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10 April 2015

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William R. Cumming

I agree and the willingness of Iran to reach agreement signals Iran's intention to join the Chinese Condominium. After all was not Persia impacted by the MONGOLS?

confusedponderer

Ingolf,
thanks for Crooke's essay!

William R. Cumming

WOW! Terrific discourse by FELIX, DAVID, CP and others. I would like to insert some fundamental premises into this discussion.

First, the DEEP STATES fundamental drive is for self-perpetuation and control of resources in the USA and avoiding any kind of democratic oversight by Congress, or elected officials in the Executive Branch, or even the US military.

Second, the soft power of the USA and Russia has significantly continued to decline since the end of the COLD WAR.

Third, the proliferation of nuclear weapons [unusable for any military purpose IMO]
is a large driver for expansion of the so-called DEEP STATE here and elsewhere.

Fourth, the Clinton's do not understand in any way the DEEP STATE nor perhaps does President Obama. But the Iranian nuclear agreement threatens the DEEP STATE. President William Clinton allegedly "lost" control over the nuclear strike authentication codes during his second term and the impeachment contest.

Fifth, a recent book, RIGHT OF THE BOOM, demonstrates the poor policy choices faced by any administration that has suffered nuclear attack.

William R. Cumming

From Amazon book reviews:

By Jacob Wallace on March 29, 2015

Review of RIGHT OF THE BOOM

This book provides an excellent overview of the options facing the US government in the wake of the unthinkable - a nuclear detonation on US soil that cannot clearly be attributed to a foreign power. Ben Schwartz draws on insight from US history and modern political theory to discuss how events would likely be shaped by the critical interplay between politics and foreign policy. After reading this, I'm convinced that international action to improve tracking and identification of nuclear materials would be an important step towards preventing nuclear terrorism and improving the ability of governments to react right of boom. A must read for foreign policy wonks.

William R. Cumming

IMO the Department of State is NOT part of the DEEP STATE!

confusedponderer

I have understood the Deep State always to be a collective of well connected of individuals anyway, that goes in and out of government through the revolving door, or holds career positions from which to wield influence.

In that reasoning, I'd agree with you - while the State Department isn't part of the Deep State, Nuland would be.

Perhaps, since the term Deep State is so fraught with association with the very different situation in Turkey, the term "permanent government" would be more apt in the US context.

David Habakkuk

CP, Felix Lafferty,

First, thanks to CP for his clarifications on the technicalities. And, although I share his scepticism about Felix's reading of the Reshetnikov interview, I am grateful for having been pushed into thinking further about it.

A few speculations.

On reflection, I think that the interview may in part – but only in part – be a 'serious attempt at domestic propaganda.'

The stupidity of the frequent insistence that one should not read Russian sources because they are 'propaganda' lies in part in the fact that often the claim is wholly or partly false – but it is also to do with the fact that the question of truth and falsity is not the only relevant one. Claims that may be wholly or in part 'propaganda' may tell one a great deal.

It soon became apparent to anyone who read 'the Saker', or 'Colonel Cassad' or Gleb Bazov last year that a most bizarre conflict was unfolding. While Strelkov and his people had been trying to get the Kremlin to intervene, and wanted to broaden the war, they were getting precisely nowhere.

When in July and August the Russian authorities finally started providing serious assistance to the insurgents, part of the deal appears to have been that these would only get it if Strelkov and his associates stepped down.

Whether the claims the 'Strelkovites' had repeatedly made that Putin's advisor Vladislav Surkov had been trying to sell them down the river are or are not to be dismissed as 'propaganda' I cannot say.

(For a good example of the vitriol with which the 'Strelkovites' denounced Surkov, see http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/32315.html .)

To anyone who followed these arguments, it was clear that whatever Strelkov was doing, he was not some passive tool of Putin's imperialist agendas.

Involved in these disputes, moreover, were radically different conceptions of how Russia should respond to the challenge from the United States. It seems to me that these very fundamental differences may be reflected in an interesting exchange between the interviewer and Reshetnikov:

'Q. So if our country ended up isolated globally due to the reunification with Crimea, why don't we go all-in in the south-east? How much hypocrisy can there be?

'A: I think that it is too early to go all-in just yet. We underestimate the degree of awareness of our president, who knows that there are certain processes in Europe that are not clearly visible to outside observers. These processes give hope that we will be able to protect our interests using different methods and means.'

It seems to me likely that Reshetnikov is perfectly sincere in accepting that Putin has been right to play a cautious waiting game. However, one also needs to factor in the implications of his – extremely plausible – suggestion that this year the Ukraine will see 'semi-disintegration or even utter disintegration.'

And when people have been told that if they make a 'civilizational choice' in favour of Europe they will end up like Poland, and they find themselves in danger of ending up like Somalia, it is very difficult to calculate who they will blame and which way they will turn.

That Reshetnikov is hoping that suppressed pro-Russian sentiments outside of the Donbass will come to the fore seems reasonably clear from another paragraph in the interview which is, I think, not to be dismissed as propaganda:

'Many are still silent in the face of the genuine nazism. But people who understand the Ukraine and Russia are strongly connected didn't say their last word yet. Not in Odessa, not in Kharkov, not in Zaporozhye, and not in Chernigov. This silence is not eternal. And the lid of this cauldron will be inevitably blown away.'

Without making firm prognostications about the future, I think it likely that Reshetnikov can see possible situations in which the argument about whether Russia should intervene militarily, and should aim for more than simply defending the Donbass insurgents against the Ukrainian nationalists, may present itself in a sharply different context.

If this was so, it could make very good sense for him to present the threat of the incorporation of Kharkov, as well as Lugansk, in NATO in apocalyptic terms.

Meanwhile, it behoves us all to be aware that a disintegration of Ukraine which is now extremely likely may indeed generate all kinds of unexpected situations and intractable dilemmas for a great number of people.

anna-marina

And see the apparent amorality of the US aggressiveness: On the eve of May 9th, a sacred date of victory over nazi Germany, a Ukrainian government elevated nazi collaborators to a status of national heroes. This is not a malicious joke. This is a logical outcome of the US policies in Ukraine: http://thesaker.is/ukraine-sitrep-april-15nd-2015-by-scott/

"...a law adopted by Rada on Thursday April 8, officially recognizes the role of a nationalist group that fought for Ukraine’s independence in the mid-20th century and is still popular in western Ukraine.
We are talking about OUN, UPA, those various Nazi collaborators, murderers (Petro Dyachenko) , and those that haven’t been rehabilitated yet, while many were previously (Bandera, Shukevych). ... [The law] proclaims Nazi collaborators and mass murderers of Poles, Jews, Russians, and Ukrainians as freedom fighters, and calls for prosecution of Ukrainians and foreigners who show disrespect towards OUN, UPA, or any other “Ukrainian Hero.”

Insult. The gravest insult - and a sign of corruption.
Ukraine has been made a sacrificial lamb for the US game in Easter Europe.

William R. Cumming

P.L. and ALL: After the Merkle/Obama meeting where lethal aid to Western Ukraine ruled out I suggested that Obama and Merkle had tacitly agreed to partition of the Ukraine, however, delineated. Any evidence for or against this proposition now?

Does Russia issue Russian passports to any from the Ukraine that want one?

smoke

"This was always a large Public-Works project …"

I once came across a 1952 issue of an in-house company newsletter for a medium-sized U.S. corporation. Several articles referred to the "garrison economy." One article assured readers that the US economy would be robust for the foreseeable future because the US had now embarked upon a project to keep itself and its allies strong by mobilizing a "garrison economy."

The company manufactured pens, not weapons. But they anticipated the ripple effects of a consistent demand for war materials. I have wondered whether "garrison economy" was a common phrase in the early 50's, which fell out of favor later.

Felix Lafferty

@ Confused Ponderer & David Habakkuk

I think I might have found the solution to the conundrum of Reshetinikov's skipping from ABM's to cruise missiles to ABM's. Here is a comment by the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gerasimov:

Quote:
The chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces has warned the European countries planning to host the US-led NATO missile systems that Moscow considers the installations "priority targets," as the systems possess offensive capabilities.
"The MK-41 vertical missile launchers that are part of AEGIS Ashore ground-based antimissile systems deployed in Romania and Poland can fire not only SM-3 anti-missile rockets but also Tomahawk cruise missiles," General Valery Gerasimov said at a defense conference in the Russian capital, Moscow, on Thursday.
My gloss: so it appears that if Reshetnikov is on the same page as Gerasimov, this is what he was getting at: that the MK-41 launchers, if sited in the Ukraine, would be able to launch not only SM-3 anti-missile rockets but also Tomahawk cruise missiles. That would explain most if not all of Reshetnikov's argument. It still wouldn't explain a 100% kill rate at boost phase interception, since I think we agree that under their current specs the SM-3 anti-missile rockets don't do that.
Gerasimov continues:
"The non-nuclear nations hosting ABM system elements are becoming priority targets for our countermeasure," he warned.
"The deployment of US global anti-missile defense systems is seen by us as an additional step by the United States and its allies to destroy the current system of international security in its striving for world domination," Gerasimov said.
He said, "It becomes obvious that continuing the implementation of US and NATO missile defense plans creates a real threat to Russian strategic nuclear forces."
Gerasimov said the US and its NATO partners aim to "bring Russia to its knees" by fueling conflicts across its border, as in Ukraine.
"We don't know what kind of orders the new Ukrainian authorities are receiving from their Western 'curators' and where Kiev's aggression may be directed in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Washington has crossed all lines by attempting to drag Ukraine into its league as part of its wider plan to expand NATO and alienate Russia's neighbors.
End Quote
My gloss: what Gerasimov is saying isn't much different from what Reshetnikov is saying.
Source: http://russia-insider.com/en/nato-missile-facilities-e-europe-russian-targets-russian-cmdr/5779
in turn claiming to be sourced from:
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/04/16/406639/NATO-missiles-in-E-Europe-Russian-targets
Second point:
I introduced the phrase 'deep state' as a short hand to cover Reshetnikov's concept of a largely anonymous group that is calling the shots in the US up to and including choosing who will become President.
Downthread, there is some discussion of 'deep state' as it applies to the US and Confused Ponderer proposes the revised terminology 'permanent government' to distinguish the US case from the Turkish case.
I was probably in error in introducing the term 'deep state'. Here's why. The Turkish 'deep state' as I understand it is a nexus of the Turkish intelligence service and the officer core of the Turkish Armed Forces, a nexus dedicated to preserving the Kemalist secular revolution. They are the one's who in the mid- to late-20th Century would overthrow Turkish governments that were 'on the wrong road'. What I understand is that Erdogan is primarily a neo-Ottomanist and only secondarily a fundamentalist Islamist. However his policy is certainly at odds with the Kemalist secular revolution. That's why he's at loggerheads with the Turkish 'deep state' and has, it seems, made serious efforts to destroy it as a political force.
Now clearly such a model has no relevance to the US. However, while I think that Confused Ponderer is right that there is a 'permanent government' constituted of a cadre that is in and out of government and which provides a continuity to US policy, I think Reshetnikov is claiming something quite different.
Reshetnikov, as I understand it, is saying that there is a smallish group of largely anonymous people who give the US 'permanent government' its marching orders. What I find intriguing about this POV is that in the West such a view is relatively common among people who can't make sense of US policy from a rational point of view and among your more common conspiracy theorists. Now it is a question of fact what the sociology of US power really is and I don't have the answer. Reshetnikov thinks he discerns this largely anonymous group as being in charge. You would think that it would be the SVR's business to map the sociology of American political power, so you would think that Reshetnikov would have some basis for his remark. Similarly, the US IC would want to map the sociology of Russian political power. In regard to the US case, some discern the Freemasons; others the Illuminati; others the Bilderberg Group; others the Rothschilds; others the Zionist conspiracy; others the Rockefellers; others Texas oilmen others all of the above—as being the group in question. It is this view of Reshetnikov that I wanted to provoke discussion of.

Gilbert Jacobi

In any conflict, one chooses sides; that’s what makes it a conflict. You imply you have not chosen, but by attempting to put the cold-blooded killing of unarmed prisoners on the same moral level as the shelling of active enemy positions - positions from which lethal fire was coming, and which the enemy deliberately and cynically situated among civilians – you show you take a pro-Russian stance. Go ahead and be open about it – you may find you become less “confused”. The choice here is very much between good and evil. There have always been geopolitical struggles that happen to coincide with the Ukrainian people’s centuries of valiant fighting for survival. If you cannot discern the difference between good and evil here, you should take a sabbatical from opinionating on this subject and use it to read some Ukrainian history.

I juxtaposed the Nuland and the Motorola quotes, for one thing, simply because it pleased me to pick the low-hanging fruit of that linguistic echo. But for another thing, the two quotes illustrate nicely the difference between the political approach of the EU and US, on the one hand, and the violent approach of the Russian side, on the other. With Nuland, you have an example of impatience with the political process; with Putin’s dog Pavlov, you have a barbaric contempt for human life. You’ve also overlooked the fact that by the time Nuland made her notorious remark, Yanukovych, responding to Putin’s prodding, had already had his Berkut kidnap and torture several Ukrainian citizens.

Nuland & company did not “engineer a coup” or “choose the next Ukrainian president”; they were doing what every government does – keeping tabs on developments in crisis situations. The fact that she thought that “Yats” was the likely front-runner indicates only that she had good information; the eventual choosing of Yatseniuk was done by 200 plus open, democratically cast votes of the democratically elected Ukrainian members of the Rada. The 5 billion dollars she says the US spent – over 20 years – pales beside the $35 billion Yanukovych plundered from his country in a fraction of that time, and that’s just what can be documented, without taking into consideration how many more billions he spread around to buy and corrupt Ukrainian politics.

Gilbert Jacobi

I read Robinson and I find nothing useful there in understanding Putin or explaining Russian actions towards Ukraine. He quotes Solovyov:

“We must love all nations as we love our own. Nations live and act not for their own sake … but for the sake … of what can be of service to all.”

Noble sentiments – which have been ignored by Russia vis a vis the Ukrainian people for virtually the entire history since the establishment of Muscovy. Amended to say “for the sake of what can be of service to whoever controls Moscow”, it would be a true reflection of Moscow’s attitude and behavior.

He then quotes Susanna Rabow-Edling saying Russia’s “Slavophile thought” “… rested on German Romantic precepts which included the ideas that national diversity was desirable and that nations contributed to the universal good by developing their own unique culture. Russian exceptionalism is thus very different from American exceptionalism, which seeks to export American political and economic structures. The Russian version is neither exclusive nor aggressive.”

Has she told that to the millions of Ukrainians who were denied any Ukrainian language schools, right up to independence in 1991? The list of other harmful and aggressive measures Russia took against Ukraine is too long to mention here.

Robinson says elsewhere: “Russia therefore also has a role to play in calming the situation. Instead of taking an aggressive posture, it could offer reassurance that it has no claims on Ukrainian territory and will not support pro-Russian armed militias in Ukraine. This would help to improve perceptions.”

Which was a wonderful prescription when he made it a year ago; and which turns out to have been precisely the opposite of what Russia has done - as the world now knows.

Gilbert Jacobi

My previous 2 comments, to Confused Ponderer, and to David Habakkuk, were supposed to appear under my screen name Kilo 4/11, but I see my real name has escaped somehow.

turcopolier

Gilbert Jacobi

Nothing has been sent to SST with other than your Gilbert Jacobi name. pl

Gilbert Jacobi

Well, that's a load off!

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