by Larry Johnson
The disconnect from reality that is being published and broadcast in the West is staggering. I suppose I should not be surprised that people who embrace transgenderism as normal and declare that men can be pregnant will eagerly embrace nonsense about Ukraine winning the war as reality. I want to draw your attention to two articles — Russia faces ‘incredible poverty’, warns ex-IMF chief (The Telegraph) and What 2023 will bring for the war in Ukraine (The Spectator).
Thank God that the “ex-IMF chief” is no longer in charge of the IMF. I am not sure if the man is really this stupid or a shill who will say anything to support the failing Western meme about Russia.
Russia’s people face “incredible poverty” following Western sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, according to the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.
Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff said the country is headed towards being a new Cuba, Venezuela or “a giant Iran”.
Equating Russia’s economy with those of Cuba, Venezuela and Iran exposes Rogoff as an incompetent economist (Parents, don’t send you kids to Harvard). Let me present some facts:
Cuba GDP — 107.35 billion
Venezuela GDP — 482.36 billion
Iran GDP — 359.71 billion
Russia GDP — 1.78 trillion
If you have trouble with math let me help you out. Russia’s GDP is greater than Cuba, Venezuela and Iran combined (949.42 billion). But GDP says nothing about the underlying strength of any economy. Iran and Venezuela share something in common with Russia — all three are major oil producers, but Russia surpasses them. In 2022, Russia’s oil output increased by 2% despite onerous international sanctions. That is because Russia is not dependent on selling oil to the United States and Europe. Countries outside the Western sphere of influence — China and India in particular — have stepped up their purchases of Russian oil.
But Russia has something that none of the other three pariah states possess — vast natural resources beyond oil that makes it a self-sufficient country. Russia is the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources:
The nation is a leading producer of coal, diamonds, aluminum, asbestos, gemstones, diamonds, lime, lead, gypsum, iron ore, bauxite, gallium, boron, mica, natural gas, potash, platinum, oil, rare earth metals, pig iron, peat, nitrogen, cadmium, arsenic, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphate, sulfur, titanium sponge, silicon, uranium, tellurium, vanadium, tungsten, cobalt, graphite, silver, vermiculite, selenium, rhenium, copper, and gold.
These resources guarantee that Russia will not suffer the fate of Cuba, Venezuela or Iran. Russia is not dependent on trading with the United States and Europe. In fact, it appears that the United States and Europe need what Russia produces in order to keep their economies chugging along.
Here some video evidence that Russia today is light years away from the old Soviet Union:
What the failed economist Rogoff fails to grasp is that the decision of the West to try to sanction and destroy Russia is precipitating the collapse of the post-World War II financial era dominated by the United States. One indicator of that is Saudi Arabia’s decision to entertain accepting payments in other currencies:
Saudi Arabia opens to settling trade in other currencies than the US dollar Saudi Arabia is open to discussions about trade in currencies other than the US dollar, according to the kingdom’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, informs Bloomberg.
This is the start of a new world economic order. Maybe that is what haunts Rogoff.
Next up, Charles Lipson, who is “Peter B. Ritzma professor of political science emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he founded the Program on International Politics, Economics and Security, and a Spectator contributing writer.” Pretty impressive. Just more prima facie evidence supporting Andrei Martyanov’s scathing denunciation of “political science” as a fraudulent academic field. Lipson just wrote the following:
What’s happening on the battlefield itself? The fight has slowed over the past two months because of early winter weather. Now, as the ground freezes solid, Ukraine’s tanks and artillery are beginning to move again. The soft ground didn’t affect Russia, which relies on human-wave attacks by expendable soldiers and air attacks by Iranian-made drones. What has slowed them is the dwindling supply of precision weapons and conscripts. Putin can’t do much about the weapons, but he can do something about the manpower. He has secretly begun another round of mobilization, despite the political dangers. It’s one thing for him to round up men from outlying areas. It’s quite another to drag them off the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the political heart of the country. Putin would only do that if he thinks losing the war would be even more dangerous. That is exactly the prospect he is facing if Ukraine continues its gains this spring and summer, and especially if it threatens to retake Crimea.
Right now, Russia is continuing its unsuccessful — and extremely costly — effort to take the cities of Bakhmut and nearby Soledar, as part of their failing attempt to consolidate control of the Donbas. Meanwhile, Ukraine is slowly advancing on two cities further north: Kreminna and Svatove. Those cities and the highway connecting them represent the next steps eastward after Ukraine’s capture of Lyman in October.
Ignore the fact the Russia has stepped up its missile strikes on key infrastructure during the past two months. If Ukraine’s tanks are moving and the Russians are losing, according to Lipson, then why does Ukraine desperately need hundreds of tanks from the West? If Ukraine is winning and Russia is being defeated on the battlefield, why is the West not preparing its victory party? Cobbling together a failed NATO summit in Ramstein this past week is not a sign that the West is confident of Ukraine’s military prospects.