War creates a compelling control narrative which elite owners need in rapidly shifting economic times. There is fear and urgency. Anybody who raises rational questions about the war narrative can be quickly labeled as an "enemy", silenced and disappeared.
My read of history is that global financial economy is breaking down because of corruption, more expensive fuel and mined ores, and promises of retirements and investment returns from a big , empty cookie jar, which is about to break open and reveal the truth.
The loss of faith in the corrupted system suddenly kills it completely. A command-economy, like under Stalin, Hitler or even FDR , can step into this gap, but it will always be ugly and inefficient, and usually corrupt. I expect the corruption to be a sustaining theme, at least until smaller groups of people create self-sustaining local economic arrangements. Growing vegetable gardens in wartime has always been one of these adaptations.
I am looking at the dissipation of the COVID-global-pandemic narrative at the same time that global supply chains and local supply chains are all breaking down.
I don't see some force of trust or technology to right this listing Titanic. I do see a lot of groups of elites standing by lifeboats with machine guns, though.
That is the worldview within which I analyze events, so you may know this about me, and compensate as you might see fit.
Russia seeks to nullify the threat on its border permanently, which means an end to neo-nazi political power, American bioweapons facilities, NATO military infrastructure and training, and installation of friendly politicians. Ukraine will likely be divided up yet again, but this time made smaller. Neighboring countries might acquire parts of Ukraine for better or for worse. It seems that Russia will control all of Ukraine's coasts , then negotiate with other entities for pieces of coast.
Russia will need to secure the nuclear reactors, but does not need to own them. I have seen a report that Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are peacefully co-patrolling the Chernobyl site with no shot ever fired between them. This is a model for constructive engagement, but the western-Ukrainian neo-nazis have installed political officers throughout the Ukrainian military to assure compliance. Putin has encouraged Ukrainian military officers to mutiny from this command structure. Some of that has likely happened in pockets. I sure don't know what will happen going forward.
The Ukrainian neo-nazis in control are surrounding themselves with human shields in every way possible, which makes sense. It is their best short-term defense, as Russia does not want to slaughter civilians. It is not a long term strategy. The city of Mariupol is in "Novorussia" with a lot of civilian identification as "Russian", but a large military contingent of Ukrainian military, with a lot of Azov-Batallion neo-nazis in command. This is set-up as a heroic last-stand for the neo-nazis, with the ability to take a lot of Russian sympathizers and Russians down with them, and to give Russia a shameful black-eye for killing civilians, their own people.
The Russians are trying to "kettle" the massed Ukrainian military in Novorussia, as that army tries to avoid the pincer movements and gain an escape route. One of the alternative options is to take Donetsk City, and gain all of the human shields/hostages there, if an actual escape cannot be made. This is reported in one of the stories. Donetsk is receiving intense artillery and rocket bombardment.
Voktor Orban of Hungary offered Hungary as a safe location for negotiations between Zelensky and Putin/Lavrov, and Russia rested its advancing military for some hours in anticipation (overnight). It appears that Washington nixed negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Only Washington can negotiate with Russia. I am not making this up.
Zelensky is staying and posing with automatic weapons on the streets of Kiev. The neo-nazis will presumably let him live while he does this for the cameras.
He probably would like to negotiate a peace, but he is an important hostage at this point.
Russia is advancing again, with a goal to surround the Ukrainian military, cut them off and negotiate patiently, except when the Ukrainian forces are inflicting massive casualties on Russians or civilians. This is from the Russian experience in Chechnya. Shelling cities is bad. House to house fighting is bad.
Poland and Hungary have prepared for an influx of refugees. They have Ukrainian populations already. They do not want this to last very long.
Central banks are finally making noises about cutting Russia out of the SWIFT electronic financial settlement system. Russia is prepared. Even Germany now sounds prepared.
This should hasten the demise of the $US as global reserve currency.
Who benefits? whose idea is this. The US will not benefit. I'm not sure who will directly benefit, but China might presumably benefit fairly soon. Russia and China are prepared. Iranians and Venezuelans might take dark pleasure in this... Some financial elites must have plans for global electronic digital currency, linked to identity, which will give them complete control, but that cat is also out of the bag, after recent actions in Canadian banking without any warning or due process.
A trustworthy financial system will be sought. Bitcoin uses too much electricity. Things that need the internet will be subject to more and more outages. Spanish "pieces of eight" worked for a long time, but pirates murdered for them. Problems of no-trust are at every turn.
Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, has offered Budapest as a venue of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
Szijjártó said in a live stream on Facebook late on Friday that he had consulted with both Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office chief Andriy Yermak to offer them Budapest as a safe venue for negotiations. Neither side has ruled out the possibility, he said.
Moon of Alabama (Germany) Informative commenters on this blog with some good links and insights. Yesterday the Russian military halted its advance to give time to the Ukrainian president Zelensky to agree to ceasefire talks. The U.S. however told him not to hold such talks and said he should leave Kiev. Up to this morning Russia had received no response to its ceasefire offer and resumed the attack. Zelensky decided to stay in Kiev.
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/02/disarming-ukraine-day-3.html#moreTHE REAL HISTORY BEHIND UKRAINE, PUTIN, THE EU, GAS, & DONBASS
The Saker Blog So, what does all that mean?
It means that we are coming to some kind of informational climax here. So far, in the West, that information is suppressed (even Sputnik and RT are under regular DDoS attack). I won’t even bother on the 500 foot high wave of disinformation produced by western PSYOPs in the social media. The bottom line is this, pretty soon I expect
The operational cauldron in the Donbass to lock in the Ukie forces which did not have time to evacuate
The entire coast from roughly Nikolaev to Mariupol will be liberated
Kiev will be if not physically surrounded, then at least “surrounded by fire”, which means that main axes of evacuation will come under steady Russian fire control
Notice something else. In the 2nd map, some cities in the Russian rear are circled in blue: Chernigov, Konotop, Sumy, Kharkov and Kherson. I would add Mariupol to that list. These are all cities which were cut of from the rest of the Ukie forces, but which still have pockets of resistance inside, that is especially true of Mariupol where a large Nazi contingent appears to be ready to take its last stand.
Unfortunately for Zelenskyy, an end to the fighting would be against the interests of the Biden administration. Highlighting the point, the U.S. State Department does not want Zelenskyy and Putin to meet. The Biden administration conveys a very telling message, from their perspective, saying only the United States is permitted to negotiate with Russia on behalf of Ukraine. Zelenskyy needs to stay out of it...Pipelines are economic choke-holds. Pipelines are worth killing to control.
U.S. President Barack Obama intended even when he entered office in 2009, to replace Syria’s Government, but his decision to replace Ukraine’s Government didn’t come right away. On 12 April 2010, Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych met the democratically elected U.S. President at the White House, to which Obama had invited him, but Yanukovych refused Obama’s suggestions that Ukraine join America’s alliance against Ukraine’s next-door neighbor Russia. (Obama wanted to take over Russia’s main naval base, which since 1783 has been in Crimea, which the Soviet dictator had transferred to Ukraine in 1954, so it was then in Ukraine — Obama was planning for that Russian naval base in Ukraine to become another U.S. naval base, and for Ukraine to be brought into NATO. But Yanukovych said no.) On 2 July 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Yanukovych held a joint press conference in Kiev, where she said that she had discussed with Yanukovych joint military exercises with U.S. forces against his neighbor, Russia. Yanukovych again declined the demands. Obama then assigned Victoria Nuland, Hillary’s friend (and the wife of the famous neoconservative — or American-imperialist — writer, Robert Kagan) to organize a coup against Ukraine, to place it under U.S. control. Planning for the coup was already under way by no later than 23 June 2011, which was even before the Nord Stream project had yet become signed. But after Nord Stream became agreed later in 2011, that proposed pipeline was immediately added to the Ukrainian-takeover target, as something that needed to be cancelled. (Ukraine’s gas-transit fees were crucial financial support to Ukraine’s government, and Obama wanted those fees to be supporting a post-coup Americanized Ukraine.) As CNBC accurately summarized on 11 July 2018: “President Barack Obama opposed Nord Stream 2 and President George W. Bush came out against the original Nord Stream prior to its completion in 2011. Like the central and eastern European countries, they worried it increased Russian influence over the Continent.” Post-WW-II American Presidents wanted America to control Europe, as key allies to conquer Russia. The Nord Stream project was, to a large extent, a European bid to work cooperatively with Russia and finally free itself of U.S. domination over European countries
EU 'Moving Forward' On Russia SWIFT Shut-Out, But Former US Official Says 'Not Nuclear Option'
Eddie Fishman - the former Russia and Europe Lead in the US State Department’s Office of Economic Sanctions Policy and Implementation - responded in a fascinating way:
"No - it’s not even close to being the nuclear option... SWIFT is just a messaging service. If the US and Europe decided to cut Russians banks off from SWIFT without imposing full-blocking sanctions on them, they could still transact with US and European financial institutions - they just couldn’t use SWIFT to do so."
Fishman went on to point out a potentially even bigger blowback consequence for the West's actions: "...and in a perverse way, that may actually increase the demand for SWIFT alternatives, such as Russia’s own System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS)."
Geopolitics and Degrowth, Charles Hugh Smith The Geopolitics of Degrowth holds that real power flows not from waste, centralization and coercion but from decentralization, relocalization and the free flow of value.
Conventional geopolitics is all about more: more military power, more sanctions, more coercion, more influence.
The Geopolitics of Degrowth is all about the power of less: wasting less, consuming less, needing less from other nations, reducing dependence on rivals, reducing coercion and centralized over-reach.
Conventional geopolitics concentrates wealth and political power in a giant dam on the biggest river. Centralized control of massed power is considered the acme of geopolitical strength. Everyone is coerced into funding and relying on the dam.
But this has it backwards: when the centralized dam bursts, the nation is in ruins. This vulnerability isn't power, it's weakness. The Degrowth model of strength is to make local use of every rivulet, stream and tributary, carefully shepherding its sustainability and use.
Unbeknownst to the mainstream, the world has entered an era of scarcity. The current abundance is a temporary flush of the last of the cheap-to-extract resources. Once this illusory abundance has been consumed, all that's left is hard-to-extract, costly resources.
In an era of scarcity, power flows not from coercion but from needing less by consuming less by eliminating the tremendous waste and friction that consumes resources, capital and time without generating any positive returns.
Subsistence Farming Investor
(pictured in homestead upstairs with Jenny after partial rural electrification)