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Geopolítica e Política

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Geopolítica e Política

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Dmitry Orlov’s “The Last Crusade”, Part I & Part II

04.01.23 | Álvaro Aragão Athayde

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Russians have strong grievances against West and North Germans as well as West Slavs, grievances which they tend to interpret in religious terms, constantly invoking the Great Schism and the Northern Crusades. Furthermore, it seems to me that they do not distinguish the Latins – whom they know poorly or not at all – from the West Slavs and West and North Germans, whom they know well.


The Last Crusade, Part I

Dmitry Orlov
C l u b  O r l o v | ideas to blow your mind
December 20, 2022 at 15:38 | Has readers’ comments | For subscribers only | Here or here 
R é s e a u  I n t e r n a t i o n a l

December 21, 2022 before 10:25 | Has readers’ comments | For everybody | Here

Croisade 20221221 [1200 × 700].jpg



There is a marked divergence of opinion on ways to characterize the military action currently unfolding in what remains of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic: is it a Russian special military operation to demilitarize and denazify the former Ukraine, or is it an unprovoked Russian invasion leading up to World War III, a nuclear exchange and the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAKI for short)? Perhaps it’s a little of each; or perhaps it's none of the above...

And is Russia winning or is the Ukraine losing? On the one hand, Russia just officially expanded its sovereign territory by a hundred thousand square kilometers and a few million citizens and has launched on a massive building spree, fixing up its new territories, which are a bit run down after decades of late Soviet and post-Soviet neglect followed by nine years of Ukrainian shelling. That would indicate that Russia is winning.

On the other hand, the US just promised to give the Ukrainians some Patriot air defense batteries (or not; details vary). Are these the same Patriot batteries that failed so embarrassingly over Saudi Arabia when they couldn’t shoot down ancient Soviet SCUD missiles fired by the Yemenis? And are these the same Patriot batteries whose operators, in Poland, recently failed to see incoming Ukrainian missiles (which were also of venerable Soviet vintage) and only learned of them later from news reports? Never mind that! They cost $1 billion per launcher and $3 million per rocket, so they must be good for Raytheon, and what’s good for Raytheon is good for America, or something like that. So what if they don’t stand a chance against any of the Russian state-of-the-art weapons? Don’t be negative!

As arguments flew back and forth, Henry Kissinger, the grizzled veteran of Western geopolitics, poked his head out of the dinosaur egg in which he has been hiding for the past 70 million years and opined that the Ukrainian conflict has to be concluded at the negotiating table. Never mind that everything he proposed was pure twaddle and a nonstarter; what’s important is that for him to offer this opinion at this time his delicately quivering geopolitical nose hairs must have told him that the US is not going to prevail in this conflict no matter what, and so it’s time for it to stop fighting and to start talking. Clearly, it made no difference at all to anyone, least of all the Ukrainian regime, whether the Ukraine itself would succeed or fail—it was slated to fail since at least the Orange Revolution of 2004, or, rather, to be sacrificed on the altar of US hegemony by being thrown at Russia.

If we ignore all that there is fit to ignore in Kissinger’s words of infinite wisdom, all that remains is that the Ukrainian conflict “has to be concluded” and that it has to be concluded “at the negotiating table.” But then it turns out that these two nuggets of deep thought are also highly debatable. First, why would Russia rush to conclude the conflict? It has established a favorable holding pattern and escalation dominance along all possible parameters: military, economic, political and cultural. And second, who is there for Russia to negotiate with? The same people who had promised that NATO wouldn’t expand a single inch to the east when Russia allowed Germany to reunify? Well, then, back it up, and then we’ll talk!

Militarily, Russia has established defensible boundaries within the former Ukraine and is slowly advancing towards the borders of what it now considers its own sovereign territory. It has established pipelines for both men and weapons that can allow it to sustain several Ukraine-sized conflicts simultaneously virtually ad infinitum. It can inflict pinpoint damage to Ukraine’s energy supply and other infrastructure at will and without risk to itself, gradually reducing the Ukraine’s ability to sustain any sort of military campaign and eventually leading to full demilitarization (no industry—no war-making potential) and denazification (all Nazis either dead or run off to Europe or America). Meanwhile, the West’s ability and willingness to continue supplying the Ukrainian military with weapons (two-thirds of which go missing along the way because of corruption) are dwindling. And then there are Russia’s new toys: the newest generation of its strategic weapons, against which the US has no countermeasures, is entering deployment, and while Russia’s no nuclear first strike doctrine remains in place, there is an understanding that it could be reviewed if the situation warrants: “Children, behave!”

Economically, Russia’s economy took a 2.5% hit over the course of 2022, but most of that was during the first two quarters, with steady recovery after that. With many of its international competitors having impolitely excused themselves because of sanctions, Russia’s domestic industry, from automotive to airspace to shipbuilding, is set to blossom. Energy exports, which are quite important for filling the federal coffers, have been redirected away from the hostile nations of the EU and the G7 and toward the friendly nations of Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Export volumes have remained steady but revenues have improved due to higher prices, allowing Russia to maintain a very low debt to GDP ratio and a healthy trade surplus and to invest heavily in infrastructure projects without going into debt. With the planet heading into the next ice age (it is too early to tell whether this will be a mini ice age lasting a century or a full-on one lasting a hundred thousand years) Russia stands to benefit greatly from its huge hydrocarbon reserves and its healthy nuclear industry.

Politically, Russia is now finally in a position to get over the hangover of late-Soviet lassitude, the dissipation and corruption of the 1990s and the consumerist abandon of the 2000s and to get back to its normal communalist self of all for one and one for all. It is rapidly rediscovering its thousand-year history of heroically defending Motherland on the field of battle. The demons of emasculation and of feminism are being exorcised; the men are once again warriors and the women keepers of the family hearth. For the men, there are two honorable options—victory and death, both heroic—and several dishonorable ones: cowardice, treason… Russia’s national character is determined by Russia’s nature: the vast, inhospitable landscape, the huge and vulnerable border, the multitude of tribes, distinct yet combined in fractal ways—but what keeps it in good running order is a periodic bout of war. Normally, some would-be world hegemon, be it Pope Urban II or Genghis Khan or Hitler or Napoleon or (don’t laugh!) Joe Biden, picks a fight with Russia, sometimes as the very last thing he does.

Socially, ever since the Russian Revolution of 1917 (and in St. Petersburg, Moscow and several of the larger provincial towns since well before then) Russia has tilted toward the West. Russia was the first country to introduce equal rights for women and minorities. Over the course of the 20th century, Russia liberalized laws for divorce and remarriage and eventually decriminalized homosexuality and abortion. Along the way, Russia embraced many modernist and post-modernist trends, in some cases going too far too fast, then recoiling in horror. And, perhaps worst of all, Russia became infected with that most pernicious Western ideology, Marxism. Marx offered a valid criticism of capitalism as it existed at the time, but beyond that his theorizing is perhaps the most glaring example of large-scale intellectual failure that ever was.

Meanwhile, in the West the trend toward individual rights went to an extreme, not only tolerating but condoning and celebrating homosexuality and other types aberrant (non-reproductive) sexual behavior, and now insisting on chemical and surgical castration of children. A separate but related transhumanist tangent seeks to erase the boundary between man and machine. The West is also moving in the direction of legalizing pedophilia; euthanasia is already legal in many countries and actively promoted as a solution to old-age poverty in Canada. All that remains after that is the legalization of cannibalism and human sacrifice. What has been lost among all of these individual rights is the right of communities to flog some sense into such individuals.

In a sense, the legalization of cannibalism would make a difference in degree, not in kind. During World War II the Nazis locked up Russian children in concentration camps and bled them to death to provide transfusions to wounded German soldiers. To this day privileged geriatrics in the US and Britain live to be obscenely old by being secretly transfused with the blood of children. And the steady and plentiful flow of mortally wounded Ukrainian soldiers provides an ample resource of donor organs to clinics in Europe and in Israel. These sorts of practices are part and parcel for Western humanism.

As these developments have become more extreme, the demands that such “Western values” be universally accepted have grown more strident and overbearing—and increasingly offensive to the 85% of the world’s population, both inside and outside the West, which is socially conservative. In much of the world, premarital and extramarital sex are both crimes and those born out-of-wedlock are still called “bastards”, marriage is still “’til death do us part,” respect for one’s elders is unconditional, and “death before dishonor” is the unwritten law. These are all evolved universals of human culture, and any deviation from them is temporary and results in biological extinction. This lesson has been formalized in Romans 6:32: “For the wages of sin is death.” But death is sometimes slow in coming and people tend to grow impatient waiting for the paint of the writing on the wall to dry and take matters into their own hands.

This is where Russia is playing a key role: it has thrown down the gauntlet to the collective West, in essence telling it that it can become as degenerate as it wants to, but that it has no right to impose its strange and twisted new rules on anyone else. In the process, Russia has become the world’s champion and defender of conservative society and culture. Certain other countries, especially Islamic ones, have been equally unyielding; for instance, Indonesia has just criminalized adultery: don’t go to Bali without your lawfully wedded opposite-sex spouse, or you may get locked up! But the Islamic approach lacks universality, being based on what is defined as “haram” within Islam, whereas Russia’s claim is to universal sovereignty and freedom from Western cultural oppression.

Clearly, this is not a conflict over the Ukraine, which is only the latest, and perhaps the last, pawn in a much larger game. It certainly started well before February 22, 2022, when Russia announced the start of its special operation to demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine. Nor did it start on February 22, 2014, when the Ukraine’s president Yanukovych was forced to flee the Ukraine to Russia as a result of a violent, illegal coup instigated and encouraged by the US State Department. By then, as Victoria Nuland bragged at the time, the US had already spent $5 billion to destabilize the Ukraine politically and turn it into an anti-Russia. It is impossible to pinpoint the date, but the process started perhaps as early as 1945, when Ukrainian Nazis, along with various other Nazis, were whisked away and given refuge and support in the US and in Canada.

An argument can be made that Russia’s conflict with the West extends back in history farther than the eye can see, with minor interruptions. There was a brief interbellum between Victory Day, May 9, 1945, and Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946—less than a year! Another, longer interbellum of sorts existed after the Soviet Union was (illegally) dissolved by Yeltsin and his henchmen at Belovezhskaya Pushcha on December 8, 1991 (with president George Bush senior the first to be informed of this fact via a phone call from Yeltsin) and the beginning of the Global War of Terror, commenced with much pomp and circumstance on September 11, 2001 by knocking down three heavily overinsured New York skyscrapers using two Boeing jets.

It is also unclear how far into the future we need to look in order to understand how the current phase of the conflict might be concluded. Certainly, Kissinger’s suggestion that it can be simply negotiated away is nothing if not bogus, especially coming on the heels of former Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel’s revelation that the Minsk Agreements between Kiev and Donetsk/Lugansk were just a ploy to buy Kiev time to regroup and rearm so as to better be able to attack Donetsk and Lugansk. Why would Russia wish to negotiate if the stated purpose of the negotiation is as a delaying tactic—and a failed one, at that, since the Russians saw through the ruse and used the intervening eight years to… regroup and rearm so as to better demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine when the time came.

Clearly, the time frame in question should extend well beyond the point in time at which Eastern Ukraine once again becomes part of Russia (well, some of it already has!) while the rest of it is turned into a mostly harmless, largely depopulated barren wasteland strewn with the rotting corpses of Polish mercenaries and patrolled by Russian battlefield robots. There is something more important going on, which is that the US has become hungry and must eat somebody right away or its financial house of cards will collapse.

The US is constitutionally incapable of living within its means, but with the petrodollar wealth pump no longer working and much of the rest of the world already bled dry by vampire capitalism, what is left for the US to eat? Why, the European Union, of course! The basis of European prosperity has been the steady of supply of relatively cheap energy from Russia, and by cutting it off the US has rendered Europe’s economy nonfunctional and ready to be plundered at leisure. Now, should Russia want to interfere with this process? Of course not! If the collective West wishes to gnaw off its own limbs, why would that be a problem for Russia? “Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake; it's bad manners,” said Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

If we look back far enough, we see that the very first Drang nach Osten was instigated by Pope Urban II on November 27, 1095, opening the door to the Crusades by calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of “Deus vult!” or “God wills it!” That was pretty much just a pompous way for him to say “I am hungry! Bring me somebody to eat!” Sure enough, in 1147 the Germans attacked the Slavs, who were nowhere near the Holy Land but must have seemed tasty at the time, and they kept attacking them for over two centuries!

The Swedes had kept at it until Peter the Great defeated them at Poltava (which is now in the Ukraine) on June 27, 1709. They’ve been quiet as mice for the past three centuries, but now they are making noises about joining NATO (the current Crusader alliance) and so it may be time to send them back to 1709 using some rockets, ridding them of such extravagances as electricity, central heating, running water and automotive transportation. As of this writing, there is still time for the Swedes to make up their minds. This also goes for the Finns, who over the centuries have been conditioned to do whatever the Swedes tell them to do, except slowly.

That’s six centuries of on and off crusades! There are some monasteries in Russia that have been looted and burned to the ground by these rampaging “Christians” four or five times. And then Napoleon attacked a hundred years later, and Hitler a little over a century after that… and now this… But we don’t need to gaze that far into the past to predict with reasonable certainty that this near-millennium of Western crusades is at its end. To do that, we only need to go back as far as September 11, 2001 and the launch of the Global War of Terror. By now, every single ploy and gambit the US has tried in this war has failed, with the Ukraine as its last stand. There is very little knowledge or understanding of these failures in the West, where the mass media is expert at hiding everything that doesn’t fit the winning narrative.

Next week, we’ll review the developments of the past ten years. This is but a blink of an eye in the sweep of history, but sometimes collapse occurs quite suddenly, and we should feel privileged to bear witness to such a momentous series of events.

Dmitry Orlov

source: Club Orlov via Jacob's ladder


The Battle on the Ice, 1242 - Teutonic Knights vs. Alexander Nevsky



The Last Crusade, Part II

Dmitry Orlov
C l u b  O r l o v | ideas to blow your mind
December 30, 2022 at 19:58 | Has readers’ comments | For subscribers only | Here or here 
R é s e a u  I n t e r n a t i o n a l

January 01, 2023 before 09:41 | Has readers’ comments | For everybody | Here

Battle on the Ice [1200 × 762].jpg

Battle on the Ice


We are, most of us unwittingly, bearing witness to a momentous development: the end of the thousand-year Drang nach Osten—the relentless eastward march of the reanimated corpse of the Western Roman Empire, with the Pope as its symbolic head and Vatican as its symbolic capital—known as the Crusades. Of these, the Southern Crusades are far better known in the West, while the Northern Crusades, launched in 1147, are far less widely known. But they were kept going the longest—until February 22, 2022—because, unlike China, India and just about every other non-Western country, Russia has never surrendered to anyone.

The gauntlet was thrown down in 1252, when Alexander Nevsky accepted an official document, called yarlyk, from Khan Batyj of the Golden Horde (part of the Mongolian Empire), allowing him to reign as the Grand Prince of Kiev (and thus the ruler of all of Russia), rather than ask for a blessing from the Pope in Rome, as was required of all Western kings. To these Western potentates, their claim to be ordained by God was based on approval by His head office at the Vatican; to the Russians, the Pope was just some heretic usurper. The religious distinction played itself out over time, but the notion that there is an exclusive club of Western nations who deserve to wield authority over the rest of the world has remained to this day.

There followed a series of onslaughts on Russia spanning many centuries, all stemming from the same simple principle: that which the West cannot control must be destroyed. The Germans and the Swedes kept on attacking it until 1709. Then the French attacked again in 1812; and then the Germans in 1941. The Americans were poised to attack in March of 2022, via their Ukrainian/NATO proxies, but were preempted by Russia's Special Military Operation. Thus, the last Crusade has been aborted and further attempts seem unlikely, since, at this point, there is no question of destroying that which the West cannot control, and not just Russia but also much of the rest of the world. Even tiny North Korea can stand up to the collective West and wag a finger in its face. The thousand-year show is nearly over.

Over the previous centuries, every time after Russia expelled yet another crusader, some other Western nations would take the lead and attempt to march on Moscow: it was the Germans (as the Teutonic Knights), then the Swedes, the Poles, then some more Swedes, then the French under Napoleon, then the Germans under Hitler, and now the Americans (disguised as some hapless, clueless Ukrainians) under Biden. (Yes, the last act of this drama is most definitely a farce.) But who could possibly rise up as the next crusader du jour? Nobody! There isn't anyone left in the West to continue the project.

There is a curious 100% correlation between the foreign languages the Russians choose to study and the Western capitals they then come to occupy. The Russians studied French—and Russian cavalry rode into Paris; they studied German—and Russian tanks rumbled into Berlin. And now the Russians are all studying English, starting with the second grade. Therefore, we should expect some Russian fireworks over Washington (London is only capable of some minor dirty tricks by now). This correlation is just something to watch out for—in the future.

But we are already in a position to review the history of this the last and final crusade, which is currently nearing its end. To do so, we need to rewind back to 1998, 24 years ago. The Russian economy lay in ruins, the first Chechen War was essentially lost and the West was busy looting what was left of the Soviet economy. Separatist sentiments were rife and the country could have fallen apart at any moment, fulfilling the age-old Western dream of erasing Russia from the political map. But the West couldn't wait and decided to deal Russia a coup de grace by starting the Second Chechen war.

And then something went horribly wrong: instead of drunk president Yeltsin, Putin came to power and actually won the Second Chechen war. Putin's appearance on the world scene had come as a complete surprise to the Western deep state, which then realized that it needed a whole new plan to destroy Russia for sure this time: a new, globalist Drang nach Osten. The main goal of this new onslaught was the continued complete domination by the US of the entire world, assured by dismembering, engulfing and devouring its main geopolitical opponent, Russia. Russia was to be simultaneously attacked from the west (via the Ukraine), the south (via the Caucasus) and the east (via Afghanistan and Central Asia). Russia's trade in oil and natural gas was to be disrupted, its economic connections to the world economy severed, and its politics disrupted by internal protests.

By September 11, 2001 the new plan was ready and launched in grand style by knocking down three New York skyscrapers using two Boeing passenger jets—a sort of latter-day miracle of loaves and fishes that left those hampered by knowing a little too much arithmetic at a distinct disadvantage. This gave the US a carte blanche for suspending civil liberties at home and for inserting its forces anywhere abroad as part of its Global War of Terror, which was, given the engineered nature of the 9/11 event, a sham on top of another sham.

Step one was to prepare a Central Asian incursion by invading Afghanistan in 2001. That effort went famously badly. There were two failed coup attempts—one in Turkmenistan in 2002 and another in Kyrgyzstan in 2005—both thwarted by Russia's special services. The Americans lingered in Afghanistan for an interminable 20 years, having been sidetracked into profiting greatly from the heroin trade, but once American drug addicts started switching to the much more cost-effective Chinese-made fentanyl there was no reason to continue the Afghani heroin business. The last parting present was the attempted coup in Kazakhstan in January of 2022, which was quelled by Russian troops invited by Kazakhstan's president. Thus ended the effort to destroy Russia via Central Asia.

Step two was to prepare a terrorist incursion via the Caucasus. The government of Georgia was overthrown in 2003 and the US, with Israeli assistance, started training the Georgian military. An effort was made to organize yet another round of Chechen separatist mania, with an infusion of Islamic fundamentalists via Georgia's Pankisi gorge. This could have posed a problem for Russia—or not, we'll never know for sure, because on August 8, 2008 Georgia's psychologically unstable president Saakashvili jumped the gun and started shelling Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. That region was arbitrarily lumped into Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic by the Bolsheviks and then got stuck there after the Soviet Union disintegrated, similarly to what happened to the Donbass in the Ukraine. Russia responded by flushing the Georgian military out of the area and generally defanging it. What Saakashvili did, in essence, was trade a Georgian tactical defeat for a Russian strategic victory. Georgia has remained defanged ever since, putting the southern incursion plan in limbo.

Step three was by far the most successful. The Orange Revolution in Kiev in 2004 was followed up by various other revolutions and coups, culminating with the violent Maidan revolution in the spring of 2014. Inspired by Zbigniew Brzezinski's Russophobic pipe dreams, the US pinned great hopes on the Ukraine and took a no-expense-spared approach to turning it into a sort of anti-Russia. This effort has so far led to Russia expanding by five new regions (Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson) while turning the Ukraine into a world class parasite, flooding Europe with eight million migrants and sucking in a hundred billion dollars in aid (used to feather a great many oligarchic nests) and weapons (which are either destroyed at the eastern front or used to flood the international black market). The Ukraine is now a zombie failed state, its economy more than halved, its infrastructure wrecked, its society savaged and its government by far the most corrupt on the whole planet. Although this part of the plan to destroy Russia has gained the most traction, its chances of allowing the US to dismember, engulf and devour Russia are still nil.

Meanwhile, a bad harvest in Russia in 2010 provided what could have been a major strategic windfall in what became known as the Arab Spring. Grain price increases in African and Middle Eastern countries which had subsisted largely on Russian grain imports caused major misery there. As a result, social upheaval, sometimes culminating in government overthrow and civil war, gripped Tunis, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Bahrein, Algiers, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti and Western Sahara.

This situation allowed the US to hatch an entirely new plan for attacking Russia from the south by playing the Islamic radicalism card yet again. It had failed famously in Afghanistan and in Chechnya, and so, following typical US government logic, why not use it again? Radicalized Islamic youth from these various distressed countries were organized into ISIS, a.k.a. the Caliphate or the Islamic State, which was then infused into Iraq, Syria and Libya, provided with weapons , training and lavish media support with Hollywood-style propaganda videos of beheadings of infidels wearing traditional American orange jumpsuits. The execution was not without its comedic elements: at one point the Pentagon ISIS and the State Department ISIS went to war against each other, in what must have been the world's first instance of interdepartmental terrorism.

Syria became the main focal point. The plan was to establish the Islamic State in Syria, then have it spread to Turkey by orchestrating a government overthrow there, and then it would, in theory, be an easy matter to have it spread further north into Russia's Turkic-speaking Moslem regions. Russia neutralized this plan in two steps. First, in 2015 it introduced its forces into Syria and proceeded to bomb ISIS out of existence, allowing the Syrian government to reestablish its authority over much of the country. Second, in 2016, it prevented a US-organized overthrow of the Turkish government and the assassination of Turkey's president Erdoǧan by warning him of the impending action. Erdoǧan then took the opportunity to thoroughly clean house, purging the Turkish government and society of US influence, while strengthening its ties with Putin, to whom he now owes his life. An important gesture in this regard was Turkey's purchase of Russia's modern S-400 air defense system—in spite of the fact that this caused the Washingtonians to cough up blood. To punish Turkey for such disobedience (NATO members are only supposed to purchase US-made weapons) the Washingtonians removed Turkey from its bug-riddled, overpriced and strategically useless F-35 fighter jet program.

This political chasm was recently deepened by the NATO effort to absorb Sweden and Finland, just to prove that NATO can expand anywhere it damn well pleases. Doing so would violate the terms Treaty of Paris of 1947, by which Finland must remain militarily neutral, and automatically return Finland to a state of war with Russia, giving it not just a reason to attac Finland at will but a legal excuse for doing so, but who in Washington has time to look into such details? However, this plan ran into a snag when Turkey refused to ratify this expansion because, you see, Sweden gives asylum to Kurdish terrorists, and Finland won't join if Sweden can't. As a final touch, Erdoǧan (commander of NATO's second-largest army) and president Assad of Syria (targeted for overthrow and violent death by every US administration since Clinton) decided to switch from being enemies to cooperating. Their respective defense ministers just held a successful meeting—in Moscow, of course.

America's other efforts to destabilize and weaken Russia by brewing up trouble in the Caucasus have similarly failed. A US-engineered color revolution in Armenia succeeded in installing the Soros-trained Nikol Pashinyan as leader. But then a few things happened that largely negated this political gain. The guarantor of Armenian sovereignty is Russia; without its support, the small, weak, landlocked country of Armenia would be swallowed up by Turkey and Azerbaijan, who would then joyfully merge into a Turkic-speaking "Turkeybajian" and perhaps do a replay of the Armenian genocide.

To create a teachable moment for this fact, in 2020 Azerbaijan swallowed up Nagorno-Karabakh, a province disputed by Armenia and Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenia since shortly after the dissolution of the USSR. To stop the fighting and protect the Armenian population of this region, Russia had to introduce its peacekeepers. An important factoid about Nagorno-Karabakh is that it is Russian imperial territory: Russia got it from Persia via the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813 and it has been populated by Armenians, Azeris and Russians ever since, with Russian as the definite lingua franca. Thus, the current situation, with Russian troops keeping it peaceful, can be viewed as a partial reversion to norm.

Another important factoid about Nagorno-Karabakh is that it provides a land corridor from Russia, via Azerbaijan, to Iran, adding another, shorter route from Moscow to Iran, and from there the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean (in addition to the longer one through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan). This north-south corridor provides Russia with access to world trade that neatly circumvents all of the major Western-controlled chokepoints—the Kattegat at the mouth of the Baltic Sea, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles between the Black sea and the Mediterranean, Strait of Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal.

But Yerevan, Armenia's capital, is home to the largest US embassy in the entire region, and the Americans wouldn't just give up like that. And so they sent Nancy Pelosy, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, on a quick visit there at the tail end of her various other pointless travels. Sure enough, a few days later there was a mini-demonstration in Yerevan, with people waving American flags and demanding that Armenia break with Russia. Stuffing Nancy into a gun and firing it in the general direction of the Kremlin would have been just as effective.

Speaking of Western-controlled chokepoints, another major one is the Strait of Malacca which connects the Indian ocean, via the Andaman Sea, to the China Sea, and through which passes much of China's trade with the world and a lot of the oil that powers the Chinese economy. Not content to just flail miserably at Russia, the US has also made various efforts to make trouble for China by creating tensions between China and its southern neighbors. To this end, it has been attempting to paint China as a threat to them and holding "freedom of navigation" exercises next to Spratly Islands which China has claimed for itself and has developed into formidable fortresses. All of these efforts were negated by a joint Russian-Chinese strategic victory in Myanmar in 2021.

The Myanmar story is long and twisted, but the short of it is that with Chinese and Russian support, Aung San Suu Kyi (British passport holder, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Western plant) was booted from power and replaced by Min Aung Hlaing, commander of the armed forces, all done in strict adherence to the terms of the constitution of 2008, according to which the army is its guarantor. As a result of this rather limited action, another north-south transport corridor has been unblocked. This one will run through Myanmar, linking China directly to the Indian Ocean, circumventing the chokepoint of the Strait of Malacca. Thus, America's glaring foreign policy failures are by no means limited to its efforts to contain and weaken Russia; its efforts to contain and weaken China are no less spectacular. But I digress.

Back to the topic of the final Crusade, with all of the other venues for disrupting Russia foreclosed, all that remains is the traditional one for Crusades: Russia's western front. On this front, Russia is successfully demilitarizing NATO (having already largely demilitarized the Ukraine by destroying both its army and its Soviet-era armaments) and also successfully denazifying the Ukraine by killing scores of Ukrainian Nazis (and some foreign mercenaries). The kill ratio between Russian and Ukrainian forces is now nearing 1:30 in favor of the Russians: a turkey shoot.

The Russians have recently figured out how to reliably shoot down NATO-provided rockets and how to sneak their rockets past NATO air defense systems. Most interestingly, the Russians now also know how to take out NATO air defense systems by first launching a slow-flying decoy in their general vicinity, pinpointing their location when they shoot it down, and finally taking them out with a precision strike using something they can't intercept—something hypersonic, perhaps. Once the Ukraine is free of all air defense systems, Russia will finally have a free hand in using its air force to precision-bomb the Ukrainian military completely out of existence, as it has done with ISIS in Syria.

Nobody knows quite how long this is all going to take; as I described in a previous article, the Russians are not in too big a hurry. But we can be sure that the American foreign policy and defense establishments are hard at work on yet another plan or two. The most obvious (and stupid) one is to press Poland into service once the Ukraine is finished. To this end, Poland has just announced that it intends to double the size of its armed forces to a quarter of a million men—because the master told them to, their leaders decline to add.

There are just three problems with this plan. First, the Poles all have EU passports and have the option of running for the nearest border to avoid being drafted. Second, although the Poles may be almost as brainwashed as the Ukrainians as far as hating Russia, the Polish economy has been doing quite nicely, especially compared to the rest of Europe, and they just aren't desperate enough to throw all of their young men at the Russian army. Third, it takes energy to attack something as large as Russia, but the collective West is already experiencing energy hunger, which will only get more extreme over time. I will write about the coming energy hunger next.

It's hard to make predictions especially about the future, but I am convinced that there will be no more Dränge nach Osten, or Marches futiles sur Moscou, or Northern Crusades, or other Western efforts to seriously mess with Russia. After all, the more the Westerners try to mess with Russia, the colder and hungrier they will become. But will they ever learn?

Dmitry Orlov

source: Club Orlov via Jacob's Ladder