Tom Luongo analyzes the substance of the national players in Russia and the US, vs the media portrayals which shape public perceptions of the conflict, and public emotions. While Russia fights an unusually lopsided "police action" to de-nazify Ukraine, destroy it's NATO-harmonious military structure, impose neutrality and a political restart, and assure the safety of ethnic Russians, western propaganda only misinforms and shows pictures of Ukrainian children murdered by Ukrainian Azov Battalion and similar groups, and shows Vladimir Putin scowling, as the perpetrator.
Russia trolled the west in early February about the predicted "invasion of Ukraine", asking what day it would begin, and pointing out that they had nowhere near enough forces near the border to invade. Indeed, they did not have, not by any traditional military calculation. The NATO-trained Ukrainian army and reservists number about 600,000. An invading force should be 3 X that, so 1,800,00. Russia had about 200,000 military personnel on Ukraine's border, enough to repel and counter-attack, but not to invade. The US/NATO were aware of this, and would naturally have expected a much smaller Russian action to defend Donbass civilians, as artillery attacks upon them were ramped up to 1200 shells per day in mid February.
Russian forces did something original in warfare. They "invaded" with 1/3 of the defending force, and are making it work. They held their best units and modern equipment in reserve, against a counter-attack by the main enemy, NATO. They are not destroying cities and knocking out food supplies and utilities, because the people of Ukraine are not to be subjugated, just as the Russians have been saying. They are exhausting the Ukrainian military forces and, indeed, concentrating upon ridding the Donbass of the right-wing Ukrainian nationalist forces, by first making them run out of fuel, artillery and sleep.
Putin's interviews with Oliver Stone in 2016 are referenced, and compared to Lindsey Graham's calls to somehow assassinatePutin to fix this problem. Stone asked Putin about the multiple assassination attampts, which had already been made upon his life. Putin resolutely replied with a Russian folk saying that, "he who is destined to hang, does not drown". Putin long ago invested his earthly life in the cause of Russian Nationalism. He made self deprecating humor with this saying, while making clear that he saw his fated-destiny as the deciding factor in what his life span might be.
Western politicians, who have no skin-in-the game, are experiencing surprise and frustration at being caught unprepared for a real war with Russia. The Russian leader has lost the propaganda war in the west, but the Russian nation is galvanized, with Russian skin in the game. The rest of the world is watching the western empire, again paralyzed by a much smaller, yet more determined opponent.
Propaganda lies are very unlikely to galvanize western populations to the point where they are prepared to fight a land war in their home-towns. Somehow 1/3 of Americans do answer a poll that they support risking nuclear war to thwart Russian aggression. Is this the victory of concept over substance?
The Vineyard of the Saker blog looks at the Psy-Ops, which the west is winning at-home, but has lost in Russia, as fifth-columninsts and sixth-columnists duck and cover (he defines these terms well, which I needed). The first week of the war went extremely well from a purely military point of view, but from a socio-political point of view, I know that a lot of Russian vacillated and really freaked out.
But then, the western PSYOPs made a huge mistake: they gave free reign to truly rabid and racist russophobia while, at the same time, openly proclaiming the Nazi regime in Kiev as “heroic” defenders of the West. It is one thing to hear that your dictator Putin and his Mordor will be sanctioned to smithereens and quite another to feel the overt, direct and targeted hatred against you and your people, that is something you perceive less with your mind and more, I would say, with you “skin” or “guts”. Once it became obvious that the West’s hate for Russia is absolute and total and that the “best” Russians can hope from our “western friends” is to be treated like Native Americans or the Boers by the Anglos, which is not different at all from how the Nazis treated Russians, most Russian figured out what this was really all about since Day 1 and even much before (I would argue since about 1000 years).
That was pretty much all it took to “switch over” the mode of many Russians from “of my God, what will happen next?” to “we shall never surrender” or, on the words of Molotov, “Ours is a righteous cause. The enemy shall be defeated. Victory will be ours” (June 22, 1941).
For the past six years, the American people have been emotionally manipulated by what I call “manufactured waves of outrage”. Once the corporate media identifies a trigger, it will obsessively focus on it for weeks or months on end, and the narrative that develops will be echoed and magnified by millions upon millions of social media denizens. Before too long, much of the population is whipped up into an irrational emotional frenzy, and that frenzy is used to move certain agendas forward.
Michael Snyder looks at the emotional-fatigue Americans have been subjected to by the psy-ops employed here on the-home-front since 2016.6 Years Of Being Manipulated By Manufactured Waves Of Outrage With No End In Sight
John Ward looks at Credit-Default-Swap risks in the western financial system. Russia did not "default" on bonded debt to westerners Friday, even though Russian central bank assets were frozen by the US/EU/UK. Russia deposited Rubles in Russian banks for the creditors. If Russia does the same thing next month, "default" will be declared, and the network of CDSs will be called, with lots of counterparties failing, which cannot actually be calculated, because these instruments obscure risk, rather than mitigating it, as real insurance would. Germany may be on-tap for more than Germany can conceivably cover. In a nutshell, driving Russia into default risks a nuclear chain reaction that is impossible to predict….and anyone telling you otherwise (eg the Pentagon) is lying.
Ultimately, NATO could well find itself sitting in Europe alongside bankrupt donators, and wondering what to do next. Somehow, I doubt very much if media demonisation is going to cut it in that context. But I am very clear on the fact that the Great Reset numpties haven’t done proper due diligence on the outcome….and even where they have, you can rest assured that the audit guys were lying to them.
Moon of Alabama has "bits of interest from the war in Ukraine". These 3 seem most important to me. There is good perspective,also.
Destroyed Kiev shopping mall was used as weapon and ammunition depot.
Despite a hopeless situation the government in Kiev rejects to end war in Mariupol.
Unconfirmed: Zelensky rejects Ukrainian military request for retreat from the Donbas front.
SouthFront says that the main actions of the Russian and Novorussian forces are concentrated upon final elimination of Ukrainian military forces from Mariupol and the Donbass. Those forces cannot be reinforced and have been denied permission to make and orderly retreat. They are being sacrificed. As of March 20, fierce street fighting continues in the city of Mariupol. Units of the Russian Armed Forces and DPR were developing their advance in the city. The grouping of Kyiv’s forces encircled there is being gradually destroyed.
It is interesting to note that according to satellite images that appeared online the operation is supported by Russian warships.
The airstrike has eliminated more than 100 Ukrainian special ops troops and foreign soldiers of fortune, he added.
Foreign "trainers" are successfully targeted again, and are moving to Poland as a result. Russian forces hit a Ukrainian special forces training center early on Sunday, killing more than 100 local troops and foreign mercenaries, the Ministry of Defense has said.
A Ukrainian Special Operations Forces training center near the town of Ovruch in the northern Zhytomyr Region, which hosted the mercenaries, was targeted by “high-precision air-launched missiles,” ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said during a briefing.
A week ago, Russia destroyed another mercenary base at the Yavoriv range in the western Lviv region, saying that up to 180 foreign fighters were killed there.
Kiev disputed those numbers and put the death toll at 35 people. It also insisted that all those who died in the attack were Ukrainian.
If Poland is to be the new NATO staging ground to support the anti-Russian side of the Ukrainian civil-war, then Polish and mercenary forces, and supply-trains will need much better defenses, much much better. Are you sure you want to try this?
UK to deploy air defense missiles to Poland
London says the move will protect Warsaw against “Russian aggression”.
The Patriot missile system will be used to protect one NATO base in Slovakia. It augments Soviet era S-300 missiles to target incoming airplane and missile attacks.Ukraine’s neighbor begins deployment of NATO’s air defense system
The US-made Patriot system won’t be a replacement for the Russian S-300, Slovakia’s defense minister has said
There are currently no defenses against this new "Kinzhal" missile system. It has been used to destroy a hardened underground bunker. "The combat use of the Kinzhal air-launched missile system has confirmed its effectiveness in destroying highly protected special enemy targets," he said. "Strikes by this air-launched missile system at military infrastructure facilities of Ukraine during the special military operation will continue."
The Kinzhal missile is used with a conventional warhead, the spokesman said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018, gave a brief summary of the Kinzhal missile system’s characteristics: Its speed is 10 times the speed of sound; the range is more than 2,000 km; the missile can perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight, which allows it to overcome all air defense and missile defense systems, and can be equipped with conventional and nuclear warheads.
So if "we" sanction "everybody", "We Win", right?US Recklessly Eyes China as Target in Economic War , Joe Lauria
After these statements it seemed clear the U.S. was trying to lay the groundwork for a truly reckless idea: to tie China to the war so it could sanction it perhaps along the lines of what the West has already laid on Russia.
Then on Thursday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spelled it out: “We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence with President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support. Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression, while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter.” He added: “We will not hesitate to impose costs.”...
All this was preparation for President Joe Biden’s video-call on Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which Biden warned Xi not to help Russia’s war effort in Ukraine or there would be “consequences” to pay...
Xi, however, warned Biden that the U.S. sanctions on Russia could trigger a worldwide economic crisis, apparently implying that the crisis would be far worse if the sanctions were extended to China...
The U.S. recognizes that its economic war against Russia could well fail because of the close and expanding economic and financial ties between Moscow and Beijing. But it is too late for the United States...
The U.S. has turned the majority of the world’s population against it. And it is now threatening to blow up the world economy. Cutting off trade and finance to Russia has already boomeranged on Western countries, driving up prices, especially at the pump. Instead of prompting a popular uprising in Russia as a result of its sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity has actually risen since the invasion.
Adding China as a target of its economic war could drive the populations of the U.S. and Europe against their own governments instead.
This is an insightful and even-handed explanation of the many layers of history of this region.
Historic roots of the Donbass problem explained
The region has a distinct identity and doesn’t fit neatly into either Russia or Ukraine
Moon of Alabama looks at what the likely borders of the new Ukraine and Novorusia are likely to be after the police-action finishes.
David Stockman gives his (colorful and punchy) historical rundown and makes a similar guess as to what the new borders will be, for the same reasons.
Is the Petrodollar Swaying? By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog
The Petrodollar was meant to be a win-win agreement in which America propped up its economy, and in return supplied Saudi Arabia with security.
As time went by, the deal became increasingly one-sided, one in which Saudi Arabia was getting the spiky end of the pineapple. The Saudis have been feeling shafted for a long time, but they did not have enough intestinal fortitude to stand up and show their dismay to Uncle Sam...
America does not expect MBS to only condemn Russia and mirror the sanctions, but it also expects him to pump more oil into the global market in order to meet the shortfall created by the sanctions.
MBS is not playing ball the way America wants him to play. He is refusing to condemn Russia, thus far refusing to lift oil production. But most seriously, he is discussing with China doing oil transactions in the Yuan (Renminbi) instead of the USD...
MBS seems to be maturing enough to know how to play the game of the big boys. What is really pertinent is that the so-called Petrodollar, and what is left of its future, rest in his hands; and America has no say in this. Even as I finalize this article, news of a USD collapse is already being reported on the mainstream media. With the deployment of the Kinzhal missile yesterday, the first-ever use of hypersonic weapons in combat, we can surely be certain that the changes we are witnessing now, economic or military, are not ones that the West ever desired or envisaged.
Natural gas contains more hydrogen and less carbon, so makes less CO2 when burned. It is presented as a "transition fuel", but the cost of extracting it is rising rapidly. The current energy return on energy invested is workable, but becomes unworkable for the current industrial system if the investment-cost of gas effectively doubles. It is expected to triple or quadruple by 2050. Thanks Charles.Assessing Global Long-Term EROI of Gas: A Net-Energy Perspective on the Energy Transition
..We find that the energy necessary to produce gas (including direct and indirect energy and material costs) corresponds to 6.7% of the gross energy produced at present, and is growing at an exponential rate: by 2050, it will reach 23.7%.
Food insecurity makes human populations warlike.NOAA Warns US Megadrought Will Persist; May Impact Food Supply Chains
..War isn’t a modern invention, but an ancient, fundamental part of our humanity. Historically, all peoples warred. Our oldest writings are filled with war stories. Archaeology reveals ancient fortresses and battles, and sites of prehistoric massacres going back millennia.
Why did "we" win over "them" after 100,000 years of competition? Immune systems? More fertile? Adapted better to something or other? Thanks Charles.
War in the time of Neanderthals: How our species battled for supremacy for over 100,000 years,,Predatory land mammals are territorial, especially pack-hunters. Like lions, wolves and Homo sapiens, Neanderthals were cooperative big-game hunters. These predators, sitting atop the food chain, have few predators of their own, so overpopulation drives conflict over hunting grounds. Neanderthals faced the same problem; if other species didn’t control their numbers, conflict would have...
To war is human – and Neanderthals were very like us.
To war is human – and Neanderthals were very like us. We’re remarkably similar in our skull and skeletal anatomy, and share 99.7% of our DNA. Behaviourally, Neanderthals were astonishingly like us. They made fire, buried their dead, fashioned jewellery from seashells and animal teeth, made artwork and stone shrines. If Neanderthals shared so many of our creative instincts, they probably shared many of our destructive instincts, too...
..The best evidence that Neanderthals not only fought but excelled at war, is that they met us and weren’t immediately overrun. Instead, for around 100,000 years, Neanderthals resisted modern human expansion...
..Why else would we take so long to leave Africa? Not because the environment was hostile but because Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe and Asia...
I think that to avoid our warlike group impulses we need to keep ourselves securely fed. However, we outgrow our food supplies. When this happens, our sociopathic rulers direct us to kill our neighbors and take their food supplies and territory.
I see this coming our way. My proactive adaptation is to grow a garden and store a bit of food in a rural area where the weather mostly won't actually kill you if you run out of fuel and electricity. This just mitigates our chances of being targeted, I think. It's what we can manage. To be more safe, we need to improve food security of the community. How does one family do that? I have various long term community-garden ideas. I see people in Yoakum growing vegetables already. It's traditional, Most people don't grow vegetables. Our garden is well displayed to the street.
It's not a very busy street. We're probably not very influential.
(pictured pushing the mower by the spring equinox garden yesterday)