Belarus Sitrep 4

Lukashenko’s situation has stabilized – key observation is that siloviks are still not peeling away – while the crowds remain, large and peaceful but leaderless. So we’re now at a stalemate.

  • Overall, I am again increasingly confident (>50%) that Lukashenko will survive as President this year. The pro-regime rallies in places like Gomel have been respectable, if nothing on the scale of the opposition rallies in Minsk. Lukashenko has given out medals to 300 siloviks, and one can safely assume that they came with extras in the envelope. Certainly buying off these folks is critical, now that the EU has committed to levying targeted sanctions against regime stalwarts. The authorities in Grodno, the most oppositionist and “Polonized” big city in Belarus, have moved away from their accommodations with the protesters, again declaring large gatherings illegal.

  • FSB airplane used by its director Bortnikov flew to Minsk yesterday and stayed there for a few hours. We can speculate what happened there and whether he was on board but this will remain speculation.

  • There are various rumors floating all over the place, from unmarked Russian military vehicles entering Belarus to state TV getting replaced by body doubles from Russia. Most of this strikes me as quite ridiculous. While there is a distinct and undeniable shift towards “pro-Russian” rhetoric from Lukashenko – which he pursues in tandem with painting the entire opposition as NATO flunkies – it is worth noting that that the key “crypto-Atlanticist” in his administration, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, has been re-appointed into his role in the new Cabinet.

  • The (not so well) hidden radical zmagarist part of the Belarusian opposition platform, which was uncovered by sleuthing Russians around August 15 (and popularized by myself in English) has been disavowed by the opposition.

Russia is an important foreign policy and economic partner for [Belarus],” she said, pledging that the opposition would respect “all existing agreements (including the ‘Union State’ treaty and the mutual defense alliance via the CTSO).” Kolesnikova added that Lukashenko’s ongoing tensions with Moscow were proof of his unsuitability to lead Belarus, and promised that the opposition is ready to “build mutually beneficial relations” with Russia.

  • Meanwhile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has met up with BHL, a figurehead for color revolutionists and jihadists across the world. An ill considered photo op is the best interpretation.

https://twitter.com/BHL/status/1296117234545438721

Fawned over by Westernists, powerless in her own country, she increasingly gives off Guaido vibes.

  • Agent of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau has confirmed that the Wagner detentions in Belarus were the result of a Ukrainian intel ops (as deduced by the FSB). The plan was to lure them with fake job offers to Venezuela via Minsk and Turkey, and nab the passenger plane while it was over Ukrainian airspace. However, he also says that it was not related to the events in Belarus.

  • Form a few days ago: Journalistic account of anti-Lukashenko worker at Minsk Tractor Works. Admin told them nobody would be fired for taking part.

As I said, wouldn’t have worked in privatized factory, where losses can’t be written off to state budget.

Anyhow, worker in question says that after Lukashenko overthrown, the factory can be privatized & new management will double salaries & make workers shareholders. Seems rather naive, to put it mildly. But it’s worth noting that views like this would make up a significant strain of opposition to Lukashenko, not so principled opposition to the dictatorship, let alone narrow zmagarist ideological obsessions revolving around distancing from Russia.


I am no longer tracking the Belarus situation as I was a couple of days ago so there may be some important developments I have missed. Let us know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Felix Keverich says

    Arguably, survival of Lukashenka is the worst possible outcome from the perspective of Russian interests. He is going to appease zmagars afterwards, and Russia will be expected to subsidize the whole thing, lest we “lose” Belarus. Then, 5 years from now there will be another political crisis, and zmagars will be in an even stronger position.

    What we need is continued political escalation, followed by economic meltdown, leading to a meltdown of state. Russia needs to stop propping up this post-Soviet Bantustan and let it fail. Then we might be able to scavenge something from its carcass. Otherwise, we are probably going to lose it all in Belarus including our money. Long-term trends in the country favor zmagars.

  3. Thulean Friend says

    Likely driven by German pragmatism. What is the EU’s gain by getting a foothold in Belarus? The status quo – where Belarussians run to the EU and the place gets depopulated by Russia gets to foot the bill – works just fine. Why change a winning formula?

  4. Hey Anatoly, the struggle is following your “optimal scenario”, where Batka survives weakened and depending on a lifeline from Russia. What follows? A creeping de-facto but not de-jure integration into the Russosphere and a stealth transition period aimed at placing a Siberian candidate there.

  5. Given the distinct Sorosian cast of the “opposition” I hope AK is right. But I’m going to be contrarian and stick with my 2/3 chance Shank gets the shiv. His offer of new elections and constitutional reform is the deciding factor for me. Historically this seems like a kiss of death for most strongmen.

  6. You have to pay attention to the rest of rhetoric.

    If he takes a step back and offers something up but then gives no details it is worth nothing. Usually in these situations there are clarifications questions. And if the victim is weak he continues to backpedal and promise more. Here they didn’t even bother trying to clarify because they know he is playing them and has his own trap set up. My guess is buying time by stirring up confusions.

  7. …Why change a winning formula?

    Because that’s what they do, leopard doesn’t change his spots. They changed the winning formula in Ukraine and ended up worse, but that’s what they do. This is not about strategy, it’s about day-to-day careers, little emotional highs, and above all money – they are funded to do this, so they will.

    It is also a great way to separate the loyal from potentially unreliable, a public kiss of boss’s ring. Some just touch the ring out of duty, others slobber all over it and kiss everything in sight – again, looking at you Poland and the Balts, you never disappoint, I can’t even speculate what you might be willing to do for BHL, it’s an ugly world out there.

  8. Meanwhile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has met up with BHL, a figurehead for color revolutionists and jihadists across the world. An ill considered photo op is the best interpretation.

    I hope she negotiated a good premium for Belarusian slaves over Lybian slaves on the North African markets. This guy can hook you up.

  9. AnonFromTN says

    For what it’s worth, current Belarus prime minister says that out of ~380,000 factory workers in Belarus fewer than 400 are striking (his expression, Soviet-style, “do not fulfill their duties”). If true, this is even more pathetic loss for the globohomo “opposition” than recent US loss at the UN SC, where only Dominican Republic voted with the US, while even usually obsequious vassals UK and France abstained.

  10. It seems the Russian camp is prevailing in Belarus. Here’s some developments from yesterday.

    State TV is now accusing the US of being behind the opposition leaders. There was nothing of the sort before the alleged Russian media specialists arrived. 2-3 days ago a fat, young Belarusian woman (gives the vibe of someone who’s easy prey for globohomo and feminism) who worked for the state channel – I don’t know in which capacity – was interviewed after, get this, going to her place of work and being denied entry after joining the strike (duh!), where she claimed specialists from Russia were working there now. There are people who feel the hand of Russia in the direction of the state TV as it attempts to catch up to the modern media landscape. I personally believe it, but to what extent is hard to say.

    A former functionary of Babaryko, a popular presidential contender who was arrested and deprived from participating in the election, called on opposition supporters to stay home and negotiate changes with Lukashenko. This is being shown on state TV. Babaryko was from 2000 until 2020, when he resigned to run for president, the “Chairman of the Management Board of Belgazprombank”, a local branch of the Russian Gazprom bank. I don’t know if he’s the Siberian candidate (lol), maybe Russia wants him to be the face of the opposition.

  11. animalogic says

    The EU can afford to sit back, fingers crossed that Lukashenko/Russia makes some mistakes. Given the abortion they helped make of the Ukraine a more publicly “passive” response is probably safer…

  12. Où l’on voit comment la cause des femmes peut ébranler une dictature grotesque et sanguinaire.

    Was Tikhanovskaya particularly active in Belarusian women’s liberation movements?

    Decrying Lukash’s regime as “grotesque and bloodthirsty” sounds a bit off too.

  13. FWIW the Wagner operation by Ukraine’s SBU is described as brilliant by western media:

    https://news.yahoo.com/ukraines-audacious-secret-successfully-scammed-153001630.html

    How Ukraine’s audacious secret service successfully scammed Putin and his mercenaries


    [email protected] (Mitch Prothero)
    August 19, 2020, 8:30 AM PDT

    Ukraine’s intelligence service tricked 32 Russian mercenaries into confessing their roles in the 2014 Donbass war and nearly flying into Ukrainian custody, according to explosive reports from Ukrainian media.

    The Ukrainians invented a fake security contract and extracted confessions from the mercenaries at the job interview, then put them on a flight that would take them from Russia to Belarus, then to Ukraine, the reports said.

    However, the plan fell through at the last minute when the Russians were in Belarus, and the Belarusian secret police arrested the mercenaries instead. They have since been released back to Russia.

    Insider spoke to five current and former intelligence officials and contractors, who largely called the operation “perfect” despite the last-minute breakdown, and “humiliating” for Putin.

    Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    The intelligence world is currently roiled by reports that Ukraine’s intelligence service had tricked 32 Russian mercenaries accused of war crimes into confessing — and almost got them to Ukraine by setting up fake job interviews under the guise of a security contract.

    The allegations were first reported in Ukrainian media on Tuesday evening.

    The reports claim that the Ukrainian intelligence (SBU) operation was designed to convince dozens of Russian mercenaries who had fought in the 2014 Donbass war, between Russia- and Ukraine-backed fighters, to provide verification of their presence in the region. The entire operation began nearly a year ago, the reports said.

    To extract the mercenaries’ confessions and eventually bring them into custody, the SBU created a fake security contract for them, set up fake job interviews, and readied a flight taking them from Moscow to Minsk, then to Istanbul on July 25, the reports said.

    The plan was then for the charter flight, secretly arranged by the SBU, to claim a medical or technical emergency while airborne and divert to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, where the mercenaries could be imprisoned and offered to Russia in a prisoner swap, according to local media.

    But at the last moment the operation was delayed for unknown reasons, and the Belarusian secret police (KGB) arrested the men in a spa outside Minsk, where they were awaiting their rescheduled flight.

    Belarus quietly deported the 32 mercenaries back to Russia over the weekend. Various political factions in Ukraine are now trading blame for what they say was a leak that rumbled the flight to Kyiv and tipped off Belarus, journalist Christo Grozev tweeted.

    Insider spoke to five current and former intelligence officials and contractors, who called the operation “perfect,” and “humiliating” for Russia.

    All five declined to be named but their identities are known to Insider.

    A person who works for a Central European NATO country’s counterintelligence service told Insider that despite the plan’s last-minute breakdown, “this does not change the intelligence operation element at work here, which was absolutely brilliant.”

    This source works undercover and does not have permission to be identified by the media.

    “The only reason these men are not in the dock in Kyiv right now is that it appears — this has not been properly confirmed — that someone in political leadership got cold feet about letting it proceed to its final destination,” the operative said.

    “This will not be lost on Putin or the intelligence officials he’s probably going to fire for this. Operationally it was a humiliating defeat for Russian intelligence even if the flight never arrived.”

    An Italian official called the plan “perfect.”

    “What … rock stars,” a senior Italian law-enforcement official said of the Ukrainian operation.

    “We run small operations like this against [the Sicilian mafia] and [Calabrian] ‘ndrangheta to catch fugitives, but to organize it with this level of detail and keep it a secret from the Russian FSB [security services], while working out of Kyiv, which is obviously a priority collection target for the Russians on a normal day … It’s just perfect tradecraft in the most difficult environment.”

    A retired senior official in British intelligence with extensive experience dealing with Russia said the possibility that the operation would be scuttled at the last second makes sense in light of the political or even military ramifications.

    This person continues to work as a security consultant and asked not to be named in order to speak openly.

    “I am sure the people who planned and executed this apparently perfect mission are furious with their political leaders for not taking it to its conclusion, but this might be a short-sighted view,” the veteran said.

    “The operators did their job perfectly and gave their leadership options,” the source continued. “It’s not necessarily up to the intelligence services to decide if successfully kidnapping 32 Russian citizens — even if it’s legally justified — and infuriating Putin while Russian tanks and troops occupy the eastern part of your nation is the best course.”

    “Here’s a strong argument that the confessions and success of the overall operation are enough of a win to warrant not provoking even more bad blood with Putin.”

    ‘This must vex Putin considerably’

    So far Ukraine has released three confessions of the mercenaries, which contain levels of detail that all five officials agreed would be nearly impossible to fake.

    The evidence released so far includes passports, official Russian military documents proving their service and specialties, and a citation for bravery personally signed by Putin for fighting in Ukraine.
    “The Russians know if these are their guys or not, and if it’s true,” said a Baltic official, who refused to comment further until more details became clear. “My reaction is faking this would require too much effort and there’s almost no payoff here unless it’s true.”

    The latest incident is only the most recent of a series of aggressive operations by Ukraine. In May 2018, the SBU faked the death of a Ukranian journalist targeted by Russia in order to expose the Kremlin’s assassination network.

    The operation, which was successful, was noted at the time for the ruthlessness of the SBU in allowing the journalist’s family to believe he was dead while they arrested the would-be assassins.

    “It’s really quite the intelligence knife fight between Russia and Ukraine these days and Kyiv must feel pretty good about how well they are performing against a much larger foe,” said the Central European source.

    “This must vex Putin considerably considering the resources Russia has poured into controlling Ukraine for centuries,” they added. “The government, police, politics, business, all have extensive Russian intelligence influence and compromises, and yet these guys managed to keep such an aggressive and targeted operation a secret anyway.”

    “Bravo.”

  14. There was a lot of discussion on this site about alternative history where communist revolution didn’t happen and what would Russia look today in that scenario. And revolution and everything that followed is looking like a terrible tragedy for Russia and its people.
    What would Russia/reformed USSR look today if Soviet Union didn’t collapse and was able to go through at least some reform to make it capable to survive and compete to some degree in 21. century? To me it looks like Putin may have a point when he says that break up of USSR was a catastrophe. Yeah, share of Muslims would still have grown, but i think it would be less then now and they would still be a minority. In that scenario there is no demographic crash in the 90’s in Slavic republics so there a lot more Slavic people then are today. Also maybe there is no rise in fertility in Muslim republics (they would still have higher TFR but not by a lot).
    So today USSR would still be a superpower and be probably around 70% Slavic with slowly rising Muslim share.
    Maybe let Uzbekistan go, as it is biggest :).

  15. Felix Keverich says

    This kinda argues against the idea that peaceful coexistence with Ukrainian regime is possible. The regime imagines itself in a state of war with Russia and Russian people, and will continue to try to cause problems (with enthusiastic Western goading and support).

  16. Those Wagner guys were killing Ukrainian citizens in Ukrainian territory. In what world would such an operation by SBU be wrong?

  17. Those are desperate moves by desperate people.

    It looks like Opposition Block/For Life is gaining ground in Ukraine. Their platform is reconciliation with Russia.

    https://m.vz.ru/news/2020/8/21/1056270.html

    Ukrainian polling shows the following levels of support:

    Servant of the People (Zelensky)- 26%
    Opposition Block (Boiko) – 21%
    European Solidarity (Poroshenko) – 12%
    Batkivshina (Timoshenko) – 10%

    Ukraine is slowly but surely drifting in the sane direction. Hence the acts of desperation by anti-Russia crazies.

  18. Haruto Rat says

    FWIW the Wagner operation by Ukraine’s SBU is described as brilliant by western media:

    Hillary’s 2016 campaign was described as brilliant by Western media, too.

  19. Felix Keverich says

    Ukrainian regime brought in Western neo-nazis to kill (former) Ukrainian citizens. It’s a ghoulish and despicable regime. Which is bad enough, but its continued aggressiveness is what makes coexistence impossible imo.

  20. So, the SBU failed to trap the Wagnerites, which are now in Russia but “the operation was successful”. Losers claiming to be winners. LOL

  21. I agree, I was quite impressed when I read about it. I wouldn’t quite call it brilliant because it, erm, didn’t succeed.

    And has probably served Russia’s interests in net terms. (Disposed Luka against Ukraine).

    Another recent operation to kidnap DNR leaders from Russia, also unsuccessful: https://tass.ru/politika/9244137 (edited, wrong link)

    Hopefully Ukraine continues and intensifies these operations to underline the impossibility of peaceful coexistence with the svidomist entity to the kremlins.

  22. Was it? I recall reading only the opposite, but could be wrong.

  23. It wouldn’t be any more “wrong” than a mosquito that decides to take a sip of human blood, nor any more wrong than said human splattering it.

  24. They succeeded in obtaining detailed confessions and Russian military documents. The leak allegedly came from the presidential administration, likely in order to prevent a diplomatic crisis.

    From the article:

    “What … rock stars,” a senior Italian law-enforcement official said of the Ukrainian operation.

    “We run small operations like this against [the Sicilian mafia] and [Calabrian] ‘ndrangheta to catch fugitives, but to organize it with this level of detail and keep it a secret from the Russian FSB [security services], while working out of Kyiv, which is obviously a priority collection target for the Russians on a normal day … It’s just perfect tradecraft in the most difficult environment.

  25. The ceiling for pro-Russian support in Ukraine is in the low 30s (was just under 50 when Ukraine included Crimea and Donbas) so increased support is likely but will not change much.

  26. Doesn’t really mean much, all the other parties differ from it on core positions, so they will be in the position of FN/Le Pen in France, where an anti-nationalist consensus from Far Left to moderate right keeps them permanently locked out of power.

  27. According to their version. Luka appeared to think it was directed against him, and had them arrested; less than a day after, the FSB came out with the claim that it was a Ukrainian psyops (which was ridiculed at the time, but emerged it was true).

    Anyhow, ~95% of Ukraine’s intel resources are directed against Russia, where bang for the buck goes a lot further than Western intel services thanks to Russophones.

    And protecting former mercs from Ukrainian scams probably isn’t a very high priority for Russian intel.

  28. Haruto Rat says

    Well, not everyone did so, but those who did occasionally went to truly ridiculous depths:
    The Long Pointy History Behind Hillary’s Brilliant Logo

  29. AnonFromTN says

    Hillary’s 2016 campaign was described as brilliant by Western media, too.

    We have to admit, it must have been brilliant to get that corrupt mad old hag so far.

  30. Philip Owen says

    So we conclude the SBU is incompetent and the Novorussian leaders were indeed assassinated by the GRU.

  31. AnonFromTN says

    Ukrainians are not fools, they are just very slow on the uptake. It took them six years to figure out what’s going on in Donbass, but many are realizing it now.

    Recent poll (August 2020) of >3,000 respondents:
    1. For special status of Donbass – 32.6%, for acknowledging that Donbass cannot be reintegrated into Ukraine in the foreseeable future – another 23.3%. For keeping the war going – 20.8% (yes, this is a pretty high percentage of idiots, but not as high as globohomo hoped).
    2. For direct talks with Donbass Republics – 50.6%, against – 39.4% (that’s even higher percentage of idiots, but not a majority).

    Looks like “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” is correct.

  32. The West kicked Russia’s ass in Ukraine, which turned from a country that split its sympathies between Russia and the West into a rabid russophobe place. And yeah Russia annexed Crimea but they already had military control of Sevastopol so they didn’t gained much while the annexation is recognized by nobody and will remain a sore point for the foreseeable future.

  33. A smart offer from Ukraine to the Donbas would be “one country two systems, like China + Hong Kong”. But I don’t know if Donbas people are interested in. I think, most of them want “the Crimean path”. In addition, svidos are too rabid to accept such an idea. They just “want to kill sovok scum”.

  34. The main strategic goal for the West was to grab Crimea and get the Russian bases out of there. They accomplished the exact opposite. That is a definition of losing.

    In 2013, Ukraine was half-and-half between Russia and EU, an ideal place to influence, manipulate and score points. By 2015 Ukraine was a Western dependency, costly and volatile with no real strategic value after losing Crimea.

    Going forward, West is saddled with a weak hand in an area where Russia has a natural superiority, that’s simple geography and numbers. Plus Ukraine is very expensive and could become more so if the global economy gets weaker – and West will have to fund it, there will be no sharing the costs with Russia as before.

    Most Western strategists would give a lot to be back in 2013 in Ukraine with a stalemate, low costs and lots of possibilities. Most Ukrainians probably too.

  35. Philip Owen says

    Sebastapol is useless without access through the Bosphorous. That access is useless without long term stability in Syria and the Mediterranean doesn’t do Russia all that much good (protection of grain shipments to Egypt, Jordan and Libiya). A base in Morrocco is required to reach the world ocean. Just holding on to the lease in Sebastapol would have been more than enough. (Novorossiya could have taken the slack anyway). Putin was an idiot.

  36. Crimea is perfectly positioned to control the Black See region, large parts of Middle East and large parts of Southeastern Europe – not just navy, but air power and missiles. There was a zero chance that with Ukraine ‘joining’ Nato Russia could continue leasing Sebastopol – think for God’s sake, some things are beyond obvious. Ukraine w/o Crimea is a bulky, increasingly poor region with few resources and aspirational large population – not something EU needs or wants. With Crimea it would had been a much better deal for the West.

    Nobody attacks grain shipments, the south will need Russia’s grain and also water eventually. Putin played it well, that’s what drives Western strategists mad (maybe you among them).

  37. Philip Owen says

    Ukraine was never joining NATO with its pre invasion demographics. It still isn’t.

  38. Anti-NATO sentiment was once common in the West Europe left. These days, the American Far-Right are basically its only critics.

    Say what you will of geopolitics and demographics, but there is a role for ideology. The establishment and its voters have shown a willingness to bear sacrifices to push the Poz.

    For the price of a few million USD, G. Soros flipped a few county District Attorneys, which rendered several of our cities ungovernable.

    Now imagine what a revitalized NED budget would do under Commissar Harris.

  39. AnonFromTN says

    You got it right. That’s exactly why the imperial elites and shills are still seething about Crimea. First, they are sore that the imperial intelligence agencies (all 17 of them, LOL) knew nothing before the fact. Second, as they say in Russia, Ukraine without Crimea is like a purebred stallion without balls. Third, Crimea is a huge non-sinkable aircraft carrier that controls the whole Black Sea region and far beyond. Crimean artillerists say that if Turkey stupidly closes Bosporus straits to Russia, they are ready to make those straits a lot wider. In addition to all these insults to their masters, Ukies have two more reasons to seethe with impotent anger. One, they lost Crimea without any shots fired. To add insult to injury, >80% of Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea switched sides and signed up for Russian military.

    Besides, Putin got a huge internal boost. His popularity in Russia in 2013 was in low forties, but after he returned Crimea it doubled, shot up to mid-eighties. As they joke in Russia, Obama deserves a medal ‘For the liberation of Crimea” (there was a medal of this name in the USSR in WWII, awarded to those who participated in chasing Nazis out of Crimea).

  40. From the Kremlin’s perspective, the alternative was a humiliating expulsion and a probable second color revolution in Russia itself.

    From the perspective of North American and West Europe nationalists, not so, however. The Russian actions will always be portrayed as aggression by our media. Culturally conservative East Europe is alienated from Russia and more aligned with the liberal West.

    Russia can’t normalize relations with the present government unless the FN and AFD are in government in their respective countries. But the present government’s actions will likely preclude the success of said nationalist parties. It’s what we call a “Catch 22”

    https://www.pewforum.org/2017/05/10/views-on-role-of-russia-in-the-region-and-the-soviet-union/

  41. Ukraine was never joining NATO

    Right, if you say so. In almost all new NATO states in Eastern Europe support for joining NATO was in a minority – and yet it happened. Somehow democratic principles never matter to the West when geopolitical issues are at stake.

    Ukraine was slated to join NATO, or de facto become a NATO ‘associate‘. With all the great things: bases on its territory, military exercises, “2%” spending on US weapons, etc…If you are really so naive after observing the same pattern for 20-25 years, then I can’t help you. Or did one of the ‘leaders’ say that ‘Ukraine is not about to join’? I guess they always tell the truth. You are where you are because you actually believe them. It was very simple: Russia out of Crimea and pretty soon Sebastopol as a NATO base – Russia stopped it, probably saving us all from a nuclear war.

  42. Without Obama’s overreach and incompetence there was no way Crimea would become a part of Russia (again). That’s what makes the Maidan 2014 adventure such a failure for the West. They lost, and it was humiliating. They will be seething for a generation.

    The strategic error was very fundamental: don’t ever leave the success of your plan in enemy’s hands. And never assume that the enemy will simply sit there and do nothing, or play by your ‘rules’. The moment McCain and assorted neo-con and liberal morons started to prance around Kiev, Kremlin sensed an opportunity – I am sure they were salivating. It was almost too easy.

    Obama and his people were like children, staring at their PowerPoint and divvying up the loot in Kiev while losing the main battle. Never forget that when enemy is in sight, so are you.

  43. Boswald Bollocksworth says

    Glad to hear all of this, but surprised the baddies can be so careless as to have that woman meet with a cretin such as Levy. Like…could there be any doubt as to what she represents now?

    Keep Lukashenko weakened but in power…something something something…referendum on reunifying with RF. Key I reckon, is to get Belarussian media pushing a pro-union line, run that op for a few years and maybe you can move public opinion on the matter.

  44. 2%” spending on US weapons

    Most NATO countries don’t meet this requirement.

    The F-35s largest non-US customer was slated to be Turkey. Germany, France and Spain didn’t participate in the program.

    Further, the F-35 and similar programs have what are called “offset agreements” to grease palms.

    bases on its territory

    From Ukraine’s perspective, that is a good thing. Bases represent a transfer of American resources which boosts the local economy.

    It’s bad from the perspective of the American right, because we need military forces on the Southern Borders, not in East Europe.

  45. run that op for a few years and maybe you can move public opinion on the matter.

    Good luck convincing people that EU Development funds and the right to emigrate to higher West Europe wages is somehow a bad thing.

  46. …the right to emigrate to higher West Europe wages is somehow a bad thing.

    Good luck convincing most 5-year olds that unlimited ice cream could be bad for them.

    But seriously, the other side of that equation is that Western Europe has to open up its borders to anyone who aspires to make more money than at home. Roughly, 5 billion people. A billion or so might even decide to come. You should think through these ideas, it’s not a linear world and we don’t get to do whatever we want without consequences.

  47. …Most NATO countries don’t meet this requirement.

    Some do, and even 1.5% for rusting junk is a waste of one’s resources.

    Bases represent a transfer of American resources which boosts the local economy.

    It is make work, and nothing is produced. You are better off simply giving money to the locals to spend.

    Not only the southern border, but also the airports, about 1/3 illegals come to US legally and simply overstay and wait for amnesty. What you need is some minimal order in the society, a way to check ID’s, control on who gets hired, who lives where, very basic civilizational stuff. Unfortunately most ‘libertarian’ conservatives will never understand that. So you will end up with a border guarding a dysfunctional mess with no hope of having a viable society. Maybe that’s why you like the idea of military bases in exotic locals to escape to.

  48. reiner Tor says

    The main strategic goal for the West was to grab Crimea and get the Russian bases out of there. They accomplished the exact opposite. That is a definition of losing.

    The rest of Ukraine turning against Russia was still a strategic defeat for Russia. Some 20-30% of Russian military procurement was sourced from Ukraine, which caused lots of delays to Russian defense programs like the Su-57 or Russian frigates couldn’t be built for a while since they were using Ukrainian engines. In general, the drop in trade between the two countries was an economic cost, though far from insurmountable.

    The other issue was that now in a land war between Russia and NATO Ukraine would likely join in on the side of NATO, so Russian military planners now have to plan with a frontline just a few hundred kilometers from Moscow. NATO air forces using Ukrainian airspace in such a war is a serious possibility, too.

    Of course, such a war is unlikely, but it’s pretty unlikely that all this has no effect on the behavior of countries – there’s always a point in negotiations when people just resort to asking or saying “or else..?” A nuclear war is not always a credible threat and thus it’s not a good development for Russia that its strategic position is deteriorating.

  49. reiner Tor says

    Sebastapol is useless without access through the Bosphorous.

    It’s not the most accurate statement. Russia can threaten the southern flank of NATO from Sevastopol, including Romania and Istanbul.

    That access is useless without long term stability in Syria

    Well, in peacetime Russian ships can use the Bosporus as well as other straits like Gibraltar. For example in the runup to a war the warships could enter the Mediterranean or even the Atlantic and then cause problems there.

    and the Mediterranean doesn’t do Russia all that much good (protection of grain shipments to Egypt, Jordan and Libiya).

    I guess the most usual use cases involve the wars in Syria and Libya.

    A base in Morrocco is required to reach the world ocean.

    Not in peacetime. And how long could such a base survive in a war?

    Just holding on to the lease in Sebastapol would have been more than enough.

    It was impossible with a pro-NATO government in place (and likely staying long term) in Ukraine.

    You also forgot about the issue of Ukraine possibly joining NATO, which is now unlikely due to the ongoing territorial disputes in Crimea and the Donbas.

    Putin was an idiot.

    If getting each of these points wrong makes one an idiot, then it might not be Putin who was the idiot here.

  50. It was impossible with a pro-NATO government in place (and likely staying long term) in Ukraine.

    That is exactly what the Maidanists intended, not recognizing the extension of the lease so that they could force the BSF to leave in the years after the take-over.

    https://abload.de/img/rusm7bkbq.png

  51. reiner Tor says

    Whenever there’s a comment thread about the NATO/Russia conflict or similar (for example on Facebook, where people often use their IRL names and even cities of birth etc.), the most rabid pro-Russian commenters are often Bulgarians. It has always been my impression that Bulgarians usually like Russia a lot. Yet it joined NATO, perhaps because it was sold as part of the package of joining the EU.

    The other tribe of fanatical pro-Russia commenters are Serbs. True, they are unlikely to join NATO in the foreseeable future. But only because a couple decades ago they were bombed by NATO in a war of unprovoked NATO aggression.

    I fail to see how Ukrainian NATO membership was impossible.

    Ukraine is not joining NATO because it has unresolved territorial disputes and an ongoing military conflict, which means that the NATO treaty would need to be bent for this. The fact that it’s not completely off the table even in Washington DC shows how strongly they want it to happen. As to the Ukrainian public, it’d probably have been enough to lure them with promises of EU membership.

  52. The ‘recognized by nobody’ trope is translation for ‘the grapes are sour’.

  53. reiner Tor says

    If Crimea is a “huge non-sinkable aircraft carrier,” then the same is certainly true of the rest of Ukraine, except Ukraine is an even huger unsinkable aircraft carrier. Ukrainian airspace is now usually available for NATO air forces, and even if not, Russian military planners are forced to constantly assume it is.

  54. reiner Tor says

    The issue is that Belarus and Ukraine don’t have 5 billion inhabitants, while these countries joining the West would cause enormous harm to Russia. (Well, it has more or less already happened in the case of Ukraine.)

    Also it will take a long time before the West collapses or becomes truly unattractive relative to Russia.

  55. reiner Tor says

    Most NATO countries don’t meet this requirement.

    The F-35s largest non-US customer was slated to be Turkey. Germany, France and Spain didn’t participate in the program.

    As Beckow pointed out, even a substantial portion of 1.5% is resources available for the American military-industrial complex, pushing down the unit prices of American weapons. Though usually even that 1.5% is mostly spent on weapons from other NATO countries, even 0.1% is exactly 0.1% higher than Russia’s share from our defense budget. And after we bought German weapons, there started to grow an American pressure to buy something from them, too. Which we will, for example American air-to-air missiles (they are admittedly good) and the NASAMS air defense system (also using those very same missiles). We will likely buy American fighter jets in the future despite them being expensive. (We’re not allowed to buy Russian or Chinese, and after some political conflict with Sweden the American jets are the best available option.)

    NATO expansion is certainly making NATO and American military power stronger, even if initially (in the case of Hungary for nearly two decades) it seemed to add nothing to it.

  56. One guy in POlish fringe newspaper (popular amongst the “real conservatives” i.e. fans of monarchy, free market libertarians etc) said that when Belarus will collapse, Poland “naturally” should take over Grodno. I wonder when this will be picked by Łukaszenko as an example of evil Polish forces plotting to recover marshes of Belarus…

    Though it would be nice if my ancestral lands would return to the mortheland 😀 I’ve never been in my family’s estates there. Some of my cousins still live in Belarus, but about half of them are already Russified.

  57. Putin was an idiot.

    He also remains in power, something that would not be assured had he followed your no doubt extremely benevolent “advice.” https://www.unz.com/akarlin/what-if-no-crimea/

  58. Ukraine was never joining NATO with its pre invasion demographics.

    This is another stupid myth. Bulgarians were against NATO membership. Opinion even in the Visegrad nations was neutral on NATO, probably negative in some (Slovakia). They joined anyway because (1) elites were for it; (2) EU membership has been functionally bound up with NATO expansion since the 1990s; (3) NATO membership is only 10th or 20th on the list of voter preferences, i.e. it is not something that politicians actually have to contend with – unlike the economy, crime, etc.

  59. His popularity in Russia in 2013 was in low forties, but after he returned Crimea it doubled, shot up to mid-eighties.

    Not quite, it was in low 60%’s, it shot up to low 80%’s as you say.

  60. Poland got both Bielsk (plurality Ukrainian in 1897) and Belostok (50/50 split between Russians-Belorussians and Poles), so I think overall you did quite well in the exchange. The Poles were very much decided minorities in all the current lands within Belarus so far as I’m aware.

  61. Swedish Family says
  62. reiner Tor says

    Is this real? It’d be hilarious if it was, though I refuse to believe in it and instead I think it’s photoshopped.

  63. Its equivalent to a pro-US government being overthrown in Canada, followed by a US sponsored uprising in Canada which fails, and the US only walks away with Newfoundland. The rather conservative Prairie Provinces (Donbass) are partly occupied by Pro-US forces, but then disavowed by Washington.

    The resulting Canadian government, in the most culturally similar country to the US (Russia/Ukraine) is now fanatically pro-China.

  64. Swedish Family says

    “…Why change a winning formula?”

    Because that’s what they do, leopard doesn’t change his spots. They changed the winning formula in Ukraine and ended up worse, but that’s what they do. This is not about strategy, it’s about day-to-day careers, little emotional highs, and above all money – they are funded to do this, so they will.

    Yes. Woke liberalism is all the modern West can do. Any deviation from that, even in the name of pragmatism, will come under attack from the rank and file, or at any rate be awkwardly carried out. Spandrell had a good take on this back in June:

    The West could gear its propaganda to destabilize China in more efficient ways, but it just *must* do Globohomo, which is just not that attractive to people in China. They’d do much better by agitating Han chauvinism, but they can’t. The West *is* Globohomo so it only does that.

    Unless you understand that institutions have a life of its own and can’t just change track at will, even if they would benefit from it, you are not a serious thinker.

  65. After WW2 it would be hard to fairly divide the land, without leaving exclaves, among the national lines, and I do not think the data before WW1 should be used when thinking about postWW2 situation.

    But in Belarus Poles even now are quite numerous regions near border with Lithuania (max 80% in Woronów county, 25% overall for Grodno area) after 200 thousands were expelled after WW2 (my family included) and 100 thousands in 1955/56 (my distant cousins, no contact with them). Oficially less than 300 thousands are left, but as I say – half of my cousins in Belarus no longer consider themselves Poles.

    But seriously, only some fringe nuts would consider the possibility of taking the area even if it would be realistic. A lot of problems and no gains. Despite this journalist article, the “far right” is rather unanimously adopting “hands off Belarus” approach. Especially when it seem that the funds which Morawiecki was boasting he was able to “secure” for supporting Democracy in Belarus will most likely go to the leftists and progressives.

  66. Kent Nationalist says

    I read speculation recently that the EU is very soft on Borisov because they think that any replacement would be closer to Russia

  67. Agree with everything (including from your other post) but this:

    You also forgot about the issue of Ukraine possibly joining NATO, which is now unlikely due to the ongoing territorial disputes in Crimea and the Donbas.

    If NATO membership for Ukraine were really on the table or on the verge of getting through, either this rule would be ignored (see: IMF lending to Ukraine despite unresolved $3 billion dollar debt to Russia- I remember some Russians gloating that this debt would prevent any loans, they were wrong) or Ukraine would formally renounce claims, perhaps the day of the ascension vote.

  68. What were the poll numbers in Bulgaria? In pre-2014 Ukraine, with Donbas and Crimea, poll numbers consistently had anti-NATO at least twice as popular as pro-NATO. Now it’s around 45% for, 35% anti (easy NATO win in a referendum).

  69. Philip Owen says

    Britain came closest to defeat in WWII precisely because of attacks on grain shipments.

  70. Philip Owen says

    And somehow Newfoundland is a strategic victory.

  71. AnonFromTN says

    Russia can’t normalize relations with the present government

    That sounds like “you cannot counteract gravity”. Basically, Russia did not lose more than it already lost. In that sense Crimea was virtually free. There were a few clear wins. Russia returned Crimea to the delight of at least 90% of Crimean population. Russia gained a strategic position controlling Black Sea and more. Russia humiliated imperial puppets in Kiev, and thereby indirectly their puppet masters. All for the price of enemies remaining enemies.

    As to relations, the sanctions of the Empire and its vassals did a world of good to Russian economy. They stimulated domestic agriculture and industry more than Russian government managed in the preceding 14 years.

    If you want to look long term, recall Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Even the stink has mostly died down since 2008, while the chances of Georgia reclaiming those territories changed from none at all to zero. The same would be with Crimea.

  72. Oficially less than 300 thousands are left, but as I say – half of my cousins in Belarus no longer consider themselves Poles.

    Sure. And it goes both ways, I would think. A Russian friend who was once in Białystok noted that there are numerous Orthodox services, with the language used being Russian. He says the priests can be considered Polonized Belorussians. This would make sense, given the area’s pre-war demographics.

  73. AnonFromTN says

    If Crimea is a “huge non-sinkable aircraft carrier,” then the same is certainly true of the rest of Ukraine,

    I am not saying that the Empire did not win some by taking over Ukraine and converting it to Banderstan. My point was that it meant to steal a dollar and ended up with a dime. It’s still loot, but a lot less valuable.

    However, the imperial elites made good use of Banderstan. It became a huge money laundering operation. Many Dem big shots (including now senile Biden and his family) managed to steal hundreds of millions, some maybe even billions, of the US taxpayer money via “aid” and “credits” to Banderstan.

  74. AnonFromTN says

    Not quite, it was in low 60%’s, it shot up to low 80%’s as you say.

    You might be right. My impression was that after Bolotnaya his support dropped to below 50%. However, this was pure quesstimate.

  75. This assumes that those calculations wouldn’t have changed had Russia signaling weakness and lack of resolve by quietly letting itself be ejected from Ukraine. The neocons could have concluded that Russia really was the purely materialistic kleptocracy of their own propaganda and could be pushed around heedlessly. And, most likely, they would have been correct to do so, had Russia actually acted that way.

    In support of this position, I would note that NATO’s creeping advance towards Georgia only got halted when Russia smacked it around the head in 2008.

  76. AltanBakshi says

    Woke liberalism is all the modern West can do. Any deviation from that, even in the name of pragmatism, will come under attack from the rank and file, or at any rate be awkwardly carried out.

    I disagree, what about Ukrainian far right thugs and groups, Western media has been almost completely silent on the topic. In my opinion Western establishment has perfected the manipulation and using of far right groupts to serve its interests, of course after particular country is securely under the Western hegemony those groups are quickly discarded. Actually Nato has a long history of using and coopting of far right groups. Check out the Operation Gladio.

  77. I don’t know, but I will confidently bet that anti-NATO had a plurality if not a majority, perhaps Spisarevski can chime in.

    I think the critical consideration is that it’s just not that high on voter’s priority lists.

    So, if a pro-NATO positions enjoys broad approval across the elites (who tend to be Atlantic-tilted per se), it doesn’t matter what the proles think anyway. Since the proles don’t think too much about it anyhow.

  78. I am going by Levada figures for all of Russia. Below 50% – sure, in Moscow – at that time the epicenter of oppositionism – but most nowhere else.

  79. Philip Owen says

    OK. It depends on your frame of reference.

    If the objective is to maximise the long term happiness/contenment of the Russian people, Putin was an idiot.

    If the objective is to stay in power yourself and reward your mates whatever the consequences then Putin did the right thing.

    Russia was not a passive victim whose hand was forced in this. Glazaeyev triggered the whole Maidan process with a blockade on trade with Ukraine. 12 August 2013 and thereafter parts of which never stopped. The proximate cause was Ukrainian large diameter pipes made by a new factory owned by Pinchuk outselling Russian pipes on price and quality. Pinchuk also being an advocate, having switched sides, of Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU. The blockade, an impulsive, vindictive, personalised act of war set off the landslide.

    I used to be a fan of Putin. I made excuses for him but since 2012 he has diluted his original objective which was to make life better for the Russian people with grandiose nationalism and paranoia. His grip is failing on domestic programs too. He cannot implement the National Programmes effectively, partly because he trusts Yes Men like Glazaeyev. The SJ100s are coming home to roost. Putin and his flatterers are now more liability than asset.

  80. And in the process the US manages to alienate all other Protestants in the Anglosphere, and Texas (Belarus) starts making moves to become independent.

    Canada has problems with the pro-China, “Wolf Warrior” militias that sprang up to put down the Prairie rednecks.

  81. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/09/nato-is-seen-favorably-in-many-member-countries-but-almost-half-of-americans-say-it-does-too-little/

    From Question 4, only about 5% of Americans took the Anti-NATO position, which roughly equates to the level of the US electorate that is “Far-Right”. (about 20% answer, Very conservative, which is not the same).

    23% of Americans had an unfavorable view of NATO, but that’s legacy anti-war sentiment on the left and a (Correct) belief on the Right that it exists as a US subsidy of spiteful Europeans.

  82. reiner Tor says

    The blockade, an impulsive, vindictive, personalised act of war

    A few days or a week ago you were arguing that one of the West’s options was to blockade Russian ports. Which would really be an act of war. The Russian measures against Ukraine were a far cry from a blockade, basically just import restrictions.

  83. Sure, Russia showing it fights back makes NATO more leery about accepting Ukraine.* My point was that the current status (unresolved conflict, territorial dispute) itself wouldn’t prevent membership. The West isn’t going to let Russia use its own rules against itself, as it didn’t with respect to IMF loans. That is, the legal status and rules aren’t going to prevent anything, it will depend on what they think Russia will do.

    *although Ukraine has a large land border with NATO and is not somewhere in the Caucasus so comparisons with Georgian are not completely on point.

  84. The far-right in developed countries mostly functions as a demon to rally against.

    Of course, most far-right supporters don’t get that they are the dupe.

    East Europe is a non-core region, so it isn’t thought policed that heavily. The far-right’s utility was in providing militiamen, its electoral impact has been almost nil for 10 years.

    In the West, however, it is left wing militias that function as the establishment’s shock troops. An-coms in Portland and Seattle are attempting to duplicate the hybrid warfare used during the Kiev uprising.

    Neoliberals are already starting to roll some of these people up, so confident they are that they will seize power in November.

  85. AltanBakshi says

    I really cant express how stupid and forced your analogies are! Yep Roosevelt was the Stalin of the USA, and big deal was their revolution, when by the way Nato collapsed and Episcopal American monarch was shot by the Cuban riflemen?

  86. reiner Tor says

    The West isn’t going to let Russia use its own rules against itself

    In the case of the NATO expansion it’s not really about “using the West’s own rules against itself,” because the rule simply means that the West is not going to join an ongoing conflict. Basically Ukraine joining NATO would equal to a NATO declaration of war against Russia. (Though Russia has signaled anyway that it would consider it a declaration of war anyway.)

    Perhaps Ukraine renouncing those areas would work, but Russia could easily just declare that it would consider it a casus belli anyway. I think it’s obvious that Russia’s rulers simply consider Ukrainian NATO membership as something threatening their own rule within Russia, which probably makes them willing to risk a large conflagration over this.

    But assuming it’s not so, Ukraine renouncing its claims to Crimea and the Donbas would make it internationally recognized and thus would perhaps represent an unexpected victory of sorts for Russia. Which is probably why no one is talking or much thinking about it now.

  87. reiner Tor says

    a (Correct) belief on the Right that it exists as a US subsidy of spiteful Europeans.

    It’s obviously not a subsidy. It helps American weapons exports, and European countries have spent resources on helping the Americans fighting their stupid wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Europeans also invariably provide their airspace and air bases on their soil to stupid American wars, even when they are nominally sharply opposed to those wars, like in 2003.

    I fail to see what Europeans received in exchange. We got American “security guarantees” which never needed to be exercised, and then the only power even remotely capable of conquering parts of Europe (Russia) is only motivated to attack because the Americans keep openly disregarding its security interests while calling its president a “thug.”

    You might actually be correct regarding a few European countries like Estonia and Lithuania, for which the American security guarantees might indeed be invaluable. But then these countries are not spiteful at all, they are rather friendly to America.

  88. I don’t know, but I will confidently bet that anti-NATO had a plurality if not a majority, perhaps Spisarevski can chime in

    This may be true, but a slim majority is much different from 2:1 against with a large vehemently anti population in certain regions. Due to local attitudes, NATO membership in old Ukraine was very unlikely.

  89. You’re an idiot, plain and simple. Focusing on short-term wellbeing of Russian plebs and affording them hedonistic pleasures at the cost of geopolitic objectives, national interests and not opposing the Anglo-Atlanticist nexus in its century-long onslaught on Russian Volk, Russian Orthodoxy would open up opportunities to fracture Russia. Since your “quality of life” meme idea would equate to surrendering Crimea, Ukraine and Belarus to anti-Russian sphere in order for Russians to travel to West, import EU cheese and wine and enjoy Globohomo media and NGO content.

    It is quite astonishing to witness the mental and ideological depravity of Westernes who are unable to fathom that there is more to life than enjoying merchandise, consumer goods, vapid hedonism. Especially if one is concerned with preserving heritage, culture and civilization – and Russia is a civilization built upon successfuly opposing West in all its transforming forms – Roman Catholic Crusades, Uniatism, Drang nach Osten, Commonwealth, Napoleon’s united Europe, Anglo-British-Ottoman alliances, Second Reich, Hitler’s united Europe etc.

  90. Bulgarian anti-NATO sentiment is exactly the same as Bulgarian Russophilia – fake, insincere and ghey. How many times do you have to be part of an anti-Russian military alliance bent on eradicating Russia before your “Russophilia” is called out and you are told to fuck off?

    No matter what PR and spin doctors on duty push.

  91. Small difference: grain would be going from Russia, not to Russia. How could that defeat them?

  92. …rest of Ukraine turning against Russia was still a strategic defeat for Russia.

    Yes it was. And losing Crimea was a strategic defeat for the West. Which one was bigger? I think Crimea. So among the losing plays, the Western one was more costly.

    “in a land war between Russia and NATO Ukraine would likely join in on the side of NATO”

    Probably. But there are two very likely consequences: Kiev, Lviv and remaining industrial parts of Ukraine would be devastated, destroyed from air. And a portion of the Ukrainian army would be unreliable fighting against Russia. Any general will tell you that he would rather have a smaller reliable army than a larger with a potential for defection. What percentage of Ukrainian army could you count on 100% in a war with Russia?

    Maidan was not good for anybody (in spite of what AP is claiming). It was a lose-lose-lose, a fatal unravelling that might lead to even worse consequences eventually. Imagine the senile Biden trying to ‘finish the job‘ if he gets elected, we could get some unpleasant fireworks. There is a non-zero chance that if Biden moved NATO troops to Ukraine, or positions missiles few hundred miles from Moscow, we could get a nuclear exchange. Non-zero odds occasionally do happen. Let’s just say, Obama was a complete idiot who couldn’t even do evil stuff well. A waste of air, a verbose sycophant.

  93. …How many times do you have to be part of an anti-Russian military alliance bent on eradicating Russia before your “Russophilia” is called out

    This unfortunately applies to more countries than Bulgaria. It will be hard to walk it back for many countries whose populations are genuinely not that much into ‘fighting Russia!‘, and yet they do it again and again. This will have consequences, and the loud brown-nosing morons will be nowhere to be found, it will be the people there who will bear the consequences.

  94. Res, non verba.

    Besides, I wouldn’t call it unwillingness to fight Russia – it is more of the unfavourable opportunity-risk analysis outcome.

    Which countries do you have in mind?

    There are no actual pro-Russian nations in Europe – a fact which makes NS 1 and 2, Turkish Stream – completely logical moves.

    Serbs count on Russians to achieve Serbian interests, but happily emigrate and live in NATO countries, and emulate Western trends and culture in everyday life. If the USA switched its foreign policy and offered concessions to Serbs, especially if that coincided with US efforts at curbing German/EU influence – the contained Americanophilia cultivated during Titoist Yugoslavia would come to forefront.

  95. …There are no actual pro-Russian nations in Europe

    As there are no actual pro-German, pro-French or pro-British nations in Europe. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

    Serbs…happily emigrate and live in NATO countries, and emulate Western culture in everyday life.

    And so do Russians. This reality is ubiquitous around the world.

    What countries? Well, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czechia, Slovakia, and even Hungary, Austria and Croatia are not historically Russo-phobic. You would be hard pressed in any of them to find more than 20% of population that would actively support a new war against Russia. The elites in most of them are substantially more anti-Russian due to the incentives (West pays) and ideology (most are idiots).

    This is not that different from the situation in the last few hundred years. Russia has never learned how to deal with it rationally, partially because this dichotomy is also present in Russia itself. And partially because Russia lacks discipline and is only occasionally focused on its national self-interest. We will see this time if the memory of elites’ behaviour in Europe lasts, I am not so sure, Russians tend to be irrationally chummy and forgiving. You don’t win that way.

  96. The link isn’t working for me. I suspect I would disagree with Spandrell’s take. I see western liberalism or “globohomo” as a subversive threat. Han chauvinism as a destabilizing force against the Chinese government seems like a right wing fantasy.

  97. Hyperborean says

    The West could gear its propaganda to destabilize China in more efficient ways, but it just *must* do Globohomo, which is just not that attractive to people in China. They’d do much better by agitating Han chauvinism, but they can’t. The West *is* Globohomo so it only does that.

    I agree with EldnahYm. For America to utilise nationalism effectively the enemy nation needs to either have identity cleavages/contradictions (for example, but not necessarily, as a result of being a multinational federation like SFRY or USSR) or other external enemies/objectives that America can also oppose/support.

    Externally, Chinese current, historical or hypothetical enemies are friendly to America like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and India or in the case of Russia, a nation unlikely to turn actively Sinophobic for the foreseeable future without the occurrence of a black swan.

    Internally, on issues like national security like Xinjiang and Tibet and cultural chauvinism, the CCP can always outbid the USA.

    I think encouraging Han chauvinism may have worked in the past when the New China was further in contradistinction to the past customs, but much less likely to work in an era when an attempt to use Han nationalism against the CCP would most likely cause the CCP to embrace ultranationalism and cultural revivalism to cover their flanks.

    *On a more theoretical level, I think the coexistence of Operation Gladio, secret CIA cultural promotion of leftist anti-Soviet figures and support for jihadists and Islamist conservatives in the past and which still exists in an evolved form today serves as a counterpoint.

  98. reiner Tor says

    Booting out Russian bases is easier than NATO membership. And then providing NATO bases (perhaps in the NATO-friendlier parts of the country) would probably also be possible. We’re talking about a post-Maidan Ukraine, led by very much pro-West and anti-Russian people.

  99. Gerard1234 says

    Phillip, this is strong cretinism.

    The proximate cause was Ukrainian large diameter pipes made by a new factory owned by Pinchuk, outselling Russian pipes on price and quality.

    Aren’t you supposed to be a businessman? There are 1000s of products throughout ex USSR, including in non-Kazakhstan central Asia, that are given preferential access to Russian market and investment by Russia ahead of our own products/services . This is because of very strong compatability of these products with logistics/supply chains involving Russian companies, many built up over decades. You can add into this “brotherly peoples” aspect because we all lived together… and straightforward politics as to why Russia chooses not to compete in its own market on some things.
    You then have obvious common sense as to why Eurasian Economic Union was created – formalising and accelerating improvement in the obvious.

    Lukashenko made similar dumb comments about Belorossiyan tractors and Russia being “unable to replace them” . Same thing there – great Soviet legacy, deliberately supported in post-Soviet world by Russian investors and market for 30 years, Luka makes some provocative comments and since then Rostelmash and several other companies have been producing some very good tractors reducing Belarus – made( still considerable but not now absolute in non West part) market share.

    This is why it is idiotically misleading- Russia were the biggest importers of those pipes you dummy, Pinchuk who would be nothing without Russian banks and Soviet infrastructure .

    And yes, of course, Russia should not continue to invest in and import products from corrupt, scumbag, US-controlled oligarchs working against Russia, using russian money. What is wrong with you?
    These were 100% justified and non-vindictive actions by Russia – it was not just Pinchuk but other criminal oligarchs effected- some Poroshenko and Kolomoisky products also were banned from being imported. At the time Yanukovich was liked by Russia not much better than Zelensky is now – he was that bad for RF/ukrop relations. Add in that there was no EU deal, there was an “anti-signing-deal with Russia deal” that Russia wasn’t allowed to be involved in negotiations with. There is no reason this retard association agreement couldn’t have been done anytime 10 years before. As it is, after this “deal” was signed, EU integration and business with Ukraine is literally f**k all now different then to what it is now (LOL)

    set off the landslide

    There was close to zero active euromaidan support in areas that manufactured these (temporarily banned) exports. Also – LOL- this fake protest movement, supposedly anti oligarch-structure of Ukraine…. is angry at the same parasitic oligarchs being punished by Russia! Total nonsense.

    What kick-started this was corrupt US- controlled oligarch scum in Ukraine being made to fear having the ending of criminality from Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and Gusinsky happen to them because of course in Ukraine, they can do whatever filth they want in ukraine and spend on whatever they want in the west under zero pressure …. EEU could have restricted that possibility

  100. reiner Tor says

    It is quite astonishing to witness the mental and ideological depravity of Westernes who are unable to fathom that there is more to life than enjoying merchandise, consumer goods, vapid hedonism.

    It also astonished Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote the following:

    “Der Mensch strebt nicht nach Glück; nur der Engländer tut das”
    (“ Man does not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that.“)

  101. I fail to see what Europeans received in exchange.

    France and Germany notoriously underspend on defense, and instead have higher social spending. Said countries turn around and morally shame American conservatives for not having universal health care and no tuition. (Aside from how the US subsidizes lower drug prices abroad)

    Without NATO, they’d have to spend 2.5%-3% on defense, instead of the 2% they fail to do, and the 1.5% they actually do.

  102. reiner Tor says

    In 1914 hundreds of Bulgarian officers (including several generals) joined the Russian military, regardless of the political stance of the government. Also, the government was anti-Russian because the Russian government favored Serbia in their war just a year earlier. It’s pretty irrational to expect them to be so big Russophiles that they’d support Russia even after Russia supported their enemies in a bloody war just a year earlier.

    In 1941 Bulgaria didn’t join the German war against the USSR, not even nominally.

    In 1868 the Bulgarians were pretty enthusiastic fighting in alliance with Russia, when their interests coincided.

    So it seems that Bulgarians are pretty enthusiastic when their interests are aligned with Russia. And they are slackers when their interests turn them against Russia. This is the manifestation of roughly the maximum extent of friendship between two peoples. It’s your problem if you expect more.

  103. Philip Owen says

    Quite fascist.

  104. Philip Owen says

    Money.

  105. German_reader says

    If Nietzsche had been right about the English of his time, there wouldn’t have been so many volunteers for the Somme or for Bomber Command with its 50% loss rate. The German “nation of shopkeepers” propaganda against Britain was rather mistaken, as Germany discovered to her own detriment.
    But of course that was a long time ago, today there definitely is something extremely wrong with Westerners and their “values” in general.

  106. German_reader says

    France and Germany notoriously underspend on defense, and instead have higher social spending.

    France has an independent nuclear force, you fucking moron, they’re not dependent on protection by the oh so generous Americans.
    As for Germany, we had conscription and hundreds of thousands of men under arms during the Cold war, when there actually was a threat in our neighbourhood. Today there isn’t a direct conventional threat to our territory, and while I’m in favour of some re-armament, the notion that the benevolent US is protecting us, has been out of date for 30 years. US troops in Germany aren’t here to protect Germany, but to use our country as a staging ground for America’s wars wrecking the Middle East (thanks for all the refugees you’ve sent our way!).

  107. Gerard1234 says

    LOL- you know you aren’t in any position to comment on Ukraine as you don’t know anything about it. BS polls don’t hide that fact.

    A war situation, territory with about 1/6th of total population lossed, abject poverty from catastrophic economic collapse…. blamed primarily on one country, manipulation exacerbated by totally compromised oligarch media in Ukraine…. constantly promoting threat of imminant Russian invasion of US-controlled state. Despite all that, NATO support is STILL not even past 50%!!?
    That’s a disaster for them. LOL

    Deliberately not including Zakarpattiya, there is about 9 million people in Banderaland, western Ukraine. 90%+, particularly those inbred, definitely voting to join NATO – so 8 million. About 6 million loss from Krim/DNR/LNR…. taking “official” BS population of Ukraine as 38 million.
    45% supporting NATO is then 17 million. I can’t be bothered factoring children who can’t vote and population loss in general…. so that makes it a laughable 9 million out of 29 million Ukrainians wanting NATO outside of the dumbest, most talentless, dying, sadistic, zero-civil society and useless part of the country. That’s embarrassing for Banderastan but obviously a great thing for humanity.

    Russian-world people are very practical – I know afew in ukraine who are not anti-russian but think Russia was going to be sanctioned by richer west to collapse + SBU terror-state = sensible option to go into EU/NATO institutions

    US went from minimal public support for entering WW2 to absolute support after Pearl Harbour attack……and that’s with absolutely zero chance of Japan invading US mainland.
    For sub-roma (pseudo) banderetard diaspora in North America it must be a distressing to see only 45%.

  108. When a war starts, all paper-electronic-virtual money is useless.

  109. Bulgaria broke the Balkan Alliance in 1913 when they refused to stand by Serbia and Montenegro as Austro-Hungary issued an ultimatum to them regarding Albania, their pet project.

    Bulgarians switched allegiancy already in 1879, installed German monarchs and thereafter were thoroughly pro-German. The short-lasting pro-Russian government was toppled within months by established German favourites.

    Regarding joining the war – neutrality is a meme when one side is planning on eradicating the other and appears to be capable of pulling it off. Tell me – are those who were neutral regarding the Jewish plight under Nazism regarded as pro-Jewish?

    I don’t expect more, I am just pointing towards the ridiculousness of Slavophilia, Orthodox brotherhood and other idiotic sentiments.

  110. But there are ideological pro-Germans (look up Slovenian, Croatian and Bosniak stance and slave mentality regarding Germans and Mitteleuropa), and especially ideological Americanophiles in Europe – just look up all the SJW/Globohomo LARPers, Hollywood excrement and US pop culture consumers.

    Czechia is filled to the brim by Russophobes, why are you denying this? So is Hungary, and this is something that spans both sides of political spectrum. Croatia and Austria? Are you for real?
    Slovakian reluctance is connected to the reality of their location and fate that would befell them in case war – they would get obliterated, no doubt about it.
    Also, the eternal opportunistis and lapdogs like to hedge their bets – cue Czechs and Slovaks and their verbal “neutrality” towards from inside NATO and EU.

  111. Hyperborean says

    Said countries turn around and morally shame American conservatives for not having universal health care and no tuition. (Aside from how the US subsidizes lower drug prices abroad)

    To a significant extent European nations exist merely as constellations around the Liberal American World-Imperium. Neutrality of economics, culture, etc. during the present era is a lie or a best a delusion.

    “Zivilisation” represents the self-conception of Anglo-French life, which, according to Mann, is an extension and perfection of the Latin-Roman self-conception. It is meant to be superficially impressive, on account of its advancements and refinements, but Mann and other Germans who spoke of this opposition viewed it as profoundly morally and culturally corrupt. Zivilisation is rooted in a kind of reflective, rationalist character. Zivilisation conceives of itself in terms of rational, universal ideals, to which it must continually approximate. It’s intensely self-critical, but in all the worst ways, so that it’s self-criticism becomes a kind of arrogance and self-assertion (the universality of its ideals requires that it imperialistically spread and impose them on others, which it cannot tolerate as genuinely different). Zivilisation is also liberal (due to its rationalist character), and tends toward individualism, atomization, and ahistoricity.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/d4jaok/kultur_vs_zivilisation_problem/

    Though the article covers translations of books, it should be obvious that America’s exorbitant privilege also extends to news organs, TV and film production, university education, music, ideological formation, etc.

    Bear in mind a lot of the statistics are old so English will have entrenched itself even more over the decades.

    The international translation system is, first and foremost, a hierarchical structure, with central, semi-peripheral and peripheral languages. Using a simple definition of centrality, one can say that a language is more central in the world-system of translation, when it has a larger share in the total number of translated books world wide. The international figures available unambiguously indicate that English is by far the most central language in the international translation system. More than 40% of all the translated books world wide were around 1980 translated from English (Curwen: 21; Venuti: 14). Over the years, from 1960 to about 1987, this percentage seems to have gone up, despite the fact that the percentage of English books on the total number of books produced world wide has decreased (Mélitz: 36-37). On the European continent the position of English is even more predominant with 50 to about 70% of the published translations being made from English.

    Following the ranking downwards, three languages have a central role, although their share is significantly smaller than that of English: French, German and Russian. Each of these languages
    had a proportion somewhere between 10 and 12% of the international market for translations around the year 1980. It follows from these figures that three quarters of the total number of translated books world wide, were translated from four languages only. The international translation system is thus marked by a very uneven distribution and is firmly dominated by English.

    […]

    The retranslation of translations, indirect or second-hand translation, has become much less common. To a certain extent, however, the phenomenon subsists.Even when the translations themselves are far more often made directly from the original language, the decision to publish a translation from a peripheral language still depends on the existence of their translation in a central language. Literary translations from Spanish into Dutch after the Second World War, for example, had nearly always been preceded by their translation into the one of the central languages. This was particularly the case for the most prominent authors (Borges, Cortázar, García Márquez, Vargas Llosa) who were all translated into French or English before being published in Dutch (Steenmeijer 1989).

    Although their books were translated from Spanish, many signs indicated that the English or French translation had actually served as the example. The choice of the title, the text on the cover, the quoted praise from reviews, all revealed the exemplary role of the English or French translation. Their were only a few cases in which Dutch publishers published a translation prior to their English or French counterparts. But they paradoxically confirm the dominant role of central languages. Not only were these translated authors `minor’ writers, who were discovered by Dutch specialists, but their translations into dutch were not well received, neither by the critics nor by the public. They illustrate, a contrario, that peripheral and semi-peripheral language groups tend to follow the example of the international centres, including what is imported into the centres.

    Much of the international communication about books works in this manner and is dependent on the leading centres of the international system. Once a book is translated into a central language by a authoritative publisher, it immediately catches the attention of publishers in other parts of the globe. The simple fact that an American or English publisher will publish an author from a (semi) peripheral language, is used extensively by the original publisher, because it is the best recommendation for publishers elsewhere to acquire the translation rights. The international recognition of Dutch literature is a good example of the leading role of literary centres in the translation business.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275485831_Towards_a_Sociology_of_Translation_Book_Translation_as_a_Cultural_World-System

  112. It takes all kinds of people, if you look you will find the ones your mind has conjured up.

    Czechia is filled to the brim by Russophobes

    Not really, there is a heavy emotional Russophobe concentration among Prague aspirational intellectuals, but they somehow never manage to win elections. But sure, you will find plenty. Slovaks are more level-headed and it is considered unseemly to question WWII or dump on Russia endlessly. The bottom line is that none of the nations I listed would line up for a war with Russia. They are not reliable, maybe because of the opportunism that you mentioned.

    The Hollywood obsessions and other ideological absurdities they you mention are equally present among Russians of the same class and aspirations. Moscow is filled to the brim with them. Many are even more Russo-phobic than their hapless counterparts in Prague or Budapest. It is like a virus and only seeing it among others is not helpful.

    I agree with you that there are no deep friendships in Eastern Europe and that everyone needs to look out for themselves. I also agree that in general hurts the smaller groups more and that there is a scenario under which there would be a high price to pay. But there are also other scenarios. The real weakness of Russia – if there is one – is in Russia, among Russians. If they can hold it together, what we do or don’t do in the Central European provinces won’t matter much.

  113. Nietzsche was joking about “utilitarian” philosophy that emerged in Jeremy Bentham. He is not writing about English in a literal way or predicting their military behaviour.

    Nietzsche’s comment is kind of witty as a reply to Jeremy Bentham, but without much other content.

    • Across his works, Nietzsche was indeed anglophobic, but it seems more a symptom of his anti-Germanism. He seems to imagine English as some kind of accentuated form of Germans.

    But Nietzsche never even been a day in England, does not know English people, and could not even read accurately in English language.

    So his views on England, are not based in any first hand experience, but from reading English books. In that case, he loved Shakespeare – but has reacted negatively to the subsequent English writers.

    In terms of contemporary English-languages writers, he only admires American writers like Emerson. He hates all the 19th century writers of England.

  114. France has an independent nuclear force, you fucking moron, they’re not dependent on protection by the oh so generous Americans.

    So does Israel. Yet I think few would argue that Israel does not depend on the US.

    That France has nukes does not take away from the fact that they don’t pay their 2%.

    The American bases could be downsized if Europe paid what it is supposed to.

    They won’t, because it forces the politicians to choose from some bad options. Higher taxes, less social spending, and more toleration of social conservatism.

    If our allies paid up, the US military budget could be downsized enough to afford the deleted “public option” from the original Obamacare bill.

  115. especially ideological Americanophiles in Europe – just look up all the SJW/Globohomo LARPers, Hollywood excrement and US pop culture consumers.

    Bluestan is not America.

    The real America, the Redstan, is quite alien from the minds of Europeans, almost as detatched as Africa.

  116. AnonFromTN says

    The real America, the Redstan, is quite alien from the minds of Europeans, almost as detatched as Africa.

    You hit the nail on the head. Real America is normal people you only meet outside of globohomo strongholds like NY or SF, somewhere 10-15 miles off highways. That’s the America I love and respect.

    However, Europe is not all woke shit, ether. Go to small French, Spanish, or Italian towns, and you find perfectly normal people who know that nature made only two genders, that they are served best by worrying about their own countries, and that telling other nations what to do is the downfall of aspiring Empires.

    Woke fraction is just foam, or scum, in every sense of these words.

  117. reiner Tor says

    You are not very smart if you think that France needs a stronger military than it currently has. Against whom? Germany is an ally and with a much weaker military. Even Germany is not much in danger from Russia (the only potential threat), though they could indeed spend more.

    Israel is a small country with a number of much bigger potential adversaries, so not a very good comparison.

  118. reiner Tor says

    Bulgaria had to cut the Turks off from the middle of the Balkan by capturing Thrace. But they most coveted Macedonia (or most of it), but – facing the main Turkish reinforcements – they couldn’t afford to send lots of troops there. So naturally the Serbs did occupy the province, whose population was mostly somewhat closer to Bulgarians than Serbs (not that the two are that distant anyway), and then, contrary to vague promises made before the war, weren’t going to hand it over to Bulgaria. Now Serbia’s point was pretty understandable, but so was Bulgaria’s. The breakdown in the alliance was caused by the too vague agreements made before the war and a natural divergence of interests, not the unilateral perfidy of one or the other. (Actually pretty much most of history is like that.)

    Bulgarians switched allegiancy already in 1879

    Russia also had mostly German monarchs, but Bulgaria was mostly considered a Russian client state until 1913. (By the way Germany was not even pursuing an active foreign policy, which is why it was perceived as largely neutral and it could host the Congress of Berlin and later the Berlin Conference.) Naturally when Russia realized it needed to choose between Bulgaria and Serbia and decided to choose the latter (also they realized they could lure Romania into their orbit by siding against Bulgaria), then the relationship cooled considerably. But still you had the hundreds of Bulgarian officers serving the Tsar after 1914.

    Regarding joining the war – neutrality is a meme when one side is planning on eradicating the other and appears to be capable of pulling it off. Tell me – are those who were neutral regarding the Jewish plight under Nazism regarded as pro-Jewish?

    What do you expect 1941 Bulgaria to do? Especially since even the Serbian leaders decided that joining the Axis was the only viable course of action. But Serbs got nothing from Germany (and later got occupation, territorial losses and mass murder), whereas the Bulgarians got Macedonia and Thrace. So you expect Bulgaria, which could realize its long standing national goals thanks to Germany, to engage in some suicidal war against Germany? Are you a teenager?

  119. reiner Tor says

    That was obviously not true of “the Englishman,” but the thinking did exist and it was centered in the English speaking world. Besides the philosopher to whom he pointed his words, the “pursuit of happiness” was mentioned in a certain document written by some rebellious Englishmen already in the late 18th century.

  120. reiner Tor says

    West in all its transforming forms – Roman Catholic Crusades, Uniatism, Drang nach Osten, Commonwealth, Napoleon’s united Europe, Anglo-British-Ottoman alliances, Second Reich, Hitler’s united Europe etc.

    Your view of the West is pretty simplistic. Also it’s wrong in many respects.

  121. The problem with this reasoning is that the West is not a uniform block. To the extent that, say, Germany does not want the Ukraine in NATO, while the US does, the clause about existing territorial disputes provides it with legal cover to block the Ukraine’s ascension. The way Russia moved strategically, with minimal force both in the Ukraine and Georgia, seems to suggest they take this clause very seriously.

    Not to mention, the way the IMF bent the rules to lend the Ukraine money has opened up a huge can of worms that puts some of the very bedrock of the US-led financial system into doubt. Along with the overuse of economic sanctions, these are continuous inconsistencies that slowly chip away at American geopolitical power.

  122. No, the Balkan Alliance had a clear provision on standing together against Austro-Hungary. Bulgaria declined. Hence – they didn’t get neither the contested lands in North Macedonia, nor the previously agreed upon southern portion of North Macedonia. So, you think Serbia didn’t have better purpose than sending an army to help Bulgarians besiege and take Adrianople?

    Literally – the Bulgarians wanted to have it all AND risk nothing in return. By refusing to stand together as a block against Austro-Hungarian aggression and ultimatum, they nulled the provisions of agreement. As simple as that. However, I am perfectly aware what is the reason behind leaving that very important distinctions out of the official narrative.

    Bulgaria was not considered a Russian client, I don’t know where are you getting that. It had explicitly anti-Russian, pro-German clique in power for decades, with the exception of couple of months of pro-Russian military coup.
    They also single-handedly destroyed the Balkan Alliance, Russian main diplomacy effort, with their refusal to honour the treaty and oppose the Austro-Hungary.

    Since I am apparently being a teenager and do not get the West – point me towards Bulgarian pro-Russian ACTIONS, DECISIONS and Western designs to the benefit of Russian people.
    The argument started because I was pointing out the absurdity of “people opinion” and “NATO popularity”. Russia has only two allies/friends: Russian Army and Russian Navy – always has been that way.
    Calling devout Russian Orthodox Emperors “German” is amusing. By the same logic, how many Magyars/Hungarians are there today?

  123. Simpleguest says

    Agree, although a bolder demonstration of sympathy and support for Russia wouldn’t hurt at all.

    On the contrary, I believe that we are facing an all-out frontal assault on Slavs by the Anglos, in their final attempt to destroy Russia and secure uncontested world domination (Jews are just their sidekicks).

    To stay silent and indifferent in this battle of epic proportions unfolding in front of our own eyes amounts to a crime against Slavic Род.

  124. German_reader says

    Trump will not put U.S. troops in either country.

    LOL. US troops have been in Ukraine for years as military advisers, and your precious Trump has done nothing to scale down that involvement.

    https://www.army.mil/article/230649/red_arrow_soldiers_deployed_in_ukraine_for_multinational_mission

  125. Don’t be silly, I doubt there’s anyone else here who hates Merkel more than German_reader. He’s certainly no SJW. Regardless, the post of yours he responded to is rather naive. Trump has done nothing to repair relations with Russia, and provided arms to the Ukraine, something even Obama refused to do. Now, it can be plausibly argued that Trump was forced into his confrontational stance with Russia by the clown show of US domestic politics, but the results are what they are.

  126. German_reader says

    That’s pretty much how I see it. It’s probably true that Trump is constrained by domestic politics in what he could do for better relations with Russia, given the crazy accusations that he’s a “Russian asset”, but I just don’t see any sign that he’s even genuinely interested in coming to an understanding with Russia. Apart from the military advisers and arms shipments sent to Ukraine, there’s also the strange enthusiasm of the Trump administration for wrecking all existing arms control agreements (INF treaty, now also Open skies treaty and New Start) without even attempting to negotiate replacements. Even if those treaties may have more of a symbolic value, the underlying attitude can’t inspire trust in Russia.

  127. AnonFromTN says

    US troops have been in Ukraine for years as military advisers, and your precious Trump has done nothing to scale down that involvement.

    Military advisors and combat troops are two different cans of worms. In 2008 there were the US military advisors in every Georgian unit. As soon as Russian army emerged from the tunnel that separated it from South Ossetia, Georgian army disintegrated, with solders and officers running away ridiculously fast. However, those advisors ran away towards Azerbaijan border even faster than Georgians. I guess the US combat troops are not as cowardly. Admittedly, I cannot be sure.

  128. German_reader says

    However, those advisors ran away towards Azerbaijan border even faster than Georgians.

    What would have happend, if some of those advisers had been accidentally killed by Russian troops?
    In any case, sending military advisers to another country creates a relationship, one which can then be presented as having created obligations towards the recipient country and which could eventually be expanded (very different scenario of course, but US involvement in Vietnam also began with military advisers). At the very least, Trump has made no attempt to halt or even reverse this development. And given the general drift of his administration (a global right of interference through military strikes and extraterritorial sanctions for the US, wherever US interests or “values” are supposedly threatened, while the US itself is utterly unrestrained by international treaties or agreements), the grounds for a lasting understanding with Russia seem quite limited anyway.

  129. AnonFromTN says

    Agree on most points, except one: you imply that Trump is responsible for the current international banditry of the US. US foreign policy totally disregarding the international law was exactly the same under Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama. The last person who considered that the US is bound by the treaties it signed was Nixon. Maybe that’s why he was forced to resign.

    The chances of current US cabal allowing the relations with Russia to approach anything normal are exactly zero, no matter whether a senile or a non-senile fool is in the WH. I suspect Putin has figured that much.

    What’s more, the US elites, in their utter stupidity, recently started an economic war with China. We are already feeling the consequences: some DNA purification kits that were ostensibly “made in the US” are no longer available, likely because some critical components were actually made in China. Considering the percentage of “made in China” stuff in the US department stores, I am confidently expecting using fig leaves instead of pants and underwear in the near future.

  130. Boldness doesn’t come naturally to my people.

    Another way to look at it is that during the current times of extreme economic, social and cultural pressure from the West, a substantial part of our population – a majority, if you go by election results – is quietly not buying into the scary ‘Russians are coming to mess with your Facebook!!!!‘ narrative. If you have ever observed it in business, a lack of vocal support is simply a disagreement, but with no willingness to argue because the costs would be high.

    “an all-out frontal assault on Slavs by the Anglos…”

    Probably, but that has been true on and off for hundreds of years, with Germans, Turks, French being a part of it. This ‘assault’ is built into the situation: a resource-rich European hinterland with relatively sparse and unambitious population. Of course, you will try to go and get it. In the past there was also a racial-linguistic angle. At this point there is an additional realization by the Western whites that they are losing their homelands due to their own stupidity. They need to do something.

    Subduing the still-European east is an imperative: if they don’t, they will literally become irrelevant in the future. Plus they are allied (by necessity) with their new Paki-African populations who absolutely want to destroy any vestiges of the old Europe. This dynamic is inevitable and the assault will continue. But it is up to us to lose it, they don’t have the strength to obliterate us, only we can do it to us. And Prague intellectuals with their quasi servant, quasi absurdist mentality are at the forefront, they are not serious people. In that you are unfortunately correct.

  131. German_reader says

    Agree on most points, except one: you imply that Trump is responsible for the current international banditry of the US.

    No, I agree that the problem is with pretty much the entire political establishment of the US. It’s just that I find the idea absurd that Trump is somehow secretly battling these “Deep state” elites, that’s just fantasy imo. Everything indicates that Trump is in favour of American global hegemony, completely unrestrained by any treaty obligations. And he’s probably also too stupid and uninformed to think about such issues on any deeper level anyway.

  132. German_reader says

    Trump reversed Obama’s position on regime change in Syria, which is a huge win for Putin/Assad.

    Trump’s administration has put crushing sanctions on Syria which are designed to block any reconstruction efforts:
    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2020-08-17/pointless-cruelty-trumps-new-syria-sanctions

    And of course US troops are still “securing” the oil fields in eastern Syria.

  133. Trump has played a weak hand poorly, so we are where we are. He appointed people who were loudly and openly against his stated policies, why? He scuttled away in fear anytime he was threatened, often by not much more than bad publicity. In the long run that will be his legacy, not what he says or his promises.

    US cabal will not let go off the coming confrontation with Russia. They have no place to go, they have to carry this to the bitter end. If they step back, they will slowly become what Obama said about Russia ‘a regional power‘. That is an unacceptable insult in Washington.

    If the cabal takes over after removing Trump, they will make up with China and possibly also Iran, and focus all fire on Russia. Gradually, half-hearted politicians like Merkel will be replaced with more obedient ones. All countries neighbouring Russia will be brought into it, also in Caucasus and Central Asia. Money will be no object, this is for all marbles. They will find a weak spot and try to rub Russia’s nose in it for psychological effect, maybe Kazakhstan or Armenia. Russia’s only chance is to eventually go tactically nuclear and thus pouring icy cold water over the assault.

    If Trump stays, he will slow it down. But the assault will go on. Trump is weak and he doesn’t fight for what he believes in, if he believes in all that much.

  134. AnonFromTN says

    Your scenario is plausible, but it misses one likely major event: the crash of the dollar. When the US loses the opportunity to print paper that others take as money, all calculations would change. Without that Ponzi scheme the US is at the level of Italy or Spain at best, even if we disregard debt and only consider current economic production.

    I don’t think the Empire would ever wish to make it up with minor players, like Iran, Venezuela, Syria, etc. I also don’t think that Chinese leadership (whoever happens to be at the helm by that time) would trust the Empire an inch. They would negotiate things that are in their direct interests, like trade tariffs, but would not put all their cards on the table.

    Also, whoever goes nuclear, even tactical, ends the world: nuclear war cannot remain limited, it will become all-out. China would be the only big winner of the nuclear war between Russia and the US, but they would also lose a lot. So, I don’t think anyone, even degenerate imperial elites, is suicidal enough to go nuclear first.

  135. Swedish Family says

    Is this real? It’d be hilarious if it was, though I refuse to believe in it and instead I think it’s photoshopped.

    Only did a quick reverse image search, but it seems legit. Here are some more photos from the same session:

    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/mustafa-ali-jaafar-director-bernard-henri-levy-serwan-sabir-news-photo/533028874?irgwc=1&esource=AFF_GI_IR_TinEye_77643&asid=TinEye&cid=GI&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=TinEye&utm_content=77643

  136. Swedish Family says

    Is this real? It’d be hilarious if it was, though I refuse to believe in it and instead I think it’s photoshopped.

    Only did a quick reverse image search, but it seems legit. Here are some more photos from the same session:

    https://gettyimages.68w6.net/c/77643/439295/4202?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gettyimages.com%2Fdetail%2Fnews-photo%2Fmustafa-ali-jaafar-director-bernard-henri-levy-serwan-sabir-news-photo%2F533028874

  137. …one likely major event: the crash of the dollar.

    The scenario was not based on what might happen – I was simply describing what the Washington cabal wants to happen once they are (fully) back in control. I am not sure using a tactical nuclear would lead to an all-out nuclear war. It might, but I can also see how it wouldn’t. In any case, it would be a catastrophe for the eastern parts of Europe.

    The dollar is at this point a make-believe concept – similar to e.g. an ‘Olympic gold medal’. Something we create and assign a value. In that it is different from any natural phenomenon that can be measured and therefore could ‘crash‘. An ‘Olympic gold medal’ (or an Oscar or Nobel medal) do not behave in the same way – they don’t ‘crash’. They are a part of the social hierarchy we live in and over time some might go up and others down – but only when interacting and substituting with others. The dollar could be gradually downgraded and replaced in the process of social and economic change – but something would have to replace it. And is with the Olympics, there are a lot of critics and ideas, but no viable replacements.

    It could go away if the current social hierarchy would collapse – the silly memes like the Olympic gold medals, Oscar prices, corporate shares and virtual money of all kinds. Not just the dollar, but the endless quasi-money that have been created giving people a claim to something real. But we are very far from that kind of collapse. What we are more likely to experience is a continued expansion of virtual money and continued questioning of their value – but we are relatively early in the process. There will not be a ‘dollar crash’ as a deus ex machina solution. We will have to eat the bitter fruit to the end…

  138. AnonFromTN says

    There will not be a ‘dollar crash’ as a deus ex machina solution.

    It won’t be a solution, it would create a lot of problems for everyone, it would be a semi-unexpected natural event, like an avalanche. The US elites, intentionally or unintentionally, do more to undermine the value of the US dollar than Putin and Xi ever could. Right now the US is issuing treasuries for three extra trillion, and, as there are no other takers, FED is buying them itself. You cannot help smelling a rat when someone buys his own freshly issued debt obligations.

    The consequences would be dire for virtually every currency in the world. The only difference would be the speed of recovery. Euro, pound, and yen are toast. The currencies of some countries that have real economies producing tangible things, rather than hot air (called “financial services” in polite society), will likely recover faster, as well as the currencies of countries financially dependent on those. However, things are hard to predict because an economic experiment of this magnitude had never been done so far. We’ll see.

  139. I agree with most of it, esp. the part about nobody doing as much harm to the US reputation and the dollar virtual value as US government. They dropped the rules because the rules no longer benefitted them – elites do that as they lose control. The pretence and the nice story-telling is over.

    But I still think that US and the dollar are in a strong position as things unravel – they are geographically isolated, have actual material resources, and they are still among the safest stores of value one can find. It is a top priority in US to protect ‘property’, it is less so elsewhere, and has no credibility in e.g. China, or even Russia. That matters.

    But we will see. I am enjoying this, as the reality slowly seeps back into our lives there is a lot to observe.