Archive for September, 2022

NordStream Kaput!


The big news item du jour is Biden blowing up 3 of the 4 pipelines that were not supplying Russian natural gas to Germany. Biden did exactly as he promised and at present I see no reason to doubt him since there is plenty of indirect evidence that points to US involvement in the act: USN vessels milling around in the area, probably planting mines on the pipes and departing just before the explosions. We need to wait for the White House to blame Russia for the incident; that would qualify as an additional marker of guilty demeanor. (It is always the thief who shouts “Catch the thief!” the loudest). But I am neither the judge nor the jury on this, so this is neither here nor there.

There are just a few important things to understand about the untimely demise of NordStream.


Squelching the Noise about the Ukraine


There are more interesting things for me to write about than this, and I am working on it, but in the meantime here is a quick note on happenings in the Ukraine that will most likely contradict what people can glean by listening to Western mass media sources. Not only that, but some useful idiots right inside Russia have started to hyperventilate as soon as Russian troops pulled back from the Kharkov region, claiming that “This is now a war!” They should go off and read Resolution 3314 of the UN General Assembly from 14 December 1974. That should temper their enthusiasm for declaring wars. It’s a Special Operation; if you call it anything else, you are not only mistaken but committing a crime under Article 207.3 of Russian Criminal Code.

I’ll just list some facts about the conflict and leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.


Of Cats in a Dark and Cluttered Room


I’ve been getting requests to comment on the recent Ukrainian counterattacks, with some people musing that perhaps “the tide has turned.” There have been two counterattacks, one in the Kherson region in the south, which was repelled, with the Ukrainian forces suffering casualties in the thousands, filling every hospital and morgue in the region and requiring emergency blood drives. That little caper cost the Ukrainian side around 100 tanks and other vehicles, 4000 dead and 8000 wounded. Rest assured, some people are quite happy with this turn of events—especially those who profit by cutting livers, lungs and kidneys out of the corpses and shipping them off to clinics in Israel and points beyond for transplantation (given the large number of casualties, this has turned into quite an industry at this point, along with money laundering and weapons smuggling). In another attack, supposedly much more successful, the Ukrainian side recaptured areas around Izyum and Balakleya, with equally impressive losses.

Since this is the only instance of Ukrainians actually gaining ground since the start of the operation, some people instantly started to hyperventilate and claim that now the Russians will surely be routed from Crimea. I will do no such thing and instead explain why Russia, having committed perhaps as much as 16% of its professional soldiers (no draftees or reservists but increasing numbers of volunteers), is actually succeeding in its mission to demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine, provide for the security of the Donbass region and, beyond that, to shift its relationship with the West (if any) to a more equitable basis. Everything is going according to plan, and although we don’t know the details of that plan ahead of time (it is normally a state secret) we can discern some of its details as it unfolds.


The Case for a New American Civil War


Will the USA hold together through 2024? Earlier this year Covid-related complications took the life of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the bombastic perennial leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party. He was known not just for his inimitable oratory but also for the uncanny accuracy of his predictions. For example, he predicted the start of Russia’s Special Military Operation in the Ukraine almost to the day—months before the fact and at a time when nobody else had much of a clue as to what would happen. Another prediction of his reads as follows: “There won’t be a US presidential election in 2026 because there will no longer be a United States.” Will he turn out to be prescient on this count too? Let’s watch!


What is a “Gorby”?


Of the dead, the saying goes, speak well or say nothing at all; and while I’d be happy to commit “Gorby” to instant oblivion, my readers have asked for an opinion, so I will oblige with a brief obituary. There may be some residual value to be extracted from the tired old “Gorby” meme. As I will argue here, he is not so much a person as a handy unit of organizational dysfunction within a collapsing empire.