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US vs Russia: old but very relevant George Kennan interview

The statesman credited with many of the US’s post-WWII foreign policy successes, spoke out on the wisdom of NATO expansion and Russia.

(New York Times, 1998)

(Link copied from: this Chis Martenson article/teaser, via zerohedge)

Vice #63: 14 bodies dug up in Slavyansk mass grave

- Mass grave dug up in Slavyansk, 14 people

- Another American reporter[1], says he found what look like death warrants signed by Strelkov, under martial law, for looting, fighting, kidnapping. (The rebels at the time of the siege of Slavyansk reported that they had this policy)

- several men were identified as local protestants. Ukranian rep says they were executed due to their religion and/or to confiscate their cars.

[1] Since this will no doubt be controversial, here is his the reporter’s CV:


musical interlude XXI

what the heck, lets have two.

US vs Russia: Sanctions side effects

This is an brief opinion, reposting a comment I threw onto Naked Capitalism a few days ago.

Looks like the US is demonstrating a fully hostile posture to Russia on the economic, diplomatic, and media fronts. Now with powerful economic sanctions. The idea, surely, is that if you hurt Russian financial elites in the pocketbook, they will politically react, and replace the Putin regime with someone more friendly to the US. A “soft” regime change, which the US is very good at.

(surely you don’t think Obama and the NeoCons in the state dept. expect Putin to simply back down on his own? I’m sure their game plan is NOT to have another cuba missile crisis, though considering the great success the NeoCons have had, they may not have forseen this possibility).

Possible side effects?

#1. China. Improved leverage in trade negotiations with EU, since EU (esp. German) industry has one less major customer now.

#2. China. VASTLY improved leverage in trade negotiations with Russia, since Russia will now be completely dependent on Chinese for euro and dollar financing. How could the Chinese cash in this blue chip which Obama has just “tipped” them? One option would be get a price discount on Russian energy. Another option would be to insist on weapons technology transfer. The Russians would have no alternative but to comply (and would be sticking it to the US by doing so, even though it would eventually backfire on them too). Chinese industry mass-producing the latest Russian weapons? Good job Obama. 

#3. China. Now they have a way to get rid of their extra dollars and euros, if they need to. (trade them to Russia!)

#4. China, India, South America, Southeast Asia, etc. Perhaps they will look at the US’s weaponization of the financial system and accelerate measures to diversify and protect themselves, building alternative international institutions. Presumably anchored by the strong point in Shanghai – Hong Kong. This would actually be a benefit for the world, but a slight loss for US-EU financial centers.

#5. Middle East. With a full-spectrum disaster for US middle east policy still going on, it is possible that Russia withdrawing cooperation may make things harder on this front? As the US’s resources are occupied with Russia, wouldn’t the Islamic extremists take the opportunity to make a move, for example in Afghanistan?

#6. US energy industry. Huge win. Now they have a captive EU market for our excess shale gas. For the EU there wouldn’t be much of a change. Instead of being dependent on Russian energy, they may end up dependent on US energy. Either way, still on a leash to an aggressive military power.

#7. slight shrinkage of EU economy and financial system. They can survive it.

#8. US strategic interests / Planet Earth. In the unlikely event that the US is actually successful with a regime change in Russia, then what happens? What is the track record for stability, in the immediate aftermath of US-engineered regime changes? Who exactly would take over the Russian government? What’s the game plan there? This wouldn’t happen to be another NeoConservative fantasy, promising a cakewalk, and sunshine and lollipops all around, would it? And anyhow, how would it all benefit the US? Would Russia magically turn into a US ally against China, or would it become a devastated mess, with nuclear weapons in the hands of the various oligarchs who would be the ones to pick up the pieces?


Retired US Intelligence, advice to Obama

critique of how today’s emphasis on public appearance undermines the US’s intelligence game, much like pre-Iraq war and pre-Syria last year. And a poigniant history lesson on an situation which was an exact parallel to “MH17″, 30+ years ago from the Reagan era, this time, when the USSR was a heck of a lot more powerful than it is now.

The seasoned professionals offer some lessons learned from those episodes, and suggestions to restore the US government’s flatlining reputation for trustworthiness. If this is to be salvaged, Obama may need to “make a change” in our tactics:

Meanwhile, In Afghanistan . . .

As the folks who said “trust us” about the Iraq War, are madly raising and re-raising the stakes with Russia… lets check in with the lone remaining “success story”, Afghanistan. It looks like many of the weapons we gave our friends there may have “fell off the truck”.

But otherwise, all quiet so far. Below is a link to a several-months old video shot in 2013. It’s long, 43 minutes, but pretty interesting. Covers how things are coming along with the Afghan national army. Here and there you can see some ominous signs of … a sort of looseness at the far end of the empire, in some ways the type of thing that allowed ISIS to sneak up undetected. Our national policy of regime changes and handing out weapons ripens on the vine . . .

CNN: Ukraine fires ballistic missiles at rebels

Yet another escalation, by Ukraine. The “good guys”. They introduced into the conflict: tanks, artillery vs cities, and now: ballistic missiles. Anyone care to imagine what happens if Russia were to supply the rebels with the means to make this a fair fight?


original video taken down, here are some duplicates



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