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For a lot of Trump supporters the past week has been a painful one. Whether we chose to react with abject panic or pretended like nothing happened, something did happen and it was something big: the Three Letter Agencies pulled-off a de facto coup against Donald Trump by forcing him to fire his most important foreign policy advisor and the man who had dared to declare that he wanted to reform the bloated and largely ineffective US intelligence community.

There is no way of putting a brave face on what happened. Not only because it showed that Trump is not loyal to those who are loyal to him, but because this episode pretty much killed what I would call the “Trump dream”. I chose my words carefully here. I speak of “Trump dream” as opposed to the Trump reality. Let me explain.

The “Trump dream”

When Trump won the elections the spectrum of hopes about his actions was very wide. It ranged from “Trump will forever reshape the international system, end the Empire and bring peace and prosperity to the USA” to “he will never be as bad as Hillary no matter what he does”. On that spectrum, here is what I would list as the key elements of the “Trump dream”:

  1. Draining the swamp: kicking the Neocons down to the basement they crawled out of 24 years ago, reforming the US intelligence community, possibly even dissolving the CIA or, at the very least, subordinating it, and the JCS, to the President.
  2. Making peace with Russia and negotiate a “grand bargain” which would clearly spell out how the USA and Russia would act towards each other and jointly against common threats. At the very least, this would imply an agreement on the Ukraine and Syria.
  3. Work with Russia to create a new European security system which would keep NATO as a political organization, but which would “dilute it” into a new security framework ranging from Portugal to the Ural mountains and which would include a 21st century version of the Conventional Forces Europe treaty.
  4. Stop pouring billions of dollars into the Empire and redirect the immense resources currently wasted on war, aggression and subversion back into the United States and their decaying infrastructure, medical care, education, small business, etc. Until now, the main profitable sectors of the US economy were either the military-industrial complex or finance. The hope was that Trump would kick-start the “real” economy: the production of goods and services.
  5. End what I would call the “dictatorship of the minorities” and replace it with a restoration of the sovereignty of the majority of the American people over their country. The “Rachel Maddows” who used to be the “ideological masters” of the AngloZionist regime would be gently ushered towards the doors and replaced by people most Americans could identify with.
  6. Law and order would be restored to the USA and the uncontrolled flow of immigrants would finally be regulated at least to some degree.
  7. Last, but most definitely not least, Trump would not act on this stupid, counter-productive and self-defeating Iran-bashing and China-bashing rhetoric. Remember – what I am listing here is not a realistic evaluation of what Trump might do once in power, but what I deliberately called the “Trump dream” with emphasis on the second word. Sure, there might be those who wanted Trump to deliver on his threats and possibly even start a war with Iran or China, but I have not met them. (Then again, these are not people I like to be around). Again, this is my, subjective and personal outline of what I think many (most?) Trump supporters were dreaming about, nothing more.

Following the past week, I would say that, for the most part, this dream is now over, especially points 1,2,3 and 5, points 6 and 7 are on life support and only 4 is having of chills and a runny nose but might still live.

They key, of course, is point 1: draining the swamp. In other words, wrestling the power away from the Neocons and the US ‘deep state’ and putting it back where it belongs: in the hands of a President with a mandate of a majority of the American people. That is, alas, the biggest loss we all suffered last week: the man who was supposed to drain the swamp got a humiliating smack-down by a deep state drunk on its own infinite chutzpah. The biggest deal is not that Flynn was sacked, although that is a big deal, but the fact that the deep state forced Trump into publicly betraying Flynn and sacking him instead of those who were involved in this palace coup (including Pence himself).

What the deep state demonstrated this week is that everybody in the Executive Branch serves not at the pleasure of the President, but at the pleasure of the deep state, including probably Donald Trump himself.

By terminating Trump’s #2 the Neocons have now shown the world that everybody else (#3, #4, etc.) and possibly #1 are all here only to the extend that they, the Neocons, let them. I am personally convinced that unless Donald Trump finds in himself the courage to mount a major counter-attack, the Neocons will find a way of kicking him out of the White House before his term ends. That is typically their style: sending “messages” and “making an example”.

If Trump “behaves” they might, possibly, let him do a little of points #6 (law and order) and #4 (redirecting some money to the US homeland). As for point #7 (Iran and China bashing), that is the only part of his program which they will enthusiastically support (thereby also ending the dream of him not acting on that crazy nonsense).

So yeah, this is bad, and barring a miracle, the dream is really over.

However, let’s put that right back in perspective.

The Trump reality

If the dream is over, that is hardly a reason to become despondent or to claim that supporting Trump was a mistake. Please always keep in mind what the alternative was: Hillary Clinton.

One of my favorite Russian commentators, Ruslan Ostashko, brilliantly put it when he said:

Not a single rational person was expecting Trump to display true friendship or love for Russia or an immediate recognition of Crimea (as part of Russia). Our joy at the election of Trump was linked to a single factor: with Clinton we would had no chances, none at all, to agree on anything. If Clinton was now sitting in the White House we would not be discussing the issue of the recognition of Crimea or the future of US sanctions. We would be trying to guess when the nuclear war would start, we would be studying our bomb shelter maps, how to use a Geiger counter, and how to count the correct dosage for iodine tablets.

He is absolutely right, of course. This is also exactly what I wrote on November 9th following the election:

So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that “Trump won” because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won’t do that.

I never was a “Trump dreamer”. I was merely a Trump hoper meaning that I had hopes that Trump would not only be better than Hillary, but that he might deliver on, at least, some of his “dream” message.

But if the choice is the Neocons humiliating Trump or thermonuclear war – then I pick the former, with gratitude.

Furthermore, however unpleasant this thought might be to many Americans, it is an undeniable fact that the United States is currently the host upon which the AngloZionist parasite feeds and which this parasite uses to try to subjugate the entire planet.

What is happening now is that the Neocons and the deep state have succeeded in re-taking control of their host, but only at the cost of a major weakening of that host. And that is objectively good for our planet. Just as the coup in Turkey ended up gutting the military and security services and dramatically curtailing their ability to influence the events in Syria (this is, in part, why Erdogan is now playing ball with the Russians and the Iranians), the ongoing color revolution against Trump is gutting the power of the American host and, thus, of the AngloZionist parasite. For one thing, the entire political establishment is so deeply involved in the struggle for power inside the USA, that very little bureaucratic energy is left to deal with anything else. Furthermore, in political terms, the “indispensable nation” and “city upon the hill” are now the laughingstock of the planet. The next time around some State Department propagandist starts regurgitating the usual chunk of propaganda prolefeed about democracy, human right and fair elections he will be greeted with a hysterical laughter and screams of “physician, heal thyself!!”. And, frankly, God only knows where this process might lead us next. I, for one, would absolutely not exclude the possibility of civil war in the USA. And before that statement gets greeted with jeers and the usual set of ad hominems, let me remind you that I predicted the civil war in the Ukraine when almost everybody else was in total denial (see: The gates of Hell are opening for the Ukraine, written on Nov 20th, 2013). At this point in time, I am not predicting a civil war in the USA, but I am saying that it has become a real possibility.

Civil war or not, all the Neocons and the deep state are doing is accelerating the inevitable collapse of the USA as a world hegemon. True, Trump could not have prevented it, but he could have negotiated it, using the still immense power of the USA to get the best possible deal from the other big actors. If a person falls off a skyscraper, there is no way of preventing him of hitting the ground – but whether he has a parachute or not will make a huge difference to him on how he will land. That is what Trump could have done – making a “descent on the breaks” as the Russians expression goes. The skills to make that happen are straightforward: realism, willingness to negotiate, ability to understand the other guy, the courage to give up that which is not sustainable, etc. That is the exact skillset that the Neocons totally lack. What they can do is double-down, then double-down again, and then double-down some more. And that kind of maniacal attitude always leads to catastrophe.

Whatever may be the case, the big story for the foreseeable future will be the infighting inside the US deep state. Why infighting? Because Trump is also part of the deep state, he did just suddenly pop out of nowhere ex nihilo, he had, and still has, powerful backers. That’s the, comparatively speaking, the good news. The bad news is that the faction of the deep state which is backing Trump appears to be the weaker one. And Trump himself is not exactly a knight in shining armor, to put it mildly. Still, if we imagine that by some aggregate measure of power the anti-Trump forces inside the deep state are, oh, 70% and the Trump supporters are therefore 30%, the infighting between the 70% and the 30% will leave very little energy to either party to deal with Russia, China or Iran.

It is a sweet irony that the big proponents of divide et impera did just that to themselves, is it not?

Conclusion

It is way too early to become despondent. Yes, the “Trump dream” is probably over, it was beautiful as long as it lasted, but now the “Trump reality” is taking center stage and we all need to learn how to operate in this new context. We need to carefully and systematically study this new reality and carefully parse it for all the risk and opportunities it presents us with. And there are a lot of great opportunities, along with very real risks, to be discovered. Just the fact that the leaders of the Empire have turned against each other is a God sent blessing! Let’s use that to the max.

Coincidence or not, but the Duran is reporting that the Chairman of the JCS, General Joe Dunford, and General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian military’s General Staff have met in Baku. This is the first such meeting since January 2014 and it took place in a “cordial atmosphere”. In fact, Dunford reassured Gerasimov that there are in fact no plans to deploy US ground troops to Syria (there are, of course, already several thousand US troops on the ground in Syria, both sides know that, but both sides also know what Dunford is referring to: regular armed forces).

Can you imagine such a meeting under Hillary?

What happened is really simple. With the election of Trump, the Neocons suffered a crushing defeat and it took them less than a month to regroup and castrate Trump. This is bad and the “Trump dream” is over. But we – the resistance to Empire, as still in very good shape. After all, Trump was never *our* candidate, he was the candidate of the part of the deep state which we, opponents of the US deep state in toto, supported as a lesser evil: and we were right – he was and he still is the lesser evil. Furthermore, the party which really lost the most is the Trump-supporting part of the deep state, and they now enough power left (10, 30 or 45 percent – that does not really matter) to regroup and fight back. And if/when they do fight back, we still have to give them our support simply because that is the moral and pragmatic thing to do. Right now, Trump looks like Yanukovich, true. But I think that he is also a far smarter and much more honorable person than Yanukovich. Call me naïve, but my gut feeling is that Trump cares for the USA and that he wants to do the right thing. I might be wrong, of course. But at least so far I do not see the clear signs of the total rot and corruption which Yanukovich has all over his face. Furthermore, Trump appears to be learning. That is very important. In his latest press conference Trump finally finally showed some real guts and counter-attacked the media, very effectively I would say. And remember how fast Trump learned from his first defeat in the debate against Hillary? Trump might be a fast learner and if that is really the case, then he might learn some most useful lessons from the entire Flynn debacle.

Hopes still permitted :-)

So hopes are still permitted. Not expectations – those are always bad. But reasonable, reality-compatible hopes. Like all humans, politicians change. If the Neocons don’t succeed in impeaching him, Trump might still end up kicking some ass, so to speak. And if they do impeach him, they will further weaken the Empire. So, all in all, I would say that while we had a very bad week we are still on good shape.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Deep State, Donald Trump, Neocons, Russia 

Okay, my sense is that a large number of commentators are misunderstanding the nature of what is going on. So, this time, rather than writing an analysis, I will spell it out, ‘talking points’ – style and, hopefully, do a better job about making my point. So, here we go.

  1. THIS IS NOT ABOUT FLYNN. Let me repeat that once more. THIS IS NOT ABOUT FLYNN!!! Please don’t come and tell me that Flynn was wrong on Iran, on Islam or on China. I agree. But,

    ==>>THIS IS NOT ABOUT FLYNN!!!<<==

  2. THIS IS ABOUT POWER. As in, who is boss? Who is number one? Who is the alpha dog? The President or the ‘deep state’? That is what this is all about – showing everybody who is in charge.
  3. FLYNN WAS A SYMBOL. He was the symbol of the entire notion of draining the Washington swamp, which is mostly the 3 letter agencies + Pentagon anyway. Flynn was the guy who dared defy the thought police and be friendly with the Russians. Flynn was the man who wanted to bring the CIA and JCS back under White House control. And Flynn was the guy with contacts with SOCOM and JSOC. Flynn had to be brought down.
  4. FLYNN WAS ALSO A CORNERSTONE. For better or for worse, it is absolutely evident that Flynn was the brain behind Trump’s entire foreign policy. On some stuff Flynn was great (Russia), on some stuff he was okay (Takfiri terrorism), on some stuff he was ridiculous (China) and on some stuff he was terrible (Iran). But that is not what matters here. Listen to Kucinich who clearly says that this is not about Trump or Flynn, but about a coup against the Presidency by the US ‘deep state’. Now that Flynn has been brought down, there is no “Trump foreign policy” left.
  5. FLYNN IS ALSO A DOMINO. Okay, this is crucial, pay attention now. Putin has often been criticized for protecting his friends even when these friends are guilty of wrongdoings. Now let me ask you a simple question: would you rather stick your neck out for Trump or for Putin? Exactly. If Trump was a loyal kind of person he could have called Pence and Flynn to the Oval Office, told Flynn to apologize and told Pence to shut up. But he did nothing of the kind. By accepting Flynn’s “resignation” Trump showed that he does not protect those who fight for him. There will definitely be a domino-effect now as everybody who matters has now understood: Trump is weak, the Neocons got him by the balls, and Trump will leave you hanging when the shit hits the fan.
  6. FLYNN’S DOWNFALL IS A MESSAGE. A message to all those who hate Trump and what Trump represents. And that message is simple: we are back in control and the party is on! Now that Trump has been humiliated and broken, now that he lost his only high-IQ and powerful ally in the White House, the Neocons are the deep state are smelling blood and they will double-down and resume their attack with increased intensity. The next highly symbolic sacrificial victim might be the much-hated Steve Bannon. The bottom line is simple: the hunt is on for anti-deep-state ‘crimethinkers’.
  7. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS ABOUT TRUMP’S CHARACTER. That was the big unknown, right? Nobody really new what kind of President Trump would make. Everybody, including yours truly, enjoyed speculating about his ego, his lack of political experience, the fact that he owed nothing to anybody, that he was a deal maker, a common sense pragmatist. Well, we still don’t know what kind of President Trump will be, but I am afraid that we now know what kind of President he will NOT be: he will NOT drain the swamp, he will NOT change the subordination of US national interests to the AngloZionist Empire, he will NOT forge a historical partnership with Russia and he will NOT send the Neocons down to the basement from which they crawled out 24 years ago. Whether Trump lacks brains, spine, or balls is anyone’s guess, but it is now painfully clear that he has much more in common with Yanukovich then with Putin.

As I said, it’s over. Not because of Flynn’s views on Iran or Islam. But because Trump has caved in, he has been broken and now all that’s left is a painful 4 year long agony. That’s assuming that the Neocons don’t impeach him just to bask in their arrogance and sense of supremacy.

Frankly, my heart goes out to all those who sincerely hoped that Trump will be the man to free the US from the Neocons and restore the power of the “basket of deplorables” over the many minorities and special interests. Some will now indulge in a lot of “I told you so” but they will be wrong. To hope for the best was the right thing to do. Those who voted for Trump did the only thing in their power to prevent Hillary from occupying the White House. That was the right decision, they did the right thing, both morally and pragmatically.

But now we also need to gather our courage and accept the reality of what has taken place. Minimizing the implications of this deep state coup makes no sense whatsoever, neither morally nor pragmatically. And the reality is this:

It took the Neocons and the US deep state less than a month to overturn the results of the Presidential election.

Trump now declares that he “expects Russia to return Crimea“.

It’s over folks – welcome (back) to the war between Russia and the Empire.

PS: one more thing. Trump himself was always, of course, the candidate of one part of the ‘US deep state’. Trump did not appear ex nihilo, and neither did Flynn. It is taking place is one faction of the deep state fighting against another faction of the deep state. The US elites have been split for a while now. But since Trump now has legal authority and those trying to color revolution him do not, I speak of the deep state vs the Presidency.

(Reprinted from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA. My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation. Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not. However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy. For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed. Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council. Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House. Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests. That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.

The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

And Trump accepted this resignation.

Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope.

But now Trump has betrayed us all.

Remember how Obama showed his true face when he hypocritically denounced his friend and pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.? Today, Trump has shown us his true face. Instead of refusing Flynn’s resignation and instead of firing those who dared cook up these ridiculous accusations against Flynn, Trump accepted the resignation. This is not only an act of abject cowardice, it is also an amazingly stupid and self-defeating betrayal because now Trump will be alone, completely alone, facing the likes of Mattis and Pence – hard Cold Warrior types, ideological to the core, folks who want war and simply don’t care about reality.

Again, Flynn was not my hero. But he was, by all accounts, Trump’s hero. And Trump betrayed him.

The consequences of this will be immense. For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the ‘deep state’ only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be. Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him. The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again.

It’s over, folks, the deep state has won.

From now on, Trump will become the proverbial shabbos-goy, the errand boy of the Israel lobby. Hassan Nasrallah was right when he called him ‘an idiot‘.

The Chinese and Iranian will openly laugh. The Russians won’t – they will be polite, they will smile, and try to see if some common sense policies can still be salvaged from this disaster. Some might. But any dream of a partnership between Russia and the United States has died tonight.

The EU leaders will, of course, celebrate. Trump was nowhere the scary bogeyman they feared. Turns out that he is a doormat – very good for the EU.

Where does all this leave us – the millions of anonymous ‘deplorables’ who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?

I think that we were right in our hopes because that is all we had – hopes. No expectations, just hopes. But now we objectively have very little reasons left to hope. For one thing, the Washington ‘swamp’ will not be drained. If anything, the swamp has triumphed. We can only find some degree of solace in two undeniable facts:

  1. Hillary would have been far worse than any version of a Trump Presidency.
  2. In order to defeat Trump, the US deep state has had to terribly weaken the US and the AngloZionist Empire. Just like Erdogan’ purges have left the Turkish military in shambles, the anti-Trump ‘color revolution’ has inflicted terrible damage on the reputation, authority and even credibility of the USA.

The first one is obvious. So let me clarify the second one. In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka “the basket of deplorables”) the Neocons have had to show they true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left. And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

Trump, for all his faults, did favor the US, as a country, over the global Empire. Trump was also acutely aware that ‘more of the same’ was not an option. He wanted policies commensurate with the actual capabilities of the USA. With Flynn gone and the Neocons back in full control – this is over. Now we are going to be right back to ideology over reality.

Trump probably could have made America, well, maybe not “great again”, but at least stronger, a major world power which could negotiate and use its leverage to get the best deal possible from the others. That’s over now. With Trump broken, Russia and China will go right back to their pre-Trump stance: a firm resistance backed by a willingness and capability to confront and defeat the USA at any level.

I am quite sure that nobody today is celebrating in the Kremlin. Putin, Lavrov and the others surely understand exactly what happened. It is as if Khodorkovsy would have succeeded in breaking Putin in 2003. In fact, I have to credit Russian analysts who for several weeks already have been comparing Trump to Yanukovich, who also was elected by a majority of the people and who failed to show the resolve needed to stop the ‘color revolution’ started against him. But if Trump is the new Yanukovich, will the US become the next Ukraine?

Flynn was very much the cornerstone of the hoped-for Trump foreign policy. There was a real chance that he would reign in the huge, bloated and all-powerful three letter agencies and that he would focus US power against the real enemy of the West: the Wahabis. With Flynn gone, this entire conceptual edifice has now come down. We are going to be left with the likes of Mattis and his anti-Iranian statements. Clowns who only impress other clowns.

Today Neocon victory is a huge event and it will probably be completely misrepresented by the official media. Ironically, Trump supporters will also try minimize it all. But the reality is that barring a most unlikely last-minute miracle, it’s over for Trump and the hopes of millions of people in the USA and the rest of the world who had hoped that the Neocons could be booted out of power by means of a peaceful election. That is clearly not going to happen.

I see very dark clouds on the horizon.

(Reprinted from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, Neocons 

One of the most frustrating tasks is to try to debunk the Hollywood myths imprinted on the mind of Americans about warfare in general and about special forces and technology in particular. When last week I wrote my column about the first SNAFUs of the Trump Presidency I pretty much expected that some of the points I made would fall on deaf ears and that indeed did happen. What I propose to do today is to try, yet again, to explain the vast difference between what I would call “the American way of war” as seen in propaganda movies and the reality of warfare.

Let’s begin with the issue of the use of special operation forces and immediately say what they are not: special operation forces are not SWAT or anti-terrorist forces. The US propaganda machine has imprinted on the mind of people in the West that if a force is “elite” and looks “tacti-cool” it is some kind of special force. By that criteria, even some riot cops could be considered as “special forces”. This is, by the way, not only an American sin. The Russians have gone down the exact same ridiculous road and now you have “spetsnaz” forces all over Russia – even the Russian equivalent of the US department of correction which now has “spetsnaz” forces to deal with prison riots! Likewise, the famous anti-terrorist unit “A” (mistakenly called “Alpha” as opposed to the US “Delta”) is exactly that – an anti-terrorist unit and not a military special force. So what are, stricto sensu, special forces? They are a military force which participates to the overall war effort but autonomously and not in direct support of the main/conventional fighting force. Depending on the country and service, special forces can deal with a variety of tasks ranging from providing “advisors” to what Americans call direct action operation such as the recent ill-fated attack on the al-Qaeda compound in Yemen. Just like airborne forces, special forces have often been misused, especially when conventional forces could not be counted on, but that does not mean that SWAT and anti-terrorist forces should be thought of as “special forces”. Special forces are always military forces and they operate in support of military operations.

[Sidebar: some American readers who where miffed by my assertions that US special forces have a terrible real-life record have tried to counter with a logically fallacious argument: what about Russian special forces, are they any better? Examples given where Beslan, Nord-Ost and Budennovsk. There are two problems with this argument: one, none of these events can be considered as “special operations” and, two, even if the Russian special forces have a terrible record, this hardly means that the US special forces' record is good or, even less so, better. Besides, these three tragedies are totally different. The Budennovsk hospital hostage crisis was, indeed, a total disaster which occurred against the backdrop of another total disaster, the First Chechen war, and which resulted in 130 dead civilians out of a total of about 2000. That is a 93.5% of hostages which survived. Considering that the civilians political authorities were arguably the worst in Russian history and considering that the hostage takers were well over 100 hardened Chechen terrorists, I think that this is not the “disaster” that civilians like to think of. Next, let's look at Beslan. Here we have well over 1000 hostages when 385 fatalities – much more of a “disaster” indeed. But let's remember what happened that day: a bomb, apparently one of the biggest one held in the sports hall, blew up which resulted in local civilians (parents) spontaneously storming the school. At this point, the anti-terror forces simply joined in to save as many people as possible and many of them died by shielding the kids with the own bodies. There is simply no way that Beslan can be blamed on Russian anti-terrorist forces. As for Nord-Ost, this is one of the most successful hostage rescue operation in history: about 900 hostages are taken by about 45 terrorists. As a result of the operation, all of the civilians are freed, all of the terrorists are killed and all the anti-terrorist troops survived. Not a single bomb was detonated. However, the tragedy happened after the operation when the medical services simply did not have enough manpower to revive the freed hostages, some of whom even died in buses on the way to medical care. In theory, every single one of these hostages had undergone a full anesthesia (without being intubated) and every single one of them needed to be revived by a medical team. In their worst nightmares the Russian anti-terrorist forces had never expected to deal with such a huge number of civilians needing immediate specialized medical care. The civilian emergency medical response units were completely overwhelmed and did not even know what gas had been used. As a result, 130 hostages died, or about 15% of the hostages. Had the Russians not decided to use gas the most likely casualty figure would have been well over 500 if not more. That is hardly what I would call a failure of the entire operation, including the civilian support. In terms of pure anti-terrorist operation is probably the most successful hostage liberation operation in history. Let me end this sidebar with a simple question: when is the last time that any anti-terrorist force in the West had to deal with a situation involving over 1000 hostages taken by a large number of ruthless military-trained terrorists?]

If one is absolutely determined to assess the Russian record on special operations I would point to the

capture of the Ruzyne International Airport in Prague in 1968, the storming of the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan in 1979 and, of course, the Russian operation to seize Crimea in 2014. But, again, there is no logical need to prove that Russian can do it well/better to assert that Americans can’t.

Now let’s turn to the issue of a possible war between Iran and the United States.

The dumbest possible way to evaluate the possible outcomes of a US attack on Iran would be to do compare all the technologies available to both countries and come to some kind of conclusion. For an example of that kind of nonsense, check out this typical article. Generally, the obsession with technology is a typical American pathology which is a direct result of fighting overseas wars against vastly out-gunned enemies. I call that the engineer’s view of war, as opposed to the soldier’s view. That is not to say that technology does not matter, it does, but tactics, operations and strategy matter a whole lot more. For example, while it is true that a modern M1A2 Abrams is vastly superior to an old Soviet T-55, there are circumstances (high mountains, forests) where the T-55, properly engaged, could be a much better tank. Likewise, putatively outdated WWII anti-tank guns can be used with devastating effect on modern APC just as outdated air defense guns can by turned into absolutely terrifying assault fire support vehicles.

In the case of the US attack on Iran, only a total ignoramus would suppose that as soon as the Iranians detect the US attack they would scramble their mostly dated air force to try to achieve air superiority or that they would hope to stop the US attack using their air-defenses. Let me remind everybody here that Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?

Because generally the American way of war doesn’t really work. What do I mean by “American way of war”? Using airstrikes and missile attacks to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to such a degree that it forces him to surrender. This was tried against the Serbian military in Kosovo and resulted in an abject failure: the Serbian forces survived the 78 days of massive NATO bombing completely unscathed (a few MBTs and APCs were lost, that’s about it). When that failure became apparent to the NATO commanders they did what the US military always does and turned against the civilian Serbian population in retaliation (same as the Israelis in Lebanon, of course) while offering Milosevic a deal: you surrender and we leave you in power. He accepted and ordered the Serbian military out of Kosovo. This was a spectacular political success for NATO, but in purely military terms, this was a disaster (well-concealed from the western public opinion courtesy of the best propaganda machine in history).

In one case only once did that American way of war really work as advertised: during the first Gulf War. And there is a good reason for that.

During the Cold War US force planners and strategist had developed a number of concepts to prepare for a war in Europe against the Soviet Union. Such concepts included the AirLand Battle doctrine or the Follow-on-Forces Attack (FOFA) which I shall not discuss in detail here, but which all placed a heavy emphasis on long-range reconnaissance-strikes systems and the use of air forces to defeat an assumed Soviet conventional superiority, especially in armor. I believe that these were fundamentally sound doctrines which could have been used effectively in the European theater. By the time Iraq invaded Kuwait, the USA had honed these concepts to quasi-perfection and the US armed forces were well trained in applying them. Saddam Hussein then committed a series of unforgivable mistakes the worst one being to give the USA many months to deploy into the KSA (this blatantly contradicts Soviet military doctrine which tells me that Saddam Hussein did not listen to this Soviet-trained generals or that these generals were afraid to speak up).

Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA. Well, he wasn’t. In fact, the way the Iraqis prepared for a US attack was a dream come true for US force planners and analysts because Saddam gave them the absolutely perfect target: large armored formations deployed in a desert with no air cover. The US, who for years had prepared to fight a much more sophisticated Soviet conventional military in the complex central European terrain (“Mischgelende” forests, many villages and town, rapid streams, steep hills and riverbanks, etc.) could simply not believe their luck: the Iraqis deployed in the worst possible manner making them an ideal target, much easier in fact that what was practiced for in US desert trainings. The result was predictable, the USA simply crushed the Iraqis and almost took no casualties.

Guess who observed that from right across the border with rapt attention?
The Iranians, of course.

If anybody seriously believes that the Iranians will prepare for a US attack by trying to out-American the Americans I have a few bridges to sell to them.

What Iranians, and Hezbollah, perfectly understood is that the key to prevail against the USA is to deny them the American way of war and to impose them a type of warfare they absolutely loathe. We can call that the Iranian way of war. Here are a few of its key components:

1) Assume that the American will establish air supremacy in 24 hours or less and deny them any lucrative targets. Sounds simple, but it is not. This requires a number of steps which can take years to implement including, but not limited to, concealing, hardening and deeply burying the most valuable civilian and military assets, creating an highly redundant network of communication and prepare for semi-autonomous operations when communications fail, creating a country-wide system of local civilian-military cooperation aimed at the survivability of essential government services including law and order, have procedures in place to compensate for the disruption of energy distribution and the destruction of key transportation nodes, etc. It might be my Swiss training speaking here, but I would assume that over the past 30 years the Iranians have dug thousands of miles of underground tunnels and command posts which allows the country to literally “go under” for as long as is needed.

2) Develop a number of key advanced technologies such as GPS-spoofing, computer network penetration and disruption, electronic counter-measures warfare, advanced mine warfare, small boat operations and, of course, missile strikes not to deny the US forces any portion of the Iranian territory, but to dramatically increase the risks and costs of US operations. This is were a limited number of advanced air defense systems can make a critical difference, especially if successfully concealed.

3) Engage in “horizontal escalation”: rather than wasting efforts in trying to shoot down US aircraft, use missile strikes to destroy US airfields (and ports) in the region. That is, by the way, official Iranian doctrine. Or strike at US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. Target Israel or, even better, the Saudi regime. Force the US Navy to either engage in brown-water or, at most, green-water operations (here the Russian Kilo-class subs will excel) or force them to move back and shut down the Strait of Hormuz (the US Navy hates brown and green water operations, and for good reason, the USN is a blue-water navy par excellence) and the Americans are acutely aware of what happened to the US-built Israeli Sa’ar 5-class corvette when it got hit by Hezbollah fired Chinese-built C-802 missile.

4) Play the time card: time is always against the US military as the expectation is a short, easy war, with as little as casualties as possible and then a quick “out”. The Israelis ran out of steam in 33 days, NATO in 78 – so plan for at least a 12 month long conflict. Western forces have no staying power, let them hope for a “quickie” and then see how they react when it ain’t happening.

5) Use the traditional American sense of superiority and condescension for “sand niggers”or “hajis” and don’t bother trying to intimidate them. Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel. I find the notion of using US Neocons to make the US get rid of Saddam Hussein and basically hand over Iraq to Iran nothing short of pure genius. This is, of course, why it is never mentioned in western sources :-)

6) Force the Americans to present you more targets: the more US forces are deployed near Iran, the more targets they offer for Iranian counter-attacks and the more they get politically bogged-down (as shown by the recent Iraqi threat to revoke visas for US servicemen in Iraq in response to Trump temporary visa-ban; the threat is empty, but clearly nobody in the White House or Foggy Bottom ever considered such an option). Basically, being being everywhere CENCTOM forces are hated everywhere.

The above are just a few examples from a long list of things the Iranians can do to respond to a US attack on Iran. We can expect the Iranians to come up with a much longer and far more creative list. By the way, there is nothing new or original in the list I made above, and the Americans are quite aware of it. There is a reason why even though the US has come as close as being hours away from striking at Iran they always backed down at the last second. So we have that endless tug-of-war: the US politicians (who believe their own propaganda) want to strike Iran, while US military specialists (who know better than to believe their own propaganda) constantly try to prevent such an attack. I want to mention Admiral William Fallon here, a true hero and patriot, who bluntly declared about a possible attack on Iran “not on my watch” in direct defiance of his political superiors. I hope that one day his service to his country in a very difficult situation will be finally recognized.

More more thing: Israel and the other regional powers. They are basically the equivalent of the vegetables served in a steak house: decoration. Just as NATO is a pretend force, so is the IDF and all the rest of the locals, including the Saudis, at least compared to Iran and Hezbollah. Yes, sure, they spend a lot of money, purchase expensive systems, but should a war break out, the Americans will be carrying 90%+ of the burden of real warfare, as opposed to politically correct coalition-building. Iran is a very large country with a complex geography, and the only ones who have to kind of power-projection capabilities to strike at Iran other than symbolically are the Americans. Of course, I am quite sure that should the US strike at Iran the Israelis will feel obliged to strike at some putatively nuclear target, return home and declare yet victory of the “invincible Tsahal”. But to the extend that Iran will be meaningfully hurt, it will be by the US, not Israel.

So does that mean that Iran would come unscathed from a US attack? Absolutely not. What I expect the Americans to do is what they have always done: engage in the mass murder of civilians in retaliation for their military failures. I know that this will, yet again, offend some doubleplusgoodthinking patriots, but massacring civilians is an American tradition dating from the very foundation of the United States. Anybody doubting that ought to read the superb book by John Grenier (USAF Ret.) entitled “The First Way of War 1607-1814: American War Making on the Frontier” which explains in exquisite detail how the US anti-civilian terror operations doctrine was developed over the centuries. This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”. And this is what they did in Iraq and Serbia and what the Israelis did in Lebanon. And this is exactly what we should expect will happen in Iran. At least, this is the worst case scenario. There are really fundamentally two basic options for a US attack on Iran and I outlined them in my 2007 article about Iranian asymmetrical response options:

Broadly speaking, we see the Neocon Empire has having two options in an attack on Iran:

  1. A short, limited, attack on some Iranian nuclear and government installations. The goals of that kind of attack would be solely political: to appear to have “done something”, give the despondent Americans and Israelis some flags to wave, to “show resolve” and “send a firm message” – the kind of State Department nonsense. If lucky, they could hope to kill some Iranian leaders (although what exactly that would achieve is anyone’s guess). Lastly, it would punish the Iranians for their “bad behavior”.

  2. A more significant military attack, which could not be limited to an air campaign and one which would have to include at least some insertion of ground forces. That would be similar to the strategy outlined in my How they might do it article. The goal of this option would be radically different from the first one: “to punish the Iranian population for its support of ‘the Mullahs’ (as the expression goes in the USA) via the ballot box. This is exactly the same logic which brought the Israelis to hammer all of Lebanon with bombs, missiles and mines – the same logic by which they killed over 500 people in Gaza – the same logic by which the U.S. bombed all of Serbia and Montenegro and the same logic which explains the bizarre embargo of Cuba. The message here is: if you support the bad guys, you will pay for it.”

The option I discussed today is the 2nd one, because this is the one which would get most people killed. But make no mistake, since neither one of these options would result in anything remotely resembling a victory (this is a political concept defining an achieved political objective) one would have to conclude that both of these options would result in failure and defeat. Such an attack would also seal the end of the US political role in the Middle-East unless, of course, being a despised elephant in a porcelain store is considered a “role”. But make no mistake, even if the Iranian casualty figures go in the hundred of thousands, or even over a million like in Iraq, the Iranians will not surrender and they will prevail. For one thing, terrorizing civilians has never worked. Genocide can be a much more viable option, but there are too many Iranians to do that and they are too well dug-in in their country to contemplate such an option (sorry, Israelis, even nuking Iran will not result in a “victory” of any kind). The Iranians have been at it for, what, 3000-9000 years (depending on how you count) and they will not be subdued, submitted or defeated with 200 or 70 year old states, or by an AngloZionist Empire in terminal decline.

I suspect that by now quite a few readers will be thoroughly irritated with me. So what better way is there for me to end this discussion than by adding religion to the mix? Yes, let’s do that!

Most Iranian are Shia, that is well known. But what is less well-known is one of the key motto’s of the Shia which, I believe, beautifully expresses one of the key features of the Shia ethos, is: “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala”. You can find an explanation of this phrase here. It basically expresses the willingness to die for the truth at any time and in any place. Millions of Iranians, even those not necessarily very pious, have been raised with this determination to fight and resist, at any cost. And now think of Donald Trump or General “Mad Dog” Mattis and try to imagine how hollow and grotesque they and their threats look to their Iranian counterparts.

Should I write an analysis of Chinese response options to a US attack? Nah – let’s just say that if the US doesn’t have what it takes to prevail over Iran, an attack on China would be simply suicidal.

Next week, alas, I will probably have to turn back to the dramatic events in the Ukraine.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iran 

It is a rare privilege to be able to criticize a politician for actually fulfilling his campaign promises but Donald Trump is a unique President and this week he offered us exactly this opportunity with not one, but three different SNAFUs to report.

First, there was the botched raid against an alledged al-Qaeda compound in Yakla, Yemen. Let me commit a crimethink here and remind everybody that for all the great Hollywood movies, Americans have a terrible record of doing special ops. The latest one was typical. First, it involved Navy SEALS, one of the most disaster-prone US special forces. Second, it involved special forces from the United Arab Emirates (don’t ask why, just don’t). I am pretty sure that using US Rangers alone would have yielded better results. Third, as always, they got detected early. And then they began taking casualties. This time from female al-Qaeda fighters. Finally, they botched the evacuation. They did kill some kids and, so they say, an al-Qaeda leader. More about this raid here and here. As I said, this is pretty much par for the course. But I am sure that some Hollywood movie will make it look very heroic and “tactical”. But the real world bottom line remains unchanged: Americans should give up on special ops, they just can’t do it right.

Second, there was the absolutely terrible press conference by General Flynn. See for yourself:

So not only did Flynn put Iran “on notice” like a high-school principal would do to a rowdy teenager, but FOX TV is already speaking about “lines in the sand”. Wait – were “lines in the sand” not one of the dumbest features of the Obama Presidency? And now, just one week in the White House, we see Trump doing exactly the same?

This also begs the question of whether a very intelligent man like Flynn seriously and sincerely believes that he can bully or otherwise scare Iran. If he does – then we are all in a lot of trouble.

There is also the troubling aspect of the language chosen. Instead of speaking about “international concern” or the will of the UN Security Council, Flynn decided to use the kind of language typical of a wannabe World Hegemon. Again, been there – done that. Do they really think that this kind of imperial hubris will work better for them than it did for the Neocons?

Lastly, the Ukronazis are apparently back on the warpath. For many months now they have been shelling the Novorussians, and they even have tried a few, rather pathetic, local attacks. This time around this is different: incoming artillery strikes are counted not by the tens, but by the thousands and the shelling is happening all along the line of contact. Of course, this is not directly Trump’s fault, but it does show that the Ukronazis in Kiev are taking their cues from the former power configuration – that is the Germans, the Neocons, and the East European cry-babies à la Poland and Lithuania. At the time of writing, there are no signs that Trump is taking the situation under control. The good news is that the Russians are still waiting, but with that level of violence there is only that much they can wait before having to give the Novorussians the green light for a counter-attack (the Novorussian forces are already engaging in strong counter-battery fire, but they have not yet push their forces forward).

I sure hope that this week is not a harbinger of what the rest of the Trump Presidency will look like.

Still, It is not too late to change course and return to reality-based politics.

First, the easy stuff. As I said, the Pentagon should give up on special ops. If, for political reasons and to feel good about “making American great again” the US must absolutely flex its muscle, I would recommend re-invading Grenada, provided only one of the Services is given that task. I recommend the Marines. For the rest, and especially in the Middle-East, the US should finally come to terms with the fact that they cannot and should not put any US boots on the ground. Ever.

A tad harder, but still quite manageable, Trump needs to reign in the Ukronazis. The way to do that is simple: to spend a special representative to Kiev and explain to the junta members that times have changed, that there is a new boss in the White House, and that from now on they better behave or else. The Ukronazis are used to that kind of language, they will get the message, and they will even meekly comply, provided they feel that the US means it. This, of course, is just a quick fix, a short-term solution to buy time and to work on a long-term solution to the Ukrainian debacle, but that will be a much more complex and costly exercise and will have to involve not only the US, but all of the EU and Russia as the sums of money needed to rebuilt the Ukraine will be astronomical.

The big problem right now is Iran. Well, not Iran itself, of course, but the stupid anti-Iranian rhetoric of the Trump campaign before the elections. My biggest fear is that while Trump and the people around him have apparently come to the (correct) conclusion that they cannot bully Russia into submission they have decided that they could do that with Iran. If that is really their plan, then they are headed for a major disaster.

For one thing, Iran has been living with the threat of a AngloZionst attack for 38 years, including 23 years of Neocon power in the USA. To think that right now they will be suddenly really be frightened and will meekly comply with Uncle Shmuel’s demands is very naïve. The Iranians have been preparing for a war against the US and Israel for almost a quarter of a century – they are fine ready, both militarily and psychologically. Oh sure, the US can most definitely strike at Iran with cruise missile and air-strikes, but at what cost and what would that exactly achieve? In terms of achievement, it would have a beneficial psychotherapeutic effect on those Americans who feel insecure about their military size and who want to feel big and powerful again. It will also kills plenty of Iranians and destroy some unknown amount of Iranian targets, including possibility missile technology or nuclear technology related ones. But it will not change Iranian policies by even a tiny amount, nor will it prevent Iran from further pursuing nuclear or missile technologies.

But this has never been about nuclear or missile technology, of course. That is all nonsense, “informational prolefeed” so to speak.

In reality this was always about only one thing: Israel wanted to be THE regional superpower in the Middle-East and Iran was to be prevented from threatening this monopoly status by any means. In other words, if an Islamic country is mismanaged and run by incompetent fanatics, this is great. But when an Islamic country is run by a wise and extremely capable leadership which cannot be overthrown due to the fact that it has popular support, then this Islamic country becomes an absolutely unacceptable precedent. And Iran, with its advanced technologies, powerful military, strong economy and generally successful political and social model is an immense affront to the racist delusions of the Zionist regime in Palestine. Add to this that Iran dares to openly defy the United States and you immediately will see the real reasons for all the sabre-rattling and constant threats. The problem for Trump is exactly the same as the problem for Obama, Dubya or Clinton: the US cannot win a war against Iran. Why?

Because a war has to have some political objective, a definition of what “victory” means. In the case of Iran, there is no possible victory. Even of the US launches 1000-2000 missile strikes against Iran, and all of them are successful, this will not be a “victory”.

Many years ago I wrote an article entitled “Iran’s Asymmetrical Response Options”. It is dated now, a lot as happened since 2007, but the fundamental conclusions are still valid: the USA cannot win and Iran has plenty of asymmetrical options ranging from riding out the attack to attacking CENTCOM targets all over the Middle-East. But the biggest change since 2007 has been the civil war in Iraq and Syria and Trump’s promises to eradicate Daesh. This is crucial.

There is simply no way, none at all, to eradicate Daesh without putting boots on the ground. I think that we can all agree that these boots won’t be American. They won’t be Russian either. Obama’s approach was to use a mix of Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish boots, with the threat of Saudi and other Gulf State’s boots thrown in for good measure. We all know how that worked: it didn’t. And it won’t. So here is the ugly secret that everybody knows or, at least, ought to know: the only boots on the ground to defeat Daesh have been, still are and will be, Iranian boots. That is a fact of life, sorry. The Turks are out, after the attempted coup against Erdogan and the subsequent purges the Turkish military is only a shadow of what it used to be. The Kurds have no desire whatsoever to be used as cannon fodder in a dangerous and difficult war against Daesh. The Saudis and the rest of them are a joke, barely capable of terrorizing civilians, but they will be instantly defeated by Daesh in the first skirmish. So unless the Canadians, the Brits, the Poles, the Lithuanians and, say, the Georgians want to lead the struggle against Daesh (just kidding!), the only country which can make Trump’s campaign promise happen is Iran (and Hezbollah, of course).

Furthermore, I submit that Iran is powerful enough to prevent any policy being successful in the Middle-East unless Iran at least passively okays it. In a way, Iran’s position in the Middle-East is similar to the Russian position in the “near abroad” (the former Soviet Union): while Iran/Russia cannot impose anything against everybody, Iran/Russia can veto/prevent any policy or outcome it does not want.

The main consequence of this is that even if Iran decided to completely renounce any kind of retaliatory counter-attack against the US or Israel, Iran could painfully retaliate against such a strike by simply telling Trump “we will make darn sure that you fail everywhere, in Iraq, in Syria, in Pakistan, and Yemen and everywhere else in the Middle-East”. And that won’t be an empty threat: the Iranians absolutely can deliver on it.

Furthermore, a US attack on Iran is also going to send the US-Russian relationship into a tailspin. How much of a disaster this will be will depend on how bad the attack on Iran is, but while Russia will not militarily intervene in a US-Iranian conflict, Russia will not allow the US to get away with it either and the main political cost will be that an attack on Iran will further reinforce the Russian-Iranian-Chinese triangle.

Do I need to spell out here how an attack on Iran will be perceived in Beijing?

If it happens, the US attack on Iran will look very much like the 2006 Israel war on Hezbollah, and it will achieve the same results, only on a bigger scale. To put it simply – it will be a total disaster and it will mark the failure of the Trump presidency.

Right now Trump still has an immense political capital. It’s not like the world truly trusts him, it is way too early for that, but there is a lot of hope out there that Trump’s America will be a different one, a civilized one which will act as a responsible and rational international actor. Not like an Obama 2.0. But listening to Flynn’s condescending and, worse, empty (not to mention wholly illegal) threats against Iran, I am left wondering whether the US can mends its ways and be meaningfully reformed or whether it will take a cataclysmic collapse (military or economic) to finally see the end of the wannabe World Hegemon.

 

A Russian joke goes like this: “Question: why can there be no color revolution in the United States? Answer: because there are no US Embassies in the United States.

Funny, maybe, but factually wrong: I believe that a color revolution is being attempted in the USA right now.

Politico seems to feel the same way. See their recent cover:

PoliticoProtestCover

While I did predict that “The USA is about to face the worst crisis of its history” as far back as October of last year, a month before the elections, I have to admit that I am surprised and amazed at the magnitude of the struggle which we see taking place before our eyes. It is now clear that the Neocons did declare war on Trump and some, like Paul Craig Roberts, believe that Trump has now returned them the favor. I sure hope that he is right.

Let’s look at one telling example:

US intelligence agencies are now investigating their own boss! Yes, according to recent reports, the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and Treasury Department are now investigating the telephone conversations between General Flynn and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyk. According to Wikipedia, General Flynn is the former

  • Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Chair of the Military Intelligence Board
  • Assistant Director of National Intelligence
  • Senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command.

He is also Trump’s National Security Advisor. In other words, his security clearance is stratospherically high and he will soon become the boss of all the US intelligence services. And yet, these very same intelligence services are investigating him for his contacts with the Russian Ambassador. That is absolutely amazing. Even in the bad old Soviet Union, the putatively almighty KGB did not have the right to investigate a member of the Communist Party Central Committee without a special authorization of the Politburo (a big mistake, in my opinion, but never mind that). That roughly means that the top 500 members of the Soviet state could not be investigated by the KGB at all. Furthermore, such was the subordination of the KGB to the Party that for common criminal matters the KGB was barred from investigating any member of the entire Soviet Nomenklatura, roughly 3 million people (and even bigger mistake!).

But in the case of Flynn, several US security agencies can decide to investigate a man who by all standards ought to be considered at least in the top 5 US officials and who clearly has the trust of the new President. And that does not elicit any outrage, apparently.

By the same logic, the three letter agencies might as well investigate Trump for his telephone conversations with Vladimir Putin.

Which, come to think of it, they might well do it soon…

This is all absolutely crazy because this is evidence that the US intelligence community has gone rogue and is now taking its orders from the Neocons and their deep state and not from the President and that these agencies are now acting against the interests of the new President.

In the meantime, the Soros crowd has already chosen a color: pink. We now are witnessing the “pussyhat revolution” as explained on this website. And if you think that this is just a small fringe of lunatic feminists, you would be quite wrong. For the truly lunatic feminists the “subtle” hint about their “pussyhat revolution” is too subtle, so they prefer making their statement less ambiguous as the image on the right shows.

PenceProtest This would all be rather funny, in a nauseating way I suppose, if it wasn’t for the fact that the media, Congress and Hollywood are fully behind this “100 days of Resistance to Trump” which began by a, quote, “queer dance party” at Mike Pence’s house.

This would be rather hilarious, if it was not for all gravitas with which the corporate media is treating these otherwise rather pathetic “protests”.

Watch how MCNBS’s talking head blissfully reporting this event:

Listen carefully to what Moore says at 2:00. He says that they will “celebrate the fact that Obama is still the President of the United States” and the presstitute replies to him, “yes he is” not once, but twice.

What are they talking about?! The fact that Obama is still the President?!

How is it that Homeland Security and the FBI are not investigating MCNBC and Moore for rebellion and sedition?

So far, the protests have not been too large, but they did occur in various US cities and they were well covered by the media:

Make no mistake, such protests are no more spontaneous than the ones in the Ukraine. Somebody is paying for all this, somebody is organizing it all. And they are using their full bag of tricks. One more example:

SyriaGirl Remember the pretty face of Nayirah, the Kuwaiti nurse who told Congress that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers tossing our babies from Kuwaiti incubators (and who later turned out to be the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States)? Do you remember the pretty face of Neda, who “died on TV” in Iran? Well, let me introduce you to Bana Alabe, who wrote a letter to President Trump and, of course, the media got hold of the latter and now she is the “face of the Syrian children”.

Want even more proof?

Okay, click here and take a look at a sampling of anti-Trump caricatures and cartoons compiled by the excellent Colonel Cassad. Some of them are quite remarkable. From this nauseating collection, I will select just two:

PutinCartoons

The first one clearly accuses Trump of being in the hands of Putin. The second one make Trump the heir to Adolf Hitler and strongly suggests that Trump might want to restart Auschwitz. Translated into plain English this sends a double message: Trump is not the legitimate President of the USA and Trump is the ultimate Evil.

This goes far beyond the kind of satire previous Presidents have ever been subjected to.

My purpose in listing all the examples above is to suggest the following: far from having accepted defeat, the Neocons and the US deep state have decided, as they always do, to double-down and they are now embarking on a full-scale “color revolution” which will only end with the impeachment, overthrowal or death of Donald Trump.

One of the most amazing features of this color revolution against Trump is the fact that those behind it don’t give a damn about the damage that their war against Trump does to the institution of the President of the United States and, really, to the United States as a whole. That damage is, indeed, immense and the bottom line is this: President Trump is in immense danger of being overthrown and his only hope for survival is to strike back hard and fast.

The other amazing thing is the ugly role Britain plays in this process: all the worst filth against Trump is always eventually traced back right to the UK. How come? Simple. Do you recall how, formally at least, the CIA and NSA did not have the right to spy on US nationals and the British MI6 and GCHQ had no right to spy on British nationals. Both sides found an easy way out: they simply traded services: the CIA and NSA spied on Brits, the MI6 and GCHQ spied on Americans, and then they simply traded the data between “partners” (it appears that since Obama came to power all these measures have now become outdated and everybody is free to spy on whomever the hell they want, including their own nationals). The US Neocons and the US deep state are now using the British special services to produce a stream of filth against Trump which they then report as “intelligence” and which then can be used by Congress as a basis for an investigation. Nice, simple and effective.

The bottom line is this: President Trump is in immense danger of being overthrown and his only hope for survival is to strike back hard and fast.

Can he do that?

Until now I have suggested several times that Trump deal with the US Neocons the way Putin dealt with the oligarchs in Russia: get them on charges of tax evasion, corruption, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, etc. All that good stuff which the US deep state has been doing for years. The Pentagon and the Three Letter Agencies are probably the most corrupt entities on the planet and since they have never been challenged, never mind punished, for their corruption, they must have become fantastically complacent about how they were doing things, essentially counting on the White House to bail them out in case of problems. The main weapons used by these circles are the numerous secrecy laws which protect them from public and Congressional scrutiny. But here Trump can use his most powerful card: General Flynn who, as former director of the DIA and current National Security Advisor to the President will have total access. And if he doesn’t – he can create it, if needed by sending special forces to ensure “collaboration”.

However, I am now beginning to think that this might not be enough. Trump has a much more powerful weapon he can unleash against the Neocon: 9/11.

Whether Trump knew about it before or not, he is now advised by people like Flynn who must have known for years that 9/11 was in inside job. And if the actual number of people directly implicated in the 9/11 operation itself was relatively small, the number of people which put their full moral and political credibility behind the 9/11 official narrative is immense. Let me put it this way: while 9/11 was a US “deep state” operation (probably subcontracted for execution to the Israelis), the entire Washington “swamp” has been since “9/11 accomplice after the fact” by helping to maintain the cover-up. If this is brought into light, then thousands of political careers are going to crash and burn into the scandal.

9/11 was a collective crime par excellence. A few men actually executed it, but then thousands, possibly tens of thousands, have used their position to execute the cover-up and to prevent any real investigation. They are ALL guilty of obstruction of justice. By opening a new investigation into 911, but one run by the Justice Department and NOT by Congress, Trump could literally place a “political handgun” next to the head of each politician and threaten to pull the trigger if he does not immediately give up on trying to overthrow Trump. What Trump needs for that is a 100% trusted and 100% faithful man as the director of the FBI, a man with “clean hands, a cool head and a burning heart” (to use the expression of the founder of the Soviet Secret Police, Felix Dzerzhinsky). This man will immediately find himself in physical danger so he will have to be a man of great personal courage and determination. And, of course, this “man” could be a woman (a US equivalent of the Russian prosecutor, Natalia Poklonskaia).

I fully understand that danger of what I am suggesting as any use of the “9/11 weapon” will, of course, result in an immense counter-attack by the Neocons and the deep state. But here is the deal: the latter are already dead set in impeaching, overthrowing or murdering Donald Trump. And, as Putin once said in an interview, “if you know that a fight is inevitable, then strike first!”.

You think that all is this over the top? Consider what is at stake.

First, at the very least, the Trump Presidency itself: the Neocons and the US deep state will not let Trump implement his campaign promises and program. Instead they will sabotage, ridicule and misrepresent everything he does, even if this is a big success.

Second, it appears that Congress now has the pretext to open several different congressional investigations into Donald Trump. If that is the case, it will be easy for Congress to blackmail Trump and constantly threaten him with political retaliation if he does not “get with the program”.

Third, the rabid persecution of Trump by the Neocons and the deep state is weakening the institution of the Presidency. For example, the latest crazy notion floated by some politicians is to “prohibit the President of the United States from using nuclear weapons without congressional authorization except when the United States is under nuclear attack.” From a technical point of view, this is nonsense, but what it does is send the following signal to the rest of the planet: “we, in Congress, believe that our Commander in Chief cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons.” Never mind that they would trust Hillary with the same nukes and never mind that Trump could use only conventional weapons to trigger a global nuclear war anyway (by, for example, a conventional attack on the Kremlin), what they are saying is that the US President is a lunatic that cannot be trusted. How can they then expect him to be take seriously on any topic?

Fourth, can you just imagine what will happen if the anti-Trump forces are successful?! Not only will democracy be totally and terminally crushed inside the USA, but the risks of war, including nuclear, will simply go through the roof.

There is much more at stake here than just petty US politics.

Every time I think of Trump and every time I look at the news I always come back to the same anguished thought: will Trump have the intelligence to realize the fact that he is under attack and will he have the courage to strike back hard enough?

I don’t know.

I have a great deal of hopes for General Flynn. I am confident that he understands the picture perfectly and knows exactly what is going on. But I am not sure that he has enough pull with the rest of the armed forces to keep them on the right side should a crisis happen. Generally, “regular” military types don’t like intelligence people. My hope is that Flynn has loyal allies at SOCOM and JSOC as, at the end of the day, they will have the last say as to who occupies the White House. The good news here is that unlike regular military types, special forces and intelligence people are usually very close and used to work together (regular military types also dislike special forces). SOCOM and JSOC will also know how to make sure that the CIA doesn’t go rogue.

Last but not least, my biggest hope is that Trump will use the same weapon Putin used against the Russian elites: the support of the people. But for that task, Twitter is simply not good enough. Trump needs to go the “RT route” and open his own TV channel. Of course, this will be very hard and time consuming, and he might have to begin with an Internet-based only channel, but as long as there is enough money there, he can make it happen. And, just like RT, it needs to be multi-national, politically diverse (including anti-Empire figures who do not support Trump) and include celebrities.

One of the many mistakes made by Yanukovich in the Ukraine was that he did not dare to fully use the legal instruments of power to stop the neo-Nazis. And to the degree that he used them, it was a disaster (like when the riot cops beat up student demonstrators). After listening to a few interviews of Yanukovich and of people near him during those crucial hours, it appears that Yanukovich simply did not feel that he had a moral right to use violence to suppress the street. We will never now if what truly held him back are moral principles of basic cowardice, but what is certain is that he betrayed his people and his country when he refused to defend real democracy and let the “street” take over replacing democracy with ochlocracy (mob rule). Of course, real ochlocracy does not exists, all mobs are always controlled by behind-the-scenes forces who unleash them just long enough to achieve their goals.

The forces which are currently trying to impeach, overthrow or murder President Trump are a clear and present danger to the United States as a country and to the US Federal Republic. They are, to use a Russian word, a type of “non-system” opposition which does not want to accept the outcome of the elections and which by rejecting this outcome essentially oppose the entire political system.

I am not a US citizen (I could, but I refuse that citizenship on principle because I refuse to take the required oath of allegiance) and the only loyalty I owe the USA is the one of a guest: never to deliberately harm it in any way and to obey its laws. And yet it turns my stomach to see how easy it has been to turn millions of Americans against their own country. I write a lot about russophobia on this blog, but I also see a deep-seated “Americanophobia” or “USophobia” in the words and actions who today say that Trump is not their President. To them, they micro-identity as a “liberal” or as a “gay” or as “African-American” means more than the very basic fundamental principles upon which this country has been built. When I see these crowds of Trump-bashers I see pure, seething hatred not of the AngloZionist Empire, or of a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy, but a hatred of what I would call the “simple America” or the “daily America” – the simple people amongst whom I have now lived for many years and learned to respect and appreciate and whom the Clinton-bots only think of as “deplorables”.

It amazes me to see that the US pseudo-elites have as much hatred, contempt and fear of the American masses as the Russian pseudo-elites have hatred, contempt and fear of the Russian masses (the Russian equivalent or Hillary’s “deplorables” would be a hard to pronounce for English speakers word “быдло“, roughly “cattle”, “lumpen” or “rabble”). It amazes me to see that the very same people which have demonized Putin for years are now demonizing Trump using exactly the same methods. And if their own country has to go down in their struggle against the common people – so be it! These self-declared elites will have no compunction whatsoever to destroy the nation their have been parasitizing and exploiting for their own class interest. They did just that to Russia exactly 100 years ago, in 1917. I sure hope that they will not get away with that again in 2017.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Deep State, Donald Trump 

Just hours ago Donald Trump was finally sworn in as the President of the United States. Considering all the threats hanging over this event, this is good news because at least for the time being, the Neocons have lost their control over the Executive Branch and Trump is now finally in a position to take action. The other good news is Trump’s inauguration speech which included this historical promise “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow”. Could that really mean that the USA has given up its role of World Hegemon? The mere fact of asking the question is already an immensely positive development as nobody would have asked it had Hillary Clinton been elected.

The other interesting feature of Trump’s speech is that it centered heavily on people power and on social justice. Again, the contrast with the ideological garbage from Clinton could not be greater. Still, this begs a much more puzzling question: how much can a multi-billionaire capitalist be trusted when he speaks of people power and social justice – not exactly what capitalists are known for, at least not amongst educated people. Furthermore, a Marxist reader would also remind us that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” and that it makes no sense to expect a capitalist to suddenly renounce imperialism.

But what was generally true in 1916 is not necessarily true in 2017.

For one thing, let’s begin by stressing that the Trump Presidency was only made possible by the immense financial, economic, political, military and social crisis facing the USA today. Eight years of Clinton, followed by eight years of Bush Jr and eight years of Obama have seen a massive and full-spectrum decline in the strength of the United States which were sacrificed for the sake of the AngloZionist Empire. This crisis is as much internal as it is external and the election of Trump is a direct consequence of this crisis. In fact, Trump is the first one to admit that it is the terrible situation in which the USA find themselves today that brought him to power with a mandate of the regular American people (Hillary’s “deplorables”) to “drain the DC swamp” and “make America”, as opposed to the American plutocracy, “great again”. This might be something crucial: I cannot imagine Trump trying to simply do “more of the same” like his predecessors did or trying to blindly double-down like the Neocons always try to.

I am willing to bet that Trump really and sincerely believes that the USA is in a deep crisis and that a new, different, sets of policies must be urgently implemented. If that assumption of mine proves to be correct, then this is by definition very good news for the entire planet because whatever Trump ends up doing (or not doing), he will at least not push his country into a nuclear confrontation with Russia. And yes, I think that it is possible that Trump has come to the conclusion that imperialism has stopped working for the USA, that far from being the solution to the contradictions of capitalism, imperialism might well have become its most self-defeating feature.

Is it possible for an ideological system to dump one of its core component after learning from past mistakes? I think it is, and a good example of that is 21stCentury Socialism, which has completely dumped the kind of militant atheism which was so central to the 20th century Socialist movement. In fact, modern “21st Century Socialism” is very pro-Christian. Could 21st century capitalism dump imperialism? Maybe.

Furthermore, the Trump inaugural speech did, according to RT commentators, sound in many aspects like the kind of speech Bernie Sanders could have made. And I think that they are right. Trump did sound like a paleo-liberal, something which we did not hear from him during the campaign. You could also say that Trump sounded very much like Putin. The question is will he now also act like Putin too?

There will be a great deal of expectations in Russia about how Trump will go about fulfilling his campaign promises to deal with other countries. Today, when Trump pronounced the followings words “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first” he told the Russians exactly what they wanted to hear: Trump does not pretend to be a “friend” of Russia and Trump openly and unapologetically promises to care about his own people first, and that is exactly what Putin has been saying and doing since he came to power in Russia: caring for the Russian people first. After all, caring for your own first hardly implies being hostile or even indifferent to others. All it means is that your loyalty and your service is first and foremost to those who elected you to office. This refreshing patriotic honesty, combined with the prospect of friendship and goodwill will sound like music to the Russian ears.

Then there are Trump’s words about “forming new alliances” and uniting “the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth”. They will also be received with a great deal of hope by the Russian people. If the USA is finally serious about fighting terrorism and if they really wants to eradicate the likes of Daesh, then Russia will offer her full support to this effort, including her military, intelligence, police and diplomatic resources. After all, Russia has been advocating for “completely eradicating Radical Islamic Terrorism from the face of the Earth” for decades.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that an alliance between Russia and the USA, even if limited only to specific areas of converging or mutual interests, would be immensely beneficial for the entire planet, and not for just these two countries: right now all the worst international crises are a direct result from the “tepid war” the USA and Russia have been waging against each other. And just like any other war, this war has been a fantastic waste of resources. Of course, this war was started by the USA and it was maintained and fed by the Neocon’s messianic ideology. Now that a realist like Trump has come to power, we can finally hope for this dangerous and wasteful dynamic to be stopped.

The good news is that neither Trump nor Putin can afford to fail. Trump, because he has made an alliance with Russia the cornerstone of his foreign policy during his campaign, and Putin because he realizes that it is in the objective interests of Russia for Trump to succeed, lest the Neocon crazies crawl back out from their basement. So both sides will enter into negotiations with a strong desire to get things done and a willingness to make compromises as long as they do not affect crucial national security objectives. I think that the number of issues on which the USA and Russia can agree upon is much, much longer than the number of issues were irreconcilable differences remain.

So yes, today I am hopeful. More than anything else, I want to hope that Trump is “for real”, and that he will have the wisdom and courage to take strong action against his internal enemies. Because from now on, this is one other thing which Putin and Trump will have in common: their internal enemies are far more dangerous than any external foe. When I see rabid maniacs like David Horowitz declaring himself a supporter of Donald Trump, I get very, very concerned and I ask myself “what does Horowitz know which I am missing?”. What is certain is that in the near future one of us will soon become very disappointed. I just hope that this shall not be me.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Russia 

In my recent article “Risks and Opportunities for 2017” I made a statement which shocked many readers. I wrote:

Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. (…) the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) (…) Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80%+ of the Russian population. The biggest strength of Russia in 2017 is a moral and a political one, it is the strength of a civilization which refuses to play by the rules which the West has successfully imposed on the rest of mankind. And now that Russia has successfully “pushed back” others will inevitably follow (again, especially in Asia).

While some dismissed this as rather ridiculous hyperbole, others have asked me to explain who I can to that conclusion. I have to admit that this paragraph is somewhat ambiguous: first I make a specific claim about the capabilities of the Russian military, and then the “evidence” that I present are of a moral and political nature! No wonder that some expressed reservations about this.

Actually, the above is a good example of one of my worst weaknesses: I tend to assume that I write for people who will make the same assumptions I do, look at issues the way I look at them, and understand what is implied. My bad. So today I will try to spell out what I mean and clarify my point of view on this issue. To do this, however, there are a number of premises which I think need to be explicitly spelled out.

First, how does one measure the quality of an armed force and how can armed forces from different countries be compared?

The first thing which need to immediately get out of the way is the absolutely useless practice known as “bean counting”: counting the numbers of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, artillery pieces, aircraft, helicopters and ships for country A and country B and come to some conclusion about which of the two is “stronger”. This is utterly meaningless. Next, two more myths need to be debunked: high tech wins wars and big money wins wars. Since I discussed these two myths in some detail elsewhere (here) I won’t repeat it all here.

Next, I submit that the purpose of a military force is to achieve a specific political objective. Nobody goes to war just for the sake of war and “victory” is not a military, but a political concept. So yes, war is the continuation of politics by other means. For example, the successful deterrence of a potential aggressor should be counted as a “victory” or, at least, as a successful performance of your armed forces if their goal was to deter. The definition of “victory” can include destroying the other guy’s armed forces, of course, but it does not have to. The British did win the war in the Malvinas/Falkands even though the Argentinian forces were far from destroyed. Sometimes the purpose of war is genocide, in which case just defeating a military forces is not enough. Let’s take a recent example: according to an official statement by Vladimir Putin, the official objectives of the Russian military intervention in Syria were to 1) stabilize the legitimate authority and 2) create conditions for a political compromise. It is undeniable that the Russian armed forces fully reached this two objectives, but they did so without the need for the kind of “victory” which implies a total destruction of your enemies forces. In fact, Russia could have used nuclear weapons and carpet bombing to wipe Daesh, but that would have resulted in a political catastrophe for Russia. Would that have been a “military victory”? You tell me!

So, if the purpose of a country’s armed forces is to achieve specific and political objectives, this directly implies that saying that some country’s armed forces can do anything, anywhere and at any time is nonsense. You cannot access a military outside a very specific set of circumstances:

1) Where: Space/geographical

2) When: Time/duration

3) What: political objective

Yet, what we see, especially in the USA, is a diametrically opposite approach. It goes something like this: we have the best trained, best equipped and best armed military on earth; no country can compete with our advanced stealth bombers, nuclear submarines, our pilots are the best trained on the planet, we have advanced network-centric warfare capabilities, global strike, space based reconnaissance and intelligence, we have aircraft carriers, our Delta Force can defeat any terrorist force, we spend more money training our special forces than any other country, we have more ships than any other nation, etc. etc. etc. This means absolutely nothing. The reality is that the US military played a secondary role in WWII in the European theater and that after that the only “kinda victory” it achieved is outright embarrassing: Grenada (barely), Panama (almost unopposed). I would agree that the US military was successful in deterring a Soviet attack, but I would also immediately point out that the Soviets then also successfully deterred a US attack. Is that a victory? The truth is that China also did not suffer from a Soviet or US attack, does that mean that the Chinese successfully deterred the Soviets or the Americans? If you reply ‘yes’ then you would have to accept that they did that at a fraction of the US costs, so whose military was more effective – the US or the Chinese one? Then look at all the other US military interventions, there is a decent list here, what did those military operations really achieve. If I had to pick a “least bad one” I would reluctantly pick the Desert Storm which did liberate Kuwait from the Iraqis, but at what cost and with what consequences?!

In the vast majority of cases, when the quality of the Russian armed forces is assessed, it is always in comparison to the US armed forces. But does that make sense to compare the Russian armed forces to a military which has a long record of not achieving the specific political objectives it was given? Yes, the US armed forces are huge, bloated, they are the most expensive on the planet, the most technology-intensive and their rather mediocre actual performance is systematically obfuscated by the most powerful propaganda machine on the planet. But does any of that make them effective? I submit that far from being effective, they are fantastically wasteful and amazingly ineffective, at least from a military point of view.

Still dubious?

Okay. Let’s take the “best of the best”: the US special forces. Please name me three successful operations executed by US special forces. No, small size skirmishes against poorly trained and poorly equipped 3rd world insurgents killed in a surprise attack don’t qualify. What would be the US equivalent of, say, Operation Storm-333 or the liberation of the entire Crimean Peninsula without a single person killed? In fact, there is a reason why most Hollywood blockbusters about US special forces are based on abject defeats such as Black Hawk Down or 13 hours.

As for US high-teach, I don’t think that I need to dwell too deeply on the nightmares of the F-35 or the Zumwalt-class destroyer or explain how sloppy tactics made it possible for the Serbian Air Defenses to shoot down a super-secret and putatively “invisible” F-117A in 1999 using an ancient Soviet-era S-125 missile first deployed in 1961!

There is no Schadenfreude for me in reminding everybody of these facts. My point is to try to break the mental reflex which conditions so many people to consider the US military as some kind of measuring stick of how all the other armed forces on the planet do perform. This reflex is the result of propaganda and ignorance, not any rational reason. The same goes, by the way, for the other hyper-propagandized military – the Israeli IDF whose armored forces, pilots and infantrymen are always presented as amazingly well-trained and competent. The reality is, of course, that in 2006 the IDF could not even secure the small town of Bint Jbeil located just 2 miles from the Israeli border. For 28 days the IDF tried to wrestle the control of Bint Jbeil from second rate Hezbollah forces (Hezbollah kept its first rate forces north of the Litani river to protect Beirut) and totally failed in spite of having a huge numerical and technological superiority.

I have personally spoken to US officers who trained with the IDF and I can tell you that they were totally unimpressed. Just as Afghan guerrillas are absolutely unanimous when they say that the Soviet solider is a much better soldier than the US one.

Speaking of Afghanistan.

Do you remember that the Soviet 40th Army who was tasked with fighting the Afghan “freedom fighters” was mostly under-equipped, under-trained, and poorly supported in terms of logistics? Please read this appalling report about the sanitary conditions of the 40th Army and compare that with the 20 billion dollar per year the US spends on air-conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq! And then compare the US and Soviet occupations in terms of performance: not only did the Soviets control the entire country during the day (at night the Afghan controlled most of the country side and the roads), they also controlled all the major cities 24/7. In contrast, the US barely holds on to Kabul and entire provinces are in the hands of the insurgents. The Soviets built hospitals, damns, airports, roads, bridges, etc. whereas the Americans built exactly nothing. And, as I already mentioned, in every interview I have seen the Afghans are unanimous: the Soviets were much tougher enemies than the Americans.

I could go on for pages and pages, but let’s stop here and simply accept that the PR image of the US (and Israeli) military has nothing to do with their actual capabilities and performance. There are things which the US military does very well (long distance deployment, submarine warfare in temperate waters, carrier operations, etc.) but their overall effectiveness and efficiency is pretty low.

So what makes the Russian armed forces so good?

For one thing, their mission, to defend Russia, is commensurate with the resources of the Russian Federation. Even if Putin wanted it, Russia does not have the capabilities to built 10 aircraft carriers, deploy hundreds of overseas bases or spend more on “defense” than the rest of mankind combined. The specific political objective given to the Russian military is quite simple: to deter or repel any attack against Russia.

Second, to accomplish this mission the Russian armed forces need to be able to strike and prevail at a maxial distance of 1000km or less from the Russian border. Official Russian military doctrine places the limits of a strategic offensive operation a bit further and include the complete defeat of enemy forces and occupation of his territory to a depth of 1200km-1500km (Война и Мир в Терминах и Определениях, Дмитрий Рогозин, Москва, Вече, 2011, p.155) but in reality this distance would be much shorter, especially in the case of a defensive counter-attack. Make no mistake, this remains a formidable task due to the immense length of the Russian border (over 20’000km of border) running over almost every imaginable type of geography, from dry deserts and mountains to the North pole region. And here is the amazing thing: the Russian armed forces are currently capable of defeating any conceivable enemy all along this perimeter. Putin himself said so recently when he declared that “We can say with certainty: We are stronger now than any potential aggressor, any!” I realize that for a mostly American audience this will sound like the typical garden variety claptrap every US officer or politician has to say at every public occasion, but in the Russian context this is something quite new: Putin had never said anything like that before. If anything, the Russian prefer to whine about numerically superior their adversaries seem to be (well, they are, numerically – which every Russian military analyst knows means nothing).

Numerically, the Russian forces are, indeed, much smaller than NATO’s or China’s. In fact, one could argue for the size of the Russian Federation, the Russian armed forces are rather small. True. But they are formidable, well-balanced in terms of capabilities and they make maximal use of the unique geographical features of Russia.

[Sidebar: Russia is a far more “northern” country than, say, Canada or Norway. Look at where the vast majority of the cities and towns in Canada or Scandinavia are located. Then look at a map of Russia and the latitudes at which the Russian cities are located. The difference is quite striking. Take the example of Novosibirsk, which in Russia is considered a southern Siberian town. It is almost at the same latitude as Edinburgh, Scotland, Grande Prairie, Alberta or Malmö in Sweden]

This is why all the equipment used by the Russian Armed Forces has to be certified operational from temperatures ranging from -50C to +50C (-58F to 122F). Most western gear can’t even operate in such extremes. Of course, the same also goes for the Russian solider who is also trained to operate in this range of temperatures.

I don’t think that there is another military out there who can claim to have such capabilities, and most definitely not the American armed forces.

Another myth which must be debunked is the one of western technological superiority. While it is true that in some specific fields the Soviets were never able to catch up with the West, microchips for example, that did not prevent them from being the first ones to deploy a large list of military technologies such as phased-array radars on interceptors, helmet-mounted sights for pilots, supercavitating underwater missiles, autoloaders on tanks, parachute deployable armored vehicles, double-hulled attack submarines, road-mobile ICBMs, etc. As a rule, western weapon systems tend to be more tech-heavy, that is true, but that is not due to a lack of Russian capabilities, but to a fundamental difference in design. In the West, weapon systems are designed by engineers who cobble together the latest technologies and then design a mission around them. In Russia, the military defines a mission and then seeks the simplest and cheapest technologies which can be used to accomplish it. This is why the Russian MiG-29 (1982) was not a “fly-by-wire” like the US F-16 (1978) but operated by “old” mechanical flight controls. I would add here that a more advanced airframe and two engines instead of one for the F-16, gave the MiG-29 a superior flight envelope. When needed, however, the Russians did use fly-by-wire, for example, on the Su-27 (1985).

Last but not least, the Russian nuclear forces are currently more modern and much more capable than the comparatively aging US nuclear triad. Even the Americans admit that.

So what does that all mean?

This means that in spite of being tasked with an immensely difficult mission, to prevail against any possible enemy along the 20’000+km of the Russian border and to a depth of 1000km, the Russian armed forces have consistently shown that they are capable of fulfilling the specific political objective of either deterring or defeating their potential enemy, be it a Wahabi insurgency (which the western pundits described as “unbeatable”), a western trained and equipped Georgian military (in spite of being numerically inferior during the crucial hours of the war and in spite of major problems and weaknesses in command and control), the disarmament of 25’000+ Ukrainian (supposedly “crack”) troops in Crimea without a single shot fired in anger and, of course, the Russian military intervention in the war in Syria were a tiny Russian force turned the tide of the war.

In conclusion, I want to come back to my statement about Russia being the only country which now openly dares to reject the western civilizational model and whose leader, Vladimir Putin, enjoys the support of 80%+ of the population. These two factors are crucial in the assessment of the capabilities of the Russian armed forces. Why? Because they illustrate the fact that the Russian soldiers knows exactly what he fights for (or against) and that when he is deployed somewhere, he is not deployed as a tool for Gazprom, Norilsk Nickel, Sberbank or any other Russian corporation: he knows that he is fighting for his country, his people, his culture, for their freedom and safety. Furthermore, the Russian soldier also knows that the use of military force is not the first and preferred option of his government, but the last one which is used only when all other options have been exhausted. He knows that the Russian High Command, the Kremlin and the General Staff are not hell-bent on finding some small country to beat up just to make an example and scare the others. Last but not least, the Russian solider is willing to die for his country and while executing any order. The Russians are quite aware of that and this is why the following circulated on the Runet recently:


Translation: under both photos it says “private of the US/Russian Army, under contract, deployed in a combat zone”. The bottom central text says “One of them needs to be fed, clothed, armed, paid, etc. The other one just needs to be ordered “this way” and he will execute his mission. At any cost”

At the end of the day, the outcome of any war is decided by willpower, I firmly believe that and I also believe that it is the “simple” infantry private who is the most important factor in a war, not the super-trained superman. In Russia they are sometimes called “makhra” – the young kids from the infantry, not good looking, not particularly macho, with no special gear or training. They are the ones who defeated the Wahabis in Chechnia, at a huge cost, but they did. They are the one which produce an amazing number of heroes who amaze their comrades and enemies with their tenacity and courage. They don’t look to good in parades and they are often forgotten. But they are the ones which defeated more empires than any other and who made Russia the biggest country on earth.

So yes, Russia currently does have the most capable armed forces on the planet. There are plenty of countries out there who also have excellent armed forces. But what makes the Russian ones unique is the scope of their capabilities which range from anti-terrorist operations to international nuclear war combined with the amazing resilience and willpower of the Russian solider. There are plenty of things the Russian military cannot do, but unlike the US armed forces, the Russian military was never designed to do anything, anywhere, anytime (aka “win two and a half wars” anywhere on the planet).

For the time being, the Russians are watching how the US cannot even take a small city like Mosul, even though it had to supplement the local forces with plenty of US and NATO “support” and they are unimpressed, to say the least. But Hollywood will surely make a great blockbuster from this embarrassing failure and there will be more medals handed out than personnel involved (this is what happened after the Grenada disaster). And the TV watching crowd will be reassured that “while the Russians did make some progress, their forces are still a far cry from their western counterparts”. Who cares?

(Reprinted from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia 

Just a few days into 2017 and we can already say with a great degree of confidence that 2017 will be a historical year. Furthermore, I submit that 2017 will be the “Year of Trump” because one of roughly three things will happen: either Trump will fully deliver on his threats and promises, or Trump deliver on some, but far from all, his threats and promises or, finally, Trump will be neutralized by the Neocon-run Congress, media, intelligence community. He might even be impeached or murdered. Of course, there is an infinity of sub-possibilities here, but for the purpose of this discussion I will call the first option “Trump heavy”, the second one “Trump light” and the third one “Trump down”. Before discussing the possible implications of these three main options, we need to at least set the stage with a reminder of what kind of situation President Trump will be walking into. I discussed some of them in my previous analysis entitled “2016: the year of Russia’s triumph” and will only mention some of the key outcomes of the past year in this discussion. They are:

  1. The USA has lost the war against Syria. I chose my words carefully here: what initially had many aspects of a civil war almost immediately turned into a war of aggression by a very large coalition of countries under the leadership of the United State. From the creation of the “Friends of Syria”, to covert support of the various terrorist organizations, to the attempts at isolating the Syrian government, the United States rapidly took control of the “war against Assad” and they now “own” that defeat. Now it is Russia which is in full control of the future of Syria. First, the Russians tried to work with the USA, but it soon became impossible, and the Russians concluded in utter disgust that the US foreign policy was run not from the White House or Foggy Bottom, but from the Pentagon. The Pentagon, however, completely and abjectly failed to achieve anything in Syria and the Russians seem to have come to the amazing conclusion that they can simply ignore the USA from now on. Instead they turned to the Turks and the Iranians to stop the war. This is an absolutely amazing development: for the first time since WWII the USA have become irrelevant to the outcome of a conflict which they greatly contributed to create and perpetuate: having concluded that the Americans are “non-agreement capable” (недоговороспособны) the Russians won’t even try to oppose US efforts, they will simply ignore them. I believe that the case of Syria will be the first and most dramatic but that in the future the same will happen elsewhere, especially in Asia. That is a situation which no American had to face and it is very hard to predict how Trump will adapt to this completely new situation. I am cautiously optimistic that, as a good businessman, Trump will do the right thing and accept reality for what it is and focus his efforts and resources on a few critical issues/regions rather than further pursuing the Neocons’ pipe dream of worldwide “full-spectrum dominance”. But more about that later.
  2. Europe is in a state of total chaos. As I have written it many times, instead of the Ukraine becoming like Europe, it is Europe which became like the Ukraine: simply unsustainable and doomed to failure. The European crisis is a massive and multi-layered one. It is, of course, an economic crisis, but that crisis is made worse by a political one, which itself is compounded by a profound social crisis and, as a result, the entire EU system and the elites which used to run it are now facing a fundamental crisis of legitimacy. As for the European politicians, they are far busier denying the existence of the crisis rather than dealing with it. The United States which for decades carefully fostered and nurtured an entire generation of spineless, narrow-minded, neutered and infinitely subservient European “leaders” is now facing the unpleasant outcome that these European politicians are as clueless as blind puppies and that they simply have no policy and no vision whatsoever as to what to do next: they are all locked into a short term survival mode characterized by a quasi total tunnel vision which makes them oblivious to the environment they are operating in. A continent which produced the likes of Thatcher, de Gaulle or Schmidt now produces vapid non-entities like Hollande or Cameron. Trump will thus inherit a de-facto colony completely unable to manage itself. And, just to make things worse, while that colony’s comprador “elites” have no vision and no policy, at the same time it is deeply hostile to Donald Trump and in full support of his Neocon enemies. Again, this is a situation which no American President has ever faced.
  3. Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. I know, I know, the Russian economy is relatively small, Russia has plenty of problems and just a year ago Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power” while McCain referred to her as a “gas station masquerading as a country”. What can I say? – these two imbeciles were simply wrong and there is a good reason, plenty in fact, why Forbes has declared Putin the most powerful man on earth for four consecutive years. And it’s not just because the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) or because Russia has successfully defeated the USA in Syria and, really, the rest of the Middle-East. No, Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80%+ of the Russian population. The biggest strength of Russia in 2017 is a moral and a political one, it is the strength of a civilization which refuses to play by the rules which the West has successfully imposed on the rest of mankind. And now that Russia has successfully “pushed back” others will inevitably follow (again, especially in Asia). This is also a completely new situation for the next American President, who will have to operate in a world where defying Uncle Sam is not only not a death sentence any more, but might even be seen as rather trendy.
  4. China is now locked into a strategic alliance with Russia, which is something unique in world history. Unlike past alliances that could be broken or withdrawn from, what Putin and Xi did is to turn their countries into symbionts: Russia basically depends on China for many goods and services while China depends on Russia for energy, defense, aerospace and high-tech (for those interested in this topic I would recommend the excellent White Paper Larchmonter445 wrote for the Saker blog on this topic: The Russia-China Double Helix). As a result, Russia and China today are like a type of “Siamese twins” which have separate heads (political independence and their own governments) but which share a number of organs vital for both heads. This means that even if Russia/China wanted to “dump China/Russia” in exchange for a rapprochement with the USA she could not do that. To my knowledge nothing similar has ever happened before. Never have two (ex-) Empires decided to remain separate but fully integrated into each other. No grand charter, no big alliance, no solemn treaty was ever signed to make this happens, only a huge number of (comparatively) small(er) contracts and agreements. And yet they have quietly achieved something absolutely unique in history. What this means for the USA is that they cannot count on their favorite divide et impera strategy to try to rule the planet because that strategy simply cannot work any longer: even if the Russian and Chinese leaders got themselves into a heated dispute they could not undo what has now been done. The integrationist momentum between China and Russia could probably only be stopped by a war, and that is simply not happening. Right now Trump is making a lot of provocative gestures towards China, possibly in the hope that if the USA normalizes relations with Russia, China would find itself isolated. But isolating China is just as impossible as isolating Russia, and provoking China is simply a non-starter. For the first time since WWII the next American President will have to come to terms that in the Russia-China-USA triangle it is the USA which is the weakest and most vulnerable party.
  5. Iran is too powerful to be bullied or forced into submission. It is true that Iran is far weaker than Russia or China and that Iran is not a major international player. However, I would argue that Iran is a formidable regional superpower which can probably single-handedly take on any combination of regional countries and prevail against them, even if at a great cost. Just like Russia, Iran is protected by a perfect combination of geography and advanced armed forces. Oh sure, Iranian capabilities are not quite on par with US or Russian ones, but they powerful enough to make Iran an extremely tough and dangerous target to attack. Many years ago, in distant 2007, I wrote an article entitled “Iran’s asymmetrical response options” which is now clearly dated but primarily in the sense that since 2007 Iran has become even more dangerous to attack, be it by the USA, Israel or a combo of both. Would Russia and/or China go to war with the USA in case of a US/Israeli attack on Iran? No. But there would be very severe political consequences to pay for the USA: a guaranteed veto in the UNSC (even if US forces are targeted in the KSA or in the Strait of Hormuz), political, economic and possibly military support for Iran, intelligence support for Iranian operations not only in Iran, but also in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, an upgrade of the currently semi-official relations with Hezbollah and support for the Lebanese Resistance. But the main “weapon” used against the USA would be informational – any attack will be vehemently opposed by the Russian media and the western blogosphere sympathetic to Russia: this is exactly the scenario which the US and NATO fear so much: lead by RT and Sputnik, a US-bashing campaign in the social media. This is a new reality for 2017: we are not used to the notion that Russia also has any type of “soft power”, in this case political soft power, but the fact is that these Russian capabilities are both real and formidable and this is why the Neocons blame both the Brexit and the victory of Trump in the USA on the “Kremlin propaganda machine”. While there is no such “machine”, there is an active blogosphere and non-US media space out there on the Internet that seems powerful enough to at least encourage a type of “rebellion of the serfs” of the Neocon leaders of the Empire. The bottom line is this: the USA has lost its informational monopoly on the planet and the next US President will have to compete, really compete, to convince and rally to his views and agenda.

How will Trump deal with these fundamentally new challenges?

If it is “Trump down” then we will have something very similar to what we had with Obama: a lot of broken promises and lost hopes. In practical term, the USA will then return to what I would call the “consensus policies of the AngloZionist Empire”, which is what we have had since at least Bill Clinton and that every four years becomes “same old, same old, only worse”. If Trump is impeached or murdered we could witness an internal explosion of unrest inside the USA which would absorb most of the time and energy of those who tried to removed him. If Trump proves to be all talk and no action, we will go right back to the situation with Obama: a weak Presidency resulting in various agencies “doing their own thing” without bothering to check what everybody else is doing. This would be a disaster both inside and outside the USA. The most likely outcome would be a rather brutal, sudden and irreversible crash of the AngloZionist Empire. Should a “President Pence” ever happen, the risk of thermonuclear war would immensely soar right back up to what it was before the election. That is by far the worst option for everybody.

“Trump light” is probably the most likely option. Make no mistake, even though I call it “Trump light”, big things could still happen in this case. First and foremost, the US and Russia could decide to deal with each other on the basis of self-interest, common sense, realism and mutual respect. Just that alone would be quite revolutionary and a radical departure from the anti-Russian policies of the USA since Bill Clinton (and, really, since the end of WWII). However, the collaboration between Russia and the USA would not be global, but rather limited to some specific issues. For example, the USA and Russia could agree on joint operations against Daesh in Syria, but the US would not put a stop to the current US/NATO policy of escalation and confrontation against Russia in Europe. Likewise, the Neocon run Congress would prevent any real US-Russian collaboration on the issue of the Ukraine. This option would be far less than what some hardcore Trump supporters are hoping for, but still something infinitely better than Hillary in the White House.

While probably less likely, it is “Trump heavy” which could really usher in a fundamentally new era in international relations. In this case, Russia and the USA would hammer out a number of far reaching deals in which they would jointly take action to solve key issues. The theoretical possibilities are nothing short of amazing.

First and foremost, the USA and Russia could completely overhaul the European security by reviving and modernizing the cornerstone of European security: the Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) treaty. The US and Russia could negotiate a new CFE-III treaty and then use it as a basis to settle all the outstanding security issues in Europe thereby making a war in Europe de-facto impossible. Such a deal would be immensely beneficial to the entire continent and it would mark the beginning of a completely new era for Europe. The only real losers would be the western MIC and a few rabid and otherwise useless states (Latvia, Poland, etc.) whose only valuable export commodity is russophobic paranoia. However, as in every case when war, potential or actual, is replaced by peace, the vast majority of the people of Europe would benefit from such a deal. There would be some tough and delicate negotiations needed to finalize all the details, but I am comfortable that if Russia is given some real, verifiable security guarantees the Kremlin would order a stand-down of Russian forces west of the Urals.

Second, the USA and Russia could jointly take action to stop the civil war in the Ukraine, turn the Ukraine into a federal state with large autonomy granted to all the regions of the Ukraine (not just the Donbass) and declare that a non-aligned and neutral Ukraine will be the cornerstone of the new European security system. If Russia and the USA agree on that, there is nothing the Ukie Nazis or the European could do to prevent it. Frankly, just as irresponsible and stupid teenagers don’t get to participate in adult decisions, the EU and the junta in Kiev should be told that they are now done creating a disaster and that adults have had to step in to stop the nightmare from getting even worse. I bet you that such an approach would get the support of many, if not most, Ukrainians who are now truly fed up with what is going on. Most Europeans (except the political elites, of course) and most Russians would welcome the end of the Ukrainian clusterf*ck (sorry, but that is an accurate descriptor).

The USA has lost a lot of relevance in the Middle-East. Still, they have enough power to actually make a useful contribution to the destruction of Daesh, especially in Iraq. While Russia, Iran and Turkey probably can impose some type of settlement of the war against Syria, having American support, even if just limited, could be immensely useful. CENTCOM is still very powerful and to have a joint Russian-US campaign to crush Daesh could be most beneficial to the entire region. Having the Russians and the Americans finally intelligently and sincerely collaborate with each other would be a very new and fascinating thing to watch and I am pretty sure that the servicemen on both sides would very much welcome this opportunity. The Middle-East does not have to be a zero-sum game, but the next US President will have to understand that the US are now a junior partner of a much bigger coalition. That is the price you pay for having an idiot in the White House for eight years.

Needless to say, if the Americans and the Russians successfully work with each other in Europe, the Ukraine and the Middle-East this would mark a dramatic departure from the “tepid war” which took place between Russia and the USA during the disastrous Obama Presidency.

Alas, there is the rather distressing issue of Trump’s catering to the US Israel Lobby and his stupid and delusional anti-Iranian rhetoric. If Trump keeps up with this nonsense once in the White House he will simply lock himself out from any real deal in the Middle-East. Furthermore, knowing the rabid russophobia of the Neocons, if Trump bows to their demands on Iran, he will probably also have to severely curtail the scope of US-Russian collaboration in Europe, the Ukraine and elsewhere. The same goes for Trump constant China-bashing and provoking: if Trump really and sincerely believes that the USA is in a position to bully China then he is headed for some very painful disillusionments. The time when the USA could bully or intimidate China has long past and all Trump would do is fail against China in the same way Obama failed against Russia.

This, in my opinion, is THE key question of the Trump Presidency: will the USA under Trump accept that the US world hegemony is over once and for all and that from now on the USA will be just one major player amongst other major players? Yes, America, the country, not the Empire, *can* be made “great again” but only if by giving up on the Empire and accepting to become a “regular”, albeit still major, country.

If the US establishment continues to operate on the assumption that “we’re number one”, “the US military is the most powerful in world history” or that the “USA is the indispensable nation” which has to “lead the world” then the Trump Presidency will end up in disaster. Messianic and imperialist ideas have always lead their carriers to catastrophic failure and the USA is no exception. For one thing, the messianic and imperialist mindset is always profoundly delusional as it always favors ideology over reality. And, as the expression goes, if your head is in the sad, your ass is in the air. One of the biggest advantages which Russia and China have over the United States is that they fully realize that they are in many ways weaker than the USA. And yet, paradoxically, that awareness is what makes them stronger at the end of the day.

It should therefore become a top priority of President Trump to ditch the infinitely arrogant attitude so typical of the Neocons and their Trotskyite forefathers (both physical and ideological) and replace it with an acute awareness for the need to only engage in policies commensurate with the actual capabilities of the USA. Fact-based realist politics have to replace the current imperial hubris.

Likewise, it should also become a top priority of President Trump to purge the toxic cabal which has taken over the US elites: just like the main threat to President Putin is the Russian 5th column, I strongly believe that the biggest threat to President Trump will be the Neocon-controlled US 5th column in the USA, especially in Congress, the media, Hollywood and the intelligence community. The Neocons will never gracefully give up or otherwise accept that the American people have shown them to the door. Instead, they will do what they have always done: engage in a vicious hate campaign against Trump himself and against those who dared vote for him. Right now, Trump is clearly trying to appease them by throwing them a bone here and there (Pence, Priebus, Friedman, Iran bashing, etc.) which, I suppose, is fair enough. But if he continues to zig-zag like that once in the White House then he doesn’t stand a chance against them.

Michael Moore has just called for “100 days of resistance” following the Trump inauguration. While Moore himself is more of a (very talented) clown, that kind of initiative can end up becoming trendy, especially amongst the thoroughly zombified US Millennials and the butt hurt pseudo “liberals” who simply cannot and will not accept that Hillary has lost. We should never underestimate the capabilities of the Soros agents to start a color revolution inside the USA.

The US ‘deep state’ is also a powerful and immensely dangerous enemy whose options to oppose a “Trump Heavy” outcome include not only murdering Trump himself, but also creating another 9/11 false flag inside the USA, possibly one involving nuclear materials, and use it as a pretext to impose some kind of state of emergency.

Finally, and as always, there are the banks (in a general sense, including insurances, investment funds, etc, – all the financiers basically) who will fight a re-sovereignization of the United States with everything they got. Normally, I use the expression “re-sovereignization” to describe what Vladimir Putin has tried to do in Russia since 2000: the process of wrestling the real power from a small trans-national elite, return it to the people of Russia and making Russia a truly independent and sovereign country. The same concept, however, also applies to the USA whose people have clearly become the hostages and the serfs of a small elite, actually less than 1%, which is in full control of the real centers of power. A lot of that control, most of it really, is concentrated in various financial institutions which really control all the branches of government in the USA. Some call them “Corporate USA”, or “USA, Inc,” but really we are dealing with financiers and not with corporations who actually make a living by offering goods and services. The real levels of corruption in the USA are probably higher than anywhere on the planet simply because of the immense sums of money involved. The corrupt (literal) parasites who run this money-making machine will do everything in their power to prevent a return to power of the American people and they will never allow “one man – one vote” to replace the current “one dollar – one vote”.

It is ironic, of course, that Trump himself, and his entire entourage, come from these financial elites. But it would be a mistake to simply assume that if a person comes from one specific milieu he will always like and support it. Che Guevara was a medical doctor from a fairly well-off family of Argentinian bourgeois. Oh, I am not comparing Trump to the Che! I am just saying that the theory of class consciousness sometimes has interesting exceptions. At the very least, Trump knows these people very well and he might be the ideal man to break their current monopoly on power.

Conclusion:

Making predictions for a year like 2017 when most outcomes depend on what a single person might or might not do is rather futile. At best, this is an exercise is simple statistical luck. Those who will make correct predictions will, of course, look good and those who predictions will not materialize will look bad. But, in reality, they are all currently equally clueless. This is why I chose to speak of risks and opportunities and to look at at least three rough “Trump variants”. Still, there are processes in which Trump and the USA are crucial or, at least, central, but there are others where they matter a whole lot less. So, in conclusion, I will hazard of few guesses and submit them to you with all the imaginable caveats about probably being wrong. This being said, here we go.

First, I think that there is a good chance that Russia, Iran and Turkey will succeed in stopping the war against Syria. The country will remain unitary, but with pretty clear zones of influence and with a government which will include Assad, but also representatives of the opposition. Syria is far too big and too diverse to ever enjoy the type of peace Chechnia enjoys today, so at best we can hope for the kind of semi-peace which Dagestan has endured for the past years. It won’t be perfect, not by a long shot, but the absolute horror will stop.

Second, I think that Poroshenko will lose power this year. The Nazi-occupied Ukraine has survived on a mix of momentum (there was still a lot of wealth left from the Soviet era) and western assistance. Both are now coming to a full halt. Furthermore, there are increasing signs that the Ukrainian armed forces are now so busy simply surviving in the field that they have become basically incapable of meaningful combat operations. Should some particularly deluded nationalist volunteer battalion or political leader order an attack on Novorussia the Ukrainians are likely to suffer a major defeat followed by a liberation of the currently Nazi-occupied territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. And this time around, if that happens, the Novorussian will have the means to liberate Mariupol and hold on to it without being cut-off from the Donbass by a Ukrainian flanking counter-attack. Finally, if Poroshenko is replaced by even more lunatic elements Russia might decide to recognize the independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk Republics which, in turn, would inevitably result in a referendum in these republics to join Russia. EU politicians will have a fit, Poland and Estonia will declare a Russian invasion imminent, but Russia will simply ignore them all. As for Trump, he is most unlikely to do much about this either, especially considering that the Ukie Nazis were 100% behind Hillary and dismissed him as a total joke. The last and only chance the “Independent Banderastan” has to avoid this outcome is to finally fully and totally implement the Minsk-2 Agreement, to basically self-dissolve. Will the crazies in Kiev have the wisdom to understand that? I very much doubt it. But who knows, maybe God will take pity on the people of the Ukraine and give them the strength to get rid of the Banderite rot which has brought so much misery upon them.

That leaves me with one area of great concern to me: Latin America.

This has not often been noticed, by Latin American is the one realm of US foreign policy where Obama has been rather successful, at least if you support the subjugation of Latin American by the USA: Castro is gone, Chavez is gone, possibly murdered, Christina Kirchner is gone, President Dilma Rousseff has been overthrown in a parliamentary coup and it appears that the same fate will now befall Nicholas Maduro. Very significantly, Cuba has agreed to a deal which will give the USA a great deal more leverage over the future of the island-state. True, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega are still in power, but the undeniable fact that the Latin American political heavyweights have fallen. Will Trump change the US policy towards Latin America? I very much doubt that, if only because “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”. And from an US imperialist point of view, the current policy ain’t broke at all, it is rather a success. I simply see no reason why Trump would decide to allow Latin American to be free and sovereign thereby reversing the almost 200 year old Monroe Doctrine. Freedom for Latin America will come at the end of a long struggle no matter who is in the White House.

So no, life in 2017 will be a far cry from life in a perfect world, but there is a better than average chance that 2017 might see some very significant and much needed improvement over the frankly disastrous past years. There is still hope that Trump might deliver and if he does, he might become on of the best US Presidents in many, many years. Whether Trump delivers or not, the world will further move away from unipolarity to multipolarity and that is an immensely desirable evolution. All in all, and for the first time in decades, I feel rather optimistic. This is such a weird and unnatural feeling for me that I almost feel guilty about it. But sometimes guilty enjoyment is also great fun!

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Middle East, Russia 

After several rather lame false starts, the Neocons have now taken a step which can only be called a declaration of war against Donald Trump.

It all began with CNN published an article entitled “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him” which claimed that:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN. The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible (…) The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.

The website Buzzfeed then published the full document. Here it is in full.

When I first read the document my intention was to debunk it sentence by sentence. However, I don’t have the time for that and, frankly, there is no need for it. I will just provide you here with enough simple straightforward evidence that this is a fake. Here are just a few elements of proof:

  1. The document has no letterhead, no identification, no date, no nothing. For many good technical and even legal reasons, sensitive intelligence documents are created with plenty of tracking and identification information. For example, such a document would typically have a reference to the unit which produced it or an number-letter combination indicating the reliability of the source and of the information it contains.
  2. The classification CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCE is a joke. If this was a true document its level of classification would be much, much higher than “confidential” and since most intelligence documents come from sensitive sources there is no need to specify that.
  3. The allegation that “The dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN’S orders” is beyond laughable. Clearly the author of this fake has no idea how the Russian intelligence and security services work (hint: the Presidential spokesman has no involvement in that whatsoever)
  4. On page 2 there is this other hilarious sentence “exploit TRUMP’s personal obsession and sexual perversion in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him.” Nobody in a real intelligence document would bother to clarify what the word “kompromat” means since both in Russian and in English it is obviously the combination of the words “compromising” and “materials”. Any western intelligence officer, even a very junior one, would know that word, if only because of the many Cold War era espionage books written about the KGB entrapment techniques.
  5. The document speaks of “source A”, “source B” and further down the alphabet. Now ask yourself a simple question: what happens after “source Z” is used? Can any intelligence agency work with a potential pool of sources limited to 26? Obviously, this is not how intelligence agencies classify their sources.

I will stop here and submit that there is ample evidence that this is a crude fake produced by amateurs who have no idea of what they are talking about.

This does not make this document any less dangerous, however.

First, and this is the really crucial part, there is more than enough here to impeach Trump on numerous grounds both political and legal. Let me repeat again – this is an attempt at removing Donald Trump from the White House. This is a political coup d’etat.

Second, this documents smears everybody involved: Trump himself, of course, but also the evil Russians and their ugly Machiavellian techniques. Trump is thereby “confirmed” as a sexual pervert who likes to hire prostitutes to urinate on him. As for the Russians, they are basically accused of trying to recruit the President of the United States as an agent of their security services. That would make Trump a traitor, by the way.

Third, within one short week we went from allegations of “Russian hacking” to “having a traitor sitting in the White House”. We can only expect a further Tsunami of such allegations to continue and get worse and worse every day. It is interesting that Buzzfeed has already preempted the accusation of this being a smear and demonization campaign against Trump by writing that “Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.” as if most Americans had the expertise to immediately detect that this document is a crude forgery!

Fourth, unless all the officials who briefed Trump come out and deny that this fake was part of their briefing with Trump, it will appear that this document has the official imprimatur of the senior US intelligence officials and that would give them a legal, probatory, authority. This de-facto means that the “experts” have evaluated that document and have certified it as “credible” even before any legal proceedings in court or, worse, in Congress. I sure hope that Trump had the foresight to audio and video record his meeting with the intelligence chiefs and that he is now able to threaten them with legal action if they now act in a way contradicting their behavior before him.

Fifth, the fact that CNN got involved in all this is a critical factor. Some of us, including yours truly, were shocked and disgusted when the WaPo posted a list of 200 websites denounced as “fake news” and “Russian propaganda”, but what CNN did by posting this article is infinitely worse: it is a direct smear and political attack on the President Elect on a worldwide level (the BBC and others are already posting the same crap). This again confirms to be that the gloves are off and that the Ziomedia is in full state of war against Donald Trump.

All of the above further confirms to me what I have been saying over the past weeks: if Trump ever makes it into the White House (I write ‘if’ because I think that the Neocons are perfectly capable of assassinating him), his first priority should be to ruthlessly crack down as hard as he legally can against those in the US “deep state” (which very much includes the media) who have now declared war on him. I am sorry to say that, but it will be either him or them – one of the parties here will be crushed.

[Sidebar: to those who wonder what I mean by “crackdown” I will summarize here what I wrote elsewhere: the best way to do that is to nominate a hyper-loyal and determined FBI director and instruct him to go after all the enemies of Trump by investigating them on charge of corruption, abuse of power, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and all the other types of behavior which have gone on forever in Congress, the intelligence community, the banking world and the media. Deal with the Neocons like Putin did with the Russian oligarchs or how the USA dealt with Al Capone – get them on tax evasion. There is no need to open Gulags or shoot people when you can get them all on what is their normal daily behavior :-)]

I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and I admit that I might be, but I don’t have the gut feeling that Trump has what it takes to hit hard enough at those who are using any and every ugly method imaginable to prevent him from ever making it into the White House or to have him impeached if he tries to deliver on his campaign promises. I cannot blame him for that either: the enemy has infiltrated all the level of power in the US polity and there are strong sign that they are even represented in Trump’s immediate entourage. Putin could do what he did because he was an iron-willed and highly trained intelligence officer. Trump is just a businessman whose best “training” to deal with such people would probably be his exposure to the mob in New York. Will that be enough to allow him to prevail against the Neocons? I doubt it, but I sure hope so.

As I predicted it before the election, the USA are about to enter the worst crisis in their history. We are entering extraordinarily dangerous times. If the danger of a thermonuclear war between Russia and the USA had dramatically receded with the election of Trump, the Neocon total war on Trump put the United States at very grave risk, including civil war (should the Neocon controlled Congress impeach Trump I believe that uprisings will spontaneously happen, especially in the South, and especially in Florida and Texas). At the risk of sounding over the top, I will say that what is happening now is putting the very existence of the United States in danger almost regardless of what Trump will personally do. Whatever we may think of Trump as a person and about his potential as a President, what is certain is that millions of American patriots have voted for him to “clear the swamp”, give the boot to the Washington-based plutocracy and restore what they see as fundamental American values. If the Neocons now manage to stage a coup d’etat against Trump, I predict that these millions of American will turn to violence to protect what they see as their way of life, their values and their country. In spite of the image which Hollywood likes to give of them, most Americans are peaceful and non-violent people, but if they are pushed too far they will not hesitate and grab their guns to defend themselves, especially if they lose all hopes in their democracy. And I am not talking only about gun-toting hillbillies here, I am talking about the local, state and county authorities, who often care much more about what their local constituents think and say than what the are up to in DC. If a coup is staged against Trump and some wannabe President à la Hillary or McCain gives the order to the National Guard or even the US Army to put down a local insurrection, we could see what we saw in Russia in 1991: a categorical refusal of the security services to shoot at their own people. That is the biggest and ultimate danger for the Neocons: the risk that if they give the order to crack down on the population the police, security and military services might simply refuse to take action. If that could happen in the “KGB-controlled country” (to use a Cold War cliché) this can also happen in the USA.

I sure hope that I am wrong and that this latest attack against Trump is the Neocon’s last “hurray” before they finally give up and leave. I hope that all of the above is my paranoia speaking. But, as they say, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they are not after you“.

So please tell me I am wrong!

(Reprinted from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Neocons, Russia 
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