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Dmitri Shostakovich – “Leningradskaia”: The End of the Siege and the Triumph of the Spirit

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DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms

by Nora Hoppe for the Saker blog


ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
Nora HOPPE (1954, New York) has lived and worked in several European cities, including Rotterdam and Berlin. She has worked in film production and film sales and was assistant director to Lina Wertmüller. She has written several screenplays and has worked for several festivals as programme advisor. La fine del mare is her second feature.


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NOTE: ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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Russia’s Way of War Baffles the West

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JUST SAYING
 
THOUGHTS, INFO, AND COMMENTARY OVERHEARD ON THE NET
(AND WORTHY OF A BIGGER AUDIENCE).


RE: Ukraine War outcomes, and crossing "red lines"
(The comments below are part of a long thread on Moon of Alabama, a leading anti-imperialist geopolitical analysis site. Please visit this site to get the full flavor and benefit from these materials).

@Bernd 2

There is a term for people who project their naïve notions of "red lines' onto Russia, and are then astonished when Russia is not distracted when these imaginary concepts are violated. I'm sure you can figure out what that term might be. When Russia's actual red lines have been violated, a price will be paid. That price may be military, social, economic, or geostrategic, and will occur at a time of Russia's choosing. For somebody, not a member of Russia's security and military councils to speculate on the how, when, where and who of the Russian response would be entirely a waste of effort.

It is not Russia that is "wasting men and equipment", it is the Ukraine, because no matter what the Ukraine does, it is unable to change the outcome of the current conflict. At this point it will surrender unconditionally or be utterly defeated. Adding weapons to the mix will simply cause more Ukrainian deaths and destruction, and a greater financial burden on those counties provisioning them. The US has expensive but vulnerable bases and interests all around the world. The cost of defending all of them from any possible attack is astronomical, while an attacker need to find only one weakness at one point at one time to inflict a major defeat on the USA.  And given that the USA has spent its entire existence making enemies, Russia has access to a huge number of resources that would love to hurt the US which is already in a state of near economic, social and infrastructural collapse, making the risk to the US asymmetric and existential. Do you really imagine that the USA is sufficiently delusional to expose the contents of their Pandoran container of helminths in which they have invested so much to inspection and possible eradication?

Rand Corp, the US War College, College of Naval Warfare, and many US think tanks have determined that NATO, which can draw on trained reserves of around 3.5 million could not prevent a determined Russian incursion (and Russia has trained reserves of around 24 million) into Western Europe except through the use of nuclear weapons.

How do you imagine that the Ukraine, which may once have had reserves of 1.5 million, but has since lost every intelligent military age draftee and probably over 400,000 troops, is going to prevent Russia from doing whatever it wants, particularly as the Ukrainians no longer have a logistical system, vehicles or fuel capacity capable of supplying and supporting it's existing troops and weapon systems, especially given that NATO weapons tend to be complicated, with high training and maintenance requirements, that the Ukraine has no way of acquiring in a realistic rime-frame.

The idea that "Foggy Bottom" is capable of any kind of thought is entirely unsupported by evidence.

Posted by: Hermit | Jan 2 2023 17:57 utc | 21

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

@ b.

Keenly analyzed and well-stated demolition project on the protestations of the retired British "diplomat". It appears to me that he is whistling in the dark. In the first instance, as you clearly point out, Russia has time and again declared that they would not be the first to resort to nuclear weaponry. Very wise of them, as their red lines do not depend on them.

Why does Russia not need to employ a nuclear first strike? Quite simple, really. In addition to and capitalizing on their overall weapons superiority, the RF possesses two discrete grades of hypersonic missilry. The most sapient course, I have long argued would be for a strictly kinetic (no nukes) strike upon the Eye of the Octopus, the center of international banking, insurance, metals markets, shipping and, of course, mass media...the City of London. The shots are being called from the vaulting ambitions concentrated in the Rottenchild Bank and in its subsidiaries, the Bank of England and in Basle, Switzerland, the International Bank of Settlements. City of London, NOT the Di$trict of Corruption or Wall $treet, happens to be the heart of the Beast...to use another metaphor.

Needless to say, we need to consider possible consequences. It would be a given, that simultaneous with the strike on the Bank$ter imperium, Russian strategic forces would go on full alert, with strategic bombers on a 24/7 aerial presence, done in shifts. This pre-prep would be fully visible to U$$A satellites. Pentagon analysts would promptly realize that a nuclear response would be utterly consequential. There would be panic and confusion in a number of quarters. Here is where American military leadership (at least the cooler heads amongst them) would need to draw their OWN red line, such as "Houston, we have a problem". It would be a no-go if those cooler heads (mindful of their own ongoing existence in this dimension and of those of family and all) would realize that the game is up and that an entirely new international architecture of diplomacy would be essential.

Point is that Russia's Red Line would be an obvious response to an extreme provocation and one that forms a crescendo from previous ones, adding up to a highly evident existential threat. To all discerning minds, the demonstration would be perfectly clear...that there is a new Big Dog and "why should we not immediately become "agreement capable".

Posted by: aristodemos | Jan 2 2023 18:02 utc | 24

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

There is certainly a case to be made for the lack of fear that NATO has so far shown in escalating the war and the mild (if any) responses Russia has resorted to, and of all the various acts: the sinking of the Moskva, murder of Dugina, the bombing of the Crimean bridge, attacks on Russian villages and cities near the border, weapons supplies, sanctions, confiscation of reserves, the campaign of russophobia - but none were as obvious an act of external aggression as the destruction of the NS pipeline. Also, none had as obvious a retaliatory move - any number of UK, Scandinavian or other major infrastructural western assets out at sea could have gone up in smoke. Yet Russia did nothing. This leads to an open invitation to continue, so continue they will.

Posted by: Boo | Jan 2 2023 18:04 utc | 26

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

@Bernd you need to get off your high horse man ! Ukronazies killed 100+ ruskies on Jan 1st but Russia kills more than 5 times that every single day. Ukraine has lost most of its first army and it's NATO mercs that are left fighting in the meat grinder in Bakmut. Even the US has acknowledged that they don't have enough weapons to keep up the fight when at the same time Russia is just scratching the surface of 1990s stockpiles of 155 mm artillery shells that the west doesn't have anymore... Now the real question is how long the US can keep themselves engaged without using the tactical nukes my guess is 3 to 6 months after that if they resort to nukes then there will be no more foggy bottom.

Posted by: Laphomic | Jan 2 2023 18:09 utc | 27

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

In the US what we've done is combine an arrogant, bankrupt govt. with an ignorant, bankrupt population. On one hand, people will say all news is "fake" yet on the other they refuse to believe anything else. We are the "good guys" and that's final.

This symbiotic relationship has metastasised into a malignant tumor on the world that must be amputated before it's too late.

From Putin's words, one can conclude he understands this and drew his line when he had his military launch an attack on US led NATO and the former state of Ukraine.

Posted by: chunga | Jan 2 2023 18:11 utc | 28

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

In a sense, Russia no longer has red lines re "Ukraine." As the conflict has continued, Russia's de facto positions have changed: Russian position now, stated multiple times in public communications, I think, is really expulsion of Poland, Romania, and the Baltic States, at minimum, from NATO, as well as whatever Moscow has in mind for Ukraine. "Winning" (just) in Ukraine is (sort of) meaningless to Moscow now, beyond bleeding the West dry so to speak. By committing itself more and more, materially and psychologically to Ukraine, the West is trapping itself further. Looking forward, it is much more advantageous for Russians to smash the Polish and Romanian armies, plus whatever expeditionary force US and other NATO states might put together, if the war continues after Ukraine runs out of warfighting capability, near Kiev, or, symbolically, near Poltava, even, than at Warsaw or the Fulda Gap--assuming, that is, if NATO still has the ability to pull that off when it comes to that.

Posted by: hk | Jan 2 2023 18:18 utc | 31

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

@ Hermit 21

(and Russia has trained reserves of around 24 million)

Please provide your source, because this sounds ridiculous. The total male population (all ages) in Russia is less than 68 million. You are suggesting that over a third of all males in Russia are trained reserves?

Posted by: ROCK | Jan 2 2023 18:16 utc | 30

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

@ROCK 30

While the exact numbers are classified, from 1967 when service terms were reduced, till the Soviet Union was disestablished, every citizen of the USSR had two years of service and up to 2 refresher camps per year. This continued in Russia until 2007, 2008 when the primary term was reduced to 1 year and camps were limited. Trained graduates and volunteers, male and female, also enter the reserves (мобилизационный людской ресурс). So most men and a fair number of women living in Russia form the Russian reserves. Chuprin, Konstantin (2009). Taras, Anatoliy (ed.). Вооружённые силы стран СНГ и Балтии. Справочник [Armed forces of CIS countries and Baltic states. Handbook]. Moscow: Современная школа. ISBN 978-985-513-617-1. contains the estimate that a wartime mobilization would raise armies totalling 31 million trained personnel.

Posted by: Hermit | Jan 2 2023 19:48 utc | 67

Are There Any U.S. Red Lines? MoA 2 Jan 2023

 



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^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


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NOTE: ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

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NOT TO BE MISSED: Super Yearend Roundtable on Ukraine and World Events

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DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms

Super Yearend Roundtable on Ukraine and World Events

With Gonzalo Lira, Garland Nixon, Brian Berletic, Alex Christoforou, Ian Miles Cheong—and others of equal merit.


AMONG THE TOPICS DISCUSSED:
• The West's elites complete disconnection from reality and criminal indifference to the lot of ordinary people
• The effects of having the West/US controlled by a corrupt "Bubble" of self-perpetuating privileged and ultra-wealthy insiders.
• How rotten leadership is inevitable under an advanced capitalist regime (imperialism)
• Realities of the Ukraine war, the Russian options
• Growth of the censorship regime on social media and changes in Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.


Dateline: Dec 30, 2022


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^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


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IS WESTERN PROPAGANDA FAILING?

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DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms

by  
A SON OF THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Vladimir Putin has cancelled his state-of-the-nation address

A

s someone who played a minuscule role in a CIA information operation that targeted Soviet military operations in Afghanistan in November 1985, I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the mammoth propaganda campaign the United States and Europe have unleashed on Russia. I have never seen anything so perverse and so dishonest.

Let me give you a recent example. Remember this recent “news” headline? “

DUCKING FOR COVER
‘SICKLY’ PUTIN CANCELS BIGGEST SPEECH OF HIS LIFE AS FIRST RUSSIAN STATE OF NATION SINCE INVASION IS MYSTERIOUSLY AXED
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/20827701/putin-sick-russian-speech-ukraine-invasion/

This was courtesy of the UK’s SUN. Lacking any reliable source, The SUN opted for speculation:


VLADIMIR Putin has canceled his state of the nation address fuelling rumours he is in hiding from the Russian people and could be in failing health.

Putin’s spokesman finally confirmed the speech – which would be one of biggest in Vlad’s life – will not go ahead before the New Year. . . .

It comes after the mad tyrant also cancelled his end of year press conference and his annual hockey game.


Got it? Putin is either deathly ill — suffering from Parkinsons, cancer, Irritable Bowel, etc. — or deathly afraid of having to explain the ass whooping that Ukraine is delivering to Russia. You see, Putin can’t handle tough questions. Oops!! Wait a minute. We have breaking news. Turns out that Putin held a 48 minute press conference three days before Western Christmas (does this count as “end of the year”?):



It would appear that Putin delights in trolling the Western pundits and media. Does Putin look like a man suffering from some devastating illness? Does he give off the vibe of a guy who cannot control his bowels and is called Mr. Poopy Pants behind his back? Joe Biden could not pull this off even if he consumed Zelensky’s weekly dose of cocaine. Putin is coherent and in command of facts.

It would be one thing if the Western propaganda effort was focused solely on ridiculing and trying to foment opposition inside Russia to Vladimir Putin. But it is not. Western propaganda is demonizing all things Russian — e.g., literature, art, chess, sports figures, and actors and actresses. This approach is not creating a reservoir of good will towards the West. Just the opposite. It is fortifying Russian nationalism and solidifying support for Putin.

This is just one more piece of evidence that Western intelligence agencies have become a toxic, venal clown show. A professional, competent intelligence agency would use propaganda to support a broader strategic goal. So what is the “strategic goal” in attacking all things Russian? Pissing off the Russian people does not strike me as a recipe for bringing Russia under the control of the West. It also fails to provide the answer to the question, “Who replaces Putin?”

I do not even see a Russian version of the impotent Venezuelan pawn, Juan Gauido, who was tossed into the trash bin of history today by his previous backers:


on Friday, dozens of politicians who once backed Guaidó voted in favor of removing the 39-year-old engineer and replacing his U.S.-supported “interim government” with a committee to oversee presidential primaries next year and protect the nation’s assets abroad.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/venezuelan-opposition-strips-juan-guaido-of-presidential-role


The U.S. mojo for overthrowing foreign governments has fallen on hard times. The last successful Western engineered coup was in Ukraine in February 2014. Since then the U.S. efforts to put their own boy in charge of a foreign government have faltered badly. Not just in Venezuela. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, working with the Brits and Turkey and some Gulf States, tried to get rid of Syria’s Bashir Assad and funded a civil war. The attempted coup in Khazakstan in January 2022 was a bust. Syria and Khazakstan shared one thing in common — Russia was their friend and Russia intervened to shore up those governments.

I wonder what the Russia phrase for Mighty Mouse is?


Is Russia the new Mighty Mouse? An interesting question to contemplate on the eve of entering 2023.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
A former member of the US military and CIA officer, Larry Johnson now comments on geopolitical affairs on his blog A Son of the New American Revolution.


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^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


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A POX ON PAX AMERICANA

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DEFEAT CAPITALISM AND ITS DEADLY SPAWN, IMPERIALISM
ecological murder • endless wars • ingrained racism & social injustice • worker exploitation • incurable via reforms

Larry C. Johnson
A SON OF THE NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION BLOG



If

you ever wondered what it was like to live in the historic time in the aftermath of World War II, when the Cold War started and the United States emerged as the dominant power in the world, wonder no more. You are living in an epochal moment in history. It is fraught with danger, peril and a fundamental realignment of the international order. Gone are the days when the United States could order countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to do their bidding like an old Uncle Ben on a Southern plantation.

The United States is on the verge of becoming the Hitler portrayed in the movie, Downfall — issuing orders to imaginary armies no longer capable of carrying out those orders.



I am not suggesting that the United States is on the verge of a collapse akin to what happened to the Third Reich in May 1945, but I do believe that the era of the United States invading other countries at will and overthrowing governments not willing to genuflect at the altar of U.S. power is over. The war in Ukraine has laid bare the weakness of the United States to control the international arena.

The year 2022 will be recorded by future historians as the watershed moment when Russia took the red pill and awoke from its delusion that its could be a partner with the West. Since the break up of the former Soviet Union, Russian leaders — not just Putin — naively believed that they could be accepted as a partner in the World order controlled by the United States. Vladimir Putin, in his speech on December 21, 2022 to the collegium of the Ministry of Defense, blamed himself for believing Western promises and announced that Russia would now rely on itself and deal with the West as a hostile threat. I encourage you to watch the video. While the West tries desperately to portray Putin as a madman, the man speaking is calm, intelligent and coherent. What a contrast with the political dwarfs that populate the United States and Europe.



The covert actions of the United States and Europe to try to destabilize Russia have failed. The coming year, 2023, will witness the end of the unipolar world dominated by the U.S. petrodollar and U.S. military intervention. I am frequently attacked as a Putin sycophant. That is a pernicious lie. I simply believe that Russia is not bluffing and recognize that Russia is one of the few countries in the world that can grow and prosper without whoring itself to the West.

The United States has experienced one existential threat in its history — the Civil War in the 1860s. Ironically, Russia played an important role in preventing the British from intervening in that war to aid the South. Russia, by contrast, has faced centuries of existential threats and always has found a way to meet and defeat those threats, such as Napoleon’s invasion in the 1800s and the Nazi invasion in 1941. Short of nuclear war, there is nothing the United States can do to stop Russia from securing its borders. The United States will discover in 2023 that its multi-billion dollar military is impotent when it comes to projecting power in Russia.

Putin and his government understand that the current war with the West is not just going to be fought in the fields of Ukraine. It also is a political and economic battle. To this end Russia is forging important relationships with China, India and the former imperial colonies of Europe and the United States. There is no such understanding among the political leaders in Washington. They still labor under the illusion that they can bully and threaten weaker countries to do their bidding. Joe Biden tried that gambit with Saudi Arabia and those oil rich sheiks told him, in effect, to go pound sand.

While I wish for everyone reading this a Happy and Prosperous New Year, I fear that 2023 will be a period of darkness and suffering for the West. Europe already is being ravaged by inflation and contracting economies. If the dual whammy of inflation and economic deflation hit America, the crisis will be exponentially worse than the 2008 debacle. The apocryphal Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times,” confronts us. I pray we survive.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
A former member of the US military and CIA officer, Larry Johnson now comments on geopolitical affairs on his blog A Son of the New American Revolution.


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^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.


Creative Commons License
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NOTE: ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL QUOTES BY THE EDITORS NOT THE AUTHORS

Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in Deiner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读