Complete Gas Shutoff – Terrible! Resumption of Deliveries – Even Terribler.

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Uncle Volodya says, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

Energy can be directed;
I’m turning it up, I’m turning it down…

From “Switchin’ to Glide” by The Kings

“The most dangerous irony is, people are angry with others because of their own incompetence.”

Amit Kalantri, from  Wealth of Words

I came by the reference I want to talk about in this post through a roundabout and somewhat bizarre path. More than a decade ago, a friend implored me to join LinkedIn so that I could add an endorsement to his professional qualifications. I did both, but my LinkedIn account has lain more or less dormant since then. If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, it has some things in common with Facebook, and they are mostly the reasons I have avoided Facebook. Both send you a non-stop stream of clickbait: “Mark Chapman, you appeared in 4 searches this week!” so that you will be overcome with curiosity as to who could be looking for you, and down the rabbit-hole you go for hours and hours. Both use algorithms and things you have written or read to match you with people who might be acquaintances, and try to get you to build a network of friends and contacts that the program uses to link you to other networks, and so on and so on.

Which is how I keep getting notifications that Edward Lucas has posted something. Yes, that Edward Lucas, the talking spittoon, Estonia’s first digital citizen, fighting cock of the Baltic Republics and noted Russophobe, onetime compiler of birdcage carpeting at The Economist.

The foregoing considered, it will not surprise you, then, that I would be as likely to eat soup made from boiling turnips and Boris Johnson’s bicycle seat as I would be to pay attention to further gobbling from Lucasville. Normally I just alternate between my LinkedIn messages and the ‘delete’ button. This time the message said “Edward Lucas has shared a link”, and although I could not care less if he shared a bathtub with Satan, something in the tagline made me pause: “Edward Lucas, prospective political candidate for….”

You have got to be shitting me. But no! It’s true. Edward Lucas, as addled as a pithed frog, is dipping a toe in the turbulent waters of national politics – as a Liberal Democrat, no less.

Let’s take a look.

“Hello, I’ve finally reached the point of no return. Democracy is in danger. We need to save it.

I’ve tried journalism, writing books, thinktanks, punditry and advising governments. None of it has worked. We are being cheated and lied to at home. Our enemies are menacing abroad.”

Well, he started out far more honestly than most politicians do, although I would suggest he went past the point of no return several stops back. But it can only be a gift for political dissembling that resulted in the phrase “None of it has worked” when the truth would have looked more like “I sucked at all of them”. Perhaps he is destined for politics.

We could probably go on like this for quite some time; it’s been a while since I got going on the subject of Edward Lucas, and I’d forgotten how much I like it. But to tell the truth, I also checked out the post he linked, and it is the subject of today’s discussion.

As you’re all aware, Russia ordered its western gas customers to pay for the commodity in rubles, to Gazprombank in Russia so that the funds would be safe in Russia from western ‘confiscation’ The reason for this was the theft of approximately $300 billion from Russian accounts in western banks, which had served to receive payments by western gas customers. By seizing these funds, western countries announced that they were helping themselves to Russian gas for free, while the blatant theft served as warning that if Russia continued to supply contracted volumes of gas, its western customers would consider it a gift, since payments could be confiscated at any time. The order to pay in rubles, or to make other arrangements for gas deliveries, was effective at the beginning of April this year.

There was a great show of unified resistance, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša announced huffily that ‘nobody in Europe’ would pay for gas in rubles. That proved tohttps://clipartspub.com/images/plumbing-clipart-cartoon-3.png be one of those predictions like “telephones will never be taken seriously as a means of communication” by the President of Western Union in 1876, or the official rejection of The Beatles by Decca Records in 1962: “The Beatles have no future in show business. We don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished.” Within a month of the directive, nine EU member states had opened ruble accounts with Gazprombank and four of them had already commenced payment in rubles. Poland and Bulgaria vehemently and loudly refused – in Poland’s case, likely because it believes itself a natural leader and that if it hung tough, everybody would follow: I’m afraid it is forever getting that wrong. Poland and Bulgaria had their gas supply cut off, and became dependents of the Union. Just a few days ago, Latvia’s supply was also shut off, making the naughty-corner occupants Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark, all of whom refused to comply with the ruble-account requirement. Additionally, delivery to Germany’s Shell Energy Europe was terminated. Latvia replied, “So what? Who cares?” and told anyone who would listen that it had already planned to cease all imports of Russian gas as of January 1st, 2023. How they plan to do that must still be a closely-guarded Latvian state secret, since Latvia’s dependency on Russian gas in 2021 was 92%; probably they meant “the EU will give us free gas”. Eastern European countries frequently attribute magical powers to the EU major states which are second only to those of Gandalf.

In mid-July, Russia declared force majeure on its contracted gas supplies, due to the refusal to return a critical gas turbine which had been sent to Canada for scheduled maintenance, whereupon Canada refused to return it, citing sanctions. Gas supply was reduced to 40% of contracted volumes, and after the scheduled maintenance on Nord Stream I was completed, reduced to 20%. Force Majeure is a mechanism employed in “those uncontrollable events (such as war, labor stoppages, or extreme weather) that are not the fault of any party and that make it difficult or impossible to carry out normal business. A company may insert a force majeure clause into a contract to absolve itself from liability in the event it cannot fulfill the terms of a contract (or if attempting to do so will result in loss or damage of goods) for reasons beyond its control.” Russia’s reason for the declaration apparently is that the turbine has still not been returned, although Canada reversed its decision and claimed the turbine had been returned to Germany for shipping onward. Natural-gas prices in Europe have risen 450% year-on-year.

Anyway, that’s background, although necessary background, and brings us to the topic of discussion; Aura Sabadus’s “Russia’s European Gas Endgame May Hurt Even More than a Total Curtailment”. Because Putin is so evil that it would be better to eat grass and sticks and cover your bodies with animal skins, you’ll only have to do it for a decade or so, and then green alternatives will shoot up through the sludge and beckon the way to endless self-renewing free-energy utopia.

I’m sorry about that; there’s just something about the article that makes it difficult for me to talk about it without being sarcastic. Let’s take a look at it, and I promise I’ll try really, really hard. Just before we do, I want to run a quick summary once again, because the author is going to try to convince you that Russia is inherently an unreliable supplier of natural gas, and Ursula von der Leyen is accurate in her caterwauling that Putin is ‘weaponizing’ gas supplies so as to force the EU into prostitution, or something. Russia supplied not a whiff less than the contracted amount throughout its dealings with the EU – including back when they had long-term contracts – except for two occasions, both initiated by Ukraine stealing gas from the pipeline that crossed its territory, and for which transit it was being well-reimbursed. It is worth highlighting here that on those occasions Ukraine was also stealing from the EU by robbing from its supplies, because you would never know it from the vociferous defense of Ukraine’s integrity by EU members. Russia then commenced an ambitious pipeline project – South Stream – which would bypass Ukraine and remove an habitual troublemaker. Washington and Brussels were having none of it; Ukraine’s right to steal from Russia must be protected, and the two leaned on EU member states to refuse crossing rights until Bulgaria’s al dente spine gave way, and that was the end of South Stream. Nord Stream II is another alternative to Ukrainian transit, but Washington doesn’t like it, so that was stopped as well, days after its construction was completed. Europe gets somewhere around 40% of its gas from Russia, and cannot replace that volume through any combination of suppliers. The new gas-transit contract Russia signed with Ukraine, brokered with celebration and relief by Germany and the European Commission of which Von der Leyen is now head, specified minimum volumes of 65 BCm in 2020 and 40 BCm each year thereafter until the end of 2024. The reference was authored by none other than Aura Sabadus, the author of the article we’re going to discuss. Therefore the EU anticipated at the time either that its gas needs were going to be less by 2024 than they were in 2020, or it was going to be able to arrange alternate suppliers. Following the destruction of MH-17, which was clearly not initiated by Russia, the EU nonetheless participated in sanctions against Russia, through which Russia continued to supply gas to countries who declared it an enemy. Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine EU countries have proudly and openly supplied weapons and money to Ukraine, while the UK’s Boris Johnson shuttled back and forth to Ukraine pressuring its president to prevent him from negotiating a peace while Ukraine was in a reasonable negotiating position and still had most of its military. Then there was the incident with the confiscated turbine. What I want to establish here is a substantiated pattern of constant obstruction by the west, making its squealing now about ‘unreliable Russia’ a travesty. All right; ready?

“For more than a year, its state-owned producer, Gazprom, has been reducing supplies to European consumers, helping to lift gas prices to record levels and sparking fears of a looming energy crisis with dire social and political consequences.”

Bzzzzzt!!! Lie. Up until Canada and its string-pullers decided to try a fast play with the turbine, Russia supplied the contracted volume to the letter. Europe wanted more gas, and used the fact that it was not getting as much as it wanted to argue that Russia was stiffing it. Comes to that, so far as I am aware the contract specified minimum annual volumes; there is nothing that prevents Russia from supplying nothing for six months and then doubling its monthly volume for the remaining six months, and although that would not make much sense, it would certainly fuck over the markets worse than Russia is currently blamed for doing.

And because I know it’s going to come up, let’s deal with it now – yes, Russia is raking in the money because of high prices, so much that it is making more money than it would have done by supplying more gas to bring the prices down, and it even has more gas it can sell to India and China while Europe is squealing in pain. So what? Know who else is making record profits? European energy companies. So much so that BoJo’s government – when he was still mismanaging the UK – proposed a ‘windfall tax’, but then exempted ‘power generators’ while oil companies sulked and resolved to dial back their investments.

“Gazprom’s behaviour so far suggests that it is intent on inflicting maximum pain while scoring maximum gain, and the best way to do so is to maintain uncertainty by supplying gas at the lowest possible levels.”

I suppose there are any number of possible interpretations, but I would submit a perfectly reasonable one is “Gazprom’s behaviour so far suggests that it is determined to nip outlaw behavior like Canada’s in the bud; otherwise its options shrink to sending additional turbines for contracted maintenance as they come due and having those confiscated as well, or  operating the equipment past its allowable hours and when it breaks, buy a new one because the warranty has been voided by irresponsible behavior on the part of the operator.”

Besides, what is the purpose of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, if not an expression of intent to inflict maximum pain while scoring maximum gain?

“This creates the impression that Russia is still abiding by its contractual terms but leaves European buyers unable to form a longer-term strategy.”

Ah. So if the contract says ‘pump at least 40 BCm per year’ and Russia does not pump more even though it could, it is ‘creating the impression that it is sticking to the contract’, and it is not Europe’s fault that it brokered a contract which specified 40 BCm even though Europe should have known it would use much more and had no clue where that might be obtained. Because what drives Europe crazy is that Russia’s gas stores are squeaking with strain, they can’t hold any more, and it could easily sell more to Europe and stabilize prices. And in latter years it could always be coaxed to do so, even though Europe always treated Russia like the idiot who you let come out for a beer with you and the guys only because you know you will have someone to make fun of all night long.

Well, things have changed. Russia has written Europe off as a partner, and it’s pretty farcical to see Europe playing the ‘Well, I never; after all I’ve done for you’ card. Europe has long maintained the smug attitude that Russia needs to sell its gas to Europe more than Europe needs to buy gas from Russia. Well, is that true, or not? And if it is, why don’t you just tap one of your many alternative suppliers, instead of shredding your petticoats and watching prices rise? Oh, right; Azerbaijan, I almost forgot. Still run by the Aliev family, whose patriarch and Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliev, was voted Most Corrupt Person Of The Year for 2012 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). I still remember Europe’s master plan for the Nabucco pipeline, which was going to bring so much gas to Europe from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field that Europeans could at last tell Russia what they thought of it. There were meetings and more meetings, plans and all the administrative fluff that Europe loves so much that lasted for years of entertainment, but not a meter of the pipeline was ever built. Just as well, too, as the volumes Europe was bragging about getting from it exceeded the capacity of the Shah Deniz field. But Europe is amazingly forgiving with some acquaintances; who does it turn to, when it’s having a problem with Russia that involves juggling energy partnership and being a declared enemy of Russia? Azerbaijan, of course. Good thing the same guy is still president as during the Nabucco years; you won’t have to change your email headers or update your Rolodex. I can’t see what could go wrong, it’s sure to be a big success.

The same selectivity is on show for Sabadus’s contemptuous dismissal of Russia’s ‘excuses’ that its turbine maintenance process is being interfered with.

“Experts said the pipeline could operate without the turbine and that the excuse was just another act of Russian blackmail.

At the same time, the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada urged Ottawa not to return the turbine, while the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator, GTSOU, insisted Gazprom could offset the shortfall by ramping up supplies via its own system, whose shipping capacity is bigger than that of Nord Stream 1.

Despite the pressure, Canada’s minister of natural resources said on 10 July that the turbine would be returned to Germany to support ‘Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy’.”

Of course there are several backup turbines. The trouble with switching out an operating turbine and replacing it with a backup is that now the backup is an operating turbine, and eventually it will come due for maintenance once it passes a predetermined number of operating hours, and then you’ll have to send that one off for maintenance, to a country which has already established a policy of impounding them and not returning them. See where I’m going with this? Eventually you will run out of backups, which are there to support pipeline operations in an emergency. As the old saying goes, lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part, and there is no reason Russia should run down all its system redundancy to support comfort for its enemies. But look at that paragraph again. “…the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator, GTSOU, insisted Gazprom could offset the shortfall by ramping up supplies via its own system, whose shipping capacity is bigger than that of Nord Stream 1.” So Ukraine’s solution was to increase pumping through its own system? On which, coincidentally, it would receive higher transit fees? The same country that already provoked the only two gas shutdowns to Europe, because it was stealing gas from the pipeline? The same operator who earlier declared force majeure as an excuse for shutting down a transfer station and offering to reroute the flow through an interconnector under Ukrainian control?

“Only a month earlier, Gazprom had reduced the transit via Ukraine to 40% of contractual volumes, taking advantage of a decision by the country’s grid operator, GTSOU, to declare force majeure at one of the compressor stations in the east of the country.

The operator stopped the transit via the eastern Sokhranivka entry point amid suspicions that Russian occupants were stealing transit gas, offering instead to reroute the inflows via another interconnector under Ukrainian control. Gazprom not only ignored the proposal but also diminished the amount of gas that was supposed to enter via this point.”

So….a Ukrainian declaration of force majeure is above suspicion…but when Russia invokes it, it’s just a pathetic excuse? The same Naftogaz and GTSOU that welcomed a decision by the German gas regulator to include them in the certification process for Nord Stream II, thus ensuring it will never be certified for operation because to do so will make transit across Ukraine completely redundant? The perceptive will have noted that article is also by Aura Sabadus, and may see a pattern emerging. The Nord Stream II pipeline uses all-Russian turbines in its pumping stations, and would not need to return any to foreign and hostile nations for maintenance. Europe is allegedly desperate for gas. But it will not certify the Nord Stream II pipeline for operation. And Ukraine, Russia’s sworn enemy – or at least the Ukrainian government is – gets a veto? Is it too much of a jump for people to make a connection that Ukraine is preventing any resolution of Europe’s gas problems?

Second-largest U.S. exporter Freeport LNG’s Texas plant continues shut since an explosion in early June and its partial restart is not expected until October, curtailing the U.S. export capacity, even amid buoyant demand in Europe.

Fancy that. Did you see any articles by Aura Sabadus – or anyone else in the west – which suggested the explosion at the USA’s Freeport LNG plant was a little too convenient, and would cynically raise gas prices in Europe? I didn’t.

Here it is, in a nutshell. No matter how Europe turns the histrionics and the hair-pulling up to 12, Russia is not going to make any special efforts to help out a union which seizes its gas revenues until they are placed out of reach, then refuses to entertain any monetary compensation which does not grant it complete freedom to steal further at its whim, which proudly supplies weapons to help Ukraine kill its people, which colludes with its enemy to prevent a peace deal so that the fighting must go on and on, and refuses to certify a completed pipeline which could alleviate all its problems because it prefers that its gas supplies transit a war zone.

“Russia’s political manoeuvring has helped to create so much volatility on markets that it has been impossible to predict price movements from one day to another, let alone to plan for the weeks and months ahead.

Its tactics have so far paid off, but may backfire in the long term if Europe proves brave enough to pull the plug on its addiction to Russian gas.”

If you could do that, you would have done it years ago, and you know it. But go ahead; set up deals with the United States and Azerbaijan for all your future supplies, and really put your heads together and brainstorm about how to make electricity from dandelions and wind. Good luck with that. India and China will be happy to get your previous supplies of gas, and they’ll pay a lot less than you will. Still, you might spare a thought now for what kind of endorsement your behavior is advertising to future suppliers. Because you’re kind of an asshole.

“And I was wondering how to depart without self-loathing or sadness, or with as little as possible, when a kind of immense sigh all around me announced it was not I who was departing, but the flock.”

Samuel Beckett, from “Molloy”

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692 thoughts on “Complete Gas Shutoff – Terrible! Resumption of Deliveries – Even Terribler.

      1. I once watched a US documentary on zoophilia that was based around an incident involving an Arabian stallion. The man who had sex with the horse died from a perforated bowel. In the documentary, a female veterinarian examined the horse to make sure he was not suffering physical or other trauma – and then she arranged for the horse to be castrated. I remember wondering, What the hell was she thinking? It was the man’s decision to go through with the act and he should have known the risks involved. The horse was an innocent victim.

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  1. How surprising!

    Gazeta.Ru

    Ukrainian official spoke about the plans of Kiev in the Crimea
    Ex-Deputy Ukraine Minister of Defence said that Kiev would like to build a NATO base in the Crimea
    25 August, 2022

    Former Ukraine Deputy Minister of Defense and Deputy Chairman of the Centre for Defence Strategies Alina Frolova said that Kiev would like to place NATO bases in the Crimea. She announced this at a briefing, and is quoted by RIA Novosti as having said:

    We want the Crimea to be open for cooperation with the EU and NATO, including military interaction

    She also called the peninsula a “strategically advantageous springboard”, which, in particular, was necessary to control security in the Black Sea.

    On 23 August, it was reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during the Crimean Platform summit that Kiev would get the Crimea back by any means.

    Prior to this, the Ukrainian president reported that on 15 August, an “advisory council on the de-occupation of the Crimea” had been created.

    https://turbo.gazeta.ru/army/news/2022/08/25/18412412.shtml

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    1. Yes, I have been having the same problem here when using my iPhone — pages failing to load and the browser crashing out because of video overload, I presume.

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      1. That and Russia has a more extensive gas pipe line system which is associated with gas flaring needed to allow maintenance.

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  2. No country or state known as “Ukraine” before 1922 — ever!

    But there was and still is a large territory known as “The Borderland” or “The Border”, to which, over the course 300 years further territories have been added by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. There are such borderland areas in the UK: along the border of England and Scotland there is “The Borders” and along the border of England and Wales there is “The Marches” — same meaning as “The Border”. (Note definite article usage — a definite, specific border, not just any border.)

    • The Crimea annexed by the Russian Empire in 1784, the peninsula then ceded to Russia by the Ottoman Empire.

    • The UkSSR created as a subject republic of the USSR in 1922.

    • Previously having been an autonomous republic within the RSFSR, administration of the Crimea peninsula by the government of the UkSSR begins in 1954.

    • 1991: RSFSR and UkSSR declare their independence from. USSR USSR dissolved.

    • Population of Crimea declares its wish to become part of the Russian Federation, the inheritor state to the RSFSR.

    • government of “Ukraine” refuses the “secession” of the Crimea.

    • Svidomites declare “The Crimea is ours” and “Crimea is Ukraine!”

    • “Ukraine” has only existed since 1991.

    • “Ukraine” may continue to exist, but only as a rump state, having lost all the territories granted to “The Ukraine” by the Russian Empire and to the UkSSR by the USSR, the latter having created the latter in 1922.

    Elensky talks through his arse.

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    1. Typo above!

      Should read:

      “Ukraine” may continue to exist, but only as a rump state, having lost all the territories granted to “The Ukraine” by the Russian Empire and to the UkSSR by the USSR, the latter having created the former in 1922.

      And if that happens, “Ukraine”will become what it was almost 400 years ago, a Polish vassal territory.

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  3. A MoA comment yesterday:

    “Checkmate is imminent; a final gambit by the West is therefore also imminent.”

    I think Putin and the Russian HQ have (wisely) chosen to wait. Wait till the wolves in Kiev eat themselves through a series of assassinations and counter-assassinations.

    Remember the overall goal of the SMO is annihilation of the Ukrainian army AND the denazification of the Ukrainian political personnel.
    The former is achieved on the ground, the latter is best left to the different factions of the Kiev political clique. Fascist regimes in terminal form of rot are good at that. Add the billions of $$$ that certainly arouse people and you have a recipe for a blood bath. Plus it’ll be highly entertaining to us.

    I’m sure Vlodymir is more afraid of his “comrades” than he is of Putin. At least Putin won’t torture him to get the ID of his off-shore accounts filled with stolen money…

    That is exactly what I think as well.

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    1. The part I’m having trouble with is the post-surrender phase – Ukraine cannot win and every day it staggers onward results in further damage and destruction. But once hostilities are concluded and after the Ukrainian forces are decimated and most of their equipment destroyed…won’t the western MIC simply seize on the opportunity to ‘loan’ it tons of money and build its military back up again? Although Russia will be ultimately victorious, I can’t think of any way they could word the terms that would prohibit Ukraine ‘trading’ with the west for new military equipment. Possibly there could be some kind of moratorium which would limit force levels, but that would only stimulate the west to offer weapons which can be used by a few to kill many, as a kind of ‘equalizer’. Real military neutrality would be difficult to enforce without becoming a part of Ukraine’s governance, which would be an excuse to scream that Russia is taking over Ukraine and will not let it exercise sovereignty and independence.

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    1. Good summary of the SMO although I disagree with the map showing a possible scenario after the SMO has ended. I think Russia intends to liberate much more of the Ukraine than indicated.

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      1. The eventual borders are much facilitated by Ukraine’s prancing and waving its fists and begging the USA for long-range munitions so it can ‘strike deep into enemy territory’. If Ukraine gets a 700-mile HIMARS rocket, for example, then the Ukrainian border must be at least 700 miles from Russia at its closest point. They somehow seem, amazingly, to have not figured this out.

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      1. PCR’s opinion on Russian military strategy really has undergone a 180-degree flip. Six months ago his view was that Russia needed a more US-style shock-and-awe approach. That was my impression anyway. I think PCR is getting a better understanding of how the SMO is progressing and that the Russian strategy, while seeming to be slow, gets more and better results, and uses manpower and equipment more effectively.

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          1. The clearest example of Russia’s intent to minimize civilian death or suffering can be seen in Kiev. Power is on, water and sewer systems are intact and television, radio and the internet continue to work as normal. A western “shock and awe” campaign would have focused on maximizing damage on the foregoing infrastructure to induce a popular uprising against the government. In fact, such efforts tend to have the opposite effect but it gives the “shock and awe” folks a jolly good feeling about their perceived power to hurt others without consequences to their personal wealth and safety.

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  4. Another “expert” speaks:

    19fortyfivr
    Ukraine Wants To Go On The Offensive Against Russia. It Could Be Risky
    What if Ukraine launches its own offensive against Putin and it fails?

    https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/08/ukraine-wants-to-go-on-the-offensive-against-russia-it-could-be-risky/

    Yeah! What if it fails — meaning it is possible to win?

    There are good reasons why Ukraine would resist the call for an early offensive from foreigners who’ve grown bored with the war. A failed counter-offensive would be a dramatic defeat for Ukrainian prospects. In addition to the political effects (which would include an increase in Russian morale and the potential loss of support in the West), a failed offensive could open gaps and vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s defensive position, enabling Russian counter-attacks that could seize additional territory. A failed counter-offensive could also result in a Russian cease-fire offer on extremely advantageous terms to Moscow, a prospect that Kyiv would prefer to avoid.

    He thinks the Ukraine has the capability to launch an offensive!

    He implies that Russian morale is low!

    There is little question that the Ukrainians are inflicting serious damage on the Russians, including both fielded forces and logistical systems.

    Little question?

    OK — if you say so: you’re the expert.

    Does the expert believe that the Banderites could launch an offensive whilst the Russian forces have near total air dominance over Banderastan?

    Did he not know that a Yukie military train was stonked by an Iskander yesterday near Dnepropetrovsk with the loss of 200 military?

    Elensky started squawking that it was a passenger train and that 22 civilians had been murdered by the Orcs.

    Check it out on the net — a train full of cannon fodder heading for the static front that this expert apparently believes remains static because of the heroic Yukieshites’ defence of Banderastan.

    So keep on sending them into the meat grinder, idiots! You’re getting paid to do so whilst waiting further deliveries of Wunderwaffen from Uncle Sam.

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    1. See MoA on that “passenger train” that the Kiev Clown told the world had been attacked by the Evil Orcs, killing 22 civilians.

      Does it look as if you only 22 passengers died in those railway carriages?

      It was actually military train that had become a human meat grinder.

      That huge attack ‘killed at least 22 people’?

      Each of the carriages has 10 larger windows each for a compartment that sits six passengers. Additional people may stand or sit in the aisle. At least four carriages were destroyed. If the train had been reasonably full, it would have carried more than 300 passengers. 22 killed is thereby a quite low estimate. In reality there were probably several hundred casualties.

      Here is what the Russian military now says:

      An Iskander missile has hit a military train at Chaplino railway station in the Dnepropetrovsk Region, destroying over 200 AFU servicemen reservists and 10 units of military equipment on their way to the Donbass war zone.

      That estimate of casualties of the attack on the Armed Forces of them Ukraine sounds more reasonable to me.

      MoA.

      [Grammatical corrections made by me to the non-native English speaker’s German-English, in which he, for example, typically, for a German. uses the present-perfect to describe a past event — ME]

      Does anyone think that’s how the BBC, DW, WaP, NYT etc. will report that strike?

      The Clown hath spoken! Listen to the word of the Clown!

      MoA

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      1. Corrected typos:

        Does it look as if only 22 passengers died in those railway carriages?

        It was actually a military train that had become a human meat grinder.

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    2. Hell’s Bells!!!

      Twice bloody spellchecker changed what I wrote above because I used a British English term and a word transliterated from the Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet that it could not recognize.

      I wanted to write above:

      Did he not know that a Yukie military train was STONKED by an ISKANDR yesterday near Dnepropetrovsk with the loss of 200 military?

      My stress of the words that spellchecker twice changed.

      I noticed the first changes and corrected them, but I didn’t notice that my corrections had yet again been changed.

      And I have just noticed that it had changed my “Hell’s Bells” above to “Hell’s Belles”.

      Really pisses me off does spellchecker because it is a faceless automated smart arse that knows fuck all.

      No! Not “ass” but arse. which word I do not pronounce in the “Limey Faggot” way but more like “earse”.

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      1. I know. I fixed it before I saw this message, and I imagine everyone knew what you meant. I don’t know what version of spellcheck you have, but the one on my phone often corrects words I have spelt the way I wanted to. However, as long as I catch it before sending and change them back, it retains a memory of what I originally typed and will leave the corrected version alone. If you have such a militant spellchecker that it simply will not permit you to type “Iskander”, I would take the phone to a tech and have the program uninstalled.

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  5. From my archives for your consideration …

    Since this continues to be topical … – just revisiting this from 7+ years ago following the violent coup in Ukraine in 2014

    Sheikh Imran Hosein on Ukraine …

    • Шейх Имран объясняет непонимающим ситуацию на Украине очень доходчиво

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    1. It can be really an odd experience having another family live with you in your home – my ex and I once hosted a couple and their child who were (ironically) from the UK (as was the ex). They were friendly and we got along well; they lived in our basement suite. The husband and I got along very well, it was he whom my wife first met when they were looking for a place, she offered them the suite rent-free because he was not working. He had previously worked at a bank in the UK, as she did in Canada.

      He said he was eager to work and would do anything, and briefly took a job cleaning at night in a store. But that lasted less than a week; the work was too hard and didn’t pay enough. When he wasn’t working and I was, he would be upstairs as soon as I was through the door, and eventually Mrs. Stooge the Second asked him not to do that as we had almost no time together; he would be upstairs socializing until bedtime. So of course they were offended, and moved on shortly thereafter.

      Obviously there was not much in the way of cultural differences, but I think a lot of the English who emigrate still regard Canada a bit as a colony, kind of backward, and half-expect to be running the place in a few weeks owing to their superior depth of national experience – they are disappointed if they do not walk straight into a supervisory position with a killer wage.

      I would agree that at least some of the Ukrainians are not ‘at risk’; the ones truly in a horrible and desperate position often cannot afford to leave. I suspect there are many who merely see an opportunity to put down roots in the west at little to no cost, and are bewildered after living in a corrupt country where influence and connections are everything. Well, they are in the UK as well, but at least you have to maintain a veneer of humility and put forth a serious effort to get along, and the layer where influence and connections are everything is mostly at the administrative and political levels in the UK rather than regular folk.

      Like

      1. Someone I know has her mother living in her home,landlord agreed at no cost. But her mother wants to return to Ukraine for her job. She misses her life there but can return whenever she wants as long her visa is valid.
        The huge energy crisis with bills increasing from an already unaffordable 40% cap to 80% cap at beginning of October would even make a potential financial incentive to act as a host just simply not possible. And that doesn’t include any non-white refugees that the daily rags push to send to Rwanda. A relative works in city planning and said a couple of years ago that UK is going to have to find a way to accommodate refugees because climate refugee numbers are going to increase.

        Like

        1. Clara Maguire, a British resident of Poole, said she regretted allowing Ukrainian refugees (a woman and her daughter) into her home, calling her experience a “disaster”.

          According to the 54-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom, she provided the refugees with two bedrooms. And then the difficulties began. Maguire was forced to take her guests “everywhere”, including to the hospital, as well as to a Polish supermarket, because the foreign women “did not want to eat British food”. They also refused to walk their dogs, eat together, and “even drink water or coffee”.

          According to the British woman, she did not hear any words of gratitude. “They weren’t going to integrate and didn’t understand the importance of being grateful. It’s terrible”, Maguire told The Daily Mail.

          The woman said that after all she had experienced, she felt “undervalued and completely used”, promising never to participate in refugee programmes again.

          “We’ve never felt so uncomfortable in our own homes as we do with them”, she said.

          Source:

          А хули вы хотели? Хохлы всегда были и будут пидорасами!

          Loosely translated as:

          What the fuck did you want? Yukies have always been weirdos!

          Like

      2. Indeed. We shared a house in Barcelona for around six of the longer months of my life a while back. Initial friendliness soon wore off and each day it became harder to even maintain civilities. Shuddering at the memory.

        Like

      3. We hired a guy from Scotland (now living in London) whose parents were doctors and he with an Oxford education. He felt entitled to high pay and impressive job title and assumed we would be in awe of his intellect and authoritative accent. He is slowly recognizing that we may be smarter and with more business insight than he possess. Time will tell if he can adjust to the reality that mid-Western Americans not being illiterate bumpkins. This is not to belittle his abilities as he is a hard worker and is learning to follow management direction.

        My respect for fellow Americans is increasing; at least those from the mid-West or certain southern states.

        Like

    2. The scheme of encouraging families to host refugees was a stupid idea in the first place. It was a way for the UK government to look good and exploit people’s sympathy for war victims without committing any resources to helping refugees, such as building collective shelters for them so they could all be together and work together to reconstruct their lives. They would have been able to get access to appropriate help for PTSD and other mental and physical health problems. But this would have cost govt money.

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      1. Collective shelters may have thrown together people whose experiences of the past eight years or so varied radically. Leaving aside factors such as having family in the RF, refugees from, say, Lugansk or Donetsk or Kharkov may very well have “lived experiences” somewhat different from those from Lvov or Kiev. Separating the various refugees was perhaps a sensible choice. Imagine having violent clashes between different groups of refugees housed together? An even worse PR fuckup than is rolling out now.

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  6. Pepe Escobar proposed a provocative possibility that the Dugin murder was masterminded by Mossad:

    What’s manifestly serious is how oligarchy-connected organized crime factions in Russia would have a motive to eliminate Dugin as a Christian Orthodox nationalist philosopher who, according to them, may have influenced the Kremlin’s pivot to Asia (he didn’t).

    But most of all, these organized crime factions blamed Dugin for a concerted Kremlin offensive against the disproportional power of Jewish oligarchs in Russia. So these actors would have the motive and the local base/intel to mount such a coup.

    If that’s the case that spells out a Mossad operation – in many aspects a more solid proposition than CIA/MI6. What’s certain is that the FSB will keep their cards very close to their chest – and retribution will be swift, precise and invisible.

    Pepe is a great out-of-the-box thinker and there is logic in his conjecture. Perhaps Russia will shot down an Israeli jet over Lebanon (where they launch their missile attacks on Syria) or an Israeli politician dies under murky circumstances or Russia jails a Jewish oligarch or two. Could be anything or could be nothing.

    Like

    1. Oh, please not nothing! Because then Karl will howl that Russia always just rolls over and takes it. Let it be something public and graphic, like the Samurai or the Apache used to do; let them bury Bibi Netanyahu up to his neck and then pour honey over his exposed head, and let the ants eat it down to the skull. Or make him sign for a bank loan that charges 45% interest, compounded daily. It actually doesn’t matter much to me if it was the Jews or not – I’ve just never liked Netanyahu.

      It is an intriguing possibility, though. But it seems to me it must have been someone who believes all that crap about Dugin being ‘Putin’s Brain’ and that he is Putin’s spirit guide. And I’m not sure the Israelis subscribe to that theory. But I know the Americans do.

      Also, there’s the consideration that such an operation might not be that hard to mount in Russia if it was a wholly Ukrainian job. Most of them speak fluent Russian and could pass as locals. And I’m not sure how the FSB is certain the device was mounted in the car and remotely detonated; it could have been an Iraq-style roadside bomb which was remotely detonated as her car passed it or passed over it. Well, I daresay they know best. But I’m confident they will find the perpetrators.

      Like

    2. When in doubt, blame the Jews?

      Much that I dislike the oligarchic filth both here and in Banderastan — or anywhere for that matter — many of whom being, in theory, “Jews”, I still think it was hate-filled Svidomite Nazi vermin who had decided to murder Dugin and who couldn’t give a monkeys about the fact that they murdered his daughter in his place because she, by chance, chose to drive her father’s car.

      As regards Russian Jews, I’m quite certain that right now partaking in the SMO there are not a few Russian-Jewish soldiers and officers, not to mention Muslims.

      Like

      1. And as regards Ukrainian oligarchs, one of them Rhinat Akmatov is a Volga-Tatar, a Sunni Muslim, born in Donetsk to a working class family. Both his father and brother were coal miners.

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      2. I think you know that I harbor no animosity towards any religious or ethnic group. For example, Muslims have been more tolerant to Serbs and Serb Orthodoxy than certain Western (alleged) Christians. However, unless we are going for total wokeness, it should be acceptable to characterize certain groups with ethnic connections such as Jewish mafia (no one has a problem with the “Italian” Mafia it seems).

        I agree that there are several well-known groups who could have been been behind the murder and they all may have been happy with her death including the Jewish mafia in Russia. Russia’s intention to overturn the existing world order is stirring up the muck at foundation of the Western Empire.

        Like

  7. As a complete aside, for those who may like to read it, below is a link (I hope) to the German language newspaper that has been published here for over 100 years.

    I guess it is only an online publication now, but when I began to live here, it used to be a real newspaper, as did that rag “The Moscow Times”.

    There used to be another English language newspaper here then as well and it was light years better than MT: “The Moscow News”, founded by a woman socialist- journalist from the USA. It started going into decline in the early years of “Putin’s Mafia State” — Galeotti used to have a column in “The Moscow News” then, as an “expert” of course. The print version stopped being published in 2014 and it closed down the following year. I have only just found out when it shut shop and was rather surprised – it seemed to me that it was much longer ago when that happened.

    Where did all the USA socialists go to?

    It goes without saying, that the woman in question rolled up here during the height of the Great Depression — in 1930, I think. And then came WWII and the pist-post-war good times began for the USA and the homegrown socialists began to live the “American Dream”, I suppose.

    Moskauer Deutsche Zeitung

    Like

    1. That should have been “post-war good times” above, of course. They might well have been pissed good times as well for not a few.

      Like

  8. From “Moscow German Newspaper” linked above:

    Colder, darker, more expensive: Germany in times of decreasing gas

    Because Russian gas is no longer flowing as it used to, Germany is getting ready for a possibly uncomfortable winter. Not a day goes by without new energy saving tips and initiatives. A gas levy is intended to prevent company bankruptcies. Because of rising costs, social organizations are sounding the alarm.

    Georgi Kartaschov has a German journalist in front of him, and he now has a question for him. The father of a family from St. Petersburg had been in church with his kith and kin at the baptism of his youngest son Artyom. Now he’s interested in whether what he’s heard is really true, that the Germans are in for a hard winter if Russian gas doesn’t flow as it had done so before. How bad is it going to get?

    There is, of course, no simple answer to this question, other than that it probably cannot get any worse than German politicians are prophesying anyway. For example, if Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck were the head of a Russian ministry, he probably wouldn’t bother the people with such hypothetical problems. Or at most assure them that there was no need to worry, that everything was under control.

    The biggest German energy crisis”

    But because Habeck heads the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, he has been ringing the alarm bells for weeks, speaking of the “biggest energy German energy crisis” and calling for a collective effort to make provisions for this number one issue. That’s his job. Habeck definitely doesn’t want to be accused of underestimating the consequences, not giving warning enough and not taking people on board with him. Even at the risk that the discussion often enough seems to be overblown.

    Since the end of July, the Russian gas company Gazprom has only been using 20 percent of the Baltic Sea Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Russia and Germany hold each other responsible for why this is so. There can be no question of political motives, it is said everywhere on the Russian side. According to Interfax, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov asserted that “Gazprom is and will remain a reliable guarantor in fulfilling its obligations”. Nothing can be done about the technical problems caused by sanctions.

    Like being in a ghost train

    But in Germany trust in Gazprom doesn’t seem to be that far off. Even the economy, which in the recent past had repeatedly promoted understanding and criticized the sanctions policy, has distanced itself. Peter Adrian, President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, recently said in the “Handelsblatt” newspaper that he himself had underestimated the dependency on Russian gas. People were “absolutely unaware” of this fact. He compared a possible complete gas supply stop to a ride in a ghost train: You get a fright at the beginning of the journey and think the worst is over, “But then 25 more moments of terror follow”.

    It is rather unlikely that this worst case scenario will occur. However, Gazprom has just announced a three-day shutdown of Nord Stream 1 from August 31. Maintenance work was given as the reason. Such reports do little to calm people’s spirits; news more like this calms them down: Germany’s gas storage facilities have filled up quickly in recent weeks. The fill level is currently over 75 percent on average. A milestone was thus reached ahead of schedule, which was actually only intended for September 1st. According to the original plan, it should have been 85 percent by October 1st and 95 percent by November 1st, in order to be prepared for a winter with all eventualities.

    Go sparingly when taking a shower

    According to official information, only 26 percent of gas consumption in Germany is now covered by Russian gas. Last year it was 55 percent. Nevertheless, there is no lack of appeals as regards lifestyle habits and, if necessary, to accept cuts in prosperity in order to save energy. After a “gas summit” in Baden-Württemberg, the Green Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann spoke on ZDF at the end of July about showering: “If you shower for two minutes instead of eleven, you save 80 percent of the energy you need for a shower. If millions do that, it will have a real, measurable, important effect”: now it all “really depends on everyone”. “It’s always like that in a crisis.”

    Most recently, Kretschmann went one step further and said in the “Südwest Presse” that the good old facecloth was a “useful invention” as an alternative to taking a shower. Such instructions for household chores release energies of a completely different kind. “Do the Greens want to ban us from showering?” the newspaper “Bild” protested in big letters and showed Kretschmann & Co. in a collage washing the cats. The FDP Vice President and Bundestag deputy Wolfgang Kubicki, who has never been at a loss for a pointed comment, was quoted as saying: “If the state sets standards for personal hygiene, then we have reached a level that can hardly be lowered”. Previously, Kubicki had taken a beating, and he certainly did not expect it should be otherwise, for his heretical suggestion that Nord Stream 2 be got up and running.

    Municipalities reduce consumption

    Russian media and Telegram channels, on the other hand, insist on amusing their subscribers with energy-saving tips from German politicians. That goes well with their own narrative: that the West has once again shot itself in the foot with its sanctions policy and is now trying to limit the damage with all sorts of tricks.

    In Germany, meanwhile, not a day goes by without cities and municipalities curbing their own energy consumption. The general manager of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, has called for appropriate cuts to be made “from the comfort zone”. The water temperature in swimming pools is being lowered by one or two degrees, as is the room temperature in public buildings such as administration buildings, schools or sports halls, where the warm water is also turned off. Also popular: doing without the usual night time illumination. For example, Cologne Cathedral, the Berlin Victory Column and the Dresden Frauenkirche are no longer being lit up in the dark.

    The first municipalities have already considered “warming-up rooms” for the coming cold season. Allegedly, customers are already emptying hardware store shelves for radiators, fan heaters and stoves. The WDR reported a “rush on everything that heats”.

    A gas surcharge is making bills significantly more expensive

    is that just hype created by the media themselves? For most people, the crisis has not even reached them. Although around 50 percent of all apartments in Germany are heated with gas, there is a price guarantee during the contract period of two years. The massive tariff increases for new contracts will only hit existing customers later.

    From October 1st, however, all private and industrial customers will be asked to pay. A so-called gas surcharge is intended to benefit gas importers such as Uniper, who have additional costs because of the procurement of more expensive alternatives to Russian gas, but which can only be partially passed on to consumers. The amount of the surcharge was initially set at 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour, it applies until April 1, 2024 and can be adjusted every three months.

    In return, the federal government has promised relief. One relief initiative is already on the way: Value added tax on gas consumption will be reduced from 19 to 7 percent, which will somewhat mitigate the jump in costs caused by the gas surcharge. With an annual consumption of 27,000 kilowatt hours, as is the case in an average home, households will still have to be prepared for a gas bill from October 1st, which, depending on the provider, can be significantly more than 30 percent higher than the previous one.

    A social summit is required

    In view of the inflation rate, which was around 7.5 percent higher in July compared to the same month last year, Germans have to dig deeper into their pockets for many things anyway. This also applies to food, i.e. essential expenses. That is why the warnings about social needs have recently become louder and louder. Several large social organizations and the German food bank called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz in mid-August to convene a social summit. In a joint letter, they wrote that many people in Germany are now afraid of the future. “They don’t know how to pay the higher electricity, gas and oil bills and how to get through autumn and winter.”

    It cannot be ruled out that the willingness to protest in society will increase significantly. According to a survey by the opinion research institute Insa, 44 percent of Germans can imagine taking to the streets against rising energy prices.

    https://mdz-moskau.eu/deutschland-in-zeiten-des-abnehmenden-gases/

    Like

    1. Try as I might, i just cannot imagine Fritz taking to the streets in protest against the present German government. It’s such disorderly behaviour, and in my experience, there is one thing that your regular Fritz despises, it’s disorder — that’s what Frogs and Eyeties do almost every bloody weekend, but not Germans.

      I did experience public protests when I lived in the Fatherland, though — even took part in some. It was when German trade unions were demanding a 35-hour week in the mid-‘80s. “35 Stunden sind genug!” was their slogan — that’s “35 [fünfunddreißig] hours are enough!” They never got 35: they got 37 if I rightly recall.

      But it was only trade unionists who very orderly protested, not the public at large. And everything was meticulously well prepared and organized. I used to tag along with my German pal who worked at the Thyssen steelworks in Duisburg, not least because we pickets — Streikposten — got well fed and watered by the union, enjoying hot food delivered at meal times. And in the cold mornings there were big urns of hot Jägertee — “huntsman’s tea” — black tea with summat innit to tickle your tonsils. I think it was a bottle of Schnaps that they must have poured into each urn.

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      1. When I was on strike in England for almost a year, I was near to eating grass!

        We got no strike pay, no nothing. But we organized “soup kitchens” and local communities helped out. I must have eaten 10 tons of toast that year because a local bakery used to send us every evening a van load of stale bread — it wasn’t all that stale, actually — because the owners knew we would be loyal to the bakery after the strike had ended.

        I remember one local shop though — a newsagent, which also, of course sold cigs (and chewing tobacco, which many miners partook in whilst underground, including the writer), whose owner very early on in the strike brusquely said to some of the lads who had gone in so as to buy one lousy cigarette: “We don’t serve strikers!”

        The bastard went out of business well before the strike had ended.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Fritzes are pretty good at ‘protests’ when Antifa and the ‘black block’, i.e. anarchists, organise them. Smashing windows not just of banks and shops but of ‘unwelcome’ political parties is a specialty.
        Oh – let’s not forget the Greens who can bus thousands to a nice, peaceful ‘protest’ when the occasion arises.
        Nah – they’re no slouches, those Lefties.
        As for here in Blighty: normal people are simply not angry enough to prepare for battle with the hi-tech police. They’ve learned from the anti-lockdown protest that this is a battle they’ll lose. Even Antifa etc have apparently unlearned their peacefully violent protests, thanks to lockdowns and such.
        But who knows … winter is coming and when it dawns on all those still on holidays or on a short Bank-Holiday break, that they’re supposed to impoverish themselves to pay the exorbitant energy prices, that their taxes are not spent on helping the native poor but to keep all those thousands of “welcome” refugees in warm hotel rooms, then things might change. Perhaps. I’m not holding my breath though.

        Like

  9. The Economist:

    Are sanctions on Russia working?
    The lessons from a new era of economic warfare
    Aug 25th 2022

    Six months ago Russia invaded Ukraine. On the battlefield a war of attrition is taking place along a thousand-kilometre front line of death and destruction. Beyond it another struggle is raging—an economic conflict of a ferocity and scope not seen since the 1940s, as Western countries try to cripple Russia’s $1.8trn economy with a novel arsenal of sanctions. The effectiveness of this embargo is key to the outcome of the Ukraine war. But it also reveals a great deal about liberal democracies’ capacity to project power globally into the late 2020s and beyond, including against China. Worryingly, so far the sanctions war is not going as well as expected.

    Since February America, Europe and their allies have unleashed an unprecedented barrage of prohibitions covering thousands of Russian firms and individuals. Half of Russia’s $580bn of currency reserves lies frozen and most of its big banks are cut off from the global payments system. America no longer buys Russian oil, and a European embargo will come fully into effect in February. Russian firms are barred from buying inputs from engines to chips. Oligarchs and officials face travel bans and asset freezes. America’s “KleptoCapture” task-force has seized a superyacht that may have had a Fabergé egg on board.

    As well as satisfying Western public opinion, these measures have strategic objectives. The short-term goal, at least initially, was to trigger a liquidity and balance-of-payments crisis in Russia that would make it hard to finance the Ukraine war and thus alter the Kremlin’s incentives. In the long run the intent is to impair Russia’s productive capacity and technological sophistication so that, if Vladimir Putin aspires to invade another country, he would have fewer resources to hand. A final aim is to deter others from warmongering.

    Behind such ambitious goals lies a new doctrine of Western power. The unipolar moment of the 1990s, when America’s supremacy was uncontested, is long gone, and the West’s appetite to use military force has waned since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sanctions seemed to offer an answer by allowing the West to exert power through its control of the financial and technological networks at the heart of the 21st-century economy. Over the past 20 years they have been deployed to punish human-rights abuses, isolate Iran and Venezuela and hobble firms such as Huawei. But the Russia embargo takes sanctions to a new level by aiming to cripple the world’s 11th-biggest economy, one of the biggest exporters of energy, grain and other commodities.

    What are the results? On a three- to five-year horizon isolation from Western markets will cause havoc in Russia. By 2025 a fifth of civil aircraft may be grounded for want of spares. Upgrades to telecoms networks are being delayed and consumers will miss Western brands. As the state and tycoons seize Western assets, from car plants to McDonald’s outlets, more crony capitalism beckons. Russia is losing some of its most talented citizens, who recoil at the reality of dictatorship and the prospect of their country becoming a petrol station for China.

    The trouble is that the knockout blow has not materialised. Russia’s gdp will shrink by 6% in 2022, reckons the imf, much less than the 15% drop many expected in March, or the slump in Venezuela. Energy sales will generate a current-account surplus of $265bn this year, the world’s second-largest after China. After a crunch, Russia’s financial system has stabilised and the country is finding new suppliers for some imports, including China. Meanwhile in Europe, an energy crisis may trigger a recession. This week natural-gas prices rose by a further 20% as Russia squeezed supplies.

    It turns out the sanctions weapon has flaws. One is the time lag. Blocking access to tech the West monopolises takes years to bite, and autocracies are good at absorbing the initial blow of an embargo because they can marshal resources. Then there is the blowback. Although the West’s gdp dwarfs Russia’s, there is no wishing away Mr Putin’s chokehold on gas. The biggest flaw is that full or partial embargoes are not being enforced by over 100 countries with 40% of world gdp. Urals oil is flowing to Asia. Dubai is brimming with Russian cash and you can fly with Emirates and others to Moscow seven times a day. A globalised economy is good at adapting to shocks and opportunities, particularly as most countries have no desire to enforce Western policy.

    You should therefore discard any illusions that sanctions offer the West a cheap and asymmetric way to confront China, an even bigger autocracy. In order to deter or punish an invasion of Taiwan, the West could seize China’s $3trn of reserves and cut off its banks. But, as with Russia, China’s economy would be unlikely to collapse. And the government in Beijing could retaliate by, say, starving the West of electronics, batteries and pharmaceuticals, leaving Walmart’s shelves empty and triggering chaos. Given that more countries depend on China than America as their largest trading partner, enforcing a global embargo would be even harder than with Russia.

    Instead the lesson from Ukraine and Russia is that confronting aggressive autocracies requires action on several fronts. Hard power is essential. Democracies must cut their exposure to adversaries’ choke points. Sanctions play a vital role, but the West should not let them proliferate. The more that countries fear Western sanctions tomorrow, the less willing they will be to enforce embargoes on others today.

    Beyond blockades
    The good news is that, 180 days after the invasion, democracies are adapting to this reality. Heavy weapons are pouring into Ukraine, nato is fortifying Europe’s borders with Russia, and Europe is securing new sources of gas and speeding up the shift to clean energy. America is reducing its dependence on Chinese tech and urging Taiwan to improve its military defences. The catch is that every autocracy, not least Xi Jinping’s China, is also studying the sanctions war with Russia and is busy learning the same lessons. Ukraine marks a new era of 21st-century conflict in which the military, technological and financial elements are intertwined. But it is not an era in which the West can assume it has pre-eminence. Nobody can counter aggression through dollars and semiconductors alone.

    [My stress above.]

    Answer: No! Next question.

    What wonderfully good news at the end! The “democracies” are continuing to arm the Banderite Nazis in their fight against the authoritarian “Aggressor State”.

    Three cheers for Democracy!

    Like

    1. The Economist consistently ‘learns’ the wrong lessons from global events because the minds of its writers work on an algorithm whereby the west never does anything completely wrong – if a western effort fails, it is because they were too compassionate, their naturally loving nature preventing them from being as hard or strict as they needed to be. We were too good. And there is nobody like The Economist for blabbering optimistically about the Green future when energy will be realized from nothing, 100% efficiency, perpetual motion achieved through the majesty of our brains. Our only failure is in not believing.

      Like

  10. If true, this article is beyond damning. It’s by ‘anti-spiegel.ru’, the title is already hair-raising:
    “Selensky wanted war – Kiev decided in 2019 not to implement Minsk II and prepared war with Russia – The head of the Ukrainian Security Council announced in an interview that Kiev decided in 2019 not to implement the Minsk Agreement and instead prepared for a war with Russia.”

    It’s written in German, so you’ll need a trusted machine translator. It’s worth it, I promise!

    Link: https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2022/kiew-hat-2019-beschlossen-minsk-ii-nicht-umzusetzen-und-krieg-mit-russland-vorbereitet/

    Like

      1. Found it!

        It was reported in TASS yesterday:

        August 26, 16:09
        Military operation in the Ukraine
        The Security Council of the Ukraine has said that the country had been preparing for a military conflict with Russia since 2019

        According to the chief of the Security Council, Alexei Danilov, in Kiev in 2019, “they began to realize that a big war with the Russian Federation was inevitable”.

        Kiev, 26 August. /TASS/. Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of the Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov has said that the country’s authorities had been preparing for a military conflict with Russia since December 2019, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected all compromise options for resolving the situation in Donbass at the Normandy Four summit in Paris.

        “We were preparing for war; we were preparing very robustly. And the fact that we have already gone through 180 days of the war and are on our territory, have not surrendered it, this just shows that we had been preparing for war. We began to go to war after December 8-9, 2019. When on December 8-9, 2019, the President of our country [Vladimir] Zelensky did not agree in Paris to the conditions that Russia, France, Germany offered us: to put it mildly, he said: “No, friends: there will be no Minsk-3. We shall defend our country”.

        The next day, we began to realize that a big war with the Russian Federation was inevitable”, Danilov said on air on NTA TV channel.

        Since 2014, an internal armed conflict has continued in the Donbass with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, which have declared their independence. To resolve this, in February 2015, with the direct participation of the leaders of the Normandy Four (Germany, France, Russia, the Ukraine), the Minsk agreements were signed. The leaders of the Normandy Four have since met again five times to move the process forward. The last such summit was held in Paris in December 2019. Then the parties again outlined an action plan for a period of four months. But this also turned out to be unfulfilled.

        Like

        1. As if Zelensky could make a decision other than when to get high on coke or which green t-shirt to wear. The Ukraine is a US/NATO project form 2014 to today with France and Germany playing their role in the Minsk deception.

          Like

  11. I think I had best apply for Russian citizenship after my having got back to the City of Satan. The other day, Dimka started spouting off about changing the law as regards foreign residents in Russia.

    I don’t blame him, mind you: if I were a Russian minister, I would tell British residents to bugger off out of here. I’d start off with that arsehole who is the chief BBC creep in Moscow. I’d give him 3 hours to fuck off because I’m such a considerate sort of person.

    Like

  12. Just got this by Telegram off my son, who is working today in preparation for the start of the school year on 1 September:

    I’ve been talking to one of the security people at school, a 50-year-old woman who came to Russia with her family from southern Ukraine in 2013.

    I told her I had been at a summer camp at Belgorod-Dnevstrovsky and she said that it was very close to her home town. [It is in the very south-west of the Ukraine, south-west of Odessa. It was in 2010. He and his sister Lena were at a children’s camp there and my wife and our then 2-year-old Sasha were in a sanatorium that was an annex to the summer camp.] .

    And so we had something in common and we began talking about the Ukraine.

    She almost made me cry when she said with tears in her eyes: “я искренне считаю что русский язык мой родной”. [I sincerely consider Russian to be my mother tongue. ] And she hates propaganda and isn’t really “pro-Russian”, but she said: “Я видела как людей зомбируют, я уже видела как всё идёт по пизде и что нашей стране пизда”. [I’ve seen how people are being zombified. I’ve already seen how everything has gone to hell and that our country is fucked.]

    She told me that she didn’t want her son to die there.

    Back then, when she lived in the Ukraine, she had four jobs, and the thing is that she is not the only one who has had such a hard life out there.

    Anyway, all this is really very sad: I mean, the fact that there is a war between 2 brother nations.

    I really don’t like the Russian government and the Ukrainian government and the government of the USA. I don’t like any government actually. Fuck them all!

    In fact, almost every worker employed here at schools now — ordinary workers, janitors, security people, those type of people — are all Ukrainians: you can hear their accent.

    And Russia is rescuing them, giving them a normal second life, not like the fucking EU, because Ukrainians are Russians, so we should be helping each other and not killing each other.

    Just my opinion.

    But the Western Democracies are helping them, surely?

    By the way, I have not translated what Vova wrote to me: he wrote everything in English, except for the statements he quotes the security woman as having said.

    Like

  13. Keep on sending your “game changers”!

    Russian Defence Ministry: Russian military destroyed a large warehouse with missiles for HIMARS
    August 27, 2022

    The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, has announced the destruction by the Russian military of a large warehouse near the Dnieper, housing missiles for HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems. .

    “A large ammunition depot of the 44th Artillery Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine with missiles for US-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and shells for American M777 howitzers was destroyed by ground-based high-precision weapons near the settlement of Preobrazhenka, Dnepropetrovsk region”, he said.

    Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry had reported that Russian aerospace forces had destroyed five combat aircraft of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine in Mirgorod.

    According to the defence department, the Russian Armed Forces then also destroyed three more aircraft of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine at the Dnepr military airfield and the command post of the Kakhovka group of Ukrainian troops in the Nikolaev region.

    https://turbo.gazeta.ru/army/news/2022/08/27/18424004.shtml

    When’s the next latest greatest Yukie offensive going to start?

    Is one due this week, or was that last week?

    By the way, saw a great new name for taking the piss out of 404 : Hoholand.

    Saw it in a blog.

    It’s a play on Khokhol, which the Orcs use to take the Mickey out of Ukrainian retards.

    “Khokhol” is pronounced in the shitwits’ shitkicker dialect sort of like “hohol” — rhymes with “procul”, sort of — hence “Hoholand”, which is like “Ho Ho Land”.

    Trouble is, the Khokhol Nazis are not really that funny.

    Like

  14. Kiev regime continues acts of “nuclear terrorism” at Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

    Over the past 24 hours, artillery units of the Ukrainian armed forces shelled the station’s territory three times.

    A total of 17 shells were fired, 4 of which hit the roof of Special Building No 1, where 168 assemblies of US WestingHouse nuclear fuel are stored.

    10 more shells exploded 30 metres from the dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and 3 more exploded near Special Building No 2, which houses TVEL’s fresh nuclear fuel storage unit and solid radioactive waste storage facility.

    Ukrainian artillery shelling of the nuclear power plant was carried out from Marganets area in Dniepropetrovsk Region. In course of counter-battery warfare in the area, 1 American M777 howitzer was discovered and destroyed.

    Radiation situation at Zaporozhye NPP remains normal. The technical condition of the nuclear power plant is monitored and maintained by staff technicians.

    Like

  15. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lying bitch:

    German journalist doubted that the Russians had money for biscuits
    August 27, 2022
    RIA Novosti

    FAZ correspondent Wagner doubted the ability of Russians to buy chocolate and biscuits

    Katharina Wagner, a correspondent for the German newspaper FAZ in Moscow, has published an article on the effects of Western sanctions, in which she acknowledged that the shelves in stores are still full, but at the same time made a strange conclusion, doubting the ability of Russians to buy such common products as well known brands of chocolate and coffee.

    As Wagner noted, in Moscow supermarkets “it is almost not noticeable that anything is missing”. “Most of the familiar items are still in place: Nutella, Oreo biscuits, Jacobs and Tchibo coffee, washing powders Persil and Ariel, Milka, Lindt and Ritter Sport chocolate, Snickers, Mars and Milky Way, Nivea and L’Oreal, German Riesling and Danone yoghurts”, she writes.

    “But who can really afford all this in Russia?” the journalist asked suddenly.

    Who indeed, if what the Western media says is true.

    Tell you what, Wagner, next time you go shopping in Moscow, how about asking the shoppers about what they buy and how they get the wherewithal to make purchases.

    That shouldn’t be to hard to do, should it?

    Or do prefer sending shite back to your “quality” newspaper in Frankfurt-am- Main?

    You know, a “narrative”: in other words, a “story”.

    The source:

    ALLTAG IN RUSSLAND
    In Moskau fehlt es an fast nichts
    Von Katharina Wagner
    24.08.2022, 09:58

    DAILY LIFE IN MOSCOW

    in Moscow there are hardly any shortages
    In the Russian capital, the population hardly discerns anything as regards the sanctions imposed by the West. Only those who look behind the scenes will notice that a war is raging..

    Where, where?

    Please tell me!

    Behind which scenes can one notice a war raging?

    Is the sound of artillery discernible from the distant southwest?

    Are army hospital trains full of horrifically mutilated, wounded Russian soldiers secretly shunted around Moscow at night?

    Do tell!

    FAZ, by the way, is behind a wall, so I shall never be able to find out exactly what liar Wagner wrote for her employer.

    Like

  16. Hope for Serbia:

    https://www.rt.com/news/561648-serbia-europride-vicic-lgbtq/

    Serbia has decided to “cancel or postpone” a EuroPride event that was due to take place in the Balkan country’s capital, Belgrade, in mid-September, President Aleksandar Vucic announced on Saturday.

    “This is a violation of minority rights, but at this moment the state is pressured by numerous problems,” Vucic said during a press conference.

    The president explained that the LGBTQ festival, which is held in different European cities every year and includes a Pride Parade, cannot go ahead due to threats from right-wing extremists and fears of violence.

    Are right-wing extremists defined as anyone who does not accept wokeness? Is the cancellation simply reflecting the will of the majority?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Via Stolz Untermenschen (where, I meant to mention, there is a new and interesting post up);

    https://sitrepworld.info/articles/sc-editorial-the-futility-of-dialogue-with-idiots-liars/

    What they said. I was interested to learn – because, obviously, I didn’t know – that UN Security Council rules provide that those who address the council must be present in person. Yet twice The Clown has been permitted to address the Security Council via video link, and granted a free platform from which to peddle his fantastic nonsense. NATO affects to believe him, ignoring all evidence presented by Russia, because it is important that NATO populations believe Ukraine is the poor underdog and Russia a brutal aggressor who abides by no rules.

    Better keep those nukes warmed up, Mr. President, and I don’t mean Biden. It looks increasingly likely they will be used. The west is ruled by certifiable lunatics and money-grubbers, and there is nothing else to choose from in the political stables. All western leaders are either Davos Disciples or neoconservative warhawks, and some are both.

    Like

  18. August 27 17:16
    The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukraine: Armed Forces of the Ukraine are fighting to the utmost limit, Russians will take Avdeevka in 20 days
    Why this, however, may not happen in such a short time

    The Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ukraine has reported to the independent office of the President that in the next 20 days the military units in Avdeevka could be surrounded. If this happens, then about three thousand “independence defenders”, together with a battery of M777 howitzers and other NATO “hardware” will end up in a cauldron and, most likely, will be demilitarized there.

    However, according to insiders from the General Staff, neither Zelensky nor Zaluzhny want to surrender this key fortified area on the Donbass front, despite the difficult situation that their units are facing. A rare case when the opinion of the Banderite military and politicians coincides.

    Both those and others believe that the surrender of Avdeevka will have grave consequences for the Armed Forces of the Ukraine, primarily in terms of the collapse of morale, and may even cause the collapse of the defence on the Ugledar-Toretsk-Artemovsk-Seversk line.

    That is why, as they write in the Zhovto-Blakit telegram channels, “Bankovaya” [Bankovaya Street, where the Ukraine presidential office is situated in Kiev — ME] has not yet recognized the loss of the village of Peski, despite the reports of Western “think tanks” about this defeat for the Ukrainian army.

    “We lost control of Peski a week ago, but the president’s office forbade publishing this information in the Ukrainian media. This fact was reported by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which confirmed the loss of Peski in the suburbs of Donetsk.”

    Such posts are now flooding the ukrnet, whilst public opinion leaders and the media are avoiding a direct answer on this topic, considering it too toxic.

    Indeed, ISW experts confirmed the veracity of a video published on August 24, in which “DPR troops raise the Soviet flag near the centre of the village of Peski”.

    Analysts at this institute have drawn attention to the absence of any signs of Ukrainian resistance, which, in their opinion, indicates the advancement of our soldiers further west.

    Apparently, the next target of the allied troops in this locality will be the village of Pervomaisky with access to the Karlovsky reservoir. True, it will be difficult to do this without establishing control over Nevelskoye and Krasnogorovka, which is near Maryinka (not to be confused with the village of the same name in the Yasinovatsky district in the north of Avdeevka).

    Military correspondents are reporting from the scene that our troops are moving forward, albeit slowly, including in the direction of Vodyany, the goal being to take control of the Orlovka-Avdeevka highway, thereby placing it under fire control. After that, in the Avdeevsky fortified area, for sure, a shell shortage will begin.

    The Ukraine General Staff sees this danger and is reinforcing the Orlovka garrison, throwing available reserves into the meat grinder, since in this sector our artillery enjoys an overwhelming advantage over that of “Independent Ukraine”.

    To repeat: according to the GUR, the Armed Forces of the Ukraine are unlikely to be able to stay in this area without causing problems elsewhere. That is why the “Independent” military there is of little worth to those wise men at “Bankovaya”, who, as part of their preparation, allegedly withdrew artillery and heavy equipment from Peski, which action the Russians took advantage of.

    It is clear that this is a propaganda game in an obvious attempt to downplay the heroism and professionalism of Russian soldiers, as though it was not the fighters of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the militia of the DPR who had broken into the village-fortress: it was a mistake of the “Independent” political leadership that has led to another cock-up.

    In fact, the Ukrainians do not have enough strength to hold the entire line of defence, which neither Zelensky nor Zaluzhny can recognize.

    As soon as, on the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, the most trained units of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine had been transferred from the Nikolaev front to the Donbass, the “independence defenders” immediately lost three of their most important fortified areas in the Kherson region — Aleksandrovka, Blagodatnoye and the eastern bridgehead of the Ingulets River in the vicinity of the villages of Andreevka and Blagodatovka.

    It seems that the Kiev regime, choosing between the south and the east, made a choice in favour of Avdeevka, which we are unlikely to be able to take head-on without heavy losses.

    The Armed Forces of the Ukraine, it must be admitted, are fighting desperately, although they are only plugging holes in their defence with “cannon fodder”.

    https://svpressa.ru/war21/article/344282/

    Like

    1. Re: ISW experts.

      The “Institute for the Study of War” is run by the Kagan clan. It is headed by Kimberly Kagan, wife of Frederick Kagan, brother of Robert Kagan, whose wife is the vile Victoria Nuland.

      Nuland’s paternal forebears originated from — wait for it, wait for it! — what is now southwestern Ukraine. Her grandfather, Meyer Nudelman, was from Bessarabia, which was annexed by the UkSSR following the “secret protocols” of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact.

      Bessarabia was once the Ottoman vassal principality of Moldavia, which, following its unification with Wallachia, another former Ottoman principality, became part of Romania, following that country’s liberation from Ottoman rule, which liberation was greatly aided by the efforts of the Russian Empire by means of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877.

      Poroshenko’s paternal forebears also came from Bessarabia. Russian media claimed that Poroshenko’s, paternal grandfather’s name was Weizmann. He changed it to his wife’s Ukrainian maiden name

      Like

    2. Oh, what tosh. I have it on the very best authority – a NATO official who requested anonymity in order to speak plainly – that the Ukrainian forces are even now hammering at the gates of Crimea, and Sevastopol is about to fall into their laps like a ripe plum. Onward, onward to victory!!

      I expect the Russians will take Avdeevka the same way they have taken other towns before it – by hammering the military’s positions with artillery and moving up while they have their heads down. This is the part western military analysts cannot seem to grasp; artillery shells are cheap, and Russia is easily keeping up with expenditures. They are not in any real danger of running out of precision ordnance because they only use it when they have a solid target of interest, and use artillery otherwise to bludgeon the UAF until they can’t hear themselves think. They don’t need to send in the infantry until the UAF retreat, or the remaining defenders are too few to put up any serious resistance.

      It’s worth mentioning here that ‘demilitarizing’ does not necessarily mean ‘slaughtering’, and it is not necessary that remaining Ukrainian troops all be killed, although they are taking fearful losses. An offer was made at the very beginning; lay down your arms, and you will not be harmed. That was when it was still mostly infantry against infantry, and it might be a little harder to see a white flag where the battle is being fought long-distance at artillery range, but Ukrainian forces still have the option to surrender. Nazis among them will be purged, but there is no reason to harm ordinary soldiers who have surrendered and in fact it is against the law to do so.

      Like

      1. A perfect example of what the Ukrainians do to Ukrainian POWs is that missile attack on an POW camp. One can only imagine (with a little help from an occasional news story) what Ukrainians do to soldiers who try to surrender or retreat without orders. I realize that this cannot entirely explain the level of (futile) resistance being mounted by Ukrainian troops but it may be the major factor. And the threats may not be just against the soldiers in question but rather against their families. Speculation on my part but based on reasonable extrapolation.

        Like

  19. The Nation

    Will Europe Fracture Over the War With Ukraine?

    As winter looms, double-digit inflation and energy costs will test unity.
    By Mary Dejevsky AUGUST 23, 2022

    This year’s scorching European summer has fostered a strange mixture of hedonism and stoicism. The post-Covid determination to take a holiday and frolic in the sun has existed alongside a pervasive sense of resignation in the face of hardships already looming on the horizon. It is a jarring contradiction born of the all-too-real awareness that a war is being fought next door.

    Six months after Russia’s invasion, Europe’s attention is no longer as compulsively fixed on Ukraine as it was. Those experts in military tactics have largely vanished from our television screens, along with their convoluted maps. It has taken the threat of a conflagration at the largest nuclear power station in Europe—at Zaporizhzhia—for Ukraine to reclaim a place in the headlines of the Western media. What has endured, largely undiminished, at least in Europe, is the early sense of popular solidarity with Ukraine and a certain pride that this solidarity is still there.

    The question is: How much longer can it last? And what will happen if it starts to fracture or simply retreats? This is a doubly difficult question to answer because, for all the prominence of Ukraine in the news, there has been a conspicuous lack of discussion in most European countries about the role of Europe in the war and nothing at all that could pass for an informed debate.

    The cause—Ukraine’s survival as a sovereign state, and its status as a victim of Russian military aggression—are so obviously unimpeachable, that supplying whatever help Ukraine’s president and his HQ demand has become something of a sacred duty in itself. Meanwhile, some in Ukraine have resurrected old arguments about their country nobly fulfilling its own sacred, and historic, duty to stand as the West’s bulwark against the Eurasian beast.

    That Europe’s military assistance for Ukraine has evolved and expanded over time has rarely been challenged. So long as Ukrainians are intent on continuing the fight—and they have become more, rather than less, so as their losses have mounted and time has gone on—who are we, the argument goes, to militate for peace?
    Anyone on the European side who even hints that Ukraine might at least to
    [sic] think about a time when it might need to cut its losses is dismissed as an appeaser, a shill for Russia, or worse.

    There have been differences of emphasis within Europe to be sure, with the undercurrents breaking roughly along the line between old and new members of the European Union, and with the argument boiling down to who might be exhibiting too much or too little esprit de corps. The UK, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson (and no longer in the EU), has been staunchly on the side of “new Europe.” Sweden—a new convert to NATO in response to the Russian invasion—veers in the same direction.

    France and Germany, and to a lesser extent Italy, are seen as less enthusiastic about military support for Ukraine, and more concerned to contain the war—with 20th-century history offering at least part of an explanation. When a choice has had to be made, however, Old Europe has joined its voice to that of New Europe, and the united front has been maintained. Ukraine must win. When the EU sought to slash its energy dependence on Russia, the semblance of unity was maintained, albeit at the cost of some flexibility (for Hungary, among others).

    As summer turns into autumn, however, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a crossroads is being reached that will test both the limits of European unity and the strength of its commitment to Ukraine. Few are admitting as much quite so starkly, but with much of Europe facing either double-digit inflation or winter rationing of energy, or both, governments face some profoundly difficult choices. They can rack up their national debt by subsidizing prices to consumers and business; they can risk the wrath of their populations by raising prices and/or taxes; or they can try to do something in between. But something will have to be done, and whatever is done will have implications for Ukraine.

    Some countries are better placed, or better prepared, to weather the winter than others. France is less dependent on others for energy than most, and it will subsidize prices so that customers face just a single-digit price increase. Having upended the energy strategy it has pursued for the past 30 years, Germany is preparing for levies on consumers, industry shutdowns, and delays to many climate objectives, as coal and nuclear return to the mix. Italy, whose technocratic government was felled by economic discord, faces elections next month, so its response is in limbo. Spain is trying to accelerate a new pipeline from Algeria, and the EU has quietly turned its interest in Azerbaijan away from human rights and on to oil and gas.

    Nowhere, however, is the debate about what to do about soaring energy prices more confused or contested than in the UK. This is partly because there has been no seriously functioning government since early July, when half the cabinet defected and Boris Johnson was forced to resign. But it is also because a tribal rift that has been exposed by the ensuing Conservative Party leadership context, between small-state tax-cutters on the one side and self-styled defenders of sound finance on the other.

    There will be no resolution until Johnson’s successor is declared on September 5, and the quarrels may not even end then. Meanwhile, every possible group is ferociously lobbying for its own interests. Amid the cacophony, however, what might be surprising to any longtime observer of UK politics is the absence of the normal UK government response to any setback. Almost no one is openly blaming the foreigners—in this case, the Russians—at least not in so many words.

    For mass consumption, the energy crisis—let’s call it that—is being treated more as an unforeseeable catastrophe, akin to a natural disaster, than as the direct consequence of something anyone, such as Russia, did. The actual reason for the steep energy hikes is commonly left hanging.

    There is a slightly different discussion at the elite level. Former foreign secretary William Hague is one of those publicly joining the dots between domestic politics in Europe and the war in Ukraine. In a recent article in the London Times, he warned that it would “suit Putin if our interest in Ukraine fails.”

    What this might mean in practice was spelled out on the BBC’s current affairs program Newsnight by a very senior and much-decorated military man, Lt. Gen. Sir Simon Mayall. “We must keep making sure,” he said, “that the narrative says the problems with energy prices…are directly related to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.” In other words, blaming Russia was a way to keep the British public on side.

    So why, at least in the UK, is this case not being made more loudly, as Sir Simon seems to think it should? Let me offer a few suggestions. One: The powers-that-be are distracted by their leadership contest, but they also believe the public already blames Russia anyway, so there is no need to push the point. Two: Politicians have become so discredited that anything they might say invites suspicion. Why risk people questioning Russia’s culpability? Three: The “blame Russia” argument needs to be saved up for when things really get bad (e.g., when the power runs out or people can’t afford to heat their homes). Why waste it now?

    But there may also be a fourth reason: If the discussion is about energy prices and inflation, it is not strictly correct to blame Russia. You can blame Russia for invading Ukraine. You can blame it for a blockade that has raised global food prices (although the grain ships are now departing). But the energy question is more complicated—and it may be that the UK, and some other European governments, would prefer not to open a debate that is long overdue about the dangers for the West of underwriting Ukraine’s defense and the potential costs, both for Ukraine and ourselves.

    The difficulty for the Europeans is that, however much we blame Russia for triggering an energy shortage and withholding supplies (especially gas), this is not quite what has happened. What has happened is that after Russia invaded Ukraine, and the UK and the EU abandoned their long-standing practice of exempting the energy sector from sanctions and moved to curtail imports of Russian oil and gas. Now, this departure has spectacularly rebounded, in the short term at least.

    Not only are many EU countries now struggling to reduce consumption or replace Russian supplies—in some instances competing against each other—but also Russia has been able to find new markets and exploit a rise in prices. If the aim was to starve Russia of funds, this has failed, and much of Europe now looks forward to a very cold and expensive winter. It may be that other parts of the sanctions package are hurting, or will hurt, Russia in time. So far, though, the damage has all been one-way.

    Even now, Russia has not actually cut off the gas. But the flows—according to Russia, for technical reasons, according to the West for political reasons—have been reduced and become less predictable. The fear is that, come winter, Russia will turn off the taps. But it was Europe that first reached for the “energy weapon.” Any halt to supplies will be Russia’s response.

    So while there is indeed a link between energy prices and the Ukraine war, any attempt by the EU or the UK to pin the blame on Russia will pose the question that has so far barely been broached, let alone answered: How far will people accept hardship for the sake of a principle—punishing an aggressor—and how far will they continue to support a war they were never asked to approve—either in Parliament or in any other public forum?

    Even in Germany, where the public has been hugely supportive of Ukraine—generally more supportive, it has often seemed, than their chancellor—and where the government has been considerably more open about the risks than the government in the UK, support for stronger military support has declined, as the costs for ordinary Germans have started to become clear.

    The UK could be one of the last European countries to turn against the war, not only because of Boris Johnson’s high-profile stand in support of President Volodymyr Zelensky—a stand that both of Johnson’s possible successors have pledged to continue—but also because here there is perhaps the widest gap in all Europe between leaders and led. No minister has been in any hurry to explain the link between support for the war and the energy price spiral.

    Even as the candidates profess continuity on foreign policy, however, the next prime minister will have to face some awkward realities. Despite the advantage of oil and gas from the North Sea and its early embrace of renewables, the UK has been shown to be just as vulnerable to a global energy shock as anyone else. Presented with a choice between affordably warm homes in winter and continuing to defend Ukraine against Russia, what would the voting public choose?

    Twice in recent days there have been unconfirmed reports that the UK is involved in secret talks with different parties to the war, though precisely to what end is unclear. Could it be a prelude to a change in policy with less emphasis on military support and more on diplomacy? Any answer will have to wait until the UK has a new government.

    The cost of continuing to provide military support to Ukraine while providing minimal protection to Britons against unaffordable energy prices in winter and the inflation that comes with that, however, could be fatal to a government that will inevitably be led by someone without Boris Johnson’s persuasive charisma. And if public pressure forces the UK—which has been in many ways the cheerleader for a military victory—to start advocating a diplomatic outcome, that could spell the end of the always fragile European consensus and, with it, the end of Europe’s military defense of Ukraine.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/world/will-europe-fracture-over-the-war-with-ukraine/

    Dejevsky seems to think that whatever occurs at Westminster following the replacement of Johnson as PM will have great repercussions in Europe.

    No mention of NATO expansion towards the Russian western border.

    No mention of the USA coup in the Ukraine in 2014.

    No mention of Russia defending its own security.

    No mention of the Ukraine joining NATO.

    No mention of the 8-year-long Ukraine “Anti Terrorist Operation” in the Donbass and the Banderites’ war crimes there.

    No mention of the repeated refusal of the Banderastan to implement the Minsk agreements.

    No mention of Banderite fascism.

    No mention of the USA sabotaging Russian gas supply to Germany.

    No mention of USA interference in the energy policies of European sovereign states.

    And on and on and on.

    And the cherry on Dejevsky’s ramblings . . .

    Boris Johnson’s persuasive charisma!!!

    Like

    1. Martin Lewis who runs MoneySavingsExpert and is basically double jobbing as UK chancellor at the moment, has already called out the narrative on energy being affected by Ukraine because he pointed out that only 4% of UK energy is from Russian oil and gas. Not just him either. Only BBC and a few other Tory sources refusing to publish this, but I think even the BBC will have to soon. I guess Mary Dejevsky is in a mostly Tory echo chamber in London or wherever she lives.

      Like

      1. I recall how, whenever Dejevsky wrote an opinion piece in the loathsome “Guardian”, wherein what she wrote might have been construed as supportive of the Evil Empire, idiot commenters used to write that she had a Russian name.

        Her family name could also be Polish, but no matter.

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        1. I am not sure. A friend in Leeds’ daughter was at a something with her in Russia at some point in 80s I think. They had a reunion a few years ago, Mary Dejevsky wrote about it but I can’t find now and can’t remember what it said.

          Like

          1. Dejevsky studied Russian in the USSR, as did I. What is more, she studied Russian in the USSR at the same place as I did: Voronezh State University.

            She’s in her 60s, so she must have studied in Voronezh about 40 years ago. She, therefore must have studied there before I did, because I only went into full time higher education when I was 38 and I studied in the USSR 1989-1990. I celebrated my 41st birthday when I was a student in Voronezh.

            Forty-odd years ago, when Dejevsky was studying in Voronezh, I was working down the pit, studying a coal cutter advancing along a coal face.

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

              1. There were two young women from England when I was at Voronezh University — from Manchester. The other young women were from the “Home Counties” and another was from Edinburgh and another from Belfast.

                Interestingly, I noticed almost immediately that the “posh” girls clearly suffered from “culture shock”, in that they never socialised with Russians, seemed afraid of them and simply huddled together in their rooms in the students’ hostel at weekends, whereas the Northern girls and the Scot and the Irish girl were like me: socialised and boozed Russian style. It was the same with the male students: northerners, Scots and Irish and one Welshman— no edge on them, the rest — “stuck up”.

                The Russians noticed this as well with the stuck up ones, male and female.

                Английские снобы! — English snobs.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I went so native there that many Russians were convinced that I had Russian forebears. This misconception of theirs was further strengthened by my use of Денис Денисович when giving my name and patronymic in Russian, for if I were Russian it would be so, as my father’s name was also Denis.

                  It was also noticed at the time that I could drink most Russians under the table, even though changing one’s favourite tipple from Tetley Bitter to Moskovsksya vodka is something of a quantum leap.

                  Liked by 1 person

  20. Here’s a piece that might be of interest to those who are still awake, and most especially to Americans like Patient Observer. I honestly do not know if Shadowstats can be believed, I don’t think I have the economic chops to check their work. But they have been around a long time, have long predicted a worsening economic situation in America which is inarguably and verifiably worsening before our eyes, and I’m inclined to believe they generally know what they’re talking about – especially on the unemployment and inflation rates, which simply cannot be what the US gummint says they are.

    “The economic decay is easily provable, but our cultural and societal degeneration has exceeded our economic deterioration. Just as the Roman Empire exhibited particular traits of a dying culture, the American Empire displays similar characteristics, such as: concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; obsession with sex and perversions of sex; art becoming freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original; widening disparity between very rich and very poor; increased demand to live off the state.”

    I don’t expect a lot of argument there. Especially the woke preoccupation with sexual expression and general letting it all hang out in public, with those who object to such crudity and classless debauchery shouted down as exactly the kind of stuffy prudes who stifle the march of freedom.

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2022/08/21/fading-smile-of-a-dying-empire/#more-276472

    Like

    1. Camille Paglia, author of Sexual Personae, has argued for years that transgenderism and erosion of traditional sex roles are evidence of cultural decadence and decline, seen in the late Roman empire and other periods and places. She’s not welcome on most university campuses or mainstream media, even though she’s one of the more interesting cultural/literary critics out there. Not surprised she’s ostracized by the reigning cultural Stalinists, but I am surprised Germaine Greer, feminist icon of the 70s, is now spurned by all–for saying a trans woman isn’t actually a woman.

      Like

    2. A fantastic read – thank you Mark. My first reaction – yes! The writer in glowing and compelling prose captured the multi-faceted decay of the US (now US Imperium). My second reaction – why is it happening? Is it the “rags-riches-rag” cycle on display on a global scale? Or is it something much deeper and longer lived? Is the collapse of the US Imperium an epicycle in a larger pattern in Western history? What drives these cycles? A psychological hurricane that takes centuries to evolve/collapse? The rise of Christianity, the Schism, the Jungian Shadow/Other dogging the Western fantasy of eternal progress/supremacy? Or is it nonphysical entities that have infected our collective psyche? Hard to say on a Sunday morning, Thanks again for the link to such a provocative website.

      Like

    3. Regarding true inflation, it is a widely accepted belief that the US inflation data is highly cooked and seasoned to under-report true inflation. One technique used to is to reclassify what items are monitored. For example, the “grocery basket” has been changed to replace expensive steaks with hamburger (hey, meat is meat). I suppose bugs will replace hamburger in the coming years (hey, protein is protein). And Soylent Green will replace bugs.

      Even Tucker Carlson highlighted false inflation data in a recent broadcast. Based on real inflation data, the US GDP has been in decline for decades however massive public and private borrowing with its accumulating and unpayable deficits have hidden that reality.

      Like

  21. National Interest

    Course Correcting Toward Diplomacy in the Ukraine Crisis
    August 12, 2022

    Washington must come to terms with its role in provoking and now prolonging the war.

    In effect, the American public has been bamboozled into supporting a costly and risky proxy war against Russia. Then, it was actively led to believe that Ukraine was winning the fight, despite later reports that the U.S. intelligence community has lacked an accurate portrayal of the war on the ground from its very onset.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/course-correcting-toward-diplomacy-ukraine-crisis-204171

    Desperately seeking an exit ramp?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly, probably.. ..

      It reads a bit like a major academic paper converted to a more popular form. It looks like an attempt to inject some actual actual factual information into the US discourse and tone down a bit of the really crazy rhetoric.

      M. K. Bhadrakumar has an interesting analysis of Biden’s recent speech which makes it look that the US may want to get rid of Zelensky. I wonder if the US likes Dmitry Medvedev’s idea of a coup which would help them “negotiate with honour” so to speak. Ground beneath Zelensky’s feet is shifting Combined with some of the NYT pieces it looks like some of Washington wants out.

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      1. The future of Western Europe is perhaps uppermost in the headquarters of the Imperium. Can popular uprisings sweep away the Eurocrats leaving the potential for full integration of Western Europe into the Eurasian economic zone? That would be too much given that Africa is likely already lost and Latin American has gone wobbly. Japan and Australia are reliable but may be more like baggage than assets.

        The evolving strategy may be to abandon the Ukraine project and create a new psychological front line openly based on the Nazi/Catholic/Supremacist foundation of Western Europe.

        Like

      2. That’s just it – Washington should not be allowed an out. Washington wrote and executed the script in every important way, and it should be left with the tarbaby firmly stuck to its hands. It is more unfortunate than I can express that young Ukrainians – hell, any Ukrainians except nationalists and Nazis – have been and are being killed, but their Churchillian leader committed them despite ample offers by Russia to negotiate reasonably, because he somehow saw Russia being crushed and humbled by Ukraine + the Western Alliance. The country must pay the wages of stupidity and hate. And the United States should absolutely not be allowed to shit in the front yard and simply walk away. This ghoulish and selfish escapade should cost America for decades and it should receive the butcher’s bill for the wrecking of Ukraine, because it orchestrated the entire program. Russia played its part only when forced into it, and tried every reasonable choice other than war until it became inescapable that nothing short of war would do.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ha, ha, ha!!! ‘Lacked an accurate portrayal’, oh, ha, ha, ha!! My ribs!!! Yes, fire the guy at CIA who replenishes the bottled water, the traitorous scoundrel; imagine, leading us astray like that!!! Naturally exactly zero ‘analysts’ or executives who – theoretically – accept responsibility for the accuracy of intelligence product will be disciplined. It will be another of those ‘fog of war’ things.

      Anyway, nothing is going to change about American policy – which always lags failure by a considerable margin – until Ukraine’s utter collapse. Then the Russians will be the bullies for not having offered it an exit ramp earlier, instead ruthlessly pursuing it to complete destruction.

      Like

  22. The Banderite prima-Donna strikes a pose again.

    Former Ukraine ambassador to Germany Melnyk has cancelled an invitation to Kiev of Prime Minister of Saxony Kretschmer
    August 28, 2022

    Former Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnik has changed his mind about inviting the Premier of Saxony Michael Kretschmer to Kiev: he wrote about this on Twitter.

    The reason for this was a statement by the Prime Minister of Germany on the need to freeze military operations in the Ukraine and start negotiations.

    “I invited you to the Ukraine. This invitation has been cancelled”, Melnyk said.

    On April 12, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky refused to receive German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Kiev, as he accused him of having ties with Russia. After that, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was refusing to visit Kiev because of Zelensky’s unwillingness to receive the President of Germany.

    https://turbo.lenta.ru/news/2022/08/28/melnik/

    [British orthography used above as I have translated it from Russian with the help of auto translate and I speak British English — ME]

    Well, a girl is allowed to change her mind, isn’t she?

    But what position does the idiot now hold? I thought he was no longer Banderastan ambassador to Germany. Is it within his remit, whatever that now may be, to invite foreign politicians to Kiev?

    Deutsche Welle gives the following crap:

    German state leader ‘not wanted’ in Ukraine after war remarks
    4 hours ago

    State premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, drew the ire of Ukraine’s ambassador in Germany over a suggestion that the Russian war be “frozen” to give diplomacy a chance.

    Kyiv’s ambassador in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, rescinded an invitation to the Premier of Germany’s Saxony state, Michael Kretschmer to visit Ukraine.

    “I invited you to Ukraine. This invitation has been canceled. You are not wanted. Period,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

    He was upset over Kretschmer’s suggestion that the war in Ukraine be “frozen” to give diplomacy a chance.
    The German Christian Democrat politician made the remark during an appearance on the “Markus Lanz” television chat show.

    “With your absurd rheoric about the freezing of the Russian war you are playing into Putin’s hands and fueling Russian aggression,” Melnyk said.

    What exactly Kretschmer said

    During the TV show Kretschmer argued that the debate on the war in Ukraine had become too one-dimensional and that more European and global efforts should be made to set up peace talks, even if Russia currently claims not to be interested.

    “I think a big problem in the current debate is that we have a narrowing of opinion to one point of view, with one line of argumentation, and I think we need much more of a broad debate, a mix of arguments, for and against. Particularly with such vast questions of war and peace, it’s extremely important.”

    He said he considered negotiations the only way to end the war.

    “There’s a terrible war criminal sitting in Moscow, that’s correct. He currently does not want to negotiate, that’s correct too. And that means that this conflict can only be won on the battlefield, no, that’s not correct.”

    Kretschmer added it was important to “bring the aggressor to a position where it also takes part,” while standing by Ukraine.

    “We must try to assure that a frozen conflict can be created out of this hot war, a situation we have in many other parts of the world, so that the possibility of negotiations in the coming years or even decades can be enabled.”

    Although Lanz is nominally a panel show, the episode from August 24 changed into more of a group interrogation of Kretschmer conducted by the host and the other guests.

    Kretschmer also voiced support for German weapons deliveries to Ukraine, and for sanctions against Russia. But he also argued that they would not be sustainable long term, pointing both to energy-related issues at home and broader problems like rising food prices and their impact around the world. Therefore, he said, it was crucial to continue pressing for a negotiated solution, and “the sooner, the better.”

    More friction between Germany and Ukraine

    Six months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tensions between German politicians and their counterparts in Kyiv, or outgoing Ambassador Melnyk, have often surfaced.

    What’s unusual in this instance is that it’s a Christian Democrat politician in the firing line, whereas for the most part Ukraine has been upset by Social Democrats and their past or their comments.

    The most famous [sic] case is former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, whose close ties to Russian energy companies and President Vladimir Putin have become internationally famous[sic]. Schröder has met with Putin twice since the war broke out and has issued a series of defiant interviews defending himself and his conduct. He also filed a lawsuit against the German parliament, the Bundestag, for taking away some of his state privileges in May.

    Previous Chancellor Angela Merkel, a Christian Democrat, has also faced criticism from Kyiv, and has also stood up for her past policies. However, even her eastern European critics would be more likely to accuse her of strategic errors during her tenure, not of seeking lucrative retirement jobs with Russian state-owned energy giants.

    https://amp.dw.com/en/german-state-leader-not-wanted-in-ukraine-after-war-remarks/a-62953505

    [USA English orthography and punctuation above as the DW article is in North American English, Germany being a US colony; the DW speakers of English seem not to know the difference in meaning between “famous” and “infamous” — ME]

    So it seems that the big girl’s blouse is still ambassador to Germany, but is “outgoing”.

    Taking him a long time to fuck off!

    And Kretschmer spews the usual shite and outright lies about the criminality of the Russian president and of Russia’s refusal to negotiate with Hoholand.

    Like

    1. An appropriate Twitter reply might be “I invited you to get your odious carcass out of Germany, and to never return. The invitation remains open.”

      “There’s a terrible war criminal sitting in Moscow, that’s correct. He currently does not want to negotiate, that’s correct too. And that means that this conflict can only be won on the battlefield, no, that’s not correct.”

      Pretty much all horseshit. If Putin is a war criminal for having engaged in war as resistance to relentless pressure to bring about the destruction and disintegration of the state over which he presides, then every leader who has done so is a war criminal and the prisons would be filled with many the west considers heroes. Russia has never claimed to be unwilling to negotiate, but that negotiation under the prevailing conditions – whereby all the conquered and lost territory, including Crimea, be returned to Ukraine – is pointless.

      Like

    1. I’m not sure what Paul’s trigger was on Ukraine – perhaps there is Ukrainian in his lineage somewhere or something – or why he would view Russia’s military attack on Ukraine as something it did because it is evil and not because it was pushed that way until the alternatives had been reduced to (1) strike or (2) capitulate. But it is obvious that it is not because he ‘doesn’t get it’. His writing on the subject since, and especially this piece, highlights that he is the same pragmatic academic with the same respect for provable facts as he ever was, the same acerbic broadcaster of sarcastic disappointment when institutions who purport to be for the public good are instead deliberately and clumsily leading it astray; in fact, in the latter category he has instead improved, if my assessment is worth anything. I remain an enthusiastic supporter. This, for example:

      “This is unlikely to be a productive enterprise. Some psychological research indicates that exposing disinformation doesn’t convince people that it is false and may even have the opposite result. Those who are inclined to distrust authority do not believe what it tells them about truth or untruth – indeed, the fact that the distrusted authority is telling them something is untrue may even strengthen their belief that it is the opposite, and the very repetition of the false information may reinforce it in people’s minds. A meta-analysis of debunking studies concluded that debunking “often inadvertently strengthen[s] the misinformation,” particularly when lacking in detail, but that even a “detailed debunking message also correlated positively with the misinformation-persistence effect.” Furthermore, the term disinformation is much abused. Strictly speaking, it refers to information that is not only untrue but which is known to be untrue, but which is nevertheless spread due to a malign intent to deceive. But much of what is designated disinformation is more accurately “misinformation” – in other words, false but not known to be false and not spread with malign intent. Much alleged “disinformation” also falls within the category of opinion, there being a tendency to believe that one’s opinions are “truth” and that contrary views are objectively false. The labeling of things as disinformation serves to stifle contrary opinions and legitimate public debate. If one was a cynic, one might even think that that was the point.”

      I am actually encouraged by this; it implies there are fewer stupid people in the country than might be imagined by appearances, and that the group which is inclined to dig in its heels when it is pushed around might be larger. Whatever the case, this is the kind of insight which inspires, because I am so personally done with the Canadian government at all levels. Its performance during the phony pandemic, followed by its ridiculous mischaracterization of the truckers and supporters of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ as terrorists did it for me, irrevocably and forever. These historical events showed the Canadian government as not a bit better than dictatorial authorities of any time period, just as the former event did in Australia and New Zealand, and gathering about themselves the mantle of The Public Good should not deceive anyone, since that, too, is the excuse of dictators since the dawn of time. We must face the reality that our wishes and our causes and especially our votes mean essentially nothing; that the government has in mind a plan for most things proposed and its maneuvering after that is merely to demonstrate broad support for what it wanted and intended to do anyway. In a brighter society it would have been clear immediately that the adoption of ‘vaccine passes’ and actions to take away your employment if you did not comply with governmental direction to ‘vaccinate’ – if presented as taking place in a dictatorial whipping-boy country like, say, Venezuela – were hugely unpopular and broadly condemned. I’m sure that’s why it was portrayed as an heroic sacrifice for your friends and neighbours, just a ‘community’ thing to do. And the dull and stupid happily went along, just as they will do the next time and the next. Did it stop the coronavirus? Arguably not – ‘arguably’ because the gathering of statistics and the mis-attribution of death by coronavirus ensured official records would reflect whatever narrative those in power want to peddle, and defensive screeching that vaccination prevents death and severe illness due to a virus that some 85% recovered easily from without any intervention at all is exactly the sort of justification I mean.

      I didn’t mean to get off on a rant about COVID, but government’s performance on that issue crossed the line for me. The actions and rhetoric of the Trudeau ‘government’ on Russia before and since were just relatively-predictable obedient-vassal behavior expected by a country hugely dependent on trade with the United States. However, government’s portrayal of its maneuvers as ‘the whole country is with us’ suggests it regards the electorate as totally vapid and slow-witted. Paul Robinson’s work suggests this is perhaps not the case. Thanks for posting that link.

      Like

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