Word is, directly from Putin's mouth, that Russia has ended the US Empire.
If true, that's pretty big news, and not at all bad news; provided that there is no replacement empire that's just as bad or worse. But Russia (if that's the one) has always been a cautious bear; taking advantage where the adversary screws up, but not over-extending its resources. Until Afghanistan, that is; the little country that has been the graveyard of several empires.
Putin's speech of March 1st may have been hyperbolic. He's a master politician, after all, and pols lie as readily as they breathe. Perhaps the weaponry of which he boasted is several years away from deployment. It does seem amazing that a country can spend fourteen times less than the FedGov, yet end up with an underwater drone capable of devastating the entire US East Coast and the tens of millions who live there, plus a missile system that can travel over the South Pole at 20 times the speed of sound, so greatly outpacing any anti-missile missile and eliminating such US cities as remain. Yet Russians are smart people, its engineers are brilliant, and they all play chess.
Can it be true? - I do not know. It's very curious that six years after US/Russian relations turned sour following the absurdly gauche behavior of KerryBama, years filled with sanctions designed to cripple the Russian economy, such a renaissance can have taken place. Just maybe, Putin is just strutting his latest achievements and ideas so as to intimidate the US military and so help his friend Trump, who has been trying (I think) to rein it in. But there it is: possible.
If it's true, the US is no longer the sole superpower and a fresh Cold War is upon us, just as Gorbachev warned. Will the lessons of the last one be heeded? - probably not, but in case anyone in D.C. might wish to (Trump, for example) they are primarily that 45 years of FedGov propaganda to the effect that "we" were behind the Russians in the arms race was hogwash. "We" were constantly ahead, by varying margins, and the race helped bankrupt the USSR; the big winners were the US Military Industrial Complex (MIC.) That is to say, US weapons makers and all who worked for them. The companies contributed money for the re-election of war hawks, while their employees, enjoying fulfilling, patriotic and well-paid work, reliably did the re-electing. The Cold War continued to bleed both sides and place all of mankind in existential danger, thanks to the democratic system and the government it facilitated.
Has that lesson been learned? - not that I noticed. The lunacy continues to this day.
Or at least, until Trump was elected, confounding all those complacent MIC supporters whether R or D; for he had promised better relations with Russia, since Russians had as much right to arrange their own affairs as anyone else. Obama and his lapdog had faithfully tried to ruin the cordial relations of the 1990- 2010 period by thrusting US influence under the Bear's belly in Ukraine and by bitching and sanctioning when Crimeans chose to transfer their allegiance from Kiev to Moscow; there was (is?) hope that Trump will repair that damage and if he does, the MIC will have less 0ver which to salivate.
That prospect may well be the driving force behind the suffocating, ubiquitous mainstream campaign to vilify Russia for having "intervened" in his election. If money were finding its way from MIC coffers to those of broadcast media which keep harping on the trivial and incredible allegation that Russian interference lost Hillary the election, the former would be making a good investment; for the MIC is always in urgent need of perceived enemies.
Did they in fact intervene? It hardly matters, for Trump won after spending little more than half what Clinton spent, and most of what he collected outside his own self-funding came in donations under $200. He won not because he advertised more, but because what he said rang true with heartland voters, while Hillary was rightly seen as a fraud. In any case, why should Russians not have supported him, seeing that he was the candidate most likely to relax the sanctions on them? So by a great irony, the crybaby Dems who are still so ferociously blaming Russia for their loss of the election are in fact busily boosting the fortunes of the MIC, which those soi-disant "Liberals" purport to deplore.
Those desolated Dems are currently deploring Putin's alleged poisoning of a couple of his turncoat spies in Britain, in their continuing campaign to smear Russia; yet the US Government executed the Rosenberg spies, while oo7 and Smiley's People would terminate enemies on foreign soil all in a day's work; and their creators Ian Fleming and John LeCarré were experienced real operators in Her Majesty's Secret Service. Yes, of course it's a dirty business. But for governments, it's SOP.
The new monster weapons of which Putin spoke are not designed to support a conquest of the USA. They are retaliatory; they fit the case in which Russia has been attacked and could be fired to destroy the destroyer. That's what Mutually Assured Destruction does; it supposedly deters the initial attack. Often, it works. In 1914, it did not. Its next failure will be the last.
That's what governments do. They bluster, they threaten, and eventually they unleash war upon each other, using for their own defense the very individuals they pretend they exist to defend. Mankind will continue to suffer the horrors of war for as long as governments continue to exist. That continuation is very far from inevitable, however; every government depends entirely upon the willingness of its victims to work for it. Take away that willingness, and it will evaporate.
That's what the Freedom Academy is doing. No alternative has yet broken surface.