Links 2/28/2022

Johannes Beermann: Cash of the future Bank of International Settlements. Beermann is “the member of the Bundesbank Executive Board responsible for cash.” Worth a read.

Fraud and embezzlement allegations at Austrian group stun investors FT. Stunned, I tell ya!


US fossil fuel industry leaps on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to argue for more drilling Guardian


“Hot vaxx summer” must have looked unseemly in retrospect, besides being a utter [Charlie Foxtrot], so we’re moving on to “hope and renewal,” good job:

New York City says it will end the school mask mandate and indoor vaccination requirements. NYT

* * *

Five months post-covid, Nicole Murphy’s heart rate is still doing strange things WaPo. “‘We are expecting a tidal wave of cardiovascular events in the coming years from direct and indirect causes of covid,’ said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association.” You say “tidal wave of cardiovascular events” like that’s a bad thing. It’s obviously time to let ‘er rip!

COVID “long-haulers” may have finally found relief in inexpensive, over-the-counter drugs Slate. Antihistamines. Study from The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, n=2. I feel keenly the lack of guidance on when I should hysterically denounce repurposed drugs and when I should not. Perhaps the enforcers have moved on to other things….

First They Got Long Covid. Then, It Made Them Homeless Rolling Stone. Everything’s going according to plan.

* * *

Chemistry and human exposure implications of secondary organic aerosol production from indoor terpene ozonolysis Science (MR). “Surface cleaning using commercial disinfectants, which has recently increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, can generate secondary indoor pollutants both in gas and aerosol phases. It can also affect indoor air quality and health, especially for workers repeatedly exposed to disinfectants….. High number concentrations of freshly nucleated sub–10-nm particles (≥105 cm−3) resulted in respiratory tract deposited dose rates comparable to or exceeding that of inhalation of vehicle-associated aerosols [i.e, vehicle exhaust].” So., hygiene theatre isn’t just useless; it’s harmful, good job.

This AI can detect DNA that unlocks backdoors in lab software The Register. Does this mean that wastewater surveillance can be gamed?


U.S. trade relationship with China “getting more difficult” – USTR Reuters


Australia was quick to sanction Moscow. Why not Myanmar? The Lowy Interpreter

Perceptions of corruption are growing in Australia, and it’s costing the economy The Conversation


India shouldn’t miss world war pointer Indian Punchline

‘Oh, that house? It’s in the sea now – there!’ People’s Archive of Rural India

Ukraine war: Asia is caught in rip tide of power polarisation and sanctions chaos South China Morning Post

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia, Ukraine Start First Talks Since Moscow Attacked: 10 Points NDTV The room:

Ukraine Conflict Update 10 Institute for the Study of War. Comparing this map to yesterday’s (and assuming both are to be believed), Russia lost ground near Kyiv and Kharkiv:

Turkey to implement pact limiting Russian warships to Black Sea Reuters. But ships that are based in the Black Sea can go through. Here is the order of battle of the Black Sea Fleet.

From Russian Pipelines With Love Matt Stoller

* * *

The Russian Way of War Gilbert Doctorow. Read all the way to the end. For Russia, Ukraine is not a total war:


The Russian Way of Warfare (PDF) RAND Corporation. From 2014. See the section on “The Potential for Nuclear Escalation” starting on page 5.

Has Putin Actually Lost His Mind? National Review. Throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation.

* * *

War Propaganda About Ukraine Becoming More Militaristic, Authoritarian, and Reckless Glenn Greenwald. Commentary:

On the bright side, we’ve gotten over The Iraq Syndrome.

Facebook Allows Praise of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Battalion If It Fights Russian Invasion The Intercept

Symbol Manipulation (1):

How it started: On Ukraine’s Snake Island, a defiant last stand against Russian forces WaPo. “The Ukrainians responded boldly. ‘Russian warship, ‘came the reply, ‘go f— yourself.’ The Russians opened fire, eventually killing 13 border guards.”

How it’s going: Major twist emerges after all defenders of Ukraine’s Snake Island reported ‘killed’ New Zealand Herald. “A new statement by State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said the defenders may still be alive. ‘We [have a] strong belief that all Ukrainian defenders of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island may be alive,’ the statement said.”

Symbol Manipulation (2):

Symbol Manipulation (3):

Oddly, nobody found the image heart-tugging then….

Symbol Manipulatino (4):

Like oligarchs and Nazis, gunhumpers are good if they’re on our side.

Symbol Manipulation (5): Vladimir Putin Stands Alone as the World Moves to Isolate Him Vanity Fair. Another example from the world’s worst social media team:

“The world,” except for China, population 1.4 billion. “Fog in Channel, Continent Cut Off.”

Symbol Manipulation (6): Atlanticist Ideology (unwoke) > Successor Ideology (woke):

And then of course, there’s class:

* * *

Germany to ramp up military spending in major policy shift Al Jazeera. Full text of Scholz’s speech.

Edward Snowden Sends Out First Tweet Since Russia’s Ukraine Invasion — Says This Is Why He Has Been Silent Benzinga

How the U.S. helped Ukraine prepare for a Russian invasion Yahoo News

“Bear-baiting as foreign policy.” Diana Johnstone , The Scrum

Putin Warned Us Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative.

* * *

The stupid! It b-u-u-u-r-r-r-n-n-n-s-s-s!!!!!!

Unmasked New Yorkers stand MR SUBLIMINAL in line with Ukraine by patronizing a restaurant:


Gulf states’ neutrality on Ukraine reflects deeper Russian ties FT

Food Shortages as Lenders “Suffocate” Tunisia Meshkal (DCBlogger).

Peace has led to more deforestation in Colombia Frontiers Science News

How Brazil’s largest crime syndicate built a global drug empire FT

Biden Administration

Biden administration to push congress for $6.4 billion in aid to Ukraine – Schumer Reuters. “The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight.” –Winston Churchill

Supply Chain

Drewry: Container Port Throughput Index Hits Lowest Point Since February Hellenic Shipping News

Class Warfare

Uber’s Proposal for Portable Benefits Is a Poison Pill Jacobin

Why America Has Been So Stingy In Fighting Child Poverty NPR

Mutual Aid Thomas Hobbes, Lapham’s Quarterly. From 1640, still germane.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. timbers

    Not so Cold War

    Took a peek at US media. It’s interesting to see the media declare things like “Russia’s Shock and Awe Fails in Quagmire and Stiff Ukraine Resistance.” It’s as if the US is projecting all her past military failures onto Russia. Firstly, Russia doesn’t do shock and awe, at least not here. She doesn’t blow up big buildings for no particular reason that looks really cool on TV. She has precise narrowly defined objectives. Secondly, there is no quagmire as Russia seems to have already largely achieved all/most of her objectives save for mop up operations. The war is near over and the West can’t see that and declaring it a failed quagmire because “stiff resistance” from Uki soldiers fleeing advancing Russian forces.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        In this section of the video, Lira explains that part of Zelensky’s evil involves handing out thousands of AK47’s to civilians, knowing full well that it means some of them will engage with Russia’s highly trained professional armed forces and be killed. Lira notes, “The civilian will be dead, and that will create a great photo op, now won’t it?”

          1. BeliTsari

            I’m guessing you’ll be accused of psychic prescience, again? Foreseeing election day, 2024 in the US? A partner’s mom was handed a panzerfaust, by Bund Deutscher Mädel grown-ups, wishing to distract 3rd Army Shermans, as they skedaddled one night. Wish, more folks were posting video since this is a great time to evaluate sources’ fact-checking, impulsivity & any specious gullibility?


          2. JTMcPhee

            Just like what the Empire did in arming the “people” of a lot of other countries. And what may well happen here in the Homeland if things get a little tougher, or there’s an invasion and occupation by US imperial forces here at home… on the road to Mad Max…

            Too bad about that US “ambassador” J. Christopher Stevens getting killed in Benghazi, in the former functioning country of Libya, while arranging the rat-lining of tons of weapons to “our” Freedom Fighters ™ Terrists in places where Imperial creative destruction (sic) was happening on the ground, .

            And of course the dope US military has also “settled scores” and advanced the interests of one set of warlords over another as part of pacification/counterinsurgency.

          3. Mark Gisleson

            So later photos of those Ukrainians killed by Ukrainians will be touted on social media as PROOF of Russia’s barbaric invasion?

            My Twitter timeline is stuck in a loop: it gets flooded with pictures of Russian atrocities, then a day later it’s full of the same picture with the proper attributions explaining that they were from other wars.

            Thanks to NC not just for your coverage and agitprop deconstruction, but also for all the links to other sources that give a more accurate picture of what’s happening in the world today.

            1. Pelham

              I’ll second that. I find myself totally tuning out any US media on Ukraine unless it’s filtered through NakedCapitalism. Not that I automatically discount what others are saying. It’s just that, drawing on lengthy experience and disappointment, I approach each report with the attitude that what the MSM are saying could be true with something considerably worse than the odds afforded by a coin flip.

          4. Tom Stone

            Not surprising, it appears that 10,000 select fire AK 47’s were handed out in Kyiv to any civilian who could produce an ID, with an additional 15,000 handed out on the same terms in other parts of the Country.

          5. pasha

            is there actual evidence of this? if there are anti-russian-speaking reprisals they must be publicized!

    1. Carolinian

      This is good.

      To sum up the main point: the only real resistance to the Russian assault is not photos of their beauty queen holding an AK but the Ukrainian army and they are in the East fleeing Westward while leaving their expensive and apparently non functional US weapons behind. The Russians are showing restraint about attacking cities but will not do so for that army unless they lay down their weapons and surrender. As Cerse says in Game of Thrones “power is power” and the Russians have it and the Ukrainians don’t and all the propaganda war (which they are so far winning) and social media hate ray from the West mean nothing if Russia is willing to do whatever it takes to gain control of Ukraine and that may not be very much.

      And I would like to link the latest Ian Welsh but while I can get him on my RSS reader the site itself does indeed appear to be down. But to sum him up, Russia and China are now and increasingly a block and the rest of the world may be able to do without Russia but not without China.

      Trash talking US politicians mean little unless we are a willing to go to real war with Russia–a war we would lose or everyone on the planet would lose. The one thing we know for sure about Putin is that he has said he can’t imagine a world without Russia. And yes they do have an automatic doomsday weapon.

      1. Brindle

        True : “social media hate ray from the West”… Except for a few voices out there, twitter is mostly a toxic brew of pro-war liberals and people who are just ignorant. Warm and cuddley neo-nazis are way cool…..
        Katie Halper’s interview w/ Chris Hedges is very good.

      2. David

        There’s a small but very important detail hidden in the article:

        “It seems that Ukraine combat aircraft rely on ground controlled radar to conduct air to air intercepts.”

        In other words, they haven’t changed from the old WP doctrine of interceptors and air superiority aircraft acting effectively as missile-launchers directed from the ground. When the Russians (sensibly) took out the radars, the ground controllers couldn’t vector them onto any targets. Whereas the Russians can see them. No wonder there haven’t been a lot of Ukrainian aircraft flying.

              1. Young

                Before that happens, Poland needs to buy the right of use of the corporate sign from Target Corp and replace their flag with it, thankfully same colors.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  I have read that Ukrainian pilots have gone to Poland to pick up their new, second-hand jets. No idea which NATO country ‘donated’ those jets. It may be that some NATO countries may ‘donate’ some pilots as well.

                    1. OIFVet

                      Nonsense about Bulgarian aircraft. There are very few that are flightworthy as it is, a handful of Mig-29s and perhaps a dozen Su-25s. And Lockheed-Martin just informed Bulgaria that the delivery of F-16s on order will be delayed by 2 years, so the few operational aircraft are not going anywhere. Perhaps the non-operational aircraft will be stripped for spare parts, but any operational aircraft would have to come from elsewhere. Besides Poland and Slovakia, Germany still has some MiGs but their flight status is unclear.

      3. Soredemos

        The cauldron around the Ukrainian forces in the east is the big thing to watch, and seems to have been mostly, or maybe even entirely by now, completed.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that you are right here and this is a story flying under the radar. At the start of the war, the Ukrainians had half their army along the Donbass border ready for an invasion. Some units must have bugged out by now but there would be a lot of the Ukrainian military trapped in that cauldron closing in on them. The Donbass Republics have been attacking them to keep them pinned in position so a mass surrender would not go without notice.

    2. Dave in Austin

      From “Mr Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that the demilitarisation of Ukraine and Western recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula were prerequisites to ending fighting in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.” No mention of the breakaway provinces, which is very good news.

      The best coverage of the military situation from a high level is by the Institute for the Study of War at Lots of traffic so it is loading slowly. And, as usual, the best observer of the whole mess is Simon Jenkins of the Guardian- if you can get past the paywall.

      I’m beginning to think both Russia and the US made the same major misjudgement. The Russians expected Zelinskyy to surrender (which is why there was no US-style “Get Bin Ladin” or “Bomb Mr. Isis in his living room” raid). Both the US and Russia seemed to plan that Zeniinskyy would be likely to admit defeat and, in fear of his life, take the offered US plane flight into exile, leaving the military or some form of Marshall Petain to take the fall. Even Stalin had his bags packed when the Germans were 40 miles from Moscow.

      But for whatever reason Zelinskyy turns out to have a bit of Churchill’s “We shall fight them on the beaches…” or Hitlers “I will die in this bunker for my country” in him. Hitler kept hoping something would turn up right til’ the end so Berlin and much of Germany ended up in ruins. Churchill was luckier; London is still pretty much there. But in 1940 that wasn’t so clear. The British cabinet was 2 for negotiations with Hitler and 3 for fighting on… and in the weeks after Dunkirk most of the nation’s gold was sent to Canada.

      Going from an unemployed autodidact living in a Vienna dorm and a WWI Corporal to the Chancellor of Germany in 15 years gave Hitler the belief that “My will can make anything happen.” Going from a stand-up comedian working the lounges in Moscow to President of the Ukraine in 15 years may have given Zelinskyy some of the same “Can do” spirit.

      The meetings about peace have begun. Neither side made any stupid public comments, which is good. The day in the Ukraine War was quiet… except in Rostov, where at least three truck-loads of Russian rockets came in. This is not a good sign. At least a few of the rockets hit in civilian areas and I can’t tell if the main hits shown on the net were military targets or not, although one set looks like it hit a barracks. The rockets seemed to hit in a tight 100 yard by 100 yard pattern; not Grads but modern Katushas.

      Putin, having badly estimated the likely short-term outcome, and being subject to the unified western “This is an atrocity” narrative (which was missing from Yemen, Gaza and Afghanistan), may be close to a “Either Zelinskyy makes peace in the next few days or we give him a lesson on what war really looks like” moment. And Rostov is the most likely place for the example.

      Putin is not crazy. But then neither were the Americans who dropped the A-bombs on Japan. Both moments have the same logic: “They’ve lost. They know it. We know it. And to avoid casualties we need to show them what we can do to end this quickly.”

      1. Yves Smith

        Um, even US TV is showing lots of Russian tanks about to reach Kiev. Not exactly consistent with your take.

        If Ukraine is demilitarized, what happens to Donbass is not a big deal. Putin did support their self determination but he had muscled them into accepting Minsk, which would have kept them in Ukraine but given them somewhat more rights in more federalized system. We’ll see if Putin totally trades them away or pushes for a more Canadian/Australian structure for Ukraine.

        That ask also supports our contention that Putin’s interest is Russian security, not territorial expansion. Keeping Crimea is important because Russia is intent on keeling its navel base. The Maidan regime had designs on it and the West kept acting as if they’d get Crimea back, which you can bet includes stripping Russia of the base.

  2. Samuel Conner

    > I feel keenly the lack of guidance on when I should hysterically denounce repurposed drugs

    Perhaps a tentative hypothesis for the rule is:

    since the distirbution of over-the-counters is hard to control, don’t fret when they are repurposed. But prescription meds, particularly cheap off patent ones, get the full ‘how dare you!’ treatment. There’s too much money at stake to overlook the repurposing of them.

    1. Stephen V.

      Advice for Lambert: Talk to your doctor. If he seems not to know what you are talking about– time to find another doctor.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Stoller makes clear that so long as Russia is the primary supplier of energy to Western Europe, she essentially holds all the cards.

        A commenter on the Stoller article makes the point that the “insane” U.S. sanctions on Venezuela prevent them from supplying oil to Europe.

        As a bonus, Stoller reports that the DOJ has filed suit to block the merger of United Health’s Optum business unit with Change Healthcare. This is huge.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I found the article quite interesting. In the last lockdown here I had some strange respiratory symptoms – it felt somewhere between an allergy and asthma. My asthma medication didn’t work, and it was outside pollen season and I hadn’t changed anything in my home so there was no obvious source of an allergen. But I took some antihistamines ‘just in case’, and they immediately cleared it up.

      So it was either some hidden allergy (I still occasionally get it, and I still can’t link it with any obvious allergen), or maybe something else. I probably had a very mild case of Covid this time 2 years ago, so the article got me to thinking that maybe it was ‘something else’. Unprovable of course.

        1. Josef K

          It’s an intriguing set of possibilities, but I’ve avoided antihistamines since knowing someone who got addicted to them–he used for a long time and if he stopped, he got badly stuffed up so he was essentially beholden to daily AH use to breathe normally. He wanted to end the use but couldn’t. I found that rather horrifying. I wonder if the person in the story taking two of them daily might not end up in a similar situation.

          Gingko Biloba and Feverfew both have antihistiamine-like activity, the former is known to increase peripheral blood flow and improve memory. I think it’s a natural pathway worth considering.

    3. hunkerdown

      Once inside the gate (at the GP), the system inside tries to maximize appropriated value. Call it the “No outside food or drink” theory, perhaps.

    4. juliania

      As one who had a terrible reaction to a red ant bite many years ago and was saved by an antihistimine injection at the hospital – the doctor had never seen such but felt my symptoms warranted it – I have been wondering all along if they would have a part to play. Very interesting if they do.

  3. Samuel Conner

    The Doctorow item on “Russian Way of War” (sounds similar to a recent Patrick Armstrong “Russia Observer” item) is unreachable at the moment, but then so is Outlook.

    Quite a few sites that offer alternative-to-mainstream-narratives interpretations of Russia are not responding this AM.

    1. Milton

      They may not be responding due to (much) heavier than normal traffic. At the Saker, they’ve acknowledged as much…
      The blogs loads very slowly. Yes, I know, this is due to the huge increase in visitors and there is nothing much we can do. So far, we have not yet detected a deliberate DDoS attack, just a HUGE increase in readership.
      Looks like folks are clamoring for alternative viewpoints–creating bottlenecks at the few sites that offer them.

      1. XXYY

        Looks like folks are clamoring for alternative viewpoints.

        I’m finding all the Western media incredibly useless at this point. Between memories of the Iraq War coverage, and seeing the actual crap that’s flooding the airwaves right now (much/most of it refuted within 24 hours), it’s hard for me to take anything they say at all seriously.

        At some point, hopefully we can get actual independent reporters on the ground to give us some first-hand info. Right now it seems to be all whistling in the dark and propaganda.

  4. Joe Well

    A few days ago I talked with a very sensible, intelligent person who recently ended a career in international aid in US-gov-backed NGOs. He was confident that US foreign policy was based on squabbles among homicidal maniacs in State, CIA, etc…

    …and he believed that Putin was going to deliberately spread radioactivity from Chernobyl because that is just the Russian way of war, and that the US should take a stand and establish a no-fly zone.

    You really have to meet these people in person to at least they believe they exist. Their views are quite literally are beyond belief.

    1. Soredemos

      There already is a no-fly zone in Ukraine: the Russian one.

      There’s a profound hubris in the implication that NATO even has the ability to do such a thing, and is just choosing not to.

  5. flora

    re: Greenwald’s commentary
    This is, without exaggeration, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on television, and tells you all you need to know about the state of mainstream US discourse and the implicit premises on which it’s based:

    Condi is referencing the “rules”, aka the “international rules based order” (irbo), which is a lot like Calvinball, imo. Calvin Ball: a game with no rules except the ones you make up.

    1. fresno dan

      February 28, 2022 at 7:43 am
      regime change
      The longer I live, everything old is new again
      The longer I live, everything senseless, stupid, evil, irrational, and proven counterproductive, is new again

      1. ambrit

        One of the bad things about getting old, if one retains their faculties that is, is that we know how the story is going to end, since we have seen a version of said story before. Rationality is indeed a curse. Ask Cassandra.

    2. skippy

      Same International rules the U.S. refuses to acknowledge or submit too when it does not like them e.g. no bang for buck. So much so it attempts to create its own international supra international legal court to protect the profit expectations of its investors [oligarchs].

      Wonder if the Russian equivalent of Halliburton is pre-staged on the boarder in readiness for rebuilding[tm] the Ukrainian nation for the good of its citizens.

  6. griffen

    The tweet with Condoleeza Rice. Well, amazing is one thought. Karl Rove was right in the long run, they did create their own reality.

    Nod in agreement, move along nothing to discuss there.

    1. fresno dan

      February 28, 2022 at 7:45 am
      Karl Rove: ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.
      MSM, US government stenographer: ‘We’re a propaganda group now, and when we report, we create our own reality. And while you’re watching that reality—credulously, as you will—we’ll report again, creating other new realities, which you can watch too, and that’s how things will sort out.
      And that’s the way it is, Monday, 2/28/2022

        1. newcatty

          When I used to tuck in my young child at night , after story time if requested, as I turned out the light I said :
          Good night, I’ll see you in the morning.

          1. ambrit

            Oh for those ‘simpler’ ‘safer’ days. I too remember reading to the children when they were young. It was as comforting for me as it was for them.
            The hardest thing for us was to let them ‘grow up’ and make their own mistakes.

        2. juno mas

          For those not of the dominant TV era (50’s – 60’s), these are references to the sign-off comments of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow.

          1. ambrit

            Good point. I’m beginning to feel like a dinosaur dealing with those new fangled little furry things.
            Cultural references to “ancient history.”
            The commenteriat is a group of docents working at the “Democracy Museum.”

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Facebook Allows Praise of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Battalion If It Fights Russian Invasion”

    But wait, there’s more. So this guy, who reportedly belongs to the far-right nationalist Azov Battalion, did a clip showing him dip bullets into pork fat before putting them in his magazine. This was a threat to Muslim Russians, particularly the Chechens, as supposedly if a Muslim is killed by such a bullet, they will not go to heaven. So what did a social media company like Twitter do?

    Twitter flagged the Ukrainian video as ‘hateful content’ that violates its rules, but allowed it to remain on its platform nevertheless. “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the notice said. In other words, it’s OK when we do stuff like this-

    1. Raymond Sim

      Actually I think it truly is in the public’s interest that the tweet remain viewable.

      In fact I would encourage the Azov types to run their mouths. Americans need to hear it.

      They called the Chechens ‘orcs’!

    2. Danpaco

      Is there not a connection between Facebook, The Atlantic Council and NATO?
      I’m trying my best to not allow the tinfoil to cover my head but the overwhelming propaganda in support of Ukraine on my Facebook feed is appalling.

        1. Danpaco

          Thats it! Im surprised the story hasn’t been “memory holed”.
          A NATO lobbying group helping to decide what’s fact from fiction.
          Nothing to see here folks…

    3. Bart Hansen

      That Avov move is straight from the British Empire’s ‘playbook’ that caused the 1857 Indian Rebellion.

    4. Kouros

      The use of pork fat by the British Army in India in 150s was the spark of a great revolt there, after which it was clear for everyone that the invader is evil and at one point in time it will be kicked out. But it took almost 100 years to do that.

      1. David

        It’s a nice story, but historians have found no evidence that it’s true. But it’s certainly the case that there were rumours it was true, and these were widely believed. Propaganda didn’t start yesterday.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not certain on this point but I think that under the Treaty, it is only allowed when they are returning to base and is a one way trip. This provision was to account for navy ships stranded overseas away from their base.

        1. Dave in Austin

          That’s the rule so the Russias can go to the Crimea. And in the old days the Brits and this year the USS Arleigh Burke (which left early, a warning of sorts about what we thought was coming) can head to the Med.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the Slava and escorts (the one that can inflict the most damage) is off Syria.

      As counterpoint, the US carrier group is off the coast of Croatia. Russian anti-aircraft and attack missiles make the entire eastern Med./eastern Europe very unfriendly for US ships and planes.

      Hope we never find out if Russian anti-ship, anti-air missiles are as going as their adverts. US Navy, Air Force will be fighting like it is 1942, but worse.

      1. dday

        I found this statement interesting:

        “No wonder that China has used its defense budget—which is roughly a
        third of America’s—to develop and deploy a modern, technocentric military, with a
        phalanx of ground, air, sea, and space weapons. In a conflict with the United States,
        China’s military would destroy American bases in the region within minutes and
        sink U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier attack groups if they ventured within a thousand kilometers (just over 621 miles) of China’s shoreline.”

        This comes from the Foreign Policy Institute paper titled “A China Agenda for President Biden”, on page 2. Here’s the link:

  8. Donald

    One thing is beyond all doubt—a white Ukrainian killed by Putin is worth incalculably more to most Westerners denouncing Putin than any number of Yemeni children killed by the US- supported war.

    People are willing to risk war with a nuclear superpower to save Ukrainians. They aren’t willing to criticize Democratic Presidents over Yemen. Maybe Trump, once in awhile.

    So it is a mixture of racism plus who the villain is, but I suspect in the majority of cases it is the identity of the villain.

    1. Louis Fyne

      even most of the first world having a 1990’s-era supercomputer in their pockets, humans are just glorified primates.

      so depressing.

      Shakespeare’s sarcasm is still spot on: What a piece of work is man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals.

      1. jr

        “humans are just glorified primates”

        Here is a video of our cousins engaging in a NATO/US style land grab from a smaller neighboring troop:

        Brutal, brutal. Also, an in-group beat down for who know’s what. I understand a lot of the violence in chimp societies has been driven by land grabs/turmoil caused by humans.

        This is a short video of a monkey learning not to steal the banana from the 200lb. orangutan:

        Word in the comments is that the little guy was released. Considering an orang can literally tear a human in half, he’s one lucky bugger…

      2. Joe Renter

        The Evolutionary process in consciousness is very slow. It is put into prospective if you accept the belief of reincarnation. So humans are on different levels of wisdom in this journey of the timeless unfolding of growth. Unfortunately those who are in power are mostly selfish, but intelligent enough to manipulate others and institutions.
        We create for good or for bad.
        That which brings us together is generally good. That which separates is not. Over simplified, yes.
        Everything that exists is in flux, in a process of creation / destruction. From the ashes the Phoenix rises, just as the personality is transformed or infused by the soul (takes thousands of lifetimes).
        Maybe taking some of the above as a working hypothesis helps for a different prospective.

    2. Dave in Austin

      The Poles root for the Poles, Black Americans lobby to get Haiti stuff (and in the 1920s and 30s the wanted the Marines sent in); Asians worry about Harvard quotas; The Jews and Isreal; the Irish… no need to go on. And don’t forget my religious over … It is human nature to say “My brother over my cousins; my people over your people”. We support those like us and empathize with them right down to who we support for asylum.

      Don’t try to check your prejudices at the door, but be aware of them.

  9. William Beyer

    Diana Johnstone – Bear Baiting – is the best. She helpfully points out that the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was an event staged to celebrate NATO’s 50th birthday, and its new role in the world. Expanding NATO eastward was the only way to keep our merchants of death rolling in cash.

    1. David

      I can’t see that in the article cited. But, oh dear. Not that again. Kosovo wasn’t “staged” at all. NATO stumbled into it, after making lots of threats which it couldn’t actually carry out. With the fiftieth anniversary approaching, NATO governments were terrified that the alliance would be a laughing-stock, and were desperate to get rid of Milosevic by any means possible. The idea was to exploit the nasty little insurgency in Kosovo and the resulting displacement of populations to force the Serbs to hand over Kosovo. This, it was thought, would so weaken Milosevic that he would lose the 2000 elections and be replaced by a pro-western moderate. The threat of force might be needed, but no more. The actual progress of the crisis was a catastrophe for NATO, and it’s fair to say that the alliance came closer to splitting than at any time in its history. After the first week, the ostensible decision-making machinery had broken down, and panic was beginning to set in. Ironically, NATO was saved by Russia: Yeltsin put pressure on Milosevic.

      1. lance ringquist

        it can almost all be traced back to guess who!

        Ever since Bush’s successor, President Bill Clinton, began the still ongoing process of NATO expansion, its promoters and apologists have repeatedly insisted there was no such promise, that it had all been “myth” or “misunderstanding,” and moreover that NATO’s vast expansion had been necessary and has been a great success

        Milosevic was absolved of all crimes, but bill clinton was not: bill clintons Kosovo war was in reality the model for future destruction of countries seen as potential threats to the hegemony of an “international community” currently being redefined to exclude or marginalize all but those who conform to the interests of the United States.

        read the comment section, it says it all.

        free trade is destroying the world: yugoslavia, free trade or else: Bill Clinton elaborated: If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.

        Globalism’s First Victim. NATO’s War on Yugoslavia
        By David Orchard
        Global Research, March 27, 2018
        Region: Europe
        Theme: US NATO War Agenda
        In-depth Report: THE BALKANS

        bill clinton started the barbarism: NATO Bombings of Yugoslavia, Aggression Against Sovereign State – Lavrov: more than 2,000 civilians and 1,000 security personnel killed and thousands more wounded. most main bridges, 190 schools, 16 hospitals and the main RTS media outlet were damaged or destroyed during the NATO campaign

        are you sick of the endless wars? they can be traced to one person, and one person only, the man who single handily destroyed the u.n. mission to protect sovereignty, he broke international law, is a war criminal, bill clinton. today we are involved in so many wars, have so many military bases around the world, its mind boggling. anyone who would vote for these monsters again, needs their heads examined.

        NATO Bombings of Yugoslavia Aggression Against Sovereign State – Lavrov

        “The Clinton administration, including then U.N. ambassador Madeleine Albright, gave a green light to Croatia to ethnically cleanse a quarter of a million Serbs from the Krajina region. Years later, angry Czechs in solidarity with Serbs, confronted Albright at a book signing in Prague. She called them “disgusting Serbs.”

        good overview, but the real villain here is nafta billy clinton, he broke international law, then got it rewrote. putin is just using nafta billlys own law, its called “BLOWBACK”.

        Putin Pulls a Kosovo
        by Gary Leupp

        Kosovo. noun: a part of a sovereign state where a separatist movement is supported by a superpower and pronounced a sovereign state itself.

        The Russians protested this recognition, noting especially the conditions of Serbian Orthodox communities in northern Kosovo, whose medieval monasteries had been destroyed by Kosovar vandals. They protested the U.S support for a government drawn from the Kosovo Liberation Army, who had been described by the U.S. State Department as “terrorists,” and whose chief sources of foreign earnings were human trafficking, organ trafficking, and heroin trafficking. But the U.S. brushed such protests aside. Condi Rice, U.S. Secretary of State, mindful that international law bans such behavior, explained with a dismissive smile that this was a sui generis thing…

      2. William Beyer

        Johnstone’s book, “Fools’ Crusade” deals with the demise of Yugoslavia in great depth and excruciating nuance. The main takeaway – don’t believe anything you read in the Western media.

        1. David

          The western media was entirely !n the pocket of NATO at the time. The reality was as I have described it. I was there.

          1. CoryP

            I believe you. Any more light you could shed on this would be welcome. I’ve found it hard to properly integrate the reports that I’ve read. Especially with Milosevic’s I believe exonoration of war crimes which I’ve seen touted from some corners. I don’t doubt you were there as your comments have always had that flavour. On the other hand I suppose I do have reason to doubt the plagiarist Chris Hedges was there. This might be throwing about ad hominems but I’m just trying to emphasize how confusing this is.

            1. David

              Well, there was a lot of “there” there, and I’m sure you’d find people who would put things a bit differently from me. But I think there’s broad agreement on the following.

              After the end of the war in Bosnia in 1995, and the entry of NATO forces, the West put a lot of effort into the successor republics of Yugoslavia. Some (notably Croatia) were eager to be helped, and displayed their western credentials. Serbia, however, did not, and pointedly refused to get involved in any NATO or other international initiatives. Milosevic was already deeply unpopular in the West, where he was blamed for starting the war (let’s just say there is an almost infinite quantity of blame to go round) and also to be obstructing western attempts to bring peace to the region. The West gave a lot of help to Serbian opposition parties in elections, but the opposition was too disorganised and divided, and Milosevic always won and continued to taunt the West.

              Around 1996, a small but nasty insurgency was begun in Kosovo by the KLA, originally a Marxist group of Kosovar Albanian students who had studied in Germany in the 1970s. By 1998, the conflict had caused perhaps 3-400 deaths of all types, but it was containable. Desperate for ways of putting pressure on Milosevic, NATO seized on the insurgency, and on KLA propaganda about atrocities allegedly committed. The insurgency ramped up a bit, and in the very cold winter of 1998, there were probably severalties of thousands of Internally Displaced People in Kosovo, most having left areas of conflict and living with relatives. NATO saw this as a humanitarian emergency justifying threats (that’s all they were) of intervention. The Serbs did agree to a verification mission, and the crisis abated. But in the midst of more rumours and propaganda, and more mockery from Milosevic, NATO became worried that, as the fiftieth anniversary of its founding approached, people would stop taking it seriously. It began issuing stronger and stronger warnings, and found itself becoming something of a joke. Eventually, a conference was organised just outside Paris, but it failed to find a solution because the KLA delegation had no power to negotiate.

              The Americans (Albright) had been keen to start bombing for some time, but other nations were much more reticent, for legal and political reasons. Eventually, NATO had to either escalate or back down, and ultimatums were issued. It was generally thought that the threat of force would be enough, or possibly a day or two of largely token action. But the Serbs refused to budge, and NATO found itself in a war it was not prepared for, at the worst time of the year (spring) for an air campaign. After nearly three months, the Serbs gave way under Russian pressure; had that not happened, a land invasion might have been necessary. NATO was coming apart at the seams. At that stage, there was no question of Kosovo ever becoming independent. You could say that the plan worked, in the sense that in the 2000 elections, Milosevic seems genuinely to have lost, as a result of losing the nationalist vote, and his attempts to stay on failed when he was driven from power by nationalist demonstrators who accused him of selling out the Serbs of Kosovo.

              As regards guilt, Milosevic died before the trials were concluded, and we’ll never know. The cases for Bosnia and Croatia were pretty weak, and hinged entirely on what was called the Joint Criminal Enterprise doctrine, ie that any associate of someone who had been found guilty was guilty as well. We’ll never know if the judges would have bought the argument. The Kosovo case was a bit better founded, and he may have been convicted on some counts.

              I can’t really speak for journalists. Remember that the media had already become hysterical over the war in Bosnia. It was impossible to get into the country during the fighting, and the KLA propaganda was much better than the Serbs, who didn’t really try. And the West was desperate to use what levers it could to get rid of Milosevic. It wasn’t the media’s finest hour.

      3. Keith Newman

        David, your comment that Kosovo wasn’t “”staged at all” is very unlikely.
        Diana Johnstone, who was also “there” provides a very detailed and personal account of the build-up to NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia in her book Circle in the Darkness (2020). Her conclusion: “This was a war deliberately planned and carried out by … NATO” (page 337).

        1. David

          Of course it didn’t just happen on the spur of the moment. There were contingency plans made some months before, in 1998 But if there were deliberate NATO plans for the conflict, all I can say is they were very well hidden from everyone, including the Secretary General.

    2. anon y'mouse

      i had always been under the impression that socialist Yugoslavia could not be peaceably allowed to continue so close to the neolib EU.

      “expanding” eastward wasn’t just for the gun hand, but the money hand as well.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        This is a misreading of the history – and apart from anything else, the EU was not ‘neoliberal’ at the time – it was in fact widely loathed by Anglo neoliberals for its perceived statism. Very little attention was actually given to Yugoslavia as the central eastern countries were seen as the least stable and most in need of political/economic aid. Yugoslavia was seen as a rather pretty backwater with lots of tourism potential. The EU at the time was more than happy to deal with Yugoslavia, and was horrified at the break up. The failure to deal with the breakup was seen as a humiliation for the EU and its constituent governments.

        1. Dave in Austin

          The EU had a very good policy; we will not recognize the sucessor regimes until they meet EU standards on things like minority language rights, decent court systems and the like. All was going well until there was a German election; Ir was Helmu Kohl who needed votes. He told the largely Catholic Bavarians that he would recognize Catholic Croatia in six months if there was “no agreement”. The Coations got the word, raided the armories and the rest is history. The Croatians had geography on their side. the Ukrainians (and the always nervous Poles) do not. Fighting the locals in the mountains and along two lane roads in valleys is not a good idea. The plains of Poland and the Ukraine? No problem.

  10. griffen

    NYC (as well as the state) decision to drop mask requirements, and vaccine mandate requirements for indoor dining and indoor entertainment venues. Being that a few here are sports fans, the US professional hoops league / the NBA has roughly 20 or so games remaining in the regular season.

    One high profile NBA player, Kyrie Irving, is a vaccine holdout who is only able to play in specific road venues for the Brooklyn Nets. But if you read the fine print, while he may be able attend home games he will not be cleared to play in these home games. The vaccine mandate for private sector employers is apparently remaining. That is based on a few articles on the subject broadly, and then the additional dive into the sports news.

  11. Raymond Sim

    Pretty much everybody who knows me at all well has told me more than once that I’m overly literal-minded. So perhaps I’m misinterpreting the almost universal expressions of suprise at the scale of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Are folks truly suprised, as in they had thought about what ‘liberating Donbas’ would mean, and didn’t think it was this, or does ‘suprise’ here mean something more like the shock of coming to terms with a reality one had been denying?

    From my perspective, Russia’s recognition of the two Donbas republics as sovereign within the original oblast borders meant it was declaring Ukraine an invader in those territories, and the mutual defense agreements meant Russia was going to drive Ukrainian forces out. My own ‘suprise’ was that the Ukrainians didn’t find a way to bug the hell out at that point, because, as I thought was obvious, otherwise Ukraine would be invaded.

    Did people assume that the Russians would limit their operations to the territories of Donetsk and Lukhansk? Why? Why would the (now officially declared) invaders not themselves face invasion?

    As for the invasion itself, given that the operation to clear the Donbas has to be conducted in a fashion that precludes meaningful NATO intervention. I can’t discern any aspect of Russian (or Belarussian) dispositions and operations that goes beyond what was to be expected if it came to a shooting war. Am I overlooking something?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Fantasies about NATO power. It’s like the weapons being shipped. They won’t make a difference in the combat zone, and they won’t let Ukraine reorganize to consider a counter offensive.

      The msm shock over “Ukraine being a civilized country unlike Iraq” is part of what is going on. Iraq has a similar land area and smaller population and a gdp nearly twice the Ukraine. Iraq. It’s a real country.

      Then for people who don’t have sufficient bs detectors or training, weapon statistics just sound cool. Stealth might fool a human radar operator, but with sufficient data, a computer can tell the difference between a flock of birds and a flock of birds flying extraordinarily high for birds. The people who haven’t considered this are having a melt down as bubbles are being burst with no one to hand hold.

      All things considered Biden has been more measured since the actual shooting, but i imagine the Pentagon has enough people telling him to not believe Lockheed Martin commercials. I saw Harris is doing a “jobs” appearance in Durham, so I imagine they’ve sent her away.

    2. Michael

      No. Powell Doctrine. Overwhelming force.

      Is the political objective we seek to achieve important, clearly defined and understood? Have all other nonviolent policy means failed? Will military force achieve the objective? At what cost? Have the gains and risks been analyzed? How might the situation that we seek to alter, once it is altered by force, develop further and what might be the consequences?

      Add in the cyber war components: non stop propaganda and financial sanctions. You have to be in awe of the precision planning req’d to accomplish their goals.

      It seems the Ukr military got caught all on one side of the boat. Never a good look.

  12. super extra

    Since last week I’ve been thinking about the comment here a couple weeks ago from someone who lived near John Bolton’s home in the Virginia ‘burbs and had noticed it was being guarded again, as all currently serving advisors etc are apparently. The insane brinksmanship that escalated far too rapidly (less than 5 days before threatening nukes, my god!) has a lot of whiffs of the war walrus. Anyone know what he’s up to and if he played a role in this?

    1. super extra

      some classic Bolton escapades for those who are unfamiliar

      How John Bolton Once Threatened An International Official [Intercept, 2018]

      imagine yosemite sam descending on the EU/NATO representatives who then made some of the more colorful/insane/clearly not thinking through consequences statements this weekend. I seem to recall he was part of the ‘tactical nuking isn’t THAT BAD of an idea’ crew but I could be wrong on that. He is a lifer for the MIC though

    1. Yves Smith

      Please see our post on this topic.

      1. It actually hasn’t happened (yet) since the Russian central bank intervened this AM to support the rouble.

      2. It can’t be frozen if we are still going to buy oil from Russia.

      3. The technical guidance going out points to the exclusion being leaky, as in amenable to work arounds.

      So I wonder if this was mainly a big and effective stunt to hammer the rouble, scare Russian citizens into pulling out cash (potential bank runs) and appease Poland, while intended to be partly toothless because the West needs to buy tons of Russian commodities, like also fertilizer, palladium, aluminum…

    2. Charlie Sheldon

      I am not seeing much in the commentariat or the media for example about the simple fact that the West has now rolled up a package of sanctions and countermeasures (weapons to Ukraine, cyber attacks, etc) that represent economic war against the Russian state. It feels as if we have cornered a savage bear and we are not providing that bear any way out. Putin may well conclude that, just as he felt NATOs expansion eastward was an existential threat, and the West’s refusal to even discuss this issue this fall and winter became a similar threat, now these sanctions and the isolation of Russia is true war. In that context, he might do anything. It interests me that Ukraine still has lights, power, internet. This is very strange. My guess is that if Putin really believes he is against the wall he will cut off all oil and gas to the West and then suffer it out, believing, probably correctly, Russians can suffer it out better than Europeans and Americans. This is, after all, Russia’s core survival strategy – to handle more pain and suffering than anyone else. They have done it again and again.
      Talks happening right now in Belarus? If Zelinsky offers Putin Ukraine’s neutrality and never joining NATO and the terms of the Minsk agreement for the eastern provinces, would Putin take it? It would take huge courage for Zelinsky to do that, essentially spitting in the face of the West (no NATO guarantee) but it may be his only option, because that angry bear is in HIS house right now…..

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’d guess Zelensky might be more worried about the Azov types, when it comes to “appeasing the Russian Bear.” Though the Empire is noted for treating its front men who depart from the script…

        And i wonder what plans Ze has set up to allow him a “strategic retreat” to a nice comfy bolt hole lined with $100 bills somewhere in the Sunset West, if the “standing up to the Bear Attack” schtick gets a bit uncomfortable.

      2. Geo

        West/NATO in all this reminds me of an old clip I saw if the congressional hearings about the Branch Davidians in Waco. A Davidian was being grilled (by Schumer if I remember correctly) and after a deluge of insults and accusations replied, “If you thought we were crazy why did you push us to the edge?”

        Been hearing forever about how dangerous Putin is. Yet, we just keep pushing him closer to that edge.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A friend flew yesterday from Osaka to Helsinki on FinnAir, so I assume they are still overflying Russia.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Not anymore: Russia has just done a tit for tat with the 36 countries that barred its airplanes (mostly EU). Amusing to note that the USA and Russia haven’t taken this mutual step yet.

  13. Michael Ismoe

    Biden administration to push congress for $6.4 billion in aid to Ukraine – Schumer Reuters.

    Why America Has Been So Stingy In Fighting Child Poverty NPR

    The best part about this site is the clarity that our government’s actions are willful, connected and purposeful.
    Our kids need better lobbyists.

    1. anon y'mouse

      our kids just need to get together with some big guns (probably paintball) and start threatening Kim Jong.

      they’d get all the money and support they needed, then.

    2. OIFVet

      Probably because not all of America’s children are Ukrainian-looking. See ‘Symbol Manipulation (6)’ above.

      1. John Zelnicker

        OIFVet – Exactly.

        I’m a bit stunned at the overt racism of these folks. And, I’ll bet that they all would claim that they aren’t racists.

        Long ago I realized that, particularly in the US, racism means discrimination against black folks only (and the reverse-racism claims of white supremacists). Discrimination against Asian or Middle Eastern peoples is only rarely referred to as racism.

    3. Bart Hansen

      Oh, to be able to lay out 6.4 Reagans (I assume his picture is on the billion dollar bill) for my favorite charity!

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Perceptions of corruption are growing in Australia, and it’s costing the economy”

    It is more than perception but a fact. The corruption start at the top by which I mean the present Coalition government. As an example, they have been giving away billions in grants but only to those areas that are Coalition seats. If the criteria say that a particular (Coalition) place fails to qualify for a grant, the Minister will just tick the box for approval. If another area (Labour) meets all the criteria, it will be knocked back because it is represented by the opposition party-

    The ironic thing is that years ago the Coalition got into power on the grounds that the Labor party had run up the national debt. This was only true because after the 2008 crash, the government spent money to stop Australia sliding into recession. Once in power, the national debt skyrocket and so they removed the legal limit on it. Now they will spend hundreds of billions just the past few months buying a fleet of American tanks and a squadron of nuclear subs without regard to the cost.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And yet they claim that all the money fighting the Pandemic will have to be paid back so I am watching for cuts to public services using this as a justification.

    1. Skippy

      Not to forget Kev the Supreme court just knocked back the LNP mystics branch stacking effort to transform Oz into a OT paradise … not much luck either with the religious discrimination [oxymoron] bill IMO.

  15. MT_Wild

    The NATO goal in supporting the Ukranians seems to be more about making the peace unwinnable for the Russians as helping the Ukies “win”.

    The Russians have been using a relative light touch so far, but if things get bogged down they may have to turn up the heat. That would make it impossible to have anything like normal relations with western Ukraine for a generation or two.

    1. Fritzi

      They might well have to turn up the heat considerably.

      They’ll be hated and demonized anyway nobody is going to count the fact that they made a greater effort to spare civilian lifes, and even the lifes of the enemy’s regular army, than America ever did in any of it’s wars, in their favor.

      And if they were to leave with UA and Azov Nazis largely intact, both NATO and Nazis would be immensely emboldened.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. trade relationship with China “getting more difficult” – USTR”

    I suspect that Lambert included this article for the last sentence in it-

    “We would like China to play by our rules, but we cannot make decisions for China,” (U.S. Trade Representative Katherine) Tai said.

    There’s that word again – ‘rules’.

  17. Cocomaan

    Like oligarchs and Nazis, gunhumpers are good if they’re on our side.

    The picture of the Ukrainian model is great fodder but is fake for a few reasons:

    One, I doubt there are a ton of guns firing 5.56 in the Ukrainian war zone.

    Two, that’s probably an air soft gun. The bolt and the little screen in front of the optics give it away. In the Twitter thread people find pictures on her Instagram of her tagging #airsoft

    She’s going to have a really hard time fighting with a fake rifle and no ammunition to find if it was real.

    1. Maritimer

      More Woke Paradox:

      Guns, even free ones, good for Ukranians, even Nazis (see Azov Battalion).
      Bad for Americans.

      1. Wukchumni

        The only thing warring sides in these not so united states would require from the powers that be would be identifying uniforms, as statistically all of us have at least one gun now.

  18. FreeMarketApologist

    RE: “Unmasked New Yorkers stand in line with Ukraine by patronizing a restaurant:”

    Perhaps should be in the Symbol Manipulation section. In any event , it’s the PMC and their trainees at their best. Going to brunch, instead of being at the actual demonstrations that were at the Russian residence building on the upper east side.

      1. griffen

        Thoughts, prayers and a round of mimosas. Hey this supporting effort is hard work on a Sunday afternoon.\sarc

        The twitter thumbs are working double though lately.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Ah yes, the potato scene from “Everything is Illuminated.” Easily the funniest movie scene of the new century.

    1. jr

      Counting down for the blue/yellow Ukrainian Freedom cocktail for 25$ a pop to appear in the NYT’s food section…

      1. Copeland

        I have a neighbor who drives a brand new Ford “Raptor” pickup truck with American flag flying in the box, and on all four corners of the vehicle are ribbons displaying the colors of Ukraine. This is in Oregon.

          1. Wukchumni

            Rev Kev,

            We’re a little desperate in the states to ban Russian imports, and even the ones that are American (Smirnoff, Kamchatka, et al) have a certain taint to them, and it isn’t as if anybody is going to tear up with low end domestic vodka being poured into the toilet, it’s the lack of thought that counts and guilt by name association.

          2. Werther

            Well, the same is happening in Rotterdam, where he until these days was ‘honoured guest conductor’. The orchestra management ‘is desperately waiting for his telephone call from Moscow to say he rejects Putin’s invasion…’. In the radio discours, several conductors of the past, who are supposed to have collaborated with the Nazi’s, like Mengelberg, Strauss, were mentioned. In their words, this world famous conductor is probably very naive…
            This sort of discours is all over the place here… it ruins the joy I normally experience listening to our classical music channel…

    2. Geo

      I used to live a block from that spot and it’s lunch rush often had a line out the door. Not as long as the photo but enough that I rarely ate there during peak hours.

      And, yeah, anyone dining out in Manhattan is in the PMC class. I definitely was in those days when my brunch could cost as much as my monthly grocery bill now days. :)

  19. jr

    A day or so back there was a brief discussion about the Cuban Sonic Brain-worm Cannon and that video featuring a shrill whine that was the supposed “report” of that firearm. I noted that it sounded like an insect. It was, in fact, a short-tailed cricket:

    Krystal and Saager also note that the CIA debunked the Havana Syndrome none-sense but that didn’t slow down 60 Minutes for a second…the best part of that coverage is when the leaden-voiced narrater assures you that the noise you are about to hear on the recording won’t actually hurt, it’s just the report of the weapon. It’s just like a firearm’s report, which the imbecile goes on to note also doesn’t hurt you.

  20. Basil Pesto

    I meant to reply to a link from yesterday

    > Australia pledges $578 million for surveillance, research in Antarctica Reuters

    With a note that I’ve seen ads on twitter advertising for a lot of jobs at Australia’s Antarctic research station (this is no doubt in part because I follow the Australia Antarctic Program twitter, which besides being pretty interesting per se, also has cute penguin content). Not just research jobs but trades like plumbing etc too. A very concerted campaign which I thought was pretty interesting (and kinda tempting, if I had any worthwhile skills to offer). I remember last year a link here from an Australian military source about Antarctica’s strategic interest to Australia as climate change unfolds. I put it on my reading list but alas haven’t got around to it. Still, it looks like something’s cooking, and not just the ice shelves!!

    1. The Rev Kev

      They were going to build a permanent, solid runway down there in the Antarctic but they cancelled it for this giveaway to the tech/surveillance industries instead.

      1. bwilli123

        Australia’s contribution to the threat of Russkie hypersonics approaching the US from across the South Pole will be embedded somewhere in that $578 million.

  21. Tom Stone

    That interview with Condi Rice is hilarious.
    It’s clear that the lovely interviewer had no clue that she was asking Condi to admit that she was a war criminal herself,and the nod in response was perfect .
    The interviewer and audience can assume that Condi agreed that Vlad “The Impaler” Putin did commit a war crime by invading the Ukraine and Condi,if put under oath can say that she simply acknowledged the question by nodding.
    That interviewer has beautiful eyes, I stopped the clip to admire them and realized I could see all the way to the sales rack at Barney’s.

    1. Maxine

      Trotsky’s grandchildren, the Neocons who have wormed their way into political power here, want vengeance!

      Hillary’s “We came, we saw, he died”, and worse, Madeline Albright’s, “500,000 dead Iraqi children are worth the sanctions” plus that long parade of trillion dollar, million people dead failures; Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, should mean that these people are at best, hooted off stage.

      At worst?, probably illegal to post online.

  22. fresno dan

    A video of a Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi, confronting an Israeli soldier is being widely shared with the false claim that it shows a Ukrainian girl standing up to a Russian soldier.
    Oddly, nobody found the image heart-tugging then….
    Six years into an armed conflict that has killed and injured over 18,400 civilians, Yemen remains the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed so far in the Russian invasion of his country.
    Well, you know what they say – the death of an Ukrainian is a tradegy, while the death of a Yemeni is a statistic.
    And might as well add, if a Yemeni falls in a forest, does anyone hear it (in the western world)?
    fresnodan’s corollary to Animal Farm – all animals are equal, but some get more reporting than others…

  23. Jason Boxman

    “Our country does not do a great job of supporting people in ways that allow them to continue to work and take care of their families while living with chronic medical conditions,” Ranney explains. “There’s obviously a knock-on effect: If you can’t work and can’t get disability, at some point you’re going to lose your house.”

    As I’ve said for two years, America is not the place to have any chronic medical conditions. Unless that condition is a chronic need for small arms and heavy weapons, and then you’re good to go.

    1. jr

      I’m still waiting to mark the moment when I hear someone deriding the “long-haulers” in the same derisive tone as “free-loaders”…..

      1. antidlc

        Because markets.

        Go die.

        addition by someone (sorry, don’t remember the poster name): It’s your fault.

        We are a sick country.

        How many more people will join the homeless ranks because of the latest CDC guidelines?
        The people calling the shots are monsters.
        I hope they rot in hell.

        1. Sailor Bud

          addition by someone (sorry, don’t remember the poster’s name): It’s your fault.

          You remembered the more important part.

      2. Questa Nota

        If any readers suffer from ongoing Covid-induced symptoms, please consider adding the following periodic home regimen.

        Nasal irrigation, applied with a bulb syringe, using warm water, dissolved salt and baking soda. Season to taste. Use a turkey baster if you don’t have a syringe!

        That flushes out mucous from nasal passages, along with much harmful gunk that the mucous collects. Breathing better feels good.

        Cheaper than ongoing antihistamine dosing, although your conditions might dictate the latter as a supplement. That is the long and the short of it.

  24. The Rev Kev

    ‘Alan MacLeod
    5. The Daily Telegraph
    This time, war is wrong because the people look like us and have Instagram and Netflix accounts. It’s not in a poor, remote country any more. – Daniel Hannan’

    Yeah, like that other poor, remote country – Yugoslavia. Oh wait, that was a European country that.

    1. Tom Stone

      Now,now, Rev, Yugoslav’s are “Swarthy Southern Europeans” just like the Italians used to be.
      And they pose the same threat to the “Purity of American Womanhood” that made passage of the “Sullivan Act” in New York necessary.
      In contrast the people of the Ukraine are often fair skinned and many have blue eyes.
      So this is a completely different situation.
      What’s happening in the Ukraine is clearly a battle between Light and Darkness, Good and evil, Pepsi and Coca Cola.

      1. newcatty

        Notice that almost every photo and interview ( just from my occasional glance at MSM news) of suffering Ukrainian women are of attractive ( by hoolywood standards) blonde or redhead young women? Often holding a child or assisting a grandma? My favorite was, iirc, on CNN. The intrepid reporter asked a young mother something like, How can you be so brave? This was in some underground shelter. The lovely young woman had her young son next to her, as she replied, We must be strong as we have children. We must not show we have fear. The reporter then asked, Do you have any thing to eat? The mom held up a half bag of chips. Just this and some water. Oh.

    2. Skippy

      Best bit is they attempted another version of the Argentinian experiment and whilst it kept blowing up in their faces they tried again and again~~~~ … it almost like they wanted Russia to come in and end it so they could finally blame them and not be embarrassed by the constant failures.

      It was all going great everyone until the Russians got jealous and stole all our hard work …

  25. Pawel

    People in Ucraine need symbols, all the symbols, even fake ones right now… There is time and place for hair splitting and nitpicking, but maybe not in this very day…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, you can always rely on Murray for an ethically clear eyed take. Even when he’s wrong, he at least argues his points closely and honestly.

      I do think that Russia has painted itself into a corner with this attack. I’m still wondering what they can achieve that they could not with having a constant raised level of pressure on the border, which was definitely forcing deep divisions among NATO. I really wonder what the end game is for the Russians with this. They have given NATO a new lease of life – far from driving divisions, its pretty clear that the border ‘waverers’ are now all the more firmly pro US.

      The only real victory I can see for Russia from this is that the Ukrainian government surrenders quickly and concedes self government or independence for the eastern States, and officially declares itself a neutral state (how Russia can prevent future backsliding from this, I do not know). Trying to put a puppet government in place is a recipe to turn the country into a permanent wound for Russia, it would take a vast effort to keep one propped up.

      In simple terms, pretty much everything has to go to plan if Russia is to extract itself out that with most of its goals fulfilled. Wars very rarely go to plan. I could well see this ending up as a tactical victory for Russia but a much bigger strategic victory for the US and China, for very different reasons.

    2. ambrit is offline as of 11.30 EST.
      Someone elsewhere mentioned several “independent” thinking websites were suddenly offline. The Saker is said to have remarked that his site is having a major increase in traffic, and attributes it to a renewed interest in ‘alternative’ points of view.
      The cynic in me suspects otherwise. Strategically thinking, when would a Hegemon suddenly cut off alternative sources of news and opinion? To what end?

        1. CanCyn

          Thank your for this. It opened right away for me. I appreciate this take because, while Murray questions Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he does so in terms of anti-war and looking to the outcomes. Something the MSM can’t seem to do – I guess “Putin is evil” is good enough.
          I will be sharing the link highlighting this bit with many of my friends hating on Putin and sending money to GoFundMe for the Ukrainian people-
          “ Whether the Ukrainian government is obnoxious or not is as irrelevant now, as the obnoxiousness of Saddam Hussein was irrelevant then. I am as fed up now with being asked if I support Ukrainian Nazis as I was then with being asked if I supported Saddam Hussein. It is simply illegal to wage a war for regime change, without the endorsement of the UN security council. I have great sympathy for Russian security concerns about encirclement by NATO and forward missile deployments. But seeking regime change by invasion in Ukraine could not possibly be the answer. I still have not the slightest idea what Putin seeks to achieve. It is simply impossible – and has been since the annexation of Crimea – that a democratic Ukraine is voluntarily going to elect a pro-Russian government.”

      1. Mel

        The Saker is still available. The first thing my browser tells me is that the site didn’t respond in time, but if I click the “Retry” button the page comes up pretty quickly.
        The most recent thing there is the Michael Hudson article that we can read here, so it’s OK to give the Vineyard of the Saker site a rest for an hour or two.

      2. Shleep

        Came up straight away @ 12:11 pm EST.
        It has been going to Cloudflare DDoS prevention for a few days now, and this morning I got a Capcha challenge.

    3. VietnamVet

      Craig Murry as much as any person knows what the Blob knows. Yes, the Kremlin made a huge mistake. It could have pulled Germany out of the Empire’s grip with its cheap natural gas but the full-scale invasion of Ukraine has forced NATO to circle its wagons. The one and only way to stop Russia from invading Poland, Bulgaria, etc. is with its tactical nuclear weapons. If a peace treaty isn’t signed within days and if Kiev is destroyed to save it from Neo-Nazis/Freedom Fighters, a guerrilla war in Western Ukraine is certain just like in Vietnam, except in reverse.

      BioNTech, BASF, or Porsche SE continued existence requires that the Russian hordes be kept out of the fatherland. It is the little people who will freeze next winter, swelter of in this summer heat domes, or starve from the shortages of food. In the end, unrest, vast inequality, resource depletion, and dysfunction will end western civilization. Unfettered greed (the belief that the only thing of value is money) will destroy society just as surely as a nuclear war that in the last four days has become much more likely.

  26. hoki haya

    always appreciated this little thing here. PlutoniumKun & most others take it at a proper angle.

    on the ground here. i’d say this is not overreach, but well within the conditional.

    i’d say that Putin did all that could be done to negotiate with the west, and many potencies within have initiated this decision.

  27. Jason Boxman

    And someone that identified as a physician in response to that WaPo article:


    Physician here. This is what docs have been saying, but not many are listening. Politicians are getting rid of mask mandates, businessmen want to do business, people aren’t that interested in boosters, and the prevalent idea is that we’re done—just let Covid rip.

    But the main problem with Covid for most is not dying of it acutely; it’s post-Covid sequelae. These problems, which might affect up to a third of Covid patients (even the percentage affected is not known with much certainty) might give us huge numbers of cardiac patients, chronic lung patients, and patients with early dementia. No one knows how things will shake out. So the human race faces a downside risk from post-Covid illness that is of unknown severity.

    I tell some folks I know that the let ‘er rip strategy is unwise. But not many listen. Most people have moved on.

    (bold mine)

    Glad it’s not just NC readers that are aware of this.

    This is shaping up to be the biggest human catastrophe since the Great Depression, with our elites tossing as much gasoline onto the fire as they can find. This is what I’ve feared for two years, and the evidence of significant, long term damage is simply irrefutable at this point.

    Stay safe out there!

  28. hoki haya

    i really don’t know how far to go back. let me say it’s an exercise in exasperation.

    i don’t know what you would like to know, just that i relatively trust this site.

    as of now, yes, these are cautious procurements. heavier things can be brought in, and i hope to god they won’t be.

    ‘what do ukrainians want?’ are you kidding me? please come and find out for yourselves.

  29. hoki haya

    we weep, some of us, as we move. i was born american but it;s too long a story as to how i got here. anyway, thank you and to your server who keeps your alternative viewpoints alive and alert. you make me miss the wealthy crust of america which has some basic understanding of how things can go wrong, and who survive in spite of it.

  30. Jason Boxman

    More good news on the let-it-ride front! /snark

    The coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech is much less effective in preventing infection in children ages 5 to 11 years than in older adolescents or adults, according to a large new set of data collected by health officials in New York State — a finding that has deep ramifications for these children and their parents.

    Not that it is that effective at preventing infection for anyone at all. Let’s see if the “but the children” crowd is roused by this unfortunate news…

  31. Young

    I am looking for an official RF timetable that shows Kviv would fall in three days or less. /s

    Putin and Russian Army failed again.

    1. ambrit

      I hope that your last sentence was intended as snark. Otherwise, it makes no sense.
      As von Moltke said; “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”
      As others have noted previously, it took the “Coalition” ten days to move, mainly unimpeded, from Basra on up to Baghdad.
      If he can eliminate the Ukraine as a staging point for atomic weapons, then Putin can consider himself as being successful.

  32. ambrit

    On the unintended side effects of the war front; the stock of a company called Epam, (NYSE symbol EPAM,) is down arounf 35% this morning. The company is a software developer that has most of it’s engineering personnel in the Ukraine.
    Hah! A stealth way to repatriate some of those “offshored” ‘good jobs’ back to America.

  33. Louis Fyne

    for people who wonder what Russian nuclear combat status actually means,

    to oversimplify during peace, the cable that connects the nuclear launch system is disconnected from the button

    Now, the cable is connected. and social media has video of Russian mobile ICBMs driving around the countryside to evade monitoring by the US when normally they would be parked

    1. Tor User

      I think it works more like this:

      The Russian Strategic Nuclear Forecast have are 4 levels of alert. They had been at the lowest level. They bumped it up one level that means that if the command center for the nuclear forces detected nuclear explosions in Russia and after attempting to contact the President and could not, they have authority to launch. I think the alert level translates to “Expanded”.

      Nothing to do with connecting cables.

  34. OIFVet

    Regarding casual racism in Ukraine war media coverage, The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association has called out the media, citing many of the same examples as the tweet storm by Alan McLeod in Symbol Manipulation. The statement by AMEJA unfortunately is only available in pop-up PDF but it is well worth reading: AMEJA STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO COVERAGE OF THE UKRAINE CRISIS. I am relieved that there are journalists that have called out the media on this issue. The media coverage has been very Bernaysian, shall we say, and wittingly or not it has been fine-tuned to inspire maximum fear and hatred in the audience by turning to powerful group identification symbols, while minimizing the suffering in past wars by appealing to their victims’ ‘otherness’.

  35. Lina

    I will admit I can’t follow the intricacies of the Russia/ Ukraine situation. I know MSM is not telling the true story.

    But can someone enlighten me, why doesn’t Ukraine simply give Russia the land they want to avoid civilian deaths and possible world annihilation? In laymen terms, my poor head hurts from the last 2+ years if craziness….

    1. Paradan

      The break-away republics have the best coal deposit and a few other mineral resources. A lot of Ukraine’s heavy industry was also located there.

      More importantly though, this isn’t about what Ukraine wants, this is a fight between Russia and the USA with Ukraine as the battlefield.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        As Adam Schiff helpfully clarified several years ago, “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don’t have to fight Russia over here.”

  36. jr

    That “Morning at Night” tweet borders on parody. “Tiny Love Stories”?! Who thinks of this $hit? It’s the aural equivalent of a pink ribbon for breast cancer, warm fuzzies then shoulder shrugging acclimation to tragedy. The PMC are going to have it hard when things get really bad around here. I wonder how they taste.

  37. Australia

    the present alleged prime minister of Australia is arguably the most despised politician in the history of colonised Australia. He is, amongst other things, known for being reliant on marketing sound bites to the exclusion of policy, party,initiative,agenda or anything else. Also known for fleeing Australia for a family holiday in Hawaii – which he did secretly, not even telling staffers – when a state of emergency had been declared and many populated and unpopulated areas were being decimated by extreme bushfires. When challenged why he made the trip, he argued ‘he had promised his wife’. Loved a recent news article posted on FB : the alleged prime minister has announced Putin is banned from coming to Australia. The post had over 5k ‘haha’ emojis, exclusively. And thousands of entertaining comments. Including ‘ Dont you want to ask him to show his papers, when he arrives, before you put him into a quarantine facility?’ and other general feedback about how such an inane action is wholly representative of the ineffective,pointless and media fixated spectacle that is this entity widely referred to as ScuMo.

  38. Australia

    In sadder news, some catastrophic flooding occuring in the North. Particularly, South East Queensland,which includes its small capital Brisbane. And Northern New South Wales just to the south of the border thereof. Its been hit so hard. Endemic. We’ve seen this many times before, in this particular region. A town called Lismore in New South Wales, built on a flood plain,is now effectively underwater.

    1. griffen

      Tony and Pepper Stark must be downsizing. Okay, sarcasm aside appears it has been set up for auction, per a related article from January 2022 in the Wall St Journal.

    2. jr

      I wonder how long before we see “The One +” or the “First Amongst Ones” or some other deeply pathetic attempt of some real estate agent trying to appease their client’s fear of their mortality with “Moar, baby.”

  39. Mildred Montana

    >Has Putin Actually Lost His Mind?

    This is a critical question and I am surprised that it is so little discussed. Because the military-geopolitical playbook goes right out the window if indeed he has.

    He is almost seventy. (By way of comparison, Hitler was fifty when he invaded Poland.) Has he had a mini-stroke or two? Is he suffering from cognitive deficits, emotional lability, lack of impulse control? If so, these things on top of his presumed sociopathy (almost all world leaders who gain power and retain it are by definition sociopaths, though not necessarily violent or suicidal) would make him a dangerous man.

    So, time to convene a Nuremburg panel of psychiatrists to assess him. What has he said, what has he done, what has he written? Then draw some conclusions from those facts, make a diagnosis, and propose a course of treatment. If he is deemed to be insane, that treatment might be—might only be— assassination.

    I know, there’s some sort of murky law against assassinating heads of state but that hasn’t deterred the US (CIA) or Israel (Mossad) in the past. Ironically, world peace may depend upon them.

    1. HotFlash

      If we get Biden, the State Department, and the NATO leadership assessed at the same time maybe we can get a group discount.

    2. Fritzi

      Nuking Washington DC and taking out at least a considerable chunk of the US foreign policy blob and deep state, probably has a far, far greater chance to contribute to “world peace” than assassinating Putin.

      Hmh, the extreme likelihood of him being replaced with a far more radical nationalist and militarist aside, the form of insanity that leads to a pretty cautious approach to making war, that tries to keep casualties rather low, that kind of insanity, it would perhaps an improvement if it was infectious and American leaders caught it.

    3. Kouros

      Putin’s speeches are televised. One can carefully watch his mannerism, his way of holding his body, his choice of words, etc., etc., etc. There is overwhelming current evidence that that is not the case. Before asking this question on the comments, you should have done the due diligence to try to verify for yourself, if you are indeed that concerned.

      But then your rant at the end, to assassinate Putin on the claim that he has lost his mind, is really telling. Don’t you think that that would be a casus belli and the hardcore Russian military – they are hard core – might start a nuclear war with the US. Because you can bet your house that Mossad will not come close to such an idea, in fact Mossad will let the Russians know what is in store for them (i.e. they refused to co -sponsor with the US the complaints and the motion to condemn Russia at UN, twice, and they refused to provide Ukraine with its Iron Dome defense system and the Americans were indeed very upset about that).

      Which can only make me think that you have ulterior motives and are a troll, acting the same way as PR did in defending tobacco companies and with the climate change, sew uncertainty… Shame on you.

    4. Bart Hansen

      You should watch one of his live interactions with the press & citizens. His yearly Ask Me Anythings go to four hours. No notes, few ‘I don’t knows’. Lots of statistics.

      I missed who you are quoting but the media will be all over his metal condition.

    5. ambrit

      Your last paragraph is too close to the truth. For instance, which one, CIA or Mossad, had Rabin killed? The Irgun?

    6. judy2shoes

      Mildred Montana
      February 28, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      “almost all world leaders who gain power and retain it are by definition sociopaths

      Whose definition is that? I would agree that there are leaders, world or not, who are sociopaths (as are some of your neighbors), but it does not follow that Putin is a sociopath because he is a world leader.

      ” Has he had a mini-stroke or two? Is he suffering from cognitive deficits, emotional lability, lack of impulse control?”

      Many links and several NC articles have been posted here in the last few days which attempt to explain Russian motivation for their actions in Ukraine (including links to Putin’s speeches of the 22nd and 24th). Have you read any of them or watched any of the videos? There are far better explanations based on observed facts, as opposed to the speculation that Putin is nuts because he’s had a mini-stroke or something.

      As for calling for convening a panel of psychiatrists to assess Putin, I defer to HotFlash’s and Fritzi’s responses to your post.

    7. Late Introvert

      If that isn’t one long /s, then I think that was a ‘hole lot of projection. Unless you were talking about Slow Joe, then sure!

    8. Grebo

      In my (most excellent) judgment Putin is more sane and more competent than all the western leaders put together.

      If you imagine he is leading Russia somewhere it doesn’t want to go and getting rid of him will solve the problem you should read the opinion of the director of CIA.

  40. Lina

    I’m sorry to ask to be spoon fed but help me understand how this is a fight between Russia and the US. Oil?

    I posted this in the wrong spot, meant to be a reply to Paradan…

  41. Andrew Watts

    Ukraine Agricultural Overview – World Data Center

    If Moscow is looking to preserve Ukrainian agriculture and maintain worldwide food production then now was the time to invade. The planting season in Ukraine doesn’t start until April for staple crops like barley, sugar beets, and sunflower seeds. Most of it’s wheat production is planted in the fall.

    The increasing shortages of fuel is disturbing for non-military reasons. A wheat exporter like Ukraine should have plenty of diesel. The fact that EU countries are including fuel in their aid packages means the outlook for worldwide food production is still pretty negative.

  42. Andrew Watts

    RE: Edward Snowden Sends Out First Tweet Since Russia’s Ukraine Invasion — Says This Is Why He Has Been Silent

    Than Raqqa. That example is okay to use too, The US has finally lifted sanctions on that part of Syria so if any good has come out of the war in Ukraine it’s that development.

    What do people expect from Snowden anyway? He doesn’t have any relevant military experience and the only observations he could offer would be prefaced by the lame excuse of the “fog of war”. Which is currently being used by people without a military background.

    Or who’re too afraid to make predictions for fear of looking stupid.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Pretty clear that a military background don’t mean sh!t, in most cases, when it comes to predicting anything related to the current “crisis.” Or the other ones that are brewing or simmering or already on the boil. Especially not the imperial general staff and war college colonels, the imperial punditocracy, the ex-military types who took part in urban and patrol warfare in southeast Asian and Middle Eastern and land-wars-in-Asia real shooting combat (and corruption and massacres and rape and stuff.)

      I’d say the only real accurate predictions that get made about any of this are that Raytheon, etc. stock will keep going up, and eventually vast episodes of corruption and waste will be revealed maybe, and people will die horribly and stupidly and “valiantly,” and some will get personal kicks out of killing and abusing other humans.

      War, that vastly undefined term that like “the enemy” never really gets defined but everybody knows it when they see it, is horror and misery for so many, but opportunity knocking for the properly positioned and prepared.

      Expect Putin and Shoigu will be having a lot of surprises in this episode — “no grand plan survives first contact with the enemy.” But it does look like things are working out a lot better for them than the clown car shows put on by the Greatest Military On Earth. How much more so, the turds that run the empire are really having to scramble to stay out in front of events and search their priors for proof that everything is proceeding as they have foreseen…

      What kind of political economy would work best for most people, and gee, why is that never the direction the rulers want to steer the bus?

    2. Andrew Watts

      I apologize if I offended anybody with that comment. But I’m not sorry I expressed my disgust about the ‘fog of war’ phrase. It has a definitive combat-related meaning which was originally expressed by Clausewitz. It’s entry into the common vernacular is an expression of militarism and something I find disgusting.

      Well that, and all the so-called experts in various media outlets. Could’ve written the comment in a more clear-headed way that was less offensive though. Especially after reading the Swift article.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        The term also is being bandied about in comments over at Breaking Points, where Krystal & Saagar have gone full MSM on Putin. There’s been considerable viewer backlash, with many defending their coverage as appropriate under the circumstances.

  43. HotFlash

    Speaking of no military background, I looked for Las Vegas’ odds on Ukraine vs Russia and came up with nothing. Perhaps it is considered unpatriotic to think it anything but a slam-dunk? But then, there is the other ‘sporting’ activity that is not bet on — pro wrestling.

    1. Wukchumni

      The goods were odd but odds were good @ 7-1 on Iraq around the turn of the century when I placed my wager @ a sportbook in Vegas, but got ripped off when ‘sssshrubery declared victory, and they wouldn’t pay out even after we obviously lost.

    2. Andrew Watts

      I doubt there are very many people who would want to bet on pro wrestling. It’s rigged from the start. Pretty much the same deal with the war in Ukraine. Outside of when a negotiated agreement will happen, the only question that matters is how many casualties will be inflicted on the military and suffered by the civilian population.

  44. Bart Hansen

    The Blob’s afternoon narrative is that Putin is unstable mentally. Take a drink for each such recital this evening.

      1. newcatty

        No fan of Trump. Shades of the TDS narrative that Trump was not just a narrcicist, uncouth, megalomaniac, serial liar, con man, unscrupulous, and Russian agent. He is insane! Disgustingly, some psychologists, psychiatrists were giddy to jump on board to diagnose his “psychopathy”. The point being that Arm Chair evaluations of any person is unethical. There were some professionals who spoke out about that inconvenient truth for MSM narratives. The blob is right on cue to narrate an ultimum discrediting conclusion in this society, about Putin. No need to listen to him, he’s “unstable mentally “. And he’s old. 70!

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Hmmm, unless I misunderstand, sounds like maybe you think I was impugning Putin’s sanity? Au contraire, I’ve watched long interviews with him, dude definitely has all of his marbles. The joke I envisioned was more along the lines of meeting BH’s drinking challenge by offering to help all those restaurateurs showing their “support’ for Ukraine by dumping Russian vodka — silly gesture IMO and waste of perfectly good liquor (although my beverage of choice is gin).

          1. newcatty

            Re Brunches with Cats

            Au contraire. My response was to the blog’s narrative. Lol, my choice of liquor is gin, too. I also brunch with cats and my spouse, too. Chagrined with UK with West to create “their reality”. My English gin will be renamed in my mind as ” Peace and Freedom ” gin.

  45. Brunches with Cats

    Symbol Manipulatino 4: For the past week, I’ve been watching Milan’s fall winter 2022-23 runway shows. Last night I saw the video of Giorgio Armani announcing his decision to show support for the Ukrainian people by sending his models down the runway without music, saying he didn’t want to celebrate in light of such a disturbing event (no doubt much appreciated in Kyiv subway bomb shelters). The Twitter pic looked so much like a fashion photo shoot that for a millisecond, my crazy free-associating brain thought the typo was an intentional Italian spelling (which of course it’s not; the Italian is manipolazione).

    The models looked appropriately somber in their sparkly evening wear and vertiginous stilettoes. Apparently there wasn’t enough time to round up some air rifle props.

    1. Dav in Austin

      Back in the early Saturday Night Live days a black actor did a wonderful skit about raising money for the right causes. “Fondue sets for Namibia”. Too bad SNL is no longer in top form.

  46. Tom Stone

    The “Fog of War” was quite literal when that phrase was first used as anyone who has fired a Brown Bess can attest.

  47. Bart Hansen

    A sign of the Times: The New York Times has a recommendations app called the Wirecutter. Here is one from today:

    “The Best Sports Bras
    We had 25 people test 31 bras over nearly seven years.”

    But they did not categorize ratings by sex. Emphasis mine.

  48. Skippy

    FYI YMMV that Dr John Campbell as of the 28th of Feb came out with a video on Natural[tm] immunity strategy needed, only to be sucsseded by another video on “Putin’s mind, is he mad’ w/ an interview with philosopher Vlad Vexler [ Russian-Israeli citizen and music critic] both presenting themselves as psychiatrists capable of psychoanalyzing others by remote deduction without any need for peer review to check for biases et al.

    So I guess that settles the question on Mr John Campbell ….

Comments are closed.