I've been receiving a pile of various articles on the economic sanctions against Russia, the plunge of the ruble, failing oil and gas prices and how it's all being engineered to ruin Russia's economy, and even a couple about (British) Prime Minister Cameron stating that Russia is simply unfit to participate in any financial system - it is to laugh! and the trouble was, he said it with a straight face! - much less the West's shining edifice of rigged LIBOR rates, gold rehypothecation(not to mention that pesky thing of undocumented gold that I talked about in last Thursday's News and Views from the Nefarium), robo-signed mortgage fraud bundles into derivatives inflated into the quadrillions of dollars, and a growing list of suspicious banker deaths. Yes, the West's system is a shining example (like a mackerel on a moonlit beach, it both shines and stinks) of fair play and rule of law and DEMOCRACY and goodness and truth and apple pie, and Mr. Putin really ought to be ashamed of himself for being the hypocritical former KGBnik that he is. And of course, mixed in with this has been the usual amount of articles and even some personal emails about the plight of Ukrainians under the "neo" Fascist government freshly installed in Kiev by the US and its compliant European lackeys. Additionally, Secretary of State Ketchup Kerry weighed in with a monotone droning to the effect that all these awful sanctions could be lifted within mere days if Mr. Putin but came to his senses and decided to make nice and play by the West's playbook, which it likes to re-write any time Mr. Putin or Ms. Fernandez de Kircher or others don't want to play by rules they have no input in making. I even received an article that compared contemporary financial geopolitics to a game of Risk, that Parker Brothers classic where one tries to conquer the world by forming and breaking alliances, stabbing people in the back, lying, and of course, marching all over the world with big armies. The article pointed out - if I understood it correctly - that in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, this particular Risk game had a triumphant America moving its armies all over the world, with the exception of a few stubborn hold-outs in central Asia and China, who, through a process of cagey diplomacy brought everyone back from the brink of disaster, so now the board is a big mess again, but everybody is pretty upset at America for all the backstabbing and lying.
The bottom line here is that the USA is determined to overturn Mr. Putin's government by financial hook or covert ops crook because he's such a Big Bad Mean KGBnik, and that the sanctions are really working and really will work if we but give them - and the covert ops people - enough time to do so.
Except, as a reader here - call him Mr. B. - noted, by finding and sending me this curious article which, incidentally, comes from Itar-TASS in Moscow:
Now, Moscow (and for that matter, Itar-TASS), have done their fair share of lying, so this little story does raise the eyebrows a bit, since no one I know informed me of any recent SeeBS or Faux News reports on the subject. But, given the absurd slapstick comedy of Prime Minister Cardinal Camerlengo Cameron's remarks about Russia not being fit to join the West's system of international finance, it's easy to see why few rational people trust the BBC, CBC, SeeBS or the West's media organs either. So... let's assume that the ITAR-TASS article is true.
The first most obvious question that comes to mind here is that apparently US corporations like Lockheed and Boeing are not prohibited by the sanctions from doing business with their Russian counterpart Energiya, which raises the possibility that, whatever might divide Mr. Cameron from moral and rational sanity, or Russia from the West on Earthly geopolitical matters, something far more pressing might be compelling cooperation in space. The question is... what? The question assumes some importance, given these admissions in the ITAR-TASS article:
“'We signed a range of protocols on further collaboration at the end of those meetings,” Solntsev said. “Our US partners are interested in joint programmes for deep space exploration.'
“'US companies and research organizations engaged in manned space flights have offered a range of new programmes to the Russian side recently,' he said. 'In spite of a statement by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on a forthcoming withdrawal from the International Space Station project, Russian experts feel quite enthusiastic about US proposals on the whole.'”
In other words, Russia pulled the plug on International Space Station cooperation, and the West has slapped Russia with sanctions, but as far as Energiya and Lockheed-Martin and Boeing are concerned, proposals continue to be made, and specifically in conjunction with America's Orion space capsule and planned Moon and Mars missions
"Russian Space Corporation Energiya and Lockheed Martin plan adapting the newest US manned spaceship Orion for dockings with Russian spaceships, Vladimir Solntsev, the president of the corporation said in an interview published by Izvestia daily. 'The space ships should be adapted to one another and common sense prompts us we should be able to dock them,' he believes. 'It’s important to know how to lend shoulder to each other because any kind of situations may emerge.'”
This suggests, of course, that some sort of cooperative effort is quietly in the works, for whatever reason. It could, in a certain sense, be taken as corroborative of the real disconnect between the US government and its defense contractors and the "breakaway civilization" they may represent: the US Government slaps sanctions on Russia, while the real powers - Energiya, Lockheed, Boeing - proceed with business as usual.
There's something else in this article that I hope you caught, and it might even be some sort of loose, perhaps unintended corroboration of that high octane interpretation of the article, and Mr. B was kind enough to point it out in his email. And perhaps this is merely a consequence of translation from Russian to English, and perhaps not. Note that the Russian article refers, not to space capsules and rockets, but refers rather oddly to "space ships". Perhaps the Russians think of their Soyuz capsules as "ships". But given ITAR-TASS's long association with Russian and Soviet intelligence, they should certainly know how the phrase "space ships" sound to English speaking ears...
... and perhaps that was their whole point.
See you on the flip side.