Friday 15 September 2023

Looks like it's getting time to abandon Blogspot

It's not just that there are hardly any readers here, but what's this new formatting problem? Do we need to be coders to post anything with paragraph breaks now? Everyone seems to be moving to Substack. Probably I should.

From The Baboon Chronicles

Once there was a troop of baboons that lived in a lush green mountain valley. The valley had many fruit laden trees, that grew around a stream that trickled out of a hole high in a cliff, gathered in a little lake at the foot, and then meandered in a crystal stream through the valley until losing itself in a river in the plains below. The chief of the baboon clan was named Moammar; and a mighty chief was he, with a great silver cape of fur growing on his shoulders, which was the envy of all the other baboons around. No other baboon had such a luxuriant cape: for only the leader could grow one that long and lustrous. "We must tend to the lake," Moammar said, "for it is fed by rain in the higher mountains, and should the rain fail, the lake will dry up and the river die. And if the rain be too heavy, the lake will burst its banks and flood the valley and wash us all away." So the baboons did as he directed, and piled stones and branches around the lake. When the rains were scarce, they built the piles higher, and the water was confined and there remained enough to drink and keep the trees alive. And when the rains were heavy, they pulled away the piles, so the excess water safely drained away. So the baboon troop lived in their beautiful valley, and flourished, eating the fruits that grew on the trees, and the insects of various kinds that came to destroy the fruit and stayed to become meals. Now there were other baboon troops elsewhere, on a great dry plateau near the valley; and these troops had no river and no fruit trees, but had to live in thorny acacia and search for grubs and seeds among stones. They remained thin and hungry and disease ridden, but that was not all. There were leopards on the plateau, great spotted beasts that preyed on the hapless baboons. The leopards could not catch them easily in the thorny acacia branches, but lay in wait on the ground, knowing the baboons would have to descend to look for food. And each time the baboons, driven by hunger, descended, the leopards would jump on them and eat several, skin and bone and all. Moammar the valley baboon leader looked and saw what was happening to the plateau baboons, and this troubled his soul greatly. "We have more fruit than we can eat," he said. "If we give the excess to the plateau baboons, they need never come down from their acacias, and then the leopards cannot kill and eat them. We should do this." The leopards came to know of the plan and this angered them greatly. "We have an easy life here," they said to each other. "We do not have to exert ourselves chasing gazelles or defending our kills from lions or hyenas. We just have to sit near the acacia trees and eat the baboons when they come down. But if the valley baboons give them fruit, they will not come down at all, and we will have to work for our food, going afield to chase prey. And that won't do at all." Now among the leopards there was a particularly cruel and rapacious old female known to the others as Killary. "I have an idea," she said, licking her fangs. "This Moammar has a tremendous cape of silver fur, a matter of envy to all the rest. None of the others can grow one quite like this because that do not have his authority." Slinking to the edge of the valley, she whispered to the baboons in the fruit trees who were far away from the troop leader. "Why do you want to give any of your fruit to the undeserving baboons of the plateau?" she asked. "Is it not your fruit? And what right do they have to it?" "This is true," a few of the baboons agreed. "Why should they get our fruit? But Moammar is our chief and we must listen to him." "Why should he be your chief?" Killary whispered, swishing her tail from side to side. "Do you not deserve to grow great silver capes on your shoulders like him? Do you not want the pretty young girl baboons to be part of your harems, not his? Overthrow him and you will not only have all that, but your fruit too." The baboons talked among themselves for a while, and then they said, "Yes, we agree; but Moammar is a great chief, with many strong baboons by his side; how can we prevail against him?" "We will fix that," Killary said. "Rebel against him and ask my fellow leopards and me for help." Then the baboons rose up in rebellion against Moammar, but as they had themselves feared, the great chief and his warrior baboons soon put them to flight and it seemed that the rebellion must at any moment be ended. "Help us, Killary!" the rebellious baboons screamed. "Help us, Sarkonazi! Help us, all you other leopards!" And the leopards, who had been lying in wait, sprang into the valley and began killing Moammar's warrior baboons until only Moammar himself, wounded and bleeding, was left; and the rebellious baboons leapt on him with teeth and claws until he was no more. "The job is done!" the leopards said, licking their fangs. "No fruit to the plateau baboons now. We can feast at will." "Yessss," Killary purred. "We came, we saw, he died. Hehehehehehe." And with the other leopards she departed satisfied to the plateau, to keep eating the baboons there. Now in the valley the rebellious baboons each wanted to grow the most magnificent silver cape of fur on the valley, and have the largest harem of pretty girl baboons; but only the chief could do that. So they fell to fighting, all against each other, biting and clawing and warring among the branches so that all the unripe fruit was knocked down to the ground and spoilt. Along with war, hunger came to the valley. Meanwhile the rain clouds gathered overhead, thick and dark, and thunderstorms and torrential rain lashed the high mountains. Water flooded down the cliff and filled up the lake, pressing on the piles of sticks and stones at its sides. But the baboons had been far too busy fighting to see to the maintenance, naturally, so the lake burst its banks and a flash flood rushed down the valley. And all the baboons who had been, because there was no fruit left in the trees, looking for something to eat on the ground, were caught up in the immense surge of water and washed away. From the plateau Killary and the other leopards watched. "What a pity," Killary said, winking. "They were such a large and successful troop, but they fell to fighting among themselves and didn't bother to repair their own homes. One wonders how it could have happened. Oh well." Then, sighing in satisfaction, they went back to killing the baboons who came down from the acacia trees.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

Zoggin' Not 'alf Bad(druk)

In dis covva fing, top left, Kaptin Badrukk,top middle Nizkwik, middle iz Ufthak wiv 'is Shokkhamma, an' Princess lower right. 

 


Oi, listen up, ya zoggin' humie.


Dis story, it goes like dis, see?


Dere is dis humie okkupied planet called Hephaesto, which is fulla da tek humies keep makin', an' which rightfully an' also leftfully belong to da orks since da mekboys can think of fings t'do wif da humie tek dat humies can't think of in a WAAAAGH of Sundays.


Now, we got our hero. Dis git is called Ufthak Blackhawk an' 'e's a nob of the Blood Moon klan, but dat don't matter so much because 'is outfit is one of a whole group o' klans under Warboss Da Big Mek.


Da Big Mek wants da humie tek on Hephaesto fer reasonz I told ya already, so 'e comes wif 'is ships an' orkboyz to capture da planet. But dis flash git freeboota Kaptin Badrukk is already attacking da planet, and Da Big Mek decides to join da forces an' share da loot wif 'im afterwards instead of fightin' 'im an' lettin' da humies get away. 


Now da problem iz, da humies aren't da usual sort, squishy when ya hits 'em wif Ufthak's Shokkhamma. Dey're dese humie mekboyz who've done fings wif demselves, see, turnin' most of dere bodiez to metal fings, armour an' tentacles an' weapons at every nook an' cranny.


Just da kind of fing that orkboyz luv, cause it gives 'em a good fight. 


But dere's dis uvver problem. Dis flash git Badrukk is out ter sabotage Da Big Mek an' steal all da good loot fer 'imself. An' dere's dis zoggin' grot called Nizkwik dat attached 'imself to Ufthak an' our hero can't get rid of 'im no matter how hard 'e tries.


Dere's also dis squig called Princess, who's just like a loyal dog to Ufthak, only big enuff ter eat a humie arm whole an' save Ufthak's life from a humie mekboy. She's a good squig.


Uvver people on Ufthak's crew are also good, ya unnerstand, gits like Da Boffin, who replaced 'is own legs wif a wheel an' who can drive anyfing from a humie hovercraft to a hijacked fighter plane, Mogrot Redtoof, Ufthak's sidekick, an' othas. 


Now da humiez also have problems. Dey're divided an' fightin', an' dere's a traitor who sold 'imself to demons an' who made a demon machine ter destroy everyfing, humie an' ork alike. 


Of course Ufthak an' da orkboyz can't let 'im do dat kind of fing. Da tek on da planet belongs to da orks, an' woe ter any demon or humie or Badrukk dat gets in da way!


Good fings:


Dis book is funny an' quick. Except da humie parts, which are too long an' not one of da humies is likeable. Dey all deserve ter get krumped good an' propa.


Bad fings:


Da ending is a bit rushed an' we never find out wot happens to sum important characters. Humie plots are confusin' an' dere's a subplot about a possible xenos artifact dat has an Internet ("noosphere") presence dat's built up an' up but never goes anywhere. It's like da humie dat wrote dis story forgot about dis whole fing.


I give it 3 stars out of five.

Sunday 13 August 2023

Night of the Demon

 



Once there was a Demon Lord who had tired of Hell and all its ways; and being a Lord of the Nether Realms, he had the power to free himself to wander the earth


Where he saw war and famine and pestilence

He saw cities burn under mushroom clouds and men grow rich in the light of the flames

He saw death-robots fly and drop rockets on weddings halfway across the world

He saw a great city by night, with brightly lit shops and restaurants, yet the alleys were dark and deserted, and came down for a closer look

And in one of the alleys was a house, and the house was crumbling; and in it a room, and in the room a bed

And on the bed was a little girl, curled up and not crying

She was not crying because it was difficult enough finding the strength to breathe; and the demon saw she had been brutally treated and was clearly dying.

And the demon's mind was touched with compassion, so that he reached out to comfort and heal her,  when there was a flash of light;

And he looked up to find an angel covered in wings, and the angel said to him:

"Do not presume to heal this girl, I forbid you." And the demon furrowed his brow and said,

"She is suffering, and she is young and has her life ahead of her. Why should she suffer like this and die, when you could heal her at a touch, and so could I?"

And the angel said, "If she dies now, she will die innocent, but if she lives she will accumulate sins; so it is better that she dies now. And young death is beautiful."

And the demon looked at the angel, and so great was his wrath that the creature fluttered backwards. "So this is your Kingdom of Heaven," he said. "Suffering and death is what you love. And you call us evil!"

Then turning to the girl, he murmured, "I am forbidden to heal you. But I am not forbidden to do this." And he gathered the child up in his arms.

"What are you..." the angel shouted, but it was already speaking to the empty air. For the demon was gone, and with him the girl too.

Perhaps there is a world where he can heal her, and there they have gone.

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Death March

 




You see them pulled from the street

Dragged from their homes while the women cry

Fighting for freedom, they were told

Fighting for the democratic way

While money from a western land

Pays cocaine sniffing freaks who send them to die.


(It is the best money ever spent, said -

Old men who sleep safe and snug in bed.)


Now see them two weeks later -


Sprawled in the mud 

A hulking charred box beside,

That was to be the chariot of victory 

White faces with fear

Still touched,

Not yet smoothed away

By the blur of decay -

Though there is nothing

To fear now

Not anymore - 


All that they had, mind and body and thought

Ended in the sound of a cannon shot.

Monday 24 July 2023

Reconstruction of a fractured maxillary central incisor

 This was a ten year old girl who jumped off a wall, fell on her face, and broke her tooth.



The first thing I did was a root canal treatment. Here's the X ray:



That's my assistant's finger.


After cutting retention grooves in the tooth...




I removed about half the root canal filling I had placed...



Then etched the tooth with phosphoric acid...



Followed by filling the space in the root canal I had created with a flowable light cured resin gel...



In which I placed a fibre optic post of the appropriate size which I had already tested for adequate  fit...




Red, in this case (note the red band on the top). The three post sizes most commonly used, in increasing order of diameter: yellow, red, blue.


I then hardened the flowable resin with a light cure unit, sealing the post in place:



(Each subsequent  layer of filling material was similarly hardened.)

Then I started building up the back of the replacement part of the crown with light cured filling material that is extra white to block out the dark shadows of the inside of the mouth which would otherwise  make the replacement look dark:


After building up the back of the crown, I cut off the excess fibre optic post.



Then I started adding more light cured resin filling material of the correct shade to match the other teeth to the front of the built-up crown:


At this stage it's bulky and rough in appearance, and the anatomy doesn't match the other intact incisor. Notice those two notches in the other tooth? The bulges between them are called mamelons, and I had to reproduce them by careful cutting and shaping

Then I polished the filling:



Voila:








Thursday 20 July 2023

The End Of The Grain Deal And The Kerch Bridge Explosions

 

By now anyone remotely interested in the conflict in Ukranazistan will be aware that Russia terminated the Grain Deal that’s been in effect since 22 July 2022 and which allowed Ukranazistan to export grain from Odessa. In all probability the majority of those who are aware of it will have been made awar of it by the media shrieking that this will cause starvation in poor countries.

Will it?

This article,[1] for instance, ends with:

"Terminating the grain deal will only bring higher food costs and shortages for countries that import agricultural products from Ukraine."

Here's the truth about where the grain from Ukranazistan goes:[2] 

"China has been the main destination for cargo exports of Ukrainian grain at 8 million tonnes, followed by Spain at 6 million tonnes and Turkey at 3.2 million tonnes."

Only 2.5% of Ukrainian grain went to poor or developing countries according to the UN official data.

Low-income countries received 2.5% of the over 32 million tonnes of grain exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to figures by the United Nations (UN).

Of the 6 million tonnes sent to Spain, the vast majority went to feed pigs to make jamon

The majority of the 3.2 million tonnes to Erdoğanistan was processed into flour and sent right back to Ukranazistan. 

So, no, it won't. 

In fact, it won’t even significantly raise wheat prices, as Moon Of Alabama points out: [3]

“More wheat is coming to the markets from other producers than Ukraine. During the next year, even without grain from Ukraine, prices for wheat and corn may actually come down:

World wheat supplies are strong following exceptionally high exports from Australia and Russia and a rebound in Canadian shipments after droughts disrupted last year’s season. After falling for years, global stocks may finally rise in 2023. As for corn, Ukraine’s shortfall may well be filled by expected record sales from Brazil, reckons Alexis Ellender of Kpler, a data firm.

So this is much ado about nothing. Globally Ukraine just isn't important at all.”

Of course you wouldn’t know this from the usual media suspects, whose primary purpose is to blame Russia for everything.

If there is anything Russia is to be blamed for, it’s for signing the grain deal in the first place.

What were the terms of the grain deal? Ships from Odessa and Nikolayev would carry Ukranazistani grain – wheat and maize – to Erdoğanistan (that’s Turkey to you) where it would be inspected by Russian and Turkish officials to ascertain that there were no military supplies on board, after which it would be shipped on elsewhere.

In return Russian grain would be allowed free movement, Russian ammonia pipelines to fertiliser factories would be permitted uninterrupted, and Russia would be reconnected to SWIFT.

Predictably, none of that happened. It is astonishing that anyone could imagine that it would have happened, but Putin’s capacity to be deceived by his Western “partners” seems almost limitless.

Well, I said almost, but with any luck that limit has finally been reached.

It was not just that the Ukranazis’ Western masters did not follow through on their own commitments to the grain deal: they used it to arrange both the partly successful attacks on the Kerch Bridge, the one last year and the one a few days ago.

Here’s how the bridge blast by an explosives-rigged lorry last year went, as pieced together by Russian intelligence:

A Ukranazi ship loaded with explosives sailed out of Odessa as part of the grain deal, but instead of going south to Erdoğanistan it turned west and sailed up the Danube to an inland port in Bulgaria.There it unloaded its explosives, which by a circuitous route went through Georgia into Russia, where it was transferred to the final lorry (whose driver had no idea what he was carrying) for shipment to Crimea across the Kerch bridge. Once on the bridge, the lorry was exploded by a remote controlled detonator.

This kind of thing is no longer possible, since every vehicle is now X rayed and searched before being allowed on the bridge. Multiple attempts at missile strikes on the bridge since then by the Ukranazis with their Brutish-supplied Storm Shadow missiles have also failed against the now heavy and layered Russian air defences. So the Ukranazis’ Western masters had to step in directly.

The second attack on the Kerch Bridge was carried out by Brutish underwater drones released from a civilian dry goods bulk carrier cargo ship, sailing as part of the Grain Deal, off Snake Island. This followed Brutish plans to destroy the bridge [4] hatched over months. Instead of destroying it, though, they managed to cause actually rather less extensive damage than the lorry bomb attempt. While one span of the road bridge was broken, the other was undamaged, and the far more important railway bridge untouched. [5] Military traffic to Crimea was not affected at all.

What the Ukranazis and their NATO masters managed to do was murder a holidaying couple [6] and put their 14-year-old daughter Angelina in a coma. This has not unnaturally led to fury among Russian forces, and writing “For Angelina” on shells being fired at the Ukranazis.




It has also led to many of the blueyellow-ragwagging nazi worshippers online revealing just what kind of hate-filled vermin [7] they are. Consider this character:

 


It is allegedly a teacher.




Fortunately, this one was so stupid as to post under its real name, and has been speedily doxxed, with everything including its address, email, and phone number exposed:

 


Hopefully it will soon receive a visit from several large biker/trucker types. From reading online comment fora I’m led to believe there’s a lot of sympathy among that demographic for Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia is making sure the Ukranazis and their NATOstani masters won’t be able to sneak grain (or “grain”) ships into and out of Ukranazistan by reducing the Odessa port facilities to scrap.[8]

In return for relatively minor damage inflicted to the Kerch Bridge, I don’t know if the Ukranazis and their NATO masters still think it’s been worth it.

 If it means Putin has been finally disillusioned about his western "partners", it's not been worth it at all.

Sources:

 

[1] https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/wheat-prices-soar-russia-considers-ships-heading-ukraine-carriers-military-cargo

[2] https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news/black-sea-grain-initiative-2-5-of-exports-to-low-income-countries/

[3] https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/07/much-ado-about-nothing.html#comments

[4] https://thegrayzone.com/2023/07/19/leaked-files-british-kerch-bridge-strike/

[5] https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/kerch-bridge-deja-vu-breakdown

[6] https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2023/07/18/ukraine-war-day-510-innocent-victims-of-the-bridge-attack/

 [7] https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2023/07/19/ukraine-war-day-511-the-child-on-the-bridge/

[8] https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/putin-strikes-back-ukrainian-ports

 

Reading List Modifications Notice

 

Readers looking at the bar on the left of this page, which is titled If You’re Not Going To Read Me, Read Them, will notice a few modifications. Some links have been removed, several more added.

Here’s why:

One of the “eye-openers” of the SMO – for those who have been in a coma since 23 February 2022, that’s Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukranazistan, which is not a declared war – is how many people and organisations have revealed their true colours. It involves not just the usual suspects – the rainbow-ragwagging liberal media and assorted paid propagandists and politicians – but “anti imperialist” sites and what I’d thought were normal people.

It is somewhat of a surprise to watch, for instance, someone who one’s known for over a decade, once a funny and intelligent woman who used to raise laughs on the Comics Curmudgeon where she was a regular commenter, degenerate into a self-lobotomised demented harpy calling her own political tribe’s opponents “nazis” while supporting and cheering on genuine Hitler-saluting swastika-tattooed Waffen SS-pride-parading prisoner-murdering blueyellow-ragwagging nazis in Ukraine. So, she’s gone.

As is Antiwar, which has been sliding towards irrelevance for years, to be precise since the death of Justin Raimondo, and which has now fallen to the point where articles by political science postgraduate students in Amerikastani universities are presented as credible on military strategy.

Some blogs are dead – haven’t been updated in years – and I have no reason to believe (since I don’t know them away from Blogger) that they will ever update again. Gone.

At the same time I’ve found people who are emphatically worth reading, though I do not necessarily agree with them always or even most of the time:

Awful Avalanche of yalensis, who posts a daily article, usually on the human aspects of the SMO, and who has grown to be an online friend.

The Reading Junkie, an Amerikastani living in Russia, and his Russian wife. Always interesting.

A Son Of The New American Revolution by Larry Johnson, “former” CIA. Often wrong but always worth the read.

Moon Of Alabama by Bernhard, former German military intelligence. Again often wrong but always readable.

Your “Great Reset” HQ, by Jacob Dreizin. Look past the deliberately over the top self-aggrandising language and you’ll find some of the best analysis and predictions on the net about the conflict in Ukranazistan.

Simplicius’ Garden Of Knowledge, excellent in depth analysis, albeit occasionally willing to bend facts to excuse Putin’s blunders.

 William Schryver, again excellent analysis.

Some didn’t make the cut:

Reminiscence Of The Future by Andrei Martyanov, a wildly overrated mass of stinking sewer gas whose arrogance is only matched by his worthless “analyses”.

The Junkyard Of The Faker by Andrei Raevsky, self-deleted and also wildly overrated.

The Strategic Culture Foundation: articles of a distinctly uneven nature.

South Front: ditto.

Big Serge: Fundamentally useless since paywalled.

Armchair Warlord and Dr Snekotron on Twitter, since with Melon Husk’s changing of the Twitter settings you can’t read them without signing in anyway.

I may add more to the reading list if I find them worth it.

Meanwhile, take a look at these.

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Have you noticed?

 Gone are all those airy puff pieces talking about Ukranazistan's  inevitable  victory, as gone as those ten years ago predicting the "imminent and inevitable" fall of Assad. Gone is the triumphant air of imminent control of the world. The increasingly  desperate tone is that Ukranazistan cannot be allowed to lose because that would be a disaster for the "world". The "world", in this case, means the Wall Street warmongers, their political puppets, and the Europistani slaves, naturally.  And yet the only way that Ukranazistan's defeat can be staved off is an open NATO intervention,  but they can't risk that because Russia has been pushed to the point that it can't and won't back down. And yet Ukranazistan's  defeat will mean the economic ruination of Europistan, which thought it could recoup its losses from looting Ukranazistan and from "war reparations" from Russia. It is a conundrum that can't be solved without kicking out Uncle Sam, but kicking out Uncle Sam is impossible  because in order to spite Russia Europistan has sold itself to him as slaves and chattels even more completely than ever before. 


Meanwhile German tanks painted with WWII nazi cross insignia continue to burn in the fields of Ukranazistan. 





I don't know if the media that give the rainbow haired liberal freaks their daily outrage instructions have told them about it.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Burn

 



Burn, France, burn

It's lovely watching you burn

From all the nations you enslaved and looted

From Haiti to Mali

Algeria to Vietnam.


****************************


It is beautiful...absolutely beautiful...to watch Macronistan burning. 



By the way:


Macronistan should have no objections if the Russian ambassador goes around handing out biscuits to the rioters,  right? 


Macronistan should have no problems if Russia arms the rioters, right?


Macronistan should have no problems if Russia brokers a "peace deal" to give the rioters time to build themselves up into a regular army, should it?  


What's good for the gander...

Wednesday 28 June 2023

A pro Putin post from me?!? What's happening???

 



Let's just assume for the sake of argument that the claims that Prigozhin launched a NATO funded coup attempt to overthrow Putin are true.

Proponents of that hypothesis, who call Prigozhin a "traitor", are claiming that he should have been killed or arrested, and it was weakness on Putin's part to let him go free.

No.

It wasn't weakness. 

1. Russia has no death penalty. Prigozhin couldn't have been just summarily given a bullet to the head.

2. Prigozhin was not in the convoy headed to Moscow, he stayed in Rostov. This means:

(a) He would either have to be arrested somehow after fighting a city battle past 6000 highly experienced and heavily armed Wagner soldiers and brought to trial, or

(b) The military  HQ in Rostov bombed to rubble to kill him.

Any of this would have resulted in massive numbers of civilian and regular troops being killed. And the regular forces going to Rostov were Chechens. Chechens killing Russians in a Russian city? It would be a NATOstani wet dream. It would've immediately made divisions between Russians and Chechens flare up again.

In short, trying to kill Prigozhin is exactly what the NATOstanis would have loved. This way Putin got rid of Prigozhin without turning anyone against Russia.

Seems a good way to deal with it to me.




Monday 26 June 2023

A POSTMORTEM OF THE PRIGOZHIN PUTSCH



I wrote the previous article when the March On Moscow was still going on, and I had explicitly compared it to the Kornilov Coup of 1917. If anything,  24 and a bit hours after it ended, the comparison is more apt than ever. Consider:

1. Both Prigozhin and Kornilov would never have carried out their coup attempts unless they had reason to believe that they had substantial  support in the capital. Kornilov thought he had been asked by Kerensky to purge Petrograd of all the revolutionary groups and "restore order". Prigozhin,  you can be absolutely certain of this, could never have believed he and his 8000 or so men* would have been able to capture power or even impose terms such as the removal of Shoigu and Gerasimov unless he thought he had substantial support in the capital and the government. It is not possible.

2. In both cases the movements  fizzled as participating  troops dropped out and the support failed to materialise.

3. Both Kornilov and Prigozhin could well be deemed guilty of high treason, but both were let off with a slap on the wrist (in Prigozhin's case it can't even be called that).

[*Just 8000 of the at least 33000-strong Wagner took part in the March On Moscow, and it appears most of those 8000 didn't even know what they were really doing. They thought they were being redeployed. And all of them are now to be brought under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), not punished in any way.]

The question I want answered is this:

How is it possible,  is it at all credible,  that the MoD didn't know what was happening?

Wagner was set up with the help of Russian  military intelligence,  GRU. It is staffed with regular military and GRU officers, and most of its troops are former regular  soldiers, not the "convicts with shovels" fantasies of the Westernaganda. Its so called "deputy" commander, General Mizintsev,  was until very recently logistics commander in the Artëmovsk front before overnight turning into a Wagner top officer. Its Soledar and Artëmovsk  field commander, call sign Lotus,  is a former regular officer who's fought in Syria,  Libya, and the Central African Republic before this. Neither Lotus nor Mizintsev participated in the putsch; the only known Wagner leader bar Prigozhin who did was the shadowy Dmitri Utkin, who may actually be Prigozhin's boss.

So how is it possible that the MoD didn't know what was in the offing?

Simple answer: it could not have not known. It is a sheer impossibility.

That's apart from the video now going around from a few weeks ago of an interview between the Russian military blogger Wargonzo (real name Simën Pegov) and Prigozhin where the former outright tells Prigozhin that the MoD is restricting Wagner's ammunition to prevent it from conducting a coup in Moscow. The MoD knew, all right.

So why didn't it do anything about it?

Many people online are operating on the assumption that this proves this was a coordinated farce between Putin and Prigozhin. I have no reason to believe that, simply because the same thing could have been achieved without any "coup" attempt. The only other explanation I can think of is that the coup was permitted to go ahead, and fizzle, to put Wagner under the MoD, just what Prigozhin  had been resisting all along.

There is a fourth similarity to the Kornilov Coup I'll predict:

105 years after the Kornilov Coup we still don't know for sure what happened.

We won't find out this time either.



Saturday 24 June 2023

WAGNER'S INSURRECTION AND THE KORNILOV AFFAIR

 



In August 1917 General Lavr Kornilov marched his army on Petrograd (St Petersburg), the capital of Russia. 


This was not something that suddenly happened overnight. Kornilov, a Cossack, was a brilliant linguist who in his youth had done extensive exploration of the Caucasus and his native Siberia, learnt numerous local languages, and as an army officer commanded troops from that part of the Russian Empire. They were called the "Savage Division" by the effete St Petersburg Tsarist Court favourites who ran the military, but of course they loved Kornilov, who spoke their languages and lived like them. 


Then came WWI, and Kornilov - like his sometime commander Brusilov - was one of the few competent, indeed brilliant, generals of the Russian army. He used proactive and aggressive tactics with a lot of initiative, at one point even breaking into the Hungarian heartland. But like Brusilov, Kornilov repeatedly faced the problem of corrupt and useless court favourite generals like Sukhomlinov and Rennenkampf, who did nothing to support their offensives, and a lot of whom were more concerned with enriching themselves than fighting the war*, and repeatedly had to withdraw from war winning positions as a result.


[*Alan Clark in Suicide Of The Empires, his book on the Eastern Front in WWI, quotes a French manufacturer who bid for a contract with the Tsarist regime to supply tents for the army. The Tsarist official deputed to negotiate terms demanded a gigantic bribe to approve the bid. The manufacturer protested that if he paid that much, he would be left with no profit at all on the deal. "Ah," said the official, (with, Clark says, a silky smile) "I understand. But why supply the tents at all?"]


Then came the February Revolution in Russia, the Tsarist regime fell, and the expectation was that the new Provisional Government would extricate Russia from the by now extremely unpopular war. Instead, Kerensky, the Minister of War, launched an offensive in July called the Kerensky Offensive in the expectation that a victory of sorts would unite the people behind the war. The offensive was a disaster, and instead led to days of rioting in Petrograd. Kerensky became prime minister and responded by making Kornilov the commander of the army. He then possibly ordered him to march on Petrograd to restore order. [Many historians think that Kerensky deliberately deceived Kornilov in order to get an excuse to intimidate his socialist political opponents including the Bolsheviks of the Petrograd Soviet.] Instead, Kornilov interpreted it as his duty to either make himself military dictator of Russia or else the power broker who would impose authority at the point of a gun over the chaos of the Provisional Government and the breakdown at the front.


Kerensky suddenly was faced with a monster of his own making. He dismissed Kornilov by telegram, but that had zero effect, since Kornilov simply assumed Kerensky was now a prisoner of the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, and other factions in the capital. Meanwhile the Bolsheviks used their contacts in the Russian railway network to sabotage the progress of the Kornilov forces, and their own men in those forces to persuade the soldiers to drop out. Kornilov's army broke up before reaching Petrograd, quite bloodlessly, and the coup came to an end. However, it dramatically weakened Kerensky and strengthened the Bolsheviks, directly aiding in the November Revolution.


[What happened to Kornilov? He was arrested by the Kerensky regime, but "escaped" - basically his own guards let him out and joined up with him - and went on to fight in the Civil War on the White side. He was killed by Red artillery in 1918.]


Now look at the current situation with regard to Wagner. Even Putin has admitted that the Russian military was full of incompetent "parquet generals", and it's not exactly a secret that said generals did not perform professionally in combat.


In April 2022 and then again in September, territory won by hard fighting and bloodshed was abandoned without a shot because the generals did not take the proper steps to reinforce them in time. Prigozhin, meanwhile, is a man who shares the privations of his troops, has in many cases given them a way out of prison, visits them on the frontline, travels with them in the hold of a cargo plane eating what they eat, and not surprisingly they love him and feel a sense of loyalty to him.


This same Prigozhin feels - rightly or wrongly - that Gerasimov and Shoigu are corrupt and incompetent, and either thinks or claims to think that it is his duty to rescue Russia from them and the rest of the "parquet generals". He hasn't said a word against Putin to this moment, but exactly like Kornilov has refused to lay down his arms even after orders from the top authority (Putin in this case). His forces are moving on Moscow, just as Kornilov moved on Petrograd. And it is all but certain that his march will not succeed like Kornilov's didn't. 


But just as Kerensky's own actions precipitated the Kornilov Coup, Putin's failure to act in time, either against Prigozhin or against the "parquet generals", created the current situation. This is in the DNA of the Putinist system: it is never proactive, it always puts off even reacting to any situation until no further postponement is possible, and then it does all it can to just restore the status quo. Not even the status quo ante, just the status quo.


In any case, this proves that the armchair generals who have been insisting for the last 9 years that Russia couldn't have destroyed the nazis in 2014 because it needed time to prepare for war were talking through their hats...while calling those of us who repeatedly said Russia should have invaded in 2014 trolls, idiots, etc. 


We were right, they were wrong. If Russia had prepared for 8 years there would have been no need for Wagner to be fighting in this conflict at all.