Saturday 5 August 2023

'History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind' (Gibbon)


As this terrible war drags on it is hard to know what is happening but it is obvious that Ukraine is not doing well, which is hardly surprising given Russia's size and power, and that the war could go on for decades. Also obvious are the mistakes made by American presidents starting with George W. Bush in 2008 at the Bucharest NATO conference and in 2013-14 the involvement of the Americans in trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Yanukovych, which was backed by 70% of the Ukrainian population in the last opinion poll before he fled. 

So many follies. According to Alistair Crooke, who was often right about the Syrian war, one egregious folly was the American belief that Russia could be defeated by economic sanctions. 

Do they read no history? When did sanctions ever overturn a government? Why are the Americans doing untold harm by sanctions against Syria, for heaven's sake? To hurt Iran but Iran is not a threat. Or sanctions against Iran herself, Cuba absurdly, the Taliban in Afghanistan or Venezuela? Why?


  1. Russia becomes Europe’s biggest economy – report

    Russia was among the world’s five largest economies and the largest in Europe in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) as of the end of 2022, despite Western sanctions, the latest World Economics report has revealed.

    According to estimates based on official country data published by the World Bank and the IMF, Russia's gross domestic product was $5.51 trillion in PPP terms at the end of last year. The figure is 38% larger than the official estimate of $3.993 trillion, the report noted.

    It also showed that the Russian economy was ahead of Germany’s when measured in purchasing-power parity, with the latter’s GDP at $5 trillion.

    China topped the list as the world’s biggest economy ($31 trillion), followed by the US, India, and Japan. The top 10 also included Indonesia, Brazil, and Türkiye.

  2. I’d sarcastically say “nobody ever saw this coming,” since we all saw it coming, but corporate media’s new, improved Ukraine narrative is that they always knew the Proxy War would end this way, because the Ukrainians are bad at war, and because NATO was too stingy with its very best weapons.

    The New York Times ran the story yesterday headlined, “Ukrainian Troops Trained by the West Stumble in Battle.” Yikes. The sub-headline added more context: “Ukraine’s army has for now set aside U.S. fighting methods and reverted to tactics it knows best.”

    Well that ought to do it.

    Keep two things in mind as this story continues. First, remember all the braying laughter from pro-Ukes all year long, as they bragged until our ears bled about the one successful Ukrainian military action late last summer repelling the Russians from a single advance on Kiev that in hindsight looks like it was always a feint. It is now more obvious than ever these war boosters are execrable scumbags, because of the second thing.

    Second, remember all the unfortunate, ordinary Ukrainians whose war-torn country has been used as the Deep State’s ashtray, and who were sold out by their elected leaders and an Eastern European culture of corruption that allowed the country to be hawked to the highest bidder. We pray for them, and will gladly share our last cracker.

    Jeff Childers