The United States(!) of A

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factotum started the topic in Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 11:12am

Septic Tanks are going to Septic Tank

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etarip Monday, 6 Feb 2023 at 4:26pm

The tent?

Dunno what you’re talking about. I just haven’t seen him for years. Y’know, like when you go to uni with someone and play footy together and drink beers occasionally and then you both get jobs and have families and move around and just don’t cross paths again?

I’d gladly sit down and have a beer with him and talk about all this stuff. I’m pretty sure he’s probably of the same mind. Maybe he isn’t.

Oh, the MSM? But you hate those guys. Right? And from 2014? It’s a useful snapshot of views and perspectives at a point in time, particularly when it comes to EU membership and the like? What do you think is behind the changes in public sentiment in Ukraine between 2014 and Feb 2022? And then the changes in sentiment on the same issue between Feb 2022 and now? Any guesses?

What do you reckon about the last paragraph of that article?

“Only Ukrainians can overcome this crisis. Continuing outside interference is both provocative and dangerous.”

I guess it’s provocative if you subscribe to the view that Ukrainians aren’t really Ukrainians at all, but rather ‘little Russians’. Which is the only basis upon which you can regard the Russian invasion as anything but ‘outside interference’….? Right?

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gsco Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 2:54pm

Interesting stuff being reported by ZeroHedge (and others): Nord Stream Sabotage Was CIA, US Navy Covert Op: Seymour Hersh Bombshell Prompts White House Response.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist.

It's even in the Daily mail:

Here's the full substack: How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline.

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GreenJam Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 3:44pm

no surprises there gsco

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Jelly Flater Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 3:53pm

C’mon maaaaan !
We’re the good guys ;)


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gsco Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 6:35pm

Gday etarip, was hoping for your perspective: how is this going to end in Ukraine?

I don’t see Russia ever backing down. Providing Ukraine with tanks and planes etc will just drag it on forever?

What’s the West’s plan here? Right now it’s just continued escalation.

Even if Russia started to lose a conventional military war, they’ll just use nukes?

I don’t see where anyone is going with this.

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etarip Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 7:57pm

Flip those questions and think about it from the other side.

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etarip Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 9:05pm

BLUF: I don’t know, but I don’t think appeasement is the answer. Which is what some people are proposing. Give up territory for cessation of military action, based on the assumption that nuclear armed powers don’t / can’t / won’t lose… or not win (which is clearly false anyway - US Korea and Vietnam, USSR Afghanistan).

I’ll ask a couple of questions back, because they’re important. This is a long post, probably with a few typos and a lack of flow because I’m writing on my phone while I’m waiting for kids to go to sleep.

You’ve framed this in terms of Western escalation. What are, in order, the most escalatory events or actions that have occurred in this war since December 2021? Because I don’t see supply of conventional weapons as being inherently ‘escalatory’. Historically, was the USSR’s supply of weapons, and even active participation (although not admitted) in the Korean and Vietnam Wars escalatory? No. Because the war wasn’t existential for the US then, and I don’t think victory in Ukraine is existential for Russia either. Which leads to the next question. What is victory for Russia? A cessation of fighting along current lines? Agreement by Ukraine to cede ALL Russian claimed territory (a significant % of which which Russia doesn’t control right now)

Do you think the will and capacity of Russia to continue this war is greater than the will and capacity of Ukraine to do so? I’m not sure that it is, so there is certainly an element of brinkmanship here by Russia.

Is the ‘cost’ to the ‘West’ greater than they’re willing to bear? It’s *a* financial impost yes, but that’s largely sunk cost imo. They’re not giving them the newest or the most expensive equipment. Far from it. And that cost is, again imo, probably something that western policy makers (ie, not the military itself because they don’t own the budget) are prepared to absorb while Russia commits itself to a strategy of attrition. I think it’s the Estonians or Latvians that have basically given the Ukrainians half their annual defence budget. Cheap way to degrade your most likely threat.

Now, Russia and cost. And hypocrisy. Russia (and by extension those that parrot its narrative) seem to forget a couple of things about the Great Patriotic War. First, the USSR sided with the Nazis from 1939 until 1941, invaded Poland. Then after WW2 annexed the Baltic states. That central / Eastern European bloc have not forgotten. They’ll back Ukraine to the hilt. Poland is on track to become the largest European army. That’s not because they’re worried about Germany btw.
Secondly, Russia was itself reliant on Western material aid throughout the war. In spite of having a far greater industrial capacity than it does now. I’m not sure that the Russian arsenal of tanks is as deep as we might suspect. And I don’t think production of new tanks is keeping up with attrition. There’s a couple of historical similes here - UK / US aid kept Russia in the war in 1941-43 until Germany exhausted itself. Secondly, Soviet supply of weapons, intelligence and expertise enabled North Korea and Vietnam to meet the US on more even terms in those wars. This is where sanctions play a significant role. Doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got if you can’t buy what you need.
Third point about the Great Patriotic War goes to the idea that this points to the superior will of the Russian people to prevail. It’s easy to forget that the “USSR” won, not “Russia”. Ukraine (which was a separate “SSR” until it became independent in 1991) lost between 8 and 14 million dead in WW2. The USSR somewhere around 25 in total.

The relevance of this? Perhaps we’re underestimating the capacity of the Ukrainians to bear the cost of resistance. I don’t see that there is much appetite for giving up right now. Polls in Ukraine are showing the opposite.

You’ve asked a question about the West’s strategy in this. I’ll ask you right back. What’s Russia’s strategy? What’s their aim, what does the end of the war look like. Does their way of reaching that end line up? And do their means even allow them to do that. Because whatever they take, at whatever cost, they’re going to have to hold. I think this is, and I posted this in March (ish) last year, an example of committing to a war without working out what type of war you want to fight. I don’t know what Russia’s aims are (de-Nazification?), and I don’t know what their strategy is. But they’re going ‘all-in’ right now because they’re probably looking at their own balance sheets and projected Ukrainian capabilities in April / May and figure that this is their best shot to achieve a. Increased territorial control and b. Disruption of Ukr preparation for counter-offensives to retake territory in late spring / early autumn.

What’s the Wests strategy? If I could sum it up? Don’t let Russia win. As long as Ukraine is willing to fight, keep them in the fight.

I think Ukraines aims are clear - restoration of pre- 24/02/22 borders, and I think Crimea is something that they might negotiate on.

Long post. Sorry. Haven’t even touched the sides.

By the way JF. I don’t give a fk what you think or what YouTube clip you post.

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etarip Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 9:15pm

As far as use of nuclear weapons goes, I’m not sure that it’s a credible threat, either tactically or as a strategic option. I posted a piece on Russian nuclear deterrence doctrine a few months back. Russia has been hyping (then walking back) nuclear threats since March last year.

The only case I can see that they *might* consider tactically it would be if there was a complete collapse of the front and risk of catastrophic failure. But I can’t see the Ukrainians achieving that type of success in the short term.

Would Russia use a low-yield nuke as a demonstration, in the Black Sea? It’s conceivable, but (aside from the significant collateral to their own interests) where does it leave you if it doesn’t work?

Would Russia nuke Kyiv? Do you think so?

I was chatting to a mate yesterday who’s worked a lot on nuclear security and non-proliferation issues at a technical and academic level. This scenario has really exposed the limitations of existing nuclear deterrence / coercion / compellence theory.

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gsco Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 9:37pm

Thanks for the responses, much appreciated.

I'd be interested to hear your view on a seemingly heartfelt essay penned just yesterday by the Russian ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, if you get some time to read it: The Ukrainian Dilemma and the Unavoidable (also below).

Personally I don't know what to think about it all but I try to keep an open mind. My worry is things significantly expanding outside of Ukraine, due to no one being willing to back down, negotiate or appease on anything at all.

Oleg Stepanov wrote:

For Russian diplomats these days, it is challenging to get through the Western media mainstream. But we will give it a try. And maybe someone will read and give it a thought.

Appearing last November in the Power Play talk show on CTV News channel I expressed an opinion that the Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine at some point had become unavoidable. Despite Moscow until the very last day believed that it could have been avoided. But the following discussion (as the previous interactions between my colleagues and the media) indicated that either there was no desire to get to the bottom of the current crisis, or there was not enough knowledge, or both.

Let’s take a history lesson. We all know from studying books about the humankind from ancient Greece and Rome to the modern days that every conflict has its causes. No matter how objective or subjective, imaginary or real they may be, they exist. And Ukraine is no exception.

In the late 1980s, due to various reasons the Soviet Union began to crumble with centrifugal tendencies. The multinational state collapsed with a series of ethnic conflicts (in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Central Asia, etc.). But, in general, while opinions may differ, everything ended in Belovezhskaya Pushcha with an almost civilized divorce as it seemed then.

Russia took upon itself the burden of international debt of the former USSR and decided to proceed to civilized divorce with other Soviet republics along the borders, as they had been determined by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, somewhere reflecting, but somewhere not, the historic “Russian proper”.

My country set on the path of building a federal multi-ethnic state with a Russian majority, but with respect for the rights, culture, interests of all nationalities that inhabited this land where everyone could enjoy democratic rights – freely learning the language, choosing religion and traditions of family upbringing. So that in all our regions people could speak not only Russian, but also their native tongue, be it in the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, Yakutia or elsewhere. As well as giving the same rights and freedoms to vibrant communities of diasporas (Armenian, Azeri, Georgian, etc.).

We hoped that the same approach would prevail with our neighbors. And here Ukraine comes to the fore. What was happening there during the same period?

Part of Ukraine was historically under Poland, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, another part was populated by Russians. The Bolsheviks played with the lands and their borders, including by adding to what is now called Ukraine, regions such as Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa, Crimea and others that historically had been Russian proper but were later incorporated into Ukraine by politicians.

Anyway, independent Ukraine, as we know it now, appeared three decades ago in that composition. We were looking at it as a sister state where half of the population was historically Russian. We hoped it should become the new Switzerland, Canada, or Belgium in terms of adherence to democratic and human rights norms. A democratic state where all peoples, languages and ethnicities peacefully live side by side and build common future. It was 1992.

It’s 2023 now. More than 30 years have passed. Presidents changed in Ukraine. There was former communist leader Kravchuk, Soviet administrator Kuchma, nationalist Yushchenko, and then Yanukovich (who was called pro-Russian, but continued Ukrainization in the same accelerated pace). Despite the difference in their publicly expressed views, they were all disastrous in the internal agenda. Regardless of political affiliation, each leader repeated the same fatal error – they acted from ultranationalist Western Ukrainian positions trying to create a mono-ethnic state.

Instead of uniting Western Ukraine and the Russian East, Cosmopolitan Centre and South they all failed to find courage to say that Ukrainians are larger than one ethnic group, but one nation aimed at common future.

There were regions that did not want to be separatists, never thought of seceding, but wanted to enjoy dignified democratic equality. To simply watch TV and read newspapers, receive education and public services, etc. in their native language (and we remember that in Ukraine besides Russians there are still those who speak Hungarian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Moldavian, Romanian, etc. – and they should all be equal too).

I am now in Canada and observe first-hand how this country managed to find the strength to build a democratic society where the people speaks two official languages and where Indigenous languages are respectfully cherished. An English speaker who comes from Oakville entitled to the same service in Montreal or Quebec City as the French speaker from Papineau or Ahunstic-Cartierville somewhere in Vancouver. Canada, given its strong Ukrainian community and connections, invested heavily in building a new Ukrainian state, but inexplicably failed to share its experience of bilingualism. Had it shared, maybe there would be no current conflict.

But, we got too carried away with the narrative. The next important milestone was the year 2014. As a result of political pressure in the aftermath of the anti-Constitutional rebellion in Kiev, in February there was reached the Agreement on the settlement of the political crisis in Ukraine, initialed by representatives of the three European powers – Germany, France and Poland, witnessed by Russia, with the U.S. present but refusing to put its signature. In few months, the country was to hold snap elections. And everyone knew that incumbent president Yanukovich would not win. Even he himself knew that. But those perspectives that could have allowed Ukraine to survive through the crisis with at least semblance of democratic decency were trampled on at the behest of Washington.

Democratically elected Yanukovich was illegally deprived of power and moved to Kharkov (but did not flee the country as Western politicum forces the public to believe). And here it comes. Please, pay attention. In the past decades there have also been coups in other parts of the world. The U.S., EU and the West in general always say they never accept the overthrow of democratically elected leaders. But it turns out that in this regard Ukraine was treated as a second-rate country. There the democratically elected, congratulated and recognized president (whether he became unpopular or not) was forcefully kicked out of the office with the West dead silent.

But we digress again. There was a coup. Frenzied opposition nationalists, who violated the agreements reached with the mediation of the West, seized power and said that they would ‘take care’ of the Russian Ukrainians. Their first draft legislation was aimed at excluding the Russian language from Ukraine. It didn’t become law, however, the intent of the new authorities was a warning to the half of the population that it would soon be discriminated against in terms of language and culture.

(This opposition, in fact, consisted of fascists glorifying Shukhevich and Bandera, who immediately sent militants to Crimea and tried to seize power in the Autonomous Republic that was ethnically predominantly Russian, but voluntaristically “transferred” by Khrushchev from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to Soviet Ukraine in 1957).

Of course, after this first attempt to discriminate against the Russian language and Russians, significant part of the Ukraine’s population realized that the new “government” would bring hardship and, perhaps, even death. That was why Crimea and Donbass rebelled. The West, instead of suppressing the nationalistic sentiment in Kiev, began to play along with them, thereby igniting the conflict.

One of the indications the West has never been pro-Ukrainian, but always anti-Russian in order to drag us into the conflict.

Crimea unequivocally decided to return to Russia. And I am glad to see that in spite of trying to question the legitimacy of the relevant referendum the West no longer denies that Crimea could not remain in Ukraine in that situation. The population only benefited from returning to Russia. Russian, Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar languages are equally recognized and respected, education guaranteed, and paperwork administered in their language of choice. And speaking of Crimean Tatars, as an ethnic group they gained more after returning to Russia than during the period under Ukraine, including all the rights and freedoms granted by our Constitution (social, cultural, religious, linguistic, educational, labour, property, etc.). The development of the peninsula has proved that all peoples there live in harmony and prosperity. Any Western politician who has been to Crimea can confirm this.

Then came the civil war in Donbass. An inter-Ukrainian conflict between the nationalists and the regions that were ready to stay in Ukraine if their rights were respected. But the Kiev regime (first headed by Poroshenko, and now by Zelenskiy) denied them this. Denied the very same rights of being bilingual enjoyed in Canada, but refused in Ukraine. And Trudeau’s cabinet has been silent about this, as was silent Harper’s government in 2014-2015.

With great effort the civil war in Donbass was halted (at least for the time) by the Minsk agreements. President Vladimir Putin personally was constantly trying to convince the leadership in Kiev that the conflict would be settled once everything that had been signed was implemented.

Though, as it turns out now, the West wanted not a win-win situation, but a zero-sum game, in order to achieve not a consensus, but the defeat of Russia within a broader geopolitical game at the expense of the Russians living in Ukraine. In their recent candid remarks, European politicians, including German ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and previous French President Francois Oland were pretty frank about that, as well as about the real purpose of the Minsk agreements aimed at deceiving Russia and give Kiev time to accumulate forces for striking Donbass and Crimea.

For seven years, Russia had been honestly trying to reach a settlement with Ukraine and the West. At the very end of 2021, we even came up with draft security guarantee agreements, a new deal between the West and Russia that would respect the rights of buffer states and ensure peace in the Euro-Atlantic. But our offers were haughtily rejected.

Some accused Russia of lying that there would not be military operation. Forgetting that at the same time we reminded: there would be no need for employing military if there was no provocation. Only if Kiev did not decide to arrange a blitzkrieg against Donbass. For years we have been telling our partners that any such attempt would be a disaster, primarily for Ukraine and the European security. But no one listened or heard.

Between November 2021 and January 2022, there was a lot of talk in the Western media that Russia was amassing 125,000 troops on the border. Meanwhile, everyone in the West knew, and was silent that Ukraine through 2021 was concentrating close to 300,000 troops for a lightning strike against Donetsk and Lugansk. To take over the republics, reach the borders of Russia, enlist NATO support, and put us before this fact.

That is why our special military operation became inevitable. We recognized the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk republics and after the when we saw that Kiev’s offensive against the Russian population of Donbass was imminent, we could not act otherwise and preemptively applied article 51 of the UN Charter. The tragedy of this situation is that anti-popular regime in Kiev guided by the West has been mobilizing more and more men and women for senseless slaughter in a bluff doomed to failure.

Russia reaffirms the goals of the special military operation. And they all will be achieved. Ukrainians will live in a federal, multilingual, multicultural, democratic, stable, prosperous country free from internal conflict where every citizen feels free and safe. And Russia will provide it.

This is the only finale for the current crisis. Whether it will be achieved by diplomatic or military means largely depends on the West.

If the West continues to supply the regime in Kiev with weapons, equipment, and expertise, this conflict will be protracted with more blood and suffering.

And the result will be the same – for Ukraine and the geopolitical balance. The longer the West continues ignoring the will of its constituents and proceeds with its irresponsible policies, the greater the risks to global stability. Until it’s too late, the West and Europe in particular must realize – there is a way out of the crisis. Kiev shall announce that it ceases hostilities, orders its troops and nationalistic units to lay down arms, voluntarily subjects itself to demilitarization and denazification. This is the only way to build a healthy society in Ukraine in accordance with the interests of its people.

This is the future. But right now we are to the south of ending the kinetic conflict. No matter what, it will be definitely settled. Russia will not retreat from ensuring its interests, whether someone likes it or not. We are realists and proceed from the interests of our own citizens, our own security, and economic well-being. So, are our Western counterparts ready to meet the interests of their citizens? This is the question for their governments and voters.

And, a separate, but crucial thought.

Ukrainian conflict is not the thing-in-itself core issue. It’s just a symptom, a sign of ailment the current world order is striving to survive.

Western leaders and thinkers have to pay utmost attention to the ontological differences in how Russia and the West look at the crisis. We comprehend it through spiritual optics, they – in a very materialistic manner. One shall not disregard as mere words President Putin’s October 2018 statement at Valdai Club meeting that “we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish”. For Russia, the resolution of the crisis will have been based not only on balance of powers and interests, but also with the traditional values-based multiplier in the equation. For the West to believe it is all only about territories, borders, military balance in Europe would be a shortsighted error.

I tried to convey my message as frankly as possible as a diplomat, an analyst, and a Russian citizen who thanks to historical and family ties knows from the inside about the situation in Ukraine both today and yesterday.

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etarip Thursday, 9 Feb 2023 at 10:39pm

Negotiations are ongoing. I’m sure of that.
Compromise is possible, but that’s up to the Ukrainians to decide on what they are willing to compromise. I’d suggest that there isn’t much.
Appeasement is a policy of failure.

I think while heartfelt, that account is neither objective nor truthful. It portrays ‘Russia’ as both benevolent and a martyr, neither of which are true. The Russian ‘federation’ is a colonial enterprise but it doesn’t get to dictate / determine what happens outside its borders, no matter how much it wants to or convinces itself that it deserves to. The entire letter is entirely absent of any reflection of Russia’s own history, weaknesses, failures and missteps.

The perspective of Ukraine in particular is entirely emotive. Who the hell are the Russians to lecture anyone on democratic process, mistreatment of minorities. Who the hell are they to demand that a country should ‘demilitarise’ on the say so of the former colonial power?

As a start point, how about Russia gets the hell out of Ukraine, back to the borders of Feb 2022 as a start point. There was no military threat to the borders of Russia coming from a Ukrainian victory in Donbas. What were they going to do? Invade a nuclear state? March on Moscow?

Is the pursuit of victory in Ukraine (whatever that means - demilitarised and denazified??? Define that?) worth the cost that Russia has paid and will continue to pay.

If the aims of the SMO merely involved ‘protection of Russian speaking peoples’, why has Russia annexed 4 oblasts - subsumed them into Russia. If this is about protecting Donbas, why are they forcing residents of Donetsk and Luhansk to fight for Russian territorial gains in Kherson and Zaporizhia?

It’s just a smokescreen. All of this is. Apart from the ‘vibe’ of NATO being a threat, I’ve never seen anything credible that justified a resort to this invasion. Biolabs? Secret cyborgs?

Crimea… it’s an interesting case that seems to be built on unilaterally litigating a decision that was made by a former President of the USSR in 1957 to make Crimea part of Ukraine. And that’s reinforced by the fact that there is a Russian speaking majority. Would you be as supportive of Britain seeking to redress Irish independence if Sunak decided that he thought the decisions of 1922 and 1949 were erroneous? I mean, they speak English (mostly).

I don’t think the Russians have the capacity to extend to another front, at least conventionally. They’ve got significant capacity and form for other forms of action such as assassinations and covert action.

This war has undermined Russian security interests, not enhanced them. I think there is far greater internal tension than previously. There are numerous examples of regional political discontent and in some cases defiance of Kremlin direction. There is a shifting balance of power in the Kremlin, perhaps not imminent but going to play out if Putin is actually sick. And the west is more unified in opposition to Russia than before. They’re alive to the risks of energy dependency. And NATO is likely to grow to include Finland and Sweden.

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Optimist Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 5:52am

A very interesting read GSCO thanks for that.

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Distracted Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 7:02am

@gsco…. ‘Russia will provide a country where everyone is free and safe’ . Bullshit

The 500 civilians killed while sheltering in the theatre targeted by Russia at the start of the war is one of many war crimes committed against civilians and suggests some of Russias actions are approaching genocide.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 8:42am

Freedom… security…

- Who the hell are are the US to lecture anyone on democratic process ? ;)

… the experts of state sanctioned genocide ;);)


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velocityjohnno Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 9:15am

Here's a view from a US source. It's of interest because it explains the geopolitics of both the Russian and Ukranian positions currently.

Note the positioning by Russia to be forward of areas where a panzer division can run rampant. Note the implications for Poland and Romania if Ukraine does not succeed.

When you consider the aging profiles of both countries, the loss of young men/fleeing of young citizens is a double tragedy. For both of them.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 10:40am

Follow the money ;) $$



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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 1:01pm

And whilst zelensky goes to london to continue the charade - asking the brits for their ‘powerful’ warplanes ;)

- ‘Wings of freedom’ he exclaims proudly !

Freedom ? Security ?
- or…
propaganda… corruption…



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Stuart Lickspittler Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 2:14pm
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etarip Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 3:20pm

Hey, I’m all for a UN-supervised cease-fire, return to pre Feb 24 borders and investigations into war crimes committed.

Putin will be down for that, right?

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etarip Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 3:28pm

This is about resources for Russia. Nit nazis. Not Russian language. Not security. Not NATO. Resources and economic diversification.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 4:26pm

Hahaha ;)

‘Resources and economic diversification’

Of course. You got all the answers ;)

You know exactly what’s going on ;);)

So… when the west, the ones who are supposedly ‘alive to the risks of energy dependence’, choose to invade other sovereign nations to steal resources and diversify economically - that’s ok ? ;)

If Russia does it, though, we must unite to stop them… Um…. Nice double standards ;);)

- and in the name of democracy and international law, how bout those pipelines and the bridge explosion ? ;);)

Let’s not try be paranoid nor accuse others of covert action now, I mean, we never do that kind of stuff… do we ? ;);)

And this shows where the real gaslighting and deflection comes into play - the speculation of questioning if putin is sick ;););)

Yet you gonna vouch for this bloke !??
Talk about changing the definition of sick ;)


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etarip Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 8:30pm

No you simpleton. I don’t know all the answers. But my opinions are based on more than sound bites and YouTube clips of often discredited sources. Keep parroting Russian narratives while decrying the evil west. You’re just as blinded by the sources you choose to view as those you accuse of being duped.

For you it’s all about false equivalences isn’t it? You seem to be unable to acknowledge that countries are equally capable of illegal actions. Yes the US has done terrible things. That doesn’t give Russia a free pass.

I’ve never claimed that the US was justified in its invasion of Iraq. That the claims of MWD were valid. Despite the way you want to paint this. (Btw - look up the record of your buddy Scott Ritter on that count)

Goodnight JF.

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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 8:52pm

Nitey nite ;)


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Jelly Flater Friday, 10 Feb 2023 at 8:59pm

‘If the United States wants to compete in the 21st century, it needs to get its own house in order first before it dictates to other countries in the world what to do.’


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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 8:28am
gsco wrote:

Interesting stuff being reported by ZeroHedge (and others): Nord Stream Sabotage Was CIA, US Navy Covert Op: Seymour Hersh Bombshell Prompts White House Response.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist.

Here's the full substack: How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline.

Gsco. For balance, it might be worth reading this. Hersh is compromising his legacy.

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Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 10:44am

Economic diversification.

The subconscious mind ;)


Legacies ;););)

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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 10:58am

ChECk out what BIDEN did NOw!!! WILD!!!

(Please subscribe to my YT channel by clicking on the link below)

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Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 11:33am

Your words :

‘The perspective of Ukraine in particular is entirely emotive.’

Your perspective is a fantasy ;)
Maybe an invention of a past life…
Give it up ;)

All war is bad.
- Denial is even worse.

But keep fighting the fight cupcake
… for balance ;)


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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 11:41am

All war is bad. Uh, yup.
But wait. I know what will stop it! YouTube clips.

Carry on Einstein.

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Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 12:06pm

Haha! ;)

Sending billions of dollars of advanced weaponry to a foreign power in order to make money whilst contributing to the escalation of war ?!

Yeah. That’ll stop it ;););)

Your advanced military brain is really working on overdrive !

Take cover ;);) Bunker down !

Or… stay z course…
Must. Complete. Z mission ! ;);)
- Sad.


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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 12:44pm

I genuinely hope you’re not as thick in real life as you sound in your posts.

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Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 1:04pm

Well, in your case it’s a given, and genuine… after all… you served ;)

Sounding thick and being thick are two big distinctions…

Guessing this archival vid was a tribute to the minority indigenous inhabitants ;)



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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 1:54pm

Funny kinda of anti-war fella aren’t you? When you can’t bring yourself to criticise one belligerent, the invading force no less, in the current war in Europe.

NO WAR!!! (*unless you feel like you’ve been provoked by the US/NATO/ international Jewry/Nazis and also have buyers remorse over decisions made by your political predecessors, in which case, “have fun storming the castle boys!”)

But hey, don’t be consistent. Just keep being you(tube).

Jelly Flater's picture
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Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 2:09pm

Nice edit ;)

Your words again :

‘You seem to be unable to acknowledge that countries are equally capable of illegal actions.’

All parties are guilty. Equally.

And the west is historically the greatest international exponent of illegal activity. Hands down.

I’m not painting Russia as good. If anything - just acknowledging the pot calling the kettle black.

Cheer up ;)
Watch a beaver eat cabbage !

Or this guy ;)
Consistency is key ;);)


etarip's picture
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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 2:20pm

Happy as mate. Waiting for the swell to fill in and the wind to pick a direction.

All parties aren’t equally to blame. That’s a cop out. Some parties may share responsibility for the path that led to this. But the ‘blame’ ain’t equal. Rarely is. Read a book bro. You might learn something.

Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 3:35pm


The guilt is equal. No cop out.
You brought up blame. Blame whoever you want. Blame creates nothing but more us versus them.

It allows you to attempt to solidify a fixed viewpoint…

Twist it however you want tho ;)

Or read any of this guy’s books. Plenty to choose from ;)

Hard to argue the sentiment…


etarip's picture
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etarip Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 4:33pm

Nice try. Semantics.

I’ve outlined a viable position for peace and a resumption of talks.. You haven’t

Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 6:31pm

Deceive. Persuade. Change. Influence.

Pirate ;)


gsco's picture
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gsco Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 7:32pm

hey etarip thanks for the substack link, I’ll get a chance to read it when the surf drops

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 13 Feb 2023 at 9:58pm

See : { Team USA (vs) Dastardly Dirigibles }

2,000 years ago The Chinese first launched their Military signalling Sky Lanterns
Carries on until this day without much resistance...
2022 USA watched & tallied 150 balloons fly overhead without a song and dance.

Most countries adopt similar laid back response until recently...why just recently?
www shared the magic world of sky lanterns with the World en masse.
Hippie festivals end with setting the world on fire...almost...

Sky Lanterns spark national emergencies from Bushfires > Flaming Telco Towers...
Emergency response to endless Shipping Flare emergencies were simple Sky Lanterns!
Obviously...Australia & Coastal Nations / States + bushfire zones ban these 'Unmanned Balloons'!

So this brings us to the here & now....
Chinese "Unmanned Sky Balloons" chart a legal course across 20 compliant American States.
Should an unmanned Chinese Sky Balloon veer off course into 30 illegal states it will be banned!

Map 1 Prohibited unmanned Sky Lantern States

Map 2 Route of (Legal) unmanned Chinese Balloon over (Legal) unmanned Balloon States

Intro into Maps...(see: US avian border is naturally Porous on allied North / South flanks)
But if China's unmanned Balloon enters USA on either E/W coasts it breaches unmanned air space.
USA are too stupid to think any foreign nation would enter from North / South allied skies...Well durr!

Here's how China were able to fly unmanned Balloon into & across US.
(Please don't tell anyone as...well you's not dramatic enough!)

28th Oct 2022 British Columbia Fire Season ends 'seasonal ban' on unmanned Balloons..
Neighbouring Alberta bans unmanned Balloons 24/7.

28th Jan 2023 ~ Chinese unmanned Balloon flies over Pacific into legal unmanned skies of BC Canada.
29-30th China's balloon strategically threads the 135km legal BC flight passage into USA.
31st ~ Unmanned Sky Balloon enters US via Canadian BC border into Montana's unmanned skies.
1st Feb ~ Unmanned Sky Balloon continues legally flying over adjacent unmanned skies of Wyoming
Unmanned Balloon continues legally flying over neighbouring unmanned friendly South Dakota.

Recap : China's unmanned Balloon is no more than a large unmanned sky Lantern (Perfectly Legal)

Ok! Conspiracy theorists need to tune in now.
This state was a gamble for the Chinese.
1. Nebraska banned (Sale) of Sky Lanterns but not strictly ban the flying of Sky Lanterns
2. Chinese took this loose ruling as permission to legally fly over their state. (Just how it reads!)

3rd Feb Unmanned "Spy" Balloon legally enters Kansas then flies east into friendly Missouri skies.

Unmanned Balloon can legally fly south & safely off shore but chooses GI Joe's dragnet option.
1. Continued legal East flight option required near impossible 60km wide entry into Kentucky
2. The Balloon instead flies straight line East over 120kms of prohibited Southern tip of Illinois...

Noting this course is precisely measured to minimize any breach of prohibited air space. (re: Forgive us!)
Meaning any examination by Aviation experts will argue China took the safest direct route. (Checks out!)
Needs to be said as it may not have been Spot X...but made to look like such...sound sneaky enough!

Crew are free to examine why Southern Illinois may present as 2nd Spot X alongside risky Nebraska.

Balloon legally enters Kentucky but the game is over as it hits East Coast illegal Border Skies > Kaboom!
GI Joe was only now legally obliged to take it down as a breach of his US East Coast iron curtain.

So! Wanna see that again....
US West Coast Alaska...naturally has laws prohibiting unmanned Sky Balloons (Includes Fire Lanterns).

10th Feb 2023
Naturally as with any Coastline unmanned Balloon breach...2 unmanned Balloons were shot down.

USA need to exploit unmanned capabilities over whole continent so only Coast Borders need bans.
As said...crew can see China exploited this weakness to enter & traverse legally at own choosing!
US now knows it must defend or close unmanned skies of British Columbia Coastline 24/7.
This sounds easy but bossing Canada is not ideal.
Perhaps that is exactly what China wanted all along...driving a wedge between allies.
Might pay to log this trick if they try this with the Ditch.

Recent news shows another breach of Canada / US border sharing flexible unmanned Balloon Skies.
See Map : Free Flight zone of Lake Huron ( US / Canada border )

China are upping the Game...
Recent Balloons involve Canada's strong but flexi unmanned laws.
GI Joe pushed JT for permission to take out Imminent threat to US.
Tricky as Balloon may have been illegal in Canada as it approached legal unmanned Michigan.
Meaning! Joe is prepared to override Canada to keep open his unmanned northern Michigan skies.

China is wedging US (vs) Canada into uncharted waters.
Not sure if this has happened in recent times...things could get heated.
Canadians won't put up with Team USA taking control.

It seems as if China are legally exploiting the open US northern border loop hole.
Testing the waters while stirring up a storm.
GI Joe has left his neighbourly side door wide open & China are helping themselves to US hospitality.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 14 Feb 2023 at 2:13pm

Balloon Party

US Spy Balloon History
10th Jan 1956 US "HEXAGON" launched & recovered 54/512 Spy Balloons (200ft tall)
Filming 1.1m m2 of Commie Territory
US Prez said it wasn't spying...just weather balloons...(Recorded message thru space & time)
6th Feb 1956 Soviets called for an end to it!

Global Balloons Live Tracking Map
Since 1896 around 1,800 Weather Balloons from 1,300 locations are launched & tracked daily.
Reaching 53km high x 34,000km for controlled 13 day mission ( Steve Fosset)
Balloons can travel at 100 kms / hr.!mt=Mapnik&mz=3&qm=3h&mc=48.34165,-53.52539

UK Derby boy's Helium Balloon flew 17,000 kms in (1 month approx) to Sydney

Recent US tracking of Chinese Balloon for boffins
Recapping...all the action is concentrated on breaching Canadian Sovereign US / Border.
Not sure as to why Media don't notice that soft Northern US Border is constantly being breached.
These unmanned borders may also be left open for neighbourly drone missions.

Until we know more...China are playing War Games on border of Canada (vs) USA...(It's working!)
Outside this column...not one US commentator has woken up to the fact that their under attack.
US are daily / rapidly deploying forces in Canadian Skies to Nuke Party Balloons...(WAR of attrition)
tbb thinks Canada will be forced to question why Team USA are using Canada for target practice.

Recent World Cup Inflatable Oz Soccer Ball Balloon is likely a Spy craft [Made in China].
Perhaps we could aim our Chinese defence NYE Fireworks to take down our Made in China Balloons.
China has gifted the west...fancy Sky lanterns to blow ourselves up...not that we need their help! [SOS]

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 14 Feb 2023 at 9:17pm

the balloon/UFO rabbit hole:

Stuart Lickspittler's picture
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Stuart Lickspittler Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 8:15am

What does Naomi Wolf think?

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 9:53am
velocityjohnno wrote:

the balloon/UFO rabbit hole:

It just gets weirder...when fashion and theory combine


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velocityjohnno Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 1:08pm

Merry Christmas Sypkan:

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sypkan Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 4:12pm

"...abolish DEI bureaucracies..."

cool, unemployment to rise, and a significant increase in productivity to come... might even fix inflation...

seriously, if kamala, nuclear puppy boy, and the lesbian binder aren't proof enough to wind back the cultism...

nothing ever will be

Stuart Lickspittler's picture
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Stuart Lickspittler Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 5:44pm

Hahahahaha, shouldn't it be Happy Columbus Day, Merry Black Monday, Yeehaw American Redneck Day?!

The Manhattan Institute! Hahahahahahaha. Yeah, really helping out one of the perennial poorest states in the union there. Their brand of RW bullshit over the years has helped create, and most certainly exacerbated, that very state of affairs.

Spot the dorks. All round!

Keep on whining! The only war is culture war! And take your ritalin.

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 5:55pm

"Keep on whining! The only war is culture war! And take your ritalin."

you said it!

and, you picked it!

you take your vaccine, booster boy...

you signed the kids up yet?

Stuart Lickspittler's picture
Stuart Lickspittler's picture
Stuart Lickspittler Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 7:21pm

"You said it!

and, you picked it!"

As Cooked As, Bro...ya mean?

Yasis! The numpty woo thread is that-a-way...

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 8:06pm

why am I cooked?

I got vaccinated - on 'the science' - and now I dont want anymore... that's called being a rational, non partisan nutter, human being open to new information...

you on the other hand... toed the party line, went all in, went all 'those conspiracy nutters' (those farkn dashboard rootin russians ay!), cookers, rwnj's, freedumb fighters, etc. etc.

and now, with all we know... you are still posting phizer propaganda, ...claiming big pharma are scandal-less good guys, and advocating for vaccines for children...

that's cooked as bro...

tell me, honestly, do you really still 'believe' in your position? ...or is this just the face saver / partisan nutter / pay cheque collector / egomaniac within?

you really cannot be that stupid

I know you are not that stupid...

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan Wednesday, 15 Feb 2023 at 8:13pm

and while we're at it, how's those diversity picks going for you?

geez even the nyt have turned on kamala...

and nuclear puppy boy and lesbo-binder...

still floating your boat?

'most' agree... now, their 'performance' speaks for itself....