it's the least , it is something close the concept of mortal sin of the medieval time . Rest of the world along with American citizen have been indoctrinated to accept this dogma as self evident truth .

    It is hypocrisy on the part of the American deep state to lay this ground for concurrent and continuing demonization of Iran while gleefully killing sometime all over the globe national leaders ,changing regimes , waging war on civilians and using terror to achieve those objectives .( now the event in San Francisco has removed even that moral blanket covering the convoluted arrangements of the mental limbs underneath )

    But what is more interesting is the readiness of the American voters and citizen to fall for this explanation, organic involuntary unconscious psychological bend to ignore this obvious inconsistency , and support the ruinous destructive American policies against Iran . I am not blaming them. It is beyond blame . This is a deficit and this is corrosive . Now this default state of mind is destroying itself . If it were fear to challenge ,then it is fear that is preventing them to question the path elite have taken which will destroy is destroying the common folk . It if it were paralysis and indifference,then the same laziness is actively engaged in destroying the passive onlookers . If it were fear ,again it is same fear that is making them confused immobile and hopeful against hopes .
  183. Kiza says:
    @Anon
    Yes, the actions of the US against Russian diplomats are certainly impotent hysterics. However, there is another side of it. These actions created a precedent. Just like US interference in former Yugoslavia created a precedent saying that international law is null and void, from that moment on replaced by the law of the jungle, these actions say that all conventions regarding diplomatic missions are null and void. Unless the great majority of existing states condemn these actions individually and collectively (via the UN), these actions mean that no diplomatic mission of any country anywhere has any protection from the host country.
    Yes, diplomatic missions were attacked before, but states did it by proxy, using well-organized “frenzied crowds”, “revolutionaries”, or “unknown thugs”, maintaining plausible deniability. Now the US government openly acted like thugs. This is new and very dangerous development. If most countries pretend that nothing extraordinary happened, thuggish behavior becomes new normal. Brave new world, indeed.

    I got an impression that US could not quite understand why Britain did not just SWAT the Ecuadorian embassy in London and grab Julian Assange. I think it was the British FM who suggested this be done, but the UK government decided that grabbing Assange was not worth establishing such precedent for their own embassies worldwide.

    Even to this day, I cannot understand why US breached international conventions and invaded the Russian consulate. I accept that “stupidity” is a too an easy way out, but any other way I look at it makes no sense. I believe that Russians are also equally perplexed by this move (still in shock).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Which British FM (? Foreoign Minister) suggested a raid on the Ecuadorian Embassy to grab Julian Assange? Can you give a link or two? It is so unbelievably unprincipled and stupid I would very much like to have it as a weapon with which to abuse some of my English friends :-)
    , @Anon
    Yes, even US vassals prefer to play by the rules, but not the US. It’s purely American flavor of stupidity: dumb, ignorant, and proud of it. You can call it exceptionalist hubris. Worst thing is, it’s suicidal, but the perpetrators aren’t even smart enough to understand that. The retarded elites who wanted this became elites through decades of negative selection: nobody decent has a chance in money-based American political system. The negative selection of elites killed the Soviet Union, now it is killing the US. This is sad: America used to be a decent country.
  184. @Andrei Martyanov

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million
     
    Are you for serious? How many of those 2.5 million Vietnamese were civilians? You have no idea what scale or proportion all this is. Or rather, you can not grasp it, since United States doesn't know what war is.

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.
     
    You certainly should inform US Army War College Combat Studies Institute, since they seem to be a bit "behind" on their studies. I am sure they will be amused to learn of this new metric.

    “you have no idea what scale or proportion all this is”.

    Listen friend I have been “Mensa” qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.

    You are talking down to me, so we can just agree to disagree.

    ” I am sure they will be amused to learn of this metric”.

    And you are missing my point entirely, as I am not stating that this IS the “New metric” rather I am asking the question as to whether it is.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro Jazz musician.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Listen friend I have been “Mensa” qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.
     
    Go, as an example, to St.Petersburg and visit Piskarevskoye Cemetery then we may talk about your IQ--you, as most Americans, have no concept of what war brings and what it is to have whole generations of men (and even women) in your families being wiped out by war. Even IQ of 300 is not going to0 help you to grasp that since it is not a function of "intelligence" which you parade here non-stop, obviously being fixated on this IQ BS. IQ is not gonna help when one has no clue. Yes, I am talking down to you.
    , @poop
    Wow authenticjazzman. You sure are smart.

    So, can your 150+ IQ and "Mensa" qualifications explain to us how Germany defeated the USSR in WWII since the Soviets accrued significantly more casualties than did the Germans? Or the DPKR and China were annihilated by the US and South Korea in the early 1950's based upon attrition rates?

    The world thirsts for your knowledge, scholarly genius! Enlighten us. We are all so stupid as to assume the US lost in Vietnam. Maybe we need intellectuals like you to redefine "lost" and "won" for us in order to be permitted to sip at the font of knowledge from which you spew.

    Also, jazz is music for the senile elderly and douchebags. My inferior brain recommends that you don't advertise the fact that you propagate this musical abomination as a credential to your obviously superior online intellect. I'm sure the other "Mensa" members who frequent internet message boards and comments sections would agree.
  185. @nickels
    Very non Clausewitzian.

    ” Very non Clausewitzian”

    So what, he was not God, and I form my own observations and conclusions, regardless of what historical “Authorities” have stated.

    Most historical “Wise men” were in fact consumate BS Artists, who only held their positions of privilege because their mentors : Royality, did not understand what the hell they were talking about, and assumed therefore that they must be much wiser than themselves.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US army Vet, and pro Jazz msuician.

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  186. @Authenticjazzman
    " We lost the war in Viet Nam"

    US Casualities : 55 000

    N Viet Nam casualties : 2.5 million

    So this is the "Modern" criteria in establishing the winners and losers of armed conflicts:

    Whoever suffers the most casualties is the winner.

    The only loss of the Viet Nam conflict by the US was/is in the minds of leftist US haters who WANT/WANTED to see the US lose.

    My ( deceased) half brother came back from Viet Nam with a stiff leg and an unbroken spirit, he was a decent guy who held no malice, and I really don't care to hear such garbage from fools such as yourself.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro jazz musician.

    Psst, Jazz…”We,” da pipple lost both world wars, too.

    The bankers, who supported the Reds, won big time at “our” expense.

    Let us not be suckered into any more wars to benefit bankers and other war profiteers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    " The bankers who supported the Reds, won big time at "Our" expense"

    No argument out of me, as I have been aware of this fact for decades.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet and pro jazz musician.
  187. @Andrei Martyanov

    The US supplied the Russians with millions of tons of war materials, without which they would have been confronting the Germans with single-shot antique rifles and mules.
     
    While I disagree with Cyrano's estimates of Lend-Lease impact, which was in some areas substantial, your statement is no better than Cyrano's since suffers from a complete arrogance and ignorance, because should you have known better, you would have known that in terms of military production USSR and US are roughly matched (USA sure as hell produced more strategic bomber aircraft) in WWII. Moreover, Soviet Union outproduced Nazi Germany in every crucial military category not only by numbers but often fielding either comparable or much better technology. But you also should know that main destination for Lend-Lease was Great Britain, not USSR. UK got three times more of that.

    Speaking of volumes of war materiel, what’s your view of the Persian Corridor and the supplies funneled to Uncle Joe through that asset?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Speaking of volumes of war materiel, what’s your view of the Persian Corridor and the supplies funneled to Uncle Joe through that asset?
     
    What can possibly be my view on that? Realities, the scope and scale, of Eastern Front struggles called for not refusal of any help and in this case Persian Corridor (together with far Eastern one--many Lend-Lease aircraft went this way from Alaska) was, obviously, very important. Again, Lend-Lease, probably spared about a million of Russian lives and for that Russians are profoundly grateful.
  188. @Kiza
    I got an impression that US could not quite understand why Britain did not just SWAT the Ecuadorian embassy in London and grab Julian Assange. I think it was the British FM who suggested this be done, but the UK government decided that grabbing Assange was not worth establishing such precedent for their own embassies worldwide.

    Even to this day, I cannot understand why US breached international conventions and invaded the Russian consulate. I accept that "stupidity" is a too an easy way out, but any other way I look at it makes no sense. I believe that Russians are also equally perplexed by this move (still in shock).

    Which British FM (? Foreoign Minister) suggested a raid on the Ecuadorian Embassy to grab Julian Assange? Can you give a link or two? It is so unbelievably unprincipled and stupid I would very much like to have it as a weapon with which to abuse some of my English friends :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    It was August 2012 when the British Foreign Office sent a threatening letter to Ecuador:
    "“Under British law we can give them a week’s notice before entering the premises and the embassy will no longer have diplomatic protection,” a Foreign Office spokesman said."
    Makes you laugh how some Brittopaedofiles have not woken up yet to the reality that they are not a wave-ruling imperial power any more, to which no international conventions that it signed can be applied. But is this not the same kind of behavior as US?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wikileaks-assange-ecuador/britain-threatens-to-storm-ecuador-embassy-to-get-assange-idUSBRE87E16N20120816

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-asylum
  189. Miro23 says:
    @LauraMR
    As dykstra says, the US is still a great power.

    I would say the US is still a power without parallel.

    And that is missing from Saker's analysis.

    Whoever might be doing the "laughing", they are just rodents mocking a bear.

    The US can afford to be distracted, it can even afford to get drunk on the job or do away with it altogether.

    Because the US is way ahead of the rest. Way ahead.

    The gnats, roaches, and other insects can pretend this is a conversation of equals, but it simply isn't. Their opinions amount to background noise.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    This is not about right or wrong. It is about might and, in particular, military and economic might.

    You borrowed that line from Hitler. It’s the law of the jungle. Germany was eventually turned to rubble and the US could be turned into a radioactive moonscape.

    Right and Wrong and mutual respect between nations are superior concepts.

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  190. @peterAUS
    Well..........

    1. Uyghurs
    Wikipedia should be good enough. We are just tossing ideas....

    They make 45.84% of Xinjiang province. The biggest ethnic group there.
    The province itself is called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and it's not that small.
    It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2 (640,000 square miles).
    Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The rugged Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang also borders Tibet Autonomous Region.
    Well...it looks to me as quite good terrain for instigating a separatist problem in China.
    Ethnic makeup for trouble is ideal.
    So.............with a help from a CERTAIN party, what's the problem?

    2. Rural vs urban
    Well, Balkans....................
    Bosnia in particular.
    If certain conditions could be met, rural rage against urban opulence, why not.
    You mentioned Paris.
    How about Sarajevo?
    Hell...how about Red vs Blue states in USA?
    How about election results in France?
    Or Great Britain re Brexit?

    3. Agree. As long as that works. If/when it stops working and it could if CERTAIN party really goes for it, well.........who knows.
    Last time it created Mao.

    My point is...........China is not invulnerable to social conflict which could be used to destabilize it.

    Uighurs…. Your original suggestion was regime change so those facts are irrelevant. In fact action by the Chinese government to protect the brave Han settlers in the far west against the terrorists would probably shore up support… just a popular aspect of Manifest Destiny….

    How about Sarajevo indeed? Under siege, including artillery bombardment by Bosnian and othet Serb forces which have nothing to do with tural discontent and much to do with what became of the Yugoslav Army.

    Generally the organising of the poor and scattered rurals against the central government would be impossible in the absence of the sort of freedoms and fair elections that allowed the Brexit campaign to succeed.

    No question though about China being vulnrrable to social conflict. There is plenty but any attempts to capitalise on it get nipped in the bud severely and promptly. The hardliners dispose of the weak seeming conciliators even if concessions are eventually made when they do not seem to be the result of pressure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Uighurs…. Your original suggestion was regime change so those facts are irrelevant. In fact action by the Chinese government to protect the brave Han settlers in the far west against the terrorists would probably shore up support… just a popular aspect of Manifest Destiny….
     
    Mmm….a bit of reaction.
    You piqued my interest now in this particular. Wasn’t much thinking about it so far. Was just tossing ideas. I'll take a better look.
    "Brave" Han settlers….."terrorists" …..interesting choice of words.
    Well, agree, if you see Han settlers as brave and Uyghur insurrection as terrorist, we probably shouldn’t be debating this anymore. Let’s agree to disagree and move on.

    How about Sarajevo indeed? Under siege, including artillery bombardment by Bosnian and othet Serb forces which have nothing to do with tural discontent and much to do with what became of the Yugoslav Army.
     
    Probably.
    Or, maybe Balkans is a bit more….complicated….place than “informed” people wish to think.
    Anyway, when/if you have time/inclination just skim through this:
    https://balkanologie.revues.org/447

    As for this:

    Generally the organising of the poor and scattered rurals against the central government would be impossible in the absence of the sort of freedoms and fair elections that allowed the Brexit campaign to succeed.
     
    Well, again, just by looking at history of revolts…..I just strongly disagree.

    No question though about China being vulnerable to social conflict.
     
    Yeah.

    There is plenty but any attempts to capitalise on it get nipped in the bud severely and promptly.
     
    I see.
    Well……compliments to the ruling regime in China.
    They, apparently, resolved the problem that has pestered elites since times of Babylon.
    Impressive.
  191. Great article !!! Each word of which “hits not in the eyebrow but in the eye”. And it’s indeed really scary when such powerful players do not know how to lose gracefully.

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  192. @Authenticjazzman
    "you have no idea what scale or proportion all this is".

    Listen friend I have been "Mensa" qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.

    You are talking down to me, so we can just agree to disagree.

    " I am sure they will be amused to learn of this metric".

    And you are missing my point entirely, as I am not stating that this IS the "New metric" rather I am asking the question as to whether it is.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro Jazz musician.

    Listen friend I have been “Mensa” qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.

    Go, as an example, to St.Petersburg and visit Piskarevskoye Cemetery then we may talk about your IQ–you, as most Americans, have no concept of what war brings and what it is to have whole generations of men (and even women) in your families being wiped out by war. Even IQ of 300 is not going to0 help you to grasp that since it is not a function of “intelligence” which you parade here non-stop, obviously being fixated on this IQ BS. IQ is not gonna help when one has no clue. Yes, I am talking down to you.

    Read More
    • Agree: Sergey Krieger, Cyrano
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    "Yes I am talking down to you"

    And I really don't give a shit about what you have to say, however you can take this to the bank:

    You are a blabbermouth clueless jive-talker , and myself , well I can pick a up a Saxophone or a flute and blow a dynamite Jazz/blues solo, American style, which artists the worldover, including Russia, have been trying to imitate for the last eighty years, and they still haven't got it, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And as far as the cemetary in ST Petersburg is concerned, well you can make a trip to Luxembourg or France and view the graves of thousands upon thousands of young American men, including two relatives, who lost their lives because the Russians and French were not able to handle the Wehrmacht themselves.

    Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro Jazz musician.
  193. @jacques sheete
    Speaking of volumes of war materiel, what's your view of the Persian Corridor and the supplies funneled to Uncle Joe through that asset?

    Speaking of volumes of war materiel, what’s your view of the Persian Corridor and the supplies funneled to Uncle Joe through that asset?

    What can possibly be my view on that? Realities, the scope and scale, of Eastern Front struggles called for not refusal of any help and in this case Persian Corridor (together with far Eastern one–many Lend-Lease aircraft went this way from Alaska) was, obviously, very important. Again, Lend-Lease, probably spared about a million of Russian lives and for that Russians are profoundly grateful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    OK, thanks for your honesty.

    In fact, the figure is that the US shipped, through the Persin Corridor, enough materiel to fully supply 60 Soviet divisions. I think you'd agree that's substantial.

    Incidentally, for those who aren't aware of it, the Persian Corridor was established by the Allies 3 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was initiated by surprise attack on the navy of neutral Persia [Iran] which was occupied for the duration.
  194. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Kiza
    I got an impression that US could not quite understand why Britain did not just SWAT the Ecuadorian embassy in London and grab Julian Assange. I think it was the British FM who suggested this be done, but the UK government decided that grabbing Assange was not worth establishing such precedent for their own embassies worldwide.

    Even to this day, I cannot understand why US breached international conventions and invaded the Russian consulate. I accept that "stupidity" is a too an easy way out, but any other way I look at it makes no sense. I believe that Russians are also equally perplexed by this move (still in shock).

    Yes, even US vassals prefer to play by the rules, but not the US. It’s purely American flavor of stupidity: dumb, ignorant, and proud of it. You can call it exceptionalist hubris. Worst thing is, it’s suicidal, but the perpetrators aren’t even smart enough to understand that. The retarded elites who wanted this became elites through decades of negative selection: nobody decent has a chance in money-based American political system. The negative selection of elites killed the Soviet Union, now it is killing the US. This is sad: America used to be a decent country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza

    This is sad: America used to be a decent country.
     
    I certianly agree with you on this.
  195. @Andrei Martyanov

    This is also a straw man. The notion that the U.S. doesn’t engage these two in open warfare because it is incapable of doing so or is afraid of the challenge – a notion that is thrown around a lot here – is absurd.Why? Because it would be pointless and suicidal.
     
    Don't you think that you just killed your own argument? Isn't it the point of deterrence--to show your enemy that engaging you means suicide? Man, talk about Sun Tzu being timeless;-)

    No. I think you are avoiding this argument.

    You disagreed with me and then failed to respond in any substantive manner to my elaboration.

    I’m calling your bluff. You got nothing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I’m calling your bluff. You got nothing.
     
    OK. You won, I surrender.
  196. @Andrei Martyanov

    Listen friend I have been “Mensa” qualified, with a tested IQ above 150 points, for the last forty-plus years, and there is nothing you can comprehend which I cannot.
     
    Go, as an example, to St.Petersburg and visit Piskarevskoye Cemetery then we may talk about your IQ--you, as most Americans, have no concept of what war brings and what it is to have whole generations of men (and even women) in your families being wiped out by war. Even IQ of 300 is not going to0 help you to grasp that since it is not a function of "intelligence" which you parade here non-stop, obviously being fixated on this IQ BS. IQ is not gonna help when one has no clue. Yes, I am talking down to you.

    “Yes I am talking down to you”

    And I really don’t give a shit about what you have to say, however you can take this to the bank:

    You are a blabbermouth clueless jive-talker , and myself , well I can pick a up a Saxophone or a flute and blow a dynamite Jazz/blues solo, American style, which artists the worldover, including Russia, have been trying to imitate for the last eighty years, and they still haven’t got it, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And as far as the cemetary in ST Petersburg is concerned, well you can make a trip to Luxembourg or France and view the graves of thousands upon thousands of young American men, including two relatives, who lost their lives because the Russians and French were not able to handle the Wehrmacht themselves.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet, and pro Jazz musician.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    And as far as the cemetary in ST Petersburg is concerned, well you can make a trip to Luxembourg or France and view the graves of thousands upon thousands of young American men, including two relatives, who lost their lives because the Russians and French were not able to handle the Wehrmacht themselves.
     
    You may be (I doubt it, but may be) a good sax player but you have issue with arithmetic--so, my suggestion to you is to concentrate on playing jazz, your IQ maybe good only for that. But since you stated an utter BS, here are the facts: Piskarevskoye Cemetery houses graves of about 540 000 people, about a third of those who died in 900 day siege in Leningrad--that is almost twice more than all killed in US military history combined. You evidently can not comprehend the issue of scales and proportions even with your IQ. About your relatives (if you are telling the truth, of which I have doubts, but I could be wrong) go and try to impress someone else in your neck of the woods as per Wehrmacht--you may continue to live in your parallel universe but Red Army handled cream of the cream of Wehrmacht just fine. Western Allies came on board when it was pretty much settled issue. Just for people like you, that is those who are untouchable in IQ department. Read this (Allied strategic discussions in 1943) and if you have any issues with that, I am sure that you can easily find contacts of David Eisenhower and express to him your disapproval of his and his outstanding grandfather, Dwight D. Eisenhower, knowledge of history, do not forget to tell him about your IQ, I am sure he will impressed:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Hhs882opTA0/VjY1vej8pkI/AAAAAAAAAPE/sH9CR7N8uEo/s1600/Ike_2.jpg

    In general, try to start your education on the issues of actual WWII history and basics of strategy and operational art by reading a primer:

    https://www.amazon.com/When-Titans-Clashed-Stopped-Studies/dp/0700621210/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505061882&sr=8-1&keywords=David+glantz
  197. @jacques sheete
    Psst, Jazz..."We," da pipple lost both world wars, too.

    The bankers, who supported the Reds, won big time at "our" expense.

    Let us not be suckered into any more wars to benefit bankers and other war profiteers.

    ” The bankers who supported the Reds, won big time at “Our” expense”

    No argument out of me, as I have been aware of this fact for decades.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army Vet and pro jazz musician.

    Read More
  198. @Johnny Rico
    No. I think you are avoiding this argument.

    You disagreed with me and then failed to respond in any substantive manner to my elaboration.

    I'm calling your bluff. You got nothing.

    I’m calling your bluff. You got nothing.

    OK. You won, I surrender.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    turcopolier said...


    all

    US is evacuating intel assets from DZ by helo. pl


    Reply 09 September 2017 at 03:50 PM
     
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/09/israel-is-testing-russia-.html#comments

    A straw in the wind, or just a false alarm? Lang certainly has the experience and the connections to be taken seriously.

    Time will tell.
  199. peterAUS says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Uighurs.... Your original suggestion was regime change so those facts are irrelevant. In fact action by the Chinese government to protect the brave Han settlers in the far west against the terrorists would probably shore up support... just a popular aspect of Manifest Destiny....

    How about Sarajevo indeed? Under siege, including artillery bombardment by Bosnian and othet Serb forces which have nothing to do with tural discontent and much to do with what became of the Yugoslav Army.

    Generally the organising of the poor and scattered rurals against the central government would be impossible in the absence of the sort of freedoms and fair elections that allowed the Brexit campaign to succeed.

    No question though about China being vulnrrable to social conflict. There is plenty but any attempts to capitalise on it get nipped in the bud severely and promptly. The hardliners dispose of the weak seeming conciliators even if concessions are eventually made when they do not seem to be the result of pressure.

    Uighurs…. Your original suggestion was regime change so those facts are irrelevant. In fact action by the Chinese government to protect the brave Han settlers in the far west against the terrorists would probably shore up support… just a popular aspect of Manifest Destiny….

    Mmm….a bit of reaction.
    You piqued my interest now in this particular. Wasn’t much thinking about it so far. Was just tossing ideas. I’ll take a better look.
    “Brave” Han settlers…..”terrorists” …..interesting choice of words.
    Well, agree, if you see Han settlers as brave and Uyghur insurrection as terrorist, we probably shouldn’t be debating this anymore. Let’s agree to disagree and move on.

    How about Sarajevo indeed? Under siege, including artillery bombardment by Bosnian and othet Serb forces which have nothing to do with tural discontent and much to do with what became of the Yugoslav Army.

    Probably.
    Or, maybe Balkans is a bit more….complicated….place than “informed” people wish to think.
    Anyway, when/if you have time/inclination just skim through this:

    https://balkanologie.revues.org/447

    As for this:

    Generally the organising of the poor and scattered rurals against the central government would be impossible in the absence of the sort of freedoms and fair elections that allowed the Brexit campaign to succeed.

    Well, again, just by looking at history of revolts…..I just strongly disagree.

    No question though about China being vulnerable to social conflict.

    Yeah.

    There is plenty but any attempts to capitalise on it get nipped in the bud severely and promptly.

    I see.
    Well……compliments to the ruling regime in China.
    They, apparently, resolved the problem that has pestered elites since times of Babylon.
    Impressive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You missed my literary device (which I would probably find had a Greek name if I could find my Fowler). Of course I wasn't intending the Han settlers to be objectively regarded as innocent hardworking contributors to local society.that the Uighurs ought to have welcomed. In case that wasn"t obvious enough I added the ironic reference to "Manifest Destiny".

    For the rest I think you are getting well away from your original "regime change".

    I note that John Derbyshire, who is entitled to be taken seriously on China, used to quite often predict trouble for Chinese governments but hasn't for some years now as far as I know. Maybe control through modern technology and rapid economic growth keeping most of the populace supportive now keep the Chinese Communist Party firmly in control.

  200. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I’m calling your bluff. You got nothing.
     
    OK. You won, I surrender.

    turcopolier said…

    all

    US is evacuating intel assets from DZ by helo. pl

    Reply 09 September 2017 at 03:50 PM

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/09/israel-is-testing-russia-.html#comments

    A straw in the wind, or just a false alarm? Lang certainly has the experience and the connections to be taken seriously.

    Time will tell.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    Very good article and comments from some people who know about Syria and the Middle East.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/09/israel-is-testing-russia-.html#comments
  201. @NoseytheDuke
    Oops! Sorry, this comment was meant for MarkinLA.

    Dude. I’ll entertain the fuck out of you. But you’ve got to be awake. Looks like you started drinking early today. Lemme know

    Read More
    • Replies: