Links 3/20/2022

Dear patient readers,

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


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P.P.S. One of our mods is on holiday till the end of the month, so comment liberation may take longer than usual. We are very sorry! Please be patient.

* * *

Love and Longing in the Seaweed Album Public Domain Review

Too Specific and Too Vague London Review of Books

The New Neurasthenia The Baffler

Africa’s global biodiversity hotspot BBC

Weird Science Los Angeles Review of Books

Largest Aztec temple was decorated with over 100 starfish Ars Technica

Holy Roman Administrator Literary Review

May I Quote? Los Angeles Review of Books

Inside the plan to fix America’s never-ending cybersecurity failures MIT Technology Review

He Teaches Police “Witching” To Find Corpses. Experts Are Alarmed. Marshall Project

Indian farmers use tech solutions to keep away marauding monkeys Deutsche Welle


The new White House Covid coordinator is great on TV. Is that what America’s pandemic response needs now? Stat

Mask Producers Seeing Major Hit in Orders Look to Forge On as Mandates Ease Newsweek


Hong Kong to review Covid-19 curbs as case spike eases Deccan Herald


Covid-19: States should focus on surveillance, says Rajesh Bhushan Telegraph (India). This source recognizes that the pandemic persists:

The Union health ministry has asked the states to continue sending Covid-positive samples for sequencing and look out for clusters of infections amid the abated epidemic and the resumption of economic and social activities.

All the states should focus on “aggressive and sustained genome sequencing and intensified surveillance”, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in a note to all the states, citing the current resurgence of Covid-19 cases in parts of Southeast Asia and Europe.

How drug companies are sidestepping the WHO’s technology transfer hub in Africa The Conversation

New Not-So-Cold War

We Have Questions About Russia’s Claimed Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile Use In Ukraine (Updated) The Warzone

Was bombing of Mariupol theater staged by Ukrainian Azov extremists to trigger NATO intervention? Grayzone

Russia regroups for assault on Kyiv as it tightens grip on Mariupol FT

Deadly Strike on Ukraine Barracks Punctuates Russian Military Gains NYT


Ukraine crisis: Japan and India press for peaceful solution based on international law Scroll


US Recklessly Eyes China as Target in Economic War  Consortium News

Here comes China (and they don’t stop!) The Saker

China tries to stop questions about Ukraine stance by asking G20 not to discuss war South China Morning Post


Biden’s war on the Russian economy is missing a key player Politico

China-Russia relations the most important strategic asset that cannot be damaged by US provocation Global Times


Lose-Lose Trade Sanctions Project Syndicate

Mideast countries hedge bets on a war that isn’t theirs Asia Times

Africa mostly quiet amid widespread condemnation of Russia AP

Legitimate Energy Transactions Should Not Be Politicised: India on Russian Oil Imports The Wire

India’s parlays with Russia point to middle power pushback on Ukraine Responsible Statecraft

Khan duels with EU on Russia-Ukraine ‘neutrality’  Asia Times


Russia-Ukraine live news: Poland proposes EU-Moscow trade ban Al Jazeera

Democracy of convenience, not of choice: why is Eastern Europe different Global Inequality and More 3.0

Climate Change

Oil and Gas Industry Heavily Outspends Clean Energy and Environmental Groups on Lobbying in California Capital & Main

Free-range eggs unavailable in Britain from Monday Guardian

Waste Watch

Rental Companies Will Not Fix Fashion’s Environmental Woes Treehugger

Groves of Academe

Why Are Scholars Such Snitches? Chronicle of Higher Education

New York cannabis regulations are in limbo. But the pot industry is booming on reservations. Politico

Class Warfare

‘Communities Should Not Pay Amazon. It Should Be the Other Way Around.’ Fair

Lights Out: Profitable Utility Company Shut Off Electricity to Homes Hundreds of Thousands of Times ProPublica

Planners Battle Over Marking U.S. 250th Anniversary WSJ

Biden Administration

Republicans demand new probe into Hunter Biden laptop, coverup NY Post


Gabriel Boric: “Democracy Is Built by All of Us Together” Jacobin. Translation of the inaugural address of  Chile’s new socialist president.


Sedition then and now: Gandhi’s great trial 100 years on Scroll

‘Caste Census Is A Nation-Building Exercise’ India Spend

India, Sri Lanka, and the Fishers Caught in the Middle The Diplomat

Food Safety Body’s Silence Leaves States Impotent Against Pan Masala Contamination The Wire

Japan to invest US$42B in India to strengthen economic ties, Kishida said in meeting with Modi South China Morning Post


The plot thickens Telegraph


Months after assuming power, the Taliban is clueless about turning its militancy into political rule Scroll

Starving a People, Committing a Genocide: Biden’s Sanctions on Afghanistan Counterpunch

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev


    You have to give credit to both Pakistan and India here. They are both nuclear powers that have had wars between them as well as ongoing tensions. So somebody in India screwed up and accidentally launched a missiles. Being only seven minutes in the air meant that there was no time to do anything.

    I suspect that the Indians did not even know where it landed until video surfaced from Pakistan in an ‘Oh, crap!’ moment. Sure, the Pakistanis were hopping mad but both recognized it for what it was – a dumb accident. Best case scenario is improved communications between the two powers while India upgrades its safety protocols. So both were mature about it.

    Meanwhile in Europe, EU officials are saying that if one Russian boot steps across the NATO border or even one stray bullet, that this will mean war under NATO’s Article 5. This is the sort of thing that you would hear from the 18th century where some diplomat would say ‘This was a diplomatic incident so of course this means war!’

    1. timbers

      To your point “Meanwhile in Europe…” The world can be better when both sides are sane. Unfortunately, the US leadership does appear to be. After watching Doctorow and other analysis that the US is already calculating on supplying a resistance movement even after official conflict ends. While watching the panel on an Indian based news analysis show which was shockingly balanced (you don’t see in the West) with Doctorow & Russian lady vs Atlantic Council & Ukraine official.

      The Indian moderator was good and acknowledged each sides point but gave too much air time/benefit of the doubt to the charge Russia doing war crimes when in fact later facts indicate it’s was likely the Azov Battalion committed them and stage managed things to the Western media to make it look like Russia did it, and so Putin is a war criminal. Also the Russians that died in Donbass at the hands of Ukraine over the years – a shocking 13,000 was claimed – well the media acts of if Russian lives don’t matter and either ignores or simply denies it happens. The Indian moderator didn’t do that but the point is…what Russia is doing now has a reason which has never really been admitted in the West, but even in India while much better than the US the dots are at best only very lightly connected. Also no discussion on why US/Ukraine immediately any very indignantly dismissed Russian proposals for joint peaceful security.

      Back to “Meanwhile in Europe…NATO’s Article 5.” Another reason that is scary is there seems to be no publicly acknowledged understanding amongst the civilian leadership (but probably the US military leadership) that NATO is in no position to threaten Russia.

      1. Yves Smith

        Not just the 13,000 who died (number I have seen more often is 14,000) but the refugees to Russia and Belarus, estimated at at least 1.5 million.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Let’s be honest, who hasn’t had that happen? One time I was lighting firecrackers with a friend on his 6th floor balcony, and holding a burning punk in my left hand, and a firecracker in my right while saying something; when the sizzling started. Instead of just dropping it I reared back and threw it like a baseball with perfect form. It popped about three feet away. Beautiful. But even so I don’t hear so good in that ear because rock n’ roll.

  2. fresno dan

    China-Russia relations the most important strategic asset that cannot be damaged by US provocation Global Times
    NATO’s eastward expansion is the root cause of Russia’s anger and military operation in Ukraine. It’s the US that should put out the fire it lit in Ukraine. Ridiculously, it is demanding Beijing to do this job at the cost of damaging China-Russia relations. This is unreasonable and insidious. By pushing China to denounce Russia and asking China to bear the responsibility for the fatal strategic mistake the US and NATO made in the construction of so-called European security, Washington has no intention of hiding its desire to sow discord between China and Russia.
    I think all of the above is true, but it could be argued. What can’t be argued is that such a paragraph can’t be found in the MSM. Maybe there is not de jure censorship from the government, but there is a truly remarkable and all pervasive (e.g., Saturday Night Live singing the Ukrainian national anthem) de facto US thought police in the US that sides always with the US military industrial complex view of things.

    1. ACPAL

      “NATO’s eastward expansion is the root cause of Russia’s anger”

      In my opinion the expansion is not the root cause but one of the symptoms. The West’s (mostly US’s) whole attitude of superiority could be the root cause. Or there could be something more basic like greed where the Western Empire’s goal WRT Russia is to defeat it’s government then carve up it’s resources and sell them off to the highest bidder making the super-rich even richer.

      1. Simple John

        Just read a fine piece in the Atlantic about author John Gunther’s son’s fight with brain cancer 80 some years ago. He wrote movingly about it from his, his son’s and his wife’s perspective.
        The book was titled “Death, Be Not Proud”.
        That title resonated with me so much re Zelensky.
        His pride seems to be costing Ukrainians so dearly.
        In a week or a month or a year will the deaths and destruction be a source of Ukrainian pride? My thought experiment says “No”. Time to reflect will make his country men and women ask how in the world he expected to prevail. His soldier act will be highly resented. I wonder if it is resented now.

      2. Greg

        At some point disaster capitalism morphed into another self-licking icecream cone. More global disasters mean more power for the disasterinos in charge.

        1. paul

          I agree.

          The listless, loveless polity we live under is all out of ideas.

          ‘More of this and that’ whispers the undead.*

          *Hunter and Joe

    2. orlbucfan

      Perhaps so, but there are plenty of Americans who see through the MICC and MSM propaganda, and are sick of it!

  3. griffen

    Gonna need help this breezy March morning on the antidote. While it is not an Ewok, for multiple reasons that is my immediate conclusion (so as not to offend, an Ewok is a cutesy creature from the Return of the Jedi movie).

    1. The Historian

      Did you click on the via above the picture? I didn’t know what it was at first either but I knew it must be a bird. Jerry Lynn loves birds and those nostrils! I love those eyes!

          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            Thank you.

            Hugh was an absolutely adorable wee.

            Looks like a nice twitter account to follow. I’m checking out the Auckland Zoo accounts too.

  4. fresno dan
    The third crisis is Covid. The hyper-contagious Omicron variant finally seems to have slipped its leash in China, and cases are going exponential (graph). Of course that’s still a miniscule number of cases compared to what the U.S. or Western Europe experienced. But unlike those other countries, China has committed itself to stamping out Covid utterly through non-pharmaceutical interventions*.

    And China’s fourth crisis is the ongoing slow-motion collapse in the property sector. Although sparked by Xi Jinping’s desire to reduce the country’s reliance on the real estate industry, the collapse has taken on a life of its own, with a steady drumbeat of new defaults and bad news**

    The liberal global order involves things like universal human rights, the inviolability of national borders, freedom of the seas, a taboo against wars of choice, a preference for democracy as a system of government, and the right of small nations not to be dominated by big ones. This system of values and the accompanying institutions that protect it have served the world very well since its creation in the wake of the Second World War, bringing about an era of relative peace and an unprecedented period of broadly shared economic development.***
    *because our profit based health philosophy is so much better! (do I really need a sarc tag)
    ** is this guy actually doing a parody of neoliberlism – I mean, did he really forget the GFC???
    *** Well, if that doesn’t prove this is satire, I don’t know what he could write that would.
    You know, to believe Ukraine is ALL Russia’s fault, you have to have drunk gallons and gallons and hundreds of gallons of kool aid over the years…

    1. Roger Blakely

      In this week’s COVID-19 clinical update on This Week in Virology on YouTube Dr. Daniel Griffin points to the hospitalization rates in Hong Kong. As Omicron spread in the West over the winter, it faced substantial immunity in the population from immunization and previous infection. Hong Kong doesn’t have that same level of immunity. We were told by the MSM that Omicron was less severe. It ain’t.

  5. Raymond Sim

    Is it me or does that War Zone piece on the use of the Kinzhal in Ukriane verge on being word salad?

    To start with nothing in the Russian MoD tweet they examine identifies either the location of the target nor names the weapon used in the strike. Their update eventually confirms that indeed, the video doesn’t depict the strike they’re supposedly discussing, i.e. the article is a big fat nothing.

    My favorite part of the analysis: “The use of Kinzhal to hit this target is also further evidence of how Ukraine’s air defenses remain a potent deterrent to Russian forces.” The Russian use of armored vehicles likewise proof that Ukrainian bullets continue to deter Russian operations.

    1. scarnoc

      I think the article was useful in that it proved that the video was not of the Kinzhal strike. I have seen that video reproduced all over the internet with the claim attached that it does show the Kinzhal strike. It is always good to get some clarity. The article’s statement about Ukrainian air defenses being ‘a potent deterrent’ is just supposition on their part. As far as I can tell, the Russians strike at whatever they wish with impunity, using missiles. If they want to destroy air defenses in the west, they will do it with missiles. All we can say with certainty is that they have not yet decided to do that.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The article also questioned why they didn’t use an Iskander instead.

      A few seconds on Wikipedia would have told them that western Ukraine is far out of the Iskanders range if its fired from Russian territory.

      1. Tor User

        The video, allegedly put out the Russians, is according to the article, geolocated in Eastern Ukraine.

        From the article:

        “It happened at a heavily bombarded rural area in the far eastern area of Ukraine: … In satellite imagery The War Zone obtained from Planet Labs, you can clearly see the farm featured in the video.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The original reports all put it at Deliatyn, which is in the far west of the country – I’m not sure of the sourcing that puts it in the east, as updated in the article. Its all very confusing.

  6. digi_owl

    I keep pondering the maps i see of supposed Russian advances in Ukraine.

    And i suspect the siege situation is not one wanted by Russia, but one they are drawn into by Ukraine as the latter know they can’t win a open fight.

    Also, Russia have made far larger gains in the south. That suggests they put the bulk of their forces there and that the northern fighting is a “distraction”. Also, they clearly didn’t advance along hte whole northern border as all maps show a large gap between northern Donbass and the Russian front line.

    And another thing is that outside of a push for Odessa, there seem to be little interest in heading west of the Dnieper.

    All in all i can’t help think that we are looking at another Balkan situation, akin to when Yugoslavia fractured. Because Putin was not completely bonkers when he said the present Ukraine was a constructed nation. After all, the area around Lviv was Polish even after WW1 (supposedly those that love to talk about the Holomodor the most invariably come from there, and thus was not even affected by it). And we know when Crimea was passed from Russia to Ukraine.

    All in all it may well be that Kremlin hopes to divide Ukraine along the Dnieper, and turning the eastern part either into Russian oblasts or a “independent” nation.

    After all, the river will act as a natural moat against potential future invaders.

    1. Yves Smith

      You are assuming the Russian objective is to take territory. It isn’t. It is to assure Ukraine neutrality, destroy its war-making capability, and denazify. The former means avoiding civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure. That means slow prosecution of the war.

      The central area in the east is largely agricultural. Russian soldiers have been told not to harm that.

      My understanding is the bulk of the Ukrainian army is in the east. Once Russia dispatches of that, it changes facts on the graund and will hopefully change the negotiating posture of the government.

      See Gonzalo Lira, who is in Kharkov and has friends in the country giving him some intel on top of his own impressions:

      In the latter, his last of five topics is based on the petrodollar theory and is not about the military situation. That part is based on flawed premises. We did have Lira post on our site back in the day, but his belief in neoliberal economics undermined his otherwise often very good work.

      1. Howard Beale IV

        Riddle me this: in a previous post you stated that Russia did not mobilize medical teams when the Ukraine invasion took place, but the US did as part of Iraq II.

        Why did the US do that and RU did not?

      2. Dftbs

        Over the years I’ve found myself disagreeing with the “politics” of many of the good geopolitical analysts with a Russia focus. But then I realize that sort of “labeling” is superficial. They may consider themselves conservatives, and my sentiments may be opposed to that label. But I think this may be some latent “Americanism”. Politics outside America and the West are less about labels and feelings, and more about actions. It may be that labels like “Marxists”, “socialist”, “nationalist” or “conservative” are less relevant than categories like “imperialist” or “anti-imperialist”. The former labels being relegated to sentiment or costume and the latter actually applying to real world change and conflict.

        Moreover I understand the nationalist tinged conservatism of those Russia analysts and don’t mind it. They produce superior analysis, particularly the Saker, Mercuouris, Martyanov, Bernhard and Orlov. And with respect to the ones that are Russian by origin, it’s hard not to understand their antipathy towards “communism” after having lived through the Soviet collapse. And their inclination towards Orthodox centered Russian nationalism, having seen this cultural/narrative force contribute to the stabilization and rebirth of their nation after its decade long rape by western liberalism. I admit I find it ironic that despite their sometimes heavy disdain for many things Soviet, they acknowledge that Russian technical and military superiority owes a lot to its Soviet legacy.

        Although Lira is not Russian, he is like me a heavily Americanized immigrant. I imagine that we would disagree about history and politics many times over, perhaps specifically with regard to his homeland of Chile. But his reporting from Ukraine has been incredible and daring. I applaud his honesty and bravery and hope that he stays safe and healthy.

        1. Foy

          “I admit I find it ironic that despite their sometimes heavy disdain for many things Soviet, they acknowledge that Russian technical and military superiority owes a lot to its Soviet legacy. ”

          To quote Putin: “Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain”

          1. edwin

            Looking at the actions of the US and NATO I’m not sure if they miss the Soviet Union, but they sure want it back.

      3. Bob Kavanagh

        ‘ You are assuming the Russian objective is to take territory. It isn’t. It is to assure Ukraine neutrality, destroy its war-making capability, and denazify…’ and we have it on good authority that these are truly the Russian aims. And nothing else?

      4. digi_owl

        Well if nothing else i suspect they will use this opportunity to link Donbass and Crimea (and they have already done so for the most part). And secure the Crimean irrigation canal that Ukraine cut off after 2014.

        Also, after writing the comment i came across a very interesting article on about the “ethnic” situation in Ukraine.

        Also, the border region between Russia and Ukraine is effectively Moscow’s soft belly. Outside of the rasputisa periods, the land provide a straight line for any would be invaders. Kursk, the location of the famous WW2 tank battle, is just on the Russian side of the border for example.

        Having say M1 Abrams stationed just on the Ukraine side would be no better for the mood in Moscow than the missiles in Turkey back in the day. And god forbid that there would be missiles in Ukraine, even if officially they were not “nuclear” (a Tomahawk can carry a “small” nuke if need be, and USA withdrew from the treaty that banned their usage in 2018).

      1. Paul Jurczak

        Exactly my reaction after reading that title. So said that general public can’t hear the discussion involving arguments like that.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        I wonder about the timing of the New York Times recent “discovery” that Hunter Biden’s laptop left at the repairers is a real story. Having suppressed this story for a year and a half?
        Since the NYT is the official mouthpiece of “today’s” dominant faction of the US military/intelligence machine, this says to me that the guns n spooks brigade are not happy with Pappy.
        Perhaps his refusal to start WW3 by creating the no fly zone over Ukraine? Yeeehaaa.
        If they wanted a surefire way to get rid of him, then linking him to the dealings of his corrupt son would be the way to go. Impeachment? Nah, just a realistic doctor’s report.

        1. super extra

          I am also starting to think that The Laptop Is Real is the beginning of the push to have Biden removed on health grounds, not for not starting WW3 – but for screwing up the racket and inciting de-dollarization. That way a Republican-controlled congress only has to impeach Harris to get a non-Trumper in after the midterms.

  7. Bruce F

    When I click on the link to Food Safety Body’s Silence Leaves States Impotent Against Pan Masala Contamination The Wire, in addition to taking me to the site it also automatically downloads two pdfs of data (from the site?) at the same time.
    I’ve never had a link do that to me before and wondered what was going on.
    Thanks for all the work putting together the links!

      1. BillC

        Yes — sort of. Got two frames embedded between different text paragraphs, apparently by my browser’s internal PDF display support, just as is occasionally the case in some of NC’s main features (e.g., court decision documents). Environment: desktop Firefox 91.7.0esr (64-bit), Debian Linux 9.3.0 Stretch, no user-selected extensions (far from the bleeding edge).

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The humor coming out of both Russian and Chinese foreign offices is hilarious. Lavrov’s little prank on the Brit foreign minister was priceless.

      So I thought the Sunday morning news shows might provide some comic relief after the Second FDR put Xi in his place, and I haven’t been disappointed. I just finished watching David Remick and Masha Gessen being interviewed by Jake Tapper. Gessen had just come from Moscow, and they was lamenting with near tears that all the right sort of people were fleeing Russia these days. Some of them were even apparently invited to depart by locals putting “Z” graffiti on their houses.

      A frightening thing, and not surprising after spending a couple of weeks reading these Russia-leaning websites like the Saker. Russia has its PMCs who fancy themselves world citizens and look down upon their countrymen. They don’t have the political power they have here, but they are the people considered to be important by Americans like New Yorker readers, writers and editors.

      Sort of like here.

      Maybe one way through this wider conflict that seems to be spreading is for there to be created (maybe deus ex machina) a place where all those “right sort of people” in Moscow could join all the right sort of people here in a sort of PMC paradise. Jody Foster could even be in charge if she wanted. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos could could make competitive bids to build it. After that, they could get things ready on Mars.

      I think all these fine folks have endured having to rub shoulders on occasion with the likes of us for long enough. It’s just too painful for them. They need a place of their own. Where they can make each other miserable instead of us.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Re: Marking houses with a “Z”: Brings to mind a scene in ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ series about the Brits in India. It is 1947, partition time, and a Muslim prince and family are headed to Pakistan in a RR car. One of the Hindus in the station marks that coach with a crescent using a piece of chalk. Later the train is stopped by bandits while still in India and they kill everyone in the coach.

        1. Sibiryak

          In the Russian city I live in, lots of cars are marked with a “Z”. It’s pretty easy to do just with your finger! Muddy springtime, cars are always dirty has hell.

      2. OIFVet

        Xi calls Putin after the talks with Biden.
        – ‘So how did your call go?’, asks Putin.
        – ‘The old fool seems bent on starting a two-front war and speeding up de-dollarization’, Xi replies.

      3. The Rev Kev

        ‘Gessen had just come from Moscow, and they was lamenting with near tears that all the right sort of people were fleeing Russia these days.’

        That is hilarious that. Had a good laugh about it.

      4. Dr. John Carpenter

        “I think all these fine folks have endured having to rub shoulders on occasion with the likes of us for long enough. It’s just too painful for them. They need a place of their own. Where they can make each other miserable instead of us.”

        It’s long past time our betters were allowed to have the Galt’s Gulch they so richly deserve.

  8. digi_owl

    That Grayzone article on the theater “bombing” brought something to mind.

    NATO has from day one been flying E-3s and similar along every part of the Ukraine border they can access (they can be seen on various community driven flight tracking maps, based on broadcast location data). Thus one would suspect that they at least have some knowledge regarding Russian flights during any claimed bombing of civilian targets.

    So either they do not want to reveal their capabilities, or they do not want to reveal just how much of a political mess this conflict is.

    1. Boomheist

      So there was a story a few days ago, from various folks reporting with maps using open source information, pointing out that the civilian corridors from Mariopol were likely being opened to the East – Russia – not Ukraine because the people in that city were within the breakaway republics and identified with Russia. When this was reported, this made sense to me, ie, that the civilian in Mariopol were within the breakaway area and it was likely the Ukrainian (Azov) fighters in that city, now surrounded by Russians, blocking that corridor. Then, later, Russia reported Mariopol was mostly taken and they were sending hundreds of cars and buses to ship people either East to Russia or southwest along the coast to a city there in Russian hands. Now, this morning, the story is, Russians are capturing civilians and sending them East to camps, against their will, and this story has been picked up with horror, reflecting what Stalin did 80 years ago.

      So what is correct? I am guessing that this latest story of civilians forced East is propaganda, and not true, but I could be wrong. This is like that bombed theater, initially reported holding 1400 civilians in the basement, with all the associated wailing and horrors, and now, five days later, all we know for sure is 130 people were evacuated from the structure, and total silence about the other hundreds still in the basement, if they were ever there to begin with. The initial story, a building marked Children and bombed, with 1400 civilians inside, ran on all the MSM and was the lead story. Now, these days later, not one photo of victims, injured, even survivors, yet still statements of hundreds dead.

      Now the same guy who reported the Donetsk missile strike is sending a film from Mariopol, which may be accurate, but maybe not, maybe the shot of the city sign is real but all the other shots taken in Donetsk, or another city. The fog of war….

      1. jrkrideau

        Mariupol was part of the breakaway Donetsk Republic until it was retaken by Ukrainian forces and garrisoned by the Azov Battalion. I suspect Russia looks pretty good right now.

        Now the same guy who reported the Donetsk missile strike is sending a film from Mariopol

        Is that the one where the female reporter is speaking French? It’s different enough that I am inclined to believe it.

      2. Foy

        I think it will be only a matter of time before the refugees that were trapped in Mariupol by the Azov battalion and have finally been evacuated start telling their stories of what the Azov’s did to them and how they shot them when they tried to leave.

        There are already a few eg “Refugees from Mariupol tell the REAL story of how they were kept as human shields. ”

        “Azov, bitch! People were leaving – Azov shot people! They shot columns of civilians who tried to go to Volodarsk – they shot buses!”

        It will come out sooner or later

        1. Lambert Strether

          > I think it will be only a matter of time before the refugees that were trapped in Mariupol by the Azov battalion and have finally been evacuated start telling their stories of what the Azov’s did to them and how they shot them when they tried to leave.

          We have already seen one or two such stories from the Greek press. Perhaps a reader who understands that language can monitor….

        2. Sibiryak

          I think it will be only a matter of time before the refugees that were trapped in Mariupol by the Azov battalion and have finally been evacuated start telling their stories

          Those heart-wrenching stories are now being shown on the mainstream Russian news programs. Footage of killings of protesters in Mariupol in 2014 is also being shown, to provide historical context. Of course, none of that will ever be seen in “the West”.

      3. Polar Socialist

        What I saw in DNR sources and Russian media (so take with grain of salt), the evacuees can freely choose to either get to a receiving camp on the Russian side (~35 miles from Mariupol) where there’s food, warm and medical services, or they can go to relatives in Donbass – where they may still get shelled by Ukrainians – or Kherson area – where there’s food and warm but medication is running out, or they can travel in organized columns 160 miles through battle zone to Zaporizzja with a high likelihood of becoming a human shield there (unless impressed to service).

        So far only 400 of the +40,000 have selected the last option. There’s now a law in Ukraine forbidding to present the current situation having anything to do with the civil war, so there’s really no other way for the Ukrainians to explain this but to say that all these patriotic Ukrainians are forced to go to Russia.

        Maybe they are, but what then would be the point of it? The city will be part of Donetsk National Republic, and they will need their* people there. Somebody has to rebuild it and restart the steelworks.

        * great majority of Mariupolians voted for the autonomy

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine crisis: Japan and India press for peaceful solution based on international law”

    What is this ‘international law’ that they are taking about? Japan has long ago signed up with the ‘rules-based order’ which as another reader has said, more resembles Calvinball. And the way that I heard it, Japan was trying to push India into condemning the Russians in order to make nice with the west. Oh, and they wanted India to cancel that oil purchase that they had just made from Russia. I think that Japan wants to see Russia broken so that they can take back the Kuril Islands which they lost to Russia during WW2 but I don’t see India being stupid enough to carrying their water. Gunga Din has been gone for a very long time-

    1. RobertC

      TRK — WRT “Ukraine crisis: Japan and India press for peaceful solution based on international law” article, I agree with you Japan was trying “to make nice with the west.”

      Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said “We expressed our views, talked about the serious invasion of Russia into Ukraine. We need a peaceful solution on the basis of international law.”

      What India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said wasn’t stated but the article did observe “India has abstained from voting on three United Nations resolutions on the subject.”

      Examining Japan’s Sea lines of communication you see there are basically two: South past its near-neighbor China and East to its far-neighbor America.

      Examining India’s 2,200 mile Sino-Indian border dispute with China, India sees a precious agricultural resource (Himalayan water) crossing North-to-South. And India also sees a ready-to-use BRI transport path for its economic growth. Japan’s past $35B and promised $42B pale in comparison to India’s negotiating a militarily-secure and economically-transparent border agreement like China did two decades ago with Russia.

      We’re in MacKinder’s The Geographical Pivot of History territory now.

  10. Tom Stone

    We are closer to a Nuclear Exchange than we have been at any time in my 68 years due to the arrogance and stupidity of the Western elites.
    I put the odds at one in five that it will happen within the next two months.
    On a personal level this means I may well be faced with a choice of watching my Daughter die horribly of radiation poisoning or putting a bullet in her head.
    That is the reality of Nuclear war.
    It’s time for Brandon to go.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wall Street will never allow the government to go to a nuclear war. How are all those billionaires supposed to enjoy their mansions, private jets and super yachts if they are living off MREs in a concrete bunker for the next coupla years?

      1. Tom Stone

        Rev, Human stupidity is infinite and Hubris nearly so.
        You underestimate both because you are (Arguably) sane.

      2. Pat

        I can only hope their idiocy about the ROI of the war beats their costs and the delusion that they have safe places to escape to doesn’t survive a reality check and you are right.

      3. praxis

        Nuclear war, if it happens, is likely to be triggered via an accident. Wallstreet seems quite adept at promoting fragile profiteering structures with massive tail risks and does not ‘hedge’ for complete ruin. Current brinkmanship and posturing over Ukraine is widening the possibility of an accident.

      4. sd

        Just like the olden days, they’ll pack a picnic lunch and watch the nuclear war from a safe distance on space yachts.

      5. Darthbobber

        The decisions that could bring this about would, if they occurred, be happening too rapidly and too securely for Wall Street’s methods of influence to impact the process at all.

    2. First Contact

      Our reality is being filtered through the news and social media just as much as any Fox News or msnbc watcher. The odds of nuclear war are no where near that high, and to hear you talk about considering that for your child is deeply distressing. You need to think about logging off and either finding help or a way to vent your stress and anxiety in a more healthy manner. Reading what you’ve just written is an indication for myself that it’s time to log off and take some time away from the news.

      1. praxis

        The documented nuclear escalation related mishaps and near-misses promotes a significant contemporary survivor bias. We are lucky the preceding cold war stayed cold. Don’t underestimate the stupidity and hubris of Russian-roulette.

        1. First Contact

          Even if that is true, then what is the point of sitting around on the internet panicking about it? Why not log off and go enjoy the day? I just can’t wrap my head around someone so riddled with anxiety by what theyre reading on Naked Capitalism and encountering on its forums that they are considering it a one in five chance that they’ll have to do that to their child…

          1. Donald

            You seem to be reacting a bit emotionally yourself. I am not think of mercy killing anybody, but for the first time in decades I think there is a non-negligible chance of nuclear war. My own guess is less than 20 percent but it is not trivial. Pretending that it can’t happen or is wildly unlikely is escapism. It nearly happened by accident in the Cold War.

          2. Michael Ismoe

            What’s even more amazing is that you can’t see it. Have you watched the news at all in the last month? Today’s top stories on CNN were about “a mother of 12 who died as a medic in Maripol” (why mom wasn’t home with her dozen kids while a war is raging tells me more about her than the Russians. Segment two was an “investigative report” into how Putin’s “roid rage” has tainted hi humanity and how easy it would be to “take him out.”

            France went to war when “the Hun started raping nurses in Belgium”. Nothing has changed but the size of their weapons and their obvious need to use them.

            1. First Contact

              If those are the incidents cited as evidence for a nuclear war that is so certain that Tom Stone is contemplating a 1 in 5 likelihood of killing his own kid, then I’m afraid I’ve found a really disturbing echo chamber in the Naked Capitalism forums.

              1. Bugs

                Yeah, this thread is not funny anymore. I can’t see how that comment comes through a reasonable consideration of the facts.

              2. Dandelion

                No, you’ve found an array of people, in which Tom Stone and I are both included, who were children during the Cuban Missile Crisis and who grew up with the shadow of nuclear war weighing fairly heavily and darkly, a population for whom Nixon’s detente actually did signal some reprieve.

                As part of my school lessons, I had to learn how to triage radiation poisoning, not so that I would know how to help but so that I would know who not to let into any shelter I’d found, so as not to waste space, food, and water.

                It is vertigo-inducing to hear the PMC today, who wrt military capabilities are complete idiots, no doubt because they have something like a 60,000 degree separation from the military, talk like sleeker versions of Curtis LeMay.

                Our State Department these days is even more hubristic than the 1960s Best and Brightest — at least then they knew not to provoke either Russia or China into active military engagement in the Vietnam War.

                We did not bomb the dykes. Nixon did not launch a tactical nuke into Hanoi.

                But then, again, we also had liberals who advocated peace, not air-to-air and surface-to-air missile hostilities escalation via No-Fly Zones.

              3. Donald

                You must be very young or very ignorant. A conventional war in Europe between NATO and the USSR was precisely the way people imagined a nuclear war might start.

                There probably is a decent chance this war could spread outside Ukraine. Giving numerical estimates is pointless.

                And yes, as someone said above, your thinking is infected by survivor bias. I don’t ever want to live again on a planet where civilization could be destroyed because during a tense period somebody makes a mistake.

                But we are close to that again.

          3. jr

            Stone is facing facts. No one is panicking here. We are closer to the Apocalypse than ever before and we don’t shrink from that horrid truth. Taking a stroll won’t change that.

            Let me ask you this: If you are faced with a loved one covered in radiation burns, moaning in agony, what will you do? Whistle a happy tune? Try to find the silver lining? I’ve got a exit plan for myself and my partner, if necessary. Do you?

            There is nothing worse than bright-siding in hard times. It’s pathetic. In fact, that semi-delusional state has contributed to the situation we find ourselves in. At least in the US, we are indoctrinated to always be positive. Theres always tomorrow, even when there isn’t. That’s why I believe we congregate here, we prefer our truth straight up, no chaser.

      2. Aumua

        I personally don’t believe in WW3 because what’s the point? If the bombs start falling then there’s really nothing left to discuss or ponder over. Game over for humanity. Talking about how there’s a whatever% chance of it is just mental games. But I see people, especially younger people talking about it a lot lately like its possible or even likely, and also in a way that seems to say that it might be something we could deal with or live through somehow, and what’s even more disturbing is the giddiness I hear in their voices. People are bored and they [em]want[/em] something exciting to happen, or also they don’t have much hope for the future regardless.

        1. JBird4049

          As someone who spent much of his life in the Cold War, I say that wishing to risk a hot war between nuclear armed great powers is a fool or a nihilist. It is not melodramatic to say, as they did during it, that the living would envy the dead, so why would anyone wish for it? As it is not hard to find information on how close we came to ending it all even with people at the time and on all sides serious about it not happening.

          I have real reduction in the chance of having a nuclear Armageddon for decades and maybe that has caused me to ignore the possibility of still happening. Living in that dread, that damned suffocating insubstantial, but very solid fear that was always, always there somehow. It was not something you could do anything about, but only endure or ignore despite the unavoidable knowledge of it.

          That Americans now running our country have become so empty as to either deny or to welcome this end has put that forgotten emotional weight on me again. Not because they want such a war, but because they have no real need to prevent it. And I am very angry about this, that me and mine might die or live in some hell because our ruling class’ desire for wealth and power and others wish to fill some emptiness in them.

          Just another added weight to enjoy, other thing to bring me down; people wonder about the growing insanity of our society, but maybe we should ask how we are still as sane as we are.

        2. Donald

          Some people might think that way, having seen a fair number of post apocalyptic movies and TV shows. But I think most of us who think about it don’t see it that way.

          I actually enjoy those types ofvscience fiction shows, but no, I have zero desire to experience it. Just being in the NYC area on 9-11 not knowing if I had lost anyone ( I hadn’t) was more than enough horror for my very uneventful life.

        1. jax

          North American reporter in Mariupol

          You’re not thinking like a war profiteer, Eustachedesaintpierre. Multinationals like Caterpillar and Bechtel see redevelopment money flowing for a decade, at a minimum.

        2. Dave in Austin

          He’s a Canadian married to a Russian woman and obviously very fluent in Russian, so he has his own partisanship. And a total noon-professional. But he is the closest thing to a real reporter from the front in this whole war. So much better than the networks that it’s a serious reflection on how we cover the news

        3. cobo

          First Western Journalist In Russia & DPR Controlled Mariupol
          from the above link – thanks Eustachedesaintpierre!

          Patrick Lancaster is walking right into the heart of Mariupol. The reason I’m bothering to post is that we in America need to take a hard look at the construction of our cities compared to the “old world,” middle east, central asia, etc. If our modern, glass, high-rise cities came under the grad or any artillery/bombing, there wouldn’t even be rubble to hide in. Just being caught in an earthquake will bring down a shower of glass, shrapnel everywhere – abandon them…

      1. RA

        I just tried Screwball’s link to Chris Hedges story. seems to be unreachable right now.
        I’m on the west coast and it is about 4:30 PM Sunday afternoon.

        Blocked for diverging too far from the preferred narrative? I hope not.

        1. RA

          I thought I would update my situation of no connection to

          It seems to be an issue with my ISP’s name servers. I can reach any other site I have tried but get ‘server not found’ just for Consortium News. I changed my configurations name server addresses to use Cloudflare free ones and I now connect to fine.

          I filed a report to my ISP support about the problem. Hoping I will get an explanation.

    3. LawnDart

      Tom Stone,

      One in five appears to be pessimistic, according to this:

      There’s a 10% chance of a nuclear apocalypse in the next year, one research firm says

      But then there’s this:

      There are possible other paths toward further escalation, but they all eventually lead toward the nuclear threshold.

      And, finely, this:


      Pretty sure that the last source leans towards our rapture-ready friends who are longing to be sent home to Jesus though.

      1. LawnDart

        Here’s a different type of radiation-poisoning that’s happening now (didn’t see this posted yet, but I think it goes under “Climate Change” or “We’re All Gonna Die!”):

        ‘Not a good sign’: Antarctica, Arctic simultaneously 70 and 50 degrees above normal

        Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat with parts of Antarctica more than 70 degrees (40 degrees Celsius) warmer than average and areas of the Arctic more than 50 degrees (30 degrees Celsius) warmer than average.

        Good news for those who use home heating oil, I suppose. Bad news for Spring-Breakers who now need to travel to Iceland to enjoy and frolic on the beach in balmy weather.

    4. Steve H.

      Don’t worry so much. The most likely nuclear scenario is Russia igniting a nuke internally (or in Belarus), and letting a blush of fallout sparkle the GoodLands to the west.

      “None of your business, it’s an internal matter!”

      Sort of like painting a Z on the door.

      1. aleric

        That doesn’t seem likely to me – more likely is an inciting incident, like either a NATO or Russian plane being shot down near the border leading to escalating missile strikes at military targets across the border. This would create a rapid use it or lose it escalation with tactical weapons leading to near-nuke tactical weapons leading to tactical nukes leading to strategic nukes.

  11. flora

    re: Project Syndicate article

    I made it about halfway through and had to stop. So much received ‘wisdom’, so much ‘official narrative’ in so little space was too much for me. There’s probably a good point in there somewhere without the need for agreement on the ‘official narrative’ about what’s happening. my 2 cents.

  12. .human

    Months after assuming power, the Taliban is clueless about turning its militancy into political rule.

    The US spent decades in Afghanistan and Iraq coming to the same concluson and the duopoly continues to flounder in its own backyard.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That was so stupid that article. So let’s flip it. The Taliban seizes the US Treasury causing mass hunger and then says that the US is clueless about running their country.

    1. Carla

      Thank you for reminding me, Slim! A pale sun is bravely trying to penetrate the cloudy skies of Cleveland, Ohio, lighting up the first crocus blossoms and Omigosh! my Lenten Roses are starting to bloom. We had some pretty heavy dumps of snow this winter and after all the shoveling and snow-blowing, spring is especially welcome. Of course we’re not out of the woods yet, snow-wise, but it’s a lovely day for a long walk.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Spring weather has arrived in Brooklyn. My lenten roses are blooming, as are crocuses, and the first daffodils.

        It’s also my parents’ wedding anniversary. My father passed away in 2000. I remembered to call Mom first thing this morning.

      2. Judith

        Male American Woodcock are sky dancing and calling “peent” in the dark, hoping to find a mate. Birders are squinting into the darkness, hoping at least to hear the mating calls.

    2. Pate

      Stop it Slim. We are at war against the vile villain Vlad the Impaler and his evil empire. Spring shall have to wait.

      1. jrkrideau

        We are at war against the vile villain Vlad the Impaler

        Who is at war with Romania? Or is it like the US officer when informed they were invading Granada asked ” Why are attacking Spain?”.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Inside the plan to fix America’s never-ending cybersecurity failures”

    Well code could be made more secure and any holes in it eliminated through cooperation between industry, the government, ‘white-hat’ hackers and the like but it will never happen. The reason is that organizations like the NSA do not want code to be secure which is why they insist on written in back-doors and weakened encryption standards. It has been found that they even helped write international encryption standards used by the world but ensured that they put the fix in so that they can easily crack it. And of course this means that other governments as well as other criminal actors can also get into all these systems. For the governments, it is the cost of doing business.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      There is a very large and ever expanding cyber security industry worldwide. Just as it is not in the interests of the Pentagon and MIC for word peace to break out it is not in the interest of the cyber security industry for networks to be fully secure. In fact, the industry may well be working to undermine network security so that they can continue to sell “solutions”.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        I have a friend in IT that is going through a hack remediation. He says with all the lawyers involved and the back and forth between the insurance company and the security remediation company, he can no longer tell the good guys from the bad. He’s very much of the opinion that it’s a racket, and his company is the mark.

    2. Maritimer

      “Now some of the US’s top cybersecurity officials—including the White House’s current Cyber director—say the time has come for a stronger government role and regulation in cybersecurity so that fiascos like Colonial don’t happen again.”
      Put it all in one basket time:
      It sure has worked for Injections, highly regulated and subsidized and insured by the Government. Only one game in medical town.

      It should work just as well for an All Electronic Economy. Put those $$$ eggs in this here DIgital Basket, folks, and “a stronger government role and regulation” will take care of everything!

      Thank goodness that problem is solved. The End of Fiascos. What a relief!

  14. Tom Stone

    I am far from the only one who considers a Nuclear exchange increasingly possible, take a look at the “Doomsday Clock” if you do not agree with me.
    The union of concerned scientists certainly does.
    And do spend a few minutes reading about death from radiation sickness.
    It was the cuban missile crisis and the works of John Hersey that tipped the scales for me when it comes to owning a firearm.
    And if you don’t think that the Biden administration is rash and stupid enough to push Russia over the edge
    you have been asleep for the last month.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The HBO miniseries Chernobyl is a good primer on death from severe radiation exposure. It is not pleasant.

      I just had a nightmare about getting exposed climbing around in a reactor or some such.

      Fun times to be alive.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Was bombing of Mariupol theater staged by Ukrainian Azov extremists to trigger NATO intervention?”

    These days I find myself looking forward to listening to the news on the TV nightly to see what propaganda talking point is introduced or which story is given a twist. So a few hours go they were talking about the Mariupol and they were saying that as Russian troops were evacuating the people from this city, they were forcing them to go to isolated places in Russia itself and made it sound like they were being kidnapped. You can bet that the Russian have established facilities for these people to be safe and fed while any injuries are treated. Will we in the west hear any of their stories about what life was like under the Azov battalion or the truth of the Mariupol theater? Of course not. As Lavrov painfully pointed out, we don’t have an independent media in the west any more. But I bet that the Russians are hearing their stories.

    1. auskalo

      On 2015 French documentary producer Anne-Laure Bonnel went to Donbass region and filmed what she saw, her documentray was completly censored around the World from any news coverage or possibility of any film festival entry, until the latest war broke out people rediscovered her film.

      1. Dave in Austin

        Anne-Laure Bonnel’s film could have been from either side of the fence. Or from either side of a lot of other fences. I watched the whole hour. The people in the film look more resigned, sad and puzzled than angry.

        Until recently I had four clippings on the bulletin board by my desk:

        The first week of the Iraq war. A much older Marine sitting cross-legged on a concrete floor with a two year-old in his lap, other Marines casually walking by behind him. The Marines heading north had no doctrine for setting up slalom barricades to slow down oncoming cars- or maybe oncoming bomb trucks. A confused driver. Maybe a scared Marine waving and screaming “Stop!” A father, mother and the other two children dead. A forty-five year old Marine reservist looking into space cradling a baby wishing he were home.

        A somewhat plain Iraqi girl, a bit chubby, about 19. In a Hijab on a bench, wringing her hands, eyes closed, crying. Her mother and father had been in a car. They were dead. She’d just been told. Brothers? Sisters? Was she the last one at home? In a quiet, traditional world where family is everything, her world had just vanished.

        A 20 year-old American girl in a sun dress lying on her stomach in the grass, head in her hands, purse next to her. Memorial Day at Arlington. Her fiancee. By the dates on the stone he was 20, a Sargent.

        About a dozen young GIs in a warehouse somewhere in Iraq, sun streaming in from a line windows off to the right hitting the floor where the GIs were kneeling in a line facing toward the middle where a young man facing the camera had his head bowed and hands together in prayer. An impromptu prayer service for one of them who had just died. The lighting made it look like Michelangelo painting of the Last Supper as Christ raised the host.

        The old Marine; is about 70 now; The others about 45. I know guys back in RI who still can’t talk about what they saw in Vietnam. Two of the widows never remarried. The mothers and fathers are all gone now. The movie made me remember.

  16. Brick


    Starting to hear of lots of coronavirus re-infections and infections of vaccinated people in the UK (particularly kids) but it has not really hit the news yet. It feels uncomfortable seeing the empathy displayed for the victims of war but none for the immune compromised threatened by Covid or those with long Covid . What people may not realise about COVID is that it damages blood vessel in most who catch it (that is why your optician can tell if you have it or have had it). That damage does mostly gets repaired over time , but it is cumulative when re-infected. My guess is that there is a super infection peak about to arrive across the world due to the new variants with more long Covid victims.

    Denmark had 1.8 million cases of infections in the period from November 22, 2021, until February 11, 2022. despite 80% of the population being vaccinated. Denmark had two variants at the same time BA.2 and BA.2.H78Y.

    All the evidence shows that coronavirus severely damages the blood vessels or the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.,that%20line%20the%20blood%20vessels.

    It is currently believed that in addition to being a respiratory disease, COVID-19 might also be a vascular disease, as it may result in a leaky vascular barrier.

    The heart does not regenerate or easily mend after heart damage. COVID 19 will affect people for a lifetime.

  17. Andrew Watts

    RE: Holy Roman Administrator

    Ugh, this review is a fine example of the biography as a hagiography genre. It’s a terrible interpretation of historical material no matter how hard the author tries to spin the reign of Maria Theresa.

    If the Hungarians hadn’t rallied forces to her cause the War of the Austrian Succession would’ve been over in short order. The continued dependence on Hungary allowed them to maintain their autonomy except for a brief period after the revolutions of 1848. This development became a source of unrest in the Hapsburg dominion as other minorities desired the same privileges enjoyed by the Hungarians. Successful empires throughout history are built on universal values and not individual personalities as many historians contend. It’s difficult to imagine how Austria-Hungary would’ve survived as a unitary or federal state into the twentieth century.

    I’m still interested how the book’s author handles an unambiguous success for Maria Theresa during her reign. Specifically the dismemberment and annexation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The more she cried about it, the more territory Austria took from Poland, according to Frederick the Great.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Mideast countries hedge bets on a war that isn’t theirs ”

    ‘The war in Ukraine, and the West’s response, has exposed a changing world, but one whose new contours are not yet clear’

    So this article got me thinking in that maybe the new contours are actually clear at the moment. So let’s pull back a minute and think about it. If you lived in a medium power country like India, would you want to live in a unipolar world or a multipolar world? Obviously in the former you have to accept any deal that you are offered no matter how terrible as you have no choice. And you have to subordinate your goals to that of the big power. But in the later you now have room to maneuver, more options in negotiating with other countries and maybe a chance to form your own power relations.

    So presently the US is fighting for Ukraine like it is the 51st State but what the core of the matter is that Washington wants to preserve what they have enjoyed until a few years ago – being at the center of a unipolar world. But to do so they have to break both Russia and China and I am guessing that Russia came first as it was perceived to be weaker than China. And that is at the heart of using the Ukraine to drag down Russia and hopefully break the place up for fun and profit. Then will come China’s turn using Taiwan.

    So take a look at the countries that are supporting the attack on Russia and they are really believers in a unipolar world as through neoliberalism they benefit the most – countries like the US, the EU, Japan, Australia, etc. Now take a look at the countries that want to sit this war out and you realize that they are the countries that these western neoliberal countries ransack and pillage. The countries of Africa, South America and the Middle East. So I am saying that these countries actually want to ensure that the idea of a unipolar world is dead and buried so that they can get out from under this world regime and so are refusing to play this game.

    1. RobertC

      TRK — WRT “But to do so they have to break both Russia and China and I am guessing that Russia came first as it was perceived to be weaker than China. And that is at the heart of using the Ukraine to drag down Russia and hopefully break the place up for fun and profit. Then will come China’s turn using Taiwan.” I agree per my RobertC March 15, 2022 at 9:27 am post:

      In the next months the CCP will be conducting a number of important events culminating with the re-confirmation of Xi as President.

      If Xi accedes to Biden’s threats, China will start down the slippery slope of vassalization to the US. Its stored wheat will be given to MENA, US troops will occupy Taiwan, etc etc. Another century of humiliation.

      I believe Xi must make increasingly explicit gestures supporting Putin’s Preventive War.

      Perhaps starting with an airlift of medical supplies. Then next an airlift of medical personnel with field hospitals. And continuing to military items.

      At some point Biden will make his fourth mistake

    2. RobertC

      TRK — continuing with your theme, in my RobertC February 18, 2022 at 1:40 pm post, I argue Putin and Xi preempted Biden as follows:

      I believe Putin and Xi gamed out and are executing a confrontation with Biden in Europe, splitting the Atlantic alliance, using Ukraine as their cat’s paw and commodity prices as their lever. And so far everything is moving according to their plans.

  19. skk

    Thanks for the link: “Too Specific and Too Vague London Review of Books”. I enjoyed this sentence: “these ‘Indian’ curries were created by Bangladeshi curry house owners with British palates in mind. ”

    I’d learnt and/or made up myself perhaps the following as the origin of curries in Indian restaurants:

    “Made by Bangladeshis, who are imitating Punjabi restaurants in the UK, who got it from the first restaurant in the ’30s in London, which was owned by a British lord, ex-army, who got the recipes from the Gurkha regiment cookbook.”

    I’ve been shown an ancient Gurkha regiment cookbook, by the owner of the Horns in Crazies Hill in the Thames Valley. The recipes – though the quantities were pretty huge ( 2 dozen chickens etc… ) – read like restaurant curries alright.

    This is all in the ’80s. Indian restaurants in the UK are different now in the main cities. But if you go to a sleepy village or a provincial small town in the Cotswolds…..

  20. Mikel

    “Inside the Plan to Gix America’s Never Ending Cybersecurity Failures”

    “It’s clear to the White House that many businesses do not and will not invest enough in cybersecurity on their own. In the past six months, the administration has enacted new cybersecurity rules for banks, pipelines, rail systems, airlines, and airports. Biden signed a cybersecurity executive order last year to bolster federal cybersecurity and impose security standards on any company making sales to the government. Changing the private sector has always been the more challenging task and, arguably, the more important one. The vast majority of critical infrastructure and technology systems belong to the private sector…”

    And who sold (or gave) what to whom after R&D? Oh, well…moving along….

    “The vast majority of critical infrastructure and technology systems belong to the private sector…”
    Which manufactures and/or sources from places outside of the country.
    The govt then spends, ultimately trillions, for and in the name of “national security” – in places branded or rebranded as threats to national security.

  21. truly

    Re Ukraine:
    What is the legality of supporting (materially or militarily) known Nazi or Neo Nazi regimes? Are Nazi or Neo Nazi regimes considered terrorist orgs? If not, why not?
    If an American went to volunteer as a soldier could they be at risk under American or Intl law? Maybe not now but when a new administration comes to power? Replace “soldier” in the question with “medic”, “Chef”, “transport specialist”? When foreign fighters go to support Al Nusra, Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda or other similar groups we hunt them down like dogs. Torture them or drone them.
    I wandered around the internet last night and came across all sorts of viewpoints from mainstream outlets regarding Azov battalion and other elements in UKie being considered “Neo Nazi’. Time, BBC, Stanford University’s CISAC, and other fairly trusted and mainstream sources have been reporting on this for years. The videos from Time and BBC were particularly disturbing. Videos of Azov thugs smashing up businesses and harassing locals reminded me of the stories of the enforcers of Sharia law. No wonder the average UKie supported Zelensky’s call for peace- his campaign promise.
    If I sent a 500$ donation to buy food for hungry Ukies, and the food ended up supporting Nazi efforts, and the world eventually coalesces around the known evil of Naziism, am I at risk?
    I recall the challenges that Rasmeah Odeh faced in 2014 for actions she engaged in in 1969 supporting Palestinian freedom.
    These things have a way of coming back to haunt “freedom fighters” when it turns out the good guys aren’t so good. And the good guys engage in behavior that makes them bad guys.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Nazis and neo-Nazis have infiltrated all governments in the West, so the odds of anyone being prosecuted for supporting Nazis and neo-Nazis (regardless of the actions of such groups) are near zero.

      1. truly

        Unless at the end of this the west does not control UN, The Hague, or other Intl institutions?
        I suspicion there are a lot of players in this game that would like to rise up and insist that prosecutions be done more fairly and even handedly than over the last 30-50 years. Lots of pending cases could come forward if at the end of this Russia, China, India and a bunch of middle eastern states have established that this is now a multi polar world and we all must abide by laws equally.

      2. PHLDenizen

        The US po-lice are the largest criminal gang in the country and de facto nazis. Biden and Pelosi gave them standing ovations at the last SOTU. Shoveled tons more money at them. Can rob you via asset forfeiture. Shoot you with impunity. No-knock raid the wrong domicile, burn it to the ground, shrug, and go on their merry way with nary a consequence.

        Hitler and his state apparatus did the world a large favor by forever searing into its mind the Nazis as the ultimate evil, never to be bested by anyone past, present, future. Hitler and nazi comparisons — unless literal nazis channeling their same ideology — are lazy and an escape from confrontation of the ways in which neoliberalism is actually far more sinister, dehumanizing, nihilistic, cruel.

        Via Operation Paperclip, the US even made Nazis a scientific import post WW II. Nazis got us to the moon.

    2. Aumua

      I think we’re a little hung up on the word ‘Nazi’ here. They’re far right extremists, that’s the important fact.

      1. jrkrideau

        I think we’re a little hung up on the word ‘Nazi’ here.
        Not necessarily. If you go around tattooed with swastikas and SS wolfeangels, wearing Black Sun medallions , sometimes waving Nazi flags and reverencing the Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandura, Nazi just might be the right term.

        I do not think even the Boogaloo Boys in the USA sport swastikas that way.

      2. Harold

        Why do you feel they should not be called Nazis, but rather far-right extremists? Do you feel that the word “Nazi” is a kind of unfair stigma?

        1. Aumua

          No, I feel that the term Nazi is both overused and is also not broad enough to cover the rising threat of neo fascist movements worldwide. I realize there are actual neo Nazis (and probably a few original ones) in Ukraine.

          1. LawnDart

            In Ukraine, Nazi heritage is a multigenerational tradition. We have Nazis and neonazis on seven continents, and far-right authoritarians like the USA democrats right here.

      3. urdsama

        I think dropping the Nazi part is a problem.

        They are not just far right; they support the policies/beliefs of Nazi Germany.

        This is an important fact that should not get dropped just because people might get uncomfortable.

  22. Mikel

    “Largest Aztec temple was decorated with over 100 starfish” Ars Technica

    Starfish and their regenerative capabilities combined with war ritual…what could go wrong?

  23. Mildred Montana

    >He Teaches Police “Witching” To Find Corpses. Experts Are Alarmed. Marshall Project

    I won’t bother to criticize Arpad Vass, an instructor at the National Forensic Academy in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and a proponent of water-witching or -dowsing or -divining. (I will only mention that his “specialty” is part of a 12-week course at the University of Tennessee that costs $12,000!. Hey, if the government’s payin’ for it, go for it!)

    The article itself does the job of criticizing his method for me, as well as others that are staples of forensic science. Sample quotes:

    1. “…scholarly research doesn’t back him [Vass] up. Outside experts I spoke with — professional forensic anthropologists and lawyers, as well as law enforcement officers involved with police training reforms — say they’re alarmed that a leading training program is teaching the pseudoscience of witching.”

    2. “[Those experts] are also concerned about the repercussions for criminal justice at a time when many mainstream forensic techniques have proved to be unreliable, including blood-spatter patterns, bite-mark comparisons, and faulty interrogation techniques. In the last two decades, hundreds of cases built on these methods have been overturned by DNA evidence.”

    Let me add to that list of forensic techniques which are questionable at best: Profiling, behavioral analysis, artist sketches, facial reconstruction, and age-enhanced photos. None of them, as far as I know, have ever been subjected to rigorous scientific testing. In other words, there’s a good chance they are junk science.

    All that being said, I do admit to a certain liking for geographic profiling. It is a well-known fact that criminals tend to operate in areas they are familiar with.

    1. jrkrideau

      After reading the US NCR report(s?) on forensic methods and any number of articles on various forensic methods I have come to the conclusion that “forensic sciences” is an oxymoron.

      Fingerprint analysts claim a zero error rate! A professor of mine pointed out, a psychopath is not going to have any problem beating a lie detector test even if the silly thing works as claimed.

      I do not have a link but there is someone out there who is claiming that her trained dogs can unerringly identify where a cadaver was placed and removed.

      Personally, I’d have as much or more faith in a ouji board.

  24. Bob Kavanagh

    No Betteridge’s Law reference ‘ Was bombing of Mariupol theater staged by Ukrainian Azov extremists to trigger NATO intervention?’
    How come?

  25. tommy s.

    Noting the massive increased drought, wanted to post a reminder from two years ago (I’m sure NC posted this then)….. According to drilling data collected by the groups Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance, Newsom issued 190% more oil drilling permits in the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019. He has issued over 7,000 new permits since taking office in 2019, according to data the groups collected, now published on the website” much of course is for export too…..While previously Jerry Brown ok ed at least 18,000 new wells …and such a liar, told Amy Goodman when she asked about that, “well we are still driving cars, so lets produce it here.” As if all these wells are for local use. My god. Amy didn’t even hit back. Not surprising these days…

  26. Dave in Austin

    Western Europe is about to have a serious iron billet problem.

    This morning I went down an interesting rat-hole trying to understand the slow end of the Mariupol siege. The fighting, such as it is, is concentrated near the city center west of where the Kalmius River enters the Black Sea. The NYT front page video shows fresh-looking Russian soldiers in the damaged neighborhood. They were breaking into a highrise (elevator still working) and searching the place. My guess is this area is where the Azov people made their last stand. No word on what happened to them.

    Last night at SXSW I met a person from Bulgaria. I mentioned my guess that probably less than 2% of the Kiev high-rises had been damaged; he said “Less than that.” But this small part of the center of Mariupol does look like Beirut.

    Just east of the river is the Azov Steel plant now owned by Arcelor Mittel. Before the revolution Mariupol was a village. The city grew up around the Azovstal steel plant built in the 1930s, apparently the first such plant in the USSR. The plant took iron billets from further north in the Donetsk, remelted them in one of six coal-fired blast furnaces, and produced steel plate and sheet. The Kalmius River provided the water. Arcelor Mittel purchased the plant after the Soviet era. The company website, Wikipedia and the Google space pictures suggest that the plant was small, old and produced things like rebar. See Google:‘,+Zaporizhia+Oblast,+Ukraine,+72300/@47.1286284,37.4898779,24519m/data=!3m1!1e3 .

    I’m no expert on the steel industry, but this looks like the Pittsburgh plants along the Monongahela or River Rouge near the end; old-style coal-fired reheat blast furnaces outmoded by modern electrical melting systems. The NYT headline that the plant was “Destroyed” seems to be the usual Uk-Hysteria.

    The big news is buried in the company’s website. The Ukraine produces 34% of the iron slab and 50% of the iron billet remelted in western Europe to make EU steel. How much of that is Russian raw material processed in the Ukraine I don’t know. The prices have skyrocketed. See: and associated pages.

    One of the major hurdles holding-up a ceasefire is the Russian demand that the embargoes be eased along with the steps ending the conflict. The US says “No way”; western Europe is more amenable. So if Russia holds on to the gains during a protracted post-ceasefire period leading to the end of the trade embargo, a serious fault line will develop between the US and Western Europe and the iron and steel exports of the old USSR may become more integrated- and more Russian. Also the chances of a Russian advance to the Don River before a cease fire to take control of the whole, largely Russian-speaking, iron and steel region post-Mariupol becomes more likely. Until the past few days I agreed with Yves that “Territory was not the goal.” But if the end game becomes a protracted conflict with years of jockeying, then keeping a few profitable pawns makes sense. And in the end the pawns may prefer to be Russians who visit the lovely Ukrainian city of Odessa in the summer.

    The Black Sea coast was historically Imperial Russian ground conquered in the 17th and 19th Century by the Czars. It was not incorporated into the agricultural Ukraine until the 1920s and the Crimea was not incorporated until the 1950s. So if this war ends with a new frozen conflict, as I think is becoming more likely, it may return the Ukraine to the nation’s pre-1920 form, a Ukrainian speaking, agriculturally rich, heartland with the addition of Galicia taken from Poland at the end of WWII.

    If geography is, as I believe, largely destiny, then the fault line between Europe and the US may widen, which might be good for Europe and Russia and less so for China- and the US.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      A quick correction to (quote) Russian advance to the Don River (unquote); the Don is entirely inside Russia, so I think you mean the Dnieper (which bisects Ukraine). That said, I’ve enjoyed all of your recent comments re this ongoing mess in the Ukraine.

      Mariupol is the home base of the Azov brigade, hence it is a special case re avoidance of destruction of civilian property. The Russians will level it if that’s what it takes to eliminate the Azov fighters. Awful for the innocent civilians.

      Totally agree re supply chain disruptions that will result from this war if TPTB don’t cool it w the sanctions, steel being a good example. Russia is underrated as an economic force. EU sells things that people want, but RU sells things that people need. I’ve been seeing a lot of off-the-cuff emotional reactions to Russia’s attack (sanctions on steroids) that don’t seem to anticipate any Russian reaction, let alone the likely economic consequences to the EU. Geography (and its twin sister, demography) is indeed destiny, and once the fighting ends in a few weeks the (probably) protracted negotiations will offer clever diplomats all sorts of wedges to separate the EU (which needs RU exports) from the USA (which doesn’t). I’ll be astonished if the EU keeps all of these sanctions long-term (say, over 6 months).

      BTW, the Donbas industries (coal and steel) have long ago been fully integrated back into the RU economy. Cheap energy and they’re doing just fine.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks for this insightful post. i was wondering about that steel plant.

      I think its been pretty clear from the start that part of the Russian strategy has been to choke off all sea access to the Ukraine. This only really makes sense strategically if they intend to hold bargaining chips for the inevitable negotiations as the conflict winds down. Europe in particular will find that they will have no choice but to relax sanctions one by one in exchange for Russia releasing key products back onto the world market. Its an economic war and Russia intends to have more cards in its hands than the west. The longer this goes on, the stronger Russia’s hand gets.

      My guess at this stage is that the mid-stageRussian military strategy has three main strands:

      1. Create cauldrons in western Ukraine to trap and crush the Ukrainian military and ultimately make the Donbass Republic a fact on the ground.
      2. Control the main ports and other trade routes for key products and commodities while encircling Kyiv.
      3. Demonstrate that they can strike any military concentration anywhere in the country, including the far east of Ukraine and so deny the Ukie standing army a safe space to retreat and replenish.

      This creates the environment for the longer term stated objectives to take place – the Ukie government either falling and being replaced by a suitably malleable puppet, or agreeing to peace on Russias terms. In the meanwhile, Russia has enough of a chokehold to ensure that any agreement is held, and can then be used as pawns for negotiating the gradual withdrawal of sanctions.

      1. Polar Socialist

        make the Donbass Republic a fact on the ground.

        This is the apparent from the fact that the main task of “liberating” the Luhansk and Donetsk has been left for the respective militias, Russians are merely giving air and heavy weapons support.

        It’s certainly possible that this is also a reason the advance in south has appeared to be stalled at times, since the Russians can’t advance much further than the DNR militia on their eastern flank. Big portion of DNR troops is still mopping up Mariupol, and according to the DNR militia spokesman the plan was to wait for them before assaulting the Ukrainian field fortifications west of the city of Donetsk. Now the cluster bomb attacks and other shelling has forced them to a start earlier, namely yesterday. So they broke trough today and advanced 5 miles. The Russian formations to the west of them also started advancing toward Donetsk – Zaporizzja road.

    3. Glen

      Thank you – and nice work!

      If you look at Mariupol on Google Earth – there seem to be three very large industrial areas. I’ve been wondering what is made there. At least from Google Earth these are:
      Ilyich Iron and Steel Works
      Azovstal iron and steel works
      Open Society Azovmash

  27. Steve H.

    > #COVID-19

    This phrase scans as a feminine line, meaning an uncertain outcome:

    Population-level decerebration.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Maybe you need to read more, not less.

      A European Union (EU) report adopted on February 14, 2007, by a majority of the European Parliament (382 MEPs voting in favor, 256 against and 74 abstaining) stated the CIA operated 1,245 flights and that it was not possible to contradict evidence or suggestions that secret detention centers where prisoners have been tortured were operated in Poland and Romania.[3][7] After denying the fact for years, Poland confirmed in 2014 that it has hosted black sites

      1. Teejay

        MI: For clarity, you’re not saying a 2007 EU report on CIA torture sites informs us on the veracity of reports the Mariupol theater bombing was staged. Right?

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      “With Russia’s assault in its fourth week, Major Denis Prokopenko, from the National Guard Azov Regiment, told CNN that air and land attacks on the city were now almost relentless.”

      I’d take anything said by these Nazis with a grain of salt.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Oddly enough, there are already lots of war correspondents in the city, and multiple videos available and none of them have anything about air activity above the city – nor can you see or hear any in their videos. So whatever it is, relentless it isn’t.

        The citizens in the videos tend to mostly blame “grads” from the Ukrainians destroying buildings and killing civilians. Of course the comments shown have been selected for propaganda purposes, but they feel genuine.

        Anyway, I don’t know any doctrine that says bombing a city from air is done during a house-to-house fighting. It’s impossible to have clear enough picture of the situation on the ground to decide what to hit.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


          On another topic, I saw a Twitter link posted at Moon of Alabama (wow, these commenters are ALL UKRAINIAN INVASION ALL THE TIME lol) showing “traitors” being humiliated in what I assume is Mariupol. Wow.

          These people are being bound to utility poles, any poles really, and their pants pulled down, and yeah it’s vile stuff.

          And apparently there’s chatter on the radio between Mariupol and Kiev. The soldiers in Mariupol are complaining of being abandoned and complaining of their status as “Martyrs of Mariupol” when theyre…uhhh…still alive…

          I hope all the civilians somehow escape and live.

    3. Soredemos

      They aren’t being kidnapped. They’re being allowed to evacuate to refugee camps.

      I know DC is a bubble, but is that what you honestly think is going on? Is that where the groupthink is these days?

      1. tennesseewaltzer

        Yes, an earlier headline at the LA Times [which I front page read to know which way the official narrative is blowing] was that the Russians. categorically, were bombing a shelter and were kidnapping Mariupol citizens. Now later in the day, Sunday, the changed headline reads: “Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing shelter, deporting citizens.”

  28. RobertC

    I found this article at The Diplomat to be an informative and fairly balanced read (I especially liked the BRI graphic) What Will Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Mean for China’s Belt and Road? — Exploring the geoeconomic implications for the BRI and other Eurasian economic and infrastructure initiatives.

    The grand policy (and analytical) paradox in the current crisis is this: On the one hand, Western powers consider China to be geopolitically their main systemic rival; on the other hand, they are completely detaching Russia from Western economies, finance, and geography, thereby forcing it to be incorporated into Chinese geoeconomics. This gives China an array of headaches in the short run – some of them very severe indeed – but does it not make China more of a formidable rival for the West in the Indo-Pacific in the long run, when China will have absorbed – at a discounted price – most of the Russian geographic and economic strengths?

  29. What a Wonderful West

    This is just crazy. We are going towards a really a dark age in the wonderful value-based West.

    Patrick Armstrong pausing because of accusations of being a Russian agent of desinformation.

    The West really need a new Soviet Union to arise. The previous Soviet Union forced our oligarchs to some concessions to avoid revolution, like introduce a social welfare state, some freedom of expression and a bit of free journalism. Now when Russia and China are sinking deeper into censorship our misleadership is not even trying. The neoliberal dismantlement of the welfare state and now the freedom of expresssion proves exactly what kind of fascist they really are.

    1. Mel

      “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.”

      Plus, when passionate intensity gets whipped-up by professional whippers-up, it can get downright deadly. Worst information environment ever.

  30. timbers

    There is an unfortunate announcement over at Russia Observer he’s closing down for now and mentioned getting heat for bucking the narrative.

    1. Foy

      Sad, they are falling one by one, its incredible when you think about it. I knew when Trump got banned from twitter that it was the thin end of the wedge and lots more from across the spectrum, particularly independent thinkers, were going to follow at some point, but they are coming thick and fast now

  31. RobertC

    I’ve been anticipating this analysis by the Indian diplomat (retired) M. K. BHADRAKUMAR: China sees parallel between Ukraine, Taiwan

    And does he deliver! He digs deep into

    In the spate of Chinese commentaries on Ukraine conflict, one report that catches attention for its incisiveness and insights is an interview in the Global Times entitled Russia-Ukraine conflict can be regarded as a ‘preview’ of US’ possible acts in Asia: Zheng Yongnian – NATO’s phantom.

    Zheng Yongnian is best known as an international authority on Chinese politics, political economy and the CCP. He opined categorically that NATO’s expansion will not stop and it will likely expand to Asia.


    Against this backdrop, the speech by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on Saturday at the Tsinghua University on the implication of the Ukraine developments for the Asia-Pacific region merits careful attention.

    He ends with

    Of course, the US has refrained from direct intervention in Ukraine, as Russia is not only a military power but also a nuclear power. The big question is whether China will arrive at a conclusion that its best opportunity “to solve its internal Taiwan question” lies in confronting the US at the present juncture when “the US is short of confidence and needs to bluster to embolden itself” and when the NATO’s hands are full in Eurasia and it is unlikely that the US’ allies in the Asia-Pacific will want to intervene in Taiwan.

    1. timbers

      Thanks. Am looking to expand my reading. Will add this guy to my list. First impression is that Indian sources I’ve recently viewed show Western framing prejudices but are inclusive of divergent views rare on MSM.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That guy – M. K. Bhadrakumar – has frequent articles on Asia Times and usually I find that what he has to be say to be coolly analytical without the hype of most writers beating the drum for their cause. For months now when I come across an article by him I pay close attention.

        1. timbers

          Thanks I value your recommendation. Indian TV reminds me of US news I watched per Bill Clinton deregulation of news.

  32. MichaelC

    I’ve been thinking for the last 6 years that the Russia Russia mania has always been Hillary’s strategic long game, holding out for one more shot once the Duffus Trump’s game was done. She had no doubt, despite her protestations that the election was valid and that she lost. She’s probably one of the most pragmatic, ruthless and tenacious politicians this country’s ever seen. And she retained control of the party apparatus despite that ‘humiliation’

    She and her team war gamed this all out then and prepared for it while she was Sec of State. Biden is the perfect fool pawn to see it through. And I’d add O’s complicity in executing the primary night of the long Knives move ensured these 2 moronic leaders installation was instrumental once it became clear they were likely to lose the presidency if the primary continued, given the progressive enthusiasm threatening the PMC party dominance.

    Hillary’s team is now in place and is executing that strategy. If it succeeds, she may claim victory for her groundbreaking work and waltz to the nomination w the full support of her patrons. It’s hard to imagine she’s not being consulted, or being instrumental in this fiascos process.

    But I suspect (hope and pray) it’ll all end in tears for them once Putin succeeds in crushing the Ukraine military, wholly dependendet on the Azov Battalion.

    That defeat,if it happens will be very difficult to defend in the west to their citizens if they realize that the Ukrainian ‘defenders’ are bloody neo-nazis funded by plutocrats, the nominal Ukraine government, NATO and EU govts.

    It’s hard to imagine the the Russian separatists are any less innocent, but to me it seems that they had the higher ground v the Ukraine govt in the civil war in that part of the world where etnicity trumps ‘nationality’.

    1. Tom Stone

      I’d kinda like to see HRC run again.
      A campaign that would emphasize her youthful vigor would be just the thing.
      Maybe a video of her dancing with AOC at an upscale nightclub in Miami beach for a start,then one of her walking on a beach at sunrise holding her beloved Bill’s hands, a “New day for America!” theme.
      It would be special.

  33. Tom Doak

    The Gilbert Doctorow piece was excellent on several fronts, but the most amazing part (which I’m surprised has not been mentioned in the Comments) is his explanation that Putin’s talk about a traitorous Fifth Column in Russia was aimed not at oligarchs, as reported in our MSM, but at the Russian PMC ! They’ve gotten comfortable in their flats in Paris and don’t want to be forced to choose between East and West, because either choice will require giving up their privileged lifestyle and citizen-of-the-world airs.

    Gotta censor that thought from western media or our PMC would lose their minds. Actually, though, they probably couldn’t understand, unless they have a place in Cabo or Tuscany; they can afford to be more patriotic because America is so much bigger.

  34. VietnamVet

    Having done duck and cover drills in elementary school and served in the first Cold War, I have absolutely no doubt that there is significant risk of the Ukraine Russian war triggering a nuclear apocalypse. Volodymyr Zelenskyy is correct warning of a third world war if negotiations with Russia fails. The failure of the West to acknowledge this shows how far down the rabbit hole of greed and delusion the neo-liberal-cons have fallen. They are risking mankind’s future so western companies can profit from Russian resources and gain revenge for centuries old Balkan grievances.

    A world war level of propaganda is underway. Each side and the middle are messaging information that clearly contradicts each other.

    To a avoid a shooting war between NATO and Russia and the inevitable escalation to a nuclear war, realism is necessary. The West must convert to a sustainable economy and restore democracy. Ukraine has to be partitioned and neutral like Austria and Finland were earlier. A Russian speaking nation formed to the East and a Ukraine speaking nation to the West. Kyiv stays with Western Ukraine. A DMZ established north to south along the Dnieper River. Just like during the breakup of Yugoslavia, there will be ethnic cleansing. This will be depicted as a victory for Vladimir Putin by the nutcases and war profiteers, but Europe will still be habitable.

  35. Soredemos

    “This will be depicted as a victory for Vladimir Putin by the nutcases and war profiteers, but Europe will still be habitable.”

    And it will be a Russian victory. Putin has repeatedly explicitly laid out what Russia wants. A neutral, Nazi-free Ukraine.

    1. VietnamVet

      There will never be a “Nazi-free” Ukraine. After almost a month of combat, Russia hasn’t achieved any of its initial goals. To keep going, it has to fix its logistic – command and control problems, plus call up the reserves. To get rid of ultra-nationalist Ukrainians, Russia must fight all the way to Ukraine’s border with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania and then pacify the conquered territory. Overrunning all of Ukraine and then winning the guerrilla war by killing all of the ethnic Ukrainian fighters resupplied by NATO is impossible. Triggering a nuclear war by a mistake (or intentionally) is likely as long as the war rages on.

      Both Russia and the West need to end the war by partitioning Ukraine for humans to have a chance for peace on a habitable earth.

      1. Aumua

        If Russia’s goal really is to ‘de-nazify’ Ukraine then the wave of nationalistic fervor they have created recently would seem to be at odds with that goal. Not to mention massive material support being given at least indirectly to some of these groups by the west now.

        1. VietnamVet

          I accept that Russia invaded Ukraine with two strategic goals; demilitarize Ukraine and eliminate the Neo-Nazis.

          The lack of long-term planning is endemic in neo-liberal governments. The best explanation I’ve read is that Vladimir Putin “glitched”. He made the exact same mistake that LBJ made in Vietnam. Humans have an innate need to defend one’s family and community against outside invaders despite the odds. The Kremlin thought it would be a cakewalk. U.S. Marines landing in Da Nang were handed Leis. Russians got Javelins.

          1. Yves Smith

            I suggest you watch Scott Ritter. He claims that the current Russian campaign will go down as one of the most successful in history. The Russians fielded only 1/3 as many men as the Ukrainians have in their armed forces, including reservists. Yet the Russians are winning. That is because their objective is not to conquer and hold territory, which would require the usual minimum of 3x as much in manning of offensive forces. It’s because they are slowly and systematically destroying Ukraine’s war-making capacity, capturing its soldiers, and killing or taking to gulags the Banderite fascists (tattoos are a pretty reliable proxy).

            Yes, the Russians hoped to isolate Kiev quickly and that didn’t happen. But the forces in Kiev are now separated from those in the West. Russia has destroyed all Ukrainian fuel depots and most of its arms caches. They can’t resupply. Ukrainian soldiers in the cauldrons don’t dare flee. If they aren’t killed by the Azov Battalion types first, they will be by the Russians.

            By taking Mariupol, Russia now controls access to the Azov Sea. It has control of access to the Black Sea between the parts of the coast it controls and its mining of the harbor in Odessa.

            Having not won quickly, I now believe Russia doesn’t much care about wrapping things up soon since the US is still refusing to agree to limits on NATO and drop the sanctions. So waiting a few weeks for gas prices to spike in the US (oil inventories are only 51-55 days) might lead the West to see reason.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Well, the Russian version of the story is that Ukraine mined approaches to Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny with really old mines and a storm broke loose many of those mines, so they are now drifting with currents towards the Bosphorus.

                Given that Ukraine had no navy after few days of the invasion, mining makes no sense whatsoever for the Russians. They need unhindered access to the Odessa region to threaten it with amphibious landing and keep the Ukrainian forces there pinned and unable to have any effect on the operations elsewhere.

      2. Acacia

        Overrunning all of Ukraine and then winning the guerrilla war by killing all of the ethnic Ukrainian fighters resupplied by NATO is impossible.

        Logically, yes. I would assume this is very clear to the Russians as well. If Ukraine is partitioned, though, the western part (a “rump Ukraine”, or what Saker has been calling “mini-Banderastan”) could be left behind, separated from Kyiv, and maybe Poland would take them (though who would want to take in a large number of far-right nationalists who believe in their own ethnic superiority?). At that point, the Russians could mop up the other areas, scale back their “special military operation”, and declare the denazification more-or-less complete. No matter what, they’ll have to leave some bases in place to deal with the inevitable skirmishing on the Western border.

        Zelensky is now saying that if current talks fail, it’ll be WWIII. The stakes are certainly high, but then again he’s an actor and knows something about moving an audience. The Russians have been dealing with Ukrainian intransigence for years now, and probably expect it to continue. Unless NATO gets directly involved, though, the Russians will almost certainly prevail sooner or later.

        And the longer the negotiations drag out, the less the Ukrainians will have to negotiate over.

      3. Polar Socialist

        Overrunning all of Ukraine and then winning the guerrilla war by killing all of the ethnic Ukrainian fighters

        Amazingly enough, it was done twice in the last century. It turned out that the great majority of Ukrainians don’t actually like the etno-fascist groups enough to give them the support they need for guerrilla war.

        I’m not saying it’s impossible, but the history just doesn’t give good odds.

      4. Soredemos

        Why do you seem to think that partition wasn’t always a Russian goal, or at least a plausible contingency plan for them? They haven’t invaded the West of the country, and probably won’t. There can be Nazis in former Galicia; what matters is that they aren’t on Russia’s border. A likely end goal probably looks something like the Donbass repulics in their original oblast borders, Russia directly controlling enough north of Crimea to ensure the peninsula has a secure water supply, and the coast up to Donbass under Russian control. Maybe even the whole Black Sea coast will be Russian. Some neutral rump remains controlled from Kiev, and then the west of the country controlled from Lvov can go NATO or do whatever it likes (it probably eventually gets carved up by Poland and Hungary).

  36. MarkT

    On the subject of New Zealand parrots. The Far North (which includes Auckland) has just experienced rainfall rates of 50 to 80 mm per hour. These are insane amounts which are the equivalent of what went down in Australia a few weeks ago.
    As explanation I leave you this:

    1. howseth

      We will take your excess rain off your hands/lands – I will sign for it. C.O.D.
      Ship rain to: P.O Box D.R.Y. Howie
      Santa Cruz, CA

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