Reader’s Links for June 21st, 2022

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

61 Replies to “Reader’s Links for June 21st, 2022”

    • We are seeing the leftist governments in all Western nations try to do the same thing with varying success.

      When the two Germany’s reunited my father said that this was a big mistake, that in 20 years or so we would have to kick the crap out of them. It has been around 30 years but it looks like we are going have to fight them again.

  1. MSM turns on the Biden admin. I don’t know why he compares now to 2013–doesn’t compute at all. Also he is wrong that 13 days from now inflation peaks, maybe he means peak awareness of inflation, but this will not be the peak. 5 min:

    • I don’t want to agree but I do. Western countries and their paid propagandists have deluded the population into an utterly false hope for victory, and we continue to provoke for WW3, it seems, in what looks like a desire to destroy western economies so to “build back better”.

      • This is a variation of the tactic of putting someone in charge to oppress the people the step in to save them from the person who is following your orders. Machiavelli described this tactic in “The Prince”.

        Bill Clinton use to keep a copy next to his bed for nighttime reading.

    • We are going to see people die because of the shortage of gas, coal and nuclear power plants. The Deep Ecology types want a out 80% of the population to die, so they won’t care as long as they survive.

  2. CBC – Europe may need to return to coal as Russia reduces gas flows

    Possibility is ‘painful, but it is a sheer necessity in this situation,’ says German economy minister

    Europe’s biggest buyers of Russian gas raced to find alternative fuel supplies on Monday and could burn more coal to cope with reduced gas flows from Russia that threaten an energy crisis in winter if stores are not refilled.

    Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have all signalled that coal-fired power plants could help see the continent through a crisis that has sent gas prices surging and added to the challenge facing policy-makers battling inflation.

    Italy’s Eni said it was told by Russia’s Gazprom that it would receive only part of its request for gas supplies on Monday, pushing the country closer to declaring a state of alert that will trigger gas saving measures.

    Germany, which has also experienced lower Russian flows, announced on Sunday its latest plan to boost gas storage levels and said it could restart coal-fired power plants that it had aimed to phase out.

    “That is painful, but it is a sheer necessity in this situation to reduce gas consumption,” said economy minister Robert Habeck, a member of the Green party that has pushed for a faster exit from coal, which produces more greenhouse gases.

    “But if we don’t do it, then we run the risk that the storage facilities will not be full enough at the end of the year toward the winter season. And then we are blackmailable on a political level.”

    Russia on Monday repeated its earlier criticism that Europe had only itself to blame after the West imposed sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which is a gas transit route to Europe as well as a major wheat exporter.

    The Dutch front-month gas contract, the European benchmark, was trading around 124 euros ($170 Cdn) per megawatt hour (MWh) on Monday, down from this year’s peak of 335 euros ($458 Cdn) but still up more than 300 per cent on its level a year ago, before prices started rocketing.

    Filling inventories slowly
    The chief executive of RWE, Germany’s largest power producer, Markus Krebber, said power prices could take three to five years to fall back to lower levels.

    Russian gas flows to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the main route supplying Europe’s biggest economy, were still running at about 40 per cent of capacity on Monday, even though they had edged up from the start of last week.

    Ukraine said its pipelines could help to fill any gap in supply via Nord Stream 1. Moscow has previously said it could not pump more through the pipelines that Ukraine has not already shut off.

    Eni and German utility Uniper were among European companies that said they were receiving less than contracted Russian gas volumes, although Europe’s gas inventories are still filling, albeit more slowly.

    They were about 54 per cent full on Monday against a European Union target of 80 per cent by October and 90 per cent by November.

    Germany’s economy ministry said bringing back coal-fired power plants could add up to 10 gigawatts of capacity in case the gas supply hits critical levels. A law related to the move goes to the upper house of parliament on July 8.

    Alongside a shift back to coal, the latest German measures include an auction system starting in coming weeks to encourage industry to consume less gas, and financial help for Germany’s gas market operator, via state lender KfW, to fill gas storage facilities faster.

    RWE said on Monday it could prolong the operation of three 300 megawatt (MW) brown coal power plants if required during the gas supply crisis.

    Russia blames West

    Austria’s government agreed with utility Verbund on Sunday to convert a gas-fired power plant to use coal should the country face an energy emergency. OMV said on Monday that Austria was set to receive half the usual amount of gas for a second day.

    Dutch broadcaster NOS reported on Monday that coal-fired energy plants in the Netherlands would be allowed to increase production to help reliance on Russian gas, citing government sources. The Dutch energy minister was due to make an announcement about gas supplies at 1530 GMT.

    Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom cut capacity last week along Nord Stream 1, a major pipeline supplying Germany and others, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy in Canada.

    “We have gas, it is ready to be delivered, but the Europeans must give back the equipment, which should be repaired under their obligations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    German and Italian officials have said Russia was using this as an excuse to reduce supplies.

    Italy, whose technical committee for gas is expected to meet on Tuesday, has said it could declare a heightened state of alert on gas this week if Russia continues to curb supplies.

    The move would trigger measures to reduce consumption, including rationing gas for selected industrial users, ramping up the production at coal power plants and asking for more gas imports from other suppliers under existing contracts.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/europe-coal-1.6494598

    europravda – EU’s power crunch: What countries will fill the gap left by Russian gas?

    • DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Why Germany is reviving dirty coal to counter Russian gas cut

      Germany has struggled to fill its gas storage sites since Russia began throttling its supply. Among the possible solutions are an increased use of coal for power production, and industry incentives to reduce consumption.

      German Economy Minister Robert Habeck recently described his current energy policy as “a sort of an arm wrestling match” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      Putin may have the longer arm for now, he said on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean “we can’t attain a stronger arm with effort.”

      Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Green Party, is facing a nightmare scenario. With Russia slowing its gas supply in retaliation to Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, German energy security has been plunged into disarray.

      Berlin is eager to fill its gas storage sites to 80% capacity by October 1, and 90% by November to meet gas demand for the cold winter months. Currently, gas stores are only about 57% full. The “effort” Habeck was alluding to now means saving gas wherever possible, including that which is used to generate electricity.

      Power from hard coal and lignite

      Electricity from gas accounts for about 16% of Germany’s total power production. Renewable energies, notably wind and solar, make up about 42% at the moment, but are impossible to ramp up quickly. A viable alternative could be existing coal-fired power plants, of which there are 151 or so still in operation across the country, despite a government plan to phase them out by 2038.

      Before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February, the German government alliance of the center-left Social Democrats, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats had even decided to bring the coal phaseout forward, “ideally” to 2030. But it is now insisting that the surprise U-turn on energy policy didn’t mean an exit from the coal exit itself.

      A bill providing the legal basis to burn more coal for power generation is now making its way through parliament, aiming to boost the output of so-called reserve power plants that are irregularly used for grid stabilization and were scheduled to go offline over the next few years.

      In addition, power plants that were already mothballed under the phaseout plan but are still technically operational are to be brought back online. Those so-called plants of last resort usually burn more polluting lignite from mines in eastern Germany.

      Coal revival only temporary

      Kerstin Andreae, head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, told German public broadcaster ARD on Monday that reserve power plants burning German lignite can be brought online in “a relatively short time span.” Those using hard coal for electricity generation would need coal imports from abroad, she said.

      Germany closed its last remaining hard coal mine in 2018, and has since relied on Russia for half of its needs of the fossil fuel. “Russian coal can be completely replaced by other countries in a few months. Especially from the US, Colombia and South Africa,” Alexander Bethe, board chairman of the Association of Coal Importers, said in a statement.

      While parliament is scheduled to vote on the coal bill by July 8, the government has made it clear that the revival of the fossil fuel in Germany will last only until March 2024. By that time, Berlin wants to have Russian gas supplies reduced to about 10%, from 55% before the war and 35% currently.

      No comeback for nuclear power

      But using coal for power production wouldn’t solve all of Germany’s problems, however, as many of the gas plants also generate heat for households and industrial processes.

      Another alternative would be nuclear power, but the use of the more climate-friendly energy has been ruled out by both government authorities and nuclear operators. Germany is preparing to shut down its remaining three nuclear plants by the end of the year, and Markus Krebber, CEO of the RWE energy utility, has said there would be no turning back to this form of energy.

      Saving gas with industry auctions

      Habeck said reviving coal was a “bitter” decision, but added that it was “simply necessary in this situation to reduce gas consumption.” One way Berlin hopes to achieve this is to curb gas usage with a new market-based gas auction model offering industry incentives to reduce consumption, and diverting the unneeded supply to long-term storage.

      Unlike government-ordained blanket gas rationing, the measure would redirect gas flows from areas where reductions “hurt the least to where they hurt most,” said Karl Haeusgen, president of the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering.

      The new measures come amid heightened German efforts to buy so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the world market — an increasingly crowded trade, given that other countries are also eager to cut their gas dependence on Russia. For that, Germany is planning to use floating regasification plants, because it doesn’t have any of the facilities needed to import LNG.

      Moreover, the government has launched a controversial public gas-saving campaign urging Germans to turn down their heating in the coming months and shower with lukewarm water.

      It seems Germany’s economy minister has some ideas about how to strengthen his country’s muscles for its arm wrestling bout with Putin. And yet, the Kremlin leader still seems to have the upper hand: Russian gas continues to flow to Germany for now — less of it, but it hasn’t been entirely shut off.

      https://www.dw.com/en/why-germany-is-reviving-dirty-coal-to-counter-russian-gas-cut/a-62195008

      ===================
      DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – German government, customers search for solutions as Russia cuts gas supply

      Meanwhile, consumers are turning to energy consultants to figure out how to cut heating and electricity costs.

    • Emergency plans in place for EU fuel rationing, says von der Leyen

      The European Union has drawn up emergency plans to prioritise where energy flows are directed in case of shortages, as Russia begins cutting gas supplies into the bloc, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said.

      The German government has appealed to its population to conserve energy, while Italy is reportedly considering a state of alert after Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom slashed supplies.

      “If we would decrease the heating in Europe by two degrees, or the cooling, less air conditioning, this would compensate the whole delivery of Nord Stream 1,” Dr von der Leyen told The Irish Times in an interview with a group of journalists, referring to the major gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany.

      “We have emergency plans in place that have the whole width of necessary steps, from the efficiency element, to energy savings, to prioritising the needs.”

      The EU is racing to refill its gas storage facilities from international suppliers to reach a goal of 80 per cent by winter, last week signing a deal with Israel and Egypt to procure exports. But it will be a battle to increase the current level of 43 per cent to the target of 80 per cent by winter.

      “It’s a lot of work still. And the circumstances are serious,” Dr von der Leyen said.

      Some governments are reaching for the most polluting fossil fuels to plug the gap, with Germany planning to restart coal-fired power plants, imperilling the EU’s targets to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

      “We really have to make sure that we use this crisis to move forward to the future-proof energies, and not to have a backsliding in the dirty fossil fuels,” Dr von der Leyen said.

      Some Irish farming groups have questioned whether now is the right time to reduce the size of the cattle herd in order to bring down climate change-causing methane emissions, due to the worrying reduction in global food supplies due to the invasion of major agricultural producer Ukraine.

      Dr von der Leyen said research indicated ways to reduce methane in cattle farming through selecting lower-emission breeds, feed and precision farming. But the bigger picture was that the world should not be reliant on Europe for food, she said.

      “Fifty years ago, Africa was able to produce the food that it needed,” she said.

      “Those countries who are more vulnerable, for example in the global south, must be put into the position that they are able to produce the food they need again. Instead of focusing too much on our part of the world to hyper increase production to feed the rest of the world. This will not this will not work over time, and it creates too much dependencies.”

      The commission chief did not comment on the dispute between the EU and Britain over the Northern Ireland protocol. But she stressed the importance of broader western unity towards Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

      “Unity is paramount,” she said. “It’s paramount for the clear message to Russia that democracy is strong, and determined, and active.”

      Dr von der Leyen said she was “deeply convinced” that EU member states would vote to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate member state when their leaders meet in Brussels this week, a step seen as an important political statement of solidarity.

      She would not be drawn on how soon the country could join the EU, pointing out that while both Turkey and Slovakia received candidate status at the same time, Slovakia joined within five years while “Turkey today is further away than it was in 1999?.

      Her impression following two trips to Ukraine since the outbreak of the war is “they’re highly motivated, very united in their longing for the European Union”.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/world/europe/2022/06/20/emergency-plans-in-place-for-eu-fuel-rationing-says-von-der-leyen/
      ====================

      reuters – Coal comeback? Russia could force Europe’s hand

      • Will they dial back the anthropogenic, and still cash in on climate change? A natural, cyclical phenomenon that will open investment opportunities in the far north.

        Probably have to put Sorosjugend to sleep. What’ll be the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of St. Greta’s mortal remains?

    • reuters – Factbox: The three stages of Germany’s emergency gas plan

      FRANKFURT, June 21 (Reuters) – Germany triggered stage one of its emergency gas plan in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an energy crisis in Europe, but the German gas market regulator said on Tuesday it was not yet time to move to the highest stage.

      Here is a closer look at the three stages, which are all set by Germany’s Economy Ministry:

      1. EARLY WARNING PHASE

      – This stage is triggered when there are “concrete, serious and reliable indications that an event may occur which is likely to lead to a significant deterioration of the gas supply situation and probably to the alarm or emergency level.”

      – Gas companies continue to ensure supplies, there are no supply disruptions yet.

      – Gas transmission system operators (TSOs), or network operators, update Germany’s Economy Ministry at least once a day on the supply situation.

      – Electricity TSOs coordinate to ensure the stability of their grids.

      – Gas suppliers advise the government and are part of the crisis team.

      – The government immediately informs the European Commission about potential further measures, which can include revoking the early emergency status if the conditions are no longer met.

      2. ALARM PHASE

      – This stage is triggered when there “is a disruption in the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas which leads to a significant deterioration of the gas supply situation, but the market is still able to cope with this disruption or demand without the need to take non-market based measures.”

      – It kicks in when there is a high risk of long-term supply shortages of gas.

      – There are no changes compared with the first phase, but all market players, including TSOs and gas suppliers, are under more pressure to balance out disruptions via efficiency and short-term measures such as procuring gas from alternative sources.

      3. EMERGENCY PHASE

      – This stage is triggered when there “is an exceptionally high demand for gas, a significant disruption in gas supplies or another significant supply situation and all relevant market-based measures have been implemented, but gas supply is insufficient to meet the remaining gas demand so that additional non-market based measures need to be taken, in particular to ensure the supply of gas to protected customers.”

      – State intervention kicks in because market fundamentals no longer apply, effectively meaning that remaining gas supplies are rationed.

      – This is done by the German network regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, which is tasked with securing the “vital demand for gas with special consideration of protected customers and minimising consequential damage.”

      – In broad brush terms, supply to industry is curtailed first, while households and critical institutions such as hospitals continue to receive available gas.

      https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/three-stages-germanys-emergency-gas-plan-2022-06-21/

      ================

      Germany may call next stage in gas emergency plan in next 5-10 days – Die Welt

      FRANKFURT — Germany is preparing the second phase in its three-stage gas emergency plan and could officially launch it within the next 5-10 days, newspaper Die Welt said on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

      The second so-called alarm stage, which would be announced by Germany’s economy ministry, enables utilities to pass on gas costs, which have risen significantly in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, to customers.

      The economy ministry did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

      https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/germany-may-call-next-stage-in-gas-emergency-plan-in-next-5-10-days-die-welt

    • Egypt Man Detained After Murder Of Student Who Refused Advances

      The Egyptian prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that a young man accused of killing a student because she refused his advances has been detained, after an outcry on social media.

      The alleged killer, who comes from Mansoura, north of Cairo, has been “placed in preventive detention for four days as part of an investigation into the premeditated murder of student Nira in front of her faculty,” it said in a statement.

      A video widely shared on social media on Monday appears to show the victim being stabbed by a young man, who is subsequently apprehended by passers-by.

      The accused has “confessed to killing the victim because she refused to have a relationship with him”, the prosecutor’s office added.

      Several witnesses, including the victim’s father, said the young woman had already reported her fear of attack to the authorities.

      On social media networks, some urged that similar cases “should never happen again”.

      “Society must together do better for its children,” read one post.

      Many women in Egypt say they are regularly exposed to violence and feel the law fails to protect or even harms them, in a country where the spread of a rigorous version of Islam since the 1970s and conservative traditions have hampered women’s rights.

      In early 2021, the government proposed -– without success -– a draft bill aimed at restricting the rights of nearly 50 million Egyptian women by, for example, allowing their father or their brothers to annul their marriage.

      https://www.barrons.com/news/egypt-man-detained-after-murder-of-student-who-refused-advances-01655820006

    • Muslims attack Yoga Day event in Maldives

      reuters – PROTESTERS attack Yoga Day event in Maldives

      Police in the Maldives used tear gas and pepper spray to control a crowd of peopl who disrupted a yoga event organised by the Indian High Commission, or embassy, in the capital Male on Tuesday morning, an organiser said.

      The crowd stormed a stadium where more than 150 people, including diplomats and government officers, were taking part in an event celebrating International Day of Yoga, attacking participants and vandalising the property, one of the organisers, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak with the media, told Reuters.

      Earlier, the protesters brandished placards proclaiming that yoga was against the tenets of Islam.

      Islam is the state religion in the Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean with a population of about half a million.

      Police responded with anti-riot measures and later used pepper spray and tear gas to control the crowd and secure the area, Superintendent of Police Fathmath Nashwa told Reuters.

      Six people have been arrested in connection with the incident, Nashwa said.

      Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said a police investigation into the incident had begun.

      “This is being treated as a matter of serious concern and those responsible will be swiftly brought before the law,” Solih said on Twitter.

      https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/protesters-attack-yoga-day-event-maldives-2022-06-21/

    • Islamists disrupt Yoga Day celebrations organised by Indian Govt, President Solih says probe initiated

      On June 21, Islamist extremists disrupted Yoga Day celebrations in the Maldives. Videos of the incident emerged on social media platforms where Islamists could be seen entering the Galolhu stadium where people were doing Yoga on eight International Yoga Day. They uprooted the flags in the stadium and used them to attack the participants of the celebrations.

      https://twitter.com/sidhant/status/1539120088388972544

      https://www.opindia.com/2022/06/watch-islamists-disrupt-yoga-day-celebrations-maldives-president-solih-says-probe-initiated/

    • Democracy, human rights. As understood by the heirs of Petliura and Bandera. Like Chrystia Freeland.

      Ukes have crushed the last opposition political party. Their domestic version of the KGB is working overtime. Not only silenced Russian-language media, but banned ALL printed material and even music in Bear-ish.

      That silences more than half the population.
      There has to be a strong self-hating gene, like that which has plagued the Jewish people since the time of Moses.

  3. the gateway pundit – US Attorney General Merrick Garland Makes Unannounced Visit to Ukraine to Discuss Efforts to Prosecute War Crimes From Russia’s Invasion (VIDEO)

    […]“I’m here to continue our discussions … about the actions that the United States is taking to assist the Ukrainian authorities in holding accountable those responsible for the atrocities, for the war crimes that the entire world has seen,” Garland said.

    The US “is sending an unmistakable message: There is no place to hide. We and our partners will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable,” he said.

    https://twitter.com/politico/status/1539252973544648704

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/06/us-attorney-general-merrick-garland-makes-unannounced-visit-ukraine-discuss-efforts-prosecute-war-crimes-russias-invasion-video/

    • DOUGLAS MACGREGOR
      «This war has been lost a long time ago»

      Before critics denounced him as “the voice of Vladimir Putin,” United States Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor was known for his daring military exploits. During the first Gulf War, his squadron famously demolished nearly seventy Iraqi Republican Guard vehicles in 23 minutes. Now, the West Point graduate is battling the diplomatic establishment over Russia and its war against Ukraine.

      Retired United States Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor does not suffer fools. In the West’s efforts to assist the Ukrainians in repelling Russia’s invasion, he sees a motley crew. Once regarded a war hero, the Gulf War veteran is now denounced as a “Putin apologist” for his uncompromising criticism of what he regards as the West’s duplicity toward the old Cold War foe.

      The 69-year-old strategist tells Die Weltwoche, “At this point, the notion that the Russians would negotiate with anybody about events in Ukraine is simply unrealistic.” More ominously for the Ukrainians, Macgregor believes their fight for territorial integrity is already lost. He dismisses glowing reports of Ukrainian tactical victories as a politically concocted “fiction.”

      This is not the first time the battle hardened warrior has crossed swords with the foreign policy and military establishment. As an active duty officer, he took the extraordinary step of publishing a radical critique of the U.S. Army’s military readiness with his book, “Breaking the Phalanx.” Praised by the then-head of the Army, General Dennis Reiner, and later by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Macgregor’s public criticism was, nevertheless, viewed by many top brass as a shot across the bow. U.S. News and World Report observed, “The Army is showing it prefers generals who are good at bureaucratic gamesmanship to ones who can think innovatively on the battlefield.”

      Years after serving as one of the top planners for NATO’s successful 1999 aerial bombing campaign of Kosovo to expel Yugoslavian forces, Macgregor found himself, once again, crosswise with official Washington. Appearing on Russian state television RT in 2014, the American colonel advocated for a plebiscite in Ukraine to allow Russians in Eastern Ukraine to decide whether their future was in Ukraine or Russia.

      In the wake of President Biden’s announcement, last week, that that the U.S. plans to supply Ukraine with more advanced rocket systems and munitions, we turn to the foreign policy heretic for his provocatively contrarian views.

      Weltwoche: Colonel Macgregor, could the American missile systems that President Joe Biden wants to deliver become a game changer in the war?

      Doug Macgregor: No. These weapons are not going to have any significant impact whatsoever. First of all, this “High Mobility Artillery Rocket System” is a good system, but we are sending only four launchers. This is about as significant as sending four tanks. You don’t have a significant impact with so few launchers. Keep something else in mind. It takes, on average, at least five weeks to train crew members on the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. Unless we are sending American soldiers to operate these systems, it seems very unlikely to me that these systems are going to be placed into operation quickly and have any real utility at all.

      Secondly, the 50-mile range is the outer limit of the system. I doubt that they would get any rockets close to the Russian border.

      Then, finally, when the High Mobility Rocket System fires, it is visible from low Earth-orbiting satellites. That means, as soon as you fire a salvo of these rockets, the first thing that you absolutely must do is rapidly move to a new location. If you don’t, you’re going to be identified and destroyed by counter-battery fire.

      If we’ve learned one thing from this current war, the Russians have excellent counter-battery fire capability. They have the radars, they have the links to the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets in space, as well as overhead in the terrestrial environment. The bottom line is these four launchers are going to make absolutely no difference at all. It looks like a face-saving venture by the U.S. government to create the illusion that we’ve done something important for Ukrainians when, in fact, we haven’t.

      Weltwoche: In reaction to the announced deployment of US rocket systems, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman, Dmitri Medvedev, said that “if, God forbid, these weapons are used against Russian territory, then our armed forces will have no other choice but to strike decision-making centers.” If the four launchers are going to make absolutely no difference on the battlefield, as you point out, then the Russians can easily relax, can’t they?

      Macgregor: The Russians are simply reinforcing something that they actually made clear from the very beginning of this operation. If we begin to operate from neighboring NATO states and directly attacking Russian forces in Ukraine, they will view those neighboring states as co-belligerents. Right now, the state that is the assembly area for the distribution and projection of new equipment and assistance into Ukraine is Poland. It is not unreasonable for the Russians to say, “If these things come in from Poland and they actually hit Russia, we will strike Poland.”

      Now, my point is that I think the people in Washington are acutely sensitive to this, more so than people think in Europe. As a result, it may have started out as a much larger infusion of rocket systems. I think that they suddenly scaled back.

      Weltwoche: You called the deployment of those few artillery rocket systems “a face-saving venture” by the Biden government. In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson [on the Fox News Channel], you went further, saying that the U.S. administration “really doesn’t want to admit that this war has been lost a long time ago.” When was the war lost, in your view?

      Macgregor: I think it was lost mid-to-late March. The reason is that the Russians had very limited and discrete goals when they began this operation. First of all, they said they wanted neutrality for Ukraine. They wanted autonomy for the so-called “Donbas Republics,” which are all Russian speaking. Under that, they wanted equal rights for Russian citizens of Ukraine to be allowed to speak Russian, to be allowed to live as they see fit. Then, finally, recognition that Crimea is legitimately part of Russia. Those were the three basic goals or objectives. The Russians made it very clear, from the moment they moved into Ukraine, that they wanted a negotiated settlement.

      When they finally moved in, they did not move along three or four axes where they would concentrate the striking power of their force. They, in fact, dissipated their combat power. In other words, along a 500-mile front, they moved in at several different locations with the goal of avoiding damage to infrastructure, avoiding collateral damage to people, to human beings. They simply did not want to kill very many people when they went in, and they wanted to give people an opportunity to join them, including Ukrainian forces who didn’t want to fight. That didn’t work very well.

      Weltwoche: Why didn’t it work?

      Macgregor: Because, as soon as the Russians admitted that they were only entering Ukraine for the purpose of neutralizing or destroying the Ukrainian threat to Russia and that they would withdraw once they arrived at some sort of negotiated settlement, the majority of Russian speakers (millions of them in Eastern Ukraine) said it’s unrealistic for them to join the Russians because, as soon as the Russians were gone, Ukrainian secret police would show up and murder them and their families. Thus, they were not helping.

      All of that was evident by the 16th to the 23rd of March. It became clear that the Ukrainians were not negotiating in good faith. The Russians intelligence network discovered that we (Americans) and our friends in London were urging the Ukrainians to fight on and promising Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that we would give him whatever he needed to win. At the same time, we were creating this fiction that the Ukrainian forces were actually having great success against the Russians when, in fact, the Russians were crushing them and there were very few examples of so-called “Ukrainian tactical success.”

      I think, at that point, the Russians said, “Well, the game is up. We’re not going to get any cooperation out the West. The United States has effectively said they want to grind us into the dust.” They changed their operations. They stopped fighting for particular cities. They said, “We’ll simply circle these places to the extent that we can. While we cut those off or isolate them, we will then focus on major concentrations of Ukrainian forces.”

      Those large concentrations were always in the Donbas, and it has taken another three or four weeks to re-concentrate Russian forces to execute that mission and achieve that objective. I think what we need to understand is that, at this point, the notion that the Russians would negotiate with anybody about events in Ukraine is simply unrealistic.

      Weltwoche: There are several points that I don’t want to leave unchallenged. You say that the Russians “simply did not want to kill very many people when they went in.” The countless attacks on civilian targets and the bombardment of cities like Mariupol, which the Red Cross described as “apocalyptic,” prove that the Russians are not holding back from killing children, women, and the elderly indiscriminately. In your enumeration of Putin’s war aims, you also forget to mention that Putin’s openly declared intention was to decapitate the government in Ukraine, which he falsely claimed was run by fascists. He obviously did not achieve that goal. Further, you claim that “the Russians were crushing” Ukrainian forces. In truth, the Ukrainians defended themselves with determination, from day one. The Russian troops were forced to retreat and reorganize in the east of Ukraine. Finally, it is important to keep one fact clearly in mind: Putin attacked a sovereign state under threat of using nuclear weapons. There has never been a similar blatant violation of international law in the modern history of Europe.

      Macgregor: I think this business about international law needs to be re-examined. The French, the British, and the Americans all intervened in Libya and, essentially, destroyed the government there, decimated the society, and created chaos which continues to persist to this day. There is no stability in Libya, and no one seems to have raised any issues about international law.

      We (Americans) intervened in Syria after having intervened in Iraq where we created chaos of the structure and on a scale that is, certainly, greater, if not much larger, than Ukraine. No one seems to have raised any issues about international law. We have launched all sorts of strikes and raids all over the world at our discretion against anyone we thought was the enemy, effectively assassinating with aircraft or unmanned systems or missiles anyone in Africa, the Middle East, or even in South Asia, who we deemed a threat. No one seems to have raised any issues about international law.

      I think if you’re going to talk about international law, your audience isn’t going to be very receptive. They see international laws applying on a very exceptional basis to those that the United States, Britain, and France don’t like.

      Weltwoche: So, in your eyes, there is no reason to criticize Putin for the attack on Ukraine, even though Ukraine had not taken a single step of aggression against Russia?

      Macgregor: The Ukrainians had been very straightforward about their determination to re-conquer the Donbas and then, subsequently, to regain control through conquest of Crimea. If you’re a Russian and you’re looking at that — and you’re seeing the enormous buildup of weapons and equipment in Ukraine, particularly Eastern Ukraine, and you reckon that the United States at some point is going to move strike assets in terms of medium, intermediate-range missiles into Eastern Ukraine that could reach very important targets in Russia in a very short period of time — you make the decision to go in or sit and do nothing.

      The calculus [for Russia] was very simple: “If we do nothing, what happens? Well, the situation in Ukraine becomes more and more dangerous with each passing month and year to Russia. If we do something, we’ll be condemned by everyone, but we can at least destroy the threat.”

      Ultimately, they came down on the second option. It’s not the best, but it was the only one they saw because they saw no evidence that we or anyone else was going to listen to them.

      Weltwoche: One more point. You say, “It became clear that the Ukrainians were not negotiating in good faith.” Let’s suppose Switzerland or America was attacked. Would you negotiate with the aggressor “in good faith” after he has already seized large parts of your sovereign country?

      Macgregor: Now, as far as negotiating in good faith, if you are fighting a major enemy and your back is against the wall, yes, you negotiate, and you negotiate seriously because if you do not, you risk total destruction. Now, the good news for Ukraine was that there was never any interest in Russia in the total destruction of Ukraine. There was no interest, initially, in capturing, permanently occupying any territory. That has changed.

      The Russians now see no alternative but to remain where they are in Eastern Ukraine — to annex or incorporate those territories in some fashion into Russia, to hold the ports in the areas from which Ukrainians would normally export grain, and to retain control of 90% of Ukraine’s industrial base, which was formally Russian, anyway.

      Weltwoche: Let’s focus on the United States, the leading western power. President Biden has been sending mixed and contradictory messages for weeks. In his recent New York Times op-ed, Biden wrote, “As much as I disagree with Mr Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow,” Back in March, Biden declared that Putin “cannot remain in power.” Can the U.S. government be taken seriously?

      Macgregor: The easy answer is “no.” But I think the United States has been confused for a long time. This government is probably more confused than almost any other we’ve had, but we don’t have a clear, unambiguous, strategic framework from which we operate. There is no clear, unambiguous, end state for anything that we embark upon.

      Now, in Ukraine, we tried to vilify and demonize Mr. Putin as some sort of evil dictator and characterize him as worthy of removal. Well, that hasn’t worked very well. There’s no chance of Mr. Putin being removed by an internal coup or any other force inside of Russia. Mr. Putin’s approval ratings inside of Russia are well over 85%. He has enormous support in the country for doing what he’s doing in Ukraine — not because Russians hate Ukrainians, because they don’t, but because the Russians agreed with him that Russia, itself, was confronting increasingly what could become, in the near term, an existential threat to the Russian state and the Russian people.

      Now, the question is, “What is the United States’ strategic objective in Ukraine? What do you want the situation to look like when the fighting ends?” That question was never asked, and it’s never been asked in any of the interventions we’ve conducted over the last 30, 40, 50 years.

      Weltwoche: Not too long ago, French President Emmanuel Macron called NATO, “brain dead.” Now, the alliance has been given a new lease on life in the wake of the Ukraine war. Even the neutral countries of Sweden and Finland want to join the alliance. That can’t have been Putin’s intention, can it?

      Macgregor: I think that NATO is weaker than ever. The unity you’re seeing is a facade, at best. Macron was absolutely right, and he was not the first to make those statements. The United States does not have allies in Europe. It has military dependencies. There is one country in Europe that is capable of fielding significant military power and dominating the scene if necessary, and that is Germany. Germany, today, is what it was before World War II and World War I. It is the dominant power, regional power, and, to a large extent, an international power.

      Weltwoche: Economically speaking…

      Macgregor: Yes. But it could become everything else overnight if it chose to do so. Nothing, fundamentally, has changed in that regard.

      On Sweden and Finland, I don’t think they are going to join, because I don’t see much evidence that Turkey (which objects to granting membership to the two) is going to change its position.

      I have watched NATO from the inside and have seen it being extremely dysfunctional. Over and over again, the Europeans were never able to agree that any one European state would take the lead on much of anything. They never built the capabilities that were necessary to defend European interests. So, they defaulted to America’s enormous investment in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Europe was effectively defenseless without the United States.

      A series of American presidents have enjoyed that condition because we suffer in the United States from what I would call, “national narcissism.” It is flattering to us to think of ourselves as this great imperial power that protects and dominates everyone. I think that’s going to change because, quite frankly, we don’t have the funds or the resources to maintain this level of military investment in perpetuity. In fact, I think we’re coming to the end of it. When we hit the end of it, you’re going to see a massive withdrawal of U.S. forces from all over the world.

      Weltwoche: Russia has been saying for years that it sees NATO’s enlargement as an existential threat. If the alliance is as weak as you say, Russia has nothing to fear, has it?

      Macgregor: Russia is not afraid of the Europeans and never was. Russia always saw the European states as entirely subservient to, and dependent upon, Washington. NATO is the United States-led alliance. As long as we are seen as the dominant power in Europe and unambiguously hostile to Russia, then, yes, Russia is going to view what happens under the broad title of “NATO” as an existential threat to Russia.

      https://weltwoche.ch/daily/this-war-has-been-lost-a-long-time-ago/

      ==========================

      JUNE 21 2022 – Ukraine Russia War Update – Col Douglas Macgregor

      • Nato boots actually ARE on the ground.

        Who’s directing and operating weapons systems – albeit sent in dribs and drabs – the US/UK HIMARs, French CESARs, German PzH2000s?

        Not only the obvious mercs, but neighbors on their own imperial quest to restore the Polish-Lithuanian Empire. A large contingent of CANADIANS have joined that dubious enterprise.

        Plus actual U.S. and U.K. military professionals. If they’re not whisked away from boilers – at great cost to the Ukrainians sent to rescue them – they die in the vast, Soviet-built bunkers like Azovstal.

        We’ve seen a few surrender: chemical weapons specialists and special forces posing as “retired” volunteers.

        In their deep-state arrogance, they imagine Putin has no eyes on the ground? In the ethnic Russian region that’s the battleground?

  4. reuters – Biden discusses COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5

    … and called it a ‘historic milestone’ in the country’s fight against the pandemic

  5. Seth Frantzman:
    Iraq’s miracle: A country that no longer needs a leader or government

    Iraq’s non-leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who usually makes headlines for being unwilling to actually take charge of anything despite having the support of millions of Iraqis, withdraw his party’s 73 parliamentarians from the parliament, making it harder for Iraq to form a government.

    Iraq has basically been in political chaos for years. Yet the miracle of Iraq is that it continues to function, despite not really having any leaders.

    In some political science classes or ideologies of anarchism, Iraq might be considered one of the first post-states, a place that exists beyond borders, showing that people can live without the need for governments. However, this breaks down when one realizes that the country has been taken over, at least in part, by Iran in the center and south, and by Turkey in parts of the north.

    Between these two powerful neighbors, there are other governments, including the wealthy, stable and relatively powerful Kurdistan autonomous region. There is also the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, the system of militias that run parts of Iraq. There is also a competent counter-terrorism force.

    So Iraq is a kind of miracle because the country has gone from once being a stable and wealthy state governed by a genocidal maniac known as Saddam Hussein, in the 1980s, to living under sanctions in the 1990s, to the US invasion of 2003, to the chaos of insurgency and then ISIS genocide in 2014, and then the current non-leadership that Iraq is living under.

    https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/article-709985

  6. Al Jazeera “experts” exonerate Israel of shooting Shireen Abu Akleh

    According to Al Jazeera, which claimed that it obtained a photo of the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh:

    “An investigation by Al Jazeera has obtained an image of the bullet used to kill the network’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

    “According to ballistic and forensic experts, the green-tipped bullet was designed to pierce armour and is used in an M4 rifle. The round was extracted from her head.

    “The bullet was analysed using 3D models and, according to experts, it was 5.56mm calibre – the same used by Israeli forces. The round was designed and manufactured in the United States, experts said.”

    If their experts are correct and the bullet was manufactured in the United States, then the bullet must have been shot by Palestinian terrorists.

    IDF exclusively uses bullets made in Israel by IMI Systems, formerly Israel Military Industries and owned now by Elbit, all manufactured in Israel, not the US.

    https://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2022/06/al-jazeera-experts-exonerate-israel-of.html
    ……….

    Review: IMI Ammunition

    https://www.shootingillustrated.com/content/review-imi-ammunition-1/

  7. Yesterday’s “Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 20.06.2022”.
    I had to watch twice, then spent hours with my Russki digging data.

    • Go to 6:30 –
      Western sources map, red area on the right is the Russian occupied region around Toshkivka.

      Look, that’s the BEAR! Eating enemies from the “cauldron”!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWXLyi1k5wU&t=570s
      ………

      The daily “Military Summary” by Dima of Belarus is
      just so wonderful, it’s worth every bit of the effort it takes to get the hang of it.

      The opening, in that gentle voice, “Hello, my dear friends…”
      So many agree with what one person wrote: Now my day isn’t complete till I hear ”hello…”

      All the Sun Tzu quotes you find littered everywhere, at the same time both profound and glib?
      You’ll never believe you can get hooked on “dry”, tactical military strategy, how intimately you’ll come to understand the nature of war. This is immediate, it’s real: eternal human history.

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