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

Israel’s Ground Forces Are Even Worse Than I Believed

Long time readers will know I’ve considered the Israeli army to be garbage, in terms of quality, for a long time—certainly since their last invasion of Lebanon, where Hezbollah cleaned their clock for them.

But this last invasion of Gaza has been absolutely humiliating. Hamas has forced Israel to retreat after losing at least one straight up battle. We’re not taking “guerilla hit and run” we’re talking losing a battle when you have air and artillery supremacy.

Generally speaking, they’re getting themselves ripped up: they can’t take and hold ground. They can’t clear out Hamas. Every time Hamas forces them to retreat, Hamas takes over administration again.

Meanwhile Iran and Hezbollah have proved that their anti-missile defenses are insufficient. The entire north has been denuded of civilians, and everyone knows that threats to invade Lebanon are baseless and delusional: they can’t even beat Hamas, and Hezbollah is far stronger. If they invade, they’ll be crushed.

It isn’t just that no one thinks that Israel has the best army in the world any more, no one with sense believes their army is even competent. It’s garbage. They can’t take losses, they don’t even infantry screen tanks properly (or, often, at all), they’re scared of clearing Hamas tunnels because of the casualties. It’s so pathetic it’d almost be sad, if they weren’t the ground troops for a genocidal power whose evil is so comic-book level it rivals the Star Wars empire.

Now Hamas obviously isn’t as strong as it would like to be: it can’t reopen Rafah, for example. But that’s the point, Hamas is a militia. Many of their weapons are literally home-made, where the Israelis are using the best American equipment and the Israelis still can’t win.

That’s one reason why Israel has to commit a genocide—they can’t win on the field, so all they can do is try to make sure as many people die of hunger, thirst and bombs as possible. Ethnic cleansing is off the table. Egypt isn’t scared of them any more, so they aren’t going to allow Israel to to push Palestinians into Egypt. They were considering it before, but not any more.

We’re in a race between Israel’s genocide and the Resistance’s pressure on Israel—Hezbollah’s clearing of the north. Yemen’s naval blockade and Hamas’s bloody war against Israeli ground forces. Israel’s losing the military part of this and being absolutely hammered economically, with a huge internal refugee problem, but as long as they can keep food and water out of Gaza, they stand a chance of completing their genocide.

America, if it’s serious about bringing in aid through the northern pier they’ve built, might, ironically, seal Israel’s defeat. (Update: yeah, maybe not. Turns out Israel inspects the aid and decides if it is to continue on.)

No matter what happens, however, Israel is screwed beyond belief. The only thing they have left that anyone in the region is seriously scared of is their nukes. Israeli regional military dominance is SHATTERED.

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44 Comments

  1. Gaza is a massive concentration camp. Hamas are the organized people in that camp who’ve decided they’d rather die fighting then die bowing down.
    They’ve shown the world that the Emperor has no clothes, that the tyrant can be defeated quite easily. Israel will likely genocide Palestine, but that was Israel’s goal all along. Hamas has already succeeded in that, “The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins” –Soren Kierkegaard

  2. VietnamVet

    “Biden administration is moving ahead on new $1 billion arms sale to Israel”. Antony Blinken plays ‘Rockin’ in the Free World” in Kiev bar. They are delusional. The sole purpose is to cycle money through war profiteers. Except it takes competent governments to win wars or engage in a Cold War 2 with UN DMZs and fair Armistices between the combatants.

    Simply through inflation and economic collapse or more likely a nuclear mistake, the American (ex-British) Oceanic Empire is finished. The withdrawal back to North America from WW3 will likely be a total collapse like Kabul but global.

    Only at the dead end (i.e. Imperial Germany in 1918) will Washington DC realize that their forever wars are done. Likewise, to avoid another Holocaust, a two-state solution is required in the Levant, and the end of the Chosen People’s Zionist Politics that drives the intentional eradication of others.

  3. bruce wilder

    Israel is exporting the “technology” of this debacle: arms and surveillance and censorship and political domination by cancellation.

  4. Carborundum

    That’s, uh, a pretty sweeping set of assessments based on one tweet, no area experience and a lot of assumption. Absolutely entertaining, though.

    My view, the thing to really grok here is that it really does not matter how good or bad any of the forces involved actually are. All of them could be arbitrarily adjusted significantly up or down the relative quality spectrum and it really would not make a material difference given the strategic context. Everyone here is militarily stalemated, but no one’s being hurt badly enough that there’s political movement.

  5. Willy

    Maybe the same can be said about poor weak little Ukraine vs the mighty Russian bear? Those sure as hell ain’t your mother’s motherland fighters. Maybe the last two major USAin adventures for sure, despite all those trillions spent. Maybe there’s something that needs to be said about fighting for right wing demagogue/emperor rebels without a cause. To be a truly efficient Wehrmacht, the hearts and minds of the mob must be fully engaged, since agitprop only works so much.

  6. StewartM

    Willy

    Maybe the last two major USAin adventures for sure, despite all those trillions spent.

    Those trillions spent were not spent for actual national defense (and I’m talking about the entire DoD budget, not just the external wars).

    What those trillions did was this–allow Mil-Industrial complex companies gouge the government to make obscene profits, which then help fund both rightwing pro-military propaganda, causes, and politicos, the latter both for campaigning and in cushy retirements, so that the gravy train keeps a’going.

    So actually, factually, those trillions did their job quite well. It just wasn’t for the purpose of defending the country or fighting potential wars.

    And yet the propaganda machine keeps telling everyone that “we’re #1!!” even though since the 1960s, the US has had to tuck tail and run in every conflict against any foe that could actually fight back, save Saddam’s Iraq equipped with exported Soviet weaponry bought at the international equivalent of the local gun and knife show (save Saddam went cheap on his tank ammo, choosing to use inferior Iraqi domestically produced shells instead of Soviet-manufactured ones).

    And, of course, all our presidents since Ike have had little or no meaningful military experience managing battles or wars (JFK’s and GHW Bush’s experience doesn’t count towards that). A president like Ike could see through the BS and actually kept a lid on US defense spending. A president like Ike could see that ‘more is not better’, as weapons go obsolete and buying lots of military widgets is wasteful, and often leaves one with a fleet of obsolete weaponry, like France in 1940 and the Soviet Union in 1941, who had fleets of obsolete and mostly useless tanks. Better to go with the minimum sufficiency. Finally, the weapons must be affordable; if you can’t afford to build them and maintain them in sufficient numbers, better not go farther than the prototype stage for purely R&D knowledge.

  7. Prior to the Russian Ukraine war, Ukraine had the 2nd largest army in Europe (behind Russia) and had and has been heavily funded and armed by NATO. NATO has provided Ukraine with more money then Russia has spent in the war. If Russia decides to invade the Estonia and is unable to defeat them militarily then it would be the equivalent of Israel and Hamas.

  8. Tallifer

    If only Hamas could protect its people instead of sacrificing them. Israel’s army has protected its people from annihilation at the hands of neighbours since 1948.

  9. Soredemos

    @StewartM

    The problem with France and the USSR against the German invasions was strategic deployment of entire armies, not any particular deficiency at the tactical level in terms of tanks. The S35 for the French was comparable or superior to anything Germany had in 1940, amd the KV-1 for the Soviets absolutely trounced the Germans whenever they encountered it in 1941 and 42. Yes both France and the USSR also had large numbers of much worse older models, but so did the Germans, using many Panzer IIs and IIIs.

  10. ventzu

    The last stand of weak, defenceless Palestinians (supported by those wonderful Yemenis) has exposed the vicious impotence and the ongoing decline of both Israel and the US. The abrogation of freedom of speech just reeks of desperation.

    Meanwhile, in other news, the Dragon hugged the Bear, and spelled out the end of Western colonialism.

    Interesting discussion with Jill Stein and Michael Hudson, on the current geopolitical-economic situation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tiOp-L-uY4

    She, at this moment in history, may have the best shot at the presidency of any third party candidate; and provide for a saner US role in the world. In the UK, we blew our chance with Corbyn (because of ‘anti-semitism’); let’s hope the US doesn’t blow it.

  11. StewartM

    Soredemos,

    The French tank arm outnumbered the German, but the majority of it was composed of obsolete FT and related tanks. Even among the more modern tanks, only 27 % had adequate anti-tank guns (47 mm caliber or greater). Likewise, the bulk of the USSR’s 20,000 tanks were also light/obsolete with various T-26s, BT tanks, T-35 heavy, etc.

    https://www.tankarchives.ca/2021/03/colossus-on-clay-feet.html

    By contrast, while Panzer Is and Panzer IIs did compose the majority of the German forces in France in 1940, there were only 300 of the 3000 or so of these used at the start of Barbarossa in June 1941. I wouldn’t consider the Panzer III obsolete in June 1941. Thus there was a much higher fraction of Soviet obsolete vehicles in 1941 in their tank park.

  12. mago

    There’s not much talk about the so called war drugs, but they’re out there. Mostly amphetamine based, they are a cocktail of other substances that increase aggression while providing artificial endurance, thus making military fighters crazy mad.

    There’s no question that the Israeli Offense (not defense) Forces are under the influence. Go kill, loot, dance around and post it on social media. (Probably some passionate post murder coitus happening as well.)

    Given the physical, mental and emotional state of Israeli soldiers, there’s little doubt that they’re radicalized puffed up bullies. Mama’s boys as well. I have some experience with the culture, so spare me any denunciations.

    It requires some deliberate physical and mental distortion for humans to kill one another. Happens all the time, however. Some are just better at it than others.

  13. Curt Kastens

    I do not think that the Palestinian Anti-Colonial Fighters or the Russian Anti-Colonial Fighters are at all warped it is the Israeli and Ukranian Fighters and their American* and European supporters that are warped.

    °Includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand

    PS. Although the Japanese are not killing anyone yet they are warped too, if they stand on the side of their government.

  14. Willy

    Everybody said Kiev would be taken inside a month. Yet 80 years ago, Russian ancestors pushed to Berlin against the best army the world had ever known, starting mostly behind the Urals. We aren’t even close to the part where a Ukrainian resistance would operate like a Hamas.

    I’m not talking about troop strength or trillions of dollars, but motivation. Motivation, the will to win, seems stronger.

  15. Soredemos

    @Curt Kastens

    That the Japanese are hypocrites who exist inside, and benefit from, the US imperial system while professing noble pacifism is part of the critique made in the 1993 anime film Patlabor 2.

    This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but I saw an opportunity to mention it and I took it. It’s a movie that is also one of the few examples of any actually good military technothriller. It takes a formula pioneered by Tom Clancy and uses it to deliver a message Clancy would have hated (though I seriously doubt he ever knew this movie existed).

  16. Mark Level

    Hi, Ian. A very solid post, as usual, though I’ll quibble regarding a few of your points.

    The overall thesis is solid of course. Even the Israeli & US MSM press (even WaPo & NYT Zionists) is now openly admitting that every single “goal” of the Zionist state has not been (& will not be) achieved. Be that as it may, I recently saw a great video of John Mearshimer speaking to an audience at CIS & he laid out the 4 options for the future– 1. 2 State solution– won’t happen, US & Israel will never allow it. 2. Return to pre-10/7 state, then bleed and slowly exterminate the Palestinians & steal more land during a pretend “cease fire”– again, won’t happen, Hamas will still be in power, the PA is 99% irrelevant at this point. 3. Israeli “victory”– not in the cards. 4. Full on genocide & expulsion– he thinks this is logistically impossible, & I certainly hope he is right. He did say in a different interview (I think with the Duran) that he thinks this will go on for many more years.

    I did get my best info on the battle & the activities of the Al-Quds brigade & other frontline defenders of Palestine from John Elmer of the Electronic Intifada. The fighters have camera crews with them to show their strikes on the Occupiers to the home audience & often find out where the IOF are because they sloppily put out Tik-Tok videos showing where they are, etc. They can hit much stronger forces with the “home made” weapons you referenced. And a side effect of knocking down most but not all of Gaza is the locals know the ground, the invaders don’t . IOF take very heavy casualties which are then covered up & never listed by Israeli Defense Ministry.

    Something I’ll disagree with though– “That’s one reason why Israel has to commit a genocide—they can’t win on the field, so all they can do is try to make sure as many people die of hunger, thirst and bombs as possible. Ethnic cleansing is off the table. Egypt isn’t scared of them any more, so they aren’t going to allow Israel to to push Palestinians into Egypt. They were considering it before, but not any more.” Okay, in response to Netanyahu’s flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords by attacking the Rafah crossing & then destroying most or all of the aid trucks, the best the Egyptians have done is join in on the S. Africa ICJ case. Egypt is still the US’s intimidated lap-dog (like Jordan, heavily US funded), I’m not sure they’ll do much at all– they evidently will do NOTHING militarily even when the Israelis cross illegally into Egyptian territory!!

    Also I think you’re seriously mistaken here– “America, if it’s serious about bringing in aid through the northern pier they’ve built, might, ironically, seal Israel’s defeat.” The “pier” is going to be run by Erik Prince’s forces (formerly Blackwater, whatever it’s been renamed now) & no way are they there to “help” Palestinians like they “helped” Iraqis with mass shootings of civilians at a highway interchange . . . I think the Biden plan is to force the Palestinians there onto boats & dump them in Rwanda or some other dangerous place, or possibly bring some into the US (this was in a Congressional proposal, funded, from the Biden admin.)

    In closing, Ali Abunimah of the EI a couple days ago gave a great speech about the 2.5 million killed by US in Vietnam, the hundreds of thousands in Afghanistan, the million or more slaughtered in Algeria by the French, etc. etc. but pointed out the Empire always loses. He said it will take years, but Palestine will prevail. I believe his historical analysis is correct. These people are willing to die as martyrs knowing that (as in Vietnam) their children & grandchildren will one day have their lands & livelihood back. The US & its vassals can set fires worldwide (“Rockin’ in the Free World”, Neil Young must be ashamed) but they can’t win wars against their settler colonies over decades.

  17. Ian Welsh

    I’ll stand by the Egypt bit, but yes, I was wrong about the pier. Updated the article.

  18. NR

    Ian, I think your edit is wrong. America isn’t giving the aid to Israel to distribute, it’s being distributed by the UN World Food Programme. See here:

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/19/politics/biden-administration-gaza-pier-distribution-agreement/index.html

    Also, Benny Gantz has threatened to resign from Netanyahu’s cabinet if he doesn’t agree to a plan for Gaza.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/may/18/father-of-woman-killed-at-israeli-festival-tells-of-relief-after-recovery-of-her-body

    Gantz demanded a six-point plan, which includes demilitarisation in Gaza and the establishment of a joint US, European, Arab and Palestinian administration that will manage Gaza’s civilian affairs and the return of hostages.

    So far, Netanyahu has refused. We’ll see what, if anything, comes of this.

    I also found this blunt assessment of the war by a former deputy director of Mossad interesting:

    As Israeli troops pushed into Rafah last week, and returned to parts of northern Gaza it claimed were cleared of Hamas months ago, a former Mossad deputy director turned opposition MP described the campaign in Gaza as a political, economic and military failure.

    “This is a war without aim and we are unequivocally losing it,” said Ram Ben-Barak in a blunt interview with Israeli public radio.

    “We are forced to go back and fight again in the same areas, losing soldiers, losing in the international arena, destroying relations with the US, the economy is collapsing,” he told the Reshet Bet radio station. “Show me one thing we are succeeding in.”

  19. Ian Welsh

    NR,

    thanks. Modified the statement. Much apreciated.

    Ian

  20. capelin

    @ Mark Level (“Rockin’ in the Free World”, Neil Young must be ashamed)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s _not ashamed. Despite “4 dead in O-hi-o”, he’s not that smart politically. Witness, “Let’s roll”, echoing the proported rallying cry of the passenger guys on the 9/11 flight that crashed; which became the theme song of the War on Terror.

    Also witness, his tantrum because Spotify wouldn’t deplatform Joe Rogan. Bet he’s got a Ukrainian _and a trans flag on his twitter header…

    I musta played “Harvest” 500x back in the day, can’t even listen to him anymore.

  21. Soredemos

    @Willy

    Except no one in the Russian government or military ever said any such thing. Conquest was never the goal.

    It was three days by the way, not a month, and this claim came entirely from western sources asserting this was a Russian goal. They’d have to do it so fast, of course, because they’re all about to run out of missiles/shells/tanks/food, donchaknow.

  22. Mark Level

    To capelin– yes, I certainly agree on Neil Young. I was being hopeful when I wrote that, thinking he might not be on the side of a full-on genocide, but I know he is now a dumb ShitLib, I too followed his attempt to cancel Joe Rogan (alongside his pal Joni Mitchell!) during Covid. Now I’m no Rogan fan (he seems pretty dumb to me; he started out with good instincts in many areas but honestly is just all over the place) but I’m basically a free-speech absolutist.

    Young is a reminder (& there are many others out there) about being careful to have heroes when one is younger. Once I was forced to teach High School Economics by my principal (in retaliation for my union activism at the school, he knew it was the one thing I was credentialed for I’d asked never to teach), & I shared a joke with the students:

    “What’s the difference between a musician & a Savings Bond?” “A Savings Bond matures, and makes money.” Bob Dylan wrote Neighborhood Bully 4 decades ago about Israel’s depredations, but in honor of those crimes (while accidentally giving up the game in the title). Even in my early 20s at the time I lost most of my respect for him.

    Roger Waters is the one very smart & principled musician whose take on politics I respect (& he’s paid a heavy price, being smeared as “a vicious anti-Semite” with literally no evidence & despite the fact his father died fighting Nazis.) “Don’t follow leaders,” as Bob advised when smarter, it’s a mug’s game to give respect to most public figures, at some point they will betray your admiration. (See also Christopher Hitchens, & too many to list here.)

  23. Willy

    Soredemos,

    Despite all the missiles/shells/tanks/food, donchaknow… Russia is sucking at this invasion as badly as have America and Israel sucked at their own invasions lately, when there once was a time when they didn’t suck so badly.

    Netanyahoo has stated that eradication of Hamas is the goal, but it sure seems that eradication of Gaza has been the result. A bit like destroying all of south-central LA just to root out some gangstas.

    Not sure what Putin’s latest official goal is. (not that I personally, would believe him)

    I did just see a report stating that Israelis are mostly all in with Netanyahoo, and then another report stating that most are unhappy with him. So who knows. I’m just looking for reasons why the IDF of late, seems to suck. My theories are once again, along the lines of ‘the fish rots from the head and the body knows it’ sort. Under such conditions it seems that fighters wind up being mostly into self-surviving, instead of going full martyr-heroic Viet Cong.

    Uh oh. Now I’ve dragged the 1970’s Vietnamese into this. Maybe the reason they were so effective at getting mighty American steel to vacate, was because deep in their hearts all they really wanted was to open their own little pho shop on Cach Mang Thang Street in their newly renamed Ho Chi Mihn City. Maybe because they thought McDonalds sucked. Discuss.

  24. Altandmain

    @Wily – only Western propaganda said that the Russians would take Kiev so quickly.

    The Russian goal had been to force the Ukrainians to the negotiating table. The French, German, and Ukrainians then asked the Russians to voluntarily withdraw as a part of the negotiations in Istanbul, for which Biden then asked Boris Johnson to demand the Ukrainians walk away from.

    The Russians wanted peace. NATO forced the Ukrainians to go to war. The West then lied about a Battle of Kiev, just as they lied about Russian running out of ammunition and computer chips.

    For the most part, up until recently, the Russians have been fighting the SMO with one hand tied behind their back, using around 15 percent of their capabilities.

    To a degree, Ian gets addresses it here.

    https://www.ianwelsh.net/russia-begins-to-systematically-destroy-the-ukrainian-power-grid/

    The attack on Crocus City Hall changed Russian opinion, drastically.

    By contrast, the West when they go to war tend to take out the electricity very quickly early on. It’s partly why the Western occupation tends to have an insurgency quickly form up.

    The Russians by contrast have gone out of their way to minimize the casualties of civilians. You’ll notice that as much as the West and NATO try, there is no insurgency in Eastern Ukraine. Worse for the West, large numbers of Russian speaking Ukrainian people support the Russians and have been secretly working with them.

    The reality is that the Ukrainians have lost the legitimacy to run Eastern Ukraine. The West has been very careful about hiding the extent of Ukrainanian War Crimes to their own people after they overthrew the Ukrainian government in 2014.

    —-

    Overall, the Israeli military is quite poor simply because they are a conscript heavy army with limited combat experience and are essentially a police force that brutalizes the Palestinians.

    Having equipment is not a substitute. Military effectiveness :

    People > Tactics / Operations / Strategy > Equipment

    It’s also why the Islamic insurgents, despite being vastly out gunned when the US occupied Afghanistan were able to ultimately overcome the US and coalition forces. The same could be said about Iraq – the US never won against the Iraqi insurgency.

    A big part of the reason why is because the Russians are legitimately liberators in Eastern Ukraine or seen by the majority of the people as such. The Afghan people understood the Americans were there for revenge over 9-11-2001 and in both Iraq and Afghanistan, to steal their natural resources.

  25. Willy

    @Wily – only Western propaganda said that the Russians would take Kiev so quickly.
    For what possible purpose? To speed up the usual months-long appropriations/logistical planning/building/sending/arming thing?

    The Russian goal had been to force the Ukrainians to the negotiating table. The Russians wanted peace. NATO forced the Ukrainians to go to war.
    Which is why Russia invaded? Putin has a history ya’know, of other countries invaded or lands held. Is NATO responsible for all that as well?

    For the most part, up until recently, the Russians have been fighting the SMO with one hand tied behind their back, using around 15 percent of their capabilities.
    I’ve heard this before: the Russians (Putin) are playing 4D chess, and “meat-grinder” is just a part of their brilliant strategy. So desperate to demonstrate their integrity for a resolution for their eastern Ukrainian Russian brethren, that they’ll sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their own? Seems a poor strategy to me.

    The attack on Crocus City Hall changed Russian opinion, drastically.
    The Islamic State – Khorasan claimed responsibility. In cahoots with Ukraine, possibly? Not according to the Putin-dominated media. They blamed Ukraine 100%, with scant evidence.

    Worse for the West, large numbers of Russian speaking Ukrainian people support the Russians and have been secretly working with them.
    I know Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians in the states. While they love their nations and/or former homelands, all blame Putin and none even remotely speak of support Putin, from themselves or anybody they know over there. I’d need proof.

    The reality is that the Ukrainians have lost the legitimacy to run Eastern Ukraine. The West has been very careful about hiding the extent of Ukrainanian War Crimes to their own people after they overthrew the Ukrainian government in 2014.
    Probably true. But two wrongs (Russian atrocities well documented) don’t make a right.

    It seems rational to believe that Putin knew that the big military corporations behind NATO would’ve just loved yet another wartime economy, and as an added bonus, one fought via proxy. And so Putin’s strategy is… what again? To strengthen his ties to China and Iran?

  26. NR

    The irony of people who get their news exclusively from pro-Russian social media accounts complaining about Western propaganda is rich.

    (This is not to say that there is no such thing as Western propaganda, of course).

  27. Altandmain

    @Willy

    For what possible purpose? To speed up the usual months-long appropriations/logistical planning/building/sending/arming thing?

    To force the Ukrainians to negotiate.

    Ukraine was killing large numbers of Russian speaking civilians and had been since the US did a regime change in 2014 (the Maidan Coup). Then the Russians stepped in after the Ukrainians began to attack Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbass. This resulted in the Minsk Accords, which assured Ukrainian neutrality, and autonomy for the Russian speakers. The Ukrainians and the West had no intention of honoring that agreement.

    The Russians had never expected the Ukrainians to pursue a full scale conflict. What they did want was a neutral Ukraine and the Russian speakers in Ukraine to be safe from the government of Ukraine, who in their ideology of Banderist Neo-Nazism had been persecuting them.

    Which is why Russia invaded? Putin has a history ya’know, of other countries invaded or lands held. Is NATO responsible for all that as well?

    No he doesn’t. The only wars he has pursued have been provoked at the behest of the West – Georgia attacked South Ossetia at the behest of the neocons and Ukraine was a provoked war, after the US overthrew the government of Ukraine in 2014 then began shelling the Donbass, where the Russian speaking Ukrainians lived.

    If anything, Putin has been far too soft, and his softness has been perceived by the West as a weakness, and something to be taken advantage of.

    Following Russian public opinion, that appears to be the sentiment. Contrary to Western propaganda, there is opposition to Putin in Russia, but it’s not from Western liberals, who are increasingly discredited. It’s the hardline nationalists.

    I’ve heard this before: the Russians (Putin) are playing 4D chess, and “meat-grinder” is just a part of their brilliant strategy. So desperate to demonstrate their integrity for a resolution for their eastern Ukrainian Russian brethren, that they’ll sacrifice hundreds of thousands of their own? Seems a poor strategy to me.

    Russian casualties have been under 100k up until this point. IN fact, the only credible Western source that is tracking this, Mediazona, which is a Western backed news source, has the Russian deaths at around 50k.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-68819853

    The Russians are a very casualty averse military. They’ve been advancing slowly and carefully to minimize their losses. The modern battlefield looks like WW1 more so than any other war, only with modern weapons and especially drones. Rapid advances tend to lead to heavy losses, something Russia does not want.

    The idea that Russia has lost hundreds of thousands is a made up fiction with no breakdown and an attempt to keep morale up.

    By contrast, Ukraine’s losses are likely well over 500k. I’ve heard some talk that they may actually be in excess of 1 million. There are reasons why the Ukrainians are desperately trying to recruit old people, females, and trying to get the rich to repatriate their refugees back to Ukraine – they are facing a demographic crisis from their casualties.

    The Islamic State – Khorasan claimed responsibility. In cahoots with Ukraine, possibly? Not according to the Putin-dominated media. They blamed Ukraine 100%, with scant evidence.

    The Ukrainian SBU has already been bragging about it.

    https://en.topwar.ru/239090-glava-sbu-priznal-fakt-sovershenija-specsluzhboj-prestuplenij-na-territorii-rossii.html

    ISIS K is nothing more than an asset of the Western intelligence agencies. Notably for a supposed Islamic fundamentalist organization, they never attack Western or Israeli targets.

    They tend to always hit China, Russia, and other opponents of the US.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNmhDwrxvR0

    Real Islamic fundamentalist groups see the West and Israel as enemy number one.

    I know Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians in the states. While they love their nations and/or former homelands, all blame Putin and none even remotely speak of support Putin, from themselves or anybody they know over there. I’d need proof.

    Then that’s selection bias – the overwhelming majority of the Russian people have a high opinion of Putin, having saved their nation from Yeltsin and the Western imposed collapse of the 1990s.

    Internal Western polls have shown that Putin is as popular as the 2024 elections in Russian have. Keep in mind as well, that not everyone that voted against Putin necessarily is a liberal. As I’ve noted, many feel he is too soft.

    Zelensky is not at all popular in Ukraine – he cancelled the 2024 elections and is planning to overstay his term for a reason. He knows he would lose a legitimate election. The reality is that most Western Ukrainians don’t support Zelensky – they know that they are being used as human shields.

    The Russian speakers in the East – if anything some of them are unhappy that they didn’t join Russian in 2014 with Crimea. For many in the Donbass, switching their Ukrainian passports for Russian passports is one of the points of pride in their life.

    Ultimately, the West doesn’t care about Ukraine. It saw the Banderists as nothing more than useful idiots to use as a human shields to wage a proxy war to ultimately get another Boris Yelstin in.

  28. Willy

    NR,
    I wish I had your discipline when I have a bit of spare time. I checked every response and they indeed only checked out on Russian social media. Amazing how that works.

    So Putin’s been spending 2¼ years fighting a next door neighbor with a military smaller than either Egypt or Israel had (in 2022) to a virtual stalemate, because they’re being super cautious while waiting for somebody, anybody, to negotiate already. Yet somehow the USA easily and quickly kicked Saddam ass with his far larger Iraqi military, twice, from halfway around the world. US morale only flagged after their strategy of trying to remake the place yielded dubiously costly results. But not so for Russia! I can’t wait to learn more about Putin’s genius plans for Ukraine going forward.

    Anyhoo… this was about Israel’s ground forces sucking. I was gonna comment about how far they’ve fallen since their 6 Day War days, but after checking Israeli social media, hmmm… Maybe there’s a secret Netanyahoo plan.

  29. NR

    ISIS K is nothing more than an asset of the Western intelligence agencies. Notably for a supposed Islamic fundamentalist organization, they never attack Western or Israeli targets.

    This is false. ISIS-K was responsible for the attack on Kabul National Airport in 2021, which killed 13 U.S. soldiers and dozens of civilians. Rather a strange thing for a Western intelligence asset to do, isn’t it? But I guess Russian propaganda doesn’t have to make sense.

    Anyway, for anyone interested in learning more, there’s a good explainer about it here:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/23/moscow-concert-hall-attack-why-is-isil-targeting

    In reality, there are many reasons for ISIS-K to want to attack Russia that have nothing to do with the West. Russia (and the USSR) have fought several wars against Muslim separatist movements. More recently, Russia backed the Syrian government against ISIS. And a few weeks prior to the attack, Russian security forces attacked a group of Islamic extremists inside Russia, killing many. Propagandists’ attempts to blame this on Ukraine or the West simply don’t pass the smell test.

  30. Altandmain

    @Willly / NR

    Saddam didn’t have all of NATO stripping it’s entire stockpile trying to back him up.

    Ukraine does and right now, the aftermath is going to be a NATO that has been disarmed that will take years to rebuild its stockpile.

    There are signs of strain in NATO everywhere.

    https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2024/01/03/global_conflicts_expose_dire_us_munitions_shortage_1002444.html

    https://breakingdefense.com/2023/07/us-nato-weapons-stockpile-dangerously-low-usaf-general/

    If this isn’t obvious, Russia has defeated the combined NATO existing stockpiles and has out-produced the combined West.

    Compounding the problem, the US is going to have to supply Israel too and clearly lacks the industrial base to produce enough munitions.

    —-

    As for your ISIS-K comments, as I’ve noted the Ukrainian SBU has already admitted responsibility to the Crocus City Hall. Nothing else really matters and more importantly, the Russians will have no doubt determined the responsible party. The CIA has Manipulated ISIS for its own purposes in Afghanistan too.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/how-the-cia-used-isis-k-to-stay-in-its-afghanistan-business.html

    But regardless, they aren’t the guilty party for Crocus. The Ukrainians are.

    The attackers made numerous mistakes, such as how they posed in their “swearing to Allah” that are pretty amateurish. These weren’t Islamic fundamentalists that attacked Crocus City. They also tried to flee. Hint: Islamic Jihadists don’t flee. They consider it an Honor to die for Allah because they believe that they will go to heaven as martyrs. Islamic groups when they carry out these attacks either carry them out as suicide bomb attacks or they fight until death.

    Even if we were to pretend that these were Islamic groups, (which they aren’t for the reasons I’ve noted above, Islamic groups have very little reason to attack Russia today. Russia has settled the Chechen Wars and integrated the Chechens quite well into Russian society. The big difference is that the Russians integrated the Chechens in, which unlike the Ukrainians is why there have been no further separatists.

    Anyways, the Russians already know that Ukraine was responsible.

    https://tass.com/politics/1771527

    That along with the Ukrainian SBU admitting they did it should settle the matter.

    —-

    At the end of the day, NATO and the Israeli military forces and political leadership have proven as incompetent as they have evil. The Ukrainians were also trained extensively by NATO and are losing badly. You can see this now with the increasingly desperate moves by Ukraine and NATO.

    That’s why the US is heading to an Afghanistan like collapse in Ukraine that they experienced in 2021. Its what Biden fears could cost him the election and why he was desperate to get the Ukrainian aid bill passed.

    It’s alps why the Israeli military is totally incapable. Some of the early successes they has in the original conflict were led by veterans of WW2 and had a lot of previous experiences in combat. This generation doesn’t have that experience or competence.

    The fundamental problem is that all Western military forces, including Israel and Ukraine are not capable. If they really thought they could beat Russia and China in a conventional war, they would have already attacked. They know they can’t, so they are far more reluctant to attack. The same could be said about any attack on Iran by Israeli forces and the West.

  31. bruce wilder

    The irony of people who get their news exclusively from pro-Russian social media accounts complaining about Western propaganda is rich.

    The irony of our age is that propaganda is all there is, from all “sides”. News junkies like me used to love to have opinions — opinions were judgments made at home from ingredients conveniently delivered to your front porch, like fresh bread and milk. (Yes, delivery long before poverty created Door Dash!)

    To “judge” today is to have a moral certainty about who is the “good guy” in any conflict — nothing like the measured appraisal so valued at the water cooler of my youth. I think people are starved of facts and, ironically no doubt, feed on narrative instead. Instead of basing a narrative on scarce facts, people are forced to derive facts from an adopted (or is it “adoptive”?) narrative.

    I see people doing it all the time in many contexts: they align with some narrative and then they “know” the “facts” that go with that chosen narrative. Check that: the narrative supplies the “facts” that prove the narrative — neat trick, that.

    And, there are shadowy “facts” out there for you, either pushed into the shadows by authoritative denial or elevated from fantasy by professional manipulators. Overuse of synthesized outrage plays a part as does the selective credulousness of partisans — we hoi polloi are not entirely innocent victims; we help.

    I knew Israel’s army was crap on October 7, because October 7 was possible, because October 7 was necessary in a sense. Here’s the American Jewish Committee narrative: “On October 7, Hamas terrorists waged the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust — slaughtering babies, raping women, burning whole families alive . . .” The AJC “know” who are the “good guys” and who are the “bad guys” and their “facts” flow from that. I don’t think Hamas slaughtered babies or raped women. I think the IDF burned people to death including Israelis. I am still judging “facts” before judging players though it is a slow, hard slog with often very little to go on. Very powerful institutions are dedicated now to making sure there is both very little to go on and vast abundance to feed on, so that the honest of good will are not merely ignorant but doubtful and without recourse to good judgment.

    I do not know much about ISIS-K and I do not think it is possible outside the shadowy world created by international intelligence agencies and Saudi billionaires to know much.

    The War in Ukraine is reported in the West in a steady torrent of unrelenting propaganda. It was big of you, NR, to allow that Western propaganda is a thing, too. Like we are not all drowning in it.

  32. Willy

    The very best way to demand a negotiation when the military numbers are greatly in your favor, is to simply take the place. Do what the USA did in Iraq, shock and awe them (or what’s left of them) to the negotiation table. Then Russia would get some annexations, do some rebuildings, maybe create a Vichy Ukraine, then get the hell out and call it a day with Lessons Learned for NATO go suck on that.

    The reason why Russia didn’t do this, to apparently ‘choose’ quagmire instead, is because they couldn’t do anything else. This was the best they could do. Well, this along with a lot of highly implausible agitprop repeated from a social media complex which is not “free” or “capitalistic” but kept in line by a single autocrat who’ll have your ass arrested if you don’t.

    Smell test for tools: Reality never has one single guy being right all the time, every time, no matter what, with every possible skeptic, accuser, witness, naysayer and critic always being wrong no matter what. Reality doesn’t work that way.

    What this post does for me, is get me to wonder why Israel, with an army 100 times the size of Hamas’ army (at least on paper), hasn’t just taken Gaza, disarmed the citizenry, helped rebuild, starting from the north and moving southward.

  33. Altandmain

    @NR

    It looks like my last comment was eaten.

    Islamic groups don’t have the level of grievance against Russia. Chechnya has been integrated quite smoothly into Russia and the Chechens are quite happy with Putin (they just voted for him at a very high rate in the latest polls). IF anything, the stable integration of Chechnya could be a model for post-war Ukraine.

    None of this really matters though, in the context of Crocus City Hall, as ii was the Ukrainians, as their own SBU bragged about carrying out the attack.

    The Russians clearly believe the Ukrainians are responsible.

    https://tass.com/politics/1771527

    As I’ve said, the CiA uses ISIS for its own ends.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/how-the-cia-used-isis-k-to-stay-in-its-afghanistan-business.html

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/04/peace-in-the-middle-east-thats-a-threat.html

    Based on available evidence, it’s clear that ISIS K is a CIA asset. Otherwise we’d see attacks against US targets and especially Israeli targets.

    None of this really matters, as the Russians have determined who is responsible and will persecute the perpetrators.

  34. Failed Scholar

    The difference between Ukraine today and Iraq in 2003 is night and day. Saddam’s regime was haggard and at the end of decade+ of sanctions and weapons inspectors, whereas Ukraine had the largest army in Europe outside of Russia itself before the war, armed and trained for a decade by NATO and propped up by Western powers sending them everything plus the kitchen sink to keep them in the game. Hell, Ukraine’s entire government relies on salaries being paid for by Uncle Sam. Who was paying Iraq’s salaries? It really isn’t a good or even meaningful comparison.

    And Willy, this part makes me LOL: “hasn’t just taken Gaza, disarmed the citizenry, helped rebuild…”
    Helped rebuild??? TF? The same people who’ve dropped 20 000+ tons of American bombs on one of the most dense urban areas on the planet? Is this supposed to be trolling?

    In any case, one of the reasons Israel’s army sucks is because the real Israeli goal is to genocide as many Palestinians as possible and not actually to ‘win’, whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean. Since in the modern age you can’t just announce on live TV that your goal is to murder the entire population, you have to cloak it in some other bullshit. The Israeli military operations are essentially a fig-leaf designed to give cover to their murder campaign, so that at the end of the day the Israeli’s can shrug and say ‘jolly gee wilikers!, we had NO IDEA our military campaign would result in so many tragic civilian deaths, what a shame”. Most moral army and all that jazz. So the IDF is sent in on essentially photo-ops, but what they didn’t expect was to keep getting their noses bloodied over and over again on these missions. Instead of photo-ops the IDF has become walking targets amidst the ruins of Gaza, but they have to keep doing these missions to keep up appearances. Maybe next time they can try gas chambers? I’m told those are far more efficient.

  35. NR

    Altandmain:

    As for your ISIS-K comments, as I’ve noted the Ukrainian SBU has already admitted responsibility to the Crocus City Hall.

    Actually they didn’t. Not even your own link stated that. Did you even bother to read the article you linked to, or did you just read a brief blurb on one of the pro-Russian social media accounts you follow and decide that was enough?

  36. Altandmain

    I did read what I linked. The CIA is clearly using ISIS-K.

    First article:

    While the U.S. pretended to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) consistent reports from various sides alleged that core ISIS personnel were extracted by unmarked U.S. helicopters from Iraq and Syria and transferred to Nangarhar where they reinforced the ISKP militants.

    Let’s summarize – if the US were fighting ISIS, why send them somewhere else? Why aren’t the US forces trying to neutralize ISIS instead of transporting it to another country where the US has other interests?

    Nangarharin, Afghanistan is nowhere near the fighting in Iraq and Syria.

    If ISKP is, as shown above, a CIA/NDS product and if the guards at the airport who killed the ‘most victims’ in the attack are CIA led Afghan special forces why did all this happen?

    The poor CIA – pulled back into an expensive ‘counterterrorism’ mission in Afghanistan and elsewhere that was supposed to end until … well, until a CIA created terrorist outlet sent a suicide bomber to Kabul’s airport and until CIA led Afghan forces shot up and killed a large crowd of refugees.

    One might also call this the deep state’s revenge for President Biden’s order to retreat from Afghanistan.

    White House pressure on the spy agencies? No, CIA pressure on the White House to let it stay in its Afghanistan business.

    If the CIA is not controlling this organization, then who is pulling the strings?

    Second article:

    Burns likely threatened to withhold U.S. intelligence on terrorist groups from the Saudis. The CIA could additionally push some of its ISIS assets to make some nasty appearances in Saudi Arabia to then offer ‘help’ to ‘fight terrorism’.

    I do not think that this will work. The Saudis have had enough of U.S. interference in their region. They are looking for development and development requires peace.militants.

    So the Western world can threaten to unleash ISIS on Saudi Arabia. How can the US unleash something like ISIS without it being under the control of the US?

    did you just read a brief blurb on one of the pro-Russian social media accounts you follow and decide that was enough?

    When I look at a source, I look at the previous track record.

    – Let’s look at the article. Any sources that believed the Israeli military would prevail over Hamas can safely be ignored.
    – In the case of say, economics, any sources from economists who thought neoliberalism was a good idea can safely be ignored.
    – In the case of Russia and the SMO, any sources that discuss Russia running out of ammunition, computer chops, military equipment, etc, can be ignored. Likewise, any sources from 2022 or 2023 that predicted a major Russian defeat can be ignored.
    – Another example, the various sources that are claiming that China will collapse tomorrow can safely be ignored.

    In the case of the supposedly “pro-Russian” sources have been mostly accurate and have a solid track record. Ukraine has been facing a worsening military situation.

    Likewise, the sources that have said the IDF is effectively a paper tiger have an equally good track record. There may be individual units that are militarily competent, but the sources that claim otherwise are directionally correct.

    You could make an argument that there are a few that do recognize that they made a mistake and maybe able to redeem themselves (for example some economists may have come to terms with the failures of the neoliberal system), but they tend to be the exception.

  37. NR

    Altandmain:

    You said the following:

    the Ukrainian SBU has already been bragging about [being behind the attack on] Crocus City Hall.

    And then you linked to an article that said no such thing. Then you later said this:

    As for your ISIS-K comments, as I’ve noted the Ukrainian SBU has already admitted responsibility to the Crocus City Hall.

    So you have claimed multiple times that the Ukranian SBU admitted that they were responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack when the reality is that they never admitted any such thing, and the source you linked to that supposedly showed that did not, in fact, show that they admitted to it.

    So my question for you is, do you have a source that shows the Ukranian SBU admitting to being behind the Crocus City Hall attack, as you claimed they did? If so, can you provide it? And if not, are you willing to admit you were wrong to claim this without evidence, and stop making this claim in the future?

  38. Willy

    Failed Scholar,

    Ukraine had the largest army in Europe outside of Russia itself before the war

    False. According to this very easy to understand website (with many others corroborating) France, UK, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain and Poland had larger militaries in 2021.

    https://www.globalfirepower.com/global-ranks-previous.php

    I’d need a credible source to back up what you say. And no, I wont consider anything linked to autocratic Russia to be credible.

    As for the commentary about Gaza… I’ve never been any kind of fan of Netanyahoo. I believe that Israel is doing the exact wrong thing, even for its own self-interest. I believe that the IDF sucks. What’s your point?

  39. Ian Welsh

    Willy,

    your link is to a “firepower index”, not something which says how large the military is. There is no question that Ukraine had more men under arms than any other country but Russia before the war.

    See: https://www.businessinsider.com/these-are-the-25-most-powerful-militaries-in-europe-2018-11#4-turkey-overall-ranking-9-22

    (ignore the rankings, look at the number of personnel.)

  40. Altandmain

    @NR, I’ve already shown my link.

    https://en.topwar.ru/239090-glava-sbu-priznal-fakt-sovershenija-specsluzhboj-prestuplenij-na-territorii-rossii.html

    The SBU chief, Vasily Malyuk, did this on an interview on Ukrainian television. If this says “no such thing”, then there’s no convincing you.

    If you want the background of it, it’s that there is an interservice rivalry between the SBU (which is roughly an internal security agency like the Gestapo) and the GUR (Ukrainian military intelligence), particularly as its head, Kyrylo Budanov, has become a media star. The SBU felt slighted compared to the GUR.

    It was very foolish for the Ukrainian SBU head to admit this on TV, but that’s what happened. That’s what a bruised ego can do. It’s not the level of discretion that I would expect from a person in that position. He wouldn’t be the first to be promoted for ideology over competence in Ukraine.

    The Russians have demand his extradition. This has been reported throughout the world:

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2024-04-01/Russia-seeks-extradition-of-Ukrainian-security-chief-for-terrorism–1srf6Sx5eeY/p.html

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/crocus-city-hall-attack-russia-seeks-extradition-of-ukraine-security-chief/videoshow/108934756.cms

    Needless to say, Ukraine has not complied with the extradition request.

    The Russians would not have done this just on something that someone had said on TV – they would have done their own investigation.

    Extraditions in the world of law are not demanded casually (certainly not in Russia, where Putin, who is coming from a background in law, tends to take a very legalistic approach to running the nation, such as how he took down many of the Russian oligarchs).

    If someone is being extradited, let’s just say that the case against that person from the nation that is requesting the extradition on is going to be very difficult for the defendant to beat in court.

    At the end of the day, you can believe what you want. It won’t change the reality that Russia will find the guilty party and deal with the situation. I’ve met people who still think Saddam in Iraq had WMDs before 2003 and economists who still think neoliberalism is great, pretending 2008 never happened nor that China’s rapid growth never happened (neoliberals like to claim credit for it and pretend China is neoliberal).

  41. Failed Scholar

    Willy,

    Those numbers I mentioned were widely reported at the start of hostilities in 2022, right from those Le Heckin’ Based Western Media that you seem to hold in such high regard. From Canada’s Pravda: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-russia-military-comparison-1.6365115

    Ukraine’s standing military forces was 200 000 active duty personnel, 900 000 reserves. 5 000 tanks (? or do they mean armoured fighting vehicles – “journalists” often conflate the two). Can you name me any other Euro country in 2022 that had more than 200 000 active duty and 900 000 reserve forces? Or 5000 tanks? Europe’s tank fleet barely registers on the scales, it’s so damn tiny. I recall being amazed a few years ago to discover that Greece VASTLY outnumbers Germany’s tank forces – even though Greece uses German Leopards.

    Similar numbers were reported by CNN at the time: https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/25/europe/russia-ukraine-military-comparison-intl

    And it makes sense that Ukraine would actually have quite a large army as they did inherit shit-tonnes of Soviet equipment, as well as ~20% of the Soviet Unions entire military-industrial base – something else that’s often forgotten in discussions of Ukraine. Ukraine was never some teensy-weensy defenseless little power, although the media narrative surrounding them certainly favours that interpretation.

    Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022 with ~200K-250K troops, according to Western sources, which means they went up against a foe that outnumbered them 3-1 to 4-1.

    I was curious and looked up the 2024 numbers according to the site you linked:

    https://www.globalfirepower.com/active-military-manpower.php
    Active Military Manpower by Country (2024)

    Russia #4
    Ukraine #6

    Other than Russia and Ukraine, there are literally no other Euro countries even in the top 20 militaries in terms of active military manpower.

    Military reserves: https://www.globalfirepower.com/active-reserve-military-manpower.php

    Russia #4
    Ukraine #6
    UK #8
    Finland #9

  42. NR

    Altandmain:

    @NR, I’ve already shown my link.

    And as I pointed out to you, your link does not say what you claim it says. Your own link does not say that the Ukranian SBU admitted to being behind the Crocus City Hall attack. Nowhere does it say that.

    I really don’t know how to explain it any more simply than that. Ukraine did not admit to being behind the Crocus City Hall attack, and the link you provided does not show that.

  43. Altandmain

    If you want pretend that Russia hasn’t done a very thorough investigation and hasn’t ask for extradition of the SBU chief, that’s on you. It’s not going to change reality. You can pretend that the SBU head didn’t just admit what he did on Ukrainian TV.

    It’s interesting to note the same Western sources claiming that Russia was running out of ammunition, chips, and had taken catastrophic losses in 2022 are pushing the ISIS-K narrative.

    To use my previous post, their track record is abysmal. Worse, they lied about everything.

    The West was not able to keep its story straight. In fact, it looks worse because right after the attack, they immediately claimed ISIS-K.

    https://sonar21.com/usg-cant-get-its-story-straight-on-terrorist-warning-to-moscow-while-baltimore-bridge-collapse-seems-apt-metaphor-for-america/

    Nope. The USG is pushing the line that “We warned the Russians and they did not act.” Sure looks like a psy-op to me designed to paint Putin as a heartless goon who ignored our intelligence. That is precisely the line the intel community is feeding to Sy Hersh in his latest piece:

    The “American intelligence experts” are misrepresenting what was publicly released. It did not say, “Starting from today, 7 March, extremists intend to attack large gatherings, including concerts; therefore American citizens should avoid these places until further notice.” NOPE! Just for 48 hours. It is a very dangerous game that is being played here.

    In that regard, I find that everything the West has said, including the talk of ISIS K can’t be taken seriously.

    It actually looks worse because the warning they have and the what actually happened are contradictory.

    https://sonar21.com/a-desperate-west-steps-up-its-covert-actions-as-delusional-thinking-persists/

    Which brings me to the fact that both Sy Hersh and The NY Times came out with articles in the last 24 hours attacking the Russians as inept and accusing them of ignoring the warnings. This sure smacks of a coordinated info op to me because the essence of the argument is based on false claims. Let me explain starting with the claims advanced by NY Times reporters Paul Sonne, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz in their piece, Why Russia’s Vast Security Services Fell Short on Deadly Attack:

    There is a factual problem here — the “Duty to Warn” doctrine did not commence in 2015. It started in the Fall of 1989. I was there at its creation. To repeat, in the aftermath of the bombing of Pan Am 103 there were rumors and reports that the U.S. Government warned its employees not to board the doomed flight. That was not true, but it gained some currency in the popular media. The decision was made to come up with a policy for warning the public. My boss, Ambassador Morris Busby, led the effort. The decision was made to provide a public warning if we had credible intelligence but had low confidence it could be prevented. In tandem with that the threat information would be shared with the foreign government where the threat existed. Ideally, if we had credible and specific information, then it would not be necessary to alert the public because the culprits could be interdicted and the plot foiled. Otherwise, a warning was issued and the host government informed of more details via intelligence channels.

    If you give me the choice between believing Russians, who for the most part have been truthful up until this point (and the Russian Ministry of Defense, whose reports are mostly corroborated after with evidence), versus the West, who has a ridiculous track record of lying in ways that almost comical, such as the claim the Russians would run out of ammunition and chips in March 2022, I’d say the Russian claims have a 90+ percent chance of being right.

  44. NR

    Altandmain:

    You can pretend that the SBU head didn’t just admit what he did on Ukrainian TV.

    I’m not “pretending” anything. The Ukranian SBU head did not admit to being behind the Crocus City Hall attack.

    Tell you what. Why don’t you quote the part of the article where Ukraine supposedly admits to being behind the Crocus City Hall attack. Just copy and paste it into the comments here. That should be easy enough to do, and then we can all see what you’re talking about.

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