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Open mike 14/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 14th, 2023 - 44 comments
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44 comments on “Open mike 14/01/2023 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Here is an excellent video from military analyst Anders Puck Nielsen looking at the increasing privatisation of the Russian military effort in Ukraine and the ongoing implications for the war in Ukraine.

    The point Nielsen makes is due to the increasing prominence of the Wagner group and other private Russian military groups, there is a decreasing likelihood that the conflict is going to end any time soon.

    That is because, from the point of view of a private army, any outcome that ends the conflict is bad for the bottom line. So, a Russian victory is bad, as is a Ukrainian victory, or a negotiated peace outcome. From a private army perspective, the best outcome is a frozen conflict that allows them to keep fighting and keep profiting from the war.

    • Sabine 1.1

      I am sure the US American Weapons manufacturer and sellers ditto for the Europeans are all happy about this scenario. War is a racket some General once said.

      • Mac1 1.1.1

        The Fighting Quaker, Major General Smedley Butler, saw the L/light about war as a racket.

        “I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it.”


        Raised by Quaker parents, who defied his upbringing to become a Marine. Fascinating story especially in his later life.

        Wrote a booklet "War is a Racket" in which he said-

        “In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War….How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?….The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? …Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds…For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.”

        • tsmithfield

          Probably a difference in this conflict is that a lot of stuff going to Ukraine is actually old US stuff that was likely going to be scrapped anyway.

          For instance, the Bradley fighting vehicles just announced, and the M777 howitzers.

          So, there might not be as bigger income stream for the military industry from this conflict as it appears.

          • Francesca

            Yes but that garbage has to be replaced, to keep the inventory up.Thats where the profits come in .Those weapons factories aren't just going to close down, …ok guys, we're winding it all down , Afghanistan's over, get another job you workers.. ,For the employment and the profits to keep rolling on, there needs to be war, to keep the merchandise moving

            • tsmithfield

              That stuff is being replaced anyway, or already has been given that a lot of it is generations behind the modern stuff.

              On the other hand, it does have to be stored and maintained otherwise. So, it is probably cheaper to give it to the Ukrainians than keep it and maintain it.

          • Mac1

            Oh, goody. So the racketeers get to sell off the old gear for much more than as sold for scrap. They then get to make, and sell, even more efficient gear to the US military.

            Wins all round…….. all for "Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds."

            There are Russian oligarchs and mercenary chiefs doing just the same.


            And it seems to me there is a ghastly parallel between the US getting rid of its old, to be scrapped weaponry and the Russian prison system using the Wagner group to get rid of human convict scrap……

            • Francesca

              War IS the crime .Show me the army thats never killed a civilian, conducted

              itself along humanitarian lines, nor treated its soldiers as cannon fodder.

              Anyone with arguments to prevent this war , anyone urging negotiation,for example recognising Russias pleas for a security architecture that would provide security for all, implementing the Minsk agreements , were shot down as being Chamberlain all over again .

              And now we have tens if not 100s of thousands dead, their only shot at life cut short, cities ruined, economies on the ropes.

              Was a federated Ukraine with the rebel provinces within Ukrainian borders(as well as all the industry developed during the Soviet times)and neutrality such a bitter pill that 100s of 1000s dead is considered worth it

              Will the outcome of this war be so much better?

            • Francesca

              By the way Mac, I agree, this use of prisoners is ugly, I think Ukraine led the way in the early stages


          • Sabine

            That could be an argument for keeping the war going. Here Ukraine, have some of our old and left behind military hardware for you to use against Ivanovic and his mates. We don't really want you to win or lose, we just want to give your our old rubbish and then sell you some new stuff to just keep continuing fighting. How many billions did the US grant Ukraine in military aid, and which will the companies be that will make these billions that the US taxpayer provides? And does anyone care.

            Hunde, wollt Ihr ewig leben?

    • Francesca 1.2

      I dunno.

      Given that Wagner is doing a great deal of the heavy lifting a Russian victory would be a boost for Prigozhin's political ambitions.Putin is not going to be around for ever

  2. ianmac 2


    A growing rift in Moscow’s war effort was on display Friday, as Russian military officials and leaders in a private mercenary group traded barbs over who should get credit for an apparent victory in the small salt-mining town of Soledar.


  3. Joe90 3

    Poots' progagandists riffing on whether Ukrainians fighting to defend their country should be re-educated or eliminated sounds a bit genocidy.

  4. aj 4

    Kary Love has written an interesting article about the prosecution of Putin for launching a war of aggression against Ukraine, based on the 2011 judgement by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) against Blair and Bush in 2011 for the invasion of Iraq.

    The law of humanity is bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice, no matter how obstructionists like Mr. Putin, and Mr. Bush, try to stop it. On second thought, perhaps these “birds of a feather” ought be “tried together?” Were it so, right could make might, and the rule of law promoted to its rightful place in a world free of war criminals.


    • mikesh 4.1

      I think these are two different situations. The attack on Iraq was clearly an "invasion", whether justified or not, whereas the "invasion" of Ukraine might be seen as a counter-attack against the attacks, Ukranian government forces, on Donetsk and Luhansk. Of course in the latter situation Russia may have its own "agenda", but I don't think that changes the argument.

      • Francesca 4.1.1

        Then there's the Right to protect doctrine which the US used in Serbia

      • Belladonna 4.1.2

        TBH, I strongly doubt that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is seen as anything but an 'invasion' by the Ukrainian civilian population. Even the most biased reporters can't doubt that there has been appalling misery and brutality inflicted upon the Ukrainian population by the invading Russians.

        • Francesca

          I think the people of the beleaguered Donbas have been waiting for Russia to come to their aid for 8 years .After the Crimea referendum, and Russia's acceptance of Crimea into Russia , Luhansk and Donetsk were hopeful that Russia would accept them also.They held a referendum, overwhelmingly to be absorbed into the Russian federation, but Putin at that time denied them the request, urging them to stay within Ukrainian borders.They fought off Ukrainian assaults until , as the OSCE recorded in 2022, a massive increase in rockets and shelling from the Western Ukrainians , who'd built up their military presence markedly.

        • mikesh

          TBH, I strongly doubt that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is seen as anything but an 'invasion' by the Ukrainian civilian population.

          Obviously. Ukranian civilians would see it that way, wouldn't they.

      • SPC 4.1.3

        I'll fix it for you

        I think these are two different situations. The attack on Iraq was clearly an "invasion", whether justified or not, whereas the "invasion" of Ukraine might be seen as a counter-attack against the attacks, Ukranian government forces, on Donetsk and Luhansk. Of course in the latter situation was because of Russia's own "agenda" to support rebellion within Ukraine by ethnic Russians.

        PS Turkey for decades made ethnic Kurdish identity a crime, then allowed it and a political party. But any armed (representative) group was called "terrorist". It is now seeking a 30 mile occupation zone within Syria (in the North areas won off IS by Kurds and in the NE Kurdish populated) and expects NATO to agree, or it will not admit Sweden or Finland into NATO. It is negotiating with Syria and Russia independently of NATO this arrangement within Syria.

        Russia's position vis a vis ethnic Russians and ethnic Kurds is what it is.

        • mikesh

          I'll fix it for you

          Bollocks. You've not "fixed" anything. Merely attempted to make my comment fit your own demented frame of mind.

          Incidentally, in case you haven’t noticed, Syria is not a member of NATO, so why would it concern itself with whatever Turkey demands of NATO?

          • SPC

            Read this again.

            It is negotiating with Syria and Russia independently of NATO this arrangement within Syria.

            This being the 30 mile incursion.

            As for the insult

            Merely attempted to make my comment fit your own demented frame of mind.

            If you have no countering argument the adjustment stands unchallenged.

            • mikesh

              and expects NATO to agree, or it will not admit Sweden or Finland in NATO

              Your words.

              • mikesh

                PS: Everybody knows that the Russians are supporting the rebels. It's hardly news, and nor is it an "argument".

                • SPC

                  I suppose all of this is not obvious to you.

                  Russia supported rebels to create the breakaway in Ukraine. So citing suppression of it as cause to invade Ukraine is risible.

                  Russia is acting to support Syria against rebels there, as it claims the right to offer security assistance to governments who ask for it. And so does Ukraine.

                  Turkey is asking Russia and Syria to support it in suppressing ethnic Kurds (occupying land in Syria to settle displaced Arab Syrian refugees, including land of Kurds in NE Syria that borders with Kurdish areas in SE Turkey).

                  Can you imagine the reaction of Russia if Ukraine occupied the Donbass and settled the area with those who were not ethnic Russians.

                  • mikesh

                    Russia supported rebels to create the breakaway in Ukraine.

                    That's what I said. The separatists sought greater autonomy, and when a war started as a result, the Russians helped them out.

              • SPC

                The fact that Turkey has leverage over NATO – ability to deny Sweden and Finland membership is well known.

                And the fact that Turkey Syria and Russia are meeting to discuss future developments in Syria (and this includes Turkey having a 30 mile incursion into Syria).

  5. Incognito 5

    The market responds, in its usual predictable way, with steep price rises. Long live the free markets aka BAU!

    Todd Energy said its own CO2 pricing to distributors had not changed, only the supply.

    The oil and gas company said it didn't set CO2 market pricing – that was soley at the discretion of distributors.


  6. aj 6

    An excellent point on the unintended consequences using interest rates to combat inflation.

  7. Francesca 7

    Russia's daytime talk shows have always been incredibly varied, numerous and very popular, from absolute nutters to credible and insightful commentators, sovereignists to internationalists, those strongly critical of the govt and those strongly loyal.Their partisanship along those lines is transparent

    This article shows the incredible fieriness and diversity of Russian talk shows.Note that it is August 2021, and no doubt a lot of censorship has taken place since then , in the same way that RT and Sputnik have been taken off the menu for western viewers.

    It certainly shows that Putin was not the all powerful dictatorial censor of views at that time


    Giving weight to one particular talk show participant, as if he's representative of Russians is like giving weight to the odious Hannity.

    Imagine taking him seriously!!

  8. Joe90 8

    I'd buy the audio book if Matt Berry narrated.

  9. adam 9

    Pure evil, gets a free hand.

  10. weka 10

    And some wonder why increasing numbers of women are fucked off.

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