More Thoughts on Russia: The Geostrategic Angle

Look at this picture. Remember it. Burn it into your memory. Or better yet, send it to all your “muh democracy” friends. You know, those armchair warriors who hang out at the local Starbucks and wax militaristic against that evil dictator Vladimir Putin. (Just as long as it’s those rednecks from the Red states who do the fighting.)

It’s a photo of two soldiers, taken right before the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history. It was a fight to the death between the German invader and the Russian patriot. No quarter was offered; none given. By most accounts, the Wehrmacht was the greatest military force in history. The Red Army was riven by internal divisions. Yes, both sides were led by profoundly evil men. Only one army, however –the Russian–was fighting for his homeland. And fight they did.

Look closer. The soldier on the left looks so young that it’s doubtful he’s ever shaved. The one on the right is kissing his baptismal cross. And Bolshevism be damned, both were determined to fight to the death to protect Mother Russia.

Meanwhile, according to our own military’s statistics, over one-third of our recruits are obese. Thanks to the end of discrimination against homosexuals, gang-rape against male recruits is off the charts. The service academies reported a record number of sexual assaults against female cadets last year. That’s the elite of our armed forces. A US Navy ship in the Indian Ocean was beached, resulting in the court martial of the captain because two of the service officers on duty (both female) were not talking to one another.

And then of course transsexuals are fighting to get in, not to get fit and trim or to provide the elan necessary for the sting of battle, but to get free access to hormones and surgery.

Yup. That’s us.

Think about these things every time you see some talking head on MSNBCFOXABCNN talking about how we need to keep on provoking Russia about this, that or the other thing. You might also want to remember that every one of these talking heads serves on the board of directors of some major corporation like General Electric, Raytheon, Boeing and so on. And as during the run-up to the second Iraq War, various neoconservative eminences and foreign intellectuals were being endlessly lionized on “progressive” programs like Hardball, and Meet the Press.

We were told that once American soldiers entered Baghdad, the people would be strewing petals in front of them, welcoming them as liberators. Remember as well the reportage of Judith Martin, who writing for The New York Times assured us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. (She was so sure in fact, that she willingly served 85 days in jail rather than give up her sources.)

Instead, turn the tables on the Muh Democracy crowd. If pressed, when you are told that Russia “invaded” Ukraine, punch right back. Ask instead: “what day did Russia ‘invade’ Ukraine?” You will be met with a blank stare. OK, in the interest of allowing your interlocutor a way out, ask him “what month did Russia invade?” Again, you will be met with the slack-jawed look of an ignoramus. “What season, then?” or “what year?”.

The blank looks will give lie to the entire neoconservative narrative. Because Russia never invaded Ukraine. Not once. Not even after after the illegal coup which toppled the democratically elected Yanukovich government. Maybe it should have. But it didn’t. According to most military analysts the Russians could have taken Kiev in one week.

“A-ha! What about the Crimea? Didn’t Russia conquer sovereign Ukrainian territory?” Well, I would reply thusly: “The people of the Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation. And say, did NATO ask Serbia if they could cleave Kosovo from their country?” Less cynically, the Czechs and the Slovaks parted ways amicably. By common consent. Nobody in the West is crying tears over the “destruction” of Czechoslovakia.

Sauce. Goose. Gander. You know the drill.

As you can probably tell, my contempt for our commentariat is unfathomable. The Grand Canyon can’t contain it. And yet, the dire picture presented of Russia in all its particulars is incessant. Worse, it’s purposeful. It’s mostly based on a lie. Of this I am sure.

Now, I have no intention of presenting to you a rosy picture of the Russian economy. While it’s certainly not as robust as ours is at present, it’s nowhere near as dire as the talking heads like to proclaim. It’s guiding principle is one of economic rationalism. They take care of the basic things –military, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. The only “fluff” would be their space program.

Interestingly enough, Russia is now second only to the United States as a destination for immigrants. (There is a growing Afrikaner demographic in Russia which is only going to get larger in time.) I’m sure Somalia is a beautiful land and all, but I don’t see anybody high-tailing it there to get out of, oh, say Italy.

I think you get the picture. Migrants don’t go to countries that are are themselves on the brink of collapse. Russia certainly isn’t, even with the sanctions.

We are told that Russia’s GDP is the size of California’s or less than Italy’s. In the video below I will throw out some observations that should throw some cold water on that number. Don’t forget, our best analysts at the CIA were wrong about the GDP of the Soviet Union during the heyday of the Cold War. They said it was much stronger than America’s. We pretty much believed them; after all, the USSR was expanding and sending its military to every continent. Worse, Soviet-style Communism had a curious ideological appeal to people in the Third World. Most everybody, including the Western intelligentsia, believed that Classical Liberalism was a spent force. When Reagan appeared on the scene to state that it was Communism which would end up “on the ash-heap of history”, he was was derided as a stupid cowboy who played second-billing to a chimpanzee.

Now these same geniuses are saying the opposite. It certainly wasn’t true then. Why should we believe them now?

If you have a notion, please take the time to watch the following video wherein I make the case that the state of the Russian economy overall is much stronger than we are led to believe. I ask for your forgiveness because of its length but I felt the need to talk about Russia’s military strategy as well.

Anyway, don’t believe the propaganda. At least be skeptical. And for God’s sake, don’t provoke the Russian Bear! It didn’t work out so well for Napoleon or Hitler.



  1. Thank you for sharing the good news of the Russian state and it’s people, may she continue to flourish, with true Orthodoxy as her guidance and protection!

    Good news still comes from Greece, every now and then, as well. Granted this defense of Orthodoxy was back at a time when Italian fascist occupation of the Dodecanese Islands. A time when many Bishops, priests, elders, and monks, risked more than their political positions. Men like Elder Amphilochios Makris, who secretly held Greek language, and Orthodox faith classes to children, despite the church of Rome trying to tear them down. Now this man is newly canonized Saint Amphilochios! Spiritual Child of Saint Nektarios of Aegina. As of this past Wednesday, we have a new Saint in our Orthodox Church!

    Let us all praise Amphilochios, the star of the Church of Christ, truly the ornament of the island of Patmos, the beauty of the monastics and lover of piety, the lamp of prudence; he intercedes to the Lord that He may have mercy on our souls.

    -Apolytikion Hymm of the Newly-Canonized St. Amphilochios

    May Saint Amphilochios of Patmos intercede for us!

  2. Nate Trost says

    I suppose it had to happen eventually: George Michalopulos is finally ready to proclaim “fake news” on (checks notes) … economic reports by the government of the Russian Federation.

    Frankly, one doesn’t even have to attempt to address the absurd notion that OECD figures or World Bank figures could be wildly inaccurate for one of the ten largest economies on the planet, one that participates in the global economic system, for one simple reason:

    Rosstat is a thing which exists.

    So, just to start off, when

    George Michalopulos says
    “Not just based on what I saw, but several other factors we’ll get into presently, I just don’t believe that the GDP that is stated for Russia, for the Russian Federation is accurate”

    You are more or less calling Putin a liar, just a heads up.

    George Michalopulos says
    “Let’s compare Russia to Italy or Spain. I’m going to ask you a few questions.”

    This should be interesting.

    “Do either or these countries have a space program?”

    Yes! Both countries are members of and contribute to the European Space Agency. Both countries have aerospace firms that contribute to European launch vehicles, satellites and spacecraft. Through the ESA both countries participate in the International Space Station.

    But, does this question have anything to do with the accuracy of GDP reporting? No!

    “Do either of these countries have a space program that the United States is dependent on, because our space program is pretty much moribund.”

    Wow, we are off in the weeds already, but this is actually an interesting tangent to address, so I shall.

    The Russian space program and space sector is currently facing several crisis, some of which are directly due to the fact that the “US space program” is the opposite of moribund.

    1) Russia’s share of the commercial satellite launch business has been hammered over the past several years. A number of high profile failures and reports of chronic problems with quality control have increased insurance costs. And the days of Russian launchers having a significant cost advantage are pretty much over. One of the biggest players eating Russia’s lunch has been the American firm SpaceX, which had succeeded in a goal of making the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket reusable, giving it a very large cost advantage over the rest of the global launch market.

    2) For the past several years, Russia has been able to partially subsidize its space program by selling NASA seats on Soyuz to fly astronauts to the ISS. This is the ‘dependent on’ part you allude to. This gravy train is ending next year, as the Boeing Starliner and the SpaceX Dragon 2 start flying astronauts to the ISS under the Commercial Crew program. The subsidies kind of end early, as the last couple seats are technically Boeing selling NASA Soyuz seats they got as part of a financial settlement to the SeaLaunch joint venture mess. In a period of a couple years, the US is going to go from zero operational manned spaceflight vehicles, to two, to three (Orion). This is an interesting definition of moribund.

    And all of this has precisely *squat* to do with the GDP of a country.

    “Are any of these countries (Spain, Italy) able to undertake military adventures abroad as Russia has, in Syria for instance.”

    This, again, has nothing do with accuracy of GDP. What are you even attempting to argue here? That Spain’s military spending is inflated? That Russia’s is deflated? Because I think it is rather uncontroversial that Russia spends more on its military as a proportion of its overall economy than Spain or Italy. Are we pretending that defense spending as a percentage of GDP is not a thing? For that matter, a not insignificant amount of the military assets Russia has used in the Syrian intervention effort were originally built by the USSR during the Cold War! Russia has expensive programs to try and modernize some of those old Cold War assets because building new from scratch is too expensive.

    “Are any of these countries able to develop, able to exploit new areas of land of geography, to exploit oil and gas.”

    1) Again, this has nothing to do with the accuracy of the GDP of a country.
    2) As we all know, oil and gas resources are the only viable option for economic growth and success. This is how Apple became the most valuable company on Earth and amassed hundreds of billions of dollars in profits: from their drilling operations in Alaska. Oh no, wait, it was because they made the iPhone.
    3) Even proclaiming Russia has potential for a *future* economic boom because it is going after resources in the Arctic is fraught with peril. A lot of the findings are getting harder and harder to pull out of the ground requiring massive risky capital investment and significant technical expertise that doesn’t necessarily exist in-country at present.

    “Are any of these countries undergoing a bold infrastructure program”

    You have to be careful with saying “undergoing” versus “proposed”. A conditional yes, Italy for instance is talking about a very large infrastructure program. Funny how a major bridge collapse makes addressing underinvestment on infrastructure a higher priority. It is also required, when talking about future Russian programs, to note whether the *actual* money that gets spent ends up being the amount originally touted. The latter is frequently a much smaller amount than the former.

    But this still has nothing to do with accuracy of GDP figures. You aren’t even digging into current relative infrastructure spending of various countries. And, you know, apples to oranges as for example 1) Spain is just a weeeeeeee bit smaller than Russia, and 2) for both Spain and Italy you have to make distinctions between national infrastructure spending and EU infrastructure spending and how they mesh and it’s rather complicated. None of which you address, although it wouldn’t matter if it did because it has nothing to do with the accuracy of economic statistics.

    “something something medical care”

    As best I can tell here your argument seems to be: clearly Russia’s GDP is underestimated because they don’t use leeches and worry about the four humors? If I’m squinting it kind of sounds like you are saying the medical systems of Russia based purely on your local observation (traveling in the wealthiest parts of Russia) is comparable to Italy and Spain? And again, I can’t stress this enough: Russia is a very, very large country.

    “Are Italy or Spain operating or running a budget surplus?”

    Neither is the US, but that doesn’t mean the US isn’t the largest economy in the world. Again, this has nothing to do with the size of GDP. Also, Russia projects a surplus for 2018, but by Russian government figures, has been in deficit seven out of the last ten years.

    “Think about this. Russia is the second largest gold producer in the world. They’ve doubled their gold capacity within the last couple of years. Therefore they won’t run out of hard currency.”

    I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but this again, has literally nothing to do with the accuracy of the GDP reporting of a country.

    “Russia runs a trade surplus. It is 2.5% of GDP. That’s interesting.”

    That it isn’t *higher* is an indictment of how poorly diversified Russian exports are and a negative statement on the Russian economy as a whole. Germany is like at 8.5% of GDP and look how much energy resources Germany has to import! And why are you touting a figure as a percentage of GDP when you don’t even believe the Russian government GDP reporting anyway?

    (and from there you basically digress away from even talking about things you think relate to GDP reporting but actually don’t into Russian Federation era Kremlinology, but whatever)

    “Crimea on the other hand is a gold mine for the Russian Federation”

    Uh, no, completely independent of secondary sanction effects on the Russian economy, the annexation of Crimea has actually been a huge financial sinkhole in the Russian federal budget.

    “Blah blah, sanctions, Pobeda airline ready to sign on the dotted line to buy a couple dozen Boeing jetliners.”

    I can see no reporting in any aviation trades that any Pobeda 737 orders have been halted or undone by sanctions. Do you have a citation for this? As far as I can tell, they are still taking delivery of new 737MAX8s next year.

    Boeing, however, is likely going to lose out on a big airline order to Iran. And I don’t see the Trump administration handing out waivers for that.

    As an aside, if Russia’s economy is really so understated, why doesn’t it have a domestic producer of a 737 class commercial airliner? The best option for the “Southwest” of Russia is to buy the same planes the real Southwest uses? Interesting.

    “The thing to remember about Russia is a continental sized economy that’s self sufficient. The full range of consumer products from computers to cars are built in Russia.”

    Oh my sweet summer child, this may be the most innocent and naive thing you’ve ever said. It is an absolutely precious declaration of ignorance regarding the depth and complexity of manufacturing supply chains for modern consumer items.

    “Ford and Volkswagen for instance have plants in Russia”

    (rubs forehead)
    1) How many discrete components go into an average modern passenger vehicle.
    2) How many different countries do all those components come from
    3) How many different pieces of tooling and factory infrastructure are required to assemble a modern passenger vehicle
    4) How many different countries do all *those* components come from
    5) Where does the software to run the cars come from?
    6) Where does the software to run the *plant* come from.

    Looping back to Boeing for a moment, in addition to the US, the 787 sources from Japan, Korea, Italy, France, Canada, the UK, Sweden and Australia.

    Russia has never been under the kind of sanction pressure that say, Iran has been in the past. I’m not entirely sure you understand the nature and limits of the sanctions present on Russia, and any potential future sanctions.

    “Blah blah wheat”

    Yes, I certainly think a country that is apparently seriously considering leasing farmland to China as being one whose economy is grossly understated. But they have a space program!

    Random hilarity I noted:

    “the military-industrial complex, this is probably what keeps our economy going by the way”

    Never stop writing about economics.

    “because he (Trump) owns property in Moscow”

    Wait, what?

    “they have no kompromat on Trump”

    Hahahaha. Forget the pee tape, at the end of the day, it’s all about dirty money, money money. The thing that gets journalists murdered in Russia.

    “They’ve decreased their military budget. When have we ever done that. We’ve never done that.”

    What were you doing in the 1990s that you can’t remember them?

    “I saw people going to work.”

    The hard-hitting rigorous economic analysis we all read Monomakhos for.

    “Or even to take back the Baltic states than they want to send a man to the moon.”

    1) Nobody in any credible foreign policy/IR/military circles thinks Russia wants to (or can) conquer Europe, what’s stupid is positing that there are people in power who actually believe this
    2) Russia pulling the same tricks in one or more of the Baltics that it has in Ukraine is a very real concern over the next decade depending on how a whole bunch of things play out! Of course if it ever happened, you’d seamlessly switch from ‘Russia has no interest in this’ to ‘Well, of course Russia had to do this and were entirely justified in doing so’
    3) Roscosmos literally has a manned moon landing program with a target date. Even with the current political difficulties, they are still a potential partner in the Deep Space Gateway project

    “Water is the new oil by the way, it’s going to be the new oil.”

    This sounds dangerously close to being an admission about outcomes from the increasing pressures of catastrophic climate change.

    • George Michalopulos says

      And when exactly did you last visit Russia so you could judge the situation with your own eyes as opposed to blindly swallowing Corporate Media propaganda?

      • Nate Trost says

        It turns out, I can read Rosstat reports without actually having to visit Russia. Or read any “Corporate Media”. You can’t even do a “appeal to authority” fallacy properly.

        So I take it you believe Putin is in cahoots with “Corporate Media” to lie about the size of Russia’s economy? To borrow one of your canards, a simple yes or no answer will do!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Are you sure that “nobody” in foreign policy circles posits that Russia is a threat to Europe? Where have you been the last decade? The fact that you assert this makes me doubt your judgment about almost everything else you right.

          It’s been a staple of neoconservatism and neoliberalism that this is so. The only dissenter has been President Obama who chided Gov Romney during their second debate in 2012.

          • Nate Trost says

            I attempt to be precise with my language. That you are sloppy with yours, or that you extrapolate outside the bounds of what I actually state is not something I have any control over.

            No, nobody serious posits that Russia poses a threat of military invasion and conquest to Europe.

            But there are perceptions of threats, rightly or wrongly well short of those extremes. Undermining Western democratic systems, asymmetric warfare, poor behavior in Eastern European countries that destabilize the region, etc etc.

            • George Michalopulos says

              So why exactly is the Atlanticist Establishment spending billions of dollars on military bases on NATO when we won the Cold War? Clearly they are scared of Russia. If they’re not, then is it because we need to spend money to prop up the Military Industrial Complex?

              It’s gotta be one or the other.

              • Nate Trost says

                No, it is not one or the other, because you do not seem grasp what the underlying requirements are to achieve US foreign policy objectives when the military is involved in them.

                I get the sense you do not have a clear understanding of how much global military infrastructure is used, including in Europe, to conduct the Global War on Terror. Or how much it supports US interventions in the Middle East.

                Now, whether the US should be doing any of that is another topic of discussion, but as it turns out, there are reasons the US maintains lots of military infrastructure in Europe even after the Cold War ended that have nothing at all to do with Russia.

                This isn’t to say that Russia doesn’t factor into any considerations at all, but it’s not a false binary like you present.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Nate, I didn’t realize that comedy was one of your strong suits. Surely you can’t be serious by stating that the reason we spend more for defense than the next 25 countries combined is because of a “false binary” which you suggest that I posit.

                  Let me repeat: we are in Germany/Europe 70 years after our total victory there because

                  1. the Europeans are scared that (a supposedly prostrate, smaller-than-Italy-GDP) Russia is going to conquer them, or

                  2. we are there because our economy depends upon massive military spending.

                  There is a third option, which is that we need to be forward-based in order to take out any country that wants to go off the petrodollar. But we’ll subsume this aspect into #2 above.

                  So why do I admire your comedic talents? Because you said some blather about “diplomacy” and “the Global War on Terror”. Nate, in case you haven’t heard, that phrase is in such bad odor that nobody uses it any more. I chuckle when on TV I see some critic call out a neocon as a neocon and they run from that epithet like a scalded dog. Last year, I remember seeing Lt Col Ralph Peters get called that on some FOX program and he almost started crying like a little girl. Same thing with John Bolton who goes out of his way to say he was never a neocon. But I digress.

                  Now let me tear your arguments apart. Diplomacy can be had for significantly less bucks. Hell, those supposedly prostrate Russians have thrown their weight around the globe and they spend less only 10% of what we do annually for their military. And don’t give me any crap about the fact that they are able to do so is because they have thousands of nukes. What are we in that regard, chopped liver?

                  We can cut our military presence in Europe to, say, a few bases in England and Germany. (And yes, we do need to look at Article V of NATO.)

                  As for being concerned about “terrorism”, that’s laughable. If the US and the EU were worried about terrorism they wouldn’t have opened their borders to all the Third World immigrants who are doing a bang-up job of terrorizing the local populace already. Nor would the EU gone around destabilizing secular Arab regimes which were able to keep the lid on terrorism. Is Libya any better now that Qaddafi is gone?
                  Only if you like seeing black people sold on open slave markets can you make that claim. Sealing the borders can be done for a fraction of the cost of maintaining several hundred naval and military bases throughout the world.

                  • There is a lot to unpack here. We will start with an executive summary: you have a grotesquely oversimplified and distorted understanding of the complex and multifaceted topic that is post-World War II US foreign policy and international relations both before and after the Cold War.

                    Surely you can’t be serious by stating that the reason we spend more for defense than the next 25 countries combined

                    This is grossly factually incorrect. You never seem to tire of being challenged on factually inaccuracies by responding with more of them.

                    Now, setting aside, for the moment, the Cold War, it is important to remember that in less than half a century, during the first half of the 20th century, continental Europe was ravaged by not one but two wars of historical proportions.

                    In both cases, the United States ended up getting pulled into the conflicts, in the case of World War II, to an even greater extent than World War I. And World War II was so devastating that the US literally had to assist rebuilding Western Europe afterwards.

                    Even without the external perceived threat of the Soviet Union and all that business, the sheer calamity of the World Wars meant that in the middle of rebuilding Western Europe, various nations, including the US were really rather motivated to try and avoid ever going through that again. This resulted in a bunch of stuff, the European Union, NATO, etc. Now, one can certainly make a case that the political impetuous never would have existed for NATO had the Soviet Union not existed, but it did, so NATO did. And that had long term repercussions even after the Cold War ended because of the level of integration that came about.

                    In addition, what you completely fail to acknowledge, is that the US military did in fact, conduct a massive drawdown of both forces and bases in Europe after the Cold War ended. At the height of the Cold War there were over 400,000 US servicemembers spread across 100 bases and sites. As of 2016 that was down to ~62,000 in 28 sites. And of those only around 52,000 are actually direct support for EUCOM.

                    So why do I admire your comedic talents? Because you said some blather about “diplomacy” and “the Global War on Terror Nate, in case you haven’t heard, that phrase is in such bad odor that nobody uses it any more.”

                    And this is the irony, just because you laugh at the term Global War on Terror does not mean it isn’t still going on. To a degree you are probably entirely unaware of! Because, well, not even your average Congress member really recognizes it. See some of the befuddled responses to the fiasco in Niger last year.

                    If you can’t offer up an accurate number for the number of discrete countries the US has had boots on the ground or conducted ‘counter-terrorism’ operations in the past twelve months, you should probably stop laughing.

                    At any rate, whether the US *should* be doing a lot of the things it is doing is separate from the *requirements* to enact the things the United States has decided to do.

                    But none of this stuff has a root cause as simplistic (and wrong) as “the military industrial complex drives the economy”.

                    Now let me tear your arguments apart. Diplomacy can be had for significantly less bucks.

                    This isn’t a even a summary of an argument. You’re making blithe assertions about broader policy areas you don’t even understand. It’s like watching you walk up to a car broken down on the side of the road leaking transmission fluid and you’re like ‘Welp, time for a new alternator!”

                    Hell, those supposedly prostrate Russians have thrown their weight around the globe and they spend less only 10% of what we do annually for their military.

                    No, Russian force projection is rather limited. You have shown no indication you actually have any real understanding of Russian military capabilities and limitations, American capabilities and limitations, or the general realities of modern military deployment, force projection and support. Personally, I would kind of prefer the US not attempt a carrier deployment and splash two airframes in less than 500 sorties and end up having to relocate the rest of the air complement to land.

                    We can cut our military presence in Europe to, say, a few bases in England and Germany. (And yes, we do need to look at Article V of NATO.)

                    At the end of the day, what I hear you saying is “I dislike how America uses it’s military globally and alliance entanglements, so I want to take away it’s ability to project power globally and be isolationist”. Which is a fair enough stance to take….but, what you don’t seem to want to acknowledge is that involves getting rid of force structures you think only exist because of Russia or to fuel the American economy. Which simply is not the case.

            • George Michalopulos says

              You know, I really had to re-read your last paragraph (about “undermining Western democratic systems”). Our Deep State is doing a pretty darn good job right now of undermining our “Western democratic system” here in the good ole U S of A.

              I guess irony is lost on liberals and cuckservatives.

        • George Michalopulos says

          The appeal to authority fallacy is always a real danger. Having said that, those who “have been in the bush” are always to be given the benefit of the doubt, especially when it comes to military adventurism.

          Having said that, I imagine I’m several years older than you. I very well remember the Cold War and I can honestly tell you every intellectual and political leader in the West thought that the Soviet juggernaut was unstoppable. Even George Kennan, the eponymous “Mr X”, believed that all we could hope for was containment.

          I’m curious, have you ever read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August? A fascinating book about the Great War. I read it when I was seventeen and was astounded at the stupidity of the Great Powers, how they believed almost to a man that the war would be over in six months. A great cautionary tale. If I remember correctly, President Kennedy bought and gave a copy to every senior officer in the military during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        We had a great visit to Russia in 1987. A Mr. Potemkin showed us some truly impressive sights! He was reputed to be a very knowledgeable guide….

    • Nate, if we wanted neo-con BS we would read the Weekly Standard.

  3. George Osborne says

    George….Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Russia is presumably religiously (not necessarily politically) an Orthodox Christian country. You are an Orthodox Christian living in Oklahoma. Political tensions arise between the U.S. and Russian and an armed or other serious conflict arises. Who do you support? Your motherland or theirs? I don’t this is a naive question because if such a conflict arises, every Orthodox Christian in this country (especially the Russians) will have to ask themselves this questions and take a stand one way or another. What are you prepared to do?

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m an American. That doesn’t mean that I’m not also a Christian. Jesus told us that the peacemakers are blessed. Even if I were only a nominal Christian imbued with nothing but common sense and an acute self-preservation instinct, I would still be screaming from the rooftops for detente with Russia.

      We should have learned our lesson from Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc and the blow-back has not been pleasant. Do you think that the blow-back from a shooting war with Russia will be less?

      • Joseph Lipper says

        The U.S. has been sending some seriously lethal munitions to the Ukraine and training their soldiers, presumably for the Ukrainian soldiers to fight against Russia:

        If the Kievan Patriarch and the Ukranian army start taking over churches and monasteries, then how would Russia respond?

        Would Putin leave the pro-Russian separatists who are already in the Ukraine to fight their own battles?

        • George Michalopulos says

          I somehow doubt it.

          • George Michalopulos says

            My instincts tell me that many of the canonical churches have heavily armed congregants and intact supply lines to Russia.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              I suppose Russia could also annex more of the Ukraine, and then Putin could claim it’s technically not an invasion when he sends the Russian armies in to save the pro-Russian separatists.

              I have to wonder how long an Ukranian proxy battle would last before the US and/or Russia start sending in troops.

  4. George Michalopulos says

    Italy and Spain have a space program? Really? “Contribute” because they are part of the EU? Well, then Greece, Bulgaria and Montenegro have a space program then.

    Italy and Spain undertake overseas military adventures? Only as very junior partners to NATO, and then well “in the rear with the gear”.

    I’ll go on later.


    • Nate Trost says

      Yes, really. And no, the ESA is not an EU organization. The big three ESA contributors are: Germany, France and….Italy. Italy does actually have a substantial aerospace industry and is the primary driver behind the ESA’s Vega rocket. Neither Bulgaria or Montenegro contribute to or are members of the ESA.

      I’m sorry to hear that you think Italy and Spain’s service members killed in action in NATO operations in Afghanistan following 9/11 are worthy of derision. Such a class act you are George Michalopulos!

      You still haven’t answered why you think the Russian government lies about it’s economic statistics, you seem to want to double down on flaws in your arguments that never had anything to do with the accuracy of Russian economy assessment in the first place.

      Of course, you could just admit that you never bothered to consult official Russian economic statistics in the first place before beginning your long diatribe.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Nate, you really are obtuse. The Russia space program was the first and now we –who actually went to the moon–are dependent upon it.

        Yes, Italians, Poles and Spaniards did fight and die in Afghanistan and Iraq. Greeks and Turks died in Korea as well. But these were auxiliaries. The heavy lifting was done by the US and UK.

        I do have a question for you, which you probably won’t answer: did you believe all the propaganda about Iraq having WMD? “Yes” or “no” are the only answers.

        • Nate Trost says

          Neither the US or Europe are dependent on the Russian space program for anything meaningful, like national security or satellite TV. For the next (looks at calendar) 7-10 months the US still relies on the Soyuz for the vanity of human spaceflight to go to the giant white elephant known as the ISS. The reasons for the US manned spacecraft gap were always political, not technical. And the political happened because frankly, it wasn’t really a matter of national security or importance compared to appropriation slapfights in Congress.

          Yes, Italians, Poles and Spaniards did fight and die in Afghanistan and Iraq. Greeks and Turks died in Korea as well. But these were auxiliaries. The heavy lifting was done by the US and UK.

          Ironically this does not mean, as you said:

          well “in the rear with the gear”.

          Because a lot of the participating NATO members are dependent on the US and the UK capabilities for logistical support they do not possess, so they end up supplying small numbers of highly trained special forces or elite infantry units who get into the thick of it.

          So, I reiterate, you insulted the armed forces of American allies that fought and died responding to our nation’s call. And once you dig the hole, you keep digging!

          As an aside whew, the Turks did some stuff in Korea.

          I do have a question for you, which you probably won’t answer: did you believe all the propaganda about Iraq having WMD? “Yes” or “no” are the only answers.

          No. I was firmly in the paleoconservative wing of conservative foreign policy thought at the time, which was….not convinced by the Bush White House dog and pony show. I liked to have thought a President McCain might have seen proper investigations and prosecutions of both Iraq and the torture fiasco, but I’m sure I would have been disappointed. Obama obviously couldn’t, for a variety of reasons including nimrods like yourself screaming bloody murder if he had done it.

          Now that I answered your pointless question that had nothing to do with the size of Russia’s economy, I now look forward to your further evasion of the fundamental question at hand: do you think Putin is lying about the size of Russian economy?

          • George Michalopulos says

            “Paleoconservative”? Really Nate? I’m sorry, but I wonder about your bona fides in this regard. Especially when you speak about a potential President McCain calling the neocons to task had he won in 2008.

            I regret to say that if McCain had been president, neoconservatism would have been the order of the day. And I really regret having to say this: despite all the cultural and economic damage that Obama did to the US, his one saving grace may be that he kept McCain out of office and us out of a shooting war with Russia.

            That’s mighty thin gruel, admittedly. Kind of like giving a condemned man the option of solitary confinement for life or the electric chair.

            • As expected, George Michalopulos fails to come to grips with the fundamental flaw in his premise and wants to chase butterflies instead. Let us recap for the viewing audience.

              George Michalopulos gets a bee in his bonnet because he thinks that global economic entities might be sandbagging the size of Russia’s economy. This is, in part, because he saw a lot of people going to work in the capital city of Russia. He leaves any possible motivation for said sandbagging a bit unclear, unless that was part about ‘Western oligarchs’ hating that Russian was a Christian country or something along those lines.

              At this point, what George Michalopulos does do is launch into a long series of questions comparing Russia to other countries in a similar GDP range that have absolutely nothing to do with the accuracy of GDP statistics for a country. Entertainingly he gets a lot of the facts wrong in these comparisons, but that’s just icing on the cake when the questions have no relevance to begin with.

              What George Michalopulos does not mention at any point, is the actual economic reporting from Russian Federation government agencies and whether it tracks with organizations like the OECD or the World Bank. Since it does, this leaves us with two primary possibilities (I am open to suggestions of others)

              1) George Michalopulos had no idea these statistics existed or were so easily available, which seems to be a rather fundamental fail for a subject he felt inspired to write and vlog a whole screed about.
              2) George Michalopulos doesn’t believe the Russian government’s statistics about its own economy and as such thinks that Putin is a liar.

              Rather than address any of this, George Michalopulos demands answers from me about such unrelated subjects as (looks at notes) the 2003 Iraq War and upon receiving an answer makes a big fuss out of rejecting it rather than address the rather glaring problems outlined above.

              • George Michalopulos says

                No, instead of “recapping” let’s cut to the chase: as usual you are unable and/or unwilling and/or incapable of answering simple yes or no questions. I’m not practicing “gotcha!” Journalism here.

                I ask because they are foundational. If you answer one way then everything that follows leads to one set of outcomes.

                Case in point: you seriously misunderstand the proper balance between (potential) violence and diplomacy. You literally cannot see that because we are overextended in Europe that we have to pressure the Germans (for example) to purchase LNG from us at a premium when they can get it from the Russians at 1/3 the cost.

                I’m sorry but leaning on the Germans to purchase a commodity at extortionate prices because we can’t afford to cut our own costs is not a winning combination for the long-term.

                In business there comes a point called diminishing returns.

        • George I too know Russia. I do not want to get into a battle about economics. Truth and areas of grey on both sides AND yes living in Bulgaria as i do, i will miss space programmes. And yes Italy is a basket case and an economic power house potentially, with some great food too. ALL TRUE
          But Your other guy here seems determined to make Russia out as the eternal enemy of everything .
          George my dislike of russiphobia is not because I am only Orthodox full stop, or the suffering of it’s people, but because these neo cons etc people see everything the USA does with beatic blessedness and never stop to see what and why are Russian red geographical lines in the sand. Or Russian history. Now one does not have to agree it, nor Yank red lines, but at least it’s a rational starting line for both sides to discussion.
          If Texas were an independent country, would USA stand for an anti USA Texas and potential foreign intervention in it?
          Would USA stand for potentially the introducing of nuclear weapons there. ?
          Once we look at things from that angle, perhaps matters will be cleaner. And whose bombs have been killing people without end since 2001? How many were killed at 9/11? HOW MANY INNOCENTS IN RETRIBUTION, AND HOW MANY MAIMED YOUNG AMERICANS, DEAD ONES AND AS FOR IRAQ! .?

  5. George Michalopulos says

    Well, I’ve always believed that human sexuality is rather elastic. But yes, sexual assault against male recruits is on the rise in the military.

    And here is the story about sexual assault against female cadets:

    • George Michalopulos says

      This just in: a Marine Lt-Col was just disciplined in the middle of his deployment because he used a homosexual slur:

      It’s amazing. We still have blasphemy laws, it’s just that the gods in question have been changed.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        While this is “amazing” on one level, in the military context it is called for. If gays are allowed in service, then an officer can’t disparage them.

        In the context of racial relations, this was a salutary approach. Use of racial epithets or clear examples of discrimination could and would end a military career.

      • Here’s a silly thought. Will there come a day when a woman that later becomes a man thru surgical processes, be able to successfully win a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic or Orthodox church to become a priest, and/or receive damages? Or worse already a priest, and win damages when discovered and removed from the priesthood? Then again we are living in strangest of days!

        • Monk James Silver says

          No. That day will never come because the (American, at least) government has no authority to change religious laws and customs unless they are illegal.

          A woman who has a sex-change operation and appears as a man is ontologically incapable of ordination because she is still a woman, no matter how much surgery and hormone treatment she receives.

          Sevarl years ago in Italy, a Roan Catholic priest declared that he was ‘transiioning’ into a woman. This poses a particularly difficult problem for the RCs, since their ecclesiology and mysteriology hold that priestly ordination marks a man with a permanent and unalterable character: his priesthood belongs to him, not to his church. As a result, and especially since he will always be male in spite of any and all sex-change treatments, he will effectively be a priest who looks like a woman.

          Orthodoxy doesn’t think this way, and any Orthodox priest in such a situation would be deprived of his priesthood very early on.

          • Yes agreed. Monk James, it is a stretch, but if the powers that be could, they would overturn our right to keep arms,or simply outlaw the sale or taxation of bullets. The debate rages with every shooting.

            Now separation of church and state,would be hard to fiddle with, but can be played in the courts as well, and public debate, if the law states a person born a woman can legally declare herself a man. At the very least it opens up the discussion, and puts pressure on churches. We are witnesses that today, with gay marriage acceptance and or debates/discussions in all churches today.

            Even in Russia a hundred years ago, I’m sure, not many people thought Orthodoxy would be destroyed, most churches burnt to the ground, and millions of Christians murdered by it’s government. Even without separation of church and state, anywhere, that was quite the extreme example and reality. Lawsuits, in America, not so much. Anything, anywhere is possible.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Excellent point, Dino! Nobody in Russia pre-1917 would have –could have–imagined the utter barbarity of the persecution which was to follow. Not in “Holy Russia”, not in a million years.

              By what right do we in the West think that we will be spared?

              • George,
                All it takes is the right trigger. A dirty bomb, or chain reactions of Islamic terror bombings/mass shootings. I could see Islam destroying, separation of church and state. They would if they controlled the state, but that will never happen. Indirectly more likely if terrorism really took off, like the jihadist would like. Freedom, privacy, and religion would never be the same, in the name of protecting our nation.

                OR! Another stretch, I know, but imagine all religions outlawed in the name of peace, especially after a small to medium nuclear war/exchange. Might make for a good book, or movie.

                Remember, while Pakistan is the only nation with nuclear weapons. Someday Iran might get it together, which will start the Saudis to begin their own, if they have not already. This of course if Israel does not bomb Iran, or use us to do their dirty work, in the name of peace, and freedom. Meanwhile what if’s with Russia, China, and especially India, if Pakistan releases missiles, all and anything is possible with Islam, and fearful, trigger happy Israel, does not play anymore……The dust settles with a New World Order to banish religion, of course only if Israel is dust, and most of Islam, again in the name of peace by force, and the novel begins…

                “Imagine”-by-John Lennon-The New World Order Anthem!

                The anti-christ comes, followed by the second coming, the final judgement, and what’s the Greek world for IT? Oh yeah!

                THERE YOU GO!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  As usual Dino, I follow you.

                  I disagree however with you in this regard: I believe that some form of Islam can be used to become the dominant religion of the US. There are several “benefits” to social stability that intrigue our Ruling Class.

                  And yes, Freemasonry (esp the Scottish Rite, which is Arian in nature) has long prepped American society for a fusionist religion. Islam, because of its unforgiving nature, would easily sit at the top of this pyramid.

                  • Yes, and there’s the rub George. All the pretty people of Hollywood/MSM, leftist scholars in our colleges, and progressive socialist in our government, give Islamist a pass, and protect them from us Christian “racist”, here in America, and Israeli “Apartheid”.

                    Meanwhile the Islamists are waiting for the day they can throw them all off roof tops. This is why their other love affairs, with Soviet Union, Castro, Mao, Che Guevara, etc, fit the narrative: Liberalism is a mental disorder, as they love and crave that, that would jail, torture, and murder them.

                    BUT! The irony of ironies, is that no matter us or them, when push comes to shove. To achieve our view of utopia, or for them to achieve theirs, both sides would need to kill, and imprison millions.
                    I would hope “we” would be more “humane” in our extermination of the “other”! That’s the real rub, and why I settle for good ole bipolar America.

                    When the day comes when no one is shouting at one another, that is when we need to really worry.

                    “Death solves all problems-no man, no problem!”

                    Disclaimer: I originally believed the above quote was Stalin’s, but in an attempt to get the quote right, I Googled it and found that Anatoli Rybakov coined the phrase.

                    Who knew Google could be so enlightening!?

                  • Speak of enlightening, and thought of your Islamic social stability, George!

                    Breitbart, my favorite web news source, reports that yesterday a Malaysian Islamic court canes two women for alleged lesbian sex, ages 22, and 23 years old. On a stage, in front of a large outdoor crowd. There’s justice, and then there’s Sharia Islamic Justice!

                    Other news on Breitbart:
                    Castro, and Malcolm X lover Colin Kapernick gets millions from Nike Ads.
                    In a four year period, potentially 39 million case of identity theft by illegal aliens.
                    And oh yeah, Trump’s 2nd pick for Supreme Court has the usual suspects losing their collective minds over the fear of overturning their right to an abortion.

                    Votes count, elections have consequences!

                    Cant wait until tonight on my favorite TV news source Fox News(love Tucker and Laura). The reports, from the hearing will be interesting and entertaining, for sure. But nothing more entertaining and hilarious than on commercial breaks from Fox News, switching over to CNN, and MSNBC. OH! Their tears, and screeds, brings tears of joy, and bouts of cachinnation! (Googled uncontrollable laughter, and found a new word!)

            • Monk James Silver says

              George Washington: Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island

              August 21, 1790


              While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

              The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

              If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
              The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

              It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

              It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

              May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

              May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

              G. Washington

              Source: George Washington: A Collection, ed. W.B. Allen, Liberty Fund: Indianapolis 1988

    • M. Stankovich says

      You meant “plastic,” as in “plasticity,” the ability to change and adapt to growth & development, and to recover and regenerate from affront and/or serious injury. You “assumed” this concept from a discussion you were minimally involved in on Fr. Hans’ site where he had suggested that homosexual orientation was “fluid” and unstable, therefore the best argument against the idea of a “fixed sexual orientation,” and “amenable” to change. What this has to do with your response to Saunca is beyond me, but let me reiterate the correct response, particularly because you didn’t understand it then, and you obviously don’t understand it now.

      It has always struck me as ludicrous that we would even enter a “discussion” of the nature of the Church’s “anthropology of gender,” as it is summed up in exactly five words: “male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:27) This is set and fixed genetically – and while there are 14 significant genetic defects (and 18 “spectrum” disorders) that will result in genital ambiguity in the course of development, they do nothing to affect the underlying fixed genetic gender assignment. I was contacted by two priests last week because apparently there was a discussion of this issue on a private forum for clergy, and Fr. Hans was referring to “gender” as “sex,” and remember me correcting him. I will do so again: the term “gender” is derived from the Greek γένος (as I noted in another thread) from which we derive “genus,” as in “genus of the species.” We have always had the understanding that this is determined genetically, hormonally, and phenotypically. Suddenly, it is the persistence of the LGBT community to promote a contrivance of a “‘real,’ non-sexist, non-binary, unbiased, definitive understanding where gender identity and sexual orientation may be independent variables.” Now, stop for a moment and consider the enormity of this statement! I described it in a study document for a Diocesan Assembly recently:

      It in effect, declares that how our God created us – in His image [κατ ̓ εἰκόνα] and in His likeness [καθ ̓ ὁμοίωσιν] – is expressed in normatively developed individuals (presumably without Disorders of Sexual Development), but that the “gender identity,” the “living soul” [ψυχὴν ζῶσαν] the Lord breathed into his face to animate him, to make him a man, is an independent variable. In other words, with absolutely no genetic, neurological, psychiatric, physiological, or biological evidence whatsoever (e.g. genetic, gonadal, phenotypic sexual error), we are being asked to accept the possibility that the “living soul” of Adam was blown – in error – into the face of Eve. How does one determine or “diagnose” this error? By the “feelings” of the affected.

      For the record, Mr. Michaelopulos, if you have always believed that human sexuality is rather rather elastic plastic,” that would set you outside the Tradition of the Church as to nature of our humanity as it was, “in the beginning.”

      Finally, it was pretty obvious that you quickly backtracked your original gross distortion that “gang-rape against male recruits is off the charts,” to “on the rise.” And seriously, I can’t speak for Saunca, but I don’t associate GQ – the guidebook for rich, white geese who are desperate to find something to purchase in the futile attempt to satiate themselves – as a “rich” source of trends in criminal phenomena. Googled?

      • George Michalopulos says

        While I believe that most heterosexual men of our generation cannot begin to contemplate sexual relations with other men, I don’t see that same reticence in the younger generations. Hence, my belief that human sexuality is more fluid than we have been led to believe.

        I do believe that there is a continuum between the hyper-masculine to the highly effeminate.

        • Michael Bauman says

          George, a good deal of the phnomenon you describe stems from the uncoupling of sexual intercouse from marriage and having children. If sex is just about pleasure what does it mastter how the pleasure is achieved.

          No fault divorce, chemical contraception, feminisim, abortion, etc.

      • Linda Albert says

        Human sexuality, and indeed some animal sexual identity, is incredibly plastic. That is, to say, very vulnerable to distortion.
        Owlets raised by humans to maturity invariably sexually bond with their caregiver humans and become jealous to the point of violence towards other people who try to interact with ‘their’ human. A peacock in a German zoo once bonded with a giant tortoise and wouldn’t have anything to do with females of his kind. . Mammals and birds have a window of psychological impression that affects a great many facets of expression, from what language in which we will be naturally fluent to what foods we will prefer or even tolerate to how easily we will identify with, feel empathy for and relate to other members of our species. Sexual identity and attraction, like what ‘turns you on,’ is in our fallen condition very vulnerable to being skewed from what was intended in the beginning. You can see this in the grotesque extremes of sexual fetishes and fixations that require pain and violence for satisfaction or constricting or contorting the human body (usually the female body) into unnatural forms, i.e. foot binding, 18 inch waists, wearing stiletto heels, extreme thinness, breast, butt, cheek and lip implants to achieve some media inspired ‘ideal’ look to appear sexually attractive. Do you know how many types of ‘anti-wrinkle’ creams are being marketed? Hair coloring? Teeth whiteners? Why are people obsessed with these things?
        Adolescents are at the most impressionable periods of their lives, sexually. As a society we are hypersexualizing our children to the point where hardly any of them are now or will be capable of forming healthy, lifelong pair bonds with the appropriate sex. This is madness. This is headlong rush to not only physical destruction but a complete dissolution of what it means to be a human being. Which is just what the fathers predicted. Here be monsters.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Saunca, it’s the act of forcible sodomy upon the victim, not the intrinsic sexual identity of the perpetrator.

      As for your last sentence, you bring up an excellent reason why women should not be integrated in combat units (or even in the military in general for that matter).

      • George Michalopulos says

        Easy. Once homosexuality is normalized, then egregious actions that are outliers within that lifestyle become normalized as well. It’s inevitable.

        Let me give you a non-criminal analogy if you will. We see this for example in the normalization of feminism. Within my living memory, a woman was expected to be a virgin upon her wedding night. If it was known that she was not a virgin, then her marital prospects were considerably dimmed.

        Mind you, I’m not saying that this was correct or ideal for the woman but it was the reality (especially in many ethnic communities). Sometime around the mid-seventies it became almost a crime for a young woman to remain a virgin and she was held up to mockery. Likewise, the stigma of divorce has been removed as well as bastardy.

        All of these are examples of loosening moral standards (or the triumph of emancipatory politics). I see it in the younger generations of men whom I work with. Even the straights don’t care about homosexuality. In my (and previous) generation, the mere imputation that a man was a homosexual was a living death sentence. (Again, this is just an observation.)

        Regardless, as sexual mores change, i.e. loosen up, then what was once considered intolerable has become normative and what was once egregious (i.e. gang-rape) has become hushed-up. We see an excellent example of this in the present Roman Catholic crisis, where the rape of teenagers was willfully ignored.

        Last point: a little over a year ago, I wrote an extensive column on Milo Yiannopoulos and more-or-less defended him. His “crime” was that he found nothing offensive about his seduction by a RC priest when he was 14 years old. Neither did George Takei for that matter. Both men (who are now active homosexuals) believe that their seduction (i.e. rape) by older men was a positive development in their lives. (I’m sure that their parents wouldn’t agree but that’s a story for another day.)

        Now, what’s my point? Merely this: I think that Milo was way out of line. However the reality of the homosexual sub-culture is just that. The confession of Yiannopoulos and Takei was merely infelicitous to our present sensibilities. But that is just a signpost on the road to even more depravity. You and others like you consider paedophilia still to be a crime (which it is) but for how long will we continue to think that that is so?

        Consider this point: When Rev Fr Dr Elpidophorous Lambrianides was ordained as “Metropolitan of Bursa”, in his remarks to the faithful there assembled, he quoted poetry from the pen of Constantine Cavafy. Now, Cavafy is a great poet and his metre translates well into English. I like his verse myself. Caveats aside, Cavafy was a notorious pederast. Ask yourself this: would you quote Cavafy at, say, some banquet in which you were the guest speaker? If so, why didn’t Lambrianides quote Oscar Wilde? Or Alan Ginsburg? Why not Hugh Hefner?

        Just as virginity is no longer prized among teenage girls, so too is seduction of teenage boys no longer taboo. This is already the case in Europe where the age of consent has been lowered to 14 years old and in Mexico, where the age is even lower, 12 years old. Better civilizations than ours had no compunctions at all against overt pederasty. What makes one think that we will be immune?

        Sorry for the verbosity of this response. I think I had too much coffee this morning.

        • George exactly. When abortion law made in Uk in 1967 it was stated it was not abortion on demand and two drs would be needed to agree ground.
          Now in Uk!???
          Paedophilia. One only has to look at fashion, uk shop fashion fronts etc to see photos of young teenagers looking Sexy and push to reduce age of content.
          Behaviour quickly becomes normalised.

        • George Michalopulos says

          We’re quibbling here Saunca. The forced rape of women happened way before premarital sex became normative as well. What’s your point exactly?

          Actually, in the military the actual numbers of forcible sodomy upon men are controversial as many (if not most) men will go out of their way to never report the fact that they were violated. All we know for sure is that there is an increased moral confusion all the way around which causes a decrease in unit cohesion because of open homosexuality. The prosecution of chaplains who, because of conscience, will not “counsel” gay couples is but one of them.

          Let me give you a heterosexual example of why unit cohesion is paramount and why sexual relations destroys it: the story of David and Bathsheba. In this story, David intentionally sends his officer Uriah the Hittite into an ambush so he can be killed and he can then possess his wife. The chain of events which this horrible act set in motion shook his kingdom to the core.


          For one reason, it degraded his moral authority in this regard: every one of his soldiers had to wonder from that moment if he was going to be sacrificed for their commander-in-chief’s carnal lusts.

          Another example: In The Seven Pillars of Wisdom T E Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) relates a story in which he was gang-raped by Turkish soldiers at Derna (if memory serves). Much later, when he was commanding an Arab army which had just defeated a Turkish force, his rage against the Turks was unquenchable and he committed a war crime against them. In that he slaughtered several Turkish soldiers who surrendered to him in defiance of the Geneva Conventions.

  6. Gail Sheppard says

    The cross in this picture is the very same cross I wear around my neck.

  7. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s something to consider:

  8. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on The Moscow Times website.

    Sept. 04 2018 – 16:09
    Russian Defense Ministry Collecting Donations for New Military Cathedral

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the RT website.

    Russian Orthodox Patriarch declares ‘unprecedented’ independence from secular authorities
    Published time: 6 Sep, 2018 14:03

  10. Lenas Combotriftis says

    Harvard’s Arne Westad has shown the Cold War began in 1853 against the Moscovite Magog