Blinken and Blind-Sided?

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, January 16th, 2022 - 17 comments
Categories: afghanistan, China, Globalisation, International, Iran, kremlinology, law and "order", military, Peace, Peace, Russia, Spying, Syria, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, United Nations, us politics - Tags:

Well the Russian peacekeepers are already leaving Kazakhstan having nipped the colour revolution in the bud. Blinken clearly didn’t have a clue about what was going on when he made the remark about Russians never leaving the house. Superior Russian intelligence meant they were ready as the impressive logistics show. Now we wait for Russia’s response to US refusal to pull back from their borders. One thing I’d bet the house on – it won’t involve invading Ukraine.

Pepe Escobar explains the background to the attempted coup here and Bhadrakumar here. Indications are that the main plotters were the UK’s MI6, and a faction of Turkish intelligence agencies. Global Britain putting its foot in it once again – the obsession with Russia dates back to Palmerston’s wish that England pushed on to conquer all of Russia after the nineteenth century Crimean war.

Russia clearly does not expect a positive response from the US to their proposal for a written guarantee that NATO will cease expansion towards its borders. If that is the case I expect their next step will be another total surprise for Anthony Blinken. They will have given it careful thought and nobody in the West can say they haven’t been warned.

Rapidly and effectively securing Kazakhstan from a bloody coup has already been a major success for the Eurasian project being gradually put into place by Russia and China. It is remarkable how little attention is paid to this integration project in our media. One only has to look at a map to see how the massive land mass comprising Russia to the north, China to the south, the Stans in the middle and Iran to the West, increasingly criss-crossed by road, rail and pipeline and politically aligned in the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Co-Operative Organisation  and the Eurasia Economic Union is the economic engine of the future.

It is also a solid bulwark against the efforts of the nineteenth-century expansionist maritime powers, the UK and the US, to impose full spectrum dominance of markets. Good luck with containing that from the sea.

Escobar eplains why Kazakhstan is important:

Tokayev is a very smart operator totally aligned with Russia-China – which means fully in sync with the masterplan of the BRI, the Eurasia Economic Union, and the SCO. Tokayev, much like Putin and Xi, understands how this BRI/EAEU/SCO triad represents the ultimate imperial nightmare, and how destabilizing Kazakhstan – a key actor in the triad – would be a mortal coup against Eurasian integration. Kazakhstan, after all, represents 60 percent of Central Asia’s GDP, massive oil/gas and mineral resources, cutting-edge high tech industries: a secular, unitary, constitutional republic bearing a rich cultural heritage.

The geography is also important for understanding why the US stayed so long in Afghanistan and why they have now tried albeit unsuccessfully to destabilise Kazakhstan. Both countries sit in the middle of the Eurasian landmass.

Having failed in bombing Afghanistan into submission the US is now aiming to starve it into disintegration to let loose more jihadis. Refusal by the US to release Afghani billions held in US banks to provide for all the people is unconscionable.

The time-clock is ticking on the geopolitical chessboard. Russia’ next move will be very interesting.


17 comments on “Blinken and Blind-Sided? ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Good stuff, well done! yes

    What happened was a “hybrid terrorist attack,” by both internal and external forces, aimed at overthrowing the government.

    So the yanks got out-played, huh? What fun! Will Fox go to town on blaming it all on Biden as usual? Or will they plunge heads straight into the sand to pretend it didn't happen? Tough call for Fox. Powerful tugs in both directions!

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    When President Tokayev was referring in code to a “single center,” he meant a so far ‘secret’ US-Turk-Israeli military-intel operations room based in the southern business hub of Almaty, according to a highly placed Central Asia intel source. In this “center,” there were 22 Americans, 16 Turks and 6 Israelis coordinating sabotage gangs – trained in West Asia by the Turks – and then rat-lined to Almaty.

    The op started to unravel for good when Kazakh forces – with the help of Russian/CSTO intel – retook control of the vandalized Almaty airport, which was supposed to be turned into a hub for receiving foreign military supplies. The Hybrid War west had to be stunned and livid at how the CSTO intercepted the Kazakh operation at such lightning speed. The key element is that the secretary of Russian National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, saw the Big Picture eons ago.

    Pepe Escobar is a columnist at The Cradle, editor-at-large at Asia Times and an independent geopolitical analyst focused on Eurasia. Since the mid-1980s he has lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore and Bangkok.

    He seems very clued-up, on the ball, and I get the impression his network of sources is telling it like it is.

  3. Stuart Munro 3

    Russia will need to step carefully – now that Trump has ceased to offend all of the US's traditional European partners, a universal revulsion for Russian dirty tricks, and a recognition of the defense demands a neo-soviet imperial Russian reoccupation of Ukraine and Poland would necessitate is uniting the EU against aggression from the east.

    The sudden enthusiasm of Sweden and Finland for Nato will go a long way to addressing the current ground force imbalance in Russia's favour. Shirvan's observation 'the way Russia treats it's neighbours drives them away' probably understates Russia's soft power deficit.

    Arguably, the cyber attack is Russia's first shot in this round of the Ukraine invasion, which promises to be a hybrid event. With the traitor in chief out of the picture for the moment, The US has response options Trump would not have contemplated, from sanctioning Deutsche Bank, which will stifle Trump's cashflow, to removing Russian forces from Syria, or disabling the Kerch Strait Bridge.

    Russian sabre-rattling is usually followed by large scale killing of civilians, and it should not be expected that the author of the Chechen genocide will apologize and say "my bad" this time. Europe is wary however, and Poland knows exactly what is coming if Russia isn't stopped.

    The effectiveness of the so-called Ratnik program seems likely to undergo a field test.

    • Subliminal 3.1

      Finland has decided to forego NATO membership for now. As for the cyber attacks just another case of he says she says and removing Russia from Syria could be a little tricky as the are the invited guests of the recognised govt of Syria unlike the robber mercenaries that are US troops in Syria, stealing wheat and oil at the expense of a very poor and war ravaged local population.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.1

        It's funny how often Russia hides behind 'he said/she said' – but like the novichok poisonings, it never fools anyone for very long – except for the irredeemably stupid.

        Thus far, US forces have been perfectly restrained in respect of Russian forces in Syria – once the Ukraine is invaded, they need not bother.

        recognized govt. of Syria recognized by whom? and for what?

        Stealing wheat and oil … improbable – perhaps you have a link?

        • Subliminal

          You're not seriously telling me that you've not heard Trump saying "we're keeping the oil"? This article from The Cradle gives some more flesh and cites an article in al Monitor detailing the formation of a company, Delta Crescent Energy, formed in Bidens home state, with the sole aim of comercialising Syrian oil under the protection of the US army, corroborated in a politico article.

          As for stealing the wheat, I'm sure you're also familiar with Madeline Albright writing off a full half million Iraqi kids as a worthwhile price for US enforced sanctions? If not I can supply you a lot of worthwhile reading material but the gist of it can be got from this article by Ward Churchill. Given this, the US military taking steps to starve a civilian population really shouldn't be such a surprise. However, on this one we do only seem to have the say so of the Syrian national press which I'm guessing you wont be taking seriously, here and burning the crops here. Probably you wont take the time to read all of what Ward wrote above but everything there is verifiable. Given a few hundred thousand Iraqi kids, the targeting of hospitals, water supply and electricity through the entirty of a country as well as destruction of all sewerage treatment, whats a little bit of wheat and oil theft?

          • Stuart Munro

            Trump says a lot of things – you may recall something about a wall Mexico was going to pay for? Your link is quite good, but it doesn't detail US theft of Syrian oil. What it shows is the US assisting an ally, the Kurds, to self-fund their conflict against the Assad regime. The Kurds are resident of the oil bearing region, and at odds with a government that is representing them very poorly indeed. They have some standing with which to assert a degree of ownership of that oil, lending their actions a degree of legitimacy.

            You need to be a little more specific in your allegations; however atrocious Albright's sanctions were, the theft of wheat was not a motive, nor was it executed by US forces to any significant degree, and the sanctions Albright authorized were applied to Iraq, not to Syria.

            The Syrian wheat theft is an interesting story, but I can find no corroboration as yet. Russian sources, unhappily, are not to be relied upon – something to do with the routine murder or imprisonment of journalists. The story reads like it was made for internal consumption – shortages of wheat to be laid at the door of regime enemies rather than the part of government that would normally be accountable. The Washington Post describes how control of wheat supplies has been contested and compromised – but no mention of US force involvement.

            • Subliminal

              You really don't see any problems with the US occupying foreign territory, commandeering and distributing the funds from that nations major resource which also happens to be the major wheat growing region of that nation? Of course Albrights sanctions were Iraq but the same is occuring in Syria with the Caesar sanctions. Take away their oil, dprive them of their most fertile and productive agricultural region and apply severe sanctions. This equates to forced starvation of the civilian population. Like Albright, you seem to think that the documented deaths by sanction in Iraq when transfered to Syria are "worth it"

              • Stuart Munro

                You really don't see any problems with the US occupying foreign territory, commandeering and distributing the funds from that nations major resource which also happens to be the major wheat growing region of that nation?

                Did I say so? US illegal occupations is a significant issue. But where a genuine local group contests a government, that group may indeed contest the government they are in conflict with's preferences for resource distribution.

                Like Albright, you seem to think that the documented deaths by sanction in Iraq when transfered to Syria are "worth it"

                Your predictions with regard to what I think go rather further than I have given you evidence to support. I might with equal validity (ie none) accuse you of approving the Russian killing of aid workers in Syria.

                Syria was a mess before all this nonsense started, and Assad, the inheriting child of a military dictator, has about as much legitimacy as Kim Jong Eun, whose rule is based on an identical hereditary right.

                When Isis formed in the wake of exceptionally poor choices the US made in the wake of its illegal invasion, its initial successes, notably seizing getting on for half a billion in cash from Mosul, looked a lot like the mandate of heaven to disaffected co-religionists throughout the region. People flocked to the organisation, which displaced Al Qaeda as the leading Islamist player.

                But the professional soldiers responsible for Isis's initial success rapidly moved away the concentrations of US forces in Iraq, and into the scarcely governed areas of the failing state next door, Syria. Syrian forces were no match for them, and the habit of gassing civilians and interning political prisoners meant the Assad regime was poorly placed to cultivate civil resistance to them. In the circumstances, some pursuit of these forces by the US was not out of line.

                Now, the oil 'theft' is not the US taking oil for their own purposes, but Syrian nationals using it for theirs. And, absent some evidence to support the story of US stealing grain, that is a fiction designed to deflect criticism from the Assad regime for the lack of supply. If we are to be even handed, we might note that Russia's bombing of aid convoys did not improve local access to grain, which would have been forthcoming from international sources in a less inimical environment.

                • Subliminal

                  Look, I understand that you have a visceral hatred of anything Russian but both your headline and first few paragraphs make an accusation qualified by "if confirmed" with regard to the terrible bombing of a Red Crescent aid convoy. It was a deliberate attack and is not something the Russians do. It is however something that Jihadis and the head chopping ISIS does do.

                  On the other hand, there is no "if confirmed" with the deaths attributable to starvation of a civilian population through US sanctions such as the Caesar sanctions, the Iranian sanctions or the Yemeni sanctions.

  4. pukahu road 4

    Excellent post MS.

    Pepe Escobar and M K Bhadrakumar are investigative journalists of the highest order.

    Highly recommend interview of Escobar by The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal on You Tube.

    The involvement of Jabhat Al Nusra fighters from Afghanistan and ETIM fighters from Xinjiang in the attempted coup of Tokayev's government will not be reported by any of The Five Eyes countries' mainstream media to our detriment.

    The use of these extremist fighters by the Western powers (Jake Sullivan's email to HRC about having AQ on our side in Syria) is the opposite of what is publicly touted.

    Uncomfortable questions will never be asked and answered especially after Assange's appalling treatment.

    The CSTO's well informed and immediate response to the Almaty attack will be a sobering moment for US, British, Turkish and NATO intelligence.

    Of course driving everything is the challenge to US hegemony through the BRI and the development of Nord Stream 2.

    The establishment of US and NATO military bases along the borders of Russia and China plus the multitude of bogus NGO's only feeds a voracious industrial military complex.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Here's a supplementary view from an independent Russian expert on Central Asia and Afghanistan:

    A coup, a counter-coup and a Russian victory in sequence is a temporal triad. I offer this framing used by the expert as an example of how metaphysics informs politics & history. The basic idea is that the small integers play a formative role in the world as archetypes in nature. Pythagoras was famous for promoting the notion (primarily as the structure of music) but harmonics feature as basic to maths, and produce resonance, which is basic to physics. Lack of extrapolation subsequently was due to Plato & Aristotle losing the plot, etc.

    The spark of the unrest came at the beginning of January when the government proceeded with another cut in fossil fuel subsidies, which more than doubled the price of liquified petroleum gas (LPG). This caused widespread anger, especially in the western part of the country, where between 70 and 90 percent of vehicles use this type of fuel and where the majority of Kazakhstan’s oil production is located.

    The fact that the western region has long been neglected by the central government, despite its significant contribution to the state budget (oil being the biggest source of state revenue for Kazakhstan) only deepened the resentment. Local residents suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment and are often treated as second-class citizens by the centre.

    Govts are a cut above, so can't blame them for ignoring the people.

    On January 4, Tokayev issued a statement saying the government was responsible for the situation, promising to address the protesters’ demands and warning the youth of Kazakhstan not to “destroy their own future”.

    But the threatening note in his speech turned out to be a mistake. It showed that Tokayev had no grasp on the reality in the country, where the average age is 31 and the standard of living has been rapidly deteriorating. A significant part of the population lives in poverty, despite the fact that the gross domestic product per capita stands at $9,000.

    The protesters started calling for the resignation of the government, direct elections of the regional governors, and freedom of political association. In the south, Almaty, the former capital of the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and a major economic and political centre, also became engulfed by unrest and news of the first victims of the violence started emerging. The local authorities responded by shutting down the internet, but that too turned out to be a strategic mistake, as it sent people to the streets to try to find out what was going on.

    Finding this situation untenable, on January 5, Tokayev finally took things into his own hands by firing the government and declaring that he was taking over the powers of the Security Council of Kazakhstan, a state institution tasked with implementing national security policies, which had been led by Nazarbayev until then. This effectively meant that Tokayev was attempting to remove the second centre of power and take the reins of power in the country.

    On the same day, Tokayev also fired the head of the secret service (the National Security Committee, KNB), Karim Massimov, a Nazarbayev loyalist and former prime minister and head of his administration, and his deputy, Samat Abish, Nazarbayev’s nephew, who at some point was considered his possible successor. This was a turning point.

    During that day, the first vestiges of a “counter-coup” emerged, as Nazarbayev’s clan quickly mobilised to block Tokayev’s power takeover. Well-organised and trained fighters facing almost no resistance were able to take control of the KNB building, the presidential palace, and the airport in Almaty.

    Tokayev stated that the country was attacked by “terrorist gangs which had been trained abroad” and asked for help from the CSTO. Overnight, the first military planes flew into Kazakhstan, delivering troops from Russia. Afterwards, small contingents from Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus also arrived. The deployment of CSTO troops effectively put an end to the counter-coup. They were able to take control of Almaty’s airport and restore order in the city relatively easily.

    So you see the triad was not merely conceptual. It actually drove the power dynamics of the political process. Hegel is normally credited with the thesis/antithesis/synthesis triad but Fichte originated it. The number three can be seen as underlying many key natural and social structures & processes.

  6. Bill 6

    Thank you for the post Mike.

    Interesting that you write – One thing I’d bet the house on – it won’t involve invading Ukraine. I agree.

    But then we get tosh from US legacy media that Russia is planning a false flag operation to justify invading Ukraine. I believe it originated with CNN (the CIA clearing house) before being picked up by the BBC, Guardian and all the usual suspects that gave us 5 years of RussiaGate Hoax…

    The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion.

    The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy forces.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      We know of course the extraordinary contortions you routinely perform to somehow exculpate Putin, and the gravitas you display in doing so… is at least consistent with your position on Covid.

      But lest the casual reader be misled, here is what The Atlantic has to say about Russiagate: Russiagate Was Not a Hoax – The Atlantic

      While Mueller received all the hype, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence kept its head down. Yesterday, having avoided cable speculation almost entirely, the SSCI released the fifth and final volume of a report on Russia’s attempt to sway the last election in Donald Trump’s favor. It finally delivered what Mueller either could not or would not: a comprehensive presentation of the evidence in the matter of “collusion.” The report confirms that Russiagate is no hoax. Whether or not the Trump campaign illegally coordinated with the Kremlin, Trump has no grounds for proclaiming vindication, much less that he’s the victim of a witch hunt.

  7. Stephen D 7

    Another PoV. Gwynne Dyer did a very good book "The Climate Wars" looking at the geopolitical implications of climate change.

  8. Gezza 8

    Good to see an alternative "take" on what just happened in Kazakhstan, not just hear & see what the usual Western msm serve up from the US State Department and Pentagon.

    It was a bit puzzling to hear on Al Jazeera that there was an internal power struggle going on in a country we normally hear nothing about.

    I don't know what to believe, at this point, except that Putin has quickly succeeded in supporting Tokayev & putting down protests & an attempted coup and/or an insurrection.

    Both Russia and the US indulge in espionage and in disinformation when it suits them. I'll wait to see what evidence emerges to back up Tokayev's and Russia's claims of foreign fighters and interference.

    If there was foreign interference they were badly miscalculating that Russia wouldn’t act quickly to stop another former Soviet Republic from becoming a potential risk to their security.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Those Afghani billions ?

    Its US money allocated for the previous puppet government but not yet sent to Kabul – where it probably would have been stolen anyway

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