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Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

We Might Be Spared Nuclear War For Now But The Threat Of Home-Grown Tyranny Remains

Posted by M. C. on September 26, 2022

Tyler Durden's Photo

BY TYLER DURDEN

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

If you want to comprehend the collapse of the West, compare, for example, Liz Truss and her UK government with the British government around the middle of the 19th century. James Grant in his biography of Walter Bagehot reports, for example, that Prime Minister Gladstone translated Horace and Homer, published substantial works on religion and Neapolitan politics, and addressed the Ionian assembly in classical Greek. Parliamentarian Robert Lowe was fluent in Sanskrit. Sir George Lewis was the author of Survey of the Astronomy of the Ancients. The House of Lords had its own learned members. Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, was a Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain’s National Academy of Sciences. Today we have presidents and prime ministers who can’t speak English.

In the US merit has been redefined as racist, and educational standards have been so lowered that the large grocery store chains do not trust their checkout clerks to give change.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/we-might-be-spared-nuclear-war-now-threat-home-grown-tyranny-remains

As readers know, I am convinced that Putin’s toleration of insults and provocations has had the effect of encouraging more and worse provocations and not, as he intended, to downplay conflict.  As you also know, I am convinced that his “limited military operation” in Donbass designed to protect the Donbass Russians, formerly a part of Russia, from horrible abuse by Ukrainian forces and the neo-Nazi militias, was a mistake.  It is a mistake because the West characterized a limited operation as an “invasion of Ukraine,” and used its slow progress as evidence of Russian failure.  It is a mistake because the go-slow nature of the Russian offensive in order to minimize the impact on civilian lives and infrastructure gave the West plenty of time to convince itself to get more and more involved with diplomatic support, money, armaments and ammunition, training, and now with satellite  information for targeting the Russian forces.

As I see it, Putin has been behaving as British Prime Minister Chamberlain is alleged to have behaved, thus encouraging more aggressive actions.  Wanting peace at all costs brings war.

As it is no longer possible for the Kremlin to speak of  “our Western partners” or to deny that the West is at war with Russia, the Kremlin, trying to avoid a war that it knows would be nuclear, has reached my conclusion of eight years ago that if the areas in today’s artificial borders of Ukraine that require Russian protection were reincorporated into Russia, the conflict would have to cease or become direct Western military aggression against Russia.  As Biden says he has no stomach for a war with Russia and will not permit one, and as NATO is incapable of such war, the referendums that begin today in the liberated areas of Ukraine, which without question will succeed, promise to reduce the threat of Armageddon.  Although in my opinion the leadership everywhere in the Western world is Satanic and insane, I do not think the Western governing elites are ready to commit suicide by attacking Russian territory. The West can say it doesn’t recognize the rights of people to self-determination, but if Russia says it is Russian territory, it is.

So that you understand, the referendums are Putin’s way of ending the conflict before it widens into nuclear war.  Putin’s rescue of the world from nuclear war will not be acknowledged by the Western presstitutes, Washington’s puppet EU and UK governments, or by the puppet who serves as NATO secretary general.  

But what they think does not matter. Putin, belatedly, is doing his best to save us all from nuclear war.  Pray that he succeeds.

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I Know What I’d Do in Putin’s Shoes – Jordan Peterson

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2022

The popular commentator said he’d cut off energy supplies to the EU if he were the president of Russia

“We can’t win against Vladimir Putin in any way because you cannot win against someone you cannot say ‘no’ to. Period. And we can’t say ‘no’ to Putin because we sold our soul for his oil and gas,” he said.

“And we did that to elevate our moral stature in relation to ‘saving the planet.’ And here we are, facing a very dire winter, hoisted on the petard of our very own foolishness and moral presumption,” he added.

https://www.rt.com/news/563389-jordan-peterson-putin-ukraine/

Popular conservative political commentator Jordan Peterson has tried to get into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s head and predict how Russia’s conflict with the West in Ukraine will unfold. Peterson said that if he were the Russian president he would leave the EU without energy supplies in the winter.

“I know what I’d do in his shoes,” he said on the Piers Morgan Uncensored show on Thursday. “I’d wait till the first cold snap and shut off the taps.”

Peterson was referring to supplies of Russian natural gas to EU nations. He argued that Moscow indirectly warned that a full shutdown would happen when Russian gas giant Gazprom started curtailing deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany, citing maintenance issues.

The political commentator declined to endorse a notion popular in the West that Putin resembles Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin in his thinking, calling the claim “foolish” and not backed by any actual evidence.

Putin “is a lot more like everybody else than anyone thinks,” Peterson argued. He added that “there is a bit of Hitler and Stalin in everyone,” before going into an explanation of how accepting government-imposed lies under pressure was part of human nature.

“The totalitarian state is actually the grip of the lie. And people would certainly go along with that. We’ve seen this emerge with [the] cancel culture. It’s like ‘Lie! Or else!’,” he said.

He mocked the idea that Ukraine and its Western backers could “win” against Russia as “naïve.”

“I just don’t understand that. What do you mean we are going to win? What are we going to win exactly?” he demanded.

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Putin Orders Partial Mobilization, Issues Nuclear Threat to West

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2022

The Russian leader expressed support for referendums and said a peace deal was possible earlier in the war but was sabotaged by the West

Don’t worry. Our cracked team in Washington is all over this.

by Dave DeCamp

antiwar.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a partial mobilization that will call up 300,000 reservists and warned Western countries that Moscow would use nuclear weapons to defend its territory.

The move marks Putin’s biggest escalation of his war in Ukraine since launching the invasion on February 24, although he is still framing the war as a “special military operation.”

“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will without doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people — this is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address.

“The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence, and freedom will be defended — I repeat — by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the weathervane can turn around,” he said.

Putin didn’t specify the number of reservists that will be activated under the partial mobilization, but the Kremlin later clarified it will be 300,000, which Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu recommended. Putin said Russia will call up “Only those citizens who are currently in the reserve and primarily those who served in the army and have particular military specialties.”

The Russian leader expressed support for referendums on joining Russia that will be held in each area of Russian-controlled Ukraine from September 23-27, which were announced on Tuesday. Referendums will be held in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics in the Donbas region, and in the oblasts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

“I would like to emphasize that we will do everything necessary to create safe conditions for these referendums so that people can express their will. And we will support the choice of future made by the majority of people in the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics and the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions,” Putin said.

Putin made clear that he blames the US and its allies for the current situation and said a peace deal was possible earlier in the war after Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held talks in Istanbul. He said that he was making the details of the peace talks public for the first time.

“After the start of the special military operation, in particular after the Istanbul talks, Kyiv representatives voiced quite a positive response to our proposals. These proposals concerned above all, ensuring Russia’s security and interests,” he said.

Reports in Western media and Ukrainian media have also said that a deal was close after the Istanbul talks, which were held at the end of March. But according to a report from Ukrainska Pravda, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kyiv in April and told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that even if he was ready to sign a deal with Putin, the collective West was not.

“A peaceful settlement obviously did not suit the West, which is why, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kyiv was actually ordered to wreck all these agreements,” Putin said.

The Russian leader said that Washington, London, and Brussels were now “openly encouraging Kyiv to move the hostilities to our territory.” After Ukraine launched its successful counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region, shelling was reported in Belgorod, the Russian region that borders the area.

Putin said that the focus will remain on “liberating” the Donbas region. Russia and Russian-backed forces in the region currently control virtually all of the Luhansk oblast, but Ukraine still controls a portion of Donetsk.

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Can Trump and Putin Avert Cold War II?

Posted by M. C. on August 15, 2022

That was 2017. Now the question is can we stop the MIC from starting a nuclear WW III.

January 2, 2017

by Linda

In retaliation for the hacking of John Podesta and the DNC, Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and ordered closure of their country houses on Long Island and Maryland’s Eastern shore.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that 35 U.S. diplomats would be expelled. But Vladimir Putin stepped in, declined to retaliate at all, and invited the U.S. diplomats in Moscow and their children to the Christmas and New Year’s party at the Kremlin.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger,” reads Proverbs 15:1. “Great move,” tweeted President-elect Trump, “I always knew he was very smart!”

Among our Russophobes, one can almost hear the gnashing of teeth.

Clearly, Putin believes the Trump presidency offers Russia the prospect of a better relationship with the United States. He appears to want this, and most Americans seem to want the same. After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being “Putin’s puppet,” lost.

Is then a Cold War II between Russia and the U.S. avoidable?

That question raises several others.

Who is more responsible for both great powers having reached this level of animosity and acrimony, 25 years after Ronald Reagan walked arm-in-arm with Mikhail Gorbachev through Red Square? And what are the causes of the emerging Cold War II?

Comes the retort: Putin has put nuclear-capable missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave between Poland and Lithuania.

True, but who began this escalation?

George W. Bush was the one who trashed Richard Nixon’s ABM Treaty and Obama put anti-missile missiles in Poland. After invading Iraq, George W. Bush moved NATO into the Baltic States in violation of a commitment given to Gorbachev by his father to not move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army withdrew.

Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, says John McCain.

Russia did, after Georgia invaded its breakaway province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers. Putin threw the Georgians out, occupied part of Georgia, and then withdrew.

Russia, it is said, has supported Syria’s Bashar Assad, bombed U.S.-backed rebels and participated in the Aleppo slaughter.

But who started this horrific civil war in Syria?

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Was it not our Gulf allies, Turkey, and ourselves by backing an insurgency against a regime that had been Russia’s ally for decades and hosts Russia’s only naval base in the Mediterranean?

Did we not exercise the same right of assisting a beleaguered ally when we sent 500,000 troops to aid South Vietnam against a Viet Cong insurgency supported by Hanoi, Beijing and Moscow?

That’s what allies do.

The unanswered question: Why did we support the overthrow of Assad when the likely successor regime would have been Islamist and murderously hostile toward Syria’s Christians?

Russia, we are told, committed aggression against Ukraine by invading Crimea.

But Russia did not invade Crimea. To secure their Black Sea naval base, Russia executed a bloodless coup, but only after the U.S. backed the overthrow of the pro-Russian elected government in Kiev.

Crimea had belonged to Moscow from the time of Catherine the Great in the 18th century, and the Russia-Ukraine relationship dates back to before the Crusades. When did this become a vital interest of the USA?

As for Putin’s backing of secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, he is standing by kinfolk left behind when his country broke apart. Russians live in many of the 14 former Soviet republics that are now independent nations.

Has Putin no right to be concerned about his lost countrymen?

Unlike America’s elites, Putin is an ethnonationalist in a time when tribalism is shoving aside transnationalism as the force of the future.

Russia, it is said, is supporting right-wing and anti-EU parties. But has not our National Endowment for Democracy backed regime change in the Balkans as well as in former Soviet republics?

We appear to be denouncing Putin for what we did first.

Moreover, the populist, nationalist, anti-EU and secessionist parties in Europe have arisen on their own and are advancing through free elections.

Sovereignty, independence, a restoration of national identity, all appear to be more important to these parties than what they regard as an excessively supervised existence in the soft-dictatorship of the EU.

In the Cold War between Communism and capitalism, the single-party dictatorship and the free society, we prevailed.

But in the new struggle we are in, the ethnonational state seems ascendant over the multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual “universal nation” whose avatar is Barack Obama.

Putin does not seek to destroy or conquer us or Europe. He wants Russia, and her interests, and her rights as a great power to be respected.

He is not mucking around in our front yard; we are in his.

The worst mistake President Trump could make would be to let the Russophobes grab the wheel and steer us into another Cold War that could be as costly as the first, and might not end as peacefully.

Reagan’s outstretched hand to Gorbachev worked. Trump has nothing to lose by extending his to Vladimir Putin, and much perhaps to win.

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You Don’t Know Whether to Laugh or to Cry. The EU Now Has a Masterplan to Hit Putin Where It Hurts

Posted by M. C. on May 6, 2022

Given that some EU member states have made it pretty clear that they don’t have the means or resources to look for alternative sources of gas, for example, it’s hard to see how an EU directive is going to make any differences.

By Martin Jay
Strategic Culture

Hit Putin where it hurts? He’s more likely to hurt himself from laughing. Try harder, Ursula.

The EU is about to unveil its own sanctions plan to wean its own member states off Russian oil. But getting backing from all EU governments might be harder to push it through. Try not to laugh.

On the foreign policy circuit the EU doesn’t have an impressive track record. For anything. More, if anything, for leaving a trail of havoc in its wake when it dabbles in international politics. The problem is simply that the EU, while quite capable at agreeing on new directives for the size of your windscreen wipers, or the size or shape of a given piece of fruit, struggles with the big stuff. There simply isn’t the support from member states yet to hand over to Brussels how those same governments unilaterally deal with conflict around the world. The result is actually quite comical as who can forget Federica Mogherini’s offer to both President Assad of Syria and opposition fighters of cash from the EU to stop the war? Or for the same office to suggest using British frigates off the coast of Libya to literally blow out of the water smuggler boats laden with African migrants trying to get to Europe. Or that unforgettable foray into conflict resolution on the Chad border in 2001 where French officers under a so-called peacekeeping mission from the EU fled for their lives when rebels actually started firing live rounds at them? Imagine. Live rounds.

And then there was the EU police force in Afghanistan which was so terrified of the streets of Kabul that they simply decided it would be safer for them, even though they were armed, to stay in their barracks. And then the fiasco of Covid where the EU couldn’t even get an agreement from its own governments on how to proceed with a rescue plan and so did nothing, while thousands of its own citizens died. Even Brexit was a catastrophe for the EU, given that after all that drama over the negotiations and the empty threats by Brussels, Britain turns out to be not merely a survivor but a champion with economic growth the envy of the 26-member bloc.

The list just goes on and on. Someone really should write a book about the EU’s comical attempt to be a superpower and how it fails every single time.

And it will be the same with the latest escapade from the European Commission’s own President who seems to have set a new record for being especially ineffective – even for European Commission presidents. Ursula von der Leyen, an unremarkable German politician, bereft of any real dynamism and a particularly obscure foreign minister when she held the post, is grasping the nettle and facing Russia head on. Oh yes she is. Dear Ursula has a new draft directive which will ensure that all EU member states will abandon their deals with Russia oil, or at least phase them out over a period of time. We don’t know what the timeline is but the ambitious plan will have to have the support of all member states and this where it might run into some obstacles. Given that some EU member states have made it pretty clear that they don’t have the means or resources to look for alternative sources of gas, for example, it’s hard to see how an EU directive is going to make any differences. Some might argue that an EU directive is a by-product of a lack of unity in the first place and so the failed superstate needs to look to the bureaucrats to find a fix. But contrary to popular belief, the EU Commission isn’t as powerful as it likes to believe and cannot impose draft legislation on member states or the European parliament for that matter.

Realistically, the Russia move is an act of desperation following the EU’s grotesque support for U.S. and British objectives in Ukraine, i.e the toppling of Putin. The announcement shouldn’t therefore be taken seriously and given the recent Covid ordeal which lost von der Leyen considerable credibility it’s hard to see how she can galvanise opinion across 26 member states. What’s more likely is that this latest ruse will be a rod for her own back as more independently-minded EU member states who have made the headlines of late for not getting in line, will use it as a political tool to hit back at Brussels. And time is also a factor. If, say, it takes a year to be adopted – which is fast tracked – has the Commission president considered the present financial hardship that many EU citizens themselves are facing due to the Ukraine war and the political blowback that this directive would have, if adopted? While Joe Biden says remarkably stupid things like the U.S. is looking to Qatar for a solution to Europe’s energy dependency (they haven’t got any spare capacity to ship to Europe), it seems the EU is duty bound to follow the trend of talking nonsense and producing fake news. Hit Putin where it hurts? He’s more likely to hurt himself from laughing. Try harder, Ursula.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Copyright © Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal http://www.strategic-culture.org.

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Blame Powell, Not Putin or ‘Greedy’ Corporations, for Price Hikes

Posted by M. C. on April 19, 2022

The crisis could still be avoided, but only if Congress becomes serious about cutting spending, starting with the military industrial complex. Congress should also start to reform monetary policy by auditing the Fed, legalizing alternative currencies, and exempting precious metals and cryptocurrencies from all capital gains taxes.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/pricehike-116021?e=4e0de347c8

Apr 18 – The Biden administration and its allies continue to use Russian President Vladimir Putin as the convenient excuse for their economic failures. The most recent falsehood is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused March’s 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Prices were surging long before Russian troops entered Ukraine. Furthermore, Putin did not stop exporting food and gas; it was the Biden administration and Congress that imposed sanctions, making US consumers suffer additional price increases. The blame for the economic effects lies with the US government, not Russia.

The United States has for years been meddling in Ukraine’s affairs with the explicit goal of moving US and NATO military forces ever closer to Russia. The most notorious example was the 2014 US-orchestrated coup that overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

Russia has a legitimate grievance over the US supporting expanding NATO to include Ukraine, despite the US having promised not to support expanding NATO beyond Germany’s borders during negotiations over how to end the Cold War. Foreign policy experts, including George Kennan, the architect of the Cold war “containment” strategy, warned that Russia would respond adversely to NATO expansion near Russia.

Before the Ukraine conflict, Biden and his fellow Democrats blamed price increases on “greedy” corporations, going so far as to claim that increasing antitrust prosecutions would somehow bring down prices. Then Putin became the new excuse.

The main culprit behind rising prices is neither Putin nor “greedy” corporations. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues are to blame. Starting in September 2019, when the Fed panicked over a spike in interest rates in the “repurchasing” market that banks use to give each other overnight loans, the Fed has engaged in an unprecedented spree of money creation. The Fed further stepped up its easy money and low, and even zero, interest rate policies in response to the lockdowns. Increasing prices are the direct result of the Fed’s policies.

The Fed is planning to try to tame prices by increasing interest rates and reducing its balance sheet. This will likely tip the economy into a recession. Increasing interest rates will also cause the federal government’s debt payments to increase, which is a reason the Fed will not increase rates to anywhere near where they would be in a free market.

The best-case scenario may be a return to 70s-style “stagflation.” The worst-case scenario is that the Fed’s failure to rein in inflation, fueled by Congress’s failure to stop spending, combined with the continued resentment over the US’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy, will cause a rejection of the dollar’s reserve currency status and lead to a major financial crisis. Such a crisis could result in widespread poverty, as well as violence, crackdowns on liberties, and even the rise of a totalitarian government.

The crisis could still be avoided, but only if Congress becomes serious about cutting spending, starting with the military industrial complex. Congress should also start to reform monetary policy by auditing the Fed, legalizing alternative currencies, and exempting precious metals and cryptocurrencies from all capital gains taxes. The welfare-warfare-fiat money system will end. What is not known is when it will end and whether it will be replaced by an even more authoritarian government or by a return to limited, constitutional government.



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Don’t blame Putin or petroleum companies for Biden’s pump pain

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2022

Now, as they beg OPEC, Venezuela and Iran for help to reduce onerous price and inflation consequences of their own policies ahead of 2022 midterm elections, they are likely to discover that maybe Putin and petroleum companies really aren’t their biggest problems after all.

https://www.cfact.org/2022/03/20/dont-blame-putin-or-petroleum-companies-for-bidens-pump-pain/

By Larry Bell

As his administration now scrambles to solicit supply oil shortages from OPEC, Venezuela, and Iran to reduce skyrocketing energy costs ahead of Democrat congressional mid-term election casualties, let’s remember this contradicts former 2019 candidate Joe Biden’s campaign pledge that “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.

Let’s also recall that President Biden then inherited an America that was not only energy independent, but also a leading global oil and gas exporter, and that gas prices began going up long before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine recently provoked a bipartisan ban on Russian oil, gas and coal imports.

That ban was likely influenced by a March 8 Reuters/Ipsos poll which found that 80% of all likely voters surveyed responded that the U.S. “should not buy oil or gas from Russia during this [Ukraine] conflict, even if it causes American gas prices to increase.”

Simultaneously, inflation over the past year has risen to a 40-year high of 7.9%, most all occurring prior to the Ukraine conflict catastrophe.

Also, recall that immediately upon taking office, Joe Biden revoked a permit essential for the Keystone XL pipeline to deliver oil from Canada.

Shortly thereafter, his administration launched an effort to overturn an oil drilling program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, and empowered Department of Interior regulatory efforts to delay drilling permits.

Blaming U.S. companies—not Biden policies—for not producing more oil and gas, White House press secretary Jen Psaki asserted that there are 9,000 available unused drilling permits, while only 10% of onshore oil production takes place on federal land.

A big problem here, is that the companies first must obtain additional permits for rights of way to access leases and build pipelines to transport fuel, a requirement that the Biden administration’s Interior Department has made more difficult.

Next, the companies must build up a sufficient inventory of permits before they can contract rigs – requiring added regulatory difficulties of operating on federal lands.

For example, it takes 140 days or so for the feds to approve a drilling permit versus two for the state of Texas.

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Is There a Peace Deal Putin and Zelensky Can Accept?

Posted by M. C. on March 15, 2022

If this war continues to unfold in a manner that is slow, painful and ugly, China and Russia are likely to establish far better relations with each other than either has with the United States.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In an interview with Reuters, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman for decades, made a startling offer. Moscow could end the Ukraine war immediately, said Peskov, if four conditions were met.

Ukraine should cease all military action, recognize Crimea as part of Russia, accept the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatist enclaves, and enact a constitutional commitment to “neutrality,” which would prevent Ukraine from ever joining NATO.

Were this to be done, said Peskov, the war “will stop in a moment.”

As this would restore the situation in Ukraine to the “status quo ante” that existed before Putin ordered the invasion, Peskov’s offer seemed not to be believable.

Yet, according to The New York Times, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “seemed surprisingly open to the idea.”

Zelensky “said he had ‘cooled down’ on joining NATO, saying it was clear the western alliance ‘is not prepared to accept Ukraine.’”

As for Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea, said Zelensky, “We can discuss and find a compromise on how these territories will live on.”

Monday, Ukraine and Russia held a fourth session of peace talks, and expressions of optimism were heard from both sides.

Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak volunteered that Russia is beginning to talk constructively. “I think that we will achieve some results literally in a matter of days.”

Yet, Russia’s strategic goals, manifest in its unfolding military action, seem to go far beyond the moderate demands of Peskov.

Three weeks into this war, what do Russia’s goals appear to be?

First, besiege and bring down the Kyiv government of Zelensky and replace it with a Russian client regime.

Second, divide Ukraine along the lines of the Dnieper River, which bisects the country north to south, and create an East Ukraine as a pro-Russian state.

Third, seize and occupy the entire coast of the Sea of Azov, turn it into a Russian lake, and capture all of the Ukrainian Black Sea coast from the Donbas to Mariupol, Crimea, Kherson, Odessa and Transnistria, the last a slice of seceded Moldovan land Moscow now controls.

This would leave a landlocked rump state of west Ukraine, which would be a buffer between NATO nations Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland — and Russia-backed East Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal said Monday that Russia’s realization of these goals would be tantamount to victory in Putin’s war:

“A Ukraine divided in two, with Russia in control of the east, and a rump, Western Ukraine cut off from the coast might look like a victory to Mr. Putin — especially if sanctions are removed in some cease-fire agreement.”

With this kind of peace in hand, Putin could then warn the NATO nations that if they attacked East Ukraine directly, or indirectly by arming insurgents, they would face “consequences you have never seen.”

As no NATO nation risked war to save Georgia from Russia in 2008, or to save Ukraine from the Crimean and Donbas amputations of 2014, it is not likely NATO would risk war with Russia, and a potential third world war, if Russia declared a truce once it got full control of eastern Ukraine.

Where would that leave the West?

The Americans and British would likely treat Putin as a pariah and never meet with him again. But would President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany cut off all communication with Russia, when they have been making daily phone calls to Putin and regular visits to Moscow, even as Putin’s war of aggression was raging?

If Russia and Ukraine reached a ceasefire and a truce, would the EU and NATO nations of Europe not swiftly stand down themselves, rather than keep the Ukrainian resistance fighting?

If Kyiv falls to a Russian strategy of encirclement and strangulation, capitulation and conquest, how long would it be before EU nations seek an end to Russia’s isolation and a new era of detente?

Or would the continued existence of a regime headed by Putin mean permanent hostility?

Three years after Nikita Khrushchev sent Soviet tanks into Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Soviet premier was riding up Pennsylvania Avenue in an open convertible with Dwight Eisenhower to spend the night at Blair House before a 12-day tour as the guest of the president of the United States.

As of now, the winner of this Russia-Ukraine war appears to be China.

Given the severity of U.S. sanctions and the ostracism of Russia from the West, China is the only partner nation and economy to which Moscow can turn to recoup its losses.

If this war continues to unfold in a manner that is slow, painful and ugly, China and Russia are likely to establish far better relations with each other than either has with the United States.

But how is China, which is engaged in cultural genocide against its Uyghur minority of 10 million, a racial and ethnic persecution featuring reeducation camps, rapes, forced abortions and sterilizations, a morally superior regime to Putin’s?

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Price Inflation Hit a New 40-Year High in February. No, It’s Not “Putin’s Fault.”

Posted by M. C. on March 12, 2022

In early 2020, the economic was weakening after more than a decade of remarkably slow economic growth and rising reliance on monetary expansion to prevent the implosion of Fed-created economic bubbles. But then covid happened, and the Fed blamed the disease for the economic collapse and inflation that followed. Now the war will provide yet another way for the Fed and its economists to claim they were doing a great job, and it would have all been a great success if not for the Russians.

https://mises.org/wire/price-inflation-hit-new-40-year-high-february-no-its-not-putins-fault

Ryan McMaken

According to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, price inflation in February rose to the highest level recorded in more than forty years. According to the Consumer Price Index for February, year-over-year price inflation rose to 7.9 percent. It hasn’t been that high since January 1982, when the growth rate was at 8.3 percent.

February’s increase was up from January’s year-over-year increase of 7.5 percent. And it was well up from February 2021’s year-over-year increase of 1.7 percent.

A clear inflationary trend began in April 2021 when CPI growth hit the highest rate since 2008. Since then, CPI inflation has accelerated with year-over-year growth nearly doubling over the past 11 months from 4.2 percent to 7.9 percent.

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For most of 2021, however, Federal reserve economists and their PhD-wielding allies in academia and the media insisted it was “transitory” and would soon dissipate. By late 2021, however, economists began to admit they were “surprised” and had no explanation for the inflation. (What one actually learns while obtaining a PhD in economics apparently has nothing to do with understanding money or prices.) Jerome Powell then declared that the Fed would prevent inflation from becoming “entrenched.”

Now, high level economists have changed their tune again with Janet Yellen admitting this week that “We’re likely to see another year in which 12-month inflation numbers remain very uncomfortably high.” Yellen had earlier predicted that CPI inflation would drop to around 3 percent, year over year, by the end of 2022.

Yellen was also careful to attempt political damage control by insinuating that price inflation is a result of uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine war.

Never mind, of course, that the inflation surge began last year and that January’s CPI inflation rate was already near a 40-year high. The current crop of embargoes and bans on Russian oil imports implemented during March were not drivers of February’s continued inflation surge.

Few members of the public, however, will bother with these details, and this will benefit both the Fed and the administration. As far as the Fed is concerned, the important thing is to never, ever admit that price inflation is really being driven by more than a decade of galloping Fed-fueled monetary expansion (aka money printing). This was done largely at the behest of the White House and Congress to keep interest on the debt low and government spending high.

So, we can expect the administration to portray inflation as “Putin’s fault.” In a Friday speech to Democratic activists, Biden even claimed the high inflation rates are not due to “anything we did.” The tactic will no doubt work to convince many. But it’s unclear how many.

Workers Are Getting Poorer

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Is Putin the New Coronavirus?

Posted by M. C. on March 8, 2022

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/march/07/is-putin-the-new-coronavirus/

Written by Ron Paul

President Biden’s “maskless” State of the Union signifies the near-end of the COVID tyranny we have lived under for the past two years. Fortunately for Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve, the Ukraine-Russia conflict is replacing COVID as a ready-made excuse for their failures and a justification for expanding their power.

Even before politicians began declaring the end of the pandemic, polls showed that rising prices were the people’s top concern – particularly the increase in gas prices. Since Russia is one of the world’s leading energy producers, sanctions imposed on Russia, as well as Germany’s decision (made under pressure from the US) to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, provide a convenient excuse for rising gas prices. This is the case even though the US, citing the “instability” in world energy markets created by the Russian-Ukraine conflict, has yet to officially ban imports of Russian oil.

The Federal Reserve has been planning several interest rate increases this year, even though some fear that rate increases could decrease growth and increase unemployment. The Russian crisis allows the Fed to either postpone rate increases or blame Russia for any unemployment that accompanies the rate increases. Either way, the Fed can use the crisis to deflect attention away from its responsibility for our economic problems. As of now, it appears the Fed will go through with at least a modest rate increase this month, but because of the Ukraine crisis, the increase will be smaller than previously expected.

The Ukraine crisis also provides an excuse for Congress to do what Congress does best: increase federal spending. President Biden has requested Congress provide an additional $10 billion in emergency military aid to Ukraine. Congress will likely quickly approve the President’s request. This will not likely be the last time Congress rushes billions of “emergency” money to Ukraine.

It is also certain that lobbyists for the military-industrial-complex are already “explaining” to a very receptive Capitol Hill audience why the Ukraine crisis justifies increasing the military budget to “counter the threats” from Russia, China, and whoever else can serve as a convenient boogeyman. It is unlikely there will be much resistance in Congress to a further increase, even though the US already spends more than the combined defense budgets of the next nine biggest spending countries.

Over the past two years, many leading Internet companies did the government’s bidding by “de-platforming” anyone who expressed skepticism of vaccines or promoted alternative treatments — even when they presented evidence to support their claims. These companies are once again helping the government by de-platforming those who question, or are suspected of questioning, the official narrative regarding Ukraine. Yet these companies’ concerns with “fake news” have not led them to stop people from sharing widely debunked stories supporting the US-backed Ukrainian government.

The lockdown and mandates did more harm than the coronavirus itself. They were based on lies promoted by the government and its allies in the “private” sector. Yet too many Americans refuse to even question the US government’s claims regarding the Ukraine crisis or question whether Russia is really responsible for our economic problems as opposed to a spendthrift Congress, successive spendthrift Presidents, and an out-of-control Federal Reserve. The only way to stop authoritarians from using crises like these to grow their power is to make enough people understand a simple truth: authoritarian politicians will always lie to the people to protect and increase their own power.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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