The Thucydides Trap, Part II: the Military Situation


In Part I, we described a scenario called “The Thucydides Trap” and posited that we are well on our way to war with China.  This is because historically speaking, there arise certain inexorable forces at work which make conflict between a rising power and an established one inevitable.  In the original Thucydides Trap, Athens was on the ascendant while Sparta was the ruling hegemon.  Today, it is America which is the world’s hegemon while China is the emerging power. 

What’s especially worrisome is that all we can hear from our leadership class is non-stop China-bashing.  Shades of the Yellow Peril!  The scope of the vituperation is shocking to say the least. 

When Trump called out China for unleashing COVID on us, he was roundly condemned for being a racist.  I vividly remember one CNN reporter confronting the president who was almost in tears. Now, crickets.

Worse, other than former President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr, there are no skeptical voices in positions of authority.  Other than these two men, everybody else, regardless of party affiliation, is in lockstep with the present war-mongering, even as NATO’s Ukrainian gambit is threatening to be another quagmire.


Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat

There is no other way I can explain the present madness other than the aphorism “whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad”.   This reference is to Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, wherein the gods decided to have a little fun with the main characters by driving them mad before finally destroying them. 

To put not too fine a point on it, because on our stone-cold commitment to rosy scenarios –and despite all evidence to the contrary–it is clear that America’s leadership class is caught in the grips of such a delusion.  Hence, our susceptibility to falling into the trap.

Whether we are doomed or not I cannot say but the auguries don’t look good.  Consider for example our expanding debt,1 the obliteration of our southern border, the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, deteriorating race relations, and the inability of our armed forces to meet their basic recruitment needs.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  

None of this is hidden from our ruling elites.  The fact that the Navy is recruiting transvestites in order to boost its numbers should make our generals and admirals think long and hard while they are drawing up their plans for war with China.   The fact that our most recent wars have ended in disastrous defeats should also give our entire leadership class serious pause.  That none of these things matter to those in positions of authority is very troubling to say the least.

For those of us who are not pollyannas, a cold hard look at the present reality is necessary.  And for that, we must look to the Ukraine and Russia’s Special Military Operation.  Mainly because Russia and China are now joined at the hip.  To borrow a football term, Russia is running interference for China and it’s become blazingly clear that thanks to the  belligerent words we are hurling at them, the Chinese know it.  Unless our diplomats have some brilliant Nixonian trick up their sleeve which they can pull out at the last minute, I can’t foresee a scenario which would dislodge China and Russia from each other. 

The fact that our leaders don’t see how reckless their words towards the Chinese is startling to say the least.  In light of this realization, Sophocles’ observation seems apt.


The Ukrainian Sideshow

The litany of America’s military failures goes back to Vietnam.  Other than a few brushfire wars in Third-World countries such as Panama and Grenada, our record has not been lustrous.  What’s even worse, the performance of American munitions in the Ukrainian theatre leave much to be desired. 

The same can be said for Kiev’s reliance on our outdated military doctrines.  Unlike the third-rate armies that we faced in Iraq and other countries, the Ukrainians had the largest, best-armed, and well-provisioned NATO-allied army in Europe.  Larger than Germany’s, France’s, and the United Kingdom’s combined. 

And make no mistake:  the Ukrainians were no pushovers.  Unlike the Iraqis who were forbidden from wearing white underwear lest they use them to make flags of surrender, the Ukrainians’ fighting abilities have become the stuff of legend.  Yet despite the billions of dollars and tons of munitions given to them by the West, as well on-the-ground advisors and thousands of mercenaries and other volunteers, the Russians continue to grind them down. 

As for the economic sanctions that have been leveled at the Russians, they haven’t worked one iota.  In fact, Russia’s economy is stronger now than in it was before the war started.  

Perhaps what is most maddening to the West is that the Russians have not risen to Western-perpetrated provocations; they are in fact impervious to the hysteria generated by the mainstream medias of the United States.  The intense, quasi-racist invectives hurled against them have not sent the Russian masses in the corner crying tears of shame as the people of the “rules-based order” look down on them.

In other words, the Russians have had everything including the kitchen sink thrown at them and they’re still standing tall.  It is clear by now that they are going to soon be dictating terms to Kiev.

It’s important therefore to examine in some detail what we in the West have gotten wrong.  Basically, it boils down to a few salient points: 

  1.  We constantly underestimated the Russians.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard or read that “Russia is a gas station with nukes” I’d be a rich man.
  2.  We honestly believed our own propaganda, never stopping to think for a minute that other countries don’t want or need our help.  
  3.  Our culture has been degrading now for the better part of six decades.  What was once America in the best sense of the word has become a freakshow.  The rest of the world looks upon us with horror and indignation.
  4.  We have degraded our military in favor of insanely ridiculous cultural fads.  It’s worrisome that there is no officer at the Pentagon above the rank of Major or Lt Commander who is not fully on board with all this nonsense.
  5.  The demonization of white, heterosexual, Christian men (and their culture) has crippled our fighting capability.  Our inability to fill the ranks of the armed forces is directly the result of this bigotry.  Why fight for a country that hates you?
  6.  Our military is bloated beyond all measure.  The entire Russian military budget is less than 10 percent of ours and still there is no indication that they’re running out of munitions. We on the other hand are more concerned with pronouns.
  7.  In order to make up for our moral deficiencies, we have undertaken a vicious propaganda campaign against Russia, its people and its culture that is nothing short of pathological.   
  8.  Our leadership class forgot that war is the extension of politics by other means, it being an arena for warriors and realists, not ideologues. 
  9.  Finally, the worst possible mistake we may have made was when we confiscated all of Russia’s foreign gold reserves.  Such an act of brazen piracy shocked the entire world, even our allies.  Since then, we’ve doubled down and committed more atrocities (i.e. Nordstream 2, Kerch Bridge).  The rest of the world however, has stood up and taken notice.

Together with our invincible belief in our own moral infallibility, our leaders were deluded into believing that other nations could be cowed into submission by the might of the United States.    

In comparison, the Russians’ mistakes can be boiled down to two points: 

  1. They underestimated the perfidy of the West.  President Putin thought that in prosecuting a methodical, deliberate Special Military Operation, the Ukrainians would be brought to the negotiating table sooner or  later.  (While the Ukrainians did come to the negotiating table in Istanbul in early April, the West, in the person of Boris Johnson, immediately scuttled this process.)
  2.  They should have moved to militarily protect the Donbass republics once hostilities against them broke out in 2014, when the Maidan plotters overthrew the democratically elected government in Kiev.  President Putin has since admitted this. 

While it is true that Moscow expected the Ukrainians to come to the negotiating table in short order (which they did), at no point did the Kremlin expect that the war itself would be won quickly.  That is a canard put out by the West.  The Russians were under no illusion about the Ukrainian defenses and how Kiev spent the last eight years hardening them.  The fact that it took the Russian’s ten months to invest Bakhmut is proof of this. 


The Military Situation

So what did the Russians get right? 

First, they got their economic house in order.  It’s hard for us to imagine how crippled Russia was during the Boris Yeltsin years.  At this point during the 1990s, Russia really was a “gas station with nukes masquerading as a country”. 

By all economic metrics, Russia was well on its way to becoming a failed state with a crumbling military.  The life expectancy rate of males was declining precipitously.  It was also experiencing a crippling brain drain.  To add insult to injury, trillions of dollars worth of Russia’s capital and resources were confiscated by Western vulture capitalists during a privatization campaign that came to be known as “shock therapy”.  In the interim, native Russian predators (now known as oligarchs) took control of what was left of the Russian economy.

Upon accession to the presidency in 1999, Vladimir Putin took assessment of the situation and decided that he was going to turn the situation around.  And so he rightly concentrated on improving the economy.  To do this, he arrested or exiled several of the oligarchs and lessened restrictions on the economy in a quasi-Reaganesque manner.  

This is not to say that despite the decrepitude of the Yeltsin years Russia was militarily impotent.  As they proved during the Yugoslav crisis of the late 1990s, they were respected enough that when the Russian peace-keeping contingent came to the aid of the Serbs in a spectacular, Pattonesque maneuver, NATO wisely decided not to confront them.  Russia’s prowess was also on display during the two Chechen wars when they were able to crush the rebels.  In 2008, they were able to speedily settle scores with Georgia when it acted as a proxy for NATO.

These actions however were in Russia’s back yard (broadly speaking).  Their increasing military sophistication became apparent during their foray into Syria, where they were able to turn back the tide against the West and prevented the Assad regime from being overthrown.  Syria in fact may have been the geopolitical turning point as far as neoconservative Western military adventurism is concerned.

A word must also be said about the Ukraine’s mistakes, one of the most critical one being giving up their nuclear weapons during the 1990s.  As for the local economy, unlike Putin, no Ukrainian president was able to restrain the worst excesses of their own oligarchs.  Because of Kiev’s impotence in bringing its oligarchs to heel, Ukraine became the most corrupt country in Europe, rivaling many African nations.  It was not only a hub for money-laundering but the center of sex and child-trafficking.   

For all intents and purposes, Ukraine became the reverse image of Russia in almost every respect.  As a result of this privation, Ukraine’s population began to plummet, with some four million economic refugees going to other destinations in search of a better life.2  (These numbers are from before 2022.)

As for the military situation itself, once Moscow realized that negotiations were not possible, they immediately recalibrated the situation.  In the first weeks of the war, the Russians sent a massive formation of 40,000 men north of Kiev which terrified the Zelensky regime.  For some reason, the Russians didn’t press their claim and in fact, retreated.  Many have criticized this as either an act of cowardice, inept logistics or both.  In reality, it was anything but.  It was a brilliant strategic move.

What Moscow executed was a feint, one which accomplished two strategic goals at once.  First, it caused the Ukrainians to immediately pull back from the Crimea.  Second, it forced the Zelensky regime to come to the negotiating table.  The Kremlin gambled that the Ukrainians’ primary objective was to take the Crimean peninsula, a move which would permanently cripple the Russian navy.  By solidifying their hold on the Crimea, the Black Sea is well on its way to becoming a Russian lake.  

Russia in other words, was willing to fight a war of maneuver, one that kept the West and their Ukrainian proxies in a state of bewilderment.  Nor was Moscow’s hands tied by any time constraints.  They would take as long as they needed to put the Ukraine’s house in order.  And with their economy stabilized, the Kremlin felt that they have time on their side.  

In addition, in September, the Russians made two crucial decisions when they called up a partial mobilization of 300,000 men and put General Sergei Surovikin as overall theatre commander.  Surovikin let it be known that he would not only continue a war of maneuver but also use an economy of force in doing so.  In other words, he would cede ground if necessary while at the same time try to corral the Ukrainians into certain choke points where the Russian army could obliterate them at a time of their choosing. 

The Ukrainians unwisely fell into this trap at Bakhmut, where the majority of their army was being fed into the “meat grinder”.3 

As for the Russians, the call-up of 300,000 reservists spooked close to 100,000 anti-Putin activists to flee Russia.  Because of this exodus of anti-Putin malcontents, the Kremlin increased its hand, politically speaking. 


The Russian Economy  

It’s clear now that despite all Western fantasies to the contrary, Russia has rebounded quite handily from the Yeltsin years.  Sagely, the Kremlin husbanded their resources by not rising to every military provocation during this time.  Since then, male life expectancy has increased (while ours has decreased).  Emigration has decreased, thereby ending the dreaded brain-drain.

It should be remembered as well that Russia is not only the world’s largest country, but is the world’s largest carbon exporter (i.e. oil, coal and liquified natural gas).  It also has the lion’s share of the world’s minerals, including gold, silver, nickel, platinum and palladium, among others.  It is in fact the most self-reliant nation on earth, with the United States and the Ukraine coming in second and third.    

Despite these abundant riches, the Kremlin decided to undertake some unprecedented steps when additional sanctions were leveled against Russia in the first days of the SMO.

The first was that they decided that ruble would be backed by gold.  Second, Putin insisted that all exports from Russia to “unfriendly countries” could only be purchased in rubles, not dollars.  In the first week of the war, the ruble plummeted from 80 rubles to the dollar to 150, causing a spike in inflation.  Because of the decision to peg the ruble to gold, it rebounded handsomely, roughly 60 rubles to the dollar.  As for inflation, it is lower than America’s.

Russia inflation monthly 2023 | Statista

As for demanding rubles for Russian commodities, this set in motion the end of the petrodollar.  While unfriendly countries had to convert their dollars to rubles in order to buy Russian oil and LNG, friendly countries could continue to purchase their petroleum products by using their native currencies.  Some of these countries have turned around and decided to risk sanctions against them by selling Russian oil to the EU (i.e. the “unfriendly countries”) at a higher rate, thereby making tidy profits. 

In a classic divide-and-conquer strategy, the placement of countries into “friendly” and “unfriendly” camps has caused a wedge to widen in the West between America and the EU.  It has since come out that several NATO/EU nations have agreed to Russia’s terms and are secretly buying oil from them.4  The fact that they are risking being subject to Western sanctions shows the intrinsic weakness of Western solidarity against Russia.  

At the end of the day, the greatest economic gift we gave Russia was not material but emotional.  And that was when we confiscated close to $300 billion worth of their foreign-held gold reserves.  This was a shocking act of piracy that made the rest of the world –including our allies–stand up and take notice.  If the foreign holdings of a country which has the world’s largest nuclear arms can be confiscated on a whim, what chance does any other country have? 

This move, when added to all our other missteps makes many question our sanity and whether we are in fact doomed to failure. 


  1. Our national debt is now $32 trillion  while our unfunded liabilities are approaching $200 trillion
  2.  The Ukraine’s population in 2021 was estimated to be 42 million.  According to best estimates, it may now be down to 18 million.  All we can say for sure is that 4 million have fled to Russia, 8 million went to Western Europe while another 5 million were incorporated into Russia proper last September when the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zhaporozhe and Kherson oblasts voted to secede from the Ukraine.  
  3.  It is an open question whether Evgeny Prigozhin, the erstwhile commander of the Wagner PMC group (which is doing the majority of the fighting in Bakhmut) was being insubordinate, some have insinuated that he was engaging in the Russian game of maskirovka, or deception, luring more Ukrainians into Bakhmut where they could be identified and liquidated. 
  4. Among the largest of the unfriendly countries that are arrayed against Russia while secretly buying their oil and gas products are Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland (numbers 2, 5, 6, and 7  respectively).  The fact that Poland, a historical arch-enemy of Russia is buying Russian petroleum products  indicates how fragile (and unserious) is the anti-Russian coalition.


Conclusion:  Part III:  Has Our Arrogance Crippled Us from Going to War with China?


  1. Bravo, George! A tour de force.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is rapidly fadin’
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’

  2. Acutely put.

  3. Your article put all the pieces of this travesty in a neat package for me to understand. The USA might have survived – had it not weakened itself with wars of choice. I often feel this is a nightmare I will awaken from but I am dreaming.

    After reading your article I went looking for an old article I had saved from The Saker: “What America Got Wrong.” I cannot believe what happened to my country. My heart is broken.

  4. Anonymous II says

    * Breaking *

    Hydroelectric dam in Kherson partially destroyed.

    “The breach could result in devastating flooding, potentially killing thousands of civilians.”


    • Just a dad says

      So those pesky Russians blew up their own oil pipeline, and now (per the narrative we are going to hear) they blew up a dam they fully controlled? The fact that we foretold the “shut down” of the pipelines months in advance is just coincidence. And the fact that the Ukrainians used our missiles in December to test this type of strike on this very same dam is just more coincidence.

  5. Anonymous II says



    The Kiev Caves Lavra National Reserve, the state organization under the Ministry of Culture that controls the monastery from a legal point of view, has given the brotherhood and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church three days to vacate the monastery.

    Recall that the Lavra became a state-operated museum in Soviet times, which has continued under the Ukrainian state.

    Minister of Culture Alexander Tkachenko published the relevant order on his Telegram channel today. According to him, the commission appointed by the Reserve has completed its inspection of the Lower Lavra and is demanding that the UOC release the monastery within three working days.

    According to the Minister, if the Church doesn’t leave the territory of its own monastery, “a court case will be held to make an appropriate decision to remove obstacles to the Reserve’s use of the property.”

    Representatives of the monastery refused to accept the act of acceptance and transfer of state property through the chancellery today, Tkachenko writes, thus the relevant documents were sent by mail and email.

    At the same time, a relevant case was already brought in the Commercial Court of Kiev months ago. Yesterday, the Court decide to postpone the matter for another month.

    Recall that the Church was initially ordered to vacate the monastery by March 29, but the monks stood strong, and thousands of faithful came out to protect their holy site, and so Orthodox Divine services continue in the monastery more than two months later.


  6. I failed to add the following:

    1. As far as Russia’s mistakes are concerned, I think they had bad intel going in, that they had been told that they would be able to get farther faster. They were wrong.

    2. The reason that I don’t believe that Russia is the “Athens” in the present scenario is because the American Establishment did not see Russia as a growing threat. They viewed Russia –and continue to do so–as a “gas station masquerading as a country”.

    • Russia’s aim was to get Ukraine to negotiate.
      They got them to negotiate and had almost signed the deal
      until Boris Johnson warned/bribed Ukraine into perpetual war.

      The only things Russians failed to understand from the start
      was the depth of the hatred towards them from the West
      and that the Ukrainians are also objects of that same hatred;
      which can likely be explained by Western hatred of Orthodoxy.

  7. Andrei Rublev’s prized “Hospitality of Abraham” painting
    has been put on display in Moscow’s cathedral
    as Russia “faces overwhelming enemy forces”.

    ‘ Russia’s most famous work of art, Andrei Rublev’s “Hospitality of Abraham,” a 15th-century painting that had a revolutionary impact on art by influencing the Russian avant-garde, has been installed in Moscow’s cathedral as worshipers flock to worship it.

    The 600-year-old icon is in the temple, despite the objections of the conservators of the State Tretyakov Gallery who believe that the fragile object will suffer irreparable damage, and will eventually be placed in its historic place, in the Lavra of the Holy Trinity near Moscow.

    The icon is in the church by order of Vladimir Putin who offered it as a gift to the Russian Orthodox Church. … ‘

  8. Jeff Moss says

    Now the Washington Post is reporting that three months before Nord Stream was blown up, Biden was briefed on a detailed Ukrainian plan to attack it.

    Details about the plan, which have not been previously reported, were collected by a European intelligence service and shared with the CIA in June 2022. They provide some of the most specific evidence to date linking the government of Ukraine to the eventual attack in the Baltic Sea, which U.S. and Western officials have called a brazen and dangerous act of sabotage on Europe’s energy infrastructure.

    Lord, have mercy.

    • Personally, I give little credence to this story. I think it’s just the DS doing two things aat once: absolve Biden while setting up Zelensky by pinning the blame on him (or Zaluzhny, who seems to be out of commission).

      • Jeff Moss says

        Whether or not the story is true, would you agree that this is one of the clearest signs yet that the U.S. is moving to break ties with the present Ukrainian government?

        • That’s a different issue, one in which I agree with you, btw.

          Let’s look at it this way: somebody sane within the DS is attempting to create an off-ramp. Whether the State Dept/Neocon Alliance will allow it to be completed and, if completed, allow the US to drive on it, is another story.

          • The WH seems to be interested in “freezing” the conflict. Mercouris of the Duran thinks this is unlikely due to Russian opposition. I’m not so sure. DC decides whether its Ukrainian serfs attack or not. That’s the ultimate realization. If Washington tells the AFU that the war is frozen and they won’t bankroll any further offensive operations, then the Russians will be left to simply consolidate what they have taken.

            I don’t think Russia will relent before taking Odessa and Kharkov. However, if they get on with that and don’t have to be concerned about Ukrainian offensive operations, the conflict could “freeze itself”. But the Russians will not allow any buildup in Western Ukraine either. They will strike any such thing with missiles, bombs. etc.

            • I doubt the Russians will stop till they have what they want.

              • It is possible that the entire “war with China” meme that has developed over the last several months is nothing more than a bluff in order to get the Chinese to put pressure in Russia to relent and make a deal. If so, it has not worked at all. It seems that the Biden Regime is in way over its head and grasping at straws.

                They can’t win in the Ukraine. They couldn’t really defeat China (short of a nuclear war), or even intimidate them into influencing Russia out of Ukraine. And they are behind in the polls against Trump and breaking precedent which may well be self destructive to the regime itself.

                A real sh*t show.

      • “It wisnae me! Honest!
        A big boy dunnit an ran away!”

    • It’s a wonder, isn’t it? While Tucker was still on FOX, the entire GOP trembled because he called a lot of shots, especially about the Ukraine.

      We’re talking DeSantis, McCarthy, you name it.

      Once he was taken out, then all of them jumped back on board (Trump excluded).

  9. Anonymous II says

    What could this mean? What is climate change code for? I have my ideas.

    Soros: “the end of the war in Ukraine will come as a positive shock for the world…(and) may create room for world leaders to focus on fighting climate change, which is threatening to destroy our civilization.”


    • I’ll tell you what he means: after a brief thermonuclear exchange, in which 80% of the world’s population is destroyed, Soros and his ilk can “build back better”.

      • Anonymous II says

        Although we’ve headed this trajectory since expulsion from the Garden, things really have taken a starker course here lately.

        We can obviously see the seismic shift during the First and Second World Wars and, I think it’s fair to argue, Covid.

        The First and Second World Wars can be argued as battles over who ran global affairs, and how. In other words, nations against globalist forces. We see shades of this dynamic of power emerging again, a consolidation of power. We see it in the GOA and in the USA during the elections. That is what Covid/BLM/ANTIFA/Jan6/Election2020 exposed. That was all part of a color revolution.

        Now, the war in Ukraine against Russia by globalists is equally concerning but connected to the above events. It’s surreal to be living in the midst of a political, cultural and spiritual tsunami but here we are, observing.

        • It’s all the same thing really: Liberalism, Inc. against the rest of the world, both domestically and internationally. Trump is the only candidate in the US that I know of not part of the liberal Borg. His real politics are classical conservatism, as are Putin’s and Orban’s. Trump’s unconsciously found the old perennial philosophy of kings, probably because it comes naturally to him as a businessman.

          What he’s fighting is the last substantial ideology from the Enlightenment:
          Liberalism. It makes little difference if one is an American conservative or an American liberal. They both enable modern liberalism. The New Right is a different creature altogether, which is why it is seen as such a threat, at home and abroad.

          But it is the wave of the future. Humanity has outgrown the Enlightenment and Liberalism. It had it’s run but technology and tradition have conspired to supersede it. People are sick of “isms” and are simply gravitating to the natural state of human society, which is a kind of authoritarian traditionalism.

          Everything else has failed but this traditionalism has been given a rebirth due to the technology. Earlier, more primitive technology gave birth to the Enlightenment but at the cost of sacrificing the metaphysical. But man is not the measure of all things, nor is the voice of the people the voice of God. That way lies madness. For man is coarse and fickle.

          Liberalism is writing its own obituary. In their obsession to sink Trump, they are giving him all the tools and precedent to destroy them and are only magnifying his power. Same with Putin and Russia. American reaction to Russia’s pushback in the Ukraine has made Russia stronger and given it the tools to supersede the West.

          It’s so poetic it must be the hand of God and I am awed at His providence.

          • Anonymous II says

            Excellent point, Misha, as usual. Thanks for making the point much clearer and grounded. Your point suggests optimism.

            • AII,

              Yes, I am in fact optimistic and as you can see it’s not really grounded in Trump or the outcome of the next election. Hopefully he will play a part, but if not him, some others will arise. It is an historical wave IMHO.

        • I have come to view the years 1914-1945 as Europe’s Second Thirty Years War.

  10. Trump has been indicted again. This time in federal court down in Miami. Barnes has an excellent pre-game take on the whole situation. Short version is that the DOJ and the Biden Regime really stepped in it.

    They’re desperate and won’t be able to take him out with this. What they have done is put presidential political candidates in peril in a banana republic way. You recall the chant “Lock her up!” at Trump rallies in 2016. There was a taboo against going after people at that level. The Democrats have broken that taboo.

    And they will regret it.

    • I agree.

      It seems that we are at the point in our nation as was Rome during the last few decades of its Republic, when there was no commonweal any more but factions fighting each other in civil wars headed by generals (i.e. Gaius Marius, Sulla Felix, Julius Caesar, etc.)

      The last sputtering of that period was the fight between Marcus Antonius and Octavius Caesar (Julius’ grand-nephew and adopted son). Once Octavius won, he became Imperator (essentially a king) and the Republic no longer had any authority than a vague symbolic value.

      Question: will America follow the same trajectory, i.e. Republic to monarchy? That depends on how many military catastrophes we suffer overseas and how much civil strife there is here. Then again, we may have collapsed the entire Republic/Empire scenario into one historical narrative already, say from 1945 to the present. In which case our own Empire has exhausted us.

      • George,

        God alone knows. We can only make educated observations and guestimate.

        Currently, I consider us ruled by a fascist oligarchy masquerading as a republic. Externally, we operate as an empire and, as Berletic has pointed out, there is little difference between parties on that point. Trump did manage to cause some angst in his aversion to foreign incursions and desire to distance from NATO (which is our imperial military arm). But he was undercut and sabotaged by the poor quality of his available choices in staff (Bolton, Pompeo, etc.).

        Personally, I feel like we’re heading toward a real single party “authoritarian” alternative because the present arrangement has been abrogated by the Dems in reaction to the Trump phenomenon. The Dems have insisted, in so many words, that the Republican masses’ choice for leadership is invalid and they won’t allow it to prevail. This, of course, is the definition of political repression, the J6 persecutions being merely a symptom.

        This dynamic effectively disqualifies the Democratic party from any legitimate hold on or aspiration to power. Rejecting the legitimacy of the opposition is, in effect, a claim to undisputed, unrepresentative rule.

        Thus it is the Democrats who have already dissolved any republic that lingered, we just have to go through the motions of one faction consolidating power. That faction will likely be MAGA because the Dems don’t actually have the stomach for establishing a police state but are more than willing to make moves in that direction troubling enough to the general public to delegitimize them with the majority.

        We may get one party MAGA rule by default rather than design. But once it is clear that the factions cannot coexist, it is only a matter of time til one prevails decisively. Much of the South is now verging on one party Republican rule, for example. In my state, the GOP has super majorities in both chambers of the legislature and around 80 percent dominance.

        It’s only growing.

        All rational people can see that the Liberals have descended into madness and madmen are notoriously incompetent.

        • Here is an interesting thesis…

          The 1974 CIA Coup in the United States

          [Video – 17:08]

          ‘ American corporate propaganda and schools teach that Richard Nixon was a corrupt, horrible President. This is because he was popular with the American people and took actions to benefit them, at the expense of the Deep State. During his five years in the White House Americans saw a reduction of involvement in the Vietnam War, détente with the Soviet Union, deep cuts in military spending and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 1969, Nixon upset the Pentagon by ordering bio-weapon labs closed and all stockpiles destroyed. Nixon ended American involvement in Vietnam combat in 1973 and the military draft that same year. His visit to China in 1972 eventually led to diplomatic relations.

          Nixon engaged in intense negotiations with Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev that led to agreements for increased trade and two landmark arms control treaties: SALT I, the first comprehensive limitation pact signed by the two superpowers, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which ended the nuclear arms race. Nixon and Brezhnev proclaimed a new era of “peaceful coexistence” and reduced military spending. Nixon worked with Congress to slash military spending 25%!

          There was massive opposition to these efforts from corporate America and the Pentagon. Nixon rose to power as a loyal member of the Deep State, but went rogue once he reached the top. He told friends that he didn’t trust the CIA, thought their intelligence was poor, and that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Nixon was a Quaker from a modest background who served in the Navy during World War II. He had served in the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, and eight years as Vice President. He knew how Washington worked! Nixon got things done so was popular with the American people and would easily win reelection in 1972, giving him more four years to dismantle the Deep State. As a result, Nixon was ousted in a 1974 CIA coup. ‘

          I hadn’t thought of it like this before,
          but I think there is a deal of truth in it.

          • I do too, as well, Brendan.

            While I don’t like the fact that Nixon took us off the gold standard, his wage-and-price controls, and he didn’t destroy the alphabet agencies that LBJ created, his meta-narrative as described by you is spot-on.

            One minor fact left out in the above: Bob Woodward, of All the President’s Men fame, was a member of Naval intelligence before he was assigned to The Washington Post. Ever wonder why Woodward has never written an expose on the JFK assassination?

            The DS sure is subtle isn’t it?

            • Nixon, being a Quaker, could be shamed into resigning.
              Such emotional blackmail would never work with Trump.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Good point. But in the spirit of being “as gentle as a dove”, in taking the missing 18 minutes with him from the infamous Watergate tapes, he was being as “wise as a serpent”.

                Ever wonder what was on those missing 18 minutes? Probably something to do with the events at Dealey Plaza and who was behind it.

          • I wouldn’t dispute that the CIA got rid of Nixon inasmuch as they are bottomless and capable of anything and everything. Of this we can now be certain. They are the direct link with the ruling fascist oligarchy.

            On a mega level, one can look at the present world conflict as a battle between Russian and Chinese intelligence on the one hand and the CIA on the other. The FBI and DOJ are just the CIA’s domestic handmaidens.

  11. Runi Zender says

    China has put Chinese names on its maps of Russia. It wants Vladivostok back and is already invading it with immigration. This is the neo-Napoleonic plan of Biden and Blinken devised by John leDonne of Harvard: return Ukraine to Poland, St Petersburg to Sweden, and Central Asia to Turkey. The Crimean War as all about Louis Napoleon avenging his uncle and the “Crusade against Photius Heresy” over access to the Holy Sepulcher.

    • Jeff Moss says

      When I was living in Far East Russia (30 miles from the Chinese border) in the early 2000’s, I got to know a Russian man who made frequent trips to China for his work. He told me how he saw maps newly produced on the Chinese side that showed the border between the two countries as it was circa 1850—with the regions around Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and the Amur depicted as de jure part of China.

      • It honestly wouldn’t surprise me as it’s an unstated understanding of BRICS that they will each be allowed to take back their ancestorial lands.

        • Speaking of BRICS, I’m really curious what will be discussed at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum which starts tomorrow. From what I understand there are several countries in attendance that are wanting to join BRICS to get out from under American hegemony.

          In contrast, the NATO alliance is meeting next month in Vilnius and I expect it to be a drab event in Comparison to the SPEF. I’m sure it will be the same spiel of “Muh Russia”, “NATO is stronger and more united than ever.” Meanwhile it’s just a clown convention. The guys over at The Duran seem to think that the NATO meeting will decide whether or not they will continue to escalate when it comes to Ukraine/Russia. My bet is they will, but, hopefully saner heads prevail.

          I’m wondering if Erdogan will be at both.

          • Like a team of surgeons meeting on how to extricate a malignancy from a patient’s brain without killing the patient, BRICS will be meeting to see how to save that which is worth saving, mainly the people in the West by freeing them from their war mongering governments. It’s going to takes resources which they have, but how to get these resources in the right places is going to be the issue, I would think. That and how to keep the planet alive when the West realizes they have nothing left to lose so they might as well release their nukes and take out the entire population for their bosses.

            BRICS is going to have to neutralize the West which may have already happened. Certainly in Ukraine. Russia has paced this war and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn they might have helped circulate the propaganda that Ukraine winning this war was a possibility, which of course it wasn’t. They had to keep this war going until they depleted NATO and the West in the process.

            All NATO has left are their nukes. I imagine they’ll be talking about releasing them unless the powers-that-be that drive NATO are neutralized. George Soros is out of the equation. How long this has been the case, no one knows, but his son has just recently taken over. We may continue to hear of others passing the baton.

            Erdogan’s role is to babysit the Azov Assault Brigade for the moment, which I find interesting.

            • Erdogan seems to be under pressure at home…

              Sweden’s NATO membership would aggravate threats against Türkiye

              ‘ Vatan Party Chairman Doğu Perinçek held a press conference today (Saturday, June 10, 2023) at 13.00 at the Vatan Party’s Headquarters with the member of the Central Committee and made statements about Sweden’s NATO memhership. In summary, Perinçek stated the following:
              – NATO’s expansion in any direction is an aggravation of the threat to Türkiye.
              – NATO is the source of threats against Türkiye.
              – We find Sweden’s admission to NATO membership extremely dangerous for Türkiye’s national unity and territorial integrity.
              – We call on both the AK Party government and all deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly to veto Sweden’s NATO membership.

              Dear Members of the Press,

              Dear Turkish Nation,

              Türkiye, Sweden and NATO will meet two days later, on June 12, to discuss Sweden’s NATO membership process.
              Sweden’s accession to NATO is NATO’s expansion to the east and north. NATO’s expansion in any direction is an aggravation of the threat to Turkey.

              Because NATO is not a security umbrella that protects Türkiye, as the politicians of the system say, but the source of threats against Türkiye on all fronts.

              From Dedeağaç (Alexandroupoli) on our border with Edirne to Southern Cyprus, in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, it is the US and NATO that turn their barrels against Türkiye.

              It is the US and NATO that attack Türkiye with the PKK and bigoted terrorist organizations in the north of Syria and Iraq.

              It is the US and NATO that organized the FETO Gladio and placed it inside our state.

              It is the US and NATO that organized the March 12s, September 12s and July 15s Coupt Attempts.

              It is the US and NATO that imposed an anti-production economy on Türkiye, which sank Türkiye into a foreign debt of 600 billion dollars.

              The expansion of NATO is the growth of threats not only to Türkiye, but also to Russia, Iran, the Turkish states, even China, that is, to Türkiye’s allies against US imperialism.


              As the Vatan (Patriotic) Party, we find Sweden’s membership in NATO extremely dangerous for Türkiye’s national unity and territorial integrity.

              We call on both the AK Party government and all deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly not to repeat the grave mistake they made by approving Finland’s membership and to veto Sweden’s NATO membership.

              Members of the Veteran Assembly cannot be NATO’s deputies. Be Türkiye’s deputy! Even if Türkiye’s is alone among 31 NATO members, it must show its will to veto. Moreover, Hungary also seems to be leaning towards a veto.

              In the long run, Turkey will ensure its security, unity and prosperity by leaving NATO.

              We respectfully announce to our nation. ‘

              • They don’t like Sweden’s relationship with the Kurds. – Turkey is trying to leave NATO and join BRICS. They are convinced NATO and the West had something to do with that earthquake given NATO and their families were mysteriously evacuated before it happened.

  12. Looks like it’s feeding time again…

    Can Biden Deter a Russia Nuclear Attack on Ukraine?
    Yes, If He Gives Ukraine Tactical Nukes

    Dr Michael Rubin: The simple fact is this: United States maintains nuclear
    weapons because they are an effective deterrent against other nuclear states.
    Ukraine should have the same right.

    ‘ … Putin is desperate and erratic. The destruction of the Kakhovka dam is a warning that Putin abides by no redlines. With the Ukrainian counter-offensive underway, the threat that Russia might use tactical nuclear weapons is increasingly a likelihood. It would be unfair to blame Kyiv. There is no moral equivalence. Russia invaded Ukraine; not the other way around. So long as Ukraine was on the verge of victory, Putin would arrive at this point of nuclear retaliation. To self-deter and hand Russia a victory would be immoral and unwise. For Putin, an adversary’s fear is as addictive as cocaine. Should he sense White House fear might bring triumph, he would take another snort: his provocations would only increase, not only against Ukraine but also against Moldova and the Baltic States. … ‘


  13. The really disturbing thing about the Ukraine War, aside from the appalling loss of life on the Ukrainian side (an entire generation of young men), is that seemingly no one in authority in the US government can see what Russia is doing or, in any case, is alarmed by it.

    Russia has taken over a long stretch of the Donbas and Novorossiya populated mostly by Russian speaking Ukrainians who largely welcome them and who have been persecuted by the Kiev regime. Having secured this toehold, the Russians have only then executed very incremental advances and have preferred that the Ukrainians exhaust their manpower and Western stocks of weapons in the meatgrinder they have established. This has been going on for many months now and it is clearly the strategy of the Russian high command.

    Where you kill the enemy and destroy his weaponry is not that important. What is important is that you kill the enemy and destroy his weaponry. This fact seems lost on the Ukrainians and Americans. America has been depleting Western stockpiles of weapons and ammunition to perilously low levels at the same time as it is feeding all this weaponry and the Ukrainian army into a meatgrinder against which it has yet to achieve any significant victories. The slow advance of Russian forces is not the point. The point is the killing fields – the graveyard of men and machines.

    I think there are two reasons for this. One is that America is simply concerned with the media propaganda war and not so much the actual military situation. They think they can sell any narrative they want and their only concern is the political fallout in the West.

    The second reason is that all of this senseless destruction in very good business for the American MIC. Everything expended must be replaced. Their only problem is that they cannot produce weapons and ammunition at anywhere near the pace that the Russians can.

    But that only limits the timeframe of the venture. It does not mean that it is not profitable for as long as they can string it out.

    Now, there is a thin ideological veneer covering the whole mess, but that is the nasty truth of the matter.

    The reason that this is disturbing is that Ukrainian forces are trained and armed to NATO standards. What America is demonstrating by this warbucks adventure is that it is no match for the Russians, nor are its weapons. Not only that, but the Western sanctions failed to make any serious dent in the Russian economy, the Russian arms industry is mobilized to continue their level of production, or increase it, in perpetuity; and the mobilization of soldiers ensures that even a NATO direct intervention would be unsuccessful.

    Russia is much stronger than before the war, and it was the war that strengthened it.

    This will be devastating to the West in the medium to long term. Russia may eventually own Europe, not by force but by economic dominance when (not if) trade resumes. Russia has demonstrated that it does not need the European market. However, Europe cannot say that it does not need Russian energy.

  14. Scott Ritter, in a recent livestream Q and A with The Duran,
    gave a lucid exposition on the theory and practice of MAD
    (Mutual Assured Destruction) and nuclear deterrence. See:

    The next wave of the counteroffensive w/Scott Ritter

    [Video – 03:15:28]

    The section in question runs from 02:10:10 – 02:18:50

    All our politicians should be forced to listen to it – thrice!