Welcome back to Round 2 of paid subscriber’s mailbag answers! Boy, they are getting exhaustive, but I still enjoy answering them. I just don’t know how we’ll deal with it in the more distant future when the subscriber count potentially grows even higher. I simply can’t bring myself to gloss over important questions in a trivial or superficial manner, as it feels like I owe it to the truth to treat each subject with some sense of thoroughness.
5 December 2024 FT – US EU Propaganda in Tears
Deadline Ukraine: Two Lead Stories
“EU budget dispute threatens €50bn war lifeline for Ukraine”
The FT pulling out the stops: can not ignore the recent collapse in the EU’s attempts/procedures to provide budget support ‘macro-financial stability’, €20B in armaments; the collapse which reveal all promises as incompetent wishful thinkings, at best, and at worst mere propaganda designed to stage attitudes and actions that are devoid of reality and in fact non existent
1-The EU promise of €50B, plus plans for another €45B, is now a member country catfight (Hungary, the ‘far-right’ Dutch) and unlikely to pass vote at the EU summit mid December
2-The German Constitutional Court ruling outlawed the fiscal cheating that the German politicinas had relied upon to steal money from themselves (read- their people) to wash through the Ukraine laundromat
3-The considerable opposition in the US to the voting through of the proposed $60B, aka ‘congressional gridlock’
4-Last and least – UK accession negotiations look DOA
All this blissfully ignores the fact that it is in RF interest that the EU sop up the bill for Ukraine during the war, then bankrupt themselves once again with attempts at ‘reconstruction’ – and it appears that, so far at least, what RF wants RF gets
“US funding for Ukraine set to run out by end of the year, White House warns”
This headline sounds impressive, promises there’s some fight left in the President yet, until one reads that the ‘White House’ in question is in fact a lowly grunt, the White House budget director
The plea is textbook, includes the novel idea that war is profitable
It does contain this wonderful summing up of the situation ‘“If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting, full stop,”’ – in spite of the fact Ukraine’s economy has already collapsed, that’s why the US has to fund it
The FT is paid to present these stories in it’s role as the Businessman’s Newspaper : war is a wise investment, and is nothing but business with another means; bigbut - we can not rely on the politicinas to get the job done, look how disorganised they are: so- next stop, privatisation
Response to Simplicius' "Subscriber Mailbag: Answers - 12/4/23 [Part 2]"
"Russia likely took all these build ups and provocations very seriously, and saw the writing on the wall that if it didn’t ‘cure’ the Ukrainian sickness once and for all, it would only escalate until Russia was totally surrounded by NATO aggression. "
I've long believed that it was this moment that started the invasion. In my view, the Russian General Staff had a Ukraine invasion CONTINGENCY plan in place since at least 2014-2015. In spring, 2021, I believe they upgraded it to an OPERATIONAL plan.
At the same time, Putin and Lavrov began working on what became the treaty proposals of December, 2021. Of course, Ukraine and the West rejected those proposals and then Zelensky visited the front, the Ukrainian army started increased shelling as a preparation for an assault, and in addition Zelensky came back from the Munich conference talking about Ukraine getting nuclear weapons. All that was the last straw.
I also believe that Putin and Lavrov were the ones who created the plan to "scare" Kiev into negotiations by the initial operations of the SMO. However, in my view this was an absurd concept, despite the alleged "agreement" Ukraine and Russia initialed in Turkey at the end of March and beginning of April, 2022. People who think this would have avoided the war are delusional (I'm looking at Alexander Mercouris in that regard, but there are many others.) The reality is that any such deal would have either 1) collapsed in further negotiations to iron out the details, or 2) would have been reneged on just like Minsk II.
But the Russian General Staff would have told Putin that he needed an alternative plan in case his initial invasion plan failed. And that's what the Russians have done ever since. The important point is that they didn't come up with the current plan on the fly after March, 2022. It was in place from the get-go. This is something people also don't seem to get. They assume the Russian General Staff laid all its hopes on the initial invasion moves and had to revamp the plan after. That's nonsense, in my view.
I also believe that the Russians have decided to end the issue of Ukraine - and further, to end the issue of the West frequently invading Russia - and that is what the end game of Russia is. This is going to involve taking out of Ukraine - right up to the Polish border and including western Ukraine - and then building a new Military District there which will be powerful enough to deter any NATO threats from decades to come. This will be in line with Russia's new Military Districts in northern Russia opposite Finland as well as its consolidation of efforts with Belarus.
In other words, Russia is going to build a new "Iron Curtain 2.0" which stretches from the Black Sea to the Arctic. If the West wants to threaten Russia in the future, it will have to resort to a nuclear attack - for which Russia is also prepared.
Here's where you lost me:
"Its elite do not serve the people whatsoever, and in fact are a treasonous class of actual definitional traitors who serve other transnational interests first, particularly Israel."
The elite do not serve Israel. They know there is broad popular support for the Jewish state and they need to fund it. That is partly for their own geo-political concerns, especially vis-a-vis Iran. But they also fund UNRWA, a terrorist organization these days, and Gaza, which means Hamas gets the money.
Blinken and Austin are already trying to stop Israel from destroying Hamas, an utterly evil terrorist organization. So evil that Arab nations silently support Israel's efforts. Hamas did not attack military targets on October 6. They attacked woman and children. They raped and shot hundreds of young woman at a peace festival. Some of them shot their victims first and then raped them. They slashed open the wombs of pregnant woman and beheaded their unborn babies in Kibbutzim. If you are on board with that, good for you.
A31: Incorrect. In fact, the West's humanities depts have been largely mothballed and defunded, this has happened over the past 20 years. STEM rules - badly.
In fact, what has ACTUALLY happened is 'Academentia' - the taking over of Western universities by the anti-intellectual Corporate cultures. https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/07/28/academentia-the-organization-insanity-of-the-modern-university/
The Humanities - for all the silliness associated with "woke", also taught critical social awareness, incl political science, which the East has always been strong on, and which anchors a societal elite argually more than History's narratives.
This constantly seeing rightwing talking points as 'liberatory' creates stupidity. In some ways, Putin's 'traditional conservatism' is also 'traditional leftwingism'. He is raising living standards, wages, and benefits, and investing directly into the national economy to create growth. You can't get more 'traditional leftwing' than that. A similar program by the UK's Corbyn had all the Tory media baying about "Socialist revolution! Zomgz", although he got a standing ovation at the CBI - they all went out to vote Tory at the next election though, and watched the realword economy tank, because they are stupid and believe the same 'rightwing' narratives.
A22: Again contrarily, "Compound that with the rise of Right/conservative parties, which will then be peaking, and I think the scene is set for some major pushback against the elite agenda—maybe on a 3-5 year timescale." is mistaken. It IS rightwing parties, either traditional conservative, 3rd Way neolibs, or other US-funded and controlled rightwing parties, who are dominant in Europe. The few genuine Lefties such as Corbyn in the UK, or Fico in Slovakia, are the ones dead set against all these "adventures". I wouldn't trust the AfD on this either, I've heard claims they are a CIA 'controlled opposition', and not without evidence.
Your position on 'identity politics' doesn't make you a LEFTY - it determines your liberal position. They are an easy, highly cheap method for amoral neolibs (rightwingers BTW, see Thatcher, Reagan, Hayek) actors to undermine actual leftwing movements. The USA has ALWAYS been deeply hostile to genuine leftwing thought, but has no problems lying about its alleged committment to Democracy, Human Rights and development. All myths. Imperialism and genuine democracy are always opposed.
I agree that Kalingrad/Baltics/Poland will be the next initiated flashpoint, and that the vast reserve army is to ensure they don't get stupid ideas. Putin/Russian elites have wargamed all of this out, and without the wishfulk thinking that charatcerises Western 'elites'.
Stalin would’ve executed a few generals with the turtle like pace of war in Ukraine and all this obsession about the details despite the pathetic pace!!
Fleshing out the 1st question, Jacques Baud (https://youtu.be/16o1ShT3TJ4?t=24114) notes that Zelensky signed into law a decree regarding the decolonisation of Crimea which occurred on the March 24 2021, a week or so later the Russians were at the border en masse.
How on earth is that video from 27. five years old??? It is like it was made last week!
I think that the most important point you have raised in today's explanations of the 'West's" behavior is 'elite capture'. The self-defeating and seemingly nonsensical actions of the West (e.g. the Sand Wars or historical and on-going manipulation in Ukraine) benefit a set of financial, economic, and political elites in various cross-national 'clubs'. These clubs do not always agree on the specifics of what to do in a particular situation, the exact priorities of action, or the division of resulting 'spoil's, etc but they do agree on a type of ever-expansionist, pro-war, pro-globalization, pro-migration, pro-centralization, pro big Tech, pro-financialization, pro-WEF type agendas that have been publicly advocated for since the early 1990s (and privately long before that).
Two criticisms I would make on your overall responses for today are that you hold too strongly to certain concepts like 'US Dollar Hegemony" and the Mackinder "World Island (Germany-Russia-China land island)" ideas. Both of those ideas (on the US dollar and on the need for the 'Atlanticists' to keep Germany-Russia-China apart) have merit, but if you 'buy into' those theories (ideologies) too much, you end us with an overly simplistic (even cartoonishly inaccurate) view of reality. Just as an extra-terrestrial might want to talk to a biologist, chemist, political scientist, theologian, sociologist to better understand humanity and the earth, we need to listen to, understand, and challenge a lot of viewpoints (beyond US Dollar and Mackinder) to figure out what is going on. Every theory or specialty only sees part of the picture and each viewpoint can get a bit carried away on how their specialty is 'really the key' to understanding such a complex set of interaction.
For example, when people talk about the role of the US dollar and its 'exorbitant privelege' , they often demonstrate a rather poor understanding of how the world-wide dollar system actually works, who benefits from it and why (e.g. it's not really the US dollar per se that is the basis for global trade and investment, it is really the Euro-dollar system that they are referring to -- which is associated with, but not the same as, the US dollar used in the domestic US economy). That is not to say that the United States (as a whole) or the elites in it (and worldwide) don't benefit from the US dollar / Eurodollar system -- they do, to varying degrees. There are also specific costs and tradeoffs to the US (as a whole) from that system (e.g. it is probably not a coincidence that the greatest period of US growth and rate of rise in prosperity occurred between the US Civil War up to World War 2 --- a period when the US dollar was most certainly not the world's reserve currency).
I have the same complaint with the comment you made that the West suppressed China's historical economic role so that it could benefit. There is some truth in that statement -- the Opium Wars etc gave the West benefit at China's expense, but the real result of China's relative economic decline (when measured as a percentage of world GDP) was not that the West 'suppressed' China -- it was that the West boomed (due to trade, technology, investment, population growth, political reform and stability, migration and colonization) and China did not. Historically, it was not that China's GDP was 100 in year 1500 and 50 in year 1900, it was that China's GDP was 100 in the year 1500 and STILL 100 in 1900. This Western growth versus Chinese stagnation has a lot more explanatory power than the typical 'anti-Western' trope that China (and the non-Western world) suffered entirely (or primarily) due to the West's piratical exploitation.
You write so well and make so many good point -- I just wish you would 'catch yourself' and not go 'full retard' (in the movie Tropic Thunder sense of that phrase) with unnecessary forays into areas or points of evidence that are 'not as well grounded' as some of your other stuff. I could theoretically write a lot of strong, compelling reasons on why Bill Gates is a dangerous, dishonest, and supremely self-dealing individual and there would be no need to actually claim he is a reptiloid (even if I think that might be the case!). Making the retiloid argument puts my earlier, better-grounded comments into question without really providing enough factual and logical firepower to make the former argument stick. Stick to your core points and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
Thank you for yet another insightful and comprehensive "mailbag" article.
A couple of notes:
1) Ireland - For many decades, Ireland was the impoverished "welfare recipient" of the EU and not a place many immigrants wanted to settle. Then Ireland devised its rather stupid "ultra low corporate taxes" policy and suddenly all the big corps (Google, Apple, et al) started relocating their corporate HQs there. On paper, this led to a massive surge in GDP for Ireland. In reality, few Irish people got any high-paying tech jobs BUT a surge in real estate "investing" led to massive increases in housing prices and housing scarcity.
This led to two things: Ireland's gov't started getting uppity and thinking it was rich a) so it could be generous to pay for refugees, invite massive number of migrants, etc, and b) starting getting involved in world geopolitics (basically) for the first time such as sending vast quantities of money to Ukraine, thus further wrecking the budget.
Meanwhile... the events of 2020 and 2021 saw a lot of Irish people, especially in Dublin, forced to stay home while all the "essential workers" (delivery drivers, especially) were now non-Irish. Look outside your window and now it's all black and brown people everywhere. And this explosive mix of a) an arrogant, globalist government b) lack of housing, especially low-cost/free housing for Irish c) an explosion in number of non-Irish people, including refugees and others getting benefits like housing d) drastic cuts in government services has led to a lot of very angry Irish people.
Even before the stabbings, there were already protests (some quite "fiery") against further immigration as well as all these other acts by the government.
2) PMR - Let's review here. Moldova is, in effect, now a dictatorship. The "pro-EU" (actually pro-USA) government is ruling by emergency decree (which gets "temporarily extended" every 6 months) even though they have a majority in parliament. All opposition TV channels have been illegally shut down. Two opposition parties have been declared illegal. The gov't also refuses to accept the legitimacy of the Gagauz (which have their own parliament and other constitutional benefits of autonomy) administration. And Moldova has been inviting NATO in for "exercises" while taking in a rather large quantity of (donated) armored vehicles and equipment from Germany.
On paper, this looks like a perfect chance for Moldova to steamroll PMR and end the "separatist state" once and for all. And that's exactly what the UK government has been urging.
However.... Moldova's constitution strictly calls for military neutrality, and this sentiment is backed by easily 90% or more of the people. Likewise, the vast majority of Moldovans speak Russian, engage in Russian culture (including by going off to study in Russian universities), and have ZERO fascist tendencies towards stuff like "ethnic purity." Furthermore, Moldova's army is TINY (roughly 5k total personnel), partly because nobody in Moldova really wants to fight anyone and partly because the pay is abysmal (working at a food truck pays better, and the barracks/facilities in the army are outdated and in horrible shape). To wit, there are more something like 3 times more cops in Moldova than soldiers.
Furthermore, the border between PMR and Moldova is extremely porous (you don't even need a passport and it takes 5 minutes or less). People have families and friends on both sides and cross ALL the time for all kinds of reasons, including simple stuff like buying their preferred medicines (some folks favor Russian-made pills/meds that can't be found in the west, while Moldova gets certain meds/pills from Romania that are unique and not available in PMR or even most of the EU). Some people even move to PMR just for the winter because the heating bills are lower. So there is almost ZERO public appetite in Moldova for any kind of use of force against PMR. And plenty of folks remember the shitstorm of 1992 in which something like 60k people became (temporarily) refugees due to the fighting in Bendery/Tighina.
Last but certainly not least, people are free to speak Moldovan in PMR and Russian in Moldova and every other local language as well (Gagauz, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, etc). There is no institutional apathy, hatred, or aggression taught on either side against the other side. Most Moldovans think of PMR as their territory, but 99% of them are completely opposed to KILLING someone to regain what would be, at most, an expansion of Moldovan bureaucracy into their lives. And few people in Moldova have ever been enamored of their government.
So yeah, in terms of guns and tanks, it'd take only a few days or weeks for an invading force to conquer PMR. But there's basically nobody willing to do it, except for the British ambassador and that crowd (including Zelensky). And let's not forget that well over HALF of the PMR population has either a Moldovan passport or a Ukrainian one (or both), so there's that to consider as well. Yes, Russian is the language of day-to-day life in PMR, but ethnic Russians are in the MINORITY in PMR, and so there's no "easy" route to genocide and war along ethnic lines. And next to zero fascism in Moldovan institutions in order to cultivate a "hybrid" war either.
I’m having to ask here as I don’t think I have a way to contact him directly without being a paid subscriber so maybe someone else who follows him can help me out instead:
1. Does anyone here remember the name of the group he mentioned way back when that helped Americans immigrate into Russia? I’m sorry, I know that’s supremely vague but he mentioned it in one of his previous mailbags that “Americans are still immigrating into Russia and this person/group/agency is helping them do it”
2. Has anyone ever heard of using PayPal to become a subscriber or tip? Only because I have an IBAN/BIC card so I can’t use it here, and PayPal is the only third party method I have access to
"Ever since the unification of Germany in 1871, the chief vector of all great power politics revolved around keeping the naturally compatible and mutually advantageous German and Russian states from allying, as their union would represent the only combined power in the world that could dethrone the British Empire and its fledgling American accomplice from their place atop the Western world order, and by extension the entire world."
First, British foreign policy has been dominated for centuries by the need to avoid a hegemonic power in Europe - be it Spain, France, Germany, or the USSR. Were it not for the German Empire's stupid decision to build a wholly unnecessary blue water navy, the UK would likely have stayed out of WW1 - there would, admittedly, likely have been a sequel between a German-dominated Europe and the British Empire, but that's way down the road of what-ifs. Remember, the UK & Germany (specifically Prussia) had been allies for a long time, and perfectly complimented one another: the Germans provided the soldiers, the British the navy (and money).
Second, Russia was a concern to the British only insofar as it was a rival in central Asia & China, or could upset the balance of power in the Mediterranean (ie hence the desire to prop up Turkey). Back in Nelson's day you had plenty of Royal Navy officers on half pay working for the Russian navy and the like.
Now obviously, a lot of this is obviously self-serving - a Europe in which there is no hegemonic power is obviously very good for Britain given its position as first-amongst-equals back then - but ALL foreign policy is, or should be (see: USA today) self-serving. A rising Germany wanted to advance its interests at the expense of Britain, France & Russia, and Putin today is acting to further the interests of Russia, as well he should. The Germans were no more right or wrong to want to advance their interests than the British were right or wrong to advance theirs.
However... one thing in favour of the British model is that a Europe without any hegemonic power is also one in which individual nations have a lot more independence than the model favoured by such humanitarians as Napoleon, Wilhelm III, Hitler, Stalin, FDR, and the like. The French governed France, the Germans governed Germany, and the Russians ruled Russia. Napoleon would see Europe run from Paris, Wilhelm III & Hitler would've seen it ruled from Berlin, Stalin from Moscow, and FDR from Washington DC. Which, funnily enough, seems to be exactly what happened thanks to the two world wars.
Obviously, the Pax Britannica had, shall we say, issues - just ask anyone who wasn't white - but I would say that even that, for all its flaws, was better than globohomo.
"But the problem is, the U.S. is a totally captured state. Its elite do not serve the people whatsoever, and in fact are a treasonous class of actual definitional traitors who serve other transnational interests first, particularly Israel."
I'm not sure it's actually *Israel* they're serving, though it makes for a very convenient cover.
"Ashkenazis probably have a pretty wide variance so it likely is correct to question that “all of them” are directly descended from Khazaria."
From what I've heard, they're mostly white, with in particular a fair bit of Italian and I think German heritage. Certainly they're less Semitic than, oh to pick a group completely at random, the Palestinians.
"However, we must note that not all Jews are in bed with Nazis because there are many who have, and continue to share, outrage at these inconvenient facts."
I think there's a very clear divide between ordinary people and the elites. Same thing in the USA - compare what the politicians do vs what the people want them to do. The only difference is the Jewish elites are active on a global scale rather than merely within one country.
Having Ukraine immolate itself on the Russian fortifications was ideal for Russia. Russia will keep that going as long as possible. They will continue to advance slowly so that Ukraine suffers an endless series of demoralizing defeats. Ukraine going into a defensive stance makes no sense : all that death with no possible gain. The only reason to continue the war in that way is to keep the corruption going.
Why Russia Doesn't Want To Conquer Ukraine
Just a tiny very tangential comment re. question 25, which I've always found very funny: when people speaks of high-speed trains, they always mention Germany, China or France, but no one speaks about Spain, which is the country with more high-speed rail kilometers only after China.
A31: “I find the assertion that Putin is ‘no friend of universities’ a little strange as I’ve never heard of such a thing.” - I agree. One point can be made here is the Russian withdrawal from The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education disaster, I would say. The point is to pay more attention to education.
Wow! I just want to thank you, Simplicius, for your answer to my question! I need to have a sense of the bigger picture, or the chaos just gets overwhelming. I'd rather know what's going on and be appalled by it, than not know and wait to be told what to think like a frightened sheep. There is just too much pontificating going on right now on all sides. Your perspective (backed up by facts and actual statements of the people involved) is invaluable!
The majority of the UK do not want to return to the EU. The politician's & media do & are pushing it. But the pushback is far greater than it was during the original vote