< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 252 OF 252 ·
|Aug-15-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
You might like to see this 8 minute summary of the deteriorating situation in Moldova: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUt...
|Aug-15-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
Didn't complete my post about the yuan devaluation. The yuan has been considered over valued for some years, and the government is finally letting it drop now that the economy is cooling a bit, as you said, probably to ensure that exports remain attractive.
This, I think, will also gradually reduce pressure on over-priced stock that caused problems on exchange trading over the last few months, and therefore reduce harm to mum and dad investors.
That's my semi-education guess, in any case.
|Aug-15-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: Thanks for the video. IMO Moldovia may not be acting more aggressively against Transnistria because |
1. It's presently caught in a balancing act caused by the struggle between pro-Russian and pro-EU political parties.
2. Most Moldavians like being independent and must feel threatened by Romania's desire to incorporate it. Romania is in the EU-NATO sphere. It follows that many Moldavians may also feel psychologically threatened by EU-NATO. If Romania does try to militarily annex Moldovia, who will the Moldavians have to turn to for support? Russia. Where are the nearest Russian troops? In Transnistria. In the long run, for pro-independent Moldavians, keeping an intact Transnistria with its Russian peacekeeping troops may sound like an attractive fall back option to possible future Romanian aggression.
If Transnistria were bordering on Romania itself, it would be a whole lot different. I have little doubt that US-NATO would have tried to move against it by now.
<Kiev authorities preparing to resolve Donbas conflict by military means>
Maybe and maybe not. We'll have to await further events. If the shelling worsens, then we may be headed that way, a preparation for a full scale invasion. Hopefully no American troops will be involved. Because they will meet with covert Russian troops on the ground.
<Russia moves to protect her Arctic interests>
The vague 'protecting Arctic interests' doesn't really say much. Protect from what? US landing troops in Siberia? No one in Washington probably even dreams of that.
What the article doesn't say is this: In a nuclear ICBM showdown, the shortest flight plan from US to Russia and Russia to US is over the Arctic Ocean. I believe that most ICBMs will be shot across the Arctic. Russia is presently beefing up her anti ICBM defenses up North all across Siberia.
This is probably a major reason why Russia is reactivating the old Soviet Arctic bases and probably stocking them with anti air systems. However, announcing to the public that the Russian leadership nowadays fears a first strike ICBM attack from the US over the Arctic isn't a politically correct thing to say, and may lead to unnecessary panic. So it gives socially acceptable reasons.
<The messy US ‘strategy’ in Syria>
At present there seems to be a full blown jihadi offensive in the making in Northern Syria. See http://www.almasdarnews.com/article..., http://www.almasdarnews.com/article..., http://www.almasdarnews.com/article...
Russia may be angling for an international peacekeeping force that has Russian soldiers as one of its main constituents.
Both Russia and Turkey are playing a double game in Syria. The Turkish stream involves their cooperation. Yet Turkey may also be working for a Qatar to Turkey stream that will pass across Syria, but a hostile Syria has to be neutralized first. Which is what Turkey (and Qatar) are trying to do with their proxy armies. A Qatar Turkish stream is bad news for Russia, as it might allow EU to wean itself off its dependence on Russian gas. Strange as it might seem, Turkey and Russia may be involved in an unofficial proxy war in Syria against each other, while publicly engaging in economic cooperation. Weird gray world.
|Aug-16-15|| ||twinlark: <Moldovia may not be acting more aggressively against Transnistria because|
1. It's presently caught in a balancing act caused by the struggle between pro-Russian and pro-EU political parties.>
That does seem to be the case. If the process that normally occurs in these cases does happen, then Moldova will be incorporated into the Eu either directlly or as part of Romania or alternatively if the independence forces are too powerful, it could involve the destruction of Moldava as a state, much as Serbia, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine have been dismembered. There is no way the US will allow Moldava to return to its communist past, align with Russia, or be anything other than a vassal state to itself or the EU or Romania.
<If Transnistria were bordering on Romania itself, it would be a whole lot different. I have little doubt that US-NATO would have tried to move against it by now.>
Agreed. Still, the reason the Transnistrian issue is a problem in its current form is because of its current geographical location.
<Hopefully no American troops will be involved. Because they will meet with covert Russian troops on the ground.>
There are certainly US personnel on the ground, especially in government, but also the CIA, Blackwater and "trainers". Instead of a proxy war as was customary, this could move one step closer to a hot war via conflict between covert US and Russian troops.
<In a nuclear ICBM showdown, the shortest flight plan from US to Russia and Russia to US is over the Arctic Ocean. I believe that most ICBMs will be shot across the Arctic. Russia is presently beefing up her anti ICBM defenses up North all across Siberia.>
No doubt this is a factor in the planning on both sides. Look at the borders of countries facing the Arctic: https://www.google.com/search?q=cou...
You can see that Russia halfway surrounds the Arctic Ocean, with Canada the next biggest border fronting about one fifth or one sixth of the frontage. Then come the other states such as the US, Denmark via Greenland and the Scandinavian countries. Once the Arctic melts, which unfortunately looks inevitable, Russia will have thousands of extra kilometers of coastline to defend and observe. So not only will Russia expand its nuclear defences, it will expand its operational conventional defences and observation posts.
The energy equation in all this shouldn't be overlooked as the Saker article does point out that a huge percentage of the world's fossil fuel reserves are located in the Arctic, most of them on the shelves connected to Russia. Russia has in fact placed a claim for the shelves before the same UN panel that rejected its application back in 2001, as the research and data supporting the claim had been poorly put together. Russia acknowledges this and is now confident that its application is sound.
The question of whether there is sound scientific backing for the claim may of course become secondary to the purely political considerations exerted by the US and its vassal states.
|Aug-16-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: When US was about to start another Middle East full scale war by planning to bomb Syria a couple of years ago, Russia responded in a concrete manner. It moved in Russian Navy ships to Syria's coast, such that any cruise missile from US warships will have to over fly them. Russia seems to have replied, again in a concrete manner, to the US-Turkey plan to impose a no fly zone in northern Syria. Aside from the initiative to form an international peacekeeping mission, Russia has delivered six Mig 31s according to Turkish press and ANNA news. If true, it would make the imposition of a no fly zone over northern Syria (imposed by IS and Turkish warplanes) much harder to do.|
|Aug-16-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Once the Arctic melts, which unfortunately looks inevitable, Russia will have thousands of extra kilometers of coastline to defend and observe. So not only will Russia expand its nuclear defenses, it will expand its operational conventional defenses and observation posts.|
The energy equation in all this shouldn't be overlooked as the Saker article does point out that a huge percentage of the world's fossil fuel reserves are located in the Arctic, most of them on the shelves connected to Russia.>
Correct, but this won't happen overnight. Probably decades from now, yes. Yet the Russian leadership is at present acting almost desperately to place in anti ICBM systems all across the north. I think they actually believe that some of the more aggressive and insane factions in the US leadership have laid optional plans to do a first strike, similar to the old plans to nuke the Soviet Union after WW2. The saner Americans would not cooperate of course, but there is still a finite possibility the insane ones can pull some kind of a coup. The Russian leadership might just be making sure Russia can be defended on the outside chance it would occur.
<There are certainly US personnel on the ground, especially in government, but also the CIA, Blackwater and "trainers". Instead of a proxy war as was customary, this could move one step closer to a hot war via conflict between covert US and Russian troops.>
IMO as long as it's covert, it would still be relatively 'safe'. There is a good chance that there have been past military encounters between US and Soviet servicemen in the Cold War but all limited in scope and covert.
However sending a battalion of US airborne troops over to Donbass is a level different. If such a battalion is hit by an artillery barrage, there could be hundreds of US KIA that can hardly be covered up, and would serve to inflame the public.
<The energy equation in all this shouldn't be overlooked as the Saker article does point out that a huge percentage of the world's fossil fuel reserves are located in the Arctic, most of them on the shelves connected to Russia.>
The Arctic ice will probably totally melt decades from now so we are not there yet. However, the northern sea lanes are opening. I think that is the most immediate economic opportunity for Russia (and Canada) in the near future. But even this will not happen instantaneously. Russia will probably react by increasing the movement of its ships, both civilian and military, in the north. It will occur gradually in proportion to the amount of ice that permanently melts every decade.
|Aug-17-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: This article caught my attention. http://thesaker.is/what-you-need-to...|
Russia has created an entirely new service branch of the military, the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in 2011.
If you look at the service branches of the Russian armed forces https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russi..., the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces are considered at par with the other traditional branches.
This service branch is designed to have one main purpose, defense against air attacks. Of these attacks the priority seems to be defense against nuclear armed ballistic missiles.
No other country has invested so much in defensive military capability. The fact that the Russian leadership has been investing in an entirely new branch of the military designed for defense indicates a super defensive mindset. Thinking that Russia can be attacked anytime. Events in Ukraine only serves to bolster this attitude. Putin, Lavrov, Churkin look cool in TV but behind them is there frenzied activity to create an anti missile shield.
|Aug-17-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor> Something different and amazing. One of the most astonishing short videos ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDi...|
It's not as easy as it looks!
|Aug-19-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: I was surprised that the driver could even think of doing such a thing. Not surprised that it could be done, as it resembles what I do when I throw a flat stone tangentially over water's surface, and it skims across. If such a stone has its own source of power, it could go skimming across the water for as long as its power source lasts. I believe that some boats may employ the same principle in order to lightly skim off the water's surface.|
I think if he were to use a machine that had jets at its back, he could race across the ocean even faster. From what I can see, the motorcycle's back wheels have been modified into paddles, but jet propulsion would even be better, less friction.
Latest development the geopolitical game.
<US Launches Biggest Allied Airborne Drills Since Cold War>
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Militia say Kiev forces' grouping of troops in Donbas built up to 90,000>|
This seems to be the latest significant event in Ukraine, but there is no new offensive on Novorussia yet. Both sides seem to be on a wait and see policy as of now.
On the chance that Kiev launches a major offensive, I don't see how the outgunned and outmanned NAF would be able to repel it by their own. If Russia wishes to prevent the Donbass from being run over, they will have to do again what they did in the past, increase supplies and send in covert troops. I hope the American paratroopers now in Ukraine don't get involved in case of such a confrontation.
AFAIK all videos and pictures of supposedly Russian troops in Ukraine have been identified never as soldiers from the ground forces, the regular Russian army. They are always Russian airborne or Russian naval infantry, both of which belong to different service branches from the Russian ground forces. The Russian leadership and military is keeping this (what the MSM terms hybrid war) strictly compartmentalized, probably for plausible deniability. Any soldier from the regular army interviewed by the media can truthfully say there are no Russian soldiers inside Ukraine as far as he knows.
I think we will see in the next two month if Kiev will launch a major offensive. If it does not, then it probably won't for this year at least.
The Syrian front is heating up I think. Most of Russian shuttle diplomacy in the past few weeks seem to be about keeping US allies from outrightly invading Syria with their regular armies. Recently MSM has been hyping up a story of the Syrian government massacring a hundred civilians in a market place. Such stories always are trumpeted out in headlines before a major escalation by US allies. (BTW as far as I can tell from the video, the market massacre story is false propaganda. The bodies are all male of fighting age, and the tomatoes around them are fresh, whole, and unharmed. Most people in a market place are women buying stuff and bombing it would result in a lot of dead female bodies and squashed and splattered tomatoes. Whoever did the propaganda video is a moron. Not that it matters. Since it's painted by the lying MSM as a massacre, dumb readers will automatically believe it is a massacre, not even bothering to think through the video itself.)
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: I just found out that Russia is denying the transfer of Mig 31s to Syria, a story that both Iranian (Fars news) and Israeli (Debka) sources (both of which I assume are government mouthpieces to a large extent) came up with. While the Syrian government itself does not say anything officially. Weird, opposite side observers tell the same story, while the donor denies it, and the recipient keeps mum. Don't know what to make of it.|
Other news: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras resigns. It's all over MSM.
What are your thoughts on this?
|Aug-23-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
Concerning the transfers of MiGs...hard to know what to make of all the conflicting reports. Despite their respective alignments, I'd hazard a wild guess that Iran and Israel are issuing statements they see as furthering their own agenda. The denials and silence by the donor and recipients doesn't surprise me.
The Iranian statement surprises me as I'm not sure what they gain from issuing such a statement. Maybe to take the heat of that country? No idea.
<Greek PM Alexis Tsipras resigns.>
This doesn't surprise me as Syriza is deeply split between his pragmatists and the radicals that have formed the new party. As far as I can see, Tsipras is a modern day Greek Quisling, leading his party and his people to believe he was supporting their aspirations, and then utterly betraying them to the European banking mafia. How he retains any popularity is beyond me...I'd have thought his supporters would have wanted to string him up.
Greece is now part of history IMO, I cannot see how they can ever recover from the financial servitude that's been imposed on them nor regain even a semblance of sovereignty. A truly depressing situation.
It seems that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have now built up a massive invasion force to crush Donbass. There are four staging points with 20,000 soldiers at each point, including hundreds of battle tanks, artillery and other materiel (wonder where they came from??) ready to carve the place up and dispose of the inhabitants.
I'm sure Donbass has also readied itself for this offensive, as they seem to know everything about it, but the sheer volume of firepower that has been brought to bear is quite incredible. Donbass will need a similar volume of materiel via the Russian voentarg if they are to survive. One problem I see is apart from the logistical, tactical and strategic issues of the impending invasion, the population of Donbass is not very high and attrition would gradually wear the population down, either into leaving for Russia or elsewhere in Ukraine or simply starving or fighting.
Clearly the Novorussian fighters have more to fight for, and are the better military force, but the Ukraine appears ready to drown the south east by swarming them with sheer numbers.
Hope you have a more optimistic outlook. Here's the sitrep from the rebel side: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bw...
|Aug-23-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
Another reason Russia is laying claim to large tracts of the Arctic is diamonds. The following article reports on this and the geological justification that Russia has used in support of its claim: http://in.rbth.com/economics/busine...
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: https://orders.cloudsna.com/chain?c...|
This is the first time I have heard Ron Paul talk. I know he is former American Congressman who has been highly critical of the way US economy is run.
I agree with him. If US keeps on printing money out of thin air, and when people lose faith in it, it will get devalued. You will have a scenario like that my father used to tell: During WW2, people would bring sacks of near useless paper money to the market in order to buy food. I guess the people could not complain because the Japanese totalitarian colonial government and their collaborators would shoot you. If that currency crisis Paul talks about hits, US government will have to implement a similar totalitarian system in order to prevent complaints. The end of personal freedom, as Paul also predicts.
Why do people all over the world still <have faith> in the US dollar as Paul says, thus giving it artificial value? IMO it's because to a large extent tied to petroleum. Arab nations have a deal that goes back to Nixon to use only the US dollar in trading oil. Thus the birth of the <petrodollar>.
That's why BRICS is such a danger to the US. If more and more nations turn to say the yuan as the currency by which to trade oil and other goods, I don't really see how the US can prevent the petrodollar turned into ordinary paper fiat money from collapsing.
Cong Paul though does not say it. One solution. If US gets into a war with its big creditor, China, it can delete its huge debt by winning the war and demanding a financial solution by right of conquest. Hey slit eyes. We won the war. Now our debt to you is erased. And give us 17 trillion dollars more as guarantee we won't nuke what remains of you. It would be China that would be ruined.
I am pretty certain the Chinese leadership know just how much they are in danger. That's probably the reason why they are doing their best not to upset the US.
US has the nukes that can reach China. China does not have the nukes to reach US. US can start a nuclear war with China and get away with it.
Note that Russia is making sure US knows it can't get away unscathed in a nuclear war with Russia, by openly announcing all the capabilities of its nuclear triad (ICBMs, SLBMs, strategic bombers). But China is pretty quiet. China does not have the ICBMs, SLBMs, strategic bombers.
The other solution is to raise productivity in order to begin to back up the US dollar with real goods. Us can begin by developing alternative sources of energy in a truly serious and big manner. A Los Alamos type project, but one aimed at alternative energy sources.
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <There are four staging points with 20,000 soldiers at each point, including hundreds of battle tanks, artillery and other materiel (wonder where they came from??) ready to carve the place up and dispose of the inhabitants.>|
I believe that if Russia really wants to, it can defeat such a force. The Russian military may have to send in the entire airborne (now standing at 50,000 special forces soldiers according to Saker) and most of the naval infantry (12,000 according to Wikipedia), with all the most modern military hardware and electronics. Perhaps beef them up with specialized missile troops in order to hit Kiev's armies accurately with computerized GPS guided ballistic missiles and rocket artillery.
However by doing so, Russia may have to admit strategical defeat. Kiev, central, southern, and western Ukraine would be driven right into NATO. And that's what the Kiev government wants.
As of now, the Russians are still going for a federal Ukraine scenario, in which they would have some influence over Kiev through the pro-Russian Donbass regions. The ultimate goal is a Finland-like Ukraine.
That won't happen if Russia were forced to send in its airborne troops and marines in conspicuously large numbers.
If Kiev attacks all out, Russia will be in a fix.
|Aug-23-15|| ||twinlark: <US can start a nuclear war with China and get away with it.>|
Only in the proximate tactical sense. Part of the problem IMO is that the US leadership has no conception of the long term consequences of a nuclear war. One that would destroy China would also destroy Asia, probably Eurasia (including Russia) and possibly depopulate the northern hemisphere. China would not leave its nukes unused and would probably retaliate against the US's close allies.
Russia itself might have a word to say about a nuclear attack against China, as would pretty much every country in the world including some of the US's allies. It would be a Pyrric victory at best.
<Us can begin by developing alternative sources of energy in a truly serious and big manner. A Los Alamos type project, but one aimed at alternative energy sources.>
As ever, I totally agree. However, Big Oil would never allow itself to be undercut, and nor do I believe that the US will change its strategy from militaristic capitalism to peaceful development.
Fraught times ahead.
<If Kiev attacks all out, Russia will be in a fix.>
Which is obviously what Washington/Kiev want. All I can see here is that Moscow would also be totally aware of both the buildup and the strategy behind it and would have prepared accordingly. The public announcements of its nuclear and defence capabilities being one aspect of it.
I would imagine that Donbass has been quietly armed by state of the art weaponry and communications equipment and that any offensive would be countered by Novorussians working in clandestine tandem with Russian volunteers and in communication with Russian military.
This will be an extremely bloody campaign, one that will make or break Poroshenko and his entire regime. I can't see Moscow tolerating a Kiev victory, so it is an extremely dangerous gamble by Poroshenko and his allies, and I'm not sure the eurozone is so abjectly subservient to the US that it will continue to provide aid and finance for illegal military adventures.
The entire Eurozone, apart from Germany, is in a horrible financial mess, and a worsening of this through Ukraine's adventurism risks sparking unrest in the heart of the Eurozone itself.
|Aug-23-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
Another interesting viewpoint is one in the attached article, translated from Russian headlined "Putin is tying India to Pakistan with pipelines". Basically, the idea is to tie the regional countries, allies and not-so-allies alike in an energy (and ultimately trade) symbiosis that makes it in their interests to cooperate.
This is in contrast with the division created by the British before they left India with the formation of Pakistan, and the continuing divide and rule tactics employed by Washington. The bottom line, according to this article, is that the regional countries need each other more than they need the US which is not in their region.
<Russia today is using sharp weakening of the US position in the region, using the experience of the American economic exclusion of competitors from previously captured markets.
It’s much easier and smarter to profit from a contract and tie a partner to yourself, making future quarrels for some trumped-up political pretexts economically unfeasible.>
Another point it makes is that:
<With regard to Russia's steps in Asia, they fit into the strategy of maintaining a balance of interests in the crucial "triangle" of countries - China, India and Pakistan, together with a complex "bundle" of relations. Confirmation of such a course is the decision to let both India and Pakistan into SCO simultaneously.>
The admission of India and Pakistan into the SCO is especially interesting as it is intended as a central Asian counterpoint to NATO, as well as using regional cooperation to maintain security in the entire central Asian region. Ultimately, as this military alliance strengthens via the improvement of relations through mutual necessity and benefit of otherwise hostile countries such as India and Pakistan, it may well take a page from NATO's charter, that an attack on one member is an attack on them all. This may be what protects China from a unilateral nuclear or even conventional attack by the US.
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <I would imagine that Donbass has been quietly armed by state of the art weaponry and communications equipment and that any offensive would be countered by Novorussians working in clandestine tandem with Russian volunteers and in communication with Russian military.>|
If Kiev attacks, I think the key to the Russian strategy would be to keep the <Russian volunteers> covert and inconspicuous. If the attack is beaten off and Russia maintains the illusion of having avoided sending in overt troops, NAF can claim the victory, and the southern and central regions of Ukraine would not experience any increased hostility toward Russia. On the other hand, the whole of Ukraine would be blaming Kiev for the failed attack. That could bring Poro's government down.
<In all, between October 1988 and February 1992, with 1,700 to 2,000 Scud launches, Afghanistan saw the greatest concentration of ballistic weapons fired since World War II. After January 1992, the Soviet advisors were withdrawn, reducing the Afghan army's ability to use their ballistic missiles. On 24 April 1992, the mujahideen forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud captured the main Scud stockpile at Afshur. As the communist government collapsed>
I think I have posted this before. The article essentially says that a few Soviet specialists manning the Scud missile system were able to hold off an attacking army superior in numbers and other light arms for 4 years. By now, Russia has the GLONASS system, which theoretically would allow them to accurately hit Kiev's armored columns from the part of Donbass near the Russian border. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLONASS
<Hope you have a more optimistic outlook.>
Yes I do, after looking at Russia's military capabilities. Assuming it will be an artillery war (all big wars are):
1. Send in the Russian airborne and naval infantry armed with the most modern of weapons (including far ranging rocket artillery, NAF already has GRADs, but according to Wikipedia, Russia has more modern ones such as Uragan and Smerch, both of which Kiev already has) and electronics covertly to embed as part of the NAF temporarily. Just remove all identifying patches, or Kiev will surely plaster videos of them all over you tube.
2. Send tactical ballistic missile teams covertly just across the border, under the cover of trees. I think a third branch of the Russian military is in charge of this, the strategic missile troops https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strat.... They can send Toschkas (which Kiev also has) zooming by the dozens into Kiev's forces. GLANOSS technology will ensure accuracy.
3. Protect the above assets (rocket artillery and tactical ballistic missiles) with Pantsirs and other mobile anti aircraft systems within the Donbass. Past reports indicate that Pantsirs were responsible for shooting down Kiev's Toschkas.
It may have to be assumed that US will link Kiev rocket artillery and ballistic missiles to the GPS system, thus also ensuring accuracy. So Russia better find ways to protects its own artillery and missile systems.
As long as specialized troops are conducting the defensive operations, and not regular army soldiers, I don't see why Russia can't keep its involvement covert. The Russian paratroopers, marines, and missile troops are all secretive by tradition.
|Aug-23-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Putin is tying India to Pakistan with pipelines... the strategy of maintaining a balance of interests in the crucial "triangle" of countries - China, India and Pakistan, together with a complex "bundle" of relations. Confirmation of such a course is the decision to let both India and Pakistan into SCO simultaneously.>|
Smart move. It's quite complicated though. It would just take one false flag terrorist attack on India (recall the Mumbai attack and others) to send India and Pakistan at each others' throats again. US won't just wait passively for Pakistan to shift over to Russia.
There's also the problem of the traditional hostility between Pakistan and Afghanistan. There's solid indications that the two are now engaged in some kind of proxy war along their border, using different factions of the Taliban. Recently India and Russia have become Afghanistan's main arms supplier. Pakistan might not take that too kindly.
Pakistan and Iran also have terrible relations, with Iran accusing Pakistan of sending fundamentalist groups across the border to hit Iranian border outposts. If Iran were not so busy elsewhere, I believe that it would have engaged Pakistan in another proxy border war in anger by now.
Russia will have quite a job trying to reconcile Pakistan with India, Afghanistan, and Iran. US may easily sabotage any such effort rather than lose Pakistan and Afghanistan. And in this possible endeavor, Us will most probably have the financial backing of the fundamentalist Arab gulf states.
There are strong and influential movements and factions within Pakistan that hate Indians, Iranians, and Afghans for sectarian or nationalistic reasons. These are unfortunately rooted quite deeply in history and religion. Russia would have to take account these groups in cultivating the more open minded elements of Pakistan society. Outsiders who would like to sabotage any reconciliation can easily take advantage of these factions.
I agree though. The economic offer (gas lines and SCO) seems to be the most peaceful and safest way.
|Aug-23-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
It was never going to be easy to get India and Pakistan to kiss and make up, let alone the other countries in the region. I think Russia is relying on the broader strategy of self interest to stitch the whole thing together, a role at which the US used to be adept. The factional, nationalistic, religious and cultural divisions in the region won't dissipate overnight or even in our lifetimes, but broad economic and military cooperation and interests may start the long process.
As you say, this can be sabotaged, and no doubt will be at some points, but as the article points out, previous key allies to the US are now either enemies (Iran) or frenemies (Pakistan) or simply skeptical of an increasingly desperate US strategy of military and economic coercion, especially as the US's economic credentials continue to be flushed down the military and financial black holes that fund its oligarchs' lifestyles.
It could come down to dealing with regional oligarchs being a more mutually profitable solution than dealing with an increasingly clueless and isolated, not to mention militaristic, bunch of corporate racists and fascists. It has to be a matter of time before the petrodollar ceases to meaningfully bolster the US economy, at which time the proverbial excrement will really strike the rotating blades with force.
Hopefully without the Samson Option being invoked.
|Aug-25-15|| ||twinlark: <visayanbraindoctor>|
It appears that China's crash is more than the correction that happened in 2008. After the 2008 GFC, the Chinese government for some inexplicable reason created a credit bubble of unique virulence, which combined with dodgy third party real estate speculations has now come back to the bite the economy in the proverbial.
Read all about it at http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/. The blogger is an economist who correctly predicted the 2008-09 GFC, basing his prediction on the extent of over-leveraged private debt. That is, once private debt reaches a certain level and has been underwritten a few times to disguise these debts as assets, no more borrowing is possible and investment ceases. Once the debts are called in the whole Ponzi scheme collapses.
The irony is that this is what generated the original GFC, and after it happened, the Chinese abandoned sound economic management, ie: keeping private debt in check to forestall a credit bubble, it made the same mistake the USA had previously made in allowing unlimited private loans.
And I thought the Chinese leadership was smart.
On the plus side, China does have a reputed 30000 tonnes of gold, whereas the USA has abandoned the gold standard, but where this is sufficient to balance the books remains to be seen, if even this is even relevant at this stage. Also, China is the biggest foreign holder of US debt to the tune of over a trillion dollars, but as far as I can see their value must be junk as they're unusable as they need that debt to maintain the comparatively higher value of the USD to maintain its exports.
It'll be "interesting" in the Chinese sense of the word to see how this plays out. Hopefully the Chinese leadership is smart enough to figure it out, but they need to fire their economists and use those that demonstrably know why these crashes happen. The West has shown no signs of such percipience, but I suspect that the health of individual economies is now irrelevant where there is money to be made by the ,01%, who profit from these shenanigans.
|Aug-25-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <twinlark> Thanks, I will have to think through it. Economic talk is something that I sometimes barely understand, not my specialty at all.|
<After having negotiated a regional alliance against the Islamic Emirate which implied Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, Russia suddenly had to abandon its strategy after the Turkish turn-around. Ankara has in fact decided to break off its ties with Moscow, and has cancelled, without genuine motive, the contract for the gas pipe-line Turkish Stream, created, in partenership with Ukraine, an international Islamic Brigade (in Kherson north of the Crimean border) intended to destabilise Crimea>
What's happening to the Turkish stream? If this article is anywhere accurate, it indicates a big problem with the present Turkish leadership. If they have indeed begun to meddle in Ukraine, Russia would be furious at them.
There are many more juicy tidbits in this article, although I cannot be sure how accurate they are.
|Aug-25-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: http://www.activistpost.com/2015/08...|
I have been scanning some of the fringe media on the topic of possible Turkish intervention in Ukraine. The above article is typical.
If the allegation in the above articles is anywhere close to the truth, a Turkish stream may not be the most stable of projects.
Turkey also seems to be eyeing a Qatar-Syria-Turkey stream. Which can only be started once regime change has succeeded in Syria. Qatar natural gas would be a direct rival to Russian gas. Good for Turkey and Qatar. Bad for Russia.
It's obvious to any one that has followed middle east events that Turkey has been playing a quite duplicitous game in Syria. Russia might be willing to overlook that, but if Turkey is really planning on meddling in Ukraine, there is a good possibility that the Russians might draw the line. Making matters psychologically worse is the fact that it was not too long ago that Turkey was giving aid to Chechen insurgents. The present Russian leadership still remember this with anger.
Perhaps Russia might well explore other possibilities such as the Nord stream.
If this Nord stream is forged, Russia and Germany would be drawn much closer to one another. Good for both and the rest of western Europe. Bad for NATO as a US subaltern and the US; and Turkey and Qatar.
|Aug-25-15|| ||twinlark: <Visayanbraindoctor>|
I've been wondering about Turkey since the last elections which didn't go as well he'd have liked and his party lost an absolute majority in the Parliament. His strongholds in the country held, but he's been weakened in the major cities where he'd been carrying our his purges of the police and arresting thousands of demonstrators.
I think his position has been so weakened, on top of his demonstrated multiplicity (plural of duplicity - honestly, he must lose count of the opposing forces he's juggling), that the US possibly exerted some pressure on him to move away from Russia with the aim of aborting the Turk Stream project. This has already cost Russia as its construction company had already started the construction of the pipeline toward Turkey before the agreement was ratified.
Erdogan is an incredibly skilled and cunning politician, but he can't juggle all the forces internal and external when such major geopolitics is at work. I suspect the threat of a colour revolution to whip up the already discontented urbanites probably clarified his mind.
All this, however, is guesswork. I'm just wondering whether Erdogan has caught himself up in his extensive webs of deception and double dealing.
|Aug-26-15|| ||visayanbraindoctor: <Erdogan is an incredibly skilled and cunning politician, but he can't juggle all the forces internal and external when such major geopolitics is at work.>|
Yes Obama might have influenced him to junk the Turk stream and turn toward Crimea. Apart from that, it would be wise to consider that:
Erdogan may be the Turkish equivalent of Putin. Aside from being a politician, he is also an ideologue. He has his own visions of what society should be. It would be a mistake to assume that such men are governed only by the opportunism that characterizes most ordinary politicians. Erdogans'z ideology seems to be governed by two principles. Sunni Islamism and Turkish expansionism.
As such Erdogan's actions are actually quite predictable. If there is any possibility that a political action would simultaneously promote the two principles above, he would tend to take it. Meddling in Syria satisfies these principles and that is what he is doing in Syria right now.
His success in Syria, without an accompanying backlash on his personal fortunes, may have given rise to the thinking that he could do the same in Crimea. If so, he is making the same mistake as some of the more arrogant US leaders- thinking that Russia is like Syria or Libya or Iraq. That one can meddle in Russia and escape unscathed.
Meanwhile a pro Novorussian newspaper is spreading the report that <Russia plans to build a second naval base in Syria>
If this is true, then it seems that the Russian leadership has made a commitment to preserve Syria's national integrity. Whether or not they succeed remains to be seen.
The same newspaper reports that the situation in Novorussia remains tense, the usual shelling continuing, but also indicates that the Kiev offensive has not yet commenced. The massing of military forces continues.
<According to reports, Ukrainian miliary additinonally pulled to the frontline 4 units of BUK, 4000 servicemen and 60 battle tanks. Also, 4000 of Kiev militants and 60 battle tanks were observed at Chasov Yar. An Ukrainian howitzer battery and military rocket launcher systems were established at Verhnoteckoe.
A military column including 6 APCs and 5 armored vehicles moved from Jelannoe to Novoselovka. BUK systems are established at the settlement Nikolaevka.>
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