“Before Biden can save Ukraine, he must use the NATO summit to save himself”

CNN  — The NATO summit was long planned to celebrate the alliance’s 75th anniversary, to lock in longterm military support for Ukraine and even to future-proof the West against a possible second term for Donald Trump. But no one expected the meeting in Washington this week to turn into a public test of 81-year-old President Joe Biden’s health and cognitive capacity with his reelection campaign facing an existential moment after his disastrous debate performance.

Biden’s leadership of NATO and lifeline to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion make him the most significant presidential trustee of the alliance since President George H.W. Bush. But his achievements, including Sweden and Finland’s entry into the group, will be eclipsed at the summit by his battle to save his political future. Every step Biden takes, every gesture he makes, and every word he utters will be under intense scrutiny, especially in unscripted moments after the image of an aged and at times incoherent commander in chief was burned into the minds of 50 million viewers at the CNN debate in Atlanta late last month.

A president who is older than the alliance itself will be under enormous pressure to show vigor and mental clarity at a solo news conference on Thursday. Any hint of confusion or weakness could spark a fresh round of panic among Democrats and derail Biden’s aggressive effort to quell talk of him abandoning his campaign. The president can expect a volley of questions about his health, his medical records and whether he has been hiding the true details of his condition from journalists infuriated by the White House’s handling of the debate fallout.

The press conference will also be a must-see event for Democrats who are demanding he do far more to prove he is fit to serve a second term that would end when he is 86. Sen. Patty Murray, for instance, warned Monday evening, “We need to see a much more forceful and energetic candidate on the campaign trail in the very near future in order for him to convince voters he is up to the job.” It was a strikingly strong statement by the Washington state Democrat that underscored the vulnerability of Biden’s position. She added: “At this critical time for our country, President Biden must seriously consider the best way to preserve his incredible legacy and secure it for the future.”

Biden will also have an important audience overseas. The effects of the president’s advancing age are not just an issue for his political future; they are now the West’s problem given that he is the last defense against a stunning comeback by Trump, who spent his first term berating NATO allies and cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has suggested he would let Moscow “do whatever the hell they want” and would not honor NATO’s sacred Article 5 mutual defense principle if he considered that a member state had not met the alliance’s defense spending guidelines.

https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/09/politics/biden-nato-analysis/index.html

Comment: Awful lot riding on this summit for an awful lot of people. This CNN article is totally focused on Biden, but NATO faces many more challenges than Biden being too old to win reelection. I don’t see any change in the UK stance. France is still up in the air. Italy’s Meloni has proven that a right wing government in Europe does not have to be a lapdog to Putin. The US future in NATO is unknown. European NATO is taking steps to “Trump-proof” the alliance, but I don’t know how effective that will be in the short or long run. Nor do I know how pragmatic a President Trump would be in a second term if that comes to pass. I believe the party with the biggest stakes is Ukraine. The Ukrainians won’t be offered NATO membership at this summit, but will there be an unambiguous and solid pledge to stand by the Ukrainians until victory? And will victory be defined?

TTG

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86 Responses to “Before Biden can save Ukraine, he must use the NATO summit to save himself”

  1. d74 says:

    The CNN title is weird, twisted.

    Given the results in Ukraine, Nato is seriously ill.
    So is Biden.
    Of course, as sick as Nato is, it’s still a very powerful bureaucracy. It has been working since 1990-92 to secure its future. It will probably succeed because its operational results are like nothing. It will exist, that’s all.
    Can the same be said of Biden?

    So, according to the headline, Nato has an additional mission: to save Biden!
    The image of the paralytic supporting the blind man immediately springs to mind.
    NATO will not die. It’s seen it all before. It will bury us all.
    Biden… What Biden?

    • jimmy says:

      d74

      Biology doesn’t care about CNN’s titles or Biden’s wishes.
      Biden is ill and rapidly declining.
      Whether he runs for POTUS or not, whether he wins or not, he is a goner.

    • John Minehan says:

      I think the outlines of a deal are appearing.

      1) The Ukrainians agreed to not seek NATO Membership before (until HMG overruled them). At this point, they would not oppose an “Austrian-style Neutrality.” (Especially, the average person and especially if it WERE in the Austrian style . . . .)

      2) The Russians don’t control all the Oblasts they want. What they have is the Donbas and Crimea. If Russia gets what it had at the start of the War formally, they will take that instead of having to lose more people and equipment to gain fought-over, blighted land and a major Insurgency.

      3) The Ethnic Russians/Cultural Russians and Russian Orthodox who remain in the disputed territory should not be repressed or abused. (Realistically, they will be allowed to re-locate to Russia, without being robbed or abused.).

      4) Nature should be allowed to take its course with Zelensky. He should leave office and move somewhere. So long as it does not happen in the US, what will probably happen to him is not a US concern.

      5) A neutral/non-NATO member Ukraine should be allowed to become part of the EU.

      6) Even with the current banking crisis in the PRC, the BRICs are likely the only ones with the cash and vision to help re-build Ukraine, We agree not to get in the way.

      7) Biden CAN’T make that deal, Trump likely can’t make that deal but Harris (who is most probably the next POTUS) might be able to.

      8) This will undermine Putin, but that is not our affair and any victory (at this point) is likely pyrrhic, anyway. People tell me the Kerch Narrows Bridge is mostly closed so the Russians have one LoC and their last offensive failed with large losses and their influence operation to stop that last US re-supply failed.

      The best deals are the ones that displease all parties in part. Since we are also part of the issue, it is better us than Xi, De Silva or Modi to move it towards a resolution.

  2. Fred says:

    “… every vow you break
    Every smile you fake
    Every claim you stake
    I’ll be watching you,

    I keep crying, baby, baby please
    …..
    Oh, can’t you see
    You belong to me?” (10% for the Burisma guy’s daddy)

    Is the only thing that the Eurohack at CNN remembers Reagan? (OK completely unfair as this guy was not even born when Reagan was in office. Hey kid – the USSR collapsed, the west collectively ripped off the Russians so badly Putin was the only one left to shove the corrupt oligarchs aside (for better or worse for them)) [Song lyrics I quoted are by ‘the Police’.]

    The Victor of Kabul’s evacuation is going to defend the Sacred (how many times did he say that in his wonderful speech) borders of Ukraine – unlike the borders of the Republic he swore (witnessed by God) to defend. How touching of CNN to remind us of Biden’s determination.

    TTG,

    Did you listen to his speech or just read the poorly written narrative story by this guy at CNN, a reporter who apparently in all the years of covering Biden never saw any cognitive decline? Until the debate, like the rest of the West’s ‘journalists’.

    “European NATO is taking steps to “Trump-proof” the alliance,”
    How are they going to do that, by interfering in our election like they did in 2016? Christopher Steele anyone? The only reason those other members are spending 2% of GDP on defense is Trump’s boot to their collective asses when he was president. Biden took lots of credit in his speech though, it’s a career trait of his.

    BTW he gave Stoltenberg the presidential medal of freedom for his leadership of NATO. Someone should tell Mr. Collinson that as it apparently wasn’t newsworthy to him.

    “the party with the biggest stakes is Ukraine. ”
    Well lets see, Zelensky has suspended elections (his term expired months ago) and he’s jailed his opponents – but first accused them of being on Russia’s side. Convenient that.

    “I don’t see any change in the UK stance. France is still up in the air.”
    The UK just promised confiscatory taxes of 90% on some incomes. Can you say “capital flight”? The French government just announced investigations into the leading presidential candidate – LePen. Macron’s polling at single digits but NATO strong! The Germans, well, you can read what they are doing the AfD. How dare they get people to vote for them. Democracy! must be defended from people who don’t vote for the approved party.

    Meanwhile the president of the EU – Orban – was just in Moscow talking about peace.
    Neocons and the Borg Forbid! Can’t let peace break out in Europe. On a closing note, Biden said there have been over 350,000 Russian casualties and more than a million citizens left the country since war started. He didn’t bother to count Ukrainian casualties. (or how many millions of citizens fled) It looks like Biden is quite willing to get us into a war of choice in Europe. God help us.

    • TTG says:

      Fred,

      This article was written before the conference started and before Biden spoke at the conference. He’s not a time traveller. As for Biden’s initial speech, I think he (and his staff) did fine, but this is just the prelude to the conference. I hope to hear more concrete steps as the week goes by.

      European NATO is “Trump proofing” itself by spending more on defense, gaining new and significant members and planning more on collective defense. All this is spurred by Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. Trump was right about them needing to get off their asses on defense spending, but it took Putin to really light the fire under them.

      Zelenskiy and the Verkhovna Rada suspended the election in accordance with the constitution. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve been invaded and are fighting for their very existence. Those politicians arrested and parties outlawed were in league with the Kremlin to overthrow Zelenskiy. Others were arrested for corruption.

      • Fred says:

        TTG,

        They got invaded? I sure hope somebody helps them. Meanwhile, “Democracy” means if I declare my enemies are helping the invaders I can suspend elections. Accusation is guilt and all that.

        Thanks for pointing out CNN put out a puff peace of talking points and that was not actual news. Does that invalidate my points about the reporter being a hack?

        • TTG says:

          Fred,

          Eleven parties were banned on 24 Feb 2022. They all had close ties with the Kremlin. Only two had representation in the Verkhovna Rada. The leaders of both those parties were candidates for installation as president when Russia won their three day SMO. One was already under arrest for treason, escaped when the invasion started trying to get to Russia and was recaptured.

          I don’t know whether that CNN reporter is a hack or not, but I know he can’t report on things that didn’t happen until after his article was published.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            Too bad we, in the US, can’t do like Z and ban politicians, political factions and parties aligned with ideologies and powers that seek the destruction of our country. How come Z isn’t a “RACIST!” for not allowing Russia aligned opponents?

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            How can Z be racist? They’re all the same race. They’re even all Slavs. The largest banned party, the Party of Regions, is Yanukovych’s party. He and others fled to Russia in 2014. The party hasn’t participated in elections since then. A lot of the Party of Regions members went to the United Russia Party, Putin’s party. The various communist parties were also among the banned.

          • James says:

            TTG,

            A number of political parties in Ukraine had close ties with the Kremlin because a many Ukrainians want to have close ties with Russia. But those Ukrainians are not allowed to even vote to get what they want because Ukraine is not a democracy. Down with tyrants.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            Sorry, just being trollish since I get similarly trolled for not liking Muslims and understanding that they are dangerous to secular government, the ideals of the Enlightenment, freedom and a lot of other good things, including life itself for those deemed, by them to be “infidels”. Islam isn’t a race anymore than Russian is – and, personally, I am 50% of MENA extraction, albeit Christian.

            The racism accusation is stupid and juvenile. I become sick and tired of reading it. So thought it would be amusing and instructive to apply it myself to others. I suggest that comments accusing others of “racism” be banned.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            I understood it was said with a slight smile. I’d be more with you if you used Salafist jihadists or just jihadis in your description of Muslims to despise. I’ve known and worked with too many good ones to jump them all into one pot. The Malaysians and Indonesians practice a far different kind of Islam from the ISIS and Hamas jihadis.

            You’re right. Just shouting racism is mostly just lazy, but so is saying all Moslems, all Russians or all “born again” Christians.

    • leith says:

      Fred –

      NATO Heads of State and Government pledged to commit 2% of their national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to defense spending in early 2014. That decision was taken in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, plus instability in the Middle East. That was long before Trump ran for Prez. Trump had no involvement in that pledge, it was just more of his bluster & bullsh!t.

      90% tax rate ain’t bad on billionaires. In the late 1950’s US top tax rate for millionaires was 91% under that liberal Commie pinko prez Ike. Oh wait wasn’t he the same party as Trump? But nobody ever paid 91%, tax avoidance via loopholes was available to all who could afford to keep an accountant firm on call.

    • leith says:

      PS Fred –

      Regarding a Ukraine peace deal: Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, says: “Even if Ukraine surrenders the territories we claim and renounces NATO aspirations in exchange for a peace deal, sooner or later we would still have to put the nail into the coffin of Ukrainian statehood and return the rest of the country’s lands ‘into the bosom of Russia’. “

      https://t.me/medvedev_telegram/515

      • English Outsider says:

        Leith – the man’s a fool, isn’t he? As TTG points out, a very senior fool but that doesn’t make him less of one. If taken seriously, he knocks away the very basis of the Russian case. Absorbing parts of the old Ukraine that want to be absorbed is one thing. Absorbing the parts that don’t crosses the line.

        The basis of that Russian case is that they are resisting Western aggression. Fighting, indeed, for their very survival as a country. Not wanting to be “Brzezinski’d”, with all that that implies, is what drives them to the recruiting centres and is what puts a spring in the step of the Russian soldier fighting at the front. For him, this is the old war the Russians are used to. It is a war of defence against the threat coming out of Europe. He may, metaphorically speaking, end up in Paris or Berlin again if necessary; but he has no intention of staying there.

        To most of us in the West that Russian case is rubbish. Most see the war as a Russian land grab and will continue to do so. But for the rest of the world, which has already had its fill of Western aggression or exploitation and would also like to get out from under, that is the basis for the increasing international support and sympathy Russia is getting.

        So too with “demilitarisation and denazification”. We see that also as mere cover for a land grab. Outside the West, however, that is increasingly seen as no more than the defanging of yet another Western proxy.

        To compare great with small, in attempting pacification in Northern Ireland the British government was regarded with suspicion. It was thought, both in Europe and in Ireland, that that was cover for the British getting up to their old tricks – five centuries and more of old tricks in Ireland so plenty of historical warrant for the view – and attempting to cling on to territory to which we were not entitled.

        Much as I have no sympathy generally with Major or Blair, I don’t think that was their motive as they laboured to stop the violence. With all its faults, theirs was at root a straight peacekeeping attempt and it was eventually accepted as such.

        The Russians are going to have to do something similar in remnant Ukraine. By common consent the memorials celebrating the collaborators of WWII must go. The indoctrination of children in ultranationalist ideology must stop. The rough handling of minorities must stop. The West must be prevented from using the ultras as a means of unbalancing or destabilising Russia. But none of that should extend to the pursuance of unjustified territorial claims. If the Russians did that they’d be open to the reproach Major and Blair managed to avoid.

        These considerations are irrelevant for us in the West. We don’t at all see things the way the Russians do and won’t. But the moral basis of the new trading and security bloc that is forming outside the West is that countries don’t use their superior military or trading weight to interfere in the affairs of other countries. They certainly don’t use that weight to take bits of them!

        Russia may have to occupy remnant Ukraine to prevent its use as a spearpoint of Western aggression. I don’t believe they want to go to the trouble and cost of that and might be hoping a more neutral regime will emerge in remnant Ukraine instead. But however it copes with the problem of remnant Ukraine, if it absorbs it against the will of the majority there it will forfeit the moral high ground in the eyes of the other members of the new bloc. The SCO, if it went that way, would be just another hunting pack.

        And I believe I’m right in asserting that there is a distinct national identity in the greater part of remnant Ukraine. National identity is a here and now thing. It can draw on this or that bit of history to justify itself but it’s what people feel themselves to be in the present that counts. My understanding is that though that region is something of a mish-mash, the great majority of the people there feel themselves to be Ukrainian, not Russian. Am I right? If so, it would be a grave error to absorb remnant Ukraine into a country they don’t want to be part of. Putin’s referendum idea is a better way to go than that.

        Remnant Ukraine is in turmoil right now. Arestovich, safe outside the country and able to speak freely, is not the only Ukrainian who reckons they’ve backed the wrong horse. The “ultras” still have a grip on the population but there is increasing resistance to that grip that is starting to manifest itself in overt dissension. I suspect the Russians are hoping the Ukrainians will get themselves a government less inclined to allow itself to be used by the West.

        If so, Medvedev’s bluster could therefore be read as a message to the people of remnant Ukraine. “Stop allowing yourselves to be used by the West or we’ll do it for you.” Maybe. But to most, inside and outside the West, it’ll look like straight land grabbing. And it would be.

        Confirms my belief the man’s a fool. Talking big in order to escape the reproach that used to be made of him, that he was an Atlanticist. Is that all there is to it or is he at root just another revanchist? Plenty of that around, after all.

        • John Minehan says:

          The things that the Russians have used less than I expected are the Polish, Lithuanian, Austrian and Hungarian irredentist claims on former Ukraine.

          It is potentially a situation not unlike the partition of Poland.

  3. Eric Newhill says:

    Biden is irrelevant at this point. Actuarily, he is unlikely to be functioning four years from now given his obvious current health status and other factors. Not functioning = deceased or completely bedridden and near death. I don’t understand the gaslighting around Biden’s condition and prognosis. I mean I get that gaslighting is what the media and politicians do, especially in an election year, but is anyone other than the usual mob of low IQ, mendacious, useful idiot, twits really buying into the nonsense? I’m sure that the summit attendees are know what time it is, even if they pretend otherwise.

    They should have Kamala Harris address the NATO summit. That would be the kind of realistic reassurance needed; or not. If she falls on her face, then let NATO step up and publicly discuss for new democrat party leadership to help make it happen.

    Not that I care, personally. I’m a MAGA type, of course and think that NATO is an outdated drain on the US. Europe is busy destroying itself with green policies and unchecked immigration by people that shouldn’t be in Europe (yep = Muslims. More of a threat to Europe than a thousand Putins). Time to ditch the Euro-losers and let them stand on their own two feet, or not. It should be too challenging to keep Russia in check. Russia appears unable to fight its way out of a paper bag. All of those Europeans couldn’t, with a little effort, manage Russia? Really? That’s a dopey story right up there with Biden being capable of fulfilling presidential responsibilities for a full second term. This whole charade has reached completely nutsokookoo levels.

    • English Outsider says:

      Eric – All still argue – me among them! – about who’s in the right in this war. Whether it’s Russia that needs to be “kept in check” or us. But where it matters, in the centres of power in the US and the EU, that argument’s long since been settled. For them, its Russia that is the danger and has to be kept in check. We’re at war with Russia and we have to win. That is the programme.

      Accepting that, as so many do, how are we doing in this war? Everything working out OK?

      I don’t think there can ever have been a war fought so incompetently. We’ve given the Russian economy a massive boost. We’ve demonstrated to an astonished world that our armaments are markedly inferior in quality and quantity both; and that when it comes to either strategy or tactics we’d do better to employ the nearest kindergarten. And we’ve been so slothful in remedying those various defects that we’re in worse case now than when we started.

      We’ve made so many mistakes on the diplomatic front it’s not true. And having insisted that the unfortunate Ukrainians stay in the ring – pushed them back in the ring whenever they wanted to call it a day – we’re forcing them still to keep fighting a lost war and damn all real help from us. The chickenhawk war, we must call it. They do the dying and we do the bragging. And just to show what fearsome warriors we are, we’re wrecking our own economies instead of the enemy’s.

      If your country and mine had fought the last big war in this manner we’d be speaking German by now. It’s been “How to Lose a War in One Easy Stage” from 2022 on and pretending otherwise merely because not pretending otherwise is unpatriotic and defeatist, is dumb.

      This is how we fight for “Freedom and Democracy”? For the “Rules Based International Order”? The only war our politicians and our military have shown any ability in waging is the PR war and that’s now coming apart at the seams as well.

      How much longer are we expected to pretend that those buffoons assembled at the Washington summit are serious people? Never mind whether we started this war or the Russians, time to start worrying about how dangerously incompetent we were at fighting it. Especially when that dangerous incompetence is demonstrated by just about everything else the buffoons put their hand to.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        EO,
        Do you really think there weren’t Allied screw-ups in WW2? The Kaserine Pass was the US’ first battle against the Germans and it was a disaster. Sherman tanks were easy prey for German armor throughout the war. Market Garden was a costly fail. US Marines ultimately prevailed at Tarawa, but casualties were so high that the US press and public almost turned against the effort in the Pacific. The Navy failed to take into account Neep Tides and how that would impact the ability of landing craft to get over the reefs. Russia suffered astronomical casualties in the first couple years of the war. If we want to focus on the negative, I could turn this into a very long comment about failures of Allied performance.

        The point is that one can, generally, nitpick any complex long term situation such that the extracted nits tell whatever story you want them to. Russia invaded its neighbor 2.5 year ago and has not won in Ukraine. There are neither major Russian build-ups, nor advances in sight. Is it a war of attrition that the Russians cannot lose, as say the anti-westerners? Time will tell, but, personally, I don’t even see a small bag of nits pointing towards Russian victory at this point.

      • Fred says:

        You mean all those EU UK USA sanctions haven’t worked? But but but the press told us for years, often repeated here, how devastating they were. You mean like with Biden’s health they were not entirely forthcoming? I wonder what else the leadership got wrong. Like the UK blowing up Nordstream to screw the Germans.

  4. Jim. says:

    Looks Like Vlad Putins Untouchable Glide Bombs .You Know..The Voroneah Malshevo Air Base 100 miles From Ukraine…With All Those Sukhoi SU-34 Fighter Bombers..Belonging to Russias 47th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment that Fly Daily Sorties into Ukraine with thier Glide Bombs…..Blew up the Ukrainian Hospital
    To Please Iran..As a Pay Back For Israel in Gaza..Big Smiles All Around the Table..on Russian TV …and Irans TEA..Toast…

    Joe Took Credit For Things He Has Never Done…And Denied he Did What He Did..
    Including Telling Ukraine They Could NOT Attack That Air Base and All Those Russian Bombers Out in the OPEN…With American Wepons…It Was All Denied By all His
    People at The Pressers,,And Ukraine…Has Suffered Greatly..From Such Treachery..

    You Know..The MAN From Miami…Tells More Truth about NTO..Russia..Ukraine
    China..And WW3 That Anyone… I Bet someday..Israel Bombs Iran….Stage 5…

    The

    • TTG says:

      Jim,

      The hospital was hit by a Kh-101 missile, not a glide bomb.

      • Muralidhar Rao says:

        Sir I have a question for you, if I understand correctly Kh-101 would have flattened the hospital and the casuality figures should be much greater than 3 to 5 killed and some more injured. According to Russians they used Kh-101 to flatten the ammunition factory, so the question arises how did the hospital escape such a monstrous bomb. Just curious

        • TTG says:

          Muralidhar Rao,

          There are daylight videos of a Kh-101 striking the hospital. They’re obviously not as devastating as advertised. If they did flatten an ammunition factory, i would not be surprised. It’s an ammunition factory, after all.

        • leith says:

          Muralidhar Rao –

          27 dead and 117 injured officially. But still counting. Many missing.

          By the way it’s a 720 bed hospital, a huge complex with several buildings – some with multiple wings.

    • Fred says:

      Jim,

      Ukrainian missiles never miss, they are winning too. Just like the press who kept us informed about Biden’s health all these years said.

      • Jim. says:

        Fred…. Vlad Zelinsky Didnt Sound Very Positive about
        The Ability to Win…vs the Will To Win Today in His
        Interview With Bret Baer….He Confirmed Ukraine is Forbidden from Using American Missiles to hit The Russian Airbase or Anything else The US Govt Forbids….And Then A bit of Grump
        about How Effective The 51 Tanks were…or How Effective Yje 20-30 F 16s will Be Against Russia’s 300 plus Combat Airplanes..

        Micro ..Nato..Veto.. El Viet Namo…Yes You Can ..No You Cant..
        Turn on the Lights..and Kiss Your children…Good Nite..Right

        • Fred says:

          Jim,

          Z man’s wife spent enough on one car to fund their retirement in Dubai for a couple years. Now heneeds to hang around longer to make up for it.

  5. English Outsider says:

    The NATO meeting in Washington. This is merely the West talking to itself. Our politicians spend most of their time doing that. As meaningless now as chickens shut up in a barn. The action’s elsewhere.

    It seemed a good idea at the time. To the politicians. Using Ukraine to “overextend and unbalance Russia”. But it started as a horror show and it’s ending as such. The chickens in the barn will squawk indignantly as the project falls apart but all they’re really doing is getting thousands more killed in order to save face.

    The Russians will plod along disposing of whatever in manpower and equipment NATO can still throw at them. Then they’ll put it out of NATO’s power to use the unfortunate Ukrainians in this way again. End of story?

    I don’t think so. Eventually we’re going to have get shot of politicians who can pull us all into so evil a project and then pursue that project with such devastating incompetence. The NATO meeting in Washington is merely our politicians attempting, with the usual meaningless bluster, to put a good face on the disaster.

    …………………………………

    Reference mentioned:-

    https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html

  6. Yeah, Right says:

    TTG: “Italy’s Meloni has proven that a right wing government in Europe does not have to be a lapdog to Putin.”

    Pardon?

    How does being “right wing” make one a “Putin lapdog”?

    How, exactly, does the one follow from the other?

    • TTG says:

      Yeah, Right,

      Both Orban and Pelligrini are dancing to the Kremlin’s tune. Meloni does not.

      • David Kissinger says:

        Trump and his cultists are also Putler’s lapdogs. I will never understand why the radical right supports a genocidal war criminal over freedom and liberty.
        Nato is as important today as it has been in decades. It is the only thing preventing war criminal Putler from sending his stormtroopers into Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The fact that the orange felon wants to disband Nato is a testament to how completely out of touch reality he is.

        • Fred says:

          Putler’s culties put thee justices on the supreme court. Worry not, America’s Other Communist is going to get a couple others impeached to make up for it.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          David Kissinger,
          Trump’s a racist like all those “protesters” demanding the destruction of Israel and death to Jews where ever they are found – even in the US? I had no idea those mobs were all Trump supporters. Oh wait, they’re not.

          The evidence of Trump’s white supremacy is what exactly? Control over the borders and immigration?

          You have the worst case of TDS I’ve seen yet on this forum.

          • David Kissinger says:

            Eric,

            “The evidence of Trump’s white supremacy is what exactly?”

            The fact that you even have to ask that question is truly breathtaking. Below is a partial list of the racist garbage that Trump has been spewing for years.

            https://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12270880/donald-trump-racist-racism-history

            Trump was enthusiastically endorsed by Daid Duke and the KKK, why?

            I wholeheartedly condemn the anti-Jewish filth said by many of the anti-Israel protesters. You can be assured that many conservatives share their views.

            I stand by my statement that Trump is by far the most overtly racist president since Woodrow Wilson.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            What is breathtaking is the extent to which you are brainwashed – alternatively, the extent to which a paid troll [you] is so unartful as to insult the intelligence of his target audience, thereby having the opposite effect his handlers desire and paid for.

  7. James says:

    Oh no – if NATO doesn’t hold together then Russia will invade Western Europe and force everyone from Lisbon to Helsinki to convert to Orthodox Christianity.

    It will be just like when Russia invaded France in 1812, or when Russia invaded the United Kingdom in 1854, or when Russia invaded Germany in 1941.

    • TTG says:

      James, If NATO doesn’t hold together, only the Baltics will be in any real danger from Russia. NATO prevents that.

  8. F&L says:

    Montenegro, Albania, Luxembourg, Latvia … NATO is STRONG!

  9. optimax says:

    We should be satisfied our president can read a speech without too many mistakes? I don’t think so. I want one that is coherent at all times.

    Before Putin invaded Ukraine, PL thought we should pull out of NATO and work with Putin. He wouldn’t have had reason to invade if we hadn’t surrounded Russia.

    Torcopolier July 31, 2013:

    b
    I agree and have been in favor of abolishing NATO since the end of the USSR. At the same time the US should withdraw from any obligation to help Europe with anything. We can then concentrate on developing Russia as a partner. I would be quite willing to tacitly acknowledge a sphere of influence for them that would attract people like Putin. pl

    • TTG says:

      optimax,

      I thought NATO was approaching obsolescence about that time myself, just not to the degree Colonel Lang did. NATO’s outreach to Asia was a desperate effort to find a new mission. Right after the USSR finally fell apart, countries like Poland and the Baltics saw the still standing NATO as their only guarantee against a Kremlin that was bound to reclaim their past glory. NATO took them in, but with no great enthusiasm. Those Eastern European countries wanted no part in becoming Russia’s sphere of influence again.

      • optimax says:

        TTG

        What Poland and the Baltics want means nothing to me. Poland says it is going to start shooting down Russian missiles. More power to them. I don’t want to be the Borg’s bitch any longer.

    • English Outsider says:

      Optimax – I recollect the Colonel saying at one time that we should not have brought Poland into NATO but that given we had it was a matter of honour to protect them. The only proper argument for US involvement in this affair I’ve ever seen put forward.

      I doubt very much, however, that that’s the way Scholz or Sullivan or Blinken think. I linked here a while ago to Blinken’s Johns Hopkins remarks that showed he had quite other arguments. After the ritual obeisance to Brzezinski he seemed to be more concerned with conflict with Russia and China that any question of honour. What would “honour” mean in his world in any case?

      So, protection of Poland and by extension of the other post Soviet entrants to NATO.

      Of the many disasters that have befallen Poland over the centuries surely the occupation of that country by the Soviet Union must rank pretty high on the list. Reasons obvious. The incorporation of Poland into the EU must be somewhere on the list as well.

      As with all the later EU entrants there was the familiar “giant sucking sound” as much of Poland’s industrial base collapsed. Followed by the emigration of millions upon millions of Poles seeking elsewhere the work that had been lost at home. It’s better now and wages have shot up but the country still needs EU subsidy.

      Why would the Russians want to take over subsidising the country, especially since the Poles are not noted for pacifism and occupying Poland would soak up troops? Maybe if we placed nuclear missiles there, or used Poland as a base to run operations into Russia, but I can see no other reason.

      I’ve maintained since 2022 that all the Russians now want to do with Europe is to shut the door on it and make sure that door has locks. A decaying continent with vastly more Russophobes to the square mile than you’d ever find in the States, Europe is not the Golden Prize it still seems to be in the fond imagination of the Americans. Let the Americans have it. I doubt the Russians will contest possession. They have business elsewhere.

      • TTG says:

        EO,

        Do you really believe the Poles see no difference between being under the Kremlin’s yoke and now being part of the EU and NATO?

        • English Outsider says:

          TTG – I don’t see any inclination on the part of the Russians to yoke the Poles. As far as I know not even Medvedev, who shoots his mouth off at every conceivable opportunity, has shot his mouth off on that.

          Nor am I much impressed with the grandiose plans for Festung Europa, so dear to the heart of Scholz and Stoltenberg. I somehow doubt that Europe will end up such a formidable threat to the RF that the Russians will need to nullify that threat.

          If the Russians do feel Europe’s a threat – there are always bits and pieces like Kaliningrad or the Russian minorities in the Baltics to play with if we do want to get mean – all they have to do is cut supplies to the Euros. That’ll settle their hash without so much as a tank rolling our way.

          As for the UK my Brexit guru, Dr North, has been pondering our own defence. He reckons we’re at more danger from internal strife than from anything the Russians might cook up. I believe he’s dead right and further, that that applies to the rest of Europe as well.

          That’s not to say we should not be on our guard. Putin may be a big softy but there are plenty knocking around in Russia who aren’t. But what Scholz and Stoltenberg, and presumably his successor, and all the other European politicians are after isn’t a realistic defence policy.

          They need to keep what Macgregor calls “the donors” happy. Go long Rheinmetall is the motto there.

          They need to have us dumb saps in the electorate jumping up and down about the Russian threat. That’s the best way, as ever, of stopping us jumping up and down about how they’re screwing up our countries.

          And they need, desperately, for no one to notice the disastrous pigs ear they’ve made of this war.

          I expect they’ll succeed. But all that has very little to do with a genuine and workable European defence.

          Anyway, aren’t we all supposed to be switching target to China?

          • TTG says:

            EO,

            Medvedev has declared Poland a dangerous enemy and threatened that she could lose her statehood. He said NATO borders should be pushed back, the Polish border specifically. He threatened Warsaw with radioactive ash. He’s not just another clown on Russian TV. He’s the deputy chairman of the defense council.

            I’m not worried about a Festung Europa, either. If such a military buildup discourages further Russian military adventurism, whether that’s planned or not, I consider it a good thing. Russia has moved to a 100% war economy and she still hasn’t subdued Ukraine. They couldn’t take Kharkov or hold Kherson, cities the Kremlin have long claimed as her own. So I’m pretty sure the generals in the Kremlin see the absurdity in any talk of attacking NATO.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            When is Europe – including the Poles – going to move to a full time war economy? If they take the Kremlin threats as seriously as you do, that would be the logical response.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            I doubt they’ll ever move to full war economy, not even close.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            Is Poland a dangerous enemy?

            Those Poles can get pretty rowdy, historically speaking.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            Dangerous to who?

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            Dangerous to Russia (Other than being a staging area and pipeline for war supplies into Ukraine). I really don’t know if Russia’s assertions are true or not.

            It has occurred to me that Poland might also be dangerous to Ukraine if the Ukrainian grasp on the country deteriorates too far. Poland can get its cake and eat it too. “Save” Ukraine by invading it and fight Russia at the same time; a fight that could escalate right into Russia. Not that I think that would represent a totally sane course of action, but sanity doesn’t always rule the day.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            The Polish military is dwarfed by the Ukrainian military, although in a few years the current build up will create the largest and most modern force in Europe outside of Ukraine. Ancient Polish-Ukrainian animosities have long since faded much like the Polish-Lithuanian animosities of the interwar years.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            So you agree that in a few years, theoretically, Poland could “Save” Ukraine by invading it and fight Russia at the same time; a fight that could escalate right into Russia.

          • TTG says:

            Eric Newhill,

            Poland going into Ukraine to fight the Russians would be like Russia going into Syria to fight the jihadis.

      • optimax says:

        EO.

        Putin wanted close ties to the West for a long time but became disillusioned when he was rejected time and time again. NATO was formed to protect Europe from the USSR but instead of disbanding after its collapse, it expanded toward Russia. It’s easy to understand Russia’s paranoia. What is harder for me to understand is ours–US and Europe. And what happened to the peace dividend?

        While we are out to save the rest of the world the US is falling apart. I saw Cleveland collapse in the 60’s and 70’s, SF Bay area in the 2010’s and now Portland. And I’m supposed to support Ukraine which has been a basket case since independence.

        • TTG says:

          optimax,

          NATO did offer Putin a NATO accession plan much like those offered to other East European countries. Putin thought he should get special treatment and not have to jump through the same hoops as others. If we bent the rules for him, maybe things would be different. Given his fervent belief in the destiny of a greater Russia, I’m not sure it would have made a difference.

        • John Minehan says:

          Realistically, The Ukraine has been a basket case since the Mongols, unless someone else ruled it.

          • TTG says:

            John Minehan,

            Kyiv has been a going concern for more than 1,500 years. It’s been sacked and burned by plenty of peoples in those 1,500 years.

  10. Tidewater says:

    Biden, awarding Jens Stoltenberg the Presidential Medal of Freedom, seemed to me to tell him: “I realize, I was fucking your wife.” And he added a moment later. “Please forgive me.” This was met with laughter. That’s what I heard! Seems to me it should be news. It has not gone unnoticed.

    • James says:

      Tidewater,

      I saw this in my twitter feed. I replayed it 5 times. Biden is definitely saying that. All I can say is – wow.

      • English Outsider says:

        James – it was “talking to”. He’s nowhere near as far gone as they make out.

        • Tidewater says:

          I think the truth is that we don’t know. Except that it is a form of dementia. Maybe we’ll never know.

          But to get at what I find incredible is that there is practically no true (seven trillion dollar) recognition by the leadership that every earth system is failing, whether atmosphere, soils, water, cryosphere, biodiversity, the geosphere… and that every living animal and person on earth is now living in an emergency. Every nation-state is in a national, existential emergency. And yet we keep getting the allegations, widely published in the West, the convinced or self-serving accusations that Orthodox Christian Russia wants to rebuild an empire when there is no time left for any such enterprise. Putin knows this. He has spoken of the meltdown of the permafrost in the Arctic. You cannot build an empire in five or ten years. How much time do you think humans have left to do anything on a grand scale? Fight a war, win a war, win the peace? Then find yourself in a Golden Age? To think that you can still do this is the true dementia. Won’t happen. You do not have the time. We’re sailing off the edge of the earth. What is coming at best is successful climate migration for some , surely a multitude, obviously to points north, and this mostly the luck of Western white people. Safe for a while. Billions will die, of course. What happens from here on out for us in our greed-ruined and collapsing climate will simply be bad. Bad follows bad follows bad. People will simply walk away. Bad, bad, bad. That’s it. Anyone who thinks that Zionism will come to terms with Islam is out of their mind. Won’t happen. Not enough time.

          • jld says:

            How much time do you think humans have left to do anything on a grand scale?

            This is not a matter of time but of scale.

            The “scale” is hopelessly beyond our reach in many, many domains.

            My favorite “humbling” quote is the Avogadro number 6.02214076×10^23, do you know what it means?

  11. Jim. says:

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi…Went To Russia on Monday July 8th 2024
    To Visit Vladimer Putin at Putins redsidence…Many Photos of Them on Putins Large Patio …And Modi (“Bear”) Hugging Putin..
    .Its Reported That Russia Launched Its Large
    Missle Attack on Ukraine That Blew Up The Hospital and Killed and Wounded
    Many…..Durind That Patio Visit..

    Its Reported…With Photos of the Event…That The Next Day..Tuesday July 9th…Vladimer Putin ..Awarded Prime Minister Modi…With Russias Highest Civilian Honor…A Very Large Necklace Called The “ORDER of Saint Andrew,The Apostle”

    An Exact Tit For Tat Replay of The Nato..Biden Awards Events..Cold Fingers..Eh..

  12. Lars says:

    No doubt Russia has repurposed NATO and having Sweden and Finland join has definitely changed the military situation in northern Europe. There is now a lot of strengthening activities in the entire organization. The only real laggard is Canada, but I am sure that will also be resolved.

    When I arrived here in 1965, Americans in general thought the Soviets were bad because they were communists. I thought that to be rather naive since they were bad because they were Russians. Now we can see just how bad they are. Delusions of Grandeur has always been present in Russia and it will remain a delusion. The problem with top down systems is that the very top has to put in a ceiling and when that is reached, there is no more progress and while it can go sideways for awhile, it will eventually reverse.

    Regarding Joe Biden, I am not convinced that replacing him now will work out all that well. It may do so theoretically, but as we know, theories are just that. I wonder if the main media now will bring out that microscope and take a close look at Trump. Looking at him could be as scary as looking at a piece of carpet under a microscope. It is probably the scariest thing possible.

    As I have said many times before, it will come down to economics. That applies to Russia, which is much smaller than many Putin pals realize and it applies to Trump too. 16 Nobel winning economists have declared him an economic disaster, should Americans double down on one of their biggest mistakes ever.

    • Fred says:

      Lars,

      “they were bad because they were Russians”

      Are the “baby born that way” like Lady Gaga sang about the rainbow flag people?

      “Russia has repurposed NATO”

      Is there nothing Putin can’t manage? According to 51 intel experts Hunter’s laptop was Russian propaganda, until it became real and was used as evidence in that case against the Ex-Burisma executive. Sweet Sixteen economists – all white, all old, all Ivy League. Well except for Stanford and Chicago. Does a prize years ago make them more accurate than 51 intel professionals? How about all the news professionals who told us all the way up to the debate that Biden was fine? Was that the ONLY thing people got wrong? Did anyone on the Biden campaign seek out a DEI economist, or do they all think like Billy Ray Valentine and track what families actually spend?

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Lars is a giant Racist!

        Welcome to the club, Lars.

        • TTG says:

          Eric Newhill,

          Russians are not a race. And I’m not sure Lars hates all Russians. I’m probably with him in not being at all keen on Russian leadership and actions from the Imperial Russian Empire to the Communist Soviet Union to today’s Russian Federation. I have no beef with the Russian people and their accomplishments in so many fields under each of those not so great leaderships.

          • mcohen says:

            Russians play a good game of chess,so there’s that to consider.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            TTG,
            Every day people, wherever you find them on this big blue ball, are usually cool enough regular folks, until their leadership, or some force in the collective subconscious of the mob, stirs up some lurking nasty pathological archetype, then the every day Joe’s and Bilal’s are lost in a blood thirsty trance slaughtering those among their neighbors who are deemed outsiders.

            Some collective subconsciousnesses can be aligned more readily that others. Some are heavily predisposed to be in opposition to ours.

        • Lars says:

          I think Navalny , et al, proved that there are different kinds of Russians, but the elites have always been delusional and there is plenty of evidence of that.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Lars,
            It certainly would seem that way, indeed re; Russian elites.

            I’m with you. Nations, cultures, religions, etc produce persistent character traits. In our modern, sissified world, it is called “racism” when you notice the tendency and find the character traits to be undesirable from your perspective.

  13. Jim. says:

    Ah Yes..What has Putin Managed..The KGB Colonel..Who Swaggers Through The “Kremlin”. Halls.. The Communist Large Hammer And Sicko Of Death Over The Entrance.Where The Imperial Czar Family Was Murdered……Why Has It Not Been Blown off The Wall…Like The Swastika and Eagle in Germany..??

    Why Did GRU and KGB Defectors Warn the USA and CIA …It Was All a Planned Deception By Putin and His Gang of 13…??
    Putin is Now Very Rich…a Billionaire…Like Most of The Democrat Politicans and Presidents Wind up…The Real Racist Klan..Who Wetre Masters of Deceptions..
    And Secret Manifestos..

    Putin ..The “Reformer” Did Not Join the EU…..He Did Not Join NATO…He Embraces
    Genocide Killers..in The Middle East..and Asia…Just Like The NAZI Klan He Imitates..

    Tar Pit Killers…Greased up Palms..Oiled Down..Brains…Roid Dementia..Asthma Boy.

  14. F&L says:

    At the NATO shindig today President Joe Biden introduced Zelensky as “President Putin.” He later corrected himself. (He needs to stop shtupping Stoltenberg’s wife).

  15. Tidewater says:

    jld,

    No, I don’t know what it means. Please enlighten. I am not so sure I will understand what you say, anyway, but give it a shot if you like.

    • jld says:

      I am not so sure I will understand what you say,

      OK, let’s save time for both of us. 🙂

    • LeaNder says:

      My favorite “humbling” quote is the Avogadro number 6.02214076×10^23, do you know what it means?
      below the visible macrocosm, there is a huge microcosm. jdl, may consider it a helpfully ‘humbling’ realization confronted with demands for changes on a grand scale.

      I tend to agree. 😉

      • Fred says:

        LeaNder,

        And the cross-section for absorption of fast neutrons in PU 238 is….
        And remember kids, Eat the gamma cookie, put the alpha cooing in your hand, beta cookie in your pocket, throw the neutron far far away. Cooking with nuclear physics.

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