Getting Along Together…

“Contract on Russian gas transit via Ukraine stipulates ‘pump or pay’ principle – Naftogaz”

See?  It’s not all that difficult to get along together, is it, when issues are put aside or amicably settled for mutual benefit? 

Much better than shooting at each other.

The world should operate more on these principles. 

“Starting tomorrow maybe?” says he, perhaps a little too starry-eyed.

Minsk, Spinsk, It's All A Game – with people's lives

“Russia’s envoy slams Kiev’s statements on non-compliance with its obligations”

I don’t want to keep harping on about this, but I will if I have to, and the West (including Ukraine) is playing  it for all it is worth, but the Minsk agreements championed by the so-called Normandy Four, are dead in the water, barely floating, and certainly incapable of movement.

Neither side actually involved in the case – the Kiev government and the breakaway Donbass republics – actually want anything to do with Minsk.  Kiev sees it as a Russian plot to denude them of part of Ukraine through a separation of control, and neither Donetsk or Lugansk really want to prolong any further ties with Ukraine, preferring to hitch their wagons to Russia.

And Russia, standing alone against the West, a position it would rather not be in, is trying to roll shit uphill in pushing for the fulfilment of Minsk – an impossible dream – because it does not want the trauma that would inevitably follow if it were to accept these new republics into its fold (although I also feel sure it will do that if push comes to shove).  Russia, If I judge this right, would simply prefer for all other alternatives to be played out first, but will as a last resort ensure the safety of its diasporic people from annihilation by Western barbaric hordes.  I doubt those people, the Donbassians, will easily give up the land they have claimed as their own – some of the best and most productive land that Ukraine used to have.  

America, having little part to play – other than through less than subtle undercurrents – as a result of being shamelessly exposed for starting this all off with one of its infamous regime change coups and economic rape sessions, still hovers in the background as a ruthless snake in the grass, feeding such fires as it is able, through military and covert assistance.

All of this is just a measure of the sad state of affairs that the world finds itself in at the close of yet another failed civilisation.  We  must endure it and also share in the pain of those closest to the fraction zones of a dying society.

In the end, none of us may get away completely unscathed, wherever we have pitched our tents.

It Certainly Is Wrong…

…and the Russians should be very careful about placing any kind of trust in the America that they have in the past called ‘our US partners’, but are now it seems more wisely referring to as ‘our US counterparts’.

‘Partners’?  Wherever did Russia get that idea from?  They will never, ever, unless some dramatic and it could be argued impossible changes occur in the American psyche, be allowed to be thought of as US partners.  Sad, but true.

Do the Russians think, or in any way consider it a possibility that, if the boot were on the other foot, and it was the Russians who needed a lift for their cosmonauts out to the ISS in a US space vehicle, that reciprocation would be forthcoming?  Of course it wouldn’t.  Not a snowball’s chance in hell would that happen.

Anyway, all that aside, what is it that ‘certainly is wrong‘ as in my post title? It is the US attitude to the matter of foreign policy as it applies to anything to do with Russia. 

As the hard working Russian Foreign Minister – Sergey Lavrov (where does he get his stamina and fortitude from?) says – in this TASS post:

“The United States has long worked on relations with the Central Asian countries.  We know that it has been openly persuading the Central Asian countries, although most of them are our military and political allies, to refrain from the further development of relations with Russia. We never do things like that.”

“It is always possible to find opportunities for developing cooperation with this or that country to mutual benefit and to safeguard one’s interests without trying to infringe on the legitimate interests of that country and to develop cooperation with third partners. Regrettably, the United States pursues such a policy. It manifests itself not only in Central Asia. The Americans conduct the same policy in relations with all of our foreign partners in Asia, Latin America and Africa. We draw the attention of our US counterparts to this whenever we meet. We believe it is wrong.”

Yes, it certainly is wrong – on all levels.  It is also self-destructive – a policy always backfiring on those who pursue it.  Why the US does still pursue such a policy is beyond me.  It reflects a bad attitude, and one that doesn’t align with the idea of friendly relations – especially when it can only be made effective in conjunction with the ‘big stick’ approach.  An approach that the US, always relying mostly on bluff, is no longer able to wield – as has been proven by the resistance to its plans and threats by the relatively small nation of Syria.

I would say that where such US foreign policy has worked in the past, it will never work again anywhere – and in any case could never produce the kind of international friendship, allegiance or alliance that other more sincere, collegial, and therefore conducive policies might foster.  The kind of policies that Russia offers – securing lasting and mutually beneficial friendships everywhere – for instance.

It is the difference between great minds and big hearts versus small minds and selfish hearts.  And it shows.  Openly revealing itself for all who have open eyes and open minds, to see.   

Read the story – you’ll see what I mean: US urges Central Asian countries to avoid developing relations with Russia — Lavrov

Hope For Less Unbalanced World

No nation on Earth possesses the kind of advanced weapons that Russia does, and no nation will reach the same capabilities as Russia’s weapons currently have, perhaps for decades to come. And this is not just one weapon but a whole range of such weapons, as announced by the Russian President in March last year – which the world media predictably poo-pooed but many of which have and are now coming into service with the nation’s military.

The world should be grateful then that it is a peace loving Russia and not some other more cavalierly aggressive cowboy outfit that is in this position of power.  The “also ran’s” in the global arms business should therefore, if they had any sense of the gravity of their position that is, be attempting to negotiate some form of arms limitation treaty with Russia for the sake of ensuring that no nation can unilaterally hold the world to ransom by using their weapons as a potential threat.

This becomes increasingly important because…
…in 18 months time, if the current ‘New START’ agreement on arms limitation has not been extended or replaced by some superceding (like it or not, that’s how it is spelt) similar agreement, “then there would be no instrument in the world to curtail the arms race,” as President Putin already said to the Financial Times back in June of this year.

Russia knows only too well the importance of such treaties to the safety of the world and has been working hard towards achieving a substantial result – perhaps for the first time in history acting from a position of power not previously enjoyed.  The cowboy nation which has long enjoyed such power but now finds itself in a subordinate role, is predictably hedging a bit and not being too forthcoming with the kind of proposals it is used to demanding, instead trying to spread the scope of the matter in hope of a more acceptable result for itself.

But time is running out  …and Russia continues to to develop even more advanced weaponry – with the intention to never permitting the shadow of the US to overcast and dominate the world again.

Like I said, we should be grateful.   

“Demonstration of Russia’s Avangard system may stir US into extending New START — expert” – TASS

Russia demonstrates Avangard hypersonic missile system to US

Russia’s 1st two Avangard hypersonic missile systems to assume combat duty — source

End of The Normandy Format?

Wow!  I had not anticipated a move of this nature to be aired just yet in the Ukraine-Donbass saga.  It was obvious to me that the Normandy Format process was going to fail – it was designed to do that – but such an event has not yet happened.  Despite that, the main protagonists (Kiev government, Donetsk People’s Republic) have now advanced the rhetoric way beyond that position. No comment yet from Lugansk.

Briefly, no I can’t adequately describe it any more briefly that is done in these shared posts.  Read it there.  It is amazing stuff, almost unbelievable.  There will be no reconciliation between parties.  Ukraine has lost Donbass for ever – and will be all the poorer for it.  Not that Ukraine can get much poorer without rolling over, stiffening, with its arms and legs in the air.

The Donbass Republics are also jumping the gun, and quite understandably in the circumstances, though I think a little prematurely.  Russia can not be seen to be short-cutting diplomatic endeavours, even assuming that it wants to – which I do not feel 100% sure about on the basis of what has been said previously (they would rather see a whole and cooperative Ukraine, having already enough internal problems of their own to deal with) – and any further move in the direction of separation of Donbass from Ukraine I can’t see happening until all other efforts for reconciliation to reunite the country have failed.

But it is interesting, for those of us not caught up in the middle of it all.  Then again, the whole world will be embroiled in turmoil of one sort or another very soon – providing all of us with more to think about closer to our own homes. 

Donetsk slams Kiev’s policy in Donbass, vows to continue integration with Russia

Pushilin says Kiev’s policy is destructive, Donetsk aims at integration with Russia

The Lugansk People’s Republic has yet to comment on the situation (as far as I know).

Misconstruing the ‘Fact Patterns’

Situations around Golan Heights and Crimea “manifestly different” — Pompeo

So, Pompous Mike Pompeo thinks “The situations around the Golan Heights and Crimea are…” well “…it’s complicated, but suffice it to say as we evaluated each of those situations we felt that they were manifestly different as a matter of international law, and we attempted to recognize that distinction.”

Far be it from me to actually agree with anything that Pompous Mike has ever said but, on this occasion, I can find no fault in his arguments. The situations are ‘manifestly different’. Obviously so. The ‘fact patterns’ clearly show that.

Fact Pattern – A set of relationships that have been established for an event from which a legal conclusion can be drawn.

But that is as far as it goes, because his, or ‘their’ – whoever the “we” refers to – ‘evaluation’ of the two situations is so screwed up as to be unbelievable. Not that he actually says what the results of those ‘evaluations’ are (or what the fact patterns are), but really we don’t need that to be spelled out in so many words. We know, from the policies of the US government exactly what their ‘evaluations’ are.

They do not accept that the Israeli occupied Golan Heights is land that, under international law, was stolen by Israel (a state that should not even exist under international law) from Syria – it’s rightful owner. A position that is even taken by the United Nations. That is one, to use Pompous Mike’s pompous phrase, ‘fact pattern’ – a phrase carefully chosen to provide his musings with an air of legality.

The other situation demonstrates an entirely different ‘fact pattern’. The US government obviously still thinks that Crimea belongs to Ukraine when the ‘facts’ are that Ukraine so badly mistreated Crimea that, as soon as the opportunity arose, the people of Crimea overwhelmingly decided and in a democratically legal referendum voted to leave the abusive Ukraine in favour of their true Motherland – Russia. Meaning that Ukraine has for ever lost any legal right it was temporarily granted as custodian of the Crimea. 

It escapes me how anyone, even Pompous Mike Pompeo, while summarising the situation perfectly, could possibly see the detail of these two situations as anything other than how I have briefly described. 

Too soon for ‘In A Relationship’?

“Estonian lawmakers invite Russian colleagues to visit Tallinn” – TASS

Ahh!  Well, well. Do I detect the first tiny glimmer of a softening of the post-soviet hard line – might even call it antagonism or at least suspicion or even anger and at least in part NATO fostered rejection and opposition to the new Russian Federation that emerged from the soviet fall – beginning to appear among the ranks of the soviet era satellite states wooed into bed with NATO?

I think a more friendly attitude to Russia from its earlier ‘partners’ (if that’s the right word) was bound to come at some stage following the starry-eyed sweetheart period of being ’embedded’ with sabre-rattlers.  Why not now?

I may be jumping the gun, but… if Turkey can be ‘in a relationship’ openly with Russia…

Eyes-open, Baltic states.  Make with the friendly gestures, why don’t you?

Seeing the West as the New (Worse Than) Nazis

While I am sure that many would attempt it, there is actually no-one who could successfully raise a fact-based, logically sound argument against that premise.

If the West, led by America, has its way, the planet we now live on will be turned into a vast prison system where numbers will be forcefully kept down to only sufficient slaves to adequately produce the resource needs of the ruling elite.  There is only one nation, possibly assisted by a few others, that stands solidly in the way of the realisation of such a nightmare.  That nation is Russia.

This would more than adequately explain the exuberant posturing and rabid polemic (mostly false) railed against the Russian Federation by Western government and media alike in recent times.  And, of course, the vast sums the West is prepared to spend (a loosely defined term for ‘raise debt to buy’) on military manpower and munitions to back up (another loosely defined term for ‘use coercively in a threatening way or for sabre-rattling maneuvers’) their attacks on Russia.

So, what does this mean?  What action will Russia take?   What does the West expect  Russia to do?  Capitulate?  Surrender?  Accede to the West’s expectations to rule the world and shape it as it sees fit?  Or call the West’s bluff, as being only a fanciful notion?  Steel its reserve for possibly bolder moves by the West?  How far is Russia prepared to go to preserve its identity?

Someone has already written about this, and no, I don’t mean George Orwell, someone more recently, in the last few days.  And someone else has collaborated to translate that into English to help inform us poor citizens of the West – if we are willing to listen.  You will find this enlightening or simply confirmatory (to already held thoughts) article here: ‘Why Russia Has No Right To Surrender To The West’, or as Google Translate would put it (from the original): ‘Why Russia Does Not Make Sense To Capitulate To The West’

 I will entrust to readers intelligence what they make of that, but I will just make a couple of further statements. One is that I don’t believe, even for a second, that Russia, under President Putin (and for as long as he holds the reins), has any intention of capitulating to the West in any way whatsoever.  I believe he has made that abundantly clear.  The West then has two main options:

  • Continue the overt baiting and demonisation of Russia while waiting for, and covertly working towards, a more opportune moment for a takeover/capitulation.  The downside to this plan is that such a moment may never happen.
  • Push for a flare-up (actually ‘keep’ pushing for a flare-up, since provocation is one of their main games) that will ensure and in their own minds justify a move to open armed conflict, relying on their massive military to somehow bungle and bruise its way to gaining them a superior position (not hopeful, based on their past record – Russia is not Iraq).  The downside of that unlikely outcome is that they could easily end up with nothing – a pyrrhic victory.  President Putin has already made it abundantly clear that, and I paraphrase, “If there is to be no Russia, there will be no ‘anywhere’.” – and he, of all people, has the power to make that happen.

So, where does the ‘worse than Nazis’ thing come into this?  Well, you wouldn’t be asking that question if you had read the linked article.

But, stepping back a little, is this all leaning too much on the worrying side?  Did Solzhenitsyn have the West truly pegged?  Or should we all be ‘ready to die’?

To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being.

Three Years – Back In The Family

Welcome home, people of Crimea, just three years ago today. Once again part of one of the great and historic and peaceful nations of Earth.

I salute you …and secretly wish that I could be as proud of my own nation as you have the justifiable right to be of yours.

Oh, and a happy birthday to me.  Can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

“There’s No Understanding Anything Without A Grasp Of Its History”

“There’s no understanding anything without a grasp of its history—which, of course, is the American failing over and over again.”

The above is a quote by interviewer in this piece:  “Intelligent people know that the empire is on the downhill”: A veteran CIA agent spills the goods on the Deep State and our foreign policy nightmares After almost 30 years in the CIA, Ray McGovern became a truth-teller. He sits down with Salon for a long debriefing

KERRYBarack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, John Kerry (Credit: AP/Reuters/Evan Vucci/Alexei Druzhinin/Remy de la Mauviniere/Kathy Willens)

This is a deep and insightful exchange which I recommend to anyone who wishes to know more about the world they live in and who pulls the strings that cause the events that we see happening around us.  You need to be aware of this stuff …and it’s pretty much right up to date.