Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Alliance – The Burning Platform - by Robert Gore

Banging one’s head against the wall is not a wise strategy.

Guest post by Robert Gore at Straight Line Logic

Russia and China head an alliance that poses the first direct challenge to the American empire since its inception at the end of World War II. Their strategy has been to follow Napoleon’s advice—not interrupting the U.S. government while it makes mistake after mistake—and to pursue the opposite of its hapless policies. Their power waxes; American power wanes.

August 29, 1949, the day the Soviets detonated their first atomic weapon, was the beginning of the end of the American empire. The U.S. government’s unrivaled power lasted four years and 23 days, from when it dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The Soviet bomb gave the world a counterweight to an American nuclear monopoly.

It is unclear if the Cold War was anything but a giant psyop on the part of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. By 1960 they had enough bombs between them to wipe out the planet, John F. Kennedy’s “missile gap” notwithstanding. This left a world where sane people believed that military conflicts had to be nonnuclear.

The U.S. became the national security, or warfare, state with which the nation is burdened today. In dollars and cents, it’s the second largest grift in history, surpassed only by the U.S. welfare state. The U.S. populace is always threatened by some megalomaniacal and evil power somewhere. Even conflict far from U.S. shores threatens the U.S. because of falling dominoes or because it’s better to fight them there than here.

Or because U.S. “interests” are at risk. This has become the go-to justification: “interests” are anything the war lobby says they are. The U.S. is fighting Russia via Ukraine to push NATO to Russia’s doorstep. Beyond the specious rhetoric of saving democracy and freedom in a police state riddled with neo-Nazis, it has to do with taking Ukraine’s natural and agricultural resources, hiding U.S. bioweapons labs, preventing disclosure of U.S. politicians’ links to Ukrainian corruption, and effecting regime change in Russia.

Someday there will be general recognition of Putin’s adroit conduct of the Ukraine-Russia war and the strategic masterstroke that is the Russia-China alliance. Losers on a roll require a hard, painful landing before they begin to wise up, if they wise up at all. The losers running the U.S. and its vassals are in for some hard, painful landings. When they look up from the gutter, drunks soaked in their own vomit, they’re going to see Putin and Xi Jinping, staring down at them with nothing but contempt.

It is well-earned. The U.S.’s annually spends three times what China and ten times what Russia spend and gets inferior weapons and a bloated, politically correct military. The waste of blood and treasure on imperial misadventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now Ukraine has been incalculable. Wasted treasure funds rampant corruption and has helped shove the U.S. into an abyss of debt. American self-confidence and justifiable pride in its history and culture have been thrown over in favor of nonsense. The U.S. government is the world’s most hated institution. If Ukraine doesn’t end its imperial misadventures Taiwan will, and there will no longer be an American empire.

The Russian military doesn’t do shock and awe. It does grind, advance . . . and win. Contrary to Western propaganda, it is well on its way to achieving its objectives in Ukraine. . . .

Reckoning With Insanity, Part Two,” by Robert Gore, SLL, 6/2/22

Russia has mostly achieved its military objectives in Ukraine. Putin has been criticized for the slow grind, but Russia has annexed the Russian-speaking areas of eastern and southern Ukraine and secured land access and the water supply to Russian-speaking Crimea, already annexed. Russia has minimized its loss of life and destruction of weaponry and maximized Ukraine’s. An open question is whether Russian mounts an offensive against Odessa in southwestern Ukraine, completely cutting off its access to the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s president Zelensky talks of taking back captured territory. Such deluded bravado lends credence to the claims he’s a cocaine addict. Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been a dismal failure, floundering on Russia’s defensive strategy. Ukraine has seldom been able to advance past Russia’s buffer zones, much less penetrate its complex multi-layer defenses. Estimates vary, but casualty ratios of seven- to ten-to-one against Ukraine are probably in the right ball park. Men and machinery have been fed into a Russian meat grinder, leaving Ukraine woefully unprepared for a Russian counteroffensive should the Russians decide to mount one.

Ukraine has an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 killed, including the cream of its military. Millions of Ukrainians have fled the country, and Russia now controls most of its best farmland and mineral wealth. If it cuts off Black Sea access Ukraine will be a carcass state with little to offer to Western financial vultures.

Early on in the war Russia and Ukraine had a tentative peace deal, which the U.S. and Great Britain nixed. You only get one chance to accept a Russian deal, and then the offers get progressively worse. The nixed deal would have been far more favorable to Ukraine and NATO than the terms Russia will eventually impose. The meme-fodder picture of a forlorn Zelensky standing by himself at a NATO reception starkly illustrates that his “allies” are backing away.

So, what did the Ukrainians do to raise the ire of the Pentagon so suddenly, and as a direct consequence, fall into disfavor with NATO? In short, the Ukrainians demonstrated that NATO’s weapons are crap. Evidence of this built up slowly over time. First, it turned out that various bits of US-made shoulder-fired junk — anti-aircraft Stingers, anti-tank Javelins, etc — are rather worse than useless in modern combat. Next, it turned out that the M777 howitzer and the HIMARS rocket complex are rather fragile and aren’t field-maintainable.

The next wonder-weapon thrown at the Ukrainian problem was the Patriot missile battery. It was deployed near Kiev and the Russians quickly made a joke of it. They attacked it with their super-cheap Geranium 2 “flying moped” drones, causing it to turn on its active radar, thereby unmasking its position, and then fire off its entire load of rockets — a million dollars’ worth! — after which point it just sat there, unmasked and defenseless, and was taken out by a single Russian precision rocket strike.

This was sure to have seriously pissed off US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, whose major personal cash cow happens to be Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot. . . .

The Incredible Shrinking Nato,” Dmitry Orlov, July 15, 2023

Not only does a country that spends a tenth of what the US does have superior weaponry, it has superior production capabilities. Wagner PMC head Eugene Prigozhin’s complaints notwithstanding, the Russian military seems to have what it’s needed to decimate Ukraine. Meanwhile, arsenals are running low in the U.S. and Europe and they’re resorting to desperation weapons—cluster munitions and depleted uranium shells—which will render parts of Ukraine toxic for decades.

Just as humiliating for the West has been its economic sanctions. They were designed to devastate the ruble, stop foreign trade, and bring Russia’s economy to its knees. They’ve done none of the above and the Russian economy is growing.

Cutting off cheap Russian natural gas and replacing it with expensive American liquified natural gas hasn’t had a salutary effect on European economies. Western economic statistics are a division of Propaganda Central, but it appears that recession either looms or has arrived for much of Europe. Cheap Russian oil and natural gas isn’t coming back. If Seymour Hersh is to be believed, the U.S. blew up the European-Russian Nord Stream pipeline. Further proof of the old adage that you’re better off being America’s enemy than its friend.

For decades, America’s foreign policy doyens have counseled against doing anything that would bring Russia and China together. That wisdom is out the window. While international diplomacy has no matches made in heaven, the Russian-Chinese alliance is about as close as it gets. Marry Russian natural resources to the Chinese industrial machine and maintain joint control of what’s been considered the center of the world since Halford MacKinder’s seminal paper back in 1904, and you’ve got one of history’s most formidable alliances.

It is deftly incorporating much of the non-Western world, what Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko calls the “Global Globe.” Trade arrangements, infrastructure financing and construction, and new transport, communications, and computer links are the face of an emerging, assertive multipolarity. Initially centered in Eurasia, this complex web of political and commercial agreements is extending to the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

The U.S. call for universal mobilization against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was met with indifference outside the West. The Global Globe has grown weary of the U.S.’s rules-based international order, which amounts to acceptance of U.S. diktat . . . or else. The U.S. government follows or disregards its own rules at its convenience.

Not only are the Russians and Chinese offering better terms, but their carefully crafted rhetoric is that of partnerships, equality, and multipolarity. The American empire’s subjugation and hypocrisy are sandpaper on billions of open wounds. Only Americans are surprised by the seething resentment. It’s not going away anytime soon.

The alliance has another ace up its sleeve. The ideas that fiat emissions are money and that something can be had for nothing have left Western governments with mountains of debt and unfunded obligations that will never be paid. Debt has reached its hamster-wheel inflection point: more spending leads to more debt leads to higher interest costs leads to more spending.

Gold is money; everything else is credit, and fiat debt and currencies are barbarous relics. Shifting the Global Globe away from fiat towards gold is going to be a monumental task, but indications are that gold-rich Russia and China are undertaking it. If they eventually adopt a currency or currencies that can be freely exchanged for gold, the dollar’s days as the global reserve currency will be over. Good as gold beats barbarous fiat every time.

Feeble and corrupt Joe Biden is America’s nominal leader. His camarilla is made up of nonentities who would require substantial upgrades to hit either mediocre or amoral. The rest of the West’s so-called leadership is no better. This state of affairs must strike Putin and Xi Jinping as fortuitous. They have to worry about global reverberations of Western economic collapse and the possibility that Western leaders, desperate from their Ukrainian military failure, might take it nuclear. However, nothing is quite as satisfying as watching your adversaries checkmate themselves.

Russia and China are winning the global chess match. That’s not to say they’ll always win. Both governments are the usual top-down, repressive, organized crime that carries the seeds of its own destruction. However, the U.S. government is banging its head against a wall trying to impose its brand of imperialism on the two. Reality, the ultimate wall, always wins. Only after the tidal wave of consequences breaks will the U.S.—or parts of it—have a chance to recover.

Recovery will lie in the rediscovery of enduring truths. The game of thrones is a game of fools. A nation’s greatness is the liberty of its citizens to live their lives and pursue their happiness. The best foreign police is peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Anything the government gives you it took away from someone else. A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have. Like fire, government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

A is A.