Humans as a whole are more prosperous when they atomize rather than unify. There has long been a fascination with the power of unifying, but that power is almost always misguided. All "unions" should disband: EU, US, UN.....

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PNK, their economic problems are nothing compared to their total military inferiority to the former Soviet strategic weapons, to say nothing of what the Russian Federation has accrued since then in quantity and capability and technical capability.

Judge Russia by it's performance in Ukraine they say.

Didn't we see much the same "performance" in Grozny, and now the Chechen soldiers are dying for Russia, in Ukraine.

I know you may disagree, but the cards are all starting to add up and it looks particularly dangerous for the West, whatever that is now.

Boy, I do feel you have some good instincts on this economic slide, clearly the most important part of all. Europe is done with this leadership, can Italy survive? Doubtful, but maybe they will sell the rest of the way out to the Chinese.

You know Porsche dropped out of the Red Bull purchase plan, but a Chinese owned Ferrari could make them a deal they couldn't refuse!

I'm glad you are able to admirably wrap your head around this!

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Given Russia's recent performance in Ukraine, in particular the spanking they've gotten around Kharkiv and Izyum, a judgement on the performance does not look favorable for Russia.

Grozny and Kherson are not exactly analogous, either. When Russia laid siege to Grozny, issues of resupplying their field artillery did not arise. Throughout the Second Chechen War the Russian forces had good logistics and good supply lines.

That isn't happening in Ukraine, and even the Russian sources drop factoids that tacitly admit this.

Russian industry is not having success satiating the military demand for weapons and material. And they'd better start having success soon or those 300,000 new conscripts are going to be engaging with the Ukrainians with sticks and stones (assuming, of course, that those 300,000 troops show up: there appears to be a substantial draft resistance sentiment in Russia, and it is still uncertain whether that sentiment is going to coalesce into an actual anti-war movement or if its going to grow at all).

Moreover, those 300,000 troops don't add 300,000 to the battlefield. With about 200,000 forces already engaged in Ukraine, all of whom have been in constant fighting for six months and need to be rotated out, rested, and refitted, this reservist call-up amounts to little more than sufficient numbers to keep the current level of engagement going. Depending on the state of the militias in Luhansk and Donetsk, 300,000 might not be enough to mount significant new offensives.

Right now, the tempo of the war favors Kyiv. Putin needs a fresh offensive soon to reverse that or he's stuck exactly where he is now, in a costly war of attrition that, frankly, he can't afford.

Where I agree with you is that the situation IS dangerous for "the West". If Putin suffers too many reverses in Ukraine he may be the next Russian official to accidentally fall out of a high window towards his retirement. In one scenario this increases the risk of nuclear exchange, as Putin attempts to play that card to turn the tide of war back in his favor. In another scenario this leads to an ultra-nationalist regime in Moscow (there are ethnonationalists within Russia and within the Kremlin who are even more extreme than Putin). In yet another scenario there is a direct military engagement with a NATO country, activating Article V and giving us the long-feared WW3. Europe's own instability does not help deal with any of this. Instead, it compounds it.

Even if Meloni joins Hungary's Orban in opposing sanctions (her ally Berlusconi is already there), that by itself is not going to change the EU's stance on sanctions, and with Germany standing by those sanctions even as their own economy unravels, it seems unlikely that Italy is going to have the clout to move the EU against the sanctions. It's also unlikely if reversing the sanctions now would make much difference. Sanctions aren't stopping Russian Natural Gas at this point.

As for Italy selling to the Chinese: at this point I doubt Beijing has either the yuan or the desire to buy. No country is retreating from the globalized economy faster than China.

It's not the "world order" that is collapsing, but the world itself.

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The European leadership has proven time and time again that they are buffoons. They never learn from their mistakes and instead double-down on them. Case in point is their response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. They still haven't learned that sanctioning large, resource-producing countries such as Russia is not the same as sanctioning small countries like North Korea. That comes with real repercussions that are difficult to control. Likewise, they are unable to see that threatening a large country and economy such as Italy is vastly different than threatening a smaller country like Hungary. They think they know how to control Italy, but they are incapable of seeing beyond the first step. The EU is an abomination. I don't see how it can last much longer in its current form.

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Sep 25, 2022·edited Sep 25, 2022

As an Italian, I see this as a further polarization and amplification of divide and conquer which benefits empire manipulation, yet again, to stretch the use of petrodollar as looting currency. I must add Forza Italia is big on marketing on working with Russia, but like many centrist -- WEF aligned parties, it does not have the skillset to put that into practice, just as Northern league..... tons of money for divide and conquer PR though!

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