It is absolutely necessary that Moscow holds the line for the sake of a new security order in Europe and a sustainably stable world order in our time.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, with President Vladimir Putin in 2017. (The Kremlin)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

“They must understand,” Sergei Lavrov said in one of his many public statements last week, “that the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward.”

The Russian foreign minister has repeated this thought almost ad infinitum lately. He speaks, of course, of the Biden administration and the diplomats who bear its messages to others.

Here is another of Lavrov’s recent utterances:

“We are very patient… we have been harnessing [burdens] for a very long time, and now it’s time for us to go.”

I do not know quite what Lavrov means by “harnessing burdens.” I suspect it is a translation problem, and he said something closer to “bearing burdens.” But it is perfectly clear what he means when he says it is time for Russia to go: He means it is time to advance beyond the status quo, move on from post–Cold War security arrangements that have allowed NATO, in the name of the Atlantic alliance, to aggress toward the Russian Federation’s western borders more or less at will since the Soviet Union met its end.

All that Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have said and done since the Ukraine crisis re-erupted late last year indicate one simple, hard-as-granite reality. In consequence of the many pointedly provocative moves the West, notably the U.S. and Britain, have made in Ukraine over the past year, our planet now has a brand-new red line etched upon it.

I hope Russia draws it in the deepest scarlet. As a diplomatic tactic, red lines are not very often advisable: They tend to paint the painter of the line into a corner. This one is absolutely necessary if we are to see a new security order in Europe. A new security order in Europe is essential if we are to achieve a sustainably, stable world order in our time.

We read here and there of comparisons between the Ukraine crisis and the crisis across the Taiwan Strait that the U.S. has similarly conjured of late. Russia is to Ukraine as China is to Taiwan, this sort of thing. Geopolitics is not so simple. But while this obscures some things, it illuminates others. Russia does not want to “invade” Ukraine any more than China wants to reassert its legitimate sovereignty over Taiwan by force.

Beijing’s red line on any suggestion of independence for Taiwan is in my view the severest red line any nation has drawn in our time. Only the dumbest of the dumb in Washington — on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon — refuse to understand this.

Beijing’s Line of Red 

Mao Zedong declares the founding of the modern People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. (Orihara1, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

China’s red line is as old as the Kuomintang’s retreat to Taiwan after Mao took Beijing in October 1949. While it does not want a messy, internationally costly conflict across the Taiwan Strait now, which is wise, this is not to say the line on the sovereignty question is any the less red.

It is the same, but also different in the Ukraine case. The last thing the Kremlin wants is to assert sovereignty over the corrupt, crawling-with-Nazis scene in Ukraine. But Moscow has made it plain just in the last month or so that its red line is no more negotiable than China’s in the Taiwan case. 

Let Russia’s be very red, then. Let it glow in the dark.

Why do I say this? It is simple: This latest round of the Ukraine crisis, which began when the U.S. cultivated and ultimately directed the 2014 coup in Kiev, makes it clear that Washington and London, with the Continent’s capitals ambivalently in tow, are not going to stop aggressing eastward to Russia’s frontier until they are made to stop — at a red line.

By appearances, it seems that U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the covert ops people in Washington do not understand this. Biden, in his blurry speeches and public pronouncements, and Blinken, in his numerous diplomatic encounters, make it very plain they will never consider a declaration limiting NATO’s expansion, or any other circumscription of Ukraine’s future relationships with NATO and more broadly the Western alliance.

At the Blinken–Lavrov exchange in Geneva last Friday, our guitar-strumming secretary failed to give his counterpart written responses to Moscow’s request for formal commitments on Ukraine and the larger question of security arrangements in Eastern Europe. Instead, he promised Washington would deliver these sometime this week. We must await this.

Not hopefully, I must quickly add. I see little to no chance the U.S. and NATO, which also received Russia’s proposals in a separate draft agreement last month, will advance matters on any of these questions regardless of what Washington puts on paper this week.

Does this mean the U.S., the U.K. and NATO don’t see the red line? Don’t they understand, in the way Lavrov uses this word, that accepting the new red line “is the key to everything?”

Biden, true enough, is a step away from assisted living, if he does not already require it behind the White House’s windows. Blinken, equally so, is somewhere between a Schlemiel (the klutz who knocks over a bottle of wine at table) and a Schlimazel (he into whose lap the wine spills).

Biden, Blinken, and golf caddies such as NATO Secretary–General Jens Stoltenberg: It is impossible to accept that they do not know well what Moscow has just done, the depth and hue of line it has drawn. The only exception here is Boris Johnson. Britain’s latest Old Etonian prime minister, who seems to have stepped out of a Monty Python skit, may indeed be too stupid to know what time it is.

Now we can judge the current impasse between the Anglosphere portion of the West and Russia for what it is. Washington, London, and Brussels see the red line as clearly as anyone else and, resisting the reality of our moment, fight a rearguard action against what it means for Europe’s “security architecture.”

A Provocation Too Far

They know they cannot win a war against Russia on Ukrainian soil. And they will not fight one, accordingly, unless a grave mistake is made. As Scott Ritter just wrote in Consortium News, and Marshall Auerback earlier argued in The Scrum, Ukraine shapes up as a provocation too far for Washington, London and Brussels. It’s Kiev as Waterloo. It’s the end of Western expansionism.

Last week the U.S. delivered the first shipment of $200 million worth of weapons it has promised Ukraine. Britain is as we speak airlifting troops and materiel from depots in England and Scotland. And the White House is talking about deploying troops to Eastern Europe.

This is on top of all the other assistance these two nations have provided Kiev in recent years — since the 2014 coup, indeed. What about this, one may ask.

My answer: This is about maintaining tension and danger at the highest possible pitch for as long as possible. This circumstance, if one steps back to consider it, meets all the West’s core objectives. The last time this happened, readers take note, it went on for four decades. It is a depressing thought but in all likelihood what we are in for. They don’t call it Cold War II for nothing.

There is — who could miss it? — the information war the West, the U.S. and Britain well in the lead, are running on the Ukraine crisis. For its breadth and relentlessness, it may well be unmatched. The thought that Russian troops on Russian soil are aggressing but American and British personnel in Ukraine are just doing the right thing has been with us for many months.

In the last week we have read that Russia has sent out-of-uniform soldiers or mercenaries into Ukraine, has intelligence operatives preparing a false-flag op against the people in Donbas it supports, and, as of Sunday, is getting ready to install a former legislator from the same party as the ousted Viktor Yanukovych as a puppet president in an elaborate coup operation of its own.

I will never quite get over how clumsy and rubbishy the propaganda issuing from Western intelligence agencies usually is.

The Info Op

This info op appears to serve three purposes. In no particular order, these are to blur causality so as to cast Russia as responsible for this crisis, to maintain public fear and ignorance in the West and to keep all options open in the very unlikely event war breaks out.

Think about this last: Ghost stories about Russian spooks readying to blow up power grids, communications towers and water supplies effectively licenses the madmen in Kiev or covert operatives from the West to spark a conflict and point all fingers at Moscow.

In the matter of causality, here is a paragraph from a Reuters piece published Monday afternoon:

“Russia denies planning an invasion. But, having engineered the crisis by surrounding Ukraine with forces from the north, east and south, Moscow is now citing the Western response as evidence to support its narrative that Russia is the target, not the instigator, of aggression.”

The first sentence of this paragraph is correct. Everything else in it is utterly false, perpendicular to the truth. It is essential to pay attention to these things: It is this kind of lying that allowed Cold War I to go into the history books as somehow the result of Russia’s malign intent – Russia, which had just lost 20 million to 27 million people and whose economy was a shambles.

Is there anything good to say about the Ukraine crisis as we enter another week of it? Not much, even if the West proves wise enough to stay clear of a war it cannot possibly win. But there are a few things to watch.

One, I hope Russia holds to its red line and in time succeeds in forcing a redrawing of the security map along its western border and into Europe. Two, so long as Biden–Blinken insist on a sanctions regime to end all sanctions regimes if Russia “invades” Ukraine, we will see increasing disunity in the Atlantic alliance. The more of this the better. 

The Germans and French want no part of this Anglo–American circus, if you have not noticed. Germany, it is worth noting, refused Britain air rights for its weapons transports. Berlin and Paris may not be run by philosopher-kings, but a more independent Continent within the Western alliance is without question net positive, as argued previously in this space on numerous occasions.

A final thought in this connection. Among those be-all, end-all sanctions is one that would suspend Russia from the financial settlement system known as SWIFT. I read now that the U.S. is stepping back from this one because it would prompt Moscow and Beijing to accelerate plans already in motion to develop a system independent of SWIFT and not subject to Washington’s geopolitical whims.

For once they are getting smart down there inside the Beltway. That is exactly what it would do.

The coalescing of non–Western powers, far from least Russia and China, is a reality well beyond the course of the Ukraine crisis and this or that sanction. The relentless campaigns against the Chinese and Russians in the two-front Cold War these past few years have done a great deal to encourage unity between the two. This will not reverse under any circumstance.

Disunity in the West, unity in the non–West. It is wane and wax. Maybe it is red lines — Moscow’s, China’s — that make the difference between the one and the other.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

36 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: Russia’s Red Line

  1. Ian Stevenson
    January 28, 2022 at 09:40

    We have a lot of comments about the intentions of the US and Russia. What information do we have about the wishes of the Ukrainian people? No doubt there are groups which reflect the old pro Nazi groups. Probably the 2014 coup was helped by outside forces.
    But the parties securing the most votes in the elections since then, are pro EU . This does not mean the country would have to be members of NATO. Finland, Austria, Ireland, Malta and Ireland all EU states but not in the alliance. But it seems clear they would not wish to be part of a Russian Commonwealth. Neither would they they wish to invade Russia.

    • Eugenia Gurevich
      January 28, 2022 at 15:02

      The elections are a sham. Most leaders representing the parties aligned with the Ukraine South-East (the part populated by ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people) are in exile, others are in jail or under house arrest awaiting trials on drummed up changes. The TV channels even minimally in opposition to the current line are banned. The neo-Nazi groups are using violence and intimidation with impunity against everybody they dislike. But even in these conditions, the government did not dare to conduct local elections in the part of Donbass it controls. The region is currently governed by the military administration and does not participate in the general elections. So, if you effectively exclude everybody not pro-EU, you get pro EU result – as simple as that.

  2. Peter L
    January 27, 2022 at 23:57

    This is about maintaining tension and danger at the highest possible pitch for as long as possible. This circumstance, if one steps back to consider it, meets all the West’s core objectives. The last time this happened, readers take note, it went on for four decades. It is a depressing thought but in all likelihood what we are in for. They don’t call it Cold War II for nothing.

    If this is so then the West is engaging in the act of “clinching” which, in the sport of boxing, is defined as follows:

    Holding an opponent’s body with one or both arms to prevent or hinder punches. An experienced boxer who appears groggy and dazed from the effects of one or more punches, usually while he is unable to defend himself from further punishment by his opponent, will often hold and clinch to buy himself some time to recover.


    Western civilization is on the ropes but is in denial. The reigning heavyweight champion will not relinquish its title easily and so will resort to any dirty trick it can utilize, rules be damned, including gaslighting the entire world with its proprietary narrative and threatening its very existence. And it doesn’t mind doing so for the entire fifteen rounds of the bout, just as long as it doesn’t have to suffer the shame of a (justifiable) knockout by the challenger on the world stage. Even then it will attempt to retain its title by stealing away to the ICU (intensive care unit) with the title belt.

  3. Jeff Harrison
    January 27, 2022 at 13:12

    Hmmm. I have 3 observations. (1) The US has asked that their response be kept secret. The two previous examples, the Cuban missile crisis and the collapse of the old SovU were actually handled with negotiations but the US portrayed them as examples of US intransigence. I doubt that we will be afforded that luxury. I suspect that the Russians will publish our response. (2) It has been reported that Russia has been in negotiations with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuber to effectuate military cooperation with them. Considering that the US has been trying to overthrow the governments of all three for decades – in Cuber’s case for over half a century, I kinda suspect that they will cooperate with any reasonable program Russia comes up with. Once that’s started, I doubt the Russians will back off. (3) Putin also has a legislature problem. The Russian Duma is calling for Russia to arm the breakaway provinces in the Donbass in light of the weaponry being provided to the Nazis in Kiev. I haven’t heard what Mr. Putin is thinking on this but I doubt he can resist it even if he doesn’t publicly acknowledge it.

    I suspect the US’s arrogant response to Russia is a modern day case of Alea iacta est. And we all know how that eventually played out. I suspect that Poland and Germany will be staring down mobile, nuclear tipped Russian hypersonic missiles in the near future. I also suspect that the US will be faced with Russian basing rights in all three of the aforementioned countries with regular visitation from Russian and plausibly Chinese naval forces. And … Russia and China may well voluntarily disconnect from SWIFT. They have designed, created, and tested an alternative to SWIFT, they just haven’t let it go live yet. Now might be a very good time to do so.

    • Realist
      January 28, 2022 at 04:19

      Might not be much of a demand for the services of SWIFT in the post-apocalyptic world if the nuclear warheads go a-flying.

      A pity that this “democracy” accepts so little input from the people on matters of war and peace. Are our representatives assiduously working out more penalties and sanctions to be levied against Russia for… breathing… and more lethal gift packages for Ukraine sure they know our wishes? Who here wants a war, especially one with Russia and its allies China and Iran? Raise your hand! What’s wrong? Don’t fancy living out your short life in a radioactive pile of rubble? Not even for Uncle Joe? You’re not a true patriot!

  4. Linda Jean Doucett
    January 27, 2022 at 09:25

    Perhaps they would get the point if Russian Submarines began to surface off the coast of Florida / California/ New York.
    The Bully is mighty brave expending blood and treasure on foreign soil.
    There are cheaper ways to deal with a rabid dog.

  5. Morton Brussel
    January 26, 2022 at 17:37

    I think Patrick Lawrence is right. A cogent analysis. The red line initially put forward by the Russians must be respected: No build up militarily of Ukraine, no NATO alliance of Ukraine, withdrawal of military forces from Russia’s borders (including from the Baltics). If The US does not accede, then Russia will be justified in protecting its security by attacking Ukraine in some manner that destroys its military effectiveness as a base for NATO. Perhaps recognize the Donbass as Russian, and extend it. However, I fear that Putin will equivocate, will not keep to his words of action. All this is extremely dangerous not only to Ukraine and Russia, but to western and eastern Europe and the US. Fateful decisions! Equivocating/delaying will probably weaken Russia as the west continues to build up its forces and increases its provocations.

  6. Jim Thomas
    January 26, 2022 at 16:20

    Mr. Lawrence,

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful and correct analysis. The constant stream of lies with which the public is barraged by Washington and its propaganda agents (MSM, think tanks, etc.) is revolting. What is even more revolting is the constant state of ignorance in which the majority of the people remain, no matter how many times they are lied into supporting the many wars of aggression waged by the U.S., including the misinformation wars, illegal sanctions wars and nefarious meddling, in addition to the military invasions. Notwithstanding the many decades during which the facts have revealed that we were duped into supporting these wars, most people are ready and willing to be duped again. A corollary, of course, is that anyone who speaks out against the lies is branded a traitor of the Country. Well, fellow traitor, carry on with your job well done!

  7. Rob
    January 26, 2022 at 15:13

    Cold War II is already here, and it is the result of US/NATO actions. That much is clear, regardless of the drivel that emanates from Western politicians and their servile corporate media. Barring a war, in which Russia almost certainly comes out on top, is there an off ramp from this situation that the West can take? Does the ruling elite in the US even want to get off this road?

    George Orwell may have provided the answer in his classic novel “1984.” In the novel, the nation of Oceana is engaged in a perpetual war whose origin is left unclear. But as a result, the government is enabled to impose a totalitarian regime of continuous surveillance and terror on its citizens. In the US today, one can already see the beginnings of such a program. For those at the top, this is not really a bad thing, and hence, a new Cold War may serve a useful purpose. It may be that the only force that can turn the tide is a mass movement of citizens rising against it. But is that even possible in a society whose members are largely ignorant of the facts and conditioned to believe in the everlasting virtue and privileged status of their nation?

    Or Russia can raise the military and economic threats against the West to an intolerable level. That may already be evidenced in the fracture lines opening up in the NATO alliance. We can only hope that the fractures widen and spread until NATO crumbles into a pile of rubble.

  8. January 26, 2022 at 14:14

    Want to strike back? Start at home by reopening the Keystone Pipeline.

  9. January 26, 2022 at 13:36

    US assaults are not against Russia or China, but against the US taxpayer.
    US taxpayers got holding the bag on the military aid we gave our Krauts in Kiev.
    Thanks to the drums of war and the Russia bashing, US taxpayers transferred this weekend $200m to Lockheed Martin and colleagues from their retirement coffers.
    No one noticed because of the “fog of war” that the neocons like to use for cover for all their shenanigans.
    If you bought the line (again) that the US wants to protect Ukraine, I have a bridge I want to sell you.
    The only thing the US wants to protect is Lockheed Martin’s BOTTOM LINE.

  10. January 26, 2022 at 13:34

    Good article. And a fascinating picture of Mao declaring the founding of the PRC in 1949, surrounded by high-ranking Communists — and what a diverse bunch they are by modern standards! Some wear brown jackets, some wear gray or black coats, some sport red sashes. Behind Mao stands a skinny man with wild white hair and a bushy white moustache.

    How different from the Davos man look of the Chinese elite (black suits, dyed black hair) today.

  11. Peter Loeb
    January 26, 2022 at 13:33

    The situation now is eerily similar to the one presented by President Harry Truman called
    “The Truman Doctrine” in Truman’s speech of March 12, 1947. This is analyzed by
    Joyce and Gabriel Kolko in chapter 12 of their book “The Limits of Power”(1976).

    Our political landscape is different. On November 5, 1946, a Republican Senate and House of
    Representatives was elected. Truman famously called it “the do-nothing Congress”. That is
    until a contrived crisis (the Kolkos’ words) was devised. The Kolkos note that the UN (brand
    new at that time) was nowhere mentioned.

    The anti-communist crusade was reignited and served political purposes.

    We are still operating under The Truman Doctrine.

  12. January 26, 2022 at 13:22

    “For once they are getting smart down there inside the Beltway.”

    I’m not sure I would go that far. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of stupidity inside the Beltway.

  13. Mike Maddden
    January 26, 2022 at 12:04

    The greatest panic last week occurred when Biden uttered the only sane words to come out of Washington. He said that Russia would not be heavily punished for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine.

    Proportionality and distinction are fundamental principles in the law of armed conflict.

    As for Blinken, he is the emptiest of suits, and someone needs to stuff a sock in the hole at the top.

    • nwwoods
      January 26, 2022 at 20:44

      According l to Lavrov, the hole in question leaks foam.

    • Rob
      January 27, 2022 at 13:45

      The implication here seems to be that Antony Blinken is not very bright. But how can that be, given that he was educated at Harvard College, where he edited the “Harvard Crimson,” and Columbia Law School? This brings to mind David Halberstam’s classic book about the Vietnam War, “The Best and the Brightest.” The lesson of that book is that even very smart people can screw up massively when they begin with false assumptions and operate with bad information. Add to that the power of groupthink, add further that a person may be a complete wuss, and you have Blinken.

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    January 26, 2022 at 10:02

    I am sick and tired of seeing the ‘civilized’ West allowing itself to be lead by the nose by the Yanx…whose only interest is to acquire as many natural resources from whichever country – no matter the costs. For heaven’s sake, people…wake up.

    • nwwoods
      January 26, 2022 at 20:47

      Oh please, please America, help us ignite a hot war in our back yard against a nuclear armed state.
      Thanks in advance.

  15. mgr
    January 26, 2022 at 08:58

    Thank you again Patrick. I completely agree. And look at the entities driving this insanity. I said in an earlier comment that Biden and the Democratic Party are monsters. That turned out to be predictive:

    “Democrats in the House of Representatives are planning to expedite a massive bill that would dramatically increase U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and lay the groundwork for substantial new sanctions on Russia — hastening a war-friendly posture without opportunity for dissent as concerns over a military invasion abound.

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told members on a caucus call Tuesday that she’s looking to skip marking up the bill and move it straight to the House floor, setting up the possibility of a vote as soon as early next week, two congressional sources told The Intercept.

    “‘This is how the space for nonmilitary options gets slowly closed off in Washington, without any real debate,’ one of the sources, a senior Democratic aide, told The Intercept.” [].

    For all the “woke” young people who felt they were doing the noble thing by voting for Biden to end the reign of Trump, you have been punked. At the absolute worst, most unforgivable moment in the history of human civilization, the DP is war mongering for a new Cold War. And shades of HRC, they are determined to have it. And so Biden and Pelosi’s big plan is to bequeath this same horror of the last seventy years to succeeding generations. What a gift to the future. Here we have the banality of evil on full display, an almost deliberate attempt to end human civilization by killing any chance for the bedrock cooperation that is necessary for surviving the climate catastrophe that is now on our doorstep. And these are the “adults in the room?” What a sick joke the DP has turned out to be.

    I used to think that it was the climate denying GOP compulsively protecting its earth destroying industries that was the enemy of all humankind. But the DP has truly stepped up and pushed them aside: “How can we make it impossible for humanity to survive this climate epoch? Oh, I know…” American today is like a person in the last stages of addiction destroying itself and trying to bring down everyone with it. And Biden, Pelosi, and the ironically named “Democratic Party” are in the vanguard.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      January 26, 2022 at 12:08

      We Marxists have always known that capitalists are monsters. It was Karl Marx who told us.

      • mgr
        January 26, 2022 at 15:44

        Carolyn: Thank you. Unbridled capitalism has certainly led us to the edge of the abyss and is hell bent on taking us over. It is a ponzi scheme based on the fundamental lie of unlimited resources. But at a deeper level the issue is of human beings developing the capacity and humanity to control their own worst impulses while acknowledging that each person’s life is a treasure of infinite possibilities. The prime effort of any society should be in developing these human resources, instead of making a profit and/or subjugating others. Rather than always “more of this or that,” which only leaves one empty and craving another fix, developing our humanity and a bit of self-control satisfies. America for quite a while now has done exactly the opposite and that is why it is now stark raving mad and must be contained.

    • GBC
      January 26, 2022 at 13:48

      Well put.

  16. Zim
    January 26, 2022 at 08:25

    “Biden, true enough, is a step away from assisted living, if he does not already require it behind the White House’s windows. Blinken, equally so, is somewhere between a Schlemiel (the klutz who knocks over a bottle of wine at table) and a Schlimazel (he into whose lap the wine spills).

    Biden, Blinken, and golf caddies such as NATO Secretary–General Jens Stoltenberg: It is impossible to accept that they do not know well what Moscow has just done, the depth and hue of line it has drawn. The only exception here is Boris Johnson. Britain’s latest Old Etonian prime minister, who seems to have stepped out of a Monty Python skit, may indeed be too stupid to know what time it is.”

    Thanks for your essay. These two paragraphs funny as hell. Think you have a career in comedy awaiting.

    • January 26, 2022 at 13:26

      Don’t let the message be lost in the humor.

  17. TP Graf
    January 26, 2022 at 06:45

    You know we are running out of sanction options when our big threats are SWIFT and semi-conductors. I’m sure Patrick is right (and it might well be happen sooner rather than later, I hope) that Russia and China will kickstart their own alternative to SWIFT. And to think Russia will be crippled to comply with our will over technology when most of our technology is already coming out of China shows just how stupid Biden/Blinken really are.

    Having seen in the comments the explanation of Lavrov’s harnessing comment, I was amused to think how we look to the Russians as dong the opposite–throw up the saddle quickly and take off only to have the saddle shift around the galloping horse and throw our asses on the ground.

    As per usual, I will praise CN readers as the best commentators of any site I’ve seen. Even some sites where I find quite useful information have some of the most abysmal comments. It is enough to drive one to despair. I hope such infectious vitriol never infects the readers here at CN.

      January 26, 2022 at 16:13

      Hear, hear. Off-thread, I know, but the trolls and anti-science ranters on other blogs do make reading and participating somewhat trying. Generally, though, I have to commend almost all of the commenters for recognition of the truly bad actors in the world. People understand the situation, but it’s the organization of response that is lacking – what we used to call The Movement…

  18. Brendan Hayward
    January 26, 2022 at 06:10

    Excellent analysis

  19. James Dukarm
    January 26, 2022 at 03:31

    Based on recollection of Lavrov’s remarks, which I recently read in Russian, I believe that “we have been harnessing [burdens] for a very long time, and now it’s time for us to go” is a mistranslation of the Russian saying, which Lavrov repeated, that Russians are slow at harnessing their horses, but they ride very fast. Presumably this refers to cavalry, not farm horses. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    • January 26, 2022 at 10:08

      James, Wlodek, Robert, A. Kondakow. Thanks immensely for these astute comments. The Russian speakers among you clear up that remark of Lavrov’s. Pleased I raised the matter even if I had it wrong.
      As I just wrote to a friend and supporter, we must must must stay alert now as to two matters, chronology and causality. What happened when is absolutely essential to note and put forward. Russia’s position is purely defensive in response to a year’s worth of Western advances, the slow creep, including encouraging the freaks in Kiev to heat things up along the line of contact. Cold War I has gone into the history books an impossible blur, the truth of Western responsibility buried. We, now, must do our best not to let this happen again.
      Anyway, thanks once again to all commenters. Per usual, I’ve learned from these.
      Patrick Lawrence.

  20. Wlodek
    January 26, 2022 at 02:26

    Hello. Relating to harnessing burdens it is a mistranslation. What Lavrov referred to is an expression used when you are harnessing horses as to a carriage or in preparation for a trip. Mounting a saddle etc. he means they really took their time before proceeding with the steps they will be taking now.
    Thank you for all the great articles and always sane and true words from Mr. Lawrence and greetings from insanely Russophobia Poland. If yo do not hear alternative voices does not mean that they do not exist. All the best.

    • Realist
      January 26, 2022 at 14:46

      Indeed, I find it ironic that, after watching Poland strive mightily to obtain its independence and purported “freedom” via the Solidarity movement and Pope JP2’s many machinations to the same effect, that once such freedom is attained the country should choose the path of ethnic hatred and repressive governance. So many of their accusations against Russia (such as Russia sabotaged the plane that crashed with the Polish president aboard) are simply over the top and, in other times and places, would serve as the pretext for all-out war between the parties.

      Poland, the three Baltic statelets (especially Lithuania which was once an organic appendage of Poland just as Ukraine was of Russia), and Ukraine in particular need to rein in their pathologic Russophobia, for it, together with equally pathologic American exceptionalism, puts the world on a direct vector to WWIII. These countries simply cannot continue to harass, provoke and issue challenges to the Russian leadership and expect them to dutifully serve as whipping boy till the end of time.

      The Polish people are salt of the earth. I grew up among them from the 1940’s until coming of age in the late 1960’s in Chicago (reputedly more Poles than in Warsaw), but they need to get a grip on reality and stop feeding the American War Party/Machine with the pretexts for Armageddon. The world needs more access to truth in education and far less false narratives and propaganda merely to serve entrenched power structures. Poland does not need American missiles pointed at Russia based on its territory (it will reap annihilation), but it could use a few scholars such as those who publish on CN giving guest lectures at its universities.

  21. robert e williamson jr
    January 25, 2022 at 22:33

    A person would think the Cuban missile crises would be the perfect teachable moment.

    Russia comes within 90 miles of the U.S. with missiles and a nuclear holocaust is barely avoided.

    So what does our brilliant intelligence community do? Go to the Ukraine border and back a coup in Russia’s front yard.

    Pretty hard to imagine what these same people would do if the Russians pulled a similar stunt in Mexico.

    I have to agree with Patrick . I cannot criticize common sense. Mr. Lawrence’s views concur with the German Vice Admiral. When we consider all the angles here the underhanded intervention in Ukrainian affairs by U.S. intelligence in this case was a ham handed low blow to Putin. And for what? For sending home trouble making hedge fund operator. U.S. needs to cut a deal and let Putin save face, stabilizing the incident.

    We have plenty enough problems of our own with out trying any thing cute in Ukraine.

    • David Otness
      January 26, 2022 at 14:10

      “A person would think the Cuban missile crises would be the perfect teachable moment….”
      One would indeed think so, especially in that the U.S. placement of Jupiter nuclear-tipped missiles in Turkey on the U.S.S.R.’s doorstep precipitated that entire crisis.

      But no, not then, and not now, for the deep-seated, almost-if not-fully-primordial urge to hold the Russian people in perpetual enmity is status quo among our shadow-dwelling ruling class of elites. This latest version personified by Biden’s godawfully mediocre bunch of crass and cross-generational grudge-bearing and vengeance-seeking diplomatic team miscreants proves them to be the absolute worst for these times if the purpose of resolving this situation of our own devising in Ukraine is the goal.
      You see, in their minds, while we rightfully and sanely view ‘our’ policy as practiced a prelude to an existential world crisis spawned in eastern Europe, Biden’s A-Team consider it as going “swimmingly” to their desired ends of revenge through intimidation and domination. Even if blowing up civilization is the cost to be paid. Think Biden is demented? Get a load of those running the U.S. State Department!

      I look at this latest as the elite’s (Owners) most recent chapter in the now 100 + year war whose goal is to subdue and dominate the world’s major land masses. Ascribing as evil those who inconveniently occupy those lands, ‘othering’ them, is part and parcel of the entire propaganda package, its root foundation. The Anglo Saxon-American Establishment’s truth is marching on.
      The key to it all is to be found in Georgetown University’s Professor Carroll Quigley’s two books “Tragedy and Hope” and “The Anglo-American Establishment,” first editions (unexpurgated by the Owners) a must.

      • robert e williamson jr
        January 28, 2022 at 15:28

        Tanks Dave. I mean thanks, Freundian slip I reckon.

  22. A .Kondakow
    January 25, 2022 at 18:55

    Patient and harnessing…..refers to a Russian saying ……slow to harness (horses) but fast on the move!

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