Thursday, September 1, 2022

Sneak Attack


  I had a long stack of links, which I still do, and I'll sure include them, but the IAEA Inspection of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant jumps to the front because of a daring Ukrainian commando assault on the plant when the Russian soldiers left the plant to let the inspectors have complete access to the Ukrainian civilian employees. It is unclear if the Ukrainian commandos intended to hold the IAEA inspectors hostage, but it would allow them to hold the plant against Russian forces, if they did. The situation may be in flux. The Military Summary Channel has the story. Thanks AFKTT.

​  ​The UN-IAEA convoy was seen being waved through Russian checkpoints in the Russian-controlled town of Enerhodar en route to the site amid "increased military activity in the area". Each side is blaming the other for the fresh shelling. An IAEA spokesperson said the mission had been delayed for three hours as the team was held up on the Ukrainian side of the frontline before being given permission to pass.
​  ​In its latest statement, Russia's defense ministry has denounced the efforts of Ukrainian "saboteurs" alleged to have attempted to seize the plant just as the IAEA was en route.​..
​..Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government is accusing the Russians of trying disrupt the IAEA visit, also following accusations that Ukrainian personnel at Zaporizhzhia were tortured in order to cover up the true status of the plant's operations.

Alastair Crooke,   Russia & China’s ‘Financial War’ on the West  Thanks Eleni: 
​..T​oday Russia and China are offering the Global South, Africa and Asia a release from the Western ‘Rules’. They are encouraging the ‘Rest-of-World’ to assert its autonomy and independence -- √† la Bandung.
​  ​Russia, in partnership with China, is building these widespread political relationships on the control of global fossil-fuel supplies and much of the world’s food and raw materials. To further increase Russia’s influence over energy sources upon which the Western belligerents depend, Russia is stitching together a gas ‘OPEC’ with Iran and Qatar, and has also made welcoming overtures to Saudi Arabia and the UAE to join together in taking greater control of all key energy commodities.
​  ​Further, these big producers are joining with big buyers to wrest precious metal and commodity markets out of the hands of London and America – with a view to ending Western manipulation of commodity prices through derivative paper markets.
​  ​The argument advanced by Russian officials to other states is both hugely appealing and simple: The West has turned its back on fossil fuels and is planning to phase them out entirely -- in a decade or so.
They have chosen this track under intense US pressure -- a path which, in the case of Europe, will impose misery on their peoples for years to come.
​  ​However, unpalatable though it be for some, the fact is that world economic growth still requires fossil fuel production. Without more investment and exploration, there is unlikely to be sufficient supply in the medium term to meet likely demand. What is not available anywhere, is a quick means for increasing the physical supply of energy.
​  ​Russia’s message to its partners is that you do not have to join with this masochistic ‘sacrifice politics’. You can have oil and natural gas at a discount to what Europe has to pay. The “Golden Billion” have enjoyed the benefits of modernity, and now they want you to forego it all, and to expose your electorates to extreme hardship, too.

​First strike nuclear warfare has been the US policy since the Cheney-Bush administration. It is a serious policy. The history goes back to 1945 (Churchill/Truman), but it has been active since the GWOT.
“Preemptive Nuclear War”: The Historic Battle for Peace and Democracy. A Third World War Threatens the Future of Humanity

This looks at the dependence of world-leading German industry upon Russian feedstocks of oil and gas. This is a kill-switch for global-finance, as well as German industry.
​  ​Whether he was aware of it or not, Habeck effectively echoed what Zoltan Pozsar said over the weekend, that Europe is facing a Minsky moment triggered by excessive financial leverage "and in the context of supply chains, leverage means excessive operating leverage: in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia… …that’s 100-times leverage – much more than Lehman’s."

  Pepe Escobar has another good perspective piece, Ukraine, Somewhere ​B​etween Afghanization and Syrianization ,and I swipe this nugget out of it:
​  ​Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.
​  ​Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.
​  ​Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.
​  ​Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

​More on that in this article: American Firms Want to Dodge Sanctions and Secretly Trade With Russia Through Turkey
"The US Ambassador to Ankara Jeffry Flake, who assessed the visit, said that 5,000 US companies preparing to leave Russia have listed Turkey as their address. American companies that are trying to take advantage of Turkey's warm relations with Russia also want to benefit from effective logistics capabilities of Turkish companies in the region," the report added.

Moon of Alabama has this. Remember that advanced weapons systems are a form of global currency, like oil, convertible to gold, Rubles, $US, anything, even other weapons.
Ukraine - A Frontline Report - Vanishing Foreign Weapons

​Kishida is a Japanese nationalist, like his recently assassinated mentor, Shinzo Abe.  Japan needs reliable electricity and has to maintain engineering capabilities by building nuclear power plants.
Japan’s nuclear revival in a race against time
PM Kishida signals nuclear policy shift just as the shuttered industry’s manufacturing and technical expertise is slipping away

  Chinese experts are advocating shooting down Elon Musk's Starlink satellites on national-security grounds. They have noticed how it is being used in Ukraine.

  Colonized African countries were helped by the USSR to throw off that yoke, and many Africans got educated in the USSR, later Russia. Africans are determined to stop being bled by the west.
​  ​A recent gathering of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed its displeasure with recent legislation making its way through the United States Congress which is aimed at punishing the continent for its diplomatic and trade relations with the Russian Federation.

​Consciousness of Sheep has a very good article. This writer advocates using remaining fossil--fuels as prudently and sparingly as possible to descend gradually to whatever will later be possible.​
Net Zero is Dead, So Now What?
​  ​The problem with both sides of the growing political chasm around net zero is that they don’t understand energy.  The greens who advocate even more low energy density NRREHTs fail to understand that these cannot provide more than a small fraction of the surplus energy required to power a modern economy.  Thus, following that route leads us to a short-term cascading collapse which is guaranteed to wipe out a large part of the population.  The growing anti-net zero side, on the other hand, fails to understand that high energy cost fossil fuel extraction also deprives us of the surplus energy required to power a modern economy.  So, they too will end up destroying the economy and killing off a large part of the population along with it.
​  ​Perhaps we are fortunate insofar as a large part of the current crisis is artificial.  If cooler heads were to prevail, and given that one way or another, the invasion of Ukraine – which currently looks a lot like the attritional warfare of 1916 – has to end with some kind of negotiated settlement, we could probably still persuade Russia to turn the gas back on… although the more the rest of the world turns to the emerging BRICS system, the harder that is going to be for the western minority to obtain the energy and commodities we depend upon.  But even if we could restore the gas supply from Russia – which is surely preferable to reverting to coal or fracking large swathes of northern England – the underlying energy crisis resulting from depletion and declining surplus energy, together with the need to prevent too much more environmental damage requires that we find another way to end our addiction to fossil fuels.​   
("Addicted" to survival, not heroin, at this point.)

​Does this signal a reversal is about to happen? 
German Foreign Minister Says Support For Ukraine Will Continue "No Matter What Voters Think"

Awaiting Reversals (Jenny pictured in Okra and blackeyed peas)

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