OK Joe, where is the war? Show me the war.

Remember the Maine!

“…  a National Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday.“President Biden continues to monitor the evolving situation in Ukraine, and is being updated regularly about events on the ground by his national security team. They reaffirmed that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time,” she said.

Psaki also added that the president had received an update on Vice President Harris’s meetings at the Munich Security Conference.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted earlier on Saturday that he had an “urgent conversation” with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Informed about the aggravation on the frontline, our losses, the shelling of politicians & international journalists. Discussed the need and possible ways of immediate de-escalation & political-diplomatic settlement,” Zelensky said.

The development comes as officials estimate that up to 190,000 Russian troops have been amassed near the Ukrainian border. Earlier this week, Russia claimed that it had pulled back some of its troops, but NATO and U.S. officials said it appeared that Russia was doing the opposite.

Comment: We went to war against Spain on the basis of mass hysteria generated by press barons like Hearst competing for circulation numbers. The claim was that Spain had somehow attacked and sunk the armored cruiser USS Maine while it was at anchor in Havana harbor on a port visit. I ask you pilgrims. Does that pass the smell test? After many investigations it is well established that USS Maine was destroyed because a coal bunker smoldering fire set off a powder magazine in an adjoining compartment.

And then there was all that BS about starving, oppressed Cubans. Strangely enough they could not be found when American troops arrived in the island. In fact, they existed in the minds of Cuban nationalist revolutionaries.

I ask again. Where is the war Joe? Where is it?

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/595063-biden-to-convene-national-security-council-meeting-on-ukraine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Maine_(1889)

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86 Responses to OK Joe, where is the war? Show me the war.

  1. Sean says:

    I think it hasn’t dawned on Americans quite yet, but not everything is aimed at them. This is something I had to realize myself actually. The stuff Putin is doing, the stuff Xi is doing in China, they are almost entirely concerned with their domestic audience. It’s not in the least about convincing Americans about this or that. I think this goes to a diminution of the USA that has been ongoing for basically my entire life.

    As a digression, I remember as a teenager in the late 80s, all the talk about Japan surpassing us economically. What was unsaid yet instinctively felt though, was that no matter how well they did, they would have to focus on us, listen to us, the USA, because even if we weren’t the most efficient producer, we were the biggest market, the source of their money and success was selling things to us. There is still this same feeling with China and Russia. Just cut China off, we can destroy them by not buying their products. Just cut Russia off from the internet. Etc. What hasn’t dawned on Americans yet, is that China doesn’t need us anymore, their internal market dwarfs their exports to the USA. We can’t “cut off the internet” to Russia. We don’t own the internet, it’s not ours. Not everyone in Beijing or Moscow cares deeply what Americans in DC and NY think anymore, or even what they will do. Especially China more so than Russia has moved on beyond not just American rhetoric but American actions.

    So all this very effective propaganda, or media messaging if you want a less loaded term, in The NY Times, on CNN, the other side doesn’t actually care about it anymore. That’s what I get more and more the sense of from Putin’s actions in this crisis.

    • Eol says:

      I agree that the world has been changing, and what held true just a few years ago, today no longer does. China managed to sucesfuly raise enough local capital and now has enough steam in its economy to sustain itself and its indigenous technological development. On the other hand, since 2014 Russia.. because of western sanctions, has had to turn towards autarky, and given its ridiculous amounts of resources (just by sheer size) it has been able to actually detach itself from the west and implement an import substitution program. If the west keeps using the (historical) privileges it has in the world economy to try to strong arm other countries (specifically those of significant size/resources, capabilities AND pride) I think that its just gonna continue to accelerate the loss of those privileges in the first place. For example, de-dollarization of trade amongst big euro-asian states (China, Russia, Iran), alternative payment mechanisms, etc. The ability of the U.S to print the ammount of money it does, and effectively ignore its debt hinges on the existing privileges.

    • Paul Smyth says:

      The world has changed drastically in last 50 years.

      When a friend of mine and I argue over the Russia-Ukraine issue he actually refers to “atheistic Commie Russia” and Putin being in charge of the KGB. Mb: his guy is a retired defense industry engineer and still reads The National Review. i.e., not an uninformed dumb guy. When I mention about Putin declaring Russia is a Christian country and Christianity is the foundation of Russia and I refer to the consecration of the new Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Moscow to the Russian Armed Forces, et al., my friend rejects it all as commie subterfuge. This bizarre attitude seems pervasive.

      I can help but think of the prophetic words the Venerable Fulton Sheen:

      “Atheism is not natural to the Russian people; rather, it has been an importation from the Western world…

      The lesson is not to be forgotten: in a not too distant day when Russia, like the prodigal son, will return to the father’s house, let not Western civilization refuse to accept it back or absent itself from the feast celebrating the salvation of what was lost. Constant obedience is better than repentance, but the truly obedient will always rejoice in the repentant.”

      (Sheen, Footprints in a Darkened Forest

    • Deap says:

      Before Nixon went to China, China did not need us either. Things change and we shall adapt.

      But agree, the internal wealth of Chinese today does not need us any longer. Their 10% billionaire and multimillionaire class exceeds us by far when you multiply that mere 10% uber-wealthy times 1.3 billion Chinese residents. That would be the equivalent of nearly half of all Americans having the buying power of 150 million millionaire/billionaires.

      China still has to bring the other 90% non millionaire class into their current social structure – and the back lash against Chinese (former US citizen) Olympics super star Eileen Gu being so publicly “privileged” may be a crack in their egalitarian facade.

      As remote and overlooked far north Chinese city of Harbin is, their is a multi-story shopping mall that was right next to our hotel which rivaled Rodeo Drive when it came to offering luxury brands. In Harbin we gasped? A fairly grim outpost in all other regards. Yet disposable Chinese wealth appeared to have a ready market here too.

      Trump’s gut was again was right- America first, which certainly does not mean we are first in any overall scheme of things; but that we now start putting our own interests first.

      Which does mean we need to adapt to a changed world position, thanks ironically to our own economy enabling other nations to reach our own former standard of living. And the role we played growing China’s reserves, which we willingly handed to them by our own lack of fiscal discipline.

      Not for the first time I remain grateful I was raised by Depression Age parents, who also knew hard times and taught us necessary coping skills. Glad I saved all her Depression era cookbooks.

  2. Ed Lindgren says:

    America’s elites are terrified that there might be something to Halford Mackinder’s ‘Heartland Theory’ and that the Western Hemisphere might be rendered irrelevant by an economic lash-up between the EU (read Germany), Russia and China.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halford_Mackinder

  3. Degringolade says:

    I am wondering if we really know the stakes of the game and what constitutes a winning hand.
    I see that Macron is talking with Putin again in trilateral talks. I know that lot of folks here think that France is our bitch and doesn’t have enough woof to make a difference, but Macron going back and trying again (most likely we will hear a tirade about their lameness in the none-too-distant future) seems intriguing to me.
    I think that the administration continuing the work of alienating everyone that we call an ally is going to be an issue. I may well be wrong, but I am thinking that a lot of Europe is kind of sick of our presumed omniscience and our attitude toward them (read here: Vassal).
    I don’t think that it is a replay of the Social War, but I think that Europe is studying all their options. This action might have something to do with the fact that our last five presidents and their policies toward Europe have been batshit crazy.

  4. Pat Lang says:

    David Martin (CBS) is reporting that the USG has told him that Russian commanders have been given specific orders to invade Ukraine. We will see.

    • TTG says:

      pl,

      I just watched that David Martin interview. The Russian forces are there and I’m sure contingency plans have been developed with a number of different variations for a possible invasion. We have been selectively declassifying and releasing intelligence on the situation in order to not cede the IO playing field solely to Russia. Release of this particular intelligence is just another step in our IO. We want Putin to know that we know. However, the issuance of invasion orders could also be part of Putin’s IO campaign. He’s let his preparations be seen by intel assets and amateur observers. As a form of coercion, these preparations have to be seen and believed. The issuance of invasion orders could be just another part of this bluff. Unfortunately for Putin, the bluff is not having the intended effect. The Zelenskiy government and Ukrainian people are showing no signs of cracking in spite of the severe economic and psychological stresses being applied. NATO, even with all her internal differences, has been remarkably unified. At what point does Putin back down from the bluff and try a different tack to reach his goals?

      Why does Biden say the invasion appears to be a certainty? Does he really believe an invasion is inevitable or is this part of our IO strategy. Maybe our call tonight for Americans to get out of Russia is part of that strategy. Our voiced certainty of an invasion is certainly exasperating Zelenskiy. He’s wondering why we don’t initiate the sanctions from Hell if we’re so damned certain the invasion is but days away. Maybe that’s our bluff. We don’t want to implement those sanctions. Along with Russia, they will hurt us, our allies and the rest of the world.

      Earlier today, the Ukrainian Defense Minister said Russia has not yet formed any assault groups in regions bordering Ukraine. An invasion is not going to happen today or tomorrow. He explained that “in very general terms, military forces must be not just deployed to a certain location, but also organized in way that ensures their strike capacity and advancement deep in the enemy territory.” So according to current intelligence, Russia has not organized such assault groups. The Chief of Ukrainian Ground Forces said the same thing a week ago to Western reporters in Donbas. “The combat units are there but they were not seeing spearhead forces formed into special purpose assault groups.” But even if those assault groups are formed, it’s not an invasion until artillery and rocket fire hits Ukrainian targets and those assault groups cross the border. We’re not there yet and we may never get there. I don’t think Putin, Biden, Zelenskiy or any Ukrainian, except for some crazies in the DNR/LNR, want to go there.

      • Pat Lang says:

        ttg
        Perhaps Biden is simple minded. I am informed that it is all horseshit.

      • Fred says:

        TTG,

        “NATO, even with all her internal differences, has been remarkably unified.”

        They don’t look that way to me, other than the borgish ones at the top rattling the sabers. I seem to recall seeing, not on CBS/NBC/ABCNN rioting in Paris and elsewhere in Europe over all the ‘covid’ restrictions. The ‘citizens’ of the EU sure don’t look like they are flocking to recruiting offices to sign up to defend Ukraine.

      • Barbara Ann says:

        TTG

        “Maybe that’s our bluff. We don’t want to implement those sanctions”

        I suspect that is the case. A sanctions war & tanking economy is the last thing Biden’s poll ratings need.

      • ike says:

        What makes you so sure Putin is bluffing?

        I think he is being very matter of fact. Either Ukraine implements the minsk agreements or Russia changes the situation by military force.

        Everything else is fluff.

      • Kotlin says:

        Putin never bluffs.

      • ISL says:

        TTG,

        We (the USA and NATO) have no bluff unless you are proposing all out nuclear war is our bluff. A bluff requires a serious threat – other than armageddon the US threats are not serious (from not serious people).

        Also Ukraine called for a show of solidarity in Maidan and got more reporters than supporters. Sounds like exhaustion.

        IMO, the Ukrainian general is yarning for the media-idiots. Everyone knows you pummel up the other side first with heavy artillery and missiles which could be done from the Russia’s bases while invasion forces move into position. And how bloody long do you think it takes a modern tank army to move 40 miles? I have watched the Russia tank games -NATO ones suspended since 2018. Great Bluff.

        And what evidence do you have that Biden or Zelensky are in control of anything?

  5. RZ says:

    We are hearing very little from Germany, are they really going to allow the US to destroy their economy by having their major energy supply cut by sanctions against Russia. The French of are still pissed about the Aukus atomic sub deal, not to mention the whole cheese eating surrender monkey business, why would they want to help out?
    I’m impressed by Russia’s move in evacuating civilians from Donetsk and Luhansk which will ameliorate the chances of a false flag opp there. What Russia’s response will be if there is a “gas attack” or some other provocation in Kiev will be interesting to see.
    Still can’t see the US voluntarily losing face over this and allowing Nord Stream 2 to come on line. Interesting times.

    • Pat Lang says:

      RZ
      I ask again about Nordstream II – how does the US stop it if the Germans won’t cut their throats? ” Russia’s move in evacuating civilians from Donetsk and Luhansk” What makes you think it is the Russian government who directed this?

      • jerseycityjoan says:

        When I first heard Biden bring this up, I assumed he meant we would use computers against the Russians. For one thing I am pretty sure he used the word “we.” Later people said Germany would actually do it and I thought of course, I was wrong and we wouldn’t turn off something going into an ally’s country.

        But maybe we would if Germany won’t. I assume the pipeline is controlled by computers so we could.

        That would set a terrible precedent. Once countries start hacking to interfere with other countries’ infrastructure and utilities we will all be very sorry. I hope Biden does not do this and cannot believe he made such a stupid threat.

      • RZ says:

        Nordstream 2 is the key. I am seeing very little on the net about a German response to current events, not that I speak German. I think it will be a huge rift if Germany open up the pipeline against US wishes. I think Biden can not afford this with his polling collapsing ahead of crucial mid terms. Rock and a hard place.

        Regarding the civilian refuges and Russia organisation. It comes from Tass and RTNews who detail how accommodation has already been set up with Covid vaccine available.

        I see the French are back in the talks, is it too much of a stretch for Macron to offer a French observer force for the region. And a little payback for the loss of their Australian Submarine contract. And the whole cheese eating surrender monkey thing.

      • Peter Williams says:

        The fact that МЧС (EMERCOM) was so ready to receive refugees and forward them on to accommodation in other oblasts, hand-out 10,000 ₽ per person for immediate expenses, do point towards Russian Government involvement. It’s not proof, but a hint. It also shows that Shoigu’s reform of МЧС has been consolidated. He turned it from a ramshackled organisation in a model of efficiency. It is why he is now the Defence Minister.

      • jim ticehurst says:

        I have Not CONFIMED any RUSSIAN INVASION ORDER..Drudge or CNN..

      • Harry says:

        This is the key question sir.

        I would argue that Germany has a very substantial Atlanticist Lobby. The Foreign Ministry is Atlanticist. There is an argument, pushed by folk like Willem Buiter, that high energy prices make an economy stronger, just like higher wages apply a pressure which makes an economy increase labour productivity. This higher energy price lobby is not exclusively Green.

        The Germans are wriggling on the hook. It is possible to force them to relinquish Nordstream. However it might do more long term damage than the Administration thinks.

        I would argue that this is the small ask. The big ask is when they ask the Germans to stop doing business with China. To get to that place, you need to succeed here first.

        As for why the RF government prompted the evacuation, I speculate that this reduces the domestic pressure for Putin to intervene directly in Donbas. Pictures of civilians being killed by artillery would definitely damage Putin domestically. Evacation helps neutralize this damage and reduces the pressure to intervene directly in Donbas. But purely my speculation.

  6. Marlene says:

    Is this the announcement of the awaited false flag?

    https://www.rt.com/russia/550061-us-embassy-russia-evacuation-attacks/

  7. FWH says:

    Ukraine is in the foreground of the broader East West issues described above. It feels like we are witnessing the birth and evolution of “military and technical” measures in Ukraine. Massive disruption leveraged by the THREAT, not to mention limited use, of massive force. This is crudely akin to the technology of a color revolution in a case where massive internal disruption is shepherded with the threat or limited use of massive external military force: Syria for example.

    Ukraine may be the post-soviet East feeding the West a reciprocal dose of medicine with several years of open rebellion in the Southeast of the country and more recently with newly forming military technical measures. These measures have been frosted with a seeming false flag transparent enough to remind us of alleged chemical attacks in Syria and the Skripal affair.

    We may now be witnessing Western economic warfare (sanctions and seizures) and Western Lawfare (extraterritorial legal action to punish otherwise lawful action in other countries) and an occasional Western sponsored color revolution), versus newly evolving military technical measures to be served up from the East.

  8. Leith says:

    German FM has said that Nordstream sanctions are on the table. But if implemented that could perhaps cause the fall of the SPD?

    I suspect that Scholz has already given Putin a nod and a wink that Ukraine will never join NATO. But Putin already knows that NATO would never let any country join if there they had territorial disputes with Russia and had Russian troops within their borders.

    • Yeah, Right says:

      The Russians have already learnt from experience that a nod and a wink are worthless where it relates to the expansion of NATO.

      So why would they accept any such nudge, nudge, wink, wink from the likes of Scholz?

      • JerseyJeffersonian says:

        Exactly. Gorbachev and his circle accepted airy words and supposed promises, and then NATO expanded, and the direct frontal assault on the Russian Federation through subversion of their economy and internal political processes began sumultaneously. President Putin and all Russian patriots have struggled to regain control way too hard for the lesson not to have been learned. They have, in fact, clearly articulated their understanding of the realities by saying, repeatedly and at each attempt by the West to continue their assault, that the West is not agreement capable. At this point, even some supposedly binding agreement cast into the form of a treaty document will do little to nothing to allay their well-justified suspicions as to the West’s intents. They are wise to pursue autarky, and to excise the cancer cells of the Western NGOs from their society.

  9. Stephanie says:

    The military exercises in Belarus were supposed to end today. They’ve been extended. Not a good sign, obviously. I would be interested to hear views on how Russia could use the 30,000 soldiers that are said to be there. Is that a sufficient number to be used effectively, and how?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-temporarily-closes-checkpoint-donbass-due-shelling-2022-02-20/

    ‘Belarus did not say how long Russian troops in Belarus – estimated by NATO to number 30,000 – might now remain in the country, which lies north of Ukraine. Belarus Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin said the focus of the extended exercises was “to ensure an adequate response and de-escalation of military preparations of ill-wishers near our common borders.”‘

    • Leith says:

      Stephanie –

      The Russian military presence in Belarus has two or three purposes (or perhaps more).

      Those troops are close to Kiev and are there to try to instigate panic and chaos in Ukraine’s capitol city.

      Second reason is to provide a tripwire in case NATO tries to invade from the west.

      Third might be for them to push south to disconnect Ukraine from Poland?

      By the way, I’ve heard different accounts on the 30,000 Russian soldiers there. Ukraine Defense Monister, Oleksii Reznikov, claims there are only 9,000 Russian combat troops in Belarus. The remainder are mostly aviation units, plus some engineering and logistic support.

      • Pat Lang says:

        TTG, Leith et al
        Any thoughts on the quality of extant Russian COMSEC?

        • Leith says:

          Excellent at higher levels. But similar to our own COMSEC, sometimes poor at battalion, squadron and lower levels.

          But those are just WAGs on my part, am definitely not ane expert in these matters.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Leith
            Our tactical radios have built it COMSEC systems. If that is true of theirs, how are we supposedly intercepting the tactical chaatter about invasion?

          • Leith says:

            I’ve been away too long to be knowledgeable on tac radios, ours or the Russians. But It is my experience that the best of technology can sometimes fail. Or operators err, especially in high stress situations.

            Or as TTG mentioned, perhaps it was maskirovka?

            Or perhaps the chatter was hearsay from an excitable individual on cellphone repeating the news? Did the WH specifically say the intel came from a radio net? I doubt they would revealed that.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Leth
            “perhaps it was maskirovka?” Yes. Perhaps it was ours.

        • TTG says:

          pl,

          With the the Russian emphasis on radio-electronic combat and information confrontation, I would think they’d be very good at COMSEC. I’m sure that’s the case with their better units. However, they’re now dealing with the bulk of their forces concentrating around Ukraine. COMSEC is only as strong as the weakest link. There’s also the question of how much the Russians are letting us see and hear as part of their maskirovka.

    • English Outsider says:

      On the subject of Russian forces in Belarus. If the Colonel does not mind the cross linking Dr North, whose work has extended to defence for about as long as it’s extended to UK/EU relations, has this to say about the tanks:–

      “Nevertheless, the announcement that Russian troops are to continue enjoying the hospitality of their Belarusian hosts has given multiple newspapers the opportunity to re-use photographs of the Saturday exercises at the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground, in western Belarus.

      “Helpfully, the Mail published a larger photograph of one tank (pictured above), which has enabled me to get a better look at it. Described by the paper as a T-72B, if that is the correct designation then it describes a variant that first entered production in 1985. But if one enters the land of the super-nerd, close inspection of the road wheels shows that the first two each have eight coupling bolts (joining the second, inner wheels), while the remaining wheels have six each.

      “The significance of this is that the reduced bolt modification came in with the adoption of the B-variant, previous earlier models being fitted with eight-bolt wheels. An already aged tank has evidently been fitted with cannibalised parts from an earlier model, to keep it running.

      “In this larger picture, the turret detail is clearer, showing a clear absence of reactive armour blocks on the roof. A T-72B3 will have over 30 – with some nearer forty. On the visible side, we can only see two blocks, to the rear of the gun, just before the smoke mortars. The two stowage bins are unarmoured and, in later models are replaced by reactive armour blocks and cage armour (to the rear).

      “The lack of reactive armour together with the lack of skirts (which also have reactive armour) – common to all the tanks visible – most decidedly render the vehicles extremely vulnerable to anti-tank weapons, to the extent that they would not be committed to battle.

      “In fact, these appear to be training tanks, kept specifically at the training ground for troops drafted in to practice and develop their skills. The British Army used to do exactly the same at its leased Batus training ground in central Canada, keeping a number of distinctly battered Challenger IIs for visiting soldiers to play with.”

      https://www.turbulenttimes.co.uk/news/front-page/politics-vlad-the-invader-not/

      Apparently if such tanks were to be used in combat they’d have to go back to the workshop to be fitted out with the protective armour needed.

      On this and a deal of other matters I don’t believe the intelligence reports the US/UK must be getting are foursquare with what the US/UK politicians are stating. The bastards are playing us.

      • Leith says:

        EO –

        That’s pretty thin analysis by Dr North based on a tank in a known training base that is closer to the Belarus capital of Minsk (25km) than it is to the Ukraine border (>100km).

        In any case the massive buildup of SU-25s, attack helos, et al at Luninets and other airfields in Belarus are not training aircraft. Neither are the TOS-1A ‘(Blazing Sun) thermobaric rocket launchers deployed two days ago in Rechitsa Belarus.

        Even so I do not believe there will be any major attack from Belarus. IF Putin invades (a big if) it will be from the east. The great majority of Russian combat troop deployments is in the is near Belgorod and also further south near the breakaways LDR & DNR.

      • TTG says:

        EO,

        In any military not all units are equipped with the top of the line stuff or manned with the best of the troops. With such a high percentage of the Russian Army currently arrayed around Ukraine, there are bound to be second and third tier units. Reports out of Belarus talk about Russian troops being liquored up and selling their fuel to buy more alcohol. Not their best. That doesn’t mean they can’t be employed in combat, especially as follow on forces.

        • English Outsider says:

          TTG – the Russians weren’t bluffing, then, when they said they could live with sanctions.

          My belief is that the Russians won’t fight unless provoked and that we were using the Ukrainians to supply the provocation.

          That with the intention of forcing Germany/the EU to cut trade ties with Russia in pursuit of the policy of unbalancing and overextending Russia, a policy set out in that study I linked to recently and followed, demonstrably, by the neocons or “hawks”.

          Scholz, to my disappointment, has proved a dead loss. Now only remains to be seen what sanctions he can be pushed into agreeing. Bloody Euros. HMG’s a nullity in this affair but I’d hoped for more from them.

          Am I right in thinking that this marks a decisive point in the turning away of Russia from Europe and the West?

          If so, that’s a pity. Unipolar or bipolar, we’re a long way away from Westphalia.

  10. MapleLeaf says:

    The Ustinov is (or was 6 hours ago) at 38° 10′ 13.0″ N, 019° 03′ 01.1″ E, near the entrance of the Adriatic. [According to AIS from Marinetraffic]

    Are those three carriers still in the Adriatic? If so, then given that position, they are all within reach of Russian anti-ship missiles.

    I think Joe’s war is about to begin.

    As for Canada and its continued support for Ukraine, I think Trudeau is prepared to make Canadians the sacrificial NATO lamb, if Biden-and-friends so choose to widen the conflict. Perhaps an evil Russkie shoots down a weapons transport from Belarus.

    Trudeau has already granted himself wide sweeping powers to suppress what effectively has been a large-scale bylaw infraction in Ottawa. It just doesn’t match up. Now he doesn’t even need to blink to shut down whatever other anti-government opposition arises against his policies, especially if those protesters engage in prominent public manifestations.

    In terms of “Western” leaders, the only other one that has anything close to as much power as Trudeau… is Erdogan. What a stunning achievement for Canadian democracy.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      “Perhaps an evil Russkie shoots down a weapons transport from Belarus.”

      Oops, it is a bit confusing, “from Belarus” should be read as the missile originates from Belarus, not the weapons shipment, which would be from some Baltic state transported to Ukraine on Canadian aircraft.

  11. English Outsider says:

    Von der Leyen talking tough but leaving the question of NS2 open:-

    https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/vonderleyen-russland-sanktionen-101.html

    Don’t see NS1 mentioned anywhere. So Germany will cut the Russians off from advanced German technology but keep taking Russian gas on low priced long term contracts. Sounds like a good deal.

    Scholz and Macron running around trying to stop the nonsense. Scholz undercut by his Foreign Minister. Scholz had been extremely careful not to commit to stopping NS2 if there are sanctions. Going against that Baerbock, at the MSC, has put NS2 on the table. Draghi saying that whatever happens Russian gas supplies must keep coming.

    Seems therefore to be internal EU arguments in the background and also internal German arguments. It’s assumed that Biden can decide to cancel NS2 by himself but I haven’t seen it explained how.

    Putin saying that sanctions are inevitable. If one pretext isn’t found they’ll find another. And if it comes to it he can do without trade with the EU anyway.

    So the public statements.

    If one knew whether all that lot were stating their firm positions, or whether they were merely shaping their statement to suit the occasion, one might have a better idea of what’s going to happen.

    The Russian security demands are reasonable and should be addressed. Some way, Minsk 2 or whatever, has to be found of separating the forces along the line of control. I’d put my money on Scholz to sort that out. Not so sure now.

    And the US/UK have slipped back into the familiar cold war rhetoric. Never again Munich and appeasement. We must fight them over there or we’ll have to fight them over here. We must defend the rights of weak nations. How one defends the rights of weak nations by making it clear that under no circumstances will we send troops over the help with that defence is also not explained.

    The cost of all this theatre, for those not lucky enough to be on long term pipeline contracts with the Russians, has been high. And a Russia expert I’ve found to be reliable from 2014 on has this to say about the possible cost in terms of suffering and lives if this nonsense is allowed to escalate:-

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2022/02/18/the-war-in-donbass-must-end-now/

  12. jim ticehurst says:

    Colonel Lang,,All..
    Good Evening..!

    For Those Interested..My Notebook Today

    This Event The News Announcement

    TONITE 2/20/22
    That The French..
    Have Offered A MEETING This Coming Week.2/21/22…..2/25/22
    For Mr Joseph Biden..to Meet With Mr.Vladimir Putin Sometime Next Week..

    Mr Biden has Agreed…IF Mr V Putin Agress To NO INVASION
    NO Resonse Yet from Mr PUTIN..

    • Christian J. Chuba says:

      The best thing is for Putin / Lavrov to flat out refuse any meetings with any U.S. officials until they stop lying about a pending invasion.

      Meeting under these circumstances only adds credibility to the increasingly shrill claims by the U.S. State Dept, the last one being about the Russians building internment camps for Ukrainians. Refusing to meet with U.S. officials and calling out their B.S. would do more to defuse the situation rather than giving them more fuel for the dumpster fire.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/21/us-says-russia-expected-to-invade-ukraine-very-soon.html

      • ISL says:

        CJC, I do not think the Russian’s acre what the US thinks (IO) as IMO hardware beats propaganda when (to paraphrase TTG, I think) the shit gets on.

        Ukraine is a sideshow for Russia – they want serious negotiations on how and when NATO will return to its agreed eastern deployments at the end of the cold war.

    • jim ticehurst says:

      I believe this Flag to Putin For a Meeting is to see if He will Respond
      and to Determine that If NOT any time this Week,,He HAS Decided to Go Ahead With His Attack.This Week..We will See..

      • jim ticehurst says:

        If They Are Evacuating Civilians Out of Kiev as Reported..I believe Putin Has Been waiting for as Many as be evacuated..To
        Leave..He is Still on The Time Frame..This week I predicted.on Feb 6th..At The Point..with Current Reported Events There..
        My Feeling is..The Devil Will Be Playing a RED HOT FIDDLE..

  13. jim ticehurst says:

    Beaking News
    Russian Commanders HaveI VERIFY BEEN ORDER TO PROCEED………….I Will
    DOUBLE CHECK That And Verify..I Will Be Back,,

  14. optimax says:

    What happened to the Russians were going to invade last Wednesday? Now Biden says he’s sure the will invade. i DON’T BELIEVE ANY OF IT. Our government has lied us into starting or escalating every war since I’ve been alive. I can’t go along with it anymore. Putin might take eastern Ukraine but he’s not going to Kiev.

  15. jim ticehurst says:

    CNNs Website Only Post Was That BOTH Puyin And Biden Agreed To
    Next Weeks
    Meeting At 2;30nEASTERN TIME TODAY..2/2/20/22

  16. Sam says:

    One thing that is forgotten in all this hoopla are the agreements and understanding between Gorbachev, Baker and Genscher around the reunification of Germany.

    In return for agreeing to German unification, Baker offered Gorbachev “ironclad guarantees that there would be no extension of Nato’s jurisdiction for forces of Nato one inch to the east,” according to recently declassified transcript of the meeting. As per the records, Baker reiterated that promise at least three times during the course of that meeting.

    Baker was following on the same position of his then West German counterpart, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who insisted in a speech on January 31 1990, less than 10 days before Baker’s Moscow visit, that there “would not be an expansion of Nato territory to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union.”

    https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/document/16117-document-06-record-conversation-between

    What was the point of NATO expansion after the breakup of the Soviet Union? Wouldn’t the smart strategy have been to dissolve the gigantic Brussels bureaucracy?

    • Yeah, Right says:

      The point of NATO expansion was to eventually break up not just the Soviet Union but Russia itself.

      Not saying that was ever feasible or practical, but just saying that the neocons believed that it was.

      As for the “smart strategy”, well, that depends on identifying your strategic interests.

      If it was to maintain NATO as a “purely defensive alliance” then, yes, I agree, NATO should have been dissolved with the end of the Cold War.

      But if it was to maintain NATO as a useful collective fig leaf for military adventurism then the smart move would be to expand it as much as possible to make that adventurism seemed more, ahem, “consensual”.

      After all, if every European country is signed up for some overseas thumping then its obviously not a bad thing because, you know, We Are The Good Guys.

  17. Leith says:

    China’s FM, Wang Yi, speaking at the Munich Security Conference said “the sovereignty, independence & territorial integrity of every country should be safeguarded.” and “Ukraine is no exception”

    Beijing does a lot of business with Ukraine. Is this a first hint of a China/Russia split. They have always been uneasy in bed together.

    • JerseyJeffersonian says:

      I doubt it. China knows very well what a stitched together, artificial mess of a “nation” that Ukraine is, and thus how very frangible this construct is. Yet they are doubtless aware how historically significant the Russian connections, extending to the fact that significant territories of the construct denominated as Ukraine having been part of Russia, truly are. This is analogous to their own sense of the inseparability of Taiwan and other lands traditionally over centuries, although sometimes through the viccisitudes of failures of their national power, having been temporarily (in their deeply historically-informed minds) detached from the body of China. It is leaning on a mighty weak reed to interpret that statement in the way you obviously want to. If that were the case, the Chinese would be shooting themselves in the foot given the hostility of the US toward China’s claims for the territorial unity of mainland China and Taiwan. They are not that stupid. You are just hearing what you want to hear.

      If you wanted to see a split between Russia and China, well there used to be such a rift, but decades of mindless hostility to Russia from the Neocons (and particularly from the aggrieved NeoCohens whose forebears rolled the dice with the Bolsheviks in order to be empowered to torture the mass of Russians, and later tried the same trick via their post-Soviet oligarchs aiming to dismember Russia) has put paid to that. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Barbara Ann says:

      Leith

      I guess that may represent a potential split if Russia invades/annexes more of Ukraine. On February 4th the Russian/Chinese joint statement said

      The sides reaffirm their strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose interference by external forces in their internal affairs

      I’m sure the wording of that paragraph was very deliberate – i.e. core interests are secured only by respect for the principals of Westphalianism, if you don’t have one you cannot have the other. Note that Russia’s position is Ukraine is a Western puppet & effectively ceased to be a sovereign state with the 2014 coup. If Russia does invade it will use the rationale that the aim is to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty. Make of that what you will.

      China does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia and yet surely it is understood by “the sides” that securing Crimea was an act Russia took to protect its core interests, as a result of the actions of ‘Cookies’ Nuland & the gang. China supports Minsk II and as I write that is Russia’s position too.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        The Russians heard Kitai and understood. That’s why if the republics are recognized as independent states they can then invite the Russians in and it will be legal. And have the additional merit of being achievement more or less diplomatically, wo shooting. And it won’t by any stretch of imagination be an “invasion.”

      • David Habakkuk says:

        Barbara Ann,

        Buty can’t you see that this is among the very many reasons why there is no conceivable way that Russia is going to invade more of Ukraine?

        Another is that, at the present, a key objective of Russian policy is, quite clearly, to split NATO.

        The ‘subtext’ of the messages that Putin has been sending to Paris and Berlin is, rather clearly: You were once great nations.

        Are you really prepared to continue to ‘dance to the tune’ of people in Vilnius, Warsaw, and London?

        • JerseyJeffersonian says:

          Thank you, Mr. Habakkuk,

          I made this point a few days back, that point being that NATO was the target, because only this truly cuts to the chase. Perhaps the isolation of, and identification of member nations’ genuine national interests, in contrast to the agenda of the US, and the special pleadings of the NATO members which you specifically named, may prove to be a sufficient lever to reveal the organization to be untenable, at least in its current form.

          It is highly unfortunate that things have come to such a pass today when one thinks of all of the superior possibilities that could be in place of this hard talk.

  18. Fourth and Long says:

    9:44 Eastern in US ongoing press conference of Putin with Lavrov, Kozak, Head of FSB, Shoigu, Medvedev with Eng Subtitles. Live. Hopefully you can rewind it later at your leisure:

    https://youtu.be/HSJsSxgsRVM

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Correction: Simultaneous translation, not subtitles.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      It appears to actually be taped.

      Release now perhaps for domestic audience, since they would be back from work?

    • Marlene says:

      It was an extended meeting of the Russian Security Council, this time live, for all to hear…

      Putin showed a very bad face, of having been passed the night asleep or so…

      Coincidentally, the Repblics called for military and economic adi plus tghe recognition as independent states.

      I arrived to the fume of the candles, but, genocide was being mentioned by Lavrov, and the outrageous situation of the Donbass people during already 8 years by Shoigu and another official from the MoD whom I do not know.

      Bortnikov also confirmed the intolerable humanitarian situation there.

  19. Jim says:

    Every member of the Russian president’s national security council [more than a dozen spoke] recommended today that Putin recognize Donbass.

    Lavrov brought up genocide.

    A member of the council chided the German premier for “laughing” off this point, saying would ?Germany act that way were it Germans. . . .

    Sergei Shoigu, the Defence Minister of the Russian Federation said the Ukraine president now talks about acquiring nukes.

    “I will make a decision,” Putin said at conclusion of meeting.
    -30-

    • Victor Scalar says:

      Why would any freedom-loving American have a problem with the LDNR being recognized as autonomous region since this is what the people of Donbass themselves want and many have fought and died for this freedom?? Besides, of course, and every Dem/liberal and every member of the GOP and the GOP establishment/media.

      As an American I know that if I had the choice I’d rather not want to be part of a country with a government that hates me and my people. Oh, wait… Well, I guess it comes down to which is worse, having a president who’s a old corrupt fool with dementia or a former Jewish comedian whose signature act was playing the piano with his penis. Oy vey, what times we’re living in!

  20. Matt says:

    this Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk was up all night stooging about to the NW, NE & E of Kiev,
    strangely it didn’t seem to overfly any of the Line of Contact with the seperatist provinces,
    it returned to just off the coast of Sicily, a carrier I presume, and it’s now back in the air and I imagine off for another night of sentry duty,

    https://www.flightradar24.com/FORTE11/2ae24bf7

    there’s also a Ukrainian National Guard Mil Mi-8MT airborne and getting dizzy going in circles, might be worth keeping an eye on, UR-HLE is a handy identification tag,

    https://www.flightradar24.com/URHLE/2ae52f5a

  21. Joe100 says:

    It appears Putin has decided to recognize the sovereignty of the DNR and LNR. And apparently he has notified Macron and Sholtz of his decision.

  22. John I. says:

    It would appear that Putin has made his latest move:

    “Putin Declares Formal Recognition Of Ukraine Separatist Regions As Sovereign States”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/donbas-rebel-leaders-formally-urge-immediate-russian-military-assistance

  23. Fourth and Long says:

    https://youtu.be/XTHUok0iQ-M

    Putin address live to Russian nation. Simultaneous Translation.

  24. Bill Roche says:

    Some obvious things about Ukraine seem to be overlooked. Ukraine, however imperfect, is a sovereign independent nation state. How many nation states are perfect, w/o economic problems, and corruption … by a show of hands? Ukrainians don’t want to be Russians. Eastern Ukraine has a non indigenous Russian population which is there b/c of Stalin. Some want to be Russian again and some do not. Still, they are there. Shall repatriation be a Russian excuse for conquest or is that permitted to all nations? China, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, and Mexico would like to know. Ukraine represents no threat to Russia but there is reason their guns point east. Eastern Europe, from Finland to Bulgaria, has had tragic experience of Russian violence directed against it. Some posters have alluded to the need for Russia to have a buffer from the west. Are we still talking about Napoleon? In the end the Russians destroyed him, 100 years later the Czar lost his armies fighting the Kaiser on German soil, the Finns d/n make war on the Russians, the Ukrainians d/n starve 6MM of themselves to death, and the Poles succumbed as much to Russian as German violence in ’39. Hungarians d/n invite tanks into Buda-Pest in ’54 nor the citizens of Prague ask for Russian tanks in ’68. It’s Russia who can’t leave her neighbors alone. Personally, I think Ukraine would be better off giving up the Donbass and Crimea. That’s not the end game for Putin. Conquest of Ukriania will encourage the same towards the Baltics. Then, there is still Finland to be dealt with. Those Finns always had a Russian cast to them. This is foremost a seminal moment for the Europeans. If they are content to be Russian’s energy bitch then American blood should not be shed to stop them. But let’s call a spade a spade, the Russians are bullys; again.

    • Leith says:

      Bill –

      In addition to the six million Ukrainians who died in the 1930s during Stalin’s terror famine. Another seven million died later during Hitler’s occupation. That included 5.2 million civilians and 1.65 million KIA Ukrainian Red Army soldiers who died fighting against the Nazis. That is 16.3 % of the 1940 population figures of the Ukrainian SSR, significantly higher than the Russian rate. Those figures come from a Russian historian. And they are low compared to former Putin puppet & Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych who claimed that Ukraine lost more than 10 million lives during WW2.

  25. walrus says:

    Bill Roche;

    “Ukraine represents no threat to Russia.”

    Correct, except as a launch pad for NATO attacks on Russia.

    In addition and using your logic, Cuba was no threat to the USA and look at what our reaction was, and still is, to that country.

    As for casualty figures, I can’t argue but the Soviet Union is no more.

    • Leith says:

      Why would NATO want to attack Russia. And even if they wanted to they could do it without using Ukraine.

      Both the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire still live within Putin’s mind.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Leith,
        How do you imagine the US handling Russian armor rolling into the Donbas/Ukraine? How does the US bow out gracefully/save face at this point?

        • Leith says:

          Eric –

          I do not see the US military trying to oppose a Russian invasion deeper into the Donbas or even into the rest of the Ukraine. That we would do so is pure propaganda from Putin.

          We have already bowed out. Russia is the one that needs to save face. The rest of the world knows their aggression, except perhaps Little Kim and Assad who will repeat Putin’s lies.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Ok. But we were both wrong about Putin invading Ukraine. IMO, he’s testing the waters and setting bait in the Donbas. He will ultimately take all of Ukraine.

            Agree that the US will just sit there and watch and look stupid. Biden’s destruction of US energy production helped make this possible, but Putin was going to call the bluff sooner or later anyhow. Can’t fight Russia on Russian turf and can’t go nuclear. Russian cyber attacks could also be devastating. As long as the US doesn’t engage militarily, I don’t care. I can’t see the Ukraine from where I live.

          • Leith says:

            Eric –

            You are right about him testing the water. He won’t stop.

            But he doesn’t need to set bait. He only needs to spread more lies about Ukrainian fascists and then advance further into Ukraine. All the while he’ll be crying: “Look what you made me do.” That’s the same excuse that wife beaters and child abusers use. The guy is a thug. I have no idea why he is so looked up to by some in our country.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Leith,
          From what I’ve observed, some people here admire Putin because, thug or otherwise, at least he’s a man; a man that they wish our leaders would be.

          I thought it was the act of a thug to attempt to expand NATO into the Ukraine after having done so with other countries on Russia’s borders. If Putin is making excuses, arguably, we provided him the raw material to do so.

          • Pat Lang says:

            EN
            Your comment reminds of the comment of some Union Army PWs at Harper’s Ferry as they watched the scruffy Stonewall Jackson ride by. One said, “He don’t look like much …” Another replied “If we had him we wouldn’t be in this fix.” Ah, sorry, I mentioned his name.

          • Leith says:

            Pat –

            Nothing wrong with mentioning Jackson’s name. The statues we should be pulling down are McClellan’s. His incompetence did more for the Confederacy than Jeff Davis ever did.

            But America does not need Putin or Putin wannabees. His only claim to machismo is in his not-so-subtle threats of a nuclear war. He’d probably piss his drawers if he ever met up with Stonewall.

          • Pat Lang says:

            Leith

            You don’t have the aching hole in your heart that I have when I look at the empty place where Stonewall’s statue by Moses Ezekiel’s statue was placed. And now the Board of Visitor bastards are going to make the honor system easier for Black cadets. It is finished.

  26. Deap says:

    Czech Republic immediately broke away from its former mismatched partner Slovakia as soon as the Soviet Union was no more; creating two independent countries when there was one. How quickly did we recognize their newly autonomous statehoods?

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