Gazprom may or may not be withholding gas from Europe, but high prices and spot shortages before winter should seal the deal for Nordstream 2 early next year. From Charles Kennedy from oilprice.com:
Russian gas giant Gazprom dismisses speculation and accusations that it is not supplying enough natural gas via pipeline to Europe, a senior official at Gazprom Export says.
So far in 2021, Gazprom’s gas deliveries to Europe have reached historic highs, Sergey Komlev, Head of the Contract Structuring and Pricing Directorate at Gazprom Export, wrote in an article for Gazprom’s corporate magazine, as carried by Russian news agency TASS.
Germany, Turkey, and Italy—some of Gazprom’s largest customers—all boosted imports of Russian gas in the first half of 2021, the manager said.
Gazprom’s exports to European countries rose by 23.2 percent between January and July, Komlev added.
“These figures prove the absurdity of accusing Gazprom of supply shortage,” the executive noted.
Europe is grappling with soaring natural gas and electricity prices ahead of the winter heating season due to tight gas supplies, very low gas inventories, and low wind power generation amid still weather.
Biden is cozying up to Ukraine, a nation on Russia’s doorstep with a corrupt, broke government. It’s only value, if you can call it that, to the US is that by so cozying the administration may piss off the Russians. Now if a war were to start between Ukraine and Russia (rest assured, the Russians aren’t that stupid), the US government would have a chance to repeat its stunning Afghanistan success story. A lot of defense and intelligence contractors would be happy. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:
The great danger is that Washington’s provocations will cross the “red line” with Moscow and lead to escalation, which will indeed be a page-turner.
When President Biden gave his speech on August 31 about the Afghanistan debacle he touched on future U.S. policies as regards the massive military leviathan which is deployed to over 750 bases in about 80 countries. He said the U.S. would no longer wield military power “to remake other countries” and “as we turn the page on the foreign policy that has guided our nation the last two decades, we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.” This declaration of policy was welcome — until he began to denounce the supposed enemies who would engage his less-divided attention from now on.
Never at a loss for a cliché, he declared “the world is changing” before making it clear that the military-industrial complex in the U.S. has not changed in the slightest and would continue to concentrate on what Biden says he regards as the most important international threats to “The Homeland” because “We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia.”
The day after he reiterated the Second Cold War posture concerning Russia and China, Biden met in the White House with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine whose call had been postponed because of the shambles and carnage in Kabul. The July White House briefing paper about the impending discussions had set the tone for Mr Biden’s page-flipping by asserting that “the visit will affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression”, and following the belated meeting the White House issued a Joint Statement declaring among other things that “the bonds between the United States and Ukraine are stronger than ever.”
General Milley gets a lesson in the white rage he professes not to understand. From Quentin L. Smith at thebluestateconservative.com:
During testimony before the Congress of the United States you stated:
“I want to understand white rage, and I’m white…What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?…I want to find that out.”
Well, General, I am a 76-year-old white man, a former officer in the United States Army (1967-70), and a retired Special Agent of the FBI with nearly 29 years of service (1971-1999). I attended Trump’s rally on January 6th and I think I may be able to help you understand the reasons for “white rage.”
You impugn the motives of hundreds of thousands of patriotic citizens: whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, male, female, young and old. They weren’t trying to overturn the Constitution! They wanted nothing more than to make their voices heard and, if possible, delay the certification of an election they believed, with probable cause, was stolen. You and the media repeatedly claim Trump’s allegations of a “stolen election” are false. Neither you, I, nor anyone else know whether this is true or not because the evidence (hundreds of witness affidavits signed under penalty of perjury, pristine mail-in ballots, xeroxed ballots, the synchronized shutdown of ballot counting in 5 swing states until observers were removed from the election headquarters, etc.) has never been tested in court or disclosed to the people.
Apparently, my presence in Washington, DC on January 6th qualifies me, in your estimation, as one of those “outraged white people” you want to understand. Since you appear to be somewhat intellectually challenged, let me give you just 13 easy to understand reasons for my “white rage” as you like to call it.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Collapse, Culture, Government, Immigration, Intelligence, Military, Morality, Politics, Propaganda, Tyranny, Uncategorized, War
Tagged FBI, General Mark Milley, Hunter and Joe Biden corruption, Joe Biden, Ukraine
There have got to be a lot of countries worried right now about what a US defense commitment is worth, but Taiwan is probably the most worried. From Stephen Bryen at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:
Taiwan needs to worry about American reliability. Unlike Afghanistan, where the United States had committed its forces for two decades, Taiwan has no U.S. forces and no assurance that the United States will come to their defense if attacked by China.
The United States has a bad habit of walking out on its allies and friends. The list is long. It includes Vietnam and Cambodia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iran. In all of those cases, one way or another, the United States, for its own reasons, took a hike.
Obama pulled U.S. troops from Iraq, opening the door to Iran. While the United States has a few thousand soldiers still in Iraq in training and advisory capacities, they’re under siege and it’s unlikely the United States will protect them.
In fact, President Joe Biden has said the United States will end combat missions in Iraq by the end of 2021. Unless U.S. troops are pulled out in the middle of the night, as they were in Afghanistan, they’ll quite possibly have to shoot themselves out while exiting.
Carter let Iran collapse into chaos and refused to support the Shah. Prior to that time, the United States had massively supplied Iran with weapons and military advisors. But when the Shah asked for help, he got none. The collapse of the Shah’s regime, without U.S. backing, was a foregone conclusion.
Nixon let Vietnam and Cambodia go down the drain, trying to cover their tracks with the so-called Paris Peace Accords that required U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Vietnam, a key demand of North Vietnam. South Vietnam hung on for a while, but without U.S. airpower and support, they couldn’t win against a North Vietnamese army supported by Russia and China.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged China, Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine, US defense guarantees
At some point the grandiose assumptions and posturing behind the American Empire are going to run head on into the realities of US deficits and Russian and Chinese military and economic capabilities. From The Saker at unz.com:
French Retreat in 1812
I have to begin this column by admitting that “Biden” (note: when in quotation marks, I refer to the “collective Biden”, not the clearly senile man) surprised me: it appears that my personal rule-of-thumb about US Presidents (each one is even worse than his predecessor) might not necessarily apply in “Biden’s” case. That is not to say that “Biden” won’t end up proving my rule of thumb as still applicable, just that what I am seeing right now is not what I feared or expected.
Initially, I felt my the rule still held. The total US faceplant in Alaska when Blinken apparently mistook the Chinese for woke-neutered serfs and quickly found out how mistaken he was.
But then there was the meeting with Putin which surprised many, including myself. Initially, most Russian observers joined one of two groups about the prospects for this summit:
- This summit will never happen, there is nothing to discuss, Biden is senile, his Admin is filled wall to wall with harcore russophobes and, besides, the (US) Americans are “not agreement capable” (недоговороспособные) anyway, so what is the point?
- If the summit takes place, it will be a comprehensive failure. At best a shouting match or exchange of insults.
Neither of these happened. Truth be told, we still do not really know what happened. All we have are some vague declarations of intent and worded pious intentions. And even those were minimalistic! In fact, after the summit most Russian observers, again, broke into two main camps:
- “Biden” threw in the towel and gave up. Russian won this round. Hurray!
- “Biden” only changed tactics, and now the new US posture might well become even more aggressive and hostile. Russia is about to see a major surge in anti-Russian provocations. Alarm!
I think that both of these grossly oversimplify a probably much more complex and nuanced reality. In other words, “Biden” surprised many, if not most, Russians. That is very interesting by itself (neither Bush, nor Obama nor Trump ever surprised the Russians – who knew the score about all of them – in any meaningful way).
Posted in Collapse, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda, Technology, War
Tagged American empire, Biden administration, China, Europe, Russia, Ukraine
Russia has a variety of new weapons both interesting and frightening, and one older one: Vladimir Putin. From The Saker at unz.com:
The past week has been quite intense in Russia – lots of interesting developments took place, and today I will mention three:
- Putin wrote a very interesting essay on the history of Russia and the Ukraine, which he followed up with a very interesting interview.
- Russia just concluded final tests for truly formidable weapons systems like the S-500 and the Mach 8 hypersonic missile Zircon.
- In its yearly aviation salon MAKS, Russia has just presented a 5th generation, single engine light multi-functional fighter the Su-75 “Checkmate”
These are all truly huge developments for Russia which we need to look into separately.
Putin’s history of Russia and the Ukraine
First, I highly recommend that you take the time to read the full article here and the full interview here (there is no point for me to use the space here to pepper you with excerpts), especially if you are not well-acquainted with Russian history or live in Zone A. Furthermore, being the “Putin groupie and fanboy” which I so-notoriously am (guilty as charged!), I won’t surprise anybody by saying that I agree with almost every word Putin wrote or spoke. And, frankly, all the facts Putin lists are really common knowledge for most people (unless they have been brainwashed by US/Ukronazi propaganda) and there is really no point for me to repeat “yes, this is true” and “yes, he is right” over and over again.
So all I propose to do next is to just to add a few comments of mine about this article+interview (I will assume that readers will have read them both; if not, I suggest completely skipping this section),
- First, as I just said, there is absolutely nothing new in this article for educated people. But that is not Putin’s target audience anyway. Putin’s target audience are the younger generations (in the Ukraine, the West and even, alas, Russia proper!) who know very little, if anything, about history. And while this is also true of Russia, this is especially true in the Ukraine where people have been massively brainwashed since 1917 (as Putin explains this very well in his article).
Edward Lozansky untangles the tangled web that is Ukraine. From Lozansky at antiwar.com:
In view of the upcoming summit in Washington between President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky, it is important to analyze the U.S. geopolitical strategy toward that country and see if it serves the best interests of the American people – and, for that matter, of the Ukrainians.
Here are some introductory points.
As a result of the Soviet Union’s collapse, its 15 former republics became independent states, Ukraine among them. Free from the communist yoke, having strong industrial and agricultural sectors, a favorable climate and fertile land, Ukraine – the place of my birth – had great potential to become one of the most prosperous European nations. Effective anti-corruption reforms, a certain level of autonomy for the regions with a large Russian ethnic population, two-state languages and neutral status with no membership in any military blocs would have made Ukraine, if not a new Switzerland, then definitely a happy and prosperous state. There would have been no civil war, and Donbass and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine.
However, some inside and outside forces had a different agenda, which resulted in the current tragedy, the loss of life and territory, the rise of radical nationalism, a neo-Nazi movement and vast economic devastation. Add to this tragedy that millions of skilled workers were forced to leave their country searching for manual jobs in foreign lands to survive and support their families.
In addition, Ukraine is now one of the major negative factors in both US domestic and foreign policies. President Trump’s impeachment in the House, the embarrassing scandal involving President Biden‘s son Hunter, an increasing threat of nuclear war with Russia – all these problems and more have Ukrainian connections.
Vladimir Putin talked to Russia and he had a few things to say about Crimea and Ukraine. From Israel Shamir at unz.com:
The Russian Direct Line is a unique exercise in direct democracy: Russian citizens call up their president and he answers their queries and solves their problems, like a Nordic konung a thousand years ago. Russia came into being as a chain of Nordic princedoms that practiced this sort of direct access to their ruler; early Russian princes and Tsars posed themselves as an instance of last appeal and immediate access. Twenty years ago, Vladimir Putin resurrected this ancient practice, and once a year every Russian can appeal to him on any subject matter at all. A man of power and authority, he can override any regulation, cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and solve any conundrum by his almost-royal grace. In the heavily bureaucratised country, such an omnipotent yet benevolent ruler provides excellent solutions to problems that should never have arisen in the first place.
The majority of questions and answers deal with everyday Russian life; with the supply of gas, with water drainage, with prices for vegetables, or communal charges. But Putin also answered questions that dealt with real world politics, and provided a few scoops for us. (Here is the full transcript)
The HMS Defender raid into Crimean waters is still fresh in memory, so Putin was asked whether this confrontation could have led to the Third World War. “No”, said Putin. “Even if we had sunk that ship, it wouldn’t put the world on the brink of a third world war because they know they could not win the war. We would also suffer, but we were in the right, and on our own ground.” This means that Russians are perfectly able to sink or capture the next NATO ship if she were to enter Russian waters.
The question of sovereign recognition does not come into the equation at all. Possession and recognition are different. The US refused to recognise (from 1940 to 1991) that the Baltic States were part of the USSR, but prudently the US Navy never tried to visit Riga port, even equipped as it was with a permit from the Latvian government-in-exile. Argentina would not recognise the British claim of sovereignty over Malvinas (Falklands) and boldly sailed within 200 miles of it. Their cruiser General Belgrano was sunk with all hands by the British RN submarine Conqueror. The law of the sea advises seafarers to pay heed to reality, not to claims however legally impressive.
Washington would really like to see the Ukrainian government launch an all-out offensive in eastern Ukraine, if for no other reason than to trash the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. However, the Ukrainian government doesn’t really want to destroy itself and the country. From South Front at zerohedge.com:
Joe Biden’s extensive interest in Ukraine during his tenure as Obama’s vice president meant that US attention towards the country would instantly be elevated once the new administration came into power. The Burisma scandal which implicated Hunter Biden and which became a problem for Joe Biden on the campaign trail, combined with Biden’s own apparent frailty and avoidance of extensive public engagements, have meant that Biden himself is in fact yet to have a telephone conversation with Zelensky. However, whether he deliberately chose to outsource Ukraine policy to his trusted advisors or they are taking initiative in order to fill the vacuum of power left by their boss’ incapacity, US Ukraine policy has taken a number of new twists and turns in the less than two months of the Biden Administration.
The Biden Administration’s actions so far indicate a certain degree of impatience with the goings-on in Kiev which is behaving in an all too independent fashion on many issues. Kiev’s decision to nationalize Motor Sich, an aircraft engine manufacturer whose purchase was sought by Chinese investors thus robbing Ukraine of a significant influx of badly needed hard currency, took place after Washington had expressed displeasure at Chinese companies’ foothold in Ukraine which moreover brings with it access to Soviet-era technologies attractive to China’s aerospace industries. This action was taken in spite of the considerable risk of Chinese retaliation, which indeed occurred in the form of China’s Foreign Ministry informing its Ukrainian counterpart that it would no longer respect their wishes concerning economic activities in the Crimea, something that Chinese firms have thus far shied away from. The US Embassy in Kiev’s instant endorsement of Zelensky’s shutdown of three opposition TV stations and the placement of sanctions, in violation of Ukraine’s own laws, on one of Ukraine’s opposition leaders Medvedchuk on the grounds that these were involved in spreading so-called “Russian disinformation” suggests that Washington was at the very least aware of the move and may even have prompted it. US sanctioning of Igor Kolomoysky on the basis of his corrupting Ukraine’s politics indicates that Zelensky had not gone far enough in fulfilling Washington’s wishes. In doing this Washington demonstrated it is willing to publicly humiliate Zelensky should he fail to display appropriate deference to their wishes. The question at this point becomes, in which direction will Washington push Zelensky? How far, what means will Washington use to get its way, and to what extent will Zelensky resist?
It’s rare when a member of the celebrity set goes against the prevailing propaganda . . . on anything. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
In a rare and refreshing interview which on YouTube has garnered 100,000 views in less than 24 hours, British comedian and actor Russell Brand and former Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald teamed up to explain last year’s scandalous coordination by the mainstream media and social media companies to ensure the Hunter Biden laptop story and accompanying revelations over the Hunter-Ukrainian Burisma energy company scandal never reached broader public view.
“I’m not a pro-Republican person,” Brand introduced while talking to Greenwald on his YouTube channel. “I don’t see myself that way. I don’t see myself as conservative, or that I’m in a Trump, or Giuliani, or the kind of media establishments that were reporting on these revelations [about Biden’s family]. They are not my cultural, social, or political allies. That’s certainly not how I see myself.” And then he blasted away: “However, it seems to me — what reason is Hunter Biden sat on the board of an energy company in… Ukraine?” he questioned. “What reason is James Biden sat on the board, or receiving payments from an energy company, in China?”