by Pepe Escobar

Somewhere in her private pantheon, Pallas Athena, Goddess of Geopolitics, is immensely enjoying the show.

No one ever lost money capitalizing on the unlimited nonsense spewed out by the collective deer caught in the headlights also known as Western mainstream media – complete with showering Person of the Year awards on a megalomaniac, cocaine-fueled lousy actor impersonating a warlord.

The non-stop trashy parade of Western military analysts is now “assessing” that the first targets of an incoming, joint Russia-Belarus attack on the 404 black hole formerly known as Ukraine will be Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Zhytomyr, and why not throw Kiev in the mix straight out of a second axis.

The Russian General Staff is attentively monitoring all the action and may even follow the advice of such “analysts”.

And then there’s outright panic, as the Ministry of Defense announced that the Strategic Missile Forces have loaded two Yars ICBMs into their intended silos. Cue to widespread shrieks of horror of the “Russia Readies Nuclear Missile Capable Of Striking Deep Into US” variety.

Some facts though never change. Number One is NATO as a figment of the collective West’s – extremely impaired – imagination. If push ever came to shove – as Straussian/neo-con armchair warriors hope and pray – Russia can conveniently defeat the whole of NATO as there is hardly anything “there”.

That, of course, would require a massive Russian mobilization. As it stands, Russia may look feeble in a few quarters as they activated at best 100,000 troops against possibly 1 million Ukrainian troops. It’s as if Moscow was not exactly seduced by the idea of “winning” – which may be the case, in a quite twisted way.

Even now, Moscow has not mobilized enough troops to occupy Ukraine – which, in theory, would be imperative to completely “denazify” the Kiev racket. The operative concept though is “in theory”. Moscow in fact is busy demonstrating a completely new theory – irrespective of the fact that a few exalted souls have been peddling that Putin should be replaced by the FSB’s Alexander Bortnikov.

“There will be nothing left of the enemy”

With its array of hypersonic missiles, Russia can knock out all NATO bridges, ports, airports as well as power stations, oil and natural gas storage, Rotterdam oil and natural gas installations, in a matter of a few hours. All energy production equipment across NATOstan would be destroyed. Europe would be shut off from natural resources. A dazed and confused Empire would be unable to move troops, any troops, to Europe.

And still provocations run unabated. The recent attack by Tu-141 Ukrainian drones against Engels-2 airbase was blamed by Moscow on Kiev – which predictably denied all responsibility. Yet what really mattered was Moscow’s strategic messaging to US/NATO, with Putin flirting with the notion that sooner or later the response may be up a serious notch in case US/NATO weaponry supplied to Kiev is used to strike deep into sensitive Russian Federation territory.

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Another disconcerting article on Strategic Culture is “Not a Party to Conflict?… U.S. Government Media Outlet Directs Air Strikes on Crimea” here