A senior Russian diplomat confirms: “Russia is preparing for war” – is anybody listening?

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A senior Russian diplomat confirms: “Russia is preparing for war” – is anybody listening?

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during joint military dripps of Chinese and Russian forces

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Andrei Belousov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, has recently made an important statement which I shall quote in full and then provide a translation.

Original Russian text: “Тут недавно на заседании Соединенные Штаты заявили, что Россия готовится к войне. Да, Россия готовится к войне, я это подтверждаю. Да, мы готовимся защищать нашу родину, нашу территориальную целостность, наши принципы, наших людей. Мы готовимся к такой войне. Но у нас есть серьезные отличия от Соединенных Штатов Америки. И в лингвистическом плане это отличие заключается всего в одном слове, что в русском языке, что в английском языке: Российская Федерация готовится к войне, а Соединенные Штаты Америки готовят войну”

Translation: “Recently at a meeting the United States stated that Russia is preparing for war. Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I can confirm it.  Yes, we are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people. We are preparing for such a war.  But there is a major difference between us and the United States.  Linguistically, this difference is just in one word, in both Russian and English: Russia is preparing for war while the United States is preparing a war” (emphasis added).

We are so used to western diplomats and politicians saying more or less anything and everything (as the joke goes: when do you know that a politician is lying? When his lips move) that many of us stopped paying attention to what is being said. If tomorrow Trump or some “Congressperson” goes on national TV and declares “read my lips – up is down, dry is wet and yes means no” – most of us will just ignore it. The truth is that being exposed to that constant stream of empty, bombastic and always dishonest statements makes most of us immune to verbal warnings, even when they come from non-western political figures.

It is, therefore, crucial to fully realize that Russian official and diplomats carefully measure every word they say and that when they repeat over and over again that Russia is ready for war, they actually and truly mean it!

Of course, there have been those in the West who fully saw this danger and have been warning about it for years, I especially think of Prof. Stephen Cohen and Paul Craig Roberts here.  And I have been warning about this for four years now, beginning with the article “Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war” posted on March 1st, 2014, followed by many more articles with the same warning since (see “The Russian response to a double declaration of war” on September 27th, 2014; “Did Russia just “gently” threaten the USA?” on November 12th, 2015; “Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare” on May 19th, 2016; “How Russia is preparing for WWIII” on May 26, 2016; “A Russian warning” on June 1st 2016; “Assessing the Russian Military as an Instrument of Power” on August 25th, 2016; “Progress report on the US-Russian war” on December 1st, 2017; “What price will mankind have to pay for the collapse of the Empire?” on April 13th, 2018; “Each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!” on April 20th, 2018).  But for all our efforts, we have been “voices crying in the wilderness” which is hardly surprising since even Putin’s blunt warning during his March 1st speech to the Russian Federal Assembly was quickly dismissed as “posturing” and quickly forgotten.  This is why two weeks following that historical speech I compared Russia to a peaceful rattlesnake (yes, they are peaceful creatures!) desperately trying to warn a drunk idiot to back-off but to no avail: the drunk idiot just boastfully declares “hold my beer and watch this” and tries to grab the snake.  I concluded by saying that:

May, Trump, Macron and Merkel, of course, but also their sycophantic presstitutes and the herds of zombified followers all believe in their invulnerability and superiority. The terrifying truth is that these folks have NO IDEA whom they are dealing with nor do they understand the consequences of pushing Russia too hard. Oh, in theory they do (yeah, yeah, Napoleon, Hitler, we know!). But in their guts, they feel safe, superior and just can’t conceive that they can die, and their entire society can just disappear.

Sadly, since then things have only gotten worse.  This is why a clearly disgusted and frustrated Putin recently declared that

Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply croak and won’t even have time to repent,”

Needless to say, the western ziomedia interpreted this warning as a sign of “Russian aggression,” not as a desperate attempt to wake up a delusional and infinitely arrogant Empire.

By the way – something very similar has been happening between the USA and China with an increasing number of Chinese officials publicly declaring that the Chinese armed forces need to prepare for war (here is just the latest such warning).

Sadly, the Chinese warnings are as ignored and as dismissed as the Russian ones.  And that is truly frightening.

At least during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the entire world press was reporting about the confrontation minute by minute, and everybody knew that the danger of war was very real. In contrast today, hardly anybody gives the possibility of war much thought. In fact, the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire seem to be dead set on multiplying their provocations against Russia ranging from holding major military exercises right at the Russian border to giving the most prestigious EU human right prize to a convicted terrorist (the Poles, always so helpful, even suggested that Sentsov ought to be given the Nobel!). The EU also failed to notice the Ukronazi acts of piracy in the Sea of Azov but instead, condemned Russia for strictly enforcing her legal right to retaliate for the Ukronazi actions.

Such a level of hypocrisy is disgusting, of course.  But it is also very, very dangerous.

Frankly, considering the fantastic and genuinely heroic efforts of Putin and Xi to avoid a major (nuclear) war with the Empire, I would suggest that they, not convicted terrorists, be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (but I am not holding my breath here…)!

In sharp contrast to the western corporate media, the Russian media has been discussing the possibility of war with the US/NATO on a daily basis, and the discussion always revolves around the question “are they really crazy enough to actually attack us even though that would mean their certain destruction?!“. In fairness to the Russians, seeing folks like Nikki Haley or John Bolton, the question of “are they crazy?” is a logical one. But I think that it is also possibly misleading. Here is why:

While clearly some Neocons are truly batshit crazy, most are not. Stupid, ignorant, arrogant, hateful and evil – yes. But not necessarily insane. And for that reason, I don’t think that the AngloZionist leaders will stumble into a war against Russia as a result of their insanity. Besides, while US politicians are, indeed, amazingly stupid and ignorant, there are enough men in the US armed forces who remember the warning of Field Marshal and Viscount of Alamein Bernard Montgomery who famously declared to the House of Lords: “Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: “Do not go fighting with your land armies in China.” It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives“.  Most senior US military commanders must realize that war against Russia and/or China is a suicidal proposition.

But while the insanity of western leaders is unlikely to cause a war, I am afraid that their despair might.

Think of it: right now the USA is engaged in two parallel processes: on the one hand the USA is involved in sanctions and economic wars against most of the planet while on the other hand, the USA is withdrawing from one major international treaty after another (including arms control treaties). Ask yourself a simple question: is this the behavior of a country which is weak or strong? What does this “full-spectrum” policy of confrontation and self-isolation (because that is what withdrawing from so many agreements and treaties does: isolate the USA) mean? Does it signal the actions of a confident and strong power or one which is desperate and lashes out on all levels?

As this short post by Larchmonter445 reminds us, the current batch of US leaders are first and foremost *losers* and while they are still doing a pretty good job of window-dressing and flag-waving, it is becoming increasingly impossible to hide the magnitude of the multi-level slow-motion collapse of the AngloZionist Empire. I suppose that the band playing on the deck of the Titanic also played louder and louder, but the outcome of the show was never in doubt. The same is happening here and therein lies an enormous danger: the harder it becomes to conceal the magnitude of the unfolding disaster, the more the Empire lashes out, making the situation even worse which then makes it even harder to conceal the magnitude of the disaster. The Empire in general, and the USA specifically, is literally cracking on all levels and there is absolutely no reasonable and halfway viable way to reverse this trend because the one and only solution for the USA to survive is to give up the Empire and become a “normal” country – something US leaders are not even willing to contemplate. The Neocons, especially, seem to have a quasi-religious belief (or maybe it is just an uncontrolled knee-jerk reaction) that when one of their putative “clever” plans fail, the correct solution is to double-down. They seem to have fully internalized the German aphorism “wenn es mit Gewalt nicht geht, dann geht es mit mehr Gewalt!” (if violence can’t fix it, then even more violence will), forgetting that this belief did Germany no good against Russia. As for the general western public, it has been successfully turned into what I call “ideological drones“: brainwashed automatons who will wave their (Chinese made) flags to cope with any residual cognitive dissonance.  When their certitudes finally come crashing down, they will also lash out at everything and everybody in abject despair and impotent rage.

Right now the USA and the “global West” (aka the AngloZionist Empire) are on a direct collision course with Russia (and probably China too).  Right now, I see very few signs that anybody in the western elites is able (or willing) to admit that at the end of that road there is war and the destruction of the USA (and possibly much of Europe).  Right now, the leaders of the Empire appear to be firmly locked into what the French call the “fuite en avant” (which can roughly be translated as “flight forward”, or “headlong rush”, “panic-induced compulsion to further exacerbate a crisis or calamity” or even “unconscious mechanism that causes a person to throw himself/herself into a dreaded danger”). I suppose that there is a sad and tragic irony in the fact that the result of the US elites constantly conjuring up some completely imaginary Russian “interventions” (in the USA and elsewhere) might eventually result in a very real Russia intervention, in the form of devastating missile strikes, but this is hardly a consolation.

How likely is that to change in the foreseeable future?

Not very likely, I am afraid.

Will Putin and Xi be able to avert the looming war with the West?

Maybe.  But with each passing day bringing only further escalations and provocations from the “global West” their task is becoming harder and harder.

So far all the Russian and Chinese warnings have fallen on deaf ears and, frankly, I don’t believe that more warnings will do any good.

This might be the time for Russia and China to begin pushing back seriously. Everything else has failed, at least so far.

The Saker

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  • MADE MAKER

    Depopulation Time is Coming if.. WAR with RUSSIA & US/NTAO breaks out ..Many ..WMD…

    • AlexanderAmproz

      72 Countries destroyed since 1945,
      with 28 Millions innocents exterminated

      Blood thirsty Malthusian warmongers are worrisome !

      Anglo-American Money Owners Organized World War II
      http://www.voltairenet.org/article187508.html

  • Ray Douglas

    The head of the snake is not in Washington nor New York nor London. The snakes head is in Israeli. That’s where the guns should be pointed.

    • Neil

      It may appear that way but Israel has always been a British tool. The 1916 Balfour Declaration and the 1917 creation of KSA were always intended as a strategy to dominate the ME, to keep Iran down, and to block the silk road. Israeli lobbying has been actively encouraged by MI-5/6 and CIA, who could have contained Israel all the time. The Jewish globalists, such as the Rothchild/Rotschield dynasty are behind this strategy, but they are international and probably don’t care about Israel, USA or Britain, except as tools with which to dominate the world.

  • John Andris

    Anybody who is listening takes a peek at Russia’s military budget-which Putin proudly announced that he had reduced-and perceives this as an empty proclamation.. And until defence expenditures rise and sufficient new units are produced, nobody will seriously listen.

    • Concrete Mike

      Thats am american way of looking at things is it not?? Lets just throw more money at the problem…didnt work well for the saudis.

      Maybe putin knows all usa have is crap.

      My take on it.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    What else than the Planet destruction should be expected
    from the UK/US rotting NeoColonial Empire Madness !

    Israhel is the purulent furuncle illustration of it !

    http://www.voltairenet.ORG/article141849.html

    International of Torture: The Documents the Crown Would Like to Censor

    The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has forbidden Craig Murray to publish documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and Freedom of Data Act, which clearly show the responsibility of the Crown in the International of torture. Having not dared resorting to military censorship, the Blair government has claimed copyright on the official documents in order to block their publication. This manoeuver is of course a breach of the international commitments of the United Kingdom of Great-Brittain and Northern Ireland. Indeed, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court of Justice state that freedom of speech prevails on any other consideration and cannot be restrained by State imperatives. By bringing its support to Ambassador Murray, the Voltaire Network has decided to bypass censorship of Her Majesty and publish the documents. It calls for all other information websites to do the same.

    VOLTAIRE NETWORK | LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM) | 11 JULY 2006

    FRANÇAIS عربي ESPAÑOL

    Murder In Samarkand – Documents:

    In publishing “Murder in Samarkand” I had wanted to publish the supporting documentation in the book to coroborate my story, especially as the FCO is claiming that the story is essentially untrue. In that sense, perhaps the most interesting link in the documents below is the very first document, which is a table of detailed amendments the FCO insisted be made to the text. This is fascinating if you consider just how much it confirms was true, particularly in the conversations it refers to between officials.

    Video: Craig Murray’s speech at Axis for Peace

    Many of the other documents I managed to have released under the Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act. I was astonished when the FCO announced that they would still take legal action against me if I published them. They argue that – and this astonished me – even if a document is released under the DPA or FoIA, it is still copyright of the Crown and so cannot be published. I was even more amazed when the lawyers of the publisher said that this was probably true, and certainly could not be fought without potentially a million pound legal case.

    It appears that, among so many attacks on civil liberties in recent years, the Blair government has managed to administratively negate its own Freedom of Information Act. Robin Cook must be spinning in his grave.

    Net posting is not breaching copyright because there is no charge to access the documents. This site may, of course, be subject to technical attack, so I would be grateful if those who can mirror these documents on their own sites, do so.

    These are contemporary documents from my time as Ambassador in Uzbekistan. They do I believe include the real smoking gun on Britain’s, and the CIA’s, use of intelligence obtained by torture abroad. They also show the FCO getting increasingly angry with me over my being “over-focussed on human rights”, rather than building good relationships with Karimov, our ally in the War on Terror.

    Thierry Meyssan welcomes Craig Murray

    Axis for Peace conference, November 17th, 2005 in Brussels.

    They do not give a smoking gun that proves that the allegations brought against me, of which I was eventually cleared, were trumped-up and motivated by a desire to get rid of me for policy reasons. Being internal FCO documents, they are written to maintain the facade of a proper disciplinary investigation. You need to be prepared to read between the lines – and read the book!

    Craig

    • Ivan Freely

      Do you have to copy and paste the entire article? Why can’t you just post the link with a short description or your comment about it?

      • You can call me Al

        He did post the link; http://www.voltairenet.org/article141849.html and at the bottom, you will see the links to the actual articles.

        • Ivan Freely

          I know. I just wish his posts would be a short comment with a link to the original article.

          • You can call me Al

            No comment on that – LOL.

  • Ivan Freely

    I do not believe there will be a direct hot war against China and Russia. In the Far East, all those nations already know the game and will only give lip service to the US (i.e. help Uncle Sam save face) and then continue on with whatever they were doing. Even both Koreas saw through it and decided to choose peace.

    Unfortunately for Russia, the Ukrainians fell for the Empires tricks and it will remain a basket case for sometime.

    If there is going to be any hot war, it’ll be against Iran. Israel’s grip on the US is still strong, and I still cannot see Israel allowing the US to start a war in places that Israel does not benefit from.

    • You can call me Al

      I dont think it is that easy now. I agree that Iran in No.1 target, but Russia and I think China also stated that they would help defend Iran; which means the obvious scenario.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        Trump’s strategy against Russia and China

        by Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

        The war in Syria has shown that when it comes to conventional weapons, the US Armed Forces are no longer the top dog. Russia is now in control. Moscow has brought a new resource onto the war pitch: the most recent generation of hypersonic nuclear carriers. This introduction should see Russia getting ahead of the United States in nuclear warfare. Unwilling to lag behind and seeking to make up lost ground, the Pentagon intends to profit – in as much as time remains for it to do so— from its quantitative superiority, to impose its choices on Russia and China.
        http://www.voltairenet.org/article203725.html

      • Sinbad2

        I don’t think the US can attack Iran.
        If the US did attack Iran, they would close the Persian Gulf, shutting down Americas major revenue source, the US would collapse within months.
        Russia is the most likely target, they will use Ukraine to attack Russia, pretty much like they have been doing, only on a much larger scale.
        If you notice the American targets are all involved in the oil/gas trade, the US has to keep its monopoly on global oil sales or die.

        • Tommy Jensen

          Rothschild´s Cabale is the head of the global energy dominance strategy, and if this doesnt turn out they have several other ships in the sea for global hegemoni.
          Remember we the sheeple see only the levels we can read about.

        • You can call me Al

          OK, we must agree to disagree then.

  • In the US nobody cares about possibility of war. They didn’t have any war on their soil since 1865 which is approximately for 150 years.
    And Americans are mainly uneducated idiots.
    Imagine 300 million nation of brainwashed stupid fat and lazy donuts eaters up to their ears in debt pretending they are something special and you have exact image of US population.

    That’s why the scenario of real WW3 is so dangerous.
    Nobody will protest in America until the first nuke drops.
    They will only sit in chairs, eating donuts, earning money speculating on WallStreet and watching mainsteam full of Soros’s bullshit to the last second and don’t move a finger against looming war.

  • Tommy Jensen

    We are just using pressure for freedom. Everybody wants to be an American and everybody wants to move to Europe. Why?
    Because they get civilization, Nike shoes, Hollywood films and better salaries. Thats why.

    Even the Russian Director for Sberbank cried when he should leave Colorado Springs in US and Berezovsky wanted so badly to become British and cried when May kicked him out of England to Israel.

    So there will be no war little boys. Only pressure and whining………………………………….LOL.

  • RichardD

    Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and others are pushing back against the US, Israeli, NATO and GCC, mainly Saudi, led Jew world order. Primarily in Syria and the middle east. What needs to be done is for the Syrian war to be won, and the Palestinian protection force to be developed and used to clear the Jews out of the occupied territories.

    • RichardD

      There are reports that Syria has Mig-31s on order.
      Mach 3 Mig-31
      http://www.cavok.com.br/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MiG-31BM-VVS-Foto-Kirill-FW-Mess-1.jpg

      • RichardD

        “Syria ordered eight MiG-31E aircraft in 2007 for the Syrian Air Force.[74][75] The order was suspended in May 2009 reportedly either due to Israeli pressure or lack of Syrian funds.[76] On 15 August 2015, Turkish news media reported that six MiG-31s had been delivered to the Syrian Arab Air Force,[77][78] but Russia denied making MiG-31 deliveries to Syria.[79]”

        – Mikoyan MiG-31 –

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-31#Operators

        If existing orders are filled. Syria’s fleet of Mig-29s and 31s will double from 20 to 40.

    • GogMagog

      China is Israel/Rothschild controlled.
      Russia… did they leave some real Russians alive?
      Putin loves Chabad club, too… Moshe Kantor a friend… and so on…

      The only mystery is Syria… why is he spoiling Eretz IAMHell…

      • RichardD

        You should get your facts straight, China outlawed Judaism and expelled it’s Jews. Only foreign Jews remain. Putin is a former high ranking intelligence officer. Keeping an eye on Jews who are a threat to Russia is what intel officers do. They should get rid of the rest of them like China did. Everybody should.

        Winning the Syrian war, and the Russians are winning it, shows where their priorities are. Jews killed many millions of Russians before they got rid of 95% of them. Jews were and are instrumental in the fall of the Soviet Union, the impoverishment of Russia, and the NATO campaign against Russia. They are the number 1 enemy of Russia and humanity. The entire planet should be dejudified so that they go extinct.

        • GogMagog

          Agree with your conclusion (although just watch what happened and happens in
          Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Brazil…)… thanks!…. but what about all these signs of shifting everything to China and linking with IAMHell? http://www.voltairenet.org/article203662.html

          Just asking… seems they undermined everything everybody everywhere…

          • RichardD

            That can all be transferred to Palestine when the Jews are gone. I’m sure that the Palestinians are willing to work with China on this.

  • Sinbad2

    It’s pretty normal for a dying empire to try and fight its death with war.
    The British faced reality and just let it go.
    The Americans are psychos and will go the way of Carthage.

  • Jon

    There will be no WWIII. No one will invade or attack Russia (that is until the Chinese do: read your history. Mongols are the only ones who ever pulled it off. Look in the mirror at your eyes, Ivan. But that is decades away.)

    The play now is to engender prosperity all around Russia so that it finally dawns on Ivan that he should emulate this successful economic model and merge, not withdraw. That process is well underway, and irreversible The problem is anachronistic rear view mirror mentality. Let the Ukraine go, Ivan!

    A prosperous America (are you watching the booming economy) does not ever want war. And no nation on Earth wants war with America. Why would they?

    Islam remains Russia’s and China’s largest threat because it is in each case internal. Jihad needs refocusing to fight poverty, injustice, ignorance and disease, not to fight some religious “other”. The Saudi’s are on the right track, at last. The Iranians are not.

    And please loose the antisemitism. Jews are a blessing. Art, music, science, medicine, agriculture, social organization in a forward direction. The world is gifted by these unique people.

    And Putin: I predict a Nobel if he is able to stabilize Syria by normalizing the current status of forces.

    • Hisham Saber

      Another Islamophobic , miserable Kike who wants us to believe Jews are actually Semitic. When 90% of the world’s Jews today are Eurasian. Mostly ancestry from the old Kingdom of Khazaria.

      Jews are a blessing? No, they are a curse upon mankind. The Jews of the Bible have long since converted to Christianity or later to Islam. Arabs ( Palestinians) are true Semites.

      Jews have been exiled and/or expelled 109 times in the last two thousand years, since 250 A.D. Carthage, up to 1948 , Arab countries. Why is that? If they are so great. If it was from one or two places, one could say that they simply had a problem with the Jews, but when you have 109 exiles/expulsions, sometimes repeatedly from the same country, you get the picture clearly that the Jews are a parasitical people.

      The Jewish inspired arts are disgusting, if you call porn art(kiddie porn rings running out of Israel for example), the music scene is just as tasteless and bland. Agriculture? Common ! The Talmud, who Jews will tell you supersedes the Torah, blatantly states that farming, or agricultural work is the lowest form of occupation. Social organization? Do you mean 70 years of brutal military occupation of Palestinians in the worlds largest ever internment camp, the Gaza Strip? Or do you mean Jews help only Jews, and Jewish causes, at the expense of everyone else? Or the bribes, blackmail, threats, assassinations of U.S. politicians to do the bidding for Jews like AIPAC, ADL etc. Forward direction? The world is integrating, while Israel is building more walls. Instead of peace with its neighbors, t attacks, acts belligerently and hegemonic towards its neighbors.

      Jews have a special prayer they say every year to emancipate their consciousness when they lie, cheat, steal, murder, genocide, ethnically cleanse, be racist etc. Its called the Kol Nidre. It forgives you for such dastardly things for a whole year.

      Jewish holy books , the Talmud and Kabbalah are no more than rantings and ravings of psychotic Rabbi’s that endorse racism, supremacism, self-isolation, pedophilia, ritual murder, sorcery and black magic. To mention but a few aspects about this diabolical people.

      In 1917, the Jews launched their Bolshevik Red Terror Revolution in the Soviet Union, and what followed was a genocide unequaled in the entire cosmos. An estimated 60-80 million perished. Checka secret police were Jews. Executioners were Jews, Gulag bosses were Jews, all being majority Jews. In 1936-37, Jews launched another genocide, this time in the Ukraine, with a forced famine that wiped out 7 million souls. Again, the henchmen were Jews. And all we hear about is the Holohoax, or Holocaust which is the biggest lie in modern world history.

      The world is blighted, and in danger from this unique ( your right) people. But outside the U.S. Bible Belt, with its ignorant Evangelical Christians, most of the world people really cant stand Jews, who they are, what they represent and what they do.

    • Steve Bell

      Yeah sure… with a $20+ trillion debt and collapsing 3rd world railways, the U.S. economy will bite the dust when China stops buying U.S. T-bonds, and that’s not too far away.

  • occupybacon
  • Emanual Macron

    Shto?

  • Joe Kerr

    Even the most ardent supporters of wars for zion know that they can’t win a war against Russia OR China. A Chinese destroyer confronted a U.S. warship recently in the SC Sea and the U.S. ship backed off. Bone head Bolton recently suggested to Russia that it join the U.S. in confronting China and got more laughs than Trump at the U.N.

  • Ma_Laoshi

    There is a difference between listening and observing. Indeed the Dark Throne is not listening that much; it just isn’t very interested in what Moscow has to say, and prefers to do the talking itself; but from Washington, the Lidless Eye is observing Russia’s actions keenly. And what does it see? The Russian elite still parks its money and families in Western capitals, from where said family regularly makes disparaging comments about cold, backward Russia. And to protect its gilded lifestyle in those capitals, the Russian elite is quite prepared to donate to establishment parties, even when said parties push for Cold War escalation against their own country.

    Western elites may steal about as much as Russian ones, but they sure as hell don’t stash their loot in Moscow. Ergo there is no symmetry, no “equal partnership”. If you want to be respected, then start by respecting yourself; change your behavior. Diplomatic pronouncements are not going to cut it.