Michael Hudson on NATO risking nuclear war, Thierry Meyssan on NATO’s twighlight

‘US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia Risks Nuclear War and Loss of European Partners’; Michael Hudson says that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider disbanding or leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks

It’s a a short interview, so I’ll paste in the entire transcript.

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Washington.President Obama met with NATO leaders in Warsaw last weekend to what seemed like a restatement of vows to protect Europe. Let’s take a listen to what the president had to say.

BARACK OBAMA: In this challenging moment, I want to take this opportunity to state clearly what will never change. And that is the unwavering commitment of the United States to the security and defense of Europe, to our transatlantic relationship, to our commitment to our common defense. Throughout my time in office, one of my top foreign policy priorities has been to strengthen our alliances, especially with NATO. And as I reflect on the past eight years, both the progress and the challenges, I can say with confidence that we’ve delivered on that promise. The United States has increased our presence here in Europe. NATO is as strong, as nimble, and as ready as ever.

DESVARIEUX: So ready that the president will be sending 1,000 troops to Poland as one of four battalions that are being sent to countries bordering Russia. But what is really at the heart of this matter? Are these just tactics by the U.S. leading to an escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia? And what role should NATO be playing in maintaining a balanced Europe?Now joining us to help us answer these questions is our guest, Michael Hudson. Michael is a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He’s also the author of many books, including his latest, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. Thank you so much for joining us, Michael.MICHAEL

HUDSON: It’s good to be here.

DESVARIEUX: So, Michael, we just heard President Obama pledging his allegiance to protecting Europe. Does Europe really need protecting, though?HUDSON: Well, as soon as Obama made those words, there was a fury of European statements saying that Obama and NATO was making Europe less secure. The French prime minister, Francois Hollande, says that we don’t need NATO. NATO has no role to play in our Russian relations. That leaders of the two major German parties, both the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, said that NATO was warmongering. Gorbachev came out and said the world has never been closer to nuclear war than it is at present.

William Perry, the former head of the Pentagon in the mid-90s, said that NATO was threatening and trying to provoke atomic war in Europe.And one of Russia’s leading military strategists said here’s what the problem is: NATO wants to move bombers and atomic weapons right up to the border of Russia. That means that if they launch over us, we have only a few seconds to retaliate. President Putin a little while ago had given a speech saying that Russia doesn’t really have a land army. In fact, today, no country in the world, in the Northern Hemisphere, at least, has a land army that can invade anywhere. Try to imagine America being invaded by Canada, or by Mexico on its borders. You can’t imagine it. Impossible. No democracy can afford a land army anymore because the costs are so high that the costs of mounting a land war will just impoverish the economy.

As a matter of fact, what NATO is trying to do is to goad Russia into building up an army so it can undercut its economy by diverting more and more resources away from the economy towards the military. Russia’s not falling for it. Putin said that Russia has no intention of mounting a land army. It is unthinkable that it could even want to invade the Baltics or Poland. But Putin did say we have one means of retaliation, and that’s atomic bombs. Atomic weapons are basically defensive. They’re saying, we don’t need an army anymore. Nor does any country need an army if they have an atomic weapon, because if you attack us we’ll wipe you out. And we’ll be wiped out, too, but you’re never going to be able to conquer us. And no country, really, can conquer any other country. Russia can’t conquer Europe.So the effect, Putin and the Russian leaders have said, look, if they suppose that an American plane goes a little bit off, like, you know, the ships try to provoke things, we don’t know whether it’s an atomic attack at all. We can’t take a risk. If there’s a little bit of a movement against us, we’re going to launch the hydrogen bombs, and there goes Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Brussels.

That’s why you’re having all of these warnings. And Europe is absolutely terrified that Obama is going to destabilize. And even more terrified of Hillary getting in, who’s indicated she’s going to appoint a superhawk, the Cheney protege Flournoy, as Secretary of Defense, and appoint Nuland, Victoria Nuland, as Secretary of State. And all throughout Europe–I’ve been in Germany twice in the last two months, and they’re really worried that somehow America is telling Europe, let’s you and Russia fight. And basically it’s a crisis.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Michael, I want to get back to your point about how we’re seeing this narrative develop about a potential nuclear war on the horizon. And it seems like it’s quite real. This is not just conjecture, here. We have U.S. and Russia’s military forces warning that a nuclear war is nearer than ever before.So let’s talk about interests, here. On either side, let’s be as specific as possible, and call a spade a spade. In whose interest is it to keep up this narrative? Because I’m sure there are people not just in the United States that profit from this, but also in Russia. Can you speak to that?

HUDSON: Well, one of the points made at the NATO meetings was NATO urged countries not to rely on Russian weaponry. There was an insistence by Obama that the NATO countries spend 2 percent of their GDP on NATO, on arms, mainly by buying arms from American military manufacturers, Raytheon, Boeing and the others.Now, look at what’s happening in Europe. It’s not even growing 2 percent because of the austerity that’s being imposed on it. So 2 percent is the entire annual economic growth in Europe. This large amount has to be spent on American arms.

So it turns out that this sabre-rattling to Russia merely means, is a means of obliging the European countries to pay the United States arms manufacturers for goods, and to basically hold you up, Europe up for ransom, saying if you don’t be a part of this, we’re not going to defend you, and Europe is saying, well you know, we really don’t need defense. We’d rather have an economic relationship with Russia. Especially the Germans say, we don’t want the sanctions. The Italians say, we don’t want the sanctions. We don’t want you to make money off Russia. Buy from us, not from Russia. Buy your agricultural goods and your other goods from us, from countries in the dollar orbit, not from the Russian orbit.

And that, essentially, is what Obama meant by the reset. It meant a new Cold War, but the essence of the Cold War is to fight in the new way, which is a financial war, with the military only being a kind of catalyst for the financial warfare between the United States on the one hand. And it’s now–the first effect of the reset–was to drive Russia into an alliance with China. And now, NATO may be overplaying this right-wing hand so much that it’s driving Germany and Italy and France out of NATO. That is the effect this is–what it’s doing is rather effective.

DESVARIEUX: Michael, what about on the Russian side? There are interests that are encouraging this reset?

HUDSON: They had hoped that the reset would mean a winding down of military. Russia would like to use, every country would like to use more of its resources for the domestic economy, not for the military overhead. And in a way, America is trying to force Russia to spend more on overhead as part of its economic warfare with Russia.This is Brzezinski’s plan in Afghanistan, you know, way under the Carter administration. If you can force Russia to pay more for its military to defend Afghanistan, then its economy would buckle and you’ll have discontent there. And then the Americans can come in and promote nationalist and other localist breakups, and try to break up Russia just as America is trying to push a breakup of China as a long-term strategy. And this is going–there’s no way that this cannot backfire on the United States.

DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let’s talk about what everyday people could do to move away from accepting this narrative, or move away from this potential reset that President Obama is proposing? What policy decisions could be made to de-escalate this tension?

HUDSON: Essentially to dissolve NATO, which France has been pushing now for many years. There’s no need for NATO now that there’s no threat of any military invasion anymore. Remember after World War II, NATO was put up when there was a thought that, well, the first idea is European countries should never go to war with each other again. There will never be war between France, Germany, Italy. That’s been solved. There’s no way in which European countries would go to war.The second thing was, well, what if Russia would re-invade like it did when it fought against Hitler? Well, there’s no danger of Russia invading anymore. In fact, in 1990, when the Soviet Union broke up, the Ukraine passed a resolution that it wanted to remain neutral and benefit from its sort of neutral pivot between Russia and Europe. And the United States put $5 billion into Ukraine, and spurred a lot of nationalist revolution. And so it took the United States 20 years to turn that around and to somehow break up this neutrality.So the U.S. strategy is to prevent neutrality. Europe’s economic interest is to achieve neutrality with Russia, and have economic unity so that there’s little chance of any confrontation with Russia as there is among the European countries themselves.

DESVARIEUX: All right. Michael Hudson, always a pleasure having you on the program. Thank you so much for being with us.

HUDSON: Good to be here.

DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on the Real News Network.
‘The Twilight of NATO by Thierry Meyssan’, 07/17/2016, Voltairenet

“The history of NATO and its current activities enables us to understand how the West has woven its lies and why it is now a prisoner of them. The elements contained in this articles are shocking, but it is impossible to deny the facts. The only other solution is to cling to the lies and persist in hanging on.

During their meeting in Istanbul on the 13 May 2015, the leaders of NATO finish a well-alcoholised meal by mocking the idiots who believe in their rhetoric of peace, singing «We are the world». In this unpleasant video, we can recognise General Philip Breedlove, Jens Stoltenberg, Federica Mogherini and a number of Ministers of Defence.

The summit of the chiefs of staff and governmement of NATO has just finished its meeting in Warsaw (7 and 8 July 2016). It should have been the triumph of the United States over the rest of the world, but was in fact the beginning of its downfall.

Let’s remind ourselves of what NATO means.”

Drunken hubris doesn’t come any more stark than this, does it?

His essay is divided into parts; ‘the origins of the alliance’, NATO post 9/11, Nato today’ (“The almost unlimited geographical zone of the Alliance”), ‘Daesh’, ‘the Ukrainian example’, and last, ‘the Warsaw Summit’.

nato brussels one billion dollars

The new headquarters of the Alliance, in Brussels, has just been built for the modest sum of one billion dollars.

The Warsaw Summit:

“The summit did not enable Washington to plug the leaks. The United Kingdom, which has just put an end to its «special relation» by leaving the European Union, has refused to increase its participation in the Alliance to compensate for its cancelled partnership in the EU. London is presently hiding behind its coming change of government in order to avoid questions.

At best, they have been able to make two decisions – to install permanent bases along the Russian frontier and to develop the anti-missile shield. Since the first decision is contrary to NATO’s engagements, it will probably proceed by installing troops on an alternate basis so that there will never be a permanent contingent, but soldiers will always be present. The second decision consists of using Allied territory to deploy US soldiers and a weapons system. In order to avoid annoying the populations they will be occupying, the United States have accepted to place the anti-missile shield not under their own command, but under that of NATO. However, this is a change which only exists on paper, because the Supreme Commander of the Alliance, currently General Curtis Scaparrotti, must be, by obligation a US officer named by the President of the United States alone.”

~Thierry Meyssan

This first Tweet is a low blow for the Corbynites and….sanity.

41 responses to “Michael Hudson on NATO risking nuclear war, Thierry Meyssan on NATO’s twighlight

  1. just for the yuks of it, and yes, think dubya in china shaking the wrong doors to get outta there! “don’t let the door hit ya in the butt on the way in, Lurch.

  2. Thank you for this important post, wendye. And for those who stay away from the Saker these days – and warmongering not being my favorite subject, I count myself among such for the most part, this however is a really good guest article on the subject, with reference to Serbia. I just post the first few paragraphs but all of it is worth a read:

    Serbia’s March into NATO Servitude
    7452 ViewsJuly 11, 2016 91 Comments
    by Stephen Karganovic
    President, Srebrenica Historical Project

    Serbia’s pathetic defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, was seen dutifully in attendance in Warsaw last Thursday where he rubbed shoulders with NATO notables and associated freaks (e.g. the guest of honor, Ukrainian killer-lady, Nadiya Savchenko). Apparently delighted that its minister was treated to such generous photo-ops in Warsaw, Serbia’s defense ministry triumphantly averred that NATO’s invitation to Djordjevic to attend the gathering was proof that “the Serbian government enjoys the status of a stable and responsible NATO partner.”

    How enjoyable that status will ultimately turn out to be remains to be seen. Serbia’s slow but steady drift toward NATO means that the message that President Putin pointedly addressed to the Atlantic alliance’s Eastern European satellites – that making their territory available for the deployment of weaponry that threatens Russia’s security will make them a legitimate retaliatory target in case of nuclear hostilities – may end up being applicable to Serbia as well. Unless, that is, its dilettantish government comes to its senses, or Serbia’s vehemently anti-NATO and pro-Russian public reads to their rulers the long overdue “riot act”.

    A few months ago, with little fanfare and mostly out of the public’s field of vision, the Serbian government deepened its NATO involvement (it is already enrolled in the “Partnership for Peace” program) by signing an additional Status of Forces agreement with the Alliance although, technically, it is not a member. The eventual disclosure of this perfidy caused a brief uproar before the public retired again to its customary torpor. However, the reaction, brief as it was, left no doubt that the Serbian people utterly abhor NATO and everything that is associated with it.

    But public sentiment is only a part of it. Neutrality is not a matter of preference but a policy officially enshrined in Serbian law, which explicitly forbids joining any military block. However, legal obstacles have not been known to discourage Serbia’s political elite once it receives marching orders from its Western masters. They recently signed an ominous Status of Forces agreement, granting NATO troops unlimited access to the country’s facilities and NATO soldiers diplomatic immunity and impunity before Serbian courts for any act of personal wrongdoing. In conformity with previously signed agreements, NATO personnel already sit ensconced in the Serbian Defense Ministry. They are presumably engaged in “cooperation” and imparting “advice” to the military of the country they ruthlessly and illegally bombed 17 years ago. . .
    *************

    Tectonic shifts are occurring or are about to occur. Erdogan started the ball rolling, and if the US was not complicit in attempting his overthrow, it at least seemed hopeful. For a long time Putin has been very patient, firmly resisting the bearbaiting while pointing out that actions on the international stage do have consequences.

    • welcome, juliania, and thanks for the info and opinion on serbia. there seem to be so many nations now ‘under the nato umbrella, allies or friends of nato’, that those nations outnumber the official 28. i’d have to guess that nato is flailing about in emergency ‘reading the tea leaves’ status now.

      given: “Neutrality is not a matter of preference but a policy officially enshrined in Serbian law, which explicitly forbids joining any military block”, yes, it’s far worse, but if elites are ignoring the law there, and the elites are disregarding the US constitution, we’re sort of kindred souls, no?

      now as to the coup that may not have been a coup, we’d been discussing that on this diary toward the bottom. access to wikileaks’ publications of the close to 300,000 emails and docs are being blocked in turkey. assange has given folks there an IP to use as a proxy server however that goes. but let me go grab a tweet or two and edit it/them in soon.

      but in the meantime, might you consider explaining ‘erdogan got the ball rolling’? seeing what’s next…or even after that…is impossible for me. yes, if erdogan wants to partners w/ china, russia and iran, what effect will that have? someone at b’s said the alliance would be The New Mongols.

      on edit:

      one or two commenters in the ‘conversation’ below the tweet er…called yeni safek a piece of shite, dunno

      and from david graeber’s account

  3. after the nausea of that thoroughly repugnant “we are the world” video, a chuckle from the RNC speeches: Brain Scientist Ben Carson said HRC made a pact with the devil using forbidden Jewish rituals overseen by 33rd degree Luciferian acolyte Saul Alinsky! (i embellished slightly. only slightly.)

    well, Killary’s definitely made a pact w/Somebody. who knew that European leaders are terrified of the prospect of an HRC presidency?

    “better dead than red”: better to wipe out the planet than to share. once king of a planet daily more resembling a shitpile, all energies must be expended and any & every strategy embraced to remain on top. every CEO, every politician knows this. “with…without…that’s what the fighting’s all about.” pink floyd.

    i feel this way far too often, minus the gun & quite that level of intensity cuz i don’t need an aneurysm (from the big lebowski):

  4. ha; i love your (slight) embellishment of the brain surgeon’s charges.

    well, if hudson’s right about europe fearing the hillary hawk, of course, but their financial ties they may see as more productive…with russia. but pipelines for liquid ‘energy’ and more…it makes sense. and how many nations were urging ‘stop sanctions on russia’? well, even if they vacillated now and again…

    i also have a squib about turkey and the bear, pipelines thing to offer in a separate comment. i will admit that i have some sort of mental block as to how israel fits into all of this (among other blocks).

    great snip from the big lebowski. now here, mr. wd is likely only too used to my pantomiming reaching for a rope, looping it, winding coils around the base of the loop…tugging tight the slip knot, and placing the noose over my head… so the gun works for me!

    • “a lot of ifs and what have ya’s…a lot of strands to keep in the ol’ Duder’s head…it’s very complicated…fortunately i’m adhering to a strict drug regimen…” is there a strategy in play to sever or weaken the US/Israeli incestuousness? hard to believe. but these constant submental assertions that NATO or this or that will *always* endure, so childish. who has the ovaries to get up & say, “our empire won’t last forever” as Pericles supposedly did in his final speech to Athens?

      • ha, that’s why they name wars and ops shit like: “enduring freedom”. what they don’t say is that it’s stirictly aspirational, do they? but then, trying to peer into their individual or group-think brains is impossible.

        but day-um; i’ll see if mr. wd can score that film from inter-liberry loan. i’ve only seen it once, and that’s apparently downright heretical.

        did pericles announce that? did gorby once it was sort of a fait accompli? cripes, i just read it on thierry meyssan’s piece, the ‘why not’ program?

        but here’s a bit moar har-har from nato:

        ‘Gender Perspective is a formalized NATO capability. Read Gender Functional Planning Guide’…

        • Thucydides 2.7: “even if now, in obedience to the general law of decay, we should ever be forced to yield…” yield to the plague that struck Athens. it’s vaguer than i remembered, but Pericles/Thucydides acknowledges all things decay.

          The Big L. is the best. people didn’t get it when it came out partly b/c we can’t identify w/”the laziest man in los angeles county,” a kind of rip van winkle who surely offended some people by sleeping thru the revolutionary war.

          “i myself dabbled in pacifism once…not in ‘Nam of course.”

          • close enough for who it’s for, the thucydides quote. :) well, i sure have liked almost all of the coen bros. films i’ve seen, and that last quote reminded me of elmore leonard dialogue a lot.

            ach, after reading the other tweet about ‘carter reaffirming’, yada, yada, and what it actually seemed to say between the lines, just that ‘guide’ made me howl w/ laughter.

            but you must have found it, the twit link goes to a 35-page pdf, meaning: ‘this is serious bidness, see?” the fanfare around the ‘first’ female (whatever level) leader was pretty funny to me. ‘no sexism in nato! the tweet following it is hilarious, too, as its giving a Warning to Putin, not ‘dialoguing’. the narrative on the ‘history’ is pretty great, though.

            #NATO and #Russia: balancing defence with dialogue

            but gosh, mickey, i mean jenny; bryan macdonald at RT kinda call bullshit on ya’ll:

            Western reaction to Turkish & Ukrainian coups: Forget ‘democracy,’ it’s about ‘interests’

            “Who would have imagined that the people who helped bring you the 2014 Kiev Maidan coup are now apparently opposed to the removal of elected leaders by force?
            If they’ve somehow seen the light after those efforts contributed to the destruction of Ukraine, that’d be fair enough, but it doesn’t appear to be the case.

            In reality, if you’ll excuse the allusion to Damascus, there hasn’t been a bunch of Pauline conversions. Instead it’s all about ‘interests’ and it doesn’t seem to matter how shameless or brazen they are in pursuing them.

            Pro-NATO politicians in Europe and North America have long used the pretence of “democracy promotion” to justify the club’s relentless expansion eastwards. For all that, their reaction to last weekend’s events in Turkey has finally blown that cover. Because, let’s be frank, sensible folk have long insisted that their real ambition has always been to install or maintain western-friendly regimes in strategically important countries. At this time, the response to the Ankara turmoil seems to confirm those suspicions.”

            sorry to be so long; loads of calls and emails with the sibs-in-law, mr. wd, bring me the noose again…

            • i hear ya. i’m helping design a web-page for someone, so i’m on all the time.

              NATO: replacing “traditional” “family” values for the more traditional value of us shooting each other. “gather round the family…w/a pocket full of shells” as rage vs the machine sang long ago?

              • hope it’ satisfying work, that; greek to me. yes to the lyrics, exactly, but if it’s tom marello: ack! it always grieved me that Occupy chose, or was chosen by: morello, lee camp (not funny, imo) and sourpuss hedges as their spox. come to think of it, the latter two might have been chosen by the green shadow govt., and look what happened to them. ;-)

                as an aside: i hated seeing boots riley, commie hip-hop revolutionary team up w/ morello. ah, well.

                “they’re killin’ me, here, pa!” gotta go get a nero wolf fix, then zleeeep. g’nite.

                • lol. pretty sure your blog will be more sophisticated.
                  don’t know anything about marello. playing w/the Boss some, who i never got into? or is that old snewz?

                  • well, he’s in cleveland w/ ‘the prophets of rage’. i tried to choose one, as that one has no vocals (his singing is as crap as bono’s, imo). but yes, i reckon he means well.. but to say that he’s full of himself… i liked the old boss a lot, though. and i love boots.

                    dayum, i was about to ask if you might be able to help me sort this place out. the diagrams of what can go where on each sidebar…made me crazy. i finally had to wheedle the wordpress folks into showing me the css code to make videos and tweets smaller. but it’ll have to do for now…i guess. ;-)

                    this one of my faves, plus ‘the magi clap’.

        • “Gender Perspective is a formalized NATO capability. Read Gender Functional Planning Guide’…” what is this, w.d.? where is this quote from? i didn’t see it in the twitter links. weaponized gender. it’s kind of hilarious really, in its bureau-speak.

          well, google helps..
          http://www.act.nato.int/article-2014-1-16
          Unlocking the Potential: Integrating Gender Perspective for Operational Effectiveness

  5. juliania: i’dmeant to ask wot ho about killer-lady (wince) nadiya savchenko, since she was indeed the Rock Star of the warsaw summit. a photo of madeleine albright genuflecting before her…was sincerely air-sick bag worthy. so…i wondered why she was in a russian prison, remembering the Big Prisoner swap. the paper of record had this to say about her:

    “A Russian court convicted her of serving as an artillery spotter and directing fire at a rebel checkpoint where a Russian television journalist and a sound technician were killed. She was sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder. Lieutenant Savchenko vigorously denied the charges and, at one point, went on a hunger strike to protest the trial, which she dismissed as a farce.”

    well, it was likely more than that, but then, that’s fairly damning in itself. also: re: Incirlik which i’d assumed was about erdogan holding it hostage from nato unless the US extradites gulen,

    but more history as per t. meyssan:

    “In 1998, NATO waged its first war, against a tiny state (presently Serbia) which posed no threat whatsoever. The United States deliberately created the condition for the conflict, forming the Kosovar terrorist mafia which operated from the Turkish base of Incirlik, organising a terror campaign in Serbia, then accusing the Serbian government of repressing it with disproportionate force. Once the NATO anvil had crushed the Serbian fly, it was noted in the chancelleries that the Alliance was in fact extremely unwieldy and mostly inefficient. This is when profound reforms were initiated.”

    mr. wd had mentioned some of the interesting bits he’d read in mike whitney’s new piece on the turkish coup. among others: erdgan’s rapprochement with moscow and normalization w/ syria, putin possibly having tipped erdogan to the coup, hoping the favor would be returned (who knows?) and how flummoxed uncle sam pretends no to be. he says it’s been announced that putin is to meet w/ erdogan on aug. 2 (again, who knows).

    but this seems to be a gem:

    “One last thing: There was an important one-paragraph article in Moscow Reuters on Monday that didn’t appear in the western press so we’ll reprint it here:
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s joint projects with Turkey, including the TurkStream undersea natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, are still on the agenda and have a future, RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying on Monday.” (Russian Dep PM says joint projects with Turkey still on agenda, Reuters)

    but the only news that really matters is this: we had an enormous rain-and-lightning storm at bedtime last night! rollicking and rolling thunder, too. just over an inch of wet stuff!

    • Sorry, wendye – late to respond up a ways and here – hot and dry hereabouts, and brain in the decline, so yesterday a big box marked “Honeywell” on the front porch had me back in the corporate camp – jes’ kidding, as my sons would say when they zinged me a good ‘un. Older kids came thru with this beauty – I’ve named her ‘Uhuru’ as it’s a star trek console for sure – evaporative cool I luv ya!

      I was channeling Pepe’s early Silk Road posts on that Erdogan comment – (could be also read as ‘biggest rat makes the first move off sinking Titanic’). And sorry, I don’t know Nadia from beans but will see what I can find. One part of that could be that Putin isn’t all of the government, though they seemed pretty unified when it came to Ukraine. Still some leftovers there from our ‘help’ during Yeltsin years – I don’t think Putin is in ‘purge’ mode, at least not to the extent Erdogan has been. I did see a comment somewhere that Erdogan looked plenty assured announcing all his martial law/airbase closing moves so the speculation was that Russia was assisting. Pretty drastic and risky stuff otherwise.

      Do you glean anything from wikileaks releases so far? I’m thinking practical considerations to winnow out the grain in Turkey might go either way, the important thing being that ordinary Turks get the real deal promptly as the masters of chaos love a vacuum.

      But really, what do I know? Time to go press some buttons, warp speed, Scotty; avoid wormholes!

  6. Oh boy, wendye, you do send me on some quests, you do indeed! I hadn’t realized that Nadiya Savchenko was the Ukrainian Joan of Arc – but I ‘duckduckwent’ and found a very complete and long article on the radio free europe site, author Christopher Miller, with help from Olena Removska, “The Many Faces of Nadia Savchenko.” Here’s just a snipped from the middle of the article:

    . . .Brody’s locals were insulted by the book’s contents and many soldiers in the aviation brigade were outraged. But most of them wouldn’t speak on the record when I asked about Savchenko. Some were hesitant to speak out because they said it was against the soldiers’ code, while others said it was because they were afraid of possible repercussions should they criticize a national hero. “What if she becomes defense minister and I’ve said something [bad] about her? Then what?” one soldier said. Savchenko has already said she is ready to lead the Defense Ministry if asked.

    Edward Zahurskiy, Savchenko’s former commanding officer, had no problem opening up — after getting permission from his superiors. He said Savchenko was a “problem officer” who was mentally “unstable” throughout her time in Brody. She “lacked discipline” and was “insubordinate,” he said, counting on his fingers all the times she deliberately disobeyed his orders.

    Another officer, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, was especially critical of Savchenko, describing her as an unhinged alcoholic who had few friends and regularly drank herself into a stupor. He remembered one instance in which she downed a bottle of booze and fell over in a patch of grass. A group of feral dogs then came over and licked her face, he said.

    Savchenko herself admitted in her memoir that she had abused alcohol while in Brody. “Because of such a boring life and service in Brody, I started to ruin myself by drinking during my second year there,” she wrote. Her boredom and frustration stemmed from what she described as being “reeducated” to fly the Mi-24 attack helicopter instead of the Su-24 jet.

    As word spread that a journalist was around the base asking questions about Savchenko, more soldiers approached to put in their two cents. “We know who is and who isn’t a hero,” said one soldier. “And [Savchenko]….” He didn’t finish his sentence, but just shook his head and walked away. . .

    After Maidan she left the base and joined up with the infamous Aidan Battalion (accused by Amnesty Int. and others of war crimes, and she does seem to have participated in the mistreatment of prisoners.) Now she is a barefoot member of parliament in Kyiv, very popular, wants to reunite the east but on a war footing with Russia, whatever that means.

    Last few paragraphs are worth reading for the atmosphere at July 4th celebrations in Kiev. To me she seems like the opposing personality to that Russian officer who became a ‘hero’ in Donbass and appeared at one of the RF big forums. Belongs to the same party as the lady with the thick blond braid – Timoschenko? (I’m definitely not good at remembering all those names.) Has met with the far right guy, Yanosh, also, this June.

    Is that more than you really needed to know? Sorry, if so.

    • woot! on the evaporative cooler. is it a floor kind or a window kind? we have a standing joke here on the one i (ahem) bought long, long ago when the babbies were just too hot and sweaty to sleep at naptime. i found a neighbor to get it onto the roo w/ his front-end loader, and installed it myself (okay, not that well, tool a lotta muscle to screw the bloody thing together..) but mr. wd had said nope to one. i took my own counsel instead. now the jest from him is: ‘best decision i ever made!’ dunno how many pumps and motors he’s repalced over the decades but…it still works, except when it’s humid, of course…

      thanks for that extra on nadiya, but how od that it came partially via the little dick chris miller of the kyiv post. he’s been all over the map on twitter about her ‘release’. of course, he seems to be by way of a banderist himself, as yulia tymoshenko is.

      so…what i’d found above at the times: damn her to hell if true, and my guess is that it is.

      ““A Russian court convicted her of serving as an artillery spotter and directing fire at a rebel checkpoint where a Russian television journalist and a sound technician were killed. She was sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder. Lieutenant Savchenko vigorously denied the charges and, at one point, went on a hunger strike to protest the trial, which she dismissed as a farce.”

      thanks for explaining that you were channeling pepe, too. but no, it must just be that no one can get into the wikileaks far enough to even see how how they might create disguised IPs, or whatever you call them.

      also, i wonder if you saw Yves’ most recent hit piece on the ‘folly of brexit’? one commenter wrote a very long and good dissent to her. his/her name may have begun with an ‘I’. her attitude is so queer to me, almost like she’s one of the elites telling the others to sit down and shut up. mainly i watch all of that via david graeber’s twit accoount.

      • Oops, I finally twigged to that upper right ‘icon’ – goodness gracious you are indefatigable, wendye! Or do I mean undefeatable? No, gotta have that ‘fatigue’ in there. Cooler is a floorstanding model – and didn’t take anything but getting outa the box, plug in, add water, and off she goes. My old one had quit – the pump died and second son cleverly installed the pump from the roof cooler that never worked since we’ve been here – that worked a few years but quit this one. So, son three hauled it out to the garage when the new one came for his ‘private office’ – and there it works!

        Yes on Chris Miller (what is it about Millers? ;)) ) He toes the line on Russia’s theft of Crimea. Interesting that he paints Nadiya fairly black, eh? I did see that Yves disservice to Brexit early on – no comments at the time; I’ll go back, thanks!

        • glad it’s a far simpler one, and i did figure out how to fetch the ‘I’ person’s comment, at least i hope this works:

          http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/more-doubts-about-brexit-fantasies.html#comment-2638309

          figured you also might like this:

          “BREXIT might be what one-hand-clapping sounds like. It might also be the reappearance of concerns relating to, “where have all the flowers gone”, where have all the manufacturing jobs disappeared to, where has all the untaxed wealth stashed itself, where have regulations protecting public interest gone to, or, a falling out of love with the Brussels techno-oligarchs and their boots-on-the-ground Mighty Mouse NATO Military. Most of all, it’s likely to be the sound of suffering humanity scraping itself off the canvas after its initial stoush with the counterrevolutionary protocols of neoconservative privatisation. But best of all, it is a public response to a major political issue that was supposed to produce an outcome that served the wishes and diktats of the masters of the universe, but instead the people’s dissident voice rang out loudly and clearly. The people did more than just bleat!”

          http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/07/the-protocols-of-the-private-zone/#more-63340

          i was stymied and buffaloed when amy goodman had him and another jerk on just after stepehen cohen, “putin’s apologist”, they call him.

          well, yanno…

        • That was worth a looksee – bravo, inhibi! This one there as well:

          Nell
          July 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm
          The press in the UK is propaganda for the masses. They have a left wing social movement building up in the Labour Party, and the right wing liberals need to keep a lid on things. It would not surprise me in the least that what is being discussed in the corridors of power is very different from what is reported in the press. The EU politicians are also having difficulties with their own electorates. I expect all the politicians are waiting for the coming recession so that they can make unpopular deals with less electoral risk. They managed to sell ‘austerity’ as a sacrifice to the nation for years now. I imagine they are all arrogant enough to believe they (EU and UK politicians) can sell an EU deal that undermines voters intentions re Brexit.
          *******
          And as one can see from any lengthy Guardian comments segment, Brits are wising up to the press. Sort of reminds me of those games we kids would play with iron filings and a magnet under the table. We are not iron filings; folk do wise up to propaganda eventually. Bye bye, magnet.

  7. Forgot to say the article is dated July 2016, so recent.

  8. On July 16, lightning struck a tree about 60 feet from my house. The tree is still standing for now, but it fried my modem/router. Finally back after 11 days out. Missed both conventions–from what I can tell, a major blessing.

    By far the most interesting news when I came back is to see that the coup in Turkey did not succeed, that the hauling out of the usual suspects resulted in arrests of people in the Turkish command structure at Incirlik air base and in the Turkish intelligence agency, that Erdogan re-established authority and is in the process of rearranging his foreign policy. At first blush it seems like regime change advocates for the US (and UK?) overreached, even as US and Russia were de facto cooperating in taking down the Daesh state apparatus (if not the guerilla movement).

    There are, of course, other possible explanations, but Erdogan seems to be warming to the idea of a new relationship with Russia and Putin is known to envision anchoring the stabilization of southwestern Eurasia in Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Such stabilization is a necessary precondition to infrastructure development, as the US found out to its dismay in Afghanistan. Wars have a bad habit (or maybe it’s a desired condition) of destroying infrastructure that supports economic prosperity. And yes, it was Pepe who first put us onto the story of China’s vision of New Silk Road development as an alternative to sea shipping that is out of Chinese/Russian control from the Straits of Molucca westward. Agreement between Turkey, Iran, and Russia could provide the political basis for restabilizing Syrian politics while shutting out Saudi Arabia, which in the other interesting news seems to be seeking an alliance with Israel.

    There is a lot of international movement of relationships going on that are being completely ignored by the Wall Street media and consequently have little impact on the foreign policy narratives of the campaigns, both of which seek stuck in the First Cold War, as if the state of the world is not the result of US action as the world’s sole superpower and the various forms of blowback from former allies of convenience.

    If Turkey indeed severs its ties with NATO under Erdogan, that will be the first major withdrawal (excepting DeGaulle) from NATO. It means that NATO loses control of the Bosporus. And it starts a “Who lost Turkey?” political debate in the US that likely will not mention Victoria Nuland, her husband, or the neo-conservatives who became besotted with one regime change after another.

    It is unlikely, IMO, that Trump can get his constituency to lean toward a warming of relations with Putin. Seventy years of relentless propaganda and bad experiences cannot be easily erased even by Trump’s golden tongue.

    The fundamental unreality about Russia is that most Americans still consider it Communist (with a capital-C) despite the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. And the post-communist reality of Russia tends toward authoritarian politics, oligarchic economices, and a culture that is reviving its Russian Orthodox connection between church and state.

    What is interesting about Putin’s Byzantine revival imagery is that Byzantium is now Sunni Turkey and Persia is now Shi’ite Iran. It will be pipelines stitching together economic interests instead of a culturo-political fusion knitting together the three countries. And economic interest extends no further than fossil fuels.

    • oh, my; i’d grown concerned by your absence, and had meant to email you several times to ask if all were okay w/ you and miz thd. but what with ten things and another… and of course you wouldn’t have been able to read my queries.

      i do so wish i could keep geography in my mind even a third as well as you’re able to, but yes, RT reported that moscow and ankara resumed talks on the turkish stream pipeline project, and also a long-delayed nuclear power plant in turkey (ish). oh, yes: the talks were to commence after erdogan had apologized for shooting down that russian jet over syria. ooopsie. ;-) oh: and RT also had a squib about bibi having asked putin to develop israel’s oil fields; they met in june.

      israel and the sauds? well, that is interesting.

      i’m not quite comprehending the three nations stabilizing turkey, but that’s due to my ignorance about the conflicting forces at play there.

      anyhoo, welcome back. the wifi-router our qwest provider used to provide were so sensitive to lightning that three fried, and the lightning wasn’t closer than half a mile away. (they finally switched, thank goodness.)

      • Turkey, Iran, and especially Russia are the regional powers in southwest Asia north and east of the Persian Gulf. Having them diplomatically on the same page is like having US, UK, France, and Germany on the same page with respect to European or NATO actions. They and alliance with China in the background could deter meddling by Egypt, Saudis, Israel, or a revitalized Iraq and Syria.

        Interesting that Israel does not see the US as sufficient to support their current policy direction but find Saudi Arabia and Russia understanding. Understanding Israel’s military technology and police tactics helps others understand some irreplaceable aspects of US national security and domestic policy and potentially provides Israel with additions to their military customers independent of US oversight.

        More nuclear reactors in the world provides more possibility, in the absence of other controls, of breakout of the non-proliferation treaty regime. US members of Congress have too little understanding of how advantaged the US is by that regime and how much the US need to reciprocate with its own disavowal of nuclear weapons (instead of making them easier to use) in order to wind down this 71-year-old folly masquerading as the “ultimate weapon”. Be a shame to bring Iran into the regime and lose Turkey because of diplomatic bungling constrained by Congress on the one side and the stinking thinking of neo-conservative national security policy on the other.

        • thank you, amigo. i did go fetch a fine and brightly colored map of the ME, and see what you mean. now, tartus on the mediterranean is home of the russian 6th fleet, isn’t it?

          well, i suppose iran is in the regime, and we can hope that isn’t frittered away by the likely next Neocon Queen. iirc, i’ve seen headlines in which trump seems to like the iranian deal; are you guessing that might hold with his constituents if elected?

          according to RT, china and the bear are holding joint naval exercises in the south china sea; neither seems to have (cough) cared much for the nato’s confrontational posturing there. as a side note, it really is cringe-worthy to look at nato’s twit account.

          • Constituents don’t matter except on election day. It’s the members of Congress that will control the situation over the next four to eight years. The GOP side of that is pretty dismal at the moment with little boys trying to beat their chests harder than their opponents. And the Democratic side is half as dismal.

            NATO can charge and have to pay for twits from its twit account? Social media tends to attract its share of twits just from the low cost (140 characters) and bumper-sticker mentality.

            Those who can communicate actual thoughts have my admiration and I generally follow them. Even the ones like Billmon who solve the problem with 20-twit essays.

            Most institutional twits are indeed run by twits.

            Geopolitically: Black Sea, Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, Red Sea entrances are strategic choke points. Caspian Sea is like North American Great Lakes — Russia/Iran control.

            Major rivers — Don (into Black Sea); Volga (into Caspian Sea) are major routes of low-cost bulk shipping, Also Danube (from Black Sea into Central Europe and through canals to Rhine). Also, strategic for defense as land-sea break point.

            Mountain barriers: Caucasus, (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia are Trans-Caucasus countries that mix Islamic and Orthodox religions in potentially destabilizing proportions. Memories of genocides are strong even prior to the first genocide to shock Western consciences–the Armenian genocide of a hundred years ago.)

            No doubt a Russia-Iran-Turkey regime would deal with religious tensions the way that Saddam Hussein did — through repression of religious politics and privilege of one religious faction. The three together would provide a diplomatic check on how extreme privilege and repression becomes. And provides a outlet of refuge and complaint that co-opts religious politics as an opposition tactic.

            Of course, sanity in geopolitics to me is interlocking regional balances of power in which the shared regional partners act as a brake on rash actions of the alliances. So Russia in both NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) makes sense to me and does not seem a contradiction if the goal is mutal defense stability. The US would be a shared partner among Europe, Pacific Rim, and the Americas. Brazil, Latin America, Americas and South Atlantic (an alliance that has not been created yet but would include Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Argentina as major powers. The African powers would share between South Atlantic and Africa. This would move diplomacy to the major activity.

            • ah, i’d asked since you’d said up yonder: “It is unlikely, IMO, that Trump can get his constituency to lean toward a warming of relations with Putin.”

              but ooof, that’s a lot to absorb, thank you, but for now we’re jammin’ here getting ready for our daughter’ family of five to arrive this evening. my attention is split, as well. but i will be back as i can. damn, i wish you could see the night sky right now: the milky way is back with a beautiful display in the east, and scorpio is all the way up on the edge by bedtime.

              a sight to inspire. ♫we are stardust, we are golden…♪♪ ;-)

    • i’d forgotten to mention turkey severing ties w/ nato; this piece from usa today has a few competing stories: what’s good for nato, what’s good for turkey, what’s not good.

      ‘Will Turkey Be Expelled From NATO?; Suggestions that Ankara is endangering its membership in the Western alliance ring hollow.’

      sure, nato clearly needs turkey far more… but ya gotta love this: ‘”NATO also has a requirement with respect to democracy,” Kerry told reporters in response to a question on Turkey during a press conference in Brussels with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief.’

    • my, my; some golden-tongued neocons, eh? some insider must have been flipped out enough to leak them, yes? karber was more right than wrong,, though, was he? prolly the anointed one would kinda/sorta agree. wesley clark for pesident! or did the bnd leak them out of concern?

      karber doesn’t tweet very often… but he is very full of himself, of course.

  9. i’ll see your philip karber & raise you one general allen. and the guy introducing allen. omg. “hilary knows that each of us in all our elements of national power make us stronger. smart diplomacy, a powerful economy, educated children, we are stronger together.” and then allen becomes completely precious-bodily-fluids unhinged.

    nice sikh & african-american female props up there on the stage. USA!!! USA!!!

    • well now that was epically cruel, jason. “the free people of the world look to amerikkka as the last best hope for peace and liberty for all humankind.”

      it really was the trailer for War, Inc., wasn’t it? and the crowd went wild for it. did they pipe in a gaseous version of the blue pill thru the ventilators or is it just some sort of mental self-delusion/amnesia because: trump? some of the pro-police state was similar.

      yes, nice props, for the love of money. st clair:

      “+ Trump has really gotten under the skin of the military-security establishment. His repeated swipes at NATO did it. They’ve united behind HRC. You’ve got to give him that. On the other hand, it gives an ominous new meaning to “Stronger Together.”

      + Who knew the Democratic National Convention would turn into a military recruitment video?

      + How can they possibly top this? A live drone strike on the big screen?

      + Two parties, both proto-fascist. How to choose?

      + If I were the Iranians and North Koreans, I’d be hardening my bunkers, pronto. Assad should probably book a room at the nearest Ecuadoran Embassy.

      + Gen. Allen just annihilated every humane sentiment expressed in Rev. Barber’s powerful sermon. Perhaps that was the point.

      + We begin to see the outlines of Hillary’s economic plan: military Kaine-sianism.

      + Bernie, how do you like your party now?

      + I wouldn’t be shocked if those super-charged delegates goose-step out of the Wells Fargo Center tonight to invade Delaware, waving their flags and chanting USA, USA!!! all the way to Dover.

      + Boomer, our Australian Shepherd, still hasn’t emerged from the closet where he fled during Gen. Allen’s war rant. Who can blame him?”

      i cannot blame him; it was an appalling fascist spectacle.

      • someone get that man a lozenge! better yet, just stick the fire extinguisher down his throat & pull. one thing i did like about another element of the diversity brigade’s pre-allen speech was his frankness in stating that the prism thru which all society is shaped is the military. diplomacy, economy, *educated children.* i expected allen to mention a commie plot to put fluoride in children’s ice cream. there will be no heels left on any american shoes after all the ass-kicking we are about to do.

        j st clair has been great, huh? took a bit to get going this last piece, probably b/c it took the juices a bit to get flowing after the Tim Kaine drinking game the night before.

        • iirc, he admitted that himself. not the best one of the four, but the series is altogether spectacular. just saw some dude say it was all marxist drivel, or some such

          • Aspen SecFor: guess which country is not an actor in their speakers’ agenda? USA! no fora to discuss US actions in the world in relation to, say refugees? nope. b/c the US isn’t doing *anything,* the US is not the lead actor in the world right now, a vortex that these other events swirl chaotically around & are caused by or drawn inevitably into. nope. these things, boko harem, “conflict zones,” terrorism, everything on the program agenda, are just out there happening, causeless monads. but trust us, after 4.5 days of this drivel (“struggling to modernize”) you’ll know how to tell your corner of the USG to finally DO something, become an actor on the world stage, at last.

            or rather, sell R2P & shit to the masses. all the journos there to hear Mars speak, & take his sacred words back to the masses. efface all prior US agency in the world. state the global crisis & its effects. offer course of action for USG. rinse. repeat. apply to next “crisis.”

            • DHS!! keep us safe from the ter’rists we create and those dissenters of this exceptional realm!

              oh yes, africa is on their to-do list, cuz the projects ain’t complete. which nations were the french ‘aiding’ against boko haram, et.al.? off, and their spook just might be as good as ours for overthrowing secular leaders, eh?

              the bear is on the prowl, and causing the immigration crisis, yanno, not the USA!
              “Meanwhile, after depending on the United States for their security since time immemorial, in the wake of our indecision in Syria and the nuclear deal with Iran, the Saudis and other traditional American partners
              in the Gulf are going their own way. What comes next, for the region and for our relationships there?”

              The ovien queen (thanks for that) will be The Decider, won’t she?

              • it’s really professional networking idnit? the aspen thing. though i did think, The Daily Beast? they couldn’t leave enough jelly beans out for some jr. undersecretary for hemispheric security journo from WSJ or WaPo or CNBC for the earth-shattering revelations forthcoming from this (non)event? if they haven’t already, i’m sure the Daily Beast can spawn one or two Judith Miller types w/some good husbandry & manure from the NatSec crowd.

                hey man, why not give peace a #$%^&* chance?

                • the modertators were great, weren’t they? which tight-as think tank snatched up richard engel? and gosh darnit: where was martha raddatz? so ya want networking, do ya?

                  .

                  • that was probably a very relaxed, guys hanging out at the sauna/bar, Cheers kind of meeting. Raytheon & CIA. everybody knows your name. troubles? all the same.

                    • so…ya reckon the mutual bonhomie was more by way of casual high fives and winks than thru-the-air chest bumps ‘n ‘you da man’, ‘no, you da man’. stuff?

                      ack: just twigged to the ‘cheers, everybuddy knows yer name’. slow brain…

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