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Open Thread

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The Debt Trap That Helped Take Down Sri Lanka Was Not Chinese


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 17, 2022


  1. Z

    An excellent twitter thread on the intellectual dishonesty of many of those who say that Russia is the unhinged aggressor in this war:

    *Note: this link might not always work because the twitter account is often closed down, usually at night, by the poster.


  2. Willy

    Here’s my Top 5 Predictions for Ukraine.

    1. Russia will rebuild the places they’ve destroyed/conquered but leave what’s left of Ukraine alone. For now. Gotta keep those forces in place. As we all know, those pesky Jewish Nazis tend to keep popping up when we least expect.

    2. A monument to our heroic Russian comrade patriots will be built in Zaryadye Park. The snack bar will feature excellent Pirozhki with an image of a fallen generals face stamped into the top crust. Diners who’ve collected the whole set will get another one for free.

    3. NATO will realize the error of their ways and kick out Finland and Sweden. “What the hell were we even thinking?!” they’ll exclaim. Maybe Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will get the boot too, all together, since they usually come as a 3-pack. Oh hell, add in Poland, Check-plus-Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to the list.

    4. Western neoliberal plutocrats will feel badly about the way they’ve treated the Russians. To make amends, they’ll foot the bill to ensure the 5 million+ Ukrainian refugees find good homes, plus jobs even, in their new countries and companies.

    5. And finally, Putin will find that magic elixir and live well past a hundred. And were not talking about that cheap crap that left Lenin looking fresh but still dead after all these years. It’ll be the good stuff.

  3. bruce wilder

    I scrolled down in Twitter from Z’s @baronichitas to Aaron Mate & Max Blumenthal ranting about the mainstream media retailing disinformation.

    Both perspectives turn on the ready embrace by the powerful and their helpers of forms of intellectual dishonesty.

    For the powerful, communication and “argument” are tools, ways to manipulate and control or failing that, render impotent and ignorant their target audience.

    The Russian war with Ukraine is demonstrating the bankruptcy of a journalism that has lost sight of standards of objective fact not to mention sound moral judgment.

    Baron of the Taiga mistakes the assertion that Russia’s war in Ukraine is brutal and unjust for an argument that Russia’s war is brutal or unjust. He shows that few Westerners spouting this line are arguing at all. Also most taking this line are hypocrites, who do not really care about brutality or injustice in most circumstances.

    All true, but he seems to see the big picture without quite articulating it: that the narrative is performative, a dramatic pose, a costume provided by Power to those who want to play along at home.

    Blumenthal and Mate get that professional journalism is antagonistic to power, not its dresser. A respect for factual truth and moral complexity is a commitment to forego power, tear it down even.

    Power employing violence is brutal and unjust. Duh. War is brutal and unjust. Duh.

    Blumenthal and Mate make the point that the economic war declared by the U.S. and its allies parallel to the actual war engaged in by Ukraine and Russia is also very destructive of the interests of many ordinary people, just like actual war. This is what Power unconstrained and unaccountable does.

  4. Tallifer

    Cheerleaders for Putin remind me of the Western communists (especially the French philosophers and artistes) who cheered for Stalin and then for the post-Stalin repression of the Hungarian and Czech would-be revolutions. I expect the same full-throated endorsement by the left of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

  5. bruce wilder

    Cheerleaders for Biden remind me that there are fewer and fewer cheerleaders for Biden but still too many to be accounted for by a normal distribution of human intelligence or perceptiveness.

  6. Z

    Would love to believe that Let Them Eat Shit Mitch and his crew on that side of the aisle will cancel Weekend at Biden’s after the mid-terms by impeaching The Lead Stiff, but I can’t come up with any practical reasons from their selfish, power hungry point of view that they’d actually want to get rid of him/it.

    Watching all these politicians go over to Ukraine to visit War Pimp Zelenskyy to ostensibly support him and his Kiev-caine Cowboys in their war effort to “protect democracy” makes me wonder if they are actually going over there to make sure they’re getting their cut of the grift and to ensure that some of the flow of funds being sent to Ukraine are being routed in some way into foreign accounts set up for them.

    One would imagine that it is safer and less traceable (((and potentially leaves themselves less compromised))) to go over there and check that out in person than it would be if they checked that stuff on the internet here, especially with our security state which they know all too well keeps records of those things on their servers. Not to mention the potential danger of 4chan and hackers getting their hands on it and that those revelations, if true, could place our political system on the brink of blowing up spectacularly in the pyrotechnics of our rulers’ corruption.


  7. bruce wilder

    The most shared article at The Guardian is Simon Tisdall calling for a NATO attack on Russia.

    there is an alternative: using Nato’s overwhelming power to decisively turn the military tide.

    As previously argued here, direct, targeted, forceful western action to repulse Russia’s repulsive horde is not a vote for a third world war. It’s the only feasible way to bring this escalating horror to a swift conclusion while ensuring Putin, and those who might emulate him, do not profit from lawless butchery.

    Intent on inflicting maximum disruption, Putin openly menaces the heartlands of European democracy. The writing is on the wall and may no longer be ignored. Enough of the half-measures and the dithering! Nato should act now to force Putin’s marauding troops back inside Russia’s recognised borders.

    It’s not only Ukraine that requires saving. It’s Europe, too.

    Makes cheerleading for Putin seem sublime.

  8. DMC

    Honestly, what did Zelensky and his State Dept. handlers EXPECT to happen, after UKR is completely unable to comply with the Minsk accords? To wit, Ze being unable to reign in Right Sektor and the Azovs, though I do give him credit for at least trying. But the Nazis wouldn’t quit with shelling the Donbas and Putin had 2 choices: 1. Do nothing, until the larger power structure decided he’d gone soft and needed to be removed from power(with extreme prejudice) or 2. Do something, and as all diplomatic means had been exhausted(yes they HAD), offensive military action was all that was left on the table. Of course, 1 and 2 were exactly what Victoria Nuland and the whole Neo-con cabal have been working on for at least the last 20 years. They’re hoping to set up another Afghanistan to bleed the Russians white but Ukraine is largely flat rather than mountainous, so wars of maneuver are still possible. The Russians have short supply lines and the Ukies have to import almost everything and hope 30% of it makes it to the troops in the field, rather than being stolen or destroyed on the ground by air or artillery. Ze has suppressed all opposition parties, muzzled the press and purged his own government of all deemed insufficiently zealous, rendering the notion that this is a fight for Democracy utterly risible.

  9. Z

    Ask yourself this: if we’re not willing to die for democracy then why even live? Huh? Answer that!

    Personally, I know I can’t enjoy making love, a walk in the woods, or a good meal unless people all over the world also have the right to vote for candidates our rulers choose for them to represent our rulers’ interests.


  10. Z

    Give me a choice of Joe Biden or Donald Trump or give me death!


  11. Z

    Speed Queen Nancy P, another doped up 80+ year old idiot, threatens world peace and brings the world closer to nuclear annihilation:

    Glad to see this disgusting, egotistical assh*le is living her golden years to the fullest …


  12. Z

    And of course The Lead Stiff of Weekend at Biden’s ego only knows escalation …

    Him/it is willing to go out with a bang and take all humanity with him if need be.


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