The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

China Leads A Successful Middle East Summit

Something which has slipped past most people’s radar is that China recently acted as the intermediary for peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The two countries have been at each other’s throats for decades, funding and running operations and proxies against each other. Elijah Manjier has a decent summary (part is behind a subscriber wall) from a pro-Iranian point of view.

It’s also interesting that in this conference no English was used!

Now it’s obvious why the US couldn’t be involved: it hates Iran and doesn’t intend to change that any time soon. But that China was reached out to indicates that it has good relationships with Iran and Saudi Arabia and that it’s considered powerful and prestigious enough to be involved a region far from its core.

On the Saudi side this shows the continued movement away from being a US ally. It suggests continued movement towards China, and that the petro-dollar really is under significant threat.

For Iran, it suggests that the days of the US being able to coordinate sanctions over it are likely numbered. If the Sauds break out of the US bloc, one can expect the Gulf States to follow if Iran is also in the Chinese bloc: these are the regional and cultural great powers. As Chinese/Russian payments expand and with petrochemicals priced in Yuan or Rubles, and with the most important Middle Eastern powers friendly to China, the US is reduced to its core allies. These are important countries, no doubt—Europe, Japan, South Korean, Taiwan and so on, but it is a minority of the world and is filled with countries terrified of US sanctions, looking for a way out under the potential hammerlock.

I don’t want to over-state how important this mediation by China was, but it was important and it’s one of those milestone moments. It wasn’t the US or Europe who the Sauds and Iranians went to, and just as importantly, they didn’t feel they needed US approval. Saudi Arabia using China, whom the US has declared an enemy, to move towards peace with a country the US has been hostile to for about 45 years is an earthquake.

Whether the peace will really happen is more dubious, but if movement, even hesitant 2 steps forward, one step backwards movement continues, it will be worthwhile. I am most interested to see if this will mean some sort of peace can be worked out in Yemen, or if it means the Iranians will abandon the Houthis, which would be sad.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Remembering Who The Nazis Killed First


Open Thread


  1. StewartM

    I’ve never understood the anti-Iranian posture of the US, unless it’s the US dog being wagged by the Likud tail.

  2. Mary Bennett

    The United States does not “hate Iran”, or at least most of us nobodies out here in flyover country don’t hate Iran. We might be hazy about it’s geography, that subject not being taught in American schools, and we might be a wee bit unimpressed by its’ religion, but we don’t hate the place. Our neo-con foreign policy establishment, especially the part of it which takes instructions from Tel Aviv, excuuse me, Jerusalem, hates Iran, along with Russia and a bunch of other countries. I begin to think that the only things those clowns are good at is hating and infiltrating.

    If anyone has any good ideas about how to turf these neo-cons out of our govt., I would like to hear them. Demonstrations are ignored, petitions are a joke , your letter or email to your congressperson is reviewed by the leastmost staffer and your opinion might be tabulated. Don’t count on it. As for voting, we have all seen how that works out. There are beginning to be signs of a sort of alliance of convenience, on some issues, between some conservatives in Congress–the name ‘Mat Gaetz comes up–with some of the Progressive Caucus. We shall see how long that lasts; I am sure AIPAC and its’ allies are already on the case.

  3. Purple Library Guy

    Come to think of it, when was the last time the US led a successful peace process or similar negotiation? I mean, successful from anyone else’s point of view.

  4. Astrid


    They hate Iran because the mullahs undid the Western coup against Mosaddeque and because Iran couldn’t be bought, cowered, or beaten in war. Same reason they hate Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, China, and Russia. There was no hatred when far more corrupt and murdery regimes were around in the same countries. They hate anything they can’t full spectrum dominate.

  5. Astrid

    Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist. I don’t think Iran would sell out or abandon its allies. They’re largely supporting populist movements against entrenched and corrupt elites, so a substantive change would significantly weaken its regional standing. It’s also bad domestic politics to be seen to be too accommodating, they already tried that with Obama and look where that got them.

  6. anon y'mouse

    if this is real then doesn’t it, at a stroke, do away with US foreign policy since Carter?

    the oil producers are slipping the leash.

    and all we’ve got is AOC hectoring us about gas stoves.

    the writing has been on the wall since Hubbert’s Curve. but we kept throwing shadow puppetry up there to distract those who should have known that we would do anything to prevent the real oil producers from teaming up and demanding more than just bribery.

    or am i being dense as usual?

  7. Carborundum

    It is not that America writ large hates Iran or – even that significant portions of the apparatus of the state hate Iran (though there are definitely political factions and cubicle dwellers who carry their political persuasions into their work who do).

    It is actually much worse than hatred – for both Iran and America the other is the domestic third rail of international diplomacy. As a political figure or bureaucrat who has anything to do with the political echelon you will never, ever, *ever* be rewarded for taking any type of risk that depends in any way on the other. Literally the only thing that will happen to you is that you will be carbonized on making a mis-step or simply being unlucky enough to be there when other side spasmodically reacts to an domestic political shanking.

    China’s involvement here is a bit of a no brainer given their role as a customer. They’ve been seriously constrained in how much Iranian oil they can onboard due to sanctions and are also a significant customer of the Saudis. Their supply is quite diverse (as one might expect given their capacious appetite). If I’m in the CCP strategy chair, me, I’m thinking about how to reverse the recent trend on Iranian oil – 8% to 1% of total supply sucks when you’re staring down the barrel of a likely reversal of the refining pause of the last couple of years. I would *not* want to be the guy in the chair when energy constraints get blamed for secular production decline (*cough* demographics *cough*).

    Bigger geopolitics picture, contra Magnier’s perspective, this does not look to me like MBS winning a war without fighting. I would view this much more as MBS being fought to a standstill and seeking a route to conflict termination or at least some framework that reduces the cost.

  8. don(e) coyote

    @ anon y’ mouse I thought the gas stove hazard was yesterday’s news. If not, it’s overdue.

    @Astrid. Your insights are pithy.
    You seem a class traitor in some ways, although it doesn’t matter where you sleep or what you eat or who you know. Or maybe it does.

    Beneficial wishes and good luck to all wherever you may reside and with whatever fills your days and nights and dreams.

    Dairy Queens and burgers; Nuland and nuclear puke.

    Whatcha gonna do when the lights go out and the well runs dry?

    It’s up to you and me and all the rest I guess.

  9. Lex

    It’s an earth shaking event. It may fail, but it’s worth pointing out that it isn’t out of the blue. Trump assassinated Soleimani while he was on a negotiation trip to talk to the Saudis. It appears that there are some fairly significant security portions to the normalization and those would preclude at least some Iranian aid to Yemen; however, there may also be some agreements that the Saudis will wind the war down. Let’s hope that’s the case.

    In terms of grand chessboard geopolitics it’s put the US and Israel in check. It’s disastrous for those two; signifying a huge erosion of US power in Western Asia and the gulf and almost fully isolating Israel. Which was banking on improved relations with the gulf states against Iran. The Saudis have already started chirping about how Israel never gets sanctioned for behavior against Palestinians but Russia got sanctions as well as threats about oil price ceilings.

    Good or bad, credit to China and Russia. They’ve been putting in real work diplomatically for a long time. The Ukrainian conflict appears to be functioning as a focal and leverage point to actually reorient geopolitics. Biden’s obsession with it is also a distraction that everyone else is taking full advantage of.

  10. elkern

    The raprochement between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran is is good for everybody on Earth except for [the right-wing government of] Israel and their US NeoCon puppets. With any luck, it will lead to the end of the wars in Yemen and Syria.

    But the Netanyahu regime probably won’t accept this setback gracefully. They have been trying to get the USA to bomb Iran for decades, and for several years, it appeared that Saudi Arabia was an ally in this cause.

    Israel must be aware that US influence is declining. I’m sure that they have been trying desperately to gain leverage in the CPC, but that ain’t gonna work. China won’t bother to say mean things about Israel, but they will keep the relationship transactional. Israel’s strategic location between Asia & Africa makes it useful for the Belt & Road, so it can benefit economically from cooperation with China, but I doubt that Israel will be satisfied with anything less than the kind of sub-rosa control they have over relevant aspects of US Foriegn Policy.

    The only other valuable thing Israel could offer China is inside knowledge of US plans and capabilities…

  11. Willy

    What I’m gonna do from now on is to try and avoid all this “China”, “Iran”, “USA” and “KSA” shit. Speaking as an American, my leaders aren’t me and they sure as hell aren’t us. Yes, there’s that MAGA cult who think they’re Trump but he sure as hell isn’t America. I’m hoping this’ll give me, maybe others, a better perspective about what it is that these people actually want, their motives and strategies, and how this is going to affect me down the road, who as a citizen of the USA is basically along for their joyride whether I like it or not.

    As for leadership and put as simply as possible, we’ve got China (somewhat competent authoritarians with a fair amount of pride of ownership), Iran (strict theocrats), USA (incompetent plutocrats who care only about their own current status and power), and the KSA (theocratic plutocrats with some pride of ownership in their desert land, such as it is).

  12. Curt Kastens

    The US stills controls all of the world’s oceans. No oil that is being sent over a sea or ocean can go anywhere without US approval, except maybe the Caspian Sea. But I doubt that the Russians and Iranians could even keep a Caspian Sea shipping lane open if they had to.
    One thing that complicates things a bit is that many Chinese Enterprises are joint ventures with western companies. Cutting off oil to China would have a cost for the owners of such companies. But the US was willing to cut off gas supplies to Germany and there was nothing that the Germans were willing or that they could do about it.
    Therefore I do not think that there should be any doubt if the US see fit it would do such a thing to the Chinese should they get to uppity. And like with Germany there is at least at the time being nothing that the Chinese can do about it.

  13. Astrid

    The best cure for Western fear/antagonism against the “rest of the world” is to read a couple recent speeches from Putin or Xi or Nasrallah from start to finish with an open mind, without MSM intermediation. I think Western liberals are so indoctrinated into the cult of Western superiority that we assume that because our system sucks and our leaders are terrible, then the “inferior non-West” must somehow be worse.

    I don’t think I’m a class traitor, unless class loyalty is defined by “nothing will fundamentally change” and “blindly following MSNC/NYT/Atlantic”. Wanting a fairer, better world, including for me and people I care about, is not treachery even if my cohorts see it that way.

  14. Mark Level

    Replying to Astrid’s first post, I too hope & think most likely that the Iranians will not throw their brother/sister Shi’a Houthis under the bus and allow what would could be a full-on genocide there if the Houthis are unarmed and vulnerable. I think they won’t because (a) it would make a lot of Shias elsewhere angry, & (b) going to the title of a previous Ian thread, if the ability to crush the Houthis was taken, eventually Iran would be a future target . . . as to being called a “class traitor”, I think that is an interesting passive-aggressive compliment and/or insult. If it were directed at me I could take it either way (or switch it up either which way). I grew up in an upper middle class family, but at age 19 when my dad found out I’d smoked a joint “like those (non-white) people do” I was threatened with him trying to get me institutionalized (a vain threat, though I was too young to know that) or possibly violently attacking me or disowning me. So I disowned myself, threw away my class privilege card and dropped a couple of notches to blue-collar working class (which still existed in a form where a 19 year old could keep a roof over their head in 1979.) For the next decade I was solidly working class, finally I moved into white collar work teaching, & I recently retired with a pension as a civil servant. I guess I am what small sliver of “middle class” remains in the US, my pension is pretty good so I may even have gotten back to where I started. In any case, my only class fealty is to ordinary people, the PMC (who made my & my colleagues’ lives miserable when I was teaching, something the students almost never did) and the Predator & V.C. (Vulture Capital) classes are the ones I hate, who have tried to impoverish, rip-off and exploit the majority of ‘Muricans, with increasing success obviously. So if I were called “class traitor” I guess it’d be a compliment to me? Finally, to the main point of the post– yes, the US is known worldwide as a murderous Empire, obviously, I’d guess the last “Peace” accord was Carter’s between Israel & Egypt, allowing the corrupt Egyptian gov’t. to further impoverish its citizens and militarize without “threatening” the Israeli regional hegemon. Of course, the real losers were the Palestinians, who’ve undergone decades of being pushed off their lands, packed into the Gaza world’s largest open-air “refugee” (prison) camp, & murdered generally indiscriminately when they resist either via “intifada” or peacefully. Thankfully “The American Century” of Mr. Luce seems over (I think future historians could date that to the Bush multi-war overreach? We’ll see.) In any case, China, Russia, India, Turkiye, Iran (possibly) & others would seem to be rising powers, the U.S. & thus its wag-the-dog “dependent” Israel seem to be in decline alongside Europe, unless something changes suddenly & a miracle restores the US “Rules Based (sic) Ordure.”

  15. Willy

    Some of the worst things I’ve ever seen done were committed by people who gave the very best speeches. And don’t be fooled by their lack of creepily snappy Hugo Boss uniforms either, a sure giveaway in days of old.

    Actions are the only thing that matters.

  16. Astrid

    I would say lifting 1.4 billion people out of extreme poverty is a pretty good act. Having something like 90% approval rating amongst your population is also a sign of doing something right

    But I am old fashioned enough to value the ability to deliver a coherent and uplifting speech. FDR and JFK used to deliver great speeaches. These days our political creatures can’t even manage a digestible word salad. How can they possible solve problems if they can’t even articulate them?

  17. Lex

    Um, Curt, how would you propose the US stop shipping on the Caspian Sea?

    Shipping is a somewhat valid point but the US can’t actually control the shipping lanes with any permanent authority. It likes to think it can but that’s imperial projection. The US also needs lots of that oil that’s shipped by sea. US oil production is almost all light crude that’s difficult to make into heavy products. It’s why the US hasn’t stopped importing Russian crude by sea, both directly (maybe not anymore) and via India.

    In any case, it’s not physically possible for the US Navy to deploy in sufficient force over a long enough period of time to actually control the shipping lanes. Even if nobody started sinking USN ships.

  18. someofparts

    Thanks for that question about the Caspian, Lex. I was wondering the same thing myself.

    Mark Level, you sound like a great guy with good judgement and good values. The kids you taught were lucky to have a teacher like you.

    Astrid, when I compare one of Putin’s speeches to the jaw-dropping displays of ignorance from the Congress-critters who held the hearing about the Twitter files, it doesn’t take a genius to see which country has competent leadership and which country is being destroyed by self-dealing jackals.

    To me the news of the summit, and the fences mended between Iran and the Saudis, sounds more encouraging than anything I’ve heard in a long time. I couldn’t be happier for all the people in Asia and the Middle East who may finally have a chance to break free of the power of this country to harm them.

    I don’t see any hope for this country in my lifetime. For now I will just be happy if the rest of the world can stop the vile rulers of this country from doing more harm.

  19. someofparts

    Also, I won’t mind one tiny bit if improved relations between Iran and the Saudis isolates Israel. They have spoiled and subverted politics in this country for ages. It would be poetic justice if the fading power of this country left them on their own.

  20. Curt Kastens

    Lex, my comment on the Caspian Sea was a bit facetious. But not entirely so. US air power could operate from a base in Georgia to attack shipping on the Caspian Sea. A base in Turkey could also not be ruled out. I have not heard that the US airbase in Turkey was ever shut down. Did I miss that?
    I beg to disagree that the US could not control the world’s shipping lanes. This to me is a no brainer. Unless you mean that the US could not sink every ship that sailed the world’s oceans. No that may not be the case. After all how many torpedoes could one submarine carry? But the US would not need to sink every ship on the high seas to totally disrupt a hated nations economy. And if things reached this point the US could surely count of the support of the UK, Canada, ANZ, probably Japan and France and Italy and Spain as well. I think that the main thing that stops the US from using this power is not their lack of ability. But, that because of the one world global economy there would be a lot of unwanted side effects from the US point of view.
    We live in a world in which no one can hold the leader’s of the United States accountable for their behavior. They launch illegal wars across the globe at will and no one in the US gets charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC.) Putin launches one legitimate liberation operation and he almost immediately gets charged by the ICC. It shows that the ICC leadership are puppets of the west. Just like the members of the US Supreme Court are puppets of the US MIC.
    The west has been waging a low intensity conflict on Russia since 1917. It never stopped. Now that the Russians are fighting back they are terrorists and criminals.
    The situation reminds of the US Mexican war of 1848. The US claims that the Mexicans fired the first shot. What they fail to mention is that US forces were already 200 miles inside of Mexican territory.
    The western world is pathetic. Humanity faces massive environmental problems. Yet the US and its subordinate allies have to attempt to crush any forces that attempt to be independent of US control. It forces the world to deal with this manufactured problem rather than the real pressing issues.
    The western world is irredeemably corrupt. Here is Germany even, the truth is now officially censored and Germans who promote the truth are actually being prosecuted.
    Major political figures that express even a moderate view towards that Russians are totally ostricised. I may be getting away with writing these things here only because I am doing so on an English language site that not many if any Germans read.

  21. anon y'mouse

    teachers ARE the PMC, whatever they want to believe about themselves.

    and yes, even if they don’t make any real money and constantly believe they are conducting altruism by leading students to knowledge.

    this kind of self delusional head-fakery will result in no one who counts as being in the PMC actually believing they are a part of it.

    teachers fool themselves because they want to be good people and help their students, and they also can con themselves that they aren’t “in charge” but merely following dictates by other PMCs. even if the system they are a part of is based on enforcing class based hierarchy and inculcated dullardism.

    feeling conflicted about the dual mandate of “improving every student as much as they can improve, with our help” and “sorting/sifting students for the (fake) meritocracy” has to result in a kind of schizophrenia i’ve often seen among teachers.

    i bet social workers have the same difficulties.

  22. Willy

    I would say lifting 1.4 billion people out of extreme poverty is a pretty good act. Having something like 90% approval rating amongst your population is also a sign of doing something right…

    So western leaders should ignore giving speeches until they figure out how to bring all that outsourced industry back, by first impoverishing the masses by forcing them into killing field communes, I assume.

  23. Jeff Wegerson

    @Curt Kastens
    Yes interrupting China sea commerce would also interrupt global commerce, as you say. Even interrupting the Gulfs commerce south of Iran does that.

    Interruption would be done via missiles not ships though. Naval ships are targets now much more than weapons.

    The same dynamics are at play for the Caspian. Only anti-air rather than anti-ship.

    So bottom line is the same as with nukes. MAD.

  24. Curt Kastens

    I made some comments above that indicated that the Saudi Iran peace deal might not be such a big deal because Saudi oil fields could be in decline and because the US navy still controls the high seas.
    But even that does not go nearly far enough. Even though Saudi oil fields might be in decline that is not a reason for the Saudis to suddenly do something that their puppet masters would not want them to do. EVEN if I am wrong about the Saudis being puppets of the Israelis who are puppets of the Americans and the Saudi leadership is capable of independent action. That the Saudis would do something at this point in history that would piss off the US leadership is absurd.
    The war in the Ukraine clearly did not go as planned for the Russians. That the Russians may eventually win a war of attrition in the Ukraine and liberate the country could still come true. If the US does not directly intervene to stop that from happening. But at the moment the Russians have not even recaptured Bakmut or Bachmut ore whatever it is. Even if they do they still only control a small part of the Ukraine. I have heard it said on Breakthrough News or perhaps that Real News Network that this small part of the Ukraine is where the important mineral deposits and important industry is. What is left was refered as “mere” agricultural land.
    But in the near future agricultural land could be the most important kind of land that there is.
    People have been saying ever since the US could not have its way with Iraq and Afghanistan that the US empire is in decline. I myself think that people who believe that have seriously misread the situation. Yes it is clear that the US lost the war in Afghanistan. But I think that the US was never really interested in winning that war in the first place. If it was it would have used totally different tactics.
    Now it is also true that for the US the war in Iraq did not go as planned either. But as far as I can tell Iraq is still up for grabs. If it is not actually under US control. After all the US carried out a blatant assassination of Iraqi citizens in Iraq in January of 2020 and got away with it scott dread. That is a pretty good clue that Iraq is no more independent than Germany.
    Therefore the reports of a “peace treaty” between Saudi Arabia and Iran have to be hiding something very important. As it seems extremely suspicious that the Saudi leadership would spit in the face of the US at this point. I have some ideas of what it might be hiding. Do readers here have any ideas of what might really be going on?

  25. Astrid

    Eastern Ukraine also has the good black soil agricultural land. Western Ukraine is pretty marginal for agriculture.

    By Curt’s logic, Saudis refusing to take Biden’s calls and publicly snubbing him in direct meetings is also with US blessings. Ditto killing of Jamal Kashoggi (clearly a US intelligence asset)?

    From the brilliant mind that determined the US has a supersecret weapon to neutralize Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons. Based on 2 suicides of US high ranking officers years apart.

  26. Astrid


    Again you’re deflecting with an ad hominem strawman rather than addressing any of the points I brought up. Not that I would expect anything else.

    The whole point of moving to a multipolar world is that people in the Donbas, in Syria, in China… In 85% of the world that is “non-West” could decide their stories for themselves, rather than have narratives imposed on them by Western MICIMATT.

  27. Curt Kastens

    Theater, the world falls for theatrical productions.
    One of the best productions ever was the attempted coup against Erdogan. Though I am still wondering what the true story behind that episode was. The attempt clearly did not come as a surpirse to Erdogan. He was as much prepared for it as President Bush was prepared for the attack on the World Trade Center.
    If a person cares to go back to around 1980 and reconsider the th the attempted coup in Spain after Franco had died I think that they can now see it for what it really was. Aledgedly it was a plot to to reinstall the Phalangists. In reality it was a purely contrived event to make it easy to sell Spain as a country that was ready for entry in to NATO.
    Everything being reported about Saudi Arabia has had the smell of dead fish for a long time.
    I am not sure what is up yet about this stinky story of an Iranian Saudi peace deal. But my worse case scenario is that the Iranians and the Chinese have surrendered to the US Empire. But the US empire does not want the surrender publically reported, yet, if ever. In the short term in might have something to do with using the Chinese to bring an end to the war against Russia in a way that the Russians do not blow up their nukes in their silos. In the longer term this way of reporting things might be a play right out of the George Orwells 1984 playbook. That would mean that the US keeps the appearence of the Independence of China and Iran alive because that allows them to control their own opposition.
    My worse case scenario might be wrong. I hope that it is. But I bet that the story as reported is not true either. I can not prove but I suspect that parts of the story are not being reported.

  28. Willy

    If China’s leaders are heroes in deed as well as word, then why are they trying so damned hard to follow western capitalist-consumerist examples, including not least of all, their own version of “MICIMATT”? When rating the world’s nations in responsibility for climate change, China ranks number one. That alone makes them as assholish as western plutocrats regardless of whatever strawman anybody can come up with.

  29. Curt Kastens

    At this point there are only two ways that we (the world at large) can know for sure if China has not secretly surrendered to NATO. The first one is if the war in Ukraine ends with NATO being abolished and US troops being pulled out of Europe and then Russian Troops pulling back to the borders that they and their allies in eastern Ukraine held at the end of 2021. And the absurdly fake charges against Putin would have to be dropped by the ICC and replaced with charges filed against a vast number of Americans. That would be a legitimate end game for everyone involved in the conflict.
    Anything less is simply not acting in good faith.
    The second one is that the Chinese Military directly joins the fight against NATO.
    And what happens is determined by who wins on the battlefield. That means that the Chinese (and Russians) would probably lose. But the world would know that their leaders did not surrender first to avoid losing on the battlefield and there by save their lives and positions by becoming puppets of the US MIC.

  30. Astrid

    China has 4x the population and their carbon foot print includes manufacturing goods consumed elsewhere. They’re also world leader on “green energy”, even if much of it is not that green.

    As for following US footsteps, Xi’s speeches actually addresses not wanting to follow the US’s lead on economic development and “rule based order”. Maybe start here:

    Doesn’t mean that can outrun climate change or resource depletion, but at least they’re moving in the right direction.

  31. Willy

    …as if I never heard any of that.

    There’s much to admire about XI just as there was much to admire about FDR. But unfortunately for China as with the USA, other leaders far more malignant usually follow. I say the way the system currently operates in China, that China is one major crisis away from another Mao.

    Trying to sell to the American worker that all they need to do to become prosperous again is to do whatever China did, and then when they don’t agree, to call them names and accuse them of stuff, sure seems like a losing strategy.

    Had China actually pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and invented entirely new social/economic technologies not dependent on capitalistic greed, I’d be far more impressed. The Chinese used to invent completely new things. Let’s see if they can do it again.

  32. Astrid


    You’ve heard of plenty of things because people responded to you in good faith. You never engage their arguments and if cornered, go into “too busy, will not read” mode. I certainly don’t respond to you because I think I’ll change your mind. I do it because occasionally you provide good writing prompts.

    The Chinese, like the Russians, are very close to not wanting to think about Americans ever again. They do so only because their constantly being that’s and sanctioned for doing stuff, usually stuff within their own borders. Unlike Americans who let Stalin and Mao live rent free in their heads half a century after their physical demise.

    The Chinese are not interested in reinventing the wheel, they just want to find the one that works for them. Technology transfers are some sinister Chinese only plot, it is literally how every successful industrial country after England built itself up.

    If you want to contemplate living, albeit barely, evil today, I suggest thinking about Joseph R. Biden freezing Afghanistan’s currency account so that Afghans are literally starving to death, right now. Not unique since the entire Western political class agrees, but certainly Churchill’s heir in spirit.

  33. Willy

    Is it an ad hominem to tell somebody in the habit of using ad hominem to try and combat ad hominem, that they’re an ad hominem?

    Anyways, this thing seems to have gone off the rails so I’ll backtrack to “Putin or Xi or Nasrallah”.

    According to Wikipedia, the Grayzone is : A fringe website, it is known for misleading reporting and sympathetic coverage of authoritarian regimes. No wonder the hostility. I’d suggest that the Grayzone do its own article about how Wikipedia is “a fringe wiki, known for misleading articles and sympathetic coverage of liberals” to even the score, except for that thing that Wikipedia has exponentially more readers. It’d go completely unnoticed. Be like preaching to a homeless choir expecting the city to notice.

    I guess my point is that I comment the way I do because I try to represent, think like, and speak to those exponentially more readers. Or more importantly, exponentially more potential voters. But trying to get the vast numbers of nonaligned American citizens to suddenly take every speech that Putin or Xi or Nasrallah make seriously, seems a fools errand. Shouldn’t one entice with little soundbites first? But what the hell do I know.

    I have a more personal question. Why is somebody so Grayzoned out always talking about one’s own material status and consumption and personal wealth? We seem to have a lot of underprivileged underemployed here who have real reasons to comment honestly. They seem to actually feel their comments. I don’t get your point. Is it a persuasion tactic of some kind?

  34. Astrid


    As I just said, I’m long past the point of bothering to engage you on a good faith level due to poor outcomes of previous interactions, not just between the two of us but also based on what I observe from your interactions with others. You can call it whatever you want, but I should point out that you’re not nice or considerate to me or other people, so I’m not going to treat you like the victim here.

    I absolutely am privileged compared to most people. I am truly lucky that I have a pretty good life, good secure job, get along with friends and family despite my growing irritation at their PMCness, get to travel to interesting places and do fun things. I am not rich, I don’t have bottomless resources, but I acknowledge that I have it much better than most and I try to be helpful and kind to others in ways that’s work for me. I don’t take the blessings that I have in my life for granted, I’ve seen how easily people get swept under in this system. And rarely am I in a position to do more than give a comforting word or chip in a few bucks, knowing that it probably won’t make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

    I also think the world is going to a very dark place and will take me with it, so I savor the good times such as they are and when offering advice, try to take into account of the other person’s resources and circumstances. Where my experience might add something to the conversation, I will add it. I hope that I use a light touch and don’t irritate most readers too much and based on the feedback, I think I’m doing mostly okay.

    I don’t spent my time envying or hating people who can’t affect my life. I save my animus for people who could do better and fail to, or worse, intentionally commit evil. It’s clear to me that the American elites are far more in this category than anyone else.

    I don’t hate you or think much about you most times. You wasted my time, lesson learned, time to move on. Sometimes I skim what you wrote and occasionally feel like responding. Most of the time I just skip over.

    I think this is a good place to end this conversation. I’m out.

  35. Curt Kastens

    Here is a good concrete measuring stick to determine whether or not Saudi Arabia has broken out of its US orbit. Once Saudi Arabia prices it oil in Iranian, Russian, or Chinese currency we would have a clear sign that Saudi Arabia has gained its independence. Pricing it oil in gold, platinum, titanium, water or wheat would also do.
    If Saudi Arabia is not out of the US orbit any peace treaty that it signs is not worth the paper it is written on.

  36. Curt Kastens

    I should have said Grain, rather than wheat.

  37. Curt Kastens

    Ok I saw one report today that said that the Saudi leadership has said that it is considering accpeting currencies other than the US dollar for payment of oil.
    Now I am waiting to see what their decision is.
    If they do accept other currencies how long will they be able to get away with it?

    If the Saudis can get away with it, I see no reason why Germany should not be able to drop the bitch and make the switch. Such a switch would have been an improvement for the masses of Germans. But it might not have been to the benifit of German elites.

    Therefore another question is can Germany rebuild its bridges to Russia and China if it kicks US forces out of Germany without needing to make huge repatriations to Russia and China? Would sending some arrested high level German war mongers to work in abandon Chinese coal mines for the rest of their lives cover that repatriations bill?

    And all this against a backdrop of the impending collapse of industrial society and even near term human extinction due to environmental collapse.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén