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Awaiting Liberation: A Report from the Front and a Warning

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By Batiushka
Crossposted with the Saker blog


"A capital draped in darkness" was the caption used by the NYTimes for this image of Kiev finally suffering some of the pain it has inflicted for almost a decade and so liberally on Ukrainians who disagreed with the government's fascist policies, and those it dragged to war as a result of its appalling corruption. Add to that  living in a freezing city  in which normal tasks like cooking or going to the bathroom will become impossible. Not to mention that hundreds of thousands live in hi-rise buildings, where the elevators no longer work.

 

If you are expecting dramatic news and pictures from the Donbas, where Allied troops are slowly but inexorably advancing, destroying thousands of Nazis of all Western nationalities and dozens of their military vehicles and piles of their equipment every week, as they liberate towns and villages (all unreported by the Western media), sorry. This is a story from the home front. It is a human story. I hope it brings it all home to you.

It is about a small town south of Kiev. Two years ago, Ukrainian (though they are Russians, as far as they are concerned) members of my family, a couple with two grown-up children, bought a brand-new house there. I have been there and stayed there. Last year. I know it well and the road from there to central Kiev. I could take you there now.

First of all, it is snowing. Photos sent to me show it. The long Indian summer is well and truly over. And the Russians have decided to use the same tactics as the Americans used in Serbia: launch missiles at the energy infrastructure. Thank you, USA, for your example of how to wage war.

The Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, has dropped by 30% against the dollar, pound and euro. Everything that is imported has increased in price by at least that much. Many things by 100%. Though that is similar to the situation in Western Europe, where I now live. On top of that what you used to get from Russia is now unobtainable because of ‘sanctions’.

Only, in the Ukraine, this is against the background of the bankrupt economy being propped up by the US/UK/EU to the tune of billions of dollars per month. How do you fancy living in a country with a drop in GDP of 40% this year? And there is no sign of any change in the future, at least not until the Kiev regime collapses, Zelensky leaves for Miami from the roof of the US embassy via helicopter (remember Saigon?), Nazis cling to the outside of US aircraft taking off from Borispol Airport (remember Kabul?), other fanatical nationalists leave for Poland (some already have), and Russia liberates the whole country, as now seems necessary and inevitable.

Property prices in central Kiev have fallen. Many are trying to move out, as there are mainly flats and also the explosions are mainly in Kiev. Of course, if you are in a high-rise block, you will never sell unless you are on a low floor. Nobody wants to get stuck in a lift or, almost as bad, if you have to take your groceries up to the fifteenth floor by the stairs every day.

You have to do everything yourself. There are few workmen left because they have been abducted, screaming and kicking, into the armed forces. If they are lucky, they will be able to surrender to their Russian brothers before they get turned into body dust or shot in the back by the hated Ukrainian secret police. The workmen who are left charge astronomical rates. My relatives are very glad that they finally completed everything just a few weeks before it all began in February.

Kiev must prepare for a winter without heat, water or electricity, warns the mayor. (Actually it is the power outages that are causing all the misery in all its variegated forms.)

Last Thursday X saw a bad accident on the road nearby: the traffic lights were not working because of a power cut. That is happening all over. The streets are in darkness, no lights.

Many work from home, or used to. That is difficult now, because at best you only have three to four hours of electricity before it goes off for at least the same amount of time. There is no light. And then even the best batteries in a computer mean that you lose power after an hour or two – that is, if you have the internet, which is not all the time.

And remember to charge up your phone as soon as the power comes back on. The power will not last and may go off all day. You have no way of knowing. And when the power goes off, the boiler also goes off. No heating, no hot water. The windows are taped across in Xs against possible missile blasts, which would cause the glass to shatter. My relatives saw a missile going over last May. It landed in Kiev.

And sometimes the washing machine will stop half-way through the cycle. Power-cut. That is inconvenient. And always remember to carry a flashlight in your pocket or handbag and have at least one other one in the house. Many are using Swedish-made primus stoves to cook – if you can get one and the refills. Some Swedes are doing well out of this.

As for shopping, well, the opening hours change with the power cuts, though corner shops remain open, if dark. And of course, Kiev has gone back to a cash economy. The card machines will not work – no electricity. Hopefully, the bank cash dispensers will get restocked often enough. That is, if you have money in your account.

My relatives do not have a car. Many of the Ukrainians who are wealthy enough to have cars drove to the West last March/April/May with their recruitment age sons (bribes of up to $5,000 a time to the border guards, who left last), and now live in cramped quarters in the houses of Western people naïve enough and once prosperous enough to take them.

Central Kiev in the dark, according to the UK's Guardian. The Brits have been and continue to be in the lead of the disinformation effort on Ukraine. How do they explain this situation now, if the Ukrainian forces were winning the war?

My relatives are very lucky because they can get on minibuses to take them to their house in the country. Just a wooden affair, but there are vegetables there, especially potatoes, and lots of firewood. They had a busy summer in the large vegetable garden. They prepared for the winter, picking, bottling and pickling. The only way of heating there is putting wood in the stove. No gas, but then you do not need any. And you can even live without electricity, as there is a stock of candles. The only thing – it gets really cold there in the winter, -20 or -30 outside, -10 inside, unless you heat constantly. So you stay inside as much as possible and prepare lots of dry firewood for years before.

All of this is a warning to Western Europe. I know you are being distracted by the World Cup soccer circus. Do not be. You too voted for US puppet-leaders like Zelensky? You too wanted to be Ukrainianised by the US? Then this is your future too. You have been warned. I have friends in Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova. They are already living like this. This is a virus that is creeping westwards towards you.

You are seeing your future – unless you can get rid of your pro-Nazi puppet-governments in time. Elect Russia-friendly governments. Make friends with your neighbours next door, in the east of Europe. (Never heard of ‘love your neighbour’?). Moscow is 1,600 kilometres from Berlin, around 2,500 kilometres from Rome, Paris and London. You know it makes sense. You could be nice and warm soon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
Batiushka is a patriotic Russian observer of current events in Europe.


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Ukraine’s Military Death Throes

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WW I Casualties


L

et me state up front that there are many brave, courageous Ukrainian soldiers fighting for their nation. Unfortunately, many of these soldiers are irredeemable bigots. It is indisputable that many in the ranks of the Azov battalion celebrate Nazi “theology” and embrace Adolf Hitler. No amount of rewriting history can erase the bloody legacy Hitler carved into the land and peoples of Europe during the Second World War.

So what are we to make of Justin Banse? You will meet him in the following video. He does not strike me as a racist or an anti-semite. He seems like a fairly normal 22 year old who is not a deep thinker and not well educated. Maybe that explains how he could have joined forces with some modern day Nazis.

If you take the time to watch the video — warning, it is more than 3 hours long — you will understand my confusion. It is a shame that the guy conducting the interview is so clueless. He should have pressed Justin to explain how he could excuse the Nazi beliefs and then fight along side the Azov guys. But he did not.

In a way, Justin is a victim of his prior military service with the United States. What he experienced as combat against the Taliban (I’m assuming that he did), was not real war. His testimony in this video perfectly illustrates a point that Andrei Martyanov makes repeatedly — i.e., the United States has not experienced a peer to peer war since Korea. Justin’s account also confirms a point I have made in previous posts about the lack of artillery and air support for attacking Ukrainian units. They are relying solely on ground forces and vehicles and those are no match for heavy artillery, rockets, missiles and aerial strafing.

Justin does inadvertently reveal the problems facing the Ukrainian soldiers. For example, he states that the 200 man company he was assigned to was ordered to Mariupol. He was left behind and the company was wiped out. None returned, according to Justin.

I feel sorry for the kid. His very soul was scarred by this experience and it will haunt him for the rest of his life. He has discovered the sickening reality of war that combat veterans of World War I and World War II experienced, regardless of the army they fought for.


'I Lost Everyone' - Azov Regiment Ukrainian Soldier, TELL ALL Exclusive Interview | Savagery of War


Justin Banse

Justin’s account of the casualties inflicted on his unit corroborates the daily briefings by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Some Western analysts have insisted that the Russians are lying or exaggerating. Based on Justin’s emotional recounting of his experience, it would appear the Russian MOD is understating the casualties inflicted on Ukrainian units.

I think the war in Ukraine is entering a new phase. Russia has reinforced troops on the front and supplied them with additional fire power. At some point before the end of the year I anticipate that Russia will launch a massive counter offensive. No matter how tenaciously and bravely the Ukrainian troops fight, they are at a disadvantage. They have limited supplies of artillery shells, reduced armor and no air support. While not impossible, it is unlikely that they will be able to stop a full blown Russian attack across a broad front.

Compounding the dilemma of the Ukrainian troops is the growing difficulty to resupply their front line fighters with ammunition, weapons, food and vehicles. Russia’s strategy of crippling the electrical power grid of Ukraine is working and this, in turn, is making it more difficult to keep open the lines of communication.

I hope you take the time to watch this video. While it is the story of just one soldier caught in hell, I believe it is representative of what Ukrainian soldiers are experiencing in their battles with Russia.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
Larry C. Johnson is a military expert and former CIA analyst. He blogs at A Son of the New American Revoltion


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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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The OUN-Russia war (no longer an SMO): What do the parties want and what does the future hold?

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By Eric Arthur Blair
CROSSPOSTED WITH THE SAKER BLOG



The fabled M777 Howitzers have failed to turn the tide of war in Ukraine.


During this current relative reduction of hostilities in Ukraine, the calm before the storm so to speak, it may be useful to reflect upon the goals of the various geopolitical players, whether stated overtly or intended covertly. This may enable us to make educated guesses as to how events may ultimately unfold.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA WANT?

The party whose openly stated goals appear to align most closely with their defacto goals seems to be Russia, who at the start of the special military operation stated that they wanted the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine, the cessation of hostilities against and the autonomy of Donbass (respecting the rights of Russian speakers) and the long term neutrality of Ukraine with no possibility of it being part of NATO, whether defacto (as it currently is) or dejure. Implicit in the latter is the indivisibility of security, the guarantee that US/NATO intermediate range missiles or so-called anti-ballistic missiles (which in reality can be fitted with nuclear warheads and function as INF) will never be stationed in Ukrainian territory. The Russian status of Crimea was never negotiable.

Current situation: having attempted peace negotiations many times but being repeatedly rebuffed by the Oligarchic States of America / Ukraine / NATO (henceforth termed OUN) regarding all the concerns above, and facing ongoing genocidal aggression by the OUN against Donbass, Russia was forced to occupy and denazify much of Eastern/Southeastern Ukraine to protect Russian speaking civilians and Russia’s own security, discovering along the way more than 30 bio-pathogen labs near the border of Russia which had been funded by the USA (as admitted by droolin’ Nuland herself):

https://russiaun.ru/en/news/271022_nb

https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/china-rising-radio/wests-wmd-bioweapon-war-2-fXVCI5yUn/

Subsequent referenda conducted in the the four liberated oblasts (Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson) all overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Hence ensuring the security of these territories in perpetuity is now a priority. It seems likely that the majority population in Russia will also demand the liberation of Odessa (which has a huge number of Russian speakers, constantly under violent threat by the UkroNazis. Please recall that 48 Russian speakers were killed by the firebombing of the trade union building in Odessa in 2014 by Ukronazis). Odessa was historically a Russian city. The return of Odessa to Russia will shrink the remaining territory of Ukraine to an impoverished land-bound “rump” state, if it continues to exist at all.

There was a time Ukraine had one of the greatest prospects of any European state, with large, fertile steppes producing massive quantities of grain for export, with the lucrative status as an energy hub to distribute Russian gas to Western Europe and a base for heavy industry in Donbass. All of this is now lost (as will likely be Ukraine’s remaining access to the Black Sea) because of a violent corrupt fascist puppet regime that was installed by the USA. The former bread basket of Europe is now the basket case of Europe.


 The British media lead the world in vile, reckless warmongering. The Americans are just one notch behind. 

Like the rest of their Ukraine "reporting", this was a case of fake news. The Brits lie at the top of their lungs.

The Anglo media default position has been Russian demonisation for generations.


Presently Russia is hammering the crap out of Ukraine, lobbing 3 times more missiles into Ukraine daily than Ukraine can muster (20,000 vs 7,000 according to Colonel Doug MacGregor). “Most missiles launched by Ukraine are ground to air anti-missile missiles” (many are outdated S-300s, one which supposedly went “astray” into Poland, killing two civilians). The OUN also continue to shell the Russian occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, even while insisting that the Russians are shelling themselves.

As far as the previous Russian “retreats” from Kharkov and Kherson were concerned, please see my footnote, to place these events in proper historical perspective.

Where to from here? The Russians only began to seriously target Ukrainian infrastructure (electricity, water etc) eight months into the SMO, after the OUN terrorist attacks against the Nordstream pipelines and Kerch bridge. When the OUN sent drones through the maritime corridor previously designated for peaceful grain export, in order to attack the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, the Russians then proceeded to demolish even more Ukrainian infrastructure. The big question is this: why has Russia not yet destroyed 100% of Ukrainian infrastructure, which it could easily have done months ago? To US analysts, this was a puzzle, because standard practice of the USA has always been to completely destroy vital civilian infrastructure from day one, as in the case of Yugoslavia or Iraq or Libya. Possible explanations for Russian reticence are:

  • Russia has far greater concern and respect for civilian lives than the USA has ever had, certainly much more so than the terrorist Ukronazis – who were deliberately bombing civilian areas in Donbass for the eight years prior.
  • Complete interruption of electrical and water supplies in Ukraine will inevitably lead to the abandonment of all western Ukrainian cities and a massive exodus of at least 8 million Ukrainians to the countries West. This, along with the economic and energy hardships now afflicting Western Europe (as a result of their sanctions against Russia backfiring), will lead to massive social unrest, possibly even the collapse of some Western European countries. This horrific prospect is a massive bargaining chip that Russia holds over the West and is a huge incentive for the OUN to sue for peace now, before the worst effects of Winter set in.
  • As shown above, it will be exceedingly easy for Russia to depopulate all of Ukraine all the way to Lviv, which will achieve the goal of the demilitarisation of Ukraine. This can be achieved right now, even without a single Russian soldier crossing West of the Dnieper river. However it appears that Russia’s preferred option is to achieve demilitarisation of Ukraine without depopulation, so as not to inflict excessive hardship on their cultural kin.

WHAT DO EUROPEANS WANT?

By “Europeans” we must distinguish between the so-called “leaders” of Europe and the ordinary people of Europe. The former are totally corrupt, bought-and-paid-for and in the pockets of the US neocons. The latter are largely clueless and brainwashed by their Mainstream media to adopt mindless anti-Russian hatred and bigotry. As far as can be seen right now, even if the European people could cobble together a vaguely coherent idea of what they may or may not want, their wishes are utterly irrelevant. They have no agency in how events are going to unfold, unless they can overthrow their US controlled puppet governments and install leaders who truly work in their interests. The solutions to the European problems are simple: reverse all sanctions against Russia, request that gas is delivered to them through Nordstream 2B and that the other 3 pipelines are repaired, and agree to total demilitarisation of Ukraine with removal of all Nazis and all NATO “advisers”. These are the best ways to prevent Russia from opening a floodgate of Ukro refugees into the West. Sanity is unlikely to prevail because the Germs in particular seem to be terminally stupid and spineless. So my advice to the Germs is this: get ready for a shitstorm of events: industrial and economic collapse and a massive influx of refugees who you will have to support with your dwindling tax base and rising inflation.

WHAT DO UKRAINIANS WANT?

This is no more relevant than the wishes of flotsam tossed about by a stormy sea .

WHAT DOES THE USA WANT?

There is a huge disconnect between the officially stated goals and covertly pursued goals of the USA, as befits a two faced “non agreement capable” imperialist oligarchy. The official line from the US is that they are engaging in a noble struggle to “free” Europe from being held to ransom by an “unreliable” energy provider, Russia, and that this is a global confrontation between Western “Democratic” and Eastern “Authoritarian” regimes for the future of the world. That is of course total bullshit. In reality, the exact opposites apply. All actions by the US with regard to Russia and Ukraine, dating back not just to 2014 but to 1991, were deceitfully ignoble, the US is utterly focused on the enslavement, not the liberation of Europe (to be permanently kept under the jackboot of US hegemony), Russia has always been a completely reliable provider of cheap energy to Europe and the Oligarchic States of America are completely undemocratic: they neglect the well being of their own citizens while donating hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars to the US MIC. “Authoritarian” Putin has always been careful to address the wishes of the Russian public (via the Duma) and the wishes of the majority populations of Crimea and Donbass (via referenda, which were much better conducted and more legitimate than the recent suspect and dodgy US mid-term elections https://podbay.fm/p/the-duran-podcast/e/1668956802 ).

Some short term goals of the US neocons, as far as sabotaging the sale of Russian energy to Europe and railroading the Europeans into buying very expensive fracked US LNG, seem to have been successful. However this will not work in the medium to long term because expensive fracked LNG can never generate industrial products economically competitive with products manufactured using much cheaper energy eg by China using piped Russian gas. Hence the medium and long term collapse of the German industrial economy is certain (hence they will eventually be unable to buy expensive US LNG) if the Germs continue down this foolish path. I previously devoted an article to the real motivations of the US neocons and oligarchs who have hijacked US policy.

https://thesaker.is/cui-bono-the-big-picture/

The medium term US tactics and goals were these: to confiscate more than $300 billion of Russian foreign reserves and to impose economic sanctions (more than 10 thousand so far) which would turn the “Ruble to rubble” (as stated by sleepy Joe) and trigger Russian economic collapse. This would create public unrest in Russia which would enable a US sponsored colour revolution to depose Putin in favour of a US designated puppet (echoes of “Yats is our guy, fuck the EU” droolin’ Nuland). Astroturf revolutions are an old tactic taken directly from the CIA playbook, dating back to the antics of Kermit Roosevelt in Tehran. Embroiling Russia in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Ukraine, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies, was designed to weaken Russia as Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin so transparently admitted. Stinkin’ Blinken also admitted the Ukraine situation was a US/NATO proxy war with Russia, just as he had crowed about how the bombing of Nordstream represented a “tremendous opportunity” for the US to sell LNG to Europe.

The US long term goal would eventually be to fragment Russia into smaller states (just as the USSR had previously been broken up, following its embroilment in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Afghanistan, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies). Those smaller post Russian banana republics would each have puppet leaders appointed by the USA, who would then foil the “belt and road” initiative of China, the next target of the US neocons. All of this devious skulduggery has been outlined in many a Beltway think-tank document, especially that from the Rand corporation.

Not only have every single one of those US goals failed, they have backfired spectacularly. Especially laughable is smellin’ Yellin’s “oil price cap” policy, which is being ignored by everybody. The only sane strategy is to negotiate peace with Russia. Nevertheless the position of the US at present remains unchanged: any peaceful economic links between Germany and Russia must be sabotaged at all costs, because it would create an economic-industrial behemoth that, along with China, would sideline the USA into irrelevance on the world stage. The only excuse Germany has for “sanctioning” Russian gas today is the so-called “aggression” of Russia in Ukraine. If a peaceful outcome in Ukraine is achieved, there will no longer be any excuse for Germany to deny itself Russian gas. Hence, from the POV of the USA, peace in Ukraine must be avoided at all costs. The consequence of refusing to achieve a peaceful settlement, of obstinately continuing to lob missiles against the Russians, will be this: the complete and utter destruction of Ukraine by Russia, with massive out-flux of refugees into Western Europe. Does the US care if there are economic and humanitarian catastrophes in the making (and of their making) in Western Europe? Absolutely not. Not only is the USA happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, the USA is happy to fight Russia to the last European.

THE SPECIAL CASE OF TURKEY:

Turkey has been a long standing NATO member. Readers will remember from history that the stationing of US nuclear capable missiles in Turkey was the catalyst for the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Today, Turkey and the OUN are best described as “frenemies”, now leaning towards being enemies. The USA sees Turkey as an unreliable ally and was particularly miffed by the Turkish insistence on buying Russian energy in Rubles, of continuing to honour Mir transactions and its intention to become a Russian natural gas hub, supplying south eastern Europe via the Turkstream pipeline. Erdogan firmly believes that the attempted coup against him in 2016 was perpetrated by Gulenists sponsored by the USA. The recent terrorist bombing in Istanbul which killed 6 and injured 81 was traced to an individual that the Turks claimed was a Kurd from northern Syria who was a proxy of the AngloZionists. We do not know if this is true, but what matters is that the Turks believe this to be true and it is certainly consistent with the history of the US using terrorist proxies. Accordingly, when the US ambassador to Turkey offered his condolences for the bombing, the Turkish interior minister flatly rejected it, saying that Turkey knew who did it, expressing disgust for such US hypocrisy. All US interactions with Turkey in recent years have counter productively served to push it closer towards Russia and the BRICS+ countries.

CONCLUSION:
The USA is the worst terrorist state in the world, they represent the greatest threat of global nuclear war to every one of us (USAnians included) – which could cause human extinction. Being an enemy of the USA is dangerous, but being an ally (especially if you are a Germ or a Ukie) is fatal. The Turks are discovering this to their chagrin and are wising up.

Footnote: The AngloEuroZionist mainstream media and their stooge pundits always crow loudly over every transient Pyrrhic victory “won” by the Ukie proxies, while demonstrating a profound ignorance of history and strategy and reality. General Surovikin is nothing if not rational. Given a choice between precariously holding on to Kherson city located on the “wrong” side of the river (which can and will later be recaptured) and preserving the lives of Russian soldiers, he chose his soldiers. All civilians who appreciated the protection of Russia were evacuated. Die hard Ukie ideologues who prefer to freeze and starve this winter in an eviscerated city were allowed to stay.

This echoes the much higher stakes situation of 1812 when General Kutuzov had to choose between Moscow and his army and he chose his army. He allowed Napoleon to march into Moscow which had been stripped of any and all resources that could support the French, who eventually had to withdraw, enabling Russian forces to recapture Moscow. The Russians slaughtered the French as they withdrew. Today’s Ukie/NATO forces are tactically and strategically far more stupid than Napoleon.

Remember the “massive victory” of Ukies advancing into Kharkov oblast empty cow paddocks not long ago? The Russians had staged a tactical withdrawal* and suffered almost no casualties, but enticed the Ukies into open territory where the Ukies were sitting ducks to Russian artillery and rockets. The Ukies lost around 8000 dead. With such a great “success”, it is just a matter of time before the Ukies suicide their way to moribund victory.

(*this was a classic Mongol tactical “withdrawal” which the Kievan Rus had learned from history to their great cost, and now inflicted upon the stupid Ukies to their great cost.)

BTW, Kiev was founded by the primordial Rus, it was the first capital city of the Russian people who were then known as the Kievan Rus. That is historical fact.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
EAB is not Russian, knows no Russians and has never been to Russia. Inspired by Tolstoy, he is learning more about Russian history day by day.


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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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The Middle East and US global power: Fossil Fuel- Lifeblood of the American Empire

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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 Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the Wasp-class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) sail alongside, as the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSGARG) conduct joint operations, in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in the Arabian Sea, May 17, 2019.


Summary

Among all of the events shaping post-civil war US economic development, one of the most prominent was the establishment of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in 1870. Working with other US industrialists, along with domestic and international financial and banking interests, including the Rothschild’s London banking cartel, Standard oil decedents have dominated the fossil fuel industry and shaped US economic and social development and foreign policy to the present day.

Introduction

The current world security architecture arose following WWII, which established the US as the dominant global power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency [1]. There has been much current discussion about promoting ‘green’ policies, including sustainable development and increasing the use of renewable energy sources, clearly articulated during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’; ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992) [2], and Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN on Sept 23, 2019 [3], where she accused world leaders of failing younger generations by not taking more aggressive actions to stop climate change. Despite this push for Green policies, fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are still the dominant source of energy, currently supply over 80% of the world’s energy [4]. In addition, the dollar (aka ‘petrodollar’) is the primary reserve currency held by foreign central banks [5] and main currency used for commercial energy transactions [6] [7].

In 1863 John D. Rockefeller joined Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews in an oil-refining business in Cleveland, Ohio, which was subsequently expanded and incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio in 1870. Rockefeller was a shrewd and aggressive industrialist, acquiring additional refining capacity by “buying up and squeezing out of rivals by every device at hand—legal or illegal’ and as a result, Standard Oil would soon control over 90% of American oil refining capacity. Facing increasing resistance from the business community and the Ohio legislature, Rockefeller incorporated the Standard Oil Trust in New Jersey in 1882. This Trust consisted of seven subsidiaries- Standard Oil of Kentucky, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New York, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, The Standard Oil Co (Ohio) and The Ohio Oil Company. In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States (1911), the US Supreme Court found the Standard Oil Trust guilty of engaging in anti-competitive practices, a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaking the company up into 34 separate entities, some of which the Rockefellers held major stakes [8] [9]. Ironically, decades after the Standard Oil Trust was ‘broken up’, these separate firms would subsequently merge into Chevron [10], ExxonMobil [11], British Petroleum (BP) [12] and Marathon [13], which are currently among the top 10 global energy companies [14]. The Rockefellers reach was vast- David Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1970-1985) and Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank (1969–1981) [15] [16].

The geographic location of the US, circa 8000 km (5000 miles) from major war theaters in Europe and 9700 km (6000 miles) in Japan shielded the US from the massive devastation that took place in Europe and Asia during WWII. As a result, many large US corporations were able to profit handsomely by supplying the War Department with fuel, aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, armaments and ammunition to equip American soldiers and allied forces. Some of these firms were working both sides of the conflict, supplying Nazi Germany with financial backing and war material; some of these firms include Alcoa, Brown Brothers Harriman, Coca-Cola, Dupont, Kodak, Chase Bank, Dow Chemical, Ford, IBM, General Electric, General Motors, Woolworth, Random House and Standard Oil [17]. Prescott Bush, father of George HW Bush (41st President) and grandfather of George W. Bush’s (43st President), was a partner of A. Harriman & Co Investment bank and later served as Senator from Connecticut (1952-1963). Prescott Bush was directly involved with companies that profited from their commercial involvement with Nazi Germany [18] [19]. It should be pointed out the WWII is the most expensive war in American history, costing taxpayers more than $4 trillion, adjusted for inflation [20].

To the victor go the spoils

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s foremost military and economic power, the dollar was anointed the status of world reserve currency at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944) and established as the primary currency used for energy transactions following the meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, aboard the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal on Valentine’s Day, 1945 [21].

Post-WWII US economic development saw the continued rise of the American economy which translated into robust corporate profits and better living standards for many working people. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act (aka National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956) described as the ‘Greatest Public Works Project in History’, allocating $25 billion (circa $274 billion in inflation- adjusted dollars) from taxpayers to develop a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways that Eisenhower promised would eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” [22] [23]. The Highway act would enrich the ‘pro-highway coalition of energy companies, automobile manufactures, truckers, bus operators, tiremakers, insurance companies, auto clubs, etc. It directly led to increased use of private automobiles for transportation and the systematic dismantling of energy- efficient public transportation, creation of suburbs, shopping centers, ‘strip malls’, and proliferation of McDonald’s and other ‘fast-food’ outlets, which have led to the current health crisis in the US- increased obesity, type II diabetes and related health problems [24] [25]. In addition, some of these highways were literally built through urban neighborhoods and frequently minority communities [26] [27], such as the Cypress Freeway in Oakland, CA, I95 in Chester, PA and the Cross Bronx Expressway in NYC [28] [29].

As a result, the functioning of the American economy and society has become very dependent on fossil fuel consumption (for more detail see [30]).

1. Energy consumption & generation– the US has 4.25% of world’s population (339 million people) but consumes ~17% of the world’s energy and has the highest per capita energy consumption and is the largest total energy consumer. In 2021, approximately 60% of US electricity was generated from fossil fuels- coal, natural gas and oil [31].

2. Suburban development– as described above, passage of the Highway act of 1956 [22], accelerated the development of low-density housing suburbs, which were only accessible by automobiles using fossil fuel.

3. TransportationThe average American relies on energy-inefficient automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. Most US cities lack a comprehensive, energy-efficient public transportation system. Indeed, the US does not have 1 mile of high-speed rail lines. By contrast, China has 40,000 km (24,855 mi), Spain has 3,100 km (1,926 mi) and Japan has 2,830 km (1758 mi) of high-speed rail.

4. American agriculture is very energy-intensive, requiring 15 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. The average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production to consumption point- e.g., California-grown produce, shipped to the US east coast, usually via diesel fueled trucks.

5. Information technology– US society is heavily reliant on information flow. This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity.

6. Military– The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of fossil fuel and polluter in the world. To give this some perspective, on average, the US military consumes 12,600,000 gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. One F-16 fighter jet consumes over 20K gallons of Kerosene per hour (333 gal/min) [32].

American capitalism is dependent on fossil fuel consumption to function and serves as the lubricant for American power projection around the world. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have approximately 57% and 41% of proven oil and natural gas reserves, respectively (see Table 1 and [33]). Thus, it is not surprising that the US ruling elite have a major interest in this region and the energy reserves therein [34]. US attempts to control oil in the MENA region has been carried out in several ways. This has involved setting up client regimes in countries with vast energy deposits, such as the Gulf monarchies in the Persian Gulf (Figure 1), attacking and/or invading countries who attempt to follow an independent energy policy, such as Iraq and Libya or issuing frequent verbal threats, seizing assets and imposing economic sanctions on countries that the US has been unable to achieve regime change or are capable of defending themselves, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran [35] and Venezuela.

As part of this effort, the US has set up military bases in multiple ME countries including Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey (Türkiye), UAE and Syria (See Figure 1 and Table 2) [36]. Due to its geographic location, Israel is crucial to US foreign policy goals. The ‘state’ of Israel/Zionist project was the creation of British imperialism (Balfour Declaration, 1918) [37], was driven, at least in part, by the desire of the British ruling elite to establish a reliable (read non-Muslim) proxy force that would assist the UK in controlling the region and its abundant hydrocarbon reserves [38]. The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading military and economic power and assumed the role of Israel’s benefactor, providing $152 billion since 1949; $3.8 billion in 2020 [39] [40]. While Israel does not host a formal US base, she is a de facto appendage of the Pentagon, is fully integrated into NATO and serves as a reliable and well-armed US proxy in the region [41] [42], ranking 18th in global military power [43]. Israel conducts regular attacks on Syria [44] and estimated to have a stockpile of circa 90 nuclear weapons (likely a low estimate).

This effort has become all the more urgent as: the Russia-China-Iran axis has attained economic and military parity with the West, Iran is now a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) [45], has applied for membership to the BRICS [46] and recently announced that it has developed a hypersonic missile, that is ‘capable of penetrating all defense systems’ [47]. One would infer that Iran received technical help developing this weapon system. As Iran’s ties with Russia and China continue solidifying, they are becoming increasingly ambivalent about rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA; aka Iran nuclear deal) [46], which was negotiated during the Obama Administration [48]. Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018, stating ‘We cannot prevent an Iranian bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement’ [49].

We hear a lot about ‘Green’ energy, the ‘Green new deal’, reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘sustainable development’, policies which are being promoted by a wide range of extremely committed environmental and conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Clean Air Council in the US and many international organizations and prominent politicians. ‘Green’ polices have been promoted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, encouraging Americans to purchase [expensive] electric cars and endorsed by the paper of record (NYT) and other corporate media outlets. Any policy that reduces the production of ‘greenhouse’ gasses, such as CO2, is certainly a noble and worthwhile objective, that should be supported. Unfortunately, most of these groups, at least in the US, where I live, are missing the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’. This includes:

1. The entire structure of American society has been built around fossil fuel consumption. This includes the use of automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. The profits of very powerful corporate interests, including energy corporations, automobile manufactures and their suppliers, banks and insurance companies and law firms to name a few, are highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and ‘greenhouse’ gas production. They are not about to give this up without a big fight, including going to war.

2. The military is a key pillar of a [declining] American empire, with the Pentagon serving as the ‘enforcer’ of US global power, but is also the largest of consumer of fossil fuels and largest polluter in the world [32]. The Pentagon is supported by all factions of the ruling elite, readily apparent from the near-unanimous bipartisan support for every military appropriation in Congress (appropriation for 2023 is $773 billion). Not surprisingly, most environmental groups, which are dependent on funding from corporate-backed foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, etc. [50] are not going to ‘bite the hand’ that feeds them. Likewise, US corporate media is controlled by 6 large corporations whose class interests reflect those of the petrochemical companies and other large corporations [51] [52] [53]. Any reporter who steps out of line- i.e., criticizes the functioning of the US empire, including fossil fuel consumption, is immediately reprimanded and/or fired. 1) Reporter Emily Wilder was fired from AP because she had posted pro-Palestinian material on social media [54]. 2) In 1996, investigative reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles entitled ‘Dark Alliance’ in the San Jose Mercury News, linking the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA. Not surprisingly, Webb’s story was met with outrage by MSM outlets such as the LA Times and Washington Post. Webb committed suicide in 2004 [55].

Concluding remarks

The survival of the American Empire is highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and control of global energy reserves. This dependency has created irresolvable problems and led to a chaotic and at times, contradictory foreign policy. While there has been a lot of ‘whining’ about energy prices in the US and EU, the oil industry is reaping record profits. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter levied a “windfall” profits tax on the American oil industry in response to increasing gas prices and corporate profits [56]. While these taxes have had mixed results, no doubt a result of aggressive industry lobbying, there has been little discussion of taxing high corporate profits at the present time. Indeed, petrochemical industry profits were barely addressed in the recent US ‘midterm’ elections, as many candidates receive campaign contributions from energy companies. Fossil fuels still dominate US foreign policy. This can be seen from the enduring presence of military bases throughout the ME and maintaining generous financial support for Israel and the ruling families of Gulf Monarchies [57]. At the same time, these ruling families have watched the US/UK/NATO ferment coups in Iran (1953) [58] [59] and steal resources, invade and/or destroy Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen; impose crippling economic sanctions and/or confiscate the assets of countries deemed a threat to US global power such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia and sabotage energy infrastructure (see below). Not surprisingly, KSA and other Gulf Monarchies have been reaching out to Russia and China; multiple reports indicate that KSA is ‘eager’ to join the BRICS Bloc [60]. No doubt, this was a motivation for President Biden’s trip to KSA in July of this year, meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) at Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. On Nov 18, the State Department recommended that MBS be granted ‘legal immunity’ for the brutal assassination of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 2, 2018 [62] [63]. It should be noted that while campaigning for President, then candidate Joe Biden stated: he would “cancel the blank check” the Trump administration had given Saudi Arabia during its war in Yemen and during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that “America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh” and advocated making Saudi Arabia an international “pariah” for butchering Jamal Khashoggi [61]. Rhetoric notwithstanding, Biden’s polices towards the MENA region are largely a continuation of those of Trump and the ruling elite they represent. Biden has not rejoined the JCPOA and has continued Trump’s bellicose position towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US continues supporting Israel, the US Embassy in Israel remains in Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic), which is not Israeli land and thus, a blatant violation of International law [64], US troops remain in Iraq and Syria while the Pentagon continues assisting KSA in their genocidal war on Yemen [65]. Trump continues his financial dealings with KSA, recently signing a $1.6 billion deal with a Saudi real estate developer [66]. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts when KSA joins BRICS [67].

On Sept 26, 2022, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, under the Baltic Sea were blown up [68] [69]. Shortly after the explosions, erstwhile British Prime Minister Liz Truss allegedly sent a message to US Sec of State Anthony Blinken stating ‘it’s done’ [70]. While the actual perpetrators of this attack have not been identified, it is likely that the US at a very minimum was aware of this action, as pointed out by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) during a Bloomberg interview [71]. The end result is that Germany and other countries in the EU will no longer have access to cheap and plentiful Russian energy, but will now be forced to purchase much more expensive liquified natural gas from the US or other countries. It should also be noted that nearly 8 decades following the conclusion of WWII, the Pentagon maintains circa 900 foreign military bases worldwide [72] [73]. Europe is still occupied by circa 100K troops [74], 35K in Germany alone [75]. Thus, Germany is not really a US ‘ally’ but rather a subordinate. This begs the question; will Germany and other countries in the EU continue serving as de facto US vassals or begin following a more independent foreign policy? One could argue their very survival as functional states depends on this.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Blog Jan 19, 2021.

2. UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’, ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992).

3. Read climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN By Gretchen Frazee PBS News Hour Sep 23, 2019;

4. World Energy Balances: Overview (2020).

5. The International Role of the U.S. Dollar by Carol Bertaut, Bastian von Beschwitz and Stephanie Curcuru US Fed Reserve Oct 6, 2021.

6. What Is the Petrodollar? Petrodollar Explained in Less Than 5 Minutes By Kimberly Amadeo. the balance June 4, 2022.

7. US economic decline and global instability Part 3: Money printing, debt and increasing international isolation. The Saker Blog Oct 31, 2022.

8. How Rockefeller Built His Trillion Dollar Oil Empire. By Jeremy Dyck Oct 8, 2019;

9. John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry- John D. Rockefeller changed the oil industry forever with his company Standard Oil. but that was by no means the only interesting thing about him. By Burton W. Folsom Foundation for Economic Education Sat Oct 1, 1988.

10. Chevron.

11. ExxonMobil.

12. British Petroleum (BP).

13. Marathon Oil.

14. Top 20 Oil and Gas Companies in the World in 2021.

15. David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 By Timothy R. Smith Washington Post Mar 20, 2017.

16. JPMorgan Chase & Co: Who We Are/History Of Our Firm.

17. Top 10 American Companies that Aided the Nazis. By Dustin Koski Feb 18, 2016.

18. How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power- Rumors of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president By Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell The Guardian Sat Sep 25, 2004.

19. The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune Bill Van Auken Dec 5, 2018.

20. The Cost of U.S. Wars then and now. By Norwich University Online Oct 20th, 2020.

21. ORDER FROM CHAOS- 75 years after a historic meeting on the USS Quincy, US-Saudi relations are in need of a true re-think By Bruce Riedel Brookings Mon Feb 10, 2020.

22. History of the Interstate Highway System.

23. The Interstate Highway System History.Com Jun 7, 2019.

24. Tabish SA. Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century? Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2007 Jul;1(2): V-VIII.

25. Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up By Alvin Powell Harvard Gazette Mar 7, 2012.

26. A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways By Noel King NPR Apr 7, 2021.

27. How Interstate Highways Gutted Communities—and Reinforced Segregation

America’s interstate highway system cut through the heart of dozens of urban neighborhoods. By Farrell Evans History.com Oct 20, 2021;

28. Robert Moses’s Negative Impacts By SAFAA Feb 7, 2018 BY SAFAA.

29. The Cross Bronx Expressway and the Ruination of the Bronx By lbennett Nov 10, 2019.

30. War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society The Saker Blog Jan 13, 2019.

31. Electricity in the United States US Energy Information Administration.

32. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War By Neta Crawford Watson Institute June 12, 2019;

33. How Much Oil in the Middle East? By Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D. GoExPro Vol. 11, No. 1 – 2014;

34. Michael Hudson: A New Bipolar World. US finance capitalism vs. China’s mixed public/ private economy Nov 7, 2022.

35. Missiles of Iran- Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe. CSIS Aug 10, 2021;

36. US military bases and facilities in the Middle East. American Security Project

37. Balfour Declaration History.Com Aug 21, 2018; https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/balfour-declaration

38. More than a century on: The Balfour Declaration explained. More than 100 years since Britain’s controversial pledge, here is everything you need to know about it. By Zena Al Tahhan Aljazeera Nov 2, 2018;

39. Israel-Gaza: How much money does Israel get from the US? BBC May 24, 2021; https://www.bbc.com/news/57170576

40. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel: Total Aid (1949 – Present) Jewish Virtual Library;

41. Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran? Part II The Military Road Map By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, July 30, 2018;

42. Understanding NATO- Ending War By Robert J. Burrowes Economy and Politics June 8, 2019;

43. 2022 Military Strength Ranking

44. Israeli Attacks Continue to Kill Syrians, Iranians. Southfront Nov 16, 2022.

45. Iran signs memorandum to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As leaders meet in Uzbekistan, the eight-member regional body is poised to add Iran to its ranks. Aljazeera Sept 15, 2022;

46. India, China, Iran: the Quad that really matters By Pepe Escobar Nov 15, 2022.

47. Iran claims it has developed a hypersonic missile CBS News Nov 10, 2022.

48. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance. Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association Mar, 2022.

49. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, explained. The Iran nuclear deal isn’t dead — yet. By Zack Beauchamp Vox May 8, 2018.

50. Society for Nonprofits

51. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media [INFOGRAPHIC].

52. These 6 corporations control 90% of the media outlets in America- The illusion of choice and objectivity. By Nickie Louise Tech Startups Sept 18, 2020;

53. Index of US Mainstream Media Ownership- The Future of Media Project, Harvard University; https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/index-us-mainstream-media-ownership

54. The Real Problem with the AP’s Firing of Emily Wilder- When one young journalist was fired, the incident revealed a problem deeper than bad social media policies. By Janine Zacharia May 26, 2021; https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/26/emily-wilder-fired-ap-490892

55. How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb- Freshly-released CIA documents show how the largest U.S. newspapers helped the agency contain a groundbreaking exposé. By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept Sept 25, 2014; https://theintercept.com/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/

56. Windfall profit taxes have benefits. But the devil is in the details. In times of crisis, the U.S. government has taxed excess profits — with mixed results Perspective by Ajay K. Mehrotra Washington Post Oct 24, 2022.

57. List of current monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula.

58. The Collapse Narrative: The United States, Mohammed Mossadegh, and the Coup Decision of 1953. By Gregory Brew Texas National Security Review. Vol 2, Issue 4 Nov 2019 | 38–59.

Stable URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/6666

59. The CIA in Iran- Key Events in the 1953 Coup.

60. BRICS to expand soon, Saudi Arabia keen to join. BRICS represents more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP and if it is expanded it will help in bolstering the BRICS bloc’s global influence. By Huma Siddiqui Oct 27, 2022.

61. Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the right thing to do, even if it feels wrong.

The U.S. president has rightly come to the conclusion that a strategy of isolating the crown prince isn’t feasible. By Daniel R. DePetris NBC News July 15, 2022.

62. U.S. declares Saudi crown prince immune from Khashoggi killing lawsuit

Biden administration cites executive powers, international law in shielding Mohammed bin Salman from legal responsibility. By Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan Washington Post Nov 18, 2022.

63. WaPo slams Biden’s move to shield MBS in Khashoggi killing suit. By Rebecca Falconer and Shawna Chen Nov 18, 2022.

64. The Status of Jerusalem United Nations 1997.

65. Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean, Yemen and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Saker Blog Aug 5, 2020.

66. Trump family signs $1.6bn branding deal with Saudi real estate developer. Wed, Nov 16, 2022.

67. The Roundtable #34 The Kherson Withdrawal with Gonzalo Lira, Brian Berletic and Andrei Martyanov Thurs, Nov 10, 2022.

68. Who Attacked Nord Stream 2? Maybe it was Russia, though that doesn’t make much sense. There are better candidates. By Doug Bandow Cato Institute Oct 14, 2022.

69. A journey to the site of the Nord Stream explosions- Prosecutors in Sweden say explosions on a gas pipeline between Russia and Europe were the result of sabotage. The explosions in the Baltic Sea targeted pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russia denies any involvement. Before the announcement, Katya Adler travelled to the site, and was separately told by Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg that the west could go to war if Russia attacked infrastructure providing critical energy supplies. By Katya Adler BBC News Nov 18, 2022;

70. ‘It’s done’: Putin fumes after Liz Truss ‘message’ to Blinken over Nord Stream attack ‘revealed’ Hindustan Times Nov 4, 2022.

71. Jeffrey Sachs: Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Probably Sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipeline, But it Doesn’t Show up in our Media By Tim Hains Real Clear Politics Oct 3, 2022.

72. A List of All 900 U.S. Foreign Military Bases. By Eric Zuesse Nov 18, 2022.

73. USA’s Military Empire: A Visual Database. World Beyond War.

74. US likely to keep 100,000 troops in Europe for foreseeable future in face of Russian threat, US officials say By Ellie Kaufman and Barbara Starr, CNN Fri May 20, 2022.

75. Where 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Europe. By Zachary Basu Axios Mar 22, 2022.

Figure 1. Map of the Middle East. Source:

Table 1. Middle East Energy Reserves by Country

(TJ, tera joules; 1 TJ= 163 barrels of oil)

Source: iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

Country Oil (TJ) Natural Gas (TJ)
Iran 3,497,347 7,738,423
KSA 5,624,350 3,357,725
Iraq 1,626,278 626,792
UAE 190,400 2,302,508
Qatar 131,259 1,599,572
Kuwait 705,461 846,450
Oman 23,864 957,632
Bahrain 81,132 563,867
Total 12,477,033 18,260,133
     

Table 2. US Military Bases and Facilities in Middle East [36]

*Numbers in parenthesis, estimated total number of US troops (thousands) deployed in each country; ** Estimated number of US troops (thousands)

Country* Base Troops**
Bahrain (9K) US Naval Forces Central Command/ US 5th Fleet 4.7
  Shaikh Isa Air Base  
  Muharraq Air Base (Navy)  
Iraq (2.5K) Al Asad Air Base  
Israel Dimona Radar Facility  
  Mashabim Air Base / Bisl’a Aerial Defense School  
Jordan Muwaffaq Salti Air Base (Azraq)  
Kuwait (13.5) Ali Al Salem Air Base 1.5
  Camp Arifjan 9
  Camp Spearhead Army Base  
  Camp Buehring  
  Camp Patriot 3
Oman (<1K) RAFO Masirah  
  Muscat International Airport  
  RAFO Thumrait  
  Al-Musannah Air Base  
  Port of Duqm  
  Port of Salalah  
Qatar (10K) Al Udeid Air Base- Special Operations Command Central 10
  Camp As Sayliyah  
KSA (3K) Eskan Village  
Turkey (5K) Incirlik Air Base 5
  Izmir Air Station  
UAE (2K) Al Dhafra Air Base 2
  Port of Jebel Ali  
  Fujairah Naval Base  
Syria (<0.2K) Al-Tanf garrison (ATG)  


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Is NATO falling apart?

Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.


Andrei Raevski
THE SAKER

Something quite amazing has just happened.  Following the terrorist attack in Ankara in which 34 people died and injured another 125, Turkish authorities first declared that they will not accept US condolences.  Then the Turks launched a military operation against “Kurdish terrorists in northern Syria“.  Turkey then claimed to have neutralized 184 terrorists.

What is not mentioned in those articles is that the target of the Turkish strike was the US-run center for the training and education of PKK militants in Rojava.  There are rumors that the Turks gave the US enough warning time to evacuate most of its personnel.

Does that sound familiar?

If it does, it is because it is very similar to what the Iranians did when they hit US bases in Iraq following the murder of General Soleimani in a US drone strike.

If the above is true, and rumors are very much “if” and cannot be considered as proven fact, then that means that a NATO member state (Turkey) just attacked a US base and, like Iran, got away with it: the “The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World” just got whacked hard and humiliated for a second time and could do absolutely nothing to defend itself or even save face.

How big a slap in the face did Uncle Shmuel get this time?  According to the Turkish defense minister, Hulusi Akar,

Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and warehouses were successfully destroyed,” Akar said, adding that “the so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization were also hit and destroyed.” Overall, the Defense Ministry claimed that the strikes hit nearly 90 targets, which it said were connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG).

Even allowing for some “patriotic exaggeration”, it is pretty clear that Ergodan’s revenge strike was both quite substantial and, apparently, rather effective.

So, what do we have here?  A NATO member state all but accused the US of a major terrorist attack against its capital city, and then that a NATO member state openly attacked a US-run facility (let’s not call it a base, that would be inaccurate).

Is Erdogan’s claim even credible?  Absolutely!  Not only has the US already attempted to overthrow and kill Erdogan, who was saved in extremis by Russian special forces (same with Ianukovich), but we also know that the US overthrew General de Gaulle in 1968-1969 and that NATO covert forces were used to stage false flag attacks against NATO allies (especially Italy) in the so-called GLADIO operation.

NATO is not a defensive alliance – it never was –  but it is a tool of US colonial domination.

This was always true, hence the famous words spoken  in the now faraway 1950s when the first NATO Secretary General, British General Hasting Ismay, bluntly admitted that real the purpose of NATO was to keep the “Russians out, Americans in, Germans down“.  Let’s take these elements one by one, starting with the last one:

  • “Keep the Germans down”: here the word “Germans” is a placeholder for any and all European leaders or countries who want true sovereignty and agency.  Translation: enslave the Europeans
  • “Keep the Americans in”: in order to crush any European liberation movement. Translation: place US overlords over all the EU nations.
  • “Keep the Russians out”: make sure that Russia does not liberate Europe.  Translation: demonize Russia and do anything and everything to prevent peace on the European continent.  If possible, break-up, subjugate or otherwise destroy Russia.

Need proof?  How about the undeniable act of war against Germany (and, I would argue, the entire EU) when the Anglos blew up NS1/NS2?  Is that not proof enough?

Against that background, we have to ask yourselves: what does it even mean to be a NATO member state in 2022?

The truth is that NATO was a pure creation of the Cold War and that in the real world of 2022 it is a total anachronism.  Being a NATO member state really means very little.  Not only are some “more equal than others” in NATO, but there are also non-NATO states which are far more “NATOized” than actual NATO members states (I think of Israel or, of course, the Nazi occupied Ukraine).  And being a member of NATO does not protect you from anything, not from external attacks and not against internal ones either.

According to Col (Ret) MacGregor, the war in the Ukraine might well bring about the collapse of both NATO and the EU.  I very much agree with him.  I would say that such a collapse will not so much be the result of embarrassing defeats as it will be due to the deep internal contradictions inside both organizations.

By the way, this is not our topic today, but I think that the CSTO has much of the same problems and contradictions as NATO.  So is what we observe a “NATO problem” or a problem of artificial and generally obsolete alliances?  I would argue for the latter.

But let’s leave a discussion of the CSTO for another day.

In the case of Turkey this problem is made even worse by a total incompatibility between Islam and the Woke ideology now openly promoted (and enforced) by the US and NATO.

Then there is geography.  Turkey has some pretty powerful regional neighbors, including not only Greece or Israel, but also Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria and, course, Russia.  Can Turkey count on any type of US/NATO “protection” from such powerful neighbors?

Ask the Saudis how much the US/NATO helped them against the Houthis!

Ask the Israelis how much the US/NATO helped them against Hezbollah?

If anything, the Iranian strikes on CENTCOM bases have demonstrated that the US does not have the stomach to take on Iran.  In sharp contrast, the Russian and Iranian intervention in Syria defeated the US plans for a “New Middle East” or, shall we say, it did bring about a “new Middle-East”, but most definitely not the one the US Neocons were hoping for!

Add to this is major deterioration in the relationship between the US and MBS’ Saudi Arabia and we get an amazing picture: the USA and NATO (which the US dragged into the region) are gradually becoming irrelevant in the Middle-East.  Instead, new “big actors” are gradually filling the void, including Russia and Iran who are now even gradually allowing Saudi Arabia to participate in a much needed regional dialog about the future of the region.

The phenomenal weakness of the US/NATO/CENTCOM is best illustrated by the US reaction to the Turkish strikes: Uncle Shmuel endorsed (no kidding!!!) the Turkish strikes :-)

How absolutely pathetic is that for a wannabe superpower?

Will this process have an impact on the NATO war against Russia?

Well, let’s imagine that Russia would really strike some target inside Poland (which is what the Ukies claimed, as did the Poles until Uncle Shmuel told them to cool it).  What would happen next?

Does anybody still remember what happened when Erdogan flew to Mons to beg for NATO protection against Russia (following the downing of a Russian Su-24 over northern Syria by a joint US-Turkish operation, possibly executed without Erdogan’s knowledge, at least that was his claim).  What did NATO promise or give the Turks?  Absolutely *nothing* (other than “consultations”).

Now the Poles might be delusional enough to think that a US President might order a retaliatory attack on Russia if Russia strikes Poland, but those of us who know the USA and its ruling elites know that this is nonsense.  Why?  Simply because a US/NATO counter-strike on Russian forces would result in an immediate Russian response.

And then what?

The truth is very stark in its simplicity:

  • The US/NATO do not have the manpower or firepower needed to take on Russia in a conventional combined arms war.
  • Any use of nuclear weapons will result in an immediate retaliation most likely resulting into a unwinnable full-scale nuclear war.

So here is the deal: whether western politicians understand that or not, military professionals all know the truthNATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military.   Why?

Let’s look at what capabilities the US/NATO truly have:

  • The USN has a superb submarine force (both SSNs and SSBNs) capable for firing large numbers of relatively obsolete cruise missiles (and plenty of SLBMs)
  • A still very capable, if rather old, nuclear triad
  • A quantitative (only!) conventional advantage over Russia
  • Superb (but very vulnerable!) C4ISR capabilities
  • A printing press allowing for the quasi infinite printing of dollars
  • A comprador elite ruling over all the NATO/EU countries
  • The most formidable propaganda machine in history

So what does NATO lack to be a credible military force?

Obviously, “boots on the ground”.   And I don’t mean a few subunits from the 101st or 82AB or US special forces or even a so-called “armored brigade” which, in reality, lacks adequate TO&E to qualify as such.  I am talking about a “land warfare” force capable of fighting a modern and extremely determined enemy.

[Sidebar: if this is a topic of interest to you, may I recommend my article “Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare” written in 2016 but which is still mostly relevant]

The USA, Israel and the KSA all fell into the same trap: the delusion that by spending billions and billions of dollars on massively over-priced and massively under-performing military hardware will allow you to defeat an enemy assumed to be “less sophisticated”.  Hence the need to use:

  • Proxy forces
  • PMCs
  • PSYOPS
  • Corruption

All of the above are a normal part of any modern war, but in the case of the US/NATO they are not just part of a bigger plan, they are central to any US/NATO operation, thereby dramatically decreasing the true capabilities of the US/NATO.  In sharp contrast, countries like Russia or Iran can deploy “boots on the ground”, and very capable ones at that (remember that the Iranians are those who trained Hezbollah!).

What does all this mean practically?

It means that even if the Russians decided to strike at a NATO country, the tensions would go through the roof, but it is highly UN-likely that any US President would allow any action which could result in a full-scale nuclear war!  Remember, for Russia, this is an existential war, no less than WWII, whereas no Anglo leader would ever dare launch a suicidal attack on Russian forces which would most likely result in the full obliteration of the US/UK and any other country participating (for example by hosting forward deployed standoff weapons) in such an attack.

Does that mean that we have to anticipate a Russian strike on Poland, Romania or the UK?

No, not at all.  In fact, it would be very dangerous for the Russians to only leave a stark choice to the Hegemony: admit defeat or commit suicide.  And since the Russians do have escalation dominance (that is to say that they have balanced capabilities from the small-arms fire level to a full intercontinental nuclear war, and with all the stages in between these two extremes) they, unlike the US/NATO. are not stuck between the choice of surrender or suicide.

That being said, it would also be misguided to assume that Russia “would never dare strike a NATO member state”.  The Poles might be willing to wager their future and even existence on such a invalid inference, but not the folks at the Pentagon or elsewhere in the decision centers of the Hegemony.

Conclusion:

Douglas MacGregor is right, the NATO war against Russia might very well result in the collapse of both NATO and the EU which, in turn, will place an official “last nail”, into the coffin of an already long-deceased Hegemony which currently still exists only because of its momentum and its propaganda machine.

I would argue that NATO is already falling apart before our eyes, a process which the economic, social, political, economic and spiritual crises which are plaguing the entire EU will only accelerate.  And, of course, the most amazing thing about this is that this collapse is not the result of some Machiavellian plan cooked up by the Russians, the Chinese or the Iranian, but a direct consequence of decades of truly suicidal policies: they did it to themselves!

Now, the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians are mostly waiting, watching (probably smiling) and planning for the Hegemony-free multi-polar world they want to bring about, with or without the participation of the USA and Europe.

—Andrei


ABOUT THE AUTHOR / SOURCE
Andrei Raevski is The Saker's founding editor and leading geopolitical analyst.


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The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post. However, we do think they are important enough to be transmitted to a wider audience.


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