Friday, February 16, 2024

Zugzwang Again

 Damned If You Do,

  Big Serge represents physical realities of military capability and industrial capability clearly and in context.
The Age of Zugzwang , The Merciless Grip of Geostrategic Logic
  Zugzwang (a German word that literally means “move compulsion”) refers to any situation in chess where a player is forced to make a move that weakens his position, such as a king that is backed into a corner to escape from check - each time he moves out of check, he moves himself closer to checkmate. More simply put, Zugzwang refers to a situation where there are no good moves available, but it is your turn...
..I would like to argue that, despite these many powerful emotional-religious currents, much of the Israeli-Arab conflict can be understood in fairly mundane geopolitical terms...
..First, Israel is an Eschatological Garrison State. This is a particular form of state which perceives itself as a sort of redoubt against the end of all things, and accordingly becomes highly militarized and highly willing to dispense military force. Israel is not the only such state to have existed in history, but it is the only obvious one extant today.
  A historical comparison may help explain. In 1453, when the Ottoman Empire at last overran Constantinople and brought an end to the millennia-old Roman imperium, early medieval Russia found itself in a unique position. With the fall of the Byzantines (and the previous schism with western papal Christianity), Russia was now the only Orthodox Christian power remaining in the world. This fact created a sense of world-historic religious siege. Surrounded on all sides by Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Turko-Mongol Khanates, Russia became a prototypical Eschatological Garrison State, with a high degree of cooperation between Church and State and an extraordinary level of military mobilization... 
..Israel is the only Jewish state in the world, founded in the shadow of Auschwitz, besieged on all sides by states with which it has fought several wars. Whether this justifies the kinetic aspects of Israeli foreign policy is not the point. The simple fact is that this is Israel’s innate self conception. It is an eschatological redoubt for a Jewish population that sees itself as having nowhere else to go...
..However, the Eschatological-Garrison nature of the state is not the only way in which Israel is abnormal. It is also quite unusual in that it is a Settler-Colonial State in the 21st century. Israel maintains hundreds of settlements in soft-annexed territories like the West Bank, which are home to half a million Jews. These settlements constitute an effort to demographically strangulate and assimilate Palestinian lands, and cannot be described as anything other than settler-colonialism... 
..Thus, Israel unfolds according to unique geopolitical logic because it is a unique state, having both an Eschatological-Garrison and a Settler-Colonial natureThe viability of the Israeli project depends on the ability of the IDF to maintain powerful deterrence and protect Israeli settlements and settlers from attack. This fact creates a sense of asymmetric vulnerability for Israel... A security asymmetry exists in Israel because the IDF needs to maintain massive full-spectrum overmatch over its adversaries, both in conventional war against state actors *and* a preclusive defense that can effectively filter against low intensity non-state actors. Israel’s security situation has been built on the back of overwhelming victories over surrounding Arab states - the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, and so forth, but it also needs to constantly filter and defend against low intensity attacks. The viability of Israel’s settler project is guaranteed only by IDF overmatch and the threat of punitive attacks...
..Rome was able to secure the borders of an enormous empire for centuries with shockingly low force generation by maintaining the threat of overmatch, and reliably (we might say excessively) punishing those who either invaded or rebelled. In the case of the 1st Century Jews, their temple was destroyed, much of Jerusalem was wrecked, and their leadership was devastated and scattered. 
  Ironically, Israel now finds itself in a situation similar to their former Roman overlords, needing to maintain full spectrum overmatch and the political will to wield their power punitively in order to sustain deterrence and protect their settler project...
..That is why, on October 7, Israel found itself in Zugzwang. It had to move, but the only move available was a massively destructive invasion of the Gaza Strip, because Israeli strategic logic dictates an asymmetric response. Hamas’s attack necessarily triggered a ground invasion and concordant air campaign with the ostensible goals of eliminating the organization, despite the obvious certainty that would cause mass casualties in Gaza and abnormally high losses among the IDF...
..Ultimately, I have always believed that there is no durable solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict short of military victory for one side or the other. Neither a two-state nor a one-state solution is viable given the current construction of the Israeli state and its ideological content. A one-state solution (which gives citizenship to Palestinians within the Israeli polity) is unlikely to satisfy anyone, but would be particularly abhorrent to the Israelis who would correctly perceive it as the de-facto surrender of their state via demographic overwhelmingA two-state solution would require an Israeli strategic retreat from its settlements. In short, any of the potential diplomatic arrangements constitute Israeli strategic defeat, and can only come about once Israel has actually suffered such a strategic defeat on the battlefield...
..Ultimately, foreign observers must understand that the Israeli-Arab conflict is practically predestined by the peculiar nature of the Israeli state. As both an Eschatological Garrison state and a Settler-Colonial enterprise, Israel is unable to relate normally with the Palestinians (who do not have a state at all), and the only way out of the jam is either an Israeli strategic defeat or the shattering of Gaza...
..Concurrent with the collapse of the temporary stable state in Israel, the United States faces an unraveling of its position across the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria. This, perhaps even moreso than the Israeli predicament, represents an idealized example of geopolitical zugzwang.
  To begin, one must understand the strategic logic of American strategic deployments. America has made generous use of a strategic deterrence tool colloquially known as the Tripwire Force. This represents an undersized, forward deployed force located in potential conflict zones with an eye to deterring war by signaling a commitment to respond. The classic example of the tripwire force was America’s minuscule deployment in Berlin during the cold war...
..On the whole, the tripwire force is a useful and well established tool in strategic deterrence, utilized by both the United States and the Soviet Union (as in its deployments in Cuba) throughout the cold war. Today, the United States adopts a similar strategy in the middle east, in relation to Iran... 
..The American strategic goal, in a few words, is to conduct area denial and prevent Iranian hegemony in the middle east. This, in turn, is an extension of the broader American grand strategy, which is to prevent the preeminent or potential regional hegemons from consolidating positions of domination in their regionsRussia and Germany in EuropeChina in East AsiaIran in the Middle East. The geopolitical story of the modern world is one of triple containment by the United States, using an array of regional satellites, proxies, and forward deployments. Because Iran is the only state in the Middle East with the potential to become a regional hegemon, it is the object of American containment. America’s lingering deployments in places like Iraq and Syria therefore ought to be understood primarily as efforts to disrupt Iranian influence and offer forward deployment to combat Iranian militias... They can be understood as a form of tripwire force that also has limited operational value.
Unfortunately, the United States has discovered the limits of these skeletal forward deployments. The American presence across the region is too small to credibly deter attack, but large enough to invite it...
..The standard American reprisal for attacks on its facilities and personnel - air strikes - have little deterrent value against irregular combatants who are both willing to take casualties and mentally acclimated to a long struggle of strategic attrition and survival. Iran and its proxies have long time horizons that are resistant to short, sharp rebukes.
  Furthermore, Iran and its allies thrive in conditions of governmental disorder, inuring them to America’s capacity to smash up states (creating what I call trashcanistans). Creating a trashcanistan can be strategically useful in many circumstances - by intentionally creating a failed state, a vacuum of disorder can be created on the enemy’s doorstep. In the right circumstances, this is a potent lever for creating geostrategic area denial. In Iran’s case however, failed (or at least, destabilized centers) create vacuums for which Iran is the most natural fill. This is why America’s geopolitical shooting spree across the Middle East has coincided with decades of steady growth in Iranian influence...
..American bases have endured relentless rocketry attack by Iranian proxies (attacks that have killed American soldiers), and the Ansar Allah movement (the Houthis) continue to obstruct shipping in the Red Sea despite a limited air campaign. In a geostrategic environment where deterrence is no longer credible, tripwire forces (like the American bases at Al-Tanf and Tower 22) cease to become deterrents at all, and become mere targets... After decades of wars across the Middle East, Americans are simply habituated to hearing about casualties in places that they have never heard of and do not care about. Thus, as both a geostrategic and a domestic-political instrument, the tripwire is busted...
..This is why those voices calling for war with Iran, as deranged and dangerous as they may be, are actually keyed in on a crucial aspect of America’s strategic calculus. Limited measures no longer suffice to intimidate, which may leave nothing in the stable except the full measure.
  And so, America faces Zugzwang. As yet it appears that the traditional American toolbox has little to no deterrent value, and American bases around the region appear to be more like targets than tripwires...
..America soon faces the prospect of a difficult choice, between strategic retreat or escalation. In either case, a skeletal tripwire deployment in the region becomes obsolete, and America must either get out or go in deeper. This is why there are now alarms flashing in the foreign policy blob, who fear an American withdrawal from Syria, alongside ever more deranged calls to “bomb Iran." That’s Zugzwang: two bad choices...
..America faces Zugzwang in Ukraine. It can choose to go all-in, but this means both selling a disruptive breakneck rearmament to the American public in peacetime, *and* gambling on a faltering piece in Kiev (which is now facing a command shakeup and yet another shattered defensive stronghold in Avdiivka). Strategic retreat in the form of abandoning Kiev may make the most sense from a pure cost-benefit perspective, but there are undoubtedly prestige factors at play. Walking away from Ukraine entirely and simply leaving it to be steamrolled would be seen, and rightfully so, as a Russian strategic victory over the United States.

  Celia Farber, "There Is A Massacre Unfolding, Right Now, In Nasser Hospital In Khan Younis. Masses of Patients, Children, Men and Women Are Being Slain Indiscriminately."  Footage From Inside Hospital Surpasses All Imaginable Horrors, As Patients Try To Escape Besieged Hospital, Amidst Screams, Machine Gunfire, TOTAL Chaos

​  War on Gaza: Biden slammed over failure to help US nationals abducted by Israel​ , Hashem Alagha, Borak Alagha and their father Ahmed were taken by Israeli forces in Khan Younis last week, and their family says the US has not done enough to secure their release

  Essay by Mike Whitney, "Over a Million Palestinians Are About to Be Forced From Gaza into Egypt at Gunpoint" 
 The IDF’s recent airstrikes on civilian areas in Rafah mark the beginning of the final phase of Israel’s massive ethnic cleansing project. On Monday, Israel bombed a number of locations where Palestinian refugees were huddled in tents after fleeing Israel’s onslaught in the North. Videos of the destruction appeared on a number of Twitter-sites which showed a deeply-cratered wasteland in the middle of makeshift encampments. Not surprisingly, women and children made up the bulk of the casualties with no evidence of Hamas to be found anywhere. According to a witness at the site, body parts and carnage were strewn across the landscape. This is from an article at the World Socialist Web Site:  "Israel launched a massive aerial bombardment of Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, on Sunday night into Monday morning, killing over 100 people. As the sun came up, the world was horrified by images of the mangled bodies of children, in a chilling demonstration of what is to come in the weeks ahead."

Egypt Erects 8-Square-Mile Walled Enclosure In Sinai Desert For Rafah Refugee Spillover

​  Moon of Alabama, (Lebanese Hezbollah leader, Sayyed) Nasrallah Responds To Israeli Attack On Civilians In Lebanon
​  We absolutely do not tolerate any harm to civilians, and it is imperative that the enemy realizes they have crossed a red line in this regard
Since October 7, there has been immense global pressure to prevent the southern front from opening up to support Gaza. The enemy’s tactic, through targeting civilians, is to coerce the resistance into halting its actions​.
, the enemy should anticipate this response​.
The enemy will pay the price in blood for shedding the blood of our women and children in Nabatieh, Al-Suwanah, and elsewhere.​..
​..It is essential for Americans and Zionists to understand that in Palestine, they are confronting a people who will not retreat, regardless of the sacrifices or challenges they face.
The Lebanese resistance possesses powerful and precise missile capabilities, enabling its reach from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.​..
​..The Israeli goal was to displace Palestinians from occupied Palestine, relocating the people of the West Bank to Jordan, those of Gaza to Egypt, and those of the 1980s to LebanonOperation Al-Aqsa Flood exposed this long-standing Israeli objective of establishing a purely Jewish state extending from the sea to the river.
The project of establishing a purely Jewish state not only targets Palestinians but also poses a threat to Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon​.
In memory of our martyred leaders, we reaffirm the efficacy of popular resistance as a viable option​...
​..Seventy-one percent of Israelis believe Israel should conduct a large-scale military operation against Lebanon to deter Hezbollah, a recent poll has shown.
The survey was conducted by the Israeli Maariv newspaper amid worsening cross-border violence between the Israeli army and the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group.​  A growing number of Israelis, especially those who evacuated their homes in the north, have urged their government to take decisive action against Hezbollah and push them away from the frontier, even if that means a land invasion​.

US Scholars to President Biden: You Must Act Now to Prevent Genocide in Gaza
Academics Across America Demand Immediate Ceasefire, Restoration of Humanitarian Aid, and a Just Resolution in Israel-Palestine

​  Also on our Mother Planet. Thanks Red.   Geomagnetic Extinction: A Paramount Science Disagreement
​  One of the most strongly divisive and imminently important issues in science is whether the known geomagnetic excursions of the last 100,000 years are coincident with major climate changes and loss of species.
​  The field is utterly divided, and a resolution is not only academically desirable, but evidence suggests that earth’s magnetic field is entering excursion again now, and if this geomagnetic secular variation presents a biosphere problem, the focus and discourse of various fields need a dramatic shift, now.​..
​..Our electrified society, air travel, communications and more have all developed in an age where earth’s magnetic field was much stronger than it will be during the zenith of this excursion event. We now have more than the climate, radiation, food-chain disruption and solar-geomagnetic biology connections to consider in this upcoming event- we are at risk of losing our modern, electrified society.
​  It is a common misconception that earth’s last major magnetic event was the famous Laschamp excursion 42,000 years ago, but the Mono Lake, Lake Mungo, and Gothenburg magnetic​ excursions occurred more recently, along with a minor event known as “Hilina Pali”, and one earlier in the timeline that shows up in Vostok corings. These events are fast-flips, rapid reversals, and these occur in a cycle of ~12,000 years. Gothenburg was ~12,000 to 13,000 years ago, and earth’s field is performing the excursion again- right on time.
​  Looking ahead to the next round of academic studies on this topic, it is imperative that the field give appropriate treatment to all the potential biosphere stresses invoked by a weakening​ magnetic field and shifting magnetic pole position.
​  This includes (1) the loss of ozone and climate changes, (2) the radiation effect from both extra UV and galactic cosmic rays – on the entire food chain, (3) the navigational disruption to species caused by the magnetic change, (4) the geomagnetic interrelationship with critical biological processes, and (5) the dependence of modern society on electricity, and the increased vulnerability of these systems to both cosmic rays and solar flares while earth has a weaker planetary magnetic shield.

​  House Intel Chair Accused of Disclosing National Security ‘Threat’ to Get Ukraine Aid Passed
​  US officials later told the media that the “unspecified threat was related to Russian space capabilities and a plan to develop a nuclear weapon that can target satellites. For their part, Russia dismissed the claim and said the US was “making up malicious stories.”

  ​Simplicius, Planetary Scare: Russian Doomsday Space Weapon Steals Headlines of Avdeevka Collapse​   [It's hard to keep up with Adveevka. See below.]
​..This could be a potential new escalation on Russia’s behalf to draw a final red line and issue the implied threat that if you continue meddling and harming us with these assets, we will consider wiping out your entire space-based ISR assets.
​  Of course, the problem with such an approach—if we’re talking about the nuclear/EMP-style option, at least—is it would indiscriminately wipe out everything in sight, including friendly and allied space assets. But I agree with one analyst who said that China likely wouldn’t mind trading a few of its own destroyed satellites in exchange for seeing the entire fleet of U.S./NATO assets go up in smoke.
​  Such a weapon could truly be a ‘hand of god’ that totally erases the Empire’s most crucial capabilities, instantaneously blinding it in every theater all over the world, allowing Iran, Yemen, North Korea, China, and anyone else to run rampant. I said before that Russia knows how to fight blind—hundreds of videos attest to its artillerymen, for instance, using Bussols and other scopes to accurately hit targets day in and out, while NATO relies primarily on satellite-guided GPS for almost everything.​..

​  This morning: Avdeevka has been cut in half by Russian forces. Russians offered surrender last night. Ukrainians are abandoning positions to regroup in the 9th quarter to evacuate. Azov reserve forces got to Avdeevka, saw it was hell, and withdrew to the next town against orders, leaving Ukrainian forces no way out, except to cross muddy fields under Russian fire, with 20% survival prospects.  Attempts To Escape From The Encirclement Turned Out To Be A Disaster. Military Summary For 2024.2.16

  This Afternoon: There is no way out for Ukrainian forces, who have been hit by 300 precision FABs (fuel air bombs) in the past 24 hours, and cannot hope to survive crossing muddy fields under heavy Russian fire tonight. The political decision must be made for something like 6000+ Ukrainian troops to surrender or die pointlessly.
Half Of Avdiivka Was Captured.1000s Of Soldiers Were Trapped. Military Summary 2024.2.16

Weeks After US Journalist Dies In Ukrainian Custody, Biden Uses Navalny's Death To Push For More Russian War Funding

​  Gilbert Doctorow, Death of Aleksei Navalny:  the Brits did it!
​  The Financial Times confirmed that Navalny had indeed died and set out the comments of leading Western statesmen condemning what they considered to be the latest murder by Vladimir Putin of prominent activists who oppose his rule. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were among those who already had spoken before microphones and were reading from the same anti-Putin script.
​  In short, what happened in the West this afternoon was a new campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin on the world stage based on a death which was, if I may quote former British PM Theresa May, ‘highly likely’ to have been perpetrated by British Intelligence for this very purpose.​..
..Why would Putin want to murder Navalny, when the man is now largely forgotten within Russia. Navalny is yesterday’s news and his ‘anti-corruption’ campaign is irrelevant to Russians in the midst of an existential struggle with the Collective West that is being fought on the territory of Ukraine?  However, the murder of Navalny clearly serves the interests of that same Collective West as an intended antidote to the major Soft Power coup of the Carlson Tucker interview with Vladimir Putin just a week ago...
..Russian doctors at the prison colony were said to have spent half an hour today trying to revive Navalny, but in vain. He is just one more case of collateral damage in the British secret war on Russia
​  Time was, in the days of Tony Blair, we spoke of the British as the ‘lap dogs’ of Bush.  Today it would be more appropriate to say that the British have become the Hound of the Baskervilles, ahead of and likely outside the control of Washington.

"This Is Scary": Soros Prepares Takeover Of 200 Radio Stations Ahead Of US Presidential Election
America's second-largest radio broadcaster could soon emerge from bankruptcy with a new shareholder: Soros Fund Management.

​  Phil sent this 24 minute video of (officially disgraced) US Government bioweapons expert David Martin speaking about the WHO and global crime syndicate decades of preparation to launch the COVID bioweapon and the profitable "vaccine" bioweapon-countermeasure, which they openly documented the development of. If you want to cut to the chase, it is found after 16:00, up to the end at 24:00 minutes. (This is not the European Parliament talk.)   DR DAVID MARTIN MINCES NO WORDS

  Meryl Nass MD,  Trump spent $10 billion on US depopulation: Catherine Austin Fitts/ Mark Crispin Miller's Substack
​  In an interview with Greg Hunter from USA Watchdog, Catherine Austin Fitts has said that “No matter who is president, they will allow bioweapons to kill Americans without hesitation.” She also argues that the former president Donald Trump is either a knowing participant in the Covid bioweapon operation, or he is grossly incompetent not to understand what’s happening, which Fitts claims is highly unlikely.

​  Digging in the dirt, out in the sunshine, to plant and cultivate vegetables is also very good, supporting a healthy, antidepressant gut microbiome.
New Study Finds Exercise Twice As Effective At Treating Depression ​As Anti-Depressant Drugs​  (and won't make you want to shoot up a school or church)

ELECTRIC WEATHER | Where, Why and How​ 2:30 minutes on how air movement with charged particles ​carries electric current ​which creates and responds to magnetic fields.

​The 3 minute case for the next turn of our ever-changing planetary weather being a cold one. Recent evidence. Cold Climate Bomb is Coming

Chance of Weather (picturing Jenny with some freshly harvested greens, which she later gave away at school)  

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