Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Thousand Balls of Flame

Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear.

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious!

But, you know, this is hardly unreasonable of them. The US is spiraling down into financial, economic and political collapse, losing its standing in the world and turning into a continent-sized ghetto full of drug abuse, violence and decaying infrastructure, its population vice-ridden, poisoned with genetically modified food, morbidly obese, exploited by predatory police departments and city halls, plus a wide assortment of rackets, from medicine to education to real estate… That we know.

We also know how painful it is to realize that the US is damaged beyond repair, or to acquiesce to the fact that most of the damage is self-inflicted: the endless, useless wars, the limitless corruption of money politics, the toxic culture and gender wars, and the imperial hubris and willful ignorance that underlies it all… This level of disconnect between the expected and the observed certainly hurts, but the pain can be avoided, for a time, through mass delusion.

This sort of downward spiral does not automatically spell “Apocalypse,” but the specifics of the state cult of the US—an old-time religiosity overlaid with the secular religion of progress—are such that there can be no other options: either we are on our way up to build colonies on Mars, or we perish in a ball of flame. Since the humiliation of having to ask the Russians for permission to fly the Soyuz to the International Space Station makes the prospect of American space colonies seem dubious, it’s Plan B: balls of flame here we come!

And so, most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise. This is a well-understood psychological move—projecting the shadow—where one takes everything one hates but can’t admit to about oneself and projects it onto another. On a subconscious level (and, in the case of some very stupid people, even a conscious one) the Americans would like to nuke Russia until it glows, but can’t do so because Russia would nuke them right back. But the Americans can project that same desire onto Russia, and since they have to believe that they are good while Russia is evil, this makes the Armageddon scenario appear much more likely.

But this way of thinking involves a break with reality. There is exactly one nation in the world that nukes other countries, and that would be the United States. It gratuitously nuked Japan, which was ready to surrender anyway, just because it could. It prepared to nuke Russia at the start of the Cold War, but was prevented from doing so by a lack of a sufficiently large number of nuclear bombs at the time. And it attempted to render Russia defenseless against nuclear attack, abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, but has been prevented from doing so by Russia’s new weapons. These include, among others, long-range supersonic cruise missiles (Kalibr), and suborbital intercontinental missiles carrying multiple nuclear payloads capable of evasive maneuvers as they approach their targets (Sarmat). All of these new weapons are impossible to intercept using any conceivable defensive technology. At the same time, Russia has also developed its own defensive capabilities, and its latest S-500 system will effectively seal off Russia’s airspace, being able to intercept targets both close to the ground and in low Earth orbit.

In the meantime, the US has squandered a fantastic sum of money fattening up its notoriously corrupt defense establishment with various versions of “Star Wars,” but none of that money has been particularly well spent. The two installations in Europe of Aegis Ashore (completed in Romania, planned in Poland) won’t help against Kalibr missiles launched from submarines or small ships in the Pacific or the Atlantic, close to US shores, or against intercontinental missiles that can fly around them. The THAAD installation currently going into South Korea (which the locals are currently protesting by shaving their heads) won’t change the picture either.

There is exactly one nuclear aggressor nation on the planet, and it isn’t Russia. But this shouldn’t matter. In spite of American efforts to undermine it, the logic of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) remains in effect. The probability of a nuclear exchange is determined not by anyone’s policy but by the likelihood of it happening by accident. Since there is no winning strategy in a nuclear war, nobody has any reason to try to start one. Under no circumstances is the US ever going to be able to dictate its terms to Russia by threatening it with nuclear annihilation.

If a nuclear war is not in the cards, how about a conventional one? The US has been sabre-rattling by stationing troops and holding drills in the Baltics, right on Russia's western border, installing ABM systems in Romania, Poland and South Korea, supporting anti-Russian Ukrainian Nazis, etc. All of this seems quite provocative; can it result in a war? And what would that war look like?

Here, we have to look at how Russia has responded to previous provocations. These are all the facts that we know, and can use to predict what will happen, as opposed to purely fictional, conjectural statements unrelated to known facts.

When the US or its proxies attack an enclave of Russian citizens outside of Russia's borders, here are the types of responses that we have been able to observe so far:

1. The example of Georgia. During the Summer Olympics in Beijing (a traditional time of peace), the Georgian military, armed and trained by the US and Israel, invaded South Ossetia. This region was part of Georgia in name only, being mostly inhabited by Russian speakers and passport-holders. Georgian troops started shelling its capital, Tskhinval, killing some Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in the region and causing civilian casualties. In response, Russian troops rolled into Georgia, within hours completely eliminating Georgia’s war-making capability. They announced that South Ossetia was de facto no longer part of Georgia, throwing in Abkhazia (another disputed Russian enclave) for good measure, and withdrew. Georgia’s warmongering president Saakashvili was pronounced a “political corpse” and left to molder in place. Eventually he was forced to flee Georgia, where he has been declared a fugitive from justice. The US State Department recently gave him a new job, as Governor of Odessa in the Ukraine. Recently, Russian-Georgian relations have been on the mend.

2. The example of Crimea. During the Winter Olympics in Sochi, in Russia (a traditional time of peace) there occurred an illegal, violent overthrow of the elected, constitutional government of the Ukraine, followed by the installation of a US-picked puppet administration. In response, the overwhelmingly Russian population of the autonomous region of Crimea held a referendum. Some 95% of them voted to secede from the Ukraine and to once again become part of Russia, which they had been for centuries and until very recently. The Russians then used their troops already stationed in the region under an international agreement to make sure that the results of the referendum were duly enacted. Not a single shot was fired during this perfectly peaceful exercise in direct democracy.

3. The example of Crimea again. During the Summer Olympics in Rio (a traditional time of peace) a number of Ukrainian operatives stormed the Crimean border and were swiftly apprehended by Russia's Federal Security Service, together with a cache of weapons and explosives. A number of them were killed in the process, along with two Russians. The survivors immediately confessed to planning to organize terrorist attacks at the ferry terminal that links Crimea with the Russian mainland and a railway station. The ringleader of the group confessed to being promised the princely sum of $140 for carrying out these attacks. All of them are very much looking forward to a warm, dry bunk and three square meals of day, care of the Russian government, which must seem like a slice of heaven compared to the violence, chaos, destitution and desolation that characterizes life in present-day Ukraine. In response, the government in Kiev protested against “Russian provocation,” and put its troops on alert to prepare against “Russian invasion.” Perhaps the next shipment of US aid to the Ukraine should include a supply of chlorpromazine or some other high-potency antipsychotic medication.

Note the constant refrain of “during the Olympics.” This is not a coincidence but is indicative of a certain American modus operandi. Yes, waging war during a traditional time of peace is both cynical and stupid. But the American motto seems to be “If we try something repeatedly and it still doesn't work, then we just aren’t trying hard enough.” In the minds of those who plan these events, the reason they never work right can’t possibly have anything to do with it being stupid. This is known as “Level III Stupid”: stupidity so profound that it is unable to comprehend its own stupidity.

4. The example of Donbass. After the events described in point 2 above, this populous, industrialized region, which was part of Russia until well into the 20th century and is linguistically and culturally Russian, went into political turmoil, because most of the locals wanted nothing to do with the government that had been installed in Kiev, which they saw as illegitimate. The Kiev government proceeded to make things worse, first by enacting laws infringing on the rights of Russian-speakers, then by actually attacking the region with the army, which they continue to do to this day, with three unsuccessful invasions and continuous shelling of both residential and industrial areas, in the course of which over ten thousand civilians have been murdered and many more wounded. In response, Russia assisted with establishing a local resistance movement supported by a capable military contingent formed of local volunteers. This was done by Russian volunteers, acting in an unofficial capacity, and by Russian private citizens donating money to the cause. In spite of Western hysteria over “Russian invasion” and “Russian aggression,” no evidence of it exists. Instead, the Russian government has done just three things: it refused to interfere with the work of its citizens coming to the aid of Donbass; it pursued a diplomatic strategy for resolving the conflict; and it has provided numerous convoys of humanitarian aid to the residents of Donbass. Russia’s diplomatic initiative resulted in two international agreements—Minsk I and Minsk II—which compelled both Kiev and Donbass to pursue a strategy of political resolution of the conflict through cessation of hostilities and the granting to Donbass of full autonomy. Kiev has steadfastly refused to fulfill its obligations under these agreements. The conflict is now frozen, but continuing to bleed because of Ukrainian shelling, waiting for the Ukrainian puppet government to collapse.

To complete the picture, let us include Russia’s recent military action in Syria, where it came to the defense of the embattled Syrian government and quickly demolished a large part of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Islamic Caliphate, along with various other terrorist organizations active in the region. The rationale for this action is that Russia saw a foreign-funded terrorist nest in Syria as a direct threat to Russia’s security. Two other notable facts here are that Russia acted in accordance with international law, having been invited by Syria’s legitimate, internationally recognized government and that the military action was scaled back as soon as it seemed possible for all of the legitimate (non-terrorist) parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table. These three elements—using military force as a reactive security measure, scrupulous adherence to international law, and seeing military action as being in the service of diplomacy—are very important to understanding Russia’s methods and ambitions.

Turning now to US military/diplomatic adventures, we see a situation that is quite different. US military spending is responsible for over half of all federal discretionary spending, dwarfing most other vitally important sectors, such as infrastructure, public medicine and public education. It serves several objectives. Most importantly, it is a public jobs program: a way of employing people who are not employable in any actually productive capacity due to lack of intelligence, education and training. Second, it is a way for politicians and defense contractors to synergistically enrich themselves and each other at the public’s expense. Third, it is an advertising program for weapons sales, the US being the top purveyor of lethal technology in the world. Last of all, it is a way of projecting force around the world, bombing into submission any country that dares oppose Washington’s global hegemonic ambitions, often in total disregard of international law. Nowhere on this list is the actual goal of defending the US.

None of these justifications works vis-à-vis Russia. In dollar terms, the US outspends Russia on defense hands down. However, viewed in terms of purchasing parity, Russia manages to buy as much as ten times more defensive capability per unit national wealth than the US, largely negating this advantage. Also, what the US gets for its money is inferior: the Russian military gets the weapons it wants; the US military gets what the corrupt political establishment and their accomplices in the military-industrial complex want in order to enrich themselves. In terms of being an advertising campaign for weapons sales, watching Russian weaponry in action in Syria, effectively wiping out terrorists in short order through a relentless bombing campaign using scant resources, then seeing US weaponry used by the Saudis in Yemen, with much support and advice from the US, being continuously defeated by lightly armed insurgents, is unlikely to generate too many additional sales leads. Lastly, the project of maintaining US global hegemony seems to be on the rocks as well. Russia and China are now in a de facto military union. Russia’s superior weaponry, coupled with China’s almost infinitely huge infantry, make it an undefeatable combination. Russia now has a permanent air base in Syria, has made a deal with Iran to use Iranian military bases, and is in the process of prying Turkey away from NATO. As the US military, with its numerous useless bases around the world and piles of useless gadgets, turns into an international embarrassment, it remains, for the time being, a public jobs program for employing incompetents, and a rich source of graft.

In all, it is important to understand how actually circumscribed American military capabilities are. The US is very good at attacking vastly inferior adversaries. The action against Nazi Germany only succeeded because it was by then effectively defeated by the Red Army—all except for the final mop-up, which is when the US came out of its timid isolation and joined the fray. Even North Korea and Vietnam proved too tough for it, and even there its poor performance would have been much poorer were it not for the draft, which had the effect of adding non-incompetents to the ranks, but produced the unpleasant side-effect of enlisted men shooting their incompetent officers—a much underreported chapter of American military history. And now, with the addition of LGBTQ people to the ranks, the US military is on its way to becoming an international laughing stock. Previously, terms like “faggot” and “pussy” were in widespread use in the US military’s basic training. Drill sergeants used such terminology to exhort the “numb-nuts” placed in their charge to start acting like men. I wonder what words drill sergeants use now that they’ve been tasked with training those they previously referred to as “faggots” and “pussies”? The comedic potential of this nuance isn’t lost on Russia’s military men.

This comedy can continue as long as the US military continues to shy away from attacking any serious adversary, because if it did, comedy would turn to tragedy rather quickly.
  • If, for instance, US forces tried to attack Russian territory by lobbing missiles across the border, they would be neutralized in instantaneous retaliation by Russia’s vastly superior artillery.
  • If Americans or their proxies provoked Russians living outside of Russia (and there are millions of them) to the point of open rebellion, Russian volunteers, acting in an unofficial capacity and using private funds, would quickly train, outfit and arm them, creating a popular insurgency that would continue for years, if necessary, until Americans and their proxies capitulate.
  • If the Americans do the ultimately foolish thing and invade Russian territory, they would be kettled and annihilated, as repeatedly happened to the Ukrainian forces in Donbass.
  • Any attempt to attack Russia using the US aircraft carrier fleet would result in its instantaneous sinking using any of several weapons: ballistic anti-ship missiles, supercavitating torpedos or supersonic cruise missiles.
  • Strategic bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles would be eliminated by Russia’s advanced new air defense systems.
So much for attack; but what about defense? Well it turns out that there is an entire separate dimension to engaging Russia militarily. You see, Russia lost a huge number of civilian lives while fighting off Nazi Germany. Many people, including old people, women and children, died of starvation and disease, or from German shelling, or from the abuse they suffered at the hands of German soldiers. On the other hand, Soviet military casualties were on par with those of the Germans. This incredible calamity befell Russia because it had been invaded, and it has conditioned Russian military thinking ever since. The next large-scale war, if there ever is one, will be fought on enemy territory. Thus, if the US attacks Russia, Russia will counterattack the US mainland. Keeping in mind that the US hasn’t fought a war on its own territory in over 150 years, this would come as quite a shock.

Of course, this would be done in ways that are consistent with Russian military thinking. Most importantly, the attack must be such that the possibility of triggering a nuclear exchange remains minimized. Second, the use of force would be kept to the minimum required to secure a cessation of hostilities and a return to the negotiating table on terms favorable to Russia. Third, every effort would be made to make good use of internal popular revolts to create long-lasting insurgencies, letting volunteers provide the necessary arms and training. Lastly, winning the peace is just as important as winning the war, and every effort would be made to inform the American public that what they are experiencing is just retribution for certain illegal acts. From a diplomatic perspective, it would be much more tidy to treat the problem of war criminals running the US as an internal, American political problem, to be solved by Americans themselves, with an absolute minimum of outside help. This would best be accomplished through a bit of friendly, neighborly intelligence-sharing, letting all interested parties within the US know who exactly should be held responsible for these war crimes, what they and their family members look like, and where they live.

The question then is, What is the absolute minimum of military action—what I am calling “a thousand balls of fire,” named after George Bush Senior’s “a thousand points of light”—to restore peace on terms favorable to Russia? It seems to me that 1000 “balls of fire” is just about the right number. These would be smallish explosions—enough to demolish a building or an industrial installation, with almost no casualties. This last point is extremely important, because the goal is to destroy the system without actually directly hurting any of the people. It wouldn’t be anyone else’s fault if people in the US suffer because they refuse to do as their own FEMA asks them to do: stockpile a month’s worth of food and water and put together an emergency evacuation plan. In addition, given the direction in which the US is heading, getting a second passport, expatriating your savings, and getting some firearms training just in case you end up sticking around are all good ideas.

The reason it is very important for this military action to not kill anyone is this: there are some three million Russians currently residing in the US, and killing any of them is definitely not on strategy. There is an even larger number of people from populous countries friendly to Russia, such as China and India, who should also remain unharmed. Thus, a strategy that would result in massive loss of life would simply not be acceptable. A much better scenario would involve producing a crisis that would quickly convince the Russians living in the US (along with all the other foreign nationals and first-generation immigrants, and quite a few of the second-generation immigrants too) that the US is no longer a good place to live. Then all of these people could be repatriated—a process that would no doubt take a few years. Currently, Russia is the number three destination worldwide for people looking for a better place to live, after the US and Germany. Germany is now on the verge of open revolt against Angela Merkel’s insane pro-immigration policies. The US is not far behind, and won’t remain an attractive destination for much longer. And that leaves Russia as the number one go-to place on the whole planet. That’s a lot of pressure, even for a country that is 11 time zones wide and has plenty of everything except tropical fruit and people.

We must also keep in mind that Israel—which is, let’s face it, a US protectorate temporarily parked on Palestinian land—wouldn’t last long without massive US support. Fully a third of Israeli population happens to be Russian. The moment Project Israel starts looking defunct, most of these Russian Jews, clever people that they are, will no doubt decide to stage an exodus and go right back to Russia, as is their right. This will create quite a headache for Russia’s Federal Migration Service, because it will have to sift through them all, letting in all the normal Russian Jews while keeping out the Zionist zealots, the war criminals and the ultra-religious nutcases. This will also take considerable time.

But actions that risk major loss of life also turn out to be entirely unnecessary, because an effective alternative strategy is available: destroy key pieces of government and corporate infrastructure, then fold your arms and wait for the other side to crawl back to the negotiating table waving a white rag. You see, there are just a few magic ingredients that allow the US to continue to exist as a stable, developed country capable of projecting military force overseas. They are: the electric grid; the financial system; the interstate highway system; rail and ocean freight; the airlines; and oil and gas pipelines. Disable all of the above, and it’s pretty much game over. How many “balls of flame” would that take? Probably well under a thousand.

Disabling the electric grid is almost ridiculously easy, because the system is very highly integrated and interdependent, consisting of just three sub-grids, called “interconnects”: western, eastern and Texas. The most vulnerable parts of the system are the Large Power Transformers (LPTs) which step up voltages to millions of volts for transmission, and step them down again for distribution. These units are big as houses, custom-built, cost millions of dollars and a few years to replace, and are mostly manufactured outside the US. Also, along with the rest of the infrastructure in the US, most of them are quite old and prone to failure. There are several thousand of these key pieces of equipment, but because the electric grid in the US is working at close to capacity, with several critical choke points, it would be completely disabled if even a handful of the particularly strategic LPTs were destroyed. In the US, any extended power outage in any of the larger urban centers automatically triggers large-scale looting and mayhem. Some estimate that just a two week long outage would push the situation to a point of no return, where the damage would become too extensive to ever be repaired.

Disabling the financial system is likewise relatively trivial. There are just a few choke points, including the Federal Reserve, a few major banks, debit and credit card company data centers, etc. They can be disabled using a variety of methods, such as a cruise missile strike, a cyberattack, electric supply disruption or even civil unrest. It bears noting that the financial system in the US is rigged to blow even without foreign intervention. The combination of runaway debt, a gigantic bond bubble, the Federal Reserve trapped into ever-lower interest rates, underfunded pensions and other obligations, hugely overpriced real estate and a ridiculously frothy stock market will eventually detonate it from the inside.

A few more surgical strikes can take out the oil and gas pipelines, import terminals, highway bridges and tunnels, railroads and airlines. A few months without access to money and financial services, electricity, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, air transport or imported spare parts needed to repair the damage should be enough to force the US to capitulate. If it makes any efforts to restore any of these services, an additional strike or two would quickly negate them.

The number of “balls of flame” can be optimized by taking advantage of destructive synergies: a GPS jammer deployed near the site of an attack can prevent responders from navigating to it; taking out a supply depot together with the facility it serves, coupled with transportation system disruptions, can delay repairs by many months; a simple bomb threat can immobilize a transportation hub, making it a sitting duck instead of a large number of moving targets; etc.

You may think that executing such a fine-tuned attack would require a great deal of intelligence, which would be difficult to gather, but this is not the case. First, a great deal of tactically useful information is constantly being leaked by insiders, who often consider themselves “patriots.” Second, what hasn’t been leaked can be hacked, because of the pitiable state of cybersecurity in the US. Remember, Russia is where anti-virus software is made—and a few of the viruses too. The National Security Agency was recently hacked, and its crown jewels stolen; if it can be hacked, what about all those whose security it supposedly protects?

You might also think that the US, if attacked in this manner, could effectively retaliate in kind, but this scenario is rather difficult to imagine. Many Russians don’t find English too difficult, are generally familiar with the US through exposure to US media, and the specialists among them, especially those who have studied or taught at universities in the US, can navigate their field of expertise in the US almost as easily as in Russia. Most Americans, on the other hand, can barely find Russia on a map, can’t get past the Cyrillic alphabet and find Russian utterly incomprehensible.

Also consider that Russia’s defense establishment is mainly focused on... defense. Offending people in foreign lands is not generally seen as strategically important. “A hundred friends is better than a hundred rubles” is a popular saying. And so Russia manages to be friends with India and Pakistan at the same time, and with China and Vietnam. In the Middle East, it maintains cordial relations with Turkey, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Iran, also all at the same time. Russian diplomats are required to keep channels of communication open with friends and adversaries alike, at all times. Yes, being inexplicably adversarial toward Russia can be excruciatingly painful, but you can make it stop any time! All it takes is a phone call.

Add to this the fact that the vicissitudes of Russian history have conditioned Russia’s population to expect the worst, and simply deal with it. “They can’t kill us all!” is another favorite saying. If Americans manage to make them suffer, the Russian people would no doubt find great solace in the fact they are making the Americans suffer even worse, and many among them would think that this achievement, in itself, is already a victory. Nor will they remain without help; it is no accident that Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, previously ran the Emergencies Ministry, and his performance at his job there won him much adulation and praise. In short, if attacked, the Russians will simply take their lumps—as they always have—and then go on to conquer and win, as they always have.

It doesn’t help matters that most of what little Americans have been told about Russia by their political leaders and mass media is almost entirely wrong. They keep hearing about Putin and the “Russian bear,” and so they are probably imagining Russia to be a vast wasteland where Vladimir Putin keeps company with a chess-playing, internet server-hacking, nuclear physicist, rocket scientist, Ebola vaccine-inventing, polyglot, polymath bear. Bears are wonderful, Russians love bears, but let’s not overstate things. Yes, Russian bears can ride bicycles and are sometimes even good with children, but they are still just wild animals and/or pets (many Russians can’t draw that distinction). And so when the Americans growl about the “Russian bear,” the Russians wonder, Which one?

In short, Russia is to most Americans a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and there simply isn’t a large enough pool of intelligent Americans with good knowledge of Russia to draw upon, whereas to many Russians the US is an open book. As far as the actual American “intelligence” and “security” services, they are all bloated bureaucratic boondoggles mired in political opportunism and groupthink that excel at just two things: unquestioningly following idiotic procedures, and creatively fitting the facts to the politics du jour. “Proving” that Iraq has “weapons of mass destruction”—no problem! Telling Islamist terrorists apart from elderly midwestern grandmothers at an airport security checkpoint—no can do!

Russia will not resort to military measures against the US unless sorely provoked. Time and patience are on Russia’s side. With each passing year, the US grows weaker and loses friends and allies, while Russia grows stronger and gains friends and allies. The US, with its political dysfunction, runaway debt, decaying infrastructure and spreading civil unrest, is a dead nation walking. It will take time for each of the United States to neatly demolish themselves into their own footprints, like those three New York skyscrapers did on 9/11 (WTC #1, #2 and #7) but Russia is very patient. Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear. But if you still think that there is going to be a war with Russia, don’t think “Armageddon”; think “a thousand balls of flame,” and then—crickets!


Cortes said...

A fascinating essay. Thanks once more.

When I worked in London in 1989/90 the IRA began a campaign of destruction of traffic signal equipment at major road junctions producing chaos totally disproportionate to the effort invested. Shortly thereafter the negotiations leading to the "Good Friday Agreements" began. In other words, where hyper-complex urbanised circumstances exist, as envisioned by you, utilities targeting will be prioritised in any warfare, asymmetrical or not.

SpaceToyer said...

I only wish I were enough years younger to be able to apply for an immigration visa to Russia.
Alas at 55 I fear it is too late for me... :-(

Karl K said...

I am with Steel Rust. However, at 58, 59 in two weeks, it's far too late for me. So, in the meantime, I will concentrate on growing potatoes and onions. And *hope* (ha ha) that I am so far off the beaten path that I am left alone.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Wonderful, vintage Orlov; penetration to the core of the situation - as usual.

Weirdly enough, it's always a great pleasure - sic! - to read these incisive insights, despite the grim topics treated. Not just for the clarifying insights, either. Quality of the writing too, I suppose, as an added bonus; the sort of stylistic gift that devoted essayists would kill for. :)

Thanks again, Dmitry. Please keep going whilst you have insights like these to purvey; and remember: I for one am ready to pay-per-view, if you need to raise funds.

Unknown said...

Just can't buy into Cold War II. Cold War I (and Bon Jovi) tried to ruin my teenage years. Sting was busy hoping "the Russians love their children too." LOL! I wish "the Americans" (who run things) cared about anyone at all, or had ever been outdoors, or had something productive to do.

kooka said...

Wow what a great piece! I reckon just the one EMP pulse (300km high) should do it. Just enough to precipitate the inevitable collapse if it hasn't already begun.

Veronica said...

Ditto to the above wishes to move to Russia. Being even older (nudging 69) I would be of no possible interest as a potential immigrant, but the temptation is huge. However, I'm also old enough to care more for the fate of the planet and humanity than my own inevitable disappearance, so find this essay very cheering. I'm in the middle of "Empire of Illusion" by Chris Hedges, which goes into appalling detail in support of exactly what Dmitry is saying about the US (which means, to I hope a slightly lesser extent, its vassals like Canada), so this all sounds closer to straightforward reality than the morbid humour it will probably be taken for. As always, thank you Dmitry!

Michael Sosebee said...

Brilliant Article - One which I wish I could persuade my "Liberal" friends to read and understand. But living and working in the Land of the Happy Meal has conditioned me to keep my mouth shut. I read this article out loud to my wife this morning and she also expressed her frustration with brain-dead clients who will blithely vote for Hillary while proclaiming the need for a "strong National Defense". But don't ask them to justify it with a reasonable argument. Group-think absolves them of that responsibility.

forrest said...

Possibly true; who knows? But deciding the matter sounds very much like the alleged Russian comment on "Nuclear Winter" -- "It would take a very large experiment to make sure; and that would be the stupidest experiment possible."

Dave Stockton said...

The only thing we make now in the United States is war. And the US Navy is trying to provoke a fight with China. At this rate, those big container ships will stop sailing across the Pacific Ocean pretty darned soon. What's America going to do when there's nothing on the shelves at Walmart, or anywhere else for that matter?

hole in head said...

Dimitri,right on spot . As someone who has read Tainter´s " Collapse of complex societies" the US is a sitting duck . What has me surprised is that the vulnerability of the electric grid is all over the net and yet no one has attacked this soft spot . Why ? Maybe someone can explain ,especially since these facilities are not too well guarded . My bookkeeper had a saying " A small hole can sink a big ship " . We can only pray that the loonies in USA don´t get their hands on the nuclear button to blow up the planet .

kayr said...

Well, it looks like forces are in motion that we can do nothing about. I don't think that electing either of the two front running candidates for President will make any difference at all. So I think we should just learn from the Russian's who are going before us to take our lumps and deal with it. Get those garden's going and share with the neighbors.

Unknown said...

Very few Americans could tolerate moving to Russia.
They don't suffer fools gladly over there and those Americans with the wherewithal to move there are a mostly coddled class (even if they don't know it) and they would expect more.

This country is teetering on the edge of "this sucker's going down" and I think the deep state leadership knows this and some of the crazy provocative stuff we're doing is born out of desperation and the fear of the cascade failure that would ensue as soon as the hegemony in fiscal, diplomatic, and military matters is lost.

We're one big Bernie Madoff, living in fear of what happens when we get caught. An empire on the ropes is as dangerous as a cornered raccoon.

Unknown said...

Bravo! I am vastly cheered and encouraged. Thank you so much for a marvelous piece. Hurray for the Russian Bears..."with enemies like these,.." ; - )

drhooves said...

While the U.S. is certain to undergo some dramatically negative effects as the empire falls, this time it will coincide with world-wide deindustralization, making it difficult for any other country or even a bloc to fill the vacuum. The advantages that Russia enjoys from a economic, cultural and historical point of view may be short lived, as China, Islamic refugees, and now perhaps even Germany and/or Japan will be threats for natural resources.

The current clan of world leaders/puppet oligarchs makes it unlikely it will be a smooth transition to our future, and U.S. leaders in particular seem to have no clue as to what's happening. Getting into a shooting war with Russia would be insane, which makes me think it's quite likely...

Unknown said...

Being a Canadian and a baby boomer, we had in Canada the thought process that if The US and Russia would be having their slugfest on our soils during the 1st cold war results and we would be decimated.
Now with 20 odd years past the end of those times, we hope to not be embroiled into supporting our neighbours to the south us in their international follies like they would be drawing the Euros into.

I sometimes believe that the mentality they have does not allow them to understand the different thought processes of other different nationalities, especially Russia and the inscrutable mind of the far east oriental mind. I think that there is no way that the orient will allow themselves to be drawn into the agitator of the old fashion washing machine.

So, at one time I use to be a believer of the propaganda machine of the US and one day, it was like a wall switch turned on and I stopped believing all of the propaganda from out of that land.
when I can't really say for sure, but I believe it was somewhere around 2009 or 2010, most likely the later when I became disabled and probably had been a work in progress previous to then.

Our previous government the Conservatives were going to buy the F35 jets, however we knew that it would not suit our geoclimatic conditions or be a sustainable need for our military needs. A single engine and basically a single role aircraft, come on we are not that stupid.

All I can say is this to anyone deciding to slap the American hand or the metaphoric 2X4 across the back of their heads, do not unilaterally group us into the American geopolitical mentality or hegemony of our neighbours south of the 49th parallel, because they can't even understand Canada at all.

Most think that we still live in igloos and eat blubber.

Zoltar said...

Thank you for this.

For the past year or more I have been disgusted at the way Americans have swallowed hook, line, and sinker anti-Russian propaganda for which Joe McCarthy would be embarrassed. In recent months I have been dismayed to see how effortlessly Robert Kagan, on behalf of the lunatic Neocons who spawned The Project for the New American Century, have attached their allegiance to Hillary Clinton, whose warmonger credentials need no reinforcement. As patently idiotic as it would be to start World War III, I have had to recognize that it is again conceivable to these people.

As I read your post today I could feel my blood pressure start to go back down. The more you assure us of the efficacy of Russia’s military infrastructure, the patent ineptitude of America’s aggressive floundering, and of Mr. Putin’s resolve to resist it without being drawn into a catastrophic conflict, the safer I feel.

Unknown said...

Best I have read in a long time.....
wherefore posted it for my fb friends to read and share
with the following:
"If you have not read this already ... I advise you do it now..
it both has some kind advise, a hell of a lot of truth... and
some black humour or gallows humour if you will (literally in this case)".
Thanks Dmitri... ml bente...

Cyber Fonic said...

Living in a harsh climate, Russians are indeed very patient and well prepared.

Napoleon said: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making mistakes". Then he promptly forgot his own advice in 1812.

In 2016 Russia merely patiently watches and waits for the US hegemony destroy itself from within. The police forces are shooting the populace dead, the people are shooting back. The floods and forest fires are destroying homes by the thousands. A quarter of the population are under-employed or living in poverty and the rest deeply in debt. So the 1% are making out like bandits, but for how much longer?

Patrick DeBoard said...

Maybe the most enjoyable analysis of bully US and unyielding Russia I've read. It gives me renewed hope that the end of empire is really gonna happen - is happening. What a relief.

Mark said...

Having unaccountably and unexpectedly arrived to my 6th decade, only by good luck I assure you, and having yet to experience good leadership, let alone wise leadership anywhere I've been in the USA, the thought of such leadership in Russia, never occurred to me as a possibility. I grant for the purpose of discussion, it is not impossible. I've sometimes imagined Raisa Gorbacheva, having met Nancy Reagan in Helsinki, saying later, to Mikhail as they got into bed, "these people are delusional - we should surrender and save the planet", or words to that effect. And yet as I understand it, the Gorbacheves are not much honored for their wisdom in Russia.

I remember the USA when people came before profit, there were 2 daily newspapers and 5 weekly newspapers in town, 4 tv stations, and more than a dozen radio station in town, dozens more in the state and more out of state. All owned by different people - same with banks. Same with manufacturers. Shopkeepers and Farmers. Now I'm old and not even in the way, haha. Many babyboomers sold out to the establishment, but not me. If they were to loose all their wealth, property, and power, then we could be neighbors! Talk about the weather, books we've read, pets, tell stories and jokes. Sit in our rockers and watch the empire fall, I mean, watch the Sun set. From a comfortable distance.

That's assuming we make through the bottle-neck.

Unknown said...

Natural order will be restored. As a force becomes increasingly perverse, it weakens. Eventually, it falls away because it is too far beyond the pail.

If we can be of service to man, and to the rebuilding of a moral and ethical society, then we'll have done well. I think that should be our collective goal. Death is a destination we all reach. It's the journey that matters. We can make it a good one, so that we can reflect upon our lives with pride and satisfaction.

Dimtry, it is kind of you to issue such warnings. Those who decide are not your audience, but those who care are. Even if we can't prevent the catastrophe, we can still make a difference. And so I thank you, for the warnings, the guidance on how to rebuild, and the compassion to share your wisdom. Though I have never met you, I consider you a very dear friend.

DurangoKid said...

Very good Dmitry. I think there's one thing about America you're forgetting. Part of the mindset of the elites in the US of A comes from the colonial period. The America we know started out as colonies, profit making ventures. They were the startup corporations of their day. Land, resources, and people were there to be exploited. Make a tidy fortune and then return to the mother country to live as a gentleman. At one point all the gentlemen here decided, 'Heck, this place isn't so bad. Why move back?' They then produced a stick to rap the knuckles of George III and get his fingers out of the till. Not so much a revolution but an insurrection or another English civil war. George is out. Now what? Well, that colonial idea of using everything and everyone around you as a means to opulence seemed like a winner, so why not enshrine that in a constitution and keep the party rolling? We can even transmogrify the chartered corporation into a new form of nobility, an endrun around the prohibition of titles and privileges. As a bonus we'll restore the good old Saxon tradition of having the elites choose the king. Oops, I mean president. So, you see, the desire for personal enrichment is deeply embedded in the American psyche. Even many of the unwashed hordes buy into the whole idea of self made men and anyone can be president. Or king, what have you. This mentality creates a rift between the highest priority, enrichment, and all other considerations. And as anyone will tell you, you can't serve two masters. Nope. Medicine, education, infrastructure, combat, etc. must take a back seat or maybe even ride in the trunk. And like any true believer, the American elites see the resulting problems as the failures of the other. As such they see beating up on weaklings as military success. $500 Epipens are a medical miracle. Letting bridges go to rust is refraining from throwing good money after bad. Teaching to the test leaves no child behind. And now reality has come knocking. How long do they, the opulent class, think they can pretend it's just the wind?

Sparks McCoy said...

America is like a self destructive celebrity, trashing their life in public. Either it will be found drowned in the bath surrounded by its drugs of choice or it will be forced to go though a long and humiliating rehabilitation process. Usually celebrities do something extremely stupid before they end up in rehab I think taking on Russia and China might be it.

Unknown said...

The 'missile defense' systems aren't they to defend against a Russian first strike. They are there to mop up any Russian missiles surviving a US first strike. That is the theory. These missile systems will be incrementally upgraded until they can strike 1000's of km into Russian territory. They will also be made nuke capable. Putin has warned they are an existential threat to Russia. That means Russia is preparing to act against them. How and when remains to be seen.

Mary said...

Terrific. Have posted to my (very limited) Facebook friends with the comment:
"Very highly recommended for its informed comment, positive outlook, readable language and blackish humour. My shoulders relax more and more as I read or listen to Dmitry."
I shall carry on with my gardening, clutter-removing, wildlife photographing and general being with a greater spring in my step. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Either the comments are filtered or this article is only being read by one side of this argument. Much of the article speaks in a truthy way, with much hyperbole, but not everything here is sound, and I am surprised there isn't a two sided discussion in the comments. For those of you wishing you could move to Russia, or China - you need to start with a long term sejour or two and you will have a better sense of why the balance of immigration goes in the other direction.

Dammerung said...

This is the last stand for the BushClinton mafia and there's no telling what they might do. War is, traditionally, the last trick available to a failed state to blame somebody else for its problems. But I'm not sure the American people would stand for it. There's a ton of smoke pouring out of the Deep State right now, factions are at one anothers' throats, and there's really no telling what's going to happen between today and Nov 9th. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

I'm 33 and one of my earliest memories is the fall of the Berlin Wall. But you know, I have no grudge against Russia, and I think a lot of Americans in my generation feel the same way. It's only dumb 40+s who are still seething and frothing at the humiliation of having actually won against the USSR; apparently, they'll never forgive the Russians for it. There are a lot of very stupid people in the USA but there are also a lot of us don't buy it!

brian boru said...

The problem in dealing with the Americans is that rational people think that they are dealing with other rational people. Unfortunately, when dealing with the creatures who live inside the Washington Beltway that could be a costly assumption. If that psychotic criminal Clinton is installed in the White House through vote fraud, and that is the only possible way she could become President, then all bets are off. If the methods which Orlov describes that could be used to bring the US to its knees don't get a chance to be used because the American crazies just up and use their nuclear weapons because they think they can win that way, our optimism might be misplaced.

James D said...

I've been saying for some time now that asymetric nuclear war is the most likely thing to occur if the warmongers push things over the edge. It's not necessary to kill hundreds of millions of innocents, it's just necessary to kill the ring leaders. In this the 21st century, that would be very simple. Targeting systems no doubt already have the more obvious targets loaded.

pyrrhus said...

Amazing piece, Dimitri, thank you! I would only add that, based on my professional work in the energy field, it would be even easier than you posit to disrupt the system. The electric network is ridiculously fragile, and may implode on its own one of these days. Gas pipelines are robust, but not protected at all...

Tucanae Services said...

In a country as vast as Russia sucking the invader in is a valuable tactic. It is a horrendous cost on the populace, but it has destroyed many an invader to Mother Russia. That Russia could deny the US the sea lanes is a tactic nearly as good as a nuclear attack. It severs the logistical arm that an advancing army would depend on to replace losses.

Hope neither of our countries get that far.

rapier said...

Approximately half of Americans live in " ghetto full of drug abuse, violence and decaying infrastructure, its population vice-ridden, poisoned with genetically modified food, morbidly obese, exploited by predatory police departments and city halls, plus a wide assortment of rackets, from medicine to education to real estate…"

This America is separate from the America which we see on TV and contains everyone who is anyone. That America is not some hellscape. It's pretty decent really though one can argue about how much better it could and should be in terms of 'human development' or human potential but show me anywhere in the world where those things are in full flower.

It should be noted that large portions of rural America do not resemble a ghetto in any way but it's dwindling population is ever more filled with social dysfunction and so is a different sort of ghetto where hope is absent.

If that all represents decline and I'll agree it does that decline is separate from the relative decline of American global strategic power which has been declining since the end of WWII. The relative decline of The Nation is apparent, mostly in relation to China. How and why all the hate for Russia has always escaped me. When the encircle and kick Russia thing started in the mid 90's it was apparent that the real new competitor on the global scene was China and so it would have been wise to do everything possible to integrate Russia with Europe but instead have forced Russia in the direction it should have gone anyway, to East and Central Asia. I will never understand this but let me assure you that the vast majority of Americans now hate Russia and Russians more than during the cold war. This hatred serves no purpose, strategic or tactical nor politically or economically for American or Europe.

For 4 years the NY Times has had a two minutes of hate Putin column at least 3 days a week. Harassing Russian athletes and athletics is a special and rather pathetic hobby. Now Russian hackers attacking America fill the news reports and it has already reached the point that we are in a defacto war.

Against that backdrop DM has been issuing his warnings and it's understandable why. It's just that no matter how stupid the American elites are they can't possibly be stupid enough attack Russia militarily. If for no other reason that it would serve no purpose. However war with China at least at sea and on her periphery can be glimpsed as possible and remember it is China which is the real strategic adversary for the US.

Brian Train said...

Dmitry, you might be interested in this article from OMNI magazine (January 1989) written by none other than G. Gordon Liddy, which accomplished what you describe with considerably fewer than a thousand balls of fire:


Jeffrey said...

Well crafted, what a gem article!

Others need to read this...what do you think the chances are of pitching this to the NY Times/LA Times/Chicago-Sun Tribune so we can all read it on the front page? Yeah, dreams I have, LOL

Doctor Bill said...

There is a lot of excellent information here and it indicates that the US would be ill-advised to attack Russia. I'm afraid however that the entire Military Industrial/Political/congressional/complex aand the 1%ers are completely irrational and they would dismiss this as idiotic and then go ahead and attack.
The other thing is that the plan presented as Russia's counter-attack is a War Crime per Geneva Conventions. Russia has appeared to me to scrupulously avoid War Crimes so I don't know whether they would do it that way or not. Cheyenne Mountain, Iron Mountain, DC, Camp David, all significant military installations, missile bases, Wall St, the Fed and its branches, Silicon Valley, airports and sea ports are fair game and vulnerable. That would probably be enough to do the trick.

Tom Mayberry said...

Thanks for the cogent reminder that there is more than one way of looking at every situation. Being able to look at things from a number of angles is good for one's mental health, and I thank you for continuing to shine light from your vantage point. We Canadians are blessed and cursed with an empire in decline living next door to us, and it behooves us to keep perspective on that decline, for our own sakes. I Look forward to your posts.
Tom Mayberry

Ray Joseph Cormier said...

I just came across your Blog via The Ugly Truth. This is an insightful, realistic analysis of what is possible in the temper of our Times. Let us hope saner heads prevail, and it doesn't come to Judgment by Fire, or more accurately, misjudgment by Fire.

franz said...

This is a brilliant article. If I could be granted one wish by the great Forces for Good from Heaven, it would be that this article could be dropped like confetti across the planet. My hope would be that everyone who is capable of reading and who might have enough sense to understand its content, and the fortitude to read the whole of it, might have the veil of delusion removed from their eyes and thus might be left with the sense of optimism and hope that I think its content inspires.

Tom said...

As I read the article I laughed and agreed with your description of America. I am a proud American and I love my country but I hate my government. It is no longer a representative of the people but purchased by the highest bidder and doing everything that bidder wants done. The Constitution is ignored and we accept that our elected officials lie to us. In fact it is a bigger threat to the people than Russia ever was. Those reading the article should know that many in America do not resemble what is depicted and many dislike our government as much as our enemies do.

Unknown said...

Should judgement by fire be in the cards, self preservation would dictate leaving prime targets in advance--implying USA and RUSSIA. Quite an impossibility for most of us. Though, Dmitry does allow for better prospects in areas with greater concentrations of Russian and Chinese residents--which happen to be affluent, urban destinations. Sure is preferred over being a passport-carrying refugee, adrift among drifters.

Mauricio said...

This is a well written essay, as Dmitry usually writes, but sadly it is flawed at its very core. The belief that the Americans can be brought to the negotiating table is where the problem lies. The Americans are insane, ideologues who believe they are the exceptional and indispensable people and so it is their birth right to rule the world. There is no negotiating with people like this because, as much as if the Russians can (and I am convinced they could) knock out all of the key American infrastructure as you've suggested, their natural response wouldn't be to capitulate and to go to the negotiating table. No, they wouldn't also reply in kind by targeting Russian infrastructure with conventional weapons. No, they would launch all of their +7,000 nukes at once at Russia. As much as the Russian weapons system is way ahead of the US I don't think you can honestly tell us Dmitry that Russia can intercept all them.

The only way to engage the US in a war is to use one's full military nuclear arsenal at once in a preemptive strike mode. This is what Russia and China are preparing for. Just like the US wanted to nuke all of the Communists and countries aligned with communism in operation "Unthinkable" planned for 01.01.1957 which would have killed by their estimates 600 million people. Russia and China know they have been targeted for attack, which the US is not planning to use only conventional weapons, but all of its nukes as they (insanely believe and express in their position papers like Foreign Affairs 2006) that they hold "Nuclear Primacy" over the Russians.

To back my point I will use none other then Putin's own remark about the coming war - "When war is inevitable (which the US is clearly making sure it is) be the first to strike" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QxWYIAtCMU. I am not sure his idea of a preemptive strike would be aimed only at the US infrastructure and not directed at the US's nuclear silo's, which can only be destroyed with nukes.

Anyway, thanks for all your great work Dmitry!

Bakhirun said...

Immediately after reading the article and perusing the Comments, I go and click on Joe Biden blasting Russians - for doing business with Europe. Talk about synchronicity.


Boiled toad said...

...but we keep voting for them.

Unknown said...

What a great essay!

It gives me a good feeling of assuredness that while I am living in a basically still occupied Germany with a completely incompetent and corrupt Atlanticist elite, and a media under full control of Warshington's pseudo-NGOs, there is this giant neighbor nearby who keeps the exceptional lunatics at bay with her superior weapons and her honest and pragmatic ways. The stronger Russia is the less likely there will be "Armageddon". Also, while people in the "West" seem to have developed some sort of severe social and political dementia - arguing about transgender unisex toilets in times of increasing global conflict and war - the Russian people seem to be of spectacular lucidity in comparison.

I'm convinced that eventually the Atlantic-American empire will fall big time. I am also convinced that while the people in the US will suffer (the next big refugee crisis - be prepared, Canada and Mexico!), the EU-ropeans will quickly make the long overdue move eastbound towards Eurasian integration and thus being able to withstand the crisis. Some non-mainstream analysts in Germany suggest that Brexit was actually a clandestine move of the UK establishment out of its subjection to Warshington and War St and towards more integration with China (mind you, the EU is an entirely imperialist endeavor orchestrated from and by Warshington, War St and their EU-ropean puppets and beneficiaries).

I also think that the downfall is already happening and will be complete by the end of this decade. A multi-polar world is inevitable and Russia will play a great, big role then. The world already owes Russia a lot and an ever-growing number of people know this, despite what our media tries to tell us.

taintedtart said...

Many of us see where this is leading and are preparing for it. We have no sense of entitlement, take care of our own selves (certainly don't expect the bozos running for office to do it!), disagree with the joke being made of our military, etc. In short, our eyes are open and we're ready. We've watched the bumbling idiots make a laughing stock of our country and are sickened by it. We can even find Russia on a map. Thanks for the info--well written. Helpful to see it from an 'outsider's' perspective.

Anonymous said...

The US: A Dead Nation Walking — Paul Craig Roberts
For you Mr Putin: "There's a method to their madness. There really is not much method to yours. It's because you're operating from a place of ignorance, and until you change that, you're going to be bumbling around, bumping into each other, saying and doing the wrong things, not understanding the nature of your enemy... and if you don't understand the nature of your enemy and the weapons they use, you cannot fight that enemy! You cannot fight the battle. You should not even be on the battle field." ~ William Cooper, Lansing Michigan Lecture, 1996

Sid said...

HI Dmitry,

A hug from a bear has two outcomes, if freindly it will keep you warm, if not, your dead. Can't say the same about a hug from a bald eagle, either way your gonna get your eyes pecked out or worse... It is no coincidence its natural behaviour mimicks archetypally so well the current nation state:

"Benjamin Franklin wrote:

I wish that the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country, he is a bird of bad moral character, he does not get his living honestly, you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk, and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to its nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him.... Besides he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest. . . of America.. . . For a truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."
From: http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/eagle/eagle9.html

Gurdjieff pointed out that we all have robotic tendencies, and that it takes great effort to see beyond our conditioned minds. That is where the true battle should be fought imj.

Best Wishes,

stevelaudig@gmail.com said...

A little off topic but... here goes..

"The specialist then used a program known as BleachBit to delete an unknown number of emails, according to the report. Mrs. Clinton told investigators that she was unaware that the aide had deleted the emails.

"Mrs. Clinton appeared almost blasé in explaining her use of her private system to gather information on drone strikes."
From www.michaelmunk.com

You say "appeared almost blasé" I say perfectly predictable dead affect [blasé] reponse of a sociopathic personality.

nospam said...

When I lived in the US I would hear a lot of bad things about Russia, often from Russian immigrants ... Now that I live in Nicaragua I see Russian-donated city buses, ambulances, fire engines. Some of the best university professors speak Russian due to having acquired education and training in the former USSR. Russia seems, for the most part, just another country of people trying to prosper by defending its interests and those of its people. The main difference between Nicaragua and Russia is that Russia is big enough to stand up to the US, whereas this country was kicked to pieces for doing so in the 1980's in spite of Soviet (Russian if you ask anybody here) support.

The only part of this essay I may question is Russia being #3 on the list of places for migration. From this region I would guess it is US, Canada and then the Mexico, Spain or EU in general.

Cheers from Managua, Dmitry!
-Hubert (using fake gmail to avoid spam)

Unknown said...

Excellent article! Our government and our collapse into tyranny in America is a far greater threat to our national security than Russia is.