Will the Ukraine be partitioned next and, if so, how?

August 16, 2022

Interesting info today.  First, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has, through the statement of a Colonel General, made the following statement (translated by my friend Andrei Martyanov on his blog): (emphasis added)

Translation: MOSCOW, August 16 – RIA Novosti. Western curators have practically written off the Kyiv regime and are already planning the partition of Ukraine, Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Colonel-General Volodymyr Matveev said at the Moscow Conference on International Security. “Obviously, the West is not concerned about the fate of the Kyiv regime. As can be seen from the information received by the SVR, Western curators have almost written it off and are in full swing developing plans for the division and occupation of at least part of the Ukrainian lands,” he said. However, according to the general, much more is at stake than Ukraine: for Washington and its allies, it is about the fate of the colonial system of world domination.

Just to clarify, the SVR rarely makes public statements and when they do, you can take them to the bank as the SVR is not in the business of “leaks” from “informed sources” and all the rest of the PR nonsense produced by the so-called western “intelligence” agencies (which have now been fully converted to highly politicized propaganda outlets).

The same day I see this article on the RT website: “Western countries waiting for ‘fall of Ukraine’ – Kiev” in which an interesting statement the Ukronazi Foreign Minister is mentioned:

Several countries in the West are waiting for Kiev to surrender and think their problems will immediately solve themselves, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in an interview published on Tuesday.  “I often get asked in interviews and while speaking to other foreign ministers: how long will you last? That’s instead of asking what else could be done to help us defeat Putin in the shortest time possible,” Kuleba said, noting that such questions suggest that everyone “is waiting for us to fall and for their problems to disappear on their own.

Finally, a while ago, Dmitri Medvedev post this “future map of the Ukraine after the war” on his Telegram account.  This maps shows a Ukraine partitioned between her neighbors and a tiny rump Ukraine left in the center.

Now, full disclosure, I have been a proponent of the breakup of the Ukraine into several successor states for a long while now: I gave my reasons for this in my article “The case for the breakup of the Ukraine” written in faraway 2016.

Now, six years later, what are the chances of this happening?

Without making predictions, which is close to impossible right now as there are way too many variables which can dramatically influence the outcome, I want to list a few arguments for and against the likelihood (as opposed to desirability) of such an outcome.

Arguments for the likelihood of this outcome:

  • First, most of the neighbors of the Ukraine would benefit from such an outcome.  Poland would not get the “intermarium” it always dreams about, but it would get back lands which historically belong to Poland and are populated by many Poles.  In this map, Romania would also get a good deal, albeit Moldavia would lose Transnistria, which it had no real chance to ever truly control anyway.  Romania might, therefore, even absorb all of Moldavia.  True, on this map, Hungary gets (almost) nothing, but that is an issue which Hungary must tackle with Poland and Romania, not Russia.
  • Russia might not even oppose such a development, simply because it makes the Ukronazi problem somebody else’s issue.  As long as what is the current Ukraine is fully demilitarized and denazified, Russia will be fine with such an outcome.
  • The rump ex-Banderastan would be so much reduced in size, population and ressources that it would present little to no threat to anybody.  Crucially, the Russians will never allow it to have anything more than a minimal police and internal security force (for at least as long as there remains even *traces* of the Ukronazi Banderista ideology anywhere near Russia).  The actual chances of this rump Banderastan to become a threat to anybody would be close to zero.  Not to mention that even if that rump Banderastan could become some kind of threat, it would be much easier to deal with it than the threat Russia faced in early 2022.
  • Objectively, the European countries would get the best possible “out” for them, as being in a constant state of total war by proxy is absolutely unsustainable for countries of Europe.
  • As for “Biden”, assuming he is still alive and in power (?), it would make it possible for “him” to remove the topic of this latest war lost (again!) by the USA from the headlines and deal with other issues.
  • The Ukraine has been such a waste of money, billions and billions, that it is essentially a black hole with an event horizon which lets nothing come back out and beyond which anything, money, equipment or men, simply disappear.  That is clearly an unsustainable drain on the economies of the West.
  • Yet, in theory, if a deal is made and all parties agree, then the EU could remove maybe not all, but at least the worst, self-damaging, sanctions it so stupidly implemented and which are now destroying the EU’s economy.
  • For the USA the biggest benefit from such an outcome could be, in theory, that it would “close” the “Russian front” and allow the US to focus its hatred and aggression against China.

There are, however, also many arguments against such an outcome.

  • First, the western ruling classes, drunk on total russophobia, would have to accept that Russia won this war (again) and defeated the combined powers of the West (again).  This would mean an immense loss of face and political credibility for all those involved in the political war against Russia.
  • Second, for NATO this would be a disaster.  Remember that NATO’s real goal is to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down“.  In this case, how would an even expanded NATO accept that it could do absolutely nothing to stop the Russians from achieving all their goals?
  • Next, while the people of the EU are suffering from the devastating economic policies of their rulers, the ruling elites (the EU 1%) are doing just fine, thank you, and don’t give a damn about the people they rule over.
  • Such an outcome would also directly challenge the US desire for a unipolar world, run by Uncle Shmuel as the World Hegemon.  The risk here is a political domino effect in which more and more countries would struggle to achieve true sovereignty, which would be a direct threat to the US economic model.
  • Such an outcome is almost certain to be unachievable while the Neocons run the USA.  And since there are NO signs of the weakening of the Neocons’ iron grip on all the levers of political powers in the USA, such an outcome could only happen if the Neocon crazies are sent back to the basement they crawled out from and where they belong.  Not likely in the foreseeable future.
  • This focus on the partition of the Ukraine overlooks the fact that the Ukraine is not the real enemy of Russia.  In fact, the Ukraine lost the war to Russia in the first 7-10 days after the beginning of the SMO.  Ever since, it is not the Ukraine per se which Russia has been fighting, but the consolidated West.  If the real enemy is the consolidated West, the it could be argued that *any* outcome limited to the Ukraine would not fix or solve anything.  At best, it might be an intermediate stage of a much larger and longer war in which Russia will have to demilitarize and denazify not just Banderastan but, at the very least, all of the EU/NATO countries.
  • While for some the Ukrainian war has been an economic disaster, it has been a fantastic windfall for the (terminally corrupt) US MIC.  And I won’t even go into the obvious corruption ties the Biden family has in Kiev.  If this “Medvedev solution” is ever realized, then all that easy money would disappear.
  • Furthermore, while amongst the argument for such an outcome I listed the ability of the USA to “close the Russian front” and focus on China, in reality such an arguments makes a very far-fetched assumption: that it is still possible to separate Russia and China and that Russia would allow the US to strike at China.  Simply put, Russia cannot allow China to be defeated any more than China can allow for a Russian defeat.  Thus the entire notion of “closing the Russian front” is illusory, in reality things have gone way too far for that and neither Russia nor China will allow the US to take them down one by one.
  • The EU is run by a comprador ruling class which is totally subservient to the interests of the US Neocons.  There are, already, many internal tensions inside the EU and such an outcome would be a disaster for those all those EU politicians who painted themselves into the corner of a total war against Russia, and even if, say, the Poles, Romanians or even Hungarians get some benefit from such an outcome, it would be unacceptable to the thugs currently running Germany, the UK or even France.

The arguments for and against such an outcome I listed above are just some examples, in reality there are many more arguments on both sides of this issue.  Besides, what made sense 6 years ago might not make sense today.

For example, this discussion focuses on the “what” but not on the “how”.  Let me explain.

I think that I was the first person in the West who noticed and translated a key Russian expression: “non agreement capable” (недоговороспособны).  This expression has been increasingly used by many Russian decision-makers, politicians, political commentators and others.  Eventually, even the folks in the West picked up on this.  So let’s revisit this issue again, keeping in mind that the Russians are now fully convinced that the West is simply “non agreement capable”.  I would argue that up until the Russian ultimatum to the USA and NATO, the Russians still left open the door to some kind of negotiations.  However, and as I predicted BEFORE the Russian ultimatum, Russia made the only possibly conclusion from the West’s stance: if our “partners” (sarcasm) are not agreement capable, then the time has come for Russian unilateralism.

True, ever since 2013, or even 2008, there were already signs that Russian decision making is gradually moving towards unilateralism.  But the Russian ultimatum and SMO are now the “pure” signs of the adoption by Russia of unilateralism, at least towards the consolidated West.

If that is correct, then I would suggest that most arguments above, on both sides of the issue, are have basically become obsolete and irrelevant.

Furthermore, I would like to add a small reminder here: most of the combat operations in the Ukraine are not even conducted by Russian forces, but by LDNR forces supported by Russian C4ISR and firepower.  But in terms of her real military potential, Russia has used less than 10% of her military and Putin was quite candid about this when he said “we have not even begun to act seriously“.

What do you think this war will look like if Russia decides to really unleash her full military power, that is the 90% of forces which are currently not participating in the SMO?

Here is a simple truth which most folks in the West cannot even imagine: Russia does not fear NATO at all.

If anything, the Russians have already understood that they have the means to impose whatever outcome they chose to unilaterally impose on their enemies.  The notion of a US/NATO attack on Russia is simply laughable.  Yes, the USA has a very powerful submarine force which can fire lots of Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles at Russian targets.  And yes, the US has a still robust nuclear triad.  But neither of these will help the USA win a land war against the Russian armed forces.

And no, sending a few thousands US soldiers to this or that NATO country to “reinforce NATO’s eastern flank” is pure PR, militarily, it is not even irrelevant, it’s laughable.  I won’t even comment on the sending of F-35s which is so utterly ridiculous and useless against the Russian Aerospace Forces and air defenses that I won’t even bother arguing with those who don’t understand how bad both the F-35s (and even the F-22s!) really are.

I won’t dignify the EU’s military capabilities with any comment other than this: countries who now seriously advocate taking less frequent showers to “show Putin!” have sunk to such a level of irrelevance and degeneracy that they cannot be taken seriously, most definitely not in Russia.

So where do we go from here?

As I said, I don’t know, there are too many variables.  But a few things seem clear to me:

  • Russia has decided to full unilateralism in her policies towards the Ukraine and the West.  Oh sure, if and when needed, Russians will still agree to talk to their western “partners”, but that is due to the long standing Russian policy of always talking to everybody and anybody, even Russia’s worst enemies.  Why?  Because neither warfare not political unilateralism are an end by themselves, they are only means to achieve a specific political goal.  Thus, it is always good to sit down with your enemy, especially if you have been gently but steadily increasing the pain dial on them for a few months!  The Europeans being the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” (to quite BoJo) they are might cave in quickly and suddenly or, at the very least, they will try to improve their lot by trying to bypass their own sanctions (Uncle Shmuel permitting, however reluctantly).
  • The only party with any real agency left with which Russia could seriously negotiate is the USA, of course.  However, as long as the USA under the total control of the Neocons, this is a futile exercise.
  • Should there ever be any kind of deal made, it would only be one which would be fully and totally verifiable.  Contrary to popular beliefs, a great many treaties and agreements can be crafted to be fully verifiable, that is not a technical problem by itself.  However, with the current ruling classes of the West, no such deal is likely to be hammered out and agreed by all parties involved.

So what is left?

There is a Russian saying which my grandmother taught me as a kid: “the borders of Russia are found at the end of a Cossack’s spear“.  This saying, born from 1000 years of existential warfare with no natural borders simply expresses a basic reality: the Russian armed forces are the ones who decide where Russia ends.  Or you can flip it this way: “the only natural border of Russia are the capabilities of the Russian armed forces”.  You can think of it has pre-1917 Russian unilateralism 🙂

Still, this begs the question of the moral and ethical foundation for such a stance.  After all, does it not suggest that Russia gives herself the right to invade any country it can just because she can?

Not at all!

While there were imperialist and expansionist wars in Russian history, compared to the West’s 1000 years of wall to wall imperialism, Russia is but a meek and gentle lamb!  Not that this excuses anything, it is simply a fact.  The rest of the Russian wars were, almost all, existential wars, for the survival and freedom of the Russian nation.  I cannot think of a more “just war” than one which 1) was imposed upon you and 2) one in which your sole goal is to survive as a free and sovereign nation, especially a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation as the Russian one has always been, in sharp contrast to the enemies of Russia which were always driven by religious, nationalist and even overtly racist fervor (which is what we can all observe again today, long after the end of WWII).

Is this just propaganda?  If you think so, then you can study Russian history or, better, study the current military doctrine of Russia and you will see that Russia’s force planning is entirely defensive, especially at the strategic level.  The best proof of that is that Russia put up with all the ugly racist and russophobic policies of the Ukraine or the three Baltic statelets for decades without taking any action.  But when the Ukraine became a de facto NATO proxy and directly threatened not only the Donbass, but Russia herself (does anybody still remember that days before the SMO, “Ze” declared that the Ukraine should get nuclear weapons?!), then Russia took action.  You have to be either blind or fantastically dishonest not to admit that self-evident fact.

[Sidebar: by the way, the three Baltic statelets, for which Russia has not use at all, are constantly trying to become a military threat to Russia, not only by hosting NATO forces, but also by truly idiotic plans to “lock” the Baltic with Finland.  Combine this was the Nazi anti-Russian Apartheid policies towards the Russian minorities and you would be forgiven for thinking that the Balts really want to be the next ones to be denazified and demilitarized.  But… but… – you will say  – “since they are members of NATO, they cannot be attacked!”.  Well, if you believe that 1) anybody in NATO will fight Russia over these statelets or 2) that NATO has the military means to protect them, then I have got plenty of great bridges to sell you.  Still, the most effective way to deal with the Balts is to let them commit economic suicide, which they basically have already done, and then promise them a few “economic carrots” for a change to a more civilized attitude.  A Russian saying says that “the refrigerator wins against the TV” (победа холодильника над телевизором) which means that when your refrigerator is empty, the propaganda on TV loses its power.  I think that the future of the 3 Baltic statelets will be defined by that aphorism]

So will the Ukraine be partitioned?

Yes, absolutely, it has already lost huge parts of its territory and it will only lose more.

Might the western neighbors decide to take a bite out off the western Ukraine?  Sure!  That is a real possibility.

But these will all be either unilateral actions or very unofficially coordinated understandings wrapped in plausible deniability (like the deployment Polish “peacekeepers” to “protect” the western Ukraine).  But mostly I predict two things will happen: 1) Russia will achieve all of her goals unilaterally without making any deals with anybody and 2) Russia will only allow the Ukraine’s western neighbors to bite off some chucks of the Ukraine if, and only if, those chunks to not represent any military threat to Russia.

Remember what Putin said about Finland and Sweden and Finland joining NATO?  He said that by itself, this is not a problem for Russia.  But he warned that should these countries host US/NATO forces and weapons systems threatening Russia, than Russia will have to take counter-measures.  I think that this is also the Kremlin’s position about the future of any rump-Banderastan and any moves by NATO countries (including Poland, Romania and Hungary) to reacquire territories which historically belonged to them or which have substantial Polish, Romanian and Hungarian minorities.

Right now, we are only in the second phase of the SMO (which centers of the Donbass) and Russia has not even initiated any operations to move deeper into the Ukraine.  As for the real war, the war between Russia and the combined West, it has been going on for no less than decade, or even more, and this war will last much longer than the SMO in the Ukraine.  Finally, the outcome of this war will see  tectonic and profound changes at least as damatic as the changes resulting from the outcomes of WWI and WWII.

The Russians understand that what they now really must do is to truly finish WWII and that the formal end of WWII in 1945 only marked the transition to a different type of warfare still imposed by a united, consolidated West, but now not by German Nazis but by (mostly) US Neocons (which, of course, are typical racist Nazis, except their racism is Anglo and Judaic/Zionist).

I will conclude with a short quote by Bertold Brecht which, I think, is deeply understood by Russia today:

Therefore learn how to see and not to gape.
To act instead of talking all day long.
The world was almost won by such an ape!
The nations put him where his kind belong.
But don’t rejoice too soon at your escape –
The womb he crawled from is still going strong.”

― Bertolt Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Russia slaughtered a lot of western apes in her history, now is the time to finally deal with the womb from which they crawled out from.

Andrei

PS: FYI – the Russian investigation has declared that the explosions in the airfield in Crimea was an act of sabotage/diversion.  Which was the most likely explanation to begin with.

Five months into the Special Military Operation – a summary

July 23, 2022

On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023

Note: after three months away (mostly) from the blog, it is a real pleasure for me to come back. Simply put – I missed you and I missed writing analyses. Thus I am truly delighted to be back and I want to once again thank all those who patiently waited for me to recharge my batteries. Your support means the world to me! Thank you for everything!
Andrei

***

Five months ago, on February 24th, Russia began what she called a “special military operation” (SMO). In very simple terms, this is what Russia has achieved so far: Ukraine has lost about 20% of its territory, about 3 thousand towns and villages, half of the gross national product, and a third of coal production. It completely lost access to the Sea of Azov, and traffic through the Black Sea ports froze due to fighting and mining of waterways. The number of refugees has reached 7 million (source).

But these factoids don’t even begin to tell the full story. There would be many ways that this story could be told, but to begin I want to list a few elements of the official western narrative which have now faceplanted and nobody sane would take seriously. I will present a few them in no specific order (and I will ignore the most idiotic ones, including that Putin is dying of cancer or very sick (check here for 50 headlines about this!) – he is not, to the great chagrin of the CIA –  or that Shoigu wants to overthrow him).

“Russia is losing the war, was defeated by the Ukronazis near Kiev, she is running out of ammunition and supplies and is about to collapse”.

First, if you look at the size of the Russian force which took the Antonov airport near Kiev (one airborne regiment) and the size of the force which moved by land towards that airport, you can easily convince yourself that this force was not intended to attack or invade Kiev. This force did exactly what it was intended to do, it forces the Ukronazis to move forces to protect Kiev and, thereby, it pinned them down just long enough to establish air superiority, attack and cut off the forces near and in the Donbass, destroy the Ukrainian C4I and almost the entire Ukrainian air force. This took just a few days and once that mission was completed, these forces withdrew as they had literally nothing to gain by staying in place. If anything it is the Ukrainian side which is running out of weapons, supplies and soldiers (more about that later). The Russians have all the firepower they need for many years ahead.

“Russia had to change her plans and tactics because of the heavy losses suffered by the Russian military early in the operation”

Actually, there is a grain of truth here, but not the correct explanation. As I have mentioned several times, the special military operation is “special” because it is an operation which is not a regular combined arms operation. The Russians began the SMO with fewer soldiers than the opposing side, and they privileged maneuver and long range strikes over the taking and holding of towns and cities. Most crucially, the Russians very deliberately tried all they could to minimize Ukrainian casualties and to preserve the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure (unlike the “democratic” countries out there who first destroy power plants, bridges, water stations, etc. to inflict the maximum of “shock and awe” on the civilian population!). The Russians could have easily turned, say, Kiev into Baghdad or Belgrade under US/NATO bombs, but they deliberately chose to save as many lives and civilian infrastructure as possible, even at the cost of lives of Russian soldiers).

[Sidebar: a prefect example is the small town of Avdeevka, near Donetsk, which is heavily fortified and from which the Ukronazis shell not only Donetsk, but also other towns such as Makeevka killing people and destroying the civilian infrastructure every day.  The Russians could use their TOS-1A “Solntsepyok”, airborne FAE, FAB-3000 bombs, heavy mortars and plenty of other weapons to simply turn all of Avdeevka into a lifeless desert.  But here is the problem: Avdeevka is full of civilians, including relatives of LDNR combatants.  Furthermore, if Russia used such weapons, it would only feed the Anglo-Zionist propaganda to create a “victastar” city à la Sarajevo or even accuse the Russians of a Srebrenica-like “genocide”.  The precedent of Bucha is something which limits the Russians in two major ways: first, it makes it almost impossible to retreat, now that we know that the Ukronazis will massacre all the “collaborators” in the area left by Russian forces and, second, it means that any major strike, no matter how militarily justified, will be turned into a “massacre” just like in Bosnia, Kosovo or Syria.

What apparently did take the Russians by surprise is the willingness of the Ukrainian forces in some towns to attack the Russian columns even though the local authorities seemed to have indicated to the Russians that, like in, say, Kherson, their city would not resist. Simply put, they chose the Mariupol model rather than the Kherson model. This choice was mainly dictated by the very powerful Nazi death squads who would at best arrest anybody negotiating with Russia and, at worst, simply shoot them on the spot. The Russians found plenty of bodies of executed Ukrainian soldiers.

But this does not tell the full story either.

The truth is that by the laws of warfare the Ukraine lost the war in less than a week.

What is my evidence for such an apparently outlandish and over-the-top statement? Simple: since the beginning of the SMO, the Ukrainians failed to execute a single operational level attack or counter-attack. At most they were able to execute small, tactical level attacks, the vast majority of which almost instantly failed, a few were defeated in a few days, and, crucially, not a single one gave the Ukrainian side the operational initiative. Not once.

So what happened?

If Kiev had any agency and if the Ukrainian leadership cared about their country and people, they would have immediately sued for peace. But Kiev never had any agency and the buffoons in power do not give a damn about the Ukrainian people.

Instead, it was the US that told the Ukrainians to never surrender or pull back, even if that meant huge losses in both manpower and firepower. The West, which despises and hates the Ukrainians almost as much as it hates the Russians were delighted to see the hated Ukrainians and the hated Russians killing each other (well, mostly Russians doing the killing). Furthermore, being military incompetent, the leaders of the West apparently believed that supplying weapons, money, instructors, and special forces to the Ukrainians could, if not turn the tide, slow down Russia enough to create fear, uncertainty, and doubts in the Russian public opinion. That plan also spectacularly failed, Putin is as popular as ever, the 5th column and the 6th columns in Russia are in despair (many emigrate) and the SMO has the full support of the Russian nation.

As for the much talked about “Russian plans”, which nobody has seen, they are not like the plan for a building. They are not fixed, but highly flexible and reactive and, in fact, they are constantly adjusted and refined in response to the developments on the ground. So while the Russians did have hopes that much/most of the eastern Ukraine would follow the “Kherson model” they were quick to adapt to the reality that the US and its Nazi agents in the Ukrainian military would force the eastern Ukraine to follow the “Mariupol model”. So yes, operational plans are like water in a stream, depending on the obstacles encountered, they can go left or they can go right to bypass that obstacle, but in either case, they are going down towards the ocean. The fact that armchair strategists declared that Russia “changed plans” simply proves that they don’t understand how operational planning works.

[Sidebar: most people in the West think of military operations as something similar to US football: there are “lines/fronts” which are defended and most forces are facing each other along these lines. This is not so. Modern warfare is much more similar to European soccer, where each player is “attached” to an opposing player and these players constantly maneuver and regularly engage each other. For example, modern warfare does not really have a “front” and a “rear” as we can see from the Russian strikes deep inside the western Ukraine. Finally, modern warfare deeply relies on coordinated actions. That is to say that even if side A has, say, five subunits (say companies) you cannot add them up and count them as a regiment or brigade because they lack the ability for coordinated operations (nevermind joint or combined ones). Think of your hand, it has five fingers, but these five fingers only become a powerful fist if the five fingers act in unison and become one fist. So when somebody write about, say, 60’000 Ukrainian soldiers in the eastern Ukraine, this describes a X number of platoons, companies, regiments or even “brigades” (I put quotation marks because these are not real brigades with a full table of organization and equipment), these subunits are not capable of coordinating their actions like the Russian military does. There is a lot of talk about “network centric warfare” which is nothing but combined arms operations on steroids, where the level of integration includes a full fusion of all C4ISR data into one common real time picture of the battlefield and a full coordination of all military forces/means. By the way, only Russia has fully developed such a capability (though the US has also made some serious progress in this field)].

Now let’s address two smaller but nonetheless crucial lies told by some about Russia:

“There are no Atlantic Integrationists or Eurasian Sovereignists in Russia”

If anything, this war has resulted in a major shakeup of the Russian society where some folks suddenly showed their true feelings.  Examples range from Russian journalists standing with an anti-war sign behind a newscaster to those Russians abroad who either agreed to condemn Putin and the SMO or accepted to participate in various events under a neutral or foreign flag, to Dmitri Medvedev now changing his tune 180 degrees and rebranding himself as an ultra-patriot. I listed those examples because they are known in the West, but inside Russia, there are many more such examples, including amongst business executives and elected officials. Finally, even Putin himself mentioned the existence of such internal enemies of Russia. The fact that Russia has now expanded the definition of “treason” means that pro-US agents in Russia now face a major risk for their activities. Some 5th columnists have already been sentenced to jail. As for the 6th columnists, they still hate Putin with a passion and are still chanting their “all is lost” mantra, but (almost) nobody takes them seriously anymore.

The irony is that the US wanted to create a crisis to overthrow Putin but, instead, this crisis gave him yet another boost in popularity, in spite of some very real problems (automotive sector, civilian airliners, etc.).

Next,

“Putin is an Israeli stooge, he works hand in glove with the Israelis”

In reality, it is pretty obvious that the most vociferous Russophobes in the West are overwhelmingly Jews, both inside and outside Israel. Usually, the invoked excuse is that there were anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia. Yet, in reality, all those pogroms happened in what is today the Ukraine, and yet it is pretty clear that Zionist and Jewish organizations are overwhelmingly siding with Kiev (in spite of the regime in power being undeniably Nazi), and only very few individuals side with Russia (but they exist and should never be overlooked). As for the Kremlin, it is getting fed up with the Israeli arrogance in Syria (even if the Israeli airstrikes are ineffective and make no difference for the reality on the ground) and the Russians are now demanding that the Israelis cease their attacks on Syria. The Israelis cannot stop, for internal political and even psychotherapeutic reasons, but one of two things are likely to happen: the Israeli attacks will become even more useless and symbolic, or Russia will shoot down an Israeli aircraft.

But enough about Israel here, this is only a small part of the Anglo-Zionist Empire run by the USA. Now let’s turn to the West’s actions over the past 5 months.

So what about the US/NATO/EU in all this?

First, I want to make it clear that I strongly believe that the Anglo-Zionist Empire died on January 8th, 2020 when it allowed Iran to bomb CENTCOM bases without even a single bullet being fired back. That day the Empire showed the world that it did not even have what it takes to attack Iran. As for the USA, they died on January 6th, 2021.

However, remember my example above contrasting 5 fingers with a fist? While the Empire as we knew it and the USA as we knew it did die, that does not mean that its composing parts all vanished in thin air. Countries and Empires have momentum, just like the Titanic, when they have been mortally wounded. Simply put, the final process of sinking takes time. The Russian Empire died in February of 1917, yet the civil war lasted until 1923 (and I would even argue until WWII).

Second, there are two totally different planes in which the West (well, really the USA) decided to fight Russia:

  • First, it declared total proxy war on Russia, but only total short of a direct war military confrontation with Russia
  • Second, a total #cancelRussia in the PR/propaganda virtual reality. These infantile actions (latest example here) show how frustrated and powerless the West really is.

For years now I have stated many, many times that Russia and the Empire were locked into an existential war from which only one side would walk away. I usually added that this total war was about 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. I hesitate to provide numbers here, but I would say that after a very strong success in the first 2-3 months of the SMO, the informational war initially won by the West is now fizzling out. The economic war massively grew, as did the kinetic one (albeit still by proxy). I am very reluctant to provide numbers here, but very tentatively I would score the current war as maybe 10% informational, 50% economic and maybe 40% kinetic. Again, please don’t focus on these very tentative figures, the key thing is this: as per President “Biden”, the goal of the USA is to inflict a strategic failure on Russia. The same stuff was also spoken by the EU, UK politicians and pretty much everybody in the West.

As for the demented Poles, one of their former Presidents and Nobel Prize winner declared that he wants to reduce the population of Russia down to 50 million. Then there are the Brits, who still want to be “Great” or, at least, relevant, and who speak about “leading the free world” against Russia with such stellar allies as Poland, the 3B statelets and Banderastan.

And yet, let’s look at the outcomes on three levels:

  • Military: the best proxy the USA had in history (the Ukrainian armed forces) is being slowly and inexorably destroyed by about only 8-10 percent of the Russian armed forces.
  • Economic: while some sectors in Russia did suffer from the so-called “sanctions” (they are not sanctions, but acts of war and crude robbery, only the UNSC can impose legal sanctions), all in all, Russia did great, and seems to be set on a path for economic success due to the fact that a) most countries have refused to obey Washington’s demands and b) the Russian economy is powerful and real, not virtual like the western economies. It will take a couple of years for Russia to adapt, but now that this process has begun, it is unstoppable.
  • Propaganda: here the image is pretty clear: on one hand we have the USA and its colonies, then a few countries with comprador elites that are hated by most people, and countries that openly defy Washington. This is best expressed by this map from the Chinese foreign ministry:

One key characteristic of the countries shown in red on the bottom (realistic) map is that all these countries have two crucial factors in common: a) they (mostly) lack real resources (since their civilizations were always built on imperialism, colonialism and plain robbery) b) they hate Russia so much that they are willing to take measures which hurt themselves much more than they hurt Russia. This type of hate-saturated insanity reminds me of an old Soviet joke: “in a small village, a local discovers a bottle and when he opens it, a genie comes out and says: since you have liberated me, I will grant you one wish, the only condition is that your next door neighbor will get double of what you will. Then the man thought for a while and replied: please poke one of my eyes out!”. This is the current mental state of western “leaders”…

That is the core “philosophy” of the USA: fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, prolong the war as long as possible, get as much of the civilian infrastructure of the Ukraine destroyed, subvert the status of the dollar, crash the world economy, let the EU crash and burn economically, socially, and politically, shove the Woke agenda down everyone’s throats, even if that makes them gag and throw up and, last but not least, totally and comprehensively stick your head in the sand and deny reality in all its aspects.

Yes, the West is so soaked in rabid hatred and fear of Russia that it prefers to commit collective suicide rather than accept any type of coexistence with a sovereign Russia.

Hitler’s comparatively vague/ambiguous/oblique slogan of “Drang nach Osten” has now been replaced by a much more candid and unambiguous #cancelRussia slogan. Same idea, just much more “in your face”.

Truth be told, most of the so-called “West” is really run by these three groups, in order of influence:

  1. The US Neocons
  2. The Anglo imperialists
  3. The EU comprador ruling elites

This reminds me very much of an album by Roger Waters called “Animals” in which he separates our modern societies into three archetypes: dogs, pigs and sheep. Needless to say, the dogs and pigs will run the sheep, but as soon as a (Russian) bear shows up, they are powerless against him.

This small image tells the true story about the Ruble “turning into rubble” as “Biden” promised.

This is what we see now and which will probably continue well into 2023. The fact that the economic warfare waged against Russia or the promise of Wunderwaffen has totally failed will never be admitted by these deeply psychopathic and terminally delusional people. And if they cannot double down ad infinitum in their actions, they sure will continue to double down in their rhetoric, just as the orchestra continued to play while the “unsinkable” Titanic was sinking.

Still, at least some of the regular folks in the West are smelling the roses, hence the dismal rating of ALL the western political leaders. The hostility of many US Americans even results in polls that suggest that many of them would want to secede from the other states, in this case Trump voters. Considering that Trump voters are, as a rule, far more patriotic than Woke-soaked US “liberals”, this is very telling. But also ironic: the USA wants to break up Russia and ends up breaking up itself. Karma?

Not only. Let’s look at the map which shows which countries did and did not impose “sanctions” on Russia:

Notice that pretty much the entire green zone is composed of countries that the West has invaded, robbed, devastated, enslaved, subverted, forcibly converted, bombed, economically “sanctioned” with blockades and blackmail (by means so-called “secondary sanctions” which is a euphemism for blackmail and extortion) and, more recently, upon which the full satanic insanity of Wokeness has been imposed (hence the US embassies flying “homopride” flags). The population of these green countries, which I call “Zone B”, knows the true score and they mostly hate and despise the West. And that places all their comprador ruling elites in a very tricky situation: their US masters want them to declare total war on Russia while their population is mostly sympathetic to Russia. In the past, this would have been a no-brainer, Uncle Shmuel with his CIA-run death squads, aircraft carriers and seemingly infinite money printing capability was much more vital to these comprador elites than their own population. But now that death squads have been largely replaced with woked-out fairies which are only good at shooting unarmed civilians, now that US aircraft carriers don’t really frighten even countries like Iran, the DPRK or Venezuela and now that the entire Western-built international economic and financial system is collapsing, these comprador elites have to become much, much more careful lest they end up like the US stooges in Bolivia: out of power and in jail.  Even Colombia seems to be slowly slipping away, as does Brazil.  And I won’t even mention the absolute lack of utility of the likes of Guaido, Tikhanovskaia or the “friends of Syria” gang (Maduro, Lukashenko and Assad or all doing great, thank you!).

The writing is on the wall, and only those who deliberately shut their eyes fail to see it.

This leaves us with the issue of the US Neocons.

What about the western ruling classes, what impact, if any, did the SMO have on them?

First, let’s define our categories. In the EU we don’t really have any real “ruling class”, we only have frontmen (sorry! I meant “frontpersons” of course), puppets, pretend-rulers with no agency whatsoever (Olaf Scholz and Josep Borrell are perfect examples)  . There is no European “defense policy” or any other meaningful evidence of agency on any level.  The EU is dead, clueless and totally in the control of the US Neocons.

Second, in the USA, Neocons rule supreme, having total control of both major parties in the US. And while the GOP base is very different from the Dem’s base, their leaders are mostly interchangeable. So I will consider them as one.

Their mindset and worldview are pretty clear: they are messianic supremacists and sincerely consider themselves racially superior to the rest of mankind. The fusion of Anglo imperialism and Jewish supremacism has yielded the monster we now know as “Neocons”. These folks excel in the art of accumulating power, by hook or by crook. They like to claim that they have superior intelligence, but in reality, what separates these people is not brainpower, but two key aspects of their worldview: a) tribalism and b) drive. Simply put, most other people do not have this tribal “us against them” mindset, and only a subsection of regular people are truly driven to power and influence. Hence, while being a numerically small minority, the US Neocons are in full control of the USA.

Their psychological profile is narcissistic at best, and fully psychopathic in most cases. That also gives them an advantage, especially when dealing with weak, ignorant and easily influenceable people. But when they meet a determined pushback, be it by Russia, Iran, the DPRK or even Hezbollah, they quickly become clueless and helpless. Check the expression of Blinken on the photo above – that is the face of a coward and a loser. He might have become a decent tailor, instead, he was asked to run the foreign policy of the (now former) superpower. No wonder all he ever produced was disasters and abject failures!

Initially, feeling buoyant from their total control over Eltsin and the Russian liberals, the US Neocons celebrated victory. Then something went very wrong and suddenly they were faced with a radically different kind of leader, one with the massive support of the Russian people. Remember here that Putin was an intelligence officer specializing in the West, thus a man who had a very good understanding of his enemies. Furthermore, Putin was patient enough to realize that in the early years of the confrontation with the West, Russia was in no condition to openly defy the West, let alone fight it militarily. This is why he stopped the LDNR forces from moving any further westwards in 2014-2015 even though the Ukrainian military was in disarray.  While he knew that during the time the Ukrainians were in a panic and disorganized, he also knew that Russia could not take on the consolidated West. So between 2014 and 2018 Russia made a gigantic effort to develop the kind of capabilities needed to be able to take on all of NATO and win. By the time of the Russian ultimatum to the West last Fall, Russia was finally ready.

Notice that the Russian ultimatum was not an ultimatum to Kiev as much as it was a direct challenge to the US and NATO. The Neocons, drunk on their bravado and sense of racial superiority, basically told Russia to screw herself and doubled down in their rhetoric. And when Russia moved in, they truly freaked out, hence their suicidal policies towards Russia ever since. These folks mistakenly assumed that while Russia might (maybe!) prevail over the Ukrainian forces, they were confident that Putin would not dare openly defy the consolidated West. And when Putin did just that, they went into full panic mode, hence the nonsense we hear from the western capitals on a daily basis.

But it got even worse. Far from being deterred by western promises of fire and brimstone, the Russian then proceeded to methodically destroy the Ukrainian armed forces. In spite of the Ukrainian military being the best proxy force in US history, in spite of BILLIONS given to the Nazi regime each month, in spite of all sorts of super-dooper Wunderwaffen deliveries, in spite of economic warfare, Russia is now pounding the Ukie+western forces in the Ukraine day after day after day and while the US is ordering the Ukrainians to fight to the end and never withdraw, the many waves of Volkssturm reinforcements have had no impact on Russian warfighting capabilities. The US also ordered its vassal states in eastern Europe to send their large supplies of Soviet era weapons to the Ukraine (over 300 tanks just from Poland!), and Ukrainian-branded Mi-24s, Su-25s and MiG-29s still are seen in the Ukrainian skies almost daily in spite of the fact that almost the entire Ukrainian air force was destroyed in the first 3 days of the war. Helicopters are easy to hide, “Ukrainian” aircraft take off from bases in Poland and Romania, and yet they don’t seem to make a difference: for most of them, it is a one-way mission and they know it. But it is good PR, even if it costs lives (at least that is what Uncle Shmuel thinks). But now that the already low credibility of the legacy corporate media is in freefall, even such PR “victories” yield very little traction:

It is outright comical to hear western countries (Germany, Italy and even the USA) whining about their weapons stores getting depleted while all these truly huge deliveries have not made any difference at all on the ground since the beginning of combat operations.

[Sidebar: does Russia have air superiority over the Ukraine? Yes, absolutely. A few helicopters or fixed wing aircraft on one way missions make no difference here. In fact, a much bigger threat to the Russian Aerospace Forces are the Ukrainian air defenses which, while old, have often been modernized and have the full support of US C4ISR (Command, Control, Communication, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) including surveillance drone, AWACS, satellites, SIGNIT, etc. etc. etc. and yet the Russians have adapted: the close air support aircraft fly low, while their SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) fly high with long range anti-radiation missiles on the ready. A quick reminder, while the USAF/USN has often achieved air supremacy over countries without a modern air force or any modern air defenses, it failed to knock out the Serbian air defenses during the Anglo-Zionist wars against the Serbian nation. In fact, the USAF/USN *never* operated in an environment as dangerous as the one currently created over the Ukraine, but the comparatively much smaller Russian Aerospace Force did achieve and maintain air superiority over this huge country.  As for air supremacy (as oppose to superiority), it is only achievable against a very poorly armed adversary: air superiority is the best one can hope to achieve, even theoretically, over any country with serious air defenses]

And yet, the (comparatively small, but more modern) Russian aerospace forces have achieved and maintained air superiority throughout the past 5 months of combat operations. This is an extremely alarming sign for the US and NATO forces. Just imagine what the full might of the Russian armed forces would do to NATO if it was unleashed!

But it gets even worse (for the Empire, that is): there are all the signs and even clear messages that Putin is not “bluffing” at all and that Russia has full escalation dominance over the West. but it is now becoming quite evident that the Kremlin will not stop under any circumstances short of a total victory, and if that means nuclear war, so be it. And the Russian people are overwhelmingly supportive of this stance.

Why?

Because the Russian people have now FINALLY seen the true face of the West, they now understand that this is nothing else but a continuation of WWII and that the very existence and sovereignty of the Russian people are at stake. Again, Putin said it clearly: “if someone makes a decision to destroy Russia, we have every right to fight back. Yes, it would be a global disaster for humanity and for the world, but being a Russian citizen and head of Russia, I want to ask a question, “What’s the point of the world without Russia?“. If these were just empty words, like what Biden reads (with difficulty) from his teleprompter, that would be one thing, but these words need to be remembered in the context of the deployment of Avangards, Poseidons, S-500 and all the other weapons and tactics developed by Russia while the Neocons, drunk with arrogance, slept at the wheel.

So no, while Putin rarely makes threats, he never bluffs.

Bottom line is this: anybody who sincerely believes that Russia will not wipe out the entire West if she is seriously threatened is terminally delusional, knows nothing about history, and does not understand the Russian mindset. They would do so at their own peril.

If there is one message I want to convey to anybody willing to listen it is this: Putin is not bluffing, the West cannot win, and the only variable here is what price the West is willing to pay for its defeat.

By the way, the Chinese are also getting mighty fed up with the crazies in DC, just check out their latest statements.

Will somebody actually take action against the Neocons? I doubt it. If anything, the entire Trump debacle has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that US anti-Neocons are either fakes, or that they have the willpower of a case of jello (that also goes for Tulsi Gabbard, by the way). Will the Neocons realize that if they persist in doubling down, they will personally and physically die? Maybe. At the end of the day, the US can afford to have a comprehensively destroyed Ukraine and a not less comprehensively destroyed EU. Now that the UK has left the EU, the Anglos couldn’t care less, and triggering wars in Europe is a time-honored British tradition anyway.

The real blowback from the Neocons’ arrogance and ignorance is that far from dealing with Russia first and with China as an end goal, they have greatly contributed to a major strengthening of the Russian, Chinese and Indian alliance.

The Neocons could decide to let Europe burn, while they remain in control of the USA which, unlike the EU, has plenty of natural resources and will remain, if not a world hegemon, then at least a powerful nation. In that case, their plan is simple: to continue to push for a maximum confrontation and war in Europe, but short of involving the USA in a nuclear exchange with Russia. The Brits on their island might have similar plans, just on a smaller scale and with the vital need to fully rely on the support of the USA. In the “best” of cases (for them), the UK would be in charge of managing the chaos in Europe on behalf of the USA.

I don’t think that the Neocons give a damn about Israel and the Israeli people either, by the way. Nor do the Anglo ruling “elites” give a damn about the people of the USA or the UK. If there is one lesson we must take from the horror of 9/11 is that these people won’t hesitate to murder thousands of “their own” because, in reality, for all the patriotic or Zionist flag-waving, they only care about themselves and their power.

NATO is a joke, and sooner or later, Russia will denazify all of the EU, either politically and economically, or, if no other option is left, militarily. First, the Ukraine, then the 3B+P crazies will have to be denazified. Next will be the turn of the EU/NATO beginning with Germany. By then, the US will have suffered a massive economic, social and cultural disaster which will probably reformat the current US polity. Where will the Neocons go next? I don’t know and, frankly, I don’t care. The Neocons are only dangerous just like a parasite that invades the brain of a much larger host. Once the host is down, the parasite might as well leave ditch it and find a new host.  By itself, this parasite is weak and universally disliked.

In the meantime, the stupidified Woke-sheep can keep themselves busy wondering if men can give birth or deciding whether a “twerking” senator will solve the USA’s many problems.

So where do we go from here?

Well, at least so far, the leaders of the USA are still in full “double down forever” mode, along with their volunteer slaves in eastern Europe. Their plan for Russia is best visualized with this map: (source)

These wet dreams even include the infamous “Idel Ural” which was denounced by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his articles against the equally infamous “captive nations law”. In fact, this “law” has its origins from the CIA and Nazi Germany. So we can say that this is nothing but “same old, same old again”. Although not quite, some things have changed.

During WWII the Russian people quickly understood that Hitler was no “liberator”, no more than Napoleon before him, and that he only used that kind of language to try to achieve victory. Then, during the Cold War, it was easy to believe that the enemy of the West was Communism and its idea of universal liberation from the capitalist yoke. Surely, if Russia got rid of the CPSU the West would embrace such a free Russia?

Nope, the exact opposite happened: in spite the “all you can eat” “freedoms” of bluejeans, fast foods, crime and pornography, Russia was plundered and came very very close to totally breaking up (only the 2nd Chechen war with Putin as the Commander in Chief prevented that from happening).  Instead of the promised “democratic heaven” Russia got deeply immersed in the worst kind of capitalist hell imaginable.

Furthermore, the combination of a rather inept Soviet propaganda machine and a much more effective western propaganda gave many Russians the illusion that the West was a group of free and prosperous nations only wanting the best for Russia. The Western-run nightmare of the 90s opened the eyes of some, but not all. As did the apocalypse in the so-called “independent Ukraine”. But the kind of open, direct and absolute hatred for Russia, Putin and everything Russian we all see know has convinced the vast majority of Russians that what the West erally wants is a “final solution” to the “Russian problem” not unlike what the Papist regime of Pavelic during WWII wanted for the Serbs: kill ⅓, expel another ⅓ and “convert” the remaining ⅓.

Some things never change, especially not in the West.  The Muslim are all spot on when they speak of the “modern Crusaders”!

So far, Russia has only been observing with some amazement, and even amusement, how the EU was committing economic, political and social suicide without even trying to improve its fate. For the people of Europe, there is only one thing more important than their imperialistic and racist mindset: their wallets. And that wallet has been hurting pretty badly since the self-defeating “sanctions” against Russia were implemented. In Russia that attitude is referred to as a “kid freezing his own ears to piss off his granny”: infantile, self-defeating and simply stupid. That being said: how many regimes (by that I mean political systems, as opposed to governments which are specific people; for example, if Truss replaces Johnson in the UK, this will be a government change, but not a regime change) are threatened by popular discontent in the EU?

The sad reality is that none. Oh sure, they are immensely unpopular, just like “Biden” is in the USA, but changing the puppet figureheads will do nothing to change the regimes in power (basically US-controlled colonial occupation regimes).

It is therefore likely that Russia will have to turn up the pain dial quite a few notches up before the sheep in the EU or the US come to their senses. Primarily, I think of economic measures, but if the crazies from the 3B+PU do something really stupid Russia will not hesitate to use military power if/when needed. The bottom line is this: Russia needs to denazify all of the European continent, and the more countries are told to join NATO, the more candidates for denazification Russia will have.

It is impossible to predict the future, there are simply too many variables at this point, but I would offer the following tentative suggested steps towards escalation:

  • Russia could gradually either refuse to sell her resources to Europe, not only gas and oil, of course, but everything else which Russia has been selling to the EU in the past for very good prices and which was a key to the wealth of the EU nations. So that would be a full-scale economic counter-attack from Russia against the EU.  As an initial step,  Russia could also demand to only be paid in Rubles for any and all exports to the EU.
  • Russia is already killing scores of Polish, British and other mercenaries (excuse me, “advisors” and “volunteers”) in the Ukraine, but most of these are low-level grunts. Russia could decide to target higher ranks involved in the war against Russia, including targets in Kiev and elsewhere. So far Russia has unleashed only a tiny fraction of her real firepower, but if the US/NATO weapon deliveries and deployment of mercenaries increase, Russia will have little choice but to further turn up the pain dial. And if the Poles, or the Baltic statelets go “full crazy” strikes against targets in these countries will become inevitable (Putin has already warned against that when he mentioned striking the “decision making centers”).
  • Finally, if Russia decides that enough is enough, the first targets of a Russian military response to the US/NATO proxy war would be to attack the US/NATO C4ISR capabilities, including AWACS/JSTARS aircraft, SIGINT centers and satellites.

Right now, these US/NATO aircraft are only flying along the Ukrainian airspace and remain based outside the Ukraine. But if, say, the US/NATO does actively participate in a strike against Crimea or the Crimean Bridge, then all bets will be off and S-400s and various standoff weapons will do the talking.

Imagine for a second that Russia shoots down a US AWACS/JSTARS, what will be the West’s reaction? And I don’t mean expressions of outrage and hatred, they are already at max and really have no effect on Russians. Would the US/NATO try to shoot down a Russian aircraft? And what would the Russian response to that be?

The truth is that the US/NATO simply don’t have the means to wage a land war against Russia. They literally lack everything needed to do that. Oh sure, they have many (mostly old and subsonic) cruise missiles which they could fire at Russia, but here again, this would pose a dilemma for the West: if the strikes are unsuccessful (as they were in Syria), what to do next? And if these strikes are successful, what would the Russians do next? Use their own conventional strategic deterrence capabilities to strike at targets all over Europe and possibly even the USA? And then what?

[Sidebar: airpower and cruise missiles are vastly overrated in the US propaganda. One of my teachers in college was a retired USAF Colonel who worked for the YF-23 program and who taught us a very good course in force planning. One day he said in class “what good does it do to you if you bomb all your targets, shoot down enemy aircraft if by the time you get back your officer’s club is filled with enemy soldiers?!” He was joking, of course, but what he knew is that only “boots on the ground” can win a war. And “boots on the ground” is exactly what neither the US, nor NATO (nor Israel or the KSA by the way) can deploy, especially against a military which has the biggest experience of land warfare on the planet, and by a huge margin!]

The truth is that the choice for the Neocons is binary: either accept defeat in Europe and keep the USA as their prize and host, or die in a major nuclear confrontation that will wipe out millions (which they don’t care about at all), including the Neocons themselves (which they care a lot about).

Try to reason with or convince messianic, narcissistic and delusional racist maniacs is a dangerous and mostly futile task. This is why Russia is turning the pain dial up very very slowly.  Right now, most of the efforts of the Kremlin are not even directed at the West, but at forging the core of the future multilateral world, the BRICS countries and BRICS candidates (possibly including Iran, Argentina, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia in the near future). Russia is also expanding her ties to Africa and Latin America. Last, but not least, Russia, China and India are constantly expanding their ties and even collaboration, especially with China.

In this respect, I would strongly recommend to the Neocons and their puppet regimes to carefully consider the implications of Putin’s words that “We haven’t really started yet anything in earnest yet” (мы ещё всерьёз и не начинали). That is not a threat, but a statement of fact. Whether the West will continue to pretend that Russia is about to collapse, or that Putin is bluffing, will determine what will happen next.

Right now, and exactly as I predicted would happen, Russia has basically totally given up on any form of dialog with the West, since the West has basically severed all its diplomatic ties with Russia. Put differently, Russia is now acting unilaterally without giving the moaning and threats from the West any consideration whatsoever. In fact, the stark reality is that Russia has no need, or use, for the West, especially a West trying to commit collective suicide by a million cuts. Right now, the West is mostly dialing up the pain dial on itself, with little or no Russian assistance. But that does not mean that Russia won’t proactively turn up that dial if/when needed. And if the sheep in the West prefer athletic events or chess tournaments without Russian participation, by all means, let them do it and, in the process, make these events meaningless. The same goes for all the #cancelRussia insanity out there, including the destruction of statues and monuments or sanctioning of Russian musicians. The putatively proud and freedom-loving East Europeans seem to especially relish their “glorious victories” against old Soviet statues and monuments. I say – let them, it just shown their impotence and utter irrelevance.  If they have no respect for themselves, why should anybody else?

As the saying goes, “go woke, go broke”. A fitting epitaph on the West’s gravestone.

As for Russia, her real future lies in the South, East and North. She has no need or use for the West. Almost one thousand years of western imperialism are coming to a shameful and self-inflicted death, one way or another. As I have written many times, that system was neither viable nor reformable. It will either die of its own internal contradictions, or Russia and China will have to cull it. They most definitely has the means to, but won’t act directly unless provoked.

But that, should it happen, is still further down the road. For the time being, we are entering a long phase (many months probably) of gradual pain dial increase. Russia will continue to grind down the NATO forces in the Ukraine and let the economic realities sink into the awareness of the European sheep.

As many observe in Russia: “now russophobia will come at a steep price”.

I couldn’t agree more.

Andrei

PS: the above was kind of a “bird’s eye view” trying to cover the key developments during the five past months.  From now on, I will write shorter, but more frequent, analyses of specific issues.  In this context, if you have questions or want me to address a specific topic in my future analyses, please let me know in the comments section below.  Thank you!

To Hell or Not to Hell?

July 16, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

The Barbarian West

By the fifth century AD the barbarians had moved into Western Europe in significant numbers, bringing about the fall of Old Rome in what is now Italy in 410. Curiously, the barbarianism they brought with them, combined with the systematic brutality of Old Rome by the most brutal of them, the Franks, survives today. Indeed, we can state quite clearly that many in Western Europe have remained barbarians, knowingly or unknowingly supporting the ‘Frankish’ warlord aristocracy/ oligarchy which administrates (but not controls –control is from elsewhere) the Western world till this day. At first the barbarians took over only Western Europe, but then they expanded to its immediate neighbours in Eastern Europe, the Near East and along the African coasts. However, from 1492 on there began the Western European occupation and exploitation of the New Worlds. Barbarianism had literally gone global.

As we have said, the Franks (literally meaning ‘freemen’, that is, not slaves) (1) led the field among the barbarians, even renaming one country, Gaul, after themselves, as ‘France’. The word ‘Frank’ was generalised after Charlemagne who in the late eighth century massacred other less violent barbarians, the Saxons. Charlemagne founded a ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (in reality an Unholy Frankish Empire), whose intellectuals had been trained by Jews in Spain. Thus, tenth-century Muslims used the word ‘Frank’ to mean an ‘aggressive Western European’, as did eleventh-century Orthodox Christians in New Rome. In 1100 Baldwin I was enthroned in Jerusalem as the ‘first King of the Franks’. In the late eleventh century, Welsh chroniclers called the invading Normans ‘Franks’, as did the Irish and the Scots in the twelfth century, as did the Spanish and Portuguese French invaders, and did Poles and Czechs German settlers. In the sixteenth century the Chinese called marauding Portuguese and Spanish ‘Fo-lang-ki’, taken from the Arabic ‘Faranga’, from the selfsame word ‘Frank’.

Soon after 1492 the second of the two Spanish Borgia/Borja Popes, Rodrigo Borgia, alias Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), defined Non-Catholic European men as non-humans, permitting them to be robbed, enslaved and killed. In the twentieth century, this misogynistic and racist Western culture graciously extended its ‘superiority’ to Western women, then to the Jews, calling their ‘Western civilisation’ ‘Judeo-Christian’, and then extended it to all races (2), but on one condition: that these newcomers accept ‘Western values’ such as ‘democracy’ = a new word for Western supremacy, that is, Nazism. Thus, today Kiev’s barbarian troops, the New Vandals, are doing the same as Western barbarian marauders, the Old Vandals, genociding all who do not accept their Nazi ideology. Russia is fighting the West today, because the barbarians are at its gates in the Ukraine – again, just as they were eighty years ago.

In the Ukraine

In recent months, here and there in various Western European countries, I have seen two or three flags being flown together, the EU One Ring ‘to rule them all’, sometimes the local national flag, and beneath it the Ukrainian one. This represents Western supremacism, the Nazi ideology which proclaims the long-desired Westernisation of the Ukraine. It says that any who do not accept ‘Western values’ are to be destroyed or, as they say now, ’cancelled’ – with Western fake news, Western arms and Western death.

Who are today’s aristocratic warlords, today’s Franks, Lombards, Goths, Vandals and Vikings? They are Stoltenberg, Biden, Johnson, von der Leyen, Blinken, Nuland, Kagan, Scholz, Macron and all the other knowing and unknowing neocons who fly these flags together. The barbarians were there sacking civilisation in August 476 and in August 1914, they were there sacking civilisation in late 1492 and in early 2022. However, the world that started on 12 October 1492 died on 24 February 2022 and a new era has begun.

On 14 July 2022 the Serbian President Vucic said: ‘Now the whole Western world is at war with Russia through Ukrainian intermediaries and today’s armed conflict can almost be called a world war’. ‘I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin has finished his work in Seversk, Bakhmut and Soledar and then reaches the second line in Slaviansk-Kramatorsk-Avdeevka, he will make an offer. And if they (the West) don’t accept – and they don’t intend to – we shall take the road to hell’.

After the Barbarians

So what happens if the Western world chooses not to go to hell? What happens after the barbarians, after the final demise of the myths of ‘The West and the Rest’ and ‘The West is Best’? At the moment, the alternative is an alphabet soup of BRI, BRICS, EAEU, SCO etc. BRICS itself is becoming old-fashioned, as it may well soon be joined by Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and maybe Argentina and then, who knows? Does that make BRICSITESAA? An alternative name like ‘The Anti-West’ is purely reactive, negative and refers to the 530 years before 24 February 2022. It is especially inappropriate since the EU is clearly collapsing and it is obvious that, at the very least, countries like Serbia, Hungary (whom the EU elite wishes to expel from the EU) and Germany, if it is to survive, will be joining the to-be-renamed BRICS.

Perhaps we could call the future bloc ‘The Free World’, but that also makes too close a reference to the past. We of course do not know the future name. But we could suggest some more realistic names like ‘The International Alliance’ (IA), or, ‘The Free Alliance of Sovereign Peoples’ (FASP). Such a bloc could help settle long-standing historic injustices, through the formation of new countries, new borders, new constitutions and new prosperity. The fact is that the world has not yet been decolonised. You can still see straight lines on maps, usually the work of tidy-minded colonial bureaucrats a century or so ago in London and Paris, who had little concept of history and geography, of rivers, mountains and the languages of different ethnicities, let alone of humanity, justice and prosperity.

There are still dispossessed peoples waiting to get or get back their own sovereign homelands, such as those in Scotland, Wales, Carpatho-Russia, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Kurdistan, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico. There are still peoples waiting to return to their real homelands, such as those in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Taiwan, American Samoa, Belize, French Guiana, the Falklands. There are still artificial countries which may well disappear entirely or else be federated, such as: USA, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Kosovo, Ukraine, Morocco, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Israel, Lebanon, Kuwait, North Korea, South Korea. Finally, there are countries with disputed borders, not least in Europe, such as Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, the Jordan, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India. If we are to go not towards Hell, let us go to Free and Sovereign Nations, lands for native peoples, and not for colonial powers, and let there be a World Alliance of Free and Sovereign Peoples.

Notes:

1. We are reminded of the anthem of eighteenth-century British slave-traders and slave-owners that they, at least, would ‘never, never, never be slaves’. Of course they would never be slaves, they were ‘Franks’, aggressive Western Europeans.

2. Just as most in the twenty-first century had no problem with Obama (a pale brown, definitely not a black, man and the useful and self-obsessed idiot who started all the problems in the Ukraine) becoming US President, so few have a problem with the idea that a man of Indian extraction is the current frontrunner to be the next UK Prime Minister. After all, the candidacy of Rishi (called by some ‘Richy’) Sunak, until recently UK Chancellor/Minister of Finance, from an Indian/East African merchant family, worked appropriately for Goldman Sachs, married the daughter of the sixth richest billionaire in India, their combined fortune approaching $1 billion, Member of Parliament for a town called, strangely enough, ‘Richmond’, is unsurprisingly supported by the British Establishment’s ‘Financial Times’.

You’re either with us or you’re a “systemic challenge”

June 30, 2022

Source

After all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Fast but not furious, the Global South is revving up. The key takeaway of the BRICS+ summit in Beijing,  held in sharp contrast with the G7 in the Bavarian Alps, is that both West Asia’s Iran and South America’s Argentina officially applied for BRICS membership.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has highlighted how BRICS has “a very creative mechanism with broad aspects”. Tehran – a close partner of both Beijing and Moscow – already had “a series of consultations” about the application: the Iranians are sure that will “add value” to the expanded BRICS.

Talk about China, Russia and Iran being sooooo isolated. Well, after all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

Moscow’s obstinacy in not following Washington’s Plan A to start a pan-European war is rattling Atlanticist nerves to the core. So right after the G7 summit significantly held at a former Nazi sanatorium, enter NATO’s, in full warmongering regalia.

So welcome to an atrocity exhibition featuring total demonization of Russia, defined as the ultimate “direct threat”; the upgrading of Eastern Europe into “a fort”; a torrent of tears shed about the Russia-China strategic partnership; and as an extra bonus, the branding of China as a “systemic challenge”.

There you go: for the NATO/G7 combo, the leaders of the emerging multipolar world as well as the vast swathes of the Global South that want to join in, are a “systemic challenge”.

Turkiye under the Sultan of Swing – Global South in spirit, tightrope walker in practice – got literally everything it wanted to magnanimously allow Sweden and Finland to clear their paths on the way of being absorbed by NATO.

Bets can be made on what kind of shenanigans NATO navies will come up with in the Baltics against the Russian Baltic Fleet, to be followed by assorted business cards distributed by Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Zircon, Mr. Onyx and Mr. Kalibr, capable of course of annihilating any NATO permutation, including “decision centers”.

So it came as a sort of perverse comic relief when Roscosmos released a set of quite entertaining satellite images pinpointing the coordinates of those “decision centers”.

The “leaders” of NATO and the G7 seem to enjoy performing a brand of lousy cop/clownish cop routine. The NATO summit told coke comedian Elensky (remember, the letter “Z” is verboten) that the Russian combined arms police operation – or war – must be “resolved” militarily. So NATO will continue to help Kiev to fight till the last Ukrainian cannon fodder.

In parallel, at the G7, German Chancellor Scholz was asked to specify what “security guarantees” would be provided to what’s left of Ukraine after the war. Response from the grinning Chancellor: “Yes … I could” (specify). And then he trailed off.

Illiberal Western liberalism

Over 4 months after the start of Operation Z, zombified Western public opinion completely forgot – or willfully ignores – that Moscow spent the last stretch of 2021 demanding a serious discussion on legally binding security guarantees from Washington, with an emphasis on no more NATO eastward expansion and a return to the 1997 status quo.

Diplomacy did fail, as Washington emitted a non-response response. President Putin had stressed the follow-up would be a “military technical” response (that turned out to be Operation Z) even as the Americans warned that would trigger massive sanctions.

Contrary to Divide and Rule wishful thinking, what happened after February 24 only solidified the synergistic Russia-China strategic partnership – and their expanded circle, especially in the context of BRICS and the SCO. As Sergey Karaganov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy noted earlier this year, “China is our strategic cushion (…) We know that in any difficult situation, we can lean on it for military, political and economic support.”

That was outlined in detail for all the Global South to see by the landmark February 4th joint statement for Cooperation Entering a New Era – complete with the accelerated integration of BRI and the EAEU in tandem with military intelligence harmonization under the SCO (including new full member Iran), key foundation stones of multipolarism.

Now compare it with the wet dreams of the Council on Foreign Relations or assorted ravings by armchair strategic “experts” of “the top national security think tank in the world” whose military experience is limited to negotiating a can of beer.

Makes one yearn for those serious analytic days when the late, great Andre Gunder Frank penned ” a paper on the paper tiger” , examining American power at the crossroads of paper dollar and the Pentagon.

The Brits, with better imperial education standards, at least seem to understand, halfway, how Xi Jinping “has embraced a variant of integral nationalism not unlike those that emerged in interwar Europe”, while Putin “skillfully deployed Leninist methods to resurrect an enfeebled Russia as a global power.”

Yet the notion that “ideas and projects originating in the illiberal West continue to shape global politics” is nonsense, as Xi in fact is inspired by Mao as much as Putin is inspired by several Eurasianist theoreticians. What’s relevant is that in the process of the West plunging into a geopolitical abyss, “Western liberalism has itself become illiberal.”

Much worse: it actually became totalitarian.

Holding the Global South hostage

The G7 is essentially offering to most of the Global South a toxic cocktail of massive inflation, rising prices and uncontrolled dollarized debt.

Fabio Vighi has brilliantly outlined how “the purpose of the Ukrainian emergency is to keep the money printer switched on while blaming Putin for worldwide economic downturn. The war serves the opposite aim of what we are told: not to defend Ukraine but to prolong the conflict and nourish inflation in a bid to defuse cataclysmic risk in the debt market, which would spread like wildfire across the whole financial sector.”

And if it can get worse, it will. At the Bavarian Alps, the G7 promised to find “ways to limit the price of Russian oil and gas”: if that doesn’t work according to “market methods”, then “means will be imposed by force”.

A G7 “indulgence” – neo-medievalism in action – would only be possible if a prospective buyer of Russian energy agrees to strike a deal on the price with G7 representatives.

What this means in practice is that the G7 arguably will be creating a new body to “regulate” the price of oil and gas, subordinated to Washington’s whims: for all practical purposes, a major twist of the post-1945 system.

The whole planet, especially the Global South, would be held hostage.

Meanwhile, in real life, Gazprom is on a roll, making as much money from gas exports to the EU as it did in 2021, even though it’s shipping much smaller volumes.

About the only thing this German analyst gets right is that were Gazprom forced to cut off supplies for good, that would represent “the implosion of an economic model that is over-reliant on industrial exports, and therefore on imports of cheap fossil fuels. Industry is responsible for 36% of Germany’s gas use.”

Think, for instance, BASF forced to halt production at the world’s biggest chemicals plant in Ludwigshafen. Or Shell’s CEO stressing it’s absolutely impossible to replace Russian gas supplied to the EU via pipelines with (American) LNG.

This coming implosion is exactly what Washington neocon/neoliberalcon circles want – removing a powerful (Western) economic competitor from the world trading stage. What’s truly astonishing is that Team Scholz can’t even see it coming.

Virtually no one remembers what happened a year ago when the G7 struck a pose of trying to help the Global South. That was branded as Build Back Better World (B3W). “Promising projects” were identified in Senegal and Ghana, there were “visits” to Ecuador, Panama and Colombia. The Crash Test Dummy administration was offering “the full range” of US financial tools: equity stakes, loan guarantees, political insurance, grants, technical expertise on climate, digital technology and gender equality.

The Global South was not impressed. Most of it had already joined BRI. B3W went down with a whimper.

Now the EU is promoting its new “infrastructure” project for the Global South, branded as Global Gateway, officially presented by European Commission (EC) Fuhrer Ursula von der Leyen and – surprise! – coordinated with the floundering B3W. That’s the Western “response” to BRI, demonized as – what else – “a debt trap”.

Global Gateway in theory should be spending 300 billion euros in 5 years; the EC will come up with only 18 billion from the EU budget (that is, financed by EU taxpayers), with the intention of amassing 135 billion euros in private investment. No Eurocrat has been able to explain the gap between the announced 300 billion and the wishful thinking 135 billion.

In parallel, the EC is doubling down on their floundering Green Energy agenda – blaming, what else, gas and coal. EU climate honcho Frans Timmermans has uttered an absolute pearl: “Had we had the green deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependency on fossil fuels and natural gas.”

Well, in real life the EU remains stubbornly on the road to become a fully de-industrialized wasteland by 2030. Inefficient solar or wind-based Green Energy is incapable of offering stable, reliable power. No wonder vast swathes of the EU are now Back to Coal.

The right kind of swing

It’s a tough call to establish who’s The Lousiest in the NATO/G7 cop routine. Or the most predictable. This is what I published about the NATO summit . Not now: in 2014, eight years ago. The same old demonization, over and over again.

And once again, if it can get worse, predictably it will. Think of what’s left of Ukraine – mostly eastern Galicia – being annexed to the Polish wet dream: the revamped Intermarium, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, now dubbed as a bland “Three Seas Initiative” (with the added Adriatic) and comprising 12 nation-states.

What that implies long-term is a EU breakdown from within. Opportunist Warsaw just profits financially from the Brussels system’s largesse while holding its own hegemonic designs. Most of the “Three Seas” will end up exiting the EU. Guess who will guarantee their “defense”: Washington, via NATO. What else is new? The revamped Intermarium concept goes back all the way to the late Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski.

So Poland dreams of becoming the Intermarium leader, seconded by the Three Baltic Midgets, enlarged Scandinavia, plus Bulgaria and Romania. Their aim is straight from Comedy Central: reducing Russia into “pariah state” status – and then the whole enchilada: regime change, Putin out, balkanization of the Russian Federation.

Britain, that inconsequential island, still invested in teaching Empire to the American upstarts, will love it. Germany-France-Italy much less. Lost in the wilderness Euro-analysts dream of a European Quad (Spain added), replicating the Indo-Pacific scam, but in the end it will all depend which way Berlin swings.

And then there’s that unpredictable Global South stalwart led by the Sultan of Swing: freshly rebranded Turkiye. Soft neo-Ottomanism seems to be on a roll, still expanding its tentacles from the Balkans and Libya to Syria and Central Asia. Evoking the golden age of the Sublime Porte, Istanbul is the only serious mediator between Moscow and Kiev. And it’s carefully micromanaging the evolving process of Eurasia integration.

The Americans were on the verge of regime-changing the Sultan. Now they have been forced to listen to him. Talk about a serious geopolitical lesson to the whole Global South: it don’t mean a “systemic challenge” thing if you’ve got the right kind of swing.

A quick update from Andrei, with a few additional notes

June 23, 2022

Dear friends,

It has now been a month since my last update, so I have decided to post this note to share a few thoughts with you.

First, the boring stuff: my health is definitely doing better and, while I very much regret having had to take that time off, I now am sure that it was the right decision, both for me and the blog.  I hope to come back to full-time blogging by the end of July.  Again, I apologize to you all for my absence, and I ask for your understanding.

Second, and as I had predicted, the situation in the world and in the Ukraine has changed a great deal over the past couple of months.  I will just mention a few bullet-points of what I see as the highlights:

  • The “the glorious Ukrainians are winning” narrative has now quasi-officially faceplanted (heck, even the NYT changed its tune) and nobody sane is spewing this nonsense anymore.  The reality is that the Ukrainians are, on average, losing about one battalion per day, and this is why they are now sending barely trained civilians to the East: most of the (often very well-trained and courageous) Ukrainian combat units are even dead, prisoners, MIA or in “cauldrons” (actual or by firepower) with no chance to escape.
  • It is now also undeniable that what began as a special military operation (SMO) has now turned into a open and full-scale war between the consolidated West (aka the Anglo-Zionist Empire) and Russia: the Empire has now “hit” Russia with everything it had short of a direct military attack.  The (originally 200’000+ strong) Ukrainian military, arguably the strongest NATO military force (which is otherwise mostly composed of small and thoroughly woked-out “parade militaries”!), especially with the full support of the West (intelligence, weapons, money, political, etc. etc. etc.) is being “demilitarized” and “denazified” by a vastly superior Russian military force (but not one bigger in size: Russia has used only a fraction of her full military power).  The outcome here is not in doubt.
  • This reality has now been fully accepted by the Russian society which now stands behind the Kremlin (at 80%+) which has made no secret that it is now locked into an existential war against the West.  This has been the case since at least 2013, but now the original ratios (roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military) have shifted to what I would call “total war by proxy“.
  • The hardcore crazies in the West (US Neocons, UK, Poland and the 3B) are trying hard to trigger a fullscale war between NATO and Russia and, so far, the spineless Eurolemmings have let them set the agenda, however suicidal it might be for the EU and NATO.  Frankly, my disgust with western Europe is total – I never had any illusions about the “new” Europeans – and all I can say is that they all richly deserve each other and what is coming their way.  All I can say is this: continue to act like Nazis and you shall be denazified.  It is really that simple.
  • The leaders of the Empire know that they lost yet again, and they are seeking refuge in their usual coping mechanisms: ideological self-gratification and deep, deep denial.  While the EU is committing a straightforward economic, political and social suicide, the Biden Administration has gone “full woke”, as did corporate “America”(meaning the USA, of course, not the American continent): the so-called “minorities” are now shoved down the collective throats of the US people now, no matter how small, or freaky, the said “minorities” are.  This is especially striking in the kind of advertisements the US corporations are now unanimously producing.   I think, for example, of the morbidly obese black women in diapers (!!!) taking “ballerina poses” YouTube is now regularly showing.  Watching these ads, one would think that blacks in the USA occupy all positions of authority and prestige, that most US women are lesbians, and millions of US kids (and even infants!) urgently need a sex change (watch the excellent “What is a Woman?” documentary to see how insane this has all become).  When I see this collective woke insanity, I cannot help but wonder whether corporate “America” is not deliberately trying to really piss off the vast majority of US Americans and trigger some kind of major and violent internal crisis.
  • The Russians, in the meantime, are passing new laws against the propaganda of homosexuality: while in the past, such propaganda was only banned if directed at children, now this expanded to the entire population of Russia.  Just to clarify: Russia is not banning homosexuals and their sexual practices, however pathological, remain fully legal.  But what Russia IS doing is refusing to consider homosexuality as a “normal and natural variation in human sexuality” (Wikipedia).  In other words, the Russians still consider homosexuality as a psychological disorder which might deserve compassion, but not affirmation (nevermind encouragement).  Since “inclusiveness” and “positivity” are now key western “values” this is also a message from Russia: keep your woke-freaks and their ideology to yourselves, we want none of it!
  • In the meantime the Euroukrainians are now planning to ban and destroy over 100’000’000 copies of Russian language books.  Hitler would be proud.  The Eurolemmings have nothing to say.  You know, “#cancelRussia” thingie (meaning both Russians themselves and the Russian culture in all its forms) and all that “it’s okay when we do it” or “our SOBs” stuff.
  • The Western economic Blitzkrieg against Russia has totally failed and the joke in Russia is that while McCain famously once said that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country” with contempt, “Biden” is now saying the same thing, but with deep envy 🙂
Translation: for our Fatherland

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: the West has declared total war on Russia (and, de facto, to all of Zone B) and Russia has accepted this.  For a decade and more the West has tried hard to wake up and provoke the proverbial Russian bear and these efforts have finally been successful: the bear is now out, and he is very, very angry.  To clarify, by this I am not referring to former Atlantic Integrationists like Medvedev now “coming out” as a Eurasian Sovereignist hardliner (he is clearly setting himself up for a future Presidential election and says all the “right things”), but about the Russian people which are now in what I call a full “WWII” mode (“Rise up immense country” and all that).  To the right is the kind of images now circulating on the Russian Internet and which expresses the awareness that Europe was never truly denazifed, at least not in the US occupied countries.

Russia is now determined to finish this ugly job, once and forever.  You want to “cancel Russia”?  In your dreams only, but Russia can, and will, “cancel Nazism” once and or all.  1000 years of that crap is enough!

From the first Crusades to the invasion of the USSR by the united Europe under Hitler’s command, the West has always has some kind of ideology to justify its wars of imperialist aggression.  The interesting thing is that now this is over and rather than justify is acts of aggression in the name of some putatively universal religion or ideology, the western elites (and, alas, much of its population) have now finally shown their true face which is:

  • Virulent anti-Russian racism in its purest form (again, Hitler would be proud)
  • Pure and overt Satanism under the label of “Woke” ideology (the last western ideology it appears) with its focus on the destruction of the family and, especially, children (Satanists know that they cannot do anything against the Creator of all, hence they try to take out their hatred and revenge against His creatures, especially children)
  • Overt and even “in your face” hatred to any and all who oppose that agenda (as the French revolutionary Louis Antoine de Saint-Just famously declared “No freedom for the enemies of freedom“, right?!)

The truth is that the real West, the one born from the Middle-Ages (and *not* from the Roman or Greek civilizations!) has always been ruled by cynical, evil, thugs.  In the past, these thugs always concealed their real worldview and agenda under all sorts of pious pretexts, now its only “ideology” left is pure hatred and wokism (same thing, really).

I submit that it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming months and years – there are simply too many variables which can dramatically affect our future.  What began as a special military operation (as opposed to a combined arms operation) has now morphed into what one could call WWIII or even WWIV (depending on your definitions).  This war will last for several years unless, of course, the Neocons and their associated crazies in the EU get their way and trigger a nuclear conflict: in the latter case it will be short and very final.

Right now the focus is on the Donbass and the southern Ukraine, but we have to understand two things about this:

  • The Ukronazis and their NATO bosses have already long lost that war, and all the West and its Nazi puppets in Kiev are doing is trying to prolong this unwinnable war for as long as possible to get a maximum number of Ukrainians killed or maimed and to destroy as much of the Ukraine as possible and make Russia “pay the highest price” for her (quite inevitable) victory on the battlefield.  What a paradox!  The Russian “aggressors” are trying as hard as they can to save as many Ukrainians as possible (even at the cost of their own lives!) along with whatever is left of the Ukrainian infrastructure after 30 years of “independence”, while the western “defenders” and even “allies” of the Ukraine want to turn it into a desolate moonscape covered with corpses.
  • This is not a war about the Ukraine, at least not anymore, this is now a war for the future of the European continent and even the future international order.  As I have said many times already, the Russians fully intend to denazify at least all of the European continent, preferably by economic and political means but, if needed, by military means too.  Why?  Because the West has left Russia no other choice.  For Russia and, I would argue, all of Zone B the choice is both stark and simple: true and full sovereignty (economic, of course, but also cultural, spiritual and civilizational) or subjugation.

In other words, this is not a war Russia can afford to lose and the Russian people know it.

Last time around, Russia lost about 27 million people while China lost about 35 millions.  That a total of 62 million people, about two thirds of which were civilians.  Keep these figures in mind when you look at the quick and quite radical modernization of the Russian and Chinese armed forces (btw – the Chinese people also “get it” and they fully support Russia, as does the Chinese leadership, even if they try to keep a low profile for the time being and let Russia carry the burden of being on the frontline of this war: simply put, the Chinese are buying time which, frankly, they still need to achieve parity, or better, against the US and its protectorates in Asia such as Taiwan, Japan, ROK or Australia.  The Russians also understand that as they themselves were in a similar position between 2000 and 2018.  But they know that the Chinese Dragon will have to fully “wake up” sooner rather than later.

Yeah, I know, most folks in the West don’t know that, or don’t care, but the point is now what the folks in the West do not know, but rather it is what the people of Russia and China know and understand quite well.  Only an utter fool would doubt or disregard the kind of determination which sits deep inside the souls of the Russian and Chinese people to never allow the West to subjugate them again.  Ever.

[Sidebar: yes, I know, the Japanese Empire which attacked China was not part of the West (yet), but that is an extremely superficial argument which fails to understand that it was precisely western imperialism which created the conditions, in both China and Japan, which resulted in the Japanese imperialist attacks against the entire Asian-Pacific region!]

The above does not even begin to cover all the amazing developments which have taken place in the last few months.  Not only have there been truly huge changes INSIDE Russia (and they are only accelerating), but also in Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East.  And I will revisit all these topics in about a month or so, when I will come back to full-time blogging.  Besides, in a month or so many of the things I mentioned above will become even more obvious for all to see so rather than trying to establish “fact X” we will be able to actually discuss and analyze it, its reality having been quite established.

[Sidebar: please remember who told you the truth and who lied to you over the past months.  There were many, many such liars, ranging from the official propaganda machine (aka the “free press”) to the “Putin has lost it all” emo-Marxists and assorted 6th columnists who, whether they understood it or not, served the purpose of the Empire’s PSYOPs.  Also please remember that Andrei MartynovBernard and Gonzalo Lira not only spoke truthfully, but they were right and their detractors totally wrong.  We all owe them an immense debt of gratitude!]

Frankly, before my forced break, I was getting really frustrated trying to prove to misinformed or even fully brainwashed commentators that the official narrative (produced by the biggest strategic PSYOP in history) was a load of bull, based on lies and/or on a total “misunderstanding” (and I am being kind here!) of the real world outside the “mental Zone A”.  Now most of that narrative has collapsed.

I am also confident that a month from today, things will be even more obvious than they are today.

So, my friends and readers, I leave you in the (very competent) hands of Amarynth, Herb and the rest of the Saker team and I very much look forward to my full return, God willing, in a month or so.

Kind regards to all, and many thanks for your support!

Andrei

PS: yesterday I was re-watching the superb movie by Costa Gavras “Z” which, at the end, lists all the works of art, literature, music, etc. which the (US CIA backed) Greek “colonels” banned and I thought to myself: “what leftist director would make such a movie today about how the entire West is now doing the same with all things Russian?“.  None, of course.  I also noticed the sweet irony of Costa Gavras’ movie being called “Z” (which in Greek stands for “Ζει” or “he lives”) and I wondered if the copyright owners of the movie will now have to rename it since the letter “Z” is now banned amongst doubleplusgoodthinking russophobes.  Finally, there are some in the West who want to create two categories: “good Russians”, who are expected to publicly denounce their country and President, and “bad Russians” who refuse to do so.  Hitler wanted Jews to wear a star of David, so could we see a day when “bad Russians” in Zone A will be told to wear a “Z”.  Right now, no T-shirt or mugs printing companies in Zone A will accept to print a “Z” on their items (I know, I tried and failed!), but considering the collective rage and insanity of the western ruling elites, maybe the letter “Z” will become obligatory for “bad Russians” in Zone A?  Just kidding, of course, but rewatching the movie “Z” felt quite eerie anyway.

Economic Rent and Exploitation: Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn

June 18, 2022

Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn recording May 23, 2022
Part one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDo7HykYN9k

Part two here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-xWgLertkg

Jonathan Brown
Michael, welcome to the podcast.

Michael Hudson
It’s good to be here. I’m looking forward to it.

Jonathan Brown
Michael, I think you have one the most extraordinary upbringings and journeys into economics. And I just wanted to give our listeners just some sense of how you got from being the godson of Leon Trotsky all the way to what I consider to be probably the most important economist in the world today.

Michael Hudson 00:23
There’s no direct causality there that could have been anticipated. I never studied economics in college, because I went to school at the University of Chicago. We know that there were some students at the university who were at that business school. They were such strange people that we never even thought of going near them, because there was something otherworldly about them, something abstract.

My degree was in German language and history of culture, because the head of the History of Culture Department was Matthijs Jolles, a German professor and translator of von Clausewitz, On War. And in at the time, my intention was to become a musician. And I had to learn German in order to read the works of Heinrich Schenker. In music theory, my teachers were German. And for the History of Culture, most of the books that I was reading were, were all in German. And the German professors were also heads of the Comparative Literature Department and other departments. That meant that I could take all the courses cafeteria style at the university that I wanted.

I had to go to work when I graduated. I went to work for a while for direct mail advertising for the American Technical Society, a publisher a block away from the university, and then went to work for Free Press that was headed by Jerry Kaplan, a Trotskyist follower of Max Shachtman. And he wanted to send me to New York to help set up Free Press there.

Soon after I came to New York, Trotsky’s widow died. And Max Shachtman was the executor of her estate. He thought I should go into publishing by myself. And I had already had the copyrights for George Lukacs, the Hungarian Marxist and I thought tried to get funding for a publishing company with Trotsky’s works and other works. I’ve been writing a history of music and art theory. And needless to say, I didn’t get any funding because nobody was at all interested in publishing the works of Trotsky. I even tried to get Dwight Eisenhower the write the introduction to his military papers, wouldn’t work.

I was urged to meet Terence McCarthy, the father of a girlfriend of one of my schoolmates, Gavin MacFadyen. He was the first English-language translator of the first history of economic thought that was written: Karl Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value (Mehrwert), reviewing the value theory of classical economics. Terence said that he would help guide me in economic thinking if I’d get a PhD in economics and go to work on Wall Street to see how the world works. But I had to read all of the bibliography in Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value. So I had to begin buying the books, and ended up working as a sideline with one of the reprinters, Augustus Kelly, who was reprinting many of the classical economists. He was a socialist. There were other dealers in New York: Samuel Ambaras, Sydney Millman. I began buying all of the 19th-century classical economic books that I could, sinse that was the only way that I could get copies.

I took graduate classes in the evening while working at a bank for three years, the Savings Banks Trust Company. It was a commercial bank, but was acting as a central bank for the savings banks that in America finance mortgages. All their savings are reinvested in mortgages. So for three years my job was to track the real estate market, the mortgage market, interest rates, the funding of mortgages, the growth of assets by the savings banks, all growing at compound interest. All the growth in savings in the New York savings banks in the early 1960s was simply the accrual of dividends. So you’d have a step function at dividend time every quarter, going up exponentially. There was hardly any new savings inflow. It’s as if you’ve just left a given amount of savings in 1945, and let the amount rise exponentially. All this increase in savings was recycled into the real estate market.

The New York banks wanted to extend their market so they couldn’t just keep bidding up New York housing prices. They won the right to lend out of state, especially the Florida. So my job was basically seeing that real estate prices were whatever a bank would lend. At that time, banks would not lend you a mortgage if the debt service exceeded 25% of your income. And you had to put up usually 30% of the purchase price as a down payment, but possibly 10%. So housing was affordable. You could buy a really nice house for you know, $20 or $30,000. Now, it costs $400,000 to buy just a one room apartment in a condominium.

I bought a house for $1 down – it was $45,000 total. I took out a mortgage from Chase for half the price, and the other half was a purchase-money mortgage. So it was easy. Anybody coul get a house in New York at that time. Housing was readily affordable.

After I finished my PhD courses, I changed jobs. My real interest at the time was international finance and the balance of payments. So I went to work at Chase Manhattan as their balance of payments economist. This was at a time when the balance of payments and even balance-sheet analysis was not taught in schools. It was very specialised. I realised that what I was taught, especially in monetary theory, had nothing at all to do with what I was learning in practice.

In monetary theory, for instance, that was the era of Milton Friedman in the 60s and 70s. He thought that when you create more money, it increases consumer prices. Well, I thought that obviously was not how things worked. When banks create money, they don’t lend for people for spending. About 80% of bank loans in America, as in England, are mortgage loans. They lend against property already in place. They also lend for corporate mergers and acquisitions, and by the 1980s for corporate takeovers.

The effect of this lending is to increase asset prices, not consumer prices. You could say that money creation actually lowers consumer prices, because 80% is to increase housing prices. Banks seek to increase their loan market by lending more and more against every kind of real estate, whether it’s residential or commercial property. They keep increasing the proportion of debt to overall real estate price. So by 2008 you could buy property with no money down at all, and take 100% mortgage, sometimes even 102 or 103% so that you would have enough money to pay the closing fees. The government did not limit the amount of money that a bank could lend against income. The proportion of income devoted to mortgage service that was federally guaranteed increased to 43%. Well, that’s a lot more than 25%. That’s 18% of personal income more in 2008 than in the 1960s – simply to pay mortgage interest in order to get a house. So I realised that this was deflationary. The more money you have to spend on mortgage interest to buy a house as land and real estate is financialized, the less you have left to spend on goods and services. This was one of the big problems that was slowing the economy down.

Well, it was obvious to me that rent was being paid out as interest. Rent is for paying interest. If I talked with various developers about buying buildings, they said, “Well, we try to buy our buildings without any money at all. The banks will lend us the money to buy a building, and they calculate how much is your rental income going to be? That rental income will carry how much of a bank loan at a given interest charge, and lend the money to buy it.” That is how real estate rent was financialized.

Democratization of real estate on credit means turns rental income into interest, not taxes
This meant that the role that had been played in the 19th century by landlords is now played by banks. In the 19th century, the problem was absentee landlords, the heirs of the warlords who conquered England or other European countries in the Middle Ages. You had hereditary rent. Well, now our rent has been democratised. But it’s been democratised on credit, because obviously, the only way that a wage earner can afford to buy is is on credit. For an investor you can buy whole buildings on credit.

Finance has transformed real estate into a financial vehicle. So that that’s what rent is for paying interest means. There’s a symbiotic sector, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate – the FIRE sector. It’s the key to today’s financialised economy. Most real estate tax in America is at the local level, because after the income tax was introduced, commercial real estate was made tax exempt by the pretence that buildings depreciate in value, as if they don’t in fact rise in price. The pretence is that they wear out, even though landlords normally pay about 10% of the rental income for repairs and upgrades to keep the building from wearing out.

Today in New York, and I’m sure in London too, the older a building is, the better it’s built. Real-estate developers have crapified building codes so that the newer the building, the more shoddily it’s built. They call shoddy buildings “luxury” real estate, meaning is built with really not very thick walls. I think the junkiest building in New York is Trump Tower, which is sort of the model of shadiness which they call luxury. It’s very high-priced.

The academic economics curriculum finds unproductive credit to embarrassing to acknowledge
While I saw the importance of finance and real estate, none of that was discussed in the university’s economics courses at all. The pretense is that money is created by banks lending to investors who build factories and employ labour to produce more. All credit is assumed to be productive, and taken on to finance productive investment in the form of tangible capital formation. Well, that that was the hope in the 19th century, and actually was the reality in Germany and in Central Europe, where you had banking becoming industrialised. But after World War I, you had a snap back to the Anglo-Dutch-American kind of banking, which was really just the Merchant banking. It was bank lending against assets already in place.

Classical economics as a reform program to free economies from economic rent and rentier income

I realised that the statistics that I worked on showed the opposite of what I was taught. I had to go through the motions of the PhD orals. and avoided conflict by writing my dissertation on the history of economic thought, because anything that I would have written about the modern economy would have driven the professors nutty. Needless to say, none of the academic professors I had ever actually worked in the real world. It was all very theoretical. So that basically how I came to realise that the 19th century fight for 100 years – we can call it the long 19th century, from the French Revolution, up to World War I, and from the French Physiocrats, to Adam Smith, Ricardo and Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Simon Patton and Thorstein Veblen – was the value and price theory of classical economics to quantify economic rent as unearned income.

The purpose of value and price theory was to define the excess of market price over actual cost value. The difference was economic rent. The essence of classical economics was a reform campaign – that of industrial capitalism. It was a radical campaign, because the basic cost-cutting dynamic of industrial capitalism was radical. It realised that in order to make Britain, France or Germany, or any country competitive with others, you had to get rid of the landlord class and its demands for economic rent. You also had to get rid of monopolies and their economic rent. You had to get rid of all payments of income that were not necessary for production to take place. The aim was to bring prices in line with the actual cost value of production, to free economies from this rake-off to unproductive investment, unproductive labour and economic rent – land rent, monopoly rent and financial interest charges. Those were the three basic categories of rent on which classical political economy focused.

To translate classical rent theory into practice, you needed a political reform, You had to get rid of the landlord class’s political power to block reform. It wasn’t enough simply to say that economic rent was not a necessary cost of production, not part of real value. The landlord class would simply say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

The proponents of industrial capitalism saw that the constitution of England, France and America required giving governments the power to pass laws to free economies from economic rent. in order to do that, they needed democratic reform of the political system. In England they needed to empower the House of Commons over the House of Lords. That effort led to a constitutional crisis in 1909 and 1910, when the House of Commons, Parliament, passed a land tax. That was rejected, as I’m sure you know, by the House of Lords. The crisis was resolved by saying the Lords could never again reject a Revenue Act passed by the House of Commons. That political reform was part and parcel with classi9cal economic theory defining rent as an unnecessary cost of production.

But where did this leave the interests of labor – the majority of the population? As a broad social reform, classical economics began to falter by 1848. You had revolutions in almost every European country. These revolutions were not fully democratic in the sense of they weren’t really for wage labour, which was the bulk of society. They were bourgeois revolutions, including land reform. They were all for getting rid of the landed aristocracy and the special privileges that the aristocracy held. But they were not very interested in helping consumers, and labour’s working conditions, shortening the workweek, shortening the workday and promoting safety. There was nothing really about public health, or public social infrastructure spending. So things began to falter by 1848.

But they still made progress through the balance of the 19th century. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, it looked like the world was moving towards socialism. Almost everybody in the 19th century, across the political spectrum, whatever you were advocating was called socialism.

Socialism and strong government as the program of post-rentier industrial capitalism
At the broadest level, socialism meant collecting economic rent and getting rid of the landlords and the aristocracy, either by taxing away rent or nationalizing land and natural monopolies, in hope that that by itself would create a viable industrial economy. you had libertarian socialism, Marxist socialism, anarchist socialism, industrial socialism and Christian socialism. Almost every reformer wanted that as a label. The question is, what kind of socialism were are you going to have?

That was what the aftermath of World War I was fought about. The fight was largely shaped by the Russian Revolution, which unfortunately went tragically wrong under Stalin and gave socialism and communism a bad name. But it still had a good name in England after World War II. And also in America in the 1930s, as a result of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that saved capitalism by investing in public infrastructure.

I can give you an example of where pro-capitalist theory was in the 1890s. In the United States. The industrial interests in America faced a problem once the Civil War ended in 1865. They wanted to create an industrial society – ideally, a fair society with rising living standards. How do you do that without training people to administer such an economy? You need to train people in a university. You have to teach them how economies worked. But the main universities in America were religious colleges, founded to train the clergy. Yale, Harvard, Princeton and most taught British free-trade theory, which trivialized economic theory.

So the business interests and the government saw the need to teach reality-based economics. They saw that there was little hope in trying to reform the existing universities. Their economics departments – called moral philosophy – were unreformable. So it was necessary to create new universities. All through America, each state was given a land grant to enable it to create a new university and teach reality economics. They also would teach economic history and how the world actually works. Most of all, they would teach protectionist trade theory and how to create a society and economy that is more efficient than other economies?

Well, the first business school in America was the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Its first economics professor was Simon Patton, a protectionist. And he explained that if you’re going to make industrial products at prices that outcompete those of England, you need public infrastructure spending. You need as much of the cost of living as possible to not to be paid by the employers to factor into the price of their products, but to be paid by the government.

Patten cited public roads and canals to lower the cost of doing business. He also noted that every time you build a road or railroad, you’re going to raise the land value along these routes – and lower land prices for areas replaced by the now-more-accessible producers. You can simply self-finance the cost of these by taxing the rent.

You also need public education, and that should be free so that you don’t have like today, to earn enough money to pay an enormous student debt – and receive a high salary to afford to pay that. If the government would provide free education, you wouldn’t have to pay workers enough to pay this student debt, so they wouldn’t need such high wages simply to break even.
Today 18% of America’s national income is from medical insurance. If you have a public health system and socialized medicine, as England had after World War II and as Bernie Sanders advocates today, then you wouldn’t have to pay workers a high enough salary to afford this enormous medical expense. England realised this already in the 1870s and ‘80s, when Benjamin Disraeli campaigned as a conservative for health.

So the movement towards public infrastructure towards government spending was led by the industrialists. It was they themselves who wanted strong government. The common denominator of politics from Adam Smith through all of the 19th century was to free economies from the unnecessary economic rent, to free them from unearned income, from the free lunch. To do that, you have to have a government strong enough to take on the vested interests – first the landlord class in the House of Lords, and then the financial class behind it.

Jonathan Brown 26:00
Well, just to clarify that, Michael, I think what you’re, what you’re saying is, I know in some of your writing you talk about the view of government or the public sector was it was a fourth means of production. So you got land, labour, capital and the public sector.

Michael Hudson 26:16
That was the term that Simon Patten used. Government infrastructure is a fourth means of production. But what makes it different from profits and wages is that if you’re a wage earner, you want to make as high a wage as possible. If you’re a capitalist, you want to make as high a profit as possible. But the job of public investment is not to make an income, not to do what was done under Thatcher and Tony Blair, not to treat public utilities, education and health as profit making opportunities. Instead, Patten said, you should measure their productivity by how much they lower the cost of doing business and the cost of living for the economy at large.

Jonathan Brown 27:03
And what that allows a country to do, so if you’re good at it, is to get together and ask how to educate our people, lower the cost of transportation so we’ve got we’ve got a mobile workforce, all those things. We can then start to compete against other nations who are ahead of us, who may have more expensive means of production, and we can maintain that advantage. We’re not stuck in a lower level of the economy where we’re basically working for someone else. We’re able to develop ourselves as a nation. And I guess the benefit of us doing it collectively is that we can minimise the cost, then use a natural monopoly power in government hands to provide efficient services across the board. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 27:46
Yes, but they went further. Protectionists in America said the way to minimise costs – and it may seem an oxymoron to you – the way you minimise costs is to have high-wage labour. You raise the wages of labour, or more specifically, you want to raise the living standards, because highly paid labour, highly educated labour, well fed labour, well rested labour is more productive than pauper labour. So they said explicitly, America’s going to be a high wage economy. We’re not like Europe. Our higher wages are going to provide high enough living standards to provide high labour productivity. And our higher labour productivity, shorter working day, better working conditions, healthy working conditions, public health, well educated labor will undersell that of countries that don’t have an active public sector.

Jonathan Brown 28:45
and Henry Ford being the poster boy for that approach, of doubling his employees’ salaries and so on.

Michael Hudson 28:53
Yes.

Jonathan Brown 28:54
Amazing.

<h4>The fight against classical economics and its concept of rent as unearned income</h4>
Michael Hudson 28:55
Needless to say, the fight for the kind of democracy that will free economies from economic rent was not easy. By the late 1880s, and especially the 1890s, you had the rentiers fighting back. In America the fight was led by John Bates Clark. There was a movement, which today is called neoliberalism, to deny the entire thrust of classical economics. Clarke said that there is no such thing is unearned income. That meant that economic rent does not exist. Whatever a businessman makes, he is said to earn. Whatever a landlord makes, he earns – so there was no unearned income.

This came to a head around 1890 the Journal of Ethics. Clark wrote the first essay, and it was refuted by Simon Patton. There was a fight against the concept of economic rent by academic economics, especially in New York City at Columbia University, where Clark ended up, This is really the dividing line: You recognise that much of the economy is unearned income and you want to get rid of it. To do that, you have to pass laws that will tax away the unearned income, or better yet, you put land and other natural resources and natural monopolies in the public domain where the public sector directly sets prices. That was what Teddy Roosevelt did with his trust busting.

Jonathan Brown 31:13
Michael, I just want to say reading your work is something of a revelation. I’ve got a degree in economics for what it’s worth. And I would say the only valuable thing that I found from a getting a degree in economics is that I know, resolutely when an economist is talking bullshit. How do you know that? It’s when his lips move.

Michael Hudson 31:32
If it’s an economist, they’re talking bullshit – let me make it easy, right!

Jonathan Brown 31:36
And then the thing is, that reading your work, for example, going back to Thorstein Veblen, his work, which only made it into the mainstream when I was getting a degree in the 90s, was conspicuous consumption. It had nothing to do with absentee landlords or, and the profound importance of that, and then I’m looking in J is for Junk Economics, and you talk about the free lunch, and how Milton Friedman said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

When you look at your work, you prove that actually there is, and that he’s having it! And you say, “Most business ventures seek such free lunches not entailing actual work or real production costs, and to deter public regulation or higher taxation of rent-seeking recipients of free lunches. They have embraced Milton Friedman’s claim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

And you talk about: “Even more aggressively rent extractors accused governments of taxing their income to subsidise freeloaders, pinning the label of free lunches on public welfare recipients, job programs, beneficiaries of higher minimum wage, when the actual antidote to free lunches is to make governments strong enough to tax economic rent, and keep the potential rent extracting opportunities and natural monopolies in the public domain.”

Michael Hudson 32:51
Veblen was indeed was the last great classical economist. He coined the term neoclassical economics. I think that’s an unfortunate term. When I went to school in my 20s, I thought neoclassical meant ‘Oh, it’s a new version of classical economics’. It’s not that at all. What Veblen meant was there used to be the old classical economics of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Marx, all about economic rent and exploitation. “Neo” means there’s a new body of completely different, post-classical economics aiming to make classical economics obsolete. That is the new mainstream economics of today, trying to make itself “classical.” So Veblen he should have used the terms post-classical or anti-classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 33:44
Or even pseudo classical?

Michael Hudson 33:49
It’s antithetical, because the root of classical value and price theory was to isolate and define economic rents statistically. To deny economic rent is to deny the whole point of classical value and price theory. That is where economics became untracked.

Unfortunately, it became untracked largely by Henry George, who rejected classical economics and very quickly followed J.B. Clark and accepted his mushy value and price theory. Removing all elements the cost of production from value theory, analysing prices simply in terms of consumer demand and what people want, and not analysing what determines land and other asset prices, loses focus.

George became very popular as a journalist. He wrote wonderful journalism to expose the railroads in California as landlords, and he wrote a wonderful book on the Irish land question. But when he tried to talk about the whole economy, he didn’t want any competition. He said, in effect, “Economics begins and ends with me. Forget everything, Adam Smith and classical economics.” He’s sort of an early Margaret Thatcher. There’s no such thing as society or the economy. Only “tax the landlords.”

Jonathan Brown 35:35
What are you doing? You’re destroying my view of Henry George! He’s an early Margaret Thatcher? How, how could that possibly be?

Michael Hudson 35:47
Well, in two ways. The first way is that in the 19th century, in order to tax the land rent, you had to take on the most powerful vested interests of all: the real estate interests and the financial interests. But Henry George was a libertarian. He was for small government. He broke with the socialists, because he warned that socialism had a potential for authoritarianism. Well, we know that he was right in that warning, because we saw what happened in Stalinist Russia. But obviously, what you want is a government that is strong and democratic, and with enough authority to tax and regulate the vested interests. (That term is Veblen’s, by the way.) That was the ideal in America, but it needed a strong enough government so that Teddy Roosevelt could come in and be able to bust the trusts.

The government was strong enough in 1913-14 to impose an American income tax that fell just on 1% of the population, almost entirely on economic rent, on land rent, mineral rent on monopoly rent of the big corporations. If you’re a libertarian, your government is too small to take on these vested interests. And you’ll never win. You’ll end up like the Social Democrats or like today’s Labour Party under Mr. Starmer, not able to be very efficient. So that was George’s first problem.

The second problem was when he said that all you have to do is tax the land and everything else will take care of itself. Well, as you know, he was nominated as a celebrity candidate by the socialist and labour groups in New York City in 1876 to run for mayor. They gave him their programme – safe housing, workers housing, safe working conditions, food laws that protect people from poison, like you don’t want to use chromium for cake frosting to make it yellow.
Well, George threw out the whole labour programme and said that there’s only one thing that mattered: If you tax the land rent, the cakes will take care of themselves, worker safety conditions will take care of themselves. You don’t need socialism; just tax land rent.

Well, the word “panacea” came into popular use in the English language at that time, because George didn’t see the economy as a whole. That was a tragedy. He was great as a journalist describing rent and the machinations of the railroads. But once he tried to talk about the economy, without really describing how it worked as a system, saying there really isn’t any economic system, it’s just about land rent. That separated him from the other reformers.

By the 1890s you had many of reformers in America, who had been inspired by George’s journalism in the 70s and early 80s, including attacks on the oil monopoly and the Rockefellers. They asked what happened to George? Well, he became a sectarian. He formed his own party and said, we’re only going to talk about land rent. This diverted attention away from how the overall economy works. And if you don’t understand how the economy is all about providing a free lunch in one way or another, not only to landlords but to the financial sector primarily, then you’re really not going to address the interests of most of the population.

So his sectarian party shrank. Still, in the first decade of the 20th century you had followers of Henry George and socialists going around the country debating each other. They had great debates, they spelled out the whole problem. I wanted to reprint all these debates somewhere, what both the socialists and the Georgists said: “One thing we can agree on is that society is going to get go either your way or our way. We’re talking about how is the future of the political system and the economic relations and taxes that follow from this system. How are they going to evolve?”

The socialists focused on labour’s working conditions, because these were getting worse and worse. In America the fight for labour unionisation got quite violent, and corrupt. The abuse of consumers, the growth of monopolies, all these were growing problems. The socialists focused on these problems – and decided to leave the discussion of rent to followers of George. I think that was very unfortunate, because George had pried the discussion of economic rent away from the classical value theory and its political dimension, which was socialist.

I find little interest in today’s socialist movement or the socialist movement 50 years ago about land rent. They are more concerned about international issues, about war, about almost everything except land rent. And today I find the greatest interest in rent theory as a guide to a tax system in the context of an overall economic system to be in China. So that’s really where the debate over how to keep the price of housing down by keeping the financial sector from trying to capitalise the land rent into a bank loan.

That’s a big fight in China today. It should have been also in Russia. Fred Harrison, in the early 1990s, brought a group of people including me over to Russia. We made two trips to the Duma and did everything we could to explain that Russia could have a great advantage to rebuild its industry into a productive economy. The first thing that it should have done was to keep housing prices down. It could have given everybody their houses, free and clear, without any debt. Of course, some places would be more valuable than others, but Russia would have had the lowest-priced economy in the world. In America, the rent can take up to 43% of a home buyer’s income.

Well, there was pushback from the Russians. They had no rent in a socialist economy. Ted Gwartney, an American real estate appraiser, walked down the streets of St. Petersburg with the local mayor, I think on a fall or winter days. He pointed out that one side of the street was very sunny. The other street was in the shade. That’s how the sun is in the northern latitudes in the winter. Most people were walking on the sunny side of the street. That means that if you’re going to have a store, whether it’s a bakery, a food store or a restaurant, the store on the sunny side of the street is going to be able to attract more customers. Their site has more economic rent than the dark side of the street. Same thing with buildings near a subway. They will be worth more than sites far away from transportation.

The mayor said understood the point, and asked how to actually make a land value tax so to collect this rent? Ted explained that St. Petersburg’s layout was much like that of Boston, where a land map was easy to make. It showed that there was a peak centre of values near the subway, with rents tapering off further away. He suggested to apply Boston as a scale model to St. Petersburg. Just plug in a few prices, and you have a land-valuation map.

Russia could have been a low-cost economy. It could have kept the oil and gas, Yukos, GazProm, nickel and platinum resources all in the public domain to finance investment in re-industrialization, to become independent of the West. But as we all know, Ted and the people that Fred Harrison bought were completely overwhelmed by the billions of dollars that U.S. diplomats spent on promoting kleptocracy and shock therapy in Russia. Its officials and insiders worked for themselves, not Russia.

And it wasn’t only Russia that missed opportunities. I brought Ted Gwartney and his mathematical model-maker to Latvia, where I was Economic Research Director of the Riga Graduate School of Law. I was asked by the leading political party of Latvia, the Centre Party – basically the party of Russian speakers, with 1/3 of the population and votes – to draw up a model for how Latvia could restructure its post-Soviet economy and industry. Ted met with the tax authorities and housing authorities and explained how to use land rent as the tax base. They were amazed and said, “This is great. We can hire a separate appraiser for every single building. This will create a lot of employment”. No he said. He had been the appraiser for Greenwich, Connecticut, the state’s wealthiest city. He said, “We can do a whole city in about one week.” They couldn’t believe this in Latvia.

Around the time of his visit there was a meeting in Boston of the Eastern Economics Association. It was largely created by John Kenneth Galbraith to go off the economic mainstream. I think the Schalkenbach Foundation had a session on political critics of Henry George, so there were a lot of Georgists. Other people who came to the Eastern Economic Association meeting were socialists, including Alan Freeman who was the assistant to Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London.

When everybody was having lunch after the economic meetings, I brought Alan over to sit down with Ted Gwartney. Ted explained what he did, and Alan said, “Oh, I’ve never heard of this! I’ve got to come and meet you some more.’ So he came to New York and we went up to visit Ted in Connecticut. He explained how to make a land value map. Alan said, “You should win the Nobel Prize for this! This is amazing! There’s nothing like this in England.”

Ted explained that there are about 20,000 appraisers in America that do what he did. There are abundant statistics. Every city has a map of land and building appraisals: here’s the value of the building, here’s the value of the land. So smoothing out a land value map is pretty easy to do. Alan could hardly believe it.

Well, I went back to London shortly and met with Alan. It turned out that political pressures in England, especially from the Labour Party, led London to hire Weatheralls, a real estate company, do appraisals. So we never got to do our version of a real estate appraisal of London to calculate land rent.

But this is what all of the theories of the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Veblen, Alfred Marshall, all of them were focusing on. Yet this idea is so alien that from London to St. Petersburg, they don’t have any idea of how the simple concept can be done. The economics profession is in denial. It’s followed the idea that there’s no such thing as unearned income, everybody gets what they make.

The National Income and Product Accounts treat rent as a product, not a subtrahend
A byproduct of this value-free doctrine is how countries calculate their national income and product accounts. And if you look at the GDP accounts for the United States (and I’ve published a number of articles on my website and in major economic journals), rent is counted as part of GDP.

This is easiest to see in real estate and finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sends its employees around to ask homeowners what the rental income of their home would be if they had to rent it. If you were a landlord and rented yourself how much rent would that be? This appears in the NIPA statistics as “homeowners imputed rent.” That’s 8% of GDP. But it is not really income, because it is not actually paid. Nobody gets it. But value-free designers of GDP want to describe all of the income that landlords make as contributing to GDP. They say that landlords provide a productive service, they provide housing to people who need it, and they provide commercial properties to businesses that need it. Well, that’s not exactly how John Stuart Mill put it. He said that rent is what landlords make ‘in their sleep’. So how can you rationalize how productive landlords are?

Another element of American GDP is financial services. I called up the Commerce Department where they make the NIPA statistics and asked what happens when credit card companies increase their interest charges. And where do penalty charges for late payments appear? Credit card companies in America make billions of dollars in interest a year and even more billions in fees, late fees and penalties. Most of the income that credit card companies make are actually on these fees and penalties. So where does that appear in that GDP? I was told, in “financial services.’ So the “service” of calculating how far the debtors must pay for falling behind in their payments. They typical charge 29%. That’s all counted as a contribution to GDP. But in reality it is a subtrahend, leaving less to spend on real “product.”

This raises the question of just what income and product actually mean. Well, this brings us back to what classical economics is all about. The “product” should be measured by what its actual necessary cost of production is. But there’s a lot of income over and above this necessary cost of production. Namely, economic rent, that’s unearned income. But the income and product accounts don’t say how much is “earned” and how much is “unearned” land rent, monopoly rent, natural resource rent, interest and financial charges.

A classical economic accounting format would show how much of the prices for what our society produces is actually necessary, and how much is a subtrahend. Classical economists treat the land rent that you pay, interest charges and monopoly prices as a rake-off. So not all of your income is income equals “product,” because only a portion of that income represents a real product.

In America, the head of Goldman Sachs a few years ago said Goldman Sachs partners – a financial management firm – make more money than almost anyone else in America, because they’re the most productive. If you make a lot of money, by definition, you make it by being productive. That’s the false identity.

Jonathan Brown 55:25
That’s really the John Bates Clark idea that if you make the money, you’ve earned it. And it’s not just because you control the gate. You’re the gatekeeper, to stop people and make them pay the toll. You’re the troll under the bridge, taking people’s money as they cross, which is essentially what financial economics is about.

Michael Hudson 55:48
Right. I have spoken with a number of political advisors, many of whom were followers of Henry George. They’ve described to me how political all of this definition of the economy is. A number of friends of mine have been trying to show how much of what the United Nations calculates as income and product is actually economic rent. Steve Keen, Dirk Bezemer and Jacob Assa are in this group. There are a number of others who do it. We publish in places like the Review of Keynesian Economics, Journal of Economic Issues and other not-mainstream journals. A lot of this was taught where I was a professor for decades, at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Our graduates had problems getting jobs, because in order to get an appointment at a university, you have to publish articles in prestige journals. The University of Chicago, the Milton Friedman boys, the Chicago Boys control the editorial boards of all these prestige magazines, just like they control the Nobel Economics Prize Committee. The prize basically is given to Chicago Boys every year for not explaining how the economy works.

A precondition for what you call an economist, especially a Nobel Prize winning economist, is not to understand how the economy works. Because if you understand that, you’re going to threaten the vested interests that are getting the free lunch. You have to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, everybody earns whatever they can get. Robbers and criminals like that idea. “Yeah, we stole it fair and square!”

Crime pays, and rent seeking also pays.

You can get much more money quicker by extractive means – by rent extraction – than you can by investing in plant and equipment and developing products and marketing them and making a profit over time, and spending on research and development. That’s why in today’s United States, 92% of corporate revenue, called earnings, (although not all of it is earned – that’s a euphemism) is spent on stock buybacks and dividend payouts, not on new capital investment.

So the way that the economy works today is no longer industrial capitalism; it is finance capitalism. Instead of Industrial Engineering, making society produce more with all of the environmental protection cost included, you have financial engineering, making wealth by increasing stock-market prices. Wealth is not achieved by earning it. You don’t save up your earnings and get wealthy. I think half of Americans are unable to raise $400 In an emergency. They have no savings at all.

For most people it’s very hard to save up money, especially if they have student debt, credit-card debt, medical debt and mortgage debt. After paying this, there’s really no income left to be saved. So you have the 1% of society, the rentier portion that had to pay income tax back in 1914, getting huge amounts of income and the rest of the society getting less and less. The result is economic polarisation. The dynamics of society are financial and basically rely on rent seeking that has been financialized.

I’ll give you another example of the GDP. One of the problems that makes GDP statistics meaningless is depreciation, the idea that buildings depreciate. When Ronald Reagan came in, the real estate interests and their banks basically took over the government. Henry George and the Libertarians oppose central planning by elected democratic governments, and that leaves central planning to Wall Street’s financial interests. Every economy is planned, and if you don’t have a government strong enough to do the planning, then the planning is done by the financial sector and the real estate sector, and they were given free rein under Ronald Reagan.

Under Reagan’s 1981 tax “reform” you could pretend that if you buy a big commercial building, you can write off 1/7 of the entire costs every single year as tax deductible income. At the end of seven years, you change your ownership from one name to another name, and you start all over again. The same building can be re depreciated again and again and again.

Donald Trump wrote in his autobiography, he loves depreciation, because he said thanks to the pretence of depreciation, his buildings are all going up in value, but he gets to pretend they’re falling, and deduct all of that fictitious over-depreciation from his taxable income. It’s actually economic rent. But if you look at the national income statistics, you can’t find economic rent in them at all. I was able to piece it together by adding up what goes into economic rent: Real estate taxes are part of economic rent, and also interest payments, because interest is paid out of economic rent. But fictitious depreciation tax loopholes also should be there.

But nowhere in the national income statistics is a report of how much income real estate owners actually claim as depreciation. They haven’t done that because if they showed this, people would think, ‘Wait a minute, this is a giveaway. This is utterly unrealistic.” So they only put in a figure for how much they [think] buildings are actually depreciating over a period of decades. So you have a fictitious national income accounting format that makes it impossible to calculate what land rent is – and that was the major focus of classical economics.

How are you going to get a statistical system that actually reflects this? Well, one associate of mine, Jacob Assa, has written a few books on this criticising economic rent. He worked in the United Nations here in New York until quite recently. But as I said, our graduates can’t publish in the University of Chicago economic journals whose party line is that ‘there’s no such thing as economic rent’, just like there’s no such thing as society is beyond “the market.”

I wanted to publish statistics on this and in 1994 the Henry George School in New York asked me to calculate what rent was and the land value. I found out that the value of land, the market price of land in the United States was twice what the government reported.

The government pretends that real estate prices rise mainly because buildings keep growing in value, even though they’re supposed to depreciate. They pretend that buildings grow in value by taking the original cost of the building, and multiplying it by the Construction Price Index. Whatever is left is reported as land value. Well, in 1994 the Federal Reserve reported that the land value of all of the commercially owned real estate in the United States was negative $4 billion. This is crazy.

The statistics are drawn up by a methodology that the real estate interests lobbied for. When I calculated this, the Georgists in America got furious. They said that I was showing that land value and rents were much higher than they thought. They worried that this might lead people to want to tax real estate. Lowell Harriss of Schalkenbach explained that Georgists today represent mainly real estate developers, and that their major audience was local mayors, whose biggest campaign funders are the real estate interest.

These Georgists called themselves “two raters,” wanting to keep overall real estate taxes unchanged (“revenue-neutral”) but shift the tax from commercial landlords onto homeowners by taxing land, not buildings – e.g., electric utilities, office buildings and other capital-intensive structures.

By representing the developers, Georgists proposed to save society by having the developers build up those slums, build up those vacant lots. Like George, they said that there was no need to worry about ecology or any problem except cutting property taxes for large real estate owners. You don’t need to worry about workers conditions or anything else. Let’s just give an economic incentive (i.e., a tax cut) to help contractors build up those vacant lots.

I was told if I published a new explanation of my statistics showing that most rent was paid out as interest, I could never have any relations with Schalkenbach and the Henry George school again. So I published them in a Harper’s Magazine cover story and have lived happily ever after.

Jonathan Brown 1:06:13
And was that “The New Road to Serfdom”?

Michael Hudson 1:06:22
Yes. I chose that title because the purpose of industrial capitalism was to free economies from the legacy of feudalism. And the legacy of feudalism was the landlord-warrior class collecting hereditary rent and the predatory banks that were not making loans for industry. None of the industrialists got their money to invest in banks. The inventors of the steam engine couldn’t get loans except by mortgaging their houses. Banks don’t lend money to create capital, only for the right to foreclose on it.

Jonathan Brown 1:07:02
This is all included in your in your latest book that just came out, The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial capitalism, or Socialism, which I gather was a series of lectures to a Chinese University. Is that correct?

Michael Hudson 1:07:16
Yes. There were 160,000 viewers for the first lecture, and there’s a huge interest in this in China, because they realise that higher housing prices make them poorer and more highly indebted, not richer. What is pushing up housing prices in China is the amount of credit that banks will lend against the property.

A land tax would keep housing prices down, because the rent could not be available, to be capitalized into a bank loan. As China gets more productive and more prosperous, people obviously are going to be able to afford housing, which is how most people define their status. If a site gets more valuable because of public investment in transportation, or schools or parks nearby, that’s going to make it more valuable. But if you tax this rental income, then you’re going to keep the housing price down.

I think Fred Harrison and Don Riley wrote a book Taken for a Ride where they show that the money that London spent on extending the Jubilee Line increased real estate prices by twice as much as the line cost. London could have simply collected the land’s increase in rental value that this public investment created and made it self-financing.

Instead it was a giveaway.

They ended up taxing labour and business, and the effect was to increase Britain’s cost of living and hence the cost of production, which is why Britain is de-industrialising. It’s been de-industrialising because despite the attempts through 1909 and 1911, to free itself from landlordism, the bankers have taken the place of the landlords. They are the class today that the landlords were in the 19th century. So we’re back on the revival of what really was feudalism – a rake-off by a hereditary privileged class.

America’s monetary imperialism coming to an end with de-dollarization
Jonathan Brown 1:09:47

I’m wondering where we go next. I want to get into the conversations that you started with the 1972 first edition of Super Imperialism. I know we had a third edition fairly recently, with your prescience of the predictions in analyzing the situation for America, and how the balance of payments deficit was a result of U.S. expenditure by the military. Getting into the current manifestation of the de-dollarization challenge that seems to be accelerating through the Ukraine and Russia crisis, I wonder what background we need to give the listeners just to tell them about how that system works.

Michael Hudson 1:10:39
One of the things that most people don’t understand is money, largely because of the academic discussion confusing matters. Until 1971, countries running a balance of payments deficit would have to settle it either in gold or by selling off their industry to investors in the payments-surplus countries. Well, beginning with the war in Korea in 1950-1951, the U.S. balance of payments moved into deficit. The entire U.S. balance of payments deficit from the Korean War to the 1970s was a result of its foreign military spending.

By the time the Vietnam war was ending, the Americans had to sell its gold every month. Vietnam had been a French colony, so the banks there were French. As America spent more dollars in Southeast Asia, these dollars were sent from local French bank branches to their head offices in Paris. The Paris bank would turn over these dollars to the central bank for francs, and the central bank, under General de Gaulle, would cash in these dollars for gold.

Germany was doing the same thing, using its export proceeds that were paid in dollars to buy gold. So America’s gold stock was steadily going down, until finally it had to withdraw from the London Gold pool and stop making the dollar gold convertible. Back in 1950 when the Korean War began, the American Treasury had 75% of the world’s monetary gold. It had used this monetary power to control diplomacy in other countries. The basis of America’s political power was its gold stock.

Once they left the gold-exchange standard there was hand wringing. How was the United States going to dominate the world if it didn’t have gold anymore, if the military spending abroad had made it run out of gold? My Super Imperialism pointed out that henceforth when foreign central banks got more dollars, what were they going to use them for? Well, there’s only one thing that central banks at that time did: That was to buy government securities. So the central banks of France, Germany and other payment-surplus countries had little option except to buy U.S. Treasury bills and bonds. Some of these were special non-marketable bonds that they couldn’t sell, but they were stores of value.

So the money that America was spending abroad was simply recycled to the United States. It didn’t mean that America had to devalue the dollar through running a balance-of-payments deficit, like today’s Global South countries do, or do as England had to do with its’ stop-go policies, always raising interest rates to borrow when its deficits threatened to force the pound sterling to depreciate.

Jonathan Brown 1:13:57
Michael, this insight was that was that when you were working at Chase Manhattan, and you were advising the State Department on what to do with the fact that they were having these balance of payments problem, because of military spending?

Michael Hudson 1:14:07
My job at Chase was to analyse basically the balance of payments of Third World countries and then of the oil industry. I had to develop an accounting format to find how much does the oil industry actually makes in the rest of the world. I had to calculate natural-resource rent, and how large it was. I did that from 1964 till October 1967. Then I had to quit to finish my dissertation to get the PhD. And then I developed the system of balance-of-payments analysis that actually was the way it had been calculated before GDP analysis.

I went to work for Arthur Andersen and spent a year calculating the whole U.S. balance of payments. That’s where I found that it was all military in character, and I began to write in popular magazines like Ramparts, warning that America’s foreign wars were forcing it to run out of gold. That was the price that America was paying for its military spending abroad.

I realised as soon as it went off gold in 1971 that America now had a cost-free means of military spending. Suppose you were to go to the grocery store and just pay in IOUs. You could just keep spending If you could convince the owner, the grocer to use the IOU to pay the farmers and the dairy people for their products. What if everybody else used these IOUs as money? You would continue to get your groceries for free.

That’s how the United States economy works under the dollar standard, at least until the present. This is what led China, Russia, Iran and other countries to say that they don’t want to keep giving America a free ride. These dollarized IOUs are being used to surround them of military bases, to overthrow them and to threaten to bomb them if we don’t do what American diplomats tell them to do.

That led already a few years ago to pressure to de-dollarize the world economy and make it multipolar, not simply an extension of the U.S. military, U.S. investors, mining and oil companies. The post-dollar aim was for other countries to keep their economic surplus among themselves to promote their own economic growth, instead of imposing IMF dictated austerity programmes to impose austerity so that they can pay foreign dollarized bondholders.

Just about everybody thought that it would take many years for China, Russia, Iran, India, Indonesia and other countries to get their act together and create an alternative. But this year the Biden administration itself destroyed America’s free ride for the dollar. First the United States grabbed Venezuela’s foreign exchange, then Biden grabbed all of the foreign exchange of Afghanistan, just confiscated it. And then a month ago he confiscated $300 billion of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves. He said, in effect, that we are the leading democracy in the world, and global democracy means that America’s military gets to appoint foreign presidents.

And so we don’t like the person you’ve voted in as president for Venezuela. We’re going to hire this little nitwit that we bought out, Juan Guaido, and appoint him president. To force you to accept this, we’re going to take away all of your gold reserves held in the Bank of England, and we’re going to give it to Mr. Guaido as our nominee for the bastion of democracy, to do what a democratic regime is supposed to do: hiring terrorist groups to kill all land reformers and labour leaders, to finance a neo-Nazi takeover like we did in Chile under Pinochet, and just like we’ve done in democratic Ukraine with our funding of neo-Nazis to fight against the Russians there.

This confiscation of foreign reserves and foreign money held in U.S. banks shocked the rest of the world. Nobody had believed that countries would actually grab other countries’ financial savings. If you go back to the wars in the 19th century, the Crimean War and others, countries would continue to pay their foreign debts.

All this was ended by President Biden rejecting the international rule of law. He said that “We have a ‘rules-based’ order, in which we can make up the rules. Number one, we are exempt from the rules. Only you have to follow them. Number two, the rules or whatever we say.” China, Russia and India would have taken years by themselves to denominate their trade in their own currencies. Biden’s money grab has impelled them to create a new economic order independently of the United States and Europe, whose euro and sterling are satellite currencies of the United States.

Jonathan Brown 1:19:54
So Michael, this is a crazy situation that we’ve got. Even If you have deposits in a bank, the deposits don’t really belong to you, but they used to be respected.

Michael Hudson 1:20:07
Well they belong to you, but they can be stolen.

Jonathan Brown 1:20:09
Yeah, but then they don’t belong to me, do they? They’re kind of mine, but not. Likewise, if I annoy the wrong person, I could have my car impounded, because I’ve just annoyed the local politician, which is essentially what’s happened to a Russian oligarch. Now, whether or not the oligarch deserved that $500 million yacht, obviously, they didn’t, but it was technically theirs. So what Americans are doing is showing that if you piss them off, they will take all your resources, which has happened in other countries, right? We’ve stolen it.

The British did that, right? We appropriated resources and stole resources from other nations. If you want the best example of that, you can just go into the very beautiful British Museum and see all the artefacts that we’ve appropriated, one of which was a Rosetta Stone, which I know you write about.

So we’ve got this situation now that the Americans have declared the most profound economic war on Russia, threatening China that we can do the same. China’s got trillions of U.S. dollars. And one of the things that I don’t quite understand, looking at your philosophy and Super Imperialism, was in demonstrating that the Americans can have a free lunch by getting people to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. How is it that the U.S. dollar has gone up against all currencies pretty much other than the rouble since declaring war in Ukraine?

Michael Hudson 1:21:43
Europe has committed economic suicide, United States offered its leaders a lot of money in their offshore accounts, and made sure that their kids got free education in the United States. But in return, they would have to represent the United States, not Germany, France or other countries. The Americans have been meddling in European politics for years. European politicians do not represent their own countries. They represent the American State Department and American diplomacy. And they were told to lock their countries into the U.S. economy.
For instance, European businesses had a hope that Americans really hated. The Europeans hoped that after 1991, now that communism was over, they could invest in Russia to make money. They could sell exports to Russia and make mutual gains from each other. But the Americans wanted to make all the money off Russia for themselves, mainly by using the kleptocrats they backed to sell the natural resources that they grabbed to U.S. investors. The Harvard Boys wanted to make sure that rent-yielding natural resources were given the kleptocrats – who could only make their money in hard currency by selling shares abroad in the assets they grabbed, keeping their payments in England or the United States.

So they’ve asked Europe not to buy Russian gas, but to spend seven times as much buying American liquefied natural gas, and spend $5 billion to build the ports to accept this gas – while going without gas for about three or four years…let their pipes freeze… stop making fertiliser… Don’t feed your land, we’ll take it on the chin for America. Your standard of living is going to have to drop by 20%, but it’s all for American democracy. And the European heads said that’s fine.

America said that you Europeans are bothering them by trying to stop global warming. That’s a direct attack on a major arm of U.S. diplomacy, the oil industry. American companies control almost all the world’s oil trade. It’s the highest rent-yielding sector in the world. And it’s income-tax free. It’s politically powerful, and as long as America can control the oil trade, it can talk to Latin American countries or African countries and say if they elect a leader that U.S. officials don’t like, it can impose sanctions and stop exporting oil to them to freeze them out. They won’t get fertilizer, so the U.S. can starve you out. It can put a sanction on their food trade. 

Agriculture is Americans biggest trade surplus.

Jonathan Brown 1:25:14
That’s what they’re doing with the conflict in Ukraine to Russia, and also China as well. Are there other major sources of grain, wheat and rice?

Michael Hudson 1:25:26
Yes. But President Biden has blamed Putin for creating a world food shortage and threatening to cause a famine, because Ukraine can’t export its grain. Ukraine, at American direction, has put mines all over the Black Sea. So the Black Sea’s ports have mines around them. If a ship hits them, it’ll blow a hole in the hull and will sink.
As a result, if you’re a shipping company and want to transport grain, you have to get insurance, because if you don’t have insurance, then you’re in danger of going bust if your ship goes under. But no insurance company will insure it until the Ukrainians remove the mines that they put. You need minesweepers for that. Needless to say, Russia doesn’t want American minesweepers in, because they may very well attack as there’s a war on.

So you have the United States blocking Ukrainian grain exports, which was a huge export. You’ve had the American dollar area, the NATO countries, refusing to import food from Russia, which is the world’s largest agricultural exporter. This is creating a crisis for Global South countries, for Latin America and Africa.

Meanwhile, global warming is causing droughts that are reducing the harvest. The Green Party in Germany has a pro-war policy that is making global warming rise faster. By supporting military warfare against Russia, and U.S. military adventurism in general, they are becoming major lobbyists for the air polluters. The largest air polluter is the American military. The Green Party in Germany advocates fighting Russia more, providing it with more arms, and thus supporting the military that is now the largest new contributor to global warming. In effect, this means that Europe is willing to say, ‘Okay, we are willing to have the sea levels rise another 10 feet, as long as we can help America dominate Russia’.

Europe even is letting America keep the Trump tariffs on its exports, in place, so it can’t export more for America. It looks like Europe will have to de-industrialize, maybe we’ll go back to the 19th century and become a country of farmers. That basically is the situation that its subservience is imposing.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
I’d like to come back to the just what China and Russia can do, given their reserves. They understand they’ve got… they’ve got lots of reserves of gold, and also large grain stores, China having the most as I understand it, but can you help me understand why all these nations around the world have U.S. dollar reserves in some form or other, most of it in bonds? Why is the dollar still increasing at this moment in time?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Because the Euro was going down. The Japanese Yen is going down. The Yen is the worst performing currency, because they’ve held their interest rates very low. Their aim is for banks to make money by borrowing low at low rates and lending to foreign countries at a higher rate. Europe is also keeping its interest rates low. The American Federal Reserve is raising the interest rate, and that is money from low interest rate countries. Capital from Europe and Japan is flowing to America.

Currency values are primarily set by relative interest rates and capital flows. They’re not set by the cost of production for imports and exports. They are not caused by trade, unless there’s a radical breakdown of trade. All these zigzags that you see are short-term capital movements. America tells other countries to keep their interest rates low, so that money will flow from their banks and financial to the United States to buy American securities that yield higher returns. As long as the Euro is a satellite currency to the dollar, it’s going to continue to go down. So the both the euro and the British Sterling are now moving towards $1 per pound and $1 per euro.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
That’s a short-term measure. The long-term measure is that countries have to start selling the bonds that they’ve got in U.S. currency. So long term, it has to come down. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Yes. They’re going to hold each other’s currencies. Especially now that Russia is denominating its exports, in roubles instead of dollars. The American banks have lost the trade financing of the world oil trade, certainly Russian oil and agricultural trade. Instead of holding dollars, countries will hold rouble reserves to stabilise their currencies via the rouble, China is holding rouble reserves, and Russia is holding Chinese yuan reserves.

The balance will be held more in gold and some kind of assets without a liability attached to them. I think the logical direction in which this is moving is that the non-dollar countries will create their own version of the International Monetary Fund, their own World Bank, their own trade organization. So there will be one set of trade and financial and development organisations and military organisations in the U.S. and Europe, in NATO, that is, in the white countries, and another set of relations and the non-white countries that are actually developing while America and Europe shrink.

Jonathan Brown 1:33:06
So what’s your idea of how much gold China actually holds, because there’s the published numbers [which] are really extraordinarily small aren’t they for an economy that’s so big.

Michael Hudson 1:33:18
I don’t know. Governments can hold gold not only through their own treasury, but through some subordinate agency. I no longer go into the financial statistics like I used to, because it takes a whole year to do a balance sheet that is comprehensive. All I know is that they saw how America simply grabbed Russia’s dollar holdings, and they don’t want the same thing done to them. President Biden has said China is America’s number one long-term enemy, and he wants to destroy the Russian economy first and then attack China after prying them apart.

Obviously, China is reading the newspapers and wants to avoid that fate.

Jonathan Brown 1:34:16
The other thing that I find utterly remarkable, for example, is that Biden in his speech said that he wants to get rid of Putin. I think if it was a U.S. Defence Secretary or Secretary of State saying that he wants to arm Taiwan……. If I ran China and I said I want to arm Mexico, or if anyone in South America wants any weapons then my doors open to you, I would expect the Americans to be very upset with that because I’m breaching the Monroe Doctrine. Can you help me understand, having been in the corridors of power, whether Chase Manhattan or the contacts you’ve got, how can …. how can politicians be so delusional to think they can say stuff like that without having a negative consequence?

Michael Hudson 1:35:18
Well you know who’s really upset by that? The Taiwanese! They say, Oh, they want to make Taiwan into another Ukraine, to fight to the last Taiwanese, just like the Ukrainians have been used. They see two choices before them. If they do arm and get weapons that can hit China, then China is likely to bomb them. On the other hand, I’ve met Taiwanese officials for 40 years, and many have said that their long-term hope is to be reintegrated. They want to be investors in China, but they want to merger under terms where they can be sort of like Hong Kong, able to have a merger that will make them prosperous too.

So Taiwan’s choice is between following the Americans and becoming the Ukraine of the Pacific, or joining with China. Given the fact that China is growing and America is shrinking, what are they going to choose? Well, I would imagine that you will see a strong, peaceful integrationist movement with China. But China remembers that Chiang Kai Shek massacred the communists in 1927.

Jonathan Brown 1:36:47
So what are we looking at then, who is in charge, President Biden or other people?

Michael Hudson 1:36:56
President Biden is a front man. They’re all the front men for the faceless people in the State Department, the neocons who are controlling things. Biden has always been right-wing, just a corrupt party politician. He does what he’s paid to do. He’s unimaginative. He’s brought in some real Russia haters – people who have a visceral hatred of Russia because of their family background under the tsars or under Stalin. Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury officials say they were not consulted in the political moves that Biden and Blinken and the neocons are making. There is the kind of single-minded tunnel vision at work. They really are Russia haters and China haters. There is a lot of racism you’re seeing in New York, where it’s very dangerous for Asian women to take a subway. Almost every week, the lead news item is yet another Asian woman attacked or pushed in front of a subway. There’s a there’s a new race hatred in America. And they are treating Russians as the Ukrainians do, as if Slavic speaking people are a separate race.

Jonathan Brown 1:38:49
Extraordinary. So Super Imperialism came out, as I understand it, and was used by the State Department to figure out how to continue running their economics …

Michael Hudson 1:39:04
At first U.S. officials thought that going off gold was going to be a disaster. Herman Khan told me, “You’ve shown that we’ve run rings around the British Empire.” He hired me for the Hudson Institute, which is a national security institute, and brought me to the State Department for meetings and to Army War colleges and Air Force war colleges to talk about it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the main people who wanted to learn how imperialism works were the imperialists themselves. I had thought that the anti-imperialists were going to be my main audience, but the imperialists really needed to know what was new.

Jonathan Brown 1:39:50
They took your book, Super Imperialism and they read it as a love letter, right.

Michael Hudson 1:39:56
Not a love letter. They saw it as a “how to do it” book. I was a technician.

Jonathan Brown 1:40:04
Right. And working for Herman Kahn, he’s a powerful guy that people don’t talk about so much anymore, but he was, he was extraordinarily influential at the time, right?

Michael Hudson 1:40:14
Yes, he had a great sense of humour. He was a great speaker. He was absolutely brilliant. He wrote a book on thermonuclear war, saying that even if there were to be a war, somebody would be left to survive. That made him one of the models for Dr. Strangelove in the movies. I would sit and hear Herman talk about military strategy, and was awed by how he thought it all through. He was a brilliant military tactician. He would bring me and sit down with generals, and they would explain things. I don’t have a good military sense, or any military training at all. He wrote that, personally, he wanted to be right under the first hydrogen bomb. He didn’t want to live in the post-nuclear world. But there would be some survivors somewhere. That made him notorious. He was so reviled for even having brought up discussion of the topic that needed to be discussed, that he wanted to have ideas that people liked. And that was the corporate environment study. That was what I was pretty much in charge of. I was the economist, he was the military. We had the same salary there.

We would go around the world disagreeing with each other. It would be like a show. He’d talk about the world being a cup half full. I talked about the cup being half-empty, as he put it. I talked about the debt overhead, and how debt was growing and would ultimately stifle the economy. He talked about how productivity would be sufficient to pay debt, although productivity doesn’t necessarily give you the money to pay the debt. Productivity does not grows exponentially, but tapers off. As debt grows, any rate of interest is a doubling time. And it doubles quicker than the economy can double.

Jonathan Brown 1:42:24
And this is really coming back to one of your initial questions from Terrence McCarthy, which was to focus on productivity, wasn’t it?

Michael Hudson 1:42:33
Yes. And the idea was focusing on productivity, you realise that it all comes down to labour ultimately. How do you make labour more productive? How do you make industry more productive? You get rid of what is unproductive – and the unproductive overhead is rent. So how much corporate spending is just plain overhead? How much is unnecessary for corporate industry to take place? That line of questioning brings you back into the classical economics.
Marx is really the last great classical economist who pushed it all to its logical end. His contribution was to explain that just as the landlord exploits by taking rent, the industrial capitalist exploits labour by charging more for the products of labour than it costs to hire labour to produce.

However, unlike the rentier, unlike the landlord, the capitalist uses this economic surplus value to expand production, to build yet more factories, to employ yet more labour. This is an expanding society, whereas the rent paid to landlords is a kind of exploitation that is pure overhead and shrinks industrial capitalism. That’s why Marx said that the political aim of industrial capitalism was to free society from the landlords, predatory bankers and monopolists. That’s why the Communist Manifesto‘s program begins with collecting rent for the public sector. You can tax the land as a transition to socialising it. That was the Communist Manifesto’s classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 1:44:26
You have these views, and yet you were still a valued member of the team at the Hudson Institute.

Michael Hudson 1:44:33
Yes, because I was explaining how the world worked. Herman and I disagreed so much, we were genuine friends. I liked him, and we couldn’t believe that the other would actually believe something so different. But we said okay, if the arguments that we’re having is the “big argument,” it’s going to determine where the economy is going. Either he’s right or I’m right.
This is like the debates between Henry George’s followers and the socialists in the early 1900s. It was going to be one world or another.

What is the key to analysing the economy? Is it to focus on rent and finance, or on technological potential? My point is that technological potential can be smothered by so much overhead paid to the rentier class via the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate – that there’s no money left to invest, no income left for wage earners to spend on buying the goods and services that they produce.

Jonathan Brown 1:45:48
And yet the technology sector in my opinion is actually the new monopolist. Instead of having a competition, in that sense they’re the new landowners. So Google is a spectrum landowner. If I want to host these videos, then I’ve got to negotiate or accept the terms of the landowner YouTube. I’m posting them there, but I won’t be making any money on it. Because I’m one of the serfs on YouTube.

Michael Hudson 1:46:16
This is the problem that China is dealing with in its own way. What do you do when Jack Ma and other IT specialists end up as billionaires? Well, China did not have an anti-monopoly group. It let 100 flowers bloom and let billionaires develop, but would then have them transfer their money to the government in one way or another. They haven’t done this in the way that Western economies do, by an anti-monopoly tax, but by a political consensus way.

In countries like Russia, I’m trying to get them to formalise this into formally calculating the magnitude of economic trends. You want innovation to take place, you want people to make the fortune, but at a certain point they can’t somehow make so big a fortune that it ends up crashing the economy.

Jonathan Brown 1:47:37
But looking at your writing from the Byzantine times and the ancient Near East, is the importance of the leader of that particular economy or society to make sure that no one got so rich that they could overthrow the leader? Which is really what you’ve got with someone like Zuckerberg, the power that he was able to wield in the election, whether you agree with him or not, was extraordinary. And likewise, if you look at the fight that’s currently going on with Elon Musk and Twitter, is to recognise that actually we want, we want our people to own these resources that we pretend are private, but actually have tremendous social power.

Michael Hudson 1:48:24
Yes, they financialized politics in America, by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Anyone can contribute as much as they want, if you’re a corporation. The rentier interests give to pro-rentier politicians to act as their puppets. The money goes for advertising airtime on television and the media to overwhelm all the people who normally would want to minimise the rentier class. So essentially, you’ve financialized politics in America much more than has occurred in Europe. But in Europe, it’s the right wingers who basically control the press, commercial television and media. So if the media are controlled by the right wing with their own agenda, they frame the economic issues from the vantage point of the rentier class instead of from the vantage point of how an economy actually develops and grows wealthier in a fair manner.

Jonathan Brown 1:49:48
I know we need to need to wrap up. Just thinking about the scenarios for Russia and China currently. Everybody who is part of the original white economies of Europe, realises that if they don’t side with America, they get overthrown. But also right now they have a short-term challenge that the Americans are going to let them starve because they’re stopping wheat exports coming through the European ports. But then you’ve also got Russia with resources, you’ve got China with grain resources.

So there is a potential that when people start to starve, and you look at the challenges in Sri Lanka, with politicians being murdered and people running out of food, there’s a chance for China to step in and say, we can send you grain exports. And by lucky coincidence, because of the all the lock downs that China’s got right now, a lot of the world’s boats and ships are currently waiting outside ports in China.

Michael Hudson 1:50:54
[Missing part here] Computer chips are part of the problem. And that’s probably going to make them friendlier with Taiwan. Taiwan has the computer chips.

Jonathan Brown 1:51:03
And by your assessment, because Taiwan do not want to be another Ukraine, American actions are likely to accelerate the reintegration.

Michael Hudson 1:51:12
There’s a bell shaped curve, I haven’t met with the Taiwanese in quite a few years so I don’t know, up to date what the dynamic is. But just by logic, you can see the international environment in which they’re operating. You wonder how they are going to calculate the plusses and minuses of the U.S. versus China? What economy do they want to attach themselves to so that they can get richer fastest?

Jonathan Brown 1:51:46
And also stay safe and not get involved in unnecessary wars. When you look at the tragedy in Ukraine, all these people dying when you’ve got such a strong opponent in Russia, how can you go to war with them for any period of time?

Michael Hudson 1:52:07
Well, that’s what the world is divided into. The U.S. and European society is built on war. It’s the only foreign policy they have, because they don’t have an economic power anymore. They’ve de-industrialised and the rest of the world that is trying to industrialise and trying to feed itself. China, Russia, India, the Global South are the anti-war part of the world. So the world is dividing into two parts: a rentier part supporting finance capitalism [that] is trying to impose it on other countries, to financialize China and Russia to make them put a Margaret Thatcher or Boris Yeltsin in charge of China. While they try to put their own candidates in charge, a la General Pinochet, the rest of the world is trying to defend itself against this terrorism.

So the Western world that calls itself democracy is the terrorist military world. The nations that it calls authoritarian are any authority strong enough to control and tax the financial interests – that is, any government strong enough to regulate finance and real estate. Such an economy is by definition authoritarian as opposed to a democracy, where Wall Street and the financial centres are the democratically elected central planners. So what’s at issue is who’s going to plan society: the financial sector, or the people as in China and other countries.

Jonathan Brown 1:53:41
I think that says it. From a Western lens it’s a different type of democracy.

Michael Hudson 1:53:48
Yes. But democracy really means an economy run to benefit the great bulk of the population, who happen to be wage earners? Or is it going to be for the 1%? Is the economy run for on behalf of the 99% and the 1%? Well, the 99% need a strong government to run it in their own interests and cope with the counter-revolutionary policies, the neo-feudal rentier policies of the 1%.

Jonathan Brown 1:54:22
Okay, so knowing China, then your take on its zero-COVID policy that the authorities are implementing in some parts of the country?

Michael Hudson 1:54:32
The more I read about long COVID here, the worse it seems. I’m 83 years old, so my wife and I have not gone to a restaurant since 2020. We haven’t even gone to our friends’ houses for dinner. We’re isolating ourselves. China has isolated itself at great cost, but it saved the population not only from having COVID itself, but from having long COVID. There are now a million Americans with long COVID. They also say that long COVID lowers your, your IQ by 10%.

It’s almost as dangerous is inheriting a trust fund when it comes to impairing your IQ. It’s debilitating.

My webmaster in Australia and his family have COVID. So I’m very sympathetic with what China’s doing, even though it means that I can’t go there, because I’d have to be isolated in a hotel room for two weeks just to give a few days’ meeting – and then be isolated again when I come back. So China is making a huge effort not to sicken its population with COVID. And now of course, since the Russians have began to publish all their findings of the US bio-warfare labs in Ukraine that were designed to spread a COVID like diseases by migrating birds and bats and manmade aircraft over Russia.

Now, they’ve reopened the question ‘was COVID a US bio-warfare from the very beginning’? And the Chinese are looking at it and saying ‘was it engineered’? If the Americans are trying to engineer COVID to affect mainly Slavic population and their DNA signatures, could they have been doing the same thing against Asians? So all of this is suddenly opened up. The World Health Organisation has refused to divulge any of the USA biowarfare efforts, and the U.S. has stonewalled all efforts to find out about the bio-warfare. This is isolating America and Europe.

If American Europe is left with its current foreign policy, biowarfare and atomic bombs, NATO will be shunned by the civilised world. As Rosa Luxemburg said a century ago, the choice is between socialism or barbarism. NATO, Europe and America represent the new barbarism. The alternative is socialism. That is how the world seemed to be developing in Europe and America until World War I untracked everything. The rest of the world now has a chance to get back on track. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the West.

Jonathan Brown 1:57:47
Michael, as always, you always get more into your stuff than I expected. Are there any things that you’d like to say to our listeners, before we finish up,

Michael Hudson 1:57:56
I’ve probably said too much. And I hope you can edit out anything that’s embarrassing.

Jonathan Brown 1:58:01
I may get thrown off YouTube for publishing some of your comments. So you may have to go back and review a few of them. But as always, Michael, thanks so much your time what we’ll do is we’ll send a link to everybody for the website and also for the new book, as well which I think and those series of lectures when I was researching for this conversation were the single best economic lectures I’ve ever listened to – truly extraordinary levels of insight and real economics rather than theoretical or textbook stuff. So as always from ShepherdWalwyn, thanks so much for your time and for your contribution.

Michael Hudson 1:58:41
Well, if you transcribe it all in will be worth it. \

Jonathan Brown 1:58:45
That’s, that’s our promise 100%. So thanks very much.

Michael Hudson 2:00:05
Thanks a lot.

Andrei Martyanov: Adam Smith With Harpoons

June 17, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Andrei Martyanov: US Ambassador to Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, US-Russian relations, Soviet “Coast Guard”

June 07, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Gonzalo Lira: Those Lying Americans, lol

June 03, 2022

Andrei Martyanov: Nuclear false flag, timing and victory in Ukraine – Geopolitical Reality

April 23, 2022

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and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Renegade interviews Michael Hudson: Sanctions, the blowback

March 23, 2022

Posted with Michael Hudson’s permission

https://www.rt.com/shows/renegade-inc/552236-michael-hudson-sanctions-ukraine/

Ross [00:00:29] Welcome to Renegade Inc. Whatever the outcome in Ukraine, one thing is for sure the economic reverberations will be felt by everyone for years to come as the world divides between the West and a rapidly reshaping Eurasia.

Ross [00:00:49] Michael Hudson, always a pleasure to have you on the programme, welcome to Renegade Inc.

Michael Hudson [00:00:53] Thank you for inviting me.

Ross [00:00:55] Michael, sanctions, sanctions, sanctions is all we hear now. We’re sanctioning people. The West sanction people back to the Stone Age. What are the unintended consequences of sanctions?

Michael Hudson [00:01:05] Well, one is to serve very much like a protective tariff on the sanctioned country. For instance, when America made sanctions on European trade with Russia, Lithuania dutifully stopped exporting cheese to Russia. Well, the result is that Russia set up its own cheese’s sector, and now it’s self-sufficient in cheese. If you sanction a country, you force it to become more self-reliant and across the board, from agriculture to dairy products to technology, Russia is forced to become more self-reliant and at the same time to depend much more on trade with China for the things that it is still not self-reliant in. So America is bringing about exactly the opposite of what it intended. It’s hopeless to somehow isolate Russia and then be able to go after China without Russia. And instead, what it’s doing is integrating the Eurasian core, Russia and China, exactly the policy that Henry Kissinger warned against going all the way back to Mackinder a century ago that said, Eurasia is the world island, Russia and China could be the whole world centre. That’s what the fight is all about. Well, American sanctions are driving Russia and China together, and America has gone to China and said, Please don’t support Russia. It most recently, on Monday, March 14, Jake Sullivan came out and told China, we will sanction countries that break our sanctions against Russia. And basically, China said, fine. You know, we’ll just break off all the trade between East and West now and the East, Eurasia is pretty much self-sufficient. The West is not self-sufficient since it began to industrialise, and it’s heavily dependent on Russia for not only oil and gas, but palladium and many raw materials. So the sanctions are ending up driving a wedge between the European countries.

Ross [00:03:31] Don’t people who apply these sanctions think this through? Are they so short-sighted they don’t understand that these sanctions are going to build further capacity within Russia, push Russia further towards China, make that economic alliance concrete and, ultimately, you’re not going to be able to keep the lights on in in Europe? All the while underestimating the fact that from a food security point of view – take the U.K., for instance, a net importer of food – not appreciating the fact that, for instance, Russia/Ukraine, they create twenty five percent, a quarter, of all wheat annually. The estimation this year is one hundred and two million tonnes Russia and Ukraine, wheat. Don’t people realise that there’s going to be a massive knock on effect?

Michael Hudson [00:04:23] Yes, they do realise it. Yes, they’ve thought it all through. I worked with these people for more than 50 years.

Ross [00:04:31] Who are these people?

Michael Hudson [00:04:32] The neocons, basically, the people who are in charge of U.S. foreign policy? Victoria Nuland and her husband, Robert Kagan, the people that President Biden has appointed all around him, from Blinken to Sullivan and right down the line. They are basically urging people around the New American Century. They’re the people who said America can run the whole world and create its own reality. And yes, they know that this is going to cause enormous problems for Germany. They know that not only will it block the energy that Germany and Italy and other countries in Europe need through their oil and gas, but also it’ll block the use of gas for fertiliser, upping their fertiliser production and decreasing their food production. They look at this and they say, How can America gain from all of this? There’s always a way of gaining what something looks to be bad. Well, one way they’ll gain is oil prices are going way up. And that benefits the United States whose foreign policy is based very largely on oil and gas. The oil industry controls most of the world’s oil trade, and that explains a lot of the US diplomacy. This is a fight to lock the world energy trade into control by U.S. companies, excluding not only Iran and Venezuela, but also excluding Russia.

Ross [00:06:16] So as Europe pushes towards more and more green and renewable energy and this for the Americans they must think it’s a dreadful scenario insofar as they can’t sell the oil as Europe becomes or wants to become more self-sufficient. So ultimately, and Britain net zero, whatever that means. But but going down the renewables path, going down the solar path takes America’s dependency or dependency on America out the game, doesn’t it?

Michael Hudson [00:06:49] This is exactly the point that the European public has not realised. While most of the European public wants to prevent global warming and prevent carbon into the atmosphere, U.S. foreign policy is based on increasing, and even accelerating, global warming, accelerating carbon emissions because that’s the oil trade. Suppose that Europe got its way. Suppose if the Greens got what they wanted and Germany and Europe were completely dependent on solar energy panels, on wind energy and to some extent, on nuclear power, perhaps? Well, if they were completely self-sufficient in energy without oil or gas or coal, America would lose the primary lever. It has over the ability to turn off the power and electricity and oil of any country that didn’t follow U.S. diplomatic direction.

Ross [00:07:48] So when we take your analysis here and we think about how the sanctions are going to build capacity, push Russia and China together, when we start to look at sort of piggy in the middle, if you like the EU, when we’re thinking about America, the EU has had a sort of abusive relationship with the Americans for quite some time now, hasn’t it?

Michael Hudson [00:08:06] Well, that’s that’s true in the sense that EU foreign policy has basically been turned over to NATO. So instead of European voters and politicians making their policy, they’ve relinquished European foreign policy to NATO, which is really an arm of the US military. So yes, Europe has had a decent relationship with the United States diplomatically by saying yes, yes, please or yes, thank you by not being independent. Of course, if it were independent, the relationship would not be so friendly and decent.

Ross [00:08:46] So for countries that are net importers of food, need to keep the lights on, need heating and need cheap oil. How does this pan out? What does it look like for the UK? What does it look like for the EU?

Michael Hudson [00:08:59] Well, Vice President, Kamala Harris the other day said to Americans, Yes, life is going to be much more expensive. Our oil prices are going up and squeezing families. But think of the poor Ukrainian babies that we’re saving. So take it on the chin for the Ukrainian babies. So basically the United States is presenting horror stories of the Ukraine and saying, if you don’t willingly suffer now by isolating Russia, then Russia is going to roll over you with tanks just like it rolled over Central Europe after World War Two. I mean, it’s waving the flag of Russian aggression, as if Russia or any country in today’s world has an army that’s able to invade any other industrial nation. All military can do today of any country is bomb and kill other populations and industrial centres. No nation is able to occupy or rollover any industrial country. And the United States keeps trying to promote this mythology that we’re still in the world of 1945. And that world ended really with the Vietnam War when the military draft ended. And no country is able to have a military draft to raise the army with necessary to fight to invade. Russia can’t do it any more than Europe or the United States could do it. So all the United States can do is wave warnings about how awful Russia is and somehow convince Europe to follow the US position. But most of all, it doesn’t really have to. Europe doesn’t really have a voice, and this is what the complaint by Putin and Foreign Secretary Lavrov have been saying. They say that Europe is just following the United States and it doesn’t matter what the European people want or what European politicians want. The United States is so deeply in control that they really don’t have much of a choice.

Ross [00:11:15] When does the consumer start to feel this? When does the European or British consumer start to feel the pinch when these sanctions are enacted? And what does that look like?

Michael Hudson [00:11:25] Well, it depends on how fast the sanctions work. The United States said Well, in another year and a half, we’ll be able to provide Europe with liquefied natural gas. Well, the problem is, first of all, they’re not the ports to handle the liquefied natural gas to go into Europe. Secondly, there are not enough ships and tankers to carry all of this gas to Europe. So unless there are very warm winters, Europe is not going to have a very easy time for the next few years. And that’s only for oil and gas. It’s dependent on raw materials that Russia produces. For instance, palladium is necessary for catalytic converters. Titanium is necessary to make the screws that are especially used on aeroplanes that are strong enough not to buckle and break when winds go up and down and when they’re full. Russia even produces the neon and the crypton that are necessary for making some kind of electronic uses and also for many components that go into computers and information technology. There’s a whole range of exports that Europe is highly dependent on, and the United States has provided Putin with a whole list of these exports, saying, Well, OK, we’re going to fight against Europe buying your oil and gas but you can certainly sell us your heavy oil that we need since we’re not buying it from Venezuela. We certainly need the following list of critical materials that we need, like helium and crypton. These are our pressure points. Please don’t press on them. Well, you can imagine what Putin and his advisers are saying. Thank you for giving us this list of the pressure points that you’re exempting from the trade sanctions. I think if you really want a break in the unilateral, unipolar world, I think we should break now and see whether you really want to get along without trading.

Ross [00:13:51] Michael Hudson, welcome back, second half, Renegade Inc. Wonderful to have you. In that first half we followed the money, if you like. We talked about sanctions and the unintended consequences. I just want to pull back a little further if we can and just talk about the sort of tectonic shifts that are going on in the world. I spoke to somebody from Russia recently and what he said was very straightforward. He said, now what we have to do is begin to learn to live without the West. Do you think that that sentiment is proliferating across Russia now? Is that the mindset?

Michael Hudson [00:14:22] Well, if you read President Putin’s speeches, that’s exactly what’s happening. And Secretary Lavrov has voiced exactly the same feeling. There’s almost a disgust with the West and a feeling from Putin, Lavrov and the other Russian spokesmen, how could we everhave hoped to have an integration with Europe after 1991? Europe really was not on our side at all, and we didn’t realise that Europe is really part of the U.S. diplomatic sphere. It’s like all of Europe is now backing the attack on Russia. The best to do is reorient our economy towards China, Asia and Eurasia and become our own self-sufficient, independent centre

Ross [00:15:15] De-dollarisation and the amassing of plenty of gold by both the Russians and the Chinese. Just talk us through that.

Michael Hudson [00:15:21] Well, Ross, you asked in the first half of this interview how has American sanctions worked against it? I should have mentioned what you just mentioned, the dollar. The United States just grabbed all of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, just as England a few months ago grabbed all of Venezuela’s gold that was held in the Bank of England when Venezuela tried to spend this gold on buying medical supplies to cope with the COVID virus. So basically, the United States have said, if any foreign country holds its reserves in the United States or accounts in U.S. banks. If a country in the global south tries to pay its foreign debt by holding its reserves in US banks in order to be the paying agent on the interest on its foreign debt. And if that foreign country does something we don’t like, like trade with Russia or permit more labour unionisation or try to become independent in food, we’re just going to do what we did to Venezuela, what we did to Iran when we grabbed its foreign exchange reserves or what we did to Russia. And that means that other countries all of a sudden see what they thought was their flight to security, what they thought was their most secure savings, their holdings in U.S. banks, US treasury bill, all of a sudden, is holding them hostage and is a high risk. Even the Financial Times of London has been writing about this, saying, how can the United States that was getting a free ride off the dollar standard for the last 50 years, ever since 1971, when foreign countries held dollars instead of gold and basically holding dollars means you buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the US budget deficit and the balance of payments deficit. How can the United States kill the goose that’s giving it the free ride? Well, the answer is that other countries can only move into gold and there’s an alternative to the dollar because that’s something that all the countries of the world have agreed upon is an asset, not a liability. If you hold any foreign currency, that currency is a liability of a foreign country, and if you hold gold, it’s a pure asset. There’s no country that can cancel it, the Americans can’t cancel Russia’s gold supply that’s held in Russia, although it can grab Russian gold supply if it were to hold it in the New York Federal Reserve Bank or the Bank of England. So other countries are not only moving to gold, Germany is bringing its gold back from New York, the Federal Reserve, in aeroplanes back to Germany, so it’ll have its own gold just in case German politicians would do something the United States didn’t like and the United States would simply grab Germany’s gold. The United States sanctions, and it’s especially it’s grabbing on foreign reserve, has started a war that is dividing the world between the West and Eurasia.

Ross [00:18:40] A technical part to all of this because let’s face it, it is an information war and it’s also an economic war. Is it the FIRE sector that you point out – the financial, insurance and real estate sector. Is it that they want to continue the exorbitant privilege of credit creation, because ultimately, if you think about gold, there’s no counterparty risk. Gold is gold and it has been for millennia. Far from being a barbarous relic, by the way now, people are starting to realise the intrinsic value, especially as crypto falls apart. Can you just talk a little bit about this, the FIRE sector wanting the exorbitant privilege of creating credit?

Michael Hudson [00:19:19] This is really what the new world division and global fracture is all about. You’re right, Ross. If you look at after World War One, the American fight against Soviet communism, was basically a fight of industrial capitalism against the threat of socialism. But after 1991, and especially in the last two decades, America deindustrialised. So the fight is not by industrial capitalism against countries pushing their labour up. It’s a fight of neoliberalism against industrial capitalism or socialism abroad. It’s against industrial capitalism evolving into socialism. It’s a belief that, well, now that America’s be industrialised, how is it going to control the world economy? Well, it’ll control it through a financial means by being the creditor and foreign countries debt payments to America will enable it to make its military payments abroad and finance its trade deficit. But also, America’s purchase of key natural resources will give it natural resources when its purchase of takeover of real estate is going to essentially make the United States the landlord class and monopoly class, that mediaeval Europe had to hold the rest of the population in serfdom. That basically is the American strategy of neoliberalism fighting against countries that reject privatisation and financialization of their economy, and specifically financialization under the control of U.S. banks, U.S. private capital and allied satellite banks and capital from England or France or Germany. This is exactly the fight. Will banking and finance control the world economy or will other countries try to build up their own economies through labour and tangible capital formation?

Ross [00:21:27] Where do you stand on that? And I’m only asking you to predict the future, Michael. How do you think this plays out? Because the way you’ve depicted it is the rent seekers, the neoliberal rent seekers on one hand, and there are value creators on the other. And by the way, those two things don’t sit very well together, as we know. How does that play out?

Michael Hudson [00:21:51] Even though the United States is the largest debtor economy in the world, it’s a creditor vis-a-vis the global south and other countries and it uses its creditor position to take over their natural resources, real estate, oil and gas, mineral rights and public utilities and natural monopolies and that are being privatised in government infrastructure. It’s becoming basically the landlord monopoly class of the entire world. That’s the U.S. strategy, and that’s the key to why the world is fracturing globally. And in the past, the global south countries were unable to fight against this tendency in the 70s and 80s with the Vendome conference on. But now that China and Russia threatened to be a self-sufficient core in Eurasia, this is the great threat to the American dream of becoming a landlord and financier of the world.

Ross [00:22:50] How do you think this pans out?

Michael Hudson [00:22:52] Well, the question is whether the United States is if we can control the world, who wants to live in a world like that, let’s blow it up. The question is whether the United States will actually go to war. The only lever that it has left is to drop bombs and to destroy and make the world look like Ukraine. So from the U.S. point of view, Europe’s future and Eurasia’s future is the Ukraine. Look at what we will do to you if you don’t follow our policy. America has just moved al Qaeda very heavily in the Ukraine to sort of repeat in Ukraine and Europe what it was doing in Syria and Libya. And the United States says this is what we can do. What are you going to do about it? Do you really want to fight. But the rest of the world, certainly China and Russia says, Well, we’re ready to fight. So there is no telling what you. And it comes down to personalities. Putin has said, well, do we really want to live in a world without Russia? If the United States is to attack us, we might as well end the world. The United States says, Do we really want to live in a world that we can’t control? If we’re not completely in control, we feel very insecure and we’re going to blow up the world. So you have this countervailing position in a world where all the arms control has been dismantled by the United States in the last few years. The United States has withdrawn from all of the agreements that Russia and China have tried to promote. And Europe is standing by and apparently is willing to be the sacrificial lamb in all of this as Ukraine is being the sacrificial lamb. So the United States and Russia say, let’s fight to the last European. And Russia initially didn’t want that because it was hoping that Europe and Russia would have a mutual gain in trade and investment relationships. But now it doesn’t feel that way. And there may be a proxy war between the United States over the European economy, not necessarily bombing Europe, but trade sanctions, energy sanctions, the kind of disruption that Europe is going to be seeing in the next year is if it loses Russian oil and gas and minerals and also, I think Chinese exports.

Ross [00:25:25] Is there a moment where cooler heads prevail and suddenly the West and other places realise that they’re dependent from a food security point of view, from an energy security point of view that we are dependent? And is there a moment at that point that you can thaw a frozen conflict by saying, actually, if we both meet, we just take a step toward each other, actually, we can do something in a collaborative way? Now I get what you’ve said throughout the rest of the programme, and I give this a percentage possibility of about three percent, but isn’t there a strategy to say, actually, we’ve had all the grandstanding, we’ve had all the brinksmanship, we should now sit around the table and try and work something out?

Michael Hudson [00:26:03] I don’t see any cooler heads in the United States. The surprising thing is that here it’s the right wing channel, the Republican Fox Channel, is the only channel that’s taking the anti-war stand and is saying we shouldn’t be at war in Ukraine. It’s the only channel that’s talking about here is how Russia sees the world. Do we really want to take a one sided perspective or do we want to see the actual dynamics at work? So it was the Republicans and the right wing that is now primarily against the NATO war in the Ukraine. The left wing seems to be all for it, but the left wing of the Democratic Party is in office and I don’t see any cooler heads in the Democratic Party at all. And I’ve known many of these people for many decades, and they are willing to go to war for a death. There are still back in the world of World War Two when the fight was against the Nazis and anti-Semitism. They’re still living in a kind of mythology world, not in the real world. And the thought that the world can come to an end either doesn’t have a reality to them or as Herman Cain said, Well, somebody is going to survive.

Ross [00:27:29] Michael Hudson always a pleasure, a great insight. And, you know, it’s just refreshing to hear. Thank you very much for your time.

Michael Hudson [00:27:38] Well, thank you very much for having me, Ross.

Andrei Martyanov’s reaction to the West “reply” (MUST WATCH!)

FEBRUARY 02, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: 

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him 

A dark character in the Ukrainian crisis

2 Feb 2022

 For fanatics like Nuland, Kagan, and all the American neocons, war is the only way to regain the lost international hegemony

Source: Al Mayadeen

Atilio A. BoronAtilio A. Boron

Victoria Nuland, and with her the “hawks” in Washington, are the most radicalized and violent expression of imperialism in its turbulent phase of decline.

Ukraine seems doomed to infinite suffering. To its current domestic problems (economic crisis and corruption, according to the European Union) and in addition to those arising from the possible confrontation between NATO troops and Russia in its troubled territory, the dreadful presence of Victoria Nuland – Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs- has been added in recent days to the negotiations between Washington and Moscow.

Nuland’s murky background rarely comes to light in the hegemonic press, inside and outside the United States. She is depicted as a career diplomat but more than anything she is a lobbyist for the “military-industrial complex” in her country, including General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and other corporations whose profits grow in proportion to the warmongering of the United States foreign policy; profits which in part they return to their supporters in the federal agencies of Washington, including Nuland and others of the sort.

It is not a minor fact that she is married to Robert Kagan, one of the harshest warmongering neoconservatives, and that together they participate in a series of organizations and think tanks dedicated to exalt the “indispensable” American supremacism in world affairs. Both have a significant share of responsibility because they count among those who designed the tremendous military failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, among other war adventures.

Between 2003 and 2005 Nuland was one of the main advisers to Vice President Dick Cheney and a fervent promoter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a policy that over the years produced a balance of half a million dead, although some estimates throw much higher figures. In his second term in office, President George W. Bush rewarded Nuland for her belligerence and appointed her ambassador to NATO between 2005 and 2008, during which time she devoted herself to organizing the international support for the US occupation in Afghanistan.

In 2013, Barack Obama appointed her Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, a position from which she actively promoted the protests of nationalist and neo-Nazi groups against the government of Viktor Yanukovych, then president of Ukraine and representative of the Party of Regions, opposed to the assimilation of Ukraine by the European Union and NATO. Nuland not only sponsored the “soft coup” (which culminated in numerous bloody episodes) but, exceeding his powers, personally participated in the demonstrations that the extreme right staged in Kyiv’s Maidan Square at the end of December 2013. 

  • Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt together toured the opposition camp in Kyiv in December 2013

After the parliamentary removal of the Yanukovych government on February 22, 2014, the open US intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine became even more visible. Despite the fact that Washington assured that the problems of Ukraine should be resolved by the Ukrainians, Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, the United States ambassador in Kyiv, were in charge of selecting who, among the opposition leaders, should take the reins of the new government.

The American option fell on Arseni Petrovich Yatseniuk, a lawyer and politician closely linked to the financial community who on February 27, 2014, was appointed as Prime Minister of Ukraine. In a leaked telephone conversation between Pyatt and Nuland, the ambassador suggested that before making the proposal in favor of Yatseniuk (who snubbed other opposition leaders) it would be advisable to check the opinion of the high-ranking members of the European Union. Nuland’s response was coarse and vicious, and thus it was recorded and spread throughout the world: “Fuck the European Union!” The subservient governments of the region, unworthy vassals of Washington according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, meekly accepted the offense. Angela Merkel and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, limited themselves to saying that Nuland’s diplomatic blunder was “absolutely unacceptable” without demanding any disavowal from the White House. The incident proved the extent of the moral and political bankruptcy of the European governments!

Nuland, and with her the “hawks” in Washington, are the most radicalized and violent expression of imperialism in its turbulent phase of decline. 

A few days ago, and this is the reason why I am writing this note, Nuland declared that if the Russian invasion of Ukraine materializes, the “Nord-Stream 2” gas pipeline -designed to transport gas from Russia to Western Europe without passing through Ukrainian territory- will not be able to start working. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that the rising role of Nuland is bad news because it will reduce the chances of finding a diplomatic solution to the current Ukrainian crisis.

Nuland, and with her the “hawks” in Washington, are the most radicalized and violent expression of imperialism in its turbulent phase of decline. They believe in the “civilizing mission” of their country (hence the idea of ​​the United States as “the indispensable nation”) and consider Russia and China as barbaric nations that threaten the stability of the current world (dis)order and that the only language both understand is that of force.

That is why NATO has Russia encircled from the Baltic to the Black Sea and the US war fleet is approaching Taiwan. For fanatics like Nuland, Kagan, and all the American neocons, war is the only way to regain the lost international hegemony, even if they pay lip service to diplomacy.   

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Panic and chaos is clearly setting in as the West fears peace above all else

January 28, 2022

Source

Fun headlines for CNN:

What??  Is that really CNN?

It is.

Furthermore, there are reports that Biden and Ze had a stormy telephone conversation which saw a furious Biden telling Ze that the invasion would happen.  Apparently, Ze disagreed.

So what is going on here????

Bernard at Moon of Alabama things that “Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine’s President Zelensky“.

I concur.  In fact, I think that the US is basically dumping country 404 aka Banderastan, and as I explained here and here in some details, there is only one thing Uncle Shmuel wants from Ze and the Ukraine: for them to force Russia to intervene, either by a suicidal attack on the LDNR or by means of a false flag, or by some kind of atrocity.

A real nightmare for the AngloZionists is taking shape.  Here are its components:

  • In spite of all the external (and even INTERNAL!) pressures, the Kremlin does not want to invade the Ukraine at all.  There are exactly ZERO signs that an attack is imminent or even planned.
  • In case of a Ukie attack on the LDNR there is a very real possibility that Russia will not openly intervene, I explained it all in detail here.
  • The US PSYOP about Putin being weak, indecisive or a puppet of the USA/Israel (I explained the nature, function and purpose of this CIA PSYOP in details here) is falling apart, not only was the ultimatum very much an ultimatum, but the Russians are backing it with things like these.
  • NATO is cracking at the seams: the Croatians already said “no thanks”, the French and Germans don’t want to commit energetic seppuku, the Bulgarians are demanding details and guarantees and the French MPs are discussing whether to stay in NATO or not (they will stay, of course, but the topic is now raised).
  • Neocon freaks like Nuland and Blinken are in full panic mode, they more than anybody else want a war and now that Russia seems to be able to deny them that, they will stay stuck with the own corruption, failures and potential electoral apocalypse in November.
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warned a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “horrific” for the country and would result in “significant” casualties.  No kidding!

As for Ze, here are three headlines linked to his latest and, frankly, amazing statements:

If anything, this open conflict between “Ze” and “Biden” shows two things:

  1. Zelenskii does not want to die, not even for the United States
  2. Biden is losing control of the Ukie narrative, thus losing control of country 404

Keep in mind that all these fake news about a Russian invasion are resulting in an economic disaster for the Ukraine.  Just like the AngloZionist sanctions ended up hurting the West a lot more than Russia (hence they had to give up the plan to disconnect Russian from the SWIFT).

Interestingly, the head of the German intelligence service felt compelled to support Biden’s “Russia is about to attack in 30 seconds, and that’s a fact” point of view.  That will result in internal tensions inside Germany who just fired the head of the German Navy for disagreeing with the official AngloZionist narrative.

Chaos and panic at all levels and everywhere.

Except in Russia and least of all in the Kremlin, of course.

There are signs that the worst nightmare for the Neocons might actually happen and Russia won’t be forced to invade the Ukraine.

What do Neocons do when they panic?  Correct – false flag operations: that is MH-17 was all about.  And the Skripals.  And the “chemical attacks” in Syria.  And Navalnyi. And so many others that I won’t list them here.

We can be sure they will try, what is uncertain is whether they will succeed.

These are the same people who did 9/11, and they are literally capable of *anything*, including  a dirty bomb in downtown Kiev, a nuclear accident in the Ukraine blamed on Russian “saboteurs” or missiles, another civilian aircraft (or ship) destroyed a la MH-17, blow up a damn – you name it: if it is depraved, evil, ugly and based on accusations but zero evidence – you know its the Neocons which are at it.

Let’s wait for the US and NATO replies to become public before we try to guess what will happen next.  The actual texts should be leaked soon.

Andrei

Biden Forces Lose Dozens of Daesh / ISIS Terrorists from Syrian Prison

ISIS terroristsreleased from Ghweran prison in Hasakah Syria by US and Kurdish SDF

 MIRI WOOD

Biden military illegals lost more Daesh terrorists in a Syrian prison run by SDF terrorists, on 20 January, when free ISIS terrorists blew up to vehicles outside the al Sina’a Prison in the Ghweran neighborhood of al Hasakah.

Again, Hasakah is in Syria, which is not part of the USA.

At this writing, the Syrian Arab News Agency has reported on chaos — including shootings inside and out, Biden regime military helicopters flying about, and the Obama-created SDF terrorists criminally-imposed curfews against the indigenous Syrian population — not casualties, nor the numbers of terrorists imprisoned by other terrorists who managed to escape.

Among uncorroborated reports, 22 SDF terrorists were killed in the fighting, & ISIS/Daesh terrorists took over a part of the prison that actually houses weapons and ammunition.

Syrian journalist, Rasha Hasan reported twenty escapees in the afternoon of 20 January; about twelve hours later, a leaked document from Iraqi Military Intelligence claimed that the intention of the vehicular detonations outside the occupied Syrian prison was to move 5,000 ISIS/Daesh takfiri into Iraq (of possibly pure coincidence, about twenty-four hours later, ISIS terrorists massacred eleven Iraqi soldiers in the Diyala governate, further to the south of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.).

The Biden regime’s illegal forces have a long war criminal history of recycling ISIS savages from illegal prisons, from different regions of Syria, back and forth into Iraq — atrocities that are required to maintain the function of the Military Industrial Complex.

Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as ‘the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives’ (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85). — fbi.gov

Particularly sadistic, is the fact that the Biden troops use the illicit al Yaarubiyah crossing — run by the SDF terrorists since 2013, before the Pentagon demanded a re-branding from the YPG name, in 2015, which was on the US terror list — to transport stolen Syrian oil, stolen Syrian grain, and ISIS takfiri, into the Autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Separatist Kurds fantasy land.
Biden regime troops use illicit al Yaarubiyah crossing for oil & grain theft & transporting terrorists across the border with Iraq.
Neocon’s neocon Paul “Wolfie” Wolfowitz visiting ‘Kurdistan Regional Government’ in 2004.

Though there has not been much reporting from NATO stenographers on the recent attack and escapes, all such sources have normalized the colonialist invasion and occupation by the US, of the prison of another country. We also hyperlink the Defense One report of 24 February 2021 which arrogantly announced western supremacy news that the “US-led anti-ISIS coalition is funding a dramatic expansion of a large detention facility in northeastern Syria…”.

NATO media normalizing terrorism and justifying foreign countries running domestic prisons

This is a prison in the city of Philadelphia; can any westerner imagine it being occupied by the French military with the assistance of a gang of terrorists armed by France?

Now, further imagine that a third gang of terrorists/illegals in Philly car bombed the prison in the US, so that it looked like this, from a distance:

Biden forces bombed Syrian prison.


Excepting imperialists who lead the world in global genocide, is there a sane person who would consider this triad of war crimes and other atrocities as normal?

Updated information reports that thousands of ISIS terrorists were able to leave the Syrian prison under Biden regime and SDF occupation; let all westerners consider their reactions were this to be perpetrated against their homelands.

To our few readers who may persist in supporting either Biden or Trump, please note that this atrocity was created by both your war criminal leaders.

— Miri Wood

Related readings:

Muslim Brotherhood

The War Party wins – Russia is now free to act unilaterally

January 13, 2022

First, a quick update on Kazakhstan: the CSTO will begin its withdrawal tomorrow and that operation will be completed by the 19th of January (dunno if anybody will inform Blinken about how quickly the Russians leave).

This operation was truly a triumph for Russia and her allies.

It is said that hope dies last, and today it appears that whatever hope we might have had has died.  A week long series of negotiations has apparently yielded absolutely nothing.  To the extent that there were some sane voices advocating for a negotiated solution, these voices have now been drowned by the huge choir of hysterically russophobic politicians who, feeling safety in numbers, have told the Russian bear to get lost.

This is a triumph for the US Neocons and for their proteges in the EU.

So where do we go from here?

It is quite obvious: Russia will begin a policy of unilateral actions aimed at advancing vital Russian national interests.  Many of those actions will turn up the pain dial for the US/EU/NATO.  Rather than trying to guess what will happen next, I rather wait for those unilateral actions to become public.

One good news is that the Zircon missile is now officially accepted for service.  Good timing for sure.

I will conclude this short post by saying that in my strictly personal opinion, now would be a good time for Russia to sever all her diplomatic relations with at least the worst offenders in the West, beginning with the USA itself, of course.  Why?

Because having diplomatic relations with friends, partners or generally civilized and trustworthy counterparts makes sense.  Most western countries don’t qualify, so what is the point?

77 years after the end of WWII, the West has come a full circle and is back to its usual messianic homeostasis: racist megalomania, delusions about its own invulnerability and invincibility.

This sends a powerful and important message to all of Zone B, especially China.

Was Russia right to engage in these negotiations?

Yes, absolutely.  A country that lost 27 million of its citizens to western megalomania had the moral duty to try to do everything to avoid another war.  Yes, the chances of success were infinitesimal.  But morally, Russia had to try and she did.

Now that her hands have been untied, she can now do whatever she deems needful.

Good.

The main question now is this: how high will be the price this time around to bring the messianic West back to reality?

We will soon find out.

Andrei

الأسد الاستراتيجي.. هابوك.. فحاربوك..

See the source image


الاثنين 13 أيلول 2021

سماهر الخطيب

منذ أن تسلّم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد مقاليد الحكم في تموز من عام 2000، بدأت معظم مراكز الدراسات العربية والغربية والأميركية عبر أبحاثها ودراساتها حول شخصية الرئيس الجديد لسورية وطريقة حكمه طرح العديد من السيناريوات التي حاول معدّوها في الغرف السوداء عرض أفكارهم وآرائهم حول شخصية الرئيس الأسد وكيفية السيطرة على سورية من خلال تفنيد سياساته وقراراته والبحث في تطلعاته.

شكل مجيء الرئيس بشار الأسد إلى سدة الحكم، مع ما يحمله من أفكار، استمرارية لمسار والده الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد وتطويراً لمدرسة الأب بما يحمله الإبن من أفكار استراتيجية عصرية، الأمر الذي شكل هاجساً لدى صناع السياسة وأصحاب القرار في المجتمع الدولي، خاصة أنه عبّر، مع أول خطاب له، عن رغبته في تحرير النظام السياسي والاقتصادي وتعزيز الديمقراطية في الداخل السوري، معلناً نيّته إطلاق عمليات لبرلة اجتماعية واقتصادية وقد أعطى الأولوية للإصلاحات الاقتصادية بهدف خلق الشروط الملائمة للدمقرطة السياسية اللاحقة، فعُرفت بداية عهده بـ(ربيع دمشق)، وباتت سياساته هدفاً للسياسة الأميركية التي لم تُرِد سورية قوية كعهدها.

لم يحدّد الرئيس الأسد فقط نهج سورية في المجالين الاقتصادي والتقني بل حدّد مسارها الديمقراطي؛  مسارٌ لم يكن مستنسخاً عن الغرب، بل هو خاص بسورية تستمده من تاريخها وتحترم عبره مجتمعها. وقال في موضوع الديمقراطية: «لايمكننا أن نطبّق ديمقراطية الآخرين على أنفسنا، فالديمقراطية الغربية على سبيل المثال، هي نتاج تاريخ طويل أثمر عادات وتقاليد تميّز الثقافة الحالية في المجتمعات الغربية. ولتطبيق ما لديهم علينا أن نعيش تاريخهم مع كل أهميته الاجتماعية، كما أنّ من الواضح أن هذا مستحيل، ينبغي أن نمتلك تجربتنا الديمقراطية التي هي خاصة لنا وهي استجابة لحاجات مجتمعنا ومتطلبات واقعنا».

كما انتقد الرئيس بشار الأسد منذ استلامه مقاليد الحكم «بيروقراطية الدولة» معتبراً أنها «عقدة رئيسية أمام التطور»، قائلاً: «لا تعتمدوا على الدولة ليس لديها عصا سحرية وعملية التغيير تتطلب عناصر لا يملكها شخص واحد.. السلطة بلا مسؤولية هي السبب في الفوضى» وتابع: «يجب أن نحرر أنفسنا من تلك الأفكار القديمة التي غدت عقبات، ولننجح نحتاج إلى تفكير حديث.. قد يعتقد بعضهم أنّ العقول المبدعة ترتبط بالعمر وأنها يمكن أن توجد مع العمر غير أنّ هذا ليس دقيقاً تماماً فلدى بعض الشباب عقول قوية حية وخلاقة».

خارجياً، بدأت القيادة السورية تعمل جدياً على وضع استراتيجية سياسية خارجية للبلاد، فأولت اهتماماً لروسيا والصين دولياً، ولإيران وتركيا إقليمياً، مع الحفاظ على مكانة سورية في التعاون العربي – العربي وتعزيزه، بهدف تشكيل ائتلاف لاحق يمنع الانتشار الأميركي وتمركزه في المنطقة ويحول دون إعادة توزيع القوى في الشرق الأوسط لصالح هذا التمركّز.

حينها، تخطّت سورية العديد من الصعوبات التي واجهتها منذ 2001، فعززت دعمها للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين واستقرّ وضعها الداخلي وحافظت على علاقاتها مع الداخل العراقي وتعاونت مع طهران وتركيا لبناء شبكة إقليميّة. وطيلة الفترة الممتدّة بين 2001-2006، واجهت سورية زلازل إقليمية عديدة كانت تنذر بالسوء والأخطار الكبيرة عند كل منعطف.

ثم بدأ الوضع بالتحسن منذ خريف 2006 وخرجت سورية من دوامة الأزمات والعقوبات التي فرضت عليها، وأخذت تتعافى تدريجياً وتستعيد حيويتها الإقليمية في الأعوام 2007 و2010 وتجدّدت علاقاتها العربية، خاصة مع لبنان والعراق، ومدّت جسوراً مع أوروبا والولايات المتحدة وتعمّقت تحالفاتها، وفي الوقت عينه، واصلت دعمها للمقاومة في العراق ولبنان وفلسطين. كما بدأت رؤية سورية الاستراتيجية لربط البحار الخمسة، المتوسط والأحمر والخليج والأسود وقزوين، بشبكة تعاون إقليمية، من خلال إقامة شبكات ربط للنقل البحري بين المرافئ السورية ونظيراتها في كل من رومانيا وأوكرانيا، أو من حيث ربط شبكات إمداد الطاقة الكهربائية أو الغاز العربية مع منظومة الطاقة الأوروبية عبر تركيا، كخطّ الغاز العربي الذي يتم العمل على ربطه بمنظومة الغاز التركية عبر سورية، وبالتالي بمنظومة الغاز الأوروبية، ليس هذا فحسب، بل إن هذه الرؤية تلقى دعماً من قادة الدول الإقليمية التي تشكل عناصر أساسية في هذا الفضاء الاقتصادي وينظر إلى توسيعه لربطه مع الدول المطلة على بحر البلطيق الأمر الذي يقع في صلب الرؤية الاستراتيجية لسوري، ومن ينظر إلى المشروع الصيني يدرك أنه استكمال لتلك الاستراتيجية.

تبيّن للرئيس بشار الأسد حال الفراغ الاستراتيجي الناجم عن الأزمات التي لحقت بالدور والوجود الأميركيين في المنطقة، قارئاً وجود تحوّل كبير في معادلات الجغرافيا السياسية وعلومها، مستنتجاً سقوط مفهوم الشرق الأوسط، مورداً البديل لمفهوم الأقاليم الجديدة، مقدّماً صياغته لمنطقة إقليمية تحلّ مكان مفهوم الشرق الأوسط هي منطقة البحار الخمسة، وفيها تصير روسيا وإيران وتركيا ودول أوروبا المتوسطية شركاء في إقليم جغرافي واحد، مخاطره واحدة ومصالحه متقاربة، داعياً إلى منظومة تعاون إقليمية بين القوى الكبرى لحفظ الأمن وقيام التعاون الاقتصادي.

في سبيل ذلك، أجرى الرئيس الأسد في 2 كانون الأول 2010 مباحثات في القصر الرئاسي في كييف مع الرئيس الأوكراني فيكتور يانوكوفيتش في سبيل تفعيل تلك الاستراتيجية عبر توقيع اتفاقية التجارة الحرة بين البلدين، ما أثار الغضب الغربي والأميركي الذي كانت له رؤيته الخاصة للشكل الذي ينبغي أن تتطور الأمور عليه. فكان هدف واشنطن فرض رقابة لصيقة على العمليات الجارية في الشرق الأوسط وكان أحد شروطها المركزية إضعاف إيران، إنما سارت الخطوات السورية الموجهة نحو توحيد قدرات الدول الإقليمية الكبرى بالتعارض مع المخططات الأميركية، فوقفت دمشق «عثرة» أمام تحقيق الاستراتيجية الأميركية في المنطقة.

تمّ التأكيد على التحالف الاستراتيجي بين إيران وسورية في نهاية شباط 2010، وقام الرئيس الإيراني حينها محمود أحمدي نجاد بزيارة هامة إلى دمشق التقى فيها الرئيس بشار الأسد والأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله، كما التقى رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس خالد مشعل والأمين العام لحركة الجهاد الإسلامي رمضان شلح، وأعلن الرئيسان الإيراني والسوري عن «التوحد أمام التحديات والتهديدات، وأنّ أيّ حركة يمكن أن ترفع التوقعات في الدراما الدولية في ما يتعلق بأيّ من الدولتين».

كما أعلن الرئيس الإيراني أنّ «على العالم أن يعرف أنّ إيران ستقف خلف الشعب السوري إلى النهاية، وأن الروابط  الإقليمية قوية للغاية». وأشارت أحداث اللقاء إلى أنّ حلفاً استراتيجياً يتكون ويتأكد، ويشكل جبهة جديدة في مواجهة التحالف الأميركي – «الإسرائيلي» ومن يسانده من العرب والقوى الأخرى.

أدرك الأميركيون حينها، أنهم إن لم يوقفوا عمليات توزع القوى الجديد في المنطقة فإنهم مضطرون للتعامل مع إقليم جديد تماماً وعلى درجة عالية من التضامن ومن المستبعد أن يكون مستعداً للخضوع لإدارتها بلا قيد أو شرط.

ويمكن لمتتبع السياسة الأميركية تجاه سورية أن يعلم مسبقاً أنها لطالما دأبت على محاولات «إخضاع» الدولة السورية والتغيير «القسري» للنظام، واهتم المحافظون الجدد بإمكانية السعي إلى فرض تغيير قسري للنظام في سورية. ففي عام 1996 نشرت مجموعة من المحافظين الجدد الأميركيين، بينهم دوغلاس فيث وريتشارد بيرل، تقريراً قدّمت فيه توصيات لرئيس الوزراء الصهيوني المقبل آنذاك بنيامين نتنياهو في ما يتعلق بسياسة الأمن القومي «الإسرائيلي» وهي تتضمن «استخدام القوة لتحقيق أهداف إضعاف واحتواء بل وحتى صدّ سورية».

كان على سورية أن تجري حسابات إقليمية استراتيجية لا تتخلى عن مواصلة السعي إلى توازن عسكري تكنولوجي مع «إسرائيل» ومواجهة حروب وأزمات أخرى اشتعلت في الوقت ذاته تقريباً. حيث استندت في مواجهة تلك التحديات الأقليمية إلى استراتيجية واضحة كرّسها وعدّلها الرئيس حافظ الأسد منذ 1975. بدأ الرئيس بشار الأسد استلهام دروس استراتيجية والده وفي أساس تلك الاستراتيجية كان بناء الجبهة المشرقية (جبهة لبنان وسورية والأردن والفلسطينيين تمتد من رأس الناقورة في جنوب لبنان إلى مدينة العقبة جنوب الأردن)، فعمّق علاقات سورية بلبنان والأردن والمقاومة الفلسطينية خلال السبعينات، وبات الدعم الذي تحصل عليه سورية من روسيا وإيران يوازي الدعم الأميركي لـ»إسرائيل»، معتمداً على ما قاله الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد في كلمته بمناسبة عيد الثورة في آذار 1992: «التحالفات الجديدة القادمة لن تكون كالتي كانت. التحالفات الجديدة ستبحث في مجالات حيوية.. إن العرب كمجموعة لم يفعلوا شيئاً لمواجهة المستقبل ولم يقدموا جديداً للتعامل مع العالم الجديد، وإلى أن يتكوّن وعي عربي أفضل يفهم أبعاد ما يحدث فإنّ سورية في سياستها وفي أفعالها تأخذ بالاعتبار هذه الأبعاد كما تراها واثقة أنها ستظل القلعة الوطنية القومية. فسورية لن تجامل ولن تساوم أحداً على المبادئ، خاصة عندما يتعلق الأمر بالأبعاد القومية هكذا نحن وهكذا سنبقى وهذا هو دور سورية القومي النقي ماضياً وحاضراً ومستقبلاً، مهما ضخمت مصاعبنا فالتسليم ليس خيارنا.. السلام الذي نقبله هو الذي يعيد الأرض ويعيد الحقوق وينشر الأمن في المنطقة وأقل من ذلك هو استسلام.. إذا كان أحد يظن أن المتغيرات الدولية ترضخ الشعوب فبئس هذا الأحد لأنه لم يستعد السيرة البشرية ولم يستوعب مدلولاتها وعبرها ولم يدرك أن النسيج النفسي والاجتماعي للشعوب يجعلها تنتزع من كل ظرف جديد خلاصة العناصر والإمكانات التي تجعلها قادرة على التكيف ومواجهة التحديات الجديدة».

بالتالي، فإنّ استراتيجية الرئيس بشار الأسد لم تكن جامدة، بل تعامل مع استراتيجيته كخياط ماهر يتعاطى مع رقعة قماش على طاولة يجري فيها تعديلاً وتفصيلاً لتتلاءم مع متطلبات المرحلة. فعكف على تثبيت استراتيجية سورية جديدة تأخذ بالاعتبار كافة المتغيرات. ومن جملة الدروس المستوحاة أنّ سورية لم تغيّر خطابها القومي، ورغم تواضع ثروات سورية الاقتصادية أصبحت دولة مركزية في المشرق العربي شديدة الاستقلال في قراراتها وخياراتها وهو استقلال أصبح نادراً بين الدول في العقد الأول من القرن الحادي والعشرين وأشار إليه كبار الباحثين الأوروبيين.

اليوم تواجه سورية تحدياً اقتصادياً يعود تفاقمه إلى أسباب عديدة أبرزها القانون الأميركي (قيصر)، وعُقوباته التي تريد عرقلة عملية التطوير، لكنّ من صمد وتصدّى لمختلف أساليب الحرب ببشاعتها فإنه سيدير هذه الأزمة بضراوتها.

هو الأسد الذي قاد سورية نحو العز والنصر…

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9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

September 11, 2021

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Twenty years have passed since 9/11, so where do we stand today?  I will give my short answers as bullet points and then let you post your own conclusions.  Here are mine:

  1. Numerous engineers, architects, chemists, researchers and others have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.
  2. There is very strong, albeit indirect, preponderance of evidence that the Israelis were deeply involved and that they had accomplices inside the USA.
  3. From the two above I think that it is reasonable to assume that the Israelis were working with the US Neocons on a common project.
  4. Al-Qaeda (which is a CIA creation in the first place!) had some parts of it activated by the US/Israeli deep states (which are trying run the Takfiris everywhere), but only to play the role of a patsy (there were a few Saudis and there were real aircraft, but they did not bring down any buildings in NY).
  5. It remains unclear to me what really happened at the Pentagon, but I think that we can take the notion that the aircraft over DC and NY were remotely piloted as a pretty good working hypothesis (which still needs to be proven).
  6. Directed energy weapons, Russian naval nuclear cruise missiles, mini-nukes and the like are crude disinformation responses to the 9/11 Truth movement by the US deep state.  These were only moderately effective and only convinced a, shall we say, specific type of “truthers” which are all rejected as idiots (at best) by the mainstream 9/11 movement.
  7. The truth about 9/11 is now slowly getting “JFK status” which is “everybody either suspects/knows, but nobody really cares anymore”.  It’s old news, especially in a society with an attention span somewhere between 2 mins and 2 days.
  8. The real goal of 9/11 was to create a “patriotic pretext” to launch the GWOT and change the entire Middle-East into a compliant entity à la Jordan.
  9. The GWOT was a total failure and one of the worst military campaign in military history.
  10. The plan to create a “new” Middle-East have totally failed and, if anything, created a stronger anti-Israeli environment than before 9/11.  The fact that GWOT medals are handed out by the ton means nothing: after the Grenada faceplant Uncle Shmuel gave out more medals than participants took place in the entire operation.
  11. The AngloZionost Empire died on January 8th, 2020 and the USA, as we knew it, died on January 6th 2021 (see here for a detailed discussion of these dates and context), almost exactly one year later.
  12. By being murdered by the USA, General Soleimani won the biggest victory in his life.
  13. The US will have to leave both Iraq and Syria sooner rather than later.
  14. The Zionist entity calling itself “Israel” is now in a major political and even existential crisis and is now on the ropes and desperate.  But they hide it a lot better than the US propagandists.  But the Palestinians “feel” that, as do quite a few Israelis too.
  15. Both Biden and “Biden” are now fighting for their political lives not only due to “Kabul” but also due to the way Biden has just declared war on those who refuse vaccines.
  16. Anti-vaxxers might be many things, but nobody can deny them the following qualities: they are very strongly driven, for them the entire issue is not medical, but one of self-image, of identity and resistance to tyranny.  Okay, some will quietly cave in, but many will not.  That is why I strongly believe that Biden’s “declaration of war” against the unvaccinated “deplorables” (he did not use the word, but his contempt and hate was obvious) is a huge mistake.  At least in the USA, I believe that there are plenty of anti-vaxxers who will rather die in a firefight than being vaxxed (which they sincerely believe will either chip them, or kill them in a couple of years).  In other words, I do not believe that “Biden” has the means to force 80M+ anti-vaxxers to get the jab, in fact, if anything, his entire speech was a highly divisive slap in the face of millions of US Americans.  Violence is almost inevitable by now.  First isolated incidents, but possibly something bigger too.
  17. The US economy is not growing or recovery.  That is just playing with numbers or, “statistics” in Churchill’s sense of the word.  The truth is that the country is breaking apart and slowly going “3rd world” (okay, there are already plenty of “3rd world” areas of the USA, but these are now expanding).  The real Chinese economy is about 1.5 times larger than the real US one.  Point, set, game and match China.  By the way, the real Russian economy is comparable or bigger to the real German one, and the Russian economy has pretty much recovered from the COVID crisis (but it is not over, cases are still rising in some areas of Russia).
  18. The US military has totally lost its ability to function as a real military.  Ditto for NATO.  They were publicly humiliated pretty much everywhere they set foot.  This process is now irreversible. Point, set, game and match Russia, China and Iran.
  19. Internally, the USA losing its cohesion and that centrifugal process is being accelerated by the truly insane internal policies of “Biden” (just Woke and Covid are a declaration of war against millions of US Americans).  I am not at all confident that “Biden” can bring states like Florida or Texas to heel.  I won’t comment any further on the internal US situation, but that needed to be mentioned.

Conclusions:

  1. As with all Neocon type policies, they initially look “brilliant” only to end up in an abject clusterbleep and the Neocons hated by pretty much everybody else.
  2. The Taliban won the GWOT (even at its best, Uncle Shmuel “controlled” about 40% of the country, max!).
  3. The entire Zone B and a big part of Zone A now realize that (whether they openly admit it or not).
  4. There is a good chance that the very public disaster in Afghanistan will now force the Europeans to distance themselves from a clearly senile, demented and weak Big Brother.
  5. The core Anglosphere (UK/CA/NZ/AUS) seems to be consolidating around the “Biden USA” which might put them on a collision course with the EU.  We are not quite there yet, but that’s were we are heading.
  6. The COVID pandemic effectively “exploded” all the societies in Zone A which are now all in a low-level “brewing” pre-civil war condition.  I do not see what anybody could do to change that.
  7. The COVID pandemic will only get worse, which will only trigger more attempts by Zone A government to try force their population to “obey” and that, in turn, will only further destabilize all, repeat, ALL the regimes in power in Zone A.

The bottom line is this: 9/11 and the GWOT were initial, very short lived, tactical successes which resulted in a strategic disaster or, better, in a strategic collapse of both the AngloZionist Empire and the USA.

And, finally, this.  I cannot prove it, but my reading of modern history and regime collapses brings me to believe the following:

I have always said that US policies, internal and external, are not really the result of careful planning as they are the result of various interests/entities using their influence and power to “pull” US policies in the way they want.  And since there are A LOT of various interests/entities, especially in important cases, what we see is not a “policy outcome” but only a “sum vector”, an “outcome” which is the sum of all the different pulling and the relative strength of the folks doing that pulling.

I believe that this process has only been magnified but by an order of magnitude.  What we see today in the US ruling elites is a huge “cover your ass”, “run for your life”, “protect yourself and your future” and even “grab it while you still can” and NOT, repeat, NOT “real” policies.  Those who believe in a grand conspiracy fail to realize that what happened in Kabul is not the exception, it is the rule!  Kabul was a giant spotlight which finally showed the true face of the US military to the entire planet: not the Tom Clancy kind of patriotic delusional hallucinations or Hollywood, but the “real reality” filmed “on the ground” on cheap but ubiquitous cellphones, by both Afghani and even US/NATO servicemen’s!

The problem for the delusional patriots is this: far from being “Putin agents” or anything like that, the million of folks out there who have cellphones with cameras (no matter how old or cheap) produce such a raw volume of data which makes it impossible to suppress.  The exact same goes for the Israelis, by the way, who have paid a huge price in terms of “losing the propaganda war” since the Palestinians (and quite a few Israelis too!!) now use their cellphones more effectively than any Palestinian rocket or suicide-bomber ever would.  That is also what really screwed up the recent US elections: ubiquitous cellphones (well, and CCTV cameras).

If we imagine the US/Israeli propaganda machine as a huge powerful animal (BILLIONS are invested into this) you can think of poor, oppressed people with cheapo cellphones as fire ants.  Let’s just conclude by saying that time is not on the side of the big powerful heavy animal, but on the fire ants’ side.

Andrei

PS: yes, I mentioned the POLITICAL aspects of the COVID pandemic.  I get to set the rules, since this is my blog.  The COVID topic remains banned on the entire Saker blog (Cafe included), EVEN if I get to mention it if/when it is part of my political analyses (I won’t touch the medicals aspects of COVID anymore, I have said all I have to say on this topic already anyway).  Do do NOT, repeat, NOT try to “sneak in” some COVID comments or you will be banned.  For the alternatively gifted: the article above is NOT about vaccines or the dangers of mRNA, it is about the political evaluation of 9/11 and the GWOT.  Stay on topic or else…

The Ukraine claims to be ready for an imminent war, today or tomorrow :-)

September 10, 2021

The Ukraine claims to be ready for an imminent war, today or tomorrow :-)

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Well, we heard that, what, 10’000 times already?  Probably.

But is this a reason to simply ignore yet another tsunami of hysterics coming out of Kiev?

I mean, I get it: North Stream 2 has been completed today, all that’s left is a bunch of paperwork (which the Poles and Ukies are still trying to sabotage by offering to “participate” in the bureaucratic processes). Barring any last-minute “creative solutions” by the 3B+PU gang, the gas itself should start flowing on October first.  And since the “Turkish stream” is already working, it is true that Russia has successfully bypassed all the crazies and is now offering its energy to Europe directly.

As for the “West” and its values, well, let’s just say that greed is far more sacred to the West than its own propaganda.  How do we know that? Nobody offered the Ukies any “compensation” or, even less so, “security guarantees”.

The US/NATO/UK/EU have clearly shown that while they love to act like the infamous “civilized” “White Man” with his famous “burden”, they have no stomach for screwing around with Russia for real, not in the Black Sea, not in the Ukraine, not in the Baltic and not in the North or anywhere else.

In other words, the Ukronazis feel ditched and are watching the events in Afghanistan in utter horror.

Also, since the Ukronazis always said that Russia will attack the Ukraine as soon as NS2 is completed, so in a way, there is a logic here: since NS2 was completed today, therefore Russia must attack today.  Especially since the Zapad 2021 military maneuvers have started (and they are involving a bigger and much more capable military force than the entire military power of the 3B+PU countries).

In the Ukie logic, this all means that Russia will attack today or tomorrow at the latest, from both Belarus and Russia.  BTW – Lukashenko was in Moscow yesterday and the two countries signed 28 documents further integrating Russia and Belarus economically and militarily.  As for political integration, Putin and Lukashenko both said that first, the two countries must align their economies before going into stuff like a single currency or even a single Parliament.  So that is for the (not too far away) future.

Then there are the various statements from top Ukro officials.

Zelenskii declared that a war is now inevitable.  He also stated that the Ukronazi armed forces were now amongst the most formidable on the planet and that NATO would “lose” without the Ukraine and the EU would become very weak (he was not joking).

The head of the Ukronazi Security Council, Danilov, not only agreed, but he said that if the Ukies see an impending Russian attack, the Ukies would attack first and “liberate” the Donbass.  He got a standing ovation from the Ukronazi corner.

The head of the Ukrainian military admitted that he daydreamed about, listen to this, a Ukrainian military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, with Ukie flags and all (that old Polish wet dream again…).

Remember the other “NATO candidate” Saakashvili who lost a war against a small Russian military force in 3 days only?  He now declared that if Russia attacks the Ukraine, all the US would send, at best, is warm blankets and inflatable boats.  He is right.  Welcome to reality Ukies!

As for the official Ukie media (all non-regime-run TV channels have now been banned), let’s just say that they “further amplified” the feelings of Ukie politicians and leave it at that.

Foreign Minister Lavrov reacted to all that by saying that the folks in Kiev were “schizophrenics”.  Peskov also spoke of mental problems.

So, will we have a full-scale war in Europe today or tomorrow?

Probably not.  HOWEVER

First, never say never, especially when dealing with schizophrenics.  Normal deterrence theory assumes what is called “a rational actor” on all sides.  The one thing which the Ukronazis sure ain’t is “rational”!

Second, you have to stop thinking like you normally do and imagine yourself in, say, Ze’s skin.  Objectively, for them, a continuation of, well, maybe not “peace”, that has not happened since the Ukronazi coup, but at least “low simmering” war might well be WORSE than a full-scale war with Russia.  The kind of “non-full-war” which the Nazi-occupied Ukraine has been (barely) surviving is a surefire way to a final, total, collapse.  Not only that, but Ze & Co. probably do realize that even if Russia does openly intervene, it would at most be to liberate the rest of the Donbass and probably move towards the Mariupol direction.  Sure, the Russians would probably do to the Ukies something similar to what they did to Saakashvili and basically defang the Ukraine, but remember that in 08.08.08 the Russians were already advancing on Tbilissi and stopped not because the “invincible Georgian army” stopped the invader, but because the Russians have ZERO need for anything Georgian once their fangs have been removed, least of all any need to enter their capital.  In fact, the Russians quickly packed and left, leaving just enough forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to make darn sure that they would never be attacked again.  This is most likely what the Russians would do in case of a war with the Ukraine, only at a larger scale.  But now think like Ze: Saakashvili himself is not in power, but he is alive, got plenty of money and basically is living a good life (in their minds, at least).  He did not get lynched by angry Georgians (who did put him on an international wanted list for many of his crimes).  Ze would much rather be the future Saakashvili than the future Mussolini, and that goes for a lot of them.  Sure, the Ukronazi true believers will all be killed by Russians, but the top folks will do what ex-President Ashraf Ghani did and pack their money and run.

Third, dumb and desperate (D&D) rulers always see war as a solution to get the flag-waving kind to blindly support them.  I vividly remember how Argentinian General and dictator Galtieri pulled off exactly that with his ill-fated liberation of the Malvinas/Falklands from the Brits (which, of course, I support 110% on principle, but the execution was nothing short of terrible, by the fault of Argentinian politicians and Galtieri himself (and the local commander too, Mario Menendez).  And that is a trick which every President except Trump pulled at least once while in office (and he basically also did that with the murder of Soleimani which was an act of war).

The Neocons still seem to be dreaming of attacking somebody, anybody, but following the monumental faceplant in Afghanistan, there are very few nations out there that the US can seriously take on (Monaco?  Lichtenstein?  Costa Rica (which has no military to begin with)?  Grenada (no military either, but lots of very bad and even traumatic memories for the US)?  Not the Vatican, the ceremonial Swiss guard might do what it did during the insurrection of 1792 and declare “We are Swiss, the Swiss do not part with their arms but with their lives. We think that we do not merit such an insult. If the regiment is no longer wanted, let it be legally discharged. But we will not leave our post, nor will we let our arms be taken from us” (yes, tiny Switzerland had a proud and very interesting history, and she only became the Empire’s cheap prostitute in 1990).  And today’s Swiss guards at the Vatican could change their (rather silly) ceremonial uniforms, but on real fatigues and fight to the end.  I don’t see these genius super-warriors taking them on 🙂

So – war later today or tomorrow?

No, probably not.

But the fact is that the Ukies simply have no other choice than to try all they can to trigger a war sooner or later (but preferably sooner).  For these Nazi schizophrenics war is, REALLY, preferable to peace.  Remember for all the butthurt crazies on other websites who were going into hysterics every time I spoke of “Nazis” in the Ukie context, the fact remains that while Ze initially came to power as a total NON-Nazi (while Poroshenko’s gang was “the real deal”), the fact that Ze is, literally, a clown and has no real power base other than the pro-peace Ukrainians whom he totally betrayed, resulted into the Ukie Nazis taking de facto control of the Ze regime.

Just like the Neocons are a minority in the USA, but one which sets the agenda no matter who is in power in the White House, so are the Ukronazis: a minority, but one which sets the agenda.  And “their” Ukraine is, truly, an anti-Russia, something which Putin publicly declared a “red line” which Russia will never allow.

See any venues for compromise here?

Me neither.

Finally, a war would allow the Ukronazis to “consolidate” their power in the western regions of the (historically real) “Ukraine” which Russians will certainly stay away from (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, etc.).  Most of the locals *truly* are non-Russians and have never been Russians in the past.  The Ukronazi ideology is still popular there, so the Ukronazis can create their little and landlocked “Nazi Taiwan” and give up a country they cannot control, if only because it is entirely artificial, and accept a smaller country, but once which makes more sense and which they can control.

So “something” is definitely coming.  It might be a stupid stunt like trying to pass under the bridge to Crimea or some major terrorist attack (that is the one thing which the SBU is actually pretty darn good at, we should not dismiss them too quickly!).  Or this, the Ukies are regularly flying all types of drones over the Donbass and even over Crimea.  What if they sent a manned aircraft of some kind?  It will be shot down for sure (even over the LDNR).  They can also set off a false flag very very easily (just like the Czechs recently did): blow up some major civilian infrastructure object which the cannot be maintained (no money, all the specialists gone) anyway and blame it on Putin and, of course, “Petrov and Boshirov”.

I think of that as a “home made MH-17” (the initial one was clearly a US operation like KAL007 many years ago).

We cannot predict what “it” will be, but we can be sure that will be 1) very visible 2) very ugly 3) very bloody.

Yes, the Russians are as ready as can one can be.  But the Ukies will have the advantage of choosing the time and place.  This means that the SVR/GRU must now carry the burden of making darn sure that the Ukronazis authorities are chock full with SVR/GRU agents and even officers: it is vital for Russia to make sure that the Kremlin gets any such Ukie plans even before they are finalized in Kiev.  Удачи вам, ребята! (good luck guys!).

Andrei

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

September 09, 2021

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

by Andrei for the Saker Blog

Most of you must have heard it: the Taliban will organize a major celebration on September 11th to mark the liberation of Afghanistan from the US occupation and the creation of the new Afghan government.  The Russians and the Chinese have been invited.  As are the Pakistanis.  Not sure about Iran (do you know?)?

The Afghan government could be called a “GITMO government” since 5 members are former GITMO hostages and one, the head of security/intel, is still on the FBI most wanted list.

Needless to say, the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.  As for Bin-Laden and al-Qaeda they were somewhat involved, but only as “patsies”.

But the US government declared that the Taliban guilty and invaded Afghanistan.

Twenty years later, the Taliban are in total control and the US has probably executed one of the dumbest, worst and generally immoral military operation in history.  And 20 years later, the US was totally defeated.  Not by Russia.  Not by China.  Not by Iran.  Not even by Venezuela.  By the Afghans, after 20 years of warfare and trillions spent.

I have to agree with a Russian analyst who recently declared that “no, this is not even a “regular/normal” imperial collapse, this is the worst and most shameful imperial collapse in history”.

I fully concur.

As for what the Taliban will do this Saturday, it can’t even be called “spitting in Uncle Shmuel’s face”.  It’s even more than that.  Maybe we could speak of “urinating into Uncle Shmuel’s face” or some other even ruder metaphor showing both the total and utter contempt in which the Taliban hold not only the USA but the entire AngloZionist Empire AND somehow express the magnitude of the humiliation inflicted upon the USA.

I lack the words to come up with a suitable metaphor.

Can somebody come up with something sufficiently powerful?

Also, and especially for the MAGA folks out there:

CNN has reported that the entire “Ukie plan” to kidnap Russian PMCs was organized by the CIA and botched by the Ukies.  The harcore Ukronazis are now accusing CNN of either being “duped by the FSB” or even for being used by Putin personally.  Or both.

Anyway, what this goes to prove that Trump approved a clear terrorist attack against Russia.  Either that, or he did not even know about it, which might be worse…

And you guys are seriously discussing his possible comeback?!?!

Get real!

I saw an interesting poll somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where exactly) which shows that 49% of US Americans feel safer than on 9/11 20 years ago and 41% feel less safe.

And that is the real outcome of this monumentally evil and stupid Neocon plan.

After 20 years of warfare, pompous self-aggrandizement, many thousands dead and maimed and trillions spent.

Nothing will ever wash off this shame from the awareness of folks in Zone B and even many in Zone A.

Finally, today the Ukronazis shelled the Donbass again, with howitzers and mortars.  They were aiming at a water pumping station, miss and wounded/killed a couple.  Either way, this is a warcrime.  The Russians have declared that they have the designation of the unit which fired and the name of the commander who gave the order.

Which is all very predictable, since 1) US officials just visited the Ukraine 2) the CNN story is a HUGE scandal in the Ukie Rada and 3) Zelenskii is desperate to show that he might still be useful to the USA.

As for the Poles, they are fearing Russian invasion, so they put bared wire (I kid you not!) along their eastern border.  Which remind me of a Russian joke: a man walks down the street minding his own business, when he sees a woman on a balcony screaming “help! he wants to rape me! help!!!” from the top of her lungs.  The man looks up and says, “ma’am, calm down, I have no interest in you whatsoever and you are on the balcony while I am in the street” to which the woman replies, “yeah, maybe, but I can come down!“.

The Russian military is engaged in some large and serious, not fake, military maneuvers: 200’000 soldiers in both Russia and Belarus.  Hence all the wet pampers in eastern Europe (especially in Poland – the “hyena of Europe” always was a cowardly animal).

The Poles have even predicted the date of the Russian invasion: tomorrow (not a joke)

I have terrible news for Poland, the Baltic statelets and the Ukraine: nobody in Russia has any need for you, or your land.  Nobody.  Oh, and, for your information: “defenses” like walls, barbed-wires or even trenches cannot stop a modern military, such crap would not even slow the Russians down.

Summary: both Biden and Zelenskii might get impeached or otherwise removed.  That’s won’t solve anything for the US or the Ukraine, but sheer magnitude of their incompetence and stupidity makes such an outcome quite possible.

Not even in my most wildest and craziest dreams could I ever have imagined such a quick and total collapse of the Empire and of the USA.  I have to pinch myself several times a day, each time I get the news 🙂

Cheers

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