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

How To Make Peace In Ukraine

The Ukraine war is steadily escalating. Strikes on infrastructure, the Russian mobilization of reserves (Ukraine has already mobilized multiple times) and increase NATO aid as well as economies stuttering around the world. Tac-nukes have been put on the table, though not used.

Peace is better than war, but there seems to be no route towards peace. The Ukrainians have passed a law stating they won’t negotiate while Putin is leader, both sides think they can win on the battlefield and so more refugees flood out of Ukraine, more people die, are raped or tortured or maimed for life.

It is in no one’s interest for this war to continue to spiral up the escalation chain, not even America’s. Europe is already locked in US satrapies, and America is shuddering under the effect of the sanctions plus Covid. For America the real enemy is China, not Russia; and for China the real enemy is America, but both nations need the other for now and neither of them wants a war, even as the US puts on further semiconductor sanctions and widens sanctions to aircraft.

Russia and Ukraine cannot make peace. The normal method would be to find a neutral third party, but there is none who is trusted and powerful enough to take on the task.

There are two nations who can force a peace, however. The US, as the lead nation in NATO and China, which is keeping the Russian economy going. China needs Russia for its future, since Russia makes it immune to a naval blockade choke-out by America and its allies. The US needs Ukraine a lot less, but Ukraine simply cannot fight the war without US/NATO support.

Both Ukraine and Russia need a victory. Any peace will have to give them something they can call a victory. In particular, Zelensky and Putin must be able to sell any peace deal as a win.

It is also important to recognize that some parts of Ukraine really do prefer to be in Russia. What the borders were drawn as generations ago does not change that fact and that Musk made it does not mean it is false. These regions will never truly be loyal to Kiev.

Since there is no neutral third party, the way to peace is to have China and the US negotiate the deal. Let them draw their lines, and then draw the final line in the middle. China is negotiating for Russia; the US for Ukraine.

An approximate deal which will work is:

  • At least Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea go to Russia. Perhaps somewhat more, in regions that are more Russian than Ukrainian.
  • Russia gets international acknowledgement of these areas as a permanent part of Russia, including from the Ukraine, US and the EU.
  • The land bridge to Crimea may go to the Russia. If it does not, then a joint Chinese/US force administers it, with no missiles, long range artillery, or military aviation beyond transport and a choppers allowed.
  • Ukraine gets guaranteed accession to the EU in 5 years if they meet some reasonable targets. No take-backs. Ironclad.
  • Ukraine gets to join NATO in 10 years, again if they meet some reasonable targets. No take-backs.
  • A large fund for rebuilding Ukraine. Perhaps matching from the money frozen from Russia and from the West. China might throw in some money as well, if they get to do some of the rebuilding. (China is arguably the best at the world at infrastructure right now.)

Russia might be able to take more land than it will get in such a deal, but it will not get international acknowledgment of what is taken and it will have to lose a lot more men. Given Russia’s demographics, further mobilization is not in its medium and long-term interests.

What Ukraine really wants is full integration with Europe and the West. It gets that, which it won’t get otherwise, since after a war it will be discarded, and it no longer has to fight over areas that really don’t want to be part of Ukraine.

The West gets an end to the war, which will help its economies, and will help the politicians in charge stay in charge. (Remember that Biden was begging the Sauds for enough oil to get him thru the mid-terms.)

China keeps its Russian satrapy and thus its strategic depth. If they negotiate a reasonable deal, the Russians are grateful, which will be helpful down the line.

The world ends an escalation cycle which could end in the use of tactical nuclear weapons, which is in everyone’s interest, including Russia’s.

And a hell of a lot less people die, are maimed, raped and tortured or lose their homes and livelihoods.

With this deal everyone gets something which can be considered a win, but no one gets everything they wanted.

It’s a lot better than the alternatives, likely even for the belligerents. Ukraine is NOT getting everything back by fighting a war, and the costs of a war are painful for Russia (that Europe is hurting more does not mean this is good for Russia) and won’t get it official acknowledgment of its gains.

Peace is better than war. Let’s make it happen.



Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 16, 2022


Rooming House Policy Positions of Candidates For Toronto Riding University-Rosedale


  1. Eric F

    Thanks Ian.
    That is an excellent formulation, and you would be a good statesman.

    Too bad the US (my country) is agreement incapable, and has no interest in statesmanship.
    If the necessary conditions existed in the halls of our government for this type of agreement to happen, then the war would not have been started in the first place.

    Basically, (except for allowing Ukraine in NATO) you are stating the conditions that Putin said Russia needed in December 2021. And those conditions were either ridiculed or ignored.

    I fear that our Western leaders are sufficiently insane to keep this war going until war is not possible anymore.

  2. Soredemos

    In what world is ‘Ukraine gets to join NATO’ anything but a complete nonstarter? Russia wont tolerate that, not should they. Part of the rationale behind this war is to remove a knife pointed at Russias throat and prevent a potential even worse future war. NATO Ukraine renders the war ultimately pointless.

    Ukraine goes neutral, or Ukraine goes extinct. Those are its options. It likely goes extinct anyway, as its neighbors carve up the rump.

  3. profan

    Russia is not going to accept the deal in which Ukraine (whatever rump is left of it) is part of NATO. Natoization of Ukraine was the red line crossed by the west which led to this war. It will be impossible to sell this as a victory to the Russian people. Russia does not really need more land or territory or resources but it does want at the very least a neutral, non-allied Ukraine. So this is a non-starter. Crimea and the land bridge via Mariupol and Melitopol are also never going back to Ukraine.

    Overall, this is not a war where one side gets something and the other side gets something, and then they make peace. Prior to the invasion, Russia really had nowhere to retreat because of all the landgrabs EU and NATO have been doing in Eastern Europe since 1991. So Russia went into this war as a desperate last act and its not going to back off.

  4. Antifa

    Ian, the Russian state — and the Russian people — recognize this is an existential struggle against the collective West, which is still openly talking about carving Russia up into little statelets who sell oil, gas and minerals through Western international corporations.

    Ukraine is not the enemy entire, it is America, NATO, the EU, Japan, Australia. There can be no peace in Ukraine from this point, any more than there could have been a negotiated peace in 1945. The time when it was possible has passed.

  5. edwin

    There are three sticky points to this article. One has been mentioned above. The second is what portion of Ukrainian income is tied up in the areas that are going to Russia. I hear that it represents a very large proportion of Ukrainian GNP. The third is a disagreement of the demographics of the regions. For that I would recommend Craig Murray

    While I do not agree that Craig Murray has a reasonable solution, I suspect rather that there is no reasonable solution anymore. That ship has sailed, and what comes in the future won’t be good.

  6. bruce wilder

    The U.S.A. does not come to a negotiation as the Principal to its Agents — that’s a big part of how we got here and why it is so hard to see how to come to an agreement. Those driving U.S. foreign policy are either corrupt or personally invested in old Russophobic causes (not without merit of their own — the grievances of Poland and the Baltic States are genuine and deep) but they are unrelated to the interests of the U.S. The U.S. if it could pursue its own national interests instead of the interests of its Agents, like Blinken or the Kagans, would not be backing, say, an Estonian who is upset that the third largest city of Estonia is an ex-urb of Leningrad — being held hostage to the desire for revenge locally is not enhancing anyone’s security.

    Ian makes a good case that Russia is not necessarily a U.S. enemy, but the deeper point is that U.S.A., as currently governed, is not enough of a friend of Germany and Europe to allow the Europeans to do the sensible thing and enter into a synergy with Russian resources. There’s no other way for Europe (or Japan and Korea) to remain strong and independent of China. It is not that the U.S. needs Russia, but its allies need Russia and the American leadership is too arrogant to see that it is in America’s interest to foster a dependence on Russia that creates an independence from China.

    As in Musk’s suggested outline for negotiation, mutually acceptable “norms” are a useful strategy. But, mutually accepted norms — such as plebiscites overseen by trusted neutral parties to determine sovereignty place-by-place — would be helpful.

    Unfortunately, the hegemon dictating the “rules” of a rules-based international order is a game Russia has grown tired of. The only thing that makes the Russian economy the “equivalent” of Italy instead of the equivalent of Japan or Germany is stacking the deck of terms-of-trade against them. Blowing holes in the NordStream pipelines, I am sure, seems wonderfully clarifying to the Russians.

    I am not sure Zelensky can remain. He is too closely associated with demands and threats and an unwillingness to see an opposing POV. People forget that Zelensky in the run-up to February 2022 was not very subtly demanding nuclear weapons. If you are Russian that kind of belligerent aggression makes the idea that Ukraine is a knife to Russia’s throat seem very plausible. Attacking the Kerch Bridge was a calculated insult.

  7. DanFmTo

    You’d need to add that Ukraine won’t host/obtain nukes or strategic missile defence systems too I think. Really when we say Russia doesn’t want Ukraine in NATO, I don’t think it’s for fear of the relatively meagre number of NATO conventional forces it’s to not have Western nukes seconds away from destroying every Russian command center before a 2nd strike could be authorized.

    I really recommend this piece in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, on how the US snuck in a major nuclear escalation under the guise of “modernization.” Like oh, we can’t run the nuke software on Windows 3.1 anymore and oh while we’re at it we’ll make them 3x more deadly for the same size warheads.

  8. Z

    Unfortunately, all routes to peace lead to the demise of the supremacy of the U.S. dollar and the country calling the shots for Ukraine is the U.S. (((if you choose to ignore the country which has U.S. foreign policy on a dog collar and has little or no skin in this game, but also stands to benefit the most from the break-up of Russia))).

    Russia’s, China’s, and the majority of the world’s drive to break free of the U.S. dollar will continue unless the U.S. can continue to impose it on the world and there’s no way that Russia can trust the U.S., UK, and the EU and rejoin the dollar dominated Western economic world which leads to only one avenue to peace: Russia destroying Ukraine militarily and having the final word on what replaces War Pimp “Let The Eat Lead” Zelensky’s regime.

    An acceptable Ukrainian government for one would have to invalidate all contracts with the Western world, including deeds, and particularly with the U.S.. Otherwise the U.S. will continue meddling in Ukraine and using it to weaken Russia. Stripping the U.S. of all of Ukraine’s economic interests could also potentially lead to the beginning of healing of the rift between Ukraine and Russia if Russia can force a new Ukrainian government to somehow share the country’s resources more equitably with its people.


  9. Z

    One of the cruel ironies of this war is that if Russia wins, as I expect they will, due to all the men that Ukraine lost in the war the only way for Ukraine to survive without Russia’s help will be to continue to be a colony of the U.S. and the U.S. will allow foreigners in by the droves, and the EU will shove them there, and then Ukraine loses everything they were fighting for: to have their own country and identity. Instead, they’ll become a melting pot of immigrants.

    War Pimp Zelensky, no doubt under the guidance of the U.S., passed a slew of anti-labor laws recently and the U.S. and the EU will insist upon a steady supply of cheap immigrant labor for the reconstruction contracts they’ll grant themselves, if they have it their way.


  10. Purple Library Guy

    I don’t see Russia going for Ukraine joining NATO, not even a somewhat smaller Ukraine. The EU, sure, whatever, but not NATO. Frankly I think this whole war was much more about Ukraine not joining NATO than it was about the Donbass.

    That fear remains; even if the US in specific and NATO in general hadn’t been thoroughly intending to take down Russia before the war, which they were, they sure as hell have that intention now. The Ukrainian border is just not nearly far enough away from Moscow for the comfort of Russian powerful people, and taking the Donbass and other eastern bits doesn’t change that since Moscow is to the north, not the east.

  11. Dan Lynch

    Ian said What Ukraine really wants is full integration with Europe and the West.

    Perhaps that is what WESTERN Ukraine wants. Prior to the 2014 coup, opinion was divided about 50/50. Then the 2019 election was won by the candidate who promised (dishonestly, as it turned out) improved relations with Russia . So I’m not seeing a pro-West mandate except in Western Ukraine.

    Peace is certainly possible, in the sense that Ukraine would collapse quickly if the U.S. pulls the plug on financial and military support. Then the Ukrainian military would have to surrender, even if it was unconditional surrender.

    Recall that, in the American Civil War, Confederate president Jefferson Davis never surrendered, only the generals surrendered. And the South never really surrendered in spirit, and continued to resist in various non-military ways, and slavery ended in name only.

    So something similar might happen in Ukraine — at some point the Ukrainian generals might surrender, and if that happens, the war will cease no matter what the politicians do. Though how Russia will find a lasting peace remains to be seen.

    I think the mood in Russia is increasingly, as Dugin advocates, that Russia is at war not just with Ukraine but with the West, and there will be no lasting peace until the West is defeated and a multipolar world order is established. How that will play out is anyone’s guess.

  12. multitude of poors

    A nit pick, very sorry. I know it’s never intentional, but it would be very clarifying when people would not refer to the United States (the U.S., or US™ ), of the Continent of North America (not the only Country of North America, and certainly not a country of Central or South America), as America.

  13. Jason

    Doesn’t NATO just enforce the IMF/Western Banking Establishment’s orders?

    “Hi, I’m from the IMF, and I’m here to help!” …after having previously destabilized the country, and then tying them to intentionally-crafted-so-as-to-never-be-repayable debt instruments, further taking away their sovereignty. All enforced by NATO goon squads, or simply the threat thereof?

    Political/Economic “Neo-Liberalization” of countries internally so that their own citizens lose more and more of their basic personal sovereignty, due to an intentionally-crafted massive reduction in the base and middle of the economy – the popular economy, if you will – in the interest of the vipers at the top and their political puppets – who are vipers themselves, as well as being pathetic elite control wannabes.

    This at the same time that basic rights and civil liberties are being taking away, obviously leading to more authoritarian draconian police-state/surveillance measures, which are carried out by the Political/Militaristic “Neo-Conservative” wing, which essentially operates hand-in-hand with the neoliberals – both domestically and abroad – each conveniently providing cover for the other in what is actually, in practice, a monolithic operation, made palpable to the masses through constant – and increasingly much more direct – narrative and image manipulation.

    The Trumps and Bernies and their ilk – while seemingly operating a bit outside of this structure and seemingly, to their fans anyway, being truthful in their pronouncements about wanting to see the system changed for the better – however they and their respective camps may define “the better” – are nevertheless wholly subsumed by it.

    As we all are at this point, to one degree or another.

    And of course any sensible person who thinks about it for even half a second would instantly have grave reservations – to put it kindly – about any other person who truly wants to be president. There is a fine line between egomania and insanity?

    Even given all our knowledge, we still have to play their game?! That is power.

    I think the only thing to do at this point is to do the “slow walk” everywhere and with everything, other than perhaps your own exercise routine, if you have one. What I mean is, unionize, but also general strike, work slowly, do everything slowly, or not at all sometimes. Or often.

    The “lower working classes” are doing this now, I think. There is an intentional under-the-radar “movement” afoot among the Wawa convenience stores in my area – which aren’t unionized – to intentionally call out and under-staff. This obviously puts a burden on those who get called to fill in. I spoke to a lady I didn’t recognize this morning and she told me that only two people were available for this AM’s shift – Monday morning, busy location. She was called from her usual store – two towns and fifteen minutes away – to fill in. This has been happening for months, with no sign of let-up.

    Obviously, in order to do this there must be some underlying structures and provisions, however informal, to help one another. Many people who work at Wawa receive some form of government assistance, and many are teenagers.

    This necessary “slowing down” of the engines of society appears to be a much harder task for the college-educated and professional classes around me, even for those who are intellectually/ideologically in agreement with it.

    I went off on a bit of a – hopefully relevant – personal tangent there. I would now like to return to the NATO/IMF goons that Ian’s post prompted me to write about.

    Let’s talk about the Bank of International Settlements. Much like the seminal Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism and its subsequent machinations (neoconservatism at its finest and perhaps purest distillation) and the 1985 Israel-US Trade Deal I’ve mentioned previously, the BIS is rarely, if ever, spoken about in the media – neither mainstream nor “alternative.”

    Gates McGarrah, the first president of the bank back in 1931, boasted of it being “completely removed from any governmental or political control.”

    Sounds exactly like the goals of the project Hayek and his ilk were working on at exactly the same time in intellectual circles in Europe and the US, with the intent of removing politics and government themselves from any substantive popular control over their own mechanisms, while leaving the illusion of such control in place.

    The secret meeting of bankers, intel operatives and political lackeys on Jekyll Island in 1910, which resulted in the creation of the U.S, Federal Reserve in 1913 – all primarily at the behest of Paul Moritz Warburg of the European Jewish banking dynasty – was also intended to completely remove any political or government control of the bankers and their integrated global commodification system, in which every transaction at minimum – every iota of life at maximum – is subject to the bankers’ vig.

    Warburg was known at the time to be the main mover and shaker, and his significance in the whole endeavor is still celebrated in elite circles, and on deep state organ Wikipedia, to this day. Warburg’s son James was FDR’s “financial advisor” and made this incredible statement before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1950:

    “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.”

    Come on, man! What have you gone to reading those weird alt-right libertarian gold-bug sites? And, even if it is a real statement, it’s probably completely out of context!

    Well anyway, “Wiki” reports that, according to FDR’s memoirs,

    “FDR’s son, James, lived in a cottage house located on uncle Felix Warburg’s New York country estate. ”

    Ahhh, good ole Uncle Felix. It’s nice to have friends in high, usurious places.

    Back to the BIS. It has an interesting history of hiding Nazi gold during and immediately after that much-misunderstood and intentionally-historically-revised-by-the-victors-in-their-interests-as-is-always-the-case event known in much of the world’s mind as WWII.

    I’m not here to dispute that, and it may well be an interesting area of inquiry for our own different clue. But past nazi atrocities, as well as the current nazi-inspired Azov battalion and other “neo-nazi” Ukrainian groups allegedly having just as much as power as the elite factions that brought us this war- those things aside, I’d like to focus on the BIS’ current “legal” status: It has declared itself, and the Swiss Federal Council agrees – it has declared itself inviolable!

    Inviolable. I love that term! That’s how every human being should feel!

    Here’s some details:

    “The buildings, or parts of buildings and surrounding land which, whoever may be the owner thereof, are used for the purposes of the Bank, shall be inviolable. No agent of the Swiss public authorities may enter therein without the express consent of the Bank. Only the President, the General Manager of the Bank, or their duly authorized representative shall be competent to waive such inviolability.

    The archives of the Bank and, in general, all documents and any data media belonging to the Bank or in its possession, shall be inviolable at all times and in all places.

    The Bank shall exercise supervision of and police power over its premises.”

    Inviolability! I love it!

    I receive a meager bit of SSDI assistance these days and it’s not nearly enough, so I’ve recently been thinking of a way for me to make a living for myself. I’m thinking that if I can convince the world that lending my worthless tokens to them at interest is the only conceivable way for them to live, why, well I’d be golden!

    I am going to hire some people to help me locate and immediately surround and control all areas of the globe that have vital resources. I will “pay” these desperate people a bit now (hahahaha, I’m going to normalize a “wage relation” hahhaha) and they’ll do the rest of my bidding via promissory, notes or not.

    These are very trusting people, and fortunately my psychopathy isn’t easily recognized by the uninitiated.

    I am also planning to hire some wannabe dimwits to propagandize all, but particularly the most competent among me (the incompetents are actually, correctly, much more skeptical of me), so that they will do my bidding and see and come to understand life on only my terms.


    Oh wait, that’s been done already.

    Well, I still don’t feel good. I think people still have too much. I can’t stand it. They don’t act well, either. They’ve been collecting my tokens and saving them, or not otherwise doing what I want them to do with them.

    Sometimes they’re even attempting to maintain or rebuild some semblance of culture or society outside of my homogenized, commodified, transaction-based, superficially titillating but substantively boring finance-techno-surveillance monoculture/monosociety thing.

    I must continue to convince them that all the activity I want them to engage in they are engaging in because they want to. So the propaganda initiative begun by the original monotheists in the interest of control of subjects must continue. And it will, full force.

    But these organs of finance (material) and propaganda (narrative) that I control still aren’t enough. Particularly in the material/financial realm. I just feel the need for even more control. I must know precisely what each human being is doing with my hard-earned “wealth” that I am, after all, quite kind in sharing. I am, after all, a voyeur at heart.

    So, how much sicker can I get?

    Have you heard my…well, let’s just call him my protege for now, shall we?

    Introducing former Mexican economist – a man who received a doctorate in economics from the renowned University of Chicago and who was runner-up to famed current European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde for the prestigious position of managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Here he is people, please join me in listening to the poetic words of the current general manager for the self-declared inviolable Bank of International Settlements, Mr Agustín Guillermo Carstens Carstens, a real human being’s human being:

    “For the general use, we intend to introduce the equivalence (equivalent) with (of) cash, and there is a huge difference there. For example, in (with) cash we don’t know who is using a one hundred dollar bill today, we don’t know who is using a one thousand pesos bill today. A key difference in the CBDC is that (the) central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability”

    Read that over again and try to maintain your sanity. This tidbit in particular:

    “The central bank will have absolute control on the rules and regulations that will determine the use of that expression of central bank liability.”

    The wage earner, the small business owner, hell even the vast majority of the professional classes, the scientists and engineers, lawyers and doctors – all of our work, dreams, passions, livelihoods, our raising of children, our very ego-identities, in short, our very ability to participate in the bankers’ global commodified paradise is, in their vernacular, an “expression of central bank liability.”

    We gonna sell ya’ll some debt, see, and we gonna make sure you usin’ it right. Yous is expressin’ ours moneys, after all…

    “We don’t know who is using a one hundred dollar bill today, we don’t know who is using a one thousand pesos bill today.”

    Oh the horror!!!

    These people are sick.

    I mean, please ask yourself now, anyone still reading, why is some really fat guy, originally from Mexico, schooled in all the right places, and now operating out of historically “neutral” Switzerland – why is he so concerned about how USians or Mexicans are spending their ostensibly sovereign respective countries’ currencies?

    “We shall have world government, whether we like it or not.”

    In closing, those who care about the health of the planet and human beings should not be promoting any expansion of NATO and its finance masters. They should be calling for its immediate demise.

    Agustin Carstens of the Bank of International Settlements:

    IMF and BIS—Working Together to Boost Financial Stability:

  14. different clue


    So . . . work to rule, live to rule, consume to rule?

    Or as some adherents of the Church of the Subgenius reworded Timothy Leary’s dictum…

    Slow Down, Tune Out, Slack Off.

  15. VietnamVet

    I agree with this excellent diplomatic solution except Ukraine being a part of NATO is a bridge too far for Russia as long as it remains a sovereign nation.

    What makes this a World War is that the Ukraine/NATO Russia conflict is existential for all sides. The Russian Federation is fighting to remain a unified Empire, not divided into statelets to be exploited by western corporations for raw materials and human labor. The Western Empire is struggling to prevent the fall of the hegemon and the loss of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It is in the best interests of Canadians and Americans that both nations withdraw back to North America. “Europe for Europeans”. Europe will revolt and turn its back on the USA and UK if the dark, cold, ill, jobless, and polluted winter comes to pass. Whoever blew up three of the four natural gas pipelines from Russia is their enemy.

    The UN, China and Russia must sign an Armistice and set up a DMZ in the Donbass Oblasts. Western military contractors and the deep state are adamantly against peace. However, the neo-con & war for profit Joe Biden Administration has already turned Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk against it.

    The dire future may be clear enough now to effect November’s mid-term election. The USA desperately needs a new Five Star Dwight D. Eisenhower who stopped the Korean War but there is no one except Tulsi Gabbard who is a Major in the Army National Guard. This makes this conflict almost certain to continue escalating into a nuclear war that goes global.

  16. KT Chong

    Ukraine will never accept Donetsk and Luhansk going to Russia, and the West will never acknowledge those regions belong to Russia.

    Even China does not recognize Crimea as being a part of Russia. China will not recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as being parts of Russia.

    China’s economy is imploding right now, the cumulative results of ten years of Xi’s bad economic policies. In a few years, China won’t be able to fund any project in Ukraine, Russia or anywhere else.

  17. Jeff Wegerson

    Nice opening offer Ian. Very similar to what Russia was offering Ukraine in April.

    But now the U.S. is correctly known as the enemy rather than Ukraine. So since China stands in for Russia how about NATO standing in for the U.S. Yeah that means a certain amount of listening to Poland et al. Oh well.

    Next Russia will not accept NATO. So as the west is becoming just another great power, they can skip the business of “world wide” recognition of the return of Russians to Russia.

    And since it is now fall rather than spring, the counter proposal is all the east half of Ukraine.

    OK, yes, that is just a counter offer. However Russia will accept the deal that includes all the Black Sea coast (Odessa!) and Kharkov.

  18. GrimJim

    “China’s economy is imploding right now, the cumulative results of ten years of Xi’s bad economic policies. In a few years, China won’t be able to fund any project in Ukraine, Russia or anywhere else.”

    If China’s economy implodes it will take both Russia and the USA with it. Russia depends on China for exports, the USA depends on China for imports and for financing the Federal budget. If China goes, it will be a depression that will make the Great Depression look like the Reagan Recession…

  19. Jason

    different clue,

    At this point in time, “slacking” just feels “right” to me. But I recognize my own situation. I don’t have a lot of currency these days, but I do have a place to stay, rent free, which is huge, to say the least.

    I am indeed looking to supplement the bit of SSDI they send me. I like to fancy myself a very self-directed, independent person, and I certainly don’t mind sharing opinions over the ether! But I feel like I need more personal interaction than I’ve been getting, and I’m hoping to land a part-time position and in some way do what I can to help the “labor movement,” for lack of a better term.

    I don’t remember if it was you or someone else, and I am sorry in advance if my memory is incorrect. But I seem to remember you saying a while back that you were going to try your hand at helping at the local church, or something similar.

    In the past, when I worked and lived a more mainstream type of life than I do now, I would do “volunteer work” in addition to “my job” so that I could “give back” or somehow feel better about my existence. And while it can certainly be nice, or feel good, to feel a part of a group, I always felt like something was “off.” There is a lot of careerism and other nonsense that goes on in many of those circles, and it’s much more off-putting than dealing with bland careerists in their usual environment.

    There are always “good” people in all these environments. Most of us mean well. The careerism that took hold in all facets of life was designed by TPTB. I actually intended to include a paragraph about that aspect of Hayek et al’s machinations: they set out to create a world where everyone is in constant competition with another. They succeeded, I believe, beyond even their own wildest dreams.

    Willy wrote something a few months back about professional sports fans. I began writing something in response, but I never finished because I couldn’t structure my thought around it well enough at the time.

    Basically, you used to go to a football game. Now, all the world’s a football game. And the actual football game isn’t as exciting, because it’s promoted to high hell before you even experience it. Then, once there, every single action in the game, like every pitch in a baseball game (baseball is a wonderful radio sport, although they’re even ruining that) is sponsored by some silly entity.

    Gisele Bundchen’s husband may win twenty superbowls, but he is playing within a new paradigm made up of a very different set of rules and circumstances than Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach played under. Aaron Judge may hit 100 homers, much more than the Creatine boys or Bonds Labs Inc, but it will never match the hype that precedes it. It’s structurally impossible.

    Don’t believe the hype, not simply because it’s hype, rather because it ruins your normal experience of things.

    So, these days a person who can afford to can go to Yankee Stadium – one of the few franchises not to succumb to the “naming rights” nightmare that won’t even allow a state like NJ to keep its own motto in its publicly-funded arts center:

    The Garden State Arts Center must be the PNC Bank Arts Center, because that’s the image and narrative they want in our heads. Remember, “People, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations” because “the nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”

    International banks and multinational corporations as the “principle creative force” in society? I’d say “god help us” but this elite endeavor is already nearing completion and they’re on to the next scheme, while we’re still wondering what to do going forward, using information that in many ways may no longer be applicable. That is by design.

    It’s really difficult to keep up with psychopaths and their schemes. They are very good, because they don’t care, and caring is difficult. It takes energy that could otherwise be put to better uses, like corporate expansion and financial wealth-building and asset class creation.

    Mozart’s insanity gave us music to help soothe our own potential for same. Brzezinski’s insanity gives us…more and insaner insanity.

    These days, one doesn’t go to Yankee Stadium simply to watch a boring game. One goes for the entire EXPERIENCE! I can’t afford to go, nor would I want to if I could at this point in my life…and I’m barely fifty! But I’ve glanced at the glowing screens more than once to see a Yankee fan at the game, in the stadium, watching the game on a television at the bougie bar in the stadium, while the game he is watching on the television is being played in the stadium he is physically present at- live and in person – right behind him…if only he would turn around!

    Hey old-timer, we can be at the game and watch the game on the screens that are at the game too!

    I do smile whenever I see someone with a scorecard and a pencil.

    I am all over the place with this comment, I know, but the point I’m trying to make is that when all life is made into a competitive marketplace, the formerly competitive marketplaces which were ensconced within the larger environment of “life” (with a strong “public sphere”) aren’t as exciting or even interesting, and in order to maintain interest and excitement more and more titillations and plain nonsense have to be “sold” to the popular psyche in order to maintain what is increasingly an elaborate illusion in many respects. It’s more substantively “real” than a metaverse – it’s a real experience (so is partaking in the metaverse in its own way, but I think you know what I mean), but there’s so much other crap going on all the time and all these things incessantly vying for our attention, that the entire affair is actually very uninteresting. These days, it’s all sizzle, no steak, even if the player does accomplish the feat, or your team does win the game.

    In short, the game is no longer worth the candle.

  20. Willy

    It sucks that logical peace solutions always have to pass through the filter of power. Be cool if we all knew what Putin and his henchmen and NATO and their henchmen, would really be giving up in any peace solution, then collectively take it away from them.

  21. Jessica

    I admire your effort in this. Would that we lived in a world where such wise advice would be heeded.
    I too do not see how Russia would or could agree to any peace deal that does not provide some guarantee that they won’t have to fight a rearmed Ukraine all over again in 5-10 years. Russia would need Ukraine to be genuinely militarily neutralized and permanently. Something like Austria in 1955.
    I am not sure that Russia could accept the continued presence of Nazis in Ukraine either. Then again, I am not sure that a Ukraine that agreed to peace with Russia could accept them either.
    In all this, the one party that is dead set against peace is the US.

  22. Mark Level

    I think that Ian’s proposals are a mostly productive place to start negotiations in the Abstract– however, your 1st commenter Eric F said exactly what I would’ve– There will be no peace agreement. The Western/ NATO Elites are completely out of touch and believe they are Entitled to 100% of the economic pie, military power, and everything else. (Also they claim the moral high ground while driving millions into poverty and creating endless wars.) They will never allow any “peace” in Ukraine, they are incapable of even cutting a deal with the party that is clearly stronger from a military perspective– which is Russia. I’m going to disagree partially with whichever party said that maybe the Ukranians sincerely want to ally with the US empire. There may be some PMC well-off Ukros who buy this as they could integrate to the Western banking privilege system– on the other hand, the blood-&-soil Azov bunch who are like the US’s Proud Boys will never be happy unless they’re brutalizing some “other” according to the wonderful genocidal ideas of Stepan Bandera, & they seem to be the only effective fighters in the Ukraine military (actually as many have documented, the recent Ukro “successes” have evidently been by English speaking mercenaries) . . . How did integrating with the US work out for Mexicans after NAFTA? We all know. Look at economist Michael Hudson’s work, the US only knows how to parasitize countries it “supports” as totally subservient bootlickers. Look what they just did to Germany, evidently bombing their gas access from NS 1 & 2 so they’ll freeze this winter and die miserably with no way out . . . Let’s imagine the US “wins” & gets everything it wants– in 10 years the entire Ukranian agriculture lands will be foreign-owned and directed by ConAgra and US “venture” (vulture) capitalists, the local populace will be low-paid and disrespected like the Global South and Latin American populace is by the US satraps. (Okay, a few blond & blue-eyed Ukranian women will be well-paid sex workers/surrogates.) The US Empire is no longer functional in the way the Roman Empire at times was (creating local roads, education and shared mutual cultural interactions). The Marshall Plan was great PR but lasted only briefly. I don’t think the US has any chance of winning, nor, as the Russians well know, is it “agreement capable”– did they ever honor treaties with anyone any more than they did with the Native populace, 95% of whose land was stolen? This is going to end very badly, the Sun has set on the US Empire and the DC power junkies can fantasize all they want about some Deus Ex-Machina “victory”– Na ga happen, US will soon enough be exposed as the Virtual (not even paper) Tiger it is and good things may happen elsewhere in the world in cultures not ruled simply by Greed, Brutality and Power as the late stage USA is. In 20 more years or less much of the US will be as backward, ignorant and miserable materially as the UK is currently becoming, still ruled by a tiny, sociopathic cabal of oligarchs without an ounce of humanity or humility.

  23. Ché Pasa

    Well, where are the Peaceniks? They aren’t saying a damned thing, are they. Even Lady Medea seems to have shut up for once. So I don’t quite understand the phase we’re in where either everyone who ought to be speaking out for peace is silent, or more commonly, those who once were anti-war are all in with the Ukie Nazis. That is the scary part — oh, that and the abundance of perplexed and frustrated Putin apologists. Who still believe that despite all, Russia will win. Will win what? The empty cinder of the Breadbasket of Europe (or the Soviet Union)?

    If there was any war that ought to be countered constantly with peace-talk it’s this one. Yet what to we get? Nothing. Well, almost.

    As for Ukraine itself, it is arguably one of the poorest and worst cobbled together nations regardless of its former Soviet Socialist Republic status. The western chunks were part of Austria and Poland not that long ago, and it’s clear that’s where the Nazis took root, still thrive, and where the “let’s fight to the last Ukrainian” fever is strongest. Not so much in the regions claimed by Russia. Not so much in the midsection either, That split is irreconcilable.

    My fear about all this is that the US/Nato will use nukes first — to teach those Reds in Moscow a lesson. I suppose in the end, it won’t matter who starts it, though.

    But again, where are the Peaceniks?

  24. Z

    Gotta love the production crew of Weekend at Biden’s getting indignant that Iran is “meddling” in the Russia-Ukraine war by selling Russia drones. How dare they!

    There’s your rule-based order for ya’. Made in the U.S.A..


  25. Soredemos

    @KT Chong

    “China’s economy is imploding right now, the cumulative results of ten years of Xi’s bad economic policies. In a few years, China won’t be able to fund any project in Ukraine, Russia or anywhere else.”

    What a very silly take this one is.

  26. different clue

    About China imploding . . . . .

    ” I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you.

  27. Z

    Well, where are the Peaceniks?

    Jabbing at their cellphones to view the newest Billie Eilish-Ed Sheeran duet that dropped to raise money for Ukrainian refugees.

    Disappointed, once again, in Bernie. I’ve barely heard a word from him about this war. One of his most foolish sins was buying into the Russia Russia Russia hysteria the Clintons ginned up in 2016 to explain away the fact that the majority of U.S. voters would rather elect an impulsive carnival barker to fiddle around with “the button” than put them back in power. Turns out it was a wise decision because erratic Trump was a more responsible steward of U.S. foreign policy than the last several decades worth of U.S. presidents who proceeded him and the stiff that succeeded him.

    As far as AOC is concerned, she’s either been compromised or has been CIA the whole time. I’d bet she’s been a CIA asset from the start though I have a tough time understanding why they would allow her to knock off Crowley to get her seat. Maybe the CIA’s script called for a flashy entrance onto the political scene though.


  28. Carborundum

    Carborundum’s Postulates: Certainty that one understands foreign popular opinion varies inversely with language skills, area knowledge, and familiarity with polling data. It varies positively with how fundamental the asserted popular opinion is to one’s argument.

  29. Tallifer

    I think Russia will cave in before the Ukrainians. This is the Great Patriotic War in reverse with the Ukrainians playing the role of the Russians who resisted to the end in Leningrad and Stalingrad.
    While I realize that many will dismiss a book written by a former American diplomat, I found this very informative.

  30. Trinity

    Really great comments from everyone, notables for me are Jason and Mark. Ian is in full fighting form being provocative and inciting thought and excellent discourse.

    “everyone who ought to be speaking out for peace is silent”

    There are multiple possible reasons for this, it’s a good and interesting question. A feeble attempt at an answer:

    One would be that they are speaking out, but are being silenced, ignored, or ghosted. Two would be people think it’s dangerous to do so. Three would be “why bother? It won’t change anything.” Four would be people are rooting for the away team and don’t want to telegraph that. Five would be because we are being told we are not fighting this war, just handing out money. “What war?” Six is that no one (that I know of) has lost a son or daughter to this war. Seven might be that we are focused on surviving while dodging the thousands of traps they keep laying in our path, mourning the loss of what was, and trying to figure out how to stay alive into the future.

  31. Ché Pasa

    I think Trinity’s list is of reasons why those who should be speaking out against
    War in the West aren’t is mostly right on. Many forces are brought to bear to silence the
    anti-war factions that I presume are still strong and sometimes vocal though we would never hear about it from our captive media.

    Voices of caution are raised from time to time even in the most rabid pro-war outlets. As the needle has moved closer to nuclear midnight, at least a few observers are saying “wait.” But not many. And not loudly enough.

    Our rulers have learned that ignoring contrary voices works better than direct confrontations, so consequently we don’t hear and we won’t anti-war voices until things reach peak-crazy, and then, of course, it will be too late.

    Or will it?

    There is said to be at least some anti-war activism in Russia. If it can be sustained….

  32. Willy

    “everyone who ought to be speaking out for peace is silent”

    Time for another anecdote. Gather ’round people. (the people groan)

    A while back, I sat at a night class break table with a dozen fellow students, most of them foreign born. Suddenly I realized that all of us had ancestral ties to the former USSR. And so me being me, blurted out: “Hey, did you guys realize we’ve all got ancestral ties to the USSR?”

    And so a conversation along those lines ensued.

    Something I learned is, you never compare your USSR-ancestral personal hardships with a Ukrainian. Sure, I never met my Estonian grandad because he got killed by a German sniper after being forced to the front lines by the Soviets. But those Ukrainian girls talked way more serious shit. Way more.

    Today I know other people from that part of the world. Their attitude towards Russians is sorta like what Canadians have towards Americans. Well, if besides all our infamous ignorant arrogance, the USA had also conquered, starved, gulag’d, and radiated the crap out of Canada.

    Not trying to rationalize anything, but just saying that this attitude might need to be figured into any peace negotiations. Carry on.

  33. Astrid

    Funny how the Chinese, the Russians, the Cubans, and the Iranians who still live in their country seem perfectly capable of living with their pasts and are largely supportive (yes, they complain because their societies are far from perfect, but they know they have their governments to stand between them and becoming the next Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Angola, Iraq, Honduras, Ukraine…) of their present governments, but North Americans (especially those with particular “victim of Communism” parent- and grandparentage) are so insistent on privileging trauma that they never personally experienced. I don’t see Americans show anywhere near this concern for Palestinians or leftist Latin Americans who are still actively persecuted by US backed rightwing authoritarians.

    If you want to talk trauma, I’ve spoken to CPC cadres who risked their lives fighting the Nationalists and the Japanese (in one or two cases actually survived the Long March) and then got locked up and struggled against during the Cultural Revolution. If I went through what they did, I probably would have killed myself in 1966 or 1967. Yet they persisted and kept faith and actually went back to work by the late 1970s and into the 1980s. It’s easy to dismiss them as naive or lying or inscrutable, but to me it shows that left movements might just work because there are good and selfless people out there, if only they can wrangle a space and time freed from the evil influences of the Anglo-American imperialist conspiracy.

  34. capelin

    Where are the voices for peace? What Z said.

    Co-opted and bought off by shiny digital baubles and utopian faux-green-economy bullshit; bumped hard into scared-child mode from c19 spin, looking to be saved from whatever the “next thing” is.

    Where are the voices for peace? (Generalizing) On the Right, weirdly: wherever you don’t see masks, Ukrainian flags, or rainbows. They don’t want to waste the money, if nothing else.

    Dylan – Everything’s a little upside-down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped, what’s good is bad, what’s bad is good; you’ll find out when you’re on the top. You’re on the bottom.

    The whole pivot point regarding NATO/Ukraine/Russia is the NATOization of UKR. And as stated, this is an extistential issue for Russia, they will not accept it. Would you??

    A few weeks ago, Max Bleumenthal (Grayzone, excellent coverage) was on Jimmy Dore, and said “NATO always was a Nazi ressurection project”… wtf? And then you realize, he’s totally nailed it. A (the?) fairly fundamental divide in UKR is Slavic vs blue-eyed Germanic. Both sides have tons of historical blood on their hands in that land, and this is the latest letting.

  35. Jim Harmon

    “the Iranians who still live in their country seem perfectly capable of living with their pasts and are largely supportive”

    Not following the news, are you, Astrid?

  36. Z

    “the Iranians who still live in their country seem perfectly capable of living with their pasts and are largely supportive”

    Not following the news, are you, Astrid?

    Maybe, she’s just not buying into the “news”, Jim.


  37. Z


    Myself, I don’t find it any coincidence that Israel and their rabid dog, the United States, want a revolution in the worst way in Iran (((just like in Russia))) and the statestream media is eagerly covering demonstrations in Iran that Israel and the U.S. very likely fomented.

    It’s Mossad’s and the CIA’s favorite stew: cook up a pot of toxic shit in a country that doesn’t abide by their “rules-based order” and then serve it to the cellphone jabbing public to devour like it’s organic. When the public is so busy smudging their cellphone screens with their noses they’re not likely to detect the foul odor of it.

    When there are millions of people (variables) involved there will always be an anecdote to amplify whatever you’re trying to sell the public, especially if there’s instigation involved.


  38. Willy

    Grayzone is far-leftish of the anti-American flavor. That sort of thinking might gain a whopping 1-2% western vote under our normal western burnout conditions. But after a total economic, environmental, and moral collapse? Who knows. Still, I do give em points for sticking to their theme. Unfortunately, they lose points when they don’t retract errors. What this means is that whenever they tell the truth, such as AIPAC manipulating evangelical voters against their interests just to grow their own apartheid, they’ve already lost their credibility with most anti-elite independents and this will be ignored.

    Dore’s obviously in it for the clicks. It’s popular to be a disgruntled worker these days. But too often does he aim at viewers emotions, with their research barely scratching the surface of any issue.

    As for mainstream “news”, when it comes to anything Not Neoliberal, they’ve been more accurate at prediction than Max or Dore. Go back and look if you don’t believe me. But when it comes to things neoliberal, their ongoing policy is keep the focus off its failures. Speak briefly to maintain ‘journalistic credibility”, then make it look like all the other issues are the big stick. Don’t wanna piss off the 800 pound advertiser in the room.

    It’s smarter to always focus on championing the powerless non-elites doing all the heavy lifting in Ukraine, and everywhere else, since I’d think this should be the true leftist position.

  39. bruce wilder

    “those Ukrainian girls talked way more serious shit”

    no personal anecdotes, but the Ukrainian experience in the Depression and WWII was an order of magnitude worse than anywhere else. maybe any largish place in history since ancient times with casualties of famine and war far beyond horrific.

    i did a back-of-the-envelope calculation once that indicated that only 15% of men of military age survived unmaimed and alive at the end of WWII. some reputable historians would attest that tales of the Holodomar have been exaggerated to make the Soviet government look more malicious than a fair assessment would allow, but the desperate killing as the Nazi and Soviet armies criss-crossed Battlefield Ukraine cannot be exaggerated.

  40. Astrid


    Doesn’t matter. Generational trauma doesn’t give people who never personally experienced that trauma to hurt others whose ancestors purportedly persecuted their ancestors. If people who personally experienced years of torture and murder at the hands of the West (Cubans, Chinese, Iranians, Russians, Vietnamese…) or their own leadership (Chinese definitely) can get over it, them Ukrainian Banderites have no civilized excuse for their toxic hatred.

  41. Soredemos


    Eastern Europe is filled with ungrateful whiners who are forever complaining about highly exaggerated Soviet abuse while also living entirely off of infrastructure left to them by the Soviets. To the extent that any of these places are places (and it’s interesting that the places that aren’t places, areas no one cares about like Kazakhstan, seem to never particularly complain about the USSR) it’s entirely built on the back of the Soviets. Although Ukraine in particular was hellbent on repudiating its Soviet legacy, ie slowly self-cannabilizing its industry.

    And despite their constant vilification of Russians, regional policies in Soviet republics were largely decided by people from those regions. In particular it was people from Ukraine that made sure Ukraine become a Soviet industrial hub. They even ran the USSR as a whole, multiple times.

    Eastern Europeans that vilify Russia seem to do so in the belief that they can suck up to and be accepted by the West. But, sorry, to the West you’re all backwards slavs, no better than the Russians. And the West will happily sacrifice every Ukrainian, Pole, or Baltic if it means hurting Russia. You will never be accepted as one of us.

  42. Jim Harmon

    Anyone who uses the new swastika (((omigod, joooooz!))) should be totally ignored.

  43. Astrid

    To me “Z” looks a lot better than (Z)Elensky outlawing Ukrainian opposition parties, cancelling the letter “z”, actual Nazis with wolfangel and Swastika tattoos in just about every publicity photo, and SBU kill lists and assassinations of journalists and mayors and musicians. Also to me that looks a lot better than all those blue and yellow badged people who couldn’t find Ukraine on a map until March 2022.

    But that’s just me. Jim, you do you.

  44. Z


    You don’t have to be a goose-stepper to come to the conclusion that Jewish Zionists wield an incredible amount of influence on U.S. foreign policy (ever heard of AIPAC?), all you have to do is listen to U.S. politicians and they tell you straight out and some of the more powerful ones such as Speed Queen Nancy P will tell you that proudly and emphatically ( Basically, all it requires is not to be a pro-Zionist zealot who tries to dismiss any criticisms of Israel and Jewish Elites as anti-semitism.


  45. Willy

    If one is truly an anti-westerner, then I’d suggest an experiment. How about a “Show Em Your Anti-Western Pride” month?

    Get a custom tee shirt made and wear it everywhere: work, church, the grocery… everywhere you go.

    On the front would be a large photo of Putin with the text “WE SHALL WIN…” On the back would be a large photo of Khamenei with the text “…THE WAR!” Be sure to tell anyone laughing that you’re being dead serious. Tell them we need to get behind autocrats and theocrats so we can spite Biden and Bezos.

    Be sure to come back here and tell us how you did.

  46. Ian Welsh

    It’d work the same as if you did the opposite in Russia or China. What the majority think has little relationship to what is right, especially in international affairs. 70% of Americans were for the Iraq war; Germans united for WWII, etc…

    Personally I think both Putin and Biden are bad. Check out Biden’s death toll numbers in Afghanistan. Man has a genius for murdering people: “we’ll withdraw the troops, sanction the hell out of them and kill way more!” Killing people with a deliberate famine isn’t less evil than with bullets and bombs, and the latter are at least honest.

  47. Jason

    Z, they’ve got Putin wrapped up too:

    “As a former lieutenant colonel in the KGB, Putin is undoubtedly ruthless. But he is not known to be personally anti-Semitic.** In fact, the opposite seems to be the case. At the International Assembly of Chabad Representatives in 2007, Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Berel Lazar, often referred to as “Putin’s Rabbi”, told a remarkable story about the Russian leader, which he heard from Putin himself…”**

    [The article then details how Putin grew up poor but mercifully he lived next to a Hasidic Jewish family who were kind to him even though he wasn’t Jewish]

    “In fact, Putin has surrounded himself with rich and successful Jews, such as Moshe Kantor (net worth $2.3 billion), Lev Leviev (net worth $1.5 billion), Roman Abramovich (net worth $9.1 billion) and Victor Vekselberg (net worth $13.6 billion). They are all close friends and confidantes of the Russian president, and they are all quite openly Jewish.

    On the Jewish New Year, Putin sent a holiday greeting to Rabbi Lazar, wishing the Russian Jewish community a “sweet and happy New Year.”

    “For centuries, Jewish values inspired lofty ideals,” Putin wrote. He said that these values enhanced “relations among different peoples…through charity and education, all in the interest of the public good.” In a direct manner, he pledged “fierce opposition to any manifestation of anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

    Putin puts his money where his mouth is and donated a month of his salary as president to the Jewish Museum in Moscow. His name is proudly listed on the museum wall as a donor.”

    There may not be an Israel Lobby in Russia, but…

    **What exactly does it mean to be “anti-semitic” again? I can’t keep track, and I certainly don’t want to offend.

    Also related:

    Will Ketanji Brown Jackson be able to transcend her pro-Israel influences?

    And here’s a flashback to just one of what have been many crucial decisions the US Supreme Court has made over the decades which benefit Israel and its people at the expense of the population of the United States:

    “The American Israel Public Affairs Committee claimed victory in a 9-year-old legal standoff with critics of U.S. policy toward Israel. The Supreme Court ruling made it highly unlikely that the pro-Israel lobby would have to disclose information about its membership and expenditures… An attorney for AIPAC said the high court “did exactly what we asked.” Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion…”

  48. Willy

    Russia, China and Iran are used to autocrats and theocrats, with most of their history living along those lines. So maybe a pro-American tee shirt would promote republican democracy, American style:

    Biden on the front: “BE GLAD…” Trump on the back: …”WE’RE NOT UNITED. BECAUSE YOU’D BE DEAD.”

    I’m trying to avoid tee shirts which are too nihilistic, like the black one that says simply: “FUCK YOU” on the front. We working folks deserve better.

  49. Z


    I believe that Putin was astute enough that he knew he had to form some alliances with the Jewish elites in his country in order to divide them and break their accumulative power. All things considered, I think he did a pretty good job of it.


  50. Lex

    That was reasonable in April. But the US turned this into an existential war for itself and Russia. I’m sure Putin is willing to negotiate, but even as starting positions most of these are non-starters. And if Putin agreed to these he’d be overthrown for sure.

    The west decided that this would be won on the battlefield and now it will be, because the west cannot accept the terms it would take to end the conflict via negotiations. But the west cannot afford to lose now though the likelihood increases every day that it will. We’ve now reached the point where Ukraine is publicly saying it has almost no air defense; it is on its third mobilization; the economy is in tatters; and winter is coming.

    Europe doesn’t want Ukraine. It didn’t before decor as a source of migrant labor and primitive accumulation of capital. It really doesn’t want Ukraine now that’s an even blacker pit of debt and economic dysfunction. And Ukrainians like the idea of being in Europe because it was a signal that they were civilized unlike Russians. But when it comes to what Europe requires a lot of Ukrainians, especially the nationalists, hate it.

    Poor Ukraine, the most left behind of all soviet states will be destroyed.

  51. Z


    Putin wasn’t afraid to take on the biggest hoods and grifters such as Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, Browder, and Kolomoyskyi.

    The reason he had a huge falling out with Berezovsky, who initially cozied up to Putin, was that Putin asserted the right to dismiss elected (((corrupted))) governors. The Russian-Jewish oligarchs had the country wired with bought-off and blackmailed politicians because they had seized so much wealth and power through asset stripping, aided and abetted by the Larry Summers and the “Harvard Boyz”, that that left so many Russians desperate, even the politicians, who had family and extended families to worry about, that the country was ripe for corruption.

    When Putin asserted the right to bounce corrupt politicians, and maybe sometimes politicians that he had other reasons to remove, that’s when Berezovsky knew that Putin wasn’t going to cater to the old power structure.

    Putin also had to navigate that environment to get into power so he had to be accommodative to them on some level and create alliances with some of that clan so that they would believe that he wasn’t a threat to them.

    Mind you that the power structure didn’t consist entirely of Russian Jews, but they were the largest bloc by far. It seems to me that well over half, probably close to 70% or more, of the most powerful Russian oligarchs were Jewish.


  52. capelin

    “A Rose has bloomed In the Blinken/Sullivan/Biden desert of ideas on Ukraine. I refer to Rose Gottemoeller, 69, who was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control during the Obama/Biden second term and knows much more about the real world than the boys Biden has in the back room (if I may risk damning her with faint praise).

    Writing in The Financial Times two weeks ago, Gottemoeller referred to the “quiet bargain” that ended the Cuban missile crisis of exactly 60 years ago. As for Ukraine, she dismisses military options:

    Which brings us to diplomacy. Is there any chance that negotiation could change Putin’s calculus? The Cuban missile crisis ended with a quiet bargain … some quiet nuclear diplomacy might produce results.

    Two years ago, Putin offered to remove Russia’s new ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missile from Europe under verifiable conditions, thus underpinning a moratorium on such missiles in Europe. When Putin and Xi Jinping met in Beijing prior to the February invasion, they spoke of extending such a moratorium to Asia.

    Perhaps it is time to launch discreet talks, if only at a technical level, to explore what the two men had in mind. It would not solve the horrendous crisis in Ukraine, but it might lower the nuclear temperature.”

  53. Jason

    Z, thanks for the more detailed response. I had written a rejoinder to your initial response, but I scrapped it after your mention of some of the names and a bit of research.

    The only Israeli atrocity Putin calls out is Golan, which is easy politically.

    We’ll see.

  54. Jason

    Mind you that the power structure didn’t consist entirely of Russian Jews, but they were the largest bloc by far. It seems to me that well over half, probably close to 70% or more, of the most powerful Russian oligarchs were Jewish.

    As a percentage of the population, the numbers are so astounding they’re not even believable – the stuff of conspiracy. Yet beyond reproach. That is the power of narrative. Or counternarrative, as the case may be.

    There was a commenter at NakedCapitalism a while back who brought up the fact that over half to three quarters of the professional sports teams in the US are owned by Jews, despite their being only two percent of the population. It was simply a statement of fact, not made derisively.

    Another commenter said something along the lines of, “They’re (billionaires) all nuts, so who cares if the owner is Jewish or not?”

    Well, okay, I guess. I mean, at what point can it raise an eyebrow? Nine out of ten teams? Remember, this is two percent of the population for chrissake (pun intended).

    “Yves” must have gotten a lot of calls and emails, or she acted on the expectation of them coming, or she acted on the instilled narrative that this subject is untouchable: She said that the commenter’s statement of fact was worse than anything one might find on Stormfront!

  55. Z


    Tensions are ratcheting up between Russia and Israel (, but I agree that Putin is not tough enough on Israel. For instance, to some extent he allows Israel to bomb Syria with impunity. Currently, Israel has their rabid dog doing their dirtiest work in Syria stealing oil and food from the Syrians and probably giving a good bit of it, if not all of it, to Israel.

    Neutralizing Russia’s military presence in Syria is probably a large part of the reason that Israel let their dog off their leash in Syria and also in Ukraine. The notion that Israel, which has almost zero skin in the game but would greatly benefit from a weakened Russia in their aims to bully around Syria and Iran, has nothing to do with what’s happening in Ukraine is ludicrous, especially when you consider all the Jewish Zionists involved in instigating this war.

    The aftermath of a sliced up Russia would very likely be Jewish oligarchs back in control of the lion’s share of Russia’s assets and it wouldn’t be long before there would be movements to give land back to Jews that was supposedly stolen from them and there would be Jewish settlements on the land that was once Russia. Shoot, just sending back a sizable portion of the Jews that fled to Israel after the break-up of the USSR would significantly alleviate some of the overpopulation pressures in Israel. Not to mention that if the climate keeps heating up, Israel will become increasingly inhabitable.


  56. Z


    Yep, 2%. One card in a deck and yet if you question who is doing the dealing you’re called an anti-semite.

    Yves has her strong points, for instance she is very critical of the Clintons and Obama and has called out Robber Rubin as the Godfather of the Democratic Party (, but she toes the line too many times for my taste.


  57. Astrid

    Yves banned me from her site for questioning an anti-China article written by a “colleague” of Adrian Zenz that her “brain trust” spoke approvingly of. I used citations and did not violate any of her posting rules and there was no explanation of my offense prior to the banning.

    She’s still less anti-China than 95% of the Blogosphere. 😭

    She also thinks that the 1980s were a fine and dandy expression of US power/capitalism so she’s definitely considerably to the right of most of her regular contributors. It’s kind of shocking how someone who with so much exposure to Michael Hudson managed to avoid internalizing his main takeaways about the American empire.

  58. Jason

    Hi Astrid,

    I’m glad you are enjoying your time in Canada. I loved Montreal when I visited years ago! Needless to say, my breakfast sandwich from Wawa this morning wasn’t on par with the food from Le Vieux St-Laurent. The atmospheres are rather different as well.

    But I digress.

    I am curious what you mean when you refer to “anti-China” comments, feelings, or sentiments. Are you referring to the incredibly varied people who make up China, the nation state of China of itself, the CCP?

    Noam Chomsky, with whom I sometimes agree, used to talk about “anti-Americanism” and the fact that no such concept exists in other nominally “free” societies:

    “You might take a look at that word ‘Americanism,’ it’s an unusual term, it’s the kind of term that you only find in totalitarian societies as far as I know. So like in the Soviet Union, and anti-Sovietism was considered the gravest of all crimes… and the Brazilian generals had some concept like that anti-Brazilian.

    But try, say, publishing a book on anti-Italianism and see what happens in the streets of Rome or Milan. People won’t even bother laughing, it’s a ludicrous idea. As far as I know, the United States is the only “free” society that has such a concept. Americanism and anti-Americanism and un-Americanism and so on.

    These are concepts which induce hatred and fear among people. In fact, calling someone “anti-American” is a classic technique of social control.”

    Interestingly, there was a similar comment posted by “Ghost in the Machine” at Naked Capitalism this morning:

    “The accusation of xenophobic attacks on the Chinese often comes up when people bring up the lab leak hypothesis suggesting disingenuousness. It is clear from all sorts of paper trails, that if the lab leak is true, the US is plenty culpable as well. The accusation of Chinese xenophobia is reminiscent of the claims of antisemitism to shut down criticism of Israel. That said there are clearly Chinese xenophobes in this debate, just as there really are antisemites criticizing Israel.”

    Excellent comment, though I would replace the word “antisemite” with “antijudaic” so as to be both more accurate, and less insulting to all the other “semites” of the world.

    It’s kind of shocking how someone who with so much exposure to Michael Hudson managed to avoid internalizing his main takeaways about the American empire.

    Apparently Michael Hudson doesn’t find it shocking.

    Hudson, of course, does a lot of work advising the intellectual and banking classes in China. According to his own bio, he “acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including China, Iceland and Latvia on finance and tax law. He gives presentations on various topics at conferences and meetings” and he is always “looking to be booked” and to be paid for his time and travel expenses.

    Hudson is also a scholar at the “Levy Economics Institute of Bard College” whose board of directors is made up of such luminaries as Bard president Leon Botstein and Martin L Liebowitz who, after a distinguished career at Salomon Brothers, is now current managing director of Morgan Stanley and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study and the Rockefeller Foundation.

    Show me who your friends are, I’ll show you who you are.

    Day by day, it seems Orwell was right about the proles, whether or not he was doing deep state propaganda on behalf of the British.

    Be well Astrid!

  59. Astrid


    What a garbage barge is insinuations and guilt by associations, bracketed by “well wishes” at the start and finish. I’m not that old but I’m too old to stomach this sort of dishonest Western liberal “good-think”.

    This kinda broadly covers what I think of Western anti-China thoughts. When one digs down even a little, one find that the accusations are complete lies and projections. In any case, the West had absolutely no standing to “defend” or judge anyone else’s rights, given their centuries of genocidal actions, against peoples who live in those “authoritarian regimes” who are supposed to need Western saviors to tell them what to do, despite the horrible track record and the fact that West pours billions into regime change compradors in order to weave their narrative of “bad China” “bad Syria” “bad Russia” against truth, against history, against the wishes of the majority of the populations of those countries.

    Good day, sir. Good day.

  60. Astrid

    Here’s the thing. I don’t claim to be a “China expert” and I make my professional career doing something completely unrelated to China. However, I do speak and read Chinese. I have friends in Mainland China. I’ve traveled to ethnic Tibetan areas. I have exposure to China going back decades. When I’m in China, I try to listen and not lecture or presume. I’ve been told plenty of good and bad things (to be honest mostly bad things, Chinese people worry about their economy, corruption, pollution, poor healthcare access, miseducation of children, etc.). I also see their lives getting visible better with each visit and some of their prior concerns getting addressed over time. I don’t talk about my experiences in China with my friends and family in the US, most of whom couldn’t point to Shanghai or Beijing or Xinjiang on an unlabeled map, but talk “China bad” msm talking points at me.

    Yet for years I gave Western narratives the benefit of a doubt, perhaps China was more corrupt and incapable despite the tremendous physical improvements and visible improvements in people’s lives (since my exposure was largely with the more privileged strata, though I have backpacked the countryside as a student), perhaps the government is full of princelings fleecing their nests (I know a few of those but also others in responsible positions who came from very ordinary backgrounds), and that perhaps what was built was unsustainable and would blow over soon enough (though that’s been forecasted for 25 years).

    What really turned the tide for me is Covid, full stop. China stopped it and took care of its people. The West gaslighted its populations and the them to the dogs while enriching billionaires. I don’t need to go beyond that.

  61. Jason

    Astrid, one final thought:

    The proverbial “any five year old” listening to you would wonder why you don’t move to China.

    You are very familiar with the land and obviously enjoy your time there.

    You have both an “intellectual” understanding of the politics and recent history of China as well as direct experience living and traveling there, going back years, to your time backpacking in China as a student.

    You have friends in China with whom you can converse about the things that are important to you, as opposed to where you live now.

    And, perhaps most importantly since it involves health, you see only China as having been effective and considerate of its population in dealing with the coronavirus.

  62. Astrid


    Because I am not 25 anymore and have to consider other people. I’m not going to go into details of my personal life but there’s definitely enough to hold me here for now, even if I was willing give up my life and start afresh elsewhere (I’m not wealthy enough to quit working just yet).

    I never depicted China as a paradise and I think it’s got a long way to go, even to reach current standards of Japan/Northern Europe/nicer parts of North America. All I am saying is that its government appears capable of listening to its people and improving their lives, something that Western governments are no longer capable of doing.

    And you should know this, unless you are very naive or read my comments*very* selectively. “If you love it so much why don’t you move there” isn’t the practical advice that you think it is. Rather, it comes across as someone who has little understanding of the human condition or just want to shut down a give or take conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of each system.

    (And yes, I did think about moving to China very seriously in the last two years, something I never considered doing in my twenties, when it made a lot of professional/financial sense, because my then boyfriend and now husband didn’t want to move out of North America. There’s also the near impossibility of actually moving or even traveling to China right now due to Covid restrictions. Not to mention the difficulty of legally moving to China when I don’t have a suitable professional background – HK would be easier but I am not familiar with that culture, don’t speak Cantonese, and hate heat and humidity. Foreigners who have lived in China for years or decades are finding it trickier and trickier to stay unless they’re married to locals or have very solid careers there.

    AND. Even if I do move, I still travel with an American passport and it’s still a hassle to renounce my citizenship – and what other citizenship can I get instead unless I want to buy an increasingly depreciated southern EU passport? And we’re talking about the US, a country that has no qualms about kidnapping non-US citizens outside of its borders and extraditing them for abuse and torture.)

  63. Astrid

    Upon further reflection, perhaps this is a good example of how Western voices are so sure in their prescriptions for purported problems of the “other”, even though they demonstrate that they know virtually nothing about conditions, history, or mind state of that other.

    In this instance, I am an American PMCer former liberal who likely share a similar general education and outlook as most commenters here, albeit with some fairly exceptional chance diversions in my experience. Imagine the level of divergence if I was actually a Russian politician or a Latin American peasant or Middleeastern housewife or Chinese bureaucrat! Yet American liberals happily pronounce and prescribe on all of them!

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