The thing that absolutely infuriates Western policymakers about Putin is that he’s usually right. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Update(11:00am ET) Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in further remarks given before the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that anti-Russian sanctions have only come back to hurt the people of the EU and the West broadly, amid soaring gas and food prices, inflation fears, and severe supply chain shortages. He declared the end of the unipolar world as we know it, saying, “Over the past decades, new powerful centers have been formed on the planet […] each of them develops their own political system and public institutions, implements their own models of economic growth, and, of course, has the right to protect themselves, to ensure national sovereignty. We are talking about real processes, about truly revolutionary, tectonic changes in geopolitics, global economy, the technological sphere, in the entire system of international relations“. And more, according to a state-backed media translation:
The Russian president criticized the European Union over the decision to impose anti-Russia sanctions, calling it “crazy” and “not well thought out”. Putin said that their goal was to crush the Russian economy in one go, but that they have failed to achieve this.
Instead, EU politicians delivered a serious blow to their own economies, prompting high inflation, the president stressed. He estimated the costs of the “sanctions fever” to be around $400 billion this year alone and noted that the measures will become a burden on regular people’s shoulders.
As Russian President has claimed, Moscow is ready to talk about normalizing logistics and transportation, as well as increasing exports of fertilizer and food, with ‘people who understand what’s going to happen’, despite speculations about Russia blocking Ukrainian deliveries. pic.twitter.com/0bCDj7LsNU
A mainstream media outlet comes to grips with the truth about Ukraine. From Larry Elliott at theguardian.com:
The perverse effects of sanctions means rising fuel and food costs for the rest of the world – and fears are growing of a humanitarian catastrophe. Sooner or later, a deal must be made
It is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, and it is not going according to plan. On the contrary, things are going very badly indeed.
Sanctions were imposed on Vladimir Putin not because they were considered the best option, but because they were better than the other two available courses of action: doing nothing or getting involved militarily.
The first set of economic measures were introduced immediately after the invasion, when it was assumed Ukraine would capitulate within days. That didn’t happen, with the result that sanctions – while still incomplete – have gradually been intensified.
Putin’s pronouncements about America’s economic woes are more accurate than anything coming out of the mouths of American politicians. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Earlier, we reported on the deranged, confused, false ramblings of a senile old man who is so out of his depth in running the world’s biggest economy, the catastrophic results will soon be obvious to even his most die-hard fans. Now, it’s time for his nemesis on the world scene, Russia’s Vladimir Putin to respond.
Speaking in a TV interview on Friday evening, following a meeting with African leaders in Sochi, Putin accused Western leaders of trying “to shift the responsibility for what is happening in the world food market” and said that “restrictions imposed by the US and its allies against Russia and Belarus will only exacerbate the looming global food crisis by affecting fertilizer trade and sending the food prices further up.”
Instead of looking toward Russian, Putin said that the root causes of the crisis lie with the US decision to print record amounts of money which led to an increase in global food prices, as well as Europe’s over-reliance on renewables and short-term gas contracts, which have led to price hikes and rising inflation.
“It began to take shape as early as February 2020 in the process of combating the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
Jim Quinn’s prognostications are bleak, but unfortunately, thoroughly grounded it today’s realities. From Quinn at theburningplatform.com:
In Part 1 of this article I examined previous Fourth Turnings and the Gray Champions who won and lost, but made a difference in the course of history. Now I will try to peer through the fog of disinformation, lies, and false narratives to try and determine which Gray Champions will make a difference in this Fourth Turning.
The U.S. and NATO are playing with fire by poking the bear. This is no longer a limited conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. In the early days of the conflict, there were constant talks between both sides, with the possibility of a negotiated resolution. The American Empire nixed those talks. The neo-cons, representing the interests of the military industrial complex uni-party, see an opportunity to further enrich themselves, while believing they can bleed and weaken Putin. But who is really being weakened in the long run?
Insanely, U.S. and European leaders are dismissing Putin’s framing of Ukraine as existential to Russia’s security, with its implied warning that the current war could escalate to nuclear. From Ted Galen Carpenter at antiwar.com:
In one of the great foreign policy blunders of modern times, U.S. and European leaders repeatedly disregarded Vladimir Putin’s warnings that Russia would never tolerate Ukraine becoming a NATO military asset. Because of resistance from the French and German governments (which had as much to do with Ukraine’s chronic corruption as with concerns about Russia’s reaction), the Alliance delayed offering Kyiv a Membership Action Plan – an essential step toward membership. Nevertheless, at the 2008 summit in Bucharest, NATO’s existing members ostentatiously insisted that “someday” Ukraine would join the Alliance, and they repeated that pledge on numerous occasions thereafter.
Worse, Western officials typically insisted that Russia would have nothing to say about the matter. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General, was especially blunt and arrogant on that score. He summarily rejected Moscow’s demands in late 2021 that NATO provide binding security guarantees to Russia, including a commitment that Ukraine would never be offered membership, and that NATO military forces would not be deployed in that country. Stoltenberg’s response could not have been more uncompromising. “NATO has an open-door policy. This is enshrined in NATO’s founding treaty … The message today to Russia is that it is for Ukraine as a sovereign nation to decide its own path. And for the 30 NATO allies to decide when Ukraine is ready to become a member.”
The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.
Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.
What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.
This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.
When real men are needed, none are to be found in the Biden administration. Just a lot of losers looking for safe spaces. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Welcome to the season of everything losing ground, at least for Western Civ. Sore-beset with idiots and scoundrels running things, the West stumbles backwards into neo-medieval darkness and superstition, hurling garlic bombs of objurgation against the supposedly wicked Putin along the way.
Your “trusted news sources” in our corner of the world will not tell you this, but the mythologized golem of the West’s collective sick mind, ThePutin, mounted Operation Z in Ukraine at our country’s foolish behest. It was a twisted variation of the old head-trip Let’s You and Him Fight — described so well in psychologist Eric Berne’s classic book Games People Play. It’s a game instigated generally by women. The West detests the actual Mr. Putin for systemically and doggedly having to correct the mischief that the USA set in motion there in 2014 — putting out a dumpster fire we kept feeding for eight years.
Has anyone thought out the consequences of overthrowing Vladimir Putin? From Gilbert Doctorow at gilbertdoctorow.com:
I have in past weeks focused attention on the political talk show “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov,” calling it the best of its kind on Russian state television and a good indicator of the thinking of Russia’s political elites. However, it is time to admit that in terms of overall quality of presentation, level of invited panelists and screening of videos of topical developments in the West to inform the panelist discussion, Solovyov is now being outdone by Vyacheslav Nikonov’s “Great Game” talk show.
“The Great Game” in the past featured live discussion with its anchor in Washington, director of the National Interest think tank , Dmitry Simes. Now Simes is a rare guest, and the panel format more closely resembles that of other political talk shows, with the following notable qualification: the host, Nikonov, is an unusually gifted moderator, who does not impose his views on the panel and brings out the best from his panelists. Nikonov is a leading member of the Russian parliament from the ruling United Russia party, and has broad experience running parliamentary committees. As the grandson of Bolshevik revolutionary Molotov, he happens also to be a member of the hereditary ruling clans and practices ‘noblesse oblige’ in his public service work.
We are forbidden to speak of Vladimir Putin at all these days without wrapping both sides of his name with sufficient admonishments of venomous slander. Anyone who does not pledge their immediate allegiance to the fashionable and misguided present hysteria against the man or 150 million Russians will be considered prima facie an apologist at best and a traitor at worst.
They say he’s a demon, a scoundrel, a war criminal, a cosmic accident sent to destroy democracy and all that is good and noble, which of course only derives from good and noble nations of the west claiming to still be democratic. Sixty years ago they also said that by now cars would fly, there would be no more wars, liberal democracy would shepherd us from evil, and not morph into the evil it proclaimed to dispel. Thirty years ago was supposed to be the end of history.
How long before the Europeans realize that like the Ukrainians, they are just pawns in the U.S.’s scheme to get rid of Putin and install a Yeltsin-like puppet? Probably not until their economies and financial systems are in ruins. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
After Biden’s charade-busting admission it will be difficult politically to maintain US-European “unity” over such a flagrant imperial agenda.
U.S. President Joe Biden came to Europe last week riding high on European deference towards America’s leadership. Then he went to Warsaw to make a victory lap speech at the weekend which was billed as marking the high point in galvanizing European and NATO unity towards Russia.
But the climax cratered like a house of cards. As the president was boarding Air Force One to take him home, the much-vaunted transatlantic unity was in disarray from Biden’s cack-handed big moment.
It reminds one of former President Barack Obama’s cautionary words in appraising Biden. “Never underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up,” said Obama of his former vice president and his gaffe-prone big mouth.
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