Germany the American Satrapy, RAND Urges US Pull Plug on Ukraine War, Serbia Snookered by the West, Remote Work as City Killer, Haitian Voudou in the Diaspora
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So basically RAND wants the US to pull out of the smaller Ukrainian war to focus on the bigger upcoming China war. That makes me feel a lot better. (Not)
Even as people return to in-person working, the Tue-Wed-Thurs pattern is a killer for small businesses in commercial districts (coffee and sandwich shops, restaurants, bars)- can they afford to pay rent with only three days a week of revenues? Seems unlikely.
Given the lags built into leases and loan agreements we haven’t yet seen the full impact of these behavioral changes on commercial property values.
Though given your NY stats, if property taxes are only 33 pct of the city budget and commercial property is only 20 pct of property taxes, then commercial property taxes are only 6.6pct of the budget. Should be easy enough to cut NYC’s bloated City worker payrolls and spending by that amount.
Curious that in 2020 two of the most outspoken people sounding the alarm about race riots and election malfeasance in the USA were Serbs (though I'm guessing of a more Yugoslav orientation). Natalia Jovanovic made a video about ethnic conflict that was featured on Glenn Beck's show and Aleksandar Savic made a video about the 2000 anti-Milosevic Tractor rebellion that influenced the Oath Keepers (who have since been convicted of seditious conspiracy).
EDIT: Katarina Jovanovic, not Natalia
Apologies for asking about something off topic from today’s roundup, but was curious what your read is on the whole Chinese balloon situation? Although I guess it’s somewhat on topic given the RAND report. My top of mind response to it was China putting a weirdly significant flex on the US for the whole world to see but dunno
Germany cannot be saved. TurboAmerica has it under foot. Should the natives get restless the US can always play the race-card and sponsor unrest. If Panem can do this in Minneapolis or Chicago you can bet your last euro that they will do the same, or worse, in Europe.
The migrant and refugee communities are now large enough that they can be played as an insurgent fifth column to destabilise the country at will. The NGO networks and a compliant native ruling class (terrified of their own deplorables) are in place to play their roles.
The GWOT and the Syrian civil war enabled Western and Central Asia to escalate the further ethno-cultural and genomic integration of an Americanised Western Europe into Eurasia. Damascus rid itself of disaffected Sunnis by the millions. The migrant and refugee communities in Germany have the potential to function as the catalyst for instability in much the way that the Palestinians in Lebanon did.
Wangenknecht is not the future. She belongs to the past. The post-war Social Democrats and Christian Democrats relied on highly productive, successful, export industries and the fear of the USSR (which ensured class compromise) to sustain social peace. Nothing like those conditions now exist. Trying to game-plan solutions within the existing system is pointless.
Moscow would cut a deal with Berlin in a heartbeat, but Scholz lacks the assurance to attempt it. In any case, TurboAmerica can veto any Neue Ostpolitik via civil unrest.
"Not least, by adopting Westernism, this kind of new left can for once hope to be not just on the right but also on the winning side, American military power promising them that this time, finally, they may not be fighting for a lost cause."
First time as tragedy, second as farce.
European westernists such as the German Greens strike me as something akin to ideological janissaries, wholly converted to a foreign faith that demands implacable hostility to the interests of their own nation.
The Serbs should just bring in the Chinese. Invite the army.
Branko's article begins with: "The current EU ultimatum, delivered three days ago, to Serbia and Kosovo, whose exact content is unpublished (at the request of the EU delegation) is the result of more than 20 years of frustrations in the relations between EU and Serbia (and also between EU and Kosovo)." Secret, unpublished ultimatum!
My attempt at armchair psychology as to how Ukraine doesn't understand that by escalating and relying on US support, they are investing on a rapidly-dwindling margin that can be called in at any time:
Support for Ukraine among the US public is wide but shallow. Ukraine, hubristically enchanted by their own status as media darlings, mistakes this for being wide and deep.
In the US, the political class finds naked statements of American self-interest to be gauche. The political class takes pride in, and genuinely believes in, America's status as the world's protector. When the US political class rises as one to protect Ukraine, it is only behind closed doors that any itemized, strategetic weakening of Russia enters the calculus. Of course Russia's role is well-discussed publicly, but not in terms of weakening a foe; it's in terms of an existential evil boogeyman in the Kremlin who must be destroyed. Russia, then, must be saved from itself when we're talking to the rubes, but in smoke-filled rooms, or at least RAND reports, we can be more strategic.
Ukraine has chosen to take the public declarations as the serious ones, perhaps not noticing that the US' reach for regime decapitation exceeds its grasp. (Yes, yes, Hussein and Gadaffi. Yanukovych if we're feeling feisty. But what about Assad - and indeed Putin? Or Maduro?) Ukraine doesn't realize, or fails to realize, that fever dreams of Crimea are not really supported by the US policy establishment, and are instead temporary rallying cries for the TV audience.
Finally, Ukraine doesn't understand that territorial concerns are not existential to the US, which can profit regardless. For Ukraine, borders are not just pride, but resources - the riches of the Donbass and the sea access of Crimea. People, too, and a tax base. What is a country without territory? Good question. We know the answer, though. The US barely has borders of its own, and its monoculture is paradoxically alienating to its divided people. Has the empire missed a beat as a result? Hardly. Who cares about the actual Americans? What matters to the US is control of global commerce, which through the destruction of NS2 it has demonstrated possession of pretty handily. If the US, having now called Germany and other energy-seekers to heel, now turns its attention to Hormuz and Hainan, Ukraine's (understandable) fixation on its own territory, borders, and language will look parochial and retrograde to an American empire with its eyes on bigger prizes.
Seekt's thinking on Westernism recalls Gharbzadegi, a famous book by Jalal Al-e Ahmad, an Iranian frustrated by the effects of Western influence on Iran. Gharbzadegi has been translated as Occidentosis or Westoxification...enchantment by the West. Ahmad did not coin the term but he applied it to his own thinking on political economy and culture. Today the wits in Tehran apparently talk of Sharqzadegi or intoxification by China.
The resemblance exists in the passivity that the enchantment induces. What is even more striking is that Ahmad (a onetime communist if I remember correctly) identified Western technology and industry and the resulting obsolescence of Iranian craft-based manufacturing as a major even defining, aspect of it all.
That Germany, which surpassed both the UK and US in technological achievement during the 20th c, should now exhibit such a thorough lack of capacity is astonishing. It just goes to show how powerful an effect governance can have on incapacitating a nation.
And how effective a toxin TurboAmerican soft power truly is.
Regarding Ukraine, I can’t help but imagine that a US-induced peace settlement resulting in Russia annexing any land, officially or unofficially, would go down amongst Ukrainians the same way the Versailles treaty went down amongst Germans, especially if Russia fails to significantly push the front again. A literal stab-in-the-back by Zelenskyy at the behest of a foreign (US) elite... and a population of heavily armed nationalistic young men with combat experience... it will be interesting to see the direction the Ukrainian state takes under such circumstances.
Germany has been an American Satrapy since 1945, we just made if Official. If it helps they treat we American Commoners much worse for a long time (since 1965) , you Germans are only now getting the Rust Belt aka Morgenthau Plan. Enjoy the diversity being imported too, our ❤️ of guns and our “racism” should be coming into focus.
Sorry, if that means anything.
Serbia's problem is that giving in to blackmail invites more blackmail.
Nico et al , have you read “The Dog King” an allegory of German alternative history had Morgenthau been implemented?
(It just takes 🇺🇸 us a long time to get there).
“The Dog King is a 1995 novel by the Austrian writer Christoph Ransmayr. Its original title is Morbus Kitahara. A work of alternative history, it is set in Central Europe after World War II and the implementation of the Morgenthau Plan, which has deindustrialized the region and created a ruthless post-apocalyptic-esque society. The main character is the son of a blacksmith who becomes the bodyguard of the only man in the area who owns a car.”
The man with the car is a Holocaust survivor who establishes dominance over the local postwar feral dog pack by killing the top dog with an Iron Bar, he’s basically the Commissar of the place, not to spoil the ending but the Americans take over the world- by nuking Japan with a H Bomb 20 years after 1945.
Philip would love the book, I read it 20 years ago and found it vaguely disquieting, now it’s Prophetic.
2015; “Why do so many people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?”
“It just saves time.”