Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The US plan for the Ukraine - a hypothesis

Listening to Lavrov today I came to the conclusion that the regime in Kiev was indeed about to try to attack the eastern Ukraine.  It's not only Lavrov, the Russian Internet is on "red alert" and chock-full of rumors and speculation about an imminent attack.  This begs a number of questions:

1) Why would the junta in Kiev so overtly renege on the Geneva agreement?
2) Why would it attack when the chances of success are very small?
3) Why would they attack know that Russia would almost certainly intervene?
4) Why is the US clearly behind that strategy?

I have a hypothesis which I would like to submit to your attention.

First, the junta in Kiev is reneging on the Geneva agreement simply because it cannot abide by its terms.  Remember, the junta is composed of a few politicians handpicked by the US and a few Ukrainian oligarchs.  They do have money, but no power.  How could they possibly impose anything in the well-armed and determined freaks of the Right Sector?

Second, the eastern Ukraine is lost no matter what.  So the junta in Kiev have to pick on of the following options:

a) Let the eastern Ukraine leave by means of referendum and do nothing about it.
b) Let the eastern Ukraine leave but only after some violence.
c) Let the eastern Ukraine leave following a Russian military intervention.

Clearly, option 'a' is by far the worst.  Option 'b' is so-so, but option 'c' is very nice.  Think of it:  this option will make it look like Russia invaded the Eastern Ukraine and that the people there had no say about it.  It will also make the rest of the Ukraine rally around the flag.  The economic disaster will be blamed on Russia and the Presidential election of May 25th can be canceled due to the Russian "threat".  Not only that, but a war - no matter how silly - is the *perfect* pretext to introduce martial law which can be used to crack down on the Right Sector or anybody expressing views the junta does not like.  That is an old trick - trigger a war and people will rally around the regime in power.  Create a panic, and people will forget the real issues.

As for the USA - it also knows that the Eastern Ukraine is gone.  With Crimea and Eastern Ukraine gone - the Ukraine has exactly *zero* value to the Empire, to why not simply use it as a way to create a new Cold War, something which would be much more sexy that the Global War on Terror or the really old War on Drugs.  After all, if Russia is forced to intervene militarily NATO will have to send reinforcements to "protect" countries like Poland or Latvia just in case Putin decides to invade all of the EU.

Bottom line - the freaks in power in Kiev and the USA *know* that the eastern Ukraine is lost for them, and the purpose of the imminent attack is not to "win" against the Russian-speaking rebels or, even less so, to "win" against the Russian military, it is to trigger enough violence to force Russia to intervene.  In other words, since the East is lost anyways, it is much better to lose it to the "invading Russian hordes" than to lose it to the local civilian population.

So the purpose of the next attack will not be to win, but to lose.  That the Ukrainian military can still do.

Two things can happen to foil this plan:

1) The Ukrainian military might refuse to obey such clearly criminal orders (and becoming a target of the Russian military might help some officers make the correct "purely moral" choice).
2) The local resistance might be strong enough to draw out such an operation and have to come to a grinding halt.

Ideally, a combination of both.

From the Russian point of view things are rather simple: it is infinitely better for Russia to have the East break away without any Russian intervention.  If the attacking force is crazy enough to use armor, artillery or airpower, the Russian could decide to strike from the air without actually sending in ground forces.  They could also use electronic warfare capabilities to further create chaos inside the attacking force.  Limited pinpoint attacks could also serve to demoralize the attacking force.  What Russia has to avoid all costs to find itself forced to engage in offensive urban operations which are always dangerous and bloody.  It is therefore absolutely essential the the locals take control of their own streets, villages and cities.

Lavrov today delivered a very direct warning: if things go out of hand in the eastern Ukraine Russia will intervene.  Hopefully somebody in the West will finally realize that the Russians are never bluffing and that they really mean it.  I am not very optimistic though - if Lavrov felt the need to make a full 30min interview in English in which he clearly compared the situation in the Ukraine today to the one in Ossetia in 08.08.08 it is probably because the Russians have intelligence indicating that an attack is imminent.

We shall know very soon.

The Saker

Sergey Lavrov gives interview in English to "Russia Today"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Replies to some of the comments made about my latest post on empires and lies

First, I have to apologize but the lack of time does not allow me to reply to all your comments.  I had to pick some and leave other out.  Here we go:

@Tom Burnett: That's it. I am tired of hearing you refer to America as an 'AngloZionist' empire and me and my countrymen as AngloZionists".

What a stupid comment to make!  First, I never referred to you or any Americans as AngloZionists.  I spoke about the AngloZionist *empire*.  Second, you wrote me in your email that you are Scottish.  Good, then at least you should not that you are not Anglo to begin with, but Celtic.  As for Zionist, this is not an ethnicity, but an *ideology* which can be shared by Anglos too (Pastor Hagee for example).  Besides, had I written about the Anglo Empire or even US Empire would you have been happier?

Seriously, the current Empire was built on what is left of the old British Empire and it is run by what are called the Echelon countries.  These are the members of the so-called UKUSA Agreement aka AUSCANNZUKUS or Five Eyes.  In other words, this is the Empire of the Anglosphere.  Some add France, especially after Mitterrand to this list, giving us the pittoresque abbreviation "FUKUS" (France, UK, US).  But the fact that France is not part of Echelon really proves its 2nd class status in the Empire.  Israel, however, has a special status.  Officially, it is not even an ally of the USA.  In reality we all know that the Zionist Lobby has a huge power in the USA and some even speak of a Zionist Occupation Government (ZOG) or Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC).  What is undeniable is that the USA vetoed more resolutions than any other UNSC member and that most of those were in defense of Israel.  It is also undeniable that when the Israeli Prime Minister speaks at a joint session of Congress he gets more standing ovation that POTUS (29 to 25).  I won't bother multiplying the examples of this, but I submit that the interest of Israel are different than those of the Anglosphere.  This is why I speak of a AngloZionist Empire.

You and your countrymen are simply the hostages, the serfs, the cannon fodder and the exploited taxpayer for this Empire. To underscore that I even wrote this in my analysis:
"interestingly, there is definitely a strong anti-regime movement of American patriots out there. These are folks who have the wisdom to differentiate between, on one hand, their country, their people, the ideals upon which the US society was originally built, and, on the other hand, regime in DC and the 1% of the population whose interests this regime works for. Amazing, no?
Then I also wrote:
"there was no "occupy the Kremlin" movement in the USSR while the Occupy Wall Street movement in the USA was very large and widely spread across this huge country. Nor has there ever been a Soviet equivalent of the huge 1990 anti-WTO protests in Seattle. So the American public is nowhere nearly as passive as some think."
So not only did I never say that American people were AngloZionists, but I even compared their level of resistance to the AngloZionist empire favorably to the Russian resistance to the Soviet Empire.

And yet, you turn all patriotic on me and tell me that you are fed up and want off my mailing list.  Sure - no problem.  But next time around, make sure you read what it says before having an anger fit, ok?

@AGS:an expression of gratitude that you provide a forum to read and digest information which PROMOTES intellect and thought -- not filling empty vessels with lies and deceit. THANK YOU for respecting your readers intellect. In this way we are the oil.

Well, thank you!  I try, but it always gets me in trouble as the case with Tom Burnett shows.  The topic of Jews seems to make people exceptionally obtuse and as I result I have been accused of being anti-Jewish and of being a Jew.  Some manage to read some racist ideas in my posts even though I have even implemented an anti-racist moderation policy.  Frankly, there are day when I feel like banging my head against a wall and sob.  So yes, I try to treat my readers with respect and I do assume they can read what it says and not begin to hallucinate as soon as they see what I call a "trigger word", but I promise you that it comes at the costs of having to fight off an army of advancing straw-men and lots of hate mail.  All this is to say that your words today really came right on time, as Tom's email really made me feel rather discouraged.

@Anonymous: Russian military high tech surpasses the Americans'. Have a look at this show of superiority: http://indian.ruvr.ru/2014_04_21/Russian-Su-24-scores-off-against-the-American-USS-Donald-Cook-5786/ The Americans were left wetting their pants.

I hear that rumor but I have yet to see this confirmed, even indirectly, by any credible source.  As a former electronic warfare pioneer myself, I can tell you that this is hard to believe as there is going to be a lot more power on a USN ship than on a Russian aircraft, especially at close distance.  I am not saying that this is not true, only that I need more confirmation.  Also, the story of 27 USN sailors resigning en masse because they did not want to die sounds fishy to me.  So if you have any other sources, please let us know.

@Anonymous:direct quotes from a Putin speech/TV presentation or interview from last Thursday (n.b: I have not verified the accuracy of the direct quotes).  Would appreciate your thoughts/analysis on the thesis of the post, especially on Putin's comments (e.g. "“As for me, you know that the decisions we take in a critical situation depend on our experience and values. You know that I worked for the Soviet Union’s KGB, or, more precisely, foreign intelligence, where we were trained in a specific manner that boils down to absolute loyalty to people and the country.”).

First, I can confirm the quote.  He said that during his 4 hour long Q&A with the Russian people on TV/radio/Internet.  Second, yes, you bet this sentence also did strike me.  But you absolutely have to keep in mind that if the KGB was the elite of the Soviet Union, the external intelligence service (called the PGU KGB SSSR) was the elite of the KGB.  Also, notice that Putin speaks of absolute loyalty to the people and country and not to the CPSU or the Marxist-Leninist ideology.  The PGU officers were the best informed people in the country, often the most intelligent too, and they saw it all happening long before anybody else.  I know the PGU rather well because I spent years fighting it in my private life (I was a very busy anti-Soviet activist), years studying it in my professional life (as a military analysts) and after 1991 I met a lot of my ex-opponents, retired and even active duty, some of which became my friends.  I can assure you that what Putin says is true, most PGU officers were very patriotic, but I also assure you that a lot of them fully understood how corrupt and cynical the Soviet system had become.  Most of these guys were not brain dead propagandized automatons who would blindly believe all the nonsense which the Soviet propaganda would spew at them.  They served their country not because of the regime in power, but in spite of it. You probably know Ray McGovern who is ex-CIA, but who is a patriot.  That is what a lot of PGU officers were like in the 1980s and 1990s.  Putin was truthful in his reply.

@Vediki: Extraction from very famous Russian film "Brat 2"/Brother 2. Pay attention to dialogue between Danila Bodrov, film's main hero, and an American banker. Where's force? In money? No, force is in truth.

Oh yes, I love both of these, Brat 1 and Brat 2 - great movies and great music too.  But did you know that Danilo quotes Saint Alexander Nevsky who himself was paraphrasing Saint Augustine?  Yes, that is true.  Research it for yourself if you doubt that.

Two more items I would like to bring to your attention:

First, do you remember the "Open Letter to President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov" which John posted on Change.org and which I posted here?  It got over 600 signatures and was picked-up by the Voice of Russia.  Nice, no?  I hope that it was shown to Putin and/or Lavrov who deserve to know that some people in the West understand them

Second, I have to apologize for failing on my first day on the job as "stern moderator".  I was in the car and could not read with any attention what Cold N. Holefield posted today.  I am so squeezed for time that I do a lot of my blogging with my cellphone as a hotspot and my Nexus 7 Internet Tablet "on the go", from my car.  His posts looked okay at first glance, so I let it pass.  Sure enough, he was trolling to his heart's content and other felt that his crap deserved a rebuttal.  I don't feel like removing his post retroactively, but I will now keep a closer eye on him and other dumb trolls.  Sorry about today and gimme some time to learn the ropes of this new activity ;-)

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

PS: I also sometimes work on this blog late into the night.  So I apologize for my slow replies, horrible typos, poor grammar and other screw-ups.  Last week I calculated that I had a total of 4 nights in a row with only 3-4 hours of sleep.  And then I have to work from the car to moderate, answer emails or manage the mailing list, so my mean time between failure is sometimes rather short, and I screw-up.  Please keep in mind that this is a one man blog, and that I have a (wonderful)  wife, a regular job and three kids all of which should come first.  I do the blogging with what is left on the clock and that is often not much.  So I plead for your understanding and forgiveness.  The Saker

How the Ukrainian crisis will eventually bring down the AngloZionist Empire

There are many theories out there about what exactly caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Some say that it is Ronald Reagan with his Star Wars program.  Others say that this is the war in Afghanistan or the Polish union Solidarnosc.  Other popular theories include the failure of the Soviet economy, the drop in oil prices, the inability to produce consumer goods, the yearning of many Soviets for western-style freedoms and incomes, national/ethnic problems, a hypertrophic military-industrial complex, a massive and corrupt bureaucracy, the corruption of the CPSU and its nomenklatura, the personal treason of Mikhail Gorbachev and many other theories.  While all of these factors did contribute to weaken the Soviet system, I do not believe that they brought it down, not even combined together.  What really brought down the Soviet Union was something entirely different: an unbearable cognitive dissonance or, to put it more simply, an all-prevailing sense of total hypocrisy.

But before I make my case about the role of hypocrisy, let me first clarify why I don't believe that any other of the theories I listed above make sense: simply because the USSR survived much, much, harder times.  Frankly, the entire period from 1917 through 1946 was much worse than anything which happened during Brezhnev's "stagnation" or after.  And yet, not only did the Soviet Union survive, it almost single-handedly defeated the biggest military machine Europe ever created - Hitler's Wehrmacht - it also deterred the Anglosphere from its plans to attack it at the end of the war.  Then it more or less won the "space race" (with the very notable exception of the race to the moon which the USSR lost on 24th of October 1960), built what was arguably the most powerful conventional military force on the planet while enjoying an internal economic boom. By any measurement, the USSR was a formidable power during a very long period.

But then something went very, very wrong.

Personally, I am inclined to blame Nikita Khrushchev who, in my opinion, was by far the worst leader the Soviet Union ever had.  

Though this is controversial, but I believe that Khrushchev and a clique of supporters murdered Stalin by poisoning him, and then engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to justify their action and legitimize their rule.  It all began with Khrushchev's (in)famous "secret speech" at the 20th CPSU Congress and it continued throughout most of Khrushchev's rule.  Khrushchev, who personally hated Stalin, used every truth and untruth possible to literally demonize Stalin.  Worse, Khrushchev objectively joined forces with the many Trotskists worldwide who had been spreading the "Stalinism" myth for decades.

Let me immediately clarify that I am not at all an admirer of Stalin whom I consider to be a bloody tyrant and a absolutely ruthless, if personally charming, dictator.  But I will say that Stalin was most definitely no worse then Lenin, Trotsky or Khrushchev and that as a statesman his was far more skilled then any other Soviet leader.  As for Khrushchev himself, he was the protégé of Lazar Kaganovich, one of the worst scumbags in Soviet history, he was also an eager participant in many bloody repressions, and generally a comprehensively immoral, unprincipled and outright evil person.

Anyway, with his anti-Stalin campaign Khrushchev basically told the Soviet people that what used to be white yesterday is henceforth to be considered black and that what was black is now white.  On a deeper level, that also showed that the Soviet Union was ruled by complete hypocrites who had no personal beliefs and who stood for nothing except for their own power.

The poison of disillusionment and cynicism injected by Khrushchev and his clique acted slowly, but surely, and by the time Leonid Brezhnev came to power (1964) it had already discreetly permeated all of Soviet society.  By the 1980 it was omnipresent at all the levels of society, from the lowest and poorest to the top party officials.  I don't want to go into all the details, but I will say that the fact that almost nobody stood up to defend the Soviet system in 1991 and in 1993 is a direct result of that poison's erosion of the Soviet society.  By the 1990s everybody knew that even if the ideals of Communism were good (which some still did believe while some did not), the modern Soviet society was built on a gigantic lie which nobody was willing to fight for, nevermind die for it.

That rot of disillusionment and cynicism is also what defined the 1990s and the "democratic nightmare" of the Eltsin years. People now say that this was the time when "every young Russian boy wanted to become a Mafia Don and every Russian girl a prostitute" - not quite literally true, of course, but generally true nonetheless.   It is only with the coming to power of Putin that this poison began to weaken and that the Russian society began to re-discover true ideals and a belief in values worth standing up for.

How does that all apply to the AngloZionist Empire and the Ukraine?

It is quite obvious, really.  I tend to agree with Alexander Mercouris, Mark Sleboda and Mark Hackard when they say that the USA, ruled by incompetent and poorly educated politicians (rather than by professional diplomats or real statemen) probably expected Russia to roll-over and accept a Banderastani regime in power in the Ukraine.  And when Russia refused to accept that and pushed back, the AngloZionists made their initial miscalculation even worse by dramatically increasing their rhetoric and by insisting that black was white and white was black.

For the AngloZionist a neo-Nazi armed insurgency which seizes power in contradiction with an agreement it had signed less than 24 hours before is a "legitimate representative of the Ukrainian people".  The Baderists are philosemites and democrats, while the people in the eastern Ukraine are either Jew-hating extremists or Russian agents.  When the folks in the western Ukraine engage in a campaign of terror, murder and looting, that is an expression of democracy, when the people in the east seize SBU buildings it is terrorism.  When Yanukovich was faced by protesters the US demanded that he not use any force at all, not even cops with sidearms, when the junta leader Iatseniuk faces protesters, he is acting with praiseworthy restraint when he sends in tanks, artillery pieces and combat aircraft.  The referendum in Crimea is illegitimate because it was allegedly conducted at the point of a gun, while the proposed upcoming Presidential election will be legitimate even though they will be organized and conducted by bone fide neo-Nazis and even though two candidates get assaulted and cannot campaign.  I could continue to multiply the example here ad nauseam, but you get the point: what the AngloZionists are declaring urbi et orbi is basically that black is white, the earth is flat, 2+2=3, up is down, etc.  They are doing exactly the same than what Khrushchev did in the USSR: they are showing their own people that they believe in nothing and stand for nothing except their own power.

Not that the American people need much convincing, I would add.

In my admittedly subjective opinion the level of disgust of most American people with the Federal government is already sky high.  Sure, most people feel impotent and believe that there is nothing they can do about it.  When they vote for peace, they get more war.  When they vote for less taxes, they get more.  When they vote for more civil rights, they get less.  There is an entire generation of Americans out there which is as disillusioned and as disgusted with their own rulers as the Soviets were with their rulers in  the 1970s and 1980s.

Interestingly, there is definitely a strong anti-regime movement of American patriots out there.  These are folks who have the wisdom to differentiate between, on one hand, their country, their people, the ideals upon which the US society was originally built, and, on the other hand, regime in DC and the 1% of the population whose interests this regime works for.  Amazing, no?  The Soviet Union had its formal nomenklatura while the USA has it own, informal, one.  About 1% of the population in each case.

You want more uncanny parallels?  Sure!  How about

1)   A bloated military budget resulting in an ineffective military
2)   A huge and ineffective intelligence community
3)   A crumbling public infrastructure
4)   A world record in the per-capita ratio of incarcerated people (US GULag)
5)   A propaganda machine which nobody trusts any more
6)   An internal dissident movement which the regime tries to keep silent
7)   A systematic use of violence against the citizens
8)   An increase in tensions between Federal and local authorities
9)   An industry whose main exports are weapons and energy
10) A population fearful of being spied on by the internal security services
11) A systematic assimilation of dissent with espionage and terrorism
12) A all-prevailing paranoia about internal and external enemies
13) A financially catastrophic over-reach of the empire across the planet
14) An awareness that the entire planet hates you
15) A subservient press-corps of presstitutes who never dare to ask the real questions
16) A sky-high rate of substance abuse
17) A young generation which believes in nothing at all
18) An educational system in free-fall (the Soviet one was much better, btw)
19) A disgust with politics by the general public
20) A massive and prevailing amount corruption on all levels of power

These are just a few examples which apply as much to the USSR of the 1980 as it does to the 2014 USA.  There are also plenty of differences, of course, no need to list them here as they are quite obvious.

My main point is not that the USSR and USA are the exact same, but only that the similarities between the two are becoming uncanny and numerous.

In conclusion and to put things simply: what the AngloZionist are openly and publicly defending in the Ukraine is the polar opposite of what they are supposed to stand for.  That is an extremely dangerous thing to do for any regime and the AngloZionist Empire is no exception to that rule.  Empire often crumble when their own people become disillusioned and disgusted with massive discrepancy between what the ruling elites say and what they do and as a result, it is not so much that the Empire is faced with formidable enemies as it is the fact that nobody is willing to stand up - nevermind die - in defense of it.  Just look at the following sentence:


(in the Ukraine) "Barack Obama and the Democratic Party stand for racism and Fascism"

Amazing, no?  But it is true, even though this short sentence has enough tensions inside it to explode the brain of many Americans, especially Democrats.  I put the "in the Ukraine" in brackets to provide the context but, of course, the context does not matter one bit.  You cannot be for liberal policies at home and for Fascism abroad.  Nor can you be an anti-racist who supports racism, it don't matter one bit were that racism is located.  Values truly held are applicable to all and everywhere.  You cannot oppose torture in country 'x' but favor it in country 'y'.  That is plain ridiculous.  So let me restate the sentence above this time without the context in brackets:


"Barack Obama and the Democratic Party stand for racism and Fascism"

Blows your mind, doesn't it?

And, of course, the very same can be said of McCain and his party:


"John McCain and the Republican Party stand for racism and Fascism"

Still painful, no?

How about this one:

"The EU stands for racism and Fascism"
Or, even better:


"The ADL and the Weisenthal Center stand for racism and Fascism"

Or this one:

"Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch stand for racism and Fascism"

Pretty amazing, no?

Now try combining any of the above with this one:


"Putin and Russia stand for democracy, freedom and human rights"

Ouch!  That one would really hurt a lot of American and Europeans.

Of course, this is not how the events in the Ukraine, or any other event, is presented in the official public media and the zombified public discourse.  But neither was that the case in the USSR.  Still, not all people are stupidified zombies - though some, of course, are - and they do their own, quiet, little thinking in their own heads.  Sometimes they toss ideas around with their friends.  In the Soviet Union the "Petri dish" for politically incorrect discussion was usually the kitchen.  In the USA it might be near the barbecue.

Of course, we are not going to see mass demonstrations in the streets of Washington DC, most people are going to keep this kind of "crime thoughts" private or for a small circle of trusted friends, but let me remind you all that since we are making comparisons between the USSR and the USA, there was no "occupy the Kremlin" movement in the USSR while the Occupy Wall Street movement in the USA was very large and widely spread across this huge country.  Nor has there ever been a Soviet equivalent of the huge 1990 anti-WTO protests in Seattle.  So the American public is nowhere nearly as passive as some think.

The Ukraine is far away from the USA, and only 1/6th of Americans can place it on a map.  But the consequences of the very high visibility involvement of the US regime and the AngloZionist Empire will be dramatic, if delayed in time.  Already nobody in his/her right might would give Obama his Nobel Peace Prize again.  So even though the formidable western propaganda machine is way more capable and sophisticated than anything Goebbels or Suslov could have dreamed about, it cannot hide reality forever.

This is why the Empire is so desperate for some kind of victory in the Ukraine.  If it cannot be respected any more, it needs to be at least feared.  But if the Ukraine explodes and Russia gets Crimea and the East (which appears increasingly likely) then the AngloZionist won't even be feared anymore.  Once that happens, the life expectancy of the Empire will become very, very short.

So yes, knowing the truth does make one free, and the truth is the most powerful empire-buster ever invented.  It brought down the USSR and it will bring down the AngloZionists too.  It is just a matter of time now.

The Saker

New comments and moderation policy adopted

Dear friends,

Thank you all for your inputs.  By general consensus, the new moderation and comments policy is now adopted.  I will post a note about that in the left sidebar.

Now, back to business (-: finally! :-)

Cheers,

The Saker

Monday, April 21, 2014

Personal announcement: New moderation policy plan adopted

Dear friends,

The following comments moderation policy has now been adopted:

1.  Comments must contribute to the interest of a thread, a post or of the blog.  Just venting or totally inane comments will not be allowed.
2.  Comments must be respectful. Criticisms are welcome, but they must be fact based on logically outlined.  Name calling does not qualify.
3.  Off-topic comments are allowed, but have to offer something of interest to the readers. For example the recent posts about MoA are of interests to many, even if off-topic, thus they should stay.

The main intention for me is not to censor any form of speech, but to make it interesting and enjoyable for people to read the comments and participate in an intelligent exchange of ideas.

Now I need to tackle a more complex issue: racist comments.

I must begin by stating what I subjectively consider to be racist for the purpose of this blog:

1) the idea that humans differ from each other in essence.
2) the idea that your genetic makeup restricts your freedom of choice.
3) the expression of irrational hostility to an ethnic group or race.
4) the denial that all humans are equally precious to God or that some humans deserve a special status not granted to others.

And, just to clarify, here are a few examples of what I do not consider racism:

1) Criticisms of religions, tribes or ideologies because a person has to make a choice to belong to a religion, tribe or a political movement.  Thus it is absolutely legitimate to criticize Judaism, the Jewish tribal identity or Zionism.  It is, however, not legitimate to criticize somebody born Jewish just for that fact.  Nobody chooses his/her ethnicity.
2) The opinion that races are different in certain aspects; saying that Blacks have a lower IQ then Whites is a hypothesis which must be proved or disproved based on facts.  Facts, whatever they are, are neither racists nor non-racist.  They just are.
3) It is not racist to state that one is of the opinion that Italians and Greeks tend to be louder than Norwegians, it is not racism to state that Hungarians are taller than the Japanese or that Argentinians are more musical than Iraqis.  In all these cases what is being asserted is that races, nations, ethnicities are different in some aspects, but not in essence.
4) It is not racist to say that the gas chambers were never used to kill Jews, that Stalin was about to attack Germany when Hitler preempted him with his own attack, or that the Turks never committed a genocide of Armenians.  These are historical topics which should be freely investigated and either affirmed or disproved, not censored.

(Just for the record and to be clear: I endorse none of the examples I have given above to illustrate my point)

In other words, there are race or ethnicity related opinions which can be controversial or which some of us mind find offensive, but which still are part of the realm of legitimate speculation and investigation. 

For the purpose of this blog I will try to stick to a narrow definition of racism because I do want to avoid censorship of ideas as much as possible.

Frankly, I will try to use common sense first and foremost.  I think that for 99.9% of you this should make no difference at all.  But a few trolls, freaks or paid provocateurs will now be shown to the door.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

Ukraine SITREP April 21, 1932 UTC/Zulu

The situation in the Ukraine continues to be characterized by complete chaos and a gradual and steady strengthening of the resistance in the East.

Following the attack by pro-regime forces on a resistance checkpoint in Slaviansk over the week-end Foreign Minister Lavrov has accused the revolutionary regime in Kiev of breaking the terms of the accord.

One could argue that this attack was decided by the Right Sector (that is the conclusion that the Russian-speakers have come to based on the weapons and documents they seized) and that the cannot control them.  That is probably quite true (even though the Right Sector has denied being involved).  But the regime also declared that the demonstrators which are currently occupying the Maidan square in Kiev have a permit and are there legally.  Truly, whether the regime does not want to enforce the terms of the agreement or whether it cannot do so make very little difference to the Russian-speakers in the East: they still have to bury the same number of people and they still face the same threat.  Take a look at what Right Sector thugs did to a Russian-speaker yesterday: (no translation needed)


And this is just one example amongst many.

Another telling video is the one of the man trying to stop an armored vehicle by standing in front of it: (again, no translation needed here either)


To be really honest, I have the feeling that a negotiated solution is pretty much impossible at this point.  The East really has nobody to negotiate with.

At this point in time I see the following developments taking place:

1) The resistance in the East get more weapons, more men, more checkpoints, better communication, better organization and discipline.
2) Most cities in the East will organize some kind of referendum.
3) The government in Kiev will nothing done at all.
4) The Right Sector will continue to try to attack all those who dare disagree.
5) The Ukrainian military will not assist the regime in Kiev
6) The West will remain eyes wide shut and defend the regime and everything it does or does not do.

If the above is correct, the the East might as well forget any notion of federation and they should secede.  If they do that, they would probably have to join Russia just for their own safety.  As for Russia, if the East secedes and asks for protection, it will have no choice other than to provide either troops or some kind of security guarantees.  Either way, the West will have a hysterical fit of truly monumental proportions and NATO will even probably organize some grand maneuver to show how determined the West is to resist should Moscow decide to invade Poland, Germany or even Portugal.

As for the regime in Kiev, it is really in complete disarray.  Sometimes, this become outright comical.  It actually went as far as publishing on open letter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs praising the Berkut police for their courage and asking them to help defend the Ukraine.  If these neo-Nazis are now trying to get the help from the very same Berkut which they attacked, stabbed, stoned, shot at, defamed, burned, humiliated and even disbanded - this means that they are really desperate.

As for the West, it has discredited itself with the East to such a degree that I would find it hard to imagine that anybody would take its promises seriously.

If I am correct, we should now enter a phase of decay and break-up.

Stay tuned,

The Saker

One more thing about the "Saker correspondents" project - USA correpondents

Dear friends,

I realized that I was missing on a good opportunity here to involve some correspondents from the USA.

While I myself currently live in the USA, I think that I might very much need the help from US correspondents, but not from this or that state or region, but from different specializations.

While it makes little sense to compare Fox News in San Diego and Boston, the USA can be very diverse in terms of professional strata.  What I would be very interested in is in those amongst you who have a professional or personal interest in the following area of study:
  • US Fiscal & Monetary polices
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Congressional Politics
  • Big Corporations
  • Banking, Credit, Insurance
  • Investment, capital venture, hedge funds
  • US foreign investment
  • US foreign aid
  • US Navy
  • US Army
  • US Air Force
  • US Marine Corps
  • Military academies
  • Intelligence agencies
  • US Space programs
  • US international trade
  • IMF
  • World Bank
  • Defense industry
  • Diplomacy
  • "Democracy promotion" (NED & Co)
  • Energy (oil, nuclear, etc.)
  • Ecology
  • Imports/Exports
etc (too many to list)

Basically, I am interested in the "big stuff" which involves lots of money and, therefore, special access to power.  I am also interested in the instruments of power themselves.

Important note:

Now, this might be obvious, but I have to state this very clearly here: I do not want anybody with any current security clearance (no matter how low) applying for this project and I want to make it absolutely clear that the only source of information I will accept is publicly available information.  I am am mostly looking retired professionals, students, sharp hobbyists, public journalists or reporters, academics, etc.  If somebody ever sends me anything classified even at a very low level I myself will immediately inform the authorities.  That is common sense and basic self-protection.  I do not need any trouble with Uncle Sam.  I need 100% transparency and 100% legality.  Nothing less will do.  I don't like this regime, but I will not disobey its laws.

This being made clear, I also believe that somebody smart kind find out what he/she wants by using open source information.  It its classified, it is of no interest to me.  What I am after is a good understanding of how the US functions, its system, evolution, the factors which affect it.  You get the idea.

If you have a passion for, say, the World Bank or the US aerospace industry, you probably read specialized magazines and you probably visit specialized websites.  Magazines or websites which I do not read.  Then you can definitely help me out.

So, same concept as geographical correspondents, but applied to professional areas of expertise.

If you are interested, please drop me an email confirming that you have no current security clearance and a short bio or description of your interests.

Many thanks in advance and kind regards,

The Saker

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Update on the "Saker correspondents" idea

Dear friends,

A few days ago I posted an idea to create a network of "Saker correspondents".  Here is what I wrote:
I think that it might be extremely useful to create a group of "correspondents" of this blog.  Here is what I mean by that:
I need local folks to go through the local Internet resources (not the big national news, those I parse myself) to seek out interesting stuff and then simply send me the links.  Though a commentary or evaluation of these links could be helpful, the links alone would be helpful enough.  Here are the languages which I can read more or less decently: very easily: French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and English, of course.  With some difficulties Portuguese, and Dutch.  Slowly and preferably with the help of a machine translator,  I can also understand a text written in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Afrikaans, Slovak and Macedonian.
Also, there are four languages which I don't know at all and with which I would really need a person willing to translate or even just summarize interesting articles in the local Internet (in order of priority): Arabic, Chinese, Farsi and Hebrew.
Should that work, my goal would be to completely bypass the AngloZionist media and to offer the readers of this blog information from the small news sources which are little known but which are trying hard to become more visible.  Sure, we all know about RussiaToday, PressTV or TeleSur, but who knows what kind of interesting stuff is published on the local Internet in Omsk, Isfahan or Cochabamba?
Tlaxcala does a great job of translating "alternative" information in many languages and IPS tried to being local information sources.  But for the former does not use local correspondents or specialize in English-language information while the latter has, shall we say, a "not always adequate political agenda" with some pretty darn big blind spots.
So here is my idea: if some of you are interested in becoming "Saker correspondents" we could have your just scan the local press in your area (it don't need to be in Timbuktu - the local press in France or Romania might be very interesting too) and send me the links.  I could then either publish the full article if it is worth it, or just post a few links so those interested can read it for themselves, or simply read the stuff myself to help me understand a region or a current event.  If there will be Arabic, Chinese, Farsi or Hebrew speakers willing to be "Saker correspondents" then they would work somewhat differently: they could email me and say, "the local website has a reader's forum where one guy just posted his impression after a 3 day trip to the town of X and he is describing something interesting.  Do you want a summary or full translation?"  Depending on the place, situation and source I would have to decide whether this is worth the correspondent's effort.
Alternatively, you could bypass me completely and contact each other directly and jointly decide to try to get the local information sources to the English-speaking world, either through my blog or through any other outlet you like (God knows there are many very good ones today).  Then my role would be just to help put you in touch with each other and then you could work without intermediaries.
Just think about it.  All I know is that there are regular readers here from all over the planet, with lots of languages and excellent expertise and education.  Not to flatter you all, but there is *a lot* of brainpower available which we could put together if you guys are interested.
 As of today, I got replies from the following countries or regions:
  • Hawaii
  • Canada
  • Scandinavian countries
  • Balkan countries
  • France 
  • French speaking Africa
  • Benelux
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Czech Republic

Which is pretty good, but I still have a DIRE NEED of the following regions:
  • Latin America
  • China
  • India
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Lebanon
  • Israel
  • KSA
  • Far East Asia
  • Central Asia
  • Russia
  • The Ukraine
  • Maghreb
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Turkey
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Korean Peninsula
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • English speaking Africa
  • Portuguese speaking Africa
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • Mexico
  • Cuba
  • Central America
So, please, if you live, come from, travel to, or are in frequent contact with any of those countries and if you can volunteer a little time each week to reply to a question, scan the local Internet, maybe translate a short article or check an information - please email me and let me know.

You can write to me using an alias, pen name or nick - I don't need to know your real identity.  If you would like to write sort articles about developments about you area of responsibility and if I find them to be interesting for this blog, I will publish them here and give you full credit for it under whatever identity you prefer.

I hope that many of you will reply and that we can set up a pretty decent network of correspondents.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker
 

Request for comments about my moderation policy

Dear friends,

I have decided to take the opportunity of a lull in my Sunday afternoon to seek your advice as to what to do about my comments policy.

After quite a few years of relative obscurity, this blog has seen a sudden and massive explosion in readership.  For years I was getting about 1000 visitors per week, now it regularly gets over 20'000 visitors per day from literally all over the world.  With that influx of visitors, a lot of weird, sick and outright deranged also showed up - that is normal, even 1% of 20'000 is still 200 and my sense is that the freaks are even much less than that - possibly 20 or about 0.1%.  That really ain't much, but that is enough to be a real pain in the ass, pardon my French.  These freaks fall into several categories.

1) Your typical garden variety trolls
2) Obsessive compulsive racists
3) Monothematic delusional folks completely fixated on Jews
4) Nazis
5) Plain old idiots who simply cannot make sense

In the past, when my blog had few visitors I had a 100% freedom policy.  Except for commercial spam, I would literally allow anything no matter who stupid or insulting.  Then a little over a month ago I got really fed up with some exceptionally dumb Nazis so I decided to kick them out.  Or rather then banning them, I began sending any moronically racist or Nazi post to the trash.  When I asked for your inputs only one person got angry at me.  Everybody else told me that they fully supported that decision and that I had waited enough.  This new policy definitely helped and some of the worst offenders packed and left.

And yet I still get way, waaaaaaay to much comments about Jews and while I do not get many Nazis any more, I still get some world class idiots posting their nonsense.  So I am not sure what to do next.  

One thing I could do is drop my normal policy of "there is no such thing as off-topic on this blog" and require comments to remain generally pertinent to the topic at hand.  But that would also mean losing the opportunity of having some very interesting off-topic comments posted.  Or I could use my discretion and decide that off-topic comments I find worthwhile publishing and which not.

I could try to set up some pretty sophisticated and detailed posting guidelines,  but that would be very time consuming and still probably leave loopholes.

Or I can ask you to trust my judgment and basically toss out anything I would find too offensive or too stupid.  What I do not like about this option is that it sort of implies that every comment that I would allow would then get my implicit endorsement but that would be completely wrong.  If, say, somebody posts a comment saying that Russia should try to vaporize the USA in a preemptive surprise nuclear strike I would categorically disagree with that, but I cannot say that this is not a legitimate comment in a threat discussing Russian options to stop US aggression.  But if I do let such a comment through, would that not look like an implicit endorsement?

Bottom line - I need some advice from you all.  I consider this blog as much yours as it is mine, and I want it to meet your expectations.  I do not want to allow freaks and morons to pollute it, but I don't want to censor it either.  So, please, post your suggestions here or email me.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today is Holy Paskha - Christ is Risen!


Χριστός ἀνέστη! Хрїстóсъ воскрéсе! المسيح قام! حقا قام!‎

11th century fresco of the Resurrection, Chora Church, Constantinople

Today is by far the biggest and most joyful day of the year for Orthodox Christians.  This is also the day when Christians greet everybody, regardless of their faith or lack thereof with the words "Christ is Risen!".  The ancient tradition has many meanings, but one of them is the fact that Christ did not only resurrect for the pious believers, but for all of mankind and in His resurrection he "co-resurrected" all of humanity.  I think that it is therefore only appropriate for me to also greet you all with this ancient greeting - Christ is Risen!

For those of you more theologically inclined, regardless of your religion or denominaton, I am posting an except from the first epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians which has a profound exposition of the importance of the resurrection of Christ for all of mankind.

I will "see" you all on Monday, kind regards and have a peaceful and joy-filled Holy Paskha,

The Saker

-------

Saint Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (chapter 15 verses 12-58)

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.  For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.  Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.  Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.  If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?”  Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.  And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain.  But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.