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Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

The Israeli scorecard

To understand Israel’s goals in this war, we first need to place this latest war in its context, and that context is that Israel was comprehensively defeated in Syria. To substantiate this thesis, let’s remember the goals of the Zionists when they unleashed a major international war against Syria. These objectives, as listed in my July 2019 article “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel” were:

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone,” but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

As we all know, this is what actually happened:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)
  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

Seeing their defeat in Syria, the Zionists did what they always do: they used their propaganda machine to list an apparently neverending victorious strikes on supposed “Iranian targets” in Syria. While a few civilian simpletons with zero military experience did buy into this nonsense, the truth about Israeli operations in Syria is simple: the Syrian air defenses have successfully prevented the Israelis from striking at important, sensitive, targets, and they Israelis have been forced to declare as major victories the destruction of empty barns as “destruction of important IRGC headquarters” thereby “proving” to a few naive folks in Zone A and to themselves (!) that the IDF is still as “invincible” as it “always was”. As for the Neocons, they doubled-up on that and declared that 1) Russian air defenses are useless 2) that Russia and Israel work hand in hand and 3) that the Israelis are still invincible. Yet if any of that was true, why has Israel failed to achieve a single one of its goals? And why are both the Russians and the Iranians still in Syria were the Russians just finished a 2nd runway at Khmeimim and they have just deployed a group of Tu-22M3 at that air base from where they can now threaten any ship sailing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In their otherwise “free time” they can deliver tons of bombs and missiles to the remaining Takfiri forces in Syria.

As I have been saying for many years now, the truth is that the IDF is a poor fighting force. Why? First, they have the exact same problem as the USA (and the KSA, for that matter): they rely on expensive technology, but don’t have good combat-capable “boots on the ground”. That is now how modern wars are won (see here for a list of popular misconceptions about modern wars).

In its recent history, the entire gamut of Israeli “elite” forces (including the air force, the navy, the artillery and even the Golani Brigade) got its collective butt handed to them by about 1000 and only lightly armed regular Hezbollah fighters in 2006: keep in mind that the elite Hezbollah forces were deployed only north of the Litani river to protect Beirut against a possible land invasion by Israel. Instead of taking Beirut or “disarming Hezbollah” (that was an official goal!), the Israelis could not even control the small town of Bint Jbeil located right across the official Israeli border! So much for being “invincible”!

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Hamas, IDF, Israel, Israel/Palestine 

The Biden Administration has gone out of its way to show itself as absolutely “woke-compatible” and even as a champion of “wokeness” (Foggy Bottom has just allowed US embassies and consulates to fly the “gay pride” flag next to the Stars and Stripes. I bet you they won’t do that in Riyadh!). According to the hyper-politically correct Wikipedia, “woke” refers to the “awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial justice”. This definition is, however, misleading because, for example, it clearly is not intended to cover, say, social injustice meted out to poor whites. In other words, wokeness is a one way street. What wokeness does mandate is for my son (who is studying biology) to be told in his class that he is the carrier of “white guilt” even though his ancestors never interacted with blacks, let alone blacks in the USA.

As I have mentioned in the past, I do not consider categories such as “black” or “white” as analytically helpful since they are not properly defined. That, however, does not mean that I am not willing to use them in a specific context where the parties to an ideological dispute refer to themselves, or to others, as black or white. By the way, “Asian” is another useless category as, depending on whom you ask, it would include Pakistanis (who sure ain’t yellow) and lump them together with (brown) Indonesians and (yellow) Japanese people. The fact that these categories are used in the western political discourse means that I cannot ignore them solely because I find them ambiguous and misleading. Furthermore, the category “African” whether used with “American” or not, is not helpful either since it would include people otherwise considered white; say Elon Musk, even though nobody thinks of Musk as African-American. Finally, the category black might include Tamils or Australian aborigines, but it is rarely, if ever, used in that sense. Thus, when I will use the words black or white below, it will be in the largely accepted US meaning of “descendants of African slaves” and “descendents of white colonists” even though I am acutely aware of the reality of interbreeding (by rape or by mutual consent) between these two groups and even though the woke ideology blames *all* so-called “whites” for their putative racism and their supposedly “privileged” position in the US society due to its alleged “systemic racism”, even when they are new immigrants to the USA.

I don’t think that I have tackled the issues of race or racism before, mostly because I am horrified by all the nonsense one can hear as soon as these topics are mentioned. It is, however, indisputable that the woke ideology is the main ideology of the Biden Administration and this is why it cannot simply be ignored. Of course, other ideological trends of the US ruling class (messianism, imperialism, self-worship, capitalism, etc.) have not been abandoned; instead, they have been “wokified” in the sense that the woke ideology is now used to give these traditional US ideologies some kind of politically-correct imprimatur, a kind of “when we do that in the name of wokeness we are doing something morally right” label placed on an otherwise deeply discredited set of “western values”.

Of course, there is an apparent paradox here: how can the woke ideology be used to try to give a semblance of respectability to a set of western ideologies when the woke ideology is also rabidly anti-western?! The woke ideology is most definitely anti-western, and not in the sense of condemning the West’s thousand years of bloody wars and imperialism, that would at least make some sense, but it is anti-western in the sense that it places an equal sign between, say, J.S. Bach and the rapper “Ice Cube” with a “logic” along the following line: “hey, who are you to say that Bach was more talented than the rapper Ice Cube?! That is racist!!!” Even mathematics are now considered “racist”! And anybody disputing that is, of course, a racist.

What is missing here is the element of proof. Some kind of rules of evidence which could be appealed to; let’s use the modern term to ‘fact check’ most of the assumptions made by the supporters of the woke ideology.

For example, in my Swiss high school we had a huge mural declaring that “all races are equal”. No evidence for that statement was ever given. In fact, during my entire academic life (1 undergrad and 2 graduate degrees) I have never seen any real evidence for this thesis. (I have seen plenty of evidence disputing this, beginning with US Army IQ tests). By the way, that does not at all mean that I affirm the opposite (that races are somehow unequal), only that in a dogmatic statement like “all races are equal” even the term “equal” is extremely ambiguous and, frankly, meaningless. Let’s compare this statement to another famous one by Saint Paul (Galatian 3:26-28 KJV):

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”.

Unlike the vapid “all races are equal”, Saint Paul clearly states that all humans are “children of God” and he further explains how this happens when he says “by faith in Christ Jesus”. He then clarifies that “all are one in Christ Jesus” (being “one” in Christ is unambiguous, unlike being “equal”). And Saint Paul concludes by explaining that through Christ there is a new generation of mankind “ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”. Unlike the woke ideology, Christianity does truly unite all human beings, and Christianity does so without ever denying or obfuscating the very real differences which makes all humans very much unequal to each other, including a total equality in rights and privileges inside the Christian religion. First, Saint Paul mentions our common filiation as children of God through Adam, to which he immediately adds a further common filiation of those who have “put on Christ” by means of baptism. The evidence here, the proof of the statement, is clear: baptism. One can, of course, disagree with Saint Paul, but not accuse him of ambiguity (especially in the light of all the other Apostolic and Patristic statements providing contextual support for this!).

Compare that with the woke ideology which categorically splits mankind into two groups: the oppressed “minorities” and the (always) “white” oppressors, which even contradicts the actual history of Africa which was invaded and colonized by (non-White) Arabs before the Europeans got involved (something which the US blacks who take on Islamic names either don’t know or try hard to ignore).

 

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

  1. Whether Ze initially intended to stop the war in the eastern Ukraine we don’t know, but what we do know is that he failed not only to stop it, in many ways his policies were even worse than Poroshenko’s. This might be the well-known phenomenon of a supposedly “pro-peace and happiness” politician being accused of being “weak” and thus not “presidential”; this politician has to show his “strength” is “patriotism”, that is acting recklessly on the external front. We see that from putatively “liberal” politicians such as the Dems in the USA and Labor in Israel. Historically, “liberals” are the most common war initiators. Ze showed his weakness almost from day 1, and the Ukronazis immediately seized this opportunity to engage in a massive multi-level campaign for war against Russia. This resulted in:
  2. A quasi-official repudiation of the Minsk Agreements and Steinmeier Formula by Kiev, followed by a sharp increase in bellicose statements and, most crucially a large scale move of forces (including tanks, heavy artillery, MLRS and even ballistic missiles!) towards the line of contact. At the same time Ukronazi politicians began making statements saying that a) the Ukrainian army was capable and willing to “liberate” all of the “Russian occupied” Ukrainian land thus, including both the Donbass and Crimea b) that Russia was going to attack the Ukraine anyway and c) that the consolidated West had to help the Ukraine because only the Ukrainian forces were keeping the asiatic drunken Russian hordes from over-running not only the Ukraine, but even the rest of Europe. Since the Ukraine simply has no agency, this begs the question of the US (and, to a lesser degree, the UK) rationale was for these moves. It is quite simple:
  3. Force Russia to openly intervene to protect the population of the Donbass from the inevitable genocide which the Ukronazis would have meeted out to the population of the LDNR.

How good was this plan? I would argue that it was a very solid plan which, for the USA, meant a win-win situation. Here is how it should have gone:

First, the Ukrainian forces would attack the LDNR, probably along three axes: one between the city of Gorlovka and Donetsk, one frontally attacking Donetsk proper, not to invade the city, but to tie down LDNR forces in protection of their capital, and one in the south with the aim of reaching the Russian border. This way, the LDNR defenders would have to defend their capital while, at the same time, risking envelopment on two axes. Remember that the LDNR has no strategic depth (Donetsk is practically on the frontline) and that the LDNR defenders could not trade space for time.

I have seen some “experts” saying that since the Ukrainians have laid down a very large number of mines they are clearly not going to attack since they would lose time – and possibly men – to cross these minefields. First, there is no way of knowing if these mines are real or fake (many mines also have a timer anyway) but, second, more crucially: an attacking force always wants to concentrate in one specific location of the line of contact, which means that the attacking forces has to not only attack, but also protect herself from enemy counter-attacks: minefields are very effective at providing this sort of protection. The “defensive” moves can, and do, in reality, form an integral part of any offensive plans.

Of course, The Big Question was this: could the LDNR forces stop the Ukronazis? There are those who say that yes, and those who say no. Rather than suggesting an answer, let’s look at both of these outcomes:

Option 1: the LDNR forces successfully stop the Ukrainian invasion:

That would be, by far, the best outcome for Russia, but for the LDNR this outcome, while better than a defeat, would probably result in a lot of deaths and destruction. We know that both the Ukrainian military and the LDNR forces have been profoundly reformed and restructured since 2014. Crucially, the LDNR forces went from being self-organized and disparate militias to a conventional military force capable of operational level combined arms operations. Would that be enough to stop a larger Ukrainian force? Possibly. But this is by no means certain, not only because war is an unpredictable thing to begin with, but also because we really have no way of knowing how well the Ukrainian military was reformed. If what they got was the same type of “training” as the Georgians in the years leading up to 08.08.08 then there is a good cause to doubt it. LDNR leaders, however, did not engage in bravado and silly flag-waving and they took the threat very seriously, which tells us that they were by no means certain of what might happen next. Now let’s look at option 2:

Option 2: the LDNR defenses eventually collapse in one or even several locations:

What if the LDNR forces failed to stop the Ukrainians? At this point, Russia would have absolutely no choice but to intervene to save the people of the Donbass (more than half a million of which already have Russian passports!). I won’t discuss here the options a LDNR+Russia counter-attack would have or how much Ukronazi-occupied land Russia could or should liberate (that is not the topic here). In this case, two things are absolutely certain:

  1. Russia would comprehensively defeat any combination of Ukrainian forces.
  2. The US/NATO would declare a state of quasi war with Russia and create something similar to the Berlin Wall along whatever line of contact would result from a Russian counter-attack.

In this scenario, the biggest loser would, of course, be the Ukraine. But the next loser would be Russia, because instead of “just” dealing with a nutcase Nazi regime next door, Russia would now face a hysterically paranoid and russophobic consolidated West. At the end of such a war, Russia would face something similar to what happened at the end of the Korean war: a ceasefire followed by decades of tensions.

The big winner would be the USA: its main instrument for the colonization of Europe (NATO) would finally find itself a purpose in life (stop the Russians, of course), NS2 and other cooperation between the EU and Russia would all but totally freeze, making the European economy non-competitive against the US, and the US MIC would have a great time selling very expensive, if not very effective, military hardware to all the the European countries. And that strategic US victory would not cost the US a single soldier! What’s there not to like about this?

Well, for Russia this would be a very bad outcome. Yes, Russia has the means to take on both the US and NATO militarily, but politically and economically, this would hurt Russian interests, not critically, but substantially.

Then, there is this: the Ukraine is a thoroughly deindustrialized failed state, worse than many African countries. While there was a lot of window-dressing going on both inside the Ukraine and in the West’s legacy media, the COVID pandemic and its horrible consequences inside the Ukraine became impossible to conceal or deny, especially to the Ukrainian people themselves. Right now, the entire Ukraine is like a vase in a store: if you break it, you own it and you must fix it. Even if we exclude an outcome where the Russian tanks stop at the western borders of the Ukraine and take a middle-of-the-road option where the Russians stop at the Dnieper river, this would have huge consequences for the Russians, including:

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 

Amazing news over the week-end: President Lukashenko has declared that Biden gave the order to kill him in a coup organized by the CIA. Now, we all know that Lukashenko says all sorts of things, many of them false or plain silly. Except that the Russian FSB has confirmed it all! According to the Russians, a joint operation of the (Bielorussian) KGB and the Russian FSB has uncovered the plot early on and the Russians monitored the full operation until they had enough evidence to arrest all the plotters.

So far so good. But it gets better!

Unlike the US/UK and others, the Russian FSB did not say that they were “confident” that it was “highly likely” that this operation took place. They released all the footage of a meeting of the plotters in Moscow which confirms it all (I don’t have the time to translate that footage, but I am confident that somebody will – if you come across an English language translation, please post it in the comments section below!).

One not familiar with such operations might be baffled over why this meeting took place in Moscow and not in Warsaw or Riga. There are several reasons for that:

  • There is a practically open border between Belarus and Russia, which are “ally states”, and there is nothing easier for the (supposed) Bielorussian traitors (from the military) to jump in a car and get to Moscow.
  • Using Warsaw or Riga would dramatically reduce what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” for the US and NATO.
  • Yes, meeting in Moscow was still stupid, but no more stupid than the failed US coup to do to Maduro when the US did exactly what they tried to do to Lukashenko. The fact that both operations failed is par for the course for the (mostly clueless) CIA.
  • The main plotter is a double national Bielorussian and US American and for him to move to Minsk for that meeting would be very dangerous.
  • Last, but not least, the Bielorussian KGB operates in a very tightly controlled Bielorussian society whereas Russian is an open and liberal society, so one could have (mistakenly) thought that a meeting in Moscow would have been a better idea.

Interesting story, no?

But it gets even better!

As soon as the accusation of a CIA plan to murder Lukashenko in a coup came out, they did what they always do: denied it against all evidence and created a huge distraction: the US colony known as the “Czech Republic” declared that the explosion of a weapons depot in the Czech Republic in 2014 was a Russian sabotage involving… … wait for it… … drum roll…. the very same Petrov and Boshirov whom the UK accused of poisoning the Skripals!

Friends, the Czechs released this story withing ONE HOUR of the Bielorussian news! One hour, seriously!

The Czechs immediately expelled 18 Russian diplomats and the Russian reciprocated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats leaving only 5 in Moscow. So if we use the English expression about the “shitting hitting the fan”, then it would also be fair to refer to the Czechs as “shit shields” for the Empire 🙂

By the way, the official Czech investigation in 2014 concluded that the explosion was caused by negligence, not sabotage but, really, who cares? After all, look at these accusations, all as unproven and as silly as this one: (partial list in no special order)

  • Russian invaded the Donbass
  • Russia shot down MH-17
  • Russia tried to poison the Skripals
  • Russia tried to poison Litvenenko
  • Russia tried to poison Navalnyi
  • Russia murdered Boris Nemtsov
  • Russia murdered Politkovskaia
  • Russia tried to poison Yushchenko
  • Russia interfered in two US elections
  • Russia hacked the DNC computers
  • Russia paid Afghans to kill US soliders
  • The Russian shot down the aircraft of the Polish president over Smolensk
  • The Russian tried to organize a coup in Montenegro

To repeat, none, NONE of these accusations were ever proven or even substantiated. ALL of these accusations are solely based on the putatively undeniable credibility of the western special services.

And, of course, the western “Russia experts” all fully endorsed this nonsense (hey, that is what these so-called “experts” are paid to do; as somebody who once was a member of the IISS, I know these “experts” and their “expertise” well enough – I even resigned from the IISS in protest over its total subservience to US anti-Russian narratives).

And people who call themselves “democrats” and people capable of critical thought buy all this shit with no doubts whatsoever, none. They don’t even see how pathetic and clueless they really are…

So the Czechs (and their US masters) are running a well rehearsed and “safe” track because they all know that the western audience is fully accustomed to hear the following:

“We accuse Russia of X, we say that our special services have evidence, but we won’t present any; as for the western media, they will, of course, trust the western special services, because they are “democratic” and, therefore, “trustworthy”.

Another trick, which the Czechs used in this case, is this: on the first day announce urbi et orbi that “we will soon release all the incontrovertible evidence we have” and then simply declare it classified because it is important not to show the Russians the evidence of their own, putatively Russian, operation. As for the western press, they, of course, simply forget about that an go onto the the next Russia bashing story.

It is simple, but with the kind of sheep the western regimes deal with, it is also effective.

Finally, when truly desperate, you can count on the MI6 run Bellincat to get their “evidence”, I kid you not, from the social media on the Internet.

And, again, the western sheep “eat it all up”, with appetite and gusto! Sic transit gloria mundi indeed!

Still, accusing the self same two putative GRU agents Petrov and Boshirov shows how desperate the Czechs were too cook up some story literally overnight. Now they look stupid beyond any conceivable explanations for such a massive and, frankly, hilarious faceplant.

Will the people of the Czech Republic now revolt in outrage against the sheer idiocy of their leaders? Nah, of course not. After all, we are living in a post-truth (and, I would argue, post-logical) world where the only thing which matters is to follow the SS motto of “my honor is fidelity” and blind obedience to the masters of the day.

What about the US in all this? Would “Biden” really be crazy enough to try to murder a foreign leader?

Well, as I like to say, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, right? How many foreign leaders has the CIA actually murdered and how many did she only try, and fail, to murder? (Note: somebody ought to compare the number of foreign leaders murdered by the US and the USSR. I am sure that the comparison would be both shocking and very telling). How about the official (White House admitted) murder of General Soleimani? Was that operation not far more dangerous than to use locals to try to assassinate a weakened and embattled leader like Lukashenko?

So, you tell me: true story of “Russian disinformation”?

PS: in case you wonder, the Russians are laughing hysterically and scratching their heads wondering what in the world happened to a once civilized western society.

PPS: by the way, the Russian FSB also arrested the Ukie consul in Saint Petersburg at the moment when he was receiving classified information from what he thought was an agent. He will be expelled. It was a great week end for the FSB – there will be lost of medals handed out for this good work.

 

Bad news all around today. The US has just slammed provocative sanctions against Russia even though the US ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and clearly told that if the US imposes more sanctions there will be no meeting between Putin and Biden.

Then there is this: the US has informed the Turkish authorities that they will not send two USN ships into the Black Sea. This is politically a good sign, but in military terms, this is what the US should be doing if they were preparing for war. Why? Because any USN ship in the Black Sea at the moment of the initiation of a conflict would be sunk withing minutes: not only do the Russians have formidable missiles – Bal and Bastion – they had SIX advanced diesel-electric submarines of the 636.3 class ready to “greet” them. Keep in mind that engaging submarines without air cover is another form of collective suicide.

So, the phone call was a deception and the US is still going down the road towards war with Russia.

In my professional opinion, what I see is a joint preparation by the Ukronazis and the USA (along with the UK and Poland) to attack the Donbass and force a conflict upon Russia.

Considering the extreme nature of these developments, I am reopening an open thread.

PS: as for the Ukronazis, they have just used their heavy artillery (banned by the Minsk Agreements) to murder another civilian in his home. They were apparently trying to disable an electric station (a typical move by US-trained militaries before an attack).

It is very hard for me to see how a war could be avoided.

UPDATE: Biden has just declared a national emergency in the USA in response to the Russian threat. He will make a special address to the nation tonight.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Joe Biden, Russia, Ukraine 

The big news of the day is that Biden decided to call Putin. Here is how the Russians reported this:

At the initiative of the American side, a telephone conversation took place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. The current state of Russian-American relations and some relevant aspects of the international agenda were discussed in detail. Joseph Biden confirmed his earlier invitation to the Russian President to take part in the Climate Summit, which will be held via videoconference on April 22-23. Both sides expressed their readiness to continue the dialogue on the most important areas of ensuring global security, which would meet the interests of not only Russia and the United States, but also the entire world community. Moreover, Joseph Biden expressed interest in normalizing the state of affairs on the bilateral track and establishing stable and predictable cooperation on such pressing issues as ensuring strategic stability and arms control, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in Afghanistan, and global climate change. In this context, the US President proposed to consider the possibility of holding a personal summit meeting in the foreseeable future. During the exchange of views on the internal Ukrainian crisis, Vladimir Putin outlined approaches to a political settlement based on the Minsk Package of Measures. It was agreed to give instructions to the relevant departments to work out the issues raised during the telephone conversation.

This is t he US version:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. They discussed a number of regional and global issues, including the intent of the United States and Russia to pursue a strategic stability dialogue on a range of arms control and emerging security issues, building on the extension of the New START Treaty. President Biden also made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference. President Biden emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President voiced our concerns over the sudden Russian military build-up in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions. President Biden reaffirmed his goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia consistent with U.S. interests, and proposed a summit meeting in a third country in the coming months to discuss the full range of issues facing the United States and Russia.

Why the difference in tone? Because the Russians don’t believe in loud statements before a negotiation and, unlike “Biden”, they are not insecure in their legitimacy (both the legitimacy of their policies and the legitimacy of their government). As for Biden, he just produces the exact same type of hot air which the Trump administration became so infamous for. I can tell you what most Russians think when they hear this. They think: “sure looks to me like the old man is desperately trying to encourage himself!”. I totally concur.

This being said, there is also some very premature triumphalism in Russia. A lot of “hurray patriots” are saying “Biden caved in first”. Their arguments go something like this:

According to Defense Minister Shoigu, the US/NATO have about 40,000 soldiers along the Russian border (ostensibly as an exercise) and about 15,000 weapons systems. In response to that threat, Russia deployed 2 Armies and 3 Airborne Divisions along her western border. That is something of the size of 200,000 soldiers. The US Americans saw this and understood that the Russian “fist” could smash them. This is why Biden caved in.

Well, I am not at all so sure that “Biden” caved in or “blinked first”. Why?

  1. “In the coming months” is too late to defuse the current risks of war. They might meet in the upcoming climate conference on April 22-23. But that is the wrong format.
  2. The first rule of military analysis is “don’t look at intentions, but look at capabilities”. This is even more true for “declared intentions”. And what are we reading into “Biden’s” supposed intentions? “Pursue a strategic security dialog” is the best I can find, and I am really not impressed.
  3. Let’s assume that they meet before a full-scale war breaks out, and so what? Did Trump not meet with Kim Jong-un – did that do any good?

Last Sunday, Margarita Simonian, the head of Russia Today, said something very interesting on a Russian TV show (I paraphrase and summarize here):

We will never be able to reach a real agreement (to coexist) with the USA. Why? This is a country built on violence from Day 1. This is a country stuck with several ideological doctrines, including the Doctrine of Discovery to the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny. All these doctrines say the same thing: “we have the right to do whatever we want and we have the right to rule over everybody else. This land was ours, but those Indian SOBs had the arrogance to live there. So we will massacre them all and then create a beautiful feast when we will celebrate that they taught us what to eat (Thanksgiving Day). This was true not only in the 17th century. I remind you of the year 1831 when we already had the Decembrist revolt while the USA was engaged in a massive ethnic cleansing operation (the Trail of Tears) under the personal supervision of

President Andrew Jackson (a Democrat, by the way!) who deported 5 Indian tribes which were settled, had their own schools and many were Christianized. He deported them to Oklahoma using methods which resulted in thousands of deaths (one tribe lost ¼ of her people. My family was deported by Stalin (we were Armenians) and I can tell you that the methods used by Stalin during his deportations were a “gentle ballet” compared to what the “democractic United States” did.

We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to collapse. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to become paupers. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to give up our nuclear weapons. We will never reach an agreement with them because we cannot agree to forsake all our national interests and we cannot agree to only do that which they tell us to do (including to the detriment of our own interests). We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to forget our history and we won’t agree to have our next generations consider themselves as a totally different nation. We will never reach an agreement with them because we will never agree to any of that, and they will never accept anything less! (emphasis added).

 

Intro: cause vs pretext

It is not an exaggeration to say that in the mythology of the AngloZionist Empire Putin is something akin to Satan or, at least, that he is a kind of “Sauron” who is the epitome of evil. And, we all heard that recently, Biden, in a recorded interview, declared that Putin is “a killer”. When given a chance to soften this statement Jen Psaki did no such thing. We can, therefore, conclude that this was an official, deliberately planned, characterization of the Russian leader.

This kind of language was never used by western officials during the Cold War, at least not on the top levels. So why this seething hatred for Putin?

It is not because he is ex-GPU KGB SSSR. Yuri Andropov was a former KGB Chairman, and he did a lot to strengthen the KGB, its personnel and operations. Yet nobody called him a killer. Neither is this because of Crimea or the Donbass, at least not directly, because when the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia and, before that, Hungary, western politicians did not call Khrushchev or Brezhnev “killers”. It is not because of the shooting down of MH-17 (western leaders all know that these are lies created by western special services), because there have been quite a few civilian airliners shot down by various states, but that did not result in the kind of total demonization of the leaders of these states. I could go on and on, but you get the point: even if we carefully parse all the accusations against Putin, we find out that the kind of total demonization he has been the subject of is quite unique in its intensity and scope.

There is a huge difference between the concepts of “cause” and “pretext”, and all the examples I have given are nothing but pretexts. We need to look at the real causes of such a blind hatred for Putin.

Here we come across another list of possible reasons: first, it is undeniable that while Eltsin almost destroyed Russia as a country, Putin single-handedly “resurrected” Russia in an amazingly short time. From a country which was in tatters and a population which wanted nothing more than to become the next Germany or, failing that, at least the next Poland, Putin turned Russia into the strongest military power on the planet and he completely reshaped the Russian perception of themselves and of Russia. Not only that, but Putin used every single move by the West (like, say, sanctions, boycotts or threats) to further strengthen Russia (by means such as import substitutions, international conferences and military maneuvers). Most importantly, Putin de-coupled Russia from a lot of US controlled institutions or mechanisms, a move which also immensely served Russia.

US politicians spoke of a country with an “economy in tatters” and of a “gas station masquerading as a country”. But in the real world (Zone B), the Russia economy did much better than the western ones and, as for the “energy war” between the US, the KSA and Russia, it ended in a catastrophic defeat for the USA and a triumph for Russia and, to a lesser degree, the KSA.

Then came COVID and the truly epic disaster of the West’s total mismanagement of this crisis. Not only that, but the contrast of how Russia (and China!) handled the crisis and what the West did could not have been bigger. As for Russia being the first country to create a vaccine (by now, no less than three of them actually; now Russia is about to release yet another vaccine, this time protecting animals from COVID) and, worse, the country which created the best vaccine on the planet – this is a PR disaster for the West and there is nothing the West can do to soften the blow. If anything, things are only getting worse as shown by all the coming lockdowns in Europe – contrast that with this photo of happy Lavrov in China wearing a mask with “FCKNG QRNTN” written on it!

But that is not the real reason either, as shown by the fact that the West already hated Putin long before COVID.

The “stolen” Cold War victory

In truth, the West has a very long list of reasons for which to hate Putin and everything Russian, but I believe that there is one reason which trumps them all: the western leaders sincerely believed that they had defeated the USSR in the Cold War (even medals were made to commemorate this event) and following the collapse of the former superpower and the coming to power of a clueless, alcoholic puppet, the triumph of the West was total. At least in appearance. The reality, as always, was much more complicated.

The causes and mechanisms of the collapse of the Soviet Union are not our topic today, so I will just indicate that I believe that the USSR never “collapsed” but that it was deliberately destroyed by the CPSU apparatus which decided to break up the country in order for the Party and Nomenklatura to remain in power, not at the helm of the USSR, but at the helm of the various ex-Soviet republics. Weak leaders and ideologies which nobody really believes in do not inspire people to fight for their rulers. This is why the Russian monarchy collapsed, this is why the masonic democracy of Kerenskii collapsed and this is why the Soviet Union collapsed (this is also one of the most likely reasons for the final collapse of the US as a state).

Putin, who was not very well known in the West or, for that matter, in Russia, came to power and immediately reversed Russia’s course towards the abyss. First, he dealt with the two most urgent threats, the oligarchs and the Wahabi insurrection in the Caucasus. Many Russians, including myself, were absolutely amazed at the speed and determination of his actions. As a result, Putin suddenly found himself one of the most popular leaders in Russian history. Initially, the West went into a kind of shock, then through a process reminiscent of the so-called “Kübler-Ross model” and, finally, the West settled into a russophobic frenzy not seen since the Nazi regime in Germany during WWII.

 

By now, you have all heard it. Here is the official transcript:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under — denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well. And I– the conversation started off, I said, “I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, “We understand one another.” It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, “I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.” I said, “Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.” And looked back and he said, “We understand each other.” Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re– that — don’t expect him to– or her to– voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he’s gonna pay we’ll– you’ll see shortly.

This is truly a historic interview and a watershed moment in US-Russia relations. Let’s deconstruct what is happening here:

“Director of National Intelligence came out with a report”: Ever since 9/11, the US intel community has been under huge pressure to produce not intelligence, but to serve as a kind of criterion of truth, a substitute for any rules of evidence. For example, if tomorrow Biden’s handlers want to accuse Putin of eating newborn babies for breakfast, all they have to do is get the US intel community to produce a report which will say with “great confidence” that it is “highly likely” that Putin does, indeed, like to start his days by snaking on babies. The “logic” here works like this: “since we (the West) are the good guys, our intelligence community is objective, non-political and trustworthy”. QED. And the fact that the history of both the CIA and the FBI prove beyond any reasonable doubt that both of these agencies were totally politicized for decades does not matter. Why? Because the also “objective, non-political and trustworthy” US media says that the intel community must be trusted because it is, you guessed it, “objective, non-political and trustworthy”. Oh the beauty of circular logic….

Next,

“What price must he pay?”. This one is so important that Stephanopoulos asks this twice and Biden “reassures” him twice. The message here is that it is not Stephanopoulos who demands a retaliation, it is the vox populi, the outraged people of the United States. And why would the people of the US hate Putin and Russia and demand retaliation? Why – because the objective, non-political and trustworthy US media fully endorses the claims of the objective, non-political and trustworthy US intel community! How can anybody possibly doubt these two paragons of honesty?! Only a “Putin agent” would doubt their word, right?

Then,

“Putin does not have a soul”. This is pretty pathetic, since Stephanopoulos comes from a Greek Orthodox family he should know that all humans have a soul and to suggest otherwise is, actually, a total and categorical rejection of everything Christianity stands for. It is also a clear case of dehumanization, something which all politicians do before they turn to violence and war. It is unlikely that Biden has any idea what he did or did not tell Putin when they met, but even if we assume that Biden did actually tell Putin that he had no soul, I can just imagine the true amazement (and inner giggle) of Putin hearing that. By the way, the “official” response of Putin was “we understand each other” which makes absolutely no logical sense. So what we have is a basically brain dead pseudo “President” who is programmed by his handlers to tell the US public that Putin has no soul and that Biden told him that face to face. What actual purpose such a statement would pursue is neither asked nor answered.

Finally

“Is Putin a killer”. First, what a fantastically stupid thing to ask. Why? Because this question has no objective meaning unless the context or scope is specified. It could mean “did he commit murder?“, that is illegal manslaughter, a crime under Russian law. Or it could mean “did he, the President of Russia, order Russian special services to kill Litvinenko, Skripal, Navalnyii and others?“. This would be legal under Russian law and, in fact, the Russians have never denied ordering the execution of, say, Wahabi terrorists (both in Russia and outside). That would be a policy decision similar to one the US used to (putatively) execute Osama Bin-Laden or General Soleimani. Finally, that question could also mean “did Putin as the commander in chief of the Russian armed forces order military operations which resulted in the loss of human life, including possible innocent human life?“. This would also be a policy decision which any commander in chief has to make. These are all completely different questions, but for micro-brains like Stephanopoulos or Biden, the purpose of questions is not to elicit answers, it is to set an emotional tone, a kind of “mental background” which Orwell very aptly called the “two minutes of hate“.

Yes, all of the above is completely unprecedented: not even in the worst hours of the Cold War did western politicians use that kind of language. What we witness today is not only truly extremely dangerous, it is also the end of diplomacy. Yes, I know, ever since the Obama administration, US “diplomats” were mostly unprofessional political appointees with a fantastically low level of education, fully compensated by an fantastically high level of arrogance and hypocrisy. But while the likes of Psaki would spew any idiocy imaginable, US Presidents have never sunk to the level of Biden.

You might wonder what the Russian reaction to all that is?

First, the Russian media immediately picked up on this and posted key excerpts of this interview with Russian voice-over, as did the Russian Internet. The goal here is simple: to show each and every Russian how much the West hates Russia and everything Russia. Furthermore, it does not take a genius to understand the implications of the combination of the two following two facts:

  1. Putin is by far the most popular Russian politician, at least since Stalin
  2. The West sees Putin as some kind of devil incarnate
  3. Ergo: the West hates all the Russian people for regularly voting for Putin

Simple and quite undeniable. In fact, an increasing number of Russians are saying “we are the Jews of the 21st century” and, frankly, I cannot disagree with this. The big difference here is that 20th century Jews did not have thousands of nuclear weapons to defend themselves. Russians do.

 

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled “The Ukraine’s Many Ticking Time Bombs” in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.

First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a “war retardant”. Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.

The issue of the Minsk Agreements brought to the fore the truly breathtaking hypocrisy of the West: even though Russia never was a party of these agreements (Russia signed them as a guarantor, not as a party), the West chose to blame Russia for “not implementing” these agreements, that in spite of the fact that everybody knew that it was the Ukraine which, for fear of the various Neonazis movements, simply could not implement these agreements. This kind of “in your face” hypocrisy by the West had a tremendous impact on the internal Russian political scene which, in turn, greatly strengthened the position of those in Russia who never believed that a negotiated solution was possible in the first place. In that sense, these agreements represented a major victory for the Kremlin as it forced the West to show the full depth of its moral depravity.

Second, it is pretty obvious that the “Biden” administration is a who’s who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.

Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:

Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR.

This is all happening while Zelenskii’s popularity is in free fall. Actually, not only his. Think of it: Biden stole the election in the US and has to deal with 70 million “deplorables” while the EU leaders are all facing many extremely severe crises (immigration, crime, COVID lockdowns, Woke ideology, etc.). The truth is that they all desperately need some kind of “distraction” to keep their public opinion from focusing on the real issues facing the western societies.

What could such a “distraction” look like?

Phase one: the trigger

The Ukraine is unlikely to simply attack the Donbass. Kiev needs to stick to the “we are the victim of the aggressor-country” narrative. However, if past behavior is one of the best predictors of future behavior, we can immediately see what is likely to happen.

Remember how three Ukrainian Navy vessels tried to force their way under the Crimean bridge? What about the Ukrainian terrorist groups which Kiev tried to infiltrate into Crimea? And, finally, there are the many terrorist attacks executed by Ukrainian special forces inside Novorussia. The truth is that the Ukrainian special services (SBU and military) have been conducting reconnaissance diversionary operations in the Donbass, in Crimea and even in Russia.

Right now, both sides (Kiev and the LDNR) have officially declared that they have given the authorization to their forces to respond to any provocations or incoming fire. Just imagine how easy it is for either side to organize some kind of provocation, then claim to be under attack and to declare that “we had to defend ourselves against the aggressor”.

Therefore, the most likely scenario is some kind of Ukrainian provocation followed by a “defensive counter-attack” by the Ukrainian military.

Phase two: the attack

Over the past years, the Ukrainian military has received a great deal of assistance from the West, both in terms of equipment/money and in terms of training. Furthermore, in numerical terms, the Ukrainian military is much bigger than the combined forces of the LDNR. However, it would be a mistake to assume that the LDNR forces were just sitting on their laurels and not working really hard to achieve a qualitative jump in their capabilities.

The Ukrainian government is working on yet another mobilization (there were many such waves of mobilization in the past, none of them really successful), and considering the chaos in the country, it is unlikely to go better than the previous ones. If we want to do some “bean counting”, we can say that Kiev could theoretically mobilize about 300,000 soldiers while the standing LDNR forces number approximately 30,000 soliders (these are standing forces before mobilization). However, we must take into account that the Ukrainian forces are mostly conscripts whereas the LDNR forces are 100% professional volunteers fighting for their own land and in defense of their own families and friends. This makes a huge difference!

Besides, like all “bean counting”, this purely numerical comparison completely misses the point. That point is that the LDNR forces are much better trained, equipped, commanded and motivated. Furthermore, the LDNR forces have had years to prepare for an Ukronazi attack, In fact, both sides of the line of contact are now heavily fortified. Yet, and in spite of all this, the LDNR suffers from a huge weakness: no strategic (or even operational) depth. Worse, the city of Donetsk is quite literally on the front line.

Could the Ukrainian forces “punch through” the LDNR defenses? I would say that this is not impossible, and “not impossible” is serious enough to warrant a lot of preparations by the Russian armed forces to quickly intervene and stop any such breakthrough by the Ukrainian forces. Does the Russian military have the means to stop such an attack?

Yes, absolutely. First, all of the LDNR is literally right across the Russian border, which means that pretty much any Russian weapons system can “reach” not only into the LDNR, but even throughout the Ukrainian tactical, operational and even strategic depth. Russia can also deploy a classical Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) “cupola” over the LDNR using a mix of air defense and electronic warfare systems. Russian rockets and artillery systems can be used not only as counter-battery fire, but also to destroy attacking Ukrainian subunits. Finally, the Russian forces in Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet can also be engaged if needed. As for Russian coastal defense systems (Bal and Bastion), they can “lock” the entire Black Sea.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Joe Biden, Russia, Ukraine 
Indicators of the Coming American Collapse

This is the third book by Andrei Martyanov that I am reviewing, the first one was “Book Review – Losing Military Supremacy: the Myopia of American Strategic Planning by Andrei Martyanov”, while the second one was “Book Review: Andrei Martyanov’s The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs”. I also interviewed Andrei about this second volume here. The book I am reviewing today, “Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse” can be pre-ordered from Clarity Press here and from Amazon here.

If the first two volumes mostly focused on issues of force planning and military power, this third volume addresses the wider context and shows example after example that the United States is not only failing at its attempts to remain a world hegemon, but the US is, in fact, in a process we could call “full-spectrum collapse” or, like Martyanov, simply “disintegration”. Specifically, the book looks into the manifestation of disintegration in the following spheres:

  1. Consumption
  2. Affluenza
  3. Geoeconomics
  4. Energy
  5. Making Things
  6. Western Elites
  7. Losing the Arms Race
  8. Empire Über Alles – Including Americans
  9. To Be or Not To Be
  10. Conclusion: Not Exceptional, Not Free, Not Prosperous – Not America?

These are tantalizing subject headings which I will not further describe because I really want to really encourage as many people as possible to read this book. Why?

Mainly because while Martyanov’s first two books were dealing primarily with military and geostrategic issues, this one goes much wider and looks at the wider socio-cultural reasons which create the context for such a dramatic lack of real military capabilities.

A month ago I wrote an article I called “Zone B Exists, Thus There Is Hope, I Promise You!” in which I tried to show that the pseudo “reality” in which most people in the West are artificially kept in by the most effective (and insidious) propaganda machine in history is not the “real reality” at all! Not only that, but that most of the planet has been living in “Zone B” for quite a while. In fact, this “Zone B” has already moved on, even if the legacy ziomedia never reports about this.

Well, you can think of Martyanov’s books like the perfect example of a “Zone B book”: not only does Martyanov debunk most of the myths of the US propaganda machine, he contrasts these delusions with examples from the real world.

You could buy only one or two of Martyanov’s books, and each of them stands on its own, but I really think of them as a trilogy which should be read and discussed by as many people in the West as possible. In fact, you could think of them as each a kind of “crash course on debunking delusions and returning to reality”. The overarching message of all three volumes is this: “People of the United States, your ruling elites are lying to you just like the chamber orchestra on the Titanic that was playing music while the supposedly “unsinkable” Titanic was sinking!”.

Interestingly, Martyanov adds that, of all nations, Russians understand these processes better than anybody else because they they too suffered the same fate during the “democratic nightmare of the 1990s” (I would add that descendents of White Russians like myself also remember the “democratic nightmare” under Kerenskii in 1917). Martyanov writes:

“The collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic catastrophe which followed taught Russians a lot, and also left an aftertaste of the humiliation of losing power – a process the United States is going through right now”

Truth be told, Martyanov is hardly the first person to have mentioned the uncanny similarities between the Soviet Union of the late 80s, or the Russia of the 90s, with the US of the last two decades (or more). For example, Martyanov mentions Dmitry Orlov whose many books have looked into what he calls the “stages of collapse” (financial, economic, political, social, cultural and, later, he added ecological) and have became a precious analytical tool for many researchers. Many decades earlier, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom Martyanov intensely dislikes, also often mentioned that the West of the 80s reminded him of the Russia of the early 20th century. This is just to illustrate Martyanov’s point that,

“Speaking in layman’s terms, the Russians get it. They, unlike any other people in the world, can relate to what the United States is going through right now. Russians can read the signs extremely well, while the U.S. elite not only has no experience with it, but is completely insulated from understanding it. This is America’s tragedy unfolding before our very eyes. Not only is America’s crisis systemic, but its elites are uncultured, badly educated and mesmerized by decades of their own propaganda, which in the end, they accept as a reality”

I couldn’t agree more. I would also add that those Russians who write books and articles desperately trying to warn the people of the US of real catastrophe taking place do that not because they are hostile to the United States, but precisely because they are sympathetic to the people of the US. The flag-waving pseudo-patriots who accuse these Russians of being “anti-American” simply don’t understand the “evil Russians” they hate so much (mostly because modern Russia under Putin has been fantastically successful, in spite of sanctions, threats, subversion, etc., while the US is in agony – that is why these folks are willing to believe anything bad, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about Russia and/or Putin).

Yes, of course, Russians hate and despise the US ruling Nomenklatura, just as they despised their own, Soviet, Nomenklatura. But that in no way implies what many mistake for “anti-American” hostility.