George Kennan on NATO Expansion

I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ”I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.”

”What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,” added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ”X,” defined America’s cold-war containment policy for 40 years. ”I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.

”And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia,” said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. ”It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong.”

Did Kennan miss out anything in his prediction, do you think?

Thomas L. Friedman: “Foreign Affairs; Now a Word From X”, 2 May 1998


Mystery to Everybody but a Select Few Illuminati

From my Sitrep 20110303

“PUTIN’S PALACE”. So-called. A medium sized flap over this monster house (“a billion dollars”) allegedly being built for Putin. Turns out it’s a hotel and conference centre and it has just been bought by a Russian plutocrat. But, no doubt, the anti-Putinites will say this is just a cover story: for them everything visible in Russia is a manipulated illusion covering what’s really happening. Oddly enough, they alone have penetrated the deception and uncovered the Truth.

Eternal Russia in the Eyes of the WMSM

Something I wrote in 2011 but didn’t publish anywhere. Nonetheless there’s a certain timelessness to it, don’t you think?

Change nouns as appropriate and you could make a rubber stamp.

So, Medvedev gave a press conference, which he and Putin have done many times before, and he didn’t talk about the things that The Economist thought he should have. Which sends The Economist, and the Western MSM, into a paroxysm of speculation and minatory expostulation.

Big deal: maybe The Economist, and the rest of the Western MSM, should get a better grip on what’s happening in Russia. There are more stories in Russia than who the next President will be.

Russia the Eternal Enemy Quotations

An independent state of Georgia existed for 2 ½ years, until Trotsky’s Red Army snuffed it out in 1921. Mr Yeltsin has given its successor exactly the same amount of time. More or less secretly, Russian forces have backed rebellions by Muslims in the Abkhaz region and by Georgian followers of the former president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. In this squeeze the current president, Eduard Shevardnadze… despairingly appealed to Moscow for help, and got it on terms that in effect mortgage his country’s independence.

The Economist, 13 Nov 93

Putin, Munich and Today

Response to a request from Martin Sieff on behalf of Sputnik on my thoughts on Putin’s Munich speech of 2007 now that we have all actually made it to 2016… But. Not to the end of 2016.

I suppose, to put it most succinctly, that Putin’s speech at Munich in 2007 was the first half of the speech that he finished at the UN: “I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.

Is there much more to be said that that? He warned them, it happened.

(Speaking personally, I remember people coming back from our delegation, just stunned. Stunned by his “hostility”, that is. No one wondered about whether what he was saying was worth a thought. I wonder if they do today.)

And they’re still doing it. Here is the uber-neocon himself calling for just one more small war. But that teeny-tiny war, even shorter than the other teeny-tiny wars he promised us, will be the last. And then All Will Be Well.

The Obama Era has forged a terrible alliance of neocons and humanitarian bombers. They united to destroy Libya for, in the first case: grabbing its gold, running guns to Syria, killing opposition to Exceptionalism; in the second: because he “was bombing his own people!” But Libya has been destroyed and turned into a misery; nothing is safer, better or more secure.

Meanwhile, as Putin predicted, the BRICS and the counterforce has got stronger.

But one of his predictions has not yet come true regarding the fate of the “sovereign”: “It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.”

But it’s coming.


PLUG. Don’t forget to check out Russia Observer: I amuse myself posting samples from my 25-year quotations collection. To whet your appetites, The Economist in 1993 predicted the military would get a big say in running Russia. The WSJ explained that Russia dids poorly in the Vancouver Olympics because it’s not a “free market democracy”. No end to anti-Russia nonsense and claptrap, folks!

SYRIA, TURKEY, RUSSIA. Things are getting very tense. Ankara’s, or perhaps I should say Erdoğan’s, hopes are failing badly in Syria. Syrian forces have cut off the Daesh supply routes from Turkey and are poised to liberate – the correct word: look at this video – Aleppo. Russian aircraft are pounding the oil convoys that fund Daesh via safe passage through Turkey. The ambush of the Russian fighter and murder of the pilot has generated enormous losses to the economy: 1300 hotels for sale as one example. Erdoğan’s getting little support from Washington; indeed the two are embroiled in a dispute over Washington’s support of Kurdish fighters. Moscow has said that Turkish artillery has been firing into Syria to cover the retreat of fighters and that Turkish troops are massing in the border as if planning to invade. Erdoğan’s latest stupidity is to refuse an Open Skies Russian flight, as if the Russians can’t see perfectly well by other means. One answer from Moscow is yesterday’s opening of a Syrian Kurdish representative office, but the real answer is this: “forces of the Southern military district, separate formations of Airborne troops and military transport aviation have been put on ‘Full’ combat alert“. Many other forces in the SMD are also being activated. If Erdoğan takes the hint, it’s exercises; if not… You should know that Russian airborne formations are not light infantry like NATO ones but something rather heavier. These formations, invited by the legitimate government, supported by cruise missiles, Iskanders and aircraft would hand Turkey a swift defeat. I very much doubt NATO will get involved. Description and analysis of the current state of the battle for Aleppo here. The three best sources that I know of are MoA, SST and SF. The WMSM, as usual, re-types propaganda handouts when it’s not actually lying. (See below).

MORE SYRIA. No one should be surprised that the Russians are supplying the Syrian Arab Army with weapons at a good price –”preferential terms“. T-90A tanks are reported in use near Aleppo. The Geneva peace talks were dead before they started: the battlefield will decide.

MORE TURKEY. We have a report that Erdoğan tried to blackmail Eurocrats at the G-20 meeting: “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses“.

LET’S LIE AGAIN, LIKE WE DID LAST SUMMER… TV channel France 2 is caught passing off Russian strikes as the work of the US coalition. And, to make it worse, did so while gassing on about how inaccurate Russian bombing is as compared with the exquisite precision of the US coalition.

NONSENSE ABOUT RUSSIA. Jon Hellevig enumerates the now-abandoned staples of anti-Russian propaganda. For example: the USA is actually now deadlier for reporters than Russia; the murder rate in Washington is six times Moscow’s. Read it; refutation is much, much harder than eructation.

INNOVATION. A company in the Skolkovo Innovation Centre is said to have made an artificial thyroid gland using a 3D printer and successfully implanted it into a live mouse. Not, I think, an absolute first, but pretty cutting edge.

FOOD. The USDA expects Russia to export more grain than any other country this year. Some of it is because the low ruble makes it more attractive but it’s another indication of the stunning rebirth of Russian agriculture. I can easily see Russia becoming the food power that Putin wants it to be in another decade or so. An intelligent piece on the boost that the Russian food counter sanctions are giving.

NEW NWO. The first freight train arrived in Kaluga on the “New Silk Road”.

UKRAINE MISCELLANY. Russian authorities say over 1.36 million Ukrainian citizens have arrived in Russia since Maidan. An EU court overturned an earlier decision to sanction 5 former officials because Kiev never presented any evidence. Canal+ has twice broadcast “Les Masques de la Revolutiondespite objections by Kiev. The film-maker was attracted by all the “revolution of dignity” stuff but not so impressed when he got there. One of the foreigners in the cabinet has resigned over corruption. And a pro-Kiev Tatar learns that there isn’t much room for Tatars in the Azov racial pantheon. The Jerusalem Post notices some historical revisionism and is not pleased. Corruption rules.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Websites: ROPV, US-Russia, Russia Insider, Russia Observer



I’ve been at this business for a while. I’ve been collecting quotations for a while.  I do my best to find an active link for quotations from my collection that I post on my site.

But I often can’t find a live link for the early ones. So you have to take my word for it sometimes. But, I think you recognise the flavour. For example, The Economist has hated Russia since, as far as I know, Cardigan invented his sweater.

It’s actually rather interesting, now that I root through my back files, to discover (well, depressing more than interesting) how hostile the WMSM has been to Russia for how long. From the very beginning, in fact.

Even Yeltsin, after he got off his tank, was spun as Cthulhu Redevivus.

People come and go (anybody out there remember when Chernomyrdin was on the Forbes’ world billionaire list? I do. And so does my research assistant Mr Google) but the Russia The Eternal Enemy meme remains.

Personally. I don’t get it. What’s Russia ever done to us?

Russia Answers Turkey

Today, unannounced combat readiness inspection started in troops and forces of the Southwestern strategic direction under the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces. This was stated by the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu during the session.

General of the Army Sergei Shoigu stated that in accordance to the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces, forces of the Southern military district, separate formations of Airborne troops and military transport aviation have been put on “Full” combat alert since 5 a.m. The inspection is held at the Southwestern strategic direction.

The Defence Minister noted that it was necessary to assess combat readiness condition of the Southern MD for responding different crisis situations…

The Head of the military department ordered the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces Colonel General Viktor Bondarev to organize the inspection of the 4th Air Force and Air Defence Army including redeployment of aviation, repelling and making of massive air strikes…

The Head of the military department ordered that particular attention should be paid to the troops’ control system with deployment of mobile field control centres at full scale. Those tasks are to be carried out jointly with the Central MD…

Looking through the site shows there are a lot of other activities in the Southern Military District since this order was given on Monday. This is clearly a warning to Turkey and a preparation for acting if Turkey doesn’t take the hint.


Russia Is Finished Quotations

By sending in the tanks, Mr Yeltsin has placed the generals in the realm of politics something else that would be democrats should strive to avoid). The army is already too influential in Russia’s foreign policy. It has been behind Russia’s increasing readiness to throw its weight around in the rest of the former Soviet Union. The flash of gold braid is discernible in warnings to Poland and other members of the ex Warsaw Pact not to join NATO, and in Russia’s desire to rewrite the treaty governing conventional forces in Europe. At home, Mr Yeltsin’s need for armed support will make the generals harder to defeat in budgetary matters.

The Economist, editorial 9 Oct 93