For starters, I recommend you read my friend Andrei Martyanov’s article, This Is Getting Curiouser And Curiouser. Turkey has taken center stage in global affairs this week, with important implications for Turkey’s tightening relationship with Russia and warning signs for Turkey’s relationships with NATO and the United States.
Following a terrorist bombing in Istanbul — attributed to the Kurdish Workers Party by Turkish authorities — Turkey’s Foreign Minister told the United States to go screw itself.
According to the breaking news, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in a statement after the explosion on Istanbul Taksim Istiklal Street, “We do not accept the condolence message of the US Embassy. If we had not caught the attacker, he would have fled to Greece today.” said.
Minister Soylu said, “Operations continue. All of our security, security forces, and all intelligence units are on alert together. We said what we were going to say last night. We know how the incident was coordinated. We know how it was coordinated.“We will bury our bodies. We have just sent our Ecrin to Adana and sent his father. It must be said. We know the message that was given to us, we received the message that was given to us and we know what the message was given to us. We will send a very strong message to this message,” he said.https://www.cnnturk.com/video/turkiye/son-dakika-istiklal-caddesinde-pkk-saldirisi-bakan-soylu-abdnin-taziyesini-kabul-etmiyoruz%C2%AD
Let me translate — Turkey blames the United States for the attack because of its role in funding and arming the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. The Government of Turkey has been at war with the Kurdish Worker’s Party (i.e., PKK) since the 1970s. Full disclosure, my former boss at State Department, Ambassador Morris Busby, and I were hired in 1996 (after we left the service of the US Government) by the Government of Turkey to produce a study regarding Greek support for the PKK. Here is a shocker — we concluded that the Greek government provided financial support to the PKK, making the Greeks a de facto state sponsor of terrorism, at least in the eyes of Turkey.
The statement by Turkey’s Interior Minister is not just a passing, emotional response. He is sending Biden and his team a clear message — we blame you for this. Quite a potential rupture of the process to bring two new NATO members into the fold. This is likely to make Turkey even more determined to press Sweden and Finland to stop harboring PKK members. Unless the two aspiring NATO applicants submit to Turkey’s demands, Turkey will continue to block their admission. This will create a dilemma for NATO. Press Sweden and Finland to accede to Turkey’s position on the matter or ignore Turkey and risk Turkey withdrawing from NATO.
Turkey appears to be relishing its growing influence as an international political broker. It was the site of futile peace talks in March between Russia and Ukraine. It has played a key role in brokering the deal to allow Ukrainian grain to be shipped ostensibly to needy countries. And yesterday (Monday), the Russian and US spy chiefs met in Turkey:
Reports have circulated in Russian media about secret US-Russian talks hosted by Türkiye. The Kommersant daily reported, citing anonymous sources, that the un-announced meeting is allegedly being held on Monday in the Turkish capital Ankara. The outlet reports that Moscow has sent Sergey Naryshkin, director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, to the talks. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later confirmed to Russian media that bilateral talks had taken place in Ankara, adding that they were held at the US’ initiative. Earlier this month, Western media reported that top Russian and US officials were engaging in undeclared contacts. According to the Wall Street Journal, US national-security adviser Jake Sullivan has been engaged with Yury Ushakov, a senior foreign policy aide to President Vladimir Putin, and with Nikolay Patrushev, Sullivan’s counterpart in the Russian government.https://www.rt.com/russia/566501-russia-us-secret-talks/
I agree with Moon of Alabama’s conclusion that Washington’s claim about the purpose of the meeting is false:
The Biden administration has now confirmed that CIA head Burns has met with Naryshkin. But it is lying about the content of the talks:
- William J. Burns, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, met with his Russian counterpart in Turkey on Monday to warn Russia against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, a White House spokesman said.
- The National Security Council said Mr. Burns’s meeting in Ankara was not in any way meant to negotiate or to discuss any settlement of the war in Ukraine. Ukraine was briefed in advance on the trip, the spokesman said.
- President Biden has insisted that Ukraine, and not the United States, will dictate if and when negotiations commence to end the war.
Russia has not threatened to use nuclear weapons. There is no reason for it to do so and many good reason to refrain from using them. It would foremost alienate China and other Russian allies. It was in fact the U.S. which planted nuclear scare stories in another of its attempts to smear Russia. The U.S. of course knows that there is no danger that Russia would use nukes and it is likely that Burns did not even mention them.https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/11/us-russia-intelligence-chiefs-discuss-ukraine.html#more
The United States asked for this meeting. Not Russia. When you factor that in with General Mark Milley’s call for Ukraine to entertain negotiations with Russia, this is a clear sign that the United States has growing concerns about Ukraine’s prospects for success and Washington’s ability to keep funneling money into the Black Hole of Kiev:
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to US officials, Milley “has made the case in internal meetings that the Ukrainians have achieved about as much as they could reasonably expect on the battlefield before winter sets in and so they should try to cement their gains at the bargaining table.”
The top US general has made no secret of his stance. “When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it,” Milley declared in a public speech this week.https://mate.substack.com/p/urging-peace-with-russia-top-us-general
If Ukraine really did have Russia on the ropes, with victory in its grasp, why would anyone in Washington want to encourage Ukrainian President Zelensky to negotiate? Western euphoria about Russia’s tactical withdrawal from the city of Kherson, is masking the growing pressure from the citizens of NATO countries to halt financial support to Ukraine while they suffer with rising prices and contracting economies. A Spanish satirical magazine, El Jueves (“Jueves” means “Thursday”, and the photo of the latest cover contains the tag line, “La Revista Que Sale Los Miercoles, which translates to “The Magazine that Comes Out on Wednesday”) did its take on recent Times Square ad that described Zelensky as a “Black Hole.”
Retired German Colonel Ralph Thiele, chairman of the Politisch-Militärische Gesellschaft e.V. (Political military Society, a German non-profit association), made a startling admission in a clumsy effort to support the propaganda that Ukraine is marching towards victory. He wrote:
“The Ukrainians are currently “on a winning run” and want to “continue this, of course, but it will be difficult for them.” That’s because, “The Ukrainians are running out of young men, they already have to draft over 45-year-olds to fill the gaps in the troops.” The Russians, on the other hand, are training 120,000 young men right now, he said.https://t.me/Slavyangrad/20274 https://web.de/magazine/consent-management/
It appears that this retired German Colonel knows his history. In the final days of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler was drafting old men to pick up guns to defend Berlin because there were no longer military aged males to call to the task.
One final data point (also noted by Andrei Martyanov and Moon of Alabama) — the United States no longer has excess 155 mm howitzer shells to send to Ukraine and is looking to South Korea to pony up 100,000 rounds:
News of the transfer, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as the US has warned that North Korea is secretly supplying Russia with artillery shells for the war in Ukraine. The intended transfers from both Pyongyang and Seoul highlight the pressure the war has put on the defense industrial bases of US and Russia.
“There’s no question that it’s put pressure on our own stockpiles,” said Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, speaking to reporters at a virtual meeting of George Washington University’s Project for Media and National Security. “It’s put pressure on our own industrial base. That’s been true of our allies.”https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/11/politics/us-artillery-south-korea-ukraine
If you think that 100,000 artillery rounds is enough to sustain Ukrainian military operations, think again. According to Valery Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the Russians are shooting 60,000 rounds a day. If Ukraine was firing at that same rate, the 100,000 rounds would be expended in two days. Then what? The fact that the war is entering its ninth month and the United States has not been able to ramp up production of 155 mm howitzer shells is a further reminder that the defense production capability of the United States has been hollowed out.
I think General Milley is also looking at that 300,000-strong sledgehammer that the Russian General Staff is ready to put into the hands of his colleague, General Surovikin. That’s also behind the Western media’s talk about some kind of winter “pause”. Wishful thinking, for sure.
Sgt. Based says
Well to be fair
General Milley is a a very public and well known coward
Tasm Boag says
Surely Milley’s main strength is he is one of the finest Yes-Men Suck Up Artistes that the US military has ever produced.
martin mkultra7 says
sounds like the NAZIs in ww2 on the eastern front.Hope springs eternal.
did they-404 country get 45 missiules-bombirovka= against electrical soueces today ????
did they-404 country get 45 missiles-bombirovka= against electrical soueces today ????
I have noticed that Germany and France also have munitions problems. If a full scale NATO war were to break out it is likely NATO would be out of munitions in a week or two and be unable to build more. It is increasingly looking like the nuclear option is protection NATO from Russia and not the other way around
Bert Huber says
In Germany , Media say the Bundeswehr would run out of ammunition in 2 days
The US being short of ammunition is nothing new.
In the mid-1970s (with NATO and Warsaw Pact armies staring each other in the face), a US/NATO team toured US military units in Germany with this stark message:
“50% of NATO fighter pilots will die on the first day of battle due to the prevalence of BVR missiles … and regardless, NATO only has enough ammunition to last THREE DAYS in a general war.”
I interpreted this to mean that NATO knew it didn’t stand a chance against the Warsaw Pact and would go nuclear within the first few days of combat.
The US leadership is also short on brains!
Andrew M says
It’s short on wisdom, not brains.
I can validate this – working at Trans Com Europe in 1970 on “the plan” it was always to try to hold the Russian Armor for at least 3 days while all Commands moved to Belgium. The 3 days was to provide time to authorize the use of Tactical Nukes – the only way NATO would have been able to stop the advance.
‘Twas ever thus. Nukes became the option for offsetting the Soviet Union’s advantage in conventional arms after it was demonstrated that they worked. The Operation Dropshot study was undertaken to evaluate the use of nukes in a campaign to drive the Soviets out of central Europe, in light of the Operation Unthinkable study (British) that showed it was not possible by conventional means.
I think the whole global south (what used to be called the “non-aligned movement” in Tito’s time) + China, Turkey, Middle East etc. can see who is doing what. All Russia has to do is – nothing. In fact, the less they do and the slower they do it, the more desperation shows in their opponents.
The question then becomes – how much desperation before RF’s opponents do something truly stupid? Nordstream, Crimean bridge, talk of blowing up the kakhovka dam, UN resolutions that somehow are hoped to pave the way to legally seize Russian state assets around the world to pay for rebuilding Ukraine, illegal seizing of private property of Russian private citizens around the world, seizing foreign reserves etc. – all point to a slow escalation of hostilities without a clear Russian response.
Are the Russians goading the west or do they not want to get involved in a game of “crazy and crazier”? Ever heard of one of those fights when one person is so crazy that they literally have to be taken out? Is that what RF is facing? Did they really want this? Or were they hoping that they can control the trajectory of all of this to somehow avoid taking out their main opponent?
I don’t think USA is ready to negotiate. In my humble opinion, it is entirely possible that they requested the Ankara meeting to issue more threats and provide more moralizing hand-me-down “lessons”. Look at Yellen, she talks as if she is in some kind of position of power.
But, but….. who knows? Maybe USA is smelling weakness somewhere in Russian ranks.
Places like Russia, China etc. – have been around for 1000+ years. Here is the thing – they have proven they can survive through thick and thin. United States has not been tested that way. Maybe because of that, the “survival horizon” for Washington’s leadership is more like 10-20 years, not 1000, so they don’t care what happens?
….. I don’t think USA is ready to negotiate. In my humble opinion, it is entirely possible that they requested the Ankara meeting to issue more threats and provide more moralizing hand-me-down “lessons”. Look at Yellen, she talks as if she is in some kind of position of power.….
There’s always the possibility that what’s intended is to put a reasonable offer on the table, have trouble finalising the details and collapse the talks with the thaw.
Interesting to note. . Russia fires about ten times the amount of artillery as Ukraine while inflicting ten times the casualty rate…also KIA numbers and wounded are nearly on parity…in fact more deaths than wounded meaning most casualties are catastrophic…SAPI plates might stop bullets and fragments but overpressure from blast is terminal on the internal organs. The U.S will try and utilize Asian manufacturing to step up to the plate for the gap in munition production….this was theorized some time ago
“ All Russia has to do is – nothing. In fact, the less they do and the slower they do it, the more desperation shows in their opponents.”
Exactly. The Ukraine is just one theatre of this hybrid war. The Russian objective is to end hegemony by the Anglo-American Empire of Lies and shepherd in a multipolar world. The longer this goes on the weaker the EU, NATO, and the US become and the stupider they look to the rest of the world. (Look Global South: The Emperor has no clothes!)
…all point to a slow escalation of hostilities without a clear Russian response. — Oddo
But, on the other hand…
Revenge is a dish best served asymmetrically. — Old Russian proverb
I don’t think USA is ready to negotiate. — Oddo
Then why did DCI Burns request this meeting? US threats are nothing new and normally made via Western media for propaganda effect. Why all the negotiation chatter in the empire’s media?
The US needs to negotiate a quick ceasefire to save the Ukrainian Army.
Else, the Ukrainian army will be decisively defeated by General Surovikin’s winter offensive, unless the US and NATO intervene. But intervene with what? Ninety thousand men and depleted stocks of weapons, vehicles and munitions?
Stopping the Russians will require the US to defend its direct intervention with tactical nuclear weapons.
How about those optics?
Turkey will leave NATO and align with Russia. The break in relations has been increasing over a decade now between the US and Turkey. Turkey’s national interests lay on a different path than Globalism.
You are correct. I’m guessing the shoddily planned and executed coup attempt to push our Erdogan (another dismal CIA effort I think) was a major catalyst in speeding up that process. Pretty tough to, on the one hand call somebody a “friend and ally” while trying to stick a knife in his back. Most don’t take kindly to that approach, to say the least. Now those chickens are coming home to roost. Much like the Iranian coup in 1950 or so, putting the Shaw in and ultimately ending up with the revolution that resulted in the current regime. Better to have left that one alone too. Poorly conceived plans, not thought through as to longer term consequences.
Jörg-M. Rudolph says
»Most don’t take kindly to that approach, to say the least.« yes, most do not. The Germans do.
Yeah, Right says
It is inevitable that “the West” will lose Turkey. They will flip into the other camp.
The laughable thing is that this is what the neocons probably want because, you know, they are idiots.
Sweden and Finland? Yeah, they are fair-skinned. We’ll have those.
That risks losing Turkey? They aren’t fair-skinned. Who needs them.
Half of Turks are white. Problem EU has is they are Muslim.
k. talaat says
… and Europeans are Christians, this is the problem the Neocons or Trotskyites have with Europe. Financier, Jacob Schiff was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Co. He was one of the principal backers of the Bolshevik revolution and personally financed Trotsky’s trip from New York to Russia. They planned to impose communism on all of Europe. Nothing is what it seems to be.
Which Europeans are Christians? I lived there for 8 years and never ran into this mythical European Christian. If anything I was occasionally mocked for having faith.
k. talaat says
Randolorian… destroying people’s faith, morality and cohesion is the best way to bring a population along the road to serfdom. The lack of faith among today’s Europeans makes the case.
Fulano de Tal says
I wonder if any of you knows a bit about history, or geography?
Turkey is not an european country. Period.
(Israel also not, no matter they play european football competitions and horrorvision as if they were).
Turkey happens to have a small portion of their country in Europe. (What a pity that Greece could never recover it).
Spain has also a small part of our territory in Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, Canary Islands), and nobody says that Spain is an african country, and that we should join the African Union, right???
So the reasons are much more complicated that not being white and cristian.
It has to do with History, Culture, Geography ..
PS: Randolorian, maybe people mocked you for having a middle ages mindset? Nobody in Europe mocks you for just having a faith. (Occasionally? 4-5 times a week?)
Andrew M says
Turkey wants to be its own camp, not flip into someone else’s camp. It already has Azerbaijan as its ally. Let’s see who else it can bring into its orbit (I believe it is already eyeing Central Asia).
By 2050 ethnic Swedes will be in a minority. The other problem is that they are sheep led by morons.
Where Turkey goes Germany follows. Thinking of BRICS+, if Germany comes to it’s senses, drops sanctions against Russia and increases trade they’ll be better off. Repair Nordstream and their economic spiral is reversed. Too bad they’re too stupid and propagandized to see that.
Got mixed feelings about W. Burns, but at least he must have some historical context. After all it was exactly him, as a US ambassador to Russia, who was sending confidential memos to Condoleezza Rice in 2007-2008 saying that the NATO plans for Ukraine would result in a civil war in Ukraine, and Russia would have to intervene in some capacity.
Yeah, Right says
What you are saying is that Burns is both insightful and sycophantic.
Every day must see a renewal of his self-loathing: he can see what should be done, but he still makes the decision to go along to get ahead.
……..Got mixed feelings about W. Burns, but at least he must have some historical context. After all it was exactly him, as a US ambassador to Russia, who was sending confidential memos to Condoleezza Rice in 2007-2008 saying that the NATO plans for Ukraine would result in a civil war in Ukraine, and Russia would have to intervene in some capacity….
He’s not talking this way anymore. People can change their minds and “group think” is a thing.
I don’t think anyone at head of US bureaucracy wants peace. Not even Milley who if you read full article continues lies. They want Putin coup’d and Russia a US vassal like rest of Europe to fill their pockets and take on China without Russian Resources. If Ukraine does not succeed they have Pols and Romanians. US PMCs are paying merc from around the world $1500-5000 a day for service. Essentially, unlimited recruits at these numbers. Especially sold the Russia is weak and pathetic line by MSM and .gov officials.
Putin made grave error and still making them IMO not going in hard and putting fear into hearts of the west and giving them votes on how this war goes.
Douglas Worthington says
This analysis cuts like a scimitar. Spot on, Larry. I’d add to the list of Türk levers its imminent role as a natural gas hub, selling Russian methane to a very needy set of European NATO vassals. If those countries want gas, do as Türkiye dictates…or else. Tangentially, I think Incirlik Air Base will be at the center of much drama in 2023 if the United States (and Greece) continue to incite Erdoğan.
That US Airbase looking like toast.
Access to the Black Sea looking like toast.
Turkey in NATO looking like toast.
Buy our Rusky gas and oil at a Turkish Delight price. Now that is spot on.
What’s that saying ? “Going broke slowly then all at once.” Appears to be the same for Americas State Dept foreign policy in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and South Ammmmerica!
Another zinger of a week.
America will sell Alaska back to the Russians so their consumer economy can pretend and extend for a couple more years, desperate for the next game changer, ie the “Flying Bus.” Apple logo, Made in China.
Tom Hickey says
My bet is that the US is angling for a ceasefire at the present line of contact. If so, good luck with that.
martin mkultra7 says
they have been believing their own lies for so long they cannot see reality.Russia is on the run and desperate for a cease fire.
Concur. This is US deep state talking directly with Russian deep state. The actors can’t do it. I’m very skeptical that an agreement is within reach.
Turkey has been the Eurasian wild card for a long time. I think I even mentioned that in a previous comment.
Good luck trying to ramp up 155mm production!
k. talaat says
One of the things NATO fears is what the Russians are about to do in Ukraine exposing the breadth of its lies.
However, what is feared even more, is for the World to find out that NATO, led by the neocons, is nothing more than a paper tiger with weapons systems good enough for goat herders with RPGs.
One thing is for sure, Russia will not allow Ukraine to ever become a spring board for terrorism into Russia. Ukraine is no more, it just hasn’t sunk in.
Russia will listen politely and when the negotiations are over, Putin will wake away and finish what he started. He has to. Sun Tzu said: if your enemy is weaker, attack do not delay.
I hope the Russians shock and awe the Pentagon and MI6. Maybe then the World can take a piss on Sir Halford John Mackinder’s grave.
Scarfell UK says
Thank you K. That lead me to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halford_Mackinder
Let’s stop kidding ourselves that the Ukraine situation is about ‘democracy’ or ‘sovereign nations’; it’s about control of commodities – the Heartland Theory as practiced by Biden (Burisma), Nuland, Soros, McCain, Graham. Commodities guru Simon Hart would have us believe that a new BRICS economy based (back) on gold will energise USA to a wider war.
Sentosa Is museum (Singapore) proffers an opinion (for tourists?) that the Japanese were forced to Pearl Harbor (1941) by a USA oil blockade.
If the 90 year cycle of a ‘Dustbowl’ decade hits USA just as China implodes then Russia is indeed best advised to bide its time.
Scarfell UK says
An earlier response to this appears to have been rejected. As a postscript readers will have noted that Mackinder had something important to say about Sri Lanka in 1904.
One Victoria Nuland of Ukraine infamy gets a bad press in Sri Lanka too:
Russia, Turkiye and Iran will join together with maybe one or two smaller countries.. a new version of the old Warsaw Pact, but for the Middle East region.. Syria, Lebanon and Iraq no longer really exist as viable countries. This new alliance will pressure the Saudis and other Arab states along with Israel, who will never back off…
k. talaat says
Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq used to be one region, the Levant part of the Turkish empire. Sykes-Picot secret agreement between Britain and France with Russia’s blessing divided the region into its contemporary parts.
This is a good piece, Larry, but you fudged a bit on a couple of points…
Yes its true that the U.S. asked for this sit, but the Russians have been sending out signals for the past month they were interested in talking. So its not right to characterize it as the Americans going hat in hand.
Also, Burns is the closest thing this administration has to a Lavrov. He’s a serious man with a serious background, as opposed to say Jake Sullivan, and while that alone doesn’t give substance to this meeting its a good indicator that there’s some “there” there.
The withdrawal from Kherson is most definitely related to all this, and not as a “good faith” signal. The Russians aren’t going to waste symbolic gestures on an unworthy adversary. They are digging in for the winter, and it has the U.S. worried. Why? Is it just the refugee issue or is there something more going on?
When you pare down the fluff its obvious that the U.S. can keep this up for considerably longer, but so can Russia, and even Europe can sustain things for another year at least. So is this an American fear that Russia is preparing to clean up everything east of the Dnieper and this is the “management meeting” between the superpowers to ensure that nothing is misinterpreted once it commences?
I’d be interested in your perceptions on this.
No Marilyn, “Europe can NOT sustain things for another year at least”. Germany IS Europe and it cannot sustain…it may not have the same gov’t next year.
Governments come and go, FGB3. The point is Europe has the financial system to float the country via debt and to subsidise infrastructure for several years at least. I do not say it is smart policy, only that it is within the realm of the possible and given their histories, plausible.
Completely disagree with “Russians have been sending out signals for the past month they were interested in talking”. Russians have been sending signals not just to 404 but to the so called West since 2007 that they are ready and willing to negotiate. Russians never want war. But Russians do consider war simply as a continuation of achieving what they need by other means. What do they need? Safety and security from rapacious NATO and genocidal neo-nazi jackals in ukraine.
Russians started sending signals in 2007 in Munchen.
Continued sending signals by agreeing to Minsk 1 and then Minsk 2.
Carried on sending signals in December 2021 by asking NATO to pull back to 1997.
And not a week passed by without Russians saying “we are ready to negotiate any time”.
Because they are ready to negotiate at ANY time. The starting negotiating position is quite simple: NATO pull back to 1997. 404 must be de-nazified and de-militarized. How many regions will still be in 404? Well, it depends if their masters in Washington will finally crawl to the negotiating table in November 2022, November of 2023, or sometime in 2024. By then there might still be a few regions left somewhere near the Polish border. Or maybe even near the German border… who knows…
Your post is doesn’t really make sense to me as you contradict yourself.
*Completely disagree with “Russians have been sending out signals for the past month they were interested in talking”.
*And not a week passed by without Russians saying “we are ready to negotiate any time”.
So why do you disagree that the Russians have been sending out signals that they were willing to negotiate if not a week has passed by without them indicating they were willing to negotiate? Did you not follow the news during the past month?
Anna Zimmerman says
What RockTime meant, but didn’t quite make clear, was that the notion that Russia’s apparent willingness to negotiate in recent weeks was something exceptional, from which we should draw conclusions about their desire to end the war before they have achieved their goals, is incorrect. Russia has no interest in ending the war before they have reached their goals of denazifying and demilitarising Ukraine. However, it wants to maintain the moral high ground in the eyes of its allies by demonstrating a willingness to negotiate – although it knows full well that both the West and 404 are не способный к соглашению. So it will ‘negotiate’ in the full knowledge that nothing will come of it. Cynical, or realistic? I would suggest the latter.
Hal Duell says
Alexander Mercouris draws an interesting correlation between the current talks in Ankara held by the two main protagonists in Ukraine and similar talks that were held during the Vietnam War and the Afghan War. In both the two former wars, the US started negotiations with their opponents without including their two respective allies, South Vietnam and the then government in Afghanistan. In both the former wars the talks eventually led to a US retreat and a clear victory for their former opponents.
Likewise today we see the US and Russia starting talks without the participation of Ukraine. I wonder if Zelensky knows this. Is he smart enough to realise that a process is starting the end of which will see him thrown under the bus?
Zelensky knows, he just can’t do anything about it. If he tries to leave the country he and his family will be killed by his military. If he tries to make peace he and his family will be killed by his military. Its the downside of doing business with nazis.
the blame-e says
We know the message that was given to us, we received the message that was given to us and we know what the message was given to us. We will send a very strong message to this message,” Soylu said.
One very pissed off Turk. Checked your natural gas pipelines lately?
Bill H. says
Why would Russia want to negotiate with the United States, when they know with certainty that the United States will not honor any agreement that gets made?
Yeah, Right says
Because the neocons are so up themselves that they won’t even entertained the concept that they are being played by the professionals.
It is the inevitable hubris that afflicts all those who are convinced that they are The Smartest Guys In The Room.
I mean, honestly, look at Jake Sullivan: he looks for all the world like a glistening penis poking out of a well-tailored suit.
I’m sure he is convinced that the history books will be recalling his exploits for centuries to come.
Then look at Antony Blinken, who is all hair and no brain: a Winnie the Poo character, but without the self-awareness.
These are nonentities, no mistake about it.
William Burns is at least a career diplomat. The guy has decades of experience in diplomacy.
So, yeah, let’s put him in charge of a spy agency. Because, you know, why not?
But if you compare them – even Burns – against the professionals that the Russians put into their equivalent posts it’s not even a contest.
The USA is a colossus that is being run into the ground by mental pygmies.
It’d be funny, if it wasn’t so serious. But at least the Russians will have a good laugh as they play them for fools.
k. talaat says
Bill… thanks for stating an important factor. The Russian leadership stopped trusting the “Empire of lies”. The Neocons hoped for regime change in Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. As it turns out Putin might face a regime change from the Russian people if he doesn’t kick some ass in Ukraine
Peter Williams says
It’s not just the Russian leadership that stopped trusting the “Empire of lies”, it’s the Russian peoples. And the vast majority of the Russian peoples, trust and believe in VVP’s leadership.
Paulo Guerra says
To begin with, I sincerely regret the terrorist act in Turkey and, above all, the statements made by the Turkish authorities on its origins in the face of a great patriot like Larry. Because I understand that the Minister of the Interior, Süleyman Soylu, implicates the US in the terrorist act far beyond the simple financing of the PKK. He clearly says that they know how it was coordinated and that they understand the message sent to them by a terrorist act and he is certainly not just referring to Kurdistan. I completely agree with the rest of Larry’s analysis of the implications for NATO.
Quite honestly, I cannot imagine a greater shame for any nation than being accused of being a terrorist proxy! A nation that just a few years ago launched an infinite war on terrorism?! And after that we can already see the US in Syria’s proxy war funding the same terrorist group that accused by 9/11. Precisely Al Qaeda. And ISIS. And more recently support for neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine and the bombing of one of Europe’s most critical energy infrastructure in the Baltic. I don’t even want to imagine what else the US will be capable of in terms of foreign policy. And with great sincerity I deeply regret it before the great American patriots who do not see themselves in these US Administrations!
Thank you, from NW Washington state
You neglect to mention that the PKK is not some psychotic terrorist movement, it’s a national liberation struggle much like the much advertised palestinian one. The genocidal oppression of Kurds in Turkey legitimizes any violence (complete language and culture ban and open season on drone assassinations). Turkey’s goal is to wipe out their culture and assimilate them (‘eastern turks’) before moving on to the Armenians, Greeks and whoever else they have a border with. And so Greece/Sweden/Finland are not really state sponsors of terrorism, but the Turkish elite definitely has unreformed revisionist genocidal ambitions and is currently droning and killing ruthlessly all over kurdish-majority territories with impunity.
Also, for a “terrorist movement” that’s been around for 50 years they’ve hit remarkably few civilian targets in all this time. If they wanted to terrorize civilians they could do a lot more.
Well said 👏 The Kurds are generally treated like shit, same case as East Ukranians thanks to Brits carving their land amongst 4 nations.
People forget the Kurds are loyal Western allies and generally free societies who are incredible people and to abandon them is morally wrong. But that’s what US is already doing in Syria where Turks are given free reign. Shame on the US for not ensuring they had a country in Northern Iraq after everything they did, US caved to Turks on this.
Turkey is no angel, neither is Iran. What West is doing now is wrong but these are not countries with any ethics either.
Yeah, Right says
…”it’s a national liberation struggle much like the much advertised palestinian one.”
It is nothing like the Palestinian struggle.
However aggrieved the Kurds may feel, they are not stateless. The Kurds of Turkey are citizens of Turkey. The Kurds of Syria are Syrian citizens. The Kurds of Iraq are, likewise, Iraqi citizens.
That the Kurds may want to reject those and carve out a state that they can call their own means that they are waging a struggle against their sovereign(s).
Which they might win, or they may lose, but never forget that this is what they are aiming for: to seize territory FROM Turkey and Syria and Iraq and claim it for themselves.
That is not true for the Palestinians. They are a stateless people, and are being held in that statelessness by an oppressor who is NOT their sovereign but is, instead, their foreign occupier.
That is a completely different situation.
martin mkultra7 says
well said! i would add that the Kurds didnt have all these problems at this level until the mighty US came to their rescue.peculiar fact that the Kurds are being attacked wherever they exist.Turkey,Iraq,Iran.As you said,they dont get along with anyone.Who does that remind you of?
bob sykes says
There are Kurds also in Armenia and Iran contiguous to Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Kurdistan would be a fairly big state. Also, the current unrest in Iran is centered on Kurdish and Balochi regions and is the work of separatists there.
As a final note, Kurds are Indo-Europeans and speak and Indo-European language, however, like the Turks and Iranians, they converted to Islam long ago. The PKK, however, is a marxist, secular grouping. It is highly doubtful the PKK are loyal western allies.
In addition, one should not take turkish officials claims at face value.
They want US permission to intervene in syria (to kill more kurds) and are cynically using this opportunity to pressure the US. I wouldn’t put it past them to have done it themselves, it’s very conveniently timed at the end of the tourist season.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
Timeo Turkos et dona ferentes.
I see no reason why Russia should accept any piece deal now that their military has strengthened their defensive lines along the Dniepr – thus allowing to move extra troops to Donbas. You need way less troops to defend a river-based line of contact than the one that existed while they had troops on the west bank of the Dniepr.
This is just the US in a panic because Russia is getting ready to pounce big time.
…unless the US agrees to move their offensive weapons out of Poland and Romania – which I do not see them doing at this point.
I expect Russia will listen politely and then walk away to let Surovikin do his thing.
But who knows…..
Séamus Ó Néill says
Russia’s statement of 21st December 2021 still stands, there’ll be no end to the SMO until those conditions are met, There’s not a sane leader in the world that would accept the word/agreement of US/UK/NATO, they’re a perfidious bunch of subversive, treacherous terrorists as even a casual glance at their history will determine.
Douglas Worthington says
The woman who committed the attack in Istanbul was trained by instructors from the United States, according to the Türk newspaper Yeni Şafak.
I think this is pretty much the last straw. The government of the United States, through its remarkable ineptitude and malice, has just lost another ally. Türkiye will join the Eastern orbit.
Yeah this is not necessarily accurate. What does ‘trained by’ mean? Trained for this attack or a recipient of US military training through the Kurdish programs?
Be wary if the Turks after the Brits they are the most treacherous in Europe. On this one I will wait on evidence.
Douglas Worthington says
Pragmatically, the only definition of ‘trained’ that matters is the one held by Türkiye. You can argue semantics until you’re blue in the face, but it won’t matter. Yeni Şafak is Erdoğan’s voice.
Furthermore, one mustn’t forget that the Kurdish leadership has a well-deserved reputation for mercenary thinking. The highest bidder wins the contract, loyalty to a higher cause be damned. More often than not the winning bid comes from the notorious 1948-vintage junta that to this day terrorizes the indigenous residents of Occupied Palestine.
martin mkultra7 says
trained by means trained by.there will be no investigation re:nordstream explosions,kerch bridge explosions,jeffry epstien,JFK coup,WTC destruction,war crimes in Iraq,war crimes in Yugoslavia,Libya,Syria,Iraq,Iran,Viet Nam,Korea north and south,Laos,Thailand,Cambodia,Chile,Nicaragua…………….etc.
“Full disclosure, my former boss at State Department, Ambassador Morris Busby, and I were hired in 1996 (after we left the service of the US Government) by the Government of Turkey to produce a study regarding Greek support for the PKK.”
Terms of reference tend to restrict foci including of date.
Methods, particularly the reliance upon linear logic, further restrict perceptions of contexts and lateral intertactions.
Perhaps more illumination of the “purposes and strategies” of “The United States of America” from 1991 to 1999 and subsequent would be enhanced if the modified frames of reference included:
The attempts at “colour revolutions” in Russia from 1991 to 1995,and their iterations through alternative vectors from 1996 to 1999, including the bombing of Russian apartments in September 1999 in a pique of frustration.
The facilitated deteriorating relations between members of NATO not restricted to Greece and Turkey from 1995 to 1999
The usage of Germany to prepare the dissolution of Yugoslavia based in part on “promises” that in “consideration” in the commercial law sense, the Danube littorals could become “spheres of influence” of Austria and Germany, as had been the case from before 1871 until 1945.
The military campaign against Serbia in 1999 which closed the Danube thereby undermining the “spheres of influence” of Austria and Germany, a partial salve being that “development” of the Danube lateral was re-routed through “The European Commission”and contracts issued therein were not restricted to Austria and Germany, the message relayed to some in investment circles in Austria and Germany being approximately “You didn’t win the Cold War, we did.”
From 2001 onwards the “purposes and strategies” of “The United States of America” were directed to other locations with enhanced weapons in hope of facilitation given previous frustrations.
This was facilitated by using the minor blowback of “9/11” of circa 3,000 people, a further day of infamy, in attempts to represent the catalysts for the subsequent actions of “The United States of America” including the hope of obtaining the complicity of the Russian Federation by their lubricating access to logistical facilities in Central Asia.
All of the above were components of the Cold War which never ended as were/are NATO’s expansion and “The War in Ukraine”., which some misguidedly believed had ended in 1989 or 1991, or some even never started as “The United States of America” always proceeds with the best of intentions which because of others often go awry.
Some are of the view that capitalism is the brothel where the whores service one another, whilst others understand that capitalism is the brothel where the whores rape one another to establish control, hoped for obedience, and primacy.
In some social relations when an untrained puppy shits on the carpet the “owner” rubs the puppy’s nose in its own deposit, whereas in some other social relations such public chastisement is not the case.
Hence it is unlikely in the short term that the whole contents of some conversations will be disclosed.
Biswapriya Purkayastha says
If there’s going to be a nuclear false flag it will be very soon. *IF* (a very big if) Russia launches a winter offensive and begins rolling over nazi positions, it will be too late.
I’m amazed at the amount of nazi worship in America now. There is a daily comic strip humour site I have been commenting on for about 12 years; many of the other commentators have almost become friends. They knew that I draw a comic strip satirising war/terrorism and skewering the American proxy headchoppers in Syria and Iraq. Yesterday a few of them finally discovered my current strips about the nazis in Ukranazistan and went ballistic. And yet most of them probably never heard of the country before, at the earliest, mid 2021.
“I’m amazed at the amount of nazi worship in America now.”
I don’t think we’ve reached the worship stage yet, it’s more like my fellow citizens have a deep appreciation and heartfelt respect for the UkoNazi’s willingness to die on our behalf.
I could be wrong however, as I no longer have my finger on the pulse of the American collective psyche, which at one time I very much thought I did. It’s hard to get a read on a population once the insanity levels ratchet up to batshit and beyond.
Which they have.
Woke Nazism. Has there ever been more ridiculous human construct?
Larry, could you comment on that 55mill cubic m/d gas field around Snake island that US oil companies have paid 770 million dollars to get hold of? Vis a vis planting flags on Snake Island in suicide missions, UK naval attacks from the coast, the march to Odessa etc.
Larry Johnson says
I’ll try. This is always about money. Period. The West lusts for the rich resources that inhabit Ukraine.
Paulo Guerra says
And in Donbass.
Yeah, Right says
Sad to say that I wouldn’t put it past the crazy fringe of the Washington swamp to have orchestrated this with the expectation that this would provoke an outraged Turkey to storm out of NATO.
When then removes, of course, the last obstacle to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
That on any objection cost/benefit analysis that would be a negative result for the alliance would mean little: the crazies got what they wanted, and for them “getting their way” is all that matters.
“When then removes, of course, the last obstacle to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.”
Is that what it is all about Alfie ?
Perhaps you should travel more?
Henry Neild says
I can only conclude that The Combined Waste and, in particular the US & UK have been overrun. For these two great countries to be reduced to being nothing more than chaos merchants and terrorists and paper tigers and disgraceful cowards who get others to fight their wars, is shocking to appreciate. It must be a nefarious cabal of crooks who have inveigled and corrupted politics so as to build this elaborate house of cards. The goal being to fleece these countries and get them to conquer and subjugate the world on their behalf. There are foul and diabolic forces at play.
Ah, “diabolic forces at play”. I cannot argue the point. For your consideration:
Spot on Larry.
Turkije won’t be joining any ‘other camp’. They will, as always, do what they think is in their best interests. They are large enough, strong enough, and perfectly situated geographically to elbow their way onto any geopolitical stage. Erdogan is not about to allow any ‘other camp’ to control them. Burns knows both Turkiye and Russia. There are some similarities between Putin, Trump, and Erdogan. You’ll usually lose if you try to make a deal with any of those 3 guys.
The Istanbul bombing is tragic, as they always are….. and it was a really bad idea by whoever organized it. Turks say they know who it is… and they probably do.
Burns isn’t ready to offer a serious deal yet, but this begins the process. This Ukraine exercise by the West hasn’t and, by their estimation probably won’t, achieve what they’d hoped…. militarily or economically. Time to find an exit ramp before Europe’s economy is totally destroyed.
Oblomovka daydream says
Today Dutch media reported that lots of their local governments are allowed to continue their gas contracts with Gazprom, because Germany has nationalized the European branch of Gazprom. This would mean that the old contracts made with Gazprom long before February 2022 would still be valid… If I’m correct, this nationalized branch of Gazprom has physically been disabled by the US / UK to deliver gas according to these old contracts. Instead, gas is now being offered for sale by Turkstream, i.e. by a Turkish reseller of Gazprom gas. This means that not Gazprom, but Türkiye is legally the seller of gas, which implies that the old contracts made with the (nationalized) European branch of Gazprom do not apply to the gas that is being put for sale by Türkiye on the EU market. This means that the EU members have to make new contracts with a new seller of gas: Türkiye, who is free of sanctions. Clearly, this is irritating the Hegemon (US/EU/UK), who now has to deal with a NATO member for sealing new long-term gas delivery deals. So from this perspective the attack on North Stream 1 & 2 may be a blessing in disguise for Russia/Gazprom, because now the old gas contracts are no longer valid.
And this is one of the reasons of the bombing in Istanbul. There are others sure, but we are sure too Uncle Sam does not like sovereign, independent countries.
Oblomovka daydream says
Today Komsomolskaya Pravda published a curious article https://www.kp.ru/daily/27471/4677629/
Amounts disclosed: How much is paid to the Russian military for the destruction of aircraft and tanks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
The Russian military is paid 300 thousand rubles for each destroyed aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Everyone knows that a Russian serviceman in the zone of a special military operation receives 195,000 rubles a month. But this is the minimum. For participation in hostilities, military personnel are also closed “combat days”. Every day under shelling, in defense and offensive is estimated at 8 thousand rubles.
And today the amounts that are paid for captured or destroyed military equipment, which is in the armed formations of the Kyiv regime, have become known.
For each destroyed or captured Ukrainian drone, infantry fighting vehicle, armored personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, MT-LB, self-propelled guns, S-300, Buk, Tor, Osu or MLRS combat vehicle, the soldier will receive 50,000 rubles to his account.
In fact, here is the entire price list:
For the destroyed aircraft – 300 thousand rubles.
For the destroyed helicopter – 200 thousand rubles.
For the destroyed UAV – 50 thousand rubles.
For the destroyed tank – 100 thousand rubles.
For the destruction of infantry fighting vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, MTLB, self-propelled guns, S-300, Buk, Tor, Wasp, MLRS combat vehicle – 50 thousand rubles.
Also, the commander will be able to award up to (100 thousand rubles) by his order to individual servicemen for the destruction of Ukrainian saboteurs, snipers, officers and mercenaries.
FROM THE HISTORY OF THE QUESTION
During the Great Patriotic War, military personnel sent most of the money to the accounts of families. Very decent sums ran up.
In 2018, the Finance Department of the Ministry of Defense opened an exhibition on finances in the army at the Central Museum of the Armed Forces of Russia. At the entrance there was a poster: There is not a word at the exhibition about surcharges for military operations in the modern army. Between the windows of the USSR and Russia there is only an encouraging poster: “The Soviet salary in 1985 of 190 rubles is today 51,110 rubles.”
They showed the pay books of the Red Army soldiers of the 1918 model, and the distribution lists for world-famous officers. According to declassified documents, the commander of the air division, Colonel Alexander Pokryshkin, received 1,800 rubles a month. And the commander of the division of the guard, Colonel Vasily Stalin – 5095 rubles.
For each downed plane, their pilot received 1,000 rubles. For a downed tank, the gunner of an anti-tank rifle was entitled to 500 rubles, and the soldier who stopped the tank with a grenade – 1000 rubles. If the tank was set on fire by a group of fighters, they were given 1,500 rubles for everyone. Soviet snipers made good money on the Nazis. In the museum, next to the jacket of the famous sniper Vasily Zaitsev, which put 225 Fritz, there is an order of 1942 signed by Joseph Stalin. It follows from it that the sniper-corporal had a salary of 25 rubles a month. But if he beat the bastard accurately and regularly, then he received the rank of sergeant with a salary of 35 rubles, and in the third year of service he already earned 200 rubles.
Turkey has been trying to play both sides of this war and was always going to pay for it. Either East would make them pay or West.
The EU courting of Serbia and Ukraine must bite. Over 20 years ago Turkey applied for EU membership. Then they were poorer than much of Europe now they are richer than much of Europe and meet criteria but they are still a Muslim nation and Europe won’t let them in. Greece has a veto. Relations with Greece get more bitter.
How the West intervening in Ukrainian national interest must bite. When the West tied Turkeys hands on attacking the Kurds.
Turkey all in, has been good to the West. For a price. Yet like Russia it’s never going to be European enough to join the West. It’s like the affirmative action case that knows why it was chosen. Every so often the US will remind it that it’s nothing but another Muslim state that can be turned into Iraq or Libya if the West arms the Kurds and waves them North.
Turkey is trapped. Economically it’s prosperity comes from Western tourism and trade, Arab money, dabbling in America’s conquests,
the US, e.g. presence in Somalia, a bit of jewelry from Congo…plus a healthy build up of Eastern trade.
Is the West going to let Turkey have it’s cake? Nope. Is the East? Nope.
Turkey got a message not to belly dance to much in the wrong direction or else. They danced when they tried to send ships to Palenistine infuriating israel. Now a bare wiggling belly is shown to Russia.
In response Turkey can do nothing of any significance. If it leaves the West hanging, it may get a civil war.
Baklava wrapped in a balaklava says
You don’t understand Turks.
Made in India and serviced by British coolies says
Lawrence of Arabia did but of course, his days of empire building have long gone the the way of the British made Royal Enfield. Never try to convince a staunch Brit of that though. If you remind him that India bought the name and builds them all in India, he may die from shock. 😉
k. talaat says
Bill… thanks for stating an important factor. The Russian leadership stopped trusting the “Empire of lies”. The Neocons hoped for regime change in Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. As it turns out Putin might face a regime change from the Russian people if he doesn’t kick some ass in Ukraine
As for 155 ammo, South Korea mass produces this, lots getting to Ukraine, the US is ‘buying’ 100,000 as South Korea can’t directly supply Ukraine and the 100,000 is an act as SK is providing alot more including to much of Europe, but plausible deniability.
Eric Newhill says
but those made in Korea are not the “smart” 155 rounds.
As far as the US is concerned the war in Ukraine has already accomplished its primary objectives.
It has weakened Western European economies by denying them cheap, reliable Russian energy. Europe has also spent billions they cannot afford to support Ukraine and to buy expensive arms to replace those sent to Ukraine.
Very importantly, provided political cover for the destruction of Nordstream.
Forced Europe to buy expensive American LNG thereby causing European industry to move to the USA while US energy companies make extra profits.
Caused Russia to expend blood and treasure in the war at the insignificant cost of US Dollars that they can print and the lives of Ukrainians and western mercenaries that they don’t care about.
It is now time to negotiate a halt to the Ukrainian conflict so that they can focus on doing a similar thing to China (and digesting Europe 🙂 ).
The US is adapting to the multi-polar moment by consolidating its vassals and erecting a wall between its empire and the emerging powers while continuing to aggressively push regime change and other forms of hybrid warfare against its rivals…So far so good.
Jack Gordon says
Good article, Larry, but am I wrong to think you confused months when talking about peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia? You say they took place in May, but I believe it was in March 2022. That’s before Bozo Johnson torpedoed them.
Larry Johnson says
I don’t think Turkey will act precipitously to this affront. I have a difficult time understanding Erdogan’s motives. He plays his own game and I surmise that leaving NATO now would risk too much.
Seems to me Du’murca, yet again, misread the situation and played a bad card. Now Erdogan’s hand is stronger. How he plays that out is anyone’s guess but he is always playing Russia against the west. I think the wanna be Sultan will likely use non-public channels to respond.
Yet another example of an adult in the room being mature enough to assess and respond to a child’s tantrum rather than merely react to it. Too bad children can’t understand that.
The US led west isn’t going to be able to negotiate any substantive agreement with Russia unless that agreement meets Russia’s objectives of the SMO.
Russia patiently tried to negotiate a security agreement with the west since 2008 to no avail. Russia in 2015 declared the USA “non-agreement capable” … they simply don’t trust the US led west to keep any agreement. The west failed to implement Minsk II.
The last straw has already broken the camels back … the Russians chose a kinetic option because negotiations failed. Those objectives laid out in the SMO are Russia’s minimum terms not a bargaining position. They won’t agree with anything that doesn’t at least meet these terms and even then I doubt they will agree to anything they can’t enforce with the barrel of a gun.
That being said I admit my thoughts on the matter is pure conjecture. I don’t know the real condition of the Russian economy, Russian military or Russian society … only what’s revealed in the media. Russia could be far weaker and isolated than they appear … but I doubt it. Remember back to the opening days of the SMO in February … the Russians went to China and signed a flurry of agreements. The one agreement that stood out in my mind was an agreement with huawei to automate and network Russian manufacturing with 5G technology.
Consider Russia’s seemingly endless supply of missiles, drones and artillery shells in light of that agreement. Russia seems happy to expend munitions and save soldiers at the expense of territory which hints at a very secure logistics train and confidence that the objectives of the SMO can be met without negotiation.
Yet They make deal after deal with “non agreement capable” West. Putin still refers to them as “western partners” and still trades with them for that they need to kill Russia like Titanium. I’m 100% sure he will buckle thrown a bone
First the term “western partners” is similar to “my esteemed colleagues” … it’s salutation not a declaration of affection.
Do you have experience in business? I’m a contractor … I’ve often gone into negotiations and even entered into agreements with parties I don’t trust. It never hurts to talk even with your most egregious enemy. No one says you have to agree on anything. Russia doesn’t have to trust the USA to for example allow Ukrainian wheat to transit the Black Sea in exchange for sanctions relief on titanium. If the cheque bounces on the Ti deal then Ukraine gets blockaded. No trust is necessary … if the terms aren’t met the deal fails.
Eric Newhill says
I think Putin’s war efforts, including bringing the west to its knees, is countered by the Russian oligarchs’ need to make money. Everyone who thinks the west is finished overlooks that counter balance.
Could it be that the bombing in Istanbul was deliberate, to sway public opinion in Finland and Sweden against PKK, paving the way for these governments to do what Turkey wants before joining NATO?
As the World Churns says
If 8 years of shelling civilians in Donbass hasn’t swayed public opinion in Finland and Sweden, such ‘champions for human rights that they are’, then why should one single bombing in Istanbul bother them?
Milley needs a pause. That’s all to rebuild artillery shells, dig new trenches, fill ranks with more mercs, etc. Ukraine is unprepared for a Russian winter offensive. He’s fully on board with the Putin must go and Russia cede all territory of Ukraine though or he wouldnt be there anymore. Hope Putin doesnt fall for more bullshit. He’s a putz though went for minsk 1 and 2, grain deal 1 and 2, and all other offers which only got him Russia in the back. Won’t be a bit surprised is he goes for a Christmas truce.
Winter is Offensive to the Russians says
Oh, but the Russians are so tired out that they’ll happily bite on a 4 month pause, because well, you know….’we’re winning’ and besides, it’s gonna get really cold and our staunch ally Japan invented microfiber and we’ll cut off all Chinese imports and then our noses, if China exports it without a license.
Let me get this straight. The bully wants to talk? The prick that has been stealing lunch money for a while now. But now I have trained and got stronger and exposed him for the weak pathetic weasel he always has been. This geopolitical stuff is nothing more than drama on the local schoolyard it seems. The weasel bully ALWAYS gets dealt with. Depends on what the time frame is. Somewhere in Russia there is a young person that is going to be a leader one day and will get the lunch money back with interest. Maybe the bully should have thought this out and made his own sandwich. Well that would take work on his own part and might be healthier. Sorry but I need to dumb all this down to my level. Makes it easier for us peeps that actually packed our own lunch.
“In Germany , Media say the Bundeswehr would run out of ammunition in 2 days”
Ah we beat you : a retired French general (and a personal foe of Macron) Pierre de Villeneuve just said we would last 3 days.
But hey we’re winning!
Talking about winners French alt-media Mediapart just published a report of the detachment of soldiers in Romania… In short the inmates from the Kolyma Gulag were not really worse : no food, leaking Porta-potties, tents designed for summer season (while it’s -2°C in Romania).
You guessed it : morale is low for our troops.
(btw I’m NOT dissing them, I’m mad at the politics like Macron who sent them there without proper gear).
Eric Newhill says
Turkey is only a member of NATO due to its strategic geography. NATO will never has, nor ever will, gain Turkey’s full cooperation in any big scheme. Turkey likes to believe it has the US, in particular, by the short hairs because the US needs the military air stations and a staging ground for wars in the MENA and possibly against Russia. Using that leverage, Turks have been shabbily hustling the west for decades. They’ve also been hustling the Russians (and anyone else who tries to align with them). They are neither afraid nor embarrassed in the least to use a good old fashioned in your face shake down approach to “negotiating”. And it mostly works. Really, it’s just an extension of what the powers in that geography, the bridge between east and Europe, have done for millennia, Turks, Armenians, Persians. They learned to side with whomever is on top, between East and West, on any given day and to play sides off each other to their own short term advantage (long term advantage is near impossible to plan b/c the powers of east and west change so often, along with their mood and desires). It’s baked into the Turkish culture out of necessity.
My first reaction to the terrorist attack was that it could have been a radical Armenian group. However, it appears to have been Kurds. Happens all of the time – from a long term view – and may not be tied to anything outside the decades old politics of the Kurdish groups. That said, the Turks will milk it for what it’s worth. F’ing Turks can stoop to bargaining like shoe salesman morphs into black lives matter activist. That said, the Kurds are no angels either.
Anyhow, Turkey is no country’s friend. They’ll slither up next to Russia when that gets them a little of what they want and they’ll turn around a week later and stab Russia in the back to get something out of the US and vice versa. No one should ever trust the Turks to handle anything important. They are utterly self-absorbed, culturally incapable of establishing long term objectives and, therefore incapable of developing long term allies, and they are natural born liars, hustlers and shakedown artists. They resort to all manner of hyperbole and lies in their tactics. They are opportunistic hyenas that perpetually see themselves as having once been lions (the Ottoman Empire) and desire to be again. They get frustrated and angry over that all of the time.
I disagree respectfully.
Turkey is doing what Tito used to do with Yugoslavia, although I think Tito was a better leader than Erdogan overall (he was also a visionary on an international scale – e.g. movement of non-aligned countries is what you call “global south” today). It is OK to play all sides of various conflicts to your benefit.
However, you say Turks have been siding with different powers for centuries and yet you mention the Ottoman empire. Well, that empire occupied Balkans for 500 years and lasted much longer than United States has been a country. At one point the empire was HUGE and if you actually read its history, quite interesting and democratic at times.
Now, Turkey has also been shunned by EU for the last 40 years only because they are Muslim. Well, if EU is the kind of (slimy) partner to have, Turks can be slimy too. USA is no less slimy either – how many coup d’etats have we seen promoted by USA? How many times have they screwed over their “allies” (proxies)?
If you say Turkey is a member of NATO only because of its geography, you are forgetting it is the 2nd largest standing army in NATO. It is a powerful state (or at least it was until Erdogan took over and imprisoned 100s of generals, officers etc.). It was once a staunchly secular state as well (again, before Erdogan). I mean, look, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece – what do they have to offer EU? Cheap clean countryside, cheap land for 2nd homes, cheap wage slaves and labor for the Dutch, Germans and French. From that point of view, eastern Europeans replaced one master (Russians) with another (western Europe) – the question is – are their lives better now as opposed to during the Warsaw pact times?
I predict Turkey to actually pick a side. In that context, this affair in Istanbul could very well have been known to Erdogan but he “let it happen” so he has an excuse to pick a fight with USA and have the Turkish population angry with the West. You never know…
Remember when the Turks down that Russian jet in Syria? A short time later Erdogan was in Moscow kissing Putin’s hand.
Eric Newhill says
We’re just going to disagree. IMO, Turkey will never decisively pick a side. I also don’t think that Turkey is slighted by Europe just b/c of Islam. I think they’re slighted b/c they’re not really European at all. They are a foreign culture with a different history and different objectives. As far as Turkey being democratic, that is a joke. They always treated non-Muslims as second class citizens, even imposing the jizya on them (a tax non-muslims must pay for living in a muslim country). Once in a while, they would just up and kill non-Muslims and/or confiscate their homes and other property. Sometimes they would enlist the Kurd to do this that dirty work. That was throughout the history of the Ottoman Empire, culminating in the events of 1915 – 1922. The Turks long for a return to those days, especially under Erdogan. They are treachorous barbarians at heart – now angry, frustrated, treachorous barbarians.
I don’t think the Turks long for reviving the Ottoman empire. That statements sounds like “Russians long for reviving the USSR”. I think the Turks are a culture of their own and are as afraid of being turned into a genderless no-national-identity culture (by the EU/USA) as much as the EU is afraid of them for historic reasons. Then again, are Macedonians western European? Albanians? Kosovars? Yet they are being considered/pushed into the EU.
You talk of EU as some kind of a culture-preserving benevolent organization. They are not. The only reason why Greece got into EU (and NATO) is because otherwise Greece was going to become communist. The only reason Romania, Bulgaria etc. got accepted into EU is to be a buffer between Turkey/Russia and “clean” western Europeans with western values. Also, cheap land, cheap labor, unspoiled nature and natural resources + educated populations to exploit for the next few decades. In that sense, Romania will NEVER become equal to France or Germany in the EU – and is treated just like Turkey, only it is a bit more palatable since Romanians are white(r) and blue-eyed? But that doesn’t stop them from going into the country, buying up all the farmland (for example), pricing out all the Romanian peasants and turning them into either industrial farm slaves.employees or simply pawning them off onto the Romanian state for “training up” into a different position.
To me, deep down, EU is a racist, colonial entity. Its values are still exploitatory – no matter how much “high culture” they try to project.
Eric Newhill says
To me Turkey is a racist colonial entity.
I think maybe you have fallen into the woke trap of convincing yourself that the earth would a Garden of Eden, but for Europeans (includes the USA).
Agree that the Balkans are the ugly step children of the EU. I never asserted that the EU or NATO is a culture preserving benevolent organization; merely that they can hope to somewhat align on common interests and cultural outlooks. Turkey not so much.
Fulano de Tal says
Whatever UE or european countries are for you (I won’t discuss that “deep down, EU is a racist, colonial entity” <- its main countries have been that for centuries), there are two reasons Turkey does not belong to the EU:
-it is not an european country. Period.
(Learn History and Geography, if you think otherwise)
-if Turkey would join the EU, because the number of seats in the european parliament are proportional to each country's population .. they would have the biggest representation!!! Even bigger than Germany!
Are you crazy?
Only because they once reached Vienna, and they managed to keep Constantinople, they should join the EU?
The EU played with Turkey, the same as NATO/USA has played with Ukraine.
Have you ever been to Turkey? I have. I grew up in a part of Yugoslavia that had an old and sizable Turkish minority. A lot of our culture is their culture too. Again, I respectfully disagree. Turkiye is a large country with its own identity. Whether it is European or not, well, I happen to think it is much less colonial in its behavior today than many EU countries. But, that’s just a person opinion.
“I never asserted that the EU or NATO is a culture preserving benevolent organization; merely that they can hope to somewhat align on common interests and cultural outlooks. Turkey not so much.”
But that’s not what EU etc. are preaching to the world. They are preaching a cultureless, genderless, borderless society where everyone is included. Why on Earth would they want to be “somewhat aligned on cultural outlooks”? They already are – they want a “blended culture of everyone without any specific identifiers”. So, Turkey should fit in just fine.
BTW, do you think Greeks are better? I mean Greece is part of Europe, no? Also a “cradle of democracy”. Yet yhey blocked Macedonia for decades from joining EU and forced the country to change its name. Bulgarians? They deny Macedonians even exist…
Eric Newhill says
Some of us remember how the Turks treated Christians under the Ottoman Empire. I grew up with two people who barely escaped the 1915 massacres. They made it out, but their entire immediate families were killed. They were my paternal grandparents. The Turks deny to this day how they slaughtered Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and others. I still have distant relatives in Syria. We correspond. They don’t think too much of Turks either. Glad you able to get a nice dish of shish kebab or kufda in your local Turk restaurants. That must have been a very enlightening cultural experience. I have no desire to go to Turkey unless it is depopulated of Turks. They wouldn’t treat me too friendly based on my last name (my real one, which is Armenian). It was the Kurds that sacked my grand mother’s village (Urfa/Orfa) on the Syrian border, while the Turks watched and laughed. Syria on the other hand is a lovely country, or was before the jihadist color revolution.
Eric, my apologies. My uncle is Armenian, it is a disgrace that the Turks did not acknowledge their crimes in that respect.
This is what Patrushev had to say after the Ankara meetings: “The US wants to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal, the secretary of Russia’s national Security Council has warned.”
I think it is safe to assume he was warned not to escalate and also received lectures aabout human rights, illegal aggression and all the other moralizing the West/USA is so used to handing out.
At what point do Russians decide to just close all the channels of communication with the West? ‘Cause you know, the other side is “cray cray”.
Dos Centavos says
This is a bit of a sidebar but the best analogy I could come up with this morning as to why we are where we are today hit me.
Imagine the scene at a busy poker table from any generic Western of the past 70 years and the US after a great 30 yr run, is finally called out for dealing from a stacked deck, by Russia of course. Well, we all know the scene that follows. I’d say ‘maybe it’s time to clear the room?’ if I knew where to clear it to.
My dos centavos.
Enoch Cade says
Larry, great piece as always.
A serious question. I think we can agree that it’s not “Joe Biden” calling the shots in DC.
In your opinion, who or what is? And who or what has been for at least the last thirty years? It is difficult point to any “foreign policy” that was enacted on behalf of the “citizens” of this increasingly fictitious nation.
What is important is not how many dumb artillery shells Russia or Ukraine has, but rather how many smart artillery shells each side has. Russia has lots of dumb artillery shells, but Ukraine has a decent number of smart artillery shells. Quality defeats quantity just about every time in a war, and the highly precise artillery that Ukraine has is a major reason why it has successfully forced the Russian army to carry out what many people call a strategic retreat from two very large areas–the Kharkiv region and the Kherson region. Expect further retreats for the Russian army as their logistics have become more and more degraded (thanks to the precise Ukrainian artillery knocking out key railroad lines, road bridges, etc.).
Is this where we all start talking about the Russians raiding their fridges and washing machines for chips?
Turkiye is a street hooker. As long as you keep putting the quarters/Kopecks, legs stay open.
There is this amendment to ramp up US DIB production, according to the authors.
These days, I can’t help but think of the closing of the movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Alec Guinness encapsulates the USA. “Madness!”
Hard to stomach the thought that two 80 year olds will be running for president. I’m old too but this country needs to be revitalized from within and by the young who are not being programmed by the two party structure.
I wrote somewhere that US support for Ukraine reminds me of same for the Contras. Same verbiage by US presidents, same corrupt vassals.
Can you feel US mission creep growing in Ukraine? Or for the breaking news alert from the Oval Office? “tonight I authorized air strikes and cruise missile strikes on targets in Ukraine. The Russians have overrun much of Ukraine’s forces. We have to draw the line somewhere. I am creating a no fly zone over….”
Fail Safe is a good movie too.
I think they are just building a big, useless turd pile while they can get away with it. The Iranian drones are really shaking them up. They aren’t just a challenge on the battlefield, but they are a threat to the US drone industry’s international sales. It’s easy to fool and bilk US citizens, but not so easy to do the same to some other markets.
Juan Valdez says
I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Russia only has to sit tight and wait for winter and the pain dial going up to 11 in Europe. How gung-ho for Ukraine will the EU be come springtime, after a winter of freezing and starving? Not to mention Ukraine freezing and starving.
As far as Turkey, or for that matter any disobedient country (like Saudi Arabia), I would not put it past our “leaders” to do anything – and I mean ANYTHING – to keep them on a leash.
I’m thinking anything from false-flag terrorism(1) to full-blown “shock and awe” to an “accidental” nuclear explosion.
These “allies” all use U.S. made weaponry. I’ve often wondered if, buried somewhere in their U.S.-supplied electronics, we’ve got a “kill” switch, just in case they get out of line.
Of course, cutting them off from spare parts would mean they couldn’t keep them in the field them for too long.
(1) Operation Gladio – False Flag Terrorism: BBC Timewatch  Full Documentary
Your suspicion about electronic kill switches is well-founded. You may remember the Exocet missile that destroyed the British destroyer Sheffield in the Falklands War. After that incident, the French provided the radioelectronic kill code for the Exocet to the British. The Brits then deployed their ships close in during the invasion, telling their crews that they could be blown out of the water in event of another attack, all the while knowing that Argentina’s most fearsome weapon against them would be electronically disabled. But the reason for the British force’s miraculous survival leaked out and the Chinese Silkworm became the preferred antiship missile for those who foresaw potential conflict with Western powers.
Hiro Masamune says
I can’t see Turkey leaving NATO cause … geography.
Diplomacy is a language , and refused condolences in that language is a very strong statement. The Pasha want us to share his full indignation.
Now what will be the consequences ? The Turks might not be very cooperatives on certain issues… like some grain deal or help in the black sea , or selling weapons to someone. If they wanna be nice guys. Step-up cases are Affrin , Cyprus , Libya for an example. You don’t want to know about worse case … but to say it mildly , an Armenian scenario on Kurdistan in four countries with a little help of some friends. Wanna play ?
I am looking for some new tyres for my farm trailer.
They need to be a good price as farm income is down this year, good in snow and mud.
Long lasting, easy to handle and able to take a hit from a SRBM or modern type cruise missile.
Any info or help much appreciated.
Keith Harbaugh says
The reaction in Washington to General Milley’s remarks on negotiations is discussed at length here:
E.g., with my comments:
According to that view, it is the “Ukrainian public” which stands in the way of negotiations,
If so, that would put paid to the bizarre claim that Ukraine is just following orders coming from the U.S.
In any case, I don’t think the views of the Ukrainian public should determine U S policy.
The purpose of negotiation is to narrow differences and find a mutually acceptable compromise.
I think accepting the possibility of SOME border adjustments can reasonably be on the negotiating table.
“As long as Russia holds the position that
it simply gets to grab as much territory as it wants by force,
it’s hard to see them as a good-faith counterparty in a negotiation,”
Sullivan told reporters last Saturday.”
A salesman attempts a fear close by assuming a negotiation based upon a misinterpretation of notices of intent as ultimata.
Bazza McKenzie says
Ludicrous, isn’t it.
US wanted a meeting between respective intelligence agency heads. Meetings don’t occur at that level without advance clarity about the overall agenda.
The US expects the world to believe the agreed agenda was “Lecture Russia not to use nukes in Ukraine” and the Russian rep showed up for that meeting.
Kaz Dziamka says
I recently spent over two months in Poland, during which time my wife and I went on a packaged, week-long trip to Istanbul. One of the “highlights” was a walk late in the evening down the Istiklal Avenue, where recently a terrorist attack killed 6 injuring over 80.
Istanbul has nearly 16 million people and is clogged with cars and trucks. But pedestrians don’t have many rights as they do in most European countries. Drivers will not stop when you wait at zebra crossings. You patiently wait until at last a merciful driver will motion to you to cross. Bad luck if you get hit because most likely you will be held responsible.
Bad as Istanbul is in general–overpopulated, congested, and polluted–the Istiklal Avenue is a street out of some horror novel. The about 1-mile stretch is tightly packed with humans trying to move in whatever direction. At any moment, one or two people breathe right into your face, and you feel others touching or pushing you from all sides. If the air is infected, you will be infected. Your backpack should become your front-pack because thieves will steal whatever they can, and you cannot turn your head around the way owls can. “Highlight” indeed.
As I somehow made my way trying to stay close enough behind our Polish guide, I realized that if there are Kurdish or other terrorists committed to hurting Turkey, the Istiklal Avenue would be the top selection for the carnage. When I came back to the States, I read, of course, what happened to another such location, that is, in South Korea. People stampeding will destroy everything in their paths, mostly other people. That’s what can happen in any overcrowded area. One small bomb will wreak a horrifying destruction.
And so it happened. We were lucky this time.
Dan Farrand says
The US spends 700 billion/year on defense. Russia spends 65 Billion.
For all that spending, the US is unable to sustain a war against a near peer opponent ?
If the US cannot achieve AIR Dominance, all of it’s war fighting doctrine becomes bankrupt.
If anything disturbs US war planners, its the obvious conclusion that NATO will be entering into a fight where air space is contested and where the deep rear of NATO operations is subject to sustained, precision fires.
As HARM’s continue to be reportedly and routinely intercepted by Russian Air Defense, The outcome of a planned (and critical) US SEAD campaign moves from being unstoppable to uncertain in it’s outcome. Absolutely everything in US war planning resets entirely on the actual capabilities of F35 and 120 F22’s.
$700,000,000 per year !
All of the above, tells us that US defense spending is a vast pool of corruption that has been operating for so many decades that it has hollowed out the entire Nation, both physically and morally.
I have supported all that in the past. The signs were always there, but I would not see.
Gene Poole says
Isn’t it 700 Bil? 700 Mil is toilet seats.
G. Richard Bozarth says
Very ghastly. A living nightmare. Sapiens are proving in the 21st century they aren’t very sapient after all!