Monday, November 28, 2016

Don't Waste Your Time, Harlan Ullman



No, really, this would have been really funny if not for it being utterly pathetic. Now, after US mainstream media and pundits' utter crushing defeat, Harlan Ullman tries to weigh in on what he pretends to understand--Russia.    


The guy, who, evidently, is very big on doctrine-mongering, frames this "urgent" need in this way:
"As a consequence, it is only relatively recently that greater analysis of Russian intentions has reawakened following the intervention in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, last year's sortie into Syria and Moscow's increasingly harsh rhetoric of intimidation. At the NATO summits in Wales in 2014 and in Warsaw this year, the alliance took military steps to respond to Russian aggressive actions through enhancing deterrence and reassuring allies particularly on both flanks and on the eastern borders. The reality is, however, that these decisions were made less on a thorough analysis of Russian strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities and more on Cold War concepts of responding in kind with military solutions."  

There is a Russian proverb which states that if the person is dead--this is for a long time, but if a person is an idiot--it is eternal. In one sense Ullman is right though. US doesn't have and, arguably, never had any serious Russian study field. Bar some few exceptions, what went under American "Russian Studies" was reduced to pushing some expedient ideas (US "elites" seem to be, unlike Russians, utterly obsessed with GULAG, as an example) and, indeed, was reduced to Kremlinology, not the study of real Russian culture and history. Fact is, Russian history, especially that of the XX century, has been reduced to caricature and memes in which the "culture" and "history" of narrow strata of Soviet/Russian pro-Western dissidents, their "vision" of Russia, very often completely detached from the reality, has been substituted for the real thing. It couldn't have been otherwise, especially in the XX century, where realities of the two European Wars and of the Soviet period of Russian history completely escaped those in grossly overrated American Russia's "academe" and analytic organizations ranging from intelligence to think-tanks. US has plenty of Kremlinologists, what it doesn't have is the knowledge of Russia and, judging by this Ullman's piece, probably will not have it in the nearest future--there is a reason for that of which I will tell later. This little blog of mine for the last two years was documenting an utter failure of all those proverbial US and "Western" Kremlinologists to find their own ass in brightly lit room, let alone forecast or correctly assess the events in and around Russia. Nowhere this utter failure manifested itself more profoundly than in their tedious, unimaginative, incompetent and hubris, or, otherwise, barely hidden complex of inferiority, stricken "analysis" of Russian military. This whole American Russia "establishment" should be fired the same way as everyone in US mainstream media should--these guys helped to bring the United States to the verge of war with Russia. This whole establishment is struck with a disease which prevented and will continue to prevent them from seeing the world for what it is. This disease is American exceptionalism. 

Let's hope that with the new day dawning in the United States after Trump's victory, we all may finally get to the facts, not bullshit of "making own reality", of how world operates and maybe, just maybe, the necessary arrangements for more secure and prosperous world could be made. There is no rational reason for American and Russian peoples (US "state" is a separate matter) to be enemies and if Mr. Ullman thinks that he has what it takes to consult on Russia, he may start by learning real Russian history, culture and attitudes to warfare and maybe he will admit to himself that most of what he knows about Russia is crap. I doubt he will, though. In the end, the guy still thinks that:

"The results of these analyses should be made available in a Wikipedia-type online service in order to inform and expand public debate on Russia. What has singularly plagued the United States in the past has been the failure to understand and gain the knowledge necessary to prevail over an adversary. Vietnam and the second Iraq War underscore the tragic consequences of, as the great Chinese Gen. Sun Tzu warned, "not knowing the enemy."

If he thinks that he is going to fight Russia and win just by learning about her I may only recall Sir Bernard Pares' prescient quote: 
"And knowledge alone is not enough without understanding, which is much more hardly won. To no country does this apply more than to Russia....This gap has to be filled, or will it cost us dear."(c) It almost did.   

Disclaimer: If anyone will misconstrue this post of mine as some kind of "offering an alternative" on an official level to whatever organization or person--wrong. Not interested, even for a good money. I love my job and down to earth lifestyle and prefer to remain independent in my assessments of the outside world. At least I am not wrong all the time;-) 

Swiss Are Still Sane (More Or Less).

If you expect me in this post to present you with numbers and tables, which prove that the Nuclear Energy is here to stay and will serve as one of the pillars of national sovereignty-don't. For any common sense and even mildly educated person it is very easy to arrive to the conclusion that nuclear power is the path to the future. For anyone who wants to see what may happen when people fail to understand this, look at Germany, who, if to rephrase famous Russian XIX century "zapadnik" (westernizer) Chaadaev, "We belong to those who are not an integral part of humanity but exist only to teach the world some type of great lesson." Should Chaadaev have lived today he would have been stunned to learn that his characterization of Russia and Russian people applies to Germany fully and nowhere more so, apart from cultural suicide policies, to her energy policy pushed through by German influential Green Party. 

Let's clear some things out of the way immediately. I am not some "ultra-right wing nut", who usually are presented as ignorant and arrogant in media. No, I am not that. I do, however, think that what is known today in the combined West as "liberalism" is a sort of mental illness which has very little to do with classic old left, of which I have a fairly good understanding. I am talking about what some people, wrongly, define as Cultural Marxism. Old Marxists would lock modern environmental lobby in the psychiatric ward. I am, however, in many important respects a conservationist, I love nature and am not into the recreational hunting. I wouldn't kill an elk unless my livelihood depended on elk's meat and skin, I also would kill a bear only if my life depended on it--I love God's creatures and prefer them sorting things out between themselves (almost) completely on their own. I do not deny climate change, I deny this change's anthropogenic only reasoning. Of course humanity pollutes and is, in some respects, detrimental to Earth. But so are the cows who fart like crazy and thus contribute to global warming according to some "environmentalists". I do consider green movement and its green parties to be the shills for globalist "elite" and as being clear and present danger to not only national security of any nation where those former hippies and outright nut-jobs are politically active but to humanity as a whole and I don't buy their crocodile tears about the fate of Africa and other third world hell holes, since for those backward and miserable places to have at least a shot at normal life they have to industrialize and that means only one thing--energy. No energy, no economic development, period--this is not a theorem, that is the statement which needs proof.  This is an axiom, a self-evident truth. 

Evidently Swiss still understand that standard of living, culture and more or less democratic practices of society depend directly on production of energy. In the absence of major rivers and thus inability to employ vast water resources for energy production Swiss are dependent on their nuclear power stations and they voted "NO" on the plan promoted by Swiss greens. Considering how stupid and brainwashed many Europeans are, this is not a  bad result, even if to consider that the gap between opposite sides of this referendum was not that great: 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent. But then again, Swiss have a great example, Chaadaev's "great lesson" in how not to do things, to the North of their picturesque country.    

               German Energy Push Runs Into Problems

This is what happens when serious industrial sectors are run by the idealistic (a euphemism for incompetence) ideologically-driven fanatics. Is it just energy sector? Of course not. We all know how Germany, completely on its own volition, introduced the poison of  "refugees" into its own blood stream and where it is all headed now. Remember Green Party Mayor of Cologne? Obviously, greens of all shades will continue their push for insane, often anti-scientific, policies, be it Europe or North America. But as recent US elections have shown, there is nothing that can not be undone when we are talking about livelihood of people. Pseudo-scientific green utopia in which humanity is reduced to the Earth-worshiping, "organic" food eating, peasants with a minimal carbon footprint, while windmills and solar panels provide the energy for the dwellings and monuments to Elon Musk are erected all over the planet. This utopia is just that--a utopia and all "greens" better get used to it. They might as well recall a famous saying that road to hell is paved with good intentions. In case of "greens", however, even intentions are not good since they lead to a totalitarian society--exactly as globalists, ahem, forgive me..."nature" intended.
  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holy Moly!

I wanted to post today some eve of Thanksgiving stupid joke and wish everyone who celebrates this holiday a wonderful time. You know, the local turkey has been arrested for fowl play, that kinda thing, when the boat of my peaceful disposition and delight in anticipation of having a cigar and bourbon this evening struck a Holy Moly underwater rock. It struck it hard and all my fuzzy feeling flew out of the window.


SEATTLE (AP) — Eight children asked a judge to find Washington in contempt for failing to adequately protect them and future generations from the harmful effects of climate change, part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming. The petitioners, between 12 and 16 years old, asked a state judge Tuesday to step in and require the state Department of Ecology to come up with science-based numeric emissions reductions.

I have an idea, why don't we appoint 12 or 16 year old kids to the government and corporate offices? Especially the way physics and math are taught (or rather not) in US public (and even many private) schools it is a really good idea! Hey, nothing wrong in having a 14 year old embryo of Social Justice Warrior and future enforcer of tolerasty as, say, hm... Boeing's Quality Control Manager. I am sure the baggage of scientific knowledge of such a kid is more than sufficient for handling the safety and quality of modern passenger jets while being built. Indeed, if those kids already have a firm understanding (wink, wink) of all reasons behind Climate Change why not? What could possibly go wrong? To parents of those kids (or are they from those "progressive" families where kids have equal word with parents?) I would, however, suggest to start with themselves and drastically limit their and their offsprings' carbon emissions by refusing to use cars (even if those are Priuses), computers, their smart-phones and go take a crap into the nearest field or, in the case of Seattle, forest. I would also withdraw those kids from their school, thus reducing the size of the classes there (after all, schools consume electricity and heat). Not only it will be a good exercise in social consciousness but it also will reduce greatly the impact on our atmosphere, as well as on the mental state of the American society which has a lot on its plate as of now on its way to at least some semblance of sanity. 
     
 
If those kids are so "advanced" and "scientific", that they are ready to solve global problems, we may allow them to perform lobotomy, which should have been performed on those who taught and brought up these little turkeys. The best way, however, will be, when they grow up, is to throw them in the boot camp in Marines and let them feel what really matters in life. I will discuss the issue of climate change (climate is changing--there is no denial of that) later. For now--Happy Turkey Day.    
   

Thursday, November 17, 2016

P-800 Oniks (Onyx) Surprise.

Let me start with the simple fact that all modern Soviet/Russian made Anti-Shipping Missiles have a secondary capability as Land-Attack Missiles against radio-contrast targets. It is the same as all Russian Navy ships' missile air defense complexes (ZRK) have secondary anti-shipping capability. Radar is radar and signal processing evolves constantly. Recent salvo by one of the Oscars-II with (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) Granit at land-based targets at Novaya Zemlya proving grounds merely confirmed utility of the long-range anti-shipping missiles against land targets. 

By now we all got used to Russian Navy launching its Kalibrs (3M14) missiles against jihadists in Syria. But using land-based K-300P Bastion complex armed with P-800 Onyx anti-shipping missiles is something completely new. 


There is no denial of the fact that in the last 12 months Russia demonstrated an impressive array of missile technologies and methods of their use and now this. Considering declared (what is it in reality is anyone's guess, Russia always downplays capabilities)  range of P-800 as 600 kilometers it becomes really clear what are the operational and strategic implications for any theater at which Bastions are deployed. Salvo by Onyxes at jihadists' targets in Syria gives this whole missile warfare a completely new dimension since provides a great flexibility for 6 (1 operational + 5 building) Severodvinsk-class (Project 885) SSGNs. Now, add here Zircon (3M22) which is undergoing flight tests and we are looking, as I already said many times before, at new emerging paradigm. If to believe probability of a single Zircon intercept by the latest US-NATO missiles such as SM-6 as P=0.02 through 0.03 (0.012-0.005 for distributed targeting), we get dismal numbers for a defending side. Even if we assume that those numbers are wrong (or do not consider all necessary coefficients) and we increase these numbers by the order of magnitude--we still end up with the death sentence for defending side even with the salvo of 2-3 missiles  

I do read Commander Salamander's blog often and a day ago he raised a very important issue of real or perceived missile gap which US Navy faces in the 21st Century. As I said not for once--there is a real missile gap and venerable Harpoons, even when installed on all US Navy's ships will hardly be an answer to what seems to be Captain Hughes' "Missile Age" with one very important qualifier--it is High-Supersonic and Hyper-sonic Missile Age. But let's step back from these numbers and missiles. Let's look at a larger picture. US and Russia shouldn't be enemies, I am not suggesting them being "allies", whatever that means, but I am sure that with the election of Donald Trump a much needed Detente must take place. Russians hate war and do not like to fight, they also do not want global domination and global control of the seas. Even moderate toning down of anti-Russian rhetoric and demonstration by upcoming Administration of a desire to discuss Russian-American relations on an equal footing can have a profoundly positive effect for both sides and will leave all of us with mere speculations on "what if" scenarios and academic discussion of technological trends, and that's the way I like it.  

I do not buy for a second that everything will turn peachy and rosy with ascendance of new Trump Administration, far from it. But it seems that with his providential victory we all stepped back from the precipice of the possible nuclear war. That is good enough for now. Once we accept this state of the affairs as our bottom line--many things become possible. Including but not limited to what US will face strategically in upcoming decades, including some badly needed realignments, which were supposed to have taken place early 1990s but they didn't, but that is the topic for a separate discussion. At least now we all can clearly state who the real enemy is in Syria.

     

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Schadenfreude-II.

I just had to. Couldn't resist, despite my best efforts;-))
      



Ann Coulter, I tip my hat to you. Bill Maher, only because you got one thing about Islam right I do not suggest you go and throw yourself from the nearest interstate overpass into the oncoming traffic. But wiping out the smile from your smug face and stopping pretending to be "intellectual" would be a good start. You are not elite, in fact--you have no idea what real elite is. Real elite voted for Trump on November 8th.    

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Schadenfreude-I.

Those who read my blog from the inception, recall how many (and it is many) times did I labor to point out a huge difference between information (data) and knowledge. Also, recall how many times, in fact, constantly, I reiterated, and will continue to reiterate, that all this political "science", journalism and other similar degrees, are degrees in nothing and are not real professions or viable skills. I also never hid my contempt for the (many, not all) representatives of these so called "professions". Now, the shit started to surface and some begin to ask questions (as was expected).  

This statement: Donald Trump's astonishing White House victory over Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton produced another demonstrably clear loser in the process: US polling. Such was the scope of pollsters' and forecasters' failures Tuesday night that the future of the entire industry was being thrown into question. Of the 20 major polling institutions including national networks, prominent newspapers and news wires that conducted more than 80 polls since mid-September, only one organization -- the Los Angeles Times paired with USC Tracking -- consistently gave Trump the edge.

I have some news for the author of this piece and to those in this so called "industry". Flush all of your diplomas and Ph.Ds or whatever degrees in humanities you have down wide enough toilet because they are not worth the paper on which they are printed. Sure, one has to have data--but data itself means absolutely nothing until it is fitted into the Procrustean Bed of strict causality. It is only then when these data may become a knowledge. The problem for this "industry" and the whole class of parasites who suckle from American political class fat teet, is that they don't care about causality and consistently misread or, otherwise, influence public opinion to express itself in a direction which political class, not voters, need. You think it happened during this campaign only? No, it is, in fact, Modus Operandi of this industry--it was always like that. Another matter that only with the Trump's decisive victory the monstrous scale of the abyss which separates these "forecasters" and "pollsters" from the real America has been revealed. Indeed, when one thinks that the wind blows because trees are moving, that is has a causality exactly the other way around, what result can one expect from the decisions made on such false premises? Well, in order to develop knowledge, not some fraud (well paid, I may add), in order to be truly situationally aware, one has to work his ass off. Like in military. Now, I am trying envision how those pollsters and "forecasters" develop it. I have an idea--they don't. Most of those organizations (institutes, whatever) run a rigid routine of hiring some students and call centers to do the "polling", while fat cats of polling business discuss what needs to be made public and how to manipulate data with those who pay them, somewhere in fancy restaurants over good steak and nice whiskey or wine. But this is the MO of not only polling industry. This is how US political establishment operates in general--look at the results all around us. 

Will Trump victory, which dealt a crushing blow to the so called "establishment", lead to a considerable changes, I don't know. I still maintain my position that this establishment lives in a parallel universe precisely because it can only see one or two dimensional data and is incapable to see a great depth, a complex 3-dimentional picture. If new US Administration wants to really develop a knowledge of the outside world--it would require more, way more, than just data. It will require understanding, which is a highest form of knowledge. I hope that this principle will be applied to negotiations with Russia and will lead to de-escalation and working out of some geopolitical compromise which will sustain moderately peaceful and prosperous global order for a good long while. It seems possible now. If imbeciles from the so called establishment and its pollster lap dogs didn't get the message--real America voted yesterday for no more wars and for badly needed clean up of America's own house. This is a causality and I am sharing it for free with everyone. I conducted this personal poll through my 20 years of living and driving all around US and I don't mean interstates only, I love my back and country roads and mid-towns USA, where real people still live in vast numbers as the result of these elections so vividly demonstrated yesterday. I hope this America, which I love dearly, finally found its voice.    
 

What's Next.

In his magnanimous and subdued acceptance speech yesterday (today) US President-elect Donald Trump mentioned one very important fact--he mentioned that he was endorsed by 240 Admirals and Generals. As these elections and Trump's decisive victory demonstrated--whole, I underscore, whole, US media-pundit-commentariat "class", all these faux political "scientists" is a pile of steaming shit, who know next to nothing and all should be transferred to "work" red (or blue, or whatever) carpet at either Hammond, Indiana Independent Film Festival or flip houses of Hollywood "stars" who, I am sure, are filling applications for Canadian citizenship as I write this. Number 240 is a significant number when we talk about top level military people. It also signifies the level of true expertise which was availed for Trump and the only people who have more or less comprehensive picture of the world are military. It is the nature of the beast: not only you must know at this level most of mechanisms which run this world, you also must know the most important one of them--military power which is one of the pillars of national power. 

American power is exhausted and it was stretched (or, rather, torn) to the point that it not only created a mayhem around the world, from Middle East to Ukraine, but it created a host of huge domestic problems, some of which are urgent and life-threatening. But why this power was exhausted? Because it was abused militarily first and foremost. If it is understandable that neither HRC, nor Nuland, nor her hubby Robert Kagan have any idea on the nature of military power, serious American military professionals sure as hell do have it. They couldn't fail to see where all this power abuse by neolibinterventionist cabal can possibly lead to. Today, it seems, these fears can be put to rest--it doesn't seem likely that US and Russia will go to war with each-other, bar some bizarre freak accident. Trump is not a war candidate and he was supported by a large number of top military people. See any connection? I sure do. 

This all doesn't mean that US stops being Russia's opponent or, even, enemy. Only methods change and a lot will depend on Trump's foreign policy and national security team. But we may now reasonably expect more rational and conciliatory position on the number of key geopolitical issues which, actually, can be DISCUSSED. That gives me some hope. We'll see. But today is a calm day and I hope it is a calm before the storm of badly needed purges of American "elites" who brought US to the brink of a complete economic ruin and the world to the edge of WW III. These "elites", especially neocons, must be denied any access to serious decision making and policy formulation. Putting some of them behind bars could be a good start. I don't know what Trump will do, but I know that America I know--one storey, hard working, decent America--has spoken and, boy, when it spoke it sure as hell sounded like a roar. Look at the electoral map--it is almost all red and it is there where people go to work, raise families, go to church, and do not want any wars. This is America I know and for this America are my heartfelt congratulations--it gives America and the world a chance and we all desperately needed one. Donald Trump is this chance, a global one. But about this--later. But before I go, the United States has now one hell of an attractive and feminine First Lady. You can not argue with that.
   



P.S. I will do my schadenfreude laps later too.