Isaiah 5:20 (NKJ)

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

 

Today We Reach Back…

…To Hallowed Antiquity, on this, the 600th anniversary of the Ottoman Siege of Constantinople by Sultan Murad II.

The siege of 1422, which lasted from June 10 to September 6, was the penultimate of four attempts on the city by the Ottomans and has received far less attention than that of 1453. According to the short Chronique breve mereote de 1423, “on 10 June, Wednesday, at the fourth hour after midday, Mihaloğlu Mehmed Bey attacked Constantinople” with a vanguard of 10,000 men, thus beginning the siege of the city. Byzantine historian Ioanis Kananos wrote a vivid eyewitness account of the siege of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Kananos describes how the vanguard under Mihaloğlu ravaged the city’s suburbs, before Murad II himself arrived on June 20 and the siege began in earnest. The 200,000 men Ottoman army encamped all along the Theodosian walls. Primitive bombards and mangonels open fired at the walls with little effect.

In order to create a diversion to save their capital, the Byzantines backed the rebellion of Murad’s younger brother, Küçük Mustafa, in Anatolia. The rebellion was supported by some Anatolian beys who feared the revival of Ottoman power after the crushing Ottoman defeat at Ankara against Timur two decades earlier and the civil war that had followed. Mustafa was able to gather a significant army, and in late August or early September, he laid siege to Bursa. When Murad learned of these events, he was forced to call off the siege of Constantinople, and Mihaloğlu led the army of Rumelia to Anatolia. Küçük Mustafa did not resist long, fleeing to Constantinople on 30 September, whence he seized İznik, which he continued to rule until defeated by Murad’s forces in January 1423. The Sultan had his young brother strangled.

Both Kananos and Giorgios Sphrantzes actually attribute the survival of the Byzantine capital to the miraculous intervention of the Mother of God on August 24, when the Sultan had ordered a general assault on the walls with ladders and grappling hooks, and Kananos goes on to say that even the Ottomans saw her on the ramparts:

Every company of the Turks bore witness on oath and they told everyone how at the hour of the battle when they arrived at the walls, daring and unrestrainedly eager and intending to scale them, hunt down the Romans and capture the city, at that very moment they saw a woman, wearing violet robes, who was walking on the ramparts of the outer fortifications. When they saw her, darkness and faintness, quaking and fear suddenly entered all their minds, and they looked to flight and not at all to war… so they fled, and the city was saved.

-Read more about the topic: Margaret Purdie, An account by John Cananus of the siege of Constantinople in 1422 (Master’s Thesis), 2009 (https://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/…/Purdie…), Andrea Massimo Cuomo, Ioannis Canani de Constantinopolitana obsidione relatio: A Critical Edition, 2016 and (in Greek): Antonios Athanasopoulos, “Divine protection of Constantinople: the role of the Theotokos in the Ottoman sieges of the City.” Byzantina Symmeikta, 32,2022.

 

Rise and Decline

 

Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Russia took a huge blow from the battlefield this past week when the Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cut ties with Moscow. I realize that it may seem like a small thing to many of this blog’s readers but it is the death of a thousand cuts as resistance to the war mounts in Russia.

 

The War in Ukraine

Putin’s Dilemma

Russian President Vladimir Putin has landed in an unenviable position. His country has the resources to inflict damage on Ukraine in perpetuity. But because the first phase of the war has been so costly for Russia and because Ukraine’s military is mounting such stiff resistance, Russia faces serious difficulty achieving anything meaningful on the battlefield without committing much more manpower than it currently has available.

Calling up large numbers of reservists while putting Russian society openly on a war footing solves the problem in theory. But it is something for which the Russian public is fundamentally unprepared. To date, Putin has referred to the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and held only one mass rally in support of the war. Full-out mobilization, which would make war an inescapable fact of Russian life, would revolutionize the regime Putin has constructed since coming to power in 2000. Putinism has been a formula: the government discouraged people from meddling in politics while leaving them mostly on their own, and the people readily surrendered their responsibility for decision making. In 2014, he could achieve his military aims in Ukraine without radically redefining Russian politics. That is no longer an option.

Tech

During the Cold War, the Soviets had the habit of surreptitiously acquiring Western computer chips and using them in their own weapons systems because their own industry couldn’t produce chips that are on par with Western technology and more importantly, performance. It’s for this very reason that the Soviets were considered backward and primitive simply because they couldn’t match their Western counterparts in certain areas.

And now, the Ukrainians have revealed to the world that nothing has changed in the 3 decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union. BRM discussed this on his blog on May 30 and went into even greater detail. You should read what he wrote as well. He also discussed the massive success that Timex realized in South African sales…

The Russians are unable to match the West, or even the Chinese, in the production of proper computer chips which are essential for the many high-tech weapons in service today which is even more dependent upon computing power than 30 years ago. The only thing that had changed, was how the Russians acquired the needed Western chips for their weapons systems. They legitimately bought them before sanctions rolled in.

The Russians are still entirely dependent upon the West for something as basic as the computer chips that form the heart of many of their high-tech weapons. Even the Chinese have managed to become independent and produce their own chips which are on par, and even in some cases, outstripping their Western counterparts. As one example, it has to be remembered that the Chinese were the ones who pioneered, and now have the lead in, 5G mobile telecommunications technology. Even some of their vehicles use Western engines and other components.

And how do we know this? The vast numbers of Russian equipment that had fallen into Ukrainian hands, such as this Pantsir S1/SA-22 Greyhound air defense system, has been taken apart and have all their secrets laid bare for all to see. And that was what they saw. Supposedly indigenously developed equipment that is chock full of, and entirely dependent upon, Western components and hardly anything Russian.

As we’ve said many times before, the Russians are having their technical secrets exposed to the West to see. And what is seen just makes an even bigger fool out of the Russians. They are still as backward as their Soviet predecessors had been in the realm of electronics.

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Russian regionalist Media «7×7. Horizontal Russia» compiled a map of attacks on the military commissariats (draft & recruiting stations) all over Russia from Feb 24 to May 31, 2022. Unlike most of what passes for “liberal Russian media” in the West, this one isn’t based in Moscow

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Countries mentioned in the old testament

parting shot

19 COMMENTS

  1. LL,another fine lesson re the Ottoman Empire.

    In regard to the chips, doesn’t the US use foreign chips in a lot of cases in our weapon systems? I thought we got a lot of them from Taiwan but could be wrong.

    That is a lot of attacks on recruiting stations. It seems too many to be spontaneous by disgruntled Russians so Ukrainian infiltrators?

    • Regarding microchips and integrated circuits, those used for military weapons are made in the US and are proprietary. They’re also expensive. There are other non-critical systems that use chips made in Taiwan.

      From personal experience, a lot of the chips coming out of China are shit. They’re cheap and they work but they’re full of artifacts and f-ed up code. I don’t think that it’s sabotage. Just carelessness and inattention to detail.

      There is a fifth column at work in Russia. I don’t know who is responsible and if I knew, I wouldn’t mention that in this blog. Suffice to say that we can see what they’ve done.

  2. RE: Western components in Russian weapons. During the Reagan era an acquaintance with ties to the “spook community” said they deliberately let the Russians steal rocket components and secrets that had hidden flaws. When the Russians discovered most of their rockets wouldn’t hit their assigned targets, Gorbachev started negotiating. I don’t know if this is true but it gave me a good feeling to think we still have some dedicated, and smart, people in our agencies.

    • There are (or were) a number of exceptionally smart, capable, honest, clever people at CIA. I can’t say that is still the case. I just don’t know. Diversity hiring practices are alive and well there.

      • It’s the supposed reason the Soviet Buran (their space shuttle, which was pert near a complete copy of our shuttle, except…) only flew twice and never went into service. Some smart guys-n-gals at the CIA worked with NASA to ‘allow’ the Soviets to steal or acquire copies of our shuttle blue-prints and tech data. Slightly altered, of course.

        Russia flew the Buran and found out that it was not safe at any speed if brought up to human flight levels.

        Same with their micro-shuttle, which looks just like some versions of the supposed ISS and Shuttle rescue vehicle, and like Sierra Nevada’s Dreamchaser.

        Ha, take that you Russian swines.

  3. Oh, yeah…..Soviet era Semiconductors and IC’s were renowned for their poor quality. I remember reading some reports about them. One case i really chuckled at was when some TLA opened up some of their IC’s and found stunning levels of contamination in them. Flakes of women’s cosmetics were found inside, and in one “hybrid” IC they opened they found a woman’s eyelash, complete with mascara on it.

    In short, their Clean Rooms weren’t.

    They sure do make good vacuum tubes, though….

      • There’s only ONE company in the US making tubes, and they cater to the Audiophile crowd. They bout some other companies machinery and started making small tubes again. Really BIG high-power tubes are still made by Eimac, who’s been around since the 1930’s.

        Many of the small glass “Russian” tubes for sale are made by former Soviet Bloc countries like Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria, while the big Russian power tubes are made in Russia.

        China is the other big player in tubes, but 60% of them are junk out-of-the-box. They either don’t meet specs, or fail within 60 days.

        • The Russian Su-25 Frogfoot – frontal ground attack aircraft – present in large numbers over Ukraine still uses tubes. The tubes work, the aircraft flies, but it’s very vulnerable to AAA and MANPADS. The Frogfoot has been around for a long time.

          What I found interesting (more interesting) as a result of the examination of shot-down Su-34 aircraft over Ukraine is that they are using tubes as well. The Sukhoi Su-34 is a Soviet-origin Russian twin-engine, twin-seat, all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft. It entered service in 2014 with the Russian Air Force. Its inertial navigation systems don’t work and it’s every bit as vulnerable as the Su-25. It looks cool outside and it flies, but they are antiques (too).

          • LL, depending on how what protection was installed, distance to the disturbance and other such factors, tubes and older electronic devices are less likely to be completely destroyed by EMP whereas chips tend have more problems. The USAF tried numerous tests on various types of equipment to see what worked and what didn’t when subjected to EMP.

            Just a thought.

  4. Chinesium parts – Good until they self immolate during a critical phase operation.

    Kind of surprised Putin has lasted this long, hanging on by a thin thread at this point.

    Yes on Is:5-20…if there wasn’t a spiritual red flag with that in mind I don’t know what else needs to occur for people to wake up and smell the covfefe burning.

    Seems Pelosi and Scarborough attempted a Bible Study on Matthew 25, trying to shoehorn their brand of theocracy of Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, and Sheep & Goats into their warped plan for American slaves…err…citizens. Amazed both didn’t burst into flames, thus thankfully adding to the carbon footprint.

    • Chinese IC’s do work for low-end consumer electronics even if they’re full of unwanted artifacts, as you point out, until they don’t.

      We are in for hard times before they get better. I’m sure that Trump will be blamed.

      • There’s a very reputable dealer in ChiCom vacuum tubes, and he stated they had to individually test, burn-in, and then load test every single tube that came in. Something around 30% were duds out-of-the-box, 20% failed burn-in, and the rest failed the load test. When I asked him what his supplier said about it, he said they told him to keep the failures, and free replacements were on the way.

        What a waste of resources!

  5. I enjoyed this sermon. What an apt quote from Isaiah! And the miraculous intervention of the Virgin at Constantinople, which we need back, obvs.

    Then there’s the war. I’m glad I don’t have a kid in the game at this point and hope it stays that way, please.

  6. Ah, Byzantium. Lots of weirdness surrounds that place. More than one sighting of The Virgin Mary just when Christians were about to lose. Same with white-cloaked and surcoated horsemen showing up at the last minute to save various Christian forces.

    Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

    As to Chinesium chips, if Apple hadn’t moved to Red China, the commies would not have as significant jump on domestic production as they now have. Because when Apple jumped to China, many other companies followed. And then all the western companies started bailing out of West Taiwan in 2017 and 2018.

    Still want to see actual Red Chinese equipment in action, or have some western nations get their hands on front-line ChiCom tech so we can see how good or bad it all is.

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