Saltar para: Posts [1], Pesquisa [2]

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Crimean Wars

24.11.21 | Álvaro Aragão Athayde

On this Day, in 1853: Russia invaded the Danubian Principalities and set off the Crimean War

02 July

On this Day, in 1853, Russian forces invaded the lower Danubian Principalities under Ottoman suzerainty of Moldavia and Wallachia, setting off the Crimean War which severely undermined Russia’s influence in Central Europe and left Austria diplomatically isolated.

As the Ottoman Empire steadily weakened throughout the 19th century, Russia stood poised to take advantage and soon began a southwards expansion towards the warm water ports of the Black Sea and the lower Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.

But the British and the French, who hoped to maintain the Ottoman Empire as a bulwark against the expansion of Russian power in Asia, were determined not to allow this to happen. And in 1853, Tsar Nicholas I began a diplomatic offensive to prevent either British or French interference in any conflict with the Ottomans.

The Tsar then dispatched a highly abrasive diplomat, Prince Menshikov, on a special mission to the Ottoman Sublime Porte, and demanded to exercise protection over the 12 million Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire. But the Sultan, strongly supported by the British and the French, rejected the more sweeping demands.

The Danubian campaign

In July 1853, shortly after he learned of the failure of Menshikov’s diplomacy, the Tsar sent armies under the commands of Field Marshal Ivan Paskevich and General Mikhail Gorchakov across the River Pruth to occupy the Ottoman-controlled Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.

The British and French navy immediatly sent a fleet to the Dardanelles and in October, the Turks declared war on Russia and Ottoman forces under the Ottoman general Omar Pasha crossed the Danube and opened a counter-attacked in the Danubian Principalities, leading to the first military engagements of the war.

Because Russia had assisted Vienna’s efforts in suppressing the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Tsar Nicholas I, who wanted a free hand in settling its problems with the Ottoman Empire, felt that Austria would side with him.

But the Austrians had begun to fear the Russians more than the Turks. They resisted Russian diplomatic attempts to make them join the war on the their side and maintained a policy of hostile neutrality towards Russia, while supporting the Anglo-French coalition, a stance which deeply angered Nicholas I.

The Crimean War

France and Britain soon entered the war on the side of the Ottoman Empire and Russia eventually withdrew from the Danubian Principalities in late July 1854. The conflict could have ended then, but war fever among the public in both the UK and France had been whipped up by the press in both countries to the degree that politicians found it untenable to propose ending the war at this point.

In September 1854, the allied forces boarded ships and invaded the Crimean Peninsula. The major Black Sea port of Sevastopol fell after eleven months, which prompted Russia, isolated and facing a prospect of invasion, to sue for peace, signed in Paris in March 1856, which severely undermined its influence in Europe.

But while it was Russia that was punished by the Treaty of Paris, in the long run it was Austria that lost the most from the Crimean War despite having barely taken part in it.

Having abandoned its alliance with Russia, Austria was diplomatically isolated following the war. Russia subsequently stood aside as Austria was evicted from the Italian and German states and compelled to give in to Hungarian demands for autonomy.

The old historic constitution of the Kingdom of Hungary was restored in and Austria was refounded in 1867 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Find out more about Central European history in our new On this Day series.

Kafkadesk Budapest office. Original here.


Crimean War (1853-56)

Map of Crimean War (in Russian) • From Wikipedia
Черное Море = Black Sea • Российская Империя = Russian Empire (green)
Австрийская Империя = Austrian Empire (pink) • Османская Империя = Ottoman Empire (dark grey)



The Geopolitics of Crimea

Russian control has never been uncontested.

Cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey is intensifying. Just a few days ago, the Ukrainian military used Turkish-made drones to strike fighters in Donbass, a disputed region in the eastern part of Ukraine that is supported by Russia. Meanwhile, Turkey and Ukraine announced they would create a facility near Kyiv to maintain, repair and modernize combat drones. Caught literally in the middle is the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia has long claimed Crimea as being in its sphere of influence, using the peninsula to increase its strategic depth, improve its position in the Black Sea and provide a strategic location for sophisticated military bases. In 2014, it dispensed with appearances and straight up annexed the region. Yet, despite Moscow’s influence there, history shows that maintaining permanent control is difficult because doing so brings it directly against Turkish interests.

Expanding to the Sea

To understand Russia’s options in Crimea, we need to examine the geopolitics of the peninsula. Extending off a thin isthmus from mainland Ukraine, Crimea sits in the middle of the Black Sea. It covers approximately 10,000 square miles (26,000 square kilometers) and is home to roughly 2.5 million people, many of whom recently migrated to the area from other parts of Russia. Its subtropical climate produces mild winters compared to the rest of Eastern Europe, its harbors secure against major storms, and its mountains have shielded it from invaders (and are now a great location of air defense installations).


Crimea & Sevastopol


Over the years, Crimea’s natural defenses attracted just about every Eurasian and European power, which would leverage their positions to create favorable maritime security and commercial environments. The Greeks occupied the peninsula as early as the 7th century B.C., creating a hub for cultural and economic exchanges between Eastern Europe, the Eurasian nomadic world and the ancient Greco-Roman world. Centuries later, the eastern part of Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula would be home to a strong Greco-Scythian state known as the Bosporan Kingdom, which controlled one of the most important chokepoints in the region. Along with the southern portion of Crimea, this kingdom became part of the Roman Empire and, later, the Byzantium Empire. But only the Crimean south was controlled by the Roman Empire, and the geographic division of the region would influence power struggles there for centuries to come – between the Romans, the Byzantines, the Goths, the Huns, the Khazarians, the Vikings, and so on. Naturally, this dramatically affected the cultural and religious composition of the peninsula, though Catholics and Orthodox Christians would eventually emerge as the two most significant practitioners. (Islam would come a little later.)

By the 1400s, the Mongolian Empire had taken control of much of Eurasia. One of its constituent parts, the Crimean Khanate, ruled the lands from Moldova to the North Caucasus, Crimea and the entire modern Ukrainian coastline. Its rulers repeatedly laid siege to Moscow, even destroying it in 1571. Russia fought back, expanding to the south and southeast with mixed results. By the 18th century, the Russian Empire was eager as ever to destroy the khanate and gain access to the Sea of Azov and eventually to the Black Sea. The khanate, however, was the main source of the Ottomans’ military presence in Eastern and Central Europe. This laid the groundwork for the ensuing Russia-Turkey rivalry over the coming centuries.

As the Russian Empire grew more powerful, it came to understand more intimately the geostrategic importance of Crimea and its role as the main obstacle in its expansion into the Balkans, Caucasus and what we now call Ukraine. Similarly, the Ottomans came to realize their entire strategy in the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Balkans rested on Crimea. The last chance Turkey and its Crimean allies had to stop Russia’s advance came with the Swedish invasion of Russia. Russia defeated Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709, so Crimea and Istanbul, worried that they would be the next targets of Russian expansionism, preemptively declared war on Russia in 1710. Crimean Khan Devlet II Giray constructed an alliance with Sweden, a small fraction of pro-Turkish Cossacks and the anti-Russian faction of Poles. They defeated Russia at the Battle of Pruth in 1711, and as punishment, the Ottoman Empire, already in control of the Kerch Strait, deprived Russia of access to the Sea of Azov.

Turkey and Russia went to war again over this area in 1768. This time, Crimea, the Ottoman Empire and Poland lost and were immediately absorbed into the Russian Empire. The Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca in 1774 gave Russia full access to the Black Sea and rights to Russian merchant fleet to pass through the Turkish Straits. Russia annexed Crimea in 1783. The gateways to the Caucasus and the Balkans were opened.


The Black Sea


What Russia Can’t Afford

But Russia’s domination of the Black Sea was never uncontested. By the middle of the 19th century, Russia had penetrated deeply into the Balkans and Caucasus, thanks to its possession of former Ottoman territories and the Crimean Khanate (now southern Ukraine). Moreover, the Russian navy became much stronger than Turkey’s in Sevastopol. European powers found this imbalance in power concerning, so they partnered with the Ottoman Empire to successfully defeat Russia in the Crimean War of 1853-56.

World War I gave the Ottoman Empire another opportunity to retake control of Crimea and Sevastopol from Russia. The peninsula was an important stop for the Germans who were invading Russian territory. Germany needed an ally, a state that could prevent Russia from dominating the Black Sea. The presence in the Black Sea could have allowed Germany to control Russian merchant ships because the main flow of Russian exports went through the straits. On the eve of World War I, more than 60 percent of Russian grain exports went through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. In other words, Germany needed Turkey. Russia declared war on Turkey, and Moscow ended up controlling Crimea after the Entente lost.

The peninsula was similarly important in World War II, situated as it was on the route to the oil-rich Caucasus. It was also a valuable aviation base. Losing Crimea would mean that the Soviet Union would lose the ability to raid the Romanian oil fields, and the Germans would have been able to strike at targets in the Caucasus. Russia thus bogged down German troops throughout the war and secured the land after its conclusion.

One of the most pivotal decisions on Crimea came in 1954, after Josef Stalin died, when new Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine. But the region still retained importance to the Soviet regime. In the Soviet era, the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol was responsible for the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Migration escalated the ethnic tensions, which were often based on a particular group’s attitude toward Russia’s role in Crimea. The future of Sevastopol became a highly contentious issue, too. (Pro-Russian officers threatened to use weapons if the Black Sea Fleet transferred to Ukraine.) Only in 1997 did Ukraine and Russia reach an agreement regarding Sevastopol. Kyiv made multiple concessions, the last of which occurred in 2010, when Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych extended the Russian presence till 2042. In 2014, after the Ukrainian revolution, Russia annexed Crimea and attained full control over the peninsula and Sevastopol. Unfettered control over Sevastopol allowed Russia to establish uninterrupted communication lanes between Russia and Syria during the active phase of the Syrian campaign. Moreover, the Black Sea became the main base of the 5th Operational Squadron, which is operating in the Mediterranean near Syrian shores.

Crimea’s geostrategic position gives Moscow both defensive and offensive advantages. Defensively, it would be next to impossible for an enemy to carry out an assault on Russia’s southern borders without destroying its military assets in Crimea. It has one of the strongest concentrations of military forces in Eurasia along with Kaliningrad. Both regions are key to Russia’s defenses in the west, one in the south and the other in the north.


Russian Military Presence in Crimea, 2014 & 2018


Offensively, Crimea is an important source of power projection in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. Possession of Crimea and Abkhazia gave Russia the biggest share of the Black Sea coastline of any power in the region. Before this, its coastline was more or less equal to that of Georgia or Romania. More, the fleet in Sevastopol is the main source of Russian defense against NATO warships. In case of military conflict with Ukraine and NATO, Russia could initiate offensive operations using its Crimean assets along the more than 500-kilometer Ukrainian shore on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to cut western supply lines to Odessa or even to Romania. It could also block NATO warships at the entrance to the Black Sea (i.e., the Bosporus Strait) using Russian warships and air defense systems stationed in Crimea. Moscow could also impose a blockade of Ukraine and even penetrate into its southern regions and support military formations in the Moldovan breakaway region of Trans-Dniester.

For Russia, another benefit of controlling Crimea is that, with a population of more than 2 million ethnic Slavs, the peninsula helped improve Russia’s demographic situation. Its annexation ensured that the population balance in the country, especially relating to non-Slavic groups in the North Caucasus, stayed in Moscow’s favor.

Nearly eight years since Crimea’s annexation, there is still a possibility of further escalation of conflict. Turkey supports the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, with whom it shares ethnic and religious ties. It also provides military and economic support to Kyiv, acting as a counterweight to Russia. For Ankara, the entire northern Black Sea region with Crimea at the center is key to its security. If Russia were to occupy Odessa, it would amount to a return to the 18th century when Turkey lost key parts of its foothold in the region and a path was opened for Russian expansion into the Caucasus and the Balkans.

Russian influence in Crimea has strengthened, but Russia continues to fight for Crimea in other ways. Crimea remains unrecognized by many states of the world, which creates additional pressure on the introduction of Russia’s foreign trade. Social and economic issues, such as water supply and the development of the region in general, require immediate solutions, large financial investments and effective projects – none of which Russia can really afford right now. But it can’t afford to ignore Crimea either.

Ridvan Bari Urcosta at Geopolical Futures. Original here.










Senso comum, a nova lepra

Senso comum, a nova lepra, não-vacinados, os novos leprosos

20.11.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Dois leprosos a quem negam a entrada na cidade.

Dois leprosos a quem negam a entrada na cidade.
Um tem muletas; o outro está vestido de Lázaro, com bolsa e chocalho, para anunciar sua chegada.

Porque me hei de vacinar contra uma doença que não mata quase ninguém com uma vacina que, para além de não proteger da doença, tem efeitos secundários mortais?

Alberto Gonçalves escreveu um glossário da Pandemia de Histeria em Curso, glossário que abaixo se reproduz.


A histeria

que está sempre na onda

(glossário actualizado)


Os especialistas descobriram que as pessoas com 85 anos são mais propensas a adoecer e morrer do que as pessoas de 25. Em prol dos valores democráticos, lixa-se toda a gente.

Por Alberto Gonçalves no Observador às 00:21 de 20 de Novembro de 2021. Original e comentários aqui.

Casos. Número que se debita ao início das tardes sem finalidade discernível excepto manter o pânico em cima, conforme os estudos académicos recomendam. Vem invariavelmente acompanhado do R(t) e da Incidência, a parelha circense que confere um ar “técnico” à rábula.

Certificado. Certifica que o proprietário possui um certificado e que os demais são criminosos. Só por si, o certificado não vale nada na ausência de teste, que só por si não vale nada na ausência de certificado. E nada vale nada na ausência de máscara.

Ciência. Antigamente, fazia-se ciência. Agora “segue-se” a ciência, que pelos vistos já está feita. Seguir a ciência não dá trabalho nenhum nem implica particular conhecimento: basta dizer que a seguimos, proeza que logo rebaixa o interlocutor ao nível civilizacional de uma catatua e nos eleva ao nível de um dr. Fauci (que garantia que a SIDA se propagava pelo ar) e de dois Carlos Antunes (que, coitado, garante o que os telejornais e o governo lhe pedem para garantir).

Curva. Uma coisa que temos de achatar. Não confundir com “pico”, que é uma coisa que temos de ultrapassar. Ambos os processos são relativamente rápidos: duas ou três semanas.

DGS. No fundo, é uma senhora que emite palpites, e a prova de que a precaridade no emprego é um boato infame. Em países exóticos, as autoridades de saúde lançam relatórios diários e detelhadíssimos acerca da doença. Aqui, a DGS lança “sound bytes” para os noticiários. E faz muito bem: a dra. Graça não é paga para informar a ralé, mas para a alarmar.

Distanciamento social. “Distância”, em português. Aquilo que, a pretexto da Covid, os políticos impõem às pessoas decentes é o que, em todas as circunstâncias, as pessoas decentes querem dos políticos.

Especialistas. Subclasse de eruditos desenterrados pela Covid. Desenvolvem a investigação nos estúdios de televisão ou a partir de casa, via Zoom. Não são influenciados pela história do relógio parado que acerta duas vezes por dia. São influenciados pelo dr. Costa e não acertam nem uma vez por ano.

Fetos. Em 2022, serão os maiores responsáveis pela propagação do vírus e os últimos a ser vacinados.

Infarmed. Local de realização de debates científicos, lendários devido ao pormenor de todos os cientistas terem opiniões idênticas e, por assombrosa coincidência, estas serem iguaizinhas às do governo. Ainda bem.

Inverno. Acontece. Suspeita-se que seja mais fresco que o Verão.

Jovens e crianças. Não padecem de Covid, mas são vacinados contra a Covid. A vacina garante-lhes uma vida normal, leia-se estar de máscara em toda a parte como ladrões. Queixem-se à ciência.

Máscara. A doutrina divide-se entre os que acham que devemos usar máscara quase sempre e os que acham que a devemos usar sempre. Um qualquer secretário de Estado da Saúde defende o uso permanente. Quem já viu a cara do moço compreende. Em geral, cara que tem máscara não tem vergonha.

Não-vacinados. O mesmo que assassinos. É simples: os não-vacinados transmitem o vírus aos vacinados, os quais, como a vacina não protege da infecção e sim da doença grave e da morte, correm o risco de adoecer gravemente e morrer. Para não matarem gente cuja morte a vacina impede, os não-vacinados deviam ser mortos. Na impossibilidade logística de fuzilamentos, urge afastá-los do convívio com criaturas cumpridoras e moralmente sãs.


5 Reasons Bill Gates Wants Funding for Global COVID-19 Vaccines

Cinco razões que levam Bill Gates a querer financiamento para uma vacinação global contra o COVID-19.


Natal. Época do ano que se passa o ano a tentar salvar. Quando chega o Natal, verifica-se que não houve salvação possível e que não há Natal para ninguém.

“Negacionistas”. Indivíduos perigosos, que desobedecem a medidas ilegais e se recusam a fazer figuras ridículas em nome do bem comum, dos apetites eleitorais do PS e da popularidade do prof. Marcelo. Nos bons tempos, a PIDE tentava “monitorizar” delinquentes assim. Hoje, os Pides são inúmeros, o que facilita a tarefa. Chamar “negacionista” a alguém é sinal de prestígio e de sofisticação argumentativa.

Negacionistas. Os que, embora finjam o contrário, não acreditam nas vacinas e agem em conformidade.

Óbitos. Desde Março de 2020, morre-se sempre por Covid, salvo se se morrer atropelado por um camião – e isto se o respectivo motorista não estiver infectado, circunstância a demonstrar após dezoito testes e três autópsias.

Onda. Vamos na quinta. Após cada uma das anteriores, as medidas preveniram o surgimento da seguinte.

Restrições. O importante é entender que as restrições não falham por serem monumentalmente cretinas, mas por não serem suficientes. Se as actuais não chegarem, convém aperfeiçoar: além de proibir a venda de líquidos e punir comilões de sandes, há que agir preventivamente, ou seja, voltar a fechar o ar livre a cadeado de modo a empurrar pessoas para os supermercados e concentrá-las numa brecha horária estreitíssima. Aturdido com o excesso de oferta, o vírus amua e vai embora.

SNS. O melhor do mundo. Sem pessoal, aspirinas e papel higiénico, desmorona-se em cacos após umas dúzias de internamentos. A culpa é dos privados, do neoliberalismo e, evidentemente, de Pedro Passos Coelho, que manda nisto há 40 anos ininterruptos e não há maneira de deixar de mandar. Além do Natal, também temos de salvar o SNS.

Surtos. Flagelo que na imaginação do povo acontece em restaurantes, bares, discotecas e qualquer sítio que sirva para as pessoas se divertirem. É de bom tom propor pena de morte para “esses irresponsáveis que andam a espalhar a doença em restaurantes, bares e discotecas”. Não é de bom tom querer matar quem está em lares de idosos, hospitais e congressos de pneumologistas, os lugares onde começam os surtos reais.

Testes. Instrumento essencial no combate à pandemia. Os que contactam um infectado e testam positivo, entram em quarentena. Os que contactam um infectado e testam negativo, entram em quarentena. Importa testar mais.

Vacina. Protege contra o vírus, mas a seguir tende a proteger apenas contra a doença grave e passados dez minutos parece que nem isso. Dura uma quantidade de tempo indefinida, mas a seguir tende a durar seis meses e depois uns dois ou três. Basta uma ou duas doses, mas a seguir é essencial a terceira dose, que é aquela que antecede a quarta, a quinta e por aí fora até à décima oitava, que é aquela que nos concederá a imunidade de grupo. Desde que tomemos a décima nona, claro.

Vacinados. Pequena parcela de 95% da população adulta que se protegeu com a vacina e vive com justificados pavor e ódio da meia dúzia de cidadãos desprotegidos.

Variantes. Temos de manter comportamentos que nos defendam de eventuais novas variantes, que é o mesmo que evitar conduzir hoje porque um dia a estrada pode ser rasgada por um terramoto.

Vítimas. Os especialistas descobriram que as pessoas com 85 anos são mais propensas a adoecer e morrer do que as pessoas de 25. Em prol dos valores democráticos, lixa-se toda a gente.


Jesus healed a leper.

Jesus curou um leproso.










March on Moscow? Conquer Beijing?

14.11.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Architects of the Afghanistan War: Hubris and Folly



The Tripartite World Order

and the Hybrid World War

By Dmitry Orlov at Club Orlov on November 12, 2021 at 23:53. Original here.

General Mark Milley, America’s highest-ranking military officer, has recently gone public with a revelation of his: the world is no longer unilateral (with the US as the unquestioned world hegemon) or bilateral (as it was with the US and the SU symmetrically balancing each other out in an intimate tango of mutual assured destruction). It is now tripartite, with three major powers—the US, Russia and China—entering a “tripolar war.” That is the exact term he is reported to have used at the Aspen Security Forum on November 3, 2021.

This seems strange, since neither Russia nor China is eager to attack the US while the US is in no condition to attack either of them. The US has just got defeated in a two-decade conflict against a fourth-rate adversary (Afghanistan, that is) in the most humiliating way possible, abandoning $80 billion of war materiel and forsaking thousands of its faithful servants in a hasty withdrawal that amounted to a rout. It is about to suffer a similar fate in Syria and Iraq. Its navy just got humiliated in a minor skirmish with the Iranians over an oil tanker. Clearly, the US is in no shape to attack anyone.

So what could Milley possibly mean? He may not sound smart, but he is the most powerful man at the Pentagon. Of course, Milley-Vanilley could just be lip-sinking to some stupid music coming out of the White House (which is currently stocked with some choice imbeciles). This would make sense, since throughout his career Milley carefully avoided anything that smacked of actual military action and therefore carried within it the possibility of defeat, instead choosing to concentrate on such things as producing a report on the impact of climate change on the U.S. military.


Mark Milley and Valery Gerasimov in Bern, Switzerland, Dec. 18, 2019.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley
meets with Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov
in Bern, Switzerland, Dec. 18, 2019.
(DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Burden)


Here is Milley captured during one of his prouder moments, standing next to Russia’s General Valery Gerasimov, who saw combat—and victory—as commander during the Second Chechen War. Gerasimov then authored Russia’s hybrid war doctrine (the Gerasimov Doctrine), which allows strategic and political objectives to be achieved through nonmilitary means but with military support and military-style secrecy, discipline, coordination and control. In comparison, our General Milley is something of a cardboard cutout general, with a string that makes his lower jaw move up and down leading to some place within the Washington swamp of political think tanks and defense industry lobbyists.

The Gerasimov Doctrine bears an uncanny resemblance to the Chinese doctrine of unlimited war, indicating that Russia and China have harmonized in their defensive strategies. These doctrines are designed to amplify China’s and Russia’s natural advantages while placing the US at a maximum disadvantage. It is not immediately clear whether Milley is capable of understanding such matters; quite the opposite, it is likely that his job security and career path critically depended on his inability to understand anything above his pay grade. Nevertheless, since he happens to be the mouthpiece for the whole ungodly mess, we need to at least try to take his words at face value and try to think of what his “tripolar war” could possibly mean.

The Russian hybrid war doctrine and the Chinese unlimited war doctrine both give an advantage to countries with strict, centralized control structures (China and Russia, that is) while severely disadvantaging the US, which has a diffuse and internally conflicted power elite split up between two parties and among lots of competing government agencies and private entities with lots of opportunities for both internal and external espionage, infiltration and media leaks.

Russia's advantages are in advanced weapons against which the US has no countermeasures, such as hypersonic missiles and radio warfare systems, and in a huge and only partially explored resource base, of energy resources especially. China's advantage is in a huge and highly disciplined workforce that produces a vast array of products which the US must continuously import to prevent its entire economy from shutting down because of supply chain disruptions. On the other hand, both China and Russia find themselves at a disadvantage in facing the large and well-oiled machine the US has developed for its habitual meddling in the affairs of other nations and the undermining of their natural sovereignty. An array of mechanisms, from cultural exports to ad campaigns associated with popular brands to social media initiatives designed to corrupt the minds of the young, exists in order to exert US influence on other nations.

The Chinese and the Russian responses to this threat are almost diametrically different: whereas China builds firewalls and uses strict social controls to contain the threat, Russia's strategy is to allow the foreign infection to run wild and to let their nation's innate immune system create antibodies against it and neutralize it. Russia draws its red lines at outright bought-and-paid-for enemy propaganda, inciting armed rebellion, advocacy of terrorism, propaganda of sexual perversion among children, etc. In this way, Russia can not just compensate for this disadvantage but turn it to its own advantage: while the West is becoming increasingly undemocratic and authoritarian with its endless political correctness, social biodiversity requirements and the pursuit of better living through non-reproductive mating, hormone therapy and genital mutilation, Russia remains a free land with a wholesomely conservative social outlook that is quite attractive to people all over the world and is becoming increasingly attractive to many people in the West as they become painfully aware of the wages of sin.

Why concentrate on hybrid/unlimited war instead of an outright nuclear or conventional military conflict between the US and China and/or Russia? That is because both conventional and nuclear military conflict between any of these three nations is an insane, suicidal choice, while those in charge of defining military strategy are specifically not selected for their suicidal tendencies. Neither Russia nor China is known for their wars of aggression, and while the US is extremely well known for its homicidal, violent tendencies (having carried out 32 bombing campaigns on 24 countries since World War II), it is fundamentally a bully, only picking on weak countries that pose no threat. Based on publicly available information, both Russia and China are now quite far ahead of the US in weapons development, to a point where any possible direct US attack on either of them would be self-disarming at best and suicidal at worst.

In the best case scenario, the US launches an attack which is successfully repelled: bombers and rockets shot down, ships sunk, US military bases and port facilities destroyed, possibly US command and control centers also destroyed, as quite pointedly promised by Putin. The US then lays prostrate and at the mercy of its opponents. If its cooperation still leaves something to be desired, some combination of deplorables, despicables, imponderables and indecipherables will be organized just enough to make a bloody mess of what's left of US government structures and power elites, which will then be replaced with an international peacekeeping force (as an optimistic case) or just left to persist in durable disorder, misery and international isolation.

The worst case scenario is the tired old mutual assured destruction, nuclear winter and end of life on Earth, but it is unlikely for a number of reasons. First, of the US nuclear deterrent triad only the submarine component remains viable, and even it is quite tired. None of the Minuteman missiles has been successfully tested in a long time, and these are ballistic missiles which, once the boost phase is over, follow a perfectly predictable inertial trajectory, making them easy targets for Russia's new air defense systems. Of the Minutemen that manage to get out of their silos and launch in the general direction of Russia or China, it is unknown how many of their nuclear payloads would actually detonate since these are all quite old and haven't been tested in a long time either. The US no longer has the ability to make new nuclear charges, having lost the recipe for making the high explosive needed to make them detonate. But that may be a moot point, since at this point no ICBM is likely to be able to penetrate Russian air defenses. As far as Chinese air defenses, it is notable that Russia and China have integrated their early warning systems and China now has four divisions of Russian S-400 Triumph air defense systems and is planning to add more.

Turning to the airborne part of the US nuclear triad, its mainstay is still the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the youngest of which is almost 60 years old. It cruises at 260 knots at an altitude of 34000 feet and is the opposite of stealthy, making it easy to shoot down at a stand-off distance of several hundred kilometers. Since this makes it perfectly useless for dropping bombs, all that remains is cruise missiles, which fly at a positively poky 0.65 Mach, again making them easy targets for modern air defenses. There are also some newer stealth bombers—very few and, it has turned out, not too stealthy, putting them essentially in the same category as the Stratofortress, and the cruise missiles they can launch are also those same old subsonic ones.

Lastly, there are the strategic nuclear submarines, which are the only part of the US nuclear triad that is still viable. They remain effective as a deterrent, and they do have the ability to get up close to launch a sneak attack with a good chance that at least a few of the missiles will get through the air defenses, but they can't possibly hope to get around the inevitability of retaliation which will cause unacceptable, fatal damage to the continental US. This makes them useless as an offensive weapon.

Add to this Russia's updated nuclear doctrine, according to which any attack against Russian sovereign territory or Russian sovereign interests, whether conventional or nuclear, would open the door to a nuclear retaliation, launched upon warning, and Putin's solemn promise to counterattack not just against the locations from which a strike is launched but against the centers of decision-making. Considering that Russian missiles are hypersonic and will reach their targets before those of the US reach theirs, and that Russia has the means to shoot down US missiles while the US is unable to shoot down Russian ones, if the US were to launch an attack, those who launched it would be dead before they could find out whether their attack succeeded in causing any damage at all or whether they had just suicided themselves for nothing. All of this adds up to an inevitable conclusion: under no circumstances will the US attack either Russia or China, using either conventional or nuclear weapons.

There are experts who are of the opinion that a world war could spontaneously erupt at any moment without anyone wishing it to do so, just as the world slid into World War I due to a confluence of unhappy accidents. But there is a big difference: the military and civilian leaderships of the warring sides in World War I did not have hypersonic missiles pointed directly at their heads. They thought that the war would be fought far away from their palaces, headquarters and stately mansions. They were, in some cases, quite wrong, but that was their thought originally: why not test our industrial prowess while sacrificing the lives of several million useless peasants?

Now the situation is quite different: any substantial provocation is an automatic self-destruct trigger and all sides know this. Of course, there will be minor provocations such as the US Navy steaming around in the Taiwan Strait or the Black Sea close to the shores of Crimea, but then they do have to earn their keep somehow. In turn, the Russians and the Chinese will periodically up the ante a little bit by shooing them away with a harshly worded radio message or a few shots fired across their bows. But both sides know just how careful they have to be because any serious error will require immediate deescalation and may entail major loss of face. And that, as the saying goes, would be worse than a crime: it would be a mistake.

The provocations of which the US is still capable are likely to grow more and more feeble over time. The US has lost the arms race against both Russia and China and is unlikely to ever catch up. On the other hand, neither Russia nor China is the least bit likely to attack the US. There is no reason to do so, given that they can get what they want—a gradual fading out of US influence—without resorting to large-scale military action. Maintaining a strong defensive posture while projecting power within their expanding spheres of interest would be quite enough for either of them. Thus, all that's left for the US is hybrid warfare: financial warfare in the form of sanctions, aggressive dollar-printing and large-scale legalized money laundering, informational warfare played out on the internet, medical warfare using novel pathogens, drugs and vaccines, cultural warfare in the form of promoting and defending conflicting systems of values and so on, with military activities limited to the use of proxies, fomenting putsches and civil wars, actions of private military companies and so on.

If Milley is pinning his hopes on being able to provoke a conflict between China and Russia, he is likely to be disappointed. These two very large neighboring countries are synergistic. China has tremendous productive capacity for producing all manner of finished goods but has limited natural resources, is insular and has limited capacity for interacting with the rest of the world except through trade and commerce. Russia, on the other hand, has virtually limitless natural resources but, with a smaller though highly educated population spread out across a vast and somewhat inhospitable terrain, is forced to concentrate its efforts on certain strategically important sectors such as energy and food exports, high-tech weapons systems, nuclear energy, vaccines and energy-intensive products such as fertilizers, plastics and metals where their access to cheap energy provides them with a competitive advantage.

One of Russia's major strengths is a culturally ingrained ability to understand people from other cultures and to maintain cordial relations even across great cultural divides and enemy lines. Russia has a unique ability to offer stability and security, both through careful diplomacy and by offering advanced defensive weapons systems. The Chinese have been aggressively buying into economies around the world, investing in major infrastructure projects to further their trade, but are sometimes found lacking in diplomatic finesse and in their understanding of local sensibilities, alienating their partners by directly demanding a controlling share in their investments. The Russians, on the other hand, understand that you have to at least kiss a girl before offering to pay her college tuition.

Such finesse tends to be interpreted as weakness by certain Westerners who, over the course of many centuries of fratricidal warfare and genocidal colonialism, have been conditioned to only respect brute force and to understand relationships only in terms of dominance or submission. With the sudden departure of the US from the world stage, many smaller European nations are now actively looking for a new master to lord over them. Both the Chinese and the Russians are likely to leave them disappointed; while Chinese commerce and Russian security (including energy security) will be on offer, they will be on their own and forced to earn their own keep and their oaths of fealty will fall on deaf ears. The Eastern Europeans especially might find it impossible to ingratiate themselves back into the Russian world; the Russians have had their fill of them and their duplicitousness. Their other option will be to go to work for the Chinese.

Russia and China complement each other and are more likely to work with each other rather than against each other in their dealings with each other and with the rest of the world. This is certainly not the case with the US, vis-à-vis either China or Russia. During the 1990s and the naughts, while China was rapidly transforming into the world's manufacturing hub while Russia was recovering from the setback it had been dealt by the Soviet collapse, the US was able to position itself as the world's indispensable consuming nation, redirecting a lion's share of the world's resources and manufactured products to feed its appetites in exchange for printed dollars (continuously expropriating the world's savings while exporting inflation) and using the threat of military action against anyone who would challenge this arrangement. But now the situation is different: most of China's trade is now not with the US but with the rest of the world, Russia is fully recovered and developing slowly but surely, the share of the US in the world's economy has shrunk, the appetite for printed dollars in the form of US government debt has declined greatly, and as to its former full-spectrum military dominance, see above.

And yet General Milley wishes to fight a tripolar war against two poles that won't fight each other and aren't spoiling for a fight with the US either; they just want the US to pack up, go home and no longer darken the horizons around Eurasia. As I took pains to explain above, the US is in no position to challenge either or both of them in an all-out military conflict, or to risk engaging them in a way that runs a major risk of provoking one. What can a giant, sprawling, lavishly funded, corrupt and dysfunctional bureaucracy do under such circumstances in order to justify its existence? The answer is, I believe, obvious: engage in petty mischief, a.k.a. hybrid warfare, but in doing so it finds itself, as I have already explained, at a disadvantage.

The list of petty mischief is long and makes for tedious reading. The best that can be done with it is to make comedy with it. Take, for instance, the imbroglio, worthy of Boccaccio's Decameron, of Tikhanovskaya the cutlet fairy and phantom president of Belarus, who recently joined the club of bogus replacement leaders, alongside Juan Random Guaidó, phantom president of Venezuela, having failed to seize power from deeply entrenched Byelorussian president Lukashenko, and who is now cooling her heels in neighboring Lithuania. Having recognized the abject failure of Tikhanovskaya's power grab, the Petty Mischef Department attempted to organize a scandal around a Byelorussian sprinter during the Tokyo Olympics, whose name is... Timanovskaya! You see, they thought that nobody would notice the single-character substitution. The ploy failed, and Timanovskaya is now cooling her heels in neighboring Poland.

There have been other, much larger-scale attempts at petty mischief, similarly ham-handed and similarly spectacular in their failure.


There was the attempt to force the entire world to submit to a relentless inoculation campaign (in the works since 2009) in the course of which an interplay between genetically engineered pathogens and genetically engineered vaccines against them would be used to make fabulous profits for Big Pharma while simultaneously selectively genociding the population of certain unfriendly or otherwise undesirable countries. End result: China has largely fought off the pathogen and has produced its own vaccine while Russia has produced several vaccines, the most popular of which has been proven safe and effective and has been turned into a major profit center by being exported to 71 countries and earning Russia more export revenue than arms exports.

Meanwhile, not only are Western vaccines proving less than 50% effective (much less than that for Johnson & Johnson) but thousands of people are actually dropping dead or becoming severely ill from them. Most alarmingly, young, freshly vaccinated athletes are dropping dead from heart attacks right in the middle of a game—dozens of them! The only possible response to this by the authorities—the only one they are capable of—is to double down, requiring everyone to get vaccinated again and again. The marketing strategy of "if our product makes you sick, we'll give you more of it" is hardly ever effective and, in due course, it is producing open rebellion in many places, shutting down entire industries and generally playing havoc with societies and economies. Mission accomplished!


There is an ongoing attempt to force countries around the world to pay a carbon tax for their carbon emissions while those nations that engage in the cargo cult of building solar and wind generation capacity are exempted from it. Lots of expensive climate models kept supercomputers humming and international climate conferences were convened, at which people could wring their hands and wallow in maudlin self-pity over the ever-looming imaginary climate catastrophe. But then came a major complication: both Russia and China managed to turn the situation to their advantage. In the case of China, the case is simple: what allows China to manufacture and export products which the rest of the world loves to import is its use of coal and just a temporary reduction in the use of coal was sufficient to demonstrate that any such constraints would hurt the US through supply chain disruptions than they would hurt China.

In the case of Russia, the situation is even simpler: from the point of view of carbon dioxide emissions, Russia is the greenest country on earth, deriving the largest share of its electricity from carbon-free nuclear and hydro and low-carbon natural gas. It also has 20% of the world's forests which, in case of global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, would spread rapidly north across the tundra toward the Arctic circle, soaking up prodigious amounts of carbon dioxide. Thus, the US, and the rest of the West with it, have negotiated itself into a cul de sac of their own creation, being forced to cause damage to their economies by pursuing misguided decarbonization policies which nobody would have asked them to pursue otherwise. Again, mission accomplished!


Yet another attempt at petty mischief is in the area of human rights and democracy. The notion of individual human rights was rather successfully deployed against the USSR, warping the minds of several generations of Russian intelligentsia into being ashamed of their own country (and almost completely unaware of much ghastlier crimes against humanity carried out by the collective West). The Chinese, on the other hand, were barely swayed from their traditional (be it Confucian or Communist) perspective that balances privileges against responsibilities and leaves very little room for such frivolous notions as individual universal rights. But in recent decades the Russians have managed to claw their way back to a more balanced understanding of their own history and a greater awareness of the multiple atrocities perpetuated by those who would criticize them. The rank hypocrisy of those who would use such tactics has also become glaringly obvious through such outrages as the illegal imprisonment of Julian Assange and the exile of Edward Snowden.

The story of Maria Butina, a spectacular individual who is now a member of the Russian parliament, has also made an impression. She was falsely accused of being a foreign agent based on the now discredited Steele Dossier which Hillary Clinton's camp had concocted in order to slander Donald Trump. Butina was imprisoned for 18 months, spending much of that time in solitary confinement (a treatment that equates to torture). She was forced to plead guilty to a bogus charge before a kangaroo court judge before being released and allowed to return to Russia. She described her ordeal in a best-selling book and anybody who has read it has absorbed, along the way, an important message: there is simply no such thing as the American justice system. A major reason why Butina had been singled out for such treatment had to do with her last name, which differs by just one character from Putin's: there's that single-character substitution again! With a name so similar to that of that horrible dictator Putin, of course she'd be found guilty! I wouldn't be surprised if there is a certain dim-witted miscreant ensconced in the bowels of the CIA or the State Department who comes up with these harebrained ideas by actually scanning documents for similar-sounding names.

As far as democracy, the concept is valuable but applies differently to each nation, based on its unique values and traditions, but the image of it served up in the US, where about half the electorate feels that they were cheated during the last presidential election, or the EU, which is lorded over by unelected pompous nobodies at the European Commission, or the way it was misapplied in Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations invaded and destroyed by the West, has done much to discredit the concept. Joe Biden, who is now working on convening a virtual assemblage of nations he deems democratic, making a list and checking it twice, making sure to exclude anyone he doesn't deem sufficiently democratic, is too senile to grasp the simple fact that he has lost any right to appeal to the concept of democracy given the way he got elected and what he's done to Afghanistan.

The image I will leave you with is of a transport plane piloted by the demented Joe Biden and co-piloted by that giggling twit Kamala Harris, with some number of leaders from supposedly democratic nations (who have failed to absorb the lesson of Afghanistan) clinging to its landing gear, and with General Millie-Vanillie sitting in the cargo hold cleaning his gun, getting ready to fight World War III against both Russia and China.









America-China Collision !?

04.11.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

USS Connecticut (SSN-22) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.

Attack Submarine USS Connecticut Suffers Underwater Collision in South China Sea



Cover-Up of
U.S. Nuclear Sub
Collision in South China Sea.

A Wake-up Call for East Asia – and the World

John V. Walsh • The Unz Review • October 31, 2021 • 1,100 Words • Has Comments • Here 

South China Sea

South China Sea

When elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.

So warned Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in his address to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2020. He was referring to the consequences for East Asia of a conflict between the US and China.

Fast forward to October 2, 2021, about one year later, and the first patch of grass has been stomped on by the U.S. elephant, trudging stealthily about, far from home in the South China Sea. On that day the nuclear-powered attack submarine, the USS Connecticut, suffered serious damage in an undersea incident which the U.S. Navy ascribed to a collision with an undersea object.

After sustaining damage, the submarine apparently surfaced close to the Paracel Islands which lie only 150 nautical miles from China’s Yulin submarine base in Hainan Province. The Connecticut is one of only three Seawolf class of submarines, which are assumed to be on spying missions. But they can be equipped with Intermediate Range (1250-2500 km) Tomahawk cruise missiles which can be armed with nuclear warheads. It is claimed that they are not so equipped at present because the Navy’s “policy decisions” have “phased out” their nuclear role, according to the hawkish Center For Strategic and International Studies.

When a US nuclear submarine with such capabilities has a collision capable of killing U.S. sailors and spilling radioactive materials in the South China Sea, it should be front page news on every outlet in the U.S. This has not been the case – far from it. For example, to this day (October 30), nearly a month after the collision, the New York Times, the closest approximation to a mouthpiece for the American foreign policy elite, has carried no major story on the incident and in fact no story at all so far as I and several daily readers can find. This news is apparently not fit to print in the Times. (A notable exception to this conformity and one worth consulting has been Craig Hooper of Forbes.)

A blackout of this kind will come as no surprise to those who have covered the plight of Julian Assange or the US invasion of Syria or the barely hidden hand of the United States in various regime change operations, to cite a few examples

The U.S. media has followed the narrative of the U.S. Navy which waited until October 7 to acknowledge the incident, with the following extraordinarily curt press release (I have edited it with strike-outs and italicized substitutions to make its meaning clear.):

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific regionin the South China Sea near or inside Chinese territorial waters. Thesafety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priorityThecrew is being held incommunicado for an indefinite period. There are no life threatening injuries.This allows the extent of injuries to the crew to be kept secret.

The submarine remains in a safe and stable conditionhidden from public view to conceal the damage and its cause. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operationalare in a condition that is being hidden from the public until cosmetic repairs can be done to conceal the damage. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessedis also being concealed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistancewill not allow an independent inspection or investigation. The incident will be investigatedcover-up will continue.

Tan Kefei, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense although not so terse, had much the same to say as my edited version above, as reported in China’s Global Times:

“It took the US Navy five days after the accident took place to make a short and unclear statement. Such an irresponsible approach, cover-up (and) lack of transparency .. can easily lead to misunderstandings and misjudgments. China and the neighboring countries in the South China Sea have to question the truth of the incident and the intentions behind it.

But Tan went further and echoed the sentiment of President Duterte;

“This incident also shows that the recent establishment of a trilateral security partnership between the US, UK and Australia (AUKUS) to carry out nuclear submarine cooperation has brought a huge risk of nuclear proliferation, seriously violated the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, undermined the construction of a nuclear-free zone in Southeast Asia, and brought severe challenges to regional peace and security.

“We believe that the actions of the US will affect the safety of navigation in the South China Sea, arouse serious concerns and unrest among the countries in the region, and pose a serious threat and a major risk to regional peace and stability.”

The crash of the USS Connecticut goes beyond the potential for harmful radioactive leakage into the South China Sea, with potential damage to the surrounding nations including the fishing grounds of importance to the economy. If the US continues to ramp up confrontation far from its home in the South China Sea, then a zone of conflict could spread to include all of East Asia. Will this in any way benefit the region? Does the region want to be turned into the same wreckage that the Middle East and North Africa are now after decades of US crusading for “democracy and liberty” there via bombs, sanctions and regime change operations? That would be a tragic turn for the world’s most economically dynamic region. Do the people of the region not realize this? If not, the USS Connecticut should be a wake-up call.

But the people of the US should also think carefully about what is happening. Perhaps the foreign policy elite of the US think it can revisit the U.S. strategy in WWII with devastation visited upon Eurasia leaving the US as the only industrial power standing above the wreckage. Such are the benefits of an island nation. But in the age of intercontinental weapons, could the US homeland expect to escape unscathed from such a conflict as it did in WWII? The knot is being tied, as Khrushchev wrote to Kennedy at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and if it is tied too tightly, then no one will be able to untie it. The US is tying the knot far from its home this time half way around the world. It should not tie that knot too tight.



Three comments by Anon[615]


Gunboat Duck

Gunboat Diplomacy, Round-2 — USS Donald Cook gives Odessa A Miss, Sails Southeast

What spooked the USS Donald Cook so much in the Black Sea?


Anon[615] says:
November 1, 2021 at 2:00 am GMT

I heard it hit an undersea cliff.


Anon[615] says:
November 1, 2021 at 2:40 am GMT

Please forgive me if my words betray my frustration. That is because I have been saying the same thing for years and it seems to me that almost no-one has “connected the dots.”

As many of us know, the nuclear armed nations of the world agreed decades ago that no one nation would initiate a nuclear first strike against another nation, because they realized that the consequence of such an action would be the end of human life on earth. That realization cooled the nuclear arms race down to everyone’s relief.

Then in the first week of April, 2014, the President of the United States, Barrack Obama, announced publicly that the nuclear weapons strategy of the US has changed: the US is now willing to make a first strike on China with nuclear weapons.

Needless to say that public statement freaked out 1 – 2 billion Chinese people around the globe. Understandably, the President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping, announced publicly that he ordered China’s nuclear armed submarine fleet to go immediately to the US west coast. He also reassured the Chinese people that Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles could travel over the North Pole and destroy major cities and other targets in the eastern US.

One or two days later a Chinese envoy arrived at the Kremlin in the Federation of Russia with an envelope for Vladimir Putin, President of the Federation of Russia. The contents of the envelope initiated Article 9 of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. Article 9 states: “When a situation arises in which one of the contracting parties deems that peace is being threatened and undermined or its security interests are involved or when it is confronted with the threat of aggression, the contracting parties shall immediately hold contacts and consultations in order to eliminate such threats.”

Let us stop for a moment and recap the events. The President of the US declared publicly that the US was willing to conduct a nuclear first strike on China. The Chinese people freaked out. The president of China took defensive measures including asking Russia for help with this unforeseen mess. (Sorry, I’m going to have to make this post into two parts.)


Anon[615] says:
November 1, 2021 at 4:42 am GMT

The Russians responded, as they must and feel obligated to do after they make an agreement with China. After all, the Russians are “agreement capable.”

The Russian move was truly brilliant. Enter the USS Donald Cook incident. (DC for short) The videos of the DC incident were so widespread, and so many people made copies of the video that “they” could not possibly scrub the video off the Internet. However, they are trying to change the date of the incident.

Anyway, a day or two after the Chinese envoy arrived at the Kremlin and invoked Article 9 of the aforementioned Treaty, the Russians made a move.

The USS Donald Cook is the most advanced Aegis class missile destroyers in the US navy. The DC was in the Black Sea at this time and the Russians make their move. Two Russian fighter jets approached the DC; one with advanced electronic warfare hardware, and one as an escort. The DC electronics, computers, radar, and all electronics crashed, leaving the DC “dead in the water.” Then the Russian jet escort made twelve mock attack runs on the DC. And you probably already know about the Russian helicopter crew videotaping the commotion onboard the DC.

That is not my point. My point is the Chinese invoked Article 9 of the “Treaty” and the Russian response was twofold. Firstly, the Russians showed the Chinese that the Russians will honour their promises, and secondly, the Russians showed the US that Russians are not to be underestimated.