The Ukraine People Must Overthrow Zelensky to Save Their Country

Armstrong Economics Blog/Ukraine Re-Posted Mar 14, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

This is the former adviser to Zelensky, Alexey Arestovich, who quit in protest. He has publicly stated that “The west deceived Russia. They promised not to push NATO to the east, and they did. They turned Ukraine into a huge anti-Russian country. If I was in Russia’s shoes, I would have done the exact same thing.”

The West’s Neocons have exploited Ukraine to wage war against Russia, for the sole reason they hated Russia, and even with the fall of the USSR, they have never changed their views. They tried to stop Reagan from meeting Gorbachev. I found myself back in 1999 to seize control of Russia by having the bankers, led by Edmond Safra, blackmail Yeltsin to step down and hand Russia to the boy, Boris Berezovsky. They tried to get me to invest $10 billion into their Hermitage Capital Management. When I refused, even Boris tried to call me to persuade me to contribute to their cause. When I refused, Edmond stole $1 billion I had on deposit at his bank and the NY press supported the Neocons, as always.

Ironically, they began their manipulation of Ukraine in 2014. It was the Neocons, not the CIA with this plot. John McCain was there meeting even with the Neo-Nazis in public and promising the crowd that America will stand with them if they overthrow their government – Regime Change has always been their agenda. It has NEVER worked out even once – Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, and Ukraine just to mention a few.

Why Most Americans Cannot Afford a Home – A Price Breakdown

Armstrong Economics Blog/Real Estate Re-Posted Mar 9, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Are you too poor for the basic human necessity of shelter in Biden’s America? The average home price in Q4 of 2022 was $535,800, according to the St. Louis Fed.  If you live in a highly desirable area, expect to pay more. To simplify the math, let’s say that you are looking to purchase a $500,000 property. To heighten the fantasy, let us also pretend you are one of the rare Americans with zero monthly debt. This means that you do not have student loans, car payments, childcare expenses, medical bills, credit card debt, or any major outstanding bill. Fewer than 25% of American households are debt free and this number is rapidly dwindling.

Ok, so you decide to put 5% down on the house or $25,000 for a loan of $475,000. You manage to lock in a 6.7% interest rate for a 30-year mortgage under a conventional loan. Nationwide averages in real estate drastically undercut true averages due to the outliers, but the average annual property tax in America is around $3,000. I personally have not seen a property tax this low between FL or NJ, but I’ll attempt some optimism. After all, this should be a simple price breakdown that does not lead to a mental one.

We will average the PMI payment of 0.5% at $197.92 for 125 months. We will also incorporate the low home insurance average estimate of $1,000 annually. To be most forgiving in my calculations, I will also assume that your monthly HOA fee is $0. This is utterly impossible for anyone seeking to purchase a condo. In my area, the average HOA fee is $600 per month, and a $500,000 property will not afford you a single-family house. At best, you’d be lucky to find a two-bedroom property at that price point in my area. In contrast, home prices here were about 40% to 60% lower in 2019.

Therefore, the overall total monthly payment for a $500K home is $3,596.32. This home can be yours by 2053 if you close this year. Forget “starter homes” as once you are locked into a good rate, you will likely not leave. So how much income do you need to afford this monthly payment? The MAXIMUM debt that the bank will allow you to qualify for is around 50% of your total gross income if you have good credit. If you choose this method, you will be “house poor” and unable to afford other basic human needs. So based on these calculations, you would need to make at least $7,192.64 GROSS per month to afford this property and live “house poor.” This would equate to a salary of $86,311.68 per year BEFORE TAXES.

I did not factor in closing costs, inspections, maintenance, moving, or even furniture. So should you continue renting while establishing zero equity? The median rental price in America as of February 2023 was $1,978. Inventory is low, and landlords are compensating for the money lost during COVID moratoriums. Most leasing offices require tenants to earn 3X the monthly rental price, equating to a monthly gross income of $5,934. This has left countless Americans stuck on the rental carousel of paying the majority of their monthly income to the landlord and being unable to save for a future that includes home ownership. Landlords can raise rental costs yearly at whim, and there is no guarantee that you will comfortably be situated in your rental unit from one contract to the next. Rental properties have also begun charging fees for everything under the sun, such as repairs and parking, which was one of the reasons people chose this method.

Gone are the days when Americans comfortably paid ¼ of their monthly salary toward living expenses. We have not even touched on the astronomically cost of other basic living necessities such as food or energy. You must make a decent income if you want to buy a home in 2023. The bank does not care if you are unable to pay because they will simply take your house. Some are lucky enough to secure an interest-free loan from the central bank of mom and dad. Others, the majority of the Great Unwashed, are scraping by—YOU WILL OWN NOTHING AND BE HAPPY!

The Debt Crisis – What Really Falls to Dust?

Armstrong Economics Blog/Sovereign Debt Crisis Re-Posted Mar 9, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: The sales pitch seems to be that there is this $2 quadrillion in global debt that overhangs everything. Paper assets, therefore, will all implode!  They seem to be saying that everything has risen due to this debt bubble and it was all created with Zero interest rates. Now that they are going up, the debt bubble will burst and everything will decline. The story seems to be that this decades-long Boom Bust cycle was created over and over by the Federal Reserve. 

This seems to be like you have said, they try to reduce everything to a single cause and effect.

What really happens?


ANSWER: These people seem to keep preaching the same story but have no historical understanding whatsoever of how the monetary system has ever worked. Their focus on the Federal Reserve shows that they are not looking at the world economy and they do not even comprehend how bad things really are outside the United States.  They do not comprehend what is an interest rate. It is the compensation to a lender for his anticipation of inflation plus a profit. If I think the dollar will decline by 50%, why would I lend you dollars for a year if when you pay me back it buys half of what it did when I lent it to you?

Debt can be a performing asset. I advised many of the Takeover Boys during the 1980s. We would borrow in one currency to buy the asset in another using the computer to distinguish the long-term trends. I would not recommend that to someone just operating on a gut feeling.

We were also advising on real values, which Hollywood distorted and based the movie Wall Street with Michael Douglas and his famous speech on greed. What they did not really understand was that after a Public Wave that peaked in 1981, stocks were suppressed and the full-faith in government created the broadly supported bond market.  Hence – bonds were conservative and stocks were risky. There were two aspects that were behind the entire Takeover Boom.

First, I was showing these charts and how in terms of book value, the Dow Jones bottomed in 1977. It was obvious that if you could buy a company, sell its assets, and double or triple your money, then the market was obviously not overpriced. We had forecast that the Dow was undervalued and that it would rise from the 1982 low of 769.98 and test the 2500 level in two years in 1985. Indeed, it reached 2695.47 by September 1987. We also projected that by the next decade, the Dow would test 6,000 on its next rally.

Even the press in Japan was shocked. We were also projected that Crude would fall below $10 in 1998. Indeed, that forecast was covered by Mark Pitman at Bloomberg News. It bottomed at $10.65 in 1998. In gold would forecast that it would drop to test $250 by 1999 completing a 19-year cycle low. Then gold would rally to test 1,000. Gold reached the $1,000 level by 2008. The Japanese press thought those forecasts were wild, to say the least.

The SECOND aspect of our advice to the takeover boys of the ’80s was something the press NEVER understood. We would advise borrowing in one currency for an asset in another. We were able to turn debt into a performing asset. We would make 20-40% profit on the currency alone. Often, the press would just look at the debt and not understand what we were even doing.

Most of this reasoning stems from Sir Tomas Gresham’s observations when he represented England at the Amsterdam exchange during the reign of Henry VI’s reign and debasement. As Henry debased the silver coinage as was taking place in Spain, the more they debased the coinage, the higher the inflation took place. His observation that bad money drives out the good has been grossly misunderstood. When I was growing up, they took the silver out of the coinage in 1965.  People were culling out the silver showing that the debased new coinage of 1965 drove out of circulation the old silver coinage. The same thing has taken place with the copper pennings.

Because people hoard old coinage, the money supply shrinks. That then forces the government to issue far more debased coinage to compensate for the coinage that has been withdrawn from hoarding. Consequently, inflation unfolds for all tangible assets to rise in value as expressed in the newly debased coinage.

What these people always try to sell is the same old scenario that they cannot point to a single instance in history where everything collapses to dust but only gold survives. Such periods will typically result in revolution. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, that was also all bout a debt crisis.

You must also understand that interest rates will be at their LOWEST internationally in the core economy of the Financial Capital of the World – which is the USA right now. The further you move from the center, the higher the interest rate will be. Hence, I have warned that the United States will be the LAST to fall – never the first. This is not based upon my opinion, this is simply historical fact.

We have interest rates back to 3000 BC and have studied the impact of such convulsions in economic history. As for the Debt Crisis that forced Caesar to cross the Rubicon, I suggest you read Anatomy of a Debt Crisis that appears, only Julius Caesar ever understood. 

The Bottom Line is very simple. There is just no such period as people describe where everything turns to dust and only gold survives. Even if that were true, they what good would the gold do if everything else is worth ZERO? Gold would have also ZERO value since nothing would have value.

The real issue is that as government defaults unfold, tangible assets will rise in value for the amount of money in debt always dwarfs that in even the stock market. We are in a Sovereign Debt Crisis and that is very different from a private debt crisis.

2032 & the Real Great Reset

Armstrong Economics Blog/ECM Re-Posted Mar 3, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Marty; A lot of people are concerned that you may just say the hell with it all and move to your island in the Caribbean. A lot of us always stood by you and many more are joining the ranks. There are so many who claim to be brilliant analysts but it is just their opinion. Following their work does not help clarify anything and many have been touting the rise of gold and the demise of the dollar for years like a broken record. It is incomprehensible how they are still in business. This is the time you were born for. Your analysis is not opinion and we can all look at the arrays and see what is coming.

As you always say, we are all in this together. That also means we need you now more than ever to sort out the truth from fiction. Don’t lose your faith. After 2032, the world will open its eyes to all your forecasts and listen for the real great reset. So many people plagiarize your work pretending it is theirs. Schwab is just another such lowlife. A blind man can see his Great Reset is your 2032.


ANSWER: I appreciate what you say. It is hard at times to have been looking at the model all these years staring at these forecasts for a war that would begin in 2014 and then living through them. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect personally that the West would be the aggressor. Now I can see Neocons, who I even personally have known, are really in control of the Biden Administration.

It has been a serious problem with forecasting from a personal opinion perspective – it is impossible! Thankfully, we have Socrates and its impartiality has guided us through these times. Personally, I would never have expected any American administration to surrender our foreign policy to these Neocons who want nothing but war. Kennedy, Nic, and even Reagan all stood tall against them. Biden is just a corrupt politician who is senile on top of it.

Throughout the mid-Nineties, I confess I helped Bill Kristol launch his Weekly Standard. It became the most influential magazine in Washington. It was funded initially by Murdock. I took the back cover all the time during at least 1996 and ran a series of advertisements pushing serious economic questions to the forefront. I had even testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on taxation. I shuttled back and forth between the Chairman of that committee, Bill Archer, and the Majority Leader Dick Army who was supporting the Flat Tax. I even debated Steve Forbes at Princeton University on the subject of taxation. I also would write OpEds for the Wall Street Journal. I was asked to redesign Social Security. I worked on transforming Social Security into a wealth fund for the nation. I tried very hard to defeat my own model. I always lost. I could not prevent what it has been forecasting these decades.

I know people have plagiarized our reports and forecasts pretending it has been their opinions. The problem that will expose them will emerge when the unexpected unfolds as Socrates has been forecasting. Only Socrates forecast in 2013, one year in advance, that Ukraine would be the hot spot. We have warned this was where World War III would begin. I warned in 2014 that Ukraine should have been divided according to language. The Minsk Agreement of 2015 was a step in the right direction to avoid war. Only Socrates has forecast this war and the duplicity of Merkel and others has placed the fate of the world in crisis mode. I have put forth a way to avoid this, but I could not make that happen – so much for the influence the bankers have attributed to me.

During the 14th century, there were warnings in the form of rumors that told of a great plague in China and India that killed most of the populations there. The plague made its way to Europe when the Kipchak forces were besieging the Genoese trading post in Crimea. The Kipchaks began to catapult plague-infested corpses over the walls and into the trading post. The disease spread quickly and the Genoese abandoned the outpost. They sailed back to Europe stopping in Sicily in 1347 taking the Black Death with them.

Crimea has been the center of historical events for centuries, yet nobody seems to pay much attention to it. It has been settled, resettled, occupied, defended, and invaded perhaps more times than most countries and over a far greater period of time than most countries have ever existed. Coinage in Crimea predates even Russia and Ukraine never existed as a country before it broke away from the USSR in 1991.

So from a pure data perspective, what is taking place is nothing new to history. This is all in a database that monitors one action and works out the path of reaction, kind of like plotting the path of a hurricane. When you have a long historical database, that is the ONLY way to forecast that Ukraine would be the place where World War III begins. Such things can not be accomplished from a personal “opinion” perspective years in advance even before the 2014 Revolution in Ukraine.

I know Schwab’s Great Reset is our 2032. He is just trying to push the collapse in his direction of totalitarianism. He too will fail just as I have failed to prevent this forecast from unfolding. At the very least, everyone understands, this is NOT my personal opinion or forecast. This is Socrates’ – not me!

Biden Given Ukraine $376 per Every American to Defeat Russia

Armstrong Economic Blog/Uncategorized Re-Posted Mar 1, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Let’s put this insanity in perspective. Russia’s entire military spending in 2021 hit $66bn. Biden has handed Ukraine nearly TWICE the entire military budget of Russia to destroy Russia to make the dreams of the Neocons come true. He has handed Ukraine, the most corrupt country perhaps in the world, the equivalent of $376 from the pocket of every American including your newborn.

Biden is also paying for ALL expenses of the entire Ukrainian government. Every government salary and all their pensions. All of this is because the Neocons seized control of the White House in the absence of any qualified personnel.

Nearly half of the Ukrainian people have left Ukraine. I seriously doubt that they see this as in their best interest. They have lost their homes and their future as well as employment all because the Neocons instructed that the Minsk Agreement has to be fake and that it was used to bait Putin to come to the rescue of the Donbas after the Neocons started the Ukrainian Civil War.

John McCain ran there to Ukraine and told them to attack the Donbas and openly met with the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis. Anyone who calls this Russian Propaganda as they did with the Hinter Biden Laptop, is promoting the destruction of the world with World War III – they are the real warmongers. So, like the Ukrainian people, you should look at your future, your family, and your employment, for the Neocons do not give a rats ass, as they say, about you or anything.

They proposed to President Kennedy kill Americans and blame that on Cuba to justify invading Castro for regime change. Kennedy refused and would not support the in Vietnam – so the CIA relieved the Neocons of their obstruction. They have the perfect president – Senile Joe with his WOK Administration who has ZERO experience in Washington which has been easy picking for the Neocons to create their dream – World War III.

Protests are Rising Against Leaders who No Longer Represent the People

Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany Re-Posted Feb 28, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

There are protests in Germany accusing the government of supporting the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis and that Germany has forgotten its history. There are many people in Germany who are deeply against this war and if they understood the real history of the Neocons, they would rise up in mass. This crop of world leaders no longer care nor represent the people. Wars are always started by leaders – not the people.

Well, there it is – NATO General Secretary Says Ukraine Will Definitely Become a NATO Member Once Conflict with Russia Concludes

Posted originally on the CTH on February 28, 2023 | Sundance 

After the western alliance previously swore that NATO would not put any member NATO state on the doorstep of Russia, a promise that was weak and viewed by many as false – ultimately influencing the decision by Russia, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said today that Ukraine will be joining NATO as soon as the conflict is concluded.

Now, given that statement, why would Russia even fathom entering any type of peaceful resolution to the conflict.  In essence, Stoltenberg has just turned the conflict in Ukraine into a zero-sum issue for Russia.  The only way Russia can keep NATO away from its border is to win violently against Ukraine.  WATCH (00:42 prompted):

Do you really believe the United States would be okay with Russia establishing forward military bases in Mexico or Canada?  Why should Russia permit U.S. and NATO military bases on its borders?

We almost went to war when Russia was assisting Cuba with weapons and missiles, and the U.S. will not permit any Russian interests in North America.  Why should Russia accept U.S. interests on their doorstep?

China has Warned US They Will Attack US Troops in Taiwan

Armstrong Economics Blog/China Re-Posted Feb 27, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

A commentator for the Global Times, reported a threat to the United States last Thursday night, stating that China would not hesitate to engage U.S. forces stationed in Taiwan if the Chinese launched an invasion of the island nation. Indeed, Hu Xijin, formerly the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, reacted to a Wall Street Journal report about U.S. troops traveling to Taiwan. He called it “illegal” and suggested that China would treat them as enemy combatants.

“It’s illegal for these US soldiers to go to Taiwan and the Chinese mainland won’t take any responsibility for their safety,” tweeted Hu. “If we take military action when necessary, they’ll be wiped out together with the resisting Taiwan troops. They can also be eliminated first as the invading army.”

Sunday Talks, CIA Director William Burns Discusses Russia, Ukraine and the Need for Enhanced Intelligence Propaganda to Support NATO Initiatives

Posted originally on the CTH on February 27, 2023 | Sundance

CBS Margaret Brennan interviews CIA Director William Burns about the current status of the conflict in Ukraine.  Director Burns outlines his discussions with Ukraine government officials as well as his talks with intelligence counterparts in Russia.

Within the conversation Director Burns outlines the importance of the CIA to continue providing enhanced intelligence operations to support both the conflict and the propaganda that surrounds the World War Reddit effort.  Additionally, Burns confirms for the first time that his intelligence analysts now believe China has moved their status from improbable to possible in sending additional weapons to support Russia.  WATCH:


[Transcript] – MARGARET BRENNAN: On the cusp of Russia’s invasion, you flew to Kyiv, and you told President Zelenskyy — tell me if this is right — the Russians are coming to kill you.

Was that the very first thing you said?

WILLIAM BURNS (CIA Director): It wasn’t the very first thing I said to President Zelenskyy.

But President Biden had asked me to go to Kyiv to lay out for President Zelenskyy the most recent intelligence we had, which suggested that what Vladimir Putin was planning was what he thought would be a lightning strike from the Belarus border to seize Kyiv in a matter of a few days, and also to seize an airport just northwest of Kyiv called Hostomel, which he wanted to use as a platform to bring in air — airborne troops, as a way, again, of accelerating that lightning conquest of Kyiv.

And I think President Zelenskyy understood what was at stake and what he was up against.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You also have said — and tell me if this is correct — that it was only a group of about three or four people around Vladimir Putin who knew that he was actually planning this invasion.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Mm-hmm. No, I think that’s true. Putin had narrowed his circle of advisers, and it was a circle in which he prized loyalty over competence.

It was a group of people who tended to tell him what he wanted to hear. That was one of the deepest flaws I think, in Russian decision-making just before the war is, it was such a close circle of people reinforcing one another’s profoundly mistaken assumptions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Does he take counsel from anyone these days?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: I think he’s become increasingly convinced that he knows better than anyone else what’s at stake for Russia.

I think his sense of destiny, and his appetite for risk has increased in recent years as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You recently went back to Kyiv, and you met with President Zelenskyy. And three months ago, I understand you met with Russia’s top spy chief.

Is there any kind of opening that you are finding here, any kind of opportunity?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: No, I mean, the conversation that I had with Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s external intelligence service, was pretty dispiriting.

My goal was not to talk about negotiations. That’s something that Ukrainians are going to need to take up with the Russians when they see fit. It was to make clear to Naryshkin and, through him, to President Putin the serious consequences should Russia ever choose to use a nuclear weapon of any kind as well.

And I think Naryshkin understood the seriousness of that issue, and I think President Putin has understood it as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There’s not a lot of contact with Russia right now.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: There’s not a great deal; you’re right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you still have that line of communication with your counterpart?


And I — and I think, even in the most deeply adversarial relationships — and that’s certainly what our relationship with Russia is today — it’s important to have those lines open. And the president believes that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you walk away from those conversations with? You said it was dispiriting.



DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: There was a very defiant attitude on the part of Mr. Naryshkin as well, a sense of cockiness and hubris, reflecting Putin’s own view, his own belief today that he can make time work for him, that he believes he can grind down the Ukrainians, that he can wear down our European allies, that political fatigue will eventually set in.

And, in my experience, Putin’s view of Americans, of us, has been that we have attention deficit disorder, and we’ll move on to some other issue eventually. And so Putin, in many ways, I think, believes today that he cannot win for awhile, but he can’t afford to lose.

MARGARET BRENNAN: He doesn’t seem to have that assessment, though,

I mean, 97 percent of his ground force is in Ukraine.


MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s a meat grinder. Does he just look at his population and say, I have enough young men I can continue to send off to die?


MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean, what is the price that makes him change his mind?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: He’s — Putin is certainly not a sentimentalist about the loss of Russian life or the huge losses that he’s taken in terms of Russian armaments as well during the course of the war.

But there’s a lot of hubris that continues to be attached to Putin and his view of the war right now. And I think what’s going to be critical is to puncture that hubris on Putin’s part and regain momentum on the battlefield.

I don’t think the Russians are serious today. And I think it’s only progress on the battlefield that’s going to shape any improved prospects for negotiations down the road.

MARGARET BRENNAN: At what point does Putin say, I can’t win?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: I think Putin is right now entirely too confident of his ability to wear down Ukraine, to grind away.

And that’s what he’s giving every evidence that he’s determined to do right now. At some point, he’s going to have to face up to increasing costs as well, in coffins coming home to some of the poorest parts of Russia. There’s a cumulative economic damage to Russia as well, huge reputational damage. It has not exactly been a great advertisement for Russian arms sales.


DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: So this is going to build over time, but, right now, the honest answer, I think Putin is quite determined.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about what appears to be potentially a new line of ammunition and weapons for Russia.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Secretary Blinken has said publicly we have begun to see — we have begun to collect intelligence suggesting that China is considering the provision of lethal equipment.

That’s not to suggest that they’ve made a definitive conclusion about this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary Blinken said that the U.S. had picked up information over the last couple of months. But picking up information over the last couple of months to thinking they’re actively considering it, I mean, how confident are you in the intelligence that this is something Xi Jinping himself may change his mind about?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Well, we’re confident that the Chinese leadership is considering the provision of lethal equipment.

We also don’t see that a final decision has been made yet, and we don’t see evidence of actual shipments of lethal equipment. And that’s why, I think, Secretary Blinken and the president have thought it important to make very clear what the consequences of that would be as well.


DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Yes, to deter it, because it would be a very risky and unwise bet.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, why would Beijing risk a tailspin in its relationship with the United States and with Europe by crossing this line?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: It’s a good question, and that’s why I hope very much that they don’t.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that Beijing benefits from having the West distracted and involved in a prolonged conflict in Europe…


MARGARET BRENNAN: … that that’s the aim?


But I think there’s no foreign leader who’s watched more carefully Vladimir Putin’s experience in Ukraine, the evolution of the war, than Xi Jinping has.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What are the consequences for the conflict in Ukraine if this does happen? What does more ammunition and more weapons mean? Does this — is it a game-changer?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: We also have evidence that the Iranians are providing lethal equipment and munitions, that the North Koreans are doing the same thing as well.

So, wherever that lethal assistance comes from, it prolongs a vicious war of aggression.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How good is our visibility into Xi Jinping’s thinking and his decision-making process?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Oh, it’s always the hardest question for any intelligence service as well, you know, in — in an authoritarian system where power is consolidated so much in the hands of one man.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you had such exquisite intelligence when it came to Russia and Vladimir Putin and his inner circle. Do we have that for Xi Jinping?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Oh, we work very hard to develop that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Working on it?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: I think we work very hard to develop the very best intelligence we can.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But I wonder if, when you’re talking about his thinking and his decision-making if he suffers from the same kind of yes-man culture that you said Vladimir Putin does, because Xi Jinping got rid of a lot of people in his government.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: It’s a — Margaret, it’s a concern in any authoritarian system.

And I think what we’ve seen in Beijing is President Xi consolidating power at a very rapid pace over the course of the more than a decade that he’s been in power as well.

And as we’ve seen, where Putin’s hubris has now gotten Russia, and the horrors that he’s brought to the people of Ukraine in that kind of a system, a very closed decision-making system, where nobody challenges the authority of their insights of an authoritarian leader, you can make some huge blunders as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve said Xi Jinping told his military to be prepared to invade Taiwan by 2027. The intel community seems a little bit more ambiguous in its conclusions here.

Do you think it’s an outright invasion, or do you think China’s more likely to slowly strangle democracy in Taiwan?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: We need to take very seriously Xi’s ambitions with regard to ultimately controlling Taiwan.

That doesn’t, however, in our view, mean that a military conflict is inevitable. We do know, as has been made public, that President Xi has instructed the PLA, the Chinese military leadership, to be ready by 2027 to invade Taiwan. But that doesn’t mean that he’s decided to invade in 2027 or any other year as well.


DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: I think our judgment, at least, is that President Xi and his military leadership have doubts today about whether they could accomplish that invasion.

I think, as they’ve looked at Putin’s experience in Ukraine, that’s probably reinforced some of those doubts as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you when the intelligence community will have some insight into what Beijing was collecting with that spy balloon over the U.S.?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: It was clearly an intelligence platform.

And I think we’ll be able to develop a pretty clear picture of exactly what its capabilities were.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it will be a while, won’t it?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: It takes some time, but I think my understanding is that we’re managing to pull up quite a bit of evidence and material from that platform.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think Xi Jinping knew that balloon was sent here?


MARGARET BRENNAN: You have an idea.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Well, I think the Chinese leadership obviously understood that they had launched this capability, that it was an intelligence platform.

Whether — when and what the Chinese leadership knew about the trajectory of this balloon, I honestly can’t say.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve said in the past, there’s the beginnings of a full-fledged defense partnership between Russia and Iran. Exactly how far does the alliance go?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: Well, it’s moving at a pretty fast clip in a very dangerous direction right now, in the sense that we know that the Iranians have already provided hundreds of armed drones to the Russians, which they’re using to inflict pain on Ukrainian civilians and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

We know that they’ve provided ammunition for artillery and for tanks as well. And what we also see are signs that Russia is proposing to help the Iranians on their missile program and also at least considering the possibility of providing fighter aircraft to Iran as well.

So it’s a quite disturbing set of developments.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Have Iran’s leaders made the decision to pursue a nuclear weapon?

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: To the best of our knowledge, we don’t believe that the supreme leader in Iran has yet made a decision to resume the weaponization program that we judge that they suspended or stopped at the end of 2003.

But the other two legs of the stool, meaning enrichment programs, they’ve obviously advanced very far, you know, over the course of the last couple years.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Eighty-four percent purity, reportedly.

DIRECTOR WILLIAM BURNS: They’ve advanced very far, to the point where it would only be a matter of weeks before they could enrich to 90 percent, if they chose to cross that line.

And also, in terms of their missile systems, their ability to deliver a nuclear weapon once they developed it, has also been advancing as well. So, the answer to your question is, no, we don’t see evidence that they have made a decision to resume that weaponization program, but the other dimensions of this challenge, I think, are growing at a worrisome pace too.

[End Transcript]

Zelenskyy Tells Americans – If We Do Not Support Ukraine, We Will Lose Credibility in World

Posted originally on the CTH on February 25, 2023 | Sundance 

A few interesting aspects to this soundbite before the hubris is displayed.   Notice how Ukraine President Zelenskyy immediately affirms his knowledge that an increasing number of Americans no longer support the endless proxy war in Ukraine.  Apparently, the CIA and State Dept are focused very heavily on managing U.S. war fatigue and communicating that issue with the Ukrainian government they control.  {Direct Rumble Link}

Zelenskyy is asked about the increasing number of Americans who no longer support the war.  His response is to demand support and tell the stoopid Amerikaan voters, their opinion means nothing.  The direct and implied message is, if America doesn’t continue funding the war in Ukraine, our global credibility will collapse and people around the world will start laughing at us.

The propaganda is pretty thick, yet there are millions of Americans asking if the war is really such a dire situation, why does it always seem like there is an endless amount of time to promote the theater of it?  An auditorium filled with mindless captures, stares at a stage containing a leader who has unlimited time to play the role in the script…. yet somewhere, in some place… there is apparently a war happening.  What I mean is, the “theater” of the Ukraine war narrative is consuming far more resources than the actual fighting of the ‘war.’  WATCH:

Zelensky to Americans that think the US is giving away too much support to Ukraine: “If they don’t change their opinion … if they don’t support Ukraine, they will lose NATO”