We are 36 days into Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine and the joint-U.S./NATO response has achieved two concrete results–1) Thanks to a massive, at times crude, propaganda campaign, most people in the West, especially America, are convinced that Russia is evil and has no redeeming qualities; 2) The United States’ post-World War II dominance of the international financial system is now at risk and has made a multi-polar, gold based trade system more likely.
The West’s decision to demonize every thing Russian will be viewed by future historians as a hideous strategic mistake. The reason for the West’s anger is impotence. There was nothing that NATO could do militarily short of starting a nuclear war to thwart Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rather than deal with the reality of the situation and seek a genuine diplomatic solution that would have addressed Russia’s legitimate security concerns, the vast majority of punditry, politicians and media opted for name calling and meaningless gestures, such as demanding that more weapons be sent to a Ukrainian Army and Air Force that were castrated in the first 24 hours of the invasion.
The decision to take punitive measures against all Russians, not just Putin, proved to be a wake up call to those Russians who harbored some hope of being able to enjoy a cooperative, bilateral relationship with the West. Instead of creating a rift between the Russian populace and Putin, the West’s punishment of Russian athletes, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs strengthened support for the Russian government.
If the West had focused solely on demonizing Putin, the political dynamic in Russia might have changed. The West propaganda campaign, for example, could have pounded out the message that Russia is inherently good but is being led by a madman. (Note–Putin is not a madman. He is a rational nationalist proposing and implementing a course of action that he believes will make Russia more secure). But the West did not do that. Even great artists from the past, Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky come to mind, were vilified and attacked by the juvenile cancel culture that now defines what once passed for Western culture.
I am shocked the U.S. and NATO advisors were so naive and ill-informed about Russia’s true place in the international economy. It is one of the few self-sufficient countries in the world. No other country encompasses 11 time zones. The average American cannot wrap their brain around the fact that the distance from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii constitutes half the size of Russia. Russia sits on a vast reservoir of oil, natural gas, aluminum, palladium, neon, fertilizer and wheat. That’s not all:
The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. The country’s vast territory makes it the richest nation in terms of natural resource wealth. The nation is a leading producer of coal, diamonds, aluminum, asbestos, gemstones, diamonds, lime, lead, gypsum, iron ore, bauxite, gallium, boron, mica, natural gas, potash, platinum, oil, rare earth metals, pig iron, peat, nitrogen, cadmium, arsenic, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphate, sulfur, titanium sponge, silicon, uranium, tellurium, vanadium, tungsten, cobalt, graphite, silver, vermiculite, selenium, rhenium, copper, and gold.
The world needs what Russia exports. Russia does not need McDonalds, Cartier or Mercedes Benz cars. What were we thinking?
Putin put the cherry on the sundae today. He signed an order requiring any country not friendly to Russia to purchase oil and natural gas with Rubles. The West, particularly Germany, can howl in outrage at the top of their lungs, but this hard fact remains–there is no alternative to Russia’s oil and gas for at least a year. If you think that Germany can forgo 40% of its gas and oil imports for a year and still remain a viable economy, you are hopelessly ignorant.
D.E. Murray says
It’s come to the point where I doubt everything the MSM writes. Their latest screech: “Russia doesn’t have a battlefield commander.”
I think they do. We just don’t know his name.
What do you think?
Larry Johnson says
They absolutely have a battlefield commander. Not naming him is an indictment of the incompetence of US intelligence.
Chris Chuba says
On the subject of ‘naming names’, the fact that Ukraine never identified the gunmen who allegedly tried to assassinate Zelensky in Kyiv makes me doubt that event ever occurred. Ukraine only said they were from the Wager group, if that wa true then reveal their identity. The western MSM accepts every Ukrainian report as fact.
D.E. Murray says
I thought I misread so I looked it up and… it’s right in the NY Times. The pinnacle of American journalism. Here’s the link:
“Russia’s War Lacks a Battlefield Commander, U.S. Officials Say”
I saw the “US Officials say” & immediately discounted it.
D.E. Murray says
It’s a hoot.
You are right.. the US has been preparing Ukraine to attack Russia to get Crimea back and to break the dissident russophone regions.
The sudden attack by Russia on Ukraine was a huge shock because the Ukrainian army was just about ready to launch their attacks. Putin preempted it. That drove the USA to the ceiling of furor. It failed in it’s plan and was now impotent in front of this massive display of force.
Then they reacted as frustrated kids who lost the game by a fraction of time.
The US sense if impotence manifested in an hysteria that was shared by the ‘european’ suddenly becoming aware of their own weakness.
All joined to insult, name call, jumping on imposing sanctions that gave them temporarily the impression that they were in control..
Waking up to reality is hard but they will have to. The UK and the USA having less exposure to energy from Russia are very happy to see the EU begging the USA for expensive LNG and crawling like worms in front of happy sleepy Joe.
The EU is suffering now from a trauma after they realized how weak and helpless they are. It will take years for it to recover from that shock, years where they would reflect on how infantile their hasty reaction was and how they have submitted themselves so easily to the USA diktat.
Russia has shown the West that it is not a country that will let itself bullied by the same countries they saved in WW2 at a very human cost for Russia. Gratitude is not part of the West ‘values’. Arrogance and stupidity is.
Yesterday, Putin spoke with Scholz to explain the ruble payment scheme (the conversation was initiated by Russia). In short, the scheme is as follows:
1. Germany shall pay in euros into an account with Gazprombank
2. Gazprombank converts the euro into rubles and gives them to Gazprom
Note that it is paid in foreign currency, and the exchange in rubles is made automatically by Gazprombank. That is why the Russian side claims that nothing will change for gas importers – they will continue to pay in foreign currency.
Today, the decree was formally signed, which gives some details – in general, the gas importer must have two accounts in Gazprombank, one in foreign currency and one in rubles. The gas importer pays in foreign currency on the foreign currency account, and Gazprombank exchanges (on the stock exchange) the currency in rubles and transfers them to Gazprom. The payment for the gas is considered completed the moment the currency is exchanged into rubles and transferred to Gazprom.
As can be seen, the “payment in rubles” is actually a payment in foreign currency – and the exchange in rubles is made ex officio by Gazprom. Under this scheme, both the West will continue to pay in foreign currency and Russia will be able to claim that it is paid in rubles.
Russia wanted to achieve a symbolic victory in the financial sphere, not fundamental change that will inevitably bring disruption. They succeeded.
Here’s the link to the new ukaz:
D.E. Murray says
“Gazprombank converts the euro into rubles and gives them to Gazprom”
Well… doesn’t this mean that Russia controls the *rate* at which these conversions occur, which means that it controls the price of the ruble?
If that’s so then they’ve done something really brilliant and yes, it does change the rules of the game. Not in a disruptive way but in a way that they can use to their advantage.
Honest question, not trying to show anyone up.
Harry Hobbes says
Correct about the “rate,” and transactions will also have an accompanying “exchange fee” payable to the Russian bank, for “services rendered.”
AND…the payments and [payment] messaging go through the Russian systems, rather than SWIFT, thereby forcing Western banks into the Russian systems. (That is, outside of SWIFT.)
This is a fundamental change in the payment system for Russian commodities.
Next: grains for Rubles, also through the Russian banking system (bypassing SWIFT).
Nothing symbolic about it; hence, the howling…
D.E. Murray says
“Correct about the “rate,” ”
I really shouldn’t have said “rate” as that implies a fixed amount at regular intervals.
I should have said, “doesn’t this mean that Russia controls whether and when they will convert the funds to rubles?”
They can leave as much or as little unconverted to control the price of the ruble.
Tell me where I’ve gone wrong, someone.
“transactions will also have an accompanying “exchange fee” payable to the Russian bank, for “services rendered.”
Yes, that too.
A fundamental support of the US petrodollar was the requirement for all countries who are net oil and gas importers to maintain significant stocks of dollars for trade, which enabled the USA to print and circulate more of its own currency. This strengthened the dollar, and gave America borrowing capability which would have overextended most other countries.
This is not quite the same thing; Europe does not have to maintain piles of rubles in Europe with which to pay for energy imports. However, direct payment in the enemy’s currency is no longer entertained, and the new measures support the ruble.
That great American standup comic, Joe Biden, cracked that owing to America’s ‘unprecedented sanctions’, the ruble had been ‘reduced to rubble’. Ha, ha!! See what he did there? Ruble? Rubble? That doorstep-octogenarian is ON FIRE!!!
Well, don’t get too cocky, Joe. The ruble not only regained all the value it lost through America’s ‘unprecedented sanctions’, it is now worth more than it was before the invasion. Much likely owed to the USA’s terrorism tactics in the oil and gas market, the price has shot up and Russia is not in a bad economic position at all, while it is America who is tapping the Strategic Reserve to try to wrestle domestic gas prices down so voters will pull the lever for the Democrats.
The ruble is now perceived as a stable currency and I predict it will strengthen more once the new payment system is operational. The notion that European countries can pay in their own currencies, so they ‘won’, is typical western declaration of victory.
what do you think will happen to MSM coverage when their lies exposed as russia show real gain on the ground and no amount of propaganda can cover up the obvious losses ?
do you hear about multiple helicopters sent to rescue some personell into mariupol and were shotdown ? theres some who said they are rescuing azov leadership and western advisors. Photos of the downed choppers and its dead occupants showed combat patch from african nations , ehich led ppl to think these are french spec ops / DGSE operators. i recall its macron who proposed “humanitarian” extraction from mariupol few weeks ago..
and Lj do you remember Publius Tacitus who posted on SST few times and the one who break the news about US lies on the failure of FUKUS missile attack in syria.. is he one of the good guys ?
The link about chopper shotdown and the french connection (allegedly) is here
My impression (very similar writing styles and expressions) has been Publius Tacitus WAS LJ, but I could be mistaken.
Chris Chuba says
U.S. propaganda is invincible. We will claim that Ukraine was winning and only surrendered to Russia to avoid civilians deaths. Gen Jack Keane is already starting this talking point. He is saying that Russia is relentlessly targeting civilians in order to pressure Ukraine to give up on their victory.
D.E. Murray says
Larry, something in the NY Times article really bugs me – the bit about the ship. I wish you would drill down on that. Every time I read about some instance of unbelievable Russian brutality, or incompetence, it turns out to be a lie.
D.E. Murray says
And now the MSM has gone crazy about the fuel depot hit. Don’t know what to make of this. They are trying to make the Russians go crazy. I doubt they’ll take the bait. Shit happens in war.
Harry Hobbes says
The [Western] MSM audience is the population of the collective West, NOT the Russian population (nor anyone else outside of the collective West). As of yesterday, Russian internal opinion polls indicate that Mr. Putin enjoys an 83% approval rating (inside Russia). Direct attacks on Russia, and [reported] mis-treatment of Russian POWs will only cause reinforced resolve within the Russian population (as indicated by recent evidence). Contrast the concept of Russian increased resolve with the American penchant of avoiding/evading leaving the bleachers and personally getting involved on the playing field; a situation which directly results in American proxy wars.
Western mainstream media is an excellent source to gauge the level of Western hysterical reaction, as well as indicating “trial balloons” for forthcoming “controls”, in contrast to non-Western news sources which tends to be less hysterical while reporting events. This becomes readily apparent should one balance their sources of information: Western MSM versus non-Western.
D.E. Murray says
Agree with you on everything, but the RWApodcast guys, who are very based & fact-oriented, were disgusted by this fuel depot hit, and gave the AFU all credit for pulling off a deft move.
Wars see saw. In the age of Twitter tactical regrouping is a route by hopeful woke libtards and idiot republicans of the uniparty. Russia hasn’t played all its trump cars yet. Our society is dying. In 20 years the military the trans captain of the Doris Miller won’t have money to buy oil to grease the guns.
Interesting, the West does not recognize the amalgamation of Crimea with Russia. That means, officially Ukraine does not recognize it either and for much more obvious reasons. But nevertheless the Ukies attacked the Donbas Provinces and later the republics there because, like Washington, they refused to recognize their status. So what is the difference with the Ukie treatment of Crimea? Neither Washington nor Kiev recognized the amalgamation of Crimea. But nobody attacked Crimea, at least not seriously. So unofficially Crimea was recognized as now part of Russia. The risk of nuclear war because of this hypocrisy should be seen as less likely. Putin is rightfully considered the world’s best statesman.
As for the other discussion point about the Western main street media, I only believe traffic reports there. If most of the political and economic “news” is nonsense, then all of it is. It is that simple.
Thank you from another Larry, Larry.
Just a heads up Larry , now TTG taking control openly on SST while the old col taking sick leave. funny how TTG’s post now similar to old col posting space news (he never did that before)
it is like SST real owner was the establishment and this TTG (self admitted green beret russophobe lithuanian) was there as the control over colonel’s posts..
TTG use the colonel’s insane anger to ban and insult people while those suck up commenters got free range to post anything supporting US narrative.
few commenters on SST already posted doubts on SST’s bias and saying if SST engaging in IO supporting US neocons.. After all these years of hating neocon warmongers suddenly the old col become a neocon bootlickers and saying nonsense as “we should help heroes in ukraine” nonsense
truly thankful good people already left SST
Larry Johnson says
It is a sad final curtain for Pat Lang.
Eric Newhill says
With TTG at the helm, there is little reason to read SST/Turcopolier. You can get whatever TTG is offering simply by turning on CNN. No difference (he is an establishment mole). I am hoping that the good Colonel makes a speedy recovery and returns in his old and more familiar form of a truly intelligent warrior, poet and scholar; unafraid of speaking the truth.