The Next Phase Of The War

When the Russians launched what they call a special military operation in the Ukraine, the window for a negotiated settlement was wide open. The Russians were prepared to go back to the Minsk accords and work out a deal with Ukraine. In fact, such a deal was close to happening in April, but then London, at the behest of Washington, stepped in and convinced Zelensky to end negotiations. The collective West was now fully behind Ukraine and they would accept no deal with Russia.

The Russians left open the possibility for a deal. Despite the sanctions and the flow of weapons into the Ukraine from the West, the Russians kept playing for a negotiated settlement to the conflict. The main reason is a deal signed by Zelensky would prevent future shenanigans from Washington. Liberating the disputed areas and degrading the Ukrainian military would leave open the possibility of more fighting. Ukraine would become like the Korean peninsula.

Yesterday the door for a negotiated settlement has closed completely. In an address to the nation, Putin announced that Russia would accept the results of the referendums planned in the Donbas. When these areas vote to join the Russian Federation, they will become sovereign Russian territory. The second thing he announced is the call up of roughly 300,000 reservists to defend Russian lands in the Donbas. An attack on Donetsk or Luhansk is now an attack on Russia.

This change will be lost in the Western media because they are assigned the task of selling the Western war on Russia. They describe Russia as a large outdoor gas station run by vodka-swilling peasants. Putin is described as a tyrant with absolute and undisputed control of the country. This is complete nonsense, but most of what appears in the Western media is nonsense. They make the old communist propaganda organs look like objective observers.

Reality in Russia is quite different. For starters, Putin is not a dictator and he has to worry about his constituents. Like every other country, Russia is ruled by a coalition of forces that have real power. Putin leads this coalition and he has to respect the interests of the coalition members. Russia is also a bureaucratic country. Things are done a certain way, through certain processes. Russians like rules and the Russian bureaucracy is nothing if not a playground for those who love rules.

The other important thing about Russia is that Putin is the most dovish, pro-Western voice in the ruling coalition. There were voices calling for military action in the Ukraine going back to the 2014 coup that toppled the Ukrainian government. There are voices today that want full mobilization and total war on the Ukraine. Putin has preferred to work the diplomatic angle. He saw signed deals with the West as a way to hold the collective West to their commitments.

In announcing the next phase of the war, Putin is signaling that he has moved in the direction of the hawks. This means the rules of engagement that up to now have prevented the Russian military from targeting civilian infrastructure and command centers have been removed. That means damns, power plants, water treatment plants and other essential structures will be attacked. It also means the Russian army can now take the lead in fighting the Ukrainians.

This is another thing lost in the Western media. The rules the Russians placed on themselves in this fight were to limit contact between the Russian army and the Ukrainian army. This means the militias did the bulk of the fighting with air and artillery support from the Russians. Private military contractors were also brought in to assist the militias with weapons and logistics. That changes now. The Russian military will take the lead in the war going forward.

Presumably, the Ukrainians will not respect the referendums and keep attacking these areas, which means Russia will now be at war with Ukraine. This may sound like a distinction without a difference, but it is a big change. From the Russian perspective, they are following international law. The Western powers supporting Ukraine are now parties to the war between Russia and Ukraine. In other words, it is no longer a proxy war but a direct conflict between West and East.

What does that mean? For starters, the Russians can now cut off all energy supplies to NATO countries and be on firm legal ground. They can also point to Kosovo as a precedent for their actions. Kosovo elected to break away from Serbia. The West recognized it and then bombed Serbia. Putin has mentioned this precedent in the past and will no doubt point to it after the referendum. The point is to show the rest of the world that the Russians are operating by the rules.

That is another piece of the puzzle. Prior to this announcement, Putin has been meeting with his counterparts in Asia. It is clear that China and India are onboard with what the Russians are doing. That is the point of these self-imposed rules. It makes the point to other countries that one side is following the rules and the other side is not. If you are worried about being regime changed, this is important. Every leader outside the collective West is now worried about regime change.

All wars have a moral component. No one wants to see themselves as the bad guy, so the parties to a conflict seek to claim the moral high ground. This is what the Russians have been doing since the war started. These limitations they have placed on themselves were about establishing their moral position. This next phase of the war was not what they wanted, but the other side left them no choice. Whether you accept that or not, the Russians accept it and that is what matters.

What all of this means is that the war has now entered a much more dangerous phase and it will only end militarily. The West is pledged to fighting until the last Ukrainian and now Russia is accepting the challenge. In addition, Russia will now make it much more difficult for Ukraine to function as a country, much less provide the necessary support for its army in the field. That also means direct targeting of Western assets in Ukraine by the Russian military.

Sadly, the only hope for a peaceful solution to the war now lies with Washington getting its wish and reaching the point of the last Ukrainian. The Russians drive up Ukrainian losses quickly over the next few months. The military loses its fighting ability and the civilian population is put under terrible stress. The combination of the two forces a settlement, despite Washington’s desire to keep fighting. In other words, the hope for peace lies in a tragedy for the Ukraine.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Ukraine Grift

One of the puzzles of the war in the Ukraine, debated by those watching through sources outside of Western media, is why are the Ukrainians doing what they are doing in this war. Their tactics make little sense and suggest the over all strategy is something other than what has been stated. In fact, official statements from the Zelensky government have become absurdly strident. They bring back memories of Baghdad Bob during the American invasion of Iraq.

The initial phase of the war had the Russians dashing in, probably hoping for a negotiated settlement based on the Minsk accords. Some think they underestimated the Ukrainian capabilities and willingness to fight. There are lots of people who claim to be psychics, knowing what was in the minds of the Russian planners, but no one knows what the Russians expected. All we know is they got a bloody nose in the opening weeks and had to reconfigure their war plans.

This is the nature of war. The old line about no war plan lasting first contact with the enemy is a cliché because it is true. The Russians had to change gears and they did that in the early spring. They settled into a strategy of shelling the Ukrainian positions with their superior artillery and missile systems. They also gained air superiority so they can hunt down Ukrainian targets all over the country. This is a low-cost way to slowly and methodically grind down the Ukrainian military.

Here is the puzzle. Why have the Ukrainians not responded to this change in tactics so as not to be slowly ground down by the Russians? Logic says they should have withdrawn from the Donbas to more defensible positions. This would have preserved their best troops and much of their equipment. They could have appealed to the West for better air defense systems to protect their army as they prepared for a counter offensive at some point in the future.

No one really seems to know how much Western military gear has flowed into Ukraine, but the best guess is more than enough to supply a million man army. The Europeans dumped a fair bit of old equipment onto Ukraine, but they have also supplied a fair bit of modern equipment as well. The Russians have modern equipment, but the militias, who are doing the bulk of the fighting, are relying on Soviet era tanks and armored personnel carriers so this old stuff is not worthless.

Of course, one of the lessons of this war is that old planes, trucks and tanks can be repurposed as unmanned vehicles. The Russians are actively converting their old aircraft into crude drones. They are not as good as the high end stuff, but it is better than scrapping them. Ukraine could have been doing this as well if they had pulled back from the Donbas and been preparing for a counter offensive. Instead, the old equipment has been hurled into the meatgrinder of the Donbas.

The elephant in the room whenever discussing the war in the Ukraine is the massive amount of corruption. We know from the Trump years that many American politicians were on the payroll of corrupt Ukrainian firms. We know the State Department is full of Ukrainian operatives. We know that what ties these people to the Ukrainian government is highly corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs. Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma, an oligarch controlled energy monopoly in Ukraine.

That is the key to unriddling the Ukraine war strategy. The key players in American foreign policy only care about harming Russia. The neocon obsession with Russia goes back generations now. They have made clear on multiple occasions that their only goal in the Ukraine is to inflict as much damage on the Russians as possible. This has come from senior people in the Biden regime, as well as various characters operating in the unofficial foreign policy establishment.

Take the Russia obsessed foreign policy establishment and join it to the hyper-corrupt Ukrainian regime and you have the makings of a grand grift. The other piece of it is the Military Industrial Complex, which will sell NATO countries trillions in new arms over the next decade, to replace what is going to Ukraine. The Ukraine has become a massive money laundering scheme. Billions flow into the place with little or no accounting and much of it ends up in anonymous bank accounts.

This is where the Ukrainian ware strategy fits into the scam. The neocons need a narrative to sell the politicians and the public. The “heroic Ukrainian defenders willing to fight to the last man” is the story they initially sold. Over the last few months, the new story has been “If the heroic Ukrainian defenders just had better weapons, they could take the fight to the Ruskies!” The myth of the wonder weapon, of course, works nicely in the Raytheon brochure.

Meanwhile, the actual Ukrainian fighters are hunkered down into massive, fortified locations while the Russians shell them day and night. Reports from the front suggest few of the weapons are making it to the men. CBS did a report suggesting that only 30% of weapons have gone into battle. They were forced to recant, but their reporting comports with what others have said. The fact is, no one knows where this stuff is going or if it is even useful to the soldiers.

The whole thing relies on defending a one thousand mile front in the Donbas against an endless artillery barrage. Imagine a front that stretched from New York to Miami and along the way cities have been turned into massive, fortified bunker complexes and you have a good idea of what is happening. The Russians shell these fortifications at will and the Ukrainians have no chance to take the fight to the Russians. They just have to sit there and take the pounding for public relations reasons.

Even by current standards, this sounds amazingly cynical, but stop and think about what happened during the Covid panic. The people who made tens of billions on a dangerous, experimental vaccine are not going to blink at sacrificing tens of thousands, maybe millions, of Ukrainians to make billions in profits. The people who turned America into a pirate’s cove are taking the strategy global. Everything is a grift and no grift is too bloody or monstrous.

At some point, a marketing plan with the phrase “to the last Ukrainian” in it will run out of Ukrainians to sell it. There are ongoing shakeups in the Ukrainian leadership so that part of the grift may be starting to crack. There are growing rumors of defections in the military as they wake up to what is happening to them. Of course, the truly terrifying winter that lies ahead for all of Europe cannot be ignored. The reality of Ukraine will become apparent and then what happens?

History says not much. Covid is a good guide. There is no doubt that trust in the institutions has declined as a result of the Covid scam. The ongoing effects of the vaccine could blow up into a major scandal. None of which has moved people into the streets, but there has been a cumulative effect on the public psyche. A collapse in Ukraine would be another blow to the regime. Still, it is hard to see this being the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but crazier things have happened.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Wages Of Evil

Notes: The Monday Taki post is up. This week it is a deep dive into the life of TikTok star and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Sunday Thoughts is on holiday, but there are two new posts behind the green door about my weekend adventures. There is a longer analysis of what is happening in the Ukraine war and a review of the heretical movie, The Northman. SubscribeStar and Substack.


For a long time, Professor John Mearsheimer has been making the point that the war in Ukraine can easily lead to a much larger war. In fact, it could lead to a global war, maybe even a nuclear war. After all, the United States is provoking a nuclear power over the Ukraine and it is provoking nuclear powers that support Russia. China and India are both nuclear powers and both back Russia. Here is Mearsheimer’s latest analysis of how things can get very bad very fast.

One of the problems with this sort of analysis is it assumes both sides remain as they are in terms of the abilities and points of view. The great unknown unknown in all wars is how the two sides will evolve in terms of how they see the conflict, themselves and their opponents. The actions and reactions of the players in a war creates a dynamic that is impossible to even think about in advance. The race to the sea at the start of the Great War is a good example of the unknowable unknowns.

We can already see this in the Ukraine. It is clear that Russia, the Ukrainian leaders and Europe expected a quick settlement. Zelensky made concessions at the start and was pretty close to taking the deal on offer from Russia. This deal was pretty much the old deal called the Minsk Accords. Then London and Washington intervened to sabotage negotiations, which came to a sudden halt. The West unleashed a tsunami of economic attacks on the Russian economy.

This forced the Russians to reevaluate their operation. Over six months they have switched from a short and limited war that would hopefully end in a peace deal, to a long war of attrition. The Russians are now slowly obliterating the Ukrainian army, in an artillery based meatgrinder. They also have changed their goals. There is little doubt that Russia will take most of Ukraine now. What they will leave as Ukraine will be a land-locked state with limited resources.

This has in turn created a new dynamic on the Western side. The reckless flood of weapons into Ukraine has now given way to a form of terrorism. Washington and London are now helping the Ukrainians target civilian targets in the Donbass. They have launched sabotage attacks in the Crimea and shelled a nuclear plant. None of these are effective military operations. They are intended to create havoc for the Russians and in the case of the nuke plant, possibly kill a lot of civilians.

The other reason for Washington to have Ukraine launch these sorts of attack is in the hope they will provoke a response. The facts on the ground are only going to get worse and public support in the West has started to collapse. Normal people do not care about the Ukraine, but they care about food prices and energy bills. The typical German does not see why his government should send billions to the crooks in Ukraine while he has to take cold showers to save energy.

If the Russians respond to these civilian attacks with an attack on civilian targets in the Ukraine, so the thinking goes, then public outrage in the West will bring opinion back around to supporting the war. A meltdown at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station would contaminate half of Ukraine. Western media would blame it on Russia, which would then warrant greater involvement in the war. This is the sort of lunacy that no one can plan for or even contemplate in advance.

Now we have a new unknowable unknown in the mix. The assassination of Darya Dugina, by Ukrainian terrorists, is the sort of escalation that can set off a dangerous dynamic in this war. Darya Dugina is the daughter of Alexander Dugin, the most important intellectual in the world today. His ideas about a post-Cold War East are credited with shaping the world view of Putin and his supporters. The attack was meant for him but killed his daughter instead.

There is no question that the attack was done by professionally trained assassins and that those assassins were working on behalf of the West. The Russians will blame this on Washington and London because they are not stupid. They will see this as Washington personalizing this dispute. That could very well mean they take the same view and we begin to see car bombings in Western capitals. The neocons better hire food tasters and install radiation detectors in their homes.

One of the early warnings about dumping arms in Ukraine is they could easily get into the hands of gangsters and terrorist. The Ukrainian are the most corrupt people on earth, so they have been selling this stuff as fast as they get it. Now imagine Russia letting Javelin missiles fall into the hands of Berlin-based Islamists who would like to do something big, like take out the motorcade of Olaf Scholtz. The idiots who cooked up the Dugin caper just put everyone’s name on a list.

This is exactly what Mearsheimer has been warning of for months. While everyone would celebrate a car bombing campaign against the neocons, these things never go as planned and quickly become a new problem. Killing Dugin would have angered Russia, but killing his daughter infuriates the world. It underscores the fact that Western leaders are gangsters without scruples. They will kill everyone if that is what it takes to reach the end times they are pursuing.

In the end, the larger story here is not the dynamics of war or how great powers can easily maneuver themselves into conflict. The real issue is the danger of having large empires ruled by alien elites. If the people running the American empire cared at all about the people, this never would have come to pass. They do no care so they do not think about the consequences to the people. It turns out that giving dangerous sociopaths like the neocons access to power is suicidal.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


China Thoughts

The most recent flareup between the Global American Empire and China has brought forth all of the usual commentary about the rise of China, its plans for Taiwan and the relative decline of America. The underlying assumption is that China could take Taiwan if it wanted and there is not much the United States can do about it, short of a nuclear strike on mainland China. Further, it is assumed that China will one day make its move on Taiwan when it feels the time is right.

This is an odd set of assumptions. If China can take Taiwan and wants to take Taiwan, then why are they not taking Taiwan? The standard answer is that they think they can wait out the American empire. That could be true but there is good evidence to suggest the clock is ticking in her ability to make war. China is hitting the wall demographically and she knows it. They have a lot of young military age males right now, but a decade from now they will be nearing middle-age.

The more likely reason for China’s hesitance is that taking Taiwan would be an enormous gamble. It is a big island with no beaches. It has great ports, but those are heavily defended. The Taiwanese military is exceptionally good. They have the best weapons America can produce and they may have the best air defense system on the planet, thanks to America using Taiwan as a listening post. At the top of the island is advanced radar used to listen to the Chinese.

Even if America does not come in to defend Taiwan, China would be facing something similar to what the Marines faced in the Battle of Saipan. The Japanese were dug in and the besieging Americans had to first create a beachhead and then root out the Japanese from the well defended positions. It took 70,000 Marines to root out the 30,000 Japanese defending the island. The Americans suffered 14,000 casualties while only one thousand Japanese survived.

The big difference is that Taiwan will fully mobilize their army of over a million men and be dug into a highly urbanized island of twenty-three million. That means the Chinese will need to mobilize a two million man invasion force. The general rule is you need at least a two-to-one advantage as the attacker. China has the people, but mobilizing, organizing and coordinating such a force is a huge task. That also means the Taiwanese will have months to prepare for the assault.

The Chinese certainly have gamed this out many times and they understand the mathematics of conquering Taiwan. That said, it is all theory as the Chinese have not waged serious war in a long time. The last large scale amphibious landing on a populated Pacific island was in World War II. An attack on Taiwan would be the first of its kind in the era of high tech weaponry. As the Russians have been learning in Ukraine, technology has radically changed the battlefield.

For example, cheap drones have proven to be a valuable tool. The Ukrainians had a lot of these to start the war and they proved to be a big problem. The Russians had to alter their tactics to account for this new weapon. One reason the fight in Ukraine has settled into an artillery duel is it is too easy for defenders to use cheap drones to disrupt the lines of the attacker. Cheap drones have a limited range, so the Russians operate outside that range to soften up Ukrainian positions.

Taiwan is not a backward kleptocracy. It is one the most high tech societies on the planet and they make most of the world’s chips. Taiwan could deploy massive swarms of cheap drones against the ships of an attacker. That is another lesson from Ukraine with regards to drones. This weapon does not require a lot of infrastructure to operate so artillery strikes are not a great deterrent. As long as you have soldiers who can do the minimum you can keep using your drone weapons.

Another aspect of cheap drone technology is they can be turned into what the industry calls a loitering munition. This is a weapon that flies over an area program to look for targets like tanks and supply vehicles. Once it spots one, it then attacks the target, usually by flying into it. One result of this has been that the Donbas militias which make up the bulk of the infantry in the Donbas have to operate from cover. There is no cover in the straight between China and Taiwan.

When you examine what is going on in the Donbas, it becomes clear that technology has had some unexpected consequences to war fighting. It is not the cutting edge technology that is shaping the battlefield. It is the commodified technology that is changing the mathematics. A defender employing lots of cheap drones against the attackers expensive assets has a clear edge. If it takes ten cheap missiles to take out an expensive tank, that is a good deal.

This is the problem China now faces with Taiwan. Their invasion fleet would be awfully expensive and the Taiwanese would have lots of targets. The Chinese would have to follow the Russian lead in the Donbas. That means siege warfare. China would have to blockade the island and relentlessly shell the urban areas hoping to degrade their communications and defense. The most likely result would be China eventually conquering a bombed out island with millions of dead.

Technology has made China less vulnerable to American military power by diminishing the value of sea power. Those giant carriers can now be hit from a long distance by ship-killing missiles. The same technology, however, is making Taiwan less vulnerable to Chinese military pressure. The same ship killing missiles can be used against an invasion force and cheap drones can radically increase the cost on infantry trying to assault Taiwanese defenses.

The point of all this is that the blithe assertions about the Chinese ability to take Taiwan are completely wrong. It would be a massive undertaking and even under ideal conditions it would create an enormous strain on China. Add back in unlimited submarine warfare from the American side and the taking of Taiwan becomes a massively expensive gamble. Further add in the closing of Western markets and taking Taiwan no longer makes any sense at all.

That is another lesson of Ukraine. The Russians have weathered the economic war because they are not dependent on the American economy. Russia primarily exports commodities into the global market. There is no practical way for Washington cut the Russians out of the marketplace. China, on the other hand, imports commodities and sells finished goods. Washington can cut off the sale of finished goods. It can also shift production to other areas, which is currently happening.

A blockade of Taiwan would certainly mean a blockade of Chinese goods not only by the United States but by Europe. The American Navy still controls the shipping lanes in the Pacific and China can do nothing about it. Unlike the Russian economy, the Chinese economy has no way around this problem. An attach on Taiwan would bring about a massive shock to the Chinese economy and that is before the West unleashed a currency war on the yuan.

The reason China is making a lot of noise but not doing anything rash over the Pelosi stunt is she understands the dilemma. Because of China’s dependence on Western markets, she has to be much more delicate in how she responds to American provocation than the Russians. That means increasing the flow of bribes into the imperial capital in order to get more friendly voices in Congress. It means a more flexible approach to the Russia issue.

The bottom line with China is that the threat she poses is not her agility to wage conventional war against her neighbors. The real threat of China is her ability to purchase favors in Washington. The Taiwan issue is a nice way for the American ruling class to shift the focus from that problem. The Chinese know this and mostly likely see the Pelosi trip as a demand for bigger bribes. If they do not want to see more trips to Taiwan, then they better hire better lobbyists.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Tsar Alexander’s Revenge

On the surface, Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which has put the Chinese on a war footing, does not make much sense. Pelosi is an old woman who barely knows where she is most of the time. It is an open secret that she will be retiring at the end of the year, assuming her party does not hold the House. If Washington wanted to communicate something to the Taiwanese leadership outside of official channels, they could do it any number of low profile ways.

The White House has tried to sell this trip as the doings of Pelosi and not connected with administration policy. They told their official organs that the military tried to dissuade her from the trip. On the eve of her landing, word has gone forth that there are contacts between the PLA and the US military to avoid an accident. Presumably, this means the American side is sure that the Chinese will not shoot down her plane or launch a preemptive attack against American assets.

If there is no reason for Pelosi to be visiting Taiwan and the administration was opposed to the trip, then why is she going? The most likely reason is that this is part of a global disruption campaign aimed at Russia and her allies. China has sided with the Russians over Ukraine and the sanctions regime imposed by the West. This trip is payback for not going along with Washington. The message being sent is that there is a cost to taking the side of Russia in this war.

Looked at as part of a pattern, this makes the most sense. Washington has been stirring up trouble in Syria. They have recently instigated conflict between Serbia and the breakaway area called Kosovo. It is suspected that Washington is trying to provoke another war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno- Karabakh region that separates the two countries. This provocation of China is just another part of a global destabilization campaign aimed at Russia.

In this context, Ukraine is not a cause of the war waged against Russia by the Global American Empire, but an extension of it. The effort to build a Ukrainian army that could regain lost territory and perhaps threaten Russia proper was part of a long term plan to break up Russia. The recent effort to color revolution the president of Belarus has been forgotten, but it too was part of this larger mission. The current world crisis is part of a plan to break up Russia and reorder Eurasia.

It sounds a bit farfetched but look back to the start of the war. There was a flurry of stories all based around the idea of breaking up Russia. Here is Bloomberg claiming that the only way to end Russian imperialism is disaggregation. Here is something in a British publication on the same theme. The National Interest really likes the idea of breaking up Russia. The Atlantic had its take on the idea. The rather implausible idea of breaking up Russia is an immensely popular idea in certain circles.

This ongoing hybrid was against Russia now taking center stage does explain why so many senior people were taking bribes from Ukraine. People forget the Trump impeachment show, but all of the witnesses against him had weird names, spoke little English and had connections to high ranking Washington players. It was a puzzle at the time, but looked at in the current context, it makes sense. Trump was impeached because he risked the Ukraine gambit.

This also explains the weird stance toward China. It has been clear for a long time that China poses a serious long term threat to America. Donald Trump ran on this topic and as president tried to get tough with China. On the other hand, official Washington fought him at every turn. Most just assumed that bribery was the issue. High ranking people like Joe Biden had been proudly taking bribes from China. Nancy Pelosi has also been on the take. Now both are trying to provoke China.

This schizophrenic relationship with China makes more sense when seen as a secondary issue for the foreign policy community. They opposed Trump for political and cultural reasons, but they specifically opposed his China policy because it threatened their Russia policy. They do not want a cold war with China as that shifts the focus from their war on Russia. This incident is just an effort to pressure China of Russia, not a long term strategy to confront China.

It may also be time to rethink the crusades against Islam. The general consensus was that was part of a scheme to turn Israel into the regional hegemon. That may have been viewed as a convenient narrative. It is well known that conservative white people have a fetish for Israel. The real prize, however, was Russia. The wars in the Muslim world were about targeting Russian clients. Syria, Iran and Iraq have all had strong relations with Russia going back generations.

This all may sound farfetched but consider that American foreign policy has been controlled by the neoconservatives since the Cold War. It has been a revolving door between neocon think tanks and the State Department. Administrations change, but policy does not change very much. This has come into focus under Biden, who is too infirmed to challenge the system. His administration is crawling with the same people who promoted the wars of the Bush years.

The current crisis may simply be part of a long term strategy by the semi-permanent foreign policy establishment to get revenge on Russia. The Cold War ended thirty years ago, but the desire to get revenge for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II transcends the current age for these people. Neoconservatism, whatever it was, is now a death cult organized around the destruction of Russia. As a result, the Global American Empire exists only as a weapon in that war.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


War With Iran

Note: My Taki post is on different topic from today’s post. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. It is also on Substack for paying members there. Going forward, I will post the pay-per-view material on both sites. Some people prefer Substack and other people prefer SubscribeStar.


The Middle East has been quiet of late, mostly due to the fighting in the Ukraine and the economic war being waged against Russia by the West. The endless squabbles in the Levant have had to take a backseat to events in Europe. That may be about to change as the looming war between Iran and Israel inches closer to reality. Some see Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia as a prelude the coming conflict as both countries have been allies with the United States against Iran.

The main reason to suspect war is closer now than ever is a leaked document about Israel’s plan to attack Iran. There is a great deal of mystery around who leaked it and why, but the assumption is that it is real. The main reason for this is the Israelis have been actively practicing for an attack on Iran. They have demonstrated that they have the technical ability to operate long distance missions deep into Iran to conduct attacks on targets related to the nuclear program.

Another clue is that the Saudis have started to allow Israeli commercial aircraft to operate over their airspace. If you look at a map, the best way for Israel to attack Iran is through Saudi airspace. The other route is through Syria and Iraq. One reason the IDF keeps attacking Syria is to test their air defense systems. Syria uses the same Russian SAM systems as Iran. Ideally, the Israelis would bypass those systems and only have to deal with the Iranian air defense system.

Of course, the Israelis have been trying to get the United States to attack Iran since the launch of the crusades against Islam in the Bush era. Long forgotten, but the scheme advanced by the neoconservatives was to use Iraq as a staging area to launch a full-scale invasion of Iran. This made a lot of sense as the United States had a huge army right there looking for work. The trouble is that army was losing the war with Iraqi insurgents so the scheme collapsed.

Even since the Israelis have mostly been working to prevent the United States from cutting a deal with Iran over their nuclear program. They strongly opposed the deal made by the Obama administration. Most of the foreign policy establishment opposed it as well, which is why they had Trump cancel the deal. Biden tried to revive it but his efforts have been stalled by incompetence. With negotiations off the table, the other options to stop the Iran nuclear programs are back in play.

This is where events in the Ukraine may play to the advantage of Israel. It is clear that the Russians will eliminate the Ukrainian army in the east. It is also clear that the economic war with Russia is a disaster. The Biden administration could use a change of scenery with regards to foreign policy. They are looking for some way to put pressure on the Russians and an attack on her client states in the Middle East could do that and shift attention away from the Ukrainian debacle.

From the Israeli perspective, an attack on Iran is not cost free, but the benefits clearly outweigh the liabilities, assuming it works. If they can destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, the response from Iran will be worth it. The Iranians could launch missiles into Israel and unleash their militias in Lebanon and Syria, but they have no way to inflict corresponding damage to Israel. They would eventually run out of missiles and the net effect would be a big win for the Israelis.

Washington would most likely use this as a way to pry the Saudis away from any deal to join BRICS. Iran would know that the Saudis let Israel “violate their airspace” to conduct the attack so any rapprochement would come to an end. Washington has used the threat of Iran to keep the Saudis onboard. An Israeli attack would force the kingdom to renew cordial relations with America, which would require them to get onboard the sanctions regime against the Russians.

This may sound like 4-D chess but recall how every TV news anchor was chanting “Keev” and wearing a Ukrainian flag on their costume in February. The neocons think long term and they never give up on a project. They probably have a disinformation campaign ready with claims about how Iran plans to close the Persian Gulf and attack Saudi oil supplies. Even if it does not lead to war with Iran, it would shift the focus from Ukraine and justify the economic war against Russia.

To a normal mind, this is crazy but the people running American foreign policy thought staring a war with Russia was a good idea. The people who were sure Russia would run out of missiles after a week are sure an attack on Iran can work. They are the same people who thought occupying a place called “the graveyard of empires” for a quarter of a century was a great idea. In American foreign policy, the more ridiculous the idea the more likely it is to be embraced.

The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that the United States has emptied out the warehouses for the Ukrainians. A war involving Israel would spur Congress to throw billions at the military to restock the shelves. War is big business and the business of the Global American Empire is war. It is not hard to imagine a consensus forming around letting Israel attack Iran when all the people in the room think they can get rich from the fallout of such an attack.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Test Of Strategy

In sports, the final test is the game or the match in which the two sides compete with one side coming out victorious. All the practice and preparation are finally tested on the field against a real opponent. Similarly, war is the final test between nations competing with one another on the world stage. All the theory and strategy that each side was sure would work is put to the test.

This is what we are seeing in the Ukraine. Since 2014, NATO counties have been arming and equipping the Ukrainian army for a war with Russia. For about the same time, the Russians have been thinking about war with the West. Preparation for fighting Ukraine started only a few years ago, but it has been clear to Russian leaders that conflict with the West was coming at some point.

Getting back to the sports analogy, NATO, which is America for all practical purposes, has been the reigning champion. Since the Cold War it has been assumed that no military could challenge the US military. The combination of technology, experience and economic resources made it possible for American to take the fight to any place on the planet and fight in the enemy’s backyard.

That last bit is an important part of the formula. If you have to fight a war on your home territory, winning comes with a fair bit of losing. Even before industrial war, defending your own lands meant disruption to your economy and culture. Fighting on the other guy’s turf is always preferred. Winning is all upside and you can mitigate the cost of losing by withdrawing before total defeat.

This was the formula for destroying Russia. The West, which again is the Global American Empire, would wage a proxy war on the borders of Russia. This would force the Russians to exhaust themselves defending the border. Eventually, the war would move onto Russian territory. Of course, economic war in this age is presumed to be one way to bring the war home to the civilian population.

From the very start, the collective West has operated under the assumption that the Russians could not sustain combat activity in the Ukraine for long. According to all the analysis, the Russians lacked the manpower, the money and the supplies to fight for more than a few months. Many analysts claimed that the war would last but a few weeks before the Russians ran out of material to fight.

Here we are five months into the war and that last bit of analysis has proved to be completely wrong. A study by the Royal United Services Institute, a venerable British institution, finds that the Russians have more than enough industrial capacity to maintain this war for as long as it takes. In fact, the evidence suggests that they have much more capacity than is currently being used.

Last weekend, the Russian army along with militia forces took control of the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Luhansk region of the Donbas. This ensures the quick end to the Ukrainian occupation of that region. There will be some cleaning up before the final push to destroy the rest of the Ukrainian army currently hunkered down in the towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

Getting back to the sports analogy, the much smaller force taking the fight to the larger force in this war is like the smaller man going on the offensive against the bigger champion in a boxing match. The Russian expeditionary force is less that two hundred thousand men, while the Ukrainian army is half a million. Then there is the fact that the Ukrainians were armed and trained by the collective West.

There is a lot to be said about the technical aspects of the war and how the Russians have been able to defeat the Ukrainians. There is no question that the Russians, after some early missteps, have been better tactically than the West. The Ukrainians have been doing what American commanders have instructed, but the Russians seem to have done their homework and anticipated these moves.

All of the particulars are interesting on their own and will get analyzed in due time, but the larger issue is what matters now. The West went into this fight, in fact they precipitated the fight, sure that their strategy was superior. The war in Ukraine was going to be the proof of concept. The forces of democracy, trained by the heroes of democracy, would triumph over the opponents of democracy.

Right now, the going is slow for the Russians due to the fact they are meticulously removing an army from industrial areas in large population zones. In the next month, the battle will move to the open country where Russians air power and mobile units will come into their own. Instead of artillery battles, it will be one army demolishing the remnant of another army in the open field.

In other words, to get back to the sports analogy, we are about to enter the part of the fight where it is clear the champion is in serious trouble. This is when the announcers say something about how the champion was not prepared for the fight or that the opponent came in with a better strategy. Barring some miracle, the underrated challenger is going to score a huge upset over the champion.

This is not a boxing match. What the summer and autumn will bring is a flood of refugees from Ukraine into the West. The Germans are already facing a Turnip Winter thanks to energy shortages. The Poles are running out of money and patience with regards to the refugee situation. The collective West is facing a severe economic crisis as a result of the war against Russia.

Getting back to where we started, this war is the great test of the New World Order that Western elites have been boasting about at swanky conferences. It is not about Ukraine, but about the new way of running society. This was supposed to be the great leap forward into international managerialism, rule by the global best. Instead, it is looking like a global disaster caused by the West.

In sports, coaches, trainers and strategists whose teams and athletes fail in competition get fired from their jobs. It remains to be seen whether the people behind this debacle will get fired. History says they will learn nothing from this debacle. Like the restored Bourbons, Western elites forget nothing and learn nothing. On the other hand, if things get bad enough, they may not have a choice in the matter.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Story Tellers

The war in Ukraine has brought into focus a strange belief among the ruling elites of the West that the world is controlled by narratives. If they can conjure a good story that seems to cover the facts in evidence, then the story is not only true, but it will control reality for the people in it. It is a form of abductive reasoning where they start with observations of varying degrees of plausibility, make sweeping conclusion and then declare war on anyone who raises doubts about them.

Formally, abduction is a form of logical inference. You begin with a set of observations and then look for the most likely conclusion from the observations. It is simply the best available explanation for what is observed. There is the possibility that some less likely or entirely unknown explanation is the correct one. This is where the ruling class logic departs from the formal definition. The explanation deemed most likely becomes an article of faith, often in support of some other belief.

Another difference from the formal definition is that the initial set of observations are never debated or reevaluated. The faith of the ruling class in their own ability to observe and define the world rules out uncertainty about their observations. Since many of the observations are part of this process, reconsidering these observations means questioning the reasoning behind them. More important, it means doubting the reasoner behind them and that is forbidden.

With regards to the war in Ukraine, Western leaders told the politicians that Russia was nothing but a big gas station with large land holdings. They could not sustain a large army in the field for very long. They lacked the capacity to make the ammunition and equipment needed for the war. Her economy was no better than Venezuela, so a boycott would bring it crashing down and before long it would lead to one of those mysterious color revolutions so popular these days.

This set of observations dates back to the post-Cold War days when the Russian economy was recovering from the collapse of communism. To whatever extent they were true at the time, no one has bothered to update them. They have become articles of faith, pillars upon which all relations with Russia are based. Over time, the new set of observations about Putin have been synthesized by the same crowd to fill in the gaps between the prior observations.

This mental framework with regards to Russia and the war in the Ukraine is so brittle and inflexible, it is forced to ignore facts on the ground. This story in a main Western media organ has become a standing head. In the old days of the newspaper business, a standing head was a headline used so often that it was made into a permanent block for the printer. For five months, Western media has been quoting regime experts claiming the Russians are about to run out of supplies.

The first quoted official is illustrative. “There will come a time when the tiny advances Russia is making become unsustainable in light of the costs and they will need a significant pause to regenerate capability.” This is true only within the logical framework of the belief set. The fact that Russia is obliterating the Ukrainian army and seizing large chunks of territory is ignored. The fact that the prior predictions have been false and the Russians show no signs of running out material is also ignored.

The undeniable truth of the war is that the Russians are using an expeditionary force of about 200,000 men from its professional army to systematically annihilate the Ukrainian army, which is larger and dug into fortified positions. This is possible because Russia is not a gas station with land holdings. In fact, it now has a military industrial capacity greater than the West. It can sustain its operations in Ukraine for as long as it takes to destroy the Ukraine and its ability to field an army.

None of this seems to register with the decision makers. This quote from retired Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of U.S. forces in Europe who is now with the Center for European Policy Analysis, is illustrative. “I remain very optimistic that Ukraine is going to win.” He then added, “Right now it sucks to be on the receiving end of all this Russian artillery. But my assessment is that things are going to be trending in favor of the Ukrainians in the next few weeks.”

The natural assumption by people in control of their faculties and aware of what is happening in the Ukraine is that these people are lying. Many of them, especially the ISW types, have a well known cultural affinity for lying. This general, and many like him in the decision tree, display no signs of sociopathy. They genuinely believe the narratives that they have played a role in creating. The fantasy world they have made for themselves is now more real than physical reality.

This disconnect between the world the elites imagine they control and the world that exists for everyone else is the crisis in the West. Four months ago, that general should have seen that their plan to bunkerize the Donbas and wait out the Russians was quickly becoming a suicide pact. The Russians are simply standing off and hammering these fortifications with artillery. This reduces their losses to the barest minimum, while it slowly and systematically destroys Ukraine.

That is reality, but for Western elites, this does not exist. Instead, they imagine a world where heroic fighters, who look a lot like them, are defending against an increasingly desperate horde of barbarians from over the horizon. It is the great battle for Middle Earth and the beautiful people are the elves and the Ukrainians are the humans, hobbits and other lower creatures of the world. Meanwhile, Putin is Sauron and his army are those vicious, bloodthirsty orcs.

The war in the Ukraine is but one glaring example. The gap between reality and the narratives created by the ruling class are everywhere. The energy crisis they created is not angry people paying five dollars a gallon for gas. It is the struggle to break free from hydrocarbons and transition to a world powered by fairy dust. Food shortages are just the price to be paid for transitioning to sustainable food created in labs using twigs and bugs so that the woodland creatures may be free.

No matter the problem, they have a story for it. They call these stories “messaging” but they are just stories to comport the bits of reality that interrupt the dream, with the larger narratives that define ruling class reality. This summer we will be awash in messaging in the run up to the election, which now works like an award show for the freaks that populate the political class. The best message wins. The winner then gets to spin some new narratives to please the Cloud People.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Crisis Of Competence

One of the subtexts to the current war in the Ukraine is the fact that the West has been wrong about every aspect of the conflict. None of the predictions about the actual fighting have been correct. Even the propaganda has been hilariously wrong, often making the West look foolish. The economic response, which was supposed to be a fatal blow to Russia, has gone horribly wrong. Europe now faces an unprecedented energy shortage this fall and winter.

The bulk of the blame lies at the feet of the neoconservatives running foreign policy for the Global American Empire. The same cast of characters who were horrifically wrong about Iraq and Afghanistan in the Bush years have managed to turn a regional issue into a global disaster. London and Brussels, along with the provincials occupying legacy positions in national government share blame as well. They enthusiastically went along with a war plan that had no chance to succeed.

The degree of wrongness is a thing of beauty, when you can look at it from a purely objective point of view. Rolling dice, flipping coins or pulling policy ideas out of a hat would have had a better result. One could be forgiven for thinking that maybe this series of errors is somehow deliberate. Maybe that ridiculous bald guy from the World Economic Forum really is a super villain. The masters of the universe are setting the West ablaze so they can build back better.

The question that should be pondered is why has everything gone so terribly long for the collective West? One reason is competence. The Global American Empire is led by a man who barely knows where he is most of the time. In his prime, Joe Biden was known as an affable moron. In his dotage, he is a confused and incompetent old man unable to perform his duties. His handlers give him stage instructions for basic things like where and when to sit.

Biden is the bit of the iceberg we see. There is a whole apparatus around him that was instrumental in getting him into office. The Washington political community thought a dementia patient was better than Trump. That says nothing about Trump and everything about the people who engineered Biden’s ascension. People forget that the Democratic Party had to rig its own primary to get Biden the nomination. They never stopped to think what this would mean after the election.

Of course, this degree of incompetence is made possible by a political culture that is defensive, isolated and insulated. They picked Biden because he was the safest option to get rid of Trump. Biden’s primary appeal to the political class was that he was a vegetable they could move around however they pleased. Biden and his family were simply happy to fill the role and play their part. He also provided the best chance of liberating the city from the scourge of Trump people.

That decision gets to the insularity of the political class, not just in Washington, but across the collective West. These are people without any understanding of the societies over which they rule. When you look at the resumes of these people, the common feature is no experience in the dreaded private sector. Politics has been their life since they were adults. In fact, we have reached a point where private sector experience raises suspicion in the political class.

These are people who simply have no idea how things work. They just take for granted that things work. Like the heirs of a family business, the political class has spent their life in a system without ever having to think about how it came into being. The system of power they command is a permanent feature of life. The only variable is who will have control of the institutions of power. That is politics, the game of verbal chess which picks the winners and losers in the system.

Therein lies the other cause of this unfolding disaster. The West is a collection of people who deal in words exclusively. They have never done anything, other than talk about making other people do things. Nancy Pelosi has been in Washington for eighty years and there is no single physical thing she can point to, other than her ten-thousand-dollar freezer, as a product of her political career. When she is dead, the next wave will wash away her footprints in the sand and she will be forgotten.

On the other side of this fight is a different system, one that is the result of people doing things and rising in the ranks as a consequence. Putin is a man who had to navigate a world where failure meant prison or death. When that world collapsed, he had to navigate a world of chaos. When he gained power, he then had to impose order, often taking on powerful oligarchs backed by Western interests. Putin and his ruling circle are a collection of men who do things, not just talk about things.

Six months ago, the West was prepared to give the Russians a good tongue lashing, cancel her from the internet and de-platform her from the financial system. On the other side, the Russians prepared to fight a war against a well-armed and prepared enemy in Ukraine and a well-armed and prepared West on the world stage. One side was ready for a battle of words while the other side was ready for a battle of actions. It turns out that words count for a lot less than actions.

All civilizations have periods of incompetence. The Russians suffered through the Gorbachev and Yeltsin periods. The difference for the West is that the system has been selecting for bourgeois obsequiousness for a long time. The reason Washington is run by fossils is the next in line is much worse than the geezers. Mitch McConnell knows something about running the party. Kevin McCarthy was selected because no one in power worried that he would be a challenge.

The crisis of the West is that it is now run by a managerial class that was selected for being the teacher’s pet, ticking the right box on a form and making sure to never utter a discouraging word around the boss. It is why presidents have been increasingly ridiculous since the Cold War. Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden are all mileposts in the decline of competence. Next up is Kamala Harris, an absurd manifestation of a system that selects against competence.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Ukrainian Disaster

In 9 AD the Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus led three legions across the Rhine to teach the barbarians a lesson. In what the history books call the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the barbarians ambushed the Romans and wiped them out in what the Romans would call the Varian disaster. This event ended the expansion of the Roman empire into what is now Germany. Other than some retaliatory excursions, the Rhine became the de facto boundary for the empire.

We may be seeing another Varian disaster in Ukraine. This time the empire moving east is the Global American Empire and the battle is the Donbas. This is the disputed region in the east of Ukraine that has historically identified with Russia. They revolted against Kiev in 2014 after the American State Department toppled the Ukrainian government and installed a puppet regime hostile to Russia. The resulting civil war in the east and the south culminated in the Russian invasion in January.

A few months ago, every cable shout show host was festooned with Ukraine flags while spinning tales about the evil Russians. Ukraine was who we were as a people, willing to bear any burden to defend democracy. Every expert assured us that the Russians would revolt against their evil dictator and the Russian army would quit in the field, once they knew the Twitter mob had cancelled them. It was just a matter of time before Zelensky was taking selfies in Moscow.

Like the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Battle of the Donbas is shaping up to be a humiliating defeat for the empire. The Ukrainian army is now trapped in various pockets with limited supplies and no chance to escape. The Russians have maneuvered them into a position where their artillery, what little remains cannot reach the Russians, but the Russian artillery can reach them. The Russians have a lot of artillery and they are incredibly good at the use of it in siege warfare.

No one knows for sure, but reliable estimates going back a couple of months suggest the Ukrainians have been losing up to one thousand troops a day. These estimates are based on known figures for Ukrainian units at various places like Mariupol and then comparing them to areas that have come under Russian control. The Zelensky government has been slowly raising its own estimates, suggesting they are losing close to five hundred troops per day.

Until the war ends and there is an official effort to count the dead, we are left to guess about the casualties, but what is clear is that this is a one-sided war. For reasons no one has yet to explain, the West instructed the Ukrainians to take up positions in fortified cities rather than go out to meet the Russian army in the field. The Ukrainians had more battle ready troops at the start of the war than the Russians and they had the advantage of working on their own territory.

Choosing to fight a defensive war allowed the Russians to maneuver the Ukrainians into pockets around the east and south. They could then pick and choose their targets, bringing superior fire power to destroy the defenders. The West poured in weapons but it turns out that anti-tank weapons are of little use against an artillery barrage from over the horizon. Once the Russians sorted out what the Ukrainians were doing, it has been a turkey shoot since the spring.

Just from a military perspective, this is a disaster. War doctrine says that an invader needs a significant advantage in men and material. Because of the blunders of the Ukraine’s Western handlers, the smaller invading force will end up obliterating the larger defending force. It is not just about taking territory. The Russians are systematically destroying the army so that it can never regroup. This will be one of those events that military historians study for years to come.

The military aspect is the smallest part of this unfolding disaster. The absurd triumphalism of last winter has now given way to panic in Europe. Their economy is in an inflationary spiral that is only going to get worse. The sanctions on Russia have wreaked havoc on the EU economy. Energy prices are ratcheting up and serious food shortages are on the horizon. Compounding it is the fact that the sanctions are just starting to bite. Things will get worse by autumn.

The scene is not much better in the United States. The added element is that the people in charge look like the day room at a rest home. The economic woes have highlighted the fact that the people in charge are old and stupid. People will suffer bad economic time if they assume the ruling class has people who will eventually rise up and put things in good order. What the unfolding economic crisis is doing in America is revealing the dearth of competence in the ruling class.

Things are about to get worse. At some point this summer, the Ukrainian army will cease to exist as a practical matter. Observers think the Russians will wrap up the Donbas in the coming weeks. They will have achieved most of their goals when the conflict started plus a couple of extra items. They will be free to take control of Odessa, thus turning Ukraine into a landlocked country. It will also be an economic basket case entirely dependent on Western aid.

In other words, the West will be saddled with an exceptionally large humanitarian disaster at a time when the West is facing terrible economic conditions. The West may have no choice but to sit down with the Russians to hammer out a solution. On top of the loss in the field and the economic debacle, Western leaders will have to endure the humiliation of shaking hands with Putin. Whatever credibility Western leaders have left will evaporate at that moment.

In the grand scheme of things, the Varian disaster was more of an inflection point than a disaster for the empire. It was the point at which the empire shifted from expansionism to a defensive posture. For the Global American Empire, the Ukraine disaster may be much more consequential. This debacle undermines the fundamental logic of the global American system. In time it could be the point where the Cold War finally ends for the West and a great retrenchment begins.


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