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Larry C. Johnson

Don't Mistake Cracks in the Biden Facade for Impending Surrender on Ukraine


We are seeing the classic signs of the growing discontent within some key sectors of the military and intelligence bureaucracy over the Biden policy towards Ukraine (I will touch on those in a minute), but the Biden national security team continues to stridently insist insist it will back Ukraine to the bitter end. However, despite the tough talk, Biden continues to balk on sending some weapon systems that could transform the Special Military Operation into a full blown war with Russia.

I am posting the video of Jake Sullivan’s press conference today on Biden’s meeting with Zelensky to illustrate this point. It lasts about 30 minutes and is worth listening to both for what is said and what is not.

Let me start by explaining what I meant by “classic signs” that there no longer is consensus within the US national security agencies about what to do in Ukraine. Last week I wrote about the briefing DIA’s Director of Analysis provided to some key media outlets. He presented the Administration line dressed up as “DIA intelligence.” Today we have Sy Hersh’s latest report — Zelensky’s Bad Moment — that reveals there are important contrarian voices in the ranks of the CIA...
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Why are Retired American Generals so Consistently Wrong?


The following retired Generals are popping up on cable news channels to offer their “sage” analysis on the war in Ukraine and they all share one thing in common — they are wrong to a staggering degree. I am shocked by their inability to objectively analyze the situation. Instead, they repeat the same propaganda memes — Russian troops are poorly led; Russian troops are conscripts and poorly trained; Russian troops have lousy morale; the Russian Army is brittle and will break under pressure; and Russia is losing.

These are not uneducated men and they demonstrated some measure of competence when given commands of major forces. So why are they so consistently wrong about fundamental facts?

I am pretty sure that all have acknowledged at some point that an attacking force, when confronted with a well entrenched foe, must have air supremacy if that force is to have a snow ball’s chance in Hell of breaching the defensive lines. Yet, you do not have to be cleared for Top Secret intelligence to know that Ukraine’s Air Force has been decimated and is incapable of launching sustained attacks on Russian troop positions.
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Why NATO Was Obsessed With Ukraine and is Now in a Panic


To answer the question in my title you need only look at two numbers — 1) Ukraine’s rank in terms of natural resources and 2) the size of Ukraine’s Army in February 2022. Since the end of World War II the West has viewed Ukraine as a critical piece on the global chess board for attacking and defeating Russia. The joint CIA/MI-6 effort to destabilize the Soviet Union, which started in 1947 with the provision of funds, weapons and training to Stefan Bandera’s organization, was crushed by the Soviets by 1952. It was shortly after that, following the death of Stalin in 1953, that Khrushchev gifted Crimea to Ukraine (1954). Was it a reward for Ukrainian assistance in wiping out the CIA-backed OUN uprising?

How is it that on the eve of the Russian Special Military Operation in February 2022 that Ukraine was the poorest country in Europe but was ranked number four in the world in terms of natural resources?

The country [Ukraine] ranks fourth globally in terms of total assessed value of natural resources, with roughly $15 billion in annual output and a potential 'assessed value [that] could be as high as $7.5 trillion,' according to the report.

Beyond that, Ukraine is thought to have the largest supply of recoverable rare earth resources in Europe, although much of it is undeveloped. Rare earth minerals (cerium, yttrium, lanthanum and neodymium) and alloys are used in many devices people use every day, such as computer memory, rechargeable batteries, cellphones and much more.

The answer is simple — the Western oligarchs who fund the political leaders of the NATO countries were busy cutting deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to get control of those rare earth minerals and energy resources. Do you think that putting Hunter Biden on the Board of Burisma, along with former CIA Counter Terrorism Chief Cofer Black, was just a coincidence?
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CIA Chief Burns' Descent into Delusion


Radio Sputnik called me first thing this morning and asked me to comment on the recent speech in Oxfordshire, England by the Director of the CIA, William Burns. I quickly scanned the news item and assumed it was a joke. I did a quick check to verify that this was a hoax or another clever bit of satire by the Babylon Bee. Nope. Burns really is this fatuous. Maybe the real Bill Burns has been abducted by aliens (the outer space kind).

"CIA Director William Burns called Russia’s war on Ukraine a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to recruit spies for the intelligence agency. 

“'Disaffection with the war will continue to gnaw away at the Russian leadership, beneath the steady diet of state propaganda and practiced repression. That disaffection creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us at CIA, at our core a human intelligence service,' Burns said in a lecture Saturday to the Ditchley Foundation in the United Kingdom, according to a transcript of his remarks."

I have posted the full video of Burn’s remarks below. If you held out hope that Burns was the lone adult in the Biden Administration, forget about it. Burns, while well spoken, is a shallow, mendacious twit.
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Is Moscow Burning as Prigozhin's Vast Network of Side Businesses is Exposed?


Remember the book and movie, Is Paris Burning?

"The title is taken from the question reportedly asked by Adolf Hitler following his order to destroy the city rather than let it be re-captured by the Allies. The story was adapted into a feature film by the same name in 1966."

Looks like Hitler was 79 years too early. Yes, many parts of Paris now are blazing as well as buildings and cars in other cities, and there is no end in sight. Yet the West is treating this as sort of a ho-hum business and none of the major media outlets are warning that Macron is on the ropes and on the precipice of being forced from office. So let me posit an alternative question — can you imagine the orgasm the Western media would be enjoying if the chaos that now shakes France (and reminiscent of the rioting that gripped the US during the summer of 2020) was occurring in Moscow?

I suspect the media — print, social media and the major TV channels — would be doing wall-to-wall coverage about Putin losing his grip on power and announcing that Russia was headed towards the cliff of dissolution. Be still my beating heart.

This is not a good look for the upcoming NATO meeting in Vilnius as the second most important European NATO member after Germany is wracked by a massive wave of violence. And while I’m beating a dead horse let me reiterate a point I made in my last article — Sweden’s attendance at the meeting will be a major distraction, at least for Turkiye, which is likely to excoriate Sweden for allowing the Koran to be desecrated.
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Biden Blows Up Blinken's Diplomatic Mission to China


Dementia Joe does it again. Less than 24 hours after Secretary of State Blinken genuflected before the Chinese, assuring them that the United States really, really, really is sincere in supporting the One China policy and eschews calling for Taiwan’s independence, Biden opened his yap and called Xi Jinping a dictator. While this garnered applause from the American financial donors, it destroyed Blinken’s credibility with the Chinese and confirmed their worst suspicions about US intentions.

When it comes to the art of diplomacy, saying what you really think or believe is not an acceptable practice. While many Americans believe that China’s Xi is a dictator and are wondering what the fuss is surrounding Biden’s intemperate, off-the-cuff remark, saying this in public stiffens Chinese doubts about US intentions and makes it virtually impossible for the United States to have any kind of productive working relationship with China going forward.

"Just a day after Blinken’s weekend visit to China, US President Joe Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping in a move that has infuriated Beijing and left US officials perplexed. Biden said the comments in front of donors at a California event.

"Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning called the comments a 'provocation' and 'irresponsible.' US officials have privately sought to inform the Chinese that this doesn’t represent a shift in tone or mood since the Blinken visit."
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Biden and America Have a Major China Problem


I hear that the Chinese are going to add the image of Antony Blinken to the dictionary definition of “Kow Tow.” He went to Beijing, hat in hand, and received a less than warm welcome. The term, “frosty” comes to mind. Blinken and his Chinese hosts engaged in a one-sided “frank exchange of views” (i.e., a phrase used by diplomats to describe a tense, angry conversation). The Chinese delivered and Blinken ended up saying what the Chinese demanded he say — “the US does not support Taiwan Independence.”

I find it a bit hilarious. Blinken simply restated the One China Policy negotiated and implemented by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger 51 years ago. What Blinken said has been the cornerstone of US policy towards China for decades. But that is not how it was received back home in America.

"Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised eyebrows Monday, telling reporters the US “does not support Taiwan independence” after meeting in Beijing with officials including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"Blinken’s statement ruffled the feathers of many Republicans in Congress, who viewed the statement – and the secretary’s inability to re-establish military-to-military communications – as an inappropriate kowtow to America’s greatest adversary."
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Welcome to 21st Century Kremlin Watching with a Ukrainian Twist


Unless you are over the age of 45 you likely do not have living memory of the Kremlin “Watching” that accompanied major Soviet holidays. The term “Kremlin Watching” refers to the practice of examining photos like the one above to assess political status in the Soviet Government by identifying the men who occupied the most prominent positions on the viewing stand above Lenin’s tomb. In this photo from 1965 you can see (from left to right) Anastas Mikoyan, Marshal of the Soviet Union Rodion Malinovsky, Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin commemorating the 20th anniversary of victory over the Nazis. CIA analysts were keen to look at these line ups in trying to assess who was up and who was on their way out in wielding political power. Brezhnev and Kosygin held the reins of power. Those were the good old days.

"The CIA warned Ukraine not to destroy Nord Stream months before an attack on the gas pipelines, after receiving a tip from Dutch military intelligence, according to media reports.

"The Netherlands’ military intelligence agency, MIVD, received information about an “imminent attack” on Nord Stream from an unnamed source in Ukraine in June, three months before a series of underwater explosions hit the pipes last September, a joint investigation by Dutch and German news outlets published Tuesday shows.

"According to the plan received by MIVD, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, was in charge of the operation against Nord Stream, which involved a small team of divers traveling on a sailing boat and was supposed to take place mid-June 2022.
Politico is not the only one spreading this fable; other more prominent outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times and Reuters, also piled on Zaluzhny. The media is eager to carry the CIA’s water and shift blame for the attack from the US, which according to Sy Hersh’s excellent reporting, hatched and carried out the sabotage."
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Khmelnytskyi — Did Russia Vaporize Depleted Uranium Shells?


Russia’s aerial attack on the Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi is catching quite a bit of attention because of reports of a spike in Gamma rays following multiple, massive explosions. Educated speculation believes that the increase in Gamma radiation may be a consequence of Russian bombs blasting British supplied depleted uranium rounds into dust.

The photo above shows the intact weapons storage facility just outside Khmelnytskyi taken some time before the Russia strike. Khmelnytskyi sits 217 miles to the west of Kiev, which means these strikes were most likely carried out by cruise missiles, such as the Kinzhal or Iskander. These strikes also provide vivid proof that Ukraine’s anti-missile air defense system is non-existent or disabled in and around Khmelnytskyi.

Let’s look at some of the video evidence. There were at least three bombs that struck this weapons depot. The first strike comes at 4:29 am (see the first video below, which shows the three strikes). That strike apparently ignited secondary explosions from ammunition and explosives stored at the targeted facility. There is a second blast recorded at 5:07 am followed by a massive explosion at 6:10 am, resulting in a black mushroom cloud towering over Khmelnytskyi.
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Ukraine's Promised Counter-Offensive Destined for Abject Failure


With each passing day, the Ukrainian Army is being carved up and decimated in Bakhmut. To use a cinematic metaphor, this is a preview of the coming attraction, with Ukraine facing intense pressure to launch a counter offensive that will push the Russians out of Ukraine. Ain’t going to happen.

Take a look at this video. Yes, it is but one isolated anecdotal account of the slaughter in Bakhmut, but it rings true and provides a chilling picture of the desperate state of Ukrainian forces in that battle..

Even If Ukraine is able to scrounge up troops and vehicles that surpass anything the Russians have in place on the front-lines in the Donbass (a dubious assumption), it still lacks the artillery, air support, logistics and ammunition to sustain such an attack.

How do I know? Very simple. Just look at how Ukraine currently is performing in Bakhmut, Ugledar, and Avdevka. In every case, Ukrainian forces are retreating, albeit slowly, rather than blunting the Russian offensive. The following image (taken from, a pro-Ukrainian site) shows the harrowing situation the Ukrainian troops confront.

Ukraine, which in theory should have an advantage by fighting from defensive positions, has failed to stop the slow but steady advance of Russian troops all along the line of contact. Instead of attacking and destroying Russian lines of communications that supply the Russian forces, Ukraine is launching artillery and HIMARS missile strikes on civilian targets. Those attacks do nothing to weaken Russia’s tactical and strategic situation.
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