The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewThe Saker Archive
Trump Elected as President – Risks and Opportunities
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

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. In fact, he specifically said in his acceptance speech:

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.

And Putin’s reply was immediate:

We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

This exchange, right there, is enough of a reason for the entire planet to rejoice at the defeat of Hillary and the victory of Trump.

Will Trump now have the courage, willpower and intelligence to purge the US Executive from the Neocon cabal which has been infiltrating it for decades now? Will he have the strength to confront an extremely hostile Congress and media? Or will he try to meet them halfway and naively hope that they will not use their power, money and influence to sabotage his presidency?

I don’t know. Nobody does.

One of the first signs to look for will be the names and backgrounds of the folks he will appoint in his new administration. Especially his Chief of Staff and Secretary of State.

I have always said that the choice for the lesser evil is morally wrong and pragmatically misguided. I still believe that. In this case, however, the greater evil was thermonuclear war with Russia and the lesser evil just might turn out to be one which will gradually give up the Empire to save the USA rather than sacrifice the USA for the needs of the Empire. In the case of Hillary vs Trump the choice was simple: war or peace.

Trump can already be credited with am immense achievement: his campaign has forced the US corporate media to show its true face – the face of an evil, lying, morally corrupt propaganda machine. The American people by their vote have rewarded their media with a gigantic “f*ck you!” – a vote of no-confidence and total rejection which will forever demolish the credibility of the Empire’s propaganda machine.

I am not so naive as to not realize that billionaire Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other, especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!

Ideally, the next step would be for Trump and Putin to meet, with all their key ministers, in a long, Camp David like week of negotiations in which everything, every outstanding dispute, should be put on the table and a compromise sought in each case. Paradoxically, this could be rather easy: the crisis in Europe is entirely artificial, the war in Syria has an absolutely obvious solution, and the international order can easily accommodate a United States which would “deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations” and “seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict“. The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict – only ideological issues resulting directly from the insane ideology of messianic imperialism of those who believe, or pretend to believe, that the USA is an “indispensable nation”. What the world wants – needs – is the USA as a *normal* nation.

The worst case? Trump could turn out to be a total fraud. I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible. More likely is that he just won’t have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him. It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII. Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real “regime change”? I don’t know.

ORDER IT NOW

Make no mistake – even if Trump does end up disappointing those who believed in him what happened today has dealt a death blow to the Empire. The “Occupy Wall Street” did not succeed in achieving anything tangible, but the notion of “rule of the 1%” did emerge from that movement and it stayed. This is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order of the USA: far from being a democracy, it is a plutocracy/oligarchy – everybody pretty much accepts that today. Likewise, the election of Trump has already proved that the US media is a prostitute and that the majority of the American people hate their ruling class. Again, this is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order. One by one the founding myths of the US Empire are crashing down and what remains is a system which can only rule by force.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to say that regimes can be measured on a spectrum which ranges from regimes whose authority is their power and regimes whose power in in their authority. In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

Finally, whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end. With Hillary, we would have had a Titanic-like denial up to the last moment which might well have come in the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC. Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country. Frankly, I am pretty sure that all the key world leaders realize that it is in their interest to make as many (reasonable) concessions to Trump as possible and work with him, rather than to deal with the people whom he just removed from power.

If Trump can stick to his campaign promises he will find solid and reliable partners in Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Neither Russia nor China have anything at all to gain from a confrontation or, even less so, a conflict with the USA. Will Trump have the wisdom to realize this and use it for the benefit of the USA? Or will he continue with his anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian rhetoric?

Only time will tell.

(Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Russia 
Hide 122 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Excellent, thoughtful essay–compliments.

    One notes also that the author recognizes the one solid–in the context of the Debordian Spectacle–accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street, which most fail to see, to wit, penetrating the mainstream media with a single brilliant enlightenment and proto-slogan, “The One Percent”.

    Brilliant, of course, because true.

    “Occupy”, however, should have been “Off”. Ah well, perhaps next time around. And then something more than mere rhetoric.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Truthster
    The late great Alexander Cockburn pointed out that the one and only contribution of Occupy was the slogan of the 1%. But I think that the 95% already knew full well that we are ruled by an oligarchy. It may have come as news to the 4% dwelling just below the top 1%.
    The top 5% for the first time in history voted Dem. They found their new home tended by a mass murderess with humanitarian imperialist politics and very nasty identity politics which really amount to the new bigotry and racism of the Elite.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /tsaker/trump-elected-as-president-risks-and-opportunities/#comment-1643044
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Absolutely agree with what Saker has written. Immediately following the news of the result I spoke with a friend in LA who had just voted for the first time ever despite being in his 50s (I’ve teased him for years about him not being a true American). He said he never had a reason to vote previously and I remarked that DTs picks for his leadership team will tell much of the story to follow.

    I realised President Hopey Changey was a fake as soon as he picked Hillary and Rahm Emmanuel.

    I’m hopeful but cautious. Best wishes to all

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    History has shown once an empire embarks on the path of downward death spiral, no matter who is at helm, it will not change its course, it will continue the downward death spiral until it collapses, disintegrates and disappears.

    History has shown not all the emperors were corrupted or incompetent during the empire's downward death spiral, but their presence only formed a bump in the empire's death spiral. Even if Donald Trump is as as good as Saker has wished for, Donald Trump cannot change the fate of the Empire of Chaos as most of the pundits and talking heads in the USA an its minions have already been saying "One president alone can’t dismantle time-tested policies." The neocon and neolibcon deep state of the USA and its minions are well entrenched, and their momentum cannot be uprooted or changed just by a short term president with limited resource he has direct control.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Dan Hayes says:

    If Victoria Nuland or her alter ego Robert Kagan wind up in this forthcoming administration then we will know that everything is irretrievably lost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    Peter Navarro is Donald Trump's head economy advisor, Victoria Nuland or Robert Kagan may not wind up in his forthcoming administration but someone alike will be.
    , @annamaria
    agree
    , @apple jack
    I agree completely. ...some on his early lists have me concerned
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. hbm says:

    Trump is hardly indicative of the “Elites” in this country in 2016. He’s surely one of the last WASPs that can be assigned that label, if it fits at all. And as much as I’d like to see us get along with everyone, I doubt the Donald is going to prove much of a friend to the Chinese– unless somehow they will be fine with us putting an end to the outsourcing of American prosperity to their country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    The Chinese no longer need outsourcing from the US--they have brilliantly planned around that. The US on the other direly needs outsourcing just to keep afloat and is trying to redirect it to places like India.

    This is the inheritance of at least a generation of US imbecility by corporations, government, finance capitalists and others with the full approval and facilitation of their political puppets, Republican and Democrat.

    Have a nice day.
    , @Joe Wong
    Please spare us the manufactured consent trolled by the USA neocon and neolibcon via their MSM and other forms of talking head big mouths. Outsourcing is the resultant of the forces of interests like sleigh hands that cannot be turned on/off like a switch. USA just does not want to take responsibility for their own behavior so they find a scapegoat or bogyman to white wash the crimes against their own people like always be in the name of American exceptionalism.

    Americans working hard and providing incentive for the American corporations moving jobs back to the USA is the right thing to do, blaming others with demonetization and cold war rhetoric is not. Mind you even China wants to create jobs in the USA, but it was blocked by the US Congress continually.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. TheJester says:

    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a “first strike” against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.

    Once Russia was dealt with, the way would be open to quickly surround China and cut off its energy supplies and natural resources. China would then be faced with the same choice that Japan faced on the eve of the Pacific War — strike first or face certain industrial and economic collapse from a strangling economic blockade. Millions would die … but then imperial wars are always bloody affairs.

    The NEOCON road to Armageddon would have been a replay of the build up to the first War in Iraq: The prestitutes would shout counterfactual propaganda. False evidence of threat would bolden the headlines. The talk shows would be full of experts echoing the propaganda as reasoned analysis. Editorials from the New York Times and Washington Post would call for swift action against the new “Axis of Evil” while there was still time.

    But Hillary WASN’T elected President and Commander in Chief. An outsider with a nationalist and isolationist agenda came from nowhere and won the election. The Empire is in denial … but it would be reasonable to expect a violent reaction. Is it already in the making?

    Financed by the globalists, the easily manipulated Coalition of the Fringes are already in the street within their Blue-state redouts throwing juvenile tantrums. Does this represent “snow flakes” letting off steam, or is this the beginning of an organized attempt at social disruption to protect the Empire and its interests by making the United States under Trump ungovernable?

    Time will tell … but Donald Trump should NOT assume a peaceful transfer of power. NEOCONs and their globalists allies play for keeps.

    Read More
    • Replies: @macilrae

    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a “first strike” against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.
     
    If you mean a nuclear first strike I doubt that extremely: not by Hillary and definitely not by the neocons who have been shown up before as a cowardly lot. Even if there was a one-in-a-thousand chance of themselves or their families getting nuked in response, they'd never risk it.

    These people are good at engaging small, helpless countries in what they have called "wars" but they wouldn't even dare to take on Iran or North Korea, let alone the Russians. The problem with shooting at capable foes is that there's a good chance they might just shoot back!

    I am elated by the ouster of Hillary but, like Saker, I dread a let-down when Donald announces his team.

    Don't disappoint us Donald!
    , @annamaria
    Expect some vicious attacks from Google that had been very supportive of Hillary (to the extend of violating the freedom of speech), while hoping to get a lot of goodies from the plutocratic state run by the same cabal. Google' owners are furious and they are ready for anti-Trump actions. You see, they believe that they know better what the democracy means, and this belief is miraculously connected to their paycheck.
    , @TheJester
    My fear of the Hildebeast is that she might have not have noticed that Putin has drawn his "line in the sand" in Syria. Putin is committed to ensuring that there are no more wars in Chechnya (there have already been two including one on Putin's watch) or elsewhere on Russian soil as the West continues to try to dismantle Russia by using Wahhabism to attack its soft Islamic underbelly. Ref: Zbigniew Brzezinski and the creation of Al-Qaeda. The US also created ISIS for the same purpose.

    The scenario would have been for Hillary to create a "no-fly" zone in Syria, which would have been a euphemism for creating a safe haven for Jihadists to regroup and attack Assad and his forces. Russia would resist the "no-fly" zone, which would involve taking tactical action against the US Air Force. Attack ... counter attack ... Russian cruise missiles launched against US air bases in the Middle East ... Russian cruise missiles launched against the Saudi oil fields ... US retaliation. At that point all bets are off. Which country would be the first to go nuclear?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Had a war with Russia only resulted in “the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC”, then it might have been worthwhile electing Hillary and her cohorts. We, meaning the people of the USA, could have used Russia to clean the Augean Stables for us. Could we induce you to demolish NYCity as well?

    Read More
    • Replies: @prusmc
    My thoughts completely.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    Read More
    • LOL: Che Guava
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    Forget Putin's use of "partners", which is ironic. If you pay close attention you will notice that the Russians are less and less interested in being part of the US-led crime family of nations.

    The sanctions actually proved positive for them.

    Besides, NATO is on the rocks--it's just a matter of time before it dissolves of its own accord.

    After Merkel falls, Germany will probably move to a stance similar to De Gaulle's and resume their vast business interests and investments in the Russian Federation, and that will be that.

    Meanwhile, as most United Statesians don't know, the Chinese have moved into Europe as a hugely successful trading and investment force.
    , @bluedog
    Hmmm you still harping on that old line I think that The Ukraine has a very low priorty as far as Trump is concerned and once he puts that issue to bed and he will so will the EU.!!!
    , @RadicalCenter
    And if you're serious about making a Grade GS-15, you will have to make more persuasive arguments on behalf of your paymasters.

    By the way, in recent years it's not Russia but the US who has acted in a way inconsistent with being in the supposed family of nations.
    , @Boris Kazlov
    You are not serious, getting out of Crimea? Just because the Empire wants to install its puppet regime to be a thorn in the side of Russia? Crimea has been Russian since Catherine the Great, Sevastopol was always an autonomous city, not Crimea proper. Crimea is Russian by peaceful referendum, and will remain a part of the Russian Federation forever, such is the will of the people. You are toast, propagandist.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji
    The state of Ukraine ended Feb 22, 2014, when the elected government was toppled, and the constitutional order collapsed. After that, Crimea went its own way, and the rest of the territory is now in the middle of a civil war, a natural consequence of the state collapsing.

    Therefore, talking about 'getting out of Ukraine' is simply meaningless. About as meaningless as calling the US empire "the family of nations".

    , @annamaria
    It is obvious that you mourn Madame Clinton' failure (a failure that is a blessing for the millions of people). Yet, could you produce something more vigorous intellectually instead of the childish hiss?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. macilrae says:
    @TheJester
    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a "first strike" against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.

    Once Russia was dealt with, the way would be open to quickly surround China and cut off its energy supplies and natural resources. China would then be faced with the same choice that Japan faced on the eve of the Pacific War -- strike first or face certain industrial and economic collapse from a strangling economic blockade. Millions would die ... but then imperial wars are always bloody affairs.

    The NEOCON road to Armageddon would have been a replay of the build up to the first War in Iraq: The prestitutes would shout counterfactual propaganda. False evidence of threat would bolden the headlines. The talk shows would be full of experts echoing the propaganda as reasoned analysis. Editorials from the New York Times and Washington Post would call for swift action against the new "Axis of Evil" while there was still time.

    But Hillary WASN'T elected President and Commander in Chief. An outsider with a nationalist and isolationist agenda came from nowhere and won the election. The Empire is in denial ... but it would be reasonable to expect a violent reaction. Is it already in the making?

    Financed by the globalists, the easily manipulated Coalition of the Fringes are already in the street within their Blue-state redouts throwing juvenile tantrums. Does this represent "snow flakes" letting off steam, or is this the beginning of an organized attempt at social disruption to protect the Empire and its interests by making the United States under Trump ungovernable?

    Time will tell ... but Donald Trump should NOT assume a peaceful transfer of power. NEOCONs and their globalists allies play for keeps.

    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a “first strike” against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.

    If you mean a nuclear first strike I doubt that extremely: not by Hillary and definitely not by the neocons who have been shown up before as a cowardly lot. Even if there was a one-in-a-thousand chance of themselves or their families getting nuked in response, they’d never risk it.

    These people are good at engaging small, helpless countries in what they have called “wars” but they wouldn’t even dare to take on Iran or North Korea, let alone the Russians. The problem with shooting at capable foes is that there’s a good chance they might just shoot back!

    I am elated by the ouster of Hillary but, like Saker, I dread a let-down when Donald announces his team.

    Don’t disappoint us Donald!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. dearieme says:

    After the defeat of Napoleon the idea of a Concert of Powers kept the peace tolerably well until in 1914 the ambitions of the Kaiser and his cronies brought it to an end.

    In an age of nuclear weapons a Concert of Powers should be attainable again: there certainly is a huge incentive to do so.

    If the US has any sense, for example, she’d be prepared to abandon argument about the Crimea in return for guarantees on the security of Poland and the Baltic states. Then NATO and Russia could pull back troops from those frontiers, agree to mutual inspections of armaments, or whatever else is necessary. Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.

    Read More
    • Replies: @colm
    Blame it to Edward Grey. The Kaiser did not want to fight the British and tried to stop it, but by then he had lost power and was irrelevant.
    , @Jon0815

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline
     
    1999 Russian fertility rate: 1.19 children per woman
    2015 Russian fertility rate: 1.78 children per woman

    That is not decline.
    , @Alfred
    "ambitions of the Kaiser"

    That was part of the British propaganda that has been handed down in the history books. In reality, the German foreign ministry's own documents prove conclusively that the Germans were not trying to build an empire on the back of the British. Their economy - like the Russian economy - was motoring ahead very nicely and trashing that of the British. They had absolutely no reason to start a war.

    Now, we have a similar replay, the American and British elites are afraid of a rising Russia and China and are trying to start a war.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. colm says:
    @dearieme
    After the defeat of Napoleon the idea of a Concert of Powers kept the peace tolerably well until in 1914 the ambitions of the Kaiser and his cronies brought it to an end.

    In an age of nuclear weapons a Concert of Powers should be attainable again: there certainly is a huge incentive to do so.

    If the US has any sense, for example, she'd be prepared to abandon argument about the Crimea in return for guarantees on the security of Poland and the Baltic states. Then NATO and Russia could pull back troops from those frontiers, agree to mutual inspections of armaments, or whatever else is necessary. Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.

    Blame it to Edward Grey. The Kaiser did not want to fight the British and tried to stop it, but by then he had lost power and was irrelevant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Just to keep it simple, are you saying that it was OK for Germany to invade Belgium and that the UK ought to have ignored the treaties which bound the great powers to protect its independence andsecurity?
    , @dearieme
    The Kaiser's getting cold feet at the last moment absolves him of no blame.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @hbm
    Trump is hardly indicative of the "Elites" in this country in 2016. He's surely one of the last WASPs that can be assigned that label, if it fits at all. And as much as I'd like to see us get along with everyone, I doubt the Donald is going to prove much of a friend to the Chinese-- unless somehow they will be fine with us putting an end to the outsourcing of American prosperity to their country.

    The Chinese no longer need outsourcing from the US–they have brilliantly planned around that. The US on the other direly needs outsourcing just to keep afloat and is trying to redirect it to places like India.

    This is the inheritance of at least a generation of US imbecility by corporations, government, finance capitalists and others with the full approval and facilitation of their political puppets, Republican and Democrat.

    Have a nice day.

    Read More
    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Agree
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    Forget Putin’s use of “partners”, which is ironic. If you pay close attention you will notice that the Russians are less and less interested in being part of the US-led crime family of nations.

    The sanctions actually proved positive for them.

    Besides, NATO is on the rocks–it’s just a matter of time before it dissolves of its own accord.

    After Merkel falls, Germany will probably move to a stance similar to De Gaulle’s and resume their vast business interests and investments in the Russian Federation, and that will be that.

    Meanwhile, as most United Statesians don’t know, the Chinese have moved into Europe as a hugely successful trading and investment force.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. bluedog says:
    @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    Hmmm you still harping on that old line I think that The Ukraine has a very low priorty as far as Trump is concerned and once he puts that issue to bed and he will so will the EU.!!!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Mikel says:

    This electoral campaign has showed us what it must be like to hold elections where basically all mass media are totally biased in favor of one candidate. Turkey, Morocco, Russia come to mind.

    But Saker’s conclusions about the loss of legitimacy of the American democratic system sound very exaggerated. Important formalities were kept, like televised debates and freedom of expression but, most importantly, voters ignored or saw through the media bias and actually elected the candidate everyone was asking them to repudiate. An admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy, I would say. Which, as Churchill would remind us, does not mean that is perfect or adequate for every other nation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    " An admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy"

    Ah, and not a brilliant exercise in reverse psychology then? To wit, forbidding fruit--don't vote for that champion of the working class who just happens to be a billionaire and part of the one percent?

    At any rate, as in all US elections after Eisenhower Stevenson, the puppeteers had both bases covered.

    Eisenhower was the more brilliant intellect and Stevenson the country club ne'er do well, but in the campaign, the former became the fool and the latter the egghead and at the same time the common man--with a hole in his shoe.

    In that one, however, few fell for it. Eisenhower won by a landslide and actually managed to end the fighting in Korea.

    The illusion of choice is not choice. And western "democracies" are all illusion.
    , @annamaria
    The enthusiastic praising of the US as "an admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy" does not hold water in light of the many facts of shunning the third-party candidates (a functioning and mature democracy should have had the n-parties candidates).
    The reality is in accord with Saker: "It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    And if you’re serious about making a Grade GS-15, you will have to make more persuasive arguments on behalf of your paymasters.

    By the way, in recent years it’s not Russia but the US who has acted in a way inconsistent with being in the supposed family of nations.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. Greg S. says:

    I think we are in the feeling out stages here. That’s why the markets are still propped up and nothing has changed. The neocons and globalists are seeing if Trump will play ball. This story has played itself out again and again and again throughout history: underdog candidate comes out of nowhere, takes power on a reformist platform, and within 6 months is licking globalist boots and does the opposite of what he said he’d do.

    I’m not saying that will happen with Trump, and him being a billionaire and therefore unbuyable gives me hope, but know that’s exactly what’s happening behind the scenes right now.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  17. @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    You are not serious, getting out of Crimea? Just because the Empire wants to install its puppet regime to be a thorn in the side of Russia? Crimea has been Russian since Catherine the Great, Sevastopol was always an autonomous city, not Crimea proper. Crimea is Russian by peaceful referendum, and will remain a part of the Russian Federation forever, such is the will of the people. You are toast, propagandist.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Mikel
    This electoral campaign has showed us what it must be like to hold elections where basically all mass media are totally biased in favor of one candidate. Turkey, Morocco, Russia come to mind.

    But Saker's conclusions about the loss of legitimacy of the American democratic system sound very exaggerated. Important formalities were kept, like televised debates and freedom of expression but, most importantly, voters ignored or saw through the media bias and actually elected the candidate everyone was asking them to repudiate. An admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy, I would say. Which, as Churchill would remind us, does not mean that is perfect or adequate for every other nation.

    ” An admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy”

    Ah, and not a brilliant exercise in reverse psychology then? To wit, forbidding fruit–don’t vote for that champion of the working class who just happens to be a billionaire and part of the one percent?

    At any rate, as in all US elections after Eisenhower Stevenson, the puppeteers had both bases covered.

    Eisenhower was the more brilliant intellect and Stevenson the country club ne’er do well, but in the campaign, the former became the fool and the latter the egghead and at the same time the common man–with a hole in his shoe.

    In that one, however, few fell for it. Eisenhower won by a landslide and actually managed to end the fighting in Korea.

    The illusion of choice is not choice. And western “democracies” are all illusion.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. Chaban says:

    You people never learn. You cannot reach the top of the structure put in place by the elites if you are not selected. Period.
    The best way to destroy a politician is to give him/her zero media coverage (ask Ron Paul). That certainly is not what happened in the last year or so. Oh but they attacked him all the time you say? And the more they did, the more popular he got. You think those people are stupid? that they were not aware of that fact? They have their finger on the pulse of the nation more than ever before, thanks to all those shiny toys you carry around 24/7. Ever heard of reverse psychology?

    At the international level, I pity Russia.
    Putin and Russia are as elated about a Trump victory as Ghaddafi and other Arab leaders were when their “Muslim brother” was elected (even Assad was). They are all tingly like Hugo Chavez was, due to having a “marxist brother” in the White House (before suddenly dying of cancer after a few meetings with “the one”). Remember the good old days when Ghaddafi would write personal letters to his brother “Baracka”?
    The worst is to come for Russia and Putin. And white people in general. Mark. My. Words.
    Are they really going to fall for that crap and their let guard down?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Why don't you try making a prognostication concrete enough that it could be disproved by future events? It would be your first time.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. This US presidential election was historic because the American people defeated the oligarchs. Hillary Clinton lost despite a vicious media campaign against Donald Trump, where she outspent him by 400%. The corporate media and the political establishments no longer have credibility with the American people. I am not excited that Trump won, but I am thrilled that he swept aside the Bush crime family and corporate puppets like Rubio. I am ecstatic that the Clinton crime family has been crushed. I suspect Arab dictators are asking for refunds from the Clinton Foundation.

    Moreover, World War III with Russia has been averted and mass immigration to the USA will slow. The Democratic Party defeated itself. I looked up polling data and all showed that Sanders would have beat Trump by ten percentage points. As I’ve written before, if Trump proves a phony, a true progressive can win in 2020, now that Trump killed Hildabeast. Otherwise, she’d rule until 2024 and select her corporatist replacement, which might have been Princess Chelsea Clinton, assuming she survived the nuclear holocaust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    We just had eight years of a progressive a la Islami. We don't need another ultra leftist in 2020. Or ever.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    The state of Ukraine ended Feb 22, 2014, when the elected government was toppled, and the constitutional order collapsed. After that, Crimea went its own way, and the rest of the territory is now in the middle of a civil war, a natural consequence of the state collapsing.

    Therefore, talking about ‘getting out of Ukraine’ is simply meaningless. About as meaningless as calling the US empire “the family of nations”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    There’s a good proverb: the raven won’t peck another raven’s eye. Trump does not appear as a bright thinker, a mere nouveau riche with his golden furniture, he is rather someone’s other puppet, a strawman politician. If he is not a bankster’s puppet, then he may be a puppet of military-industrial complex, that ‘makes america great’, since other industries are trans-national. This ugly capitalist, or that bureacratic princess, no big difference. And all that disgusting ‘minority matters’ noise was only an attractant for majority voices.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  23. @colm
    Blame it to Edward Grey. The Kaiser did not want to fight the British and tried to stop it, but by then he had lost power and was irrelevant.

    Just to keep it simple, are you saying that it was OK for Germany to invade Belgium and that the UK ought to have ignored the treaties which bound the great powers to protect its independence andsecurity?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ralph Raico
    The origins of the First World War is probably the most disputed question in all of historical writing. It cannot be settled by a few random facts, e. g., that the Germans invaded Belgium. The Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia encircled the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Russia was intent on the breakup of Austria and the "liberation" of its Slavic inhabitants, who would then fall under Russian tutelage. The misguided Schlieffen Plan dictated that France, as the presumably more vulnerable continental Entente power, be tackled first; Belgium was the pathway to Paris. The treaty of 1839, guaranteeing Belgian neutrality, posited that all the guarantors acted unanimously, which was not the case in 1914, since Italy didn't go along. British Foreign Minister Edward Grey misused Belgian neutrality as a pretext; his real reason was his fear of a German victory over France. An excellent introduction to this whole complex of issues is Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers. Clark's conclusion is that what made a general war inevitable was Russian mobilization.
    , @colm
    What does Britain have to do with Belgium, other than some dynastic connection?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. 5371 says:
    @Chaban
    You people never learn. You cannot reach the top of the structure put in place by the elites if you are not selected. Period.
    The best way to destroy a politician is to give him/her zero media coverage (ask Ron Paul). That certainly is not what happened in the last year or so. Oh but they attacked him all the time you say? And the more they did, the more popular he got. You think those people are stupid? that they were not aware of that fact? They have their finger on the pulse of the nation more than ever before, thanks to all those shiny toys you carry around 24/7. Ever heard of reverse psychology?

    At the international level, I pity Russia.
    Putin and Russia are as elated about a Trump victory as Ghaddafi and other Arab leaders were when their "Muslim brother" was elected (even Assad was). They are all tingly like Hugo Chavez was, due to having a "marxist brother" in the White House (before suddenly dying of cancer after a few meetings with "the one"). Remember the good old days when Ghaddafi would write personal letters to his brother "Baracka"?
    The worst is to come for Russia and Putin. And white people in general. Mark. My. Words.
    Are they really going to fall for that crap and their let guard down?

    Why don’t you try making a prognostication concrete enough that it could be disproved by future events? It would be your first time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chaban
    It would not be my first time since half-way through the Republican primaries I had said Trump would be installed. It was too easy for him, too obvious.

    But, I will indulge you for the future:
    -No wall is ever going to be built (they had already removed that point from Trump's website yesterday... they put it back in because some people had noticed, but that's just a cosmetic measure... never going to happen)
    -The FED will remain untouched and become more powerful
    -In four years from now, healthcare premiums will not have come down
    -Nothing is going to change in the Middle East (read the articles out yesterday about the Trump people reaching out to the Middle East leaders to tell them not to worry about what he said during the campaign because it was "just rhetoric" and nothing is going to change...)
    -Attempts to destabilize Russia will increase and perhaps result in Putin losing power (remember how Bush and Putin got along soooo well, yet in the back scene the U.S. was working all along to create color revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, etc.?)

    There is zero difference between Democrats and Republicans. It is just the WWF of politics.

    Now keep insulting everyone who challenges your (wishful thinking) worldview on this board. That's all you ever do.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. Urim says:

    [Pick a single Handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon.]

    Hope he’ll no longer please corporations and the wealthy. They’re no better than the lazy poor asses

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  26. dearieme says:
    @colm
    Blame it to Edward Grey. The Kaiser did not want to fight the British and tried to stop it, but by then he had lost power and was irrelevant.

    The Kaiser’s getting cold feet at the last moment absolves him of no blame.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Neither does it the war mongers among the other great powers who wanted that war more than anyone. Stop peddling your ridiuously lopsided war propaganda. People are tired of it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. Jon0815 says:
    @dearieme
    After the defeat of Napoleon the idea of a Concert of Powers kept the peace tolerably well until in 1914 the ambitions of the Kaiser and his cronies brought it to an end.

    In an age of nuclear weapons a Concert of Powers should be attainable again: there certainly is a huge incentive to do so.

    If the US has any sense, for example, she'd be prepared to abandon argument about the Crimea in return for guarantees on the security of Poland and the Baltic states. Then NATO and Russia could pull back troops from those frontiers, agree to mutual inspections of armaments, or whatever else is necessary. Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline

    1999 Russian fertility rate: 1.19 children per woman
    2015 Russian fertility rate: 1.78 children per woman

    That is not decline.

    Read More
    • Replies: @geokat62

    That is not decline.
     
    Definition of "replacement fertility rate":

    The replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.0 births per woman for most industrialized countries (2.075 in the UK, for example), but ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 in developing countries because of higher mortality rates. Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement is 2.33 children per woman.
     
    , @a
    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. Sam J. says:

    “…More likely is that he just won’t have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him…”

    I think you’re right. He’s talking about some neocons in his administration. Big mistake. Caesar overthrew the Oligarchs then welcomed them to his bosom, pardoned them and then put them back in power. For his troubles he was stabbed in the back and bled out on the Senate floor.

    Trump could roll up the whole entire mess of them with 9-11. Anyone can see the fall of build #7 is impossible without explosives of some sort. He could expose and break up the Jew press, the military dark state, CIA the whole works could be attacked and there’s not a damn thing they could do about it. If he doesn’t handle 9-11 within a year then he’s probably part of the problem and not a solution.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    Donald Trump is not JFK, definitely he does not want to end up like JFK. 9/11 will stay just like the landing on the Moon, they are the glorious facades of the American exceptionalism, there is no reason to disturb them for nobody's benefit.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. Chaban says:
    @5371
    Why don't you try making a prognostication concrete enough that it could be disproved by future events? It would be your first time.

    It would not be my first time since half-way through the Republican primaries I had said Trump would be installed. It was too easy for him, too obvious.

    But, I will indulge you for the future:
    -No wall is ever going to be built (they had already removed that point from Trump’s website yesterday… they put it back in because some people had noticed, but that’s just a cosmetic measure… never going to happen)
    -The FED will remain untouched and become more powerful
    -In four years from now, healthcare premiums will not have come down
    -Nothing is going to change in the Middle East (read the articles out yesterday about the Trump people reaching out to the Middle East leaders to tell them not to worry about what he said during the campaign because it was “just rhetoric” and nothing is going to change…)
    -Attempts to destabilize Russia will increase and perhaps result in Putin losing power (remember how Bush and Putin got along soooo well, yet in the back scene the U.S. was working all along to create color revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, etc.?)

    There is zero difference between Democrats and Republicans. It is just the WWF of politics.

    Now keep insulting everyone who challenges your (wishful thinking) worldview on this board. That’s all you ever do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [perhaps result in Putin losing power]

    I don't think you quite understand what making concrete predictions would entail.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. geokat62 says:
    @Jon0815

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline
     
    1999 Russian fertility rate: 1.19 children per woman
    2015 Russian fertility rate: 1.78 children per woman

    That is not decline.

    That is not decline.

    Definition of “replacement fertility rate”:

    The replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.0 births per woman for most industrialized countries (2.075 in the UK, for example), but ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 in developing countries because of higher mortality rates. Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement is 2.33 children per woman.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. a says:
    @Jon0815

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline
     
    1999 Russian fertility rate: 1.19 children per woman
    2015 Russian fertility rate: 1.78 children per woman

    That is not decline.

    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.
     
    Russia's population (even excluding the addition of Crimea) is no longer shrinking. Its fertility rate has increased by 50% from its low, and is still rising. So there is no basis to say Russia is currently in "demographic decline."

    A TFR below 2.0 doesn't automatically mean that a country's population will decrease: The USA now has a TFR of 1.85, about the same as Russia, but it has a fast-growing population due to immigration. Regardless, if current trends continue, Russia will have a TFR of over 2.0 by 2025.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. 5371 says:
    @Chaban
    It would not be my first time since half-way through the Republican primaries I had said Trump would be installed. It was too easy for him, too obvious.

    But, I will indulge you for the future:
    -No wall is ever going to be built (they had already removed that point from Trump's website yesterday... they put it back in because some people had noticed, but that's just a cosmetic measure... never going to happen)
    -The FED will remain untouched and become more powerful
    -In four years from now, healthcare premiums will not have come down
    -Nothing is going to change in the Middle East (read the articles out yesterday about the Trump people reaching out to the Middle East leaders to tell them not to worry about what he said during the campaign because it was "just rhetoric" and nothing is going to change...)
    -Attempts to destabilize Russia will increase and perhaps result in Putin losing power (remember how Bush and Putin got along soooo well, yet in the back scene the U.S. was working all along to create color revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, etc.?)

    There is zero difference between Democrats and Republicans. It is just the WWF of politics.

    Now keep insulting everyone who challenges your (wishful thinking) worldview on this board. That's all you ever do.

    [perhaps result in Putin losing power]

    I don’t think you quite understand what making concrete predictions would entail.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chaban
    You are too much of a simpleton not to grasp the irony in what you write. That's probably why you always resort to insulting, deriding others on this board: a fact that has been noticed by many.
    "Concrete prediction" might be the ultimate oxymoron.

    You and "Faker" and Orlov are going to have to write about the "imminent" collapse of the U.S. for a few more decades...

    After all, it's been imminent for so long...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. Chaban says:
    @5371
    [perhaps result in Putin losing power]

    I don't think you quite understand what making concrete predictions would entail.

    You are too much of a simpleton not to grasp the irony in what you write. That’s probably why you always resort to insulting, deriding others on this board: a fact that has been noticed by many.
    “Concrete prediction” might be the ultimate oxymoron.

    You and “Faker” and Orlov are going to have to write about the “imminent” collapse of the U.S. for a few more decades…

    After all, it’s been imminent for so long…

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [“Concrete prediction” might be the ultimate oxymoron]

    Go tell a bookie that what he makes his living from doesn't exist, pretentious cretin.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. Unfortunately the goyim have not the reasoning to comprehend that we don’t choose the president, he was chosen by the powerful who control the process and we simple agree with their choice by ‘voting’ in their guy. I was conversing with my friends who are elated that Trump won. Well, how many of the promises Obombo fulfilled? Just count them. Same for all candidates. They promise, and promise, and at the end, well, think, did not Obama said that he was going to close Guantanamo the first day in office? Did he?. Thus count all the promises candidate make. I guess we are ever wishful thinkers. If we were the ones choosing the candidate, then a third party candidate would have done well. Look at them, only about 4 million voted for them and its called unprecedented!

    Read More
    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus

    Unfortunately the goyim have not the reasoning to comprehend that we don’t choose the president, he was chosen by the powerful who control the process
     
    Can we just call them the mullahs?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. When I see names like Newt Gingrich and “Ambassador Bolton” show up on lists of possible Trump appointees, my fear that Trump may be a fraud or naive is confirmed. Still, he’s better than a Clinton.

    If Trump doesn’t deal with the anti-Americans and neocons, he is just delaying everything that Hillary Clinton would have done.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Bolton signed the PNAC. If that doesn't DQ him, I dunno.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. Joe Wong says:
    @NoseytheDuke
    Absolutely agree with what Saker has written. Immediately following the news of the result I spoke with a friend in LA who had just voted for the first time ever despite being in his 50s (I've teased him for years about him not being a true American). He said he never had a reason to vote previously and I remarked that DTs picks for his leadership team will tell much of the story to follow.

    I realised President Hopey Changey was a fake as soon as he picked Hillary and Rahm Emmanuel.

    I'm hopeful but cautious. Best wishes to all

    History has shown once an empire embarks on the path of downward death spiral, no matter who is at helm, it will not change its course, it will continue the downward death spiral until it collapses, disintegrates and disappears.

    History has shown not all the emperors were corrupted or incompetent during the empire’s downward death spiral, but their presence only formed a bump in the empire’s death spiral. Even if Donald Trump is as as good as Saker has wished for, Donald Trump cannot change the fate of the Empire of Chaos as most of the pundits and talking heads in the USA an its minions have already been saying “One president alone can’t dismantle time-tested policies.” The neocon and neolibcon deep state of the USA and its minions are well entrenched, and their momentum cannot be uprooted or changed just by a short term president with limited resource he has direct control.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    "The neocon and neolibcon deep state of the USA and its minions are well entrenched, and their momentum cannot be uprooted or changed just by a short term president with limited resource he has direct control."
    Agree.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. @in the middle
    Unfortunately the goyim have not the reasoning to comprehend that we don't choose the president, he was chosen by the powerful who control the process and we simple agree with their choice by 'voting' in their guy. I was conversing with my friends who are elated that Trump won. Well, how many of the promises Obombo fulfilled? Just count them. Same for all candidates. They promise, and promise, and at the end, well, think, did not Obama said that he was going to close Guantanamo the first day in office? Did he?. Thus count all the promises candidate make. I guess we are ever wishful thinkers. If we were the ones choosing the candidate, then a third party candidate would have done well. Look at them, only about 4 million voted for them and its called unprecedented!

    Unfortunately the goyim have not the reasoning to comprehend that we don’t choose the president, he was chosen by the powerful who control the process

    Can we just call them the mullahs?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. Joe Wong says:
    @Dan Hayes
    If Victoria Nuland or her alter ego Robert Kagan wind up in this forthcoming administration then we will know that everything is irretrievably lost.

    Peter Navarro is Donald Trump’s head economy advisor, Victoria Nuland or Robert Kagan may not wind up in his forthcoming administration but someone alike will be.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. Che Guava says:

    Well, the Saker never replies to anything, so this is pointless, but …

    Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other, especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!

    Trump may be a member of the 1%ers, partly because he made money by building half-tacky luxury housing and golf courses, and by being a background fixture in American Psycho, but he is not a product of it in the sense of being born into it. Insofar as he may be a product of it, it was (in his younger days) by being a mirror of what they’d like to imagine themselves to be.

    Putin was sub-elite, a mid-ranking KGB officer, presumably still working on western European affairs, at the time the betrayal of the USSR got into full swing.

    I have never read that he was personally disloyal. He still refers to Chekists with favour, and inclusive of himself, in quite recent years.

    Elites do, indeed, turn on each other, but I can think of no real parallel in history to the phenomenon in the USSR.

    In other superficially similar cases (e.g. Italy in 1943), they were at war.

    Closest parallel I can think of is Japan from the late 1850′s to the 1870′s, but it is, for various reasons (old scores to settle, a clear external threat, among others), not a close parallel at all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Recent Western history, to take just a small subset of history as a whole, is a series of elite vs. elite battles.

    Two examples (England et France)

    England:
    King vs Covenant vs Parliament vs Cromwell in the 1640s followed by the Restoration and the Glorious revolution and the mostly nonviolent faction fights from then on between Whigs and Tories, etc.

    France:

    King Louis vs. Philippe Egalite vs the Girondins vs the Jacobins, followed by Bonaparte (not himself an elite but backed by a few) and the Restoration, etc. etc.

    If you are looking for a parallel to the Soviet Union in that a large party of elites withdrew their allegiance from the government in power you will find lots. Revolutions are almost always led by elites.

    On an unrelated note, who are "they" who like to imagine themselves to be Trump?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. Jon0815 says:
    @a
    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.

    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.

    Russia’s population (even excluding the addition of Crimea) is no longer shrinking. Its fertility rate has increased by 50% from its low, and is still rising. So there is no basis to say Russia is currently in “demographic decline.”

    A TFR below 2.0 doesn’t automatically mean that a country’s population will decrease: The USA now has a TFR of 1.85, about the same as Russia, but it has a fast-growing population due to immigration. Regardless, if current trends continue, Russia will have a TFR of over 2.0 by 2025.

    Read More
    • Replies: @a
    It is indeed true that the population of Russia increased slightly recently (excluding Crimea). It is also true that the birth rate has substantially increased since the fall of the USSR. These two facts do necessarily mean that the term "demographic decline" is inappropriate. The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities) and the TFR is indeed less than replacement. If one defines "demographic decline" relative to the number of humans living within the Russian Federation then yes, the Russian Federation is not experiencing this. If however, one defines "demographic decline" relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then "demographic decline" is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.
    , @krollchem
    The critics fail to recognize that Russia is now receiving large numbers of Russian speaking immigrants from Ukraine. Most of the million or so Ukrainian immigrants are young which shifts the demographic pyramid.

    Meanwhile Ukraine is suffering the greatest population reduction of any country in the world. Millions more are planning to leave for the EU, leaving the very old to live out their lives in villages and small apartments. Prime real estate for Chinese immigrants...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. Joe Wong says:
    @hbm
    Trump is hardly indicative of the "Elites" in this country in 2016. He's surely one of the last WASPs that can be assigned that label, if it fits at all. And as much as I'd like to see us get along with everyone, I doubt the Donald is going to prove much of a friend to the Chinese-- unless somehow they will be fine with us putting an end to the outsourcing of American prosperity to their country.

    Please spare us the manufactured consent trolled by the USA neocon and neolibcon via their MSM and other forms of talking head big mouths. Outsourcing is the resultant of the forces of interests like sleigh hands that cannot be turned on/off like a switch. USA just does not want to take responsibility for their own behavior so they find a scapegoat or bogyman to white wash the crimes against their own people like always be in the name of American exceptionalism.

    Americans working hard and providing incentive for the American corporations moving jobs back to the USA is the right thing to do, blaming others with demonetization and cold war rhetoric is not. Mind you even China wants to create jobs in the USA, but it was blocked by the US Congress continually.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. Kilo 4/11 says:

    “But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.”

    There it is, the marker is laid down. If Trump accepts negotiations with Putin on this basis, he is, at the very least, a fool. And lapdog faker in his graveyard misses nary a beat by putting the onus on the United States to give up ITS empire, with not a peep about the one taking up eleven time zones and subjugating 185 nations under Moscow.

    And, if there were any doubt left that this columnist is simply an unvarnished anti-American zealot, this crock of shit should dispel it:

    “In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

    In view of the author’s at least moderately above average intelligence, making such a patently absurd pronouncement after Tuesday’s magnificent outpouring of the ultimate authority of the American people, which was a direct and successful attack on the center of “power”, can only be explained by his malice and prejudice against America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Just because one is happy with the result doesn't mean that US elections aren't rigged. They are, they have been for a long time and there's abundant evidence to prove that but it would require people overcoming their cognitive dissonance to allow it to sink in.
    , @Quartermaster

    “But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.”
     
    This is mere wishful thinking, but typical of Saker. While I don't blame Putin for taking advantage of the weak US regime, the blame for sorry relations rest mainly on Putin's shoulders.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Wizard of Oz
    Just to keep it simple, are you saying that it was OK for Germany to invade Belgium and that the UK ought to have ignored the treaties which bound the great powers to protect its independence andsecurity?

    The origins of the First World War is probably the most disputed question in all of historical writing. It cannot be settled by a few random facts, e. g., that the Germans invaded Belgium. The Triple Entente of Britain, France and Russia encircled the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Russia was intent on the breakup of Austria and the “liberation” of its Slavic inhabitants, who would then fall under Russian tutelage. The misguided Schlieffen Plan dictated that France, as the presumably more vulnerable continental Entente power, be tackled first; Belgium was the pathway to Paris. The treaty of 1839, guaranteeing Belgian neutrality, posited that all the guarantors acted unanimously, which was not the case in 1914, since Italy didn’t go along. British Foreign Minister Edward Grey misused Belgian neutrality as a pretext; his real reason was his fear of a German victory over France. An excellent introduction to this whole complex of issues is Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers. Clark’s conclusion is that what made a general war inevitable was Russian mobilization.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    Read More
    • Replies: @Quartermaster
    That article is simple BS. It's mostly a regurgitation of Putinist propaganda. Russia is far more corrupt than Ukraine, which has made great strides against corruption, and Russia is the one supporting terrorism in the Donbas. The Russian invasion hasn't gone any further than it has simply because Russia doesn't have anywhere near the support in Ukraine that Putin's wishful thinking attributed to it.

    Shorter summary: It's another Russian lie.

    It isn't known what Trump will do, but Trump is no one's friend at this point, much less Russia's. It's naïve to attribute anything to Trump as yet.

    The article is correct on the score of the Netherlands and the EU agenda. It isn't right about anything else.
    , @Philip Owen
    Russia's date with reality is still 2 or 3 years ahead. The sovereign wealth fund is not totally spent. Sensible things are being done. Military spend will be cut by 25%. The Armata tank will not be delivered until 2030. But there is still no realism about privatizations or creating conditions to protect private capital from state predators and thus encourage some flight capital back.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. Joe Wong says:
    @Sam J.
    "...More likely is that he just won’t have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him..."

    I think you're right. He's talking about some neocons in his administration. Big mistake. Caesar overthrew the Oligarchs then welcomed them to his bosom, pardoned them and then put them back in power. For his troubles he was stabbed in the back and bled out on the Senate floor.

    Trump could roll up the whole entire mess of them with 9-11. Anyone can see the fall of build #7 is impossible without explosives of some sort. He could expose and break up the Jew press, the military dark state, CIA the whole works could be attacked and there's not a damn thing they could do about it. If he doesn't handle 9-11 within a year then he's probably part of the problem and not a solution.

    Donald Trump is not JFK, definitely he does not want to end up like JFK. 9/11 will stay just like the landing on the Moon, they are the glorious facades of the American exceptionalism, there is no reason to disturb them for nobody’s benefit.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. annamaria says:
    @Dan Hayes
    If Victoria Nuland or her alter ego Robert Kagan wind up in this forthcoming administration then we will know that everything is irretrievably lost.

    agree

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. annamaria says:
    @TheJester
    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a "first strike" against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.

    Once Russia was dealt with, the way would be open to quickly surround China and cut off its energy supplies and natural resources. China would then be faced with the same choice that Japan faced on the eve of the Pacific War -- strike first or face certain industrial and economic collapse from a strangling economic blockade. Millions would die ... but then imperial wars are always bloody affairs.

    The NEOCON road to Armageddon would have been a replay of the build up to the first War in Iraq: The prestitutes would shout counterfactual propaganda. False evidence of threat would bolden the headlines. The talk shows would be full of experts echoing the propaganda as reasoned analysis. Editorials from the New York Times and Washington Post would call for swift action against the new "Axis of Evil" while there was still time.

    But Hillary WASN'T elected President and Commander in Chief. An outsider with a nationalist and isolationist agenda came from nowhere and won the election. The Empire is in denial ... but it would be reasonable to expect a violent reaction. Is it already in the making?

    Financed by the globalists, the easily manipulated Coalition of the Fringes are already in the street within their Blue-state redouts throwing juvenile tantrums. Does this represent "snow flakes" letting off steam, or is this the beginning of an organized attempt at social disruption to protect the Empire and its interests by making the United States under Trump ungovernable?

    Time will tell ... but Donald Trump should NOT assume a peaceful transfer of power. NEOCONs and their globalists allies play for keeps.

    Expect some vicious attacks from Google that had been very supportive of Hillary (to the extend of violating the freedom of speech), while hoping to get a lot of goodies from the plutocratic state run by the same cabal. Google’ owners are furious and they are ready for anti-Trump actions. You see, they believe that they know better what the democracy means, and this belief is miraculously connected to their paycheck.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. annamaria says:
    @Quartermaster
    If Putin is serious about re-entering the family of nations, then he will have to get out of Ukraine. That means both the Donbas and Crimea.

    It is obvious that you mourn Madame Clinton’ failure (a failure that is a blessing for the millions of people). Yet, could you produce something more vigorous intellectually instead of the childish hiss?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Quartermaster

    Yet, could you produce something more vigorous intellectually instead of the childish hiss?
     
    How droll. Just observation, madam.

    I expect such things are beyond your pro-Russian worship ability to comprehend, however. I have as yet to see anything approaching intellectual vigor under Saker's byline. His posts are characterized by wishful thinking and dreaming, for the most part.

    By the by, I voted Trump. I don't even come close to lamenting Clinton's political demise.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. annamaria says:
    @E. A. Costa
    The Chinese no longer need outsourcing from the US--they have brilliantly planned around that. The US on the other direly needs outsourcing just to keep afloat and is trying to redirect it to places like India.

    This is the inheritance of at least a generation of US imbecility by corporations, government, finance capitalists and others with the full approval and facilitation of their political puppets, Republican and Democrat.

    Have a nice day.

    Agree

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. annamaria says:
    @Mikel
    This electoral campaign has showed us what it must be like to hold elections where basically all mass media are totally biased in favor of one candidate. Turkey, Morocco, Russia come to mind.

    But Saker's conclusions about the loss of legitimacy of the American democratic system sound very exaggerated. Important formalities were kept, like televised debates and freedom of expression but, most importantly, voters ignored or saw through the media bias and actually elected the candidate everyone was asking them to repudiate. An admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy, I would say. Which, as Churchill would remind us, does not mean that is perfect or adequate for every other nation.

    The enthusiastic praising of the US as “an admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy” does not hold water in light of the many facts of shunning the third-party candidates (a functioning and mature democracy should have had the n-parties candidates).
    The reality is in accord with Saker: “It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel
    #50 The fact that the US has not changed its external or domestic policies very much in the past decades does not necessarily imply that there is no genuine democracy in that country and that the Dark Forces are in control. I think that when a country happens to become the most successful one in the world in terms of economic/technological development, military power and cultural influence, the scope for great revolutions gets probably diminished and its people tend to favor that status quo.

    Besides, I´m afraid that some crucial policies *have* unfortunately changed, such as immigration or interference in external affairs in absence of a any direct threat and the American electorate seems to have wisely decided to vote against them.

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn't end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. 5371 says:
    @Chaban
    You are too much of a simpleton not to grasp the irony in what you write. That's probably why you always resort to insulting, deriding others on this board: a fact that has been noticed by many.
    "Concrete prediction" might be the ultimate oxymoron.

    You and "Faker" and Orlov are going to have to write about the "imminent" collapse of the U.S. for a few more decades...

    After all, it's been imminent for so long...

    [“Concrete prediction” might be the ultimate oxymoron]

    Go tell a bookie that what he makes his living from doesn’t exist, pretentious cretin.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. annamaria says:
    @Joe Wong
    History has shown once an empire embarks on the path of downward death spiral, no matter who is at helm, it will not change its course, it will continue the downward death spiral until it collapses, disintegrates and disappears.

    History has shown not all the emperors were corrupted or incompetent during the empire's downward death spiral, but their presence only formed a bump in the empire's death spiral. Even if Donald Trump is as as good as Saker has wished for, Donald Trump cannot change the fate of the Empire of Chaos as most of the pundits and talking heads in the USA an its minions have already been saying "One president alone can’t dismantle time-tested policies." The neocon and neolibcon deep state of the USA and its minions are well entrenched, and their momentum cannot be uprooted or changed just by a short term president with limited resource he has direct control.

    “The neocon and neolibcon deep state of the USA and its minions are well entrenched, and their momentum cannot be uprooted or changed just by a short term president with limited resource he has direct control.”
    Agree.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. Andevro says:

    Just take a good look at Hillary! She is really a tragic figure straight out of the Greek plays. Consumed by her ambitions and hubris that the gods have struck down. Lost her health waging war and destroying so many lives along the way. It is a good thing that she made so much money because she will need it to get her health back…but she will never get back her own soul.

    Read More
    • Agree: The Scalpel
    • Replies: @annamaria
    She has become a subhuman: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/hillary-clinton-foundation-state-arms-deals
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. chris says:

    “The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict.” I completely agree; Hillary would have taken us to war against Russia to defend the one existing difference we might have, in defense of the sanctity of gay marriage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    Good observation as all of the venom leveled at Russia today is a direct result of P's stance towards Gay issues, which for the US democrats are the center of all of their strivings.

    If Russia were to become communistic and they would also push gay issues such as in the US, the media would love them again such as they did for sixty-plus years.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member since 1973, and pro jazz artist.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. mcohen says:

    usually only the wheels turn on a bicycle but sometimes,a few times,rarely,the bicycle turns and the wheels with it.
    it is called alignment of the planets or bicycles
    let the 17 the november 2016 be a good time to start.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  56. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @dearieme
    The Kaiser's getting cold feet at the last moment absolves him of no blame.

    Neither does it the war mongers among the other great powers who wanted that war more than anyone. Stop peddling your ridiuously lopsided war propaganda. People are tired of it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chuck Orloski
    Yes, anon... people are tired of war mongers, and the undemocratic Way they can get a 21st Century POTUS to get their "lopsided" way done.

    Please consider looking at today's brief Wall Street Journal article (Page A6) written by Felicia Schwartz, and you will see how an (unnamed) top policy advisor to president-elect Trump views Israeli settlements in "disputed areas" as not being an obstacle to peace.

    http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2016/11/11/trump-adviser-israeli-settlement-building-not-an-impediment-to-peace-jason-greenblatt-told-israeli-radio-the-president-elect-doesnt-see-the-settlement-activity-as-problematic-by-felicia-schw/

    Ha-ha! Such a big foreign policy issue got "gonged" off the 2016 debate stage quicker than Robert Kagan could say "9-11 mastermind K.S.M."

    Looks like the new administration is prepped to completely phase out the human rights sanity which even the Anglo-Zionist creators of the Balfour Agreement peddled over 100 years ago?

    Thank you!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. @anon
    Neither does it the war mongers among the other great powers who wanted that war more than anyone. Stop peddling your ridiuously lopsided war propaganda. People are tired of it.

    Yes, anon… people are tired of war mongers, and the undemocratic Way they can get a 21st Century POTUS to get their “lopsided” way done.

    Please consider looking at today’s brief Wall Street Journal article (Page A6) written by Felicia Schwartz, and you will see how an (unnamed) top policy advisor to president-elect Trump views Israeli settlements in “disputed areas” as not being an obstacle to peace.

    http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2016/11/11/trump-adviser-israeli-settlement-building-not-an-impediment-to-peace-jason-greenblatt-told-israeli-radio-the-president-elect-doesnt-see-the-settlement-activity-as-problematic-by-felicia-schw/

    Ha-ha! Such a big foreign policy issue got “gonged” off the 2016 debate stage quicker than Robert Kagan could say “9-11 mastermind K.S.M.”

    Looks like the new administration is prepped to completely phase out the human rights sanity which even the Anglo-Zionist creators of the Balfour Agreement peddled over 100 years ago?

    Thank you!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. a says:
    @Jon0815

    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.
     
    Russia's population (even excluding the addition of Crimea) is no longer shrinking. Its fertility rate has increased by 50% from its low, and is still rising. So there is no basis to say Russia is currently in "demographic decline."

    A TFR below 2.0 doesn't automatically mean that a country's population will decrease: The USA now has a TFR of 1.85, about the same as Russia, but it has a fast-growing population due to immigration. Regardless, if current trends continue, Russia will have a TFR of over 2.0 by 2025.

    It is indeed true that the population of Russia increased slightly recently (excluding Crimea). It is also true that the birth rate has substantially increased since the fall of the USSR. These two facts do necessarily mean that the term “demographic decline” is inappropriate. The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities) and the TFR is indeed less than replacement. If one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of humans living within the Russian Federation then yes, the Russian Federation is not experiencing this. If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities)
     
    I believe Russia's census and official population estimates only count permanent residents, and most of the Central Asian immigrants you see in the big cities are temporary workers (legal and illegal).

    And actually, Russia's population would still be growing very slightly, even without immigration. In 2013, Russia had its first natural population growth (more births than deaths) since 1990: The natural increase was 23,000, and with immigration it was 295,000. This was possible, despite fertility still below replacement, because of increasing life expectancy.


    If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.
     
    It's true that the ethnic Russian share of Russia's population is still declining, due to somewhat higher Muslim fertility. However, although Rosstat doesn't break down the fertility rate by ethnicity or religion, they do by region, and the regional figures indicate that Slavic fertility is rising, while Muslim fertility is falling.

    By my math, in 2015, the 14.2 million residents of Russia's seven majority-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.99 (down from 2.04 in 2014), while the non-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.76 (up from 1.74 in 2014). The only Muslim region with a TFR above replacement was Chechnya, at 2.79 (down from a high of 3.45 in 2010).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. Kiza says:

    Check out the photo of the November 11 entry, it is truly funny: http://www.moonofalabama.org/

    ‘Tis the best description of the US election outcome I have found so far.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  60. annamaria says:
    @Andevro
    Just take a good look at Hillary! She is really a tragic figure straight out of the Greek plays. Consumed by her ambitions and hubris that the gods have struck down. Lost her health waging war and destroying so many lives along the way. It is a good thing that she made so much money because she will need it to get her health back...but she will never get back her own soul.
    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. @Dan Hayes
    If Victoria Nuland or her alter ego Robert Kagan wind up in this forthcoming administration then we will know that everything is irretrievably lost.

    I agree completely. …some on his early lists have me concerned

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. @Kilo 4/11
    “But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.”

    There it is, the marker is laid down. If Trump accepts negotiations with Putin on this basis, he is, at the very least, a fool. And lapdog faker in his graveyard misses nary a beat by putting the onus on the United States to give up ITS empire, with not a peep about the one taking up eleven time zones and subjugating 185 nations under Moscow.

    And, if there were any doubt left that this columnist is simply an unvarnished anti-American zealot, this crock of shit should dispel it:

    “In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

    In view of the author’s at least moderately above average intelligence, making such a patently absurd pronouncement after Tuesday’s magnificent outpouring of the ultimate authority of the American people, which was a direct and successful attack on the center of “power”, can only be explained by his malice and prejudice against America.

    Just because one is happy with the result doesn’t mean that US elections aren’t rigged. They are, they have been for a long time and there’s abundant evidence to prove that but it would require people overcoming their cognitive dissonance to allow it to sink in.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. utu says:

    Nusra On The Run – Trump Induces First Major Policy Change On Syria

    http://www.moonofalabama.org

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  64. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @OilcanFloyd
    When I see names like Newt Gingrich and "Ambassador Bolton" show up on lists of possible Trump appointees, my fear that Trump may be a fraud or naive is confirmed. Still, he's better than a Clinton.

    If Trump doesn't deal with the anti-Americans and neocons, he is just delaying everything that Hillary Clinton would have done.

    Bolton signed the PNAC. If that doesn’t DQ him, I dunno.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. geokat62 says:

    Trump must use the following criterion in determining who should be selected to fill the top positions in his administration: is the individual an Israel firster or an American firster?

    This should be done for one simple reason: No one can serve two masters.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  66. Jon0815 says:
    @a
    It is indeed true that the population of Russia increased slightly recently (excluding Crimea). It is also true that the birth rate has substantially increased since the fall of the USSR. These two facts do necessarily mean that the term "demographic decline" is inappropriate. The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities) and the TFR is indeed less than replacement. If one defines "demographic decline" relative to the number of humans living within the Russian Federation then yes, the Russian Federation is not experiencing this. If however, one defines "demographic decline" relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then "demographic decline" is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.

    The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities)

    I believe Russia’s census and official population estimates only count permanent residents, and most of the Central Asian immigrants you see in the big cities are temporary workers (legal and illegal).

    And actually, Russia’s population would still be growing very slightly, even without immigration. In 2013, Russia had its first natural population growth (more births than deaths) since 1990: The natural increase was 23,000, and with immigration it was 295,000. This was possible, despite fertility still below replacement, because of increasing life expectancy.

    If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.

    It’s true that the ethnic Russian share of Russia’s population is still declining, due to somewhat higher Muslim fertility. However, although Rosstat doesn’t break down the fertility rate by ethnicity or religion, they do by region, and the regional figures indicate that Slavic fertility is rising, while Muslim fertility is falling.

    By my math, in 2015, the 14.2 million residents of Russia’s seven majority-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.99 (down from 2.04 in 2014), while the non-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.76 (up from 1.74 in 2014). The only Muslim region with a TFR above replacement was Chechnya, at 2.79 (down from a high of 3.45 in 2010).

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends -- however "improved" they are relative to most of the past 25 years -- "Russia" will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian. This is terrible for Russia itself and for Americans as well.
    , @AP
    The Buddhist regions such as Tuva have very high TFR; their population is small, but the Russian non-Muslim TFR is slightly inflated if you lump them together.
    , @Philip Owen
    The late 80's baby boom that provided the young women who increased the birth rate is moving past peak fertility in Russia, unless families now choose 3 children, the idealized family size. In conditions of economic decline, this is unlikely. Russia has pro natal, pro family policies so it will probably avoid disasters on a German or Italian scale more UK in style.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @chris
    "The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict." I completely agree; Hillary would have taken us to war against Russia to defend the one existing difference we might have, in defense of the sanctity of gay marriage.

    Good observation as all of the venom leveled at Russia today is a direct result of P’s stance towards Gay issues, which for the US democrats are the center of all of their strivings.

    If Russia were to become communistic and they would also push gay issues such as in the US, the media would love them again such as they did for sixty-plus years.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member since 1973, and pro jazz artist.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. Ace says:
    @Carlton Meyer
    This US presidential election was historic because the American people defeated the oligarchs. Hillary Clinton lost despite a vicious media campaign against Donald Trump, where she outspent him by 400%. The corporate media and the political establishments no longer have credibility with the American people. I am not excited that Trump won, but I am thrilled that he swept aside the Bush crime family and corporate puppets like Rubio. I am ecstatic that the Clinton crime family has been crushed. I suspect Arab dictators are asking for refunds from the Clinton Foundation.

    Moreover, World War III with Russia has been averted and mass immigration to the USA will slow. The Democratic Party defeated itself. I looked up polling data and all showed that Sanders would have beat Trump by ten percentage points. As I've written before, if Trump proves a phony, a true progressive can win in 2020, now that Trump killed Hildabeast. Otherwise, she'd rule until 2024 and select her corporatist replacement, which might have been Princess Chelsea Clinton, assuming she survived the nuclear holocaust.

    We just had eight years of a progressive a la Islami. We don’t need another ultra leftist in 2020. Or ever.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. Alfred says:
    @dearieme
    After the defeat of Napoleon the idea of a Concert of Powers kept the peace tolerably well until in 1914 the ambitions of the Kaiser and his cronies brought it to an end.

    In an age of nuclear weapons a Concert of Powers should be attainable again: there certainly is a huge incentive to do so.

    If the US has any sense, for example, she'd be prepared to abandon argument about the Crimea in return for guarantees on the security of Poland and the Baltic states. Then NATO and Russia could pull back troops from those frontiers, agree to mutual inspections of armaments, or whatever else is necessary. Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.

    “ambitions of the Kaiser”

    That was part of the British propaganda that has been handed down in the history books. In reality, the German foreign ministry’s own documents prove conclusively that the Germans were not trying to build an empire on the back of the British. Their economy – like the Russian economy – was motoring ahead very nicely and trashing that of the British. They had absolutely no reason to start a war.

    Now, we have a similar replay, the American and British elites are afraid of a rising Russia and China and are trying to start a war.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. President Trump and China here:

    https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611121047373500-china-us-trump-victory/

    Incidentally, if Trump is blaming China for outsourcing, loss of jobs, and such, he needs to have his head examined.

    The US was sold out by the one percent–to wit, the Finance Capitalists, the Corporations, governments Republican and Democrat,and so forth.

    How in the world can one blame China for the unrestricted greed of the US movers, shakers,and owners?

    No doubt China has played them brilliantly–what were they supposed to do, play them stupidly?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  71. Mikel says:
    @annamaria
    The enthusiastic praising of the US as "an admirable example of a functioning and mature democracy" does not hold water in light of the many facts of shunning the third-party candidates (a functioning and mature democracy should have had the n-parties candidates).
    The reality is in accord with Saker: "It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII."

    #50 The fact that the US has not changed its external or domestic policies very much in the past decades does not necessarily imply that there is no genuine democracy in that country and that the Dark Forces are in control. I think that when a country happens to become the most successful one in the world in terms of economic/technological development, military power and cultural influence, the scope for great revolutions gets probably diminished and its people tend to favor that status quo.

    Besides, I´m afraid that some crucial policies *have* unfortunately changed, such as immigration or interference in external affairs in absence of a any direct threat and the American electorate seems to have wisely decided to vote against them.

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn’t end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Quartermaster

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn’t end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.
     
    This is silly. The US hasn't "expanded." It has intervened in places it ought not to have, but it hasn't "expanded." Russia is the expansionist power, although Russia can afford that less than the US can afford it's interventionism. Putin has done nothing but accelerate Russia's decline. He may a "strong" leader, but that is far different than being a "good" leader, which he categorically is not.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. ” a country happens to become the most successful one in the world in terms of economic/technological development, military power and cultural influence”

    You’re talking about mainland China, right? “Cultural influence” was the dead giveaway. The United States of P. T. Barnum has no culture, so how can it have cultural influence? That’s easy–through its anticulture, which is, in fact, one of the characteristics of Capitalism.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  73. In fairness, the cultural influence of the US has been enormous, one may be critical of what that culture all boils down to but it still has had global influence from Film, television, music, blue jeans, burgers and fries etc (yes, I’m wincing even as I type this) and the world has lapped it up for a few decades.

    Only now as the neo-whatever they are, have over-reached and have blatantly become so loathsome has the world come to reject much of what is seen to be American. Shame really.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "Only now as the neo-whatever they are, have over-reached and have blatantly become so loathsome has the world come to reject much of what is seen to be American."

    McDonald's sues Florence for 18m euros for blocking restaurant
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37910431

    Culture and American culture in particular is not what you find in museums, it's all what is part of your daily life, what makes you change your life and what makes you change the way you think and perceive the reality.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. ” The United States of P. T. Barnum has no culture”.

    Myself as a jazz musician with fifty years on the bandstand says that you have no fucking clue as to what you are blathering about.

    The plethora of liturature, music, (great american songbook), architecture : Detroit with the most stunning art deco worldwide, painting, sculpting, theatre, dance, and on and on, of which you obviously have no clue.

    Europe had their glory days of “Culture”, which however are now two hundred years long past, and they shall not return.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  75. utu says:
    @NoseytheDuke
    In fairness, the cultural influence of the US has been enormous, one may be critical of what that culture all boils down to but it still has had global influence from Film, television, music, blue jeans, burgers and fries etc (yes, I'm wincing even as I type this) and the world has lapped it up for a few decades.

    Only now as the neo-whatever they are, have over-reached and have blatantly become so loathsome has the world come to reject much of what is seen to be American. Shame really.

    “Only now as the neo-whatever they are, have over-reached and have blatantly become so loathsome has the world come to reject much of what is seen to be American.”

    McDonald’s sues Florence for 18m euros for blocking restaurant

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37910431

    Culture and American culture in particular is not what you find in museums, it’s all what is part of your daily life, what makes you change your life and what makes you change the way you think and perceive the reality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    If you think the "art" of Florence was originally put in "Museums" you are eating too many Chicken McNuggets.

    Bon appetit!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. @utu
    "Only now as the neo-whatever they are, have over-reached and have blatantly become so loathsome has the world come to reject much of what is seen to be American."

    McDonald's sues Florence for 18m euros for blocking restaurant
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37910431

    Culture and American culture in particular is not what you find in museums, it's all what is part of your daily life, what makes you change your life and what makes you change the way you think and perceive the reality.

    If you think the “art” of Florence was originally put in “Museums” you are eating too many Chicken McNuggets.

    Bon appetit!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. TheJester says:
    @TheJester
    I had a sick feeling that in the NEOCON/Hillary camp was the recognition that the Empire was collapsing and that a "first strike" against their geopolitical opponents (primarily Russia) was their preferred way to sustain the Empire. They would strike while they still had a military advantage in the face of a declining economic base.

    Once Russia was dealt with, the way would be open to quickly surround China and cut off its energy supplies and natural resources. China would then be faced with the same choice that Japan faced on the eve of the Pacific War -- strike first or face certain industrial and economic collapse from a strangling economic blockade. Millions would die ... but then imperial wars are always bloody affairs.

    The NEOCON road to Armageddon would have been a replay of the build up to the first War in Iraq: The prestitutes would shout counterfactual propaganda. False evidence of threat would bolden the headlines. The talk shows would be full of experts echoing the propaganda as reasoned analysis. Editorials from the New York Times and Washington Post would call for swift action against the new "Axis of Evil" while there was still time.

    But Hillary WASN'T elected President and Commander in Chief. An outsider with a nationalist and isolationist agenda came from nowhere and won the election. The Empire is in denial ... but it would be reasonable to expect a violent reaction. Is it already in the making?

    Financed by the globalists, the easily manipulated Coalition of the Fringes are already in the street within their Blue-state redouts throwing juvenile tantrums. Does this represent "snow flakes" letting off steam, or is this the beginning of an organized attempt at social disruption to protect the Empire and its interests by making the United States under Trump ungovernable?

    Time will tell ... but Donald Trump should NOT assume a peaceful transfer of power. NEOCONs and their globalists allies play for keeps.

    My fear of the Hildebeast is that she might have not have noticed that Putin has drawn his “line in the sand” in Syria. Putin is committed to ensuring that there are no more wars in Chechnya (there have already been two including one on Putin’s watch) or elsewhere on Russian soil as the West continues to try to dismantle Russia by using Wahhabism to attack its soft Islamic underbelly. Ref: Zbigniew Brzezinski and the creation of Al-Qaeda. The US also created ISIS for the same purpose.

    The scenario would have been for Hillary to create a “no-fly” zone in Syria, which would have been a euphemism for creating a safe haven for Jihadists to regroup and attack Assad and his forces. Russia would resist the “no-fly” zone, which would involve taking tactical action against the US Air Force. Attack … counter attack … Russian cruise missiles launched against US air bases in the Middle East … Russian cruise missiles launched against the Saudi oil fields … US retaliation. At that point all bets are off. Which country would be the first to go nuclear?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. prusmc says:
    @Anonymous
    Had a war with Russia only resulted in "the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC", then it might have been worthwhile electing Hillary and her cohorts. We, meaning the people of the USA, could have used Russia to clean the Augean Stables for us. Could we induce you to demolish NYCity as well?

    My thoughts completely.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. colm says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Just to keep it simple, are you saying that it was OK for Germany to invade Belgium and that the UK ought to have ignored the treaties which bound the great powers to protect its independence andsecurity?

    What does Britain have to do with Belgium, other than some dynastic connection?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @Jon0815

    The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities)
     
    I believe Russia's census and official population estimates only count permanent residents, and most of the Central Asian immigrants you see in the big cities are temporary workers (legal and illegal).

    And actually, Russia's population would still be growing very slightly, even without immigration. In 2013, Russia had its first natural population growth (more births than deaths) since 1990: The natural increase was 23,000, and with immigration it was 295,000. This was possible, despite fertility still below replacement, because of increasing life expectancy.


    If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.
     
    It's true that the ethnic Russian share of Russia's population is still declining, due to somewhat higher Muslim fertility. However, although Rosstat doesn't break down the fertility rate by ethnicity or religion, they do by region, and the regional figures indicate that Slavic fertility is rising, while Muslim fertility is falling.

    By my math, in 2015, the 14.2 million residents of Russia's seven majority-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.99 (down from 2.04 in 2014), while the non-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.76 (up from 1.74 in 2014). The only Muslim region with a TFR above replacement was Chechnya, at 2.79 (down from a high of 3.45 in 2010).

    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends — however “improved” they are relative to most of the past 25 years — “Russia” will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian. This is terrible for Russia itself and for Americans as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Don't forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It's interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.
    , @Jon0815

    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends — however “improved” they are relative to most of the past 25 years — “Russia” will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian.
     
    It was projected that traditionally Muslim ethnic groups would rise from 11.7% of Russia's population in 2010, to 14.4% in 2030.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-europe/

    At that rate, Russia won't even become 20% Muslim until 2070. And that assumes that Slavic and Muslim fertility rates don't converge, which they probably will long before then.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities)
     
    I believe Russia's census and official population estimates only count permanent residents, and most of the Central Asian immigrants you see in the big cities are temporary workers (legal and illegal).

    And actually, Russia's population would still be growing very slightly, even without immigration. In 2013, Russia had its first natural population growth (more births than deaths) since 1990: The natural increase was 23,000, and with immigration it was 295,000. This was possible, despite fertility still below replacement, because of increasing life expectancy.


    If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.
     
    It's true that the ethnic Russian share of Russia's population is still declining, due to somewhat higher Muslim fertility. However, although Rosstat doesn't break down the fertility rate by ethnicity or religion, they do by region, and the regional figures indicate that Slavic fertility is rising, while Muslim fertility is falling.

    By my math, in 2015, the 14.2 million residents of Russia's seven majority-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.99 (down from 2.04 in 2014), while the non-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.76 (up from 1.74 in 2014). The only Muslim region with a TFR above replacement was Chechnya, at 2.79 (down from a high of 3.45 in 2010).

    The Buddhist regions such as Tuva have very high TFR; their population is small, but the Russian non-Muslim TFR is slightly inflated if you lump them together.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter
    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends -- however "improved" they are relative to most of the past 25 years -- "Russia" will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian. This is terrible for Russia itself and for Americans as well.

    Don’t forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It’s interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    Don’t forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It’s interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.
     
    By my count 20% of the Eurasian Economic Union's population is of traditionally Muslim ethnicity, not 25% (17 million in Russia, 12 million in Kazakhstan, 6 million in Kyrgyzstan, out of a total 183 million), and if Ukraine joined that would fall to 15%.

    Regardless, the Eurasian Economic Union having a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union (although the total number of Muslims in the EU is larger) is a silly reason for Ukraine not to join, since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. Svigor says:

    How could the world’s finest military lose a plane like that? Maybe the broader question should be, how did the world’s finest military have so many nuclear accidents, compared to the world’s second-finest?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Ask John McCain.
    , @Quartermaster
    The Soviet Union kept a very tight lid on such things. Even in transit, the location of nukes was a state secret.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. Svigor says:

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.

    I hate to break it to you, but that is precisely why “Americans” (your term for Big Media, neocons, and the heavily Jewish elite, I guess) “view” (your word for “characterize as,” I suppose) Russia as the new Nazi Germany; because she’s far weaker than she was. Your moral universe seems to be the polar opposite of theirs. They see a weak adversary as ripe for plundering, while you reserve your anger for powerful threats.

    The Chinese no longer need outsourcing from the US–they have brilliantly planned around that. The US on the other direly needs outsourcing just to keep afloat and is trying to redirect it to places like India.

    Sure, China no longer needs the US. That’s why they’re already rattling their economic sabers at Trump.

    I’m not saying that will happen with Trump, and him being a billionaire and therefore unbuyable gives me hope, but know that’s exactly what’s happening behind the scenes right now.

    Bannon does not strike me as a bootlicker for globalists. Neither does Miller. Nor Trump, for that matter.

    The illusion of choice is not choice. And western “democracies” are all illusion.

    The Trumpening will be marvelous proof that Konspiracy Kookery is a religion, not an intellectual pursuit. If people still really believed in religion, Konspiracy Kooks would be gnostic monks, or something. Picture some really fringe-y, wacko, substance-abusing, mystical cult. That’s the Konspiracy Kooks. Reality got nothin’ to do with it. These people just miss their gods, portents, auguries, etc. Poor souls.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    Bullshit, big media" and the american left do not view Russia as the new nazi-Germany because she is "far weaker than she was"

    The american left, big media etc, view Russia as the new nazi-Germany simply because Russia, because VP, do not cater to gays, as is the case in the US, where the gay issue is central to all leftist political action.

    Authenticjazzman, "Mensa" society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. 5371 says:
    @Svigor
    How could the world's finest military lose a plane like that? Maybe the broader question should be, how did the world's finest military have so many nuclear accidents, compared to the world's second-finest?

    Ask John McCain.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. Alas Trumpets blared and the Hilla billa of the common folk took to the byways chanting songs mercenary and god felt. It is all for naught.

    Oh ye who seek solace in peace and seek retribution in rejection, will ye but see that the two are indiscernable in the darkness of the skies overhead.

    Be wary of the portend deeds risen from vaccuous words. Be wary of the wise old men hidden beneath the floors. Be wary of the charlottes and charlatans dressed in finery humming mantras of better things to come. The larder is empty. The tower has fallen. The songs impel us to eat those who do not speak our song.

    Nature has its course. Are we of nature? Then of course destiny is already written. A free place gives the greatest freedom to the wretched and despised. A humane places treats beast as man. Happiness stems from disignorance of person, place and things. An enlightened world holds these values as self-evident. We do not live in a humane, free, happy place.

    May your God have mercy on me. And mine on you. And let us not be deceived by the tradeshow unfolding in front of us.

    The tradewinds of Dementia Tremens met Novus Ordos Seclorum. We lesser pawns have the greatest game to play. As we prepare for what will come next?

    Identify every honest cop. Travel every inch of the Earth. Trade with all people. Build beautiful things. Employ good people wherever you find them. Work for honest merchants.

    My father told me in not so many words when I was young. Prepare for a siege. Life shall be open palms turned to claws bent into fists too late.

    Nothing was ever going to happen my friends. No matter who won. Thats the ruse.

    No nuclear war. No trade war. No wall. No radical feminization. No throwback remasculization. No geopolitical power shift. No response to protest. No real response to violence. No restoring of rights. Not even a real regime change. The economy will recover. It always does.

    Everyone just voted for more chaos like fingers snapping to avert your eyes so as you toil you don’t feel the dulcet touch of a proto-private iron fist fondling your precious while it steals your stuff and reduces your progeny to retards and cowards.

    We are not at a crossroad. We are and remain in an intersection. Cross the goddam street you fools.

    If you read this far…then I apologize. I actually hate long comments that are off-topic like this….

    ISIS bad. Syrians good. Russia right. US wrong. Israel is OK in evil sort of way. Palestine sad in incompetent sort of way. Both need each other. Trump is doofus. Hillary is fool. Joke is on us (or at least on me).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  87. Jon0815 says:
    @RadicalCenter
    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends -- however "improved" they are relative to most of the past 25 years -- "Russia" will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian. This is terrible for Russia itself and for Americans as well.

    You have succeeded in showing that on current Russian Federation fertility trends — however “improved” they are relative to most of the past 25 years — “Russia” will be increasingly more Muslim and ethnically non-Russian, and less ethnically Russian and Christian.

    It was projected that traditionally Muslim ethnic groups would rise from 11.7% of Russia’s population in 2010, to 14.4% in 2030.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-europe/

    At that rate, Russia won’t even become 20% Muslim until 2070. And that assumes that Slavic and Muslim fertility rates don’t converge, which they probably will long before then.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. Jon0815 says:
    @AP
    Don't forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It's interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.

    Don’t forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It’s interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.

    By my count 20% of the Eurasian Economic Union’s population is of traditionally Muslim ethnicity, not 25% (17 million in Russia, 12 million in Kazakhstan, 6 million in Kyrgyzstan, out of a total 183 million), and if Ukraine joined that would fall to 15%.

    Regardless, the Eurasian Economic Union having a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union (although the total number of Muslims in the EU is larger) is a silly reason for Ukraine not to join, since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Quartermaster

    ...since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine.

     

    Certainly. Why leave a 3rd world country just to move to another?

    There is less corruption in Ukraine, but people rarely migrate unless there is good chance they will advance themselves or their progeny by quite a bit through doing so. Ukraine will not provide much a jump, if any.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. AP says:

    By my count 20% of the Eurasian Economic Union’s population is of traditionally Muslim ethnicity, not 25% (17 million in Russia, 12 million in Kazakhstan, 6 million in Kyrgyzstan, out of a total 183 million), and if Ukraine joined that would fall to 15%.

    I didn’t have time to do the math. Thanks for that. This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.

    Keep in mind the Muslim populations in central Asia are younger and growing, with TFR above 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 2.59 in Kazakhstan (probably above 3 among Muslims, lower than this among ethnic Russians). So the Muslim % of the EEU will be growing.

    Regardless, the Eurasian Economic Union having a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union (although the total number of Muslims in the EU is larger) is a silly reason for Ukraine not to join, since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine

    It’s at least a three times higher percentage of Muslims within the EEU than within the EU.

    Ukraine’s GDP PPP per capita ($7987) is still more than twice that of Kyrgyzstan ($3395). But most Muslims wouldn’t pass through richer Russia on their way to poorer Ukraine.

    Presumably, however, Ukraine was supposed to get wealthier when joined to Russia. Long-term (say, 20 years), Ukraine which is currently about 99% European would become a target for Muslim migration within the EEU if it were to come closer to Russia in terms of per capita income as the EEU’s Muslim population approaches 25% or more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.
     
    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.

    Keep in mind the Muslim populations in central Asia are younger and growing, with TFR above 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 2.59 in Kazakhstan (probably above 3 among Muslims, lower than this among ethnic Russians). So the Muslim % of the EEU will be growing.
     
    Kazakhstan's per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine's, basically the same as Russia's. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there's not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.

    Presumably, however, Ukraine was supposed to get wealthier when joined to Russia. Long-term (say, 20 years), Ukraine which is currently about 99% European would become a target for Muslim migration within the EEU if it were to come closer to Russia in terms of per capita income as the EEU’s Muslim population approaches 25% or more.
     
    Kyrgyzstan's per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine's economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU's less wealthy Muslim members - which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan - would converge with Russia's at least as quickly as Ukraine's.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. @Svigor

    Russia is not rich and is in demographic decline: it really is absurd that Americans view it as the new Nazi Germany. This is not an argument for soapy sentimentality or pacifism: it is an argument for enlightened self-interest.
     
    I hate to break it to you, but that is precisely why "Americans" (your term for Big Media, neocons, and the heavily Jewish elite, I guess) "view" (your word for "characterize as," I suppose) Russia as the new Nazi Germany; because she's far weaker than she was. Your moral universe seems to be the polar opposite of theirs. They see a weak adversary as ripe for plundering, while you reserve your anger for powerful threats.

    The Chinese no longer need outsourcing from the US–they have brilliantly planned around that. The US on the other direly needs outsourcing just to keep afloat and is trying to redirect it to places like India.
     
    Sure, China no longer needs the US. That's why they're already rattling their economic sabers at Trump.

    I’m not saying that will happen with Trump, and him being a billionaire and therefore unbuyable gives me hope, but know that’s exactly what’s happening behind the scenes right now.
     
    Bannon does not strike me as a bootlicker for globalists. Neither does Miller. Nor Trump, for that matter.

    The illusion of choice is not choice. And western “democracies” are all illusion.
     
    The Trumpening will be marvelous proof that Konspiracy Kookery is a religion, not an intellectual pursuit. If people still really believed in religion, Konspiracy Kooks would be gnostic monks, or something. Picture some really fringe-y, wacko, substance-abusing, mystical cult. That's the Konspiracy Kooks. Reality got nothin' to do with it. These people just miss their gods, portents, auguries, etc. Poor souls.

    Bullshit, big media” and the american left do not view Russia as the new nazi-Germany because she is “far weaker than she was”

    The american left, big media etc, view Russia as the new nazi-Germany simply because Russia, because VP, do not cater to gays, as is the case in the US, where the gay issue is central to all leftist political action.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    By my count 20% of the Eurasian Economic Union’s population is of traditionally Muslim ethnicity, not 25% (17 million in Russia, 12 million in Kazakhstan, 6 million in Kyrgyzstan, out of a total 183 million), and if Ukraine joined that would fall to 15%.
     
    I didn't have time to do the math. Thanks for that. This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.

    Keep in mind the Muslim populations in central Asia are younger and growing, with TFR above 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 2.59 in Kazakhstan (probably above 3 among Muslims, lower than this among ethnic Russians). So the Muslim % of the EEU will be growing.


    Regardless, the Eurasian Economic Union having a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union (although the total number of Muslims in the EU is larger) is a silly reason for Ukraine not to join, since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine
     
    It's at least a three times higher percentage of Muslims within the EEU than within the EU.

    Ukraine's GDP PPP per capita ($7987) is still more than twice that of Kyrgyzstan ($3395). But most Muslims wouldn't pass through richer Russia on their way to poorer Ukraine.

    Presumably, however, Ukraine was supposed to get wealthier when joined to Russia. Long-term (say, 20 years), Ukraine which is currently about 99% European would become a target for Muslim migration within the EEU if it were to come closer to Russia in terms of per capita income as the EEU's Muslim population approaches 25% or more.

    This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.

    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.

    Keep in mind the Muslim populations in central Asia are younger and growing, with TFR above 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 2.59 in Kazakhstan (probably above 3 among Muslims, lower than this among ethnic Russians). So the Muslim % of the EEU will be growing.

    Kazakhstan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine’s, basically the same as Russia’s. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there’s not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.

    Presumably, however, Ukraine was supposed to get wealthier when joined to Russia. Long-term (say, 20 years), Ukraine which is currently about 99% European would become a target for Muslim migration within the EEU if it were to come closer to Russia in terms of per capita income as the EEU’s Muslim population approaches 25% or more.

    Kyrgyzstan’s per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine’s economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU’s less wealthy Muslim members – which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan – would converge with Russia’s at least as quickly as Ukraine’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    "This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member."

    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.
     
    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member "want" to veto him?

    Kazakhstan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine’s, basically the same as Russia’s. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there’s not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.
     
    Which would not change the fact that Ukraine would be part of an entity that in 20 years would be 20% or 25% Muslim and growing. Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn't result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?

    Kyrgyzstan’s per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine’s economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU’s less wealthy Muslim members – which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan – would converge with Russia’s at least as quickly as Ukraine’s.
     
    Kyrgystan's per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/kyrgyzstan/gdp-per-capita-ppp

    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Che Guava
    Well, the Saker never replies to anything, so this is pointless, but ...

    Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other, especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!
     
    Trump may be a member of the 1%ers, partly because he made money by building half-tacky luxury housing and golf courses, and by being a background fixture in American Psycho, but he is not a product of it in the sense of being born into it. Insofar as he may be a product of it, it was (in his younger days) by being a mirror of what they'd like to imagine themselves to be.

    Putin was sub-elite, a mid-ranking KGB officer, presumably still working on western European affairs, at the time the betrayal of the USSR got into full swing.

    I have never read that he was personally disloyal. He still refers to Chekists with favour, and inclusive of himself, in quite recent years.

    Elites do, indeed, turn on each other, but I can think of no real parallel in history to the phenomenon in the USSR.

    In other superficially similar cases (e.g. Italy in 1943), they were at war.

    Closest parallel I can think of is Japan from the late 1850's to the 1870's, but it is, for various reasons (old scores to settle, a clear external threat, among others), not a close parallel at all.

    Recent Western history, to take just a small subset of history as a whole, is a series of elite vs. elite battles.

    Two examples (England et France)

    England:
    King vs Covenant vs Parliament vs Cromwell in the 1640s followed by the Restoration and the Glorious revolution and the mostly nonviolent faction fights from then on between Whigs and Tories, etc.

    France:

    King Louis vs. Philippe Egalite vs the Girondins vs the Jacobins, followed by Bonaparte (not himself an elite but backed by a few) and the Restoration, etc. etc.

    If you are looking for a parallel to the Soviet Union in that a large party of elites withdrew their allegiance from the government in power you will find lots. Revolutions are almost always led by elites.

    On an unrelated note, who are “they” who like to imagine themselves to be Trump?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Appreciated reply, but neither case matches the betrayal of the USSR, closer to my earlier example of the Japanese polity in 1850s to early 1870s.


    On an unrelated note, who are “they” who like to imagine themselves to be Trump?
     
    I was referring to the nineteen-eighties, when Trump was not a massive media figure, 'they' was in reference to, as I said, Noo Yawk elites desire to look in the mirror and see the young Donald look back. He sure had more style than most.

    As also said, he was an interesting background presence in American Psycho.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.
     
    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.

    Keep in mind the Muslim populations in central Asia are younger and growing, with TFR above 3 in Kyrgyzstan and 2.59 in Kazakhstan (probably above 3 among Muslims, lower than this among ethnic Russians). So the Muslim % of the EEU will be growing.
     
    Kazakhstan's per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine's, basically the same as Russia's. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there's not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.

    Presumably, however, Ukraine was supposed to get wealthier when joined to Russia. Long-term (say, 20 years), Ukraine which is currently about 99% European would become a target for Muslim migration within the EEU if it were to come closer to Russia in terms of per capita income as the EEU’s Muslim population approaches 25% or more.
     
    Kyrgyzstan's per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine's economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU's less wealthy Muslim members - which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan - would converge with Russia's at least as quickly as Ukraine's.

    “This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member.”

    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.

    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member “want” to veto him?

    Kazakhstan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine’s, basically the same as Russia’s. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there’s not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.

    Which would not change the fact that Ukraine would be part of an entity that in 20 years would be 20% or 25% Muslim and growing. Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn’t result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?

    Kyrgyzstan’s per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine’s economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU’s less wealthy Muslim members – which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan – would converge with Russia’s at least as quickly as Ukraine’s.

    Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/kyrgyzstan/gdp-per-capita-ppp

    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member “want” to veto him?
     
    Neither Belarus or Kazakhstan is simply a Putin puppet as a member of the EEU. Ukraine would have more clout within the EEU than Belarus, and arguably more than Kazakhstan too, despite its smaller economy (certainly, Ukraine would have vastly more power and influence within the EEU, than it would within the EU).

    I don't know if approval of all EEU members is currently required to admit a new member, but if Ukraine demanded such a veto right as a condition of joining, I doubt Russia would say no. Putin wants Ukraine in the EEU a lot more than he wants Tajikistan (for symbolic reasons, Ukraine isn't actually any great economic prize) .


    Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn’t result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?
     
    I don't think this is a good analogy, since neither the EEU or Maine is a country. And Latin America is much poorer than Maine, while the 23 million citizens of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have a combined per capita GDP (PPP) more than double Ukraine's.

    Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:
     
    My estimate of "nearly 4%" was a little off: The World Bank puts Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth 2011-2015 at 4.7, -1.7, 8.7, 2.0, and 1.4, for an average of 3.0%. The slowdown in the last two years is presumably related to the recession in Russia, which will likely end next year.

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD.ZG

    Of course, it wouldn't be fair to compare that to the entire same period in Ukraine, given that from 2014-2015 Ukraine was fighting a civil war, and alienating itself from its biggest trading partner. But from 2011-2013, Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 3.8%, while Ukraine's averaged 2.0%.


    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.
     
    Turkmenistan's per capita GDP (PPP) is double Ukraine's. Uzbekistan's is only 2/3rds of Ukraine's, but from 2011-2015 Uzbekistan's per capita GDP growth averaged 6.1%.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    "This is without Tajikistan (population 8 million, 90% Muslim) which is a prospective member."

    As an EEU member, Ukraine could probably veto the admission of Tajikistan, if it wanted to.
     
    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member "want" to veto him?

    Kazakhstan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is three times higher than Ukraine’s, basically the same as Russia’s. So no matter how large its Muslim population grows as a % of the EEU, there’s not going to be much Kazakh migration to Ukraine.
     
    Which would not change the fact that Ukraine would be part of an entity that in 20 years would be 20% or 25% Muslim and growing. Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn't result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?

    Kyrgyzstan’s per capita GDP growth averaged nearly 4% from 2011-2015. Even with Ukraine’s economy receiving a boost from EEC membership, its quite possible that the per capita GDP of the EEU’s less wealthy Muslim members – which as of now, is just Kyrgyzstan – would converge with Russia’s at least as quickly as Ukraine’s.
     
    Kyrgystan's per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/kyrgyzstan/gdp-per-capita-ppp

    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member “want” to veto him?

    Neither Belarus or Kazakhstan is simply a Putin puppet as a member of the EEU. Ukraine would have more clout within the EEU than Belarus, and arguably more than Kazakhstan too, despite its smaller economy (certainly, Ukraine would have vastly more power and influence within the EEU, than it would within the EU).

    I don’t know if approval of all EEU members is currently required to admit a new member, but if Ukraine demanded such a veto right as a condition of joining, I doubt Russia would say no. Putin wants Ukraine in the EEU a lot more than he wants Tajikistan (for symbolic reasons, Ukraine isn’t actually any great economic prize) .

    Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn’t result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?

    I don’t think this is a good analogy, since neither the EEU or Maine is a country. And Latin America is much poorer than Maine, while the 23 million citizens of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have a combined per capita GDP (PPP) more than double Ukraine’s.

    Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:

    My estimate of “nearly 4%” was a little off: The World Bank puts Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth 2011-2015 at 4.7, -1.7, 8.7, 2.0, and 1.4, for an average of 3.0%. The slowdown in the last two years is presumably related to the recession in Russia, which will likely end next year.

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD.ZG

    Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to compare that to the entire same period in Ukraine, given that from 2014-2015 Ukraine was fighting a civil war, and alienating itself from its biggest trading partner. But from 2011-2013, Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 3.8%, while Ukraine’s averaged 2.0%.

    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.

    Turkmenistan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is double Ukraine’s. Uzbekistan’s is only 2/3rds of Ukraine’s, but from 2011-2015 Uzbekistan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 6.1%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Neither Belarus or Kazakhstan is simply a Putin puppet as a member of the EEU. Ukraine would have more clout within the EEU than Belarus, and arguably more than Kazakhstan too, despite its smaller economy (certainly, Ukraine would have vastly more power and influence within the EEU, than it would within the EU).
     
    While Ukraine would have been more important within the EEU than within the EU, the EEU seems to be less democratic. Have Belarus or Kazakhstan been as openly antagonistic towards Moscow and its values, as Orban or Kaczynski have been towards Brussels and its values?

    If Yanukovich's rule is an indicator, one would imagine a EEU Ukrainian government riddled with Russian immigrants, perhaps not completely loyal but generally friendly to Moscow, in key positions - thus making its relative importance vis a vis the center largely meaningless.


    "Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan."

    Turkmenistan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is double Ukraine’s. Uzbekistan’s is only 2/3rds of Ukraine’s, but from 2011-2015 Uzbekistan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 6.1%.
     

    Yes, but the point is that with further expansion the EEU will become even more Islamic. Uzbekistan has 30 million people, 90% of whom are Muslims.

    EEU is currently about 20% Muslim, with a growing Muslim population relative to Slavic population. If prospective member Tajikistan (8.6 million people, 95% Muslim, very high TFR) joins, as expected, this will spike a little, to over 22%. Add Uzbekistan (TFR 2.5, well above Russia's) and its about 1/3 Islamic.

    Even if Ukraine itself wouldn't become a significant target for Islamic migration within the EEU, would it really be desirable, to become part of some Slavo-Islamic entity? It would certainly be good for Russia if the Slavic element increases relative to the Islamic one. But why would a Ukrainian who values his European, non-Islamic roots want to bind his country to an entity with such a very large, and growing, Islamic element?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    If Putin wanted Tajikistan in, would Ukraine as an EEU member “want” to veto him?
     
    Neither Belarus or Kazakhstan is simply a Putin puppet as a member of the EEU. Ukraine would have more clout within the EEU than Belarus, and arguably more than Kazakhstan too, despite its smaller economy (certainly, Ukraine would have vastly more power and influence within the EEU, than it would within the EU).

    I don't know if approval of all EEU members is currently required to admit a new member, but if Ukraine demanded such a veto right as a condition of joining, I doubt Russia would say no. Putin wants Ukraine in the EEU a lot more than he wants Tajikistan (for symbolic reasons, Ukraine isn't actually any great economic prize) .


    Open borders with Latin America probably wouldn’t result in Maine changing much demographically, but would Maine want to be in a much more Latino country?
     
    I don't think this is a good analogy, since neither the EEU or Maine is a country. And Latin America is much poorer than Maine, while the 23 million citizens of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have a combined per capita GDP (PPP) more than double Ukraine's.

    Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP PPP appears to have leaped from 2012 to 2013 and then has grown very slowly:
     
    My estimate of "nearly 4%" was a little off: The World Bank puts Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth 2011-2015 at 4.7, -1.7, 8.7, 2.0, and 1.4, for an average of 3.0%. The slowdown in the last two years is presumably related to the recession in Russia, which will likely end next year.

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD.ZG

    Of course, it wouldn't be fair to compare that to the entire same period in Ukraine, given that from 2014-2015 Ukraine was fighting a civil war, and alienating itself from its biggest trading partner. But from 2011-2013, Kyrgystan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 3.8%, while Ukraine's averaged 2.0%.


    Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.
     
    Turkmenistan's per capita GDP (PPP) is double Ukraine's. Uzbekistan's is only 2/3rds of Ukraine's, but from 2011-2015 Uzbekistan's per capita GDP growth averaged 6.1%.

    Neither Belarus or Kazakhstan is simply a Putin puppet as a member of the EEU. Ukraine would have more clout within the EEU than Belarus, and arguably more than Kazakhstan too, despite its smaller economy (certainly, Ukraine would have vastly more power and influence within the EEU, than it would within the EU).

    While Ukraine would have been more important within the EEU than within the EU, the EEU seems to be less democratic. Have Belarus or Kazakhstan been as openly antagonistic towards Moscow and its values, as Orban or Kaczynski have been towards Brussels and its values?

    If Yanukovich’s rule is an indicator, one would imagine a EEU Ukrainian government riddled with Russian immigrants, perhaps not completely loyal but generally friendly to Moscow, in key positions – thus making its relative importance vis a vis the center largely meaningless.

    “Keep in mind that although so far only Tajikistan is a prospective member, further logical expansion of EEU would be with mostly with other Muslim countries such as Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan.”

    Turkmenistan’s per capita GDP (PPP) is double Ukraine’s. Uzbekistan’s is only 2/3rds of Ukraine’s, but from 2011-2015 Uzbekistan’s per capita GDP growth averaged 6.1%.

    Yes, but the point is that with further expansion the EEU will become even more Islamic. Uzbekistan has 30 million people, 90% of whom are Muslims.

    EEU is currently about 20% Muslim, with a growing Muslim population relative to Slavic population. If prospective member Tajikistan (8.6 million people, 95% Muslim, very high TFR) joins, as expected, this will spike a little, to over 22%. Add Uzbekistan (TFR 2.5, well above Russia’s) and its about 1/3 Islamic.

    Even if Ukraine itself wouldn’t become a significant target for Islamic migration within the EEU, would it really be desirable, to become part of some Slavo-Islamic entity? It would certainly be good for Russia if the Slavic element increases relative to the Islamic one. But why would a Ukrainian who values his European, non-Islamic roots want to bind his country to an entity with such a very large, and growing, Islamic element?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. @Kilo 4/11
    “But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.”

    There it is, the marker is laid down. If Trump accepts negotiations with Putin on this basis, he is, at the very least, a fool. And lapdog faker in his graveyard misses nary a beat by putting the onus on the United States to give up ITS empire, with not a peep about the one taking up eleven time zones and subjugating 185 nations under Moscow.

    And, if there were any doubt left that this columnist is simply an unvarnished anti-American zealot, this crock of shit should dispel it:

    “In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

    In view of the author’s at least moderately above average intelligence, making such a patently absurd pronouncement after Tuesday’s magnificent outpouring of the ultimate authority of the American people, which was a direct and successful attack on the center of “power”, can only be explained by his malice and prejudice against America.

    “But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.”

    This is mere wishful thinking, but typical of Saker. While I don’t blame Putin for taking advantage of the weak US regime, the blame for sorry relations rest mainly on Putin’s shoulders.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @Anon
    How true is this assessment?

    http://theduran.com/its-becoming-more-evident-that-ukraine-is-on-losing-side-of-history/

    That article is simple BS. It’s mostly a regurgitation of Putinist propaganda. Russia is far more corrupt than Ukraine, which has made great strides against corruption, and Russia is the one supporting terrorism in the Donbas. The Russian invasion hasn’t gone any further than it has simply because Russia doesn’t have anywhere near the support in Ukraine that Putin’s wishful thinking attributed to it.

    Shorter summary: It’s another Russian lie.

    It isn’t known what Trump will do, but Trump is no one’s friend at this point, much less Russia’s. It’s naïve to attribute anything to Trump as yet.

    The article is correct on the score of the Netherlands and the EU agenda. It isn’t right about anything else.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. @annamaria
    It is obvious that you mourn Madame Clinton' failure (a failure that is a blessing for the millions of people). Yet, could you produce something more vigorous intellectually instead of the childish hiss?

    Yet, could you produce something more vigorous intellectually instead of the childish hiss?

    How droll. Just observation, madam.

    I expect such things are beyond your pro-Russian worship ability to comprehend, however. I have as yet to see anything approaching intellectual vigor under Saker’s byline. His posts are characterized by wishful thinking and dreaming, for the most part.

    By the by, I voted Trump. I don’t even come close to lamenting Clinton’s political demise.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  99. @Mikel
    #50 The fact that the US has not changed its external or domestic policies very much in the past decades does not necessarily imply that there is no genuine democracy in that country and that the Dark Forces are in control. I think that when a country happens to become the most successful one in the world in terms of economic/technological development, military power and cultural influence, the scope for great revolutions gets probably diminished and its people tend to favor that status quo.

    Besides, I´m afraid that some crucial policies *have* unfortunately changed, such as immigration or interference in external affairs in absence of a any direct threat and the American electorate seems to have wisely decided to vote against them.

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn't end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn’t end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.

    This is silly. The US hasn’t “expanded.” It has intervened in places it ought not to have, but it hasn’t “expanded.” Russia is the expansionist power, although Russia can afford that less than the US can afford it’s interventionism. Putin has done nothing but accelerate Russia’s decline. He may a “strong” leader, but that is far different than being a “good” leader, which he categorically is not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @geokat62

    This is silly. The US hasn’t “expanded.”
     
    While this is technically correct, let me ask you this: has not NATO expanded its footprint right to Russia's doorstep? Any which country is the leading member of NATO?
    , @NoseytheDuke
    The massive arms sales that result from US intervention are as a tribute paid to a coloniser.

    How do you always manage to get everything so wrong? Do you stand on your head? Walk backwards while looking over your shoulder using a mirror? Seriously, how is it that your posts, everyone of them, only make sense if understood to mean the opposite of what you write?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. @Jon0815

    Don’t forget that Russia is part of the Eurasian Customs Union. This unites Russia not only with Slavic Belarus and Christian Armenia, but also with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (with Tajikistan a prospective member). The whole entity is collectively about 25% Muslim. It’s interesting how supposedly anti-Muslim people condemn Ukraine for staying out of this organization.

    The EU is currently about 2% Muslim officially; unofficially, more but no more than 5%.
     
    By my count 20% of the Eurasian Economic Union's population is of traditionally Muslim ethnicity, not 25% (17 million in Russia, 12 million in Kazakhstan, 6 million in Kyrgyzstan, out of a total 183 million), and if Ukraine joined that would fall to 15%.

    Regardless, the Eurasian Economic Union having a higher percentage of Muslims than the European Union (although the total number of Muslims in the EU is larger) is a silly reason for Ukraine not to join, since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine.

    …since those Muslims have little reason to migrate to a Third World country like Ukraine.

    Certainly. Why leave a 3rd world country just to move to another?

    There is less corruption in Ukraine, but people rarely migrate unless there is good chance they will advance themselves or their progeny by quite a bit through doing so. Ukraine will not provide much a jump, if any.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. @Svigor
    How could the world's finest military lose a plane like that? Maybe the broader question should be, how did the world's finest military have so many nuclear accidents, compared to the world's second-finest?

    The Soviet Union kept a very tight lid on such things. Even in transit, the location of nukes was a state secret.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  102. Che Guava says:
    @Anon
    Recent Western history, to take just a small subset of history as a whole, is a series of elite vs. elite battles.

    Two examples (England et France)

    England:
    King vs Covenant vs Parliament vs Cromwell in the 1640s followed by the Restoration and the Glorious revolution and the mostly nonviolent faction fights from then on between Whigs and Tories, etc.

    France:

    King Louis vs. Philippe Egalite vs the Girondins vs the Jacobins, followed by Bonaparte (not himself an elite but backed by a few) and the Restoration, etc. etc.

    If you are looking for a parallel to the Soviet Union in that a large party of elites withdrew their allegiance from the government in power you will find lots. Revolutions are almost always led by elites.

    On an unrelated note, who are "they" who like to imagine themselves to be Trump?

    Appreciated reply, but neither case matches the betrayal of the USSR, closer to my earlier example of the Japanese polity in 1850s to early 1870s.

    On an unrelated note, who are “they” who like to imagine themselves to be Trump?

    I was referring to the nineteen-eighties, when Trump was not a massive media figure, ‘they’ was in reference to, as I said, Noo Yawk elites desire to look in the mirror and see the young Donald look back. He sure had more style than most.

    As also said, he was an interesting background presence in American Psycho.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  103. Jon0815 says:

    EEU is currently about 20% Muslim, with a growing Muslim population relative to Slavic population. If prospective member Tajikistan (8.6 million people, 95% Muslim, very high TFR) joins, as expected, this will spike a little, to over 22%. Add Uzbekistan (TFR 2.5, well above Russia’s) and its about 1/3 Islamic.

    I think it’s unlikely that any more Central Asian counties will join the EEU, other than maybe Tajikistan. Neither Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan is enthusiastic about doing so, and the advantages of joining will only diminish with time as their per capita GDP converges with Russia’s. And if Ukraine joined, with at least nominal veto power over expansion, the chances would fall even further.

    Even if Ukraine itself wouldn’t become a significant target for Islamic migration within the EEU, would it really be desirable, to become part of some Slavo-Islamic entity?

    In the abstract, maybe not. But when the choices are:

    1) Join an economic union, that with your membership would be 19% Muslim (assuming Tajikistan joins), in which you would be the second largest member, with 18% of the population, and have the third largest economy. And in which the largest member would have a strong political incentive for you to succeed.

    2) Waiting for likely at least 20 years to join an economic and quasi-political union, that would have proportionally fewer Muslims, but in which you would have virtually no influence, with less than 10% of the population and likely still well under 5% of GDP. And in which the largest members have no particular reason to care if you succeed.

    Assuming no significant Muslim migration from elsewhere in the EEU (and as I’ve noted there isn’t any economic incentive for it), it seems to me the first choice is clearly better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    2) Waiting for likely at least 20 years to join an economic and quasi-political union, that would have proportionally fewer Muslims, but in which you would have virtually no influence, with less than 10% of the population and likely still well under 5% of GDP. And in which the largest members have no particular reason to care if you succeed.
     
    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc's most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. geokat62 says:
    @Quartermaster

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn’t end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.
     
    This is silly. The US hasn't "expanded." It has intervened in places it ought not to have, but it hasn't "expanded." Russia is the expansionist power, although Russia can afford that less than the US can afford it's interventionism. Putin has done nothing but accelerate Russia's decline. He may a "strong" leader, but that is far different than being a "good" leader, which he categorically is not.

    This is silly. The US hasn’t “expanded.”

    While this is technically correct, let me ask you this: has not NATO expanded its footprint right to Russia’s doorstep? Any which country is the leading member of NATO?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  105. @Quartermaster

    By the way, I think that Putin is probably a very good leader for Russia nowadays, as attested by his rate of approval, but perhaps one day Russians will also be willing to vote against the candidate promoted by their media, with the results being honored by their political system, and I guess that should be a good thing. Whatever the case, I would not forgive Trump if he didn’t end this idiotic new cold-war provoked by the silly and unnecessary American expansionism of the last years.
     
    This is silly. The US hasn't "expanded." It has intervened in places it ought not to have, but it hasn't "expanded." Russia is the expansionist power, although Russia can afford that less than the US can afford it's interventionism. Putin has done nothing but accelerate Russia's decline. He may a "strong" leader, but that is far different than being a "good" leader, which he categorically is not.

    The massive arms sales that result from US intervention are as a tribute paid to a coloniser.

    How do you always manage to get everything so wrong? Do you stand on your head? Walk backwards while looking over your shoulder using a mirror? Seriously, how is it that your posts, everyone of them, only make sense if understood to mean the opposite of what you write?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. krollchem says:
    @Jon0815

    Considering that a rate greater than 2 is required for a population to not decrease in the long term, it most certainly represents decline.
     
    Russia's population (even excluding the addition of Crimea) is no longer shrinking. Its fertility rate has increased by 50% from its low, and is still rising. So there is no basis to say Russia is currently in "demographic decline."

    A TFR below 2.0 doesn't automatically mean that a country's population will decrease: The USA now has a TFR of 1.85, about the same as Russia, but it has a fast-growing population due to immigration. Regardless, if current trends continue, Russia will have a TFR of over 2.0 by 2025.

    The critics fail to recognize that Russia is now receiving large numbers of Russian speaking immigrants from Ukraine. Most of the million or so Ukrainian immigrants are young which shifts the demographic pyramid.

    Meanwhile Ukraine is suffering the greatest population reduction of any country in the world. Millions more are planning to leave for the EU, leaving the very old to live out their lives in villages and small apartments. Prime real estate for Chinese immigrants…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    EEU is currently about 20% Muslim, with a growing Muslim population relative to Slavic population. If prospective member Tajikistan (8.6 million people, 95% Muslim, very high TFR) joins, as expected, this will spike a little, to over 22%. Add Uzbekistan (TFR 2.5, well above Russia’s) and its about 1/3 Islamic.
     
    I think it's unlikely that any more Central Asian counties will join the EEU, other than maybe Tajikistan. Neither Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan is enthusiastic about doing so, and the advantages of joining will only diminish with time as their per capita GDP converges with Russia's. And if Ukraine joined, with at least nominal veto power over expansion, the chances would fall even further.

    Even if Ukraine itself wouldn’t become a significant target for Islamic migration within the EEU, would it really be desirable, to become part of some Slavo-Islamic entity?
     
    In the abstract, maybe not. But when the choices are:

    1) Join an economic union, that with your membership would be 19% Muslim (assuming Tajikistan joins), in which you would be the second largest member, with 18% of the population, and have the third largest economy. And in which the largest member would have a strong political incentive for you to succeed.

    2) Waiting for likely at least 20 years to join an economic and quasi-political union, that would have proportionally fewer Muslims, but in which you would have virtually no influence, with less than 10% of the population and likely still well under 5% of GDP. And in which the largest members have no particular reason to care if you succeed.

    Assuming no significant Muslim migration from elsewhere in the EEU (and as I've noted there isn't any economic incentive for it), it seems to me the first choice is clearly better.

    2) Waiting for likely at least 20 years to join an economic and quasi-political union, that would have proportionally fewer Muslims, but in which you would have virtually no influence, with less than 10% of the population and likely still well under 5% of GDP. And in which the largest members have no particular reason to care if you succeed.

    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc’s most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [becoming that bloc’s most populous member]

    That ship has sailed already. Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population. Will the last inhabitant to leave it please turn out the lights?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  108. 5371 says:
    @AP

    2) Waiting for likely at least 20 years to join an economic and quasi-political union, that would have proportionally fewer Muslims, but in which you would have virtually no influence, with less than 10% of the population and likely still well under 5% of GDP. And in which the largest members have no particular reason to care if you succeed.
     
    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc's most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.

    [becoming that bloc’s most populous member]

    That ship has sailed already. Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population. Will the last inhabitant to leave it please turn out the lights?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    "[becoming that bloc’s most populous member]"

    That ship has sailed already.Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population.
     

    Ukraine minus Crimea has almost 43 million people. Minus the Donbas Republics this number goes down to about 38.5 million. Poland's population is a little over 38 million. Both figures don't include migrants (temporarily) living abroad. About 2 million Poles live and work in western Europe. Probably a similar number of Ukrainians have left non-Donbas Ukraine (an estimated 1 million are working in Poland).

    You may be right - Ukraine may now have slightly fewer people than Poland. At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU. It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one. A very rough analogy- a France to Poland's Germany. Joined to Russia, it becomes merely Canada to Russia's USA.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  109. AP says:
    @5371
    [becoming that bloc’s most populous member]

    That ship has sailed already. Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population. Will the last inhabitant to leave it please turn out the lights?

    “[becoming that bloc’s most populous member]”

    That ship has sailed already.Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population.

    Ukraine minus Crimea has almost 43 million people. Minus the Donbas Republics this number goes down to about 38.5 million. Poland’s population is a little over 38 million. Both figures don’t include migrants (temporarily) living abroad. About 2 million Poles live and work in western Europe. Probably a similar number of Ukrainians have left non-Donbas Ukraine (an estimated 1 million are working in Poland).

    You may be right – Ukraine may now have slightly fewer people than Poland. At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU. It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one. A very rough analogy- a France to Poland’s Germany. Joined to Russia, it becomes merely Canada to Russia’s USA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc’s most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.
     

    At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU.It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one.
     
    Except that this bloc of "socially conservative eastern European states" would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.

    At least the Muslim EEU states are also socially conservative, and will never be dominant within the EEU.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU's Slavic states. And Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus form a much more natural bloc within the EEU, than the mixture of Slavic and non-Slavic Eastern European states do within the EU.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    "[becoming that bloc’s most populous member]"

    That ship has sailed already.Not enough Poles can get to England to stop the svidomite-ruled Ukraine from falling further and further behind Poland in population.
     

    Ukraine minus Crimea has almost 43 million people. Minus the Donbas Republics this number goes down to about 38.5 million. Poland's population is a little over 38 million. Both figures don't include migrants (temporarily) living abroad. About 2 million Poles live and work in western Europe. Probably a similar number of Ukrainians have left non-Donbas Ukraine (an estimated 1 million are working in Poland).

    You may be right - Ukraine may now have slightly fewer people than Poland. At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU. It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one. A very rough analogy- a France to Poland's Germany. Joined to Russia, it becomes merely Canada to Russia's USA.

    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc’s most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.

    At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU.It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one.

    Except that this bloc of “socially conservative eastern European states” would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.

    At least the Muslim EEU states are also socially conservative, and will never be dominant within the EEU.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU’s Slavic states. And Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus form a much more natural bloc within the EEU, than the mixture of Slavic and non-Slavic Eastern European states do within the EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Except that this bloc of “socially conservative eastern European states” would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.
     
    EU is much less centralized than the Russian-dominated entity. "Secular, socially liberal Western Europe" hasn't impacted Poland much - the latter still has the world's lowest abortion rate.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU’s Slavic states.
     
    The key difference is that Russia has over 50% and Belarus - which is basically completely Russified - the rest. So among the EEU's Slavic states it would be Ukraine plus 80% Russia/defacto Russia.

    Among central European states, on the other hand, Ukraine's 30% would be the largest or nearly the largest share.

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence. Good for them, that Crimea and the urban parts of Donbas are removed from the country.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Or, within (2), join the bloc of other socially conservative eastern European states, becoming that bloc’s most populous member and increasing the importance of that bloc within the EU.
     

    At any rate, by population it would be if not the largest than about tied as the largest of the eastern European states within the EU.It would have much more clout in a Central European partnership than in a Eurasian one.
     
    Except that this bloc of "socially conservative eastern European states" would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.

    At least the Muslim EEU states are also socially conservative, and will never be dominant within the EEU.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU's Slavic states. And Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus form a much more natural bloc within the EEU, than the mixture of Slavic and non-Slavic Eastern European states do within the EU.

    Except that this bloc of “socially conservative eastern European states” would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.

    EU is much less centralized than the Russian-dominated entity. “Secular, socially liberal Western Europe” hasn’t impacted Poland much – the latter still has the world’s lowest abortion rate.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU’s Slavic states.

    The key difference is that Russia has over 50% and Belarus – which is basically completely Russified – the rest. So among the EEU’s Slavic states it would be Ukraine plus 80% Russia/defacto Russia.

    Among central European states, on the other hand, Ukraine’s 30% would be the largest or nearly the largest share.

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence. Good for them, that Crimea and the urban parts of Donbas are removed from the country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence.
     
    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship. But the EEU is merely a customs union, and no Tsar or totalitarian regime is likely to take power in Russia anytime soon, so those historical examples aren't very relevant.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia's per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine's $6403. By 2015, Russia's had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine's had barely risen at all, to $7915.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Except that this bloc of “socially conservative eastern European states” would itself be a demographic and economic minority, within an EU dominated by more secular, socially liberal Western Europe.
     
    EU is much less centralized than the Russian-dominated entity. "Secular, socially liberal Western Europe" hasn't impacted Poland much - the latter still has the world's lowest abortion rate.

    Also, even if you exclude the Balkan and Baltic states from this hypothetical bloc, Ukraine would still only be about 30% of its population, not much different from its 20% population share of the EEU’s Slavic states.
     
    The key difference is that Russia has over 50% and Belarus - which is basically completely Russified - the rest. So among the EEU's Slavic states it would be Ukraine plus 80% Russia/defacto Russia.

    Among central European states, on the other hand, Ukraine's 30% would be the largest or nearly the largest share.

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence. Good for them, that Crimea and the urban parts of Donbas are removed from the country.

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence.

    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship. But the EEU is merely a customs union, and no Tsar or totalitarian regime is likely to take power in Russia anytime soon, so those historical examples aren’t very relevant.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia’s per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine’s $6403. By 2015, Russia’s had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine’s had barely risen at all, to $7915.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship.
     
    Both times rule from Moscow started out relatively mildly and went downhill. The first time Ukraine was an autonomous Hetmanate whose initial obligations to Moscow were quite light but that became increasingly aversive; eventually autonomy was abolished and things got much worse. The second time there was considerable local autonomy and generally mild policies before, once again, things deteriorated as centralization was brutally imposed.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia’s per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine’s $6403. By 2015, Russia’s had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine’s had barely risen at all, to $7915.
     
    This is a function, not of independence, but of the nature of the ruling class that Ukraine inherited - Soviets with little connection to the Ukrainian people, for whom the state has been a tool for plundering (the informal agreement with Ukrainian patriots, which finally broke down towards the end of Kuchma's rule resulting in the Orange and Maidan revolutions, was we'll give you the schools and cultural stuff while you give us the economy). Russia had friendly relationships with these creatures, as its focus was union with them and keeping them from integrating their country with the West. So far one can't say that the plundering has stopped but there is no reason to think it would be better under Russia. What little progress has been made, has been made under Western pressure. Russia hadn't applied such pressure. Indeed, not doing so was part of Russia's appeal for Ukraine's post-Soviet kleptocratic elite.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  113. Jon0815, it will take a long time now to mend the Russo-Ukrainian relationship, given Donbas and Crimea. Just like the potential EU membership, it could take decades.

    There are probably opportunities offered by the Customs Union, for sure, but there is also potential for a Central / Eastern European bloc. In fact, given the demographic and political changes in the US, the significance of Ukraine might actually grow in the future. It would be in the interests of the Eastern European countries to have a solid partnership structure in place for whatever comes ahead.

    Also, note that the competition for the posts on China’s New Silk road has just began and Ukraine is in a good position to become an important hub.

    With regards to Russian and Ukrainian GDPs.. the price of oil tripled from 1990 to 2000s (If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel). Of course, it’s not the whole story, but significant.

    p.s. Btw, a visa free regime was introduced today between the EU and Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    With regards to Russian and Ukrainian GDPs.. the price of oil tripled from 1990 to 2000s (If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel). Of course, it’s not the whole story, but significant.
     
    Without natural resources Russia's per capita GDP would be somewhere in the neighborhood of Romania's. Still a lot better than Ukraine's, but much worse than, say, Poland's.
    , @reiner Tor

    If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel.
     
    It reached something like $10 sometime in 1998 I think. But it's not the whole story, and a case can be made that the high prices of oil have actually hurt Russia.

    It must be noted that the other legs of the commodity rally have helped Ukraine considerably. For example steel prices rallied a lot, and steel has been an important commodity produced in Ukraine. Grain prices went up, too.

    Add to that the fact that oil and especially natural gas were sold by Russia for prices below those paid by the Central European importers. They raised a bit in 2007, but they had to shut off the pipeline for a while to do that, and prices remained below those paid by countries like Hungary or Poland.

    I'm not sure about the numbers for Ukraine, but for example Belarus also profited greatly from re-exports of cheap Russian natural gas and oil. (Interestingly, 1980s Hungary exported some of the oil and natural gas it received from the USSR, too. The Soviets didn't like, but there was some sort of agreement with them to let us do that with a limited amount. This limited amount was actually the largest export commodity of Hungary at the time, surpassing anything else...) I read somewhere that Ukrainian oligarchs did the same thing (though in this case, mostly illegally), which must've benefited the Ukrainian economy. Besides indirect benefits, like exporting agricultural produce, which was sown and harvested using gasoline obtained cheaply from Russia, or aluminum produced using cheap electricity produced in natural gas plants running on cheap Russian natural gas, etc.

    I personally think policy was a huge failure in Ukraine, it's way more below its potential than any other country in Europe. And I also think both Russia and Ukraine would benefit if their export commodities prices remained low for a long time now. Not dropping, just staying where they are right now.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Ukraine has been linked to Russia twice. The first time there was the expansion of serfdom, massive brain-drain to St. Petersburg, and related decline in local education and culture. The second time, there was a famine that killed 3 million peasants, linguistic Russification, and large-scale colonization by ethnic Russians. There is a reason why actual ethnic Ukrainians have been consistently pro-Western in their orientation since independence.
     
    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship. But the EEU is merely a customs union, and no Tsar or totalitarian regime is likely to take power in Russia anytime soon, so those historical examples aren't very relevant.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia's per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine's $6403. By 2015, Russia's had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine's had barely risen at all, to $7915.

    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship.

    Both times rule from Moscow started out relatively mildly and went downhill. The first time Ukraine was an autonomous Hetmanate whose initial obligations to Moscow were quite light but that became increasingly aversive; eventually autonomy was abolished and things got much worse. The second time there was considerable local autonomy and generally mild policies before, once again, things deteriorated as centralization was brutally imposed.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia’s per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine’s $6403. By 2015, Russia’s had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine’s had barely risen at all, to $7915.

    This is a function, not of independence, but of the nature of the ruling class that Ukraine inherited – Soviets with little connection to the Ukrainian people, for whom the state has been a tool for plundering (the informal agreement with Ukrainian patriots, which finally broke down towards the end of Kuchma’s rule resulting in the Orange and Maidan revolutions, was we’ll give you the schools and cultural stuff while you give us the economy). Russia had friendly relationships with these creatures, as its focus was union with them and keeping them from integrating their country with the West. So far one can’t say that the plundering has stopped but there is no reason to think it would be better under Russia. What little progress has been made, has been made under Western pressure. Russia hadn’t applied such pressure. Indeed, not doing so was part of Russia’s appeal for Ukraine’s post-Soviet kleptocratic elite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    It also might be true to say that all the true believers in reform were in Moscow with Gorbachaev leaving Communist careerists with no interest in public morality in charge in Kiev. I don't know. I am much more focused on Russia than Ukraine.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  115. AP says:
    @Latvian woman
    Jon0815, it will take a long time now to mend the Russo-Ukrainian relationship, given Donbas and Crimea. Just like the potential EU membership, it could take decades.

    There are probably opportunities offered by the Customs Union, for sure, but there is also potential for a Central / Eastern European bloc. In fact, given the demographic and political changes in the US, the significance of Ukraine might actually grow in the future. It would be in the interests of the Eastern European countries to have a solid partnership structure in place for whatever comes ahead.

    Also, note that the competition for the posts on China's New Silk road has just began and Ukraine is in a good position to become an important hub.

    With regards to Russian and Ukrainian GDPs.. the price of oil tripled from 1990 to 2000s (If I'm not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel). Of course, it's not the whole story, but significant.

    p.s. Btw, a visa free regime was introduced today between the EU and Ukraine.

    With regards to Russian and Ukrainian GDPs.. the price of oil tripled from 1990 to 2000s (If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel). Of course, it’s not the whole story, but significant.

    Without natural resources Russia’s per capita GDP would be somewhere in the neighborhood of Romania’s. Still a lot better than Ukraine’s, but much worse than, say, Poland’s.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. Truthster says:
    @E. A. Costa
    Excellent, thoughtful essay--compliments.

    One notes also that the author recognizes the one solid--in the context of the Debordian Spectacle--accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street, which most fail to see, to wit, penetrating the mainstream media with a single brilliant enlightenment and proto-slogan, "The One Percent".

    Brilliant, of course, because true.

    "Occupy", however, should have been "Off". Ah well, perhaps next time around. And then something more than mere rhetoric.

    The late great Alexander Cockburn pointed out that the one and only contribution of Occupy was the slogan of the 1%. But I think that the 95% already knew full well that we are ruled by an oligarchy. It may have come as news to the 4% dwelling just below the top 1%.
    The top 5% for the first time in history voted Dem. They found their new home tended by a mass murderess with humanitarian imperialist politics and very nasty identity politics which really amount to the new bigotry and racism of the Elite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Sometime when the EU was a happy and prosperous 15 countries big, the European Commission conducted a study to compare the income of the EU population with the US. This is from memory. It was a long time ago. There were big differences at top and bottom. The US doesn't really have a 1% distortion relative to the EU. It has a o.25% distortion.

    The study accounted for public goods like education, health care, housing support, unemployment insurance and other social security which are delivered more cost effectively in most of Europe. For the poor, these are very important.

    Basically, the bottom 80% were worse off but not hugely in the US, except for the bottom 20% who were much worse off. The 15% above the 80% were about equal. The next 4% (probably you dear reader - certainly your doctor, dentist, senior engineers, the small businessmen in your town) were about 3 times better off in the USA, the top 1% much richer with the final 0.25% of them stratospherically richer. 1% is quite a lot of very accessible and visible people. Occupy tried to paint them as billionaires ruling the country. Its a much smaller group.

    Wealth is of course much more narrowly held than income. 20% owning 80% is actually quite equitable considering variations in wealth over a lifetime.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. @Latvian woman
    Jon0815, it will take a long time now to mend the Russo-Ukrainian relationship, given Donbas and Crimea. Just like the potential EU membership, it could take decades.

    There are probably opportunities offered by the Customs Union, for sure, but there is also potential for a Central / Eastern European bloc. In fact, given the demographic and political changes in the US, the significance of Ukraine might actually grow in the future. It would be in the interests of the Eastern European countries to have a solid partnership structure in place for whatever comes ahead.

    Also, note that the competition for the posts on China's New Silk road has just began and Ukraine is in a good position to become an important hub.

    With regards to Russian and Ukrainian GDPs.. the price of oil tripled from 1990 to 2000s (If I'm not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel). Of course, it's not the whole story, but significant.

    p.s. Btw, a visa free regime was introduced today between the EU and Ukraine.

    If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel.

    It reached something like $10 sometime in 1998 I think. But it’s not the whole story, and a case can be made that the high prices of oil have actually hurt Russia.

    It must be noted that the other legs of the commodity rally have helped Ukraine considerably. For example steel prices rallied a lot, and steel has been an important commodity produced in Ukraine. Grain prices went up, too.

    Add to that the fact that oil and especially natural gas were sold by Russia for prices below those paid by the Central European importers. They raised a bit in 2007, but they had to shut off the pipeline for a while to do that, and prices remained below those paid by countries like Hungary or Poland.

    I’m not sure about the numbers for Ukraine, but for example Belarus also profited greatly from re-exports of cheap Russian natural gas and oil. (Interestingly, 1980s Hungary exported some of the oil and natural gas it received from the USSR, too. The Soviets didn’t like, but there was some sort of agreement with them to let us do that with a limited amount. This limited amount was actually the largest export commodity of Hungary at the time, surpassing anything else…) I read somewhere that Ukrainian oligarchs did the same thing (though in this case, mostly illegally), which must’ve benefited the Ukrainian economy. Besides indirect benefits, like exporting agricultural produce, which was sown and harvested using gasoline obtained cheaply from Russia, or aluminum produced using cheap electricity produced in natural gas plants running on cheap Russian natural gas, etc.

    I personally think policy was a huge failure in Ukraine, it’s way more below its potential than any other country in Europe. And I also think both Russia and Ukraine would benefit if their export commodities prices remained low for a long time now. Not dropping, just staying where they are right now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the high prices of oil have actually hurt Russia
     
    I meant the Dutch disease.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  118. @reiner Tor

    If I’m not mistaken, at one point Yeltsin and Nemtsov were working with something like $20 per barrel.
     
    It reached something like $10 sometime in 1998 I think. But it's not the whole story, and a case can be made that the high prices of oil have actually hurt Russia.

    It must be noted that the other legs of the commodity rally have helped Ukraine considerably. For example steel prices rallied a lot, and steel has been an important commodity produced in Ukraine. Grain prices went up, too.

    Add to that the fact that oil and especially natural gas were sold by Russia for prices below those paid by the Central European importers. They raised a bit in 2007, but they had to shut off the pipeline for a while to do that, and prices remained below those paid by countries like Hungary or Poland.

    I'm not sure about the numbers for Ukraine, but for example Belarus also profited greatly from re-exports of cheap Russian natural gas and oil. (Interestingly, 1980s Hungary exported some of the oil and natural gas it received from the USSR, too. The Soviets didn't like, but there was some sort of agreement with them to let us do that with a limited amount. This limited amount was actually the largest export commodity of Hungary at the time, surpassing anything else...) I read somewhere that Ukrainian oligarchs did the same thing (though in this case, mostly illegally), which must've benefited the Ukrainian economy. Besides indirect benefits, like exporting agricultural produce, which was sown and harvested using gasoline obtained cheaply from Russia, or aluminum produced using cheap electricity produced in natural gas plants running on cheap Russian natural gas, etc.

    I personally think policy was a huge failure in Ukraine, it's way more below its potential than any other country in Europe. And I also think both Russia and Ukraine would benefit if their export commodities prices remained low for a long time now. Not dropping, just staying where they are right now.

    the high prices of oil have actually hurt Russia

    I meant the Dutch disease.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @AP

    I agree that historical precedent indicates it would be a bad idea for Ukraine to be politically united with Russia, while Russia was governed by an absolute monarchy or Stalinist dictatorship.
     
    Both times rule from Moscow started out relatively mildly and went downhill. The first time Ukraine was an autonomous Hetmanate whose initial obligations to Moscow were quite light but that became increasingly aversive; eventually autonomy was abolished and things got much worse. The second time there was considerable local autonomy and generally mild policies before, once again, things deteriorated as centralization was brutally imposed.

    And independence has indisputably been an economic disaster for Ukraine. In 1991, Russia’s per capita GDP (PPP) was $7844, not much higher than Ukraine’s $6403. By 2015, Russia’s had more than tripled to $24,451 , while Ukraine’s had barely risen at all, to $7915.
     
    This is a function, not of independence, but of the nature of the ruling class that Ukraine inherited - Soviets with little connection to the Ukrainian people, for whom the state has been a tool for plundering (the informal agreement with Ukrainian patriots, which finally broke down towards the end of Kuchma's rule resulting in the Orange and Maidan revolutions, was we'll give you the schools and cultural stuff while you give us the economy). Russia had friendly relationships with these creatures, as its focus was union with them and keeping them from integrating their country with the West. So far one can't say that the plundering has stopped but there is no reason to think it would be better under Russia. What little progress has been made, has been made under Western pressure. Russia hadn't applied such pressure. Indeed, not doing so was part of Russia's appeal for Ukraine's post-Soviet kleptocratic elite.

    It also might be true to say that all the true believers in reform were in Moscow with Gorbachaev leaving Communist careerists with no interest in public morality in charge in Kiev. I don’t know. I am much more focused on Russia than Ukraine.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. @Truthster
    The late great Alexander Cockburn pointed out that the one and only contribution of Occupy was the slogan of the 1%. But I think that the 95% already knew full well that we are ruled by an oligarchy. It may have come as news to the 4% dwelling just below the top 1%.
    The top 5% for the first time in history voted Dem. They found their new home tended by a mass murderess with humanitarian imperialist politics and very nasty identity politics which really amount to the new bigotry and racism of the Elite.

    Sometime when the EU was a happy and prosperous 15 countries big, the European Commission conducted a study to compare the income of the EU population with the US. This is from memory. It was a long time ago. There were big differences at top and bottom. The US doesn’t really have a 1% distortion relative to the EU. It has a o.25% distortion.

    The study accounted for public goods like education, health care, housing support, unemployment insurance and other social security which are delivered more cost effectively in most of Europe. For the poor, these are very important.

    Basically, the bottom 80% were worse off but not hugely in the US, except for the bottom 20% who were much worse off. The 15% above the 80% were about equal. The next 4% (probably you dear reader – certainly your doctor, dentist, senior engineers, the small businessmen in your town) were about 3 times better off in the USA, the top 1% much richer with the final 0.25% of them stratospherically richer. 1% is quite a lot of very accessible and visible people. Occupy tried to paint them as billionaires ruling the country. Its a much smaller group.

    Wealth is of course much more narrowly held than income. 20% owning 80% is actually quite equitable considering variations in wealth over a lifetime.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. @Anon
    How true is this assessment?

    http://theduran.com/its-becoming-more-evident-that-ukraine-is-on-losing-side-of-history/

    Russia’s date with reality is still 2 or 3 years ahead. The sovereign wealth fund is not totally spent. Sensible things are being done. Military spend will be cut by 25%. The Armata tank will not be delivered until 2030. But there is still no realism about privatizations or creating conditions to protect private capital from state predators and thus encourage some flight capital back.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @Jon0815

    The term is indeed appropriate since the slight population increase would not have occurred without immigration (primarily non-Russians from central asia, immediately evident from visiting most major cities)
     
    I believe Russia's census and official population estimates only count permanent residents, and most of the Central Asian immigrants you see in the big cities are temporary workers (legal and illegal).

    And actually, Russia's population would still be growing very slightly, even without immigration. In 2013, Russia had its first natural population growth (more births than deaths) since 1990: The natural increase was 23,000, and with immigration it was 295,000. This was possible, despite fertility still below replacement, because of increasing life expectancy.


    If however, one defines “demographic decline” relative to the number of Russians living within the Russian Federation, then “demographic decline” is indeed appropriate as the number of Russians continues to decline, albeit at a slower rate than a decade ago.
     
    It's true that the ethnic Russian share of Russia's population is still declining, due to somewhat higher Muslim fertility. However, although Rosstat doesn't break down the fertility rate by ethnicity or religion, they do by region, and the regional figures indicate that Slavic fertility is rising, while Muslim fertility is falling.

    By my math, in 2015, the 14.2 million residents of Russia's seven majority-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.99 (down from 2.04 in 2014), while the non-Muslim regions had a TFR of 1.76 (up from 1.74 in 2014). The only Muslim region with a TFR above replacement was Chechnya, at 2.79 (down from a high of 3.45 in 2010).

    The late 80′s baby boom that provided the young women who increased the birth rate is moving past peak fertility in Russia, unless families now choose 3 children, the idealized family size. In conditions of economic decline, this is unlikely. Russia has pro natal, pro family policies so it will probably avoid disasters on a German or Italian scale more UK in style.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All The Saker Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation