Feb 262023
 February 26, 2023  Posted by at 6:08 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  8 Responses »

Cy Twombly Shield of Achilles 1978

Andrew Korybko:

State Of Affairs

China has hitherto done its utmost to remain completely away from the NATO-Russian proxy war that’s being waged between them in Ukraine, yet a fast-moving spree of developments over the past few days compellingly suggests that it’s recalibrating its approach to the New Cold War’s top conflict. The present analysis will begin by highlighting those aforesaid events before explaining the larger context in which they’re occurring, which should show the reader that something big is going on behind the scenes.

Diplomatic Developments In This Direction

Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Wang Yi met with Russian President Putin in the Kremlin last week after visiting several countries and participating in the Munich Security Conference. Their talks were significant since the Russian leader rarely meets with anyone who isn’t his counterpart, and he wouldn’t have made an exception to his informal rule simply to discuss the details of President Xi’s upcoming springtime visit.

China then unveiled its 12-point peace plan for resolving the Ukrainian Conflict on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s special operation. It was predictably praised by Russia, but what few expected is that it also piqued Zelensky’s interest – who said he’s eager to meet with President Xi to discuss it– despite Biden rubbishing it. On the same day, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) then reported that France, Germany, and the UK are considering a NATO-like pact with Kiev to encourage it to resume peace talks.

Less than 24 hours afterwards on Saturday, it was announced that Belarusian President Lukashenko will be traveling to China from 28 February-2 March, following which French President Macron said that he plans to go there too sometime in early April. This fast-moving spree of developments proves that China is serious about negotiating at least a ceasefire to the Ukrainian Conflict, to which end President Xi will likely share his views on this with his two aforementioned counterparts during their visits.

Speculation About Chinese Arms Shipments To Russia

At the same time, however, American officials began warning that China is supposedly seriously considering the dispatch of lethal aid to Russia. Secretary of State Blinken was the first to make this claim after meeting with Director Wang in Europe. Biden and CIA chief Burns then said the same on Friday, the one-year anniversary of Russia’s special operation, though the first said he doesn’t anticipate it happening while the second didn’t dismiss that scenario.

It’s difficult to discern the veracity of those accusations, but America is adamant about convincing everyone that this is a real possibility, which is why it’s considering publicly sharing related intelligence according to the WSJ in a report that they published on Thursday. While it’s unclear whether the information that they might release would be purely facts, artificially manufactured falsehoods, or a combination thereof, an intriguing development on Saturday sheds some light into Chinese thinking.

The Scandal Surrounding The G20 Finance Ministers’ Joint Statement

China sided with Russia in rejecting the third and fourth paragraphs of the G20 Finance Ministers’ joint statement after their meeting in Bangaluru. These two parts of that document – which referenced anti-Russian UNGA Resolutions, the difference of opinion over the Ukrainian Conflict within this group, and upholding the principles of the UN Charter – were taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration that they previously agreed to in mid-November.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said in a statement that she condemned the efforts of the US, EU, and the rest of the G7 in attempting to destabilize the G20’s work by including those two paragraphs in that joint statement, which is why only a summary and outcome document was released. Moscow’s stance on opposing the spirit of the same text that it earlier agreed to just a quarter-year ago suggests that it did the latter because it couldn’t count on anyone else to support its refusal at the time.

The “New Détente” & Its Unexpected Derailment

In order to not appear “isolated” and prompt speculation about the future of its strategic partnership with China, Russia went along with India’s compromise solution that the White House Press Secretary later praised Prime Minister Modi for pioneering. Beijing couldn’t be relied upon back then for jointly resisting that deliberately ambiguous (but well-intended from Delhi’s perspective) wording since President Xi used that event as the opportunity to initiating a “New Détente” with the West.

Readers can learn more about everything that China and the US did in pursuit of exploring a series of mutual compromises aimed at establishing a “new normal” in their ties from then up until the eve of the balloon incident in early February by reviewing the preceding hyperlink embedded above. It’s beyond the scope of the present piece to explain that concept at length but simply enough in this context to reference it so that folks understand why Russia didn’t object to the last G20 document’s wording.

The unexpected derailing of the “New Détente” brought about by the aforementioned balloon incident, which readers can learn more about in detail here and here, appears in hindsight to have decisively shifted China’s “deep state” dynamics in the direction of more confidently challenging the US. Regardless of whoever one believes was responsible for that black swan event, it abruptly worsened bilateral ties and suddenly placed them on the trajectory of seemingly inevitable intense competition.

Stoltenberg’s Statement Of Relevance To China’s Changing Calculations

While work on China’s peace plan far predated the balloon incident, the latter appears to have inspired Beijing to do its utmost in ensuring that this document lays the basis for a tangible process instead of remaining a public relations stunt like it otherwise might have been if the “New Détente” was still viable. Two statements in between that incident and the unveiling of its peace plan from NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and Zelensky added a sense of urgency to China’s efforts in this respect.

Regarding the first, he belatedly admitted that his bloc is in a so-called “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” with Russia, which suggested that the US-led West’s Golden Billion might seriously consider dispatching even more arms to Kiev at the expense of their own minimum national security needs. They can’t sustain the pace, scale, and scope of their armed support to that proxy army without doing so, but NATO might take this risk in order to avert the scenario of Russia soon dealing a decisive defeat to Kiev.

If NATO dispatches more modern arms to its proxies at the expense of its members’ own minimum national security needs, then it could shift the military-strategic dynamics away from Russia’s favor where they’ve recently been for the past few months. The scenario of Russia’s ultimate defeat and subsequent “Balkanization” like former President Medvedev warned would happen in that case couldn’t be ruled out then, thus spiking the chances of a dramatic escalation (including nuclear) to avert that.

For its part, China wants to avert the scenario of either side becoming desperate enough that they dramatically escalate the conflict in order to stave off the scenario of their crushing defeat, hence why it’s very serious about promoting its peace plan at this precise moment in time. If it’s unsuccessful in doing so, then Beijing might actually dispatch lethal aid to Russia in order to restore the balance of power between it and NATO, which would raise the odds of a stalemate instead.

Zelensky’s Statement Of Relevance To China’s Changing Calculations

This possibility directly leads to what Zelensky said around a week after Stoltenberg’s belated acknowledgement of the true military-strategic dynamics of this proxy war that the Golden Billion had tried to cover up until that point. The Ukrainian leader declared that “if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war”, which coincided with Blinken introducing this scenario into the global information ecosystem.

Large parts of Zelensky’s country, both that which his side still controls as well as what it lost to Russia but still claims, have already been destroyed by this conflict. He knows very well that the rest of it would suffer a similar fate in the event that this proxy war rages on, which he likely expects to happen if Russia isn’t decisively defeated by NATO’s potential influx of modern arms that might soon be dispatched out of desperation at the expense of its members’ own minimum national security needs.

From his perspective, the only way that Russia wouldn’t lose in this scenario is if China starts dispatching lethal aid to its strategic partner irrespective of whether it’s equivalent in pace, quality, scale, and/or scope to what NATO could soon give Kiev. Nevertheless, after the unexpected derailing of the Sino-American “New Détente” due to the balloon incident black swan, Zelensky might have assessed this as more likely than ever since Russia’s possible loss could directly lead to China’s maximum “containment”.

His ominous prediction might have been interpreted by the People’s Republic as signaling a desire to seriously explore a peaceful solution for averting this scenario that would likely result in his country’s further destruction, however, which could have emboldened Beijing to double down on its peace plan. Behind-the-scenes diplomacy between them in the run-up to China’s unveiling of its 12-step proposal might have in hindsight been responsible for Zelensky’s interest in it and in meeting with President Xi.

After all, the Ukrainian leader’s reaction was completely unexpected for most observers, which instead predicted that he’d dismiss China’s peace plan outright just like Biden did. Seeing as how Belarus previously hosted last spring’s talks that were sabotaged by the UK at the US’ behest, it makes greater sense why Lukashenko announced a day after Zelensky’s interest in this proposal that he’ll be visiting Beijing next week to discuss the “international situation” according to his country’s official media.

The Possible Convergence Of French/European & Chinese Interests

Macron’s interest in China’s peace plan directly stems from Zelensky’s, without whose potential participation nothing of tangible substance can be accomplished, but also from his country’s national interests too. If the People’s Republic dispatches lethal aid to Russia and thus averts the scenario of its strategic partner’s defeat in the event that NATO first sends a lot of modern arms at the expense of its members’ minimum national security needs as was earlier explained, then the EU could seriously suffer.

A protracted conflict risks further retarding its already very slow economic recovery and could potentially even plunge it into a full-blown recession, which might possibly entail far-reaching socio-political consequences, especially from the existing elite. This strategic assessment also helps explain the WSJ’s recent report about the French-German-British NATO-like security pact that they’re considering extending to Kiev to encourage it to resume peace talks likely to avert that aforesaid scenario.

That said, the timing of his planned trip sometime in early April reveals a lot about how China and the EU view the evolution of the military-strategic dynamics in this conflict. NATO-backed Kiev and Russia are both reportedly planning large-scale offensives, which are each expected to commence sometime in the next in the weeks preceding Macron’s visit to Beijing. By then, all parties will have a clearer idea of whether the military-strategic dynamics have shifted or if the stalemate appears likely to remain.

From there, France can either lead the EU’s efforts to encourage Zelensky to seriously entertain China’s peace plan or eschew doing so, whether unilaterally, due to US pressure, or because Beijing decided to dispatch lethal aid to Russia in the event that the military-strategic dynamics decisively shifted against it. In the best-case scenario that Macron decides to support President Xi’s proposals, then the latter might then soon embark on a trip to Moscow and Kiev to meet with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts.

Bullet Point Review

A lot of insight has thus far been shared in the present analysis, which might understandably be overwhelming for most readers, hence the need to summarize everything to enhance comprehension. What’ll thus follow are two bullet point lists, with the first chronologically ordering the many events that were touched upon in this analysis, while the second will detail the gradual recalibration of China’s approach to the NATO-Russian proxy war. A six-paragraph wrap-up will then conclude the analysis.


* 15-16 November: President Xi initiates his envisaged “New Détente” by meeting with his American and other Western counterparts at the G20 Summit in Bali to discuss repairing their troubled ties.

* 2-4 February: The balloon incident, which actually began in late January, becomes public and abruptly derails the “New Détente” after Blinken indefinitely postpones his planned trip to Beijing in response.

* 13 February: NATO chief Stoltenberg belatedly acknowledges that his bloc is engaged in a so-called “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” with Russia.

* 14-22 February: Director Wang travels to Europe and Russia to promote China’s forthcoming 12-point peace plan for ending the Ukrainian Conflict.

* 19 February: Blinken introduces the scenario of China dispatching lethal aid to Russia into the global information ecosystem.

* 20 February: Zelensky ominously builds upon Blinken’s narrative by predicting that China arming Russia could trigger World War III.

* 22 February: Director Wang meets with President Putin at the Kremlin, which represents one of the extremely rare instances where the Russian leader hosted someone who wasn’t his counterpart.

* 23 February: The WSJ keeps Blinken’s narrative alive by reporting that the US might publicly share related intelligence alleging proving that China is seriously considering sending lethal aid to Russia.

* 24 February: China unveils its peace plan; Russia praises it; Zelensky signals interest; the WSJ reports on leading EU states’ NATO-like pact proposal with Kiev; and Biden & Burn speculate on Chinese arms.

* 25 February: Lukashenko announce that he’ll travel to Beijing next week; Macron says that he’ll follow in early April; and China joins Russia in rejecting part of the G20 Finance Ministers’ joint statement.


Now here’s how the abovementioned sequence of events shifted China’s strategic calculus:

* True Neutrality: The latest phase of the New Cold War that began after Russia was provoked into launching its special operation saw China initially take a truly neutral stance towards it.

* “New Détente”: The combination of globalization’s consequent destabilization, growing US “containment” pressure, and economic slowdown at home inspired China to reach out to the US.

* Uncertainty: The unexpected derailing of the “New Détente” after the balloon incident prompted uncertainty about Sino-US ties, thus leading China to wait for signals from the US before proceeding.

* Peacemaker: Anti-Chinese hardliners’ rising influence convinced Beijing that the “New Détente” is dead while the NATO chief’s “race of logistics” quip convinced it to seek peace in Ukraine pronto.

* Anti-NATO Ally?: If its peace efforts fail, China might evolve into Russia’s anti-NATO ally by arming the latter to avert its defeat and preempt it from escalating (including via nuclear means) in that event.


Concluding Thoughts

China assesses that NATO might dispatch more modern arms to Kiev at the expense of its members’ minimum national security needs out of desperation to prevent its proxy’s defeat after the conflict’s military-strategic dynamics shifted towards Russia’s favor over the past months. That could decisively flip the aforesaid dynamics in NATO’s favor, thus risking the scenario of Russia’s defeat, its “Balkanization”, China’s further “containment”, and Moscow’s possible escalations to preempt this.

The unexpected derailing of the “New Détente” after the balloon incident, which led to anti-Chinese hardliners exerting more influence over the US’ policy formulations, convinced China that it’ll never succeed in negotiating a series of mutual compromises aimed at establishing a “new normal”. Realizing that NATO’s possibly successful “containment” of Russia will inevitably lead to that bloc and its collection of “Balkanized” proxy states focusing on China in that scenario, Beijing decided to act first.

Director Wang promoted his country’s 12-point peace plan during his latest European trip, including in a rare private meeting with President Putin, while other Chinese diplomats operated behind the scenes to brief Zelensky about it and ensure that he doesn’t publicly dismiss it outright after its unveiling. The Ukrainian leader’s unexpected interest in this proposal directly led to Macron announcing his upcoming trip to Beijing in early spring, which follows Lukashenko’s next week.

The time between these two visits will almost certainly see Russia and NATO-backed Kiev’s reportedly planned large-scale offensives commencing, which will in turn provide greater clarity about the state of military-strategic affairs between them, particularly whether they decisively shifted or not. A continued stalemate or decisive Russian advance could convince Zelensky to seriously consider a ceasefire, after which President Xi might soon thereafter visit Moscow and Kiev to help negotiate this right away.

If the military-strategic dynamics decisively shift in NATO’s favor due to the bloc dispatching more modern arms to Kiev at the expense of its members’ minimum national security needs like Stoltenberg implied might happen, then peace would be ruled out and Russia’s defeat would become possible. In that scenario, China might arm Moscow despite the maximum sanctions this could prompt the West to impose against it in order to avert the worse scenarios of nuclear escalation or Russia’s “Balkanization”.

China truly doesn’t want to become a party to the Russian-NATO proxy war, but it’ll practically have no choice if its strategic partner faces the credible scenario of defeat since the People’s Republic would have to preemptively ensure its national security needs related to averting Russia’s “Balkanization”. It’s impossible to predict how else the Golden Billion might react in that scenario apart from imposing maximum sanctions against China, but it would definitely lead to clearer divisions in the New Cold War.

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Feb 162023
 February 16, 2023  Posted by at 5:36 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  22 Responses »

Cy Twombly Fifty Days at Iliam: Like a Fire that Consumes All before It 1978

Andrew Korybko has more time to write articles than I do these days. And I must transfer his Word files to my own editor. Not obvious. What can I say? I don’t like Bill Gates. Plus, I need to find a new apartment here in Athens,  a perfectly affordable place until recently, where now real estate agents seem to think they live in Manhattan. It just takes so much time… Andrew:

Andrew Korybko:

Speculation has been swirling over the past month about why the US-led West’s Golden Billion so decisively shifted its “official narrative” about the Ukrainian Conflict from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to seriously warning about its potential loss in this proxy war. This took the form of related remarks from the Polish Prime Minister, President, and Army Chief as well as the US’ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after which the New York Times admitted that the sanctions failed.

The reason why they decided to so decisively shift the “official narrative” was because NATO’s military-industrial crisis, which the New York Times warned about last November and was then touched upon by Biden’s Naval Secretary last month, finally became undeniable. Putting all prior speculation about this to rest, NATO’s Secretary-General declared a so-called “race of logistics” against Russia on Monday precisely on this pretext and thus confirmed the bloc’s crippling military-industrial crisis.

According to the transcript of Jens Stoltenberg’s pre-ministerial press conference that was shared by NATO’s official website ahead of his meeting with this anti-Russian alliance’s Defense Ministers, he said the following of relevance to this subject:

“It is clear that we are in a race of logistics. Key capabilities like ammunition, fuel, and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield.


 Ministers will also focus on ways to increase our defence industrial capacity and replenish stockpiles. The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions, and depleting Allied stockpiles. The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production. This puts our defence industries under strain.


For example, the waiting time for large-calibre ammunition has increased from 12 to 28 months.

Orders placed today would only be delivered two-and-a-half years later. So we need to ramp up production. And invest in our production capacity.


 Well, this is an issue we started to address last year, because we saw that an enormous amount of support for Ukraine, the only way to deliver that was to dig into our existing stocks. But of course, in the long run, we cannot continue to do that we need to produce more, to be able to deliver sufficient ammunition to Ukraine, but at the same time, ensure that we have enough ammunition to protect and defend all NATO Allies, every inch of Allied territory.


 Of course, in the short run, the industry can increase production by having more shifts, by using existing production facilities more. But really to have a significant increase, they need to invest and build new plans. And we see a combination both of utilizing existing capacity more and also by making decisions to invest in increased capacity. This has started but we need more.

 So what I said was that the current rate of ammunition consumption is higher, bigger than the current rate of production. That’s a factual thing. But since we have been aware of that for some time, we have started to do something. We’re not just sitting there idle and watching this happening.  

 And of course the industry has the capability to increase the production also short term, sometimes this on some non-used or not utilized capability there. But even when you have a factory running, you can have more shifts. You can even work during weekends.


 So yes, we have a challenge. Yes, we have a problem. But problems are there to be solved and we are addressing that problem and we have strategies to solve it both in the short term and also longer term to as a mobilized defense industry. And if there’s anything NATO Allies, and our economies and our societies have proved over decades, is that we are dynamic, we are adaptable, we can change when needed.


 And let me also add, of course this is –the challenge of having enough ammunition is also a big challenge for Russia. So it just shows that this is a war of attrition, and the war to attrition becomes a battle of logistics and we focus on the logistical part of the defence capacity, defence industry capacity to ramp up production.”

As proven by Stoltenberg’s press conference, there should thus be no doubt that NATO is experiencing an unprecedented military-industrial crisis, which is responsible for reshaping its members’ narratives and overall strategy towards the Ukrainian Conflict.

This self-declared “race of logistics”, which he also described as a “war of attrition”, first of all proves that the bloc wasn’t prepared for waging a prolonged proxy war against Russia otherwise they’d have preemptively retooled their military-industrial complexes accordingly. The New York Times’ recent admission that the anti-Russian sanctions are a failure also suggests that NATO completely miscalculated in this respect by expecting Russia to collapse as a result of those restrictions, which didn’t happen.

These two factors add crucial context to why the Golden Billion’s “official narrative” about the conflict so decisively shifted over the past month. They simply can’t sustain the pace, scale, and scope of their armed assistance to Kiev, especially not after their much-ballyhooed sanctions failed to catalyze Russia’s economic collapse or at the very least give their proxy an edge in this “race of logistics”/”war of attrition”. As a result, they were forced to change how they present this conflict to their people.

Most tellingly, the Polish President didn’t rule out the scenario of Kiev making territorial concessions to Russia in his recent interview with Le Figaro, which he said should solely be that country’s choice to make and not anti-war Republicans’. Even Stoltenberg let slip during his latest press conference that “we must continue to provide Ukraine with what it needs to win. And to achieve a just and sustainable peace”, which also didn’t include his usual explicit condemnation of the territorial concession scenario.

That selfsame “just and sustainable peace”, according to the Jerusalem Post’s Dave Anderson, can actually be achieved by Kiev finally giving up its territorial claims. In his opinion piece about how “Ukraine can win against Russia by giving up land, not killing troops”, which was coincidentally published on the same day as Stoltenberg’s press conference, he argued that this swift resolution of Ukraine’s territorial disputes with Russia could result in its accelerated admission to NATO.

That outcome would thus sustainably ensure its security, thereby representing a victory over Russia, at least according to Anderson’s view. In the broader context of this analysis and in particular the interpretation of Stoltenberg’s remarks from his latest press conference, his article can thus be seen as the latest contribution to decisively shifting the “official narrative” about the Ukrainian Conflict in the direction of preconditioning the Western public to accept some sort of “compromise” with Russia.

All of this, the reader should be reminded, is occurring because of NATO’s military-industrial crisis hamstringing its members’ capabilities to sustain their bloc’s pace, scale, and scope of armed assistance to Kiev. Their “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” against Russia is obviously trending towards Moscow’s favor after that Eurasian Great Power proved that it truly has the wherewithal to sustain the pace, scale, and scope of its special operation in spite of the Golden Billion’s unparalleled sanctions against it.

If someone still remained in denial about the existence of NATO’s military-industrial crisis in spite of Stoltenberg’s surprisingly candid admission on Monday, then they should also be made aware of Politico’s exclusive report that was published on the same day, which reinforced his claim. Four unnamed US officials told this outlet that their country can’t send Kiev its requested “Army Tactical Missile Systems” (ATACMS) because “it doesn’t have any [of them] to spare”.

This revelation should thus serve as the proverbial “icing on the cake” proving that NATO is in the midst of such a serious military-industrial crisis right now that its US leader itself can’t even afford to spare important munitions that could give its proxies in Kiev the edge that they so desperately need right now. What’s so stunning about this strategic dynamic is that the combined military-industrial capabilities of the bloc’s two and a half dozen countries can’t compete with their single Russian adversary’s.

That insight in turn shows just how mighty Russia’s military-industrial complex is that it’s still capable of sustaining the same pace, scale, and scope of the ongoing special operation in Ukraine despite the sanctions against it while 30 Golden Billion countries can’t collectively do the same. Should its rumored full-scale offensive transpire, then it’s likely to deal a deathblow to NATO’s proxies due to Russia’s edge in this “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” and thus force them to finally cede their disputed regions.

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Oct 122022
 October 12, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  65 Responses »

Salvador Dali The tartan el son 1919


Russia’s Victory Will Be NATO’s Defeat – Stoltenberg (RT)
NATO Admitted It’s At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Pfizer Admits It Had No Idea If mRNA Vaccine Would Prevent Transmission (OK)
Sweden Won’t Share Findings Of Nord Stream Probe With Russia (RT)
Will They Ever Learn? -answer: probably not- (Saker)
WHODUNNIT? A Pipeline Mystery -not really- (Blair)
Saving Private Ukraina: The End-Game on the Horizon? (Batiushka)
Putin Reveals Russia’s Goals In Global Energy Market (RT)
US Seeks ‘Economic Domination’ Over EU – Paris (RT)
Russia Would ‘Consider’ G20 Putin-Biden Meeting – Lavrov (RT)
Lavrov: Russia Open to Talks With the West, US Dismisses Comments (Antiwar)
Kiev Introduces Rolling Power Blackouts (RT)
Germany Discusses Distributing €200 Billion In Gas Price Subsidies (ZH)
Who’s Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard? Everyone (Luongo)



The Economist



Malone Ladapo





Kharkov Lebanon





Still not involved?

Russia’s Victory Will Be NATO’s Defeat – Stoltenberg (RT)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday that a military victory for Russia in Ukraine would spell defeat for the entire Western alliance. Despite providing “unprecedented support” to Kiev, Stoltenberg still claims that the US-led bloc is not a party to the conflict. Addressing reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg declared that continued arms shipments to Ukraine are vital to ensure “that Ukraine wins the battle, the war against the invading Russian forces.” However, this assistance has come at a price for the alliance’s own militaries. Germany’s weapons and ammo stocks have been critically depleted since late August. The same month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US’ stockpiles of 155mm artillery ammunition were “uncomfortably low.”

Asked whether weakening its own forces to strengthen Ukraine’s is a wise policy, Stoltenberg described the conflict in Ukraine as existential to the alliance. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for the Ukrainians, but it will be the defeat, and dangerous, for all of us,” he said. NATO is heavily invested in Ukraine, with the alliance’s members providing training, intelligence capability, and tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to the Ukrainian military. Despite this “unprecedented support,” Stoltenberg has repeatedly claimed that “NATO is not a party to the conflict.”

Moscow sees things differently. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused NATO of waging war against Russia “by proxy,” while Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. NATO leaders claim that their weapons systems have enabled Kiev’s troops to make a series of advances in the south and east of the country in recent weeks. However, with Moscow’s military operation under new command, these advances have come to a halt, and after two days of devastating Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets, Kiev is once again pleading with the West for heavier and longer-range weapons.

Read more …

“Now is the right time to be firm and to be clear that NATO is there to protect and defend all allies.”

NATO Admitted It’s At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg may have inadvertently admitted that the Western military alliance is at war with Moscow, at least in the eyes of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. At issue is Stoltenberg’s statement on Tuesday that a military victory for Russia in Ukraine would be a defeat for NATO. Medvedev called the comment “an open confirmation of NATO’s participation in the war against our country – an unwise, but pure-hearted remark. The honest Norwegian fellow has finally admitted it.” Stoltenberg, formerly prime minister of Norway, made his comments in a press briefing as NATO ministers prepared to meet on Wednesday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov.

Among other issues, the ministers will discuss how to meet Kiev’s “urgent needs” and shore up their own weapons stockpiles after shipping billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Ukraine in hopes of helping to defeat Russian forces. “There’s an urgent need for air defense, but of course also many other capabilities – precision-guided ammunition, HIMARS and other advanced, modern, NATO-standard systems,” Stoltenberg said of Ukraine’s aid requests. He added that NATO members are providing unprecedented support because “they understand that we have a moral, political and security interest in ensuring that Ukraine wins the war against President Putin.”

Russian officials have pointed out that providing more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, such as multiple rocket launcher (MRL) systems, will increase the risk of triggering a wider conflict. “The fastest way to bring the conflict in Ukraine to the point of no return is to arm the psychos in Kiev with longer-range MRLs,” Medvedev said. “The elderly leaders of Washington obkom and NATO upstarts must use their softened brains at least sometimes.” Stoltenberg insisted that NATO is “not a party to the conflict,” even as it plays a “key role.” He vowed that the bloc will stand with Ukraine “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. “It is important for all of us that Ukraine wins the battle, the war against the invading Russian forces, because if Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for Ukrainians, but it will be a defeat and dangerous for all of us.”

The NATO chief also accused Putin of “reckless nuclear rhetoric,” contributing to “the most significant escalation since the start of the war.” However, when asked whether the risk of a miscalculation amid heightened tensions with Russia prompted NATO members to consider canceling or modifying the bloc’s planned nuclear drill next week, he said, “Now is the right time to be firm and to be clear that NATO is there to protect and defend all allies.”

Read more …

“..we had to really move at the speed of science..”

Pfizer Admits It Had No Idea If mRNA Vaccine Would Prevent Transmission (OK)

In a stunning turn of events, one of Pfizer’s top executives admitted Monday that the Pharma giant had no idea if the mRNA vaccine that Pfizer developed would prevent transmission of the coronavirus.According to The Blaze, the company’s president of international development markets, Janine Small, testified before the COVID committee of the European Parliament in place of CEO Albert Bourla. There was no word if Bourla missed the event after testing positive for COVID yet again, despite his previous claims that his company’s vaccine was 100% effective.One Dutch member of the European Parliamen asked Small if she could provide evidence that Pfizer believed its vaccine would prevent transmission before it was released widely in late 2020.

As quoted by The Blaze, the member of parliament specifically asked, “Was the Pfizer COVID vaccine tested on stopping the transmission of the virus before it entered the market? If not, please say it clearly. If yes, are you willing to share the data with this committee? ”That’s when the executive admitted, on the record, that the vaccine mandates and passports imposed by governments worldwide were entirely unjustified: “Regarding the question around, did we know about stopping immunization before it entered the market? No.” Small continued, saying that the company was moving too quickly to answer that extremely important question: “These, um, you know, we had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market. And from that point of view, we had to do everything at risk.”

The Dutch politician summarized how governments claimed that getting vaccinated was a societal good that helped others, not just yourself: “If you don’t get vaccinated, you’re anti-social! This is what the Dutch prime minister and health minister told us. You don’t get vaccinated just for yourself, but also for others — you do it for all of society. That’s what they said,” Roos recounted. “Today, this turns out to be complete nonsense.” Roos also said he found the revelations “shocking, even criminal.”


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Can’t risk the Russians finding out who did it.

Sweden Won’t Share Findings Of Nord Stream Probe With Russia (RT)

Sweden will not share the results of its investigation into the explosions that severely damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in late September with Russia, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has said. President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow already knows who the main beneficiary of the attack is. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Andersson explained that “In Sweden, our preliminary investigations are confidential, and that, of course, also applies in this case.” She noted, however, that Russia can conduct its own probe at the site if it wants to, as Stockholm has removed the cordons in the area. “The Swedish economic zone is not a territory that Sweden disposes of,” Andersson clarified.

The Swedish authorities say they found evidence that points to sabotage. Last week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin urged Stockholm to allow the Russian authorities and state-owned energy giant Gazprom to participate in the investigation. Commenting on the situation during a meeting of the Security Council of Russia on Monday, President Vladimir Putin said that despite the fact that Russia is not being given access to the investigation, “we all know well who the ultimate beneficiary of this crime is.” Earlier, Putin accused “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK alliance, of being behind what Moscow described as an “act of international terrorism.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the attack as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.”

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“..the Europeans have decided to exclude Russia from the investigation about what really happened with NS1 and NS2. Which makes sense: the EU cannot let Putin know that he blew up his own pipelines. right?”

Will They Ever Learn? -answer: probably not- (Saker)

It was also funny to see that once the Ukronazis realized how stupid (and dangerous!) their proud claims that they were the ones who blew up the truck on the bridge, they decided to blame Putin. So, as per our Ukronazi pals, Putin blew up the “Putin bridge” for some as of yet unnamed purpose, but most definitely an evil one. Even more hilarious were the hardcore Banderistas à la Aristovich who were celebrating each Russian strike because “now the Russians have one less missile to use”. Clearly, a war-winning mindset 🙂

In fact, the Russians are so evil that the Europeans have decided to exclude Russia from the investigation about what really happened with NS1 and NS2. Which makes sense: the EU cannot let Putin know that he blew up his own pipelines. right? And the fact that Russia is one of the main proprietors of NS1/NS2 does not matter one bit: as always (MH17, Skripal, Navalnyi, etc.) the Russian Snow Niggers need to be treated with the utmost contempt by the European Master Race. That will convince the Russians to take the Eurolemmings seriously. “Eurologic” at its best… But, seriously, away from the la-la land of various Nazi supporters and Russian 6th columnists, most of the traffic on the Crimean bridge was restored in less than 24 hours. Then came the Russian response: in a quick series of strikes, Russia switched off the electricity over the entire Ukraine, Lvov (the real capital of Banderastan) included.

Compare the two actions and tell me who is winning and who is losing this war 🙂 Of course, the usual gang of “alternatively gifted” Putin critics will scream that this is all too little too late. As for the Ukronazis, they are already chanting their favorite mantra about “Russia is running out of missiles! Russia is running out of missiles!“. A brilliant war-winning strategy for sure! Those still capable of critical/rational thought will realize that the sheer magnitude and devastating consequences of the Russian strikes is just a signal that Putin is doing what he has been doing since February:

• Acting unilaterally without any efforts to negotiate (but without rejecting any negotiations should somebody in the West come to his/her senses). • Slowly and gradually increase the pain dial not only for the rump Ukraine but also for the entire EU. One more thing: assuming that Russia fired somewhere in the range of 200 missiles (out of stocks having many thousands more) against power stations, communications nodes, railway infrastructure, command posts, field headquarters, transformers, etc. and that this was more than enough to “pull the plug” on a huge country like the Ukraine tells you all you need to know about both the Russian capabilities and the lack of capabilities of Ukronazi air defenses (including old Soviet-era S-300 slamming into the ground the same way US Patriot missiles did during the Gulf War).

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“(Obama, Trump, Sleepy Joe, Ned Price, Stinkin’ Blinken, Droolin’ Nuland etc)”

WHODUNNIT? A Pipeline Mystery -not really- (Blair)

Motive: The aphorisms of cui bono? and follow the money apply here. The USA from even before Nordstream 2 was built, repeatedly voiced and demonstrated their rabid opposition to it (Obama, Trump, Sleepy Joe, Ned Price, Stinkin’ Blinken, Droolin’ Nuland etc). The crash-test-dummy-in-chief himself is on the record of saying with a smirk that no matter what (even though it was a Russian-German project which had nothing to do with the USA), one way or another it would be stopped…nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The West forced Russia to invade Ukraine in February 2022 (in response to the massive buildup of Ukronazi forces on the border and the >30x ramp-up of Ukronazi shelling of Donbass), just before Nordstream 2 was due to come online.

This gave the new oafish Scholz sin-cojones government (possessing less balls than the previous Merkel government) the excuse to refuse pipeline certification. Hardly coincidental timing. In September, just prior to the pipeline explosions, there were widespread public protests in numerous German cities demanding that sanctions against Russia be revoked and that cheap pipeline gas again be bought from Russia. The pipeline explosions seemed to eliminate such a future option. The USA has defacto received a massive financial windfall from the pipeline sabotage (witness Stinkin’ Blinken’s nauseous crowing about this “tremendous opportunity”). Such despicable skulduggery was the ONLY way that super expensive US LNG could be EVER be exported to Europe, because it could NEVER be economically (nor environmentally) competitive with super cheap Russian gas.

So much for the USA’s much vaunted practice of “free market” competition, another Orwellian term spewed out like projectile vomitus by them, which is better translated as “rigged Mafioso thuggery” or as Putin called it, “terrorism”. Russia had zero motive to bomb the pipelines. On the contrary, it was hugely detrimental to their interests, representing the multi-billion dollar loss of built infrastructure, the several hundred million dollar loss of natural gas and the loss of a future bargaining chip which could entice Europe to overturn the anti-Russia sanctions and buy cheap Russian gas again. The fact that the Russians offered to repair the pipes proves that it continues to be in their interest to keep them.

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“..military men are essentially pacifists. That does not mean that they are cowards, it means that, as professionals, they want to achieve their aims avoiding losses as far as possible.”

Saving Private Ukraina: The End-Game on the Horizon? (Batiushka)

Unlike warmongering politicians, who do not do the fighting and do not face getting splattered by the brains and guts spilling out from inside other human-beings alive a few moments before, military men are essentially pacifists. That does not mean that they are cowards, it means that, as professionals, they want to achieve their aims avoiding losses as far as possible. The aim is not to kill other human-beings. All the more so in the Ukraine, where those opposing you are the same race as yourself and with similar values. Kiev is not going to be flattened, it is a Russian City, indeed, it is called ‘The Mother of Russian Cities’. The SMO is to be implemented with as few losses as possible.

The Ukraine is to be freed, not destroyed. This war is against the USA and its blind but subservient vassals, not against the Ukraine and the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian people are being held hostage. The aim of any liberation is to free and save the hostages, not to kill them. The hostages are not the enemy. The enemies are the hostage-takers, Zelensky and Company. This whole operation is about saving the Ukraine, not destroying it. Another thing that some in Western countries forget is that Russians have Asian patience. This is quite unlike Western impatience. Russia has not forgotten the Teutonic Knights in 1242, the Poles in the Time of Troubles (1598-1613), the Swedes at Poltava in 1709, Napoleon in 1812, the Franco-British in 1854-56, the Kaiser in 1914, Hitler in 1941, or Clinton in the 1990s.

It is all listed and remembered, just as the Chinese have not forgotten the British-run genocide of the Chinese in the Opium Wars, just as the Indians have not forgotten British atrocities in the First Indian War of Independence (the British call it ‘The Indian Mutiny’) in 1857-8, just as the Iranians have not forgotten the overthrow of their democracy by the British in 1953 and then the torture-chambers of the Shah’s secret police. The point is that you should not poke the bear. Like Asians, Eurasian Russians have huge patience, but they forget absolutely nothing. When Kiev started its massacres in the Ukraine in 2014, all was noted. After the Bridge, that patience came to an end. The Russians have now appointed as Commander in Chief of what is now an anti-terrorist operation General Surovikin, nicknamed ‘General Armageddon’. His name, which comes from the Russian word for ‘severe’, recalls to any Russian the great hero of 18th century Russian military history, General Suvorov. My advice to Ukrainians after two days with 200 missiles? Either surrender asap or else get out now.

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Putin Reveals Russia’s Goals In Global Energy Market (RT)

Russia’s actions regarding energy resources are aimed at ensuring market stability, and not creating obstacles for anyone, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday while meeting with his UAE counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in St. Petersburg. The leader of the UAE is on an official visit to Russia to discuss cooperation between the two countries, as well as regional and international issues. “We are actively working within the framework of OPEC+. I know your position, our actions, our decisions are not directed against anyone … They are aimed at stability in the world energy markets, so that both consumers of energy resources and those involved in their production, as well as suppliers feel calm, stable and confident. So that the supply and demand will be balanced,”Putin said.

Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) agreed to an oil production cut of 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The reduction, which is the largest output cut since early 2020, was approved despite US pressure to pump more. It is expected to stem the latest slide in global oil prices. US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the decision, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the move “unhelpful and unwise.” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak, who attended the OPEC+ meeting, said that the output cut is necessary to balance the market before the seasonal decline in demand.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Washington seeks to force through its decisions regarding the oil market and manipulate prices, even at the cost of destabilizing the global energy market. Analysts interviewed by Bloomberg warn that the output cut may lead to a jump in oil prices above $100 a barrel and force the US to tap its strategic reserves. They also believe that Russia may introduce even larger output cuts than those announced by OPEC+ in response to the introduction of an oil price cap by the EU last week. Given the rise in oil prices, Russia’s oil export profits are unlikely to suffer even with production cuts, they say.

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Le Maire basically says the same thing Putin does. Wonder if he knows that.

US Seeks ‘Economic Domination’ Over EU – Paris (RT)

The US should not be allowed to dominate the global energy market while the EU suffers from the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned. “The conflict in Ukraine must not end in American economic domination and a weakening of the EU,” he said, speaking at the National Assembly on Monday. Le Maire said it’s unacceptable that Washington “sells its liquefied natural gas at four times the price than it sets for its own industrialists,” adding that “the economic weakening of Europe is not in anyone’s interest.” “We must reach a more balanced economic relationship on the energy issue between our American partners and the European continent,” Le Maire said.

Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, Russia was the EU’s largest gas supplier, responsible for about 45% of the bloc’s gas imports. However, due to sanctions imposed on Moscow in recent months, Russian gas supplies to the EU have decreased significantly. Facing an energy crisis, EU countries have rushed to fill their storage facilities – the level of reserves in underground storages was close to 91% as of Monday, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe. The storage sites are largely filled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), and are currently at their highest seasonal levels since at least 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. However, LNG imports from overseas cost much more than gas supplied via pipeline from Russia under long-term contracts, and energy prices in the bloc continue to rise.

The EU has considered setting a cap on natural gas prices for all suppliers, but a number of countries are opposed to this. Norway, a non-EU state but a partner in the European Economic Area (EEA) and one of EU’s major gas suppliers, recently warned that a step such as this could aggravate the situation, forcing exporters to divert supplies to other markets.

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Too many people don’t want these talks. But if George Webb is right, they will take place at the end of the month.

Russia Would ‘Consider’ G20 Putin-Biden Meeting – Lavrov (RT)

The presidents of Russia and the US might meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, provided that Washington actually wants to participate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “We never reject meetings, and if such a proposal comes, we will consider it,” the top diplomat explained during an interview on Russian television on Tuesday. He stressed that no such proposal had been sent by the US so far, contrary to what some people may believe. An opportunity for US President Joe Biden to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may present itself during the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia, which is scheduled for mid-November.

When asked about the possibility of bilateral talks, Biden did not rule it out, telling reporters on Thursday that “it remains to be seen.” Lavrov said that drawing conclusions about the schedules of the two leaders from an off-hand remark was “more suitable for journalistic analytical speculation than for real politics.” Speaking on Russian political talk show ‘60 Minutes,’ Lavrov called “a lie” claims that the US government was seeking to resolve the stand-off with Russia over the Ukraine crisis and that it was Moscow’s position that prevented peace negotiations.

“We have received no serious proposals for contact. There were some half-hearted approaches, which we did not reject either and suggested that the people, who want to engage with us in backdoor diplomacy, formulate concrete proposals,” Lavrov revealed. The would-be mediators did not respond properly, he added. The minister also expressed skepticism that talks with the US could produce substantial results regarding Ukraine, considering the circumstances. He explained that the US had long become a “de facto” party to the conflict by arming the Ukrainian military and feeding them intelligence.

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“Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out any dialogue with Putin’s government.”

Lavrov: Russia Open to Talks With the West, US Dismisses Comments (Antiwar)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said that Moscow was open to talks with Western powers as Turkey is looking to broker negotiations. Lavrov also said that Russia would consider a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden if one was proposed. “We have repeatedly said that we never refuse meetings. If there is a proposal, then we will consider it,” he said. A potential venue for talks between Biden and Putin could be the sidelines of the upcoming summit of G20 leaders that will be held in mid-November in Indonesia. But according to Lavrov, Russia has not received any serious proposals from the US to negotiate.

The US was quick to dismiss Lavrov’s comments, accusing him of “posturing” and calling for Russia to stop launching strikes across Ukraine. “We see this as posturing. We do not see this as a constructive, legitimate offer to engage in the dialogue and diplomacy that is absolutely necessary to see an end to this brutal war of aggression,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Despite the US dismissal of potential talks, Turkey appears eager to broker negotiations between the two sides. The Kremlin said that Putin will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, and it’s “possible” that the two leaders will discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between the West and Russia. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Tuesday and noted a “common understanding” when it came to the need to reach a ceasefire, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

“The importance of declaring a ceasefire urgently in order to prevent further loss of lives and to re-establish peace and stability in the region was emphasized, and it was gladly observed that there was a common understanding regarding the ceasefire,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a readout of the call. While there are growing calls for peace talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his position that he won’t hold talks with Russia as long as Putin is president during a virtual meeting with the G7. Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out any dialogue with Putin’s government.

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Soon black-ins.

Kiev Introduces Rolling Power Blackouts (RT)

Residents of the Ukrainian capital and Kiev Region will experience power outages of up to four hours under a new schedule of rolling blackouts introduced by the grid operator.The measure was introduced on Tuesday and is aimed at “balancing the power system and avoiding large-scale blackouts,” privately-owned energy company DTEK announced on Tuesday. It cited instructions it received from the national transmission system operator, Ukrenergo.The rotating outages will affect both industrial consumers and regular citizens, and was introduced after a massive Russian attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure on Monday. Ukrenergo called on people to dial down their use of electricity to decrease the load on the grid.

On Monday evening, it claimed there was a 26.5% drop in consumption in the capital and surrounding region, compared to an average autumn day.The company urged users to keep consumption low during peak evening hours, and said it ordered operators in Kiev, Chernigov, Zhitomir, and Cheboksary to introduce rolling blackouts, which will be in force for several days.Issues with basic utilities such as electricity and water were reported by Ukrainian media in many parts of the country following the strikes. Moscow states that the strikes were in retaliation for what it described as a series of “Ukrainian terrorist attacks” on Russian infrastructure. Key facilities were damaged in nearly a dozen Ukrainian regions, according to Kiev.

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Greece talks about half a billion. I don’t think Germany is 400x bigger.

Germany Discusses Distributing €200 Billion In Gas Price Subsidies (ZH)

A German government-appointed expert panel on Monday proposed a two-stage system for distributing some of the up to €200 billion in subsidies Germany recently announced (and sparked outrage across Europe in the process) to ease the strain of high energy prices, a plan that the group said would still encourage people to save gas, but will merely subsidize even more gas purchases and in a supply-constrained environment, lead to even higher inflation (especially when paired with Russian “price caps”). According to AP, the panel suggested that the state take on the cost of natural gas customers’ monthly bill in December, followed by a price subsidy for part of their consumption starting next spring.

That “gas and heating price brake” would kick in next March and apply until April 2024, panel co-chair Veronika Grimm said. Private gas customers would pay 0.12 euros per kilowatt hour for the first 80% of the amount they used in 2021. That “corresponds roughly to the price level that is expected in the future,” Grimm said, telling reporters in Berlin that the plan aims to introduce a “new normal” but prevent price rises beyond that…. whatever that is. “It’s not going to be the case that the price goes back down to 7 cents in the future — we won’t receive Russian gas for a long time.” Grimm argued that the plan still incentivizes people to save gas, because people who do so will avoid paying higher prices beyond the cap level.

She also noted that Germany, which has Europe’s biggest economy, needs to reduce its previous gas consumption by about 20% to prevent a potential shortage this winter, which will never happen voluntarily and will required forced rationing throughout the winter, i.e., rolling blackouts. Co-chair Siegfried Russwurm, the head of the Federation of German Industries, said the proposal foresees businesses paying 0.07 euros per kilowatt hour for 70% of their 2023 gas use, starting at the beginning of January. Russwurm said that gas price rises are posing an “existential” threat to an increasing number of companies.

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“If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, I invite you to join me.”

Who’s Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard? Everyone (Luongo)

This isn’t the biggest news of the week but it may turn out to be so if I’m right about what this means and where it leads. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard formally left the Democratic Party in a public announcement this morning on Twitter. Here’s Gabbard’s full statement: “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are……hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.

I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite. I’m calling on my fellow common sense independent-minded Democrats to join me…. …in leaving the Democratic Party. If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, I invite you to join me.”


Gabbard’s statement is a big deal given the timing, less than a month out from the mid-term elections. I know a lot of people are really torn on Gabbard. She elicits from the “patriot or “MAGA” crowd the same kind of unthinking division that Donald Trump elicits from the world. There are few nuanced takes on either of these people. This is because they represent threats to the people who are desperately trying to maintain control over the political and economic system. It doesn’t matter if they are competent or not. Since that system is failing, rapidly, the socio-political immune system must be vaccinated against all foreign ideas.

So, the modus operandi is always the same. As they rise in popularity seed and amplify their faults to gaslight some would be supporters. In the case of Gabbard it was her invitation to the 2015 WEF Young Leaders conference and her positions on key domestic policy issues. People don’t like Gabbard for these reasons. Some of them are valid criticisms. Her voting record is Progressive on domestic economic issues. But, like a lot of young people, they come in with certain ideas and they leave with others after peaking behind the curtain. This focus on past specifics keeps many projecting personal anxieties onto them rather than assessing their personal journey. This precludes thinking strategically about how they can be an asset and only knee-jerk rejecting them for failing to pass some purity test.

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Peanuts leaves



Damien Hurst









The golden pheasant, family Phasianidae, native to Western China.



The Nicobar Pidgeon is the closest living relative of the Dodo Bird. Photo: Allen Chang




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