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  “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil”

Alan Greenspan

War-for-oil, or more precisely, power projection to preserve the petrodollar, is realpolitik.

Per capita energy usage in the United States is the highest among all nations of the world. The USA consumes 25% of would energy resources while having only 5% of the population. Approximately half of the energy used in the US is electrical energy  generated by coal-fired power plants. The other part is oil that is mainly imported.

Securing uninterruptable supply of oil became the key task of the USA foreign policy since president Carter. The second important goal is maintaining  dollar as the world primary reserve currency, and, especially, the main currency you can buy oil with.  That includes maintaining the stability of client Arab regimes, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Oil Wars

Recently the USA waged several "oil wars" (Iraq war, Libya war, Syria war, attempt of "color revolution" in Russia) with the most brutal being the Iraq war. The two main messages from the war in Iraq are:

Manipulating the facts became the norm for the Bush administration, which invaded Iraq on what we know now (and the administration almost certainly knew then) were utterly false pretenses. Thanks to these lies, Americans, including our soldiers and civilians serving in Iraq, were killed or injured.  Links to the 9/11 attacks and the claim that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, two of the ever-evolving reasons for getting into the war were blatantly false from the very beginning.  They were fabricated to achieve specific goals.  Engaging in mass deception in order to justify official policy both degrades the society, so the war has had a detrimental effect on the USA, as a society. It just has shown that elites now are audacious enough to throw out even attempt to present their actions as legitimate of serving national goals. Of course, by far, it is ordinary Iraqis who have suffered the most.

We know now beyond any doubt that Iraq was not involved in 9/11 and had no weapons of mass destruction. But as Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA analyst with the Iraqi portfolio, wrote on March 14,

 “Intelligence did not drive the decision to invade Iraq – not by a long shot, despite the aggressive use by the Bush administration of cherry-picked fragments of intelligence reporting in its public sales campaign for the war.”

Indeed, this was a war for oil from the very beginning, and any little lie would have worked.

It is very fortuitous for all those politicians, policy makers, and bureaucrats with Iraqi blood on their hands — Republicans and Democrats both — that the only courtroom they’ve been shuffled into is the court of public opinion, where most received light sentences. Bush II actually was reelected for the second term.

Indeed, the Iraq war boosters are still a fixture on our television screens.

Sure, there are pundits and reporters who admit they wrongly supported the war, but their regrets are usually reserved for their blind faith in the war planners and their own lack of inquisitiveness. For example, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius confessed in a March 21 column that Iraq was one of “the biggest strategic errors in Modern American history.” But the thrust of his own mea culpa was that he did not write enough “on the overriding question of whether the war made sense,” which would have allowed him to see that the U.S was not strong enough nor flexible enough to succeed.

Rarely do pundits apologize for the horrendous Iraqi losses inflicted by the war: more than a million deaths and millions more wounded with varying lifelong disabilities, including thousands of tortured prisoners, with an estimated 16,000 of them still unaccounted for. Twenty-eight percent of Iraqi children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and 2.8 million people are still internally displaced or living as refugees outside the country. Add to that the complete destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure outside oil sector, as well as its transportation, education, and medical institutions. Don’t forget the countless people suffering from trauma and depression, sectarian war with daily killings, terrifying birth defects from toxic pollution, and a brain drain that has left the country illiterate.

Not since the American Civil War has the U.S citizenry had to endure such horrors. Yet discussion of these repercussions is noticeably absent as we still struggle to understand the scope of the Iraq war and what all of its lies have wrought.

Let us start with a sincere apology to the Iraqi people for the crimes the U.S. government has committed. A long-range plan for restitution is a second step. Empires decline due to moral decay from within. Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, our nation is looking at the moral abyss. If lies have delivered us to this place, then only the truth will begin our journey back.

From Foreign Policy in Focus

The Real Reason for the Iraq War VICE United Kingdom

Because it was marked "confidential" on each page, the oil industry stooge couldn't believe the US State Department had given me a complete copy of their secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq.

Actually, the State Department had done no such thing. But my line of bullshit had been so well-practiced and the set-up on my mark had so thoroughly established my fake identity, that I almost began to believe my own lies.

I closed in. I said I wanted to make sure she and I were working from the same State Department draft. Could she tell me the official name, date and number of pages? She did.

Bingo! I'd just beaten the Military-Petroleum Complex in a lying contest, so I had a right to be chuffed.

After phoning numbers from California to Kazakhstan to trick my mark, my next calls were to the State Department and Pentagon. Now that I had the specs on the scheme for Iraq's oil – that State and Defense Department swore, in writing, did not exist – I told them I'd appreciate their handing over a copy (no expurgations, please) or there would be a very embarrassing story on BBC Newsnight.

Within days, our chief of investigations, Ms Badpenny, delivered to my shack in the woods outside New York a 323-page, three-volume programme for Iraq's oil crafted by George Bush's State Department and petroleum insiders meeting secretly in Houston, Texas.

I cracked open the pile of paper – and I was blown away.

Like most lefty journalists, I assumed that George Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq to buy up its oil fields, cheap and at gun-point, and cart off the oil. We thought we knew the neo-cons true casus belli: Blood for oil.

But the truth in the Options for Iraqi Oil Industry was worse than "Blood for Oil". Much, much worse.

The key was in the flow chart on page 15, Iraq Oil Regime Timeline & Scenario Analysis:

"...A single state-owned company ...enhances a government's relationship with OPEC."

Gas wars

EuroMaidan can be considered to be a proxy "gas war" when the USA hides behind Ukraine far right  to fight Russia and EU.  See

Asia Times Online China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong Kong News and Business.

Well, there is a plan BRICS - or so the BRICS nations would like to think, at least. And when the BRICS do act in this spirit on the global stage, they quickly conjure up a curious mix of fear, hysteria, and pugnaciousness in the Washington establishment.

Take Christopher Hill as an example. The former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and US ambassador to Iraq is now an advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm deeply connected to the White House and the State Department. When Russia was down and out, Hill used to dream of a hegemonic American "new world order". Now that the ungrateful Russians have spurned what "the West has been offering" - that is, "special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors" - they are, in his view, busy trying to revive the Soviet empire. Translation: if you're not our vassals, you're against us. Welcome to Cold War 2.0.

The Pentagon has its own version of this directed not so much at Russia as at China, which, its think tank on future warfare claims, is already at war with Washington in a number of ways. So if it's not apocalypse now, it's Armageddon tomorrow. And it goes without saying that whatever's going wrong, as the Obama administration very publicly "pivots" to Asia and the American media fills with talk about a revival of Cold War-era "containment policy" in the Pacific, it's all China's fault.

Embedded in the mad dash toward Cold War 2.0 are some ludicrous facts-on-the-ground: the US government, with $17.5 trillion in national debt and counting, is contemplating a financial showdown with Russia, the largest global energy producer and a major nuclear power, just as it's also promoting an economically unsustainable military encirclement of its largest creditor, China.

Russia runs a sizeable trade surplus. Humongous Chinese banks will have no trouble helping Russian banks out if Western funds dry up. In terms of inter-BRICS cooperation, few projects beat a $30 billion oil pipeline in the planning stages that will stretch from Russia to India via Northwest China.

Chinese companies are already eagerly discussing the possibility of taking part in the creation of a transport corridor from Russia into Crimea, as well as an airport, shipyard, and liquid natural gas terminal there. And there's another "thermonuclear" gambit in the making: the birth of a natural gas equivalent to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that would include Russia, Iran, and reportedly disgruntled US ally Qatar.

The (unstated) BRICS long-term plan involves the creation of an alternative economic system featuring a basket of gold-backed currencies that would bypass the present America-centric global financial system. (No wonder Russia and China are amassing as much gold as they can.) The euro - a sound currency backed by large liquid bond markets and huge gold reserves - would be welcomed in as well.

It's no secret in Hong Kong that the Bank of China has been using a parallel SWIFT network to conduct every kind of trade with Tehran, which is under a heavy US sanctions regime. With Washington wielding Visa and MasterCard as weapons in a growing Cold War-style economic campaign against Russia, Moscow is about to implement an alternative payment and credit card system not controlled by Western finance.

An even easier route would be to adopt the Chinese Union Pay system, whose operations have already overtaken American Express in global volume.

 

Why Energy is Central to the Economy

BC, January 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm
Economics is politics. Politics is war by other means. War is the business of empire (hegemony). War is good business for imperialists.

Therefore, economics is the intellectual and political rationalization for the business objectives of imperial expansionism, expropriation, and co-optation of client-states’ elites by means of state violence when necessary, which is more often than not when resources become increasingly scarce and the hegemonic frontiers of expansionism are threatened.

Yet, most Americans do not yet perceive the US as an empire (successor to the British Empire), not surprisingly, which would necessarily require the inference that empires peak, decline, and eventually collapse, and we have been in relative decline since the 1970s-80s, which most of the working-class bottom 90% would have to concede were they honest with themselves and their fellows. And, no, McConnell, Romney, Rubio, Paul, et al., care not about the working-class bottom 90% but themselves and those deep-pocketed Republicans who cut the largest campaign finance checks.

But one suspects that the 80-90% of the population who were slaves during the Greek city-state dominance and later Roman Empire neither perceived themselves living in the context of imperial decline and incipient collapse, as their daily life experience was preoccupied with acquiescing to their imperial masters’ demands and the imperative to survive and thereafter subsist within their circumstances, if they/we’re luck . . ., or not.

Same as it ever was . . .

Coilin MacLochlainn, January 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Malthus was not wrong, he was right. The reason for that is, the Earth is finite and has limited resources. The human population has reached 7 billion. If it continues to grow, or even if it doesn’t, it will exceed the ability of the Earth’s remaining land base to support us.

In fact, it already has. Several of the Earth’s planetary limits have already been exceeded and we are cannibalising what remains of the Earth’s surviving natural resources just to keep going. What I mean is, we are using up the very resources that we rely on as a species to survive into the future. And at the same time, we are making it impossible for much of the rest of life on Earth to survive, which is why so many species are going extinct now and most will be wiped out before we are done.

For those of us living in the developed world, it is hard to picture this, because we are living off the exploitation of resources and labour in less well off countries.

There are also glaring examples of excessive exploitation in the developed world. For example, in California, which leads the world in the production of almonds, walnuts and pistachio nuts, there is not enough surface water available to supply the industry and so nut farmers are irrigating their crops using underground water. With the ongoing drought in California, the underground aquifer is not being recharged, so it won’t be long before the nut farmers run out of water and the industry goes bust. It will go bust and it will also leave the aquifer dry, with no possibility of refilling with water while the drought lasts, which could be for years or forever.

Jan Steinman, January 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

“Capital is embodied energy.”

Are you talking about physical capital, such as factories, machines, and such?

A lot of very smart people seem to think “capital” is little bits of coloured paper, or even invisible magnetic bits on a spinning disk. But I think that’s where the second half of your essay (debt) comes into play.

It would be nice to have some simple term-of-art to distinguish between the two forms of “capital.” I agree that physical plant is capital. It may even be that, pre-Bretton Woods, money was an adequate symbol for capital. But it seems to me that there is way more money around than there is physical capital these days.

garand555, January 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Economics is a pseudo-science, at least the way it is practiced.

... ... ...

InAlaska, January 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Economists endorsed the idea of globalism after it became apparent that without it, national economies could no longer grow. Globalization is going to kill us because it removes from local control the basic production of necessities. Speaking of economics, here is part of a post on The Automatic Earth from yesterday concerning the Davos crowd and the World Economic Forum:

“When it comes to basic necessities, to food, water and shelter, we shouldn’t strive to compete with other economies. That is not good for us, or for our peers in those other economies; it’s good only for those who skim off the top. The larger and more globalized the top, the more there is to skim off. All the ‘reform’ is geared towards making our economies ever more dependent on the global economy. And that is not in our best interest.

It’s not all just even about money, it’s about our security, and independence. Everybody likes the idea of being independent, but at the same time few realize that globalization is the exact opposite of independence. Global trade is fine, as long as it’s limited to things we don’t need to survive, but it’s not fine if and when it takes away the ability of a community or a society to provide for itself.

Protectionism has acquired a really bad reputation, as if it’s inherently evil to try and protect your community from being gutted by economic ideas and systems it has no defense against, or to make sure it can generate and provide for its own basics at all times. But that’s just propaganda too.

If our societies are not designed and constructed to provide for themselves, they’ll end up with no choice but to go to war with each other. Along the same lines, if our societies don’t have strict laws in place that guarantee we can’t and won’t destroy the natural resources of the land we live on comes with, we’ll also end up going to war with each other.

We’re not going to solve the Gordian knot of the entire global economy and all the hubris and propaganda the present leading politicians, businessmen and ‘reporters’ bring to the table. And we probably shouldn’t want to. Our brains did not develop to do things on a global scale. The clowns will blow themselves up sooner or later. We should focus on what we can do, meanwhile, in our immediate surroundings.

And it’s pretty easy from there, really. The economic problems we have are mostly artificial. They have been induced by the broken economic model the Davos crowd, the central bankers and you know who else would have us believe is the one and only, and that they are busy fixing for our sake and greater glory. But they care only about their own glory.”

Gail Tverberg, January 22, 2015 at 8:38 pm

On the other hand, without the growth that was obtained from globalization, the financial system would have collapsed earlier. So in some sense, we are better off, even if it is not sustainable.

The US started hollowing out its manufacturing not too long after the oil problems of the 1970s. Japan came first in globalization, before the other Eastern countries.

InAlaska, January 21, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Liquid Assets,

Economists run the Federal Reserve Bank and all the central banks in the world. How has their “straight thinking” worked out? Has the world ever been in such a fiscal mess before? How have all of those over-educated PhDs in Economics done better than an Actuary could do?

Economics is the dismal “science” in part because it is predicated on the assumption that their can be infinite inputs into the system. Before you insult Gail and suggest she get a “real education,” consider that this whole edifice of “Economics” and endless growth is based on and within a finite world.

escravaisaurabr, January 22, 2015 at 7:33 am
InAlaska,

Two perceptive posts you wrote. Thank you.

I would like to add this post. I think most of you will appreciate. I sure love this post….

By falak pema

Economics is a means to achieve an end, like language.

So linguists are capable of understanding the logic of communication for DECISION MAKING; whether it be in words and intellectual concepts or in numbers/statistics and algorithms.

The issue here is that perfect markets like perfect speech do not exist for themselves in society, except for the “initiated”, but have a different function as a VEHICLE for body politic; which defines the AIMS and uses the means, all the means : of language as of images and of statistics and mathematical constructs.

So the thesis of the Mises/Hayek type Shamans that Economia is the “be-all” of society is just wrong. No more than the works of Shakespeare or Hugo, or of Picasso etc.

They do not define politics and power in society. They may influence it but they don’t define it’s objectives.

Linguists like economists can add substance to a political construct that defines the power play in civilization. And in that respect markets are just a means and their perfection as important as a perfect face on the screen.

All imagery or conceptual work in life is virtual.

It becomes real when it faces the real world of power and its continual balancing act; facts and irreversible acts that define our future as they have our past.

Chomsky is more relevant today to society than Mises.

The first analyses real political acts and consequences the other confines himself to theoretical pontification about the real economy looked at through the lens which keeps referring to the mantra of perfect markets.

Not saying markets are not important just saying they are not ALL important.

For the Mises theory to become reality we would have to live in a perfect “anarchy” state without government. The last time they wanted the state to “shrivel away” it was called the “ultimate step of communism” and it parented Stalinism. So…you have to know what you wish for in the REAL world.

History says you are wrong. You keep harping about a system that has gone off the cliff twice because of market forces being spiraled into Vesuvian eruption under irrational exuberance and greed and thanks to lack of Government regulation : in 1929 and 2008.

You are into DEEP denial of historical FACTS.

The historical thread shows us neo-feudal oligarchs are just as destructive of wealth creation as are statist hegemonists.

The only realistic solution is to balance state power and private oligarchy power and make sure NEITHER is in dominant position by having transparent control of public and private spending and by ensuring due diligence and SANCTIONS.

Today we have a Mussolinian economy of crony collusion between statists and oligarchs. We have the worst of both worlds.

We need good state governance and non monopolistic private sector innovative investment, compatible with “general good”, that does not run us off the cliff in mad speculation nor poison the planet.

The GDP should be run on an equitable basis between both power structures.

Whether this divide is 30/70 or 50/50 between private and public and how its used and how its controlled and monitored is the role of the Republic. And it should be debated and then voted and then executed in a legal framework which is NOT CORRUPT.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-24/you-cant-run-economy-spreadsheets#comment-5138074


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[Jul 24, 2021] American Empire still exists. US gov't can always sell LNG to Poland

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

XJ033858JH 11 hours ago remove link

Don't worry, US gov't...you can always sell your LNG to Poland...hahahah!

LA_Goldbug 11 hours ago

I wonder what the price is for this LNG from all the way across the Atlantic.

rosalinda 10 hours ago

I read it is triple the price of the Russian gas. The Russians have all the advantages here. Putin probably would not weaponize the gas, but who is to say some Russian leader in the future might not take the opportunity? Europe is more dependant on Russian gas then Russia is dependant on European money

XJ033858JH 10 hours ago

It's more like 3.3 times...10% for the big guy

BannedCamp 8 hours ago

Likewise, Russia could nuke the whole world, but they never used a nuke on any country before, but the US has. Saying that Russia might do something that the accusing party (The U.S) is actually doing right now (to Germany) is blatant hypocrisy.

[Jul 24, 2021] Nord Stream 2 'Deal' Is Not An American Concession, It's Admission Of Defeat - ZeroHedge

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington's geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia's prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia's vast energy resources will ensure Europe's economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany's export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would "weaponize" energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called "allies" and "adversaries". This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a "revisionist power"!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a "truce" while the Wall Street Journal referred to a "deal" between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a "deal"!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a "concession" to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can't stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of "weaponizing" trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump's boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the "transatlantic alliance" – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a "deal" over Russia's energy trade.

All in all, Washington's virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!


21 play_arrow 2
Peter Pan 12 hours ago

What the USA accuses Russia of planning to do down the track is actually what the USA is doing now. In other words it is the USA that is weaponusing the gas issue with threats and sanctions.

_ConanTheLibertarian_ 12 hours ago remove link

The US had no business interfering. Bye.

buzzsaw99 12 hours ago

the usa should ask russia to teach them how to keep natural gas flowing when it gets cold outside. lol

RedSeaPedestrian 11 hours ago

How to keep a windmill spinning comes first.

two hoots 11 hours ago

Well we did interfere and the results exposed our decline in multifarious ways, mainly power in all things that matter in the international arena: diplomacy, defense, economic, trust. We yet have great influence with our scientific and industrial capabilities but even there others are reaching parity. Internally our unsupportable debt will hinder even that. Basically it is the US Government (domestic/foreign affairs) that has led the charge of our decline. "Government is dead" .... (we need a new and improved one to worship)

Max21c 11 hours ago

The Washingtonians & Londoners are just upset because now their buddies and puppets in the Ukraine aren't going to be able to use control over the transit of Russian gas through the Ukraine to hold Europe hostage and get their way. So everything that they're accusing the Russians of doing in the future is what Washingtonians, Londoners, and the Ukraine were doing in the past. They're just upset since their Ukrainian vassals can no longer do their bidding's against Moscow and Eastern Europe.

MR166 9 hours ago

I am a USA loving conservative but I really never understood the objections to the pipeline. Since energy = standard of living the pipeline does nothing but help mankind. The US has no problem becoming totally dependent on China for drugs, medical supplies, chips and manufacturing but is afraid of Russia shipping gas to Europe. How does that make any sense at all???!!!

ar8 9 hours ago (Edited) remove link

I will explain it for you:

US companies wanted to sell their gas to Europe.

The US companies attempted to use the US to bully European countries, companies, projects and people through sanctions and threatening fines.

It worked, a bit: numerous companies ceased working on it.

But the US, as usual, with its bullyboy tactics had been less effective and created more self-damage than it expected. It has created many enemies as a result, which will hasten the demise of the US government.

Despite its age, the following is still relevant to Nord Stream II: "War Is a Racket" is a speech and a 1935 short book, by Smedley D. Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient.

Rudolph 2 hours ago

One more reason. We control Ukraine, Ukraine control gas to Germany. = We control Germany.

Vivekwhu 9 hours ago

What is the point of having a financial/military/market empire if you don't have a finger in every pie enriching your elite?

Chief Joesph 11 hours ago

It was simply a war of hate about anything Russian. The U.S. really had nothing to offer Germany anyway. From the German perspective, they had to protect their own interests, and since Russia was offering to sell them natural gas and the U.S. wasn't, the choice was rather simple. Perhaps it might make better relationships between eastern block countries and the west too.

The U.S. spends a great amount of time and resources "hating" other countries for no reason at all. It's bigotry by any other definition. The U.S. practices a systematic and especially politically exploited expression of hatred and hostilities. Not only do they practice this against other countries, but among their own kind too. The U.S. ranks as one of the more hateful countries in the world, only surpassed by the Middle East. Add that to the reasons why Germany doesn't want to go along with U.S. temper tantrums.

LA_Goldbug 10 hours ago

Not "hating" but "bombing" is the right description of the US foreign policy practice.

porco rosso 11 hours ago

Mr Putin is way too clever for these yankster clowns and makes them look like the fools they are time and time again. That is why they hate him so much.

Max21c 11 hours ago remove link

Putin didn't have to outsmart them. The Europeans need the gas. Water does not usually flow uphill.

porco rosso 11 hours ago

True. But in Germany there are a lot of treacherous transatlantic elements that wanted to sabotage the pipeline at any cost.

These elements are Germans but they dont give a **** about Germany. Treacherous scumbags.

wootendw PREMIUM 11 hours ago (Edited)

" The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would "weaponize" energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. "

The absurdity lies with the existence of NATO or the US being in NATO. It no more makes sense for US to commit ourselves to Europe's defense against Russia than it does for Europe to buy American NG for three times the price it can get Russia's for.

williambanzai7 PREMIUM 10 hours ago (Edited)

Well apparently some tard thinks it makes perfect sense for other readily imagined strategic reasons none of which have anything to do with accountable governance.

Someone thinks NATO is a dog leash. An expensive dog leash.

yerfej 11 hours ago

The washington idiot cabal needs something to focus on to justify their existence so they wander the globe telling everyone how to live and who they can trade with when they're not busy starting or expanding wars. The reality is the US federal government is a completely useless parasite who's ONLY function is to domestically terrorize its own citizens and the other nations of the world.

known unknown 10 hours ago remove link

Nordstream II was built to a stop Ukraine from blocking gas to Europe which they already did once, stealing gas which they have always done. Germany asked Russia to build it. The dummy Bulgarians stopped a similar pipeline yielding to the US. Then they cried about it when they realized they lost billions. No matter what's promised Ukraine will be cut out in 5 years if they continue hostilities towards Russians.

LA_Goldbug 10 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Most people conveniently forget or don't know about Ukraine's siphoning of the gas while in transit to European countries.

Germany is as bad as the US. Thanks to Germany Yugoslavia was decapitated with help from US and UK.

Greed is King 11 hours ago

Nordstream 2 is a trade deal between the EU (primarily Germany) and Russia.

Russia sells gas to the EU; and the EU buys gas from Russia.

So, can anybody answer these questions.

1.WTF has it got to do with America ?.

2. Who the feck does America think it is that it thinks it can interfere with and make demands of free and sovereign nations ?.

When the bully is beaten, nobody ever feels sympathy for him; America would do well to think about that.

Samual Vimes 11 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Surroguts /proxies, what ever.

Unelected policy makers in all their purple clad glory.

Max21c 12 hours ago (Edited)

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington's geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

It may show a decline in US global power or it may just show a rise in Washingtonian amateurishness, arrogance, obnoxiousness, naivete and stupidity...

all it does is show out in the open that certain people are quacks, flakes, and screwballs. Why would anyone in their right mind waste time & efforts or political capital or diplomatic capital/bonnafides on trying to do something so silly as block Nord Stream 2... It just makes Washingtonians look ridiculous, silly, and absurd...

It's almost as crazy as making a horse into a Roman Senator or declaring a war on the Neptune or attacking the sea... It appears as if right after the Berlin Wall came down American elites and Washingtonians all joined the Mad King Ludwig cult and became worshipers of everything crazy...

RedSeaPedestrian 11 hours ago remove link

Or even as crazy as making a Dementia patient a Roman Emperor. (Or is that a United States President? I forget sometimes.)

hugin-o-munin 12 hours ago remove link

Whatever political games are being played there is no getting around the fact that Europe and Russia will eventually start to get along and expand trade and industrial cooperation. Most people know that both the US and UK want to prevent this because it will diminish their current top dog positions wrt global trade and financial control. Few things compare to trade and mutual beneficial cooperation when it comes to lowering the risk for conflict.

Just like Europe should promote development and trade with northern Africa so should the US with central and southern America. This would also put an end to the endless migrant caravans that are putting a huge strain on both the EU and US today. It's actually a non brainer and says more about these satanic globalists' true motive than anything else.

ReichstagFireDept. 9 hours ago remove link

Nord Stream 2 is your best indicator that Governments are realizing that Renewable Energy is NOT the replacement for Conventional Energy.

Nat. Gas IS the clean Energy source that everyone was screaming for...now it's finally worldwide and they don't want it?!

Sorry, your Green Marxist dream is ending.

geno-econ 9 hours ago remove link

U.S. should be grateful Russia is sharing its natural resources with West rather than aligning with China. There is much more than natural gas---ferro manganese, ferro chrome, uranium, enrichment, titanium, aluminum, fertilizer, wheat, timber products, etc. U.S. trade with China essentially imports only two major resources---cheap labor and synthetic opioids !

williambanzai7 PREMIUM 9 hours ago

Well, there's some plastic junk and red refugees in there as well.

geno-econ 9 hours ago

only wealthy red capitalists disguised as refugees from China

ar8 9 hours ago

You are assuming the US government thinks rationally.

It doesn't.

[Jul 24, 2021] The "deal" was merely an attempt by the US to save face

Jul 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com


play_arrow

Shemp 4 Victory 6 hours ago

The "deal" was merely an attempt by the US to save face.

https://theduran.com/merkel-makes-germany-look-weak-sets-up-ukraine-slush-fund-in-nord-stream-2-deal-with-u-s/

[Jul 23, 2021] Russia rejects aspects of Germany-U.S. accord on Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Jul 23, 2021 | www.msn.com

The Kremlin said on Thursday it disagreed with some statements in an agreement between the United States and Germany on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, insisting that Russia had never used energy as a tool of political pressure.

The pact aims to mitigate what critics see as the strategic dangers of the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia's Arctic region to Germany.

"Russia has always been and remains a responsible guarantor of energy security on the European continent, or I would even say on a wider, global scale," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

[Jul 21, 2021] Germany commits to action if Russia uses energy as weapon -Nuland

Jul 21, 2021 | www.msn.com

Arby's Just Quietly Discontinued These 6 Menu Items See Dolly Parton Recreate Her Iconic "Playboy" Cover 43 Years Later

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - Germany has committed to take action on its own and back action at the European Union level should Russia seek to use energy as a weapon or take aggressive action against Ukraine, U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday.

"Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive actions against Ukraine, Germany will take actions at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russian export capabilities in the energy sector," Nuland told lawmakers, adding that Germany would support an extension of the Russia-Ukraine transit agreement that expires in 2024. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay)

[Jul 21, 2021] Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

Notable quotes:
"... Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. ..."
"... IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much. ..."
"... You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom). ..."
"... The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia. ..."
"... There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington. ..."
"... Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power. ..."
"... While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular. ..."
Jul 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.

The U.S. attempts to block the pipeline were part of the massive anti-Russia campaign waged over the last five years. But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany. As I described Nord Stream 2 in a previous piece :

It is not Russia which needs the pipeline. It can sell its gas to China for just as much as it makes by selling gas to Europe.
...
It is Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, that needs the pipeline and the gas flowing through it. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors - Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

That the new pipeline will bypass old ones which run through the Ukraine is likewise to the benefit of Germany, not Russia. The pipeline infrastructure in the Ukraine is old and near to disrepair. The Ukraine has no money to renew it. Politically it is under U.S. influence. It could use its control over the energy flow to the EU for blackmail. (It already tried once.) The new pipeline, laid at the bottom of the Baltic sea, requires no payment for crossing Ukrainian land and is safe from potential malign influence.

Maybe Chancellor Merkel on her recent visit to Washington DC finally managed to explain that to the Biden administration. More likely though she simply told the U.S. to f*** off. Whatever - the result is in. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement allowing completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, officials from both countries say.

Under the four-point agreement, Germany and the U.S. would invest $50 million in Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries. Germany also would support energy talks in the Three Seas Initiative, a Central European diplomatic forum.

Berlin and Washington as well would try to ensure that Ukraine continues to receive roughly $3 billion in annual transit fees that Russia pays under its current agreement with Kyiv, which runs through 2024. Officials didn't explain how to ensure that Russia continues to make the payments.

The U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.

So Germany will spend some chump change to buy up, together with the U.S, a few Ukrainian companies that are involved in solar or wind mill stuff. It will 'support' some irrelevant talks by maybe paying for the coffee. It also promises to try something that it has no way to succeed in.

That's all just a fig leave. The U.S. really gave up without receiving anything for itself or for its client regime in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine lobby in Congress will be very unhappy with that deal. The Biden administration hopes to avoid an uproar over it. Yesterday Politico reported that the Biden administration preemptively had told the Ukraine to stop talking about the issue :

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they've given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship , those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany's potential plans with Congress.

If Trump had done the above Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have called for another impeachment.

The Ukrainian President Zelensky is furious over the deal and about being told to shut up. But there is little he can do but to accept the booby price the Biden administration offered him:

U.S. officials' pressure on Ukrainian officials to withhold criticism of whatever final deal the Americans and the Germans reach will face significant resistance.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv's position is that U.S. sanctions could still stop completion of the project, if only the Biden administration had the will to use them at the construction and certification stages. That person said Kyiv remains staunchly opposed to the project.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration gave Zelensky a date for a meeting at the White House with the president later this summer , according to a senior administration official.

Nord Stream 2 is to 96% ready. Its testing will start in August or September and by the years end it will hopefully deliver gas to western Europe.

Talks about building Nord Stream 3 are likely to start soon.

Posted by b on July 21, 2021 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink


corvo , Jul 21 2021 17:23 utc | 1

Did Merkel also get Biden to promise that neither he nor any of his clients (AQ, ISIS, etc. etc. etc.) would perpetrate any "unfortunate incidents" or "disruptions" on NS 2?

And would any such promises be worth the breath that uttered them?

Down South , Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2
But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany

I'm afraid it is you who doesn't understand. Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down,

Abe , Jul 21 2021 17:44 utc | 3
I beg to differ. IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much.

You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom).

That is why there is also pressure for all western countries to adopt insane immigration, LGBT, austerity policies and what not. What a better way to destroy all these countries, both economically and culturally, or adleast make them far more worse than US, it is only way US can again become "powerhouse", like after WW2.

psychohistorian , Jul 21 2021 17:46 utc | 5
Does this represent a fracturing of the EU? or maybe a change in direction?

What b is pointing out about how if it were Trump....only means that the bullying approach by empire didn't work and now we are seeing face saving bullying and backpedaling like crazy in some areas.

I roll my eyes at this ongoing belief that Trump represented humanity instead of all or some faction of the elite....as a demigod it seems.

Hoyeru , Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6
the "facts" as you state them are not quite right.

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind. The poor Iran didn't have a choice but to agree. Even today, Putin will NOT say how much China is paying for gas on Siberia pipeline and a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal. A second Siberia line without a NS2 will put Russia is very bad negotiation position and China in very good one, giving them the advantage to ask for any price of Russia and get it.

2. Merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over HATES RUssia with passion. The NS2 is far from done deal, it needs to be insured. Plus it will fall under the EU 3rd energy package making sure Germany doesn't use it 100% . The NS2 will never be 100 usable, the Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

And so on and so on. Funny how in today's world, we all have different facts. My facts are different than YOUR facts. My facts are just as relevant as your facts.

librul , Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7
A most worthwhile read:
What is more, the most dangerous potential alliance, from the perspective of the United States, was considered to be an alliance between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.

The article explains a lot, more than just Germany or Russia.

https://newcoldwar.org/stratfor-chiefs-most-blatant-coup-in-history-interview-from-dec-2014/

Interview was from done a few months after the US coup in Ukraine.

Arch Bungle , Jul 21 2021 17:56 utc | 8
Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2

They weren't trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down...

Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2. The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that. What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.

Max , Jul 21 2021 17:58 utc | 9
The pipeline construction battle has been won, not the energy flow war.

The Financial Empire is most likely resorting to some CHARADE to find an excuse to later stop the gas flow through Nord Stream 2. Empire's bullying was clearly exposed through sanctions and it LOST the battle of stopping the pipeline construction. So it moves to the next battle to find an excuse to stop the gas flow. Empire's evil intent is visible in these words, "the U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said."

The Financial Empire has worked hard over the last century to prevent Germany from allying herself with Russia. It wants to control energy flowing in Eurasia and its pricing. The war will be only won when the Financial Empire is defeated and its global pillars of power DISMANTLED.

"The 'heartland' was an area centered in Eurasia, which would be so situated and catered to by resources and manpower as to render it an unconquerable fortress and a fearsome power; and the 'crescent' was a virtual semi-arc encompassing an array of islands – America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – which, as 'Sea Powers,' watched over the Eurasian landmass to detect and eventually thwart any tendency towards a consolidation of power on the heartland."

Has the Financial Empire stopped interfering in other regions?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 18:15 utc | 10
Curious. Late yesterday Sputnik published this article with a decidedly different message:

"US, Germany Threaten Retaliatory Action Against Russia in Draft Nord Stream 2 Accord - Report...."

"As the US and Germany have reportedly reached a deal on the Nord Stream 2 project, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing the obtained draft text of the agreement, that it would threaten sanctions and other measures if Russia tried to use energy as a 'weapon' against Ukraine , though it did not specify what actions could provoke the countermeasures.

"According to the report, in such a case, Germany will take unspecified national action , a decision that may represent a concession from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had previously refused to take independent action against Moscow over the gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany." [My Emphasis]

The article continues:

"On Tuesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, told reporters that he did not have final details of an agreement to announce, but that 'the Germans have put forward useful proposals, and we have been able to make progress on steps to achieve that shared goal, that shared goal being to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize energy ."

" The US was hoping for explicit language that would commit Germany to shut down gas delivery through Nord Stream 2 if Russia attempted to exert undue influence on Ukraine . Germany, on the other hand, has long rejected such a move, stating that such a threat would only serve to politicize a project that Merkel stresses is solely commercial in nature." [My Emphasis]

The overall motive appears to be this:

"The accord would also commit Germany to use its influence to prolong Ukraine's gas transit arrangement with Russia beyond 2024, possibly for up to ten years . Those talks would begin no later than September 1, according to the news outlet." [My Emphasis]

So, here we have the Outlaw US Empire meddling in the internal affairs of three nations--Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine cannot afford Russian gas as it has no rubles to pay for it. Thus if Ukraine has no money to buy, then why should Gazprom be obliged to give it away freely? What about other European customers who rely on gas piped through Ukraine; are they going to see what they pay for get stolen by Ukraine? And what happens when the pipelines breakdown from lack of maintenance since Ukraine's broke thanks to the Outlaw Us Empire's coup that razed its economy? Shouldn't the Empire and its NATO vassals who invaded Ukraine via their coup be forced to pay for such maintenance? And just who "weaponized" this entire situation in the first place?

Mar man , Jul 21 2021 18:21 utc | 11
From my understanding, NS 2 was mutually beneficial for Germany and Russia. As noted, Germany desperately needs energy and relying on the outrageously priced and unreliable US LNG was not a viable option.

Russia benefits also.
1.No more high transit fees Russia pays Ukraine. I imagine some of that was finding its way into US pockets after 2014.
2.Ukraine supposedly helped itself to plenty of stolen gas from the pipeline. That will stop.
3.Ukraine was occasionally shutting down the pipeline for political reasons until Russia paid the ransom. Not anymore.

So, Russia and Germany were both highly motivated to finish the pipeline ASAP.

Down South , Jul 21 2021 18:31 utc | 12
Arch Bungle @ 8
Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2.

The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that.

Putin not too long ago (can't find the article now) said he was prepared to help Europe gain its independence should they wish to do so, Rammstein or no Rammstein.

What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.
What they fear should this deal go ahead is a Germany/Russia/China Axis that would control the world island and thus the world.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 21 2021 18:33 utc | 13
I was convinced that the US of Assholery had lost its infantile anti-NS2 'battle' in September 2020, after watching an episode of DW Conflict Zone in which Sarah Kelly interviewed Niels Annen, Germany's Deputy FM. Annen came to the interview armed to the teeth with embarrassing facts about US hypocrisy including, but not limited to, the fact that USA, itself, buys vast quantities of petroleum products from Russia each year.

The interview is Google-able and, apart from pure entertainment value, Sarah is much easier on the eye than Tim Sebastian...

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 18:34 utc | 14
@Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind.

Hmmm... I seem to remember Iran shafting China on the south Pars gas field when it looked like the JCPOA was looking likely...

If this memory of mine was correct (it may not be) then you really can't blame China for a little commercial payback.

In any case it was shown as soon as JCPOA Mk.1 was passed Iran RAN, not walked, to smooch up to the west for business, not China, not Russia. So if its just business for Iran then its just business for China.

There's no loyalty discount without loyalty.

robin , Jul 21 2021 18:38 utc | 16
I agree with Down South 2 and Abe 3.

In our eagerness to expose the empire's shortcomings in a quick 'gotcha!' moment we shouldn't rush head first into false premises. To suggest Dear Uncle Sam is concerned with anything other than his own navel is naive. He's the man with the plan. He knows that down the road, Oceania's eastern border won't run along the Dnieper but right off the shore of Airstrip One.

Stonebird , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17
As has been mentioned before, the NN2 pipeline gives Germany leverage over Russia , not the other way around.

US => Germany => Russia.
Which is now plan b for the US. If then they can use their leverage over Germany to steer it in any direction it wants to vs. Russia.

This will probably be followed by "targeted" sanctions on specific Politicians, Bankers and Heads of industry. They only need to propose such sanctions individually for them to have an effect. Using Pegasus for inside information to Blackmail those it wants to.
*****

Example of a sanctions racket :

Similar to the potential sanctions on any Lebanese Politian or Group Leaders if they get Oil from Iran, Russia or China. The Lebanese population be damned.

"Apparently US Treasury has informed the government of Lebanon, that if any Oil products from Iran make it into Lebanon, in any way; the government of Lebanon and all its members will be sanctioned. This includes the Central Bankers"

Just in case you didn't understand how the crisis in the country is manufactured.

Pegasus again:

"leaks on the targets of Israeli spy program Pegasus, show hundreds in Lebanon including the elected leadership of every party, every media outlet, & every security agency, have been targeted by clients in 10 countries; all belonging to the Imperialist camp.

But it is very easy to guess by looking at who are the external imperialist forces active in Lebanon. USA/UK/France/Turkey/Germany/Canada/Israel/Qatar; that's eight. Plus Saudi Arabia."
*******

PS. Lebanon; This comes as a response to Sayyed Nasrallah stating in his last speech that if the State in Lebanon is not able to provide fuel, he will bring it at the expense of Hizbullah from Iran, dock it in the port of Beirut, and dared anyone to stop it from reaching the people.
*****

Germany will only be the latest victim as the Mafia-US "protection" racket is ramped up.

Lysander , Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 18
Both b and the many commenters raise excellent points. Yes, the US wants to hurt both Russia and Germany. And yes the US *definitely* fears close cooperation between Moscow and Berlin. But the main take home lesson is that the US failed despite enormous efforts to block NS2. Russo-German cooperation is inevitable and the world will be better for it.
Passer , Jul 21 2021 19:02 utc | 19
Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

>>a lot of people think China is robbing Russia blind on the deal

Why would be Russia building Power of Siberia 2 and 3 to China then? Or selling LNG too? You don't have much knowledge on the topic, the way it looks. A giant gas plant was built near the border with China, the second biggest gas plant in the world, because the gas for China is rich in rare elements, thus turning Russia in of the the biggest producers of strategic helium, not to mention extracting many other rare elements. China gets gas that has been cleaned of anything valuable from it, with the exception of the gas itself.

>>merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over

The latest polls show clear lead for CDU/CSU. And it looks like its too late.

>>the NS2 will never be 100 usable, tthe Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

Do you even follow what has been going on? Germany is free not to buy russian gas, that is, to be left without gas if this is what it wants.

Do you see how nat gas prices exploded in Europe recently? Do you know why is that? Because Russia refuses to sell additional volumes via Ukraine's network. It is a message to finish the issues with NS 2 pipeline faster and then everything will be fine, there will be plenty of space for new gas volumes, and the gas price will drop.

robin , Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21
@ A.L. 14

It is the UNSC resolutions of 2006, 2007 and 2010 which have laid the backbone for the incremental diplomatic, economic and material warfare against Iran. Without them, there would be no narrative framing Iran as an outlaw nor justification for crippling sanctions. That Iran should even be subjected to the JCPOA is in itself an objective injustice.

Each of these resolutions could easily have been blocked by the two permanent members of the UNSC we go to much lengths on this forum to depict as selfless adversaries of the Empire. All they had to do was raise a finger and say niet. In other words, by their actions, these two members placed Iran in a very disadvantageous trading position.

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 19:24 utc | 23
It seems few care, but Sputnik followed its article from yesterday I linked to @10 with another that features an interview with Glenn Diesen . It reiterates:

"According to the draft deal, obtained by Bloomberg, Washington and Berlin would threaten sanctions and other retaliation if Russia 'tries to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine', with Germany being obligated to take unspecified actions in the event of Russian 'misbehaviour' . [My Emphasis]

The article then turns to the interview:

"Professor Glenn Diesen of the University of South-Eastern Norway has explained what is behind the US-Germany row is." [That last "is" appears to be a typo]

I suggest barflies pay close attention to Dr. Diesen who's the author of an outstanding book on the geoeconomics of Russia and China, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia . I judge the following Q&A to be most relevant:

"Sputnik: The Biden administration waived sanctions on the firm behind the gas project, Nord Stream 2 AG, and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig. At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in June that the pipeline project was a Russian tool for the coercion of Europe and signaled that the US has leverage against it. What's behind Washington's mixed signals with regard to the project? How could they throw sand in Nord Stream 2's gears, in your opinion - or are Blinken's threats empty?

"Glenn Diesen: The mixed signals demonstrate that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was a defeat for the US. Biden confirmed that he waived sanctions because the project was near complete. Sanctions could not stop the project [link at original], rather they would merely continue to worsen relations with Berlin and Moscow. The best approach for Washington at this point is to recognise that Nord Stream 2 is a done deal, and instead Washington will direct its focus towards limiting the geo-economics consequences of the pipeline by obtaining commitments from Berlin such as preserving Ukraine's role as a transit state [Link at original].

"The US therefore waives sanctions against Nord Stream 2, yet threatens new sanctions if Berlin fails to accept US conditions and limitations on Nord Stream 2. Blinken's threats are loaded with 'strategic ambiguity', which could be aimed to conceal that they are merely empty threats . However, strategic ambiguity is also conducive to prevent Berlin from calculating the "costs" and possible remedies to US threats. Furthermore, ambiguity can be ideal in terms of how to respond as it is not a good look to continuously threaten allies." [Emphasis original]

The professor's closing remarks are also very important regarding Merkel's successor. Where I disagree is with the notion that the Outlaw US Empire has geoeconomic leverage over the EU--military yes, but the Empire is just as uncompetitive versus the EU as it is versus China.

A.L. , Jul 21 2021 19:25 utc | 24
@robin | Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Of course they did, let's be real. China and Russia are not going to be the all benevolent saviors of the world, they never were, never will.

They will always serve their interests first and foremost. Sometimes, they do get suckered into UNSC resolutions like those you spoke of. Sometimes, there're backroom horse trading that we're not privy to and little countries are just chips on the table...

The best we can hope for is that they can behave with more integrity than currently shown by the incumbent anglospheric bloc in their re-ascendancy.

Either we ditch the UNSC system or everybody get nukes, because i can't see the current UNSC members willing ditch their own, ever.

Prof , Jul 21 2021 19:30 utc | 26
Lysander is correct. The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia.

Types of interdependence between Germany and Russia, eg. NRG security, are a direct threat to US dominance over Europe as a whole.

There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington.

c1ue , Jul 21 2021 19:47 utc | 28
Way too much confusion over what Nord Stream 2 really means.

1) Russian gas transiting Ukraine had already fallen from 150 bcm to the high 90s/low 100s before Nord Stream 2 goes online. Even after NS2 goes online, a significant amount of Russian gas will still transit via Ukraine.

2) Energy demand generally increases over time, not decreases. Russian gas exports aren't increasing in a straight line, but keep in mind that there are significant new competitors now and in the process coming online. These include Azerbaijan as well as the ongoing pipeline struggle through the Black Sea/Turkey/Eastern Med.

I never believed there was any chance of NS2 not completing; the only question was when.

robin , Jul 21 2021 20:00 utc | 30
@ Stonebird | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17

Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power.

What we need now is a worldwide Me Too movement to denounce this leverage. Taking that first step would require a lot of courage for any blackmailed individual, but the one little breach could lead to a flood of world citizens just about fed up with the Empire's shit.

William Gruff , Jul 21 2021 20:12 utc | 32
psychohistorian @5

It pains me that I do not remember exactly who it was, but one of the more erudite posters here mentioned some time ago that Trump seemed more like a Bonapartist figure than a fascist or a typical and simple representative of a faction in the oligarchy. While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular.

It is unwise to downplay the significance of Trump coming to power in 2016, regardless of what feelings one may have about the individual himself. The conditions that led to the rise of Trump not only persist, but have intensified. Those conditions cannot be resolved by mass media gaslighting and social media censorship, which actually seems to be having an effect more like holding the emergency relief valve on a boiler closed; it quiets an annoying sound, but causes the underlying issue to grow more severe.

Basically, further splits in the EU are inevitable. It is the timing of those splits that is difficult to predict, but the accuracy of that prediction hinges upon the accuracy of our assessment of events occurring now. Interestingly, Trump is still part of these unfolding events.

Christian J. Chuba , Jul 21 2021 20:33 utc | 34
Fracturing NATO and the West hmmm ... If Germany gains any independence from U.S. coercion they are 'fracturing Europe'. Bad Germany.

Germany must forever remain a vassal state of the U.S. by allowing the U.S. to use another vassal state to control their energy supply. And who says we don't believe in freedom. Neocons are such vile creatures. Always twisting words but remember, whenever they say something, the exact opposite is true.

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 21:00 utc | 37
One issue underlying this fiasco is I believe that the neocons / Atlantic Council were 100% certain that Russia did not have the expertise to lay pipelines at the required depths, and once Allseas was facing sanctions, the project would never be completed.

**********************************************************

Re: China/Russia deal

I believe that the exact pricing formula for Power of Siberia is confidential, but this much is known:

"The price of Russian gas supplies to China increased in the second quarter of 2021 for the first time since deliveries started via the Power of Siberia pipeline in 2019, but daily delivery volumes fell in April, Interfax reported on Sunday.

Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM has said it supplied China with 3.84 billion cubic metres of gas via the Power of Siberia pipeline in its first year of operation.

Citing Chinese customs data, Interfax said the price of gas increased to $148 per thousand cubic metres, rising from $121 in the first quarter, and reversing a downward trend."

**********************************************************************************

Also, Victoria Nuland informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today about Biden's cave to Russia. That must have been brutal for her. Regardless, nice to see a rare display of sanity from s US administration.

Baron , Jul 21 2021 21:16 utc | 39
@librul | Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7

The primary and only objective of the US Foreign policy vis-a-vis Europe since WW2 has been to prevent Russia and Germany (now read the German run EU project) coupling up, that's it, nothing else matters on Europe.

The completion of N-2 presents a serious blow tho this aim, the new pipeline is a must for Germany, it must get finished, without it Germany's supply of energy would have been almost fully controlled by the Americans who have either direct or indirect authority over every major source of hydrocarbons except for Venezuela and Russia, the latter only partly, the Ukrainian pipeline is fully in their sphere of influence.

Energy fuels everything from private dwellings to major corporations, it's together with labour and technology the most important ingredient in every economy. To lose control of it would have been a catastrophe for Germany, in particular if one takes into account the secret treaty between Germany and the Allies (read the US) from 1949.

"On 23 May 1949, the Western Allies ratified a new German constitution, known as the "Basic Law" or Grundgesetz. However, two days prior, a secret state treaty - Geheimer Staatsvertrag - was also signed to grant complete Allied control over education and all licensed media, press, radio, television and publishing houses until the year 2099. This was confirmed by Major-General Gerd-Helmut Komossa, former head of German Military Intelligence in his book, "Die Deutsche Karte" or The German Card".

Has anyone read the Komossa's book in full?

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:18 utc | 40
schmoe @37--

What's interesting about Power of Siberia-1 is that the gas is being stripped -- refined at the newly completed Amur Gas Plant -- of its components prior to being piped into China. I don't know if Germany's petrochemical industry will be deprived in similar manner with NS2.

CD Waller @36--

Nothing in the energy production realm is carbon neutral. ROSATOM has mastered the fuel cycle which means most if not all toxic waste will now be burned for energy. New reactors do NOT use water as coolant. Clearly you need to update what you know about nuclear power.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 21:31 utc | 41
The Russian 'victory' is very narrow and mostly consists of the patience and determination to follow-thru while consistently being derided/attacked by Western media, pundits, and politicians:
  1. Since Russia/Gasprom owns NS2 100% (paying for half the construction cost outright and financing the rest), there was never much need to stop construction, only to stop/limit consumption. The 'trick' was to find a way to accomplish US/NATO goals that would not make German leaders look like puppets.
  2. Biden's approach looks good compared to Trump's heavy-handed approach. As they are BOTH spokesman of the Empire's Deep State, we can surmise that this is merely good cop / bad cop theatrics.
  3. This USA-GERMAN agreement makes Germany appear to voluntarily support EU/NATO - a good thing(tm) that most Germans will accept without question. But behind the scenes, it's unlikely that there was ever any real choice, just a mutual desire to fashion a 'smart' policy that didn't undermine German political leaders.
  4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.
  5. If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets.
  6. Russia and China are likely to be increasingly linked in Western media/propaganda. Deficiencies of one or the other will apply to BOTH.
The next few winters in EU will be very interesting.

!!

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 21:44 utc | 43
Baron @39--

Thanks very much for mentioning Komossa's book!! Here's a very short but illuminating article about book and author . There appear to be copies available for downloading, but I've yet to find one.

karlof1 , Jul 21 2021 22:40 utc | 48
Jackrabbit @41 incorrectly says Russia owns NS2 100% It's owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, and here's its website listing its financial investors, while its shareholders/owners are global. The company is located in Zug, Switzerland. Here we are told who the financial companies are :

"In April 2017, Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project."

As with the first string, Russia doesn't own it 100% nor did it finance it completely; rather, its stake was @50% It appears both Nord Streams will be managed from the same location in Zug. I hope the company produces a similar sort of book to record its accomplishment as it did for the first string pair, which can be found and downloaded here .

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 22:55 utc | 50
karlof1 @Jul21 22:40 #48

This Deutsche Welle (DW) explainer details NS2 ownership and financing :

Who is paying for it: Russia's energy giant Gazprom is the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 AG , the company in charge of implementing the €9.5 billion ($11.1 billion) project. Gazprom is also covering half of the cost. The rest, however, is being financed by five western companies: ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall.
Emphasis is mine.

<> <> <> <> <>

Nord Stream 2 AG is a German company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom. The German subsidiary has borrowed half of the construction cost but is 100% owner of the NS2 project.

!!

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:07 utc | 53
From karlof1's link to Nord Stream 2 AG's Shareholder and Financial Investors page makes it clear that NordStream 2 AG is a subsidiary of Gazprom international projects LLC, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Gazprom. Under "Shareholder" there is only one company listed: Gasprom.

PS I was mistaken: Nord Stream 2 AG is a Swiss company, not a German one.

!!

schmoe , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 56
Jackrabbit @ 41

I am no sure if this is that plausible:

"4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.

If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets."

Germany has been portrayed as not living up to its NATO obligations one way or another since about 1985, and with respect to NS 2, since 2018. They do not seem fazed - maybe a Green win would change that. If the USA-Ukraine get (more) belligerent, Germany might be less likely to insist on Ukraine gas transit after 2024.

Jackrabbit , Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 57
The Russian government owns a majority of Gazprom. As majority owner they can be said to control the company and with that control comes an inescapable political dimension.

For the purposes of this discussion: the Russian government has biggest stake in the financial success of Nord Stream 2. That "success" depends on gas sold, not simply the completion of NS2 construction.

!!

[Jul 12, 2021] Angela Merkel Doesn't Think U.S., Germany Will Come to Quick Agreement on Disputed Pipeline

Jul 12, 2021 | www.msn.com

Merkel is meeting with President Joe Biden on Thursday this week, and said while she will discuss the issue at the White House, she does not believe the matter will be resolved at that time.

"I don't know whether the papers will be fully finalized, so to speak. I believe rather not," Merkel said. "But these will be important talks for developing a common position."

Sanctions imposed against German companies involved in the project by the U.S. were recently waived, which raised hopes in Berlin that the two countries may soon be able to find an acceptable agreement on the matter.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Washington has long argued that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany endangers Europe's energy security and harms allies such as Ukraine, which currently profits from transit fees for Russian gas.

Germany is keen to increase its use of natural gas as it completes the shutdown of its nuclear power plants next year and phases out the use of heavily polluting coal by 2038.

Merkel's comments to reporters in Berlin came ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has warned that Nord Stream 2 poses a threat to his country's energy security. Should Russia route all of its gas around Ukraine in the future, the country might be cut off from the supplies it needs, putting it at further risk of being pressured by Moscow.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and supports separatists in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland of Donbas.

Zelenskyy said he was looking for guarantees that Ukraine will remain a transit country for Russian gas beyond 2024. He also suggested that the gas issue should become part of four-way talks between his country, Russia, Germany and France on solving the conflict in eastern Ukraine and that the United States could join those negotiations.

Merkel said she took Ukraine's concerns seriously and that Germany and the European Union would use their weight in negotiations with Russia to ensure the agreements are extended.

"We have promised this to Ukraine and we will stick to that. I keep my promises and I believe that is true also for any future German chancellor," she said.

Merkel isn't running for a fifth term in Germany's national election on Sept. 26.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not pictured, give statements ahead of talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Monday, July 12, 2021. Stefanie Loos/Pool Photo via AP

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[Jul 08, 2021] The Real Reason OPEC Talks Broke Down - ZeroHedge

Jul 08, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

While much of the analysis of the recent OPEC+ disagreement has focused on why the UAE refused to commit to the new export plan, there are other factors that have been largely overlooked. A closer look at the ongoing investments by the UAE in its upstream and downstream industry is one such example. Abu Dhabi's national oil company ADNOC has put in place a production capacity increase that calls for a total reassessment of the underlying OPEC production baselines, which were agreed in 2018. At present Abu Dhabi is allowed to produce around 3.2 million bpd, based on the 2018 baseline, but has a capacity now of more than 3.8-4 million bpd. Looking at ongoing new projects and planned investments, production of more than 4 million bpd is possible in the coming years.

The aggressive investment strategy of ADNOC means that the UAE is plenty of incentives to increase production. An extended and controlled OPEC+ export quota system would not only impact the UAE's revenue streams but could even turn some of its multi-billion dollar investments into stranded assets in the long term.

Recently, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed has been pushing an independent geopolitical and economic strategy for the UAE. After years of cooperating with Saudi Arabia on everything from OPEC policy to regional geopolitical crises, the two powers are now beginning to diverge. Former cooperation on issues such as the Yemen war and the Qatar blockade has weakened drastically.

At the same time, Mohammed bin Salman has been aggressively pushing Saudi Arabia's regional power. Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, the Kingdom's economic diversification plan, has driven the crown prince to take aim on other GCC countries as he attempts to force international investors and companies to set up shop in Saudi Arabia rather than Dubai or Doha. This transformation in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the UAE certainly played a part in the recent OPEC+ conflict.

Riyadh is also targeting the logistics industry, an industry that the UAE has long dominated, establishing itself as a regional hub for logistics and connecting EU-Asian commodity and trade flows. In the last couple of months, Saudi Arabia has become increasingly aggressive in this space. While there has no been a direct conflict in this area, it is generally assumed that there is not enough space in the region for two supra-regional maritime logistic hubs. MBZ and Dubai are clearly unimpressed with Saudi Arabia's attempts to muscle in on the industry.

Another area of discord between the two nations is the UAE's increased cooperation with Israel. UAE-Israel cooperation in logistics, technology, defense, and agriculture, is a possible threat to Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 projects. By bringing Israeli tech and know-how to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the UAE projects will compete with the Saudi Giga-Projects, such as NEOM, for international investment. In response to these moves by the UEA, Riyadh has blocked technology and products exports by the UAE that are linked to Israel.

This economic and geopolitical confrontation is normal in the Arab world and is unlikely to cause a major rift between the two nations. The current cracks will likely be mended when one of the two parties is calling for a Majlis in the Desert. MBS and MBZ have more to win from cooperation than confrontation. A breakthrough in the OPEC discussions is certainly a possibility, but first, some saber-rattling must be done. Ultimately, MBS understands that both Aramco's and ADNOC's future revenues are important. Both NOCs will be able to gain a lot of market share in the coming years if they play their cards right. By being flexible while not losing face, both the nations could go on to cooperate in other fields. Emirati SWFs are still a viable source of financing for major projects in Saudi Arabia, while energy-transition projects in the Emirates thrive on Saudi cooperation and cash.

By showing a strong position in international and regional media, both Crown Princes aim to boost their own positions. MBS's strong approach towards regional economic issues is clear and will inevitably come into conflict with others. MBZ's more aggressive regional and supra-regional power aspirations are also set out for all to see. OPEC's infighting is a natural place for these tensions to play out. Both parties know that their long-term alliance will be key in the future. A full confrontation between the two nations would only serve as an advantage to the long list of regional adversaries for these two nations. By threatening non-compliance, Abu Dhabi is showing its willingness to confront market developments head-on. Saudi Arabia and Russia now need to understand that a Riyadh-Moscow agreement is not going to be enough to placate the other members. ADNOC is unlikely to destabilize the market by opening up its taps, but the symbolism of its resistance is important. Statements about the UAE's willingness to leave OPEC are based purely on rumors, not on facts. Stability is key in oil and gas, being part of the discussion inside of OPEC is more valuable to the UAE than being independent. There is plenty of complexity to unpick behind the scenes, but this particular disagreement is unlikely to cause any real problems for OPEC+

play_arrow
slokhmet 1 hour ago

I have another hypothesis: with covid lockdowns and restricted travel, UAE's income from prostitution and laundering crashed. They needed to make it up somewhere else.

Simple, really.

jimmy12345 1 hour ago

An oil glut is coming. As electric vehicles get cheaper and better year by year, there will a rapid adoption of EV's creating a glut in the oil market. In 2022, 10% of china's vehicles sales will be electric and the auto industry has announce over 100 billion dollars in investments in electric vehicles. The Russian cucks on here are screwed.

GregT 1 hour ago

Wrong. Ev's have been around for over a decade & still don't have 1% of the automobile market. They're a novelty. Not a viable path to move billions of people around in the world. Look at a previous article from today on ZH. China produced 225k this yr. If you live to be a million they might catch up to combustion engine cars & trucks.

Ron_Paul_Was_Right 1 hour ago

I don't know about it taking a million years to get there, but to your point yes - EVs just aren't competitive with fuel burning vehicles at this time. It just doesn't work to drive 400 miles and have to wait an hour plus for a "fill up" to drive another 400 miles. Not when it takes 5 minutes to fill a gas tank, it just isn't competitive.

Delusion Spotter 45 minutes ago

More Correct Analysis:

" Statements about the UAE's willingness to leave OPEC are based purely on rumors, not on facts. Stability is key in oil and gas, being part of the discussion inside of OPEC is more valuable to the UAE than being independent. "

UAE's going to stay in OPEC, and the latest OPEC sideshow will result in higher Oil Prices, not lower.

radical-extremist 1 hour ago

How are world leaders allowing OPEC to produce or even exist at all...while Climate Change threatens our very existence on earth? They seem to be sending mixed messages.

GregT 1 hour ago

Because world leaders know climate change is a hoax to scare people into paying governments more taxes. They need & want oil as bad as everyone else.

bustdriver 1 hour ago

I am guessing there is money angle in the mix.

[Jul 03, 2021] We should know sometime between January and December 2022 if Russia is in decline

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 07/03/2021 at 1:44 pm

We should know for sure sometime between January and December 2022. We will know when it is confirmed that Russia is in decline. That will be the tipping point. Many producers are already in decline but Russia is now the largest. Of course, the US being in decline, the two largest producers in the world, would leave no doubt about it. LIGHTSOUT IGNORED 07/03/2021 at 11:47 am

Thanks Ovi. KSA,Russia and US are starting to look like a line of domino's.

[Jul 03, 2021] Iraqi minister says BP mulls quitting Iraq, Lukoil wants to sell up

Jul 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 07/03/2021 at 2:27 pm

Some news about Iraq:

Iraqi minister says BP mulls quitting Iraq, Lukoil wants to sell up

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in a video posted on Saturday on the ministry's Facebook page that BP (BP.L) was considering withdrawing from Iraq, and that Russia's Lukoil (LKOH.MM) had sent a formal notification saying it wanted to sell its stake in the West Qurna-2 field to Chinese companies.

Iraqi tax commission cracks down on international energy companies

Iraq's top tax authority has ordered government departments to stop issuing visas and halt imports for nearly two dozen international energy companies whom it accuses of late tax payments.

If enforced, the orders, dated June 27, 2021, could prevent some of the biggest players in Iraq's oil, gas, and electricity sectors from bringing staff and equipment into Iraq, effectively depriving the country of work that is needed to meet its own production targets at a time when insufficient gas feedstock is causing nationwide electricity failures.

Iraq power cuts stir protests as summer temperatures scorch country

The power cuts have hit the south of Iraq especially hard. In Basra, where Iraq's oil wells are situated, people have started taking to the streets in protest and main roads had to be shut down. POLLUX IGNORED 07/03/2021 at 2:59 pm

Gasoline Shortages In Iran As Tanker Drivers Shun Fuel Shipments

An official of Iranian Truck and Fuel Tanker Drivers' Union said Thursday that drivers were refusing to transport fuel due to low or late payments from the government. There has been a shortage of supply in gasoline stations in recent days in various parts of the country.

In a statement published on social media Thursday, the National Association of Drivers' Unions expressed solidarity with striking contract oil and petrochemical workers and said drivers would join their strike if the oil workers' demands were ignored.

[Jun 09, 2021] Saudi Aramco announced a mega preliminary agreement on Wednesday to buy 5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from the USA

Jun 09, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/08/2021 at 5:27 pm

There are a lot of things that can be done to mitigate problems due to declining oil production. When it comes to SA, they can start using natural gas from Ghawar or Qatar to replace fuel oil for power generation during especially summer.

Okay, first point: Qatar has plenty of natural gas. The problem is they are in a feud with Saudi and they do not trade with each other:

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations. The boycotting countries, known as the Arab quartet, also cited political differences with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Second point: Saudi does not have nearly enough natural gas to power their own power plants and desalination plants:

Saudi Arabia wants to buy tons of American natural gas

New York CNN Business --
Saudi Arabia has placed a huge bet on American natural gas.

In a sign of shifting energy fortunes, Saudi Aramco announced a mega preliminary agreement on Wednesday to buy 5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from a Port Arthur, Texas export project that's under development.

If completed, the purchase from San Diego-based Sempra Energy (SRE) would be one of the largest LNG deals ever signed, according to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

But this may change. Saudi is desperate for natural gas and this has led them to try to make amends with Qatar:

Arab countries agree to end years-long feud with Qatar that divided Gulf

Updated 4:08 PM ET, Tue January 5, 2021

(CNN)Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies agreed on Tuesday to restore diplomatic relations with Qatar and restart flights to and from the country, ending a three-year boycott of the tiny gas-rich nation.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017 after accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Qatar has repeatedly denied the accusations.

The boycotting countries, known as the Arab quartet, also cited political differences with Qatar over Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Doha, unlike its Gulf neighbors, has friendly relations with Tehran, supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and has hosted groups affiliated with the Islamist group.

Qatar's only land border -- which it shares with Saudi Arabia -- was sealed shut. Boycotting countries closed their airspace to Qatar, and nearby Bahrain and the UAE closed their maritime borders to ships carrying the Qatari flag. REPLY RATIONALLUDDITE IGNORED 06/08/2021 at 8:29 pm

Fantastic Ron. Too many people practising truth by assertion and liar's bluff / wishful thinking. They won't change, but you persuade others whom are genuinely seeking the truth and can distinguish between evidence supported logic and security blanket speculation.

As was previously linked to on POB, ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/petroleum-exploration-and-development/vol/44/issue/6 , p. 1024) south Ghwar was pumping 60% water seemingly c 2008.

SA is going to end badly, as too will fever dreams that don't realise that their electric transition is a mirage – largely it's all fossil fuels in disguise and totally parasitic on upon the peak energy infrastructure of previous and current fossil fuel excess calories.

We may have an Electric Middle Ages (Ugo Bardi), but unless a new energy source AT LEAST as energy dense and net positive as FF is discovered like yesterday then this lovely wealth Blip we all enjoyed is going away.

[Jun 07, 2021] Saudi Arabia Says It is energy producting country, not An Oil Producing Country pointing to diversification of enery sources produced

Essentially it's an admission that they've peaked. Looks like Saudis themselves can see the end of high production in their oil fields.
Jun 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/06/2021 at 5:21 pm

Saudi Arabia Says It is No Longer An Oil Producing Country

When Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman announced that Saudi Arabia was no longer an oil-producing country, he likely didn't mean literally.

"Saudi Arabia is no longer an oil country, it's an energy-producing country," the Energy Minister told S&P Global Platts this week.

Saudi Arabia has high green ambitions that include gas production, renewables, and hydrogen.

"I urge the world to accept this as a reality. We are going to be winners of all these activities.

Saudi Arabia will surely benefit from the green transition. While the Exxons, Chevrons, and Shells of the world are busy doing climate activists' bidding in the boardroom and courtroom, NOCs–particularly in various OPEC nations–are all-too-eager to take advantage of what will surely be increased oil prices.

Already Saudi Arabia has raised its official selling price for the month of July to Asia.

But that doesn't stop Saudi Arabia from pursuing its green ambitions–the Saudi Green Initiative–while funding those green ambitions through oil sales. Saudi Arabia plans to generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, in part to reduce its dependence on oil. In 2017, renewables made up just 0.02% of the overall energy share in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi sees the handwriting on the wall. They know damn well that their high production numbers are limited, even if the rest of the world does not. I think they are actually hoping for a green transition and they hope to be a part of it. After all, what choice do they have? ANCIENTARCHER IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 5:51 am

Ron,
I have been following your posts for a while now. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
You seem to be certain that the Saudis themselves can see the end of high production in their oil fields. I understand that all the super-giants in Saudi are very, very old and that Aramco is doing all sorts of things to keep production up and that is expected for old fields, even these super giants. However, we also haven't seen Cantarell type field declines from the Saudi super giants yet, or rather we don't know of any.

I can't understand why you believe Saudis are near their maxiumum production capacity and from here on their production is going to decline (rather sharply?). Nothing that I read in Aramco's annual report gave me that feeling. But I also understand that they will not divulge bad numbers.

In short, please can you share your views on Saudi future production and the reasons?

Many thanks REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 9:52 am

However, we also haven't seen Cantarell type field declines from the Saudi super giants yet, or rather we don't know of any.

Saudi announced in 2006, 15 years ago, that Abqaiq, (pronounced Abb -kay) was 74% depleted and Ghawar was almost 50% depleted; Saudi Arabia's Strategic Energy Initiative

They claimed, in 2006, that all Saudi was only 29% depleted. But that was a blatant falsehood. Ghawar, at that time, was about 60 to 70% depleted and all Saudi was well past the 50% mark. Around 2000, Their decline rate was about 8% per year but they, around that time, initiated an enormous infill drilling program that got their decline rate down to almost 2%:

• Without "maintain potential" drilling to make up for production,
Saudi oil fields would have a natural decline rate of a hypothetical
8%. As Saudi Aramco has an extensive drilling program with a
budget running in the billions of dollars, this decline is mitigated to
a number close to 2%.

The Saudi author of this piece then confuses decline rates with depletion rates:

• These depletion rates are well below industry averages, due
primarily to enhanced recovery technologies and successful
"maintain potential" drilling operations.

What anyone should realize is that when you decrease decline rates, by pumping the oil out faster, you increase the depletion rates. They began creaming the top of their fields, staying above the rising water, about 20 years ago. Really, what the hell would one expect to be happening by now?

Saudi, in their IPO a few years ago, said production from Ghawar was 3.8 million barrels per day. For the world's largest field, that is a Cantrell-style decline rate. Remember, the smaller the field, the faster the natural decline rate. And they have admitted that they brought old mothballed fields of Khoreis, Shaybah, and Munifa online, at massive expense, to make up for the decline in their older fields. However, they have no more mothballed fields.

I spent 5 years in Saudi and my son just retired from ARAMCO a couple of years ago after spending about 23 years there. You must understand that exaggeration is part of their way of life. They do it and they expect everyone else to do it. They will never admit that their total production is in steep decline. No, Khoreis, Shaybah, and Munifa are not in decline but their combined output is only around 2.5 million barrels per day. ANCIENTARCHER IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 1:25 pm

Very many thanks Ron.This is super.

Saudi has also been claiming that their proven reserves of oil are about 267bn bbl for the last, what 20-30 years now, notwithstanding the 3bn bbl they take out every year! Must be magic!

Cantarell is now at a bit more than 100kbpd down from 2.2mmbpd in the early 2000s. If any of the Saudi super-giants, especially Ghawar, are following that trend, it's going to make an impact. And it's a question of 'when' rather than 'if'.

There is also a rumour that their war in Yemen was because they wanted to get their hands on the oil in the rub al-khali because they don't have much left within their territories. Apparently, there's a lot of oil in the empty quarter and they don't want to share that with Yemen.

I agree with your judgment – exaggeration is a part of their culture in much the same way that every shopkeeper there expects you to bargain because prices are also exaggerated. You can barely trust the financials of Western companies, so can't take the Saudis at their word.

Very many thanks again for your comments. Your opinion informed by your experience is worth its weight in gold (or should I say bitcoin! :-)! REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED ROGER IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 8:53 am

" Saudi sees the handwriting on the wall. They know damn well that their high production numbers are limited, even if the rest of the world does not. "

Yep. Think about it every barrel they displace from (what I assume is) highly subsidized domestic consumption, is a "new " barrel for export -- a new revenue stream. That is, since they don't have the reserves to meet the anticipated future OPEC call, these additional export barrels are essentially "free money" (after pay-out on the so-called renewable energy investments) i.e., they do no defer any otherwise producible oil. Hence, expect SA to be a "world leader" in so called renewable energy of course, done in the name of a greener world for us all. 😉

06/07/2021 at 2:20 pm

Since 2005 they have averaged producing 3.43 billion barrels per year, crude only. That comes to about 55 billion since the beginning of 2005. If you count total liquids it would be well over 60 billion.

But as you say, they have "magic oil". For every barrel they pump out of the ground, another barrel magically appears to replace it.

[Jun 06, 2021] I think it's worthwhile to note that this new low in relations is something that is not in Russia's interest as NordStream2 is still under attack.

Jun 06, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jun 5 2021 14:56 utc | 115

Who caused the flight to be diverted is still uncertain to me. It's clear that Roman was the target though. And that relations between the West and Russia are suffering.

With that said, I think it's worthwhile to note that this new low in relations is something that is not in Russia's interest as NordStream2 is still under attack.

Some say that Nordstream 2 is unstoppable. Well, the completion of the pipeline is near but whether Germany buys gas from Russia and/or how much gas is still a question. The Empire opposition to NS2 has been relentless but they may accept a pipeline that guarantees German energy security yet demand that it restrict purchases of Russian gas to only what is absolutely necessary.

!!


schmoe , Jun 5 2021 15:36 utc | 117

Barring a mistranslation, Putin said that continued gas transit through Ukraine depends on Ukraine's behaviour. Based on a quick impression, that contracts pretty much every previous Russian / Gazprom statement that Garprom intends to retain same flows through Ukraine. No one expects Russia to keep flows in the event of hostilities, but to give opponents of the pipeline a soundbyte to say "see, we told you they would do that" is a shocking blunder.

Skiffer , Jun 5 2021 16:22 utc | 124

In response to schmoe@116,

Actually, he kept repeating that the current transit contract will be maintained, but that if Ukraine wants to increase the volume of gas that goes through their territory, and subsequently earn more money from transit contracts, they have to make that option more lucrative for customers and suppliers. Primarily, by breaking up the gas monopoly on that territory -- harking back to the consortium suggestion by Shroeder in 2008-2009(?).

That said, he was fairly blunt about the advantages of supplying gas directly to Germany and the lack of any strictly economical reason to use Ukrainian gas transit, and that's a fairly obvious aspect of this entire project -- provided that the capacity of these auxiliary pipelines isn't exceeded, there's no good economic reason to use the Ukrainian infrastructure.

When asked about Ukrainian financial woes, in the comical context of Zelensky complaining that the gas transit income is essential for financing the Ukrainian army, he replied sardonically that it's not the responsibility of the Russian state to keep the Ukrainian state fed. There's a sort of Russian gag, where a guy asks his neighbor for something to eat, so that he has the strength to take a dump on his doorstep, which neatly fits the situation.

[Jun 03, 2021] US March Oil Production Rebounds Strongly From Winter Storm Low

Jun 03, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 06/03/2021 at 7:34 am

Dennis,

If all sanctions on Iran are lifted, very soon, they may reach 3.5 million barrels per day by Q1 2022, but no way before then. I doubt they will ever reach 3.8 million again.

At any rate, to get to 29.54 million bpd by Q4 OPEC would need to increase production by 4.5 million bpd from April's production level. Dennis, we both know that is not going to happen.

[May 30, 2021] A Critical Shift In The War For Oil by Tom Luongo

May 30, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats. 'n Guns blog,

Biden backed down on Nordstream 2 and, at The Davos Crowd's insistence, he will back down on the JCPOA.

Davos needs cheap energy into Europe. That's ultimately what the JCPOA was all about. The basic framework for the deal is still there. While the U.S. will kick and scream a bit about sanctions relief, Iran will be back into the oil market and make it possible for Europe to once again invest in oil/gas projects in Iran.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

But the big geopolitical win for Davos, they think, is that by returning Iran to the oil markets it will cut down on Russia's dominance there. That the only reason Russia is the price setter in oil today, as the producer of the marginal barrel, is because of Trump taking Iranian and Venezuelan oil off the market.

With these negotiations ongoing and likely to conclude soon I'm sure the thinking is that this will help save Iranian moderates in the upcoming elections. But with Iran's Guardian Council paving the way for Ebrahim Raeisi to win the election that is also very unlikely( H/T to Pepe Escobar's latest on this ) :

So Raeisi now seems to be nearly a done deal: a relatively faceless bureaucrat without the profile of an IRGC hardliner, well known for his anti-corruption fight and care about the poor and downtrodden. On foreign policy, the crucial fact is that he will arguably follow crucial IRGC dictates.

Raeisi is already spinning that he "negotiated quietly" to secure the qualification of more candidates, "to make the election scene more competitive and participatory". The problem is no candidate has the power to sway the opaque decisions of the 12-member Guardian Council, composed exclusively by clerics: only Ayatollah Khamenei.

I have no doubt that Iran is, as Escobar suggests, in post-JCPOA mode now and will walk away from Geneva without a deal if need be, but Davos will cut the deal it needs to bring the oil and gas into Europe while still blaming the U.S. for Iran's nuclear ambitions because they've gotten what they actually wanted, Netanyahu out of power.

Trump's assault on Iran did what Neocon belligerence always does, increase domestic sympathies for hardliners within the existing government. I told you his assassinating Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not only a mistake but a turning point in history , it sealed the alliance between Russia/China/Iran into a cohesive one which no amount of Euro-schmoozing will undo.

Seeing the tenor of these negotiations and the return of Obama to the White House, the Saudis saw the writing on the wall immediately and began peace talks with Iran in Baghdad put off for a year because of Trump's killing Soleimani.

The Saudis are fighting for their lives now as the Shia Crescent forms and China holds the House of Saud's future in its hands.

Syria will be restored to the Arab League and all that 'peace' work by Trump will be undone quickly. Because none of it was actually peaceful in its implementation. Netanyahu is gone, Israel just got defeated by Hamas and now the rest of the story can unfold, put on hold by four years of Jared Kushner's idiocy and U.S. neoconservatives feeding Trump bad information about the situation.

The Saker put together two lists in his latest article (linked above) which puts the entire situation into perspective:

The Goals:
  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.

  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a "security zone" by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.

  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.

  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a "security zone," but this time in Lebanon.

  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.

  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.

  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.

  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.

  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

The Outcomes:
  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

Trump's hard line against Iran was always a mistake, even if Iran's nuclear ambitions are real. But with the Open Skies treaty now a dead letter the U.S. has real logistical problems in the region and they only multiply if Erdogan in Turkey finally chooses a side and gives up his Neo-Ottoman ambitions, now very likely.

But when it comes to economics, as always, Davos has this all backwards vis a vis oil. They still think they can use the JCPOA to drive a wedge between Iran and Russia over oil. They still think Putin only cares about oil and gas sales abroad. It's clear they don't listen to him because the policy never seems to change.

So, to Davos, if they bring 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day from Iran back online and oil prices drop, this forces Russia to back down militarily and diplomatically in Eastern Europe. With a free-floated ruble the Russians don't care now that they are mostly self-sufficient in food and raw material production.

None of that will come to pass. Putin is shifting the Russian economy away from oil and gas with an announced ambitious domestic spending plan ahead of this fall's State Duma elections. Lower or even stable prices will accelerate those plans as capital no longer finds its best return in that sector.

This carrot to Iran and stick to Russia approach of Brussels/Davos is childish and it will only get worse when the Greens come to power in Germany at the end of the year. Unless the German elections end in a stalemate which is unforeseen, the CDU will grand coalition as the junior partner to the Greens, just as Davos wants it.

Don't miss the significance of the policy bifurcation either when it comes to oil. The Biden administration is trying to make energy as expensive as possible in the U.S. -- no Keystone Pipeline, Whitmer trying to close down Enbridges's Line 5 from Canada into Michigan, etc. -- while Europe gets Nordstream 2 from Russia and new, cheap supplies from Iran.

This is what had Trump so hopping mad when he was President. This is part of why he hated the JCPOA. Israel and the EastMed pipeline was what should have been the U.S. policy in his mind.

Now, those dreams are dead and the sell out of the U.S. to Davos is in full swing. Seriously, Biden/Obama are going to continue on this path of undermining U.S. energy production until they are thrown out of office, either by the overwhelming shame of the election fraud lawsuits which recall Senators from Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, the mid-term elections which brings a more pro-Trump GOP to power or by military force. That last bit I put a very low probability on.

Bottom line, for now global oil prices have likely peaked no matter what drivel comes out of John Kerry's mouth.

The Brent/WTI spread will likely collapse and go negative for the first time in years as Iran's full oil production comes online over the next two years while U.S. production falls. We'll see rising oil prices in the U.S. while global supply rises, some of which China is getting at a steep discount from who? Iran.

Meanwhile Russia continues to hold the EU to account on everything while unmasking the not just the latest Bellingcat/MI6/State Dept. nonsense in Belarus surrounding the arrest of Roman Petrosovich, but also filling the void diplomatically left by a confused and incompetent U.S. policy in the Middle East.

If I'm the Bennett in Israel, the first phone call I make after taking office is to no one other than Putin, who now holds the reins over Iran, Hezbollah and a very battle-hardened and angry Syria who just re-elected Assad because he navigated the assault on the country with no lack of geopolitical skill.

Because it is clear that Biden/Obama, on behalf of Davos , have left Israel out to twist in the wind surrounded by those who wish it gone. We'll see if they get their wish. I think the win here is clear and the days of U.S. adventurism in the Middle East are numbered.

The oil wars aren't over, by any stretch of the imagination, but the outcome of the main battles have decisively shifted who determines what battles are fought next.

* * *

Join my Patreon if you like critical thinking.


wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

About time that fcking Project for the New American Century(aka Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphates) got derailed .

Fcking useless neocon sh its gutted and bankrupted the U.S. for their fcked up ziosh it garbage.

Sheldon Adelson belongs in the Aus witz Mengele suite in hell. He was the biggest cheerleader for the last 20 years of this hell on earth that was created in the middle east.

Woodenman 2 hours ago remove link

Trump got it *** backwards , he should have defunded Israel and fast tracked Iran to be a nuclear power, Iran is an oil producer, what does Israel do for us?

Would I care that Israel cannot sleep at night knowing Iran has the bomb, not at all.

AGuy 37 minutes ago

" what does Israel do for us? "

Keeps the ME unstable so the US has the excuse to keep a lot of military resources in the ME, in the name of being the worlds policemen. Plus the US needs to protect the Petro dollar, but at this point I don't think that will matter soon considering the amount of money printing & spending the US is doing at the momement.

wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

Soleimani was very good at destroying ISIS trash.

And which countries backed ISIS?

JR Wirth 2 hours ago

NeoCon tears as the world attempts to move on from deranged foreign policy. Will the US throw a fit and drag the world into war? Let's call Tel Aviv and find out.

Der Steppenwolf 2 hours ago remove link

Iran already sells huge amounts of oil to China and likely many others, there just isn't going to be a significant increase in Iranian oil hitting the market as a result of any deal. Moreover, this relatively small increase will occur over time. Even if Iran eventually increases production the 2.5-3 million bpd the author cites, world consumption in 2021 is forecast to increase about 6 million bpd over 2020. Considering these facts any changes in Iranian oil production should do little to affect the overall price.

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AGuy 42 minutes ago

" Iran has huge potential to increase production "

I doubt that very much. Iran has very old oil fields which have been producing since the 1920s. Global Oil production peaked in 2018 & is now in permanent decline. Iran could increase NatGas production, but Oil production is in permanent decline.

Apollo 32 minutes ago

God, I hope half of the above comes true. Bibi needs to be court martialed and Israel needs to go back into smaller and more peaceful version of itself (if that is even possible) . USA can just bugger off home, and try to deal with transgendered army, president's dementia and critical race theory nonsense first.

What the world needs is less wars, less central bankers screwing the game and less stealing of other people's natural resources. Instead it just more plain old hard work, honest trading and no bs diplomacy.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Amazingly perfect analysis.

Israel will survive. I wish them well.

So many US wars are oil based. Lies abound to cover this up. Neocon Economics turns every war opportunity into a profit center. No Profit = No War potential. Whenever you see a Neocon pumping a war somewhere, you need to look for who will make scads of money from it.

Trump isn't an angel. He's the guy who destroyed Establishment Republicanism. That begat populism. I detested him working his book when he pumped QE and ZIRP. I considered it a temporary price to pay to remove Establishment Republicans from the world. Yes, the US also needed a good Front Door with a lock. He also did good there. Trump playing the Imperialism Game clumsily worked in the favor of Peaceful Coexistence. Probably by mistake. Ok by me if everyone else declares peace anyway.

The US economy can still outpower anyone even if it is forced to play fair.

This brings us to the Deep State. Who exactly are they?

Are they Neocons who want war profits by making it look like others are the war mongers? Are they anti-peace as long as it doesn't start a full blown war - providing a profit can be made from it by their oligarch bosses?

Or is the Deep State the Davos oriented oligarchs who wants the 99% to whistle while they work to support uncountable billions of dollars flowing into the asset piles of the 1%?

Why did the Deep State allow the BLM / Antifa / Democrat cabal take over? Are they stupid? Or did they think Covid-19 along with these freaks would work in their favor somehow?

Is the Deep State only common ordinary Imperialism? Is it only oil, and natural gas and who gets to control the markets? Ukraine has a lot of natural resources. Is that a coincidence?

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-are-the-major-natural-resources-of-ukraine.html

What is it about Peaceful Coexistence that makes them go crazy?

What does The Deep State really want?

AGuy 49 minutes ago

" The only difference will be the wars will be fought for lithium and other rare metals. "

Unlikely Oil will remain the King for causing wars. electricification of transportation is doomed to fail. First average Americans cannot afford EV. heck they are struggling with cheaper ICE vehicles. Auto loan duration have ballooned & most Americans are rolling over debt from their older vehicle when they buy a new one. Second the grid is struggling. Most of the older power plants are getting replaced by NatGas fired plants & at some point we are going to see NatGas prices shoot up. Much of the US grid was built in the 1930s & 1940s and will need trillions just to maintain it and replace equipment & power lines operating beyond their expected operating lifetime.

The US economy is slowly collapsing: Mountains of debt, demographics, dumbed down education, and worthless degrees for Millennials, failing infrastructure (ie I-40 bridge). We are on borrowed time.

AJAX-2 1 hour ago remove link

The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. As a result, they are at odds with the Davos Crowd and their desire for cheap/plentiful oil for Europe. We shall see who prevails.

AGuy 1 hour ago

" The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. "

Nope:

Higher oil prices leads to higher defaults, which is likely to trigger derivative losses. Banker shady deals come under congressional\agency scrutiny usually ending with billion dollar fines, and bad press. A lot of banks probably will get nationalized when the next banking crisis happens & all those bankers will lose out on the financial scams they play.

European Monarchist 46 minutes ago remove link

Currently:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

ut218 2 hours ago remove link

Solarcycle 25 had a bad start. By 2028 people will realize we are in a period of global cooling. oil prices will soar

Itinerant 18 minutes ago

There won't be major investments of European majors in Iran's oil industry.

  • For Iran, Western partners have proved too fickle
  • For Western corporations, the risk is too great for long term investment.

China will be reaping most of the investement opportunities.


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Marrubio 1 hour ago

.... the NWO & Davos idiotards ,they have been trying since March for oil not to exceed the $ 70 barrier and they are not succeeding. Week after week they try to lower the price, frightening with the covid, the production of Iran or whatever, and the following week the oil rises again. The only thing left for them is mass slaughter ... but now people know that what is going to kill them is in the "vaccine". Of course they will be stupid enough to do it; if they have shown anything it is that they are profoundly idiots. They will not be successful in getting cheap oil, simply because PeakOil is running since 2018 and since then oil production decreases at 5% per year: -5% per year, I am telling to the NWO deep idiotards.

European Monarchist 55 minutes ago (Edited)

Interesting, but it remains to be seen where this is going, short term and long.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

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Einstein101 55 minutes ago remove link

Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

Really? Hell no! The Syrians and the mighty Russians and the Hezbollah for many months now are not able to overcome lowly terrorists militia in northern Syria's Idlib. Plus, the Israelis has been launching hundreds of airstrikes over Syria while the Russian made Syrian anti air defense can do nothing about it.

[May 29, 2021] Washington has lifted sanctions on German companies involved with the pipeline but imposed new ones on Russian entities

May 29, 2021 | turcopolier.com

NORDSTREAM. Washington has lifted sanctions on German companies involved with the pipeline but imposed new ones on Russian entities . What are we to make of this? A realisation that Berlin is determined on completion combined with face-saving meaningless toughness. Amusingly Biden's now being called " Putin's $5 million man " (because of the supposed payout by the pipeline to the supposed Russian supposed hackers). Nordstream was a " key Putin goal ", giving power to Putin , what does he have on him ? Hilarious, isn't it? Biden loved it then: here he is calling Trump Putin's puppy .

jerseycityjoan says: May 27, 2021 at 4:27 pm

Patrick:

I saw this today and while I can't say it is surprising, I am sorry that we are officially at the end of the "engagement" period with China. I hate to see our major challenges in the world increase.

I was wondering if you think we will officially recategorize our relationship with Russia, too? If so, would you expect us to also label that "competitive?" How do you think this change in our China stance will affect Russia?

Thanks.

"The U.S. is entering a period of intense competition with China as the government running the world's second-biggest economy becomes ever more tightly controlled by President Xi Jinping, the White House's top official for Asia said. "The period that was broadly described as engagement has come to an end," Kurt Campbell, the U.S. coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, said Wednesday at an event hosted by Stanford University. U.S. policy toward China will now operate under a "new set of strategic parameters," Campbell said, adding that "the dominant paradigm is going to be competition." (via Bloomberg News) Reply

[May 28, 2021] Biden aministsration is building a coalition to challenge China. It wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 19 2021 21:16 utc | 26

@ Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

One can't blame everything on Israel. Yes, it is part of five eyes, more like SIX eyes.

Biden (JB) is building a coalition to challenge China. JB's administration wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention and by making a concession JB is making Germany and Russia happy. Agree, that its completion will be a "huge geopolitical win for Putin". Let's see when Nord Stream 2 becomes fully operational. Time will tell.

Russia's main focus is De-Dollarization, stability in Russia and in its neighborhood.

China's announcement about Bitcoin led to it dropping by 30%. What will China, Russia, Turkey and Iran announcement about the U$A dollar do to its value and the market? When will China become the #1 ECONOMY?

THE MOST DANGEROUS DECADE: 2018-2028

Stonebird , May 19 2021 21:42 utc | 29

Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

The US is now the largest provider of LNG, so there is relatively little more financial advantage to be gained from a direct confrontation with Germany or Russia. Political maybe, but the dedollarisation is starting to take hold. (Aside; even Israel depends on the strength of the dollar to continue, like musical chairs, when the music stops there will be precious few chairs left ). The Gas/Oil lobbies in the US who are behind the sanctions may have some other trick up their sleeve, but the deflation of Zelensky in Ukraine, and the opening up of a steal-fest of Ukrainian assets might compensate.

***
Note that the West has closed Syrian Embassies so as to stop Syrians voting for Assad. They steal it's oil, and Syria is still next to Israel and doing relatively well in spite of tanker bombings, and missiles. It is also possible that, as you say, there is a price for non-interference in Israel itself.

[May 28, 2021] Ukraine has become a financial black hole for the West, and the USA is trying to get rid of it by throwing it to the EU's arms

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 23 2021 15:36 utc | 4

The The Hill piece linked in the week in review here confirms our suspicions Ukraine has become a financial black hole for the West, and the USA is trying to get rid of it by throwing it to the EU's arms:

Instead of expending diplomatic capital on a campaign to stop Nord Stream 2, the Biden administration should work with its European partners to prepare Ukraine to withstand the pipeline's completion. The deadline for action is 2024, when Kyiv's current gas contract and President Biden's term effectively end. By that time, Washington and Brussels should formulate and implement an economic package that, first and foremost, covers Ukraine's inevitable budget shortfall from the loss of transit fees to keep the Ukrainian state running. This package should, however, also invest in the country's sustainable growth. That would entail material and technical support for Kyiv's ongoing anti-corruption campaign, whose success is a prerequisite for attracting long-term investment. One idea worth considering is a loan to cover revenue shortfalls, whose repayment would be incrementally forgiven in exchange for concrete progress on reforms by Kyiv.

That won't happen. The easiest way you can infer that is that the USA and Germany don't even have the resources to invest in green energy in their own territories, let alone on third-parties' territories. Hell, the USA doesn't even have the resources to rebuild Puerto Rico.

This is not the 1950s. The American Empire's bottomless pocket is no more.

[May 28, 2021] Note To Greenwald - The 'Russian' Pipeline Is A Germany Need

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Caliman , May 20 2021 16:44 utc | 5

Glenn Greenwald writes that President Trump acted more hostile to Russia than President Biden does, even while the media claimed that Trump was 'a Russian agent'. It is probably a fair point to make but in his piece Greenwald himself falls for anti-Russian propaganda nonsense.

The problem starts with the headline:

Biden, Reversing Trump, Permits a Key Putin Goal: a New Russian Natural Gas Pipeline to Germany
That Trump was controlled by Putin and served his agenda was the opposite of reality. First Obama, and now Biden, have accommodated Moscow far more.

Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law. Biden, as well as Trump, should be criticized for even thinking about 'permitting' it.

On to Greenwald's main point:

When it came to actual vital Russian interests" as opposed to the symbolic gestures hyped by the liberal cable and op-ed page circus" Trump and his administration were confronting and undermining the Kremlin in ways Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had, to his credit, steadfastly refused to do.

Indeed, the foreign policy trait relentlessly attributed to Trump in support of the media's Cold War conspiracy theory" namely, an aversion to confronting Putin" was, in reality, an overarching and explicit belief of President Obama's foreign policy, not President Trump's.

Obama waged a massive undercover war to overthrow the Syrian government, an old Russian ally. He arranged a fascist coup in the Ukraine and he sent the anti-Russian academic Michael McFaul as ambassador to Russia where McFaul immediately started to prepare a color revolution against President Putin. It was the Obama administration which launched the 'Russiagate' campaign against Trump which further infested U.S. policies with anti-Russian sentiment.

Seen from the Russian side Obama certainly showed absolutely no 'aversion to confronting Putin'.

While Trump ripped up arms treaties with Russia and gave a few useless weapons to the Ukraine, making sure they would not reach the front lines, he otherwise took, thankfully, few other damaging steps.


bigger

Now on to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline of which Greenwald writes:

Cont. reading: Note To Greenwald - The 'Russian' Pipeline Is A Germany Need

Well, the fact that the pipeline has not been finished for years, despite being near completion, tells us that it's not actually true that the "pipeline would have been finished with or without US sanctions." Certainly, it seems that Trump's pressure did work to severely slow down if not completely stop the completion of the project and presumably Biden could have continued that pressure. Btw, didn't the front-running Green party head come out against the pipeline, showing that there's not unanimous support in Germany for its completion?

But more importantly, Greenwald's main point is that Trump's actions had nothing to do with the Russian Puppet narrative against him. That both Biden and previously Obama were less "anti-Russian" in practice and yet were thought to be "tough" on Russia, while Trump (providing lethal arms to Ukraine and stopping NS2) was a "puppet" ... narrative building by the Deep State. Greenwald's larger point is in fact accurate.


jared , May 20 2021 17:10 utc | 8

I think Greenwald was thrown off by what seems a sudden reversal and positive step by Biden administration.

Personally I think Biden Administration was stunned at almost having instigated WW3 within 100 days of taking office. They looked fairly like amateur idiots even to the unwashed such as myself. Then they realized that it would be difficult and given their evident ineptness they chose the well proven political tactic of taking the loss and making it a win. Voila they are genious - why didnt Trump think of that?

We in the US must accept that our government is craven incompetents and have to hope that they might accidentally do something good by virtue of being so incompetent.

Harry , May 20 2021 17:15 utc | 9

Greenwald makes an error but it is understandable. NS2 pipeline wont deliver enough gas to truly make a significant difference to Germany. Where it makes a difference is to Ukraine, which will struggle to steal as much gas from Russia as it has in the past. Gas transit rates will fall, and if Ukraine doesnt like it RF will still be able to supply Germany without Ukraine stealing gas which was meant for Germany.

But who will make good any shortfall in Ukraine's budget?

Roger , May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security - especially with the move from coal/nuclear to natural gas. B is very right in stating that Europe desperately needs Russian gas to fill a yawning future hole between supply and demand. Russia is also developing their Arctic gas reserves, which can be provided as LNG to Europe (as well as Asia). Very bad for the Ukrainians, but they (or the US and the Nazis) picked their bed and can deal with the consequences.

The Russians opened the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, and have agreements to start development on additional pipelines. China is rapidly expanding natural gas usage so no demand problem there.

Seems like the Biden administration took their "hardass" shot in the past months and it blew up in their face. Now they have to take a step back and play a bit better with their so-called allies. Probably won't last long, the US elite have extreme learning difficulties when it comes to the reality of their decline from the Unipolar moment.

karlof1 , May 20 2021 17:56 utc | 15

This is somewhat OT to the subject, but it's clear to me a greater understanding of the Russian POV is needed. Although the transcript is currently incomplete, this meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee provides an excellent insight into the Russian mind, and IMO this excerpt says a great deal:

"Regrettably, the ranks of the great generation of victors are thinning out. But this is only increasing our responsibility for preserving their legacy, especially now that we are witnessing increasingly frequent attempts to slander and distort history and to revise the role played by the Red Army in the routing of Nazism and the liberation of European nations from the Nazi plague.

"We understand the reasons for this, and attempts to hamper the development of this country, regardless of its name, be it the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or Russia, were made in different times and historical epochs and under different political systems. These approaches and principles remain the same. There is one principle or rather, one reason for containing Russia: the stronger and more independent Russia becomes, the more consistently it defends its national interests, the greater the striving of foreign forces to weaken it, to discredit the values uniting our society and sometimes to slander and distort what people hold dear, the things that are instilled in the younger generations of Russians and which help them acquire a strong character and their own opinions .

"This is why all kinds of Russophobic individuals and unscrupulous politicians are trying to attack Russian history, to promote the ideas of revising the results of World War II and to exonerate Nazi criminals." [My Emphasis]

And the geopolitical dynamic has drastically shifted from Greater Europe to Greater Eurasia. Here are Putin's comments from yesterday :

"Very soon, we will be celebrating 20 years of our core bilateral document, the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Since the signing of this treaty, Russia and China have achieved great success in strengthening our multidimensional cooperation and mutual trust across all areas without exception: politics, international affairs, trade and the economy, cultural and humanitarian exchanges. It can be said that Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history."

And those relations will certainly reach much greater heights regardless the nature of Russian-EU relations.

S , May 20 2021 18:36 utc | 20
@SoMuchToLearn #18:
I'm puzzled by b's arithmetic on the gas flow rates

Apart from Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, there are also old Soviet pipelines that go through Belarus and Ukraine, as well as the recently completed Turk Stream, part of which is used to export gas to Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia (and soon Hungary, Bosnia and Austria).

ZigZag , May 20 2021 18:38 utc | 21
@11
My two cents on that is that the old surface Power-structure of Germany has been crumbling rapidly for around the last decade. Merkel has left the christian conservative party in shambles and there's no one with enough gravitas around to fill the giant sized shoes she's left vacant, same thing with the social democrats who've been in a freefall from 35% to now barely 15% for the last 15 years. Environmentalism coated Neoliberalism seems to be the maxim of the hour in the leftists and centrists spheres, and almost everyone, but foremost the Green Party, is trying to ride that wave to the finish line. Don't expect peoples first policies, climate change will dominate the election, and we'll likely be wrapped up in more deindustrialization coupled with an ever more chaotic energy policy. If anything the average persons cost of living in terms of rent, energy, food and transportation will continue to rise, while jobs in traditional industry sectors will continue to fall off. I haven't heard a coherent plan on how the German economy is supposed to work like 10 years from now, and there likely is none, all I expect is more taxes and the possibility of plundering social security trust funds to address whatever critical infrastructure issue will face us next.

@14
Green-Party was about to oust the Conservatives in a major federal state election. People got really riled up by nuclear, especially since there already was an ongoing controversy around long term waste storage. It was one of Merkels signature opportunistic moves that aimed to size the moment in absence of long term planing. It didn't work btw, Greens still ousted them, but once you make a big move like that there's not going back without losing face, but it does seem like exiting nuclear proved to be a popular strategy with the electorate in the long run. I'm sure that are more complex/intricate theories around, but I can't speak on that

FMG , May 20 2021 18:56 utc | 26

Here in Brasil Greenwald is known as a CIA asset. Just ask Pepe Escobar.

Michael Crockett , May 20 2021 19:11 utc | 31

Thanks b. The Empire of the Deranged is in a steady downward slide. By its own hand, through financial engineering (stock buy back schemes fueled by bailout's of bankrupt corporations plus derivatives etc. etc.) Add to this, restrictions on the use of swift. The US devalues its own currency. Other countries are not so interested in purchasing US debt to offset rising US deficit. Include all of that with our foreign policymaking which angers even our allies like Germany, as you point out with NS2. The Leaders think they can snap their fingers and bring the world to heel. That ship sailed a long time ago. The multi-polar world is a reality that the paper tiger struggles with. To Glen Greenwald's Brazil, US influence evaporates should Lula get elected as the next President. The tiger is toothless Glen, no need to give it more authority than it has.

DougDiggler , May 20 2021 19:32 utc | 35

With the US pressuring Germany to end NS-2 in favor of importing much more expensive fracked US gas, we see that the US thinks there is nothing wrong with asking it's vassal states to cut their own throats (forego steps to retain their economic competitiveness) to please their patron. The idiocy of Cold War 2 is costing US allies a lot and seems inimical to the very idea of US allies even regarding their own national interests. One would hope this is leading to either a re-evaluation of these alliances or a revolt of the satraps.

Max , May 20 2021 19:40 utc | 37
thanks b... Agree that "the U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners." Every journalists needs to be making this key point.

Any geopolitical article that doesn't address the MONETARY arena is missing an important element and thereby incomplete. Greenwald's article is missing many key points and mistaken (&/or misleading) by taking U$A's political trickery angle. It is all about the POWER game that involves deceptions, like sending the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on a Red Cross mission to Russia or committing to not moving NATO forces towards Russia in 1991.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Vladimir Putin in his Munich (2007) speech announced Russia's pivot away from the Dollar Empire and unwillingness to be a vassal. The Dollar Empire challenged Russia through Georgia in 2008. Obama & Clinton fooled Russia through their reset announcement and got a go ahead to attack Libya. The relationship was calm in 2012. Obama fooled Medvedev by saying, "he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues," after reelection, in early 2012. However, Vladimir Putin was back in 2013 and the Dollar Empire realized it has been outplayed. It moved aggressively after the two outside Russian military bases in Syria and Ukraine. Russia captured Crimea in 2014, and Putin declared Russia's willingness to go to war in Syria (2015). The Imperial Council of the United States was surprised by Russia's move into Syria and wasn't ready for a war. In the meantime, China was developing strong. Here comes Trump in 2017. It seems like the Imperial Council and its Intelligence Community came with a new ploy to associate Trump with Russia, so they can bully China and bend it over on trade. China stood up to Empire's challenge and developed its independence plan! In the meantime Trump increased sanctions on Russia using the Congress as a pretext while strengthening Ukraine. The sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 brought halt to work in December 2019. Did Trump FOOL Putin/Russia by stating, "he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues," after reelection? The reasoning behind this question is that Russia didn't start work on the pipeline until the election was over in December 2020. One year wait to start work on the pipeline.

MISSING DIMENSIONS
Why isn't Greenwald speaking against the dollar monetary imperialism and enslavement? Very rarely one come across a journalist that shines light on reality and exposes truth. It seems like Empire's MSM and journalists are making a big deal of this minuscule Nord Stream 2 sanction waiving. Why? It is just propaganda and perception management to create distrust in the China-Russia relationship? No one is mentioning Russia's redlines or its ability to retaliate to additional sanctions. Andrei Martyanow gets it right!

Please analyze every geopolitical development from the MONETARY lens too. Russia as part of its De-Dollarization plan is offering energy deals in national currencies to win nations in Eurasia, including Japan. In which currency is the U$A offering its LNG ? US$? Also, it seems like Russia's transit payments to Ukraine are in the US$. In addition to providing an alternate route, the Nord Stream 2 increases Russia's leverage with Ukraine. Imagine if those transit payments were in Rubles to Ukraine, Russia's leverage will be immense.

China, Russia, Germany, Japan... (Non-$ Bloc) are standing up to dollar's monetary imperialism, and seeking more trade in their respective national currencies. The EU and Germany will pay for its energy in Euros and reduce threats to their economies. Why don't journalists address the monetary or currency dimensions?

RUSSIAN SUCCESSES?
Successfully completing the Nord Stream 2 and supplying gas to Europe in Euros will be a huge victory for Russia and Germany. It has yet to implement its agreements (Minsk, Astana, JCPOA...). All its conflicts are frozen and unresolved. Please share agreements that Russia has successfully delivered on in the 21st Century, particularly when the Dollar Empire is involved. Will the Empire surprise Russia by attacking on multiple fronts?

The Logic of U$A Foreign Policy

bjd , May 20 2021 19:44 utc | 38
Very worthwhile opinion, the debate between you and Greenwald sharpens the mind on this issue.
Alpi , May 20 2021 19:47 utc | 39
To say that there is a shift in US geopolitical policies, is an understatement. In short, IMO, Biden is going back to Obama's plan and his pivot to Asia. Therefore, it is China, China, China. Nothing else matters that much right now.

1. Nordstream 2 settled"¦..check
2. Germany and Europeans happy"¦..check
3. Settling ME problems with going back to JCPOA, promoting KSA and Iran peace, pulling out of Afghanistan (not ME)"¦..check
4. Putting Israel in its place (via a shift in media coverage and taking away support slowly and congress expressions of outrage) "¦..check
5. Abstention form UN resolution punishing Israel"¦"¦.coming up
6. Taking Europeans to the South East China confrontation"¦..coming up
7. Prying away Iran and Russia away from China"¦"¦wishful thinking, hopefully.
8. Ousting Netanyahoo"¦"¦coming up

Although, Biden is a zionist, Netanyahu and his antics are not convenient at this time and Israel takes a back seat to grand chessboard strategy.

Greenwald's and b's commentaries are a bit of a sideshow, in my opinion. Best concentrate on the outcome and the bigger picture instead of this he said she said.

Passer by , May 20 2021 19:53 utc | 42
What happened this year is that the winter was cold, gas storage in Europe was nearly depleted, and Europe needed huge amounts of russian gas.

The other problem is that LNG is more expensive in Asia, causing LNG producers and shippers to prefer the asian market.

There are many more issues as well - such as the hit on US producers by the Covid crisis, Germany moving the carbon goal posts from 2050 to 2045, green energy problems this winter in Germany, explosions on pipelines in Ukraine, and so on.

It is also true that Russia is readying Power of Siberia 2 and 3 pipelines to China, as well as actively developing its own LNG exports.

Skiffer , May 20 2021 20:06 utc | 43
In response to SoMuchToLearn@18,

The disputed claim by Greenwald is that, "Nord Stream 2... is designed to double Russian sales capacity to an EU addicted to cheap Russian natural gas, producing massive revenue for the Russian economy and giving Moscow greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbors." This is very different from the statement that NS2 together with NS1 is twice the capacity of NS1 on its own.

There are several, to my mind, wrongful assumptions in Greenwald's claim.

The first, that the EU wants to increase its purchases of Russian gas, but is prevented from doing so solely due to the lack of infrastructure which, presumably, is operating at full capacity. From this assumption, it then follows that Russia is expecting massive revenues from an increase in transit capacity, since customers are already standing by. Finally, as a result of supplying significantly more gas to Europe and earning substantially more money from it, Moscow can be expected to take advantage of its position as an energy supplier to pressure Europe over political matters.

While it's true that European gas-needs are growing, it's more of a long-term projected development and not some energy crisis straining the current configuration. A more topical and urgent crisis is the situation in Ukraine and the state of disrepair of the gas transit infrastructure in that country, which not long ago accounted for 80% of Russian gas supplied to Europe. IIRC, official estimates gave these pipelines a few short years before becoming unusable without major repair efforts -- something like 5 years -- and coupled with the state of the country itself, it's not impossible that the pipelines outlive the state.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that Ukraine and/or the gas infrastructure on that territory ceases to function tomorrow, halting all gas transits to Europe in the blink of an eye, which isn't as far-fetched as you might think, the result would be an energy crisis. Already, this crisis would not be of catastrophic proportions as it would have been a mere decade ago, due to alternative transit routes established to lessen reliance on Ukrainian pipelines. NS2 is designed to eliminate reliance on Ukrainian pipelines completely, if one disregards various political commitments made by Russia on Europe's behalf to retain part of its gas export through Ukraine, which I'm sure would fall to the wayside the moment European capitals started going dark. Of course, cutting off transit states also has the added benefit of making the gas cheaper and thus the contract becomes more lucrative, but that's more of a bonus.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that all the pipelines to Europe are working at full capacity, and Europe desperately needs more gas -- say, 25 years from now when no new green alternatives have presented themselves and no new pipelines have been built because the war of sanctions continues -- there's always LNG, which Russia can supply at a competitive price, and the port infrastructure for that is already available, provided the EU is willing to resolve its energy problems collectively.

From this it follows that, no, Russia isn't expecting massive revenues to come flooding in at the completion of NS2. They're presumably expecting massive revenues from new energy projects in Asia, but they're at worst expecting to retain the current revenue in the European market, and at best see it grow in connection with European economy. Certainly, they wouldn't like to lose the European market, especially due to unpredictable incidents abroad that are outside of their control, but Europe is arguably much more vulnerable and has more to lose from such an eventuality.

Lastly, since we are no longer expecting an immediate increase in European reliance on Russian energy following NS2, how does it translate to Russian leverage over European politics? Russia is already Europe's main supplier of, not only gas, but crude oil which accounts for 2/3 of Europe's energy supply (gas is 24%). If Russia wants to leverage its position as the main energy supplier to Europe, it does not need NS2 to do so, and shutting down NS2 will not prevent it from doing so.

Passer by , May 20 2021 20:10 utc | 44
Posted by: Roger | May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

>>The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security

Yes, this too.

Posted by: Dutch | May 20 2021 19:51 utc | 41

>>The impressive year-on-year surge, to nearly 53 billion cubic meters, is reportedly due to the cold (in European terms) winter season.

Exactly.

[May 28, 2021] The danger of blocking North Stream Ii is that Russia can start delivering LNG to Western and Northern Europe at much more competitive prices than the American LNG, through the Arctic route

May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 20 2021 0:15 utc | 49

@ Posted by: ptb | May 19 2021 23:58 utc | 45

It's Izvestia and it was in Russian, that's why I'm not able to recover it. It was also machine translated, so I may well have gotten the wrong message.

But yeah, from what I understood, the spirit of the article was that it was just a matter of time before Russia start to deliver LNG to Western and Northern Europe at much more competitive prices than the American LNG, through the Arctic route (investment in icebreakers, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, nuclear reactors etc. etc.).

[May 28, 2021] EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

Notable quotes:
"... A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe. ..."
May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Very aggressive stuff from the EU:

EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe.

As part of its "vision" for future ties with Moscow, the paper concludes that the EU should put forward a number of incentives designed to persuade Russians that a turn to the West would be beneficial, including visa liberalization and "free trade investment."

[...]

At the same time, the committee puts forward a number of extreme steps that it says the bloc should take. It insists that Brussels "must be prepared not to recognize the parliament of Russia and to ask for Russia's suspension from international organizations with parliamentary assemblies if the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia are recognized as fraudulent."

The success or failure of this operation will depend entirely on the Russian people. Will it fall for the Western European honey trap once again?

After Putin is gone, bets are off. Also, the EU continues to suffer from refugee waves from Syria and Libya, and its economy continues to deteriorate (recession confirmed for Q1 2021). The whole system is so exhausted that they don't talk about even of the absorption of Moldova anymore (the Moldovan president had to bring that up to the Kremlin; good they remembered them).

--//--

US waives sanctions against Nord Stream company and CEO as Blinken & Lavrov meet in Iceland

This looks like Biden had some surge of sanity, but it's not: I read an article on Izvestia some days ago and it seems Russia won the war for the Arctic and has expelled the USA from that sea. That, combined with the fact that Russia has been ramping up investment on the sector, results in the fact that, soon enough, Russia will also have the infrastructure to deliver cheaper LNG by ship to Europe, too.

That means the USA has given up on the NordStream II in order to hurt the Russian LNG investments. Yes, people, that's the insanity of the situation: the USG is completely lost. It still has its ace in the hole, though: the Green Party is set to win the next German general elections, and they're rabid Atlanticists. Like, this would cost Germany dearly and they wouldn't last two years in government, but at least Russian gas to Europe through a non-Ukrainian route would be stopped.

Speaking of the Ukraine, this whole situation makes us reflect: it is patent at this point in time that the EU is a subsidiary of NATO - it expands eastwards after those countries become NATO members. They're the "socioeconomic" version of NATO. This has created a huge problem for the EU, though, because the Ukraine is a massive financial black hole to the American economy (through the IMF) and the USA is pressuring the EU to make it a member quick, so that this black hole goes to European (i.e. German) hands. The thing is Germany obviously doesn't want that, because it needs the Euro to keep at where it is or stronger (you can only enter the EU by entering the EZ nowadays). The Ukraine is salivating to become an EZ member - that's the whole point of the Maidan coup in the first place - so Ukraine entering the EU without entering the EZ is out of the table. The EU must've told the USA that no, the Ukraine must first become a NATO member, then they'll make it an EZ-EU member. The Ukraine is the proverbial hot potato.

All of that coupled with the hard economic fact that, without the Russian gas transit exclusivity, you can't leverage Ukraine's debt, because, after Maidan, all of the public goods and infrastructure were privatized to American capitalists. That means we have the absurd situation where Germany has to give up cheaper gas for itself (which would be essential for its economic recovery) in order to make the Ukraine happy so that it enters the EU, so that it becomes a financial black hole... to the German economy! Germany has to pay the Ukraine for the privilege of having to pay it even more, for eternity.

The price of nation-building has become more and more expensive to the capitalist world. Turns out those Third World shitholes have learned something after all those decades.

--//--

Well, well, well... how the tables have turned:

Iron Curtain reversed? EU agrees to open up to foreign tourists fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but NOT to those who've had Russia's Sputnik V jab

Taiwan is also suffering from a significant brain drain to the Mainland. They're trying to solve the problem by demonizing those people by calling them "traitors".

Interesting times.

--//--

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda.

Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

[May 28, 2021] Was the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack a false flag operation ?

Probably it was not a false flag. First of all the state of IT security at Colonial Pipeline was so dismal that it was strange that this did not happened before. And there might be some truth that they try to exploit this hack to thier advantage as maintenance of the pipeline is also is dismal shape.
Notable quotes:
"... "As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone. ..."
"... I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens! ..."
"... an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/ ..."
"... Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.' ..."
"... 'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.' ..."
May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blackhat , May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

The Colonial Pipeline Co.,ransomware attack was a false flag. They wanted to blame Russian hackers so they could derail Nordstream II

It is common knowledge that the only real hackers that are able of such sabotage is CIA and Israeli. It's the same attack types they do to Iranian infrastructure on a regular basis.

The Russians are not that stupid to do something they know will be blamed on them and is of no political use to them. And could derail Nordstream2.

As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went. CEO is ultra corrupt. They never ever invested in their infrastructure so when it went down they came up with a profitable excuse. Just look at their financials/balance sheet over the years. No real investment in updating and maintaining infrastructure. Great false flag. Corruption and profiteering.


MarkU , May 19 2021 19:04 utc | 7

@ Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

"As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone.

james , May 19 2021 19:08 utc | 9

@ 6 blackhat..

I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens!

abee , May 19 2021 19:21 utc | 10

@ blackhat 6

an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

vinnieoh , May 19 2021 20:05 utc | 15

Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

I'm not familiar with your handle - hello. IMO, it would be counterproductive for Russia to initiate such a hack. What really affects and debilitates US oil and gas interests is low prices, both at the pump and on the stock exchange. The hack helped jack up prices (which were already being jacked-up despite demand still lagging behind supply) which only HELPS those energy interests. It has long been known, the math isn't complicated, what level crude must trade at for US domestic oil & gas operations to be profitable. Remember that just as the pandemic was emerging Russia and Saudi Arabia once again sent the global crude market into the depths of despair.

I do agree the hack can be interpreted in light of the desperation of US energy interests to try to kill NS2. I have not yet read the recent articles discussing Biden's recent moves in that regard. If these moves are a recognition that US LNG to Europe (and elsewhere) are diametrically opposed to climate responsibility, I'd welcome those moves. As is usually the case though, environmental responsibility is probably the least likely reason.

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda. Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

Paul , May 19 2021 23:42 utc | 42

Posted By Oldhippy @28

Thanks for your comment.

Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.'

also

'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.'

see Australian Financial Review 6 days ago.

Koch may well own another multi million $ stake.

[Apr 30, 2021] Around 80% of Russia oil wells will be in serious decline for the rest of this decade.

Apr 30, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 2:12 pm

A bit more about Russia. Dennis first posted this link a couple of weeks ago. It has a wealth of information. It was published in September 2019 . The Future of Russian Oil Production in the Short, Medium, and Long Term

They published another paper in 2017 predicting Russian production would hit 11,268,000 bpd in 2018. They did not quite make it but they did average 11,252,000 bpd in 2019. They predicted Russia to peak at 11.5 million bpd in 2020.

In our 2017 paper we identified that projects already in the pipeline, combined with efforts to slow the
natural decline of brownfields, could push oil production from an average of below 11 mb/d in 2016 to
around 11.5 mb/d by 2020 before going into gradual decline towards 2025.

Of course, the pandemic hit and kept that from happening. But from their 2019 paper, linked above, concerning brownfield management:

However, the success to date can be seen in the performance of six of the country's largest production companies, all of which are subsidiaries of the Russian oil majors. (These majors) have demonstrated a combined average rate of decline of 2 percent per annum over the past decade, compared to a natural decline rate for fields in West Siberia of around 10-15 percent per annum.

Massive infill drilling has gotten their brownfield decline down from a natural decline rate of 10-15 percent to 2 percent. But they do not believe this decline rate can be held:

An additional concern is that our long-term forecast for brownfield decline, of 2-3 percent per annum,
may be too optimistic if the current performance cannot be maintained as fields move further into their
final years

And they say, concerning the below chart", bold mine.

Figure 10 below. As can be seen, the overall output figure in 2030 of just over 8 mb/d is close to the "Brownfield+2 per cent" case in the corporate analysis above, implying that the regional analysis assumes a more normal decline curve for average oilfields in Russia. In other words, it confirms that the corporate analysis assumes continued technology progression, especially in slowing the brownfield decline, and therefore it is important to assess how this may be achieved. Indeed, an overall question is how can the Russian oil industry
achieve the target set for it by the Ministry of Energy of maintaining production at 550 mm tonnes per
annum (11.05 mb/d) until the end of the next decade? In other words, will the Russian oil sector be
able to fill a 2.5 mb/d gap by 2030, particularly when it seems that its major producing regions (West
Siberia and the Volga-Urals) will be in permanent decline by then?

What they are saying here is there may be serious problems with the Ministry of Energy's production goals. They seem to doubt it. Their brownfield production, (West Siberia and the Volga-Urals) shown in blue in the chart below, was about 80 percent of total Russian production in 2018 and 2019. Hey, 80% of their production will be in serious decline for the rest of this decade. Does anyone really believe the small fields they are finding in the East Siberian Arctic will replace that?

REPLY
RATIONALLUDDITE IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 6:39 pm

Terrific post. Thanks Ron. I like the candidness of the Russians on important issues. Far more realistic than EIA et al elevation of "wishful thinking" to the status of "data".

OVI IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 11:42 pm

HICKORY

I totally disagree with this statement, which is very commonly made by too many.

" I suspect that combustion-only vehicles will only make a small percent of new vehicles sales by 2030, but it will take a long time to retire the current fleet of combustion-only vehicles throughout the world. "

Last week Honda said that by 2030. they were expecting their vehicles sales to be 40% EVs. While I certainly respect their decision, which is less ambitious and more conservative than other auto manufacturers, let's just do a quick and simple calculation to see what this really means.

US EV sales, BEVs plus PHEVs, in 2020 were close to 2%. So how much of a yearly rate increase in sales do we need to get to 40% in 10 years. How about 2*(1.3493^10) = 40. So EV sales have to increase at the rate of a shade less than 35% each year to get to 40% by 2030. Recent trends have been closer to 10% and slowing.

I think 40% by 2040 is more realistic. That would only take a 16% annual increase to get to 40% and even that may be a stretch.

[Apr 27, 2021] The Greens, if they "win" will not win with a majority. That means they will need coalition partners. Neither the CDU or the SPD is going to go along with their plan to stop NS2. The Greens, in order to form a govt. will cave in on NS2 and probably other things.

Apr 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

robert , Apr 22 2021 20:00 utc | 16

Just a couple of notes:

-The Greens, if they "win" will not win with a majority. That means they will need coalition partners. Neither the CDU or the SPD is going to go along with their plan to stop NS2. The Greens, in order to form a govt. will cave in on NS2 and probably other things.

-The Ukies are still fleeing the country to avoid going to the front. The Ukie brass says as much. These are not soldiers. They are farm kids. At the 1st sign of serious war, they will all head for the russians with hands in the air.

-V. Putin handled the western MSM narrative quite well, imo, when he said "Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time." It can't be clearer than that. And that tells me that the ussa is in the crosshairs. This may be the 1st time in history that the oceans will offer no protection for the warmongers that have been at war for 222 years of 237 years of their existence

The comedian is still flaying about and now trying to play the SWIFT card (last week it was nuclear weapons, before that it was...). Which, of course, the west will not honor because it would cripple the west as much or more than RU. I would imagine he needs to change his undershorts on an hourly basis these days. He is literally caught between a rock and a hard spot. No more support from DE, FR, US, NATO, TR except good wishes. And demands from his brain-dead Banderites are only growing more shrill. What's a poor comic to do?

The west is basically done with him and with the show of force by the russians they are more done with him than before. For his sake, i hope his khazarian passport app has been approved.

Another failed state compliments of the khazarians in DC. And the beat goes on.


passerby , Apr 22 2021 21:17 utc | 18

Eighthman @10 North Stream 2 will be the last mayor cooperation between Russia and Europe for the next 10, 20 years. If you had to choose where to put your money, would you put it in a gas pipeline to China (Power of Siberia) or a gas pipeline to Europe (North Stream2)?

Putin will be the last Russian president who looked west, to Europe; the next president will look east, to Asia. It's where the money is.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28

I know how the German system works. Yet I am not seeing the Greens win or compose the next government if they threaten to cancel NS2. The NS2 is not about the CDU/CSU but about the German elite interest. No way they are going to give green light to the Greens. Speaking of someone which city is on the border.

Bernard F. , Apr 23 2021 1:15 utc | 35

Dans l'œil du cyclone

The only antiwar party in Germany is AfD. They don't buy at all the "narrative" Die Linke is only " pacifistes bêlants ".

The meeting of German parliament was interesting. Unfortunately, only found german SNA report

https://snanews.de/20210422/bundestagsdebatte-ostukraine-parteienvertreter-gespalten-1826965.html

About green leadership in west Germany, it was a fake election, no meeting, no campaign...just ridiculous posters in the streets. Massive abstention.

A post Covid-19 election, with young people back, could be surprised. East Germany is to be analyse.

Germany often surprises the world for the better , SS-20 and Pershing II missiles crisis 1978-87 and Mauerfall 1989.


[Apr 27, 2021] On the subject of LNG, is it even possible to transport enough LNG from the United States to Germany in quantity equal to the flow of Nordstream II?

Apr 27, 2021 | www.unz.com

Jim Christian , says: April 19, 2021 at 4:56 am GMT • 3.9 days ago

There is ONE little thing Mike Whitney missed, or maybe it developed as/after he wrote this, the State Department told Germany last week there would be no further sanctions on Germany or her companies as regards Nordstream II. I believe also that a four-Euro-country coalition told the U.S. a couple of weeks ago that this was for Germany's energy security, Nordstream that is and they sounded like they're serious about any further American interference in the matter.

On the subject of LNG, is it even possible to transport enough LNG from the United States to Germany in quantity equal to the flow of Nordstream II? That pipe they're laying looks of sufficient diameter to walk through standing up, it's going to pass a LOT of gas. I don't know what the flow rates and pressures are, but I know one thing; Boston has a large LNG terminal and it's a dangerous setup. Pipelines seem to me a safer enterprise.

Anyone familiar with this stuff?

shylockcracy , says: April 19, 2021 at 5:14 am GMT • 3.9 days ago

-The Ziocorporate globalist NATO/EU terrorists: We supported Chechen terrorist separatists and KLA organ-harvesting Jihadis, dismembered Yugoslavia and bombed Serbia, used your Russian airspace that you opened for us to invade Afghanistan after the 9/11 Zioterrorist self-attacks, instigated Georgia into war with Russia, used your UNSC vote to destroy Libya with ISIS, turned EUkraine into a NATO satellite complete with an bloody massacre in Odessa and yet another massmurderous war on Russia's border and blamed and sanctioned you for it, shot down your planes in Syria; and we're gonna be taking Belarus the moment Lukashenko blinks. But we're really good business partners, and need some gas, you know...

Miro23 , says: April 19, 2021 at 5:42 am GMT • 3.9 days ago

To my American readers I'd say that the US is very strong and the people of the US can have a wonderful life even without world hegemony, in fact, hegemony is not in their interests at all. What they should seek is a strong nationalist policy that cares for the American people and avoids wasteful foreign wars.

The problem here, is that the American people are crushed and powerless, and in the grip of something morphing into a Neo-Bolshevik style dictatorship. Similarly to the mid 1930's this dictatorship wants world power – and from this perspective Ukraine looks more like Spain 1936 (the first act of a much bigger show).

Biden's recent phone call to Putin suggests that the administration has decided not to launch a war after all. The unconfirmed report of two US ships turning away from the Black Sea fits this assessment. However, we cannot be sure about this since the Kremlin refused to agree to Biden's offer for a meeting. The Kremlin's response was a frosty "We shall study the proposal". Russians feel that the summit proposal might be a trick aimed at buying time to strengthen their position.

Except that the US ordered two British warships to go there instead.

TASS, April 18. Two British warships will sail for the Black Sea in May. According to The Sunday Times, a source in the Royal Navy indicated that this gesture is intended to show solidarity with Ukraine and NATO in the region against the background of the situation at the Russian-Ukrainian border.

According to the newspaper, one Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will peel off from the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean and sail through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea.

It is reported that the decision was made in order to support Ukraine after the US cancelled its plans of sending two destroyers to the Black Sea in order to avoid further escalation in the region and tensions with Russia. It is noted that in case of a threat on the part of Russia, the UK is ready to send other military equipment to the region.

https://tass.com/world/1279483

I would guess that the US Trotskyites plan to push the Ukrainians into a war and then launch a massive international media barrage, "heroic Ukrainian patriots", "Russian atrocities", "killer Putin" etc. sufficient to finish with Nord Stream 2 and scare France and Germany back into the US fold.

If this is right, then they're not expecting Russia to retake the whole of the Ukraine, and they're not planning to start WW3.

However, Russia's lowest risk strategy would probably still be to only defend their existing positions making it difficult to claim a "Russian invasion". They've probably already lost Nord Stream (which is really a German loss – and the Germans know what the ZioGlob are doing here). This buys time, and given that the US is already on a fast downward slope, lets them keep sliding.

The Alarmist , says: April 19, 2021 at 12:16 pm GMT • 3.6 days ago
@Jim Christian

Let's just say that Germany relying on LNG from the US and ME is somebody's pipe dream.

MarkU , says: April 19, 2021 at 12:19 pm GMT • 3.6 days ago
@Anonymous point the finger and shriek about 'Russian aggression' in order to pressure the Germans into cancelling Nordstream 2 and any other Russian supplied energy.

Of course if the Europeans weren't run by (((banker))) stooges and if they had any balls between them they would force the US to call the whole thing off and pressure the Ukrainian fascists to honour the Minsk 2 agreement. Sadly we are just going to have to prepare for the worst and hope it doesn't go nuclear.

I see my own government (I am from the UK) has decided to send some sacrificial ships to the Black sea (the US apparently doesn't want to risk theirs) What else can we expect when 2/3 of our parliament are in 'Friends of Israel' groups?

BorisMay , says: April 19, 2021 at 12:47 pm GMT • 3.6 days ago

As Andrew Anglin writes, watch out for an upcoming false flag

Zarathustra , says: April 19, 2021 at 12:50 pm GMT • 3.6 days ago
@Schuetze

Like Mike did say in Godfather:" You are not lucky." Neither is US

Brooklyn Dave , says: April 19, 2021 at 1:07 pm GMT • 3.5 days ago
@Marshall Lentini

The Ukrainians who would the hardest to pacify are in the Ukie Diaspora in US, Canada and Western Europe. These folks still maintain a WW II mentality, act as if the Holodomor (which was terrible) only happened the other day and have a fair number of Banderists among their number. They do not wish to acknowledge that the Holodomor was orchestrated by the same Jews who launched the Bolshevik Revolution and killed millions of Orthodox Russians more than a decade beforehand. The ideal would be for Ukraine to maintain it territorial integrity minus perhaps the Donbas and go forward with a positive relationship with Russia.

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website April 19, 2021 at 3:26 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Anonymous refugees, including tens of thousands of Russian passport holders, trek into Russia, creating a nightmare for Putin. Ukranazistan is enormously emboldened, joins NATO de facto if not yet de jure, Russia is tremendously weakened, loses all allies and prospective allies. Win for Amerikastan.

Scenario 2: Putin intervenes.

Result: Amerikastan leaves the Ukranazis high and dry, but shrieks about Evil Russian Invasion; NordStream II and all other economic connections with Europe are severed. Amerikastan immensely reasserts its control over Europe, sells its LNG to Germany at much inflated prices, and its useless weapons to everyone to "defend against Russia". Hands Russia the unenviable burden of the ruin of Ukranazistan, which Amerikastan has looted for 7 years till there is nothing left. Win for Amerikastan.

Art thou answer'd yet? What, art thou answer'd?

PokeTheTruth , says: April 19, 2021 at 3:27 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist ttlement of Disputes". Hopefully it will direct the attention of the Security Council or the General Assembly to realize the Russian Federation and permanent member of the UNSC, see no other path to peace if the representatives of the UN fail to make a just and fair decision on this particular matter that has gone on for far too long.

This in itself does not necessarily mean the armies of Russia will pour over Ukraine's western border and over their northern border from Belarus. But the declaration of defensive war puts US-NATO in a Hobson's choice predicament and that is to choose peace. If they choose to cross the Rubicon then the necessity of defense war as theoretically stated will happen to preserve the sovereignty of Mother Russia.

RadicalCenter , says: April 19, 2021 at 3:31 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@kszat

Less than 11% of ukrainians are Catholic -- less than 1% "Latin Rite" and 10% Uniate Catholic -- and they are concentrated overwhelmingly in the oblasty bordering Poland and Slovakia etc. in the west. Catholicism does not exist in the Donbass region and has almost zero presence or influence in the rest of the Ukraine excluding the far west.

Russian and Ukrainian are even more similar than you make out, albeit not nearly-identical like Russian and Belarussian.

In any event, many Ukrainians consider BOTH Russian and ukrainian to be their native languages.

Moreover, a large minority of people, especially around Kiev, use the Russian-Ukrainian mix called Surzhyk.

annamaria , says: April 19, 2021 at 3:33 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Carlton Meyer

If the MIC/Banksters like the brinkmanship games so much, it would be interesting to see Russian nuclear submarines emerging near Patagonia (Jewish "retreat") and Cuba. A piece of leaked information about the City of London being on a crosshair of Kinzhal will be a bonus. Add to that the publication of a detailed map of underground luxury bunkers for the "deciders;" that would be super nice.
The cannibals – the "globally-oriented elites" – need to feel the flaming spear directed towards each of them (and their progeny) personally. The confrontation has indeed become personal: the ZUSA's "elites" against humankind.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: April 19, 2021 at 3:52 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Miro23 re it fit best how would that be a bad thing?
Some to Russia, some to Poland, some to a rump State.
I would love to see Putin, Lavrov and Shoigu cook up a feast for Bidet Joe and Camel Toe tbat would see them humiliated. Bidet is a fraud and anything that makes him and his little goblin Blinkenfeld look like idiots is great.
We can only hope!
P.S. It must really suck to be a Ukrainian. Here we are in the 21st century and these guys can't get out from being stuck in the mud. The young have to leave for Poland to get jobs. And for what reason, so American Jews can get their Hate On for the Czar?! All the Greenblatts need war crime charges. Convict and execute the next morning. All legal. Force is all these vermin understand.
Oscar Peterson , says: April 19, 2021 at 4:01 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Anonymous oke Putin into overreacting, thus, proving that Russia poses a threat to all of Europe. The only way Washington can persuade its EU allies that they should not engage in critical business transactions (like Nordstream) with Moscow, is if they can prove that Russia is an "external threat" to their collective security.

Shamir unfortunately became fixated on Whitney's use of the word "overreact" (though I agree it's not the right word) and mostly failed to address the substance of the question and its underlying premise.

And, as a postscript, I agree with animalogic. Your kindergarten language is embarrassing. I mean, if you're going to insult Escobar et al., at least use adult insults.

Oscar Peterson , says: April 19, 2021 at 4:07 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago

In the unlikely event that Ukraine does try to take back the Donbas by force, Shakespeare has already devised the appropriate stage direction for the Zelensky government:

Exit, pursued by a bear.

annamaria , says: April 19, 2021 at 4:08 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago
@Ray Caruso ref="https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/05/zime-m11.html">https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/05/zime-m11.html
Krystian Zimerman, a man of dignity, loathed the treacherous snake obama.
https://blazingindiscretions.blogspot.com/2009/04/krystian-zimermans-pro-peace-speech.html

"Get your hands off my country," Zimerman told the stunned crowd in a denunciation of US plans to install a missile defence shield on Polish soil. Some people cheered, others yelled at him to shut up and keep playing. A few dozen walked out, some of them shouting obscenities.

SafeNow , says: April 19, 2021 at 4:46 pm GMT • 3.4 days ago

I've played hundreds of Russians at chess, and they prefer what chess players call "quiet moves." (Unlike US players, who are more impetuous). Same for Putin; quiet moves. But if provoked, he will finish the job. (Adm Spruance, after Pearl Harbor: By not attacking the tank farms, sub base, and machine shops, they had not "finished the job.

Majority of One , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:01 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Prester John

The "western" Ukraine you cite may have been culturally Ukrainian/Russian/eastern Slavic, several hundred years ago. But as they were under Polish and later Austro-Hungarian overlordship for many generations, they became westernized–culturally deracinated. They are Galicians, NOT Ukrainians.

If Ukraine retains some level of political independence, they need to divorce these culturally undigestible Uniates and their fascistic leadership. Currently that group poses a toxicity to the body-politick of Ukraine, however else you may wish to define Kievan Rus.

RadicalCenter , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:02 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Prester John

Wrong to say that "West Ukraine" is Catholic. Only TEN percent of Ukrainians are Uniate Catholic, less than 1% Roman Catholic.

Majority of One , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:11 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Bombercommand > In some ways your take is apropos, particularly regarding potential Russian overextending.

You do place a lot of reliance on "International Law". With little incidents like Trump's overturning of the uranium-processing accords with Iran, plus numerous other violations by the U$/British consortium working as the intel and military enforcement arms for the Bank$ter Cabal; international law has been constantly and consistently violated.

Geopolitically speaking, in terms of realistic "real politick", as per Bismark, no national regime regards such nice-sounding accords as valid and inviolable. At some unknown future time, genuine International Law may become a reality. At present, it is primarily a smiley-faced mask.

Russian_Deplorable , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:23 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago

A bear has never been a "Russian totem animal". Eagles, falcons, wolves – but never bears. "Russian bear" is a product of the British russophobic propaganda of the Crimean war of the 19 century.

The ukies are not Russians. Russian society looks forward demolition of the ukronazi statehood, but without any form of integration of the Northern Somalia into our country. A few million insurgent anarchists on top of all our problems would finish us.

Alfred , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:35 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Brooklyn Dave for Ukraine.

The fanatics who actually live in Ukraine can be easily traced and kept under control. Their funding would be cut off. They are a tiny portion of the population.

In the last elections that were won by Zelensky, the parties that wanted peace with Russia represented over 95% of the population. Zelensky deceived everyone by continuing exactly the same policies of Poroshenko. In fact, he was worse as he recently shut down all opposition TV stations.

1n 2019, the only area in favour of continuing the war was brick-red on this map. Today, due to the collapsing economy and the lockdowns, there are even fewer people in favour of war. The Russians would be welcomed almost everywhere.

Lucy Lipinska , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:42 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen

Fraud Bidet and little goblin Blinkenfeld; amusing but true nevertheless.

And I couldn't agree more when it comes to what you say about Ukraine, i.e. the borderland. According to my sister who lives in Poland, Ukraincy (in Polish "those from bordeland) are everyplace.

Sally'sDad , says: April 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Majority of One

I would add that the western part of Ukarine "released" to join Poland would just allow the evil empire to occupy that much land even closer to Russia. I don't see that as desirable. Perhaps that western
extremity is something that needs to be made "independent" and demilitarized, perhaps with UN peacekeepers present. At any rate, it needs to be rendered as no danger to Russia.
I have thought that by making Ukraine unavailable to the native neo-nazies there, they are forced to relocate, and then become a major headache for their damaging and dangerous influence in Europe.
Call it "blowback" . just another reason for the Europeans to defuse any American smart ideas in their neighbourhood.

Aaron Hilel , says: April 19, 2021 at 7:13 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist t.
Russia wins.

Fourth variant.

Canadian, British and hand-picked nazi battalions attempt to enter the no mans land, come under mortar fire, go to ground and ask their artillery to save them.
Ukrainian/nato artillery battalions get counter-batteried into oblivion by ru artillery regiments stationed in range.
Commanders at battalion level ask for a cease-fire, evacuate their troops back to the starting line.
V.V. Putin, being merciful and kind, agrees.
Russia wins.

Fifth variant

Nothing happens except for a lot of hot air, troop movements and wails from Lugenpresse.
Status quo is maintained, zato keeps paying for the Ukrainian Project.
Russia wins.

Marshall Lentini , says: April 19, 2021 at 7:25 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@Bombercommand

Absolutely solid take. Only thing I would add –

Russia would instantly become an outlaw state.

They are already being treated as an outlaw state, and although Russians are inhumanly patient, as I've seen for too long firsthand, this may figure into any looming brinkmanship – as Lavrov's recent exasperated remark about the US being incapable of negotiation may indicate.

Jake , says: April 19, 2021 at 8:49 pm GMT • 3.2 days ago
@SteveK9

True, There is zero need for the US to play Imperial Global Overlord because of the natural resources on North America. It is only the greed and hubris of the Elites, who cannot ever be satisfied.

The Anglo-Zionist Empire is very much an Evil Empire.

[Apr 19, 2021] The danger here is that the US and the EU vassals push Russia into having nothing to lose. I don't see how NS2 can be finished if Navalny dies.

Apr 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Eighthman , Apr 18 2021 1:26 utc | 65

The danger here is that the US and the EU vassals push Russia into having nothing to lose. I don't see how NS2 can be finished if Navalny dies. I hope Russia/Putin are working to prevent this, if they can.

[Apr 14, 2021] After The Bear Showed Its Teeth The Ukraine Filed For Peace

Now it looks more and more like a deliberate provocation. With Ukraine striving to get attention and the USA striving to stop NS2.
Notable quotes:
"... The new 2020/2024 Russia/Ukraine transit gas contract is 'pump or pay' in that Russia pays $7B over 5 years regardless of whether gas is shipped or not. So it doesn't matter if the volume drops. I am actually surprised that it has given the still harsh weather in Europe. ..."
"... Meanwhile more figures are out on NS2 and it looks, given good weather, that both Fortuna and AC could finish pipe laying in both Danish and German waters by the end of May. So operational by the end as of year as stated by Gazprom looks on the cards, if not earlier. ..."
"... I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright. ..."
"... The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence. ..."
"... Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats. ..."
"... This will be followed by an attack on the two Republics, dead bodies everywhere, un indisputable reason to convince the Germans with to scrap Nord-2. ..."
"... I am wondering if this might be an advantage for Russia and other countries in the mid to long term, that their companies are forced to master all the complex technologies involved as fast as possible? Maybe they will even become competitors to their western equivalents? ..."
Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jamesp , Apr 10 2021 14:58 utc | 1

First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.

It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the U.S. more influence in Europe . The U.S. and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty".

Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the U.S. or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.

Late yesterday it suddenly decided to file for peace (machine translation):

The Armed Forces ruled out the use of force to "liberate" Donbass

KIEV, April 9 - RIA Novosti. "Liberation" of Donbass by force will lead to mass deaths of civilians and servicemen, and this is unacceptable for Kiev, said Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak.

"Being devoted to universal human values ​​and norms of international humanitarian law, our state puts the lives of its citizens in the first place," the General Staff's press center quoted him as saying.

According to Khomchak, the Ukrainian authorities consider the political and diplomatic way to resolve the situation in Donbass a priority. At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for an adequate response both to the escalation of the conflict and to "the complication of the military-political and military-strategic situation around the country."

Zelensky himself chipped in (machine translated):

Zelensky spoke for a truce in Donbass

MOSCOW, April 9 - RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need for a new truce in Donbass after visiting the contact line.

The head of state wrote on Facebook that shooting at the front lines had become "a dangerous routine." "After several months of observing a complete and general ceasefire, we returned to the need to establish a truce," Zelensky said.

As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak emphasized earlier, the use of force to "liberate" Donbass is unacceptable for Kiev, as it is fraught with casualties among the civilian population and military personnel. At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue . One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Posted by b on April 10, 2021 at 14:44 UTC | Permalink

It would be so beneficial to Russia in so many ways to fix the Ukraine problem once and for all, that America is now backpedalling fast and hoping the Russians do not get their fix. They want this to continue to be a set of problems for Russia. Avoiding a war would be great for all, but if the West thinks they can resume this contentious scenario, they will find they are wrong. I am willing to bet that most common citizens of ukraine are sick of all this vitriol and tension, crashing economy, and other hardships. Maybe the majority will finally speak up and get their say.

JohninMK , Apr 12 2021 22:42 utc | 160

Stonebird @ 155

The new 2020/2024 Russia/Ukraine transit gas contract is 'pump or pay' in that Russia pays $7B over 5 years regardless of whether gas is shipped or not. So it doesn't matter if the volume drops. I am actually surprised that it has given the still harsh weather in Europe.

Meanwhile more figures are out on NS2 and it looks, given good weather, that both Fortuna and AC could finish pipe laying in both Danish and German waters by the end of May. So operational by the end as of year as stated by Gazprom looks on the cards, if not earlier.

andreweed , Apr 10 2021 15:04 utc | 2

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

because this is what bullies do. and when they sense they are about to lose in a fight, they ask for peace.

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 15:25 utc | 5

Once again, the World is saved. Pure West-emitted Goodness stopped The Dark Lord Putin in his tracks.

Jackrabbit , Apr 10 2021 15:38 utc | 7

At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

If war is really unacceptable to Ukraine why aren't they pulling back their forces?

1) Because the "Russian aggression' propaganda must continue until Nord Stream 2 is terminated.

2) Because the threat of a war with NATO-supported Ukraine must be sustained to deter Russia in Idlib and elsewhere.

!!

Don , Apr 10 2021 15:42 utc | 8

@MapleLeaf

The only deterrent US ships provide is the type that Russia wants to avoid engaging the US directly for fear of an eventual nuclear exchange. Otherwise, those ships provide no challenge to their military capabilities.

I submit the ships are there to encourage Zelensky to take a risk thinking the US has his back. But it appears even he isn't this dumb and this whole thing is going to blow over as I predicted a week or two ago.

imo , Apr 10 2021 15:44 utc | 9

So, was it always about bluff, theater and optics? ... Or did they simply lose their will to die young? I guess Zelensky is a bad-joke comedian after all. He gets the local nazis off his neck (for a while) by being a bold bad-ass boy and passing ideological laws (far from reality); and then goes listen to the frontline generals as they explain the suicidal meaning of his comic bluster. Being an actor, it's all just a stage for a gig, it seems. So, now he tells his pet nazi thugs that Ruslan Khomchak has their phone numbers. Perhaps now that Phil-the-(UK)Greek has died the Nato biolabs will be working on the next 'Plan B' reincarnation-virus pandemic mix. Sputnik-V 2.0 better be ready soon.

bevin , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

"Sluha Narodu ("Servant of the People"), the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, having won more than 43% of the votes countrywide, will now command majorities of both the party-list and the single-constituency seats in the new parliament; 253 seats altogether out of 422, or a "mono-coalition" as the party is calling the result, or as the hostile Ukrainian media term it, "a landslide [which] has never occurred in the contemporary history of Ukraine and it is more typical for post-Soviet Asian dictatorships..."

"...This beats earlier pollster predictions that Zelensky would be forced into a coalition with Holos ("The Voice"), a US-invented spoiler organization of Lvov region (Galicia) led by pop singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. He ended up with less than 6% of the national votes, fewer than forecast. Holos has proved to be neither the voice of youth, nor an organization without oligarch support (it was backed by Victor Pinchuk), nor a political party at all.

"Polling better than predicted was the Donbass (Donetsk, Lugansk regions) party, Opposition Platform led by Victor Medvedchuk, which ended up with 13% nationally; 48% in Lugansk; 42% in Donetsk; 24% in Odessa; and 19% in Nikolaev. If the additional votes of the eastern Opposition Bloc of Boris Kolesnikov and Vadim Novinsky are counted with Medvedchuk's aggregate, together they have drawn majorities of 53% to 54%, putting Zelensky's party in the east in a minority.

"This is the first time democracy has defeated a US Government-installed putsch and junta in Europe since the election of Andreas Papandreou's Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 1982."

According to John Helmer "President Volodomyr Zelensky (right) is suffering from memory failure, mood swings, and other neurological disorders after his hospitalisation for Covid-19 five months ago..." The obvious theory is that Zelensky was playing for time while giving the ultra fascists and their Canadian sponsors free rein until the elections gave the Ukrainian people- powerless political flotsam and jetsam, tossed around by Ottawa Nazis, Anglo imperialism and a corrupt oligarchy which has been robbing everyone in sight, blind since time immemorial a chance to indicate that it would be an extremely dumb move to attack Russia. Amongst other reasons, because the average Ukrainian would very likely side with the Russians against their ancient persecutors the Poles and Balts.

For Helmer:
http://johnhelmer.net/reminder-of-july-21-2019-for-democrats-suffering-acute-memory-failure/#more-46171

psychohistorian , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 14

b wrote
"
It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?
"

Good question. It fits with the characterization of late empire flailing at trying to exert/maintain control over global narratives. Empire keeps hoping that Russia and China back down because they have no other options than bullying. This is just the latest example of the bully being faced up to.....thank you Mr. Putin!....we just hope the bully goes down without taking all the rest of us with it.

Steve , Apr 10 2021 16:44 utc | 16

I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright.

AriusArmenian , Apr 10 2021 16:58 utc | 19
If Ukraine doesn't start their self-destruction by launching war before end of June then I will believe the danger has passed this year and only because the crazies in the US are hesitating to push the final button.
JohnH , Apr 10 2021 16:59 utc | 20
Meanwhile the New York Times, which always claims to know everything about Russian intentions, is left clueless!
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/world/europe/russia-ukraine-war-troops-intervention.html
vk , Apr 10 2021 17:05 utc | 22
But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

The only plausible explanation is that time isn't in favor of the Ukraine (and maybe the USA). Time is running up.

We should stop seeing capitalism as this unmovable, eternal and indestructible system, and the USA as this eternal and indestructible empire with endless resources. Both presuppositions are entirely false: capitalism and the USA are historically specific phenomena, and they will - 100% certainty - collapse and disappear eventually.

In politics, time is always relative. You know you won't last forever, but you know you don't need to: you just need to last longer than your political enemy. The fact that USA outlived the USSR gave it almost 17 years of incontestable supremacy, even though, analyzing the numbers, we know that the economic apex of the American Empire (its "golden age") was between Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. The absence of its geopolitical rival resulted in the fact that the American Empire reached its pinnacle during Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, not at the time its people was the most happy, during 1945-1969.

But geopolitical apex doesn't always translate automatically to economic apex. The USA also suffered a lot with the Oil Crisis of 1974, after which it quickly started to financialize and deindustrialize, in a process that was best symbolized by the Nixon Reforms (the creation of the Petrodollar in 1971 with the secret talks with the Saudi royal family and the deal with China in 1972). This crisis was masked solely by the fact that the USSR suffered even more with the Oil Crisis than the USA, resulting into a relative ascension. This relative ascension can be verified by the fact that Ronald Reagan was the most popular POTUS of the post-war USA: his reign was, by all economic metrics, a monumental failure, but it was during his watch that the USSR started to collapse.

Signs of cracks in the USA were already evident when George H. W. Bush wasn't re-elected because of a tax revolt by the electorate. During Bill Clinton, the American Empire gained a lot of breathing space thanks to the absorption of the vital space left by the ex-USSR countries, which were ransacked by the American and, to a lesser extent, German, capitalists (Victoria Nuland's husband, for example, got extremely rich with the privatization of the communications services in ex-Yugoslavia, hence her particular interest in Eastern Europe affairs). But even during Bill Clinton we could already see some dark clouds, e.g. the infamous "twin deficits" increase. Bill Clinton also governed long enough to see the crisis of the Asian Tigers (1997) and the Dotcom Crisis (2000). The dark clouds that would result in the storm of September 2008 were already there, gathering.

Analyzing the economic data, we can clearly see that the USSR wasn't the only one in an age of stagnation: since 1990, only China and SE Asia genuinely grew. If the 21st Century is to be consolidated as the "Asian Century", then a historian of the 22nd Century will have to go back to that year (or even earlier, to the mid-1980s) to try to understand the Asian rise. Growth elsewhere (when it happened) was either vegetative or fruit of a relocation (i.e. rise in inequality, bankruptcy of some sectors in favor of others) of wealth. During the 2000s, almost all the economic growth can be exclusively traced back to China (Russia's and Brazil's commodity booms, SE Asia's continued dynamism due to China's outsourcing or financing of American debt).

The 2008 crisis ended Neoliberalism as a hegemonic ideology. Today's world is still very much neoliberal, but only because the global elites don't know what to do and, either way, it's being implemented in a very distorted way, very far from its ideological purity of the 1990s. No one takes neoliberalism seriously anymore, even among the high echelons of the economics priesthood. Some remnants of neoliberal thought are still alive in the form of some living fossils in Latin America, but its end if fait accompli.

It is in this world that the Ukraine chose to align with the American Empire. To put it simply, it chose the wrong side at the wrong time: it chose the West in an era that's shifting to the East. The euphoria of the fall of socialism masked the degeneration of capitalism that was started at the same time and it particularly impacted the Warsaw Pact (Comecon) and the Western ex-USSR nations.

The Ukraine debacle has two aspects. First of all: the Maidan color revolutionaries clearly envisioned a neonazi, pro-Western Ukraine in its territorial integrity, i.e. with Crimea, Luhansk and Donbas. They didn't see the pro-Russians being well-organized enough to be able to quickly fall back to Russia (Crimea being the most spectacular case, rapidly organizing a referendum and fully integrating with Russia). Those losses are big: without Crimea, Ukraine essentially lost any significant Black Sea influence, and without Donbas + Luhansk, it practically lost all its industry and economy. Donbas specifically was a huge blow to the Ukrainians: since the Tsarist era, it was the most industrialized and advanced region of the Russian Empire (even more than Moscow and St. Petersburg) and it continued to be so during the Soviet Era - three of the main Soviet General-Secretaries of the post-war era came from the region (Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev).

Secondly, Ukraine, by choosing capitalism, has put itself withing the capitalist metabolic clock. The era of the Marshall Plan is gone. The USA needs wealth and it needs now. It will have to pay tributes to its new metropolis, and the price is high. The USA will settle for nothing less than the entire Ukraine - including the rich regions of the Donbas basin, plus the Crimea (over which its powerful Navy will be able to project into Russian territory). It also won't settle for anything less than a fully NATO-integrated, IMF-controlled Ukraine. That's the price for a full accession to the capitalist club post-2008.

In this sense, Ukraine's time is very short, as it is sucking the IMF dry (financial black hole) and it will collapse soon. The patience of the Empire is short and is getting shorter. As is common with capitalist societies, the Ukraine is also starting to devour itself as it collapses with the lack of vital space: the liberal elites governing it are having to ask themselves how can they get out of this mess without being murdered by the neonazi base that sustains it; at this point, they're more worried about avoiding another Night of the Long Knives than in reconquering the Donbas and Crimea.

The only good aspect I see in the dissolution and extinction of the Ukraine is that it can finally put to rest the myth that Nazism is a brutal, but highly efficient, "system": there's not such a thing - and never was - as a "Nazi system". Germany already was the second industrial superpower by the time Hitler rose to power; he never elaborated any kind of economic theory or even policy, instead delegating it to the already existing (Weimarian) industrial elite. Hitler was just a very powerful cheerleader who dreamed in being an epic movie. There was never such a thing called "national socialism" - it was just the name of the Bavarian party that already existed when Hitler crossed the border; it was by mere chance of destiny that he came from Austria (Southern border) and not Denmark (Northern border), France/Alsace-Lorraine (Western border) or Poland-Sudentenland (Eastern border). Nazism is not a system, it is just crazy liberalism, and I hope the white supremacists and traditionalists in the West take note of that - if they don't want to be crushed.

MarkU , Apr 10 2021 17:28 utc | 27 Prof , Apr 10 2021 17:33 utc | 28
VK
The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence.
oldhippie , Apr 10 2021 17:35 utc | 29

It is more than 24 hours since the initial announcement of a stand down and it would be nice to see some confirmation. Troops withdrawing would be confirmation. If it is happening in is not reported. What we get tends to be like the NYT item cited by John H @ 20. Nothing in that article but fantasy and delusion. The ongoing narrative crowds out facts until nothing is left. No one is as bad as NYT, still it is hard to trust anything we read.

Keeping an army in the field indefinitely is difficult. At minimum the troops must be fed and must be kept busy. Does Ukraine have the wherewithal to do that? I tend to doubt that, and yes, I am speculating. We will find out much later how bad desertion has been. We will find out much later how the hodgepodge of conscripts, mercs, Special Forces, and NATO got along. Reporting from 2014 had it that 600 NATO of every flavor were captured in the Debaltsevo cauldron. If you believe that. I can't see how Ukraine musters and fields another army after this if it is in fact over. More likely future armies will resemble what US manipulates in Syria -- Turks, Uighurs, jihadis from whole planet, mercs.

Domestic politics in Uke have to be crazy. No one can possibly know what is happening except the US Embassy. And they have their brains fogged by a lifetime of NYT fiction. No good locals for them to work with. If there was anyone good we would have seen them by now.

El Cid , Apr 10 2021 17:49 utc | 32

One must be awestruck with the talent the neo cons have for nation destruction. What they created in Ukraine is a virtual post nuclear war. Neither the EU or Russia want this basket-case-failed-Nazi state. Like the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, it has fortified its enemy whom it intended to weaken. Now, Putin has a Hezbollah type ally in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, and it has Russian Crimean back to the Motherland.

jayc , Apr 10 2021 18:02 utc | 34

Rick Rozoff, writing for the Antiwar website, has taken note of other activity - not least next week's scheduled appearances at NATO hdq of both the US Sec State and US Defence sec with Ukraine discussions on agenda.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-09/blinken-is-set-to-return-to-brussels-for-more-nato-meetings

Rozoff also notes that the CC of Ukraine armed forces continues with bluster about Ukraine's "territorial integrity" and invoking NATo Article 5.
https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/09/ukraines-top-commander-invokes-natos-article-5-military-assistance-clause-as-west-continues-to-oversee-ukraines-war-in-the-donbass/

Sam F , Apr 10 2021 18:10 utc | 35

Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats.

Such an utter humiliation of the US to pursue such foolish and racist FP, admitting its complete control by money power in all federal branches and mass media.

dadooronron , Apr 10 2021 18:21 utc | 36

As others here suggest, it's possible to read this as a success for the neocons. Ukrainian gov't troop movements set off Russian troop movements, which are then portrayed as aggressive, justifying whatever. It is very hard to believe that they seriously contemplated an attack on Russia's doorstep, or in its antechamber. But the question remains as to how far Zelensky's can has been kicked down the road.

Baron , Apr 11 2021 9:00 utc | 108

It's a trap, the calls for peace, new negotiations and stuff, it's to create the impression that the West and Ukraine are the good boys.

The next stage will be a heap of accusations that Russia is breaking the peace, makes threatening moves, is poised to take over rUkraine.

This will be followed by an attack on the two Republics, dead bodies everywhere, un indisputable reason to convince the Germans with to scrap Nord-2.

Martin , Apr 11 2021 11:07 utc | 114

After foreign pressure, several western companies abandoned building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. For example, the pipes are now laid by the Russian ship Fortuna instead of a Swiss one ( https://www.unz.com/pescobar/ukraine-redux-war-russophobia-and-pipelineistan/).

I am wondering if this might be an advantage for Russia and other countries in the mid to long term, that their companies are forced to master all the complex technologies involved as fast as possible? Maybe they will even become competitors to their western equivalents?

Usually, when governments decide about big industry projects, they demand that their national companies get some orders to profit from the project. Now, it seems reversed. The German government is still not openly against Nord Stream 2, but it has to be finished without some of the companies originally involved.

[Apr 11, 2021] Reject Nord Stream 2 Once and for All

Apr 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com

William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago

Just put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.
RODNEY SMITH SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Where does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.

[Apr 11, 2021] Reject Nord Stream 2 Once and for All - WSJ by Oleksii Reznikov April 8, 2021 6:37 pm ET
A pipe bearing the Nord Stream 2 logo at a plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS
Listen to this article 5 minutes 00:00 / 05:07 1x Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma found himself in the company of a political titan, France's President François Mitterrand, on a gloomy day in December 1994. "Young man, you will be tricked, one way or another," Mitterrand told Mr. Kuchma, who was then the leader of a newly independent nation. Unsettled as he felt, Mr. Kuchma accepted the security assurances of the U.S., U.K. and Russia and signed the Budapest Memorandum. In exchange, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal, then the third-largest in the world. Little did we know that two decades later one of the signatories -- Russia -- would attack Ukraine and occupy its sovereign territory. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma found himself in the company of a political titan, France's President François Mitterrand, on a gloomy day in December 1994. "Young man, you will be tricked, one way or another," Mitterrand told Mr. Kuchma, who was then the leader of a newly independent nation. Unsettled as he felt, Mr. Kuchma accepted the security assurances of the U.S., U.K. and Russia and signed the Budapest Memorandum. In exchange, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal, then the third-largest in the world. Little did we know that two decades later one of the signatories -- Russia -- would attack Ukraine and occupy its sovereign territory. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. With the Nord Stream 1 and Turk Stream pipelines already operational, Nord Stream 2 will complete the encirclement of Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, decoupling our energy security from Western Europe. Russia has tried to bully Ukraine by threatening gas cutoffs, most recently in June 2014. But Moscow has always had to be careful -- a large percentage of Russia's gas reaches Europe through Ukraine. If Nord Stream 2 is built, this consideration will be null and void. With the Nord Stream 1 and Turk Stream pipelines already operational, Nord Stream 2 will complete the encirclement of Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, decoupling our energy security from Western Europe. Russia has tried to bully Ukraine by threatening gas cutoffs, most recently in June 2014. But Moscow has always had to be careful -- a large percentage of Russia's gas reaches Europe through Ukraine. If Nord Stream 2 is built, this consideration will be null and void. me title=
NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Opinion: Morning Editorial Report
Apr 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com

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The Kremlin has demonstrated time and again its willingness to use energy trade to advance its geopolitical ambitions. It would be unwise, if not reckless, for Europe to increase its dependence on Gazprom , Russia's state-owned energy company, and give Moscow direct control over which countries are supplied with gas and which can be cut off.

The current contract between Gazprom and Ukraine's gas-transit operator guarantees the flow of westward exports via Ukraine until the end of 2024. But make no mistake: The day Nord Stream 2 is completed, that promise will be worthless. Even if some transit through Ukraine persists, Ukraine will be subject to the Kremlin's whims.

The fighting in the Donbas, where Russia operates through its proxies, mercenaries and even regular troops, has continued unabated for more than seven years. The gas pipeline has been spared from shelling -- Russia needs uninterrupted gas flows through Ukraine as much as we do. This mutual dependence is a deterrent that Nord Stream 2 will remove.

Ukraine is grateful to the U.S. Congress, which recognized the true nature of this pipeline project, and the European Parliament, which voted 10-to-1 on Jan. 21 to demand a halt to construction with a resolution on the arrest of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny in Moscow.

Germany and Europe already have access to a massive gas-transit network spanning the Black and Baltic seas, Belarus and Ukraine. The existing capacity is more than 50% higher than current consumption of Russian gas in the European Union. Even if the demand increases as Germany is working to phase out nuclear and coal power generation, there is no commercial need for another pipeline.

While Germany has little to gain, Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built -- a fact that Nord Stream 2 apologists often present as the only basis for Ukrainian opposition. The economic effect will be significant, but the claim is deliberately misleading. Ukrainian soldiers will be putting their lives on the line if Russia decides to escalate the conflict in the Donbas after it no longer needs to consider the effect on gas exports.

Ukraine understands the need to strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance and the desire to find a solution that works for both Washington and Berlin. It is, however, incumbent on the Kremlin first to demonstrate respect for international law. The ball is in Moscow's court. It can and should end hostilities in the Donbas region, withdraw its troops from the Crimean Peninsula and restore Ukrainian sovereignty.

me title=

President Biden was right to call the pipeline "a bad deal for Europe." As the project inches closer to completion, Ukrainians can't help but recall Mitterrand's words from nearly 30 years ago. Ukraine was tricked, just as the French president predicted. Let us not repeat history but learn from it. We must come together and reject Nord Stream 2 once and for all.

Mr. Reznikov is Ukraine's deputy prime minister for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories. V


V Lee SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago

The Ukrainian kleptocracy will see their cut shrink or disappear when gas will start flowing via Nord Stream 2. Not "a bad deal for Europe" just for Ukraine.
A Koster SUBSCRIBER 17 hours ago
Did i mention Turkey's role in Syria ?

It's interesting that everyone conveniently fails "to mention the role that gas line geopolitics played in the "fallout" between Erdogan and Assad; as soon as Assad vetoed the Qatar-Turkey pipeline that would have brought massive wealth to his family's energy transshipment business (BMZ Ltd), Assad instead signing on to the Iran-Iraq-Syria "Friendship Pipeline", the friendship was ended and the war on Assad commenced"

A Koster SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago
This article is about one thing.. absolutely nothing to do with a risk to Ukraine's national security

'Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built"

And Turkey is in there like a dirty shirt.. see "Russia Warns of Full-Scale War in Eastern Ukraine, Blames Kyiv".. like it was with Azerbaijan as they slaughtered thousands of Christians in Armenia.. and all for the first find in the Caspian Sea by Azerbaijan since Russia's breakup.. HINT: they wanted.. not needed.. a direct route west for a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.. which they got in a Russia brokered peace deal

So i guess congratulations are in order to Biden's NATO as they loyally keep working on enlarging the EU and keeping the oil baron families of Erdogan and Alyiev filthy rich

James Schumaker SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago
I suggest you look up the Budapest Memorandum. The U.S. gave no guarantees. Like Russia, it gave assurances. I also suggest you stop falling for pro-Trump talking points and look at what Trump actually did with regard to Ukraine. He tried to extort its President into digging up dirt on his main political opponent by threatening to withdraw military aid. That's what he was impeached for -- the first time.
RODNEY SMITH SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Where does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.
Jens Praestgaard SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Otto von Bismarck's maxim for the newly formed German state was to always keep cordial relations with Russia. NordStream 2 is a step towards normalization of the German/Russian relationship after 120 years of failure.
Jim Mcdonnell SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Bismarck's policy made sense in 19th Century Europe, and had Kaiser Wilhelm II not scuttled it we would be living in a very different world. But he did scuttle it, and the world has changed - largely in ways Bismarck sought to prevent - a great deal, as has Europe.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Bismarck's thoughts about Germany's geopolitical situation are still relevant today. He argued that the map that matters for German politicians is the map of Europe [and since 1945 that frame has been enlarged, has included the US and Canada]. That Germany needed to pay particular attention to relationships with its neighbors. That the country was to small to dominate Europe, and should rely on a system of stable alliances to ensure stability, Ukraine and Russia are neighbors, Bismarck would have seen relationships with both countries as relevant. Communication channels need to be kept open, those relationships need to be managed. One neighbor, Russia, is an authoritarian state and since 2014 more openly aggressive. It needs to be contained and challenged. The US has not been a reliable partner in doing that in the last 4 years under Trump. That might change under a Biden, but will he be able to make and lock in the appropriate policy decisions? We'll see.
John Bute SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Germany has made a terrible strategic mistake by abandoning nuclear power to become more and more dependent on Russian natural gas. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power and about 10% from fossil fuel. Only moderate increases in hydro power and renewable energy will make it fossil fuel independent.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
German voters make their own decisions about climate change and definitely don't look for US advice. Power plants burning coal and producing nuclear energy are coming off the grid. Natural gas will continue to be important in that mix for quite some time. The Green Party's power is growing. It successfully expanded its electoral base in 2 state elections this spring with broad support from middle class voters. After all, environmentalism is a full belly movement. The Greens will challenge the German Conservatives, Merkel's Christian Democrats, in September at the ballot box in national elections and other state elections. And Merkel will not be on the ballot. Her CDU, which has been consistently the most pro-American party in Europe, finds that pro-American stance is now a big liability. 4 years of the Trump regime. which treated Germans as clients, changed the political landscape. Fewer Germans see the US is as a reliable partner, and that is now true even in Merkel's party.
SCOTT CORE SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago
Germany may view the US as an unreliable partner but they still rely on the US for economic and military protection. Perhaps Germans have replaced the US with NATO in their minds and ignored the fact that the US is the majority of NATO. Where Russia to threaten Germany where do you think Germany would turn? France? UK? China?
So Germans are free to trash Trump for asking them to provide a modicum of their own protection but in the end they will look to the US should they be threatened either economically by a cutoff of gas from Russia or a military threat from Russia.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 20 hours ago
Look at Gallup polling data or the Pew Research Center's data in its Global attitudes program. In many countries Trump ranked even below Xi or Putin. He was perceived as the bigger threat--unstable, angry, without a strategic vision, just a ventilator of his emotions, a middle schooler craving attention, a clown. Yet he made these huge claims, all lies, that the US was respected and listened to. The polling data tells us otherwise. Trump's lying and the hubris that fell from these lies, that is unprecedented.
And now; THE LOSER. The Mouse-of-Mar-a-Lago. But, the Republican Party still follows him.. The man will be remembered as the worst president the US ever had, ranking even below the corrupt Harding and the imbecile Buchanan. The lowest of the low. And as THE LIAR [-->Trump should register that as a trademark]. History books won't be kind to him and the suckers that still gobble up his lies even now after the putsch or whatever you want to call the Capitol "riot." Barnum was right!
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
England and France have their own nuclear deterrents. Europeans just want cheap steady supply of energy. Russia is in the Middle East because Hillary and Obama destroyed Syria and Libya. Bush put us in Iraq and Afghanistan for 20 years! Trump started the withdrawal. Let's hope sleepy preacher Biden continues it.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
A little reality check: At the very moment when Washington supposedly champions energy independence and warns European allies against becoming too dependent on Moscow, American refineries are buying more Russian oil than ever before.
Check out the article by Javier Blas on the Bloomberg News site, published Mar. 24, 2021: "U.S. Thirst for Russian Oil Hits Record High Despite Tough Talk."
David Thomson SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Puerto Rico buys Russian LNG because there are no American-built LNG tankers. Thanks to the Jones Act, we can't ship LNG from Texas to PR.
Eugene Boutz SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)
Ukraine is composed of three *identities* which have nothing in common and want nothing in common.

There are the Russian speakers in the East and along the Black Sea, the people surrounding Lviv in the West which want to be European and the denizens of Kiev who tend to favor the values and views of the Chancellor of Germany in the '30s.

Ukraine already has a tripartite schism and is most likely headed for a tripartite split once the Russian Federation, having had its absolute fill of Kiev's games, obtains Beijing approbation to bring the matter to a conclusion with weaponry of which Kiev can only dream.

The United States is not going to fight a nuclear war with Russia over the interests of the Kiev faction nor does Germany want it to.

Nor do I.

Nor do you.

Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)
The Germans are not going to cave. They will finish the pipeline. It is now 96 % built. The West Europeans started importing Russian gas more than 40 years ago. Ronald Reagan failed when he tried to stick it to the Germans with sanctions. And so will Cancun Ted. The old pipeline system that runs through Ukraine has been reverse-engineered with EU funds about a decade ago. Ukraine has already been reliably supplied from the West when the Russians cut supplies. The talking points in this piece are based on Cancun Ted's hallucinations, and not the facts on the ground. For a factual analysis see Eugene Rumer's long piece published today in Defense News "Punishing Germany for Nord Stream 2 does nothing to stop Putin." Rumer is the director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously worked as a national intelligence officer on Russia and Eurasia for the U.S. National Intelligence Council. He actually knows what he is talking about.
William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Just put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Biden has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision in his entire career in Washington. Mitterrrand was a bureaucrat who started his rise in vischy France. Ukraine is in a tough spot. So is Russia. They have been fighting for 7 years. Body counts go up,citizens do not like it. Russia will not sacrifice one pipeline for another. Ukraine and Russia can agree to no NATO troops on their border and tensions will go down.
bruce miller SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
And who talked Ukraine into giving up their nukes? Well we did. Or rather, Slick and his pals did. Bet the Ukrainians wish they'd kept a bunch. Just for old time's sake.
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
What bargaining power would they be?No person or government in their right mind would use them. This is about land grabbing.

[Apr 09, 2021] Is Ukraine just a tool in the US hands to shut down Nordstream?

Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

vic and blood

GreatCaesar'sGhost called it: Ukraine is a tool to shut down Nordstream. Ukraine will push until Russia does something, then Germany shuts down Nordstream, shooting themselves in the foot.

Puppyteethofdeath 1 hour ago

There's always the chance that election fraud will bring the Green Party to rise in Germany also.

They'll gladly get rid of Nordstream 2 and destroy the German economy.

[Apr 09, 2021] Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Ukraine redux, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz Review

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let's cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war.

On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference with European Council President in Kiev on March 3, 2021. Photo: AFP / Sergey Dolzhenko

The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev's official policy. That's exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of "Russian aggression." Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation.

It was this (italics mine) de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76 th Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours.

It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise "unwavering US support for Ukraine's sovereignty." That ties in with Moscow's interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.

On March 8, 2021, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during observance of International Women's Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP / Mandel Ngan

Controlling the narrative

Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018 , is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target.

Once again, we're back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business.

To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to "neutralize" Crimea.

If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference at the end of a NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2021. Photo: AFP / Olivier Hoslet

Zelensky uttered the key phrase: "NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass" – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its "presence" in the Black Sea. "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping."

All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative.

The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to "Russian aggression." Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide).

In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious: "According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more 'Russian aggression.'"

What's implied is that Washington/Brussels don't have a clear tactical, much less strategic game plan: only total narrative control.

And that is fueled by rabid Russophobia – masterfully deconstructed by the indispensable Andrei Martyanov, one of the world's top military analysts.

A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial "issues of mutual interest."

Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on "all parties" to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks as German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on after a German-French Security Council video conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on February 5, 2021. Photo: AFP / Thibault Camus

The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.

What does the hegemon want?

As part of his current Energizer bunny act, Zelensky made an extra eyebrow-raising move. This past Monday, he visited Qatar with a lofty delegation and clinched a raft of deals , not circumscribed to LNG but also including direct Kiev-Doha flights; Doha leasing or buying a Black Sea port; and strong "defense/military ties" – which could be a lovely euphemism for a possible transfer of jihadis from Libya and Syria to fight Russian infidels in Donbass.

Right on cue, Zelensly meets Turkey's Erdogan next Monday. Erdogan's intel services run the jihadi proxies in Idlib, and dodgy Qatari funds are still part of the picture. Arguably, the Turks are already transferring those "moderate rebels" to Ukraine. Russian intel is meticulously monitoring all this activity.

A series of informed discussions – see, for instance, here and here – is converging on what may be the top three targets for the hegemon amid all this mess, short of war: to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices; to crash the Nord Steam 2 pipeline; and to boost profits in the weapons business for the military-industral complex.

So the key question then is whether Moscow would be able to apply a Sun Tzu move short of being lured into a hot war in the Donbass.

On the ground, the outlook is grim. Denis Pushilin, one of the top leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics, has stated that the chances of avoiding war are "extremely small." Serbian sniper Dejan Beric – whom I met in Donetsk in 2015 and who is a certified expert on the ground – expects a Kiev attack in early May .

The extremely controversial Igor Strelkov, who may be termed an exponent of "orthodox socialism," a sharp critic of the Kremlin's policies who is one of the very few warlords who survived after 2014, has unequivocally stated that the only chance for peace is for the Russian army to control Ukrainian territory at least up to the Dnieper river. He stresses that a war in April is "very likely"; for Russia war "now" is better than war later; and there's a 99% possibility that Washington will not fight for Ukraine.

On this last item at least Strelkov has a point; Washington and NATO want a war fought to the last Ukrainian.

Rostislav Ischenko, the top Russian analyst of Ukraine whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Moscow in late 2018, persuasively argues that, "the overall diplomatic, military, political, financial and economic situation powerfully requires the Kiev authorities to intensify combat operations in Donbass.

"By the way," Ischenko added, "the Americans do not give a damn whether Ukraine will hold out for any time or whether it will be blown to pieces in an instant. They believe they stand to gain from either outcome."

Gotta defend Europe

Let's assume the worst in Donbass. Kiev launches its blitzkrieg. Russian intel documents everything. Moscow instantly announces it is using the full authority conferred by the UNSC to enforce the Minsk 2 ceasefire.

In what would be a matter of 8 hours or a maximum 48 hours, Russian forces smash the whole blitzkrieg apparatus to smithereens and send the Ukrainians back to their sandbox, which is approximately 75km north of the established contact zone.

In the Black Sea, incidentally, there's no contact zone. This means Russia may send out all its advanced subs plus the surface fleet anywhere around the "Russian lake": They are already deployed anyway.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as Novator Design Bureau director-general Farid Abdrakhmanov and Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko shake hands during a signing ceremony for government contracts in Alabino, Moscow region, Russia. on June 27, 2019. Photo: AFP / Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik

Once again Martyanov lays down the law when he predicts, referring to a group of Russian missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau: "Crushing Ukies' command and control system is a matter of few hours, be that near border or in the operational and strategic Uki depth. Basically speaking, the whole of the Ukrainian 'navy' is worth less than the salvo of 3M54 or 3M14 which will be required to sink it. I think couple of Tarantuls will be enough to finish it off in or near Odessa and then give Kiev, especially its government district, a taste of modern stand-off weapons."

The absolutely key issue, which cannot be emphasized enough, is that Russia will not (italics mine) "invade" Ukraine. It doesn't need to, and it doesn't want to. What Moscow will do for sure is to support the Novorossiya people's republics with equipment, intel, electronic warfare, control of airspace and special forces. Even a no-fly zone will not be necessary; the "message" will be clear that were a NATO fighter jet to show up near the frontline, it would be summarily shot down.

And that brings us to the open "secret" whispered only in informal dinners in Brussels, and chancelleries across Eurasia: NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia.

One thing is to have yapping dogs like Poland, Romania, the Baltic gang and Ukraine amplified by corporate media on their "Russian aggression" script. Factually, NATO had its collective behind unceremoniously kicked in Afghanistan. It shivered when it had to fight the Serbs in the late 1990s. And in the 2010s, it did not dare fight the Damascus and Axis of Resistance forces.

When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians.

That's the rationale behind the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21 , now on till the end of June, mobilizing 28,000 soldiers from the US and 25 NATO allies and "partners."

This month, men and heavy equipment pre-positioned in three US Army depots in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will be transferred to multiple "training areas" in 12 countries. Oh, the joys of travel, no lockdown in an open air exercise since everyone has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Pipelineistan uber alles

Nord Stream 2 is not a big deal for Moscow; it's a Pipelineistan inconvenience at best. After all the Russian economy did not make a single ruble out of the not yet existent pipeline during the 2010s – and still it did fine. If NS2 is canceled, there are plans on the table to redirect the bulk of Russian gas shipments towards Eurasia, especially China.

Connecting German infrastructure for Nord Stream 2 is in place. In this handout photo released February 4, 2020, by the press service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany. The Eugal pipeline, which will receive gas from Nord Stream 2 in the future, has reached full pumping capacity, and the second line of the pipeline has been introduced. Photo: AFP / Press-service of Eugal / Sputnik

In parallel, Berlin knows very well that canceling NS2 will be an extremely serious breach of contract – involving hundreds of billions of euros; it was Germany that requested the pipeline to be built in the first place.

Germany's energiewende ("energy transition" policy) has been a disaster. German industrialists know very well that natural gas is the only alternative to nuclear energy. They are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon – even assuming the egemon will be able to deliver, as its fracking industry is in shambles. Merkel explaining to German public opinion why they must revert to using coal or buy shale from the US will be a sight to see.

As it stands, NATO provocations against NS2 proceed unabated – via warships and helicopters. NS2 needed a permit to work in Danish waters, and it was granted only a month ago. Even as Russian ships are not as fast in laying pipes as the previous ships from Swiss-based Allseas , which backed down, intimidated by US sanctions, the Russian Fortuna is making steady progress, as noted by analyst Petri Krohn: one kilometer a day on its best days, at least 800 meters a day. With 35 km left, that should not take more than 50 days.

Conversations with German analysts reveal a fascinating shadowplay on the energy front between Berlin and Moscow – not to mention Beijing. Compare it with Washington: EU diplomats complain there's absolutely no one to negotiate with regarding NS2. And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.

Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

At the same time, the situation is evolving towards a possible new alignment in the heart of the "West": US/UK pitted against Germany/France. Some Anglosphere exceptionals are certainly more Russophobic than others.

The toxic encounter between Russophobia and Pipelineistan will not be over even if NS2 is completed. There will be more sanctions. There will be an attempt to exclude Russia from SWIFT. The proxy war in Syria will intensify. The hegemon will go no holds barred to keep creating all sorts of geopolitical harassment against Russia.

What a nice wag-the-dog op to distract domestic public opinion from massive money printing masking a looming economic collapse. As the empire crumbles, the narrative is set in stone: it's all the fault of "Russian aggression."


Alfa158 , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:05 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

Well, I'm hoping the Ukrainians will finally remember Bernard Lewis's warning about the U.S. and realize they are being used like a Kleenex: "America is harmless as an enemy but treacherous as a friend."
Americans have had it and will never tolerate sending combat troops into a Russia/Ukraine conflict no matter how much rah-rah let's you and him fight we'll hold your coat for you, faux patriotism the lugenpresse throw at them. Those of us who volunteered for the US military in the past have learned our lesson.

Agent76 , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:09 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago

Aug 10, 2020 Nord Stream 2 final stretch & Russia-Cyprus try to mend fences

https://www.youtube.com/embed/s4S_wOvCQAU?feature=oembed

Apr 4, 2019 NATO EXIT: Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

NATO is a criminal entity, an instrument of the Pentagon. There is no "Alliance". There is military Occupation.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/649_HXyJPAg?feature=oembed

Petermx , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:46 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

"The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO." I don't know how a decision is made whether NATO will go to war or not but if Germany and France have no say in whether their soldiers will be sent to war or not, that must by a very scary thought for them.

I found the following analysis interesting and I think it makes sense. It suggests France and Germany have a say in matters and that they oppose any offensive Ukraine has in mind. The commentator analyzes the diplomatic language and Germany and France appear to be fed up. Without coming out and saying so directly, they see things more as Russia does than Ukraine. It's very unfortunate things have developed this way for Ukraine. In addition, if Merkel wants to be perceived as a complete failure as chancellor in Germany, only then will she let NS2 be stopped from being completed. This analysis suggests there may be some strain between France and Germany versus the USA.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/30Lzq-K-cO4?feature=oembed

Zarathustra , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:59 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

I do have to disagree. If Ukraine start a war Russia must take back all eastern part of Ukraine that has prevalent Russian population. Odessa and Zaporozhie is particularly important. Russia must also tale all Kiev area back.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 5:04 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Several things to note:

1. Senior Ukrainian officers were once Soviet officers. They, and most of their troops, don't want to fight Russians and know it's foolish. The Ukrainian army will crumble if they come in contact with regular Russian troops. It's not that they are cowards, but sane. It would be like Canadian troops ordered to attack across the American border.

2. The American empire is furious and concerned that its long-time puppet disobeyed orders. Germany wants Russian gas and the empire wants that pipeline stopped. Not only to hurt Russia, but to teach the Germans a lesson. If fighting occurs in the Ukraine, would the Germans dare to buy natgas from evil Russians?

3. Most importantly, Israel controls the American government. A major goal is the destruction of Syria to allow the expansion of Greater Israel, as explained in the video below. This nearly succeeded until the Russians intervened. Fighting in Ukraine would divert Russian military resources from Syria so that nation can be destroyed, or Russia may give up Syrian support as part of a grand peace deal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/P512QBpjoq4?feature=oembed

The Biden administration is fully supportive of finishing off Syria and Lebanon, then moving on to destroy Iran. The new talks about Iran's nuclear program will go nowhere. It's just a show so Biden can say he tried.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pEigig2qWkc?feature=oembed

Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
@anon

It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."

The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:06 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Part of me wants to think that the Ukies will want to fold at the last moment. Yet all this apparent evidence points to their going for it and promptly getting their collective noses smashed in. Those who speculate in meta-political geo-strategic analysis cannot make sense of the moves by the largely incompetent shot-callers and their even more incompetent minions who cut the orders to their chessmen.

Heavy pressure by the equally incompetent regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, where carrot and stick are equally in play, is as Escobar points out, the force behind this nearly automatic death-sentence for the Kiev regime and the poor slobs who make up the draftee elements in the Ukrainian military.

Again, geopolitically, one wonders at the deeper string-pullers within the Pentagram, the CIA and the mass media of mind-control and message-massaging. Is this essentially a move to keep the American people–most particularly the edjumacated managerial and technical classes who make up the core of the alleged "middle-class"–"on message and in line"?

Yes, the WarDefense industry (aka Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex") insist on ongoing wars and threats of war to maintain their profit margins for the prime owners of that false economic basis,prime actors such as the Rottenchild Crime Clan and the rest of the parasites clustered in City of London and Wall $treet.

How will the canny and ever wary Russians proceed? Will they operate in the manner that Escobar proposes, by not directly employing the considerable ground-forces which now stand on alert just to the eastwards of their mutually agreed upon Swiss-cheese border with the Novorussians in Donetsk and Luhansk? Or will Russian strategy be somewhat more comprehensive by liberating the rest of the primarily Russian-speaking parts of eastern and southern Ukraine which had largely backed the overthrown legitimate government of that bedizened composite nation and are still smarting under the heels of the Galician fascists and the smaller grouping of Russophobic Ukrainian nationalists who still harbor nightmares about the Bolshevik/Stalinoid Holodomar? There are, after all human considerations which may influence Kremlin policy.

Should Russia decide to make a move, it is my projection that they would never be likely to even attempt to occupy central Ukraine and would set a stop-line well to the east of Kiev. Something that bemusingly intrigues me is the Belarus factor. It would appear that the Minsk regime, smarting from the attempted coup by the Poles, Baltic states and Ukraine backing of "pro-Westerners, may be mobilizing to get into the action and perhaps readjust their boundaries somewhat southwards. This could indicate a countering move by the Uniates in Galicia to make common cause with their Roman Catholic brethren in the afore-mentioned Poland along with Lithuania and remove their lands of control from a shattered Ukraine and form a confederation with their neighbors to the west.

There is little doubt in my mind that Russia has numerous human assets in central and southwestern Ukraine, who along with elements of a disintegrating Ukie military, would unite to overthrow the rotten regime in Kiev and establish a markedly neutral smaller but more cohesive Ukraine–a natural though smaller nation which could serve as an essential buffer between a strengthening Russia and a collection of NATO nations which would then comprise a hodgepodge of hawks and doves, a discombobulated collection of politico-economic entities attempting to swim their ways to calmer shores or to maintain some semblance of "Great Reset" programming in the face of popular resistance to lockdowns and mandated AstraGenica jabbings.

Worst possible scenario is that someone in the Pentagon-dominated NATO command complex loses their cool and initiates a conflict that could result in planet-wide chaos and destruction. One would hope that cooler heads will take a few hits to their expansionist fantasies and decide to make the best of a failed bit of adventurism and bide their time -- if they feel they have any time remaining before globalist economies hit the skids, leading to a potential collapse to the myth of progress.

Vojkan , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Everyone gets American logic. It's the Ukrainian logic that is truly baffling. Just how stupid do the Ukrainians have to be to attack when anyone with a brain knows what will be the outcome?

Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
@anon

It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."

The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.

GMC , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:37 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

You can't do any Normal business with a Crime Syndicate like the USA/ EU and or Israel. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others. Russia is so close to being self sufficient , they could turn their back on the West and it's cut throat allies , and just look to the East until the West implodes. They will have to destroy all armies within close proximity to their borders, including the Ukrainian/Mercenary one. Moscow must still have Jew Oligarchy baggage, that is making money on Wall Street and those ties need to break apart or come to a Pro Russian agreement or else. Rename Kyiv to Berlin 1944, and Lviv to Dresden and take it from there – and don't look back anymore. And PS : on way to Lviv, Agent Orange every F..n Monsanto/Bayer, Dupont and Cargil farm – like they did to Vietnam.

Levtraro , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:50 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

Yes but also the Ukraine needs to save those gas transit fees that will go kaput if NS2 is completed and operational, so it is the Ukraine the one with the most immediate incentive to start a war. Though they need just a small war, a little war to force the hands of the Germans to cancel NS2. Problem is the Russians have promised to give the Ukrainians more than what they bargained for. To save those gas transit fees the Ukrainians may end losing the country to a puppet installed by the Kremlin.

Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

Escobar, besides not naming the Jew, does not mention which side Israel is likely to support. We can be pretty certain that whichever side Israel supports is going to be the victor in this conflict. Turkey is also important because of the Bosphorus, and Turkey and Israel are working together to exploit the Leviathan gas field to the detriment of Cyprus and Syria, so Israel can jerk Turkey around like a pitbull on a chain.

The US has been moving drones into Ukraine and they now are right on the border with Crimea. The US Marines also have a large presence in Romania, also likely including all kinds of drones. The Israelis are among the planet's leaders in drone technology, and surely own even more patents. Israel provides much of its drone technology to Turkey, and the Azerbeijanis used Turkish and Israeli drones in their short war with Armenia. During this short war the Azerbeijanis shot up all kinds of Russian equipment with their drones including Pantsir's and ZSU-23's.

The US also has all kinds of stealth drones and missiles, likely that is one area where they lead the entire planet.

Miro23 , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:13 am GMT • 1.5 days ago

https://vk.com/wall-57424472_304332

If this assessment is correct (in Russian but comes out OK in Google translate), then the US / NATO have to get involved to compensate for the lack of a Ukrainian air force – and in fact the rest of their obsolete equipment.

Personally, I can't imagine US or NATO troops on the ground in the Ukraine – and I don't see any planning for it, so what's the idea?

One possibility seems to be 1) to start the fighting 2) then start the real game, which is a massive anti-Russian media barrage "heroic Ukrainian patriots", "Russian atrocities", "killer Putin" etc. sufficient to finish with Nord Stream 2, divide Russia from France/Germany, plus reanimate NATO and sanction Russia. Basically to force Europe back into US hegemony, and away from independent decision making.

They won't have any problem with the UK (their most slavish follower) but at some point the French and Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.

The Alarmist , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:18 am GMT • 1.5 days ago

[German Industrialists] are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon .

German Industrialists and financiers have been repeatedly shaken down by the hegemon for fines related to a number of "infractions." The scuttlebutt I've heard from a number of them is that it got old a long time ago; what point is it to participate in the US market when your profits are repeatedly clawed back as "fines," and those in the US with whom you compete are given a leg up not just in the US, but on the world stage. Left to most industrialists, Germany might have gone its own way years ago. Oddly enough, it is the Ossivergeltungswaffe who dithers over breaking ranks with the "ally" that openly spied on her.

And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.

The most recent example would be the Doha agreement on the US withdrawal of forces and personnel from Afghanistan. Apparently the Pentagon recently awarded a number of contracts for contractor services in that country for some time well past the "agreed" withdrawal date, strongly suggesting the agreement to leave was a ruse.

Garliv , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:34 am GMT • 1.5 days ago
@J. Alfred Powell

Unfortunately we live in a world where history is/was erased, facts don't matter or they can be twisted to fit anything no matter how ridiculous, the present is what I say it is. Thus US and its vassals are just interested in their today's narrative.
Ukrainian leadership is hopelessly incompetent and corrupt so will do anything Biden's gang tells them. It's simply a depressing scenario.

street worm , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:59 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

Blinken poking the Ukies to attack is a Hail Mary to stop NS2. Maybe it will work, maybe not. But a few hundred or a few thousand dead Ukies is worth the Russian boogeyman psy-op for the empire.

Marckus , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

""Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of War blah blah""

Contrary to what Pepe asserts the rest of the world will not give a shit. Memories of Chechnya? The sooner Putin over runs the place the better. You can bet the Ukrainian ruling elite, for all their gumption, have their jets all fuelled and ready with flight plans for the US via Switzerland...

Reaper , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

"NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia."

Sadly not so sure.
Some has it`s own agenda, like POland, Lithuania. Not even NATO/ US are in full control over that, and needs no more than a misstep. Like activate some system which is potentionally dangerous for Russia.
Or in different NATO/ US bases elsewhere in continental Europe.

"to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices"
"When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians."

This sounds to be the real goal.
For long since the US is jealous to Europe as it became more and more equal in economic and political power, and prevail better even with this "global pandemic".
EU wants more independence, US wants it`s colony to more obidient and follow commands.

If not just occupy, but "let" Europe partly destroyed even better: the treat of dominance reduced, and again can be the "nice savior" who helps and "brings democracy".

So seems far too real in the Ukrainian conflict Ukraine is just a side character.

Anonymous [902] Disclaimer , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:54 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Vojkan

Good point. They simply can't "win" anything by attacking.

The (((US))) will provide plenty of encouragement and support as long as they get mountains of Ukrainian corpses in return. Those corpses can then be photographed and the photos broadcast all over the world as "proof" that Putin is Hitler. Basically, Ukrainians are being funnelled into the meat grinder for a globohmo psyop opportunity. What a way to die...

Realist , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:59 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Fred777

The crumbling US economy will provide more than enough meat for the neocon's grinder.

Perhaps they will turn their attention to problems at home. The question is are they smart enough to recognize where the problem lies.

MLK , says: April 8, 2021 at 3:01 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Robert Bruce

Are you referring to the Ukraine fiasco? Would that it were so that it was just a distraction. Just apply some reverse engineering to how Germany and Russia have a pretext to link up energy-wise when Ukraine was a perfectly serviceable transit point until NeoCon filth started working their magic.

[Apr 09, 2021] German Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Putin yesterday and apparently told him she wanted to see immediate de-escalation

Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Indeed, let's not worry: German Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Putin yesterday and apparently told him she wanted to see immediate de-escalation or else she might not sell Russia any German cars; or buy Russian vaccine; or complete Nord-Stream 2 and tie the German economy into Russian gas supplies. Isn't realpolitik a German word originally?

"Destiny guides our fortunes more favourably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."

"Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures."

Or labour vs. capital; or realpolitik. But Happy Friday!


GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago

No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.

USAllDay 56 minutes ago

Germans need the gas and Russia needs the revenue. These are facts that can not change.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago

US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell. I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.

BeePee 43 minutes ago

Russia already sells gas. This will continue. Mistake to destablize Russia's economy.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago

US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell.

I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.

land_of_the_few 51 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

They should just mock them mercilessly.

Formation flypasts with rainbow colored smoke, Village People blasting from frigates buzxing them, that kind of thing.

land_of_the_few 40 minutes ago

"In the Navy", anyone?

[Apr 04, 2021] The level of incompetence of some authors at OilPrice.com is just staggering

Russia a major producer of electricity using nuclear power. Which is preferable to Wind turbines or burning money for solar panels (Russia is a northern country with no so much sunlight). As simple as that.
Apr 04, 2021 | oilprice.com

Originally from: Russia Is Being Left Behind In The Energy Transition By Haley Zaremba

When it comes to climate change and the need to update and innovate in the face of changing weather patterns, Russian President Vladmir Putin's strategy is simple: deny, deny, deny. While other fossil-fuel dependent economies scramble to diversify or race to build up clean energy infrastructure in a bid to put themselves at the forefront of the coming renewable revolution, Russia has taken the opposite approach: the world's largest nation is sitting tight and waiting to be the last man standing in a shrinking fossil fuels market. While Russia, with its massive land area and enviable geopolitical positioning, is extremely resource-rich, its oil is more costly to extract than other oil superpowers. Nevertheless, Putin is trying to outlast them all as they are forced to transition away from the oil due to falling prices and political pressure. The world is still decades away from weaning itself off fossil fuels and there will potentially be even more money to be made as the competition begins to fall away. The calculation Russia needs to make is when will its oil industry move from being a profit driver to a burden as demand plateaus and then falls.

While the potential for profit is undeniably in oil markets, when it comes to the clean energy transition, Russia is being left behind . They are being left behind in terms of infrastructure, innovation, and a dogmatic attachment to business as usual. "Putin and other Russian leaders have periodically flirted with outright climate change denial," Bloomberg reports. "Scientists have estimated that melting permafrost could cost Russia $84 billion in infrastructure damage by mid-century while releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases. Carbon Action Tracker, a non-profit, gives Russia's climate policies a bottom grade of 'critically insufficient.'"

While Russia will soon be feeling the pain from the side effects of climate change, there will also be a silver lining to all that northern ice-melt for the world's largest country. The receding ice caps will unveil a veritable treasure trove of oil, gas, and minerals never before accessible - not to mention an extremely valuable set of new sea lanes to ease access for trade. The tradeoffs for this new natural capital, however, are so costly in terms of devastating ecological externalities that almost all of the world's biggest banks won't touch it .

Related: Recent SEC Decision Could Spark Investment In Big Oil

In the meantime, Russia has doubled down on natural gas. "In recent years, the Kremlin has bet the country's economic and geopolitical future on natural gas," Bloomberg reports, "building new pipelines to China, Turkey, and Germany, while aiming to take a quarter of the global LNG market, up from zero in 2008 and around 8% today." Within the vast expanses of Russia, where entire regions are reliant on fossil fuel for their entire economy, the prevailing belief is that natural gas is the future, and will always be cheaper domestically than renewable alternatives. "What's the alternative? Russia can't be an exporter of clean energy, that path isn't open for us," Konstantin Simonov, director of the Moscow consultancy National Energy Security Fund, told Bloomberg. "We can't just swap fossil fuel production for clean energy production, because we don't have any technology of our own."

While renewable energy is still an emerging sector, with plenty of potential opportunities for Russia to stake its claim in the global clean energy game, it's clear that the Kremlin has a long way to go in terms of ideological politicking for that to become possible.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com

[Apr 03, 2021] Nord Stream 2 Warns Of Security Risks From Warships Low-Flying Planes - ZeroHedge

Apr 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Nord Stream 2 Warns Of Security Risks From Warships & Low-Flying Planes BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, APR 03, 2021 - 09:20 AM

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

A senior official from Nord Stream 2 AG, the project company leading the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline project, has reported an uptick in "provocative" activity from warships and planes in the area where the pipeline is being built .

"Higher activity of naval vessels, airplanes and helicopters and civilian vessels of foreign states is observed in the work area after restarted construction of the offshore segment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, whose actions are often clearly provocative ," said Nord Stream AG official Andrei Minin, according to the Russian news agency TASS .

Above: the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna, which is operated by the Russian company KVT-RUS and recently targeted by US sanctions. Image via Reuters

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.

He added that a Polish antisubmarine warfare airplane is "regularly flying around the work area at a small height and closely to the pipelay vessel."

Minin said in one provocation, an unidentified submarine was above surface within one mile of the pipeclay vessel Fortuna , a ship that was hit with US sanctions on January 19th. Minin said the activity indicates "obviously planned and prepared provocations." Besides warships and planes, he said fishing vessels have also come dangerously close to the construction area.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1377891924300939264&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fnord-stream-2-warns-security-risks-warships-low-flying-planes&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been in the crosshairs of the US for years, but despite sanctions and threats, Nord Stream AG reported on Thursday that the project is now 95 percent complete . Construction restarted in December 2020 after being suspended due to threats of US sanctions.

Although it's not clear if the US is involved in these provocations, it is likely. Washington seems willing to take extreme measures to stop the project and is threatening to sanction its ally Germany . Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.

The original Nord Stream consists of two lines that run from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin, Germany, near Greifswald. The new project would add two more lines, doubling the amount of natural gas Russia could export to Germany.
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Be of Good Cheer 1 hour ago

$3 billion loss to the Biden Crime Family. No wonder he wants to stop NS2.

NoPension 1 hour ago

^^^^^!!!

Pair Of Dimes Shift 45 minutes ago

10% to the big guy would be $300M.

Damn right the big guy's handlers are pissed.

Rid'n Dirty 1 hour ago

The US spends over $1 trillion on "defense" with over 800 bases worldwide, yet we have no control over who illegally takes up residence here. America has become an ugly hegemon run by Wall Street and other corporate whores. Almost 2/3rds of the world is under some type of US sanction designed to wreck economies and starve innocent people (Houthis, Syrians and Iranians).

Let's see if Germany can do what's best for its economy for the first time since 1945.

Based Fren 1 hour ago

It's so tiresome. We just have to stick our finger in everyone else's business.

naro 1 hour ago

Have you heard of the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. Wars is their oxygen.....they are looking for wars wherever they can find it.

ManOnFirst 59 minutes ago

a Polish fishing vessel rammed a construction ship and blamed a faulty engine for the incident. I really hate the Poles. They are the whiniest, most cowardly country in the world. They lament the fall of their empire 1000 years ago and think they could still be a superpower if only the big, bad Russians weren't so mean. Oh, and the big, bad Germans too.

SoDamnMad 27 minutes ago

I'm surprised the Russians didn't throw a 3 liter gasoline jug with a burning rag taped to it down on that fishing vessel. Your telling me no steerage and no engine control. Two can play this game. Poles best not try to lay any communication cables in the next 20 years.

Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago (Edited)

Globalists from the US doing everything they can to prevent a more independent EU. The further away you can get from a dying and dangerous empire the better.

2banana 1 hour ago

Established by whom?

Oh, you just made that sh!t up in international waters in one of the most heavily used trade routes in the world.

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.

Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago

It's international waters but safety zones are always established on this type of industrial project, it's hard to enforce in open waters but the West looks like a bunch of tools as usual.

not-me---it-was-the-dog 43 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

google is your friend, my friend.

https://www.nord-stream.com/press-info/images/exclusion-zone-around-pipelay-vessel-2665/

https://ens.dk/sites/ens.dk/files/OlieGas/15_-_nord_stream_2_-_transboundary_impacts_-_environmental_impact_assessment_denmark_north-western_route._august_2018.pdf

.... Shipping and shipping lanes In Danish waters, the proposed NSP2 route will run inside and along the TSS Bornholmsgat for approximately 42 km close to the Swedish EEZ. The TSS Bornholmsgat carries most of the ship traffic to/from the Baltic Sea and experiences over 50,000 ship passages per year. The proposed NSP2 route additionally crosses the TSS Adlergrund in the Danish and German EEZs, which has approximately 7,000 ship movements per year. Safety exclusion zones will be implemented around slow-moving construction vessels. Only vessels involved in the construction of NSP2 will be allowed inside the safety zone; therefore, all other vessels not involved in construction activities will be requested to plan their journeys around the safety zone. The shipping lanes crossed by the proposed NSP2 route in Danish waters provide sufficient space and water depth for ships to plan their journey and safely navigate around possible temporary obstructions. The impact on ship traffic associated with the imposition of a safety zone is assessed to be minor and associated with local and temporary changes to the traffic scheme. Therefore, it is assessed that there will be no significant transboundary impacts on Baltic Sea ship traffic caused by the NSP2 project in Danish waters.

so....umm....since the work is being done in danish waters, well, gosh, i would guess the exclusion zones are set up with......wait for it......danish authorities. and the last bits in german waters will require german authorities to set up the exclusion zone.

https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2193430-construction-on-remaining-nord-stream-2-string-to-start

Jerzeel 17 minutes ago remove link

Ukraine gets 3B a year in transit fees for Russian gas...

rejectnumbskull 15 minutes ago

Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.

Did you not read this sentence in the article correctly?

[Apr 02, 2021] The construction site of Nord Stream 2 has been suffering harassment by various vessels and aircraft in recent months, which nearly led to damage to the pipeline itself, according to Nord Stream AG representative Andrey Minin.

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 1 2021 22:22 utc | 49

Nice work on pulling all the puzzle pieces together, b!

The really big problem will be weaning the Outlaw US Empire from its addiction to Unilateralism, which is its primary mode of operation aside from a very brief interlude when FDR was POTUS, devised the UN and its Charter, and got the Senate to ratify it so it would become an integral part of the USA's fundamental law of the land.

All one need do to see the gravity of the bolded text is to examine the Outlaw US Empire's behavior since FDR died--The USA immediately transformed into the Outlaw US Empire on 22 October 1945 when the UN Charter came into full force and the Empire was already in grave violation of its fundamentals.

That those millions of violations have never seen the inside of a courtroom doesn't mean they never occurred or aren't now happening globally.

I was going to post this on the other thread but will use it here as an example that's grave:

"Nord Stream AG Says Warships, Submarines and Helicopters Tried to Disrupt Pipeline's Construction":

"However, it seems that in March threats to the pipeline multiplied and became more 'real'.

"The construction site of Nord Stream 2 has been suffering harassment by various vessels and aircraft in recent months, which nearly led to damage to the pipeline itself, according to Nord Stream AG representative Andrey Minin. He stressed that the disturbances were 'clearly planned and thoroughly prepared provocations,' devised to stop the joint Russian-European project in its tracks ." [My Emphasis]

Unilateral Act of War anyone?!! Yes, its the Poles once again.

IMO, it's sad b omitted mentioning the newly formed Friends of the UN Charter Group in his article since it aims at drowning the "Unilateral, rules based international order" once and for all time. My promotion of it isn't going to be enough. If all but the Neoliberal nations become members, then they can jointly aver that there's only one system of international Law and its based on the UN Charter and all relevant treaties thus shutting up the Outlaw US Empire regardless its protests. Of course, a movement within the Empire that says the same as the Friends would go a long ways to getting us where we as humans want to go to--a peaceful planet that's concerned about the wellbeing of humans and all they need for support instead of making the rich ever richer through the terror of unremitting Class War.

And if you don't think that War isn't based on Terror, then you haven't seen migrant families busted up with the little kids being kidnapped and all put into concentration camps. ( China is beginning to bark up that very inhuman tree watered so well by the Outlaw US Empire.)

Nick , Apr 2 2021 0:16 utc | 71

Dumb Polacks are getting desparate
https://sputniknews.com/europe/202104011082512013-nord-stream-ag-says-warships-submarines-and-helicopters-tried-to-disrupt-pipelines-construction/

[Apr 02, 2021] Tentions in Ukraine are about stopping North Stream: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business

Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 70

So Alfie, What's it all about?

Geoeconomics and Market Weight and it's not behind a paywall. Escobar intones:

"As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club [Link at Original]. The Hegemon's treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison."

Awhile ago, I posted the following acutely correct adage: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business. I added what Coolidge was misquoted as saying in 1925--The business of America is business (He actually said, "the chief business of the American people is business.") So when the POTUS says its just business, you should prepare for war.

Back to the linked article. While reading it ought to be easy to see why the BRI interconnectivity is seen as a huge threat to the two Outlaw Maritime Empires--UK/US--who initially set forth the parameters of the Great Game. (BTW, Lavrov's Great Game program interview English transcript is now complete.) They have no seat at the table whatsoever. You'll also see why the Outlaw US Empire will try to remain in Afghanistan forever as well as the reason why it can't admit the real reason for being there--to interdict the BRI and the development boom it promises to bring to a great many impoverished people throughout Eurasia. Talk about Human Rights!

But it looks like all the Empire's efforts will amount to little more than a mosquito attacking an elephant for there's no way it can stop BRI or Eurasian integration; at best, it can merely delay it and earn the enmity of the planet, including its own people. Clearly, India will cease its role in the Quad as staying locks it out from what it needs most--development that uplifts its impoverished tens of millions. And the loss of India means the certain loss of the Great Game for the Outlaw Empire.

In the grand scheme of things, Ukraine is merely a tsetse fly as is NATO ultimately. The real prize lies with the geoeconomic riches BRI and Eurasian Integration will generate and being a partner with it, not an adversary.

[Mar 30, 2021] Russian gas meets only a fraction of Germany's needs - Germany's Scholz

Mar 30, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com


More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below

BERLIN, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gas contributes only a fraction of Germany's energy consumption, and Russian gas only a fraction of that, so it is wrong to say that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will make Germany dependent on Russian energy, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.

Asked about the flagship Kremlin project, which has been heavily criticised by the United States and some European countries, Scholz on Monday restated the German government's position that the pipeline was a private investment and should not be the target of U.S. sanctions.

The poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, blamed by most Western governments on Russian state actors, has led to renewed calls for the nearly complete pipeline, built by state-owned Gazprom, to be cancelled.

Critics of the pipeline say it increases Germany's reliance on Russian energy and deprives transit countries Poland and Ukraine of crucial leverage over the giant country to their east. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

[Mar 28, 2021] The five largest fields in Russia produce approximately 75% of Russian oil. And they are all in serious decline.

Mar 28, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 9:18 am

Russia's crude oil export set to drop 3pc in Q2 vs Q1

Russia plans to decrease its oil exports in the second quarter 2021 despite an OPEC decision to allow the state an additional output hike from April.

On a daily basis, Russia's oil exports will drop by some 3% in April-June compared to the first quarter of 2021, Reuters calculations showed. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 12:23 pm

And no one asked why? There is a reason for everything.

Hint: Four of the five largest fields in Russia are located in West Siberia, Samotlor, Priob, Lyantor, and Fedorov. 61% of Russian production currently comes from Western Siberia.

Russia's second-largest field, Romashkino, discovered in 1948, is located in the Volga-Ural Basin and is also in serious decline.

The five largest fields in Russia produce approximately 75% of Russian oil. And they are all in serious decline. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 1:00 pm

I wrote, in 2015: Reserve Growth in West Siberian Oil Fields

"Russian oil production will not get any help from reserve growth in Western Siberia. Old dying fields, like old dying men do not grow."

I really don't like to brag, but I was dead on. From 2015 to 2019, Russian oil production increased by about 200,000 barrels per day per year, for a total of 800k barrels per day. That growth came from new fields in Eastern Siberia. The largest of those new fields, Vankor, peaked in 2019 at just under 500,000 barrels per day. Hell, even their new fields are starting to peak.

But those old dying fields did not grow one iota. They are all now in decline. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 03/26/2021 at 6:14 am

And world oil production is going to skyrocket, according to IEA and EIA projections. Of course. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 03/28/2021 at 7:39 am

...About Brazil, the oil production will increase at most of 500 kb/d according to the post of George Kaplan. ... About Irak, they are not going to produce more oil. Indeed, after different episodes of wars, UNO sanctions, invasion by US, insurrections against US and British troops and after EI insurrection, they did extract less than half of their oil reserves.

... About Norway, by looking at the post of Georges Kaplan about current state of oil reserves and production, it seems rather unlikely that they will be able to increase significantly their oil production.

[Mar 28, 2021] China Signs 25-Year Deal With Iran in Challenge to the U.S-

Mar 28, 2021 | www.msn.com

A draft copy of the accord that surfaced on media last year showed plans for long-term supply of Iranian crude to China as well as investment in oil, gas, petrochemical, renewables and nuclear energy infrastructure.

Lured by the prospect of cheaper prices, China has already increased its imports of Iranian oil to around 1 million barrels a day, eroding U.S. leverage as it prepares to enter stalled talks with Tehran to revive a nuclear deal.

The Biden administration has indicated that it's open to reengaging with Iran after then-President Donald Trump abandoned the accord nearly three years ago and reimposed economic sanctions, but the two sides have yet to even agree to meet. Iran exported around 2.5 million barrels of oil a day before American penalties resumed.

Iran's closer integration with China may help shore up its economy against the impact of the U.S. sanctions, while sending a clear signal to the White House of Tehran's intentions. Wang Yi, who arrived in Tehran on Friday, also met with Rouhani to discuss the nuclear deal.

In a televised speech, Rouhani raised the prospect of restrictions being eased before the end of his second and final term as president in early August.

"We're ready for the lifting of sanctions," he said on Saturday. "If obstacles are removed, all or at least some sanctions can be lifted."

[Mar 28, 2021] Iran, China sign strategic long-term cooperation agreement

Mar 28, 2021 | www.politico.com

No additional details of the agreement were revealed as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi took part in a ceremony marking the event.

me title=

The deal marked the first time Iran has signed such a lengthy agreement with a major world power. In 2001, Iran and Russia signed a 10-year cooperation agreement, mainly in the nuclear field, that was lengthened to 20 years through two five-year extensions.

Before the ceremony Saturday, Yi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and special Iranian envoy in charge of the deal Ali Larijani.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, on Friday called the agreement "deep, multi-layer and full-fledged."

The deal, which had been discussed since 2016, also supports tourism and cultural exchanges. It comes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran.

The two countries have had warm relations and both took part in a joint naval exercise in 2019 with Russia in the northern Indian Ocean.

Reportedly, Iran and China have done some $20 billion in trade annually in recent years. That's down from nearly $52 billion in 2014, however, because of a decline in oil prices and U.S. sanctions imposed in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. unilaterally out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, saying it needed to be renegotiated.

Iran has pulled away from restrictions imposed under the deal under those sanctions in order to put pressure on the other signatories -- Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China -- to provide new economic incentives to offset U.S. sanctions.

[Mar 28, 2021] Iran, China sign strategic long-term [25 yr] cooperation agreement

Mar 28, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HICKORY IGNORED 03/28/2021 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Dennis.
It is easy for us to discount the production capacity of Iran, however this could be a mistake.
If China needs oil it will fund production in Iran, regardless of the 'worlds' concern over Iranian nuclear and regional ambitions [very aggressive ambitions that are largely theocratically driven].

This weekend-
'Iran, China sign strategic long-term [25 yr] cooperation agreement
The agreement covers a variety of economic activity from oil and mining to promoting industrial activity in Iran, as well as transportation and agricultural collaboration.'
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/27/iran-china-agreement-478236

[Mar 26, 2021] Blinken telling Germany if they go with NS2, there'd be more sanctions coming from Washington to Germany

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Rdm , says: March 24, 2021 at 3:26 pm GMT • 11.0 hours ago

After Alaska,

That's what we're seeing in Europe, regarding the NS2.

https://www.rferl.org/a/blinken-warns-germany-possible-sanctions-nord-stream-2/31165231.html

Blinken telling Germany if they go with NS2, there'd be more sanctions coming from Washington to Germany.

Are those Washingtonians brain dead?

No news here in the States about NS2 at all. Nothing, nada. How reliable those MSMs have been in the US?

[Mar 26, 2021] The Biden Administration may impose sanctions on companies that help build North Stream 2, which risks a blowup with Berlin.

Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com

Germany is showing signs of an independent Russia policy. The main issue between the United States, Europe, and Russia now is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would carry gas from Russia to Germany. The Biden Administration may impose sanctions on companies that help build it, which risks a blowup with Berlin .

Most Republicans want even sterner measures . Senator Ted Cruz is delaying confirmation of some of President Biden's officials unless he takes action.

Hostility towards Russia is one of the few issues that unite Republicans and Democrats – along with support for citizenship for illegal immigrants , interference in Syria, keeping troops in Afghanistan , and thwarting China . We can't count on Republicans or Democrats to stand up for Americans, but we can count on support for invading the world and inviting the world. This combination of an aggressive foreign policy and indifference towards citizens is why some call the current regime the Globalist American Empire (GAE). It may be based in Washington DC, but it has nothing to do with the historic American nation or its interests.

However, what I call the " American Paradox " may doom this "empire." It is run by people who seem to care nothing for the country; the empire is built on sand.

[Mar 21, 2021] The US neurotic dynamic is to escalate blindly until it achieves control

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Oriental Voice , Mar 20 2021 0:35 utc | 76

@Posted by: Grieved | Mar 19 2021 23:05 utc | 55:

...., the US neurotic dynamic is to escalate blindly until it achieves control. This is the dynamic that must be defeated.

Yes that's problem all right, but can you ever defeat that dynamic given that the gorilla owns 10,000 nukes and has no moral qualms whatsoever of using them? Until a near perfect anti-nuke defense system is developed I surmise the world would just have to live with, and get used to, the juvenile antics of King Kong because it has stated time and again it would escalate all the way up to using its nukes, because that's what they are for according to a former Sec. of State.

I'm a pessimist on this issue. I'm afraid we'll just have to endure and live with a wild beast for a while to come.

[Mar 21, 2021] I think that Nord stream II is a turning point. If Germany caves in here, there's little hope to get rid of the leash for it and the whole of Europe.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

xototox , Mar 20 2021 0:34 utc | 75

i've been a reader of moa for quite a few years now, but never contributed to the forum. mostly because after a while i found what i wanted to say anyway, and why pile on?

I really enjoy the civility of the forum, and it's internationality. And of course b's insights. as a German myself I share many points of view with him in matters i have knowledge in, or think that i do.

For example i think that trump sure might be seen as a disaster by many, but it was a gift to Europe, and Germany in particular, because he opened the eyes of many, many people here who for decades thought murrica is our friend, our big brother, who will always protect us from the evil of the world - namely communism, Russia and lately china. a majority of the people here, as well as in the rest of the so called "western world" have been brainwashed for about 7 decades to think that way, even when America committed the most obvious, heinous, horrible crimes against humanity and our civilization as a whole.

there was always a spin, "human rights", "democracy", "free trade" and so on, values that had to be "defended" - when in reality it was always an offensive aggression or even a "pre-emptive strike". people just swallowed what the media fed them and went on with their daily chores.

Trump changed that, suddenly the ugly side of the empire became visible, and i will always be grateful for that. because now it cannot be hidden anymore. it wasn't just the unruly behaviour of a "new rich" and uneducated bully who accidentally became president. politically, the general attitude was always the same, trump only worded it much more obvious, making it harder for politicians and media to spin. that's why our politicians and media (for the most part fed by trans-atlantic "think tanks") hated him almost more than Americans themselves - he made their lies obvious and transparent. if it wasn't so sad, it sometimes was almost funny to see them squirm, having to explain why our friend and protector suddenly became so selfish and hostile.

All of them welcomed of course the new Harris administration, being so progressive, just and friendly again - only to witness a change of paradigm they probably didn't even think trump was capable of, or willing to: i think in later years, this week will mark the "official" beginning of the new cold war era. this behaviour against Russia and china was not a slap, but a punch in the face and will NEVER be forgiven nor forgotten. the only question for europe is: does it finally have the balls to emancipate and stand up against the bully? or will it submit and become a collateral damage of it's downfall? in form of a nuclear wasteland maybe?

I think that Nord stream II is a turning point. If Germany caves in here, there's little hope to get rid of the leash for it and the whole of Europe.

If it stands tall, europe might become a buffer instead of a frontline. knowing and seeing our politicians, i'd say it doesn't look good.

[Mar 19, 2021] With the Nord Stream project, we see the Gangster mentality of the US imperialism -- Do as I say or else!

Notable quotes:
"... Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him ..."
"... Since Washington is now in conflict with a goodly part of the public it sees that creating foreign policy crises and enemies as an excellent course of action to shore up support. Americans are always ready to react against enemies no matter how slender the proof of the wrongdoing ascribed to the enemy. There is never a penalty to pay for lying in the US if you are in the mainstream media or in the political arena. Since the CIA controls much of the European media and their ruling class it would take quite a lot for Europeans to drop their status as vassal states. ..."
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Mar 18 2021 19:06 utc | 5

Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him . <-- b

However "hostile", Germany contributed to uni-lateral Trumpian sanctions, and so far, North Stream 2 is the only beacon of independence. Take Ukraine: Germany and France form half of Normandy Four, and provided name for Steinmeier formula. Ukraine resolutely resists proceeding with any obligations under that formula. Germany is silent on that and support annual extensions of sanctions, not to mention sanctions on Syria, Venezuela and whatever EU sanctions.

Syria is an interesting example. It could be actually popular among German voters to facilitate reconstruction in that country and return of the refugees to their homeland. Iran and Russia are potentially good customers for German industry. Independence of German banks and other companies from whimsical sanctions from USA would help too.

Seemingly, ingrained masochism is hard to overcome.


karlof1 , Mar 18 2021 19:22 utc | 8

Seej @4--

Thanks for posting Pepe's comments, some of which are in his current article I linked to on the open thread. In my comment related to Pepe's article I noted his excerpt of Chinese academic Jisi and this specific part:

"the Americans are eager to deal with problems before they are ready to improve the relationship."

That observation is consistent with that of an entity that only wants its orders obeyed and seeks no relationship or friendship with any other entity since it sees itself as Top Dog, and #1 in every way. As with the Nord Stream project, we see the Gangster mentality--Do as I say or else!

Not only does the Emperor have no clothes or much of a working memory, he's got erectile disfunction too that's well beyond the ability of Viagra to fix.

psychohistorian , Mar 18 2021 19:38 utc | 9

So here we have Blinken, Winken and Nod providing direction for failing empire

Blinken is obvious
Winken is that behind the scenes, wink, wink, nod, nod (there ain't no class structure here) type VP and
Nod is the new normal as US President.

I am sure they will try to take America to new places, yet to be dreamt of....will the brainwashed of the West follow?

About Germany and Nord Stream II.....To a degree that I am not sure of, Germany is like Japan, a fully owned colony of empire....this may be the time that the Germany nut gets cracked wide open....interesting times indeed.

Where are the details of Blinken telling China how to behave? I can hardly wait for the next act of Blinken, Winken and Nod

Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 18 2021 19:50 utc | 11

"Why, after so many bad words towards it, would China help the U.S. with solving the North Korea problem? It has zero incentive to do so."

This (as well as the Germany/NS2 thing) sounds like a rather naive view. Western headlines are for western internal consumption. And what's happening behind the scene, what incentives are offered and what threats are made in exchange for what specific actions, we simply don't know.

Chris Cosmos , Mar 18 2021 21:43 utc | 29

I notice a lot of accusations that Washington is "stupid" but that's not true. You have to understand how Washington works before you make such statements. The Deep State knows that it can control the minds of most Americans by inventing "truths" without any need to prove anything.

Since Washington is now in conflict with a goodly part of the public it sees that creating foreign policy crises and enemies as an excellent course of action to shore up support. Americans are always ready to react against enemies no matter how slender the proof of the wrongdoing ascribed to the enemy. There is never a penalty to pay for lying in the US if you are in the mainstream media or in the political arena. Since the CIA controls much of the European media and their ruling class it would take quite a lot for Europeans to drop their status as vassal states.

Remember, Washington can throw endless amounts of money around and fund everything from terrorism, crime waves, sexual indiscretions a la Epstein (the CIA had it's own whorehouse which my father pointed out to me decades ago--it was in Roslyn Virginia and it used underage girls and boys to improve its soft-power).

So far, no one has paid a penalty for lying or corrupt practices in Washington if they were "made" men or women (Trump never got that far).

As long as Europe, Japan and some other countries continue to be vassal states the US can and will get away with anything. Nordstream 2 is the issue that may change all that. Once Germany rebels the rest may follow.

mastameta , Mar 18 2021 20:22 utc | 18

germany breaking rank will be first big turn in nato. nordstream is a non negotiable issue for germany. meanwhile the US is not agreement capable. on anything and the vaccine hoarding is a big F U in EU to so called allies. all the pieces are set. just need time to let it all play out. the global south woke to it before the slower europeans can see the world anew.

as for the US china alaska meeting, it does seem to me that the US administration and deep state or whatever you want to call it are not coordinated or fully aligned with each other. the timing of the US sanctions on hk officials seem designed to thwart any possible dialogue. as if some elements are working to ensure the meeting resolves nothing.

the china global times calls this move the US stick that comes down before any negotiation and says it's a continuation of trump era tactics. maybe. I see it more as designed to make the meeting fail instead of designed to achieve anything such as extracting concessions from china. not being agreement capable because it is sabotaged from within.

but at this pt in the crumbling empire it is perhaps foolish to analyze its tactics in terms of means and ends. its only 'rationale' at this pt is to just keep doing what it's doing. sanctions wars threats coercion and moral grandstanding. it only knows it is right and there is nothing else besides.

Bernard F. , Mar 18 2021 22:41 utc | 36

@mina
@piotr berman

About Vlora to be an Alternative to NS2. Just a Fake from Radio France International, paid for by french gov. France is now full play in US hand. Macron want NS2 [and soon NS1..] to be shut down.

Nord Stream 1 is 55 Md.M3/y
Nord Stream 2 too.

110Md.m3/year

The biggest ship to deliver US GNL in Europe is 260.000 m3. 1m3 GNL is 600m3 natural gaz.

It's me or my computer? 3 ship per day? How many ship necessary? 60? 80?
Not an economy, a nightmare.
American capitalism was plunder and is now parasitism.


In order to get energy, Germany need Russia. Nord Stream is a direct tie in order to avoid "reliable" intermediate like Ukraine or Poland.
In order to get everything under control US need [reliable intermediate] to cut the tie between [oil/gas fields] from Middleeast or Russia and Germany, the sole country in Europe with Great industrial/technical capacity.

And good economic links to Eurasien.

Pardon my Englisch, I'm french. And tired

[Mar 01, 2021] The 13-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 24.89 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, the survey found, down 870,000 bpd from January.

Mar 01, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 03/01/2021 at 9:33 am

OPEC oil output falls in February on Saudi additional cut – survey

The 13-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 24.89 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, the survey found, down 870,000 bpd from January.

Riyadh achieved about 850,000 bpd of that reduction in February, the Reuters survey found.

Compliance with pledged cuts in February was 121%, the survey found, up from 103% in January.

[Feb 24, 2021] Poland, Ukraine Urge Biden to Do His Best 'to Put an End' to Nord Stream 2 Project

Feb 24, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Feb 22 2021 12:16 utc | 109

Clipping:

Poland, Ukraine Urge Biden to Do His Best 'to Put an End' to Nord Stream 2 Project

"Our calls for vigilance and boldness were heard in the US Congress, which pressed on with measures designed to stop this dangerous, divisive project. We call on US President Joe Biden to use all means at his disposal to prevent the project from completion", the pair added.

They think they have a voice in the US Congress? Should apply for Statehood then.

The ministers suggested that if completed, the project will add to Russia's drive "to try to convince the Ukrainian public that the West doesn't care about its own principles, and ultimately, about the security and prosperity of Ukraine".

But wasn't the critique against socialism from the Soviet space that it was "utopian", i.e. that it put its "principles" (ideology) before economic fundamentals?

--//--

EU must be 'united and determined' on Russia sanctions, says Borrell

90 years old and still has not grown up.

I guess old dogs indeed can't learn new tricks.

snake , Feb 22 2021 22:15 utc | 151

Poland, Ukraine Urge Biden to Do His Best 'to Put an End' to Nord Stream 2 Project
vk @ 109. Congress of the USA to interfere with the completion of Russian-German Nord stream II project because the LNG cartel in USA governed Texas, Lousisana , Oregon want to require every man women and child in Europe to pay monopoly prices for LNG. As I see it failure of Nord Stream II will be extremely dangerous to the survival of the solar and wind renewable energy efforts; its a do it or die situation for dominate energy is the goal of the LNG cartel...

[Feb 20, 2021] Russia Oil Output Below OPEC+ Quota

Feb 20, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 02/17/2021 at 1:39 pm

Russia Oil Output Below OPEC+ Quota Amid Cold Siberian Weather
The OPEC+ member pumped 1.38 million tons a day of crude and condensate on average from Feb. 1 to 15, according to two people with knowledge of production data, who spoke on condition of anonymity. That equates to a daily rate of 10.115 million barrels, about 44,000 barrels lower than January's level.

Rosneft oil production to decline as it parts with legacy assets
Russia's Rosneft is braced for a decline in oil production this year despite a gradual removal of output restrictions that have been imposed on the company by the Kremlin under its commitments to members of the Opec+ alliance.

Speaking on a conference call on Friday, Rosneft first vice president Eric Liron said the oil giant expects annual output of oil and condensate to fall by 5% in 2021.

In 2020, Rosneft reported an 11% annual decline in oil and condensate production to 4.1 million barrels per day and a 6% drop in gas output to 63 billion cubic metres.

[Feb 10, 2021] Short summary of Saudi Arabia

Feb 10, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 6:03 am

Short summary of Saudi Arabia

The economy is in bad shape:

"Saudi Arabia projected its 2020 budget deficit will soar to around $79 billion,
Riyadh has posted a budget deficit every year since the last oil price rout in 2014, prompting the petro-state to borrow heavily and draw from its reserves to plug the shortfall."
https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201215-saudi-says-2020-budget-deficit-will-surge-to-79-bn-amid-pandemic

Oil rig count is falling fast:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EsmaAwkXEAg91D7?format=jpg&name=large

Saudi crude stocks fell to 143 mb in November 2020 (17-year low) from over 300 mb in 2015:

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/rising-saudi-crude-exports-leaves-domestic-stocks-at-17-year-low/

The few drilling rigs is (probably) located in Ghawar:

"Further work programs on fields such as Khursaniyah, and legacy assets like Khurais and Abqaiq that need workovers and rehabilitation, are being delayed, the source said, whereas at Aramco's low-cost giant fields such as Ghawar -- the world's largest -- production is increasing.

"There isn't a place in Ghawar that doesn't have a drill, it is very dense. They're beating the hell out of it.""

and contractors are not being paid in time:

"Aramco's tighter spending has resulted in several international contractor companies working on pipeline and offshore projects not getting paid for several months, three sources told S&P Global Platts. The payments are set to be delayed further, with Aramco not intending to make any payments to these companies until 2021, a source added."
https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/feature-saudi-aramco-faces-tough-2021-as-rivals-race-for-oil-capacity/

Oil production was cut by 1 mb/d this month and is currently just over 8 mb/d, not far from Euan Mearns forecast in 2007:
http://theoildrum.com/node/9321#comment-904645

Population has grown from 20 million in 2000 to 35 million in 2021:
https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/saudi-arabia-population/

Groundwater is falling fast:

"Groundwater resources of Saudi Arabia are being depleted at a very fast rate," declared the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as far back as 2008. "Most water withdrawn comes from fossil deep aquifers, and some predictions suggest that these resources may not last more than about 25 years." Saudi Arabia leads the world in the volume of desalinated water it produces, and now operates 31 desalination plants. Desalinated water, as distinct from naturally occurring fresh water, makes up 50% of water consumed in Saudi Arabia. The remaining 50% is pulled from groundwater."
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/aug/06/oil-built-saudi-arabia-will-a-lack-of-water-destroy-it

So, what is done to solve the problem?

"According to Bin Salman, who is also the chairman of the Neom company board of directors, construction of The Line will start in the first quarter of 2021.
The 100-mile-long (170 kilometres) mega-city will consist of connected communities – which it calls "city modules" – and link the Red Sea coast with the north-west of Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, The Line's developers said its communities will be "cognitive" and powered by AI, which will "continuously be learning predictive ways to make life easier"."
https://www.dezeen.com/2021/01/13/line-saudi-arabia-170-kilometres-long-city-neom/

What could possibly go wrong? REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 6:54 am

Pollux , thanks for the info and update . What could possibly go wrong ? Answer 1 ;: More days for some princes to spend at the Ritz Carlton . Answer 2 ; Heads roll for MBS and company . :-0 REPLY POLLUX IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 7:51 am

The situation is not better in Kuwait:

Economy is in bad shape:

"Source says government has transferred the last of its performing assets to wealth fund in exchange for cash.
Years of lower oil prices have forced the Kuwaiti government to burn through its cash reserves while a festering political standoff has prevented it from borrowing.
"It's a very immediate crisis now, not a long-term one like it was before," said Nawaf Alabduljader, a business management professor at Kuwait University."
https://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/458217-kuwait-facing-immediate-crisis-as-it-seeks-cash-to-plug-deficit

And oil projects are getting canceled:

"KOC's Board of Directors has decided to cancel the heavy crude project that involves 11 oil wells although it has been awarded recently," the report said without naming the company that had won that contract.
It said KOC and other local oil firms intend to freeze more projects in line with instructions by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation to slash capital expenditure "
https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/projects-kuwait-scraps-400mln-oil-project-report/

REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 8:06 am

Pollux , do you have any info on Ghawar ? As they say " As goes Ghawar ,so goes the world " . REPLY POLLUX IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 8:28 am

True, or as Matthew Simmons wrote in "Twilight in the Desert": "Ghawar is the king of Saudi oilfields. There is no "crown prince" waiting to assume the throne. It is the same in an oil basin as it is in chess: Once the king has fallen, the game is over."

Sorry, no new info on Ghawar but the situation was pretty bad in north Ghawar over twelve years ago so it is probably not better now: "If the area with remaining oil were an island, it would be time to look for a boat."
http://satelliteoerthedesert.blogspot.com/2008/06/north-ghawar-updated.html REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 1:35 pm

Just a query for some old TOD carry overs . There use to be "Memmel" who use to post a lot on KSA and stuff . Any info on him . Tks Pollux for your response . We are in agreement . REPLY WEEKENDPEAK IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 4:44 pm

I loved that post on TOD on Ghawar by Joules.

Has anyone ever done an update on it – that would be fascinating. When I look at google earth I see lots of dots but I can't tell injection wells from extraction wells so I have frankly no clue what I am looking at REPLY OVI IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 5:15 pm

HH

The latest data that was published on Ghawar came from the Aramco IPO. They included a table which listed their primary oil fields along with their production. The following statement was included:

The Ghawar field has accounted for more than half of the total cumulative crude oil production in the Kingdom but still maintained MSC of 3.800 million barrels of crude oil per day as at 31 December 2018.

In a presentation given by Nawaf Obaid in Nov 2006, the following statement was made: Without "maintain potential" drilling to make up for production, Saudi oil fields would have a natural decline rate of a hypothetical 8%. As Saudi Aramco has an extensive drilling program with a budget running in the billions of dollars, this decline is mitigated to a number close to 2%.

This raises the question of whether with today's reduced income, can Aramco maintain its extensive drilling program to reduce the natural decline rate to 2%.

REPLY JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 02/09/2021 at 6:47 pm

Thank you for the analysis. That's very important to know for European oil supply. Do you consider to do the same with Norvegian production?

[Feb 02, 2021] The natural decline rate of Ghawar was 8% per annum but continuous drilling reduced that to 2%.

Notable quotes:
"... "There isn't a place in Ghawar that doesn't have a drill, it is very dense. They're beating the hell out of it." ..."
"... Around 2005, speculation was that Ghawar was producing somewhere between 5 Mb/d and 5.5 Mb/d. To get to 3.8 Mb/d by 2018, implies a roughly 2% annual decline rate. This turns out to be consistent with what some SA spokesperson said around 2005. Something along the lines of "The natural decline rate of Ghawar was 8% per annum but continuous drilling reduced that to 2%." ..."
Feb 02, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

POLLUX 01/20/2021 at 8:32 am

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/012021-feature-saudi-aramco-faces-tough-2021-as-rivals-race-for-oil-capacity

Further work programs on fields such as Khursaniyah, and legacy assets like Khurais and Abqaiq that need workovers and rehabilitation, are being delayed, the source said, whereas at Aramco's low-cost giant fields such as Ghawar -- the world's largest -- production is increasing.

"There isn't a place in Ghawar that doesn't have a drill, it is very dense. They're beating the hell out of it."

OVI 01/20/2021 at 4:53 pm

Pollux,

When Saudi Aramco went public, this statement was in their IPO.

"The Company believes that the Ghawar field is the largest oil field in the world in terms of conventional proved reserves, totaling 58.32 billion barrels of oil equivalent as at 31 December 2018 for the Concession term, including 48.25 billion barrels of liquids reserves.

The Kingdom's original reserves of the Ghawar field increased from 19.0 billion barrels of crude oil in 1951G, when production began at the field, to 127.7 billion barrels of crude oil in 2018.

The Ghawar field has accounted for more than half of the total cumulative crude oil production in the Kingdom but still maintained MSC of 3.800 million barrels of crude oil per day as at 31 December 2018."

Around 2005, speculation was that Ghawar was producing somewhere between 5 Mb/d and 5.5 Mb/d. To get to 3.8 Mb/d by 2018, implies a roughly 2% annual decline rate. This turns out to be consistent with what some SA spokesperson said around 2005. Something along the lines of "The natural decline rate of Ghawar was 8% per annum but continuous drilling reduced that to 2%."

[Jan 27, 2021] PACE decided to pass a non-binding resolution of more sanctions against Russia for the Navalny fiasco while Frau Merkel (and her likely successor) remains clear that Nord Stream II must be finished

Jan 27, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

Jeff Harrison , January 26, 2021 at 02:13

Incisive and grim. As Mr. Putin observed, Presidents come and go but the policy stays the same. But wait! I think there's more

WRT Iran. Iran recently announced that their sales of oil had increased substantially, without, of course identifying how much or with whom. If they are doing these transactions in national currencies, there's nothing other than piracy that the US can do, making the US more dependent on our vassals to carry our water here. But

In other news, the EU has decided to stop supporting Guido. If some of the OAS vassals get the idea that they, too, can stand on at least their two knees, maybe Mr. Maduro can get a bit more of a break. The US is sure to be wroth.

PACE decided to pass a non-binding resolution of more sanctions against Russia for the Navalny fiasco while Frau Merkel (and her likely successor) remains clear that Nord Stream II must be finished. The German FM pointed out that they could face serious court battles since the Pipeline consortium which includes other EU countries has all the permits they require.

The results are in aaaaannnnnddd – thanx to Covid, for the first time in history China had more Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) than the US. The US better hope that doesn't keep up ..

[Jan 20, 2021] The USA doesn't pay for oil or gas. It takes over the mining company, demands the project be funded by local or national borrowing from USA banks with sovereign guarantees, sells the product to a separate US company that pays peanuts to the miner and then onsells for a major markup (transfer pricing). Its called modern day stealing of other countries resources.

Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 20 2021 21:02 utc | 70

dh #45

@42 I'm sure Maduro would take dollars.....or gold. Of course buying Venezuelan oil from an evil brutal socialist dictator would be a major climb down.

The USA doesn't pay for oil or gas. It takes over the mining company, demands the project be funded by local or national borrowing from USA banks with sovereign guarantees, sells the product to a separate US company that pays peanuts to the miner and then onsells for a major markup (transfer pricing). Its called modern day stealing of other countries resources.

Look at the report on keystone that you cited at #39 where

The Canadian province that invested $1.1 billion of taxpayers' money in the controversial Keystone XL project is now considering the sale of pipe and materials to try to recoup some funds.

"If the project ends, there would be assets that could be sold, such as enormous quantities of pipe," Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a press conference Monday.

Meanwhile the directors and shareholders got their fat checks and dividends from the municipal loan funds ;)

The USA will not pay in gold until it is on its knees - it simply will not pay. See how the USA 'bought' Tik Tok: blatant extortion/theft. The same as was done to Japan's high tech in the 60's 70's or whenever. Thieves.

[Jan 20, 2021] Policy to stop Nord Stream 2 will continue under Biden

Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 20 2021 0:23 utc | 59

Policy to stop Nord Stream 2 will continue under Biden, although here we're told Biden will extend New START Treaty by the same person, Biden's nominee for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Defense nominee Austin was also covered in this article where we can see he reads from the same playbook as those who went before him. So it seems like continuity of its dystopic imperial policy will be what we see from the Outlaw US Empire, although we'll soon see if that also applies to Trump's Farewell boast that he was proud not to have started any "new" wars.

[Jan 20, 2021] There is nothing new in that German policy, for example it supported the building of pipelines from the USSR over President Reagan objections. Which does not mean that it wasn't enemy of the USSR - its destruction was the key for taking control of Eastern Europe and turning it into Germany's Latin America

Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 20 2021 21:02 utc | 70

dh #45

@42 I'm sure Maduro would take dollars.....or gold. Of course buying Venezuelan oil from an evil brutal socialist dictator would be a major climb down.

The USA doesn't pay for oil or gas. It takes over the mining company, demands the project be funded by local or national borrowing from USA banks with sovereign guarantees, sells the product to a separate US company that pays peanuts to the miner and then onsells for a major markup (transfer pricing). Its called modern day stealing of other countries resources.

Look at the report on keystone that you cited at #39 where

The Canadian province that invested $1.1 billion of taxpayers' money in the controversial Keystone XL project is now considering the sale of pipe and materials to try to recoup some funds.

"If the project ends, there would be assets that could be sold, such as enormous quantities of pipe," Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a press conference Monday.

Meanwhile the directors and shareholders got their fat checks and dividends from the municipal loan funds ;)

The USA will not pay in gold until it is on its knees - it simply will not pay. See how the USA 'bought' Tik Tok: blatant extortion/theft. The same as was done to Japan's high tech in the 60's 70's or whenever. Thieves.


Phil Espin , Jan 20 2021 20:51 utc | 66

Hi b, Jim Kunstler has an interesting piece this week on the impact of EROI on the US recovery or lack thereof in the US shake sector. Just not enough cheap energy to get their economy going. Will Germany hold up against Trumps last minute sanctions against Nordstream if Biden maintains them? If Germany doesn't won't that put Germany in the same over expensive boat as US and lead to economic stagnation? Especially if all Russia's cheap energy ends up in China, which it almost certainly will.

Norwegian , Jan 20 2021 21:27 utc | 85
@Passer by | Jan 20 2021 21:22 utc | 82

Well since the qualifier was "In the EU" it can no longer be the UK, even if that is where russophobia has its home.

Passer by , Jan 20 2021 21:32 utc | 89
Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 20 2021 21:27 utc | 85

It is a thousand years old affair.

"Why do the USA, UK and Europe so hate Russia? How it is that Western antipathy, once thought due to anti-Communism, could be so easily revived over a crisis in distant Ukraine, against a Russia no longer communist? Why does the West accuse Russia of empire-building, when 15 states once part of the defunct Warsaw Pact are now part of NATO, and NATO troops now flank the Russian border? These are only some of the questions Creating Russophobia iinvestigates. Mettan begins by showing the strength of the prejudice against Russia through the Western response to a series of events: the Uberlingen mid-air collision, the Beslan hostage- taking, the Ossetia War, the Sochi Olympics and the crisis in Ukraine. He then delves into the historical, religious, ideological and geopolitical roots of the detestation of Russia in various European nations over thirteen centuries since Charlemagne competed with Byzantium for the title of heir to the Roman Empire. Mettan examines the geopolitical machinations expressed in those times through the medium of religion, leading to the great Christian schism between Germanic Rome and Byzantium and the European Crusades against Russian Orthodoxy. This history of taboos, prejudices and propaganda directed against the Orthodox Church provides the mythic foundations that shaped Western disdain for contemporary Russia. From the religious and imperial rivalry created by Charlemagne and the papacy to the genesis of French, English, German and then American Russophobia, the West has been engaged in more or less violent hostilities against Russia for a thousand years. Contemporary Russophobia is manufactured through the construction of an anti-Russian discourse in the media and the diplomatic world, and the fabrication and demonization of The Bad Guy, now personified by Vladimir Putin. Both feature in the meta-narrative, the mythical framework of the ferocious Russian bear ruled with a rod of iron by a vicious president. A synthetic reading of all these elements is presented in the light of recent events and in particular of the Ukrainian crisis and the recent American elections, showing how all the resources of the West's soft power have been mobilized to impose the tale of bad Russia dreaming of global conquest. "By hating Russia, one hurts oneself. Swiss journalist Guy Mettan pieces together the reasons of detestation of the Kremlin and of a rhetoric that goes back to Napoleonic times despite the long list of aggressions perpetrated in the meantime by the West. And he explains why pushing Moscow toward Asia is a very serious error." -Panorama, Italy "Like Saddam Hussein's mythical weapons of massive destruction in 2003, Peter the Great's fake will has been used to justify the aggressions and invasions that the Europeans, and now the Americans, still carry out against Russia." -Liberation, France

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34237648-creating-russophobia

Laguerre , Jan 20 2021 21:47 utc | 95

"Not at all, the center of russophobia will now be Germany. In is not a surprise that Russia recently declared that the center of russophobia in the EU are now France and Germany."

Hmm, perhaps.

Passer by , Jan 20 2021 21:57 utc | 97

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 20 2021 21:47 utc | 95

The recent ban of the Hockey Tournament in Belarus, as well as the whole Belarus Maidan thing was driven mainly from Europe.

European institutions are russophobic too, with the EU Parliament being the most.

The new green parties in Europe are more russophobic than even some of the old parties.

FrancisPike , Jan 20 2021 21:58 utc | 98

Nord Stream 2 will be completed contrary to the opinions of four to five commenters on here. This is Germany & Russia that you are talking about. Sanctions did not stop the Crimean bridge. It makes no economic sense to deny European/West Asian (Russian produced) Liquid natural gas in order to subsidise 'transit fees' to Ukraine. The U.S.Congress' sanctions here are untenible, but don't expect Germany & Russia to publish how they will do it until completion.

karlof1 , Jan 20 2021 22:03 utc | 100

Reuters gleeful that Gazprom announced the possibility Nord Stream 2 won't be completed due to "political pressure." But such a warning is part of all standard potential risks announcements accompanying any prospectus--a fact Reuters ignored--which in this case is for the issuance of Eurobonds, although I question the judgement in making them dollar denominated.

Passer by , Jan 20 2021 22:07 utc | 103

@ FrancisPike | Jan 20 2021 21:58 utc | 98

Its not contrary to my opinion, but you appear to be young and naive person. There is nothing new in that German policy, for example it supported the building of pipelines from the USSR over President Reagan objections. Which does not mean that it wasn't enemy of the USSR - its destruction was the key for taking control of Eastern Europe and turning it into Germany's Latin America.

Someone can hate you and may want to make money at the same time too. But as soon as there is weakness, they will pounce on you and stab you in the back.

As for the pipeline, it will remain under a puppet russian government. No loss there too.

What the EU wants is to subdue Russia and later dismember it, taking hold of the population and natural resources.

In the mean time, there is nothing wrong with making some money too. As the EU worships a good living too.

[Jan 19, 2021] US expands sanctions against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, targeting ships Russian firms working on vital pan-European projec

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

46 Follow RT on RT Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his "parting gift" to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.

The specialist ship concerned, named, 'Fortuna,' and oil tanker 'Maksim Gorky', as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of Washington's economic war on Moscow. The same legislation had been previously used by the US to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.

Russian energy giant Gazprom warned its investors earlier on Tuesday that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if more US restrictions are introduced.

ALSO ON RT.COM Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift'

However, Moscow has assured its partners that it intends to complete the project despite "harsh pressure on the part of Washington," according to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Reacting to the new package of sanctions on Tuesday, Peskov called them "unlawful."

Meanwhile, the EU said it is in no rush to join the Washington-led sanction war on Nord Stream 2. EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc is not going to resist the construction of the project.

"Because we're talking about a private project, we can't hamper the operations of those companies if the German government agrees to it," Borrell said Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany with aim of providing cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the construction has been delayed due to strong opposition from Washington.

ALSO ON RT.COM One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media

The US, which is hoping to sell its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe, has hit the project with several rounds of sanctions over scarcely credible claims that it could undermine European energy security. Critics say the real intent is to force EU members to buy from American companies.

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Fatback33 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM

The group that owns Washington makes the foreign policy. That policy is not for the benefit of the people.
DukeLeo Fatback33 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:06 PM
That is correct. The private banks and corporations in the US are very upset about Nord Stream - 2, as they want Europe to buy US gas at double price. Washington thus introduces additional political gangsterism in the shape of new unilateral sanctions which have no merit in international law.
noremedy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:22 AM
Is the U.S. so stupid that they do not realize that they are isolating themselves? Russia has developed SPFS, China CIPS, together with Iran, China and Russia are further developing a payment transfer system. Once in place and functioning this system will replace the western SWIFT system for international payment transfers. It will be the death knell for the US dollar. 327 million Americans are no match for the rest of the billions of the world's population. The next decade will see the total debasement of the US monetary system and the fall from power of the decaying and crumbling in every way U.S.A.
Hanonymouse noremedy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:37 PM
They don't care. They have the most advanced military in the world. Might makes right, even today.
Shelbouy 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:25 PM
Russia currently supplies over 50% of the natural gas consumed by The EU. Germany and Italy are the largest importers of Russian natural gas. What is the issue of sanctions stemming from and why are the Americans doing this? A no brainer question I suppose. It's to make more money than the other supplier, and exert political pressure and demand obedience from its lackey. Germany.
David R. Evans Shelbouy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
Russia and Iran challenge perpetual US wars for Israel's Oded Yinon Plan. Washington is Israel-controlled territory.
Jewel Gyn 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:34 AM
Sanctions work both ways. With the outgoing Trump administration desperately laying mines for Biden, we await how sleepy Joe is going to mend strayed ties with EU.
Count_Cash 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM
The US mafia state continues with the same practices. The dog is barking but the caravan is going. The counter productiveness of sanctions always shows through in the end! I am sure with active efforts of Germany and Russia against US mafia oppression that a blowback will be felt by the US over time!
Dachaguy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
This is an act of war against Germany. NATO should respond and act against the aggressor, America.
xyz47 Dachaguy 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:20 PM
NATO is run by the US...
lovethy Dachaguy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:04 PM
NATO has no separate existence. It's the USA's arm of aggression, suppression and domination. Germany after WWII is an occupied country of USA. Thousand of armed personnel stationed in Germany enforcing that occupation.
Chaz Dadkhah 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:19 PM
Further proof that Trump is no friend of Russia and is in a rush to punish them while he still has power. If it was the swamp telling him to do that, like his supporters suggest, then they would have waited till their man Biden came in to power in less than 24 hours to do it. Wake up!
Mac Kio 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:34 PM
USA hates fair competition. USA ignores all WTO rules.
Russkiy09 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:33 PM
By whining and not completing in the face of US, Russia is losing credibility. They should not have delayed to mobilize the pipe laying vessel and other equipment for one whole year. They should have mobilized in three months and finished by now. Same happens when Jewtin does not shoot down Zio air force bombing Syria everyday. But best option should have been to tell European vassals that "if you can, take our gas. But we will charge the highest amount and sell as much as we want, exclude Russophobic Baltic countries and Poland and neo-vassal Ukraine. Pay us not in your ponzi paper money but real goods and services or precious metals or other commodities or our own currency Ruble." I so wish I could be the President of Russia. Russians deserve to be as wealthy as the Swiss or SIngapore etc., not what they are getting. Their leaders should stand up for their interest. And stop empowering the greedy merchantalist Chinese and brotherhood Erdogan.
BlackIntel 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:27 PM
America i captured by private interest; this project threatens American private companies hence the government is forced to protect capitalism. This is illegal
Ohhho 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:15 PM
That project was a mistake from the start: Russia should distance itself from the Evil empire, EU included! Stop wasting time and resources on trying to please the haters and keeping them more competitive with cheaper Russian natural gas: focus on real partners and potential allies elsewhere!
butterfly123 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
I have said it before that part of the problem is at the door of the policy-makers and politicians in Russia. Pipeline project didn't spring up in the minds of politicians in Russia one morning, presumably. There should have been foresight, detailed planning, and opportunity creation for firms in Russia to acquire the skill-set and resources to advance this project. Not doing so has come to bite Russia hard and painful. Lessons learnt I hope Mr President!
jakro 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:37 AM
Good news. The swamp is getting deeper and bigger.
hermaflorissen 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:49 AM
Trump finally severed my expectations for the past 4 years. He should indeed perish.
ariadnatheo 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PM
That is one Trump measure that will not be overturned by the Senile One. They will need to amplify the RussiaRussiaRussia barking and scratching to divert attention from their dealings with China
Neville52 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:01 PM
Its time the other nations of the world turned their backs on the US. Its too risky if you are an international corporation to suddenly have large portions of your income cancelled due to some crazy politician in the US
5th Eye 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:03 PM
From empire to the collapse of empire, US follows UK to the letters. Soon it will be irrelevant. The only thing that remains for UK is the language. Probably hotdog for the US.
VonnDuff1 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PM
The USA Congress and its corrupt foreign policy dictates work to the detriment of Europe and Russia, while providing no tangible benefits to US states or citizens. So globalist demands wrapped in the stars & stripes, should be laughed at, by all freedom loving nations.

[Jan 02, 2021] Maidan, Navalny, Kastellorizo -- The Chaos Strategy by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Notable quotes:
"... Imagine for a while that Pompeo and Netanyahu were able to ignite the huge conflict with Iran which they have been trying to do for years. The wider Middle East would become a land of ruins, and on top of that we would have also the corona crisis. It would be the end for the Chinese project One belt One road and a very promising beginning for Trump’s programme of “decoupling” from China. The same could happen if we go to a Greek-Turkish war, the most probable result of which is enormous destruction in both states and also in Cyprus. Given the destructive capacity of the Greek and Turkish weapons and the impossibility of destroying them by a surprise first strike, the two countries, if they go to war, risk going back two or three hundred years. A conflict around Iran, or between Greece and Turkey would also put enormous pressure on Russia. ..."
"... Spreading Chaos is another way of staging world war when you cannot use ‘normal’, ‘frontal’ methods of war. The policy of Trump and his allies contributes greatly to preparing for world war by attacking the very institutions of bourgeois democracy, any kind of national or international rule, by attacking the very principles of Logic, Logos and Science, necessary in order to transform human societies into herds of wild animals, in a sui generis repetition of the Nazi experiment. ..."
"... The way to get Greece and Turkey to war is by sending them ‘false signals’, either encouraging and supporting them, or implying a threat from the other country. Somebody was able to persuade Ankara to down the Russian jet in 2015, which was a case of extreme miscalculation. It is easier to make a miscalculation regarding Greece and Turkey, and there is an enormity of contradictory signals emanating from the US and Israel towards the two capitals. ..."
"... PS. The above article provides a possible explanation of the present Greek-Turkish crisis. A second explanation is that big oil multinationals want to provoke a crisis in order to exploit the hydrocarbons of the region, but we have no serious indications that big reserves really exist and are exploitable economically. A third explanation, not mutually excluded from what we have analyzed, is that third forces are trying to provoke a war in order to overthrow Erdogan and also have all the other consequences we described. ..."
Sep 17, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Twenty years ago, I was covering the Munich Security Forum as a journalist and I took an interview from Brent Scawcroft, National Security Adviser for President Bush (the father). I believe he was one of the men who played a huge role in pushing Boris Yeltsin to the crisis which culminated into the bombing of the Russian parliament in October 1993, thus opening the way to the biggest looting in the history of mankind, the so-called Russian privatisations. I asked Scawcroft what the US policy towards Russia and China should be . He answered: “We need to have better relations with Moscow and Beijing, than they can have between themselves”.

The way for the Empire to dominate in the Eastern Mediterranean, imposing its pax or pushing for war, is by having better relations with Athens and Ankara than they can have between themselves. Now they don’t have any at all.

Maidan Square, Kiev, 2014

The plane carrying the three EU Foreign Ministers, the French, the German and the Polish, had just taken off from Kiev when the agreement they had negotiated for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian crisis collapsed and the carnage began in the Ukrainian capital. This was followed by the civil war and the unimaginable destruction of European-Russian relations.

The Ukrainian coup was a huge blow to Russia and the Ukraine, which is now in an extremely miserable state, a harbinger of Nazi militias and mafia groups, but also, indirectly, to Europe, which, destroying its relations with Russia at the behest of the Americans, is not only ridiculed, but has deprived itself of the possibility of an independent policy, an achievement which it is now going to ‘complete’ with the Navalny affair, if it leads to the cancelling of the strategic pipeline project NordStream II.

‘Fuck the EU’ was not only a phrase from Neocon Assistant Secretary of State Nuland to Ambassador Pyatt (then in Kiev, now in Athens); it was in reality one of the main purposes of the Maidan operation, that is the inauguration chapter of the new Cold War. Some weeks ago, Mike Pompeo repeated the Nuland coup, by using his influence on the Greek FM Dendias and on the Egyptian dictator Sissi to blow up the moratorium between Greece and Turkey the German chancellor Merkel had negotiated. ‘Fuck Germany and its moratoriums’!

The Coming War

The destruction of the Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian and European-Russian relations was a very big step in the direction of preparing for world war against Russia and China. This is the central plan that defines many of the individual crises and episodes around the globe; and if one does not understand this, one cannot understand anything. As for Trump’s friendship with Russia, we are afraid that it is of no more value than Hitler’s friendship with Stalin or the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact.

The war with China and Russia is the main project of the extremist, radical wing of the Western capitalist establishment. But such a war cannot happen easily and it will not take a frontal form as WWI and WWII, because of the existence of nuclear weapons. But it will take all other possible forms.

Imagine for a while that Pompeo and Netanyahu were able to ignite the huge conflict with Iran which they have been trying to do for years. The wider Middle East would become a land of ruins, and on top of that we would have also the corona crisis. It would be the end for the Chinese project One belt One road and a very promising beginning for Trump’s programme of “decoupling” from China. The same could happen if we go to a Greek-Turkish war, the most probable result of which is enormous destruction in both states and also in Cyprus. Given the destructive capacity of the Greek and Turkish weapons and the impossibility of destroying them by a surprise first strike, the two countries, if they go to war, risk going back two or three hundred years. A conflict around Iran, or between Greece and Turkey would also put enormous pressure on Russia.

Spreading Chaos is another way of staging world war when you cannot use ‘normal’, ‘frontal’ methods of war. The policy of Trump and his allies contributes greatly to preparing for world war by attacking the very institutions of bourgeois democracy, any kind of national or international rule, by attacking the very principles of Logic, Logos and Science, necessary in order to transform human societies into herds of wild animals, in a sui generis repetition of the Nazi experiment.

You cannot wage war on Russia or China by any form of ‘liberal capitalism’. To wage such a huge war you need a totalitarian regime in the West, and this is the real programme, the historic mission of Trump, Pompeo, Thiel, Netanyahu etc.

The way to get Greece and Turkey to war is by sending them ‘false signals’, either encouraging and supporting them, or implying a threat from the other country. Somebody was able to persuade Ankara to down the Russian jet in 2015, which was a case of extreme miscalculation. It is easier to make a miscalculation regarding Greece and Turkey, and there is an enormity of contradictory signals emanating from the US and Israel towards the two capitals.

For example, a very strange article in the Foreign Affairs magazine states that the red line behind which Ankara will not be permitted to go is south of Crete. This red light is indirectly a green light for Turkey to go to the east or south-east of Crete. If Turkey sends its ships there the Greek government will be under tremendous pressure from both public opinion and the Armed Forces to react. This is not something Foreign Affairs can ignore, making us wonder if in fact some people want a war between Greece and Turkey to overthrow Erdogan, to weaken Turkey for decades, to attack Chinese projects and the EU. We could multiply such examples, including Trump’s encouragement of Erdogan. Insofar as the Turkish President does not want to go to a full rupture with the West, he is better prepared to accept as genuine any encouraging signals from Washington. But they can be a trap, as happened for example with Milosevich or Sadam.

Russia, NATO and a Greek-Turkish war

The other day a friend told me that a conflict between Greece and Turkey would only harm NATO: only the Russians would benefit, so it could not happen.

I replied that he was wrong. ‘If you are preparing for a world war, you do not even care so much about NATO. Instead you have to tear down all the institutions of bourgoies society and of the liberal capitalist order, including the EU, maybe even NATO itself, because they are not really made for such a war. They are certainly made to contain Russia, but not to play Russian roulette with the very existence of the world. A world war will not be decided by a Senate, no matter how oligarchic it will be. For such decisions you need Nero, Caligula, Heliogabalus. Such are Trump, Bolsonaro, Pompeo, Netanyahu and those behind them.

They would certainly prefer a Russia-Turkey conflict and have already tried to provoke it. But it is not easy.

A conflict with Greece is their second best alternative, because Greece has the means to destroy Turkey by destroying itself. A war between the two countries will destroy them and would set them back 200 or 300 years.

It is doubtful, after all, that Russia would benefit from such a development, even if it would be a blow to NATO. First, because Moscow would see the destruction of Hellenism, the main strategic ally of Russia in the Mediterranean for a thousand years. Governments and regimes can change, but losing a nation is another matter.

Second, Moscow will likely see, as a result of a war, a pro-Western dictatorship set up in Ankara. Having contributed to the destruction of a historic country like Greece, Turkey would not have the slightest future. It would be considered the outcast of all civilised nations, like Germany after World War II.

And of course, the big victims of the war will be China, with the One Belt, One Road plans and Europe itself.

This is the Chaos Strategy. It remains to be seen whether her opponents also have a strategy or not.

PS. The above article provides a possible explanation of the present Greek-Turkish crisis. A second explanation is that big oil multinationals want to provoke a crisis in order to exploit the hydrocarbons of the region, but we have no serious indications that big reserves really exist and are exploitable economically. A third explanation, not mutually excluded from what we have analyzed, is that third forces are trying to provoke a war in order to overthrow Erdogan and also have all the other consequences we described.

Also read

International consequences of a Greek – Turkish war. A way to avert it

[Jan 01, 2021] Military And Political Trends Of 2020 That Will Shape 2021 - ZeroHedge

Jan 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The past year began with the assassination of the Iranian military genius General Qasem Soleimani by the United States, and it ended with the murder of the prominent scholar Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by the Israelis. In early January, Iran, expecting another aggressive action from the West, accidently shot down a Ukrainian civil aircraft that had inexplicably altered its course over Tehran without request nor authorization. Around the same time, Turkey confirmed the deployment of its military in Libya, beginning a new phase of confrontation in the region, and Egypt responding with airstrikes and additional shows of force. The situation in Yemen developed rapidly: taking advantage of the Sunni coalition's moral weakness, Ansar Allah achieved significant progress in forcing the Saudis out of the country in many regions. The state of warfare in northwestern Syria has significantly changed, transforming into the formal delineation of zones of influence of Turkey and the Russian-Iranian-Syrian coalition. This happened amid, and largely due to the weakening of U.S. influence in the region. Ankara is steadily increasing its military presence in the areas under its responsibility and along the contact line. It has taken measures to deter groups linked to Al-Qaeda and other radicals. As a result, the situation in the region is stabilizing, which has allowed Turkey to increasingly exert control over most of Greater Idlib.

ISIS cells remain active in the eastern and southern Syrian regions. Particular processes are taking place in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, where Russian peace initiatives were inconclusive by virtue of the direct destructive influence of Israel in these areas of Syria. In turn, the assassination of Qasem Soleimaniin resulted in a sharp increase in the targeting of American personnel, military and civil infrastructure in Iraq. The U.S. Army was forced to regroup its forces, effectively abandoning a number of its military installations and concentrating available forces at key bases. At the same time, Washington flatly rejected demands from Baghdad for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and promised to respond with full-fledged sanctions if Iraq continued to raise this issue. Afghanistan remains stable in its instability. Disturbing news comes from Latin America. Confrontation between China and India flared this year, resulting in sporadic border clashes. This situation seems far from over, as both countries have reinforced their military posture along the disputed border. The aggressive actions of the Trump administration against China deepen global crises, which has become obvious not only to specialists but also to the general public. The relationship between the collective West and the Russian Federation was re-enshrined in "the Cold War state", which seems to have been resurrected once again.

The turbulence of the first quarter of 2020 was overshadowed by a new socio-political process – the corona-crisis, the framework of which integrates various phenomena from the Sars-Cov2 epidemic itself and the subsequent exacerbation of the global economic crisis. The disclosure of substantial social differences that have accumulated in modern capitalist society, lead to a series of incessant protests across the globe. The year 2020 was accompanied by fierce clashes between protesters professing various causes and law enforcement forces in numerous countries. Although on the surface these societal clashes with the state appear disassociated, many share related root causes. A growing, immense wealth inequality, corruption of government at all levels, a lack of any meaningful input into political decision making, and the unmasking of massive censorship via big tech corporations and the main stream media all played a part in igniting societal unrest.

In late 2019 and early 2020 there was little reason for optimistic projections for the near future. However, hardly anyone could anticipate the number of crisis events and developments that had taken place during this year. These phenomena affected every region of the world to some extent.

Nevertheless, Middle East has remained the main source of instability, due to being an arena where global and regional power interests intertwine and clash. The most important line of confrontation is between US and Israel-led forces on the one hand, and Iran and its so called Axis of Resistance. The opposing sides have been locked in an endless spiral of mutual accusations, sanctions, military incidents, and proxy wars, and recently even crossed the threshold into a limited exchange of strikes due to the worsening state of regional confrontation. Russia and Turkey, the latter of which has been distancing itself from Washington due to growing disagreements with "NATO partners" and changes in global trends, also play an important role in the region without directly entering into the confrontation between pro-Israel forces and Iran.

As in the recent years, Syria and Iraq remain the greatest hot-spots. The destruction of ISIS as a terrorist state and the apparent killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not end its existence as a terror group. Many ISIS cells and supporting elements actively use regional instability as a chance to preserve the Khalifate's legacy. They remain active mainly along the Syria-Iraq border, and along the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria. Camps for the temporary displaced and for the families and relatives of ISIS militants on the territory controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria are also breeding grounds for terrorist ideology. Remarkably, these regions are also where there is direct presence of US forces, or, as in the case of SDF camps, presence of forces supported by the US.

The fertile soil for radicalism also consists of the inability to reach a comprehensive diplomatic solution that would end the Syrian conflict in a way acceptable to all parties. Washington is not interesting in stabilizing Syria because even should Assad leave, it would strengthen the Damascus government that would naturally be allied to Russia and Iran. Opposing Iran and supporting Israel became the cornerstone of US policy during the Trump administration. Consequently, Washington is supporting separatist sentiments of the Kurdish SDF leadership and even allowed it to participate in the plunder of Syrian oil wells in US coalition zone of control in which US firms linked to the Pentagon and US intelligence services are participating. US intelligence also aids Israel in its information and psychological warfare operations, as well as military strikes aimed at undermining Syria and Iranian forces located in the country. In spite of propaganda victories, in practice Israeli efforts had limited success in 2020 as Iran continued to strengthen its positions and military capabilities on its ally's territory. Iran's success in establishing and supporting a land corridor linking Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iraq, plays an important role. Constant expansion of Iran's military presence and infrastructure near the town of al-Bukamal, on the border of Iraq and Syria, demonstrates the importance of the project to Tehran. Tel-Aviv claims that Iran is using that corridor to equip pro-Iranian forces in southern Syria and Lebanon with modern weapons.

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The Palestinian question is also an important one for Israel's leadership and its lobby in Washington. The highly touted "deal of the century" turned out to be no more than an offer for the Palestinians to abandon their struggle for statehood. As expected, this initiative did not lead to a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian relations. Rather the opposite, it gave an additional stimulus to Palestinian resistance to the demands that were being imposed. At the same time, Trump administration scored a diplomatic success by forcing the UAE and Bahrain to normalize their relations with Israel, and Saudi Arabia to make its collaboration with Israel public. That was a historic victory for US-Israel policy in the Middle East. Public rapprochement of Arab monarchies and Israel strengthened the positions of Iran as the only country which not only declares itself as Palestine's and Islamic world's defender, but actually puts words into practice. Saudi Arabia's leadership will particularly suffer in terms of loss of popularity among its own population, already damaged by the failed war in Yemen and intensifying confrontation with UAE, both of which are already using their neighbor's weakness to lay a claim to leadership on the Arabian Peninsula.

The list of actors strengthening their positions in the Red Sea includes Russia. In late 2020 it became known that Russia reached an agreement with Sudan on establishing a naval support facility which has every possibility to become a full-blown naval base. This foothold will enable the Russian Navy to increase its presence on key maritime energy supply routes on the Red Sea itself and in the area between Aden and Oman straits. For Russia, which has not had naval infrastructure in that region since USSR's break-up, it is a significant diplomatic breakthrough. For its part. Sudan's leadership apparently views Russia's military presence as a security factor allowing it to balance potential harmful measures by the West.

During all of 2020, Moscow and Beijing continued collaboration on projects in Africa, gradually pushing out traditional post-colonial powers in several key areas. The presence of Russian military specialists in the Central African Republic where they assist the central government in strengthening its forces, escalation of local conflicts, and ensuring the security of Russian economic sectors, is now a universally known fact. Russian diplomacy and specialists are also active in Libya, where UAE and Egypt which support Field Marshal Khaftar, and Turkey which supports the Tripoli government, are clashing. Under the cover of declarations calling for peace and stability, foreign actors are busily carving up Libya's energy resources. For Egypt there's also the crucial matter of fighting terrorism and the presence of groups affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood which Cairo sees as a direct threat to national security.

The Sahel and the vicinity of Lake Chad remain areas where terror groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIS remain highly active. France's limited military mission in the Sahara-Sahel region has been failure and could not ensure sufficient support for regional forces in order to stabilize the situation. ISIS and Boko-Haram continue to spread chaos in the border areas between Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, and Chad. In spite of all the efforts by the region's governments, terrorists continue to control sizable territories and represent a significant threat to regional security. The renewed conflict in Ethiopia is a separate problem, in which the federal government was drawn into a civil war against the National Front for the Liberation of Tigray controlling that province. The ethno-feudal conflict between federal and regional elites threatens to destabilize the entire country if it continues.

The explosive situation in Africa shows that post-colonial European powers and the "Global Policeman" which dominated that continent for decades were not interested in addressing the continent's actual problem. Foreign actors were mainly focused on extracting resources and ensuring the interests of a narrow group of politicians and entities affiliated with foreign capitals. Now they are forced to compete with the informal China-Russia bloc which will use a different approach that may be a described as follows: Strengthening of regional stability to protect investments in economic projects. Thus it is no surprise that influential actors are gradually losing to new but more constructive forces.

Tensions within European countries have been on the rise during the past several years, due to both the crisis of the contemporary economic paradigm and to specific regional problems such as the migration crises and the failure of multiculturalism policies, with subsequent radicalization of society.

Unpleasant surprises included several countries' health care and social protection networks' inability to cope with the large number of COVID-19 patients. Entire systems of governance in a number of European countries proved incapable of coping with rapidly developing crises. This is true particularly for countries of southern Europe, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Among eastern European countries, Hungary's and Romania's economies were particularly badly affected. At the same time, Poland's state institutions and economy showed considerable resilience in the face of crisis. While the Federal Republic of Germany suffered considerable economic damage in the second quarter of 2020, Merkel's government used the situation to inject huge sums of liquidity into the economy, enhanced Germany's position within Europe, and moreover Germany's health care and social protection institutions proved capable and sufficiently resilient.

Coronavirus and subsequent social developments led to the emergence of the so-called "Macron Doctrine" which amounts to an argument that EU must obtain strategic sovereignty. This is consistent with the aims of a significant portion of German national elites. Nevertheless, Berlin officially criticized Macron's statements and has shown willingness to enter into a strategic partnership with Biden Administration's United States as a junior partner. However, even FRG's current leadership understands the dangers of lack of strategic sovereignty in an era of America's decline as the world policeman. Against the backdrop of a global economic crisis, US-EU relations are ineluctably drifting from a state of partnership to one of competition or even rivalry. In general, the first half of 2020 demonstrated the vital necessity of further development of European institutions.

The second half of 2020 was marked by fierce mass protests in Germany, France, Great Britain, and other European countries. The level of violence employed by both the protesters and law enforcement was unprecedented and is not comparable to the level of violence seen during protests in Russia, Belarus, and even Kirgizstan. Mainstream media did their best to depreciate and conceal the scale of what was happening. If the situation continues to develop in the same vein, there is every chance that in the future, a reality that can be described as a digital concentration camp may form in Europe.

World media, for its part, paid particular attention to the situation in Belarus, where protests have entered their fourth month following the August 9, 2020 presidential elections. Belarusian protests have been characterized by their direction from outside the country and choreographed nature. The command center of protest activities is officially located in Poland. This fact is in and of itself unprecedented in Europe's contemporary history. Even during Ukraine's Euromaidan, external forces formally refused to act as puppetmasters.

Belarus' genuinely existing socio-economic problems have led to a rift within society that is now divided into two irreconcilable camps: proponents of reforms vs. adherents of the current government. Law enforcement forces which are recruited from among President Lukashenko's supporters, have acted forcefully and occasionally harshly. Still, the number of casualties is far lower than, for example, in protests in France or United States.

Ukraine itself, where Western-backed "democratic forces" have already won, remains the main point of instability in Eastern Europe. The Zelenskiy administration came to power under slogans about the need to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine and rebuild the country. In practice, the new government continued to pursue the policy aimed at maintaining military tension in the region in the interests of its external sponsors and personal enrichment.

For the United States, 2020 turned out to be a watershed year for both domestic and foreign policy. Events of this year were a reflection of Trump Administration's protectionist foreign policy and a national-oriented approach in domestic and economic policy, which ensured an intense clash with the majority of Washington Establishment acting in the interests of global capital.

In addition to the unresolved traditional problems, America's problems were made worse by two crises, COVID-19 spread and BLM movement protests. They ensured America's problems reached a state of critical mass.

One can and should have a critical attitude toward President Trump's actions, but one should not doubt the sincerity of his efforts to turn the slogan Make America Great Again into reality. One should likewise not doubt that his successor will adhere to other values. Whether it's Black Lives Matter or Make Global Moneymen Even Stronger, or Russia Must Be Destroyed, or something even more exotic, it will not change the fact America we've known in the last half century died in 2020. A telling sign of its death throes is the use of "orange revolution" technologies developed against inconvenient political regimes. This demonstrated that currently the United States is ruled not by national elites but by global investors to whom the interests of ordinary Americans are alien.

This puts the terrifying consequences of COVID-19 in a new light. The disease has struck the most vulnerable layers of US society. According to official statistics, United States has had about 20 million cases and over 330,000 deaths. The vast majority are low-income inhabitants of mega-cities. At the same time, the wealthiest Americans have greatly increased their wealth by exploiting the unfolding crisis for their own personal benefit. The level of polarization of US society has assumed frightening proportions. Conservatives against liberals, blacks against whites, LGBT against traditionalists, everything that used to be within the realm of public debate and peaceful protest has devolved into direct, often violent, clashes. One can observe unprecedented levels of aggression and violence from all sides.

In foreign policy, United States continued to undermine the international security system based on international treaties. There are now signs that one of the last legal bastions of international security, the New START treaty, is under attack. US international behavior has prompted criticism from NATO allies. There are growing differences of opinion on political matters with France and economic ones with Germany. The dialogue with Eastern Mediterranean's most powerful military actor Turkey periodically showed a sharp clash of interests.

Against that backdrop, United States spent 2020 continuously increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea basin. Additional US forces and assets were deployed in direct proximity to Russia's borders. The number of offensive military exercises under US leadership or with US participation has considerably increased.

In the Arctic, the United States is acting as a spoiler, unhappy with the current state of affairs. It aims to extend its control over natural resources in the region, establish permanent presence in other countries' exclusive economic zones (EEZ) through the use of the so-called "freedom of navigation operations" (FONOPs), and continue to encircle Russia with ballistic missile defense (BMD) sites and platforms.

In view of the urgent and evident US preparations to be able to fight and prevail in a war against a nuclear adversary, by defeating the adversary's nuclear arsenal through the combination of precision non-nuclear strikes, Arctic becomes a key region in this military planning. The 2020 sortie by a force of US Navy BMD-capable AEGIS destroyers into the Barents Sea, the first such mission since the end of the Cold War over two decades ago, shows the interest United States has in projecting BMD capabilities into regions north of Russia's coastline, where they might be able to effect boost-phase interceptions of Russian ballistic missiles that would be launched in retaliatory strikes against the United States. US operational planning for the Arctic in all likelihood resembles that for South China Sea, with only a few corrections for climate.

In Latin America, the year of 2020 was marked by the intensification Washington efforts aimed at undermining the political regimes that it considered to be in the opposition to the existing world order.

Venezuela remained one of the main points of the US foreign policy agenda. During the entire year, the government of Nicolas Maduro was experiencing an increasing sanction, political and clandestine pressure. In May, Venezuelan security forces even neutralized a group of US mercenaries that sneaked into the country to stage the coup in the interests of the Washington-controlled opposition and its public leader Juan Guaido. However, despite the recognition of Guaido as the president of Venezuela by the US and its allies, regime-change attempts, and the deep economic crisis, the Maduro government survived.

This case demonstrated that the decisive leadership together having the support of a notable part of the population and working links with alternative global centers of power could allow any country to resist to globalists' attacks. The US leadership itself claims that instead of surrendering, Venezuela turned itself into a foothold of its geopolitical opponents: China, Russia, Iran and even Hezbollah. While this evaluation of the current situation in Venezuela is at least partly a propaganda exaggeration to demonize the 'anti-democratic regime' of Maduro, it highlights parts of the really existing situation.

The turbulence in Bolivia ended in a similar manner, when the right wing government that gained power as a result of the coup in 2019 demonstrated its inability to rule the country and lost power in 2020. The expelled president, Evo Morales, returned to the country and the Movement for Socialism secured their dominant position in Bolivia thanks to the wide-scale support from the indigenous population. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that these developments in Venezuela and Bolivia would allow to reverse the general trend towards the destabilization in South America.

The regional economic and social turbulence is strengthened by the high level of organized crime and the developing global crisis that sharpened the existing contradictions among key global and regional players. This creates conditions for the intensification of existing conflicts. For example, the peace process between the FARC and the federal government is on the brink of the collapse in Colombia. Local sources and media accuse the government and affiliated militias of detentions and killings of leaders of local communities and former FARC members in violation of the existing peace agreement. This violence undermine the fragile peace process and sets conditions for the resumption of the armed struggle by FARC and its supporters. Mexico remains the hub for illegal migration, drug and weapon trafficking just on the border with the United States. Large parts of the country are in the state of chaos and are in fact controlled by violent drug cartels and their mercenaries. Brazil is in the permanent state of political and economic crisis amid the rise of street crime.

These negative tendencies affect almost all states of the region. The deepening global economic crisis and the coronavirus panic add oil to the flame of instability.

Countries of South America are not the only one suffering from the crisis. It also shapes relations between global powers. Outcomes of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and the global economic crisis contributed to the hardening of the standoff between the United States and China.

Washington and Beijing have insoluble contradictions. The main of them is that China has been slowly but steadily winning the race for the economic and technological dominance simultaneously boosting own military capabilities to defend the victory in the case of a military escalation. The sanction, tariff and diplomatic pressure campaign launched by the White House on China since the very start of the Trump Presidency is a result of the understanding of these contradictions by the Trump administration and its efforts to guarantee the leading US position in the face of the global economic recession. The US posture towards the South China Sea issues, the political situation in Hong Kong, human rights issues in Xinjiang, the unprecedented weapon sales to Taiwan, the support of the militarization of Japan and many other questions is a part of the ongoing standoff. Summing up, Washington has been seeking to isolate China through a network of local military alliances and contain its economic expansion through sanction, propaganda and clandestine operations.

The contradictions between Beijing and Washington regarding North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are a part of the same chain of events. Despite the public rhetoric, the United States is not interested in the full settlement of the Korea conflict. Such a scenario that may include the reunion of the North and South will remove the formal justification of the US military buildup. This is why the White House opted to not fulfill its part of the deal with the North once again assuring the North Korean leadership that its decision to develop its nuclear and missile programs and further.

Statements of Chinese diplomats and top official demonstrate that Beijing fully understands the position of Washington. At the same time, China has proven that it is not going to abandon its policies aimed at gaining the position of the main leading power in the post-unipolar world. Therefore, the conflict between the sides will continue escalating in the coming years regardless the administration in the White House and the composition of the Senate and Congress. Joe Biden and forces behind his rigged victory in the presidential election will likely turn back from Trump's national-oriented economic policy and 'normalize' relations with China once again reconsidering Russia as Enemy #1. This will not help to remove the insoluble contradictions with China and reverse the trend towards the confrontation. However, the Biden administration with help from mainstream media will likely succeed in hiding this fact from the public by fueling the time-honored anti-Russian hysteria.

As to Russia itself, it ended the year of 2020 in its ordinary manner for the recent years: successful and relatively successful foreign policy actions amid the complicated economic, social and political situation inside the country. The sanction pressure, coronavirus-related restrictions and the global economic crisis slowed down the Russian economy and contributed to the dissatisfaction of the population with internal economic and social policies of the government. The crisis was also used by external actors that carried out a series of provocations and propaganda campaigns aimed at undermining the stability in the country ahead of the legislative election scheduled for September 2021. The trend on the increase of sanction pressure, including tapering large infrastructure projects like the Nord Stream 2, and expansion of public and clandestine destabilization efforts inside Russia was visible during the entire year and will likely increase in 2021. In the event of success, these efforts will not only reverse Russian foreign policy achievements of the previous years, but could also put in danger the existence of the Russian statehood in the current format.

Among the important foreign policy developments of 2020 underreported by mainstream media is the agreement on the creation of a Russian naval facility on the coast of the Red Sea in Sudan. If this project is fully implemented, this will contribute to the rapid growth of Russian influence in Africa. Russian naval forces will also be able to increase their presence in the Red Sea and in the area between the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman. Both of these areas are the core of the current maritime energy supply routes. The new base will also serve as a foothold of Russia in the case of a standoff with naval forces of NATO member states that actively use their military infrastructure in Djibouti to project power in the region. It is expected that the United States (regardless of the administration in the White House) will try to prevent the Russian expansion in the region at any cost. For an active foreign policy of Russia, the creation of the naval facility in Sudan surpasses all public and clandestine actions in Libya in recent years. From the point of view of protecting Russian national interests in the Global Oceans, this step is even more important than the creation of the permanent air and naval bases in Syria.

As well as its counterparts in Washington and Beijing, Moscow contributes notable efforts to the modernization of its military capabilities, with special attention to the strategic nuclear forces and hypersonic weapons. The Russians see their ability to inflict unacceptable damage on a potential enemy among the key factors preventing a full-scale military aggression against them from NATO. The United Sates, China and Russia are in fact now involved in the hypersonic weapon race that also includes the development of means and measures to counter a potential strike with hypersonic weapons.

The new war in Nagorno-Karabakh became an important factor shaping the balance of power in the South Caucasus. The Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc achieved a sweeping victory over Armenian forces and only the involvement of the Russian diplomacy the further deployment of the peacekeepers allowed to put an end to the violence and rescue the vestiges of the self-proclaimed Armenian Republic of Artsakh. Russia successfully played a role of mediator and officially established a military presence on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan for the next 5 years. The new Karabakh war also gave an additional impulse in the Turkish-Azerbaijani economic and military cooperation, while the pro-Western regime in Armenia that expectedly led the Armenian nation to the tragedy is balancing on the brink of collapse.

The Central Asia traditionally remained one of the areas of instability around the world with the permanent threat of militancy and humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, despite forecasts of some analysis, the year of 2020 did not become the year of the creation of ISIS' Caliphate 2.0 in the region. An important role in preventing this was played by the Taliban that additionally to securing its military victories over the US-led coalition and the US-backed Kabul government, was fiercely fighting ISIS cells appearing in Afghanistan. The Taliban, which controls a large part of Afghanistan, was also legalized on the international scene by direct talks with the United States. The role of the Taliban will grow and further with the reduction of the US military presence.

While some media already branded the year of 2020 as one of the worst in the modern history, there are no indications that the year of 2021 will be any brighter or the global crises and regional instability will magically disappear by themselves. Instead, most likely 2020 was just a prelude for the upcoming global shocks and the acute standoff for markets and resources in the environment of censorship, legalized total surveillance, violations of human rights under 'democratic' and 'social' slogans' and proxy wars.

The instability in Europe will likely be fueled by the increasing cultural-civilizational conflict and the new wave of newcomers that have acute ideological and cultural differences with the European civilization. The influx of newcomers is expected due to demographic factors and the complicated security, social situation in the Middle East and Africa. Europe will likely try to deal with the influx of newcomers by introducing new movement and border restrictions under the brand of fighting coronavirus. Nonetheless, the expected growth of the migration pressure will likely contribute to the negative tendencies that could blow up Europe from inside.

The collapse of the international security system, including key treaties limiting the development and deployment of strategic weapons, indicates that the new detente on the global scene will remain an improbable scenario. Instead, the world will likely move further towards the escalation scenario as at least a part of the current global leadership considers a large war a useful tool to overcome the economic crisis and capture new markets. Russia, with its large territories, rich resources, a relatively low population, seems to be a worthwhile target. At the same time, China will likely exploit the escalating conflict between Moscow and the US-led bloc to even further increase its global positions. In these conditions, many will depend on the new global order and main alliances within it that are appearing from the collapsing unipolar system. The United States has already lost its unconditional dominant role on the international scene, but the so-called multipolar world order has not appeared yet. The format of this new multipolar world will likely have a critical impact on the further developments around the globe and positions of key players involved in the never-ending Big Game.

* * *

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[Dec 05, 2020] Poland slaps huge fine on Russian gas pipeline that doesn't even cross its borders -- RT Business News

Dec 05, 2020 | www.rt.com

Poland slaps huge fine on Russian gas pipeline that doesn't even cross its borders 7 Oct, 2020 11:06 Get short URL Poland slaps huge fine on Russian gas pipeline that doesn't even cross its borders © Gazprom / Nord Stream 2 45 Follow RT on RT Poland's antitrust watchdog UOKiK said on Wednesday it has imposed a 29 billion-zloty ($7.6 billion) fine on Russia's Gazprom over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, designed to boost gas supplies to the EU.

According to the regulator, the direct pipeline from Russia to Germany impedes competition on European Union energy markets and "violates the interests of consumers." The fine amounts to 10 percent of Gazprom's annual revenues – the maximum allowed penalty. Other companies participating in the construction of Nord Stream 2 have been fined $100 million. UOKiK gave Gazprom and its partners 30 days to terminate financing agreements and "restore" competition.

"The construction of Nord Stream 2 is a clear violation of market regulations," UOKiK head Tomasz Chróstny said in Warsaw on Wednesday, as cited by Bloomberg. Gas prices for consumers must be "the result of fair competition, and, once Nord Stream 2 is operational, it's likely that gas prices will increase and there'll be a risk of interruption to supplies," he said.

ALSO ON RT.COM Full stream ahead! Denmark removes final hurdle for Russian gas pipeline to Europe

Warsaw has long been opposing the expansion of the gas link directly connecting Russia with Germany, Europe's biggest market for the fuel, arguing it would deepen Europe's dependence on Russian energy. Meanwhile, many European nations have stressed that they want to diversify their energy sources, and Nord Stream 2 could be one of the ways to achieve that.

In 2019, Poland's President Andrzej Duda met US President Donald Trump to discuss the possibility of halting the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project. Warsaw also inked several contracts with American companies to replace Russian supplies. The intention was to make Poland the future center for the re-export of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the region, according to US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher.

ALSO ON RT.COM Washington & Warsaw make pact to obstruct Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The US administration has repeatedly criticized the Nord Stream 2 project, aiming to derail it in order to boost sales of American LNG to Europe.

The construction of the project's two pipelines, which will extend from the Russian coast to Germany and on to other European countries through the Baltic Sea, is nearing completion. It will have the capacity to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and Berlin has insisted it will help Germany meet its growing energy demand as it phases out coal and nuclear power.

[Nov 07, 2020] Tramp role in Syria and Iraq

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Nov 7 2020 15:08 utc | 56

RSH's warning that Trump could still start a war should be taken very seriously. Trump has vowed that he will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Will he leave office without ENSURING that they cannot?

Israel Warns Of Coming War With Iran If Biden Wins As Trump Calls

I don't think for a minute think that Zionist Biden will do anything to upset Israel. But the election of Biden is a convenient excuse for Trump to start a war (probably based on a false flag of some sort) that Biden (or Kamala-Hillary) will "inherit".

!!


Don Bacon , Nov 7 2020 15:14 utc | 57

@ pnyx #43
. . .on Biden. Just think of the warmongering role he played for the Iraq war. The Neocons would have an easier time with Biden than with Tronald
Yes. Biden is a Clintonite, Trump was anti-Clinton.
The US war in Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom - with its death, destruction and displacement has been rightly called the worst US foreign policy move ever.
The Clintons started it, and then promoted it with Biden's assistance as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law on October 31, 1998.
On December 16, 1998, President Bill Clinton announces he has ordered air strikes against Iraq because it refused to cooperate with United Nations (U.N.) weapons inspectors.
David , Nov 7 2020 15:35 utc | 66

Trump's foreign policies were remarkably different? How? He assassinated an Iranian general, which nearly had the US enter into a hot war with Iran, bombed Syria twice, put additional sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Russia and the DPRK. Trump's State Department has successfully enacted regime change in Zimbabwe, Sudan, El Salvador, Chile, Honduras, Bolivia (Mike Pompeo congratulating Luis Arce on his win -- very suspicious), and is trying regime change in Hong Kong, Belarus, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe again, and as of late, Nigeria.

You could argue that Trump wants Iran to be somewhat stronger so he can sell more weapons to his MIC buddies and profit that way, therefore he pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the weapons import/export sanctions on Iran expired. But that's a different and more brash method of managing Empire. It's different from Biden's "strategic de-escalation" policy with Iran via the Iran nuclear deal, but not that one that necessarily yields better results for Iran in the long term.

dave , Nov 7 2020 15:35 utc | 67

Calm down folks, the elected officials in the US have been puppets of the elite for the entire history of the country.
The problem we're facing is within the elite community and far above any government's control.

They didn't legalize drone striking "terrorists" any where on the globe by accident.
This means the elite are terrified of the fact that the internet and Trump both have exposed them for the morally bankrupt, greedy, mass murdering psychopaths they truly are.

The accidental presidency of Trump made them realize that their useful idiots(elected officials) where more idiots than useful and that they had to use the state sponsored monopolies in the press as well as their privately controlled publicly funded covert community to steer the narrative away from actual reality into their alternative commoditized version of reality.

Trump was never trying to defend America from the elite for the common man. He was trying to exploit the elite who had rejected him and his father for decades as well as cash in on their predicament in order to pay off his debts and start his own reality TV network.

I agree Trump was useful and informative but in the end he, like us is just along for the ride.

Don't do anything rash and don't for one second think a regime change in America is a rare occurrence. Remember the Kennedy's ?

The only way to win is to not become one of the elite's useful idiots by lashing out against another citizen. Poor and middle class only get the illusion they help decide policy.
The policy is decided and auctioned off within the billionaire funded think tanks and sent to the useful idiots in DC to be rubber stamped in order to trick you into thinking the legislative branch is legitimate. These people could f*ck up a two car parade and prove it over and over again.

Stay sane folks, the motives haven't changed in centuries and the elite are far more scared of us than they are the other elite's because they all know they're all cowards.

David , Nov 7 2020 15:37 utc | 69

In addition, considering Trump was supposedly a Russian puppet, Congress under his admin passed a bill which allowed the US to arm Ukraine against Russia even more.

GeorgeV , Nov 7 2020 15:39 utc | 70

Wonderful and thought provoking analysis of current political affairs b. However I would like to add that Biden and Trump are the products of political trends that have deep roots in modern US and world political affairs that have been ongoing for some 100 years or more. Biden and Trump did not occur in a vacuum. Both are products of the two world wars that were fought in the last century. More recently, the US since 1940 and continuing to the present day, has been actively preparing or fighting a major war somewhere on this planet. This development has in turn created a vast military and civilian bureaucracy that constantly needs to be fed a diet of real or imagined threats in order to survive.

[Nov 06, 2020] Did the Iraq War Cause the Great Recession?'

Highly recommended!
Iran war might be too much for the US economy
Apr 07, 2013 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile ,

April 7, 2013 at 12:46 am
Western hypocrisy revealed 10 years after the event in today's Independent: "Tony Blair and Iraq: The damning evidence" . And they go on and on about those wicked, evil Russians and their tyrannical leader causing death and destruction Syria by their "support" of the Assad government whilst the West arms the "freedom fighters" there.

[Nov 06, 2020] USA Hegemony and Decline

Mar 01, 2010 | www.eurasia-rivista.org

Issue 3/2010 of the review of Geopolitics "Eurasia", entitled USA: HEGEMONY AND DECLINE , has been released. This 288-page volume contains 24 articles about the USA, a still-hegemonic power in decline, on the scene of the transition from unipolarism to the new multipolarist order. Here follows a list and a short synthesis of each article.

Tiberio Graziani, USA, Turkey and the crisis of the western system

After history put an end to the unipolar moment, the western system led by USA seems to have entered an irreversible crisis. The economic and financial downfall and the loss of a secure pillar of the western geopolitical scene like Turkey mark the end of the US driving force. The USA, today, have to take an epochal decision: either shelving the project of world supremacy, which means sharing decision-making regarding international politics and economics with other global actors, or insist on their supremacy plan and even risk their survival as nation. One or the other will be motivated by the relationships that will be built, on the middle and long term, between the lobbies which are conditioning American foreign policy and by the evolution of the multipolarist process.

T. Graziani is managing editor of "Eurasia".

Fabio Falchi, The mirror of knowledge. Giorgio Colli and Eurasianism

This essay aims to show, also through a short exposition of Giorgio Colli's theoretical philosophy, not only that he has the merit, thanks to his talent of "pondering philologist", to have caught the deep relation between mysticism and logic in the "Greek knowledge", but above all that the way he is interpreting the thought of the "pre-Socratic" – an interpretation characterized by several and meaningful references to the Indian philosophy – is extremely important for the Eurasianism, if it's true that "Eurasia" is in the first place a "spiritual concept". In this perspective, it's not important that Colli cannot be defined an "Eurasiatist" or the fact that probably he himself had refused to define himself this way. What matters is the path pointed out by his philosophical speech, so that it's possible to leave behind obsolete and "incapacitating" dichotomies.

F. Falchi is a contributor to "Eurasia".

Phil Kelly, Geopolitics of the United States

The scope of this essay is to identify the different and typical elements of the traditional US geopolitics. In its path is reflected on the most relevant spatial characteristics in order to delineate the traditional aspects of North American geopolitics, rather than focusing on current international affairs; in spite of this, it comes to conclusion with some observations about the present American and global geopolitics.

P. Kelly is teaching at the University of Emporia (Texas, USA) and member of the Scientific Committee of "Eurasia".

Daniele Scalea, How an "empire" has risen (and how it will crumble soon)

Today's United States, in origin, were an united group of colonies of a small underdeveloped island; nevertheless, in a few centuries, they have become the first and the only world superpower. In this essay are retraced the geopolitical and strategic reasons that led to the rise of the original thirteen colonies, to their independence and expansion in North America; the rise of the USA and their informal empire are analyzed and how the passage from isolationism to hegemonism, that was not ineluctable, is leading them to lose it.

D. Scalea is editor of "Eurasia".

F. William Engdahl, The USA's geopolitical position today

At the end of the first decade of the 21th century it's time to locate the United States in the political, economic and above all geopolitical world context. It's clear to every impartial observer that the emerging giant, proclaimed in 1941 by Henry Luce, "the Time-Life" publisher, as the dawn of the "American Century", is today, in 2010, a nation and a power whose foundations themselves crumble. In this short essay are analyzed the particular nature of this disintegration and its implications.

F.W. Engdahl is associate director of "Global Research" and member of the Scientific Committee of "Eurasia".

Fabio Mini, Projects and debts

The Americans are no more able to recognize their deficiencies and vulnerabilities: they act as if they still controlled the entire world, when in reality they have lost great part of their autonomy relating to multinationals which control the economy and to national or transnational bodies they are indebted to. To the debt financing must be added the political debts, acquired to nations which are not secure thanks to the US politics of force: Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Somalia, Rwanda and even Europe. This essay explains how power is the destroying drug of the USA, and how the "New American Century" has come to an end before coming to life.

F. Mini is a retired Lieutenant General of the Italian Army, he led the KFOR and the NATO's Command Allied Forces Southern Europe".

Eleonora Peruccacci, The evolution of USA-Russia relationships after the downfall of the bipolar system

The idea – to which Keohane already drew attention – that power is now based on the influence of ideas, on using cleverly skills like persuasion and cooptation, on the ability to manipulate mass communication as well, rather than on the traditional attributes of military force and wealth, is useful for the analysis of this essay, in which it is tried to comprehend how, after the end of the bipolar system, the relationships between the two ex world superpowers, USA and Russia, developed and changed, going through the stages of 4 treaties on nuclear disarmament.

E. Peruccacci, MA in International Relations, contributes to "Eurasia".

Spartaco Alfredo Puttini, China, the sea and the United States: the Sino-American naval antagonism

The development of a modern military fleet in the People's Republic of China has given rise to serious concerns in Washington and adds an element of tension to their relations. On the horizon beckons the danger of a naval antagonism between the two giants that could represent one of the more serious and meaningful elements for the international order of the 21th century. In this essay is talked about the Chinese willingness to develop marine force, about the stages of the fleet modernization, about the importance that Sino-American naval antagonism can assume in the near future.

S.A. Puttini, MA in History.

Chiara Felli, A miracle for Obama's "new beginning"

Israeli-American relations seem to be at a crossroads again: new negotiations in order to achieve the much desired peace in Near East hold the balance of power. In Washington, the atmosphere is tense, in contemplation of twelve months of negotiations the danger of a possible immediate bankruptcy outcome is reduced but concerns about the current state of the international comparison raise. Will the USA be finally able to play on their strong position as influential mediators? Does Israeli regional isolation risk worsening following the blind pursuit of nationalistic strategies? Are we really close to the "great compromise" and to the calm after a decade-long storm?

C. Felli, MA in International relations, contributes to "Eurasia".

Francesco Brunello Zanitti, American Neoconservatism and Israeli Neo-revisionism: a comparison

The G.W Bush Jr. Presidency has been strongly influenced by a political movement, commonly known as Neoconservatism, which started at the beginning of the '60s and was already significant during the Ronald Reagan Presidency. The neoconservatives have inspired in particular the recent North American politics in the Near East. The last decade, concerning Israeli politics, has been characterized by the strengthening of the right-wing party, the Likud, which, since its origins, has been not prone to any form of compromise with the Arab world. This essay offers a comparison between American Neoconservatism and Israeli Neo-revisionism, identifying various similarities.

F.Brunello Zanitti, MA in History of society and contemporary culture.

Julien Mercille, The fight against drugs in Afghanistan: a critical interpretation

This article offers a critical interpretation of the "fight against drugs" waged by the United States in Afghanistan since 2001, in contrast to the conventional view proposed by some of the most representative authors. While the conventional interpretation takes for granted that the US are leading a fight in Afghanistan against drugs in order to reduce their consumption in the West and to weaken the Taliban, who are closely linked to narcotics traffic, in this article it's argued that in fact there are few signs from Washington of a real and concrete struggle against drugs . The rhetoric of the fight against drugs is largely motivated by the need to justify military intervention in Afghanistan and the fight against insurgent groups opposing to American hegemony in the region, rather than by a genuine concern about drugs themselves.

J. Mercille is Professor at the National University of Ireland.

Matías Magnasco, Geopolitics of the United States in the Southern Cone

The South American region is nowadays a geostrategic scenario of great importance and will grow in importance in the future because of the race for raw materials (oil, gas and drinking-water) and the rise of Brazil as a regional and world power. South America must look with concern to US withdrawal from those difficult regions, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and from those where Russia and China have virtually overcome their influence, because this reopens the possibility of looking back at their "backyard" and their "mare nostrum" ( the Caribbean Sea).

M. Magnasco is Director of the Argentine Centre of International Studies.

Jean-Claude Paye, The euro crisis and the transatlantic market

The offensive against the euro, implemented by the financial markets during the months of April and May 2010, is not simply an episode in the economic war between the two continents. It is indeed the symptom of a geopolitical change.

The American initiative aimed to weaken the EU was led with the participation of European institutions themselves, that sacrificed euro in order to recover the Greek debt. This convergence confirms the choice of both protagonists which was already made to integrate the EU into a great future transatlantic market.

J.-C. Paye is a sociologist and essayist.

Ivan Marino, "Nabucco" versus "South Stream"

The US-backed Nabucco pipeline is a choice which sprang from political and economic reasons, and, in substance, aims to avoid the Russian territory and consequently to contrast the interests of Moscow; but the choice of "Nabucco" may be dangerous for the same energy safety of European Union.

Italy's choice of supporting the "South Stream" has a strategic and objective value. The essay evaluates the strategic importance of this option on the long-term in the dialogue between EU and Russia.

I. Marino coordinates the Observatory on the Constitutional Political System of the Russian Federation.

Fabrizio Di Ernesto, US and NATO bases in Europe

More than 60 years after the end of World War II, Europe struggles to regain its political and military autonomy. This is mainly due to the forced occupation set on by USA through NATO, the military alliance started in 1949 and that with the passing of time has become the real armed wing of the Pentagon. During the years of the Cold War Washington justified this presence with the need of defending its interests against possible attacks of the Red Army and of the Warsaw Pact. Now that this pretext is becoming ever more anachronistic, the White House continues to support the need for this forced militarization hiding behind the scarecrow represented by Islamic terrorism. This presence also leads to various problems, summarized in this essay.

F. Di Ernesto is a journalist and essayist.

Stefano Vernole, The strange story of the "International Money Orders"

According to some sources, during the first months of 1992 the U.S. government developed a sophisticated financial-economics operation, using US taxpayers' funds, for secret aims. The money, nominally allocated for a "humanitarian" operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, would have been mainly used to finance Bill Clinton's election campaign and to pay debts acquired by the Saudi financier Adnan Kashoggi to the procurement office of the JNA (Yugoslav People's Army), but later it was put back in circulation to be used in the most various financial-economics operations.

S. Vernole is editor of "Eurasia".

Tomislav Sunic, In Yaweh we trust: the "divine" US foreign policy

The North American aspiration to "guarantee the democracy in the world " is above all originated by the biblical message. Whatever many European critics of US may say, US military interventions have never had as their sole purpose economic imperialism, rather the desire to spread the U.S. democracy all over the world. Anyone who dares to defy the US military, incurs the risk of being declared out of humankind, or at least of being branded as terrorist. Once someone is declared a terrorist or out of the human race, it's possible to dispose of a person or of a nation at one's pleasure. The ideological element in the history of US foreign policy is described in this essay, a revised version of a chapter, named after it, of the book Homo Americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age (2007).

T. Sunic was Croatian diplomat and University Professor in the USA.

Kees van der Pijl, Transatlantic ideology and neoliberal capitalism

In this essay we deal with three issues: the first concerns the origins of western ideology, an ideology marked by possessive individualism, free enterprise and intensive nature exploitation and that, with zeal of protestant missionary, claims universal validity for these principles. After that, we observe how neo-liberalism has emerged as the most radical western ideology and allowed capitalism to become a machine scam into which the world economy of the last thirty years has been drawn and that just now has suffered a setback.

Finally, some lines of development are drawn, through which Ukraine, and perhaps Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and others, could break with the present strategy of slavish adaptation to the neoliberal economy, which has damaged them so much, and stop to absorb the western ideology so different from their traditions, to implement a common strategy that combines their unique experience with the form of a multinational State and with elements of planned economy, whose strengths and weaknesses they know better than anybody else.

K. van der Pijl is Professor at the University of Sussex.

Paolo Bargiacchi, Is international law really law? A critique to John Bolton's negationism

In the US the (minority) idea that the international law does not exist and the (most common) one that customary international rules only bind States that accept them find a common root in the improper comparison between International context (and International law) and internal context (Internal law). This comparison, in turn, is direct consequence of the Austinian positivism, that, not catching the autonomy of the political and juridical international context compared to the domestic one, mistakenly uses logics, methodologies and categories of internal law to analyze the international law. An example of this modus procedendi comes from J. Bolton, who wonders if "Is There Really "Law" in International Affairs?" and concludes that "International law is not law". In this essay a general-theoretical and empirical critique of his thesis is developed.

P. Bargiacchi is Professor at the University Kore of Enna.

Alessandro Lattanzio, US nuclear forces

U.S. strategic forces, that since 1990 are no longer the backbone of US Army, a role now appertaining to the force projection (aircraft carrier, airborne troops and marine divisions, tactical air force) have undergone a significant downsizing in quality and above all quantities. But this reduction has been sold successfully at the table of international negotiations about nuclear disarmament. With the recent ratification of the START II Treaty, US strategic forces are kept on 500 ICBMs single-warheads, 14 SSBNs each carrying 24 SLBMs, and finally 96 strategic bombers. The budget deficit, the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the priorities for other programs, including the so-called theatre ballistic missile (THAAD), and the US financial-economic crisis will probably stop the last modernization programs of the U.S. strategic arsenal.

A. Lattanzio is editor of "Eurasia".

Claudio Mutti, Pietro Nenni against the Atlantic Pact

Interjecting into the parliamentary debate in accordance to the Italian democracy rules for enter the NATO, the secretary of the PSI (Italian Socialist Party) pointed put how the inclusion of Italy among the countries bordering the Atlantic was a violation of the basic elements of geography and history. He also contested the political justifications of this accession: partnering with the American superpower, Italy, which "compared to the US is like San Marino compared to Europe", instead of securing her independence would have further reduced her sovereignty, already harshly limited by the international treaties imposed by the winners of the Second World War.

C. Mutti is editor of "Eurasia".

Erika Morucci, 1991-2003: rehearsal of a superpower

In the twenty years since the first Gulf War to the present, different administrations came one after the other at the White House, giving different directions to American foreign policy. Apart from that, these were crucial years of a new historical course, that after the Cold War has opened up a reality whose facets were hidden for a long time and was fed by the iron curtain that divided the world. For the US widened its perspectives: they behaved as if they knew they can reach for primacy, pushing it to the manic search for global power. The multipolarity on the international scene has strongly emerged with the presence of other actors, including Russian, Chinese, European, and so the perspective is now to defend their lead and not lead the world.

E. Morucci, MA in International Relations.

Antonio Grego, Interview with Robert Pelo

Roberto Pelo is the director of the Moscow office of Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) and coordinator of the ICE office-network in Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Turkmenistan.

Antonio Grego, Interview with Livio Filippo Colasanto

Livio Filippo Colasanto is the first Director-General of RusEnergosbyt-Enel.

[Oct 24, 2020] The blockage of Nordstream 2 is about The Dark Heart of Europe not Russia

Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

A123 , says: October 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT

@MLK

Take Nord Stream II. If Trump hadn't taken the oath, it would have been up and running years ago. Would that it were so that this was a gift to Russia and Germany, but it's much worse than that. Why isn't anyone else curious as to who got what in return?

The blockage of Nordstream 2 is about The Dark Heart of Europe not Russia...

This is one of Putin's few serious errors. He would be much better off pushing gas projects that flowed east...

PEACE

AriusArmenian , says: October 23, 2020 at 4:47 pm GMT

Europe is a glove on the US hand and is easily led around by its nose by the CIA and MI6 that infest the MSM and run one false flag after another.

Politicians in the EU are mediocre creatures that crave the dollars stuffed into their pockets by the US. They are enjoying the ride while it lasts until they go down with the US.

[Oct 23, 2020] Oil Production Cuts Could Be Extended- Putin -

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by OilPrice.com

Russia does not rule out the possibility that OPEC+ could extend its current 7.7 million barrels per day of production cuts into next year, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin .

The comments could be merely jawboning to a market that is desperately seeking reassurances that oil production will not ramp up too quickly beyond demand. But Russia has in the past been reluctant to keep up its end of the oil production cuts, so any mention that it is even thinking about a slower tapering of the cuts is noteworthy.

In fact, Russia had failed to bring its own oil production down to the level it agreed to for most of the period of cuts in 2019 and early 2020.

Russia also was the spark that ignited the oil price war between it and Saudi Arabia-and by default the United States, when it refused to agree to additional cuts using the argument that as OPEC decreases its production, it opens the door for U.S. producers to increase theirs.

Vladimir Putin has had several discussions with Saudi Arabia and the United States on the state of the oil markets. "We believe there is no need to change anything in our agreements," Putin said. "We will watch how the market is recovery. The consumption is on the rise."

Putin added, however, that they did not "rule out" the possibility that OPEC+ could keep the current production cuts instead of removing them at the pace it had initially agreed upon.

But Putin didn't stop there. "If need be, maybe, we can take other decisions on further reductions. But we don't see such a necessity now," Putin said, intimating that more cuts were at least possible.

Russia's willingness to even consider additional cuts or waiting longer to ease the cuts than planned will be viewed positively by the markets, which has been struggling to break out of a rut where oil prices have traded in a relatively tight band for months.

[Oct 19, 2020] A joke circulating Russia internets today

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BG , Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 46

A joke circulating Russia internets today:

"German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

"North Stream 2 will be built 100%!"

A journalist asks:

"But what about Navalny?"

Maas replies:

"Well, unfortunately Navalny doesn't produce 55 billion cbm of natural gas per year..."

___

[Oct 19, 2020] The USA had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil

Notable quotes:
"... "Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis] ..."
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

Heavy oil is needed for the chemical industry (as opposed to transport). The three biggest producers of heavy oil are Iran, Venezuella and Russia.

The US produces mostly light oil, thus it needs to import the heavy oil. Since the US sanctioned Iran and Venezuella, the only significant option remaining is Russia. It would be ironic if they are buying iranian oil sold to Russia.

winston2 , Oct 17 2020 18:09 utc | 20

karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

It appears Lavrov's saying we'll just ignore the EU and its major components for awhile got quick results as Germany's FM just announced "Nord Stream 2 will be completed" ; but he also said this:

"Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis]

Now isn't that the interesting bit of news!! The greatest fracking nation on the planet needs to import heavy oil (likely Iranian, unlikely Venezuelan) from its #1 adversary. As for the end game, I've written many times what I see as the goal and don't see any need to add more.

Passer by , Oct 17 2020 17:58 utc | 16

[Oct 14, 2020] European Oil Companies Will Not Tolerate Poland's Attempt To Cancel Nord Stream 2 -

Oct 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

European Oil Companies Will Not Tolerate Poland's Attempt To Cancel Nord Stream 2 by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/14/2020 - 06:10 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Antonopoulos via InfoBrics.org,

By handing out a €6.5 billion fine against Gazprom, Warsaw has obviously and massively miscalculated because it did not only antagonize the Russian energy company as was intended, but also European partners of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project , which the Polish government obviously had not considered.

Even leaders within the European Union were shocked at the huge fine that Poland is attempting to impose against Nord Stream 2.

It may very well be that the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has lost itself when deciding on the price of the fine against Gazprom. But regardless of that, UOKiK has apparently also exceeded its jurisdiction . As the Düsseldorf-based energy supplier Uniper reports, the existing agreements on Nord Stream 2 have nothing to do with a joint venture, which is why the Polish laws on merger controls do not apply to them. The initial plans were to finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the establishment of a joint venture. For this, however, the companies involved should have received a permit in all the countries in which they operate, as well as from Poland, the only EU state that blocked this decision. The decision for it not to be a joint venture was made without further ado so as not to waste time or money in a dispute with Polish authorities.

The pipeline partners designed an alternative financing model for Nord Stream 2 and instead of joining Nord Stream 2 AG (Company) as a co-partner, the European energy companies are participating in the project as lenders so that Polish antitrust laws do not apply to them. However, Gazprom, the majority shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG, has given its European partners shares in the company as a mortgage for the financing provided. If the loans from the Russian side are not paid, the European corporations automatically become the owners of Nord Stream 2 AG. Referring to this fact, the Polish antitrust authorities have declared the European partner companies to be quasi-shareholders in the pipeline project.

With this UOKiK also justifies the exorbitant fine against Gazprom and the fines of around €55 million against Uniper (German), Wintershall (German), Engie (French), OMV (Austrian) and Shell (English-Dutch). Neither Gazprom nor Nord Stream 2 are financially at risk at the moment and the Russian group has already announced that it will take the fine to court.

Poland is of course now aware that their attempts to fine the Nord Stream 2 project will amount to nothing. The aim of the Polish government is not so much to force a large sum of money from Gazprom in the long term, but rather to bury the pipeline project entirely. And this is the part where Warsaw has grossly miscalculated, not only European reactions, but Russian determination.

The goal to cancel Nord Stream 2 also explains why Polish authorities published their decision last week. Relations between the EU and Russia are extra strained because of the Navalny case and the situation in Belarus. France and Germany are working on new sanctions against Russia for the Navalny case and continue to apply pressure against Belarus.

Another question is how effective these measures will be. Sanctions have long degenerated into ambiguity as it is the usual way the West deals with Moscow. Russia has learnt how to adjust their economy accordingly, meaning that sanctions have turned into a farce. The West is regularly expanding its blacklists of sanctioned companies and private individuals, but there has been no significant effect. Political forces with a keen interest in the failure of Nord Stream 2 are plentiful in the West and they are currently advancing the Navalny case in the hope that it will cut the EU from Russia more strongly or permanently. This will not occur as Europe desperately needs Russian energy, which is why Nord Stream 2 is such a critical project for all involved.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Poland plays the main role in trying to cancel Nord Stream 2 and the decision by UOKiK is just another push to finally get Europe to abandon the pipeline project. According to a joint declaration by France and Germany, measures are currently being prepared for those alleged to be responsible in the Navalny case and their participation in the so-called Novichok program.

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Despite these measures, Western Europe is bringing its energy project which is important for its own future out of the danger zone, while Poland is attracting even more displeasure from EU giants through its own operation. A penalty against Gazprom may be a Russian problem, but fines against leading corporations from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria are guaranteed to leave many of Europe's biggest capitalist angered. The effort Warsaw is making to thwart Nord Stream 2 is visibly turning opposite to what they expected as there is little doubt the Nord Stream 2 project will come to fruition and completion.

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[May 21, 2020] The 'Clean Break' Doctrine OffGuardian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ..."
"... "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" ..."
"... "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" ..."
May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

n 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, as a how-to manual on approaching regime change in the Middle East and for the destruction of the Oslo Accords.

The "Clean Break" policy document outlined these goals:

Ending Yasser Arafat's and the Palestinian Authority's political influence, by blaming them for acts of Palestinian terrorism Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Launching war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of. Followed by military action against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

"Clean Break" was also in direct opposition to the Oslo Accords, to which Netanyahu was very much itching to obliterate. The Oslo II Accord was signed just the year before, on September 28th 1995, in Taba, Egypt.

During the Oslo Accord peace process, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values." Rallies organised by the Likud and other right-wing fundamentalist groups featured depictions of Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun.

In July 1995, Netanyahu went so far as to lead a mock funeral procession for Rabin, featuring a coffin and hangman's noose.

The Oslo Accords was the initiation of a process which was to lead to a peace treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and at fulfilling the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." If such a peace treaty were to occur, with the United States backing, it would have prevented much of the mayhem that has occurred since.

However, the central person to ensuring this process, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated just a month and a half after the signing of the Oslo II Accord, on November 4th, 1995. Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel seven months later. "Clean Break" was produced the following year.

On November 6th, 2000 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo peace accords, warned those Israelis who argued that it was impossible to make peace with the Palestinians:

Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism, and not in order to offer them a Jewish Sparta or – God forbid – a new Massada."

On Oct. 5, 2003, for the first time in 30 years, Israel launched bombing raids against Syria, targeting a purported "Palestinian terrorist camp" inside Syrian territory. Washington stood by and did nothing to prevent further escalation.

"Clean Break" was officially launched in March 2003 with the war against Iraq, under the pretence of "The War on Terror". The real agenda was a western-backed list of regime changes in the Middle East to fit the plans of the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Israel.

However, the affair is much more complicated than that with each player holding their own "idea" of what the "plan" is. Before we can fully appreciate such a scope, we must first understand what was Sykes-Picot and how did it shape today's world mayhem.

Arabian Nights

WWI was to officially start July 28th 1914, almost immediately following the Balkan wars (1912-1913) which had greatly weakened the Ottoman Empire.

Never one to miss an opportunity when smelling fresh blood, the British were very keen on acquiring what they saw as strategic territories for the taking under the justification of being in war-time, which in the language of geopolitics translates to "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" .

The brilliance of Britain's plan to garner these new territories was not to fight the Ottoman Empire directly but rather, to invoke an internal rebellion from within. These Arab territories would be encouraged by Britain to rebel for their independence from the Ottoman Empire and that Britain would support them in this cause.

These Arab territories were thus led to believe that they were fighting for their own freedom when, in fact, they were fighting for British and secondarily French colonial interests.

In order for all Arab leaders to sign on to the idea of rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, there needed to be a viable leader that was Arab, for they certainly would not agree to rebel at the behest of Britain.

Lord Kitchener, the butcher of Sudan, was to be at the helm of this operation as Britain's Minister of War. Kitchener's choice for Arab leadership was the scion of the Hashemite dynasty, Hussein ibn Ali, known as the Sherif of Mecca who ruled the region of Hejaz under the Ottoman Sultan.

Hardinge of the British India Office disagreed with this choice and wanted Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud instead, however, Lord Kitchener overruled this stating that their intelligence revealed that more Arabs would follow Hussein.

Since the Young Turk Revolution which seized power of the Ottoman government in 1908, Hussein was very aware that his dynasty was in no way guaranteed and thus he was open to Britain's invitation to crown him King of the Arab kingdom.

Kitchener wrote to one of Hussein's sons, Abdallah, as reassurance of Britain's support:

If the Arab nation assist England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention take place in Arabia, and will give Arabs every assistance against foreign aggression."

Sir Henry McMahon who was the British High Commissioner to Egypt, would have several correspondences with Sherif Hussein between July 1915 to March 1916 to convince Hussein to lead the rebellion for the "independence" of the Arab states.

However, in a private letter to India's Viceroy Charles Hardinge sent on December 4th, 1915, McMahon expressed a rather different view of what the future of Arabia would be, contrary to what he had led Sherif Hussein to believe:

[I do not take] the idea of a future strong united independent Arab State too seriously the conditions of Arabia do not and will not for a very long time to come, lend themselves to such a thing."

Such a view meant that Arabia would be subject to Britain's heavy-handed "advising" in all its affairs, whether it sought it or not.

In the meantime, Sherif Hussein was receiving dispatches issued by the British Cairo office to the effect that the Arabs of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) would be given independence guaranteed by Britain, if they rose up against the Ottoman Empire.

The French were understandably suspicious of Britain's plans for these Arab territories. The French viewed Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as intrinsically belonging to France, based on French conquests during the Crusades and their "protection" of the Catholic populations in the region.

Hussein was adamant that Beirut and Aleppo were to be given independence and completely rejected French presence in Arabia. Britain was also not content to give the French all the concessions they demanded as their "intrinsic" colonial rights.

Enter Sykes and Picot.

... ... ...

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire.

In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel's "prescription" and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police. Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews.

Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.

Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

A New Strategy for Securing Whose Realm?

Despite what its title would have you believe, "Clean Break" is neither a "new strategy" nor meant for "securing" anything. It is also not the brainchild of fanatical neo-conservatives: Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, nor even that of crazed end-of-days fundamentalist Benjamin Netanyahu, but rather has the very distinct and lingering odour of the British Empire.

"Clean Break" is a continuation of Britain's geopolitical game, and just as it used France during the Sykes-Picot days it is using the United States and Israel.

The role Israel has found itself playing in the Middle East could not exist if it were not for over 30 years of direct British occupation in Palestine and its direct responsibility for the construction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which set a course for destruction and endless war in this region long before Israel ever existed.

It was also Britain who officially launched operation "Clean Break" by directly and fraudulently instigating an illegal war against Iraq to which the Chilcot Inquiry, aka Iraq Inquiry , released 7 years later, attests to.

This was done by the dubious reporting by British Intelligence setting the pretext for the U.S.' ultimate invasion into Iraq based off of fraudulent and forged evidence provided by GCHQ, unleashing the "War on Terror", aka "Clean Break" outline for regime change in the Middle East.

In addition, the Libyan invasion in 2011 was also found to be unlawfully instigated by Britain.

In a report published by the British Foreign Affairs Committee in September 2016, it was concluded that it was "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" .

The report concluded that the Libyan intervention was based on false pretence provided by British Intelligence and recklessly promoted by the British government.

If this were not enough, British Intelligence has also been caught behind the orchestrations of Russia-Gate and the Skripal affair .

Therefore, though the U.S. and Israeli military have done a good job at stealing the show, and though they certainly believe themselves to be the head of the show, the reality is that this age of empire is distinctly British and anyone who plays into this game will ultimately be playing for said interests, whether they are aware of it or not.

Originally published by Strategic Culture


Almondson ,

Yossi B said:

Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism

Ever heard of Dumbo? He's a flying elephant.

The crusade in the ME will continue, with Israel the top dog until America's military support is no longer there. Even without the Israeli eastern european invaders, the area is primed for perpetual tribal warfare because the masses are driven by tribalist doctrines and warped metaphysics dictated by insane and inhumane parasites (priests). It is the epicenter of a spiritual plague that has infected most of the planet.

paul ,

There is complete continuity between the activities of Zionist controlled western countries and those of the present day.

In the 1930s, there were about 300,000 adult Palestinian males. Over 10% were killed, imprisoned and tortured or driven into exile. 100,000 British troops were sent to Palestine to destroy completely Palestinian political and military organisations. Wingate set up the Jew terror gangs who were given free rein to murder, rape and burn, in preparation for the complete ethnic cleansing of the country.

We see the same ruthless, genocidal brutality on an even greater scale in the present day, serving exactly the same interests. Nothing has ever come of trying to negotiate with the Zionists and their western stooges – just further disasters. It is only resolute and uncompromising resistance that has ever achieved anything. Hezbollah kicking their Zionist arses out of Lebanon in 2000 and keeping them out in 2006. Had they not done so, Lebanon would still be under Zionist occupation and covered with their filthy illegal settlements.

They have never stopped and they never will. The objective is to create a vast Zionist empire comprising the whole of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and parts of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This plan has never changed and it never will. The Zionist thieves will shortly steal what little is left of Palestine. But the thieving will not end there. It will just move on to neighbouring countries.

The prime reason they have been able to get away with this is not their control of British and US golems. It is by playing the old, dirty colonial games of divide and rule, with the Quisling stooge dictators serving their interests. They have always been able to set Sunni against Shia, and different factions against others. The dumb Arabs fall for it every time. Their latest intrigues are directed at the destruction of Iran, the next victim on their target list after Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the Quisling dictators of Saudi Arabia are openly agitating for this and offering to pay for all of it. Syria sent troops to join the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, though Iraqi troops fought and died in Syria in 1973 against Israel. Egypt allows Israel to use its airspace to carry out the genocidal terror bombing of Gaza.

All this is contemptible enough and fits into racist stereotypes of Arabs as stupid, irrational, corrupt, easily bought, violent and treacherous. This of course does not apply to the populations of those countries, but it is a legitimate assessment of their Quisling dictators, with a (very) few honourable exceptions.

Seamus Padraig ,

Of course, Arab rulers who don't tow the Zionist line generally get overthrown, don't they? And that usually requires the efforts/intervention of FUKUS, doesn't it? So you can't really pretend that 'Arab stupidity' is the main factor.

Richard Le Sarc ,

The fact that, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon 'back to the Stone Age', under Talmudic Judaism, killing civilians is not just permissible, but a mitzvah, or good deed, explains Zionist behaviour. Other doctrines allow an entire 'city' eg Gaza, to be devastated for the 'crimes' of a few, and children, even babies, to be killed if they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Dare mention these FACTS, seen everyday in Israeli barbarity, and the 'antisemitism' slurs flow, as ever.

Julia ,

" is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

Julia ,

" is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

Richard Le Sarc ,

The antithesis of the truth. It is US politicians who flock to AIPAC's meeting every year to pledge UNDYING fealty to Israel, not Israeli politicians pledging loyalty to the USA. It is Israeli and dual loyalty Jewish oligarchs funding BOTH US parties, it is US politicians throwing themselves to the ground in adulation when Bibi the war criminal addresses the Congress with undisguised contempt, not Israeli politicians groveling to the USA. The master-servant relationship is undisguised.

Pyewacket ,

In Daniel Yergin's The Prize, a history of the Oil industry, he provides another interesting angle to explain British interest in the region. He states that at that time, Churchill realised that a fighting Navy powered by Coal, was not nearly as good or efficient as one using Oil as a fuel, and that securing supplies of the stuff was the best way forward to protect the Empire.

BigB ,

Yergin would be right. The precursor of the First World War was a technological arms race and accelerated 'scientific' perfection of arsenals – particularly naval – in the service of imperialism. British and German imperialism. The full story involves the Berlin to Cairo railway and the resource grab that went with it. I'm a bit sketchy on the details now: but Churchill had a prominent role, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty.

Docherty and Macgregor have exposed the hidden history. F W Engdahl has written about WW1 being the first oil war.

Andreas Schlüter ,

And don´t forget which of the US Military command regions into which the US Military divided the WHOLE World is named "US CENTCOM"!
„One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/

Antonym ,

In 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu

No source link for this!

By the way 1996 was during the Clinton administration. Warren Christopher was secretary of state and John Deutch was the Director of Central Intelligence . George Tenet was appointed the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director.

Reg ,

Here you go, sonny boy

http://www.dougfeith.com/docs/Clean_Break.pdf

Richard Le Sarc ,

Antsie, what are you going to deny next? The USS Liberty? Deir Yassin? The Lavon Affair? Sabra, Shatilla? Qana (twice)? The Five Celebrating Israelis on 9/11?Does not impress.

[Feb 09, 2020] Trump demand for 50% of Iraq oil revenue sound exactly like a criminal mob boss

Highly recommended!
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Tucker , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT

I've heard and read about a claim that Trump actually called PM Abdul Mahdi and demanded that Iraq hand over 50 percent of their proceeds from selling their oil to the USA, and then threatened Mahdi that he would unleash false flag attacks against the Iraqi government and its people if he did not submit to this act of Mafia-like criminal extortion. Mahdi told Trump to kiss his buttocks and that he wasn't going to turn over half of the profits from oil sales.

This makes Trump sound exactly like a criminal mob boss, especially in light of the fact that the USA is now the world's #1 exporter of oil – a fact that the arrogant Orange Man has even boasted about in recent months. Can anyone confirm that this claim is accurate? If so, then the more I learn about Trump the more sleazy and gangster like he becomes.

I mean, think about it. Bush and Cheney and mostly jewish neocons LIED us into Iraq based on bald faced lies, fabricated evidence, and exaggerated threats that they KNEW did not exist. We destroyed that country, captured and killed it's leader – who used to be a big buddy of the USA when we had a use for him – and Bush's crime gang killed close to 2 million innocent Iraqis and wrecked their economy and destroyed their infrastructure. And, now, after all that death, destruction and carnage – which Trump claimed in 2016 he did not approve of – but, now that Trump is sitting on the throne in the Oval office – he has the audacity and the gall to demand that Iraq owes the USA 50 percent of their oil profits? And, that he won't honor and respect their demand to pull our troops out of their sovereign nation unless they PAY US back for the gigantic waste of tax payers money that was spent building permanent bases inside their country?

Not one Iraqi politician voted for the appropriations bill that financed the construction of those military bases; that was our mistake, the mistake of our US congress whichever POTUS signed off on it.

melpol , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm GMT
...Trump learned the power of the purse on the streets of NYC, he survived by playing ball with the Jewish and Italian Mafia. Now he has become the ultimate Godfather, and the world must listen to his commands. Watch and listen as the powerful and mighty crumble under US Hegemony.
World War Jew , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm GMT
Right TG, traditionally, as you said up there first, and legally too, under the supreme law of the land. Economic sanctions are subject to the same UNSC supervision as forcible coercion.

UN Charter Article 41: "The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."

https://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/index.html

US "sanctions" require UNSC authorization. Unilateral sanctions are nothing but illegal coercive intervention, as the non-intervention principle is customary international law, which is US federal common law.

The G-192, that is, the entire world, has affirmed this law. That's why the US is trying to defund UNCTAD as redundant with the WTO (UNCTAD is the G-192's primary forum.) In any case, now that the SCO is in a position to enforce this law at gunpoint with its overwhelmingly superior missile technology, the US is going to get stomped and tased until it complies and stops resisting.

Charlie , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Tucker This idea that the US is any sort of a net petroleum exporter is just another lie.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=268&t=6

In 2018 total US petroleum production was under 18 million barrels per day, total consumption north of 20 mmb/d. What does it matter if the US exports a bunch of super light fracked product the US itself can't refine if it turns around and imports it all back in again and then some.

The myths we tell ourselves, like a roaring economy that nevertheless generates a $1 trillion annual deficit, will someday come back to bite us. Denying reality is not a winning game plan for the long run.

Christophe GJ , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm GMT
I long tought that US foreign policies were mainly zionist agenda – driven, but the Venezuelan affair and the statements of Trump himself about the syrian oil (ta be "kept" (stolen)) make you think twice.

Oil seems to be at least very important even if it's not the main cause of middle east problems

So maybe it's the cause of illegal and cruel sanctions against Iran : Get rid of competitor to sell shale oil everywhere ?( think also of Norstream 2 here)

Watch out US of A. in the end there is something sometimes referred to as the oil's curse . some poor black Nigerians call oil "the shit of the devil", because it's such a problem – related asset Have you heard of it ? You get your revenues from oil easily, so you don't have to make effort by yourself. And in the end you don't keep pace with China on 5G ? Education fails ? Hmm
Becommig a primary sector extraction nation sad destiny indeed, like africans growing cafe, bananas and cacao for others. Not to mention environmental problems
What has happened to the superb Nation that send the first man on the moon and invented modern computers ?
Disapointment
Money for space or money for war following the Zio. Choose Uncle Sam !
Difficult to have both

OverCommenter , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:24 pm GMT
Everyone seems to forget how we avoided war with Syria all those years ago It was when John Kerry of all people gaffed, and said "if Assad gives up all his chemical weapons." That was in response to a reporter who asked "is there anything that can stop the war?" A intrepid Russian ambassador chimed in loud enough for the press core to hear his "OK" and history was averted. Thinking restricting the power of the President will stop brown children from dying at the hands of insane US foreign policy is a cope. "Bi-partisanship" voted to keep troops in Syria, that was only a few months ago, have you already forgotten? Dubya started the drone program, and the magical African everyone fawns over, literally doubled the remote controlled death. We are way past pretending any elected official from either side is actually against more ME war, or even that one side is worse than the other.

The problem with the supporters Trump has left is they so desperately want to believe in something bigger than themselves. They have been fed propaganda for their whole lives, and as a result can only see the world in either "this is good" or "this is bad." The problem with the opposition is that they are insane. and will say or do anything regardless of the truth. Trump could be impeached for assassinating Sulimani, yet they keep proceeding with fake and retarded nonsense. Just like keeping troops in Syria, even the most insane rabid leftoids are just fine with US imperialism, so long as it's promoting Starbucks, Marvel and homosex, just like we see with support for HK. That is foreign meddling no matter how you try to justify it, and it's not even any different messaging than the hoax "bring democracyhumanrightsfreedom TM to the poor Arabs" justification that was used in Iraq. They don't even have to come up with a new play to run, it's really quite incredible.

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:44 pm GMT
@OverCommenter A lot of right-wingers also see military action in the Middle East as a way for America to flex its muscles and bomb some Arabs. It also serves to justify the insane defence budget that could be used to build a wall and increase funding to ICE.

US politics has become incredibly bi-partisan, criticising Trump will get you branded a 'Leftist' in many circles. This extreme bipartisanship started with the Obama birth certificate nonsense which was being peddled by Jews like Orly Taitz, Philip J. Berg, Robert L. Shulz, Larry Klayman and Breitbart news – most likely because Obama was pursuing the JCPOA and not going hard enough on Iran – and continued with the Trump Russian agent angle.

Now many Americans cannot really think critically, they stick to their side like a fan sticks to their sports team.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 9:11 pm GMT
The first person I ever heard say sanctions are acts of war was Ron Paul. The repulsive Madeleine Albright infamously said the deaths of 500,000 Iranian children due to US sanctions was worth it. She ought to be tried as a war criminal. Ron Paul ought to be Secretary of State.

[Jan 12, 2020] Luongo Fears "An Abyss Of Losses" As Iraq Becomes MidEast Battleground

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

The future of the U.S.'s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, following President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. and Israel are determined this border crossing remains closed and have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to prevent the free flow of goods and people across this border.

The regional allies of Iran are to be kept weak, divided and constantly under harassment.

Iraq is the battleground because the U.S. lost in Syria. Despite the presence of U.S. troops squatting on Syrian oil fields in Deir Ezzor province or the troops sitting in the desert protecting the Syrian border with Jordan, the Russians, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces continue to reclaim territory previously lost to the Syrian government.

Now with Turkey redeploying its pet Salafist head-choppers from Idlib to Libya to fight General Haftar's forces there to legitimize its claim to eastern Mediterannean gas deposits, the restoration of Syria's territorial integrity west of the Euphrates River is nearly complete.

The defenders of Syria can soon transition into the rebuilders thereof, if allowed. And they didn't do this alone, they had a silent partner in China the entire time.

And, if I look at this situation honestly, it was China stepping out from behind the shadows into the light that is your inciting incident for this chapter in Iraq's story.

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

It doubles China's investment in Iraq while denying the U.S. that money and influence.

This happened after a massive $53 billion deal between Exxon-Mobil and Petrochina was put on hold after the incident involving Iran shooting down a U.S. Global Hawk drone in June.

With the U.S balking over the Exxon/Petrochina big deal, Iraqi Prime Minster Adel Abdul Mahdi signed the new one with China in October. Mahdi brought up the circumstances surrounding that in Iraqi parliaments during the session in which it passed the resolution recommending removal of all foreign forces from Iraq.

Did Trump openly threaten Mahdi over this deal as I covered in my podcast on this? Did the U.S. gin up protests in Baghdad, amplifying unrest over growing Iranian influence in the country?

And, if not, were these threats simply implied or carried by a minion (Pompeo, Esper, a diplomat)? Because the U.S.'s history of regime change operations is well documented. Well understood color revolution tactics used successfully in places like Ukraine , where snipers were deployed to shoot protesters and police alike to foment violence between them at the opportune time were on display in Baghdad.

Mahdi openly accused Trump of threatening him, but that sounds more like Mahdi using the current impeachment script to invoke the sinister side of Trump and sell his case.

It's not that I don't think Trump capable of that kind of threat, I just don't think he's stupid enough to voice it on an open call. Donald Trump is capable of many impulsive things, openly threatening to remove an elected Prime Minister on a recorded line is not one of them.

Mahdi has been under the U.S.'s fire since he came to power in late 2018. He was the man who refused Trump during Trump's impromptu Christmas visit to Iraq in 2018 , refusing to be summoned to a clandestine meeting at the U.S. embassy rather than Trump visit him as a head of state, an equal.

He was the man who declared the Iraqi air space closed after Israeli air attacks on Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) positions in September.

And he's the person, at the same time, being asked by Trump to act as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran in peace talks for Yemen.

So, the more we look at this situation the more it is clear that Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.

It's clear that Trump doesn't want to fight a war with Iran in Iran. He wants them to acquiesce to his unreasonable demands and begin negotiating a new nuclear deal which definitively stops the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and as P atrick Henningsen at 21st Century Wire thinks ,

Trump now wants a new deal which features a prohibition on Iran's medium range missiles , and after events this week, it's obvious why. Wednesday's missile strike by Iran demonstrates that the US can no longer operate in the region so long as Iran has the ability to extend its own deterrence envelope westwards to Syria, Israel, and southwards to the Arabian Peninsula, and that includes all US military installations located within that radius.

Iraq doesn't want to be that battlefield. And Iran sent the message with those two missile strikes that the U.S. presence in Iraq is unsustainable and that any thought of retreating to the autonomous Kurdish region around the air base at Erbil is also a non-starter.

The big question, after this attack, is whether U.S. air defenses around the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi were active or not. If they were then Trump's standing down after the air strikes signals what Patrick suggests, a new Middle East in the making.

If they were not turned on then the next question is why? To allow Iran to save face after Trump screwed up murdering Soleimani?

I'm not capable of believing such Q-tard drivel at this point. It's far more likely that the spectre of Russian electronics warfare and radar evasion is lurking in the subtext of this story and the U.S. truly now finds itself after a second example of Iranian missile technology in a nascent 360 degree war in the region.

It means that Iran's threats against the cities of Haifa and Dubai were real.

In short, it means the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq now measures in months not years.

Because both China and Russia stand to gain ground with a newly-united Shi'ite Iraqi population. Mahdi is now courting Russia to sell him S-300 missile defense systems to allow him to enforce his demands about Iraqi airspace.

Moqtada al-Sadr is mobilizing his Madhi Army to oust the U.S. from Iraq. Iraq is key to the U.S. presence in the region. Without Iraq the U.S. position in Syria is unsustainable.

If the U.S. tries to retreat to Kurdish territory and push again for Masoud Barzani and his Peshmerga forces to declare independence Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go ballistic.

And you can expect him to make good on his threat to close the Incerlik airbase, another critical logistical juncture for U.S. force projection in the region.

But it all starts with Mahdi's and Iraq's moves in the coming weeks. But, with Trump rightly backing down from escalating things further and not following through on his outlandish threats against Iran, it may be we're nearing the end of this intractable standoff.

Back in June I told you that Iran had the ability to fight asymmetrically against the U.S., not through direct military confrontation but through the after-effects of a brief, yet violent period of war in which all U.S., Israeli and Arab assets in the Middle East come under fire from all directions.

It sent this same message then that by attacking oil tankers it could make the transport of oil untenable and not insurable. We got a taste of it back then and Trump, then, backed down.

And the resultant upheaval in the financial markets creating an abyss of losses, cross-asset defaults, bank failures and government collapses.

Trump has no real option now but to negotiate while Iraq puts domestic pressure on him to leave and Russia/China come in to provide critical economic and military support to assist Mahdi rally his country back towards some semblance of sovereignty

* * *

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MalteseFalcon , 3 minutes ago link

OK kids,

Play time is over.

China needs Iraqi oil to build the BRI.

Last one into Africom is a rotten egg!!!!

daveeemc2 , 14 minutes ago link

This is the most delicious of irony

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War

The american imperial style of intervention is dead.

China debt trap model of belt and road is the path forward.

They will win hearts and minds, and not a single shot fired.

USA gets debt from paying war machine and killed and maimed soldiers whose personal psychiatry will haunt them for an entire lifetime.

In the end, Americans get nothing but debt and risk their own soverignty as a population ages and infrastructure crumbles....kinda like now.

MalteseFalcon , 1 minute ago link

The last 30 years of American foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster.

yerfej , 26 minutes ago link

How about "what is the goal?" There is none of course. The assholes in the Washington/MIC just need war to keep them relevant. What if the US were to closed down all those wars and foreign bases? THEN the taxpayer could demand some accounting for the trillions that are wasted on complete CRAP. There are too many old leftovers from the cold war who seem to think there is benefit to fighting wars in shithole places just because those wars are the only ones going on right now. The stupidity of the ****** in the US military/MIC/Washington is beyond belief. JUST LEAVE you ******* idiots.

Rusticus2.0 , 22 minutes ago link

Your comment should have been directed at Trump, the commander in chief.

I guess that's still a bridge too far, but sooner than later you're going to have to cross it.

BobEore , 29 minutes ago link

Excellent Smithers, excellent:

Sometimes, in treading thru the opaque, sandstorm o ******** swept wastes of the ' desert of the really real '...

one must rely upon a marking... some kind of guidepost, however tenuous, to show you to be still... on the trail, not lost in the vast haunted reaches of post-reality. And you know, Tommy is that sort of guide; the sort of guy who you take to the fairgrounds, set him up with the 'THROW THE BALL THRU THE HOOP... GUARANTEED PRIZE TO SCOOP' kiosk...

and he misses every time. Just by watching Tom run through his paces here... zeroing in on the exact WRONG interpretation of events ... every dawg gone time... one resets their compass to tru course and relaxes into the flow agin! Thanks Tom! Let's break down ... the Schlitzy shopping list of sloppy errors:

Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, f ollowing President Trump's lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq. Urusalem.. and its pathetically obedient dogsbody USSA ... are busy setting up RIMFISTAN Tom.. you really need to start expanding your reading list; On both sides of that border you mention .. they will be running - and guarding - pipeline running to the mothership. Shia miitias and that project just don't mix. Nobody gives a frying fluck bout your imaginary 'land bridge to the Med'... except you and the gomers. And you and they aren't ANYWHERES near to here.

  • Abdul Madhi, the first Iraqi prime minister since the 2003 U.S. invasion push for more Iraqi sovereignty, is emerging as the pivotal figure in what led up to the attack on General Soleimani and what comes after Iran's subsequent retaliation.
  • Ok... this is getting completely embarrassing. The man is a 'caretaker' Tom... that's similar to a 'janitor' - he's on the way out. If you really think thats' being pivotal... I'm gonna suggest that you've 'pivoted' on one of your goats too many times.

Look, Tom... I did sincerely undertake to hold your arm, and guide you through this to a happier place. But you... are underwater my man. And that's quite an accomplishment, since we be traveling through the deserts of the really real. You've enumerated a list of things which has helped me to understand just how completely distorted is the picture of the situation here in mudded east.. is... in the minds of the myriad victims of your alt-media madness. And I thank you for that. But its time we part company.

These whirring klaidescope glasses I put on, in order to help me see how you see things, have given me a bit of a headache. Time to return to seeing the world... as it really works!

simpson seers , 14 minutes ago link

says the yankee chicken ******......

Fireman , 32 minutes ago link

Like Ukraine, everything the anglozionazi empire of **** smear$...turns to ****.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVMbCTWRcSs

https://theduran.com/ukranian-whistleblower-reveals-mh-17-tragedy-was-orchestrated-by-poroshenko-and-british-secret-service/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=wR1NFI6TBH0

BGO , 39 minutes ago link

The whole *target and destroy* Iran (and Iraq) clusterfuck has always been about creating new profit scenarios, profit theaters, for the MIC.

If the US govt was suddenly forced to stop making and selling **** designed to kill people... if the govt were forced to stopping selling **** to other people so they can kill people... if the govt were forced to stop stockpiling **** designed to kill people just so other people would stop building and stockpiling **** designed to kill people... first the US then the world would collapse... everyone would finally see... the US is a nation of people that allows itself to be propped up by the worst sort of people... an infinitesimally small group of gangsters who legally make insane amounts of money... by creating in perpetuity... forever new scenarios that allow them to kill other people.

Jesus ******* Christ ZeroHedge software ******* sucks.

Fireman , 40 minutes ago link

Understanding why Agent Orange is a meat puppet.

The following has been known to cure T.D.S.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/NJF06yjvdErM/

Wantoknow , 44 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option? What do you believe are the limits of Trump's options that assure he must negotiate? Perhaps all out war is not yet possible politically in the US, but public sentiment has been manipulated before. Why not now?

One must not yet reject the idea that the road to Moscow and Beijing does not run through Iran. Throwing the US out of the Middle East would be a grievous failure for the deep state which has demonstrated itself to be absolutely ruthless. It is hard to believe the US will leave without a much more serious war forcing the issue.

So far Trump has appeared artless and that may continue but that artlessness may well bring a day when Trump will not back down.

Fireman , 39 minutes ago link

Why has Trump no real option?

Ask the towel girls at Maralago and Jeffrey Pedovore.

Rusticus2.0 , 49 minutes ago link

The motivation behind Trump pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action wasn't because, after careful analytical study of the plan, he decided it was a bad deal. It was because Israel demanded it as it didn't fit into their best interests and, as with the refreezing of relationships with Cuba, it was a easier way to undo Obama policy rather than tackling Obamacare. Hardly sound judgement.

The war will continue in Iraq as the Shia majority mobilize against an occupying force that has been asked to leave, but refuse. What will quickly become apparent is that this war is about to become far more multifaceted with Iraqi and Iranian proxies targeting American interests across numerous fronts.

Trump is the head of a business empire; Downsizing is not a strategy that he's ever employed; His business history is a case study in go big or go bust.

not-me---it-was-the-dog , 32 minutes ago link

so it will work like this....

trump's zionist overlords have demanded he destroy iran.

as a simple lackey, he agreed, but he does need political cover to do so.

thus the equating of any attack or threat of attack by any group of any political persuasion as originating from iran.

any resistance by the shia in iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the currect governement of iraq will be considered as being directed from iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

any resistance by the sunni in iraq will be considered subversion by iran, or a false flag by iran, thus an attack on iran is warranted.

trump's refusal to follow the SOFA agreement, and heed the call of the democratic government we claim to have gone in to install, is specifically designed to lead to more violence, which in turn can be blamed on iran's "malign" influence, which gives the entity lackeys cover to spread more democracy.

MIGA!

Brazen Heist II , 55 minutes ago link

America is a nation of imbeciles. They have meddled in Iraq since the 1980s and still can't subdue the place to their content.

Dey hate us for our freedumbs!

Ghost who Walks , 54 minutes ago link

I'm more positive that Iraq can resolve its issues without starting a Global War.

The information shared by the Iraqi Prime Minister goes part way to awakening the population as to what is happening and why.

Once more information starts to leak out (and it will from those individuals who want to avoid extinction) the broad mass of the global population can take action to protect themselves from the psychopaths.

new game , 1 hour ago link

This is what empires in decline do. Hubris...

meanwhile China rises with Strategic economic investment.

And the econ hitmen aren't done yet...

moar war...

Arising , 1 hour ago link

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

Come on Tom, you should know better than that: the U.S will destroy any agreements between China and the people of Iraq.

The oil will continue to be stolen and sent to Occupied Palestine to administer and the people of Iraq will be in constant revolt, protest mode and subjugation- but they will never know they are being manipulated by the thieving zionists in D.C and Tel aviv.

Ms No , 1 hour ago link

Agreed. It will take nothing short of a miracle to stop this. Time isnt on their side though so they better get on it. They will do something big to get it going.

RoyalDraco , 14 minutes ago link

This isn't "humanity." Few people are psychopathic killers. It is being run by a small cliche of Satanists who are well on their way to enslaving humanity in a dystopia even George Orwell could not imagine. They control most of the levers of power and influence and have done so for centuries.

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's testimony before the Nuremberg tribunal on crimes against humanity

[Jan 10, 2020] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Iran is Catch22 for the USA: it can destroy it, but only at the cost of losing empire and dollar hegemony...
Notable quotes:
"... The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire. In effect, foreign countries are beginning to respond to the United States what the ten tribes of Israel said when they withdrew from the southern kingdom of Judah, whose king Rehoboam refused to lighten his demands (1 Kings 12). They echoed the cry of Sheba son of Bikri a generation earlier: "Look after your own house, O David!" The message is: What do other countries have to gain by remaining in the US unipolar neoliberalized world, as compared to using their own wealth to build up their own economies? It's an age-old problem. ..."
"... The dollar will still play a role in US trade and investment, but it will be as just another currency, held at arms length until it finally gives up its domineering attempt to strip other countries' wealth for itself. However, its demise may not be a pretty sight. ..."
"... Conflict in the ME has traditionally almost always been about oil [and of course Israel]. This situation is different. It is only partially about oil and Israel, but OVERWHHEMINGLY it is about the BRI. ..."
"... The salient factor as I see it is the Oil for Technology initiative that Iraq signed with China shortly before it slid into this current mess. ..."
"... This was a mechanism whereby China would buy Iraq oil and these funds would be used directly to fund infrastructure and self-sufficiency initiatives and technologies that would help to drag Iraq out of the complete disaster that the US war had created in this country. A key part of this would be that China would also make extra loans available at the same time to speed up this development. ..."
"... "Iraq's Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries." ..."
"... "For Iraq and Iran, China's plans are particularly far-reaching, OilPrice.com has been told by a senior oil industry figure who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry and Iraq's Oil Ministry. China will begin with the oil and gas sector and work outwards from that central point. In addition to being granted huge reductions on buying Iranian oil and gas, China is to be given the opportunity to build factories in both Iran and Iraq – and build-out infrastructure, such as railways – overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies. These are to have the same operational structure and assembly lines as those in China, so that they fit seamlessly into various Chinese companies' assembly lines' process for whatever product a particular company is manufacturing, whilst also being able to use the still-cheap labour available in both Iraq and Iraq." ..."
"... Hudson is so good. He's massively superior to most so called military analysts and alternative bloggers on the net. He can clearly see the over arching picture and how the military is used to protect and project it. The idea that the US is going to leave the middle east until they are forced to is so blind as to be ridiculous. ..."
"... I'd never thought of that "stationary aircraft carrier" comparison between Israel and the British, very apt. ..."
"... Trump et al assassinated someone who was on a diplomatic mission. This action was so far removed from acceptable behavior that it must have been considered to be "by any means and at all costs". ..."
"... This article, published by Strategic Culture, features a translation of Mahdi's speech to the Iraqi parliament in which he states that Trump threatened him with assassination and the US admitted to killing hundreds of demonstrators using Navy SEAL snipers. ..."
"... This description provided by Mr Hudson is no Moore than the financial basis behind the Cebrowski doctrine instituted on 9/11. https://www.voltairenet.org/article ..."
"... "The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire." ..."
"... The US govt. have long since paid off most every European politician. Thusly, Europe, as separate nations that should be remain still under the yolk of the US Financial/Political/Military power. ..."
"... In any event, it is the same today. Energy underlies, not only the military but, all of world civilization. Oil and gas are overwhelmingly the source of energy for the modern world. Without it, civilization collapses. Thus, he who controls oil (and gas) controls the world. ..."
"... the link between the US $$$ and Saudi Oil, is the absolute means of the American Dollar to reign complete. This payment system FEEDS both the US Military, but WALL STREET, hedge funds, the US/EU oligarchs – to name just a few entities. ..."
Jan 09, 2020 | thesaker.is

[this interview was made for the Unz Review ]

Introduction: After posting Michael Hudson's article " America Escalates its "Democratic" Oil War in the Near East " on the blog, I decided to ask Michael to reply to a few follow-up questions. Michael very kindly agreed. Please see our exchange below.

The Saker

-- -- -

The Saker: Trump has been accused of not thinking forward, of not having a long-term strategy regarding the consequences of assassinating General Suleimani. Does the United States in fact have a strategy in the Near East, or is it only ad hoc?

Michael Hudson: Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it.

President Trump is just the taxicab driver, taking the passengers he has accepted – Pompeo, Bolton and the Iran-derangement syndrome neocons – wherever they tell him they want to be driven. They want to pull a heist, and he's being used as the getaway driver (fully accepting his role). Their plan is to hold onto the main source of their international revenue: Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Near Eastern oil-export surpluses and money. They see the US losing its ability to exploit Russia and China, and look to keep Europe under its control by monopolizing key sectors so that it has the power to use sanctions to squeeze countries that resist turning over control of their economies and natural rentier monopolies to US buyers. In short, US strategists would like to do to Europe and the Near East just what they did to Russia under Yeltsin: turn over public infrastructure, natural resources and the banking system to U.S. owners, relying on US dollar credit to fund their domestic government spending and private investment.

This is basically a resource grab. Suleimani was in the same position as Chile's Allende, Libya's Qaddafi, Iraq's Saddam. The motto is that of Stalin: "No person, no problem."

The Saker: Your answer raises a question about Israel: In your recent article you only mention Israel twice, and these are only passing comments. Furthermore, you also clearly say the US Oil lobby as much more crucial than the Israel Lobby, so here is my follow-up question to you: On what basis have you come to this conclusion and how powerful do you believe the Israel Lobby to be compared to, say, the Oil lobby or the US Military-Industrial Complex? To what degree do their interests coincide and to what degree to they differ?

Michael Hudson: I wrote my article to explain the most basic concerns of U.S. international diplomacy: the balance of payments (dollarizing the global economy, basing foreign central bank savings on loans to the U.S. Treasury to finance the military spending mainly responsible for the international and domestic budget deficit), oil (and the enormous revenue produced by the international oil trade), and recruitment of foreign fighters (given the impossibility of drafting domestic U.S. soldiers in sufficient numbers). From the time these concerns became critical to today, Israel was viewed as a U.S. military base and supporter, but the U.S. policy was formulated independently of Israel.

I remember one day in 1973 or '74 I was traveling with my Hudson Institute colleague Uzi Arad (later a head of Mossad and advisor to Netanyahu) to Asia, stopping off in San Francisco. At a quasi-party, a U.S. general came up to Uzi and clapped him on the shoulder and said, "You're our landed aircraft carrier in the Near East," and expressed his friendship.

Uzi was rather embarrassed. But that's how the U.S. military thought of Israel back then. By that time the three planks of U.S. foreign policy strategy that I outlined were already firmly in place.

Of course Netanyahu has applauded U.S. moves to break up Syria, and Trump's assassination choice. But the move is a U.S. move, and it's the U.S. that is acting on behalf of the dollar standard, oil power and mobilizing Saudi Arabia's Wahabi army.

Israel fits into the U.S.-structured global diplomacy much like Turkey does. They and other countries act opportunistically within the context set by U.S. diplomacy to pursue their own policies. Obviously Israel wants to secure the Golan Heights; hence its opposition to Syria, and also its fight with Lebanon; hence, its opposition to Iran as the backer of Assad and Hezbollah. This dovetails with US policy.

But when it comes to the global and U.S. domestic response, it's the United States that is the determining active force. And its concern rests above all with protecting its cash cow of Saudi Arabia, as well as working with the Saudi jihadis to destabilize governments whose foreign policy is independent of U.S. direction – from Syria to Russia (Wahabis in Chechnya) to China (Wahabis in the western Uighur region). The Saudis provide the underpinning for U.S. dollarization (by recycling their oil revenues into U.S. financial investments and arms purchases), and also by providing and organizing the ISIS terrorists and coordinating their destruction with U.S. objectives. Both the Oil lobby and the Military-Industrial Complex obtain huge economic benefits from the Saudis.

Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about.

The Saker: In your recent article you wrote: " The assassination was intended to escalate America's presence in Iraq to keep control the region's oil reserves ." Others believe that the goal was precisely the opposite, to get a pretext to remove the US forces from both Iraq and Syria. What are your grounds to believe that your hypothesis is the most likely one?

Michael Hudson: Why would killing Suleimani help remove the U.S. presence? He was the leader of the fight against ISIS, especially in Syria. US policy was to continue using ISIS to permanently destabilize Syria and Iraq so as to prevent a Shi'ite crescent reaching from Iran to Lebanon – which incidentally would serve as part of China's Belt and Road initiative. So it killed Suleimani to prevent the peace negotiation. He was killed because he had been invited by Iraq's government to help mediate a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. That was what the United States feared most of all, because it effectively would prevent its control of the region and Trump's drive to seize Iraqi and Syrian oil.

So using the usual Orwellian doublethink, Suleimani was accused of being a terrorist, and assassinated under the U.S. 2002 military Authorization Bill giving the President to move without Congressional approval against Al Qaeda. Trump used it to protect Al Qaeda's terrorist ISIS offshoots.

Given my three planks of U.S. diplomacy described above, the United States must remain in the Near East to hold onto Saudi Arabia and try to make Iraq and Syria client states equally subservient to U.S. balance-of-payments and oil policy.

Certainly the Saudis must realize that as the buttress of U.S. aggression and terrorism in the Near East, their country (and oil reserves) are the most obvious target to speed the parting guest. I suspect that this is why they are seeking a rapprochement with Iran. And I think it is destined to come about, at least to provide breathing room and remove the threat. The Iranian missiles to Iraq were a demonstration of how easy it would be to aim them at Saudi oil fields. What then would be Aramco's stock market valuation?

The Saker: In your article you wrote: " The major deficit in the U.S. balance of payments has long been military spending abroad. The entire payments deficit, beginning with the Korean War in 1950-51 and extending through the Vietnam War of the 1960s, was responsible for forcing the dollar off gold in 1971. The problem facing America's military strategists was how to continue supporting the 800 U.S. military bases around the world and allied troop support without losing America's financial leverage. " I want to ask a basic, really primitive question in this regard: how cares about the balance of payments as long as 1) the US continues to print money 2) most of the world will still want dollars. Does that not give the US an essentially "infinite" budget? What is the flaw in this logic?

Michael Hudson: The U.S. Treasury can create dollars to spend at home, and the Fed can increase the banking system's ability to create dollar credit and pay debts denominated in US dollars. But they cannot create foreign currency to pay other countries, unless they willingly accept dollars ad infinitum – and that entails bearing the costs of financing the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit, getting only IOUs in exchange for real resources that they sell to U.S. buyers.

This is the situation that arose half a century ago. The United States could print dollars in 1971, but it could not print gold.

In the 1920s, Germany's Reichsbank could print deutsche marks – trillions of them. When it came to pay Germany's foreign reparations debt, all it could do was to throw these D-marks onto the foreign exchange market. That crashed the currency's exchange rate, forcing up the price of imports proportionally and causing the German hyperinflation.

The question is, how many surplus dollars do foreign governments want to hold. Supporting the dollar standard ends up supporting U.S. foreign diplomacy and military policy. For the first time since World War II, the most rapidly growing parts of the world are seeking to de-dollarize their economies by reducing reliance on U.S. exports, U.S. investment, and U.S. bank loans. This move is creating an alternative to the dollar, likely to replace it with groups of other currencies and assets in national financial reserves.

The Saker: In the same article you also write: " So maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency became a mainstay of U.S. military spending. " We often hear people say that the dollar is about to tank and that as soon as that happens, then the US economy (and, according to some, the EU economy too) will collapse. In the intelligence community there is something called tracking the "indicators and warnings". My question to you is: what are the economic "indicators and warnings" of a possible (probable?) collapse of the US dollar followed by a collapse of the financial markets most tied to the Dollar? What shall people like myself (I am an economic ignoramus) keep an eye on and look for?

Michael Hudson: What is most likely is a slow decline, largely from debt deflation and cutbacks in social spending, in the Eurozone and US economies. Of course, the decline will force the more highly debt-leveraged companies to miss their bond payments and drive them into insolvency. That is the fate of Thatcherized economies. But it will be long and painfully drawn out, largely because there is little left-wing socialist alternative to neoliberalism at present.

Trump's protectionist policies and sanctions are forcing other countries to become self-reliant and independent of US suppliers, from farm crops to airplanes and military arms, against the US threat of a cutoff or sanctions against repairs, spare parts and servicing. Sanctioning Russian agriculture has helped it become a major crop exporter, and to become much more independent in vegetables, dairy and cheese products. The US has little to offer industrially, especially given the fact that its IT communications are stuffed with US spyware.

Europe therefore is facing increasing pressure from its business sector to choose the non-US economic alliance that is growing more rapidly and offers a more profitable investment market and more secure trade supplier. Countries will turn as much as possible (diplomatically as well as financially and economically) to non-US suppliers because the United States is not reliable, and because it is being shrunk by the neoliberal policies supported by Trump and the Democrats alike. A byproduct probably will be a continued move toward gold as an alternative do the dollar in settling balance-of-payments deficits.

The Saker: Finally, my last question: which country out there do you see as the most capable foe of the current US-imposed international political and economic world order? whom do you believe that US Deep State and the Neocons fear most? China? Russia? Iran? some other country? How would you compare them and on the basis of what criteria?

Michael Hudson: The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution. He is uniting the world in a move toward multi-centrism much more than any ostensibly anti-American could have done. And he is doing it all in the name of American patriotism and nationalism – the ultimate Orwellian rhetorical wrapping!

Trump has driven Russia and China together with the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including Iran as observer. His demand that NATO join in US oil grabs and its supportive terrorism in the Near East and military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine and elsewhere probably will lead to European "Ami go home" demonstrations against NATO and America's threat of World War III.

No single country can counter the U.S. unipolar world order. It takes a critical mass of countries. This already is taking place among the countries that you list above. They are simply acting in their own common interest, using their own mutual currencies for trade and investment. The effect is an alternative multilateral currency and trading area.

The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire. In effect, foreign countries are beginning to respond to the United States what the ten tribes of Israel said when they withdrew from the southern kingdom of Judah, whose king Rehoboam refused to lighten his demands (1 Kings 12). They echoed the cry of Sheba son of Bikri a generation earlier: "Look after your own house, O David!" The message is: What do other countries have to gain by remaining in the US unipolar neoliberalized world, as compared to using their own wealth to build up their own economies? It's an age-old problem.

The dollar will still play a role in US trade and investment, but it will be as just another currency, held at arms length until it finally gives up its domineering attempt to strip other countries' wealth for itself. However, its demise may not be a pretty sight.

The Saker: I thank you very much for your time and answers! ­


Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:19 pm EST/EDT

What a truly superb interview!

Another one that absolutely stands for me out is the below link to a recent interview of Hussein Askary.

As I wrote a few days ago IMO this too is a wonderful insight into the utterly complicated dynamics of the tinderbox that the situation in Iran and Iraq has become.

Conflict in the ME has traditionally almost always been about oil [and of course Israel]. This situation is different. It is only partially about oil and Israel, but OVERWHHEMINGLY it is about the BRI.

The salient factor as I see it is the Oil for Technology initiative that Iraq signed with China shortly before it slid into this current mess.

This was a mechanism whereby China would buy Iraq oil and these funds would be used directly to fund infrastructure and self-sufficiency initiatives and technologies that would help to drag Iraq out of the complete disaster that the US war had created in this country. A key part of this would be that China would also make extra loans available at the same time to speed up this development.

In essence, this would enable the direct and efficient linking of Iraq into the BRI project. Going forward the economic gains and the political stability that could come out of this would be a completely new paradigm in the recovery of Iraq both economically and politically. Iraq is essential for a major part of the dynamics of the BRI because of its strategic location and the fact that it could form a major hub in the overall network.

It absolutely goes without saying that the AAA would do everything the could to wreck this plan. This is their playbook and is exactly what they have done. The moronic and extraordinarily impulsive Trump subsequently was easily duped into being a willing and idiotic accomplice in this plan.

The positive in all of this is that this whole scheme will backfire spectacularly for the perpetrators and will more than likely now speed up the whole process in getting Iraq back on track and working towards stability and prosperity.

Please don't anyone try to claim that Trump is part of any grand plan nothing could be further from the truth he is nothing more than a bludgeoning imbecile foundering around, lashing out impulsively indiscriminately. He is completely oblivious and ignorant as to the real picture.

I urge everyone involved in this Saker site to put aside an hour and to listen very carefully to Askary's insights. This is extremely important and could bring more clarity to understanding the situation than just about everything else you have read put together. There is hope, and Askary highlights the huge stakes that both Russia and China have in the region.

This is a no brainer. This is the time for both Russia and China to act and to decisively. They must cooperate in assisting both Iraq and Iran to extract themselves from the current quagmire the one that the vicious Hegemon so cruelly and thoughtlessly tossed them into.

Cheers from the south seas
Col

And the link to the Askary interview: . https://youtu.be/UD1hWq6KD44

Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:22 pm EST/EDT
Also interesting is what Simon Watkins reports in his recent article entitled "Is Iraq About To Become A Chinese Client State?"

To quote from the article:

"Iraq's Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries."

and

"For Iraq and Iran, China's plans are particularly far-reaching, OilPrice.com has been told by a senior oil industry figure who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry and Iraq's Oil Ministry. China will begin with the oil and gas sector and work outwards from that central point. In addition to being granted huge reductions on buying Iranian oil and gas, China is to be given the opportunity to build factories in both Iran and Iraq – and build-out infrastructure, such as railways – overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies. These are to have the same operational structure and assembly lines as those in China, so that they fit seamlessly into various Chinese companies' assembly lines' process for whatever product a particular company is manufacturing, whilst also being able to use the still-cheap labour available in both Iraq and Iraq."

and

"The second key announcement in this vein made last week from Iraq was that the Oil Ministry has completed the pre-qualifying process for companies interested in participating in the Iraqi-Jordanian oil pipeline project. The U$5 billion pipeline is aimed at carrying oil produced from the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq's Basra Governorate to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, with the first phase of the project comprising the installation of a 700-kilometre-long pipeline with a capacity of 2.25 million bpd within the Iraqi territories (Rumaila-Haditha). The second phase includes installing a 900-kilometre pipeline in Jordan between Haditha and Aqaba with a capacity of 1 million bpd. Iraq's Oil Minister – for the time being, at least – Thamir Ghadhban added that the Ministry has formed a team to prepare legal contracts, address financial issues and oversee technical standards for implementing the project, and that May will be the final month in which offers for the project from the qualified companies will be accepted and that the winners will be announced before the end of this year. Around 150,000 barrels of the oil from Iraq would be used for Jordan's domestic needs, whilst the remainder would be exported through Aqaba to various destinations, generating about US$3 billion a year in revenues to Jordan, with the rest going to Iraq. Given that the contractors will be expected to front-load all of the financing for the projects associated with this pipeline, Baghdad expects that such tender offers will be dominated by Chinese and Russian companies, according to the Iran and Iraq source."

Cheers
Col

And the link https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Is-Iraq-About-To-Become-A-Chinese-Client-State.html#

Anonymouse on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:20 pm EST/EDT
Hudson is so good. He's massively superior to most so called military analysts and alternative bloggers on the net. He can clearly see the over arching picture and how the military is used to protect and project it. The idea that the US is going to leave the middle east until they are forced to is so blind as to be ridiculous.

They will not sacrifice the (free) oil until booted out by a coalition of Arab countries threatening to over run them and that is why the dollar hegemonys death will be slow, long and drawn out and they will do anything, any dirty trick in the book, to prevent Arab/Persian unity. Unlike many peoples obsession with Israel and how important they feel themselves to be I think Hudson is correct again. They are the middle eastern version of the British – a stationary aircraft carrier who will allow themselves to be used and abused whilst living under the illusion they are major players. They aren't. They're bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat. If you want to beat America you have to understand the big scheme, that and the utter insanity that backs it up. It is that insanity of the leites, the inability to allow themselves to be 'beaten' that will keep nuclear exchange as a real possibility over the next 10 to 15 years. Unification is the only thing that can stop it and trying to unite so many disparate countries (as the Russians are trying to do despite multiple provocations) is where the future lies and why it will take so long. It is truly breath taking in such a horrific way, as Hudson mentions, that to allow the world to see its 'masters of the universe' pogram to be revealed:

"Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it."

Would be to allow it to be undermined at home and abroad. God help us all.

Little Black Duck on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:01 pm EST/EDT
They're bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat.

So who owns the dollar? And who owns the oil companies?

Osori on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:06 pm EST/EDT
I'd never thought of that "stationary aircraft carrier" comparison between Israel and the British, very apt.
Zachary Smith on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:53 pm EST/EDT
Clever would be a better word. Looking at my world globe, I see Italy, Greece, and Turkey on that end of the Mediterranean. Turkey has been in NATO since 1952. Crete and Cyprus are also right there. Doesn't Hudson own a globe or regional map?

That a US Admiral would be gushing about the Apartheid state 7 years after the attempted destruction of the USS Liberty is painful to consider. I'd like to disbelieve the story, but it's quite likely there were a number of high-ranking ***holes in a Naval Uniform.

44360 on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:34 pm EST/EDT
The world situation reminds us of the timeless fable by Aesop of The North Wind and the Sun.

Trump et al assassinated someone who was on a diplomatic mission. This action was so far removed from acceptable behavior that it must have been considered to be "by any means and at all costs".

Perhaps the most potent weapon Iran or anyone else has at this critical juncture, is not missiles, but diplomacy.

Ahmed on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:37 pm EST/EDT
"Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about."

Thank you for saying this sir. In the US and around the world many people become obsessively fixated in seeing a "jew" or zionist behind every bush. Now the Zionists are certinly an evil, blood thirsty bunch, and certainly deserve the scorn of the world, but i feel its a cop out sometimes. A person from the US has a hard time stomaching the actions of their country, so they just hoist all the unpleasentries on to the zionists. They put it all on zionisim, and completly fail to mention imperialism. I always switced back and forth on the topic my self. But i cant see how a beachead like the zionist state, a stationary carrier, can be bigger than the empire itself. Just look at the major leaders in the resistance groups, the US was always seen as the ultimate obstruction, while israel was seen as a regional obstruction. Like sayyed hassan nasrallah said in his recent speech about the martyrs, that if the US is kicked out, the Israelis might just run away with out even fighting. I hate it when people say "we are in the middle east for israel" when it can easily be said that "israel is still in the mid east because of the US." If the US seized to exist today, israel would fall rather quickly. If israel fell today the US would still continue being an imperalist, bloodthirsty entity.

Azorka1861 on January 09, 2020 , · at 5:57 pm EST/EDT
The Deeper Story behind the Assassination of Soleimani

This article, published by Strategic Culture, features a translation of Mahdi's speech to the Iraqi parliament in which he states that Trump threatened him with assassination and the US admitted to killing hundreds of demonstrators using Navy SEAL snipers.

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/08/vital-the-deeper-story-behind-the-assassination-of-soleimani/

..

Nils on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:05 pm EST/EDT
This description provided by Mr Hudson is no Moore than the financial basis behind the Cebrowski doctrine instituted on 9/11. https://www.voltairenet.org/article

I wish the Saker had asked Mr Hudson about some crucial recent events to get his opinion with regards to US foreign policy. Specifically, how does the emergence of cryptocurrency relate to dollar finance and the US grand strategy? A helpful tool for the hegemon or the emergence of a new currency that prevents unlimited currency printing? Finally, what is global warming and the associated carbon credit system? The next planned model of continuing global domination and balance of payments? Or true organic attempt at fair energy production and management?

Much thanks for this interview, Saker

Col...'the farmer from NZ' on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:26 pm EST/EDT
With all due respect, these are huge questions in themselves and perhaps could to be addressed in separate interviews. IMO it doesn't always work that well to try to cover too much ground in just one giant leap.

Regards
Col

Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:26 pm EST/EDT
I have never understood the Cebrowski doctrine. How does the destruction of Middle Eastern state structures allow the US to control Middle East Oil? The level of chaos generated by such an act would seem to prevent anyone from controlled the oil.
Outlaw Historian on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:48 pm EST/EDT
Dr. Hudson often appears on RT's "Keiser Report" where he covers many contemporary topics with its host Max Keiser. Many of the shows transcripts are available at Hudson's website . Indeed, after the two Saker items, you'll find three programs on the first page. Using the search function at his site, you'll find the two articles he's written that deal with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, although I think he's been more specific in the TV interviews.

As for this Q&A, its an A+. Hudson's 100% correct to playdown the Zionist influence given the longstanding nature of the Outlaw US Empire's methods that began well before the rise of the Zionist Lobby, which in reality is a recycling of aid dollars back to Congress in the form of bribes.

RR on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:59 pm EST/EDT
Nils: Good Article. The spirit of Nihilism.
Quote from Neocon Michael Ladeen.

"Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence -- our existence, not our politics -- threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission."

Frank on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:27 pm EST/EDT
@NILS As far as crypto currency goes it is a brilliant idea in concept. But since during the Bush years we have been shown multiple times, who actually owns [and therefore controls] the internet. Many times now we have also been informed that through the monitoring capability's of our defense agency's, they are recording every key stroke. IMO, with the flip of a switch, we can shut down the internet. At the very least, that would stop us from being able to trade in crypto, but they have e-files on each of us. They know our passwords, or can easily access them. That does not give me confidence in e=currency during a teotwawki situation.
Anonymous on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:34 pm EST/EDT
A truly superb interview, thanks Michael Hudson.
David on January 09, 2020 , · at 6:39 pm EST/EDT
One thing that troubles me about the petrodollar thesis is that ANNUAL trade in oil is about 2 trillion DAILY trade in $US is 4 trillion. I can well believe the US thinks oil is the bedrock if dollar hegemony but is it? I see no alternative to US dollar hegemony.
Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 7:17 pm EST/EDT
Excellent article.

The lines that really got my attention were these:

"The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump's major contribution The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire."

That is so completely true. I have wondered why – to date – there had not been more movement by Europe away from the United States. But while reading the article the following occurred to me. Maybe Europe is awaiting the next U.S. election. Maybe they hope that a new president (someone like Biden) might allow Europe to keep more of the "spoils."

If that is true, then a re-election of Trump will probably send Europe fleeing for the exits. The Europeans will be cutting deals with Russia and China like the store is on fire.

Rubicon on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:22 pm EST/EDT
The critical player in forming the EU WAS/IS the US financial Elites. Yes, they had many ultra powerful Europeans, especially Germany, but it was the US who initiated the EU.

Purpose? For the US Financial Powerhouses & US politicians to "take Europe captive." Notice the similarities: the EU has its Central Bank who communicates with the private Banksters of the FED. Much austerity has ensued, especially in Southern nations: Greece, Italy, etc. Purpose: to smash unions, worker's pay, eliminate unions, and basically allowing US/EU Financial capital to buy out Italy, most of Greece, and a goodly section of Spain and Portugal.

The US govt. have long since paid off most every European politician. Thusly, Europe, as separate nations that should be remain still under the yolk of the US Financial/Political/Military power.

Craig Mouldey on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:19 pm EST/EDT
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this but it sounds like he is saying that the U.S. has a payment deficit problem which is solved by stealing the world's oil supplies. To do this they must have a powerful, expensive military. But it is primarily this military which is the main cause of the balance deficit. So it is an eternally fuelled problem and solution. If I understand this, what it actually means is that we all live on a plantation as slaves and everything that is happening is for the benefit of the few wealthy billionaires. And they intend to turn the entire world into their plantation of slaves. They may even let you live for a while longer.
Mike from Jersey on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:25 pm EST/EDT
Actually, oil underlies everything.

I didn't know this until I read a history of World War I.

As you know, World War One was irresolvable, murderous, bloody trench warfare. People would charge out of the trenches trying to overrun enemy positions only to be cutdown by the super weapon of the day – the machine gun. It was an unending bloody stalemate until the development of the tank. Tanks were immune to machine gun fire coming from the trenches and could overrun enemy positions. In the aftermath of that war, it became apparently that mechanization had become crucial to military supremacy. In turn, fuel was crucial to mechanization. Accordingly, in the Sykes Picot agreement France and Britain divided a large amount of Middle Eastern oil between themselves in order to assure military dominance. (The United States had plenty of their own oil at that time.)

In any event, it is the same today. Energy underlies, not only the military but, all of world civilization. Oil and gas are overwhelmingly the source of energy for the modern world. Without it, civilization collapses. Thus, he who controls oil (and gas) controls the world.

That is one third of the story. The second third is this.

Up till 1971, the United States dollar was the most trusted currency in the world. The dollar was backed by gold and lots and lots of it. Dollars were in fact redeemable in gold. However, due to Vietnam War, the United States started running huge balance of payments deficits. Other countries – most notably France under De Gaulle – started cashing in dollars in exchange for that gold. Gold started flooding out of the United States. At that point Nixon took the United States off of the gold standard. Basically stating that the dollar was no longer backed by gold and dollars could not be redeemed for gold. That caused an international payments problem. People would no longer accept dollars as payment since the dollar was not backed up by anything. The American economy was in big trouble since they were running deficits and people would no longer take dollars on faith.

To fix the problem, Henry Kissinger convinced the Saudis to agree to only accept dollars in payment for oil – no matter who was the buyer. That meant that nations throughout the world now needed dollars in order to pay for their energy needs. Due to this, the dollars was once again the most important currency in the world since – as noted above – energy underlies everything in modern industrial cultures. Additionally, since dollars were now needed throughout the world, it became common to make all trades for any product in highly valued dollars. Everyone needed dollars for every thing, oil or not.

At that point, the United States could go on printing dollars and spending them since a growing world economy needed more and more dollars to buy oil as well as to trade everything else.

That leads to the third part of the story. In order to convince the Saudis to accept only dollars in payments for oil (and to have the Saudis strong arm other oil producers to do the same) Kissinger promised to protect the brutal Saudi regime's hold on power against a restive citizenry and also to protect the Saudi's against other nations. Additionally, Kissinger made an implicit threat that if the Saudi's did not agree, the US would come in and just take their oil. The Saudis agreed.

Thus, the three keys to dominance in the modern world are thus: oil, dollars and the military.

Thus, Hudson ties in the three threads in his interview above. Oil, Dollars, Military. That is what holds the empire together.

Rubicon on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:26 pm EST/EDT
Thank you for thinking through this. Yes, the link between the US $$$ and Saudi Oil, is the absolute means of the American Dollar to reign complete. This payment system FEEDS both the US Military, but WALL STREET, hedge funds, the US/EU oligarchs – to name just a few entities.
Stanislaw Janowicz on January 09, 2020 , · at 8:58 pm EST/EDT
I should make one note only to this. That "no man, no problem" was Stalin's motto is a myth. He never said that. It was invented by a writer Alexei Rybnikov and inserted in his book "The Children of Arbat".
Greg Horrall on January 09, 2020 , · at 9:42 pm EST/EDT
Wow! Absolutely beautiful summation of the ultimate causes that got us where we are and, if left intact, will get us to where we're going!

So, the dreamer says: If only we could throw-off our us-vs-them BS political-economic ideology & religious doctrine-faith issues, put them into live-and-let-live mode, and see that we are all just humans fighting over this oil resource to which our modern economy (way of life) is addicted, then we might be able to hammer out some new rules for interacting, for running an earth-resource sustainable and fair global economy We do at least have the technology to leave behind our oil addiction, but the political-economic will still is lacking. How much more of the current insanity must we have before we get that will? Will we get it before it's too late?

Only if we, a sufficient majority from the lowest economic classes to the top elites and throughout all nations, are able to psychologically-spiritually internalize the two principles of Common Humanity and Spaceship Earth soon enough, will we stop our current slide off the cliff into modern economic collapse and avert all the pain and suffering that's already now with us and that will intensify.

The realist says we're not going to stop that slide and it's the only way we're going to learn, if we are indeed ever going to learn.

Ann Watson on January 09, 2020 , · at 10:42 pm EST/EDT
So now we know why Michael Hudson avoids the Israel involvment – Like Pepe.
Лишний Человек on January 09, 2020 , · at 11:02 pm EST/EDT
Thank you for this excellent interview. You ask the kind of questions that we would all like to ask. It's regrettable that Chalmers Johnson isn't still alive. I believe that you and he would have a lot in common.

Naxos has produced an incredible, unabridged cd audiobook of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. One of Gibbon's observations really resonates today: "Assassination is the last resource of cowards". Thanks again.

[Jan 09, 2020] Opposing War With Iran: Three Reasons by Anthony DiMaggio

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War will allow Trump to claim the mantle of "national" wartime leader, while diverting attention away from his impeachment trial. And in light of the intensification of belligerent rhetoric from this administration, war appears to be increasingly likely. ..."
"... The American people have a moral responsibility to question not only Trump's motives, but to consider the humanitarian disaster that inevitably accompanies war. ..."
"... is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released: The Politics of Persuasion: Economic Policy and Media Bias in the Modern Era (Paperback, 2018), and Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media , and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11 (Paperback: 2016). He can be reached at: anthonydimaggio612@gmail.com ..."
Jan 09, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The U.S. stands at the precipice of war. President Trump's rhetorical efforts to sell himself as the "anti-war" president have been exposed as a fraud via his assault on Iran. Most Orwellian of all is Trump's claim that the assassination of Iranian General Qassam Soleimani was necessary to avert war, following the New Year's Eve attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In reality the U.S. hit on Soleimani represents a criminal escalation of the conflict between these two countries. The general's assassination was rightly seen as an act of war , so the claim that the strike is a step toward peace is absurd on its face. We should be perfectly clear about the fundamental threat to peace posed by the Trump administration. Iran has already promised "harsh retaliation" following the assassination, and announced it is pulling out of the 2015 multi-national agreement prohibiting the nation from developing nuclear weapons. Trump's escalation has dramatically increased the threat of all-out war. Recognizing this threat, I sketch out an argument here based on my initial thoughts of this conflict, providing three reasons for why Americans need to oppose war.

#1: No Agreement about an Iranian Threat

Soleimani was the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the Quds Force – a clandestine military intelligence organization that specializes in paramilitary-style operations throughout the Middle East, and which is described as seeking to further Iranian political influence throughout the region. Trump celebrated the assassination as necessary to bringing Soleimani's "reign of terror" to an end. The strike, he claimed, was vital after the U.S. caught Iran "in the act" of planning "imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel."

But Trump's justification for war comes from a country with a long history of distorting and fabricating evidence of an Iranian threat. American leaders have disingenuously and propagandistically portrayed Iran as on the brink of developing nuclear weapons for decades. Presidents Bush and Obama were both rebuked, however, by domestic intelligence and international weapons inspectors , which failed to uncover evidence that Iran was developing these weapons, or that it was a threat to the U.S.

Outside of previous exaggerations, evidence is emerging that the Trump administration and the intelligence community are not of one mind regarding Iran's alleged threat. Shortly after Soleimani's assassination, the Department of Homeland Security declared there was "no specific, credible threat" from Iran within U.S. borders. And U.S. military officials disagree regarding Trump's military escalation. As the New York Times reports :

"In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran's most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him -- which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq -- on the menu they presented to President Trump. They didn't think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable."

"Top pentagon officials," the Times reports , "were stunned" by the President's order. Furthermore, the paper reported that "the intelligence" supposedly confirming Iranian plans to attack U.S. diplomats was "thin," in the words of at least one U.S. military official who was privy to the administration's deliberations. According to that source , there is no evidence of an "imminent" attack in the foreseeable future against American targets outside U.S. borders.

U.S. leaders have always obscured facts, distorted intelligence, and fabricated information to stoke public fears and build support for war. So it should come as no surprise that this president is politicizing intelligence. He certainly has reason to – in order to draw attention away from his Senate impeachment trial, and considering Trump's increasingly desperate efforts to demonstrate that he is a serious President, not a tin-pot authoritarian who ignores the rule of law, while shamelessly coercing and extorting foreign leaders in pursuit of domestic electoral advantage.

Independent of the corruption charges against Trump, it is unwise for Americans to take the President at his word, considering the blatant lies employed in the post-9/11 era to justify war in the Middle East. Not so long ago the American public was sold a bill of goods regarding Iraq's alleged WMDs and ties to terrorism. Neither of those claims was remotely true, and Americans were left footing the bill for a war that cost trillions , based on the lies of an opportunistic president who was dead-set on exploiting public fears of terrorism in a time of crisis. The Bush administration sold war based on intelligence they knew was fraudulent, manipulating the nation into on a decade-long war that led to the murder of more than 1 million Iraqis and more than 5,000 American servicemen, resulting in a failed Iraqi state, and paving the way for the rise of ISIS. All of this is to say that the risks of beginning another war in the Middle East are incredibly high, and Americans would do well to seriously consider the consequences of entering a war based (yet again) on questionable intelligence.

#2: The "War on Terrorism" as a Red Herring

U.S. leaders have long used the rhetoric of terrorism to justify war. But this strategy represents a serious distortion of reality, via the conflation of terrorism – understood as premeditated acts of violence to intimidate civilians – with acts of war. Trump fed into this misrepresentation when he described Soleimani's "reign of terror" as encompassing not only the alleged targeting of U.S. diplomats, but attacks on "U.S. military personnel." The effort to link the deaths of U.S. soldiers in wartime to terrorism echoes the State Department's 2019 statement , which designated Iran's Quds Force a "terrorist" organization, citing its responsibility "for the deaths of at least 603 American service members in Iraq" from "2003 to 2011" via its support for Iraqi militias that were engaging in attacks on U.S. forces.

As propaganda goes, the attempt to link these acts of war to "terrorism" is quite perverse. U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq were participating in a criminal, illegal occupation, which was widely condemned by the international community. The U.S. war in Iraq was a crime of aggression under the Nuremberg Charter, and it violated the United Nations Charter's prohibition on the use of force, which is only allowed via Security Council authorization (which the U.S. did not have), or in the case of military acts undertaken in self-defense against an ongoing attack (Iraq was not at war with the U.S. prior to the 2003 invasion). Contrary to Trump's and the State Department's propaganda, there are no grounds to classify the deaths of military personnel in an illegal war as terrorism. Instead, one could argue that domestic Iraqi political actors (of which Iraqi militias are included, regardless of their ties to Iran) were within their legal rights under international law to engage in acts of self-defense against American troops acting on behalf of a belligerent foreign power, which was conducting an illegal occupation.

#3: More War = Further Destabilization of the Middle East

The largest takeaway from recent events should be to recognize the tremendous danger that escalation of war poses to the U.S. and the region. The legacy of U.S. militarism in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, is one of death, destruction, and instability. Every major war involving the U.S. has produced humanitarian devastation and mass destruction, while fueling instability and terrorism. With the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. support for Mujahedeen radicals led to the breakdown of social order, and the rise of the radical Taliban regime, which housed al Qaeda fundamentalists in the years prior to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan contributed to the further deterioration of Afghan society, and was accompanied by the return of the Taliban, ensuing in a civil war that has persisted over the last two decades.

With Iraq, the U.S. invasion produced a massive security vacuum following the collapse of the Iraqi government, which made possible the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq. The U.S. fueled numerous civil wars, in Iraq during the 2000s and Syria in the 2010s, creating mass instability, and giving rise to ISIS, which became a mini-state of its own operating across both countries. And then there was the 2011 U.S.-NATO supported rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi, which not only resulted in the dictator's overthrow, but in the rise of another ISIS affiliate within Libya's border. Even Obama, the biggest cheerleader for the war, subsequently admitted the intervention was his "worst mistake," due to the civil war that emerged after Gaddafi's overthrow, which opened the door for the rise of ISIS.

All of these conflicts have one thing in common. They brought tremendous devastation to the countries under assault, via scorched-earth military campaigns, which left death, misery, and destruction in their wake. The U.S. is adept at destroying countries, but shows little interest in, or ability to reconstruct them. These wars provided fertile ground for Islamist radicals, who took advantage of the resulting chaos and instability.

The primary lesson of the "War on Terror" should be clear to rationally minded observers: U.S. wars breed not only instability, but desperation, as the people victimized by war become increasingly tolerant of domestic extremist movements. Repressive states are widely reviled by the people they subjugate. But the only thing worse than a dictatorship is no order at all, when societies collapse into civil war, anarchy, and genocide. The story of ISIS's rise is one of citizens suffering under war and instability, and becoming increasingly tolerant of extremist political actors, so long as they are able to provide order in times of crisis. This point is consistently neglected in U.S. political and media discourse – a sign of how propagandistic "debates" over war have become, nearly 20 years into the U.S. "War on Terrorism."

Where Do We Go From Here?

Trump followed up the Soleimani assassination with a Twitter announcement that the U.S. has "targeted" 52 additional "Iranian sites," which will be attacked "if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets." There's no reason in light of recent events to chalk this announcement up to typical Trump-Twitter bluster. This President is desperate to begin a war with Iran, as Trump has courted confrontation with the Islamic republic since the early days of his presidency.

War will allow Trump to claim the mantle of "national" wartime leader, while diverting attention away from his impeachment trial. And in light of the intensification of belligerent rhetoric from this administration, war appears to be increasingly likely.

The American people have a moral responsibility to question not only Trump's motives, but to consider the humanitarian disaster that inevitably accompanies war. War with Iran will only make the Middle East more unstable, further fueling anti-American radicalism, and increasing the terror threat to the U.S. This conclusion isn't based on speculation, but on two decades of experience with a "War on Terror" that's done little but destroy nations and increase terror threats. The American people can reduce the dangers of war by protesting Trump's latest provocation, and by pressuring Congress to pass legislation condemning any future attack on Iran as a violation of national and international law.

To contact your Representative or Senator, use the following links:

Join the debate on Facebook

More articles by: Anthony DiMaggio

Anthony DiMaggio is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released: The Politics of Persuasion: Economic Policy and Media Bias in the Modern Era (Paperback, 2018), and Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media , and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11 (Paperback: 2016). He can be reached at: anthonydimaggio612@gmail.com

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump administration sanction companies involved in laying the remaining pipe, and also companies involved in the infrastructure around the arrival point.

Highly recommended!
Dec 21, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Watcher x Ignored says: 12/13/2019 at 6:27 am

The new US defense bill, agreed on by both parties, includes sanctions on executives of companies involved in the completion of Nordstream 2. This is companies involved in laying the remaining pipe, and also companies involved in the infrastructure around the arrival point.

This could include arrest of the executives of those companies, who might travel to the United States. One of the companies is Royal Dutch Shell, who have 80,000 employees in the United States.

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 12/13/2019 at 12:28 pm
So much for the "Free Market".
Hickory x Ignored says: 12/12/2019 at 11:28 pm
Some people believe 'the market' for crude oil is a fair and effective arbiter of the industry supply and demand. But if we step back an inch or two, we all can see it has been a severely broken mechanism during this up phase in oil. For example, there has been long lags between market signals of shortage or surplus.

Disruptive policies and mechanisms such as tariffs, embargo's, and sanctions, trade bloc quotas, military coups and popular revolutions, socialist agendas, industry lobbying, multinational corporate McCarthyism, and massively obese debt financing, are all examples of forces that have trumped an efficient and transparent oil market.

And yet, the problems with the oil market during this time of upslope will look placid in retrospect, as we enter the time beyond peak.
I see no reason why it won't turn into a mad chaotic scramble.
We had a small hint of what this can look like in the last mid-century. The USA responded to military expansionism of Japan by enacting an oil embargo against them. The response was Pearl Harbor. This is just one example of many.
How long before Iran lashes out in response to their restricted access to the market?
People generally don't respond very calmly to involuntary restriction on food, or energy, or access to the markets for these things.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump comes clean from world s policeman to thug running a global protection racket by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
In any case withdrawal from Syria was a surprising and bold move on the Part of the Trump. You can criticizes Trump for not doing more but before that he bahvaves as a typical neocon, or a typical Republican presidents (which are the same things). And he started on this path just two month after inauguration bombing Syria under false pretences. So this is something
I think the reason of change is that Trump intuitively realized the voters are abandoning him in droves and the sizable faction of his voters who voted for him because of his promises to end foreign wars iether already defected or is ready to defect. So this is a move designed to keep them.
Notable quotes:
"... "America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price," Trump said. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | www.rt.com

President Trump's big announcement to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is now emerging less as a peace move, and more a rationalization of American military power in the Middle East. In a surprise visit to US forces in Iraq this week, Trump said he had no intention of withdrawing the troops in that country, who have been there for nearly 15 years since GW Bush invaded back in 2003.

Hinting at private discussions with commanders in Iraq, Trump boasted that US forces would in the future launch attacks from there into Syria if and when needed. Presumably that rapid force deployment would apply to other countries in the region, including Afghanistan.

In other words, in typical business-style transactional thinking, Trump sees the pullout from Syria and Afghanistan as a cost-cutting exercise for US imperialism. Regarding Syria, he has bragged about Turkey being assigned, purportedly, to "finish off" terror groups. That's Trump subcontracting out US interests.

Critics and supporters of Trump are confounded. After his Syria and Afghanistan pullout call, domestic critics and NATO allies have accused him of walking from the alleged "fight against terrorism" and of ceding strategic ground to US adversaries Russia and Iran.

'We're no longer suckers of the world!' Trump says US is respected as nation AGAIN (VIDEO)

Meanwhile, Trump's supporters have viewed his decision in more benign light, cheering the president for "sticking it to" the deep state and military establishment, assuming he's delivering on electoral promises to end overseas wars.

However, neither view gets what is going on. Trump is not scaling back US military power; he is rationalizing it like a cost-benefit analysis, as perhaps only a real-estate-wheeler-dealer-turned president would appreciate. Trump is not snubbing US militarism or NATO allies, nor is he letting loose an inner peace spirit. He is as committed to projecting American military as ruthlessly and as recklessly as any other past occupant of the White House. The difference is Trump wants to do it on the cheap.

Here's what he said to reporters on Air Force One before touching down in Iraq:

"The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world. It's not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous." He added: "We're no longer the suckers, folks."

Laughably, Trump's griping about US forces "spread all over the world" unwittingly demonstrates the insatiable, monstrous nature of American militarism. But Trump paints this vice as a virtue, which, he complains, Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in.

As US troops greeted him in Iraq, the president made explicit how the new American militarism would henceforth operate.

"America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, not being reimbursed in many cases at all. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price," Trump said.

'We give them $4.5bn a year': Israel will still be 'good' after US withdrawal from Syria – Trump

This reiterates a big bugbear for this president in which he views US allies and client regimes as "not pulling their weight" in terms of military deployment. Trump has been browbeating European NATO members to cough up more on military budgets, and he has berated the Saudis and other Gulf Arab regimes to pay more for American interventions.

Notably, however, Trump has never questioned the largesse that US taxpayers fork out every year to Israel in the form of nearly $4 billion in military aid. To be sure, that money is not a gift because much of it goes back to the Pentagon from sales of fighter jets and missile systems.

The long-held notion that the US has served as the "world's policeman" is, of course, a travesty.

Since WWII, all presidents and the Washington establishment have constantly harped on, with self-righteousness, about America's mythical role as guarantor of global security.

Dozens of illegal wars on almost every continent and millions of civilian deaths attest to the real, heinous conduct of American militarism as a weapon to secure US corporate capitalism.

But with US economic power in historic decline amid a national debt now over $22 trillion, Washington can no longer afford its imperialist conduct in the traditional mode of direct US military invasions and occupations.

Perhaps, it takes a cost-cutting, raw-toothed capitalist like Trump to best understand the historic predicament, even if only superficially.

This gives away the real calculation behind his troop pullout from Syria and Afghanistan. Iraq is going to serve as a new regional hub for force projection on a demand-and-supply basis. In addition, more of the dirty work can be contracted out to Washington's clients like Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who will be buying even more US weaponry to prop the military-industrial complex.

'With almost $22 trillion of debt, the US is in no position to attack Iran'

This would explain why Trump made his hurried, unexpected visit to Iraq this week. Significantly, he said : "A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking", regarding his decision on withdrawing forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

Since his troop pullout plan announced on December 19, there has been serious pushback from senior Pentagon figures, hawkish Republicans and Democrats, and the anti-Trump media. The atmosphere is almost seditious against the president. Trump flying off to Iraq on Christmas night was reportedly his first visit to troops in an overseas combat zone since becoming president two years ago.

What Trump seemed to be doing was reassuring the Pentagon and corporate America that he is not going all soft and dovish. Not at all. He is letting them know that he is aiming for a leaner, meaner US military power, which can save money on the number of foreign bases by using rapid reaction forces out of places like Iraq, as well as by subcontracting operations out to regional clients.

Thus, Trump is not coming clean out of any supposed principle when he cuts back US forces overseas. He is merely applying his knack for screwing down costs and doing things on the cheap as a capitalist tycoon overseeing US militarism.

During past decades when American capitalism was relatively robust, US politicians and media could indulge in the fantasy of their military forces going around the world in large-scale formations to selflessly "defend freedom and democracy."

Today, US capitalism is broke. It simply can't sustain its global military empire. Enter Donald Trump with his "business solutions."

But in doing so, this president, with his cheap utilitarianism and transactional exploitative mindset, lets the cat out of the bag. As he says, the US cannot be the world's policeman. Countries are henceforth going to have to pay for "our protection."

Inadvertently, Trump is showing up US power for what it really is: a global thug running a protection racket.

It's always been the case. Except now it's in your face. Trump is no Smedley Butler, the former Marine general who in the 1930s condemned US militarism as a Mafia operation. This president is stupidly revealing the racket, while still thinking it is something virtuous.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

dnm1136

Once again, Cunningham has hit the nail on the head. Trump mistakenly conflates fear with respect. In reality, around the world, the US is feared but generally not respected.

My guess is that the same was true about Trump as a businessman, i.e., he was not respected, only feared due to his willingness to pursue his "deals" by any means that "worked" for him, legal or illegal, moral or immoral, seemingly gracious or mean-spirited.

William Smith

Complaining how the US gets no thanks for its foreign intervention. Kind of like a rapist claiming he should be thanked for "pleasuring" his victim. Precisely the same sentiment expressed by those who believe the American Indians should thank the Whites for "civilising" them.

Phoebe S,

"Washington gets no thanks for from the 150-plus countries around the globe that its forces are present in."

That might mean they don't want you there. Just saying.

ProRussiaPole

None of these wars are working out for the US strategically. All they do is sow chaos. They seem to not be gaining anything, and are just preventing others from gaining anything as well.

Ernie For -> ProRussiaPole

i am a huge Putin fan, so is big Don. Please change your source of info Jerome, Trump is one man against Billions of people and dollars in corruption. He has achieved more in the USA in 2 years than all 5 previous parasites together.

Truthbetold69

It could be a change for a better direction. Time will tell. 'If you do what you've always been doing, you'll get what you've always been getting.'

[Nov 15, 2019] Trump And Zelensky Want Peace With Russia. The Fascists Oppose That

Notable quotes:
"... "In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine. ..."
"... But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such? ..."
"... And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay. ..."
"... The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that. ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia. ..."
"... "They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it." ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets. ..."
"... Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass. ..."
"... Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes. ..."
"... Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup: ..."
"... Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%. ..."
"... on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States." ..."
"... She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

NBC News is not impressed by the first day of the Democrats' impeachment circus. But it fails to note what the conflict is really about:

It was substantive, but it wasn't dramatic.

In the reserved manner of veteran diplomats with Harvard degrees, Bill Taylor and George Kent opened the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday by bearing witness to a scheme they described as not only wildly unorthodox but also in direct contravention of U.S. interests.

"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression," Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said in explaining why Trump's decision to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to the most immediate target of Russian expansionism didn't align with U.S. policy.

But at a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical.

"In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine.

But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such?

President Obama was against giving weapons to Ukraine and never transferred any to Ukraine despite pressure from certain circles. Was Obama's decision against U.S. national interest? Where are the Democrats or deep state members accusing him of that?

Which brings us to the really critical point of the whole issue. Who defines what is in the "national interest" with regards to foreign policy? Here is a point where for once I agree with the right-wingers at the National Review where Andrew McCarthy writes :

[O]n the critical matter of America's interests in the Russia/Ukraine dynamic, I think the policy community is right, and President Trump is wrong. If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions.

But you see, much like the policy community, I am not president. Donald Trump is.

And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay.

We have made the very same point :

The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."

The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that.

and :

The president does not like how the 'American policy' on Russia was built. He rightly believes that he was elected to change it. He had stated his opinion on Russia during his campaign and won the election. It is not 'malign influence' that makes him try to have good relations with Russia. It is his own conviction and legitimized by the voters.
...
[I]t is the president who sets the policies. The drones around him who serve "at his pleasure" are there to implement them.

There is another point that has to be made about the NBC's assertions. It is not in the interest of Ukraine to be a proxy for U.S. deep state antagonism towards Russia. Robber baron Igor Kolomoisky, who after the Maidan coup had financed the west-Ukrainian fascists who fought against east-Ukraine, says so directly in his recent NYT interview :

Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia.

"They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it."
...
Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets.

Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass.
...
Mr. Kolomoisky said he was feverishly working out how to end the war, but he refused to divulge details because the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way."

Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes.

Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup:

Zelenskiy's decision in early October to accept talks with Russia on the future of eastern Ukraine resulted in an outcry from a relatively small but very vocal minority of Ukrainians opposed to any deal-making with Russia. The protests were relatively short-lived, but prospects for a negotiated end to the war in the eastern Donbas region became more remote in light of this domestic opposition.
...
The supporters for war with Russia are ex-president Poroshenko and two parliamentary factions, European Solidarity and Voice, whose supporters are predominantly located in western Ukraine. Crucially, however, they can also rely on right-wing paramilitary groups composed of veterans from the hottest phase of the war in Donbas in 2014-5.

Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%.

By pursuing further conflict with Russia the deep state of the United States wants to ignore the wishes not only of the U.S. voters but also those of the Ukrainian electorate. That undemocratic mindset is another point that unites them with the Ukrainian fascists.

Zelensky should ignore the warmongers in the U.S. embassy in Kiev and sue for immediate peace with Russia. (He should also investigate Biden's undue influence .) Reengaging with Russia is also the easiest and most efficient step the Ukraine can take to lift its desolate economy.

It is in the national interest of both, the Ukraine and the United States.

Posted by b on November 14, 2019 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink


pretzelattack , Nov 14 2019 18:28 utc | 1

next page " agree with mccarthy about who conducts foreign policy, disagree about who the aggressor is; it's the USA, trying to weaken Russia, which is the aggressor.
james , Nov 14 2019 18:48 utc | 2
thanks b... typo - immediate piece with Russia - 'peace' is the spelling here...

the comments from Kolomoisky in the recent nyt interview are very telling.. aside from being a first rate kleptomaniac who will willingly play both sides if he can profit from it, he is also speaking a moment of truth..for him Ukraine is available to the highest bidder... he could give a rats ass about Ukraine or the people... but still, it is refreshing that the NYT published his comments in this regard..

the quote "the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way." is very true... it was true before kolomisky picked a side too.. this guy is very shrewd.. i wonder if his own country is able to see thru him?

national interest.... yes, trump gets to decide and he won on the idea of having closer relations with russia, but the cia-msm has been lambasting him and anyone else associated with him since before the election over the clinton e mails... they have painted a scenario that it is all russias fault and have been relentless in this portrayal... hoping trump is going to turn this around is like hoping someone is going to turn the titanic around from hitting a giant iceberg... the usa is too far gone and will be hitting the iceberg.. they are in fact...

michael lacey , Nov 14 2019 19:00 utc | 3
Good article what the American people miss is good articles instead of the mind numbing BS! They actually receive!
Piotr Berman , Nov 14 2019 19:01 utc | 4
From NYT about Kolomo???? (spelling in English is highly variable)

George D. Kent, a senior State Department official, said he had told Mr. Zelensky that his willingness to break with Mr. Kolomoisky -- "somebody who had such a bad reputation" -- would be a litmus test for his independence. [If is good to be independent, i.e. to do what we want.]

And William Taylor, the acting ambassador in Kiev, said he had warned Mr. Zelensky: "He, Mr. Kolomoisky, is increasing his influence in your government, which could cause you to fail." [La Paz is a fresh reminder for Kiev?]

Bemildred , Nov 14 2019 19:07 utc | 5
Well the thing about Zelensky is he's still there, and he is making changes in Donbass.

Kolomoisky was interested in the fracked gas in Donbass, the completion of NordStream II has made a mess of that idea. It is good that he has seen the light, as it means Zelensky will have support in his attempts to adapt to reality. But Kolomoisky is still a crook no doubt.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:14 utc | 6
My immediate reaction was that Kolomoisky realises he has to act - the Ukrainian oligarchs have got too close to America. I agree with James that he is a extremely clever man. Ukraine's traditional business is playing both ends against the middle and sending the proceeds to Switzerland (or the Caribbean in Porosyonok's case). Since 1990 a few of these robber barons have made a very good business winding up the west against Russia, it could go on ever - why spoil it by lifting the rock and seeing all the insects scurrying around in the light?

Another rock that has been lifted is in Washington, where the khokhol diaspora are desperately trying to get Uncle Sam to right the wrongs of a century ago.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:25 utc | 7
I should have written: the "perceived" wrongs" of a century ago.
Babyl-on , Nov 14 2019 19:26 utc | 8
"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners oif the world and they run the world they own.

chet380 , Nov 14 2019 19:28 utc | 9
... @ b -- "Only some 20% of the Ukrainians favor to continue the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports."

The are not 'separatists', but rather Ukrainians who want to stay in a federated Ukraine as 'provinces' with powers to pass their regional laws, similar to those in Canada.

psychohistorian , Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 10
The segment of empire in the US that are against Russia act so because it was Russia that stymied them in Syria and continues to be in their way of expanding the control from that part of empire...the US segment.

I still believe that the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyones heads to make it ongoing.

I don't believe that strategy will work but as long as they can be fronted by a MAD player of some sort (Occupied Palestine comes to mind) they can be bully players in international matters.

As the world economies grind to a "halt" there will be lots of pressure everywhere and very little clarity about the key civilization war over public/private finance, IMO

NOBTS , Nov 14 2019 19:37 utc | 11
For a military dictatorship, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means. The US has been at war with Russia since the right-wing coup at the Democratic convention of 1944. All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!
karlof1 , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 12
Wow! The depth of delusion on display is as breathtaking as its complete projection of the intentions and actions of the Evil Outlaw US Empire! Oh so many saying I'm displaying four fingers instead of two. Too bad there isn't a padded cell big enough to contain all the lunatics. I recall the pre- and post-coup discussions from 2014--that Russia was going to make NATO own Ukraine until it was forced to concede it has no business being there; that Russia would teach the would-be leaders of Ukraine a serious lesson in where their national interests lay. NATO is ready to cede and the lesson's been learned.

IMO, two referendums must be held. The first within Russia: Will you accept portions of Ukraine wanting to merge with Russia: Yes/No? Second to be given within Ukraine provided Yes wins in #1: Do you wish to join Russia or remain in Ukraine? IMO, this is a very longstanding unresolved issue of consequence for the people involved. The political leaders of Russia and Ukraine might both be against such a vote, but IMO that merely kicks the can further down the road and opens the door for more mischief making by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Assuming a Yes from Russia and some from Ukraine, a strategic threat to Russia and Europe would be mitigated. Additional questions about those parts of Ukraine not wanting to join Russia could be solved via additional referenda in the Ukraine and neighboring nations that might prove willing to absorb the remnants and their people. Such action would of course negate the Minsk Agreements.

Given the ideological passions of those living in Western and Northern Ukraine, I don't see any hope for the continuation of the Ukrainian state as currently arranged, thus the proposed referenda. However, if Russia says Nyet, then Minsk must be implemented.

TG , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 13
Ah, well said, but missing the point.

"Democracy" is not about letting the people as a whole have a say in how the country is governed. That would be fascist, and racist, and populist, and LITERALLY HITLER. Letting the people decide on things like foreign policy, is literally anti-democratic.

No, "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."

jayc , Nov 14 2019 19:41 utc | 14
Breaking off long established economic and cultural ties with a large neighbouring country, virtually overnight, is a rash act, and certain to create dislocation and hardship. The craziness of the idea was only achievable through the traumatizing psy-op of the sniper event, leading directly to the coup and the state of war. The EU and the US were clearly malevolent in orchestrating the Association agreement with its ridiculous terms and the corresponding Maidan pressures.

The fools in Hong Kong, after protester-sponsored screenings of the World On Fire documentary, were actually quoted as presuming the Maidan protests had "won" and expressed their hopes that they too could "win". Good luck to them.

AntiSpin , Nov 14 2019 19:49 utc | 15
Ukraine Timeline

for anyone who hasn't had the time to get caught up on the topic, by Ray McGovern
https://www.opednews.com/articles/Ukraine-For-Dummies-by-Ray-McGovern-Crimea_Ignorance_Intelligence_Media-191114-285.html

Taffyboy , Nov 14 2019 19:50 utc | 16
Kolomoisky and Zelensky know what needs to be done, but they fear the blood that will flow with Nazi-Banderist scum! Zelinski's balls are not that big, and has no options left after compromising his position from day one. Who will make the first move, I fear not him? Russia has time, and patience, which is sorely lacking in the west who feel they have to push the envelope.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 19:57 utc | 17
The Minsk II protocol was agreed to on 12 February 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, It included provisions for a halt in the fighting, the withdrawal of foreign forces, new constitution to allow special status for Donbass, and election in Donbass for local self governance. Control of the present border of Ukraine would be restored to the Ukraine government. Donbass would continue to be in Ukraine with some autonomy here (scroll down).
There are many such autonomous zones in the world, and in Europe, seen here .
The problem in Ukraine is that the neo-Nazi factions promoted by the US don't want to see a resolution, and will fight it with US support.
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 19:59 utc | 18
Kolomoysky is obviously a master thief and general scumbag...but he is no fool...

I think the writing on the wall became obvious with the Nordstream 2 finalization, where, it is noted, Denmark came in just under the wire in terms of not disrupting the timetable...

Obviously the interests of German business have prevailed...and rightly so in this case...

And what of the famous EU line about 'protecting' Ukraine as a gas transit corridor...?

LOLOLOL...that is in the same category of nothingburger as the EU noises about 'alternate payment' mechanisms for trade with Iran...

As soon as the Denmark story broke, Gazprom and Russian energy analysts talked openly about the tiny volumes that Ukraine could expect to see transiting its territory...as part of a new agreement to replace the one that has expired...

It works out to a small fraction of the several billion dollars in transit fees the Ukraine was getting...

Also considering that the IMF appears to be finally shutting off the tap of loans to this failed gangster state...and that the promises from the EU in 2013 were just so much fairy tales...hard-nosed operators like Kolomoysky are recalculating...

The chaos and national ruin has really cost these gangster capitalists nothing [in fact they have profited wildly]...so it is easy for them to reverse course and come begging back to Russia...

Bryan MacDonald has a good piece about this today in RT...

Ukraine's most powerful oligarch states the obvious: Ukraine has to turn back towards Russia

So, here we are, almost six years since the first "EuroMaidan" protests in Kiev, and Ukraine's most prominent oligarch has finally voiced the unmentionable: the project has failed.

As for Kolomoysky...like Trump, there is something to like about dirtballs who speak their minds openly...LOL

Vonu , Nov 14 2019 20:08 utc | 19
According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA
PJB , Nov 14 2019 20:11 utc | 20
Quite a turnaround by Kolomoisky. Wasn't he once caught on a tapped phone call admitting while chuckling about Ukrainian complicity in shooting down MH-17? i.e. NOT Donbas rebels and NOT Russia.
james , Nov 14 2019 20:13 utc | 21
@12 karlof1... a referendum... as if the usa would agree to that, lol.... look how they processed the one in crimea...

@18 flankerbandit... last line is true, but it pales in relation to the ugliness these 2 exhibit 99% of the time, although the 1% when they don't it's refreshing! ukraine will continue to be used as a tool by the west..

forget about any referendum.. that makes too much sense and won't be allowed..

Kadath , Nov 14 2019 20:23 utc | 22
Nordstream 2 will come online in less than 2 months and the Ukrainian gas exports at that time will cease (I.e. no oil for the Oligarchs to steal), no matter what the US says they can't replace the Russian oil exports in terms of money & support to Ukraine, so the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets
J Swift , Nov 14 2019 20:31 utc | 23
It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot.

But now the Ukrainian thieves are beginning to realize that the Western thieves are going to steal the very ground from under their feet, so there will be no more Ukraine to steal from. That's not a very good business model. Plus they're no doubt seeing how the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere, and realize they could easily find themselves the next meal for the US beast. Pretty easy to see why the smarter ones are getting nervous.

DannC , Nov 14 2019 20:37 utc | 24
they need to make peace with Russia or they will be left out in the cold, literally. They seemed to have previously bought into some insane lie that they'd be a part of the EU and NATO if theyd do Washington's bidding. The Deep state vastly underestimated Putin's resolve when it became clear to the Russians that Washington may try and turn Crimea into a NATO port one day. The game is over. Ukraine needs to find a way forward now for itself or it will be a failed state in the near future. It's clear Merkel and Europe want no part of this headache
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 20:42 utc | 25
I don't think Russians want to 'own' any part of Ukraine...at least that is the nearly unanimous opinion of my own contacts and colleagues in Russia...so I don't think any referenda will be on the table...

What I do think is possible is what Yanukovich and Russia agreed to in terms of a trade and economic deal...which was a lot more practical [not to mention generous] than the EU 'either or' nonsense...

Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security...

At the time of the Soviet dissolution, Ukraine had the highest living standards and some of the world's prime industry and technology...including for instance the Yuzhnoye design bureau [rocket engines and spacecraft] and many more such cutting edge aerospace concerns...

For years these crucial enterprises were able to keep going due to the Russian market...that all ended in 2014 [and in fact was tapering off even before due to the massive corruption]...

Now the Chinese are looking to scoop up these gems at firesale prices...

It is really quite unbelievable that the nutcases in the Ukraine would be willing to cut off their own arm just to bleed on Russia's shirt...

Why did the Ukraine never recover from the gangster capitalism like Russia did...because no Putin ever came along to reign in the oligarchy...[It could be argued Putin hasn't done nearly enough in this regard].

The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling...

Jackrabbit , Nov 14 2019 20:49 utc | 26
Disappointed in b's analysis.

Kolomoisky is talking his book and helping USA to make the case that Nordstream is a NATO security issue. To pretend that he's serious about a rapproachment with Russia just plays into that effort.

And b ignores my comment on the prior thread that he references (about Trump being Constitutionally charged with foreign policy). Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.

While for practical reasons the Executive Branch of USA government has the power to negotiate treaties and manage foreign relations, Constitutionally he does so for the sovereign (the American people) and his efforts are subject to review and approval of the people's representatives via the power of the purse.

Ignoring how the "Imperial Presidency" has usurped power leads to faulty analysis that supports that power grab.

Ukrainegate IS a farce, but for other reasons. Chief among them being the inherent fakery of 'managed democracy' which manifests as kayfabe.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:50 utc | 27
Babyl-on #8
There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners of the world and they run the world they own.

Nicely put:- that is the reality. Thanks b for your intrepid reports.

Paul Craig Roberts has a deeply aggrieved rant at zero hedge if barflies want a chuckle. What a shitshow.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:58 utc | 28
flankerbandit #25

YES to all that and we are all getting the same split and plunder treatment.

Indonesia is the trial ground and has been where the methods were in place the longest as Andre Vitchek reports .

That is our future unless we intervene and throw the USA out of our countries.

jo6pac , Nov 14 2019 21:06 utc | 29
Long but a good read on the Ukraine by David Stockman.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2019/11/12/the-ukrainian-influence-peddling-rings-a-microcosm-of-how-imperial-washington-rolls/

flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 21:16 utc | 30
Agree with Uncle on Indonesia...yes that Vltchek piece [and much of his previous work on Indonesia] is pretty sobering...this is our future folks...
Duncan Idaho , Nov 14 2019 21:21 utc | 31
Crimea?
It has been part of Russia about as long as the USA has been a country.
9 out of 10 residents are of Russian origin, and Russian is the spoken language.
I guess it could be returned to the 10%-- but out of fairness, we must turn the USA over to its original occupants.
If you live in the USA, get your ass ready to leave.
bevin , Nov 14 2019 21:47 utc | 32
One of the problems that the anti-nazis face in Ukraine is that there are occupying armies in the country. Armies which cannot be trusted to obey instructions which are not agreed upon by NATO warmongers.
One such army is Canadian, commanded I believe by a descendant of the Ukrainian SS refugees and reporting to the Foreign Minister in Ottawa, a Russophobe with a family background of nazi collaboration.
The actual political situation is much more delicate than media reports suggest: what are called elections feature, in the Washington approved fashion, the banning of socialist and communist candidates. Bans which are enforced by a combination of fascist commanded police forces and, even less responsible, private nazi militias. Opponents of the Maidan regime are driven into exile, jailed or murdered.
Those who wonder as Jackrabbit, in a rare essay into rationality, does above, about the nature of the US Constitution after decades of the erosion of checks and balances thanks to the Imperial Presidency, will recognise that a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it.
And what this means is that, among other things, the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled: there is no way that the people of Ukraine can decide what they want because the decisions have been taken for them, in weird cult like gatherings of SS worshiping Bandera supporters in Toronto and Chicago. It is no accident that most of the 'Ukrainians' being wheeled out by the Democrats to testify against Trump are actually greedy expatriates who have never really lived in Ukraine.
There was a moment, not long ago, when it looked as if the Minsk accords promised a path to peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately the plain people of Ukraine, the poorest in Europe though living in one of the richest countries, Washington, Ottawa and NATO didn't like the sound of Minsk. Nor did the fascists in the Baltic states and Poland, for whom, for centuries, Ukraine has been a cow to milk, its people slaves to be exploited and its rich resources too tempting to ignore.
michael , Nov 14 2019 21:56 utc | 33
As Thomas Jefferson explained the President's role in foreign affairs in 1790, and the lack of advisors' policy making decisions: ''as the President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'; that whatever he communicated as such, they had a right and were bound to consider 'as the expression of the nation'; and that no foreign agent could be 'allowed to question it,' or 'to interpose between him and any other branch of government, under the pretext of either's transgressing their functions.' Mr. Jefferson therefore declined to enter into any discussion of the question as to whether it belonged to the President under the Constitution to admit or exclude foreign agents. 'I inform you of the fact,' he said, 'by authority from the President.'
Sadness , Nov 14 2019 22:04 utc | 34
Might also be worth yesterdays hero's asking if dear Mr Kolomoisky, joint Uki/Israeli national, took a part in authorising the shoot down of MH17 as a news cover for Operation Protective Edge. Heave ho zionist USA ....et al.
steven t johnson , Nov 14 2019 22:11 utc | 35
1.The decisions to with hold and release aid have nothing to do with the President making foreign policy but with his campaign. Saying it was about foreign policy is a damned lie.
2.Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy. Military aid to Ukraine, yes, except no, except yes, personal handling without asking anybody with experience how to achieve the national goal desired, national agenda kept secret from the people who have to carry it out, abuse of officials, demands for dubiously legal actions without rationale...Saying it was about the president's executive role is a damned lie.
3.Trump has not made even a tweet that questions US support for fascists. That not even a issue for Trump. Saying this is about support for fascism is a damned lie.
4.Kolomoyskiy is a bankroller of fascists. It is not impossible even a billionaire might get frightened by the genie he's let out of the bottle, even if he's Jewish and rich enough to run away. But actually undoing the fascist regime means taming the paramilitaries and this is not even on the horizon. Given the rivalry between Poroshenko and Kolomoyskiy it's not even certain it's a real change of heart or just soothing words for the non-fascist people. Nor is it even clear the Zelensky will follow even the Steinmeier formula. If he does, good, but until something actually happens? Saying it's about the antifascist turn is a damned lie.

The only thing that isn't a lie is that Trump was not committing treasons, "merely" a campaign violation. But then, Clinton never did either. The crybabies who dished it out but can't take it deserve zero respect, and zero time.

Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:16 utc | 36
@ michael 34
There's a major difference between being a national spokesman and being a national decision-maker.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:17 utc | 37
@ stj 36
Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy.
There's no basis for that in the Constitution.
Jen , Nov 14 2019 22:32 utc | 38
Curious to know how Kolomoisky is working "feverishly" to end the war in the Donbass region. Wonder if he is planning to come clean on what he knows of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 shootdown and crash in an area not far from Slavyansk and near where his Privat Group's subsidiary company Burisma Holdings holds a licence to drill for oil and natural gas. What does he know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested? He had been governor of Dnepropetrovsk region at the time.
ben , Nov 14 2019 22:47 utc | 39
A quote from b's article;"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression".

Spoken by two sycophants for the empire.

It would be in our "national interest" if we could stop our aggression's around the globe.

DJT, IMO, only favors peace with Russia, or any one else,if, it furthers HIS personal, and his families enrichment.

He has a record of shafting people, I just wish people would inform themselves about it, and see what he's done with his life, not what says about it.

Paul Damascene , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 40
Somewhere I read it alleged that the actual owner of Burisma was or is Kolomoiski.

Anything to this?

And via John Helmer (via Checkpointasia and dances with bears) comes the perspective that it's not so much Kolomoiski floating trial balloons (though that may also be true) but that K is being given space in the NYT to build his credentials as the new Borg villain, thereby making it still harder for Zelensky to reconcile with Russia.

ben , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 41
fb @ 25 said;"The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling..."

Yup, aided and abetted by our current regime, while pretending not to...

Really?? , Nov 14 2019 23:23 utc | 42
@23
"It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot."

This is it in a nutshell. The Russians were fed up with Ukraine stealing gas. Hence, Nord Stream 2. That was always the plan. Whether the Yanks truly grasped the rationale here ---Russia is cutting off gas to Ukraine, simple---has never been clear to me. Although it is a fairly simple plot. The Russians had decades of shenanigans with the Ukes and said Basta. By not overreacting to the Ukrainian-USA freakout and keeping their eyes on the prize (Nord Stream and disengaging, gas-wise, from Uk), they have managed to reach their goal of getting Nord Stream 2 online.

oldhippie , Nov 14 2019 23:25 utc | 43
Kolomoiski is the bankroller and commander of the Azov Battalion. Has close arrangements with other paramilitaries. And is the current principal of Burisma. And is Privatbank, the only bank left in Ukraine. He gets a cut of all the action.

When Trump queries Zelensky, all that Zelensky is thinking is this guy does not know the score. This guy does not know who's on first. He wants me to investigate the boss? Let him talk to the boss. And who does Z talk to in D.C.? Pointless getting into detail with Trump.

Trump has no team. No one in D.C. is on his side. He's unable to finish anything.

OutOfThinAir , Nov 14 2019 23:45 utc | 44
1) Say the fantasy happens and the US/Russia become BFFs like US/UK...

- Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss?

- Tough to answer, many unknowns- Russia may act different once its on top, actors may derail schemes, Deep State temper tantrum, etc...

In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.

Zedd , Nov 14 2019 23:50 utc | 45
Kolomoiski is a U.S. asset. His interview with the NYTimes proves it.

His threats are meant to mobilize NATO and Russia haters in general; because Trump and most of his cadre care nothing for Ukraine.

Does anyone think Russia will give Kolomoiski 100 million dollars? Why was he given an opportunity to threaten the USA? For no reason? Something else is afoot but Russia still won't take the bait because they are winning.

Russia is quite happy with the status quo. The war in Ukraine keeps the war against Russia on a level which is easy to manipulate and therefore geostrategically beneficial. Kolomoiski will get nothing.

Steve , Nov 15 2019 0:03 utc | 46
Thank you, b, for that snippet from NY Interview with Kolomoisky . I had glanced the headline on RT but didn't read it because of RT's usual clumsy writing.
evilempire , Nov 15 2019 0:51 utc | 47
Kolomoiski is taunting the empire: investigate my crimes and
ukraine will seek reconciliation and alliance with russia.
Russia won't fall for it. They want kolomoiski's scalp even
more than the empire. From the statements putin has made, maybe
the only concession russia would accept is the dissolution of
ukraine as a sovereign entity and reintegration with russia, minus galicia.
Putin has remarked that they are not one people but one state. Ukraine
already knows that its domestic industry is only viable in competition
with the eu industrial powerhouses if it is integrated with russia.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 0:59 utc | 48
Jen said...
What does [Kolomoysky] know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested?

Okay..so an interesting can of worms here...

First is the fact that Kolomoysky was the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at the time...

Now as to the flight and Dnipro Radar [the regional air traffic control facility that controls a very big chunk of airspace over eastern Ukraine]...

First the issue of the airplane cruising altitude...the crew had filed their flight plan to climb from flight level 330 [33,000 ft] to FL350 after passing a certain waypoint in eastern Ukraine...

Now the controllers did instruct the crew to go ahead and climb to their planned altitude, but the crew declined the clearance and opted to stay at FL330...this was done very likely because the atmospheric conditions at that height were better for fuel economy...

[To be even more specific...the Boeing manual gave an optimum flight altitude of 33,800 ft, but flying eastward you only have odd numbered flight levels to choose from, so the crew figured they would be better off staying at 33 than climbing to 35...]

BUT...there are a couple of very curious things here...

First is the fact that Dnipro controllers deviated the airplane from its flight plan just before it went down...ostensibly due to other traffic...

We can see this in the following map, which is what's called a high altitude en route chart, which is used by pilots to plan and execute their flight...

Here we see the route of MH17 superimposed on the chart...

You will note a couple of things here...the airplane is flying on the L980 airway [basically a highway in the sky] when it is turned south by controllers to the RND waypoint, which is in Russian territory...

This is NOT the route filed by the crew...which can be seen here...

They were supposed to continue flying on L980 right to the TAMAK waypoint, which is visible on the previous chart and is right on the border with Russia...

They would have continued on the A87 airway to their next waypoint in Russia which is TIKNA...

Now here is the thing...right after they were turned south, they got shot down...

According to the radio transcripts, the crew acknowledged the course change, but did not object...however, usually these kinds of course changes aren't appreciated on the flight deck because the crew is trying to minimize wasted time and wasted fuel on course deviations...

Most times you will just not bother to complain to controllers...but for sure there will always be chatter between the captain and copilot about being yanked around like that...

No mention is made in the Dutch Safety Board report about such chatter from the cockpit voice recorder, which I find very odd...

Also odd is the fact that Dnipro ATC primary radar was down, and only the so-called 'secondary' was working which uses the transponder signals from the airplane...

This is very busy airspace because a lot of flights from western Europe to South Asia traverse this territory...the plan is always to fly what's called a 'great circle route' which is basically a straight line, if you flattened out the globe...

Plus considering that you have a war going on underneath...it's very unusual to have your PRIMARY radar inoperable...

This is significant also because military aircraft will not be using transponders and so will not be visible to the secondary surveillance...

The Russian primary radar did pick up two other aircraft very nearby MH17...but the Dutch have made some kind of excuse about that data not being in 'raw' form and thus not usable...

So we see some very suspicious anomalies here...

The Ukrainian authorities did have a NOTAM [notice to airmen] in effect up to FL320 [32,000 ft] so commercial traffic could not fly under that height...but clearly they should have closed the airspace over the hot conflict area...

They didn't do that...and Kolomoysky was in charge...


Kiza , Nov 15 2019 1:12 utc | 49
The Deep State's view on the members' God given right to make foreign policy decisions (it must be the God who has give it to them, because the people certainly have not) just reminds the of the general attitude of the Government's bureaucracy. Give any fartbag a position in the government and he/she becomes "a prince/princes over the people", give him or her a monopoly over violence and you got yourself a king/queen. All these police and military kings & queens milling around and lording over us. "Deep State" is such a totally natural consequence of the government bureaucracy corrupted by power that it appropriated. Pillaging taxes from the sheeple (and taking young maidens like Sheriff of Nottingham/Epstein) could have never ever been enough. Did you seriously think that the Deep Staters would constrain themselves to only stealing your money, taking your children for their pleasure and to die in their wars of conquest, and putting you into a totally unsafe airplanes to die for their profit? Constrain themselves when there is a whole globe out there to be lorded over, like Bidens over Ukraine? It is the poor people of Ukraine who just have too much money, thus had to give it through the gas monopoly to the Biden gang, which selflessly brought them "democracy" at $5B in US taxpayers' expense. Therefore, it is the Deep State which has been chosen by God, or someone just like that, to make the decisions about the imperialist/globalist foreign policy and have billions of dollars thrown by the grateful natives into their own pockets, as consulting fees:
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/leaked-bank-records-confirm-burisma-biden-payments-morgan-stanley-account

So far the only clear-cut globalization is that one of crime, which has become global.

dh , Nov 15 2019 1:42 utc | 50
What is the US National Interest b asks? Who defines it as such?

Ome magazine that might know is none other than The National Interest. Hopefully I won't get attacked for quoting from what seems like a fairly sane article to me....

"The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to. Ukraine is a debt-ridden state and only five years beyond an extralegal revolution. Should the government collapse again, then American weapons could end up in the possession of any number of dubious paramilitary groups.

It wouldn't be the first time. In the 2000s, CIA operatives were forced to repurchase Stinger missiles that had fallen into the hands of Afghani warlords -- at a markup. Originally offered to the Mujahideen in the 1980s, the Stingers came to threaten American forces in the region. Similarly, many weapons provided with US authorization to Libyan rebels in 2011 ended up in the possession of jihadists."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dressed-kill-arming-ukraine-could-173200746.html

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 1:47 utc | 51
It's difficult to find clean information on happenings within Ukraine and those involving Russia. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has this page dedicated to the "Situation Around Ukraine." Of the three most recent listings, this one --"Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the NATO Council's visit to Ukraine"--from 1 November is quite important as it deals with the reality on the ground versus the circus happening thousands of miles away, although it's clear the delusions in Washington and Brussels are the same and "continue to be guided by the Cold War logic of exaggerating the nonexistent 'threat from the East' rather than the interests of pan-European security."

In the second most recent listing --"Remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, October 31, 2019"--the following was noted:

"There's more to it. The odious site Myrotvorets continues to function using servers located in the United States. The UN has repeatedly stated that this violates the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. Recently, Deputy Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Benjamin Moreau, reiterated the recommendation to shut down this website. A similar demand was made by other representatives of the international community, including the German government. The problem was brought to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights. The other day, the representative of Ukraine at the ECHR was made aware of the groundlessness of the Ukrainian government's excuses saying that it allegedly 'has no influence' on the above website.

"In closing, recent opinion polls in Ukraine indicate that its residents are expecting the government to do more to bring peace to Donbas. The path to a settlement is well known, that is, the full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, that was approved by the UN Security Council."

Clearly, Zelensky's government is much like Poroschenko's when it comes to listening to those who empowered it, the above citation is one of several from the overall report.

The latest report deals with an ongoing case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague that reveals some of the anti-Russian bias there. It has no bearing on this discussion, although it does provide evidence of the contextual background against which the entire affair, including the circus in Washington, operates.

MoA consensus is Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords they continue to oppose to implement despite their promise to do so. Clearly an excellent example of not being agreement capable that hasn't changed since 2015.

If the Republicans had any brains, they'd turn the Ukrainian aspect of the hearings into an indictment against Obama/Biden for illegally overthrowing Kiev and trying to obtain their piece-of-the-action, but then that would be the logical thing to do and thus isn't an option. The prospect of each day providing similar spectacle is mind numbing as it airs the sordid, unwashed underwear if the Evil Outlaw US Empire.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:01 utc | 52
I normally do not reply to trolls, but I make an exception for you. Pedo-dollar? Do you have any more such crap to dilute the valid points discussed here?
james , Nov 15 2019 2:36 utc | 53
@41 paul damascene... regarding the helmer article - thanks for pointing it out.. IGOR KOLOMOISKY MAKES A MISTAKE, AND THE NEW YORK TIMES DOES WHAT IT ALWAYS DOES

i liked what @ 32 tod said - "he's just doing the old Jewish threatening/begging dance!
"And you are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it." Wink! Wink!"

stating the obvious is one remedy for any possible confusion here..

@54 karlof1... i don't believe trump is allowed to shine any light on the usas illegal actions as that would be sacrilege to all the americans who see their country in such a great, exceptional-ist light... how would trumps MAGA concept swallow that? it wouldn't, so it won't happen...

UnionHorse , Nov 15 2019 2:40 utc | 54
I just watched Seven Days in May for the first time in a long while. It is worth the time. It resonates loudly today.
Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:50 utc | 55
@flankerbandit 18

You are a bit off on that story. NS2 pipeline will increase the capacity not transitioning via Ukraine and reduce the price banditry by the Ukrainian & US gangs, but it will not make gas transit via Ukraine unnecessary. The planned switch off of the German nuclear and coal power plants will gradually increase the German demand for gas, that is the Russian gas by so much that NS1 and NS2 will not be enough. Primarily, NS2 is a signal to the Ukrainian & US Democrat gangs that if they try excessive transit fees and stealing of gas again, that they will be circumvented within a few years by NS 3,4,5 ...

BTW, the globalized pillaging of the population is clearly not an invention of the DNC crime gang only. For example, the 737Max is a product of primarily Republican activity on deregulating what should have never been deregulated and subjugation to the Wall Street (aka financialization). The pillaging of the World is strictly bipartisan, just differently packaged:
1) R - packaging the deregulation to steal & kill as "freedom" or
2) D - packaging the regime change as responsibility to protect R2P (such regime change and stuffing of own pockets later).

Grieved , Nov 15 2019 3:01 utc | 56
karlof1 @54 - "Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords"

Yes. As you well know, and as we have well discussed, Minsk was in its very essence the surrender terms dictated to the US by NAF and Russia in return for letting the NATO contractors go free and secretly out of the Debaltsevo cauldron. Either actually or poetically, this was the basis. The US lost against NAF. The only way to prevent Donbass incursion into the rest of Ukraine was to freeze the situation. The US had no choice, and surrendered.

Out of the heat and fog of warfare came a simple document made of words which, even so, illustrated perfectly just how elegantly the Kremlin had the entire situation both war-gamed and peace-gamed. Minsk from that day until forever has locked the Ukraine play into a lost war of attrition for the US sponsors, with zero gain - except for thieves.

To attempt to parse Ukraine in terms of statecraft is to miss the point that Ukraine can only be parsed in terms of thievery. This is not cynicism, simply truth.

Now they sell their land because this is all there is left to sell. Kolomoisky proposes selling the entire country to Russia for $100 billion but not only will Russia not bite, the country isn't worth even a fraction of that - because of Minsk, it can cause zero harm to Russia. But this ploy raises the perceived value (Kolomoisky hopes) in the eyes of the west, and starts the bidding.

In Russia the people see all this very clearly, including on their TV. Yakov Kedmi in this Vesti News clip of Vladimir Soloviev's hugely popular talk show, discusses the situation. He baits Soloviev by saying that the Ukrainian thieves are only doing what the Russian thieves did in the 1990's - and one must filter through this badinage to take out the nuggets he supplies. Here are three:

1. Zelensky has no security apparatus that follows his command, therefore how can he be considered the leader of the country?
2. There is no power in Ukraine, only forces that contend over the scraps of plunder.
3. These forces are creating the only law there is, which is the sacred nature of private property for the rich - the only thing the US holds sacred.

Therefore sell the very soil.

~~

The Minsk agreement is a sheer wall of ice reaching to the sky. No force imaginable can scale it or break it. Against that ultimate, immovable wall the US pounds futilely, with Ukraine caught in the middle, while Russia waits for Ukraine to devolve into whatever it can.

And the Russian people and government regard the people of the Ukraine as brothers and sisters. But until the west has worn itself down, and either gone away or changed the equation through a weakening of its own position in some significant way, nothing can be done by Russia except to wait.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 3:09 utc | 57
What Tod @32 described is spot-on, "the old Jewish threatening/begging dance". It is not that the Russians do not know this about Kolomoyskyi. They will play along not expecting anything from the Zelo-on-a-String and his master. The Russians like to let those scumbags (Erdo comes to mind) huff & puff and embarrass themselves by flips. They know - it could always be worse if those did something intelligent. Kolomoyskyi is vile but he ain't no genius, not any more than Erdo.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 3:42 utc | 58
You are a bit off on that story.

Sure Cheeza...everybody's a 'bit off' except you...

Gazprom is talking about 10 bcm a year through Ukraine for the new 10 year deal, as opposed to the 60 bcm [billion cubic meters] that Ukraine is hoping for...

The Vesti report right here...

james , Nov 15 2019 3:47 utc | 59
@62 grieved.. nice to see you back.. thanks of the link with yako kedmi talking.. that was fascinating.. i think the guy is bang on..
snake , Nov 15 2019 3:58 utc | 60

"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction/)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government. Babyl-on @ 8

? before I begin , how do you measure the political and economic power of money as opposed to the political and economic power of the intentions and needs of the masses. Does $1 control a 100 people? A million dollars control 100,000,000 people? How do we measure the comparative values between money power and people power? I think the divisions of economics and the binaries of politics established by the nation state system means that the measurement function (political and economic values) varies as a function of the total wealth vs the total population in each nation state. If true, become obvious how it is that: foreign investments displaces the existing homeostatis in any particular nation state, the smaller the poorer the nation state, the more impact foreign wealth can have; in other words outside wealth can completely destroy the homeostatis of an existing nation state. I think it is this fact which makes globalization so attractive to the ruling interest (RI) and so damning to the poorest of the poor.

Change by amendment is impossible There is one and only one Western Empire but there is also an Eastern Empire, a southern empire, and a Northern Empire and I believe the ruling interest (faction) manipulate all nations through these empires. In fact, they can do this in any nation they wish. The world has been divided into containers of humans and propaganda and culture have highly polarized the humans in one container against the humans in other containers. <=divide, polarize, then exploit: its like pry the window, and gain access to the residence, then exploit. It is obvious that the strength of the resistance to ruling class exploitation is a function of common cause among the masses. But money allows to control both the division of power and the polarization of the masses. The persons who have the powers described in Article II of the US Constitution since Lincoln was murdered can be controlled (Epstein, MSM directed propaganda, impeachment, assassination, to accomplish the objects of the ruling interest (faction). Article II of the USA constitution removes foreign activity of the USA from domestic view of the governed at home Americans. Article II makes it possible for the POTUS to use American assets and resources to assist his/her feudal lords in exploiting foreign nations almost at will and there is no way governed Americans can control who the ruling interest place in the Article II position.

A little History Immigration to NYC from Eastern (the poor) and Western (the rich) Europe transitioned NYC and other cities from Irish majority to a Jewish majority; and the wealthy interest used the Jewish majorities in key cities to take control over both Article I and Article II constitutional powers by electing field effect controlled politicians (political puppets are elected that can be reprogrammed while they are in office to suit the ruling interest. The source code is called rule of law, and money buys the programmers who write the code. So the ruling interest can reprogram in field effect fashion, any POTUS they wish. Out of sight use of the resources of America in foreign lands is nothing new, it was established when the constitution was written in Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified in 1788.

Propaganda targeted to the Jewish Immigrants allowed the wealthy interest to control the outcome of the 1912 election. That election allowed to destroy Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4 " No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census of enumeration herein before directed to be taken". and to enact a law which privatized the USA monopoly on money into the hands of private bankers (the federal reserve act of 1913)

What was the grand design Highly competitive, independent too strong economic Germany was interfering with Western hegemony and the oil was in the lands controlled by the Ottomans. It took two wars, but Germany was destroyed, and the Ottoman empire (basically the entire Middle East) became the war gained property of the British (Palestine), the French (Syria) and the USA (Israel). Since then, the ruling interest have used their (field effect devices to align governments so the wealthy could pillage victim societies the world over. Field effect programming allows wealth interest to use the leaders of governments to use such governments to enable pillage in foreign places. The global rich and powerful, and their corporations are the ruling interest.

psychohistorian says it well "..the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyone's heads to make it ongoing..." by psychochistorian @ 10


NOBITs @ 11 says it also "All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!" by: NOBTS @ 11

According to TG @ 13 "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."by: TG @ 13 <= absolutely not.. the constitution isolates governed Americans from the USA, because the USA is a republic and republics are about privatizing power and socializing responsibility; worse, there ain't nothing you can do about it.


Vonu @ 19 says "According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA" by: Vonu @ 19 <=but it is by the authority of Ariicle II that the NSC has the power to run the executive branch?

KAdath @ 22 says "the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets by: Kadath @ 22" <=exactly.. but really its not abandoning the USA, its abandoning the oligarchs local to the pillaged nation..

J Swift @ 23 says "the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere," [poorly] but its not the USA per say, because only one person has the power to deal in foreign places. Its that the POTUS, or those who control the Article II powers vested in the POTUS, have or has been reprogrammed.. J. Switft @23>>

flankerbandit @ 25 says " Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security..." flankerbandit @ 25 <=Not really the wealthy (investor interest) have pushed the pillage at will button.. since there is no resistance remaining, the wealthy will take it all for a song..


Jackrabbit @ 26 says "Trump [is].. Constitutionally charged with foreign policy. Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.by Jackrabbit @ 26 <== Trumps orders military to take 4 million day from Syria in oil?
your observation that the money has circumvented Article I of the COUS explains why the democraps are so upset.. the wealthy democrap interest has been left to rot? Your comment suggest s mafia is in charge?

Tod @ 32 says "As soon as some money goes his way, he'll discover democracy again.
Sorry to burst you bubbles." by: Tod @ 32" <==understatement of the day.. thanks.

Bevin @ 32 says "a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it. this means.. the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled" by bevin @ 33 <= yes but there is really no difference in a republic and its rule of law, and a fascist government and its military police both rule without any influential input from the governed.

michael @ 34 reaffirms "The President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'" michael @ 34 well known to barflies, the design of national constitutions is at the heart of the global problem. Until constitutional powers are placed in control of the governed there will never be a change in how the constitutional powers ( in case of the USA Article II powers) are used and abused.

OutofThinAir @45 says "In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.by: OutOfThinAir @ 45" <+governments are the tools of wealth interest and the governors their hired hands.

by: War is Peace @48 " Trump is a moron, groomed by Jewish parents ( Mother was Jewish, Father buried at biggest Jewish cementary in NYC ) to be a non-Jew worked for the mob under Cohen ( lawyer for 1950's McCarthy ); Became the 'Goyim Fool" real estate developer as a cover for laundering mob money. So that it didn't appear that it was Jewish Mafia Money, so they could work with the Italian Mafia. Trump went on for his greatest role ever to be the "fool in Chief" of the USA for AIPAC. What better way to murder people, than send out a fool, it causes people to drop their guard. by War is Peace @48 <= yes this is my take, What does it mean. com suggest the global wealth interest may be planning to reprogram Trump to better protect the interest of the global wealthy.
Kiza @ 51 the reason for globalization is explained see above=> response to Babyl-on @ 8

dh @ 53 says ""The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to." by dh @53 < the USA cannot consider anything, if its foreign the POTUS (Article II) makes all decisions because Art II gives the POTUS a monopoly on talking to, and dealing with, foreign governments.

Deagel @ 56 says "The American people don't care, they're all drugged out, and shitting on the side-walks all over the USA, and sleeping in their own shit. This is the best time in USA history for the Zionists to do anything they wish." by: Deagel @ 56 <= I think you under estimate the value Americans place on democracy and human rights, until recently governed Americans believed the third party privately produced MSM delivered propaganda that nearly all overseas operations by the USA were to separate the people in those places from their despotic leaders, and to help those displaced people install Democracy.. many Americans have come to understand such is far from the case.. the situation in the Ukraine has been an eye opener for many Americans. thoughts are sizzling, talk is happening, and people are trying to shut google out of their lives. that is why i think Trump is about to be reprogrammed from elected leader to .. God in charge

wealth interest example

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 4:01 utc | 61
Grieved...thanks for that magnificent analysis...

I watched that Soloviev segment with Kedmi the other day...always interesting to say the least...

Btw...I'm not really up to speed on that whole Debaltsevo cauldron thing...I've heard snippets here and there...[there is a guy, Auslander, who comments on the Saker blog that seems to have excellent first hand info, but I've only caught snippets here and there]...

I hadn't heard this part of the story before about Nato contractors as bargaining chips...if you care to shed a bit more light I will be grateful...

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 4:55 utc | 62
flankeerbandit @67--

I suggest going to The Saker Blog and enter Debaltsevo Cauldron into the site's search box and click Submit where you'll be greeted with numerous results.

Grieved @62--

Thanks for your reply and excellent recap. As I recall, Putin wants Donbass to remain in Ukraine and Ukraine to remain a whole state, although I haven't read his thoughts on the matter for quite some months as everything has revolved around implementing Minsk. The items at the Foreign Ministry I linked to are also concerned with Minsk.

The circus act in DC is trying to avoid any mention of Minsk, the coup or anything material to the gross imperial meddling done there to enrich the criminal elite, which includes Biden, Clinton, other DNC members--a whole suite of actors that omits Trump in this case, although they're trying to pin something on him. The issue being studiously ignored is Obama/Biden needed to be busted for their actions at the time, but in time-honored fashion weren't. And the huge rotted sewer of corruption related to that action and ALL that came before is the real problem at issue.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 5:12 utc | 63
@flankerbandit 64

Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person as evidenced by The New Yorker 737Max article in the previous thread. This good article could only be measured by how much it agrees with your own opinion that MCAS was put in to mimic the pilots' usual fly-stick feel. If anyone does his home work, such as the journalist of this article, then he must agree with you, right? With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense and say that it would be an unimaginably stupid idea to put in ANY AUTOMATED SYSTEM which pushes the plane's nose down during ascent (the most risky phase of a civilian flight, when almost desperately trying to get up and up and up) for any DUMBLY POSSIBLE REASON !? What could ever go wrong with such an absolutely dumbly initiated system relying on one sensor? Maybe it was a similar idea to putting a cigarette lighter right next to the car's gas tank because it lights up cigarettes better when there are gasoline vapors around. Or maybe an idea of testing the self-driving lithium battery (exploding & flammable) cars near kindergartens (of some other people's children)!?

An intelligent person would have said - whatever the reason was to put in MCAS it was a terribly dumb idea, instead of congratulating himself on understanding the "true reason".

dickr , Nov 15 2019 6:49 utc | 64
flankerbandit @18 good analysis thx.
Ike , Nov 15 2019 6:55 utc | 65
"If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions."

Really?

From what have gleaned from the alternative media available on the internet ,of which MOA is an important part. Putin and Lavrov are the two most moral and diplomatic statesmen on the world stage today Compared to Trump, Johnson, Macron, Merkel, Stoltenberg, Pompeo, Bolton and whoever else blights the international scene these days these two are colossi.

To describe them as like a Mafia family seems to me to be 180 degrees wrong. Maybe Putin overreacted, in his early days in power, to the Chechen conflict but look at the situation today.

Look at how Gorbachev and Yeltsin were played by the west. I appreciate you did not write the words quoted above but you said you agree with them and I find that startling given I am usually very admiring of your insight and knowledge of geopolitical events.

Fly , Nov 15 2019 7:14 utc | 66
According to the Impeachniks, it is Schiff's staff who decides how Schiff votes and his policies. It would be illegal for Schiff to make decisions. But Schiff's recommendation will make or break the careers of his staff, so elected Schiff has some influence. That's not true for elected Trump, because those in his service already have made careers and/or a host of outsiders looking to place them.
dickr , Nov 15 2019 7:32 utc | 67
@50 flankerbandit - wow!
QuietRebel , Nov 15 2019 8:47 utc | 68
Although, he didn't get impeached for it Obama did get criticized for not sending the aid to Ukraine. He was also criticized when he did intervene, but not fast enough for the deep state. Remember "leading from behind" in response to Libya. Obama was much more popular and circumspect than Trump, which protected him from possible impeachment when he went off the deep state's script.
Walter , Nov 15 2019 9:12 utc | 69

Discussion of the USC and the responsibilities assigned therein is probably a foolish and merely moot exercise, as law is, ultimately simply custom over time, and since '45 or so the custom has become dissociated from the documents' provisions, particularly with regard to war-making and the "licensed" import and sale of dangerous drugs, dope. The custom in place is essentially ukase - rule by decree. Many decree are secret.

I do not object, simply pointing to the obvious.

This is a public secret anybody can know. Inter alia see The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (McCoy)

...........

Custom includes also permitted theft, blackmail, trafficking children and so forth.

...........

zerohedge put up some documents tying TGM Hunter B to the money from Ukraine...


................

I would not worry about the name of the person called president. The real sitrep is more like watching rape and murder from the dirty windows of a runaway train.

ralphieboy , Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71
Upon the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine was left with the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. In exchange for financial assistance in the costs of removing all the nukes, the West guaranteed to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In the meantime, Russia has annexed the Crimea and rebels have taken control of parts of Eastern Ukraine. The West has not provided any direct military assistance to restore those territorial infringements.

Since the West has reneged on its end of the deal, would it not only be fair to return Ukraine's nukes so it can defend itself like the Big Boys do, namely with threat of nuclear annihilation?

Christian J Chuba , Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72
Ukrainians are dying

I hate this trope. The Russian Fed. is not launching offensive operations to capture Kharkov or Kiev. Western Ukraine is shelling ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. What would U.S. Congressman say if these were Jews? (I would condemn that as well).

The next time someone pontificates, 'Ukrainians are dying because Trump held up aid' ask them how many. The number is ZERO. Javelins are not being used on the front line.

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 12:47 utc | 73
Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat.
deschutes , Nov 15 2019 13:25 utc | 74
Mr. Kolomoisky is spot on, i.e. when he says that the Americans will only use Ukrainians as their little bitches to fight and die for America's gain against Russia. Just like the Americans fucked over the Kurds in Syria, using them as proxy fighters to do USA/Israel's dirty work. Wherever the USA shows up and starts interfering, everything turns into shit: Iraq...Afghanistan...Venezuela...Bolivia...Ukraine...Libya...Yemen...Nicaragua...Ecuador...the list is quite long. It remains to be seen if Mr. Kolomoisky can bring about rapprochement with Russia. He'd better watch his back.
William Gruff , Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75
"Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat." --Seamus Padraig @73

Yes, Kolomoisky has moved up a notch in my estimation as well; from the low of "monstrously inhuman spawn of satan" all the way up to "rabid dog" . That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.

juliania , Nov 15 2019 14:13 utc | 76
I am very glad to see you back, Grieved, and your 'wall of ice' metaphor is indeed accurate. To me, the promising signs in Ukraine were even as here in the US when voters fought back against what b calls Deep State, which I am sure in my heart was even more of an overwhelming surge than registered - the best the corrupters of the system could do was make it close enough to be a barely legitimate win for their side, and they didn't succeed. Maybe somewhere along their line of shenanigans a small cog in the wheel got religion and didn't do their 'job'. An unsung hero who will sing when it's safe.

I hope, dearly hope, it gets safe in Ukraine very soon. They are us only further down the line than we are, but we will get there if we can't totally remove the cancer in our midst. That's our job; I wish Ukraine all the best in removing theirs.

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 14:39 utc | 77
Jen 70

I believe the Russian presentation on MH17 showed a military aircraft climbing in the vicinity of, or towards MH17.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 14:47 utc | 78
Jen...I should have made clear that the two aircraft picked up by Russian PRIMARY RADAR were unidentified...

The two commercial flights you mention were in the area and were known to both Russian and Ukrainian controllers by means of the SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR, which picks up the aircraft transponder signals...

However, secondary WILL NOT pick up military craft that have their transponders off...which is normal operating procedure for military craft...

So the airspace situation was this...you can see this from one of the illustrations I provided from the DSB prelim report...

You had MH17...you had that other flight coming from the opposite direction [flying west]...and you had that airplane that overtook the MH17 from behind [they were in a hurry and were going faster, so when MH17 decided to stay at FL330, they were cleared to climb to FL350 so they could safely overtake with the necessary vertical separation...]

Those three aircraft were all picked up on the Ukrainian SECONDARY [transponder] surveillance...as well as the Russians...on both their PRIMARY AND SECONDARY...

But what the Russians picked up were two craft ONLY ON THEIR PRIMARY...those would have been military aircraft flying with their transponders off [they're allowed to do that and do that most of the time in fact]...

That's why those two DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THE SECONDARY DATA HANDED OVER TO THE INVESTIGATORS BY THE UKRAINIANS...

Only primary radar would pick those up...and, very conveniently, the Dnipro primary was inop at the time...[so the data handed to investigators by the Ukrainians would have no trace of any military aircraft nearby]...

But with the Russian primary radar data, there is in fact evidence that there were military aircraft in the air at the time...just that the Dutch investigators simply decided to exclude the very vital Russian radar data on some stupid technicality...

[Really this is a very poorly done report, both prelim and final, and I've read many over the years...]

The other thing I should have emphasized more clearly is about that course deviation that controllers steered MH17 to, just seconds before it was hit...

The known traffic was those three commercial aircraft, as shown on the chart... here it is again...

Those three commercial flights are clearly labeled...and the big question is... why was MH17 DIVERTED SOUTH...OFF ITS PLANNED ROUTE...?

We can see the deviation track by the dotted red line...

Clearly there was no 'other traffic' that required MH17 to be vectored south by the controllers...

In fact we see that there was a FOURTH commercial flight [another B777] that was flying south exactly to that same waypoint that MH17 was diverted to...we see this airplane is flying west on the M70 airway and is heading to the RND waypoint...

This does not make sense...why would you divert MH17 from going to TAMAK as flight planned...in order to go south toward RND where another airplane is heading...

If nothing else this is very bad controller practice right there...yet again, the DSB [Dutch Safety Board] does not even raise this question...

Like I said, leaving aside any guesswork, these are the simple facts and they raise serious questions...both about the competence of the Dutch report, and the way the controllers handled that flight...

S , Nov 15 2019 14:53 utc | 79
Ukrainian think tank Ukrainian Institute of the Future and Ukrainian media outlet Zerkalo Nedeli (both anti-Russian, but slightly more intellectual than typical Ukrainian outlets) have contracted a Kharkov-based pollster to conduct a poll among DNR/LNR residents from October 7 to October 31 (method: face-to-face interviews at the homes of the respondents, sample size: 806 respondents in DNR and 800 respondents in LNR, margin of error: 3.2%) and published its results in an article: Тест на сумісність [Compatibility Test] (in Ukrainian).

It's a long and rambling article, interspersed with Ukrainian propagandistic clichés (perhaps to placate Ukrainian nationalists), but the numbers look solid, so I've extracted the numbers I consider important and put them in a table format. Here they are:

GENERAL INFORMATION

Gender
46.5% male
53.5% female

Age
8.3% <25 years old
91.7% ≥25 years old

Education
31.5% no vocational training or higher education
45.2% vocational training
23.3% higher education

Employment
24% public sector
24% private sector
5% NGOs
45% unemployed

Religion
57% marry and baptize their children in Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
31% believe in God, but do not go to any church
12% other churches, other religions, atheists

Political activity
3% are members of parties
97% are not members of parties

Language
90% speak Russian at home
10% speak other languages at home

Nationality
55.4% consider themselves Ukrainians
44.6% do not consider themselves Ukrainians

ECONOMY

Opinion about the labor market
24.3% there are almost no jobs
39.3% high unemployment, but it's possible to find a job
15.7% there are jobs, even if temporary
17.1% key enterprises are working, those who want to work can find a job
2.9% there are not enough employees

Personal financial situation
4.9% are saving on food
36.4% enough money to buy food, but have to save money to buy clothing
43.6% enough money to buy food and clothing, but have to save money to buy a suit, a mobile phone, or a vacuum cleaner
12% enough money to buy food, clothing, and other goods, but have to save money to buy expensive goods (e.g. consumer electronics)
2.7% enough money to buy food, clothing, and expensive goods, but have to save money to buy a car or an apartment
0.4% enough money to buy anything

Personal financial situation compared to the previous year
28.4% worsened
57.3% stayed the same
14.2% improved

Personal financial situation expectations for the next year
21% will worsen
58.6% will stay the same
18.7% will improve

Opinion on the Ukraine's (sans DNR/LNR) economic situation compared to the previous year
50.3% worsened
41.4% stayed the same
6.3% improved

CITIZENSHIP

Consider themselves citizens of
57.8% the Ukraine
34.8% DNR/LNR
6.8% Russia

Russian citizenship
42.9% never thought about obtaining it
15.5% don't want to obtain it
34.2% would like to obtain it
7.4% already obtained it

Considered leaving DNR/LNR for
5.2% the Ukraine
11.1% Russia
2.9% other country
80.8% never considered leaving

Visits to the Ukraine over the past year
35.1% across the DNR/LNR–Ukraine border (overwhelming majority of them -- 32.2% of all respondents -- are pensioners who visit the Ukraine to receive their pensions)
2.6% across the Russia–Ukraine border
62.3% have not visited the Ukraine

WAR

Is the war in Donbass an internal Ukrainian conflict?
35.6% completely agree
40.5% tend to agree
14.1% tend to disagree
9.3% completely disagree

Was the war started by Moscow and pro-Russian groups?
3.1% completely agree
6.4% tend to agree
45.1% tend to disagree
44.9% completely disagree

Who must pay to rebuild DNR/LNR? (multiple answers)
63.6% the Ukraine
29.3% Ukrainian oligarchs
18.5% DNR/LNR themselves
17% the U.S.
16.5% the EU
16% Russia
13% all of the above

ZELENSKIY

Opinion about Zelenskiy
1.9% very positive
17.2% positive
49.6% negative
29.3% very negative

Has your opinion about Zelenskiy changed over the past months?
2.7% significantly improved
7.9% somewhat improved
44.8% stayed the same
22.9% somewhat worsened
20.5% significantly worsened

Will Zelenskiy be able to improve the Ukraine's economy?
1.4% highly likely
13.3% likely
55.3% unlikely
30% highly unlikely

Will Zelenskiy be able to bring peace to the region?
1.7% highly likely
12.5% likely
59% unlikely
26.5% highly unlikely

MEDIA

Where do you get your information on politics? (multiple answers)
84.3% TV
60.6% social networks
50.9% relatives, friends
45.9% websites
17.4% co-workers
10% radio
7.4% newspapers and magazines

What social networks do you use? (multiple answers)
70.7% YouTube
61% VK
52.3% Odnoklassniki
49.8% Viber
27.1% Facebook
21.4% Instagram
12.4% Twitter
11.1% Telegram

FUTURE

Desired status of DNR/LNR
5.1% part of the Ukraine
13.4% part of the Ukraine with a special status
16.2% independent state
13.4% part of Russia with a special status
50.9% part of Russia

Desired status of entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts
8.4% part of the Ukraine
10.8% part of the Ukraine with a special status
14.4% independent state
13.3% part of Russia with a special status
49.6% part of Russia

Really?? , Nov 15 2019 15:12 utc | 80
Just listening to a bit of the testimony of the ex-ambassador to Ukraine.

It is all BS hearsay!

Also, this lady doesn't seem to grasp that as an employee of the State Department, she answers to Trump. Trump is her boss.

The questioning is full of leading questions that contains allegations and unproved premises built into them. I can't imagine that such questioning would be allowed in a normal court of justice in the USA.

Sure, Trump is a boor. But he is still the boss and he gets to pull out ambassadors if he wants to.

This is total grandstanding.

Also, a lot of emotional stuff like "I was devastated. I was shocked. Color drained from my face as I read the telephone transcript . . . "
This is BS!

I hope it is as obvious to others as to me.

I do

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 15:28 utc | 81
@ Posted by: Jen | Nov 15 2019 10:26 utc | 70

IIRC the Russian radar showed that the two mystery planes in questions were flying in MH17's blindspot . That's way too close to be half an hour away. Also, the fact that the two planes were flying over a war zone with their transponders turned off (which is why they couldn't be conclusively identified) strongly suggests that they were military.

@ Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71

When the US launched a coup in Kiev, wasn't that a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty too?

@ Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72

You know the real reason why they have yet to deliver the javelins to Ukraine? It's because they're afraid that they'll be sold on the black market and end up in the ME somewhere targeting US tanks. That's why.

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75

That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.
Well, I did use the qualifier 'somewhat'. ;-)
Don Bacon , Nov 15 2019 15:34 utc | 82
on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States."

She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 15:52 utc | 84
Cheeza decides to launch a personal attack...also completely off topic...
Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person [sic]...With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense...an intelligent person would have said...blah blah blah...

Look man...I'm not going to take up a lot of space on this thread because it's not about the MAX...

BUT...I need to set the record straight because you are accusing me here of somehow muddying the waters on the MAX issue...

That is a complete inversion of the truth...I have been very explicit in my [professional] comments about the MAX...and it is the exact opposite of what you are trying to tar me with here...

An example of my one of my comments here...

Yes, it is important to understand these things...which is why I have made the effort to explain the issue more clearly for the layman audience...

Your pathetic attack here shows you have no shame, nor self-respect...

Let's rewind the tape here...I said that Gazprom is looking to cut supplies to Ukraine in the new 10 year deal that comes up for negotiation in January...and that they are going to be pumping much less gas through Ukraine because NS2 now allows to bypass Ukraine...

You took a run at this comment, calling it wrong, and putting up a bunch of your own hypothesizing...

I responded by linking to the Russian news report quoting officials saying exactly that...that gas to Ukraine will be greatly reduced...

Instead of responding to that by admitting you were full of shit...you decide to attack me on the MAX issue...everybody here knows my [professional] position on the MAX...and that I have said repeatedly THAT IT CANNOT BE FIXED...[which is also why I have offered detailed technical explanations...]

I'm not going to let you screw with my integrity here...everything you attributed to me on the MAX is completely FALSE and in fact turning the truth on its head...

Realist , Nov 15 2019 16:08 utc | 87
Well done Peter. You totally f'd up the thread width once again.

Thanks a lot, you selfish incompetent c**t

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 16:32 utc | 91
Realist 87

If you weren't such a dickhead you would see my links dont even reach text margins.

c1ue , Nov 15 2019 16:33 utc | 92
@flankerbandit #18

As Kiza #55 noted - Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity. The primary impact is that Ukraine can't hold far Western European customer gas hostage anymore with its gas transit "negotiations" as Nordstream allows Russia to sell directly to Germany.

There can still be Russian gas sold via Ukraine, but this will be mostly to near-Ukraine neighbors: Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Czech as well as Ukraine itself.
Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania can transit from Turk Stream, but there are potential Turk (and Bulgarian) issues.

Poland is already committing to LNG in order to not be dependent on Russian gas transiting Ukraine - a double whammy. The ultimate effect is to remove Ukraine's stranglehold position over Russian gas exports, which in turn severely undercuts Ukraine's ability to both get really cheap Russian gas and additional transit fees - a major blow to their economy.

That part of your analysis is accurate.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 17:13 utc | 97
A fool piped in...
Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity.

Look...I'm not going to waste more time on bullshit...where are the FACTS about what you CLAIM here...?

The two Nordstream pipes equal 110 bcm per year...plus there are other pipeline routes that do not go through Ukraine...

Here is a study of the Euro gas imports from Russia from a few months ago...

The Conclusion...page 9

Therefore, the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine in volumes greater than the 26 bcm/y suggested above will depend on the European Commission and European gas importers, and their insistence that gas transit via Ukraine continues.

Otherwise, gas transit via Ukraine will be reduced to delivering limited volumes for European storage re-fills in the 'off-peak' summer months...

This prospect will undoubtedly complicate any negotiations between Gazprom and its Ukrainian counterparty over a new contract to govern the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, once the existing contract expires at the end of December 2019.

...Gazprom may be willing to commit to only limited annual transit volumes...

European gas importers don't give a shit about Ukraine...and they have the final word...they care only about getting the gas they need from Russia in a reliable way and at a good price...

The news report I linked to makes it perfectly clear that the Europeans are demanding that the Ukranians get their act together on the gas issue, or they will be dropped altogether...

You know...FOOL...it really makes me wonder how fools like you decide to make statements here with a very authoritative tone...when it is quite clear you are talking out your rear end...

Nobody needs that kind of bullshit here...if you don't know a subject sufficiently well, then maybe you should keep quiet...or when making a statement, phrase it as your own OPINION and nothing more...

[Nov 03, 2019] How Controlling Syria s Oil Serves Washington s Strategic Objectives by Nauman Sadiq

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus. ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Nauman Sadiq,

Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.

Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.

It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.

Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.

There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.

Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.

After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.

Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.

Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.

Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.

Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.

Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.

Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.

In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.

Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.

Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.

Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.

Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.

* * *

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.


ipsprez , 8 minutes ago link

I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.

OLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link

What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......

Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link

This is about Israel, not oil.

ombon , 58 minutes ago link

From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.

Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link

yeah well these are mafia guys...

uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link

"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.

BobEore , 1 hour ago link

...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!

"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."

Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!

...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...

and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!

... ... ...

[Jul 17, 2019] Oil Is Driving the Iran Crisis by Michael T. Klare

Highly recommended!
Washington's aggression is part of a decades-long quest to control the spigot in the Persian Gulf.
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, the world economy -- of which the United States is the leading beneficiary (despite President Trump's self-destructive trade wars) -- relies on an uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to keep energy prices low. By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country's nuclear supremacy. ..."
"... True, Washington fought wars in the Middle East when the American economy was still deeply vulnerable to any disruption in the flow of imported oil. In 1990, this was the key reason President George H.W. Bush gave for his decision to evict Iraqi troops from Kuwait after Saddam Hussein's invasion of that land. "Our country now imports nearly half the oil it consumes and could face a major threat to its economic independence," he told a nationwide TV audience. ..."
"... All told, 33.6 percent of world energy consumption last year was made up of oil, 27.2 percent of coal (itself a global disgrace), 23.9 percent of natural gas, 6.8 percent of hydro-electricity, 4.4 percent of nuclear power, and a mere 4 percent of renewables. ..."
"... Concluding that the increased demand for oil in Asia, in particular, will outweigh reduced demand elsewhere, the IEA calculated in its 2017 World Energy Outlook that oil will remain the world's dominant source of energy in 2040, accounting for an estimated 27.5 percent of total global energy consumption. That will indeed be a smaller share than in 2018, but because global energy consumption as a whole is expected to grow substantially during those decades, net oil production could still rise -- from an estimated 100 million barrels a day in 2018 to about 105 million barrels in 2040. ..."
"... More dramatic yet is the growing centrality of the Asia-Pacific region to the global flow of petroleum. In 2000, that region accounted for only 28 percent of world consumption; in 2040, its share is expected to stand at 44 percent, thanks to the growth of China, India, and other Asian countries, whose newly affluent consumers are already buying cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other oil-powered products. ..."
"... To lend muscle to what would soon be dubbed the "Carter Doctrine," the president created a new US military organization, the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), and obtained basing facilities for it in the Gulf region. Ronald Reagan, who succeeded Carter as president in 1981, made the RDJTF into a full-scale "geographic combatant command," dubbed Central Command, or CENTCOM, which continues to be tasked with ensuring American access to the Gulf today (as well as overseeing the country's never-ending wars in the Greater Middle East). ..."
"... When ordering US forces into combat in the Gulf, American presidents have always insisted that they were acting in the interests of the entire West. In advocating for the "reflagging" mission of 1987, for instance, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger argued (as he would later recall in his memoir Fighting for Peace ), "The main thing was for us to protect the right of innocent, nonbelligerent and extremely important commerce to move freely in international open waters -- and, by our offering protection, to avoid conceding the mission to the Soviets." Though rarely so openly acknowledged, the same principle has undergirded Washington's strategy in the region ever since: The United States alone must be the ultimate guarantor of unimpeded oil commerce in the Persian Gulf. ..."
"... Look closely and you can find this principle lurking in every fundamental statement of US policy related to that region and among the Washington elite more generally. My own personal favorite, when it comes to pithiness, is a sentence in a report on the geopolitics of energy issued in 2000 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies , a Washington-based think tank well-populated with former government officials (several of whom contributed to the report): "As the world's only superpower, [the United States] must accept its special responsibilities for preserving access to [the] worldwide energy supply." You can't get much more explicit than that. ..."
"... As things stand today, any Iranian move in the Strait of Hormuz that can be portrayed as a threat to the "free flow of commerce" (that is, the oil trade) represents the most likely trigger for direct US military action. Yes, Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for radical Shiite movements throughout the Middle East will be cited as evidence of its leadership's malevolence, but its true threat will be to American dominance of the oil lanes, a danger Washington will treat as the offense of all offenses to be overcome at any cost. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | thenation.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com .

It's always the oil. While President Trump was hobnobbing with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 summit in Japan, brushing off a recent UN report about the prince's role in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Asia and the Middle East, pleading with foreign leaders to support "Sentinel." The aim of that administration plan: to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.

Both Trump and Pompeo insisted that their efforts were driven by concern over Iranian misbehavior in the region and the need to ensure the safety of maritime commerce. Neither, however, mentioned one inconvenient three-letter word -- O-I-L -- that lay behind their Iranian maneuvering (as it has impelled every other American incursion in the Middle East since World War II).

Now, it's true that the United States no longer relies on imported petroleum for a large share of its energy needs. Thanks to the fracking revolution , the country now gets the bulk of its oil -- approximately 75 percent -- from domestic sources. (In 2008, that share had been closer to 35 percent.) Key allies in NATO and rivals like China, however, continue to depend on Middle Eastern oil for a significant proportion of their energy needs.

As it happens, the world economy -- of which the United States is the leading beneficiary (despite President Trump's self-destructive trade wars) -- relies on an uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf to keep energy prices low. By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country's nuclear supremacy.

This logic was spelled out cl