The Saker Podcast #6 is now available for download and streaming on the following page:
As always, the stupid corporate copyright rules prevent me from uploading the podcast with the musical intro and song at the end on YouTube and SoundCloud. The Internet Archive appears to be free from such corporate abuse, so while you are free to chose your version – I recommend choosing the one on the Internet archive.
I hope you will enjoy the podcast. Please let me know what I can do better.
Cheers and thanks,
Transcript of podcast no. 6
Provided by the kind help of a wonderful lady “A”
Welcome back to The Saker’s Podcast, this is the Saker speaking. As you can probably hear, I am not in my car, I could not make the recording on Sunday. I just didn’t feel well enough for that. But now I’m feeling well. So I made it at home. I hope the sound quality will be adequate. And there’s alot of questions to cover. So I’ll try to take them one by one, as always. Two things that I need to do, one thing to remind you of, one disclaimer. The reminder is the, how shall I put this in English ? Well in Russia we say, how do you say that in English ? Its ‘knit with white thread’, which means ‘its an obvious hint’ and the hint is that I do these podcasts as a pious, and politically correct way of reminding you to donate. That’s what you guys suggested, so I’m doing it. So I did my painful part, and its your painful part now (laugh). And the second thing is that there is nobody to take care of the front door today, I’m at home alone. Which means that I have four dogs, cruising around the house, and as soon as they hear any kind of noise they explode in barking. They feel a strong need to protect everybody. Now that’s normal. They’re two shepherds, a Belgian and a German one, and two terriers, a Cairn terrier and a, what we call a ‘refined mutt’. Which I don’t know what he is, he’s a rescue, he’s a wonderful little guy, extremely smart but very noisy. So if there’s an explosion of barking I will stop the recording and then resume. So, my apologies in advance, but chances are, its going to happen. Ok, with all these introductions made, lets jump immediately to the first question.
Larchmonter, 445 asks me, “Define our American Exceptionalism. 1) as the American government uses it as a weapon. 2) as the people think of America as its citizens. 3) as perceived by the world, particularly enunciated by the Putin-Russian spokespersons.”
Ok, well, first of all, to define it, I don’t see a unique characteristic to that ‘exceptionalism’ so I will just define it as American exceptionalism, exceptionalism as manifested in the United States of America. I don’t find it particularly relevant to contrast it with other exceptionalism. There have been plenty. I would argue that every Empire needs a rational. And particularly I would say, any democracy. That’s where its crucial. Keep in mind, in the past history, there was, well people obeyed to their ‘lord’ Suzerann [?] in French. I don’t know if that’s English, what I’m saying here. Well, it could be the King, the Emperor, or the Prince, or the local warlord. And conquest, by means of expansion was not only seen as legitimate but was very often seen as actually very laudable, very good. So if you’re living in a monarchy, you don’t really question why your king went to war with the other king. You’re on the side of your king and you think that if your king and your people are strong enough to prevail against your neighboring country or kingdom, then its fine. All is well.
Democracy is very different because democracy, at least in theory, is supposed to be the rule of the people. And the next thing that that means, is that rulers don’t go to war, but the people do. Because of course, the decision to go to war is expressed by the will of the people. What does that mean ? That means you can’t say, you know, ‘I’ve been insulted’, or ‘I believe this or that’. You have to have those lofty principles of ‘I’m all for peace” “I’m pure defensive”, “I’m for human rights, democracy, human progress, civilization, equality, etc”, and therefore you usually have one or, basically one solution, which is, you have an ideology of some kind, which justifies your expansion and imperialism. That ideology right now, the prevalent one(s) are of course so-called ‘democracy’ or ‘human rights’ or ‘interventionism’ or ‘R2P (right to protect)’ or whatever you call it. And so you create a system of myths, and this is what the United States did. I mean the ‘indispensable nation’ of Obama is not very different from the ‘white man’s burden’. Its not very different from the other arguments we’ve heard in the past ages, the Spanish ones about you know, ‘bringing civilization and progress to the barbarians’ etc.
So all American Exceptionalism is good old Imperialism, just basically beefed up or supported by an idea of the United States being something different from any other country on Earth. That’s it. I don’t think its very original, I don’t think its very profound, you know I just see it as basically a pretty transparent and vapid justification for Imperialism. Now you ask here, “… as the people think of America and its citizens”. Well, if you’re asking me how Americans feel about that, I think its pretty clear, I mean most of them completely buy into it. I mean they truly believe that. I mean think of it this way, we, I’m speaking as an American, which I’m not, I don’t even have citizenship, I never wanted it. I could ask for it, but I refuse it on principle, I don’t want to pledge allegiance to any civil authority, I’ve never done and never will do. My only allegiance is to God, my pledged allegiance was at the baptism. Your sponsor recites the Creed. And that’s good enough for me as a pledge of allegiance (laugh).
Anyways, you see people saying, ‘We thank our veterans’ You know, look at the bumper stickers, ‘We thank our veterans’. ‘Freedom is not free’ ‘Freedom here, because they fought over there’ and the usual assortment of ‘United we stand’, etc. Basically, most Americans do not question at all, the premise, “Why is it that Joe, my next door neighbor, needs to go and kill people or even die in Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Korea, etc.” Its not a question asked. To even ask that question makes you already look, instantly suspicious. I mean that has been my experience. Basically, like in any country, I don’t think Americans, by the way, are more gullible or more, if I can say, herdable, than any other nation. Just look at France today, with the ‘Je suis Charlie’, and you will see that herds in Europe are just as passive, and frankly, so is the case in Russia, during the Soviet years. I mean and then in the 1990’s all the, not all, but the vast majority of Russians, all they wanted was jeans, Coca Cola and hamburgers. The sad thing is, masses are very very easy to manipulate.
And I will say that what makes the US exceptional is the truly high quality, not in terms of its intrinsic or artistic value of its propaganda, but the high quality in terms of its effectiveness. Most people don’t question anything. So I think again, people are, most people in the US are zombified. But most people pretty much everywhere are zombified. So I would not single out Americans as being more zombified than any other. I’m not sure that answers your question fully, but its my best shot at it for right now.
Now, as perceived by the world ? And particularly enunciated by Putin-Russian spokespersons ? That is an interesting question, because I was in Europe on September 11th, and I can tell you that the explosion of solidarity with the American people was stunning. I mean you probably heard that there was … let me, hold on one second I need to stop here … Ok sorry, back to the podcast, I had an interruption. Sorry I’m doing that at home, I don’t have a studio obviously, so you’ll have to forgive me for the little bit amateurish deal, of my podcast. So, the explosion of support for the US was huge and was absolutely sincere. As I mentioned, a million people I think in the streets of Tehran even. That went ‘downhill with the old mill’. George W Bush, by the time he was done, people hated the United States so much that they were willing to give a Nobel Peace Prize to Obama for just not being Bush. And sort of as a desperate plea, “Please don’t be another Bush”. Well, sure enough, Obama turned out to be another Bush, only worse. I mean, really, I never thought I would ever ever miss, well, Bush, but then again, thinking back, I mean I honestly thought, when Clinton came up, I felt an embarrassment for our big country. To have such an idiot in power. And I hated his wife. And then came Bush, and I thought Clinton was ok. And now I look at Obama and I think Bush was ok, because at least he was dum, inarticulate, ignorant and clearly a puppet, whereas Obama really raised hopes of everybody. And not only in the US, make no mistake, I mean the entire planet was having high hopes for Obama and he betrayed everybody. Not only Americans. So right now, I think most men can consider the US as ‘run amok’ literally as a big truck on the highway, driven by a driver who’s just completely drunk. I don’t think its that simple actually. I don’t think the driver’s drunk, I think the puppet is a puppet and I think the Deep State’s not drunk at all. I think the Deep State knows exactly what its doing, and I think there’s infighting inside the Deep State as to how to go about doing ‘it’, which is world power and world hegemony. I don’t think this is an effect of being dum, ignorant or stupid, or otherwise unprincipled. I think these people don’t get elected, they get ‘selected’. And they get appointments. And they do remarkably consistent foreign policy. You tell me, when was the last time US policy changed, you know meaningfully on something ? I mean of course we had bombings with a human face with Obama, whereas with Dubya we had bombings with a stupid face. But it doesn’t change anything, its still bombings.
I would say to a certain degree the only difference I see is that during Reagan, the Neo-Cons start crawling inside. Usually when there were still Trotsky-ites then, basically left-liberal, most of that folk were sitting in the Democratic branch of the ‘power party’ as Chomsky calls it. And now they are actually even more represented in the Republican party, but not by much. So that’s the big difference to the old Anglo Imperialism. We haven’t ‘added’ to it. But in terms of policies ? Nah, I don’t see much of a change at all. So I think the world is more frightened, and I think right now the Russians are the only one who dare say so openly. If you listen to Putin’s statement, he very clearly said this year that the point of the US policy of the Ukraine, was not, as he said, was not to humiliate us, it was to subjugate us. To make us obey, to take us under control. So that is said openly. You don’t see Xi Jing in China or somebody in another part of world saying that. Well maybe besides Ayatollah Khomeini. Yeah I mean the Iranians do say that. They do, but they’re smaller. But that’s it. I think there are very few countries that say that. I mean even Cuba is trying to get some kind of a deal going, though we’ll see what all that brings. I don’t know what the Koreans are saying or not, but I wouldn’t take them as an example. So really, in terms of articulate and open-eyed resistance ? I would say Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is sort of the, how would I say that, the Alliance, and an informal one at that. So I hope I answered your question adequately and I’m jumping to the next one.
Anonymous is saying, “I keep hearing it repeated that Russia is at the risk of being dismembered into smaller states like Yugoslavia was. How vulnerable is Russia to this ? I mean we all know of Chechnya but what about elsewhere ? Dmitry Orlov has also mentioned this as a goal of the Neo-Cons, after instigating an economic collapse. I also hear it in western media and even Putin alluded to it in one of his speeches.”
No I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think I’ve addressed that pretty much at length in the previous podcast. I think this one is # 6, so the fifth one addresses it. The previous podcast, if you re-listen to it, you will see that I discuss at length why Russia is not going to go down the Yugoslavia path. For a number of objective reasons, and personalities, I refer to that podcast.
Dean Arnold is asking a very complicated question. “To what degree are Putin’s stances related to his relationship to God and the Church ? Is this a factor in his denunciation of gay marriage and western relativism? His willingness to ‘confront tolerance’. And [getting] accusations of anti-Semitism due to standing up to western banksters ? To ask it another way, do you think another Russian leader would take similar stances because the impetus of such positions actually comes from the Russian people as a whole ? Or is Putin particularly influenced by the Church and a particularly bold leader for such positions ?”
Well, let me begin by answering the second part of your question. There is, right now, [a problem?] with seeing Russia as way too weak to be a per-requisite to be totally in harmony with, in agreement with, in harmony with and you know, basically to support Orthodox position. So no. In theory you could have another leader that would be just as popular and who’s not Orthodox. As a matter of fact Shoigu, who is immensely popular, is a Buddhist. And we have quite a few non-believers in top positions of power. So no, I don’t believe, I think it helps I mean, but most Russian, you have to understand that most Russian people are not Orthodox in a deeply practicing sense. You’d have a minority which is, the majority would be Orthodox in a more traditional, national, cultural sense, with some endorsement of Christian ethics and Christian values and traditions. But its very different to be you know, a person who’s daily life is changed by his or her spirituality, than to someone who basically has the ‘label’, but not necessarily the reality thereof. Now Putin ? I have been changing. Ok. I’m going to be wild guessing now as I’m not a personal friend of his (laugh), I’m not in his employment, unlike what some people seem to think, and I don’t have any particular, I don’t read minds. So I don’t know, but my guess is that he’s been changing. I don’t think Putin was very religious at all when he was at the beginning of his career or ‘top’ career. Maybe he sort of believed it or kind of got ‘out there’, but I saw very clear signs of, well lets put it this way, superficiality in his approach to religious issues. I think that he has been changing. I think the awesome responsibility that he carries, I mean right now what’s happening in the Ukraine, is that Putin is stuck between surrendering Russia to the western Empire and the risk of triggering a nuclear holocaust. So that kind of responsibility. And you know, living inside the walls of the Kremlin I think changed him. I think he perceives himself as responsible, in front of the Russian people and in front of history. And I think his thinking has changed. Again, its a wild guess. I cannot substantial that.
Coming to the first part of your question, well, first of all there was no as such, this gay-marriage thing and western ‘relativism’. What’s criticized in Russia is not as much western relativism as western materialism. Most Russians believe that western values basically mean that you would sell anything for material goods. That the West worships money and wealth and material goods, and I have to agree with that. The gay marriage ? Its a non-secateurs what really happened. I have already addressed that many times, so I will just make it very short. In Russia, being a homosexual is not considered equal to being heterosexual. That’s all there is to it. There’s no persecution, that’s nonsense. All it is, its that the consensus is, in most of the population and in the circles of power and in the church, that homosexuality is an abnormality. Doesn’t mean you have to go and persecute the people who suffer from it, all you do is not tell them ‘yeah’. Look at the Wikipedia, I mentioned it on the blog several times, Wikipedia calls it ‘A normal and healthy variation, healthy variation of human sexuality.” I think that’s the Western standard, that its exactly the same. Love is love, doesn’t matter which genders are involved. Well that’s basically a thesis that Russia rejects. Russia culturally stands on the principle of ‘Men ought to be men, women ought to be women and they ought to have offspring that they raise together’. That’s really what the debate is about. And when they banned propaganda of homosexuality among children, its not because there was such a tsunami of children directed to propaganda by homosexuals, as it was simply a fact, a way of making a statement that ‘we do not consider that phenomenon as a healthy variation, its a pathology’. So I think I don’t want to go into more details. I also covered it in another podcast, so you’ll forgive me if I make it short.
Ok, next question. I’m sorry for the paper noises.(rustling paper noise) I’m an amateur. Question about the Ukraine ‘intelligentsia’. I have to apologize to you, I don’t know enough about it. Its asked by Daniel Martin. He wants to know what the opinion of the Ukrainian intelligentsia is. I’m not a mind reader, I’ve been in the US for now, lets see, 12 years, and before that I was mostly in Europe. I honestly don’t know, so I don’t want to pretend, I’d rather just not answer. I apologize to you.
The next question. “Did Russia try to counter the EU propaganda campaign [causing] the rise of fascism in the Ukraine before the coup ? If yes, how ? And why did it fail ?”
Ok, that is actually something that I can answer. No, Russia did nothing. And you have to understand the sequence of events. After the Soviet Union broke apart, during the first lets say roughly, from 1991 to 2000, Russia was completely ruled by a deep state of Jewish oligarchs, called the Semibankershyna [?] or the Seven Bankers Rule, The Rule by Seven Bankers. The puppet-head was the drunken idiot Yeltsin who could, I mean he was just so pathetic as a person by any criteria I think. I mean I just loathed the guy. And Russia was basically completely a US controlled colony. That was, you have to understand that that wasn’t ‘marginally’ ‘a little bit’ or something. I would say that Russia was at least as bad as Poland today. And that’s saying something. I mean Russia was completely you know, to use a slang expression “Uncle Sam’s bitch” (laugh). So there was no question from ’91 to 2000 to do anything about the Ukraine. Let me back track.
The Soviet Union never broke up. It was broken up. Its different. I mean, Yeltsin, Socavich[?] and Krafchovic[?] together and they broke up the Soviet Union and Chobais[?] had to join in but he was opposed to that idea. So these three really did it. Two of them were hard core Communists, Parachick, which is the Belarussian, Soshayavich [?] yes that was his name, and Yeltsin. No sorry, Soshayavich was a teacher. Kravchoke the Ukrainian, Kravchoke, he was a hard core Commie leader from the Communist Party of the Ukraine. Yeltsin was a Commie leader from the Communist Party of Russia and Sosayavich was a teacher, non-aligned in party. But he was sort of a starry-eyed democrat. Whatever. They broke up the party – the country practically, backed by western intelligence services and all the might of the western Empire. They then proceeded to destroy their own countries. They were not busy trying to rebuild anything. They were busy plundering and selling out Belarussia, the Ukrainerussia and the rest of the Soviet Union. So it was dead. It was worse than dead. Had it have been dead it wouldn’t have been as bad. So Ukraine nationalism was massively encouraged and all the so-called pro-Russian-Ukrainian leaders were not pro-Russian at all, they were just one, like Yanokovich, he’s not pro-Russian, he’s just a gang leader. He is a, you know, the Torchoriani [?] sort of a mafia leader who fights with other mafia leaders. All these guys are Mafia-dons. And some of them impersonate nationalists, other ones impersonate pro-Russians, but the in reality they’re NOTHING. They’re just their own people.
And so things just got worse and worse and worse during the first 10 years, and then when Putin came to power, Putin was busy trying to, you have to understand in what condition Putin inherited Russia. It was an apocalyptic nightmare (laugh). Isn’t it kind of odd to say it in any more emphatic terms than that ? And he, I mean the people around him, he literally re-surrected the dead body, ok ? So when you’re busy trying to resurrect yourself, you’re not exactly engaging in massive expensive, soft-power campaigns to try to pre-empt a take-over by nationalists in the neighboring country. Furthermore, as I many times have stressed, always remember that when Putin came to power, the power was roughly split, I would say, not even 50-50. [It was] 60-40[%]. Between what I call Atlantic Inegrationists 60%, and Eurasians Sovereignists represented by Putin, maybe 40%. And over the past decade they sort of evened it out to a possible 50-50. That means that the struggle you know, to death is happening inside the Kremlin walls, inside the Russian deep state. Russia just didn’t have what it takes to start trying to pre-empt something in the Ukraine. Whereas the US, who was it ? Albright or maybe it was Nuland that said, 5 billion dollars I think she said that was used in propaganda. She said that, and its actually probably way more. If she ‘fessed up to $5B you can probably count 50. So the United States and Europe put all their resources into trying to break up Russia and the Ukraine. And to put the Ukraine under the control of neo-nazi nationalists. And that vapid kinda – sorta resistance, that took place, was that some of the gang leaders like Kutchma or Yanokovich were sort of, (makes a naaa sound), flaccidly less anti-Russian could I say, not even pro-Russian but less anti-Russian. Kutchma was the one, I think that wrote a book called “Ukraine is not Russia”, so, you know, if that’s pro-Russian (laugh) you might as well, you wonder what’s anti-Russian.
So the bottom line is that there was nobody there. Just vacuum. You have to understand that. There was nobody anywhere near power that was in any way shape or form, pro-Russian. It just wasn’t there. Ok and that is why the only spot which really resisted from literally day one, is Crimea. Even the Donbass, for all my infinite respect for their struggles and everything they’ve done, guys, it took them a heck of a lot to wake up. They didn’t see it coming and they were still demonstrating in the late 2013 with the Ukrainian flag and going “Slava Euro, Slava Ukraine” and all that stuff. I mean these guys were not quite, how shall I put it, willing to look reality in the eyes and start acting on it. And I swear, a lot of Russians weren’t, I mean I shouldn’t blame the Donbass too much for it.
So those who say that Russia didn’t do a good job in Ukraine, simply don’t understand. You don’t ask, you know, a guy who’s almost DOA, barely surviving, you know, think of somebody smashed up in a car accident in the ER room, you don’t tell him to run a marathon. The US was running a marathon in the Ukraine, and Russia couldn’t and didn’t and still doesn’t by the way, I would add. So I hope that answers your question, why nothing was done.
“Do you agree that a hot-war between Russia and NATO-West in inevitable ? If so, when will it start ?”
No I don’t agree that its inevitable, therefore I can’t predict a date. That is a question by Michael Thomas. However I will tell you something kind of depressing. I had the chance to speak to a captain of US Rangers, an active duty captain of the US Rangers, a very good guy, a couple of days ago. I did not identify myself as a blogger or much less THIS blogger, it just happened to be a social occasion. And I asked him, well, how does he feel about it ? He knows I’m Russian by birth. I asked him, “You know, in your circles” he’s active duty again, many combat tours, very very busy guy, and I said “Well, is it bulgergun [?]” “No no no its not ! I mean, we really think” Then he starts explaining that he really thinks that Putin has to realize that he’s alone and that China will not back him, and that if a war starts alot of people will get killed on both sides, especially, as he said, because of nuclear weapons.
Now what’s scary and depressing about that, he never never for one second mentioned that maybe somebody in the West has to show some sign of restraint or common sense. In his opinion it was “Putin has to wake up to reality and I hope and pray it will happen.” That’s scary. So, ok, he is a captain, a Ranger. That does not exactly make him, you know high command material. But he probably is on a regular contact with fairly high level commanders in the United States. If that is the mood in the US military, then God help us all. And I actually had planned to ask him what he thinks of his commanders, but when I saw that the guy just completely bought into the Western narrative that Putin is the cause and henceforth Putin has to stop being the cause and everything will be well, I gave up. So I don’t know, I think a war is possible, unfortunately. Likely? I hope not. I don’t know. I wish I knew what was going on in the minds of the US deep state. I’ll tell you this. I know I can guarantee that Russia will not start a war. I can guarantee that Russia does not want a war and I will guarantee you also that, should it start, Russia will fight back with everything she has. So in my book, the question mark is not over the Kremlin, my question mark is over the White House, and the deep state it stands for. Ok ?
Next question. “What is Putin and by extension Russia doing in a tangible way to shore up the governments in Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil who are allies, from the south, but are the subjects of huge destabilization efforts by the US ? Secondly is Putin afraid to ensure that Iran and Syria have access to defensive weapons like the S-300 and S-400 ?”
Ok, same questions as with Ukraine. You guys, you have to understand one thing. Russia looks, to you right now as a big powerful state. To the extent that this impression is correct and I think it is kind of correct, its very recent. I would say that Putin got pretty much his free rein to rule as he sees fit, only with this latest election. Before that, that Atlantic Sovereignists Medvedev and all the rest of them, held him in check. So you don’t, you wouldn’t ask the question of why doesn’t somebody lift a heavy weight, if he has one of his hands tied behind his back. And yes, this is what is taking place. So understand, please understand that this is an important part of the equation. Russia is not a free actor. Or to the degree that she has recovered her sovereignty, she has done so recently. Ok, glass of water. I’ll be right back.
Ok, next question is from natoistan. “Lets imagine Putin dies tomorrow (unfortunately of course), who are the most likely to follow him as president ? In constitutional terms do they need to be elected asap with Medvedev being the interim one ? Sorry but I don’t know the political system of the RF very well, I guess I’m not the only one.”
Correct, you’re not. I think, I think, ok I think there could have been a vice president but that position is empty, so therefore I think Medvedev with ‘achieved garment’ of Prime Minister would be taking over next. But in reality this is Russia. Ok democracy in Russia, not pluralism by the way, but democracy is kind of like in Japan, its a bit showy. The reality of power is very different from the theory of power. My guess is that the closest people around Putin would secure, if something happened to him I think they would secure the center of power and take immediate action to obtain the support of their constituencies. In practical terms I would imagine that Shoigu would try to get the support of the military, Fedkov would get the one of the foreign intelligence service, you know and further and further and further, the minister of foreign affairs [would get the] foreign ministry and I suspect that the sort of ‘actual’ would be taken behind the scenes. But it would be basically a power struggle, make no mistake about that. My hope and belief is that the people that are backing Putin today would prevail. So.
“Do you think the US would use some kind of influence, for example by lifting sanctions on some people as a signal for them, as incentive to the Atlanticists in some way ?”
No. Nah nah nah no. The US has really very little influence inside the Kremlin really, at least right now. It used to have a big one and I think, my guess is, no. The US would try of course. They try to oppose Putin’s ammunition. They would try, they definitely would. There would be telephone calls and ‘consultations’, but I don’t think, when you’re struggling inside the Kremlin, the threat for you is inside the Kremlin, not across, you know, overseas. And if the threat inside the Kremlin is taken care of, you’re fine with overseas.
Ok. Thaxter is asking me basically “Is there an indissoluble rift between Orthodox and Catholics ?” Do I believe that ? Well, yeah I do. And I said that, many many times. I wrote that, at least many times on the blog and I encourage you to go over it. I think I mentioned it in podcasts too. Yeah I do, I really do. That there is. I think what you call Roman Catholics or Catholics, to me right there that is a misnomer, I mentioned that on the blog once I guess. You know there is a very heated discussion of what the proper name should be. The one I use, for lack of a better one is Papan Christians. I think Papist makes sense because they follow the Pope. But since it was considered an insult by, hurled by Protestants at Catholics I was told I shouldn’t do that, so I won’t use that. Basically I agree, I think we are different. Living in two different worlds. You have to understand that there is a direct link between the hostility – that eternal Russophobia, phobia in terms of hate and fear towards Russia, of the West – and well, for this purpose right now, I’ll say the word Roman Catholics.
We have different roots first of all. The West used to be Orthodox until roughly the 10th century, then it started going further and further away from Orthodoxy for the next 10 centuries. I think earlier on we had much more in common. I think we could have, ’til the 14th, 15th century maybe (should-a, would-a could-a) maybe we could have mended [and] you know re-written history, but I can’t prove it. And I’m not really sure that I’m right. I would say that by the time we had the ‘Union of Florence ‘… you can look it up, and St. Mark the Confessor’ it was over.
The root of Orthodoxy is Byzantium and in ancient Rome the root of Latin Christianity, Protestantism and particularly Roman Catholicism is the Frankish invaders who took over Rome when Western Rome fell. Its a long topic, I recommend you read the articles of a priest called “Romanides”. I think his website, or the website that has his articles called “Romanity.org. If you enter Romanity and Romanides, you will find his articles, just look at the articles about medieval Europe, Franks, Rome, Orthodoxy etc, and it really says it all there. And then there’s a very very good cycle of, I think, 4 you-tube shows on the same topic. Its some kind of Greek hieromonk [?] priest-monk who speaks with, if I remember well, two laymen on that topic and discusses also Romanides’ theories and their accuracy. And I think if you listen to that it will become clear to you why there is no, there is really nothing in common between the two faiths. No possibility of any kind of theological dialogue. Does it mean we have to hate each other and be hostile ? No, absolutely not, and we can be great friends and we can be good neighbors and I would hope to one day, with the Papacy, have the same kind of relationship that Russian Orthodox has with Islam, which you know is maybe a difficult history but a good neighborly relationship. And now actually, a unification around the principle of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and multi-religious Russia. Unfortunately I don’t think the desire for a good relationship is there on the Roman side. Roman Catholics go into two categories. Those who you know, they want to convert Russians. And those who are not aware of it. (laugh). But they all want to convert us to the Pope, to the Papacy and its just not going to happen. So.
Ok, next question. Lumi, “What do you think about the ‘Kursk Catastrophe’ ? Accident ? Enemy action ?”
I personally think it was a collision with a US sub. I can’t prove it, but I think that was what happened. And I think they hushed it up on both sides to prevent a scandal. But there’s a lot of information about that on the Internet. By the way, I believe, and its specifically a belief, its not really a conclusion, I don’t have enough facts, but my guess, my hunch is, it was an accident with an American Taxaworms [?], who just had to fire first. And then they hit each other. The American fired because they felt threatened. I believe that the Russian [sub] had an explosion in the forward compartment where the torpedoes were held. But you know, i can’t prove it and I don’t have any particular expertise. I know basic stuff about submarine warfare, but I’m not an expert. We’ll leave it at that.
There is PandaBear 1001, who’s asking me, “I want you to comment on Russian Liberals’ reactions on the China /Russian rapprochement and cooperation.”
Oh they hate it. They hate it but they can’t really say because, you know its not good to be anti-something. But they really really don’t like it because of course one of the favorite theories of all the Russian Liberals has always been that Russia is weak, everything in Russia is bad. You can recognize them. They are the ones that describe Russia in the worst terms. That is, a western propagandist. If you hear a Russian, you know straight out of Moscow, he goes, “Everything is horrible, corrupt, dangerous, filthy”, I mean you know for a fact he’s a Liberal. (laughing) no problem there. And of course it makes them sick because its a huge success for Russia and secondly it shows what kind of countries Russia WANTS to work with. And it ain’t the West. So I think its a fantastic success for Putin and Xi Jing personally. These guys deserve a 100 storey-high skyscraper size, monumental gratitude in my opinion (laughing) for making it happen. I think its a huge thing, I don’t think it will depend on the future leaders, its a done deal. The two countries have accepted to be mutually interdependent. I mean, its fantastic. They’re symbions now. And I think what we see now between the two is just a tiny glimpse of what the future has to offer. I’m extremely positive. So the Russian Liberals they go “Oh but those Chinese they will come and strangle us.” They try and scare Russians by how the evil Chinese hordes will, you know, run over Siberia, and then they’ll buy off everybody in Moscow and basically the Chinese, they’re using this cunning trick to get Russian guns before they slit our throats. Absolute nonsense. So don’t worry about that. Anybody who knows the reality, first of all, the Chinese were way too smart to do that. Why would they do something dumb when they can do something smart, which is to cooperate ? Secondly, the Chinese are acutely aware of the military reality and there’s no way they can do something like that.
And I just noticed that PandaBear 100l also asks me “I would like to know their reaction”, Russian Liberals I suppose, “to the Chinese political economic model since we Chinese didn’t follow the West’s intuitions like Russia, in the 1990’s.”
Well, the Liberals will credit Chinese, the typical Liberal will say, “the Chinese did really well”. Nobody in Russia denies that the Chinese did well. They did well. So there is a consensus on that. So the Liberals will say, “Well its because China really is a capitalist country. There’s a thin veneer of communism, but the truth is, its a completely you know, massive totally capitalist, liberal economy kind of country.” Whereas the more left leaning ones would say, “See how good communism can be when its well managed.” So there is a disagreement on that inside Russia. But basically both sides want to claim credit and say “Well if we had done it right”, so the Liberals will say, “Yeltsin didn’t do it right, but the Chinese did.” And the conservatives will say “No no no the Chinese did it right because they didn’t do it like Yeltsin.” And Putin, I would say, to my immense regret, is far more pro-market and capitalism and big money than I wish he was. I mean my personal politics are much harder to the left. I am all for private enterprise and markets mechanism on an individual level, on a small company level, but I really do believe in State control of all the strategic industries and banking by the way. That’s another thing I completely disagree with the market economists. I think that banking should be in the hands of the State. So I guess my politics and my economics are much closer to what communism recommends than what you would hear from the Chicago School of Eonomics. And unfortunately I think that Putin is stuck, either really does believe himself in that kind of market solutions, or he’s surrounded by people who do. Its hard to say which it is but the point is that Xi Jing certainly has more freedom of action in that.
Ok, lets go to the next. Next question from Senendree. He’s asking “Russia is so vast, spiritually and materially and many feel trapped in the prevailing madness, how can one go about emigrating to Russia, to help build or participate in a new and better world ? Real emigration, but also cultural, spiritual, business tours, pilgrimages, immersion etc.”
Ok, actually I get that question very very often, I’m stunned by how many people tell me they want to emigrate to Russia. And I understand their feeling. If I hadn’t personal family circumstances tying me up to the US I would too, by the way. But, but but but but but, and there’s an important thing, first of all, anybody who has never really re-located to another country for at least several years, should give up on that notion. When you live in a different country, you will have to go through a pretty rough adaptation time. Some people do it easily, for others its much more painful. So you kind of want to ask yourself the question, “Am I a re-locater ?” If your idea of relocation is going from New Jersey to New York, I would probably recommend you stay in the US. If your idea of relocation is going from New York to London, I think you can consider moving, but its not good enough. No. If you relocated to a much more different, a much different country, if you left, you know your home in Boston and lived in, I don’t know, Sao Paulo for four years, eih..nah, or Athens, or Calcutta, then you’ve done it already once, so you might do it again.
Secondly, Russia is a country which is not easy. I will tell you that frankly. I mean alot of ex-vets do great there. But if you look a little closer you’ll see they have very strong ties to the west, salaries, or they live in Moscow, which is kind of a planet on its own. Moscow’s Moscow, the rest Russia is the rest of Russia. So you have to ask all these questions for yourself, and then remember, you need to make your money somehow. So you have to find employment. What are you going to be doing ? If you don’t speak Russian, you really want to stick to Moscow. Its possible to live in Russia and not speak Russian, but its easier if you do speak Russian. So I can’t give any practical advice because its infinitely complex, like you [people] speak of enrolling into universities, making friends. It hugely depends on [this and that] and the list of the on’s it depends on is too long to cover. I would say, if you already once moved to another country that is really different from the past then give it try. You know, think about it at least. Give it a try in terms of exploring that option. If you haven’t, give it up.
There is something that during the Soviet years was called ‘inner exile’. And its the exile you have inside yourself spiritually where YOU can become your country. And the people you love, the people that you are in contact with, those become … there’s the door, here, one second, ouch, my son came back … so you go into internal exile. You keep contact with the right people. And you know its not always a geographical solution. Sometimes its a different one. You can [actually] have all of Russian culture and Orthodox spirituality by living smack in the middle of Los Angeles if you want. I mean its possible. You have to build it inside yourself. An inner freedom is much more important than external freedom. And ask yourself, “Is it that bad where you are now ?” Because very often its not much better elsewhere. Every country has its own problems. Every city has its own problems. You know, you get a plus and you get a minus. I love Florida. But I’ll tell you I hate the bugs and I miss the mountains. So you know I don’t get everything I want, but I like it. (laugh) I wish Florida was right next to Moscow. That would make me very happy and that [the two places] would go together. Moscow, Florida and Crimea all mixed would be perfect for me. But I’m not going to get that. Plus I couldn’t take all my friends from all three locations to that abstract place. So you know look inside yourself and see if you can build your own inner world that doesn’t require visas and immigration.
Anonymous is asking me “Can I [Saker] comment on the transcendental dynamics of US / Latin relations, post Chavez ?” And he refers to a post of Moon of Alabama, about the US declaring its in danger of being invaded by Venezuela.
I saw that. I would recommend you actually look at the Latin American Saker blog if you can read Spanish, because they cover that alot. You know originally this blog used to be centered mostly on the Middle East and to a certain degree on the Empire, but ever since the Ukrainian thing started, I don’t literally have enough time to do THAT, never mind keeping an eye on Venezuela. I have some friends there. Some of our members of Latin American Saker blog are inside of Venezuela. So I have good contact with them, I wish I could speak to them more often than I do. I don’t. And if you guys [in Venezuela] are listening, my apologies to all the Saker team leaders. Guys I love you all, you’re fantastic. I’m just too busy to call you, sorry. So no, unfortunately I don’t think I have the expertise and the clarity of fresh information to comment much, other than I have this generic hope: I believe in Latin America, I love it dearly, particularly Argentina which is my second, how do you call it, my second homeland or whatever. I love Latin America, particularly Brazil and Argentina and I believe in them, and I think they will, they’re shaking off the Imperial yoke and I think they’ll succeed at it too. Its going to be hard. That’s all I can say. Just those naive wishes.
Zuzim is asking me “If a nuclear war broke out between Russia and the US, what would happen ? If the US attacked Russia in this way, would Russia respond, seeing as it does not have any bases near US territory. Would nukes be fired from the ground, from planes, from ships or in some other way ? How difficult is it to intercept an incoming nuclear weapon ? How potent are today’s nuclear weapons ? Many thanks.”
Ok I’ll go one by one. If a nuclear war broke out between the US and Russia what would happen ? Both countries have the means to obliterate the other one. Completely. I mean they couldn’t render, they wouldn’t kill 100 percent of the population, they would kill tens of millions and it would make society inoperable. Next question, “….if the US attacked Russia in this way, could Russia respond, seeing as it does not have any bases near US territory ?” Oh absolutely. Russia does not need to have bases near a US military. Russian long range intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-based submarine intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach the United States. And the Russian air-force doesn’t even have to penetrate the United States air-space, they can use cruise missiles. And so can actually, subs could also use cruise missiles. All of which is true the other way around, by the way. The United States does not need to get close to the Russian border to strike a nuclear weapon at any city in Russia. Both countries can hit each other anywhere. So “…would nukes be fired from the ground, from ships and so forth ?” All of the above can be used. “How difficult would it be to intercept an incoming nuclear weapon ?” Depends on the carrier. A cruise missile – your chances are very good if you’re Russian, but neh, not very good if you’re American. “Intercepting [from] space ?” Right now nobody can do it. The US and Russia are both getting pretty close to that ability, but I don’t think anybody in his right mind, in either country would actually chance it because even if you intercept some, its a number game. You know a risk is the product of multiplying consequences with probability. If I told you you have a ten percent chance [only] that New York will be nuked, would you go for it ? Ninety percent chance it won’t be, [but] yeah, if it happens, the one percent, That’s exactly how it is for them.
The key thing is what’s called ‘First Strike Ability’, which means neither side can disarm the other in a preemptive attack. That is the key thing you have to remember. The rest is, forget about it. If one side could hit the other and disarm it, then it would be a rational calculation that you could make. But we’re no-where near that. So I would argue that one single submarine, like the Ohio in the United States, the Ohio-Class.,or a single Sebesluekzk [?] or a Coola SSBN and the ones that are called Typhoon in the West, or even a Delta are plenty enough to inflict such damage on the United States or on Russia that I don’t think its a calculation that anybody sane is going to do on either side.
Ok next question. Here’s a question from Rootman, interesting. “In one of your posts in January you briefly voiced your opinion that Yats and some other Junta or neo-con figures were not just plain evil but probably possessed. I think you did not just use a figure of speech.” (laugh). Yeah, you’re right actually, you score 1, here. “If you feel like it and you think its relevant, perhaps you could elaborate a little from your Orthodox background.”
Well, ok, you called me out on it and you caught me, so I will have to comply. I don’t like discussing that, I try not to discuss that because I know that most people are not religious for one thing and secondly those who are surely don’t believe in demons. And its going to make me look like a kook, but that’s fine, its not the first time. Yeah, I actually do believe that Satan exists and I believe demons exist, I believe they fight against us and I do believe that you can actually become possessed. Not so much in terms of the kind of rage, impudent rage and falling on the ground and shaking and foaming at your mouth, that you see in movies like ‘The Exorcist’, or actually in the New Testament. That exists by the way, I’m not disputing that it doesn’t, I’m not. I’m saying there’s another thing, is that the higher you go up in the structure of evil, the more you come to serving evil directly. Satanism has two, what shall I say, images. One is, you know the goats, the blood, what you would think of a Satanist cult. But there’s actually a second manifestation which is, Satan encourages you to, if you don’t want to worship him, you can worship yourself. That is just as good from this point of view. Self-worship is what constitutes what forms the basis of all forms of racism, nationalism, of consumerism by the way. Of materialism. All of these really, if you look at it deep, are a form of self-worship. Its the theology of ‘me, myself, and I’ if you want. Its basically, you start by becoming a little tool into the mind state and the higher you go up the more you’re asked to compromise, the closer you’re getting to structures which do not limit themselves to only consumerism sex money power and violence, but also [now you] discuss the structure of power itself. They find a rationalization for themselves. Then eventually, and at a certain level of power you bump into philosophy. People who start finding philosophical justification, philosophical justification for being the one percent. And all philosophy always bumps into the wall of theology eventually. So it is my belief that the very top of the Empire, these people are Satan worshipers, whether they are aware of it, whether they have inverted candles in their room and they have you know blood sacrifices, doesn’t matter. Anybody think that Bohemian Grove is a big joke and a fun party or some kind of religious ritual?! Again it doesn’t matter, and I would argue that it probably depends on who you ask in that group. Same thing for Masonic organizations. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Freemasonry is Satanic. That is not the people inside it again. The first 33 degrees just mean nothing and if you separate the old Masonry of history to the modern today, which has sort of been diluted amongst other instruments of para-Masonic organizations, its very complex stuff, but what I want to say is that their commander in chief is the devil. Yeah I believe that. Absolutely. Just like I would argue that the commander in chief of all goodness is God. So we have the same old battle between good and evil that we had two thousand years ago, the same people doing the same stuff, nothing changed. So yeah I think there is actual not stupidity, not greed, not quest for power, [but] pure absolute hate filled evil on the top of the Empire. Yes absolutely. And that hatred comes from a very simple thing. The inability to win against God. If you can’t get the Creator, then you take out your hatred and frustration on the creature. If you can’t get the Creator you go for the creature. That’s what I think is happening. Ok, so now I can imagine the, all the comments I’ll get about me being full of ‘bleep’ for being so backward and bigoted and religious. But I plead guilty to all of these accusations. So don’t waste your breath. I am a religious bigot (whispering).
Ok, next. Wend says, “The whole thing started in Syria. Ukraine was an American revenge that was successful. But what will happen with Iran, can you predict ?”
No I can’t predict, I can make a guess. “Is the bully subdued for good ?” Oh no no no. That’s the question from the Wend, or the Vend, I’m not sure how you pronounce that. I don’t think the bully’s subdued at all. They did fail in Syria, correct. I don’t think they will do it any time soon with Iran, though its funny, you know, if you look at old archives of the blog, I have been warning about an attack on Iran for years. I’ve been saying “Its gonna happen”, and I was told “No no no its not going to happen”, and so far, I’ve been completely wrong. It hasn’t happened. To my immense surprise. At least on two occasions we were maybe 24 hours away from that actual attack, and it didn’t happen ! So what can I say now ? My predictions have a record of being very wrong on many occasions. So. I don’t think the bully is subdued. I don’t think the consequences of a failure in the Ukraine are coming home at all to the US Deep State. I think the Deep State is actually very comfortable with what’s going on in the Ukraine right now. So, lets go to the next question. Let me check the batteries, one sec. Ok, well batteries are getting old so I’ll have to go a little faster.
“What do you think of the recent string of suicides of politicians from the previous Ukraine government ?” I think they were suicide-d.
“How long do you think [it will be before] the truth of anti-Russian propaganda has become obvious to the people of the West ?” I don’t think it has, and I don’t think it will because I think unfortunately most people in the West have a sense of alienation from Russians, based on historical, religious, and even racist categories. I don’t think most people, I’m not saying all, I’m saying most people in the West will ever see that Russia’s right or stands for the truth. And they’re wrong.
Ok, interesting and long question. Burt Pirson is asking me, basically he says that he senses in me a Soviet-phobe attitude. I won’t read you the question, its long, its a full page long. Please go and read it for yourself under the ‘announcement’ on March 14th at 2:36 pm. He posted it on the blog which says, “…all the good stuff about the Soviet Union…” and tells [asks] me why am I so anti-Soviet, he senses an anti-Soviet presence inside me, and he wants to know if that is the case and what I have to reply to him.
Well, ok, I will try to make again a convoluted story short. First, where I come from. I was raised in a Russian emigre family of what’s called ‘White Russians”, all monarchists and I would qualify them as deeply reactionary, which not all monarchists are by the way. But they were of the reactionary branch of monarchism. And certainly we hated everything that’s communist’. In 1968, my parents used to, before they actually got crazy, but they used to, one of them, my mother used to disguise herself in 1968 as a … and before, I was born in 1963 so I was a small child … as a Santa Claus and come to deliver presents. And in ’68 my father abandoned us, so she was very distressed and we were living in crass poverty and it wasn’t easy. So she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t render the costs ‘human’, so she had to explain to me [the] one reason why she couldn’t do it … and it was 1968. And guess what she told me ? (whispering) “You probably heard there was some problems between Russia, because of course being Russian our Santa Claus came from Russia not from the North Pole, and she told me that [whispering again] there was this thing in Czechoslovakia, there was this really bad thing, and the Communists did this really bad thing in Czechoslovakia in ’68 and that’s why Santa Claus couldn’t come this year. And that was it. THOSE BASTARD COMMIES !! That was the first time (laughing) at age five that I went like “They took away my Santa Claus, I’ll kill a Commie for my Mommie! I hate them Commies.” So that’s where it started. And it took me a long time to get a little more sophisticated about that.
I think in ’91 for the first time in my life I had been inside the Soviet Union and I realized that everything I thought I knew wasn’t true. That the things are much more complicated than that, and I had to realize alot of my naive ideas. And then finally also, pretty much, lets see, within the next decade, during the ’90’s particularly the war in Bosnia also opened my eyes to the reality of the Western Empire, at which point I was ripe to re-consider it all. But had you met me at age 16 you would have met an extreme, right, ultra-conservative member of any thinkable and unthinkable anti-communist organization. And just basically I was a COMMIE BASHER. So you will have to excuse me if I still have left-overs from anti-Soviet feelings. Now some of them are actually very justified. I mean I wouldn’t want to reduce them all to Santa Claus.
I think what happened to Russia with the Soviet Revolution was terrible. I am deeply convinced and I know some people are going to be unhappy with what I’m going to say right now, is that the first generation of revolutionaries were virulently Russophobic. Hated Russia. And that’s not only Trotsky and his Jews, it also includes Lenin and alot of people who were non-Jews, who were part of that, although most of them were Jews, that’s true too. Not only were they anti-Russian, they were anti-Orthodox, and they killed millions of people for their ethnicity and religion. Not only in the Ukraine with the Galtamora [?] but also in mainland Russia and also in the southern republics. They subjugated southern parts of what later became the Soviet Union, by violence, I mean I think that the Soviet regime has alot of blood on its hands. Alot. I also think, you know, I participated in alot of anti-Soviet activities and I used to be what they used to call ZoyosnischachayH [?] which can be translated as ‘An Unrepentful Soviet Activist’, and I was. So I fought the KGB for many years. I sent prohibited books into Russia and aid etc, and I know the ‘system’ on the receiving end. And I can tell you that people were humiliated, oppressed, prevented in their freedom from thinking, acting, reading what they wanted. This is all true. It gets forgotten now but people had a very hard life in the Soviet Union, and I’m kind of baffled by the nostalgia that I feel in some, today. Yeah sure there was good guiding [too] and WW2 was one, and many other achievements, but the human cost was terrible.
Also I think that Communism inhibited the natural abilities of the Russian people. It made the country way poorer than it should have been. I think it was a fantastically ineffective system. So the one question that I have, is the size of that philosophy. Nickoli Starikov, the Stalinist, came up, he says that according to internal Soviet documents, at the time of Khrushchev, I don’t remember the exact figure but something in the range of 600,000 people were executed. Totally, according to him. And that that covers, I’m not sure exactly what time period but I think it covers most of Stalin’s years of rule. And he makes a good case of “this is not that much”. Its alot, but its not that much considering. And he makes one argument which I think is extremely effective and I would submit to those who are Communist and anti-Stalinist, just for consideration. The worst of Stalin’s repressions was during Ejorev’s [?] time. And Stalin ended up shooting him when he [Stalin] purged the party. First, there’s two things. When Stalin purged the party, the people who were purged are the very same people who organized the blood bath when they came to power. And that’s particularly true for the Secret Police. So when you hear all that whining about the Stalinst purges this, the Stalinist purges that, and accusations against him that he was paranoid, first of all, the Party was full of enemies for him. Against him. And alot of people that he did shoot, not all of them, but alot did actually get shot for atrocities. Overstepping their powers, [like] illegal executions etc. I mean, nobody whines over how the SS, I don’t think anybody inquires as to how the Gestapo collaborators did after WW2. Why does everybody have those stupid, (whining noises) ‘poor people that Stalin killed’. A lot of people that Stalin killed were poor innocent people, I’m not disputing that, but alot were not. How, and this is the study of argument, how do you end up putting those together in the same statistic ? How do you put in the same statistic innocent people who died because of class warfare and communist dictatorship kind of ideologies, with those who actually massacred them ? And all of them are attributed to Stalin.
I’m not defending Stalin, all I’m saying is I think things are very complicated. And I think we need to look, take a long hard look at our history again. I am a big proponent of historical revisionism in any way, shape or form and very much including what applies to Russia. Its unclear to me what, I was raised with the ’66 million’ of Solzhenitsyn. Starikov claims there were 600,000. I don’t know what the truth is, Solzhenitsyn actually includes pre-Stalin and post-Stalin figures. But what I am sure of because I knew people, I have relatives who were friends of, and I have a relative from St. Petersburg who spent thirty years in the Kulama [?] for the murder of Kieff [?] for which he had nothing, he was just taken because he was nobility. So people were massacred and entire nations were deported, its a fact. People were mass executed not only by pro-active execution but just being dumped into the permafrost of Siberia and left to die in the cold. I think the reason for my Soviet-o-phobia today is the huge and absolutely unacceptable human costs. That I reject categorically.
But I’m not denying that some things were done right and I’m not sure if some of the leaders were quite as uniquely horrible as I thought they were. I don’t know if that’s a good answer to your question, I’m willing to come back to that and have a discussion with all of you, those who come from one end of the Solzhenitsyn’s 66 million and those who think more of Starikov. I think its an important debate to have. I don’t have final conclusions. I will just say that I think, and I cannot conceive the mantra that Solzhenitsyn did not have any base in reality. I don’t think that the Soviet was a paradise or even a half way decent society. I think it was terrible. I think the Russians today live way better than they did under Communist rule and look at the way the system rotted. Look at the kind of leaders they had. You look at Khrushchev and Chebniangka [?]. You look at these guys, Gorbachev, come on, this is some pretty indecent people. How good was that system ? – No. So yeah, I plead guilty to virulent anti-Sovietism. I toned down some of my anti-Communism because I realize its somewhat more complicated by Maoist Soviet-ism. I’m sorry, it [the negative feeling] is still there. I hope I haven’t disappointed you with that beginning of an answer, I know its not a comprehensive answer and if you want to come back to it please challenge me and I’ll do it on the next podcast.
Ok, “Imagine the worst. Minsk 2…” that is Red Ryder, “Minsk 2 completely breaks down, Merkel can’t save it, Ukraine goes all out. With secret help in large numbers from NATO countries, breaks through into Donetsk City. Militias are taking a great loss and are in full retreat and maybe in a cauldron themselves, as Ukies have blocked them from getting to the Russian border. It is day 2 and things look very bad, what does Putin do ?”
Putin sends in the Russian military which retakes control of the situation within 48 hours max. The reaction of the West is total hysteria, the reaction of Kiev, total hysteria, full mobilization, Kiev declares war on Russia, Shooting starts across pretty much a large line of contact between Russia and the Ukraine. Pretty much the shooting stops because the Russians destroy most of Ukraine assets, at which point NATO and the US go into full scale war preparation. Hysteria grows. Remember 9/11 ? Three times that level. And the final cog in the situation is that Europe becomes completely subjugated to American rule because of the terror that ‘The Russians Are Coming”. Because obviously if that happens you’ll hear the Poles and the Lithuanians say “We are next and we have to defend Poland to the last drop of blood”. Even if Russia has no intention of doing that. So this is why I think, this is the scenario that Putin has been desperately trying to avoid. But if there’s a war between Russia and the Ukraine ? Russia won, make no mistake. Pretty fast. Ok, but yeah, “…will Putin introduce troops inside the Donbass to protect the population ?” Yes, he will. If that’s the last and only resort, he will.
“What is it about Russian language or syntax that seems so difficult to translate on the fly ?” Well, I did it for many years, so its not that difficult, you just need to be familiar with both languages. “When I listen to someone translating from Russian to English its very difficult to follow, it seems very hard as if the translator is trying to catch up.” Well that is for two reasons. Russians usually have longer sentences and the grammatical structure is different. Russians are typically pretty fast speakers. And we are fast paced in the way we speak. A little bit like the Mediterranean people are. So that might explain it. And frankly not all translators are all that good, alot of them are not. So that explains it I hope.
“Can you speculate as to whether Mr. Putin is aware that of the 80% of the people who support him, there are many Americans who loathe the predation of the American government around the world and who respect Putin as a statesman and wish him to prevail.”
Absolutely yes. Unequivocally, totally yes. Everybody in Russia knows that. Look guys, Russia does not believe the West is a democracy. Russia considers, most Russians will say Europe is an American colony and that America is run by the 1% Elite, who does whatever the hell they want. And Russia, most Russians remember living in the Soviet regime where they had no input into what their, if you think that most Russians supported the invasion of Afghanistan you’re wrong because they didn’t even know about it, it wasn’t even declared to them. Ok ? They were not informed and nobody voted on it in any way shape or form. Well they bureau-ed it at the Kremlin. So Russians understand that very well. The West is right now, literally a dictatorship of a plutocracy of Anglo-Zionists 1%’ers. Nobody’s going to blame the people for it. So don’t worry about that, yeah Putin knows it and so do most Russians.
Polar Bear is asking, “When discussing the Ukraine issue with the mainstream people in western Europe they often think that there are two clusters of arguments. That when Russia took Crimea it was a gross violation of international law and that THAT crime overshadows everything else. And that Western European states are much more democratic and developed than Russia. Swedish foreign minister described Russia as a ‘horror regime’.”
Ok, well the first one is really simple. The constitution of the Ukraine was completely violated and a coup was taking over. All this was happening when Russia intervened in Crimea. Secondly Russia re-took Crimea at the request of the locally elected people who were, by the way cleared and endorsed by the legal president of Ukraine which is the corrupt Yanucovich. Corrupt as he was, he was still legal. Obama is corrupt but he is still is legal isn’t he ? So you know Nixon was corrupt and he was legal and so was Yeltsin. So you can have a totally corrupt cowardly president who is the legal president. So now in terms of international law, then there’s the ‘prime principle’ of Soviet-um Initiative which actually trumps national sovereignty and integrity of borders. So those people who made that argument just don’t know the law, don’t know international law and they are just being prejudiced. They’re reading half of the law and whining [about] the second half.
As for Russia being democratic or not, I would say its far more democratic than any western European country I can think of. First of all, for one thing, there is a real plurality of opinions. Its not democracy in the sense really, as its ruled by special power groups, but neither is any western country. I mean if anybody seriously thinks that western democracies are ruled by votes, that’s naive. No. Democracies exist on a very small scale, Vickenstein [?] and Switzerland, and even Switzerland now is being de-democratized or in twenty years will be at least. But you know, yeah, Switzerland in the 1970’s was more or less democratic. Still had secret stuff going on by the way, but, I would say the same about Vickenstein,[?] and about Luxembourg and you know all these small countries even. So it is, Russia is, if you judge democracy by the Press then first of all Russia’s far more democratic than anything in the west, point 1. Point 2, if you look at the Rights of Assembly, of free speech, in Russia they’re completely, nobody gets you know, people say all sorts of nasty things about Putin, nobody goes to jail for it. So that’s another sign. I know of no political prisoners in Russia and the few that there are, are actually very hard right nationalists or Jew haters. There are actually a couple of political prisoners, nobody knows about them, nobody cares about them but they exist. But they are actually from the, close to the neo-nazi kind of tendency. So I don’t think anybody in the West would whine about that. So, no I think its a joke. You can only, that argument stands only if you’re ignorant to Russia. If you know the reality of what’s going on there, particularly [compared to] the reality in the west ? No contest.
Andrew’s asking “I get the feeling…”, sorry I’m trying to go fast, “…the West thinks that the Russian military is old and weak and hasn’t been changed much since the collapse of the USSR. Can you elaborate on what changes have been made since.”
Oh they’re huge. I think Russian military right now is, you know, man per man, company for company much more powerful than any other military I can think of, including the American one. By a comfortable margin. It has some weaker spots, some stronger spots, I mean, … let me check the batteries, if we have enough time to go into a bit of detail, hold on …. Yes I do. Ok, so certain critical systems in Russia are weak ; not enough drones, communications satellites, some avionics, encryption production of specific types, ammunitions are suffering as import substitution has been done [only] partially. The Russian military was not recognized, little or not at all during the 1980’s and almost nothing in the 1990’s. So where’s the US ? Threw millions and millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars, trillions of dollars in its military. But in terms of capabilities of infantry men, in terms of basic gear, in terms of armor I would say Russia’s doing very well. I think Russian air forces are generally, again it depends on the scenario where, depends where, it all depends where, really where the conflict could happen. But I would say Russian air force are on par with the US. It certainly has better aircraft, that’s for sure in my book. Navy is much smaller, its more green- water navy so not a global-reach navy. Its a coastal navy with power projection elements in it.
But then again, remember the United States needs a military that controls the entire planet. The Russian navy has no intention of doing so, so its a lop-sided comparison. When you compare militaries you have to look at ‘what is the purpose ?’ The purpose of the Russian military is to secure the borders and protect the Russian population in neighboring states and prevent a NATO attack. For that task I think the Russian military is more than adequate and certainly on average, but that means nothing, I would say its infinitely superior to anything NATO has. And mostly better than the US armed forces. I’m not very impressed with the US. Remember its a, the last real serious war that the US won ? When was it ? They got a draw in Korea and after that it was all downhill. And I’m not very impressed by the ‘Unanimous Agreement’ in Afghanistan. The Soviets were much more formidable enemies than the US international coalition forces in Afghanistan. I would say that an army of conscripts which was under-equipped, under trained, medically unsupported, logistically under supported and did not have the backing of the people, and yet their performance, if you look at the way the Soviets did it in Afghanistan and you look at the US, the contrast is mind boggling. The Soviets first of all controlled every single city. They did not control the main roads access of communications at night, but they did go and use them during the day, which is really better than the US, right there. Because the US does not control every single city.
Secondly they actually made themselves useful by building roads, by building hospitals, by building electrical dams, power plants, hospitals, they actually did something useful and alot of that stuff that the Soviets built is still used today by guess what ? The US. You name me one useful thing that Uncle Sam has done in Afghanistan for all these decades. Nothing. And I think the real reason is the, I know, I already see the tomatoes flying in my direction, (virtually that is), but I truly believe that Russian infantry men are the best on the planet. I don’t mean to sound like the narc [?] and say ‘the best on the planet’ for everything, but THAT I actually say as military specialist. I don’t know of what national infantry, has that kind of infantry men as the basic Russian Grunt. He’s extraordinarily tough and who can put up with hardships that the others will run away from. I think THAT is the key difference. When the Russians fought, they fought, they didn’t pretend to fight, they didn’t expect it to be a Nuetendo game or that they would come with high tech fancy gear and you know ‘shoot all these gooks and niggers and sun-niggers and whatever the epithets are hurled at, pajama-wearing gooks, I think it was in Vietnam etc. No. They mean exactly that, its going to be a tough fight and they had a very tough fight and they fought.
I think that if the US and Russian military once, let me make a digression: I once worked with a deputy commander of the Delta force, I won’t say which one because that would be bad if I identify too closely, but he was, I would say an early-on deputy commander of Delta. And he told me one day, “You know my biggest regret, we never drove all the way to Moscow.” He was sad that they didn’t have WW3, because he really wanted to show them. And I always thought, “My God they have no idea what they’re dealing with.” I mean, Americans fought every single victory, quote unquote ‘victory’ that they had, by heavily relying on locals and on allies and other people. Even in Korea, look, they weren’t alone. They always expect to use somebody against somebody else. But to me, the notion personally of you know a US armored battalion or an infantry company ? I see an ’empty field’ taking on a Russian infantry battalion or an armored battalion or an infantry company. I’d love to see it, just to see the faces of the poor shocked Americans when they would get into this one. I mean Russians are nasty at war. Very nasty. Its brutal and its determined. Its a completely different culture. A war has been part of the national psyche of Russians ever since the creation of Russia and they fought every single Empire out there. And that is still very much here. I think that is the huge mistake that people make, over and over again. They always explain, you know that Russian military victories [were won] by General Winter or by some other kind of external factor. They never accept that you know, its the Grunt. Their [Russian] Grunt is better than the US Grunt. And will take much more, will fight tougher. So no, I think its a huge mistake and if NATO comes waltzing down the plains of the Ukraine, well, God have mercy on them, because they’re in for a nasty surprise. As were the Georgians in 2008. They thought they would just you know, they were all equipped with fancy shining little gear and they had those American visors and this stuff. It didn’t do any good. The Russians were under equipped and they were, it took them a while to even get ready but they still beat them up. Chechens had a much better chance at beating up Russians than western Europeans do. Western Europeans are not that good at warfare, when they meet somebody who can match them in terms of technology and development. I mean no offense to anybody but the stark record kind of shows that.
Ok, Gabriel, simple question, “Will the war start again ?” Simple answer, I don’t know. Hope not.
Last question, Hugo, “Hello Saker, in case Putin did not appear in public at the moment of the recording of the podcast, what is your take on him not being seen and not being heard during ten full days ?”
Well he has been seen, so you know that. But I’ll comment on the absence. Well Kiev is right now coming out, Kiev has decided not to implement, obviously the Minsk 2 agreement. There is a huge struggle taking place in among the Western elite. I think that its not only Euro versus the US, its inside the US actually. And inside Europe. I don’t think its geography-based, I think its interest-based. And I think it takes all the time of Putin and the Kremlin to try to make sense, ‘what is going to happen next ?’ Because the risk is exactly as a previous commentator has said, that the war would start exactly according to that scenario. [?] You know, if Putin has been preparing to go to war and looking at scenarios with everybody else, that would involve a huge effort. It would be an effort not only involving the Ministry of Defense but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the other ministries, diplomats, there’s alot of preparation to do. And even if it doesn’t happen, he has to make a certain, to a certain degree at least minimal preparation. So for all these reasons I think a very likely explanation is that he was simply really busy with the crisis in the Ukraine.
Ok, explanation number two, which I kind of like and don’t know if its true or not, rumor has it that Putin has a mistress, a sweetheart, a paramour I think the official term is. I think, I don’t know who she is, some kind of sport person, sportswoman. And there was one source from Switzerland who said that she’s supposedly in Switzerland, about to deliver. So you know, if his beloved was delivering, maybe he was busy with family matters. I honestly don’t know. I don’t think he was very sick. Nothing serious, I think he would have been smart enough to actually say that he’s been sick and deal with it than try to hide it. I think this is Kremlin, Soviet Kremlin practice to try to hide the disease, I don’t think he would do it. So that’s it. I don’t think there was any chance of a coup, as I mentioned on the blog, I don’t think they can pull it off, and if you could, I don’t think you could stay in power. Because if somebody overthrew Putin you would have the vast majority of Russian population truly enraged. And it could explode into a civil war, not really a civil war but it would be an insurrection. I think it would be actually pretty fast. I don’t think anybody would try to stop that because they couldn’t. So I think you would have an insurrection. Whoever is responsible would be literally lynched to death on Red Square in front of the Kremlin. I don’t see that happening at all. I’ve been wrong, I have a record of being wrong, so don’t listen to me and if you know CNN says there was a coup … probably was. (laughs). Ok well, I’m finishing here, I’m sorry if I was rambling on, I’m sorry for the interruptions, what else can I say to apologize to, and plead for your mercy and understanding. I think that’s it.
It was fun, I enjoy doing them, though sometimes I don’t have the time to do these podcasts but I will try to do my best. And thank you for everything and you guys (music comes in and Saker can’t be heard anymore)