Only since World War II has the idea of a nation going its own way become anathema to the people who presume to rule the US. From Wayne Allensworth at unz.com:
From “Russiagate” to charges that anti-globalists are shilling for Putin, the shrill accusations of Russia being behind every nefarious activity the global managers can imagine, to the comparisons of Putin to Hitler…On and on the trail of hatred goes, for fear is behind it.
Understanding the obsessive fear and loathing of Putin’s Russia requires historical memory, something our society is woefully short on, but it’s necessary for anyone seeking such understanding to back up to the end of the Cold War and recall the circumstances that gave rise to globalism.
The Fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War
The Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The Soviet Union remained standing, but was fragile, reeling from Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”), which had unleashed a firestorm of previously pent-up popular frustrations. The Soviet economy was in shambles. The Soviets were losing their Eastern European satellites and nationalism was pulling the USSR apart at the seams.
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).
There are many people in the US who share a fundamental belief with Vladimir Putin: the US should mind its own business, we’ve got more than enough challenges at home that we don’t have to go looking for more in far-flung corners of the world. From Rachel Marsden at rt.news via lewrockwell.com:
Twenty years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, US and allied troops are finally leaving Afghanistan as the Taliban seem set to return to power. This failure has created a generation of conservatives opposed to US interventionism.
This week, when asked whether the US mission in Afghanistan was a failure as American and NATO troops handed over Bagram airfield to the Afghan army, President Joe Biden replied by citing purportedly achieved goals: “One, to bring Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell as I said at the time. The second reason was to eliminate Al Qaeda’s capacity to deal with more attacks on the United States from that territory. We accomplished both of those objectives. Period.”
Way to pretend to clean up the mess that you were responsible for creating in the first place.
Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi-born former CIA asset used as a proxy fighter against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the Cold War, as was Al Qaeda – both beneficiaries of US assistance against the Soviets.
The 9/11 hijackers were also largely all Saudi citizens. And while Bin Laden himself may be dead, the main problem hasn’t much changed. US ally, Saudi Arabia, has long since played a role in supporting other jihadists in the region, including the so-called US-backed Syrian ‘rebels’ in another American-led failed regime change effort in Syria.
And if there are fewer jihadists in Afghanistan right now, it’s only because the Taliban has been taking over the country again piece by piece as other fighters flee to other parts of the region – a sort of jihadist Big Bang.
In 20 years, the narrative against the Taliban – which never had any interests, terrorist or otherwise, outside of Afghanistan – has significantly changed.
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.
Weak people and nations often project their weaknesses to their opponents. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:
Can Putin consolidate some important anti-nuclear war mechanisms in order to lower the tension of war sufficiently to navigate through the stormy waters ahead or is it already too late?
Are geopolitical analysts in the west seriously delusional enough to believe that Russia and China can be undermined?
It was only one month ago that the world found itself trapped on a fast track to nuclear war between NATO powers and Russia over tensions that had been brought to a boil in Ukraine. Of course, it wasn’t only a Nazi-ridden Ukraine that was being used as a trigger for a major showdown, as evidence of Belarus regime change and even assassination attempts became publicized and MI6-Bellingcat antics were justifying new waves of anti-Russian sanctions across the trans Atlantic community. These antics even led to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic, media psyops attempting to lay blame on the Kremlin for cyber attacks on American pipelines. Additionally, a zero-tolerance policy towards the completion of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline appeared to be a non-negotiable red line for Washington up until recently. No matter where you looked, the spectre of nuclear war abounded for all to see and only companies specializing in the sale of bomb shelters were content with the direction of world events.
And then something changed.
Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that certain power brokers among the Great Resetting crowd of the west realized that a smoldering earth of radioactive decay was not one they wished to rule over (or under) and that Russia had no intention of backing down in the game of nuclear chicken then being played.
For Biden his confab with the G-7 and summit with Vladimir Putin were exercises in public relations. For the Europeans and Putin they were inconsequential. Russia, China, and Iran will continue to do what their doing in Eurasia, ignoring the occasional American protest and trying to lure the Europeans away from the American axis. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
Washington would do well to discount von Leyen’s gushing love-in with Biden – it means very little, Alastair Crooke writes.
The show came, and now has passed. The G7 visuals were meant to underline the prolongation of the unipolar moment and its purported values – Macron described it as a ‘family’ get-together, after a long hiatus, and Johnson remarked that it was so reminiscent of a ‘return to school’, with old mates crowding around, after the ‘hols’. The West is back, facing off against the autocratic ‘beasts from the East’ – so says the new narrative of the U.S. and the EU – said without a trace of irony – as democracies are mobilising against the threat from ‘the East’. The West is best; democracy is best; and works better, too … and shall win any race!
But visuals and re-booted mission statement apart, where does this take us? Well, nowhere substantive, beyond Boris Johnson’s celebration of G7 bonhomie. The NATO summit however, did elevate Russia to an ‘acute threat’, whilst China was lowered a rachet, to being only a ‘systemic challenge’. Why so?
Well, the NATO statement represented something of a Faustian Bargain. West Europeans (Macron and Merkel essentially) were resigned to the fact that they needed to give Biden some ‘China Threat’ language in the final communiqué to bring him – and America – back aboard the multilateral Eurobus. The Europeans have pressing trade ‘bones’ (steel and aluminium tariffs), that they wish to pick with Washington. So they didn’t want China entirely demonised; they need it too much. They wanted it instead, ‘differentiated’. That is to say, they argue that China presents differential threats – military, trade, tech and cultural – each of which should be treated differently. Macron says this approach represents the spirit of his Euro strategic-autonomy campaign.
The US may never be good buddies with China or Russia, but it’s helpful to analyze the threats presented by both and to decide which poses the most danger. From Peter Schweizer at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- The actions of the Beijing government since the earliest days of concern about the disease have shown in stark relief how a closed, authoritarian society tries to deny and shift blame for its misdeeds. How it seeks to co-opt international health agencies. How it tries to bribe foreigners to do its bidding. How it has infected more than not just American bodies, but American society and its institutions at many levels.
- Almost no one in American politics, on the Left or Right, has been hailing the Chinese communist government for its efforts to stem the fourth deadly pathogen to come from its shores and devastate the rest of the world. The Chinese government concealed all information about how the virus originated, encouraging speculation they did so intentionally. According to Gordon Chang, they may even be preparing to do so again, only worse…. By comparison, Russia’s crimes against the West, real and imagined, amount to a relative nuisance.
- Foreign policy, however, is made towards nations, not individual leaders. In geo-political terms it asks: What is another country’s ability to help you, or harm you?
- In the 1980s no one would have suggested that Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, or Muamar Qaddafi was America’s greatest enemy. They were obnoxious sideshows, annoying tinpot dictators with a flair for the microphone, but not existential threats on the order of the Soviet Union.
- What this poll suggests is that threat assessment has somehow become a partisan issue, based on political grudges and perceptions that have little to do with a particular nation’s real capacity to damage American interests. The divide among Republicans and Democrats between China and Russia as our largest threat fails to account for a modern analysis of China’s power, influence, aggressiveness in action, and willingness to corrupt American political and cultural leaders. It should not be a partisan issue, no matter how obnoxious one nation’s current leader may be.
- Putin loves to tweak America; Xi prefers quieter, more damaging forms of aggression.
- It is vital for American voters to understand that bribery is a key part of doing business for both China and Russia.
- No matter how much he might like to, Vladimir Putin cannot threaten the balance sheets of huge American companies such as Apple and Microsoft; China could do it tomorrow.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin loves to tweak America; Chinese President Xi Jinping prefers quieter, more damaging forms of aggression. (Photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara – Pool/Getty Images)
Imagine yourself sitting at a poker table with one opponent who fingers his dwindling stack of chips while glowering at you and daring you to bump the pot. Meanwhile, your other opponent with more chips sits quietly behind his cards while his paid spies behind your chair signal him the contents of your hand.
The only way the summit is going to work is if the US rejects its own notions of unipolarity, a tall order. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
Two recent moves on Moscow’s side suggest that the encounter in Geneva will mark the start of a long and welcome process.
Curious it was to read that the Russian judiciary ruled last Wednesday that Alexei Navalny’s political network is an extremist movement. Its members should be grateful that the courts recognized it as a movement, given Navalny’s nationwide support has never exceeded 3 percent or so, but on paper they are now liable to arrest and prosecution and, if convicted of one or another charge, could be fined or imprisoned.
There have been no arrests, so far as has been reported. But think of all those chances Western intel agencies and their clerks in the press may now have to lionize a new cohort of oppositionists as Navalny’s heroic followers. Let us not forget, a kooky poseur journalist named Oleg Kashin had the nerve to call Navalny “Russia’s true leader” in a recent New York Times opinion piece.
There is no limit to the silliness in all matters Russian, it seems. At least not at the Times.
I say “curious” because, in the ordinary conduct of statecraft as we have had it for the past seven decades, the Moscow’s court’s ruling, exactly a week prior to President Joe Biden’s first summit with President Vladimir Putin, would have to be counted obtuse. Wouldn’t minding one’s manners — especially given that the Navalny network’s significance resides solely in the minds and news pages of Western propagandists — be the wise course?
I don’t think so. I have no clue as to the independence or otherwise of the Russian judiciary, but it is unthinkable the Russian leader did not know in advance of what the courts were about to determine. I think Russia was indeed minding its manners — a different and altogether more honorable set of manners than American pols and diplomats have exhibited lo these many decades.
You didn’t think they were going to let Joe Biden go to Europe and meet all those European heads of state and then Vladimir Putin without a minder, did you? From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Blinken is staying close to his boss during the whirlwind tour, because Biden is liable to spin out of control and reap an embarrassing collapse.
It’s a big ask for a frail 78-year-old U.S. president to rally the world around a series of myths and falsehoods. Biden flies to Europe this week to galvanize allies under strong American leadership of supposed shared “democratic values” in a “historic confrontation” with the “autocracies” of China and Russia.
President Joe Biden’s worldview is so disconnected from reality that it is going to prove difficult mentally for him to consistently and coherently make the case over a series of summits in the next week.
That’s why he has his more youthful Secretary of State Antony Blinken (59) tagging along when Biden meets G7 leaders in England on June 11-13, followed by a NATO summit on June 14 in Brussels as well as top-level discussions with European Union leaders. After all that, Blinken is “to participate” in the face-to-face meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, according to the U.S. State Department.
The latter detail in the busy itinerary – Biden’s first overseas trip since taking office in January – is the most salient. It is unprecedented that the U.S. foreign secretary should “participate” in what was previously billed as a one-on-one meeting between the American and Russian leaders. There is no indication so far from Russian media reports that Sergei Lavrov – Blinken’s counterpart – is to take part in the Geneva summit.
SLL’s money is on bust. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
Reading the tea leaves a week before Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva puts a premium on the kind of media analysis we old-school Kremlinologists had to rely on back in the day. Not all rhetoric is equal though; it is just as important to make an honest attempt to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding a major initiative like the summit proposal. The weird timing of the invitation cries out for explanation.
You Asked For It, Joe
Lest we forget, President Biden suggested a summit with Putin in the midst of very high tension over Ukraine. On March 24 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued an official decree that Ukraine would take Crimea back from Russia; Kiev’s strategy includes “military measures” to achieve “de-occupation.” U.S. and NATO voice “unwavering” (rhetorical) support for Zelensky, who sends tons of military equipment south and east. Russia sends troops and arms south and west into Crimea and the border area opposite Luhansk and Donetsk in the eastern Ukraine.
One Day in April
The following refresher on what all went down on April 13 may throw some light on why – in such tense circumstances – Biden proposed a summit with Putin.
- NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg slams Russia for sending “thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders.”