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18 May 2017

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The Twisted Genius

Patrick Armstrong,

I welcome this and hope the ensuing discussions here are of benefit to you and all of us.

In reference to the Tomahawk strike, I also see it as much more as sending a message rather than conducting a military strike. I'm just not sure what the intended message was. I wonder what message the coalition is trying to send with its strike on SAA and supporting militia forces approaching the Al-Tanf border crossing? I don't think we've totally given up our old dreams of an Assad-free Syria.

I do share your apparent exasperation with the America-Hysterica phenomenon. Why we have to see the Russkies as ten foot tall demons is beyond me. I also thought we were past that foolishness. And that's from someone whose Lithuanian family was far more than decimated by the Russians/Soviets.

Patrick Armstrong

Thank you

Patrick Armstrong

Well, as I think most of us on SST would agree, there is a deep state/borgist war on Trump. So who knows who does what.

Account Deleted

Re Al-Tanf, I suspect the message is directed squarely at Israel, as there is reportedly a Iranian-backed element in the force attacked. Tillerson prepared the ground for such an attack with his "leading state sponsor of terror" speech.

This looks like a tactical mistake; had the advance have been made by SAA only, a Coalition strike on it should have been harder to justify. Perhaps the Iranians had to learn the hard way what would happen if they included their forces.

Also interesting that no Russian 'advisers' are reported as present in the force. Putin not willing to up the ante on this front, or
is he waiting to gauge reaction in the US before R+6 have another try on Al-Tanf?

In any case, it will be very interesting to see what happens next.

Jack

All

With the appointment of Mueller as special counsel to investigate the Russian collusion with Trump and other matters, we can be certain that this investigatory team and grand jury will be in place the whole of Trump's term. This is a very good example of a "self-licking ice cream cone" and a perfect government bureaucracy. Once launched, will never end, and will only grow in scope and budget. There will be periodic leaks to keep the ratings up for the MSM as they get more hysterical with each leak. It will no doubt provide confirmation bias for all the partisans. The NeverTrumpers will be shrieking with each leak about how he should be indicted and impeached immediately, while Trump's supporters will be screaming how this is all a big witch hunt.

IMO, this will keep the Beltway, NYC, Atlanta and all the places where the establishment groupthink prevails fully occupied hyperventilating. The rest of the country will over time lose interest at each manufactured outrage. My prediction is that Trump will not be impeached and will ride out his full term. And the Republicans will maintain their Congressional majority at the mid-terms.

The Russians, Chinese and the rest of the world will get a good laugh at how dysfunctional US governance has become and focus on avoiding the fallout from our craziness.

turcopolier

All

I appreciate PA posting here but I am not posting links to his site. SST is about the SST discussion. It is not a bulletin board. pl

Tel

"RUSSIA INC. More Western sources agree that Russia's economy is growing again – EBRD, UN and IMF. Even Stratfor, which predicted Russia's collapse, now admits it's doing well."

There's no surprise to the people studying Austrian Economics, who have been very impressed with the head of Russia's central bank, Elvira Nabiullina.

Remember that Russia started out only a generation ago with a clunky, inefficient, centrally planned economy and their industries were largely unable to share technology with the outside world. Nowadays they have been able to onboard Western technology, open up to greater exchange of ideas, and they have the internal freedom to develop their own designs. They have great human resources and a lot of potential remains to be unlocked.

I realize there's still a lot of cronyism in Russia, and not really a competitive marketplace, but compared to where they were before, they are in an excellent position for growth... especially into high technology areas which is where the USA lead is slowly being eaten up.

Valissa

OK, then is there some way for the many good links that were embedded in this piece to also show up in this post at SST?

Dave Schuler

Re: China's Belt and Road Initiative

The Chinese authorities can write a heckuva press release. Let's see what materializes from the initiative before becoming too exercised about it.

elaine

During the 2016 election in the U.S. Viktor Orban of Hungary was cheering for Trump, Nationalism/populism...now that the Chinese have unveiled the
p.r. on One Belt One Road check him out now

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

"Viktor Orbin Globalization and the new Silk Road"

charly

Weren't Iraqi forces hit?

BraveNewWorld

I read one report today that Russia had tried to talk the SAA out of the attack. I am still processing what taht means. I certainly hope it doesn't mean that Russia has agreed to give up parts of Syria. They didn't really like it when Crimea was given away.

I am expecting Iran to stir the pot in Iraq in retaliation and I wouldn't be surprised to see some one starting to stage attacks on Americans in Iraq now that the Americans aren't really needed any more.

Liza

This is a link to the Facebook page for CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). This is part of the new Silk Road and is a prototype for the project. This project has now advanced to a new phase: Chinese banks will now operate in Pakistan to finance the project. I've found it very interesting to follow this site and see how the project is carried out on the ground.

https://m.facebook.com/ChinaPakEconomicCorridor/

YT

https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/26050-un-joins-beijing-to-advance-globalism-with-one-belt-one-road

Some of y'all are definitely riled up.

JohnA

Yes...visit patrickarmstrong.ca

All Patrick's stuff is full linked.

Fluesterwitz

Thank you.

ToivoS

Armstrong mentioned: "Russia’s history is regaining its unity. We treasure each page in this history, no matter how difficult. These are our national spiritual roots."

This touches on something that struck me about 5 years ago. There seems to be something going on in Russian politics that has been referred to as the 'red-white' alliance. It seems to be real. The red-white conflict refers to the horrible civil war that convulsed Russia between 1917-1922. Millions died. The reds won at that time. However today Putin is recognized as the leader who has brought together the remnants of both of those sides -- the monarchist, the orthodox church, pan-slav nationalist,the communists, and oligarchic capitalists. In polling he is getting approval ratings in the 80 to 90 percent range for over the last three years. It is impossible to imagine any American president having such high approval ratings.

It also turns out that Putin has never achieved more that 65 percent of the vote in presidential elections. The other 35 percent is mostly split between the communists and the solid nationalists. That sounds like a healthy division of opinion. However, after these elections the losers continue to approve of Putin's policies.

Compared to what is happening in the United States Russia seems to have very healthy politics. They are a united country at some very basic level. Here in the US we continue to be divided on this red-blue crap the mainstream news organizations promote daily.

Somehow it seems to me that a nation united will prevail over a nation divided.

Peter AU

US authorities have a heckova propaganda machine. Current China.. and Russia, nether seem driven by ideology, whereas US now is. Interesting times.

LeaNder

Patrick, Sweden apparently finally dropped the rape charges against Assange. The British police states that the moment he steps out of the embassy they will sent him to the US.

Would he have a fair chance on US ground?

S.E.

I would like to draw your attention to two developments on the "north front". Norway is considering to take part in the Nato missile defence system. A working group of US and Norwegian experts will present a recommendation late in 2017. The government will make a decision in 2018 (which is after the election). Some politicians have sounded their scepticism, but so far it is not clear that any political consensus is forming. Traditionally, political consensus is being sought on the main foreign policy issues.
Another important development is the stationing of 330 US Marines at Vaernes in the middle of Norway. This is not called a "base", "since the soldiers are rotating". There has however been some talk of making Vaernes the european "hub" of the Marines. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/05/11/norwegian-base-may-become-marines-hub-in-europe.html
Up to now, Norway has had a "no foreign military bases"-policy, and has wanted to avoid "poking the bear", who after all is our neighbour. The liberal-right government seems to change that policy.The Russians are not happy with these two developments.

DH

Patrick, quite a change from your brilliant, coherent flow, but much appreciated.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think that Russia is unique in this reconciliation phenomenon decades after the end of civil war; such has also been affected in Greece. I think, in Spain, that process is not yet underway - nor in Lebanon.

LondonBob

When I was visiting Moscow recently my friends were mostly gainfully employed and the economy seemed to be picking up. Of course Russia will stay largely a natural resource economy, like Canada or Australia, but I suspect a niche in high tech is quite likely, Russia retains it's defense and space industries, alongside a high IQ population, so the ingredients are there. Went to an event with Condi Rice at Skolkovo where she was waxing lyrical about Silicon Valley, Ruben Vardanyan made sure to interrupt her to mention the key role the defense sector played in its growth, so obviously something the Russian leadership is aware of.

different clue

LeaNder,


I am not Patrick Armstrong, obviously. But I will jump in and say . . . no. Upon shipment to the US, Assange would immediately be Padillafied or Guantanamized. And then convicted at leisure and sentenced to life in solitary confinement in some place like the Marion Control Unit or the SHU or someplace.

different clue

Would there be any way to include a survey of economic events within Russia in these SitReps?

The anti-Russian sanctions have unwittingly set up an experiment in how a national economy can perform under a form of Protectionism. The EU has banned itself from selling its aqua-feedlot corn-fed "salmon" to Russia, for example. This has opened a market for genuine wild-caught Kamchatka salmon from Far East Russia to be sold in "Eurussia" west of the Urals. Can the Russians upgrade bulk cold-food transport between Kamchatka and "Eurussia" enough to ship west all the salmon which the Kamchatka fishing fleet can
catch? If so, would the Kamchatka salmon-catchers earn enough money to mediate a visible rise in the amount of economic activity happening in Kamchatka?

Would similar processes of embargoed import replacement all over the Russian economy permit indigenous Russian growth to fill the vacuum imposed from without?

Is there any sign that the Russian authorities themselves see the sanctions as an accidental opportunity to pursue protectionist policies under any other name?

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