September 30, 2022

Hardwood Paroxysm

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The Pentagon calls Moscow after 3 months and asks for a cease-fire

NEW YORK – Just four days ago, a spokesman for Joe Biden He seemed to reject the idea of ​​talking to her as impossible Russia. Mario Draghi had suggested this to Joe Biden in their meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, and Jean Psaki made it clear a few hours later that Moscow did not seem “willing to negotiate.” But yesterday the Pentagon surprised everyone with a message that immediately gave us hope of opening a negotiating window. For the first time since February 18, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with his Russian colleague Sergei Shoigu. The Pentagon’s communications are brief: “Secretary Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication.” Few words, but full of meaning, starting with the fact that Austin and Shoigu haven’t spoken to each other for three months. Perhaps the words of the Italian Prime Minister have been penetrated: “In Italy and in Europe now the people want an end to these massacres, this violence. We must use any channel, direct or indirect, and communications to bring peace.”

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Scenarios
Undoubtedly, the reopening of dialogue has all the characteristics of an exception. But caution is inevitable, because if Austin succeeded in capturing Shoigu, the Chief of the General Staff, General Mark Milley, would not have succeeded in doing the same, who would also have tried without being able to make a phone call to his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov . American analysts recall that Mili and Gerasimov were accustomed to hearing each other frequently, even in moments of deep conflict, and both had to work hard to avoid possible communication errors and the consequent possible escalation. It is clear that there is a hypothesis supported by many that Gerasimov was wounded in the front and that he was also suspended. Nevertheless, analysts, diplomats and commentators hailed the resumption of ties between Austin and Shoigu as an essential step: “Even in the midst of the Cold War we were in constant contact with the Soviet Union – the reaction of the former ambassador and well-known columnist Richard Haas -. We cannot afford the luxury of not communicating with Moscow ». However, it is necessary to understand where this opening could lead.Of course, an indisputable fact is that the Pentagon, which for two weeks stopped targeting Shoigu with empty phone calls, tried again and suddenly received an answer.

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Italian pressure
The initiative suggests that Joe Biden has listened to Draghi’s suggestions with more interest than he thought in Italy. Our prime minister is a highly respected figure in American political circles, and was also seen in Washington as the bearer of European opinion, whom Biden knows he cannot do without before Russia. And Draghi’s testimony about Europe that “you want an end to these massacres” corresponds to specific interests that Biden cannot publicly acknowledge, first and foremost that the war is ending because the inflation it unleashed is costing him dearly in popularity. Cause the loss of the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate next November. In the country, the first disagreements emerged about the length of the war and the costs to Americans, as became evident when Republican Senator Paul Rand blocked a vote Thursday night on the $40 billion in humanitarian and military funding that Biden had recently secured. Request. Under pressure from Volodymyr Zelensky and that the House of Representatives passed with a clear, but not unanimous, majority. Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova complained about the delay, saying we were “at a critical moment in the war”.

The sick tsar
The ambassador may also have been mindful of complaints from Ukrainian intelligence that Vladimir Putin has cancer and is about to be hospitalized. 007 argues in Kyiv that a real coup d’état is taking place in Russia, and this may slow the war effort, so the moment will be decisive and American weapons will be decisive to repel the onslaught of Russian soldiers once and for all. Other information collected by US newspapers revealed that Putin had summoned his wives to “cover up” his absence while he was in the hospital, and prepared films to be released during his absence to show that he was around. Signing laws and dealing with the state. These are all reconstructions that Western intelligence has not confirmed. The only indisputable fact about his health is that at the fashion show on May 9, Putin wore an exceptionally thick and padded coat and was the only one with a blanket on his legs.

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