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2022-05-14 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 1295 references
[Comments enabled]  

Folks, understand one thing about the US getting involved in an actual shooting war with anyone.

You immediately will have no semi-conductor anything, zero lithium batteries for anything at all from electric cars to cellphones, 75% or better of the pharmaceuticals in common use will disappear instantly, finding tires will be nearly impossible, automotive and machine parts, specifically wear parts such as bearings will all become unobtanium and more.  Even something as simple as a circuit breaker for your house will not be able to be sourced.  ALL of the large transformers used to distribute electrical power in the United States, never mind nearly all of the switchgear, are made overseas in whole or part and thus if they fail, whether due to natural or man-made cause they cannot be replaced in such an event either.    Within a few months spares for critical parts that are considered wear items and thus must be replaced on a schedule will run out in our energy generation and distribution system and failures will begin to occur with impact from local areas to entire regions.

Your local gas station and supermarket cash register (never mind most modern refrigerators, HVAC systems and similar) all have chips in them that are only made overseas; there is no replacement available made in the United States.  Your much-vaunted heat pump that is so "green" has a defrost control board in it without which it will not function -- if you bypass it (which you can in some cases) once the temperatures get below about 40 degrees outside the unit will fail or be destroyed without it, and there won't be a replacement available at any cost.  Even the contactor (relay) in that outdoor unit has no US supply and without it the unit doesn't work.  Your gas furnace has an ignitor and control board without which you have no heat, they do fail and, again, there is no US supply.  We did this to ourselves with our decades-long stupidity offshoring everything and by doing so made it possible for any nation that can sink even a single container ship to break the United States economy and perhaps even a few million people's survival within minutes.

Commercial shipping will go to zero basically immediately as anything that floats and is big is easy to sink and without insurance, which nobody will write, nobody will ship anything because someone is going to eat the entire cost if the ship ends up on the bottom of the ocean and there is nobody in their right mind who will take that risk.

This is the crazy of international supply chains when there is no substitution here at home available in the size required.  It all depends on everything being "peaceful" -- both economically and militarily.  You can go shoot goat herders without impacting that but the minute hostilities break out with someone that has actual reach into shipping lanes you must expect them to spend one conventional torpedo costing a few tens of thousands of dollars and once they do anything and everything headed your way stops.

Container ships are trivially easy to send down to see Davey Jones; they're huge, they're lightly crewed which means no serious amount of damage control is available and they're certainly not built and fitted out to survive in a wartime environment.

Yeah, I know, you're sure it won't happen.

Better hope you're right if you're dependent on medications, as just one example.

Perhaps we should be re-thinking our ideas about sending tens of billions of dollars worth of "stuff" to another nation -- an amount that exceeds their entire military spending for the last year, never mind "admitting more new nations into NATO."

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2022-04-28 18:13 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 5984 references
[Comments enabled]  

Good God, I hope everyone in Congress recognizes what this bill, which apparently has now passed and Biden will sign it (seeing as he asked for it directly), means.

Let's recap.  Per our Constitution the military is under civilian control.  That is, the actions of the military, including weapons used by same or suitable for same, are under the control of Congress and The Executive.

Congress must authorize anything that leads to expense, and such must come from The House.  Again, this is basic Constitution stuff.

Now Congress has explicitly authorized, and Biden will sign, this bill that specifically permits the transfer to Ukraine of basically anything other than nuclear material.  Seriously folks -- that's the only real exception found in the referenced definition.

By agreeing to provide direct weaponry that can be and will be used in the waging of war by one of the two parties to same we have entered the conflict.  That our GIs are not directly there is of no consequence.  This is no different than shipping arms to Britain during WWI in the Lusitania or the lend-lease provisions in early WWII that ultimately led us to get involved there in Europe.  Indeed Pelosi directly referenced those early WWII provisions indicating that she knows damn well the implications of what Congress just did.

In fact it was lend-lease of March 1941 that led Hitler to come after the United States; we had entered the war as a belligerent by officially agreeing to supply war material to Britain.

In those two wars there was no realistic means for the Germans or other Axis powers to hit us directly on our own soil.  But they did in fact do that in response when they sunk the Lusitania, which had a bunch of Americans on board.  They could reach that ship, did reach it, and did sink it.  They did so because we were supplying England with munitions.

We claimed at the time we were not, we were lying and that is now established as a historical fact.

The Germans hit a legitimate military target despite our and Britain's claims at the time otherwise.

Today the situation is different.  Russia can hit us here and not just with nukes.  They can hit American assets that are by any reasonable international standard military targets all over the world and that includes military command and control which by our Constitution includes all members and facilities of both Houses of Congress along with the Executive, never mind obvious things like the Pentagon.

I don't think Putin is crazy enough to do it right up front but do not mistake "doesn't" tomorrow morning for "can't" -- the door is open.

Don't kid yourselves folks; such a strike, if it occurs, is entirely legal from an international law perspective under the laws of war.  It is legitimate for a belligerent to strike the military elements, direct and indirect, of an entity supplying its opposing military.

We are now a belligerent in this conflict having crossed the line when we went from providing food, medical assistance and similar to military goods and the definition in this act does not draw a distinction, not that there really is one that is internationally recognized in the first place, between offensive and defensive arms.

There was some dispute whether we have already done that, of course -- particularly as regards whether we were the enabling intelligence and actionable information that led Ukraine to be able to hit certain things thus far.  But up until now there was reasonable plausible deniability to our actions.

NOT ANY MORE; this is not implicit or hidden at all, it is IN YOUR FACE, public, and with no apologies or weasel-words.

Again folks: As of this point in time we are now a belligerent in the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

PS: If you think I'm supporting either side of this corrupt jackwad brigade -- nope.  Hard pass.  You want to fight Russia go pick up a rifle yourself.  I've got no cock in this fight and neither does any honest American.

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Give me a break, *******.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky offered a dire outlook on the war Sunday, saying he is willing to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but failure at peace talks could lead to World War III.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview. “I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war.”

Stop lying.

The conditions for peace were quite simple and put forward by Russia both before the invasion and have not been expanded.  You know damn well what they are and they're reasonable too.

You have deliberately violated all four of the below for the last two years and you've done it with malice aforethought.  Are you ready to cut that **** out or do you think any of the below expectations are unreasonable?  If so then explain why.

  • Ukraine does not enter NATO.  Ever.  Amend the Constitution.

  • Crimea is Russian.  It has been since before the Tsars and in fact was formally purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783, putting formal documents and money to what had previously been the case.  It is as Russian in terms of tenure as the original 13 American states and is as legitimately so as our Louisiana Purchase, being paid for in good funds.  If several States had no right after the fact to void their alliance with Washington DC (and Lincoln, by extension, had every right to burn half the South to cinders to enforce DC's demand they stay) then Russia has every right to enforce your theft of their land which Russia purchased over 200 years ago as well.  Never mind that the Ukraine government effectively declared a civil war on Crimea, which Ukraine had no right to govern in the first place other than by mutual assent -- and in response the territory seceded from your bull****.  (Wouldn't you under those circumstances?)  As for the Donbas that likely needs to be independent, simply because you won't leave them alone, you and your predecessor shelled the territories on and off for the last eight years and the people there overwhelmingly identify as Russian.  They don't like you and would prefer you be dead, they have good cause for that and your best disposition to that which the last two administrations caused is to leave them alone.  Let them go.

  • Your Azov brigades are removed, period and if that **** (which is indeed reasonably called "Nazi") shows up again you send the people doing it to the Hauge to be tried and hanged by the neck until dead.  The bull**** that has gone on since 2014 in Donbas stops and since bad faith has been demonstrated there for years demilitarization of the entire nation may be necessary.  The fine details of that are likely subject to considerable negotiation but the Azov brigades, I'm reasonably certain, are either removed by you or every single person involved in it is going to die and every place they hide and use is going to be leveled by Russia.  Choose wisely.

  • Ukraine destroys and removes, under International observation including Russian observationall biological, chemical and nuclear material other than for civilian nuclear power production and does not engage in any activity that can be diverted or used for any other purpose.  Said obligation to permit full and unfettered access for verification is also written into your Constitution.

Putin is a bastard but so are you Zelinsky.  Outlawing by so-called "executive directive" opposition political parties, mandating Covid vaccines to obtain food and what amounts to a "universal basic income", removing the capacity for cash transactions thus forcing all social and political activity to be acceptable to you and the ruling political party under pain of literal starvation, forcing all media under your control (gee, so much for free speech) and similar, all of which you've done, are not the acts of a Constitutional Republic.  These are the acts of a jackbooted dictator and that makes you at least as much of an ******* as is Putin.

Let us not forget that Ukraine and Russia have been "intermingled" for more than 1,000 years and indeed without communist force of arms, under which was granted a "special administrative area" starting in roughly 1922 the boundaries on a map you call "Ukraine" would not exist.  Perhaps our Representatives and Senators were either asleep of smoking bong hits in history class but I was not and these are facts.  I'm well-aware of the history of your alleged "republic" in all of both its "glory" and suffering including many of your ancestors joining the Nazis and slaughtering Jews and Gypsies on the very land you call Ukraine, thinking the Germans were going to win, only to wind up on the wrong end of that bet when the Red Army stopped the Nazi advance and then came back through on their way to Berlin and unceremoniously arranged an immediate meeting for every single corroborator they could find with the Devil in Hell (there were a lot of them, by the way.)

You're hardly the land of clean hands and that landmass has gotten spanked repeatedly over the last 1,000+ years -- sometimes as a result of sectarian or religious hate and sometimes by nothing more than bad luck -- but then again clean hands are hard to come by in human history (including the US) so there you go.

At the same time whenever this dust-up ends we, the United States, should demand that all records relating to payment of any sums to any American person or politician paid out of or from Ukraine back to the breakup of the USSR be made 100% transparently public and auditable by anyone upon demand, with any fraud or bribery that points to any American politician, past or present, leading to immediate extradition of every involved person in Ukraine irrespective of their title to the United States for trial, judgment and imprisonment.  Yes, that might include YOU Zelinsky.

Your nation has been a cesspool of corruption, kickbacks, bribes and scams for decades and our current President and his family appears to have been embedded in that corruption up to their necks.

The recent admission by the NY Times that the Hunter Biden laptop was real, which your government and elements of ours both claimed were "Russian disinformation" for the explicit purpose of tampering with our election here in 2020 is, in my opinion, enough reason for the United States to flatten Kyiv and throw your ass in Gitmo to rot standing alone.  If you think our public would have voted for Biden having known that it was factual that his son and himself both profited directly and personally to the tune of millions from money funneled through your corrupt oligarchs you're out of your ****ing mind.

Your "standing ovation" in our Congress during your recent speech was likely, in my opinion, because those oligarchs in your broken and corrupt runt "nation" may have been funneling money to far more of our politicians than just Biden and his family, extending to people on both sides of the aisle with many of them scared of being lynched right here if the truth of it comes out and our population manages to snap out of its Russia-Russia-Russia torpor.

You wish to claim otherwise?  Prove it.

You can start with Biden and his family since it has been admitted to as fact and intentionally suppressed, also admitted, by our own media including our so-called "paper of record", The NY Times.

Let me remind you, Zelinsky, that you've been in office since being elected in May of 2019.  If you had any intention of cleaning up the cesspool of corruption in your nation and actually benefiting your people, who have a per-capita GDP of about $3,700 a year while your "arch-nemesis", Russia, sports about 3x the per-capita economic output, you would have done so by now.  Economically your population would be wildly ahead if you simply became part of Russia once again, as you were before.  Given that your nation has had more than 20 years to cut the crap yet hasn't done so I can only conclude you like the corruption and don't care if it screws the vast majority of your citizens straight up the ass.

Oh, speaking of corrupt oligarchs and corruption how in the Hell did you get your money, essentially all of which you seem to have acquired since becoming President?  You were hardly the Ukraine version of Elon Musk before being elected and it wasn't a small amount either, was it?  I understand you have over a billion dollars with something like $35 million of it in a posh Miami-area mansion.  True?

Is it indeed not fair to ask if your prime motivation in all of this is protecting your personal cash flow from said corruption and oligarchs in your own nation at your own people's expense, never mind the possibility of goading other nations into a quite-possible nuclear war so this entire charade does not collapse around your ears?

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