ANDREI RAEVSKY—Putin is both very predictable and, at the same time, very unpredictable. The predictable thing about Putin is that he only uses force when there is no other option left. The very unpredictable thing about Putin is how and where he is willing to use force. He did not intervene in the Donbass, which everybody expected, and he did not allow the LDNR to take even just Mariupol, never mind the rest of the Ukraine. But when he moved a special task force into Syria, nobody saw it coming. Ditto for the move to protect Crimea from a Ukrainian invasion. When assessing Putin’s possible next steps, we need to keep in mind this paradox about him being both predictable and unpredictable. So moving nukes to Kaliningrad and/or Belarus is not the only option for Russia.
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Free Assange! Marianne Williamson, Krystal Ball, Katie Halper, Kyle Kulinski, Glenn Greenwald + More
Katie Halper organizes a livestream to free Julian Assange, and we’re grateful for her effort, even if the roster encompasses many establishmentarians and dubious leftists who have remained silent or played duplicitous roles in the Assange saga. Still, the more voices that join the choir on behalf of Julian Assange, especially (I hope) enlightened establishmentarians, the better.
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THE SAKER—Sadly, I don’t see the Biden White House capable of riding out the hysterics of the War Party, if only because the War Party fully compensates what it lacks in common sense with a maniacal determination to prevail, if only because should “peace break out” they would lose their incomes. I sure hope that I am wrong here, but it would take a quite charismatic leader to dare to openly take on the War Party (we all remember how the swamp quickly drained Trump rather than the other way around).
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Any discussion of the ABM treaty is likely to remain obtuse and confusing unless its strategic/historical context is explained. Such contextual analysis is indeed attached to the Martyanov article, and you can read it in the Appendix. The gist of the analysis is that the US, by finally disavowing the ABM Treaty, and continuing its longstanding push to perfect its anti-missile defences, is looking for ways to free its hands to obtain, once again, a survivable first-strike nuclear capability. The US is the only major nuclear power that has never renounced this criminal posture, and, of course, the only nation in history to have used atomic weapons against a civilian population.
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CAITLIN JOHNSTONE—Besides a brief window after 9/11 the US has never really been able to sell the narrative that governments it wants to ramp up aggression against are about to attack its easily-defended shores. So instead it does ridiculous things like claiming those governments are about to invade Ukraine and Taiwan.
The US empire never attacks, it only “defends”. All its aggressions are always about “defending” freedom and democracy, “defending” human rights, “defending” nations that can’t defend themselves, etc. Often it even “defends” preemptively, before the attacker has done anything. Sometimes the attacker is the last to find out that they were planning an attack.