John Helmer: Content Analysis of Secretary Blinken at Geneva Reveals Psychopathological Incapacity to Negotiate with Russia

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed publicly in Geneva on Friday, January 21,  that he will not negotiate a no-war agreement with the Russians because he cannot. This is already understood by the Russians; by the French and Germans; and by several senior officials of the Biden Administration.

The evidence of Blinken’s incapacity is in the words he says.

It was during the last world war,  when US policymakers had next to no intelligence on how their German counterparts were thinking and what they were intending,   that a group of American sociologists were engaged by the War Department, as the Pentagon was called then,  to do what was called content analysis of German propaganda.   One of the sociologists, a Russian émigré Nathan Leites, went on to apply the same method to Soviet publications in order to uncover what Leites  called the operational code of the Politburo.  That was in 1951. It was immediately used by US negotiators during the Korean War armistice negotiations which began in July of that year and ran for two years. By then Leites had produced a sequel, A Study of Bolshevism. Both were paid for and published by RAND, the think-tank created in 1945 by the US Air Force, the Douglas Aircraft Company, and the War Department.

Since then the method has not been used on US Government officials, at least not by RAND nor publicly by any American sociologist.

When the RAND method is used to analyze what Blinken told the  US press, following his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, it is revealed that Blinken has no intention whatever of negotiating a non-aggression pact with the Russians on any terms. According to the scientific method devised by the best and brightest Americans for dealing with their enemies, it’s now clear from Blinken’s own words that he is unable to understand what Russians tell him. In the mind behind the words there is only one compulsive idea – attack, punish, destroy Russia.

The State Department has published the transcript of Blinken’s statement and answers to questions at his press conference.

No posting time has been indicated by the State Department. Watch Blinken read from a written script for the first six and a half minutes of his 29 and a half-minute briefing.

Blinken’s meeting with Lavrov lasted for just 90 minutes. The session on January 10 between their deputies, Wendy Sherman and Sergei Ryabkov, had run for almost eight hours. That has been analysed here.

At his parallel press conference in Geneva, Lavrov explained: “Punctuality, in principle, cannot be a bad sign. We planned the meeting for an hour and a half. It was pretty clear what we were going to discuss. There was no need to reproduce everything that was said at the Russian-American talks in Geneva on January 10 this year and at the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on January 12 this year.”

“We heard the first reaction of the United States (so far verbally) to what was discussed in those two formats at the level of our deputies. As the American side requested when it proposed to hold this meeting, the reaction was preliminary. We were warned about this. It was accompanied by clarifying questions addressed to us, the answers to which will help Washington (A. Blinken told me this on the phone) to prepare a written response to our written drafts of the treaty with the United States and the agreement with NATO. That’s what happened today.” Read Lavrov’s remarks in full.

The Russian Foreign Ministry transcript was posted at 19:36 Moscow time on January 21. Source:

Lavrov spoke extemporaneously; unlike Blinken, he did not read from prepared script or notes.Lavrov said it was premature for him to “chew over” what Blinken’s intentions, or US government plans – Lavrov distinguishes between them – are for war in Europe. “I cannot say that we are on the right or wrong path. We will understand this when we get the American reaction ‘on paper’ to all the points of our proposals.”

“This was not a negotiation,” Blinken declared, “but a candid exchange of concerns and ideas.”   For content analysis, the reporters’ questions and extraneous editing materials have been removed; Blinken’s text runs for 3,359 words.  These have been transferred to a document file where conventional text search analyses have been performed.

In Blinken’s text, the word “exchange” appeared only once. When Blinken used the word “idea”, he meant his own. This word appeared five times – four of them refer to Blinken’s ideas, none to Lavrov’s. The word “concern” appeared 23 times, and is one of Blinken’s most frequently used substantive terms. He used it 7 times for Russia; 8 times for the US, and 8 times referring neutrally to the mutual or reciprocal concerns on the two sides.

Defining what he meant by “concern”, Blinken used the term “security” 15 times – 8 times to refer to what he called US security or that of its allies; 5 times neutrally; just twice to Russian security. “Actions” Blinken used as often – 15 mentions. Just twice did Blinken mean US actions, and only once was the term used neutrally. The overwhelming majority of “actions”, 12 altogether, are Russian in Blinken’s vocabulary:  they are either “military”, or “destabilizing”, “escalatory”, “aggressive”, “threatening”, or “challenge or undermine peace and security not only in Ukraine but throughout Europe and, indeed, in the world”.

“Defense” was used 8 times, but only in relation to the US or its allies, principally the Ukraine. Blinken does not acknowledge that Russia has any “concern” or is taking any “action” to safeguard its own “security”, or is engaged in defence of itself. “Interests” was a term that Blinken applied four times, but exclusively to Russia.

“Aggression” appeared  15 times in  Blinken’s briefing of almost 30 minutes; subtracting the time it took the journalists to ask their questions, Blinken used “aggression” every 1.5 minutes, and applied it only to Russia. In Blinken’s mind, there has been no Ukrainian attack on the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the east of the country; no civil war; no legitimate Ukrainian opposition to the Kiev regime. Beyond the Ukraine, Blinken added, “Russia has an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyber attacks, paramilitary tactics, and other means of advancing their interests aggressively without overtly using military action.”

“Military” (x7) is principally what Blinken attributes to Russia. “Invade” (x6) and “attack ” (x2),  are exclusively Russian. “Response” (x5) is solely what the US does, and almost always “united” (x4).


In Russia’s draft non-aggression treaty with the US, presented on December 17,  the “core security interest” of Russia is the halt, then pullback of the deployment of US nuclear weapons under NATO cover towards Russia’s sea and land frontiers.  Blinken did not mention the term “missile”, and the only reference he made to nuclear weapons was to Iran’s nuclear programme. Even that, Blinken turned into a Russian responsibility. “We hope that Russia will use the influence that it has and relationship that it has with Iran to impress upon Iran that sense of urgency, and equally, that if we’re unable to do that because Iran refuses to undertake the obligations that are necessary, that we will pursue a different path in dealing with the danger posed by Iran’s renewed nuclear program.” This was Blinken’s reference to the Israeli plan of attack on Iran; he appears to endorse it.

Blinken has ignored the fundamental point of the Russian proposals in the draft pacts for the US and NATO. He has dismissed Sherman’s talks with Ryabkov on reducing the threats of nuclear war in Europe and between Russia and the US.

Instead, the words Blinken has chosen mean more war on the Ukraine front. The only “terms” (x8) he referred to are not those he is ready to “negotiate” (x1) with Russia, but the “terms of the assistance we’re providing to Ukraine for its defense, in terms of the work we’re doing at NATO to prepare as necessary to further reinforce the Alliance, and continuing to define and refine massive consequences for Russia with our allies and partners when it comes to financial, economic and other sanctions.”

Tested in two hot wars, and during the Cold War, the RAND method for gauging the intention of the adversary predicts this about Blinken – he wants war with Russia; he has no mind for any alternative.

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    1. timbers

      I’m not encouraged at all, seeing reports NATO is moving military eastward and suggestions Biden is considering moving thousands of troops east as well. Also IMO “Biden” is totally not a factor being manipulated and fed whatever “info” he needs to hear to let the warmongers get from him what they want.

      1. profan

        well, McGovern mentions basically 4 encouraging things:
        1) Blinken mentioned he may be open to reviving the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned the deployment, in Europe or in Russia, of medium-range nuclear missiles — this is something Russia wants and it appears the US may be open to giving it.
        2) Biden said “Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.” — at least in rhetoric this is something Russia would appreciate, and if this is specified in writing, this may be a good thing.
        3) in another article he mentions: “Under-reported is Stoltenberg’s sudden conversion, the day after the NATO-Russia talks in Brussels, to an advocate for talks on “re-establishing some kind of limits on missiles as long as this is reciprocal, balanced, and verifiable.” Stoltenberg added that NATO “was ready to discuss not only limitations, but also a ban on intermediate range weapons.” He emphasized that this is “the kind of diplomatic negotiations that should not take place in public as that will only undermine the possibility for a successful outcome.” (See:”

        4) “Also under-reported is a Washington Post article from two months ago reporting that the White House had asked the Pentagon to provide a rundown of exercises the U.S. military has taken in recent years in Europe to deter Russia, and how each was justified. It is no secret that the Russians have protested loudly at the number and the intrusiveness of many of those exercises, but in vain — at least up until now.

        This strikes me as a rare leak of a highly unusual White House request. One cannot rule out the possibility that President Putin is now being heard — and by someone in the White House. In any case, limitations on exercises is one of the issues U.S. negotiators are willing to discuss with their Russian counterparts. And it is a significant issue.”

  1. Louis Fyne

    what is going on right now is insanity. the rhetoric from the US makes no sense as there is zero support for any conflict from even the traditional rally-around-the-flag folks. Nevermind the US will lose any conventional fight that takes place anywhere near the Russian border.

    It “only” took the Iraq War-occupation and Afghanistan to turn even the most Strangelove-ian “Cowboy riding the nuclear bomb”-type into a neo-isolationist.

    If Biden is sends more troops (1k to 5k) to Eastern Europe (as discussed in media), Russia could easily escalate the situation and rhetorically trap the US even further….see recognizing Donbas independence, abandon the EU gas market. What next DC genius factory?

    Never fight a land war in Asia—and that includes Eastern Europe. Send the DC brain trust’s kids to fight-die for Ukraine, not my neighbors’

    1. Hayek's Heelbiter

      “Send the DC brain trust’s [aka Chicken Hawk Central] kids to fight-die for Ukraine, not my neighbors”
      Nor my kids.

      1. John Mc

        Not sure that’s the kind of war we’d see between powers like US, Russia or China for that matter.

        My estimation is that any type of direct warfare is gonna be nuclear and those who have access to underground nuclear bunkers (Continuity of Government type stuff) will be safe and everyone else is YOYO.

    2. rankinfile

      The children of the power brokers will be busy attending frat parties date raping your daughters.Meanwhile the ghetto will furnish all the cannon fodder the war machine needs.


  2. Thomas P

    It worries me that USA and UK starts evacuating people from their embassies in Ukraine. This seems to be designed to give the impression that war is likely.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It may be more of a case where the US does not trust certain elements of the Ukrainian government to launch a deadly attack against those personnel and then try to blame the Russians for it, thus bringing it into direct confrontation with the US as the US will seek revenge. Something along the lines of the thermobaric weapon that was used to murder the popular separatist commander Mikhail “Givi” Tolstykh- (45 secs)

      Can you imagine if that was the Kiev US Embassy?

      1. Thomas P

        Can you imagine the backlash if it was found out? False flag operations certainly happen, but when you attack a bigger ally you want to keep the size of the attack on a scale where it can be forgiven, because sometimes you are found out. Israel bombed US and British buildings in the Lavon Affair, but they used small bombs to make sure no one was killed.

        1. Donald

          The Israelis have a long history of false flag operations.

          Tying into what you said,they were running a false flag terrorist operation in Lebanon in the 80’s, but pulled back from what would have been a very bloody attack because they were afraid they might kill the Russian ambassador.

          It’s interesting to me when people who claim to be political sophisticates reflexively laugh at conspiracy theories and say nobody can keep a secret, because that is almost beside the point. It doesn’t mean, of course, that one should automatically believe conspiracy theories, but Israel murdered hundreds of people in a false flag campaign, the Palestinians said it was the Israelis and the Western world denied it. But I would bet Western intelligence agencies knew it. And when the NYT wrote about it a few years ago they placed virtually all of the emphasis on the occasions when saner Israelis called off a couple of attacks. The ones that were carried forward received about a paragraph.

          Secrets aren’t necessarily kept. It is just that Westerners sometimes ignore something when it is right in front of them.

          I don’t follow the Ukraine or the spy vs spy stories involving Russia, but take for granted that our side is lying about some things and we probably won’t here mainstream acknowledgment of this for decades, if ever.

          1. WJ

            This is an excellent comment. It very much applies to, among other events, the attack on the USS Liberty, during which Israel (and arguably the White House) tried unsuccessfully to drag the US into its war with Egypt.

          2. Thomas P

            Donald, reading that twitter and searching on FLLF I found that Israel apparently tried to assassinate US Ambassador to Lebanon John Gunther Dean, so Israel has been cocky enough to go after even US diplomats. After accusing Israel of the attack Dean was declared mentally unfit by the US government…

          3. Yves Smith

            Daniel Ellsberg, in his book Secrets, said that there are many secrets of the most vital national importance kept by thousands of people.

            The assumption that someone would leak or go loose lipped helps maintain the fiction of limited covert knowledge/activity.

      2. Hickory

        Sometimes the receiving country leadership maintains the false flag pretense because it serves their purpose. Notice how so much has come out about Saudi support for 9/11 attacks. Instead of the us attacking Saudi Arabia in revenge, or otherwise punishing them, the US classified info pointing to Saudi involvement and attacked a bunch of other countries they already wanted to attack.

    2. Darius

      This seems like more theater. One more escalation, adding to the crisis-like atmosphere, in which a lame pretext to start a war gains more acceptance. A war would be a nice distraction from the Biden COVID meltdown ahead of the midterms. Time to clear out of DC and move to the country?

  3. timbers

    Rand analysis matches my impressions from watching Video of Blinken speaking. Best case scenario: US doing this to permanently shut down NordSteam2. Worst case scenario: US is delusional and wants if all, confrontation…in which case US and maybe others are in for a world of hurt because underestimating Russian strength determination and situational advantages.

  4. Tom Stone

    Objectively the US foreign policy establishment is insane.
    Not just Blinken, the establishment as a whole.
    I wish that were hyperbole.

    1. The Historian

      I’ll agree that US foreign policy is insane!

      The one question I have that I cannot get an answer to is “Why now?” What has changed? Ukraine has been a roiling mass for years and years so why the urgency now?

      1. WJ

        1. domestic politics: Biden needs a foreign policy “win”
        2. Russian red-line demands about no NATO expansion are forcing the issue


        1. jsn

          Agreed, the Russians are no longer willing to watch NATO slice another paper thin slice off their defensive salami.

          In fact, they appear to want their defensive perimeter pushed back to the 97 pre-NATO expansion ante.

          I can see how after the current hysteria, when Russia doesn’t invade, Biden can say, “we have prevented Putin from invading Ukraine” and wind down tension. It’s not clear how one addresses the withdrawal of NATO status from Romania and Bulgaria without a great deal more Sturm und Drang, hyperbolic emotionality that could go hypersonic any moment. Interesting times.

          1. Douglas

            Recalling from Obama’s time it was understood that there were a “richness” of corrupt oligarchs on both sides of Ukraine’s borders.

            You can see it in Putin’s face — for the Russians it’s more of personal struggles with ‘competitors’ in Ukraine than geopolitics.

            It was also steaming hot on Poro’s table that his only real hope for a better future was EU membership.

            “Stunned” was the free world when the oli-s treated everyone’s regard as .. “flyover look-ups”.

      2. Susan the other

        I was just thinking that it is possible that NATO is falling apart. The main reason, my guess here, is that the US no longer has control over oil going to the EU. One way for Russia to accelerate the disintegration of NATO would be to cut oil supplies to the Europeans. The EU is already frugal when it comes to burning oil. So tightening their supply by some percentage would start to mess with them politically. That seems to have happened in Ukraine and before that, Georgia. Remember John McCain blurting out on a trip to the Middle East that Russia wasn’t a country, it was just a big gas station? We tried to agitate for oil even before that. But the confusion is that it looks like we are the instigators of NATO unrest. Maybe we didn’t realize that blocking sufficient oil to the EU would force the EU to look to Russia for oil. If this is true, it has been a very clumsy dance. Going back decades. And, gradually as we ourselves have used up our own reserves, the situation has become more and more aggressive on both sides. The break-up of NATO would suit the Russians just fine, imo. They are pretty sick of being “contained.”

        1. Douglas

          And recall Rogozin telling the Montenegrans they “would live to regret” joining NATO.

          Tiny little Montenegro.

        2. JTMcPhee

          I believe the US Imperials cut off Japanese access to petro resources in the late 1930s. Look how that played out?

          And I remember the Japanese selling advanced metal milling machinery to the Soviets, for a relative pittance, letting them make much smoother propellers with much reduced cavitation, for their ballistic missile submarines that tossed US sonic detection equipment costing tens of billions onto the scrap heap.

          Too many unaccountable, randomly interacting moving parts, way beyond the simple mechanics of Rube Goldberg. And no simple guiding principle, like survival of the species — just crapification and corruption, top to bottom.

          Little things mean a lot. Lots of examples of little things unlimbering the increasingly f&&&ed up US military into WAR gear, “Remember the Maine!” , Gulf of Tonkin, Cuban missiles and so much more.

          1. Douglas

            True, too true.

            And remember, … “exceptional innocence” is inconveniently a 2-way street.

            Only one way out of such binds — true goodwill. Is that .. “available”? Lol

  5. Carolinian

    Blinken may want war but the Russians don’t. And there’s also the possibility that Blinken wants all eyes on Blinken and fear mongering works for that. The news media too need ratings boosting attention and it works for them.

    However it’s doubtful that the American public want yet another policy disaster from the Bidenistas and Blinken is saying no to them. Perhaps we should just get rid of Blinken (and his ilk) and the crisis will be solved.

        1. gwb

          I voted for the Green Party in the 2020 elections because I was dismayed by all the Bush warmongers that joined the Biden campaign.

        2. lance ringquist

          you would need to sweep the nafta democrats out to.

          1998 Iraq Liberation Act, see gore with nafta billy and the generals

          Joe Biden voted in favor of the act, which was signed into law by Clinton in October 1998.

          we can never recover till nafta billy clintons disastrous policies have been reversed

          Expanded U.S. Bombings in Iraq
          Jeremy Scahill
          April 27 2021, 1:39 p.m.
          the clinton/blairs lies and illegal war against yugoslavia, opened the door to the bush cheney lies and illegal war in iraq, which lead to the obama/clinton lies and illegal wars against libya and syria, now we have isis

          Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue

          By John Pilger
          bush and cheney will never stand for war crimes, because, all roads lead to bill clinton: If only the world had been presented with an honest account of our country’s international crimes against Yugoslavia in 1999, the worldwide civil society resistance to Western aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya would have been strengthened by broader awareness of the dangers of U.S. militarism and the deceptive role of Western propaganda in setting the stage for war.

          America’s Deceptive Model for Aggression
          September 26, 2016
          surviving fascism if biden wins: folks you can’t make this stuff up, yes it was bill clintons disastrous polices of endless war for free trade that biden has pledged to keep

      1. Librarian Guy

        I completely agree, but– Let’s not forget, try to sweep them out of the MSM as well!! I just watched some excellent coverage of the US-Blinken push to war on today’s “Useful Idiots” podcast with Katie Halper and Aaron Mate (of the GrayZone, replacement while Matt Taibi is out working on a book) . . . the dumb@ss talking heads of CBS, CNN etc. were all pushing hard for war over the weekend. And I agree that the public isn’t buying it. The MSM chowderheads never bring up all the WMD lies in ’02-03 (or the 08 rewards for financial crimes), but thankfully the public hasn’t entirely forgotten. BUT let’s not forget the studies show the public has statistically near 0 pull on what the bought-off sleaze who run DC decide to do!! And the War Profiteers are pushing hard for those profits. . . I think in the long-run, another failed war would accelerate the US’s decline and the Dems’ 2022 midterm losses faster. But that doesn’t mean they won’t start another war, they are both stupid and evil (as seen in Blinken’s blinkered psychology).

    1. Susan the other

      That was interesting. Thank you for the link. The thing I found most salient, looking back, listening to McCain carefully because he had just made the comment that Russia is just a big gas station – that McCain did not mention the word “oil” even once. He ginned up all sorts of things to hang on Syria (ergo the Russians) but he never mentioned oil. That’s amazing. And I hadn’t realized that we were stirring the shit in Ukraine in 2014 – I only remembered that after the influx of Syrian refugees into Germany, the Germans weren’t very interested in even discussing the annexation of Ukraine into the EU. Out of the question completely. So I always conclude what seems to be obvious – the prize has always been and will be until we have sufficient renewables (maybe 100 years from now) oil. As far as, at the time, Blinken’s more peaceful approach to our oil problems, that seems to have failed. We are on the verge of losing the EU as part of our Western sphere of influence. It isn’t even bread and circuses any more – it’s just bread.

    2. Sue inSoCal

      Thanks for this link. It’s appearing that McCain was on to something. This is reminding me of the old post 9/11 “we make our own reality.”

  6. John Zelnicker

    Yves – There is a very cute picture of a bird several paragraphs down with the caption “The Russian Foreign Ministry transcript was posted at 19:36 Moscow time on January 21. Source:

    The original post has a very different picture.

      1. John Zelnicker

        cocomaan – Indeed it is. A nice surprise. I even wondered for a moment if it was intentional just for that reason.

  7. TomDority

    Blinken’s background ought to be checked — seems he has financial interests in the Military Industrial Complex and that goes back to Clinton — I will just go out on a limb and be extremely critical — seems after pulling out of our endless wars (they were great for tossing investment dollars toward the war industry and associated contractors while maintaining fear based political theater) The US military industrial complex is looking, and have found, the next area to sell it’s goods and services; because we, as a nation, have become so convinced by fear mongering by our elected–who need to keep their johns happy by continuing the “free for rentier economy going” that they and their financial overlords would risk all to retain their own interests over that of the vast majority of the planet. We continue to have a cowardly minority who have acquired the levers of governances around the world — who would rather spend trillions upon the destruction of this most perfect planet spaceship instead of trillions upon the it’s continued flight

    1. JohnA

      Blinken and Nuland both have Ukrainian ancestry, like Freedland in Canada, another hawk. They should be disqualified as having a conflict of interest.

      1. John Zelnicker

        JohnA – I wonder if Blinken and Nuland’s Ukrainian ancestors were Nazis like Freeland’s were.

    2. Mikel

      “it’s now clear from Blinken’s own words that he is unable to understand what Russians tell him…”

      I read that and said there needs to ne verification those are “Blinken’s own words.”
      It is the work of many with the same lack of imagination and knowledge.

      1. John Mc

        Pretty scary actually… Not sure there is anyone even near the “detente” camp of conflict resolution – and most of these officials are soft and sensitive to criticism — what a diabolical mixture this ignorance and insolence.

    3. vodkatom

      …you might as well say every person in a position of power should have their backgrounds checked. Biden? Congress? Defense Dept? CIA? CDC? They all seem to be working for someone, who is not the American people. But your point is well taken, we need to understand what interests our political elites are really serving. It seems financial interests meld into ideological passions (convenient hatred of other?) which are mutually reinforcing.

  8. WJ

    Don’t forget Michael Hudson’s point that the State Department is filled with people with a deep, irrational, tribal hatred of Russia.

  9. Dave in Austin

    This is beginning to have all the earmarks of a potential 1914 moment. Four countries with high domestic Covid rates (US, UK, Ukraine, Russia) moving the chess piece into contact.

    Note the first statement below by Nato’s Stoltenberger: “I welcome allies contributing additional forces to Nato,” Stoltenberg said. “Nato will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the alliance. We will always respond to any deterioration of our security environment, including through strengthening our collective defence.”

    Very ambiguous. Not “members of the Nato alliance” which is what the Nato treaty calls for. There is, to my knowledge, no formal Nato agreement with or obligation to the Ukraine, but who knows…

    As usual, Jenkins at the Guardian is the voice of sanity today. Read his piece. The French response is measured and precise. Send troops “Under Nato command” to Romania, an old French client. But Nato is only authorized to act in defense of the Nato members, so the French troops will take no action in the Ukraine without a vote. The silence from those who get Russian gas via Ukrainian pipelines is deafening. Russia loses some of it’s leverage when the winter ends.

    Today 1/24/2022 from the Guardian

    From US, Great Britain, NATO side:

    Denmark sending a frigate and four F-16’s to Lithuania;

    Spain sending ships to join NATO forces and considering sending fighters to Bulgaria. Spanish ships passing into the Black Sea.

    French expressed willingness to send troops to Romania “under NATO command”.

    “There are currently four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, led by the UK, Canada, Germany and the US.”

    US and UK withdraw families from Ukraine embassy

    UK according to says “no troops to the Ukraine”

    Canada: Trudeau according to says: “As an ally and friend to Ukraine, we will be there and continue to be there to support them and to work diplomatically with all of our allies around the world to encourage and insist that Russia not continue its escalation and threats of violence.” Ally? A lot of ethnic Ukrainians live in Canada. But the same source says “CBC News, Canada’s public broadcaster, reported on Jan. 18 that plans have been drawn up to evacuate the 200-member Canadian Armed Forces’ [CAF’s] Operation UNIFIER mission in which military trainers are spread out over 13 different locations in Ukraine.”

    Today on the Russian side:

    Russia plans to hold “War games” 150 miles of coast of Ireland. Two more frigates being sent.

    “The Kremlin has also dispatched six amphibious landing ships from the Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea as part of the exercises, which will include 140 ships and more than 10,000 Russian troops. These ships may pass into the Black Sea.

    ”Russia is also set to hold joint military drills in Belarus in February. The Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, said on Monday he would deploy a “whole contingent of the army” to the border with Ukraine, alleging that “Ukrainians have begun to gather troops [there]. I don’t understand why.”

    The concerned ones:

    1) Turkey. Russian AA missiles, gas pipelines and an economic crisis. A very important article at:
    2) Canada (no comment recently. But they have 200 troops there).
    3) All the countries that receive natural gas from Russia through the pipelines running through the Ukraine, including Italy, Germany, the Czeck republic, Austria, Slovokia, Bulgaria and all parts of the former Yugoslavia have been very,very silent.
    4) On Germany:
    5) All the states in east Asia that potentially confront China, including Australia and New Zealand.
    6) Poland has stated it’s support for the Ukraine but no Nato forces have been moved there and there appears to be no discussion or moves to heighten Polish readiness. Poland has seen enough of war.

    And the stock markets are way down.

    1. Janie

      The Guardian two days ago, “Putin, a ‘rogue male’ on the rampage, threatens to start a war no one wants”. That’s the header on a Simon Tisdall opinion piece.

  10. Stove Goblin

    Why is the Kremlin feeling less secure these days? Putin felt a wobble for the first time ever: A.) Belarus, a tight security state under a thirty-year rule needed Russian soldiers to maintain order even though the entire opposition leadership was already gulag-ed. The current level of political repression is untenable. Belarus will implode. A.) Nalvany’s disclosures. For Putin’s inner circle, it was one thing to make enormous payments to play, it is another thing for the world to know they are responsible for making Putin the wealthiest man in Europe for the privilege of becoming global pariahs. In Soviet times, management had the fig leaf of making a better future. C.) The last of the Soviet KGB are dying out, shadow leadership who consented to Putin’s political career, officers who formerly held significant power, who would rise above petty politics. Only one KGB officer is left in the current Russian government who held a more senior rank than Putin. The security apparatus has only ever served post-Soviet governments. Putin is feeling his age and has fewer trusted people to delegate to than ever. And the Boss is sometimes the last to know about problems. D.) Kyiv is flush with new money from software and video game development, independent from the energy sector and government largesse. They are young, wealthy idealists.

    1. timbers

      Honestly I’m not getting that the Kremlin is feeling less secure, but more so. How else could they issue their non-ultimatum “ultimatum” if they didn’t feel secure that the amount of investment they’ve made in their military systems gives them the means vs US military/NATO to back up their non-demand demands? I watched and read Lavrov meeting w/Blinkin. He was not scared but confident, gentle, measured, and greatly understated IMO. And he was clearly “secure” enough to entertain this could lead to more than one possible outcome and he seems be prepared for that and accepting of that reality. Speaking softly while carrying a big stick, as the saying goes.

      If I’d have to choose who’s feeling less secure…I choose the US, based on the hysteria it and it’s poodle the UK are promoting. I mean…if you’re truly threatened by Russia moving her troops and military within her own borders and believe that to be aggression as Antony Blinkin repeated called it, that spells insecurity to me. And if it’s not insecurity, than it’s dishonestly. Why would a secure nation resort to dishonesty if it feels so secure?

      1. Librarian Guy

        I think you are more correct, and the SG assumptions are incorrect. Reading the anti-imperialist websites (NC, Moon of Alabama, the Gray Zone, Ian Welsh) I have gradually learned that those “horrible” enemies of freedom in Russia, China, Iran etc. who our MSM and elites constantly tell me to hate and fear may not be paragons of virtue, however they evidently are more responsive to their citizens’ needs and wants much more than the gerontocratic, looting leadership of the US has been . . . I’m not a Christian, but that line from Yeshua about seeing motes in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the giant one in your own seems to apply. The “enemy” country’s leadership may be bad, but it’s not as criminal or bad as our own at this point, and that is seen in Covid spread, income inequality, “Health Care” (sic) ripoffs, infrastructure decay, the US’s endless push for more wars, etc. etc.

        1. Starry Gordon

          If we want to think of why things have changed around the various issues related to Ukraine, we probably want to look at the situations and actions of the actors — in this case, Mr. Putin and his colleagues in Russia; and in the West, the government and ruling class of the United States. Have they changed, and if so, how?

          The Imperium of the United States does not appear to have changed. Like the legend of the shark, to breathe it must move, or try to move, ever forward. Its plans, its policies, its actions have not changed much (except for major blunders) since the days of the Atlantic Charter (1941): to make the world safe for capitalism by means of “full-spectrum dominance”, to use one of its slogans. Mr. Blinken is simply one more driver of the old machine with the old maps, not a novelty.

          The case of Mr. Putin et al. is different. Hitherto the Russians have, in chess parlance, played black. In cases where the US/NATO/West challenged them, for example Georgia, Syria, Iran, Ukraine and others, they have taken the minimal steps necessary to preserve their position. The change that has now taken place is the overt demand that the US etc. regularize and stabilize the present relationship with Russia instead of persistently attempting to push Russia back. (The ultimate goal would be to reduce Russia to a vassal state and move on to China.)

          Because of this demand, backed up by military forces, my guess is that the Russian leadership believes it has found or developed an advantage over the US which they did not possess before. Not being a mind-reader or clairvoyant, I don’t know what that advantage is, or whether it has to be fully exercised to be effective, but if it does, we should soon see it revealed and used. “Brink of war” time, perhaps.

          1. timbers

            Watching and reading Lavrov’s meeting w/Blinkin, he is just asking a simple question/request:

            Respond in writing to the essence of our proposal. We do not know what you will say/do, and what you say/do will in part determine what Russia does, because Russia has options.

            I interpret that as Russia believes it has options – that being it’s new military strength and is now confident it will serve Russian objectives militarily if it come to that – has some cards to play to it’s advantage and the detriment of the US, which will be played at some point based on US actions. One of those actions being how the US responds – in writing – to Russia’s proposal.

            Lavrov stayed on that simple polite message all through Blinkin’s bluster of arrogance, false accusations and threats. Lavrov issued no threats, no accusations, no insults. He just said he wants a response in writing to the essence of Russia’s proposal.

        2. Douglas

          Not sure if your “responsive” is the best descriptor for protectors & enablers of North Korean “Golden Lives” at the hideous expense of the NK people, nor the “perfection” of Nazism in forever “restive” Xinjiang.

          2 books: Aquariums of Pyongyang; The Perfect Police State by Geoffrey Cain.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      “Kyiv” is the Banderazi name for Kiev. Just as “Lviv” is the Banderazi name for Lvov.

  11. David in Santa Cruz

    Four words: Pine Island Capital Partners.

    Yes, Blinken directed some of the most murderous initiatives of the Obama era: Libya, Syria, and Gaza. But worse, he then cashed-in with John Thain (of the gold-plated Merrill office with the $90K rug who insisted on $20 billion in bonuses from the government bail-out of the bankrupt firm) on this Private Equity/SPAC designed to cash-in on Blinken and Lloyd Austin’s connections, especially to skim Covid relief monies.

    This murderous greed-head is a complete horror-show — emblematic of why the voters have deserted the shamelessly corrupt Democrats in droves. Blinken and Austin are transparently ginning-up this “crisis” in order to personally profit from arms sales by needlessly militarizing Eastern Europe against a non-existant “invasion” threat from Russia — who will act to protect the large Russian populations stranded in the former SSR’s by the disorderly breakup of the Soviet Union from being liquidated.

    It’s disgusting, really.

  12. William Hunter Duncan

    Listening to NPR this weekend, it was a long line of warpigs interviewed telling liberal dems to prepare for war. Not one criticising the idea. I could practically taste the blood. And I could see those liberal dems drulling with the idea of revenge for Trump….

  13. lance ringquist

    this is the inevitable results of letting people who are born into, raised, and nurtured in a alternate reality(like the wharton schools students that think the deplorable score big money in their jobs), into power.

    the elite are always killers of society. but the elite that got a hold of the democrat party, is the elite that got a hold of central europe in 1933.

    those creatures hate sovereignty, democratic control, nationalism(unless its their own), civil society, tariffs, protectionism, they call it tribalism, a attempted smear.

    the creatures view those as standing in the way of the inevitable human evolution of being ruled world wide by non-malevolent corporations and oligarchs. that will take humanity into the golden era, where we all get a seat on the starship, that will take us to the comet, to spread the word into the universe.

    you could hear this repeated all through the nafta billy clinton fascist regime, don’t fight it, its inevitable.

    pinochet said that during his coup, stay calm, stay home, its inevitable.

    the nafta democrats are those elites, who are furious that putin got in their way of breaking up russia and central asia into tiny pieces to be raped and exploited for the betterment of humanity.

    how many times during nafta billy clintons fascist regime, did we see alternate maps of russia on the news, showing many countries instead of one.

    nafta billy had in mind what he did to yugoslavia, he was going to do russia.

  14. Cesar Jeopardy

    So Russia offers reasonable terms upon which they and the U.S./NATO could negotiate and, in return, the U.S. offers nothing but threats. We don’t need a psychoanalysis to see this. When dealing with other countries when is this not the case? Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, China, etc. I assume so many other countries follow the U.S. in this stuff because they don’t want o deal with the fallout, as France did when the did not support the last U.S. wars with Iraq. Freedom fries, anyone? As a U.S. citizen, I’m fed up with the U.S. government as well as Biden, who was involved in this since early 2014.

    1. Thomas P

      I wouldn’t call the Russian terms reasonable, but they are at least clearly stated in writing, which is a good start for negotiations. You usually don’t start negotiations with terms the other side can accept. It has been a lot harder to get clear statements from USA or NATO what they want.

  15. Susan the other

    Shades of Rommel’s last stand. Just how are we and our NATO allies gonna fight an enormous war, each country having thirsty war machinery that needs lots of oil, every day? We could all run out of gas shortly after hostilities begin. The big push will be, logically, up through Syria, behind Turkey, straight to Baku and the oil fields to the north. From there we will attempt to zoom up to and through Ukraine in a big triumphant parade of stinking tanks and exhausted soldiers in order to claim a pipeline pathway which will soon follow to Ukraine and other points in the EU. To stop this lunacy Russia will have to use some very destructive defensive weapons against the invasion into Russia. So immediately if not sooner the whole thing will look like Armageddon. And also some offensive measures will be taken via their nuclear subs and long range missiles. Possibly Venezuelan oil fields will be blown out of the Caribbean in short order. As well as refineries in Louisiana and Texas. Iran will take the occasion to bomb Israel back to the stone age. And probably bomb Turkey as well when Turkey pretends the Turks have a claim on the Caspian. All the work in the Middle East so far to build a pipeline spider web will be bombed away as well. And this is all without China getting into it. But betcha North Korea boinks out several missiles and smokes Japan. In all the confusion China will probably be wise enough to retake Taiwan, no more equivocation. And send troops to defend their oil interests in Kazakhstan. And, of course, the British Tories and the Royals will all have flown to Canada and California by the time the Russians will be so totally pissed they’ll turn the British Isles into a mud puddle. Do we really want this to happen?

    1. JBird4049

      While it is really unwise to bet against human folly, on Kazakhstan, Persia, Israel, and Taiwan I am not sure that those countries would be involved in either attacking or being attacked. If weapons of mass destruction were involved, most countries would have an Oh Bleep moment and then quickly try to dig in and not get caught in any cross fire.

      Neither Japan or Taiwan are a threat or a necessity to have or destroy. They are heavily armed with everything but weapons of mass destruction like nuclear weapons with the capacity to make their attackers suffer. Kazakhstan is an independent country and anyone invading it during a major would likely have problems.

      Just my two pennies.

    2. Bruno

      “Rommel’s last stand”???
      Rommel’s “last stand” was the July 20 1944 attempted insurrection, which but for two accidents (the lucky US shot which put him *hors de combat*, and Stauffenberg’s tragically losing the few seconds needed to arm that explosive briefcase completely) might well have changed European history quite radically once Rommel had become head of the junta that would have overthrown the Nazis and sued for peace.

      1. Susan the other

        I guess Rommel’s running out of gas in the middle of the desert is not the best metaphor. Maybe Stalingrad is better.

  16. coboarts

    I know there was a detailed discussion the other day about learning Japanese, good luck. We all need to learn Chinese. If I get thrown in the fight, I’ll fight all comers, but stupid is as stupid does – and we seem to be doublinbg down on stupid, across the board. Are we just sold out by the greedy fools, or do we need to clean our home country by war time standards – this isn’t a question

  17. disillusionized

    I think it’s important to note that the US, committed as it is to “principles” (recall those same principles in Cuba in the 60s) has a hard time negotiating with Russia since there really isn’t much they can negotiate over.
    Now if the US was interested in negotiating an agreement, this would matter, but they aren’t.
    That’s not to say that the US wants war, no what I think the US wants is for the conflict to remain as is, ensuring that Russia is busy abd less able to further their interests elsewhere, and maintaining European reliance on the US.
    After all, if Russia isn’t a threat, how is the US supposed to leverage the EU do as it wishes?

  18. George Phillies

    Helmer’s analysis is odd. The Russian proposals would have us redeploy our Trident missile submarines, the deterrent, out of range of Russia. (Trident is not named.) The range of a Trident D5 is probably 12,000 kilometers. The Russians also want an agreement that the Baltic states, Ukraine, and Georgia — the likely suspects — not be allowed to join NATO. There is also a consierable amount of meaningless boilerplate. The Russian concrete proposals do not appear to be negotiable.

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