Ukraine Prepares

The new year brings a bunch of hair pulling over the decision by Trump to withdraw troops from Syria and lessen the amount of troops in Afghanistan…..

The media and its pundits have trotted out every pro-war person they could find to crap on this decision….but while the whole M-IC and the Neocon establishment are fretting over this announcement half way around the world there is a real chance that a war could break out……

While western media frets over Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, Ukraine is trying to start a war with Russia.

While much of the western media is fretting over the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from northern Syria there is another potential conflict brewing. This time, the trouble is, once again, coming from Ukraine, where NATO may end up getting the confrontation with Russia they so desire.

Last month, the long-simmering tension between Russia and Ukraine came to a head when Ukrainian Navy ships entered the Sea of Azov heading towards the Kerch Strait. According to Moscow, this was a violation of Russia’s territorial waters and resulted in the Ukrainian ships being stopped by Russian vessels and 24 sailors being detained.

https://theantimedia.com/syria-ukraine-war-russia/

If hostilities turn into a shooting war then we know that the US will come to the aid of Ukraine….the M-IC will demand it.

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Rasputin….Rasputin…..Let Down Your Hair

Or was that Rapunzel?

This post is not a nursery rhyme instead about the history of Russia early 20th century…..and one of my favorite figures in Russian history.

Grigory Rasputin…..a Russian monk that became the center of Russian foreign policy……the story goes that he was so hated that a few Russian military officers invited Rasputin to a party knowing he would not resist because of his love of drink and fast women…….Rasputin got drunk and the officers poisoned him, stabbed him, shot him and eventually drowned him…..any way his influence over the tsarina was eliminated……

But his life until his death was fascinating……

Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin (1872-1916) was the infamous ‘holy man’ whose ability to heal the Tsar and Tsarina’s son Alexis led to his being adopted as a supreme mystic at court.  Growing in influence to the point where he effectively dictated policy he was eventually assassinated by a group of court conspirators in December 1916.

Born in 1872 at Pokrovskoye in Siberia to a peasant family, Rasputin’s limited education left him without the ability to either read or write. Even at a young age he earned himself such a reputation for devoted debauchery that his actual name of Grigory Yefimovich Novykh was replaced with the surname ‘Rasputin’ – Russian for ‘debauched one’.

https://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/rasputin.htm

His life is interesting but the circumstances around is death and damn well fascinating……

The mysterious Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, a peasant who claimed powers of healing and prediction, had the ear of Russian Czarina Alexandra. The aristocracy held negative views about a peasant in such a high position, and peasants disliked the rumors that the czarina was sleeping with such a scoundrel. Rasputin was seen as “the dark force” who was ruining Mother Russia.To save the monarchy, several members of the aristocracy attempted to murder Rasputin. On the night of Dec. 16, 1916, they tried. The plan was simple. Yet on that fateful night, the conspirators found that killing Rasputin would be very difficult indeed.

The next time you play Triaval Pursuit and the hstory question is….who in history was strangled, stabbed, shot, poisoned and finally drowned?  You will know the answer.
History is just great stuff…..plus it is always good to learn stuff…..
A New Year and more history to delight some and dismay others……
Class Dismissed!

A “Gulf Of Tonkin” Moment!

As I research I see a couple of “Gulf Of Tonkin” moments…..I see a couple of situations that could be pushed to the point of no return…..but what is a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident?

I could waste your time with a wordy description or I could make it simple……I chose simple….

Now that we know what I mean where can there be the situations that could be disastrous?

Russia/Ukraine in the Sea of Azov…….

Ukraine, Russia and US Navies are in close contact in this region and a small incident could explode into more troubles……

The jockeying for position goes on……Ukraine wants the West to up its sanctions on Russia…..

Speaking at a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the foreign minister of Ukraine denounced the recent seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew by Russian forces off Crimea, saying it represented another assault on international law.

“It is a matter of urgency to provide a prompt and consolidated international response to this act of aggression. Declarations are not enough. There must be action,” Pavlo Klimkin told the annual gathering of OSCE ministers.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-osce/ukraine-asks-west-to-ramp-up-sanctions-on-russia-idUKKBN1O51J3

There are those that do not think Ukraine deserves undying loyalty……

The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin’s blatant aggression and “outlaw behavior” against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories.

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev’s broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine’s volatile domestic politics.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ukraine-doesnt-deserve-americas-blind-support/

There is more to watch in region around the Sea of Azov……

No one wants war, but this is how one gets a war. Two angry states are poking and probing at the flammable edges of an extended war zone, each acting in what it believes is a controlled fashion with little risk of escalation, but each ready to risk the next step if the price of retreat seems too high. Here begins the chain of actions and reactions coupled with miscalculations leading to a conflagration neither wants or expects.

The violent incident on the approach to the Kerch Strait is not how many in the West envisage the path to war in Europe. That path is different from Russia using stealth to take a bite out of the Baltic states. It is also not Moscow heating up the war in Donbas before launching an assault on all of eastern Ukraine or conquering a land bridge from Donbas to Crimea. Nor was it Russia using a snap exercise to disguise an attack on a soft portion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s defenses.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/nightmare-how-war-ukraine-could-go-regional-37557

That region is a possible hot spot and there is another Gulf of Tonkin incident waiting to happen…..Iran.

There are those that see a war in the making…….

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repeated an earlier threat to block ships from leaving the Persian Gulf if the U.S. government continues to seek to block Iranian oil exports. Rouhani’s comments came a day after the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf on Monday in an apparent “show of force,” ending the longest period the U.S. had gone without an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf over the past two decades.

While some – at the time – anticipated that the U.S.’ deployment of the aircraft carrier was an empty threat meant to intimidate Iran, new developments suggest that there may soon be a military showdown in the Persian Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz as Iranian and regional media have reported that the Iranian Navy has deployed a large naval contingent of 58 fleets to the northern waters of the Indian Ocean near the Persian Gulf. According to Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, the naval contingent is closely monitoring the area as they await orders from the Iranian government.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/persian-gulf-of-tonkin-ingredients-all-in-place-for-us-war-on-iran/5662075

Seriously?

This seems inevitable……all we can do is hope that calmer heads will prevail…..but with these Neocons in positions of power around Trump….calmer heads are out numbered.

The Azov Affair

First the US has decided that the old INF Treaty is not as good as it could be……then shortly after Trump’s spoke of his decision the Sea of Azov incident happened…..

Thoughts I had earlier……https://lobotero.com/2018/10/30/the-inf-in-the-rear-view-mirror/

Then my thoughts on the Russia/Ukraine mash-up……https://lobotero.com/2018/11/26/will-calmer-heads-prevail/

Then I read that the US was giving Russia days to comply or suffer……

 After years of claiming Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the US is giving Russia 60 days to comply with the deal.

The big obstacle to this is, despite the US making such allegations for several years, and getting NATO to endorse their narrative, Russia has denied ever violating the deal in the first place, and insists the missile in question, the 9m729, is not banned by the treaty.

The question is based on the missile’s range, with INF banning everything from 500 km to 5,500 km. Russia has only tested the missile to about 400 km, and it is intended to replace a missile that itself was only 400 km. US officials, however, have speculated that the missile has a much longer range

https://theantimedia.com/russia-comply-nuclear-treaty-60-days/

In response to rising tensions…..the Treaty thing and the Azov Affair…..Russia has given their answer by deploying missiles…..

Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

“If the INF treaty is destroyed, we won’t leave it without a response,” he said in a presentation to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to an official transcript. “You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-05/russia-touts-combat-lasers-amid-u-s-missile-treaty-ultimatum

Just what our military needs yet another conflict to worry about….I think they have their hands full with all the armed conflicts these days…..why not try something novel like….DIPLOMACY?

But then does Ukraine deserve blind support by the Trump Boyz?….My thought is NO…no country deserves blind support…..but I may be alone….or not……

The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin’s blatant aggression and “outlaw behavior” against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories.

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev’s broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine’s volatile domestic politics.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ukraine-doesnt-deserve-americas-blind-support/

These situations with Russia have the possibility of turning ugly quickly……

Learn Stuff!

Thoughts?

What Of A World War 3?

This report I read got me to thinking and that got me to the research mode that I do enjoy…..

There was something that a British general had to say……

A British general is warning his country and the West about Russia—a threat he calls worse than anything posed by ISIS or al-Qaeda, the BBC reports. “The Russians seek to exploit vulnerability and weakness wherever they detect it,” General Mark Carleton-Smith tells the Telegraph. “Russia today indisputably represents a far greater threat to our national security than Islamic extremist threats such as al-Qaeda and [ISIS].” Carleton-Smith, who led Britain’s fight against ISIS and in June became head of the British army, says military action has weakened Islamic militants. But in the wake of alleged poisoning and cyber-attacks, Russia looms large.

“Russia has embarked on a systematic effort to explore and exploit Western vulnerabilities, particularly in some of the non-traditional areas of cyber, space, undersea warfare,” he says. But he opposes any notion (perhaps like French President Emmanuel Macron’s) that would weaken the military strength of NATO. He says the “center of gravity of European security” should hold fast. “In my experience, we should reinforce success.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov derided Carleton-Smith’s remarks while visiting Lisbon, Radio Free Europe reports. “We cannot influence the British government’s decisions as to whom they trust to head its armed forces,” says Lavrov. “I hope they check the appropriateness of such decisions.”
What are the reports that will help us fight any war against Russia or China?

America’s military superiority has “eroded to a dangerous degree,” leaving the U.S. in a “crisis of national security,” especially if faced with more than one conflict at once, a new congressionally mandated report concluded.

“The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict,” reads the report, issued Wednesday by the National Defense Strategy Commission. “It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/11/14/a-crisis-of-national-security-new-report-to-congress-sounds-alarm/

In case you were speed reading…..the report said that the US could possibly lose any conflict against China or Russia…..do I need to repeat that?

Russia or China?….does not look good…the predictions can be wrong but most times they are accurate…..time to re-think the “strong man” attitude and embrace a form of diplomacy.
But until we do that embracing…..read on and on…..

Congress commissioned a report from the National Defense Strategy Commission on Pentagon readiness. It is relatively predictable what these reports would boil down to, because they always come down to the same conclusion.

Despite vastly outspending every other country in the world on the military, the report concludes that US military superiority “has eroded to a dangerous degree,” and is facing a “crisis.” The solution they counsel is, as ever, a massive increase in military spending.

The report uses the typical scare-mongering to try to justify an increase in expenditures, claiming that the US “might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia,” and that the US might be “overwhelmed” in the even of two or more war fronts simultaneously.

This echoes, if perhaps in even more dire terms, past reports that also claimed the constant fighting of several wars is eroding readiness, and that the US needs to spend even more money. The problem is, the increased spending has kept being approved, and every time, it leads to a new round of reports warning that they need all the more money.

The US is always spending many-fold more money than anyone else, and fighting more wars than anyone else. Yet despite nations like Russia increasingly limiting their military goals, the reports are forever claiming Russia is seriously a threat to carry out attacks on the US home-front. Such claims are preposterous, but have reliably worked in getting more money.

(antiwar.com)

Time to re-think the tactics of 50 years…..time to embrace diplomacy over the bully on the block attitude.

P.S. Don’t take it out on me…I am just passing along what some are reporting within the defense industry…..

Will Calmer Heads Prevail?

If Americans cannot be bothered to remember that our troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan then anything happening in the Black Sea means nothing to them.

Image result for Ukraine images

But while we were choking down turkey day left-overs the region of Southern Europe moved a little closer to all out war…..

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are once again soaring this weekend, with reports that Russia has seized three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula. Crimea is de facto under Russian control, but Ukraine considers it part of their territory.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine accused Russian ships of ramming their tugboat in the Sea of Azov and opened fire on the gunships, injuring two. Russia claims that the Ukrainian ships were illegally in Russian waters at the time, and that the Sea was closed for security reasons.

Ukraine, which has been talking up war with Russia for years, is quickly escalating, with the National Security and Defense Council planning a midnight session at which they intend to declare war on Russia, and will urge parliament to impose martial law across Ukraine, a vote which will happen Monday.

(antiwar.com)

Since we are moving closer to a bigger involvement amybe knowing a little more would be a help….

Like I said in the title…..will calmer heads prevail?

The interesting part will be how Our Dead Supreme Leader approaches the Supreme Leader of Russia at the G-20……any guesses which side he will choose?

We can hope they will but these days I am not so confident they will.

You?

Where Oh Where Did Russia-Gate Go?

I do enjoy international relations and it has been sadly missing while people thumped their chest about the vote….and now before the conversation turns to 2020 I would like to talk about other “stuff”…….

The election is over and a distant story has been replaced with who voted for who and why….does anyone out there remember the whole Russia-gate thingy?

Well to make a bunch of Trump supporters happy it has been all but forgotten…..

After all the screaming headlines and hysterical talk of “treason,” the Russia-gate hoax was almost entirely absent from the midterms. One would think that the other party being in the hands of a ruthless foreign dictator who has it in for America would be a major campaign issue – that is, if the Democrats actually believed their own propaganda. However, we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of Putin in all those campaign ads, or at least hardly a glance: that’s because Russia-gate has always been a fraud, a setup, and really a criminal conspiracy to take down a sitting US President on the basis of a gigantic lie.

As the promulgators of that lie are exposed – the Deep State amalgam that includes foreign intelligence agencies as well as Trump’s domestic opponents – Democrats are backing away from what has suddenly become, for them, a very messy narrative. For what has happened is that the narrative has turned on them, and now implicates them in a massive scheme to embroil the Trump campaign in a web of foreign influencers.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/11/04/whatever-happened-to-the-russia-gate-scandal/

Now that the election has been decided will the Russia thingy come around again?

I’m guessing yes it will….especially since Our Dear Supreme Leader has fired Sessions…..